Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Shipping Season Over

Thunder Bay's shipping season has come to a close.  It officially wrapped up with the MV Saginaw departing with the year's final grain shipment of 12-thousand tonnes of grain destined for the lower Great Lakes.  More than a million tonnes of grain were shipped from the port in the final month of the shipping season.

Canada's HMV Safe

Canada's HMV stores, including Thunder Bay's are safe according to the company's CEO.  The parent UK company is having financial troubles and is looking to close their last remaining store.  However, Nick Williams says that won't impact Canadian operations since the British company sold off its Canadian stores last year.  Williams adds they've also taken a different business model than the UK stores.

Child Porn Case In Court

A Shuniah Township man is going to be back in court on February 19th on charges of possession and distribution of child pornography and extortion.   29 year old Mark Lethonen appeared briefly in court and was released from custody on several conditions.   Those include no access to a computer and to stay away from areas where children under the age of 16 may gather.  The charges are in connection with a case involving nude photos of a young girl who complained to police last month..

Liberal Leadership Convention

The Kenora-Rainy River riding will be well represented at next week's provincial Liberal Leadership Convention in Toronto.  President of the Riding Association Anthony Leek says delegate selection was finalized on the weekend. Leek also attends as a vice-president of the Northern Ontario Executive Council.

B.C. Sexual Assault Case May Have T.Bay Link

A Prince George, B.C. sexual assault case may have a Thunder Bay connection.   Police there have charged 20 year old Mercedes Jewett along with 6 other people in what they call a "disturbing" attack in which the victims were targeted and lured to an apartment building where the assaults took place.  According to Facebook, a person identifying herself as Mercedes Jewett of Prince George, once lived in Thunder Bay.  Police say the incident took place on January 7th in which a teenaged victim was beaten and sexually assaulted before being found in a snowbank.

Chambers Meets With Union

Elementary school teachers across Ontario are still looking for ways to send a message to the provincial government expressing their outrage regarding the imposed new contracts. President of the local chapter of the Elementary Teachers of Ontario, Ellen Chambers held a meeting yesterday with her members to discuss volunteering for extracurricular activities. Chambers says many parents may not realize what constitutes a volunteer activity that is performed by a teacher.  

Urban Forest Plan Passes

The way the City prunes its trees is changing now that Council has approved the urban forest master plan.  Parks Manager Paul Fayrick says it will help improve the condition of area trees.  Fayrick says now that they've received council's approval its full steam ahead on implementing the document.

Safety Concerns Over Layoffs

Thunder Bay MP John Rafferty is concerned about the Harper government's plans to reduce the number of grain inspectors in the city.  Rafferty is worried the prime minister's penchant for budget cutting could result in safety issues as the job of inspections becomes the responsibility of the grain companies.   According to the union the budget cutbacks could result in about 50 jobs being lost.

Murder Trial Continues In Kenora

Police officers have been providing the bulk of the testimony so far at the 2nd degree murder trial of Kenneth Ivall and Angela Duchesne.  Members of the OPP and former Kenora police were at the Tim Horton's Restaurant near the crime scene, the morning that Ed Wilson was killed.   Yesterday constable Miranda Duggan testified that she noticed several spots of a blood-like substance on the bathroom floor in the restaurant, and also by the sink.  Shortly after she was called out to an accident scene at the CP rail tracks, where the body of Ed Wilson was found.  Testimony will continue today at the Kenora Court House. 

Local Police Officer Back From Palestine

A Thunder Bay Police Inspector is back from a one year stint training Palestinian police officers.  Inspector Lorne Clifford left in September 2011 and returned this past fall.  He told board members this morning he has a better understanding of dangerous situations after having weapons pointed at him on a daily basis in the middle east.  Clifford says he was proud to help play a part in an international training program for Palestine.

NAN To Host Public Meeting

Nishnawbe Aski Nation is partnering with city police and the Ontario Provincial Police by hosting a Community Safety Forum tonight. The Forum is set to provide an opportunity for public education on police investigative procedures, to encourage dialogue on current concerns and conclude with a discussion regarding next steps aimed at ensuring safety. The meeting is scheduled to take place tonight starting at 6 o'clock at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium. The forum is open to students and their families, Leadership, First Nations and Aboriginal organizations, and city residents.

Weather Statement Issued For Wawa

Travelers headed East of Thunder Bay today will want to use caution when driving near Wawa and White River.  A special weather statement is being released by Environment Canada saying heavy lake effect flurries will affect regions to the east of Lake Superior today, tonight and into Wednesday.  Up to 15 centimetres of snow could fall by tomorrow afternoon.  The main issue will be very low visibility under the heaviest flurries as conditions may be near zero.