Monday, February 4, 2013

Council Approves More Money For RegenMed

Regen Med didn't speak to City Council as promised Monday night, but they did get a nice cash infusion of 150-thousand dollars.  Council approved a final interest free loan to the tissue bank just a week after the Provincial Government promised cash to the company as well.  City Councillor Rebecca Johnson was the only Councillor to vote against the move.  The money is to help the company implement its sales strategy over the next six months and complete a business sustainability plan.

Johnson Wants Affordable Bus Fees For Youth

City Councillor Rebecca Johnson would like to see lower transit rates for those riders under the age of 17.  Council received a report on new transit rates at their meeting Monday night, which includes a monthly senior and youth pass for 53 dollars.  Johnson says it's important for young people to be able to get around the City affordably.

Consultants Report & Recommendations Approved

City law makers are going ahead with over a million dollars in long and short term solutions the the Atlantic Avenue Water Pollution Plant.
Council received a consultants report with the recommendations at their meeting Monday night.  The fixes are supposed to better protect the facility from future floods.  Some of the upgrades include better drainage and filtering processes.

Threats Investigated

Police say an investigation continues in an  incident involving C.D. Howe public school.   Police say threats were made to a teacher at the school and officials put some precautionary measures into place which included a  temporary lock down. Children were also escorted out of the school.  There are no injuries to report.  No arrest has been made.

City Hears More About Aboriginal Liaison

City Clerk John Hannam is talking up Thunder Bay's Aboriginal Liaison position. Hannam spoke to City Council Monday night about all of the wonderful initiatives outgoing Anna Gibbon created during her tenure.
Gibbon is being temporarily replaced with Sam Achneepineskum.

OPP Charge 42 Year Old With Drunk Driving

A 42 year old Thunder Bay man is charged with driving his snow machine while under the influence of alcohol.  An off duty Ministry of Natural Resources Conservation Officer alerted OPP to a possible drunk driver on Highway 590 between Adrian Lake and Boreal Road.  The C.O. saw the snowmobile operator crash his vehicle twice before taking off down a road and onto a trail.  Police found the snowmobile driver to be over three times the legal limit.

Horizon Wind Takes MOE To Court

Horizon Wind is taking the Ministry of Environment to court over their Renewable Energy Application.  The REA is one of the final steps in getting the Big Thunder Wind Park project off the ground.  Spokesperson Kathleen MacKenzie says they just want to get on with the approval process.  MacKenzie says the Ministry has taken an unusual amount of time to post their application for public comment and that's why they are taking them to court.

Busch Takes Out Her Crystal Ball

City finance boss Carol Busch lays it on the line for city councillors Tuesday as they begin their budget deliberations.  She will be giving her long term financial overview.   Busch says her report will ask councillors to continue spending on future infrastructure projects which she admits will likely require higher taxes.  The report will be giving budget projections for the next five years.

OPP Investigate Death

The OPP's Criminal Investigation Branch is looking into the circumstances surrounding the death of a Kasabonika Lake First Nation.  On Friday, A 23 year old woman died while in Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service custody.  Kasabonika Lake First Nation is located 580 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay.

Hammarskjold Open Tuesday

Hammarskjold High School will be open again Tuesday after being closed today because of poor air quality.   Contractors worked today to clean up the school thoroughly to remove dust containing trace amounts of lead.  The decision to reopen the school comes after board officials spoke with local environmental officials.

Health Services Increase At Shelter House

There's more health care services for Thunder Bay's homeless shelter.  The Norwest Community Health Centres is making its services available on a daily basis now according to the shelter's Executive Director Patty Hajdu who says it takes health care to a new level at the facility.  Hajdu says among the changes, an increase in  Nurse Practitioner services.It's hopes that eventually more and more of the clients can move on to other community health care services.

Traffic Lights Out At Red River & Expressway

O.P.P. are warning motorists of potential delays this morning. The traffic lights are out at the Intersection of the expressway and Red River Road. Hydro crews are working to make repairs but it could be some time before the lights are back and operational. Traffic in all four directions are experiencing  delays this morning.

Crime Stoppers Feature

This week's Crime of the Week feature is a thank you from Crime Stoppers. January was Crime Stoppers month and they are reporting a record number of tips coming in since the program's inception back in 1986. Crime Stoppers gets the information from the public and passes it to the police for investigation. Crime Stoppers wants to thank everyone who has supported the program over the past 27 years. 

Highway 17 Back Open

O.P.P. say traffic is now moving in both directions following an accident overnight that forced the highway to be shut down. Officials say two transports got into an accident East of Nays Provincial Park. Only minor injuries are suspected and both drivers were sent to hospital as a precaution. O.P.P. had to call the Ministry of Environment after diesel fuel from one of the big rigs was leaking into a nearby creek.

Spokesperson Steps Down

Thunder Bay's Idle No More movement is losing one of their organizers and and a spokesperson. Joyce Hunter is stepping aside to focus her attention on her new career. In a media release she stated: "her new role will continue to allow her to work with Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in building better relationships that will hopefully result in a more inclusive, healthier and safer community."

Project "Firefly" Begins Today

Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service are beginning project Firefly today at the Valhalla Inn. The provincially funded program brings police and fire rescue workers together to help educate community-based agencies on the issue of fire safety and arson prevention. Spokesperson Chris Carson says the 75 to 80 participants are being taught for the first time in arson prevention. Since 2005 Nishnawbe-Aski Police have noticed an increase in the number of arson investigations almost annually.