Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Library Looks At Options

Thunder Bay's Public Library budget is coming in at almost 5.4 million dollars.  It's a 143-thousand dollar increase in their finances from the City.  CEO John Pateman says one of the things on their mind is the current lease for the County Fair Mall that expires this fall.  The two options for the library are to either lease a new location within the mall or build a new facility outside of the mall.  Pateman says they'll take some time to explore both options and notes they are in talks with the new owners of the County Fair Mall.

Golf Courses Missing Break Even Point

City Golf courses are missing the break-even point by almost 213-thousand dollars.  That's 1-thousand 900 dollars more than 2012's budget projection.  City Staff are recommending a 2 percent increase in all golf fees in 2013 which they note is a risky estimate since weather can both positively and negatively affect that figure.

Community & Emergency Services Budget

45.4 million dollars is going towards the City's Community & Emergency Services Department Operating Budget.  Areas being increased include in Fire Services and Emergency Medical Services.  The EMS budget came in higher because of an expansion that puts 8 additional paramedics in ambulances to address the increasing demand for 911 service.  Fire's operating figures are coming in at almost 25 million and increased due to 3 full time employees.

Council Tackles Outside Board Budgets

City Hall is looking at the budget's of it's outside boards.  The Community Economic Development Commission is asking for 1.18 million dollars which is a 2 percent increase from the year before.  Councillor Rebecca Johnson questioned the board wanting to know if they needed that much money and was critical of their request.  Meanwhile, the Public Library's budget is increasing 2.7% at 5.3 million dollars.

Rae Day In T.Bay

Interim Federal Liberal Leader and one time Ontario Premier Bob Rae is going to be in the City March 11th.  He'll be touring Bombardier, the new Northern Law School and the Waterfront.  Rae will also be speaking  at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon event.

Federal Offender Wanted

A Canada Wide Warrant is out for a federal offender who may be in Northern Ontario.  The 35 year old is 5'8 and weights over 200 pounds, has brown eyes and a shaved head.  He also has a scar above his right eye and has a history of sexual assault and assault related offences.  Anyone who may have information can contact Crimestoppers.

LUSU Pleased With Governors Decision

The president of the Lakehead University Student Union is giving it two thumbs up.  Emma Brightwell is pleased the university's Board of Governors is allowing the student union reps on the board to vote on tuition fee increases.   She gives credit to last years union president.  Brightwell says it brings the institution into line with others across the country.   The student union,  last year,  threatened court action if the issue wasn't addressed. 

Safety Procedures Continue

Safety procedures  are continuing at CD Howe and Kakabeka Falls public schools today. It follows what police say were threats to a teacher earlier in the week.  Police say safety procedures which included student escorts will continue just as a precaution.  No incidents have been reported.  The school board says it will be accessed on a daily basis.

Holiday Inn Applies For City Permit

The Holiday Inn is coming back to Thunder Bay in 2014.   The company has applied for a permit to build the foundation to a new 3 story 88 room Holiday Inn Express.  City Hall says it will be located on the Harbour Expressway across the street from the Real Canadian Superstore. It will be nearby the new 5 story, 148 room Marriott Hotel being built right in front of the Superstore.

Robbery Arrest Made

City police say they have made an arrest in connection with two recent Mac's Convenience Store robberies.Police arrested a 21 year old man at 2 o'clock this morning and he was taken into police custody where he is expected to make a court appearance later today. The robberies in question took place at the Oliver Road Mac's store that occurred on January 22nd and the Beverly Street Mac's Break and Enter on January 29th.  The man is facing robbery charges along with wearing a disguise with intent and breaking an entering.

Renco Foods Now Open

Renco Foods is officially opening its second location today.  The locally owned grocer is expanding and opened its doors at 9:00 a.m.  at it's new location in Centennial Square.   The facility was previously home to quality market.  Renco Family Foods at Centennial Square will be open Monday to Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and also on Sunday from 9:00 to 5:00, something the area has not seen in a while. 

Hockey To Teach Life Skills

ormer N.H.L.'er John Chabot is in Thunder Bay today along with staff from the program "Right To Play" and teaching  secured young people at the local youth corrections centre the game of hockey. It's part of the "Hockey For Development Program" and is designed to teach young people life skills, teamwork, leadership and goal setting according to spokesperson Lauren Simeson. The Ministry of Children and Youth Services is spending 8-thousand dollars on the three day program which wraps up tomorrow.

Hobbs Says Expect Cheques Soon

Mayor Keith Hobbs says it won't be long before victims of the May 28th disaster start seeing their payouts from the city.  During his State of the City address to the Chamber of Commerce the Mayor said the cheques are just several weeks away from being issued. Hobbs says with provincial help there will be about 4 and a half to 5 million dollars available to pay victims. 

Former Local Arrested In Richmond Hill Murder

Not much is being said about a weekend murder in the Toronto area that involved a former Thunder Bay resident.  Police say that 36 year old Jonathon Ross is charged with second degree murder in the incident.  They say the body of a woman was found in a condominium complex in Richmond Hill.   Her name can't be released because of a court ordered publication ban.   A spokesperson for the Attorney General's Office says the ban was requested by the prosecution and that no further comment can be made.  Ross is due back in court tomorrow.

Northern Ontario Tankard Begins Today

The Northern Ontario Men's Curling Championship begins today in Nipigon with a pair of draws today at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Thunder Bay's hopes for winning the championship and moving on to the Brier rest on the shoulders of Trevor Bonot, Jeff Currie, Bryan Burgess and Al Hackner. 4-time defending champion Brad Jacobs from Sault Ste. Marie is also part of the 9 team field.