Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Shipping Season Underway

The first ship of the season is now in port.   The John B. Aird arrived this morning and docked at Viterra elevators to load up on grain.  Also arriving today were the Algoma Montrealais and the Ojibway.   The first ocean going vessels of the season are expected this weekend.

Land Sale Approved For Taxes

City Hall is one step closer to collecting some outstanding taxes.  Councillors have approved the sale of lands whose owners have not paid their taxes for three years.   During the process treasurer Carol Busch told city lawmakers our track record for collection is pretty good, above the provincial average. The total taxes that are outstanding are 900 thousand dollars.

Fire Hits South Side Home

No injuries to report after a house fire on the city's south side.   It happened on the 400 block of Empire Avenue just after 3 o'clock this afternoon.  Neighbour Tony Rapino says that the owners weren't home at the time.  He says they had just finished purchasing it and were renovating.  The cause of the fire is not known

Greenstone Ready For Boom Says Mayor

The mayor of Greenstone can't contain himself these days.  Ron Beaulieu believes the economy of the community is about to get red hot with the Ring of Fire mining project.  So hot, says Beaulieu,  he's expecting a population explosion.  He believes some wards could triple in size as the result of the mining boom.   Beaulieu says the challenge  now is to make preparations to make sure there are the services in place to handle such growth. 

Norman Dam Body Identified

Kenora OPP are releasing the name of the man who was found dead in the Norman Dam earlier this month.  Constable Dave Cain says 40 year old Thomas Szirony's body was found at the intake of the dam on March 7th.  Szirony was first reported missing from Vancouver in December of last year.

Raise The Rent

VIP's are coming together to call friends and family to Raise the Rent. It is the annual fundraiser in support of the city's homeless shelter. Several VIP's from the community will come together and attempt to raise their goal of $625, the average rent for a one bedroom apartment. If they fail, they may have to spend the night in the homeless shelter themselves. All proceeds go to help the Shelter House and their efforts to help the homeless and starving in Thunder Bay.

Mauro & Police Union Reach Deal

City Police Officer Jim Mauro is dropping his lawsuit against the Police Association.  His lawyer, Chris Watkins says they reached a deal with the police union.  The settlement was launched because Mauro felt he was wrongfully removed from his union bargaining position.  Both sides have agreed to not go into exact details of the settlement.

No Room For Laundry

Residents of several Thunder Bay apartments will have to go without washing their clothes for a while, as their washing machines and driers were pried open and damaged by an unknown person. The police request anyone with information come forward, and remind tenants to be mindful of who they let in.

The incidents from this weekend occurred at:

- 1800 block of East Walsh Street
- 900 block of South Syndicate Avenue
- 600 block of Kingsway Avenue
- 2800 block of Redwood Avenue
- 200 block of Banning Street

NDP Upset Over FedNor Cuts

Federal New Democrats are bashing the federal government over its lack of acknowledgement of northern Ontario in the recent budget.  MP Charlie Angus says the only reference of the region came in a passing reference related to economic development in southern Ontario.  The NDP are also critical of the 10 per cent cut to FedNor's budget.

Robbi Weldon Brings In More Awards

The Provincial Government is celebrating Ontario's top amateur athletes and coaches in both national and international arenas.  Thunder Bay's Robbi Weldon is taking home the Female Athlete with a Disability of the Year award for her Para-Cycling competitions.

CPAWS Calls For More ROF Consultation

Environmental approvals for the development of the Ring of Fire are running into difficulty.  The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society is teaming up with First Nations asking for a mediation on how Cliffs Resources plans to develop the project.  Director of Conservation Planning Anna Baggio says there needs to be more public hearings. Baggio says they are hoping that someone can take a look at the entire region and figure out what needs to be done in the long-term.

Cost of Dryden Mobility Revealed

It's the number many people have been waiting to hear.  The City of Dryden will get around 4-million dollars from the sale of Dryden Mobility to Tbaytel.  Financial Advisor Paul Heayn says this still results in a large chunk of debt.  Heayn says Dryden received about 4.3 million for the sale of landline and internet services, which doesn't dip into the red as much.

EDC Gets New Face

There is a new face on the board of the city's Economic Development Corporation.   City councillors voted to appoint Barbara Courte to the position.  Courte is the owner of Cobra Drilling. 

City Management Gets Raise

Management at City Hall is getting a raise.   Councillors voted to give the them a one and three quarter per cent increase retroactive to January the first of this year.   It is considered to be within the salary increases given to unionized staff in the corporation.

Extra Waterfront Spending Approved

The city is dipping into the  reserves for an extra 600 thousand dollars to complete phase one of the waterfront project.  It wasn't without a fuss being made by some councillors, like Rebecca Johnson who says she was promised there wouldn't be any need to spend more money.
Johnson says she's upset that there is really no choice but for council to spend the extra money.

Katherine Dugmore Dies

Former city Waterfront Manager Katherine Dugmore is dead.   Her passing was announced before Monday evening's city council meeting by Councillor Mark Bentz who acknowledged her work on Prince Arthur's Landing.     Dugmore had been battling cancer for some time and took a leave of absence in 2011 to have it treated.   She returned to work for a short while about a year ago before taking time off again.