Monday, November 18, 2013

Courthouse Parking Report

City Council is going to get a report looking into getting rid of some taxi parking spaces near the new consolidated courthouse.  Parking is premium in the area of the court house and staff will look into parking solutions before the courthouse officially opens.

First Nations Mining Agreement Signed

A junior mining company looking for gold in the Atikokan area has signed a memorandum of understanding with an area First Nation. The Bold Ventures agreement with Lac Des Milles Lac First Nation pertains to its Wilcorp Gold project, located about 14 kilometres northeast of Atikokan. Executive vice-president president David Graham says it sets out certain guidelines, like how they approach the property from an environmental point of view and how to work with the First Nation for job opportunities and business development. Graham says the project is still in its infancy and when any actual drilling takes place is still to be determined.

Golf Links Open Tuesday

Good news for city drivers.   Golf Links Road between the Central Avenue and Oliver Road will open to traffic at midday tomorrow.   That section of roadway has been closed for much of the year as crews worked to widen it to four lanes.   Some work may continue on boulevards and Active Transportation trails, which may result in some lane closures.

Hospital Staff Asked To Be Organ Donors

The staff at the regional hospital are being asked to register to be an organ donor.   Spokesperson Kiley Broughton is hoping it will set an example for others in the city to follow.  Broughton is hoping other large businesses come on board as part of the registration blitz.

Horwath Comments On Coal Plant

Provincial NDP Leader Andrea Horwath isn't convinced that the conversion of the local coal plant, should be considered as imminent.  Horwath says the announcement made late last week to switch the generating station to advanced biomass may just be a Liberal attempt at securing seats. Horwath expects further action will be needed to convince residents in Northwest Ontario that change will happen.

Safe School App Launched

The Lakehead Public School Board is launching a new safe schools app for all iPhone and iPad users in their schools.  Grade 12 student and App Developer Phil Bystrican says it will help students report bullying activity. The app can be found for free download on the iTunes Store and School Board website.

Chiarelli Responds To Power Plant Concerns

The province's energy minister says the latest move to convert the Thunder Bay generating station to burn biomass may not be the end of its expansion.  In the legislature,  Bob Chiarelli said with the north on the verge of a mining boom there still could be room for future growth of the plant.  He says the government will assess demand in the area as they proceed and if they have to add another unit and extend the time period beyond 5 years,  they will.  Chiarelli was responding to NDP leader Andrea Horwath's concerns that the conversion is only for a limited time.

EMS Gets Three Year Certification

Superior North EMS will be operating its land ambulance service for the next three years after getting certification from the provincial government.   Local EMS head Norm Gale says he's pretty proud of this latest accomplishment.  He says the inspectors noted that local paramedics are both compassionate and deliver quality patient care.  Gale says the three year certification is the maximum the government approves

Overnight Blaze

City Fire crews battled an overnight blaze on the south side.  Firefighters were called to garage fire in the 400 block of South Marks Street around 3:45 this morning.  A second alarm was called in as five pumpers and an aerial platform battled the fire. An SUV was destroyed inside the garage, but there was no damage to any surrounding homes or buildings in the area.  Officials are attempting to determine a cause and there were no injuries.

Public Consultations To Be Held

Expect plenty of public consultation now that the Provincial Government is looking at giving the Thunder Bay Expressway a face lift.  Ian Smith is the Regional Director of the Ministry of Transport and says they'll be conducting an environmental assessment of a 13 kilometre stretch of highway between Balsam and Arthur Streets.  The study is expected to be completed by 2015.