Monday, November 25, 2013

Deer Hunting Blitz Leads To Charges

The Ministry of Natural Resources is touting the success of its weekend enforcement blitz on deer hunting safety.   The ministry says that their air and land effort lead to 11 charges being laid including, hunting without a licence, trespassing on private land and obstructing a conservation officer.

Hospital In Gridlock

Rhonda Crocker Ellacott
Thunder Bay's Hospital continues to operate in a gridlock situation. Three elective surgeries had to be cancelled last week because there was no beds for patients waiting admission. Spokesperson Rhonda Crocker Ellacott says they're trying to find other beds in the community and within the hospital for patients. Crocker Ellacott says they're not sure why they've had an influx in patients and says it's not attributed to the cold and flu season.

Wirkkala Pleads Guilty

A 46 year old City man is pleading guilty to 16 counts of uttering threats, Eric Wirkkala appeared in court Monday morning on the original 65 charges.  It's in connection to threats that were made to police, businesses, media outlets, politicians and others since June of last year. He'll be back in court on January 17th at 10 am for sentencing.

Gravelle Writes Open Letter To Rickford

Kenora MP Greg Rickford is being asked to take part in a one-on-one meeting to discuss the future of the Ring of Fire development in the Far North.  Ontario's Minister of Northern Development and Mines Michael Gravelle has made the request in an open letter to Rickford.  Gravelle states in the letter that the Ontario Government has asked the Federal Government to step to the plate with support on the project but notes the call has gone unanswered.  Gravelle says the province is prepared to make substantial investment in the project but notes they need the federal government to come to the table with matching funds.

Hospital Comments On Mazza's ER Shift

Gordon Porter
Thunder Bay's Hospital is commenting on the recent weekend Emergency Room shift that was filled by the former President and CEO of the Province's embattled Ornge Air Ambulance Service.  Dr. Chris Mazza worked in the ER this past weekend and Chief of Staff Dr. Gordon Porter says it went well.  Porter says he's hopeful Mazza will help fill future ER shifts.

Impaired Driving Hit & Run

A 44 year old Thunder Bay man is being charged with impaired driving and failing to remain at the scene of a collision. It comes after officers responded to a single vehicle crash 8 am Sunday morning near a home on east Arthur Street.  Upon arrival, officers discovered that a silver Dodge Grand Caravan had skid off the roadway and into the front steps of a home. The driver attempted to flee with the vehicle, but when unsuccessful, abandoned it. Police located the man a short distance away and were able to arrest him for impaired driving.

Memorial Ave Boston Pizza Robbed

Thunder Bay Police are looking for a man in connection to a robbery at the Memorial Avenue Boston Pizza on early Sunday morning.  Officers were called to the restaurant at 1 in the morning Sunday after it was reported that a man approached the hostess counter and demanded money. The suspect made off with an undisclosed amount of cash. Anyone with information is asked to contact Thunder Bay Police or Crime Stoppers.

TSB Recommendations Result In Change

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada says Keystone Air Service has addressed several of their concerns.  The TSB has wrapped up its investigation into a fatal plane crash at North Spirit Lake in 2012.  A build-up of ice was a main factor in the fiery crash and Peter Hildebrand says the operator has made changes to address the issue.   The North Spirit airport now has an approved instrument approach procedure which was missing at the time of the crash.

City Council Preview

A petition with 300 signatures opposing a proposed youth centre partnership between the City and the Indian Friendship Centre is going to City Council tonight.  Councillor Larry Hebert isn't sure how this might impact the proposed partnership.  The Friendship Centre wants 2 and a half million dollars from the City to purchase and renovate the Prosvita Hall on High Street and an extra 300 thousand dollars a year for operating costs. Meanwhile, City Transit wants to rename its HAGI transit division "lift+".  Councillor Larry Hebert isn't keen on the new name.  Council will vote Monday night on whether or not to approve the new name.

Snow Arrived...Finally

It took until the final week of November for Thunder Bay to go through our first blast of winter. Environment Canada officially recorded 1.4 millimetres of snow in our area on Sunday.  City Police reported a half a dozen traffic accidents, but there were no major injuries.  

Loch Lomond Ski Season Shaping Up

The arrival of winter has brought with it the opening of the Loch Lomond Ski Hill.  Owner Ward Bond says the hill is nearing its full use.  Bond says with upcoming forecasts they could open the north side of the hill this weekend.

More Reaction To Cliffs Withdrawal

One of the city's louder voices in mining feels Thunder Bay's economy could take a punch if Cliffs Natural Resources continues with their decision to pull out of the Ring of Fire mining project. Mining Services Manager John Mason describes the project as having world class potential. Mason feels that other major players pulling out of the project is unlikely.