Friday, February 28, 2014

MNR Lays Fines

A Thunder Bay man is pleading guilty to firing a weapon while on a road.  Eugenio Berardi is banned from hunting in Ontario for a year and was fined fifteen hundred dollars under the fish and wildlife conservation act.  Berardi was contacted by The Ministry of Natural Resources early November for shooting a deer on Silver Falls Road near Kaministiqua.

NWO Man Dead In Snowobile Accident

A 43 year old Ear Falls man is dead following a fatal snowmachine accident 3 kilometres north of that community last night. OPP say that Robert Boucha was in a group of three snowmobilers travelling along a hydro line trail when he came into contact with a guide wire.

Police Seize Drugs

Thunder Bay Police are laying several drug related charges on a man and woman following a search of a home on Chippewa Road on Wednesday. That afternoon police found over 300 grams on marijuana, 100 ecstasy tabs, 4-ounces of crack cocaine and 2-ounces of powder cocaine for a combined street value of over 60-thousand dollars. 26-year old Richard Martin and 29-year Clara Girard will appear in court March 2014.

Hospital Receives Substantial Rebate

The hospital is receiving $597 554 from Thunder Bay Hydro, as part of its Retrofit Program. The program offers incentives for businesses that install new equipment to reduce energy consumption. Anne-Marie Heron is Executive Director of Operations at the hospital and says the money will go towards covering costs associated with the hospitals newly installed equipment. Heron adds that the hospital will see a twenty-two percent reduction in energy consumption on a yearly basis. Those savings will then be passed on to patient care. The hospital is expected to save 5 288 093 kilowatts annually. Enough to power 550 homes.

T.Bay Company Joins International Corporation

YULEYS features diagramYULEYS Protective Footwear of Thunder Bay is being bought up by a bigger international company. They'll now be part of HexArmor of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Business Manager Nicole Reid says she's excited to bring her product to an established corporation. The deal means the US company can extend their line of safety equipment beyond gloves to include footwear.

200 Customers Still Without Heat

200 homes are still without heat in the community of Longlac. Union Gas Spokesperson Dave Sword says they're relighting pilot lights throughout the afternoon.  Yesterday some 800 customers were without heat causing the municipality to declare a state of emergency.

Hunters Nabbed In Licence Scam

Don't try to fool the MNR. A Thunder Bay man and his hunting partner from Slovakia have been fined close to 3 thousand dollars for a licencing violation. The Ministry of Natural Resources says that the man from Thunder Bay pretended to be the Solvakian in order to obtain a hunting licence for his friend. The incident happened sometime last year. 

Crews Investigate Morning House Fire

Thunder Bay Fire crews are currently investigating the cause of an early morning house fire at 707 John Street. Platoon Chief Larry Warner says one woman was inside the home at the time, she is being treated in hospital. The blaze is believed to of started in the basement. The two adjoining homes are not believed to of sustained any damage from the fire.

Westgate High School Open

School is back on today at Westgate High School following a water main break that closed the building on Thursday.  However, Westgate will be under a temporary boil water advisory.  All drinking fountains will be out of service, but bottled water will be available for students and staff.  Due to the boil water advisory, the school's cafeteria will be closed today. All buses will run as usual.

Bob Barker Praises Mayor

The former host of The Price Is Right is hoping Thunder Bay City council will reverse it's decision on allowing the province to conduct a spring bear hunt in the region.  Bob Barker is speaking out against the hunt this week calling it a slaughter.  He agrees that any councillor who voted for it should be voted out in the next election.  When told by our newsroom that Mayor Keith Hobbs is against the hunt as well, Barker replied that the mayor has a friend in Hollywood.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Province Monitoring Longlac

Thunder Bay Superior North MPP Michael Gravelle says his thoughts are with the residents of Longlac, Ginoogaming and Long Lake 58 First Nation.  Those communities are impacted by Union Gas' failed regulating station.  Gravelle says the Province is actively monitoring the situation through the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management. Warming centres have been established at the Geraldton High School, with transportation being provided for affected residents.

Longlac Without Heat & In State Of Emergency

Union Gas' regulating station in the Greenstone area isn't working today most likely because of the severe cold weather. Most of Longlac is now without heat impacting around 800 customers. The municipality has declared a state of emergency. Spokesperson Dave Sword says it's going to take a while before heat is restored hopefully homes can start to be re-lit this afternoon.  Union Gas is requesting people clear a path to their meters and the Municipality suggests keeping your water running so pipes don't freeze.  Mayor Ron Beaulieu says a warming centre has been opened at the Geraldton High School with transportation being provided.  Those residents with electric heat or a wood stove are welcome to stay in their homes, those who don't can stay overnight if they need to at the warming centre.

FedNor Unveils New Program

The Federal Government is launching a five year initiative that will help french language speaking communities in Northern Ontario. The economic development initiative will help foster local and regional business opportunities. FedNor will supply 4 million dollars to the program over the next 5 years.

Collision on South Water Street

Traffic is back to normal following a two vehicle collision at the intersection of South Water Street and Pearl. An SUV rear ended a pick-up truck and one person was sent to hospital as a precautionary measure.

Pot Smell In Kenora

There's a strange smell coming from the OPP Detachment in Kenora and it's not potpourri. The local evidence lockup is filled with marijuana from recent drug busts and the odor is wafting throughout the building.  Inspector Dave Lucas says unfortunately they can't dispose of the pot until they get the green light. Lucas says ideally he'd like to build a metal, outdoor storage lock-up unit, where the smell wouldn't affect their work space.

Plane Crash Factors Revealed

Darkness and low-intensity runway lights are to blame in a deadly plane crash near Pickle Lake. The Transportation Safety Board says a small private plane came in at 6-times the normal rate of descent and hit the ground on the night of October 16th, 2012. The TSB says the aircraft entered a steep descent and struck the terrain about one nautical mile east of the Pickle Lake airport runway. Two pilots and one of the two passengers on board died in the crash.

Man Faces Trial In Cutfeet Death

A 36 year old Thunder Bay man is going to trial to face a second degree murder charge. Shawn Henderson is accused in the stabbing death of 30 year old Travis Cutfeet in the spring of last year.   Cutfeet was walking along May street in the late afternoon at the time.  A trial date will be set in Superior Court.

Hobbs Says Chiarelli Doesn't Get It

Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs isn't happy with the outcome of their recent meeting with Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli.   Hobbs says the Minister just doesn't understand their concerns about the proposed plan for the Thunder Bay Generating Station.  Hobbs says they'll try to hammer their point through again at another meeting that's planned between the region's Energy Task Force, the Ontario Power Authority and the Provincial Government.

Hudak Discusses Johnson Dismissal

Ontario's Conservative leader Tim Hudak is addressing the firing of PC candidate Tamara Johnson in Thunder Bay-Superior North. During a news conference in Toronto today Hudak didn't talk about the details of the dismissal, nor did he  mention Johnson by name, but says candidates have to be on the same page.   He says he wants all PC hopefuls and caucus members focused on the issue of bringing jobs back to the province and nothing else.  Johnson was fired on the weekend following comments made on social media about businesses in the Fort William First Nation.

Good Roads Brings Good Things

Thunder Bay's delegation from the Ontario Good Roads Conference is back from Toronto.  Councillor Brian McKinnon admits they've brought forward the same issues to the Province year after year and says that's because repetition is key.  Council spoke to cabinet ministers about a variety of projects including the next phase of the Golf Links Road reconstruction and the proposed Youth Centre.  McKinnon as well as Mayor Keith Hobbs have said they feel funding will come for some of the projects they presented on during the two day conference.

Water Main Break Closes Westgate High

There are no classes today for students at Westgate Collegiate and Vocational Institute.  The high school is closed for the day due to a water main break.  Westgate will re-open once the water is turned on again in the building.  All Westgate school buses have also been cancelled.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Highway 17 Closed Near Kenora

Highway 17 is closed in Kenora due to a jackknifed transport.  OPP say the removal process has been slowed because of white out conditions.

Counselling Centre Increases Support For Women

The Thunder Bay Counselling Centre is announcing a new branch of services dedicated to women who use the centre. Executive Director Nancy Chamberlain says the Counselling Centre for Women will see improvements to services already offered. That includes the centre's outreach program that reaches out to women in their homes.

GS Meeting Arranged

The Minister of Energy is arranging a technical meeting around the Thunder Bay Generating Station's Fuel. It comes after the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association met with Bob Chiarelli in Toronto. City Councillor Iain Angus says the meeting will be between the Common Voice Northwest Energy Task Force and the Ontario Power Generation.   NOMA is hoping the meeting will result in the Provincial Government changing it's mind on how much fuel supply the Thunder Bay station will need.  No date has been set for the meeting.

City Man Pleads Guilty To Killing Police Dog

A 27 year old Thunder Bay man is facing time in jail after pleading guilty to killing an Edmonton police dog.   A spokesperson for the prosecutor's office in Alberta says that Paul Vukmanich also pleaded guilty to charges of possession of a dangerous weapon and stolen property as well as running away from police..   Both the prosecution and the defence are calling for a jail of sentence of 26 months.   Vukmanich will be back in court on Friday.

OFAH Worried About Spring Bear Hunt

The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters is worried that opponents of the Spring Bear Hunt will try to convince the provincial government to cancel a pilot project this year.  The government has proposed a modified spring hunt in eight wildlife areas in northern Ontario this spring.  Yesterday, former Price Is Right host Bob Barker called the hunt "barbaric" claiming cubs are starved to death after their mothers are lured from their den. The OFAH is asking northerners to log onto the Environmental bill of rights and register their support for the hunt.

Watermain Break Near High Street

Motorists and pedestrians on the north side are being advised to avoid the intersection of High and Queen Street this morning as City crews deal with yet another watermain break.  City spokesperson Gerald Luty says the rupture occurred before 6 o'clock this morning and the rushing water has led to extremely icy roads and sidewalks in that area.   High Street is closed off at the intersection of Oliver Road.

T.Bay Man Charged In Dryden

A Thunder Bay man is facing charges from Dryden police following an incident Sunday morning.  Police say a Dryden resident woke up to find someone in their home.  24-year old Aaron Harper of Thunder Bay faces three charges of breaching conditions of an undertaking and forcible entry.

Northern Ontario Team Heading To Brier

Jeff Currie's rink is playing in the Canadian Brier in Kamloops B.C. this weekend.  The Fort William Curling Club hosted a send-off party for the Northern Ontario Curling Team last night. Currie says playing in the Brier has been a long time coming.  The tournament is running from March 1st to 9th.

Another NWO Olympian Coming Home

2011 Four Continents Meagan DUHAMEL Eric RADFORD p.jpgEric Radford is coming home!  The Olympic silver medallist is set to arrive at the Red Lake Airport at 12:50 Thursday afternoon.  Debra Geary is Radford's former figure skating coach and says they have a number of events planned over the course of two days.  Speeches at the social are planned for 9 o'clock.

Distracted Driving Fines Going Up

Provincial Police in northwestern Ontario say distracted driving isn't acceptable and a new fine imposed by the province should make that perfectly clear.  Talking on your phone, looking at your computer screen or even grabbing a bite to eat while behind the wheel will soon cost you 280-dollars.  Sergeant Shelly Garr says that's up from 155-dollars.  The fines will not apply to GPS screens.

Irwin Is Back

Thunder Bay's Haley Irwin is being welcomed home by 100 of her fans. She arrived back from the Sochi Olympics Tuesday night.  Irwin says it's great to see so much local support waiting for her at the airport. Irwin says she wants to play in the next winter Olympics and will start training again soon.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Julius Remembers Norman LaVoie

Norman LaVoie is being remembered this week as the person who brought sports at Lakehead University to the forefront.   LaVoie, who used to head up the Kinesiology Department at LU, died on the weekend, he was 71.  Former women's basketball coach Stu Julius says LaVoie's death is affecting a lot of people having touched the lives of everyone from students to athletes.   Julius called LaVoie, a big man on a small campus.

Crews Digging Out Fire Hydrants

City crews are out on area streets trying to uncover buried fire hydrants after the recent heavy snowfall. Deputy Fire Chief Greg Hankkio says access to hydrants are vital for fire fighting operations. For those residents or businesses that have hydrants on their property they are asked to help out by removing the snow from them.

Parade Of Lights Doles Out The Cash

On the charity beat, four local organizations are reaping the benefits from the annual Parade of Lights.  The Therapeutic Riding Association, the George Jeffery Children's Centre and the Thunder Bay branches of Autism Ontario and Special Olympics Ontario are splitting the nearly 20 thousand dollars raised in last years parade.  

Counterfeit Items Concern RCMP

The RCMP are warning residents to be careful when buying what they believe to be legally registered products but then turn out to be counterfeit.  Thunder Bay Sgt. Normand Roy says the situation has already come to light here in the city where some counterfeit hockey and football jerseys were seized.     Roy says the bogus items range from T-shirts to extension cords which could post a risk to safety.

More Snow Clearing Improvements Coming

Transportation Minister Glen Murray continues to fight off criticism that snow clearing on northern highways is below standard.  In the legislature Murray said northern municipal leaders he has spoken to are happy with the 50 snowplows that have been added to the fleet and that more changes will be coming next season to improve highway snow clearing.  Murray says municipal leaders tell him winter road maintenance in the north is now "remarkable".

Snow On Roofs A "Concern"

It's a winter to remember for some homeowners.  Many have huge amounts of snow on the roofs of their houses which is cause for concern according to Ron Rost of Triad Roofing.   His advice is to use common sense and examine how much snow has accumulated and to act before a possible collapse.   Rost says the problem is more serious in some parts of the city.  He says his company has been answering up to 20 calls a day for snow removal services.  

Police Investigate Break Ins

Thunder Bay police are investigating two break ins to local businesses. Officers responded to an alarm call from The Wellness Centre in the 400 block of South Vickers at 1 am Tuesday morning, and then responded to a second alarm call shortly after 3 am at a dry cleaning business in the 400 block of South Syndicate. No suspects were present when officers arrived to both scenes, and nothing was taken.

Missing Man Found Safe

The Thunder Bay Police Service is pleased to report that Paul Groulx has been safely located.  The 28-year old man had been reported missing over the weekend.  Police would like to thank the media and public who helped in the investigation.  

Bingo Hall Approved

City Council is giving the go ahead to a proposed bingo hall, lounge and gaming centre on Memorial Avenue. Planning Consultant Don Manahan told council that the hall will need less parking spaces than the former Roxy's Bar that once operated on the site. There were some concerns from neighbouring businesses about parking and a meeting will be held to resolve them.

City Council Round Up

City Council is giving by-law officers the right to give a ticket to people found breaking the rules smoking in public places.  Officers will now be able to provide a ticket up to 250 dollars if someone is caught smoking on hospital grounds, or too close to a place of employment.  Developmental Services Manager Mark Smith says they will put signs up in areas where people could be fined.  Meanwhile,  Thunder Bay's animal services are similar to those of other comparable cities.  Staff delivered a report to Council about what other communities are doing about the number of animals a person is allowed to own. The report states that in several cases they found pet limit laws are not that effective since it discourages people from licensing their pets and makes enforcement difficult.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Liberal's Commitment To Mining Questioned

The Progressive Conservatives are questioning the Liberal government's commitment to mining in the province.   In the legislature Vic Fedeli said after the Victor diamond mine was developed, the province imposed a mining tax and he wonders if history could repeat itself in the Ring of Fire with a new chromite tax.   Fedeli says in 2003 Ontario was ranked number one in mining, now we are number 16.  He notes that the Far North Act has cut off half of  northern Ontario from being explored,  causing many companies to move out of the province.

Police Release Footage

City Police are releasing security camera footage of three young men they would like to talk with. Spokesperson Chris Adams says the footage comes after a vehicle was parked outside of the Target store on February 16th and was spray painted.  It is unknown if this occurrence is linked to recent vehicle spray painting incidents in the area.

High Snow Banks Cause Worry

City Police are warning motorists about kids playing on top of high snow banks on area streets.  The banks are almost covering up stop signs around the City and Traffic Sgt. Glenn Porter says there's a real concern about kids playing on the hills. He adds it only takes a few seconds for a child to slide out in front of your vehicle.  Porter says it's also a good idea for parents to talk to their kids about the safety issues surrounding making tunnels in area snow banks.

Prof Predicts Continued Unrest In Ukraine

Don't expect an early end to the political turmoil in Ukraine.  At the moment their ousted president, Viktor  Yanukovych,  is on the run.  Lakehead University political science professor Laure Paquette says it's anyone guess about what might happen adding, the country is in uncharted waters. She believes there will be more unrest but with different people in charge.  Paquette says the risk is that the tensions will increase between the Russian speaking and Ukrainian speaking people leading to both political and economic problems.

PCs Stay Mum On Johnson

A spokesperson for the Ontario Progressive Conservative party isn't saying much about Tamara Johnson.  Johnson was removed as the PC candidate in Thunder Bay Superior North for the next provincial election.   PC spokesperson Alan Sakach won't comment on the reasons.  He says it's an internal party matter and he will not comment on someone who is no longer a candidate.  Johnson's outster comes a week and a half after she posted controversial comments on Facebook about businesses on the Fort William First Nation.

Power Outage At South Side School

All is back to normal at  St. Martin's School on Mary Street after some excitement this morning.  Omar Belisle of the Catholic School Board says the building was evacuated because of an electrical problem which caused a power outage.  Students were taken to St. Agnes Church  while officials tried to restore power.  Once that was complete the students were let back into school. There were no injuries.

Report Urges Partnerships

Ontario's Advocate for Children and Youth is urging local, provincial, federal and First Nations leadership to partner with them in order to create safer and healthier First Nations communities. In a report released today, 3 recommendations are made, including the joining of provincial, federal, First Nations Leadership and other interested organizations to take immediate action to meet the needs of First Nations youth.

Walkers Complete Spiritual Journey

A group of First Nations adults and youth are set to arrive in Ottawa this morning, completing their 49-day spiritual journey from Attawapiskat First Nation, located at James Bay. The group of 25 individuals made the journey to draw attention to concerns with broken treaties, land and water protection, and human rights issues. The 1700 km trek will conclude today at 12:30 pm at Parliament Hill, where they will share a message of their journey.

Bingo Hall Request

Council will listen to a proposal tonight that would see the currently closed Roxy's Bar on Memorial Avenue turned into a Bingo and Night Club. The building is currently vacant and is adjacent to the Super 8 Motel. There has been some initial negative feedback towards the proposal from neighbours who are concerned with parking accessibility.

Council Learns About By-Law Officers

Council is also going to learn more about what their by-law officers are in charge of.  A report coming to Council tonight shows that each by-law officer carried a case load of 334 complaint files in 2013. Last year, over a thousand complaints came in including noise infractions, fence issues, business licensing and yard maintenance. 90 percent of those infractions were resolved.