Thursday, January 9, 2014

Goodbye Holidays...Hello Gridlock

With the holiday break over the bed shortage is back at the Regional Hospital and so is "code gridlock".  Patients are being treated in the halls and alcoves.   Spokesperson Mark Henderson, says the hospital has been preparing for this latest surge with the health authority and says it will likely continue for the rest of the winter.    Dr. Henderson believes the hospital may not see the end to the gridlock cycle for another 3 years.

NDP To Select Candidate Next Month

New Democrats in Thunder Bay-Atikokan will select their candidate for the next provincial election next month. The riding Association has set voting meetings February 8th at the Pioneer Centre in Atikokan and the next day in Thunder Bay. Former Schreiber mayor Madge Richardson  and Mary Kozorys  are vying for the position. Kozorys won the nomination over Richardson in 2011.

District Flu Death Toll At 5

Grim news to report on the H1N1 flu front .   The District Health Unit says the the death toll has increased to 5.   The Health Unit's Diana Gowanlock says four of the deaths were adults under the age of 65 and one was a senior citizen.   She says the number of confirmed cases in the district is now up to 81 and Gowanlock believes we have peaked.

Shoppers Robbed

City Police are looking for a woman who they say robbed the Red River Road Shoppers Drug Mart. A woman carrying a knife approached the pharmacy and demanded drugs from the employee. She got away with Fentanyl patches and was last seen on Junot Avenue heading toward the Blucher Street area on foot.

FN Walk To Ottawa

Three walkers have left Attawapiskat First Nation with the goal of trekking to Ottawa with a message for the government. Danny Metatawabin, Brian Okimaw and Paul Mettina are on foot to encourage the government to work together to address and reconcile several Aboriginal issues. According to a statement posted by Metatawabin on Facebook, they are walking from the "traditional territories of the people" to deliver a message to the leaders of both levels of Government and to Chiefs that the time to honour treaties is now!
The Attawapiskat walkers are supported by helpers carrying supplies on snowmobiles.

Drug Bust In Constance Lake FN

The war against drugs continues in the Nishnawbe Aski Nation.   Police say the latest bust took place in Constance Lake First Nation where about 17 hundred dollars worth of high end prescription painkillers were seized in a home in that community.  A 27 year old Constance Lake resident is facing charges.

ATU Conference On Monday

The local Amalgamated Transit Union is getting some support from their fellow transit unions.  President Sheila Kivisto says they'll welcome other transit unions from across the Province on Monday where they'll rally and hold a news conference about their current contract negotiations.  The ATU will be meeting with the City and a Mediator on January 16th and 17th. If an agreement isn't reached by January 20th the local transit workers will be in a legal strike position.

Housing Starts Down In 2013

Government figures are showing housing starts in Thunder Bay  were down over 15 per cent 2013.   Warren Philp of Canada Mortgage and Housing says that's a drop of over 50 starts of both multiple and single detached units.    There were 324 starts last year compared to 380 in 2012.   On a positive note Philp says the number of single starts last year is in line with the 20 year average.

Fatal Accident Closes Hwy

A 57 year old Atikokan man is dead after a serious motor vehicle collision on Highway 17 west of Ignace Thursday. Danny Henderson has been identified as the victim in the two vehicle collision. OPP say two other people have been sent to Dryden Hospital for treatment of injuries. The Highway remains closed while police continue to investigate. 

Open House Draws 70

Around 70 residents gave the City's consultants a piece of their mind on what should be done with the Fort William Gardens.  An open house was held Wednesday night at the facility where members of the figure skating and minor hockey community shared their concerns about a possible loss of ice time.  Consultant Conrad Boychuk says if ice time is needed they'll address that in their report to Council. The City wants to find a future use for the building once it's closed and a new Multi-plex is built.