Monday, January 13, 2014

House Fire On Mountain Road

A two-alarm fire is responsible for significant damages to a home that was under construction on the eleven-hundred block of Mountain Road. Platoon Chief David Long says the building was fully involved when they arrived and that the fire spread quickly, destroying the second floor. No one was injured.

Online Learning Receiving A Boost

The province is looking at making online learning more flexible by the 2015-2016 school year through the creation of the Centre of Excellence for Online Learning. Ontario Online will give college and university students the chance to take more of the same online courses making it easier to transfer credits, it will also encourage schools to share their research. The province is investing 42-million dollars over three years into the program.

Emergency Room Changes Defended

A top official at the Regional Health Science's Centre denies that patient care will suffer as the result of changes to the Emergency Department.  Rhonda Crocker-Ellacott says 5 positions in the department are being eliminated, but there are no job losses.   She says the number of staff in the will not change.   Crocker-Ellacott says the move is being made to put the nurses where they are more effective.

Over 72-Thousand Dollars In Hunting Fines

Eleven people are facing a combined sixty-eight charges for offences that happened at an Eagle Lake hunting and fishing lodge west of Dryden. The offences include unlawfully hunting wolf and using a hunting licence belonging to another person. Those pleading guilty include Steve Herbeck, fined a total of $7 500 while his business was fined $27 000 for 22 offences. Herbeck can't hunt in Ontario for ten years. Both Danny Herbeck and Chris Federman face $7 000 fines and are unable to hunt in the province for four and eight years. Andy Bouchard was fined $4 000, Scott Munford faces $7 000 in fines, Calum Ritchie has been fined $2 000, Tammy Pelletier will pay $2 500 for two charges, George Lindsay of New Zealand must pay $3 000, Travis Runde will pay $1 000, Don Rabideau of New York was fined $3 000 and Ron Jaeger was fined $500. The fines total $72 500.

Virdiramo Wants One Last Term

Joe Virdiramo is giving it one last shot.   The Westfort Councillor says he is seeking re-election in his ward one last time in this fall's municipal election.    He says he wants to go one more term and then someone new can take over.  Virdiramo says he wants to see certain projects to their competition, including the courthouse and the proposed events centre.  There is no indication whether anyone plans to challenge him.

Transit Negotiations To Be Held Later This Week

Thunder Bay transit workers are receiving support from fellow union members from the GTA. Negotiations between the city and the transit union are scheduled to take place Thursday and Friday with job action a possibility on Monday January 20th. Bob Kinnear is the President of ATU (Amalgamated Transit Union) Ontario and described current working conditions for the city's transit operators as "second class".

Goldcorp Eyes Osisko

Goldcorp is making a  bid to acquire Osisko Mining.   Oskiko's key asset is the Malartic, Quebec gold mine.  The deal would also include Osisko's development projects in Kirkland Lake, and the Hammond Reef project near Atikokan, but president Chuck Jeannes  says right now those two are not their focus. Goldcorp is giving Osisko until February 19th to decide on the offer.

Mace Appointed To Electrical Safety Authority

Some added responsibilities for Thunder Bay Hydro boss Rob Mace.  He has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the province's Electrical Safety Authority .  Mace says it doesn't mean he will give up his current job as hydro president, it will simply mean more trips to southern Ontario for board meetings.

PCs Launch "Million Jobs Plan"

The Progressive Conservatives in Ontario are launching an ambitious plan.   Leader Tim Hudak says it's a promise to create 1 million jobs in the province in the next 8 years.   Hudak says the key component is to lower business taxes to 10 per cent to encourage businesses to hire more people.   Hudak adds the plan includes promises to reduce debt,  establish better energy rates and reduce regulations.

Outbreak Warning Expanded

The Health Unit is expanding its respiratory outbreak warning at Lakehead Manor to include the whole facility.    It means all admissions, transfers, discharges and social activities are now  cancelled until further notice.   The first warning for the North Vickers Street seniors complex came on Friday, but was only restricted to the fourth floor.

Council Preview

Superior North EMS wants City Council to ask the Province for permission to take over EMS dispatch services.  The Province currently funds the service but keeps dispatch operations at arms length from EMS operations.  Councillors will hear about the proposal at their first meeting of the new year tonight.    Meanwhile, A group of residents who are opposed to a new youth centre on High Street will be at City Council tonight. They're presenting a 95 signature petition against the Indian Friendship Centre's project with the City. Council will vote on the youth centre partnership tonight.  The City is considering putting an end to a pilot project at the Grace Remus Child Care Centre.  Council approved evening hours at the centre but is now considering bringing them to a close at the end of June.  City lawmakers will vote on the matter at its meeting tonight.