Monday, January 27, 2014

Council Puts Off Debt Plan

City Council didn't make any decisions last night about its debt management strategy. The strategy includes how the City will pay for the next phase of the Golf Links/Junot Road renovations and whether or not Tbaytel will be allowed to borrow 10 million dollars. Councillor Mark Bentz was one of many around the council table that agreed to put the report off so they could study the strategy more closely.

Support Needed For Monument

A Military Tribute Committee is hoping the public will support their proposed monument for local soldiers who died in military conflicts around the world.  Spokesperson Jim Mauro says so far all they want from the City is a location for the monument. The project could cost up to 100-thousand dollars. Mauro says they hope to be able to fund the project on their own through the Federal Government and community donations.

FWFN Looks For City Help

The Fort William First Nation is looking for the City's help to preserve their heritage. The community wants to create a facility that will house historical artifacts and research about their traditional lands. Walter Bannon says he wants the City's help in developing a business plan for the project. Bannon is asking for 40-thousand dollars towards a feasibility study. He says total funding will involve a number of stakeholders including both levels of government for funding. City staff will come back at a later date with more information about the project and whether it's feasible.

No Injuries In Multi-Vehicle Collision

Thunder Bay police say there are no injuries to report after  a five vehicle smash up on Arthur Street at Mountdale on Monday morning just before 10 am.   They say 27 collisions took place from midnight until 3 o'clock Monday afternoon.   Police say that with the colder weather road salt doesn't work and that as a result streets are slippery. 

Homicide Was A Stabbing

Police say the city's first homicide of 2014 was a stabbing death in which alcohol was a factor. They say that a couple at a building on the 700 block of Kingsway Street were involved in a domestic dispute which ended with the man being stabbed. They say that 35 year old Jeffery Munroe later died of his injuries. Charged with Second Degree murder is 38 year old Priscilla Thomas. Her next court appearance is scheduled for Thursday.

Colin Bruce Retiring

It's the end of an era at the Chronicle Journal.  Colin Bruce is retiring from his position as Publisher and General Manager of the city's only daily newspaper as of March 31st.   It ends a 44 year career in the newspaper industry first as a copy boy and at the age of 39 becoming one of the youngest publishers ever appointed by the Thomson Corporation. 

Hyer Appointed Deputy Green Leader

Thunder Bay MP Bruce Hyer has new responsibilties. He is now the Deputy Leader of the Green Party . Hyer became a Green MP on December 13th of last year over a year after he left the NDP over his differences with leader Thomas Mulcair. In his new position Hyer will be tasked with promoting Green policy initiatives in the House of Commons.

Police Report Two LCBO B&Es

City police are releasing more information about early morning break ins at two LCBO outlets.  One at the Thunder Centre and the other on the 600 block of Arthur Street.   They say that several males were involved in the incidents and in each case the windows of the stores were smashed to gain entrance and a number of bottles of alcohol were stolen before police arrived.

Contractors Dinged By MTO

The Ministry of Transportation is penalizing maintenance contractors clearing provincial highways in northwestern Ontario for not meeting winter maintenance standards. Carillion Canada Inc. and Integrated Maintenance and Operations Services in the Thunder Bay region are the three highway maintenance companies penalized. Transfield Services in the Kenora area is the other. The MTO will not say how much the penalties amount to because of contract obligations. However, the MTO has described them as "significant financial consequences".

City Tax Increase Pegged At 2.1 %

City Hall is out with its budget numbers for 2014.  The financial picture shows that if the budget were to be passed the way it is there would be an increase in the tax levy of 2.1 per cent.   They say the proposed budget will allow the city to maintain current services while continuing to fund infrastructure upgrades.   City Manager Tim Commisso says there is room for cuts.

United Way Gets Trillium Grant

The United Way is getting a 92 thousand dollar Ontario Trillium Foundation grant to improve its computer operating system and website. United Way Board Chair Jules Tupker says it will help to make online donations easier. Tupker says the new system will help to streamline operations.

Two City Stores Merge

Two city cycling and outdoor stores are merging.   Cyclepath and Fresh Air Experience say they are currently working on details of the union,like what the name of the new company would be.  They hope to have that, and other details,  ironed out by April.  Between them the companies have 60 years combined experience in serving the cycling community in the city. 

Lobby Group Voices Energy Concerns

A northwestern Ontario lobby group is trying to prove that the proposed biomass conversion of the Thunder Bay Generating Station will not meet the future energy needs of the region during a major cold spell. Common Voice Northwest says that since January the 6th the station would have already used up the supply of biomass that would be alloted to the station from the Ontario Power Authority, once the conversion is complete.  

Busy Night For Cops

City Police had a busy night and our searching for suspects after three separate incidents.  Just after one o'clock this morning, four males smashed a window and made their way into the LCBO store in the Thunder Centre on Fort William Road.  The four fled on foot and were last seen heading south bound from the liquor store.  Just after 3 o'clock, a window was also smashed at a business located in Centennial Square, but no entry was gained.  Meanwhile, officers responded to a call of an accident on Memorial Avenue and Isabel Street.  Just before 3 o'clock, a single vehicle struck a light pole, knocking it onto the road, but the suspect drove away from the scene.      

Victim Identified

Both the Thunder Bay Police Criminal Investigations and Domestic Violence units continue to look into the City's first homicide of the year.  38-year old Priscilla Thomas appeared in court Sunday on charges of second degree murder.  Just before 8 o'clock Saturday morning, Police responded to a call at an apartment building at the corner of Kingsway Avenue and Walsh Street where they found a 35-year old man in critical condition.  Jeffrey Munroe was taken to hospital where he died from his injuries.  Police haven't said how Munroe was killed, but the two were known to one another and it was a domestic violence situation.