Wednesday, May 7, 2014

City Won't Give Up On Swing Bridge

Mayor Keith Hobbs says CN Rail is dragging its feet on the James Street Swing Bridge because they don't want to pay for the repairs to the structure. The company's engineering report to the City and Fort William First Nation calls for it to be closed indefinitely to pedestrian and vehicle traffic.  Hobbs says they're not giving up on the cause. The First Nation and the City are going to meet to discuss the bridge further on Thursday.

Local Businesses Get Hydro Awards

Thunder Bay Hydro is recognizing 4 local businesses today for their leadership to save energy. It's part of the 2014 Retrofit Excellence in Energy Efficiency and Conservation Awards.  Jake Allen is Hydro's Energy Services Advisor and says the winners did a great job at conserving electricity.   Badanai Motors, Dufresne's, Smiths RV Centre and Lakehead Marina each participated in Hydro's saveONenergy RETROFIT program over the past year.

Attempted Murder In Nipigon

OPP are charging a 49 year old man with attempting to commit murder, mischief endangering life, attempted arson and damage to property. It stems from a report of mischief at a home on Highway 11 and 17 in Stirling. The home-owner says he tried to leave his house in the early morning on Monday but couldn't because the door was secured from the outside.  After forcing his way out, he found his gas line had been cut and an ignition source was placed beneath the propane fuel. The suspect remains in police custody and will appear in Thunder Bay court on May 13th.

Wilson Hits Campaign Trail

The Progressive Conservative candidate for Thunder Bay-Atikokan is kicking his election campaign with a visit to Atikokan Thursday. Harold Wilson says he's been chomping at the bit for several months to get his message out about the importance this election is to Ontarians.  Wilson faces Liberal incumbent Bill Mauro, and the NDP's Mary Kozorys.

OFIA Wants Forest Roads Pgm Restored

The Ontario Forest Industries Association is in shock. President Jamie Lim feels after the Liberal budget reduced the Ontario Forest Roads Program by 24 percent. Lim is calling out Northern leaders for hiding the facts. It's the second reduction to the program since 2011 when it was cut back by 36 percent.

Report Says F.N. Policing Has Issues

Canada's auditor general has identified a number of serious issues with the First Nations Policing program. Michael Ferguson released his spring report and says aboriginal police services are often not governed by the same standards as other police services in Ontario. The report also identified problems with shoddy buildings, a poor allocation of funding and a lack of transparency.

ONA Gets Contract

The wait is over for local nurses.  Members of the Ontario Nurses' Association have received an arbitration decision, resolving a contract dispute with Ontario hospitals.  The two-year award provides a 1.4-percent wage increase in each year.  The ONA says that barely keeps up with the rate of inflation.  The Association is disappointed with the ruling stressing registered nurses have already sacrificed wages with a 2-year freeze.

Port Authority Has Record Business Year

Thunder Bay's Port Authority ended 2013 in the black with over 40 million dollars.   The Port is holding its annual general meeting today.  C.E.O. Tim Heney says it was a good business year.   In 2013 capital spending totalled 1.6 million versus cash generated of 1.4 million. Major projects included roof and lighting upgrades.

Crime Prevention Training

Barry Horrobin of the Windsor Police Service is back in Thunder Bay to teach area residents about how to prevent crimes through better city planning.  He gave a similar presentation to police in September of 2012.  Acting Crime Prevention Co-ordinator Lee-Ann Chevrette says it's common sense planning. The talk will take place today at the Police Station on Balmoral.

Mental Health Awareness Week

Its Mental Health Awareness Week. To wrap up the celebration, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre is hosting stand-up comic David Granirer, who teaches stand up comedy as away to deal with mental illness.  Granirer will speak at 6:30 Friday at the 3rd level of the hospital.

Fort Frances Mill Permanently Closed

Unifor Rep Stephen Boon is disappointed Resolute has decided to permanently close the Fort Frances Mill. Boon says in 2010, the union agreed to a number of significant sacrifices related to wages, benefits and future pension service in order to help the company restructure.  He adds the union will now work to ensure Resolute follows through on its commitment to provide new job opportunities for affected Fort Frances employees at the soon be to opened sawmills in Atikokan and Ignace.

Police Warn Of Animal Traps

City Police are looking into who placed an animal trap at the northeast side of Boulevard Lake near Cuyler Street and Birch Lane.  A grey squirrel that was injured in the trap had to be euthanized because his leg was cut off.  Constable Julie Tilbury says these types of devices can cause injury to animals and small children who may unexpectedly come upon the trap. Tilbury says they don't know if this is going to be a repeat incident or just the one trap.