Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Another Death Investigation In Fort Frances

OPP are investigating another death in Fort Frances.

Police say the body of a man was discovered inside a residence at the Elizabeth Street Manor yesterday morning.

His identify and cause of death are still being determined.

A post mortem exam is being conducted today in Kenora.

Meantime, police are still investigation the death of 45-year-old Leo Whitecrow, found dead inside a Fort Frances motel two weeks ago.

Dollar Figure Attached To Idling Announcement

It's going to cost Resolute Forest Products a hefty dollar to idle the kraft mill and paper machine number 5 at its Fort Frances mill.

The company estimates $12-million in severance and other termination benefits for the 239 employees effected.

Another five million will go towards other closure costs.

Resolute is also identifying another 32-million in non-cash asset impairment charges.

Chamber Remains Positive With Mill Shutdown

The idling of operations at the Fort Frances mill top of mind for area business leaders.

Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce held its annual general meeting last night.

President Mark Caron says while the loss of jobs is disappointing and the impact of the idling of the kraft mill and a paper machine will be wide-spread, he's confident the community will over-come.

Caron says the year, still, has been a positive one for the chamber with the hiring of a new manager and a relocation to new offices.

First Nations Opposing Generic Form of Oxycontin

First Nations organizations are fighting the recent approval of a generic form of the drug oxycontin.

Harmony Redsky, a Health Policy Analyst with Grand Council Treaty 3, says they're ready to work with others to combat the effects of the drug in their communities.

Redsky says approval of the drug hurts the work they're now doing to combat drug addictions.

Festive RIDE Program Underway

There's an increased police presence on area roads and highways.

OPP launched their festive RIDE campaign on the weekend in their ongoing work to take drunk drivers off the road.

Acting Sergeant Anne McCoy says they campaigns are effective.

Over 680 drivers last year faced impaired driving charges with another 580 handed license suspensions.

Pay Increase Suggested

An outgoing commissioner with Koochiching County feels the Board may want to consider increasing the pay now given to elected officials in the future.

Commissioners gave approved to keeping salaries of just under $14-thousand with a $ 125-dollar to each meeting they attend - figures that haven't changed in some time..

Mike Hanson says while most don't do it for the money, he believes it has been a deterrent to some thinking about running in the past.

Record Voter Turnout Confirmed

Minnesota's 2012 election is officially the largest in state history.

The State's Canvassing Board has certified results showing just shy of 3-million people cast ballots earlier this month.

That's 30-thousand more than the previous high-water mark.

Seniors Invited To Meeting

Fort Frances council is inviting members of two local seniors groups  to a meeting next week.

The Seniors and Law Enforcement Together and Assisted Living Action Group had asked the town for help in identifying potential properties for an assisted living facility.

Councillor Rick Weidenhoeft says council has a lot of questions it needs answered.

The seniors groups have also asked to town council to delay rezoning the former Huffman School property for housing lots until its review of properties is completed.

Minor Changes To Remuneration Policy

Fort Frances town councillors have approved changes to a policy that includes how they're compensated for the work they provided on behalf of the community.

All were minor wording changes to clarify sections of the policy.

A committee had also recommended a slight increase in mileage paid to attend meetings out of town, but councillors instead voted to keep it at the current rate of 45 cents a kilometre.

There's also no change to councillors salaries.

Marina Fees Drop

A break for boaters mooring at the Sorting Gap Marina.

For a second straight year, fees to rent a boat slip at the Fort Frances waterfront are dropping.

The residential rate drops $27 to $375 while non-residents will pay just about $468 next summer - a $35 dollar decrease.

Rates were dropped 15 per cent last season.

The town's hoping a further reduction will encourage more boaters to tie up their boats at the marina.

Just a third of slips available have been rented out the past two summers.