Thursday, December 6, 2012

Waits For Long Term Care Beds Longer For Area Residents

Northwestern Ontario has the dubious distinction of having the longest wait times for long term care beds in the province.

Natalie Mehra of the Ontario Health Coalition says it's because funding for home care services isn't keeping up with demand.

The Coalition says a freeze on hospital budgets is forcing even further service cuts.

Bad Driving Practices At The Border

Some motorists crossing the border are practicing some dangerous habits.

Owners of the International bridge says drivers are failing to adhere to the stop signs placed at rail crossings.

Darwin Joslyn of the Minnesota-Dakota and Western Railway says they've had too many close calls with their trains.

Even with new larger and flashing LED signs, Joslyn says the number of close calls between trains and traffic has increased.

Joslyn says the remote controlled trains travel don't travel very fast, but still takes up to 300 feet to stop.

Elementary Teachers Support Job Action

The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario says teachers across the province have voted in favour of a one-day political protest if Ontario's Education Minister plans to uses Bill 115 to shut down strikes or impose a collective agreement.

Lauren Broten's threats will be tested Monday when teachers with the Avon Maitland and Ontario North East school board plan to hold the first one-day strikes.

Teachers Protest Impact High School Sports Schedules

A ramping up of protests by high school teachers next week is beginning to impact some sports teams at Fort Frances High School.

Beginning Monday, teachers will withdraw from extracurricular activities.

As a result, school officials says games involving the Muskies hockey teams for next week have been cancelled.

High school teachers across the Rainy River district have been in a legal strike position since last week.

PC MPP Wants More Young People In The Trades

Progressive Conservatives want to get more young people in the trades.

MPP Garfield Dunlop was in Fort Frances to meet with area leaders and says demand will soon explode with several mines in northern Ontario set to go.

Dunlop says the Conservatives are also preparing for a provincial election and intend to focus a lot of attention at trying to win the Kenora-Rainy River riding.

Conservative Candidate On The Campaign Trail

Randy Nickle (r) with MPP Garfield Dunlop

The man who will represent the Conservatives in the riding in the next provincial election is on the campaign trail early.

Randy Nickle of Kenora was in the Fort Frances area yesterday just days after receiving the party nod on the weekend.

He says the riding deserves better representation at Queen's Park.

Nickle says the riding also needs a MPP who's proactively working to protect our interests and help create new jobs.

National Day Of Remembrance

The 14 women killed in the Montreal Massacre will being remembered in Fort France later tonight.

Knox United Church will host the annual National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

The ceremony will also honour women from the Rainy River district who have died as a result of violence.

The event gets underway at 6 p.m.

Another Mine Possible

Rainy River Resources is raising the spectre of the potential of a second open pit mine at its gold project north of Barwick.

It follows the release of drill results conducted on a potentially large deposit identified as the Intrepid Zone.

In a release, president Raymond Threlkeld calls the results the some of the best they've seen to date in that area, providing further support to a potential open pit.

The zone was discovered about a kilometre from the company's previously announced planned open pit operation.

Trillium Funding Awarded

A couple of communities are benefiting from funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

The Pioneer Club in Atikokan is receiving $10-thousand dollars over six months to assist in the purchase of a handi-transit vehicle to provide accessible transportation for older adults and people with disabilities in the community.

The township of Emo was awarded over $46-thousand to install a wheelchair lift at its public library, giving easier access between the lower and upper levels.

Breakfast Program Lauded

School officials and parents says increased publicity has helped bolster a breakfast program at Robert Moore School in Fort Frances.

Officials appealed at the start of the school year for more funding and volunteers for the program, which cost about 20-thousand dollars annually to run.

Principal Dianne Thompson says it has since led to a host of new donors coming forward.

Parents, volunteers and students all help prepare and deliver meals each day to the 470 students.

The Rainy River District School Board recognized their work by awarding them its monthly Recognition of Excellence at its meeting Tuesday.

Docs Recognized

Two northwestern Ontario doctors are being recognized for providing exceptional care to patients.

Doctor Andrew Siren, a specialist in Thunder Bay and Dryden family physician Doctor Adam Moir are the first recipients from the northwest to receive Patients' Choice Awards.

The awards, based on patient nominations, are from the Patients' Association of Canada and the Ontario Medical Association.