Thursday, December 13, 2012

Auditor General Focuses On OPP

The auditor general has found the Ontario Provincial Police were doing a poor job of keeping track of what's in their evidence lockers and parking lots.

Auditor General Jim McCarter says the OPP were unable to locate 200 vehicles in their fleet but eventually were able to track them down.

However, McCarter says visits to eight OPP detachments found police records did not match the contents of their evidence lockers, where cash, drugs and guns are often stored for use in court.

He says there were examples where a gun was missing from a locker or there was too much cash in the evidence room compared with the written records.

The auditor's annual report also criticizes the OPP for increasing spending and hiring at a time when crime and highway accidents rates have been declining and for allowing overtime costs to soar by 60 per cent since 2004-05.

Work To Acquire Tourism Centre Underway

The ball is rolling in efforts to acquire the provincial tourism centre in Fort Frances.

Town council recently directed the Rainy River Future Development Corporation to proceed with exploring a possible purchase of the now-shuttered centre.

Consultant Tannis Drysdale says the first step is determining potential uses.

Drysdale says they also have to wait for the province to decide on the value for the building.

Federal Government Justifies Need For Name Tags

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews says there is a good reason for having border crossing guards wear name tags.

He says they are meant to provide transparency to the public.

The customs officers are concerned wearing name tags could jeopardize their safety.

Their protests led to delays at two crossings in southern Ontario yesterday.

MP Seeks Funding Help For Legions

Google Earth photo
A northwestern Ontario MP wants to give Royal Canadian Legions easier access to funds for repairs to their buildings.

Thunder Bay-Rainy River's John Rafferty is proposing the federal government set up an infrastructure  renewal fund that would match whatever dollars Legions can raise locally for upgrades.

Rafferty make his request in a motion put forward in the House of Commons earlier this week.

Four New Chamber Directors Named

There are four new faces on the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

Rick Smith of Canadian Tire, Paul Noonan of La Place Rendez-Vous, Marie Allen of BDO and Company and Steve MacNeil with Rainy Lake Tribal Contracting will fill four vacancies on the board.

Mark Caron of Caron Electric returns as president while 93.1 The Border's manager Leo Melanson continues as First vice-president.

Some High School Activities Continuing

Not all extra-curricular activities at high schools in the Rainy River district have been effected by teachers' decisions to stop their involvement in those activities.

Semi-formal dances planned for schools in Fort Frances, Atikokan and Rainy River are proceeding as planned.

A board spokesperson says the amount of planning that went into the events was a factor in letting them go.

School administration and parents are also stepping in to provide supervision

Former CFOB Employee Dies

A former employee with CFOB and a long-time community volunteer has died.

Michael Freeman was 51.

Freeman worked as news director for CFOB in the last decade.

He started his career as a sports writer for the Fort Frances Times in the early 1990's.

More recently, Freeman served as the public address announcer during Fort Frances Lakers games.

An announcement of funeral arrangements is pending.

Morphine Seized

A Winnipeg woman is in custody after police seized 10 thousand dollars worth of morphine pills in the Dryden area.

The 22-year-old is currently awaiting a bail hearing on a trafficking charge.

Monday, OPP arrested a 50-year-old Kenora man on a trafficking charge in that city after he was found with a small quantity of morphine pills and cash.