Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Education Directors Get Update On Teachers Dispute Tomorrow

The fate of extra-curricular activities in schools could be determined tomorrow.

Education directors will meet via conference call with Ministry of Education officials for an update on the labour dispute with public school teachers.

School sports teams have been on the bench since teachers ended their involvement in school activities in protest over legislation threatening to impose a contract on them.

Contract Deadline Passes

The deadline for Ontario teachers to reach agreements with their local school boards passed at one minute before midnight New Year's Eve.

Education Minister Laurel Broten now has the power under Bill 115 to impose contracts in cases where no deals have been reached, but the minister has not said if or when she plans to act.

Public School Board Review

Area educators are reflecting on the past year in their schools.

Heather Campbell of the Rainy River District School Board says one of their highlights was a pilot project to enhance the integration of pre-school and school services in speech language.

Campbell says a new strategic plan and the creating of an early learning liaison and an aboriginal curriculum coordinator were other key initiatives in 2012.

Campbell says improving student literacy and numeracy will continue to be a focus in 2013 as will the board's initiatives aimed at combating bullying.

Catholic School Board Review

There were several accomplishments for the Northwest Catholic District School Board in 2012.

Education Director Mary Catherine Kelly says she was pleased to see students and staff take an increased interest in social justice issues.

Kelly says they were also able to expand smartboard technology in the classrooms, including a recent introduction of iPads to students in the intermediate grades.

Ice Fishing Camper Explodes

Five men have been injured after an explosion in an ice fishing camper near Williams, Minnesota, west of Baudette.

Lake of the Woods County Sheriff Gary Fish says a propane furnace exploded, blowing out the camper's windows, Sunday morning on the shore of Lake of the Woods at Zippel Bay.

All were taken to hospital in Duluth.

Stratton Company Gets Bridge Contract

A Stratton company has won a contract for some work on Highway 11 near Atikokan.

The Sharpe Groupe will reconstruct a bridge over McCauley Creek.

Work will begin in the spring and completed later in the year.

Alzheimer Awareness Month

January is Alzheimer Awareness month in Canada.

Lynn Moffatt of the Alzheimer Society for Kenora-Rainy River its aimed at recognizing the signs of alzheimers and dementia.

It's estimated over one thousand residents in the region now suffer from the disease.

The national body also intends to unveil a new awareness campaign later today.

Polar Plunge

The numbers were down, but the enthusiasm was still high as 21 people took part in this year's Polar Plunge into Rainy Lake yesterday.

They combined to raise $81-hundred for charities in the event promoted by the Voyageur Lion's Club.

Members of the Fort Frances Muskies were the top fundraising group collecting $1,780.

Hailey Nugent was the top individual fundraiser, raising over $700 in her jump for World Vision.