Thursday, January 3, 2013

First Baby of New Year Born

Supplied photo
The Rainy River district has its first baby of 2013.

Kayenna Lynn Griffith was born at La Verendrye Hospital yesterday afternoon at 4:22 p.m., weighing in at 8 lbs, 15 oz.

The proud parents are Tyrell and Alyssa Griffith of Sioux Narrows.

They received a variety of gifts courtesy of Canada Safeway, Fort Floral, Pharmasave and Shoppers Drug Mart for having the region's first baby of the new year.

Contract Imposed on Teachers

 The governing Liberals are making good on their threat to impose new contracts on public school teachers.

Education Minister Laurel Broten announced the move in a news conference this morning.

She says she had "no other reasonable option'' than to use Bill 115 to impose collective agreements after the unions representing tens of thousands of teachers failed to negotiate local deals.

But Broten vows to repeal the controversial legislation by the end of the month in hopes teachers will resume extra-curricular activities.

Sam Hammond, president of the Elementary Teachers Federation, isn't ruling out withholding extra-curricular activities during the length of new contracts.

Hammond says Broten's vow to repeal Bill 115 doesn't undo the damage caused by the contract legislation.

Ken Coran of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation says extracurricular activities may return to high schools next week.

Decision On Teachers Dispute Expected Today

Ontario's Education Minister is expected announce today what the Liberals plan to do next in their ongoing labour dispute with public school teachers.

Laurel Broten has the power to impose new contracts to freeze wages and stop strikes.

Ken Coran, president of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation, says it won't bring labour peace though.

New Democrat Peter Tabuns suggests the Liberals rescind Bill 115 and return to the bargaining table in a serious, meaningful way.

Elementary teachers staged one-day strikes in protest just before their Christmas break and suggest more of the same if the government imposes contracts.

Campaign Underway to Save Ontario Rangers

A campaign to save the Ontario Ranger Camp program is underway.

The program, which operated several camps including one at Quetico Provincial Park near Atikokan, was halted by the province last fall.

Emily Kirton with the group Friends of the Ontario Ranger Program, says the program provided many benefits to youth aged 17 and over who came to northern Ontario camps from elsewhere in the province.

Former campers and workers at the camps intend to rally at Queen's Park tomorrow.

Three Sent To Hospital In Duluth

Three people have been airlifted to hospital in Duluth, one in critical condition, following an accident west of International Falls yesterday.

It happened around the noon hour on Highway 11 in Loman.

The Minnesota State Patrol says a transport hauling logs had slowed for a vehicle at the side of the road when it was rear ended by another pulp truck, causing one to cross the centreline and come into collision with an oncoming pickup.

All of the injured were in the pickup and from Indiana.

Explosion Victims Improving

Hospital officials in Duluth have upgraded the conditions of several of the five men injured in an explosion in an ice fishing camper on the south shore of Lake of the Woods.

Two remain in critical condition, one in serious and two others in fair condition from injuries sustained Sunday when a propane furnace inside their camper exploded near Williams, west of Baudette.

Festive RIDE Numbers Disappointing

Provincial police say they're disappointed that the number of motorists charged with impaired driving over the holidays is the highest it has been in eight years.

Almost 700 people across the province were charged during the OPP's month long Festive RIDE campaign with another 625 warning range suspensions.

Numbers specific to our region have not yet been released.

Rafferty Looks Back

Thunder Bay Rainy River MP John Rafferty sums up 2012 with just one word.


He says the Harper government hasn't been very transparent and it's made it tough for opposition MPs to do their job 100 per cent.

Rafferty says the most upsetting move by the Harper government was a change to the retirement age to 67.

Heading into the new year, Rafferty intends to represent his constituents to the best of his ability as he criss-crosses the riding as much as possible.

Rafferty's also plans to further his causes through private members bills.

Flu Numbers On Rise In Minnesota

Health officials are concerned about a recent spike in the number of flu cases in Minnesota.

More than 120 Minnesotans were hospitalized with the flu in the week ending December 22.

That's nearly twice the number of cases in the previous week.

Man Charged In Accident

A man is facing charges after trying to elude police following a single vehicle accident on New Year's Day near International Falls.

Koochiching County Sheriff's office says a vehicle hit the ditch on County Road 2 South and rolled just after 2 p.m. Tuesday.

The 20-year-old driver, who had been wanted by Police on an unrelated matter, fled the scene but captured a short time later.

Two other people in the vehicle were taken to hospital in International Falls.