Friday, January 4, 2013

Visitor Restrictions Lifted

Visitor restrictions at Rainycrest Long Term Care in Fort Frances have been lifted.

The restrictions has been put in place two weeks ago because of increase cases of gastroenteritis.

Officials says the public should still refrain from visiting the senior home if your suffering from flu or cold-like symptoms.

Border Demonstration Planned

A native demonstration is planned for tomorrow at the border between Fort Frances and International Falls.

Idle No More websites promote the rally as being organized by First Nations on the American side of the border.

They're gathering in support of Attawaspikat Chief Teresa Spence and Canadian aboriginals wanting Prime Minister Harper to meet with the hunger-striking chief.

Organizers don't state if their plans include blocking or slowing motorists trying to cross.

It's expected to begin at about 1 p.m.

Council To Get Vocal

Fort Frances town councillors are growing frustrated with the lack of attention they seem to be getting from the provincial and federal governments.

It's something they intend to change.

Mayor Roy Avis says more attention is needed as the town grapples with the financial impacts of the recent downsizing at Resolute Forest Products.

Avis says he's most disappointed that MPP Sarah Campbell and MP John Rafferty have yet to meet with him to discuss the impacts.

Calls For Casino Again

A Fort Frances councillor is renewing calls for a casino in the community.

Ken Perry says it will help boast the local economy and keep travellers crossing the border in Fort Frances longer.

Perry notes Fort Frances is one of few border communities in Ontario that doesn't have a casino.

The province is currently looking at areas where new casinos could be located with Kenora identified as a possible site in northwestern Ontario.

Strategic Plan Gets Review

Fort France councillors are taking a thorough look at its strategic plan.

CAO Mark McCaig says a special meeting yesterday was intended to identify the progress made in the past two years and what initiatives they may or may not continue to pursue.

McCaig says many items have already been achieved, but some may not go ahead because of money and resources needed that could be directed elsewhere.

Tibbs On Temporary Leave

Fort Frances council will be short a member for an undetermined length of time.

Mayor Roy Avis says Sharon Tibbs, who's also deputy mayor, is taking a leave of absence for health reasons.

Avis says because he would be away for brief period of time as well, Councillor Rick Wiedenhoeft will serve as deputy mayor in case of emergency situations.

Liberal Draw Criticism Over Teachers Deals

The provincial Liberals are drawing fierce criticism for imposing two-year contracts on public school teachers and other education workers.

The contracts cut benefits and freeze the wages of most teachers.

Union leaders won't say what action they'd take in the weeks ahead, but warn it won't be business as usual.

More Drunk Drivers Nabbed In Region

OPP in northwestern Ontario saw a slight increase in the number of motorists out drinking and driving during the Christmas holiday season.

Fourteen motorists, including two in the Rainy River district, were nabbed during an enforcement blitz last month, compared with eleven in 2011.

Suspensions for having a blood alcohol level in the warn range were down to 46 in 2012 from 57 in 2011.

Three of the suspensions were in the Rainy River district.