Wednesday, January 30, 2013

RRFDC Working On New Diversity Plan

The Rainy River Future Development Corporation is working on a new plan aimed at further diversifying the region's economy.

It's a three year initiative that would earmark $275-thousand dollars a year on various projects.

The Corporation's Geoff Gillon says they're now looking for government support to the plan..

Some of the targeted areas mining, transportation, tourism, bio-energy and agribusiness, as well as supporting the forest industry.

Fort Mayors Receives Diamond Jubilee Award

Fort Frances Mayor Roy Avis is the latest recipient of a Queen Elizabeth the Second Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Avis is receiving the medal for dedicated service to his peers, the community and Canada.

But unlike previous recipients, there was no formal presentation.

Avis received the notice, a certificate and the medal through the mail.

Treaty Three Officers Recognized

Four members of Treaty 3 Police Service are also donning new Diamond Jubilee Medals today.

Constable Mitchell Boulette and Justin Booth, Retired Police Chief Brian Rupert, and the late Joe Red Thunderboy received their medals at a ceremony yesterday in Kenora.

Three other officers received OPP Commissioner's Letters of Appreciation while six were recognized for reaching 20 years of service.

Seniors Group Recognized

A Fort Frances area seniors group is being recognized for its work.

Seniors and Law Enforcement Together is being honoured by Safe Communities Rainy Rainy for its significant contributions and commitment to community safety.

Chair of Safe Communities Linda Plumridge says the organization has done things in so many areas that the decision to recognize SALT was unanimous.

The group was presented a plaque at its meeting Tuesday.

Rafferty Looking For Dollars For Small Town Canada

Thunder Bay-Rainy River MP John Rafferty wants to bring some financial help to municipalities trying to fix up aging infrastructure.

Rafferty says he plans to introduce a motion in the House of Commons sometime in February that address the needs of small communities.

Rafferty is hoping something can be put in place for next year's federal budget.

Year-Round Permiting For Business Supported

The Ministry of Natural Resources is supporting a call for a year-round permitting system for open-air burning in the Rainy River district.

Area municipal leaders gave approval to the concept at their meeting on the weekend.

The idea arose after an early start to last year's forest fire season forced several municipalities to impose fire bans.

Currently, permits are only needed between April and October.

Marnie Brown of the MNR says extending the need for burning permits allows for greater control of burning outside the normal forest fire season.

Relay For Life Gives Back

Riverside Foundation for Health Care is benefiting from a partnership between the Canadian Cancer Society and the Fort Frances Relay for Life committee.

The committee handed over a cheque for over $32-thousand to Riverside towards the new digital mammography unit.

Co-chair of the Relay Duane Cridland says its great to give back to the community.

The agreement with the Society allows for anything over the Relay's budget to be directed to local cancer-related initiatives.

Natives Protest Near Border

Native people in the Rainy River district continue to voice their concern with the Harper government.

Several joined in protest in Fort Frances Monday near the Canada-U.S border.

Sarah Mainville says government doesn't seem to be budging from its agenda, so the protests will continue.

The demonstration was part of a Global Day of Action promoted by the Idle No More Movement

Steps To Fill Council Vacancy Underway

Fort Frances council has started the process toward filling the vacancy resulting from the recent death of Sharon Tibbs.

Council has officially declare the seat vacant and will begin seeking interest from people wanting to take over.

Mayor Roy Avis says making a council appointment make sense.

Applications for the position will be accepted until the end of February.

Committee Vacancies Filled

Mayor Roy Avis has filled some of the committee positions formerly held by the late councillor Sharon Tibbs

Among them, the role of deputy mayor.

That will now fall to the chair of the committee of the whole rotating every four months.

The current chair is Councillor Andrew Hallikas

Area Liberals Support Wynne

The selection of Kathleen Wynne as the Liberals newest leader and Ontario's next premier is being greeted with enthusiasm by Liberals in Kenora-Rainy River.

Anthony Leek, president of the Liberal Riding Association, expects a relationship he built with the premier-elect before the conference to become stronger.

Leek noted her mention of the Rainy River district in her speech Saturday and at her media conference yesterday.

Snowarama Fundraising Totals

The numbers were down a little at this past weekend's Snowarama in Atikokan.

A total of 55 sledders took part in the fundraiser for Easter Seals, raising about $17-thousand.

There's was also an event in Sioux Lookout where 48 snowmobilers collected about $9-thousand.

The money is used to help children with physical disabilities and their families across northwestern Ontario.

Woman Killed In Accident

A 61-year-old old woman has died following an accident Tuesday morning at Couchiching First Nation.

Treaty 3 Police says the unnamed woman was struck by a truck in the area of the Health Access Centre.

She was taken to LaVerendrye Hospital where he succumbed to her injuries.

Treaty 3 Police continue to investigate.

Camp Break-In Investigated

OPP are looking into a number of break-ins to camps located on Lake of the Woods.

Most have occurred in the Holmstroms Marsh area.

Police says they began to be notified of break-ins on the weekend, but believe many took place several weeks ago.

At this time, they're trying to determine exactly what was taken.

Drug Charges In Rainy River District

A number of drug investigations in the Rainy River district.

A 38-year-old man from Couchiching First Nation was in court yesterday on a trafficking charges following an investigation in early December.

A 38-year-old woman from Big Grassy appears in court next month on possession charges stemming from another December investigation.

And a 25-year-old man from Rainy River First Nations was in court last week after being arrested possessing Hydromoph Contin.

Thunder Bay Woman Returns As LHIN Chair

A Thunder Bay woman has been reappointed chair of the North West Local Health Integration Network.

Joy Warkentin has been board chair since August of 2011.

She was appointed to the board by the province in 2010.

Coventry Starts Drilling

Coventry Resources has started a drilling program on its properties in the Rainy River district.

It's targeting potential gold and base metal deposits previously identified on lands to the west of Barwick.

The company says drilling will continue for the next three months with assay results available within six to eight weeks afterwards.