Thursday, February 7, 2013

Students Stepping Up For Extra-curricular Activities

Students appear to be taking a leadership role in extra-curricular activities at area high schools.

Dexter Fichuk, the student trustee with the Rainy River District School Board, says the teacher's withdrawal from activities is actually helping students develop new skills in the planning of events.

Fichuck says he'd still like the teachers involved, but hopes students can continue to have a greater role in planning when they do return.

Teacher withdrew their involvement in extra-curricular activities in December in protest over legislation that eventually imposed new contract on them last month.

Duncan Leaving

Ontario's Finance Minister is resigning.

Dwight Duncan says on Twitter this morning he's stepping down as the member of Windsor-Tecumseh a week from today.

Duncan, who supported Sandra Pupatello, had made it clear during the Liberal leadership race that he intended to resign his seat soon.

Wynne Pledging Support To Forestry Industry

Premiere-designate Kathleen Wynne is giving her commitment to sustaining the forestry industry in northern Ontario.

Wynne says it's great to see the industry coming back and the government wants to help it succeed.

She also wants to meet with the region's leaders to find further ways of strengthen the industry.

Meantime, the soon-to-be premier says she'll be appointing herself as Ontario's agricultural minister.

Wynne, who lives in downtown Toronto, says there's no reason why a city politician can't represent rural folk and understand their issues.

Minnesota Power Planning Transmission Line

Minnesota Power is exploring routes through the northern part of the State for a new transmission line to link with Manitoba.

Minnesota signed a deal in 2011 to acquire electricity from Manitoba Hydro beginning in 2020.

Cindy Hammerlund of Minnesota Power says they're currently in the planning stages for the line with construction proposed by 2017.

Hammerlund says whether the line goes through Koochiching County is still undetermined.

County Considers Sharing Engineer

Koochiching County will see if nearby Lake of the Woods County is interested in sharing the services of a County Engineer.

Commissioner Wade Pavleck raises the idea as the County looks to replace its engineer who retires in April.

Pavleck says there might be some benefits to sharing the position.

More Casinos Still Possible

Premier-designate Kathleen Wynne isn't ruling a possibility of more casinos in Ontario.

Wynne sees no reason to believe they'll halt plans to add new gambling facilities.

But she's leaving it up to communities to decide if they want one or not.

Kenora has been identified as a potential site, with Fort Frances town council recently expressing interest as well.

New Radiation Treatment Available

Cancer patients in Northwestern Ontario will now have access to an improved method of radiation.

Regional Cancer Care Northwest has installed a new linear accelerator at the Thunder Bay Health Sciences Centre.

Vice President Dr. Mark Henderson says it better focuses treatment of a tumor.

A second accelerator is also planned for the hospital later this fall.

Law School Hired First Staff

Lakehead University has hired its first three faculty members for its new law school in Thunder Bay.

Karen Drake and Dr. Mariette Brennan have been hired as Assistant Professors of Law.

Rob Hudson will act as the Faculty Head of the School's Law Library.

The school is scheduled to open this September.

CN Workers Deal

CN Rail and the union representing its signals and communications workers have ratified a new deal.

The four-year deal impacts about 700 workers across Canada.

It includes improvements to wages and benefits and is retroactive to January 1st of this year.

City Hall Improvements Planned

Some improvements are planned for the inside of International Falls City Hall.

The $148-thousand worth of work will lead to new administrative offices and counter space to deal with the visiting public.

A portion of the work has been awarded to KBB, an International Falls firm, at $82 thousand.

City public works department will do some of the other components.

Mayor Bob Anderson voted against the project, saying he struggles with its need.