Thursday, February 28, 2013

Area Woman And Safety Program Recognized By OPP

KRRDCFS file photo
OPP are recognizing a local woman for her role in a safety program that's now spread across the Kenora and Rainy River Districts.

Betty-Anne Johnson of the Kenora-Rainy River District Child and Family Services has received a letter of commendation from the OPP regional commander for Project Safe Halloween.

The program helps teach young people about being safe while out trick or treating.

Johnson says its recognition for everyone involved.

The program, which includes giving glows sticks to youngsters every Halloween, is now in its 11 year, expanding

Jury Finds Kenora Man Guilty Of Murder

A Kenora man has been found guilty of second degree murder.

The jury in the trial took just over a day to make a determination against Kenneth Ivall in the 2009 death of Ed Wilson.

Sentencing will be handed down June 14, but Ivall could face life in prison.

His lawyer believes the decision will be appealed.

Deadline To Apply For Council Seat Today

Just two people have put their put names forward for the vacant seat on Fort Frances council.

No names are being made public at this time.

The deadline to apply is today.

Council will select a preferred candidate next month.

Help To Collect Outstanding Fines

Municipalities may get some help to collect outstanding fines.

The provincial Liberals are introducing legislation that expands restrictions to Ontario residents from renewing license plates until they've paid outstanding highway traffic fines.

The legislation would also allow municipalities to mail highway tickets to out-of-province drivers who haven't paid their fines.

Fort Frances recently wrote-off $78-thousand in outstanding fines from 2006 because all existing means of collection had been exhausted.

Throne Speech Lacks Action For NWO

The MPP for Kenora-Rainy River is finding it frustrating to see any real plan or vision for northwestern Ontario in last week's Throne Speech.

The NDP is willing to pass the speech to keep the Liberal government in power.

Sarah Campbell says the Speech doesn't commit them to act on the issues outlined.

Campbell believes northerners had higher expectations than what they say in the Speech.

Manitou Forest Products Joins OFIA

Manitou Forest Products is one of the newest members of the Ontario Forest Industries Association.

The company is being welcomed to the Association as its annual meeting in Toronto.

Association President Jamie Lim says its a further sign the forest sector in the province is turning around.

Lim says forecasts of a boom in housing construction in the U.S. also bodes well for area sawmills.

PILT Concerns

Koochiching County intends to maintain a strong voice at the State Capital over how it's reimbursed for the natural resources lands in its boundary.

The County receives payments in lieu of taxes at various rates.

Commissioner Wade Pavleck says they'd like them a little more equal.

Pavleck, who attended a recent committee hearing on the payments, says legislators were very interested in the County's concerns.

Bill To Permit Gay Marriages In Minnesota

A bill to allow gay marriages in Minnesota is now before the State Capital.

Sponsors of the bill aim to repeal by this summer Minnesota's 1997 law that prohibits marriage between couples of the same sex.

Minnesota voters rejected a constitutional gay marriage ban last November.

Gay marriage opponents say that result doesn't translate to widespread support for allowing same-sex couples to legally marry.

Tax Scam In Minnesota

Minnesota State officials are warning of a scam by a group posing as the Minnesota Department of Revenue that uses claims of tax refunds as bait to obtain personal data.

The department says scammers are seeking personal or banking information of taxpayers.

Callers are going by "`Minnesota Revenue.''

The state agency says it doesn't call people about the size of their refunds.

Bill Aims To Stop Gas-And-Dash

A Liberal backbencher is proposing pre-payment be required for gas purchases and suspending drivers' licenses for those convicted of gas thefts.

MPP Mike Colle's private member's bill would also impose fines on employers who force attendants to pay for the thefts out of their wages.

New Job Bank Launched

Confederation College is now part of an online job bank called "Workbay".

Spokesperson Mary Hayes says they help match employers with future employees.

Hayes says its website is a joint effort with Northwest Employment Works and the College.

Report On Ontario Juries Released

A former Supreme Court Justice calls it a wake up call.

Frank Iacobucci makes 17 recommendations aimed at getting more First Nations representation in provincial jury rolls.

Iacobucci says the first step is establishing an implementation committee with First Nation membership.

Iacobucci admits it will take several years to implement all of his recommendation.

Highway Snow Plowing Concerns Presented At Queen's Park

Complaints about winter road maintenance of northern Ontario highways have reached Queen's Park.

NDP critic Gilles Bisson calls the condition of many roads "atrocious."

Bisson says there have more highway closures and accidents this winter than ever before, and he's
convinced the province's standards for snow clearing are not being met.

Bisson blames the fact the ministry of transportation uses private snow plow operators and has also privatized the monitoring of highways to determine when they need to be salted or cleared.

Transportation Minister Glen Murray says the province's standards for clearing snow off highways have not changed and are being met.