Tuesday, March 5, 2013

RRFDC Questioned About Focus

The agency tasked with economic development in Fort Frances is being asked to focus a little more attention on the town.

Members of the Rainy River Future Development Corporation faced questions about its activities at last night budget meeting.

Councillor Ken Perry feels forestry should continue to be a main focal point.

The Corporation says a lot of projects they're now working on have a direct impact to the town.

Snow Sculpturing Set To Begin

Three groups are expected to begin today carving their masterpieces out of piles of snow at the former Huffman School property.

They'll have until Sunday to complete their works.

There will be a public judging Saturday as part of a Community family day.

Organizers says they still have room for another team.

Call the Fort Frances Museum if your interested.

Three Charged With Impaired Driving

Three area residents have court dates on charges of impaired driving.

A 55-year-old Atikokan man was charged early Sunday morning in Atikokan after OPP stopped a vehicle that was being driven in an erratic manner.

Early last week, a 34-year-old man from Fort Frances and a 20-year-old man from LaVallee township were charged in separate OPP traffic stops in Fort Frances.

Law School Protest

A group of Lakehead University students continue to protest changes to the curriculum at the new Northern Ontario Law School.

Spokesperson Sebastian Murdock Gibson says they're upset the school has decided to drop an aboriginal learning program without warning.

Students say they'll remain camped outside the L.U. president's office until the university reinstates the program.

Marketing Ban Sought On Junk Food To Kids

The Ontario government is being urged to ban the marketing of junk food to kids under the age of 12.

It's just one of many recommendations in the report focusing on reducing childhood obesity.

The government says it will create a group headed by Health Minister Deb Matthews to give direction on how to implement the recommendations.

Tirclosan Ban

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton is ordering all state agencies to stop buying products that contain the chemical compound triclosan.

It follows research by the University of Minnesota that found the compound is increasingly found in the state's rivers and lakes.

The executive order requires agencies to must end purchases of hand soap, laundry soap and other products containing triclosan by June.

Support For Resident Judge Received

The Rainy River District Law Association has an ally in its fight for a resident judge in the Ontario Court of Justice.

Janet Whitehead of the County and District Law Presidents' Association was in Fort Frances Friday to learn first hand of the legal community's concerns.

Whitehead says it's given her a better understand.

Whitehead says the new Attorney General has agreed to review the findings from her visit.

Local Association president Barbara Morgan says it was an an important visit.

Morgan says Whitehead was also able to see court house renovations that have not yet started and spoke with court staff about their challenges as well.

Four Seek Vacant Seat

There are four candidates wanting the vacant seat on Fort Frances council.

It will be now up to the remaining members of council to decide who will get the seat for the next two years.

A final decision is expected by the end of this month.

More Volunteer Firefighters Wanted

The Fort Frances Fire Department is looking for some new blood.

The department wants to increase the number of volunteer firefighters on its roster.

Fire Chief Frank Sheppard says they've lost a few in recent months.

The department is down to about 15 from 20, but Sheppard says its not a critical situation.

Sheppard says the job is open to anyone over the age of 18, noting there are certain requirements potential candidates have to meet.

The job description and how to apply can be found on the town of Fort Frances website.

The REAL Tree Huggers

The Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association is launching a new campaign to draw attention to the importance of the forest industry in this region.

President Ron Nelson says "REAL Tree Hugger" is to remind the Premier that the forest industry cares about the environment while providing jobs.

The Tree Hugger campaign includes buttons and post cards that will be sent to members of the provincial Government.

NOMA has also set up a website and Facebook page to generate additional public support.

Mauro To Chair Northern Ontario Cabinet Committee

Thunder Bay-Atikokan MPP Bill Mauro is chair of the new northern Ontario cabinet committee.

The committee will address the needs of northern Ontario, including job creation and revitalizing transportation infrastructure as well as overseeing the Northern Ontario Growth Plan.