Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Missing Snowmobiler Found Safe

A snowmobiler is safe and sound after being rescued from an island on Lake of the Woods.

OPP were called out Monday night after the Baudette Sheriff's Department received a 911 call from a man who reported his snowmachine was stuck in snow and slush, but didn't know where he was.

A Hercules aircraft, dispatched from Winnipeg,  later spotted him on Bigsby Island.

OPP later arrived on snowmachine to rescue the man who was cold, but otherwise in good health.

Drug Charges Laid

Two men from Fort Frances are facing drug trafficking charges.

The pair were arrested last Wednesday after OPP executed warrants at two homes in the 300 block of Third Street West.

Police also seized an unspecified quantity of drugs, cash and drug accessories.

Pension Fight Highlighted In Ottawa

The fight for pension protection by a Fort Frances group of mostly retired mill workers has reached Ottawa.

Thunder Bay-Rainy River MP John Rafferty highlighted its efforts in a statement in the House of Commons.

Rafferty calls on the government for legislation that protects workers and their pension when companies seek creditor protection or go bankrupt.

Awards Nominees Sought

International Falls Chamber of Commerce is now accepting nominations for its annual awards.

The chamber will recognize one business as the top large business of the year, one as the small business of the year and an individual as Citizen of the Year.

Nominations must be to the Chamber by April 1.

The awards will be presented May 2.

Service Cuts Pondered By Town Council

Talk of service cuts has entered the budget discussions for the town of Fort Frances.

Councillors say they're supportive of a tax increase, ranging between one to 3.5 per cent, in order to help slay the deficit, now at $768-thousand.

Councillor Paul Ryan says some new ideas might also have to be considered.

Councillor Rick Wiedenhoeft says he'd like to find more cuts elsewhere before focusing on services.

Mayor Roy Avis says while he's opposed it in the past, council might have to consider the need for bag tags on all garbage placed at the curb.

Library Reduces Hours

Hours of service are being slashed at the Fort Frances Library and Technology Centre.

Beginning next week, the Library won't open Mondays until 1 pm while closing an hour earlier weeknights.

Board Chair Joyce Cunningham says the initial budget called for a $3.5 increase in town funding, and reducing hours was the only solution to finding savings.

Cunningham says because of usage, weekend hours remain unchanged

Town Finds Money For Tax Repayment

The town of Fort Frances has figured out how it will offset the $1.7 million tax rebate to Resolute Forest Products.

$575-thousand had already been set aside.

A million, originally earmarked for reserves this year, will now go to the assessment appeal repayment.

The remaining $118-thousand has been incorporated into the current deficit which would be offset through savings or tax increase.

Mill Re-assessments To Get Look Over

The Ontario government is promising to review the decision by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation to reduce the assessment of several mills across northern Ontario.

Finance Minister Charles Sousa says he's asked officials to look into the situation impacting Fort Frances, Dryden, Espanola and Elk River.

The New Democrats want Sousa to freeze the tax assessment decisions until the review is completed.