Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Falls City Administrator Offered Job In Washington State

It appears the city of International Falls will be looking for a new city administrators.

Rod Otterness has been hired on to serve as city manager of Union Gap, Washington, a community of about 63-hundred people 140 miles southeast of Seattle.

Union Gap City Council offered the job to Otterness last week.

Otterness has been Falls city administrator since 2004.

Dog Park On Hold

Plans for a dog park in Fort Frances are on hold.

A town advisory committee working on the project has decided to stop any further planning.

Chair Duane Hicks says financial pressures facing the town played into their decision.

Hicks says they're look at revisiting the project in the fall to determine if they'll proceed with public meetings.

The committee narrowed its search to four potential sites, pegging costs in the area of $30-thousand.

Wellness Conference Next Week

A focus on holistic health later this month.

Gizhewaadiziwin Health Access Centre and Fort Frances Area Tribal Health Services are hosting a Wellness Conference next week.

The Centre's Program Manager Beverley Cochrane says several presenters are coming who will offer tools and demonstrate ways to achieve physical, spiritual, mental and emotional health.

Cochrane says the conference will also promote programs available in the Fort Frances area.

New Blood Plasma Clinics Concerns

The province is asking the federal government to hold off on approving new clinics that would pay people to give blood plasma.

Three clinics are proposed for Ontario.

Health Minister Deb Matthews says it would be irresponsible to allow a paid-donor system without first determining how it could impact the supply of blood and blood products.

Rae Tours Northwestern Ontario

Federal interim Liberal leader Bob Rae is in Dryden and Kenora today.

Yesterday, he was in Thunder Bay where he spoke about the Ring of Fire and First Nation involvement.

Rae says he's looking at how he can legally represent Matawa Chiefs with their dealings in the chromite mining development.

The one-time Ontario Premier is in the region for party faithful fundraisers billed as "Thanks A Million, Bob."

Expanded Sale Tax Still Possible

Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk says there's still room to discuss an expanded sales tax even though Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton intends to abandon that budget approach.

Bakk, who represents Koochiching County, says the Senate Tax Committee plans to consider whether some services should be part of the sales tax mix.

Dayton is releasing a revised budget proposal later this week which still includes a higher tax income rate on the state top wage earners.

Snoasis Winners

The winners have been announced in this past weekend's Snoasis at the former Huffman School property.

Lindsay Hamilton and Joe Galbraith's creation "Building Bridges" earned the judges pick.

"Fishing Fantasy," a snow sculpture created by the staff at the Fort Frances Times was voted fan favourite.

Organizers says they were happy with the turned to the event they hope to continue.