Monday, April 29, 2013

Fires Under Investigation

There's been a rash of suspicious fires in the west end of the Rainy River district.

One of them at the Pineview Mennonite Church in Chapple Township on April 18 completely destroyed the building.

A vacant home that had been converted to a hunting camp on Tait Road in Chapple township was also torched five days earlier.

Another home on Marr Road in Morley Township was found Thursday with burn marks on an exterior wall.

OPP and the Ontario Fire Marshall's Office are investigating.

Leek Back For Liberals

Liberals have selected their candidate for the next provincial election in Kenora-Rainy River.

Emo township councillor Anthony Leek who's also president of the riding association, was unopposed in his bid for the candidacy.

He feels the riding needs a member who can works with others in finding solutions than just pointing fingers.

Leek also ran for the Liberals in 2011, finishing a distant third.

He says the party is in a better position to take the riding having built up its membership and finances and strengthen its executive board with representation across the riding since.

Kenora Mayor Elected NOMA President

A familiar face is back at the helm of the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association.

Kenora Mayor Dave Canfield is replacing O'Connor Township Mayor Ron Nelson as president.

Canfield was also president of the region's municipal lobby group in 1998 and 1999.

New NOACC President

The Northwestern Ontario Associated Chambers of Commerce has a new president.

Michael Nitz was elected to the post at their meeting in Dryden on the weekend.

Nitz has served as past president of the Nipigon Chamber and Thunder Bay's NOACC representative.

Visitor Restrictions Lifted

Visitor restrictions at Rainy River Health Centre have been lifted.

The restrictions had been put in place on April 21 because of an outbreak of gastroenteritis.

The hospital says it was able to lift the measures after encountering no new cases for a period time.

A mild respiratory outbreak is still in effect at Rainycrest Long Term Care in Fort Frances.

Lots On Sale Today

The town of Fort Frances will begin a sale of lots in the Huffman School subdivision today.

The 16 lots will go on as first-come first-serve basis after the town attracted just one potential purchaser to a lottery last Thursday.

Those interest can visit the Civic Centre beginning at 8:30 a.m. or contact town planner Faye Flatt.

Council has stated it wants at least five lots sold before issuing a contract for the project.

Atikokan Seeks Centennial Canoe

Centennial Voyageur Canoe Race 1967
Atikokan wants to get its hands on the Ontario Centennial Canoe.

The canoe was used as part of a cross-country paddle involving teams representing other provinces and territories in 1967.

It's currently being stored under a tarp at the Fort William Historical Park in Thunder Bay.

Atikokan Mayor Dennis Brown says it deserves a place in his community given that four of the ten paddlers for the Ontario team were from Atikokan.

A contingent will be pressing its case before Thunder Bay city council tonight.

Business Expo A Success

Chamber photo
The Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce is hailing its Business and Community Expo a success.

President Mark Caron says attendance during the weekend event was strong.

Nearly 60 exhibitors were on display.

A performance from Canadian comedian Don Kelly, who's hails originally from Onegaming First Nation, was among the highlights.

Mining Study Released

Northwestern Ontario's budding mining sector is expected to create 10-thousand full-time jobs over the next decade, generating $1.7 billion in overall economic revenue each year.

That according to a new report released at the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association Conference in Thunder Bay.

However, the report points to issues of energy, housing and aging infrastructure as areas to address to prepare for the boom.

The forecast is based on 10 new mines or major expansions, including Rainy River Resources' gold project near Barwick.

Little Response To Housing Lot Lottery

3D model of subdivision - supplied
The town of Fort Frances is revising plans how it will sell off lots in the planned Huffman School subdivision.

A lottery Thursday night was scrapped after just one potential developer showed up.

Chief Administrative Officer Mark McCaig believes there's still interest in the lots and that those interested are uncomfortable with coming out in a public way.

McCaig says the lots will now be sold off on a first-come first-served basis, beginning Monday morning.

MPAC Criticized By Area Mayors

The Municipal Property Assessment Corporation is failing to win any friends at the regional municipal conference.

President Antoni Wisniowski spoke to mayors and reeves Thursday in Thunder Bay.

He says he understands their frustration with MPAC's recent assessment of mill properties.

Some municipal leaders call Wisniowski's speech a standard prepared presentation.

Loyie Honoured

Ont. Attorney General's Office photo
Recognition for the head of the Rainy River District Victims Services Program.

Peggy Loyie is a recipient of the province's Victim Services Award of Distinction.

Loyie was cited for her 25 years in victim services, and her work with several area groups including youth and Aboriginal survivors of residential schools.

Loyie was presented the award Thursday in a ceremony in Toronto.

Hydro Outage Planned

Hydro One is planning a lengthy outage.

The Utility says it will be turning the power off for about three and a half hours on Sunday May 5th to conduct maintenance and equipment upgrades.

It will start at noon that day.

Most residents between the towns of Fort Frances and Rainy River and the Morson area will be impacted.

Emo is not.

Missing Health Reports Questioned

Ontario's Health Ministry is taking another hit.

Progressive Conservatives are demanded to know why annual reports on the province's public drug plan have been missing for five years.

The government is required by law to issue a report each year, but the most recent one available on the ministry's website is from 2008.

Health Minister Deb Matthews is promising to find out why the reports are delayed.