Thursday, May 2, 2013

Boise Announces Shutdown For International Falls

Another blow to the forest industry in the Borderland, this time in International Falls.

Boise has announced its shutting down two of its paper machines that produce specialty grade papers and an off-machine coater by October.

Spokesperson Lori Lyman says closing the machines will address market conditions, reducing 115-thousand tons a year.

Two other paper machines will continue to operate.

Lyman says Boise still sees the Falls mill as an important part of its overall strategy and the changes will make the mill more competitive as it simplifies operations by manufacturing paper products at a much lower cost.

The move will eliminate 265 jobs, leaving the mill with a workforce of about 580.

Budget Today

The minority Liberal government will be keeping a close eye on the New Democrat reaction to today's provincial budget.

The Liberals are going out of their way to secure N-D-P support, knowing the Progressive Conservatives have vowed to vote against it even without seeing the fiscal plan.

Finance Minister Charles Sousa is appealing to both opposition parties to support the budget and avoid triggering another election.

For updates on the budget, stay tuned to CFOB-News.

Atikokan Budget Talks Continue

Atikokan town council is still dealing with its 2013 budget.

Mayor Dennis Brown says council must still find another million dollars in savings.

Brown says unlike other communities facing huge reductions in assessment, Atikokan's budget difficulties are attributed to long list of projects awaiting to be done.

He says if there's going to be any tax increase this year, he's hoping it will be 3 per cent or less.

Lots Still Up For Grabs

Still no takers for any of the new housing lots available within the Huffman School subdivision.

The town of Fort Frances started selling off the lots Monday on a first-come first-served based after a planned lottery last week drew little interest.

As of yesterday afternoon, none of the 16 available have been spoken for.

The sale will continue with council expected to discuss the project May 13.

OPP Seeing Fewer Calls

There's been an decrease in calls for police assistance in Fort Frances.

OPP dealt with 228 calls last month, compared with 330 in March 2012.

So far this year, OPP have responded to 733 incidents, compared with 988 in the first three months of last year.

Police says the decrease could be due to several factors.

No Gun Bills Likely Out Of Minnesota

There won't be any vote on gun control in the Minnesota legislature this year.

House speaker Paul Thissen says he decided to yank any gun bills from consideration this year because he doesn't believe there's the votes to pass them in the House.

Some Democrats have been pushing for expanded background checks, but face intense opposition from gun rights groups and Democrats who represent rural districts.

New Businesses On Scott Street

A couple new businesses in downtown Fort Frances.

Shear Serenity and Tonic Tattoos had official openings at their Scott Street locations yesterday.

Owner of Shear Serenity Paula Plichta-Jenson takes over the site formerly known as Jayne's TLC.

Plichta-Jenson says after working as a hair-stylist for the past 18 years with different salons and having recently moved back to the community, she felt it important to become her own boss.

Toni Cupp opened Toxic Tattoo several weeks ago and says she's been happy with the response.

Cupp, who's been tattooing for more than decade, says it gives her the freedom to do what she loves.

Museum Receives Accolades From Metis Nation

A display of Metis history at the Fort Frances Museum is being greeted with enthusiasm from the president of the Metis Nation of Ontario.

Gary Lipinski and his wife had a chance to visit the exhibit recently, and applauds the museum for its efforts.

He says it clearly identifies the Metis way of life and its importance to the development of the region, as well as the role they played in developing Canada.

The display will remain until June 20.

Labour/OPP Investigating Death At Area Farm

The Ministry of Labour and OPP are investigating the death of a man on the weekend in the Rainy River district.

OPP say 67-year-old Aarnie Eugene Hahkala of Miscampbell township was found dead inside a tractor Saturday afternoon at a farm on Highway 611.

Police say he had been operating the tractor to move hay bales.

Outbreak At Rainycrest Declared Over

All is well again at Rainycrest Long-Term Care Home.

A mild respiratory outbreak at the Fort Frances home, has now ended.

The home had issued an alert April 19  after a number of residents experienced mild respiratory symptoms.

New Book On Catholic Education

The Northwest Catholic District School Board is celebrating the history of catholic education in northwestern Ontario.

Education Director Mary-Catherine Kelly says they've created a history book being distributed to schools and staff.

Kelly says the book also touches on the history of the parish communities and how the schools evolved.

Worst Roads Campaign Underway

The Canadian Automobile Association is back with its "Ontario's Worst Roads" Campaign.

The CAA encourages road users to submit their worst road submissions through its website.

Spokesperson Korey Kennedy says their campaign has led to governments taking action.

Submissions and votes will accepted all month long.

New Electricity Rates

That electricity your using is costing you a little more.

New rates for all hydro users with smart meters are in effect.

The off-peak rate is up  4/10th of a cent to 6.7 cents per kilowatt hour.

Peak period costs are up 6/10ths of a cent to 12.4 cents.

A 5 per cent hike in rates for those without smart metres also took effect yesterday.

Study Reveals Business Perceptions About Tourism

Small business owners in northwestern Ontario are being encouraged to work closer together.

Lakehead University masters student Nicki Youroukos says it was something she found lacking after studying small business perceptions about tourism in the Nipigon-Red Rock area.

Youroukos says owners know communities need to diversify with downturns in the forest industry and that tourism can help.

But she says they need to start partnering and networking with others and to look at different ways of marketing their business.

Youroukos presented her findings to members of the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce.