Thursday, May 9, 2013

Children's Mental Health Week Recognized

Firefly is celebrating Children Mental Health Week.

Board chair Jackie Mitchell says the one big initiative this week is to raise awareness about mental health.

Mitchell says one in five children have a mental health issue.

Officers Support PSAC

Officers with Treaty 3 Police Service have reaffirmed their desire to stay with Public Service Alliance of Canada.

The vote was held last week as management challenges the union's ability to represent them at the Canada Industrial Relations Board. 

PSAC regional vice-president Sharon DeSousa the fight will continue regarding what jurisdiction the service will fall under.

Boil Water Advisory Lifted

A boil water advisory effecting some residents of Emo has been lifted.

About 39 homes and the Emo Health Centre were placed under the advisory last week after a water main break in from of the Emo hospital.

The break has since been repaired and the Northwestern Health Unit gave approval to lift the advisory after testing of water samples came back ok.

More ELA Debate

Debate over the future of the Experimental Lakes Area continue.

Kenora Rainy River MPP Sarah Campbell questions why scientists aren't being allowed back into the Kenora area research site despite government claims it was working to take over the site.

Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Laurel Broten says they're still working on that deal.

Broten says she understands the urgency surrounding the area and the province is work as fast it can to have it reopened.

Cabinet Shuffle

There's been a reshuffling of Premier Kathleen Wynne's cabinet.

Government Services Minister Harinder Takhar has resigned due to medical issues.

A source says he had chest pains before his mother's funeral last Saturday and went to hospital.

Government House Leader John Milloy takes on Takhar's portfolio while Finance Minister Charles Sousa will act as chair of the management board of cabinet.

Vote On Same-Sex Marriage Bill In Minnesota

An historic vote is expected at the State Capitol today, as the Minnesota House debates a bill to legalize same-sex marriage.

It is an issue that has divided the state.

IF it passes, the state Senate would take up the marriage equality bill on Monday.

Governor Dayton has said he would sign the legislation.

New Superintendent

The Rainy River District School Board has promoted from within to fill a vacancy within its management team.

Al McManaman becomes Superintendent of Education

McManaman had been serving as acting Superintendent since last August.

New NDP Demands

New file
A new budget demand from the New Democrats.

Leader Andrea Horwath wants the governing Liberals to create a financial accountability office.

Horwath says she wants to ensure the Liberals are held to account for their spending plans.

Horwath says she won't make the accountability officer a deal breaker for supporting the budget because she's still consulting the public and expects to make more demands.

New Census Stats About Native People

Canada's aboriginal population is exploding across the country, but fewer of them are able to speak a native language.

Statistics Canada says between 2006 and 2011, the number of people identifying themselves as native increased 20 per cent.

That compares with a 5.2 per cent increase for the non-aboriginal community.

But only 17 per cent of native people say there were able to conduct a conversation in an aboriginal language.

In the Rainy River district, almost 24 per cent of people identify themselves as being aboriginal.

The figure drops to 18 per cent in Fort Frances.

Of the 45-hundred identifying as native, less than 13 per cent communicate in Ojibwa.

Some alarming statistics as well about children in foster care in Canada.

The Census found that nearly half of all children under the age of 14 in foster care are aboriginal.

Fewer than half of all native children were living in families with both of their parents.

In the non-aboriginal community, its 76 per cent.

Tax Levy Up In Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls

A rare occurrence in Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls.

The municipality's council has approved its 2013 budget that includes a 3 per cent increase in the tax levy.

Mayor Bill Thompson says its the first increase in many years, and attributed extra costs for OPP, the district social services administrative board and the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation.

Thompson says council did put some money into reserves which also helped upped the levy.

Chapple Receives Federal Dollars For Docks

The township of Chapple has received from federal help in fixing up some docks along its waterfront.

FEDNOR funding, totaling $13,500 will help the township repair and restore aging docks.

New solar lighting will also be installed.

Customer Service Promoted

You may find a little improvement in customer service today.

A number of people were drawn to workshops Tuesday in Fort Frances and International Falls to gain advice from Ted Schick of Schick Corporate Learning.

Schick says customer service is common knowledge that should start at the top.

While they have an incentive to care, Schick says many managers don't teach good customer services practices as well as they should every day.

The workshops stemmed from joint meetings held by Chambers of Commerce in Fort Frances and International Falls.

Border Program Extended Another Year

American tourists with a minor criminal convictions wanting to visit Canada will get a reprieve again this year.

The federal government is extending another year a program that grants visitors a one time entry into the country.

Kenora MP Greg Rickford says it addresses concerns from a variety of groups alleging tourists to northwestern Ontario were being turned back at the border because of charges, often several years old.

Rickford says there specific rules to the program introduced last year, and American who entered under the program last year aren't eligible without having gone through appropriate rehabilitation processes.

Border Numbers Down

The border at Fort Frances is seeing a drop in travelers.

Just over 155-thousand people entered Canada at the Fort Frances port of entry over the past three months.

That's a 2.4 per cent decrease from the same period in 2012.

Skywest Adds Flights

SkyWest is adding additional flights in and out of International Falls.

The airline says it will add one additional flight to and from Minneapolis on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays beginning June 14 until the middle of August.

Skywest considers International Falls a top summer destination and says the new flights will accommodate an expected increase in travelers.

Moose Numbers Stable In Park

Wildlife biologists say the moose population is holding relatively steady in Voyageurs National Park.

Park officials estimate 46 animals, based on an aerial survey this past winter.

It's not clear why Voyageurs' moose population appears to be relatively stable compared to the rest of northeastern Minnesota, but biologists warn climate change and disease outbreaks continue to be threats.

Educators Getting Mental Health First Aid Training

Some educators in the Rainy River district are receiving Mental Health First Aid Training.

Laura Chabot of Kenora-Rainy River Children and Family Services says its important training for educators since many mental health problems often develop during adolescence.

Chabot says the training is not intended to teach people how to be therapist or counsellors, but rather to help teachers to support their students in accessing available services.