Thursday, May 30, 2013

Quetico Centre To Reopen As School

The former Quetico Centre near Atikokan is set to reopen as a school.

The former conference facility was recently purchased by Toronto educator Michael Heaton with the intent of refurbishing it into a private boarding school.

Heaton says he's received plenty of interest from teachers.

Heaton hopes to open the school this fall with an enrollment of about 30 students.

Protocol Signed Between Treaty 3 And Cancer Care Ontario

Cancer Care Ontario is helping to reduce cancer concerns among area First Nations.

It's signed a new relationship protocol with Grand Council Treaty 3.

Council director Alethea Kewawyosh says its aimed at patient care and education.

Kewawyosh says cancer rates among native men have tripled and while doubling among women.

Mental Health Issues Discussed

A message of hope for those dealing with mental health issues.

Kendra Fisher, a former member of Canada' national women's hockey program, is travelling around the region to talk about her experiences after being diagnosed with severe anxiety disorder.

Fisher says increasing awareness can help others.

Fisher spoke yesterday at Fort Frances high School and at a public presentation.

Upgrades Planned For Senior Centre

Some upgrades to the Sister Kennedy Centre in Fort Frances are in the works.

Town council agreed this week to award a contract to replace the senior centre's roof.

The roof experienced leaking during the spring, forcing buckets to take the place of card tables to collect falling water.

The job will cost over $22-thousand which will be taken out of the town's reserve fund.

Wet Weather Forecast Until Saturday

Get ready for another dose of wet weather.

A Colorado low is heading our way and is expected to bring a lot of rain.

Environment Canada says some areas could get as much up as 50 millimeters by the time the system moves away Saturday

MPP Renews Calls For Paved Shoulders

A Tory MPP is renewing calls for paved shoulders on provincial highways.

It's the third time that Norm Miller has introduced a paved shoulders bill with previous unsuccessful attempts to get the legislation passed coming in 2010 and 2011.

Miller says studies have shown that paved shoulders have a positive effect by increasing opportunities for cycling tourism and reducing recreation-related collisions.

No Nomination Meeting Just Yet

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With the threat of an imminent provincial election diminishing, the provincial NDP in Thunder Bay-Atikokan don't seem ready to select a candidate just yet.

There are currently two candidates in the running, George Saarinen and Mary Kozorys.

The riding Association's Robin Rickards says they are waiting to be vetted by provincial party officials and until that happens, no date can be set for a nomination meeting.

Budget Motion Approved

Any threat of a spring election in Ontario is diminishing.

The governing Liberals survived a confidence vote on the provincial budget with help from the New Democrats.

The vote on the budget motion, not the actual budget bill, passed 65-to-36 this morning with only the Progressive Conservatives opposed.

After securing several concessions, the NDP agreed to vote with the Liberals.

The government wants the vote on the actual budget bill itself before the summer recess scheduled to begin June 7.

She's willing to support the budget, but Kenora-Rainy River MPP Sarah Campbell believes the Liberals can do better.

Campbell suggests Premier Kathleen Wynne should look at hiking corporate taxes instead of increasing the burden on ordinary Ontarians.

Campbell says government also needs to work with First Nations closer on projects such as the twinning of the Trans-Canada Highway

Health Coverage For Celiac Disease Testing Sought

Thunder Bay Atikokan MPP Bill Mauro is calling for improved access to testing for celiac disease.

Mauro has introduced a private member's bill that seeks an expansion of Ontario's health coverage for the tests.

He introduced a similar bill several years ago.

MP Seeks To Restrict Motions of Confidence

An Independent MP from northwestern Ontario wants to put an end to motions of confidence in Parliament.

Bruce Hyer says his private members bill would restrict the Prime Minister's ability to declare any issue a matter of confidence.

Hyer hopes to get support from the opposition parties.

Fort Frances To Host NOMA

Next year's gathering of the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association will happen in Fort Frances.

Town council has given its blessing to hosting the event with support from area municipalities.

Chapple and Alberton township councils have already agreed to provide a thousand dollars and a staff person to assist.

Fort Frances last hosted the annual gathering of the region's municipal representatives in 2009.

Three Charged With Impaired Driving

Three drivers from the Rainy River district will be making court appearances next month on impaired driving charges.

They were charged in separate incidents that occurred last week in Fort Frances, Emo and Atikokan.

In each case, OPP acted on complaints from the public.

Forest Fire Hazard High

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The forest fire hazard remains high across the northwest region.

There are no fires burning in the Rainy River district, but the Ministry of Natural Resources is worried about the number of blazes deemed human-caused this season.

All but one, that in the Thunder Bay region, have been started by something other than lightning.

Tourism Battles Continue

The fight to reopen provincial tourism centres in northwestern Ontario is continuing at Queen's Park.

Kenora Rainy River MPP Sarah Campbell says the government has no idea how its decisions are impacting the region.

Campbell is also critical of proposed fishing regulation changes for this region that would reduce non-resident catch limits from four to two.

Campbell says this would make it difficult for some campowners to attract business and result in their closure.

Tory Leader Critical Of MNR

Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak is speaking out against possible increases in Ministry of Natural Resources service fees.

Hudak says it doesn't surprise him the Liberals have polled anglers and hunters in the northwest about what service fee increases they might accept.

Hudak worries the MNR is becoming opposed to anything that creates jobs or attracts tourists.

Flooding Easing

Emergency Management Ontario says the flood situation on a remote northwestern Ontario First Nation is stabilizing.

However, the agency says water levels are still high and some flooding continues in Kasabonika Lake First Nation.

Some of the 150 residents evacuated to Greenstone and Hearst were allowed to return home yesterday.

Emergency Compact Signed

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has signed a compact that will allow Minnesota and some Canadian provinces to request and provide mutual aid to each other in the event of emergencies.

The state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management says while states and provinces can handle most emergencies, there are times when disasters require more resources.

The compact covers natural disasters from floods and tornadoes to emergencies such as chemical spills or terrorist events.

Gas Prices Dropping In Minnesota

Gas prices in Minnesota have eased a bit.

Increased supplies have caused prices to drop after hitting an all-time high last week.

The travel group AAA says the average gas price peaked at $4.28 a gallon last week statewide, $4.45 in International Falls, but dropped to just over 4-dollars Monday.

Appeals Court Dismisses Court Challenge

A pair of groups challenging Minnesota rules for a state wolf hunting and trapping season has been dealt another blow in court.

Minnesota's Court of Appeals has dismissed a petition aiming to undo rules that allowed for a wolf hunting season.