Friday, July 12, 2013

Fire Crews Sent To Territories and Quebec

The Ministry of Natural Resources is sending some of its fire crews out of province.

Twenty firefighters, along with support staff, are being dispatched to lend a hand in the Northwest Territories and Quebec.

There are  41 active fires in northwestern Ontario, the largest being an 11-thousand hectare blaze, 50 kilometres northwest of Red Lake

Dock Closed

The dock at Pither's Point Park in Fort Frances has been closed.

The town of Fort Frances says the so-called "Government Dock" has been deemed unsafe.

Higher than normal water levels this year have compromised the structural integrity of a section of the dock, forcing the town to prohibit boats, people and aircraft from using it for safety reasons.

Bass Championship Getting Ready

The field for the upcoming Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship continues take shape.

Eighty-eight teams have registered so far.

Chair Gord Watson says give the area's economy
, it's a number he can be happy with.

Watson says if they can reach last year's number of 93 teams, they would be the only tournament in the region not to be down.

Angler can still register by picked up forms on the Bass Championship's website.

Meantime, a call for volunteers is being made.

A sign-up will take place next Thursday at Boston Pizza.

Relays Dollars Counted

Another successful year for the Relay for Life across northwestern Ontario.

Eight community events were held in recent months.

The Canadian Cancer Society's Maria Cabral says over $577-thousand dollars was raised with more money to come.

Nearly $83-thousand was raised at the Fort Frances event in June.

Atikokan will host an event of its own in September.

Site Plan For Biomass Boiler In Place

It took awhile, but there is now a site plan control agreement in place for the Resolute Forest Products biomass boiler with the town of Fort Frances.

Town Planner Faye Flatt says such plans are normally done before construction starts, but it was agreed to let construction go ahead six years ago while the plan was worked upon.

Changes in staff and the plan itself contributed to delays in getting the plan completed. 

The agreement was recommended at the suggestion of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs when rezoning of the property was taking place

Beware Of Ticks

Ontario’s Chief Medical Health Officer says people in northwestern Ontario shouldn’t be too complacent about ticks that carry Lyme disease.

Dr. Arlene King says the black legged ticks do make their north.

King says you can help avoid Lyme disease by wearing pants tucked into your socks and long-sleeved shirts as well as using insect repellent with DEET.

Riverfest Line-Up Change

There's been a change in the line-up for Riverfest in International Falls.

An accident involving a member of the Rush-tribute band Spindrift has forced that band to cancel several upcoming shows.

Riverfest organizers says a ZZTop Tribute band called ZZ Tripp out of Springfield, Illinois will take its place.

The concert at the Irvin N. Amphitheater goes July 20.

Quest Deadline Today

A few spots remain open for this year's Quest for the Best.

The Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce talent show is July 26 as part of the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship.

It's open to amateur singers 13 years and older with the deadline to register today.

Contact the Chamber.

Meantime, tickets for the event are now on sale at the Chamber office and Causeway Insurance

Metis/Rainy River Resources Reach MOU

Metis Nation of Ontario will be working closely with the developers of a proposed gold mine near Barwick.

A new memorandum of understanding has been signed between the Metis Nation and Rainy River Resources.

The agreement provides for ongoing consultation with the Metis, who are now part of an existing working group, and outlines how potential impacts on Metis' rights and interests will be addressed.

Market Thursdays Doing Well

The Fort Frances Downtown Business Improvement Association is hoping to foster a few more businesses.

It develop Market Thursdays three years ago as a way of increasing foot traffic downtown

Chairs Doug Anderson is happy with how its been going.

He also hoping it will help lead to new business starts.

Market Thursday is now into its third year.

Energy Discussions

Northwestern Ontario leaders will get an opportunity to address concerns of a pending energy crisis across the north.

Ontario has kicked off two months of consultations on the province's long-term energy plan.

The only information session in the northwest is scheduled for August 7 in Thunder Bay.

Submissions can also be made through the Ministry of Energy's website.

Frisbee Golf Course Planned

A new golf course is preparing to open in International Falls this fall.

But instead of clubs and balls, your going to need strong arms and frisbees

One of the organizers Brad Krasaway says the 12 hole frisbee course would be located around Rainy River Community College and would be free to the public to use.

Krasaway says the College's Student Life committee and Koochiching County have agreed to provide funding with hopes of a similar commitment from the city.

Lodge Operator Fined

The operator of a fishing resort in the Rainy River district is a little light in the wallet.

Mark Zupancich, who run the Zup's Fishing Resort and Canoe Outfitters in Lac La Croix, has been fined $2,000 for not submitting payment to the province for the sale of hunting and fishing licences in 2011.

Zupancich plead guilty to the charge in court and also repaid in full to the province almost $14-thousand that was owed.

End the Flavour

Folks in northwestern Ontario are being asked to help "End the Flavour."

It's a campaign out by the Canadian Cancer Society aimed at ending the sale of flavoured tobacco products

Community Programs Consultant Kiri Butter says it's drawing awareness that despite existing legislation, products are still out there.

The Society's set up a web page asking residents to write their MPP to support a ban.

Early Numbers Point To College Enrolment Increase

Early enrollment figures are pointing to an increase in students to Confederation College this fall.

President Jim Madder says early enrollment confirmation numbers are up 5 percent.

That's about an extra 100 students more than last year's enrollment.