Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Police Service Board Discusses Treaty 3 Police Future

There appears to be a stalemate between the Treaty 3 Police Service and the union representing its officers.

Both sides say they want to work on a new agreement, but remain with demands neither side have yet to agree upon.

Speaking during a meeting of the Police Services Board in Kenora, Police chief Conrad Delaronde says they should be standing side by side, but the service can't engage in talks until the union drops it's unfair labor practices.

Meantime, a newly appointed Police Services Board has agreed to give the officers union access to the financial books to help it determine whether the Service can afford wage parity.

It's not yet prepared to say the force won't shutdown August 19 until it has the chance to further review layoff notices given to officers last month.

The board also received a 25-hundred name petition signed by residents in First Nations policed by the force, calling on the Service to continue.

Marketing Initiative Promoted

A marketing initiative involving the National Geographic Society is being touted to communities along the Ontario-Minnesota border.

The Heart of the Continent partnership is trying to raise $256-thousand, allowing the Society to create maps and a website for the area between Fort Frances/International Falls, Thunder Bay and Duluth.

Committee Chair Frank Jewell says the Society wants to help promote the area.

Atikokan, International Falls, Koochiching County and Thunder Bay have already agreed to commit funds to the project.

Bear Researcher Takes Matter To Court

A Minnesota bear researcher is taking his battle with the Department of Natural Resources to court.

Lynn Rogers wants the court to allow him to continue his work putting radio collars on wild bears in the Ely-area.

The DNR contends Rogers' practice of hand-feeding bears has made them too accustomed to humans, creating a public safety threat.

Kraft Tour Planning Starts Today

The planning for the upcoming Kraft Celebration Tour in Fort Frances begins in earnest today.

Members of the Fort Frances Curling Club are scheduled to meet with officials from both Kraft and TSN.

Part of the meeting is to identify a site for festivities on August 25.

The Curling Club won the right to host the Tour beating out Dryden in an on-line vote.

Town Still Treating More Water Than It Produces

The town of Fort Frances continues to treat more water than it produces.

In the first six months of this year, more than 564-thousand cubic metres of water have been produced, almost 15 per cent less than in the same period last year.

But more than 955-thousand cubic metres have gone through the waste water treatment plant.

That's a 10.5 per cent increase over last year's figures at this time.

Nurses Union Wanted Better Protection

The Ontario Nurses Association is looking for better protection for its members.

It's wants Premier Kathleen Wynne and Health Minister Deb Matthews to work with the union on ways to improve safety of nurses.

It's comes after pleas for extra security went unheeded at a Toronto area hospital before four nurses were assaulted by a patient identified as a potential danger.

The ONA says abuse among nurses has been on the rise in recent years.

Fort Wins!

Cheers of joy by members of the Fort Frances Curling Club after hearing TSN's Rod Smith's announce the winner of the last leg of the Kraft Celebration Tour.

The club will get a cheque for 25-thousand dollars and the right to Kraft and TSN on August 25.

President Ron Silver was ecstatic by the outcome, thanking all of those who supported the club in the on-line vote last Friday and Saturday morning.

It's the first time a community in northwestern Ontario has won the contest started five years ago.

Dock Off Limits To Public

New signs are posted warning people to avoid using the dock at Pither's Point Park.

The town of Fort Frances closed public access earlier this month because it says the dock has become a safety hazard.

Operations and Facilities manager Doug Brown says a claim has been made with the town's insurance company.

Chief Administrative Officer Mark McCaig says people still using the dock are doing so at their own risk.

Town Firefighters Have New Contract

A new contract for town of Fort Frances firefighters is now in place.

Council has given approval to a necessary by-law authorizing the deal.

It includes wage hikes of 1.5 per cent in each of the three years, retroactive to January 1 of this year.

More Firefighters Working Out of Province

MNR file photo
The Ministry of Natural Resources is offering more help out of province.

Information Officer Heather Pridham says nearly 200 firefighters are now working on fires in Manitoba, Quebec and the Northweset Territorities.

Pridham says they're often gone for about 14-days.

Meantime, 39 fires are still active in northwestern Ontario.

Researcher Still Under Orders To Remove Collars

A Minnesota bear researcher remains under orders to remove radio collars from bears he's studying by the end of the month, but will be allowed to appeal.

Lynn Rogers met Monday with Governor Mark Dayton and Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Landwehr.

Landwehr says his decision to rescind Rogers' permits remains, but is allowing the Ely-area researcher to  present his case to an administrative law judge.

Mining Matters Returns

Rainy River Resources is bringing back the Mining Matters initiative.

The Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada program give people a chance to learn more about the industry.

Company vice-president Kyle Stanfield says two separate sessions, one for adults and another for children, will be held in Barwick next Tuesday and Wednesday.

New Art Work In Fort Frances

There's some new art work up in Fort Frances.

Students involved in Lindsay Hamilton's youth art camp are painting the walls of various business.

MacKenzie Sovereign says in the past they've help create murals, but decided this year to go with a theme focusing on "unity."

Students says the paintings also help get more young people interested in the arts.

Their work can be found on the sides of Green's Furniture, From the Grind Up, Pharmasave, Lowery's and the Fort France Royal Canadian Legion.

Man Loses Licence and Car

A Fort Frances man is without his drivers license and car after being charged with impaired driving on the weekend.

Reports of a driver in a Corvette swerving along Highway 11 Sunday led to OPP tracking the vehicle down and stopping it in Couchiching First Nation.

The 55-year-old was handed given an immediate 90 day license suspension and had his car impounded for seven days.

He'll appear in court Friday.

Official Opening For Locum House

Supplied photo
A celebration for residents in Rainy River.

An official grand opening was held for the new locum rental house Saturday.

It provides temporary housing to doctors who travel to the community and provide medical care.

Doctor David Singleton, one of three physicians now providing permanent coverage, says visiting doctors are very impressed with home he sees also helping with future recruitment efforts.

Dawson Township, Lake of the Woods township, the Town of Rainy River and Big Grassy First Nation also partnered in its development.