Thursday, August 29, 2013

More Professional Development Suggest For School Teachers

Ontario's education minister says more professional development is needed for elementary school teachers, after test results show their students are struggling with math skills.

The Education Quality and Accountability Office says almost one in five Grade 6 students do not meet the provincial math standard.

Liz Sandals says many elementary teachers come from an arts background and aren't as comfortable teaching math as they are teaching reading or writing.

Kiss and Ride Being More Accepted

More parents appear to be warming up to the new Kiss and Ride lanes set up at three elementary schools in Fort Frances for safer drop off and pick up of children.

Officials say parents, reluctant to use the lanes on the opening day of school, gave it a try yesterday and express confidence with the program.

Parents are reminded the lanes in the afternoon don't open until the end of school which is 3:10 p.m. at St. Francis School,  3:15 p.m. at J.W. Walker and 3:25 p.m. at Robert Moore.

Fort Officials Happy With Trip To AMO Meeting

Fort Frances town officials appear happy with the outcome of meetings held last week at the Association of Municipalities of Ontario conference in Ottawa.

Chief Administrative Officer Mark McCaig says several issues were discussed with government ministers who were very receptive to the town's concerns.

Mayor Roy Avis says it was one of the best conferences he'd been to.

Premier Admits To "Trying" Pot

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne says she believes legalization and regulation of marijuana is an issue that needs to be debated.

But Wynne -- who yesterday joined the growing list of politicians who admit having tried pot -- isn't saying where she stands on the issue.

Road Projects Nearing Completion

A couple of road projects in Fort Frances are expected to be completed on time.

The town's Operations and Facilities Manager Doug Brown says final paving of a section of Second Street East and Mowat Avenue is expected next week, allowing the roads to reopen to traffic by September 7.

Brown says crews are in the final stages of road work at Williams Avenue and expect
to be finished by September 27

IceBox University Established

An International Falls radio drama group is setting up its own university of sorts.

Icebox University is the tag IceBox Radio Theater is using to promote a series of free workshops around the dramatic arts.

Artistic Director Jeff Adams says some will begin this fall.

The group will hold an open house 6 to 9 tonight at Backus Community Centre.

Premier Traveling To Northwestern Ontario

Ontario's Premier Kathleen Wynne is making a trip to northwestern Ontario.

She's making stops in Kenora Sunday and Thunder Bay for the next couple of days.

Details of her trip are still being finalized, but while in Thunder Bay she'll hold a round table discussion on jobs with local business leaders.

MNR Keeping Staff Longer Than Expected

MNR File photo
The Ministry of Natural Resources is keeping its seasonal fire fighting staff a little bit longer.

Contracts have been extended that will keep them in place until the middle of September.

Information officer Debbie McLean says the recent warm weather prompted the move.

There are currently 26-active fires in the northwest region.

Three of them are in the Rainy River district.

Two are locating at the south end of Quetico Provincial Park.

As they pose no real threat and can help the park's ecosystem, the Ministry is allowing them to burn themselves out.

A third fire, northeast of Fort Frances near Cornell Lake, is currently being held.

All three were lightning caused.

Drug Seizure In Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay Police are charging two Serbian men in connection to a huge seizure of Oxycodone.

Police seized almost 33-hundred pills, valued at about $660-thousand, from a city motel room.

Both men are in their 70's.

Home Day Care Unioning To Continue

File photo
A drive to unionize Minnesota home day care workers will be allowed to continue while opponents appeal.

A U.S. District Judge is refusing to grant opponents an injunction pending appeal.

A group of day care operators say being forced to associate with a union would violate their First
Amendment rights.

Moose Dies At Thunder Bay's Chippewa Park

City of Thunder Bay is investigating the unexpected death of a seven year old bull moose at its Chippewa Wildlife Exhibit.

The staff discovered the dead animal Tuesday morning.

Cause of death is still being explored.

Worldest Oldest Known Black Bear Dies

Minnesota wildlife officials say the world's oldest known wild black bear has died of old age at 39 and a half.

The decomposed body of the animal identified as Bear number 53 was found recently in a secluded wooded area in northern Minnesota.

The Department of Natural Resource believes it died of natural causes.

The bear was first captured and radio-collared in 1981.