Thursday, September 12, 2013

Fort Frances Appealing MPAC Ruling

The town of Fort Frances intends to appeal yet another decision by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation could impact on the the tax rolls.

The MPAC ruling reduces the assessed valued placed on Union Gas's underground pipe.

Councillor Ken Perry says a similar ruling for Rainy River has Union Gas paying more in that community.

Perry says the ruling is also far greater than one for Atikokan where Union Gas was granted a 2.5 per cent decrease.

Hazardous Waste Day Successful

A large quantity of hazardous materials has been diverted away from the Fort Frances landfill site.

Operations and Facilities manager Doug Brown says a collection day Saturday, hosted by the town, resulted in 28 tonnes of material, such as paints and batteries, being dropped off by area residents.

Brown says that's more than double what previous collection days have netted.

The material will now be taken away for safe disposal.

Boil Water Advisory In Place At Emo

A boil water advisory is in place for the township of Emo.

A release says it's because of emergency repairs that are needed at the township's water treatment plant.

The advisory remains in place until further notice.

Mammography Unit Receives Accreditation

An important designation for Riverside Health Care Facilities.

It's digital mammography unit at the La Verendrye General Hospital has received a three-year accreditation from the Canadian Association of Radiologists.

Riverside has always had accreditation status with its old system, and officials say the new designation is a continence of the gold standard of care being provided.

The digital mammography unit went in place last October following an aggressive fundraising campaign by Riverside Foundation For Health Care.

Terry Fox Run This Weekend

The annual Terry Fox run is set to go this Sunday.

In Fort Frances, the event will take place at the Sorting Gap Marina.

Co-organizer Jane Trivers says its open to people of all ages.

Registration will go Sunday at 1 p-m with the run taking place at 2 followed by a dinner and awards presentation at the Church of the Holy Spirit .

MPP Wants Changes To Door-to-Door Tactics

Kenora Rainy River MPP Sarah Campbell is declaring war on door to door energy retailers.

Campbell wants the province to take action against companies that sign residents up for higher electricity rates.

Consumer Services Minister Tracy MacCharles says she's been in discussions on how they can better inform the public about what they are purchasing when they sign those contract.

New Parliamentary Assistants Announced

A new role for a member of provincial parliament with implications to northwestern Ontario.

John Fraser has been appointed Parliamentary Assistance to both the Ministers of Natural Resources and Northern Development and Mines.

Fraser is the MPP for Ottawa south.

Meantime, Premier Kathleen Wynee has also appointed Joe Dickson as parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

Mitzie Hunter becomes Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Community and Social Services.

Public Meeting On Town Budget Planned

Public will get the say first as Fort Frances town council prepares to craft a budget for 2014.

A meeting to provide input goes September 23.

The input, along with the various department budgets, will be review before council sits down and looks at preliminary documents early in the new years.

Power Going Out

Another lengthy power outage is planned in the region.

This one will impact residents living in Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls area as well as the Onigaming and Sabaskong Bay First Nations

It's scheduled to go Sunday September 22 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Hydro One says its necessary for crews to continue ongoing upgrades to equipment.

Groups Continue Work On Heritage River Designation

Efforts to designate a historical water route through northwestern Ontario continues.

Several groups want a Canadian Heritage River designation in place between Pigeon River to La Lac Croix extended to Lake of the Woods.

President of the Rainy Lake Conservancy Stephen Challais says their proposal is a little unique to others given that its border waters.

Challais says the proposal is in the nomination phase where a brief is to be submitted to Parks Canada for review before moving on.

Driver Dies While Racing At Emo

Borderland Racing photo
Provincial Police are calling it a sudden death.

67-year-old Bill Reimer, the driver of the number 18 modified car,  died while racing at Emo Speedway Saturday.

According to OPP, Reimer's race car left the track and was found inside unresponsive.

Paramedics with Rainy River District Emergency Medical Services on site performed resuscitation efforts but were unable to revive him.

It's the first death involving a driver at the track in twenty years.

Spending Watchdog Planned

The Ontario government is moving quickly to establish a new new spending watchdog.

The Financial Accountability Officer, once approved, will provide independent analysis to all MPPs about the state of the province's finances.

Finance Minister Charles Sousa says they would also be tasked with providing financial cost or benefit to the province of any public bill.

Liberals says its too early to say when the officer will be in place, noting legislation must first past with the potential candidate elected by a committee of all three parties.

Auction Helps Locum House

A charity auction has netted some big dollars for Rainy River's locum rental house.

Over one hundred bidders sought thousands of items put up for auction Saturday in River Rainy.

About 47-hundred dollars was raised to help offset the home's construction.

The house, which opened earlier this year, was built for travelling medical professionals to rent while providing care at both the Rainy River Medical Centre and clinic.

Firefighters Cycling Across Northwestern Ontario

Some northwestern Ontario firefighters are cycling there way through northwestern Ontario.

Three from Atikokan and one from Dryden are taking part in a fundraising ride in support of Muscular Dystrophy Canada.

They left the Manitoba-Ontario border Monday and hoped to reach Thunder Bay by the time a firefighters conference gets underway today.

Bears Trap Hunter

A long ordeal for a hunter at a camp in the Dryden area.

Provincial Police were called out Saturday after a camp owner, checking on one of their guests, found the hunter stuck up a tree, surrounding by seven bears, four of which were cubs.

Officers managed to get the hunter down without incident or any shots being fired at the animals.

No Research At ELA Just Yet

Research at the Experimental Lakes Area won't be starting right away.

Despite a funding announcement by the provincial government last week, the International Institute for Sustainable Development says it won't be ready to take over until next spring.

Project manager Matt McCandless says there's still lots of work to do, including finding the rest of the money it expects will be needed to offset operating costs.

McCandless says the $2-million from Ontario will only cover about half of their estimated costs.

Committee Volunteers Wanted

More volunteers are wanted for a couple of advisory committees to a new board examining the region's border waters.

Atikokan Mayor Dennis Brown is co-chair of the International Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed Board and says they'd like a few more reps to a public advisory committee and another for industry.

Both committees will report directly to the watershed board and have representatives from both Ontario and Minnesota.

Spiny Waterfleas Found In NE Minnesota Lake

File photo
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is confirming the presence of spiny waterfleas in a lake near Ely.

An angler first discovered the invasive species while fishing in Shagawa Lake and took a sample to the DNR for a positive identification.

The spiny waterflea is known to competes with small fish for food.

The DNR says Shagawa will now be added to its list of more than 50 water bodies in Minnesota known to be infested.

Missing Prisoner Captured

A prisoner who escaped police custody in Kenora has been captured.

OPP say 53-year-old Harvey Smith of White Dog First Nation was arrested last Thursday in Kenora.

He'd been on the lam since bolting from police at the Kenora Court House August 20.

More Seniors Getting Deeper Into Debt

More and more seniors in northwestern Ontario are digging deep to make ends meet.

Recent studies show that debt levels are on the rise across the country, especially for the elderly.

Frank Fabiano, a local trustee in bankruptcy with Grant Thornton, says many seniors depend on their old age security or pension plans to get by which don't increase with rising costs.

Fabiano says baby-boomers are also feeling the crunch, as many haven't saved enough for retirement.

More Demostrations Called For

File photo
Supporters of the Idle No More movement in Canada are looking to rally across the country once again.

It's calling on individuals to participate in a mass day of action on October 7th.

The day marks the 250th Anniversary of the British Royal Proclamation, which led to the founding of Canada.

Minnesota Man Killed In Plane Accident

A Minnesota man is dead after falling into the propeller of float plane at a lake south of Red Lake.

OPP says 67-year-old James Kowalski of Saint Paul was standing on one of the plane's floats as it was approaching the shore of Dee Dee Lake last Thursday morning when he lost his balance.

He was taken by airplane to Red Lake where he succumbed to his injuries.

Bogus Calls From MPAC Reported

OPP say be weary of calls claiming to be from the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation.

Police says there have been reports of people receiving such calls with the individual asking for personal information.

MPAC says it does not make calls to collect personal information.

If you receive such a call, you're asked not to give out any information and to call MPAC's Customer
Contact Centre.

New Unemployment Figures For Koochiching County

The number of people in Koochiching County claiming unemployment insurance benefits is up.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development says 64 people reported claims in August, up 9 from July's figure and 19 from last August.

Overall, the State's unemployment claims for the month fell 12 per cent over last year.

Tickets Still Available

Tickets still available for an upcoming fundraiser by Riverside Foundation for Health Care.

"Cowboys and Lace" dinner is scheduled for September 14 at the Emo-LaVallee area.

It's to raise money for a new mechanical lift at the Emo Health Centre and an IV Pump at Rainy River Health Centre.

Tickets are available at all Riverside facilities, Gillons' Insurance and McTaggarts or by calling 274-4803.