Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Council Talking Trees

Trees a topic for discussion at Fort Frances council last night.

Concerns about fallen and decaying trees were first brought up a local resident three weeks ago.

Town crews took care of problems at Legion Park, but councilor Andrew Hallikas says Pither's Point Park still needs to be addressed.

Operations and Facilities Manager Doug Brown says because the park's land is in dispute, permission is needed from area First Nations before work can take place.

Brown says there's also a need for some discussion about trees planted along Highway 11 in honour of war veterans.

Town To Address Zoning By-Law Issues

The town of Fort Frances intends to address a number of zoning issues around the community all in one swoop.

Planner Faye Flatt says a number of properties have been identified as being in non-compliance of the zoning by-law and she'll be contacting owners about possible changes.

Flatt says she's also hoping to include any property owner who may be considering new development and will require a zoning by-law chance in the process as well.

Any changes likely won't come until early in the new year.

Fort Council Pursues Provincial Dollars

Fort Frances council will pursue provincial funding for two infrastructure projects.

The town's hoping to do work along a section of Colonization Road West, near Armstrong Place, and Third Street East between Crowe and Frenette Avenues next year.

The combined price tag is about $2.8 million.

Council Says No

Fort Frances council is saying no to an apartment building owner's request to be exempt from the town's environmental fee.

The owners of Skyview Apartments feel that because their garbage collection is handled by a private firm, they shouldn't be required to pay the 4-dollar charge.

The new fee went in place this year to generate more revenue for the town's waste management services.

County Gives CN Ultimatium

CN is being given a deadline to fix up a rail crossing in Rainer.

Koochiching County Commissioner Wade Pavleck says it's so bad that a resident in a wheelchair can't cross.

Pavleck says the County's been promise the work will take place, but feels they've waited long enough for it to happen.

The County intends to tell CN that if the job isn't done by October 25, it will offer up its own crews to do the work.

Slash Burning In Crossroute Forest

A warning to users of bush roads in the Crossroute Forest area.

Resolute Forest Products has started the burning of residual branches and tree tops that remain after logging.

The burning is done to aid in reforestation.

Officials say smoke from the fires may reduce visibility so caution is advised.

Death Ruled Not Suspicious

OPP say the death of a hunter in the Rainy River area isn't suspicious.

The body of an American man was found by other hunters he was with Monday night, 30 kilometres north of the junction of Highway 11 and Highway 611 North.

His name has not been released pending notification of family members.

Fort Men Face Drug Charges

Two Fort Frances men face charges following a drug bust in Kenora.

OPP seized 12 pounds of marijuana after stopping a vehicle on Highway 17 Monday night.

Police value the drugs seized at over 36-hundred dollars.

A 20-year-old and a 26-year-old will appear in court in December on possession charges.

Throne Speech Today

The Harper government unveils its parliamentary agenda today with the Speech From the Throne.

Thunder Bay-Rainy River MP John Rafferty is looking for a promise to restore the 23 million dollars taken out of the FedNor budget so more industry can be developed here.

Rafferty believes the Prime Minister will try to make Canadians forget about his governments broken promises.

Mail Sorting Now Done In Thunder Bay.

Sorting of all of the region's mail is now being done at Canada's Post's sorting station in Thunder Bay.

A new system went in place last month.

Spokesperson John Caines says the city plant is now handling mail for areas such as Fort Frances, Dryden and Kenora.

Caines says the move is being made to help make the system more efficient and no jobs have bee lost because of the change.

CN Strike Looming

C.N. rail traffic across Canada could be coming to halt at the end of the month.

About 33-hundred employees, including conductors and yardmen, will be in a legal strike or lock out position October 28.

They've been without a contract since the middle of July.

The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference says the company's seeking concessions that could lead to train crews working longer hours.

The union says it's interested in continuing conciliated talks, but the offer was rejected by C.N.

Flu shot Clinics Open This Month

It's that time of year again.

The Northwestern Health Unit says its flu shot clinics will start up later this month run until the middle of November.

Public Health Nurse Shannon Brown says it's important that everyone get it, especially those who are high risk.

A list of clinics and times are to be posted on the Northwestern Health Unit's website this week.

Museum Gala

Friends of the Fort Frances Museum will hold its second annual  Wine and Cheese Fundraising Gala next month.

The November 7 event will include a silent auction and music provided by the Borderland Orchestra and other local performers.

Last year's event raised about $2,000 towards museum programming.

Girls Retreat Seeking Contest Funding

The organizer of a retreat for young girls is hoping to win a nation-wide contest.

The I Am Awesome and I Know It conference is vying for funding in the Aviva Community Fund.

Renee Martin-Brown says winning would help her promote the event throughout northwestern Ontario and cover the cost of presenters at future events.

First round voting ended Monday with second round qualifiers to be announced next Tuesday.

Sheriff To Use Facebook

Koochiching County's Sheriff's Department is turning to Facebook to help get its message out.

Sheriff Brian Jesperson says the idea of using social media came to him at a recent conference in Colorado

The page will go up next week featuring safety tips, emergency management information and a ten most wanted list.

Town Employee Recognized

A long time employee with the town of Fort Frances is being recognized.

Municipal by-law enforcement officer Arlene Byrnes has received an Ontario Municipal Law Enforcement Service Medal from the Municipal Law Enforcement Officers Association of Ontario for twenty years of service.

Teen Fatalities Reviewed

Some sobering statistics on driving fatalities in Canada, especially if your a teenager behind the wheel.

New research finds 16-to-19 year drivers are 30 per cent more likely to be killed in a car crash than drivers over 20.

The study by Traffic Injury Research Foundation finds that males account for 74 per cent of all teen deaths with alcohol the main contributing factor.

Almost one-fifth, or 19 per cent, of female teen driver fatalities were due to distraction.

Motorists Charged For Not Wearing Seatbelt

Too many drivers in the province continue to ignore Ontario's seatbelt law.

Provincial Police says they issued over 42-hundred tickets to motorists across Ontario for failing to click it in a recent seat belt campaign that wrapped up Sunday.

Minnesotan Told to Check Their Medicare Coverage

Minnesotans with Medicare Part D or an Advantage Plan are being urged to take a fresh look at their coverage, as the yearly open enrollment is now underway.

Seth Boffeli with AARP Minnesota says during the enrollment period, it's important that all beneficiaries review their plans.

About 800-thousand Minnesotans rely on Medicare for their health care.