Friday, October 25, 2013

Crash Victims Identified

Provincial Police have identified the four other men killed in Saturday's crash on Highway 17, near English River.

26-year-old Brady Ostell, 27-year-old Andrew Ostell, both of Kitchener, 42-year-old Kyle Prince from Waterloo and 44-year-old James Jackson from Fort Erie were in a pick-up truck that collided with a transport.

The driver of the transport, a 43-year-old man from Cambridge, was also killed.

More Drug Charges Laid

OPP have have laid more charges in connection with that massive drug bust last week in Kenora.

Eight more people have been arrested and face a variety of charges, including of possession and trafficking of both cocaine and marijuana.

A total of 38 people were rounded up last week following a year-long investigation.

Quarry Issue Sent Back To Planning Commission

Plans for a rock quarry are drawing the ire of some residents in Koochiching County.

Wagner Construction wants the develop the quarry at the end of County Road 144, southeast of International Falls.

The application was denied by a planning committee, but residents living nearby, such as Cindy Black were back before the County board to convince it of their opposition.

The County is sending the issue back to the planning commission for a re-look.

Land Auction Today

Several state lands in northeastern Minnesota are about to be sold off.

A public action for the 23 parcels of land takes place today.

Many of the properties are located with Cook, Itasca, Lake and St. Louis Counties, with minimum bids ranging from 27-thousand dollars to has high as 650-thousand.

Blood Donor Clinic Closes To Target

They came close.

The Canadian Blood Services collected 231 units of blood following clinics held earlier this week in Fort Frances.

They were hoping for at least 240 units, but are still happy with the outcome.

Almost 300 people turned out.

The next clinics won't take place until next August.

Best Chili Named

FFCC photo
The people have spoken.

Gillon's Insurance's "Bewitchin Broker's Brew" was named the top tasting chili in a public vote at the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce's Great Canadian Chili Cook Off.

That differed from the judges selection of the dish "Socket To You" from the staff at Acklands-Grainger.

The Fort Frances Dental Centre won the award for the best costumes.

Regions Drug Overdoses Now Number 1 Killer

It's now become more deadly then motor vehicle collisions.

The Northwestern Health Unit has revealed some sobering statistics about drug use in our region.

Public Health Nurse Kim Elke says opiate overdoses have become the leading cause of deaths in the region.

Elke says Oxycodone is the leading cause of opiate addiction in the region even though it has been pulled of the health units drug list.

Winter Road Maintenance Questioned

OPP photo
A brief dusting of snow in some parts of the Rainy River district yesterday morning has our MPP wondering how well our highways will be plowed this winter.

Kenora-Rainy River's Sarah Campbell says over the past couple of years, her office has fielded several complaints about the condition of roads in the winter.

Campbell says government needs to step up and ensure our roads are maintained to a high standard this winter.

NDP Support Ranger Program's Return

NDP are standing with former alumni in calling for a reinstatement of the Ontario Park Ranger program.

At Queen's Park Wednesday, Michael Mantha, a former Ranger himself, questioned Natural Resources Minister David Oriazetti on the decision.

Mantha says it provided unique opportunities for young people.

But Oriazetti says by moving the program to a day-based one, they've been been able to add more locations and provide more opportunities for youth.

County Offers Loan

Koochiching County is agreeing to offer up a loan to help get a new animal shelter built in International Falls.

Commissioner Wade Pavleck says the facility is needed and a loan of up to $30 thousand is the best solution.

The city of International is also offering up a loan of up to 30 thousand to the Borderland Humane Society.

Falls Groups Get Funding

Two International Falls organizations are receiving funding from the Minnesota Power Foundation.

Five thousand dollar cheques have been doled out to the Falls Hunger Coalition and to Backus Community Center.

The coalition is using its money to keep its food bank shelves stocked while Backus will uses its gift to support a variety of its programs.

Safeway Store Not Being Sold

The Safeway store in Fort Frances will not be sold off as part of Sobey's takeover of Canada Safeway.

Sobey's spokesperson Andrew Walker says a government regulator has approved the takeover, but ordered Sobey's to sell 23 stores across the country.

None of the stores in northwestern Ontario are impacted.

The $5.8 billion dollar deal is expected to be finalized in early November.

Festival Of Frost Coming Together

A new version of the annual Christmas Parade in Fort Frances is coming together.

The event, renamed the Festival of Frost, and will include a static display of Christmas floats, events with Santa Claus and a food and toy drive.

One of the organizers Robin Payeur says they are getting interest from groups wanting to decorate a float that will be placed in the downtown core.

Payeur says they're also working on a number of other events to coincide with the Festival.

It will take place at the end of November.

Hire A Hitter

Members of the Rainy River Voyageurs men's baseball team are offering up their services.

The "Hire A Hitter" program allows residents in the International Falls area to hire a team member to do work around the house or office.

Money raised offsets travel costs to Florida in the spring.

Call Shelly at 283-3380 if you can help.

Seniors Recognized

A number of senior citizens have been recognized by the Sister Kennedy Centre in Fort Frances

Appreciation awards were presented to 25 individuals during a dinner Wednesday night as part of the Centre's 30th anniversary.

They were recognized for their contributions to the centre.

The honourees are Donna Law, Diane Martin, Shirley Nault, Mildred Bedard, Marg Benjamin, Gordon Calder, Ethel Lowey, Cindy Nobel, Ann Wihnan, Bill Krukoski, Joan Krukoski, Mary Clinker, Mavis Dick, Ralph Longmuir, Ann Longmuir, Alvin 'Buzz' Wickstrom, Bonnie Watson, Metro "Svet" Wowchuk, Henry Miller, John Albanese, Gerry Martin, Ella Desserre, Lawrence Desserre and Ben Benjamin.

The town's five mayors over the past 30th years were also honoured for council's support of the area's seniors and the Centre.

First Nation Chief Charged With Extorton

The Chief of the First Nations Community on Lake of the Woods has been charged with extortion.

RCMP charged Chief John Thunder of the Buffalo Point First Nations in connection with a complaint about correspondence directed at a federal government official involved with the Buffalo Point Cottage Owners.

It's alleged the Chief's correspondence was an attempt for derail a civil legal proceeding involving the Cottage Owner’s Association.