Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Another Meeting On Schools Before Final Decision Is Made

Trustees with the Rainy River District School Board intend to hold another special meeting to discuss the future of three elementary schools in the west end of the district.

Administration is favouring Donald Young School in Emo, Sturgeon Creek in Barwick and Crossroads in Devlin be consolidated into one new school constructed in Emo.

Trustee Dave Kurcher says trustees need to feel comfortable before making a final decision.

A special meeting will take place in January so trustees can have a frank discussion on the options open to them.

It mean's a final decision could take place in February.

Fight To Keep School Open Will Continue

Some parents say they won't give up on trying to keep their school open.

Jackie McCormick, who chaired the committee reviewing Sturgeon Creek School, says there are still several questions she feels are unanswered, including exactly how much money Rainy River District School Board will save by consolidating schools in Barwick, Emo and Devlin.

McCormick is pleased that trustees intend to hold another meeting to discuss the school reviews before making a final decision.

First Nation Community Denies Threats Of Withdrawing Students

Rainy River First Nations is disputing claims it will pull its students out of the public school system if a school is not located in Emo.

An administration report presented to trustees in November indicated the community stated during the accommodation review consultation process that if Donald Young School closed, it would seek alternative options for educating its youth.

The band says it made no comments to the review committees.

Chief Jim Leonard adds "using their students as leverage to promote a particular outcome is completely unacceptable."

School Board Elections

Mike Lewis has been acclaimed as chair of the Rainy River District School Board.

The Atikokan trustee has held the position since his election three years ago.

Diane McCormick, who represents the town of Rainy River area, was returned as vice-chair.

Conservation Plans Not Likely A Reality In NW Ontario

The Co-chair of the Northwest Energy Task Force is putting some reality to the province's long term energy plan.

Ian Angus says although the cost won't be as high as initially projected, it's still not going to be cheap.

Angus also disagrees with plans to conserve energy in the Northwest, noting that it will have little impact once proposed mines begin operations.

Drug Bust In Kenora

A huge drug bust in the Kenora area.

OPP say 180 pounds of marijuana, street valued at more than $450 thousand, were discovered inside a tractor trailer unit stopped on the Trans Canada Highway yesterday for a traffic violation.

A 43-year-old B.C. man is now up on possession and trafficking charges.

Street Party Planned In International Falls

International Falls could have a new street party next summer.

Local coordinator of the Statewide Health Improvement Plan Nancy Lee says they're hoping to tap into funding from Blue Cross/Blue Shield who wants to promote physical activity.

Lee says the local plan calls for tying in with the existing Concert and Library in the Park events.

Lee says to eligible for funding, some streets would have to be closed for at least one Wednesday a month in June, July and August..

Province Defends Road Safety Record

The provincial government is defending its road safety record, despite a recent rash of highway fatalities in northern Ontario.

There have been at least seven deaths in the past week, including the two killed in an accident east of Fort Frances Monday.

Speaking at Queen's Park, Transportation Minister Glen Murray says they are doing their best to improve winter highway safety by hiring additional maintenance crews.

The exact reason for Monday's night's accident is still under investigation.

Start of RIDE program Nabs 12

The first week of the OPP's festive RIDE program has netted impaired driving charges against eight drivers, including one in the Rainy River district.

Four others, including two in this district, had their licenses suspended for registering in the warn range.

The stepped up enforcement continues until January 2

Paper Machine Goes Down

A paper machine at the Resolute Forest Products mill in Fort Frances, restarted earlier this summer, has been shut down again.

Production of machine number 7 came to an end Monday, impacting about 50 to 60 workers who were called back to work.

Company spokesperson Xavier Van Chau says the closure was not unexpected.

Chau says when the machine came back online, there was an understanding it would only operate temporarily and cease production before mid-December.

There are no current plans for a restart.