Thursday, January 2, 2014

First Baby of New Year

We didn't have to wait too long for the Rainy River district's newest citizen to arrive.

Jasper Isla Dennis was born at 8:37 a.m. yesterday at LaVerendrye Hospital in Fort Frances to proud parents Tyson and Robyn Dennis and big brother Blase.

She weighed in at 7 lbs 15 oz.

In recognition of the New Year's first baby, the Dennis' received with a variety of gifts courtesy of Canada Safeway, Fort Floral, Pharmasave and Shopper's Drug Mart.

Sudden Death In Atikokan

Little information is being released at this time about a death in Atikokan on New Year's Eve..

OPP says officers were called shortly after 9 a.m. Tuesday about a deceased man in the 100 block of River Road.

Members of the Rainy River District Crime Unit and the Thunder Bay Forensic Identification Unit were called to assist with the investigation.

The man's identity has not been revealed.

No School In International Falls

There will be an extra day off for students in the International Falls area.

Schools were to re-open today following the Holiday break, but officials with Independent School District 361 say the cold weather has prompted them to keep the doors closed.

All school-related activities are also being cancelled.

Classes will resume tomorrow.

Weather Records Set

Extreme cold Arctic air continues to embrace the Borderland with weather advisories from Environment Canada and the U.S. National Weather Service out of Duluth still in place.

Yesterday, new temperature records were set both in Fort Frances and Atikokan with the Fort's low of minus 40.9 C and Atikokan's minus 40.2 C breaking nearly 40 year old records.

Atikokan's low of minus 41.7 C on New Year's Eve was also a new record.

Polar Plunge Raises $6,300

It may have had a lot to do with the weather as there were fewer participants than usual for yesterday's Voyageur Lions Club's Polar Plunge in Fort Frances.

Club president Bill Michl says about 25 people braved the elements to take that first dip of the year into Rainy Lake.

The annual fundraising event brought in $6,338 for a variety of charities with half going to the Club for various activities.

Ashley Payne, who was jumping for Relay for Life, was the top fundraiser with $845.

Payne, along with Jillian Cousineau and Alex French, combined to raise $1,202, the most any of the groups represented.

Jamie Spencer for the Border Skating Club was the second highest individual fundraiser, bringing in $520.

New For Ontario In 2014

Plenty of new legislation is now in effect in Ontario.

The new year has brought new powers for fire officials across the province to conduct annual fire safety inspections of retirement or long-term care homes.

Nurses can now dispense drugs under certain conditions.

Outdoor enthusiasts will pay more money for hunting and fishing licences and camping fees at provincial parks.

New For Minnesota In 2014

A host of new laws in Minnesota are now in effect.

Increased surveillance at the state’s scrap metal yards, expanded Medical Assistance coverage and radon disclosure are some of the topics covered by the new laws.

Other new laws that came into being on New Year’s Day include private employers having to wait until job applicants are selected for an interview before asking about their criminal history, and local authorities receiving more notification of chemical spills in their area.

CPP and Old Age Security Benefits Up

A slight increase for those collecting Old Age Security or Canada Pension Plan benefits in 2014.

CPP benefits go up 0.9 per cent with maximum retirement benefits for new recipients at $1,038 a month.

Old age security benefits go up 0.1 per cent with the maximum now at just over $551-dollars a month.

Dim View Of Housing Market

Northern Ontario residents aren't feeling overly optimism about the region's real estate market.

A survey conducted for the Ontario Real Estate Association finds less than half of residents surveyed seeing the northern Ontario market in 2014 being favourable.

Just four 4 per cent of residents living in northern Ontario indicate plans to buy a home in the next two years.

Trends For 2014

Watch for more investment around the world from the Chinese in 2014.

It's one of the predictions from American trend forecaster Gerald Celente.

Celente says its being aided by the strength of the Chinese economy.

Celente also foresees greater use of social media by seniors and an explosion of on-line learning.