Friday, January 3, 2014

Impaired Driving Charges Laid Following Accidents

A pair of new year's day accidents in the Fort Frances area have resulted in the OPP laying impaired driving charges.

A 42-year-old Fort Frances woman was charged after a two vehicle accident around the noon hour Wednesday on Portage Avenue at Fifth Street that sent four people to hospital for treatment of minor injuries

Then at about 5:30 p.m that evening, a 21-year-old woman from Nicickousemenecaning was charged following a single vehicle accident on Highway 11, about 10 kilometres east of Fort Frances.

Festive RIDE Campaign Over

Ontario Provincial Police have wrapped up their festive RIDE program with fewer impaired driving charges being laid across the province than a year ago.

A total of 578 charges and another 481 driver license suspensions were issued during the holiday campaign that ran from November 23 and concluded yesterday.

The 2012 campaign saw 693 charges and 625 suspensions.

Numbers specific to our region were not immediately provided.

Snow Expected Today

File photo
Environment Canada has issued a snow fall warning for the Rainy River district, forecasting as much as 15 centimetres of snow today.

Meterologist Geoff Coulson says it will warm up temperatures, before we're back into the ice box next week.

Meantime, International Falls set a new weather record yesterday when the low hit 42 below F or minus 41.1 Celsius.

Catch And Release Measure Imposed

Anglers fishing Mukooda Lake in Voyageurs National Park will no longer be allowed to keep lake trout.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is permitting only catch and release in the lake for the next 18 months beginning January 15.

The DNR cites the slow growth of the trout's population and unsuccessful efforts to restock the lake as reasons for the change.

High Hydro Rates Still Concerning

The high price of electricity will be a big topic of discussion when the Ontario Legislature resumes sitting later this year.

Kenora-Rainy River MPP Sarah Campbell says hydro rates are spiralling out of control and are having a huge impact on seniors whose pension income isn't keeping up.

Campbell says since 2007 the off-peak rate has risen 140 per cent while the on-peak rate has jumped 48 per cent.

"Ban The Box" Law in Place

Courtesy Miss Millions
Minnesota's new "Ban the Box" law is now in effect.

It prevents employers from asking about a job applicants' criminal history on an initial application or contact.

Department of Human Rights Commissioner Kevin Lindsey says it's aimed at giving people with a record a better chance at gaining employment.

The law does include an exception for jobs where a criminal history background check is required such as in schools, health-care facilities and banks.

Minnesota is one of a handful of states with similar laws.

Study Identifies Best Transmission Route

A recent study finds that of six proposed transmission routes that would supply energy from Ignace and Dryden to Pickle Lake only one would pose minimum risk to caribou.

The Crossing Caribou Country study finds a route following Highway 599 as the best option because it is an existing, permanent road.

Spokesperson Anna Baggio says the other proposals would interfere with lands that have been described as some of the best for caribou populations.

Some Trails Still Not Open

Conditions on the lakes are getting better, but Voyageurs National Park says not good enough yet to open all of its snowmobile trails.

Only trails to Kettle Falls on the Rainy Lake and from Rainy Lake/Black Bay to Kabetogama Lake and Ash River are open.

The park says there are still pockets of slush in other areas while some has frozen up making trails rough to ride on.