Monday, January 6, 2014

Couchiching Chief Dies

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A long-serving northwestern Ontario First Nations chief has died.

Family members report Couchiching First Nation Chief Chuck McPherson died yesterday in his home.

McPherson was first elected chief in 1986, holding the position until 1988.

He was returned to office in 1998.

No word yet on funeral arrangements.

Buses Cancelled; School Closed

The cold weather having an impact on school buses and schools today.

In the Rainy River district, several bus lines have cancelled their routes, but no schools are closed.

In Minnesota, Governor Mark Dayton ordered Friday all schools to be closed today, noting all Minnesotans should be cautious about the weather in the coming days.

Take Precautions In Cold

As some of the coldest weather in years continues to hold the  region in its icy grip, a word of caution that the bitter temperatures can bring real dangers.

Emergency room doctor Jeffrey Sather says when it gets this cold, frostbite does become a possibility.

"You know, people will put on a pair of gloves. They'll get damp. They'll start to have tingling in their fingers. They'll ignore that to the point that they actually will have some freeze injury to their skin," says Sather.

"Freeze burn is much like a hot burn. It causes damage to the skin. It will blister and the skin will peel off just like if you burn your hand with heat."

With prolonged exposure, the risk moves to hypothermia, where one's core body temperature actually drops and can lead to confusion, unconsciousness and even death.

Weather Warnings Still In Place

Weather warnings are in place for both northwestern Ontario and northern Minnesota where wind chills of minus 35 C to minus 45 C are expected to remain into tomorrow.

Conditions will begin to moderate slowly by Wednesday.

N1H1 Confirmed

The Northwestern Health Unit has confirmed 16 cases of the H1N1 influenza strain this season.

Medical Officer of Health Doctor Jim Arthurs says in each case, the individual did not get a flu shot before becoming ill.

The Thunder Bay District Health Unit indicated last week at least two people had died from h1N1 in its area.

Arthurs says flu shots are available at most pharmacies throughout the region.

Few Decided On Election Intentions

Only a few Fort Frances councillors are ready to confirm their intentions in this election year for municipalities and school boards across Ontario.

Councillor Ken Perry is one of few surveyed by CFOB-News who's committed to seeking another term in the October 27 election.

Mayor Roy Avis says he's still weighing his options and won't made a final decision until later this summer.

Rick Wiednehoeftsays he's leaning towards no running again after serving 11 years in office.

Senator Discusses Upcoming Session With County

The Minnesota legislature doesn't resume until next month, but Koochiching County has presented its wish list to its representatives.

Senate majority leader Tom Baak met with County commissioners Friday.

With no budget to consider, Baak expects this session to be short.

Baak did indicate support for a sewer project around Voyageurs National Park to be included in a bonding bill.

Winter Run Approaching

Registration is still being accepted for the upcoming Freeze Yer Gizzard Blizzard run in International Falls.

The event is into its 34th year and has attracted runners from around the world.

Chamber president Faye Whitbeck doesn't expect the recent cold weather to dampen enthusiasm for this year's run and expects the turnout to be strong as its ever been for the January 18 event.

The event attracted over 300-runners in each of the past two years.

School Bus Cancellations

Here is a complete list of all bus cancellations for Monday January 6

Route     Driver Name   
Dimit Bus Lines        
DB100 ANH    Jane Peterson    
DB101 BN    Tracy Mose   
DB102 BP     Brenda Hunsperger   
DB103 CLE     Karen Borger    
DB104 CN     Brad Shoemaker    
DB105 ECE    Harrold Boven    
DB106 ENS     Kyla Hartlin    
DB107 ESS     Brennin Chamberlin   
DB108 LION    Evelyn Martin    
DB109 OWL    Brian Carlson    
DB110 RFH    Bernice Kornelsen   
DB111 SCE    Bob Dimit   
DB112 SFN    Vic Alberts    
Greg Ferris        
GF200 CLS     Greg Ferris    

Bruce Nielson        
BN245 STN     Bruce Nielson        

Iron Range Bus Lines        
IR300 AJN     Shirley Thompson    
IR301 AKQ    Lynne Miles    
IR302 ASH     Herman Rodrigues    
IR303 ATK    William Zerebeski   
IR304 ATW    Stacy Bragg   
IR305 BUTTERFLY    Lyndon Hughes    
IR306 DSH    Nancy Allan    
IR307 LAMB     Roman Mlynarski    
IR308 MIS     Karen Kellar    
IR309 RCS     Kurt Miller    
IR310 SDP    Eileen Cross    
IR311 TE    Ella Wall    
IR312 TNC     Michelle Brusven   
IR313 TNE     Judy Ligetfalvy    
IR314 WFS     Max Gavel    

Bob Johnson        
BJ215 HHW    Bob Johnson   
BJ216 XRR    Kaylene Johnson            

Jack Medwechuk        
JM240 MOS     Jack Medwechuk

Ken Fisher       
KF205 ESE    Ken Fisher         
Shane McDonald        
SM235 DSE    Shane McDonald

Murray McDonald       
MM230 AVP     Shelley McDonald 

Maury Nielson        
MN250 OLW/SCAP    Darryl Dyck    
MN251 NBS     Maury Nielson

Keith Jolicoeur        
KJ220 XJK     Keith Jolicoeur  

Bill Romyn        
BR260 STW    Bill Romyn     

Big Grassy High School bus
Big Grassy Elementary bus

All Couchiching First Nation Buses

Zaagi idiwin Aboriginal Heaf Start program and bus are cancelled

Northwest Bay Elementary and Secondary Buses

All Red Gut Bay bus

Big Island Elementary Bus

Stanjikoming First Nation driven by Brian Wayash

All Seine River Buses

All Rainy River First Nation Buses

All schools in Koochiching County are closed.