Thursday, January 30, 2014

Recycling Up In Fort Frances

Fort Frances residents are doing better when it comes to recycling.

Ontario Waste Diversion says about 20 per cent of all residential waste in 2012 reached blue boxes, slightly higher than from the year before.

Chief Executive Officer Michael Scott says it's not bad, noting a slight increase over 2011.

Scott admits northern Ontario communities are challenged by distance to markets and costs that can impact on local recycling efforts.

He says increased education and the creation of depots to collect such things as electronic equipment can further reduce the amount of material going to landfill.

Fight Continues To Keep Offices Open

The MP for Thunder Bay-Rainy River is making a last ditch effort to save Canada's Veterans Affairs offices.

The offices, including one in Thunder Bay, are to close their doors tomorrow.

John Rafferty accuses the Harper government of turning its back on veterans by closing the offices.

Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino is apologizing for the way he treated veterans during a meeting in Ottawa Tuesday, but isn't backing down on the decision to close the offices.

Osisko Fighting Take-over Bid

Osisko Mining is taking legal action against Goldcorp.

Osisko alleges that Goldcorp misused confidential information prior to making a hostile take-over bid for the company.

Goldcorp's offer is about $2.6 billion, but Osisko calls it "opportunistic and financially inadequate."

Osisko is also in the process of mailing its recommendation to shareholders, urging them to reject the offer.

Heart Of The Continent Partnership Meets Today

Officials from both sides of the border gather in International Falls today for a meeting of the Heart of the Continent Partnership.

It's aim is to promote northern Minnesota and northwestern Ontario

Chair Frank Jewell says part of their discussions will be around the organization's future.

Jewell says there will also be involvement for the first time in a long time from Fort Frances.

Dryden Reports Huge Deficit

While Fort Frances council works to pare down its budget, another northwestern Ontario community is facing some serious financial troubles of its own.

The city of Dryden has announced its facing a four-million dollar deficit going into the 2014 budget year.

City officials attribute the shortfall to reduced assessment of the Domtar Mill, fewer provincial grants and a one million dollar accounting discrepancy identified from 2011.

Fire Marshal's Office Investigating Ignace Blaze

The Ontario Fire Marshal's Office has been contacted to help investigate the cause of a massive fire to an Ignace grocery store.

Tuesday's blaze destroyed Gramma's Supermarket.

Fire crews were still working yesterday to mop up the fire and extinguish hot spots.

Grade 10 Student Publishes First Book

A Fort Frances high school student has launched her first novel.

Last of the Spirit Seers is a fictional book, but written around true ghost stories from the Rainy River district.

Author Claire Hyatt says she never though about writing a book initial.

It took her about 11 months to write and is already thinking of a second book.

The book is available at Betty's, the Fort Frances High School or through

Lobby Group Questions Biomass Supply

A northwestern Ontario lobby group is trying to prove that the proposed biomass conversion of Ontario Power Generation's coal-fired plant in Thunder Bay will not meet the future energy needs of the region.

Common Voice Northwest spokesperson Iain Angus says the proposed supply of biomass will never be enough during a cold spell like we are experiencing now.

Angus says by his calculations the amount suggested would have been used up in three weeks had the conversion been in place already.

Memorial Service For Office Closure Planned

Veterans plan to mark the closing of the Veteran Affairs Canada office in Thunder Bay with a memorial service.

They plan to lay a wreath at the doors of the office Friday and hold a small memorial to signify the loss of services to northwestern Ontario.

The office is one of eight scheduled to close across the country.

Bridge Work This Spring

A bridge on Highway 11 will get some upgrades this year.

The Swamp River Bridge, just west of Shebandowan, will be replaced at a cost of $3.2 million.

Thunder Bay-based LH North will begin work in the spring.

Changes To Driver Renewals For Some Seniors

Drivers in Ontario over the age of 80 will no longer have to complete a written test to renew their licence.

Beginning April 21, the province will instead base renewals on a vision test, the individual's driving record and require the senior to participate in some educational programs.

Transportation Minister Glen Murray says it will help seniors stay safe on the road while flagging those who shouldn't be driving.

More Target Stores To Open In Canada

Minnesota retailer Target says it will open another store in Winnipeg this fall.

The store at Polo Park Mall will be one of nine to open across the Canada this year.

Target entered the Canadian market last year with 124 stores, including one in Thunder Bay.

Governor Prepares For Surgery

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton will go under the knife next week.

He's having hip surgery at Rochester's Mayo Clinic.

The procedure is to reattach the major hip tendons to the bone around the hip joint that have become detached.

It's only expected to take an hour and Dayton says he expects a full recovery.