Friday, January 31, 2014

Ministry Watching Snow Plowing This Winter

The provincial government says its closely monitoring winter road maintenance of the province's highways this winter.

Transportation Minister Glenn Murray acknowledges some contractors have been fined for not meeting snow plowing standards, and stronger action will be taken if his Ministry don't see significant improvements.

Murray also inviting resident to call contractors and the Ministry if they have complaints about the roads.

Youtube Video Seen As Educational Tool For Motorists

OPP sees a viral video of a near head-on collision involving two transports near Nipigon as a good educational tool.

In the video, one driver is forced to take evasive action to avoid an oncoming transport passing a snowplow.

Constable Anne McCoy says it points to the message they're trying to get across through a new Highway Safety Education Committee.

OPP are investigating and looking for the transport driver passing the snowplow which reportedly did not stop.

Caution: contains strong language.

Food Prices Continue to Rise

The food budget for a family of four in the Kenora and Rainy River district is nearing the one-thousand dollar a month mark.

It's a 60-dollar increase over last year's study.

The Northwestern Health Unit, Julie Slack says that's making it more difficult for those on low or fixed incomes.

Slack says the rising prices do show the need to strengthen community gardens, school breakfast programs and food banks even more.

Motion To Keep Veterans Affairs Offices Open

The doors close today, but MP's will vote Monday on an motion calling for eight regional Veterans Affairs offices to stay open.

NDP put forward the motion yesterday.

Veterans intend to hold memorial services today at affected offices, including the one in Thunder Bay, to signify the loss of service.

Propane Hotline Set Up

Minnesota is setting up a public hotline for residents who may have questions about the propane shortage in the State, or may be in danger of running low on heating fuel.

The hotline is manned Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. each day.

Governor Mark Dayton declared a State of Peacetime Emergency in Minnesota Monday in response to the persistent cold weather and the increased risk that households may run out of heating fuel.

MPCA Hands Out Fines To 65 Companies

A Baudette company is among 65 fined by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for environmental infractions in the last four month of 2013.

LaValla Septic Service was fined 18-hundred for individual septic treatment systems violations.

The MPCA says it also has another 141 ongoing investigations across the State

Minimum Wage Going Up

The minimum wage is going up in Ontario.

The province says the $10.25 an hour wage will go to $11.00 an hour June 1.

Thunder Bay-Atikokan MPP Bill Mauro says it's going to improve people's lives.

The government also intends to introduce legislation when Queen's Park resumes that ensure future increases every October.

OPP Cracking Down On Reckless Drivers

As Ontario suffers through one of the worst winters in recent history, the OPP are taking a hard stance with reckless drivers who are jeopardizing the safety of officers and other emergency personnel responding to collision scenes.

Three OPP cruisers have been struck by passing motorists since Monday, sending at least one officer to hospital..

Last weekend, eight cruisers were struck with two officers suffering minor injuries.

Park Centre To Open This Winter

Voyageurs National Park is opening its Rainy Lake Visitor Centre this winter.

Beginning this Sunday, the centre will open Wednesdays through to Sundays from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

The park says funding from the Voyageurs National Park Association is allowing for the centre to open.

The winter hours will continue until March 30.