Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Rainy River Schools Get Good Grades From Think Tank

An elementary school that's been the subject of closure talk in the Rainy River district has been identified as one of the areas top performing schools by the Fraser Institute.

The think tank is out with it's annual elementary school ratings based on the results of recent provincial-wide test scores.

Spokesperson Peter Cowley says Sturgeon Creek has done very well.

Although its rating dropped, Donald Young School in Emo scored a 6 out of 10 as Atikokan's North Star School.

Overall, Rainy River district schools averaged 5.1 out of 10.

Schools Future Decided Tonight

A decision on the fate of Sturgeon Creek, and two other small schools in the west end of the district is expected tonight.

Trustees with the Rainy River District School Board are to vote on whether to keep them open, or amalgamate them as one.

They indicated a willingness at a special meeting last month, to keep the schools open, which include Crossroads in Devlin and Donald Young in Emo.

They also supported the idea of building a new school to replace the aging Emo facility.

Administration has recommended all three become one as part of a new school in Emo.

Projects To Get Council Look

Fort Frances council will take a look at a number of projects it's wanted to do for some time at its budget meeting tonight.

It hopes to identify those that might be get financial support from the province in light of the recent shutdown of operations at Resolute Forest Projects.

Chief Administrative Officer Mark McCaig says approval might help offset some of the economic hardships faced and stimulate some short term jobs.

The list includes a number of road improvement projects, the demolition of the former Rainy Lake Hotel and the potential acquisition of Resolute's wood yard.

US Border Allow Minnesota Enhanced Drivers Licence As ID

Minnesotans without a passport can now use their enhanced driver's license to cross the border.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection says it will now accept the license as a form of identification.

Minnesota began offering the enhanced license option in 2012.

It contains encoded data required by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for entry from Canada.

Ontario has offered enhanced driver's licenses since 2009.

Drug Bust Near Kenora

Two British Columbia men face drug charges.

OPP charged the 26-year-old and 45-year-old after the discovery of 25 pounds of marijuana and some methamphetamine inside a vehicle stopped on the Trans Canada Highway near Kenora last Thursday.

Police value the drugs at about 58-thousand dollars.

Minnesota Wants More Youth To Get The HPV vaccine

Minnesota is working to increase the number of young people who receive the HPV vaccine.

Only about one-third of girls and even fewer boys have received the vaccine.

The Department of Health's Kris Ehresmann says it's vital to get more young people vaccinated.

The department has received a $600-thousand grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help boast the immunization rates.

Hockeyville Submission Gets Support From NCDS

Supplied photo
The first official entry in the Boston Pizza Hockeyville contest has been made.

NCDS is showing off its support for Fort Frances's bid in the Kraft Hockeyville contest by decorating the front of its Scott Street office.

Businesses that show their pride and post a photo as part of the Fort Frances submission can win a prize pack from Boston Pizza.

This is the final week for people to submit stories and photos to help boost our communities chances of winning $25-thousand dollars for upgrades to the Memorial Sports Centre and the potential of hosting an NHL exhibition game.

Fort Frances is now fifth in terms of total uploads in this first round.

Go to Krafthockeyville.cbc.ca to provide your support.

Unifor Challeges Tory Leader To Debate

The leader of Canada's largest union is challenging provincial Tory leader Tim Hudak to a debate.

Unifor makes the challenge in a full page ad it placed in the Toronto Sun on the weekend.

The ad says the topic would be how “unions help create decent jobs in the province and why the PC jobs plan doesn't ad up.”

Hudak has proposed Ontario introduce "right-to-work" legislation that would give workers the right not to join a union, even if one exists within their workplace.

Hudak has yet to respond.

Taxpayer Federation Suggests Scrapping Early Learning Program

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation says scrapping full-day kindergarten would help Ontario balance its budget.

The Federation makes its pitch in a submission to a pre-budget legislative committee gathering comment.

It calls the early learning program for four and five year olds misguided and having no positive effect on children.

The Federation also wants the provincial government to eliminate the 10 per cent hydro rebate given to homeowners, and stopping funding programs for businesses who hire youth.

Question of the Week

The Liberal government plans to increase Ontario's minimum wage to $11.00  an hour this summer with subsequent increases every October.

A fair increase or do you think it should be higher?

Let us know on our website 931theborder.ca.

Good Year Predicted For Forest Industry

There are signs of life in Ontario's forest sector after years of dormancy.

The Ontario Forest Industries Association says 2014 should be a year of real growth.

President Jamie Lim says an upturn in the construction industry in the United States and globally bodes well for area lumber mills.

Lim says changes to Ontario's building code allowing wood in the construction of six story buildings will also be a benefit the industry.

Lim also sees a continuing role for the province in the recovery effort by maintaining programs such as the Northern Ontario Energy Subsidy and the forest access roads fund.

Job Fair In International Falls

Some help this week for people looking for work or thinking of a career change.

The International Falls Workforce Centre will hold a job fair this Friday.

Alyssa Hackenmueller says it's in part a response to the layoffs at the Boise mill last year.

In advance of the job fair, the Centre will hold a workshops around resume writing, job search techniques and and interviewing.