Friday, February 28, 2014

Ministry Of Labour Investigating Biomass Accident

An investigator with the Ministry of Labour is expected to be in Fort Frances today looking into yesterday's accident at Resolute Forest Products.

A dust explosion and subsequent fire at the company's biomass boiler sent an unnamed worker to hospital with serious burn injuries.

The man was last listed in critical condition.

A company spokesperson says they're also trying to determine the cause of the accident and that their main focus is with the employee and his family.

Operations at the biomass have since resumed.

Emo Church To Close

A part of the spiritual life in Emo will be close it's doors this spring.

The final church service at St. George's Anglican Church will take place Easter weekend with a formal closing in May.

Archbishop of Keewatin Diocese, David Ashdown says provision has been made to continue a food bank and thrift shop.

Ashdown says the small congregation's inability to maintain itself is the main reason for the closure.

High School Students Going Hungry

A group of students are going hungry.

But they are doing it for a purpose.

Fort Frances High School student Maisie Fichuk says it's all part of World Vision's 30 hour famine to raise awareness and money to help end world hunger and poverty.

As many as 70 students started their fast early this morning and will end tomorrow morning.

Former Game Show Host Opposes Spring Beat Hunt

The  former host of The Price Is Right is speaking out against the spring bear hunt.

Bob Barker calls the hunt barbaric and doesn't agree with those who say that he doesn't live here and so shouldn't have a say on the matter.

The Thunder Bay area is one of eight where the hunt is to take place.

Barker wants the City's council to reverse a decision, allowing the province to proceed with the hunt this spring.

FEDNOR Help For French Language Communities

The Federal Government is launching a five year initiative that will help French language speaking communities in northern Ontario.

The economic development initiative will help foster local and regional business opportunities.

FedNor will supply $4-million to the program over the next 5 years.

Minimum Wage Debated In Minnesota

The debate continues into Minnesota's minimum wage.

A conference committee reviewing a potential increase to $9.50 an hour heard from more than 50 people yesterday.

Mike Jennings, speaking for the Minnesota License and Beverage Association, says the over $3-dollar jump from the current rate would be detrimental to restaurant owners, forcing hire prices.

The committee continues its hearings today.

Crash Cause Identified

Darkness and low-intensity runway lights have been identified as causes of a deadly plane crash near Pickle Lake.

The Transportation Safety Board says the small private plane came in at 6-times the normal rate of descent and hit the ground on the night of October 16th, 2012.

Two pilots and one of the two passengers onboard died.

Back Is Best

"Back is best" when it come to sleeping babies.

The long-suggested practice is now contained in a guideline put out by the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario.

Nurse practitioner Elyse Maindonald says there are still a lot of myths regarding the best way for a baby to sleep and hopes their guideline puts that debate the rest.

The 'back is best' recommendation applies throughout the first 12 months of a child's life.

Canada Post Needs Walkways Clear

Canada Post says it's having troubles delivering the mail in the Fort Frances area.

Spokesperson John Caines says it's all because of the snow and they're asking homeowners to keep their walkways free of snow as best they can.

Caines says snow on town sidewalks is also causing some difficulty for letter carriers hauling huge bags of mail.

Caines says those not getting mail will have to visit the post office to pick it up.

Two Charged In "Neknomination" Video

OPP are laying charges against two male youth in the Atikokan area after looking into a so-called "Neknomination" video that was recently posted.

The drinking game involves the consumption of large amounts of alcohol and attempting something risky - in this case it involved snowmobiles.

One youth has been charged with failing to wear a helmet on a snowmobile and having an improper tow attachment.

The other is being charged with underage drinking and failing to wear a helmet as well.

Ontario Tackles Invasive Species

Ontario is getting tough on invasive species.

Natural Resources Minister David Orazietti has introduced new legislation that, if passed, would make Ontario the first in Canada to have its own legislation to better deal with things such as zebra mussels, Asian carp and mountain pine beetles.

Orazietti says the province currently relies on a patchwork of federal and provincial laws that don't have enough teeth.

County Set To Help Propane Users

Koochiching County says it's ready to provide some relief to those struggling to pay their heating bills.

It will handle referrals from KOOTASCA after exhausting all other means of relief.

Community Service Manager Terry Murray says they were hoping they get a list in preparation, but privacy rights prohibits that.

The County has put $20-thousand into its assistance fund.

Labour To Battle PC's

Ontario labour movement is uniting in effort to prevent the Progressive Conservatives from forming the government in the next provincial election.

The Ontario Federation of Labour and the Canadian Labour Congress launched its campaign last night in Toronto.

OFL president Sid Ryan says leader Tim Hudak's entire platform is centered on dismantling the labour movement to clear the way for a low-wage economy.

Ryan says Hudak isn't fooling anybody with last week's announcement to drop controversial labour reforms.

Hudak Addresses Candidate Dismissal

Ontario's Conservative leader Tim Hudak is addressing the firing of PC candidate Tamara Johnson in Thunder Bay.

During a media conference in Toronto, Hudak didn't get into the details of the dismissal, but says all candidates have to be on the same page.

Johnson was fired early this week following comments made on social media about businesses in the Fort William First Nation.

Minnesotan "Housing Cost-Burdened"

BLH Photography
The latest analysis finds there are still a lot of folks across Minnesota on the edge financially.

High housing costs are partly to blame.

The Center for Enterprise Development's Kasey Wiedrich says they found that about half the renters in the state are what's called "housing cost-burdened."

For homeowners in Minnesota, the rate is significantly better, with just over one in four considered housing cost-burdened.