Friday, March 14, 2014

Police Now Involved In Fire Investigation

There is now police involvement in the investigation into last night's fire at Reid's Voyageur Inn Motel in Fort Frances.

Members of the Fort Frances Fire and Rescue Service were called to the downtown motel at around 8:30 last night.

A number of motel patrons had to be rescued.

A 39-year-old man was taken to LaVerendrye hospital and his condition is being monitored.

The cause of the fire has not been revealed, but the OPP's Forensic Identification Unit and Crime Unit are assisting in the probe.

Ontario Fire Marshall's office has also been contacted.

More Charges Laid In Kenora Accident

More charges have been laid in connection with an accident in the Kenora area caught on video that went viral.

OPP says it was that same video of the March 2 accident that allowed them to lay a distracted driving charge against a 36-year-old Manitoba man.

A frame of the video appears to show the driver of a truck, pulling out in front of an oncoming vehicle, to be holding a cellphone to his ear.

The driver was initially charged with failing to yield.

Ontario To Prohibit Paying Blood Donors

The Liberal government intends put a stop to donors from being paid for blood and plasma in Ontario.

Health Minister Deb Matthew says new legislation will be introduced in the near future.

Health Canada has received a licence application from at least one private, for-profit company wanting to open plasma collection sites in Ontario that would pay donors.

Matthews says she's taking action so ensure the voluntary donor system is not compromised and has written to her provincial and territorial counterparts asking to do the same.

Minnesota Hemp Bill Moves On

A Minnesota lawmaker is making an attempt to get hemp grown in the State.

Minneapolis House Rep. Phyllis Kahn is asking the State to approve a pilot program.

Previous attempts for more wider production have been quickly dismissed, but yesterday the House Agriculture Policy Committee gave approval for further committee reviews.

Hemp contains a low level THC,  the psychoactive element contained in marijuana.

State Propose To Subsidize Some Student Lunches

A high-profile school lunch bill is also through the Minnesota House.

It sees the State increasing the amount of it gives to school boards offering free or reduced-price meals to eligible students.

Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid revealed in February that about 15 percent of the state’s 309 public school districts had policies in place that could result in cash-strapped students being turned away from lunch lines.

The new measure will cost the State about $3.5 million dollars annually.

New Fishing Tournament Sponsor

One of the more popular fishing tournaments in northwestern Ontario has landed a new title sponsor.

Tbaytel has come on board with a 3-year title sponsorship commitment for the Dryden Walleye Masters.

Shaw Communications had been the event's major sponsor for the past couple of years.

Acadia Grows

Our parent company - Acadia Broadcasting - is growing.

The company has just been granted approval by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission to purchase Moncton radio station CKNI-FM.

The all-news station is currently owned by Rogers.

Acadia plans to relocate the station to new studios and launch a new format later this year.

Fire At Fort Frances Motel

Yellow police tape now surrounds the Voyageurs Motel in Fort Frances.

Few details are being released at this hour, but members of the Fort Frances Fire and Rescue service were called to the motel last night at around 8:30 p.m. to battle a fire.

They remained on scene for several hours.

No word of any injuries, but a fire official say a number of people were rescued.

OPP are also guarding the scene.

More information is expected later this morning.

New Festival Gets Money

The newest festival to the Fort Frances is off to a good start.

The Harmony of Nations Music Festival and Cultural Exchange has received provincial funding of more than $73-thousand through Celebrate Ontario.

The event is planned for the weekend of July 17.

Meantime, a summer celebration series in Lake of the Woods township will get $38-thousand.

Careful Driving This Morning

Careful on the roads this morning.
Periods of light snow may be mixed with patchy freezing drizzle over northwestern Ontario, creating the potential for some very slippery roads.
Travellers are advised to exercise caution.
The precipitation is expected to become all snow later this morning as a much colder air mass settles over the area.

Premier Promises No New Gas Tax For Rapid Transit

The Liberal government says it will not increase gas taxes, HST or personal income taxes to help pay for an expansion of rapid transit services in southern Ontario.

But it's not saying immediately how they're cover the billions of dollars needed.

Premier Kathleen Wynne says that will come in the upcoming budget.

PC Critic Vic Fedeli calls it a pre-election mirage intended solely to get the Liberals past the next vote.

Health Minister Visits

Health Minister Deb Matthews visits Thunder Bay today with a health related announcement.

A release says it will be about helping health providers in Thunder Bay better service patients in northwestern Ontario.

Many are hoping the news will help to ease the overcrowding problems at the Regional Health Sciences Centre.

Unsession Bill Goes Through House

One of the bill's in the Minnesota State government's so-called "Unsession" has cleared through the House.

State lawmakers are using this session to review statutes and regulations and make them more understandable.

Yesterday's bill makes technical changes to the statutes and rules governing the Office of Higher Education, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system and the University of Minnesota.

The bill now goes to the Senate.

New Group Promoting Awareness and Prevention Of FASD

There are renewed efforts in the Rainy River district to draw more awareness about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.

A new committee has been formed that draws together a variety of interests.

John Baker with the Kenora-Rainy River Child and Family Services says part of their goal prevention, advocate for those with F-A-S-D and to support front-line workers.

Baker says one of their projects includes setting up a pregnancy test dispenser at a local bar as a way of discourage women who may be pregnant from drinking.

Easter Scavenger Hunt Planned

Fort Frances Kiwanis Club and the Downtown Business Improvement Association are teaming up for an Easter egg Scavenger hunt Easter Weekend.

It will require children to visit shops for goodies and a chance to win prizes.

One of the organizers Scott Turvey says it's something new to the region

The event will take place April 19.

Winning Tickets Sold In Thunder Bay

Attention lottery players.

A couple of winning tickets from Wednesday night's Lotto 6/49 draw were sold in Thunder Bay.

Dita Kuhtey of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation says one's was for a million dollar prize.

A $100-thousand Encore ticket was also sold in Thunder Bay.