Thursday, March 20, 2014

Plans To Knock Down Former Hotel Accelerating

The wheels are being put in motion on a plan that could see the former Rainy Lake Hotel in Fort Frances come toppling down as early as this summer.

An application to the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund is being put together by the town and the Rainy River Future Development Corporation for funding to help develop a market square on the Scott Street location.

Consultant Tannis Drysdale says recent discussion with the province is giving them some hope of the application gaining approval this year.

Drysdale says the fine details are to be work out, but the project could include a new building that might be a new home to the local Farmer's Market.

Our Lady Of The Way Stays Open

Trustees with the Northwest Catholic District School Board are allowing Our Lady of the Way school in Stratton to stay open.

The decision follows an accommodation review was conducted for the school which only has an enrolment of about 13.

They agreed Tuesday night to see if enrolment numbers can be increased.

Education Director Rick Boisvert says they'll revisit the issue in 2017.

Boisvert says they'll work with parents and community leaders on ways to keep the school open.

Kiss And Ride Expands

A program to provide for easier and safer pick-up and drop off of students will go in place in Atikokan at the end of the month.

North Star Community School plans to institute the Kiss and Ride initiative.

Principal Beth Fairfield says a loop used by buses will be utilized.

Fairfield says they will allow parents to drop their children off prior to the buses arrival and pick them up after the buses have left to avoid conflicts.

School support staff will be on site to assist children in and out of their parent's vehicles.

The program is already in place at schools in Fort Frances and Thunder Bay.

It's Spring Today - Snow Tomorrow

One more significant snow storm to bring in spring.

Spring officially begins this afternoon, but an Alberta clipper is tracking toward our region with snow, at times, heavy, likely spreading into the area by tonight and into tomorrow.

Total snowfall amounts could reach as much as 10 cm or more by the time the system moves out of the area tomorrow afternoon.

Search For Festivals' Name Continues

Chambers of Commerce in Fort Frances and International Falls are still searching for a name that will help market the events around July 1st and July 4th in the Sister communities.

Community leaders from both sides bantered around a few possibilities last night, but none grabbing their full attention.

Officials say they'll accept submissions until May 1 with hopes of find a suitable name for use this year.

Rafferty Welcomes Rickford In New Post

Thunder Bay-Rainy River MP John Rafferty is wishing Greg Rickford well as the new federal Natural Resources minister.

Rafferty says while the news did surprise him, it's good to have a person from northern Ontario in the position.

Rafferty says Rickford will have some big issues to tackle, in particular, the controversy over new oil pipelines through the country.

Stroke Forum In Thunder Bay

Health care providers across the northwest are gathering in Thunder Bay for a regional stroke forum.

They'll be learning from stroke neurologists about the latest practice recommendations.

Regional Stroke Educator Elaine Edwards says they'll be unveiling a new process for hospital emergency rooms.

Edwards notes that people should make themselves familiar with the signs of a stroke.

New Post For Greg Rickford

A major promotion for Kenora MP Greg Rickford.

He's has been named federal Natural Resources Minister in a Prime Minister Stephen Harper cabinet shuffle.

Rickford replaces Joe Oliver who becomes Finance Minister after Jim Flaherty announced he was stepping down.

Rickford does retain responsibility of FedNor and the Ring of Fire but gives up his Science and Technology portfolio.

Liberals To Cut Red Tape

New legislation out of Queen's Park is proposing to eliminate some of the red tape the province's business community faces.

The Better Business Climate Act would, if passed, help reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens and practices that cost businesses time and money.

It would also force government to report annually on their efforts to make it simpler for companies to do business.

Another Break In at Nestor Falls

There's been another break-in at Nestor Falls.

OPP says this time it happened at Nestor Falls Public School.

Police says sometime during the March break someone entered the school and stole cash and electronics totaling more than four-thousand dollars.

Over the past month, two businesses in the community were also broken into.

City Man Faces New Charges

Thunder Bay Police are charging a 57 year old Thunder Bay man with three counts of sexual interference involving a child under the age of 14.

The alleged incident occurred between 1992 and 1996 at a bible camp in the Kakabeka Falls area.

Donald Miller was convicted of a similar incident in 2003.

He has been released with a court date of this Friday.

New Distracted Driving Fines In Place

The province intends to make them higher, but new fines are now in place for those caught using the cellphones or other electronic devices while driving.

As of Tuesday, the fines for distracted driving increase from $155 to $280.

Transportation Minister Glen Murray introduced legislation earlier this week to bring that fine up to as high as one-thousand dollars.

OPP applaud the increase, calling distracting driving a serious threat to others on the road.

Bottled Water In Use At Rainy River Health Centre

Riverside Health Care Facilities says it's been forced to bring in bottled water to the Rainy River Health Centre.

It's because of a water main break that has occurred close to the hospital site, prompting a boil water advisory to go into effect.

Hospital officials say along with the bottled water, they've also taken precautions in food service preparation and infection control .

Float Plane Program Moves To Kenora

Confederation College has found a new home for it's float plane training program.

It will be now based out of Kenora, partnering with Kenora Air.

The College's aviation chair Paul De Oude says they're ready to go at their new location this spring.

The program was held at Eva Lake near Atikokan last year, but residents complaints forced the College to find a new location.