Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Town Eyes Tourist Centre

The town of Fort Frances is looking at taking over the former provincial tourist information centre.

Mayor Roy Avis says the town's is speaking with the Ministry of Infrastructure about a leasing the vacant building.

The building was closed by the Liberal government in May 2012.

Avis says it would improve their ability to promote the town and the region.

He adds they hope to partner with other organizations as well.

Council Signs Off On Funding Request

Fort Frances council is signing off on the grant application to help tear down the former Rainy Lake Hotel and create a new market square.

The town is also committing $150-thousand, plus another $30-thousand in in-kind services toward the project.

The exact dollar amount requested from the province was not disclosed, but previous estimates had the project coming in at around $1.2 million.

Plant Still Treating More Water Than Produced

Fort Frances continues to treat more water than it produces.

It's been an ongoing issue for the town, but the agency that handles its sewage treatment plant says it's not that unusual.

Ontario Clean Water Agency's Jamie McPherson says is a common theme in many northwestern Ontario communities with older infrastructure and sewer lines located below the water table.

The plant did see spikes in the amount of water treated last summer, but McPherson that was due to increased snowfall and rainfall.

Outbreak Declared At Hospital

An outbreak of gastro-intestinal illness has occurred at Riverside Health Care's LaVerendrye Hospital in Fort Frances.

Seven patients and four staff members have contracted symptoms consist with the stomach virus.

Officials say it's isolated to the hospital's first floor.

They say patients have been isolated, all group activities have been postponed, and an aggressive cleaning of the floor has taken place.

The effected staff members were sent home until they are symptom free for at least 48 hours.

Leek Steps Down From Northern Caucus

The Liberal's candidate for Kenora-Rainy River has relinquished his post with the party's northern caucus.

Anthony Leek had served as a regional vice-president for the past two years.

He says he'll now focus more attention on his run in the next provincial election.

Leek says sitting on the council allowed him to work with people across the province and to have a better understanding of how the party worked.

Refusal To Leave A Bar Sends Man To Court

A 58-year-old Fort Frances man will now visit a court room after refusing to leave a local drinking establishment last week.

OPP were called to the unnamed bar Friday night where they had to place the inebriated man in custody after he was uncooperative with staff and confrontational with officers.

He remained at the Fort Frances detachment until he sobered up.

Impaired Driver Nabbed

A 35-year-old man from Wabigoon First Nation will be in court next month on impaired driving charges.

OPP were alerted of the driver early Sunday morning after he left the drive through of a Fort Frances restaurant.

He was stopped a short time later on Third Street West where he was taken into custody and his vehicle impounded.

NDP Taking Direct Aim At Debit And Credit Card Fees

The federal NDP is taking direct aim at the fees consumers pay to use their bank cards at ATMs or debit machines other than their own institution.

Thunder Bay-Rainy River MP John Rafferty says some users are being charged as much as $3 and $4 a transaction when it's only costing banks about 36-cents to handle each transaction.

The NDP wants to limit those fees to  50-cents.