Monday, May 26, 2014

Racoon Turns Out The Lights

A racoon is being blamed for causing a power outage this morning in Fort Frances.

The electricity went out around 3 AM.

A spokesperson with the Fort Frances Power Corporation says the animal got into one of its substations, causing the wide-spread outage.

The lights came back on shortly after 4 AM.

Meantime, brief outages were also reported elsewhere in the district.

No cause has been listed for those yet.

The outage also impacted 93.1 The Border's transmitter.

The station could still be heard through it's website before technicians were able to restore the off-air signal shortly before 8 AM.

Derailment Investigated

The Transportation Safety Board is now investigating that CN rail derailment west of Fort Frances.

A team of investigators was deployed after thirty-five cars left the track Friday afternoon, just east of the level crossing on Highway 11-71 in the township of Alberton.

It's reported that two of the cars contained dangerous goods, but nothing spilled.

A small grass fire also broke out, but was quickly extinguished.

No one was injured.

CN says it had the tracks cleared of debris by 6 PM Saturday night, but still expected some rail travel to be delayed going through the area.

More Forest Fires On Weekend

The grass fire resulting from Friday's CN train derailment has been recorded as the first forest fire of the year in the Rainy River district.

It was one of five new blazes that sparked across northwestern Ontario this weekend.

All were human caused, but have since been declared out.

It brings this year's total to 22 fires, covering just over 11 hectares.

Two Dead Near Dryden

Two people are dead following a motor vehicle accident west of Dryden yesterday.

OPP says a vehicle came into collision with an oncoming tractor trailer unit on Highway 17 near Eagle River.

Both of the fatalities were occupants of the vehicle, but their names have not been released.

Two people in the transport were not hurt.

Northern Leaders Debate Today

Two of Ontario's top political leaders square off in an election debate in the city today.

The NDP's Andrea Horwath and Kathleen Wynne of the Liberals will be answering questions on northern Ontario issues when they face each other in the lunch hour debate.

PC leader Tim Hudak could not make it because of a scheduling conflict.

He's in Peterborough.  

You can watch the debate through Livestream beginning at 11 AM Central time. 

The link is being provided by Net

Liberal Election Platform Released

Premier Kathleen Wynne is confident with the Liberal's election platform.

She released her party's plan in Thunder Bay yesterday, much of which mirrors the failed budget presented earlier this month.

The Premier says the Liberals remain committed to better road conditions in the north.

The Liberals are also committing the billion dollars for the Ring of Fire regardless of the federal government's involvement.

NDP Asks "Who Got Main Service?"

New Democrats are calling on the Premier to release the names of Liberal cabinet ministers who reportedly received free maid service.

They were named in OPP documents as part of an investigation into an elaborate kickback scheme that saw a contractor bill for over $2.2 million for government cleaning contracts between 2002 and 2008.

Three government officials plead guilty to breach of trust, two of whom worked with the Ministry of Transportation while Wynne was then Transportation Minister.

Weather Record

A new weather record for the borderland on the weekend.

The high in Fort Frances Saturday of 30.7 C surpassed the old mark of 30.5 C set back in 1980.

Pool Users Get Break On Bills

The city of International Falls intends to give residents with pools a break on their sewer bills.

Council last week approved a committee recommendation to give residents credits when they have to refill their pools over the summer.

Councillor Gail Rogenrud says it recognizes water loss that can happen during the summer.

Mayor Bob Anderson voted against the idea, noting such credits weren't being given to people who water their gardens or wash their vehicles.

Attawapiskat Resident Back Home

Residents of Attawapiskat First Nation are back home, but those from another remote first nation are still waiting to go back.

About 140 Attawapiskat people being housed in Fort Frances were among the 300 hundred allowed to return home last Thursday as flooding threats diminished.

But nearly 15-hundred from Kashechewan are still waiting out high waters near their community in Thunder Bay, Greenstone, Cornwall and Kapaskusing.

A date for their return home is not known.

Youth Located

Provincial Police says two youths reported missing in Fort Frances have been found safe and sound.

17-year-old Felicia Morrison, reported missing May 6, was located in Kenora.

15-year-old Mariah Wilson, reported missing last week, was found in Couchiching First Nation.

All Parks Now Open

The unusually cool spring is having a trickle down effect at some provincial parks in northwestern Ontario.

Ontario Parks delayed the opening of 11 parks across the region, including Quetico Provincial Park, last week because of snow and ice.

All were supposed to open on the weekend.

Three Charged In Plane Fight

A fight aboard a plane taking residents of Attawapiskat First Nations back home has resulted in charges against three people.

It's happened in a flight Tuesday.

A 27-year-old woman and two youth are charged with endangering the safety of an aircraft.

Two youth also facing additional assault charges.

OPP Seeking Students

OPP in the Rainy River district are looking to hire a couple of youth this summer.

Successful applicants will work with OPP to deliver a variety of public safety programs.

Police received funding from the Ministry of Children and Youth Services for the hires.

Applications to the detachment in Fort Frances are now being accepted until June 13.

Healthy Candidates

Anthony Leek, Randy Nickle and Tim McKillop are healthy candidates.

They're among more than 100 candidates in the provincial election pledging to the Heart and Stroke Foundation their parties will invest more to promote and support better health in Ontario.

The Foundation's campaign in 2011 attracted 86 per cent of the elected MPP's.

The Green's John Northey in Thunder Bay-Atikokan is the only other northwestern Ontario candidate to have signed the pledge.

Drug Bust

A traffic stop near Kenora has led to drug charges against a northwestern Ontario man.

OPP say nearly 200 grams of marijuana, street-valued at about $3,600, were found inside a vehicle stopped last Tuesday night.

The 28-year-old driver from Machin will now make a court appearance in July.