Midwestern Ontario News:
News from Friday, November 8, 2013
Square in Goderich at Great Street
A unique part of Goderich continues to attract attention.
The Courthouse Square is a People’s Choice winner for ‘Great Street’ in the ‘Great Places’ competition put on by the Canadian Institute of Planners. Bob Lehman is part of the institute and says about 200 years ago, the commissioner of the Canada Land Company presented plans for Goderich which included the octagonal downtown. Lehman says it’s a unique way to created a public space with a shopping area.
The Grand Prize Great Street winner was Lacombe’s Historic Main Street in Alberta as judged by a panel of experts.
The competition started in 2010.
Early Start to Perth County Budget
A very early start to Perth County’s 2014 Budget talks, and no surprises so far.
Warden Vince Judge suggests the starting point of a projected 9.22 per cent net levy increase is far from unexpected. Judge points out the forecast is based on information gathered last year so it is just the beginning of what he expects will be a very challenging process.
A summary review of the 2014 budget indicates the tax impact, without any changes, would be an increase of $42.80 for the average single family home. Perth County Council is scheduled to consider the 35 planned capital projects and related items at the next meeting.
Councillors will start delving into the 2014 Operating Budget in December.
Bruce County Budget Approved
Bruce County council has approved its budget for 2014.
The County will collect just shy of $39 million dollars in taxes from property owners, an increase of 3.99 percent or $1.4 million more than the 2013 budget. Warden David Inglis says it’s a fair budget, noting council was able to make an investment in some more expensive assets, specifically roads and bridges, while putting money away for projects down the road. Council also increased spending on winter road maintenance, after a snow-packed winter ate through the 2013 snow removal budget by April.
Inglis says the increase to the tax levy looks big on paper, but he says once property assessment increases and growth is factored in, the tax rate may actually decrease.
Clerk-Treasurer Bettyanne Cobean says the county expects to have more information on the property assessments for 2014 sometime in December.
Kincardine Airport Vision
Kincardine councillors have been presented with a new vision for the Municipal Airport.
It was prepared by the Penetangore Regional Economic Development Corporation. Executive Director Gerry Taylor says the group would like to set up a task force and find ways to attract new industrial development around the airport.
Councillor Maureen Couture agreed that the Kincardine airport has been suffering from lack of attention, and that she supported the initiative.
Councillor Jacqueline Faubert felt the impact of the Armow Wind Project on the airport needs more study.
News from Thursday, November 7, 2013
Missing Huron County Man
Huron County OPP are seeking the public’s assistance in locating a missing Huron Park man.
Ernest Kish, 54, known to his friends and family as Lynn, was last seen leaving Clinton Racetrack & Slots on foot on Tuesday, around 2am.
Police say he often hitchhikes from Clinton to his residence in Huron Park. He is described as: Caucasian, 5′ 10″, 220 lbs, stocky build, unshaven, with short black and grey hair. When last seen he was wearing blue jeans, a black bomber style jacket, blue shirt and grey running shoes.
Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call Huron Opp or Crime Stoppers.
Human Remains Found South Bruce Peninsula
OPP officers are investigating the discovery of human remains in South Bruce Peninsula.
Officers were called to a wooded area off the Northern Trail during the noon hour Wednesday.
The investigation is in its early stages, but the remains have been determined to be a human skull.
Foul play is not suspected.
Bruce Peninsula OPP, Bruce Peninsula OPP Crime unit, West Region OPP Emergency Response Team and OPP Forensic Identification Unit, continue the investigation with the assistance of the Coroner’s office.
Amalgamated Credit Union
The newly created Libro Credit Union will result in the largest member owned financial institution in Southwestern Ontario.
Speaking today about the amalgamation of United Communities Credit Union and Libro Financial, the new company’s President and CEO Stephen Bolton says no branches will close. Bolton says the existing 27 branches fit together like puzzle pieces. He says the merger will allow them to do things better and faster then they could on their own.
Libro Credit Union will begin officially operating with a combined management and staff on January 1st, 2014.
Edmund Fitzgerald Diver in Goderich Tonight
The last event in the Broken Ships series commemorating the Storm of 1913 takes place at the Huron County Museum in Goderich tonight.
It’s fitting that the final speaker is diver and historian Ric Mixter. He’s one of the few people who has been able to dive down to the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. The Edmund Fitzgerald was one of the largest ships of its era and sank in 1975 losing all 29 crew members. That sinking has since been immortalized in song by Gordon Lightfoot.
Mixter will present a combined video and media trip to the ship and lead a discussion about why it sank.
The presentation starts at 7 p.m. at the Huron County Museum in Goderich.
Fatal Hit and Run Near Guelph
Wellington County OPP are looking for some help from the public in a fatal hit and run this morning north of Guelph.
Police are looking for a silver or grey 2008-2011 Ford car with damage to the passenger side. Police were called about 7:30 a.m. after a passing motorist saw a person and a heavily damage bicycle in the east ditch of Wellington County Road 7 just south of County Road 51 in Guelph-Eramosa Township. Vehicle parts and debris were also observed at the scene.
A male was pronounced dead at the scene.
Anyone with information that may assist in this investigation is asked to contact the Wellington County Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Fergus Operation Centre at 1-888-310-1122. If you wish to remain anonymous, call Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
Alice Munro Trail Possible in Central Huron
Central Huron wants to dedicate a new trail to Nobel Prize winning author Alice Munro. The trail runs from the REACH Centre in Clinton to the Hullett Wildlife Area.
The trail is already built, and Mayor Jim Ginn adds the only thing they’re waiting for is the author’s approval.
If they get that, Ginn says they will put up the appropriate signs and develop some new gardens, and it would be called the Alice Munro Trail.
Stratford Man Faces Child Pornography Charges
A Stratford man is facing six charges related to child pornography.
Members of the Stratford Police Service and the OPP Child Sexual Exploitation Unit started an investigation in October, after being contacted by the Department of Homeland Security in Utah. The Americans had been involved in an undercover online investigation and identified an Ontario user as possibly making child pornography images available in the internet.
Stratford Police and OPP investigators served a search warrant this week at a residence at the south end of Stratford. They seized two computers, one external hard drive, and other items pertaining to the investigation.
32-year-old Lee David Hughes is charged with three counts of Possession of Child Pornography, two counts of Making Available Child Pornography, and one count of Accessing Child Pornography. He was granted bail yesterday and released to the custody of a relative who lives outside the city.
ACW Woman Vouches For Other Side of Wind Turbine Debate
A woman from Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh is asking Huron County councillors not to declare the county and unwilling host to wind turbines.
Jennifer Miltenburg has a contract for a turbine on her property and has six voting adults in her household who support that contract. She says if that is extended to all of the people who hold contracts, there is likely at least as much support as their is opposition for wind turbines.
She also objects to the suggestion that the unwilling host declaration is just a symbolic gesture. Miltenburg explained that councillors are supposed to reflect the feelings of their constituents, and if they don’t have the support of all of their constituents, then it’s not a symbolic gesture.
Huron County Council will bring the matter up for further discussion at one of this month’s committee of the whole meetings.
Pipeline Debate in Kincardine
A heated debate around Kincardine’s $1.5 million dollar stranded pipeline debt and promises made to taxpayers 10 years ago did not totally solve the long-standing problem last night.
A motion which would result in those not connected paying $7,000 for the privilege of not connecting passed by a 5-4 vote, but left bruised feelings. John Bondy, a resident in the area, told councillors they made a promise ten years ago and they must now live or die by that promise. At the time of construction, residents were giving the option of connecting and were told future development would pay for the remaining costs.
Mayor Larry Kraemer voted against the motion, saying council can’t renege on on a promise made to ratepayers ten years ago. But Deputy-Mayor Anne Eadie said fiscal responsibility comes first. The issue still has to come before Kincardine council again for another vote.
Outstanding Citizen in Arthur
The Arthur and District Chamber of Commerce handed out its biggest award during its Annual General Meeting Wednesday.
Mary Slater of R.R.#4 Kenilworth was named Arthur’s Outstanding Citizen for her many contributions to the community, including 33 years with the Arthur Agricultural Society.
Other nominees were Darcy Culp, Myrna Hutchison and John Walsh.
Ontario Pork Signs Deal with OSPCA
Ontario Pork has become the latest provincial livestock group to enter into an agreement with the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
The agreement will see Ontario Pork provide technical assistance to OSPCA officers in cases where inadequate animal care may be occurring on swine farms. It also calls for joint inspections of licensed farm properties regarding any complaints or allegations of inadequate animal care.
Under the agreement, Ontario Pork and the OSPCA will host joint annual education sessions to exchange information and experiences related to on-farm animal care and Code of Practice issues.
Tonight: Cloudy, flurries, some accumulation. Low -1.
Tomorrow: Mostly cloudy, flurries. High 5.
Saturday: Mostly cloudy, a few showers. High 9.