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2012-12-17 at 10:45

Look back: January

By Leith Dunick,
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Everyday, for the next 12 days, will be taking a look back at the news stories that had our attentino throughout 2012. Here are some of the headlines that had our attention in January, 2012.

Michael Kelly learned his fate and will spend the next 25 years behind bars for killing his then common-law spouse Judy Thibault. The victim was shot to death in 2000, but it took a police sting operation years later involving an insurance fraud scheme to get the necessary evidence to land the conviction.

A plane crash in North Spirit Lake claimed the lives of four people. The Keystone Air Service flight was en route to the fly-in community, located some 400 kilometres north of Dryden, from Winnipeg. Only one of the five passengers on board survived the accident, which happened in heavy snow around 10 a.m. on Jan. 10.

City residents got their first indication that city council was considering the closure of the Centennial Botanical Conservatory. The facility, which costs taxpayers about $600,000 to operate, was potentially facing the chopping block as part of the city’s core business review. Also on the list was Municipal Golf Course.

Michael Power, the long-time mayor of Greenstone, died on Jan. 19 at age 70. Power, well-known and loved throughout Northwestern Ontario for his tireless efforts, helped oversee the creation of Greenstone in 2001, amalgamating several communities including Geraldton, Beardmore and Longlac. Not everyone agreed with Power’s vision for his community, but even his opponents respected the way he went about making them happen. Power was a three-time head of the Association of Municipalities and a three-term president of the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association.

Nine-year-old Paige Matte-Gurney was killed Jan. 23 in a two-car collision on Lakeshore Drive that sent four people to hospital. A total of five people, including Paige’s five-year-old brother, were involved in the crash, which sent four people to hospital with a variety of injuries. It was a deadly month on the region’s streets. Seventeen-year-old Matthew Gibbons died a day earlier after colliding with a transport in Kakabeka Falls.

City council on Jan. 9 gave thumbs up to continue working toward a new event centre in the city, okaying the Phase 2 study that was ultimately approved on Nov. 26. CEI Architecture’s Conrad Boychuk was handed the reins to help city officials determine location and cost for a new facility, narrowing the site search to a pair of locations, Innova Park and the eventual winner, Thunder Bay’s north downtown core.

A Mac’s Convenience Store employee spoke out against the company, claiming they weren’t doing enough security-wise to protect their workers. A rash of armed robberies plagued the chain in Thunder Bay in 2011, leading Larry Larivee to fear for his safety on the job. Larivee was robbed at knifepoint and called for changes. The company responded with several initiatives in 2012.

Iain Angus stepped down as chairman of the Thunder Bay District Social Services Administration Board after five years at the helm. Angus said he was most proud of helping to oversee a new strategic plan for housing. He also helped transition the organization into its new May Street headquarters.

The Rick Hansen Man in Motion relay reunion hit Thunder Bay, albeit minus the man who made it all possible. Still, his message of accessibility for all Canadians was shared with hundreds who watched the re-enactment, with participants cycling and running on Red River Road on Jan. 8. About 20 medal-bearers carried Hansen’s medal from the Terry Fox Lookout to a ceremony at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium.

Gary Mezo turned to the media in January in an attempt to get his two-year-old son back. Mezo claims his ex-fiancee fled to Hungary with the toddler, Gergely Richard Mezo, and that he’d spent thousands of dollars fighting the Hungarian government and racked up an $11,000 phone bill during his unsuccessful fight.

The annual look back continues tomorrow with Look back: February. 

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We've improved our comment system.
barry medawin says:
Nice to see this old town is mostly full of good news.... NOT!
12/17/2012 12:38:20 PM
westfort resident says:
Yes Barry it's sad that most of the headline news here is negative.
12/17/2012 3:17:20 PM
trent says:
A year later, the Mac's robberies continue. Not much has changed.
12/17/2012 2:24:00 PM
justthinking says:
Here is an idea ....
Equip all macs stores with the ultimate robbery prevention system .. a trap door in front of the counter activated by the clerk . No robberies or wasting police resources :)
12/17/2012 4:10:57 PM
trent says:
I took a wrong freeway exit in Minneapolis once and ended up in an area where all the convenience stores and gas stations had some kind of plexi-glass around the cashiers. You slipped your money under the window. Customers had no access to the cashier, cash register or the cigarettes behind the counter. Seemed like a good idea.
12/17/2012 5:20:20 PM
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