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2012-12-19 at 11:15

Look back: March

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By Leith Dunick, tbnewswatch.com

Everyday, for 12 days, tbnewswatch.com will be taking a look back at the news stories that had our attention throughout 2012. Here are some of the top stories published in March.

Residents learned on March 29 that Thunder Bay’s plasma donor clinic would be shutting its doors. Officials with Canadian Bloo d Services laid the blame on a lack of plasma, meaning 28 full- and part-time employees were put out of work on April 12.

Const. Toni Grann’s court case came to a close when the Thunder Bay Police Services Officer was found not guilty in a breach-of-trust trial. Grann was acquitted of 11 charges in total, stemming from her oversight of the city’s sex-offender registry.

The city was swept with lottery fever after OLG officials announced the winning $50-million ticket in the March 24 Lotto Max draw had been purchased in Thunder Bay. Louis and Jo-Anne Chikoski stepped forward in early April to claim their prize and promised to stay grounded after their windfall. Earlier in the month caterer Dave Thomas took home a $2-million prize in the Heart and Stroke Foundation Lottery.

A 15-year-old was arrested at Superior Collegiate and Vocational Institute after being found in possession of a replica hand-gun he was showing off to fellow students. Police were called to the north side high school over the noon hour and the suspect was arrested with an air-soft gun and charged with possession of a weapon dangerous to the public.

Robin Lacey said he was giving up his dream of turning the former First United Church on Brock Street into a six-apartment building to help the city deal with its homeless problem. A month earlier Thunder Bay Fire and Rescue closed the building down and threatened to fine Lacey up to $50,000 after 28 people began calling the shelter home.

A consultant released plans for a new centralized bus terminal, stating the estimated cost to be in the $7-million range. The plan would make the Intercity area the focal point of all routes and would involve changes to routes and hours of operation.

Education directors said they don’t put too much stock in the Fraser Institute rankings, but the staff and students at Holy Family School must have been smiling when they learned they were the top elementary school in Thunder Bay. Holy Family was 88th in the annual Ontario-wide rankings, while Sherbrooke Public School was the lowest listed, checking in at 2,642.

Longtime Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre vice-president Michael Power stepped down to head to the private sector and a job with Elekta. Power was instrumental in helping to set up the Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute, an organization he served as CEO until the new opportunity came along.

City officials announced they would begin an electronic investigation to determine just who leaked the municipal Sunshine List to a local media outlet. The list outlines public-sector employees who make more than $100,000 annually.

Then Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Stan Beardy spent almost a week in India at the fourth annual International World Conference of Elders of Ancient Traditions, where maintaining traditional ways was reinforced, he said. Beardy received an honourary doctorate for his work in that area.

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