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2012-12-23 at NOON

Look back: July

By Jeff Labine, tbnewswatch.com
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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 June. 
 

 

Sandy Lake First Nation has faced forest fires before but the chief of the community says they have learned from that experience and were better prepared for this year’s blazes. Around 230 residents of the First Nation community evacuated to Thunder Bay, with Chief Bart Meekis suggest those most susceptible to smoke, such as the elderly and those with medical problems, be evacuated to safety. Forest fires ravaged the wilderness near the Manitoba border with most of the smoke billowing toward the community.

Ron Hebert and his dog, Teeka have had a string of bad luck. Hebert’s car was damaged by falling debris when lightning struck the Whalen building; he then suffered an injury to his foot on the job before becoming one of the city’s flood victims on May 28, which forced him to live in a tent in his backyard. But since sharing his story, the community came out to give Hebert a helping hand. Hebert said he was incredibly thankful for all the assistance he received.

About 80 Global Sticks employees lost their jobs when the company filed for bankruptcy protection. Minister of Natural Resources Michael Gravelle said he was disappointed by the news and the company wasn’t able to secure the private sector investment it needed to stay open

Multiple police forces, including the Thunder Bay Police Service, OPP and Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service, released the results of a six-month long drug investigation. The details revealed that the drug operation was being operated out of the Thunder Bay District Jail. Dubbed Project Harrington, the operation looked at the drug trafficking of Oxycodone and cocaine to various remote First Nation communities and led to the seizure of more than $1.3 million worth of drugs.

Three city police officers faced charges of misconduct involving an incident involving a 50-year-old-man. The three officers pleaded not guilty to the charge. The hearing concluded but a decision wasn’t made until later on in the year.

Don Campbell stepped down as TbayTel’s CEO saying that he had no regrets. As Campbell finished his four-year term he says he’s proud of what he has accomplished and where the company stands. Under his watch Tbaytel entered the HSPA+, commonly referred to as 4G, which led to the company nearly doubling its investment in the technology in 2012 Campbell also guided the publicly-owned utility through a deal with Rogers Communications to absorb the national company’s customers, in return for Rogers being allowed to piggyback TbayTel’s towers. Less successful, it appears, is the company’s foray into the cable television market.

Two teenage girls were found guilty of manslaughter in the death of another teen girl in 2010. They were sentenced to three years of custody. The charges were later changed to manslaughter from first-degree murder. Both of the accused pleaded guilty to the lesser charge on May 22, 2012.

Opponents of a proposed wind farm hope a new study focusing on the health impacts of wind turbines will be enough to stop the potential development. Irene Bond, spokeswoman for Nor'Wester Mountain Escarpment Protection Committee, said she hopes the Health Canada study is enough to stop Horizon Wind Inc. from developing its Big Thunder wind farm. The two-year study will randomly select 2,000 homes across Canada situated near at least eight to 12 wind turbines.

A Superior Court Judge sentenced Bradley Tomeck to five years in prison for robbing a local credit union. The 22-year-old Thunder Bay man was convicted of armed robbery, wearing a disguise and three firearms offences on May 4. Tomeck will serve five years, the minimum sentence for using a restricted firearm in a robbery, minus the 248 days he spent in custody before the sentencing.

The Thunder Bay Agriplex and Equestrian Corporation is no more. The local organization that spearheaded the project disbanded leaving the 51,000-square foot building partially completed. Oliver Paipoonge mayor Lucy Kloosterhuis said there was no information in the letter as to the reasoning of the groups folding. The complex was built with a $1.6 million heritage fund grant in 2000.


 

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