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2012-12-26 at NOON

Look back: October

By Jodi Lundmark, 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 October.

City police confirmed on Oct. 29 that a man whose body was discovered in a Belton Street home four days before was the victim of a homicide.The man was identified as 52-year-old Salvatore Larizza. Neighbours approached about the incident declined to be interviewed. But one man, who describes himself as a friend of the victim, said there was heavy traffic in and out of the house the day before the body was discovered.

Consultants on Oct. 10 released their feasibility study on the proposed multiplex citing the north downtown core as the ideal location. Economic impact was cited as the No. 1 reason for the choice over Innova Park for the 5,700 seat facility. The events centre is projected to cost $106.1 million and the proposed site selection caused a lot of debate between the two locations, especially when it came to parking availability.

St. Clair Avenue was rocked in the early morning hours of Oct. 18 when a home exploded. The incident has been deemed suspicious by local officials and while rumours whirled about the explosion being caused by a meth lab, Thunder Bay police said those rumours were false. A 57-year-old man was in the house at the time. He was sent to Toronto with serious injuries.

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty announced he would step down from as the leader of the province on Oct. 15, surprising many people including local MPPs Michael Gravelle and Bill Mauro.

Mayor Keith Hobbs announced he was stepping down from the Thunder Bay Police Services Board Oct. 16 citing that his past career in policing caused frequent conflict of interest issues. He felt he was being treated as a police services board member first and as mayor second and it handcuffed him from helping to keep the city safe. Red River ward Coun. Brian McKinnon replaced Hobbs on the police services board.

The Thunder Bay and Area Disaster Relief Fund received 600 claims for flood relief by the end of its Oct. 31 deadline. Fund manager Kari Chiappetta said the number lined up with what they had anticipated and they received 369 of those claims in the last three days of October. She said it was an extremely busy week, with lineups out the door on the last day until 5:45 p.m. Earlier in October, the disaster relief committee announced it would extend its fundraising deadline from Oct. 31 until January 31.

The owners of the local Quality Market stores announced they would be closing both of their Thunder Bay grocery stores. About 80 people were left without a job and the owners have remained tight-lipped about their reasons for closing the two stores. Quality Market had been operating in the city for 24 years.

A cat that had been found in the 1400 block of Mary Street West doused in gasoline was brought into the Thunder Bay and District Humane Society on Oct. 30. The cat, Charlie, recovered at the Humane Society and was adopted by the family that found him. Police and the Humane Society were investigating the incident.

City council narrowly voted to stay the execution of the Municipal Golf Course for a year on Oct. 15 Council voted six-to-five in favour of forming a seven-member committee in order to find ways to keep the golf course open permanently. The move, coupled with a similar decision to keep the city’s conservatory open, led city manager Tim Commisso to air his frustrations publicly. Commisso outlined closing the two city-run facilities as cost-saving measures to fill an infrastructure gap. The recommendations were part of a core business review. McIntyre Coun. Trevor Giertuga said by keeping the two facilities open, council was throwing Commisso under the bus.

A family’s Cumming Street home door was kicked down and they were attacked with pepper spray. Loretta Methot and her boyfriend heard two men and a women arguing outside their home. With their three young children asleep, the couple went outside and asked the people to leave. They were then attacked and made it back into their home. Minutes later one of the men kicked down the door and pepper-sprayed the house. The family of five was taken to the hospital.
 

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