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2013-12-17 at 16:57

Look back: January

By Leith Dunick,
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A group tying themselves to online hackers and social-justice seekers Anonymous threatened, via video, to expose dirt on the Thunder Bay Police Service and its officers for not doing enough to solve an alleged sexual assault against a First Nations woman in December 2012. The Jan. 28 deadline came and went, with no further action taken by the group, who were later dismissed by Anonymous officials.

Former OPP officer Darryl Storey was sentenced to two years in prison, the result of a 2008 collision that killed 18-year-old Jasmine Veneruzzo. Court had earlier head that Storey had told a paramedic he’d been travelling at 210 kilometres per hour. After the sentencing a representative of Veneruzzo's family said they hope drivers will think twice about speeding and driving dangerously.

Moses Kakegumick, a victim of a Dec. 29 assault, died of his injuries two weeks after the altercation in the Brant Street area. On Jan. 22 charges against alleged suspect Kimberly Fox were upgraded to second-degree murder. Fox was the girlfriend of the 28-year-old victim.

Nishnawbe Aski Nation officials staged the Safe Streets, Safe Community forum on Jan. 15, in which Grand Chief Harvey Yesno stated repair work must be made between First Nations people and the Thunder Bay Police. About 200 people attended the meeting, including Mayor Keith Hobbs, who said his promise to clean up the city’s streets has been a failure.

MP Bruce Hyer announced Jan. 6 that he’d had a re-occurrence of cancer, this time on his tongue. The independent federal politician had surgery to remove the tumour and told local media his prognosis was good. Initially he was told it might be months before he’d be able to speak, but three days after spending two weeks in hospital he was asking questions in the House of Commons. Hyer was also diagnosed with cancer in 2009.

MPPs Bill Mauro and Michael Gravelle applauded Kathleen Wynne, Ontario’s first openly gay premier. Though both local MPPs supported rival Sandra Pupatello in the hotly contested leadership race, Mauro and Gravelle said Wynne understands the needs of the North.

Gull Bay Chief Wilfred King ignited a storm of controversy upon his re-election, accusing the previous council of misplacing about $1 million of band council money. King called for a full financial assessment to be conducted.

Sudbury police were called in to look into an incident involving an off-duty Thunder Bay Police Service officer. Const. Steven Oster was later charged with assault after investigators determined it was warranted following the Jan. 10 altercation. Oster was accused of assaulting a 12-year-old youth at a hockey tournament at Neebing Arena.

A Shuniah Township man was arrested and charged with possession of child pornography and extortion after police say he attempted to bribe a young woman with a nude photo he had of her when the victim was under age.  Twenty-nine-year-old Mark Lehtonen was taken into custody.

Twenty-nine-year-old Michell Adam Soloman Suganaqueb was charged in the Dec. 29, 2012 death of Desmond Dennis Mathews. A 23-year-old man was badly hurt in the Villa Street incident.

The look back takes a look, month-by-month, at the stories that had people's attention in 2013. A new month will be published every morning.

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