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2013-12-23 at 9:00 AM

Look back: June

By Jamie Smith,
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Gas leak - Parts of a north-side neighbourhood were evacuated after a backhoe struck a gas line. City workers were repairing parts of Red River Road near Rupert Street when the incident occurred. No one was injured. An investigation found that locate lines were painted in the wrong location.

Cliffs EA - Cliffs Natural Resources stopped work on its environmental assessment saying it had taken the process as far as it could go without the province stepping in. The company said delays in approvals, uncertainty in land surface rights and unfinished agreements for the suspension. It would later suspend all of its activity in the Ring of Fire and is set to close its Thunder Bay office by the end of the year.

Diver drowns - The body of Larry Larivee was discovered a week after he disappeared after diving into the MacKenzie River. OPP had halted an extensive underwater search for the Thunder Bay man before he was discovered near the spot where he dove in June 19.

Domestic violence rising - Domestic violence rates in the city have doubled in the past eight years. More than 670 people were charged in 2,300 cases of domestic in 2012. The statistics were enough to have the Thunder Bay Police Service announce a new six-member Domestic Violence Unit to handle the rise in cases full time.

Rainbow Parade - The city's first Thunder Pride parade saw more than 200 people downtown. Flags, cars and even umbrellas sported the rainbow theme as the crowd made its way down Red River Road to a festival at Marina Park.

Conspiracy added - Police added fresh charges, including conspiracy to commit murder, against a man accused of heading a criminal organization. John Harry Tsekouras was originally charged with an alleged role in a major drug trafficking network in 2012. He was released on bail. The matter is still before the courts.

Paxton charged - The list of alleged sexual assault victims could climb to 100 people after a Thunder Bay man was charged in June. It is alleged that Jeff Paxton sexually assaulted young boys while a bible camp counsellor over a nearly 20 year period. The matter is still before the courts.

Empire demolished - A hotel that stood in the city for more than 100 years was demolished, years after it had been condemned. The abandoned Empire Hotel had been vacant for years after fire code violations shut it down. Part of the building collapsed in June, forcing the city to issue an emergency demolition order.

Guilty plea - Joseph Wesley pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the death of 65-year-old Adam Yellowhead. Yellowhead's body was found in August of 2012 in a grassy area at the end of Field Street. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 30.

Budget passes - The NDP kept their promise and helped the minority Liberal government pass its budget and avoided a summer election in Ontario.

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