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2013-12-23 at NOON

Look back: July

By Jodi Lundmark, tbnewswatch.com
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Thunder Bay Police investigated the city's second homicide of the year when Shannon Ashliegh Marie Hogan, 30, was killed following an incident in the Lake Street area July 16 in the early morning hours. Officials with the Thunder Bay Police Service say she was the victim of a violent assault. Her family spoke out about her death saying Hogan should be remember as a bright, spirited young woman.

Cyclists Robert Booth, 65, and Irene, 69 were struck and killed by a pickup truck travelling east on Highway 11/17 near Red Rock on July 23. The couple from North Glengarry, Ont. were part of a Cycle Canada group of around 25 cyclists travelling from Vancouver to St. John’s called Tour du Canada.  The pickup truck driver, a 66-year-old man from Austin, Texas and a 62-year-old female passenger were taken to hospital with undetermined injuries. The truck struck another westbound truck hauling a trailer and a transport truck. The Texas driver was later charged with careless driving.

The jury for a coroner's inquest into the death of Gustavo Argueta, 24, made nine recommendations July 31 after several hours of deliberation. Argueta died in June 2011 when a boom lift he was working on near the Mackenzie River bridge tipped over. Among the nine recommendations, five of them deal with better training for young workers using elevated work platforms. The jury also recommended stronger penalties for altering or disarming safety mechanisms on equipment. Argueta's machine had an alarm which warns the driver about being on an unsafe slope, but that alarm had spray foam in it and the wires had been disconnected.

On July 8, 350 employees of Dilico Anishinabek Family Care took to the picket lines after negotiations between the child welfare agency and the union failed. The striking workers cited high caseloads as one of the main issues and stayed on the picket line until July 29 when a deal was reached. During the strike, parents of children in Dilico's care held their own rally because many parents weren't able to see their children during the strike.

Despite a drop in the city's crime rate, Thunder Bay was still the murder capital of Canada in 2012. The national crime stats came out in late July and while the city saw a 17 per cent drop in crime severity, it had seven homicides in 2012 giving it the number one spot for murders in a metropolitan area with a population of more than 100,000 people.

MP Greg Rickford (Con., Kenora) was named to a junior post in Prime Minister Stephen Harper's July 15 cabinet shuffle. Rickford became the minister of state for science and technology as well as the minister responsible for FedNor. The latter makes him responsible federally for the Ring of Fire, a task he said he was looking forward to handling.

In its 12th year, the Thunder Bay Blues Fest saw another successful year with acts like Collective Soul and Great Big Sea bringing crowds to Marina Park. But the highlight this year was a surprise appearance by Paul Shaffer, Thunder Bay’s musical master and sidekick to David Letterman. Shaffer appeared in front of a crowd that braved the Saturday rain to introduce headlining act Los Lobos and stuck around to play a song with the group.

Ten years after launchnig a class action lawsuit against the Attorney General Canada as one of an estimated 16,000 Ontario First Nation children taken between 1965 and 1985, Beaverhouse First Nation Chief Marcia Brown Martel finally saw the 60s Scoop lawsuit certified on July 16. The federal government sought permission to appeal the certification later in the year.

Two months after former Liberal leader Bob Rae was named the chief negotiator for Matawa Tribal Council in Ring of Fire talks, the Ontario government announced former Supreme Court Justice Frank Iacobucci would be their lead negotiator on July 2.

Local firefighters reached a deal with the city in July that gave them wage parity with local police. Members of the Thunder Bay Professional Fire Fighters Association Local 193 had been without a contract for the past two years. A provincial arbitrator awarded them wage parity with police between Jan.1, 2011 to the end of 2014. The award means a 2.75 per cent and 3.1 per cent annual wage increase. That amounts to about a $6 million total payout.

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