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2013-12-23 at NOON

Look back: August

By Jodi Lundmark,
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Three people died in two separate drowning incidents in one August weekend. The body of Kevin Spade,32, was recovered by OPP divers on Aug. 19 in Lake Superior after a cliff-diving adventure gone wrong two days earlier. Marlene Fox, 26, had succumbed to her injuries sustained in the same incident earlier at at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. Police also recovered the body of Jordan Desfosses, 31, of Peace River, Alta. on Aug. 19. Desfosses had disappeared in the Kaministiquia River on Aug. 17. Desfosses had been in a canoe with another adult male and two children when it capsized.

A 42-year-old man was saved by his miniature schnauzer Spyro from a bear while he was camping at Sandbar Provincial Park over the August long weekend. Trevor Miller spent hours trying to escape a bear with this two dogs, Spyro and Jack Russel mix Puzzle to run for the lake. It resulted in a standoff where Spyro stepped between Miller and the bear and sacrificed his life. OPP later found the bear and the animal was destroyed.

City officials confirmed on Aug. 27 that the moose at the Chippewa Wildlife Exhibit had died the night before. The animal was brought to the wildlife exhibit by the Ministry of Natural Resources in May 2006 when it was about two weeks old. It had been orphaned after its mother had been struck and killed by a motor vehicle. The care of the moose was the focus of media attention earlier in the summer after park users began complaining on social media that the animal appeared to be malnourished and mistreated. The autopsy revealed the animal died from liver failure.

No more than a week after a demolition order was posted on the window of the former Lyceum Theatre, the 103-year-old building was given new life during an Aug. 12 council meeting. After an engineering report stated the building is still structurally sound, the city decided not to tear the Lyceum down. About a third of the roof needed to be patched to stop water from leaking into the building, which caused severe mold issues and became a nuisance for its neighbours. At-large Coun. Larry Hebert said with a proposed event centre moving in across the street, the building could become prime real estate.

Coun. Aldo Ruberto wanted the city to look into limiting the amount of dogs and cats people can own. But on Aug. 12, council voted 6 to 5 against the limit. Ruberto said he'd heard about people owning more than 20 dogs or 30 cats in apartment buildings. Most councillors and administration said the idea wouldn't work for a number of reasons. Mayor Keith Hobbs called it a "big waste of time."

A $3 million lawsuit from three residents of O'Connor Point was in court Aug. 23 over the fate of a beach they argue has been the source of major headaches. Lawyer Samantha Filipovic, who was also a plaintiff, said drinking, noise property damage and even threats have come from people using the beach, which is the municipality of Shuniah's property. Filipovic claimed the municipality had ignored the residents and its request to close the beach until an agreement could be reached on what to do with the property. In October, a judge issued an injunction prohibiting Shuniah from using or allowing the public to use the area. Shuniah council decided to appeal that decision.

The Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission announced Aug. 7 that Doug Murray will take over as CEO. Murray worked in the pulp and paper industry for more than 30 years, including the post of general manager of Resolute Forest Products in Thunder Bay. The CEDC searched globally for a CEO, but chose Murray for his experience and knowledge of the local economy.

The Nishnawbe Aski Police Service named Terry Armstrong as its new chief of police Aug. 16. Armstrong succeeded Robert Herman, who was the acting police chief since January. Armstrong spent most of his policing career with the OPP in Northwestern Ontario and has also served as a First Nation Constable in Pikangikum and acting police chief of the Lac Seul Police Service.

The Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences announced on Aug. 1 it was in a state of gridlock, a situation more common in winter months when pneumonia and flu create more patients in need of acute care. But the closure of a long-term care facility last October left more patients with nowhere to go after receiving initial treatment.

The inaugural Dirty Girls Mud Run was a roaring success, exceeding organizer's expectations. About 750 women, dressed in costumes from tutus to superheroes, ran a five-kilometre obstacle course Aug. 10 outside This Old Barn in Murillo that required teams to climb walls, crawl through thick cold mud, dark tunnels and slide down greasy poles. And all for a good cause. Participants raised $178,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society.

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