April may be the deciding month for the fate of public schools in Norwich Township.
60 days has been set aside for Trustees and school board staff to sift through recommendations in a final report put forth by the Norwich ARC committee.
The committee reccomends keeping Burgessville and Otterville Schools open to accommodate jk - Grade 6 students, while the former NDHS site host JK-Grade 8.
Other recommendations in the report say if the schools are to be closed and consolidated, a new school should be built in Norwich and not a renovation.
Board administration has called for the closing of all three elementary schools in June, with all students going to NDHS.
Oxford Trustee Graham Hart says the board and trustees will have at least 2-months to review the report.
Hart says a public input meeting is scheduled for April at the board office in London where voices will be heard form both sides.
Local teens have a chance to win some cool prizes for quitting smoking, or even easier, to not start at all.
Teens aged 14-19 can get involved in the first even "Nic-o-time Challenge".
Those who sign up on-line at www.quit2win.ca can win a 1000-dollar I-Pad package, and other prizes.
Youth Engagement Coordinator, Victoria Leck with Oxford Public Health says it all starts tomorrow. "The month of February, we're recuriting teens who want to make a lifestyle change and cut back on the tobacco usage, or to quit. But there's also another stand of the contest where students who are not current users of tobacco, pledge to remain tobacco free for the month of March, and they also have a chance to win."
The grand prize is a 1000-dollar I-Pad package, while other prizes include an I-Pod Nano, and 50-dollar movie gift cards.
Jacklin Turpin of WCI tells Heart FM she'll be promoting this contest in her school. "I think everybody will want to join, obviously it's not too hard (to register). Anybody can join, it's not just for people that do smoke now, it's for cutting back or not starting and there's great prizes to be won. I think that's an incentive for everybody that wants to participate."
Turpin is part of an Oxford County Public Health youth advisory council called "What the Health".
OPP are advising drivers to prepare themselves.
A snow storm that promises to be significant in nature will be hitting our region over the next 24-36 hours.
Sgt. Dave Rektor has these suggestions if you find yourself needing to travel
" we don't want to have a repeat of what we had with the last storm with 237 people stranded on the highway. We want people to do the right thing - listen to your radio and your local media and, most importantly, look out the window before you decide to drive down the highways - if it's whiteout conditions and the roads are bad - consider alternate plans".
Environment Canada climatologist Dave Phillips says the region will be buried in up to 30 centimeters of snow between tomorrow evening and Wednesday afternoon.
A new strategy to attract employment in Oxford County is in the works.
It's called the Oxford Labour Force Development Strategy.
Organizer of the initiative Jeff Surridge says the strategy will position Oxford and its citizens to capitalize upon future labour market opportunities; "we're doing a lot of work in the schools, especially with programs like high-skills majors, that those young people are connected with employers very, very quickly in the process so that all their education that their working on is all geared towards employment and employment in a sector that their actively pursuing."
Surridge says one of the primary concerns is the out-migration of young people.
The strategy is in its infancy and was proposed to County Council on Wednesday.
Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement about a major snowstorm expected to hit southern Ontario over the next two days.
Some 20 to 30 centimetres of snow is expected, but some areas could receive more and there could be blowing and drifting snow.
The federal agency is forecasting a low pressure system will develop over Texas on Monday.
It says periods of light snow are expected to develop over many regions Monday night or Tuesday.
A lake effect snow band could also affect areas near the west end of Lake Ontario Tuesday morning.
Heavy snow will fall over southern Ontario Tuesday night then taper off Wednesday afternoon as the storm tracks northeastward and passes just south of the lower Great Lakes.
Some great news coming out of the Oxford Auditorium this weekend.
Nearly $69,000 was raised during the annual Woodstock Walk For Memories Event on Saturday.
Crowds gathered at the Oxford Auditorium to raise the funds in support of Alzheimers programs.
Executive Director of Alzheimers Society of Oxford Shelly Green says the event was very impressive
"It's around par of what we did last year, just a little bit over, but again once money comes in (because people you usually have pledges to collect from walks) I'm sure the with the amounts will be over again from what they were last year."
Green says as a county the event has raised over $100,000 and will likely surpass last year's total of $107,000.
Tillsonburg held a Walk for Memories last Saturday generating more than $22,000.
Oxford OPP were kept busy on area highways due to Saturday's snow fall.
Constable Dennis Harwood says yesterday's snow - combined with drivers not driving accordingly - wreaked havoc on Highways 401 and 402.
Harwood says drivers were not slowing down that allowed several vehicles to spin out of control and lose control.
Police reported several vehicles leaving the on and off ramps and landing in ditches just after the noon hour.
Fortunately no one was injured.
In Niagara Junior 'C' hockey action the Woodstock Navy Vets lost their final game of the season 9-3 against the Aylmer Spitfires.
It will be the battle of 59 beginning Febrauary 4th when the Vets take on the Merchants in the 1st round in norwich. The game gets begins at 8:00pm.
Meanwhile the Norwich Merchants were taken by surprise by the New Hamburg Firebirds.
The birds came out on top and clobbered Norwich 8-3.
The Merchants have an impressive record with 31 wins this season.
Tragic news about a 45-year-old London man who collided with a transport truck on Wednesday.
Constable OPP Constable Dennis Harwood says Craig David Saunders died in hospital on Friday.
Saunders was travelling in the area of County Road 6 at County Road 2 at about 3PM when his vehicle collided with a transport truck driven by a 29-year-old Michigan resident who was not injured.
Police are asking anyone who may have witnessed this collision and did not speak to an officer is asked to contact the Oxford County OPP are 519-688-6540.
Oxford County's Warden says challenges bring opportunities to the table for the 2011 budget.
Don McKay says council members are slowly digesting the numbers by each department that, he says, can be very trying - especially for newcomers.
"3 meetings in, we've finished the first round so that everyone has an understanding, but there's a real challenge - especially with 5 new people. Where do we go now? Where do we get the confidence and the courage to suggest some changes? Certainly the answer is very livable as we do it now at 2.6% - the question is: Can we do better?"
A fourth budget meeting will be held February 9th.
Councillor Margaret Lupton will take the chair while McKay will be away on business at a farm direct marketing meeting.
There will be several steps in the right direction today.
It's the City of Woodstock's Walk for memories and it's taking place at Oxford Auditorium.
The event takes place today from 2-4 pm.
The walk is in support for Alzheimers - a disease which attacks the brain and results in symptoms of loss of memory; judgment and reasoning; changes in mood, personality, language abilities and behaviour; and inability to perform everyday activities.
For more infomation call 519-421-2466 or visit our community event page at 1047.ca
In Niagara Junior 'C' hockey action Simcoe shutout the Woodstock Navy-Vets 8-0.
The Norwich Merchants were all over the visiting Paris Mounties 11-3.
Dundas defeated Caledonia 3-1.
The New Hamburg Firebirds beat the Aylmer Spitfires 5-3.
Glanbrook defeated Dunnville 7-3 and the Grimsby Peach Kings the Chippawa Riverhawks7-1.
In Junior "D" play Delhi outscored the Wellesley Apple Jacks 7-1 and the Tavistock Braves outsmarted the Hagersville Hawks 4-1.
What are the most prominent health concerns in Oxford County?
That was the question debated by community leaders at Ingersoll's Elm Hurst Inn Friday.
A Health Communities Fund meeting was held to develop a future vision for health programs and policies.
While the all-day session was just a starting point for future working groups and ideas, coordinator Iva McCausland says one thing is for certain: people care about developing a healthy community. "People are very passionate and care very much about all of those areas. And that partnership is something we are all williing to work on, because we recognize together more can be accomplished."
Some of the key areas of concern are: healthy eating, physical activity, sport and recreation, injury prevention, tobacco use and exposure, substance and alcohol misuse, and mental health.
We won't find out until March, whether or not the court will allow evidence to stand in the hate-graffiti trial.
Both the Crown and Defence made their pitches to Justice Marietta Roberts today as to whether the improperly obtained evidence by the police will be allowed to be used in the trail against 32-year-old Christopher Saggau.
The Woodstock man is up on 28 charges now, one of the mischief counts was dropped today.
Earlier this week, two young police officers admitted on the stand to searching Saggau's cellphone and laptop computer the night he was arrested without his consent and without a warrant.
Crown attorney Steve Guiler told Justice Roberts "Does the law allow for well intentioned but wrong actions? Yes. The conduct of police was well intentioned. It was not done in a demeaning way, Mr. Saggau was not forced, embarrassed, threatened or treated with disrespect."
He said the court must have "understanding of the seriousness of this offence to the community."
In the Defence's submission, Jeanine LeRoy stated "People have said I'm trying to get Mr. Saggau off on a technicality. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is the farthest thing from a technicality."
She argued no consent was given, and was very critical of the mistake made by the two young officers. "That is what we expect police officers to do, to know the law and uphold it...it is (the search) reckless behaviour on the part of the police."
Justice Marietta Roberts will issue her decision on March 4th, which could end the trial if all evidence is discounted. If it is allowed, the Crown could present even more of the evidence found on Saggau's electronic devices that may connect him to hate-graffiti in Woodstock.
Woodstock's Fire Department is sounding the alarm over a rising number of Carbon Monoxide calls.
In the first month of 2011, the department has responded to 15 calls from residential homes where the CO Detector has gone off.
There's been 4 calls in the last week.
In one case, firefighters found an extremely high concentration near the furnace, and say the leak likely came from a damaged heat exchanger.
Luckily, in all cases, the families had Carbon Monoxide Detectors.
But fire officials say this should be a clear sign to those that don't have detectors, to get them today.
They should be installed near your bedrooms, and on each level of your house.
The Navy Vets will be hitting the ice tonight at the Southwood Arena for their final regular season home game. Woodstock will be hosting the Simcoe Storm at 7:45. Tonight's game is also Hawkins Family Memorial Night, with a portion of tonight's proceeds going to the Hawkins Family Memorial Fund. Their final game of the regular season is tomorrow night in Aylmer.
The Vets are going into the playoffs sitting in 6th place with a 7-23-4 record and will face 1st place Norwich in the first round. Game one of the playoffs is Friday, February 4th in Norwich.
Day 3 of Christopher Saggau's trail revealed what police were able to find on his cell phone and laptop computer to connect him to hate-graffiti in Woodstock.
London Police Forensic Computer Technician, Jason Eddy, took the stand and showed several photos and videos found on the electronic devices.
On Saggau's Cellphone police found:
-One photo showed Saggau taking a picture of himself wearing a t-shirt that said "German Mafia".
-Two relevant videos were also on his cellphone, including one showing spraypaint on concrete that read "Stephen ssbad". The other was a recording of a CTV News broadcast regarding the hate-graffiti problem in Woodstock.
On the laptop, Eddy says he found "100's if not 1000's of pictures relating to Nazis and Hitler."
Eddy also displayed for the court a couple of files made in Microsoft Paint.
-One displayed a swastika flag and had disparaging remarks against a couple of Woodstock Police officers. That file matched a picture that was anonymously sent to the Woodstock Sentinel-Review.
-Another displayed a cartoon drawing of a person hanging from a noose on a tree. The shirt on the person read "gays, police, jews, blacks and gypsies". There was also a sentence that read "We laughed joyfully when 4 RCMP officers were murdered."
The computer also contained scans of a German dictionary, and dozens of google searches related to nazi gang activity in Woodstock.
The case continues this afternoon with the Crown unveiling some of the text messages found on Saggau's cellphone.
The trial is expected to continue into a 4th day on Friday.
Day 3 of the Christopher Saggau trail heard from Detective Richard Walker. He prepared the search warrants fro Saggau's cell phone, laptop and house.
Saggau faces 29 charges related to hate-graffiti in Woodstock in 2009.
Walker testified he conducted a google search of the name "Chris Saggau", which brought up a reference to a username "ssbad" on the movie review site flickster.com.
He also searched "ssbad", which brought up another user profile on the Oxford County Library website.
The tag "ssbad" appeared in several of the hate-graffiti spray paintings in Woodstock in 2009.
Detective Walker testified this connection would have been enough to prepare a search warrant even without the cellphone and laptop evidence that has been questioned during the trial. (see earlier stories)
A 45 year old man is listed in critical condition following a two vehicle collision west of Woodstock Wednesday afternoon.
Around 3PM, a transport truck travelling northbound on County Road 6 collided with a 2007 Pontiac car heading westbound on Highway 2. The collision sent the vehicles into the ditches on opposite sides of the road, trapping the driver of the car. EMS personnel had to extricate the driver from the vehicle. He was then airlifted to London Hospital - the driver of the transport was not injured in the crash.
Police had the intersection closed for a number of hours to complete their on scene investigations. The roads have since been reopened but Police say their investigation is continuing.
8.7 percent or $397,267.00.00.
That's the increase Oxford County Emergency Services presented to County Council during their 3rd budget meeting Wednesday night.
Manager of Emergency Services Joe Pember says the increase is in part due to a 112 percent increase in responding to emergency calls in the Blandford-Blenheim and Drumbo area.
That has added nearly $460,000 in salaries and benefits to EMS expenditures - which includes $146,000 in benefit costs.
Pember says his departments mandate is to meet the 1996 response times, but in Blanfdford-Blenheim that hasn't been the case.
In 2010 Oxford EMS responded to some 550 EMS calls in Blandford-Blenheim, 40 of which were calls for highway collisions along highway 401.
Oxford Public Health is receiving a one-time grant from the Ministry of Health.
The County is receiving a little more than $11,000 that will be used for their existing needle exchange program.
Director of Public Health Lynn Beath says the program has a reputation for its effectiveness at protecting intravenous users, their partners and their families; "there is a need across the Province, and infact across many countries because of the use of injection drug use in the area. And so needle exchange programs are a Provincial strategy in order to reduce the risk that infectious diseases would be spread because of people sharing needles, and not having access to clean needles".
Oxford Public Health's needle exchange program has been in use since the year 2000.
In 2010 alone, 879 clients used the program amounting to over 62,000 needles used.
Highway 2 is closed at County Road 6, following a collision between a transport truck and a car.
Emergency crews are working on scene, and have the major roadway blocked in both directions with detours in place.
OPP Constable Dennis Harwood says firefighters are working to free a man trapped in his vehicle. "One person is injured in the vehicle. He is being assisted by Embro and Beachville Fire Departments. Air ambulance is on scene and will be transporting, once his extricated from the vehicle.
Police are not saying if the man is conscious or not.
Heart FM will have more details as they become available.
For now, avoid travelling Highway 2, and County Road 6, both roads are closed around the crash scene.
Police procedure and the unauthorized search of Christopher Saggau's cell phone and laptop continued to be the focus on Day 2 of Saggau's trial.
This morning, former OCPS Constable Hank Ruitenbeek was on the witness stand. He was the back-up officer on the night Saggau was arrested for trespassing at an Admiral St. apartment building.
Ruitenbeek was in possession of Saggau's laptop, which he turned on and scanned over the hard drive at police headquarters.
He discovered a slideshow of swastikas and german slogans.
Ruitenbeek was then told by his shift sargent, Marvin Massecar to close it down, as a warrant was needed to search the laptop.
The officer told the court he believed he had the right to turn it on in assisting with the investigation. Ruitenbeek says at the time he believed he had done the right thing.
But under cross-examination, the young officer admitted, had he played the night over, he would not have searched the laptop.
Defence lawyer Jeanine LeRoy said -- "because you know better..."
Ruitenbeek responded "I do now."
LeRoy asked what authority Ruitenbeek had to search the files on the laptop. Ruintenbeek repsonded "Now looking back, I don't think I had any."
LeRoy - "Then why did you do it?"
Ruitenbeek - "Probably a lack of experience."
Staff Sargent Marvin Massecar also took the stand today.
He attended the scene of Saggau's arrest in November 2009, and says he told his investigating officer at the scene that they would need to get a warrant to search Saggau's cellphone.
This, after the officer had already located German writing in a couple of text messages.
Later in the evening, the back-up officer from the scene, Constable Ruitenbeek, showed Massecar a slideshow of swastikas and German writings he found on Saggau's laptop.
Massecar says he advised the officer to shut the computer down, and that a warrant was required to search it.
Saggau is facing 29-charges, most of which, are related to hate-graffiti that was spray painted in several areas of Woodstock during 2009.
The world's top automaker has issued another global recall, the latest in a series of quality-control woes for Toyota over the past two years.
Toyota is recalling nearly 1.7-(m) million vehicles -- most of them in Japan -- for various defects that may cause fuel leakage and other problems.
Some of the cars affected in North America include some Lexus I-S and G-S luxury models dating back to 2006.
There's no word yet on how many Canadian vehicles might be affected.
Toyota claims there has been no accidents related to the defects.
Christopher Saggau's Defence Lawyer says her client's Charter Rights were violated.
Saggau's trial on some 27 charges related to hate-graffiti began Tuesday with two witnesses taking the stand.
One witness, an assistant Manager of a building Saggau was arrested in on the night of November 19, 2009, swore under oath - - that Saggau did not have any permission to gain wireless Internet access through that building.
Saggau was arrested and charged with "Trespass By Night" by then OCPS Officer Michael Routly.
During testamony, Jeanine LeRoy cross-examined Routley.
LeRoy says Routley should not have accessed Saggau's cell phone at the time of his arrest without permision, and that violated Saggau's Rights and Freedoms.
Routley admitted on the stand that he did look into Saggau's cell phone without any intention of accessing a warrant.
Day two of Saggau's trial will continue with cross examination of Officer Routley and a second Officer who was also present when Saggau was arrested in 2009.
A new art studio in downtown Woodstock is banking on the creativity of kids.
4Cats Art Studio has been open for about a month in the former Record Works building at Perry and Peel St.
Curator Shelly Fraczek says it's all about giving kids a creative outlet. "I want to bring art to the children. There's not really a lot to do in Woodstock. The Art Gallery has some programs, but aside from that, there's nowhere for kids to come and create art on a regular basis."
Kids will not only creating art at the studio, they're learning about different artists and practicing their different mediums.
Fraczek says 4Cats isn't here to compete with the Woodstock Art Gallery, rather, they're going to compliment each other in making a more creative city.
4Cats also offers adult studio time, and they do kids splatter paint parties. Heart FM's Adam Nyp got to partake in a little "splatter action" - check out the video below.
It's the first day of a 'blended trial' for a Woodstock Resident at the Oxford County Courthouse today.
Madam Justice Marietta Roberts is overseeing the case, along with Crown Attorney Steven Guiler and Criminal Defence Lawyer Jeanine Leroy.
32 year old Christopher Saggau is facing numerous charges that include desecrating Woodstock's Cenotaph in Victoria Park with spray painted swastikas and hatred symbols in the early morning hours of Remembrance Day of November 2009.
Many Veterans from Woodstock's Royal Canadian Legion are in attendance for the proceedings - including past Branch President Charlie Delgarno.
"there a lot of people still wondering what's going to be the outcome out of all this".
"I'm hoping in the end that we come out on top, but we'll just have to wait and see."
Saggau also faces charges of uttering threats, defamatory libel, misuse of a computer service and at least 25 counts of mischief to various properties throughout the city of Woodstock.
Saggau has pleaded " Not Guilty" to all of the 27 charges.
Hi Lawyer, Jeanine LeRoy is seeking to have some of the evidence in the case tossed out saying a search warrant at the time of Saggau's arrest was not justified and will argue with the crown under section 8 of the Charter of Rights & Freedoms that provides protection against unreasonable search and seizure.
The trial is expected to last 3 -4 days.
A Tillsonburg School has won 13-thousand dollars for new playground equipment.
South Ridge Public School has won the "Hill of Dreams" competition through the Aviva Community Fund.
School Council Vice Chair, Jeff Harries, says they couldn't have done it without the votes from the community. "When we were voting hard and heavy, we rattled every cage we could to get the votes in, and the community came forward for us and pushed us through."
Public Relations Manager with Aviva Canada, Glenn Cooper says they'll be working with the school to help their dream become a reality. "Building a playground doesn't happen overnight, but we're really looking forward to over the next year, working with the school to make that happen through the funding and any additional support we can give."
Aviva judges the submissions on originality, sustainability and the impact it will have on the community.
The Progressive Conservatives want you to 'Have Your Say'.
A 54 question survey is available to Ontario residents who wish want to express their concerns.
Ontario's PC Leader - Tim Hudak and the PC Caucus launched the province-wide survey in October.
Oxford MPP Ernie Hardeman explains...
"the reason that were doing the survey is to hear from the people of Ontario. We believe that the present Government is not listening to that and I think it is important that we get that message out so we know what the people think about the process that's presently happening".
The survey can be found by visiting www.haveyoursayontario.ca.
A hard copy of the survey is also available by dropping in Hardeman's constituency office located at 12 Perry Street Woodstock or by calling 537-5222.
The man accused of desecrating Woodstock's Cenotaph with swastikas hours before Remembrance Day 2009 will begin his trial Tuesday.
Christopher Saggau is up on 29 other offences including uttering threats mischief, defamatory libel, and unauthorized use of a computer service.
Saggau's Charges stem back to February through November of 2009 where a number of public properties were defaced by graffiti and swastikas.
Saggau plead guilty January 14, 2010 to spray painting swastikas on the Victoria Park cenotaph, but was released from custody after spending about 4 weeks in pre-trial custody.
His guilty plea was later stricken from the record, after he claimed he made the plea only to be released from custody.
Saggau's trial is expected to last up to 3 days at the Oxford County Courthouse.
Brant County OPP are looking for a vehicle that allegedly failed to stop after hitting a bicyclist just before 7:00 this morning.
Police say a car was travelling in an east bound direction on Paris Road east of Powerline Rd when it struck a male rider from behind.
The bicyclist was able to get himself off the road after the collision and get help from a passing motorist.
Police are looking for a smaller vehicle with right side damage.
The vehicle in question is also missing the passenger side gold-coloured mirror which was left at the scene.
Any witnesses can contact Brant County OPP at 519-442-2242.
The Canadian Mental Health Association says suicide rates are at their highest in July, but there's little doubt the winter months can impact one's mental health.
However, Terry McCartney, Educator for the CMHA in Oxford, says people suffering from a case of the "winter blahs", need to do more than just self-diagnose. "I believe it's always wise for people to seek a diagnosis from a doctor when they're having distressing mental health symptoms...it isn't always a mental illness, there are other serious illnesses that can cause the same types of symptoms like cancers, thyroid disease, diabetes..."
But in some cases, friends or family are the ones that need to intervene to seek help.
McCartney says the big indicator is a change in a person's behaviour.
For instance, if a person is usually active and outgoing "if they're expressing thoughts of feeling worthless, or guilty, or sad, that needs to be taken seriously. In the same respect, if it's someone who is usually quiet and shy suddenly becomes the life of the party and engages in risk taking behaviour, that's an indication that something is wrong there as well."
There are several programs in the County to help people work through depression, or for family members coping with a loss from suicide:
Woodstock General Hopsital Mental Health Services - 519-421-4223
CMHA 24-Hour Crisis Line - 519-539-8342 or 1-877-339-8342
Suicide Bereavement Group - 519-539-8055 Ext. 222 (meets once per month)
The case of 57-year-old Brenda Lee Duncan is now closed.
Woodstock Police Chief Rod Freeman says post mortem results of how Duncan died will not be released.
Duncan's body was found near a Tavistock cemetery last Tuesday - 1 week after her disappearance.
Police did confirm there was no criminal activity related to her death.
Duncan worked for the Community Care Access Centre and was married to College Avenue United Church pastor David Duncan and a mother of 2 children.
A funeral for Duncan is will be held at Maranatha Christian Reformed Church Sunday January 30th.
A variety store employee is facing theft and fraud charges for allegedly using a lost credit card.
A man reported his lost wallet to Norwich OPP over the weekend, and told police, after calling to cancel them, his lost credit cards had been used to purchase over $900 worth of gift cards at a local variety store.
Police have charged a store employee, 30-year-old David Gillis with 3 counts of theft, 4 counts possession of stolen property and 3 counts of fraud.
A 30 year old Ingersoll man has been charged following a robbery at an ATM in Ingersoll over the week-end.
Oxford OPP say a man was approached Friday afternoon when he was about to deposit money into the machine.
Police say the suspect approached the man from behind and grabbed the envelope and ran off.
Richard Davis Hoskin is charged with theft under and breach of recognizance.
He is being held for a bail hearing.
What a weekend for the Jr. Navy Vets Atom Rep Team.
They're Silver Stick Champions for the second straight year, after beating the Toronto Penguins 3-2 to win the tournament.
They also beat Colorado 7-1, Caledonia 2-1, Dallas 3-0, and Timmins 2-1 in their path to the Championship game.
It marks the first time a Woodstock team has won back to back Silver Stick Championships.
Woodstock's Navy Vets are sitting in last place of the Niagara Junior C standings after a 3-7 loss to the Simcoe Storm last night.
The Vets are 7-23-and 4 on the season.
The two teams meet up again Friday in Woodstock - which is also the Hawkins Family Memorial night.
Game time is 7:45PM at the Southwood Arena.
If there are 8500 ways to build a house - Huron Park Secondary School Students and a local restaurant surely know how.
Huron Park's Social Action Group 'PRO' (People Reaching Out) and Boston PIzza are teaming up to raise $8,500.
The money raised will be used to build yet another school in Salebwek in the community of Kenya, Africa.
Student Jessica MacAlpine says she hopes to see as many people as possible to help reach their goal
" we'd love them to come out to Boston Pizza because it would be amazing if we could build even more than one school - the more money we raise, the bigger difference we can make and the more people we have join in our initiative, the larger we can make it".
School Teacher Vicki Jones says money towards the school is already in motion
"even working with Boston Pizza already we have raised almost $1,500 just through our booster nights and working in cooperation with them, so hopefully that night will get us the money to build one school".
The "Let's Build A School" fundraising event takes place at Boston Pizza February 3rd.
Admission is just $10.00 that includes charity games prizes, a silent auction and, of course, Pizza!
One of Belynda Young's 4 Daughters, Hazel Dunne , who flew down from Ireland after hearing her mother was in hospital in Peurto Vallerta, says a fundraiser to help pay for her mothers medical bills will be held at Woodstock's CAW Hall
" It's going to be a silent auction, but it's going to be a fun-filled night too. It's going to be some live music, some snacks, and some good celebration, it's called Celtic celebration because my mom is really big into her Irish roots. It's going to be based around that and hopefully many will be there in support for my mom".
The event takes place Friday February 18th.
A trust account is also in place for Young and her family.
Anyone wishing to donate can do so at any T.D. Canada Trust.
The Account number is: 227 6318478.
The cheque will need to be made out to: Brenda Boswell Simpson and Tom Simpson In Trust.
An investigation is underway after a barn fire sent flames broke out at a dairy farm on Highway 7.
Officials say the fire started at about 1:30 friday afternoon.
The structure was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived.
Sebringville deputy station chief says about 70 head of cattle perished in the blaze.
The fire spread to adjacent silos that were also destroyed.
Damages are pegged at about $500,000.
The cause of the blaze is yet to be determined.
Ingersoll OPP are hoping to locate a lone suspect after the Half Price Variety store was robbed at knife point.
Police say shortly after 7:30 Saturday night a male wearing a disguise on his face entered the store on Thames Street South, approached the counter brandishing a knife and demanded money from the clerk.
The suspect received an undisclosed amount of cash before running away on foot.
He was last seen running east on Charles Street. The clerk was not injured.
The suspect is described by Police as a white male, wearing light coloured blue jeans and a white coloured “hoodie”.
Anyone who may have been in the area of the Half Price Variety at the time of the robbery or may have witnessed any suspicious activity in the area is asked to contact the Oxford County OPP or Crime Stoppers.
Family and friends are breathing a little sigh of relief now that Belinda Young is on Canadian Soil.
As you have recently heard here on Heart-FM, Young experienced severe complications from Influenza 'A' just after arriving in Mexico with her partner Su Lyttle.
I spoke with Lyttle at the Intensive Care Unit at University Hospital in London Saturday where Young remains in a coma
"when you see Belinda is still in a bed, still on her back, in a coma, on a ventilator, dialysis is still coming up - it's the same sort of situation as what was going on in Mexico only we are more reassured partly because we can speak the language and we know we are not going to be harassed over how much money is going to be paid up front or how much money will you be able to pay, 'when' you will be able to pay".
Young's medical costs soared to more than $450,000 in which 85% is covered by her medical plan.
Despite the dire situation with Bylinda's critical condition and mounting medical costs, Su and Belynda's 4 daughters remain optimistic and says they are grateful to be home receiving medical care.
*Trust Account Information: The account is now open and deposits can be made at any branch of TD Canada Trust. The Account number is: 227 6318478. The cheque will need to be made out to: Brenda Boswell Simpson and Tom Simpson In Trust.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is recalling a brand of hot chocolate over almonds not declared on the label.
It says the U-S-made Pelican Bay Toffee Fudge hot chocolate could prove to be dangerous for people with allergies to almonds.
The affected product was sold in Shoppers Drug Mart stores across Canada and has an expiry date of August 30th, 2011.
The agency says it has not received any reported illnesses from the product.
In Local hockey action the Woodstock Navy Vets took a beating by the New Hamburg Firebirds 5-2
The Vets will take on the Simcoe Storm on Sunday- that gmae takes place at 7pm.
The Norwich Merchants outscored the Simcoe Storm 6-2 for a team record 30th win of the season.
In Junior 'D' play The Dundas Blues doubled up on the the Grimsby Peach Kings 6-3
Dunnville skated by 7-3 over the Chippawa Riverhawks.
The Delhi Travellers nabbed a 5-4 victory over Port Dover.
A 50 year old Woodstock woman's flight back to Canada from Mexico experienced a delay in getting her to hospital.
Belynda Young and her partner Su Lyttle, were to arrive between 8 and 9pm at at University Hospital in London Friday night, but didn't arrive until early this morning.
Young spent the better part of 3 weeks gravely ill, suffering from Pneumonia and Influenza-related illness that put her into a coma while vacationing in Peurto Vallerta.
Young had to wait to be stabilized before she was able to be transported via air ambulance from Mexico.
Three of the daughters that stood by Young's side are also back in Woodstock - they arrived on a separate flight at Toronto's Pearson Airport at about 9 Friday night.
We'll continue to cover this developing story of Belynda Young and her traumatic ordeal in the coming days.
It's not just schools that are responsible for getting a handle on the issue of bullying.
Parents, police and the media also have roles to play in bullying prevention.
A meeting was held in London this week, on the heels of community consultations that drew over 2000 people in November across Thames Valley.
Director of Education Bill Tucker says it's all about community groups working together. "We're going back to our respective boards and organizations....and take a look at what the implications mean for us...and develop some key reccomendations we can move forward. And we're not looking for a band-aid approach, we're looking for concrete action that's long-term and sustainable."
Tucker says with the advent of social media and other technology, the problem of bullying has extended beyond the classroom and school yard.
The anti-bullying task force meets again April 13th.
A seriously ill Lynda Young is on her way home today.
Young and her partner Su Lyttle have been stranded in Mexico since Christmas, after a vacation turned horribly wrong.
Lynda contracted H1N1 which led to serious health implications, particularly for her lungs and kidneys.
However, Young's health may be able to get a boost with some bed rest closer to home.
She's soon to be en route to a London Hospital, via air ambulance, where she's expected to land this evening.
The rest of her family will be arriving home in Toronto tonight.
Oxford OPP arrested a Woodstock youth early this morning in Ingersoll.
Police received reports of a suspicious van travelling through the Thames Street North area around 1:40AM.
Police located the van and found six males in the vehicle. After a computer check, Police revealed one of the males, a 17 year old from Woodstock was in violation of a probation order.
The youth was arrested and is being held for a bail hearing.
Oxford County has issued a cold weather alert.
This weekend, temperatures will stay in the minus double digits, with overnight lows below -15 and even colder windchill values, dipping into the -20's.
And so Oxford Public health is issuing an alert to advise people not to spend a great deal of time out in these conditions this weekend.
Health Protection Supervisor Peter Heywood tells Heart FM "We want people to dress warmly, in layers. Watch for any signs and symptoms of frostbite which may include pale grey waxy skin that's cold to the touch, numbness, and even swelling and blistering. If you see people who are showing signs and symptoms of hypothermia, we reccomend you call 911, and if you can, move them to a warm location."
People without shelter are advised to seek warmth at the Inn Out of the Cold at Old St. Paul's Anglican Church at 723 Dundas St. The Salvation Army also provides some emergency shelter for families. You can contact them at 539-7235.
Norwich OPP Constable Trevor Lamb is going to be the new face of Crime Stoppers of Oxford.
Lamb is set to take over from Constable Mike Hanna, whose been the police liaison for the last 8-years.
Hanna says he's enjoying his last days on the job. "I have some time. I'm going to train the new coordinator, Trevor Lamb. He's got some new ideas, so it's going to be good."
Hanna says he's looking forward to getting back out onto the road as an OPP Constable.
For Constable Lamb, it's a whole new ballgame. "Even being on the police side of it, I wasn't aware of how big it was. How much community involvement it does take to run the program. So I'm impressed and I'm looking forward to getting to meet everybody."
Hanna is leaving Crime Stoppers on a high note. He was recently awarded the Crime Stoppers International Award as Coordinator of the Year for 2010.
Woodstock Police are asking for the public's help in solving a rash of vandalism to several vehicles.
Sometime overnight, four vehicles were damaged on Leinster Street in Woodstock.
A cinderblock was thrown on the hood of a car, windshield wipers were swiped from another. A driver's side mirror went missing, and another vehicle suffered a broken taillight.
On Burtch street, a car window was smashed and a GPS, radio and digital camera was stolen.
Police are also investigating Lydale Cres., Lakeview Dr. and Champlain Ave. areas that have had a variety of vehicle entries.
If you are aware of any people walking through your neighbourhood at night or suspicious activities, call the Woodstock Police Service at 519-537-2323.
A Woodstock man is facing a sexual assault charge.
Tuesday evening, a woman was walking in the area of Peel St. when she was approached by an unknown man who offered to help her get her stroller through the snow.
Police say the suspect identified himself and then touched the woman inappropriately.
Yesterday, an off duty Woodstock officer spotted a man matching the description and called it into the station.
Police have arrested and charged 23-year-old Trevor Walker.
A 16-year-old boy is facing charges in connection with the fire at Huron Park Secondary School.
Police made the arrest today and had the teen in custody while they are processing charges against the young offender.
The fire caused the evacuation of the school Wednesday afternoon, and caused 4-thousand dollars in damage to one of the men's restrooms.
It was back to class as usual today at Huron Park.
Call it a late Christmas present for the city of Woodstock, courtesy of those that played the slot machines leading up to the holidays.
In the latest quarterly payment being made to the city of Woodstock, reached $303,185. That's a 5 per cent share of slot revenues from the OLG Slots at Woodstock Raceway from October to December, 2010.
Typically, the city receives 200-250-thousand dollars per quarter. The latest payment is the 7th largest on record in Woodstock.
That money is distributed as city council sees fit. They recently decided to give 100-thousand dollars to the YMCA for each of the next 5-years to help with their 3-million dollar renovation.
OPP say charges are pending, following Wednesday's crash on the 401 near Ingersoll.
Two people in a car were hurt after colliding with a transport truck, just after 4PM in the Ingersoll area.
The transport ended up on top of the median.
Police had to shut down both left hand lanes for clean-up for several hours, including the rush hour commute.
The two in the car suffered minor injuries and were treated at hospital.
Police say charges are likely to be laid, but aren't saying who is likely to be charged.
Arctic Cat is voluntarily recalling more then 16,000 snowmobiles due to a possible loss of control issue.
According to the company, a front lower suspension arm could crack during use, leading to a possible loss of control. This recall effects several 2010 Arctic Cats, however, it is not clear how many of these affected machines were sold in Canada.
Consumers are encouraged to stop using these machines immediately and contact an Arctic Cat dealer for a free repair kit.
Last nights win was more then just two additional points for the Norwich Merchants - it also set a 43 year franchise record with 29 wins.
The Merchants are sitting at 60 points for the season with a 29-1-2 record. Norwich picked up another win last night after beating the Aylmer Spitfires 3-1.
They look to continue their winning streak Friday night at home against the Paris Mounties.
Crime Stoppers of Oxford is celebrating a milestone.
This is the 20th year for the organization that provides an anonymous outlet for the public to report crimes, or try to prevent them from happening.
President Tom McGee says Crime Stoppers of Oxford is in good position entering it's 3rd decade.
Most impressive is the $9.2-million dollars in seized drugs and stolen property that have been recovered due to tips called to Crime Stoppers.
But McGee says Crime Stoppers is most important under the worst circumstances. "The biggest bump in the stats was the unfortunate incident with Tori Stafford. That was a terrible, terrible tragedy. We had pretty close to 1000 tips on that case alone, over a 3-month period."
Since 1991, Crime Stoppers of Oxford has received over 7500 tips, paying out over 75-thousand dollars in reward money.
But McGee says there are many times when those rewards go uncollected. People just want to clear their conscience of crimes they've witnessed or know of.
Highway 401 is very slow going this hour after a two vehicle collision near Ingersoll, between Plank and Culloden Lines.
Callers tell Heart FM a transport truck is straddling the median.
The lanes closest to the centre are closed in both directions.
The crash happened in the eastbound lanes and involved the transport truck and a car. OPP indicate there are minor injuries at the scene.
As reported on Heart FM yesterday, David Creery has been named Woodstock's new Chief Administrative Officer.
The man who will be sharing the 3rd floor office with Creery, Mayor Pat Sobeski hopes this will be a long term hire. "I hope so. There was one candidate we looked at that brought a lot to the table, but seemed to move every 3 or 4-years. So when we looked at David Creery, here's someone who's been here for 20-years and we hope he's here for a long term, so that was a factor in it."
Creery has been with the city since 1992.
One of his first jobs will be hiring his own successor as the new City Engineer.
Sobeski is also hoping Creery can bring new initiatives to other city departments, like he has in transit and public works.
But Sobeski says there may be one area where Creery requires some training. "If David does have a weakness, I guess it would be in treasurery because he's never really had to do that. The 2011 budget will be led by Patrice Hilderly, our treasurer this year. And so for David it will be an appreticeship in treasurery so he'll be a lot more confident in 2012."
About 1,000 Huron Park Secondary School Students were evacuated early this afternoon.
Unconfirmed reports say a small fire originated from within one of the male washrooms just before 1:00pm.
The majority of students were transferred to nearby Hillcrest Public School and a nearby church as a precautionary safety measure.
Thames Valley District School Board Community Affairs Spokesperson - Richard Hoffman - tells Heart-FM one female student was examined by EMS personnel and released shortly after - otherwise no injuries.
Hoffman says he is awaiting on the official word of causes and damages from Woodstock Police.
It could be a few days before we find out the cause of Brenda Duncan's death.
A preliminary report from the coroner's office may come out at the beginning of next week on the body discovered Tuesday morning.
Police say they are certain it is that of missing Brenda Duncan. Authorities also say there has been no evidence to suggest foul play or any criminal act.
In the meantime, the church community that is so close to the Duncan family will gather tonight for a prayer service.
It starts at 7PM at College Ave. United Church, where Brenda's husband is the Reverend, David Duncan.
It is open to members of the public that wish to attend.
A strong showing for a pair of Woodstock figure skaters at the Canadian Nationals this week.
Bob Goodwin (Woodstock) and his partner Leah Hyslop (Flamborough) won bronze in competing Novice Pairs in Victoria, BC.
Wes Killing (Woodstock) and his partner Claira Whicher (Cambridge) finished 5th in Novice Pairs.
The awards ceremony takes place tonight.
An accessible playground is on the wish list of the town of Ingersoll.
The town has submitted a grant application to the "Enabling Accessibility Fund" that could contribute between 500 and 700 thousand dollars.
With the town contributing 25 per cent, Victoria Park could be outfitted with new washrooms, change rooms, pathways and a new accessible playground.
Parks and Rec Director Bonnie Ward says the community may also be asked to chip in through fundraising.
There's no word on when the town may hear back on the grant application.
No one was hurt, but a house fire gutted the inside of a home on Highway 19 last night.
Crews were called to the home on the east side of the highway, just before 4 o'clock Tuesday afternoon.
A fire had apparently started in the basement of the home. OPP closed the roadway for several hours, while Mount Elgin and Beachville fire crews battled the blaze. The scene was cleared around 7:30PM.
Police say the fire is not suspicious. The damage estimate is north of $100,000.
OPP have shut down Highway 19 (Plank Line) between Salford Road and Daniel Road in South-West Oxford due to a house fire in the area.
A detour is in place that is expected to last for another 2-3 hours. It should be re-opened around 9PM.
There's no info on the extent of damage or injuries from the fire, but reports from the scene indicate it started in the basement of a home.
The City of Woodstock searched far and wide for their next Chief Administrative Officer, but the right candidate for the job was already at City Hall.
David Creery has been hired to fill the CAO vacancy, starting February 3rd.
Creery tells Heart FM his experience will serve him well. "I've been with the city for 19-years and with that comes the history, the relationships that have been built over that time, a fair depth of organizational knowledge, and I think that's a very important peice of being able to move forward."
In a release from the city, it says councillors are impressed with the leadership Creery has shown as City Engineer over the last six-years. Deb Tait agrees: "David sets a very good example to his employees down at the board of works. I think that is something big. You come in, do a full day's work, you're there when they need you. Setting an example of leadership is a big thing."
Creery was chosen from a field of 50 candidates, six of which were interviewed by city council.
Ontario's PC Leader will be visiting the Forest City Wednesday.
Tim Hudak will be addressing the community of London outlining his plans for tax and economic issues as they relate to small businesses in Ontario.
Since Hudak's coming into power, his goal is to put forward practical and affordable ideas to get Ontario moving again in his 10 for 2010 plan.
If elected as Premier, Tim Hudak will be the first Premier whose family originated outside of the British Isles.
The event is scheduled at London's Hilton Hotel Wednesday morning at 11:30.
Woodstock Police and OPP are confirming this hour that a body has been
found at the scene where Brenda Duncan's vehicle was abandoned.
The body was located by the OPP search team, after an intensified
search this morning. According to Woodstock Police Chief Rod Freeman, the number of officers was increased to approximately 25, and were equipped with dogs and snowmobiles to widen the search area. He tells Heart FM the case came to a head, just after 10 o'clock this morning. "10:10 this morning, I was notified that a body has been discovered in the area…I’ve been advised that the deceased, who has yet to be positively identified, is in all likelihood Mrs. Duncan. There’s a very, very strong possibility it’s Mrs. Duncan, but that needs to be confirmed through a positive ID."
In fact, in a news release from police they go as far to say "police are certain this is the body of missing Brenda Duncan."
At this time, Freeman says no cause of death has been be released. "OPP Forensic Identification Unit is currently en-route to the scene where they will conduct an investigation of the immediate area around the deceased. Once that investigation is complete, the body will be removed for post mortem examination to determine a cause of death."
57-year-old Brenda Duncan was reported missing by her family last
Tuesday when she did not return home from work. Her 2008 Mazda5 was
found abandoned at the McTavish cemetery, west of Tavistock Sunday
Heart FM's Blair Wilson was at the scene today and has more in the video below:
A community prayer service will be held at College Ave. United Church Wednesday night.
The service is for missing 57 year old Brenda Duncan and her family.
Duncan mysteriously disappeared last Tuesday from Woodstock.
The event is open to the general public and will take place at 7:00pm.
There are no new leads in Duncan's disappearance, however Woodstock Police and the OPP are searching the Perth County area for any clues after finding Duncan's car Sunday behind a shed at McTavish Cemetery.
Due to some icy road conditions this morning in Oxford County, buses have been cancelled in the Tillsonburg zone for the following schools:
GLENDALE HIGH SCHOOL
MAPLE LANE PUBLIC SCHOOL
ROLPH STREET PUBLIC SCHOOL
SOUTHRIDGE PUBLIC SCHOOL
ST. JOSEPH'S TILLSONBURG
ST. MARY'S HIGH SCHOOL
THAMES SECONDARY(COUNTY BUSES)
All buses running from Tillsonburg to London are cancelled.
Tollgate Central Public School IS OPEN today. The Thames Valley District School Board posted a correction notice just a short time ago to inform parents/students that the school is open. It was posted in error on their website earlier this morning.
Good news is in the forecast for a 50 year old Woodstock Woman who became ill while visiting Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in December.
Lynda Young, who fell ill due to Influenza 'A' - eventually leading to pneumonia and a coma, is on the mend.
Young's partner, Sue Lyttle, spoke with Heart FM News today, and says if there are no more medical set-backs, Young will be returning home
"it appears that her body is beginning to repair itself which is absolutely unbelievable and the best news that we could possible get. I know she is still in bad condition, but she's stable and she needs to be stable in order for them to air-lift her out".
Lyttle says it's been 2-3 days with no medical set-backs and doctors are saying an air ambulance back to Canada looks like a go.
Lyttle says her medical coverage will also be able to cover 85% of the cost for the air ambulance.
County Council is reconvening tonight to tackle the 2011 budget.
Topics up for discussion will include listing the 5 separate items that are creating a 2.6 increase over 2010's budget.
During Council's January 12th talks, Tillsonburg Mayor John Lessiff suggested 'Pausing' during the budget deliberations and forwarded a motion to defer the meeting until a "printed summary" of each department was available.
The motion was later withdrawn after other council members expressed concerns.
County will meet again for another budget meeting January 26 (next Wednesday) and will hear how councillors will find ways at reducing the increase.
During that time they will also be provided with both a reserve and capital summary of the budget.
Two Woodstock teens are facing charges in connection to a series of break & enters last year.
The break-ins happened in November on Wellington, Spencer and Hay Streets, where homes were entered while the homeowners slept.
A purse and I-Pod were among the items taken.
A 15-year-old is facing one charge in the Hay St. break in, while a 17-year-old faces charges for all three.
They cannot be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
Woodstock's Police Headquarters is now the new home to a Collision Reporting Centre.
Final touches were being made just prior to the official opening this morning.
Police Chief Rod Freeman says the Centre was put into place to offset General Patrol Officers - freeing up about $190,000 in Policing costs.
Accident Support Services President - Steve Sanderson - was on hand at the opening and tells Heart FM the new Centre will prove to be a much needed facility in Woodstock
"there will be days where 12-15 collisions will take place during the course of the day - not only is it the winter, but it's the summer months too - July, August - we have just as many collisions on bright sunny days as we do when it's snowing out here".
Sanderson says it's the 23rd such facility to be built in the province that will allow users to process claims with real time access to collision data.
The Centre began as a pilot project in 1994 that took 7-8 days to process information - today that can be done in a matter of hours.
OPP and Woodstock Police have finished searching the McTavish Cemetery in Tavistock for 57 year old Brenda Duncan.
Duncan's car was found behind a shed at the cemetery around the noon hour Sunday by a local resident. (Satellite photo of cemetery courtesy of Google Maps)
Duncan disappeared last Tuesday after calling in sick and has not been seen since.
During an interview this morning Woodstock Police Chief Rod Freeman says "there was some personal property found in the vehicle, but I can't disclose much of that right now - it's still an active investigation and we are keeping our investigation open to all possibilities".
"Until the end of the investigation - when we can make a final determination - I'd rather not speculate or release too much information that might be sensitive".
Police are now probing adjacent properties and neighbors in the area.
Police have not ruled out foul play, nor have they any reason to believe foul play would be suspected.
Meanwhile Duncan's husband, Reverend David Duncan - and his family are waiting patiently in Woodstock for any news from Police of Duncan's whereabouts.
More with Chief Freeman on the latest development in the video below:
With fresh daylight, Woodstock Police and OPP have re-focused their search for missing Brenda Duncan.
That search is centered around a cemetery near Tavistock.
Duncan's Mazda5 was located on Sunday afternoon behind a shed in the McTavish Cemetery, just west of the Village.
The discovery was made by a citizen, but there's still no sign of the missing woman.
Keep tuned to Heart FM for the latest developments on this story.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has announced new mortgage regulations aimed at reducing Canadians' soaring household debt.
Flaherty has unveiled three new rules:
_ Mortgage amortization periods will be reduced to 30 years from 35 years.
_ The maximum amount Canadians can borrow to refinance their mortgages will be lowered to 85 per cent from 90 per cent.
_ The government will withdraw its insurance backing on lines of credit secured on homes, such as home equity lines of credit.
The rules are aimed at encouraging responsible lending and borrowing and encouraging people to increase their home equity.
The Norwich Merchants continue to dominate in the Niagara Junior C standings after another win yesterday.
The Merchants picked up another point after a 4-3 shootout win over the New Hamburg Firebirds.
Norwich is sitting at 27-1-and 2 in the season, leading the league with 56 points.
The Merchants are back in action Wednesday night in Aylmer.
Woodstock Police and the OPP have a new lead in the search for Brenda Duncan.
The missing Woodstock woman's car was located this afternoon near Tavistock, in the area of County Road 109 and the Perth-Oxford Line.
However, Duncan is nowhere to be found.
Police tried utilizing a canine unit with no results.
Woodstock Police also say they're now working with OPP on the matter and the search will resume Monday morning.
57-year-old Brenda Duncan is described as: white, 5’7, 115 lbs, blue eyes and long straight shoulder-length brown hair with bangs, possibly wearing a red velvet blazer and black pants.
Tomorrow (Monday) marks the beginning of Environmental Health Week across the province including here in Oxford County.
The week-long event recognizes what Public Health Inspectors do to help make our community a safer place.
Director of Public Health Lynn Beath says there are 14 Inspectors here in Oxford that cover several inspections in a wide variety of areas
"the 1,500 inspections cover everything - that's the restaurant inspections that we do - some restaurants are inspected 3 times a year, two times a year, once a year" on food premises". It's also going out to long term care homes and other places that offer food services and doing those inspections".
Beath says the Inspectors also conduct investigations and provide on-going education and enforcement of all aspects of environmental health, in the areas of food safety, air quality, drinking water and recreational water areas during the spring and summer months.
A new year brings new leadership to Oxford County Council.
Warden Don McKay spent the better part of the day Wednesday addressing council members about the challenges ahead.
McKay says prior to his first official council meeting of the year as Warden, he attended a Leadership conference in West Virginia
"The great part about the conference is focusing on the need for a clear vision and mission statement and then a strategy of how you are personally going to address challenges".
McKay says the week-long conference offered various workshops on Leadership and discussed proactive approaches dealing with criticism.
Monday marks the official grand opening of a new Woodstock Collision Reporting Centre.
The Centre, located within Police Headquarters, will allow a one on one interview process to accident victims that will simplify the reporting process - allowing 'front line' Officers to attend other matters within the community.
The Centre will also allow Accident Support Services staff to process claims with real time access to collision data.
The Centre will be available to the public during the hours of 10am to 6pm Monday to Friday and closed on week-ends and statutory holidays.
The grand opening will be held in the lobby Monday morning.
In Junior 'C' hockey The Woodstock Navy Vets lost 6-3 to the Mounties in Paris Saturday night.
It was the last game between the two teams for the regular season.
Forward Derek Cowing leads the Vets with 18 goals and 16 assists totaling 34 points
In other action the Simcoe Storm lost to the Aylmer Spitfires in a shoot-out 4-3
Winter driving is causing havoc on city streets and area highways this morning.
Reports have come into our Heart FM news room of vehicles landing in the ditch along the westbound lanes of the 401 at mile marker 218.
One other vehicle spun out of control along 401 westbound at Oxford Road 3 earlier.
The 401 eastbound lanes have also experienced vehicles spinning out of control along Oxford Road 29 in the Drumbo Road area (10:20am)
Blowing and drifting snow is also causing reduced visibility in areas.
Area roads are slushy and snow covered on city streets and area highways.
Woodstock and Oxford County will receive at least 5 centimeters caused by a fast moving Alberta clipper.
The blizzard-like conditions are expected to ease up sometime this afternoon.
A one time extension by federal and provincial governments has been granted to complete 2 projects at the Oxford County Courthouse.
County Operations Manager Mike Campbell explains the projects at hand
"The turn key house on the old courthouse square is getting an addition for needed space for the County archives department and for the Woodstock Genealogical Society to move into".
Campbell says renovations are also underway at the old registry building at the courthouse square to accommodate courtroom and administrative offices located in the building.
There are 6 projects in all totaling a little more than $8 1/2 million made possible under the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund.
Both projects are expected to be completed by the summer.
Other projects include bridge work on County Road 55 and several kilometers of asphalt repaving with a total value of $7,675,000.00 ,000675
A voluntary recall has been issued for all Toxic Waste brand Nuclear Sludge Chew Bars, imported from Pakistan.
The recall was announced by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency late Friday.
It says testing by the California Department of Public Health indicated some cherry flavoured bars might contain elevated levels of lead that could cause health problems, particularly for infants, small children, and pregnant women.
The agency says the products, imported by Indiana-based Candy Dynamics, may have been distributed nationally in Canada.
No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with the bars.
The agency is working with the importers to have the affected products removed from the marketplace.
Woodstock skaters are heading to B.C. to compete in next week's National Figure Skating competition.
Bob Goodwin and his partner Leah Hyslop will be competing in the Novice Pairs.
Wes Killing and his partner Clair Whicher of Cambridge will also be be competing in the Novice Division.
Tyler Morris and Carolyn Macuish will not be going to Victoria for the skating championships due to an injury ..
In Niagra & District Junior 'C' hockey the Norwich Merchants came out on top of the Woodstock Navy Vets at Southwood Arena Friday night.
The Vets took a 7-1 romping with Defenseman Jamie Newell scoring the only goal for the Vets.
Woodstock will take on the Newhamburg Firebirds January 21st.
In Junior 'D' action the Tavistock Braves sent Port Dover sailing with a score 10-1
The new Woodstock Hospital is already creating some spin-off development in the southwest end of the city.
City council this week approved a zone change to allow for a medical office building at Finkle St. and Athlone Avenue.
The office building will be three storeys, covering over 2000-square meters.
It is expected to attract medical clinics or specialists, just a short distance away from the new Hospital.
The planning will go to County Council in the next couple of weeks.
Construction should begin in the spring.
No news is not good news in the search for Brenda Duncan.
The 57-year-old Woodstock woman remains missing, some 75-hours after leaving her home Tuesday morning.
An extensive aerial search of the Woodstock area was conducted yesterday, and continued all the way down to Port Rowan, where Brenda had frequented according to police. However, there is still no sign of her.
Woodstock Police Chief Rod Freeman continues to encourage the public to assist in the investigation by keeping an eye out for Brenda's red Mazda5 with a license plate marker of BCSJ 791.
Brenda Duncan is a white female, 5'7, 115 lbs, with blue eyes and long straight shoulder-length brown hair with bangs, possibly wearing a red velvet blazer and black pants.
If you have any information, you're encouraged to call Woodstock Police at 537-2323.
2010 was a year of improvement for the local real estate market.
The economic recovery was present in local sales, which totaled $244-million on over 1100 sales. That marked a 10 per cent increase over 2009.
That bucked the national trend as the Canadian Real Estate Association says sales across the country were down 3.9 per cent in 2010 from '09.
Here in the Woodstock-Ingersoll marketplace, sales started with a bang in 2010 with near record-setting levels, but the market slowed in July when the HST came into effect, driving up closing costs.
And the market ended the year soft with only 61 sales in December, down 3 per cent from 2009.
He garnered the most votes for city council, and now Ron Fraser has the support of his peers on council.
Fraser was elected Woodstock's Acting Mayor, when duty calls, for the next year.
Fraser says he's honoured to be unanimously supported by his fellow councillors, and thinks he can do a good job. "I think I have some skills and the fact that they're willing to support me, and the fact that there were so many citizens that were willing to support me to start on council. Once again, I hope not to let anybody down."
Fraser will fill in for Mayor Pat Sobeski when he's away.
Other notes from city council:
-Mayor Sobeski turned down taking 5-thousand dollars in annual renumeration for serving on the Police Services Board. Sobeski told council he didn't want the money, because sitting on an advisory board is part of the job.
-Council had to revisit the decision of the last term to grant the YMCA 500-thousand dollars in slot revenues. The previous decision was actually illegitimate, as it was made by a lame duck council.
The motion still passed, but councillors attached a couple of strings: The YMCA has to stay operating in Woodstock for 5-years. And they have to report to council annually on their status.
-Council approved a zone change to allow a medical office building in a new subdivision on Athlone Ave. near the new hospital.
A 50-year-old Woodstock woman, gravely ill in Mexico is still in critical, but stable condition.
Belinda Young has been diagnosed with the H1N1 flu virus, which escalated to pneumonia.
Belinda's lungs are compromised, but dialysis treatment is working.
She remains in a private hospital in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico with family members by her side.
Here's information on a trust fund at TD Canada Trust branches where you can make a donation to help with medical expenses that have now exceeded $300,000.
Persons wishing to make a donation to Lynda Youngs' trust fund can do so through:
TD Canada Trust - home branch Dundas and Springbank Woodstock (you must mention home branch), but donations can be taken at any branch of TD Canada Trust.
Account # 6318478
Any cheques will need to be made out to: "Brenda Boswell Simpson and Tom Simpson in trust"
The search for missing 57-year-old Brenda Duncan has now taken to the skies over Woodstock and Norwich.
Police are making use of the OPP helicopter to scour wooded areas and bush lots for any sign of Duncan, or her red Mazda5.
Woodstock Police Chief Rod Freeman says police are searching for the missing woman far and wide. "We have also issued a provincial alert to all police agencies across Ontario to be on the lookout for both the vehicle and Mrs. Duncan."
The other mysterious part of the case, is the fact that Duncan called in sick for work at 8 o'clock Tuesday morning, unbeknownst to her husband and daughter.
Husband Reverend David Duncan spoke with Heart FM this morning, and has no answers as to where Brenda has gone. (More details posted in story and video below)
People are also being asked to check their rural properties for Brenda's red Mazda5 with license plate number BCSJ 791.
If you have any information on her whereabouts, call Woodstock Police at 537-2323.
The full news conference from Woodstock Police Headquarters is posted in the video below...
The process of selecting an Acting Mayor for Woodstock will unfold tonight.
Mayor Pat Sobeski says the belated election will happen this evening. "Something that was an oversight on my part...it should have been on the last agenda. But council decided two years ago they should be electing the Acting Mayor, so that will take place tonight."
Councillors can nominate other council members for the position, which carries a 1-year term. Those who accept nominations will then be held to a vote by council.
They're job is to fill in when the Mayor is absent, mostly to sign papers, but other duties could arise.
It has been over 50-hours since 57-year-old Brenda Duncan was last seen.
The Woodstock woman has mysteriously disappeared, which has set of a search by Woodstock Police.
In speaking with Heart FM this morning, Brenda's husband, Reverend David Duncan from College Ave. United Church says he's at a complete loss as to where Brenda has gone. "This is totally out of character for something Brenda would do, so we really don't know what has happened. I think there's been some shock, and deep worry, and as time goes on that worry gets deeper."
Duncan says he brought his daughter to school, as usual Tuesday morning, and when he returned, Brenda had left for work at the CCAC in Woodstock, or so he thought...
Brenda didn't come home from work, and he found out she never did show up in the morning. "After 5:30, I was saying this is too long, or much longer than normal for her to be home. Close to 6 o'clock then, I hopelessly phoned Brenda's Community Support Assistant (colleague) at home...I was informed then Brenda had not gone to work."
Police are still looking for Brenda, and her car, a 2008 red/burgundy Mazda5 with license plate # BCSJ 791.
If she is not located by 2 o'clock this afternoon, a news conference is scheduled at Woodstock Police headquarters to update us on the search for Brenda Duncan.
And if you have any information that might help police, call 537-2323.
More with Reverend David Duncan in the video below:
Zellers has been "targeted"!
Target will be spending $1.83 billion to buy the leasehold interests in Zellers stores from the storied Hudson's Bay Company.
Target says the 220 Zellers stores will not change brand immediately. The first steps are to open 100 to 150 Target stores by 2013 and 2014.
There is no word on if or when the Woodstock location will change over.
Target is saying that with their new agreement, Zellers will continue to lease their locations from them and run as Zellers stores "for a period of time".
A two vehicle collision on the 401 east of Woodstock sent one man to hospital with critical injuries.
It was just after 6 o'clock Wednesday evening when a 2005 Honda car was traveling east at the Oxford County Road 22 overpass, when the vehicle began to skid and entered into a second lane. The vehicle collided with an eastbound transport.
The man had to be extricated from his vehicle and was rushed to Woodstock hospital before being transferred to London hospital. The driver of the truck was not injured.
Police had the highway closed for a number of hours last night to investigate the crash - the highway has reopened but the investigation is continuing.
That's the number County Council is working with as a start for their 2011 overall budget.
New and familiar council members sifted through an extensive list of expenditures during the first budget meeting of the new year this afternoon.
Warden Don McKay says some councillors are learning the ropes - in what can be an exhaustive procedure
" It takes time to engage everyone and give them opportunity so I'll have to manage that time better, but it is with the utmost concern that every new and returning councillor gets their questions answered before we get to vote on a matter.
The county budget indicates a $1.2 million dollar increase over 2010 that includes an $8,000 audio system upgrade for the County's Administration building.
Part of the budget process also includes a $10,000.00 increase on property assessments over 2010 figures.
The price of the average home is now being assessed at $182,000.
That will generate $872 in overall property taxes for 2011.
It's life in prison for a man who killed a former Woodstock Doctor.
Allan Powney pleaded guilty to 2nd degree murder yesterday in the fatal shooting of Henry Janssen in January 2008.
Powney admitted to shooting his neighbour, Janssen, in the head in his pick-up truck on a secluded road on the Bruce Peninsula.
The shooting was fuelled by jealousy, after Janssen's wife, Lynn, broke off a 2-year affair with Powney.
Powney stole a shot gun from the Janssen home and sawed off the barrel.
He waited for Janssen on his way home on Scenic Caves Road, and approached the vehicle, shooting him once in the head.
Victim impact statements were read in court today, and 66-year-old Powney was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 10-years.
The guilty plea came as jury selection was to begin and Janssen's daughter, Rebecca, says she is relieved the case didn't have to go to trial.
A Norwich school was evacuated this afternoon after a small fire broke out.
Thames Valley School Board spokesperson Richard Hoffman tells Heart FM "A small electrical fire caused quite a bit of smoke at Norwich Public School today on the lunch hour. All the students were evacuated to nearby Norwich United Church."
A steady stream of parents picked their kids up early today at the Church.
The school is expected to open later tonight, and it should be back to class in the morning at Norwich Public School.
Police are turning to the public for help in locating a missing Woodstock woman.
Brenda Duncan was last seen leaving her residence for work on Tuesday between 8:00 and 8:30AM but no one has heard from her since.
Brenda works at the Community Care Access Centre.
She's married to Reverend David Duncan of College Ave. United Church and has two daughters.
Woodstock Police Chief Rod Freeman says they are concerned for Duncan's well-being and say her disappearance is very uncharacteristic. "This case causes us a great deal of concern because it is extraordinarily unusual for Mrs. Duncan to be missing in this fashion. She's normally a very reliable lady with a very consistent schedule. In this case, she's been gone for over 24-hours and that causes us a great deal of concern."
No foul play is suspected by police at this time, but Freeman says police are focused on the case. "We have our complete Criminal Investigation Unit working on the case, about 4 or 5 investigators that are working specifically on this case."
Brenda was driving a red/burgundy 2008 Mazda5 with Ontario plate: BCSJ 791.
She is described as 5'7, 115 pounds with blue eyes, shoulder length brown, possibly wearing a red velvet blazer and black pants.
Take a look at the photo and if have any information on Brenda Duncan's whereabouts, call police at 537-2323.
Allan Powney has admitted to killing former Woodstock Doctor, Henry Janssen.
Right before a trail was supposed to start yesterday, Powney pleaded guilty to 2nd degree murder, for killing his neighbour, Janssen, back on January 22nd, 2008.
Janssen was shot with a sawed-off shot gun in his truck on a secluded road, near Lion's Head on the Bruce Peninsula.
In a statement of facts read out in an Owen Sound Court yesterday, Powney admitted to having an affair with Janssen's wife. This happened from 2005 through 2007, when Lynn Janssen ended the affair and rededicated herself to her marriage.
This triggered jealous emotions within Powney.
He stole the murder weapon from the Jannsen's home, and sawed off the barrel.
Further details of the facts of the case can be found at: www.owensoundsuntimes.com.
Today, victim impact statements will be read in court today, followed by sentencing. 66-year-old Powney is expected to face a life sentence, but could be eligible for parole after 10-years.
This is the 1-year anniversary of the earthquake that rocked Haiti, killing 230-thousand people.
Critical Care Nurse from Ingersoll, Joany MacDougall has made two trips to Haiti since the quake, and is set to fly out again on Saturday.
She tells Heart FM you might think a year would make a world of difference, but not much has changed at all. "There are over 1.9-million displaced people...that statistic has not changed. Those people that everyone saw on the news living in tent cities, initially after the earthquake, are still living in those conditions. And they're living with no sanitation, no toilets, no running water, no access to health care."
In her first trip, MacDougall says they were working some 24-hour shifts treating everything from fractures, to skin grafts to emergency caesarian sections.
In her second trip, she worked in a Cholera treatment centre, and will likely be doing the same in her next two-week trip that begins Sunday.
MacDougall hopes she will be able to land before the airport possibly gets shut down due to political unrest with elections taking place this weekend.
Police are turning to the public for help in locating a missing Woodstock woman.
Brenda Duncan was last seen leaving her residence for work on Tuesday between 8:00 and 8:30AM, but no one has heard from her since.
Woodstock Police are investigating the matter as a missing person and say this is uncharacteristic for her and police are concerned for her well being.
It is believed that Brenda was driving a red/burgundy 2008 Mazda5 with Ontario plates BCSJ 791.
She is described as 5'7, 115 pounds with blue eyes, shoulder length brown hair, possibly wearing a red velvet blazer and black pants. Take a look at the photo and if you have any information on her where Brenda might be, call Police at 537-2323.
The Woodstock Navy Vets were home against the Alymer Spitfires last night, looking to bounce back from a loss against the Merchants last week but came up short.
The Spitfires were 3-1 winners over the Vets.
Woodstock sits in last place for the West Division with 18 points. The Vets are 7-18-4, one point behind the Paris Mounties.
Woodstock is back in action Friday night against Norwich for their Big Brother/Big Sister Night. Game time is 7:45AM.
The Woodstock Police Services Board has appointed a new Chair Person.
Nelson Simard was elected Chair of the Board during their regular monthly meeting at Police headquarters Monday night.
Simard, who has served the board for the past 6 years says - despite the challenges in policing the community of Woodstock he looks forward to his new role.
Taking over for Vice-Chair is Nancy O'Grady, who was unanimously elected for 2011.
O'Grady joined the Police Services Board in May 2010.
Ingersoll town council has made their first big decision of the new term by unanimously rejecting a housing proposal.
Reeves Realty submitted a revised plan last night, scaling back plans for a townhouse complex on McKeand St. to 44 units from 46.
The residents in the area are not happy with the proposal as it will add density and heavy traffic flow to their quiet neighbourhood.
But that's not good enough for area resident Howard Dejong. "Finally tonight, our council has decided to protect our town for what it is and make a statement to the OMB. Even if it means a loss, we expect our town to be protected."
Mayor Ted Comiskey says the proposal now goes to an OMB hearing, which will cost the town a good chunk of change. "At any point in time, when you go to the OMB, you have to go with a planner and with a lawyer, and those are costs that are involved."
The OMB hearing will be held on January 24th in council chambers.
It's day 14 for a Woodstock Woman fighting for her life.
50 year old Belinda Young is in a private hospital in the AmeriMed Hospital in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico suffering from complications from the Influenza A virus, and has yet to respond to treatment.
Young's 3 of her four children are down there by her side praying for a miracle - as well as her partner Sue Lyttle
"everyday it's as though they are trying something different - different types of anti-biotics. Today they are going to give her a couple of units of blood. She has been on dialysis, but she has not been responding to that, so they haven't been able to do it for a couple of days and they are going to try it (dialysis) again".
Lyttle says that's not all that has gone wrong
"the doctor's main concern seems to be about her lung - apparently her white blood cell count is high - this all started from Influenza 'A'? They haven't been able to deal with it".
Lyttle says her partner has been receiving very good medical attention at the small hospital, but the expense for such treatment has risen to over $300,000.
Lyttle's Friend here in Woodstock - Brenda-Boswell Simpson, is in the process of setting up a trust account to help with medical expenses.
Keep it tuned to Heart-FM on this developing story as we will provide more coverage when it becomes available.
Southwestern Ontario brace yourselves. Old man winter is on his way back.
Woodstock and Oxford County can expect snow accumulations of at least 5 centimetres over the next 24 hours.
Meteorologist Brian Dillon says a low pressure system is moving northward from the U.S.
that could bring a fair amount of snow to our region.
Dillon says lake affect snow could also start in advance of the actual system.
The system is expected to dump snow on our area beginning tonight and into Wednesday.
A local organization is warning residents of a possible scam.
The Woodstock Women's Emergency Centre received reports of an individual going door-to-door collecting funds for the business. In speaking with Development and Communications manager, Barbara Wright, she says that the Centre does accept donations but they do not practice door-to-door canvassing.
The reports came from the Warwick Street area in Woodstock, however there could be other cases. Wright says Police have been notified of the situation. If someone comes knocking at your door for a donation for the Emergency Centre, contact Police.
Coyotes are turning out to be a nuisance in more ways than one.
Monday morning, a Plattsville resident was driving on Perth-Oxford Road, east of
Tavistock, when it crossed paths with a coyote.
The coyote crossed directly in-front of the truck and was hit and killed.
The impact caused minor damage to the truck.
Ontario is committing $5 million dollars to help rid an infestation of bed bugs.
According to Oxford County Public Health, bed bugs have been found in large urban centres in recent months, and can be easily transported - making their way into hotel rooms and the like.
Health Protection Supervisor Peter Heywood says the bed bug problem has also surfaced here in Woodstock and Oxford County and shares this word of caution for travelers
"if you're a traveler and you're going from hotel to hotel -you certainly don't want to put your suitcase on top of a bed. Bed bugs may hitch a ride that way and when you go back home you put your suitcase on your bed and they could fall off and contaminate your surroundings".
Stated in a release today, the province's 36 Public Health Units will be soon able to apply for funding to put towards programs to help ward off the problem.
A Woodstock man and his 10-year-old daughter are going to be tested for health implications of living in mouldy conditions the past 7-months.
Rob Ford has been battling his landlord and property manager, after discovering mould underneath his kitchen sink in June.
The sink was taken out in November, and still hasn't been replaced.
Adam Nyp has the story in the video below...
A healthy 2011 -- that's what Woodstock's Police Chief wants for his force.
Chief Rod Freeman in the last 4 years, both Officer and Civilian absenteeism track records are improving. "In 2007 our uniform compliment was using an average of 7.5 sick days per year. Through a program of adequate supervision, monitoring, and providing them with healthy lifestyle opportunities, we have been able to reduce that down to 6.15 days being used by uniform Officers".
Freeman says the station does all it can to promote healthy lifestyles - keeping Officers in top shape.
He says Civilian support sick days have also improved by more than half since 2007 from 12 sick days per year to 5.6.
The Chief adds more officers and support staff recorded 0 sick days in the last year.
The buck stops here for Dollarama in Woodstock.
This is the final week for the popular retailer, as they're being forced out of their current Clarke St. location.
Word has it, Giant Tiger is moving in.
However, Dollarama Spokesperson, Ana Marinescu tells Heart FM the company is looking for a new location for the dollar store. "Woodstock is an area we want to be in, and Dollarama is looking for a new location in this market."
Dollarama is anticipated to close on Sunday, January 16th. However, the store and corporate office are not confirming this date.
The Norwich Merchants continued their winning streak Sunday with a 4-3 victory over the Simcoe Storms.
The Merchants hold top spot in the Niagara Junior C standings with a 25-1-and 2 record.
Norwich came out of a 6-3 win over Woodstock Friday night. The two meet up again Friday night in Woodstock. Game time is 7:45PM at Southwood Arena.
A local curler has moved on to the Ontario men's curling championships.
Mark Kean of Innerkip qualified for The Dominion Tankard after winning the B-draw of the Ontario Curling Association's Region-2 playoff this past weekend in Uxbridge.
Skip Kean, along with his team of Chris VanHuyse, Patrick Janssen and Tim March will participate in the championships February 7th through the 13th in Grimsby.
Kean and his team who represent the Annandale club in Ajax advanced by beating Jon St Denis of Stouffville with a final of 7-4.
The Western team are the winners in the 22nd Annual Niagara Junior 'C' All-Star Game in Niagara Falls Saturday.
The west defeated the east 10-6 in Chippawa.
Woodstock Navy Vets Derek Cowing, Chase Thornton & Brynn Schultz represented the West.
Vets Forward Brynn Shultz grabbed an assist in the game.
The Woodstock Navy Vets resume regular season play on Tuesday against the Aylmer Spitfires.
The puck drops at 7:45pm.
The US were too tough for Canada at the 2011 IIhf world women’s under-18 championship gold medal game.
The U.S. defeated Canada 5-2.
Stratford Native Forward Emily Fulton and Calgary-born right winger Katy Josephs scored for the Canadians.
The Americans, who led 2-0 after the first period and had stretched their lead to three goals by early in the second.
Canada has battled the U.S. in the final of all four world championship tournaments, the Americans claiming the first two titles and the Canadians finally winning 5-4 in overtime over their rivals last year in Chicago.
The heavy snow that blanketed the Toronto area this morning is heading further into southwestern Ontario.
Environment Canada has issued a snow squall watch for areas near Sarnia, where snow squalls are expected by late this afternoon.
Sarnia,Strathroy andWestern Middlesex County were issued the watch just after 11:00am.
They could see up to 20 centimetres of snow by Sunday morning.
An unexpectedly heavy snowfall earlier Saturday created trouble for motorists in the Toronto area.
About 15 centimetres fell on Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Oakville and Burlington, far surpassing the five centimetres originally predicted by Environment Canada.
The weather led to a spike in car accidents, many of them fender-benders, according to Toronto Police.
Oxford County is being represented at the Niagara Jr. C All-Star game at Niagara Falls today.
Woodstock Navy Vet forwards Chase Thornton and Derek Cowing will be joined by defenceman Brynn Schultz.
The Norwich Merchants are sending four players, including goaltender Matt McGonigle.
Defenceman Jacob Schira is going as well as forwards Todd Poirier and Mike Rebry.
The game gets underway at the Gale Centre at 2 o’clock Saturday afternoon.
Police and Hydro crews are enroute to John Pound Road in the Tillsonburg area following a single vehicle collision this hour (9:45am)
OPP say a trailer dislodged from the vehicle - hitting a hydro pole near highway 3.
Police say Hydro wires are hanging low in area as a result of the incident.
No injuries are reported.
Two local women will be going for gold at Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team tonight.
Ingersoll Defence Jennifer Shields and Stratford Forward Emily Fulton are getting ready for the big game at the 2011 IIHF World Women’s Championship in Sweden.
Shields has one assist in a previous game, while Fulton scored last night defeating Finland 6-1 in semifinal action.
The United States won the first two women’s under 18 gold medals, in 2008 and 2009.
The game will be broadcast live on the Swedish Ice Hockey Association website at www.swehockey.se.
The live feed can also be accessed at www.IIHF.com.
In Niagara & District Junior 'C' hockey action the Norwich Merchants doubled up on the Woodstock Navy Vets 6-3.
The Caledonia Corvaires were outscored 6-3 by the Dundas Blues and the Grimsby Peach Kings nabbed a 4-1 win over Dunnville.
In Junior 'D' play the Delhi Travellers edged the Tavistock Braves 2-1 .
A marathon of prayer is taking place Saturday for a country that's faced a marathon of despair.
The Ingersoll and District Ministerial Association is hosting a 12-hour Prayer Vigil for Haiti at St. James Anglican Church on Oxford St., in Ingersoll.
Starting at 7 Saturday morning, and continuing until 7PM, people are being asked to drop by to offer some thoughts for a country that's been continually battered. This will be followed by a benefit concert, starting at 7PM.
Reverend Lonnie Atkinson says both events are a drop-in format. "Anytime during the day, people can simply drop in. Each hour there will be a prayer team, or one of Ingersoll's Ministers or Pastors will be there to host the event. There will be a guided prayer time in terms of folks having some quiet time for personal reflection as they think about the extraordinary needs for the people of the nation of Haiti."
The benefit concert will feature local talent with proceeds going to the Canadian based relief agency Samaritan's Purse and their Crisis Relief Program in Haiti.
Oxford County will be well represented at the Niagara Jr. C All-Star game at Niagara Falls Saturday.
Woodstock Navy Vet forwards Chase Thornton and Derek Cowing will be joined by defenseman Brynn Schultz.
The Norwich Merchants are sending four players, including goaltender Matt McGonigle. Defenseman Jacob Schira is going as well as forwards Todd Poirier and Mike Rebry.
The game will be played at the Gale Centre at 2 o’clock Saturday afternoon.
Ahead of that game, the Merchants and Navy Vets do battle in Norwich tonight at 8 o'clock.
Canada's Women Under 18 hockey team hopes to accomplish what the men's world junior team couldn't.
The women's team will be going for gold tomorrow at the World Championships in Sweden.
Canada advanced to the final with a convincing 6-1 win over Finland this morning.
Ingersoll's Jennifer Shields is expecting a tough game. "Tomorrow we're looking for a good hard battle for the gold."
And it will be a tough game, Canada will play the US, who won their semi-final this afternoon 14-1 over the Czech Republic.
Shields says news of the men's team collapse earlier this week is a motivation factor for the team. "I didn't get to watch it, but I did hear about it. It's not good that happened, but it kind of gives us fire in our bellies to make that push for the gold."
A young man has been charged, following the crash that killed a horse, and injured a buggy driver in Norwich Township this week.
18-year-old Andre Maaskant of Norwich has been charged with trying to pass a vehicle when the roadway was not clear.
The crash happened Monday night when the car Maaskant was driving, allegedly tried to pass a truck that was turning into a driveway on Airport Road. He collided head on with the horse and buggy.
The 32-year-old Amish Mennonite man driving the buggy remains in hospital in critical but stable condition.
Oxford OPP are crediting a citizen for helping in the arrested of a man who was breaking into cars.
Just before 2AM this morning, police were called to the Annandale Subdivision where the citizen had noticed suspicious tracks in the snow, leading up to cars and homes in the area.
OPP arrived and followed the tracks, finding several unlocked cars with doors ajar.
The tracks led police right to a home on Tillson Avenue where 28-year-old Trevor Sawadski was arrested.
Police recovered a digital camera and loose change.
Sawadski is facing charges of theft, possession of stolen property and prowling by night.
Police are looking for your help in solving a break-in in East-Zorra-Tavistock.
On Thursday, a homeowner returned to his home on Cassel Sideroad to find a white van in his driveway, with a man walking around his house.
The man claimed to be lost and in need of directions.
Directions were given and the man left.
The homeowner than discovered his home had been broken into.
The van is a white Dodge Caravan with a yellow transparent cover over the license plate. The suspect is a white male, standing 5-foot-7, fit looking. 40-50-years-old. He has salt and pepper coloured hair parted on the side. He's clean shaven and was wearing a dark coloured bomber style jacket and jeans.
If you have any information, call Oxford OPP at 519-688-6540 or Crime Stoppers 1800-222-TIPS.
Woodstock's Economic outlook in 2011 isn't great, but isn't gloomy either.
Development Commissioner Len Magyar says they fielded 60 inquiries from companies in 2010.
That number is above average, but he says, companies are still playing things close to the vest, with a still recovering economy. "Most of them are kind of looking longer term, you know, tire kicking, looking out to late 2011, 2012. I'd like to see people being a little quicker off the mark in terms of actual investing."
Magyar is expecting some smaller existing companies will start expansions in 2011. But we'll have to wait and see if bigger projects come along later in the year.
Overall, Magyar says Woodstock's economy is in good shape, compared to some of our neighbours, thanks to the timely Toyota investment, right at the start of the recession.
A police patrol in the downtown core led to an arrest last night.
Woodstock Police say an officer spotted a parked vehicle in a downtown alley way off Dundas.
The officer allegedly saw the man throw something under the vehicle.
Police found a set of stolen license plates on and underneath the vehicle. And a further search revealed a vile of suspected crack cocaine.
23-year-old Michael Beatty faces numerous charges.
An East-Zorra-Tavistock man has been charged with failing to stop for a red light, after a crash in Woodstock this morning.
Police say the mini-van he was driving failed to stop for a red light, and collided with a dump truck in the intersection.
He was also taken to hospital for treatment of minor injuries.
The dump truck driver was not hurt.
Damage is estimated at 30-thousand dollars.
More than 100 new hires are being made at CAMI Automotive in January.
51 were added this week, but there are 50 more to come in two more groups before the end of the month.
That will bring the total number of workers at the Ingersoll auto plant to 2700.
CAW Local 88 Chair Mike Van Boekel tells Heart FM the demand for the Equinox and Terrain CUV's is beyond what anyone would have imagined. "Originally we were hoping to have two full shifts here and maybe some Saturdays thrown in, and it's just grown to three full shifts plus every Saturday."
Despite the production increase at the plant, Van Boekel says parts suppliers are having trouble keeping up with the demand, which may limit some of the Saturday shifts early in the new year.
Sales of the Equinox jumped 79 per cent in December, the best month on record for the crossover. Terrain sales were up 68 per cent over December 2009.
The piece of land that used to be the home of the Iron Grill restaurant is back up for sale.
The property has been listed on a Commercial Real Estate website with a listing price of 550-thousand dollars.
The listing describes the property as having a "superb location" with "tremendous potential".
The property was listed for $1.45-million in August, 2009 when the closed down restaurant burst into flames.
A 20-year-old Toronto man was killed in the explosion, while a 19-year-old man suffered burns to most of his body, but survived.
Police say the investigation continues, but there's been no reason offered for why the men where at the vacant restaurant that night.
Ingersoll's Cami Automotive has hired on 51 new employees.
The new recruits began their varied production jobs January 4th.
CAW Local 88 has had an opportunity to meet with their new additions who have been hired as a result of increased demand for both the Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain.
In mid December about 70 salaried Cami automotive positions became redundant due to the amalgamation of CAMI with General Motors of Canada.
About 850 jobs have been added to the Ingersoll's plant in recent months.
Over the holidays, trades workers kept on plugging away at renovating 449 Dundas St. into a new Art Gallery for Woodstock.
But that project is no longer under a time crunch.
The federal and provincial governments have extended the deadlines for simulus project spending to October, rather than March 31st.
Lead Architect on the Gallery project, Wayne Harrison tells Heart FM in the video below, this will not only save time, but money as well.
Once again, local police are putting the warning out there about the "Grandparent Scam".
Police say they received numerous calls on January 4th, where people were getting calls from someone trying to identify himself as your grandson.
The caller goes on to say they're in an urgent situation and in dire need of money to be wired to them.
Police say this is a scam, and are advising people not to wire money to anyone unless you are 100 per cent sure of their identity.
Woodstock Police's Criminal Investigations Unit is investigating.
The message of 'Don't Drink & Drive' appears to be getting out there in Oxford County.
OPP Constable Dennis Harwood says of the 23,000 vehicles that were checked during the festive R.I.D.E. Program, there were only 10 people that were found impaired by alcohol.
Harwood says that number was up by 2 compared to last year's figures.
Overall - OPP stopped nearly 1.1 million vehicles across the province between November 26 and January 2.
The country's focus might be on the World Junior Hockey Championship, but Ingersoll is also following the Women's Under 18 Hockey tournament in Sweden.
Ingersoll's Jennifer Shields has been logging ice-time on Canada's blue-line in what she calls the experience of a lifetime. "It feels amazing. It could be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You hope not, but you just take in every moment."
Shields describes herself as a stay at home defenseman and has an assist in Canada's three round-robin wins.
Heart FM talked with Shields following Canada's 8-1 win over Germany this afternoon.
She's accompanied at the tournament with her family, who may even be more excited than she is. "My family, they love it. They're so proud of me, but they don't really know how to take it, other than to just take it in as we go."
We'll continue to track Jennifer and Team Canada's progress at the Under-18 IIHF Women's Hockey Championship.
The funeral for a well known family physician and long-standing Oxford MP will be held Thursday.
Dr. Bruce Halliday passed away New Year's Day at the age of 84.
Halliday is considered by many as an outstanding, giving and friendly man.
He was voted Canadian Family Physician of the Year in 1975 and founded the Tavistock Community Health Centre.
A former colleague of Halliday's, Dr. Paul Bartlett, explains how that foundation came to fruition. "In the early part of the 1950's he thought it would be nice to have a partnership, so Bruce came and formed a group and then made a name for Tavistock that generated other doctors wanting them to join the clinics."
Dave MacKenzie tells Heart-FM - Halliday was an inspiration to his career as an Oxford MP. "Bruce was a competent politician in Oxford and he's been just a wealth of experience for me and has been a huge support for me ever since I got involved politics and certainly his advice was always well received and well thoughtout".
Halliday's funeral is being held at Grace United Church located at 116 Woodstock Street in Tavistock.
A collision in rural Norwich last night involved a horse and buggy.
Just after 5:40PM, a car traveling on Airport Road (between Highway 59 and Pick Line) passed a pick-up truck that had slowed to turn into a driveway.
But the car had veered right into the path of an oncoming horse and buggy, hitting it head on.
The 32-year-old driver of the buggy was taken to London Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, while the horse died at the scene.
No word if any charges will be laid.
OPP are warning of a possible creep in Tillsonburg.
There have been two recent reports of a man prowling around houses.
In one, incident a suspect was spotted hiding behind a barbeque on the back deck of a home, right near the bathroom window.
That followed an earlier report of footprints found around the windows of a home.
The reports came from the areas of Concession St. West and Quarter Town Line.
Police say it should serve as a reminder for people to keep their doors and windows locked.
OPP are reporting some tricky road conditions throughout Oxford County this morning due to the overnight snow.
There are a number of reports coming from the 401 and 403 of vehicles losing control and sliding into the ditch. County Roads and some city streets throughout the county are also reporting poor driving conditions.
Police are urging motorists to slow down and give yourself extra travel time today as we are expecting light snow throughout the day.
Woodstock's new Chief Administrative Officer is only a couple weeks away from being hired.
That's according to Mayor Pat Sobeski who tells Heart FM the first round of interviews has been completed.
Sobeski says a short list of candidates will soon be meeting with city council. "We're getting to the point now where it's a smaller field and the entire council will sit down and interview the remaining candidates and we'll make a decision."
That decision will be made in the next couple of weeks.
Regardless, the 2011 budget process is beginning in city departments with Treasurer and Acting CAO Patrice Hilderly overseeing things.
Sobeski doesn't want to make any projections for what might lie ahead for taxpayers. "I don't really have particular range for this initial term. I think it's important we set the tone for the 4-year term."
We'll have more with the Mayor later this week in a look ahead at what's to come in Woodstock in 2011.
A Woodstock woman is facing charges after being allegedly found passed out at the wheel of a vehicle on the 403.
Brant OPP says the woman was found asleep at the wheel alongside the Highway in Brant County at 5:30AM on New Year's Day.
Investigators say the driver showed signs of being impaired and was taken to the detachment for a breathalyzer test.
28-year-old Becky Lynne Silverthorne, is due in a Brantford court Feb. 7 to face charges of impaired driving and having a blood-alcohol level over .08.
Eight Employees are out of work and all that remains is hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages.
A fire boke out at J&J Precast Limited in the town of Norwich early this morning.
Reports indicate the blaze started sometime overnight, but it took several fire fighters more than 4 hours to douse the flames.
The company, owned and operated by Frank and Serge Pulciani, has been in operation since 1995.
There are no reports of any injuries and damages are extensive.
No word yet on what caused the fire.
There's been reports of a fire in Norwich this morning causing major damage to a local business.
According to early reports, a fire broke out at J&J Precast shortly after midnight forcing the closure of highway 59 in the area for close to five hours.
There are no other details available at this time but Heart FM will bring any updates once they become available.
Oxford MPP Ernie Hardeman is battling Dalton McGuinty's Eco-Tax on electronics.
Prior to the Christmas break at Ontario's legislature in Toronto, Hardeman called on the McGuinty Government to scrap the 'Eco-Tax' altogether - stating Ontarians shouldn't have to pay expensive recycling fees.
Hardeman tells Heart FM the program is not working
" In my mind it's outrageous to do it this way. It was supposed to be to take the electronics out of the landfill site. In last year with all the millions Stewardship Ontario got - they only reached 2 % of their target".
Hardeman says the electronic eco-fee can be as much as $26.25 on a new television and nearly $22 for a desk top computer and monitor.
Ontario's Electronic Stewardship agency collected $44.5 million dollars from Ontarians in 2010.
It's the first day back to school for thousands of students.
Students in Oxford, Perth, and Stratford are hitting the books after their two week hiatus over the Christmas break.
Most of the working class are also back for their regular duties.
Federally regulated employees - including government offices, postal delivery, and banks have the day off.
The County of Oxford is also closed today due to the New Year's holiday.
A barn fire that began just before ten o'clock this morning in Norwich Township is now (10:20) under control.
Fire Officials say the horse barn, located along James Street in Otterville was vacant at the time of the blaze.
Officials say the fire appears to have started in a small office adjacent to the barn and may have been caused by an electrical fault.
The investigation is continuing.
No injuries were reported.
Woodstock & Norwich Fire Crews are on scene of a barn fire in Norwich Township this hour (10:00am)
Fire officials say the owners of the barn - located on James Street, in Otterville, say the barn is vacant.
No other details on how the fire started or damage estimates.
If you're already looking to help beat those winter blues - Sally Creek Golf Club may be just what you're looking for.
The golf club is now offering cross country ski trails here in Woodstock and Oxford County.
The groomed trails are located in the north end of Woodstock over the Van Ave bridge.
Co-Owner Sherri Lowes says the new trails are not just for the experienced
"Once we get enough of this fluffy white stuff we're going to try and do an easier trail for beginners and then a tougher trail for people who are better at this sport at up and over some of the hills. We're hoping to attract a wide variety of people".
Lowes says Sally Creek is offering free skiing on their trails until January 3rd.
To find out more of what other services the club is offering - visit www.Sallycreek.com
for more details.
Woodstock General Hospital's 3rd floor Obstetrics are all smiles this morning - and so are Cheryl and Neil Reesor of Woodstock.
They are the proud parents of an 8.2 pound baby girl!
It's the hospital's first baby of 2011.
Baby "Amy" was born at 4:07 this morning weighing in at 8.2 pounds.
Both Cheryl and Neil are currently at the hospital resting and all are doing just fine.
The Start of the new year brought in some record-setting temperatures around the region.
Mild temperatures were felt across much of southern Ontario.
New temperature records were broken Saturday as Toronto reached 11.8° celcius by 4pm, (almost two degrees above the previous January 1st record set four years ago.)
Hamilton hit 10.9 degrees, Windsor at 11.3, Collingwood at a 11.5 and Goderich at a balmy 12.1 degrees.
Here in Woodstock and Oxford County, we may not have broken any temperature records, but Environment Canada says today will be the coldest day over the next several days with the high reaching minus 6.
It's a soggy start to the New Year.
Rainy and mild conditions coupled with melting snow and ice is making for some tricky driving conditions in some areas.
OPP are advising us, Culloden Line is flooded over between the village of Culloden and Brownsville in South-West Oxford.
The road is impassible and has been closed until further notice.
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