That's what the Township of Norwich is looking at when it comes to new rules for burning permits.
Fire Chief Bob Parsons presented the proposal to council earlier this month, and tells Heart FM, "Council continues to want to make the burn permits available at no cost to the permit holder. So we also want to make the system efficient so there's not much cost issuing a permit as well."
Parsons doesn't believe volunteer firefighters need to inspect burning areas, as he says the conditions of the permit are clearly laid out. "Smoke, which seems to be the greater issue for bothering neighbours or causing a traffic hazard. The new permit process, the smoke is to stay on the property, away from neighbouring properties, away from the roadways, and of course the fire has to be a certain distance from combustible buildings."
He says if there are complaints, there will be an inspection, and fines will be laid if there are infractions.
The new system, if approved, would save the township an estimated $7000-$8000 a year.
The township is also making the permit applications as widely available as possible, including at the township office, you can request one by fax, or download the form off the township's website.
There are separate permits for rural residents, who are burning brush and materials, and one for those who are having campfires in the township's settlements.
A consultant has been selected for Phase 1 of the Ingersoll Wastewater Treatment Upgrades.
County Council decided Wednesday night to go with R.V. Anderson Associates Limited at a cost of just under $1.4 million.
Director of Public Works Rob Walton says for the past couple of years the County has been doing a class environmental assessment on the upgrades which was adopted in October of 2012. "We've now gone through the consultant selection process to do the upgrade design for phase one which has a total cost of 17-million dollars proposed to start in 2014".
The two phases for the planned upgrade to Ingersoll’s wastewater treatment plant consist of: an upgrade to the existing 1974 plant; and the eventual decommissioning of the 1947 plant.
The project will take approximately 20 years to complete and will be funded through Ingersoll wastewater rates and development charges.
Oxford County now has a formal Agricultural Hall of Fame Award display at County Administration building.
The wall was unveiled Wednesday night with past and present inductees on hand.
President of the Oxford County Federation of Agriculture Walter Kropf says the wall is important to give something back to those who give so much to the community. "It just shows how much effort goes in to so many activities; just like whether it was the Rotary or the Lion's Club, without dedicated people nothing happens. And just the backbone of the community is often agriculture".
2013 Oxford County Agricultural Hall of Fame Award recipient John de Bruyn says he feels very honoured with the appointment and says this kind of thing is very important. "I think once and awhile a positive story, just showing what simple people in a small community can do to have an affect on their community is a great way to advertise Oxford County and just to advertise agriculture and advertise small communities I think".
The new Award replaces the Federation’s Community Service Award, first awarded in 2001 for service to the agricultural community.
Past recipients of the Community Service Award will be retroactively inducted into the Hall of Fame.
An expansion is in the plans for the Woodstock Community Health Centre.
Health Minister Deb Matthews came to Woodstock today to announce plans for capital funding that will allow for more space and more services at the Woodstock CHC.
However, there was no dollar figure attached to today's announcement.
What Matthews says will be provided, is greater access to health care. "We want everybody to get the care they need, as close to home as possible, in the most appropriate setting. So because community health centres offer care from a number of different providers, you can provide that care that keeps people healthy, that keeps people at home, that keeps people out of hospitals."
The CHC provides a number of services under one roof from primary health care to mental health, addictions services and dietary programs.
The announcement will also pave the way for more youth and wellness programs.
And from the perspective of Dr. Joel Hamilton, who is Physician at the Woodstock CHC, it will allow them to serve more patients. "With the capital announcement today, we'll be able to further expand our space, up to 12 exam rooms, which will mean a lot more access to primary care for patients."
A second man has been arrested in the death of Tim Bosma.
The 32 year old was killed May 6 after taking two men on a test drive of a pickup truck he posted for sale online.
Hamilton Police Superintendent Dan Kinsella, "Today the Hamilton Police Service arrested Mark Smich, 25 years, of Oakville, Ontario." He will be held in custody and charged tomorrow with first degree murder.
27 year old Dellen Millard is also facing charges of first-degree murder, forcible confinement and theft of a vehicle in this case.
Kinsella would only say Smich and Millard were known to each other and that Smich was known to police.
Kinsella says police have also identified the second vehicle involved in the case as a dark blue Yukon belonging to Millard which police are searching for more evidence.
The issue of domestic abuse will be front and centre next week in Woodstock.
The Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is set to take place on June 1st, and preceding that event will be a speech from Michael Kaufman.
He's the author of six books on gender issues, and has been speaking out against gender based violence around the world. Barb Wright with Domestic Abuse Services Oxford says, "He's a co-founder of the white ribbon campaign, and he's known around the world for his work in engaging men and boys to work with women at ending gender based violence."
He's coming to the Quality Hotel & Suites in Woodstock on May 29th, and Wright says he's been brought in by the five Rotary clubs in Oxford County. "Because it's a Rotary event, they've done some wonderful work to put this together and we think it's going to be a terrific event, both inspirational and very enjoyable."
Tickets can be purchased by contacting Barb Wright at 539-7488 Ext. 236.
Officers in air helped OPP catch a motorcyclist travelling 57 kilometres over the speed limit on highway 401.
That's part of the numbers released after a busy long weekend on the road for Oxford OPP.
Among the other highlights listed, 57 speeders were stopped, 22 RIDE programs were done with 4 highways Traffic Act and 1 Liquor Licence Act charge laid and there were 7 collisions on all area roadways with just two of those resulting in injuries.
The lawyer for the man accused in the killing of a Hamilton, Ont., father found dead after taking two men on a test drive says his client is being unfairly maligned by ``speculation'' surrounding the case.
Deepak Paradkar says media reports based on apparent police leaks are turning public opinion against his client, Dellen Millard, and could threaten his right to a fair trial.
Millard, 27, is charged with first-degree murder, forcible confinement and theft of a vehicle in the death of Tim Bosma.
Bosma, 32, disappeared May 6 after leaving his home to take two men on a test drive in a pickup truck that he had posted for sale online. Police have said his charred remains were found at Millard's farm.
Toronto police have confirmed that since Millard's arrest, they have reopened their investigations into his father's death, which had been considered a suicide, and the disappearance of a Toronto woman with whom he reportedly was linked.
CBC has reported unknown remains were found on Millard's farm and cited sources as saying police were working to determine if they are human or animal. Hamilton police would not confirm or deny the reports.
Tuesday Afternoon by Ashley DeGroote and the Canadian Press
Ontario's budget has won support from the New Democrats, averting a spring election.
N-D-P Leader Andrea Horwath announced today she'll help ensure passage of the minority government's budget.
Local MPP Ernie Hardeman says he is disappointed for Ontario families who cannot afford to have the Liberals in power.
"I think they really can't afford this type of government to treat the money like it was Monopoly money and just keep printing it and passing it out where ever they have to or where they think they need to to stay in power."
"First we see them wasting $600 million on gas plants, now we see them wasting well beyond a billion dollars to stay in power so I guess it really does show the Liberals will do whatever it takes to stay in power and obviously the NDP are willing to sell it."
Andrea Horwath says the Liberals addressed a long list of demands in the May 2 budget and agreed to one of the NDP's accountability measures afterwards.
After five years of growth, the Oxford County Drug Task Force says they are now concentrating their efforts to rework their strategic plan.
Clinical Administrator Shelly Redman says their biggest accomplishment so far was the creation of the Oxford Addiction Strategy in November.
Redman says they used to have just one Addiction Services councillor who the county, so they came up with a way to improve services without spending any more money. "We just amalgimated services amongst Addiction Services of Thames Valley , Woodstock and Area Community Health Centre, Ingersoll NP Led Clinic with support of CMAH Oxford and we've been able to increase the services and have roving walking intakes throughout the community every month".
Redman says there are now two walking roving intakes a month in Ingersoll.
She says there used to be a four month wait once you had your intake before you could get your counselling, where as now you walk out of the intake with a meeting for the next week.
Woodstock residents are getting a better picture of where crime is taking place in their community.
Woodstock Police have launched CrimePlot, a local crime mapping tool on their website.
Information Technology Manager Paul White says the application allows citizens to visualize criminal activity and police calls in our community.
"It provides the public with information on a subset of occurrence types that are important for the public to see. Assaults, break and enters that are happening within their community within the last 90 days. It plots it out on the map, with a margin of error to protect the individuals that are involved."
Woodstock Police say you will not find incidents of sudden death, suicides, mental health issues, domestic violence or child abuse on the site.
White says residents aren't able to zoom in on the map too far in order to help anonymize the visualizations and while it may appear an incident happened right over top of your home, it may have happened 200 plus feet away.
Midland Police created the application and brought it live at no charge to Woodstock Police.
The site is also not up to the minute, with incidents updated at least one day after they happened.
To view CrimePlot, simply go to the Woodstock Police website and click on the CrimePlot, Crime Mapping icon.
It appears the police aren't on board with the taxi industry's request for a formal human waste cleanup fee.
Local taxi companies asked Woodstock City Council to consider the creation of a bylaw that would see a $120 charge be imposed on those who vomited or released other bodily fluids while in the cab.
Thursday night councillors were told police believe this is a civil matter between the cab company and the passenger.
Police said generally speaking, you need intent & evidence to
prosecute an offender for almost any offence and, if someone is drinking to the
point of throwing up, they would question their ability to form intent.
They said council should not collect fees for the companies but said companies can seek compensation through small claims court.
Monday Morning by Ashley DeGroote and the OPP
Scammers are now impersonating bank personnel.
The latest scam to hit the streets involves a telephone call from someone claiming to be from your bank, saying your account was tampered with by a bank employee.
Once they have your attention, they ask you to go to the bank, make a cash withdrawal and then walk down the street where you will be met by a bank investigator who you are to turn the money over to in order to help them track down who is tampering with your account.
OPP say you will likely never see the money again as you did voluntarily hand over the funds.
OPP say if you have received a telephone call like this,contact police right away.
Luckily there are a few simple precautions that individuals can take to ensure they don't fall prey to this type of fraud.
- It is important to remember that neither your bank nor a police investigator will ever request that you assist in an undercover investigation or ask you to withdraw money from your account. If you receive such a suspicious call, hang up and call police.
- Never give out personal bank information over the phone unless you have called your bank and they ask you questions to verify your identity.
- If you do need to withdraw a large sum of money for a legitimate purpose, request a bank draft or a money order as this ensures only the intended recipient is able to access the money. Criminals will not accept these forms of payment because it creates a paper trail that can be used by real investigators to track the fraudsters.
- Check your bank statement frequently and report any irregularities to your bank as soon as you notice them.
Woodstock Police are on the lookout for a reddish/purple Hummer that may be involved in a suspicious person case.
Police say a 22 year old woman was walking north of Cedar Street just before 5 Friday night when a vehicle pulled up next to her asking for directions.
Officers say the woman became uncomfortable as the driver continued to talk to her, eventually asking if she wanted to get into his vehicle.
It wasn't until a nearby resident began walking toward them that the driver left.
Police would like to speak with the driver described as a white man, about 27-30 year old, tanned with a thin face, wearing a grey baseball cap and large sunglasses driving a reddish/purple Hummer with dark tinted windows and a tire carrier mounted to the back and the H3 emblem engraved on the carrier.
Anyone with information is asked to call Woodstock Police 519-537-2323.
The Oxford County Injury Prevention Team now has a new tool to get their message across.
A 20 thousand dollar community event trailer has been purchased through donations and sponsorship to help them communicate injury prevention messages and increase their visibility with the county.
Public Health Nurse Lorna Boratto says the trailer has safety messages prominently displayed on the outside and a driving simulator inside.
"So they can drive and we'll be asking people, okay, text a message now and what impact does that have on your driving or reaching for a cup of coffee or fiddling with the radio dials, that sort of thing. Just as sort of a hands on demonstration and reminder what can happen if you drive distracted."
"We can decrease our risk for injury and we know that 90-95 percent of incidents that cause injury are preventale. So what are the teachings, what can we do to decrease that risk."
The trailer will be taken out to bike rodeos, the farm show and other safety events in the county.
OCIPT is a partnership of representatives from Woodstock Police, Oxford OPP, Woodstock Fire, Red Cross, Ministry of Transportation, Oxford County Public Health and Emergency Services, MADD and Community Volunteers.
Woodstock Police are making it easier to reconnect with your stolen bicycle.
Police have set up a bike registration on their website, but it's for residents of Woodstock only.
Constable Steve McEwen says registration is easy.
"We need their name, the make, serial number, model of the bicycle and it asks for all of the information, go in there, fill it out and we'll have their bike in our data base."
"Someone will have a bike go missing and they don't even report it to us. This just makes it easier for them to do that and we'll find bikes and we can't even track an owner because we don't know. Hopefully this will help with that."
"It will help us to basically reunite owners with their bikes. We get lots and lots of found bikes, lost bikes, stolen bikes and this is just another way that people can keep track of their bicycles. There are expensive bicycles out there."
McEwen says when registered bikes are found, police will be able to pull up your information and give you a call to come get your bike back.
City Council has decided to officially file an appeal with the OMB over a $1-million expansion of the works facility on County Road 30 proposed by Oxford County.
City Council says the plan does not maintain the general intent and purpose of the Official Plan and does not represent good planning and would set a dangerous president in the future.
While the decision to file the appeal with unanimous, council are offering to transfer ownership of land Tecumseh Street to the County of Oxford at no cost as long as they retire the Road Patrol Yard on the 11 Line.
Michael Rafferty is still working on getting you to pay for his appeal.
The man convicted in the kidnapping, sexual assault and murder of 8 year old Tori Stafford has already been denied legal aid back in November but according to the London Free Press, has filed an application under Section 684 of the Criminal Code asking the province to hire him a lawyer.
The section of the Criminal Code was used by Paul Bernardo for his appeal and is used when the courts decide it's in the interests of justice that the accused obtain a lawyer when they don't have the money to do so.
Rafferty's application for a lawyer will be heard in court June 10.
Students were screaming and running from Fanshawe College's Woodstock campus this morning.
It was part of a training opportunity for the Woodstock Police Service to enhance their response to a lockdown situation inside of the school.
Students from the Police Foundation program played the victims, some of which were outfitted with fake gun shot wounds and were found lying on the ground.
Police Foundation Instructor Fidel Zabian says this is the first time the Woodstock campus has participated in a lockdown exercise.
"About three or four different scenarios as to what could happen if say a disgruntled student comes in or a shooter comes in. Its sort of a preparatory for a worse case scenario of what might happen, so it helps us at the school if we have any weaknesses here and also helps the Police Services for training which they seem to do twice a year."
Constable Eric Hiiuvain says they tried to make it as real as possible.
"We have casualties, you have screaming students who have been injured, you have fatalities and the officers have to negotiate through the rooms, check doors, clear the area to locate the person who is committing the offense, who is actually shooting and looking to kill people."
Hiiuvain says this kind of training has become experientially important.
"Hearing about it in the States, it's something that we want to be prepared for, it's not something we want to react to after the fact, we want to be ready for anything to the best of our abilities."
Woodstock Police say no form of live ammunition was used during the scenarios.
Sirens, smoke and smashed vehicles took over the parking lot at St Mary's highschool Friday afternoon.
Grade 11 and 12 students were shown a mock disaster ahead of the long weekend so they had a better idea of the dangers of drinking and driving.
Students were walked through a scenario where a impaired teen hit a car, killing the driver and watched as emergency crews went through the steps of extracting the body before the coroner showed up.
Region 3 Representative for Students Against Impaired Driving, Brittany Beatty says while telling students not to drink and drive has some impact, they find the scare factor and major impact presentation is what really gets through to the students.
"When they take away the deceased and when they show the baby seat come out of the back of the car and the police tells them the story of the background, what is going to happen afterwords. I find that has the biggest impact."
Beatty says she isn't telling her fellow students not to party, she is merely asking them to find a safe way home.
The 66th Annual Victoria Day celebrations have official kicked off in Woodstock.
The World's Finest shows opened the festivities at Southside Park Thursday afternoon and will continue on through the weekend.
Back again this year is the men's fastball tournament with the first pitches being thrown Friday evening.
Festivities continue Monday morning with the parade. City of Woodstock Manager of Community Services, Brad Janssen says the parade will leave from the Woodstock Fairgrounds at 10:00 am sharp. "It will weave its way down Dundas Street to Wellington, than to Henry and Finkle into the park. We have 15 major league marching bands, we have all kinds of floats about 50 to 60 entires in total. And then at 1 o'clock in the sports field, we have six of the best marching bands in the province performing field performances during the Band Tattoo. We're asking people to bring a non-perishable food item as a price of admission that we'll give to the food bank".
The parade will go rain or shine Monday but if the weather turns soggy, Janssen says the Band Tattoo will move into the Southwood Arena at the Community Complex at 1:00 pm. Heart FM will pass along the details if the event is moved.
For a full list of the activities, click here to visit the City of Woodstock website.
The City is being asked to continue making investments in their baseball diamonds.
At Thursday night's meeting, President of Woodstock Minor Baseball Brent Peltola said some of the smaller diamonds in the city are not big enough to fully accommodate the dimensions of the games they play, so they are forced to modify the diamonds to make it safe for the players.
Peltola says almost 500 minors play in the city with 95% of them living in Woodstock. "Minor ball has actually seen a growth in Woodstock in the last two years, our registration is up by 10% over the last two years and we're really an anomaly in southern Ontario. Most minor ball associations are actually shrinking while we are growing".
Peltola says they would like the city to consider not only new development, but also to continue to maintain existing diamonds. He says "there are good serviceable diamonds that would not take millions of dollars to keep up to date. We would hope that they could continue to improve those diamonds".
Personal Service Coffee's days at 62 Ridgeway Circle are numbered.
City Council denied the company's request for a temporary zone change to allow them to continue operation 62 Ridgeway Circle until a new, properly zoned location could be found.
City Planner Ron Versteegen said if the company closed off part of their retail and make it more of a wholesale location, it would be within zoning limits.
Owner Randy Hosick dismissed the idea. "I would be putting a wall five feet inside my door, that's not going to happen, I can't do that. If you've ever been in there you can't walk in the door and hit a wall".
Hosick says he will reopen somewhere in Oxford County, it just might not be in Woodstock.
Mayor Pat Sobeski has officially filed a complaint with the Closed Meeting Investigator in regards to an item on the County Council closed session agenda from April 24th.
Sobeski's complaint stems from the Closed Session Report on the agreement to provide compensation for unforeseen costs and obligations incurred of $160,000 to Oxford Gardens and whether it met regulatory requirements.
Sobeski is questioning if proper public notice was given; if the C-A-O report qualified for a Closed Session status and if council's direction for the release of the C-A-O report as public information two weeks after the session was an acceptable time period.
In a media release from the Mayor on Friday, Sobeski says the "Investigator is unable to provide commentary on the contents of the Closed Session Report and the decisions flowing from those reports. For example, while the County Public Works states the Devonshire catch basins are critical in terms of risk to Oxford County, this is contrary to the professional opinion to me by the City of Woodstock Engineering department".
The review will done in confidence and upon conclusion of the investigation, the Closed Session Investigator could order their report be made public.''
“The County of Oxford has received the complaint filed about a closed session of County Council on April 24. We believe we acted appropriately in moving to closed session and, as stated in the Council report, it was our intention to subsequently make the report public. The report has been available on request since and is now available directly from our website.
“We are confident in the process to utilize an independent closed meeting investigator and look forward to the results of the investigation.”
The Woodstock Police Services are marking Police Week with a public event at Museum Square this afternoon
Members from the Oxford OPP, EMS, Crime Stoppers are part of today's event, along with the Ministry of Transportation, Military and Fanshawe College Police Foundations program.
Constable Eric Hiiuvain says the purpose says the purpose of the event is to "create awareness of the police services that support our area, our community. They come from a variety of different sources".
Police Week is recognized throughout Ontario and this year's theme is 'Walk the Digital Beat - a new Era of Engagement'. "It's awareness of internet safety, the advent of social media and its growing concerns. So we as a police service have to be proactive and online and contacted to the internet and what's happening on that level. And also creating awareness to the general public to be aware of what their children are doing online as well".
The public is invited to come down and chat with the representatives, check out demonstrations and learn more about this year's campaign.
The Toronto Sun is reporting that the death of Tim Bosma may have been a "thrill kill".
In their article that was published Thursday, the paper says police have "a theory that it was about stealing a truck but also hurting somebody".
The officer interviewed by the paper says that the police are looking at a small "close-knit group of friends" that were known to hang out together. They are still looking for at least two suspects; one who joined Bosma for the test drive and another who was driving a car that followed behind.
The Sun reports one clue found at the rural scene where Bosma's remains were discovered is a portable farm incinerator that would typically be used to cremate dead farm animals.
The officer said investigators are taking a look at some previous deaths including that of Dellen Millard's father, William who died of a gunshot wound to his eye last December. At the time, it was considered suicide but police say the coroner could request for that case to be looked at again.
On Monday, Kijiji published a statement on their website sending their thoughts to the family and community of Ancaster. They also advised that they have been cooperating with the Hamilton police in their investigation.
"We confirmed to the police that the ad posted by Mr. Bosma on Kijiji did not feature personal contact information, nor did it receive any replies, which determines the incident did not occur as result of his ad posting on Kijiji".
Bosma had posted his ad on AutoTrader as well. AutoTrader has not released a statement at this time but have sent their condolences to the Bosma family and his community.
Kijiji has also posted safety tips on their website for both buying and selling items online.
A planned expansion of a works facility is becoming a battle of County versus City.
Woodstock City Council is expected to authorize staff to file an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board Thursday night in regards to the expansion of a works facility on County Road 30 which the City says does not maintain the general intent and purpose of the Official Plan and does not represent good planning.
Councilor Paul Plant says this decision could be a game changer.
"There have been other instances where they have tried to put services beyond the boarders and it's just one of those things that an urban centre has to object to. If you start supplying urban services to all of the places on your boundary where does the city grow in the future?"
Plant says this reinforces his request to find out what it would cost for the City to retain their own planning services instead of using the County's.
"Right now the City of Woodstock does all of the County road plowing in the City of Woodstock. You don't see County trucks doing County roads here, you see City of Woodstock trucks doing County roads. Why don't we do that in all the municipalities, it would be cheaper? So to go and argue that we have to extend this works yard and put the servicing outside of it, it's not right from the stand point of future growth of the City and it doesn't make sense that we're not sharing resources."
Plant says the City of Woodstock tries to be responsible with their money and he feels the County doesn't want to share.
"We offered the County two situations and one is written in the report, offered them land on Tecumseh Street. I think what you've really got to look at, is do we need two roads service yards within a couple miles of each other."
The City says they are willing to transfer ownership of land on Tecumseh Street to the County of Oxford at no cost as long as they retire the Road Patrol Yard on the 11 Line.
City Council will debate the issue Thursday night.
27 year-old Dellen Millard has now officially been charged with first degree murder in the death of Tim Bosma.
Millard appeared in Hamilton court this morning and his lawyer, Deepak Paradkar spoke to the media afterwards saying his client is "very concerned" with the charges and is exercising his right to remain silent. "At the end of the day, under the constitution Canadian citizens have the right to remain silent; even an innocent person will remain silent for obvious reasons. Something they might say or do may inadvertantly...they might find themself in trouble even having being innocent so he is remaining silent".
Paradkar said his client is in protective custody but is not receiving any special treatments.
Millard will be back in courtvia video on June 13th.
His lawyer says that they are seeking a preliminary inquiry as soon as possible and when asked if he though finding the other suspects would help their case, he responded "we look forward to the Crown's case coming forward. I could only think it would help in the defense's case".
Paradkar says Millard is still maintaining his innocence and says likely at the trial we will hear his side of the story.
The additional charge of first degree murder was laid this morning after Hamilton police confirmed Tuesday that they had found Bosma's remains, which they say were burned beyond recognition.
Millard is already facing charges of forcible confinement and theft over $5000.
Locals worried about selling items online are being told if they exercise caution, it shouldn't be an issue.
Woodstock Police Chief Rod Freeman says sadly there are those out there looking to victimize others and we need to protect ourselves.
"You screen the people over the telephone first I would suggest. Finding out who they are and what time they are expected at your house. If you're inviting a stranger into your home it may be a good idea to have a neighbour accompany you or a friend or relative just so you've got some people around you."
"Trust your gut. If you get an uneasy feeling about somebody you're dealing with, then back away. You can always recontact them again if needed."
Freeman says residents shouldn't fear selling their items online, they just need to remember that if it doesn't feel right or is too good to be true, it likely is.
About A Week Ago by Ashley DeGroote with the Canadian Press
Hamilton police say a 27-year-old man will be charged with first-degree murder in the death of a man who vanished after a test drive more than a week ago.
Detective Sgt Matt Kavangh, "Investigation has now revealed that Tim Bosma was murdered. He was taken to a location in Waterloo area where is body was burned beyond recognition. This is now a homicide investigation. The coroners office as well as the Centre for Forensic Science have both been consulted and are assisting in this investigation at different sites where we have warrants being executed."
Kavangh say Dellen Millard will be charged with first degree murder on Wednesday. He is already charged with forcible confinement and theft over $5,000.
"Video evidence that we have now recovered shows that when Mr Bosma's vehicle left his residence, there was a second vehicle following. We do not know at this time how many people were in this second vehicle so right now we're looking at at least three, possibly more (suspects)."
He says police believe Bosma was targeted but will not reveal how. He says the public has every right to be afraid this will happen again.
"Certainly there is a fear of that. Look what he did the first time to Mr Bosma. So yes, there is a fear and we're doing everything we can to identify this person and get him under arrest."
Based on evidence police have at this point, they believe Bosma was killed the same night his truck was taken.
It is a tragic ending to the search for Tim Bosma.
Hamilton Police Chief, Glenn DeCaire confirmed this morning that remains were found which they believe are those of Bosma. "A number of searches have taken place and human remains have been located. We are convinced by the totality of the evidence that these are the remains of Tim Bosma. The evidence indicates that the remains have been burned".
Police had been searching the land of a farm on Roseville Road near Ayr which neighbours say belonged to 27 year-old Dellen Millard, the man who was arrested on Saturday in connection with the disappearance of Bosma.
DeCaire said their investigation led them to a number of areas. "Our investigation led to the identification of several locations related to the accused, Dellen Millard. Authorized searches took place and evidence has been recovered. We can not discuss all of the evidence at this point given the ongoing criminal process".
DeCaire says investigators from the Centre of Forensic Sciences are currently on the scene and their investigation is far from over.
Police are still on the hunt for a second suspect.
Locals are getting a chance to better educate themselves on the Southwestern Landfill proposal.
Walker Environmental is hosting an open house this afternoon for locals to learn more about the proposed project.
GM of Strategic Development at Walker, Joe Lyng says there will be presentation boards as well as experts to speak to about the proposal. "We also have a reading room which is set up beside the actual display room, that has a number of documents. So all of the work plans that we have developed over the last year as well as the environmental assessment that we did for our landfill site down in Niagara, that is available for people to take a look at. We have the presentation that our technical experts gave to our Community Liaison Committee".
Lyng says there will also be a number of presentations and people available to hand out information. "In particular, we are going to be talking about the actual terms of reference document that we have been preparing over the last year or so and to discuss the the technical work plan as well as some of the alternatives that we've looked at from the perspective of alternatives to the landfill site as well as alternative methods of developing the landfill site if we get approval to proceed".
The Open House is being held at the Quality Hotel & Suites today (Tuesday) from 2:00 to 8:00 pm.
Lane reductions and delays are on the way as road construction season kicks into high gear.
Director of Public Works Rob Walton says there are several road resurfacing projects planned throughout Oxford County as well as a few reconstruction projects.
"Parkinson Road east of Norwich Ave out towards, just east of Longworth Lane there's a fairly major reconstruction plan for there later this summer and on County Road 8 in Plattsville, in the Township of Blandford Blenheim theres a joint project with the Township to do the second phase of the Plattsville drainage works and the reconstruction of the County Road."
Walton says there are two bridge rehabilitation planned for the summer as well.
"One on County Road 29 just west of the 401 and one on County Road 19 east, between Springford and Otterville. Those are deck rehabs, there could be some minor works that would require temporary closures but those would be lane reductions as well."
Walton suggests visiting the County's website for more information on the estimated dates for each project.
The man charged in connect with the disappearance of Tim Bosma will return to court on Wednesday.
27 year old Dellen Millard was arrested and charged Saturday with forcible confinement and theft over $5,000 in the case of the missing Ancaster man.
Millard's lawyer Deepak Paradkar spoke with the media Monday afternoon and says his client has not told police where Tim Bosma is located.
"It's an ongoing, fluid investigation. The police are doing their job so to speak and what we are looking forward to is there is at least one suspect, if not others. We look forward to seeing what that evidence is that would assist my client in his defense. He hasn't said anything because we are waiting to see what the police have on these other potential suspects."
Millard's lawyer says there is a bail hearing Wednesday but he doesn't propose they will do a bail hearing but he is hoping for some disclosure to be passed on to him at that time.
Millard's lawyer says his client is a polite, reserved and humble guy who is shocked by the allegations and plans to plead not guilty.
A 16 year-old female from Woodstock is facing a number of drug charges following a bust in the city Sunday.
Police say they were investigating the trafficking of crack cocaine in the city which resulted in the arrest of the teen.
The girl, who can not be identified, is now facing one count of Trafficking in a Controlled Substance, 4 counts of Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking, 4 counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance, and one count of Possession of Property Obtained by Crime.
Approximately $2,000 of crack cocaine, hydromorphone and cash were seized during the investigation.
Security is about to be beefed up at the Woodstock Skate Park.
Director of Parks and Recreation Brian Connors says security cameras will soon be installed. "We just finished the hydro so we are now looking at what type of camera, what its capacity is; that type of thing".
At this time there is no word on what the cost for the project will be.
Connors says he would also like to see the installation of shade shelters on the park sometime in the future. "You see now that you are pretty much in direct sun or right now you could go underneath the trees but if you still want to watch, we should be providing some shade shelters".
Connors says lights would also be on the wish list for the park though community consultation would be needed before any installation would begin.
There has been a new development in the case of Tim Bosma; the 32 year-old Hamilton are man who went missing a week ago after taking two men for a test drive in a pickup truck he was trying to sell.
Police have apparently found the 2007 Dodge Ram truck belonging to Bosma north of Toronto in the community of Kleinberg.
According to the Toronto Star, the truck was picked up by police on Sunday outside of the home of Dellen Millard's mother.
Millard is the 27-year old Toronto man who was arrested last week in connection with case.
He is currently facing charges of forcible confinement and theft over $5000.
The second suspect is still on the run and police are still looking for Bosma.
It was a week today that Bosma left his home around 9:30 pm to go for the test drive with the two men and never returned home. Bosma's truck was spotted in Brantford later that night and police recovered his cell phone in an industrial area in the west end of the city a few days later.
Construction is on schedule for the new Oxford Children's Aid building.
The new 9.6 million dollar Peel Street location is on track to open in December.
Executive Director Bruce Burbank says construction is about 35 percent complete. "You can sort of see the shape and some of the architectural aspects like the curved wall and the atrium and those sorts of things. People could probably observe that from the street".
Burbank says the current location on Light Street is on County property and even when they put the expansion in in 1993, it was under a 20 year lease.
He says staff have long since outgrown the current building and the new location will beneficial in many aspects. "This facility will provide us a long term viable home and over the long run we will own the building and the property outright, for the first time in modern history".
Local kids with a passion for skateboarding will soon be taught how to do it right.
The City of Woodstock is working on offering a skateboarding class for children aged 6-9 starting in June.
Director of Parks and Recreation Brian Connors says children will learn how to ride a skateboard safely as well as some basic tricks.
"The big focus will be on safety. Making sure that they're wearing helmets, wrist guards, knee protection, all of those things is going to be kind of the critical base components to learning to skateboard."
"Just learn how to ride and skateboard safely, how to learn some of the basic tricks and how to get on the board and that kind of programming."
Connors says there will be eight classes that run from 9 to 9:45 Saturday mornings. No word at this point on how to register for the classes or the cost.
About Three Weeks Ago by The Canadian Press
Senator Doug Finley has died after a battle with colorectal cancer.
He was 66.
His wife, Conservative cabinet minister Diane Finley, says her husband died Saturday after ``a hard and very public battle with cancer.''
Doug Finley was the organizational ``pitbull'' behind Prime Minister Stephen Harper's rise to power, and built a reputation in conservative circles for mercurial temper, implacable calm, fierce loyalty and prodigious work ethic.
Finley was born in Exeter, England, but was raised in Scotland and maintained his distinctive highland growl.
He is survived by his wife, his daughter Siobhan by a previous marriage, and three grandchildren.
In a statement, Harper says Canada has lost a fine public servant, and he has lost ``a dear and valued friend.''
Finley was appointed to the Senate in 2009, and represented Ontario South Coast.
Locals looking into doing renovations have another option for supplies, one which also gives back to the community.
The Woodstock Habitat for Humanity ReStore held their grand opening yesterday with the profits from the store going into running the organization so all of the monetary donations can go into their Habitat for Humanity builds.
CEO for Habitat for Humanity Oxford, Middlesex, Elgin, Jeff Duncan says lots of great things are happening for the organization locally.
"We introduced our next family so we're going to be building this year with the support of Toyota Motor Manufacturing. They have come forward as a house sponsor so we're going to build a second house here in Woodstock. We're hoping to do a third, if we can find a family before the end of the year we'll actually build a third home before the end of the year."
"We want to be building and have a ReStore in Tillsonburg as well. We have already started discussion with council there and we've met the chamber and some business people and some other community groups, faith groups there and there's a lot of energy and vibe there that they want to get going there and our strategic plan shows a ReStore there as well for 2014."
Duncan says ReStores are important because they become the hub of the organization and show that they're here to stay.
"We've hired locally. We're walking the talk in my mind. We've said we want to build houses here and then we don't disappear. We're here you know employing people and putting them back into the community and it gives a sense of community for people that I think is important."
ReStore is located at 1058 Parkinson Road in Woodstock.
If you got a call saying you won a Dream Lottery prize, you didn't.
OPP are warning the latest telephone scam out there involves telling callers they won a prize from a Dream Lottery and need to give over their credit card information to claim it.
According to Dream Lottery, they haven't even started drawing winners yet.
Dream Lottery wants to warn the public about this incident and offers the following information:
1) Lotteries in Canada do not require the payment of additional fees in order to claim a prize (once a ticket has been purchased).
2) Scams rely on the unauthorized use of logos and information from official websites to try and fool people however; callers typically don't have information that can help identify them as fraudulent. For instance, if asked, they very likely will not be able to recite the number that appears on your ticket.
3) If you didn't buy a ticket, you cannot win. Some scams will use a known lottery identity and will claim to have drawn your phone number, home address or e-mail address in order to award your prize. These calls are also likely not legitimate and an attempt to commit fraud.
4) Contacts from outside of Ontario, Canada claiming to represent Dream Lottery are not legitimate. Dream Lottery is administered in Ontario and regulated by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). Tickets are not sold or mailed outside Ontario.
5) If you are ever in doubt that a call is legitimate, visit the lottery's official website and call the official contact numbers. The website address and phone numbers are usually listed on lottery tickets. Dream Lottery does list this information on tickets.
About Three Weeks Ago by The Canadian Press
Chrysler is recalling 469,000 Jeep SUVs worldwide because they can shift into neutral without warning on startup.
The recall affects 2005 to 2010 Grand Cherokees and 2006 to 2010 Commanders.
U.S. safety regulators say cracks in a circuit board can cause a faulty signal as the SUVs are being started. If the vehicles shift into neutral they can roll away.
Chrysler says the problem has caused 26 crashes and two injuries.
Chrysler will notify owners and dealers will update software to take care of the problem.
Chrysler found cracks in a circuit board that turns the four-wheel-drive system on and off.
Repairs will be made at no cost to owners.
The recall covers 295,000 vehicles in the U.S., 28,500 in Canada, and 4,200 in Mexico. The remaining 141,000 are outside North America.
The company says in documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Administration that it began looking into the problem after a customer complained that an SUV rolled away in January of 2012 after being started remotely.
Locals are hoping to raise ten thousand dollars for Lupus.
Today marks the third annual Walk for Lupus in Woodstock.
Walk Organizer Jan Ropp says Lupus is very hard to diagnose and no two cases are alike.
"Symptoms often include fatigue, fever, aching joints, to chest pain, head aches, shortness of breath. It can cause a lot of major problems with major organs. It can attack your kidneys, cause blood clots, seizures and heart attacks."
Registration opens at 10am with the walk beginning at 11am at Southside Park.
Woodstock Police Chief, Rod Freeman has thrown his support behind Private Members Bill C-299 once again.
The bill is calling for a 5-year minimum jail sentence for those offenders convicted of kidnapping a child under 16 years of age when the offender is a stranger to the victim.
Freeman spoke to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights a year ago on this bill, and on Thursday, made a presentation to the Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs. "We're pleased and I am sure MP David Wilks who is the originator of the bill is quite pleased with this progress. I am still pretty optimistic, if anything I am more optimistic today than I was a even year ago and I was thinking plosive even back then".
The bill has a personal connection for Freeman as he took over as the Police Chief in Woodstock the day Tori Stafford's body was discovered in Mount Forest.
"If there is anything I can do to ensure that another child doesn't have to endure what Victoria did, than I will pull out all stops to do accomplish that. And that's part of appearing last year before the Parliament committee and again this year before the Senate and if it requires another appearance, I will gladly come forth and explain the experiences that we had in Woodstock and hopefully contribute to a solution".
During his presentation on Thursday, Freeman said "Well we respect the rights of the accused, I think we have a greater responsibility to ensure the safety of our children".
Hamilton Police now have a description of the suspects in the case of a missing Ancaster Man.
32-year-old Tim Bosma went missing Monday night when he accompanied two men who showed up at his home to test drive a pick-up truck he was selling.
Hamilton Police Service Representative Matt Kavanagh says one of the suspects is white, 6 foot 1 - 6 foot 2, 170-180 pounds, in mid 20s, light to medium short brown hair, unshaven with blue jeans and an orange shirt and running shoes.
"On one of his wrists, ether left or right, where a person wears a wrist watch was the word 'ambition'. There was a box tattooed framing the outside of the word 'ambition'."
Kavanagh says while the tattoo itself is not uncommon, the location of the tattoo is very unique.
The second suspect is described as male, white, 5’9” to 5’10” , small to medium build, early to mid 20’s, dark hair, wearing a red hooded sweatshirt with hood up over his head.
Kavanagh also says "late yesterday afternoon Mr Bosma's cell phone was recovered in an industrial area of west Brantford. Last night, police conducted a ground search of this area, it was a very large area, however nothing further of Mr Bosma's was found. Second,police received information that Mr Bosma's vehicle was seen at approximately 10:10pm in the downtown area of the City of Brantford on Monday, May 6."
Police are asking Brantford businesses to check their video surveillance tapes from 9:30pm-10:30pm Monday for any clues as to the route the truck may be taking.
Police also say "from the cellular records and interviews Police have found these two same individuals that attended Mr Bosma's house test drove a similar type of vehicle a similar type of vehicle in the City of Toronto on May 5 in the middle of the day. The owner of this vehicle was not harmed."
Police have set up a tip line at 905-546-2100 for anyone with information.
About Three Weeks Ago by The Canadian Press
Rescue workers in Bangladesh freed a woman buried for 17 days inside the wreckage of a garment factory building that collapsed, killing more than 1,000 people.
The rescuers discovered the woman Friday afternoon and ordered the cranes and bulldozers to immediately stop work. They used handsaws to cut her out of the rubble, and the crowd gathered at the scene erupted in cheers when she was freed. She was rushed to a military hospital in an ambulance.
Soldiers at the site said her name was Reshma and described her as being in remarkably good shape despite her ordeal.
Abdur Razzak, a warrant officer with the military's engineering department who spotted her in the wreckage, said she was OK and could even walk.
Workers at the site began tearing through the nearby wreckage looking for other survivors.
About Three Weeks Ago by The Canadian Press
Rescue workers in Bangladesh said Friday they may have found a female survivor buried amid the wreckage of a garment factory building that collapsed 17 days ago.
Army officials ordered workers to stop clearing the site with bulldozers and cranes as they tried to free a woman they said might still be alive.
A soldier at the scene said rescuers found a woman in the debris and she waved her hand in response to them.
Rescuers used a handsaw, welding and drilling equipment to try to cut through iron rod and debris to free her. They asked for a small oxygen cylinder to be brought to the site.
Workers at the site had been clearing the rubble since the collapse April 24. More than 2,500 people were rescued in the immediate aftermath of the disaster. However, no survivors have been found in the wreckage since the days after the collapse.
The death toll from the disaster soared past 1,000 Friday.
Mayors from Woodstock, Ingersoll, Stratford and St. Thomas are among officials leaving today for an overseas trade mission.
They'll be visiting Japan and South Korea over the next two weeks to possibly drum up some new business and industry for the region.
Mayor Pat Sobeski says for Woodstock, it's also about strengthening our current ties. "In many ways, it's a retention visit. When we're in Japan we'll be visiting with a number of companies that have made a significant investment in Woodstock. We not only have Toyota, but Toyota Boshoku, Toyota Tsusho, HINO, VuTeq...so in many ways it's a retention visit."
As mentioned, Sobeski and Economic Development Commissioner Len Magyar will be in South Korea for the first time. But Sobeski says the city already has a connection in place. "South Korea is important, because locally, Timberland signed a major contract with Hyundai shipping. So we have a contact over there, but really it's to go over and find out how to best market ourselves."
The visit comes as Canada is in the midst of a free trade deal with the country that is home to major corporations like Hyundai, LG, and Samsung.
More on the trip, who's going, and what they'll be doing in our full-length interview with Sobeski below:
An emotional plea today from the wife of a missing Ancaster man.
32-year-old Tim Bosma went missing Monday night when he accompanied two men who showed up at his home to test drive a pick-up truck he was selling.
Bosma's wife, Sharlene, made a desperate plea for her husband's return today. "It is just a truck...you don't need him, but I do, and our daughter needs her daddy back. So please, please let him come home."
The Bosma family have friends and family here in the Woodstock-area.
Police are known to have been searching the Brantford-area this week.
Because of the unusual nature of the case, Hamilton Police's homicide unit has taken over the investigation.
Two suspects in the case are described as:
1) male white, 6’1” to 6’2”, 170 to 180 lbs, mid 20’s, light to medium short brown hair, unshaven, wearing blue jeans, long sleeve orange shirt and running shoes
2) male white, 5’9” to 5’10” , small to medium build, early to mid 20’s, dark hair red hooded with hood up over his head.
Click on the photo on right for future descriptions of Tim, and his missing truck.
That is the theme of this year's Emergency Preparedness Week in Oxford County.
According to Community Education Coordinator with Oxford EMS, Dianne Marshall, they have a list of activities that you can chose from one day each week during Emergency Preparedness Week, this week.
A special focus has been put on seniors for this year's campaign. Marshall points out that ensuring seniors have the essentials for 72 hour survival is key. "They have special needs as they get older so medications is one thing, so having a copy of your prescription medication in your emergency kit so if you have to evacuate your home, and you need to go somewhere else, somebody can help you get those items that you need. If you wear eye glasses or you have a cane or something to help you with your mobility, have a plan in place so you have access to those things if you have to leave your home as well".
These should be in addition to the general items you should already have prepared in the case of an emergency.
Marshall says residents should be prepared for emergency situations such as major storms, floods or chemical spills. "These types of events could cut off our water supply, they could put our electricity out, our phone services could be out for days. So we need to have plans in place so that we're able to contact our loved ones during those emergencies and we're able to look after ourselves for at least 72 hours because emergency responders will be busy dealing with people who are in most urgent need at that time".
Visit the Oxford County Public Health and Emergency Services website by clicking here for a list of suggested items for your 72 hour emergency kit.
A first ever dance-a-thon is set to take over Woodstock's Oxford Auditorium this weekend.
The event is an awareness and fundraising event for FIRST - a foundation in support of those afflicted with Ichthyosis a rare skin disorder.
9-year-old Ema Hodgkinson was born with it - which is as rare as one in 2.5-million births. However, Ema still very much leads a normal life, and is an avid dancer.
Ema's mom, Sarah, says that's where the dance theme comes in for Saturday's dance-a-thon. "We have dance classes, provided by Woodstock Dance Co-op, and there's going to be presentations at the top of the hour of each dance class. So after you've had a 30-minute dance lesson, you come back onto the main stage and present your dance."
Hodgkinson, says aside from dance lessons and presentations, there's a number of other activities to take advantage of. "You can come and make a card for Mother's Day, All About Scrapbooks is providing those. You can paint a picture for Mom, a watercolour painting, 4-Cats Art Studio is providing that. There's facepainting, and the other hilights is at 5:30 we have Woodstock's Finest...firemen, police and EMS are going to be leading us in with YMCA."
There are also door prizes, and a silent auction. Top items include trips to Chicago and Collingwood, a signed London Knight's hockey stick, and tickets to see the Wizard of Oz in Toronto, among others.
The event runs from Saturday from 11-7 at the Oxford Auditorium. Tickets are $10 per person.
Residents of a future subdivision will have a major County Works Yard as their neighbours.
That was a concern of Woodstock over a $1-million expansion of the works facility on County Road 30.
Mayor Pat Sobeski argued against a waste-water connection and $1-million expansion. "There's a major expansion going on here, and across the street you have the 11th Line, which is residential, there's a subdivision that's been approved out there. It's only a matter of time before the city extends and this major works yard will be surrounded by residential. County Council, in my opinion, should be looking at more of an exit strategy, rather than an expansion strategy."
But County Council voted 6-4 in favour of the project, which Public Works Director Rob Walton says will allow the County a number of amenities. "Traditionally, it has just been a roads operation. Roads will remain there, facilities for all of our County buildings will be out of there, and we will also have some storage facilities for county records."
It will include an office for workers, a wash bay for County vehicles, a six bay workshop, a salt dome for road salt, and buildings to house road signs and other equipment.
Site plans still must be approved before the project goes out to tender, but Walton hopes to have the expansion done this year. "I would think early summer (for start), we needed to get this approval to get the last of our other approvals like our site plan from the township and that. We're not quite to the tender stage, but we need to get to that soon because we really want this building renovated before the snow flies next winter."
Oxford Gardens retirement home is now licensed to serve.
The upscale retirement home is now the first in Oxford County to offer a licensed bar to its residents.
The grand opening was held this afternoon, as Owner Bill Van Haeren says they converted a former lounge at the residents request. "They requested a bar, they requested a drink at lunchtime, or maybe at night when they're playing cards. So we went through the process, weighed out the odds, and it seemed like a great idea."
Manager Nelia Hunt says it's about providing the amenities that residents want. "All about options, just about having choices and amenities all available to you in one area."
Van Haeren says work on the 82-room addition to Oxford Gardens is on schedule (photo below). "It's coming along great, we're motoring along, painting the two top floors. We're likely installing kitchens next week and carpet and then putting brick on the face of it."
It should be complete in mid-August with residents moving in starting in September.
A flash mob in Museum Square this afternoon had some public officials showing off some dance moves.
It was in support of Mental Health Week.
The dancing was led by the "Dynamic Dozen", who have produced a series of video's aimed at youth to promote "Bouncing Back" from adversity.
Project Coordinator Danielle Carr says hopes the message was as dynamic as the dancing. "You know, being able to express yourself in a way that you feel safe and free to do so, we find is a very helpful tool for allowing young people to overcome some of their barriers and some of the adversities that they face."
Today's program was put together by the Student Support Leadership Initiative, made up of over 50 community partners from Oxford, London-Middlesex and Elgin.
Executive Director of the Mental Health Association of Oxford County, Mike McMahon is part of that group, who says he would have like to see a younger crowd at today's event. "I do like to see more young people in attendance. I think that's the challenge of today, to reach the young people you really have to be creative. But because of the effort that was made in the on-line environment, young people were contacted."
The Dynamic Dozen's videos are being released each day this week, as well a social media campaign using the hashtag #bounceback, looked to reach the youth through Twitter.
Green wrist bands were handed out to all students in local schools today, promoting the "Bounce Back" theme, along with a mental health website, and number for kids help phone.
VIDEO: Public officials from Woodstock and Oxford County learn a few dance
moves from "The Dynamic Dozen", in support of Mental Health Week.
Oxford County Councillors want to make sure health impacts are studied when it comes to the mega-landfill proposal.
Today, County Council unanimously supported a motion from Ingersoll Mayor Ted Comiskey, calling for an epidemiologist to be added to the roster of experts on the Peer Review Team.
There was suggestion from CAO Peter Crockett that Walker didn't think a Health Risk Assessment is necessary, as part of the Peer Review.
But Mayor Ted Comiskey says it's a crucial factor. "If we have to do studies on plant life, air, wind, dust, water...certainly the overall health effect is something that must be addressed. It's only fair that it be placed on the Terms of Reference as one of the Environmental Assessments to be completed."
Comiskey says it's about taking a look at all the risks involved. "Living that close to a landfill, what are the effects? I don't know, I'm not a scientist. But I certainly would like the health issue being addressed."
Comiskey also stressed the timing of the motion is key, as we're only 15-days away from Walker's submission of its draft Terms of Reference.
There's also a public meeting coming up next week, on Tuesday, from 2-8PM at the Quality Hotel & Suites in Woodstock. It's being hosted by Walker Environmental.
The Tillsonburg-area man was sentenced on Tuesday, after pleading guilty to charges of making child pornography, and sexually touching a child.
Krygsman was accused of abusing two children, who are not being identified.
He was arrested back in 2012 at the Canada-US border, after serving a prison term in the states. He was arrested in 2004 in Atlanta, after an undercover FBI sting netted Krygsman, who had made on-line arrangements to meet a mother to have an encounter with a 4-year-old child. That mother turned out to be an FBI agent.
After being arrested in Canada, Krygsman was released on bail, and was living with family in Otterville.
On top of his 15-month sentence, Krygsman faces 2-years of probation, a ban on owning cameras or computer equipment, and cannot go near public pools or parks when he's released.
He'll also submit a DNA sample, and will be a registered sex offender.
A Woodstock man, drafted this week by the Calgary Stampeders is proving that "Punters are People Too!"
23-year-old Dumitru Ionita was taken in the 7th round of Monday's draft by a team that he says, he never worked out for and never even spoke to before the draft. "I wasn't completely sure that I'd get drafted, because I'm a kicker and I've been out of school for a year-and-a-half now. It was up in the air because last Saturday, I had a pre-draft workout with the Argos, so I had an idea they might take me late in the 7th round. But it was completely unexpected the Stampeders took me. I talked to most teams in the CFL, but Calgary, so that was a big shock when they drafted me."
Ionita, who lives in Eastwood, says he got a text from a fellow draftee, and then a call from his agent, informing him he'd been drafted. He was shopping at Winners with his brother when he got the news.
He'll head to Calgary at the end of the month for a rookie camp, and expects to compete for a job on the team this spring. "Their punter had a good year last year, but I feel I can beat him out in camp. We'll be competing for the whole month or two."
Ionita, played high school football for the St. Mary's Warrior, and went on to play University Football at Concordia. Last year, he played Junior Canadian Football for the the Twin Cities Predators in Waterloo, where he averaged 42.5-yards a punt.
During this past off-season, Ionita continued kicking indoors, thanks to the Woodstock Soccer Club for allowing him to train in the Cowan Park Complex. He moved outdoors, and has continued kicking at his old stomping grounds at St. Mary's.
He says he hopes he can show local kids that if they put in the work, they can have a shot at playing professional football. "I just want to show Woodstock to keep the youth program going for football, and the high school programs going...just to show that it is possible to go to University and play and move onto the next level and play CFL ball too."
Cracking at Woodstock's skate park is not a safety issue. That today from the Director of Parks and Recreation, Brian Connors.
Connors says the cracking that has surfaced after only 20-months since the skate park opened was bound to happen. "There are some cracks that we're going to have to keep an eye on, but it doesn't look like they pose a safety hazard. And I take that more from the trained staff that come down here and inspect it." (In photo - Connors taking a close look at some of the cracking.)
Regardless, the city brought in Patterned Concrete to take a look today. They are the company that constructed the skate park in 2011.
Connors says the cracking is not likely under warranty. "I think some of the cracking, that's not a warranty issue, unless we can prove there's deficiencies. I don't think we can in this case, I think this is just natural wear. They're not major cracks that indicate the company was negligent in its pour."
Connors says the cracking will be patched up. We'll have more on the cost and what's involved as the city works through the issue, and information becomes available.
Libraries in Norwich and Thamesford will soon be equipped with security cameras.
A report to County Council Wednesday is asking councillors to support adding cameras to the rural libraries.
They would hopefully prevent the buildings from being vandalized, as they have in the past.
And if there is property damage, the cameras would hopefully lead police to the culprits.
Warden Don McKay points out that cameras have already been placed at other locations. "I know our new pavilion in Tavistock that we're just completing now, has six surveillance cameras built in to it. So that we want to, as a local community, ensure that the public asset is protected. I think it only makes good sense with the technology we have today to make that small investment to protect that public asset".
The cameras will cost no more than $5000 per branch.
They were peddling hard in support of children and families with cancer at St. Mary's Catholic High School.
The Inside Ride, Canada's first indoor cycling challenge and fundraiser invaded the gym at the school this morning.
Lori O'Hara-Hoke with Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation says, "The beautiful thing about this event is it really supports and commemorates students who come back into their school after having a diagnosis of cancer. In fact, we have a student here, Madison, who came back...she's cancer free, and it's a real celebration for her and the school to come together as a community and make a difference for kids living with and beyond cancer."
The teams raised funds leading up to the event, which was in support of their fellow student Madison McIntyre who is now a cancer survivor. McIntyre was diagnosed with osteosarcoma (bone cancer), in her right femur in January 2012. She was off from school for an entire semester after surgery and treatment, but is back at school this year, and has been cancer free since April 9th, 2012. At this morning's event, McIntyre told Heart FM, "I am so blessed. Honestly, this just makes my heart melt that they raised over $16,000 when their goal was $7000. It makes me so happy that it's going somewhere that counts."
By the end of today's event, the school had raised over $17,000.
240 staff and students participated in the event for the Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation, which supports child and families with cancer.
Walkers, hikers and runners took to the trails of Roth Park Sunday in support of the 11th Annual Hike for Hospice.
The annual fundraiser, in support of VON Oxford's Sakura House, set their goal at $80,000 for this year.
At the event, organizers announced they had raised $93,094 but the funds didn't stop there.
On the John & Liz Morning Show Monday, Fund Development Coordinator, Kyra McNamara announced that after all was said and done Sunday, they had reached $95,265.
McNamara says they expect additional donations to trickle in over the next few days which will boost the total even higher.
According to McNamara, the funds from the Hike for Hospice are used towards Sakura House's Annual Operations. "We still have two fundraising campaigns. Our Capital Campaign; that's to pay down the cost of converting that residential home into the hospice and that money is kind of a separate fundraising stream. This money goes towards the Annual Operations; all of the other costs associated with literally keeping the doors open, keeping the heat on, keeping the lights on, some supplies and even some of our secondary staffing, we have to fundraise for".
Youth and Children are the focus of this year's Mental Health Awareness Week.
The theme this year is all about "Bouncing Back".
Executive Director of the Woodstock and Area Community Health Centre and Student Support Leadership Initiative member, Cate Melito says promoting wellness and mental health is within the reach of everyone. "We can involve children and youth in strategies and ways that they can help themselves bounce back, in ways that they can be resilient, can promote their own mental health. Really that can lead to hopefully a lifetime of a stronger ability to deal with stresses and strains that come with life."
A number of items are planned for local children this week including a series of short videos as well as a special bracelet that will be handed out to children on Wednesday.
Melito says the Student Support Leadership Initiative have been working with the dance group Dynamic Dozen to create the series of five videos on bouncing back from mental health.
A new video will be released each day; to view the video click here.
With the City's new open air burning bylaw, which took effect May 1, 2013, residents must apply for a free burn permit.
But if you are a new applicant, you may have to wait a few weeks for your inspection.
Fire Prevention Officer Jeff Slager says there are a few steps you must take before getting the five year burn permit. "You will have to complete an application form, provide applicant release form and if you don't own your property, if you are a tenant then you also have to provide an owner's release form to submit that to the fire hall. We will give you a call back to schedule the onsite inspection."
Slager says permits wont be issued until after the inspection has taken place which may take a few weeks depending on the number of applicants.
He says if you had a previous permit, you are allowed to continue burning but are required to book an appointment for an updated permit and site inspection.
Current open-air burning permit holders should see a letter from the Fire Department in their mailbox this week.
For more information on the new bylaw and application process, visit the City of Woodstock website here.
It will be at least the fall before the new Woodstock Art Gallery Board takes over.
Council voted Thursday night to replace the current advisory committee which would see much of the gallery's decision making taken out of the hands of council with the exception of the final budget approval. The creation of the board will also put the gallery in a better position when applying for federal and provincial grants.
Manager of Culture & Museum Curator Karen Houston says Art gallery will continue to be governed by an advisory committee while final details for the change over to a board are hammered out.
"I think that if we're taking the summer to actually see what the bylaw will be, the fall is going to be on hammering out whatever questions and concerns the public or the council may have at that point and if not, it will take a shorter amount of time and if there are concerns it will take longer. "
Houston says at this point, she is not sure how many of the current committee members would be interested in joining the new advisory board.
It's called the largest demonstration of civic pride outside of Woodstock.
After a 1-year hiatus, nearly 1100 took part in this year's trek to Toronto to watch the Blue Jays for Woodstock Day at Rogers Centre.
Locals arrived to find the familiar Lely cows outside the stadium. They were brought to attract attention by Oxford County Warden Don McKay. "What a thrill to be able to bring cows to Toronto and the attention it captures and brings to the City of Woodstock, the Dairy Capital of Canada."
Pre-game festivities were all about Woodstock, including the WCI Voices performing the national anthems infront of a crowd of over 35,000.
7-year-old Max McClelland was selected to represent the city for the game's opening pitch (in photo on right, warming up with Jays mascot Ace). It was a perfect strike to Ricky Romero, who signed the ball for Max, and he came away happy with his performance. "It was exciting and it was fun to throw the first pitch."
Even the Mayor, Pat Sobeski was impressed by the pitch. "Great form! I mean, the way Blue Jays pitchers have been going this year...I think Max was seen by a scout."
Also pre-game, city resident and longtime Jays fan, Marie Bowerman got the chance to get a jersey from pitcher Aaron Loup (photo on right). "It was awesome. To think I'm picked out of 1100 people to receive this gift. I think Aaron Loup is probably one of the best relievers we've got right now...and good looking."
But unfortunately for Marie, the slumping Jays couldn't pull off a win on Woodstock Day. They were thumped by the Mariners 8-1.
Still, Mayor Sobeski believes it is a successful event, "Here in Toronto, when they see 1000 people coming from a city of over 38,000, I hope it leaves them with a message that there's great community spirit."
The Woodstock skate park hours have been cut down.
Council approved a motion Thursday night that would see the skate park close at dusk as opposed to 10 o'clock, as it stood previously.
Director of Parks and Recreation Brian Connors says the time change will help cut down on possible injuries at the park. "There's no lights right now, so we would actually be saying that the park is open, when it's pitch black sometimes. We wouldn't have as much liability on us, as opposed to if it happened at 9:45 when they said, 'Look, the park's open at 9:45, but it's pitch black right now'."
While Council approved the time change, no penalty was attached to anyone caught using the park after hours was discussed.
Connors says the City doesn't have an immediate plans to add lights to the facility. "It's something I think we should be looking into, though. The one thing that we'd have to look into is how much light is going to be necessary, and if the surrounding residents ok with that."
But as it stands now, skateboarders will have to get their ollies and kick-flips in before dusk.
Woodstock Police say they are watching for cyclists on downtown sidewalks, and are ready to write tickets.
Police are taking a zero-tolerance approach to sidewalk cycling downtown, in order to keep the sidewalks safe for pedestrians.
Constable Steve McEwen says the fine for sidewalk cycling is $60. "The fine is $50, plus a $10 victim surcharge. The officer could choose discretion to warn people, but in general, they'll be receiving a ticket for that violation. It's not about we don't want you riding your bike, it's about keeping it safe for everybody using the sidewalk downtown."
McEwen says especially on Dundas between Huron and Van Ave., cyclists need to be on the road. "We get complaints constantly throughout the summer from business owners and other people using the core area on foot about cyclists. You may have seen it, I've seen it, where people are riding pretty quickly on their bicycle and you have someone step out of a store, and there's a crash."
McEwen says cyclists are considered a vehicle under the Highway Safety Act, and need to be on the road. But he says safe cycling is also a responsibility shared by those on 4-wheels. "I also want to encourage drivers to share the road with cyclists. Let's give that cyclist the room that they require. If you're downtown on Dundas St., yes the streets are narrow, and there's a cyclist ahead of you, you're going to have to slow down and wait till there's room for you to maneuver around the cyclist, and do it safely."
About Three Weeks Ago by Adam J. Nyp & Ashley DeGroote
Oxford MPP Ernie Hardeman says the provincial budget is "more of the same" from the provincial Liberals.
Finance Minister Charles Sousa says the budget takes a "balanced approach" to limiting spending growth and eliminating the deficit.
It will grow the deficit to 11.7 billion dollars this year from 9.8 billion last year -- but Sousa says the province remains on track to rebalance the books in 2017-18.
However, Oxford MPP Ernie Hardeman isn't buying it. "Spending in this budget is going up $3.6-Billion and it does nothing to encourage anybody to come and invest in our economy because it's that same policy and same direction they've been going since McGuinty was here and this Premier (Kathleen Wynne) is taking us in the same direction."
Meantime, Woodstock's Mayor is happy to see gas tax transfers remain in the provincial budget. Mayor Pat Sobeski says the fact that the government committed to the payments for a number of years provides the kind of commitment municipalities were looking for. "We'll have to see what comes out of the agreements that the minority government can work, but as far as the stability goes, that's good to see."
In Thursday's budget the province promised to make gas tax transfers permanent.
Woodstock has used the gas tax transfers to purchase several new buses over the last few years, to bring the city's transit fleet up to date.
Local cab owners are tired of paying for your good time.
Cabbies are asking council to impose a $120 cleaning fee if someone vomits or defecates in their cars.
Cab Owner Paul Soares says it's a public safety issue. "It's not the matter of picking up the cleaning fees, it's also the fights that some times occur. It's also having a clean cab".
Soares says it's not as simple as rinsing out the cab after someone vomited. "It's not just about a little bit of puke or whatever the case may be, there's a lot in to it. If it isn't cleaned properly, that's the second part of it. Somebody can get sick from that; like this weekend I said somebody got injured from some kind of accident and there was perversely a lot of bleeding in the car and we have to get that cleaned. If you come in to contact with that, you can get severely sick".
Soares says the vehicle needs to be cleaned with special chemicals that remove biohazards.
Council has asked staff to come up with options for a possible bylaw and also to look into if council has a legal right to force someone to pay a fine.
About Three Weeks Ago by Adam J. Nyp & Ashley DeGroote
$100-million in the provincial budget for small municipal and rural roads and bridges is being welcomed here in Oxford County.
CAO Peter Crockett says they'll have to wait and see how to apply for some of that funding later this summer. "We're certainly optimistic. It's nice to see a commitment to rural and small urban infrastructure. I guess our key is looking forward to seeing what the details are when the come out in the summer."
Crockett says they are optimistic at the County that money can help pave the way for some infrastructure improvements locally. "We don't know any of the details specifically. Usually it involves identifying a project and hopefully being eligible to submit and application and being successful to get some funding."
About Three Weeks Ago by The Canadian Press
The Ontario Liberals have laid out their $127.6 billion budget for 2013-2014. The Progressive Conservatives have already said they will not be supporting the budget. The budget is said to meet or surpass all NDP demands, as the Liberals need their support to avoid triggering an election.
Here are some of the highlights:
-$35 billion over three years for infrastructure spending, including a new $100 million fund for small and rural municipalities to repair roads and bridges.
-the government will legislate an average 15 per cent cut in auto insurance premiums, but won't say over what period of time.
- the threshold for paying the 1.95 per cent employer health tax will be raised, which the budget says will mean 60,000 businesses will pay less, while the exemption would be eliminated for companies with a payroll over $5 million.
- new high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes will be installed on some 400 series highways in the Toronto area _ including Highway 401 in Toronto, Highway 417 in Ottawa _ allowing drivers without passengers to pay to use high-occupancy vehicle lanes.
- income testing will start in August 2014 to force higher income seniors to pay a larger share of their prescription drug costs.
- there is a one per cent increase for people on welfare and disability support, who will also be allowed to keep the first $200 of earnings each month before their benefits are reduced.
- a one per cent annual increase in spending on home and community care on top of the four per cent increase announced in last year's budget.
- there is $195 million over two years to help create 25,000 job opportunities for youth; $45 million over two years for a youth entrepreneurship fund;
- $42 million a year to help adults with development disabilities and their families.
-the deficit for 2013-14 is projected to be $11.7 billion, up from the $9.8 billion estimate for last year.
- total spending will be $127.6 billion this year, and is projected to grow by 1.8 per cent a year over the next three years.
- economic growth is projected at 1.5 per cent this year, 2.3 per cent in 2014 and 2.4 per cent in both 2015 and 2016.
- Ontario's net debt was projected to be $252.8 billion as of March 31, 2013.
Senior amateur sports in Oxford County is getting a financial boost, thanks to an endowment fund.
The fund was created during the 2001 Canada Summer Games in London. The Oxford Community Foundation, once again, has doled out some of the interest from that fund.
Money is going to lawn bowling clubs in Woodstock and Zorra for equipment. The Southgate Centre and Tillsonburg Seniors Centre is getting cash to refurbish their pool tables.
OCF Executive Director, Keith Hudson, says it's small amounts of money that goes a long way. "They are thrilled. It's not a large amount, but for small groups like that, it allows them to do the repairs and maintenance that they would usually have to take out of membership fees, or go out and seek fundraising."
Embro-Zorra Lawn Bowling Club - clubhouse renovations $ 300
South Gate Centre - purchase of a pool table $ 400
Tillsonburg Seniors' Centre - refurbishment of a pool table $ 500
Woodstock Curling Club - certification course fees for 2 instructors $ 350
Woodstock Lawn Bowling Club - purchase of a freezer $ 400
The announcements were made at the OCF's 10th Annual General Meeting this week. They have also elected a new President - Tanya Murray is taking on the role.
Despite the beautiful weather Wednesday, Oxford OPP were busy responding to a number of crashes on county roads.
Shortly before 8:00 pm, police responded to a two vehicle crash at Plank Line and Ebeneezer Road. Three people were transported to Alexandra Hospital in Ingersoll. Two suffered non-life threatening injures and a third was transferred to London with critical injuries.
Police are continuing to investigate the collision.
Plank Line was closed for a second time yesterday after two separate crashes on the road.
The first accident, which happened around the noon hour, resulted in one person being airlifted to London Health Sciences Centre. The road was closed for a number of hours for a police investigation.
Township Road 4 was closed earlier in the morning following a serious single vehicle accident that left one man suffering from critical injuries.
The Woodstock Art Gallery may soon be able to make their own decisions.
Council has been presented with four governance options for the gallery which could see most of the decision making taken away from council.
As it stands now, the Art Gallery Advisory committee can only advise council on what they would like to do and would still need council approval on their decisions. The new recommendations would see the creation of a board that could make decisions on fundraisers and the purchasing of art with council only needed for final budget approval.
Mayor Pat Sobeski says the current model has been hurting the City when it comes to applying for provincial grants.
"We are competing with private sector galleries and there's a view sometimes with these federal and provincial granting institutions that well, you're owned by the City of Woodstock, so they've got deep pockets so you can survive without our money, so it's a direction I think we have to make."
Council is expected to vote on the matter Thursday night.
A 13 year old boy has been charged following the evacuation of East Oxford Central School.
OPP were called to the school Tuesday after a suspicious note was found on the school property which raised safety concerns.
The school was cleared out and no one was injured.
The teen is facing several charges including Uttering Threat to Cause Death or Bodily Harm , Convey False Message, Public Mischief by report offence which had not been committed and Mischief Interfere with lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property.
The child has not been named under the provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
The Progressive Conservatives want you to know more about food.
Earlier this week the party announced they were putting forward an amendment to add food literacy into the Local Food Act which would require food education to become a mandatory component of the curriculum for school children.
Local MPP Ernie Hardeman says through public consultations it became clear the lack of food knowledge people had was a problem.
"We needed to do more to educate people about food, the qualities and the things that you needed to be watching for and a healthy diet and so forth and as this bill was introduced without that again, we decided that maybe we should look at proposing an amendment to put in there to deal with it."
Hardeman says the Conservatives had to request the amendment before it went to committee.
"To amend the education act to put it in the curriculum, it requires unanimous consent from all three parties to allow us to open another act that the bill presently doesn't open. With that agreement we can then move forward and have it added to the local food act."
A recent study by Farmers Feed Cities found that only 41 percent of 18-34 year olds knew where their food comes from.
Woodstock's Food for Friend's program is being hailed as inspirational.
This comes as a group from Exeter prepare to launch a version of the program in their community.
The Food for Friend's program issues cards to those in need of the food bank that can be used toward fresh food at grocery stores instead of having to accept whatever the food bank has to offer.
Community Connection Organizer Nadine Willis says they wanted to meet the needs of the community in a way that really honoured the people and didn't make them feel any less because they needed assistance from the food bank.
"We are really learning about the Food for Friends Program and realizing how instrumental it is to continue to stay in society and not segregate them, having to make them go to a specific place. In a time of need you want to continue to be a part of society. "
Organizer Kelly Fletcher says members from their food bank visited with Stephen Giuliano of Operation Sharing Woodstock a few months ago to learn more about the card program and says theres will be a carbon copy.
"We find that it is a really good role model for us and they've already got their foot in the ground and they've plowed the road, so we have kind of come alongside Steve and use him as our guide and our leader and an example for us as to what avenues to take with this."
Pat Sobeski discusses issues coming up at city council this week, including Woodstock looking at 17 possible solar sites, a by-law to charge for cleaning "bodily fluids" out of taxis, and a governance model for the Art Gallery.
The expansion of the Woodstock Campus of Fanshawe College is going nowhere fast.
$52-million in capital spending is laid out for Fanshawe College in its latest strategic plan, including $40-
million for a new arts Campus in downtown London.
However, expanding the cramped quarters in Woodstock is only addressed in a single paragraph in the 76-page report released last week.
Fanshawe's Vice President of Administration Bernice Hull says that doesn't mean it's not a priority. "What I would say is that we don't have a source of funding. And so the ones that are moving forward are the ones where we have a source of funding. The Oxford County Campus is estimated to between 12 and 15-million (dollars). It's still one of our priority projects."
When it comes to new funding for projects, Hull says the College isn't holding its breath when the provincial budget comes down on Thursday. "I think we're anxiously waiting to see what will come forward in that. I think given the economy and the financial situation the province finds itself in, we're not hugely optimistic that there will be significant resources for capital at colleges."
Federal and provincial funding didn't come through for the project a few years ago, when the governments teamed up to roll out millions of dollars in stimulus spending in Oxford County. Then there was a failed attempt by the Mayor to move Fanshawe into 449 Dundas, that was being renovated for the Woodstock Art Gallery.
Hull says the College continues to have periodic dialog with the city on expansion possibilities.
(In photo: Rendering of Fanshawe College Oxford County expansion from 2010)
If you're selling booze for a profit at a stag and doe, you could have your liquor permit revoked, or face a fine.
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario is cracking down on the rules surrounding a "Special Occasion Permit" to sell alcohol.
Spokesperson Lisa Murray says they can't monitor all of the events, but the rules will be enforced. "There are tens of thousands of Special Occasion Permits that are issued each year. Obviously, AGCO Inspectors and/or police are not going to be at every event. We are trying to inform people. There's certainly more education out there and more discussion out there. I think people are now more aware of what the rules have been."
The enforcement of the rules has caused at least one prominent venue to start the process of taking over alcohol sales. The Woodstock Ag. Society is working towards attaining a liquor license for its venue, which will cut into the profits for charity events like the Golden Gala, Rotary Fish Fry, and others.
Under a proposal before the Ag. Society's board, they're looking to take a 25% share of the booze sales from those charity events. But it would also allow events, like Stag & Doe's to draw a 50% share of alcohol proceeds. Those are the figures the Ag. Society has tabled, as it works through the process of applying for liquor licensing.
However, the Ag. Society has declined comment to Heart FM on the story.
Those looking to create sustainable energy projects in our community are being invited to an information meeting.
A representative from the Ontario Sustainability Service Group was on hand at the final Pro Wind public meeting Wednesday gauging interest in establishing a sustainable energy cooperative in Oxford County.
Director of Community Power Services Harry French says cooperatives are set up to service their members. "They're basically set up to service their members; people who live in their community and to reinvest back in to the community. So the idea would be that if there are surpluses from the project that after you pay your returns or dividends it would go back to the community for other activities or environmental issues or other cooperative activities that the community agrees that it wants to undertake".
French says the Ontario Sustainability Service Group will be hosting public information meetings within the next few weeks to inform locals how they can come together and create investment opportunities for the community.
It's a day of reflection for those who have been hurt, and those who have died on the job.
The annual "Day of Mourning" was marked on Sunday by the Oxford Labour Council today. (In photo: group of CUPW members from across region gather in Museum Square.) A brief but solemn ceremony was held in Museum Square, drawing attention to the fact that nearly 400 workers were killed in Ontario alone last year, while at work.
Over 250,000 more filed occupational injury and disease claims.
President of the Oxford Regional Labour Council says workplace "accidents" seem to happen far too often. "I mean it's disgraceful. We have many good employers that do their job, and do the training, and enforce the rules and regulations of working safely. But we have others out there that do not do their job and unfortunately it's the workers that suffer and so do their families."
The most recent local case happened back in January, when 51-year-old Rafael Figueros of Ingersoll was struck by a falling lid off a mould at Johnson Controls in Tillsonburg.
(Bottom photo: ORLC "Day of Mourning" plaque in Museum Square)
Carey says workers need to bring unsafe conditions to the attention of their employers. "If they see something that doesn't look right, or doesn't feel right to them. Whether it's repetitive strain from doing the work over and over the same way everyday, or whether it's a piece of something that's breaking, they need to let their employer know so the employer can fix it."
And Carey says if the employer fails to act, the worker has the right to refuse unsafe work.
Oxford County needs your help to create a ten year housing and homelessness plan.
Community Planning Analyst Meredith Maywood says through a new online survey, they're looking for feedback on experiences with housing from anyone living in Oxford County. "It's all part of a housing and homelessness plan. It's part of a 10-year strategy that the County of Oxford is developing...it's a comprehensive plan that will look at all aspects of housing from home ownership to rental housing to homelessness."
Maywood says the survey deal with basic questions ranging from what type of housing you have, the cost of your shelter and what kinds of supports you benefit from.
Maywood says there are two additional surveys available including one for landlords and one for people who work or volunteer with an agency or shelter.
They're trying to raise $6000 in Innerkip today for new playground equipment.
The Innerkip Firefighters are putting on a breakfast, while allowing the public to visit their parking lot to test drive a Ford.
Woodstock Ford has several models available to test drive, and for every test drive taken, they're donating $20 to the Innerkip Central School Playground Committee.
It's in an effort to finish $60,000 worth of fundraising for two new playgrounds for the school.
Principal Lisa Munro hopes the community will come out and support the cause. "We would love the Innerkip Community and the greater community at large to come out...it costs no money for you to drive a Ford, but it will certainly benefit students."
As well, Innerkip's Grade 8 students are hosting a car wash at the school's parking lot, also in support of the playground.
Munro says the committee has been raising funds for some time, and they're now in the process of tendering, and selecting equipment. "We have been pricing equipment for the last few weeks, and it's quite expensive. We have a very large school yard with one area for our junior-intermediate students and another area for our primary students. So we do want to be able to provide equipment for both...and we hope the equipment can be used by the greater community during off-school hours."
The test drive event runs from 8AM - 2PM at the Innerkip Fire Hall.
peopleCare in Tavistock were the big winners of the Ontario Long Term Care Quality Improvement Recognition Awards.
The home took Workplace of the Year honors, after beating out a significant number of entries based on a wellness plan developed by staff which helped several staff members quit smoking and lose a substantial amount of weight.
peopleCare's Chief Operating Officer, Elaine Shantz says she couldn't be happier for her employees.
"It is a program that is being rolled out to all of the peopleCare homes and in fact, through the Ontario Long Term Care Association, because it has been recognized as the Quality Workplace of the Year, it will also be written up and presented to other workplaces."
Shantz says the idea for the wellness plan really came from a group of employees who wanted to make a change.
"Our employees need to be taken care of and if they're happy and healthy then they will provide that exceptional care and this team really recognized that and embraced that value and moved forward with it."
According to the Ontario Long Term Care Association the award is given out to the member homes that excel in physical, environmental and occupational health and safety for a transformative organizational change.
As the death toll continues to rise after a garment factory collapsed in Bangladesh, local students are speaking out about sweat shops.
It's part of the All's Fair Wear-athon which kicks off next week and looks to raise awareness of fair labour practices by asking residents to wear the same t-shirt for 110 hours as a way to see what life is like for someone working in a sweatshop.
St Mary's student Amanda Geras says hearing about the tragedy in Bangladesh made her know she was doing the right thing in participating in the next week's event.
"Well this is like, kind of a reason why we're doing the All's Fair Wear-athon. It's just to have people aware of it and have it to stop because this is the thing that will happen from it if we don't make a change."
Geras says she wants to educate students that they are the future and changes need to be made in order for the future to look brighter here and in third world countries.
Student Jamie VanVliet says being media savvy has helped her when selecting which companies to support when buying clothing.
"Sometimes companies, they get negative publicity for the things that they do in their companies whether it's over seas or wherever it's taking place in the world. So by kind of paying attention to the news and other things around you and listening to what other people have to say it really does help you in know what companies do have fair trade and fair labour."
Program Director for the Peace Project at YFC/Youth Unlimited Woodstock Dave Steenburg says this tragedy in Bangladesh really hits home the project's message.
"With a tragedy like this it certainly gets people's attention as to where our clothes come from and who's paying the cost for the cheap clothes that we get. The event that we're running, the All's Fair Wear-athon, part of it is promoting the Fair Labour Association and this is a strategy for companies that are trying to do the right thing in developing nations."
To get involved in the All's Fair Wear-athon, you can buy the t-shirt from Imogene's WERCreations at 426 Dundas St. for $15 by Tuesday, April 30.
They were lined up at 7:30 this morning. Eager campers were ready for Pittock Conservation Area to open the gates at 8 o'clock this morning, kicking off camping season.
Pittock Superintendent, Brent Verscheure is encouraging anyone to come and check out the campground this weekend. "The weather's working out fantasic. This weekend our gates will be open up until Sunday, free access is permitted so come out and enjoy the campground."
Verscheure says the wet spring hasn't dampened the grounds too much. "It has been a wet spring, but it's on par with other years. The lake is full and we're ready for boating, fishing and all water sports alike. We have canoe rentals and very, very good fishing here at Pittock."
And for families that are looking to try camping for the first time, Verscheure says they have a new program that families should take advantage of, "One new thing that we want to add this year, we want to invite young families out for camping for the very first time. Here at Pittock we'll provide the essential camping gear to allow families to experience camping without the initial expense."
Pittock features 5kms of hiking and biking trails, water sports, and a swimming pool and splash pad for when the weather really heats up. Campground features include:
Great day use area for special events
Picturesque and private group camping facilities
Large lake for swimming, boating, sailing and fishing
Modern washrooms and laundry facilities
5 kilometres of hiking and biking trails
Swimming pool in campground
Summer recreation programs
Children’s splash pad
Peaceful day use area
National rated 18 hole disc golf course
Rental program including canoes, shelter and sporting equipment
OFAH TackleShare program – fishing gear for everyone
Several new events are set for this season including a learn to canoe and star gazing course. Here's a full list of special events at Pittock this year:
May 26: Multi Sport Canada - Woodstock Triathlon
June 15: Planting for Tomorrow (Tree Planting for everyone)
Property taxes still aren't being paid on the former Capitol Theatre property in downtown Woodstock.
If the delinquent property owner, from Toronto, continues to fail to pay, the city will be in a position by 2015 to take the property over.
By that time, the tax bill will have climbed to $600,000.
That's on top of the $500,000 the city spent in 2010 to demolish the old theatre that was starting to fail. (In photo - Oct. 2010, demolition crews get ready to take down the former Capitol Theatre.)
Woodstock Mayor Pat Sobeski tells Heart FM neglected buildings become a catch 22. "It's an empty lot right now, we've got $600,000 (invested) because of the demolition costs which were imposed by the city. We don't own the property, so we could take back the property and it gives us at least control of the site. It could be used for parking, or who knows what down the road. It's a difficult situation for every municipality that have older structures in their downtown that are vacant."
In the last year, the city has taken over the old Reg Hall building downtown, and the former Thomas Bus Factory on Tecumseh as part of tax arrears takeovers. The city still hasn't announced firm plans for either of those properties. The city is shoring up the roof of the Reg Hall building.
Health Canada says some products for disinfecting soft contact lenses contain hydrogen peroxide and can cause eye injury if used improperly.
Three products sold in Canada, Clear Care, Aosept and Oxysept contain three per cent hydrogen peroxide and are used for cleaning, disinfecting and storing soft contact lenses.
The hydrogen peroxide in these solutions needs to be neutralized in a specialized lens case provided with the product for a certain amount of time before the lenses can be safely inserted into the eyes.
Only multi-purpose or saline solutions should be used to rinse contact lenses before they are inserted.
Health Canada says it has received reports of eye injuries from consumers who confused the hydrogen peroxide-based contact lens solutions with other types of solutions.
Consumers are advised to carefully read and follow labelling and packaging information before buying and using contact lens products.
Student volunteers are helping CAMI build a new forest that will link two existing natural areas.
Several Woodstock area children put shovel to ground today to help CAMI accomplish a five year goal along their property on Thomas Street.
Senior Environmental Engineer at CAMI, Brenda Beaudoin says during the expansion of the plant, a small wood lot was removed and the reforestation was important to meet General Motor's sustainability and partnership goals.
"We had taken out about five acres of woodlot and different kinds of trees so we are replacing that with about 16 acres of trees. It's in a good area because it connects up with the five points wetland that is out the north west corner of the property and it will provide a wildlife corridor."
Community Partnership Specialist with Upper Thames, Brad Hertner says the conservation authority was able to walk in the neighbouring woodland to determine the best native trees and shrubs to plant.
"Pine, dogwood, Kentucky coffee tree, poplar, elderberry, cranberry, a real mix of tall canopy trees and wildlife shrubs that will provide food sources for locals mammals and birds."
Hertner says with student planting, the Conservation Authority has an average 85 percent survival rate.
He says they really love having school children out to plant trees.
"We feel that if they are engaged and find value, boots on the ground, in their local, natural areas it builds a conservation ethic and it will lead them to more environmental choices as they get older."
Hertner commended CAMI for using students saying it is more expensive to use student labour citing the use of larger trees and mulching by hand as a couple of reasons for the extra costs.
Public Consultations are now over when it comes to a proposed wind farm in Norwich Township.
Last night was the final open house for Pro Wind, which is looking to install 10 turbines along Gunn's Hill Road.
Project Developer with Pro Wind, Juan Anderson says now that the public meetings have wrapped, they will be submitting their renewable energy approval materials to the Ministry of the Environment. "Some of the new things we're happy to announce, we've been able to reduce the sound levels again from the turbines. This is the second time we've been able to do that...to minimize impacts. We're also quite pleased to be open the possibility for co-operative ownership of part of the project."
Anderson says they continue to work in good faith with the Township of Norwich planning staff even though he finds it disappointing they have public stated they are "not a willing host" for the project.
Curries Resident Keith McKay says he is completely opposed to the project and claims the only local residents in favour are those who will benefit financially. "The rest are going to lose at least 25% value on our property. We've talked to Pro Wind about this...they guarantee us there will not be property loss, but they will not put it in writing, they will not back that fact up."
Pro Wind's Anderson says the power of approval is now in the hands of the province.
Norwich Township has written a letter to the Premier, saying they don't want the turbines erected in their township.
Depending on final approvals, construction could begin in the first quarter of 2014 at the earliest.
OPP are cautioning locals after a pair of officers were sent to hospital for inhaling hydrogen sulfide.
They say the warning comes after sever investigated incidents in which the gas was used.
According to OPP, the gas smells like rotten eggs and is similar to cyanide and five times more toxic than carbon monoxide.
Police are saying the pair inhaled the fumes when trying to help a victim but are expected to make a full recovery.
They are also asking the public to look for written signs or signs that chemicals may be present if they stumble upon someone who appears to be sleeping or unresponsive in a vehicle or other enclosed space.
The issue was brought up at council earlier this month following a scheduled Easter egg hunt at Peter Lossing Forest where several members of the public had to clean up mounds of feces before the event could be run.
Director of Fire and Protective Services, Bob Parsons says there is a bylaw in place which requires residents to pick up after their animals.
"The tickets issued for failure to remove feces from a dog in a public property is $150 plus court costs of $30, so $180 in total."
Parsons does admit it can be difficult for bylaw officers to issue tickets.
"The difficulty is sometimes this occurs when it's not observed by a bylaw officer so it's difficult to issue tickets based on just the information without knowing the owner of the dog or some information as to noting the time and date that that occurred."
It may be earth week, but it's not cause for celebration at two Woodstock trails that have been decimated by the Ash Borer beetle.
The city this fall was forced to hire a company to cut down 96% of the trees on the Lions' Trail alone, because of fear of the forest collapsing on itself.
Now that the cutting is finished, the area looks like a waste land, and remains closed due to flooding. (Photo on right courtesy of Woodstock News Group)
City Parks Supervisor Chris Kern says they have taken wildlife into account. "We noticed that there was some wildlife that wouldn't have a home. We noticed some rabbits and birds and we didn't want them to be without, so we put some piles of brush out for them to use as a refuge. There are some wood chip piles that you can see from Dundas. We'll be using those chips to put around some tree seedlings for the replant."
Kern says the city has purchased 1300 trees, 6-8-feet in height to begin that re-forestation of the trails. An estimated 2300 trees were cut down on the Lions' Trail alone. (Bottom photo taken of tree-line in December)
The trees that were cut down were sold by Hart Excavating as firewood. The city received permission for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to allow the wood to be sold off.
Across Dundas on the Youth Start trail, there wasn't as high a concentration of Ash trees, and the trail is in good enough shape to re-open. The signs were taken down on Tuesday.
Kern says, "We've actually opened the Youth Start Trail. On the Lions' Trail, we've had quite a few flooding situations so we have some more work to do in there, and we'll be meeting with the Upper Thames at the beginning of next month to go over plans to revitalize the area."
It's a worst case scenario that hopefully never happens in the Friendly City. But, Woodstock Police are prepared in the event of a school shooting.
Members of the force took over the old St Rita's school in Woodstock Tuesday to conduct an 'active shooter' simulation, which saw officers clear the school and approach the threat as quickly as they can while still maintaining officer safety.
Constable Paul Hill says this training is an enhanced service. "This is the first time we've done it this year. We're trying to incorporate it annually. It's not mandated like other things...we've done it every-other year up to this point."
Hill says they try to make the training as real as possible to give the officers a heightened sense of awareness. "For example, we'll have a subject exit into a hallway from behind, after they've already passed, we're just trying to make sure they're covering for any threats from the front, or threats from behind. We'll also throw some screaming victims at them so they can differentiate from shooting the subject and shooting an innocent victim that's just trying to get out of the school."
The eight hour training day also included the Crown Attorney's office going over case law, as well as a domestic violence presentation.
When you think "flea market", you probably don't think "upscale".
But that's the concept behind a new business launching at the former Juliana bar and grill.
The "Canadian City Mart" is the name of a new flea market that is launching in the former bar starting in June.
They're looking for vendors right now, and spokesperson Marylisa Tavares explains what they're looking at. "For the indoor, it's going to be all year round, we're going to have the meat, the bakery, the cheese, the clothing, the electronics. We'll have an Internet cafe with the bookstore. Outdoors, we'll have flowers and plants, vegetables, hot dog carts, specialties like that." Tavares is also the owner of a photography studio that is looking to operate out of the market.
They're hoping to run the market four days a week, from Wednesday to Saturday.
Businesses have struggled to succeed at the Juliana property of the years. Most recently, the building was a nightclub. So a flea market will be a stark contrast. But Tavares believes the market concept will be a success. "It's a beautiful piece of property. It's got a lot of parking spots. And location, you couldn't get any closer to the core of where Wal-Mart and Canadian Tire are and it's just a great, great location."
The market is tentatively set to open on June 19th.
For more information on becoming a vendor, contact:
Downtown businesses may soon get a face lift with help from the County.
At council Wednesday, council will be asked to approve a draft Community Improvement plan that would see the County partner with Tillsonburg and Woodstock to offer tax incentives for business improvements.
Warden Don McKay says if the property today was assessed at $200,000 and they make $200-300,000 in improvements, they will only pay for the next five years, tax based on the original $200,000, giving them a break on the increased value of the property.
McKay says while the improvement of downtown's isn't really in the county's jurisdiction, the tax they would be forgoing will enhance and come back. "The tax that we're foregoing, will enhance and come back. So your postponing for 5-years the tax increase. So your (Oxford County) not providing money up front, you're no money out of pocket. And any of those increases in one property, the neighbouring properties are going to respond with value and business in the downtown core."
McKay says they're thinking more and more about what they can do to enhance the are municipalities as well as the quality of life that the people in their communities are looking for.