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New Memorial to be Dedicated Tomorrow
Friday, October 24, 2014 (22366 reads)

The Town of Huntsville and the Huntsville Legion Branch 232 are inviting the public to a dedication ceremony to be held at the new memorial installation at memorial park behind the Active Living Centre.

The dedication, honoring those who served and continue to serve the country will be held at 11am on Saturday and will include a Colour Party, and remarks from the Legion President and Mayor Claude Doughty.

Given the recent events in Ottawa, the public is invited to attend.

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Clement Recounts Emotional Return to Work Yesterday
Friday, October 24, 2014 (5233 reads)

MP Tony Clement said that yesterday was full of emotion starting his day at the National War Memorial, watching Prime Minister Harper lay a wreath where Cpl Nathan Cirillo died the day before, in what Clement called a day of insanity.

Clement said that MP's were united and happy to be back to work and it was important to be in our chairs.  MP’s thanked Sergeant -at-arms Kevin Vickers as he entered the chamber with a standing ovation.

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Huntsville Town Hall Open Tomorrow to Assist Voters
Friday, October 24, 2014 (386 reads)

Huntsville Town Hall will be open on Saturday from 9am - Noon to assist eligible voters to register and vote in Monday's Municipal election.  Any resident who has not voted can come into town  hall, register and vote.  This applies to residents who may have lost or never received a ballot in the mail.  Anyone who has a ballot, is asked to return it to town hall by 8pm on Monday.

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Huntsville Town Hall Flag Lowered
Friday, October 24, 2014 (8244 reads)

After a public outcry, the Canadian flag has been lowered in Huntsville.  The decision came late last night after MP Tony Clement talked with Mayor Claude Doughty.  The town had originally decided to lay a wreath commemorating the events that led to the death of Cpl Nathan Cirillo in Ottawa on Wednesday.

Councilor Scott Aitchison explained to concerned residents that the town's flag policy didn't cover such events and ultimately it was up to the mayor who had decided that laying a wreath was appropriate.

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Last Low Cost Rabies Clinic Tomorrow
Friday, October 24, 2014 (2251 reads)

Saturday is the last day low cost rabies clinics will be held in the area.  Each October, veterarians in the area participate in a low cost rabies vaccination program held by the Simcoe Muskoka Health Unit.

Tomorrow the clinic will be held at the Bracebridge Fire Dept  from 10am -2pm.  The cost is $20.

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Book Your Flu Shot Online
Friday, October 24, 2014 (436 reads)

The Simcoe Muskoka Health Unit is urging you to get your flu shot sa ying that the flu season is just around the corner and it make sense to get the shot now so your body is set to defend against the flu virus.

This year, flu clinics are by appointment and can be booked online. The Health Unit says the vaccine protect  you and your family, friends and anyone that works or plays close to you.

To book your appointment , follow the link

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Donaldson Comments on Events in Ottawa
Thursday, October 23, 2014 (15390 reads)

Mayor Paisley Donaldson commented on yesterday's events in Ottawa and said Gravenhurst is shocked and saddened by the tragic events in Ottawa yesterday. We extend our deepest sympathies to the family of fallen soldier, Cpl.Nathan Cirillo, and to all, who stand for our democratic freedoms every day, our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult moment.


Flags at the Gravenhurst Municipal Town Hall will be lowered to half-staff.

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Coleman Honoured At District
Thursday, October 23, 2014 (635 reads)

District Councilor Fran Coleman was honoured on Monday by fellow District Councilors , constituents and District staff.  “I must start off by saying we are NOT naming this room after a politician!” began Community Services Committee Vice-Chair, Steve Clement.  “We are naming this room after a dedicated, thoughtful and compassionate person who just happens to be a politician.” 

The Pines Community Room in Bracebridge was named after Fran Coleman for her determination to fight against homelessness, her fight for attainable housing, her advocacy for child care and housing for seniors and she was one of the driving forces that lobbied all levels of government for funding to build the new Pines, the addition to the Pines and McVittie Place.

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Huntsville Council Meets Tomorrow
Thursday, October 23, 2014 (8627 reads)

Huntsville Council will be holding their monthly council meeting tomorrow instead of Monday, which is election day.

Council will get an update on the remaining funds from the Mayors Golf Tournament and decide how to distribute the funds which will be in excess of $10,000.  Council had donated $20,000 from the Tournament to the Table Food Bank last month.

Council will also hear a report from the District on an affordable housing initiative.

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Voters Can Cast Ballots Right Up Until Monday Night
Thursday, October 23, 2014 (206 reads)

Voters are being reminded to drop off their ballots at municipal offices in the remaining days before Monday's election.  Eligible voters who have not received a ballot can vote by going into your municipal office and registering and voting up and until Monday at 8pm.

The Town of Huntsville will be open on Saturday from 9am-noon to allow people to vote.

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PM Says Canada Will Counter Threats & Keep Canada Safe
Thursday, October 23, 2014 (829 reads)

Prime Minister Harper addressed the nation last night, and said "Today, our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Corporal Nathan Cirillo of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada.

He said "in the days to come, we will learn more about the terrorist and any accomplices he may have had.  But this week’s events are a grim reminder that Canada is not immune to the types of attacks we have seen elsewhere around the world."

Harper continued by saying “But let there be no misunderstanding. We will not be intimidated - Canada will never be intimidated"

Harper said that the nation security agencies will take all steps to identify and counter threats, and keep Canada safe here at home.

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Death of Soldier "Crushing" - Clement
Thursday, October 23, 2014 (18268 reads)

MP Tony Clement said that yesterday's events in Ottawa that ended up in the death of a Canadian Soldier was crushing and he and his colleagues extend their condolences to the family of 24 year old Nathan Cirillo.

Clement told HBR that he was in caucus when they first heard noises that they assumed was construction, then came to realize that if was gunfire.   Clement said that the PM was rushed out of the caucus room and he and fellow MP's barricaded the door to prevent gun men entering the room and spraying it with bullets.

Clement was able to get out of the room with a group of other MP's and find an empty office where they waited for security personnel to rescue them.  Later in the day they were moved to a room in the peace tower and wait until nearly 8pm before being able to leave the building.

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Huntsville Mayor Claude Doughty "Shocked & Saddened" By Events in Ottawa
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 (8251 reads)

Huntsville Mayor Claude Doughty said today "I watched the live news and was shocked and saddened to see the events as they unfolded today in Ottawa.

The last time I had that feeling was on 9/11. The world continues to change and sometimes not for the better."

Doughty said that "On behalf of all residents of Huntsville our sympathies go out to the family of the fallen soldier who was so needlessly murdered today in Ottawa. Like him, all of the soldiers who have served our country so well and who have fallen in the line of duty deserve our thanks, our appreciation and  our respect."

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Clement Calls Constituency Office to Report He's Safe & In Lock Down
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 (14690 reads)

Police are asking the public in Ottawa to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity.  When asked if the situation has been resolved, Police said that it is too early to determine that and if there is a 3rd suspect.

A perimeter has been set up about the immediate area around Parliament Hill and an ongoing operation is ongoing to clear the area before the area is deemed safe and opened up to the public.

One shooter is dead, a Hamilton soldier has been killed,  another shooter has been reported shot, and possibly another on the loose.

MP Tony Clement is in a safe location at Parliament Hill.

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One Shooter Dead, Police Pursuing Another
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 (90 reads)

One shooter is dead inside the Centre block and police are pursuing a second possible shooter in Ottawa.  A man with a long gun has shot a soldier who was standing guard at the War Memorial has died according to reports.  MP Tony Clement reports at least 30 shots fired during  a caucus meeting.  Parliament is in lock down according to Clement's Office until the situation is safe.

Government offices all across Ottawa are in lockdown and all Canadian Forces bases across Canada are closed to the public.

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Shots Fired Near Parliament Hill
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 (15214 reads)

A man with a long gun has shot a soldier who was standing guard at the War Memorial in Ottawa this morning.  MP Tony Clement reports at least 30 shots fired during  a caucus meeting.  Parliament is in lock down according to Clement's Office until the situation is safe.

Ottawa police have sealed off the area are warning people to stay away from Parliament Hill.

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Swift River Quiet on Future Plans
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 (681 reads)

The Swift River Energy Company is still obtaining the necessary permits before they can enter the site of the proposed hydro electric project in Bala.  The District had given permission to the company to enter the site on Monday, after the Cranberry Festival had come to an end.

However, the MRN says that while the project is slated to go ahead, some permits are still required.

The company however issued a statement saying that they are working with MNR on how best to proceed with on-site works.  They said that given the sensitivities around the situation, they were not at liberty to provide any further details.

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Regional Fire Dept Could Be a Reality for Southern Almaguin
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 (1216 reads)

Armour Township Reeve Bob MacPhail says that the township should be looking at creating a regional fire department. Macphail said that if a South Almaguin fire service was created, costs could be reduced by sharing equipment and possibly having fewer fire halls. 

MacPhail said that reducing the number of halls could create savings, but maintained that there would not be any job losses due to the change.

The plan is to pursue the idea with the next council with the goal of  having the new structure in place in a few years.

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District Announces New Commissioner of Planning & Economic Development
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 (7354 reads)

The District of Muskoka has announced that Samantha Hastings has been selected as the new Commissioner of Planning & Economic Development.

Ms. Hastings, a resident of Bracebridge, has been with the District since 1999 and has held the Acting

Commissioner position since June of 2013.

As the Commissioner of Planning & Economic Development, Samantha will lead the District in the areas of Planning, Environmental Policy & Programs, Economic Development, Geographical Information

Systems and the Muskoka Airport. She will work closely with Council and Senior Management to advise on a wide range of matters and their impact on the District.

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Town Hall Open Late to Accept Ballots & Register Voters
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 (499 reads)

The Town of Huntsville will open late tonight to accept ballots and register voters who have not received a ballot for this municipal election.  The municipal office will be open until 6.30pm tonight and will open on Saturday from 9am ‘til noon to assist voters cast their ballots.

Anyone, who has a ballot is advised to drop it off at town hall rather than mail it, to ensure it arrives in time to be counted.

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Female Elementary Students to Learn Computer Programming
Tuesday, October 21, 2014 (3297 reads)

On October 23, girls from elementary schools will take part in the TechnoGirls program at Huntsville High School. TechnoGirls is an educational program designed to enrich female elementary students on the opportunities in the field of computer science.

High school mentors will teach the elementary students basic computer programming skills and the participating elementary students will return to their schools and teach what they learned to their classmates. Members will reconnect throughout the year with the high school mentors to discuss their progress.

The final goal for the students is to create a cell phone application that will meet a need in their community.

The TechnoGirls will be heading to the TLDSB LEGO Robofair in the spring to demonstrate their new skills.

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Miller Pleased With Nurse Practitioner Station Announcements
Tuesday, October 21, 2014 (2427 reads)

Norm Millar MPP for Parry Sound Muskoka applauded the decision to fund new nursing stations in Muskoka yesterday, saying “I am very pleased with the decision by the Minister of Health to make this local proposal a reality."

“Providing access to healthcare is a challenge, particularly when many in need of care already travel great distances to receive treatment,”  he said. “I believe putting this ‘Made-in-Muskoka’ plan into effect will help to address the key challenges faced by seniors and low income families, as well as the seasonal residents” added Miller.

“The success of nursing stations in the Parry Sound District illustrates the value that they provide for small, rural communities. With the significant community support that exists already for the District of Muskoka plan, I look forward to first steps of establishing these new nursing stations.” he said

Details of the decision include:

• Funding for a 3-year demonstration project for primary care staff in community hubs in the Port Carling and Dorset areas

• A mobile nursing station unit to provide service to the communities of Port Severn and Severn Bridge

• Reinstating nursing support for the Wahta First Nation

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Dorset Approved for Nurse Practitioner Station
Tuesday, October 21, 2014 (820 reads)

Dorset has been approved for funding of a Nurse Practitioner Station.  The announcement was made yesterday by Lake of Bays Twp.  Dr Eric Hoskins, Minister for Health and long term care approved the Dorset Hub, plus a similar facility in Port Carling and re-instating funding for the Wahta Mohawk facility.

Mayor Bob Young said that the project could not have happened without the strong support of the community.

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High Water Level Advisory in Effect
Monday, October 20, 2014 (4828 reads)

The Ministry of Natural Resources have issued a Water Safety Statmenent for all watersheds within the District Municipality of Muskoka, Parry Sound and a north-west portion in the County of Haliburton.

Water levels and flows in local lakes and rivers have been higher than what is normally expected or experienced at this time of year due to rainfall amounts received including isolated but extreme rainfall events that have occurred across the region over the last few weeks.

Residents and those visiting the area are advised to be aware of current watershed conditions, exercise caution while around waterbodies and maintain close supervision of children and pets.

The MNR is warning that water levels and flows are expected to rise in the coming days as a result of the forecasted rainfall amounts and the current saturated watershed conditions.

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Utterson Student Awarded Bursary
Monday, October 20, 2014 (2975 reads)

An Utterson student has been awarded a $500 bursary by the province in a program that recognizes students who demonstrated excellent performance while working at an Ontario Park this past summer.

Taylor Madden, who attends Carleton University and worked at Arrowhead Provincial Park this summer, is one of 30 recipients this year in a field of over 1500 students who worked in the parks during the summer.

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Voters Reminded Not to Mail Their Ballots
Monday, October 20, 2014 (4724 reads)

Registered voters who have not mailed in their ballot for this municipal election are being advised not to drop your ballot in the mail starting today and instead take them to your municipal office to ensure that they will be received on time.

In Huntsville over 5,000 ballots have arrived at Town Hall compared with over 8,000 votes cast in the last election, which was held using the internet.

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Lakeland Donates $10,000 to Local Hospital Foundations
Monday, October 20, 2014 (241 reads)

Lakeland Holdings, owners of Lakeland Power, Bracebridge Generation and Lakeland Energy has announced that they have donated a combined $10,000 to the South Muskoka Hospital Foundation and Huntsville Hospital Foundation.

“We are extremely grateful,” says Paul Hammond, of the South Muskoka Hospital Foundation.  Hammond said that their $5,000 would be applied to the Foundation’s diagnostic imaging project which includes replacement of the hospital’s CT scanner and mammography machines as well as upgrades to the hospital’s x-ray suites.

In Huntsville, the $5,000 will be used to support the Diagnostic Imaging CT Scanner in Huntsville and for other priorities such as upgrades to the Chemo suite and digital communications according to John Crockett, Chair of the Huntsville Hospital Foundation.

Chris Litschko, Chief Executive Officer of Lakeland Holdings said that the company has increased annual contributions to $50,000 within our local communities.

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Bracebridge Dog Park Receives Grant
Friday, October 17, 2014 (853 reads)

Members of the Bracebridge Off Leash Dog Park Committee announced they received a $15,000 grant, from the TransCanada Pipelines Limited Community Investment Program, to assist in the development of a Dog Park at Kerr Park.  The estimated cost to construct the 1.7 acre Dog Park, is $40,000.

The Dog Park will be located at the southwest corner of Kerr Park.   Lori-Lynn Giaschi-Pacini, Chair of the Bracebridge Off Leash Dog Park Committee said “This location is ideal because of its easy access from the parking lot, trees for shade, close to the Trans Canada Trail, and its access in the winter as the parking lot is plowed.”

The Committee is launching a fundraising drive to raise the additional funding needed to build the Dog Park. Donations are being accepted at the Bracebridge Sportsplex, Bracebridge Municipal Office, or on-line at

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Autumn Home Tour for Huntsville Hospital Auxiliary Tomorrow
Friday, October 17, 2014 (330 reads)

The Huntsville Hospital Auxiliary is holding their annual Autumn Home Tour tomorrow.  Six homeowners and the Waterloo Centre will open their doors to the public.  Tickets are $25 and include art displays, tablescapes and lunch at the Active Living Centre.

Tickets can be purchased at the Algonquin Theatre or at the Branches Hospital Gift Shop.

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MNR Admit No Lease At Bala Falls
Friday, October 17, 2014 (4971 reads)

A letter written by a Bala Falls resident has sparked an admission by the MNR that there is no active lease for a proposed hydro project in Bala.  Bill Purkis challenged the MNR to admit that it did not  have a signed lease for the crown lands at the Bala Falls.  Purkis also stipulated that since there was no lease, the company, Swift River Energy and their agents have no right to cut down or harm any trees or do any other site work near the property.

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Zombies Infest Arrowhead Park Tomorrow
Friday, October 17, 2014 (1112 reads)

The Running Scared 5km Trail run returns Saturday, October 18 and is promising to take participants through the beautiful landscapes of Arrowhead Provincial Park.  Like last year, participants will have to run for their lives from flesh hungry zombies while conquering obstacles strategically placed throughout the course.

The event starts at 1pm, with Shuttles running from the Staples parking lot for participants. Laganza will be performing after the run, with a BBQ and refreshments.

For more info, visit

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Theo Fleury Speaks At Algonquin Theatre Tonight for Victor Movement
Thursday, October 16, 2014 (668 reads)

The Muskoka Victor Movement is bringing Stanley Cup Champion Theo Fleury to Huntsville tonight.  Fleury, who championed the Victor Movement will be bringing the issue of child sexual abuse into the light to help support Muskoka's children who are victims of sexual abuse and help turn them from victims into victors.

One organizer of the event said that “When Theo Fleury addressed the crowd of more than 500 people at St. Clair College you could hear a pin drop. His message was both sad and powerful. Communities, schools, youth programs...all of us, have a responsibility to protect young people from the realities that Theo experienced.

Funds raised will go to the Muskoka Victor Therapy Fund for treatment of local youth impacted by sexual abuse.

Tickets are $30 and can be purchased through the Algonquin Theatre box office or online at

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Gravenhurst Hires New Treasurer
Thursday, October 16, 2014 (1110 reads)

Gravenhurst Mayor Paisley Donaldson and Dave Weldon, Chief Administrative Officer announced yesterday that after completing a national executive search, the Gravenhurst Town Council has hired Val Sequeira as its new Director of Corporate Services-Treasurer.

Mr. Sequeira has over 20 years of relevant experience, including positions held at the City of Scarborough, City of Toronto, York Region, and the Town of Amherstburg. He holds a Masters Certificate in Municipal Management from York University, a Diploma in Public Administration from Western University, a Master’s in Business Administration, and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Statistics.


Mayor Donaldson said that “During his career in public service his experience has been in the delivery of a wide spectrum of financial services. He brings a valued strategic perspective to our important corporate initiatives.”

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Police Searching for Missing Woman
Wednesday, October 15, 2014 (19000 reads)

Members of the Southern Georgian Bay OPP are currently searching for a missing woman from the Waypoint Centre in Penetanguishene.

The missing woman was last seen at 10:20am Oct 14,2014 and failed to return to the hospital in the evening of Oct 14. Investigators believe she may be in the Midland- Barrie area.

Kristine Rawlings is 44 years of age and is described as being a white female, 5' 6" tall, 167 lbs, dark brown long hair and blue eyes. She was last seen wearing dark clothing. See attached photograph.

Police and hospital officials are asking for the public's assistance in locating the missing woman and would ask that any information be provided to the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 so she may be safely returned to the hospital.

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Small Business Week Kicks Off With Open For Business Expo Next Monday
Wednesday, October 15, 2014 (6154 reads)

The Muskoka Open for Business Expo will be taking place at the Rotary Centre in Bracebridge on October 20th, kicking off Small Business Week.  The expo will feature new businesses that have opened with the assistance of the Business Enterprise Resource Centre, Muskoka Small Business Centre and Muskoka Futures.

The expo will also feature Muskoka Brewery's Gary McMullen and Solterra Co-Housing's Shelly Raymond who will share their success stories.

The expo runs from 1-6pm next Monday at the Rotary Centre for Youth on Wellington St in Bracebridge.  The event is open to the public.

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Ballots Should be Dropped Off At Town Hall After Oct 17th
Wednesday, October 15, 2014 (766 reads)

The Town of Huntsville is advising residents that are eligible to vote that they should have received their ballots in the mail by now.  If you haven’t received a Voting Package for the Municipal Election, or you need to confirm or be added to the Voters List, please contact the Huntsville Town Hall.

The deadline to mail in your Election Return Envelope, is October 17th. After October 17th, Election Return Envelopes should be dropped off at the Town Hall up to 8:00 pm on Election Day - October 27th, 2014.

Town Hall will have extended hours for submitting your Election Return Envelopes and making changes to the voters list on October 15 & 22 from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm and October 25 from 9:00am to 12:00pm.

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Huntsville Festival Holds AGM
Wednesday, October 15, 2014 (307 reads)

The Huntsville Festival of the Arts will be holding their Annual General Meeting on Saturday October 18 in Partner’s Hall of the Algonquin Theatre.

The meeting will start at 11 am and is open to all members of the community. The meeting will review the artistic and financial results of the past year. A short video, that captures the 2014 season in pictures, will be screened. Board business will include the election of a new Board of  Directors, who will guide the Festival in its upcoming 23rd season’s activities. The meeting is expected to last approximately one hour and will be followed by light refreshments. For further information please contact Festival General Manager Rob Saunders at 705-788-2787.

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Low Cost Rabies Clinic This Weekend
Wednesday, October 15, 2014 (1812 reads)

A walk-in, low-cost rabies clinic is being offered this Saturday, October 18 from 11am to 1pm at The Huntsville Animal Shelter at 19 Bickley Country Drive. The clinic is provided in partnership with Huntsville Animal Shelter, Huntsville Animal Hospital and the Health Unit.   The cost is $20.00 per pet – cash only.

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Committee Week Starts in Huntsville
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 (1596 reads)

Its Committee week at Huntsville Town Hall and today the Public Infrastructure and Protective Services Committee as well the Community Services Committee will meet to wind down their term.  The agenda's are slim with reports from directors about the ongoing operation of the town to be heard, but little in the way of new initiatives.  The PIPS committee starts at 9.30am, followed by Community Services at 1pm.

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Health Unit Warns of Blue-Green Algae Bloom
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 (13247 reads)

The North Bay Parry Sound Health Unit is advises that a bloom of blue-green algae has been detected in three places in 3 area lakes: Cache Lake in West Nipissing, Clear Lake in Perry Township and Lake Talon in Bonfield. Blooms include species with potential of producing algal toxins.

The Health Unit is advising residents and visitors to Cache Lake, Clear Lake and Lake Talon to avoid using the water from the lake for drinking, cooking and bathing. Use another source of water for these purposes.  The health unit says boiling the water or using home water treatment devices will NOT destroy the toxins.

Avoid swimming and other water sport activities that could increase the risk of algae material and toxins contacting your skin or being swallowed.   Avoid using water from the lake for livestock or pets.

The Health unit advises you not to eat the liver, kidneys or other organs of fish caught in the water. Be cautious about eating the other parts of the fish caught in water where blue-green algae blooms occur.

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Dara Gives Back to the Community
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 (6479 reads)

This Saturday, the Muskoka Community Foundation will be awarding grants to 2 amateur female athletes in Muskoka at the ‘Dara’s Women into Sport Fund’. A maximum of $1,000 is available per athlete. Overall, the Foundation will be granting $2,000 from the Fund.

Howell created the ‘Dara’s Women into Sport Fund’ in April 2014 to give back to the community that supported her on her journey to the olympic podium.

Olympic Gold Medalist Senator Nancy Greene Raine will join Dara to present the grants at Dara’s Women into Sport Event, this Saturday, October 18th at the Active Living Centre in Huntsville.  Howell, and Greene, who won a gold medal in the Giant Slalom at the 1968 Olympics in Grenoble, France, will share what it’s like to be an Olympian and discuss how sport has changed in the last 46 years.

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MAHC Appoints New Chief of Nursing
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 (4360 reads)

The MAHC has appointed a new Chief Quality & Nursing Executive replacing the departed Bev McFarlane after she joined another organization.

The MAHC says that Karen Flemming brings with her 22 years of leadership experience in health care, most recently as a Director of Maternal, Child, Youth Programs and Interprofessional Practice at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre.

Flemming holds a Master’s of Education from Brock University and a degree from the University of Western Ontario.

Flemming assumes the full-time role of Chief Quality & Nursing Executive on October 20.

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Women of Distinction Nominees Announced
Friday, October 10, 2014 (8793 reads)

The YWCA has announced the nominees for their annual Women of Distinction Awards and Gala. Nominations take place in 7 different categories reflecting their diversity of experience.  Organizers say that the event, being held at the Bracebridge Sportsplex promises to be an evening of inspiration and celebration of the extraordinary work of 26 women who have enriched the lives of their community every day.

The Women of Distinction Gala is the largest fundraiser for YWCA Muskoka and will take place at 5:30pm on Wednesday October 29th. Tickets can be ordered online at .

For a full list of nominees, see our website.

Young Woman of Distinction

Laura Cameron

Dara Howell

Jennifer Hoyle

Emily Montgomery

Avery Saunter

Hailey Scott

Krystal Watson

Arts, Culture and Creativity

Judy Campbell*

Wendie Donabie

Kelly Haywood*

Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Celine MacKay

Jane McCutcheon*

Arden McGregor

Jenny Spring

Fiona Westner-Ramsay


Community Development and Social Activism

Daniela Bajec*

Rhonda Bradley*

Judy Campbell*

Jodi Golding*

Debbie Kirwin

Jane McCutcheon*

Melissa Candelaria

Health, Sports and Wellness

Bonnie Blain

Rhonda Bradley*

Sheena Branigan

Cheryl Dove

Dara Howell*

Ellen Yeo


Daniela Bajec*

Jodi golding*

Kelly Haywood*

Jo Jordan

Jane McCutcheon*

Sherisse Stevens

Lifetime Achievement

Bonnie Blain

Jodi Golding*

Jane McCutcheon*

Barbara Power

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Bracebridge Library Receives Grant For Internet Training
Friday, October 10, 2014 (288 reads)

The Bracebridge Public Library has been the recent recipient of a Seniors Community Grant from the Province.  The amount of $3,000 enables the Library to offer additional Internet Training hours, a service which is well-used by the many seniors in our community to further their comfort level with today’s Internet technology.  Call 705-645-4171 to book an appointment.

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Georgian Develops Entrepreneur Programs
Friday, October 10, 2014 (849 reads)

Georgian College and the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation have announced a wide-ranging series of programs and activities designed to encourage and support student and youth entrepreneurship across central Ontario.

The initiative was unveiled at a gathering of entrepreneurs at Georgian’s Barrie Campus on Oct. 7.

Funding of $200,000 is being provided by the On Campus Entrepreneurship Activities program, through the Ontario Centres of Excellence. This amount will be matched by Georgian College. The program will be co-ordinated through Georgian’s Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre.

Over the next two years, Georgian will focus on six key areas to engage students and young people, foster a culture of entrepreneurship, and support innovation and new business development.

• A program will encourage youth through the process of creating a business idea and developing a business plan.

• An accompanying tool kit will support the process and allow virtual collaboration among youth entrepreneurs across Central Ontario and the world.

• Seminars, discussions, mentorship and idea exchanges will be offered over Georgian’s videoconferencing network that connects Barrie, Collingwood, Midland, Muskoka, Orangeville, Orillia and Owen Sound.

• Georgian will encourage community businesses to invest in the creation of new entrepreneurship hubs and changemaker spaces where many of the new activities and programs will be held and where students and youth will work together and be mentored.

• Entrepreneurship boot camps and startup weekends will be held on campuses in Collingwood, Owen Sound, Midland and Orillia over the next two years.


• Annual innovation showcases will allow students in numerous academic areas to feature their products to the public.

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Fundraiser BBQ for Breast Cancer Today
Friday, October 10, 2014 (357 reads)

A fundraiser for Breast Cancer Awareness is being held today by business at 110 Kinton Ave, across from Robinson's Independent.

A group of businesses including the Kawartha Credit Union are hosting the BBQ and are asking for $5 for a hotdog/hamburger, cookie and drink.

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Running Scared Seeks Volunteers
Thursday, October 09, 2014 (1898 reads)

Running Scared returns Saturday, October 18, 2014! This 5km Trail Run will take participants through Arrowhead Provincial Park, giving them the chance to run for their lives from flesh hungry zombies while conquering obstacles strategically placed throughout the course.

Organizers are looking to fill the following volunteer positions:

Thursday October 17th

Set-Up Crew


Friday October 18th


Race Kits


Parking Control


Venue Assistants

Water Station

Shuttle Monitor

Start/Finish Line Attendants

Survey Takers

Makeup Crew

Trail Assistance


All volunteers will be given an official Running Scared Volunteer T-Shirt to wear during your volunteer shift! As well, water and a food coupon will be available in the Volunteer Area. If you are interested in volunteering for Running Scared, please email

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Gravenhurst Road Reconstruction Includes Turtle Protection
Thursday, October 09, 2014 (1097 reads)

Seventeen snapping turtle hatchlings will be given a second chance at life thanks to the efforts of the Town of Gravenhurst, C.C. Tatham & Associates Limited, Fowler Construction and Species at Risk consultant Michalski Nielsen Associates Limited. 

Since June, the turtles have been in the care of Scales Nature Park and tomorrow, the newly hatched turtles will be released back into the wild.

Kimberly Laframboise, a Species at Risk Specialist, said "Snapping turtles have recently been added to the Species at Risk in Ontario list as Special Concern. Turtle populations in general have drastically been reduced over the last decade due in part to impacts associated with Roads.”

When the Town was looking at road improvements on a portion of Riley Lake Road, the effect of the project on turtle nesting activities was incorporated into the project. The works involved routine culvert replacement; while common in Muskoka, Laframboise explains that "getting townships and contractors to recognize, how these often routine activities can affect turtles can be tough.  It is an even bigger challenge to get the individuals doing the work to be invested in their protection while on the job,” she said.

Councilors from the Town of Gravenhurst will be on hand with the project team members at Riley Lake Road in Gravenhurst for the turtle release.

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Great Muskoka Paddling Experience This Weekend
Thursday, October 09, 2014 (885 reads)

This will be a great weekend to take in the colours while raising money for a great cause by taking a paddle along the Muskoka River for the 4th annual Great Muskoka Paddling Experience, happening this Saturday, October 11th.

The event is sanctioned by the Ontario Marathon Canoe and Kayak Racing Association and won top honours being named “Race of the Year” in 2011 and 2012. The 2014 event recently received an Event Tourism Grant from the Town of Bracebridge as it draws participants from all over Ontario and beyond to Bracebridge for the Thanksgiving long weekend.

The event takes place at Annie Williams Park in Bracebridge on October 11th for the Great Muskoka Paddling Experience.

For more information about race lengths, routes, categories, and registration information, visit

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Huntsville Mayoral Race Too Close to Call
Thursday, October 09, 2014 (16455 reads)

An online poll was taken last week for the Huntsville Mayoral Race by HBR.  The poll asked several questions, including whether the respondents had seen or heard any of the debates on radio, TV or in person.

The poll also tracked candidate support changes, after a voter heard a debate.

The respondents told us Leadership was the major issue, followed by Integrity.  Other issues of concern where Town Finances, Roads, and taxes.

Before the debates, 48.47% of respondents were undecided.  That percentage dropped to 16.6% after listening to one of the debates.

Councilors Tim Withey and Scott Aitchison lead the poll with 37.55% & 27.95% support, while former mayor Hugh Mackenzie trails a 17.03%.

Undecided voters remain at 16.16%.

The un-scientific poll was taken by 283 people in over 7 days ending after the HBR debate.

To view the poll results, visit

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Clement Supports Canada's Role in Iraq
Thursday, October 09, 2014 (385 reads)

Muskoka Parry Sound MP Tony Clement said that there is a general consensus in the halls of the United Nations, but also throughout the halls of democratic society and in the neighbours around the affected area, that something has to be done, when speaking on Tuesday night about Canada's involvement in Iraq and the government's decision to send CF-18's to the Middle East.

Clement said "Canadians also expect this chamber, particularly the government side but also a majority of the opposition side to be concerned about potential threats to and against Canadians. Canadians understand that this is not just some faraway place about which they know nothing. They understand that whatever happens over there tends to have an impact over here at some point. They understand that part of our role and responsibility,"

Clement concluded his comments by saying "We understand this is not a simple situation, but there is clarity in the activity, the intention, the motivation, and of course, the end result that we would like to see."

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Graeme Murray Announces Retirement
Wednesday, October 08, 2014 (570 reads)

Hockey Canada announced today that 2006 Paralympic gold medallist and two-time IPC Sledge Hockey World Championship gold medallist Graeme Murray has announced his retirement from competitive sledge hockey.

The Gravenhurst native, who originally joined Canada’s National Sledge Team in 2001, finishes his Team Canada career with 64 points -33 goals, 31 assists- in 163 games since the national team came under the Hockey Canada umbrella in 2004. He ranks tied for third in all-time games played, sixth in scoring and second in scoring among defencemen.

Murray said that “It is not an easy choice to hang up my sled. I am not finished with sledge hockey as I want to be involved in a mentorship role and contribute to the promotion of this sport,” he said. “I feel it is time for me to move on to new and exciting things. I am proud of my career and excited about the future.”

Murray, 29, played in three Paralympic Winter Games, winning gold in 2006 in Turin, Italy, and bronze in 2014 in Sochi, Russia. He was also part of the Canadian team that finished fourth in 2010 in Vancouver, B.C.

He played in five IPC Sledge Hockey World Championships, winning two gold medals two bronze, and six World Sledge Hockey Challenges, winning four gold medals and two silver.

Murray learned to play the game at his hometown rink in Gravenhurst, which was renamed Graeme Murray Arena by the town last month to recognize his achievements both on and off the ice.

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Lake of Bays to Open New Hiking & Biking Trails
Wednesday, October 08, 2014 (6261 reads)

The Grand Opening of a new park in Lake of Bays, Echo Valley Nature & Bike Trails is set for Tuesday October 14th at 11.15am.

During the grand opening the township will be unveiling the winner of their online logo contest that will be featured on the park signage.

Whether you are looking for wildlife, planning a short hike or a fast paced mountain bike trail ride, organizers say you will find everything you are looking for in the Echo Valley Nature & Bike trails. There are a total of over 3.5 km of trails consisting of the main trunk line and 14 smaller trails with varying degrees of difficulty. Hiking the main trunk line should take approximately 30-45 minutes. The park is approximately 24 hectares in size and there is a viewing platform overlooking protected land. A viewing guide and onsite kiosks are installed to enhance the learning experience.

The new Echo Valley Nature & Bike Trails is located in Dwight. Access is via Echo Hills Road off of Hwy 60.

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Muskoka Family, Youth & Child Services to Join with Simcoe Childrens Aid
Wednesday, October 08, 2014 (4476 reads)

The Simcoe Children’s Aid and the Family, Youth and Child Services of Muskoka are actively working on a plan to become one children’s service agency serving families across the two regions. They are both mandated by the Child and Family Services Act to provide child protection services.

The Boards of Directors of both organizations each undertook a feasibility study to examine the potential benefits and risks of joining the two organizations. The outcomes weighed in favour of bringing the two agencies together to provide strengthened and stable services to all of the stakeholders in Simcoe and Muskoka.

A newly formed agency would work in partnership with social services, health and education community partners that share the same regional boundaries underscoring the natural partnering of the two child and family services agencies.

“We want our community partners to be aware of this plan and will offer opportunities for them to provide input as we move toward our amalgamation goal of April 1, 2015,” added David MacPherson, the Simcoe co-chair of the steering committee and a Board Member of the Simcoe Children’s Aid.

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Swift River Challenges Wahta Chief's Comments
Wednesday, October 08, 2014 (2833 reads)

The Swift River Energy Company is disputing a statement made by Wahta Mohawk Chief Philip Franks that they have not consulted with the First Nation after changes were made.

Swift River said that changes were made in 2012 that resulted in a positive impact on the portage by the project design team.  However, the changes made still result in the Moon River end of the portage being blocked. 

Swift River also says that Chief Franks alleges that the floorplate of the project had been expanded to block the portage, which they say is incorrect.  They say no change has been made to the project site with regard to how much crown land the project will use.

Swift River maintains that they have been in contact with First Nations throughout the process, however no record of dates of communication could be found on their website.

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Table Food Bank Needs Construction Volunteers
Wednesday, October 08, 2014 (1346 reads)

The Table Food Bank on Hanes St is calling for volunteers to help with demolition of parts of the building.  They're also looking for people skilled in block laying and a welder.  The organization is currently renovating a building on the property that will become a mens shelter.

Anyone who can help is asked to contact Ted Baker by email.  The address is on our website.

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Clement Speaks in Parliament on Iraq Issue
Tuesday, October 07, 2014 (2239 reads)

MP Tony Clement spoke about Canada's role in Iraq yesterday in Parliament.  Responding to the NDP"s Paul Dewar who asked that Canada  support the construction of refugee camps, help victims of sexual violence, assist in protecting ethnic and religious communities, and encourage international prosecutions of war crimes.

Clement responded by saying that Canadians have been able to do things on a multi-tasking basis. They have been able to provide nation-building support, provide humanitarian support, provide the kind of advice that is important on the ground. These things we can do, he said.

Clement went on to say that a tipping point and asked the question of why Canada couldn't do both? "Why can't we answer the call to be there with our forces in the air and do the things that you want to do as well, " referring to assisting the people of Iraq.

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Clement Corrects Chief Franks on Bala Issue
Tuesday, October 07, 2014 (3877 reads)

Parry Sound-Muskoka MP Tony Clement said this morning that he  and Chief Franks did speak over the telephone on September 13, regarding  Bala Falls and Wahta Mohawks position on the proposed hydro project.

Clement said the conversation was at the request of Chief Franks. This morning, MP Clement`s office contacted Chief Franks by phone. He confirmed the September 13 conversation, and noted MP Clement had offered his assistance in the matter.

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Bracebridge Seeking Youth to Represent Town on Norway Trip
Tuesday, October 07, 2014 (767 reads)

The Town of Bracebridge's  Gol, Norway Friendship Committee announced that they are seeking applications from youth between 14 to 19 years of age who would like to serve as Bracebridge Youth Ambassadors during a trip to Gol, Norway in August 2015.

Bracebridge Youth Ambassadors must be a resident of Bracebridge, between 14 to 19 years of age with a strong academic background.

Participants must be able to travel to Norway in August, 2015 as part of a delegation. The Town’s Friendship Committee has established August 6, 2015 to August 16, 2015 as the tentative travel dates.

Those interested in this exciting opportunity are invited to submit an application for consideration by the Town of Bracebridge-Gol, Norway Friendship Committee.

An application form and details regarding the planned trip can be found on the Town’s website:

Applications must be received by October 31, 2014.

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Veteran to March to Raise Funds For Veterans Socials
Tuesday, October 07, 2014 (2897 reads)

This Saturday a member of the Huntsville Legion will be marching to raise money a community Veteran's Social every month.

Rick Thomas, a NATO Veteran will be marching around the track at Conroy Park for 8 hours wearing a 30lb rucksack to raise money for the fund which will be used to for veterans and their widows each month.  Thomas says the fund will be used for all veterans, Legion members or not.  A spokesperson for the Legion says that many older veterans and widows don't get out much and the fund will ensure that everyone is included.

Thomas is asking for members of the community to come out and support him.  Pledge sheets can be obtained through the Legion.  Besides the march, there will be displays, and speeches from Dignitaries.

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District Asks Swift River To Pause Development at Bala
Tuesday, October 07, 2014 (10369 reads)

John Klinck, the chair of the District of Muskoka has written a letter to the Swift River Energy Company requesting that they not proceed with any development and site work until the company fulfills a request by the Wahta Mohawks to consult with them.

Chief Philip Franks of the Wahta Mohawks says that Swift River has not entered into any communication with the band.  The proposed hydro electric development could close a traditional portage used by members of the band.

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New Road Full of Potholes Already
Tuesday, October 07, 2014 (7099 reads)

With the condition of roads being a concern to both voters and politicians in this upcoming municipal election, one man is calling attention to South Waseosa Lake Rd which was just repaved this summer.

Paul Ferris says that in one section, he counted 22 new potholes in less than 2kl.

All Mayoral Candidates have said that roads are a priority.  Mackenzie wants to create a plan that will outline when roads will be re-constructed, while Scott Aitchison is promising to cut spending on recreation and using the money for roads.  Councilor Withey says that he will investigate and use new technologies that will make roads last longer when they are rebuilt.

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Wahta Chief Outlines Concerns About Bala Project to Harper & Wynne
Tuesday, October 07, 2014 (3716 reads)

Wahta Mohawk Chief Philip Franks has written a letter to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Prime Minister Stephen Harper outlining his concerns with the proposed hydro electric project at Bala. 

Philips has many concerns including no contact with MP Tony Clement, who he says hasn’t contacted him, despite leaving a message at his office.  Philips also has concerns about reports from the MNR saying that the band had been contacted as part of the process.  Philips contends that changes to the design were made after the communication and outdate communication is not a consultation.  Philips says a request to pause the project while the province and the band work together on the project was rejected by the MNR.

Philips also said that Muskoka Lakes officials are providing he public with false information.

For the full content of the letter follow the link:

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Test Your Smoke Alarms: Hernen
Monday, October 06, 2014 (376 reads)

Fire Prevention Week run this week from October 5 – 11, and this year’s theme is Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month. To increase the chances of surviving a fire, the Huntsville/Lake of Bays Fire Department is reminding everyone in our community to test their smoke alarms today and monthly.

Fire Chief Stephen Hernen said that “Only working smoke alarms save lives, so make sure to test all of your smoke alarms, It is one of the easiest tests you’ll ever take,” he said.

Ontario law requires that working smoke alarms be located on every storey of the home and outside all sleeping areas. The Huntsville/Lake of Bays Fire Department recommends the following smoke alarm and safety tips:

• Test smoke alarms monthly. Consider vulnerable family members, friends and neighbours who may be need assistance maintaining and testing their smoke alarms – let’s make sure to test theirs too!

• Change the batteries once a year.

• Replace smoke alarms after 10 years.

• Develop and practice a home fire escape plan with everyone in your household.

Hernen said “I am challenging everyone in our community to demonstrate how you test your smoke alarms.  Post your pictures to Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #FPW2014 #Muskoka.”

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Gravenhurst Recognizes Volunteers
Monday, October 06, 2014 (1294 reads)

The Community Spirit Awards were held Thursday, October 2nd at the Gravenhurst Opera House. This awards ceremony, held every two years, recognizes outstanding volunteerism, outstand¬ing achievement beyond the local level and acts of Good Samaritan. Nominations are received by the Town of Gravenhurst through submissions from the various local not for profit organizations and community service clubs and reviewed by a selection committee.

Mayor Paisley Donaldson said “We are so fortunate to have so many great people doing so many wonderful things in our community.” “

For a full list of recipients, see below:


Violet Hazelwood: An avid knitter who has made countless hats, mitts, sweaters, booties, socks and more for families in need.

Diane Bar – Nominated for the Outstanding Achievement Award for her success in rowing competitions with the Severn River Rowing Club.

Marg McLaughlin – Nominated for all of her volunteer efforts with the Gravenhurst Winter Carnival, school breakfast program and Rotary Club of Gravenhurst.

Debbie Draper – Nominated for all of her community volunteerism with various organizations including; Accessibility Committee, Opera House, Salvation Army, Royal Canadian Legion, Thursday Supper Club and Parry

Sound Muskoka Community Mental Health.

Diane Harrop – Volunteer work with the Gravenhurst Opera House, Muskoka Concert Association and World War 1 Quilt Restoration/Preservation Committee.

Irene Turney – Gravenhurst Opera House Volunteer.

Theresa and Barry Buker – Helping families in our community through “Free Stuff for Daily Needs”.

Roberta “Robbie” Quinn – Active care volunteer with Hospice Muskoka, Volunteer Outreach for Trinity United Church

Chris Lewis – Contributions through the Gravenhurst Lions Club and Lions Club International.

Gerry Flaherty – Rotary Club of Gravenhurst, Heart and Stroke, Canadian Cancer Society, Promoter of Organ trans¬plants and tissue donations, South Muskoka Lake Association, Trinity United Church, Family Star Party.

Carol Wagg – Ryde 135th Anniversary Celebrations and historical book of Ryde.

Larry Peck - Ryde Community Co-op (cooking, quilt tour, community gardens and Anniversary displays).

Gravenhurst Off Leash Dog Park Leaders – Nancy Beal, Valda Harris and Sandra and Barb Heggie – Creating a safe and enjoyable environment for dogs and dog owners.

Gord Haugh- Volunteer YMCA Simcoe/Muskoka, Community Living South Muskoka, Gravenhurst Curling Club, Muskoka Community Foundation.

Gail Brock – Calvary Baptist Church (Treasurer), ‘Growing Together Group’ – preparing nutritious meals for local families.

1st Gravenhurst Scouts Volunteers – (Leadership for local youth and instilling positive values) Mary Jane Reid, Craig Armstrong, Tammy Scott, Jennifer Kavanagh –Collins, Tim Good, Tanja Huffman, Cheryl Berry, Michael Weichler, Jack Verbrugge, John Trudeau, Rick Allen, Delbert Huffman, Amanda Becker, George Becker,

Laura Hammill, Shane Collins, Ryan Collins

Dan McCoy – Organist and Choir Leader – Trinity United Church, youth music teacher,

Penny Varney – Arts at the Albion Co-op, Trinity United Church, singer with the Cellar Singers, help producing various church Christmas pageants, Work with YMCA Simcoe/Muskoka in establishing Gravenhurst Women’s Centre.

Valerie Ceschia-Hart – Thursday Night Supper Club

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Taboo Fire Causes $350,000 Damages
Monday, October 06, 2014 (4422 reads)

Just after 5:00 a.m. Friday morning, fire crews from all three units of the Gravenhurst Fire Department arrived on the scene at Taboo Resort, in Gravenhurst, in response to a structure fire near the main entrance and lobby which ultimately involved all three levels of the building.


Credit is being given to Taboo staff who detected the fire and immediately evacuated the premises.  “By working together, staff at Taboo and our team helped to minimize the impact of this fire which could have potentially been far worse and into the multi-millions in terms of damage.” said Chief Larry Brassard. 

One firefighter was injured, taken by ambulance to hospital but has since been released. Damage is estimated at $350,000.00. The Electrical Safety Authority is assisting the Fire Prevention Division with the investigation which is still ongoing and not considered suspicious.

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Woman Pleads Guilty to Theft Over $5000
Monday, October 06, 2014 (148838 reads)

A Huntsville woman pled guilty to Theft Over $5,000 in Criminal Court in Barrie on September 24th after stealing over $100,000 from a local business man.  Lyndell Schell of Huntsville, was employed by Turner’s Garage had misappropriated significant amounts of money from the corporation and was terminated in 2009.

In a civil case, Gilbert Turner alleges that some of the money that was taken was deposited into her husband, David Schell’s bank account.  David Schell declared bankruptcy prior to the civil court ordering both Lyndell Schell and her husband to pay damages to Turner in the amount of $145,974.14 plus costs of over $18,000.  David Schell has since been employed as a Constable in the Huntsville Detachment of the OPP.

Turner who is in his 80’s has lost his home, and his business has closed down following the theft.  The building that was the home to his business is up for sale.  Turner also owes Canada Revenue a significant amount of money that he cannot pay.  Any money recovered will go to the CRA.

Turner and his wife, who is now in a nursing home, were one of twenty recipients of the 2013 Ontario Seniors Award and was presented the award at a special ceremony at the Kearney Community Centre by MPP Norm Miller.  The award was a result of several nominations for the couple for their generosity and service to the community.

Lyndell Schell is scheduled to be sentenced in a Barrie courtroom on October 29th.  It’s not known if the Judge will take into account Bill C-36 which allows for stiffer sentences when a crime is committed involving a senior.  The court may increase a sentence if the offender abused a position of trust or authority in relation to the victim.

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Table Food Bank Calls for Help This Morning
Monday, October 06, 2014 (4170 reads)

The Table Food Bank is calling for help renovating their building.  They say ths is the first request of many in the coming weeks.  They are in need of 3 people who can handle heavy lifting to come to 9 Hanes St. this morning from 8:00 - 12:00. The building is going to be jacked up and we need people to hold beams and also wheelbarrow concrete. They will supply equipment and hard hats available. Volunteers must have their own steel toe boots.    Please reply to if you are able to help.

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