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Friday, August 29, 2014

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Race for Mayor's Job in Muskoka Lakes
Friday, August 29, 2014 (726 reads)

Muskoka Lakes has a race for mayor after the sitting mayor filed her papers last week.  Alice Murphy filed her papers on August 22nd, after announcing her intention to do so on HBR earlier this summer.

Don Furniss is challenging the controversial mayor.  Furniss is currently a township councilor.

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Deadline Looms to File Nomination Papers
Friday, August 29, 2014 (192 reads)

It’s not too late to file your nomination papers for the 2014 Municipal and School Board Election. Voting day is October 27, 2014. Candidates have until 2:00 p.m. on Friday September 12, 2014, to file nomination papers.

In Bracebridge, there is at least one candidate for every position except Trillium Lakelands District School Board.

In Huntsville, there is a candidate for every position.

Interested candidates are encouraged to contact your town clerk as soon as possible.

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Clement to Make Funding Announcement
Friday, August 29, 2014 (2066 reads)

Tony Clement MP for Parry Sound Muskoka will be on hand to make an announcement about investment funding and job growth this morning.  Clement who is making the announcement on behalf of Fednor will be at the Muskoka Rock Company in Gravenhurst at 10am.

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Muskoka Art Collective Presents First Exhibition
Friday, August 29, 2014 (110 reads)

The Muskoka Art Collective is proud to present its first exhibition of art works as a formal group. The Collective will be holding two simultaneous art shows during September and October. The first venue is at Huntsville’s historic train station, now known as the Culture Station.  This showing at the appropriately named “Signal North Gallery” will run from September 3rd through October 30th.

The second venue is at Bigwin Island Golf Clubs' celebrated Rotunda Dining Room, from September 19th through October 5th.

The Collective is a new group of accomplished local artists who have come together to show their artistic merits and share them with the public. The group is comprised of Matt Coles, Gerry Lantaigne, Janine Marson, Ron Murdoch, Mark Reeder and Neil Sternberg.

25% of proceeds from the sales at the Bigwin Island showing will go the Huntsville Hospital Foundation. The group will soon be presenting a cheque to the Foundation from proceeds they earned from their inaugural show earlier this summer at The Bigwin Island Golf Club.

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Wahta Protest Bala Falls
Friday, August 29, 2014 (513 reads)

The Community of Bala invited the public to witness canoes being portaged at the Falls as a way of creating awareness and protesting a new private hydro electric project on a site in the center of the Bala Falls on the Moon River in downtown Bala. The First Nation community of Wahta was invited to participate and did the historic portage from the Moon River to Lake Muskoka while a crowd of two hundred people cheered. Many participated in the historic portage had  a clear message to Save the Bala Falls and are hoping to  stop this project from going ahead.

The Falls is under the Williams Treaty and the Chief of Wahta Phillip Franks spoke to the crowd explaining that there has not been proper consultations with Government. He said that letters had been sent to various levels of government but he says he has had no replies yet.

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Huntsville Holds Apple Picking Festival Today
Thursday, August 28, 2014 (2450 reads)

The town of Huntsville will be holding an Apple Festival today at Orchard Park at the end of the Hunters Bay Trail.  A group of residents has been working hard to improve the apple orchard at the park by pruning and grafting the existing fruit trees, removing dead wood and invasive species, and planting new zone hardy fruit trees and bushes.


To celebrate their efforts the town is inviting the public to come pick the apples this afternoon from 3-7pm at Orchard Park. Bring your family, friends, and a basket to collect apples.

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MAHC Hospital Sites Outperform Province in Patient Satisfaction
Thursday, August 28, 2014 (2346 reads)

Patient satisfaction for acute care and emergency care services for overall care received at Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare hospital sites continues to rank above provincial averages for Ontario community hospitals, according to a recent independent study.

The three-month survey, conducted from January 1 to March 31, 2014 indicated a 94.9% overall satisfaction rate by acute care patients and a 90.6% overall satisfaction rate by emergency care patients at MAHC’s two hospital sites. The provincial averages for Ontario community hospitals were 92.7% for acute inpatient care and 85.5% for emergency care.

Natalie Bubela, the CEO of the MAHC said that "As we continue to work toward a patient-and family-centered care philosophy, these results are helping us to gage the patient experience. While we are pleased to rank above provincial averages, we are also keen to further improve our care" she said.

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Ironman Comes to Town Next Weekend
Thursday, August 28, 2014 (1117 reads)

Participants of the Ironman 70.3 race will descend on Huntsville next week in preparation for a weekend that culminates with race that will make its way through town.

The bike portion of the race will include stints on Brunel Rd, Hwy’s 35, 117,& Hwy 60. The run course includes sections of Hwy 60, King William St and Meadow Park to Main St.

The race has been held in June typically, but with Huntsville being awarded the Ironman Triathlon starting in 2015, the 70.3 was moved to September 7th.

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Wahta Mohawks Hold Protest Over Bala Falls Portage
Thursday, August 28, 2014 (1264 reads)

The Wahta Mohawks are staging a "portage-in" to protest the obstruction of the traditional and historic Bala Portage.  The protests will be in the form of portage of canoes across the historic Bala portage from the Moon River landing to Lake Muskoka and will take place today starting at 11am.

Transportation by water and portaging is traditionally and culturally important to all First Nations, and the band says it is disrespectful that the Wahta Mohawks were not informed of the impact on the Bala Portage by the proposed Bala Hydro project.

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Schools Open for Registration
Wednesday, August 27, 2014 (309 reads)

Local schools are open for registration this week as they prepare the upcoming school year.  If you haven't registered your children for school you're asked to fill out a Student registration form and take it  in.  Secretaries are on hand to accept new student registrations.

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Hospital Board To Decide on New Hospital Scenario By Year's End
Wednesday, August 27, 2014 (5439 reads)

The Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare presented an overview of what healthcare delivery could look like in 20 years time.  The organization explained that they are starting now to plan for new hospitals as the timeline is nearly 16yrs.

The group offered up 4 different scenarios that included a single sited hospital for all of Muskoka, but said no location had been identified.

Other options included making one of the Muskoka sites the main hospital, open 24 hours and the other an Ambulatory site with urgent care services that would be open 16 hours a day.  They presented options that showed both hospitals as either the main site or the ambulatory site.  Both of these options included new buildings.

A fourth option was redevelopment of both existing hospitals at acute care hospitals with a full emergency dept. New construction is a part of both of these scenarios.

Natalie Bubela the CEO of the MAHC said that it is exciting for a community to have the option to plan a hospital from the ground up.

Architects continue to assess the current infrastructure and the board is expect to make a recommendation by t he end of the year on which option they will pursue.

There are 2 more information meetings, tonight in Gravenhurst at the Terry Fox Centre at 7pm, and on Thursday in Bracebridge at the Sportsplex at 7pm.

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Corrections Union Protests In Front of MP's Home
Wednesday, August 27, 2014 (20928 reads)

Over 100 Corrections Canada employees and family members descended on Port Sydney on Tuesday in what was called a "beach protest."  The national president of the union who flew in from Edmonton for the protest said that members of his union came from all over Ontario to protest at MP Tony Clements home and when asked if it was appropriate replied with "why not?  Everything that happens to us, he had a hand in.  The sick leave issue is big for us, it affects all the corrections officers.  We're going to leave him a prescription for him.

Clement who was in Edmonton said that the government are in the middle of bargaining with the unions and will continue to sit down and try to come to an agreement.  The reason they chose to protest outside my home was an intimidation tactic and it won't work.

The prescription left on Clements yard was a sign outlining step by step procedures to come to a settlement with the union.  It is displayed beside his property.

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Severe Thunderstorm Watch in Effect
Tuesday, August 26, 2014 (11230 reads)

The weatherman is saying that conditions  are favourable for the development of severe thunderstorms that may be capable of producing strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy rain.

A few thunderstorms are expected to affect portions of the region this afternoon and early evening. Some of these thunderstorms will be capable of producing damaging winds, torrential downpours, and large hail.

These thunderstorms will be quite isolated. However, any storms that do develop could be severe.

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Protests in Front of Clements Home?
Tuesday, August 26, 2014 (22397 reads)

The Huntsville OPP will be monitoring a planned "beach protest" by employees of Corrections Canada today in Port Sydney.

The employees are protesting Minister Clements elimination of sick leave benefits.  It is speculated that the union members are meeting on Tuesday at a beach that has water quality warnings could lead to the protest moving to within sight of MP Tony Clement's home, not far from the beach.

The protest is scheduled to start at 11am.

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Huntsville Hospital Foundation Has a New Executive Director
Tuesday, August 26, 2014 (6195 reads)

The Huntsville Hospital Foundation has a new Executive Director.   Gerry Dearing comes to the Foundation from the London Health Sciences Foundation with many years of major gift experience. He is a graduate of the Association of Health Care Phil anth ropy/Madison Institute's University of Wisconsin Business School in advanced major gifts program as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from McMaster University and has a certificate in Executive Marketing from Queen's University.

Dearing is no stranger to the Huntsville area, having both friends and relatives in the area. 

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Town Will Enforce No Parking Zones During Festival Weekend
Tuesday, August 26, 2014 (2801 reads)

Parking will be tightly controlled in and around the residential streets during the Muskoka Sound Music Festival after the town enacted a tag and tow policy at the request of the Festival, which runs Sept 12-14th.

The Festival will be shuttling festival goers from three west end parking lots during the event and are concerned that residents may try to park on side streets in the immediate area of the high school.

With the town busy that weekend with the Festival, the Classic Car Show downtown and the Terry Fox Run all in the same area at the same time, the Festival wants to ensure that its patrons do not cause congestion on residential streets in the area.

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District Assumes Ownership of Chaffey Landfill
Tuesday, August 26, 2014 (738 reads)

Huntsville Council heard that the Chaffey Landfill which has been closed for years is now on the District’s books.  Acting CAO, Denise Corry said that she was "very excited" to report that ownership of the landfill has been officially taken over by the District.  As well, the District is now busy transferring all ownerships of open and closed landfill sites throughout the District.

All landfills were assumed by the District years ago, but never legally transferred ownership.  The Town of Huntsville had been tasked with remediating leaching problems at their own expense and petitioned the District to come clean on their responsibilities.

Corry told councilors that the District would be reimbursing the town for the money it spent.

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Deerhurst Village Tabled Until September Council Meeting
Tuesday, August 26, 2014 (2682 reads)

Yesterday Huntsville Town Council voted to table an official plan amendment to September's monthly council meeting after seeing further changes to concept drawings and a recap from the town planning dept.

Mayor Doughty said that the town should receive a Peer Review on the proposed expansion in time for the next meeting.

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Stealing Election Signs is a Criminal Offence
Tuesday, August 26, 2014 (1343 reads)

The municipal election is starting to heat up after reports of election signs being stolen or destroyed on private property.  Councilor Tim Withey is reporting that members of his family witnessed a pickup truck pull up to a property on Shaw Crescent, and watched someone jump out and throw his sign into a trailer and then drive off.  Withey also reports that his signs in front of the LCBO were destroyed in broad daylight yesterday.  Councilor Davis is also reporting stolen signs.

Denise Corry with the Town says that she has heard reports of signs being stolen.  Lynda Cranney with the OPP says that stealing Election Signs is a Criminal Offence and anyone caught removing them without permission could be charged with Theft Under $5,000.

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Watershed Council Invites You to Become a Researcher for a Day
Tuesday, August 26, 2014 (387 reads)

The Muskoka Watershed Council are inviting residents to become a "Researcher for a Day."  On September 12th, you can join other participants aboard the Peerless II with Dr. Norman Yan and Sunset Cruises.  Participants will learn to make their own zooplankton net and learn about the living lawn mowers in our lakes while collecting and examining samples on a cruise of Lake Rosseau.

The cruise leaves the Port Carling Docks at 9.45am on September 12th and returns at 11.45am.  Tickets are $50.  For tickets, contact the Watershed council at

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MAHC Holds Meeting on Future Healthcare Tonight
Tuesday, August 26, 2014 (1032 reads)

The MAHC will be holding a series of public sessions to share information on the future of both Hospital sites in Muskoka.  The meetings will outline the struggles and options when planning the future for the organization who says that both sites are aging and long range plans indicate the need for a new and different space as medicine evolves and standards change.

The MAHC says that work is underway to create a Master Plan that focuses on how programs and services will change  in the future and how healthcare could be delivered in 5yrs, 10yrs and 20yrs from now.

The first meeting will be held tonight at 7pm at the Active Living Centre  in Huntsville, then, tomorrow, August 27 – 7pm at the Terry Fox Auditorium in Gravenhurst and August 28 – 7pm at the Bracebridge Sportsplex.

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Mayor's Golf Tournament Looking for Sponsors, Participants
Monday, August 25, 2014 (869 reads)

Huntsville Councilor Karin Terziano is calling on the public to support The Mayor's Golf Tournament coming up on September 15th.  Terziano says that all proceeds from the tournament will go to support the Table Food Bank, but other charities are encourage to apply.

Terziano says that they had had some good corporate support but they have room for 3 or 4 more hole sponsors and 5 more foursomes.  Hole sponsorships cost $250, and it will cost players $900 for a foursome.

Anyone interested is asked to contact Karin Terziano at 705-789-6192.

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Huntsville Town Council to Vote on Deerhurst Expansion
Monday, August 25, 2014 (3629 reads)

Huntsville Town Council meets today and will be voting on an exemption to the noise bylaw for Muskoka Sound which takes place Sept 12-14.  The three day festival is expecting to run to just after midnight on Sept 13th, but closing down before 11pm on the other two days of the event.

Council will also be considering approving an amendment to the official plan that will clear the way for future expansion and creation of the Deerhurst Village.

Councilor Tim Withey described the amendment as "housekeeping", saying that when and if Deerhurst decides to go ahead, several more planning hurdles must be overcome before anything could be built including siteplan agreement dictating what can be built where.

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Huntsville to Re-organize Staffing?
Monday, August 25, 2014 (8907 reads)

Councilor Tim Withey said that Huntsville Executive Team  has been tasked with finding a way to reduce the amount of money staffing the town.  Withey admitted that over the last 2 terms, staff salary wages and benefits costs had increased by $1million over similar towns including Bracebridge.

Withey told HBR that a meeting was held on Friday that would present "options" to council.  Today at Huntsville Council, Denise Corry the acting CAO will present an operational review to councilors in closed session.

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HFA Finishes Summer Season With a Bang
Friday, August 22, 2014 (387 reads)

The last concert of The Huntsville Festival of the Arts Summer season takes place tonight at the Algonquin Theatre featuring country artist Brett Kissel.   The Juno award winning artist became the first country artist to be awarded with the Breakthrough artist of the Year in the last 17years.

Tickets are still available online at or through the Algonquin Theatre box office.

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Bracebridge Re-opens Kelvin Grove Tennis Courts
Friday, August 22, 2014 (191 reads)

The Town of Bracebridge held a re-opening ceremony of the Kelvin Grove Park Tennis Courts yesterday after the courts underwent repairs and resurfacing.

 Isabel Hellberg, President of the Bracebridge Tennis Club, said she is glad to see this project come to fruition, “The Tennis Club was excited to work with the Town of Bracebridge on this project and we are experiencing great play on the new surface. We are extremely pleased with the results.”

The project cost more than $40,000 with the tennis club contributing nearly $9,000.

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Currie Runs For Councilor in Muskoka Lakes Twp
Friday, August 22, 2014 (876 reads)

Yesterday, Sandy Currie of Bala announced his candidacy for the position of Ward A Township Councilor in the Township of Muskoka Lakes.

As a Bala resident and long-time cottager, Mr. Currie decided to run in the October 27, Municipal Election because of a strong desire to “do what is right” for the residents and businesses of Muskoka Lakes Township Ward A.  He said “For too long, the economic development of Ward A appears to have been overlooked. I would like to see new jobs and new businesses developed, along with the continued growth of those businesses already here.”

Mr. Currie is the current President of the Moon River Property Owners’ Association, a Director of the Muskoka Lakes Association and a Director of Safe Quiet Lakes.

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Skydiggers Join Muskoka Sound Festival
Friday, August 22, 2014 (1416 reads)

The Skydiggers are the most recent addition to the Muskoka Sound Music Festival.  Announced yesterday, the Skydiggers will be bringing their finely tuned folk rock sound to Huntsville.   The festival will feature over 20 performances from world-class Canadian headliners, local bands, emerging break-through bands, plus nationally and internationally renowned artists.  In addition some of Muskoka best musicians will feature their best music in performances in between acts on the big stage.

The Muskoka Sound Festival is promising a family-friendly festival set against the natural beauty of Lions Lookout field, featuring a spectacular vista of Fall colours. With multi-genre programming, local food, arts and culture, Muskoka Sound will be the largest music event ever to hit the region.

To purchase tickets to this 3 day event, visit

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MWC Offers Lecture on Phosporus in Muskoka Lakes
Friday, August 22, 2014 (160 reads)

The Muskoka Watershed Council will be hosting a lecture on phosphorus in Muskoka Lakes and what they might mean to the long term health of area lakes.  The lecture is being held at Bracebridge campus of Nipissing University and features Dr Cathy Eimers from Trent University.

The MWC says that phosphorus levels in our lakes have always been a concern because the more phosphorus there is in a lake, the higher the chance of experiencing an algal bloom. However in Muskoka, these levels are declining.

Dr Eimers says that understanding how our lakes are changing will be important in developing better ways to manage them.

The lecture will be held on August 28th at 7pm.  Visit to get more info or purchase tickets, they are $15.

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Port Sydney Beach Under Water Advisory
Thursday, August 21, 2014 (3020 reads)

The Town of Huntsville has been notified by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit that an advisory has been issued for Port Sydney Beach.

The Health Unit says that an advisory is a warning to swimmers but it is not a beach closure. During an advisory, a beach is posted with warning signs when the water contains levels of bacteria that indicate there may be an increased risk of developing minor skin, eye, ear, nose and throat infections and stomach disorders. If you choose to swim during an advisory it may be prudent to avoid ducking your head or swallowing the water.”

Advisory signage is posted at the beach and the Town of Huntsville swimming lessons programmed for Port Sydney beach have been cancelled until the advisory is lifted. For more information on the cancelation please contact Morven Barnes at

The Town of Huntsville will notify residents when the advisory is lifted.

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Bracebridge's Graydon Smith Elected to AMO Board of Directors
Thursday, August 21, 2014 (468 reads)

On Tuesday Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith was elected to the Board of Directors representing the Small Urban Caucus in the Association of Municipalities of Ontario.

AMO is a non-profit organization representing almost all of Ontario’s 444 municipal governments.  The AMO develops policy positions and reports on issues of general interest to municipal governments and conducts ongoing liaison with provincial government elected and non-elected representatives.

Smith said that he was very pleased to be elected to the AMO Board, and looks forward to working with Municipal representatives locally and throughout Ontario to find solutions to our mutual concerns.

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Residents Advised to Check Voters List
Thursday, August 21, 2014 (1806 reads)

This year's municipal elections in Huntsville and some surrounding municipalities are being held by vote by mail this year.  MPAC has delivered the completed voters lists to the municipality, and voters are advised to check to see whether they are in fact on the voters list.

You will need to contact your municipality to get added to the list if you are not on it, in order to receive your voting package in the mail.

In Huntsville visit to check to see if you are on the voters list.

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Gould Sentenced to 1 Year For His Part in White Murder
Thursday, August 21, 2014 (8771 reads)

Brock Gould, one of the two men at the centre of the Delores White murder plead guilty to obstructing justice yesterday in a Sundridge court.  It was revealled that Gould mislead police trying to protect Declan Letters, who plead guilty to murdering White earlier this month.

Gould had originally lead police to investigate another man while Letters was on the run as well as hiding Letters the night of the murder.  Gould has been sentenced to a year in jail for his part in the crime.

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District Council Swears in New Councilor
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 (832 reads)

District Council formally replaced Councilor Mike Kennedy who represented the Twp of Georgian Bay at the District Council table yesterday.  Kennedy had passed away earlier this summer.

The Twp of Georgian Bay passed motions at their council, designating Ward Councilor Bruce Hanson as their district councilor for the remainder of this term of council.

Last night Hanson was sworn in at District Council.

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OPP Costs Expected to Increase by a Third Over 3 Years
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 (1394 reads)

OPP costs continue to be a cause of concern to District Councilors who are preparing for additional costs to transfer from the province in 2015.  Staff advised that currently each household pays $224 a year to fund the OPP in the region.  That cost is expected to go up to $350/household over the next 3-5 years, with increases of $40 each year anticipated.

The provincial government has recently advised municipalities of a new funding model for the OPP citing discrepancies in the way some municipalities pay more than others for similar services.

Councilor Fran Coleman advised councilors not to look at replacing the OPP with a local service, saying that it could end up costing over $1000 per household.

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District Council Cancels Hidden Valley Sewers But Could Extend Mount Pleasant Ct
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 (2278 reads)

District Council voted yesterday to cancel the sanitary sewer project for the Hidden Valley subdivision, but not before hearing impassioned pleas by a couple of residents and Councilor Scott Aitchison.

Andrew Bullock, spoke on behalf of a few residents who were in favour of the sewers going forward and went as far as to say the process was hijacked.  He did ask council to consider expanding the exisiting low pressure sewer system to the 5 homes on Mount Pleasant Ct as a test, and was supported by Councilor Aitchison.

Staff indicated that it could be done, and would have more details at the next district council meeting.

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Never Re-enter a Burning Building: Huntsville/LOB Fire Dept.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 (12631 reads)

In the wake of a fatal fire in Ottawa on Wednesday, the Huntsville/Lake of Bays Fire Department is reminding the public that once you have escaped from a burning building you should not re-enter for any reason.

“Once out, stay out. Never re-enter a burning building.” said Chief Stephen Hernen.

The warning comes after an individual who had safely exited a burning home re-entered in an attempt to save a pet. The individual perished in the fire.

The Fire Dept says that early detection and warning of fire is critical and that is why the law requires smoke alarms to be installed on every storey of your home and outside all sleeping areas.

Chief Hernen said that  “This recent tragedy serves to emphasize the importance of staying outside once you have safely escaped a burning building. Just as important as having working smoke alarms is making sure everyone in your home knows exactly what to do to escape BEFORE a fire occurs" he said.

Simple steps for home fire escape planning include:

• Everyone should know two ways out of each room, if possible.

• All exits must be unobstructed and easy to use.

• If someone in your home has a disability, develop an escape plan with your household that takes into account their unique needs. Determine who will be responsible for helping young children, older adults and anyone who needs assistance to escape.

• Choose a meeting place outside, such as a tree or a lamp post, where everyone can be accounted for.

• Call the fire department from outside the home, from a cell phone or neighbour’s home.

• Practice your home fire escape plan.

• Once out, stay out. Never re-enter a burning building.

For people who live in apartment buildings and need assistance to escape:

• Make sure you tell the superintendent or landlord if you need assistance.

• Make sure your name is added to the persons who require assistance list in the fire safety plan, so the fire department knows which apartment you are in.

• Know the emergency procedures outlined in the building’s fire safety plan.

If a fire occurs in your home and you are unable to escape:

• Close the door of the room you are in and cover vents and cracks around the door with cloth or tape to keep smoke out.

• Call 9-1-1. Tell them where you are, then signal for help at the window with a light-coloured cloth or a flashlight.

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Habitat Holds Biking For Builds Fall Ride on Sept 28th
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 (676 reads)

Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith presented an Event Tourism Grant of $2,000 to Christine Larkin, and Ellen Frood of Habitat for Humanity Muskoka for the Biking for Builds Fall Ride to be held on September 28, 2014.

“Habitat for Humanity has a solid track record of working within communities to break the cycle of poverty,” said Mayor Smith. “This latest fund raising initiative is bound to become a fall classic.

Bracebridge is pleased to support this initiative that will not only attract visitors to the event but will also help Habitat fund future builds in the community" he said.

The Biking for Builds Fall Ride is a recreational cycling event that spans 85 km of scenic roads between Parry Sound and Bracebridge. The one-way Ride can be done as individual road cyclists or relay teams up to four, made up of family and friends. 

 Riders and spectators can qualify to win one of two Scott Bicycles.

Full details, sponsorship and donation opportunities and registration are now available on the event website at

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Gould in Court Today in Connection with Delores White's Murder
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 (5470 reads)

A man charged with Accessory After the Fact in the Delores White murder is in a Sundridge court this morning.  Declan Letters who was charged in the murder earlier this year was in court last month and plead guilty to the crime.  Brock Gould is expected to plead guilty after Letters hid Delores White’s purse in his home and then fled in a stolen car.

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Huntsville in the Dark Last Night
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 (18946 reads)

Over 10,000 were without power in the Huntsville area last night after a transformer in Utterson caught fire and sent much of the downtown core into darkness.  Hydro One crews were on scene late last night with most power being restored in the early morning hours.

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Huntsville to Hold Apple Festival
Monday, August 18, 2014 (8255 reads)

The town of Huntsville will be holding an Apple Festival at Orchard Park at the end of the Hunters Bay Trail.  A group of residents has been working hard to improve the apple orchard at the park by pruning and grafting the existing fruit trees, removing dead wood and invasive species, and planting new zone hardy fruit trees and bushes.

To celebrate their efforts the town is inviting the public to come pick the apples.   It's on Thursday, August 28th from 3-7pm at Orchard Park. Bring your family, friends, and a basket to collect apples.

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Candidate Information Session Tonight
Monday, August 18, 2014 (388 reads)

The Armour, Ryerson & Burks Falls arena will be hosting an information session on what is involved in running for council tonight.  The information session includes the nomination process, duties of a candidate, campaign period and after election reports that need to be filed.

The deadline to file nomination papers in Sept 12.  The information session starts at 7pm.

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Mackenzie Says He Will Bring in Consultants to Examine Huntsville's Finances
Monday, August 18, 2014 (3889 reads)

Huntsville Mayoral Candidate Hugh Mackenzie said that he is concerned about the overall financial health of the town in an interview with HBR.

Mackenzie says that if elected he will undertake a review of the town's finances bringing in outside consultants to get a clear picture of the situation.

During the interview, when pressed, Mackenzie acknowledged that he wasn't alleging any wrong doing in the town's finances, but said there are other indicators of the town’s financial health including debt, capital deficits and reserves.

Editors Note:  Mr. Mackenzie responds to our story below:

Just read your news item.  To say I said I would bring in Outside Consults to examine our finances and make recommendations going forward implies that I plan to pay someone. My plan is to include  knowledgeable business people in the Community to volunteer to work with members of Council on this issue.  Also I was not “pressed” to say I was questioning the auditors.  

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Huntsville Re-imbersed For Some Costs of Closed Landfill
Monday, August 18, 2014 (2402 reads)

The Town of Huntsville reported that have been repaid the monitoring fees associated with the closed Chaffey Landfill.  The landfill was in the centre of a dispute over who had care, control and ownership of the landfill - the town or district.

The district was to have taken over all landfill sites when the district was formed in the 70’s including closed landfills.  It was discovered that the Chaffey Landfill was leaching a few years ago and it was still in the name of the town of Huntsville. 

The District took over the responsibility of the landfill earlier this year, and staff report that they have since repaid some of the town's expenses maintaining the facility.  Town staff though, are unsure if they will recover the legal fees associated with the dispute.

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Huntsville Covers Cost of Peer Review for District Development Charges
Monday, August 18, 2014 (626 reads)

The Town of Huntsville will underwrite the cost of a Peer Review of District Development Charges that is currently before the District Council.  The review was voted on at the Corporate Services Committee last week and Huntsville Mayor Doughty said that it was "almost better that we pay for it" rather than the District.

The money will come out of Huntsville's Development Charges account to cover the nearly $5000 cost.

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Road Closures Tomorrow as Huntsville Prepares for Annual Sidewalk Sale
Friday, August 15, 2014 (1677 reads)

Downtown Huntsville will be holding their annual summer sidewalk sale tomorrow running from 9am - 5pm.   Main St will be closed starting at 7am from Lorne St to Brunel Rd.

Besides great sales from downtown merchants, there will be musical performances on the town hall steps, a local stage presented by HBR, performances by the Dance Academy, and Art on the Edge.

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Coleman Announces She is Not Running in Next Election
Friday, August 15, 2014 (2396 reads)

Huntsville District Councilor Fran Coleman told her fellow councilors that she will not be in the next council at the Corporate Services Committee ending speculation that she not run in the upcoming municipal election.

Coleman sits as a district councilor and there are currently 4 candidates for the 3 positions that have announced their intention to run in this election.

Coleman is one of the longest serving councilors in Huntsville.

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Local Municpalities Affected by Province's Credit Downgrade
Friday, August 15, 2014 (958 reads)

The recent downgrading of the province's credit outlook by Moody's has affected the District of Muskoka and the municipalities within it and was discussed at the Town's Corporate Services Committee on Wednesday.

Staff told the committee that the change from stable to negative by Moody’s will impact what interest rates the town will pay when borrowing.

Mayor Claude Doughty said that the District Council also discussed the issue and was "dismayed"  and would be challenging the downgrade.  Doughty went on to say that there was no logic in it and the district debt is half of what is was a few years ago.

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Town Staff Milage Allowance Jumps by 17%
Friday, August 15, 2014 (1686 reads)

Huntsville staff and elected officials could see an increase in their mileage allowance next year.  The town's Corporate Services Committee received a report from staff recommending that the rate per km be increased from [Summary].47/km to [Summary].55/km, matching the rate that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) pays their employees.

Staff also recommended that the per diem costs for meals be lowered from a maximum of $60/day to $51/day, matching the CRA's rate.

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MPAC Reports Waterfront Property Values Continue to Slide
Friday, August 15, 2014 (3417 reads)

Terrilynne Bannon from the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation or MPAC was before the Corporate Services Committee in Huntsville and advised the town on the variables that affect the town's assessment base.

Bannon told council that waterfront properties including single family homes and cottages saw increases in their assessed value in 2011 and 2012 but have dropped back to 2010 levels so far this year.  Residential homes – not on the water continue modest increases in value.

The corporation is also involved in preparing this year’s municipal voters list and will shortly be delivering them to municipalities in preparation for the election that takes place on October 27th.  If you are not on the list, you must contact your municipality.

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Town of Huntsville Clashes With Resident Over Use of Waterfront
Thursday, August 14, 2014 (17843 reads)

The Public Infrastructure Committee struggled to find a compromise with a Deer Lake Rd resident who had previously had her personal property confiscated by town employees after they were left on the public beach in front of her property.

Julie Johnson was given the rare opportunity to make a second deputation after town staff once again found beach "toys"  on the beach.

Johnson had been before the committee offering to lease or buy the water front, but was turned down by the town and told to remove her property from the water front when she was finished using it at the end of each day.

Throughout  the meeting the chair,  Councilor Det Schumacher kept inferring that the town was working on something, but would later be corrected by staff who said they weren't given any direction on how to proceed.

Schumacher told the resident that she would have to "remove your stuff, we can't come to an agreement with you."

However, before the meeting ended, the committee did vote to have council reconsider the issue.

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Muskoka Sound Announces More Acts at Festival
Thursday, August 14, 2014 (5340 reads)

The Muskoka Sound Music Festival has announced new additions to the Main Stage line-up at Lion's Lookout including The Trews, Buck 65, Grand Analog, The Beaches, Dear Rouge, Sam Cash & The Romantic Dogs, and HIGHS.

The Festival is a new, three-day, ticketed, outdoors, all-ages and licensed, live music festival taking place September 12 - 14.

The festival is featuring a world-class all-Canadian line-up of over 20 performers including Walk Off The Earth, Serena Ryder, Mother Mother, Monster Truck, Hawksley Workman, Shad, Yukon Blonde, The Strumbellas and Paper Lions and will also include the Homegrown Stage, showcasing musicians from Muskoka.

The Muskoka Sound Festival is planning to bring 5,000 people per day to the area and expects significant economic spin off in the shoulder tourist season.  For tickets please visit

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S.S. Bigwin Ready For Inaugural Cruise
Thursday, August 14, 2014 (1490 reads)

The S.S. Bigwin will be making its inaugural cruise from Baysville to Dorset on August 17th.  The SS Bigwin was fully restored by a group of volunteers after it was left to rot at the bottom of Lake of Bays for years. Following years of work, this cruise on Sunday will be the farthest its sailed since it's restoration and will go down in local history as a celebrated event.

The Bigwin departs Baysville at 4pm and is scheduled to arrive in Dorset at 6.30 pm.  Tickets are $35 and include the return trip by bus.  For more information visit

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MAHC Holding Sessions on Long Term Look at Healthcare Delivery
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 (6146 reads)

The MAHC will be holding a series of public sessions to share information on the future of both Hospital sites in Muskoka.  The meetings will outline the struggles and options when planning the future for the organization who says that both sites are aging and long range plans indicate the need for a new and different space as medicine evolves and standards change.

The MAHC says that work is underway to create a Master Plan that focuses on how programs and services will change  in the future and how healthcare could be delivered in 5yrs, 10yrs and 20yrs from now.

The meetings will be held on August 26 – 7pm at the Active Living Centre  in Huntsville, August 27 – 7pm at the Terry Fox Auditorium in Gravenhurst and August 28 – 7pm at the Bracebridge Sportsplex.

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RBC Run For Kids a Huge Sucess
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 (333 reads)

The RBC Run for Kids was a huge success on Saturaday rasing close to $6,000.  The money will be used to fund mental health programs at Huntsville High School.  About 75 runners took part in the event.

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Hutcheson Master Plan Left for New Council
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 (2164 reads)

Huntsville councilors voted to table a report on the master plan for Hutcheson Memorial Cemetery yesterday after staff requested that the town approve plans to complete the design phase this fall and begin construction of a new chapel and various administration and operation buildings next spring.  The total cost of the project is in the $450,000 range which was too high for some councilors.

Councilor Karin Terziano said that she wasn't convinced that the town needed to completely rebuild the chapel and then proposed the project be tabled and left for the new council to determine how to move forward.

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New Regulations Will Make Facilities Safer for Vulnerable Residents: Hernen
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 (1934 reads)

Huntsville Fire Chief Steve Hernen explained new regulations that are taking effect for 12 facilities in town that are home to vulnerable residents.  The facilities include retirement homes, nursing homes and group homes.

Hernen says that sprinklers must be installed in these facilities starting in 2019 and all staff must be take a special course on fire safety.

Hernen also added that fire drills that simulate a "worse case senario" must be done yearly and additional staff or fire suppression may need to be added.  Hernen noted that it may be difficult financially for some operators, but if the regulations are not met, the dept "may have to start laying charges."

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Muskoka Sound Seeks Noise Exemption
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 (1721 reads)

Representatives from Muskoka Sound were before Huntsville's Public Infrastructure Committee yesterday asking for exemptions to the noise bylaw for Saturday night August 13th explaining that it’s likely that the concert could go on until 1am that night.  Kelly Haywood with the Chamber, who is spearheading the festival, says that the concerts will finish by 11pm on Friday and 6pm on Sunday.

Haywood also asked for a tag and tow bylaw in the immediate area of the high school to remove vehicles parked illegally.  Festival organizers have created 3 parking areas away from the venue and will be using shuttles to get concert goers to their vehicles.

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Moose Delaney’s Midget Hawks Come up Short
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 (11244 reads)

The Moose Delaney’s Midget Hawks had a successful run during the Ontario Provincial Tournament this past weekend in Whitby. The first game was against a strong Six Nations team, winning with a 5-0 score. Evan Peltier recorded the shutout for the Hawks. The next game saw the Hawks play Fort Erie beating them 4-1, and to finish the round robin played Stayner and won 7-1. Onto the quarterfinals where the Hawks met up with the Sault Ste. Marie Spartans and came away with another big win. Final score was 5-3.  The Hawks then faced a larger Oshawa team and beat them on the scoreboard convincingly 5-1.  The final saw Huntsville take on New Tecumseh. The game was a tight affair played primarily on defence. Both teams worked hard and the game was highly entertaining. Ending the game tied at 2, overtime was needed. New Tech scored first with 5 minutes left in the extra frame and Huntsville answered back 40 seconds later to send the game into sudden victory overtime. With 4 minutes left in the period the Hawks defence was finally solved and the ball found the back of the net for a Hawks loss.

As heartbreaking as the loss was the Hawks can find solace in their defensive prowess as they led the entire tournament with a miniscule goals against average of less than two goals per game. Bringing home a silver medal at Provincials.

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Weatherman Calling for Potential Damaging Winds
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 (10720 reads)

The weatherman is saying that conditions are favourable for the development of dangerous thunderstorms that may be capable of producing damaging wind gusts, large hail and torential rain this afternoon and tonight.

A cold front is approaching from the west with a few lines of thunderstorms ahead of the front

expected to track through portions of the region this afternoon and evening.

These storms will have the potential to give local rainfall amounts of 50 mm in an hour, as well as very strong winds gusts and hail.

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Town to Get Update on Muskoka Sound
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 (12427 reads)

Huntsville's Public Infrastructure and Protective Services Committee meets today and will get an update on the Muskoka Sound Music Festival coming to the Lion's Lookout field this fall.  In addition, the committee will also get updates on a new master plan for Hutcheson Memorial Cemetery and quarterly reports from town department heads.

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Special Weather Statement Remains in Effect
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 (6563 reads)

The Special Weather Statement remains in place this morning as the wet weather continues for most of Southern/Central Ontario.

A slow-moving low pressure system is expected to track across Lake Huron today reaching the North Bay area this evening. A band of rain moved across Southwestern Ontario and the Golden Horseshoe last night, giving in the order of 15 to 25 mm of rain. This band will affect Central and Eastern Ontario today into tonight with similar amounts. However, locally heavier amounts of 30mm are quite possible.

A few clusters of thunderstorms are expected to develop this afternoon from the Golden Horseshoe into Southwestern Ontario as well as in central regions near Georgian Bay.

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Huntsville Does Well at the Ontario Lacross Championships
Monday, August 11, 2014 (1490 reads)

Huntsville's Marah Roberson helped Team Ontario win game 3 of the Ontario Women's Lacross Championships last night, 8-1.  Two other Huntsville natives helped Ontario snag the win in the Bantam division finals in BC.  Jason Knox and Bret Handsor both netted singles in the game.

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Environment Canada Issues Special Weather Statement
Monday, August 11, 2014 (26568 reads)

Environment Canada is calling for wet weather ahead.  A complex low pressure system is forecast to approach the Great Lakes from the southwest later today. The low will be slow moving, taking a couple of days to cross Southern/Central Ontario.

Rain from the low is expected to affect Southwestern Ontario primarily later today and tonight while in the remaining regions, including the Golden Horseshoe and Central Ontario, the bulk of the rain will arrive Tuesday.

Rainfall amounts of 20 to 40 mm are expected in most places with some locally higher amounts possible.

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