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Friday, September 04, 2015

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Fire Dept Report 12 Families Left Homeless Due to Preventable Fires
Friday, September 04, 2015 (17393 reads)

The Huntsville/Lake of Bays Fire Department responded to six fires in the last 2 weeks that have left twelve families displaced and caused over $2 million dollars in property damage.

Fire Chief Steve Hernen said that “I’m saddened by the fact that these families have been displaced by fires that were truly preventable, but I’m ecstatic that every one of these homes had working smoke alarms which alerted these families and averted a tragedy”.

 To prevent property loss and fire-related injuries, the Huntsville/Lake of Bays Fire Department is urging residents to always keep fire safety in mind. Fire Prevention Officer Mike Vadlja says “your home is full of hidden hazards and being aware of them will help reduce the risk of having a fire”.

The fire dept says the safest place to smoke is outside. You need to be alert when you smoke. Never smoke if you are sleepy, have taken medicine or drugs that make you drowsy, or have consumed alcohol.

 Keep lit candles a safe distance away from anything that can burn and put them out when you leave the room.

Keep anything that can burn at least one metre away from a furnace, hot water heater or sauna heater.

Never use extension cords as permanent wiring. Ensure they are not run under a carpet and never overload circuits with multi-gang receptacles.

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Planned Power Outage for Parts of Huntsville This Morning
Friday, September 04, 2015 (3072 reads)

Lakeland Power has announced a planned power outage for the Main St West area in Huntsville, scheduled for this morning starting at 9am.  The power company is asking residents avoid parking near hydro poles, green hydro boxes and transformers to allow them access to complete the work.

The power is expected to be restored by noon.

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Carleton University Ask For Input on Community Radio - Like HBR
Friday, September 04, 2015 (580 reads)

Carleton University is undertaking the first nation professional and policy development conference in Canada for community media practitioners including community radio, community television, and other community online platforms, like Hunters Bay Radio.

The study involves input from community media and the public and a survey has been created asking for input from the community as well.

The survey is the first in several steps to develop more robust community media policy in the digital environment.  Responses will be used to develop a policy proposal that will be debated and finalized at the Community Media Convergence conference to be held this Nov. 22-24 at Carleton University in Ottawa. Following the CMC, the proposal will be submitted to the CRTC and to other government agencies whose policies affect community media.

You can participate by taking the survey and the link can be found here:

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MAHC Forecasts 168 Beds in New Single Site Hospital
Friday, September 04, 2015 (2207 reads)

Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare has completed a revised Pre-Capital Submission Form  for the province that formalizes the unanimous direction of the MAHC Board of Directors to pursue one hospital, centrally located as the preferred model to provide hospital care in the year 2030 and beyond.  The document, does call for a new facility built on "green field" with a variety of services including emergency, acute, ambulatory, and rehab.   Other services planned includes a lab, pharmacy, MRI and Cat Scan.

Charles Forret, Board Chair said that “the Board of Directors has acknowledged that the status quo of two acute care sites is not the best option for sustainable health care in the future. Over the past two years, there has been extensive planning work leading to the determination of the preferred model and MAHC’s future role as a health care provider in the local health system.”

The Pre-Capital was created from the Master Program of the services MAHC will provide, and a Master Plan of the buildings and/or facilities those services will require. Bed projections are based on the latest growth projections from the Ministry of Finance that demonstrate the need today to plan for a projected total of 162 beds for the one-hospital model.

MAHC Chief Executive Officer Natalie Bubela underscores the importance of recognizing that MAHC’s long-term plan will continue to be refined as new information is received.

The link for the document:

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Dara Howell Collection Unveiled at Summit Centre.
Thursday, September 03, 2015 (5085 reads)

There’s a new attraction in the Canada Summit Centre in Huntsville. Dara Howell’s ski gear, worn when during the 2014 Sochi Olympics where she won her Olympic gold medal, is now on display at the Summit Centre.

Officially labeled the Dara Howell Collection, the display is part of the Olympic display located across from the Jack Bionda display.

Howell was on hand to unveil the display around noon on Sept. 3 saying, “It’s awesome to have this here, I feel so honoured to have it next to all these other displays and hopefully we’ll have some more up here in the years to come.”

Mayor Scott Aitchison was also on hand for the unveiling, lauding Huntsville’s athletic achievements.

“…If you look around this space and the Summit Centre, you look at a tremendous history of sport and athletic achievement from our community,” he said. “Dara is now, of course, a rich part of that history and has made this community immensely proud.”

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Huntsville/Lake of Bays Cottager Key Shareholder in Ashley Madison.
Thursday, September 03, 2015 (58302 reads)

Information released in last month’s leak of infidelity dating website has revealed that the company’s largest stakeholders have been longtime seasonal residents of Huntsville and Lake of Bays.

Corporate data revealed during the dump labels Jason DeZwirek, his father Philip and the family’s investment company, Icarus Investment Corp, as the chief shareholders in the company holding 30.5 per cent of the company’s shares. The data breach revealed that Jason DeZwirek himself owns just shy of six million shares in the company accounting for roughly 15 per cent of the company’s shares. Philip DeZwirek owns 1.8 million shares in the company and the Icarus Investment Corp owns an additional 4.2 million shares accounting for 10.8 per cent.

The DeZwirek family has a long history in Muskoka dating back 45 years and recently had the family name emblazoned on the Huntsville Hospital in recognition of a $1 million donation to the Huntsville Hospital Foundation earlier this year.

Calls to DeZwirek for comment were not immediately returned but Philip DeZwirek was quoted by Reuters last month regarding the hacking’s impact on the family’s investment, saying,

“Our business is continuing normally… As an investor I’d be more concerned with finding out who did this and having them punished by the criminal system.”

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Muskoka Lakes Twp Councilor Heads to Court to Answer Conflict Allegations
Thursday, September 03, 2015 (2569 reads)

Muskoka Lakes Councilor Sandy Currie will be in court on October 19th to answer to allegations of conflict of interest leveled by a Muskoka Lakes resident.

Greg Knight who filed the suit says that Currie should have declared a conflict when voting on an issue related to the Muskoka Lakes Association of which he is a member.

The Twp of Muskoka Lakes has been taken to the OMB by the Lakes Association over the issue of septic setbacks.

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Bracebridge Pool to Close for Repairs
Thursday, September 03, 2015 (1038 reads)

Tomorrow afternoon, the Town of Bracebridge will closing the pools and the climbing wall at the Bracebridge Sportsplex for their annual maintenance. They will remain closed for two weeks; reopening September 21st. Town officials say that during the shutdown all other areas of the Sportsplex remain open to the public.

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TLDSB Says Schools are Ready for Students
Thursday, September 03, 2015 (646 reads)

The Trillium Lakelands District School Board says that schools are ready for students.  In February trusteees approved construction projects to take place this summer. More than $6,400,000 was slated for projects to be completed during the summer.

Projects included accessibility initiatives such as elevators in some schools; roofing projects; auto-shop

renovations; heating and ventilation installation; flooring; telephone system replacements; and surveillance systems.

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Mobbley Removed as President of the Muskoka Parry Sound NDP Riding Association
Thursday, September 03, 2015 (1649 reads)

In a statement released last night, the Muskoka Parry Sound Riding Association have removed their president Clyde Mobbley after he called on voters across the riding to consolidate their votes to oust "Harper's man - Tony Clement." 

Mobbley, however urged voters not to vote for the NDP, but rather the Green Party.

Mobbley cited a number of reasons for changing his political tune this time around, including dissatisfaction with NDP candidate Matt McCarthy and a strong Green presence during the last provincial election.

Mobbley was removed by unanimous vote by the executive yesterday saying that any views expressed by Mobbley were his own and do not represent those of the NDP riding executive or members.

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Planned Power Outage in Parts of Huntsville on Friday
Thursday, September 03, 2015 (7073 reads)

Lakeland Power has announced a planned power outage for the Main St West area in Huntsville, scheduled for Friday.  The power company is asking residents avoid parking near hydro poles, green hydro boxes and transformers to allow them access to complete the work.

The outage starts at 9am and power is expected to be restored by noon.

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NDP Drop Riding President.
Wednesday, September 02, 2015 (143 reads)

The New Democrat riding association for Parry Sound - Muskoka has dropped Clyde Mobbley.

A press release circulated this afternoon by the regions NDP stated that the former riding association president has been removed from the party. The party's head officials voted unanimously to revoke Mobbley's membership in response to a letter penned on Sept. 1 that urged voters in the riding to abandon the NDP and Liberals in favour of the Green Party.



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Muskoka Tourism Looking for Citizen Input.
Wednesday, September 02, 2015 (741 reads)

On Sept. 9, Muskokans will have a chance to have their say about what makes the region such a popular destination for tourists. 
Starting at 7 p.m. at the Muskoka Boat and Heritage Centre in Gravenhurst, Muskoka from the Heart is part of Muskoka Tourism's brand revitalization project and is seeking consultation from the public about how best to brand Muskoka. 
President of the Muskoka Tourism, Leah Leslie, spoke to the consultation process saying, 
"We want to involve Muskoka residents in this conversation because each and every one of us is a brand ambassador for Muskoka."  

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Muskoka YWCA Offering Business Programs this Fall.
Wednesday, September 02, 2015 (1263 reads)

The YWCA of Muskoka is once again offering a number of women's programs this autumn, including two new programs. 
The YWCA has announced that they will be offering two business related courses this fall including The Business of Life: Skills for Transition and Women in Business: Exploring the Entrepreneurial Adventure. 
The first program will focus on building the skills necessary for transitory stages in life such as returning to the work force, starting a business and furthering education. The second program focuses on a harnessing entrepreneurial skills from marketing to filing and beyond. 
The programs will be offering in Huntsville, Bracebridge and for the first time, Gravenhurst. They will be holding the programs from September to December and the cost for the full course is only $25. 
More information can be found at

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NDP Riding President Urges Voters to "Go Green"
Wednesday, September 02, 2015 (12287 reads)

Anything but Harper: that seems to be the message being touted by President of NDP Riding Association for Parry Sound - Muskoka NDP Clyde Mobbley, who has penned a letter urging voters to go green in the upcoming federal election.

Mobbley, who ran, and lost, against candidate Matt McCarthy in the race for the NDP nomination, wrote a letter titled "Giving the boot to Harper's man here in Parry Sound-Muskoka" wherein he asks that voters not split the vote and consolidate under the mantle of the Green Party in an attempt to oust Conservative incumbent Tony Clement.

"With the October 19 election, giving the boot to Harper's man here in Parry Sound - Muskoka is a real possibility," Mobbley wrote. "How can we make this happen? By a majority of voters who do vote this October 19 in this riding, voting Green."

Mobbley cites a number of reasons for changing his political tune this time around, including dissatisfaction with Matt McCarthy and a strong Green presence during the last provincial election.

“In my opinion, a mistake was made when the opportunity wasn’t taken up for a well know [sic] local to represent the NDP in this riding come election day,” Mobbley wrote adding that the strong showing of Greens could repeat federally this time around.

"Consider the very strong vote for the Greens here in Parry Sound-Muskoka in the last provincial election. I believe this vote will repeat October 19 for the Greens,"

Mobbley ends his letter with an appeal to voters asking, urging them to “stop Harper” and not split the vote. Mobbley’s actions have drawn criticism from some, such as McCarthy’s campaign manager James Moffat, who said in an interview with the Huntsville Forester that he believes the sentiment comes more from Mobbley’s disappointment in losing the nomination, rather than any failing on McCarthy’s part.

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Peggy Peterson Marks One Year at Bala Falls.
Wednesday, September 02, 2015 (5058 reads)

Sept. 1 marked one year since Peggy Peterson, or "The Muskoka Lorax" as some have dubbed her, began her occupation of lands slated to house the Bala Falls hydro-electric project.

Peterson has spent the last year camping on and off of the proposed space in an attempt to hault, and eventually cancel, the hydro project which has been heavily contested by members of the Wahta Mohawks and Bala residents, among others.

In a posting on her Facebook page, Peterson marked the occasion saying,

"...Pitching that tent a year ago changed everything for me. What a wonderful wild adventure!!"

Peterson added that while they've stopped the project so far (no construction has yet to take place), the battle is not over.

"We stopped the project, but we have not cancelled it. My motto for Bala Falls is let's use it so we do not lose it."


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Local Author Offering Writing Workshop this Month.
Tuesday, September 01, 2015 (1158 reads)

Muskoka based author Zander Sherman will be speaking at the Sept. 17 meeting of the Muskoka Authors Association. 
Sherman will be delivering a three-hour "crash course" on the novel writing process from beginning to end. 
Sherman's first book, The Curiosity of School wasa Globe and Mail best seller and he has since been a regular contributor to a number of publications. 
The writing workshop is free to all members of the Muskoka Authors Association and $30 for non-members. It takes place at the St. Thomas Anglican Church in Bracebridge at 6 p.m. 

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Campaign Started for Victims of Yesterday's Fire.
Tuesday, September 01, 2015 (40820 reads)

A gofundme campaign has been started for the victims of yesterday's fire on Hutcheson Beach Road in Huntsville.

Shortly after 2:30 p.m. yesterday, fire crews from the Huntsville Fire Department responded to a fire which burnt the house beyond repair, killing a family dog in the process.

None of the occupants were home at the time of the fire and damage to the building is estimated at $450,000.

The fire has left the family without the basic neccessities of life including clothes, toiletries and food. The organizors have created the gofundme campaign to help support the family while they get back on their feet.

They are asking anyone wishing to drop off gift cards or donations to drop them off at the RBC bank in Huntsville in an envelope marked Aimee Sinclair.

A link to the gofundme campaign where monetary donations can be made is listed below:


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Gravenhurst Hopes to Save 51% on Hydro Cost with New LED Streetlights
Tuesday, September 01, 2015 (464 reads)

The Town of Gravenhurst are upgrading streetlights in the community to LED.

Beginning the first week of September, installations crews will upgrade 800 streetlights in the Town. The project is expected to be completed by early October.

The new LED fixtures will help reduce the Town’s electricity costs by 51% and maintenance costs by 80%.  LED’s will also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 28 metric tons per year, the equivalent of the carbon removed by 718 tree seedlings grown for ten years. Additional benefits of LED fixtures are the clear white light they produce as well as their ability to better target beams onto the streets and roadways, improving visibility and safety in addition to reducing light pollution.

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Local Election Debates Begin on September 14th in Bracebridge
Tuesday, September 01, 2015 (447 reads)

A series of election debates are being planned in the district to allow voters to get to know the candidates in the upcoming federal election. 

The candidates will get a chance to talk with constituents in a meet and greet before the debate begins.

Candidates will then be given an opportunity to answer questions from the moderator as well as members of the public.

The first debate will be held in Bracebridge on September 14 at the Rene Caisse Theatre.  Other debates are planned later in the election in Gravenhurst, Huntsville and Lake of Bays.

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Second Home Razed by Fire Yesterday
Tuesday, September 01, 2015 (2950 reads)

The Huntsville/Lake of Bays Fire Department responded to a second structure fire yesterday shortly after 2.30pm on Hutcheson Beach Road. Upon arrival, crews from Huntsville Station 1 and 3 found the structure fully involved.

There were no occupants home at the time. Damage is estimated at $450,000.00. No cause has yet been determined.

Earlier in the day, the fire dept responded to a fire that broke out at a home on Hidden Valley Road..

Just prior to 11 a.m., crews from the Huntsville Lake of Bays Fire Department responded to the fire after the buildings lone resident was alerted by the smoke alarm.

Upon arrival of fire crews the fire was contained to the basement.

Investigators determined that the fire began in a basement sauna, as witnesses had previously reported, when combustible materials stored near the sauna ignited.

Damage is estimated at around $195,000 and the two adjacent buildings also suffered smoke damage as a result.

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Changes to Driving Laws This September.
Monday, August 31, 2015 (11334 reads)

Tomorrow marks the beginning of September and with comes a number of new driving regulations.

As of Sept. 1 Ontario has increased the fines for distracted driving to $490 and three demerit pionts. Similarly, novice drivers will receive a 30-day suspension for their first conviction.

Ontario has also increased the fines associated with cyclists including a fine of $365 for "dooring" a cyclist and a possible $110 fine for not leaving at leave a one-metre distance when passing a cyclist. Cyclists who do not use their require lights and reflectors could also face a fine of $110.

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Scouts Recruiting Through September.
Monday, August 31, 2015 (473 reads)

Muskoka and Almaguin's scouting organizations are looking for new recruits to their organization.

The scouting group, which operates in Muskoka, Almaguin, Parry Sound and Simcoe, will be holding a registration night on Sept. 17 at the Trinity United Church and then again on Sept. 18 at the Huntsville Place Mall.

The co-ed scouts group offers a wide array orf programs for youths aged five to 17. The cost is $190 per person for a years membership.

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Labour Day Closures in Bracebridge.
Monday, August 31, 2015 (137 reads)

A number of public buildings will be closed next Monday, Sept. 7 in Bracebridge for the Labour Day holiday.

The Bracebridge Sportsplex, memorial arena, public library, fire department and municipal offices will all be closed during the holiday.

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HBR Clarifies Status
Monday, August 31, 2015 (11280 reads)

Yesterday Former Mayor Hugh Mackenzie called into question Hunters Bay Radio's status, calling us a business that sells advertising and asks for donations in a radiothon held last week.
To be clear HBR is a not for profit public broadcaster with a licence from the CRTC to provide a community radio undertaking .
HBR is one of a couple hundred community radio stations in the country that provides an alternative to commercial radio.  We do sell advertising and since going FM, we have hired 3 new people bringing our staff contingent to six employees.  
Like other community based radio stations, we plan on holding fundraisers for various capital projects going forward, and our first radiothon was very successful, raising funds for an emergency broadcast system as mandated by the CRTC.  We also plan to use some of the money to do some repairs to our equipment.  NONE OF THE MONEY will be going to pay for any salary of any staff member/board member or otherwise.  The money will go to specific hardware/installation costs.  Just last month, The Canoe 100.9 (Haliburton) raised $30,000 for new equipment.  They do a radiothon fundraiser every summer.
We support countless community groups, getting the word out about their cause or event.  We have especially supported the creative economy (the arts) by providing low cost advertising to these groups and musicians.  We have tirelessly promoted local artists and have even paid them to play at several events we have sponsored in addition to the rotation and promotion we give them.  We plan to do more of that, as we can afford to, and NONE of the cost will come from money raised via radiothons.

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Mike Duncan First Local to Cross the Ironman Finish Line
Monday, August 31, 2015 (8526 reads)

Muskoka provided a beautiful backdrop for athletes from around the world at the inaugural Subaru IRONMAN Muskoka triathlon held this past weekend.

Jonathan McMillan from Orillia, Ontario and Robyn Hardage from Ottawa, Ontario took the top honors with finishing times of 9:19:28 and 9:53:37, respectively.  Mike Duncan was the first local to cross the line in 11:08:04.

Nearly 1,300 athletes representing 21 countries and 37 states started the 2015 Subaru IRONMAN® Muskoka triathlon, which consisted of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run in the scenic surroundings provided by the city of Huntsville. Competitors ranged in age from 18 to 75.


The event offered 50 coveted age-group qualifying slots to the 2016 IRONMAN World Championship, taking place on Oct. 8 in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i.


Full results for the Subaru IRONMAN Muskoka triathlon follow the link.

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Youth Ambassadors Return from Norway.
Friday, August 28, 2015 (362 reads)

A group of Bracebridge students visiting Gol, Norway have returned from their trip.

The group of students and advisors returned on Aug. 16 from their trip as ambassadors to the Norwegian city which has shared strong ties with Bracebridge since World War II.

Bracebridge's town council was treated to a debriefing on the trip through a presentation made by the students at a special council meeting last night.

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Huntsville Looking to Hire Parks/Cemetaries Workers.
Friday, August 28, 2015 (7143 reads)

The Town of Huntsville is looking to hire some seasonal workers with for its parks and cemitaries maintence department.

Workers will be tasked with cutting grass, assisting with burials, sports field maintenance and special events set up and tear down, among others.

The position is open to anyone with a high school diploma and a G class drivers license and starts at a wage of between $11.55 and $12.49.

Those interested can submit a resume to by Sept. 11.

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Road Closures for Ironman Announced.
Thursday, August 27, 2015 (9573 reads)

Drivers beware, the Ironman is almost here and with it comes road closures and traffic jams. 

To help ease the congestion, the Town of Huntsville has released the routes that will be closed for the Aug. 30 event and some of the routes run right through downtown. 

In the downtown core, Main Street from John Street to Centre Street will be closed, including the swing bridge. A detour will be in place so that local residents can still navigate the downtown. 

The town is asking anyone driving near the event to be cautious so that both drivers and athletes are safe. 

A full list of affected routes i s available at

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Early Morning Fire Shuts Down SMMH Emergency Dept.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015 (23917 reads)

A fire has shut down the South Muskoka Memorial Hospital’s emergency department today. 
At around 8:40 this morning, a fire broke out in the emergency department prompting Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC) staff to take action to evacuate patients and extinguish the fire until emergency services could respond. 
Officials from MAHC report that no one was injured in the incident and patients were evacuated to another part of the hospital. Fire fighters extinguished the fire and cleared the scene at around 9:30 a.m. this morning, however clean up is still underway and emergency patients are being treated in an alternate portion of the hospital until the emergency department is repaired. 
MAHC CEO Natalie Bubela praised staff for their quick response to the emergency saying that public and patient safety is paramount and that the staff followed protocol and did a tremendous job ensuring the safety of those involved. 

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District Refuses to Reconsider Bala Road Widening.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015 (6103 reads)

Muskoka District Councils decision not to reconsider a resolution pertaining to the Bala Falls Hydro Electric Program wasted Wahta Mohawk’s Chief Philip Franks time last Monday.
Chief Franks was scheduled to make a deputation in regards to a motion to reconsider a resolution passed last month that granted Bala Falls project proponent, Swift River Energy, the rights to widen a portion of Muskoka Road 169.
Councilors Harding and Nishikawa brought forth the motion to reconsider the issue, citing that there had been changes made to the plan initially voted on, such as the stipulation that the road widening would now be permanent, previously having been intended to be temporary.
Requiring a two thirds majority to re-open the issue, council voted to defeat the motion. Despite this fact, council voted in favour of still allowing Franks to delegate on behalf of the reconsideration motion. Franks declined this offering, citing that the district’s decision not to open the issue for reconsideration rendered his delegation pointless.
Franks, who is currently in ongoing consultation meetings with the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs on behalf of the Wahta Mohawks, said that he was disappointed by the district’s decision and added that it is clear that the district “does not want to hear [the issue].”
Franks noted that the widening of the road would permanently destroy an important heritage portage and that the proposed plant would be up river from two rivers that run through the Wahta community and are relied on by the community. 

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Huntsville Photographer Wins Community Living Ontario Photography Contest.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015 (4683 reads)

Photographer and BIA representative Helena Renwick received some recognition for her photo-skills this week after winning 2015's Community Living Ontario Photo Challenge. 
Renwick wont the award for her photo of the All Abilities Dance Troupe which can be seen on our Facebook page. 

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Huntsville Invests in Green Bug Project
Wednesday, August 26, 2015 (4806 reads)

The town of Huntsville is going ahead with the hydro electric project at the Brunel Locks as a partner in the project.   The town's involvement has changed from land leasing partner to investing $200,000 in the project and taking a bigger slice of the revenues.
Councilor Terziano told councilors that she "didn't know how we can keep doing this - spending money we don't have," saying that the general reserve fund the money would come out of would be in a deficit situation.
Mayor Scott Aitchison  said that this is an opportunity to make an investment and build our reserves for the next 40 years.
The deal still has some hurdles to overcome including a FIT contract and engineering drawings.  Until that point, the town can still change its mind and cancel the project at no cost to the town according to Fire Chief Steve Hernen.

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Huntsville Council Lets OPP Use ALC with String Attached
Wednesday, August 26, 2015 (4959 reads)

Huntsville Council said yes to a request by the OPP to use the Active Living Centre as a back up location to the detachment building, should the detachment become in operable at Monday's council meeting - with one proviso.  The catch, was that the councilors weren't comfortable displacing  users of the ALC unless it was an emergency situation.  Mayor Scott Aitchison said he wasn't comfortable unless it was just emergency use and not a planned renovation.
Some councilors including Brian Thompson  felt that the town should not allow for complimentary  access to the building and they should pay a fee.    However,  council agreed to allow the OPP to use the space for emergencies and felt there were other options if the detachment underwent a long term renovation.

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2016 Budget Process Starts at 8.72% Increase
Wednesday, August 26, 2015 (3715 reads)

Huntsville Council had a brief discussion on guidelines for the 2016 budget at Monday's council meeting.  Staff presented a budget document that contained a 6% increase in operating  costs and a 22% increase in capital funding.
Deputy Mayor Karin Terziano cautioned councilors that this "council has made so many commitments for 2016, some mandated, some not."
As it stands now, before the draft budget is presented in January, the net increase in the levy stands at 8.72%.  Terziano commented to council of the number, that "this is a starting point."   Mayor Scott Aitchison told staff to "go to work and bring back a budget, then we will have a discussion."

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Muskoka Welcoming Med Students Next Month.
Tuesday, August 25, 2015 (2452 reads)

Muskoka will be celebrating the arrival of eight third-year medical students next month with a community barbecue and celebration. 
On Sept. 1 Bracebridge and Huntsville, along with the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) will welcome the students to the region as they begin living and learning in the two towns as part of NOSM's comprehensive community clerkship program. 
The event starts at 12:15 p.m. at Kerr Park in Bracebridge. 

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Gravenhurst Fire Dept. Ramps Up Recruiting Drive.
Tuesday, August 25, 2015 (601 reads)

Gravenhurst firefighters are using social media to turn up the heat for the last month of their annual recruitment drive. 
The Gravenhurst Fire Deptartmetn is employing a number of social media outlets, including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn, to further spread the message of the departments recruiting needs. 
A short series of videos have been produced to go alongside the social media messages and feature veteran and rookie firefighters sharing their experiences of volunteering.
Interested applicants can find out more through

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MAHC Looking to Fill Vacant Board Seat.
Tuesday, August 25, 2015 (4892 reads)

Muskoka Alongquin Healthcare (MAHC) is looking to fill a space on their board of directors for a one-year position and will be holding a "MAHC Board 101" information session on Sept. 3.

The deadline to apply for the position is Monday, Sept. 14 and interested applicants must reside, work or be on a municipal voters list or tax roll in Muskoka or East Parry Sound.

MAHC is advising that this is not a "training board" and is looking to recruit members with experience serving on boards of a similar scope.

The successful applicant will be required to attend a monthly board meeting and commit 10 to 15 hours per month to the board.

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Huntsville Mayor Promises to Get Involved in Dispute Between Stone Company and its Neighbours
Tuesday, August 25, 2015 (12577 reads)

A video showing how heavy equipment has impacted a group of homeowners was presented at Huntsville Council yesterday after Algonquin Natural Stone asked for permission to continue operations  24/7.

The video showed heavy equipment working 15ft across the road from residents who complained that since Algonquin Natural Stone moved in, they have destroyed the buffer between the company and residential area, moved heavy equipment in and proceeded to work late in the evening causing noise and vibration.

Algonquin Natural Stone has been fined in the past for making excessive noise after 9pm.  One homeowner complained that the noise and vibration wakes up her children, while another says that he can't sell his home because of the operation on the other side of the road.

The company is seeking to run their operation 24/7 and compared their relationship with homeowners to Uponor on Centre St.

Mayor Scott Aitchison said he would get involved to help resolve the issue.

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Huntsville Curling Club Asks Town for Sponsorship of Scotties Tournament of Hearts
Tuesday, August 25, 2015 (1465 reads)

The Scotties Tournament of Hearts could be coming to Huntsville in 2017 if the Huntsville Curling Club has anything to do with it.  The club and the Chamber of Commerce came before Huntsville Council yesterday to ask for their support and sponsorship of the event.

The event is expected to bring 2,000 spectators  at the event, which will be held at the Canada Summit Centre from Jan 13-22, 2017.

The Club asked the town to waive facility fees which could cost in excess of $20,000 in return for sponsorship of the event.

Town staff reported that if the town were to go ahead, other events could be impacted rippling throughout the winter season.

Council decided not to approve the request right away, electing instead to meet with the organization to work out the details.

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Minister Hears District Councillors Concerns
Tuesday, August 25, 2015 (1524 reads)

Ontario’s Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing was on hand at last night’s district council meeting. Ted McMeekin requested to make a presentation at the district meeting as part of his ongoing Building Bridges tour, which has seen him visit more than 200 Ontario municipalities. McMeekin, who has served as the minister of municipal affairs and housing since 2014, met with Mayors in the Simcoe Muskoka area including Mayors from Tiny Township, Penetanguishene, Midland and Muskoka.

McMeekin’s building bridges tour seeks to learn about the various challenges and opportunities that exist across Ontario as well as serving as a dialogue between municipalities and the province in efforts to share ideas about building better communities throughout the province.

McMeekin took questions from district councilors saying, “I’m not afraid to hear criticism on how the provincial government can do things better,” adding that he was there to engage listen and hear the areas input.

Questions ran the gamut from concerns over municipality’s abilities to self-govern and their authority in decision making, to alternative revenue streams for municipal governments and a request from Lake of Bays Mayor, Bob Young, as to whether or not the minister would support a resolution to increase representation at district council for Lake of Bays and Georgian Bay townships. 

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United Way Looking to Offer Services in Muskoka
Tuesday, August 25, 2015 (1993 reads)

Representatives for United Way’s Greater Simcoe County branch were at district council last night to express interest in expanding the branches services into Muskoka.

United Way currently does offer some services in Muskoka, including in-school mentoring, but Director and Resource Development officer Paulina Robertson, along with CEO Dale Biddell, want to increase their level of involvement in the region citing that Muskoka currently resides in a gap, neither served properly by Great Simcoe County or Sudbury/Nipissing’s Branch.

Representatives asked that district write them a letter, indicating their support of a partnership between the district and United Way, which could then we forwarded to United Way’s head office to formalize creating a partnership in Muskoka.

District voted in support of the idea and Community Services Department leader, Councilor Clement, invited United Way to engage with their department in moving the project forward.

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Huntsville IDA Offering Free Bone Scans
Monday, August 24, 2015 (557 reads)

Huntsville's IDA Pharmacy is offering free bone density scans as part of a osteoporosis clinic they're hosting next month.

The scans and clinic will be taking place on Thursday, Sept. 10 and Saturday, Sept. 12.

Those interested can book an appointed by visiting Huntsville IDA or phoning at 705 789 2561.

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Windermere, Jaspen Beach Issued Swimming Advisory.
Monday, August 24, 2015 (6787 reads)

Two beaches in Muskoka Lakes township have been issued a swimming advisory.

Windermere Beach and Jaspen Beach were both added to the advisory list last week indicating that they may contain higher than normal levels of bacteria that put swimmers at an increased risk of contracting certain infections.

An advisory is not a beach closure but recommends those choosing to swim do so without ingesting water and do not dunk their heads under the water.

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Minister of Municipal Affairs At District Council Tonight
Monday, August 24, 2015 (741 reads)

Ted McMeekin, the Provinical Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing will be making  a deputation to Muskoka District Council tonight in what is being described as a "Building Bridges Tour".

As well  Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith and District Councilor Giaschi-Pacini will be asking  council to approve a resolution that was paased in Bracebridge calling on the province not to sell Hydro-One.

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Huntsville Council Meets This Morning
Monday, August 24, 2015 (3239 reads)

Huntsville Council meets this morning and will hear from Jim Alexander, the owner of Algonquin Natural Stone, on Madill Church Rd, who is asking council to review the noise by-law.  Alexander wants to continue cutting stone past 9pm, to 11pm. 

Nearby residents will be asking the town not to allow the company to extend their hours of operation past 9pm, saying the excessive noise and dust disturbs their enjoyment of their properties.

Algonquin has been fined in the past for breaking the noise bylaw.

The council meeting starts at 9am in council chambers.

Read More (Rating-3.40)
HBR Radiothon a Huge Success!
Monday, August 24, 2015 (1262 reads)

Yesterday Hunters Bay Radio concluded its first annual Radiothon and raised just over $14,000 towards the cost of new hardware.  As a community station, we rely on the community to help fund new hardware purchases.

The money will be used to help fund upgrades to our transmitter and the installation of an emergency broadcast system as mandated by the CRTC.

HBR would like to thank the many volunteers who gave up their weekend, the musicians who performed live in our studio all weekend long and of course our great listeners, and businesses who donated to the cause.

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Orchard Park Apple Festival Coming Up.
Thursday, August 20, 2015 (975 reads)

In just a week, Huntsville's Orchard Park will be abuzz with apple pickers. 
Aug. 27 marks the annual Orchard Park Apple Festival.
The orchard has been curated over the years by a group of residents who have improved the grounds and trees in the area and the festival celebrates their hard work. 
The event runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is free. People are encouraged to bring a bag or basket to collect their apples in. 

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Skyline Investing $10 Million in Deerhurst.
Thursday, August 20, 2015 (2153 reads)

Huntsville's Deerhurst Resort will be having some work done in the coming years. 
Skyline International, the parent company of Deerhurst since 2011, will be spending $10 million over the next two years to upgrade the resorts facilities including guest rooms, common spaces as well as the resorts waterfront. 
The investment is part of a larger, $500 million investment by Skyline towards expansion and renovation.

Read More (Rating-3.00)
Micro Burst Responsible for Wind Damage.
Thursday, August 20, 2015 (5960 reads)

Damage done to portions of Algonquin Park and a Ministry of Natural Resources' building was caused by what Environment Canada believes to have been a micro-burst. 
A micro-burst is described as a sudden, powerful, localized air current caused by an intense downdraft. 
The suspected micro-burst caused significant damage, peeling a portion of the roof off of a MNR building and knocking over signs and trees. 
Environment Canada says they are continuing to investigate the occurrence.

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22 Minutes Star Asks People to Support HBR's Radiothon
Thursday, August 20, 2015 (1197 reads)

Mark Critch, the funnyman at CBC's This Hour Has 22 Minutes threw this support behind Hunters Bay Radio yesterday, tweeting out to more than 56,000 followers asking them to support HBR.  Critch, who visited the station for a segment of 22 Minutes said that the station had "talented people doing good things in their community." 

The Hunters Bay Radio Radiothon starts tomorrow and runs through to Sunday Afternoon and will feature live bands, a BBQ and kids activities.  Donors will be eligible to win prizes each hour and bid on silent auction items.

The money raised will be used to get new equipment to keep HBR on the air.  You can donate online at anytime or, by calling in, or stopping by the studio in Huntsville Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

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Huntsville OPP Ask For Use of ALC as a Backup to Detachment Building
Thursday, August 20, 2015 (5915 reads)

The Huntsville Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police will be asking the town that the detachment receives complimentary use of the Active Living Centre for a temporary operations centre should there be a situation that renders their existing detachment building inoperable.

John Graham, the detachment commander wrote that the force is updating their Continuity of Operations Plan and they are looking for a suitable location for officers to report and operate out of and the Active Living Centre has the required amenities for 24 hour operation until the detachment building becomes operable again.

Read More (Rating-3.67)
Council to Hear of Noise Complaints Between Algonquin Natural Stone & Nieghbours
Thursday, August 20, 2015 (4706 reads)

Huntsville Council meets next Monday and will recognize Fire Chief Steve Hernen who has re-elected to the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs as First Vice President.

Council will also hear from Jim Alexander, the owner of Algonquin Natural Stone, who is asking council to review the noise by-law.  Alexander wants to continue cutting stone past 9pm, to 11pm.  Algonquin has been fined in the past for breaking the noise bylaw.

Nearby residents will be asking the town not to allow the company to extend their hours of operation past 9pm, saying the excessive noise and dust disturbs their enjoyment of their properties.

Read More (Rating-3.83)
Ontario Gov't Injects $125 Million Into Hospitals
Wednesday, August 19, 2015 (3373 reads)

Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare will benefit from a multi-million dollar investiment in hospitals from the provincial government.

$2.7 million has been earmarked for hospitals in the North Simcoe Muskoka region as part of the Ontario government's $125 million healthcare infrastructure renewal fund (HIRF) for 2015-16.

Of that $2.7 million going towards North Simcoe Muskoka, $506,291 will be going to MAHC.

Infrastructure upgrades covered under the fund include things such as upgraded air ventilation systems, fire alarm systems, back up generators, roofing repairs and more.

Read More (Rating-3.00)
Take a (Virtual) Walk in Three Amigos Park.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015 (473 reads)

The Three Amigos dog park in Bracebridge is ready to accomodate dogs and if you've got any doubts about making the trip you can now check out the park online.

The park, which is located at Kerr Park in Bracebridge, is offering a virtual tour of the nearly 2 kilometre grounds.

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Hunters Bay Radio Hosts Radiothon for New Equipment
Wednesday, August 19, 2015 (3249 reads)

Starting on Friday and running through the weekend Hunters Bay Radio, is running its first ever Radiothon to fund new equipment and upgrades.  The station is Muskoka's only locally owned and community run radio station.  Brian Samuell, treasurer of HBR said that operations have been funded by advertising sales and donations from the public.  However, he said there is a funding gap for new equipment and the CRTC has mandated that we install an Emergency Broadcast System.

HBR is inviting to public come call in and make a donation, or come into the Huntsville studio and check out some of the bands that will be performing all weekend.  On Saturday, HBR will feature a Garden Party with a kids expo, live bands and a BBQ.

All donors will be eligible to win prizes every hour, and they can bid on silent auction items.

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Mayor's Bike Ride Tomorrow
Wednesday, August 19, 2015 (1535 reads)

Huntsville Mayor Scott Aitchison is inviting the public to come out and join him for the Mayor's Bike Ride tomorrow August 20th at 6.30pm.  The ride starts and ends at River Mill Park and includes a 12kl route through town as well as a 2kl kids route.

Both rides will have lead and sweep cyclists so that no one is left behind. The kids ride will also have a police escort and stops so everyone can re-group mid-ride.

Read More (Rating-3.91)
High Winds Cause Damage in Algonquin Park
Wednesday, August 19, 2015 (3515 reads)

Yesterday's storm clouds brought high winds and torrential downpours in parts of Algonquin Park yesterday.   The high winds caused damage to an MNR building when part of the roof peeled away.  Signs and trees were also snapped in half as the storm rolled through.  Most of the damage occurred in Mizzy Lake area.  The Mizzy Lake Trail has been closed by park officials as they clean up the damage.

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Shield Invite Fans to Come Out and Meet Team
Wednesday, August 19, 2015 (425 reads)

The South Muskoka Shield are gearing up for another action packed season and they want to invite fans friends, volunteers, and billet families to come out and meet this year's team. 

On Sunday August 30th at  1pm at the KOA Campground on Reay Road in Gravenhurst the team will host a BBQ. 

Organizers say this years roster has many new faces from Gravenhurst and as far away as Sweden, Lithuania, New Westminister B. C.  Also some of fan favourites will be returning for the 2015-16 season. 

Early bird season tickets are now available.  Contact Susan Cook 705-646-4288 or Graham Loshaw at  705-645-8613

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Advisory Issued for Port Sydney Beach.
Tuesday, August 18, 2015 (6090 reads)

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit has issued a swimming advisory for Port Sydney Beach, citing higher than normal bacteria levels.

While an advisory is not a beach closure, it is a warning to swimmers that due to higher bacteria levels they are at increased risk of developing minor skin, eye, ear, nose and throat infections as well as stomach disorders.

With the temperature remaining high, the health unit is also advising that if people do choose to swim they should take extra care to avoid swallowing water and should avoid dunking their head under the water.

Signs have been posted at the beach and will remain until the advisory is lifted.





Read More (Rating-3.67)
Prep for the Ironman, Swim for Hospice.
Tuesday, August 18, 2015 (531 reads)

With the Muskoka Ironman just a a short while away, athletes are taking every opportunity to get in some extra training and the Huntsville Hospice wants to help. 
Hospice Huntsville is hosting the inaugural Sunrise Swim for Hospice on Aug. 28 at Camp Kitchen in Huntsville. 

Sunrise Swim for Hospice is a non-competitive, 1.6 km swim that raises money for Huntsville's palliative care centre. 

The event is open not just to Ironman athletes, but to anyone 18 years of age and older who is fit enough to swim the distance. In order to take part, participants must donate a minimum of $25.

More information can be found at 

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Ontario Introduces New Disaster Relief Programs
Tuesday, August 18, 2015 (1819 reads)

Ontario announced new disaster relief and recovery programs yesterday.  The announcement came at the Association of Municipalities Ontario conference. 

Ted McKeen the minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing said that requests for provincial disaster assistance have doubled in the last five years and are expected to continue to rise due to climate change. As a result, the province is replacing the Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program with two new programs that will be more responsive to the needs of individuals and communities following a natural disaster.

The new Municipal Disaster Recovery Assistance program will help municipalities address extraordinary emergency response costs and damage to essential property or infrastructure.  Going forward, municipalities will be given four months rather than 14 days to assess costs and request provincial assistance, so that they have time to focus on emergency response after a disaster occurs.

The new Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians program will do away with the current requirement for municipal volunteers to fundraise for matching provincial assistance.

The changes comes after concerns voiced by area municipalities in the 2013 flood that caused widespread damage in the region.

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Lake Of Bays Twp Police Calls For Service Drops in Second Quarter
Tuesday, August 18, 2015 (1474 reads)

Lake of Bays Council meets today and will be hearing about policing in the township.  Sergent Dave Strickler will updating council on calls for service in the second quarter which has dropped from 329 calls in 2014 to 216 calls in 2015.

Incidents of violent crime have dropped from 6 incidents last year to 1 in 2015.

Lake of Bays has voiced its concern about policing costs after the district allocated costs based on assessed property values and not calls for service.

Lake of Bays Twp, pays nearly the same as the Town of Bracebridge.

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Real Estate Sales Showing Strongest Trend Since 2002
Tuesday, August 18, 2015 (1549 reads)

The Lakelands Association of Realtor are reporting that residential non-waterfront sales activity recorded through the MLS system of Muskoka Haliburton Orillia was down 37.3 per cent from July last year. The association says this stands below both the five and ten-year averages for the month, and marks a sharp slowdown from a near-record month of June.

On a year-to-date basis residential non-waterfront property sales were still running 6.3 per cent above levels at the same time last year. This was the best sales figure for this period since 2003.

Sales of waterfront properties, meanwhile, rose 25.1 per cent from a year ago. Year-to-date sales of waterfront properties were running 21.6 per cent ahead of the same period in 2014, marking the best first seven months of any year since 2002.

Tom Wilkinson, President of the association said “While it’s not unusual for non-waterfront sales to decline from June to July while waterfront sales continue to climb into the summer, this year’s June to July pullback in non-waterfront sales was unusually large, reflecting the combination of a very strong month of June and a quieter than average month of July.  Meanwhile, waterfront property sales are in the running to set a new annual record this year,” he said.

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Upcoming Fight for The Monster Nelson.
Monday, August 17, 2015 (1892 reads)

Kyle "The Monster" Nelson was left disappointed this summer after a scheduled fight in British Columbia fell through after his opponent backed out of the fight. 

But Nelson has let that disappointment slow him down, scheduling a fight for early September. 

Nelson will be competing in Novi, Michigan against Adrian Hadribeaj. The two will be fighting under Triple X Cagefighting promotional league.
The two fighters will be grappling for a lightweight title. 

Read More (Rating-4.00)
$150,000 Donated to Huntsville Hospital Foundation.
Monday, August 17, 2015 (3142 reads)

The Huntsville Hospital Foundation is once again the recipient of an act of generosity, this time from Jason Armstrong's Drive Muskoka Dealerships. 

Jason Armstong and the Drive Muskoka team announced on Wednesday, Aug. 12 that they will be donating $150,000 to the hospital foundation, calling it a way of saying thank you to the community for their support over the years. 

The money will be used to help fund the Huntsville District Memorial Hospital's surgical equipment needs and will help the foundation reach their $3 million annual budget. 

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Bracebridge's General Committee Meets Tuesday
Monday, August 17, 2015 (338 reads)

The Town of Bracebridge General Committee meets on Tuesday and will receive 2nd quarter financial results.   In addition the town will discuss approving adding two people to the  Parking Meter Working Group.

Committee members are also expected to endorse a Fednor application for the Oakley Village Square renovations un the Canada 150 Infrastructure Program.

The meeting starts at 9am, in council chambers.

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