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Friday, March 06, 2015

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Fire Dept Reminds You to Change Batteries When You Move Clocks Ahead
Friday, March 06, 2015 (279 reads)


Daylight savings begins on Sunday March 8, and the Huntsville/Lake of Bays Fire Department is recommending residents install new batteries in their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms when they change their clocks this weekend.

Fire Chief Stephen Hernen says that “In order for smoke or CO alarms to do their job, they need to have working batteries. At least once a year, old batteries need to be replaced with new batteries," he said.

Hernen reminds residents that “Even hardwired alarms with battery back-up require that the batteries be replaced”.

It’s the law to have working smoke and CO alarms. Tampering with, or removing the batteries from your smoke or carbon monoxide alarms is also against the law and could result in a fine.



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Sprinkler Credited With Saving 60 Unit Apartment From Major Damage
Friday, March 06, 2015 (1774 reads)


Fire crews from Huntsville Station 1 responded to a reported fire in the garbage room at a 60 unit apartment building on Sabrina Park Drive yesterday.

When crews arrived they found that a sprinkler head had activated in the first floor garbage room and had extinguished the fire. Crews were then tasked with clearing smoke from the hallways in the building which had entered through the garbage chute.

The fire dept says that if not for the sprinkler, this fire could have easily caused major damage and would have spread quickly to other parts of the building. No one was injured in the fire and all occupants were allowed back into their units. The Fire Marshal and OPP have been called in to assist with the continuing investigation.



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March is Fraud Prevention Month
Friday, March 06, 2015 (81 reads)


The OPP say that every year thousands of Canadians are victimized and millions of dollars are lost through many forms of fraud.

At a media conference in Orillia yesterday, OPP Deputy Commissioner Scott TOD and RCMP Inspector Cameron MILLER of the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre launched Fraud Prevention Month by outlining the latest criminal trends and many harmful aspects of fraud and victimization.

The CAFC reports 66 per cent of all Canadian-based ‘mass marketing fraud’ scams in 2014 occurred to victims online via the internet or e-mail, while another 20 per cent occurred by telephone. In all, 13,701 victims of mass marketing fraud lost a total of just under $69-million last year – higher than in 2013. The majority of victims were between 50 and 70 years of age.

Although they often feel embarrassment and shame, victims play a key role in fraud investigations. Sadly, as few as five per cent take the time to report fraud which could, in turn, prevent further harm and victimization to their families, neighbours and any online contacts.

If you suspect you or someone you know has been a victim of fraud, contact your local police service or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or online at https://www.tipsubmit.com/



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Sports Hall of Fame Seeking Nominations for Outstanding Sports People
Friday, March 06, 2015 (139 reads)


Huntsville Sport Hall of Fame Committee will be hosting their annual induction night April 25, and have selected the class of 2015.   In addition to the Induction Ceremony the committee also honours Outstanding Sports People in the Community both Male and Female. 

The committee is asking the public to submit nominations for the Jan Glenn Award, and the newly created Mike Greaves Award.   

The Deadline for nominations will be Friday March 20/15 at 12noon.    

Nominations can be emailed to wmcconnell@brokerlink.ca



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Bracebridge Plans to Convert Town's Streetlights to LED
Thursday, March 05, 2015 (624 reads)


Imagine a street light that flashes to alert paramedics of a nearby callers address, or lights that adjust brightness depending on the time of day. These are the types of street lights the Town of Bracebridge plans to install over the next year.
Bracebridge voted in favour of replacing the town’s 975 existing street lights with more energy and cost efficient LED lights at a general committee meeting earlier this week. 
The decision to replace the towns existing lighting network came after a Feb. 11 proposal from Lakeland Energy, who provides maintenance for Bracebridge’s street lights. 
Bracebridge initially chose to complete the conversion project over a multi-year term after the projects costs were estimated at $617,721.59 However, due to recent changes to the Ontario Power Authority’s saveONenergy retrofit program, which provides rebates for installing energy efficient equipment, Bracebridge decided to try to complete the program during 2015. If they do so the entire project will cost the town $503,079.49, saving them over $100,000. 
This saveONenergy rebate (totaling $114,642) is only available if the town manages to complete the conversion project within 2015. 
This is not the first time Bracebridge has attempted to replace the town’s streetlights, in 2011 the town began the process of replacing their existing streetlights, mercury vapor models, with more energy and environmentally friendly high pressure sodium lights. However, in mid 2013 the town stopped the conversion process when Lakeland Energy advised the town replace the lights with LED fixtures instead, as the technology was seen as having advanced and being more efficient and friendly.
Lakeland Energy told council that the conversion to LED streetlights is expected to save the town around $104,486.80 in energy savings each year.




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40 Employers Looking for Workers at Huntsville Job Fair
Thursday, March 05, 2015 (6600 reads)


And in our Good News Story of the Day, more than 40 employers will be on hand in Huntsville today for the YMCA's annual spring job fair.    Job seekers are encouraged to bring resumes and be prepared for interviews at its new location - the Active Living Centre behind the Canada Summit Centre.

The Job Fair also offers a Coaching Corner from Career Discovery who can help with job searches.

The Job Fair takes place this afternoon between 1-5pm.



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MAHC Seeking Members For Board & Committee Positions
Thursday, March 05, 2015 (2836 reads)


Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare is seeking new members for the MAHC board of directors.  The MAHC is looking for people to join the skills-based, team of volunteer directors or a member of a standing board committee.

The MAHC says that applicants for either position must meet eligibility requirements, reside, be employed or be listed on a municipal voters’ list or tax roll in the Muskoka or East Parry Sound geographic area, and be 18 years of age or older. A police criminal record check is also required.

Standing committee positions include Resources, Governance, Strategic Planning, and/or Quality & Patient Safety. Applicants must attend the standing committee meetings and provide a time commitment of approximately three to five hours bi-monthly for a one-year appointment.

The application deadline to apply is Monday, March 16, 2015 at 4 p.m.

For more information, please visit www.mahc.ca/en/about/Become_a_board_member.asp



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Machar Township Loses Council Member
Wednesday, March 04, 2015 (4201 reads)


Machar Township is short one councillor today as former mayor and councillor Harvey Pinkerton stepped down from his position on Feb 23, for health reasons. 

Neil Scarlett will be replacing Pinkerton at Machar Township council and is scheduled to be sworn in on March 9.  



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Slam The R Word Event a Huge Success
Wednesday, March 04, 2015 (691 reads)


In our good news story of the day,

Community Living’s “Slam the ‘R’ Word” event yesterday was a huge success drawing 50 to 60 people.

The event was held at Community Livings office space in Huntsville and featured slam poetry by local poets Daniela Bajec, Marjory Curry, Wendy Sawyer and John Tompkins as well as music by Sean Cotton and Clayton Earl.

“It was amazing, a huge success and great turnout,” Michelle Ainsworth, one of the organizers said. “People came out from the community in general as well as people that community living supports.”

The campaign was part of the end the R-word campaign which seeks to spread awareness about the damages that derogatory language can have.

Ainsworth thanked everyone who participated and also encouraged people to visit www.r-word.org and pledge their support in not using the r-word in your daily language.

HHS will join in the awareness program today.  Students will participate in a rally to bring awareness to the Spread the Word to End the Word campaign.



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Wednesday's Road Report
Wednesday, March 04, 2015 (1960 reads)


Highway 11 (Barrie to Severn Bridge) - partly snow covered with bare and wet road sections.

Highway 11 (Severn Bridge to Muskoka Falls) - bare and wet road with partly snow covered sections.

Highway 11 (Muskoka Falls to Emsdale) - bare and wet road with partly snow covered sections.

Highway 11 (Emsdale to Strong) -  bare and wet road with snow covered, snow packed sections.

Highway 11 (Strong to South River) - snow covered

Highway 11 (South River to North Bay) - snow covered

Highway 118 (Loon Lake to Vankoughnet) - partly snow covered with bare and wet road, snow covered sections. 

Highway 118 (Vankoughnet to Muskoka Falls) - snow covered with partly snow covered sections.

Highway 124 (Parry Sound to Badger's Corners) - bare and wet road with snow covered sections.

Highway 124 (Badger's Corners to McKellar) - bare and wet road with snow covered sections.

Highway 124 (McKellar to Sundridge) - bare and wet road with snow covered, snow packed sections.

Highway 124 (Sundridge to Summit Road) - snow covered

Highway 141 (Hwy 11 /Utterson to Rosseau) - bare and wet road with partly snow covered sections.

Highway 141 (Rosseau to Parry Sound) - bare and wet road with partly snow covered sections.

Highway 35 (Victoria County / Haliburton District to Carnarvon) - partly snow covered with bare and wet road, snow covered sections.

Highway 35 (Carnarvon to Dwight) - partly snow covered with bare and wet road, snow covered sections.

Highway 400 (Canal Road (Bradford) to Innisfil) - bare and wet road with partly snow covered sections.

Highway 400 (Innisfil to Craighurst) - bare and wet road with partly snow covered sections.

Highway 400 (Craighurst to Port Severn) - partly snow covered with bare and wet road, snow covered sections.

Highway 400 (Port Severn to Horseshoe Lake) - bare and wet road with partly snow covered sections.

Highway 400 (Horseshoe Lake to Parry Sound) - bare and wet road with snow covered sections.

Highway 510 (Highway 520 to Highway 124) - bare and wet road with snow covered, snow packed sections.

Highway  518 (Yearly Road South to Kearney) - bare and wet road with snow covered, snow packed sections.

Highway  518 (Black Water Lake Road North to Yearly Road South) - bare and wet road with snow covered, snow packed sections.

Highway  518 (Highway 69/400 to Black Water Lake Road North) - bare and wet road with snow covered, snow packed sections.

Highway  520 (Highway 11 to Burk's Falls) - bare and wet road with snow covered, snow packed sections.

Highway  520 (Burk's Falls to Highway 124) - bare and wet road with snow covered, snow packed sections.

Highway  520 (Highway 124 to Ardbeg) - bare and wet road with snow covered, snow packed sections.

Highway 592 (Novar Road to Emsdale) - bare and wet road with snow covered, snow packed sections.

Highway 592 (Emsdale to Highway 11) - bare and wet road with snow covered, snow packed sections.

Highway 60 (Cache Lake to Oxtongue Lake) - partly snow covered with snow covered sections.

Highway 60 (Oxtongue Lake to Huntsville) - bare and wet road with partly snow covered sections.

Highway 632 (Rosseau to Minnett) - bare and wet road with partly snow covered sections.



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MAHC Board Chair Issues Letter to Muskoka Residents, Invites Them to Community Information Sessions.
Tuesday, March 03, 2015 (2452 reads)


Muskoka-Algonquin Healthcare’s (MAHC) Board of Directors Chair Charles Forret has penned a letter to the residents of Muskoka addressing healthcare concerns and inviting residents to take part in the planning process.
Forret says in the letter that the long term planning process at the MAHC is “part of a commitment to ensure a sustainable future over a 50-year timeframe and to meet requirements of the Ministry of Long-Term Care.”
Tim Withey, a vocal opponent of the MAHC’s alleged plans to single-site surgery, spoke to the 50-year time frame calling it “insane.”
“How can they plan for 50-years out? That’s insane,” Withey said. 
Also included in the letter is an invitation for the public to attend, and provide input at, a series of community information sessions this month. Meetings are scheduled for March 23 at the Gravenhurst Royal Canadian Legion, March 24 at the Bracebridge Sportsplex and on March 25 at the Active Living Centre in Huntsville. All of the meetings begin at 7 p.m. 
The letter goes on to say that the MAHC’s administration has the full confidence of the Board of Directors in developing a future vision for the region as well as addressing the many groups involved in the project,
“More than 250 staff, physicians, community representatives and hospital volunteers have been working with the management team and professional consultants to develop a variety of options for the future,” the letter reads. 




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Chamber Warns That Huntsville Could Fall Behind in Marketing
Tuesday, March 03, 2015 (4893 reads)


Kelly Haywood of the Huntsville Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce, is concerned that the funding for town marketing provided by the municipality is not enough to do the job. Haywood says the Chamber shouldn't have to carry the load when talking about the responsibility the Chamber is taking on marketing Huntsville. 

The Chamber had requested $90,000 from the town to provide marketing and run events.  Council decided to fund the chamber at the same amount that they had funded in recent years, $60,000.  Haywood pointed out that the town initially put aside $100,000 but in later years cut the amount to $60,000. 

The Chamber is working with the town in a newly created working group to identify projects and events as part of their strategic plan going forward.  The town has not made any commitments to the Chamber in the rest of the term, electing to see what comes out of the working group this year.

Haywood says that she plans to see how much similar size towns spend on marketing, but warned that Huntsville needs to be careful so they don't fall behind.



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And in our Good News Story of the Day
Tuesday, March 03, 2015 (2564 reads)


Community Living Huntsville is inviting the community to join them them Slam the R-Word.  The organization is throwing open its doors  with slam - poetry performances  by Daniela Bajec, Marjory Curry, Wendy Sawyer & John Tompkins.  The poetry will focus on the hurtful effects that words can have.

In addition HBR favourites Clayton Earl and Sean Cotton will be providing musical entertainment.

And if you can't make it, you can always make a pledge online at www.r-word.org to stop using the R-Word.



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Hernen Reminds Residents to Change Batteries in Smoke & CO Alarms This Weekend
Tuesday, March 03, 2015 (439 reads)


Daylight savings begins on Sunday March 8, and the Huntsville/Lake of Bays Fire Department is recommending residents install new batteries in their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms when they change their clocks this weekend.

Fire Chief Stephen Hernen says that “In order for smoke or CO alarms to do their job, they need to have working batteries. At least once a year, old batteries need to be replaced with new batteries," he said.

Hernen reminds residents that “Even hardwired alarms with battery back-up require that the batteries be replaced”.

It’s the law to have working smoke and CO alarms. Tampering with, or removing the batteries from your smoke or carbon monoxide alarms is also against the law and could result in a fine.



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Meet Liberal Nominees on Sunday
Tuesday, March 03, 2015 (319 reads)


The local Liberal Riding Association will be holding a meet the nominees meeting this Sunday at the Rousseau Community Hall between 1-3pm.  There are five people who are seeking the nomination for the riding including Phyllis Winnington-Ingram, Raul Everitt, Trisha Cowie, Mary Robertson, and Eric Gonneau.



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Gravenhurst Draft Budget Deliberations Begin Today
Monday, March 02, 2015 (107 reads)


Deliberations on Gravenhurst’s proposed 2015 budget are underway this afternoon and Gravenhurst council is encouraging the public to join them for discussions throughout the month.
A series of special council meetings will be held this month in Gravenhurst to address concerns and changes to the proposed budget. 
Meetings are as follows: 
Monday March 2, 2015 – 2 p.m.
Tuesday March 3, 2015 – 2 p.m.
Thursday March 5, 2015 – 2 p.m.
Saturday March 11, 2015 – 9 a.m. 
Wednesday March 11, 2015 - 1 p.m.
Friday March 27, 2015 – 1 p.m.
All meetings are open to the public and will be held at the council chambers in Gravenhurst. 



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Bracebridge Will Live-Stream Council Meetings
Monday, March 02, 2015 (326 reads)


Bracebridge municipal council will step into the digital age tomorrow as they stream their first ever videotaped council meeting. 
The live-stream webcast is part of a one year trial initiative in which council and committee meetings will be live-streamed, recorded and viewable later at the town’s website. 
The service is part of an agreement with iSi Global Webcasting and is designed to increase civic awareness of council and its activities. 
“The Town of Bracebridge is excited to be one of the first small municipalities in Ontario webcasting and recording its meetings in an effort to be more transparent for its residents,” said Mayor Graydon Smith. “Webcasting represents the most effective, low-cost, communication technology available to the municipality and will significantly widen access to our information, activities and events. Individuals with a phone, tablet or computer and an internet connection, at home or anywhere in the world, can now watch our Council and Standing Committee meetings live or on-demand.”
The recordings will be indexed for easy access to specific parts of the recordings




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FedNor Invests $350,000 in Muskoka Community Network
Monday, March 02, 2015 (20199 reads)


The Muskoka Community Network is $350,000 richer today thanks to an investment from FedNor.
Muskoka-Parry Sound MP Tony Clement presented theThe Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario (FedNor) investment earlier today at the Waterloo Summit Centre in Huntsville. 
The $350,000 investment will be going towards the Muskoka Community Network’s (MCN) BEAM initiative. BEAM stands for Broadband E-business and Marketing and is designed to help small and medium sized businesses introduce e-business services.  The initiative can provide up to $5,000 in e-business funding to eligible applicants. 
Clement said of the funding, 
“The Harper Government is proud to invest in innovation and technology-based solutions that provide small and medium-sized enterprises with the resources they need to succeed in the modern economy.”
Chair of the MCN, Jennifer Schnier, said, 
“…Today’s announcement clearly demonstrates confidence in our organization and the work we do to support business development and growth…”




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Job Fair This Thursday
Monday, March 02, 2015 (1173 reads)


More than 40 employers will be on hand in Huntsville this Thursday for the YMCA's annual spring job fair.    Job seekers are encouraged to bring resumes and be prepared for interviews at its new location - the Active Living Centre behind the Canada Summit Centre.

The Job Fair also offers a Coaching Corner from Career Discovery who can help with job search tips.

The Job Fair takes place this Thursday between 1-5pm.



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And in our Good News Story of the Day.....
Monday, March 02, 2015 (5773 reads)


No dog will ever replace Schoep. The adorable, arthritic dog became an Internet sensation in 2013 when photographer Hannah Stonehouse Hudson snapped a photo of Schoep and his human, John Unger, embracing in the waters of Lake Superior. Unger regularly waded in the water with Schoep to relieve the aging pooch's arthritis. Schoep died in 2013 at the age of 20. This week, Unger has invited a new dog, named Bear, into his home. He posted the news to his Facebook page "that I am whole again."

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District Launches Income Tax Services for Low Income Families
Monday, March 02, 2015 (2549 reads)


The District of Muskoka’s Community Services Department is coordinating a series of free tax clinics across Muskoka as part of the 2015 Community Volunteer Income Tax Program.  These clinics offer free tax preparation services to persons with lower incomes, including individuals and families, seniors and persons with disabilities. 

“Today, the only way for low income persons to continue receiving government benefits -social assistance, Trillium Benefits, GST, Child Tax Benefits, etc. - is to file a tax return,” explains Rick Williams, District of Muskoka Community Services Commissioner.   “We are working with volunteers and community partners across Muskoka to host these free clinics so that individuals and families with low incomes don’t miss out on important income.”

Volunteers who have been registered with the Canada Revenue Agency will be available at each clinic to prepare returns for qualified persons who have simple tax returns, generally consisting of employment, pension or social assistance income and Ontario Trillium Benefit claims for rent or property tax.  Volunteers are not able to complete income tax and benefit returns for deceased persons, bankrupt individuals, or individuals who have capital gains or losses, employment expenses, or business or rental income and expenses.

The free clinics are scheduled across the region next week and running through March and April.

 

GRAVENHURST

HUNTSVILLE

Gravenhurst Library - 705-687-3382

180 Sharpe Street West, Gravenhurst

March 2, 7, 9, 14, 23, 30

April 4, 11, 13, 20

Huntsville Library - 705-789-5232

7 Minerva Street East, Huntsville

March 4, 11, 13, 25, 27

April 1, 8, 15, 22

 Employment Supports Office - 705-645-2412

141 Main St, Gravenhurst

March 3 

Employment Supports Office -705-645-2412

1 King William Street, Unit 5, Huntsville

April 10

BRACEBRIDGE

LAKE OF BAYS 

Employment Supports Office - 705-645-2412

205 Manitoba Street, Bracebridge

March 5, 12, April 2, 16

Baysville Library - 705-767-2361

10 University Avenue, Baysville

March 10 and April 7

Salvation Army -705-645-2602

456 Manitoba Street, Bracebridge

March 26

Dwight Library – 705-635-3319

1014 Dwight Beach Road, Dwight

March 6 and April 17

MUSKOKA LAKES

GEORGIAN BAY

Muskoka Lakes Public Library - 705-765-5650

69 Joseph Street, Port Carling

March 31 and April 23

Mactier Library - 705-538-2337 ext 261

12 Muskoka Road, MacTier

March 24 and April 14

 



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Monday's Road Report
Monday, March 02, 2015 (666 reads)


Highway 11 (Barrie to Severn Bridge) - bare and wet road with partly snow covered sections.

Highway 11 (Severn Bridge to Muskoka Falls) - snow covered

Highway 11 (Muskoka Falls to Emsdale) - bare and wet road with snow covered sections.

Highway 11 (Emsdale to Strong) - bare and dry road

Highway 11 (Strong to South River) - bare and dry road with bare and wet road sections.

Highway 11 (South River to North Bay) - partly snow covered

Highway 118 (Loon Lake to Vankoughnet) - bare and dry road

Highway 118 (Vankoughnet to Muskoka Falls) - snow covered

Highway 124 (Parry Sound to Badger's Corners) - snow covered

Highway 124 (Badger's Corners to McKellar) - snow covered

Highway 124 (McKellar to Sundridge) - bare and dry road

Highway 124 (Sundridge to Summit Road) - bare and dry road with bare and wet road sections.

Highway 141 (Hwy 11 /Utterson to Rosseau) - bare and wet road with snow covered sections.

Highway 141 (Rosseau to Parry Sound) - snow covered

Highway 35 (Victoria County / Haliburton District to Carnarvon) - bare and dry road

Highway 35 (Carnarvon to Dwight) - bare and dry road

Highway 400 (Canal Road (Bradford) to Innisfil) - bare and wet road with partly snow covered sections.

Highway 400 (Innisfil to Craighurst) - bare and wet road with partly snow covered sections.

Highway 400 (Craighurst to Port Severn) - bare and wet road with partly snow covered sections.

Highway 400 (Port Severn to Horseshoe Lake) -snow covered

Highway 400 (Horseshoe Lake to Parry Sound) - snow covered

Highway 510 (Highway 520 to Highway 124) - snow packed

Highway  518 (Yearly Road South to Kearney) - snow packed

Highway  518 (Black Water Lake Road North to Yearly Road South) - snow packed

Highway  518 (Highway 69/400 to Black Water Lake Road North) - bare and dry road

Highway  520 (Highway 11 to Burk's Falls) - bare and dry road

Highway  520 (Burk's Falls to Highway 124) - bare and dry road

Highway  520 (Highway 124 to Ardbeg) - bare and dry road

Highway 592 (Novar Road to Emsdale) - bare and dry road

Highway 592 (Emsdale to Highway 11) - bare and dry road

Highway 60 (Cache Lake to Oxtongue Lake) - bare and dry road

Highway 60 (Oxtongue Lake to Huntsville) - bare and wet road with snow covered sections.

Highway 632 (Rosseau to Minnett) - bare and wet road with snow covered sections.



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Old Tembec Plant to House Marijuana Grow-Op
Friday, February 27, 2015 (42690 reads)


You can add marijuana to the list of growing industries in Muskoka now that MuskokaPharma Inc. has announced its plan to refurbish Tembec’s old flooring plant as a medical grade marijuana grow-op. 
President of MuskokaPharma Inc. Ian Ross announced today that MuskokaPharma Inc. have signed an agreement to buy Tembec’s old hardwood flooring plant and, if Health Canada approves, they plan to turn it into a marijuana growing operation.
The old flooring plant, located on Old North Road, is expected to begin moving forward with their plans after MuskokaPharma Inc’s application to Health Canada is reviewed.
Due to the nature of the facility, the refurbished site will feature a three meter high fence complete with barbed wire as well as motion detectors and over 200 surveillance cameras. 
The new facility is, if approved, expected to create around 30 jobs and according to Vice President of MuskokaPharma Inc., Allan Holman, that number is expected to as much as quadruple once the facility reaches its final phase of operations. There is also expected to be a number of construction jobs created during the building period.


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Tony's Rockin' Shindig to be Featured on Segment by CPAC
Friday, February 27, 2015 (4938 reads)


Hunter’s Bay Radio will be taking a look on the bright side this weekend as political channel, CPAC, invades our Huntsville Studio on Saturday to feature MP Tony Clement on their show On the Bright Side.

CPAC, the Cable Public Affairs Channel, will be featuring the Muskoka-Parry Sound MP’s radio show, Tony’s Rockin’ Shindig, as a segment on their show On the Bright Side. On the Bright Side is a non-partisan show focusing on the lives of politicians beyond Question Period.

“People forget politicians have real lives, too,” Heather Seaman, producer of On the Bright Side, said. “They have hobbies and families, that’s the kind of programming we do.”

Seaman said that On the Bright Side’s programming runs the gamut in terms of content, featuring hundreds of segments covering everything from riding profiles to fundraisers and even politicians playing hockey.

  “It’s so much fun to see federal politicians on the ice, playing hockey and raising money for a good cause,” Seaman said. “It’s not just about the politics, it’s more than that and I think this piece on Tony Clement will surprise people.”

The segment will be aired on CPAC but with no specific air date yet announced. The segment will also be available to watch on CPACs website www.cpac.ca as well as their YouTube channel.







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Extreme Cold Weather Weather Warning in Effect
Friday, February 27, 2015 (1926 reads)


Environment Canada has issued an Extreme Cold Weather Warning for the region this morning.

Yet another frigid Arctic airmass will combine with light to moderate winds to produce wind chill values between minus 35 and minus 40 this morning.

Wind chills will improve later this morning as temperatures rise under the strengthening late February sun.



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Bus Cancellations
Friday, February 27, 2015 (15760 reads)


Nipissing Parry Sound Student Transportation Services is reporting that  all buses in the following corridors cancelled due to extreme cold...

West Parry Sound

 Mactier, Humphrey, Rosseau

 McDougall/Whitestone/Ahmic Harbour

 Town of Parry Sound

 Britt / Nobel

There are no cancelations reported for TLDSB at press time.



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Canadian Authors Association Hosting Grant Writing Seminar
Thursday, February 26, 2015 (520 reads)


Aspiring writers looking for some help are in luck this March as acclaimed writer and journalist Heather M. O’Conner will be in Bracebridge offering some advice.
O’Conner will be hosting an event sponsored by the Muskoka branch of the Canadian Authors Association (CAA) that will focus on applying for and successfully receiving writing grants.
The seminar will focus on how to write applications that stand out based on O’Conner 12 steps to success method. 
O’Conner will be in Bracebridge on March 19 at 7 p.m. at the St. Thomas Anglican Church. The event is free for first-timers and members of the CAA. Second time attendees will pay a charge of $20 per person.




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Huntsville Looking for Input on Ice Schedule
Thursday, February 26, 2015 (1378 reads)


Huntsville wants to know how long the ice at the Canada Summit Centre should be available.
The town’s community services division is holding a public consultation in early March and is looking for feedback from interested citizens and community sports organizations.
The consultation will focus on when ice should come out and when it should be removed during the spring/summer season.
The consultation is at 7 p.m. on March 12 at the Active Living Centre in the Summit Centre.



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Curling Club Asks for More Direction From Town on Plans to Move
Thursday, February 26, 2015 (1920 reads)


The Huntsville Curling Club asked the town for more direction yesterday after presenting an update to councilors.  John Furner and Ted Bionda explained that the current facility is in need of repair or replacement and in the last term they asked for assistance from the town in acquiring land to build a new facility at McCulley Robertson Park.  The town agreed to provide the land and water/sewer hookups.

The club asked the town to provide an update including what other tenants would be using the multi-use facility that was envisioned by the last council.

Mayor Scott Aitchison quipped that "I see you taken on Claude's dream" when referring to a plan that was provided, but said that he was not willing to take on any more debt to make the move a reality.  The town agreed to meet with the club to better understand which groups are interested, what is needed in the build and how to be shovel ready once any grants were available.



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Huntsville Council Grants $1000 to Muskoka Watershed Council
Thursday, February 26, 2015 (366 reads)


Christy McDoyle of The Muskoka Watershed Council appeared before Huntsville's General Committee yesterday to request a $1000 grant from the town to help continue with their programs in 2015.  McDoyle said that the MWC is a partnership between the District and the Friends of the Watershed Council who jointly manage the organization and its programs.

The MWC's goal is to enhance air quality, and sustain water and terrestrial eco systems in the watershed.  In order to better understand what is happening they provide lake quality studies of various lakes in the area as well as provide education components in the way of seminars, lectures and handbooks for area residents and cottagers.

The MWC also publishes its report card on the watershed every 4 years. 

Council approved the expenditure adding a separate line for the item in the budget.



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Watercross Coming to Hidden Valley in June
Thursday, February 26, 2015 (3197 reads)


A new watercross event will be coming to Hidden Valley in June.  The event organizers asked for a noise exemption from council, even though they said the event would not contravene the current bylaw. They did admit that noise is the biggest complaint that the event receives.

Organizers explained that they have run many similar events in the past in different towns and bring 1200 to town to watch the event.  Mayor Aitchison thanked them for the information.



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Utterson Woman Helps Rescue 4 Puppies From Egypt
Thursday, February 26, 2015 (6241 reads)


In our good news story of the day, four puppies who travelled to Canada from Egypt have found homes, at least temporarily, in Muskoka.

The four puppies that were sent to Canada by the Egyptian Society for Mercy to Animals after their mothers were killed are being fostered by an Utterson woman named Susan Milburn.

Milburn happened across the puppy’s plight while online and decided to get involved she will be fostering the four puppies - two girls and two boys - until the Muskoka Animal Rescue finds them a home.

The adoption fees from the puppies will also be donated back t the Egyptian Society for Mercy to Animals.



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Huntsville Council Decides on Final Budget
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 (1984 reads)


Huntsville’s general committee came to a consensus on the town’s final budget for 2015 today after a drawn out discussion.

The general committee decided on a final budget of $11,812,032 for 2015, a 3.56 per cent budget increase from last year.

Council chose to hold over some items from the capital budget pending a more in depth discussion prior to authorization of any expenditure.

Finance chair, Karin Terziano, said of the budget,

“I’m reluctant to present the budget. I would have liked to have done better, but it is what it is.”

Council will vote on whether or not to adopt the budget next month.



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Clement Announces More Funding For Veterans Programs
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 (380 reads)


The Harper government’s road map to this year’s federal budget suggests it is prepared to pour more money into programs and services for the country’s veterans, while largely holding the line on defence spending. Parry Sound Muskoka MP and Treasury Board President Tony Clement released the 2015-16 spending estimates yesterday even though it’s unclear when the budget will be tabled.



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Dryer Fire Causes Damage at West Rd Home
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 (9679 reads)


Crews from Station 1 Huntsville and Station 3 Port Sydney responded to a fire in a home on West Rd‎ in Huntsville. When crews entered the structure they encountered heavy smoke conditions. The fire was in a dryer and was quickly knocked down but not before it had spread into the roof. Crews forced entry into the electronic business below the home and were able to cover all the electronic equipment with tarps to minimize the damage to the business ‎. The lone occupant of the home was alerted by the carbon monoxide alarm and discovered fire in the gas-fired clothes dryer. He was able to safely exit the home. Crews will be returning this morning to continue the investigation.‎ TSSA has also been notified to aid in the investigation.



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Pan Am Torch Relay Coming to Bracebridge
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 (338 reads)


The Pan Am games will make a stop in Bracebridge this summer, on its way to Toronto. The Pan Am Games torch will come through Bracebridge`s Bay Park on June 9 as part of the international torch relay.

Mayor Graydon Smith commented on the relay saying, “Bracebridge is excited to host the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games torch relay. We look forward to sharing the Pan Am spirit and showcasing our great community.”

The torch relay is an international event starting in Teotihuacan, Mexico at an Aztec lighting ceremony and ending on July 10 in Toronto where it will light the cauldron at the opening ceremony.



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Local Opera Singer About to Record First Album
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 (2551 reads)


In our good news story of the day, local opera singer Amy Wallace has reached her Kick Starter goal of $8,000, which will be used to finance her upcoming musical release.

As of press time, Wallace’s crowd-sourcing page had surpassed the goal of $8,000 by $165.

Wallace is a born and bred Huntsvillian soprano singer and this release will be her first album. It will contain a selection of Wallace’s favourite classical arias from various operas according to Wallace’s kick starter page.

Wallace is hoping to record the album in Toronto where she will use the money to pay for studio time, accompanying artists and a producer.

Way to go, Amy!



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Curling Club Updates Council on Move
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 (2306 reads)


The Huntsville General Committee will be meeting this morning and will receive several delegations. The men's shelter being built by the Table Food Bank will be the topic of one delegation this morning.  Council will also hear about relocating the Huntsville Curling Club, The Door Youth Centre, and a new watercross race coming to Hidden Valley Resort.

Councilors will also continue to deliberate this years budget, which current sits at a 5.11% increase.



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Bracebridge Mayor Smith Urges Minister to Keep Both Hospitals Services in Tact
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 (1721 reads)


Mayor Graydon Smith who led a delegation of Muskoka Mayors including Huntsville Mayor Scott Aitchison met with the Minister of Health on Monday.  Smith said that he urged the minister to ensure that the changes to health care delivery system currently being implemented to improve hospital efficiency do no negatively impact access to services and quality of care.

The minister was also asked to consider the role smaller hospitals have in promoting economic development and creating sustainable communities.  Lastly, Smith urged the minister to take appropriate steps to ensure the continued delivery of a full range of emergency, inpatient and surgical services at both Huntsville and Bracebridge hospital sites.

Mayor Smith also commented, “I think we had a sympathetic ear. Although I can’t speak for the Minister, it was certainly clear that he listened very intently to our concerns and was well aware of the local situation. The Minister was committed to helping in some way.”



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Wednesday's Road Report
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 (1658 reads)


Highway 11 (Barrie to Severn Bridge) - snow covered with bare and wet road, partly snow covered sections. Poor visibility.

Highway 11 (Severn Bridge to Muskoka Falls) - snow covered with bare and wet road sections.

Highway 11 (Muskoka Falls to Emsdale) - snow covered

Highway 11 (Emsdale to Strong) - partly snow covered with snow covered sections.

Highway 11 (Strong to South River) - snow covered with bare and wet road sections.

Highway 11 (South River to North Bay) - snow covered with bare and wet road sections.

Highway 118 (Loon Lake to Vankoughnet) - snow covered

Highway 118 (Vankoughnet to Muskoka Falls) - snow covered with bare and wet road sections.

Highway 124 (Parry Sound to Badger's Corners) - snow covered

Highway 124 (Badger's Corners to McKellar) - snow covered

Highway 124 (McKellar to Sundridge) - partly snow covered

Highway 124 (Sundridge to Summit Road) - snow covered with bare and wet road sections.

Highway 141 (Hwy 11 /Utterson to Rosseau) - snow covered

Highway 141 (Rosseau to Parry Sound) - snow covered with partly snow covered sections. 

Highway 35 (Victoria County / Haliburton District to Carnarvon) - snow covered

Highway 35 (Carnarvon to Dwight) - snow covered

Highway 400 (Canal Road (Bradford) to Innisfil) - bare and wet road with partly snow covered, snow covered sections. Poor visibility.

Highway 400 (Innisfil to Craighurst) - bare and wet road with partly snow covered, snow covered sections. Poor visibility.

Highway 400 (Craighurst to Port Severn) - partly snow covered with bare and wet road sections.

Highway 400 (Port Severn to Horseshoe Lake) - snow covered with partly snow covered sections.

Highway 400 (Horseshoe Lake to Parry Sound) - snow covered

Highway 510 (Highway 520 to Highway 124) - partly snow covered

Highway  518 (Yearly Road South to Kearney) - partly snow covered with snow covered sections.

Highway  518 (Black Water Lake Road North to Yearly Road South) - snow packed

Highway  518 (Highway 69/400 to Black Water Lake Road North) - snow packed

Highway  520 (Highway 11 to Burk's Falls) - partly snow covered

Highway  520 (Burk's Falls to Highway 124) - partly snow covered

Highway  520 (Highway 124 to Ardbeg) - partly snow covered

Highway 592 (Novar Road to Emsdale) - partly snow covered with snow covered sections.

Highway 592 (Emsdale to Highway 11) - partly snow covered with snow covered sections.

Highway 60 (Cache Lake to Oxtongue Lake) - bare and dry road with partly snow covered sections.

Highway 60 (Oxtongue Lake to Huntsville) - snow covered

Highway 632 (Rosseau to Minnett) - snow covered



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Local Mayors Meet With Minister of Health Over MAHC Funding
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 (19062 reads)


Huntsville Mayor Scott Aitchison advised council yesterday that he, along with Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith and Muskoka Lakes Mayor Don Furniss met with the Minister of Health yesterday to express concern over the situation with MAHC funding.

Aitchison said that the minister, who had a cottage in the Haliburton area, was well aware of how important local hospitals are in rural communities and the effect tourists have on the system.

Aitchison said that he felt confident that the minister was sympathetic to the situation and hoped that the minister would be able to help.



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Zanetti's Seat Declared Vacant
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 (6703 reads)


Huntsville Council declared former councilor Chris Zanetti's seat vacant at yesterdays Huntsville council meeting. The mayor instructed staff to prepare a report to replace the councilor who resigned after January's council meeting and come back to council at the next meeting to advise on the process, procedures and cost of filling the seat.  It is expected that staff will recommend a by-election although council does have the power to appoint someone to the position.



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Dorset Health Hub Raises $20,000
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 (354 reads)


Offline donations have taken the amount raised for the Dorset Health Hub to over $20,000 over the weekend.  Sarah Coombs reports that the online funding raised over $6300, “but one of our participants got over $5,000, another one got over $3,000 and it went from there.”



Coombs and several other organizers camped out overnight on Saturday to bring awareness to the campaign to raise funds to build a nurse practitioners station in the area.



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Chamber Moving Ahead With Financing
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 (10109 reads)


The Huntsville Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce is one step to arranging financing after losing money on two events in 2014.  The Chamber was before council to ask that the town takes second position on an instrument registered on title, against a lease for the public washrooms that was funded by the town.

In order to get financing, the Chamber asked the town to allow Muskoka Futures first position.  Councilors were favourable, asking that the Chamber pay any costs associated with the request.



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Withey Hopes Thousands Come Out to Save Our Services Rally
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 (20120 reads)


Former Councilor Tim Withey delegated to Huntsville Council yesterday, explaining the situation at the MAHC and how the funding formula is forcing the healthcare provider to make decisions on closing surgery services at one of the hospital sites in the future.

Withey explained that in order to get the attention of Queen's Park, petitions have been made available throughout Huntsville and the Almaguin Highlands in opposition to any closures.

Withey announced that in addition to the over 5000 signatures, March 21st has been set as the date of a rally to be held in front of Huntsville Town Hall to show Queen's Park that the people of Muskoka and Almaguin are serious about keeping both sites as fully functioning acute care hospitals.

Withey is hoping that thousands of people will descend on downtown Huntsville to voice their opposition to funding cuts.



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Noise By Law Sent Back For More Work
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 (14743 reads)


A noise bylaw was sent back for more work after Martin Barkey of MBRP challenged councilors and staff on what he described as being too vague, when speaking of proposed changes to the noise by-law.

The changes to the by-law could get the town involved in complaints that the OPP currently responds to.  Barkey asked if the by-law would limit sounds just after 11pm or all day.  When staff responded saying that the noise by-law would be in effect all day, Barkey said the town wanted to control everything that someone does on their own property.

The bylaw could be used when any unwanted sound occurs that is more than 5 min is duration.  Barkey pointed out that it could be used when someone is cutting their lawn and the bylaw needed more focus.

Council sent it back to staff for more work.



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Extreme Cold Weather Alert Continues
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 (974 reads)


An Extreme Cold Warning continues to be in effect for the region.  The Weatherman is warning that a period of very cold wind chills continues.

Bitterly cold arctic air has returned to the region. Wind chills near minus 35 are occurring early this morning. Wind chill values will improve later this morning as temperatures rise.



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Rally Against Single-Site Surgey Date Revealed
Monday, February 23, 2015 (13431 reads)


Tim Withey announced that the next step towards saving surgery in Huntsville is a town rally, and it’s going to happen soon.

Withey announced a date for a rally in opposition of single-site surgery had been set and that a rally would be taking place at 2 p.m. on March 21 in front of Huntsville’s town hall.

 “We set the date based on when the hospital were going to be doing their public consultations,” Withey said.

Withey and Hugh Mackenzie, the two people chiefly involved in spearheading the opposition, are hoping that the rally will draw thousands of supporters and earn the attention of the provincial government.

“I would love to fill Main Street; a couple thousand people would be great,” Withey said. “We’re trying to get media attention from farther afield than just the Muskoka region,” Withey added.

“Everything has been building up towards getting Queen’s Park to take notice,” he said. “[This] is not about bashing our healthcare board or the current deficit it’s about the flaw in the basic funding model that’s causing the administration to look at these unacceptable options.” He said, adding, “That’s why we need to keep building the momentum and getting louder and louder so the Minister of Health will notice.”

Hoping to make the rally as large and effective as possible, Withey has reached out to healthcare unions for help in putting together the rally which he is hopeful will feature public speakers and even live music.

“I’m hopeful that people are concerned enough that they’ll mark the date in their calendars,” he said.

Withey will be at Huntsville town council tonight to deliver a deputation on the rally to council and said that he and Mayor Aitchison will be attending the next available Bracebridge council meeting to engage them on the issue as well.




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Woman Dies As a Result of Fire
Monday, February 23, 2015 (53518 reads)


A 63 year-old Bracebridge women has succumbed to her injuries after a fire at an apartment building in Bracebridge on Saturday. 

Police report that shortly after 6:00 p.m. the Bracebridge OPP responded to 19 Monck Road.  An apartment on the ground floor of the two-story complex was fully engulfed with local residents attempting to suppress the fire.  The Bracebridge Fire Department entered the apartment and located the lone resident.  The victim, 63 year-old Gwendolyn Cartwright, was taken to South Muskoka Memorial Hospital and subsequently transported by air ambulance to Sunnybrook Hospital with life-threatening injuries.  Police report that Cartwright died in hospital this morning.

Damage to the victim's apartment was extensive, other apartments received substantial smoke damage. Residents from neighbouring apartments are still displaced and arrangements are being made to meet their needs.

The cause of the fire in under investigation and the members of the Ontario Fire Marshalls’ office have been called in to assist. 



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Frigid Fundraising Brings in Cold Hard Cash
Monday, February 23, 2015 (3169 reads)


Over $6,000 has been raised by camping out in bitterly cold weather in Dorset to support a community Health Hub.  Sarah Coombs and a group of other volunteers slept outside on Saturday Night in quinzees - hollowed out caves in the snow to raise money and awareness of the project.

Coombs recently announced that the renovation at the building the community purchased to house the health clinic has now turned into a rebuild, a significant hurdle the community has to overcome.

Coombs said the sleepout was an incredible experience despite the low temps and the support by the community made it all worth it.



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Huntsville Council to Decide on How to Fill Vacant Seat
Monday, February 23, 2015 (2463 reads)


Huntsville Town Council meets today and will consider a request from the Huntsville Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce to allow the Chamber to take on a loan from Muskoka Futures by taking second position on title for the building.  The town and the chamber have an agreement to pay back the town for the washrooms that were built and installed at the chamber several years ago.  The town paid for the addition to the building with the understanding that the chamber would pay them back.



Councilors will also be making a decision on how to move forward on replacing the vacant seat at the table.  Chris Zanetti offered his resignation after last month's council meeting.  Councilor are expected to consider a by election at a cost estimated to be $25,000.





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Woman Airlifted to Toronto After Apartment Fire
Monday, February 23, 2015 (8331 reads)


A 63 year-old Bracebridge women is in critical condition after a fire at an apartment building in Bracebridge on Saturday. 

Police report that shortly after 6:00 p.m. the Bracebridge OPP responded to 19 Monck Road.  An apartment on the ground floor of the two-story complex was fully engulfed with local residents attempting to suppress the fire.  The Bracebridge Fire Department entered the apartment and located the lone resident.  The victim, 63 year-old Gwendolyn Cartwright, was taken to South Muskoka Memorial Hospital and subsequently transported by air ambulance to Sunnybrook Hospital with life-threatening injuries.  She is currently listed in critical condition.   

Firefighters had the blaze quickly under control.  The victim’s unit was destroyed and neighbouring apartments sustained extensive smoke damage.   There were working fire alarms in the apartment.  Two dogs perished in the fire.

The cause of the fire in under investigation and the members of the Ontario Fire Marshalls’ office have been called in to assist. 



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Weatherman Calling for Bitterly Cold Temps
Monday, February 23, 2015 (44460 reads)


The Extreme Cold Warning remains in effect for region this morning.  Bitterly cold arctic air has returned to the region. Light northwesterly winds combined with temperatures in the minus 25 to minus 30 range are producing extreme wind chills of minus 35 to minus 40 this morning.

People planning to be outdoors should dress appropriately and exercise caution as exposed skin may freeze in as little as 10

minutes.

The Weatherman says that the wind chills will slowly improve somewhat this afternoon as temperatures rise. However wind chills in many areas will dip back to near minus 35 again tonight.



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Extreme Cold Weather Warning in Effect
Sunday, February 22, 2015 (13058 reads)


Environment Canada has issued an Extreme Cold Warning for the region. The weathermand is warning that bitterly cold arctic air will return to the region later today in the wake of a sharp arctic cold front. Stiff northwesterly winds combining with temperatures in the minus 25 to minus 30 range will once again result

in extreme wind chills of minus 40 to minus 30 overnight and Monday morning.

People planning to be outdoors should dress appropriately and exercise caution as exposed skin may freeze in as little as 10

minutes.

Wind chills will slowly improve somewhat Monday afternoon as temperatures moderate.



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Tomorrow will be the 'Coldest Night of the Year'
Friday, February 20, 2015 (23639 reads)


It feels like it’s been the coldest day of the year for – well, the last month – but that title is actually reserved for tomorrow. Tomorrow evening walkers will put on their toques and take to the streets as part of the annual Coldest Night of the Year charity walk. 
Seeking to raise awareness of and money for the hungry and homeless in Canada, Huntsville’s 2015 walk will benefit The Table Soup Kitchen Foundation in Huntsville. The Table Soup Kitchen provides support for people living in poverty in the Muskoka District.
As of press time, nearly $11,000 of the $30,000 fundraising goal has been raised from 166 different donors. Canada wide, the event has raised around $2.2 million of its $3 million goal.
10 teams will be talking place in this year’s walk which starts at 4 p.m. at the Canada Summit Centre and runs until 8 p.m.  
Despite the events name, temperatures for Saturday night are expected not to be nearly as cold as they have been over the last week, with evening temperatures expected to come in at around minus nine degrees, good news for walkers.  

 




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Iron Man Triathlon Will Be World Qualifier
Friday, February 20, 2015 (1771 reads)


Every athlete knows that when it comes to the Iron Man triathlon, racers are anything if not serious about their sport. So it’s a welcome surprise that 2015's Iron Man 70.3 triathlon in Muskoka has been named the host for the 2015 Long Course Provincial Championships.

Similarly, the Muskoka Iron Man, which will be held in Huntsville on July 5, will also serve as a qualifying race for athletes looking to secure a spot in the 2016 70.3 Iron Man world championships in Oklahoma City, Okla. according to the multi-sport’s governing body, Triathlon Ontario.




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Bracebridge Mayor Made Honourary Scout Leader
Friday, February 20, 2015 (598 reads)


Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith has been named an honour scout leader for the week as part of the Scouts Canada’s  Scout-Guide week.



Scout-Guide week runs from Feb. 15 to the 22 and honours scouts and guides organizations throughout Canada.



Mayor Smith was presented with the honour on Feb. 16 at a flag raising ceremony at the Bracebridge municipal hall.



Feb 22 is particularly noteworthy to scouts and guides as it is their founders, Lord Robert Baden-Powell and his wife Chief Guide Lady Olave Baden-Powell, birthday.



“The Town of Bracebridge is pleased to celebrate Scout-Guide Week and wishes both Scouts Canada and Girl Guides of Canada continued success”, said Mayor Smith. “Scouts Canada and Girl Guides of Canada play a powerful role in Canadian communities, offering dynamic leadership programs for youth”, stated Smith.



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Snowmobile Crash Leads to Charges
Friday, February 20, 2015 (8614 reads)


Yesterday just after 6:00am Huntsville OPP responded to a snowmobile crash near Dwight Beach Rd. in Lake of Bays. 

Police report that the snowmobile was rented from a Dwight area business. The officers located the driver in a residence on Dwight Beach Road.  A 28-year-old Oakville, man has since been charged with Fail to Report a Collision.  Police report that the passenger of the machine suffered minor injuries; while the driver did not suffer any.



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Driver Charged With Impaired & Possession
Friday, February 20, 2015 (5971 reads)


The Almaguin Highlands OPP responded to a single vehicle collision on Pickerel and Jack Lake Road, Armour Township on Sunday February 15.

OPP arrested and charged the driver, Derek Simmons, 41 of Armour Township with impaired operation of a motor vehicle and drive with more than 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 milliliters of blood, and Possession of a controlled substance, marihuana.

The accused was released from police custody and is scheduled to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice on March 26, 2015 in Sundridge, Ontario.



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Man Charged With Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking
Friday, February 20, 2015 (7611 reads)


On Tuesday February 10, OPP were patrolling Highway 11 in Strong Township when Police stopped a vehicle which led to the driver being arrested for possession of a controlled substance.

The driver, Cameron Beers, 21, of Orillia Ontario was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking, and possession of property obtained by a crime.

The accused was released from police custody and is scheduled to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice on March 12, 2015 in Sundridge, Ontario.



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Extreme Cold Weather Warning Remains in Effect
Friday, February 20, 2015 (947 reads)


Environment Canada has issued an Extreme Cold Warning for:

• Bracebridge - Gravenhurst

• Huntsville - Baysville

• Port Carling - Port Severn

• Town of Parry Sound - Rosseau - Killbear Park

A prolonged period of very cold wind chills is expected.

Bitterly cold arctic air combined with strong northwest winds is producing wind chill values near minus 35 this morning. Wind chills will slowly improve by this afternoon as temperatures slowly rise.



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Bus Cancellations
Friday, February 20, 2015 (14529 reads)


Nipissing Parry Sound Student Transportation Services report buses cancelled in the following routes due to extreme cold.  The routes service:

 Mactier, Humphrey, Rosseau

 McDougall/Whitestone/Ahmic Harbour

 West Nipissing

East Parry Sound North - North of and including Hwy 522

 - Port Loring/Restoule

 - Nipissing/Commanda

 - Powassan/Trout Creek

 East Parry Sound South - South of Hwy 522

 - South River/Sundridge

- Burk’s Falls/Magnetawan

 - Katrine/Emsdale/Kearney/Sprucedale/Novar

 Trout Lake/Four Mile Lake Rd.

 Redbridge/Thorne

 Mattawa

 Town of Parry Sound

 Britt / Nobel

No cancellations of Trillium Lakelands District School Board have been announced.



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District Approves Bala Falls Permits
Thursday, February 19, 2015 (10286 reads)


Swift River Energy, the company behind the proposed Bala Falls Hydro Project, got the go-ahead on their entrance permit applications earlier this week after the District of Muskoka validated the company’s permits.
The decision came after the council heard delegations from both Peggy Peterson, who has been camped out at the proposed construction site in protest of the project and from a Swift River Energy representative named Frank Belerique. 
Peterson delivered a long speech pleading with council not to approve the permits. 
“You are being asked today to validate permits that will create imminent and permanent harm to a part of Muskoka,” Peterson said. “…Let’s give Kathleen Wynne a bit more time to see a way out of this and let’s protect this sacred space for the benefit of all future generations.”
Peterson went on to say,
 “I want to ensure you that as the elected officials… The people of Muskoka expect you made [sic] these decisions carefully. The public relies on you to be the last line of defense from harm - and the risk of harm is incredibly high.”
Belerique’s deputation was much shorter and succinct, with Belerique simply asking that the council consider their permit applications fairly and “treat them like any other permit.” Belerique also outlined Swift River’s approval of a handful of changes to the permit including a $2 million line of credit towards council to protect their assets. 
Just prior to voting on the issue, councilor Don Smith spoke to council about a court decision ruling against the use of operating permits, like entrance permits, being used to effectively stop progress on projects given the green light by the provincial government. 
Voting against the validation of Swift River’s Permits would have effectively halted progress on the energy facility.
The court case cited by Smith saw the courts not only rule against the municipality involved but also forced the municipality to pay for the legal costs associated. 
Peterson has reacted to the decision to validate the permits saying, 
“I would describe the district council as being frozen with fear of litigation,” Peterson added that she believes the case cited by councilor Smith was different from Bala’s situation. “We are looking into this case, the case cited was for access to private land, not Crown land,” Peterson said. “There were no outstanding issues of consultation with First Nations in that case.”




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Extreme Cold Warning in Effect, Again.
Thursday, February 19, 2015 (2785 reads)


It looks like old man winter isn’t through with us yet; Environment Canada has issued yet another extreme cold warning this morning for areas of southern Ontario. 
The cold warning is in effect for a large swath of south-central Ontario including the whole of the Muskoka area. The warning extends as far north as South River, south past Gravenhurst, as far east as Arnprior, Ont. and as far west as the French River provincial park.
Environment Canada has said that the extreme cold warning is being caused by strong winds from the northwest mixing with cold temperatures that have come with cold air from the Arctic. Temperatures, with the added wind-chill, are expected to produce temperatures as low as minus 35 and 40. 
There is relief in sight; however, as Environment Canada says temperatures will reach “moderate” levels around Friday afternoon. 



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Dorset Residents Camp Out to Raise Funds for Health Hub
Thursday, February 19, 2015 (633 reads)


A group of Dorset area residents will be camping out overnight on Saturday to help raise money for the Dorset Health Hub, a nurse practitioner station which the community has been fighting to make a reality.  The Health Hub recently received approval from the Ministry of Health and with the help of residents and support from area municipalities the group has been able to purchase a location for the facility.

Sarah Coombs one of the people spear heading the initiative has undertaken a fundraiser on Go Fund Me and is camping out overnight to raise funds.  Coombs said the group recently found out that there is another hurdle they have to cross to make the facility become a reality.  The planned renovation has turned into a rebuild.

Coombs said going from renovation to complete rebuild is going to be a difficult challenge to overcome, but  is confident that the village of 500 can, and will raise the money to do this rebuild, but they will need help. 

Donations can be made at http://www.gofundme.com/lp5lv4



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Rick Mercer to Film At Gravenhurst Winter Carnival
Thursday, February 19, 2015 (19623 reads)


Rick Mercer will be visiting Gravenhurst on Feb 21st to film for his show the Mercer Report.  Mercer will be participating in the 45th Anniversary of the Gravenhurst Winter Carnival.



Opening ceremonies for the event take place on Friday at the Gravenhurst Opera House starting at 5.30pm.



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Thursday's Road Report
Thursday, February 19, 2015 (1158 reads)


Highway 11 (Barrie to Severn Bridge) - bare and dry road

Highway 11 (Severn Bridge to Muskoka Falls) - bare and dry road with bare and wet road sections.

Highway 11 (Muskoka Falls to Emsdale) - bare and dry road

Highway 11 (Emsdale to Strong) - bare and dry road with bare and wet road sections.

Highway 11 (Strong to South River) - bare and wet road with snow packed sections.

Highway 11 (South River to North Bay) - bare and dry road with snow covered, snow packed sections.

Highway 118 (Loon Lake to Vankoughnet) - bare and dry road with bare and wet road, partly snow covered sections.

Highway 118 (Vankoughnet to Muskoka Falls) - bare and dry road with bare and wet road sections.

Highway 124 (Parry Sound to Badger's Corners) - bare and dry road

Highway 124 (Badger's Corners to McKellar) - bare and dry road

Highway 124 (McKellar to Sundridge) - bare and wet road with bare and dry road sections.

Highway 124 (Sundridge to Summit Road) - bare and wet road with snow packed sections.

Highway 141 (Hwy 11 /Utterson to Rosseau) - bare and dry road

Highway 141 (Rosseau to Parry Sound) - bare and dry road with bare and wet road sections.

Highway 35 (Victoria County / Haliburton District to Carnarvon) - bare and dry road with bare and wet road, partly snow covered sections.

Highway 35 (Carnarvon to Dwight) - bare and dry road with bare and wet road, partly snow covered sections.

Highway 400 (Canal Road (Bradford) to Innisfil) - partly snow covered with bare and wet road sections.

Highway 400 (Innisfil to Craighurst) - partly snow covered with bare and wet road sections.

Highway 400 (Craighurst to Port Severn) - snow covered

Highway 400 (Port Severn to Horseshoe Lake) - bare and dry road with bare and wet road sections.

Highway 400 (Horseshoe Lake to Parry Sound) - bare and dry road

Highway 510 (Highway 520 to Highway 124) - snow packed

Highway  518 (Yearly Road South to Kearney) - bare and wet road with bare and dry road sections.

Highway  518 (Black Water Lake Road North to Yearly Road South) - bare and wet road with bare and dry road sections.

Highway  518 (Highway 69/400 to Black Water Lake Road North) - bare and wet road with bare and dry road sections.

Highway  520 (Highway 11 to Burk's Falls) - bare and wet road with bare and dry road sections.

Highway  520 (Burk's Falls to Highway 124) - bare and wet road with bare and dry road sections.

Highway  520 (Highway 124 to Ardbeg) - bare and wet road with bare and dry road sections.

Highway 592 (Novar Road to Emsdale) - bare and wet road with bare and dry road sections.

Highway 592 (Emsdale to Highway 11) - bare and wet road with bare and dry road sections.

Highway 60 (Cache Lake to Oxtongue Lake) - bare and wet road with partly snow covered sections.

Highway 60 (Oxtongue Lake to Huntsville) - bare and dry road

Highway 632 (Rosseau to Minnett) - bare and wet road with snow covered sections.



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Gravenhurst 2015 Draft Budget Will Cost Tax Payers More
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 (691 reads)


Gravenhurst tax payers will have a steeper bill in 2015 if the recently introduced budget proposal is passed.



Gravenhurst municipal council received the first draft of the recommended 2015 budget at a meeting yesterday.



Director of corporate services and treasurer Val Sequeira presented the proposed budget to council at the Feb. 17 meeting saying,



"This is the first step in the budget cycle and council's first opportunity to review the recommendations."



There are a number of changes in the proposed budget including tax increases on both residential and non-residential properties as well as a tax levy increase.



The 2015 budget draft would raise residential property taxes by 5.2 per cent and non-residential rates would increase by 3.2 per cent



These changes would amount to around a $100 increase to rural residential tax bills and $133 for urban tax bills.



The draft proposes a 1 per cent increase to the tax levy which would be used to help replace capital assets and to contribute to debt repayment resulting from completed 2014 capital projects.



The 2015 budget would be the first in nearly 20 years that would not include proceeds from Gravenhurst's 1996 sale of its landfill to the District of Muskoka as the payments conclude this year. This has also contributed to the towns estimated revenue for the 2015 year.



Also featured in the draft budget are increases aimed at improving municipal roads and facilities.



If any of this is alarming, there will a chance for community input at a special meeting to be held at 9 a.m. on March 7.



The complete 2015 budget proposal will be posted later this week on Gravenhurst's website.



www.gravenhurst.ca





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High e. Coli Levels Found in Minett Area Waters
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 (10852 reads)



The District of Muskoka received some good news and some bad news last night during a deputation from the Muskoka Lakes Association last night.

The good news; Muskoka continues to have exceptionally high quality water, something that Muskoka Lakes Association (MLA) representative Andrew Watson said the district "should be very proud of." The bad news is that the watershed in the area of Minett tested positive for significantly high levels of the e. Coli bacteria. The test results have caused the MLA to label the water systems in the Minett area in the red alert region of their green, yellow and red warning system, meaning they require immediate action.

Watson said that the MLA is actively working with stakeholders in the region to address the high e. Coli levels as well as discover the source of the increase.

The revelation comes from information gathered in the MLA's 2014 water quality report which was presented to the district at the Feb. 17 council meeting. 

The 2014 report also revealed that phosphorus levels in Muskoka lakes are on the rise once again after years of decreasing, however Watson said that the rise in phosphorus levels is of less concern given the overall trends of decreasing phosphorus levels throughout Ontario and New York state.

A number of district councilors spoke to the e. Coli increase asking whether or not an influx of geese could be contributing to the e. Coli problem. Watson said while geese can cause a temporary spike in e. Coli levels, the Minett readings were consistently high through the MLA's four month testing period, meaning that geese are likely not the culprit.

The MLA asked for districts help in expanding their water-control services through access to the district's own water quality data as well as assistance by the district in testing calcium levels in Muskoka waters. Testing calcium is something the MLA has wanted to add to their services but has been unable to due to a broken piece of equipment in the facility the group uses to find their results.

The MLA also asked that the district impose water restrictions on the area of concern in Minett.

The MLA has been testing waters in the Muskoka region for the last 14 years. Over the years they've spent more than $1 million in research and conservation action.



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Huntsville Library Launches "Kid's Card"
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 (4496 reads)


The Huntsville Public Library is launching a new initiative aimed at targeting young readers in the community.

The library has created what they’re calling the Kid’s Library Card which a specifically designed for kids and feature artwork from Canadian author Nicholas Oldland’s book Up the Creek.

The Kid’s Library Card provides children with free access to over 60,000 of the library’s items as well as access to online homework aids and ebooks.

In part with the launch of the new program the library has invited grade 3 students from Huntsville Public School to attend the launch this afternoon at 12 p.m.

Library staff say they want to ensure that within the year all Huntsville elementary students have a Kid’s Library Card.



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Hot Ashes Possible Cause of House Fire
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 (10689 reads)


The Huntsville/Lake of Bays Fire Department responded to a structure fire at Stephenson Rd. 12 West yesterday afternoon.

When they arrived, crews from Port Sydney Station 3 and Huntsville Station 1 found the attached garage fully involved. The fire had spread to the second floor of the home and was contained to the one bedroom upstairs. The second floor suffered heavy smoke damage with slight damage to the rest of the home.

The occupants discovered the fire from the garage and were able to safely escape.

The cause continues to be investigated and crews are looking at possible improperly discarded ashes from a woodstove as the cause. No damage estimate has been set at this time.

The Fire Department would like to remind residents to properly dispose of their woodstove ashes in a metal container‎ away from any building and to make sure that the ashes are completely extinguished.



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MAHC Confirms Seeking Help to Get Their "Message" Out
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 (2293 reads)


The Chair of the Board of the Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare has written an open letter to area councils saying that "no decisions about the future service delivery model have been made by the working group or the Board."  Charles Foret goes on to say that ”We tried to address misinformation in the community and met with all five Muskoka mayors and the District Chair on January 14 to ensure they are up to date on the planning process, and so they could help us share that message with their councils and constituents."

Foret said that the MAHC wants to have an open dialogue, but their message has not been affective as they would have liked. 

In the letter he confirms that "the organization has reached out to seek some additional assistance to facilitate our communication."

HBR reported last week of rumours that the MAHC has hired a public relations firm to help them with their messaging.

Foret says that the MAHC plans to continue with more public consultations, scheduled for March.



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Miller Presents Road Maintenance Petitions in Legislature
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 (1667 reads)


Yesterday, on the first day that the Provincial Legislature has met in 2015, Parry Sound – Muskoka MPP Norm Miller tabled petitions calling for improved maintenance of winter roads. The petition submission contains over 2500 signatures.

Miller said that “Since launching the petition, I have had a steady stream of people coming in to my constituency offices to add their support to the petition.”

Miller noted that even more signed petitions have been received by mail that were originally printed and made available in local businesses, municipal offices, and individual households.

The signatures were gathered from all corners of Parry Sound – Muskoka, as well as other regions of Central and Northern Ontario that have experienced challenging conditions on roadways during the past two winter seasons in particular.

He said “The sheer number of signatures speaks volumes.”

“I look forward to the response from the Minister of Transportation to this petition with the goal of finding a solution that will increase the level of winter roads maintenance across Ontario, and making our roads safer in the process” he said.

The petition is available to be signed in person at both the Parry Sound and Bracebridge constituency offices of MPP Norm Miller, and can also be accessed online for printing at: http://www.normmillermpp.ca/petitions/



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Wednesday's Road Report
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 (1180 reads)


Highway 11 (Barrie to Severn Bridge) - bare and dry road

Highway 11 (Severn Bridge to Muskoka Falls) - bare and dry road

Highway 11 (Muskoka Falls to Emsdale) - bare and dry road

Highway 11 (Emsdale to Strong) - bare and dry road with bare and wet road sections.

Highway 11 (Strong to South River) - bare and dry road

Highway 11 (South River to North Bay) - snow covered

Highway 118 (Loon Lake to Vankoughnet) - bare and dry road with bare and wet road sections.

Highway 118 (Vankoughnet to Muskoka Falls) - bare and dry road

Highway 124 (Parry Sound to Badger's Corners) - snow covered

Highway 124 (Badger's Corners to McKellar) - snow covered

Highway 124 (McKellar to Sundridge) - bare and dry road with bare and wet road, partly snow covered sections.

Highway 124 (Sundridge to Summit Road) - bare and wet road with bare and dry road, partly snow packed sections.

Highway 141 (Hwy 11 /Utterson to Rosseau) - bare and dry road

Highway 141 (Rosseau to Parry Sound) - partly snow covered with snow covered sections.

Highway 35 (Victoria County / Haliburton District to Carnarvon) - bare and dry road with bare and wet road sections.

Highway 35 (Carnarvon to Dwight) - bare and dry road with bare and wet road sections.

Highway 400 (Canal Road (Bradford) to Innisfil) - bare and dry road

Highway 400 (Innisfil to Craighurst) - bare and dry road

Highway 400 (Craighurst to Port Severn) - bare and dry road

Highway 400 (Port Severn to Horseshoe Lake) - partly snow covered with snow covered sections.

Highway 400 (Horseshoe Lake to Parry Sound) - snow covered

Highway 510 (Highway 520 to Highway 124) - snow packed

Highway  518 (Yearly Road South to Kearney) - bare and dry road with bare and wet road sections.

Highway  518 (Black Water Lake Road North to Yearly Road South) - snow packed

Highway  518 (Highway 69/400 to Black Water Lake Road North) - snow packed

Highway  520 (Highway 11 to Burk's Falls) - bare and dry road with bare and wet road sections.

Highway  520 (Burk's Falls to Highway 124) - bare and dry road with bare and wet road sections.

Highway  520 (Highway 124 to Ardbeg) - bare and dry road with bare and wet road sections.

Highway 592 (Novar Road to Emsdale) - bare and dry road with bare and wet road sections.

Highway 592 (Emsdale to Highway 11) - bare and dry road with bare and wet road sections.

Highway 60 (Cache Lake to Oxtongue Lake) - bare and dry road with bare and wet road sections.

Highway 60 (Oxtongue Lake to Huntsville) - bare and dry road

Highway 632 (Rosseau to Minnett) - bare and dry road



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MAHC Petition Collects Thousands of Signatures
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 (2129 reads)


The petition against the MAHC’s alleged plans to single-site surgery service in Muskoka has collected around 4000 signatures according to Tim Withey, one of the people spearheading the opposition.

Withey said that petitions circulated in area doctor’s offices had an interesting range of signatures including signatures from Bracebridge, Gravenhurst, Parry Sound and Haliburton areas.

Withey said that there are plans for a public rally in the works and that he has been in touch with healthcare unions such as the Ontario Nurses Association and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union.



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Firearms Bylaw Before Lake of Bays Council Today
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 (2125 reads)


A proposed bylaw that caused a commotion with hunters in Lake of Bays Twp will be back on the table today, as Lake of Bays Council meets this morning.  When the bylaw was first introduced to limit where and when firearms could be discharged, council chambers was standing room only as hunters showed their concern about the bylaw.   Council was clearly surprised and promised to come back with another version of the bylaw and sought input from the public.

The new bylaw addresses concerns by hunters and removes any reference to bow hunting.   The bylaw also addresses where the discharge of a firearm would be legal.

Mayor Bob Young said that the new bylaw if enacted would only be in place at times outside of Provincial Hunting legislation.

The meeting starts at 9am.



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Job Fair For Boston Pizza Today
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 (9508 reads)


The YMCA Employment Centre will be holding a job fair today to receive resumes for Boston Pizza.  Anyone interested in a position are asked to bring a resume today between 12.30-6pm.

The new restaurant is expected to open this spring at the old Cottage location.



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CCAC Picketers Return to Work
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 (1175 reads)


Picketers from the CCAC will be returning to their jobs today after a two week labour dispute.  The nurses who provide home healthcare opted to send their dispute to arbitration.

The dispute is mainly over wages; the ONA wants a 1.4-per-cent salary increase each year for two years for its CCAC employees, which include registered practical nurses, rapid response registered nurses, care co-ordinators and direct care nurse practitioners. The ONA claims the increase is on par with what hospital counterparts make.



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District Council Set to Hear Deputations on Bala Falls
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 (4497 reads)


The District of Muskoka Council will be meeting tonight and will receiving delegations from the Wahta Mohawks and Peggy Peterson.

It's expected that both Chief Franks and Peterson will be talking about their oppisition to the Swift River Energy project at Bala Falls.  A group of residents have been telling Huntsville Mayor Scott Aitchison and Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith and District Councilors from both towns that they are in conflict of interest on the Hydro Project as should it be completed, Huntsville and Bracebridge could benefit financially.

The group says that as the two municipalities are part owners of Bracebridge Generation, which is owned by Lakeland Power.  Bracebridge Generation has been identified as a possible operator of the Bala facility if it is built.


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