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Thursday, April 24, 2014

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Big East on the Rise Again
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 (6173 reads)


The Town of Huntsville has been advised by the Ministry of Natural Resources that a flood warning remains in effect. As expected, the Big East River level is beginning to rise again and a second round of flooding has begun. As a result localized flooding is occurring again in flood prone areas. The Town of Huntsville’s Emergency Control Group will continue to monitor the situation.

• Residents living in flood areas need to be vigilant in monitoring water conditions

• Public Works crews will continue to monitor all roadways. For an up to date list of road closures

visit www.huntsville.ca

Parents and guardians are advised to remind children to stay clear of open water, creeks and rivers.

Sandbag resources are available through the following companies:

CRS – 40 Cairns Crescent, Huntsville, 705-788-7718

Hutcheson Sand and Mixes - 1265 Aspdin Road Quarry, Huntsville, 705-789-4457

Fowler – Rosewarne Quarry, 1062 Rosewarne Drive, Bracebridge, 705-645-2214

For the purchase of sand please see “sand and gravel” in the yellow pages in the telephone book.



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Lake Muskoka & Moon River at Risk of Flooding
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 (642 reads)


The Ministry of Natural Resources is advising area residents that the Flood Warning remains in effect.  Recent warm air temperatures and rainfall has now accelerated the melting rate of the remaining snow pack with an increased runoff into local waterbodies.

The MNR are warning that High water levels or flooding will occur over the next 24-48 hours within Lake Muskoka and the Moon River.

Residents are advised to keep a close watch on conditions, and exercise caution around rivers and lakes as high water levels and flows continue. There is the potential for higher water levels and flows than what is currently being experienced.

Residents may wish to take action to protect property in flood-prone or vulnerable areas.



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Community Living Recieves $127,100
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 (1606 reads)


The Ontario Trillium Foundation funded $127,100 to Community Living South Muskoka yesterday to convert an existing garage into a barrier-free change room, warming area and open air picnic shelter.  The renovations once complete, will result in more participation in various recreational activities.



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Chaffey Ward Has a Race on its Hands
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 (5763 reads)


It’s officially a race in Chaffey Ward, with another new comer challenging Jonathan Wiebe in the upcoming election.  Wanda Lumley, a long time resident, filed her nomination papers yesterday.  Lumley, who was born in Huntsville, says that her passion is the Huntsville and District Agricultural Society where she currently acts as president.

Lumley hopes to see more transparency from the council and wants to be involved in bringing more business to Huntsville.

Wiebe ran in the last election, narrowly losing to incumbent John Davis who has filed for District in the upcoming election.



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Terziano Files for District
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 (4315 reads)


Councilor Karin Terziano who represents the Huntsville Ward filed her nomination papers yesterday, this time for District Council.  Terziano says that she has worked very hard for the residents of Huntsville Ward.  She said that she thought it her responsibility as a Town Councilor, to represent the interests of all ratepayers in Huntsville.

Terziano says that she was heavily involved in working to keep tax increases as low as possible.

Terziano goal for the next term of council is to bring more accountability and transparency to District expenditures, which she says there is little information about at the Huntsville Council Table. 



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Feds Announce Accessibility Funding For Bracebridge Town Hall
Tuesday, April 22, 2014 (327 reads)


Parry Sound-Muskoka MP Tony Clement announced funding today in the amount of $43,011 for accessibility renovations to the Town of Bracebridge’s Town Hall.

The project will include upgrading of public and staff washroom facilities to meet with current accessibility standards and code requirements. The main entrance, doorways, drinking fountain and service-area counters will also be upgraded for improved accessibility.

The renovation work is being funded through the Small Project Component of the Government of Canada’s Enabling Accessibility Fund, which supports capital costs of construction and renovations related to improving physical accessibility and safety for people with disabilities in Canadian communities and workplaces.



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Clement Confirmed as Conservative Candidate
Tuesday, April 22, 2014 (5829 reads)


Tony Clement will represent the Conservative Party of Canada in the riding of Parry Sound-Muskoka in the 2015 federal election. Clement was the only candidate to put his name forward for nomination to the local Electoral District Association. Nominations closed last week.

Clement has served as MP for Parry Sound-Muskoka since 2006, and was most recently re-elected in 2011. Along with serving Parry Sounders and Muskokans in the House of Commons, Clement has also held various Cabinet portfolios since first being elected, and currently serves as President of the Treasury Board.

Clement's public service spans three decades. During his eight years as an Ontario MPP he held prominent Cabinet positions in the Ontario government, including Minister of Health and Minister of the Environment.



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Special Weather Statement Calls for Lots of Rain
Tuesday, April 22, 2014 (4852 reads)


The Weatherman is calling for 10 to 20 mm of rain today in the region.  Periods of rain associated with a low pressure system moving across Southern Ontario will continue today. Total rainfall amounts from this system are expected to be in the 10 to 20 mm range. Since there is also a chance of isolated thunderstorms, some localities could get as much as 25 mm. Periods of rain are expected to end east of Georgian Bay later today, but persist through tonight over Eastern Ontario.

The rainfall could affect those living in a flood plain or other low lying areas.  A Flood Warning is still in effect for the region.



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Water Levels on the Decline, but Town Advises Flood Warning Not Over
Monday, April 21, 2014 (3315 reads)


Although a flood warning issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources remains in effect, the Town of Huntsville advises that the water levels in the Big East River and downtown core have declined. However, the forecast of warmer temperatures and rain will continue to melt the substantial snow pack that still remains. This could increase water flows that can lead to water levels rising in flood prone areas. 

The Town of Huntsville’s Emergency Control Group continues to monitor the levels and is well into the “recovery phase” of this flood event. 
• Residents living in flood prone areas need to be vigilant in monitoring water conditions. 
• The Dwelling Evaluation Committee is working with our partner agencies to assist residents that have been affected by flood waters. Well water test bottles are available at both the Canada Summit Centre and Town Hall Customer Service counters. 
• Area residents that have been affected by the flooding are directed to consult the flood information section on the Town of Huntsville’s website www.huntsville.ca. This includes information on returning to homes, and resources from the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit and the Electrical Safety Authority. 

Mayor Claude Doughty reminds residents affected by the floods that having a plan in place during a flood event can greatly decrease the time required to recover from the event. “Our Recovery Committees are diligently working with our partner agencies to help those residents that were affected by the flood” he said.


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No Daytime Burning Rules in Effect
Monday, April 21, 2014 (8081 reads)


The Muskoka Fire Chiefs are reminding residents that the “No Daytime Burning” rules took effect on April 1st. The higher than normal snow pack has gradually melted and the remaining pack will disappear rather quickly with warmer temperatures and rain forecasted over the next 7 days. 

With lower humidity levels, conditions will change quickly and any fires could become out of control without any warning. The Muskoka Fire Chiefs are asking residents to observe the “No Daytime Burning” rules and check with their local municipalities for local by-law and burning information. 
“This is the time of year that conditions can become dangerous until we get the green-up in the forests” said Huntsville/Lake of Bays Fire Chief Stephen Hernen. “We ask that residents observe the no daytime burning rules and that they ensure any fires that they have are completely extinguished when they are done burning”. 
For the Daily Fire Danger Rating and More Information on Burning, call 1-877-847-1577. 



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Committee Recommends Increasing Council Salaries
Monday, April 21, 2014 (2807 reads)


Former Mayors Len Clarke and Ron House presented a report last week at the Corporate Services committee recommending that the mayor's salary be increased from $34,000 to $58,000 over 4 years.  The former mayors were part of a committee of 4 that interviewed various councilors and the mayor, and looked at remuneration of councils in comparable towns and then made the recommendation.

They also recommended increases for councilors by $1,000 each for the next 4 years.

Len Clarke and Ron House both expressed that in their experience the job was full time and said it's hard to get someone who has a career to work 2 full time jobs when the mayor only gets paid $34,000.



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Mayor Ask Staff to Investigate Buying Dark Green Porta Potties
Monday, April 21, 2014 (8188 reads)


The colour of porta-potties available to for the town to rent this year was the cause of an extended conversation at committee last week after many councilors expressed their distaste for the colours being used by some firms.

The town had a request for quote to provide up to 30 units for use throughout town at various recreational facilities and were quite concerned that the units were too visible.   Mayor Doughty asked staff if dark green units were available and was told that no company that provided them provided a quote.

The Mayor asked staff to investigate the cost of the town purchasing their own units and get prices on having them serviced by a local company.



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New Curling Club "Shovel Ready"
Monday, April 21, 2014 (3625 reads)


The Town and the Huntsville Curling Club continue to prepare for a new facility at McCauley Robertson Park.  Earlier this year the Curling Club was before council asking them to provide land so that they could build a new multi use facility that would be big enough to allow the club to host tournaments.

Staff told the Community Services Committee that they plan to be "shovel ready” just in case any funding opportunities are available.

The Club plans to sell their current location as the cost of maintaining the old ice plant has become unfeasbile.



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Miller's Private Member Bill Passes Second Reading
Monday, April 21, 2014 (3788 reads)


Parry Sound – Muskoka MPP Norm Miller’s Bill 190 passed second reading last week with all-party support. The private member’s bill is aimed at strengthening the Auditor General’s oversight in the province of Ontario. If passed into law, the bill would amend the Auditor General Act to allow the provincial Auditor to follow public funds to indirect recipients and into third party organizations.

Miller said “Over the past few years the Auditor General has been tasked with investigating a number of detailed cases of government spending practices. Bill 190 will give the provincial Auditor more tools to do their job. The added oversight capabilities will help to uncover inefficiencies, bring to light unethical practices, and determine if public dollars are being well spent”.

 “By passing second reading, this is a key step toward providing greater oversight in the Province of Ontario, and specifically, ensuring that tax dollars are being well spent.”

Miller says the proposed changes would have aided the efforts of the Auditor in past investigations of the Ornge Air Ambulance Service and the recent Mississauga Power Plant Cancellation Costs special audit.

Ongoing investigations that would benefit from such oversight include:

• Audit of Ontario Community Care Access Centres

• Ministry of Transportation contracts with private service providers for provincial roads including the maintenance of highways during the winter months.

• Audit of Smart Meter programs across Ontario



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Public Works into Pot Hole Season
Monday, April 21, 2014 (19155 reads)


The town public works dept are in pothole response season and say that they are filling the holes as fast as they can, however, due to the cold weather, they can only use cold patch, which is a temporary measure.

The town will be working on roads designated as town owned roads, while the major arteries through town are maintained by the district.

Mayor Doughty said that once warmer temperatures occur, permanent fixes can be started.



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Howell Memorabilia Coming to Canada Summit Centre
Monday, April 21, 2014 (1393 reads)


The Town hopes to bring together memorabilia from Dara Howell to be displayed at the Canada Summit Centre.   Mayor Doughty said that the pieces could be part of a storyboard that would have different artifacts from Dara’s past that would rotate once or twice a year.



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Aitchison Says He's Not in Conflict
Thursday, April 17, 2014 (22339 reads)


Councilor Scott Aitchison says he isn't in conflict of interest after he voted for a pay increase for the mayor and other members of council yesterday.   The raise would take effect in the next term of council. Aitchison, who is running for mayor said that a number of councilors that had filed to run,  participated in the vote, some voting against the increase.   Aitchison argued that while he supported the increase to $58,000 for the mayor over 4 years, there was no guarantee that he would be elected.  He also said that if you have a conflict, you can't be in the room discussing it, whether you vote for it or not.
Councilor Tim Withey, also running for mayor declared a conflict of interest and left the room.


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Flood Warning Remains in Effect
Thursday, April 17, 2014 (2827 reads)


The Town of Huntsville has been advised by the Ministry of Natural Resources that a flood warning still remains in effect. Warmer temperatures and rain are expected over the weekend. This could increase water flows that can lead to water levels rising in flood prone areas. The Big East River has stabilized and is decreasing while the downtown area will continue to rise over the next 24 hours. 
Residents living in flood areas need to be vigilant in monitoring water conditions. 
Residents who are considering returning to their homes are encouraged to visit the Town’s website for information on cleaning up after a flood. 
There are road closures throughout the area. Public Works crews will continue to monitor all roadways. At the time of this release, the following road is closed: 
Old North Road 


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Town Clock to be Restarted on May 12th
Thursday, April 17, 2014 (695 reads)


The clock tower will soon be finished renovations and the scaffolding will be coming down by May 5th according to a report  at Community Services on Tuesday.
Workers are just finishing up the remaining  restoration work before the contractor that maintains the actual workings of the clock, starts up the mechanisms that keep the clock on time.  That work is expected to be completed and the clock running on May 12th.
The clock originally came from the old Union Station in Toronto and all its workings are all original.
The clock was stopped last summer so that workers could restore the supports and walls of the tower that hold it  up.



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Council to Form Committee to Oversee Staff Salaries
Thursday, April 17, 2014 (1052 reads)


The Corporate Services Committee were still talking the differences in salaries between Huntsville, Gravenhurst, and Bracebridge yesterday.  Huntsville spends nearly $2 million dollars more than neighbouring Bracebridge with a similar assessment value.
Former CAO Kelly Pender was to bring a report back to council explaining the differences, but resigned before he could make the report.
Yesterday, Mayor Claude Doughty suggested the town strike a compensation committee  and have input into the salaries wages and benefits currently given to town employees.
Doughty said that "we have not been involved in compensation below a certain level"
The plan includes taking 2-3 member s of council and members of staff to oversee future decisions on compensation.


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Town Hall Sponsors Marker For Fallen WWII Soldier
Thursday, April 17, 2014 (486 reads)


Huntsville will be remembering an Utterson man who died in the D-Day Invasion in WWII.  Councilors voted to sponsor a marker representing Harvey LLoyd Walker, 22 who died at Juno Beach in France.
359 Canadian Soldiers were killed during the invasion that took place 70 years ago.  The marker will in installed at the beach on D-Day, June 6th.


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Brunel Ward Has a Race on its Hands
Thursday, April 17, 2014 (2866 reads)


Yesterday two people filled to run for the position of councilor in Brunel Ward.  Sue Ashley, owner of an antiques business on Brunel Rd says that she wants to connect with Brunel residents and protect the community.  Ashley is retired from the banking industry, and has sat on several committees including the Chamber of Commerce.  Ashley  says its time for the town to get back to basics and utilize the facilities they have.
And former town and district councilor George Young is seeking to reclaim the Brunel Ward seat after a 4 year break.  Young, who has 10 years experience at the council table, has been serving on the Canadian Tourism Commission as well as on the board of the Muskoka Community Network and  Brunel Community Centre board.


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Town Posts Surplus for 2013
Thursday, April 17, 2014 (945 reads)


The Town of Huntsville will be showing a surplus of $410,000 for 2013 after cancelling or postponing several projects and not spending the cash.  The information came to light at the Corporate Services Committee yesterday and a discussion ensued on what to do with the money.
Councilor Karin Terziano proposed that the money be put back into the public works reserve.  Council will vote on the issue at the next council meeting.



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Train Station to Become Cultural Hub
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 (7089 reads)


The Huntsville Train Station will be a "Cultural Hub" under the direction of the Huntsville Chamber of Commerce and the Huntsville Historical Society.  The Chamber asked the town to rent the vacant space for $1 per year in exchange for Chamber management of the space and the groups using it.
Kelly Haywood with the Chamber says that there is a great deal of interest in Cultural Tourism and the groups using the space will help promote Huntsville.
The Town had tried to rent the space out commercially with no luck.   Mayor Claude Doughty says that the Cultural Hub idea is a "home run".


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Fire Dept Training Sessions Could Earn Town Extra Revenue
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 (1377 reads)


Fire Chief Steve Hernen asked the Public Infrastructure and Protective Services Committee yesterday to allow the Fire Dept to fill empty seats in training programs being put on by the Fire Dept.  Hernen advised that he had been approached by neighbouring municipalities to provide the service.
Hernen explained that the town could increase revenue by allowing other fire depts. to participate with very little extra cost.   The committee overwhelmingly supported the request.


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BIA Ask For Town Help to Cure Parking Woes
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 (2741 reads)


Parking in Downtown Huntsville was an issue for the BIA yesterday as they explained of problems that merchants were having and solutions they thought could address them before the start of the busy summer season.
While its well known that there is a 2 hour limit of parking on the main street, the BIA felt that it was being abused and not being enforced by the bylaw dept.  Mayor Doughty said that he was unaware that the issue was not being enforced and would see to it that parking is enforced going forward.
Other issues included changing of signs and designating the back lots as 2 hour parking.  Mayor Doughty also addressed the parking at Kent Park, saying that the town should pave the parking spots and designate 2 hour parking.
Staff of town hall and the downtown stores will be asked to start parking on the side streets as soon as the snow banks have all been cleared away.


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Davis Files for District
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 (599 reads)


Councilor John Davis filed yesterday to run as a District Councilor.  Davis, who is currently the Town Councilor for Chaffey Ward, won by acclimation 2 terms ago, and narrowly won in the last election, beating challenger Jonathan Wiebe.
Yesterday Wiebe filed to run in Chaffey, shortly followed by Davis who hopes to pick up a District spot.



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Ontario Set to Deliver 2014 Budget
Tuesday, April 15, 2014 (210 reads)


Charles Sousa, the Minister of Finance for Ontario, will deliver the 2014 provincial budget on May 1, 2014 at 4 p.m. in the Ontario Legislature.

This among accusations that the Liberal government has been involved in a cover up related to the cancellation of two gas plants. Progressive Conservatives say the timing of this announcement is designed to pull the focus away from the scandal, while Sousa claims it is merely coincidental.

The budget will likely give us a glimpse of how Premier Kathleen Wynne hopes to fund her pledged $29 billion transit and transportation infrastructure plan as well as how the government will deal with the current $11.3 billion deficit. 




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Old North Road Closed Due to Flooding
Tuesday, April 15, 2014 (2654 reads)


Huntsville OPP  have closed Old North Road in Huntsville due to high water levels.
Old North Road in Huntsville between Fowlers Road and 325 Old North Road is closed to traffic due to high water levels flooding the road. The road will be closed until further notice.



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Wiebe to Run in Chaffey Ward
Tuesday, April 15, 2014 (1430 reads)


Chaffey Ward could have a new councilor next year as Jonathan Wiebe filed to run for the councilor's spot held by John Davis this morning.  This is not the first time that Wiebe has entered the contest for Huntsville's most populated ward.  In 2010, Wiebe came in a close 2nd to incumbent, John Davis with 1286 votes compared with Davis' 1470.
Davis told HBR today that he's not sure he will run again in Chaffey Ward and is considering a run for one of 3 District spots.


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Flood Plain Residents Encouraged to Move to Higher Ground
Tuesday, April 15, 2014 (5871 reads)


The Town of Huntsville has been advised by the Ministry of Natural Resources of steadily increasing water flows along the Big East River Course. The water levels continue to rise this morning in flood prone areas. 
Residents living in flood areas (Rivercove, Old North Road, Bridgeview, Hutcheson Beach and Glen Acres) need to take immediate action to protect their property and are encouraged to relocate to their pre-planned secondary spot of safe residence. 
The flood warning area has been expanded to include the Downtown dock and Brendale Square area 
Citizens in low lying and fringe flood areas will see water infiltration near their properties and buildings. 
Electrical Safety Authority is now monitoring the affected areas and these residents should plan for power outages as electrical services are affected by rising water. 
Parts of Old North Road have been closed and Public Works crews will continue to monitor all other roadways. 
Residents are encouraged to monitor www.huntsville.ca for an up to date list of road closures 
The Town of Huntsville’s Emergency Control Group has met and will continue to meet to monitor the situation. 


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Blast of Winter Today
Tuesday, April 15, 2014 (3632 reads)


After a long awaited taste of summer, winter returns with a snowy vengeance.  A sharp Arctic cold front has passed through Central Ontario ushering out the mild air of the past few days. In the wake of the front, northwesterly winds are returning much colder Arctic air to the region, with temperatures plunging to below freezing early this morning.  

Indications show that a snowfall of 10 to 15 cm of snow are possible for some areas east of Georgian Bay.

Driving conditions will deteriorate quickly as the freezing precipitation and snow move in. Motorists should be prepared for hazardous winter driving conditions due to low visibility in areas of heavier snow, and accumulating snow on untreated roads.

The snow will end over all regions late in the day. Winter's Victory will be only temporary, as temperatures will moderate back up closer to normal by the end of the week.


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Public Infrastructure Meeting This Morning
Tuesday, April 15, 2014 (1412 reads)


The Public Infrastructure and Protective Services Committee will be meeting this morning and will be hearing a deputation proposing that the Train Station be used as a cultural hub in the community.
Also on the agenda, parking issues downtown, a new playground in Utterson, and an urban streetscape tree planting program.
The town is expected to give an update on current flood conditions.
This is the first meeting since Director of Public Infrastructure and Protective Services Matthew Hartney left the town.



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Road Report
Tuesday, April 15, 2014 (3745 reads)


Highway 11 (Severn Bridge to Muskoka Falls) - bare & dry with bare & wet sections.
Highway 11 (Barrie to Severn Bridge) – N/A
Highway 11 (Muskoka Falls to Emsdale) - bare & wet.
Highway 11 (Emsdale to Strong) - bare & wet with partly snow covered sections.
Highway 11 (Strong to South River) - snow covered. Poor visibility.
Highway 11 (South River to North Bay) -bare & dry with snow covered sections.  
Highway 141 (Hwy 11 /Utterson to Rosseau) - bare & wet.
Highway 141 (Rosseau to Parry Sound) - bare & wet.
Highway 35 (Victoria County to Dwight) - bare & wet.
Highway  400 (Innisfil to Crooked Bay) – N/A
Highway  400 (Crooked Bay to Port Severn) – N/A
Highway  400 (Port Severn to Horseshoe Lake) - bare & wet.
Highway  400 (Horseshoe Lake to Parry Sound) - bare & wet.
Highway  510 - bare & wet with partly snow covered sections.
Highway  518 - bare & wet with partly snow covered sections.
Highway  520 - bare & wet with partly snow covered sections.
Highway 60 (Oxtongue Lake to Huntsville) - bare & wet.
Highway 632 (Rosseau to Minnett) -bare & wet.


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Buses Cancelled
Tuesday, April 15, 2014 (5663 reads)


All buses to schools in Muskoka for Trillium Lakelands District SchoolBoard have been cancelled for Tuesday April 15, 2014

All buses to Honey Harbour Public School are cancelled. 

All buses to St. Dominic Catholic Secondary School, Monsignor Michael O'Leary, Saint Mary and Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Elementary Schools have been cancelled.



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Muskoka Community Network to Bring Faster Internet to Muskoka
Monday, April 14, 2014 (817 reads)


The Muskoka Community Network (MCN) is proud to announce a 5 Mbps Broadband Enhancement Request for Proposal. MCN is seeking submissions from qualified vendors for the provision of broadband service to Almaguin, Muskoka and Parry Sound with speeds of at least 5 Mbps.

MCN works to extend high speed internet coverage in the cottage country of Muskoka and Almaguin, ensuring that businesses who serve this area of Ontario have this important tool. To view the request for proposal or learn more about Muskoka Community Network, visit www.mcnet.ca




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Town Advises Flood Plain Residents to Protect Their Property - Flooding Imminent
Monday, April 14, 2014 (8962 reads)


The Town of Huntsville report that they have been advised by the Ministry of Natural Resources of steadily increasing water flows along the Big East River Course. As a result localized flooding will occur in flood prone areas. Residents living in flood areas (Rivercove, Old North Road, Bridgeview and Glen Acres) need to take immediate action to protect their property. 
Residents in flood prone areas should be advised that they may be affected by power outages if water levels increase and compromise hydro services. 

The Town of Huntsville’s Emergency Control Group has met and will continue to meet to monitor the situation.
Sandbag resources are available through the following companies: 
CRS – 40 Cairns Crescent, Huntsville, 705-788-7718 
Hutcheson Sand and Mixes - 1265 Aspdin Road Quarry, Huntsville, 705-789-4457 
Fowler – Rosewarne Quarry, 1062 Rosewarne Drive, Bracebridge, 705-645-2214 
For the purchase of sand please see “sand and gravel” in the yellow pages in the telephone book. 
Additional sand bag information is available at www.huntsville.ca 



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Mountview Sewage Plant Meeting Tuesday
Monday, April 14, 2014 (1304 reads)


The District of Muskoka is carrying out a new Environmental Assessment to identify a Preferred Solution for replacing the Mountview Wastewater Treatment Plant and improving sewage works in Huntsville in the future. 
The District hosted Public Information session on February 24th, to provide an opportunity for the public to learn about the project and to give input as well as possible Alternative. 
The District is hosting another session to present the Alternative Solutions that have been developed through consultation with interested stakeholders and the public. 
The information is being held tomorrow, April 15th at 7pm at the Active Living Centre.


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Bracebridge Activates Emergency Plan
Monday, April 14, 2014 (8298 reads)


The Town of Bracebridge has activiated its Emergency Plan as they warn that  flooding is imminent  on the North and South Branches of the Muskoka River and Black River.
The town will be making sand bags available, free of charge through Fowler Construction on Rowarne Dr for properties on the affected flood plains.
The Town’s Emergency Control Group met on Sunday and will meet again today to assess local conditions and to review any new information provided by the MNR.



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Service For Delores White Set for April 16
Monday, April 14, 2014 (5048 reads)


A  service will be held for Delores White, the Kearney woman who was murdered on April 6th.  The service will be held on April 16th at St. Patrick's Church in Kearney.
Meanwhile the man charged with murder, Declan Letters, 23, of Kearney will be appearing in court this week and Brock Gould, charged with being an accessory after the fact was in court on Friday, but details have not been released due to a publication ban.


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Animal Shelter Investigates Re-opening
Monday, April 14, 2014 (3740 reads)


The Board of the Animal Shelter for Huntsville has decided, based on the results of the recent survey, to proceed to investigate and set in motion the process to reopen the animal shelter.  The process includes determining renovations needed, operating requirement and  financial sustainability.
The Animal Shelter is currently looking for new board members. They need people that can provide various skills to an animal shelter environment.
If you wish to apply, please go to www.animals-huntsville.on.ca for an application form. Or you can call the shelter at 705-789-9709.

 

       The results of the survey are:                              Yes                      No

 

  1. Is the shelter required?                                     97%                    3% 

 

 

  1. Should municipalities help fund

 

           operating costs?                                                94%                    6%   

 

  1. Should the shelter contract to

 

           provide animal control services?                       88%                    12% 

 

  1. Would you assist with fundraising?                    69%                    31%

 

 

  1. Would individuals and businesses be

 

           willing to make a monthly donation?                  79%                     21%

 

  1. Would you volunteer at the shelter?                   62%                     38%

 



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Weatherman Calls For Rain Changing to Ice Pellets and Snow
Monday, April 14, 2014 (3235 reads)


The weatherman has issued a Rainfall warning for Huntsville, Baysville and the Town of Parry Sound.

Rain associated with a low pressure system will affect the area today. Regions extending from the Bruce Peninsula across Georgian Bay to Parry Sound and Algonquin could see totals of 25 to 50 mm of rain by this evening.
Current indications suggest that rain will begin changing to snow from near Georgian Bay to Lake St Clair tonight with the transition zone reaching Eastern Ontario later Tuesday morning. During this transition, there is a risk of a few hours of freezing rain or ice pellets.

In addition, after the changeover to snow, a few centimetres are likely by the time the snow tapers off later on Tuesday. Temperatures will be sharply colder on Tuesday with afternoon temperatures expected to be below freezing.
Localized flooding in low-lying areas is possible. Avoid driving through water on roads. Even shallow fast moving water across a road can sweep a vehicle or a person away.


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Up to 75mm of Rain Possible by Tuesday
Saturday, April 12, 2014 (7027 reads)


Significant rainfall from late tonight to early Tuesday morning. Several disturbances with associated significant rainfall are expected to move across Southern Ontario in the next few days. There is still uncertainty over exactly how much rain each disturbance will bring. However, indications at this time suggest the total rainfall amounts from tonight to early Tuesday morning could be very high. Regions north of a line from Southern Lake Huron to the Ottawa and Prescott regions could end up with 50 mm to 75 mm. Rainfall amounts are expected to drop off sharply south of this line.


Please consult your local conservation authority or Ontario ministry of natural resources district office for more information on spring flood conditions.

In addition, rain is expected to switch to snow Monday night over regions east of Georgian Bay. Algonquin and Burk's Falls - Bayfield Inlet regions could end up with 5 to 10 cm of snow by Tuesday morning.


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MNR Issue Flood Warning - Flooding Imminent in Low Lying Areas
Saturday, April 12, 2014 (44672 reads)


The Ministry of Natural Resources – Parry Sound District is advising residents within flood-prone locations that a Flood Warning is in effect as flooding is imminent. Residents affected by flooding in past years are advised to take immediate action to secure or protect property in advance of river flows and lake levels rising to flood levels. Those residents that have evacuated their homes in past years due to flooding may wish to make similar preparations at this time as rising water levels will hinder, limit or prevent the ability to evacuate as driveways and roads in lower-lying locations become impassible. All residents in close proximity to local rivers are advised to keep a close watch on conditions, regularly check for updated messages and exercise caution as river flows and levels rise. MNR continues to monitor weather conditions and flows and water levels. Further updates to this Flood Warning will be issued as conditions change. 
TECHNICAL INFORMATION Description of Weather System The current forecast is calling for 45mm or more precipitation beginning the evening of Saturday April 12th through Monday April 14th. The forecast through to next Monday is for daytime high temperatures up to 16 degrees Celsius with near freezing nighttime temperatures. Description of Current Conditions The water content within the existing snow pack throughout local watersheds continues to be greater than the normal or historical average for early April. Forecasted temperatures and rainfall will significantly accelerate the melt of the snow pack Saturday through Monday. It is expected that the melting of the snow pack and rainfall amounts will significantly increase the amount of runoff into local rivers and lakes. 
Stay tuned to Hunters Bay Radio or www.muskokaonline.com for more updates.



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Flaherty Condolence Book Available for Public to Sign
Friday, April 11, 2014 (323 reads)


If any residents wish to sign a condolence book for the late, honorable Jim Flaherty, they can now do so at the office of Muskoka-Parry Sound MP Tony Clement. Cards and letters are also appreciated as they will be passed on to the Flaherty family.

Clement's office is located at 44 King William St in Huntsville.




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Aitchison Officially Files as Huntsville Mayoral Candidate
Friday, April 11, 2014 (5841 reads)


Deputy Mayor of Huntsville, Scott Aitchison, has officially filed to run for mayor in the upcoming election. Aitchison had announced his intentions to run for mayor nearly two weeks ago, and this will be his second time campaigning for the job. Aitchison last ran against Mayor Claude Doughty eight years ago but lost. He sat out one term before returning in the last election as a district councilor.


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Hernen on Flood - "We're in Trouble"
Friday, April 11, 2014 (42882 reads)


Fire Chief Steve Hernen is warning residents that the flood situation has changed,  and based on the forecast, flooding may occur by Monday  in low lying areas.  The forecast is calling for up to 45mm of rain and temperatures not expected to drop below zero slowing the thaw.  Hernen says that the water content in the snowpack is at 60% - a significant increase over last year and he expects the snowpack will "let go" releasing significant amounts of water into the system.
Hernen is advising residents to pay close attention to media advisories and be ready to leave their homes if necessary.


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MNR Issue Flood Watch
Friday, April 11, 2014 (75095 reads)


The MNR has issued a flood watch for Parry Sound and Muskoka.  The MNR says water levels are expected to continue to rise and residents should keep a close eye on conditions and check for updates.
The MNR is advising those who live in low lying flood prone areas to take measures to protect your property.  Fire Chief Steve Hernen says that all oil tanks and propane tanks should be properly secured so they cannot float away and cause environmental and safety hazards.
The weatherman is calling for warm temperatures and rain this weekend before it cools down again next week.



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Hernen Says Flood Outlook is Looking Good
Friday, April 11, 2014 (1561 reads)


FIre Chief Steve Hernen says that while there is a lot of water content in the snow this year compared to last year, he expects that unless there is a significant change in the weather, flooding should not be a problem.

In an exclusive interview with HBR, Hernen said that the Town continues to monitor flows from the Big East River and is currently running at 33 cubic feet per second, well below the flood volumes of 98 cubic feet per second.

Last year, the warm weather plus a significant rainfall increased water flow volumes to over 246 cubic feet per second, well above any previous flood data.

So far the low temperatures at night are making for a slow thaw and Hernen says the snow pack can still take on more water without risk of flooding as long as it keeps cool at night.

 



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Algonquin Theatre Website Hit by Heartbleed Bug
Friday, April 11, 2014 (7625 reads)


The Algonquin Theatre website was shut down for a while yesterday, caught by the same infection that affected the CRA website and preventing them from selling tickets online.   The Heartbleed Bug is affecting servers across the country, most notably, The Canadian Revenue Agency, which stopped Canadians from being able to file their tax returns online this week.

The Algonquin Theatre's site is back up and running, however the CRA website should be back up by this weekend. 



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Thompson Files for District
Friday, April 11, 2014 (623 reads)


Councilor Brian Thompson has filed to run as a District Councilor in the upcoming election this fall.  This will be Thompson's fifth campaign, having started his political career as a councilor for Chaffey Ward for 2 terms and moving to Town & District in the last 2 elections.

Thompson says that roads will be a focus for  him in the next term, funneling a higher percentage of tax dollars into road reconstruction and with that, develop a sustainable public works program so that we are always ahead of road reconstruction.

A program to help small business - something Thompson says he's already started working on, is his other priority.

Thompson also is concerned about the moral in Town Hall and he hopes that it will improve with a new council next year.



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Clement Shocked at Flaherty's Passing
Friday, April 11, 2014 (672 reads)


Muskoka Parry Sound MP Tony Clement, who had known Finance Minister Jim Flaherty for 25 years called the passing of his seat mate "tragic" yesterday.  Both Flaherty and Clement ran for the leadership of the Progressive Conservatives after the Harris government and became good friends.

Clement said that he hoped that Flaherty's resignation would have allowed him to get better quicker and see his kids more often.

The former Finance Minister passed away yesterday, only weeks after resigning.



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2014 Municipal Election Information Session Set for April 17
Thursday, April 10, 2014 (183 reads)


If you or someone you know is interested in running in the 2014 Municipal Election, there is a candidate information session being held on April 17th for the District Municipality of Muskoka. 

The free session will inform attendees with the nomination process, financial filing, campaign period, and the responsibilities of the candidates. 

The event takes place from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at The District Municipality of Muskoka council chambers at 70 Pine Street in Bracebridge on Thursday, April 17. For more information, contact your local area municipal clerk.




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FYCSM Looking for Nominations For Community Service Award
Thursday, April 10, 2014 (365 reads)


The Family Youth & Child Services Muskoka is looking for nominations for the Jessie Dunn Award.  The award will go to someone who has worked with children and youth in the past or present and who have made an outstanding contribution to the community.

The award will be presented at their Annual General Meeting on June 18th.

For more information call 705-645-4426



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Swift River Energy Disappointed With Decison
Thursday, April 10, 2014 (2332 reads)


The Swift River Energy company says it still intends to move forward with their hydro project in Bala after a decision by the Ontario Court of Appeal that sided with the Township of Muskoka Lakes argument to allow protected access to land at the falls can be heard again in court.

The township released a statement saying that “in a decision dated April 7, 2014, the Ontario Court of Appeal granted the Township’s motion for leave to appeal a decision of the Divisional Court of Ontario.”

The Divisional Court had refused a request for a judicial review, which sought recognition and protection of the public’s right to portage across public lands between Lake Muskoka and the Moon River and to access the Moon River for recreational purposes from those public lands. The Court of Appeal will now consider the strength of the historic rights afforded to the public to enjoy Crown lands and the use of adjacent waters, under Ontario’s Public Lands Act.



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MNR Updates Flood Outlook
Thursday, April 10, 2014 (10031 reads)


The MNR updated its flood outlook yesterday and while they say that the water content in the snowpack is 60% above the normal average for this time of year, flooding in not expected at this time. 

The MNR says that despite the warmer temperatures forecasted this week, the intact snowpack will retain much of the rainfall and the cooler temperatures at night will moderate the melt.

However they do warn that water levels will continue to rise and water flows will increase this weekend.



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FAB14 Coming to Burks Falls
Thursday, April 10, 2014 (10969 reads)


The Burks Falls Chamber of Commerce has announced that the Festival of Almaguin Business will be held on May 24th and they are looking for businesses to exhibit.  The event will take over Main Street in Burks Falls and feature a children's zone, concerts in the park and more.

For more information contact the Burks Falls Chamber of Commerce.



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Hospital Closed Today During Planned Outage
Wednesday, April 09, 2014 (1959 reads)


The Huntsville District Memorial Hospital will be closed today as work through a planned, eight hour outage of the emergency back-up power system. The outage is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. and end by 5 p.m.
There will be no surgeries, or ambulatory or outpatient procedures. Ambulances will bypass the Emergency Department, which will have the capacity to operate as an urgent care centre only. 
Should you require treatment or care, the MAHC is encouraging you to visit your family doctor or primary care provider if possible. During the outage their staff will be focused on providing safe, quality care to our current patients.



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Aitchison Has Yet to File for Top Job
Wednesday, April 09, 2014 (3547 reads)


Despite announcements to the contrary, only one person has filed to run in the next municipal election in Huntsville.  Councilor Tim Withey filed on Mar 25th.
However, Councilor Scott Aitchison announced his intention to run for mayor last week at the Rotary Club, but has not officially filed with the town.
When contacted by HBR, Aitchison said that he had planned to file by Tuesday.



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Huntsville Hospital Closed Tomorrow During Planned Outage
Tuesday, April 08, 2014 (4640 reads)


Tomorrow the Huntsville District Memorial Hospital will experience a planned, eight hour outage of the emergency back-up power system. The outage is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. and end by 5 p.m.

During the outage, there will be no surgeries, or ambulatory or outpatient procedures. Ambulances will bypass the Emergency Department, which will have the capacity to operate as an urgent care centre only. Other facilities, including the South Muskoka Memorial Hospital Site in Bracebridge, will be used for obstetrical deliveries on April 8 and 9.

Chief Executive of Diagnostics, Ambulatory and Planning, Harold Featherston said, “We appreciate your understanding that we will be discouraging visiting during this period of time.”  Should you require treatment or care, we are encouraging you to visit your family doctor or primary care provider if possible. During the outage our staff will be focused on providing safe, quality care to our current patients.



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Fire Levels German Canadian Club
Monday, April 07, 2014 (34434 reads)


Fire crews from Huntsville and Baysville responded to a  fire at the Old German Canadian Club this afternoon. When crews reached the scene they found the upper story of the building fully involved. No one was occupying the building at the time of the fire. Crews were delayed in reaching the building as the lane way leading to the building had not been plowed all year. The building is a total loss valued at 250K no cause has been determined at this time.


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Pender Lands on his Feet
Monday, April 07, 2014 (6132 reads)


Former CAO Kelly Pender has moved on to the top job at the County of Frontenac near Kingston, Ontario.  The town of Huntsville announced Pender's resignation on March 14th.  Other media reports say that Pender was given a lump sum payment on his departure.  Pender was on contract to the town until sometime next year, after the next municipal election.

It appears that Pender applied for the new job before the competition closed on Feb 21st, and he was offered the job sometime before April 3rd when it was made public.

The new job offers a salary between $137,014 to $159,348 with  what is described as "excellent benefits".  Pender was paid $146,482.50 plus benefits last year in Huntsville.



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Special Weather Statement for Area
Monday, April 07, 2014 (12160 reads)


A moisture-laden Texas low is setting its sights on Central Ontario. The Weatherman says a disturbance over Western Tennessee is forecast to intensify and track toward the Lower Great Lakes today. The most likely trajectory is across Ohio to Lake Ontario by Tuesday morning. Rain is expected to develop over parts of Southern Ontario this afternoon, reaching Georgian Bay by this evening.

A significant general rainfall of 15 to 25 mm is likely over much of Southern and Eastern Ontario with the higher amounts likely closer to lakes Erie and Ontario. Rainfall warnings have been issued northeast of Lake Ontario where 25 to 35 mm of rain are forecast.

The rain will likely change to a heavy wet snow this evening mainly over the higher terrain of the Dundalk and Haliburton Highlands. A significant accumulation of 5 to 10 centimetres appears likely in these areas before it tapers off early Tuesday. Locally higher amounts are possible, especially through Algonquin Park area. Snowfall warnings may be required.

On a more spring-like note, the warmest weather of the season is likely on Thursday to the south of Georgian Bay, quickly erasing any memory of the snow on Monday night. Temperatures are expected to climb into the mid to upper teens, but will likely be more muted east of Georgian Bay.



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Heavy Snow Forecast for Monday Night
Saturday, April 05, 2014 (19533 reads)


The spring roller coaster of weather continues.  A disturbance currently brewing over New Mexico is forecast to shift into Texas on Sunday then make a beeline for the Lower Great Lakes on Monday. Although there is some uncertainty in the forecast track of the centre of low pressure, it appears the most likely trajectory is across Ohio then the extreme Lower Great Lakes. Rain is expected to develop over parts of Southern Ontario during the day Monday, reaching Georgian Bay in the evening. The rain may quickly change to a heavy wet snow Monday evening mainly over the higher terrain of the Dundalk and Haliburton Highlands. A significant accumulation in excess of 10 centimetres is possible in these areas before it tapers off early Tuesday.

On a more spring-like note, the warmest weather of the season is likely on Thursday to the south of Georgian Bay, quickly erasing any memory of the snow on Monday night. Temperatures are expected to climb into the mid teens, but will be likely more muted east of Georgian Bay.



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Top Researchers to Discuss Environment and Economy at Bracebridge Summit
Friday, April 04, 2014 (11313 reads)


Almost 300 participants will be in Bracebridge May 8th and 9th at the Muskoka Summit on the environment to explore the assumed conflict between environment and economy. 

“We are excited to bring together six leading experts from across North America to explore the perceived dichotomy between environmental and economic health,” said Andrea Smith, Chair of the organizing committee. 

The Summit Speakers include renowned Canadian naturalist Robert Bateman, McGill Professor Elena Bennett, and many other prominent figures in the environmental community.

“At a time when the world is changing rapidly, we need to understand more clearly how environment and economy are linked,” said Peter Sale, a member of the Organizing Committee and Chair of the Muskoka Watershed Council.

The two-day summit will commence with individual presentations by each participant followed by a panel discussion involving all speakers, and moderated by CBC’s Paul Kennedy.  

Register for the Summit at www.muskokasummit.org before April 15,  for a chance to win a one-year family membership at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.


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Huntsville Residents Protest Hydro Rates
Friday, April 04, 2014 (2280 reads)


Dozens of people braved the bitterly cold wind to voice their concerns about the sky high prices of electricity today in Huntsville.  The protest, one of 34 in the province, was designed to bring awareness to the financial burden that the current Hydro One rates and billing practices have on area residents.

We heard from many who said that that their bills had doubled or more, with other stating that they owed thousands of dollars to the utility.

Sheri Boles , an organizer of the event said that there is something fundamentally wrong with the way the new smart meters work , or don't according to Boles.  She said that the meters don't work well in rural areas where cell reception is poor and this leads to billing issues .



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Bear Beating Trial Delayed Until May
Friday, April 04, 2014 (2138 reads)


A Bracebridge man who was charged after reports of beating a bear with a rock has had his case put over until May 2nd.

The 41 year-old  man who charged under the Ontario SPCA Act after beating a wounded bear to death was not in court today in Huntsville, but his lawyer asked that the case be sheduled for pre-trial arguments  next month.

On November 3, on Bethune Drive in Gravenhurst, a bear was struck by the accused vehicle. Photographer captured  the accused as  he proceeded to beat the bear with a rock repeatedly.

The charges include:

• Causing an animal to be in distress;

• Failing to comply with Ontario Regulation– Standards of Care for animals: - failure to kill an animal by a method that is humane and minimizes the pain and distress to the animal.



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Hydro Protest Today
Friday, April 04, 2014 (17966 reads)


Residents of Huntsville will be joining in a province wide protest against hydro rates today in front of the Service Ontario location on Main St West.   Sheri Boles, an organizer with the event says that she has heard some very horrific stories of loss, frustration, and deep devastation with how hydro bills are affecting people. She says seniors, small business and all alike are struggling and they're not backing down.

The protest starts at 11am today and runs until 1pm.



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Environment Canada Warning of Brief Period of Freezing Rain
Friday, April 04, 2014 (4263 reads)


Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for Parry Sound Muskoka.  The weatherman is calling for significant rain for all regions with a brief period of freezing rain for many areas.

A low pressure system from the southern plains will spread rain into Southern Ontario today.

An area of rain will move into Southwestern Ontario this morning and then spread northeastward to reach Eastern Ontario this afternoon. The rain may begin as patchy freezing rain near and north of a line from Kitchener through Northern Toronto this morning. Any freezing rain is expected to be light and brief and quickly change to plain rain as temperatures rise above freezing. Freezing rain warnings are not anticipated.

General rainfall amounts of 15 to 25 mm are expected. However, isolated thunderstorms are likely to affect some locales giving the threat for locally higher amounts.

Poor driving conditions may be possible during the morning commute from Kitchener to Northern Toronto and northward towards Georgian Bay due to patchy freezing rain causing icy roads.



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