John Crispo’s resignation as the Clearview Township councillor for Ward 3 has left council with some decisions to make. Council declared the Ward 3 seat empty on Monday night, exactly a week after accepting Crispo’s letter of resignation. The same night as his letter was accepted, Crispo died of cancer at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto. Township clerk Bob Campbell says that under the Municipal Act, officials now have 60 days to decide whether they will appoint someone to fill the vacancy or hold a by-election. The municipality has been in this position once before since amalgamation in 1994. In 2005, when then Ward 3 councillor Ian Lang died suddenly from a pulmonary embolism, council decided to appoint Marc Royal. Council made the decision after learning a by-election would cost $10,000-$20,000. Appointing someone again might be the best decision, since the next municipal election is just over a year away, in November 2010. In his resignation letter, read at council last week by Ward 4 councillor Thom Paterson, Crispo suggested council appoint Judy Fuke, his campaign manager, saying she is willing to serve if asked. Meanwhile, a celebration of life service for Crispo has been announced. The family says it will take place on Fri., May 8 at 3 p.m., at Station on the Green in Creemore. The station is located on Caroline Street. The family notes that donations in memory of Crispo can be made to the Princess Margaret Foundation For Cancer Research. Crispo died Mon., April 27 after losing an 18-year battle with cancer. Along with being a municipal councillor, Crispo was a respected and well-known economist, lecturer and author. Mayor Ken Ferguson issued a statement about Crispo on Friday. “He was very passionate about his ward and he will be greatly missed by his colleagues and friends in Clearview,” he said.
Tree sculptors Robbin Wenzoski, left, and Colin Partridge transform an old maple tree in front of St. Andrew’s Church, on Wellington Street West in Alliston, into an angel using their chainsaws. The church commissioned the work. After the carving is done and the finish painted on, the two sculptors will have put about 40 hours of work into the project. Anyone who hasn’t checked it out yet, should take a drive or stroll by, it’s really quite remarkable.
Alliston’s Stevenson Memorial Hospital has issued an alert and is advising the community to be on the lookout for a virulent strain of an influenza-like illness that may have been carried into the country from Mexico. The hospital was notified by the Ministry of Health that cases of severe respiratory illness have been identified in various regions of south and central Mexico. The cases elevated from flu-like symptoms to severe respiratory conditions in about five days with some patients even needing assisted ventilation. Anyone who has returned from a trip to Mexico within the last two weeks and is experiencing signs and symptoms of an influenza-like illness is being advised to go to their local emergency room for treatment immediately. Signs and symptoms include a cough, sore throat, fever and chills, muscle and joint aches, and shortness of breath. It’s important to note that so far no cases have been identified at Stevenson Memorial Hospital. The hospital reminds the community once again that the spread of infections can be largely prevented by following a few simple practices including good hand hygiene by washing your hands well and often, the use of an anti-bacterial hand sanitizer, sneezing coughing into your upper sleeve or elbow rather than your hands and staying at home when you are ill.
The first case of swine flu in Simcoe County was confirmed in Barrie on Monday but there are still no cases at Collingwood General and Marine Hospital. According to a press release from Illona Smith at G&M, the hospital continues to be on alert and is "monitoring the situation closely." Patients coming to the hospital can expect to be asked a number of relevant questions and may be asked to wear a mask if they are symptomatic. Patients who are asked to wear a mask must remain in the assigned waiting areas until they are asked to move. The hospital is currently rolling out pandemic plans to ensure they are prepared. Regular staff meetings are being held to ensure everyone is up to date on the latest information and plans and procedures are in place. If you have travelled to Mexico recently and are feeling well, monitor yourself for flu-like symptoms. In the meantime, go about your normal routine. If you are feeling well, it’s not necessary to go to the G&M’s emergency department or your family doctor. Smith said the hospital is reminding people to wash their hands frequently and thoroughly, cough or sneeze into their upper sleeve, stay home when they are sick, and talk to their health care professional if they are experiencing flu-like symptoms The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit on Monday received confirmation that a resident of the region was infected with the swine flu. The individual had a mild case of the H1N1 virus, was not admitted to hospital, and has since recovered. "Our healthcare providers have been conducting increased surveillance, so we have been expecting that we would see a case," said Dr. Charles Gardner, medical officer of health for the county. The illness was confirmed by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, and was connected to a trip to Mexico. "The health unit, together with our local health care providers and our public health partners in Ontario and Canada, are continuing to monitor the situation closely," Gardner added. In a separate statement, the region’s Catholic school board said a student at Barrie’s St. Joan of Arc High School had tested positive for the virus. "However, we have been advised by the (health unit) that the case was mild and that the contagious period is passed," the board said. No other information was being released for reasons of confidentiality. The school will remain open, as the health unit has advised that "there is no elevated risk of transmission from this situation," the board added. If you have travelled to Mexico and are experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness, contact your health care provider or call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000. – with files from Frank Matys.