The warm winds of spring made for a colourful day on Kempenfelt Bay Tuesday, as kite skiers took to the frozen lake for some high-speed riding. Spring-like temperatures have put an end to ice sports on the bay but it won’t be long now until the kiters will be riding waves. Police remind the public the ice is no longer safe.
(Staff) – Midland residents eager to prove that man is a dog’s best friend will be taking part in the Friends for Life walk-a-thon on May 24. The event is the largest fundraiser of the year for the Midland branch of the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, raising $11,000 in 2008. The goal is to double that this year. "We can reach our goal if 100 people joined and each person raised at least $200 of pledges," said branch manager Maureen Dool, adding she is aiming to raise $1,000 herself. All the money raised will go toward care of the animals at the shelter. "I am hoping some of our past rescued dogs will join us on the walk," she added. "It’s exciting to see them with their families and how they have matured into great friends." Registration begins at 9 a.m., with the walk starting at 10 a.m. Visit to register or to learn more about the walk. Pledge forms are also available at the shelter, local veterinary offices, Pet Valu and Global Pet Foods. A free lunch and drinks will be provided. There will also be a number of prizes up for grabs, including a Disney World holiday for two.
New Tecumseth is declaring land in Beeton and Tottenham surplus to allow for it to be sold. In Beeton the property is at 195 Centre St. N. The parcel of land is landlocked and abuts several properties. Beeton Coun. Richard Norcross said one of the residents abutting the land would like to purchase it. The land is an easement and is not suitable for buildings, which Norcross said the owner is aware of. Norcross said the owner already enjoys the use of the property and would like to legally own it. "He just wants to enjoy the property and pay us to do that," said Norcross. The former youth centre in Tottenham is also being declared surplus. The property is located at 34 Queen St. N. At last week’s committee of the whole meeting, Greg Perantinos pitched a business deal to council to buy the property and operate his ice cream shop at the location. Last summer Perantinos’ ice cream shop was located just south of the Queen and Mill Street intersection in downtown Tottenham, next to the Royal Bank. "It would just really allow me to bring the community together," said Perantinos. Coun. Jim Stone said allowing Perantinos to expand his business at the new location would enhance Tottenham’s downtown. "Tottenham’s downtown has been going backwards, we’ve had businesses leave and we’re getting a lot of holes there," said Stone. "He’s a great entrepreneur and a great asset for Tottenham." Earlier this year Coun. Jess Prothero asked council to approve demolishing the former youth centre building. He said when he brought that up before it was because of the way the building looks. Prothero said he supports Perantinos’ vision for the building and is looking forward to see how it would appear.
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.
A man has been charged with drunk driving for the second time in two weeks, the latest time after crashing into a sign at the front of Tecumseth Beeton Elementary School Friday. The crash happened at about 3:30 p.m., just as students would normally be getting out of school. Friday was a professional development day though, meaning students were not at school. A witness saw the accused drive into the school parking lot, jump a curb and then hit the sign. He damaged his vehicle and attempted and tried to back out of the sign, but his wheels were left spinning on the grass. One witness said he asked the driver if he was injured, but the man seemed disoriented and confused. The driver then ran on foot towards Main Street. The accused was followed by a witness until police arrested him minutes later. The 46-year-old man, formerly of Palgrave, was charged with impaired driving and diving with over 80 milligrams of alcohol in his blood.
Huronia West OPP say Elmvale District High School was vandalized. The incident happened around 12:30 a.m. on March 23. Police went to the school in response to an alarm that was triggered. "Upon arrival it was discovered that unknown individuals used a 20-pound propane tank to break the south window of the athletics department," Const. Mark Kinney said. "Fortunately the school did not lose any property in this crime." Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the detachment at 429-3575. Tips can also be left with Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.
Simcoe County should ease the burden on companies to keep jobs as well as attract new ones as it sets taxes this year, some county politicians say. With a $437-million budget that requires a 3.4 per cent tax hike, the county must now set tax ratios — that is, how to spread the bill among the classes of properties, such as residential, commercial and farm. Based on last year’s practices, a home assessed at $200,000 would see an increase of $19.59. But the county has the option of using certain tax tools to protect — and even stimulate — business. Shifting more of the tax burden to residential from industrial is one method. “Most folks in economic development recognize job growth comes from existing, not new, businesses,” said Collingwood Mayor Chris Carrier, who urged the county’s strategic Performance Management Committee to recommend the change. “We can take a leadership role. We have a diverse base in Collingwood and I do realize it would mean shifting (taxes) onto residents, but it could mean stronger employment for Collingwood and our neighbours as well.” In these tough times, giving business a break could mean the difference between being profitable and being unprofitable or locating here or going elsewhere, added Essa Mayor David Guergis. “We had a company looking to build two plants. We thought they were coming. But they went to the United States,” Guergis said. “Now the taxes are zero and the jobs are zero, and they’re gone to the U.S. The development charge loss is huge. “(A break on taxes) could make a difference on your bottom line on whether you’re profitable or not. It’s not a big burden for the ratepayers to hold jobs. It might mean $15 more and being able to keep and attract factories.” County councillors have until April 30 to set the tax-ratio policy, and are expected to discuss the issue at a strategic planning session March 31
When she steps onto the competition floor Apr. 24 in Windsor, Mariposa Gymnastics Club member Ali Archer will be retracing a path she has taken numerous times before. While only 16, this will mark her fifth appearance at the Ontario Gymnastics Federation Championships. “It never gets boring because there are different kids every year and it’s a different level, so it’s always exciting,” said the ODCVI Grade 10 student. Her goal is simple. “At a competition (in St. Catharines) we just had, the same girls were there that I am going to be competing against in Windsor. At that event, I finished 11th, which was a big disappointment for me. I definitely want to finish in the top 10,” she said. At the recent Ontario Cup qualifying event, held at Base Borden, Archer finished third overall in the 14 and Over, Level 6 Division. At that event, Archer posted second-place finishes in the vault and balance beam, third on the uneven bars, while also posting a fifth-place finish in the floor program. While now accustomed to facing the best in the province, Archer said performing at such a high level takes a toll mentally and physically. “I get still get pretty nervous before I perform and I still shake a lot. But it is better in that I know what is going on in front of me and nothing I will be experiencing will be new,” said Archer. She is hoping efforts to improve her floor routine will provide dividends at the Ontario finals. As a member of Mariposa for 13 years, Archer has been one of the guiding lights in the club, and one of the senior gymnasts the younger girls look up to. She feels comfortable being a role model. “For someone to be in the club as long as I have, it’s only natural for the younger ones to look up to someone who has been here so long,” said Archer.
Beaver Valley Outreach’s annual Easter Eggstavaganza once again drew crowds this year featuring an egg hunt in a mound of shredded paper, face painting, music, raffles and a petting zoo, organized by the Beaver Valley Agricultural Society. The event took place at the Beaver Valley Community Centre on Saturday, April 11 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. This was the eighth consecutive year that BVO organized the event. Among scavenger hunts and egg dying crafts, BVO music director Jay Stiles started a drum circle for the children to participate in. BVO’s Treasure Shop brought along some items for sale, which, according to BVO executive director Carolyn Letourneau, helped raise the profile of BVO with families in the community and reinforce the importance of recycling gently used treasures to BVO. The Beaver Valley Agricultural Society, local Girl Guides, Kinettes and L.E. Shore Memorial library also organized events for the day. Letourneau offered thanks for the Rocklyn Academy girls and support staff, The Blue Mountains, Beaver Valley Preschool, Apple Valley Juice Co. and all of the volunteers. "Without your support this would not have been possible," she said. For more information on BVO programs and services, visit www.bvo.ca.