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Man arrested at Meaford Hospital

A Meaford man faces several charges after a tirade at an area hospital on Saturday afternoon. The incident occurred at about 2 p.m. after a man, who had fallen off his bicycle, was transported by ambulance to the Grey Bruce Health Services-Meaford. While being assessed and treated he became agitated and aggressive. Threats were directed at one of the nursing staff and he was asked to leave the facility. He went into a room in the emergency department and came out with a metal chain belt in hand.  The belt was swung around in a threatening manner toward staff and slammed into the counter at nurse’s station. The man refused to leave and continued to shout obscenities before Grey County OPP officers attended. During his arrest he was non-compliant and combative and a struggle with police ensued before he was brought under control.  Karl Wegner,52, of Meaford was charged with the Criminal Code offences of Utter Threats, Possession of a Weapon Dangerous, Assault with a Weapon, Two Counts of Cause Disturbance and Resisting Arrest. He is in custody and scheduled to appear for a bail hearing in the Ontario Court of Justice-Owen Sound.


Driver error ruled out in Hwy. 400 crash

Police have ruled out driver error in a multi-vehicle crash on Hwy. 400 last week that sent an Alliston man to hospital with life-threatening injuries. Thursday morning a northbound transport truck crashed through the centre guardrail on Hwy. 400 just north of Hwy. 88. The truck collided with a southbound Ford Explorer, driven by a 40-year-old Alliston man. The man was airlifted to a Toronto hospital where he was in critical condition. OPP Sgt. Dave Woodford said there was no update on his condition. His identity is not being released. Woodford said investigators have ruled out driver error, but they still aren’t sure what caused the crash. He said the truck driver would not be charged. “It could have been one of those things that he hit a patch of ice and flew across the highway,” Woodford said.


Coldwater trail plan has its fans

Turning a former rail bed into a trail for walkers, cyclists and others would prove a financial boon to the Coldwater area while promoting healthy living, proponents of the plan say. “We want to have people visit the community,” said Marvin Wright, owner of an antiques shop in nearby Fesserton. A six-kilometre stretch between Coldwater and Waubaushene is one of a few unfinished sections of the Trans-Canada Trail. “It has been a gap for quite some time,” said Frieda Baldwin, a member of Huronia Trails and Greenways. Local trail advocates are hoping Severn Township can tap into a $25-million federal fund earmarked for improvements and expansions to the country’s trail system. Funding will go to projects that are set to break ground in 2009-10, said Simcoe North MP Bruce Stanton. “Certainly, the projects that are ready to go now are going to be favoured,” Stanton told an audience in Coldwater. While supportive of the call for the trail’s development, Mayor Phil Sled said the local project is far from shovel-ready. He said his municipality is working to ensure the former CN rail line does not pose environmental hazards before agreeing to assume ownership of the line, which extends to Orillia. The rail bed, currently under the control of the Trans-Canada Trail System, was once bordered by railway stations, Sled added. “We want it, but we want our concerns resolved,” he said. Provincial and municipal governments will contribute funds to individual projects in partnership with the National Trails Coalition. “Canada’s trails network helps us get to the heart of our amazing outdoors,” Stanton said. “It enriches the health and enjoyment of countless Canadians.” Coldwater resident Jane Dunlop said other trails in the area regularly draw scores of visitors. “It used to be that people would look for a golf course; now they look for trails,” she noted. “Everybody is on them.” Sled said the township is scheduled to meet with representatives of the Trans-Canada Trail System later this month. [email protected]


Cranberry starts fundraising program for hospital

Starting on April 10, Cranberry Resort will add $1 to each guest bill to help raise money for Collingwood General & Marine Hospital. The money will go to purchase equipment at the hospital. "Whether you are a full or part time resident, a tourist or someone just driving through to another destination, when you’re in the Collingwood area, the G&M is your hospital," said Larry Law, owner of Cranberry Resort. "Everyone needs to help ensure that our hospital is equipped to diagnose and treat every patient who presents for care." Law said with 250 guest rooms, the program could generate $20,000 annually for the hospital. More than 30,000 patients visit the hospital’s emergency department every year and about 20 per cent of those patients are not from Collingwood, Wasaga Beach, Clearview Township or The Blue Mountains. "We understand that our Hospital feels unique pressures from the tourism industry.  Our goal is to work through the G&M Hospital Foundation to help offset some of that pressure by helping to fund equipment not covered by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care," said Law.


Police get help from anonymous callers

The job of the police is to solve crimes, but even the most skilled officer can use a little help from time to time. In the month of March, 208 callers to Crime Stoppers of Simcoe-Dufferin-Muskoka lent a hand, offering tips that led to the clearing of 17 cases. The investigations resulted in 15 arrests and 24 charges for drug possession, possession of stolen property and other criminal code offences. Since it began in 1987, Crime Stoppers has facilitated 3,300 arrests and the recovery of nearly $9.9 million in stolen property. Anyone with information about a crime that has occurred can call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).


$1,000 fine for illegal hunting

A North York man was fined a total of $1,000 in the Ontario Court of Justice, Owen Sound, on February 23, 2009 for illegal hunting activities. Pietro Galloro, 58, was fined $500 for killing a deer without a licence and $500 for unlawful possession of the deer. The court heard that on November 6, 2008, conservation officers who were on routine patrol in the Municipality of Grey Highlands stopped Galloro, who was driving by on an all-terrain vehicle.  He was carrying a firearm and was not wearing a helmet.  Further investigation determined that Galloro had killed a deer the day before without the proper licence. He had taken the untagged deer to his farm where it was butchered. Hunters can only harvest deer for which they have the proper validation tag. Justice of the Peace David Stafford heard the case.


Arena pro shop contract awarded

A recorded vote secured a new contract for the New Tecumseth Recreation Complex’s pro shop, which was awarded to George’s Arena Sports Monday night. Deputy Mayor Rick Milne was acting mayor for the night and asked for the recorded vote. As Coun. Richard Norcross operates the Hornet’s Nest at the complex and Coun. Jess Prothero works at the Hornet’s Nest, both declared a conflict of interest on the item. Milne was the only member of council opposed to awarding the contract to George’s Arena Sports. George’s Arena Sports is owned by Glenn Tilson, who lives in Tottenham and has operated a similar business in Bolton for about 10 years. At last week’s committee of the whole meeting, Milne raised questions about the pro shop contract and said the town might lose the Basic Hockey Skills camps ice time if the pro shop contract didn’t go to C and C Sports, owned by Clay Birkett and Chris Pilon. C and C had also tendered for the pro shop contract. Manger of Parks, Recreation and Culture Joyce Epstein said she had a request from another private hockey school looking for ice time should Basic Hockey Skills pull out. The pro shop contract is for four years, with the Tilson paying $10,000 plus GST each year for the space. Improvements to the space are expected over June and July and the pro shop is expected to by fully operational for the start of the regular ice season in August. The pro shop was occupied by Hutchinson Sports from October 2007 until this past January.


Mayor talks about Great Lakes issues at provincial conference

The Blue Mountains Mayor, Ellen Anderson, presented the eco and economic issues surrounding Ontario and America’s fresh water resources at a municipal leaders convention last week. She spoke on the mandates and efforts of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative (GLSLCI), an organization of mayors and local officials from the states and provinces bordering the great lakes working with the upper levels of government to protect and restore the lakes and waterway. Anderson sits on the Board of Directors for the initiative. She made the presentation at the Ontario Good Roads Association and Rural Ontario Municipal Association joint conference on February 22 to 25 in Toronto with the hopes of spreading awareness and recruiting new members for the initiative. "I believe it is an extremely important organization that has a true voice," said Anderson. "It’s becoming highly recognized by the province … I think more and more we’re being recognized as a very good resource for them and vice versa." Her presentation included information on invasive species, the harmful effects of improper dredging, water levels, water-related infrastructure costs, the importance of the Great Lakes and a recent Canada-Ontario Agreement allowing the GLSLCI to form a taskforce to advise the Provincial and Federal levels of government on their water-related decisions. "Our future direction is to work closely again with the municipalities to encourage environmental and economic development," said Anderson. "These things have to go hand in hand." Most of the involvement in the initiative so far has come from the cities on the border of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence. Anderson says the initiative is targeting municipalities more inland now. "Water is water, it starts from the source and ends in the bays," she said. "The more municipalities involved, the greater the voice." Anderson said her seminar was well attended and well received. Other speakers at the event included Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, Transportation Minister Jim Bradley and Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Jim Watson.