Blackhawks win OMHA title

The Collingwood Hanna Motors Atom AE Blackhawks were crowned OMHA Champions last week by defeating New Hamburg in the finals. The members of the team are: Tyler Atkinson, Hazen Mercer, Ethan Parent, Morgan Lewis, Joesph Sammon, Justin Mills, Brandon Piroli, Jarryd Ling, Nicholas Sammons, Adam Leal, Jaden Dankevy Jacob Kranjec, William Hanna, David Evans and Dylan Demers. The coaching staff is Peter Sammon, Steve Sammons, Adam Parent, Peter Atkinson and Steve Lewis. Contributed Photo/Tempo Photography


Town selling off properties

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.


Glossy report cost effective says mayor

Simcoe County politicians are defending the distribution of a full-colour report, For the Greater Good, to every household in the region. At a cost of $192,641, the publication highlights services the county provides, not only for its ratepayers, but also the social and children’s programs and land ambulance services for Barrie and Orillia. At 24 pages, it cost the county 91 cents per copy to create and mail. Literally weeks after the county unveiled the report, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing urged municipalities to rely on non-print advertising. "As a recipient of public funds, your organization has an obligation to ensure that these funds provide value and are spent prudently," said Municipal Affairs and Housing deputy minister Fareed Amin. Collingwood Mayor Chris Carrier, who didn’t support sending out the guide that he called a "sales pitch for a region," called the province irresponsible. "What a condescending, paternalistic letter from the province," he said. "For a letter like that to come from the province to elected officials is irresponsible. We are the most responsible level of government." Oro-Medonte Mayor Harry Hughes was also "taken aback" and defended the booklet. "I’d say the value for money exceeds other ways (of getting the message out)," Hughes said. "Some ratepayers seem to think we’re extravagant. I really think it’s the most cost-effective way to go." Carrier said For The Greater Good does meet a critical need by raising awareness of what the county does. "When (mayors and deputy mayors) go out and campaign, we’re not asked questions about the county," he said, acknowledging there’s a low level of public awareness about the children’s services, the long-term care housing, land ambulance, and Ontario Works programs, as well as the transportation and environmental services. However, Carrier suggested the county could get better value by distributing smaller reports on specific topics – such as garbage collection, road improvements or long-term care – or by adding more content into the waste management calendar it produces, which people keep and use all year. "I have that at home. We keep that, because it’s informative," he said. "(For The Greater Good) is a one-time thing. It would be interesting to see how many are in the recycling bin."


Dentist part of medical mission

Stayner dentist Ted Proctor is part of a 26-member team heading to the Dominican Republic on March 29 for a one-week medical mission trip. Proctor, a Wasaga Beach resident, said the trip marks his fifth time to the impoverished country in the last three years. While in the Dominican Republic, Proctor will provide dentistry to Haitian refugees who have come to the country looking for work. He said that it was through long-time friends who visit the country for mission purposes that he learned of the opportunity to help. Proctor said he takes part as a way to give back. “Our country is so blessed – it’s our responsibility to help people and to share,” he explained. Spearheading the trip at this end are members New Life Brethren in Christ Church in Collingwood. But once the team arrives in the Dominican, they will work with Dominican Crossroads, a Christian ministry that operates in the hills outside Puerto Plata, a city in the northern part of the country. Proctor, a member of New Life church, said that Dr. Leslie Hutchings who practices in Stayner and Dr. Janet Clark who practices in Collingwood are also taking part in the trip, as are two nurses and several others who will work as medical support staff. “We’ll have people doing blood pressures, counting pills, that type of thing,” he said. Members of the mission trip will be traveling light in terms of personal items, he said. Each person going will bring what he or she needs for the trip in a carry-on bag. However, each person will also bring two 50-pound bags filled with supplies and items to give away, such as personal hygiene products, to those in need. Each person who is part of the team is responsible for covering his or her expenses. In total, the cost is about $1,200 for each person. Proctor said they will arrive in Puerto Plata and then take a roughly 30-minute bus ride to Crossroads, where the team will stay while in the country. Each day they will rise early and meet for breakfast at 7 a.m. and then board a bus at 8 a.m. and head to a village. “Every day we’ll be working in a different village,” Proctor noted. The Haitian refugees they will help have come to the country in search of a better life. Many harvest sugar cane or scavenge in dumps for materials they can sell. All are poor. Proctor said the homes people live in are primitive, made of scrap metal and wood. “These are Haitians who’ve left their country. They have no benefits, very little money and no help except for what outside organizations provide,” he said. Despite the incredibly tough existence the Haitians face, they are a beautiful and warm people, Proctor said. “They are spontaneous, loud, they’re happy, their needs and wants are very simple,” he said. In the villages, the team will provide basic care to people. For Proctor, that means doing emergency extractions without a proper dental chair, x-rays and lighting. “It’s the same standard of care, just in a primitive environment,” he said. At lunchtime each day, the workers will visit a local restaurant and then spend the afternoon distributing things such soap, toothbrushes, children’s shoes, baby clothes and school supplies to refugees. “Last year we took down over 1,000 pairs of shoes,” he noted. People wanting to help the group are asked to donate new or gently used items, such as baseballs, deflated soccer balls, children’s running shoes, plastic toys that don’t require batteries, school supplies, hygiene items and baby clothing. Items can be left at Proctor’s office at the Stayner Medical Centre on King Street or at Major’s Guardian Pharmacy – at the 45th Street or River Road location – in Wasaga Beach or at New Life Brethren in Christ Church, off County Road 124 in Collingwood. Monetary donations will also be accepted at Proctor’s office. Cheques can be made payable to New Life Brethren in Christ Church and a tax receipt can be issued. Last year, between Proctor’s team and another team comprised of Elmvale-area people, more than $20,000 in donations was collected – money that went towards such things as food and education supplies for the Haitians. Thanks to the financial support that mission trips to the country have received, Proctor said he’s seen progress, with schools and medical centres and churches getting built. He said that people who go on the mission trips are often changed by what they see. “When you can actually go, smell, taste and feel it – it changes your life,” he said.


Man jailed 61 days on multiple charges

Former B.C. resident Michael James O’Hara, 27, pleaded guilty from the prisoner’s box in the Collingwood Ontario Court of Justice Feb. 3 to several charges including disobeying a probation order, drive witth excess alcohol and failing to attend court. The defendant received 45 days behind bars for failing to show, with 16 further days on the breach and was fined $1,000 for blowing over the legal limit. Crown attorney Judy Bielefeld said as of July 1, 2003 the defendant had neglected to make $1,114 in restitution to the State Farm Insurance company from a prior conviction. On Oct. 11, 2003 Collingwood police made a traffic stop with O’Hara at the wheel. He later blew breathalyzer readings of 130 and 140 mg per cent said the Crown. The accused will be a prohibited driver for a year, with three months to pay the fine.


Police charge two private investigators with fraud

Two private investigators based in Ramara Township are themselves under investigation and facing fraud charges, the OPP are reporting. Police in a statement Monday said two private investigation companies were hired by clients to delve into the backgrounds of unnamed individuals “for potential financial wrongdoings.” Police allege the owners of the two companies provided their clients with bogus financial account information about the people whom they were hired to investigate. The clients then acted on that information, police added. As a result of an investigation by the OPP Anti-Rackets branch, a 60-year-old Ramara Township man is charged with two counts of fraud over $5,000. A 64-year-old township woman is charged with two counts of fraud over $5,000. They are to appear in a Newmarket court on May 20.


‘Bathtub Girl’ wants to live in Barrie

A 22-year-old Mississauga woman, who murdered her mother, now wants to live in a halfway house in Barrie. It’s the third option presented by the woman, who with her younger sister were dubbed Canada’s notorious "Bathtub Girls" during their infamous trial in 2005. She is seeking release less than three years into her sentence as part of her mandatory annual review. Justice Bruce Duncan is deciding whether to grant her release from prison. Regardless, he shot down one plan earlier Monday. Her lawyer, Stephen Gehl, suggested there was a chance she could live independently on the campus of the University of Waterloo where she hopes to study engineering. "You’re asking that she be put up in an apartment in Waterloo on her own?" Duncan said to Gehl. "That’s going too far." Under the new plan, she would still take correspondence courses at the Barrie halfway house, should she be accepted at Waterloo. Two other plans — living at halfway houses in Brampton and near Hamilton — fell through because of funding and other concerns. The young woman has the marks and, if accepted, the college won’t know her criminal past, court heard previously. At 16, she and her younger sister, then 15, killed their 43-year-old mother by drowning her in the bathtub of their Mississauga townhouse. Both are serving a 10 year youth sentence for first-degree murder. Today, Duncan is to hear more arguments for release from the younger sister. He’s expected to decide later this summer whether one or both should be released from the Grand Valley Institution for Women near Kitchener. Court has heard that the older sister has been a model prisoner but still has emotional and psychological issues. Regardless, she will be eligible to apply for federal parole on Oct. 29, 2009 with her mandatory release after serving two-thirds of her sentence scheduled for March 11, 2013. For now, she remains entitled to yearly reviews by Duncan, who sentenced the sisters on June 30, 2006, and who rejected their bid for freedom during last year’s first annual review. She is currently eligible for day parole but hasn’t applied. Duncan could still decide to release her under his authority in connection with the mandatory reviews under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Although the latest assessment deemed her to be a "low risk" to re-offend, prison officlals and therapists believe she’ll need continuing counselling and monitoring for alcohol and drug abuse as well as family relationships once outside of prison. The sisters were dubbed the "Bathtub Girls" by the media during their sensational eight-week trial in the fall of 2005 for the Jan. 18, 2003 slaying of their mother. They were the first sisters to ever murder their mother in Canada. They fed their alcoholic mother booze and Tylenol-3 pills, and then drowned her in the bathtub of their Mississauga townhouse. They got away with the cold-blooded killing for more than a year until a friend went to police with information that their mother’s death wasn’t a booze-fuelled accident but a calculated and planned murder complete with an Oscar-worthy 911 call. Although adults, their identities and the identity of their dead mother remain secret because they were convicted as youths and are serving a youth sentence in an adult prison. -Torstar News Service 


Shooting decoy costs $1,500 bucks

A Mississauga man has been fined $1,500 for charges related to careless hunting. Zlatko Lemut, 60, was convicted of careless hunting, discharging a firearm from a vehicle, discharging a firearm across a roadway, and trespassing to hunt. He is prohibited from hunting for one year and must successfully complete the hunter education course. His rifle was confiscated and will be returned once the fines are paid. Court heard that on November 5, 2008, Lemut fired four shots at a deer decoy that had been placed on private property by Ministry of Natural Resources conservation officers. The decoy had been placed there in response to public complaints about people shooting from vehicles and trespassing. Lemut was sitting in the driver’s seat of his vehicle at the 7B Sideroad, Municipality of Grey Highlands, when the shots were fired. Justice of the Peace David Stafford heard the case in Ontario Court of Justice, Owen Sound, on February 23, 2009.