(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.
Police are warning residents to be on the look-out for missing stop signs at rural intersections, particularly northeast of Markdale, in the Municipality of Grey Highlands. The OPP were called to the intersection of the 9th Line and Sideroad 7A in the former Euphrasia Township at about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday night after reports two stop signs had been removed. The intersection, located one concession west of Wodehouse corner, had both stop signs on Sideroad 7A, controlling east and westbound traffic pulled out of the ground. Tire tracks and evidence of wheel spin indicated a vehicle was used. "The potential for collisions is ever present in situations like this," said Media Relations Officer Steve Starr. "Residents are reminded to use caution, and look for stop sign control at all intersections. There are very few uncontrolled intersections left in the county." Police are hopeful that this was a one time random act but there could be more. "This is a foolish act by those responsible. Not only is there cost incurred by the taxpayer to repair the signs but while they are down there is potential for a tragic collision," said Starr. "If the person or persons responsible are identified they will be charged accordingly." Anyone with information that might assist is asked to contact Grey County OPP or Crime Stoppers. Constable Stephen Whitehouse is the investigating officer.
Catholic schools are getting greener. This year, 16 schools in the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board are applying for eco-school certifications. SMCDSB EcoSchools project lead Audrey Hamilton delivered the news to trustees at Wednesday’s board meeting. Last year, five schools in the board were certified as EcoSchools. "It’s great the way it’s driving and the way people are going," said Hamilton. The Ontario EcoSchools program is an environmental education program to address how schools run and what students learn. Its aim is to influence students to take what they learn about energy conservation and waste reduction at school and apply it at home and into their lives. The program uses benchmarks and a scoring system to grade environmental performances. Scores are based on energy conservation, waste minimization, school ground greening and ecology literacy.