Innisfil man arrested for Barrie grow-op

A 48-year-old Innisfil man is facing several charges after officers of the Barrie Police Drug Enforcement Unit, accompanied by members of the Street Crime Unit, entered a business at 166 Saunders Rd., Unit 2, with a search warrant on Thursday, Mar. 19. Police found a sizable marijuana grow operation on the main floor, and a second one hidden on the upper level of the unit. In all, 900 plants at various stages of maturity were removed from the premises, valued at $500,000. Police also dismantled a considerable amount of equipment used in the operation. The man was charged with the production of marijuana, possession for the purpose of trafficking and possession of marijuana. He’s been given a May court date. In other police news: Child bitten by a dog Barrie Police officers are investigating after a dog bit a 12-year-old boy Saturday. He was in the Harvie and Essa road area around 3 p.m. He was taken to RVH for rabies shots and police are still trying to figure out the type of dog that bit him, and who its owner is. Man charged after bar fight A 23-year-old Barrie man is in trouble after talking to police Saturday morning. He was in a fight at The Bank bar on Dunlop Street, and didn’t give the officer his real name at first. It turns out he was wanted for a previous offence, and the officer also found a small bag of marijuana on him after a search. He was charged with possession of drugs and obstructing police. Argument heats up between couple Barrie Police officers went to a local home after a separated couple had a fight Sunday. Police said they were together for 10 years and have been apart for two, and the man went to pick up a few things. They started screaming, and he left after the woman threatened to call police. He then called the home and left a voicemail threatening to kill her. She called officers and he was arrested for uttering death threats. Empty kegs stolen Barrie Police officers have charged a second person after five empty beer kegs were stolen from a Bayfield Street restaurant earlier last week. An investigation led police to a teen March 17, who returned the kegs to the Beer Store for a refund. On Sunday, a man was also arrested for break and enter. Four kegs were found and returned to the owner. Second charge for local man Barrie Police officers were called to the LCBO store on Mary Street Saturday after security stopped a man trying to take liquor without paying. Police said the 52 year old was drunk and was charged with theft and being intoxicated in a public place. He had just spent the previous night in jail for being drunk in public. Looking for driver Barrie Police officers are looking for a driver who didn’t stick around after a fender bender Saturday morning. Officers went to a crash at Bayfield and Simcoe streets at 2 a.m., after a sliver GMC truck hit a parked car. Witnesses had to run to avoid being hit first, and they managed to get a licence plate number. The truck took off down Lakeshore Drive. Fished out A 36-year-old Toronto man was fined $3,000 for catching too many whitefish in Lake Simcoe in February. A conservation officer caught Luigi Pompili with eight fish, and the limit is two. Six of the fish were hidden in a knapsack. He was fined by a Barrie judge March 11. RIDE stop Barrie OPP officers stopped an Orillia man early Saturday morning at a RIDE check on County Road 93. The 25 year old was charged with drunk driving and driving while suspended. He has an April 4 court date. Sunday night, officers stopped a different vehicle on County Road 93 near Crown Hill for a minor driving offence. His car was searched and the 19-year-old Penetanguishene man was charged for possession of marijuana.


Hornets down Jets 7-4 in series opener

Live coverage of  tonight’s game is limited due to the loss of AM 920 with the defeat of the Walkerton Hawks, but the Herald will do its best to give you as up-to-the-minute coverage as possible for game one of the Schmalz Cup semifinals between the Jr. C Alliston Hornets and the Amherstview Jets tonight (Fri., April 3). The parking lot at the New Tec Rec Complex was pretty much full at 7 p.m., a full half hour before the start of tonight’s contest.  Scouting Report There was a little time before the start of this series and the Alliston Hornets’ semifinals sweep of the Walkerton Hawks, so a few members of the club made the trek to check out the style of these unknown Jets. It could be their mishmash of odd coloured helmets and mismatching pants, but the word on the street is that the Jets are a raw Jr. C team that fans of the league in the 1970s might be more accustomed to than today. They are reported to play a rough and tumble game and have more than a few bruisers on their bench to back it up. It’s left to be seen how this style will match up against the polished and quick play of the Alliston Hornets. 1st Period Chad Camirand opened the scoring for the Hornets off passes from Kyle McDowell and Mike James less than three minutes in.   The Jets scored a minute later on a short-handed play by Justin Evans to tie it up 1-1. The first period was marked by two ejections after a Jet went after the Hornets’ Michael Mullay and Jeff McCarty responded in defence of his teammate.  2nd Period Amherstview scored just under four minutes into the second to put the Alliston Hornets into an unusual situation — a 2-1 deficit. Andrew Johnson scored the marker off Jacob Wright.  Kyle McDowell fixed that though just 20 seconds later, as he tied it up 2-2 off passes from Kyle McPherson and Camirand. Then Ryan Algar put the Hornets back out front assisted by Jason Campeau. The Jets Wright added another to tie it up 3-3 at the 11:15 mark of the second. Then Alliston’s Kurtis Brossard picked up a pass from  Campeau to give the Hornets a 4-2 lead with 57 seconds left in the second frame. 3rd Period A minute and 20 seconds into the third, the Hornets scored to move ahead 5-3 with a goal by McDowell on a wild breakaway,  but that didn’t last long as the Jets responded 37 seconds later to make it 5-4 on a marker by Johnson. Alliston’s Mike Mullay scored at 13:11 to move the Hornets out front 6-4. Then with about eight minutes left, in a four-on-three powerplay, Algar added the insurance marker for Alliston off passes from McDowell to end it. A bus for fans for away games is available if you don’t want to miss a second of the action in this series. This Sunday it will head out from the New Tecumseth Recreation Complex at noon. On Tuesday, fans wanting to board the coach for the trek to Amherstview (just west of Kingston), should be at the rec complex at 3:30 p.m. The bus trips are $25 per person but seats are limited to 56. Those wishing to take the bus must register at the customer service kiosk at the rec complex. The full schedule for the series is as follows: SCHMALZ CUP SEMI-FINALS ALLISTON VS. AMHERSTVIEW Game 1 Fri., April 3 Amherstview @ Alliston 7:30 p.m. Game 2 Sun., April 5 Alliston @ Amherstview 4:30 p.m. Game 3 Tues., April 7 Alliston @ Amherstview 7:30 p.m. Game 4 Sat., April 11 Amherstview @ Alliston 4:00 p.m. *Game 5 Sun., April 12 Alliston @ Amherstview 3:30 p.m. *Game 6 Tues., April 14 Amherstview @ Alliston 8:00 p.m. *Game 7 Thurs., April 16 Alliston @ Amherstview 7:30 p.m.? (* Denotes if necessary)    


Speed of green legislation raises concerns at county

MIDHURST – Local municipalities need to retain some control over where solar and wind energy projects are located, the County of Simcoe insists. County planning staff prepared preliminary comments regarding the Green Energy and Green Economy Act, a sweeping bill that amends an array of legislation including the Planning Act, the Building Code, the Ontario Water Resources Act and the influential Places to Grow Act. “The speed at which this new legislation is being introduced, and the relatively short period of time provided for public consultation, leaves us with concerns at the potential implications and implementation logistics of such broad changes to so many other acts,” said Kathy Suggitt, the county’s policy planning manager. “There needs to be more time for consultation and discussion.” The county has been struggling with applications for solar and wind projects. Last fall, in its official plan update, it allowed alternative-energy projects on agricultural land. Currently, there is an application for a wind farm on county forest land in Tiny Township, and a solar farm in Oro-Medonte; Innisfil, which also has an application for a wind farm, has struck a committee to examine the issue. The Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) has said renewable-energy projects should not be allowed on Class 1, 2 and 3 agricultural lands, as well as environmental protection lands, sites adjacent to airports, significant woodlands, provincially significant wetlands, significant woodlands and wellhead protection areas. Oro-Medonte Deputy Mayor Ralph Hough said that is too restrictive. “No one wants renewable-energy sources, but everyone wants their energy,” he said. “You can’t put solar on rocky hillsides, and they have to be near a power line or a highway. I don’t see what’s left for alternative energy if we support AMO’s position. We either want alternative energy or we don’t.” Tiny Township Deputy Mayor George Lawrence, however, warned the county’s corporate services committee that solar panels can wipe out the prime agricultural land on which they’re located. “These panels, through their heat and hydro loss, actually sterilize the soil. This has happened in Europe, and farming was unsuccessful for eight to 10 years (afterwards),” he said. “We have to be particular about where we put them. We should protect Class 1, 2 and 3 agricultural land. Do we want to have air conditioning or do we want to eat?” [email protected]


Petal pushers

Volunteers for the Canadian Cancer Society will be out and about in the coming weeks as they gear up for Daffodil Month. Phyllis Clapp and Donna Burton, co-conveners for the Midland/Penetanguishene fundraiser, have been living, breathing and sometimes even sleeping the campaign for the past few months. Although they agreed it has been a challenge, heading up the campaign for the first time will be worth it in the end. “I think Phyllis has been living it 24 hours a day,” said Burton. “It seems to be our topic of conversation no matter if we are at a card game or bowling. It stays with us.” While money from most cancer-related fundraisers goes to research, proceeds from this campaign will go half toward research and half toward administration, drivers and support groups, noted Burton, who has been a cancer society volunteer for 18 years. “Everything raised here goes to our people,” she emphasized. Last year, the local branch’s volunteer drivers drove 344 clients to cancer-related appointments, covering 275,023 kilometres at a cost of more than $96,000. Clapp, a volunteer for two years, said knowing the money raised stays in the community is what makes this fundraiser so important. “About four years ago, I had to take my husband to Princess Margaret (Hospital in Toronto),” she recalled. “I didn’t know anything about the fact that there were drivers available.” While their reasons for volunteering may be different, both women have found themselves drawn to the cancer society. “Right from the time I was a child … my dad helped with cancer here in Midland,” said Burton. “It was embedded in my being.” “I lost my dad to cancer,” added Clapp. “I wanted to help raise money so that we can help in some way.” Daffodil sales brought in almost $3 million for the Canadian Cancer Society in Ontario in 2008 – with the local campaign raising $23,000. Burton and Clapp are hoping to increase that to $30,000 this year. Volunteers have fanned out in the community taking orders for the flowers. They sell for $7 a bunch or $12 for two bunches, with delivery scheduled for April 3. Daffodil sales will also be taking place in local stores, banks and malls on April 3 and 4. [email protected]


Oddfellows support community health centres

The Thornbury Independent Order of Oddfellows received their Charter in October of 1884 and in 1936 they purchased the lodge building on Main Street in Thornbury. The upper level of the building became the lodge hall and half of the main floor has been home to the Thornbury Bakery for many years and the other half in later years Studio 16. Over the years the loge has supported various local charities along with fire and accident victims. For many years the lodge put on a New Year’s Eve dance at the Thornbury High School, which is now the elementary school. At a provincial level, the I.O.O.F. lodges support summer camps for kids with Cancer, one being Camp Trillium. The lodges also support an eye research program through the University of Toronto as well as Leukemia research. In the past few years, membership in the Thornbury lodge started to decline and as existing members started to age, a decision was made in 2008 to close the Thornbury lodge and amalgamate with Spirit Rock lodge in Wiarton. At this time the lodge building was sold. The remaining members of the lodge now had the responsibility to disperse of the lodge assets and the main objective was to keep the money within the community. Donations at this time have been made to the installation of a new audio system in the arena, the Beaver Valley Outreach, the Beaver Valley Athletic Association, the Beaver Valley Pre-school, the Thornbury theatre group, the Marsh St. Centre, the Golden Beavers and the Community Family Health Centres.


Heritage committee assess cultural value of fitness centre

The Collingwood Fitness Centre – also known as the Contact Centre – could be declared a heritage building in the future. According to the minutes of the March 19 heritage advisory committee, the committee is looking at developing a statement of cultural heritage value for the property. The building – which is located on Napier Street – is the former home of Connaught Public School. The building will be vacant once the new fitness centre is built at Heritage Park – at the corner of High and Third Streets. The building has long been neglected and some members of council – including Mayor Chris Carrier and Counc. Tim McNabb – were in favour of closing the facility. Carrier said there were discussions about a residential development on the property. Carrier would like to see the town divest themselves of the building. "I would prefer to get rid of it and sell it," he said. He said that under the province’s policy statement for planning, communities will only be allowed to develop inside of their ‘built boundaries,’ so Carrier argues that some developments will have to be created on the sites of old buildings. He said this could be one of those sites. "This is one that could be viable," he said.


Catholic school board on budget

BARRIE – The Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board’s finance team is predicting a balanced budget this year. “We’re on point to achieving all the targets set out for the (2008-09) budget,” said Peter Derochie, associate director of education. Looking to next year’s budget, Derochie said it will be a little tighter. The economy is part of the concern, but enrolment is a bigger worry. According to board projections, elementary enrolment crested in 2004, while high school enrolment targets reached their peak last year. If student numbers continue as predicted, the board will have less money with which to work in 2009-10. The board finance team is projecting annual revenues will fall by $6.4 million. Derochie said the Ministry of Education has indicated funding to help offset these pressures is extremely low. Director of education Michael O’Keefe said that doesn’t mean a deficit for the board. He said the loss in revenues will be counterbalanced by program changes. A budget for the 2009-10 school year is expected to be approved in June. [email protected]


OSPCA finds 28 dead cattle on farm

Animal cruelty investigators found 28 head of dead cattle and are seizing 24 live head in connection with an ongoing investigation at a New Tecumseth farm. Investigators from the Alliston and District Humane Society, the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and members of the Nottawasaga OPP attended the farm Tuesday afternoon (March 10). The farm is located on the 7th Line, just east of Tottenham Road. The animals include full-grown cattle and calves. The live animals were deemed living under distress by a veterinarian and are being removed from the farm, said Kristin Williams, a spokesperson for the OSPCA. She wouldn’t comment further on the current condition of the live animals. "At this point we’ll wait until we get the veterinary report. We’ve sent one of the dead calves to Guelph for a necropsy, which is an animal autopsy," she said. She said charges are currently being considered, and that so far it appears to be a case of animal neglect. When investigators arrived on the farm, there was no apparent sign of food or fresh water, she said. There also did not appear to be any dry bedding, and there were poor sanitary conditions both inside and outside the barn. Investigators have also removed a dog, which was seen hobbling around the farm, before being loaded into an OSPCA truck. Williams said the investigation was prompted after a complaint from the public.


Volunteers helping prepare 2008 tax returns

The Community Volunteer Income Tax Program is hosting a series of clinics for people who need help completing their 2008 tax return. The sessions are being held at Wendat Community Psychiatric Support Programs (237 Second St., Midland) in the morning for all of March and April. They will also take place at the Midland Public Library from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on March 9, 16, 23 and 30, and at the Midland legion from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on March 11, 18, 25 and April 15. For more information, or to book an appointment, go to www.cra.gc.ca/volunteer, or call 527-8071, 533-0238 or 1-800-959-8281. People who qualify for assistance include those who are unable to complete their tax return themselves, as well as people with low income and a simple tax situation. Those attending are required to bring proof of their social insurance number, a copy of the previous year’s tax return and all documentation received from the Canada Revenue Agency, as well as any receipts related to expenses or income.