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Good morning, Greater Sudbury! Here are a few stories to get you started this morning

It’s Friday!
Cassandra Dubois and Amanda St-Denis have won the largest-ever HSN 50/50 Cash Lottery for the North grand prize jackpot of $201,525 in November’s draw. (Supplied)

Good morning, Greater Sudbury! Here are a few stories to get you started this Friday morning.

Winners named for 34th annual Northern Ontario Business Awards

The 2020 Northern Ontario Business Awards (NOBA) are celebrating the remarkable achievements of nine entrepreneurs and organizations that embody the entrepreneurial spirit of the North. Now in its 34th year, the annual awards program looks a little different in 2020. In lieu of the traditional celebratory dinner and awards ceremony, NOBA is taking on a virtual format, in respect of concerns surrounding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “In a year in which businesses continue to face unprecedented challenges posed by COVID-19, we believe it’s especially important to showcase the extraordinary efforts of Northern Ontario business leaders who are building wealth and prosperity in our region,” said Jeff Elgie, CEO at Village Media, Northern Ontario Business’ parent company. “This year’s NOBA recipients represent the best and brightest in business that Northern Ontario has to offer,” added Abbas Homayed, publisher at Northern Ontario Business. “Locally owned enterprises are the heart and soul of our region, and we applaud their continued commitment to the North and its people.”

Read the full list and see the winners here.

Rogers layoffs end 92.7 Rock’s ‘Mell and Chris” show

The layoffs announced in late November by Rogers Sports & Media mean the morning show on 92.7 Rock hosted by Mellaney Dahl and Chris Byrne is coming to an end. In a Facebook post this afternoon, Chris Byrne shared the news, and thanked listeners (and haters!) for their support over the years. Rogers spokesperson Charmaine Khan confirmed changes were taking place, but would not provide further details. In a Facebook post this afternoon, Dahl revealed that she will be moving to an afternoon slot from an early morning slot for the first time in 30 years. Dahl said, starting Dec. 7 she would be taking over the 12-3 p.m. slot, including a Classic Lunch.

Read the full story here.

Stolen extension cords won’t dampen Christmas spirit in Capreol

It seems the Grinch has come out of hiding in Capreol. Sometime between Nov. 25 and Nov. 29, thieves stole 14 extension cords — valued between $500 and $1,000 — from the community’s Christmas tree display in the park. The extension cords were connected to strands of Christmas lights, secured with tape to make sure they stayed connected during the cold, windy winter weather. “Someone cut right through the strands of lights and took all 14 extension cords,” said Natalie Peterson, who has been co-ordinating Capreol’s Santa Claus Parade for the past six years. “Each extension cord was 25 feet long. They also took some of the lights, and ended up breaking others when they stole the extension cords.” Volunteers Brandon Currie, Steve Jacklin and John Colosimone Jr. have been responsible for setting up the lights. They spent some 60 hours each over the past week and a half preparing for the annual Christmas tree lighting, which takes place Saturday. “It’s a bit discouraging, but we’re working hard to keep the spirit of Christmas in the community, and we aren’t going to let a few grinches keep us down for long,” Peterson said.

Read the full story here.

Alarm bells: Pandemic has nurses, PSWs suffering high COVID infection rate, job stress

A recently released study details the number of Ontario health-care workers who have been infected by COVID-19, and the psychological stress that comes along with being on the frontline of a pandemic. The 15-page study, titled Sacrificed: Ontario Healthcare Workers in the Time of COVID-19, was authored by Dr. James T. Brophy, Dr. Margaret M. Keith, Michael Hurley and Jane E. McArthur. It was presented by Hurley at a news conference in Sudbury on Thursday morning. Hurley introduced Brophy and Keith, who he said were the two principal authors of the report and took part in the news conference through an online video connection. "Health-care workers in Ontario are suffering from much higher rates of COVID infection than the general public," said Brophy. "According to a report published in September, Canada's health-care workers make up almost 20 per cent of confirmed cases." "While we are all experiencing COVID fatigue and worry, health-care workers are suffering disproportionately from serious psychological distress," Brophy said.

Read the full story here.

Sudbury senior gobbles up $100K with lotto ticket she bought on Thanksgiving

Reita Lukkarila has a lot to be thankful for after winning $100,000 with Ontario Lottery Gaming’s Instant Hot Card. Lukkarila, an 89-year-old retired schoolteacher, said she loves to play instant games. “I like to try the new games – I purchased this one on Thanksgiving weekend,” she said. The great-grandmother didn’t realize her ticket was a winner at first. “After I scratched it, I stuffed it into my purse. After Thanksgiving weekend, I pulled it out to have another look and wondered how I originally thought it was not a winner. I called my son over to double-check.” Lukkarila said she’s still in disbelief about the prize. 

Read the full story on the homepage.

Ontario reports 14 new COVID-19 deaths Thursday, a dip from Wednesday

Public Health Ontario has confirmed 1,824 new cases of COVID-19 today, which is 101 more than yesterday. There were 1,723 cases reported on Tuesday. Of today's new cases, most are confined to the Greater Toronto Area. There are 592 new cases confirmed in Peel Region, 396 cases in Toronto and 187 in York Region. That represents 1,175 — or 64 per cent — of the new lab-confirmed cases reported over the past 24 hours. The agency also reported 14 more deaths related to the coronavirus over the past 24 hours. Yesterday, 35 deaths were reported. More than 1,541 cases have been resolved since yesterday. Thunder Bay remains the hotspot in Northern Ontario with 99 active cases. Sudbury has seven active known cases.

Read the full story here.

Pair of nurses win $201K in HSN’s November 50/50 draw

Friends and nurses Cassandra Dubois and Amanda St-Denis will split the record-setting jackpot of $201,565 in November’s HSN 50/50 Cash Lottery for the North draw. “I had just gotten off night shift and was supposed to be in bed when I got the phone call and was shocked,” said Dubois. “I called Amanda right away. We’re both just so excited.” “It was pretty tough to sleep after that,” said St-Denis. “I’m running off of pure adrenaline right now.” When asked how they plan to spend their winnings, the two nurses provided very responsible answers: eliminate debt and fund additions to their houses, although they did mention that if it wasn’t for COVID-19, a trip to Las Vegas would have been in the cards.

Read the full story here.