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Good morning, Greater Sudbury! Here are a few stories to start your day

The weekend is almost here
090621_Afzaal_Family-crop
The Afzaal family was murdered on London, Ont. street corner when a pickup truck was deliberately driven into them June 6, killing all save one. Family members released an image of the Afzaals to media. Community leaders in Sudbury reacted with horror.

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

‘COVID is not over’: Rainbow board confirms it will not be holding in-person grad ceremonies

The Rainbow District School Board has confirmed that its schools will not be holding in-person graduation ceremonies this month to protect the health and safety of would-be participants amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In a media release last week, the province said the government would allow school boards to invite graduating elementary and secondary students to return to school in June for a short, outdoor celebration, where physical distancing is possible. And yesterday, Sudbury.com brought you the story of a group of graduating high school students who are pushing for an in-person ceremony. Further complicating matters were comments made by Premier Doug Ford on June 2, who said the government would like to see schools host outdoor graduation ceremonies “for students in all grades.” But at the June 8 Rainbow board meeting, director of education Norm Blaseg announced the board would be going forward with its current plans for virtual graduations.

Overdose prevention volunteer tests 'THC Gold' on camera: No THC, but other deadlier drugs found

The weekend news release of a suspicious drug product — THC Gold — allegedly being distributed for free in Sudbury has caught the attention of some people who seem to be well-informed of the local drug scene. They're calling on drug users to get rid of the product. The Community Drug Strategy has received anecdotal reports of a new substance circulating in Greater Sudbury. A news release was issued Friday warning city residents that it had anecdotal information that the product was suspicious. No one has revealed or identified who is distributing the product or what their motives might be. One Sudbury woman, Marie Annette Pollock, a volunteer with the Sudbury Temporary Overdose Protection Society (STOPS), posted a public warning on Facebook stating that the THC Gold product contains no THC at all. Pollock then outlined in the video that she tested the gold-coloured material using a product called Rapid Response DOA Cup Test, which is defined online by the company as a multi-drug urine test kit. "What I see coming up on this is positive for cocaine and methadone," said Pollock. "There is no THC in this whatsoever."

Read the full story here.

Ontario’s education minister announces new Grade 9 math curriculum

Ontario’s Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce, announced the release of a new Grade 9 math course, as part of the province’s four-year mathematics strategy. Intended to equip students with valuable learning opportunities that will support their success in the workforce, the course includes mandatory new learning on coding, data literacy, mathematical modelling and an emphasis on financial literacy. The new course also ends the practice of streaming Grade 9 students into applied and academic courses, a practice that has in the past disadvantaged some students. Ending streaming will keep options open for all students to pursue postsecondary education and training in any pathway they choose, said a press release from the province. The Ministry of Education will also work with its education partners to ensure teachers and students are supported with the new math course.

Read the full story here.

‘It is a wake up call’: Sudbury community leaders react to London murders

The murder of a family, a murder that appears to be based on hate, orphaning a young son and leaving a gaping wound in a community, can shake the foundations of anyone’s faith. Particularly if it was your faith that was targeted. The June 6 murder of most members of the Afzaal family, a Pakistani Muslim family, in London, Ont. has sent shock waves around the world. The family was standing at an intersection waiting to cross the street when a man rammed a pickup truck into them, killing all but the family’s young son. As a person of colour and minority, Bela Ravi, president of the Sudbury Multicultural Society, said she thought these experiences were behind her as ideas and beliefs change. “I thought I'd left all this behind when I was growing up in Toronto back in the ’70s,” said Ravi. “I never thought my kids would see this, but here we are today. It is a wake up call, something is not right here. Something is not right here.” Mayor Brian Bigger and the Greater Sudbury Police also issued statements condemning the murders and calling for solidarity with the Muslim community.

Read the full story here.

Public Health Sudbury reports one new case of COVID-19 for June 9, Ontario reports 411

Public Health Ontario has reported 411 new COVID-19 cases in its latest report (June 9). Today's update also includes 932 new recoveries and 33 deaths. Public Health Sudbury and Districts (PHSD) reported one new case of COVID-19 for today, Wednesday June 9.  PHSD also reports 25 active cases being watched locally. Also, since the PHSD began tracking COVID-19 cases just over 15 months ago, there have been 2,110 total COVID-19 cases confirmed locally. PHSD also said 2,085 of those cases have now been resolved.  The details were reported on the PHSD website. With respect to where the cases might have occurred, PHSD reported that one case occurred in the rural Sudbury District.  

Greater Sudbury Public Library offers free provincial park day passes

Greater Sudbury Public Libraries will be making available free day passes to Ontario provincial parks this summer. Library members with a card in good standing are eligible to borrow one Ontario Parks pass for up to seven days. The pass provides free entry for one vehicle and all passengers to visit any provincial park for the day, including weekends. Greater Sudbury’s 13 library locations each have three passes that members can borrow first come, first served. Due to anticipated demand, holds and transfers between locations are not available. Residents must contact their nearest library location to request a pass and arrange for pickup.

Read the full story here.

Second Timmins COVID case confirmed to be Delta variant

There is a second confirmed case of the more contagious Delta COVID-19 variant in Timmins. Last week, the Porcupine Health Unit reported that the highly transmissible variant of concern was confirmed through whole genome testing. The person was in Timmins and in hospital at the time. There are no links to travel with the case. A second case of the B.1.617.2 variant has now been confirmed by Public Health Ontario Laboratory testing. It is a person in Timmins. "The presence of this variant which spreads more easily than the B.1.1.7 variant is extremely worrisome. It is likely a sign that it is now circulating in our communities. It is more important than ever that everyone follow the public health measures diligently and limit contacts with others who we do not live with," reads the health unit bulletin.

Read the full story here.

Another sunny day in store, but with a bit of a break from the heat

The heat wave is going to give us a bit of a break for Thursday. You can expect a high of 24 this afternoon under sunny skies. The UV index is nine or very.  Expect the wind to pick up later in the afternoon, blowing from the southeast at 20 km/h. Tonight, the skies will cloud over with a 70-per-cent chance of showers overnight and a low of 12.



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