Good morning, Greater Sudbury! Here are a few stories to start your day.
Vale miners trapped for 24 hours underground using ladder to exit Totten
Thirty-nine employees at Vale’s Totten mine who have been stuck underground since Sunday afternoon were being extricated starting yesterday from their predicament via a “secondary egress ladder system” with the support of Vale’s mine rescue team. This is after the conveyance for transporting employees was taken offline, following an incident in the shaft. “The employees were underground at the time and immediately went to refuge stations as part of our normal procedures, and we have been in frequent communication with them since the incident,” said a statement from Vale, which also emphasized that the employees are safe. “We are doing everything we can to ensure the safety of these employees and will provide further updates as they become available.” An internal memo obtained by Sudbury.com states a scoop bucket that was being slung underground detached from the conveyance and became hung up in the shaft. As a result, the conveyance for transporting employees is unavailable. Sudbury.com was contacted by the wife of one of the employees trapped underground, who said her husband informed her by phone from underground that mine rescue is bringing up two workers at a time on a ladder, climbing 2,500 feet, and then taking the cage to surface. The woman said this would take four to six hours, so with nearly 40 employees the rescue will take numerous hours. The company expected to have all workers back on surface sometime overnight.
Premier tweets message to 39 Vale miners trapped at Totten
Ontario Premier Doug Ford tweeted a message to the 39 Vale miners currently being rescued from Totten mine where the workers have been trapped underground since Sunday. “Our thoughts are with the 39 miners trapped underground in #Sudbury as rescue teams work to get them safely above ground,” Ford tweeted at 3:20 p.m. “We understand this rescue will take some time and are very relieved to hear the miners are currently uninjured.” The employees have been stuck underground for more than 24 hours after the conveyance for transporting employees was taken offline, following an incident in the shaft. Nick Belt MP Marc Serré tweeted shortly after the premier at 3:38 p.m. “Sending strength and prayers to all involved,” the newly re-elected MP said. “Thinking of each of you, the families and loved ones and the entire Nickel Belt community right now. / Prières à toutes les personnes impliquées. Je pense à chacun de vous, aux familles et aux proches et à toute la communauté.”
Crown seeks life for ‘incel’ attacker who tried to kill mother, baby
The sentencing hearing for a Sudbury man who has pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted murder was told Monday that the man who tried to kill a baby and her mother in a Sudbury parking lot two years ago is a cunning and unrepentant liar with no remorse and will say whatever it takes to get a lighter sentence. Assistant Crown Attorney Leonard Kim presented that assessment of 28-year-old Alexander Stavropoulos during the first few hours of submissions before Ontario Regional Senior Justice Karen Lische of the Ontario Court of Justice. "You've got red flags here your honour," Kim told the judge. "These red flags are essentially telling us it is just a matter of time before Mr. Stavropoulos commits another violent offence upon his release." Kim told the judge the Crown is seeking a life sentence with no chance for parole for at least 10 years. Stavropoulos is the same individual who was shot in the leg and arrested by Greater Sudbury Police Service in 2018 after brandishing knives and trying to get into a security office at the Sudbury Transit terminal.
Former Sudburian tells us what it’s like on the front lines of Alberta’s pandemic emergency
A former Northern Ontario woman now working in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in a Calgary hospital says she is upset that the COVID-19 pandemic is lasting so long. She said poor political leadership and the anti-COVID crowd are responsible for the continuing spread of the disease. Sarah Erickson is a graduate of North Bay's Canadore College and is a respiratory therapist looking after seriously ill COVID patients. Erickson worked in Sudbury and New Brunswick before heading to Alberta. "I am a respiratory therapist, as is my husband. We both work in the ICU. We only see the sickest patients. Our specialty is airways and ventilators. Therefore we see every COVID patient," Erickson said. As it turns out, Alberta is in the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic emergency. The provincial government declared an emergency on Sept. 16 as case counts and hospital admissions were on the rise. Erickson said working with so many critically ill patients has been intense. "Right now our ICU is at 150 per cent capacity, and that includes surge beds," she said, adding that 90 per cent of the seriously ill patients, ranging in age from 30 to 70, are unvaccinated. "This is directly a result of low vaccine rates and our poor leadership," said Erickson.
GoFundMe organized for four-year-old Sudbury boy undergoing cancer treatment
On Aug. 22, Kayla Ledzwa learned her four-year-old son, Jackson Twain, has a malignant Rhabdoid tumour on his spine. Rhabdoid tumours are rare cancerous tumours that start in the brain or spinal cord. Because of where the tumour is on Jackson’s body, it affects his urinary system and bowel movements, as well as his ability to walk. About four weeks ago, he was admitted to hospital in Sudbury, and then transferred to SickKids in Toronto when they could not identify the issue. In Toronto, the doctors were able to diagnose Jackson with the cancerous tumour after he underwent surgery. Since then, Ledzwa alternated with Jackson’s father, Robert Twain, on taking trips down to Toronto. This is a particularly challenging process for Ledzwa, as she is dealing with a high-risk pregnancy, all the while raising three other children. Ledzwa was back home in Sudbury after a long trip to Toronto when she spoke with Sudbury.com. “He loves to be home right now,” Ledzwa said. “This one week has been special. He’s been trapped in the hospital for two months. This is his first time being home in a while.” Jackson and his family have a long journey ahead of them. To support their GoFundMe, visit the link here.
Mining contractor fined after worker injured in Sudbury mine in 2019
DMC Mining Service, a Vaughan-headquartered mining services company, was fined $120,000 stemming from a 2019 underground accident where a contractor was critically injured after being hit by falling rock at Vale's Copper Cliff South Mine Project in Sudbury. The hearing was held in Provincial Offences Court in Sudbury on Sept. 13. Justice of the Peace Lori-Ann Toulouse also imposed a 25 per cent victim fine surcharge under the Provincial Offences Act, which is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime. According to a court bulletin on the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development website, on Aug. 7, 2019, DMC had been contracted by Vale for raise mining work. Raise mining involves creating a vertical or inclined opening in a mine driven upward from one level to connect with another level. The contractor, employed by DMC Mining Service, was performing work in the mine inside a return air raise, which is a vertical shaft. The injured worker and a co-worker were on a raise climber drill platform where they were drilling and blasting rock to advance the raise upwards.
Sudbury’s Tyler Bertuzzi only Red Wings player to refuse vaccine
Detroit Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi’s refusal to receive COVID-19 vaccines has proven a costly stand to take. The Sudbury product will miss all nine of Detroit’s games in Canada this season and will lose out on a chunk of his US$4.25-million salary, according to The Canadian Press. Border restrictions prevent him from crossing into Canada. "Just personal choice, freedom of choice," Bertuzzi said of remaining unvaccinated. "It was a life decision." The Detroit Free Press reported that Bertuzzi declined to elaborate on this decision or the scientific evidence supporting the use of vaccinations. Bertuzzi, 26, is expecting his and fiancée Ashley Greasley’s first baby, and he cited his personal choice as being made with his “family and fiancée's family.” By the Detroit Free Press’s estimation, Bertuzzi is foregoing more than $400,000 in pay by missing out on hockey activities in Canada. He is the only member of the team to refuse a vaccine and general manager Steve Yzerman said they can’t force anyone to get the vaccine.
COVID outbreaks at 2 more Sudbury schools, active case count up to 26
COVID-19 outbreaks were declared at both Adamsdale Public School and Carl A. Nesbitt Public School in Sudbury over the weekend, although both schools remain open. An outbreak in a school is defined as two or more lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in students or staff (or other visitors) in a school where at least one case could have reasonably acquired their infection in the school. Adamsdale Public School now has four cases of COVID-19, and Carl A. Nesbitt two cases. New cases of COVID-19 were also reported at Valley View Public School and Lasalle Secondary School over the weekend. The number of active COVID-19 cases in local schools has now jumped to 26 — 13 at Rainbow District School Board schools, 11 at Sudbury Catholic District School Board schools and two and Conseil scolaire catholique Nouvelon schools. Sudbury Student Services Consortium also reports a new school bus cancellation due to COVID-19 exposure. The morning elementary portion of bus Route L104 and afternoon elementary portion of bus Route L017 have been cancelled.
Public Health Sudbury reports 19 new COVID-19 cases for Sept. 27, Ontario reports 613
Public Health Sudbury and Districts (PHSD) has reported 19 new cases of COVID-19 in the local jurisdiction for Sept. 27. This number includes cases that would have been recorded on Saturday and Sunday. PHSD has also reported two new COVID-19 outbreaks at area schools, Adamsdale Public School and Carl A. Nesbitt Public School as of Sept. 26. The health unit is also reporting there are now 48 active cases being monitored. Public Health Ontario reported 613 new COVID cases today. The latest updates noted 578 recoveries and zero deaths.
Sunny day in store with a high of 17
It’s going to be a sunny fall day for Sept. 28, Greater Sudbury. Fog patches will dissipate over the morning. The wind is out of the west at 20 km/h, gusting to 40 in the morning. The high today is 17 with a UV index of four, or moderate. Tonight, the skies will stay clear and the mercury will drop to four.