Good morning, Greater Sudbury! Here are a few stories to get you started on this Wednesday morning.
Vale reports 35 of 39 stranded miners are now on surface
Vale reported that 35 of the 39 miners stranded underground since Sunday have now returned to the surface at Totten Mine, as of late yesterday afternoon, two more since Sudbury.com reported 33 had surfaced by 11:26 a.m. All 35 exited the mine through a secondary egress ladder system after the primary exit was rendered inoperable due to damage to the shaft on Sunday morning. The 39 miners headed to several refuge stations between 900 metres and 1,200 metres below ground, meaning some had to climb considerable distances — in some instances 2,500 feet — to reach a point where they could be transported to the surface. In a release from the company, Vale states that communication and support to employees was provided throughout the ascent by a team of 58 responders from Vale's Mine Rescue team and Ontario Mine Rescue, who are overseeing the extraction effort. Both immediate on-site medical support was available to all employees upon reaching the service, as well as Vale’s Critical Incident Stress Management team offering mental health support. Vale is reporting that the employees that have surfaced are “healthy and eager to return home to family”.
OPP arrest Sudbury police constable on charges of resisting a police officer, trespassing
A Greater Sudbury Police Service (GSPS) police officer is facing charges of resisting a peace officer, trespassing and the possibility of Ontario Police Act charges as the result of an incident that occurred in Espanola on the weekend. GSPS said the allegations against the officer are from an incident that could be "dishonourable and discouraging." Ontario Provincial Police said that on Sunday, Sept. 26 Manitoulin detachment officers responded to a call at the Espanola Recreational Centre for a complaint of individuals who were alleged to be trespassing. Police said the individuals had been on the property earlier in the day and had been requested to leave. Police said the individuals had returned to the public arena a short time later. The OPP said Melisa Rancourt, 47, of Espanola was arrested and is charged with resisting a peace officer, and entering a premises when entry has been prohibited, contrary to the Trespass to Property Act (TPA). Rancourt is a Sudbury police officer, as confirmed to Sudbury.com by GSPS on Tuesday in a statement reacting to the officer's arrest. Police Chief Paul Pedersen said while the actions haven’t been proven, the allegations, if true, are “dishonourable and discouraging.”
Northern Ontario doctor under fire for his ‘disgraceful’ stance on COVID-19 response
A Northern Ontario doctor who practises medicine in the Englehart, Kirkland Lake and Nipigon areas has come under fire from the College of Physicians and Surgeons on Ontario (CSPO) for allegedly spreading misinformation online about COVID-19,about the vaccinations and about public health measures. The CSPO has ordered Dr. Patrick Brian Phillips to appear before a disciplinary tribunal for "committing an act of professional misconduct". Details of the allegations were posted in a five-page notice of hearing on the CPSO website: "It is alleged that Dr. Phillips engaged in disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional conduct and failed to maintain the standard of practice of the profession in relation to his communications, including communications on social media and other digital platforms, regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and related issues," said the notice. Sudbury.com tried to get a comment from Phillips, but was advised he would not be answering any messages until sometime next month. As for what is alleged, the college has not released it’s evidence, but Sudbury.com was able to locate several statements from Phillips’ social media accounts claiming vaccine mandates are “medical tyranny” and that health-care professionals who abide by them and encourage people to be vaccinated against COVID-19 are committing assault.
Three arrested in massive $8M drug bust in West Nipissing
The Ontario Provincial Police are reporting they took down a major drug operation in West Nipissing in a Sept. 15 raid on two properties that resulted in the seizure of some $8 million worth of illegal drugs. The operation broke up what seems to have been an extensive grow operation, with officers seizing cannabis in various stages of production, as well as drug paraphernalia, packing materials and residential and financial documents. Also seized was a firearm with ammunition, two crossbows, and various “consumable products” containing cannabis, as well as cocaine and methamphetamine tablets. Police also seized $700,000 in Canadian currency. Three people were charged with various offences in the raid: A 33-year-old West Nipissing man, and two residents of River Valley, a 48-year-old and a 41-year-old.
Social media influencers tapped to promote Nickel City as part of COVID recovery
The City of Greater Sudbury is enlisting travel bloggers and social media influencers to help spread the word about what the region has to offer. “It’s always the goal of marketing to have other people say good things about you because it holds much more weight than when you toot your own horn,” tourism and culture manager Meredith Armstrong said of the influencers. Although the city has worked with the Travel Media Association of Canada for several years, they’ve only recently begun pursuing social media influencers to help get their messages out. The city has facilitated approximately seven travel writers/bloggers to visit Greater Sudbury so far this year at a cost of approximately $3,000 per trip, for a total of a little more than $21,000. Plus, Armstrong said economic development staff members spend quite a bit of time working with travel writers before they arrive in order to help draft an itinerary that fits the focus of their writing, be it family travel, couples or whatever other bend their writing might have. This eclectic range of voices and audiences is helping get Greater Sudbury’s name out there, Armstrong said, adding that every little bit helps, particularly during the pandemic.
Mostly sunny today with a high of 15
It’s going to be mostly sunny today in the region, with fog patches dissipating in the morning, but some increasing cloudiness toward the noon hour. Today’s high is 15 with a UV index of three, or moderate. This evening will stay cloudy, but will clear toward midnight, but fog patches will develop around the same time. Overnight low is three with a risk of frost.