Good morning, Greater Sudbury! Here are a few stories to start your day on this Thursday morning.
Eligibility for a fourth-dose COVID-19 booster opens today
More Ontario residents will be eligible to get the fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine starting tomorrow, April 7. The Ontario government said that after consulting with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, it has decided that a fourth dose will be eligible to individuals aged 60 and older. This also applies to First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals and their non-Indigenous household members aged 18 and over. The Ministry of Health said expanding the booster eligibility will provide an extra layer of protection against the Omicron and BA.2 variants of COVID. In addition to antivirals, the fourth dose is another tool the province is using to live with and manage COVID-19, said the ministry. Starting April 7 at 8:00 a.m., eligible individuals will be able to book their fourth dose appointment through the COVID-19 vaccination portal, by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900, or directly through public health units that use their own booking systems, through Indigenous-led vaccination clinics, participating pharmacies, and participating primary care settings. In Sudbury, information on vaccines and local clinics is published regularly by Public Health Sudbury and Districts, which has a vaccine information page.
Arrest warrant issued for suspected Walmart shooter Kaden Graham
Greater Sudbury Police has an arrest warrant for the person they believe is responsible for the shooting at the Walmart on Lasalle Boulevard at approximately 9:30 p.m. March 31. Police are looking for Kaden Graham, 20. The arrest warrant is for attempted murder with a firearm, unauthorized possession of a firearm, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, possession of a firearm knowing its possession is unauthorized, pointing a firearm and failing to comply with a judicial release order. On April 1, police believed they’d tracked the suspect down to a property on Melvin Street, where a heavy police presence was seen on site throughout the afternoon. They later clarified that the suspect remained at large. Anyone with information related to Graham’s whereabouts is asked to contact police immediately at 705-675-9171 or Crime Stoppers at 705-222-8477.
Flood outlook: ‘Significant runoff’ a potential in the next 36 hours
Conservation Sudbury has issued a Flood Outlook message, which is an early notice for the potential for flooding. The Flood Outlook is expected to remain in effect until 10 a.m. on April 12, and has been sparked by a forecasted two to three centimetres of rain within the next 36 hours and warmer temperatures throughout the week. In a media release issued by Conservation Sudbury today (April 6), it’s noted that current water levels and flows on all watercourses in the area are elevated but within the seasonal range. But the significant snowpack left in the upper reaches of area watersheds holds more than 10 centimetres of additional water content that will combine with the abundant rain on the forecast, potentially creating problems. “The combination of rainfall and snowmelt will produce significant runoff resulting in higher flows and water levels,” according to the release.
First private pain clinic in the North is now open in Sudbury
Pain has become such a part of the human condition that people write jokes about it. They write books and even movies about it. The number of songs that talk about pain is off the charts. But sadly, chronic pain is nothing to sing about. In Sudbury, members of the medical community have responded to a growing demand and created Northern Ontario's first private pain clinic. Pain Pathway North is the new clinic at 1536 Lasalle Boulevard that opened Tuesday morning. Kim Brouzes, a Certified Athletic Therapist in Sudbury, has partnered with physician Dr. Dennis Reich, to open the new clinic in response to what Brouzes said was a demand for a facility to help people manage their pain. "Well, we're hoping to aim for the functional pain patient; meaning someone who's trying to go to work, raise their family, get to hockey practice, but they're not sleeping well, or they're not functioning well. And we're hoping to fill that void to make everybody's life a little bit better."
Lawyers working to firm up preliminary hearing dates in Burke murder case
There was a bit of confusion on April 5 between the Crown attorney and counsel for Melissa Sheridan, charged with first-degree murder in the death of her husband, Brant Burke. Sheridan didn’t appear in person, but was represented by her lawyer, Michael Lacy. Lacy said he had received information that the Crown attorney’s office had dozens of witnesses subpoenaed for a three-day preliminary hearing from June 14-16. Citing personal reasons, Lacy requested to vacate the third day, June 16, and to reschedule it. The matter will return April 19 for possible confirmation. Burke’s body was discovered on Oct. 25, 2020 on a trail in the Point Grondine Reserve off Highway 637, the road that leads to the hamlet of Killarney. Sheridan was granted bail in December 2020 under a set of strict conditions. Also charged with first-degree murder is Kerry Burke, the brother of the victim. He has pretrial dates coming up in May.
Schedule a smart water meter installation to avoid penalties, city says
As penalties loom for those who refuse to have smart water meters installed, the city is clarifying that there will be plenty of opportunities for people to comply before it reaches that point. “If citizens just call and say they’re willing to move forward with the process, let’s map that out and see what it looks like and then we don’t have to worry about this terrible situation of turning off your water,” city director of water/wastewater Mike Jensen explained to Sudbury.com. Those who haven’t been contacted don’t need to worry yet, as crews are currently undertaking the installations on a ward-by-ward basis, beginning with Wards 10, 12, 1 and 11. Service disconnection is the last resort for those who refuse the new smart water meter technology, and follow the implementation of a $50 monthly fee to help cover the administrative burden of continuing to read water meters manually instead of online via the new meters, which transmit data online in a near real-time basis to both the city and customer. Some commenters on Sudbury.com expressed concern that cancelled appointments that prevent people from having the new meters installed would lead to people being hit with the $50 fee — that’s not the case, the city told us. Only those who actively refuse or avoid having smart water meters installed will face a $50 monthly fee, which Jensen described as a temporary solution.
More showers in the forecast for today
Yesterday’s rain is expected to continue in some capacity today. Expect a high of 6 degrees today under cloudy skies. There is a 60-per-cent chance of showers. Fog patches will dissipate over the morning. Tonight, the temperature will drop to 1 degree, and a 60-per-cent chance of showers will continue.