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

Happy Wednesday!
110422_linda derkacz pussy willows emerging
Sudbury.com reader Denise Kitchin spotted some pussy willows on a recent outing. Sudbury.com welcomes submissions of local photography for publication with our morning greeting. Send yours to editor@sudbury.com.

Good morning, Greater Sudbury! Here are a few stories to start your day on this Wednesday morning.

A year after Laurentian ‘Black Monday’ cuts, we caught up with some of those impacted

Danielle Drescher said when she heard her program at Laurentian University had been cut a year ago, “it felt like the world stopped on a dime.” Drescher is one of the people affected by Laurentian University’s massive program and staff cuts that took place April 12, 2021, as part of its ongoing court-supervised insolvency restructuring under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA). On what has been dubbed “Black Monday,” the community learned that Laurentian had cut 58 undergraduate and 11 graduate programs and 194 full-time positions (116 full-time faculty, 41 unionized staff and 37 non-union jobs). Higher education consultant Alex Usher referred to this as “the largest set of cuts at a university ever, in Canada.” “These program changes, combined with the recently-announced termination of our agreements with the federated universities, will focus Laurentian’s academic offerings on those programs which are of higher demand,” said a press release issued by Laurentian at the time.

Read the full story here.

Missing man, 43, was last seen April 8

Greater Sudbury Police are asking for the public's assistance to locate 43-year-old Triole Headley. He was last seen on April 8 on Simcoe Street (in the Little Britain area, near Elm Street). Headley is described as being 5-9 with short black hair. He was wearing a black jacket, yellow reflective shirt and black work books. Anyone with information is asked to contact Greater Sudbury Police at 705-675-9171 or Crime Stoppers at 705-222-TIPS (8477) or www.sudburycrimestoppers.com.

Special weather statement: ‘Significant rainfall’ expected Wednesday and Thursday

A special weather statement is in effect for Greater Sudbury and vicinity. Environment Canada says significant rainfall is expected Wednesday and Thursday. Periods of rain and thunderstorms are expected to bring rainfall to the region beginning Wednesday morning and continuing through Thursday. Total rainfall amounts could range between 30 and 50 mm, particularly in regions that experience thunderstorms.

PHSD sends letter to parents, encouraging mask-wearing in JK-12 schools

Although mask-wearing is now optional in JK-12 schools in Ontario, Public Health Sudbury & Districts says it continues to “strongly recommend the use of well-fitted masks among students, staff, volunteers and visitors to protect against COVID-19.” The health unit sent a letter on the subject April 4 to parents and guardians who attend local JK-12 schools. You can read that letter in its entirety on the Rainbow District School Board’s website. “The pandemic is not over, and our area continues to have higher rates of COVID-19 compared with the province,” the letter said. “Prevention is key and wearing a mask and practising physical distancing are added layers of protection, as is getting vaccinated when eligible and staying home when ill. “Everyone is experiencing the pandemic differently and may have different comfort levels when it comes to personal protective measures like wearing a mask. We encourage parents and guardians to have a conversation with their children about the importance of wearing a well-fitted mask and to respect the decision of others to wear a mask if they choose to do so.”

Read the full story here.

Sudbury man’s mobile game concept puts players in the shoes of opioid addiction

A Sudbury man is in the process of developing a video game that is designed to raise awareness about opioid addiction and provide options to people looking to survive the addiction. Patrick Gervais said he was inspired to develop the game — titled Surviving Opioids — a couple of years ago when he was taking an online course in game development. Gervais said one of his classes suggested that students could use life experiences for gaming ideas. "At the time, I was in the process of weaning off of Methadone to recover from an opioid addiction that started with oxy (Oxycontin, Oxycodone) around 2005," Gervais said. He said he believes the game can help addicted people through the recovery process while helping friends and family understand the struggles that are faced by the addicted. "My determination to succeed in this permeated every aspect of my life. With the opioid crisis continuing to escalate with no end in sight, it was abundantly clear to me that this was the perfect topic to explore as a game concept. Not only would it help me review everything I have learnt about recovery, but it could also help others," Gervais said.  

Read the full story here.

Copper Cliff resident wins $100,000 on Lotto Max

Tina Stickles of Copper Cliff is the newest lottery winner in Sudbury, winning $100,000 in the March 15 Lotto Max draw. She matched the last six of seven Encore numbers in exact order to win. Stickles is a retiree from the healthcare industry, and said she plays the lottery regularly.  She said her partner checked her tickets using the OLG App. "He looked at me and said, 'Oh my God,’ and I reminded him I didn't have my coffee yet," she laughed. "He scanned the ticket again right in front of me and I couldn't even grasp the prize amount I was seeing!" Stickles plans to pay some bills and contribute to an education savings plan for her granddaughter. "I also plan to treat my partner and family to celebrate," she said. Stickles’ winning ticket was purchased at Cara's Convenience on Lorne Street in Sudbury.

Risk of thunderstorms today

Expect cloudy skies today and a risk of thunderstorms late in the morning and in the afternoon. Periods of rain are expected as well. The wind will be out of the east at 30 km/h, gusting to 50. The UV index today is two, or low. This evening, the temperature will actually go up by one degree to seven, with more rain in the forecast.