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Good morning, Nickel City! Here are stories to start your day

Happy Saturday!
151122_chris-blomme-ruffed-grouse-male reader Chris Blomme shared this image of a male ruffed grouse strutting his stuff. welcomes submissions of local photography for publication with our morning greeting. Send yours to

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

Teacher accused of sending students sexual social media messages

A teacher accused of sending inappropriate social media messages of a sexual nature to students in 2019 while employed by the Rainbow District School Board will face a disciplinary hearing by the Ontario College of Teachers. A notice of hearing for Barry David Williams said he is accused of committing acts that are “dishonourable or unprofessional” and that he “engaged in conduct unbecoming to a member.” According to his file on the Ontario College of Teachers website, Williams is currently classified as “inactive/non-practising.” He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Laurentian University in 2004 and a Bachelor of Education from Nipissing University in 2005. A notice of hearing for Williams was issued May 18, and a hearing date has been set for Dec. 19. The Rainbow District School Board has confirmed that Williams is no longer employed by the board. "We take these matters very seriously," said a spokesperson for the board. 

Read the full story here.

‘Superstar’ Dr. Cindy Blackstock named chancellor of NOSM U

NOSM University (Northern Ontario School of Medicine) announced Thursday that Dr. Cindy Blackstock, an Indigenous child and family rights activist and a member of the Gitxsan First Nation, is the first ever chancellor of the new university. Her appointment was announced in a televised ceremony held at the NOSM Sudbury campus on Thursday where several members of the new board of governors were also in attendance. Blackstock, who was not in Sudbury, appeared on a video link to hundreds of viewers at both NOSM sites in Sudbury and Thunder Bay. Blackstock is a professor at the McGill University School of Social Work and along with 25 years of practical experience, she also has a PhD (Social Work) from the University of Toronto and is an Officer of the Order of Canada. Dr. Sarita Verma, president, vice-chancellor, dean and CEO of NOSM University, described Blackstock as a "superstar" and welcomed her to the inaugural chancellor role. "No. 1, she represents a community voice, a grassroots movement, that was the beginnings of our institution that came from community that truly actually speaks to the needs of community, children, the residential school survivors, health equity generally, not just for indigenous people, for all people, and but specifically for us addressing the calls for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission," said Verma. Secondly, Verma said Blackstock was "a woman of courage" who sees the need for change and works and inspires others to achieve change. 

Read the full story here.

Third-period rally sees Wolves drop Petes 6-4

The Sudbury Wolves came alive in the third period of their Thursday night road game against the Peterborough Petes, scoring three goals in the final frame and skating to a 6-4 win. The teams were evenly matched in terms of shots on goal, with 35 for the Petes to 33 for the Wolves. Neither team was able to capitalize on power play opportunities, with each going zero for three. The win improves the Wolves record to 7-10-2-0, good enough for seventh in the OHL’s Eastern Conference and 16th overall. The Wolves continue their road swing this weekend, taking on the Kingston Frontenacs tonight and then paying a visit to the Ottawa 67s on Sunday. They return home Nov. 30 to take on the North Bay Battalion.

Read the full story here.

Memory Lane: Y2K, ‘We all survived and life went on’

Since the introduction of the Gregorian calendar, we spend the evening of the last day of December looking toward the next either in celebration of the promise of what is to come or in complete disinterest at just another year passing by us and into another. Well, it seems, by and large, from the responses received to the article about Y2K, the majority of Sudburians at the time expected the year 1999 to end with a quiet whimper (played out to the sound of fireworks popping, naturally) and not in a horrible bang, accompanied by planes falling out of the sky and technology fighting back, as was “predicted” by “The Simpsons” in that year’s “Treehouse of Horror” Halloween episode (Thank you, Ryan Wildgoose for that pop culture memory). Ryan, being only eight years old at the time, was not unlike most young people in the “Internet Middle Ages,” and “didn't quite understand all the hysteria and the concerns about computers failing.” His only goal for that day, as with any other New Year’s Eve, was to stay up and usher in the New Year (and new millennium) and observe the pomp and circumstance we have become accustomed to in the New Year’s Rockin’ Eve Era. With that being said, there were still those who, although they were looking forward to the celebratory aspects of the evening, were still taking precautions on the off-chance that the dire predictions that permeated the conversation over the previous few years bore fruit.  

Read the full story here.

Festive RIDE spot check program back for another year

The holiday season is nearly upon us, and with that comes holiday parties — and possible overindulgence in alcohol or other substances. To keep the roads safe, local police services and their community partners launched the Festival (Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere) RIDE program Nov. 25. They will be stepping up vehicle spot checks throughout Greater Sudbury from now until after New Year’s Day, looking for impaired driving and other offences and providing education. Greater Sudbury Police Sgt. Blair Ramsey, who works with the service’s traffic management unit, said police of course do vehicle spot checks all year round. “But there's just a bigger focus around the holidays because of people getting together, having Christmas parties, and we don't want to have tragedies on our roadways,” he said.

Read the full story here.

Bold: Hiking in winter? You better believe it

So with December on our doorstep, and just less than a week away, Sudbury area hiking enthusiasts (and yes, there are hundreds) are preparing for the Christmas on The Trail event that takes place Saturday, Dec. 3. The organizer of the hike is Ursula Sauvé, a well-known name in Sudbury's outdoor adventure circles. Sauvé is a long-time member of the Rainbow Routes Association, a not-for-profit organization that encourages healthy adventure and a connection to nature through the many wilderness and urban trails in the city. Sauvé said local hiking has seen a resurgence since the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when so many people were being told to isolate and to stay at home if it was not absolutely necessary to go out. She said when many people needed to get out they turned to fresh-air walks and finding nature trails. "In Sudbury, we are quite lucky to have so much green space that is accessible to most people within a few minutes," Sauvé said.

Read the full story here.

What?! High of 7 today

The unusual weather continues as the forecast calls for a high of 7 today. Expect a mix of sun and cloud with winds out of the southwest at 30 km/h gusting to 50. A wind chill of -12 is expected this morning. The UV index today is two, or low. Tonight, expect increasing cloudiness and a low of zero. For Sunday, the forecast calls for cloudy skies with a 70-per-cent chance of showers or flurries. The daytime high is 2. For tonight, expect periods of snow and a low of -8.