Good morning, Greater Sudbury! Here are stories to start your day on this Saturday morning.
Police explain 40% drop in downtown-area crime
Increased foot traffic and police partnerships with various organizations helped push crime rates down in Sudbury’s downtown and surrounding neighbourhoods last year. So described Sgt. Matt Hall from Greater Sudbury Police Service’s Community Response Unit, which organizes many of the police partnerships in question. While Greater Sudbury’s combined property and violent crime rate dropped by 11 per cent last year, the city’s most notable change took place downtown, where the rate dropped by 39.7 per cent. The downtown’s violent crime dropped by 50 per cent (to 242 cases), while property crime dropped by 32.2 per cent (to 450 cases). Neighbourhoods to its immediate north, the Donovan and Flour Mill, also saw their crime rates plummet considerably, with a respective 10.4 per cent and 30.8 per cent. The earlier months of the pandemic saw rates increase, in part, because no-one was around, Hall said.
Ontario students can study nursing for free at Laurentian
Are you an Ontario resident looking to get into the health-care field? You could be eligible for free tuition to study nursing at Laurentian University. The Ontario Learn and Stay Grant will provide free tuition for students enrolling in certain health care programs, including Laurentian’s nursing programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. “We are encouraged to see this investment into the future of Northern Ontario’s health care providers by the Provincial Government. Our diverse pool of students, including francophones, will benefit greatly from this grant, as will the many residents of our region,” said Dr. Sheila Embleton, LU’s interim president and vice-chancellor. Students who receive the grant must commit to working in the region where they studied. For every year of schooling students complete under the grant program, they must work in the region for a six-month period, the release states.
Training program feeds North’s growing film and TV sector
Training sessions offered in Sudbury, North Bay and Sault Ste. Marie this winter will ensure there are more qualified individuals available to work in Northern Ontario’s growing film and television sector. Cultural Industries Ontario North (CION), with support from REEL CANADA, is currently facilitating the Northern Ontario Film Crew Training Sessions, a program providing free training to individuals residing in Northern Ontario who want to start a career in film and television production. The program, which began Jan. 30, consists of three weeks of workshops in Greater Sudbury, both in-person at Northern Ontario Film Studios (NOFS) and online, as well as in North Bay and Sault Ste. Marie. Other partners in the project include DGC Ontario, IATSE 634, IATSE 411, IATSE 667, the City of Greater Sudbury and William F. White International. By the conclusion of sessions, participants will have received direct, extensive training in the fields of production assistant, grip/electric and art department. “This ambitious program will immediately fill workforce-related gaps and support the career progression of emerging talent,” said Patrick O’Hearn, CION’s associate executive director, speaking at a Feb. 9 press conference about the training scheme.
Reporter Heidi Ulrichsen’s Laurentian coverage earns accolades
Sudbury.com reporter Heidi Ulrichsen’s ongoing coverage of the Laurentian University insolvency and restructuring has earned her a silver medal in the Canadian Online Publishing Awards (COPAs). To recap briefly, In February 2021, Laurentian University announced it was insolvent and unable to meet its financial obligations, taking the unprecedented step of seeking recourse under the Companies' Creditor Arrangement Act. It is the first time in Canada that a publicly funded institution has used the mechanism of the CCAA, which is normally reserved for private, for-profit enterprises. As part of that process, Laurentian closed 69 undergraduate and graduate programs and terminated 194 jobs, including 116 faculty positions. Over the past two years, Ulrichsen has written dozens and dozens of stories as she endeavoured to chronicle every aspect of the story, providing the necessary context for readers to have a complete understanding of the issues.
Inspire: The inspiring mind of Adam Selalmatzidis
Grade 11 student Adam Selalmatzidis is not content merely paying lip service to the idea of environmentalism. Selalmatzidis knew he could make a difference working on problems right where he lived, so he began by volunteering for the Junction Creek Stewardship Committee and for Lockerby Composite School’s Environmental Council. “My work with Junction Creek has been very rewarding,” Adam said. “Initially I thought it was just about litter removal, but it’s so much more. I’ve participated in the release of brook trout, the monitoring of turtles, tree planting and invasive species removal. The creek’s health is vital to the community’s health. I feel happy in knowing that I’m making a difference.” His work with Lockerby Composite School’s Environmental Council has kept him educated on larger world issues, and promoting positive change through waste reduction initiatives and education. Adam explained how he became involved, and shares some insight into their future plans. “I was inspired by these activities at a school level and integrated it into a program now offered by the Junction Creek Stewardship Committee,” he said. “Sitting as the lead for the Junction Creek Youth Council, which comprises high school students within the Greater Sudbury area, we have been working on building our ranks and speaking for youth on local environmental issues. This summer we will be presenting a workshop at Ontario Nature’s annual gathering, held in Sudbury, to share our message to a broader audience.”
Junction North doc festival returns to the Indie this month
Sudbury’s own documentary film festival, Junction North, returns to Sudbury Indie Cinema from Feb. 23-26, showcasing some of the year’s best docs from festivals such as Cannes, Sundance, Venice, Berlinale, TIFF and Hot Docs. “We have powerful stories from around the world,” said Beth Mairs, founder and lead programmer of the Sudbury Independent Cinema Co-op, which has been running a yearly documentary film festival since 2013. The Junction North International Documentary Film Festival has its roots as The Best of Hot Docs, showcasing some of the films screened at the Toronto doc festival. But in 2016, the festival went its own way so that Indie Cinema would have more control over programming. Mairs said the feature documentaries in this year’s lineup, some of which have been nominated for Oscars, are from countries including Canada, Brazil, India, the United States, China, South Africa, Poland, Vietnam, Nepal and France.
Mild weekend temperatures expected
Expect a mix of sun and cloud for your Saturday with a high of -1. The wind will be southwesterly at 40 km/h, gusting to 70 in the morning, so plan for a -21 wind chill before noon and a -9 wind chill after noon. The UV index today two, or low. Tonight, expect cloudy periods and a low of -3. For Sunday, expect cloudy skies and a high of zero, For Sunday night, the skies will stay cloudy and the temperature will dip to -5.