Good morning, Greater Sudbury! Here are a few stories to start your day on this Friday morning.
Juror contracts COVID, delays Wright murder trial
The trial of Robert Steven Wright came to an abrupt halt today (March 16) as a juror tested positive for COVID-19 and must isolate. The other jury members, who have been in close quarters throughout the trial, will self-isolate through the weekend. Arrested in 2018, Wright is on trial for the second-degree murder of Sweeney, who was stabbed 27 times while working at a video store on Paris Street on Jan. 27, 1998. At the time, Wright was an 18-year-old student at Lockerby Composite School, which was within walking distance of the store where Sweeney worked. Wright testified on Monday (March 13) and Tuesday (March 14.) He stated he found a bloodied Sweeney lying on the floor of the store, and believing she was already dead, he said he panicked and ran. He also admitted the fingerprints in Sweeney’s blood that were found on a cash tray at the scene were his, as were the teal jacket and gloves that he later testified to discarding after running from the store. They were discovered by police.
Sudburian elected to Ontario Liberals’ national leadership team
There’s a Sudbury voice at the head of the Ontario Liberal Party table, with former Sudbury candidate David Farrow elected vice-president (organization) earlier this month. “It's been some time since we've had a northern person or a rural person on the executive council at the provincial level,” he told Sudbury.com this week, adding that “bringing voice to rural and Northern Ontario” was part of what he campaigned on in the 2022 election, when he ran for the Liberals in the Sudbury constituency. “If we're ever gonna get back to majority government status, we need to represent all regions of Ontario.” In his role, Farrow will co-ordinate with nine regional vice-presidents who cover specific areas of Ontario. This includes Thunder Bay’s Kristen Oliver, who serves as regional vice president for Northern Ontario.
Enforcement doesn’t cut to the ‘root cause’ of panhandling
Although panhandlers are on the Greater Sudbury Police Service’s radar, enforcement has not been their course of action in tackling the issue. Enforcement “is just not getting to the root cause” of the issues that result in panhandling, Insp. Dan Despatie told Sudbury.com. Rather than fine people for breaking the provincial Safe Streets Act, which prohibits certain acts of panhandling and can result in the levying of fines, Despatie said they focus instead on linking people with services that might prevent them from needing to panhandle in the first place. “It's a connected web of social issues that lead people to having to get on the street and beg for money,” Despatie said. “Giving you a fine is not helping you. It's not helping the situation, because you're coming back tomorrow, right? So let's go with an agency that can maybe get you some regular work.” Included in Greater Sudbury Police Chief Paul Pedersen’s monthly report at Wednesday’s Police Service Board meeting was a statistic that 106 panhandlers were “moved along” and 23 were “warned.”
Wolves clinch playoff spot in big win over Greyhounds
Sudbury Wolves fans were treated to a rare Wednesday night game this week at the Old Barn, taking on their northern archrivals, the Soo Greyhounds in what promised to be a spirited contest. And a spirited contest is exactly what the 2,671 fans in attendance received in this one. Sudbury outshot the Sault 39-35 on the way to a big 7-3 win. It didn't take long for Sudbury to find the back of the net on this night, with Landon McCallum scoring his 13th goal of the season, assisted by Nicholas Yearwood, just 2:21 into the game. That is how the period ended, with Sudbury leading the Sault, 1-0. With the win, the Sudbury Wolves now have a record of 28-27-5-3, which is good for seventh place in the Ontario Hockey League's Eastern Conference. The win also officially clinches a playoff spot for the Wolves. Sudbury's next game is March 17 at 7:05 p.m. at home against the Peterborough Petes. Then the Pack hits the road to take on the North Bay Battalion on March 19 at 2 p.m.
Pets & Animals: Spring is in bloom, and so are ticks
It seems weird to be talking about spring on the eve of a March snowstorm, but spring is coming and usually that is when pet owners start thinking about protecting our pets against parasites, particularly fleas and ticks. Living in the north, our cold winter and snow cover makes us believe that pets are not in need of parasite prevention throughout the winter months, but this can be misleading. Fleas prefer a consistent average temperature of 12°C to be active, but eggs can survive months at cold temperatures and can lay dormant in your home as well. Ticks can be active at as low as -10°C. At my clinic, we have pulled ticks off patients as late as mid-December. Our winters are becoming milder and those milder temperatures mean the risk of ticks will keep increasing and be a year-round concern as they are in other regions. Ticks and fleas can cause your pet to be uncomfortable, and pose risks to your family (fleas prefer to bite animals, but they will take a meal from humans if they must), as they can also carry and transmit infectious diseases.
Heckuva week for local lotto players: Two major jackpots
It was a good week to be a lottery winner in Sudbury — well, it was a good week for two local lotto players to be exact. The Nickel City saw two residents take home major lottery prizes this week. Announced today but won back on Feb. 13, Craig Brady of Sudbury was at a Shell station on Bowes Street in Parry Sound getting gas when he decided to play the Lightning Lotto game and ended up winning $859,653. On March 15, OLG announced that Kimberly Fex of Hanmer had won $100,000 when she matched the last six of seven Encore numbers in exact order for the the Feb. 3 Lotto Max draw and won $100,000.
Snow and rain in the forecast for Friday
Expect a cloudy day today with a high of two. Snow will be heavy at times and mixed with rain. The UV index today is one, or low. Tonight, expect more periods of snow or rain, and winds. The overnight low is -8.