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Good Morning, Sudbury! Here are eight stories to start your day

Here's what happening around Greater Sudbury today
A standoff that lasted nearly 20 hours ended shortly after 12:30 p.m. on Sept. 13 when Barrie Police found a 63-year-old man who had barricaded himself inside a home, deceased. (File)

Good morning, Greater Sudbury.

Here are some stories to start your day.

Man who barricaded himself inside Garson home found deceased:

A standoff that lasted nearly 20 hours ended shortly after 12:30 p.m. on Sept. 13 when Barrie Police found a 63-year-old man who had barricaded himself inside a home, deceased. Greater Sudbury Police surrounded a home on Sunny Street in Garson Wednesday night,m where a 57-year-old woman was shot and where a man had barricaded himself in the house. The standoff on Sunny Street continued overnight and into the morning. The incident occurred just after 6 p.m. on Sept. 12. A neighbour in the Old Skead Road area posted to Facebook an hour later that he had heard a woman screaming and two gunshots that sounded like they came from a shotgun. The victim in this incident, a 57-year-old woman, suffered gunshot wounds, police said, and is being treated at Health Sciences North for non-life-threatening injuries. Shortly after 12:30 p.m. on Sept. 13, members of the Barrie Police Service Tactical Support Unit entered a residence on Skead Road where the man had barricaded himself inside. Police entered the residence as they could no longer establish communications with the man and officers could no longer see any movement inside of the home. Officers located the 63-year old man deceased inside of the residence. The investigation into this incident is ongoing.

Kingsway project uniting city, Bigger says at campaign launch:

While it has been the subject of much debate and is currently under appeal, Mayor Brian Bigger says most Sudburians are excited about the Kingsway Entertainment District. "I think the entertainment district is something that has actually pulled the community together," Bigger said Thursday, outside of Soucie Salo Safety on Lorne Street, where he launched his re-election campaign. "We're strongly behind that project. This is from what we're hearing from citizens. When I'm out at Valley East Days or anywhere in the community, what I'm hearing from citizens is, let's move forward. "I can assure you that, under my leadership, we're going to have a new and modern and excellent facility that's accessible to everyone in Greater Sudbury." Bigger thanked his wife, Lori, during his remarks, as well as former MPP Rick Bartolucci, who was on hand at the event and is helping with the campaign. Bigger ticked off accomplishments he said council had achieved since 2014, including getting rid of store hours regulations, ending councillor slush funds and record spending on the city's road network. Full story can be found here.

Hospital staff rallying Friday for better funding at HSN:

A number of Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) members who work at Health Sciences North will be holding a rally at the Paris Street entrance to the hospital Friday. The rally will be starting at 11 a.m. and running until 2 p.m. where staff will be calling for adequate funding for the hospital, which operates at or over capacity almost daily. "It is untrue for hospital and regional health network administrators to suggest that patients, care levels and infection control will not be adversely affected by a new round of cuts at Health Sciences North (HSN)," said a news release from CUPE." The cuts touch many areas of patient care including nursing, environmental services, administration, hospital linens, and other hospital support services."  Anticipated budget cuts in the millions of dollars could mean the elimination of hundreds of hours for cleaners and personal support workers (PSWs), and others, amounting to 113 full-time equivalent positions, and "will most certainly have a detrimental impact on patient care," said Dave Shelefontiuk, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 1623. will bring you coverage from today's rally so be sure to check back with us later.

Surgeon speaks out: Women will suffer when hospital axes breast-screening clinic:

A Sudbury surgeon, who operates on women with breast abnormalities, is speaking out about Health Sciences North’s plan to close its Breast Screening Assessment Clinic, saying it will hurt women and result in poorer health outcomes. Dr. Rachel Paradis says ending the program will result in longer wait times to see surgeons for women who have had abnormal mammograms, ultrasounds and other diagnostic tests. The breast assessment clinic, which has been operating for 18 years, is a one-step centre for women with breast issues. They can have mammograms and other diagnostic tests there, and if there’s an abnormality, they are triaged, directed to have biopsies and quickly referred to a surgeon. Paradis recognizes HSN has significant financial restraints and is obligated by the Health ministry to meet budget requirements. So far, hospital administrators have achieved savings by downsizing the number of managers and other employees, and finding efficiencies that don’t affect clinical care. But ending this program will directly hurt patients, mostly women, the surgeon said. HSN’s David McNeil, senior vice-president in charge of patient experience and digital transformation, insists the program is not being eliminated, but rather is being trimmed to help address the $11.1-million deficit HSN has to correct. Find the full story here .

Kirwan wants council to take control of social housing services:

Ward 5 Coun. Robert Kirwan is looking to Greater Sudbury city council to take on the responsibilities of establishing social housing policies in the city. At present, these responsibilities have been delegated by council to the General Manager of Community Development and the Manager of Housing Services, which Kirwan says has basically given these positions power of attorney for council when it comes to decisions regarding social housing. Kirwan is the vice-chair of the Greater Sudbury Housing Corporation, which is the largest housing provider in the city. "During the past four years I have become very much aware of the social housing crisis as the vice-chair of the Greater Sudbury Housing Corporation, which with 1,848 units is the largest housing service provider in Greater Sudbury," said Kirwan. "City council is legally responsible for social housing in Greater Sudbury. City council should be making the policy decisions that affect so many of our low-income residents." Find the full text of Kirwan's press release here.

Councillor fires back at candidate who questioned his expense claims:

Ward 2 Coun. Michael Vagnini is firing back at a mayoral candidate who publicly questioned Vagnini's expense claims in the last three years on council. Bill Crumplin, a Laurentian University professor who ran for the Green Party in the recent provincial election, issued a release last week promising to file a Freedom of Information Request to find out why Vagnini's expenses for meetings, hospitality and office expenses exceeded $20,000, more than $15,000 more than any other candidate. "What exactly are 'meeting and hospitality' expenses?”  Crumplin said in his release. “Mayor (Brian) Bigger believes taxpayers don't deserve to know the details. What we do know is that under the city's expenditure bylaw, meeting and hospitality expenses can include purchasing alcohol with taxpayer money. "I'm appalled that the mayor hasn't taken action on this matter. If elected, I will immediately revise the city’s expenditure bylaw to ensure that all councillor expenses are truly transparent to the public, and I will amend the bylaw to address politicians’ abilities to purchase alcohol on the taxpayer dime.In his response, Vagnini wondered why Crumplin has an issue with him meeting with constituents in his geographically large but sparsely populated ward. “Mr. Crumplin doesn’t mention that with 20 per cent of the roads in the city, I charge no mileage,” Vagnini said in his response. “The average councillor’s mileage cost in 2017 was $2,600 and even the smallest ward charged $2,000. In four years, that amounts to a minimum of $8,000 of the $20,000 Mr. Crumplin has indicated. “There is nothing secretive or hidden in my expenses. I am very proud of my commitment to the constituents and the openness of those constituents in sharing with me their concerns and aspirations for the city. It’s called communicating. Had Mr. Crumplin contacted me, I (would have been) happy to share with him and anyone else evidence in the form of receipts with dates, subject of the meeting and attendees.” Vagnini was particularly offended that Crumplin suggested he had done something improper, and pointed out that all expenses are audited and have to qualify under the rules set out in the bylaw. He's hosting townhall meetings next week, Vagnini said, and will bring the details Crumplin said he'd seek in the FOI. “At these meetings I will be bringing my expenses for the past four years,” Vagnini wrote. “They will be made available to the public to review.”

Bill Sanders releases platform focused on economy, culture and the environment:

Mayoral candidate Bill Sanders has released his election platform that he describes as a no nonsense plan that focuses on needs over wants. Sanders has pledged that if elected, no legacy projects such as a new arena, performing arts centre, and art gallery will be built with public money. In his platform, Sanders highlights four key areas: economic diversity, environment, culture, transparency and inclusivity. "I love this city and feel that I am the person to lead us back to reality. A city that serves its people needs to be dynamic, responsible, progressive, diverse and above all transparent," said Sanders in a news release. You can find Sanders' platform here.

Video: Incredible dust devil towers into the sky over Northern Ontario town:

Hearst resident Makiya Sutherland captured a weather phenomenon known as a dust devil on Saturday, without knowing what it was that she had seen. In a video that has gone viral since it was posted less than 24 hours ago, a tall stream is seen rising upward, seemingly hundreds of feet into the sky. reached out to the experts at Science North known as “Bluecoats” for a briefing on the science behind the weather wonder. Amy Henson, a staff scientist at Science North, said the dust devil Sutherland captured was especially well-formed. “Dust devils form when there is a large difference in heating from one area to another," Henson explained. "So, for example, if you have a piece of asphalt and some grass, the air above the asphalt would heat up faster. Now, the air that is directly above that asphalt has become hotter than the air above it. At this point, the hotter air will begin to rise." Henson said the hotter air works it's way up through the colder air above and almost "breaks a hole" through it, creating a rising column of air. "If the conditions are just right, that air begins to rotate," she said. As the air continues to rotate, the winds can speed it up. The result, a dust devil. Dust devils can reach speeds up to 80 km/h, Henson said. Check out the video here.

Friday Weather:

The warm weather will continue as we close out the work week. A mix of sun and cloud for Friday with a high of around 26, feeling like 33 with the humidity. Clear skies as we head into the evening with the low sitting at 13. For current weather conditions, short-term and long-term forecasts visit's weather page at