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

Here's what happening around Greater Sudbury today
Watch as the Sudbury Five gave a local family an experience they will never forget in this emotional act of kindness for 14-year-old Cassandra Roberts.

Good morning, Greater Sudbury.

Here are some stories to start your day.

12 Days of Kindness continues with a little help from the Sudbury Five:

Cassandra Roberts is passionate about basketball. Despite having scoliosis, the 14-year-old continues to play for the girl's basketball team at Confederation Secondary School. While it can be painful, Cassandra's love for the sport is what pushes her through. Cassandra will be having surgery at Sick Kids in Toronto on Dec. 12 which has put a lot of stress on her parents and older siblings. Check out our surprise for Cassandra in today's Act of Kindness, today at 7 a.m.

Two Sudburians arrested for sex offences as part of province-wide child porn sweep:

Two Sudburians — one of them a 45-year-old man and the other a teenage boy — have been arrested by Greater Sudbury Police for sex offences against children. The police service's cyber crime unit conducted four search warrants at separate residences in Greater Sudbury, and arrested the two suspects as a result. Two victims have been identified as a result of the investigations and they have been referred to appropriate victim services. A 45-year-old man was charged with luring a person under 16 years, make arrangement to commit sexual offence against child, indecent exposure to person under 16 years and make explicit material available to person under 16 years. A 17-year-old boy has also been charged with two counts of luring a person under 18 years, three counts a luring a person under 16 years, two counts of making child pornography, three counts of possession of child pornography and three counts of indecent exposure to a person under 16 years. The investigations are ongoing, and additional charges are pending. 

Video: These adorable puppies will warm your heart on a cold day:

A northern dog named Dixie delivered eight beautiful, super-healthy puppies just two days after she arrived in Sudbury from Whitefish Bay. The Northern Reach Rescue Network, Second Chance Pet Network, the Peterborough Humane Society and Brant County SPCA each worked in partnership to make her transfer both possible and successful. After her arrival, Northern Legacy Horse Farm fostered Dixie and the pups until they were weaned and ready for adoption. Having spent their first two months with their mother, the pups are a happy and rambunctious litter. They're also very healthy: the biggest pup -- named Spiderman, already weighs 24 pounds at only 8 weeks old. Moments before all eight puppies became available for adoption at the Ontario SPCA Sudbury & District Animal Centre on December 6, checked out each one. They're equally adorable, as you'll see in this video.

Good dog, Leo! GSPS has a new member, of the K9 variety:

Greater Sudbury Police are introducing everyone to their newest member — Leo the police dog. Leo, who is handled by Const. John Robinson, is a Shepherd Malinois mix. He is almost two years old and was born in the Czech Republic. Leo loves long walks on the boardwalk, belly rubs and his king kong. His big ears help him to hear those in distress and his tiny tail keeps criminals guessing. Const. Robinson has been with the Greater Sudbury Police Service since 2004, and prior to being the successful K9 officer candidate, he was assigned to the Tactical Unit. This dynamic duo recently completed the 18-week Ontario Provincial Police General Service Dog course. “They are ready for duty and excited to meet you,” said a press release from the police service.

Here to help: Women's Centre holds vigil for École Polytechnique massacre:

The Sudbury Women's Centre held a vigil Thursday evening, in collaboration with the YWCA, in memory of the École Polytechnique massacre that occurred on Dec. 6, 1989. On that tragic day, 29 years ago, 14 women were killed by a lone gunman who shot 28 people, killing 14 women before turning the gun on himself. In attendance for Thursday's solemn ceremony were represenatives from a number of organizations in Greater Sudbury that are working to end violence against women. Representatives from Voices for Women, Laurentian University Women's Centre, the Ministry of the Attorney General, YWCA, and Greater Sudbury Police Service were all at Thursday's vigil. Greater Sudbury mayor Brian Bigger also attended, and spoke to the group of roughly a dozen women. Check back with later today for a full story.

Poet laureate removed from inauguration ceremony after penning 'political' poem about parking:

In September, Greater Sudbury poet laureate Chloé LaDuchesse was asked by the city to read a poem at the Dec. 4 inauguration of the new city council. Because she felt none of her existing work was appropriate, and because she wanted a challenge, she wrote a new poem for the occasion. After putting about a full day's work into the piece, which is entitled “Yet Another Rock Poem,” and is written in English, her second language, LaDuchesse submitted it to the city for review. “I sent them as soon as it was ready, and a couple of days later, they told me my presence wasn't required anymore,” LaDuchesse said. “The plans had changed.” The poem touches on what LaDuchesse called in a Facebook post “the same old debate” surrounding parking and the city's big projects. She said she doesn't know for sure if it was the political nature of her poem that resulted in her being removed from the inauguration's agenda. “Of course it's a busy meeting,” LaDuchesse said. “Maybe they didn't have enough time. I asked them if they didn't like the poem, and they just said plans had changed. So you never know.” The City of Greater Sudbury provided the following written response when asked about LaDuchesse being removed from the inauguration's agenda. “Format changes do occasionally happen at city planned events,” said the statement. Find the full story and LaDuchesse's poem here.

Hope Air provides … hope for patients travelling long distances:

For people who need medical care far from home, travel to get there can be a huge financial burden. That's where Hope Air comes in. Hope Air is the only national charity arranging free flights to low-income patients that need to travel for medical care. Since 1986, Hope Air has provided more than 130,000 flights to patients in need. The organization relies on financial donations, the support of commercial airlines and a dedicated group of volunteers to provide these critical services. Last year, Hope Air arranged for 111 flights from Greater Sudbury —  32 per cent of which were for cancer patients. Cancer is one of the main illnesses for which people utilize Hope Air. In fact, of the 12,854 flights provided last year, 24 per cent were for cancer patients. Flights are provided for diagnosis, treatment or follow-up care.

Man has been missing since Monday, police say:

Greater Sudbury Police are asking for the public's help in locating 25-year-old Branden Bodson-Gratton. In a tweet Thursday, police said Bodson-Gratton was last seen Monday on Elm Street downtown. He is 5-foot-10, 155 pounds with short brown hair and hazel eyes. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call police at 705-675-9171, or Crime Stoppers at 705-222-8477.

Tree-lighting celebration Saturday evening at Anderson Farm Museum:

Lively's annual Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration takes place at the Anderson Farm Museum Saturday, Dec. 8 from 6-8 p.m. The event includes a visit from Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus, free hot chocolate, coffee, cookies, candy and popcorn, horse-drawn wagon rides and performances by local schoolchildren as well as the band Pop Machine. There will also be a collection of winter clothing for Coats for Kids and non-perishable food for the Walden Food Bank.

Friday Weather: 

Bundle up, Sudbury, it's going to be a chilly one. Sunny skies overhead with a high of -16 for Friday, feeling like -31 with the wind chill this morning. Clear skies early in the evening then partly cloudy with 30 per cent chance of flurries late in the evening and overnight.  Overnight low will be -20, feeling like -26. There is a risk of frostbite. For current weather conditions, short-term and long-term forecasts visit's weather page at