Good morning, Greater Sudbury.
Here are some stories to start your day.
Competing agendas, closed door discussions behind efforts to replace GSDC, sources say:
Details are emerging about the reasons behind Greater Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger's motion last month to replace the board members of the Greater Sudbury Development Corp. While Bigger initially said the motion was an extension of his campaign promise to put more focus on economic development, Sudbury.com has learned from multiple sources the sudden move was driven over concerns the board was holding too many closed door meetings and were leaving council in the dark on important issues. In one case, the board voted behind closed doors to apply for funding for a $3.5 million feasibility study for a major long-term project downtown that aims to remove the railway tracks and redevelop the land. The project is being driven by a developer proposing to build a convention centre downtown, and the plan assumes Sudbury Arena would remain downtown -- even though city council voted to relocate it to the controversial Kingsway Entertainment District. Full story here.
Police continue to receive complaints about Amber Alerts:
The Ontario Provincial Police are reminding the public that calling 911 or any emergency service communication centre is not an appropriate venue to complain about Amber Alerts. The system was put into use early Thursday morning after two young boys were reported missing. The children were found in good health, along with their grandfather at around 5 a.m. York Regional Police said that the Amber Alert was directly responsible for the boys being located. "The Ontario Amber Alert program continues to be an instrumental tool in assisting both the public and police with locating an abducted child who may be in danger," said the OPP in a news release. "The decision to utilize the Ontario Amber Alert is based on established criteria, and is not taken lightly." In 2019, there have been five Amber Alerts activated. As a direct result of these alerts, four assisted in the safe return of the child/children and one with the apprehension of a suspect.
Mayor welcomes LPAT ruling on the KED:
Greater Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger says a ruling Wednesday by a provincial appeals tribunal is good news for the Kingsway Entertainment District. “We're seeing some progress,” Bigger said Wednesday. “As I've said all along, we need to follow the process. We'll know more on Aug. 8 at the case management conference, but all the indications as of today are looking positive for the Kingsway Entertainment District.” Bigger was referring to a decision released Wednesday by the Local Planning Appeals Tribunal (LPAT) that rejected six of the 28 issues opponents of the KED have put forward in their legal arguments in trying to stop the project. The issues include whether the city had to hold a referendum before approving a casino, and questions about the process the city used in 2012 to declare it supported a new gaming facility. The tribunal also rejected an argument that the LPAT should rule whether the city was biased – fettered, in legal language – when it approved the decision, suggesting Superior Court would be the appropriate venue to hear that issue. The tribunal also set an Aug. 8 date for the next case management conference to deal with the remaining issues. More on this story here.
Car takes down hydro pole, closes Lorne Street:
A section of Lorne Street was closed for much of the day Thursday after a vehicle struck a hydro pole in the city's west end at around 7:30 a.m. Close to 1,200 customers were left without power, with the last 60 or so customers finally getting back online at around 4:45 p.m. Greater Sudbury Hydro was able to reroute power to about 400 customers shortly after the outage, and most customers had their power restored by roughly 10:30 a.m. Hydro crews were on site for much of the day doing cleanup however, and the section of road was closed in both directions for the majority of the day. Video of the collision scene can be found here.
Inmate from Sudbury jailed for brutal attack was caught after escaping B.C. prison:
A Sudbury man who was convicted of a brutal 2009 attack that left his victim with serious permanent brain damage has been recaptured after escaping from a British Columbia prison. Zachary Armitage, 30, escaped from William Head Institution, a minimum security federal institution in Metchosin, B.C., on July 7 along with another inmate, James Lee Busch, 42. An off-duty member of the West Shore RCMP captured the pair Wednesday morning, the force said in a news release. "The off duty officer was walking his dog, a Great Dane named Lewis, in the area of West Bay in Esquimalt when the escaped inmates commented on how big Lewis was,” Const. Nancy Saggar, West Shore RCMP media relations officer, is quoted as saying in the release. “That's when the RCMP officer immediately recognized the males as Armitage and Busch. The RCMP officer called 911 right way and kept an eye on the inmates. Victoria Police responded with a heavy police presence and safely took the inmates into custody."
NOSM's commitment to community involvement fills a niche in medical education, says the school's new dean:
The landscape of Ontario's medical schools is more niche-oriented than those outside of the health-care field may be aware, and Laurentian's Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) has its own unique place in that arena. Dr. Sarita Verma has taken the helm as the dean, president and CEO at NOSM on a five-year term. She is the first female dean of the school, succeeding Dr. Roger Strasser, the school's founding dean and CEO. Verma was the focal point of a meet and greet at the school on July 9, and while she admits she's still familiarizing herself with the city of Sudbury, her knowledge of NOSM is vast and goes back a number of years. "What I knew about NOSM (before arriving) was fairly substantial because I've been at the table for the last 25 years. I was there at Queen's University as post-grad Dean when NOSM was born and watched the evolution," said Verma. "I met with the first post-grad dean, the first dean many times. NOSM is a relatively known entity, and I've been chair of the residency matching program nationally, so there's not too much that is a big surprise." Compared to some of the province's top medical schools, NOSM is still very much in its infant stages. Its first group of graduates are only 10 years removed from their schooling, but Verma said the opportunity to work in a smaller centre and at a smaller hospital such as Health Sciences North pushes doctors to think outside the box more often and employ all of their diagnostic skills. Get the full story here.
Junior Spartans take on Orangeville Outlaws at home this weekend:
The Sudbury Junior Varsity Spartans are coming off a big road win against the North Bay JV Bulldogs last Saturday that cemented them in first place in the Northern Division. Saturday’s win also secured them a home playoff game which will take place on Saturday, July 20. However, before they head to the post season, the JV Spartans look towards the Orangeville Outlaws this weekend as they try to size themselves up against a team that they may have to face off against once again in the playoffs. The JV Spartans sit 5-2 on the season and are looking to try to hold onto second place in the league for a possible better playoff matchup. The Orangeville Outlaws are 2-4 heading into the game against the JV Spartan this weekend and will be fighting tooth and nail to clinch a playoff spot. The game kicks off at 1 p.m. and will be on rain or shine. Tickets for Saturday’s home game will be available at the gate for $5 and there will also be $3 Spartans programs available for fans as well.
Mainly clear skies today as we head into the weekend. Temperature will be a little cooler than it's been of late with the high only getting up to 23. A few clouds in the evening with the overnight low dropping to 16. For current weather conditions, short-term and long-term forecasts visit Sudbury.com's weather page at www.sudbury.com/weather.