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Good morning, Sudbury! Here are seven stories to start your day

Here's what's happening around Greater Sudbury today
The owner of a restaurant in Greater Sudbury is pleading guilty to sex assault and exploitation charges involving a former employee who was 17 when she was victimized. Sentencing is expected today.

Good morning, Greater Sudbury.

Here are some stories to start your day.

Restaurant owner charged in sexual assualt of a minor to be sentenced today:

The owner of a restaurant in Greater Sudbury is pleading guilty to sex assault and exploitation charges involving a former employee who was 17 when she was victimized. The victim and her family were in court on May 9, expecting the man to plead guilty and to read victim impact statements. However, under a deal with the Crown, the man was given until August to “get his affairs in order” before formally pleading guilty. His lawyer, Berk Keaney, told Ontario Court Justice Randall Lalande that a joint submission with the Crown on sentencing will be part of the man's guilty plea, originally scheduled for Aug. 21, but has been bumped up to Aug. 15. Check back with later today for an update to this story.

Committee unanimously rejects EcoLife owner's bid to get his business license back:

Wednesday's hearing committee meeting at Tom Davies Square was all but an open and shut case as the committee voted unanimously to uphold the decision to revoke EcoLife Home Improvements owner Dave Murray's business license. Close to two dozen people gathered in council chambers Wednesday, a handful of them taking the opportunity to speak to the committee about their experiences with Murray and his company. Murray was a no-show at the afternoon meeting. Hearing committee chair Mark Signoretti said Murray told him he would not be attending due to a court appearance scheduled for the same day. The embattled contractor was scheduled to make an appearance at the Sudbury Courthouse on Wednesday morning on theft and trafficking of stolen property charges. He didn't show up to that, either. The hearing committee's unanimous recommendation to uphold the decision to revoke Murray's business license will now be passed along to city council at their next meeting Sept. 10. Once the decision is ratified by city council, it all but marks the end of the line for Dave Murray's business dealings in the Greater Sudbury, as a license revocation will be attached to his name, as well as to any business he or any of his affiliates are attached to in the future. Full story here.

Stolen cellphone leads to hammer attack at New Sudbury Centre:

A man is facing numerous charges today following a hammer attack at the New Sudbury Centre yesterday afternoon. Greater Sudbury Police told officers were called out to an assault in progress at the mall on Lasalle Boulevard just before 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 13. The caller told police one man was hitting the other with a hammer. When police arrived the culprit had already fled, but they did find the victim, who told police a stolen cellphone was what led up to the altercation. The injured victim, who had his cellphone stolen, said he managed to wrestle the hammer away from his attacker before the other man fled on foot. He was able to provide a description of the man. The victim sustained only minor injuries, police said. Officers began to search the area surrounding the mall for the attacker. Just after 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, GSPS got a tip that a man matching the description of the attacker had been spotted outside the New Sudbury Centre. Police rushed to the scene and arrested the alleged attacker. A 21-year old man has been charged with possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, assault with a weapon, assault causing bodily harm and theft under $5,000. He was released on a promise to appear.

CMHA screwed up its downtown shelter project, and now city taxpayers are bailing them out:

Construction of a centre downtown for homeless people and those battling addictions has run into some major problems, city council heard Tuesday, and requires $2.2 million to continue. Although unhappy, councillors approved the funding in the form of an interest-free loan, after getting a detailed rundown of how things went horribly wrong with the Home for Good project at 200 Larch Street. Led by the Canadian Mental Health Association, the city donated the building in 2017 for the centre, with an understanding that would be the only contribution from the municipality. Construction began in February of this year, but by June, it became clear the CMHA didn't have the funding in place for the full project, which is estimated at $7 million. The group has applied for $2.7 million from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corp., but has yet to receive a response. The bank holding the mortgage informed the group in June it wouldn't provide further financing until it was satisfied the CMHA had the money for the entire project. In July, the group wrote the city, formally asking for the $2.2 million. The city then had KPMG managing partner Oscar Poloni do a report on exactly what was going on and the municipality's options. Poloni said a number of mistakes were made, but the biggest was the CMHA's decision to begin construction before all the financing was in place. More on this story can be found here.

City asks for report to look into why gas prices are higher in Sudbury:

Two things that make people really angry in Greater Sudbury are potholes and gas prices, city council heard Tuesday, when they approved a motion to have staff look into why residents seem to pay more at the pump than some of our northern neighbours. Ward 5 Coun. Bob Kirwan's motion would have city CAO Ed Archer prepare a report explaining why we pay more for gas than the Ontario average, suggest ways to keep prices down — and detail whether cities can regulate prices. “There may be nothing we can do, but I would like an explanation for the higher prices,” Kirwan said. It something he hears about from residents as often as pothole complaints, he said, and he'd like to provide some answers. Full story can be found here.

Two in hospital after motorcycle, vehicle collide in Capreol:

Greater Sudbury Police report that two drivers are in stable condition in hospital following a crash between a motorcycle and a vehicle on MR 84 in Capreol Tuesday. The crash occurred between 8-9 p.m. and kept the roadway closed for around eight hours while police investigated. Drivers were diverted around the scene to allow the forensics and traffic management units to conduct their investigation of the crash. MR 84 was finally re-opened at about 4 a.m. Wednesday morning. Officers are still gathering information related to the crash. GSPS is asking anyone who witnessed the incident to contact police at 705-675-9171.

SNC-Lavalin affair: Ethics commish finds Trudeau breached Conflict of Interest Act:

Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion released the Trudeau II Report on Aug. 14, an examination of the allegation that the prime minister sought to influence the Attorney General of Canada in her decision on whether to intervene in a criminal prosecution involving SNC-Lavalin. After reviewing evidence and several fundamental legal and constitutional principles related to this matter, Dion said he found that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau contravened Section 9 of the Conflict of Interest Act. Commissioner Dion determined that, as the PM, Trudeau was the only public office holder able to exert influence over the attorney general in her decision whether to intervene in a matter relating to a criminal prosecution. You can find the full story, along with commisioner Dion's report here.

Thursday Weather: 

Sunny start to the day, becoming a mix of sun and cloud later this morning. Thursday's high will get up to 24. Partly cloudy into the evening with a few fog patches developing overnight. Low will be hovering at around 10 overnight. For current weather conditions, short-term and long-term forecasts visit's weather page at