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

Here's what's happening around Greater Sudbury today
Wiarton Willie
Wiarton Willie did not see his shadow Sunday morning. (File)

Good morning, Greater Sudbury.

Here are some stories to start your day.

Wiarton Willie foretells an early spring for Ontario:

The folksy, mid-winter tradition known as Groundhog Day has seen Canada's best-known shadow-casting critters divided in their weather predictions. Nova Scotia's Shubenacadie Sam emerged from his burrow northeast of Halifax Sunday morning, and according to his handlers, saw his shadow. But in Ontario, Wiarton Willie was paraded on stage and evidently saw no shadow. Folklore has it that if a groundhog sees its shadow on Feb. 2, it will retreat into its burrow, heralding six more weeks of cold weather, which is not bad by most Canadian standards. No shadow — again according to folklore — is said to foretell spring-like temperatures are on the way. Sam is always the first groundhog in North America to make a prediction about how long winter will last, with Wiarton Willie in Ontario offering a guess about an hour later.

Missing: Sudbury Police searching for woman who was last seen Friday:

Greater Sudbury Police are asking for the assistance of the public in locating a missing 32-year-old woman. Gabriela Reuben is described as 5-4, 150 lbs with blonde or greyish hair. She was last seen on Jan. 31 in Sudbury and was wearing a black toque, black winter jacket and blue jeans. If you know this person's whereabouts you are asked to call GSPS at 705-675-9171.

Hundreds hit the ice on Ramsey Lake for Pond Hockey on the Rock:

The shores of a frozen Ramsey Lake were bustling on Saturday as Pond Hockey on the Rock took over the ice at the Northern Water Sports Centre. Sounds of sticks slapping and skates carving the frozen lake could be heard amid the cheers of onlookers as the two-day hockey festival will wrapped Saturday evening. Hundreds of hockey enthusiasts of all ages took to the ice to take part in the sport the way it was meant to be enjoyed, on a frozen lake on winter's day. The proceeds from the event will be donated to Camp Quality Northern Ontario, a camp for Northern kids affected by cancer. Check out photos from the action on Saturday here.

City looks at transit partnership with Metrolinx:

Greater Sudbury is considering joining a group of municipalities who are part of a collective buying group for transit buses and related equipment and technologies. Metrolinx, a provincial transportation agency focused on Toronto and Hamilton, leads the buying group – formally known as a transit procurement initiative (TPI) – that now includes 48 municipal transit systems. By combining their efforts, members of the TPI can take advantage of economies of scale when making purchases, getting a lower purchase price than if it acted as a single municipality. A report headed to city council Feb. 4 says the city would have to sign a governance agreement committing to the group until March 2024. Steering committees are set up to lead different types of purchases – regular or specialty buses, cameras, parts, etc.  – and individual municipalities sit on those committees to oversee the process. A report headed to council says since the TPI was created in 2006, it has purchased more than $708 million in equipment and vehicles, including 1,765 vehicles, 356 video systems, 180 automatic vehicle locator systems and $15.6 million in bus parts. By making the purchases collectively, the group has saved more than $29 million in that time, the report said. Full report can be found here.

Trudeau says 'deliberate process' underway to get Canadians out of virus zone:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government is going through a "deliberate process" to airlift nearly 200 Canadians out of the epicentre of the novel coronavirus outbreak in China, while other countries continue to get their citizens home. Speaking to reporters in Montreal, Trudeau said his government is doing what it has to do to ensure the risk to Canadians at home remains low. Canada is seeking Chinese approval to send a plane to the locked-down city of Wuhan to collect the 295 Canadians who have asked for help to leave. Trudeau said the government is co-ordinating evacuation efforts with other countries. Full story here.

Downtown snow removal to continue this week:

Snow removal in downtown Sudbury will continue early this week in order to widen traffic lanes and improve access, the city said in a release to the media. The work will be done from midnight to 8 a.m. each day. Monday, Feb. 3: Paris Street from St-Anne Road to Boland Avenue, both sideTuesday, Feb. 4: Brady Street from Paris Street to Broadway Street, both sides. For more information on winter road maintenance, visit GreaterSudbury.com/Roads.

Applications now open for 2020 Canada Summer Jobs program:

Starting Jan. 31, employers can apply to get funding to hire a young Canadian this summer as the Canada Summer Jobs 2020 employer application season is open. On Friday, Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, announced the launch of the employer application period for the 2020 Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) program.  “Programs like Canada Summer Jobs give youth across Canada a chance to develop their skills and gain valuable work experience through quality job opportunities," said Qualtrough. "This benefits youth, employers and communities everywhere in the country.I look forward to another successful season as we help equip our young leaders to participate in our thriving economy, both today and tomorrow.” Not-for-profit organizations, public-sector employers, and private employers with up to 50 employees can apply for funding to hire a young Canadian this summer. The application period is open until Feb. 24.

Monday Weather:

Cloudy skies overhead today with a 30 per cent chance of flurries. Monday's high will be zero, feeling like -8 with the wind chill this morning. Cloudy with 40 per cent chance of flurries tonight. Overnight low will dip down to -6. For current weather conditions, short-term and long-term forecasts visit Sudbury.com's weather page at www.sudbury.com/weather.