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

Here's what's happening around Greater Sudbury today
Ontario's Local Planning Appeals Tribunal (LPAT) will reconvene on the Kingsway Entertainment District matter for the first time in more than nine months on Sept. 17. (File)

Good morning, Greater Sudbury.

Here are some stories to start your day.

Two-day LPAT hearing gets underway Thursday:

Ontario's Local Planning Appeals Tribunal (LPAT) will reconvene on the Kingsway Entertainment District matter for the first time in more than nine months on Sept. 17 and 18. The LPAT is an adjudicative tribunal that hears cases in relation to a range of land use matters, heritage conservation and municipal governance. Appeals that come before LPAT are identified through policies found in the Planning Act, Aggregate Act, Heritage Act, Municipal Act, Development Charges Act and Expropriations Act. Standing in support of the Kingsway Entertainment District are Sudbury Wolves owner Dario Zulich and Gateway Casinos, while local businessman Tom Fortin of Casino Free Sudbury, Laurentian University professor Christopher Duncanson-Hales, activist Steve May and the downtown Sudbury Business Improvement Association remain in opposition. Fortin is named in all four of the LPAT appeals, as is the Sudbury Business Improvement Area. Duncanson-Hales is joining the appeal of the Official Plan amendment to permit the casino, as well as the appeal of the rezoning required to permit the casino. Finally, another activist, May, has joined the appeal of the rezoning to permit a public arena. The groups are fighting to stop the casino from being built on the site, as well as city council's decision to move the arena from downtown Sudbury to the Kingsway. More on this story here.

Health unit reports its 100th case of COVID-19:

It’s a milestone you don’t want to reach, but Public Health Sudbury and Districts has reported its 100th case of COVID-19 in its service area. Case No. 100 is in the Manitoulin district and reported as travel related. The person is self-isolating. Through contact tracing, Public Health will notify all close contacts directly. If you are not contacted by Public Health, you are not considered a close contact.

COVID-19 testing requirements for school children can be confusing:

It was bound to happen, especially with so many thousands of children returning to schools in Sudbury this past week. One parent noticed her child had "congestion, a runny nose and a mild cough." The mom called the health unit for advice. The parents were told to get an appointment for COVID-19 testing for their five-year-old child. Mom and her husband had no symptoms and were told to "self monitor", but if they developed any symptoms they should isolate themselves. As it turned out, the five year old tested negative. But the story doesn't end there. What the mom found confusing was the different responses she got from the daycare and the school.  The school advised the parents they would need to self isolate immediately and that any siblings in the home would also be required to isolate and not attend school. The daycare, which is located inside the school, said no worries. Any other children at home who had no symptoms would be allowed at the daycare operation the mom was told.  Then things got more complex. A family friend, whose two children attended the same school, discovered one of her children had symptoms. The woman said she was told by public health officials to isolate the entire family, even though just one of the children had symptoms. Public health nurse Anik Proulx wasn't surprised. She is program manager for vaccine preventable diseases and COVID-19 case and contact management for schools at Public Health Sudbury and District (PHSD). Proulx said it is possible for one group or another to have rules that seem stricter than normal, but the important fact is that all groups must follow the same document: Operational Guidance: COVID-19 management in schools. Get the full story here.

Ford promises steep fines for those who don't follow COVID-19 rules:

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says Ontario will have the highest fines in the country for individuals who don't follow COVID-19 rules. During his press conference on Sept. 16, Ford was questioned about social gatherings and whether or not tighter restrictions would be put in place in areas that have seen high numbers of cases of late. Ford was questioned if the limits on gatherings would be focused mainly on backyard parties, weddings and gatherings of close friends or if it would extend to bars, restaurants and gyms. "I'm bringing this to the cabinet right after our press conference here and we'll have a good wholesome discussion," said Ford.  Ford said that the province will be acting quickly on taking a closer look at social gatherings and scaling back the number of people allowed to gather in one place. "There will be fines and I'll give you the number hopefully tomorrow, but there's going to be some severe severe fines for people who want to ignore the regulations and the guidelines," said Ford. "They're going to be the highest in the country and they're going to be under provincial jurisdiction, it's not going to be federal jurisdiction so we'll make sure that they're followed through."

Contact North reopens Sudbury facility, is offering free use of computers for students:

Contact North said it reopened its Sudbury Operations Centre for students and staff as of Sept. 2. With the reopening, students can access on-site services, including: Free use of computer workstations and high-speed, Internet access to complete online courses, Free use of web conferencing and videoconferencing distance learning platforms to connect to and participate in online programs and courses, Supervision of written and online exams and tests. “We are delighted to welcome students back to the Sudbury Operations Centre and provide them with on-site services they need to complete their online programs and courses,” said Maxim Jean-Louis, president and CEO of Contact North. Full story here.

Province launches COVID-19 screening tool to protect staff and students:

The Ontario government has launched a new voluntary interactive screening tool to assist parents, students and staff with the daily assessment of COVID-19 symptoms and risk factors that is required before attending school. The results will let parents, students, and education staff know whether they should attend school each day or guide at-risk individuals to proper resources. This tool is another layer of prevention that the province is using to protect the health and safety of students, staff, and the communities where they live and work. The new tool is voluntary and available for all parents, students and staff to use to help screen for symptoms of illness every day. Users will simply respond to clinician-informed symptom and risk questions, and the tool will then immediately inform users whether it is safe to attend school that day. The tool protects privacy and does not collect any personal health information. The tool was also developed in house by the Ontario Digital Service at no additional cost to taxpayers. More on this story here.

Thursday Weather: 

Sunshine returns Thursday, but it won't be warm out there. Mainly sunny today with the daytime high only getting up to 11. Increasing cloudiness into the evening. Overnight low will get all the way down to 2. For current weather conditions, short-term and long-term forecasts visit's weather page at