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

Welcome to Wednesday
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Robert Steven Wright. (Supplied)

Good morning, Greater Sudbury. Here are a few stories to get you started on this Wednesday morning.

Defence seeks change in venue for Robert Steven Wright's murder trial

A change in venue may be coming for the second-degree murder trial against Robert Steven Wright, who was arrested and charged for the grisly death of Renée Sweeney in 1998. Wright appeared in person on Feb. 18, where the court heard his lawyers — Berk Keaney and Michael Venturi — are filing the application. The matter was adjourned to Feb. 21, where a date will be set for the application. Wright is also filing a Rowbotham application — for people facing serious and complex criminal charges who have been denied legal aid, but cannot afford a lawyer. That matter will return to court March 11 at 10 a.m. Last week, the Crown attorney failed in its attempt to have Keaney and Venturi removed as counsel, after filing a motion in December. Sweeney was working at an adult video store on Paris Street when she was attacked and stabbed to death. Wright was arrested Dec. 11, 2018, at North Bay Regional Health Centre, where he worked as a laboratory technician. He was originally charged with first-degree murder, however, since then the charge was downgraded, and the Crown's office succeeded in securing a direct indictment, meaning there will be no preliminary hearing.

David Case, Celine Loyer learn verdict in sexual assault trial March 5

Former track coach David Case and one of his athletes, Celine Loyer, will be found either guilty or innocent on March 5. Case and Loyer are accused of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman in 2011 after she lost consciousness at Case's home. The pair pleaded not guilty at the start of a four-day trail in January. During the trial, the court heard the woman went to Case's home for dinner. Loyer was also there. The woman said she was given a shot of alcohol and then lost consciousness for about four hours that evening. She said she had a flashback following the events of that night, where she remembered lying on her back on the floor of Case's home. Loyer was between her legs, molesting the woman's genitals, and Case was at sitting near her head, telling Loyer what to do.  At the conclusion of the trial, Superior Court Justice Patricia Hennessy reserved her decision. Meanwhile, Case is still waiting for a verdict on a separate sexual assault trial that took place earlier in January. He was facing five charges stemming from alleged events that began more than 30 years ago. The victim, who cannot be identified due to a publication ban, alleges Case sexually assaulted her on a bus when she was 15 years old, sexually attacked her in a dorm room and a hotel room when she was 16 years old, as well as further physical attacks after they were secretly married shortly after she turned 18. The trial stretched out over three days, with Judge Alex Kurke reserving his decision until March 13.

Check out readers' photos of Tuesday's snowstorm

Greater Sudbury was under a snowfall warning Tuesday, with Environment Canada predicting that a total of 15 centimetres would fall by evening. The snow caused several collisions, as well as a few transport trucks to get stuck in common trouble areas. Sudbury.com asked for Sudburians' pictures of the snowstorm, and you delivered. You can check them out here.

English Catholic teachers to resume bargaining, but plan more strikes

Ontario's English Catholic teachers are heading back to the bargaining table, but are also planning more strikes if they can't reach a deal. All four major teachers' unions have been staging strikes as contract talks with the province have made little progress, and the teachers are planning a joint, provincewide strike on Friday. Negotiations between the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association and the government broke down in January, and since then they have only had one day of discussions. The mediator has now called the parties back to the table for Wednesday. But OECTA says if no deal is reached, they will stage rotating strikes next week that target each board one day.
Read more online here.

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs supporters slow Hwy. 17 traffic at Blind River

Mississauga First Nation (MFN) members, along with other supporters, slowed traffic down on Highway 17 at noon Monday, receiving donations and support from motorists. The protest was in support of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs' blockade of their land in northern British Columbia (BC) from the planned Coastal GasLink pipeline. The chiefs’ protest has gathered support across the country from native and non-native people opposing the pipeline going through the Wet’suwet’en land. One protest group has blocked rail service near Belleville.
Read the full story here.

LU curling teams ousted at OUA championships

The Laurentian University men's curling team failed to qualify for playoffs at the Ontario University Athletics Championships, losing their final round-robin game. Meanwhile, the women's team made the quarterfinals, but gave up a steal of two in the final end to lose 5-3 to Queen's, ending their championship run. Laurentian's men's basketball team finished their regular season over the weekend with a 96-78 win over the University of Toronto on Feb. 14, before dropping a lopsided 106-68 decision to the Ryerson Rams. The men finished up sixth in the league, and will host Windsor Wednesday night at 8 p.m. in Round 1 of the playoffs.

Mix of sun and cloud Wednesday

A mix of sun and cloud Wednesday, with a 30 per cent chance of flurries in the afternoon. Wind up to 15 km/h will make the high of -10 feel more like -25 in the morning, warming to -17 in the afternoon. Increased cloudiness as the night goes on, accompanied by a 30 per cent chance of flurries in the evening. Wind up to 15 km/h is expected to make the low of -21 feel more like -15 in the evening, dropping to -25 overnight. 




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