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May 2012 Archives

State of emergency day four


Today is day four of Thunder Bay's state of emergency .The destructive aftermath of Sunday nights flash flood has led the city to declare itself a disaster area. There is some good news today, especially for the hundreds of residents dealing with flooded homes.

The CBC 's Gord Ellis joins Cathy Alex with the latest.

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Volunteers help East End flood victims

People living in Thunder Bay's East end continue to feel the effects of this week's flood.

Many of them are finding comfort at St. Peter's Church in the neighbourhood. People gather there to eat hot meals and pick up supplies like diapers, canned goods and even pet food.

Voyage North's Josh Lynn spent some time with two of the volunteers there this afternoon.

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Down the drain

City officials are still asking people in Thunder Bay not to send so much water into the treatment system due to the flooding at the city's secondary sewage treatment plant. We get some hints on how to slow the flow from Ellen Mortfield of Ecosuperior.

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From Down Under to the Lakehead

Lee Stuesser has been named the founding dean of the university's brand new law school. The appointment means a return to Canada for the professor who is currently working at Bond University on Australia's Gold Coast. Here's his chat with Voyage North host Cathy Alex.

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The big pump-out


If last night's rainstorm in Thunder Bay didn't leave you with a flooded basement, there's a good chance you know someone who is dealing with that situation. Voyage North's Josh Lynn was out and about in the city, talking to people about the big pump-out.

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Dorothy Chambers celebrates her 90th

She served in the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II, and has been heavily involved in the community for decades. But Thunder Bay's Dorothy Chambers has added a new accomplishment to her list. This week she turns 90.

Chambers has been a familiar sight in Victoriaville for years. So her many friends at the mall threw her a special party there today. Chambers spent the afternoon holding court for well-wishers and local dignitaries at Books & More.

Here's what it sounded like.

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Whalen Building has rich history

Thunder Bay's historic Whalen Building was on the receiving end of a lightning strike yesterday.
We get an update on the damage and VN host Cathy Alex chats with Thunder Bay Heritage Advisory Committee member Andrew Cotter to find out more about this symbol of the city's past.

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Man talks about surviving outhouse bear attack...

A Winnipeg man credits his best friend for saving him after a bear attack near Sioux Lookout over the weekend.

Gord Shurvell's morning quickly turned into a life or death struggle when a bear dragged him from an outhouse. Dan Alexander heard Shurvell's cries for help and came running with a rifle.

We hear from them both as they recount what happened next.

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Creating a positive workplace

We hear about a special workshop happening today in Thunder Bay that aims to create a positive workplace for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two-spirited and queer/questioning members of our community. Robin Cooper is with the city's Sexuality and Gender Equity Working Group and Devan Nambiar is in the city to help facilitate the workshop.

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Teens plea guilty

Two teenagers were in youth court in Thunder Bay today in connection to the death of another teen back in 2010.

The 16-year-old girl was killed behind the Landmark Inn in September of that year.

What was shocking about the case was the girls who were accused of the crime were just 14 and 15 years old at the time.

The CBC's Jeff Walters was at the courthouse today.


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Garnet Rogers

VN host Cathy Alex checks in with singer/songwriter Garnet Rogers. He's performing in Thunder Bay as part of the Sleeping Giant Folk Music Society concert series. But he won't just be singing. He might also share a little of the book he's writing about touring with his late brother Stan.

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Experimental Lakes Area funding cut

Critics are calling it a travesty and a sad end to an international experiment. The federal government has pulled its funding for the Experimental Lakes area near Kenora. Scientists from around the world are expressing outrage.

Voyage North's Cathy Alex talks to John Smol an Ontario researcher who specializes in environmental change to get his take on the decision.


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Walk on the wild side

Some Thunder Bay high school students explored an urban nature trail to help bring attention to issues facing wildlife. Voyage North's Josh Lynn brings us some of their impressions of the journey.

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Forest of Reading

A chef who solves mysteries and the Last Loon. We meet Kevin Sylvester and Rebecca Upjohn, two of the children's literature authors who were in Thunder Bay for the Forest of Reading event. Over a 1000 kids in the city turned out to cheer on their favourite writers.

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New developments in restaurant outbreak

Health officials are still investigating what caused people who visited a restaurant just outside Thunder Bay last week to become ill. Christopher Beveridge is with the District Health Unit. He fills Voyage North's Cathy Alex in on new developments in the investigation.

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More than just rocks

The 58th Annual Meeting of the Institute on Lake Superior Geology is taking place this week in Thunder Bay, and runs until Sunday.

There are lots of field trips and presentations taking place over the next few days, with particular attention being paid to evidence of an ancient meteor impact in Northern Ontario.

Pete Hollings is the Chair of the event, and a professor of geology at Lakehead University. Here's his chat with the CBC's Jeff Walters

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A hot story....

The inaugural year of Confederation College's Pre-Service Firefighter program is wrapping up.

The students showed off their talents today at the Thunder Bay and District Protective & Emergency Services Training Centre.

Voyage North's Josh Lynn was there for the fiery festivities.

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The ghost of meetings past...

Some of the biggest decisions made in recent months at City Council meetings in Thunder Bay were back in the limelight last night.

To more than a few people, including CBC's city hall reporter Jeff Walters, it might have seemed like a case of deja vu.

Jeff breaks down the evening for Voyage North's Cathy Alex.

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"They're going to have to kill me..."

Neskantaga Chief Peter Moonias says he'll lay down his life to protect the rights of his community in the Ring of Fire.

Neskantaga is located at the headwaters of the Attawapiskat River and Cliffs Natural Resources is planning to build a chromite mine along the river.

Peter Moonias spoke to the CBC's Jody Porter about his reaction to the recent government announcement that the project is moving ahead.

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Sasquatch likely done with politics

There's a very unusual "candidate" for Dryden's vacant city council seat. He loves the outdoors, has his own take on the issues and is covered in generous amounts of... fur. Voyage North's Cathy Alex talks to Chris Marchand. He's the mastermind behind a mock political campaign to elect a sasquatch to the vacant council seat.

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Biwaase'aa out of funding

Earlier today, it was announced that the Biwaase'aa program will close its doors at the end of this school year because of government funding cuts.

The program serves about 500 kids in Thunder Bay at seven elementary schools. It provides students with snacks, lunches, and educational, emotional, recreational and cultural programs.

Paul Francis is the program manager. Carlene Spence and Richard Jourdain's four kids have all taken part in the program.

Here they are speaking with the CBC's Jeff Walters.

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Environmental assessment changes

Cliffs Natural Resources announced yesterday that it wants to locate its ferrochrome processing facility in Sudbury. But the processor is just a piece of a larger puzzle that includes other infrastructure as well as the actual mine. All of which require an environmental assessment.

The company's mining project may also be the first test of the federal government's proposed changes to the environmental assessment process.

Warren Mabee is Director of Queen's University's Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy. Voyage North host Cathy Alex chatted with him about how potential changes to the environmental process will play out here in Northwestern Ontario.

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Claire Tacon and Jamella Hagen

We meet two new voices in Canadian literature, writer Claire Tacon and poet Jamella Hagen. They're on a cross-Canada tour and made a stop in Thunder Bay.

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Cliffs VP explains decision

One of the major players in the Ring of Fire has announced its plans and it's making leaders in the Northwest very unhappy.

Voyage North's Cathy Alex speaks with Cliffs Senior Vice President Bill Boor about the company's decision to locate its ferrochrome processor in Sudbury.

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Relocating nuisance bears... is it really a waste of time?

Joseph Hamr is a wildlife biologist and a teacher at Cambrian College in Sudbury. He's done several extensive studies on bear behaviour, and what happens when you try to relocate them. Hamr weighs in on the effectiveness of the practice.

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Wilderness Quest


Does wilderness still exist and if's out there somewhere, what is its' value?

Those are the provocative questions that launched Kevin Callan on a paddling journey through Quetico Provincial Park.

His canoe trip of discovery is documented in the film Wilderness Quest.


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Math and art

Students from Agnew H. Johnston, C.D. Howe and Hyde Park elementary schools in Thunder Bay used math to help them create abstract art.

They had to consider adding more paint, subtracting colour or measuring the distance between objects to get the right proportions.

The lessons were provided through a partnership between Lakehead Public School's teachers and artists from the Royal Conservatory's program Learning Through the Arts.

Nicole Walter Rowan is with the Public School board.
Crystal Nielsen is the northern ontario manager for Learning Through the Arts.

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Rock the Park!!!

Thunder Bay's Minnesota Park is going to be busy tonight, starting at six.

It's because the Community Arts & Heritage Education Project and Evergreen: A United Neighbourhood are throwing a party there.

Alanna Forslund is with CAHEP and Chris Sutherland will be there too. You might know him better as hip/hop artist, Shibastik.

Here's their conversation with Voyage North's Cathy Alex.

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Screening for skin cancer


There's special event happening tomorrow at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre.

It's designed to help all of us learn more about watching for changes to freckles and moles.

Voyage North's Cathy Alex talks to Dr. Ron Mahler. He's one of the dermatologists taking part.


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Mac's Mural

Definitely Superior's Die Active youth art collective has been busy this week painting a graffiti mural on the Mac's convenience store at the corner of May and Dease.

The company has given the artists free license to let their imaginations run wild on the outside of the store.

The finished product will be unveiled this Saturday (May 5th) at 5 PM but Voyage North's Josh Lynn got a sneak peak at the work in progress.


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Folklore Festival

Take a trip around the world in 48 hours! But you'll need to pack light, so you have lots of room for food!. Here's Cathy Alex's chat with Thunder Bay Folklore Festival organizer Michelle Lander.

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Municipal Golf Course

Thunder Bay golfers will tee up for the last time this season at Municipal Golf Course. City councillors decided last night to dispose of the 9-hole course. CBC's city hall reporter Jeff Walters brings us the details on the decision.

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