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Hamilton Daystarter: Everything you need to know Thursday

A lovely white blanket of snow is covering Hamilton this morning. Leave a bit of extra time to clean off your car before heading out. The good news is it's light and fluffy. It won't be a strenuous snow removal effort. Here's all the traffic, weather and news you'll need to start your Thursday.

A lovely white blanket of snow is covering Hamilton this morning. Leave a bit of extra time to clean off your car before heading out this morning. The good news is it's light and fluffy. It won't be a strenuous snow removal effort.

The temperature feels like -18 C this morning, so much warmer than what we've had the past few days. Must be the snow's insulating effect.

Today is a national special day like no other. January 23 is National Pie Day. The day was coined in 1986 by the American Pie Council.

Pie lovers – like myself – unite and enjoy a pie. My favourite is strawberry-rhubarb. What's yours? Tweet at me: @JkChapsCBC

No issues to report on GO Transit out of Hamilton this morning.

At 9 a.m.:

OPP is reporting several crashes in the St. Catharines area in the last 30 minutes. If you're heading that way, take extra caution.

James Street is very backed-up at the base of the West 5th access. Best bet is the Sherman Access this hour.

At 8:30 a.m.:

Still slow on the 403 starting from Aberdeen Toronto-bound.

In town, Victoria Avenue is looking a bit slow coming off the Claremont Access all the way to Burlington Street.

King Street East from Victoria to Queen is also moving slowly this hour.

At 8 a.m.:

Traffic is moving slower over the Skyway Bridge and on the 403 Toronto-bound. Try to leave extra time for your commute.

In town, Barton Street from James to Wentworth streets is slow moving. The West 5th and Jolley Cut access routes are moving slowly.

At 7:30 a.m.:

The 403 Toronto-bound is moving slowly, as are the Toronto-bound lanes over the Skyway Bridge. Be careful driving in these conditions. OPP are reporting some slippery highway road conditions, especially if you're heading towards Kitchener.

The on-ramp from the LINC onto the 403 is also backed up this hour. Similar situation at the York Blvd. on-ramp.

It feel like -18 C out right now, -15 C before the wind chill.

Expect periods of snow ending late morning. A high of -11 C today.

Overnight, a low of -21 C, but feeling like -30 C with the wind chill.

Hamilton will have to invest almost $40 million in waterfront infrastructure to seed the next stage of bayfront investment.

But the investment will mean a lucrative payback to taxpayers, according to a new report.

Hamilton taxpayers will have to cough up $39.17 million to ready the west harbour for development, $13.3 million of which is for Piers 5 through 8. But once that happens, the development will generate $7.5 million per year in tax dollars on Pier 8 alone, said Chris Phillips, senior adviser for planning and economic development.

Would you give it all up for the chance to live on Mars? Well, Hamiltonians Karen Cummings is. She made it to the second round of auditions for a one-way trip to the planet. Watch her explain why she's ready.

Protest in Kiev, Ukraine are ramping up like no one expected. The Atlantic published some astonishing images of the deadly battle between protesters and police, and a city that is becoming a disaster zone.

If you live in Ward 1, councillor Brian McHattie is holding a participatory budgeting meeting tonight to launch local projects and start the discussion about 2014 plans. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the Fellowship Hall, First Unitarian Church, 170 Dundurn St. S. (enter by the front doors).

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