Stepmother chronicles Innisfil family’s tragedy in her book, ‘The Majewski Curse’

A tragic tale of an Innisfil family is chronicled in a new book called “.” But, despite the untimely deaths of Brandon, Devon and Derek Majewski, the author ends her memoir with a message of hope. Brandon, 17, was killed Oct. 28, 2012 while riding his bike along , in a controversial crash that involved the wife of a York Regional Police officer. Devon, 23, died of an accidental overdose less than six months later on May 5, 2013 in the family’s Innisfil home. Father Derek, 58, passed away of cancer in December 2017 at Hospice Simcoe, after suffering years of depression and PTSD following the sudden deaths of his sons. Lisa McInnes, Derek’s wife and stepmother to the boys, also suffered severe emotional trauma, which led to years of therapy, culminating in her self-published book. The manuscript started out as a recommendation by her psychiatrist to create a journal documenting her horrific experiences. “She wanted me to put it on paper and get it all out,” McInnes said. “Once it was all out, she said, ‘This is an incredible story; you should write a book’.” Writing the book brought out a torrent of emotions that included anger and frustration over what the family felt was stonewalling by South Simcoe Police over questions about the investigation into the crash. Sharlene Simon, the driver, was cleared following an , which confirmed the South Simcoe probe. “It was police policing police. As a parent, it was so fru […]

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Here’s what ‘long COVID’ clinics do to help Ontarians with lasting symptoms

Francine Power had been living with symptoms of “long COVID” for 11 months before she was able to get help. Presently, as per doctor’s orders, her days consist of prioritizing how she will use her energy to prevent a future crash. “I can’t physically do everything I need to do as a single mom,” she said. “You just have to pick and choose what you can.” The Oshawa resident initially contracted COVID-19 in March 2020, but was denied testing due to the stringent criteria at the time. But the virus never seemed to go away. Rather, for Power, it continued to evolve into dozens of other symptoms in the months that followed — symptoms that doctors initially shrugged off as GERD, anxiety or depression. Finally, after being hospitalized more than eight times for an elevated heart rate — and dealing with other long-lasting symptoms, including chest pain, coughing, dizziness, extreme fatigue, brain fog, headaches — Power has now been referred to two long COVID clinics. Several long COVID clinics are opening across the province in the coming weeks, in addition to the few that already exist. Currently, those who are experiencing symptoms can access clinics through certain hospital systems, such as University Health Network (UHN), or can opt to attend private programs through specific physiotherapy and rehabilitation organizations. Dr. Angela Cheung is a physician scientist and general internist at UHN who is co-leading the […]

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South Simcoe police seek witnesses to early morning fatal collision in Bradford

A Beeton man is dead and another man is in hospital following a fatal two-vehicle collision in the early morning hours of Aug. 15. South Simcoe Police Service officers responded to a call at approximately 1:30 a.m. for a two-vehicle collision at County Road 27 and Line 9 in Bradford. A preliminary investigation determined a westbound Ford Mustang collided with a northbound Volkswagen Jetta. The deceased, who was driving the Mustang, is a 21-year-old from Beeton. A 34-year-old man from Barrie was transported to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Both drivers were the lone occupants in the vehicles. The intersection was closed for several hours while investigators attended the scene for collision reconstruction. A preliminary investigation has determined that a westbound Ford Mustang collided with a northbound Volkswagen Jetta. The investigation into the cause of the collision is ongoing. Police are appealing to witnesses and anyone with dashcam footage to contact Const. Jessica Irwin at 905-775-3311 or 705-436-2141, ext. 2030 or by email at .

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‘It’s the time to change’: Simcoe County clerks fight rude FOI requests

Oro-Medonte Mayor Harry Hughes says there’s a kink in the privacy laws. After the township took the unusual step of passing a motion to disallow frivolous or vexatious Freedom of Information (FOI) requests, clerks across the province took notice and began demanding changes to the privacy legislation at the provincial level. “The one dilemma is that legislation in one area of government contradicts legislation in another area,” Hughes said. Hughes said health and safety regulations require a safe workplace free from harassment, yet the FOI privacy information doesn’t have that same provision. “So if someone gets a request for an FOI and it’s inappropriate as far as language, they have to decide which regulation they’ll violate,” he said. “This is significant; what is being recommended by the Simcoe County Clerks FOI Working Group is to handle that kind of situation the same way that Oro-Medonte (council) said they would. That is, if we got threatening communications of that nature that didn’t comply, then all we would do is send it back and ask them to revise it so that it does comply,” Hughes said. Pamela Fettes, director of legislative services/clerk for Clearview Township and a member of the working group, suggests Oro-Medonte is on the right track. “Legislation hasn’t been updated for 30 years and privacy has changed substantially in 30 years, and expectations of the public has changed considerab […]

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Midland’s Georgian Bay General Hospital declares C. difficile outbreak

An C. difficile outbreak has been declared on one inpatient unit at (GBGH) in Midland.  There have been three hospital-acquired cases on the unit within the past seven days, states C. difficile outbreaks are declared based on an increase in cases from each hospital’s regular case counts, states the hospital. Regular cases can differ among organizations and thus, the threshold can differ between hospitals. GBGH consistently has a very low case count and has not experienced a C. difficile outbreak in more than six years, it said.  To reduce possible transmission, patients connected to the outbreak are in private rooms and enhanced housekeeping is taking place using specific cleaning agents that target C. difficile bacterial spores, the hospital noted. The products used for C. difficile differ from cleaning products used to eliminate viruses such as COVID-19.  GBGH is closely looking into possible factors which may have contributed to the outbreak.  “There are many factors which can contribute to C. difficile infections,” said Angie Saini, vice president of clinical services and chief nursing executive, GBGH. “Most commonly, patients who have a history of C. difficile or who have been taking certain antibiotics for prolonged periods tend to be more susceptible. We have been proactive in identifying and testing the affected patients as soon as they presented with symptoms.”  Admissions to the unit and discharges from the unit […]

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Investigation discontinued into police cruiser crash in Barrie

The director of the Special Investigations Unit has ended an investigation into a report that a man was possibly seriously injured following a motor-vehicle crash with an OPP cruiser. On June 29, 2021, a man was northbound on Highway 400 while returning from work. As he approached the Mapleview Drive exit, the man hit the rear of a police cruiser that was stopped on the shoulder assisting another motorist. The cruiser’s emergency lights were activated, the SIU said in a statement. The SIU’s preliminary inquiries established that the man in the vehicle that struck the cruiser was not seriously injured in the collision. In the absence of serious injury, director Joseph Martino concluded the SIU was without statutory jurisdiction to continue its investigation. The file has been closed.

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Communication breakdown: Clearview council pushes for changes to municipality’s tower protocol

Clearview Township will review the process for giving its blessing to communication towers. Councillors, at their March 8 meeting, approved a single $5,000 fee for three applications from internet provider Rural Net to install towers on Turkeyroost Lane, on Conc. 6, and on Grey Road 124. All three towers would be just under 30 metres tall. The municipality does not approve telecommunication towers; that role lies with the federal government through Industry Canada. However, Industry Canada does require applicants to follow the local municipality’s protocols. The municipality’s only job, the township’s community services director, Mara Burton, said, is to advise the federal agency that the applicant has followed the protocol. In Clearview’s case, the municipality would hold a public meeting and require the company to submit a site plan, along with an application fee of $5,000 for each tower. The towers have already been constructed. “Whenever township employees deal with any application, we look really strictly at the land use; we try to take out the emotion and focus our attention on what is the request and the community need,” Burton said. In her report to council, she stated that had indicated it does not and will not follow municipal protocols, and that it was of the opinion that Industry Canada is the approval authority and does not require compliance to municipal tower protocols. She also provided correspondence from the federal agency […]

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Wasaga council extends timeline for arena-library construction, citing steel supply issues

The Town of Wasaga Beach has added some leeway to the timeline for a contractor to build the municipality’s twin-pad arena and library complex. In a special council meeting Aug. 6, councillors accepted a recommendation to extend the date for substantial completion of the facility by four months, to June 23, 2023. According to director of recreation, events and facilities Chris Roos, significant supply concerns for building products — notably steel — could impact the timing of when the building is finished. The deadline for pre-qualified contractors to submit a bid for construction was Aug. 11. “More or less, we’ve been told it’s impossible to meet the timeline that had been set,” Roos told council. He said construction was to start this fall for 18 months, and a “critical piece of this building” would be long-span trusses to cover the ice rinks. Roos said it is a custom-ordered product, and all of the pre-approved contractors submitting bids would be “anticipated to have significant delays.” Municipal officials did not immediately respond to follow-up questions from Simcoe.com, including whether they are confident bids will remain within the $44.5-million budget — out of a total project budget of $59.9 million — established for construction. According to news reports in the spring, the price of steel had doubled over the previous six months, the result of a combination of worldwide demand and the CO […]

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