Catch of the day! South Simcoe Police fish vehicles out of Holland River

For the second time in a span of one week, South Simcoe Police fished a vehicle out of the Holland River March 10. The latest incident occurred March 9 when a snowmobile plunged through thin ice and was spotted floating in water in the area of Dissette and Bridge streets. Police were unable to get close enough to tow the sled from the water with ATVs until the following day, due to melting ice. Police later located the owner of the machine. Police were called March 3 to Pumphouse Road after two all-terrain vehicles went through the ice. Officers later confirmed the drivers of the ATVs got out of the water safely and left the scene. Police urge residents to keep children and pets away from all ice surfaces as ice conditions deteriorate rapidly due to weather conditions. Ice fishing enthusiasts are reminded that all fishing huts must be removed from Lake Simcoe by midnight on March 15.

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Has Ontario’s fourth COVID-19 wave begun? Top doctor notes ‘steady’ rise in cases

Ontario’s seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases is approximately double what it was in mid-July, and the province’s chief medical officer of health anticipates it will continue to climb in the coming weeks.  Dr. Kieran Moore that he expects to see a fourth wave of cases in the fall, driven by the COVID-19 Delta variant and cooler weather. During his latest update Aug. 10, he provided more details about what the wave could look like, and suggested it may already have begun.  “We’ve experienced a slow and steady rise in daily new cases of COVID-19, and Ontarians should expect to see a continued increase as we enter the fall,” Moore said at the top of his update. Ontario reported more than 300 new cases for the fifth consecutive day Aug. 10, adding 321 new cases. Last summer, Ontario’s daily new case numbers remained below 300 from early June until mid-September. Moore attributed the sudden rise in new case counts to the August long weekend and the province having moved into Step 3 of its reopening plan. He said the rise wasn’t unexpected, and cautioned that Ontario’s days of downward trending case numbers could be over for a few months. “It will be difficult to say when the absolute takeoff of cases (will be),” Moore said. “I see a slow and steady rise heading into September and October as we move (indoors) and socialize.” In contrast to 2020’s fall wave, during which seniors living in lon […]

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One step forward, one step back — COVID vaccine news for Friday, March 5

As COVID-19 vaccination efforts unfold worldwide, there will inevitably be moments of progress and setbacks. The Star offers a daily look at the “one step forward, one step back,” nature of the road to vaccination. One (big) step forward… Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine has been approved for use in Canada, likely enabling accelerated COVID-19 vaccination rollouts across this country. The announcement was made Friday morning, and it means four vaccines are now available for use in the country, which is lagging the U.S. and U.K in vaccine rollout despite having ordered more vaccines per capita than any other country. The Janssen approval is especially good news because the vaccine requires only a single dose, and can be kept at regular fridge temperatures. Canada has ordered 10 million doses of the vaccine, and has the option to buy another 28 million doses, but the delivery of the Janssen vaccine is not expected to be imminent. The 10 million doses already ordered will not begin to arrive until April at the earliest, according to Joelle Paquette, the director general for vaccines at Public Services and Procurement Canada. Health Canada’s projected vaccination timeline previously showed that 24.5 million Canadians would be fully vaccinated by the end of June with approvals of the AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, and Novavax vaccines, in addition to the already-approved Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. The only one on that list not approved n […]

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BEHIND THE CRIMES: Bank bandits hid in basement in one of Canada’s biggest robberies at the time

Ted McKeever’s Thursday morning routine was already a bit off-kilter when he headed east from Peterborough to Havelock on the morning of Aug. 31, 1961. McKeever, now a retired man of all trades, saw the birth of his second son (Larry) that morning, but in those days, if you had a job, you had to do your job. His job was delivering door-to-door for Canada Bread, and on Thursdays he had the Havelock run. Today, 60 years later, he still remembers that day vividly. There were roadblocks. Police were scurrying through the back streets. And everywhere, people were talking. “It was quite the talk of the town,” he recalls. Havelock is a railroad town of some 4,500 people on Highway 7, about 40 kilometres east of Peterborough. Back then, there was a bustling mining industry nearby. Sometime in the early hours of Aug. 31, a band of bank robbers from Montreal had pried open a basement window at the Havelock Toronto-Dominion branch, hiding out until staff could arrive for work that day. In Grace Barker’s book she described accounts of the masked robbers surprising one of the workers as he came down to use a bathroom in the basement. The robbers came with guns and a plan, and in only a matter of minutes they managed to make off with more than $230,000. At the time, it was considered one of the biggest bank robberies in Canadian history. According to Barker’s book, it soon became evident that the robbery was well-planned. Investigators figured they may have st […]

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Simcoe-Muskoka’s weekly COVID-19 case count has more than doubled since early August, health unit says

Simcoe-Muskoka’s weekly COVID-19 case count is spiking yet again. There were 98 new incidents recorded in the region last week, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit reported on its website Aug. 16. That’s up from 37 the week prior. Monday’s data was the first public update of pandemic-related statistics by the health unit since Friday. It also showed an additional 44 cases were confirmed over the weekend. Of those, 14 are in Barrie. New Tecumseth (seven), Bradford (six), Innisfil (five), Gravenhurst, Springwater and Wasaga Beach (two each) and Essa, Lake of Bays, Midland, Oro-Medonte, Ramara and Tiny (one each) were also listed. Seven residents 17 years of age or under caught the virus, as did one person in the 80-plus demographic. Two Barrie cases were linked to travel. Sources of infection otherwise range from “close contact” and “outbreak-related” to “community-acquired” and “under investigation.” There are 123 known active cases, including two hospitalizations. Overall, 809,911 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Simcoe-Muskoka, with 424,861 people — or 70.3 per cent of the population — receiving at least one shot. About 62.2 per cent of residents are fully immunized. To date, 4,000 Alpha (first discovered in the United Kingdom), 296 Delta (first discovered in India), 168 Gamma (first discovered in Brazil), and 34 Beta (first discovered in South Africa) variant cases have been […]

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Parade set for Aug. 24 in Alliston to celebrate Olympic gold medallist Deanne Rose

A parade will be held Tuesday, Aug. 24 in Alliston to celebrate Olympic gold medallist Deanne Rose. Rose, 22, helped the Canadian at the Tokyo Olympics, defeating Sweden 3-2 in penalty kicks, in the Aug. 6 championship game. Rose also previously won bronze with the team at the Rio Olympics in 2016. The parade starts at 6 p.m. at the , and it will travel north towards downtown Alliston. From there, it will head west along Victoria Street, continue west along Young Street, and head south on Industrial Parkway, ending at the . Once the parade is finished at the rec complex, a ceremony will take place to recognize Rose’s achievement. She will then be available to sign photographs and pose for photos. The event will end at 8 p.m. The town reminds residents to follow COVID-19 health safety protocols and maintain a two-metre distance from others. Hand sanitizing stations will also be set up at the rec complex. To view the exact parade route, visit .

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