Jewelry found, suspect charged in alleged break and enter: Orillia OPP

Jewelry stolen in an alleged break and enter in Orillia on July 31 has been found and a suspect has been arrested, said Orillia OPP.  A 36-year-old Sarnia man has been charged in connection to the break and enter and stolen jewelry, police said.  Shortly before 11:30 a.m. on July 31, homeowners on Maple Drive in the city’s north-end came home to an unknown man in their house.  The man fled the area and police were unable to located him at the time. The homeowner told police jewelry had been taken, police said.  On Aug. 5, Orillia OPP issued a photo of the jewelry and asked for the public’s help finding it.  On Aug. 7, police announced they had recovered the jewelry and other items related to a break and enter and other crimes in Orillia. Finding the suspect and recovering the jewelry took a few days.  On Aug. 3, OPP officers responded to another break and enter on Forest Avenue in Orillia’s south-end. This homeowner said that sometime within the past week, the garage was broken into and numerous items had been stolen, police said. No suspects were identified at the time. The next morning, through interactions with a man involved in “other incidents” in the Orillia area, police identified the suspect of the first break and enter on Maple Drive, OPP said.  The same day, officers found the man walking near downtown Orillia and arrested him.  The man was searched and numerous stolen items were located, police s […]

Read More

‘We have hit a tipping point.’ Sudbury-area schools closed indefinitely due to COVID cases in community

All schools in the Sudbury area will be closed as of Monday — with students returning to virtual learning — and Thunder Bay is extending its school shutdown for at least two more weeks as numbers continue to rise in those regions. A from Norm Blaseg, director of education for the Rainbow District School Board — one of the four area boards impacted — said “in light of the increase in confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the community, Sudbury, Espanola and Manitoulin areas will move into lockdown (Friday). As of Monday, March 15, 2021, ALL students in Rainbow Schools will learn remotely until further notice. School-based child care will continue. All before- and after-school programs, however, will be suspended.” Students were asked to take home all belongings when they attend school Friday. No return date was provided to families. This week, the Rainbow board listed four schools being closed because of COVID cases, out of its 40-plus schools. Education Minister Stephen Lecce, asked earlier Thursday about the possibility of schools being shut down in Sudbury, said local medical officers of health make such decisions. He said schools remain safe, but that in areas with rising COVID numbers, “community risk has created some challenging risks to the schools themselves.” Schools across the province were shuttered after the holiday break to help curb COVID cases, with those in the north reopening to in-person learning first on Jan. 11. Howe […]

Read More

Vaccine mandates put unions in a delicate spot: They encourage members to get the jab but seek to protect those who don’t

The union representing federal public service workers says it supports immunization requirements to keep workplaces safe — but says employees should be offered reasonable accommodations if they can’t or won’t get the vaccine. Vaccinations for public servants and workers in some federally regulated sectors like airports and Crown corporations will be mandatory by fall, Ottawa announced last week — a commitment to “playing a leadership role by further protecting the health and safety of public servants and the communities where they live.” The Public Service Alliance of Canada supports that position, as part of its advocacy for safe working conditions, national union president Chris Aylward said in an interview. “The scientific research is very clear that vaccinations work and we want to make sure that our members are safe, our workplaces are safe and our communities are safe,” he said. “And obviously the best way to do that is through vaccinations.” But discipline for unvaccinated workers rather than exploring alternative accommodations is “totally unacceptable,” he said. While worker safety is a foundational principle for unions, the pandemic is in some ways new territory, said Colleen Bauman, a partner at Toronto-based labour law firm Goldblatt Partners. Vaccination policies didn’t previously feature as prominently in health and safety thinking, but are now “very much part of the discussion,& […]

Read More

Ontario criticized for reporting ‘misleading’ ICU numbers for COVID-19 patients

The number of patients in hospital intensive care units in Ontario was either 277 or 331 on Thursday, depending on who you ask. The lower number comes from data posted on the province’s public dashboard each morning. The higher number comes from Critical Care Services Ontario (CCSO), a government agency that puts out a daily report for hospitals and health organizations. That number is not made public. In response to questions from the Star about the difference earlier this week, the Ministry of Health explained that its daily count is lower because it removes patients when they stop testing positive for the virus, even if they remain in the ICU with COVID-19 complications — a group that, on Thursday, amounted to 54 people. The fact that Ontario’s official numbers exclude dozens of people who’ve never left the ICU after falling ill with COVID-19 is giving the public an incomplete picture of what’s happening in the province’s hospitals, experts say. “The provincial numbers are completely inaccurate,” said Dr. Michael Warner, medical director of critical care at Toronto’s Michael Garron Hospital. “They don’t reflect the magnitude of the impact (of ICU cases) on the health-care system.” “The decision makers are using one set of data, yet the government reports a completely different set. There should be no difference between the two.” The lower number could mislead the public into thinking things […]

Read More

Orillia senior ‘heartbroken’ over theft of garden ornament with ‘tremendous’ sentimental value

A newcomer to Orillia is “heartbroken” following the theft of a glass garden ornament that was gifted to her by family. Joannie Ransberry said she discovered the ornament was missing from a planter box at the front of her Albert Street North home after returning from a walk on the morning of Aug. 17. “I’ve got a rose bush in there, and it looked so pretty I sat it beside it,” she said of the unique piece. The triple-tiered ornament was constructed from decorative glass plates of varying designs and colours, and topped with what appeared to be a hollow, globelike feature. Family members purchased the ornament at a vintage shop and presented Ransberry with it for her birthday last year. “It has tremendous sentimental value,” she said. “It was a 75th birthday gift from my granddaughter and her children. My little great grandchildren were thrilled to give it to me.” Ransberry relocated to Orillia from Algonquin Highlands in early June, and in preparation for the move had “put a few things in my car that were especially important to me, and that was one of them. “I sat it in the back seat so that it wouldn’t get broken,” she said, estimating the value at approximately $85. “It’s not worth a lot of money, it’s just (important) to me.” A separate outdoor art piece, created by her grandson and involving “a carving into wood,” had been picked up and thrown aside, likely by […]

Read More

A bakery on wheels: Kiki’s Funnel Cakes open for season in Collingwood

Kim Nolet spends her mornings preparing to open her food truck to the public, making sure everything on the menu is made fresh for the day. Nolet is the owner of Kiki’s Funnel Cakes, a food truck in Collingwood that sells bakery goods along with lunch and dinner items. The staple of the truck’s menu is its funnel cakes, but other dessert options include deep-fried chocolate bars and funnel fingers. “We seem to pull in a lot of tourists and locals,” said Nolet. “We would get messages from all over the place outside of Ontario — from people who are coming out asking questions about what we sell and what our hours are.” The business began in 2013, inside the Bramalea City Centre in Brampton. Nolet said she had the design for the food truck built in 2016 and eventually moved to a new location outside the Canadian Tire in Collingwood. According to Nolet, the food truck operates on a seasonal basis from the beginning of spring to the start of winter. But this year, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the food truck opened on June 22 — a few months later than usual. The delay in opening her business, along with an increase in supplier costs, has been a challenge for Nolet. “My biggest challenge this year was the prices are up like crazy. I’ve gone from canola oil under $20 a container to now $50 a container. And I’ve got to go through four a week. Just oil alone, that’s a huge impact,” she said. Because of this, […]

Read More