Fraudster claims to be police Chief Andrew Fletcher: South Simcoe Police Service

The South Simcoe Police Service are warning the public of an old scam with a ‘new twist,’ said South Simcoe Police spokesperson Sue Sgambati. Fraudsters posed as Police Chief Andrew Fletcher in an attempt to convince one victim that their scam was legitimate, she said. According to police, a woman received a call from someone claiming she had won a cash and car prize from Publishers Clearing House. The woman was told to send money to cover the taxes on her win, Sgambati said in a press release.  To try and convince the woman of the scam, the scammers then had someone pose as a lawyer and contact the ‘winner’ and then another fraudster called claiming to be police Chief Fletcher, Sgambati said. The woman didn’t fall for the ruse and called police herself to confirm if the previous phone calls were scams.  South Simcoe Police Service provided these tips to stay safe from scammers: • Don’t send money or gift cards to prepay taxes, pay a legal fee, or any fee to claim a lottery prize.  • Be suspicious of callers claiming you’ve won money, but ask you to send money. • Never give personal or financial information to a caller you don’t know • Hang up and verify if the call is legitimate by contacting the organization that called you. • Police will never call you to confirm a lottery win. Always hang up and call the actual police to report the incident. […]

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‘Such a great space’: Collingwood Youth Centre more than just an outlet for young people

As a kid, John Cardillo had a knack for creating videos. By the time he’d finished Grade 11 at Collingwood Collegiate Institute, Cardillo had created a 90-minute feature film with students from four local schools. “I came to the (Collingwood) Youth Centre (CYC) with a proposal for a second film,” the 20-year-old said. “Upon learning about youth homelessness and its severity in the area, we shifted our focus from a feature film to a documentary.” With the support of Lea Pankhurst, the manager of the youth centre, Kerri MacDonald, the director of the Environment Network, and Jeremy Rhodes of Elephant Thoughts, Cardillo and a dozen youths, including Jonah Munnings and Kaiden Collver, created “No Home in Sight.” The film premiered over three nights in 2019 and, by the end of its run, it had raised $22,000 to combat youth homelessness. “We used cameras, microphones, studio space and editing software that was all housed at the Collingwood Youth Centre,” Cardillo said. But the CYC is more than just an outlet for kids to find their creative voices, he said. “Whether it’s job opportunities or volunteer opportunities, they’re a really great hub for youth. Youths who are looking for access to accommodations, such as homeless youth, were given direction at the youth centre to go to Home Horizons (emergency shelter) or the Collingwood Public Library, which are really great support systems.” It was Pankhurst who […]

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With COVID-19 infections rising, Toronto won’t close North York vaccination clinic after all

With COVID-19 , the city has rethought plans to completely close a North York vaccination clinic. In a news release, the city said that, “given new information and the current vaccination situation” in the city, Toronto Public Health won’t entirely close the clinic at Mitchell Field community centre as announced July 28. Instead, it will “continue to run a smaller fixed-site clinic” administering COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines provided by TPH. The clinic will serve as a key site for both COVID-19 vaccination and other vaccination programs operated by TPH. As of Aug. 23, the clinic will accept walk-in appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations Tuesday to Saturday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. — the same hours as other city-run immunization clinics that are remaining open. They include Cloverdale Mall, the Hangar at Downsview Park, Metro Toronto Convention Centre downtown, and Scarborough Town Centre. The city still plans to and focus their resources on neighbourhood-based pop-up and mobile clinics. “Extending the operation of the Mitchell Field CC clinic will ensure that communities in North York have continued access to COVID-19 vaccines,” according to the news release. On July 21, Toronto public health chief Dr. Eileen de Villa said the high local vaccination rate — currently 73 per cent of Torontonians aged 12 or over are fully vaccinated — keeping infections and hospitalizations low while removing pandemic restrictions. […]

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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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Ontario investing more than $1.5 million in Huronia Historical Parks

Huronia Historical Parks will be receiving more than $1.5 million from the Ontario government in order to complete necessary repairs to aging assets. “We have an obligation as the current caretakers of these important landmarks to ensure that Sainte-Marie among the Hurons and Discovery Harbour remain visible, accessible and preserved for current and future generations of Canadians,” said Simcoe North MPP Jill Dunlop. Lisa MacLeod, minister of heritage, sport, tourism and culture, announced the funding at Discovery Harbour on Aug. 6. Sainte-Marie among the Hurons will receive more than $500,000 to help preserve masonry at the site, including the Great Fireplace, which was built in 1639 and is the oldest example of stonework still standing in Ontario. Approximately $100,000 will be used to rebuild Discovery Harbour’s original fixed wharf. “We are investing in our iconic institutions to ensure that not only will they be able to grow after COVID-19, but that they will once again become premier tourism destinations,” said MacLeod. Work at Sainte-Marie has already started. Crews are stabilizing the masonry before beginning repairs. Will Baird, general manager of Huronia Historical Parks, expects the project to be completed by the end of 2022. As for the wharf, sections are currently held up by a beaver dam. A study will be conducted to see how much of the wharf is reliant on this dam, and repairs will be made to ensure it is structurally sound. “ […]

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Police seek possible links to other crimes after 3 York Region men arrested for Bradford vehicle breakins

South Simcoe police continue to investigate for links to other incidents after three York Region men allegedly attempting to break into vehicles in Bradford were arrested Aug. 20. Police arrested the three after receiving reports of suspects attempting to break into vehicles in the area of Sideroad 10 and Miller Park Avenue around 2:20 a.m. Police recovered some stolen property. Three men in their twenties were charged with trespass at night and possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000. They were released at the scene with future court dates. The investigation is ongoing and police will be reviewing historical occurrences for possible links. Anyone with information, including surveillance or dashcam video, is asked to contact Const. Jake McCann at or , or by email at .

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St. Joan of Arc Catholic High School in Barrie reports three COVID-19 cases

Two Simcoe County catholic schools report new cases of COVID-19. And the caseload has increased at St. Joan of Arc Catholic High School in Barrie. New cases since last reporting: Our Lady of Grace Catholic School in Angus has one case. One classroom is closed. The school is open. St. Michael the Archangel Catholic School in Barrie reports two cases. One classroom is closed. The school is open.  The Simcoe County District School Board, Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board, MonAvenir Catholic School Board French Catholic), and Conseil Scolaire Viamonde (French public) report COVID-19 cases for a combined 179 educational settings in Simcoe County. They are reporting cases in 24 out of 179 locations. There are four active school outbreaks. This school is reporting more cases since lasting reporting: St. Joan of Arc Catholic High School in Barrie now has three cases. Four classrooms are closed. The school is open. These schools are reporting the same number of cases since last reporting: Andrew Hunter Elementary School in Barrie has three student cases. Two classrooms are closed. The school is open. The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit declared an outbreak here on March 9. The outbreak is active. Ardagh Bluffs Public School has one student case of COVID-19. One classroom is closed. The school is open.  Chris Hadfield Public School in Bradford has one student case. One classroom is closed. The school is open. Fieldcrest Elementary School has one staff cas […]

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What do you know about the Paralympics? Test your knowledge with our quiz

Tokyo, Japan will host its second Summer Paralympic Games this month, with the 2020 Games set to begin on Aug. 24 and run until Sept. 5.  Approximately 4,400 elite para athletes, including 128 Canadians, will strive for medals in 540 events across 22 sports. Because the Games accommodate athletes with a range of physical, visual and intellectual disabilities, events feature a host of exciting and innovative adaptations. How much do you know about the Paralympic Games? Take our quiz below to test your knowledge and learn something new. This article and quiz were informed by and .

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Ontario reports 531 new COVID-19 cases and 17 deaths

Ontario is reporting another 531 cases and 17 more deaths. Fifteen of the 17 deaths being reported are part of a data cleanup, released Thursday morning. Ontario has administered 45,545, with 20,341,063 vaccines given in total as of 8 p.m. the previous night. According to the, 10,670,142 people in Ontario have received at least one shot. That works out to approximately 81.9 per cent of the eligible population 12 years and older, and the equivalent of 71.8 per cent of the total population, including those not yet eligible for the vaccine. The province says 9,670,921 people have completed their vaccinations, which means they’ve had both doses. That works out to approximately 74.2 per cent of the eligible population 12 years and older, and the equivalent of 65.1 per cent of the total population, including those not yet eligible for the vaccine. The province is now including new data that reflects. Ontario is warning that the new process may cause discrepancies between other hospitalization numbers being collected using a different process, and that the data may not match daily COVID-19 case counts. The province’s new data reports 382 COVID-19 cases were confirmed in unvaccinated people, 46 were partially vaccinated, and 75 cases in fully vaccinated people. Again, the province warns the data may not match daily COVID case counts because records with a missing or invalid health card number can’t be linked. The seven-day average is at 498 cases daily, or 24.0 week […]

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‘There is still much danger ahead:’ COVID-19 variants are spreading fast across Ontario, top doctor says

Ontario’s progress in lowering COVID-19 has “stalled” and cases are up 15 per cent in a week with more people out and about as contagious variants take a deeper hold, says a leader of the science table advising Premier Doug Ford. “The risk of catching the disease has increased,” Adalsteinn Brown, head of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, warned as he presented new computer modelling that shows new infections rising from 1,099 Thursday to about 2,000 daily in early April in a best-case scenario. “There is still much danger ahead.” Statistics released by the province showed 43 per cent or 469 of the new cases reported Thursday are variants, up from one-third a week ago. Those case samples will go for genomic sequencing to determine the strain. Brown said that, as predicted several weeks ago, cases of older, more traditional strains of COVID are falling as fast as the new strains — now dominant in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Brazil and elsewhere — are rising. “Two pandemics are playing out,” he told a briefing with Ontario’s chief medical officer, Dr. David Williams. “The new variants are not under control.” Two-thirds of the 34 regional health units in Ontario are seeing increases in cases with about half of them experiencing growth of 30 per cent or more as restrictions on businesses have eased, he added. On Friday, the province will use its so-called “emergency brake” t […]

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