OPP Too Expensive

The town of Deseronto is joining North Hastings municipalities in fighting the high cost of policing.
The municipalities have decided they can’t live with the skyrocketing cost of policing by the Ontario Provincial Police service. Bancroft Mayor Lloyd Churchill, leading the charge, says there is no finger-pointing at the “quality” of policing…just the price tag. Bancroft paid 880-thousand dollars five years ago…now it’s up to one-point-four million. Churchill says the municipality has no input into the budget and he’s “not going to accept that any longer.” The rural towns are seeking a meeting with the province.

Social Services Director Retires

The long-time Director of the Hastings-Quinte Joint Social Services department retires this year. Warden Joanne Albert announced at County Council yesterday that Eric Frye, who has been with Social Services for more than 31-years, will leave in November. Albert referred to Frye’s “compassion” in handling the many people needing services. Others commended his work with the “most vulnerable of society.” Mayor of Deseronto, Norm Clarke, said his town appreciated all that Frye had done…particularly helping to establish a Transit System to help low income people get to work.

Get Start-up Businesss Help

A new program to support new business start-ups in Hastings County should see a few ribbon-cutting ceremonies for new ventures this June.
Manager of Economic Development Andrew Redden says the facilitator Darcelle Runciman has met 400-clients in the past four months…and has 38-clients working on proposed business start-ups. He says this might be someone who has always wanted to be self-employed but needs business management assistance. The free counselling program is funded through a federal government grant.

Tough Planting for Farmers?

A “no snow winter,” followed by a “no rain” spring isn’t exactly what the farmers of the Quinte Region pray for. Quinte region farmers have been using the dry spell to get early spring crops in the ground…really early according to Ministry of Agriculture spokesman Eric Lawlor. But Lawlor says farmers are “always optimistic,” and the planting is proceeding very well, including spring grains and corn. Lawlor says the danger is that the dry weather will damage early crops such as asparagus…and the fruit tree harvest.

Fishing Season Countdown is On

It is Walleye World weekend again, with thousands of anglers getting ready for the annual pike and pickerel tournament on the Bay of Quinte. Spokesperson Stephanie Wilson at the Quinte West Chamber of Commerce says 46-hundred people are expected to compete for 250-thousand dollars worth of cash and prizes in the derby, sponsored by the Trenton Kiwanis Club.
Participants can drop their lines anywhere at one minute after midnight tonight, and the results will be posted on a website throughout the weekend. Prizes will be awarded late Sunday afternoon.

Mayor Surprised About New Colonel Charges

The mayor of Quinte West says area residents would likely be surprised at the number of new charges laid against Colonel Russell Williams.

John Williams says he spoke recently to someone from Tweed, who knows another person who didn’t even realize at first their home had been broken into.

Williams — who is not related to the former C-F-B Trenton commander — says there’s comfort in the fact the alleged perpetrator is behind bars.

He adds that he can’t understand how somebody would have time to commit so many break-and-enters and still be able to perform their job.

Green Energy Act review this fall

The judicial review of the provincial Green Energy Act, requested by a Prince Edward County man, will go to court this fall.

Eric Gillespite, the lawyer for Ian Hanna of Big Island, says Hanna’s challenge questions whether there was scientific backing for the minimum 550-metre setbacks established in the act.

He says opponents of the act don’t have to prove wind turbines harm people, but only that they may, and the answer is still scientifically unproven.. The hearing date is September 30th at Toronto Superior Court.

Napanee Residents Express Concern

Some Napanee residents aren’t very enthusiastic about a new liquid waste processing and transfer facility planned for the community.

Drain-All wants to set up the business on Advance Avenue, and a town hall public meeting is scheduled for May eleventh.

One of those objecting to the proposal, Kenn Morrison, says the company was unsuccessful in locating in Kingston because of concerns about the amount of effluent it would be putting into the municipal sewers. He also isn’t happy about the prospect of the facility handling up to 300-thousand tons of waste a day.

Apsley drug sentence

A man from Apsley, southwest of Bancroft, has been given a 90-day conditional sentence for having over three-hundred marijuana plants on his property.

Fifty-seven-year-old Elroy Trimble was sentenced in Peterborough Court for production of marijuana, unauthorized possession of a handgun, careless use of a 12-gauge double-barrelled shotgun and possession of a loaded restricted firearm without a proper licence.

The O-P-P found 317 marijuana plants, 149 grams of marijuana and some guns and ammunition at a home northwest of Apsley on September 22nd . They estimated the value of the drugs at 319-thousand dollars.

Assault charges against two Belleville women

Belleville Police have charged two women over an incident involving a man trying to leave with some of his belongings.

Officers were dispatched to an Albion Street residence on Tuesday and determined a male and female were having an ongoing dispute over property. The man was attempting to take some of his belongings and was allegedly assaulted by two females.

Charged with one count of assault each are 37-year-old Kimberley Bailey and 20-year-old Sierra Bailey. Both were released and are expected to appear in court in June.

Colonel’s Case Remanded to June

Colonel Russell Williams appeared in good health during a video remand this morning in Belleville Court. On the Quinte Detention Centre video-link…the now 47-year old…wearing an orange prison jumpsuit…. frowned throughout most of his 3-minutes on screen…shrugging his shoulders but showing no signs of a reported hunger strike or suicide attempt. He spoke only his name when asked….and thanked the Justice of the Peace at the end of his appearance. His case was remanded to June 24th.

Outside the court Williams’ friend of nine years, Lieutenant Colonel Tony O’Keefe…..acting as a liaison between Williams and the military was pressed by a throng of media about the state of mind of the former CFB Trenton base commander. He says Williams doesn’t talk about the case with him and as far as he could tell he looks okay to him adding he’s never spoken with him about the news reports of a hunger strike or suicide attempt.

Williams is charged with the first degree murders of Jessica Lloyd and Marie France Comeau and two sexual assaults in the Tweed area….today….the OPP announced another 82 charges have been laid in connection with break-and-enters….mostly in the Tweed and Ottawa area areas and two others in Belleville.

Third try for Stanley Jones

Belleville man Stanley Jones hopes his third try is the charm in getting elected to City Council.

Jones, an electrical engineering professional, ran unsuccessfully as a councillor candidate in the 2003 and ’06 elections. He is also involved in volunteer activities in the community.

Jones filed his nomination papers for councillor in Belleville Ward at City Hall yesterday, joining Jodie Jenkins and incumbent Pat Culhane.. There are no Thurlow Ward councillor candidates, and no one has filed papers to run for Mayor in this October’s election.