Brighton residents urged to sign up with Health Care Connect

As Brighton gets set to welcome a pair of new doctors over the next year or so, municipal staff are putting out notice that you should register with the province, if you want to get on the patient list.

Both new doctors will have new offices open within the next 18 months, so residents without a primary care provider, like a doctor or nurse practitioner, are being advised to register with Ontario Health Care Connect.

Once you do, a “Care Connector” will work with you to find a primary care provider who is accepting new patients and get you set up with them.

You can register by calling 1-800-445-1822, or by clicking here to visit the Health Care Connect website.

 

Former Wellington Duke involved in bus crash

A bus has crashed in Illinois today, while carrying a semi-pro hockey team, which includes a former Wellington Duke.

Rusty Hafner and the Columbus Cottonmouths were on their way to Peoria, to take on the Rivermen, when their bus crashed about 20 miles from their destination.

Team staff say none of the players were seriously injured, but the whole team was taken to hospital for evaluation.

Hafner played 35 games with Wellington during the 2010/2011 season, before playing four seasons at Bowling Green State University and is now in his second season with the Cottonmouths.

Quartet of Americans fined and banned for over-fishing

Four men from the US have been handed severe punishments for over-fishing on Rice Lake, near Peterborough.

The men, two from Tennessee and two from Pennsylvania pleaded guilty to the charge of over-fishing and packaging the fish to conceal that.

The charges were laid after Ministry of Natural Resources Officers checked their cooler while they were leaving a Rice Lake cottage and found 49 walleye, 33 more than they were allowed to have between them.

The group was fined a total of $11,900 and all four are banned from angling in Ontario for the next three years.

New BDIA chair wants to fill shops quickly

The new chair of Belleville’s Downtown Improvement area says the key to bringing back the village’s glory days is filling its vacancies.

Speaking to Quinte News after being elected as the DBIA’s new chair, Dwayne Barratt says it’s going to take some strong partnerships with the city and other local groups to bring new business downtown.

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Barratt is also looking forward to the completion of phase three of the revitalization program from Bridge Street to Dundas, but says it will pose a few more challenges for business owners until it’s finished.

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Barratt was elected chair at the BDIA meeting this past Wednesday.

Paul Dinkel of Dinkel’s Restaurant will move into the seat of Vice-Chair, while realtor Jamie Troke is the new Treasurer.

Centre Hastings parents concerned about consolidation

A crowd of concerned parents listens to a presentation from Hastings and Prince Edward School Board staff. Part of the Centre Hastings accommodation review process. (Photo: David Foot / Quinte News)

Parents in Centre Hastings got their first chance to hear about and give feedback on, a proposal to close and consolidate some area schools, at a public meeting Wednesday night.

The Hastings Prince Edward School Board is proposing a closure of Madoc Township Public School, effective this September, with students there moving into town to Madoc Public School and then shifting grade seven and eight students over to Centre Hastings Secondary School.

That issue of moving senior elementary students into the high school, was one that touched off a number of negative reactions.

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There was also plenty of concern from parents who live in the township who noted that while Madoc certainly isn’t a metropolis, the change has some young students worried.

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The proposal to close and consolidate comes as the board deals with declining government funding, which is tied to enrolment and use of student space.

Centre Hastings Secondary is using just 55% of its student space, while Madoc Township is also below capacity and Madoc Public School is at 97%, which is why the older elementary students would move to CHSS.

All three schools also need millions of dollars worth of various repair work, another thing that raised speculation from parents, who wondered why the repairs all had to be done at once.

The information collected on Wednesday will be given to the local accommodation review committee, who will have a report in front of the school board by April 4th, 2017 at the earliest.

The final decision would be made by the board at the June 19, 2017 meeting, but there will be more opportunities for public input before that time.

You can click here to visit the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board website and get all of the information you need on the process.

Parents can pick students up early, accommodation review meeting cancelled

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Both local school boards say any parents who sent their kids to school and want to pick them up early because of the weather can do so.

The Hastings Prince Edward School Board says parents can come and get their kids at any time, while the Algonquin Lakeshore Catholic School Board is asking parents to call ahead to arrange early pick-ups.

Meanwhile, an accommodation review meeting for the Hastings Prince Edward Board in Madoc tonight has been cancelled.

It will be held tomorrow night at 6:30 at Centre Hastings Secondary School.

Brighton Briefs: Council considering indemnification clause

(Photo: Quinte News / File)

(Photo: Quinte News / File)

Council considering indemnification clause for future planning applications

Brighton’s CAO says it’s getting less likely that the town sees any money back from two costly Ontario Municipal Board hearings, but he has an idea for some future protection.

The taxpayer money was spent on lawyers to fight the appeals, which the town won, but there’s no way to recoup those losses, unless an “indemnification clause” is put in place.

CAO Bill Watson says the clause would put the costs of defending an OMB hearing on whoever is making the application.

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He adds, that while it can be effective, it’s not something the town would implement on every application.

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Watson will write a report on a plan to possibly implement the clause in future proposals, which will then have to be ratified by council.

He says he’ll be speaking with other municipalities to see if and when they use the clause, to figure out when the best cases to implement it will be.

QEDC looking for $40,000 commitment in 2017

Brighton Council has been asked to commit $40,000 to the Quinte Economic Development Commission this year.

Executive Director Chris King and Chair Ross Ray spoke to councillors last night, highlighting how the group has helped spur business in Brighton asking for the commitment of $3.95 per capita.

Speaking to Quinte News after the meeting, Mayor Mark Walas feels it’s money well spent.

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King told councillors he’s had a “steady stream of interest” from businesses to set up in the town and that one of those meetings could come later this week.

He says overall, it’s been a strong year for economic development in Brighton, with some local companies securing upper-level government funding and a good number of Brighton residents finding work in either Quinte West or Belleville.

Council backs idea for new digital sign

Brighton Council is firmly behind the idea to put an electronic sign out front of the King Edward Park Community Centre.

At a meeting in November, representatives from the Kin and Lions Clubs asked council to support their application to the Ontario Trillium Fund to fund half of the $12,000 cost for the new LED sign.

Council unanimously backed the proposal and now it’s up to the service clubs to submit the application and go through the process.

If approved and eventually installed, it would be up to the municipality to run the message board and decide what goes on it.

Want to have coffee with the mayor?
If you’ve got ideas for the town of Brighton, you can pass them on directly to the mayor, during some upcoming special events.

Mark Walas has planned a series of “coffee with the mayor” events, to run on the second Monday of every month, at 9:00 a.m., at the King Edward Park Community Centre.

He says it’s just another opportunity for people to have their say on what’s happening in town.

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The first of those sessions will run on Monday, February 13th.

In other Brighton, coffee-related news, the new Tim Hortons opened in town back on December 27th and a grand opening is coming up on Wednesday morning at 10:00 a.m.

Fire code violation charge laid in Belleville kitchen fire

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Belleville’s Fire Prevention Office has issued fines against a city man, following a blaze in an east-end kitchen last week.

Fire crews were called to the Dundas Street East apartment on the afternoon of January 11th, where they extinguished a small fire, that had started on a stove.

An investigation into the blaze found that the tenant had disabled his smoke detectors, even after signing a waiver with his landlord, saying that they were working fine and he wouldn’t touch them.

The man, whose name wasn’t released, was fined $360 for violating the Ontario Fire Code.

Fire prevention officers are reminding tenants and landlords about the importance of smoke detectors and say tampering with the devices won’t be tolerated.

Worker killed at Campbellford business

Police-Report
There’s been a fatal incident at a business in Campbellford today.

Northumberland OPP were called to the business, on Tanner Industrial Drive, around 2:45 Monday afternoon, where a man had been pinned between two 53-foot trailers.

Investigators say the man was working in between the trailers, when the front legs gave way on one of them, trapping him in between.

He was pronounced dead at the scene and the coroner and Ministry of Labour have been notified.

No other information has been released and the investigation is continuing.

Quinte West company, making maintenance vehicle technology, expands with new office

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A Quinte West-based business is expanding with a new downtown office and will celebrate with a ribbon cutting on Friday.

Lynxfield Canada provides hardware and software to various municipal roads departments and private road maintenance companies, which allows them to track their fleets of vehicles, like snow plows and road salting trucks.

Lynxfield staff will gather for the ceremony on Friday afternoon at 1:30, with members of council and the Quinte West Chamber of Commerce, outside of the new office at 84 Division Street.

 

Inmate dies at Bath Institution

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An inmate has died at Bath Institution, near Kingston.

Corrections Canada staff haven’t released details of exactly what happened, but say 42 year-old Michael Coelho died while in custody today and couldn’t be resuscitated by first responders.

Coelho was serving a two year sentence for breaching probation, dangerous driving and obstructing police and had been in custody since late April of last year.

As in all cases of inmates dying in custody, the police and coroner have been notified and Corrections Canada will be reviewing the circumstances of what happened.

Belleville’s new police chief and deputy sworn in

Belleville's new Deputy Police Chief Mike Callahan (left) and Chief of Police Ron Gignac (right) stand with the Honourable Justice Stephen Hunter, at their swearing-in ceremony. It was held at the Quinte Consolidated Courthouse, on January 17, 2017. (Photo: David Foot / Quinte News)

Belleville’s new Deputy Police Chief Mike Callahan (left) and Chief of Police Ron Gignac (right) stand with the Justice Stephen Hunter, at their swearing-in ceremony. It was held at the Quinte Consolidated Courthouse, January 17, 2017. (Photo: David Foot / Quinte News)

A new era has officially begun for the Belleville Police Service, as Ron Gignac has been sworn in as the new Chief of Police, with Mike Callahan being named his deputy.

Gignac takes over from Cory MacKay, who had been chief in Belleville for about seven years, before retiring at the end of 2016.

The pair were officially sworn in at the Quinte Consolidated Courthouse on Thursday afternoon, by the Justice Stephen Hunter.

Chief Gignac spoke to Quinte News following the ceremony and says the day is more about the people of Belleville than about himself.

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When asked about any initiatives or priorities he wanted to work on, Gignac says for now, the plan is to keep the service on a steady course and not make any drastic changes right away.

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Chief Gignac also gave credit to outgoing Chief MacKay and her senior staff, who have left the police force in fine shape for him to take over.

There was an extra special moment on Thursday as well, as Deputy Callahan was presented his badge.

The presentation was made by his two sons Shamus and Josh, who are officers with the Ottawa Police, a moment that Callahan says he’ll never forget.

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Both Gignac and Callahan have been with the Belleville Police Service for just over a year, after serving in various other policing and public service roles previously in their careers.