Volunteer firefighters unveil new garage and storage facility

The Hastings Prince Edward Mutual Aid Association fire training garage and storage facility located at 22 Chester Road in Trenton. (Photo: submitted)

Volunteer firefighters with the Hastings-Prince Edward Mutual Aid Association unveiled a new $160,000 garage and storage facility at their fire training complex in Trenton on Wednesday.

About 100 firefighters and members of the public gathered to take in the new 6,000 square foot, three bay garage and dry storage centre for fire service vehicles and equipment. The facility also features a classroom and training tower.

Chuck Naphan is a 33 year volunteer member of the Quinte West department. He said the new garage gives them the ability to improve the delivery of their training courses by 200 percent as they had been storing the vehicles at other sites that were heated.

Chuck Nathan

He added it feels wonderful to see the project come to fruition as they have been fundraising for five years through a variety of creative events like a truck giveaway.

The training complex is located at 22 Chester Road.

CAN150 Fire Globe in Quinte West on Canada Day

Lennox and Addington MP Mike Bossio, Bay of Quinte MP Neil Ellis, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and artist Shawn Donnan pictured with the CAN150 Fire Globe at Parliament Hill. (Photo: courtesy MP Neil Ellis)

The City of Quinte West is inviting the public to celebrate Canada Day in Centennial Park on Saturday, July 1.

During the celebrations, the CAN150 Fire Globe created by Shawn and Kelly Donnan of Horizon Metal Works will be on display at Centennial Park. This unique piece of local art was recently showcased in Ottawa for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The CAN150 Fire Globe is made of a 40″ hollow steel ball on which various Canadian symbols have been cut out by a laser cutter. Symbols such as the Parliament Buildings, the beaver, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Snowbirds,
moose, polar bear, and Rocky Mountains are just some of the Canadian artwork found on the sculpture.

Along with having it on display at the Quinte West headquarters during Canada Day, the CAN150 Fire Globe will be lit up via LED lighting during the fireworks display for all to enjoy.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau takes in CAN150 Fire Globe created by Shawn and Kelly Donnan.

“We are honoured to have this piece of local art at our Canada Day celebrations this year,” said Mayor Jim Harrison. “It is the perfect addition to the 150th celebrations. I invite you all to Centennial Park to enjoy a day filled of fun activities and, of course, to view the Fire Globe.”

Festivities begin at 9:00 a.m. and include a petting zoo, worship service, children’s games, inflatables, a car show, laser tag, pony rides, Knights of Columbus bingo, artisan vendor village, community group displays, spectacular fireworks display, and live musical entertainment featuring the Trenton Citizens Band, Wrought Iron Roots, Dr. Delicious and the Fantastic Flavours, Andrew Brickman and Roy Borden Jr.

Additionally, this year Quinte West will have a trolley transporting attendees, the Firefit Challenge and a multi-cultural aspect to the event to celebrate Canada’s big birthday.

Those wanting to show off their national pride are encouraged to join in the “Canada Day Eh Parade” leaving from the Duncan McDonald Memorial Gardens and ending at the headquarters stage along Couch Crescent. Anyone wishing to participate in the parade should arrive at the arena entrance, register their name for judging, and be ready to go for 10:30 a.m.

Flood warning remains in effect until August

The flood warning stretching along the shorelines of Lake Ontario and the Bay of Quinte will remain in effect until the beginning of August.

On Wednesday, Quinte Conservation issued a statement indicating water levels have been gradually decreasing since they peaked at the end of May.

However, General Manager Terry Murphy explained due to accumulated rainfall this week, water levels on the lake and bay increased by four centimetres on Tuesday.
He added the public needs to be aware these conditions will remain until the area receives a consistent dry spell.

Terry Murphy

Murphy also stated people who have put a lot of sandbags along their property need to be aware they can’t dump the sand into the water and it has to be disposed of properly.

Terry Murphy 2

Quinte Conservation will continue to monitor the situation and the flood warning will be in effect or updated on or before August 3.

Tasty burger rises to the occasion and crowned spicy king

Spicy Food Champ Burger Revolution owner Jeff Camacho (front right) pictured with four local judges: Quinte Broadcasting’s Lorne Brooker, Bill Glisky of Starboard Communications, Belleville Fire Chief Mark MacDonald and Donna Moore. (Photo: Jenna Dafoe/Quinte Broadcasting)

They’re known nationally for the making some of the best burgers and now Burger Revolution in Belleville proudly holds the City’s Best Spicy Food title.

On Monday, four local judges stepped up to the plate at the second annual Best Spicy Food competition bravely tasting spicy dishes from six local establishments Birdy’s Fine Dining, Boston Pizza, Burger Revolution, Chilangos Mexican Restaurant (defending champ), Royal Haveli Flavours of India and Slap Shot Bar and Grill.

Afterwards the dishes were judged based on heat, taste and presentation where the burger called ‘The Rising’ rose to the occasion and was crowned king. Royal Haveli came in second and Chilango’s placed third.

“We wanted together put a friendly competition of local restaurants about what we find is an increasingly popular part of our menu which is spicy food,” said event organizer and Boston Pizza owner Mitch Panciuk.  “We really are blessed to have some great independent family run restaurants in town.  So I wanted to give an opportunity to profile them a little bit through this competition.  Last year we had a great year and this year t has doubled with six restaurants competing.  I think it’s not only a friendly competition among us, it’s a real educational way to show how we can profile different parts of our menu.”

Panciuk said it’s not just about heat.  It’s about how heat goes with food and how it can be properly infused and the full way to experience a meal.

“Certainly there is spice but there are ways you can use that heat to give whole new flavours,” explained Panciuk.

Tune into 800AM CJBQ The Lorne Brooker Show on Tuesday June 20 at 9 a.m where featured guests Jeff Camacho and Mitch Panciuk will be on the show to talk about this hot and tasty event.

Quinte West keen on project that marks farms for first responders

No one should have to watch helplessly as an ambulance drives by you.

That’s the mantra of a new initiative called ‘FARM 911, The Emily Project’ aimed at getting emergency number signage for 30,000 farm fields province-wide.

On Monday night, Resi Walt a member of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture told Quinte West council how the campaign was spearheaded by local dad Scott Trudeau of Tweed following the death of his 7-year-old daughter Emily during a tragic farming accident in 2014.

“He asked to address field signs,” said Walt.  “The day of the accident the EMS drove by and had to be flagged down by Emily’s mom.  Time is crucial in an accident and 911 signs ensure proper response times. Having a location that is GIS entered and physically matched with a sign in the ground alleviates the possibility of untimely error.  You can place it (sign) at a place that doesn’t have a building present.  The goal is to let farmers know 911 signs are available for their entrance and it becomes a permanent part of their location.”

Resi Walt

Resi Walt and fellow committee member Vince Brennan have been travelling to many council chambers with the aim of reaching out to every horseshoe within Hastings, Northumberland, Prince Edward and Lennox and Addington Counties.

“We are all for this idea,” said Quinte West Fire Chief John Whalen who has had previous conversations with the committee.  “Not too long ago we had a logging accident on County Road 40 and we couldn’t find the individual.  This would’ve helped.”

“We will have a look into this and see where it goes in September,” said mayor Jim Harrison.

The campaign will be officially launched at the Hastings County Plowing Match on August 23 on the main stage at 11 a.m.

Contractor hired for new Quinte West fire station

Quinte West Fire Station 1 in Trenton. (Quinte News file photo: Nicole Kleinsteuber)

Plans to build a new fire hall in Quinte West took a big step forward Monday night.

Council approved a bylaw authorizing the City to enter into an agreement with Task Force Engineering out of Belleville to build a new station on Dixon Road in Trenton at a cost of $5.64 million, considerably under the $6.2 million budgeted.

Fire Chief John Whalen explained how the paper work was officially signed last week on the project that is expected to take 14 months. He added he and the crew can’t wait for a new station especially where training is concerned.

John Whalen 1

After some concern about accessibility, Fire Chief John Whalen said the design work has been changed.

John Whalen 2

Whalen expects activity to start at the site within the next three weeks.

(Quinte News File Photo: Nicole Kleinsteuber)


In other business, the Trent Port Marina is about to become more accessible.

After a request by Quinte Sailability member Dennis Fletcher, Monday night Quinte West council agreed to help fund an accessible lift on a dock.

It’s expected to cost $5,000.


Council chamber was livened up Monday night as members of the “Quinte West Shimmy Mob” group performed a choregraphed routine for the horseshoe and members of the public.

The group performed the exotic number in support of women in crisis at the 3 Oaks Foundation.

The Shimmy Mob requested to be a part of the community grant process and submitted an application for $1,000. The mayor presented $50 for 3 Oaks and the application will be reviewed in the fall.

Quinte West bids fond farewell to Col. Keiver and Chief Warrant Officer Elder

Retiring 8-Wing CFB Trenton commander Col. Colin Keiver (C) is presented with a parting gift from Quinte West Mayor Jim Harrison (R) and Deputy Mayor Jim Alyea on behalf of the city at the meeting on Monday June 19, 2017. (Photo: Nicole Kleinsteuber / Quinte News)

Quinte West bid a fond farewell to retiring CFB Trenton Col. Colin Keiver and 8 Wing Chief Warrant Officer Darcy Elder Monday night.

At council, Mayor Jim Harrison and members of the horseshoe expressed the City’s appreciation for two men’s commitment to the community and the armed forces.

Col. Keiver will be appointed to Director of the Defence Program at the National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa following a change of command ceremony at CFB Trenton on July 14. Lieutenant-Colonel Mark Goulden will succeed Col. Keiver. Elder’s final day is set for August 1.

“We  appreciate all that you have done for us,” said Mayor Jim Harrison.

“You are certainly pillars in our community,” expressed Deputy Mayor Jim Alyea.  “You fit in like you’ve always been here and you’re always welcome back.”

Retiring 8-Wing Chief Warrant Officer Darcy Elder (C) is presented with a parting gift by Quinte West Mayor Jim Harrison (R) and Deputy Mayor Jim Alyea (L) at the council meeting on Monday June 19, 2017. (Photo: Nicole Kleinsteuber / Quinte News)

“Darcy you’re a mountain of a man but a gentle giant with a big heart,” stated Councillor Duncan Armstrong.  “Col. Keiver you brought the level of class, dignity and respect that is demanded of a base commander. You are a true role model for our Canadian Forces and have enhanced the morale within our community.”  Pointing to Col. Keiver and his wife Jennifer’s dedication to community initiatives such as the Trenton Memorial Hospital Foundation, the Invisible Ribbon Gala and Volunteer and Information Quinte, Armstrong said their presence will be missed.  “But I don’t think we’ve seen the end of you.”

Col. Keiver expressed his sincerest thanks on behalf of himself, his wife Jennifer, Elder, Elder’s wife Tammy and their children.

“This place is not just a community,” smiled Col. Keiver.  “It’s home and it’s sincerely appreciated.”

Col Colin Keiver

Looking back at the past two years as commander, Keiver says there are many things that stick out – the first being the 2016 Quinte International Airshow.

Col Colin Keiver 2

Following the meeting, Jennifer Keiver smiled promising that the Keivers will return.

“Not to live, but definitely to visit,” she beamed.

Youth awarded for Reaching for Success

Prince Edward Hastings MPP Todd Smith presents a Reach For Success Youth Award to Stephanie Curtis on Tuesday June 13, 2017. (Photo: submitted)

The Children’s Foundation celebrated its 17th, ‘Reach for Success Youth Awards’ ceremony this week.

On Tuesday, the Foundation fittingly held the ceremony at Loyalist College, as 30% of the bursary recipients will be returning to, or starting their studies at the College this fall.

A total of 66 Reach for Success Bursaries were awarded. Also 73 children and youth received a Youth Award to recognize their achievement in one of six categories: Academics, Arts, Sports & Recreation, Volunteer & Public Service, Culture & Heritage and Personal Best.

“It truly was a night to celebrate the achievements for all the children and youth in this room,” said Connie Reid, Executive Director.  The Children’s Foundation serves Hastings, Northumberland and Prince Edward Counties.  “Whether you are receiving a Youth Award, for recognizing your achievements this past year, or a bursary to continue your post-secondary education, the amazing donors; staff; and volunteers of The Children’s Foundation are so very proud of you!”

“It is inspiring to hear about the achievements of the recipients of both the Youth Awards and the Reach for Success Bursaries,” said Mark Kartusch, Executive Director of Highland Shores Children’s Aid. “On behalf of everyone at Highland Shores Children’s Aid I offer our sincere congratulations to these children and youth, many of whom have triumphed despite the challenges they have faced. We thank the community for their continued support and we look forward to celebrating the educational accomplishments of many more young people in the future.”

Children’s Foundation board member Martha Farrell presents a Reach For Success Award to Autumn King on June 13, 2017. (Photo: submitted)

The Children’s Foundation (TCF) has been serving children and youth in Hastings County since 1991 and in 2015 expanded to include Northumberland & Prince Edward Counties. The Children’s Foundation is an autonomous organization governed by its own Board of Directors and is the charitable arm of Highland Shores Children’s Aid (HSCA). Additionally, TCF offers programs for families who are living in poverty with no affiliation to HSCA. Programs and services aim to educate and inspire members of the communities they serve and to effect change that brings people and financial resources together to improve the quality of life for at risk children and youth.  Visit www.thechildrensfoundation.ca for more details.

Photos: Prince Edward OPP investigating break and enters

OPP are seeking the identity of three men they say were captured on video surveillance during a break and enter at the Regent Theatre in Picton on May 7. (Photo: OPP roll out)

Prince Edward OPP are looking to the public for information on a pair of break and enters.

Yesterday morning around 7 a.m. officers were called to investigate a theft at Currah’s Café located at Sandbanks Provincial Park.

Police allege that sometime overnight, unknown suspects broke into the café and took several consumable goods. Also taken in the theft were some children’s sand toys.

The total value of the theft is approximately $1500.

One of the three suspects OPP say was captured on video surveillance during a break and enter at the Regent Theatre in Picton on May 7. (Photo: OPP roll out)

Meanwhile, OPP continue to investigate a break and enter at the Regent Theatre in Picton on May 7.

At 9 p.m. three unknown suspects were captured on video surveillance wandering inside the theatre on Main Street. Regent

Police report there was a movie during the evening and the three men were observed inside the theatre after operating hours. According to police the three then stole a box of alcoholic beverages and broke out of the theatre via a fire exit.

Anyone with information on these crimes is asked to call Prince Edward OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS(8477).


One of three suspects OPP say was on video surveillance during a break and enter at the Regent Theatre in Picton on May 7. (Photo: OPP roll out)

Plans for expansion to Picton Library in the works

John Ambrose, chair of the Prince Edward County Public Library and Archives gives the committee of the whole an update on operations at the meeting on June 15, 2017. (Photo: Nicole Kleinsteuber / Quinte News)

The Prince Edward County Public Library and Archives board is getting set to launch a 2018 capital campaign for an expansion to the Picton branch.

At Thursday’s committee of the whole meeting, Chair John Ambrose announced future plans to engage the public in focus groups to develop a vision for the expanded 110 year old building.  He said first they need to get a feel for what the municipality and community wants and then move forward from there.  Ambrose said a tentative date in early July is soon to be set for the first meeting with the second coming in the fall.

“We want to build services for the community,” said Ambrose pointing to plans to investigate new and innovative resources for funding. “We believe because of the goodwill that the library has we have the goodwill to raise the money.”

He said step two will consist of the design phase.

John Ambrose

Also in the works are plans to boost circulation and membership.  Ambrose praised plans to introduce online program registration, audit the user experience in each library branch and develop the library’s social media presence to give a sneak peek into the daily life in the library.

County could leave E-Waste collection to fundraising groups

Volunteer Linda Ryan asks the committee of the whole to retract plans to offer electronic waste collection at County transfer sites on June 15, 2017. (Photo: Nicole Kleinsteuber / Quinte News)

It looks as though Prince Edward County will cease plans to install three electronic waste collection bins at its transfer sites in an effort to assist volunteer groups with continued community fundraising.

At Thursday’s committee of the whole meeting, volunteer Linda Ryan asked that the municipality not follow through with plans to offer the service as it could potentially take away from groups who rely on e-waste pick up events for fundraising initiatives.

At a May 11 meeting, the committee held an extensive discussion on the matter when a letter from Phil St-Jean, Past President of the Kinsmen Club of Picton was presented stating the Kinsmen raised over $4500 last year as their share of proceeds from e-waste collection events. He too asked that council hold off on installing the bins saying it could put charities at risk by competing.

At the time, Commissioner of Engineering, Development and Works Robert McAuley said he was concerned that if the County didn’t offer the service now that Quinte Waste Solutions wasn’t providing it, e-waste would end up in the garbage because people didn’t have the option to drive to the fundraising events.

“Home hardware and our volunteers have given close to $35,000 over seven years to the Prince Edward Memorial Hospital Foundation,” said Ryan during Thursday’s meeting.  “I would hate to see the County take that away from us. It’s not just money.  I have had youth with court appointed community hours that have helped us out and Home Hardware has turned around and hired them. It’s all about maximizing our dollar.  The money is well spent in the community.”

Many councillors agreed that this is a worthwhile service the volunteers are providing.

The committee carried the motion that states the County will assist the groups by providing a partnership and advertising the upcoming e-waste fundraising dates on the municipal website.

A final decision will come back to council at a later date.

County scraps motion to get rid of outdoor patio permits

Ameliasburgh councillor tables motion to do away with outdoor patios at the committee of the whole meeting on June 15, 2017. (Photo: Nicole Kleinsteuber / Quinte News)

Prince Edward County’s committee of the whole has scrapped a motion to stop issuing any more outdoor patio permits on municipal property after Councillor Roy Pennell stated they are a cause for safety and parking concerns.

On Thursday, the Ameliasburgh councillor tabled a motion to see further permits quashed and the patio bylaw rescinded after raising worries that some of the patios and/or walkways could pose as a danger to pedestrians and are taking away from street parking in Picton and Wellington.

Three years ago the County launched a pilot program in an effort to spark more outdoor patios and after much success decided to offer it long term, enacting a patio bylaw.

“We just spent thousands for suitable parking,” said Pennell.  “I fail to see how these patios present something historical.”

Councillor David Harrison was the only other councillor who supported Pennell’s motion on the basis that he too felt the patios limited parking.  Harrison said he took a ‘straw poll’ of rural residents that said they too were in opposition of the patios taking away from needed parking spaces.

Director of Community Development Neil Carbone said those who chose to take advantage of the program are well within municipal guidelines, wider walkways were created and businesses went through the necessary heritage requirements.  He said there are two applications in the works for patios that don’t require walkways into parking spaces.

Councillor Kevin Gale said he sees no problem with the current bylaw adding the patios are taking away a mere two to three parking spaces.

“It adds to businesses,” said Councillor Gale.  “Some of them hang on by their shoelaces in the winter.  This is a slippery path to go down by an area that is becoming a destination.  Tourism keeps this area alive.  If you ask some of these businesses, it’s tourism that allows them to pay the bills.
I would like to see more patios.”

Picton Councillor Lenny Epstein agreed the municipality has invested in parking, however he felt the dynamic life patios provide outweighs the number of concerns by those who are opposed to patios.

Councillor Janice Maynard agreed the patios offer value in the community.  She said she too has noticed some safety issues with a patio in Wellington and suggested the horseshoe review the bylaw as it’s been in the works for a couple of years now.

No decision was made on reviewing the bylaw.