Update: accused Ponzi schemer Smirnow awaits next court appearance

(November 24, 2015 BRACEBRIDGE) Accused Ponzi schemer Nicholas Smirnow was reported to be back in Bracebridge court November 24. His last court appearance was in Barrie. The next court date is unknown at this time.

(July 30, 2015 BRACEBRIDGE) Officials in the Bracebridge Court Records office say the case of Nicholas Smirnow has moved south to Barrie. The alleged fraud artist who is accused of defrauding thousands of investors of out of $70million dollars will appear in court again on September 11, 2015 – this time in court in Barrie instead of Bracebridge. No reason was given for the transfer.

Smirnow, with his wife Dianna, was arrested by Huntsville OPP in December after the couple stepped off a plane from the Philippines.

Scroll down to read the story of the Smirnows and their connection to Muskoka before fleeing to allegedly continue a reported investment scam in the U.S.

March 9, 2015: Accused Ponzi schemer Smirnow awaiting April trial date

(March 9 2pm BRACEBRIDGE) Accused fraud artist Nicholas Smirnow of Baysville will appear in Bracebridge court again on April 27 for a pre jury trial.

His wife, Dianna Rose Smirnow, accepted a plea in court on February 6. Bracebridge court officials say she is now on probation and her sentence included time served (she was in jail for 66 days). She must make restitution of $16,421.00 for social service fraud: she was collecting cheques from the Ontario Ministry of Communications and Social Services for more than a year. She left Canada in 2010 before she could be arrested.

While there are unconfirmed reports the U.S. wants to extradite him, 57-year-old Nicholas Smirnow remains in detention in Ontario facing charges of two counts of fraud over $5000.00 and Possession of Property Obtained by Crime under the Criminal Code of Canada. U.S. authorities reportedly had tried to extradite Smirnow from the Philippines before but failed to get him back on U.S. soil to face 10 counts of mail fraud, wire fraud, securities fraud and money laundering.

Acting on a tip, officers from the Huntsville OPP arrested the Smirnows Friday, December 12, 2014 at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport after the couple got off a flight from the Philippines. They were brought immediately to the OPP detachment in Huntsville.

It’s alleged Smirnow bilked 40,000 investors in 120 countries out of $70-million between 2007 and 2009. His credibility began to unravel when Huntsville OPP officer Andy Muller in 2008 started looking into Smirnow’s actions and Muller circulated a questionnaire to Smirnow’s investors asking them to provide input into the investigation.

In April 2009, members of the Muskoka Crime Unit and the OPP’s Asset Forfeiture United got a warrant to search Smirnow’s home on Fairy Falls Road in Lake of Bays, and while police seized property they said proved Smirnow was running a scam, Smirnow was nowhere to be found.  An April 29, 2009, the Bracebridge Examiner reported police were on the hunt for Smirnow and that the search had “resulted in the seizure of property and assets related to the large-scale investment scam. Through his online investment business, Pathway-2-Prosperity, also known as the P2P Network, which he had operated from 2007 to 2008, Smirnow made over $1 million in illegal profit, police said. Known as a high-yield investment program, the scam promised high rates of return over short periods of time.” The million in illegal profit turned out be just the tip of the iceberg as Smirnow continued wooing investors until at least 2009.

Muskoka News Watch broke the news of the Smirnow’s arrest in December.

Related Articles and References:

December 16, Muskoka News Watch, BREAKING: Accused of swindling millions, Nick Smirnow nabbed by Huntsville OPP . Note: Previously articles referred to Nicholas Smirnow as being 56 years old. He is 57, born May 23, 1957.

There are several blogs related victim’s stories of their involvement in P2P, including Victims against Scams and RipOff Report, to name only a few.

About Muskoka News Watch – consider donating to keep your Muskoka info flowing: Muskoka News Watch exists primarily on donations. If you like being informed, please toss a few dollars our way using the Donate Button on the top right hand corner of our Home Page (you can use Credit Cards or Debit). Thank you!

Gravenhurst mobile home goes up in flames

(November 27, 2pm GRAVENHURST) A Gravenhurst family has lost their mobile home to fire. At approximately 2:45pm on November 26th, fire crews from Gravenhurst Stations 1 and 2 were alerted to a mobile home fire at the Four Seasons Trailer Park on Baseline Road.  About 20 firefighters and five fire apparatus attended the scene, where they remained at the site until approximately 6pm.

When the first crew arrived, the mobile home was fully engulfed with fire threatening two 500 gallon propane tanks and an adjacent mobile home on one side and a service building on the other side.

The occupants of the mobile home were initially unaccounted for, however the family of four was found a short time later, unfortunately they have lost their two dogs in the fire.

Combustibles Left Near Space Heater-Suspected Cause

The suspected cause of the fire is combustibles left too close to a space heater with damage estimated to be approximately $45,000.

The family did not have insurance, however their extended family and community members have rallied around them to assist them in their time of need.

“Quick action by firefighters kept the fire from spreading to the adjacent mobile home and service building,” said Todd Clapp,  acting Deputy Chief.  “The extensive damage to the mobile home and contents made the fire origin and cause impossible, but we suspect that a space heater may have come into contact with combustibles, igniting them and spreading to other combustible materials,” he explained.

Gravenhurst fire fighters remind you to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for clearances to combustibles when using space heaters and that working smoke alarms are a must to protect your family.

 

Action First Aid Bracebridge places AED with Bracebridge OPP

(November 27 BRACEBRIDGE RELEASE) The Bracebridge detachment of the OPP recently received a new tool for their work in providing emergency response to the local community. On Tuesday, November 24, Inspector Ed Medved, and Sergeant Chris Walsh of the Bracebridge OPP met with Laura Wernham of the District of Muskoka Emergency Services and Paola Oke, a paramedic with Muskoka EMS at the new Action First Aid training centre on Ecclestone Drive in Bracebridge.  The group gathered for the gifting of a new Automated External Defibrillator, or AED, donated by Action First Aid and Cardiac Science Corporation.

The AED was placed by Action First Aid with the assistance of the Muskoka PAD or Public Access Defibrillator program coordinated by paramedic Paola Oke, and Laura Wernham and Terri Burton of the District of Muskoka Emergency Services.

Action First Aid Vice President Roger Hennig, and General Manager for Muskoka Jen Dennis, were both in attendance and were excited to share in a life-saving opportunity for our community.  “Being involved locally is an important part of what we are about” said Dennis, “Action is pleased to have recently opened a new Training Centre locally, and to be able to provide support and services to our local community and businesses.  This AED placement is another opportunity to share our passion for providing life-saving skills and tools within the community.”  Hennig and Dennis were joined by Lucas Smith, Ontario Sales Manger with Cardiac Science Corporation, and David Miller, a retired police officer and Cardiac Arrest survivor, who now actively advocates the importance of AEDs in our communities.

The AED was put into service right away, and will be carried in OPP Supervisor Vehicles travelling throughout Muskoka.  The defibrillator will be tracked in cooperation with our local dispatch services, and will be available in case of a public emergency, or an officer in need.  “I can certainly say that the addition of the AED to our Supervisors’ patrol vehicle will most definitely enhance our first responder capabilities” said Inspector Medved, “Action First Aid and Cardiac Science have demonstrated their commitment to improving public safety within the District of Muskoka through this very generous equipment donation.”

The placement of this AED has also allowed Action First Aid and the District of Muskoka to remind the public of the importance of an AED in a cardiac emergency.  “The public access defibrillator program (PAD program) has been in existence for approximately 10 years.  Our goal, along with the assistance of the District of Muskoka, is to aid facilities with the placement of an AED, train them in the use of the units and to provide assistance and support for organizations post placement” said Oke, who has been the coordinator of the local PAD program for the last 6 years.  Oke reminds the community that while AEDs are important, it is just as important to provide good quality CPR during a cardiac emergency.  “The average rate of bystander CPR in the Province of Ontario is from 20%-30%, however Muskoka’s bystander CPR rate is 40.5%” she says.

Dennis says she wants to see that number increase even further, “At Action First Aid we provide a full range of CPR and First Aid Training, along with AED sales and support.  We truly believe that everyone can save a life, and the first step is getting trained so that you are ready to respond in an emergency.  Our training programs are all hands on and scenario-based, letting our participants try those important skills first hand, so they are confident and capable when faced with an emergency.”

Action First Aid is also a National Distributor of both Philips and Cardiac Science defibrillators, and provides ongoing support to all of their customers following the placement of any AED, even with defibrillators not placed by them directly.  “Like our local PAD program, we are committed to supporting individuals, businesses and organizations who have an AED, to ensure that their devices are always ready for rescue” say Dennis.

For now, one more life-saving device is in our community and available to the public should the call for help come.

 

 

Fuel spill spotted in Lake of Bays

(November 24, 2015 9:45pm HUNTSVILLE) On Saturday, November 14, 2015, members of Huntsville Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), Lake of Bays and Huntsville Fire Department responded to a report of what appeared to be a possible oil slick on Lake of Bays in the area of Osborne Point.

At approximately 11:30am a Hydro One pilot flying in the area observed what he thought was oil on the water in the area of Osborne Point.

Members of the Huntsville OPP as well as an OPP traffic aircraft attended a home in the area to try and locate the source of the oil. Police discovered an unknown amount of fuel had leaked from a generator and some had entered the lake.

Lake of Bays and Huntsville Fire departments attended to contain the spill. The Ontario Ministry of Environment was also notified and attended the scene. The OPP reported the spill to media today (November 24, 2015).

MAHC Earns Silver in Green Hospital Scorecard

(November 20, 2015 MUSKOKA) – Last year it was bronze, and now Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC) is bringing home the silver.

Both MAHC sites have received a Silver award through the Ontario Hospital Association’s Green Hospital Scorecard for our environmental performance. The scorecards are based on 2014 data and assign an overall score of 51.79 at Huntsville District Memorial Hospital (HDMH) site and 51.29 at South Muskoka Memorial Hospital (SMMH) site, compared to last year’s overall score of 43.37.

The Green Hospital Scorecard is a benchmarking and recognition program that evaluates environmental performance in five areas: energy, waste, water, pollution prevention, and corporate leadership, planning and management. It is a tool that helps hospitals to assess their environmental performance relative to their peers and helps identify potential areas for improvements to environmental performance and operational efficiencies.

“We are delighted the organization has been recognized with a Silver seal,” says Natalie Bubela, Chief Executive Officer at MAHC. “We are among 31 sites that were awarded silver, and across the province only two sites achieved the Gold award status.”

In 2014 and in 2013, MAHC received a Bronze award.

“The scorecard results validate our energy project work to retrofit our facilities with more efficient lighting, automation and heating, ventilation and cooling systems,” Bubela adds. “As well, there has been a strong commitment by our staff to be greener by recycling more, and in 2014 we were able to divert 33% of our waste from landfill at SMMH and 36% at HDMH.”

In 2015, MAHC also received the Greening Health Care Five Percent Award at each site for achieving a 5% reduction in one or more of steam, gas, water, hydro or greenhouse gas emissions over time. Please visit our website to learn more about energy efficiency at MAHC.

Clement named Foreign Affairs Critic

(November 20 OTTAWA) Parry Sound-Muskoka MP Tony Clement has been named Foreign Affairs Critic for the opposition Conservative Party.

Interim party leader Rona Ambrose made the announcement today in unveiling the official opposition shadow cabinet.

“It is my honour to accept this role, and I look forward to holding the new Government to account on the many challenging issues in the Foreign Affairs portfolio,” says Clement.

Collision tips Hydro One truck onto Bracebridge coffeehouse

(November 16, 2015 11:30am BRACEBRIDGE) – Bracebridge Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) responded to a collision in front of Oliver’s Coffee on Manitoba Street in Bracebridge this morning just before 8am.  A food delivery truck was trying to back into the parking lot beside the restaurant to make a delivery when it bumped into a large Hydro One truck that was parallel parked in front.  The impact caused the Hydro One truck to tip over causing minor damage to the restaurant.  There were no injuries reported.

Submitted photo by Bill Keith

 

Date set for Councillor defamation hearing: Brent vs. Nishikawa

(November 16 8pm BRACEBRIDGE) Former Township of Muskoka Lakes Councillor Ron Brent says he’s tired of waiting for an apology from Muskoka Lakes Councillor Ruth Nishikawa: he is now asking the Court to rule that she defamed him.

A motion for summary judgment in favour of Brent was filed last week to the Court in Bracebridge and a hearing is set for December 14, 2015. It asks the Court to find that Nishikawa was wrong when she alleged Brent wrongfully disclosed information from a closed session of Township of Muskoka Lakes (TML) Council to a member of the public. Sharing information from closed session is a breach of the Township Code of Conduct.

“If the Councillor would just apologize, this wouldn’t be a matter for a judge to decide,” says Brent. “But she refuses to do so, she refuses to apologize publicly; and for me, it’s a matter of my integrity.”

That’s important to Brent who says it should be important to others as well. “No Councillor or anyone for that matter should be allowed to malign another person untruthfully and without repercussions.”

In his lawsuit filed originally in August 2014, Brent claimed Nishikawa defamed him in an email on June 15, 2014 to Bala businesswoman Patricia Arney, an email that Nishikawa also addressed to the District of Muskoka Chair and District Councillors and to the Mayor and all TML Council members. Arney had written Councillors expressing her concern about a discussion at Council regarding permits for Bala Falls.

In her email response, Nishikawa stated that the information Arney was asking about was referred to during “closed session of council”; that the information came from a Councillor who stormed out of the closed meeting; and that said Councillor had declared a conflict of interest on the matter [Bala Falls] for nearly two years.

The affidavit filed in the present Court proceeding states that Arney knew Nishikawa was making a serious allegation against Brent and knew it was not true as Arney had not spoken or had any communication with Brent after that meeting. Arney immediately confirmed to Councillor Nishikawa that she was mistaken. Arney also contends that the only information she had about the closed session of council came from Nishikawa herself in her email. Brent states Nishikawa defamed him further by suggesting a conflict of interest on his part when he has no pecuniary interest in the development of Bala Falls.

Brent also argues the information that Nishikawa contends was only discussed in closed session was discussed in a public meeting on June 13, 2014 – a discussion he points out is confirmed by TML minutes of the meeting that occurred two days before Nishikawa’s email.

According to the motion for judgment, Brent is seeking $50,000.00 in punitive damages to be paid as a donation in his name to the Muskoka Lakes Nursing Station in Port Carling, and that the damages be paid by Nishikawa personally, not by the Township or any entity on behalf of the Township. He is also seeking costs of up to $7,500.00.

When contacted for comment, Nishikawa responded in an email that she had been advised by the municipal solicitor handling the file that “he will be dealing directly with the courts as is the usual practice,” adding, “it would not be appropriate to debate this through the media.”

If Nishikawa is relying on Township errors and omissions insurance to cover any costs, sources say the deductible could be in the tens of thousands alone, not to mention the potential for an increase in premiums should the court decide Nishikawa was in the wrong.

December 14 is also the hearing date set to hear a request for an injunction against a proposed land lease by the Township to Swift River Energy Limited, the company proposing to build a hydro plant at the north Bala Falls. SavetheBalaFalls.com filed its request for a hearing the last Thursday, the day before the land lease issue was expected to be voted on by Township in closed session. No decision was made on the lease, which may come back before Council on December 11.

Related Articles:

 

 

Huntsville OPP investigate theft from local cemetery

(November 15, 4pm HUNTSVILLE)  At approximately 4:20PM on Wednesday November 11, 2015 officers of Huntsville Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) responded to a theft complaint at a Cemetery located on Muskoka Road #3 North in the Town of Huntsville.

Town of Huntsville staff arrived to work at the cemetery at approximately 10am on the same date to find unknown parties had entered the cemetery property sometime during the night. A lock was cut from the door of a tool storage shed and equipment used to maintain the cemetery grounds was stolen.

Huntsville OPP are asking anyone with information about this theft to contact Huntsville OPP or CrimeStoppers.

Bracebridge United Church and Rotary Club to sponsor Syrian refugees

(November 13, 2015, 3:45pm BRACEBRIDGE) The Bracebridge United Church plans to sponsor a Syrian refugee family and to help them start a new life in Canada. The church is one of a number of groups in Muskoka, including the Bracebridge Rotary Club, working together to provide help to those fleeing the war-torn country.

The plan is to raise a minimum of $27,000 to bring a family to Bracebridge and to provide for them for one year while they get on their feet.

“This started because of a groundswell of compassion from members of the congregation in recent months as the world’s attention turned to this crisis,” said Reverend Nancy Knox of the Bracebridge United Church (BUC). “I have never seen an outpouring like this before.”

The Church has sponsored refugee families before and The United Church of Canada is already a Sponsorship Agreement Holder, a designation required by the Federal Government to assume responsibility for such an undertaking. The Canadian government has pledged to bring in 25,000 refugees by the end of 2015, and the BUC is working as quickly as possible to be ready to receive the family.

One of many Muskoka groups working to provide support

BUC is not the only group in Muskoka working to provide assistance. The Rotary Club of Bracebridge is also spearheading a community project to sponsor two Syrian refugee families, and the two groups are working closely together and hope to connect with others in Muskoka with similar aims.

Public information session on Syrian refugee sponsorship

Any individuals or groups interested in sponsoring or supporting Syrian refugees are invited to attend a public meeting on Tuesday December 1st at 7pm at Trinity Hall, 33 Main St. E., Huntsville. Bracebridge United Church and Bracebridge Rotary Club will be attending this meeting conducted by AURA (Anglican United Refugee Alliance) a Canadian charitable organization that assists in the sponsorship and resettlement of refugees. “This is for any group interested in helping to learn more about how they can become involved in sponsorship and resettlement,” said Knox.

How you can help the Bracebridge United Church initiative

Make a cash donation: Send a cheque addressed to the Bracebridge United Church with “Syrian Refugee Fund” on the memo line. You can also donate online through Indiegogo. com to “Syrian Refugee Fund — Bracebridge United Church.” Anyone donating $20 or more will receive a tax receipt.

Volunteer, donate goods or household items, put out a collection box at your place of business, or provide in-kind assistance: Send an email to SyrianRefugeBracebridge@gmail. com and tell the group what you might be able to provide when the time comes.

“It’s truly inspiring the way people have quickly come together to facilitate such an ambitious undertaking,” said Knox.

BRACEBRIDGE ROTARY CLUB RELEASE: CLUB LAUNCHES EFFORT TO SUPPORT SYRIAN REFUGEES

As a response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis, The Rotary Club of Bracebridge is launching a fundraising effort to bring up to two Syrian Refugee families to Bracebridge to help them settle in Canada. The Club intends to work closely with the Bracebridge United Church who also announced a fundraising effort today, along with numerous other community organizations and partners. The Rotary Club’s efforts are being led by the club’s World Community Service Committee and include a number of local churches, community organizations and outside organizations with expertise in resettlements as partners. The Rotary Club has already committed up to $27,000 for this project.

According to Peter Rickard, Chair of Rotary’s World Community Service Committee, “The District of Muskoka’s Community Services Department has indicated support for the initiative by way of provision of various social supports. Graydon Smith, the Mayor of Bracebridge recently met with us and encouraged working together with other groups in the area to make this truly a community effort.”

The Rotary Club of Bracebridge undertakes a significant number of projects within the community. While the Club returns the majority of the funds it raises to the local Community, it also has an international humanitarian focus which includes responding to humanitarian crises. For example, over the past number of years, the club has provided shelters for victims of the earthquakes in Haiti, Nepal and the Philippines.

The Rotary Club and its partners are seeking the generous assistance of the general public to raise the full funding required to bring the refugee families fleeing the civil war in Syria to a safe haven in Bracebridge. This crisis has been described by the United Nations as the “Worst Humanitarian Crisis since the Second World War”.

This is an opportunity to get involved and make a difference in the lives of refugees who have lost everything. A tax receipt will issued for any donation amount over $25. Donations can be made to The Rotary Club of Bracebridge Charitable Trust with a memo notation on the bottom “Syrian Refugees”. The mailing address is 131 Wellington Street, P.O. Box 1140, Bracebridge ON P1L 1V3.

In addition to cash donations, the Rotary Club is interested in hearing from those in the community that can provide in kind donations of furniture, household and other supplies and services necessary to set up homes when the families arrive.

Organizations or individuals interested in supporting this initiative may contact one of two members of the World Community Service Committee of the Rotary Club of Bracebridge – Peter Rickard at 705 645-7508 bayhouse@muskoka.com or Linda Brouillette 705 645-6724 lgbrouillette@vianet.ca.

Contact for the Bracebridge United Church is Reverend Nancy Knox, Bracebridge United Church, (705) 645-5713 nancybuc@bellnet.com.

Glen Davies is new CAO for Gravenhurst

(November 12, 2:30pm GRAVENHURST) Glen Davies was officially introduced today as the Town of Gravenhurst’s new Chief Administrative Officer.

Earlier this year the Town retained the services of Feldman Daxon Partners Inc. to help complete a national search to find a successor to Dave Weldon who retired his term as Gravenhurst CAO in May. The recruitment process took nearly 6 months to complete.

“Our goal was to find the right fit for our organization; someone who was a leader, a good communicator and had the right mix of political acuity and management experience.  We were very pleased to find these qualities in Mr. Glen Davies,” said Mayor Donaldson.

Mayor Donaldson was also very complimentary and appreciative of the efforts of Scott Lucas, who served as the interim CAO during the transition. Scott will reassume his duties as Director of development Services.

Quick Background- Glen Davies

  • Glen was previously the City Manager with the City of Regina since 2006
  • He’s had a varied career in the municipal sector and private sector, having worked for a number of different sized municipalities in Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan.
  • Glen is an accomplished municipal manager with 40 years of experience, including over 20 years as a CAO and senior manager.

Featured photo shows Gravenhurst Mayor Paisley Donaldson and new CAO Glen Davies. Photo Source: Town of Gravenhurst

Local federal Liberals appoint Trisha Cowie as association president

(November 11, 4:34pm BRACEBRIDGE) Trisha Cowie, who ran as the Liberal candidate for Parry Sound-Muskoka in the federal election in October, is now the acting President of the Parry Sound Muskoka Federal Liberal Association (PSMFLA).

Cowie is taking on the position following the resignation of Leigh Beal November 10 at the association executive’s monthly meeting at the Bracebridge Legion. Communications VP Morgan Earl says Beal’s resignation was accepted with regrets and best wishes.

A main focus for Cowie will be arranging the association’s Annual General Meeting at which a new President and Executive of the PSMFLA will be elected.

Presently, the association executive includes Cowie (Executive Vice President and now acting President); Dave Hudson, Treasurer; Laurie Fountain, Secretary; Phyllis Ingram, Vice President (VP), Membership; Karen Dinner, VP, Policy; Paul Everitt, VP Fundraising; and Morgan Earl, VP, Communications. Filling out the executive in a variety of other roles are Dan Mulligan, Karlyn Dinner, Louise Montague, Doug Pawis, Sean Usher, Lily Gamble, Darrin O’Brien, Jan Veitch and Andy Moore. Past President is Tim Dunn.

In the federal election, Cowie came in second behind incumbent Conservative Tony Clement. She trailed Clement by 2,368 votes.

Butting out? STOP workshop helps smokers quit

(November 5, 4pm SIMCOE MUSKOKA) If quitting smoking is something you are ready to do, the health unit is here to help. It is hosting free, three-hour STOP workshops around Simcoe Muskoka in partnership with CAMH.

The workshops help people plan to quit and provide information, counseling and a five-week supply of the nicotine patch to help toward success.

Upcoming workshops include:

Barrie                 Thursday, November 12       12 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Gravenhurst       Thursday, November 26       1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Midland              Thursday, December 10       1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

You must register in advance for a workshop. Call Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or toll free at 1-877-721-7520.

More workshops are being scheduled in the coming months. If you don’t see one in your area, check out the health unit website at www.simcomuskokahealth.org.

Highway 11 crash sends two to hospital

(November 3, 4:30pm GRAVENHURST) Bracebridge Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) responded to a single vehicle rollover on Highway 11 South just north of Doe Lake Road in Gravenhurst today just after noon.  The vehicle collided with a truck in an area where ditches were being cleared, left the roadway and came to rest on its roof.  The driver of the vehicle and one of the workmen on site were taken to hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

A 19-year-old Bracebridge man has been charged with careless driving in connection with the crash.

Police would like to remind drivers of all vehicles to be cautious while travelling through construction areas as there are many individuals on foot and therefore vulnerable while they do their jobs.


Bala LCBO reopens after Sunday crash

(November 3, 4:30pm BALA) The LCBO in Bala is open again after a truck crashed in to it early Sunday morning. The north side of the building was damaged in the crash but shored up quickly by construction crews. Police say the driver of the vehicle suffered minor injuries and was taken to hospital in Bracebridge for treatment.

According to the police report, a vehicle smashed in to one side of the LCBO just before 4:30am on Sunday. After the vehicle was removed, tire tracks suggested the vehicle left the roadway of Muskoka Road 169 and crossed a flower bed before smashing into the store.

Charged with impaired is 26-year-old Branden Macleod of Bala. He will appear in court in Bracebridge on December 22.

LCBOwideFeatured photo shows the aftermath of Sunday’s crash. Photos by Norah Fountain.

 

YWCA Muskoka announces 2015 Women of Distinction

(November 2 MUSKOKA) YWCA Muskoka has unveiled its Women of Distinction award winners for this year. YWCA Women of Distinction Awards are recognized nationally as one of Canada’s most prestigious awards for women. The awards honour women whose outstanding achievements contribute to the well-being and future of Muskoka. Peers, friends and family nominated 16 women this year.

2015 Recipients of the 14th annual Women of Distinction Awards

The 2015 Women of Distinction Awards were presented to the following truly exceptional women of Muskoka:

  • Young Woman of Distinction – Jenny Spring
  • Arts, Culture and Creative Energy – Amy Bridle
  • Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship – Katy McGregor
  • Community Development and Social Activism – Lynn de Caro
  • Health, Sports and Wellness – Laura Heming
  • Mentorship – Sheryl Manolakos
  • Lifetime Achievement – Audrey Forth

The YWCA Muskoka’s 2015 Women of Distinction Awards Gala was held at the Mark O’Meara Clubhouse at Grandview Huntsville. Special tributes were made to each of the 16 extraordinary women nominees and the announcement of the award recipients. The largest annual event fundraiser for YWCA Muskoka, the event also featured a silent auction. The key note address was delivered by Brenda Andress, Commissioner of the Canadian Women’s National Hockey League.

The 2015 YWCA Muskoka Women of Distinction awards were presented by the following sponsors; Suzanne Martineau of My Muskoka/ReMax, TV Cogeco, Metroland North Media, Muskoka Futures, CIBC, Michael Anne MacDonald Law Office, Port Carling Lions Club, & Muskoka Chrysler.

YWCA Muskoka would like to thank all of the volunteers that helped make this another successful event. All funds raised from the event will support YWCA Muskoka’s programs across the District of Muskoka. For more information on how to get involved, please contact office@ywcamuskoka.com or call 705-645-9827.

Bracebridge man charged after bear killed

(November 2 1:30pm BRACEBRIDGE) A Bracebridge man faces charges after a black bear was shot and killed yesterday in a residential area of Bracebridge. Police report follows:

On November 1, 2015 officers of the Bracebridge Detachment responded to a call for service indicating a bear had been shot in the residential area of Pinewood Drive, Bracebridge.  Upon arrival at the scene officers found a deceased black bear that appeared to have been shot.  Live bear cubs were located in a tree nearby.  As a result of the investigation a 65 year-old male from Bracebridge has been charged with Careless Use of a Firearm.  He will appear in the Ontario Court of Justice in Bracebridge on December 1, 2015 to answer to his charges.

Resources have been engaged to safely remove the live bear cubs from the area. The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) is continuing with the investigation.