This is the first in a weekly summary of news items with a local flavour that may have escaped you.
First, everybody’s favourite topic – The Weather
The Weather Network forecasts that Ontario weather in March will be more typical of January, describing it as a “ferocious finish to winter.” This will be followed by an extended period of warmer spring weather for the second half of March and into early April. It warns, however, that this will bring a heightened threat for spring flooding especially across northern Ontario and the Ottawa Valley where the snow depth going into spring will be well above normal.
MVDHS student wins $5000 scholarship
The Current congratulates Madawaska Valley District High School student Claudia Burchat for being awarded a 2019 Canadian Scholar Award from the Horatio Alger Association of Canada. The prestigious award recognizes students who have overcome adversity, and who have displayed integrity and perseverance. The scholarship amounts to $5,000 which Burchat will use for books and equipment for the Trent University Biomedical program she intends to enroll in.
Catch the Ace Lottery coming to the Valley
The St. Francis Valley Healthcare Foundation has announced that starting in April it will begin running the popular Catch the Ace Lottery in order to raise funds for its various healthcare causes. Last week the Deep River version of the lottery presented a lucky Douglas resident with a cheque for $574,252.50. The Deep River Hospital was also a big winner as it received more than $780,000 for its current capital campaign.
Pikwàkanagàn is region’s pot hot spot
Under the title “Region’s Pot Hot Spot” the Ottawa Sun in its edition of February 22 focused on Pikwàkanagàn. In less than a year, seven cannabis dispensaries have opened on the reserve which has about 450 residents. So far no action has been taken against any of these dispensaries, even though no First Nation in Ontario has the population base to apply for a provincial licence. Under the provincial regulatory scheme, initial licenses have been restricted on the basis of population numbers. This means, by contrast, that City of Toronto residents have access to only five pot shops within their boundaries.
Former NAW Treasurer sentenced for fraud
The Eganville Leader reported on 27 February that former Treasurer of North Algona Wilberforce, Kathleen Thur, was sentenced to 20 months in jail for fraud. Thur served as the Township’s volunteer Treasurer for twelve months beginning in 2014 and, “systematically and methodically stole their money in small increments leaving their bank account empty and a community shocked at the betrayal of someone who gained their trust.”
St. John Bosco students mourn teacher’s death
Valley residents are mourning the sudden loss of Ingrid Coulas who died on February 25 at the Ottawa Civic Hospital surrounded by friends and family. A lifelong resident of Barry’s Bay, she taught Grade 1 at St. John Bosco School for the past 13 years, and was also remembered from her days at the Public Library. She was loving mother, reader and knitter who deeply cared about the community, but her first passion was education and teaching.