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• The Dufferin Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police has a new commander.
Staff Sergeant Nicol Randall took over the top duties at the detachment office on Highway 89 with a special ceremony held last Thursday, August 31.
The Dufferin Detachment has 29 police officers and two civilian employees who are responsible for all areas of Dufferin County except for Shelburne and Orangeville, which maintain their own police services.
• When you think of the year 1917, what comes to mind? World War 1? The Russian Revolution? Specifically as a Canadian, how about the battle of Vimy Ridge? Or maybe the infamous Halifax explosion? What about the formation of the National Hockey League?
And to be really specific, what do you think of having happened that year in Dufferin County?
Well, there is something to associate the County with the year, as 2017 marks the 100th year anniversary of Dufferin County's incorporation of a road system.
The road system all began with the Dufferin County By-Law No. 488, with the road network adopted in its initial form in open council on December 14, 1917 The original 1917 By-Law incorporated 23 sections of roadway into the initial County Road network. Several of those roads included the boundary line road between the Townships of Mono and Caledon (now Highway 9), boundary line road between the Townships of East Garafraxa and Caledon opposite the 3rd through the 6th Concessions of W.H.S., Caledon (now the Townline).
Today, there are 20 separately numbered roadways, resulting in a total of 324 center-line kilometres of road in the network.
• Following 18 months of strenuous negotiations, the Orangeville Police Services Board (OPSB) has announced an agreement on terms of a new four-year contract with the community's uniformed police officers.
In a release to media last Thursday (Sept. 7), OPSB Chair Ken Krakar said he was pleased to finalize talks with the Orangeville Police Association (OPA) – the group responsible for negotiating a new contract on behalf of local officers. The new deal will run until December 31, 2019 and covers the nearly two-year period in which officers have worked without a formalized contract.
The agreement will see Orangeville's police force receive a pay increase of 5.25 per cent over four years. Officers have been retroactively given an increase of 1.5 per cent for both 2016 and 2017, with a 1.25 per cent increase coming in 2018 and one per cent in 2019.
The salary increase is expected to cost the municipality about $300,000 over four years.
• Three former executives of the now-defunct Orangeville Ice Crushers have pleaded not guilty to multiple marijuana production and trafficking charges.
Trials for Coleman Schneider, Ryan Zeng and Rada Culciar commenced this month after the trio were arrested and charged last November for their part in a suspected local drug operation.
Originally assisting the Dufferin County Sheriff's office in enforcing a court-ordered eviction at a rural property on the 8th Line of Amaranth on November 14, 2016, Dufferin OPP discovered over $65,000 worth of marijuana, including plant and processed material, along with various pieces of equipment typically used for production. The trio had been renting the property.
• Walking through the corridors of the new ambulatory care wing at Headwaters Health Care Centre (HHCC), it's easy to see why staff at the hospital are so excited to have it open to the public.
A little later than scheduled, the $14-million facility will officially open its doors next Monday (Sept. 18). It will serve as home base for all the hospital's high-demand clinics, while integral services and programs such as dialysis, chemotherapy, minor procedures, orthopaedics and plastics will also be relocated to the approximately 8,700 square foot space.
The culmination of more than a decade of planning and over 12 months of construction, the new site is considered to be something of a crown jewel for a facility that recently celebrated its 20th birthday.
• More than 60 people came together last Saturday for the seventh annual Orangeville WALK-IT for Parkinson's at the Alder Recreation Centre, raising a “phenomenal” $17,578 for people suffering with the debilitating disease.
The event has been growing in popularity every year since its start in 2012, raising just over $90,000 in that time
• The Orangeville Police Service has this week confirmed that a civil lawsuit stemming from the 2009 murder of Heidi Ferguson has been settled out of court.
It has now been eight years since the 39-year-old mother of two was shot by her estranged husband, Hugh, at the Orangeville home she shared with her children – Connor and Courtney – later dying in a Toronto hospital. In 2011, Ms. Ferguson's brother, Troy Bogner, launched a $4.3 million lawsuit against the local police force, claiming officers failed in their duty to protect his sister.
Ken Krakar, Chair of the Orangeville Police Services (OPS) Board, confirmed on Tuesday that the two parties had resolved the issue in November of last year.
• It's an event that has spread throughout the world. For Canadians, he's a national hero, an icon, and a symbol of hope in the battle against cancer.
The Orangeville-area Terry Fox Run was held at the Island Lake Conservation Area this past Sunday (September 17), raising nearly $18,000, and seeing 175 people walk or run on the conservation area's 10 trails.
• Town Councillor Sylvia Bradley found herself in hot water last week after Orangeville's Integrity Commissioner, Guy Giorno, determined that she had violated municipal policy earlier this summer in an apparent attempt to rally local residents into supporting the OPP's costing proposal.
“After carefully considering the evidence obtained during the course of my investigation and the submissions of the parties, I find that Coun. Bradley did breach the Code of Conduct, but I recommend no penalty,” Mr. Giorno wrote.
• The Headwaters Health Care Foundation (HHCF) wrapped up its 2017 fundraising campaign in style this past weekend, welcoming a record number of riders out for what was the third-annual Tour de Headwaters.
Well over 200 cyclists enjoyed some later summer sunshine on Saturday as the event took over Lloyd Wilson Memorial Arena in Inglewood.
With donations still fluttering in, Nicole is confident this year's final fundraising total will be in excess of $50,000, which would take the three-year amount to approximately $150,000. The money from this year's Tour will go towards financing priority equipment at the facility.
• It appears residents affected by this summer's extensive flooding in Orangeville will receive a helping hand after all with the provincial government announcing late last week it had activated its Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians program in some areas of the community.
Two significant rainfall events ripped through the community on June 23 and August 1, with local homeowners and entrepreneurs bearing the brunt of the damage.
An application has to be submitted to the province by Jan. 19, 2018.
While the program offers some support, it will not pay for complete renovations to destroyed basements and other areas. It covers “essentials only”, such as furnaces and hot water heaters, but does not include provisions for refinishing recreation rooms and does not pay for items already covered through an insurance policy.
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