Friday, Sept. 8th, North Dundas, ON - The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Stormont Dundas and Glengarry Crime Unit are continuing to investigate a serious assault with a weapon that occurred on Spruce Drive in North Dundas Township.
On September 17, 2020 at approximately 6:09 p.m. SD&G OPP responded to an assault where one adult male suspect approached an adult female victim and assaulted her with an edged weapon, the suspect then fled the scene. The suspect fled the location on a red bicycle.
The OPP Emergency Response team members (ERT) , Canine unit and OPP helicopter attended the location with unsuccessful attempts to locate the suspect.
The adult female victim suffered a stab wound and was transported to hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The suspect was unknown to the victim.
The suspect was described as the following:
• Caucasian male
• Aged 50-60
• "buzz" cut hair
• facial hair
• wearing blue converse shoes and a blue t-shirt
The SD&G Crime Unit is continuing to investigate and requesting the public's assistance in identifying this suspect.
If anyone has any knowledge of this incident or have seen an individual matching this description on or near any of the following roads: Ormond Road, Marionville Road or County Road 31 in the Winchester area they are asked to call the SD&G OPP to speak with the investigating officer Detective George Mikhael at 1-888-310-1122
Should you wish to remain anonymous, you may call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS),
or submit a tip online at www.seawayvalleycrimestoppers.ca
You may be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $2000.
Seasonal battle scars . . .
Thursday, Sept. 17th - The United States Border Patrol has bestowed a unique and prestigious award to a member of the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police. On September 17, 2020 Detective Constable C.J. Pierce received the Meritorious Achievement Award and medal from the Border Patrol. This is the first time the award has been presented to a Canadian.
While working in Northwestern Ontario, Detective Constable Pierce developed a method for elicitation and investigation, which has been utilized by the U.S. Border Patrol to enhance investigative and patrolling efficiencies. The Pierce Protocol involves techniques, used during interviews and criminal interrogations related to potential smuggling activities.
Assistant Chief Dennis O'Neil of the U.S. Border Patrol noted during the presentation that it was a pleasure to be able to recognize Detective Constable Pierce's contribution, noting the value of strong relationships and partnerships between law enforcement on both sides of the border. He added that this type of recognition is very rare.
For his part, Detective Constable Pierce noted that he was humbled by the honour.
Georgia Elliott loves the fall season, apple orchards, and especially Smyth's caramel apples. "I'm giving the red ones to my brothers," Georgia says, impatient for the photo session to be over and the slurping to start . . .
Wednesday, Sept. 15th - As down home commerce becomes more visible, and favourable, in times of Covid-19, weekend agrifood markets are becoming more popular through our area of Eastern Ontario. The agrifood business generates more than $100-billion to Canada's GDP and many producers are turning to local sales, in turn aiding their home town economies.
McHaffie's Flea Market has returned to their "Open for Business" campaign at their Sunday operation along Highway 31 south of Glen Becker. A handful of producers and artisans, including Barkley's Orchards, are operating in the Morrisburg Shopping Centre parking lot, adjacent to the Beer Store where you can pick up vegetables, everything vegetables and a selection of desserts. In Iroquois there is a farmer's market on Saturday mornings offering a ling list of garden produce and some fine breads, dinner rolls, pies and desserts.
Smyth's Orchards, South Dundas' largest producer of apples (several varieties) on County Road 18 has opened their orchard store stocked with beautiful apples, apple cider, apple pies and apple crisps, and both candy and caramel apples.
An all new market has sprung up in Williamsburg on Sunday's in the front parking lot of Jay's Tire and Repair and organizer Keith Lewis says he has more than 20 vendors setting up on various Sundays. Williamsburg Country Market was drawing a considerable crowd this past weekend where Kelly Mark was offering Dog and Cat treats; Danielle Whiteway-Mills was selling sour-dough breads and pestos; and Amanda Sneath had a wide selection of preserves and sauces (Grandma's recipes, guaranteed) for sale. And Ashlyn Sneath was on hand to discuss the chicken business, egg to in-the-oven meat production, to any and all interested parties.
Keith Lewis says he is getting great feedback on Sunday's Williamsburg Country Market from both the general public and the various vendors who are contacting him to get on the list.
"And we're thinking long term with this market," Lewis said, "We are offering students a free space to operate a booth so they have some time to learn the business ins and outs."
While Lewis served several customers we listened to a young gentleman and his partner explain the workings of their Cedar Waxwing Woodwork operation that produces hand-built kayaks. Each kayak requires about 200 hours of precision cutting, fitting and polish, turning out beautiful works of art.
More vendors were snuggled under canvas canopies while a short rain burst started, stopped, and the sun returned to dry the pavement.
Lewis says the new market is open every Sunday with a season ending date yet to be established. And it's well worth checking out . . .
Tuesday, September 15th - Ontario's provincial government is investing $175 million this year to address critical upgrades, repairs and maintenance in 129 hospitals across the province, including $50 million for COVID-19 related and other urgent projects. Through the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund, this funding will help hospitals maintain their infrastructure and ensure a safe and comfortable environment for patients to receive care.
In Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry and region, these hospitals will receive funding:
Cornwall Community Hospital - $1,297,904
Winchester District Memorial Hospital - $696,771
Glengarry Memorial Hospital - $400,000
Hopital General de Hawkesbury and District General Hospital - $15,401
“Maintaining hospital infrastructure is another example of how our government is ensuring that Ontarians have access to health care services they can depend on, especially during these unprecedented times,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Our ongoing investments to support essential projects like repairing roofs and windows and adding more isolation spaces can make a big difference to a patient's experience. It’s part of our plan to build the capacity we need to end hallway health care in Ontario.”
The government continues to work toward bringing Ontario's world class health care system, as promised, into the 21st century. The funding announcement further promises to help hospitals address issues such as upgrades or replacement of roofs, windows, security systems, backup generators and fire alarms. Projects will also support the hospitals in their ongoing response to COVID-19, such as updating HVAC systems to enhance patient and staff safety, creating additional isolation space and negative air pressure flow rooms to increase capacity and enhancing infection prevention and control measures.
“These important investments will support infrastructure projects that are essential for ensuring quality of care of patients,” announced Jim McDonell, the local MPP who represents Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry. “It is part of the government’s commitment to increase hospital capacity and end hallway health care.”
CEO Cholly Bolland at Winchester District Memorial Hospital pointed out, “We welcome and appreciate this funding and we want to ensure our building is kept up-to-date to provide the safest possible environment in which to care for our patients.”
Wednesday, Sept. 16th - The Ontario government launched a new voluntary interactive screening tool to assist parents, students and staff with the daily assessment of COVID-19 symptoms and risk factors that is required before attending school. The results will let parents, students, and education staff know whether they should attend school each day or guide at-risk individuals to proper resources.
Details were provided today by the province's Premier, Doug Ford, who announced, "We are doing everything we can to keep students and staff safe, and that includes this new screening tool which will help people protect themselves and others from COVID-19. It's everyone's responsibility to screen themselves or their child for symptoms before going to school. If you're sick or someone in your household is sick, even with mild symptoms, please stay home."
The new easy-to-use tool is voluntary and available for all parents, students and staff to use to help screen for symptoms of illness every day. Users will simply respond to clinician-informed symptom and risk questions, and the tool will then immediately inform users whether it is safe to attend school that day. The tool protects privacy and does not collect any personal health information. The tool was also developed in house by the Ontario Digital Service at no additional cost to taxpayers.
"Our government is taking every preventive action to safely reopen our schools, including the introduction of Ontario's new COVID-19 screening tool for students and staff," said Ontario's Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce.
"We have made tremendous progress as a province, which is why we must continue to heighten our vigilance by stepping up screening of each student and staff member before they enter our schools."
Earlier this summer, Ontario unveiled the nation's most comprehensive plan for the safe reopening of schools in September. The plan is supported by $1.3 billion in critical supports to hire more teachers and increase physical distancing, purchase personal protective equipment (PPE), enhance cleaning of schools and school buses, improve ventilation, hire more custodians, and add more school leadership positions and administrative support for virtual schools. The province has also established a mandatory masking policy for grades 4-12, and a robust surveillance and testing strategy to ensure a successful return to classrooms.
In addition, local public health units have filled over 530 nursing positions, or 85 per cent, of the additional 625 nursing positions created to help keep students and staff safe. The nurses will be providing rapid-response support to schools and school boards in facilitating public health and preventative measures, including screening, testing, tracing and mitigation strategies. In order to ensure that schools are supported from the start of the school year, several public health units have temporarily redeployed existing nurses while recruitment activities continue.
As part of Ontario's commitment for transparency, and in partnership with the Ministry of Heath and the Ontario Digital Service, the Ministry of Education has also launched a webpage to report COVID-19 cases in schools and child care centres. The page will be updated every weekday with the most up-to-date COVID-19 information available, including a summary of cases in schools and licensed child care centres and agencies. This important resource will help parents and guardians know whether a COVID-19 case has been confirmed at their children's school, and where the numbers come from.
"As students across the province return to school, it's more important than ever that we provide families with the tools and information they need to stay safe and healthy," pointed out Peter Bethlenfalvy, President of the province's Treasury Board, "Throughout the pandemic, the government has worked swiftly to leverage technology and innovation that puts vital programs and services at your fingertips."
Wednesday, Sept. 16th - The COVID-19 Assessment Centre Winchester is experiencing a significant increase in volume, resulting in longer wait times. A hospital spokesperson said the centre would be implementing some changes to alleviate longer than normal wait times.
Starting 9:00 am, Thursday, September 17th, patients can call 613-774-2420 ext. 6814 to book their test. Patients will be given an estimated window of time to come to the Winchester Lions Hall. The goal is to test as many patients as possible each day, recognizing the limited resources and space.
The announcement included a "thank you for your patience and understanding, . . .", and offered that updates would be available on a continuing basis on the hospital website.
Friday, Sept. 11th - The Ontario Provincial Police responded to two fatal motor vehicle collisions and one fatal off-road vehicle incident that claimed the lives of three people over the Labour Day Long Weekend. The Provincial Police laid more than 8,200 traffic-related charges during its four-day traffic safety initiative, with speeding leading the list of offence categories.
Among the charges (OPP-patrolled roads only):
Stunt driving/street racing: 157
Failure to wear seat belt: 250
Distracted driving: 98
Alcohol/drug-impaired driving: 110
Over and above the charges, officers initiated more than 8,400 traffic stops aimed at educating the public about safe driving practices.
The province of Ontario is investing $774,000 through St. Lawrence College to help train people in Eastern Ontario for good jobs in the skilled trades, advanced manufacturing and logistics sectors, Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes MPP Steve Clark announced today.
Clark made the announcement at Northern Cables, one of the college’s partners helping shape program deliverables. He was joined by Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry MPP Jim McDonell, St. Lawrence College’s President and CEO Glenn Vollebregt, Associate Dean of Skilled Trades Stephen Finnagan and Manager of Skills, Training and Economic Development Jamie Puddicombe, as well as Northern Cables CEO Shelley Bacon.
“This funding will help train people for new careers and we know that finding good-paying, stable jobs is life-changing for them and their families,” said Clark. “As Ontario’s economy continues to recover from COVID-19, I’m proud we’re making these investments in the Brockville and Cornwall area to help people improve their skills and match them to the jobs that exist today. This funding is another critical part of our government’s efforts to support economic growth in Eastern Ontario.”
Clark added the local investments are part of a $37 million commitment from the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development to help more than 15,000 Ontarians upgrade their skills and train for new work. The projects target students, apprentices, job-seekers, mid-career workers, newcomers and Indigenous peoples.
“It’s disheartening to hear from companies who cannot find skilled tradespeople when we have enthusiastic young adults looking for work,” remarked MPP Jim McDonell.
“This is another program initiated by our government to help fill both needs by providing the skills needed for our youth to fill these good-paying jobs, allowing them to embark on a rewarding career.”
The funding announced today will support two programs at St. Lawrence for up to 200 participants:
Mobile Learning Labs – Skilled Trades and Personal Wellness
Funding of $500,000 will provide technology-enabled experiential learning in the skilled trades including electrical, welding and carpentry, while participants will also learn skills to support healthy, independent living through a Personal Wellness Lab. The learning labs will increase access to in-demand training in remote locations.
Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics Funding of $274,000 will go toward funding 12 micro-credentials in high-demand fields including, inventory and fleet optimization, supply chain software, quality assurance and compliance, 3-D printing, cloud computing and cyber security. By providing short-duration skills training, this project will support the development of a talent pipeline to ensure continued prosperity and sustainability of businesses. Clark also thanked the area workplaces such as Northern Cables that are partnering with St. Lawrence College to give program participants real world experience that will be invaluable to their future success.
“We are thrilled by this announcement from the provincial government to enhance skilled trades training, advanced manufacturing, and logistics in our region,” pointed out SLC President and CEO, Glenn Vollebregt. “The college plays a key role in educating, training and supporting career transition. This funding will allow us to pursue important initiatives that will reach an even wider pool of students which will in turn benefit our communities, and the local economy.”
“Training and retraining are essential,” added Monte McNaughton, the provincial Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, “People need jobs and more businesses need skilled workers. Projects like the ones we’re supporting in Leeds and Grenville and across Eastern Ontario will help bring them together.”
Friday, Sept. 11th - Today, Jim McDonell, MPP for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry, announced that Eastern Ontario Health Unit will receive up to $397,500 to improve access to dental care for low-income seniors in and around Cornwall. The provincial government is providing $25 million province-wide to expand access to the Ontario Seniors Dental Program. The funding will be used to support 78 infrastructure projects across the province, including building new dental clinics and renovating existing facilities. The province is also adding eight new mobile dental clinics that will bring services directly to clients, making it easier for vulnerable seniors to access the dental care they need.
“This is great news for our local seniors who may struggle to maintain good dental health. I am confident the new clinic will be well utilized and will improve the quality of life for many seniors,” said MPP McDonell. Support from the program will relocate the Dental Clinic from the Seaway Valley Community Health Centre to the Cornwall Eastern Ontario Health Unit office at 1000 Pitt Street. Funds will be allocated to renovate existing space to create a new dental suite, and re-locate two dental procedure rooms, a reprocessing room and a Panorex x-ray machine, to this office space.
The Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program provides free routine dental care for eligible low-income seniors across the province who do not have dental benefits. Ontarians aged 65 or over with an income of $19,300 or less, or couples with a combined annual income of $32,300 or less will qualify for the program.
“Our government is investing in dental infrastructure projects across Ontario to ensure low-income seniors will have better and faster access to the services they need no matter where they live,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program is a key part of our plan to end hallway health care by providing seniors with access to quality dental care and keeping them out of hospitals.”
The Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program will reduce unnecessary trips to the hospital and help to eliminate hallway health care, prevent chronic disease and improve the quality of life and overall well-being for eligible seniors. Once fully implemented, the program will serve approximately 100,000 low-income seniors annually across the province.
Friday, Sept. 11th - The Ontario Provincial Police East Region Community Street Crime Unit has seized illegal drugs in South Dundas, Iroquois.
On September 10, 2020, as part of an ongoing investigation, members of the Street Crime Unit, assisted by the OPP Emergency Response Team and OPP Canine Unit, executed search warrant at a residence on Caldwell Drive in the Village of Iroquois. Officers seized a quantity of suspected crystal methamphetamine, cocaine, hydromorphone, and other items associated with drug trafficking.
Two people were arrested, including Don PERKINS, age 38, and Courtland MERKLEY, age 24, both residents of South Dundas. The pair are now facing charges including:
• Possession of a Schedule 1 substance for the purpose of trafficking - Controlled Drugs and Substances Act
sec. 5(2) - two counts
Perkins also faces an additional two charges of possession for the purpose of trafficking. He was released from custody and is scheduled to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice in Morrisburg on November 3, 2020.
Merkley has been remanded in custody and is scheduled to appear by video before the Ontario Court of Justice in Morrisburg at a later date.
Thursday, Sept. 10th - They've done it again! The BMO Bank of Montreal team in Winchester recently stopped by Winchester District Memorial Hospital o deliver another gift of $2,500. In 2018, the local BMO branch pledged $7,500 to support health care close to home. This latest donation will be directed to the WDMH Foundation’s General Equipment Fund, toward the purchase of a new X-ray machine.
BMO’s other two $2,500 gifts helped to support the purchase of three new electrosurgical generators for the operating room and a new echocardiogram machine for WDMH’s cardiac care program.
“At BMO, we truly understand the importance of local community support,” explained Omar Abouzaher, Regional Vice President, Ottawa East and Western Quebec Market, “We are proud to support the WDMH Foundation’s General Equipment Fund for the purchase of medical equipment and we extend our very best wishes for the campaign’s every success.”
“In the last three years, over 10,000 patients have had at least one X-ray at WDMH,” added Cindy Peters, Manager of Direct Mail and Events, “We are so grateful to donors like BMO for helping the Foundation purchase equipment.”
Thursday, Sept. 10 - The Ontario Provincial Police East Region Community Street Crime Unit and Grenville County OPP have arrested three people and seized a firearm in Augusta Township, Ontario.
On September 9, 2020, as part of an ongoing investigation, members of the Street Crime Unit, assisted by members of the OPP Tactics and Rescue Unit (TRU), OPP Emergency Response Team (ERT) and Grenville County Detachment (Prescott) executed a search warrant at a residence on Meadowview Drive. Officers arrested three people and seized a sawed-off shotgun, ammunition, suspected crystal methamphetamine, and other items associated with drug trafficking.
Robert McWilliams, age 35 of Augusta Township is charged under the Criminal Code (CC) with:
• Possession of Weapon for Dangerous Purpose - sec. 88
• Careless storage of a Firearm, Weapon, Prohibited device
or ammunition - sec. 86(1)
• Unauthorized possession of a Prohibited Firearm - sec. 91(1)
• Possession of a Loaded, Prohibited Firearm - sec. 95(a)
• Possession of a Firearm knowing the serial number has been tampered with - sec. 108(1)(b)
• Knowledge of unauthorized possession of Firearm - sec. 92(2)
• Possession of a Schedule I Substance for the purpose of Trafficking -Methamphetamine - Controlled Drugs
And Substance Act (CDSA) sec.5(2)
The accused has been remanded in custody and is scheduled to appear by video before the Ontario Court of Justice in Brockville at a later date.
Angel McNeely, age 31, of Perth is charged under the Criminal Code with:
• Fail To Comply with Undertaking - three counts - sec. 145(4)(a).
Jessie Barrie, age 29 of Brockville is charged with:
• Possession of a Schedule I Substance - Methamphetamine - two counts - CDSA sec. 4(1)
Both accused was released at scene but are scheduled to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice in Brockville at later.
Thursday, Sept. 10th - The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing more than $7.9 million through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to help farmers improve their business operations and bring more safe, high-quality foods to markets. This funding will support more than 670 projects across Ontario for eligible farmers and agri-food businesses.
“Farmers continue to face many challenges, so helping them to improve their operations is welcome news,” said Jim McDonell, MPP for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry. “The Canadian Agricultural Partnership has benefitted our farms in their efforts to increase food safety and labour productivity.”
"These 670 projects support farmers, rural communities, and the agricultural value chain," said Neil Ellis, Parliamentary Secretary to the federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. "It's about supporting growth at the farm level, which will have positive environmental, food system, and market impacts across the Ontario agri-food sector."
"Our farmers work tirelessly to supply the array of safe, high-quality agricultural products that feed our province, our country and the world," said the Honourable Ernie Hardeman, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. "By making these strategic investments we are helping to improve the competitiveness of our agri-food sector and secure it for long-term sustainability, especially during these difficult times."
The funding is in addition to programming launched this year to assist the sector in meeting challenges related to the COVID-19 outbreak. Such programming includes the launch of a portal to connect farms and other agri-food sector business with labour needs to job seekers; the creation of the Enhanced Agri-food Workplace Protection Program; and the recent investment of an additional $50 million into the Risk Management Program for this year, one year earlier than originally promised.
Since June 2018, both the federal and provincial governments have committed cost-share support to more than 2,500 projects through the Partnership to help eligible Ontario farmers, processors, businesses and sector organizations innovate and grow.
"On-farm enhancements are essential to the sustainability and continuous improvement of the agriculture sector," said the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. "Through this investment, we are supporting a range of farmer-driven projects to improve on-farm practices, strengthen the food value chain, and support public trust in farming."
Friday, Sept. 4th - The Municipality of South Dundas is pleased to announce the second annual Awards of Excellence Program. Nominations for the awards will open on September 9, 2020 with a deadline for entry of October 1, 2020. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, this year’s Awards will be presented to the winners virtually.
The Municipality of South Dundas Awards of Excellence recognize and celebrate growth and success in the Municipality. These Awards shine a spotlight on success stories of local businesses and individuals who are contributing to the growth of the South Dundas community.
The eight award categories include: Agricultural Leadership Award, Business of the Year Award, Community Builder Award, Green Award, Innovation Award, New Business Award, Tourism Award and Young Professional Award.
“Following the success of our inaugural event in 2019, our Economic Development Committee is thrilled to be returning with the second annual Awards of Excellence,” said Economic Development Office, Rob Hunter.
“Our local businesses play a vital role in our community and create a vibrant local economy. These awards recognize the dedication and passion of our local entrepreneurs and professionals.” added Hunter.
The online nomination forms and more information can be found on the Municipality’s website www.southdundas.com/awards-of-excellence/. Everyone is encouraged to nominate a business, organization or individual who they feel is deserving of this recognition.
A transport full of new Fords is parked on the right side of Morrisburg's Main Street in what appears to be 1955 0r '56 in the above photo. The home at the right of the vehicle transport carrier was approximately where the entrance to the Morrisburg dock is today. Unfortunately, we ran into a problem completing the coloring of this black and white photo. There is a large, tightly grouped series of what appear to be scratches to the left of the Pladium sign which has deleted the image. We can't make out what was originally in the photo there.
Stay posted, we'll have more of them . . .
Thursday, July 9th - Morrisburg’s Upper Canada Playhouse continues to abide by this tried and true advice in cancelling, earlier than planned, its Fall productions of 20-20 Rear Vision and The Highwaymen.
Imagine, when this project is completed? - Up to 200 more interesting families will be joining our community . . . and that's good news all the way around . . . Congratulations Swank's. Onward and upward . . .
Ever wonder what Morrisburg's, pre-St. Lawrence Seaway, Main Street really looked like? Or the appearance of many of the villages nestled along the north bank of the St. Lawrence River in the early 1950's. This is how we remember it. We walked the sidewalks many times through this stretch, on the way from Augusta Street to Lock Street, and we knew most of the store owners/business operators of the day. Where the nickel pop machines were, or where you might pilfer a hand out for an errand accomplished. - See more here . . .