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MIDLAND – Midland’s Frank and Mary Graham are the centre of attention during a celebration marking their 70th wedding anniversary. Dozens of friends, dignitaries and family members dropped by Royal Canadian Legion Branch 80 on Sunday to offer congratulations.

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MIDLAND – Roma Czech, the owner of Dental Hygiene with Roma in Midland, donated toothbrushes and toothpaste for fire evacuees in Fort McMurray, Alta. She also reached out to members of the Tiffin House knitting group to create 30 dolls to accompany the donation.

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You can check out Innisfil’s newest fire station — Cookstown’s #4 — Saturday, May 28. Innisfil Fire & Rescue Services is inviting the public to tour the King Street (Hwy. 27) firehall from 2 to 4 p.m. You can also meet firefighters, learn about fire safety and enjoy light refreshments during the grand opening. Parking available on-street or at Cookstown Library, 20 Church St.

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Barrie Minor Hockey Association’s 50th Anniversary sculpture has been unveiled. Created by Spirit Catcher sculptor Ron Baird to celebrate the BMHA’s 50th anniversary, the sculpture is a dynamic steel piece that features hockey sticks, suspended at various angles that move with the wind. The silver sticks commemorate the local win of the prestigious International Silver Stick tournament. The sculpture is north of the Barrie Molson Centre and west of the centre’s north parking lot, so it will be visible from Bayview and Mapleview drives. The sculpture was constructed by Stainless Outfitters of Barrie.

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PARRY SOUND – It turns out you don’t need a vulnerable sector check to sell ice cream. In March selling cold treats on Parry Sound streets this summer, but included a number of conditions, one of those being a vulnerable sector check for employees. The town already requires checks for those who drive taxi in town. “Mr. (John) Athanasiou did go and try and apply for his vulnerable sector check upon that we got information from the OPP saying that basically the type of work that’s going to be done doesn’t require a vulnerable check to be done,” said Rob Beaumont, town revenue and taxation supervisor at the May 3 meeting. “The regulations aren’t set by the OPP, they’re set with the RCMP and very strict rules…services like what he’s proposing to do don’t qualify for a sector check so they won’t do one.” Under the Criminal Records Act, a vulnerable sector check can only be provided if: the request is made by a person or organization responsible for the wellbeing of a child or vulnerable person; the request is made in the context of a specific application for a paid or volunteer position; the position being applied for is one of trust or authority towards a child or vulnerable person; and the applicant has given their consent in writing. “The town, nor Mr. Athanasiou’s company are responsible for the wellbeing of a child or vulnerable person,” wrote Trevor Pinn town director of finance and POA court services in his report to council. “The position being applied is not one of trust or authority towards a child or vulnerable person, therefore the request for a vulnerable sector check does not meet the requirement. This is different than the current taxi regulations, because individuals enter into the vehicle which is enclosed and therefore the taxi driver/cab company is responsible for the wellbeing of the person and there is trust/authority in that position.” The truck will be circling Parry Sound streets from now until Sept. 30.

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First Hawkestone scouter Steve Lajoie conducted the races at the Whispering Pines Pinewood Derby, held Saturday at Twin Lakes high school in Orillia. Cubs and scouts raced their wooden cars and trucks. Participants included (at left) Jonathon Stones and Owen Lajoie.

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For some, it could be the only hot meal of the day. Red Cross launched the Meals on Wheels program in Wasaga Beach in November, and now deliver one meals a day to about six clients. Related: Jacqueline McDonald, the community services assistant with the Barrie office of the Canadian Red Cross, would like to see that number go up. “We’re just trying to spread the word that we exist,” said McDonald, as the Red Cross recently promoted the partnership it has with local real estate company, Trinity Royal LePage Realty. The Meals on Wheels program is designed for seniors, or persons with a physical or mental disability who need extra support. Meals include a main entree, soup and dessert, and are delivered Monday through Friday. The cost is $8 a meal, and clients are billed once a month; clients can be billed directly, or the bill can go to a third party such as a family member. Special diets and food preferences can be catered to. “A lot of our clients are living on their own, and just need the extra support with the meal,” said McDonald. “The beauty of it is the volunteers will not only deliver the meal, but will also make sure the client is OK. If they’re not (answering), we do assume the worst, so we contact family members, friends, whomever their contact is to make sure they’re OK. “We have found situations such as diabetic comas, people who have fallen and can’t get up, people who are looking ill so we can advise the family they may want to check in on a relative.” Trinity Royal LePage Real Estate donated the meals for Wasaga Beach for the month of March. The realtor’s office at Mosley and River Road West acts as a drop-off point for the meals – which are put together at Sunset Manor – for volunteers to pick up and deliver, and three of the company’s agents also volunteer their time delivering meals. “It’s community service,” said Trinity agent Kevin Smith. “We get involved in the community all the time, and this is just another step toward helping out.” “If we didn’t have our volunteers, we wouldn’t be running the program,” McDonald added. “They can commit to once a month, once a week – whatever they’re availability is.” For more information on Meals on Wheels, call 705-721-3313.

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NORTH SIMCOE – A group of doctors is rallying the public to make its voice heard about proposed cuts at Georgian Bay General Hospital. An overflow crowd filled Brian Orser Hall at the Penetanguishene Memorial Community Centre April 7 to hear the physicians give their opinion on the state of GBGH and what the public can do to oppose the recommended cuts. Dr. Martin McNamara, the hospital’s former chief of staff, said he doubts the hospital would survive such cuts. “I’ve been reassured many times that there are no plans to close GBGH or turn it into an urgent-care centre,” he said. “But, unless we really mobilize, my fear is we won’t have a hospital.” The hospital’s fiscal difficulties led to an operational review and a report by consulting firm Geyer and Associates that called for the elimination of $5.2 million in debt. The report recommended closing the hospital’s obstetrical unit, cutting surgery times and removing beds in the intensive-care unit. McNamara acknowledged the hospital does have a major deficit that needs to be addressed, but said beyond implementing the recommended cutbacks or putting more money in the hospital, there aren’t a lot of solutions. “We’re not asking for a Taj Mahal here – just basic services at our hospital,” he said. READ MORE: • • •  The physicians are urging the public to become more involved in ensuring more funds are given to the hospital. They said this could include contacting officials – such as Health Minister Eric Hoskins and representatives of the North Simcoe Muskoka Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) – attending the hospital’s monthly board meetings or putting their names forward as community representatives on the hospital’s various boards. McNamara, meanwhile, said the report stemming from the operational review was “badly flawed.” “There was no consultation with those most strongly affected,” he said, pointing to the francophone and First Nations communities in north Simcoe. Roland Monague, chief of Beausoleil First Nation, said the consultants never came to Christian Island to consult with his people. “That really bothered me because this affects our members so much,” he said. “This is about life for us; it isn’t about money.” The physicians noted the money issue is not unique to north Simcoe, as hospital budgets have been frozen for four years. McNamara said if Ontario spent the same portion of its GDP on health care as Prince Edward Island, for example, there would be an extra $19.3 billion to put toward the system. “The problems would just disappear overnight,” he said. “We wouldn’t be talking about underfunding.” North Simcoe mayors are also pressuring the government to change the funding formula, which is said to shortchange rural and small-town hospitals. Residents were urged to show their support to them, as well. A petition has been circulated in the community opposing any cuts at the hospital and demanding stable funding. It has garnered more than 12,000 signatures. According to McNamara, the petition will be presented in the Ontario legislature April 20 by Simcoe North MPP Patrick Brown. Dr. Doug Donald, chief of obstetrics at GBGH, said he conducted a survey of 19 medium-sized hospitals across Ontario. “It’s interesting to find that they still have their obstetrics departments,” he said. “If we lose ours in September, we will be the first.” Donald, however, said the hospital has given permission for the obstetrics department to reach out to three OB/GYNs who would be interested in setting up a gynecological clinic in Midland several times a month. Dr. Ian Wagg, chief of anesthesia at GBGH, fought back tears as he emphasized the fight is far from over. “We’ve still got a lot of skin in the game,” he said. “A squeaky wheel will get the grease, and we just need to be really squeaky.” For more information on how to help, the doctors are urging people to email or visit .

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Theatre Collingwood wants you to get down to the sounds of Motown. The local theatre company is holding A Very Motown Gala on May 28 at the Westin Trillium House. The event is the largest fundraiser for the organization and will feature a performance by The St. Royals. “The band is the St. Royals, they’re an amazing band coming up from Toronto,” said Theatre Collingwood executive director Erica Angus. “They have a fantastic Motown sound.” The event will also feature a dinner by Oliver and Bonacini and a live and silent auction. Angus said they are hoping to raise $20,000, which pays for performances and kids programming. “It’s not just to teach kids about theatre,” she said.  “They also learn self confidence, they meet friends, skills that they can take on in other parts of their life. It makes an impact on them.” The money raised also helps pay for the summer season. Tickets to the gala are $150 each, and available at theatrecollingwood.ca or by calling 705-445-2200.  

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Medicine cabinets around the province are packed with prescriptions that are either no longer needed or are outdated. On Saturday, May 21,  police are urging the public to clear out those meds and keep them out of the hands of those the drugs are not prescribed for. Police agencies across the country, including the OPP, Barrie police and South Simcoe police, will be supporting Prescription Drug Drop Off Day again this year by partnering with other police and health agencies to reduce the availability of pharmaceutical products. Certain prescription drugs like opioids, stimulants, and sedatives are associated with serious harms such as addiction, overdose and death. Recent research in the United States estimates the annual cost of the non-medical use of prescription opioids to be more than $50 billion, with lost productivity and crime accounting for 94 percent of this amount.  In Canada where these prescription drugs are readily available, their associated harms have become a leading public health and safety concern. Police and community partners will be collecting the unused meds between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. the following locations: Orillia OPP Detachment – 66 Peter St, Orillia Barrie OPP with Barrie police and South Simcoe Police – Barrie Molson Centre parking lot Southern Georgian Bay OPP – Penetanguishene Satellite Office -10 Robert St, Penetanguishene Nottawasaga OPP Detachment – 4601 Industrial Parkway, Alliston Bracebridge OPP Detachment – 690 Cedar Lane, Bracebridge Huronia West OPP Detachment – 1000 River Rd West, Wasaga Beach South Simcoe police will also be at the Shoppers Drug Mart, Bradford, at 140 Holland Street West and the Alcona Shoppers Drug Mart at 1145 Innisfil Beach Road.?

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