Wednesday, 17 September 2014, 5:29 am

Hounds found in Norfolk County

Three Scandinavian hound puppies await adoption in their kennel at the Welland and District SPCA. PHOTO BY DAVIS GILBERTBy DAVIS GILBERT
Staff Writer
The first six dogs found in an emaciated condition are ready for adoption after surviving a bone chilling winter outside this year.
“We’re still experiencing issues with a number of dogs that were expending a lot of energy in the extreme cold,” said John Greer, executive director of the Welland and District SPCA.
Police on a Norfolk County property found a total of 26 Scandinavian hounds March 3 after a concerned neighbour called police.
The OPP and Welland SPCA found the pack of dogs well hidden in a woodlot chained to rows of doghouses out of view from any roads or houses. The owner of the dogs was tracked down and was co-operative with police and SPCA officials. The man was given the chance to keep the dogs if he could provide a warmer place for them to live but signed a compliance order, which released control of the...

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Niagara Transit route changes causing headaches for riders

Amalia Harris shows her petition to initiate more changes after Niagara Falls Transit introduced different routes for the first time in 35 years in January.  PHOTO BY BECKI CREWEBy BECKI CREWE
Staff Writer
It’s three months into the new Niagara Falls transit system route changes and residents are still fighting the system.
Niagara Falls Transit implemented its new system on Jan. 5. Since the new bus routes took effect, many Niagara Falls residents have criticized it, calling the routes confusing and lack connectivity.
Amalia Harris, an advocate for transit changes, created a petition asking Niagara Transit to “fix the gaps” in this new system.
“We’re working with Niagara Transit, not against them,” says Harris.
In October 2013, when Harris first heard about the changes, she went to an open house held by Niagara Transit to see the new system proposal. Harris was instantly interested.
“I see, myself, that there were a lot of gaps in connectivity and there would be issues with timing. When I saw this I decided that I wanted to help people get ready for the changes,” says Harris.
This led...

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Ontario needs legislation to protect the little guy

By COLLIN STACHURA
Staff Writer
Mike Garrett is just your run-of-the-mill guy. He’s not a politician, not a police officer, nor is he running for any offices. He is just an average Joe fighting and standing up for those who can't. To add to it all, he is facing a $.5-million lawsuit..
Garrett is an animal activist defending those who can't defend themselves, specifically marine mammals.
There is one place in southern Ontario that has marine mammals, Marineland in Niagara Falls.
Garrett has been hit with what he calls a “slap” lawsuit, by John Holer, Marineland’s owner. It’s a strategic lawsuit against public participation.
Defination: from definitions.uslegal.com A slap lawsuit is to censor, intimidate and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition.
“It’s designed to shut you up and make you go away,” says Garrett. “This came to me as a surprise seeing as...

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Lord Mayor leaves behind a legacy

Sean Tebbutt, Gail Dietsch and Pat Tebbutt hold a family portrait in their home in Niagara-on-the-Lake in late March. PHOTO BY KEVAN DOWDBy KEVAN DOWD
Staff Writer
Niagara-on-the-Lake is mourning the loss of former MPP and Lord Mayor Michael (Mike) Dietsch who died March 9, at the age of 72.
Dietsch, a life-long resident of Niagara-on-the-Lake, was known for his community involvement and lengthy political career in the region.
Dietsch served as an alderman for Niagara-on-the-Lake from 1976 to 1982 and served as the Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) for the St. Catharines-Brock riding from 1987 until 1990.  He was elected Lord Mayor of Niagara-on-the-Lake in 1992, serving until 1997.
In a press release from the Town, current Lord Mayor Dave Eke expressed his sadness at the passing of Dietsch, having served with him while an alderman for the town in the early 1990s.
“He was committed to his family, his community and to the people he represented,” said Eke.
While in office, Dietsch convinced Niagara College to build its second campus in Niagara-on-the-Lake and in 1998 broke...

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FIFA WORLD CUP 2014: Fans concerned about Brazil’s lack of preparation

Brazilian football team celebrate together after defeating Spain 3-0 in Confederations Cup final on June 30, 2013.SUBMITTED PHOTOBy GAUTAM AILAWADHI
Staff Writer
World Cup is around the corner and what comes to mind when we think of football, known here as soccer, is Brazil. It is a country known for football, friendly people, tourism, beaches and parties.
Brazil is host to World Cup 2014 and shall be home to 32 nations’ athletes and fans for two months. The World Cup is scheduled to start on June 12 running until July 13.
Brazil will play Croatia in Sao Paulo as the opener match of FIFA World Cup 2014. For the home country there is huge pressure because Brazilian fans there and worldwide have huge expectations for their national team.
The cities also acting as hosts for World Cup 2014 are Curitiba, Natal, Manaus, Recife, Porto Alleger, Fortaleza, Brasilia, Bel Horizonte, So Paulo, Rio de Jeneiro and Cuiaba.
Felipe Damo works as a journalist at Santa Catarina Assembly in Florianopolis. He says, “Brazil has...

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To bee or not to bee?

It is not a single threat but a combination of reasons for the decline of the rusty-patched bumblebees. SUBMITTED PHOTOBy COLIN KASPER
Staff Writer
The rusty-patched bumblebee is in danger.
The cause “is not attributed to one smoking gun. It is likely a combination of threats including pesticide use, disease, habitat loss and climate change,” says Sheila Colla, a bumblebee expert with Wildlife Preservation Canada.
“If native pollinators go extinct there could be cascading effects on native plants and agricultural crops which rely on pollination. Birds and mammals, which rely on the fruit and seeds of those plants, will also be negatively impacted.”
The depletion was first noticed in North America in the early 2000s. In Europe, first declines in bumblebee populations were noticed in the 1980s. The rusty-patched bumblebee was common in southern Ontario in the 1980s but has declined to near extinction since then.
The United States Department of Agriculture estimates bees pollinate 80 per cent of flowering crops, which account for a third of everything we eat. A factor is the mass die-offs...

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CMHC raises premiums

Canada’s housing market could experience a crash similar to that of the United States. Submitted PhotoBy NICK FEARNS
Staff Writer
The cost of buying a house without a 20 per cent downpayment will be just a little bit higher starting May 1.
The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) announced it will increase premiums for its mortgage loan insurance for homeowners and one- to four-unit rental properties.
“The higher premiums reflect CMHC’s higher capital targets,” says Steven Mennill, CMHC’s vice-president, Insurance Operations. “CMHC’s capital holdings reduce Canadian taxpayers’ exposure to the housing market and contribute to the long term stability of the financial system.”
The average increase in premiums will “result in an increase of approximately $5 to their monthly mortgage payment.”
The CMHC provides mortgage insurance to allow potential homeowners to put down less than 20 per cent of the purchasing cost. Mortgage insurance protects lenders from a mortgage default.
Ronald Balvers, Michael Lee-Chin & Family chair in Investment and Portfolio Management at McMaster University’s DeGroote School of Business, in Hamilton,...

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