Thursday, 29 January 2015, 5:13 am

Unemployment on Target

By JEN HARDY
Staff Writer
The Target store at the Seaway Mall in Welland is one of the firm’s 133 stores across Canada affected by the pullout of the store giant. PHOTO BY JEN HARDYTarget stores across Canada will be closing in the coming months, leaving 17,600 workers unemployed.
Chief Executive Officer Brian Cornell released a statement yesterday, saying they were "unable to find a realistic scenario that would get Target Canada to profitability until at least 2021."
According to The Globe and Mail, Target expects to report about $5.4 billion of pretax losses for closing their Canadian stores in the fourth quarter of 2014 and an additional $275 million of pretax losses for the 2015 fiscal year.
The announcement came as a shock to most Canadians, as Target had only arrived in the country two years ago.
The giant had bought 133 empty standing Zellers store from the Hudson's Bay Corp, forking out $1.8 billion for the leaseholds and putting in effort and time to revamp the stores across Canada.
The Niagara Region has three stores: at the Seaway Mall in Welland,...

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New high speed rail on the right track

By JOEL OPHARDT
Staff Writer
Planning for Canada’s first high-speed railway is still moving ahead — slowly.
Many had already dismissed the $2.5 billion proposed link between London and Toronto as an empty election’s promise well before the CBC uncovered the government’s botched pre-feasibility study.
The provincial government, however, has silenced some of its critics by committing to a new round of research, commencing this month, seeking a more comprehensive analysis of the prospective route.
“We estimate that the environmental assessment study process will take approximately four to six years,” said Ministry of Transportation Ontario spokesperson Bob Nichols of the Liberal government’s renewed commitment to the project. “We will be engaging a wide variety of partners, including municipal leaders, business leaders and First Nations and Métis people.”
The government remains tight lipped on many of the details for the project, although it appears there simply may not be much information to share at all.
According to Nichols,...

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Artist returns favour to local shelter

By CHRISTOPHER BREEN
Staff Writer
Close-up images of the Christmas ornaments created by St. Catharines artist Jennifer Newman. SUBMITTED PHOTOSA local artist is giving back by committing financial support to the community through sparkling original-design baubles.
Jennifer Newman, artist and owner of Kaunis Designs, said she has launched three new seasonal holiday ornament designs and an impressive 25 per cent of each sale in the Niagara area will be donated to Gillian’s Place, a shelter for abused women and children in St. Catharines.
“I designed these ornaments because I wanted to create a unique and enduring symbol of hope, strength and beautiful,” Newman said in a media release. “The first organization I chose to support is Gillian’s Place because they were there to support me when I needed them.”
As a primarily self-taught jewelry designer Newman began her journey experimenting with beading techniques before moving to fine macramé and, finally, on to wirework. Never satisfied with the ordinary she was always striving to create unexpected designs that bring beauty...

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Facelift for downtown St. Catharines

By BAYLEY NARGANG
Staff Writer
An artist’s rendering of the Performing Arts Centre after completion in the downtown core of St. Catharines on the St. Paul Street side. SUBMITTED PHOTOsThe New Year is here and so is a new look for St. Catharines.
A brand-new Performing Arts Centre is being built in the St. Catharines downtown core, primarily funded by Brock University, the city and private donations.
Nearing the end stages of completion, it will accommodate the expansive arts community that continues to thrive in the Niagara Region.
The region’s sporadic weather has created a tentative completion date. According to Marlene Bergsma of The St. Catharines Standard, “The city is hoping for substantial completion by summer 2015 and grand opening by fall 2015.”
A page on the city’s website states the centre will include a 775-seat “Partridge Hall” concert hall, a 210-seat “Robertson Theatre” dance/theatre venue, a 300-seat “Cairns Recital Hall” that will have shared use with the School of Fine and Performing Arts and a 187-seat film venue, to be shared with the same department.
Foot traffic alone from...

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Community Care bringing hope

By CHRISTOPHER BREEN
Staff Writer
Community Care volunteers hit the streets during the St. Catharines Santa Claus parade to gather donations. PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER BREENIt’ll be a Merry Christmas for 3,000 local families because somebody cares.
For 95 years Community Care of St. Catharines and Thorold, with its partners and the community, has been making Christmas wishes come true.
Imagine having to decide between paying rent and utility bills or buying food, and now facing Christmas. With the help of community volunteers, generous donations, and other partners, Community Care helps local families remove the stress associated with those choices through various programs.
This year Community Care has six Christmas programs: Be a Shining Star, Adopt an Angel, Adopt a Teen or a Senior Angel, Keep Someone Warm, Adopt a Family, and Fill a Barrel.
Be a Shining Star provides financial support for the other programs that are hosted throughout the Christmas holidays. Members of the community are welcome to, and encouraged, to donate as any and all amounts help. For donations of more than $10,...

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Light up your holiday season

By LUCA GUARDARI
Staff Writer
The Winter Festival of Lights will light up your holidays this season. PHOTO BY LUCA GUARDARIShine a light; the Winter Festival of Lights is back for the holiday season.
Dazzling Niagara Falls with an array of beautiful lights since 1983, the Ontario Power Generation (OPG) invites you to walk into a winter wonderland.
With over three million stunning lights  along five-plus kilometres throughout Niagara Falls, the OPG’s display has since attracted over 1.3 million people from around the world.
The Festival of Lights has become a winter getaway.
Tourists’ interest has increased over the years, as what used to be called off-season for the Falls has now become a busier and longer season due to the winter popularity of the lights.
One of the premier illumination festivals in North America, the festival has over 120 sparkling ensemble displays.
Adding even more excitement to the stunning array of lights is the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles display on Clifton Hill.
Colourful renditions of favourite turtles, Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, and Michelangelo,...

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Welland keeps up fight for its hospital

By JAKE CAMUS
Staff Writer
The Welland County General Hospital at 65 Third St. SUBMITTED PHOTOChanges in the region’s health system do not seem to satisfy its residents and the Niagara Health Coalition (NHC) knows this.
The province had announced a plan to close five hospitals in the Niagara Region to accommodate one larger hospital within the southern tier of the region.
Residents of Welland, young and old, have banded together to do something about it as Welland County General Hospital is one of the five targeted for closure.
Local residents Mary Montpetit and her 11-year-old son Roger joined thousands from across the province in protest at Queen’s Park to save their local hospitals. Roughly 3,000 people from across Ontario marched up and down University Avenue in Toronto demanding something be done about these changes. 
The five hospitals planned for closure include the general hospitals of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara Falls, Welland, Port Colborne and Fort Erie. The province plans to replace the older facilities with a new...

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