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Blyth Festival Raises Over $16,000 at Spring Auction - April 17 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Shawn Loughlin   
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 13:13
The Blyth Festival held its spring auction Saturday night at the Blyth and District Community Centre and there was plenty of good stuff up for auction and plenty of interesting tales being told on the stage. Director of Marketing and Development John McHenry, left, is seen here holding up a bunch of balloons. Each balloon contained a prize worth at least $200, while one of them contained a prize valued at $1,000. Meanwhile, General Manager Deb Sholdice, right, holds up a painting entitled The Mighty Maitland, which was also up for auction that evening. (Jim Brown photos)
The Blyth Festival held its bi-annual auction and entertainment event, Bids, Bites and Bazingas on Saturday evening and the event was well received according to Director of Marketing and Development John McHenry.
“It went extremely well,” McHenry said. “Everyone had a fantastic night.”
The event brought in 159 people with 155 tickets sold beforehand and four bought at the door.
McHenry explained that the auction did very well and that entertainment was great with some well-known local artists like writer Paul Ciufo, actor Bruce Whitmore, comedian Jay Scott and actress Marion Day.
The event, which ran from 7:30 p.m. late into the night at the Blyth and District Community Centre, was hosted by Rob Bundy and Wes McVicar.
The Festival raised over $16,000 through the auction and ticket sales.
bunch of balloons. Each balloon contained a prize worth at least $200, while one of them contained a prize valued at $1,000. Meanwhile, General Manager Deb Sholdice, right, holds up a painting entitled The Mighty Maitland, which was also up for auction that evening. (Jim Brown photos bunch of balloons. Each balloon contained a prize worth at least $200, while one of them contained a prize valued at $1,000. Meanwhile, General Manager Deb Sholdice, right, holds up a painting entitled The Mighty Maitland, which was also up for auction that evening. (Jim Brown photos
Last Updated on Thursday, 17 April 2014 11:07
 
Central Huron To Approve Budget - April 17 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Shawn Loughlin   
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 13:10
Central Huron is ready to approve its 2014 budget with an overall tax rate decrease of nearly five per cent.
With assessment increases nearly across the board, however, whether a property owner’s taxes will rise or fall will depend entirely on their property’s individual assessment, despite the decrease in the actual tax rate.
Treasurer Terri Taylor presented the budget to council before its April 7 meeting. No action was taken by council at that meeting, but the final draft of the budget will be up for adoption at council’s April 22 meeting in Clinton.
The municipal tax rate will decrease 4.62 per cent, while the Huron County portion of the taxes will decrease by 4.05 per cent and the school board portion of the taxes will be reduced by 4.25 per cent. Those three tax rates result in an overall decrease in the Central Huron tax rate of 4.34 per cent.
The decrease means that the taxes, on average, on $100,000 of assessment will be $1,336.80, down $60.67 from 2013.
Similarly, area-rated street lighting fees will also be on the decline for many outlying communities, but on the rise in Clinton.
Auburn’s street lighting fees will be down 21.13 per cent compared to last year, while Londesborough’s will be down 10.46 per cent. Holmesville will see a 6.16 per cent decrease, while Clinton’s fees will rise 13.22 per cent.
The budget includes over $3.1 million in capital expenditures, including work on Fish and Game Line ($320,000), Black’s Point Road ($245,000), the McKillop Road bridge ($217,000) and the Orchard Line bridge ($120,000) to name a few. The budget also includes the rehabilitation of the Clinton Sewage Treatment Plant, which accounts for nearly $1.3 million of the capital budget.
The budget will be considered by council for approval at council’s meeting on Tuesday, April 22. The meeting is moved from the traditional meeting day of Monday, due to Easter Monday, on April 21.
Central Huron is ready to approve its 2014 budget with an overall tax rate decrease of nearly five per cent.
With assessment increases nearly across the board, however, whether a property owner’s taxes will rise or fall will depend entirely on their property’s individual assessment, despite the decrease in the actual tax rate.
Treasurer Terri Taylor presented the budget to council before its April 7 meeting. No action was taken by council at that meeting, but the final draft of the budget will be up for adoption at council’s April 22 meeting in Clinton.
The municipal tax rate will decrease 4.62 per cent, while the Huron County portion of the taxes will decrease by 4.05 per cent and the school board portion of the taxes will be reduced by 4.25 per cent. Those three tax rates result in an overall decrease in the Central Huron tax rate of 4.34 per cent.
The decrease means that the taxes, on average, on $100,000 of assessment will be $1,336.80, down $60.67 from 2013.
Similarly, area-rated street lighting fees will also be on the decline for many outlying communities, but on the rise in Clinton.
Auburn’s street lighting fees will be down 21.13 per cent compared to last year, while Londesborough’s will be down 10.46 per cent. Holmesville will see a 6.16 per cent decrease, while Clinton’s fees will rise 13.22 per cent.
The budget includes over $3.1 million in capital expenditures, including work on Fish and Game Line ($320,000), Black’s Point Road ($245,000), the McKillop Road bridge ($217,000) and the Orchard Line bridge ($120,000) to name a few. The budget also includes the rehabilitation of the Clinton Sewage Treatment Plant, which accounts for nearly $1.3 million of the capital budget.
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North Huron Council Considers Alice Munro Day, Statue - April 17 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Shawn Loughlin   
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 12:57
At its April 7 meeting, North Huron Council heard from two different deputations regarding recognition for Wingham as the birthplace and hometown of Nobel laureate Alice Munro.
Verna Steffler, the first Munro-related deputation,  suggested that   council install two signs, one in North Huron, at the south end of Wingham, and one in Morris-Turnberry, at the north end of Wingham, telling drivers they had just entered the birthplace of Munro.
The signs, if Steffler’s suggestion is followed, would be placed near the existing large Wingham signs at the north and south end of the community on County Road 4. This provides not only an opportunity for Wingham to become synonymous with Munro, but also serves as a site where electricity has already been run.
“I hope you find the budget to do this promotion of our town,” Steffler said.
A motion was made by Councillor James Campbell to accept the recommendation, but only for discussion purposes.
Councillor Brock Vodden asked where Munro actually called home since there had been some debate as of late as to whether it was Wingham or Morris-Turnberry.
Steffler pointed out she was born at Wingham and District Hospital, then called Wingham General Hospital so the birthplace of Munro moniker would fit.
Steffler also said that, in no uncertain terms in her books, Munro called Wingham her home town.
Deputy-Reeve David Riach wondered if, instead of using spotlights on the sign, luminescent paint might serve better. Steffler said the final product was open for discussion, but with the electrical hook-ups already available, both could work.
Councillor Archie MacGowan wondered whether the plan Steffler had proposed included new poles for the sign or if that would be an extra cost. Steffler and North Huron Economic Development Co-ordinator Connie Goodall explained there are existing poles from a site in Wingham owned by the township that are going to be repurposed, which would serve the purpose well.
MacGowan pointed out the signs would need to be approved by Huron County staff since they are along a county road, however he was in favour of the project.
Goodall said the signs would be beautiful and similar to existing signs for the town of Wingham.
“They’re a little old-fashioned and a little classic,” she said, adding they fit the heritage of the township nicely.
Following Steffler’s presentation, Anne Procter-Stainton and John Cull made a presentation to council requesting that July 10, 2015 be declared Alice Munro day in North Huron.
The day marks the Nobel prize winner’s 84th birthday.
Cull explained that, ideally, Munro herself would be at the event and he stated he would like the Governor General of Canada as well.
“With enthusiasm, dedication, hardwork and fundraising it could be a banner day in the history of North Huron,” Cull said.
The centre-piece of the presentation, in Cull’s mind, would be a sculpture by Ruth Abernathy.
Abernathy has created many famous statues of famous Canadians over the years including William Lyon Mackenzie King, the Stratford Montage in Stratford, Franklin and friends at Storybook Gardens in Toronto, Glen Gould in front of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) building in Toronto and Oscar Peterson at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.
The sculpture, which could cost between $70,000 and $125,000 depending on size and complexity, would hopefully be something people could interact with according to Cull.
He pointed to the Peterson and Gould statues as statues where people sit with or on them or rub certain parts of the statue.
Cull said he had already spoken to Abernathy, who said she would be honoured to take on the project. He also said the project would increase tourists visiting “Alice Munro country.”
“Alice Munro’s Nobel laureate stature is known world-wide, her statue belongs in Wingham,” he said.
Councillors Vodden and MacGowan both felt this was a great idea with Vodden saying it addressed a need that was lacking as far as the Munro situation was concerned.
“The tangibility of this is terrific,” he said. “I’m concerned about the lack of tangible evidence notifying the world about the importance of this situation.”
Procter-Stainton requested the committee that fashioned the idea be made a committee of council and have council representation on it to be sure the project would go forward properly.
Chief Administrative Officer Gary Long stated a labour market study was being completed with the support of North Huron, Central Huron and Morris-Turnberry, as well as Huron County and provincial government ministries. He pointed out Goodall was involved with the creation of the study and wondered how it could fit into the program.
Procter-Stainton was concerned with the timeline of the partnership at first, however when it was explained, there were no qualms with the two projects fitting together.
Councillor Bernie Bailey asked if there was a specific place in mind and Procter-Stainton said that had not been decided yet.
“If we receive recognition as a committee, and have a council member on board and start looking to fundraising that will be one of the next issues,” she said.
Reeve Neil Vincent said the idea was definitely something that would work in to international tourism, one of the five main foci of the labour market study.
Vodden said the labour market study sounds “pretty flat” and while he realizes there is more to it than just the study, he felt this was a good initiative to give people something tangible to look forward to.
He also said the first thing that jumped into his mind was how it would fit into the budget, however he felt the committee, and council, could find support.
“I think the community will be very, very supportive of this as council should be,” he said. “I think this is a community effort that goes far beyond Wingham.”
Council approved making the group a committee of council, providing it with the resources of the municipality.
At its April 7 meeting, North Huron Council heard from two different deputations regarding recognition for Wingham as the birthplace and hometown of Nobel laureate Alice Munro.
Verna Steffler, the first Munro-related deputation,  suggested that   council install two signs, one in North Huron, at the south end of Wingham, and one in Morris-Turnberry, at the north end of Wingham, telling drivers they had just entered the birthplace of Munro.
The signs, if Steffler’s suggestion is followed, would be placed near the existing large Wingham signs at the north and south end of the community on County Road 4. This provides not only an opportunity for Wingham to become synonymous with Munro, but also serves as a site where electricity has already been run.
“I hope you find the budget to do this promotion of our town,” Steffler said.
A motion was made by Councillor James Campbell to accept the recommendation, but only for discussion purposes.
Councillor Brock Vodden asked where Munro actually called home since there had been some debate as of late as to whether it was Wingham or Morris-Turnberry.
Steffler pointed out she was born at Wingham and District Hospital, then called Wingham General Hospital so the birthplace of Munro moniker would fit.
Steffler also said that, in no uncertain terms in her books, Munro called Wingham her home town.
Deputy-Reeve David Riach wondered if, instead of using spotlights on the sign, luminescent paint might serve better. Steffler said the final product was open for discussion, but with the electrical hook-ups already available, both could work.
Councillor Archie MacGowan wondered whether the plan Steffler had proposed included new poles for the sign or if that would be an extra cost. Steffler and North Huron Economic Development Co-ordinator Connie Goodall explained there are existing poles from a site in Wingham owned by the township that are going to be repurposed, which would serve the purpose well.
MacGowan pointed out the signs would need to be approved by Huron County staff since they are along a county road, however he was in favour of the project.
Goodall said the signs would be beautiful and similar to existing signs for the town of Wingham.
“They’re a little old-fashioned and a little classic,” she said, adding they fit the heritage of the township nicely.
Following Steffler’s presentation, Anne Procter-Stainton and John Cull made a presentation to council requesting that July 10, 2015 be declared Alice Munro day in North Huron.
The day marks the Nobel prize winner’s 84th birthday.
Read more...
 
Blyth Farm Cheese Gouda Named Canada's Best - April 17 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Shawn Loughlin   
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 12:53
Blyth Farm Cheese has a several new laurels to add to the many awards the local company has received including Best Gouda at the inaugural Canadian Cheese Awards in Toronto earlier this month.
Joost Van Dorp explained the family-owned business could have entered many varieties of its cheese, however Van Dorp and the rest of his family felt it best to go with what makes every cheese they craft special: the base.
“Everything is based on the gouda,” he said. “It’s our main cheese. When we make others, like the spicy cheese, we just add things to the gouda.”
The Van Dorps, along with three other Ontario winners (Quality Cheese of Vaughan, Mariposa Dairy of Lindsay and Best Baa Dairy of Fergus) were among the minority in the winner’s circle with 14 of the 31 awards being given to Quebec-based cheese producers.
There were more than 200 cheeses and more than 75 different cheesemakers represented at the event and, while Joost had a good feeling about the entire show, he said the Van Dorps were very close to not even participating in the inaugural event.
“We almost didn’t enter due to being busy,” he said. “It’s spring, so there is a lot of work to do like fixing the fences and working in the barns.”
The ease with which they were able to enter, however, helped the Van Dorps decide to participate.
“We just had to fill out the form online and deliver a sample to Guelph,” he said. “We just randomly picked one of our cheeses, removed all identifying marks and took it to the University of Guelph in February.”
From there, the university held it for nearly a month until it was judging time in early March.
After that, the Van Dorps received an e-mail suggesting they be at the awards presentation earlier this month, when it was eventually announced that they had won.
The e-mail stated that Blyth Farm Cheese had made it to the top three, which Van Dorp said was exciting, but finding out their gouda had won was great. He also said Blyth Farm Cheese will definitely be participating next year.
“We’re definitely going to enter next year and we’ll probably enter the gouda again,” he said. “We might enter a few more kinds as well.”
Late last year the Van Dorps also entered cheese in competitions at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto and, with the same gouda that won them the top spot earlier this month, they finished fourth. They also took all three top spots in the flavoured goat and sheep cheese category.
“We took our three favourite flavours down,” Van Dorp said. “Those three, the jalapeno, garlic and cool mint flavours, won first, second and third place in the flavoured cheese category, respectively.”
He said the competition in the event is very close with the winners being separated by tenths and hundredths of points.
For more information on Blyth Farm Cheese, visit
www.blythfarmcheese.ca/
Joost Van Dorp was happy to pose with a picture of his family-owned company’s award winning cheese after Blyth Farm Cheese was recognized at the Canadian Cheese Awards. The Van Dorps got the ‘gouda’ news about their gouda taking first place last week and now all their cheese is accompanied with a seal announcing they have the best gouda in Canada. (Denny Scott photo)
Blyth Farm Cheese has a several new laurels to add to the many awards the local company has received including Best Gouda at the inaugural Canadian Cheese Awards in Toronto earlier this month.
Joost Van Dorp explained the family-owned business could have entered many varieties of its cheese, however Van Dorp and the rest of his family felt it best to go with what makes every cheese they craft special: the base.
“Everything is based on the gouda,” he said. “It’s our main cheese. When we make others, like the spicy cheese, we just add things to the gouda.”
The Van Dorps, along with three other Ontario winners (Quality Cheese of Vaughan, Mariposa Dairy of Lindsay and Best Baa Dairy of Fergus) were among the minority in the winner’s circle with 14 of the 31 awards being given to Quebec-based cheese producers.
There were more than 200 cheeses and more than 75 different cheesemakers represented at the event and, while Joost had a good feeling about the entire show, he said the Van Dorps were very close to not even participating in the inaugural event.
“We almost didn’t enter due to being busy,” he said. “It’s spring, so there is a lot of work to do like fixing the fences and working in the barns.”
The ease with which they were able to enter, however, helped the Van Dorps decide to participate.
“We just had to fill out the form online and deliver a sample to Guelph,” he said. “We just randomly picked one of our cheeses, removed all identifying marks and took it to the University of Guelph in February.”
From there, the university held it for nearly a month until it was judging time in early March.
Last Updated on Thursday, 17 April 2014 11:08
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No Cancer Cluster in ACW Reports Health Unit - April 17 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Shawn Loughlin   
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 12:49
Huron County Public Health Epidemiologist Dr. Erica Clark has confirmed that there is no evidence of a cancer cluster in Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh (ACW).
Clark told the Huron County Board of Health, at a special meeting held the morning of April 9, that after the first stage of the investigation, there was no evidence to warrant proceeding to the second stage.
After taking a number of factors into account, Clark said that cancer cases in ACW are on par with those throughout Huron County, which are on par with those throughout the province.
On a base level, Clark told board members, she couldn’t find anything that would warrant any alarm. But then, she said, feeling she may have missed something, she began mapping the area with the help of the Huron County Planning Department, but still found nothing that raised any red flags.
The first phase, through which Clark gathered her information, included community members, past and present, coming forward if they had experienced cancer in their lives.
After speaking with a number of people, Clark found that the top three cancers being reported in ACW were breast, colon and prostate, which are among the top four cancers currently being diagnosed in Huron County and in Ontario.
The investigation was triggered in January, when an ACW resident presented a large collection of information regarding cancer cases throughout the community. Clark says that because of the amount of information first presented to the Huron County Health Unit, a lot of the initial research was already done, so she was able to hit the ground running in the investigation.
Board Chair and Huron County Councillor Bill Dowson, after Clark’s presentation, reiterated that Huron County is a safe place to live, where residents are no more susceptible to cancer than they are anywhere else in the province.
He told the rest of the board that Huron County is often labelled as an area where residents are in bad health, but he wants to dispel that myth.
Because Clark found no evidence of a cancer cluster in ACW, the investigation, as dictated by the Health Unit’s procedure, will not advance to a second step.
Huron County Public Health Epidemiologist Dr. Erica Clark has confirmed that there is no evidence of a cancer cluster in Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh (ACW).
Clark told the Huron County Board of Health, at a special meeting held the morning of April 9, that after the first stage of the investigation, there was no evidence to warrant proceeding to the second stage.
After taking a number of factors into account, Clark said that cancer cases in ACW are on par with those throughout Huron County, which are on par with those throughout the province.
On a base level, Clark told board members, she couldn’t find anything that would warrant any alarm. But then, she said, feeling she may have missed something, she began mapping the area with the help of the Huron County Planning Department, but still found nothing that raised any red flags.
The first phase, through which Clark gathered her information, included community members, past and present, coming forward if they had experienced cancer in their lives.
After speaking with a number of people, Clark found that the top three cancers being reported in ACW were breast, colon and prostate, which are among the top four cancers currently being diagnosed in Huron County and in Ontario.
The investigation was triggered in January, when an ACW resident presented a large collection of information regarding cancer cases throughout the community. Clark says that because of the amount of information first presented to the Huron County Health Unit, a lot of the initial research was already done, so she was able to hit the ground running in the investigation.
Read more...
 
Mini MEtoWE Event Coming to Blyth - April 10 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Shawn Loughlin   
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 12:30
“Get involved!  Whatever you put into your passions, you will receive more in return”, exclaims a young person who participates in the annual Mini MEtoWE event at the Blyth Memorial Hall. When teens see a problem in their community or in the world, they immediately want to help.  Either on their own or as groups in schools, churches or clubs, teens are finding ways of raising awareness and funds for projects that build wells and schools in far off places, programs that help people struggling with mental illness, and offer immediate relief for life-threatening natural disasters.  At the upcoming Mini MEtoWE event on Friday, April 25 at Blyth Memorial Hall, many youth will take to the stage presenting through video, power point, word, song, art and dance -the passions they live for.
Modelled on Free the Children’s WE DAY, an event in Toronto that many local schools have been a part of, The Mini MEtoWE Event in Blyth, is about embracing our shared humanity and thinking beyond ourselves and our personal needs.  Kathy Douglas, in her work as Youth Minister in the United Churches of Huron Perth, finds that youth want to make a difference.  On stage, the youth will share how the passions they live for are fun, meaningful and, most importantly, needed. Whether inspired with music, dance, social injustice or ill health, our youth get up and get out to tell others about it.
This year, organizers Kathy Douglas and Vicky Bremner are gearing up for yet another spectacular night of entertainment and education featuring Huron and Perth County youth. As well, community youth groups and schools are invited to set up displays, featuring their efforts for social change. Broken Remarks will kick off the night with their rock and roll sound, young dancers and singers will take to the stage and youthful philanthropists like Farren Goos and Grace Caldwell  will tell of their efforts to raise funds to help relieve suffering in the world. Glen Bacarro and Bri Parks will add their stories of overcoming personal obstacles of physical, emotional and mental health struggles.
This year’s event will be held on Friday, April 25 at Blyth Memorial Hall. The show starts at 8 p.m. and doors will open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the event are $10 each and are available from the Blyth Festival box office at 519-523-9300. All proceeds will be going towards various charities, both local and global.
Interested in being involved? Want to set up a display?  For more information please contact Kathy Douglas at kathymdouglas@ hotmail.com
“Get involved!  Whatever you put into your passions, you will receive more in return”, exclaims a young person who participates in the annual Mini MEtoWE event at the Blyth Memorial Hall. When teens see a problem in their community or in the world, they immediately want to help.  Either on their own or as groups in schools, churches or clubs, teens are finding ways of raising awareness and funds for projects that build wells and schools in far off places, programs that help people struggling with mental illness, and offer immediate relief for life-threatening natural disasters.  At the upcoming Mini MEtoWE event on Friday, April 25 at Blyth Memorial Hall, many youth will take to the stage presenting through video, power point, word, song, art and dance -the passions they live for.
Modelled on Free the Children’s WE DAY, an event in Toronto that many local schools have been a part of, The Mini MEtoWE Event in Blyth, is about embracing our shared humanity and thinking beyond ourselves and our personal needs.  Kathy Douglas, in her work as Youth Minister in the United Churches of Huron Perth, finds that youth want to make a difference.  On stage, the youth will share how the passions they live for are fun, meaningful and, most importantly, needed. Whether inspired with music, dance, social injustice or ill health, our youth get up and get out to tell others about it.
This year, organizers Kathy Douglas and Vicky Bremner are gearing up for yet another spectacular night of entertainment and education featuring Huron and Perth County youth. As well, community youth groups and schools are invited to set up displays, featuring their efforts for social change. Broken Remarks will kick off the night with their rock and roll sound, young dancers and singers will take to the stage and youthful philanthropists like Farren Goos and Grace Caldwell  will tell of their efforts to raise funds to help relieve suffering in the world. Glen Bacarro and Bri Parks will add their stories of overcoming personal obstacles of physical, emotional and mental health struggles.
This year’s event will be held on Friday, April 25 at Blyth Memorial Hall. The show starts at 8 p.m. and doors will open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the event are $10 each and are available from the Blyth Festival box office at 519-523-9300. All proceeds will be going towards various charities, both local and global.
Interested in being involved? Want to set up a display?  For more information please contact Kathy Douglas at kathymdouglas@ hotmail.com
 
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