Wasaga Beach bar will be hosting this hair-raising event

About a dozen folks will be lopping off their locks for a good cause.

A Gift of Hair Because We Care will be held at the on July 19 from 6 until 9 p.m.

Organizer Leslie Farkas said six hair donations have come through the mail, and another six people — children and adults — have lined up to get their hair cut at the event by stylists from Transformation Hair Studio. The hair will be donated to Angel Hair for Kids Foundation.

Local magician Jayden Vanderburg and musical duo the Strange Potatoes will be the entertainment, along with giant bubbles, face painting, and hair braiding.

This will be fifth time Farkas has donated his hair.

South Simcoe police launch new rescue boat in Innisfil

Lieutenant-Gov. Elizabeth Dowdeswell popped the top to a bottle of champagne as she christened a new South Simcoe police marine vessel June 22.

The boat, christened the John Graves Simcoe, replaces the John Wardrop and includes a heater, two outboard motors and a bow thruster, a davit for removing patients from the water and adequate space for patients inside the closed cabin.

“People spend so much time on the water here, we put so much stress on police services. They need the best equipment for the job and I’m told this is overdue,” Dowdeswell said.

South Simcoe police board chairperson Rod Hicks is proud of the new $320,000 vessel and watched some of the training.

“I’m a boater and know that when the rest of us are rushing to shore to avoid bad weather, our officers are heading out into those dangerous situations,” he said. “Now they’ve got a boat that’s designed to handle the large waves and the power and unpredictability of Lake Simcoe.”

South Simcoe police Chief Andrew Fletcher said officers take about 200 calls on Lake Simcoe, which will only increase as Friday Harbour continues to grow.

The former police boat, the John Wardrop, was sold to someone in North Bay who will refurbish it.


Collingwood mother believes daughter overdosed on purple heroin

A Collingwood woman wants answers into her daughter’s death, which she believes was from purple heroin.

Darlene Loucks said her daughter, Priscilla Rowbotham, died after an overdose at a Collingwood hotel in March.

However, that’s about all she knows. She has sent letters to the coroner’s office asking for the toxicology and autopsy reports, but has been told the death is still under investigation.

Loucks told Simcoe.com she believes Rowbotham had heroin, fentanyl and carfentanil in her system; those drugs are also in what’s known as purple heroin. She said this was told to her during conference calls with the coroner.

“I’m thinking it’s that purple heroin,” she said. “All those things were mentioned to me verbally.”

Collingwood OPP announced on July 31 they had found purple heroin in Collingwood and said a small grain was powerful enough to kill someone. OPP Const. Martin Hachey said police were not releasing details surrounding discovery of the drugs.

Loucks said it was “disheartening” to read that report, and that she is frustrated with the lack of answers.

She has filed a complaint with the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) regarding her interactions with investigating officer.

She has also made a complaint to the Death Investigation Oversight Council for Ontario and is also hoping for an inquest.

A June 8 response from the oversight council said the investigation is ongoing and her request would be considered once the investigation had been completed.

Cheryl Mahyr from the Office of the Chief Coroner said they are unable to release information but the investigation is ongoing.

The issues of opioid use is on the rise in the community.

According to Collingwood Deputy Fire Chief Dan Thurman, the department has responded to 40 overdose cases since June.

“We had five in a 24-hour span a few weeks ago,” he said.

All of the fire trucks are equipped with naloxone kits, which are also available at drug stores and can temporarily reverse and opioid overdose.

“It takes two to three minutes to go through their system and it’s only good for about 30 minutes,” Thurman said. “Because you’re brain is telling you not to breath, it goes into the system and allows you to breath again.”

Chief Ross Parr said using them is the last resort.

He said firefighters, who respond to all medical calls, have received training from the County of Simcoe paramedics and have a series of procedures they are required to follow when dealing with an overdose.

“We follow medical directives,” Parr said. “The first thing isn’t to do that (naloxone) … Oxygen administration is No. 1. “

Parr said all full-time firefighters in Collingwood have received training, as they were previously going to medical calls without that knowledge.

“I’ve got to take every reasonable precaution to protect our workers,” Parr said. “We want to make sure we’re on the same page with the paramedics.”

Parr said firefighters from Wasaga Beach and Clearview Township have received the same training.

Over the last 18 months, Collingwood General & Marine Hospital has seen 43 visits to its emergency department related to opioid use. The hospital said there has been very little change in these numbers from the first six months of 2018 and the same period in 2017.

Hachey told Simcoe.com that the Collingwood OPP has laid 10 charges for opioid possession so far in 2018.

Thurman said the issue continues to grow. In speaking with fire department colleagues and doctors from across Ontario, it’s an issue in a lot of communities.

“It’s heading this way,” he said.

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit released its opioid strategy last month.

The strategy would roll out on a short and long-term basis, with short-term projects being rolled out in 2018 and long-term activities implemented by 2020.

Some of the programs include improved needle exchange programs, the implementation of a rapid access addictions medicine program, and greater collaboration between law enforcement agencies.

“We have seen there was a slow worsening of the opioid impact in our region and in Ontario as a whole through the 2000s,” Dr. Lisa Simon, co-chair of the steering committee, said. “It’s really the 2017 data over the 2016 data where we’ve seen this grow exponentially.”

Loucks said her daughter was seeking counselling for bipolar disorder in Collingwood.

Loucks wants to know what happened inside the hotel room, how the investigation was handled by police, and circumstances surrounding her death. She feels the coroner considers her daughter’s death “another statistic,” and she’s not satisfied.

“I am a grieving mother and have grieving family,” she said in a letter to the death oversight council. “I ask for justice, I ask for answers.”

Loucks has started a go fund me page to help with legal fees. You can find more information

More information about the Simcoe Muskoka Opioid Strategy is available at .

Editor’s note: A correction was made to this story on Aug. 10. Priscilla Rowbotham, was receiving counseling for her bipolar disorder not her addictions. Simcoe.com regrets the error.

Fran Sainsbury — New Tecumseth Ward 4

Why should I be elected?

Serving on council as your representative requires many attributes. Experience is the “best teacher.”

I have served in five jurisdictions, 12 as mayor, 11 as councillor. I believe I am the only person to date, who served on York Region and Simcoe County council. I do my homework, work well with staff, understand my role and the rules that govern council. This allows me to make informed decisions, save time, cut costs and work with the council setting priorities, funding them, while keeping tax increases at a reasonable rate.

Formerly being a chief executive officer helps me envision the “big picture,” be fair and support projects we can afford throughout the whole town. We must provide realistic levels of service. This role is about “you,” not about self-interest or caving to groups who bring pressure to bear.  

I have time to dedicate to achieving your goals.  My concerns are the same as all in Ward 4, control spending due to fixed incomes. 

Encouraging economic development helps our residential tax base. Managing a large corporation requires education, experience, patience and dedication. Provincial and county regulations are far different than running private businesses. We have many “checks and balances.” Simcoe County is just beginning its journey managing growth. The saving of the “Oak Ridges Moraine” in York Region brought many developers into our area.    

Downloading of services from higher levels of government increases our debt and tax burden. I want to concentrate on our “needs,” not our “wants.” As a small town, we have a mandated debt ceiling which we are fairly close to now. New Tecumseth has much to offer residents, but proposed changes must be good for the town or council should not approve applications.

This takes courage. I have proven these past eight years as your representative, that I indeed have courage. The future of your local council is in your hands. Let’s face the future together. Vote.

Fran Sainsbury Campaign 2018

17 Green Briar Rd., Alliston, Ont., L9R 1R6

Email:

Phone:

Digital kiosk brings free Wi-Fi to Orillia’s waterfront

Hidden beneath a billowing blue sheet tied with a celebratory ribbon stood the first visual indication of Orillia’s entry into the wireless age.  

“It’s a different society today,” Coun. Ralph Cipolla said moments after the unveiling of the digital kiosk that drew a crowd to the lakeside event.

Situated outside the Orillia Waterfront Centre, the touch-screen kiosk features twin 54-inch vertical LCD screens, one on either side of the unit.

One screen broadcasts events, community happenings and paid advertisements and the other provides a touch-screen that allows users to browse information about local events, activities and amenities such as hotels, restaurants and shopping, along with directions.

“It is basically a way for cities to connect with their citizens and for citizens to connect with the city,” Gary Semplonius, Bell senior vice-president, business, sales and marketing, told Simcoe.com.

The kiosk’s digital sign can also be employed to broadcast community messages and public safety alerts, he added.

“And because it’s interactive, it’s a great way to attract tourism as well,” Semplonius said.  

The kiosk also serves as an access point for free Wi-Fi in the area and includes a USB charger for phones and tablets.

“The Orillia SMART Kiosk is the first of its kind in Ontario and only the second in Canada, and showcases that Orillia is stepping things up when it comes to innovation and technology,” Mayor Steve Clarke added.

The initiative is one component of a research partnership between the municipality and Bell that leverage’s Bell’s Smart City platform to help the city make better-informed decisions on municipal operations and infrastructure through data collection.

Other phases are expected to take shape over the next month, including a second kiosk outside the Orillia Opera House.

The free Wi-Fi network will be expanded to cover the downtown area along with the waterfront, from the port to the Rotary Aqua Theatre.

The kiosks and Wi-Fi applications will provide the city with anonymous data related to where visitors originate from and what it is they value while in Orillia.

According to Semplonius, the launch of the first SMART kiosk in Ontario represents a “significant milestone on Orillia’s path to becoming one of Canada’s leading smart cities.”

Cipolla, a member of the Smart Cities Working Group, said the project would usher Orillia “into the 21st century.”

Two other applications unrelated to the kiosks are in development in partnership with Bell and will be introduced later this year.

One will allow residents to monitor snowplow progress and the other will detect ground water infiltration into the city’s sewer system.

The partnership with Bell is a one-year pilot, with any future commitments subject to future council approval.

Bell has also agreed to provide fibre optic connectivity to the city’s residences and businesses, placing Orillia at the forefront of Canadian communities in the area of smart-city initiatives, said Dan Landry, manager of business retention and expansion and industrial development.

“This will factor greatly into how we market investment and business opportunities in Orillia moving forward,” Landry added.

Celebrate island life and support Orillia’s Aqua Theatre

Orillia’s time-worn will benefit from an upcoming celebration of island life.

Proceeds from a Caribbean-flavoured Island Princess boat cruise on Aug. 19 will support the Rotary Club of Orillia and a revitalization of the lakeside stage.

Organizer Janice Thompson is mounting the event as a thank-you to the club and city in recognition of the positive impact the waterfront has had on her life as she contends with medical issues.

“I wanted to contribute back,” said Thompson.

A two-hour, ticketed cruise is billed as the main event during an otherwise free Jamaica Day reggae festival at Couchiching Beach Park from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The day includes Caribbean food, clothing booths, music and dancing.

“It will be mostly Bob Marley music,” Thompson added.  

The Aqua Theatre was erected at Couchiching Beach Park in 1958 by the local service club with assistance from the community.

The club and the city are working to refurbish and improve the theatre while renewing interest in it as a performance space/community hub.

In a nod to that vision, four cedar trees were recently planted along the fence next to the grassed seating area to improve viewing conditions when the sun sets during outdoor movie nights.

“That row of trees is going to be dedicated on Sept. 1 to some people that were key in getting the Aqua Theatre built,” said club president Andrew Shuttleworth.

Council approved $225,000 in the 2018 capital budget for the first phase of work, including a new slab floor, repairs to the exterior, sand blasting and painting, and a new steel roof.

Staff will seek an additional $225,000 for a second phase, including a revamped viewing area, during 2019 budget talks.

Recommendations stemming from a recent design exercise exploring proposed enhancements include a sloping roof structure and replacement of existing seats with moulded, stadium-style seating.

The recommendations have been provided to the club for consideration in their fundraising efforts.  

Tickets to the Aug. 19 cruise are $65 and include live music and dinner.

The cruise runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Tickets are available at the Island Princess office starting Aug. 15.

Alliston baker Samantha Young developing loyal following with her butter tarts

Some artists express their creativity with the stroke of a paint brush on a canvas, while others like Samantha Young use butter, flour, eggs, sugar and a warm oven to bring their visions to life.

Young, who turns 23 next month, has long dreamed of having her own bakery.

She’ll never forget the day she asked her mom how she could combine her love of art and baking.

“She said ‘Oh, you can be a baker or a pastry chef.’ So since (age) 10 that’s what I wanted to do for sure. I never changed,” Young said.

After graduating from Banting Memorial High School she went to the University of Houston to get her business degree in hotel and restaurant management, and finished her studies after transferring to Guelph.

When she graduated in February she was still planning on attending culinary school, but then an opportunity came up after a storefront in downtown Alliston became available.

The property’s landlord reached out to her to see if she would open her own bakery.

“I hadn’t gone to culinary school yet, but I decided I will just do all of my self-taught baking,” she said. “I might as well just dive in and see what happens.”

Leading up to this she was already building up a loyal customer base with the treats she sold during the fall at her boyfriend’s business down the street, Cool Moose Creamery, like her famous butter tarts, pies and cookies.

“I kinda got my following there, and then at The Well Café a couple doors down, I started baking for them too,” she said.

The landlord of the Well also owns the building where her bakery is located.

“He was obsessed with my butter tarts and said I needed a place to sell these things,” she added.

Carriage House Bakery celebrated its grand opening in late April.

“It’s been unbelievable, the support from the community has been even better than we imagined it would be,” she said.

Most of the treats are based on old family recipes passed down from her grandparents and other relatives.

Her Scottish shortbread has been in the family for generations, and her fudge squares are her great aunt’s recipe.

Her butter tarts, which come in plain, pecan and raisin varieties, are the most popular daily baked items, followed closely by the scones, cinnamon biscuits and cookies.

She also does custom orders for cakes, cookies, cupcakes and cake pops.

“That’s starting to take off more than we expected to,” she said. “We are now getting booked three weekends in advance.”

Her dad Greg bakes the bread, which is offered in different varieties throughout the week, like farmhouse white, chunky cheddar, multigrain, whole wheat and natural sour dough.

“His passion has always been bread,” she said. “He’s always loved it and he’s a real bread nerd.”

Carriage House Bakery is located at

To contact them call , visit their or follow them on Instagram

They are open Monday to Friday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Mama Milly serves up spicy jerk chicken in Innisfil

Lorna Jarrett has been sharing her love of food with the public for four years, at the Mama Milly booth at the Innisfil Farmers’ Market.

“It’s my passion. It’s my heart. When you love something that much, it’s a joy to share it with others,” she said. “When I give someone the jerk sauce to taste and I see the look on their face, I feel good because I made that.”

The company is named in honour of her mother and mother-in law, and the famous jerk sauce is a family recipe that uses natural ingredients.

The business came about after Jarrett fell on hard times and she started bottling her jerk seasoning.

Next was Jamaican patties, then oats, and now raw oatmeal cookies.

, for orders and deliveries.

Midland veteran Frank Graham dies at 95

Frank Graham, a well-known Midland veteran, died on July 13 at the age of 95.

Royal Canadian Legion Branch 80 in Midland will be honouring the Second World War veteran with a special service on July 23. Visitation will begin at 1 p.m. with a memorial service following at 3 p.m.

Graham was a member of the Midland Legion for 60 years, serving as president of branch 80 for a short stint during that time.

“We don’t have a lot of older vets left and it’s always a shame to see one of them pass away,” said branch 80 president Ron Adair.

 “I’ll miss his presence. Whenever Frank was around he was always straight and tall and very forthright with what he said. Our thoughts and prayers go to his family.”

Graham was 17 years old when he joined the Canadian Armed Forces and the fight against the Nazis.

He started his training with the militia in Toronto when he was a teenager, and enlisted as soon as he was old enough. After completing training, Graham was shipped overseas and spent time in Africa, France, Sicily, Italy, Germany and Holland.

He was stationed in Holland in May 1945 when Canadian troops liberated the country from four years of Nazi control.

The Dutch people never forgot what the Canadian soldiers did for them, and thanked Graham every chance they got.

“He was a very genuine, friendly and caring person,” said Midland Mayor Gord McKay. “He was also a hero with his war record and the inspiration he created, not only in the Canadian community but over in Holland and building the bonds between our two countries.”

The Canada Committee of the Netherlands over the past decade. In 2013, 2015 and 2017 residents of Markelo, Netherlands, held the Frank Graham Cycle Liberation Tour, which saw residents ride from Normandy’s Juno Beach to Markelo.

In September 2017 they unveiled the , which is red with a black centre, similar to a poppy. The small stock of tulip bulbs shipped over to Norman’s Garden Gallery in Midland quickly sold out last fall.

“As a community member, Frank was certainly recognized and regarded very highly, but Frank was a very humble person,” said McKay. “Every time you tried to point out that he was a special individual he would decline and say, ‘It’s not about me. It’s about the guys or the community.’”

In May, a small group of dignitaries came over from the Netherlands on behalf of the Canada Committee of Markelo to honour Graham with . This plaque commemorates the long-standing thanks the Dutch citizens have for the many Canadians, including Graham, who fought and were instrumental in gaining their freedom.

“We are really losing someone who was very important to our community. The good news is that his memory will be long with us and will help us all,” said McKay.

Dodge Ram stolen from Bradford commuter lot

A pickup truck was stolen from a commuter lot in Bradford.

On July 30 at about 8 p.m., South Simcoe police were called after a vehicle was stolen.

A 46-year-old Bradford man said he had parked his 2014 white Dodge Ram crew cab at 5:30 a.m. in the lot, located at County Road 88 and Highway 400. When he returned from work at about 7:30 p.m., the truck was gone.

The four-door pickup truck has an Ontario license plate AJ 67065. It has a black, cloth Lund tonneau cover, tinted glass, running boards, a sport hood with two black hood scoops and a custom chrome tail light.

There were also two child seats in the back.

Police are asking anyone with information to contact South Simcoe police at , or Crime Stoppers at .

South Simcoe police want to remind residents to “lock it or lose it” and share their top 10 tips to protect your vehicle and its contents:

— Ensure doors are always locked and the key is in your pocket.

— Park in well-lit areas.

— Never leave money in plain sight.

— Always roll up your car windows.

— Put shopping bags and other parcels in the trunk.

— Ensure GPS is put in a safe, out-of-sight location.

— Keep vehicle registration certificate and proof of insurance on you.

— Take electronics, including your cellphone, with you.

— Don’t leave your car running unattended.

— If parking in the same lot often, park in different spots each day.