Police seek 2 suspects after assault in Bradford

South Simcoe Police is seeking the public’s help in identifying two suspects wanted in connection with an assault in a Bradford parking lot.

A 38-year-old Bradford man was transported to hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries after being treated by paramedics at the scene of the alleged attack that happened around 12:30 a.m. Friday, July 13.

Witnesses reported an argument involving the victim and two men in the parking lot of a coffee shop on Holland Street East.

The suspects fled when approached by a passerby.

Suspect #1 is described as: white, five-feet, nine-inches tall, thin build, blonde hair, wearing a light blue jump suit

Suspect #2 is described as white, thin build, wearing a black tank top and blue denim shorts and possibly wearing a baseball hat.

Anyone with information or who can help police identify these suspects is asked to call  705-436-2141 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

Dave Wood — New Tecumseth Ward 7

Resident of New Tecumseth since June 1981

Married 42 years, two children

I went to Acadia University — major in recreation, minor in business.

Business Experience — senior logistics manager North America having developed and managed complex national operations, networks.

I retired in April 2017 and started attending council and planning meetings to gain a better understanding and appreciation of what is involved in being a councillor in New Tecumseth. Being retired, I now have the time that I believe is necessary to devote to this position. After decades of volunteering in the community, it is time to take on a larger role and represent the south as a councillor in Ward 7.

I have the business knowledge and experience, along with my willingness to work hard and dedicate myself, to be a strong representative in New Tecumseth. Hard work, never quit.

I am prepared and willing to give the time to listen and voice the opinions of the residents in Ward 7 and take action to get things done. I will address issues head on. I will demand answers. I will look to resolve problems with openness, honesty and transparency.

Three issues that need to be resolved immediately (in no specific order), with action plans put into place with specific timelines for Ward 7 are high speed internet connectivity, town water for the Deer Springs community residents, and the landfill operation at TAC Airport and other rural locations. We have gone on long enough without action being taken. We need to get things done.  Residents want action. I will be that person to complete these tasks.

Other pressing issues are enforcement of our bylaws and increasing the fines, repair and completion of the Trans Canada Trail, reduction of the speed on the rural roads through road patrols and education, and stopping the illegal dumping of soil.

We, the south, need our voices heard!




Wasaga officials explore land acquisition for proposed festival square

Wasaga Beach officials have opened discussions with several landowners to start the process of consolidating ownership of the future public square site on the beachfront.

At the Aug. 15 public information session to present the first iterations of Fram Building Group’s design for the town square and Beach Area 2 site, the town’s director of economic development and tourism, Andrew McNeill, said he, the municipality’s clerk and the chief administrative officer, had been given delegated authority to begin the negotiation process with landowners who own property within the area designated as Festival Square.

While it was to be a centrepiece of the town’s plans for the downtown, creation of the square has been put off to a future phase because of land ownership issues.

The letter of intent signed with Fram in July specifies Fram and the town “work together to prepare a strategic plan for the location, acquisition, planning, development and construction of the festival square facility.”

Fram would have the first right to make an offer for the Festival Square land as a second phase of the downtown development.

In an interview with Simcoe.com, McNeill stated municipal staff met with landowners to “understand what a potential win-win scenario could look like for the town to potentially negotiate the acquisition of land — or alternate arrangements to allow development to proceed that could include some form of amicable land swap.”

McNeill said the staff direction from council includes a “framework that they must negotiate within and cannot exceed.

“The town and Fram both believe that the development of Festival Square is a priority,” he wrote. “The current need is to consolidate land ownership so that redevelopment can proceed.”

McNeill stated land acquisition costs would be recovered through the redevelopment process.

In 2015, the municipality paid $13.6 million for 28 commercial properties along Beach Drive; the purchase was made through the combination of a mortgage through TD Canada Trust and a loan through Infrastructure Ontario.

In December, 2017, the town added to its beachfront holdings with the purchase of a quarter-acre property between the Playland Square parking lot and Spruce Street for $749,000. The purchase was paid for through reserves.

Clearview Township councillors urged to close public access to this road

A road straddling the boundary between Clearview and Melancthon townships — that has been a bane to a neighbourhood — should be closed.

That’s the opinion of resident Allan Wargon, who has lived on the road for more than 50 years, though it’s not an opinion shared by the staff of both townships, as well as Simcoe County.

“It’s a nuisance to have the road open,” Wargon told Clearview Township councillors.

Councillors, at their July 30 meeting, deferred a recommendation from staff to stay status quo on a road that’s typically only accessible during the summer.

“To say that we would never need the road for utility or a trail … you could restrict traffic, and people would come to the edge of wherever it’s restricted and park there,” said chief administrative officer Steve Sage.

Wargon, along with other residents of the road — running from County Road 124 east to the municipal boundary of Mulmur and Melancthon, and Garden of Eden Road — have been asking both municipalities for measures to control parking. The road is used as a point to access nearby Lavender Falls, which is located on Wargon’s property.

Nearby residents have complained repeatedly of aggressive trespassers, vandalism and dumping.

In a report to council, the township’s general manager of transportation and drainage, Gerry LeMay, stated closing the road would not be in the best interest of the township.

“A road closure is a more permanent feature that is very difficult, if not impossible, to reverse in the future (if) the township and county decide they require this road open,” he wrote.

Councillors voted to defer the decision until municipal staff had further discussions with Wargon.

“It offers little benefit to the public,” said Ward 5 Coun. Thom Paterson.

Minds get to work at Innisfil’s Makerfest

The creative juices were flowing for young and old at the annual Makerfest July 14. Participants could make their drawing come to life in a virtual reality simulation, make a pinata, create a tote bag or make their own clay piece of jewelry. More fun was happening outside of the Cookstown branch of the Innisfil IdeaLAB and Library, with free hotdogs, a splash pad and sneaker painting for an upcoming art project.

The annual Makerfest showcases art and technology created by area residents.

Buck-a-beer ‘impossible’: Barrie brewers bail on Ontario’s ale plan

There’s a sobering reality for many of Ontario’s craft breweries: It costs a lot of money to make a quality product.

So it appears many local suds producers will be taking a pass on Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s buck-a-beer challenge. The Progressive Conservative government promised last week to lower the minimum price for any beer with an alcohol volume below 5.6 per cent to $1, effective Aug. 27.

“There’s a time and a place for the differences between a drive-thru meal and a good steak,” Redline Brewhouse owner Kari Williams said. “For us, as an independently owned and operated small business trying to create our own market in Barrie, the buck-a-beer concept is of no interest. Without taking a significant loss, it’s impossible. If anything, it erodes what craft beer culture is trying to do. I’m nervous about getting political. But I don’t think it was well thought out. It is aimed at, and potentially supports, the global conglomerates.”

Craft beer’s share of the market has grown steadily in recent years and currently sits at about eight per cent, she said.

“People are hungry for that quality, unique, consistent beer,” Williams said. “They’re prepared to pay for (that). We purposely source local (ingredients) first. We hire from the local population.”

The government plan is not mandatory. However, the province has promised to provide incentives to participating breweries for a limited time throughout the year, including LCBO promotional discounts, in-store displays on end aisles and shelf extenders, or advertising in LCBO flyers and newspaper inserts.

Buck-a-beer will not apply to draft brews sold in restaurants and bars, or ciders, spirits or wine.

“You can’t do buck-a-beer at the craft brew level,” Barnstormer Brewing and Distilling Co. president Dustin Norlund said. “It’s not going to benefit Ontario. The only brewers that could do it successfully are producing in cheap jurisdictions elsewhere. Our consumers aren’t interested in buck-a-beer. They fully understand you’re giving up quality to get the price.”

The minimum price was raised by the previous Liberal government, from $1 to $1.25, in 2008, Ford said.

However, production costs and taxes have climbed significantly over the last decade, Norlund noted.

Instead, the province should focus on updating “archaic” alcohol laws, disbanding the Beer Store and diversifying products at the LCBO, he said.

Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery expressed similar concerns in social media posts last week, and strongly asserted it will not participate in the challenge.

“ have come so far creating jobs, supporting our local communities, and brewing fantastic award-winning beers with international reputations for quality,” Flying Monkeys said in an Aug. 8 post. “That doesn’t happen for a dollar.”

The company also finished the statement with the hashtag.

Two days later, the brewery reaffirmed its position with a post about vintage stout.

“In , there are incomparable beers which become Standards of Faith testifying there are Brewers who care deeply about their art,” the brewery said. “Craft Beers are worth more than a Dollar.”

Representatives from Flying Monkeys could not be reached for comment. 

How a humble family breakfast is driving a Barrie chef to share his love of cooking

Chef Dario Tomaselli believes anyone can cook.

Over a nearly 40-year culinary career, the Barrie resident has run well-known kitchens across the world. He currently teaches cooking and helps budding restaurateurs develop their businesses. Now, he’s bringing that longtime passion for the kitchen to the inaugural three-day Medley Food and Drink Festival, which takes place at the July 20 to 22.

“The word ‘medley’ tells you everything you need to know,” he said recently while sitting in the Flying Monkeys Brewery, which is helping organize the event. “This is an opportunity to connect with yourself and other people through food, drink and music. It brings me back to my childhood and memories of Italy. The biggest message is about connection. Who said you can’t cook? We want to strip away the pretentious part and keep it simple. Enjoy cooking. Focus on your kids. Create a community. Food is a memory and an expression of a feeling that brings you back to being a child.”

So what is one of his most fond food experiences? The rustic, simple breakfast of stale bread, milk and coffee his grandmother would serve each morning before school.

Home cooks should focus less on producing professional-quality meals and more on what their families will remember and enjoy, Tomaselli said.

“There’s nothing wrong with eating macaroni and cheese, just research the type of products you’re putting in,” he said. “You can create using local ingredients. You can customize for people who want to be vegan or vegetarian or just want to eat well.”

Tomaselli and his wife, author Anita Heidema, co-founded the healthy lifestyle brand Passion is Cooking. They will showcase fun summertime recipes during the event.

“People who really understand food and drink will be coming there,” she said. “Dario is the chef, I’m the non-chef. People are intrigued with Dario and what he does with food. We’ve combined his 38 years of being a chef and what I do — healthy lifestyle (strategies) — and getting people reconnecting in the kitchen.”  

More than 60 vendors will participate in Medley. Other culinary experts will also be on-hand, while five bands — including The Dirty Little Swing Thing, Northern Harbour and Fish Head — will provide entertainment.

A kids zone, skydivers, VIP zone, food demonstrations, tastings and contests, and car and boat shows are also scheduled.

“The festival is an opportunity for us to showcase our passion for creating exceptional culinary and beverage experiences while celebrating Barrie and its surrounding communities,” Medley Corp. partner Phillip Moore said. “We are overwhelmed by the amount of support and interest we’ve received and can’t wait to kick things off.”

Tomaselli said Barrie residents are fortunate to live in a “food belt.”

“I’m fascinated every Saturday morning by the (Barrie Farmers’ Market),” he said. “That’s the healthy way to start your weekend. We spend a lot of energy focusing on what type of fuel we put into our car and less time on the type we put into our system. It’s insane.”

For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit .

Collingwood Elvis Festival back for 24th year this weekend

Are you ready to shake, rattle and roll?

The Elvis Festival returns for its 24th year from July 27-29 and will see hundreds of tribute artists and thousands of fans descend on Collingwood to celebrate the king of rock n’ roll.

The festival will feature three days of performances at various venues in Collingwood as well as Blue Mountain Village.

The annual competition kicks off at 1 p.m. on July 27 at the centre stage on Hurontario Street between First and Second streets.

The annual street party will kick off at 5:30 p.m. and run until 9 p.m. on Hurontario Street.

There will be three performances at the Eddie Bush Memorial Arena throughout the weekend.

The first takes place at 11 a.m. on July 28 and will see the top 30 tribute artists compete in the semi finals as well as a showcase of past grand champions of the event.

The signature event of the festival takes is called Elvis United and takes place at the Eddie Bush Arena at 8 p.m.

The show will feature youth champion Connor Russo, Brycen Katolinsky, former Ultimate Elvis champion Dean Z and 2017 grand champion Gordon Hendricks.

The final event in the Eddie Bush Arena will be the grand finals at 2 p.m. on July 29 and will see the crowning of the 2018 grand champion.

Tribute artists John and Mason Cigan will be giving people an opportunity to express their inner Elvis as they host an open mic session at the inner Elvis stage near Third Street at 11 a.m., on each day of the event.

On July 28, OLG Spotlight Showcase takes place at centre stage at noon, featuring past champions Jesse Aron, Bruce Andrew Stewart, Corny Rempel and Norm Ackland Jr.

Elvis historian and blues performer Memphis Jones will be performing with his band at Blue Mountain Village at 5 p.m. on July 28.

There will also be a host of performances at local restaurants and businesses throughout the weekend as well as the vendor market in downtown Collingwood. For more information, visit .

Need another way to beat the heat? Let Barrie firefighters cool you off this summer

Firefighters are about to give Barrie residents another way to cool down.

Barrie Fire and Emergency Service, in collaboration with Wendy’s restaurants, will kick off the annual Hot Summer Nights campaign this week. Residents are encouraged to bring their kids to meet firefighters, participate in safety activities and enjoy a cooling mist from the fire trucks.

“We want to promote fire safety, protection, prevention and escape,” Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Weber said. “This is just a chance for us to also give back to the community a little bit and share a night of family fun. Where else can you go for zero cost and have a little bit of fun?”

The first event runs at , near the Ardagh Road and Batteaux Street intersection, July 5. Similar events also run at the following parks: (231 Ashford Dr.) July 12, (at the Innisfil Street and Baldwin Lane intersection) July 19, (211 Johnson St.) July 26 and (227 Sunnidale Rd.) Aug. 2.

Each event runs from 6 p.m to 8 p.m.

Announcements of any cancellations due to inclement weather will take place by 4:30 p.m. on the day of the event, via Barrie Fire’s page and handle.

Betsy Gross – Orillia Ward 3

I am the founder, honorary Big Sister and past president of Orillia Big Sisters and Orillia Business Women’s Association and served as a director of the chamber of commerce for three years. 

I was a sports writer (Sports Fan Fare & The Games People Play) and columnist “Orillia My Town” for eight years.  I was executive assistant of the  OSMH Foundation and have been a volunteer at OSMH for eight years.  I was a member of the Order of Orillia Committee (three years) and have served as chair of Orillia Commemorative Awards Committee (five years).

I started and operated three successful businesses and managed Manpower Temporary Services (four years) putting hundreds of people to work, many of which resulted in full time employment.  

Working with Orillia Big Sisters allowed me spend time with young girls and match them with role models to try to make their lives better by example and exposure to a different situation than their own.  Watching them grow in confidence was very gratifying.  We had an annual fashion show that brought tears to my eyes as the shy, retiring young girls found the ability to interact in social situations.

Working with OBWA and the chamber allowed me to help small business to find their way with networking and resources available to make them succeed.  OBWA just celebrated their 30th anniversary and still welcome newcomers and business women to meet mentors and feel at home in their new city.  I have served on many city committees and enjoyed celebrating the many hard working volunteers that make Orillia the award winning community that it is.

As a full-time member of council, I look forward to continuing that commitment to the city that I love by working on issues involving youth, opiod abuse, homelessness and senior citizen issues.  Transit, infrastructure, downtown and waterfront improvements are key interests, as we all developing  more government jobs at the HRC property.