NORTH DURHAM: It has come to The Standard's attention that an individual or individuals have allegedly been using the phone number 905-259-5982 to send inappropriate text message(s) to people who do not recognize this number. If any persons have information in regards to these texts, this phone number, or it's possible owner, please contact Durham Regional Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-TIPS or visting them on-line at www.durhamregionalcrimestoppers.ca
Updated September 25th, 2015 10:03 AM
BLACKSTOCK: Police have charged a 25-year-old male with second degree murder after his mother was found without vital signs in her Blackstock home on Thursday, Sept. 24.
According to police, Thomas Predergast, age 25, of Blackstock, is charged with: Second Degree Murder. He was held for a bail hearing. The victim has been identified as 57-year-old Rita Prendergast. Police added that a post-mortem is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 26.
On Thursday, Sept. 24, approximately 11:14 a.m., police were called to an address on Sunrise Dr. in Blackstock. A 57-year-old female was located without vital signs and suffering from numerous stab wounds. She was rushed to a local hospital where she succumbed to her injuries. Officers arrested the suspect at the scene.
The murder is the fifth homicide in Durham Region this year.
The area around Sunrise Dr. was blanketed with officers throughout the day, as police conducted their investigation.
Anyone with new information about this investigation is asked to call Det. Leipsig at 1-888-579-1520, ext. 5319.
Anonymous tips can be made to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or on the web site at www.durhamregionalcrimestoppers.ca and tipsters are eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000.
DAN CEARNS The Standard
SCUGOG: The Township of Scugog is now seeking a new clerk, as Chris Harris recently accepted a position with the Town of Whitby.
Mr. Harris joined the township in August of 2013, after previously working as deputy clerk in Brock Township. He said that he is looking forward to the next chapter of his career.
“It will be a great new opportunity and challenge and I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “(Scugog Township) is a great organization and has wonderful people working for it and I’ll really miss working with them.”
Mayor Tom Rowett told The Standard that some of the things that the township will miss once Mr. Harris leaves is his expertise and his ability to handle multiple roles or projects.
“He definitely added significant value because he not only filled the clerk’s roles, he also filled in as acting CAO in the interim when he needed to, so he took on special projects,” added Mayor Rowett. “He added a youthful contribution to certain projects and was a liaison to many of the issues that we were dealing with in council.”
Mr. Harris’ last day with the township will be on Thursday, Oct. 1,
Interim CAO Don Gordon has been tasked with the role of finding a replacement to fill the role of clerk.
DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
UXBRIDGE: The race is officially on in the Ward 3 byelection.
Nominations opened on Tuesday, Sept. 15, and six local residents have already filed paperwork to fill the seat, which has been vacant since the sudden and tragic death of former Councillor Pat Mikuse in July.
Those currently vying for the position include Gord Baxter, Ted Eng, Dave Granic, John Haddock, Lynn Klages, and Bev Northeast.
The deadline for filing nomination papers is 2 p.m., on Friday, Oct. 9. The byelection will be held using mail-in ballots, which must be returned to the municipality - either in-person or through Canada Post by Nov. 23. The township’s Clerks Department has said that Ward 3 residents can expect to see ballots in the mail early in November.
Candidates do not need to live in Ward 3 in order to run in the election. For more information on the upcoming byelection, please visit the township’s web site at www.town.uxbridge.on.ca.
DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
UXBRIDGE: Already known as The Trail Capital of Canada, Uxbridge’s extensive network of trails will add to its inventory this weekend, with the official opening of the recently restored trestle bridge.
A project several years in the making, the restored bridge connects the township to the Trans Canada Trail.
“We’re really proud and think that the trestle bridge will be something that the community will be able to enjoy for many, many years,” said John McCutcheon, chair of the Uxbridge Trails Committee.
The trestle bridge, located just east of Main St. in Uxbridge (next to the water treatment plant), was built in 1872 by the Toronto Nipissing Railway, the narrow-gauge railway headquartered in Uxbridge. It was mainly used to bring wood and grain from the north into Toronto, The Grand Trunk Railway acquired the bridge and rebuilt it in 1894, and it was used for train traffic for many years, until the last train passed over the bridge in 1980. It was used subsequently for foot and bicycle traffic, but fell into disrepair in the early 2000's. It was closed for a number of years, until the Uxbridge Trails Committee decided that it was worth restoring.
On Saturday, Sept. 26, a celebration will be held to officially open the bridge, with festivities getting underway with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. In addition, the first 200 families to visit the township’s tourism trailer at the event will receive a swag bag.
Guests can then take part in a special geocaching event at 1 p.m., as they scour the trails in search of 15 newly added geocache locations. The new locations were specially designed for the event and include prizes such as train tickets, gift certificates, collectible coins and more. Geocache passports will be available throughout the day at the tourism trailer, as well as at Herrema Fields. As well, there will be a special Woodland Picnic in the Park at Herrema Fields at noon with food trucks on hand.
The refurbishment, which was completed over the summer was made possible by grants, as well as donations from the community. The $250,000 restoration project included a new roadbed for foot and bicycle traffic, railings, new abutments at either end, lighting, security cameras and a plan for a unique viewing platform that will allow hikers to see the huge timber structure beneath, with eight large trestles carrying the bridge across a deep valley through which the Uxbridge Brook flows.
At times during the restoration, the project was hampered by vandalism, as it had become commonplace at the site, which was well known as ‘beer bridge’ to local youth. However, now that work is complete, the Trails Committee is extremely happy with the transformation, which they expect to be a point of pride for the community.
“It’s a remarkable structure and it looks absolutely spectacular,” commented Wynn Walters, a member of the Trails Committee.
As part of the project, information plaques at the bridge, as well as the Train Station will detail the rich railway heritage and history in Uxbridge. A new kiosk is also planned for the train station, which will include a map of the entire Uxbridge Trail System. The addition of a viewing platform is expected to be completed soon at the trestle bridge.
“The trestle is a significant community asset, and we want to be able to direct people to it,” added Mr. Walters. “As well, we want to be able to tell the story of Uxbridge as a major railway centre in the early 1900’s.”
For more information on this weekend’s trestle bridge event, including a detailed schedule, please visit www.trailblazerevents.com.
DAN CEARNS The Standard
SCUGOG: Issues surrounding the small and medium-sized business sector dominated the federal election candidates forum, hosted by the Scugog Chamber of Commerce before a packed house at Scugog Recreation Centre on Wednesday, Sept. 16.
Among the issues addressed by three of the four local candidates ahead of the Oct. 19 election was tax incentives and credits to help small business owners. Incumbent Conservative MP Erin O’Toole said that the Conservatives have had success with recent legislation in that area.
“We’ve been stimulating hiring in that sector. Some of the hiring that we have had is because of a new hiring tax credit that we introduced a few years ago to encourage small and medium sized employers,” Mr. O’Toole said. “Each one that hires one or two more, multiply that by 15,000 small businesses and you see a real impact on the economy.”
He also added that the party has avoided payroll taxes, something he said would be a “hit on jobs.”
NDP candidate Derek Spence promised that his party would reduce the current tax rate of 12 per cent by one per cent each year if they are elected.
“It doesn’t seem like a lot, but it’s enough to get small businesses the available funds to invest in capital, hire new employees and succeed in their communities,” explained Mr. Spence.
Liberal candidate Corinna Traill said that all parties agree that they want to get the small business tax rate to nine per cent, but said that there is one thing only the Liberals have offered voters.
“One of the things that we need to keep in mind, and that our party is addressing is fairness. This is why the Liberal party is the only party that is going to be giving a seven per cent tax cut to all middle class Canadians,” Ms. Traill said. “By allowing Canadians to keep more of their money, we are able to see the kind of growth that we need and that has been sorely missing the last decade.”
Later, talks shifted to how each of the parties plans for addressing a shortage of skilled labour across the country.
Mr. O’Toole commented that under the Conservative government, the Canada Jobs grant has been successful at creating skilled jobs.
“We are actually going to employers that are hiring and looking for skills in those positions. We have had some early success with it, and it’s about filling that gap,” he said. Mr. O’Toole added that he has also been proud of the partnerships that he has created with the local Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Trade since being elected in a 2012 byelection.
Ms. Traill said that the Liberal government is ready to make a significant investment to help create jobs.
“A new Liberal government will invest $1.3 billion over three years, which is 13 times more than the NDP, to create jobs and opportunities for young Canadians so they can get a strong start in life,” she said. “A Trudeau led Liberal government will also create 40,000 youth jobs each year for the next three years, through a new annual investment of $300 million into the renewed youth employment strategy.”
Ms. Traill also added that the Liberals plan to invest an additional $500 million into labour market development analysis.
Mr. Spence noted that the NDP have a different take on the issue, as they plan to invest in education.
“We plan to increase and live up to our expectations to transfer funds to post secondary institutions,” he said. “That gets us in a position where more people can access colleges and universities and get the training to get the skills that can be used, not only by small businesses, but larger businesses and any industry.”
Andrew Moriarity of the Christian Heritage Party was the lone Durham Riding candidate unable to attend the event.
NORTH DURHAM: Hello All Youth Film Makers! The deadline has been extended for the Roxy Theatre’s 5th Annual Youth Film Festival.
Aspiring film makers between the ages of 13 and 20 now have until Friday, Sept. 25 to drop off DVDs of their completed films to the Uxbridge Youth Centre, located at 34 Brock St. West in downtown Uxbridge.
This annual red-carpet event celebrates film making at its finest, showcasing the amazing creativity of young people in the area.
The theme of the three to 10 minute films in the festival is only limited by your imagination, ranging from adventure, comedy to documentary. However, all films must be accessible to all ages and respectful of copyright laws.
Youth Film Festival Night at the Roxy will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 30, starting at 7 p.m., $5 per ticket (free to top 10 filmmakers). Tickets will go on sale the week before at the Roxy Box Office and at Presents, Presents, Presents.
The Top 10 Films will be screened, juried by a panel of film industry professionals, and awards will be presented that night. The Audience Choice Award will be voted on by all attendees and awarded that night as well.
The Top Film will be also showcased at the Roxy’s 15th Annual World Wide Short Film Festival on Wednesday, Oct. 7.
For more information on the festival, please contact Cathy Christoff at email@example.com or call 416-989-6963.
Or check us out on Facebook at FACEBOOK.COM/UXBRIDGEYOUTHCENTRE
DAN CEARNS The Standard
SCUGOG: Local residents will have a chance to fill their bowls on Sunday, Sept. 20, when the 7th annual Harvest Chili Cook-Off takes over downtown Port Perry.
2014 People’s Choice chili winner Herrington’s Quality Butchers and Judge’s Choice winner Old Flame Brewing Co., will be in tight to repeat as winners this year, as they will be facing off with entrants from The Piano Café, Port Perry Villa, Vos Independent, and Durham Homestyle Catering, among several others vying for honours at the annual autumn celebration, which is proudly presented by the Port Perry BIA.
In addition to the wide array of chili options available for tasting as part of the competition, the event will also feature a corn roast, sponsored by the Port Perry Lions Club, as well as a Kid Zone, art fair, petting farm and pumpkin painting. For those interested in shopping, there will also be a farmer’s market and side walk sale going on throughout the day, with many local merchants offering special harvest deals.
Scotland-born singer/songwriter David Leask will also be performing on Queen St., and the York Durham Line Band will be taking to the stage on Water St.
The event will run from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., the chili will be served from Noon until 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 each, which includes a chili mug, giving those in attendance the opportunity to sample all the chili options.
Traffic will be diverted during the event with several road closures planned for downtown Port Perry on Sunday. Queen St., from John to Water St., as well as Water St., from Queen to Mary St. will be closed for the celebration.
DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
UXBRIDGE: Residents will have their chance to hear from the candidates in the new Pickering-Uxbridge riding at an election forum later this month.
On Monday, Sept. 21, the candidates in the Oct. 19 federal election will gather at the Uxbridge Arena Community Centre (located at 271 Brock St. West), starting at 7:30 p.m., to answer questions from the community in a forum presented by the Uxbridge Cosmos.
Corneliu Chisu (Conservative), Jennifer O’Connell (Liberal) and Pamela Downward (NDP) are all scheduled to appear at the event, which will be moderated by local author Ted Barris. Green Party candidate Anthony Navarro had yet to confirm is attendance at the forum, as of press time.
Over the course of the evening the candidates will answer pre-vetted questions submitted by local residents, as well the candidates will be able to address their party platforms by making opening and closing remarks.
Those interested in submitting a question, either to all in attendance or a specific candidate for the forum must do so by Friday, Sept. 18. Questions can be submitted via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by leaving a message at 905-852-1900.
DAN CEARNS The Standard
SCUGOG: Brides to be will have a chance to find the perfect dress, as well as give back to a good cause when Forever Friends Bridal Boutique hosts a special Trunk Show this weekend.
On Friday, Sept. 18 and Saturday, Sept. 19, Alfredo Angelo representative Cami Unger will be on hand to show off the company’s line of dresses, and help brides find the right one. In addition, a $10 donation from every dress sold will go towards the Heart and Stroke foundation, which Alfredo Angelo will also match.
Event organizer Sandra Farnsworth told The Standard that it was an easy choice to decide what charity to give back to.
“We all know people who have been touched by heart disease. We feel it is one of the most common serious diseases around and we wanted to support those affected,” she said.
Ms. Farnsworth also added that she hopes that this kind of event can become a regular thing for the company.
“We hope to regularly give back to charity if we can, and we like to give back to the community when we can,” she said.
In the past, the boutique has also given back to Breast cancer awareness. For more information on the event, the boutique can be reached by calling 905-982-7433 or by e-mail email@example.com. Forever Friends is located at 5 High St., in Port Perry.