Cobourg Asked To Demolish Heritage Building

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Cobourg Council is being asked to issue a demolition permit for a well-known heritage building. The building at 520 William Street in Cobourg, Ontario underwent an engineering inspection on 15thof August, 2017.
The building is identified as MicroLab Area 9 and is a single story-structure. It is suspected the building is in the order of 100 years old. Modifications to the interior have been undertaken with the final configuration serving as a food laboratory for Kraft General Foods Canada Limited. The building covers approximately 1,500 square feet.
This is a very old structure that has been severely lacking on maintenance while in an abandoned state. Currently the building has no heat, water or power and has had no maintenance for over a decade; these factors have been a contributing factor to the observed conditions.
Structurally the building is in a state of disrepair; the roof is failing and has numerous areas where it has severe depressions with active leakage. Without major roof/structure repairs eventual failure will cause the roof to fail/collapse. Failure of the roof covering has caused deterioration of the structural wood supporting the roof deck. Active leakage into the building has caused the various ceiling levels to collapse and deteriorate the interior walls.
The south gable brickwork above the porch area has shifted resulting in a large crack in the west upper brickwork. The concrete beams forming the structural support above the porch are all cracked and imminent failure is to be anticipated. The masonry columns supporting these beams have cracked parging, likely the result of water damage combined with shifting of the masonry gable wall.
The higher moisture level in the building and failed ceiling and wall assemblies have resulted in numerous areas where mould is evident. Based on signage in the building it is possible that biohazard materials may still be present and it was noted that asbestos is present in the acoustic ceiling tiles; working in this building will require PPE and disposal of the asbestos and biohazard materials will have to meet the Ministry of the Environment guidelines for such removal.
The cost to restore/repair the structure is estimated to be in excess of $500,000.

Cobourg Wins CIB Competition

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The Town of Cobourg is the winner of the 15,001 - 50,000 population category for Communities in Bloom.  The Town received a 5 Blooms - Bronze rating and a special mention for Heritage Conservation during the 2017 National/International Symposium and Awards Ceremonies in Ottawa-Gatineau, National Capital Region. The community also received an Outstanding Achievement Award for the Butchart Gardens Land Reclamation Award. The Town of Cobourg competed against Amherstburg ON, Dorval QC, Leamington ON, Mission BC and Orangeville ON.
Over the summer, trained volunteer judges travelled to participating communities to evaluate the overall contributions of municipal council and departments; industry; businesses and the private sector – including volunteer efforts – in regards to the following criteria: Tidiness, Environmental Action, Heritage Conservation, Urban Forestry, Landscape and Floral Displays. 
Following their evaluation, volunteer judges Lorna McIlroy and Normand Fleury wrote: “The Town of Cobourg has plenty to celebrate with an outstanding harbor, sandy beach, waterfront promenade, brilliant floral displays that include a Floral Clock and majestic tree-lined streets.  Local groups focus on the preservation of Cobourg’s diverse natural heritage. One such group is the Cobourg Ecology Garden whose members increase awareness and share the need to protect and maintain green space and native species while beautifying the community.  However, for Canada’s sesquicentennial, Cobourg is particularly celebrating the heritage of its historic buildings and the owners who have authentically restored them with special signage to designate those that have existed for 150 years or more.  Cobourg has four heritage districts, representing over 584 properties with 217 more having potential value.  Their Heritage Master Plan guides conservation.  A choice of self-guided walking tours provides a sampling of local history and heritage styles. Unquestionably, Cobourg, Ontario’s ‘Feel Good Town’, feels good about itself!

Fatality in Cramahe

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The Northumberland Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) investigated the scene of a serious motor vehicle collision on County Road 25 near the hamlet of Morganston (Cramahe Township) involving two vehicles on September 15.

County Road 25 was closed to all traffic from County Road 27 north to Clarke Road. OPP Technical Traffic Collision Investigators and reconstructionists are attending the scene to assist detachment members with the investigation. The roadway was closed for several hours. 

Investigators at the scene determined that a northbound car lost control and crossed the centre line then colliding with a southbound cement truck. As a result of the collision the lone male driver of the car was pronounced deceased at the scene.

The lone truck driver was transported to a nearby hospital with non-life threatening injuries.



Port Hope Police Report

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Fisherman charged

Two Quebec men have been charged after Port Hope Police were called to the Ganaraska River north of Molson Street regarding two man fishing in a prohibited area. On the 12th of September shortly after 12 noon Police attended the area and located the men. One 32 year old man was charged with having open liquor other than a private residence and a 39 year old man was charged with fishing in a prohibited area.  Port Hope Police are continuing dedicated river patrols until the end of September.  If anyone sees a person whom they think is in violation of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act they are requested to call Port Hope Police Communications @ 905-885-8123 to have an officer attend.

Theft of E-bike

Port Hope Police are investigating the reported theft of an e-bike taken from the Bryton Street area.  The bike was last seen in a shed on the property September 4th 2018. It was reported missing on the 5th of September.  The bike is described as a blue IGO e-bike.  Anyone with information is asked to call Port Hope Police or Crime Stoppers.

On Line Fraud

Port Hope Police are investigating an online fraud whereby a Port hope resident attempted to purchase a dog.  The person wired money to a Halifax location and then spoke by phone to someone who requested more money for transportation of the dog.  The resident advised she was going to call Police. The contact number is now disconnected.  Police are continuing the investigation but want to warn residents about purchasing pets on line because of the wide variety of fraudulent activity that could occur.

Cameco Hit With Penalty

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The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission has issued an administrative monetary penalty to Cameco Corporation in the amount of $17,830. In May 2017, CNSC staff conducted an inspection at Cameco’s Port Hope Conversion Facility and found that Cameco had failed to verify that work was being performed correctly and according to approved procedures as required by Cameco’s PHCF licence conditions handbook. These actions constituted a failure to comply with a condition of a licence, in accordance with paragraph 48(c) of the Nuclear Safety and Control Act.

Northumberland 89.7 spoke with Gord Struthers, Cameco's spokesperson at its Saskatoon Headquarters. Struthers emphasized that the infraction did not involve harm to any individual or the environment. He said Cameco sees the importance of all nuclear safety regulations and has taken disciplinary action for this breach. Staff are maintaining stricter compliance with the requirements and Cameco has undertaken its own investigation to ensure it will be fully compliant in future.

Cell Phone Intercepts Found Illegal

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Canada's privacy commissioner has found six cases of the RCMP's use of cell phone tracking devices illegal. Mobile device identifiers sometimes called IMSI catchers interact with a nearby phone and read its International Mobile Subscriber Identity, or IMSI in much the same manner as a cell phone tower would do. With information thus obtained, it is possible to track the phone, and even intercept text messages or calls.

The Privacy Commissioner on complaint of OpenMedia (a group advocating for surveillance-free internet) undertook an investigation and found that between 2011 and 2016, the RCMP used IMSI catchers in 125 criminal investigations, including cases related to national security, organized crime and during kidnappings. The RCMP did first obtain a warrant to intercept but for a brief period between March and June 2015, the RCMP conducted warrantless searches. The Privacy Commissioner has deemed these intrusions illegal. 

The Correctional Service of Canada at its Warkworth Institution also used such a device that resulted in the capture of private communications of guards and people outside prison fences. That intrusion has also been investigated by the OPP. In its report recently completed, the OPP also concluded that the breaches were illegal but the force concluded there was insufficient likelihood of criminal conviction and closed its file.


Harvest Festival Signals Fall's Arrival

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The Cobourg DBIA is going full throttle to make Cobourg's downtown a vital hub of activity It has just been announced that Cobourg residents (and visitors too) can celebrate the beauty and bounty of fall in Downtown Cobourg.  The DBIA will host a Harvest Festival on Saturday, October 7th from 9:00AM to 4:00PM so everyone can enjoy seasonal vendors, extended storefronts and many themed activities.

Corn stalks, hay bales, and pumpkins will line the historic downtown and set the table as the perfect setting for your family’s adventure. With a live wood carving demonstration, pony rides, caricatures, face painting, a pancake breakfast and so much more, you’ll fall in love with this Thanksgiving weekend event in Downtown Cobourg.

“We love the opportunity to share such a time honoured tradition as harvest with our community,” says Rino Ferreri, Chair of Special Events. “The festival gives everyone the chance to catch up with their closest friends and neighbors.”

Event Details:

·         Saturday, October 7th from 9:00AM to 4:00PM

·          Seasonal vendors and extended storefronts

·         Several downtown restaurants will serve signature snacks

·         Live wood carving demonstration

·         Pancake breakfast: The Rustic Bean Coffee Co.

·         Themed food trucks: Harry’s Hots and Vintage Pizza Pie Co.

·         Scarecrow competition

·         Decorated windows and streetscape

·         Cobourg Farmers’ Market: Art at the Mark-et 8:00AM to 1:00PM

·         Kids activities

o   Pony rides

o   Alpacas

o   Caricatures

o   Face painting

o   Live entertainment: Paddling Puppeteers

Cobourg Council Sides With Staff On Zoning

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The rezoning of the building at 394 College Street was back before Cobourg Council. The owner had proposed converting the building to accommodate 4 and possibly 5 rental units. This angered local residents who packed the council gallery last August. Council deferred rezoning to have further input from the Planning Department. The subsequent report once again argued for the rezoning. Neighbourhood groups were back in opposition but this time Cobourg resident Richard Pope was among several delegations opposing a zoning change. He claimed that allowing up to 5 units would impact on the heritage quality of the neighbourhood. Council heard a delegation from David Sheffield, the Rev. Neil Ellis and Kristina Nairn of the Northumberland County Affordable Housing Committee. They argued that it is almost impossible to find rental accommodation in Cobourg. Council embarked on a lengthy debate and seemed worried that denying the change would lead to an OMB hearing Cobourg simply could not win. The rezoning was approved with only Councillor Suzanne Seguin voting in opposition.