Jeff Green

Jeff Green

SEARCH WARRANT EXECUTED SOUTH FRONTENAC - Drugs, firearms seized

On Thursday January 18, 2018, members of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Frontenac Community Street Crime Unit (CSCU), assisted by the Napanee and Prince Edward (CSCU), executed a Search Warrant at a residence on Battersea Road near Inverary in South Frontenac Township.

The search resulted in the seizure of small quantities of, fentanyl, heroin, and cannabis marihuana associated with drug trafficking. OPP also seized two (2) loaded firearms.  

A 36 year old male, a 28 year old male and a 39 year old female all from the Inverary area, were arrested and each face several charges under previous court orders and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act which includes the following sections:

- Possession of a Schedule II substance for the purpose of Trafficking ; Possession of a Schedule I substance for the purpose of Trafficking.

They were also charged with multiple firearms charges under the Criminal Code of Canada which includes the following offences:

- Careless storage of Firearm, Weapon, Prohibited device or ammunition.; Unauthorized Possession of a Firearm.

The two males and female were not released and kept for a bail hearing on January 19, 2018 at the Ontario Court of Justice in Kingston.  

OPP released information today about an investigation that was initiated on January 17th, when a cottager on Craig's Island, Sharbot Lake (west basin) contactedd them about damage to their cottage. Police have no information indicating a connection between these break ins and those that took place on Bobs Lake on January 12th, but the level of destruction was similar in both sets of incidents and in neither case does the motive seem to have been robbery, although a bush buggy was stolen in the Sharbot Lake incident.

Here is the OPP release from this morning (January 19th):

On January 17, 2018, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Sharbot Lake Detachment responded to a mischief complaint that occurred to five separate cottages on Craig Island which is located on the north side of Sharbot Lake west of Highway 38 in Central Frontenac Township.

Sometime between December 17, 2017 and January 17, 2018, culprit(s) entered five cottages on Craig Island and totally destroyed the insides. Items were thrown around and smashed in each c ottage. Estimated damage in total is approximately $75,000.

Only item reported stolen was a bush buggy that is valued at $300.

The Police are continuing to investigate into these mischiefs and are seeking assistance from the public. If anyone has any information they are being asked to contact the Sharbot Lake OPP Detachment at 1-888-310-1122. Should you wish to remain anonymous, you may call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or online at https://www.tipsubmit.com  where you may be eligible to receive a cash reward.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018 11:17

Ompah diners welcome a special guest

Somehow, they fooled Leeanne White.

She was going up to what she calls “the government lunch” in Ompah, the monthly Rural Frontenac Community Services Diners lunch at the newly renovated hall, and she said she “just happened to say to my friend that it was coming up on my birthday, and the next thing you know when I got to Ompah they had a cake out and Catherine Tysick was asking all these questions of me, like how much family I had and what work did I do and so on. I would like to thank the people who put it on. They got me,” she said when contacted over the phone earlier this week.

She is not entirely surprised that has lived such a long life. “My grandmother lived to be 102,” she said.

Last week, Leeanne moved past that milestone when she celebrated her 103rd birthday.

She hasn’t changed a lot on the three and half years since she was interviewed by the Frontenac News for a feature and video on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Frontenac County.

Except for one thing. She no longer drives, and that is something she is not very happy about. In fact she pretty frosted about it.

“They just don’t want me to drive any more. I was just too slow on the draw for my doctor. But I tell you I’ve driven ever since I was 12 or 14 years old and I never had an accident in all that time, even drove mail for 38 years, but not any more. They just didn’t have anything better to do so they took it out on me,” she said.

She does get rides to places from neighbours and relatives but finds it frustrating having to depend on other people to get places, so she said that she stays home most of the time.

But she doesn’t idle away the hours too much. She still bakes all her own bread, gets her own meals, knits all the time, and keeps the house together. Any who helps her out and isn’t willing to take money for it ends up going home with new socks and mitts.

She said she doesn’t make fires in her woodstove too often anymore, “except when the hydro goes out or family comes to visit because they are in and out so much when they are here, that it gets cold and we need a fire.”

This past Christmas she made the dinner for 18, just like she normally does, even though she has problems with her knee. “I’m still doing okay,” she said, “and I have Catherine [RFCS Director of Adult Services Catherine Tysick] checking up on me.”

By keeping busy she avoids being lonely, but said misses all the people she used to know in the Fernleigh area, where she has been living since 1932.

“There were a lot of people here, but there isn’t anyone left,” she said.

A feature and a video on Lee White is posted at Frontenacnews.ca

frontenacnews.ca/frontenac-150th-anniversary/item/9043-happy-100th-birthday-lee-anne-white

Wednesday, 17 January 2018 11:17

Rampant vandalism on Bobs Lake.

Eleven cottages on Maple Lane, Meadow Lane, and Maple Grove Crescent were vandalised by perpetrators on an ATV last Friday night between sometime before 9pm and 11pm. Patio and garage doors were smashed by the ATV, and the vandals destroyed tv’s and mirrors, emptied fire extinguishers, broke toilets and sinks and appliances, creating maximum destruction in a short time frame.

The laneways are all accessed via Steele Road in the former hamlet of Bradshaw just north of Tichborne in South Frontenac.

A year round resident, who lives nearby, received a call from one of the property owners who is currently in Florida. The property owner has an alarm system that notified him there, and also has an internet connected camera showing that a patio door was off its moorings and laying in the snow.

The OPP had already been called, but the police service was stretched due to the weather that night (a flash freeze, high winds and snowfall had abruptly ended a warm, rainy patch of weather in the late afternoon) and the resident went out to see what was going on.

The resident went out in a car, and with another neighbour who took an ATV they went to the house. When they got to the house, they saw that the ATV had also hit the garage door, and the house had been entered and a lot of damage had been done.

“From there we decided to follow the tracks to see where they went. We went into one house and saw they had destroyed the banisters, tv’s, mirrors, and they also had sat down and had a snack. Nothing of significance seemed to be missing. They were only interested in destruction.”

They followed the tracks and eventually found the two perpetrators in one of the houses, but they also saw that there was a rifle on the ATV so they decided to back off. Later they found out that the rifle was a stolen air gun that belonged to one of absentee homeowners.

Soon after they observed the ATV heading back towards Steele Road so they followed. When they reached the ATV, the police were arriving from the other direction. The ATV was still running but the two people who had been on it had run off into the woods. The police remained on scene waiting for a canine unit to come and help them give chase. Apparently the perpetrators were not found that evening.

The male resident, who requested not to be identified, said that the next day he went back to the houses with a forensics officer and was also interviewed by police. The surveilance camera photo was posted on a Bob’s Lake Facebook group site, and the other photos were submitted to the News.

On Tuesday, OPP Officer Roop Sandhu, Communications Officer with the Frontenac Detachment, informed the News that there would be no statement to the public about the incident, which is somewhat unusual in cases of vandalism. Police often ask the public for assistance in identifying suspects in these kinds of cases.

The reason for this reluctance to communicate might have something to do with the tragic death of Debra Ann Hill (Teal), who died early the next morning outside of her house on Steele Road after being driven home by police about 2 hours vandalism had taken place, while the canine search would have still been going on.

There is absolutely no indication that the two cases are linked, except that it is likely, although police have said nothing, that the officers who drove Debra Hill home that night were already at that location because they were still investigating the break-ins.

49 year old Debra Anne Hill (Teal) was found by her son in-law Owen Young early on Saturday morning outside of her home on Steele Road near Tichborne, and was declared deceased by Emergency Srevices personnel a short time later. As reported in the OPP and Special Investigation Unit (SIU) releases reprinted below, there had been unusual circumstances late on the evening before she died.

A query by The News to the SIU regarding cause of death after a post-mortem reportedly took place on Monday, led to the following response from Monica Hudon, Communications co-ordinator with the SIU: “The results of a post-mortem are considered evidence. The SIU does not comment on, confirm, or share any specific evidence the Unit may have gathered during the course of its investigation until the investigation is completed.”

There is no information available about how long that investigation will take.

Here is the OPP release from Saturday.

OPP Investigate Death - SIU Invoke Mandate

Members of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Frontenac Detachment, along with the OPP Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB), are currently investigating the death of a 49-year-old female in South Frontenac Township.

In the early morning hours of January 13, 2018, officers had provided assistance to this female. Shortly before 9 a.m., Emergency Medical Services contacted the OPP for assistance for a sudden death in South Frontenac Township.

The OPP has notified the province's Special Investigations Unit (SIU) which has invoked its mandate. As a result the OPP will not be able to provide any further information.

The Special Investigation Unit then put out the following release on Sunday, January 14.

At approximately 1 a.m. on Saturday, January 13, 2018, Ontario Provincial Police officers came across a suspicious vehicle in the Frontenac area. The driver fled on foot, but police encountered a woman outside of the vehicle. The officers transported her to her residence and left.

At approximately 5:30 a.m., emergency responders attended the woman’s residence. She was found deceased.

At this time, two investigators and one forensic investigator have been assigned to this incident. The SIU is an arm’s length agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault. Under the Police Services Act, the Director of the SIU must

  • consider whether an officer has committed a criminal offence in connection with the incident under investigation.
  • depending on the evidence, lay a criminal charge against the officer if appropriate, or close the file without any charges being laid.
  • report the results of any investigations to the Attorney General.

In the meantime, Debra Teal’s husband Kevin and three children, Jesse, Chantel and Frank, as well as father in law Levi, have organised a celebration of her life is set for the Oso Hall on Saturday from noon to 3pm.

Debbie Teal will be missed by the local community and in nearby Sharbot Lake, where she worked for a number of years at the Sharbot Lake Senior’s Home before it closed. She then took a job with the Rainbow Valley Group Home. She also provided care for ailing family members.

Related: Rampant vandalism on Bob’s Lake.

I have often wondered why the tax rates in the Frontenac townships vary so much, and why it is that residents living in my own township, Central Frontenac, pay a much higher tax rate than anyone else.

It should be easy to compare tax rates in neighbouring townships in the same county, because they all have the same mix of responsibilities. Frontenac County has no roads department, the local townships pay for all road maintenance costs (except for Hwy 7) themselves. In Lanark and Lennox and Addington Counties for example, there have county roads, making county taxes higher and municipal taxes lower than in Frontenac.

But when we look at the tax rates in Frontenac, it is rather alarming, certainly for a resident of Central Frontenac. The rates are not similar at all. The rate in South Frontenac (using 2017 figures) is $597 per $100,000 in property assessment, in North Frontenac it is $675, and in Central Frontenac it is $841.

What that means, in the most extreme cases, is much higher tax for less service in Central Frontenac as opposed to South Frontenac.

Identical houses located on either side of Boundary Road (where the Frontenac Arena is located), which divides South and Central Frontenac would pay radically different amounts of tax, and the lower taxed house on the south side of the road would have curbside garbage pickup while the higher taxed house in Central Frontenac would not. If the houses were both assessed at $200,000, the difference in taxes would be $488 per year. A pretty raw deal for the poor sod who lives on the north side of the road.

But it it not reasonable to condemn Central Frontenac Council or laud South Frontenac Council based on this one case. There are other factors involved.

The assessed value of a house and property are based on the size and features of a house, and also its location. If you took a house on from Mountain Grove and plopped it down on an identical lot on Rutlege Road it would gain value because of its location within a short drive from Kingston. And of course waterfront, anywhere in Frontenac, is assessed at a much higher value.

This raises a fundamental issue when looking at municipal finances. The number of households in a township is the major factor in determining the cost of services. It is literally the case when it comes to OPP costs, which are charged to the townships on the basis of the number of households, and it is also the case for road, fire, waste disposal and virtually all municipal costs. But numbers of households is not the basis for taxation, property assessment is. Houses are taxed based on their resale value, not on the cost to provide services to the people living in them.

 

There are over 10,000 homes in South Frontenac, about 4,000 in Central and about 3,500 in North Frontenac.

When you look at the total amount of taxes collected in the three townships as a factor of the number of households, they are pretty comparable. The “amount to be raised by taxation” for 2017 in South Frontenac was $18.5 million, in Central Frontenac it was $7.3 million and in North Frontenac it was $5.6 million.

In percentage terms, Central Frontenac has about 39% of the population that South Frontenac has and collects about 39% of the number of tax dollars as well. North Frontenac, with 35% of the population of South Frontenac, but collects only about 30% of the amount of tax dollars.

The reason it costs more per $100,000 in assessment for ratepayers in Central and North Frontenac, is entirely due to lower average property values.

Again, looking at Frontenac County, in 2017 the average home in South Frontenac was assessed at $307,000, the average home in North Frontenac was assessed at $250,000 and the average assessment in Central Frontenac was $217,500.

In fact, when put through a simple formula based on relative property values, the $814 that Central Frontenac ratepayers pay per $100,000 in assessment, equates to $588 in South Frontenac, $9 less than what South Frontenac ratepayers pay. The $675 per $100,000 that North Frontenac ratepayers pay equates to about $550, $47 less than South Frontenac.

Does this mean the smaller townships are actually more efficient than the larger one?

Not necessarily, as there are many other factors at play. For example, North Frontenac has more seasonal residents than the other townships, who only need service 6 or 3 months out of the year. As well, the amount of paved and/or unpaved roads in each township are a function of geography and not the number of households.

North and Central Frontenac both maintain multiple community halls, and most halls in South Frontenac are owned and maintained by community groups, but South Frontenac has a museum, and garbage pickup.

An analysis of the number of households, taxes collected, and average tax assessment, based only on rudimentary mathematics, leads me to conclude that the three townships are pretty similar in the way they finance their operations.

If there are significant differences, they relate to levels of service, not the amount of taxes collected.

Sunday, 14 January 2018 18:30

49 year old woman found dead in Tichborne

OPP Investigate Death SIU Invoke Mandate 

Members of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Frontenac Detachment, along with the OPP Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB), are currently investigating the death of a 49-year-old female in South Frontenac Township.  

In the early morning hours of January 13, 2018, officers had provided assistance to this female. Shortly before 9 a.m., Emergency Medical Services contacted the OPP for assistance for a sudden death in South Frontenac Township. 

The OPP has notified the province's Special Investigations Unit (SIU) which has invoked its mandate. As a result the OPP will not be able to provide any further information. Any other inquiries should be directed to SIU Communications at (416) 622-2342.

The Spicial Investigatgions unit put out the following release earlier today (January 14)

Although OPP have not released the name of the woman,it is well known in the local community that she is Debra Teal (nee Hill) of Steele Road in Tichborne, a well known local mother and grandmother who worked for years at the Sharbot Lake Senior's Home (The News extends our condolences to the family) 

The province’s Special Investigations Unit is investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a 49-year-old woman today in Tichborne.
 
Preliminary information suggests the following:
  • At approximately 1 a.m. on Saturday, January 13, 2018, Ontario Provincial Police officers came across a suspicious vehicle in the Frontenac area. The driver fled on foot, but police encountered a woman outside of the vehicle. The officers transported her to her residence and left.
  • At approximately 5:30 a.m., emergency responders attended the woman’s residence. She was found deceased.
 
At this time, two investigators and one forensic investigator have been assigned to this incident.
 
The SIU is urging anyone who may have information about this investigation to contact the lead investigator at 1-800-787-8529. The Unit is also urging anyone who may have any video evidence related to this incident to upload that video through the SIU website.
 

The SIU is an arm’s length agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault. Under the Police Services Act, the Director of the SIU must

  • consider whether an officer has committed a criminal offence  in connection with the incident under investigation
  • depending on the evidence, lay a criminal charge against the officer if appropriate or close the file without any charges being laid
  • report the results of any investigations to the Attorney General. 
Wednesday, 10 January 2018 12:37

Municipal election watch

Vandewal, Higgins, and Smith are all running again, Hogg, Doyle, are mulling retirement

 

Maybe they are gluttons for punishment, or maybe it is the awesome power of the office, or maybe it takes two kicks at the can before fatigue sets in, but all three one term Mayors in Frontenac County have decided, barring anything unforeseen, that they will run again when the municipal election rolls around in October.

North Frontenac Mayor Ron Higgins, announced a year ago, half way though his mandate, that he intended to seek a second term, and he confirmed that decision this week.

South Frontenac Mayor Ron Vandewal made his decision over Christmas, with a little help from his wife Nancy.

“I had been saying I’m 50-50 on it for a while, and then over Christmas Nancy said, ‘why don’t you make up your mind one way or another’ and so I thought about it and I’m ready to stand for a second term,” he said, when contacted early this week.

Central Frontenac Mayor Frances Smith said she will be running again for a second term.

In Frontenac Islands, two time Mayor Dennis Doyle is undecided.

“I felt it was important that I run last time because it was clear there would be some new Mayors and new members of Frontenac County Council coming in and I felt it was important for continuity, but this time there might not be as much turnover with the other three Mayor’s all running again. But I will wait and see what happens before deciding,” he said early this week.

Meanwhile, over in Addington Highlands, Reeve Henry Hogg said he has also not yet decided whether he will run again or not. Four years ago he said this would be his last term, but now that the election year is getting underway he said he has not made a final decision.

“I am waiting to see who comes forward,” he said, noting that the election rules have changed. “I don’t think nominations even open until May 1st this time,” he said.,

There have been numerous changes to the election rules since 2014.

Not only has the opening day for nominations been pushed back from January 1st until May 1st, the nomination period is tighter on the other end as well.

Nominations will close on July 27th, instead of September 10th and in order to be nominated candidates will need 25 signatures from eligible voters this time, a requirement that was not in place in 2014.

The 25 signature requirement applies to candidates for Mayor (Reeve) and to candidates for Council and school board trustee

One thing that has not changed is the ability of candidates to change the position they are seeking up until the close of nominations.

Until the 27th, candidates can change the position they are seeking, either from Council to Mayor or vice versa, and candidates for council can also change the ward they are seeking to represent. The 25 signatures do not need to be changed if the candidate changes the position they are contesting.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018 12:36

Election Year

The last time we all went to the polls was for the Federal election way back in the fall of 2015, when the 10 year old Steven Harper led Conservative government was tossed out in favour of the Liberals under Justin Trudeau. This year the 14.5 year run of the Ontario Liberals, during which time Dalton McGuinty was elected 3 times and current Premier Kathleen Wynne one time, will be on the line on June 7th. Riding redistribution, which came into effect federally in that 2015 election, will be mirrored at Queen’s Park after this coming election. Lanark Frontenac Lennox and Addington Conservative MPP Randy Hillier will be contesting the new Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston riding against Amanda Pulker-Mok of the Liberals, Anita Payne of the Green Party, a still un-named NDP candidate, and perhaps other independent or small party candidates who may come out of the woodwork in the run up to the election.

Our readers in Addington Highlands will be part of the new provincial riding of Hastings, Lennox and Addington (HL&A). Former Conservative Federal Member of Parliament Daryl Kramp, who lost the Federal election in the HL&A riding to Mike Bossio in 2015, was chosen last August as the Conservative candidate in the new provincial riding, and has been campaigning ever since. The other parties have not selected candidates as of yet.

While the local election will not heat up until the writ period, which starts in early May, on a provincial level the contest has been under way for at least a year, perhaps longer.

The thinking as recently as 3 months ago was that the Liberals were headed to certain defeat to the Conservatives, but the polls have tightened since then. We will be watching the provincial election over the next few months, reporting as the candidates surface for the various parties, and trying to get a sense of how riding redistribution will affect the local race.

In the 2015 Federal election, The Lanark Frontenac Kingston riding went to Scott Reid, the long serving Conservative Party incumbent from the former Lanark Frontenac Lennox and Addington riding. While Reid’s margin of victory decreased from earlier elections, that could have been more a reflection of dipping Conservative Party fortunes nationally than the impact of riding redistribution. In Frontenac-Hastings, the riding swung from the Conservative to the Liberals, leading to a surprise victory for Mike Bossio over Daryl Kramp.

We will look at the candidates as they are announced and will provide coverage of the local election in May and early June, when we will publish profiles of the candidates and will hold all candidates meetings at two locations.

The municipal election will be the subject of our attention at the Frontenac News over the summer and into the early fall. There will certainly be a good number of current council members who will be running again, and a smaller number who will be stepping away from municipal politics at the end of the year. The first thing to watch for after May 1st, when the nomination period opens, is whether any current members of council decide to take a run at the incumbent mayors in Frontenac County. If any do it will open up the council vote and create a more competitive race overall. And if the previous election is any indication, running for council as an incumbent can be anything but a sure thing. In Central Frontenac the last time around, only two of the 7 incumbents who sought re-election kept their place. An incumbent lost in each ward, as did the sitting Mayor, Janet Gutowski. The other townships were not as volatile, but there were hard fought races in many wards, and in the mayoralty races. We will also be closely watching Addington Highlands. If Reeve Henry Hogg does indeed step down, the race for Reeve will be pretty wide open, and it will be interesting to see if any of the current members of council decide to step up to the plate.

We began our early coverage of the election this week by polling incumbent heads of council (reeves and mayors) as to their intentions. We will continue to report on the intentions of current members of council and others who are ready to declare their candidacy as they come forward over the winter and early spring. After May first we will report on nominations as they are submitted in the townships, and our coverage will swing into higher gear after nominations close on July 27th. In the run up to the election we are planning to hold all candidates meetings in each ward where our paper is delivered, as we have done in the past, and we will profile the candidates in September and early October. We will also look at the issues that will be contested in the election, from development pressures in South Frontenac, to the septic inspection issue in Central Frontenac, to the fallout from the rebuild of the township office and the onset of the One Small Town initiative in North Frontenac. The underlying issue of taxation and service levels in all townships is another concern will will address in our coverage.

When the Ontario Liberal government took power in 2003, one of the key issues for municipal governments was dealing with all of the downloaded costs that had been one of the features of municipal amalgamation under the previous Conservative administration under Mike Harris.

The municipal share of costs for social programs, ambulance service, policing, and other services had increased or been instituted for the first time. While the McGuinty, and now the Wynne Liberals have not taken uploaded entire sectors as municipalities had wished, they have uploaded some costs. They also brought in, early in their first mandate, a funding program aimed at helping more vulnerable municipalities cope with the cost of uploaded services. Over time, the program, which is now called the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund (OMPF) has become focussed on helping rural, remote and financially challenged municipalities cope with a variety of costs. The program includes a rural communities grant, a fiscal circumstances grant, and an assessment equalization grant.

The way the program works in 2018, larger municipalities (in relative terms) such as South Frontenac, which has over 10,000 households and an average property assessment of $307,000, will receive $1.52 million in 2018, up slightly from $1.49 in 2017.

A smaller township, such as Addington Highlands, with 2,500 households and an average property assessment of $177,000 will be receiving $2.04 million, up from $1.8 million in 2017.

To illustrate the realtive impact of the grant on the two townships budgets, the OMPF grant for South Frontenac equals less than 8% of the amount council collects from taxpayers, whereas in Addington Highlands it equals about 75%.

North Frontenac Township will receive $1.6 million in OMPF payments in 2018, up $240,000 from the $1.4 million that they received last year. There are 3,500 households listed for North Frontenac at an average value of $250,000.

Central Frontenac Township will receive $2.05 million in 2018, up $75,000 from $193 million in 2017. There are 4,100 households in Central Frontenac, at an average value of $218,000.

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