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Couple swipes purse, hits Barrie adult store

Barrie Police are searching for a couple that stole a purse and then used credit cards inside it.

The pair smashed a car window at the Holly Recreation Centre to get at the purse. They then used the cards to buy goods at the Mac’s store on Dunlop Street East before trying to use the cards once again at the Stag Shop on Bayfield Street. That purchase was declined, as the cards had been cancelled.

If you have information, call police at 705-725-7025, ext. 2609 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

Bradford man faces 2 charges

BRADFORD – A local man faces theft charges after a bottle of alcohol was removed from the liquor store here Monday afternoon, March 21.

South Simcoe police were called to the Holland Street West LCBO at 2 p.m. after a man was seen concealing a liquor bottle on his person and leaving the store without paying.

Officers located the man in a nearby restaurant, and returned the unopened bottle.

A 61-year-old man was arrested and charged with theft under $5,000 and possession of stolen property. He has a May court date. 

Board votes to close Meaford Community School

Meaford will have only two public schools by September.

At a meeting on March 22, the Bluewater School Board voted to close Meaford Community School and consolidate public schools in town at St. Vincent/Euphrasia School and Georgian Bay Secondary School. SVE will be a k-3 school and GBSS will be a 4-12 facility. The board will also be making an application to the province for a brand new k-12 school.

“The vote was not a surprise,” said local school board trustee Linda Hamill. “The board was unanimous all the way through and nothing came up to change our minds.”

MCS will close on June 30.

“MCS has a rich past and has been a vital part of Meaford. We won’t forget that and we will remember,” said Hamill. “But, we can’t give local students the best quality education until we have solved the space issue.”

Declining student enrollment left the board in a tight spot – it had too much school space and not enough students. The board had to consolidate space to save money on building maintenance.

Hamill said transition planning has already begun.

“It’s going to be fast and furious. A committee has already been formed at the board to look at the details,” she said. “This will move quite quickly and we’ll make sure everybody is okay.”

Hamill said she doesn’t expect the school consolidation to affect the number of teachers in the schools, however she said there could be job reductions elsewhere.

“There might be savings in administration and there might be savings in custodial,” she said, but didn’t want to speculate about details. “The big savings is in the amount of money we have to spend to maintain the buildings.”

No decision has been made about the future of the MCS property.

Hamill said the application for a new k-12 school would go to the province quickly.

“A lot of work has been done, we needed (the board’s) final approval (of the school consolidation),” she said. “I expect the ministry will be working on it very soon. We’re in a good position. We meet the criteria and the ministry has money set aside for new schools.”

To view the Final Staff Report and other information regarding the Modified Accommodation Review – Meaford Area Group of Schools, please visit the 2015-16 Accommodation Reviews section of the board website:

Arrest made after man makes threats against Midland Police

MIDLAND — The Midland Police Service has arrested a man after he allegedly threatened to shoot at the front of the police station.

On March 14, the police received several threatening phone calls.

In one call, the suspect threatened to use a firearm to shoot at the Midland Police Station at 250 Second St.

In a second call, the suspect made specific threats against a member of the police force.

After the calls, police began an investigation, and arrested a 35-year-old Midland man in relation to the calls.

Midland Police Inspector Ron Wheeldon said no firearms were located in relation to the incident, and no threats were made against the public.

The suspect is charged with threatening to cause death or bodily harm, threatening to damage property and indecent communications.

Meaford grocery store celebrates world record

Bill’s Valu-Mart celebrated a world record set two years ago with a cheese cutting ceremony.

On March 19, Valu-Mart held a special event to break open a 35 kg wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. The event was held to celebrate the two-year anniversary of setting the world record for most wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano cut at the same time.

“We set the record in 2012 and then Safeway beat us,” store owner Bill MacDonald said. “Then we beat it again in 2014. Last time they went over the top. The record went from 300 to 600 to 1,209.”

Stores across Canada, including Valu-Mart, participated in the world record setting effort in March 2014.

Parmigiano-Reggiano is a hard Italian cheese produced in the region of Parma, Italy using the same recipe for almost 1,000 years.

Parmigiano-Reggiano is an internationally recognized Italian cheese. It has a hard, crumbly texture with a nutty, salty flavour. It can be eaten as chunks, with fruit, grated over pasta or shaved onto salads. It’s made with cow’s skim milk and contains no preservatives or additives.

Valu-Mart Deli Manager Shelley Almond, who received specialized cheese-cutting training for the record setting events, cut open the wheel.

“This was my third time cutting one of these,” she said. “If you need parm for Easter, now is the perfect time to get it. It’s half price all week long.”

MacDonald said the demand for the cheese has surprised him. Importing one of the wheels is a gamble for the store. The wheels are very expensive.

“When we did the first one, we were terrified it wouldn’t sell and it was gone in a couple of weeks,” he said. “The second time we had two wheels and one full wheel was gone in a couple of days.”

About 130 homes in area still without power

Hydro One crews were still working Sunday afternoon to restore power to the last 130 or so homes in Grey-Bruce that were plunged into darkness during last week’s ice storm.

The company anticipated that all customers in the region would be back online by Sunday night.

Hydro One spokesperson Ani Bekmezian said crews have been working “tirelessly throughout the cold and icy conditions” since the storm, which knocked out power to thousands of customers in Grey-Bruce.

“Efforts have been all hands on deck all around,” she said Sunday in an interview.

About 63 Hydro One customers north of Allenford as well as with a few homes east of Chatsworth and several customers in eastern and southern Grey County were still without electricity as of Sunday afternoon, according to the Hydro One Storm Center Outage map.

Restoration times ranged from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.

At its peak, about 105,000 customers across southern Ontario were without power following the ice storm that moved across the area Thursday night.

The hardest hit areas were Orangeville, Alliston and Guelph, Bekmezian said.

About 16,000 Hydro One customers in the province were still without power Sunday afternoon.

“We still have 1,200 crews on duty over this holiday weekend, including crews from neighbouring utilities to ensure that all customers are powered back as quickly and safely as possible,” she said.

Restoration efforts have been hampered, in some cases, by the damage left by the storm as well as falling ice.

“So, while we’re fixing power in certain areas, tree limbs are snapping back and creating further damage to the lines, creating new incidences,” she said.

Partying ends in damaged car, charges for 18-year-old Bradford woman

Late-night impaired driving landed an 18-year-old Bradford woman in hospital on March 27.

Just after 3 a.m., South Simcoe Police responded to a single motor vehicle collision on Simcoe Road in Bradford. They located the woman, who had driven into a parked car after leaving a party.

She was transported to hospital for treatment of minor injuries and later charged for impaired driving. She will appear in court in April.