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Go beyond pancakes with maple options

Think maple syrup is just for pancakes? Well, think again.

This sweet staple has culinary versatility.

“The delicious taste of maple (either syrup or sugar) can be used in many recipes ranging from appetizers to desserts,” says Terri-Lynn Shaw of Shaw’s Maple Products and Pancake House.  

And she would know. In addition to bottled liquid gold, the Shaw family manufactures a variety of products, ranging from red pepper maple jelly to maple barbecue sauce. The 80-acre Orillia-area farm has about 6,000 taps and houses a country pancake house and gift shop.

For a delicious selection of maple syrup recipes, visit or


There are several maple syrup producers in Simcoe County. Check out the following farm gate operations and festivals. For more information, visit

• Breedon’s Maple Syrup 3662 Concession 3 Adjala Township, RR 1 Alliston (10 minutes southwest of Alliston). Open for tours and demonstrations on select days. Call ahead. 705-435-5269 or

• Elmvale Maple Syrup Festival (April 30, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Enjoy live music, all-day pancake breakfast, sugar bush tours, midway, craft and quilt show and more. Visit or

• McCutcheon’s Maple Syrup RR 4, 3983 Line 9 North, Coldwater, Call ahead. 705-835-5780 or

• Williams Farm 2193 Wood Rd., RR1 Wyebridge. Open for tours and demonstrations on select days, check website. Variety of maple products including maple butter, maple candy, granulated maple sugar, along with a full line of maple syrup production equipment and supplies. 705-526-8036 or

• Shaw’s Maple Products and Pancake House 493 Line 14 S Oro-Medonte, two kilometres off Hwy. 11. Variety of maple products. Open daily 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. until April 10. Sleigh or wagon rides on weekends. 705-325-4347

• Wye Marsh Sweetwater Harvest – A Maple Syrup Celebration (March 10 and 20) See native, pioneer and modern maple syrup demonstrations and enjoy samples. Enjoy an all-day pancake breakfast, cooking demonstrations, horse-drawn wagon rides, a lumber jack challenge and wood carving demonstrations. 705-526-7809 or

• Tiffin Conservation Area Spring Tonic Maple Syrup Festival (April 9 and 10) A springtime tradition. Start with a pancake and sausage breakfast, complete with maple syrup made at Tiffin, then explore and enjoy live music, a horse-drawn wagon ride, an animal show and more. 705-424-1479 or

Police say man is responsible for robberies in Oro-Medonte, Angus

A man with a lengthy criminal record faces several charges stemming from two recent armed robberies in Warminster and Angus.

Ryan Cousineau, 34, of Tay Township, was arrested at a Victoria Harbour residence without incident Wednesday with the assistance of Southern Georgian Bay OPP, and the Central Region Emergency Response and Regional Support teams. Search warrants were then executed at the home by members of the force’s Nottawasaga and Barrie crime units.

Cousineau, who is charged with two counts each of robbery, wearing a disguise and breach of probation, was scheduled to have a bail hearing in Barrie court Thursday.

The first robbery occurred shortly after 10 a.m. Saturday in Angus after a man entered a Mill Street business and demanded all the money from the till. No weapons were seen and the man left the store on foot.

Later that day, at about 7:30 p.m., OPP officers responded to a robbery at the Warminster gas station on Highway 12, with the suspect again fleeing on foot.

"During the course of our investigation, we identified our suspect," Nottawasaga OPP Staff Sgt. Brian Humber said, pointing out there wasn’t one particular thing that led police to Cousineau, but rather a number of factors that surfaced during the investigation.

Humber wouldn’t say whether police suspect someone else may have been involved in either incident, only noting the investigation is continuing and police believe a car was waiting for the suspect after both robberies.

"He is known to police, but not in our area," Humber said. "He’s been involved with other areas of police (jurisdictions)."

In 2011, the Sudbury Star reported Cousineau pleaded guilty in a Sudbury court to two counts of assault causing bodily harm, two counts of assault, failure to attend court and breach of probation related to a number of incidents involving his common-law spouse, inducing one time when she wouldn’t get him a beer.

After being sentenced to seven months in jail, followed by 18 months’ probation for those offences, Cousineau told court he "just wants to move on with his life."

In addition to jail, he was required to provide a DNA sample to the national databank and has a lifetime weapons prohibition.

A year earlier, the newspaper reported Cousineau received a 90-day jail term for assault causing bodily harm related to a drug deal. At that time, assistant Crown attorney Karen Lische noted Cousineau’s criminal record included six prior convictions for assault.

Police urge anyone with any information about the two weekend robberies to call OPP 888-310-1122 or, for anonymous tips, to contact Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or

[email protected]

Nominations open for Charter Champion Awards in Simcoe County

The nomination period has begun for the fourth annual Charter Champion Awards in Support of the Food and Agriculture Charter.

The award program, organized by the Food Partners Alliance of Simcoe County and the County of Simcoe, recognizes community members and businesses that help raise awareness about the agri-food sector and the role it plays in building a sustainable, accessible and secure local food system.

“We have a vibrant and growing agri-food sector and we are committed to supporting our farmers, food entrepreneurs and our entire local food system,” said Warden Gerry Marshall. “Our role as a municipal government involves recognizing and promoting all our tremendous accomplishments, world-class products and entrepreneurs who help create jobs and make Simcoe County unique.”

This year’s categories are:

• Best Community Garden

• Community Appreciation Award: for Work Improv­ing Equal Access

• Buy Local Champion

• Best Event Celebrating Culture and Local Food

• Best Local Food Retailer

• Best Local Food Restaurant/Caterer

• Community Appreciation Award: Thank Your Friendly Local Farmer

• Best Agricultural Club or Association

• Best School Program

• Best Community-Based Food-Skills Development Program

• Young Farmer’s Award (Ages 16- 32)

• Youth Farmer’s Award (Ages 15 and under)

• Best Environmental Champion: Individual

• Best Environmental Champion: Organization.

For more information, or to submit a nomination, visit .

The submission deadline is May 31.

Barrie police called to downtown building after man breaks through sliding door

A 43-year-old Barrie man wound up with a serious cut to his arm after police say he broke through a sliding door at a Worsley Street apartment.

Police received multiple calls from 14 Worsley St. around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday about a man trying to break in, whom callers stated appeared to be paranoid and perhaps on drugs.

Police say the suspect had left the balcony of one unit on the second floor and jumped to the balcony below. He smashed through the sliding door of that unit, police say, and suffered a significant cut to his arm.

When officers arrived on the scene a few minutes after getting the calls, they found the suspect on the balcony waving a knife around.

Police were able to persuade the man to surrender and get medical attention for his injured arm.

He was taken to Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre and received multiple stitches before being taken to the station where he was charged with mischief under $5,000 and weapons dangerous.

He spent the night in jail and was to have bail hearing Thursday morning. This is the second recent incident police have been called to at this building.

Last week, a woman was charged with assault with a weapon and assault causing bodily harm after a 29-year-old man was stabbed in the building. He suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Fire at Barrie dentist office under investigation

Barrie Fire and Emergency Services is investigating a fire at a Yonge Street dental office last night.

Flames were seen coming from the second floor of 505 Yonge St. at 7 p.m.

“Someone was going into the (Guardian) drug store (on the first floor) to get a prescription filled and saw the flames from the window,” Barrie Fire spokesperson Samantha Hoffmann said.

She said the dental office closed at 5 p.m. While the cause of the fire still hasn’t been determined, investigators think it may have been electrical.

“The main floor was evacuated very quickly and our crews arrived to put out the fire,” Hoffmann said.

The building is concrete and the fire was contained to the second floor, but the building did suffer “a lot of smoke damage,” she added.

The Ontario Fire Marshal’s office was notified about the fire, but it is not investigating.

A damage estimate has yet to be set.

Dr. Scott Macpherson’s dental office is temporarily closed due to the fire, however a recorded message said emergency calls will be returned. The walk-in clinic and Dr. Darlene Bolawski’s office in the same building are also closed temporarily.

Icebreaking operations Saturday in Midland Bay

MIDLAND – The OPP and the Canadian Coast Guard are warning people to stay off Midland Bay starting Saturday.

The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Katmai Bay is scheduled to assist the M/V Baie Comeau leave its winter berth in Midland and enter open water.

All ice on or near the planned icebreaking operations should be considered unsafe during and after the ships’ passage.