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Duane Hicks

Duane Hicks has been a staff writer/photographer for the Fort Frances Times since 1998. Raised in Fort Frances, he left town in 1993 to attend the Journalism program at Carleton University in Ottawa. He returned in the spring of 1998, being hired at the Times shortly thereafter. He covers a variety of news beats, including municipal politics which he has covered since 2001. He also makes a mean salsa which he shares with the rest of the Times staff on his birthday.

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Deal to buy wood yard hailed

The purchase of the former Shevlin wood yard represents “boundless” possibilities for future development in Fort Frances.

Mayor Roy Avis announced at Monday night's council meeting that the town has struck an agreement with Resolute FP Canada Inc. to purchase the 22.6 acres of land right in the middle of town, as well as the former nurses' station on Mowat Avenue, for a nominal fee.

Town to own wood yard

Town council last night passed a bylaw to enter into an agreement with Resolute FP Canada Inc. to purchase the Shevlin wood yard and the former nurses' station on Mowat Avenue for a nominal fee.

“Negotiations have been ongoing for months, and I must say Resolute has been very accommodating,” Mayor Roy Avis said.

Wepruk duo

George Elliott, left, and Bob Wepruk of Bob Wepruk & the Northern Jammers (above) performed a free country jam much to the delight of the small crowd that turned out last Thursday evening at the Rainy Lake Square.

RL Square concert

Dave Brynes, lead singer of local rock band, Kings of None, belted out a tune at the Rainy Lake Square on Thursday evening, as drummer Todd Wrolstad beat the skins. Meanwhile, Ted DeBenetti grooved on the bass, as lead guitarist Tyler Gagne (not pictured) played some serious licks.

Artist spotlight

Lois Faragher showed her latest creation which will be part of her exhibit at the Fine Line Art Gallery on Mowat Avenue. Faragher, who's been painting since 2003, will have a selection of her watercolour and acrylic artwork for sale there until early September.

Hail to the Kings

Kings of None, including Tyler Gagne (lead guitar), Todd Wrolstad (drums), Dave Byrnes (vocals, rhythm guitar), and Ted DeBenetti (bass), rocked the Rainy Lake Square on Thursday evening—the third concert in this summer's Rainy Lake Series. The local band was joined on stage for several songs by guest stars Danette McIntyre and Piper Lidkea. The next concert in the series is Iskwé on Aug.

Wood yard to be used for overflow marina parking

Boaters launching from the Sorting Gap Marina here soon will be able to use the Shevlin wood yard for parking if there's no other place to do so.

Town council agreed Monday night to endorse an indemnity agreement with Resolute Forest Products for the Sorting Gap Marina to use the wood yard as overflow parking for boats and trailers during peak period demand time.

Caul vying to be mayor

The race for mayor of Fort Frances is heating up now that a second candidate has stepped forward for the Oct. 22 municipal election.

“I have worked very hard and learned an enormous amount in my term as town councillor,” said Coun. June Caul, who filed her nomination last Wednesday afternoon after no shortage of encouragement from the public.

New council to get pay hike

The incoming mayor and council will get a pay raise.

Council agreed Monday night to recommendations of the Council Remuneration Committee to increase the mayor's salary from the current rate of $23,695 to $26,689 in 2019 while the deputy mayor's pay will increase from $13,908.04 to $15,665.

The councillor salary will go from $12,362.70 to $13,925.