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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.

Contact him at: dhicks@fortfrances.com

Council passes interim tax levy

As the town continues to work on its 2009 budget, council agreed last night to institute an interim tax levy.

Just as in previous years, the interim levy is equal to about half of the total amount of taxes property owners paid in 2008.

Interim tax levies are a means to secure revenue to keep operating while council determines the final tax rates for 2009 in the budget.

Council seeking input on street closure

After holding a public meeting Dec. 22 regarding a proposed zoning bylaw amendment to accommodate the development of a solid wood waste recycle operation on property in the industrial park, town council will hold another public meeting tonight to accept input on a proposed bylaw to close part of Seventh Street West between Keating Avenue and Wright Avenue in relation to the same project.

Annual pick-up

Making a stop on the 300 block of Second Street East, volunteer firefighter Dick Botsford picked up another tree to pile onto the trailer Saturday afternoon during the Fort Frances Fire Brigade’s annual Christmas tree pick-up. Firefighters had fewer conifers to gather this year as more people switch to artificial ones.

Home show plans afoot

While it won’t be coming up until spring, plans for the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce’s 21st-annual home and leisure show already are afoot—and exhibitor packages should be sent out by month’s end.

Chamber manager Dawn Booth said the trade show planning committee met yesterday and set May 1-2 as the dates for event, which once again will be held at the Memorial Sports Centre.

Alzheimer awareness

Mayor Roy Avis and municipal planner Faye Flatt, who also is a board member with the Alzheimer Society of Kenora-Rainy River Districts, unfurled the Alzheimer Society flag in preparation for it to be raised in front of the Civic Centre. January is “Alzheimer Awareness Month” in the Town of Fort Frances. Alzheimer Society events this month include the “Penny for Your Thoughts” weigh-in Jan.