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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

Customer service challenge to start by mid-March

The Rainy River Future Development Corp. is getting ready for its sixth-annual customer service challenge, with the “mystery shopping” to start in a few weeks.

RRFDC officer manager Cynde Milette said 29 district businesses signed up for the challenge as of the Feb. 20 deadline, including 20 from Fort Frances and nine from communities in the west end of the district.

Chiefs propose extension of Pither’s Point lease

Chiefs of four local First Nations are proposing an extension of the 99-year lease of Pither’s Point Park at “fair market value,” not the current rate of $35 per annum.

But with the mayor and several councillors out of town at present for a conference in Toronto, the chiefs will have to wait until at least next week before they get any response.

Reading together

Amanda Perreault read along with her daughter, Kaidence, last Thursday during Family Literacy Night at St. Michael’s School here. The event offered literacy-based activities, such as word Bingo, buddy reading, computers, listening centres, and a Smart Board presentation in an effort to engage parents in supporting their children with literacy skills at home.

Town to look at recycling upgrades next year

The Town of Fort Frances will be considering improvements to its recycling transfer station in next year’s budget, and will apply for funding in the near future with the understanding the upgrades will be completed in 2010.

Council last night received a report prepared by Trow Associates Inc. recommending the town look at three prioritized upgrades, including: