Province loosens the purse strings to assist St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital


city_scope_logo-cmykRecognizing the need to fix “long-standing issues with how hospitals are funded,” the province this past week announced an additional $68 million in funding to support small- and medium-sized hospitals in Ontario.
Elgin-Middlesex-London MPP Jeff Yurek unveiled the funding boost Thursday (Oct. 17) at the CASO station, indicating St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital (STEGH) will received $1.47 million under the investment geared to ending hallway healthcare.
“Noting that it is a medium-sized hospital, the hospital has faced its fair share of problems throughout the years,” acknowledged Yurek, “in spite of its success in implementing the Lean program throughout the facility.”
The Lean management program – adopted by the hospital several years ago under then CEO Paul Collins – maximizes patient care while minimizing waste at the facility. In other words, creating more value for patients with fewer resources.

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Senseless vandalism at St. Thomas Elevated Park a blight for visitors ‘standing on somebody’s dream’


STEP ART 2 JPGExactly one month ago this weekend, local artist Christine Dewancker was on hand for the official opening of the St. Thomas Elevated Park.
Her imaginative installation, The Faraway Nearby, could the seen in the distance at the west end of the Michigan Central Railroad bridge.
The 11-piece sculpture had previously been on

Christine Dewanckerjpg

Christine Dewancker

display at Ontario Place in Toronto and the plan at its new venue in St. Thomas was to have it spread about 30 feet wide and stretch 120 feet to the western entrance to Canada’s only elevated park.
At the Sept. 11 opening of the park in the sky, Dewancker noted, “I’m really, really pleased to be a part of this historic project and I know all of the work that has gone into creating something like this and everybody should be really proud.”

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As her daughter performs ‘phenomenally well’ in school, Elizabeth Reavely continues her autism awareness campaign


city_scope_logo-cmykOnce every month or so, you’ll find Elizabeth Reavely standing beside the entrance to the laneway leading to the CASO station off Talbot Street.
Sign in hand, she is quietly protesting on behalf of her daughter Claire in the hope of alerting downtown traffic to the plight of autistic children across the province.
The small group of parents usually catch the attention of Elgin-Middlesex-London MPP Jeff Yurek, whose office is at the end of that laneway.
“Jeff comes out and talks to us usually every time and he did hold a round table,” advises Reavely. “But for the most part, his hands are tied.
“He has to toe the party line and it’s too bad. We need the MPs and MPPs to take a step back from their parties and say ‘my constituents need this.'”

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Sexual interference charge nets a 30-month prison term for former St. Thomas Police officer


city_scope_logo-cmykA year-and-a-half sexual relationship with a teenage girl will put a former St. Thomas Police Service officer behind bars for 30 months.
Garry Christiansen – a 29 year veteran with the police service – showed no emotion as he sat in the prisoner’s box during sentencing Friday afternoon at the Elgin County Courthouse.
Justice George Orsini said Christiansen took advantage of a vulnerable 15-year-old girl, and added, “adult sexual predators must pay a heavy price.”
Christiansen first met the girl – whose identity is protected under a publication ban – in January of 2016 when she came to the police station to obtain a background check.
Two days later they had their first sexual encounter and the relationship continued until May 2017.
The key consideration in sentencing was whether Christiansen had intercourse with the girl prior to her 16th birthday.

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Day 3 in the trial of Tarrick Fakira-Martin, charged with injuring an animal


LadyjpgTarrick Fakira-Martin had an “exclusive opportunity to neglect, abuse and kill Lady,” his German shepherd found buried in a shallow grave on July 3 of last year.
However, after three days of testimony at the Elgin County Courthouse, defense counsel argued while there is no doubt Lady died that day, what happened to her and how she died remains unanswered.
Fakira-Martin was charged last July after St. Thomas Police received reports from residents in the area of St. Catherine and Meda streets regarding the well-being of a dog.
He pleaded not guilty to charges of injuring an animal on the trial’s opening day, Oct. 7.
Fakira-Martin has always maintained the dog drowned in Kettle Creek near an area known to some as Suicide Hill.

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Day 2 in the trial of Tarrick Fakira-Martin, charged with injuring an animal


LadyjpgA disturbing Facebook video and a grisly PowerPoint presentation highlighted Day 2 in the trial of Tarrick Fakira-Martin, charged in St. Thomas with injuring an animal.
The accused was led into the courtroom Wednesday morning in handcuffs after his arrest late Tuesday on three counts of breach of bail conditions on an unrelated charge.
Fakira-Martin was charged in July of last year after St. Thomas Police received reports from residents in the area of St. Catherine and Meda streets regarding the well-being of a dog.
He pleaded not guilty Monday at the Elgin County Courthouse to charges of injuring his dog Lady, a female German shepherd.
The first witness Wednesday, Aaron Watt, a neighbour of Fakira-Martin, said he saw Lady and her owner almost every day and often gave him dog food when he had no money.

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Day 1 in the trial of Tarrick Fakira-Martin, charged with injuring an animal


LadyjpgTrial update: Due to a busy court schedule today, Day 2 of the trial has been pushed back to Wednesday (Oct. 9).

The recounting of Lady’s injuries proved traumatic today (Oct. 3) and the trial scheduled to last three days at the Elgin County Courthouse will determine if the actions of the German shepherd’s owner, Tarrick Fakira-Martin, led to her death.
Fakira-Martin was charged in July of last year after St. Thomas Police received reports from residents in the area of St. Catherine and Meda streets regarding the well-being of a dog.
He pleaded not guilty to charges of injuring an animal on the trial’s opening day, in front of  Justice Glen Donald.
The first witness, St. Thomas Police Service Const. Dan Ainsworth, recounted the events late on the evening of July 3, 2018, when he responded to a grassy area at the end of St. Catharine Street adjacent to the rail yard.

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