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Hentgen, Martinez, Kubek among Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame 2016 inductees

By Dan Rankin
Former Blue Jays pitcher and 1993 World Series champion Pat Hentgen said that, growing up near Detroit in the 1970s, some of his earliest memories about Toronto’s young baseball franchise were the old pitching duels that Blue Jays legend (and 2005 Canadian Hall inductee) Dave Stieb had with then-Tigers star Jack Morris. “That’s what I remember the most as a young kid in Detroit – obviously rooting for the Tigers at the time,” Hentgen told the media members gathered for a phone conference Tuesday afternoon.
“I graduated from high school and became a Toronto Blue Jay and that’s when my loyalty swung,” said the three-time all-star. “I’ve been a Blue Jay a long time, and I’m proud of it. I’m looking forward to having a great weekend out there.”
What a weekend it will be, in St. Marys on June 16, as Hentgen is joined by fellow Hall of Fame class of 2016 inductees including former Montreal ace Dennis “El Presidente” Martinez, as well as Wayne Norton, the founder of Vancouver’s famed National Baseball Institute, longtime Toronto Blue Jays executive Howard Starkman, and former Blue Jays TV analyst (and three-time World Series champion with the New York Yankees) Tony Kubek. Completing the list of inductees is 19th Century Hamilton baseball pioneer William Shuttleworth, who will be inducted posthumously.
“We’re proud to honour such a diverse class,” said Hall of Fame director of operations Scott Crawford. “Each of the new inductees has made a significant contribution to baseball in Canada in their own unique way. We’re looking forward to celebrating their careers in St. Marys this June.”
The induction ceremony will be part of a festival of events that will also include a celebrity slo-pitch game and home run derby (June 16), the Hall’s 20th annual celebrity golf tournament and banquet (June 17) and a Downtown Family Baseball Street Festival (June 18).

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Pat Hentgen
Born in 1968, Hentgen has been part of the Toronto Blue Jays organization as a player, coach, ambassador or special assistant for 26 years. Selected by the Blue Jays in the fifth round of the 1986 MLB amateur draft, the righty saw his first regular big league action in 1992 when he pitched 28 games, primarily out of the bullpen, for the franchise’s first World Series-winning squad.Continue Reading

How the Super Bowl has changed

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The first Super Bowl was played on January 13, 1967, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, with the National Football League (NFL) champion Green Bay Packers beating the American Football League (AFL) champion Kansas City Chiefs, by a score of 35-10. The MVP for the game was Green Bay quarter back Bart Starr. Since that time, sports has become a game of numbers so here are some fiscal facts to know about Super Bowl 50 between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers.Continue Reading

Time to Feed the Birds (Gallery)

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Pictured, a pair of vendors at the St. Marys Horticultural Society’s “Seedy Wednesday” conference discuss gardening, Feb. 3 at the St. Marys Legion Hall. Nancy Abra, left, from the Thorndale area, runs the business From My Garden. She presented on the topic of making jam in winter. Rick Weingarden of Harrington, right, operates Anything Grows Seed Co. His wares can be seen in the background, as well as regularly at the Western Fair’s Farmer’s Market. Other presenters included Luyten Garlic Produce, on the best practices of bringing up bulbs, and Master Gardeners, on the challenges of growing a garden in the city.

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A puzzled cardinal near Granton wonders where all the snow has gone. (Dan Rankin photo)

OFA identifies six infrastructure areas for Ontario government to invest in this year

In the recently released 2016 edition of its “annual update” magazine OFA Today, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture states that “while much attention is focused on infrastructure investments such as transit throughout the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA), the rest of Ontario can’t be ignored.”
Through meetings with policy makers at the different levels of government and OFA members, the OFA came up with a list of six areas the Ontario government should focus on when investing in infrastructure outside of the GTHA: natural gas, climate change implications, broadband, dedicated funding, northern Ontario expansion and electricity.Continue Reading

With one month left, Lincolns in playoff hunt

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By Dan Rankin
Winners of two out of their last three, the St. Marys Lincolns entered February having earned points in four out of their last nine games. Not only that, but their 4-0 shutout win over Strathroy last Friday gave them a four-point buffer over ninth-place Lambton Shores for the Western Conference’s final playoff spot.
If you’re not excited, you haven’t been paying attention.Continue Reading

St. Marys Rock Minor Hockey Report

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The FINNBILT Construction Novice BB team concludes their double-round-robin playoff series tonight at Strathroy’s Gemini Arena at 6:45 pm. The Rock have recorded four wins, two losses and a tie thus far in the OMHA playoffs.

The Stonetown Foodland Novice AE team also completes their double-round-robin this weekend as they take on the South Huron Sabres in Exeter at 1 pm on Sunday. The Rock prevailed 4-0 in their earlier matchup in the playoffs. Another victory this weekend would square the Rock’s playoff record at 4 wins and 4 losses.

The Independent Grocer Atom BB team continued their successful roll through the playoffs, dispatching the Dorchester Dragons in four games (3-0-1) in their second-round series. Tuesday night’s game went into overtime with a scoreless tie. Jimmy Schiedel buried the winner. The Rock’s next playoff series starts this weekend versus the Erin-Hillsburgh Devils. Game Two will be on Home ice on Sunday afternoon at 3:45 pm.

The Dunny’s Atom AE team will take some time off before Shamrock playoffs begin later in the month. The team dearly missed the presence of top scorer Finn Stewart for the majority of the playoffs, although the team was buoyed by the emergence of Gavin Mills who was a standout from the left-wing position throughout the playoffs.

The Frayne Custom Cabinets Bantam AE team continues their second-round series against the Petrolia Oilers this weekend, beginning with a Saturday trip to Petrolia followed by a home game on Sunday at 1 pm, if necessary. After sweeping the Mooretown Jr. Flags in three straight in the first round, the Rock trail Petrolia 2-1-1 and therefore must win their next two games to advance to the third round.

Budget meeting halted for “emergency”

No danger to the public

The public was asked to leave the Tuesday budget at the MOC by Mayor Al Strathdee so Council and Staff could discuss an on-going issue in a closed door session.
At approximately 4:00 pm on February 2, 2016 the Town was notified of a potential methane leak at 665 James Street North. The problem was first detected with “bubbling water” coming from underground in the large parking lot. At that time, Union Gas was contacted and determined that there were no natural gas leaks in the area, and that all gas readings were well below hazardous levels. The Town of St. Marys was in regular contact with other Provincial Organizations to ensure the scene was safe for local residents. Public Works and Fire Department staff were mobilized and monitored the area throughout the night to ensure that gas levels remained safe for residents. No presence of gases was detected throughout the night, and as of 7:00 am February 3, 2016 monitoring was discontinued. As of 10:30 pm on February 2, 2016 the Ontario Clean Water Agency has confirmed that there was no gas present in any of the local storm and sanitary collection system. The Town will continue to work with the property owner to follow-up on this situation however any further risk to public safety has ended.

St. Marys Curling Club celebrates 150 years in style

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Members of the St. Marys Curling Club Board of Directors pose with Canadian Olympic Gold Medalist Kaitlyn Lawes at the Curling Club’s 150th Anniversary Gala on Saturday. From L-R: Club Manager Amie Shackleton, League Convenor Adam Hudson, Treasurer George Miller, Secretary Catherine Wallis, Sponsorship Coordinator John Hopkins, Keynote Speaker Kaitlyn Lawes, Vice President Jason Clarke, Membership Coordinator Norma Poel, President Ken Levy, and OCA Representative Linda McFadyen.

By Stewart Grant
The evening went so perfectly, it was as if they’d be planning it for 150 years. This past Saturday night, January 30th, the St. Marys Curling Club celebrated the 150th Anniversary of its 1866 founding with a Gala Dinner that will long be remembered by those in attendance. Appropriately, the Gala event was held at the St. Marys Golf & Country Club, which was the home of Curling in St. Marys from 1964 to 1997. The beautiful St. Marys Golf Club Banquet Hall sits literally in the same space where over 30 years of St. Marys Curling history was played.Continue Reading

Justifying a $5 million Super Bowl Commercial

By Stewart Grant
If you are a business owner, would you spend $0.04 per person to reach your target audience for 30 seconds?
For those national advertisers in the United States who are ponying up a record $5 million per 30-second advertisement during this Sunday’s Super Bowl, that’s essentially what they are doing.Continue Reading

Facebook’s Awkward Teenage Years Loom

By Stewart Grant
Some kids easily make the transition from childhood into adolescence. For others, the period represents a crossroads of sorts where it can be difficult to choose the right path.
Facebook was born on February 4th, 2004. And what a cute little company it used to be! Facebook was a revelation, and people young and old flocked to the social media site to see what it would come up with next.Continue Reading

Robbie Burns Night (Gallery)

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Piper is Rob Puttock from the Stratford Police Pipes & Drums. Behind is Murray Mitchell piping the Haggis.Continue Reading

OMB hearing decision in 4–5 weeks

“Frenchies” chip wagon on hold

An OMB hearing that Stan Clark had requested, was heard on Wednesday at the MOC. Mr. Clark by requesting the hearing was hoping to have the Town’s decision on severing land at Elgin Street East and Huron Street reversed. The Town was represented by lawyer Ken Strong while Mr. Clark was representing himself, which led to some uncomfortable moments, due to Mr. Clark not being familiar with procedures in such a hearing. The issue involves Mr. Clark’s request to have two lots of property being severed into three lots. The Planning Committee, which was backed by the Town, had refused the request because “it was not in keeping with the neighbourhood”, and the density was higher than what was in the Official Plan. The density calls for 10-15 units per hectare, while the application was for 21 units per hectare. Brian Harris also spoke at the hearing, representing the neighbours, who are against the severing, citing an objection to “infilling”. The OMB chair, Steve Stefanko, said that he would render a decision in “4 – 5 weeks”.Continue Reading

Downtown reconstruction update

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Bruce Grant and Darren Alexander from BM Ross Engineering made a presentation to Council on Tuesday updating them on the downtown reconstruction. Grant said that the last reconstruction was done in 1972. The project this time will extend from Peel to Thomas and include work on the Victoria Bridge. The project is slated to start on April 4th and the completion date is June 16th, which means that the project will be ongoing during the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame weekend. There will be no parking while the work is ongoing which will allow for two lanes to be open for traffic. Continue Reading

Special Perth South Council Budget Meeting held

 Public meeting Feb. 18

By Stephanie Egelton
It’s that time of year; budget season for municipal governments. At a special meeting on Jan. 26 at the Perth South Municipal Office in St. Paul’s proved to be a lengthy discussion regarding the first draft of the 2016 Budget.
Mayor Robert Wilhelm first gave congratulations to staff for their hard work on the budget, as it’s a critical period of time in a municipal environment.Continue Reading

A Supportive Community (Gallery)

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The Stratford-on-Avon Shrine Club made a presentation of a Water Jel burn kit to the St. Marys Fire Department yesterday. The Club has donated these kits to all local fire departments. The kits are used to help heal fire related injuries. Pictured at the presentation were (from left) Shriner Bill Porter, Acting Fire Chief, Brent Dundas and Shriner Dave Shearer.Continue Reading

Trent Severn to perform Feb. 14 at St, Marys Golf & Country Club

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Trent Severn, the Stratford-based trio specializing in Canadiana folk/roots/country music, are inviting everyone to put on their sandals and shorts and grab a hot dog off the BBQ on February 14th. The first annual Family Day Weekend Winter Warmer will take place Valentine’s Day – Sunday February 14th, with two shows at the St. Marys Golf and County Club. The 1pm-3pm afternoon show will be one for the whole family – kids are welcome and encouraged to join in on the summer fun. The concert ticket price ($13 for kids 16 and under and $20 for adults) includes a hot dog or sausage. The evening show which begins at 7pm is $40 and includes gourmet street meats as well as fries and salad.Continue Reading

Homestead Organics acquires Sebringville Feed Mill from Hensall District Co-operative, Inc.

Founded in 1937 as the “South Huron Farmers’ Co-op”, Hensall District Co-operative, Inc. (HDC) operates 25 locations and has 5000+ members who realize the importance of local control of a high-volume agri-business. HDC continues to grow and consolidate its operations in larger feed mills and elevators. The Sebringville location, purchased by HDC in 2014, was a surplus to its needs.
Homestead Organics and HDC have been in discussions and have agreed upon a private purchase transaction; the details, value, financing are all confidential.
Homestead Organics started in 1988 and is a family business that focuses on the mission “to serve and develop organic agriculture.” Tom Manley, Isabelle Masson and their team make it their personal business to do organic agriculture properly. The company currently operates two plants at Berwick and Morrisburg in Eastern Ontario. Homestead Organics intends to convert the Sebringville feed mill to manufacture certified organic feeds and to distribute organic feeds and farm supplies in the south western regions of Ontario.

Identifying municipal level impediments to meet the Premiers Agri-Food Challenge.

The Ontario Federation of Agriculture will be holding their first 2016 Policy Advisory Council (PAC) meeting on February 4. One of the main topics of discussion will be identifying municipal level impediments to the growth of the Ontario Agri-food sector. The topic of municipal impediments was recently identified as an issue by OFA members that approached the Perth County Federation of Agriculture Board. In response, the delegates representing Perth County to the OFA Convention presented the topic as a resolution, asking for OFA to collect examples of municipal level impediments to growth, from its membership. This resolution was supported by the Convention delegates. The Agri-food sector in Ontario is the major player in Ontario’s economy, generating 34 Billion/year in GDP and sustaining more than 740,000 jobs. Premier Wynne challenged the Ontario Agri-food sector to double its annual growth and create 120,000 jobs by the year 2020. The Premier also committed to working across Ministry lines, and where necessary across levels of government, to assist in meeting the challenge. The OFA Policy Advisory Council(PAC) is looking to hear from farmers and the entire Agri-food sector, what Municipal level impediments to growth they are facing. In many cases the Municipalities themselves have their hands tied with some pieces of legislation that the Provincial government requires them to implement. Please send your examples of municipal level impediments to growth to the OFA Member Service Representative for Perth & Huron, Margaret Vincent, margaret.vincent@ofa.on.ca or 1-800-511-1135 by February 1st . The information collected will be presented by the Perth PAC representatives at the February 4 meeting.

Whacky US politics

US politics sure is different and entertaining because there seems to be no limit on what they can say and do. Donald J Trump has confounded the “experts” who never expected that he would still be leading the polls since he announced his intention to run for the Republicans. Trump, it seems, can do and say anything and people still back him. In a way this is similar to the support that Rob Ford got in Toronto from his “Ford Nation”Continue Reading

Find weight loss success with the Ideal Protein method

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Ideal Protein coach, Laurie Forster, stands with the large selection of Ideal Protein products available at Jackson’s Pharmacy.

When Laurie Forster began her personal weight loss program with Ideal Protein, she couldn’t have been happier with the results. After only 2 months, Forster was down 30 pounds and was feeling great! It was this success that motivated her to become an approved Ideal Protein coach herself. They provided her with the tools and training needed to assist others in not only reaching their weight loss goals, but also in maintaining a healthy weight long-term using the Ideal Protein Weight Loss method.Continue Reading