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Board to Explore North Huron-wide Police Force - Feb. 26 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Shawn Loughlin   
Wednesday, 25 February 2015 13:45
Councillors in North Huron are curious as to how viable the expansion of the Wingham Police Department into East Wawanosh and Blyth would be now that the increased Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) billing model has been implemented.
The discussion started after North Huron Council debated an announcement from the OPP regarding the organization’s renewed efforts for transparency and accountability in light of the new, more expensive billing model.
In light of the more expensive police service, Councillor Bill Knott wondered if expanding Wingham was a more appealing option now than it had been in the past.
“I know we went through this before, but perhaps should we not be taking a look at expanding the Wingham Police Force boundaries and, if possible, look at participation with neighbouring municipalities?” he asked. “Is this maybe a good time to look at this?”
Knott said he wasn’t interested in having Wingham Police Chief Tim Poole go through the entire process of evaluating the option again, which was done several years ago before the new OPP billing model was ever announced, but in Poole providing his opinion to council on whether servicing areas beyond Wingham was feasible.
Councillor Trevor Seip, who represents North Huron on the Wingham Police Services Board (PSB), said the board is currently in the middle of negotiations with the police department for contracts, but after that, he planned on asking Poole that exact question.
“Once the contracts are done, the expectation is, I will have Poole’s previous study and we’re going to look at it again,” Seip said. “The PSB is going to look at the options again and make the report as current as possible and then, following a meeting with council, let us decide what their best position is going forward. That is in the works and it will come to council through those channels.”
Knott stated that neighbouring municipalities had talked about creating their own police force in response to the increased OPP costs and he felt that it could be an opportunity for North Huron to look at expanding its existing police service to them.
“It seems that there is some interest from councillors in Central Huron and Morris-Turnberry to do that,” Knott said. “I’d like to see [Poole] respond to that. We don’t need a detailed report, but just his opinion on whether it is feasible or would benefit us and the municipalities as far as a budget is concerned.”
Seip said the board likely wouldn’t want to pursue that option unless a request came from those municipalities.
“The study can be regurgitated into whatever form it needs to be, but my concern, from the standpoint of the Police Services Board, is that I suspect they won’t want to go through a lengthy conversation if we haven’t seen anything official from those councils that says, ‘please consider this.’ If this is ratepayers’ or brief remarks from council, we shouldn’t be deciding to pursue it. All I know is what we can do within this municipality.”
Councillor Brock Vodden said he was satisfied with the police coverage and response times in Blyth.
“I’m happy about the service we receive, but I’m not sure about the new pricing,” he said.
Vodden also voiced some concern regarding the level of service necessary to maintain a police force in the areas of East Wawanosh and Blyth, as well as the other municipalities that may or may not be interested.
“As far as I know, you can’t go down in the service provided,” he said. “You have to go up.”
Vodden said maintaining service in Blyth would likely not be an issue, but Central Huron, which has a specific contract with the OPP to provide more than the basic services provided to areas like Blyth and East Wawanosh, could prove tricky.
Council made no motion regarding the issue, however Seip indicated having the Police Services Board review the option for an expanded coverage area for the Wingham Police Force would be discussed sooner, rather than later.
Councillors in North Huron are curious as to how viable the expansion of the Wingham Police Department into East Wawanosh and Blyth would be now that the increased Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) billing model has been implemented.
The discussion started after North Huron Council debated an announcement from the OPP regarding the organization’s renewed efforts for transparency and accountability in light of the new, more expensive billing model.
In light of the more expensive police service, Councillor Bill Knott wondered if expanding Wingham was a more appealing option now than it had been in the past.
“I know we went through this before, but perhaps should we not be taking a look at expanding the Wingham Police Force boundaries and, if possible, look at participation with neighbouring municipalities?” he asked. “Is this maybe a good time to look at this?”
Knott said he wasn’t interested in having Wingham Police Chief Tim Poole go through the entire process of evaluating the option again, which was done several years ago before the new OPP billing model was ever announced, but in Poole providing his opinion to council on whether servicing areas beyond Wingham was feasible.
Councillor Trevor Seip, who represents North Huron on the Wingham Police Services Board (PSB), said the board is currently in the middle of negotiations with the police department for contracts, but after that, he planned on asking Poole that exact question.
“Once the contracts are done, the expectation is, I will have Poole’s previous study and we’re going to look at it again,” Seip said. “The PSB is going to look at the options again and make the report as current as possible and then, following a meeting with council, let us decide what their best position is going forward. That is in the works and it will come to council through those channels.”
Knott stated that neighbouring municipalities had talked about creating their own police force in response to the increased OPP costs and he felt that it could be an opportunity for North Huron to look at expanding its existing police service to them.
“It seems that there is some interest from councillors in Central Huron and Morris-Turnberry to do that,” Knott said. “I’d like to see [Poole] respond to that. We don’t need a detailed report, but just his opinion on whether it is feasible or would benefit us and the municipalities as far as a budget is concerned.”
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Huron County Finalizes Budget With 2% Tax Increase - Feb. 26 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Shawn Loughlin   
Wednesday, 25 February 2015 13:43
Huron County Council has finalized this year’s budget with a two per cent tax levy increase – all that’s left is for the multi-million dollar budget to be confirmed with a bylaw early next month.
The process began earlier this year when Treasurer Michael Blumhagen first presented the budget to councillors with a proposed tax increase of 5.47 per cent. Unhappy with the large increase, councillors urged Blumhagen and department heads to whittle down their budgets until they reached what councillors felt was a more reasonable increase to the tax levy.
Blumhagen was authorized to use the county’s 2014 surplus, a figure that has yet to be determined, to try and bring the proposed tax increase down, but there were still a number of grant requests that had to be dealt with.
He suggested that the request of $60,000 from the Huron County Food Bank Distribution Centre be approved, but only for 2015, not $60,000 per year for 2015 through 2018, as had been requested.
In an effort to track whether or not the centre is becoming more self-sufficient, Blumhagen said, council should request that centre representatives return this fall and submit another request for 2016 funding.
Blumhagen also suggested that the $5,000 request from the Coalition for Huron Injury Prevention (CHIP) and the $20,000 request from the United Way Perth Huron Social Research and Planning Council both be approved. He suggested that all three grants be paid by way of the county’s “unforeseen” account, which had a balance of $100,000.
Council approved Blumhagen’s suggestions pertaining to the grants, but not without first suggesting a tightening of the purse strings where grant money is concerned.
“With these grant requests, we’re giving everybody exactly what they asked for,” said Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh Reeve Ben Van Diepenbeek. “There’s a rumour going around the county that if you need money, [council] will give it you. They never say no.”
Van Diepenbeek said he was concerned about the budget and its sustainability going forward. Blumhagen agreed, saying the county was travelling on a path that could not be maintained.
“This budget is not sustainable,” Blumhagen told councillors. “We need to seriously look at service levels.”
Both Blumhagen and Van Diepenbeek were concerned about the utilization of reserves, saying that continuing to deplete reserves without raising taxes to cover increasing costs isn’t something the county can maintain for long.
In Blumhagen’s budget, as directed by council, the county’s reserves were utilized to the tune of $4 million, being reduced from $42 million to $38 million, a rate he stated is completely unsustainable.
“We haven’t cut a penny from this budget, we’re just taking it out of reserves,” said Van Diepenbeek. “We haven’t cut one thing out of this budget.”
Central Huron Mayor Jim Ginn, however, felt that the budget could be trimmed even further, saying that he felt a two per cent tax increase was too high. He said the growth in the county was only 0.8 per cent, a figure to which he felt  the increase should be closer.
Dave Jewitt, Central Huron Deputy-Mayor, however, said he felt he could support the budget with a two per cent tax increase, but agreed with Blumhagen and Van Diepenbeek that the county’s path was completely unsustainable.
He reiterated council’s need for a priority-setting session where service levels need to be evaluated and reviewed further.
Council approved Blumhagen’s budget proposal as presented.
In a chart Blumhagen provided to council, he detailed the effect the county’s established taxation rate will have on county residents, taking into account the rise in assessment nearly across the board.
For the county’s portion of taxes, the rate across all property classes will actually represent a decrease of 3.28 per cent in tax rate.
In residential, county taxes on $100,000 of assessment will be $527.96, which is up 0.87 per cent from 2014. This comes in a year where $100,000 of 2014 assessment is now worth $104,291 in 2015.
For farmland, county taxes will be up 9.34 per cent, from $130.85 in 2014 to $143.07 in 2015 after farmland assessment rose to levels where $100,000 in 2014 assessment would now be $113,049 in 2015.
County taxation will be down slightly for the multi-residential class at a decrease of 0.43 per cent, while taxes will rise 11.51 per cent in the commercial class. Industrial land will see a large decrease in taxation in 2015, dropping 30.24 per cent.
The budget will be on the table for approval by way of a bylaw early next month.
Huron County Council has finalized this year’s budget with a two per cent tax levy increase – all that’s left is for the multi-million dollar budget to be confirmed with a bylaw early next month.
The process began earlier this year when Treasurer Michael Blumhagen first presented the budget to councillors with a proposed tax increase of 5.47 per cent. Unhappy with the large increase, councillors urged Blumhagen and department heads to whittle down their budgets until they reached what councillors felt was a more reasonable increase to the tax levy.
Blumhagen was authorized to use the county’s 2014 surplus, a figure that has yet to be determined, to try and bring the proposed tax increase down, but there were still a number of grant requests that had to be dealt with.
He suggested that the request of $60,000 from the Huron County Food Bank Distribution Centre be approved, but only for 2015, not $60,000 per year for 2015 through 2018, as had been requested.
In an effort to track whether or not the centre is becoming more self-sufficient, Blumhagen said, council should request that centre representatives return this fall and submit another request for 2016 funding.
Blumhagen also suggested that the $5,000 request from the Coalition for Huron Injury Prevention (CHIP) and the $20,000 request from the United Way Perth Huron Social Research and Planning Council both be approved. He suggested that all three grants be paid by way of the county’s “unforeseen” account, which had a balance of $100,000.
Council approved Blumhagen’s suggestions pertaining to the grants, but not without first suggesting a tightening of the purse strings where grant money is concerned.
“With these grant requests, we’re giving everybody exactly what they asked for,” said Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh Reeve Ben Van Diepenbeek. “There’s a rumour going around the county that if you need money, [council] will give it you. They never say no.”
Van Diepenbeek said he was concerned about the budget and its sustainability going forward. Blumhagen agreed, saying the county was travelling on a path that could not be maintained.
“This budget is not sustainable,” Blumhagen told councillors. “We need to seriously look at service levels.”
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'The Citizen' Seeks Chilling Stories PDF Print E-mail
Written by Shawn Loughlin   
Wednesday, 25 February 2015 13:41
We’ve all heard the jokes, whether they pertain to the heat or the cold. “It was so cold....” Now if only we had a live studio audience to scream back “how cold was it?”
The Citizen is now asking its readers to help finish that sentence, but in a joke-free manner.
With the recent cold snap and much of southwestern Ontario seeing record-breaking temperatures (and not the good kind), we want to see your real pictures and hear your true stories illustrating just how cold it’s been in our corner of Huron County.
E-mail a picture or a story, or bring it in to either our Blyth or Brussels office, that helps tell the world just how cold it’s been and The Citizen, as well as Blyth’s Part II Bistro, has just the thing to help you beat the cold.
The author/photographer of the winning submission will win one free litre of Chef Peter Gusso’s award-winning soup that is pre-made and packaged to be taken home for the whole family.
Let’s go from one extreme to the other. Show or tell us just how cold it got for you and we’ll be happy to provide a winter warm-up in the form of award-winning soup, created and sourced locally.
Submissions can be e-mailed to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . The deadline for submissions is 5 p.m. on Friday, March 6.
We’ve all heard the jokes, whether they pertain to the heat or the cold. “It was so cold....” Now if only we had a live studio audience to scream back “how cold was it?”
The Citizen is now asking its readers to help finish that sentence, but in a joke-free manner.
With the recent cold snap and much of southwestern Ontario seeing record-breaking temperatures (and not the good kind), we want to see your real pictures and hear your true stories illustrating just how cold it’s been in our corner of Huron County.
E-mail a picture or a story, or bring it in to either our Blyth or Brussels office, that helps tell the world just how cold it’s been and The Citizen, as well as Blyth’s Part II Bistro, has just the thing to help you beat the cold.
The author/photographer of the winning submission will win one free litre of Chef Peter Gusso’s award-winning soup that is pre-made and packaged to be taken home for the whole family.
Let’s go from one extreme to the other. Show or tell us just how cold it got for you and we’ll be happy to provide a winter warm-up in the form of award-winning soup, created and sourced locally.
Submissions can be e-mailed to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . The deadline for submissions is 5 p.m. on Friday, March 6.
 
Morris-Turnberry Sets Total Tax Cap at 2.7% - Feb. 26 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Shawn Loughlin   
Wednesday, 25 February 2015 13:33
Morris-Turnberry Council has set a cap on a total tax increase of 2.7 per cent in the municipality for this year.
The decision came after a short budget meeting on Feb. 19 in which council debated the final changes to the draft document which will be presented at a public meeting on Tuesday, March 17.
While an exact increase cannot yet be stated, the draft budget includes a municipal tax rate increase of 7.25 per cent and a county tax rate of two per cent. The educational portion of the budget has yet to be finalized.
Highlights of the budget include collection from assessment being approximately 10 per cent higher than previous years and major expenses in the roads and public works budgets.
In a recorded vote to approve the budget and proceed with a maximum 2.7 per cent increase in the tax rate, all councillors voted in favour except for Deputy-Reeve Jamie Heffer and Councillor Dorothy Kelly.
While Heffer hadn’t voiced any specific concerns with the presented budget, Kelly had said she didn’t like the increase or the fact that so many capital projects were being approved in the roads budget.
“I think that is a lot,” she said.
Her fellow councillors, however, disagreed.
Councillor John Smuck said 2.7 per cent is minimal compared to other municipalities and Councillor Jim Nelemans said the cost of living adjustment was about that amount so he felt it worked.
“I think people will accept 2.7 per cent,” he said.
Kelly, however, wasn’t satisfied and stated she wanted some changes.
“I’m wondering if we need all that equipment – the snow plow, the tractor and the lawn mower – in the roads budget this year,” she said. “I’m wondering if we could put half the money from the snow plow in this year and do the same next year.”
The overall roads budget went up approximately 10 per cent from 2014, though much of that was due to construction on St. Michael’s Road according to staff.
Mayor Paul Gowing stated he felt it wasn’t a good idea to put off the capital expenses.
“Is it not better to do this now when we know what our expenses are?” he asked. “I don’t know what the expenses are going to be next year, so if we do this now, we won’t have to worry about it next year or for several years to come.”
Heffer agreed, stating it is best to handle major expenditures when, thanks to an increased assessment, the municipality was able to avoid large increases that had been seen in neighbouring municipalities.
He also said some of the equipment had been delayed for several years so now was the time to approve the contract.
Kelly, however, was still dissatisfied with the answer saying her assessment had risen substantially and she didn’t want to see more of an increase in the tax rate than necessary on top of that assessment increase.
While the tax rate increase may fall if the education rate comes in less than expected, Michie explained there would be an increase of approximately $82 per $100,000 of assessment with the 2.7 per cent proposed tax increase.
Overall, the 2015 budget is estimated to include $8,061,035.67 in expenses at the municipal level with approximately $2,500,000 in Huron County and education taxes yet to be included in the budget.
Major expenses include municipal drain work which is set at $,1503,571.61 which marks a $1,290,066.55 increase (some of which will be recovered through assessment), waste disposal of $385,070 which marks a $35,864.46 increase from 2014, the roads budget, which is set at $3,321,000, a $689,331.03 increase from 2014, the Brussels sewer project which will cost $155,000 and police servicing which will cost $321,526 or $36,130 more than it did in 2014.
Morris-Turnberry Council has set a cap on a total tax increase of 2.7 per cent in the municipality for this year.
The decision came after a short budget meeting on Feb. 19 in which council debated the final changes to the draft document which will be presented at a public meeting on Tuesday, March 17.
While an exact increase cannot yet be stated, the draft budget includes a municipal tax rate increase of 7.25 per cent and a county tax rate of two per cent. The educational portion of the budget has yet to be finalized.
Highlights of the budget include collection from assessment being approximately 10 per cent higher than previous years and major expenses in the roads and public works budgets.
In a recorded vote to approve the budget and proceed with a maximum 2.7 per cent increase in the tax rate, all councillors voted in favour except for Deputy-Reeve Jamie Heffer and Councillor Dorothy Kelly.
While Heffer hadn’t voiced any specific concerns with the presented budget, Kelly had said she didn’t like the increase or the fact that so many capital projects were being approved in the roads budget.
“I think that is a lot,” she said.
Her fellow councillors, however, disagreed.
Councillor John Smuck said 2.7 per cent is minimal compared to other municipalities and Councillor Jim Nelemans said the cost of living adjustment was about that amount so he felt it worked.
“I think people will accept 2.7 per cent,” he said.
Kelly, however, wasn’t satisfied and stated she wanted some changes.
“I’m wondering if we need all that equipment – the snow plow, the tractor and the lawn mower – in the roads budget this year,” she said. “I’m wondering if we could put half the money from the snow plow in this year and do the same next year.”
The overall roads budget went up approximately 10 per cent from 2014, though much of that was due to construction on St. Michael’s Road according to staff.
Mayor Paul Gowing stated he felt it wasn’t a good idea to put off the capital expenses.
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Animal Control Bylaw Results in No Charges in Morris-Turnberry - Feb. 26 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Shawn Loughlin   
Wednesday, 25 February 2015 12:08
Bob Trick, animal control officer, credits Morris-Turnberry’s new animal control bylaw, controversially passed in 2013, with eliminating the need for him to bring charges against any pet owners last year.
In making his annual report to council at its Feb. 17 meeting, Trick said he received 57 complaints in 2014, down from 70 the previous year. Because of the stiff fines in the new bylaw, people are more willing to work out problems instead of getting a ticket.
“I’m not a ticket person,” he said. “When I explain the fines to people they co-operate.”
During the year he caught 17 dogs running loose, Trick said. More unusually he had to deal with chickens and turkeys running at large in an urban area that eventually found their way home.
One horse was found running loose and was held for eight days before the owner came to claim it. While this story ended happily, there is a problem with the pound act that allows the municipality to sell an unclaimed horse to recover its expenses, he said. Livestock going through a registered auction sale must have a guarantee it hasn’t received medication in the previous 30 days, but the animal hasn’t been in the municipality’s possession for that long. In another municipality he was able to get around this through a private sale after advertising the horse on the municipality’s website. Several offers were received, he said.
Two new kennels were set up in the municipality in 2014 and already there is a new state-of-the-art breeding kennel opened in 2015.
“I was impressed with it,” Trick said. “We had a few discussions before he built it.” Originally the owner was concerned about the standards expected but in the end, he exceeded those standards by 30 per cent.
While things were quieter on the domestic animal front in 2014, wildlife continues to be a problem.
Trick dealt with 18 sick raccoons between May and September. Some of these were infected with roundworms that can easily infect humans if they come into close contact. Often ill raccoons are very tame and will walk right up to humans.
If you find a dead raccoon be careful about touching it, he advised, because you can get a round wormegg under your fingernail which can end up infecting you.
Previously he sent the bodies of sick raccoons to the provincial government lab, but the lab stopped doing that work in 2014. However, part way through the year the University of Guelph took up the job.
An unusual call in 2014 was from someone who encountered a King snake, a species more regularly seen in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, Trick said. It’s native to Ontario and a protected species that can’t be destroyed.
More seriously, in the municipalities that Trick serves, he had 10 cases of large cat attacks in 2014. In some cases horses have been attacked and you can see the claw marks of a cougar, lynx or bobcat on their backs, he said. Trick said he wished someone could get photos of the actual cats because when he reports the incidents to the Ministry of Natural Resources, officials are highly skeptical.
Bears have also been reported in the area in the last seven or eight years. This situation became more of a concern in 2012 when mother bears with cubs were reported.
Councillor John Smuck questioned Trick as to whether monthly patrols of the urban hamlets were really necessary or whether they could be ended to save money.
Trick said that people have become familiar with his truck and if they don’t see it they may relax and try to get away with things. In some of the other municipalities he patrols once a week, he said. He said he might try to reduce the expense by working some of these patrols in with other calls.
Mayor Paul Gowing thanked Trick for his work and said that there seem to be fewer complaints about animals because of his efforts.
Asked by Gowing how long he had been doing animal control work, Trick said 25 years. The biggest change in that time, he said, was “When I started this job dogs and cats were dogs and cats. Now they’re family members.”
Bob Trick, animal control officer, credits Morris-Turnberry’s new animal control bylaw, controversially passed in 2013, with eliminating the need for him to bring charges against any pet owners last year.
In making his annual report to council at its Feb. 17 meeting, Trick said he received 57 complaints in 2014, down from 70 the previous year. Because of the stiff fines in the new bylaw, people are more willing to work out problems instead of getting a ticket.
“I’m not a ticket person,” he said. “When I explain the fines to people they co-operate.”
During the year he caught 17 dogs running loose, Trick said. More unusually he had to deal with chickens and turkeys running at large in an urban area that eventually found their way home.
One horse was found running loose and was held for eight days before the owner came to claim it. While this story ended happily, there is a problem with the pound act that allows the municipality to sell an unclaimed horse to recover its expenses, he said. Livestock going through a registered auction sale must have a guarantee it hasn’t received medication in the previous 30 days, but the animal hasn’t been in the municipality’s possession for that long. In another municipality he was able to get around this through a private sale after advertising the horse on the municipality’s website. Several offers were received, he said.
Two new kennels were set up in the municipality in 2014 and already there is a new state-of-the-art breeding kennel opened in 2015.
“I was impressed with it,” Trick said. “We had a few discussions before he built it.” Originally the owner was concerned about the standards expected but in the end, he exceeded those standards by 30 per cent.
While things were quieter on the domestic animal front in 2014, wildlife continues to be a problem.
Trick dealt with 18 sick raccoons between May and September. Some of these were infected with roundworms that can easily infect humans if they come into close contact. Often ill raccoons are very tame and will walk right up to humans.
If you find a dead raccoon be careful about touching it, he advised, because you can get a round wormegg under your fingernail which can end up infecting you.
Read more...
 
Arrest Made in Connection with Clinton Crime Spree - Feb. 26 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Shawn Loughlin   
Wednesday, 25 February 2015 11:54
Following an increased Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) presence in Clinton on Friday morning, a local Huron County man is now in custody after he went on a week-long crime spree.
Several citizens reported a large police presence in Clinton on Friday morning indicating that OPP officers could be seen both just outside of and throughout the town with the majority of them in the downtown area. Citizens also stated they saw a forensic van as well as officers carrying automatic firearms.
As a result of the police presence, an arrest has been made related to the string of crimes throughout Clinton this month.
A 19-year-old male is now facing a total of 15 criminal charges in connection to the recent Godfather’s Pizza robbery, break & enter at the Clinton Pharmacy, break & enter and theft from the Ontario Street United Church and theft from Stella’s Burger Bar in Clinton.
The crime spree began on Feb. 9 when police say a man attended the Ontario Street United Church located on Ontario Street in Clinton. While at the church he stole a wallet containing valuables from an employee.
A few days later on Feb. 13, police say the same man returned to the same church with an unknown accomplice and pried their way into the church through a locked rear door. Once inside they stole a safe containing church documents and a gift card.
Later that night police say the same two men smashed their way into the Clinton Pharmacy located on King Street in Clinton. Once inside they made off with a small quantity of cash and medication.
A couple days later on Feb. 15 the police say a man attended Stella’s Burger Bar located on Victoria Street in Clinton and while a clerk was distracted he stole the Habitat for Humanity donation jug from the front counter.
The next day at 9 p.m. two men attended Godfather’s Pizza located on Rattenbury Street East. The men brandished knives and proceeded to rob an employee of an undisclosed quantity of cash from the till.
A detailed police investigation led officers to an Albert Street residence in Clinton on Friday morning.
Officers from the Huron County OPP Detachment along with Investigators from the Huron County OPP Crime Unit, OPP West Regional Support Team, OPP Emergency Response Team and OPP Forensic Identification Services executed a criminal code search warrant at the residence.
Evidence was recovered and the accused was taken into custody without incident.
The accused, who is from Central Huron, has been charged with the following criminal code offences:
• Robbery with Offensive Weapon contrary to section 344 (1)(b)
• Wear Disguise with Intent contrary to section 351(2)
• Two counts of Theft Under $5,000 contrary to section 334
• Two counts of Break and Enter contrary to section 348(1) (b)
• Eight counts of Fail to Comply with Disposition contrary to section 137 of the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA)
• Breach of Recognizance contrary to section 145 (3)
The accused remains in custody with a court appearance scheduled for the Ontario Court of Justice in Goderich on Feb. 23.
The man’s accomplice remains at large.
The investigation into these crimes is ongoing and anyone with information about them is requested to contact the Huron County OPP Crime Unit at 1-888-310-1122 or (519) 524-8314.
Should you wish to remain anonymous, you may call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), where you may be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $2,000.
Following an increased Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) presence in Clinton on Friday morning, a local Huron County man is now in custody after he went on a week-long crime spree.
Several citizens reported a large police presence in Clinton on Friday morning indicating that OPP officers could be seen both just outside of and throughout the town with the majority of them in the downtown area. Citizens also stated they saw a forensic van as well as officers carrying automatic firearms.
As a result of the police presence, an arrest has been made related to the string of crimes throughout Clinton this month.
A 19-year-old male is now facing a total of 15 criminal charges in connection to the recent Godfather’s Pizza robbery, break & enter at the Clinton Pharmacy, break & enter and theft from the Ontario Street United Church and theft from Stella’s Burger Bar in Clinton.
The crime spree began on Feb. 9 when police say a man attended the Ontario Street United Church located on Ontario Street in Clinton. While at the church he stole a wallet containing valuables from an employee.
A few days later on Feb. 13, police say the same man returned to the same church with an unknown accomplice and pried their way into the church through a locked rear door. Once inside they stole a safe containing church documents and a gift card.
Later that night police say the same two men smashed their way into the Clinton Pharmacy located on King Street in Clinton. Once inside they made off with a small quantity of cash and medication.
A couple days later on Feb. 15 the police say a man attended Stella’s Burger Bar located on Victoria Street in Clinton and while a clerk was distracted he stole the Habitat for Humanity donation jug from the front counter.
The next day at 9 p.m. two men attended Godfather’s Pizza located on Rattenbury Street East. The men brandished knives and proceeded to rob an employee of an undisclosed quantity of cash from the till.
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