Home' Local Media Today : November 2011 Contents november 2011 | suburban publisHer | 7
1 Bickley Country Drive Huntsville 789-5524
“SHORT DRIVE LONG ON SAVINGS”
Tire storage available
BRAY MOTORS LTD.
FAMILY OWNED & OPERATED FOR 50 YEARS
FULL LINE GM DEALER
1-800 -989-1113 • braymotors.com
5.3 L V-8 eng., auto,
SERVING EAST PARRY SOUND DISTRICT SINCE 1885
THURSDAY, AU GU ST 4, 2011
Vol. 126 No. 31 $1.25 (GST included)
This week in the
GONE: Sparks Street in Magnetawan was lined with people all weekend to witness the loss of the landmark Downtown General Store and Magnetawan Inn.
Magnetawan’s black day
MAGNETAWAN – There is a hole in the heart
of Magnetawan this weekend after a suspicious
blaze claimed the iconic Downtown General
Store and the Magnetawan Inn Restaurant.
The fire broke out in the early mor ning hours
of Saturday, July 30, as at least two families
slept in apart ments above the businesses at the
corner of Sparks Street and Highway 520 in the
centre of the village. Both were able to escape,
thoughthere are reports that some of them were
sent to hospital for smoke inhalation.
Firefighters from Magnetawan, Burk’s Falls
and Sundridge were called to the fire at about
1:30 a.m. and are being credited with saving the
village from an even grislier scene.
“A fire like that, if it weren’t for the tremen-
dous response from these departments, that
fire could have absolutely had its way with
our little town,” said Magnetawan mayor Sam
Dunnett, who was on the scene of the fire as it
engulfed the structures.
A cause for the fire has not yet been released,
but the Ontario Fire Marshall’s Office joined
OPP investigators on Sunday to comb over the
scene for evidence.
However, there may not be much to find.
The Downtown General Store, which served
the community as a one-stop shopping haven
with everything from a butcher shop to cloth-
ing – including the famous “Downtown Mag-
netawan” T-shirts – has been completely flat-
The Magnetawan Inn, while still standing,
was completely gutted and will need to be
demolished – work that began on Monday after
investigators finished collecting evidence.
Throughout the day Saturday, Sunday and
Monday, residents, cottagers and visitors flocked
to the scene to witness the carnage. All wore
expressions of disbelief, while some were in
tears and others stoodquietly or shared memo-
ries with those standing near them among the
crowd of more than 100 people at times.
Connie Bell was among those fighting back
tears remembering the good times she has had
at both establishments over the years.
“My Auntie Doris Langford ran the restau-
rant for years and before her June Flemming
used to own it,” said Bell. “I remember when
they had the big Coke freezer in the restaurant.
You used to go in and fish out an ice-cold Coke
and it had the opener on the side. That used to
be our treat.”
Continued on Page 5
ongoing by OPP,
MAGNETAWAN – Tony Han and his family are
still in shock this week after fire levelled their
business and home – the Downtown General
“Everything is gone. My family’s life. My life.
We have nothing. No shoes, no shorts, not even
one picture,” said Han on Monday, two days
after fire flattened the building that housed his
home and business.
His Civic Holiday long weekend was not
supposed to go this way. When he went to bed
at 11 p.m. on Friday night with the rest of his
family he says he was ready for what was to be
his biggest day of the year.
“Everything was stocked. All the shelves
were full, the backside was full. We were fully
stocked,” said Han, adding it was a lot of work
for the whole family to get into that state of
But instead of waking for an early start on
the bustle of providing services to tourists and
residents, Han was shook from bed sometime
after 1 p.m.
It was his son Ben who first heard the smoke
detectors going off in the store below and woke
his father after spotting smoke in the stairwell
leading from the store to the apartment.
Han, fresh up from a deep sleep, went to
investigate and found lots of smoke but no
Continued on Page 5
MAGNETAWAN – “ We’re not going anywhere.
We want to rebuild just as much as everyone
wants us to,” said Carla Parkin, co-owner of the
Magnetawan Inn Restaurant.
The affirmation came just two days after
fire gutted the landmark eatery in the Village of
Magnetawan and also claimed the Downtown
Parkin and her partner Rob Ewald were not
even into the business for a year when it was
destroyed early Saturday morning.
Parkin wasn’t at the blaze, but she says it
was fortunate that it happened at a busy time
She and Ewald’s daughters, Lisa and Susan,
were working a night shift in the kitchen pre-
paring for a busy Saturday that included cater-
ing, while Ewald slept upstairs in the apart-
ment above. Two visiting friends slept upstairs
“I’m so thankful they were working or it
could have been a whole different story,” said
The pair smelled smoke and went outside to
investigate only to see sparks shooting up over
the roofline of the general store. They ran back
inside to wake Ewald and their friends. Ewald’s
first reaction was concern for the Han family
and he went looking for an entrance to get into
the building to try and wake them.
Continued on Page 5
MAGNETAWAN – Police and the Office of the
Ontario Fire Marshal are cooperating in an
investigation into the fire that destroyed the
Downtown General Store during the early
morning hours on Saturday.
OPP were dispatched shortly before 2 a.m.
and the store was engulfed in flames when they
arrived on scene. The fire spread to the neigh-
bouring Magnetawan Inn and Restaurant.
According to an OPP press release both
buildings were empty at the time of the fire,
although an OPP constable did enter the res-
taurant to retrieve someone who had gone
“Somebody went into the building for what-
ever reason, in attempt to try to save something,
so one of our officers had to go in and remove
them,” said staff sergeant Stacey Whaley. “The
officer is okay. The person is okay. It was a very
The OPP is investigating the incident with
the assistance of the Ontario Fire Marshall’s
Thecauseofthefirehas notbeen determined.
“We’ve done our due diligence. We have
canvassed the area, talked to people, inter-
viewed some people and will continue to do
that. We are investigating all of the tips that we
receive,” he said. “It’s a very tragic incident. It’s
very unfortunate. We’re very lucky that nobody
He says if they have enough grounds to lay
a charge they will do so, at which time it will
become public knowledge.
Mary Beth Hartill
RESTOULE – Telephone and In-
terac services were down in the
Restoule area during one of the
busiest weekends of the summer.
According to Bell Aliant spokes-
person Norma Hughes Howard,
complaints regarding telephone
outages began coming in on Fri-
day. A technician was dispatched
and the problem was rectified on
Sunday afternoon. Power surges
and outages impacted software in
the Restoule office.
She said the outage affected
about 100 customers in the area.
“It was power surging and some
outages that impacted our facility
that serves the Restoule area,” she
She said she urges customers
to report when their telephones
“In this case our network alarm
didn’t pick it up until we start get-
ting the customer calls in,” she
said, adding that the alarm not
deploying is extremely rare. “Nor-
mally we monitor our networks
24/7 and normally we’ll know a
customer has an issue before they
do ... but in this case we started to
receive customer calls before we
saw it on our network.”
SUNDRIDGE – Police are on the
hunt for a man who duped an el-
derly woman out of thousands of
On July 28, a Sundridge senior
received a phone call from a man
claiming to be her bank manager.
She was instructed to withdraw
a large sum of money from her
account, attend the parking lot
beside the Caswell Hotel on Main
Street and give the money to a
The caller told the woman that
the purpose of this was to help the
bank solve an internal problem.
The man made off with more
The suspect is described as a
male Caucasian between 40 to 45
years old, about 5-foot-six with an
average build, clean-shaven and
wearing a dark coloured button up
shirt and a dark coloured ball cap.
He was on foot when he took
By Laurel J. Campbell
POWASSAN – Two downtown
properties could be the sites of
new rental housing units if zoning
change requests meet with council
approval and the municipality’s
The properties in question are
the Eide residential home site
and the former Church of God
The Eide family has requested
zoning changes to allow for the
construction of up to 20 seniors
townhouse-style units on a sev-
ered lot located between the home
and Whispering Pines Funeral
Home. This property is accessed
off Catherine Street and is expect-
ed to have three one-story banks
of buildings, each containing four
or five apartments, laid out in a
Arnold Keown, the new owner
of the church property at the inter-
sections of Main Street and Valley
View, plans an addition that will
allow for a total of nine rental
Continued on Page 3
Professional Wealth Management Since 1901
RBC Dominion Securities Inc.* and Royal Bank of Canada are separate corporate entities which are affiliated.
*Member CIPF. Insurance products are offered through RBC DS Financial Services Inc., a subsidiary of RBC
Dominion SecuritiesInc. When providinglife insurance products, InvestmentAdvisors are acting as Insurance
Representatives of RBC DS Financial Services Inc. ®Registered trademark of Royal Bank of Canada. Used
under licence. RBC Dominion Securities is a registered trademark of Royal Bank of Canada. Used under
licence. ©Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.
705-645-2695 | 1-866 483-4530 | email@example.com | www.catherinedefrancisco.com
• Investment Management • Financial Planning • Insurance • Business Succession • Charitable Giving
Accused killer appears
in Bracebridge court
BY MATT DRISCOLL
Accused killer Todd Howley, 49, made
his first appearance in a Canadian court-
room last week.
On Friday, Howley made a brief appear-
ance in Bracebridge court to face charges of
first-degree murder in the death of Toronto
businessman Paul Maasland, 55.
Howley, a relatively
thin man with a short-
cropped beard and
short hair, entered
the courtroom in
handcuffs and did not
look toward the body
of the court at any
time during the pro-
Defence lawyer Seth
Weinstein and Crown
Jeanes asked that the
hearing be put over
until this Friday so
more disclosure could
Jeanes said she will
provide the bail brief
at that time, and the
matter then will like-
ly be adjourned for a
subsequent hearing in
Justice of the Peace Susan Evans ordered
that Howley be remanded in custody.
Maasland was found dead on Aug. 30,
2010, at a public boat launch on Morrow
Drive in Bracebridge. His vehicle was found
abandoned the next day in Mississauga.
Following a lengthy police investigation
Howley was arrested on May 10 by an FBI
task force in Dalton, Georgia.
On June 3, Howley appeared in a U.S .
Federal Court in Rome, Georgia and con-
sented to extradition to Canada.
On July 21, the U.S. Federal Secretary of
State for Political Affairs signed a surrender
warrant, which paved the way for arrange-
ments to be made by the U.S . Marshals
Service and the FBI to hand Howley over
to detectives from the Ontario Provincial
Police (OPP). Howley was returned to
Canada last Thursday.
According to a business associate of
Maasland, Maasland and Howley had been
involved in a potential business deal that
ultimately fell to pieces.
Other media sources claim that Howley
still owed Maasland a substantial amount
of money at the time of his death.
Howley had been living with his wife and
two children in Oakville, Ontario, but sold
his house in late 2010 and travelled to the
Documents filed in U.S . District Court
indicate that Maasland died as a result of
extensive blunt force injuries applied to his
body, including two skull fractures and 12
Fire ravages boathouses,
boats in Port Sandfield
BY LOUIS TAM
An antique 1949 Greavette was one of
four boats destroyed in a Port Sandfield
boathouse fire on Monday afternoon,
according to the Muskoka Lakes Fire
Firefighters from the Foot’s Bay, Minett
and Port Carling stations were called to
the blaze on Riverdale Road near Peninsula
Road at around 5:30 p.m., after a passing
boater spotted smoke.
Although fire also consumed a half-acre
of nearby brush, it did not reach fuel tanks
located on the property.
According to an OPP release, the fire
was extinguished in about an hour, and no
injuries were reported.
The loss of the antique boat, however,
left the owner quite upset, according to
the township’s assistant fire chief, Jim
“It was an old wooden boat and it had
huge sentimental value because it had
been passed down from one generation to
the next,” he said. “It’s like losing pictures,
you can’t replace that kind of stuff.”
Cottager Mimi Brenninkmeijer saw
smoke from the fire from her cottage
Plaza plan concerns
Port Carling residents
BY LOUIS TAM
Traffic, public safety and noise pollution
were among the concerns Port Carling
residents raised in a July 26 community
meeting about a proposed plaza develop-
Held in the Muskoka Lakes council
chambers, the meeting brought about 50
locals together with Dan Bornstein, who
owns the site of the proposed develop-
ment on Medora Street. Council agreed in
June to host the public meeting, after con-
cerns were raised by nearby residents on
Ferndale Road that the project would have
a negative effect on their community.
The proposed project will sit on the
site of the former M1 clothing store that
Bornstein owned. The store burned down
“I welcome all the input on this exciting
plan we’re putting together,” Bornstein
said as he opened the floor to public
Currently in the site plan application
stage, the plaza Bornstein envisions is
a 9,066-square-foot, two-storey building
with apartments on the upper floor and
retail space below, alongside a smaller,
1,673-square-foot, one-storey building.
The plaza will also feature two restau-
John Stokes, who lives nearby on the
Indian River, said he is concerned the
BY MATT DRISCOLL
It appears the Bracebridge Arts
Council (BAC) and the Town of
Bracebridge have reached a deal in
their stalemate over debt repayment.
Last week, town council formally
approved a letter of understanding for
the repayment of $910,850 owed by
BAC to the town.
The new agreement will not hold
BAC to any firm timeline, as previ-
ous agreements have, but will include
closer monitoring of BAC’s fundraising
“This is more of a best efforts type of
contract,” said Mayor Graydon Smith.
“The way circumstances are right now
it’s not realistic to hold them to a trad-
itional agreement. It was clear that
some adjustments were needed and
we’ve tried to accommodate that.”
In April 2005, the town loaned BAC
$2.3 million interest-free for the con-
struction of the Rene Caisse Theatre.
The original terms of the loan specified
payback by the end of 2008. However,
due to unforeseen costs incurred by
BAC, the town agreed to a new time
frame that pushed final payment back
until December 2011.
In late 2010, BAC sent a letter to
council which said they had effect-
ively run out of fundraising options.
The co-chairs of the group pointed out
� CONTINUED ON PAGE A6
� CONTINUED ON PAGE A6
BOATHOUSE BLAZE. This boathouse and its contents were destroyed by fire on Monday after-
noon. The boathouse was located off Riverdale Road on Lake Joseph. (Photo courtesy of Mimi
� CONTINUED ON PAGE A6
FIRE BREATHER. Fire entertainer Terrence Drake lights up downtown Bracebridge during Midnight Madness festivities on Friday. (Photo by Louis Tam)
• Roofing • Eavestrough • Soffit & Fascia • Lifetime Decking • Custom Copper • Windows & Doors
20 Gray Rd., Bracebridge
VOL. 36, NO. 17
$1.25 (inc. tax) Pub. 40017902
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 3, 2011
Newspaper of the Year
No entity connects communities better than the
local newspaper. Despite widespread news to the
contrary, newspapers remain an invaluable source
of local events, government, arts and culture and
other important news and advertising for their local
markets and SNA is proud to salute the winners in
the 2011 Newspaper of the Year/General Excellence
A total of 18 newspapers were selected, three in
each of six different circulation/frequency classes.
Beginning with this issue, we will spotlight each of
the winners over the coming months.
Gratitude to the faculty at the Medill School of
Journalism at Northwestern University for judging
this highly competitive contest.
VO LUME 40, NUMBER 74
THURSDA Y ,SEPTEMBER 1 5 ,20 11 75¢
Hearing planned over
A hearing is planned next
week over a proposal by the
state Department of Natural
Resources to build a public
boat launch on the north-
west shore of North Lake.
with a vengeance
Ta ylor Vinhal
went out for
for the first
time as a
year. As a
senior, she’s made the
quick ascension to school
Fall is in the air
Enjoy the fresh fall air plus
entertainment, food, a
rummage sale and more at
the annual Fall Harvest Fest
sponsored by the Pewaukee
Area Historical Society from
noon to 5 p.m. at the Clark
APewaukee woman was
apparently too trusting
of the man she hired to
do some remodeling.
See all these stories and
more on our Web site,
FA LL FIREWORKS – A big crowd came out to see the fireworks during St. Charles Fall
Fest in Hartland on Saturday Sept. 1 0 .
Town of Delafield–Acorner of thetown
may be serviced by Lake Michigan water as
the Town Board on Tuesday agreed to allow
aroughly 1, 200-acre area of the town be in-
cluded in the City of Waukesha water ser-
While the move will likely have little ef-
fect on thetown inthe comingyears, itdoes
allow the City of Waukesha to immediately
move forward in its pursuit to have Lake
Michigan water service the city.
The town’s involvement in the city’s ap-
plication is due to geology and not political
boundaries. The area in the water service
area includes aportion of the town south of
Northview Road, east of Highway G and
just south of Highway 18 . Highway G is
roughly the boundary line where water
flows either east or w est. The water flow
from Highway Geast is to Waukesha. The
Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Plan-
ning Commission established the boundar-
ies of the area that could receivewater from
the Great Lake.
The Town Board last month tabled action
on the matter, as some supervisors had res-
ervations that Waukesha would use the
need for water in the town as a means to
Small part of town nowin
Waukesha water service area
By JIM STEVENS
Turn to PAGE 9
Waukesha – It took W a u-
kesha County Circuit Court
Judge Donald J. Hassin Jr.
about eight minutes last we ek
to toss out of court Lisbon-
Inc.org.’ s latest effort at in-
corporating the Town of Lis-
bon into a village.
The judge rejected requests
by the citizen’s group that he
reopen the incorporation
case in circuit court and that
he review a decision made in
June by the state Incorpora-
tion Review Board denying
the petition to incorporate
Lisbon into a village.
He also described as “total-
ly inappropriate” a letter sent
to him by Denise W e nger, one
of the founders of the citizen’s
group. In the letter, she
described why the group be-
lieved the town was qualified
to become a village and why
they believed they we re de-
nied a fair hearing by the in-
corporation review board.
Hassin indicated he did not
read the letter.
The incorporation issue
landed on the court docket
two ye ars ago because state
law requires that circuit
courts determine whether
Judge rejects incorporation review
Judge Hassin says his court cannot
Turn to PAGE 9
In the Non-Daily Category with circulation up to 10,000
In-depth features about community issues in addition to basic news. Clean, easy-
to-read with artistic, magazine-like cover layouts. Ads do not impede on content, good
spacing between ads and text. Excellent use of infographics/photo illustrations.
Editor-in-Chief: Scott Peterson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Peterson said this award was validation for the extra effort the staff puts in to
making sure the Reporter is always newsy and with a hand at the pulse of the
“I think the secret to the Lake Country Reporter, and all of our papers, is to be one
with the communities we serve. We try to reflect the most interesting people, stories,
images and news of our community,” he said. “It’s so rewarding when you can hit that
sweet spot of having talented people put out something the community embraces.
It’s an even a bigger thrill for our staff to be recognized by our peers in the newspaper
business on top of that. Our team works so hard and deserves the accolades.”
Lake Country Reporter
Journal Community Publishing Company
Burk’s Falls, Ontario
Metroland Media Group, Ltd.
Metroland Media Group, Ltd.
Appropriate editorial tone;
comprehensive community coverage.
Basic, clean typography.
News Editor: Rob Learn, rlearn@
“I’ve always believed that we hold
ourselves to a high standard here
and it is nice to see others believe so
too. However, we do not do it to win
awards. We do it because we care
about the quality of our product we
produce for our readers and for the
many communities that make up
Almaguin,” said Learn.
Good basic news coverage. Clean and
News Editor: Jacqueline Lawrence,
“Being recognized by the SNA is a
tremendous honour for staff at the
Bracebridge Examiner. Each week,
everyone works incredibly hard to
put together a quality product with
our readership and community in
mind. It’s wonderful to receive such a
prestigious award from our industry
peers,” said Lawrence.
Links Archive December 2011 October 2011 Navigation Previous Page Next Page