Friday, April 30, 2010

Podunk Below the Masthead (Thursday, April 29, 2010)

Somebody else wants to call Watson Island home but doesn't seem to want to pay to be there, Port Ed faces a slight tax increase and the Ride for Cancer once again will have some prince Rupert content, some of the items of note from Thursday's news rotation.

Daily News, front page, headline story
THE MILL AT WATSON ISLAND... OCCUPIED AGAIN? -- The imaginations are left to wonder who is making Watson Island home these days as reports come in that someone is using the moribund industrial site as a hideout, no sightings have been made yet but there are the tell tale signs that someone is squatting on the site. On site security personnel reported spotting someone of interest on the site but further investigation by the RCMP provided no suspect to discuss events with.

Francis Wolfe and Gordie Simonds are set to get back on their bikes again, ready to represent Team Prince Rupert at the 2010 edition of the Ride to Conquer Cancer. The 191 mile trek takes participants from Vancouver to Seattle in order to raise funds for cancer research. The pair will be seeking donations from local residents and a pair of local businesses, U Brew and the Oceanview Hotel  signed on this year to help raise funds for this years ride.

Port Edward residents won't be able to feel superior to Rupert taxpayers this year, as the District puts in place a slight increase in their tax rate this year as part of 2010-2014 Financial plan.

The Sports section follows up on the progress of a group of four Prince Rupert Minor Hockey players who recently attended the Best Ever under 16 hockey tournament in Prince George in early April.

(Daily News Archive items for April 29)

The mill at Watson Island - occupied again?
Rupert men ride to conquer cancer - once again 
Tax rate in Port Edward jumps up a bit
Monitoring of Rupert jails getting somewhat of an overhaul
No bone of contention here

The Northern View
No new items were posted to the Northern View website on Thursday

CFTK TV 7 News
No new items were posted to the Northern View website on Thursday

CBC News British Columbia, Daybreak North
No new items were posted to the Northern View website on Thursday

Daybreak North is only posting selected items on their website now. The most recently posted items can be found on the archive page for Daybreak North click here 

Daily News, front page, headline story
The Mill at Watson Island... occupied again?
Fugitive ... squatter ... or just an unwanted visitor? Authorities are wondering who is using the former mill site as refuge.
By Monica Lamb-Yorski
Staff Writer
Prince Rupert Daily News
Thursday, April 29, 2010

Call it a case of the uninvited guest.

That’s because someone has been camping out or using Watson Island as a place for a clubhouse, confirmed Chief Financial Officer Dan Rodin Wednesday.

During the night watch on April 18, security workers at the mill saw someone on the site.

“The RCMP were called and checked out one of the buildings, but were unable to find anything. There are two hundred and seventy odd acres there and lots and lots of places to hide,” said Rodin.

At this point, it is not known whether there is one or more people hanging out there and whether they are adults or youth.

 “We’re keeping an eye out for them and hoping to catch them. Unfortunately there are a number of ways to access the site. Someone can walk along the tracks from Ridley Island, although that’s very dangerous,” Rodin added. 

Corp. Carla Cook of the RCMP said the Prince Rupert detachment received a call from one of the security guards on April 18 about the sighting.

 “Apparently the night watchman had seen him, but it wasn’t until the morning that we got the call from the day-time staff. Some of our members searched one of the main buildings where the commissionaires have their offices, but there was so much in there that they could not do a full search,” Cook told the Daily News.

According to Rodin and Cook, the security personnel have seen bedding and evidence of someone staying on the site, but there hasn’t been any destruction.

 “I think it’s a case of someone squatting out there,” added Cook. “We told the staff if they see anyone to call us in again and we’ll come out there with our search dogs.”

Kristina De Araugo, Manager of Quickload Terminals, works frequently on site at Watson Island, where her company conducts business in the former administration areas and at the loading dock.

De Araugo said Wednesday she’s heard about the incident, but hasn’t seen anything herself.

 “The City’s been great about keeping us informed and we’ve taken all the safety precautions, such as locking up our forklifts, tools and equipment,” she added.

 Presently there is security at Watson Island 24 hours a day, seven days a week and people are not allowed to wander on the property unattended.

 “There are areas that are extremely dangerous,” Rodin said. “When people tour the property, they are given an accompanied tour because it is dangerous.”

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