Central NL Update with NTV

Central NL Update with NTV

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The Newfoundland Herald caught up with NTV’s central correspondent Colleen Lewis to talk health care, politics, economy and much more

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The Newfoundland Herald caught up with NTV’s correspondent for central Newfoundland, based in Grand Falls-Windsor, Colleen Lewis. With the recent drastic fluctuations in weather right across the island, it’s no doubt that it came up in the interview. However, the weather isn’t the only big talk of the town right now.

Central Health 

This week, the big recipe is in health care mixed with politics. Minister John Haggie called for an independent review into Central Health. The order of an external review was ordered after a number of concerns and escalating staff complaints were made to the government, beginning last summer regarding the James Paton Memorial Hospital. As many as three physicians have resigned in the last month, with rumours floating around that the CEO has resigned as well, however those rumours have not been confirmed as of press time.

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“I’m getting the impression that we have some doctors in Gander who have some concerns over the administration, so they’re kind of upset,” Lewis shared.

“They haven’t outlined yet, the terms of reference for the review, but we should know shortly.”

The review will be done by former Nova Scotia deputy health minister Peter Vaughan. Haggie hopes the review will help return Central Health to its former position of leadership in health care delivery.

Moving into the more political side of news, after the Botwood biofuel project was announced dead, a U.K.-based company is coming closer to getting the go-ahead by the provincial government for the allocation of wood fibres on crown lands. Bulk Logistics has set up shop on the wood fibres once belonging to AbitibiBowater in hopes of shipping across the ocean, which in result would bring hundreds of jobs to Botwood.

“The government and the town of Botwood has been working with this company out of the UK to try and secure that fibre allocation,” Lewis explained. “That’s been kinda slow moving, but moving just the same.”

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The company is planning to use local sawmills to process the wood and send to international markets. For example, a plant in Wales is set to go by late 2019, and will require upwards of 1.5 million tonnes of wood chips annually to operate.  

Local Lotto Winner 

“If the project moves forward, Bulk Logistics would purchase shares in Harold Sheppard Limited, which operates a sawmill in Point Leamington. This could be the economic boost that could bring financial stability to central Newfoundland for years to come.”

Politics and health care might be in and out of shambles, but life for one Gander Bay native just got a whole lot better.

Fifty-one-year-old David Head works up to eight months at a time as a foreman with Aecon Mining up in Fort McMurray, Alberta. Thanks to Lotto 649, he can finally come home. Head went in to check his tickets just before taking off back to Alberta, where he found out he was the winner of the $1-million Lotto 649 guaranteed prize.

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It was announced that the winning ticket was purchased at Saunders General Store in George’s Point, which will receive a one per cent seller’s prize.

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