OTTAWA — A local OPP officer is implicated in a crime involving the Gretzky family, COVID-19 spreads from a sports practice, forcing hundreds to self-isolate, and COVID-19 vaccines arrive.
CTVNewsOttawa.ca looks at the top five stories in Ottawa this week.
The first COVID-19 vaccines to arrive in Ottawa were administered on Tuesday, marking what many hope is the beginning of the end of the pandemic.
Personal support worker Jo-Anne Miner received the first COVID-19 shot in Ottawa.
“I just hope it’s the start to everybody wanting to take the vaccine to help our city become COVID-free,” Miner told CTV Morning Live shortly after getting the shot.
Ottawa received 3,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, enough to vaccinate 1,500 front-line workers from across the city.
Brantford OPP announced this week that arrests had been made in connection with the alleged theft of half a million dollars worth of Wayne Gretzky memorabilia from the Great One’s father’s home.
One of the people charged is an OPP officer. June Dobson is the detachment commander of the Grenville OPP. She was charged with fraud over $5000 and breach of trust after police said evidence uncovered during the initial theft investigation revealed an alleged fraud involving a Gretzky hockey stick.
Brantford police said the accused were known to the Gretzky family. Photos from an Aug. 2014 golf tournament in Prescott show Dobson chauffering Walter Gretzky in a golf course, and posing for a photo with him.
Dobson is not implicated in the theft and is facing no charges related to it. A 58-year-old Oakville man is charged with theft over $5000 in connection with the original investigation.
Ottawa Public Health produced another graphic showing the nature of COVID-19 spread in Ottawa, this one an updated version of a case linked to a sports practice.
It shows how an asymptomatic person attending practice, masks not being worn during practice and carpooling and mingling without respecting COVID-19 guidelines resulted in several outbreaks in Ottawa.
On Friday, Ottawa Public Health said, “the sports cluster reported in November has resulted in 89 cases and 445 high risk contacts. When we say ‘be COVID-wise,’ this is why.”
City officials say they’ve tested new switch heaters along the Confederation Line LRT and are confident they’ll prevent the kinds of tie-ups seen last winter.
In the final Transit Commission meeting of 2020, OC Transpo officials provided an update into work being done to repair the beleaguered LRT and prevent a repeat of the disastrous winter in the system’s first year of operation.
New, gas-powered switch heaters have been installed in the east end of the line, where many issues came up last winter, and work on the brakes and the overhead power system is complete. New software has reduced the number of door issues and has enabled them to be fixed more rapidly. OC Transpo also said wheels have been replaced on nearly 14 rail cars after cracks developed on at least eight wheels, linked to improperly-aligned screws.
However, the commission also heard that ridership on the LRT is down 80 per cent compared to pre-pandemic levels, as COVID-19 keeps university students and many downtown workers home.
Health-care workers in Ottawa have been on the front line of COVID-19 for the past nine months, doing everything they can to keep us safe, and one Ottawa school has found a very sweet way to say thank you.
Children at the Torah Day school have raised enough money to buy 20,000 chocolate bars. That’s one for every health-care worker in the city.
“We have a school bus. We’ve got a monster banner that’s going to go on the side of the bus and it says, ‘The Chocolate Bus.’ Delivering 20,000 chocolate bars to our health-care workers. And in big letters it says, thank you,” says Rabbi Boruch Perton, Head of School at Torah Day.
The Chocolate Bus will be visiting every major hospital in the Ottawa area on Tuesday.
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