Resident barred from town facilities for one year


Town hall sign

By Ron Giofu


A local resident has been banned from all town-owned facilities, including town hall, for a period of one year.

Graham Hobbs has been barred from all town facilities, effective last Tuesday, as he was served with a trespassing notice from the municipality. Hobbs’ lawyer Anthony Leardi said his client was caught off-guard by the notice, which stems from an alleged incident at town hall Nov. 20.

“He has been given no explanation of why he received it other than the very vague accusation that his behavior was somehow ‘unacceptable’,” said Leardi. “He does not know what this refers to. My client is trying to understand this. He’s been accused of something. The notice doesn’t say what he’s accused of.”

Leardi said Hobbs was not contacted him before he received the notice.

“Graham is a 75-year-old grandfather,” said Leardi. “He’s so well known at town hall they call him by his first name.”

Calling Hobbs “a frequent contributor to the political discussion in Amherstburg,” Leardi added there have been no issues between Hobbs and town staff in the past.

“He has never before had a problem with anyone at town hall nor has anyone had a problem with him,” said Leardi. “Receiving this notice, without any contact from anyone at town hall, took him completely by surprise. You’d think if people had a problem with Graham, they would talk to him and tell him there is a problem. Graham is attentive and willing to listen.”

Leardi added they don’t know who is responsible for the accusation.

“He’s being accused of something by somebody. We don’t know who and we don’t know why,” said Leardi. “How can the poor man respond?”

Leardi is hopeful the notice will be rescinded in time for Saturday’s budget meeting at the Libro Centre, which runs from 2-4 p.m.

CAO John Miceli confirmed there has been a trespassing notice issued and all municipal staff have been advised of it.

“It was a decision I made based on a situation that happened,” said Miceli. “There’s an incident that happened, a trespassing notice was issued and that’s all I’m going to comment on.”

Miceli said he received a complaint from a staff member and acted on it.

“I, as an employer, responded to the complaint,” said Miceli.

Miceli added the decision was made based on the town’s health and safety policy regarding to workplace harassment and didn’t feel it was fair to Hobbs or the complainant to divulge any further information publicly.

Windsor man facing charges relating to B&E complaint in Golfview subdivision

Amherstburg Police have a 24-year-old Windsor man in custody and charged him with breaking and entering, theft and resisting arrest.


Aburg Police Logo Rev-web

Police received a call shortly after 1 a.m. Thursday about a male party allegedly stealing from cars in a garage on Park Lane Circle. The homeowner scared off the male, police say, and provided a description to officers. A short time later police located a male fitting the description and this person allegedly ran from police.

The man was arrested after a short foot pursuit and is being held in custody awaiting bail, Amherstburg police add.

Amherstburg police state that no other information is being released at this time as it is an ongoing investigation. They are reminding our community to remember to lock your home, garage and vehicle doors.

Police note they have conducted investigations involving several break and enters and thefts from garages in the Golfview area subdivision in Amherstburg.

Anyone with information or witnessed the incident is asked to contact the Amherstburg Police Service at 519-736-3622 or Windsor/Essex Crime Stoppers at 519-258-8477.


WECDSB to proceed with accommodation review in Amherstburg


St. Bernard School could consolidate with Stella Maris School at the Stella Maris site next June. While trustees won't be making a final decision until the spring, a majority did agree to an accommodation review process in Amherstburg.

St. Bernard School could consolidate with Stella Maris School at the Stella Maris site next June. While trustees won’t be making a final decision until the spring, a majority did agree to an accommodation review process in Amherstburg.


By Ron Giofu


The Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board (WECDSB) is proceeding with accommodation reviews in west Windsor, Leamington and Amherstburg, the latter involving the futures of St. Bernard School and Stella Maris School.

A final decision on how to proceed is not expected to be made until March, but WECDSB trustees voted for a “modified process” to review accommodations in Amherstburg.

The review involves looking at possibly combining St. Bernard School with Stella Maris School at the latter’s site. If approved, St. Bernard School would be shut down and students would be sent to Stella Maris effective June 2016.

WECDSB director of education Paul Picard acknowledged that accommodation reviews are “extremely difficult” on all involved.

“It is difficult on school communities. It’s difficult on trustees. It’s difficult on students. It’s difficult on staff,” he said. “We’re all in this.”

The issue of “top up” funding from the province has been an issue, he added.

“Empty student spaces has become a focus of the ministry (of education) but it should also be our focus,” Picard told the board Tuesday night.

Picard said money should not be devoted to empty spaces, but instead used for programming. He said the review process makes a recommendation from the outset and he was confident all information can be relayed to the school communities.

“I think it’s fair to say these are excruciating for many communities,” he said.

Picard added that he believed it was “extremely important” to understand the WECDSB is not “abandoning communities” and that faith-based education would continue to be offered in communities like Amherstburg.

“Catholic education in communities is something that is extremely important to this board,” said Picard.

In his written report to trustees, Picard noted there is a “challenge of continuing to operate two schools in the Amherstburg area” and that Stella Maris is the choice to house one consolidated school because of lower renewal needs. According to the report, St. Bernard is “significantly underutilized” as its utilization rate is roughly 54.5 per cent. Stella Maris School has a utilization rate of over 94 per cent and would build an addition or add a portable classroom to house the extra students.

Two trustees voted against the motion, including Amherstburg/LaSalle trustee Frank DiTomasso. DiTomasso didn’t agree with it, with one of the concerns being the level of input local families would have in the matter.

“My stakeholders don’t have enough input in this situation,” said DiTomasso.

Without mentioning the school by name, DiTomasso also referenced the proximity of Amherstburg Public School. He said the “public board” was only “100-feet” from St. Bernard School and was concerned a lot of the students who walk would simply transfer to Amherstburg Public.

“I don’t want that to happen,” he said.

DiTomasso believed it could be a repeat of when St. Theresa School was closed and the board lost students.

“I don’t want to watch what happened to St. Theresa happen to St. Bernard,” said DiTomasso.

Mary DiMenna, trustee for Essex/Harrow/Kingsville/Leamington, also voted against the motion.

Trustees noted later in the meeting this was not a decision to close schools and reminded the public it was just to start the process and take a look at what school communities could look like in the future.


Optimist Club’s “Polar Bear Dip” returning Dec. 12



By Ron Giofu


The Optimist Club of Amherstburg and the Harrow Kinsmen Club are once again offering people a chance to go for a cold swim in the name of charity.

The 13th annual Polar Bear Dip returns to Colchester beach Dec. 12 with proceeds split between the two organizations.

“All of the money the Optimist Club receives will go towards the purchase of Christmas presents for families in need in the community,” said club president Brandon Renaud. “The more money we can raise, the more we can provide.”

Renaud said the Optimist Club of Amherstburg was able to assist three families last year.

The Harrow Kinsmen will use its share of the proceeds to make a donation to Cystic Fibrosis.

Registration for the event starts at 11 a.m. with participants attending the Shooter’s Roadhouse location in Harrow. The participants will go to Colchester beach via bus and the actual dip takes place at 3 p.m.

The bus will return participants to Shooter’s where jumpers will have a free chili buffet. There will also be raffles, door prizes, and other prizes for jumpers. There will also be a hot tub on site this year as well as a photo booth, the latter, being donated by Platinum Entertainment.

There will also be a canned food drive with the goods to be donated to the Amherstburg Food Bank, said Renaud.

Pledge forms are available at the Shooter’s locations in both Harrow and Amherstburg.

To make a donation or for more information, contact Renaud at 519-981-2802 and

Charges pending after serious two-vehicle collision


Charges are pending after a two-vehicle collision at the intersection of Concession 2 North and North Side Road.

Amherstburg police, fire and Essex-Windsor EMS were dispatched at approximately 8:30 p.m. Monday for the crash between a tractor trailer and a Pontiac mini-van. Amherstburg police states the tractor trailer was being driven by a 46-year-old man from Mississauga and the truck was eastbound on North Side Road. The 51-year-old Amherstburg resident driving the minivan was southbound on Concession 2 North when the collision occurred.


Both vehicles came to rest in a southeast ditch along North Side Road causing damage to a hydro pole and disrupting power to the area. The driver of the minivan required extrication.

Both parties were transported to hospital with non-life threatening injuries where they are in stable condition, police stated.

It is alleged the driver of the tractor trailer failed to stop for the stop sign. Amherstburg police say that charges under the Highway Traffic Act are pending.


The intersection was closed for roughly five hours while crews contained and cleaned a spill from the tractor trailer’s fuel tanks, removed the damaged vehicles and repaired power structures.

Anyone with additional information on the accident is asked to contact the Amherstburg Police Service at 519-736-3622.