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YEAR IN REVIEW, Part 3: Free cupcakes, air cadets and a gold medal

August and September were busy months for crooks and cops in Bradford West Gwillimbury
2018-08-10-jose da silva
The late Jose Da Silva, centre, with grandsons Logan, left, and Landon. Da Silva died of bladder cancer last year. Submitted photo

Epipen shortage: August saw concern over an Epipen shortage across the U.S., Australia, the U.K. and Canada. Epipens are used to respond to anaphylactic allergic responses. Manufacturing problems at Pfizer were blamed for the shortage of the life-saving devices. Earlier in the year, pharmacists attempted to manage the supply problem through "preventative allocation" – restricting the number of Epipens provided per prescription – but by August the problem had reached Simcoe County. 

Big plans: The consultants’ proposal for the redevelopment of Centennial Park and the Bradford Community Centre on Simcoe Road, built in 1956, came to council on Aug. 8 – raising concerns that the proposed removal of the ball diamonds could have a negative effect on minor sports. The master plan, which came with a $75 million price tag, included a $55 million administrative centre, up to 55 units of affordable housing, and other amenities – but would eliminate soccer pitches and the diamonds, and offered no suggestions for reuse of the community centre itself. Chief Administrative Officer Geoff McKnight noted there was room to build new diamonds at Henderson Memorial Park, and promised that options would come back to council early in 2019.

Answering the call: BWG council voted on Aug. 7 to let BWG Fire and Emergency Services continue to answer medical assist calls from local long-term care facility, Bradford Valley Care Community. The County of Simcoe had asked municipalities to stop responding to such calls, apparently to reduce overlap with the Simcoe County Paramedics. However, Fire Chief Kevin Gallant noted that not all such calls originate with residents of the long-term care facilities, and a refusal to respond could result in “confusion,” delays, even loss of life. BWG was one of many municipalities declining to support the county request. In 2017, 65 of 77 calls originating at Bradford Valley Care Community were requests for medical assistance. 

In memoriam: On Aug. 7, council voted to rename Dreamfields Park, located at 251 Crossland Blvd. north of Line 8, as the Ron Simpson Memorial Park. Ron Simpson was a former town councillor, who served on the first council of the amalgamated town of Bradford West Gwillimbury in 1991, until his death from cancer in 2014. 

Caught in the act: A Bradford man faced 21 charges after he was arrested in Springwater Township. At 10 a.m. on Aug. 7, Huronia West OPP received a report of a male in possession of a firearm, spotted behind a gas station on Bayfield Street in Midhurst. A few hours later, a second call came in of a suspicious male in the backyard of a residence on Sart Road. Bernard Gosselin, 36, of Bradford West Gwillimbury was taken into custody after a short foot pursuit. He faced 21 charges, including fail to comply with probation, three counts of possession of weapon for dangerous purpose, two counts of theft over $5,000, two counts of possession by crime over $5,000, and mischief under $5,000. 

Free cupcakes: Aug. 10 would have been Jose Da Silva’s 65th birthday if he hadn’t passed away in November 2017 of bladder cancer. In his memory, Da Silva’s family offered 65 free cupcakes at Smoochie’s Cakery in Bradford, each chocolate or vanilla treat marked with a "J." 

Stolen and stolen: A Bradford man posted his 2009 Infiniti G35 for sale in an online classified ad, and the vehicle was stolen. On Aug. 14, a prospective buyer took the vehicle for a test drive and never returned. He left behind a vehicle that turned out to have been stolen in Toronto. 

He scores! Bradford’s Bill Marks scored a goal in sudden death overtime, to help his Newmarket-based hockey team win gold in the over-75 category at the Canada 55+ Games, held in Saint John, N.B., Aug. 21-24. The team beat Alberta in the final. It was Marks’ fifth time at the Games, which are held every other year. 

Back to school: Kids returned to the classroom on Sept. 4, and some drivers in South Simcoe evidently needed a refresher course in driving safety. South Simcoe police launched Operation All Hands On Deck, stepping up enforcement in school zones. Police laid numerous charges – including a 62-year-old Newmarket woman charged for speeding 99 km/h in a posted 50 km/h community safety zone in Innisfil. 

Big win: The Bradford and District Lions Club’s annual Mammoth Draw sold out early this year. The draw offers prizes that include cash, and the grand prize of a 2018 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck – won this year by BradfordToday reporter Miriam King, who was ecstatic. She kept the truck. 

Animal cruelty: A dog bite incident Sept. 13 led to charges against a 55-year-old Mississauga man. Police were called to a residence on Canal Road, after a woman reported that one of two German shepherds running loose had bitten her. Officers corralled the two dogs. While waiting for animal control to arrive, they observed a third dog, a rottweiler type, chained to a tree without access to water or food. Officers left to get water for the dog, and when they returned, noticed the animal was injured – and that there were several dead or injured chickens and goats on the property, also without food or water. The owner was charged with permitting an animal to be in distress, contrary to the OSPCA Act. 

Armed robbery: On Sept. 11, a 20-year-old Bradford man and his 22-year-old girlfriend told police that they had gone to a residence in the area of 10 Sideroad and County Road 88 to purchase drugs – but had been robbed. Police initially arrested an 18-year-old Bradford man and a 17-year-old Bradford youth. One week later they arrested two more men. A 22-year-old East Gwillimbury male was charged with robbery with a weapon, fail to comply with undertaking, possession of weapon for a dangerous purpose, and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence. A 26-year-old Bradford man was charged with two counts of robbery with a weapon, possession of a controlled substance, possession for the purpose of trafficking, possession of weapon for dangerous purpose, and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence. 

Municipal campaign: With the provincial election in the history books and the municipal election slated for October, municipal candidates ramped up their campaigns – leading to numerous complaints about election signs. In particular, there were complaints that signs were being placed on boulevards in front of private homes, something that is illegal under the sign bylaw unless the adjacent property owner grants permission. The town's Manager of Enforcement Brent Lee noted that his department receives similar complaints every election campaign. 

Taking flight: Bradford Flight 37 of Newmarket’s 94 Squadron Air Cadets was officially launched on Sept. 22. The program, for youth between the ages of 12 and 18, offers discipline, training, and a fast-track to a career in aviation. This marks the first time the air cadet program will be offered in Bradford West Gwillimbury, under the sponsorship of the Bradford legion.

Meet the candidates: The Bradford Board of Trade hosted a Meet the Candidates evening for the municipal election on Sept. 24. Overwhelmed by the number of candidates – 23 – the format was changed to permit only the mayor and deputy mayor candidates to speak, which was awkward when candidate Pat Roberge failed to show up, leaving Mayor Rob Keffer the only mayoral candidate.