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The Independent Sept. 12, 2013 : Page 1

Volume 1 • Issue 2 “We’ve put up with it... and it has to stop: Veen Oil Springs leaders want OPP to deal with drug problem Heather Wright The Independent The beating of an elderly woman in her Oil Springs home has sparked renewed concerns about drugs in that small town. On Sept. 1, police say the home of an 88-year old woman was broken into early in the morning. Forensic identification officers were on the scene most of the morning but police released few details of what happened inside the home. Tuesday, the OPP issued an arrest warrant for Craig Powers of Enniskillen. By Wednesday, the OPP Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau and the Repeat Offenders Parole Enforcement unit arrested the man in Watford without incident. Powers faces charges of break, enter and commit an indictable offence of sexual assault, careless use of a firearm, unauthorized possession of a firearm, and possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000. Oil Springs Mayor Ian Veen fears the incident was sparked by drugs saying the OPP’s search dogs went right to a home known by local residents for its late night parties and drug use. “This has been going on at least five years now,” he told The Independent. “We’ve put up with it, and put up with it, and it has to stop.” Veen says about one percent of the village’s population has a drug problem and much of the drugs can be found in one apartment building. “They party 24 hours a day,” he says. “Neighbours are threatening to move out because they can’t take the partying.” The mayor says methamphetamines -which is highly addictive -are the drug of choice in the area. Veen believes much of the property crimes, such as Sept. 1st break in on Oil Springs Line, stems from people looking for drug money. See page 2 OPP Petrolia Fair a hit Thursday, September 12, 2013 The Dragon was a fan favourite at the Petrolia Enniskillen Fall Fair over the weekend. Despite grey weather on Saturday, organizers say 20,000 people flocked to the fair grounds. See page 6 for more details. Truck troubles: Mayor wants transports off Petrolia Line Heather Wright The Independent “It is absolutely ridiculous the number of trucks which go through Petrolia that don’t have to.” Mayor John McCharles, like many other town councilors, is sick of transports using Petrolia Line as thoroughfare. In July, Dave Menzies, Petrolia’s director of community services, worked with the OPP to stop transports on the outskirts of town. They were to try to determine why they were headed straight into the downtown. “We did an education session, stopping the transport trucks on a number of different times and days with OPP assistance,” says Menzies. “We gave them a letter and a map of the county and asked the truck drivers for assistance and not travel through downtown area.” Often the trucks are grain haulers, heading to Suncor’s ethanol plant. The town has called the company asking it to talk to truckers, but the problem persists. Menzies says the problem appears to be the GPS systems the truckers use. It sends them through Petrolia because it is the fastest route to their destination. While they don’t have to follow the GPS, many don’t know the alternative routes. And without a bylaw to stop the trucks from using the downtown route, the drivers just keep rolling. “There are some trucks which absolutely have to go through Petrolia,” says McCharles noting local deliveries have to go on. “It is absolutely ridiculous the number of trucks that go through Petrolia which don’t have to – they certainly could be going through the area by another route. “You would think after the first trip (through the downtown) they’d look for something better.” McCharles wants to talk to Warden Todd Case about ways the county can help. Several years ago, the county banned truck traffic on Lakeshore Road. It talked at the time about doing the same on Petrolia Line. “I don’t know why they can’t restrict the trucks like they do on Lakeshore… they don’t let the trucks go in downtown Sarnia,” says McCharles. “It’s kind of a no-win situation here.” But Jim Kutyba, general manager of infrastructure for Lambton County, says it would not be that easy. See MCCHARLES page 2 WANT TO WIN Of course you do. AN iPAD? MacFarlane LIKE us on FACEBOOK and you will be entered into a draw to WIN an IPAD... draw date will occur once we reach 1500 likes. Recommend to your friends and family as the sooner we get 1500 likes the sooner the draw at MacFarlane Chevrolet Buick GMC will occur for an IPAD 4219 Oil Heritage Road • Petrolia • 519-882-1090

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