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The Independent January 30, 2014 : Page 1

Vol. 1, Issue 22 Abandoned oil wells rule out Discovery for camping: Bratanek Heather Wright The Independent Officials from Petrolia Discovery say the idea of camping at the historic site is not a new one. General Manager Donna McIlmoyle and Foundation Board Chair Wendy Bratanek recently met with The Independent to talk about the idea which two men brought to Petrolia council recently. Dan Brown and Pat Pineo say Petrolia Discovery is not just a great place to learn about the history of oil, it is also a beautiful natural habitat for camping, bird watching and canoeing. The pair say camping might be a good fit for the area. They suggested using caravans similar to the covered wagons seen on Gypsy Flats during the oil boom days. Brown says with a camping area for people to stay at, the town could attract other events, such as the national fiddle championships and remote control boat racing. The town staff was asked to look into the idea. But McIlmoyle and Bratanek says the Free of Charge ~ Read and Enjoy! Thursday, January 30, 2014 foundation’s board did look over the plan at length. Bratanek says a special meeting was held so Brown could present the plan. “He went through his idea…we didn’t know if we could make it work so we said we would research it and get back to him,” says Bratanek. Two board meetings later, they told Brown camping at Discovery was not a great idea. McIlmoyle says like most of Petrolia, the 60-acre property is dotted with abandoned oil wells making it difficult to find a spot without an old well where the campground could be established. “With 40 wells on site, you would be hard-pressed to find a space – even for a sewer system which you would likely need to put in place.” And she says cleaning up old oil wells is highly regulated and very expensive. “The Ministry of the Environment and Ministry of Natural Resources standards are high – there are several hurdles you would have to go through and again, there is no money.” SEE CAMPING PG 2 Heather Wright Photo SNOW MOUNTAIN If you’re looking for snow, it’s not hard to find and Hailey Hammond took some time to climb a snow mountain on Petrolia Line recently while her grandmother, Linda, manned the school crossing. The temperature this weekend is expected to climb to a balmy -4 C. Mother wants faster action after five year old attacked twice in class EDITORS NOTE: The Independent is witholding the name of the school and has changed the name of the mother to protect the identities of the youths involved. Heather Wright The Independent When Marg sent her five-year old son to school in Central Lambton, she never dreamed he would face violence in the classroom. But her young son was assaulted not once, but twice in a matter of days by the same four-year old. And while the Lambton-Kent District School Board has dealt with the problem, Marg is speaking out saying faster action may have prevented the second attack. The two children are in the same class. Two weeks ago, Marg’s son was playing in the classroom. The four-year-old wanted a puppy the boy was playing with. When he didn’t get it, he went to the toy kitchen, found a plastic knife with small, serrated teeth and held it to the five-year-old’s neck. School officials told Marg of the incident, she says, after the school day was done. The toy knife briefly left marks on his neck. Marg went in search of answers the next day. “I wanted something done,” she told The Independent. “I wanted my kid to be safe when he goes to school.” The young mother didn’t get satisfaction talking to the school administrators who said the four-year old’s action was a behavioural problem. “I really hated that they blew it off because he was four,” she says adding she thought there was a “zero tolerance policy” when students physically attack another. While Marg was in Sarnia trying to get some answers as to what the board would do, the four-year old became angry again in the classroom, this time choking Marg’s son. The school’s staff called her when the incident happened. When she picked him up at the end of the day, staff members told her this attack also left a temporary mark. The five-year old was “fine” after the first incident and went back to school without complaint. “After the second one he didn’t want to go back to school,” says Marg. “He didn’t sleep well that night.” Marg says she tried not to bring up the attacks at home but Tuesday morning, her son woke up complaining of a sore neck. So she brought him to the doctor who encouraged her to approach the police or the Childrens’ Aid Society. Marg says she told school officials her son, and his twin brother, wouldn’t return to school until the four-year old had someone watching him all the time. Board officials later called her to explain her children could move to another class. Marg didn’t like that idea. The board was able to find money for an educational assistant for the four year old – the solution Marg was hoping for. SEE VIOLENCE PG. 2 Feature of the week... 4219 Oil Heritage Road, Petrolia www.macfarlaneche v. com -150 Multi-point Inspection -30 Day Exchange Program -30 day or 5,000 km Warranty -Clean Car Proof -Certified Pre-owned 2011 GMC Acadia SLT $ 519-882-1090 • 1-855-864-4962 27,900 Loaded 67,000 kms Plus HST & License

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