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The Independent February 13, 2014 : Page 1

Vol. 1, Issue 24 Free of Charge ~ Read and Enjoy! Back in black: VPP turns a profit in 2013 Heather Wright The Independent Thursday, February 13, 2014 Public health officials ‘fairly confident’ meningitis risk at LCCVI contained Heather Wright The Independent A case of meningitis has raised concerns of some parents and students at LCCVI. But public health officials believe they’ve been able to locate anyone who might have been in close contact with the young man who is ill. Lambton Public Health officials say the young man, believed to be in Grade 10, is being treated in hospital. While his condition is serious, public health officials say he is doing well. No new cases have been reported since the Grade 10 student first was diagnosed. Friday morning, students at the high school were asked to text message their parents saying a student was being treated for the disease which can cause death and that Lambton Public Health officials were on site talking to close friends of the student. Director of Education Jim Costello says public health provided the text message for students in an attempt to be proactive and ease any parental concerns. “By the time 2:30 or three o’clock rolls around, there would be a sense of worry,” he says “so were trying to ease that worry.” By 11am, the school had posted a letter on its website explaining what was going on. On lunch break, The Independent talked to a number of students about the investigation. Many were not concerned about being infected saying they didn’t know the student involved. But others admitted to being a little shaken by the event. “I don’t know if we’ll have to carry hand sanitizer around or what but it is kind of freaking me out,” says Grade 11 student Rachel Irvine. “I feel really bad for whoever has it.” “I hope whoever it is, is okay.” Medical Officer of Health Dr. Sudit Ranade says students in the young man’s class have been interviewed up to 20 people – Paula Hoskin Photo WELCOME TO PETROLIA Paula Hoskin snapped this photo of a Snowy Owl near Petrolia Line and Mandaumin Road recently. The birds which are usually found in the Arctic are making their way to Ontario for food. See story on page 3 For the first time since 2010, Victoria Playhouse Petrolia has turned a profit. Figures from the 2014 draft budget show last year the VPP made almost $13,000 after three years of six-figure losses. In 2010, VPP lost just under $600,000. There was a $386,000 deficit in 2011 and $187,000 in 2012 when ticket sales dropped to a low of just over $601,000. Theatres across Ontario were having a difficult time as the effects of the 2008 recession lingered but by 2013, officials at the VPP were hopeful. Administrators had big plans for 2013, projecting $1 million in ticket sales and a profit of $310,000. That didn’t materialize but ticket sales were up by $100,000 – the first time in four years ticket revenue climbed above the $700,000 mark. This year, Richard Poore, director of performing arts, says they are being more realistic about ticket revenue expecting $810,000 in 2014. Poore says the VPP’s financial turn around can be attributed to a number of things. He’s tightened spending with salaries and remuneration dropping from a high of $565,000 in 2010 to $218,000 in 2013. In 2014, that is projected at $293,000. The VPP is also spending less on putting on the summer season. In 2010, $710,000 in performer and show costs -$588,000 was spent in 2013. See VPP Pg 2 including his family members -have been offered prophylaxis, an antibiotic which within 24 hours fights the bacterial meningitis. “We’re fairly confident we’ve got all the people we need to get,” says Ranade. “Having said that, we’re on heightened alert. We’ve notified all health care providers to be on a little bit of a lookout for symptoms but we think we have the bases covered.” See MENINGITIS Pg 2 2014 Chevrolet Cruze LT Turbo 4219 Oil Heritage Road, Petrolia Lease Promo Plus First Month Payment On Us! $ 128.88 BI-WEEKLY 48 Months @ 0% 519-882-1090 • 1-855-864-4962 Disclaimer: 2014 Chev Cruze payment includes all fees and HST OAC 20,000kms per yr HST INCLUDED!! $ 22,920

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