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The Independent March 13, 2013 : Page 1

Vol. 1, Issue 28 Free of Charge ~ Read and Enjoy! OPP to release video of Karen Caughlin’s last day The Sarnia teen’s body was found near Petrolia 40 years ago Saturday Heather Wright The Independent Thursday, March 13, 2014 HUNTING STORIES Heather Wright Photo Jason Anderson of Oil Springs and Tim Shephard of Wilkesport share hunting stories at the Big Buck Day in Brigden Saturday. About 300 people turned out to look at some of the deer harvested in Lambton County this year. See story on page 2. Troubled Alvinston townhouses seized for taxes Heather Wright The Independent Black mould, trashed apartments, doors which you can see light underneath and water leaks. That’s just a few of the litany of problems at an 18-unit apartment complex in Alvinston which the municipality is looking to take over. Several years ago, a Toronto man purchased the three buildings on Lorne Street and began renting them out. But the condition of the apartment buildings deteriorated and residents tried to reach him to make repairs. Garrette Moran, his girlfriend and their now 18-month old son moved from Wyoming to Alvinston because they needed a larger place with a reasonable rent. They agreed to rent it after viewing pictures on Kijji. But the pictures were not an accurate reflection of what they found. “Both toilets were clogged, the place was a mess, there were holes in the wall,” he told The Independent. His family spent an entire winter in the unit using portable space heaters because the heating didn’t work. They finally left that unit for another in the complex after water from broken pipes in an empty unit next door flooded their apartment. Shelly Carlson has also had to deal with flooding from empty units. The former Kerwood resident moved to Alvinston to be close to her ailing mother. She needed some room for her two children and the Lorne Street complex was within her price range. “I thought it was better than what it was,” she says. Her apartment is neat and clean but the signs of neglect are evident. In some places linoleum is lifting up, a door damaged by a water leak next door doesn’t close properly. And Carlson, who is expecting another child, found black mould behind the water heater under the stairs while cleaning up that flood. Carlson has tried to talk to the landlord about the problem, but without any Brooke-luck. “He Alvinston has tried has a phone several times to have number but the owner clean up the he never property finally issuing answers.” an Emergency Order Carlson is in November. now looking for someplace else to live. The lack of response to residents doesn’t surprise Brooke-Alvinston officials. The owner of the complex has been avoiding them too. It’s been three years since he paid any taxes and now owes the municipality about $240,000. See LEGAL PG. 2 Just days from the 40th anniversary of her murder, the OPP plans to release a new video hoping to spark memories about the slaying of Karen Caughlin. But for the family, March 15 is significant only because it marks 40 years of hell. Karen Caughlin was just 14 when the Sarnia girl went roller-skating with her friends at the Rose Garden on March 15, 1974. She never returned home. Her battered body was found on Plowing Match Road outside of Petrolia. Police have never charged anyone in her murder. More than a decade ago, the OPP began actively investigating the cold case, while her sisters, Kathy Caughlin and Marylou Schwemler anxiously waited. But they soon became disillusioned with the Karen Caughlin investigation, charging the OPP had mishandled the case. In May 2011, the family held a news conference calling for an external review of the file. Caughlin’s concerns were renewed when two local car collectors said a 1970 Plymouth Road Runner with chips of Plum Crazy paint matching the description of one involved in Karen’s death, but was never examined, despite several calls to the OPP. That prompted a protest in front of the Lambton OPP station last August, but still no resolution. Months later, the family said it would no longer deal with the OPP, renewing calls for the case to be reviewed by an outside police agency. The OPP steadfastly maintained they continued to actively investigate the case. Thursday, (March 13) the OPP will unveil a video reconstructing the last hours of Karen’s life, hoping to jar 40 year old memories. See CAUGHLIN Pg. 2 4219 Oil Heritage Road, Petrolia YOU COULD WIN Tel: 519-882-1090 • Toll Free: 1-855-864-4962 BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND The first 50 people to purchase a new or certified preowned vehicle will be entered in the elimination draw to win... $5000 $5000 SECOND PRIZE $500

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