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The Independent Marh 27, 2014 : Page 1

Vol. 1, Issue 30 Danny Gibbons begins long road of recovery Accident victim wakes from coma, talks with family and friends Heather Wright The Independent He still has a long way to go, but Jamie Gibbons says his brother, Danny, is slowly coming back to them. The 21 year-old Petrolia man was one of four people in a pickup truck which rolled several times just outside of Oil Springs over a month ago. Gibbons suffered severe head injuries and was in a coma until two weeks ago. His brother, Jamie, says he began opening his eyes and flinching as if to tell the family he knew they were talking to him about two weeks ago. Now Gibbons is talking. “Sometimes he is totally off topic,” says Jamie “but he’s comprehending and recognizing our family…and a few of his best friends…that’s a good thing. It is that much more reassuring that things are going the right way.” And while his brother is alert and talking, Jamie says the head injury has had some unusual effects. For a while, Danny spoke with a thick western accent which baffled the family. See GIBBONS PG 2 Free of Charge ~ Read and Enjoy! Thursday, March 27, 2014 Heather Wright Photo Dr. John Butler was one of the people marking the official start of construction for the Central Lambton Family Health Team building on Glenview Dr. Tuesday. The 19,500 square foot plaza will house seven doctors and other health professionals. The $4 million building is being built by Southside Construction and will be leased back to the health team. For more on the event see page 2. A HEALTHY START Cougar Town: Footprints in Crescent Park fuel theories of big cats in region The Independent Staff Richard Poore made a discovery on the way to his garage which may fuel speculation about the presence of cougars in Petrolia and Central Lambton. The Petrolia resident was at his Crescent Park home Jan. 11 when he looked down. “I said, ‘Whoa! What’s that?’ It struck me because it was so big.” That thing was a paw print which Poore matched on the internet with that of a cougar. He took several pictures including one with a tape measure near by. Then Poore looked around his home to see where the animal might have gone. “He came up out of the ravine, jumped onto a three-foot retaining wall, came up the walkway between the house and the garage and then to the front yard. Poore suspects the animal was tracking deer which regularly are seen in the ravine. “Cougars eat deer and there are lots of deer around here.” While he didn’t see the cougar with his eyes, he believes the paw prints are pretty convincing proof of a cougar’s presence. “All I know is I know what I saw.” Poore isn’t alone in his belief the cats are roaming the area. At least six people believe they’ve seen a cougar this winter. Phillip Henderson, 35, is an experienced outdoorsman who lives on Courtright Line. While deer hunting Dec. 6 he spotted an animal he’d never encountered before in the bush. His party was southwest of Petrolia between Rokeby Line and Shiloh Line, east of Fairweather Road, he said. “It was about 40 yards away, black, and four to five feet long, crawling in front of a log. I seen it for about a minute and it took off,” he said. Henderson said he ruled out possible animals one by one. Noting a long, rope-like tail he has absolutely no doubt he saw a cougar that day. “I know what a cat looks like,” he said. Another veteran hunter, who asked for anonymity, said the sightings are concentrated in central Lambton and of two distinct animals -one black and one tan-beige. “Mature adults are seeing them, most of them outdoorsmen,” he said. Richard Poore Photo “(Cougars) can’t continue to One of the paw prints found hide on us in the winter.” See COUGAR Pg. 3 at Crescent Park. 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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