Celebrating God’s live at the bandshell

BiblicalconcertEmily Neufeld, left, Maggie Friesen and Nellie Thiessen were members of a band that performed songs during a concert by members of the Biblical Restoration Ministries, a church located south of Aylmer along Imperial Road, at the bandshell in Palmer Park in Aylmer on Sunday afternoon, June 25. There were also performances by the church members on both the Friday and Saturday nights prior. The event included “inspirational singing, life stories and healing ministry.”

Enjoying the lilies

gardentourAylmer and District Horticultural Society member Roberta Wilson took a closer look at some lilies in Paula Findlay’s garden behind her home along John Street South in Aylmer during a garden tour the Society organized on Sunday afternoon, June 25. The gardens of five Society members were featured on the tour.

Hofhuis Park dedicated in Port Stanley

HofhuisParkDr. John Hofhuis, left, took a closer look at the monument that was unveiled to celebrate the dedication of Hofhuis Park in Port Stanley on Saturday afternoon, June 24. The park, located near the pier at the end of Maud Street, is named for Dr. Hofhuis and his late wife Sylvia to recognize their contributions to to Port Stanley and Elgin County. Mrs. Hofhuis was a Port Stanley councillor, deputy reeve and reeve before being elected as deputy mayor of Central Elgin in 2003. She became mayor in 2006, a position she held until her death in 2010. She served on Elgin County council for 12 years and was warden in 2007. She was a board member and chairman of countless organizations and was instrumental in getting the Port Stanley harbour divestiture process started with the federal government. Dr. Hofhuis has provided over 35 years of dedicated service to the citizens of Port Stanley and Elgin County as a family doctor and as the county coroner.

Viewing at the annual MCS Charity Auction

MCSAuctionHelena Wiebe, left, and Tina Martens took a closer look at the items that were about to be sold at the start of the 17th annual Aylmer Charity Auction and Food Fest at the Aylmer Curling Club on Saturday morning, June 24. The event raises thousands of dollars each year to support the programs of Mennonite Community Services (MCS) Aylmer and Mennonite Central Committee Ontario. The goal this year was to raise $50,000. In addition to the hundreds of live auction items and Mexican, Latin and Mennonite traditional food served at lunch, the event included a strawberry pie baking contest, a breakfast and mystery envelopes of secret items to bid on with a grand prize valued at $500.

Man, 57, drives off cliff into Lake Erie

SIU&cliffThe province’s Special Investigations Unit is investigating after a 57-year-old man drove his vehicle off of the cliff at the end of Springfield Road into Lake Erie southeast of Aylmer on Friday afternoon, June 23.

Members of the Ontario Provincial Police’s Underwater Search and Recovery Unit started the effort to retrieve the man’s body from the fully submerged vehicle on Saturday morning, June 24 while the province’s Special Investigation Unit (SIU) had taken over the investigation.

On Sunday morning, June 25, SIU spokesman Monica Hudon confirmed the man’s body had been recovered and a post-mortem would be conducted the next day.

OPP Sergeant David Rektor said at 4:43 p.m. on Friday, June 23 an Elgin County OPP officer was on Springfield Road looking for a “suspicious vehicle.”

“The officer observed the vehicle and while turning to conduct a traffic stop, observed something thrown from the vehicle,” Sgt. Rektor said. “The officer stopped to retrieve the package thrown from the vehicle.”

While patrolling the last known route of the suspect vehicle, the officer was contacted by a “civilian” who told them the vehicle had driven over a cliff at the end of Springfield Road ending up in Lake Erie, Sgt Rektor said.

“The OPP has notified the province’s Special Investigation Unit which has invoked its mandate,” Sgt. Rektor said, adding further inquiries should be directed to SIU’s communications line.

No further information was available.

The SIU urged anyone with information on the incident to contact the lead investigator at 1-800-787-8529, ext. 1935.

They also urged anyone who had video evidence to upload the footage to the SIU website.

The SIU is an arm’s length agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.

OPP seeking missing Belmont man

StevenBrettThe Elgin County Ontario Provincial Police are hoping the public can help them find a missing Elgin County man.

Elgin OPP Constable Adam Crewdson said police are trying to find Steven Brett, 56, after responding to a missing person report from a residence in Belmont.

Mr. Brett was last seen in Woodstock at about 7:20 p.m. on Monday, June 19.

“Family are concerned and officers want to locate him to verify his well-being,” Const. Crewdson said.

Mr. Brett is described as six feet, two inches tall (188 centimetres), weighing 240 pounds (108 kilograms) with a heavy build.

He has shoulder length blond/grey hair with a grey goatee.

Mr. Brett was last seen wearing a dark green golf shirt, denim knee-length shorts, a grey baseball hat and running shoes.

He drives a blue Saturn Ion with licence plate BXKJ755.

Mr. Brett is from the Woodstock area and is known to frequent both that city and London.

“The Elgin OPP is requesting anyone with information that can assist police to call 1-888-310-1122,” Const. Crewdson said.

Torch Run marks 30th year in Aylmer

TorchRunEast Elgin Secondary School educational assistant Debbie Dempsey, left, high-fived Assumption Catholic Elementary School pupil Taya Lopez during the 30th annual Law Enforcement Torch Run through Aylmer on Wednesday morning, June 21. The Torch Run raises awareness and money for the Special Olympics. As in past years, Special Olympians, Aylmer Police officers, Ontario Police College representatives and developmentally delayed students from EESS’s Community Living Class participated in the Torch Run. While walking by Assumption, the pupils came out to greet and cheer on the Torch Run participants and offered them cold bottled water. The Torch Run route began at EESS, continued east on Talbot Street, turned south onto Queen Street, then headed west on South Street past Assumption and McGregor Public School before ending the event by doing a lap on Davenport PS’s track.

Springfield PS places second in battery challenge

The pupils and staff at SpSprbatteriesringfield Public School celebrated finishing second in the Ontario School Battery Recycling Challenge during an assembly on Tuesday afternoon, June 20. Raw Materials sales coordinator Sarah Lacharity, left, accepted a $1,000 donation for Sick Kids Foundation of Toronto from Springfield PS’s prize money. Making the presentation were pupils Tess McCallum, Shelby Hamm and Taryn Sullivan. Springfield PS won the challenge last year in its first year of competition. By placing second this year, Springfield PS received $3,874.62 (25 percent) from the $15,498.46 total prize pool. A decision on what to do with the rest of this year’s prize money hadn’t been made yet but Springfield PS Secretary Sheri Webb said it could be spent on technology or field trips. Sparta PS participated in the Challenge for the first time this year and placed 10th out of 125 schools, the maximum amount allowed to enter the contest.

Flying kick fires soccer ball toward net

webbelu14boysLuke Schlinderer of host Belmont Minor Soccer’s Ankor Farms Under 14 boys team put everything into a kick at the London Oakridge Source for Sports goal during a West London Soccer game on Thursday night, June 15. London squeaked by Belmont 5-4.

Springfield takes on…Springfield

webspru16girlsSpringfield Brewers girls Under 16 Minors Rep team first baseman Leah Elijah caught the throw from a teammate, but only just after Kristen Laur of the Springfield girls Under 16 Majors Rep team safely crossed first base following a bunt, during a game between the two home teams at Malahide Community Place on Thursday night, June 15. Majors won this game in the end, 6-2.