AM NEWS THUR JAN 23

China closed off a city of more than 11 million people Thursday in an unprecedented effort to try to contain a deadly new viral illness that has sickened hundreds and spread to other cities and countries amid the Lunar New Year travel rush.  Normally bustling streets, shopping malls, restaurants and other public spaces in Wuhan were eerily quiet. Social media users posted that movie theatres were cancelling showings and complained that food vendors were exploiting the situation with huge price increases on fresh produce.

Sudbury is not immune to the opioid crisis, but the city is well-prepared to respond.  That was the message delivered in a presentation to Sudbury city council Tuesday night, by the co-chairs of Sudbury’s Community Drug Strategy, Dr. Penny Sutcliffe and police chief Paul Pedersen.  Sutcliffe, the Medical Officer of Health for Public Health Sudbury and Districts told council that 32 people died from opioid-related overdoses in Sudbury and Manitoulin in 2018.  In the first six months of 2019, there were 28 deaths.  Sutcliffe went on to say that the opioid crisis has affected individuals, families and communities in every part of the country. 

The City of Elliot Lake has issued an order to rectify as a result of roof leaks in the Pearson Plaza complex.  The Elliot Lake Public Library was notified by the landlord to vacate the leased premises in order to carry out the remedial work.  In the meantime, library patrons can return books to a drop box at the entrance to the Plaza or keep the book until the library re-opens.  All late fines will be waived as a result of the closure.

Former cabinet minister Rona Ambrose is not running for the Conservative leadership.  Ambrose made the announcement in a video on Facebook Wednesday afternoon, saying she “struggled” with the decision.  Her decision comes after weeks of pressure from Conservative heavyweights who have said they’d love to see her run for leader.  Ambrose said that beyond continuing her work in the private sector, she also plans to continue advocating for a law to be enacted to mandate judicial sexual assault law training.

Five people are missing and one is dead after a group of snowmobilers plunged through the ice near Quebec’s Lac Saint-Jean.  Late Wednesday, provincial police said they found two snowmobiles underwater close to where the snowmobilers had gone missing.  It happened at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in a community about 500 kilometres north of Montreal.  Eight tourists from France and their tour guide were part of the group.  Three members of the group managed to help each other out of the water and rushed for help.  They were treated for hypothermia.

AND IN SPORTS:

Oliver Bjorkstrand scored twice, Elvis Merzlikins MERZ-LEE-KINS stopped 27 shots, and the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Winnipeg Jets 4-3 on Wednesday night for their sixth straight win.

Eric Staal and Mats Zuccarello each had a goal and assist, and Devan Dubnyk stopped 25 shots as the Minnesota Wild beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-2 on Wednesday night.

And sticking with the NHL, Philadelphia police said Wednesday that Flyers mascot Gritty is under investigation for allegedly assaulting a 13-year-old boy during a photo shoot last November at Wells Fargo Center.  It is alleged the mascot sucker punched a 13-year old in the back on November 19th while the Flyers said Gritty was hit in the head repeatedly.  There was a series of emails between the boy’s father and the team after the father complained about a “lousy picture” with Gritty.  After the photo, the father alleged Gritty took a running start and punched the teen.  He also acknowledged it was not appropriate for his son to hit Gritty on the head.

And in the NBA, January seems a bit early for scoreboard watching, but the Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers aren’t ashamed to admit they’ve been keeping an eye on each other. In another hotly contested battle Toronto came away with a 107-95 win over Philadelphia.  It was one of those important, character-building type of victories, even this early in the season. The Raptors came in with a 2-7 record against the East’s top-six teams and while injuries certainly factored into some of those losses, they were 0-4 versus that group with their full rotation intact.

And in the CFL, the league is expected to announce today the July 25 game between the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Toronto Argonauts will be played at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax.  The 2019 CFL schedule included a regular season game in Moncton, New Brunswick, between the Montreal Alouettes and Argonauts.

In the OHL, the Sudbury Wolves are in North Bay tonight to face off against the Battalion.  Game time is 7pm.

And in the NOJHL the Powassan Voodoos travelled to Kirkland Lake last night and took the 2 points from the Gold Miners with a 5-2 win despite the Gold Miners being on top with shots on goal 38-28.  Tonight the Espanola Express are in Rayside Balfour to face off against the Canadians.  Puck drops at 7pm.