Morning Coffee – By Aaron Hall

Weather forecast for Thursday, January 11, 2018

A special weather statement is in effect across Chatham-Kent.

Today – Cloudy with 40 percent chance of showers. Fog patches dissipating this morning. Wind south 20 km/h. Temperature steady near 9.

Tonight – Periods of rain changing to periods of freezing rain before morning. Wind south 20 km/h becoming northwest 20 gusting to 40 late this evening. Low zero.

4-H is ready for the the Toy Show

The Chatham-Kent 4-H Farm Toy Club is preparing for the 17th Annual Chatham-Kent Toy Show & Sale taking place on Sunday, January 14, 2018 at the John D. Bradley Convention Centre in Chatham.

Club members have constructed 1/64th scale dioramas depicting various farm scenes and will be displaying their projects at the show.

Members of the 4-H Blenheim Sewing Club will also be displaying their completed projects as part of their achievement program.

There will be more than 150 sale and display tables with various items including farm toys, trains, sports cards, trucks, construction, model ships, books, planes, cars, action figures, dolls, doll clothes, coins, military, collectibles and much more.

Show participants come from throughout Southwestern Ontario and beyond.

Home Depot will run a Kids Workshop from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.

There will be other hands-on activities for children to enjoy.

4-H Toy Club members along with the Essex-Kent Junior Farmers will be helping out at the show which will raise funds for their clubs and for Chatham Outreach for Hunger.

The show runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Admission is $4 for adults, $2 for students and children 6 years and under are free.

Check out these photos of the dioramas:

Dresden students raising funds for trip to Greece

Students at Lambton-Kent Composite School are doing a fundraiser to help with their Greece trip in March of 2018.

They are selling broasted chicken dinner tickets, which will be held on Sunday, January 21 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Dresden Arena. Burns will be catering the event.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for kids (12 and under).

If anyone is interested in purchasing tickets, they are available at McKellar Flowers in Dresden or by calling 519-683-4368 or ask a student who is going on the trip.

IODE supports student nutrition

(Submitted photo)

The Captain Garnet Brackin Chapter IODE has donated $1,500 to the Chatham-Kent student nutrition program.

Program officials say students are coming to school hungry each day for a variety of reasons.

This donation will allow the many volunteers and school staff to purchase nutritious food that will help fuel the students.

Vote on ideas for the 2018 Ontario Budget

Ontario is inviting the public to vote on ideas submitted through Budget Talks, an innovative online consultation to develop policies that will be part of Ontario’s future.

This year more than 700 ideas were submitted in five focus areas including child care, seniors, small business, students and healthy living. Up to $5 million is available in Ontario’s 2018 Budget to implement the most popular ideas.

Visit Ontario.ca/Budgettalks to vote for your three favourite ideas before 5 p.m., January 26, 2018. Selected ideas will be announced as part of the upcoming 2018 Budget.

“Budget Talks is an excellent opportunity for the public to submit ideas that will help build a brighter future for people across Ontario,” stated Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance.

“Public engagement is fundamental to the development of good public policy. We now need your help to decide which ideas will be funded as part of the 2018 Budget.”

Government officials say in 2017, people submitted 404 ideas, wrote 923 comments and casted 19,229 votes as part of Budget Talks.

Reducing and preventing food waste, improving digital services for libraries and accessing digitized health data were the three ideas that received the most public votes and were included in the 2017 Budget.

Ontario Parks celebrate 125 years

From camping under the stars to hiking through back country trails, Ontario parks have been offering people across Ontario a great way to stay healthy and experience the province for 125 years.

In 1893, Algonquin Provincial Park became the very first provincial park in Ontario. This year, Ontario Parks is celebrating the 125th anniversary of the provincial park system with events, music, art and more.

“Ontario has a world-class parks system, and this anniversary allows us to celebrate the fantastic opportunities right in our backyard,” stated Kathryn McGarry, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, in a press release.

“Our parks offer something for everyone so check out what is happening at your local park or venture to one farther away for an exciting new adventure.”

Imagine Adventure

Visit one of our provincial parks to discover something new. With a variety of trails for hiking, waterways for canoeing, and countless other outdoor activities – Ontario Parks has something for everyone.

Inspiring the Arts

From the Group of Seven to Indigenous artists – and even modern-day creatives – the landscapes of Ontario Parks continue to inspire the creation of outstanding works of art. A brand-new art-based program designed to connect people with nature through hands-on art activities, will be offered in parks across the province.

Contribute to Science

The public will be invited to give back, learn, and participate in stewardship programs to help protect the incredible amount of biodiversity found in provincial parks, bioblitz events, invasive species removal, and wildlife monitoring.

Events and activities will be happening all year at parks across the province, so be sure to check out the Ontario Parks website for all the newest information.

More details:

– There are over 330 provincial parks in Ontario, covering more than 8-million hectares — larger than Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island combined.

– In 2017, Ontario’s provincial parks received more than 10 million visits from people around the world and brought in close to $90 million in revenue directly back to Ontario Parks, supporting jobs and businesses across the province.

– Ontario Parks supports Healthy Parks, Healthy People, a worldwide movement that works to promote and understand the link between a healthy environment and human health. Join us on July 20, 2018 for free day-use in all provincial parks and help us celebrate Ontario Parks 125.

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If you have a suggestion, story idea, column idea, or if you want to say hello… drop me an e-mail at aaron@sydenhamcurrent.ca.