Relaxation of some of the provincial pandemic restrictions on outdoor recreation means ATV riders are able to get out on the trails again and also on sections of public roads that are used as links between trails. Police remind ATV riders that they are subject to all traffic laws when on public roads, including those related to impaired driving. ATV riders must wear helmets at all times, use a licensed vehicle, and not have passengers riding with them. — Gregg Chamberlain BE BEAR WISE Black bears are native to Ontario and, while sightings in Prescott-Russell are rare, they do sometimes show up in rural areas foraging for food or heading cross-country to other territories. The provincial conservation office asks anyone going for hikes or mountain bike trips in the woods to be bear-wise and make sure to make some noise while travelling. It is recommended that people consultthe natural resources ministry on the provincial website for advice on being bear-wise in the woods.—Gregg Chamberlain CANADA DAY CANCELLED Champlain Township residents cele- brating Canada’s birthday will have to do so at home. There will be no official Canada Day events at L’Orignal Park or other sites in the municipality. Township council approved a recommendation at its May 14 teleconference session to cancel official July 1 activities because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Residents are recommended to check the federal government website for information on a virtual Canada Day celebration plan. – Gregg Chamberlain SCHOOL BUS CONTRACT Student Transportation of Eastern Onta- rio (STEO), the consortium that manages student bussing for Eastern Ontario school boards, has renewed its contract with drivers for the next term. Drivers will get a two-per-cent pay increase and the STEO is working on telling parents of students about bell time changes for school operations for the 2020-2021 school year and how those changes will affect bus pick up and drop off times.– Gregg Chamberlain

In the future, Hawkesbury residents may not need to show up at the front counter at the municipal office to pay their property taxes, water and sewer bills, or various user fees. Town council and administration are discussing the feasibility of an online payment system for taxes and user fees. —archives


person and pay their property tax bill, and also water and sewer bills or other user fees, at the front counter. The problem with that, some council members noted, is front-line office staff sometimes end up on the receiving end of complaints. The COVID-19 pandemic situation promp- ted Hawkesbury and other municipalities to adjust their property tax and user fee payments schedules to ease the surprise financial burden for some homeowners and

business operators. The question now is whether or not to continue with the front-office payment method. Residents can also pay their property taxes by cheque through the mail. Hawkes- bury administration could look at setting up an online payment method for property taxes, sewer and water bills, and other user fees, and phasing out the front-counter payment method. Council will review the idea further during its June 29 session.

Hawkesbury council is debating whether or not property owners need to come to the municipal office to pay their taxes. Council members discussed all the pos- sible ways people could pay their property taxes during a recent committee of the whole session. Right now homeowners and business owners can go to the municipal office in



risk of attracting ticks. Ticks, like mosquitoes, draw blood from their hosts. Removing ticks must be done with care to avoid leaving the head still atta- ched to a person’s body. The black-legged species of tick is also a carrier of Lyme disease and there are some areas within the EOHU region where hikers may encounter black-legged ticks. The symptoms of Lyme disease may appear within three to 30 days after a tick bite. The symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and joint ache, stiff neck, decreased appetite, fatigue, swollen glands, and a possible rash. Immediate removal of a black-legged tick within a 24-hour period reduces the risk of Lyme disease infection. Amyone affected by any symptoms should contact a doctor. If not treated right away with antibiotics, Lyme disease symptoms can reoccur and may create problems affecting a person’s heart, nervous system or joints.

The summer season is also tick and Lyme disease season. The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) is providing free tick removal cards to residents and visitors to use if needed after they go hiking or cycling in the woods or in fields with tall grass. The specially-designed cards make it easier to remove any ticks that may have attached themselves to legs, arms, or other areas of the body. The card fits inside a wallet, and is available at local pharmacies within the EOHU region. A list of pharmacies that will have the cards, while quantities last, is available on the EOHU website at There are also suggestions on reducing the

The warm summer weather is perfect for walks in the woods. Hikers should take precautions against picking up black-legged ticks during their rambles and risking infection with Lyme disease. —stock photo

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