The “emergency scam” is back

A favourite fraud routine is making a comeback.

Police warn that the “Emergency Scam,” a favourite fraud routine for con artists, is back as more people are housebound thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. A homeowner in Leeds County received a suspicious call and OPP warn that other residents in other Eastern Ontario counties may also get similar calls.

The “emergency scam” involves an alleged relative or friend of the victim calling up to ask for help because they are under arrest or in the hospital or stranded somewhere without any money or credit cards or access to their bank accounts. The aim is to get the target of the scam to wire money to help deal with the problem.

The new variation on the scam now involves someone claiming to be a lawyer phoning the target of the fraud, telling the person that their son or daughter or some other relative or a friend was in an accident and is now in jail and needs bail money. Then another person comes on the line, claiming to be the person in trouble and begging for help.

The victim in Leeds County targeted by the two fraudsters lost $5000. Con artists are now counting on people’s concern that their family or friends may need help getting home during the pandemic and not asking for more information to make sure the call is real.

Anyone getting a suspicious call that sounds like the “emergency scam” should ask personal questions to help determine if the alleged person in trouble is an actual relative or friend. Even then they should not provide any personal or financial information, but see if the person will provide a phone number for a call back. Then hang up and report the matter to police to investigate.

A piece of Hawkesbury’s commercial history is gone thanks to a Saturday afternoon fire.

Firefighters from the Hawkesbury and L’Orignal stations responded to a call after 3 p.m., May 23, about a fire at La Marché Lacroix, at the corner of James Street and Regent Street. When the fire trucks arrived, the building was already belching out thick clouds of smoke.

Le feu détruit une partie de l'histoire commerciale de Hawkesbury

A Friday morning police raid ended with a Hawkesbury man charged with drug possession.

At about 6 a.m., May 22, members of the OPP Street Crime Unit and the Emergency Response Team executed a search warrant at a James Street apartment in Hawkesbury.

A Hawkesbury company is joining the fight against COVID-19 by supplying Hawkesbury & District General Hospital with much-needed reuseable face shields for doctors, nurses and other staff.

“We had a great partnership with Hawkesbury General Hospital,” said Patrick Tallon, president of Tulmar Safety Systems Inc., during a May 15 phone interview. “The hospital is our first priority, but we are getting a lot of requests from other sources.”

Tulmar, acteur important dans la lutte contre la COVID

Now anyone who thinks they may have COVID-19 can go to one of the regional health unit’s assessment centres and find out.

“Effective immediately, our testing centres will be open to anyone with symptoms,” said Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, chief medical health officer for the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU), during his Thursday (May 14) teleconference with regional media.

Scène policière

Il n’y a pas à dire : la vitesse a la cote en campagne. Les policiers de la Sûreté du Québec (SQ), et d’ailleurs, en ont plein les bras ce printemps avec des pilotes au pied lourd pris en flagrant délit de grand excès de vitesse.

Entre le 13 mars et le 13 mai, pas moins de 20 arrestations ont été recensées pour grand excès de vitesse dans les Laurentides. Ce type de comportement routier n’est pas propre à ce printemps, mais la fonte des neiges et l’arrivée de températures plus douces semblent stimuler les speed freaks et autres automobilistes insouciants. «Le beau temps amène certains comportements comme la grande vitesse, c’est sûr», a déclaré Marc Tessier, de la SQ.


It will be a very quiet June for members of the Class of 2020 in the Upper Canada District School Board region as their official graduation ceremony won’t take place until next year.

The district has sent out a letter from John McAllister, Upper Canada District School Board chair (UCDSB), and Stephen Sliwa, UCDSB education director, to Grade 12 students and their families regarding plans to postpone all official graduation ceremonies until next year. A copy of the letter was also issued to local news media.

Casselman area

Strong wind made dealing with a corn field fire a challenge for The Nation Municipality’s fire fighters.

“Definitely the wind conditions,” said Fire Chief Tobias Hovey, regarding the problems his people faced in trying to extinguish a fire Tuesday (May 12) that got into a stubbled field of leftover dry stalks from last year’s corn harvest.

Un feu dans les champs de maïs


La construction d'un nouvel établissement de soins de longue durée pour remplacer l'actuelle Résidence Prescott-Russell se déroule selon l'échéancier prévu.

«Le projet progresse à plein régime», a déclaré Stéphane Parisien, directeur général des Comtés unis de Prescott-Russell (CUPR).

New Prescott-Russell Residence project is on schedule

Sad news from Plantagenet with another death due to COVID-19 at the Pinecrest Nursing Home.

“This is a very fragile situation,” said Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, as he confirmed during his Tuesday (May 12) media teleconference, that a ninth resident at the long-term care facility has died from complications due to COVID-19.

Six more residents at the Pinecrest Nursing Home in Plantagenet have died due to complications from COVID-19.

Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, chief medical officer for the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) confirmed the most recent deaths at the long-term care facility during his regular media teleconference.

A Hawkesbury man faces charges following a police raid.

Members of the Hawkesbury OPP detachment, the OPP Street Crime Unit, and the Emergency Response Team executed a search warrant on a residence on Gladstone Street in Hawkesbury May 8.


Essential service workers now have six childcare centres available to them as they maintain front-line service for residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The United Counties of Prescott-Russell (UCPR) announced Friday (May 8) that it now has arranged a total of six emergency child care centre operations to support front-line workers providing essential services for Prescott-Russell residents during the current pandemic situation.


There are more cases of COVID-19 confirmed at the Pinecrest Nursing Home in Plantagenet.

Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, chief medical officer for the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) announced seven more people testing positive for COVID-19 at the nursing during his Wednesday (May 6) media briefing teleconference.


The three chambers of commerce for the Prescott-Russell region launched a new virtual conference project to help keep their members informed of important business news items during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think it exceeded our expectations,” said Stéphanie Simard, president of the Clarence-Rockland Chamber of Commerce. “We’re certainly going to continue it.”

Lancement d'un projet de conférence virtuelle des affaires

The first deaths due to COVID-19 are confirmed for the Prescott-Russell region.

Two residents at the Pinecrest Nursing Home in Plantagenet have died as a result of complications related to COVID-19. The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) confirmed the deaths in a May 4 email news release sent out to local media.

La COVID-19 fait ses premières victimes dans Prescott-Russell

Anyone wanting to stroll along the Prescott-Russell Recreation Trail will have to either walk or ride a bike to get there.

All the vehicle parking lots at the trail access points are now closed as the United Counties of Prescott-Russell (UCPR) follows the provincial government’s pandemic prevention plan.

Two Hawkesbury residents face drug charges after an April 30 raid on a residence.

Police executed a search warrant Thursday afternoon, just after 4 p.m., at a Regent Street home in Hawkesbury. Members of the OPP Hawkesbury detachment and also the Emergency Response Team (ERT) took part in the raid.

Descente policière: deux personnes de Hawkesbury inculpées


The regional health office says people can drive up for their takeout coffee order but then they should drive away with it, instead of standing around in the parking lot with other people, drinking coffee and chatting.

“It’s a drive-through,” said Dr. Paul Roumeliotis of the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU). “You drive through, pick it up, and leave.”


About half of the people in Eastern Ontario who contracted COVID-19 have recovered from the disease.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Eastern Ontario totalled 91 as of April 28. The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) reported 45 cases of people who recovered from the disease after they were first diagnosed.


The first outbreak of COVID-19 in a seniors’ home in the Eastern Ontario region is confirmed.

Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, chief medical health officer for the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU), confirmed the first COVID-19 outbreak in a long-term care facility in the region. Eight residents and three staff members at the Pinecrest Nursing Home in Plantagenet have tested positive for the disease, though the residents and two of the care home employees are not showing symptoms.

Homeowners in Alfred-Plantagent Township with extra garbage to get rid of can now take it to the Alfred landfill on Saturdays and Tuesdays.

Mayor Stéphane Sarrazin got the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) to recognize public access to the landfill is an “essential service” after he raised the issue with Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, the regional medical health officer.

Eastern Ontario’s chief medical health officer wants to get the infant vaccination program back on track.

“It’s time we have to look at this,” said Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, chief medical officer for the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU), during his Wednesday (April 22) daily media teleconference.

Le BSEO relancera le programme de vaccination des nourissons

Eastern Ontario

The pace of the COVID-19 pandemic for the Eastern Ontario region seems slower now but the region’s chief medical health officer is not calling it a victory yet.

“We are still waiting to see how the curve flattens out,” said Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, chief medical health officer for the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU), during his regular media teleconference.


Across the Prescott-Russell region, flags fly at half-mast as local municipalities, school districts, and others express sympathy and support for the residents of several Nova Scotia communities in the wake of a weekend murder spree which claimed the lives of 22 people.

All eight mayors took a moment during the April 22 session of the United Counties of Prescott-Russell (UCPR) to reflect on the incident and express their condolences for their counterparts in five communities in the province. Residents in Portapique,  Wentworth, Debert, Shubenacadie, and Enfield are still suffering the psychological aftershock of a series of killings and arson incidents that began Saturday April 18 in Portapique and ended Sunday April 19 100 kilometres away in Enfield when Gabriel Wortman, 51, the man responsible for the murders died during a shootout with RCMP.

Food and agriculture

A regional food processing plant for both local meat and vegetables may be part of Prescott-Russell’s commercial agricultural profile soon.

The United Counties of Prescott-Russell council (UCPR) gave unanimous support during its video-teleconference session today (April 22) to a proposal from Economic Development and Tourism Director Carole Lavigne for a $36 million project to create a regional food hub and processing plant for local produce and livestock.


A better “dead zone-free” cellular service project for all of Eastern Ontario is another stop closer to launch.

The Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN) issued its first request for proposals (RFP) for companies to present competitive bids aimed at building a new cellular service system for the Eastern Ontario region. The goal is to eliminate “dead zones” for cellphone calls in the region, which create potential public safety risks where fire and accident situations are concerned and which also hamper some businesses in competition with other outfits that can offer cellphone contact for orders and deliveries to their customers.

Police news

A would-be speed demon ended up bringing his own Saturday night speed run to a sudden stop when he blew a tire.

OPP officers on patrol on Highway 417 east of Hawkesbury clocked a car going 271 kilometres an hour on the road just a half hour after midnight Saturday on the April 18 weekend. The posted limit is 110kph. The would-be speed racer’s run came to a sudden stop.


There are no COVID-19 problems for Prescott-Russell’s senior care and retirement homes says Eastern Ontario’s chief medical health officer.

“At this point, we do not have any outbreaks in any long-term care facility,” said Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, chief medical health officer for the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU), during his daily regional media teleconference April 16.


Le gouvernement de l’Ontario a annoncé aujourd'hui (mardi 14 avril) la prolongation de l’état d’urgence de 28 jours.  Cette prolongation a été adoptée lors d’une séance extraordinaire à l’Assemblée législative à Toronto à laquelle participaient un nombre restreint d'élus.

Lors de son point de presse quotidien à Queen’s Park, le premier ministre Doug Ford a aussi précisé qu'il n'y aura donc pas de retour en classe le 4 mai, pour les élèves et les enseignants.