Author Archives: fromareportersnotebook

About fromareportersnotebook

Former reporter and city editor at The Tribune, Welland, On. Active in various community groups and initiatives, married with two grown children, interested in roses specifically and gardening in general. A collection of previously-written columns was published in book form in the fall of 2013 and is available by contacting the writer at: It sells for $20.

HERITAGE LIVES: When Real Horsepower Roamed Local Streets


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Sunnyside Dairy horse-drawn milk wagon. (Source of photos: Celebrating 150 Years, Walking Through Welland)

By Terry Hughes

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What has four wheels and flies? The garbage wagon! An elementary school joke that was popular when we were kids. Many of our services including garbage pick-up were still being provided using real horse power. Another visitor to our neighbourhoods was the ice wagon. Ice was still being used for those folks who had an ice box where the cold air created by a block of ice descended to the food stored below and kept it cool. Refrigerators, however, were quickly replacing them at that time. During the summer the iceman was a welcomed visitor because we could always depend on him giving us a free piece of ice.
Probably the longest method of home delivery was for milk. The number of local dairies were numerous. Northside, Welland, Martin and Sunnyside come to mind. Each served certain parts of the city and relied on farmers for their supply of milk through their dairy herds. The fascinating part to home delivery was the milkman bringing quart bottles to your door and picking up the empties. On a certain day he would get paid for a week’s worth of service.
The uncanny part of this system was the part that the horse played. As the milkman filled his carrier with milk and jumped off to make his delivery, the horse instinctively knew that it needed to follow his master as he made the rounds without the guy standing inside the wagon.
The arrival of the milkman during the winter could be a real life saver. If conditions were too extreme, you could depend on getting a ride inside the wagon. On the other hand, one could hitch a ride by holding on the back of the wagon as well.
Horse drawn vehicles offered a bonus to everyone. Every time a horse would drop a load, the race was on to get the manure for your garden. This race made for some interesting neighbourhood competitions!

(Terry Hughes is a Wellander who is passionate about heritage, history and model railroading. His column, Heritage Lives, appears on the blog monthly. )

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Northside Dairy, Niagara and Mill Street, 1930.

Next Column: Finding Naturally-Made Creatures That Were Grotesque.


Niagara College To Offer Canada’s First Post-Secondary Credential In Commercial Cannabis Production


Dan Patterson

WELLAND –  Responding to a need for skilled graduates who are knowledgeable in the complex regulations and requirements of an emerging industry, Niagara College will launch a Graduate Certificate program in Commercial Cannabis Production in 2018 – Canada’s first post-secondary credential in the production of commercial cannabis.
The program, which was approved by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development over the summer, would prepare graduates to work in the licensed production of Cannabis, which is used as a therapeutic drug (Marijuana); fiber (Hemp) and as a source for seed oil  (Hempseed).                                                                                                                            “We’re a pre-emptive college, and one of our key strengths is our ability to anticipate and respond to emerging industries, trends and labour-market needs,” said Niagara College president Dan Patterson. “The Commercial Cannabis Production program reflects the College’s mandate to develop responsive applied learning programs that address industry needs – much like our Commercial Beekeeping, Culinary Innovation, Renewable Energy Technician and other programs.”


Al Unwin, associate dean, School of Environmental and Horticultural Studies; and second-year Greenhouse Technician student Denzil Rose, in the NC Greenhouse. (Niagara College photo)

“Driven by legislative changes in Canada and abroad, there is a growing labour market need, and education will be a key component of the success of this emerging industry,” said Al Unwin, associate dean of Niagara College’s School of Environmental and Horticultural Studies. “This program will produce graduates who are skilled and knowledgeable Greenhouse and Controlled Environment Technicians who are also trained in all of the procedures, requirements, regulations and standards for this industry.”
“There is a tremendous demand for knowledgeable, skilled workers in this highly technical industry,” said Roger Ferrreira, CEO of Beleave, Inc., in Hamilton, ON. “Niagara College having the vision to fill this knowledge gap is commendable.”
The production of cannabis is a very highly regulated process, with very strict government regulations. Niagara College’s program will conform to all regulations and requirements, including providing a separate and highly secure learning environment/growing facility.
The Commercial Cannabis Production program is a one-year post-grad program open to students with a diploma or degree from an accredited college or university in agribusiness, agricultural sciences, environmental science/resource studies, horticulture or natural sciences, or an acceptable combination of education and experience.
The program will be located at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus, which is home to the College’s other agri-business programs, facilities and research projects. The initial intake for the program is scheduled for Fall, 2018. For further program and application information visit Currently celebrating its 50th year as a College of Applied Arts and Technology, NC is a leader in applied education and a key contributor to the economies of Niagara and Ontario. A regional college with global reach, NC offers more than 100 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs. Visit

(Source: Niagara College media release)

Ashlynne Vince: On The Move!


Welland’s Ashlynne Vince packs her bags and moves to Nashville, Tennessee this week, the next step of her musical journey.  (Photos: by Danica)

By Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large
WELLAND – Ashlynne Vince has two nominations at Sunday’s Niagara Music Awards but she won’t be here for the big night.
The 20-year-old singer-songwriter is leaving the Rose City this week to put down new roots in Music City, Nashville.
“I’m really excited about moving to Nashville. I’m really focusing on that, taking the next step in my musical journey,” she said in a telephone conversation. “I really love Welland and Niagara, they will always be home and I can always come home.”
A nominee for Country Artist of the Year and Female Vocalist of the Year, Vince posted on Facebook:  “Unfortunately I will be unable to attend because I make my permanent move to Nashville on September 21st, but my heart is with all of these talented musicians in Niagara. Best wishes to all who are nominated – well deserved!”
trainbridge 2The 2015 Centennial Secondary School grad admits to having “a nervous feeling” about leaving home especially because it is her first time “packing up to leave” but in her next breath said, “In the big picture, I’m excited and I know my mom will be there as often as she can be.”
Vince is already something of an old hand when it comes to Nashville. She said she has been visiting there since 15 and recorded her first album, Tidal Wave, in Nashville. She’s also appeared as a guest on stage at a long list of popular clubs and honky tonks so she has an idea about what’s in store. For one thing, she said she will be a regular performer on Nashville’s Lower Broadway.
“I have my work visa, I’ll be playing downtown in various places and I want to get involved in writing circles when I’m there.”
She’s passionate about both, singing and songwriting,  explaining: “I love being able to express myself through my music.”
Take Cover, written when she was 16, recently became her third single to Canadian Country Radio. Another of her favourites, No Boys Allowed, was written with her mom, Loralee.
In Nashville, Vince will be living with a friend who is a fiddle player in downtown Nashville.
“Katie is altogether awesome, she acts like an older sister to me.”
Vince is the daughter of Loralee and Joe Vince. She has a sister, Eden and two brothers, Samuel and Jordan.
“My family is very supportive of me,” she said.
Vince is well known in her hometown. She performed in the Friday evening music series, Summer Music Festival 2017, on the floating stage in Welland’s Merritt Park. The show’s theme was Nashville, Country Classics. She was also featured the previous summer.
A big move lies ahead, but it’s something she has to do, she said. Listening to her, it’s obvious she’s ready for that next step in her musical career.
You can find out more about Ashlynne Vince at her website,



Jessica Wilson Live At Black Sheep Lounge

Jessica Wilson

 Welland singer-songwriter Jessica Wilson (Website photo)

By Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large
WELLAND –  Jessica Wilson is pumped about the upcoming Niagara Music Awards.
The singer-songwriter from Welland has two nominations: Album of the Year and Songwriter of the Year. It’s her second time being nominated.
The awards show is Sunday, September 24 at the Greg Frewin Theatre in Niagara Falls.


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But before that, Wilson is playing at what she says is her favourite venue, The Black Sheep Lounge on Niagara Street. She’s there Thursday, September 21 from 7pm to 9pm.
Of course, she’s hoping for a good turnout of local and out of town fans. She sees it as a great opportunity for them to find out why she is deserving of the awards for which she is nominated.
“I’ll be playing my EP and also trying a few new songs I’ve written in the past couple of weeks,” she wrote in a recent email. She will also be doing covers during the course of the performance.
Wilson will have copies of her recent EP, Sincerely, and says they’ll be available for sale and signing during the night.
Wilson, 21, is a graduate of Centennial Secondary School and from St. Clair College in  Windsor  where she graduated from the Music Theatre Performance program.
Yet another reason to attend Thursday night: owner Lucas Spinosa will have his fall menu out and from what Wilson has seen, one word, “amazing” describes it well.
“Black Sheep Lounge is by far my favourite place to play, and I might even do a few songs on his in-house piano,” Wilson wrote.
This is a perfect segue to get in a few words about Black Sheep Lounge.
It’s up for honors at the Niagara Music Awards, nominated in the Venue of the Year category. Congratulations!
Among other dates coming up for Wilson in the short term is Saturday, September 30, the Feast Street Festival, Welland, from 215pm to 245pm.
You can find out more about her at:
For the complete list of NMA nominees, please refer to a story online in The Tribune, Wednesday Sept. 13.