ROBERTA BELL/THE PACKET & TIMES Michelle Caron, of Homeniuk Rides, and her canine companion, Curley, take a break from setting up the midway concession booths for this weekend's Rotary-Lions Funfest Friday at Couchiching Beach Park. Funfest, a civic holiday tradition in Orillia, runs until Sunday.

Let the fun begin

Michelle Caron, of Homeniuk Rides, and her canine companion, Curley, take a break from setting up the midway concession booths for this weekend's...

Plans get OK from MTO

The Ministry of Transportation (MTO) has given the green light to the city's plans for road improvements to pave the way for Costco.

Youth need safe haven

There is just one youth shelter in Simcoe County -- a vast region that encompasses an area of almost 5,000 square kilometres and is home to upward of

SUBMITTED PHOTO Experiences in nature can create lasting memories.

Making memories, naturally

Growing up, I was always outside. We had a creek that ran through the undeveloped ravine behind our house. Many endless summer days were spent chasing

DAVID HAWKE/SPECIAL TO THE PACKET & TIMES This tree obviously has stories to tell, if you can interpret them. Every individual tree in the background forest also has its personal story, explaining how a branch grew bowed or a trunk twisted. Reading the landscape is a mix of art and science.

A natural individuality

So much can be said about the nature of nature: It's never static, is always orderly yet is ever-changing. It can appear complex in structure yet foll

DAVE DAWSON/THE PACKET & TIMES For several years, Imad Qahwash, a professional basketball player, has organized camps for elite basketball players in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. This past year, he expanded to Simcoe County and, after seeing the calibre of local players, he decided to host the Orillia Elite Skills Camp, which will run Aug. 10 to 13 at the Rama MASK.

Skills, drills -- and fun

Like a wide-eyed prospector, Imad Qahwash goes into uncharted territory mining for hidden treasure. But it's not gold he's looking for; it's young bas

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