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Koraline Ferdinand, 3, clutches the candle she carried from the Orillia legion to the Orillia Opera House Friday night during the Children’s Candlelight Parade. ROBERTA BELL/THE PACKET & TIMES

Children’s Candlelight Parade

Koraline Ferdinand, 3, clutches the candle she carried from the Orillia legion to the Orillia Opera House Friday night during the Children’s Candlelight Parade. Ferdinand was among the hundreds of local children who participated in the event, which culminated with the lighting of the Christmas Tree at the corner of West and Mississaga streets and a

ROBERTA BELL/THE PACKET & TIMES - Children riding on the YMCA float wave to spectators.

Santa draws a crowd: SEE TWEETS

As Doug Bunker drove along the parade route in his golf cart to make sure things were in order before Santa showed up, he said children eagerly waiting curbside were joyfully shouting, “Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!” at him.

ROBERTA BELL/THE PACKET & TIMES - The program for 2014 International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day in Orillia.

Talking about suicide

Seven people, most of whom were strangers, sat down together Saturday to take the first step to begin coping with the suicides of their loved ones.

ROBERTA BELL/THE PACKET & TIMES - Orillia firefighters responded to their first house fire from the department’s new Gill Street headquarters Saturday morning. Pictured are some of the crew members who fought the basement blaze.

New fire station up and running

Half an hour before the official opening of Orillia’s new fire hall got underway, the firefighters who had been practicing for it found themselves scrambling to get their gear on and go fight a fire.

Couchiching Jubilee House executive Director Akosua Atta-Mensah, right, accepts a $1,500 grant from the Community Foundation of Orillia and Area Friday during a presentation at Calvary Pentecostal Tabernacle. ROBERTA BELL/THE PACKET & TIMES

‘This isn’t a blip year’

The Community Foundation of Orillia and Area more than doubled the grant money it distributed to local charities in 2014 over 2013 and more than tripled it over 2012.

An employee of Willowtree Farm arranges produce at the Orillia Farmers’ Market Saturday. ROBERTA BELL/THE PACKET & TIMES

Markets move indoors

With snow now on the ground, Orillia’s two farmers’ markets have moved indoors following their inaugural seasons.

Cogeco Data Service is expanding its flagship Barrie centre, adding 20,000 square feet and new jobs to its Welham Road facility. MARK WANZEL PHOTO

Cogeco expanding in Barrie

Cogeco Data Service is expanding its flagship Barrie centre, adding 20,000 square feet and new jobs to its Welham Road facility.

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Fatal two-vehicle crash: UPDATE

TAY TOWNSHIP – A 26-year-old Penetanguishene man died in a two- vehicle crash on Highway 12, between Rosemount and Gervais roads, on Wednesday afternoon.

ROBERTA BELL/THE PACKET & TIMES

Lighting the way

Koraline Ferdinand, 3, clutches the candle she carried from the Orillia legion to the Orillia Opera House Friday night during the Children’s Candlelight Parade.