Overnight fire burns at Kokkola museum
Firefighters say they’ve managed to save the Kokkola Natural History Museum after a fire broke out overnight. The alarm was raised around 03:00, and rescue crews say it was a tough blaze to tackle because the flames had got into the roof structure by the time they arrived. However, they were able to save the collections on the ground floor of the museum. The attic space has been badly damaged in the fire and this morning, investigators are looking into how the fire got started.
Lots of snow and dangerous driving conditions
A combination of heavy snow, high winds causing drifting, and some warming temperatures make for tough / dangerous driving conditions this morning. There’s up to half a metre of accumulated snow in the capital city region, with warnings in place for south and south east Finland due to the amount of snow on the ground. There’s warnings about poor driving conditions in Uusimaa, Kanta-Häme, Päijät-Häme, Kymenlaakso, South Karelia and South Savo as well this morning.
Care home boss resigns
The CEO of Esperi Care which runs care facilities for elderly people has resigned this morning. Marja Aarnio-Isohannin had been under increasing pressure from the company’s clients, the media, politicians and the public after concerns about the low quality of care being offered at their facilities. At least one elderly resident is thought to have died due to negligence, according to the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare & Health Valvira. One of the main criticisms of Esperi Care is that they don’t have enough staff working to look after the number of patients; that the nursing homes are not well maintained; and that some staff have been abusive towards elderly patients.
Swedish Foreign Minister in Helsinki for policy conference
Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström is visiting Helsinki today. She’s taking part in the second Finnish-Swedish foreign policy forum at Hannaholmen, hosted by Timo Soini (Blue). On the agenda are “topical foreign and security policy matters” according to a press release; while Finnish and Swedish members of parliament will “exchange views on burning international questions”. Several former ministers from both countries are also taking part including former foreign ministers Carl Bildt and Erkki Tuomioja (SDP) and ex-Finnish Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen (SDP).
Acting award for Eero Milonoff
Finnish actor Eero Milonoff has won a Guldbaggen Award for Best Supporting Actor in a feature film. The Helsinki actor was honoured by the Swedish Film Institute for his portrayal of the troll character Vore in the film ‘Border’ (‘Gräns’ in Swedish). The fantasy drama film was one of the big winners at the red carpet ceremony in Stockholm last night, winning Best Actress, Best Film and Best Editing awards as well. Milonoff is known to Finnish audiences through his work in films such as ‘Härmä’, ‘Pussikaljaelokuva’ and ‘The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki’ which was Finland’s 2016 Academy Award entry.
Eurovision announcement due today
Finland’s representative for Eurovision Song Contest will be announced today. Public broadcaster Yle says they will reveal the name of the artist or band this afternoon to compete for Eurovision glory in Tel Aviv in May. Yesterday the draw was made for performing order at the Eurovision, with Finland now set to perform in the first semi final against countries like Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Belgium, France and Germany (among others!) It’s a repeat of last year’s format when singer Saara Aalto was the chosen artist, and the public voted for one of the three songs she performed at Finland’s national selection UMK.
Tuesday morning weather
There’s a lot of snow about this morning, especially heavy down the Ostrobothnia coast. Temperatures warmed up a lot to -5°C in the south, -10°C in Central Finland, and -19°C in northern Lapland. It’s even going to be above freezing in Åland for the first time in a while, with a morning temperature +2°C!