Thursday, November 17, 2011

Police Break Up Outboard Motor Theft Ring

Lunenburg County police have charged six people in relation to an outboard motor theft ring. Police say over 30 boat motors were seized from vessels in Lunenburg County between July and the first week of November. Investigators believe the boat motors were sold by contacting buyers through the internet. Computers, laptops, and cell phones believed to be used in the commission of the offences were seized by police.  The matter remains under investigation. Police are hopeful further investigation may result in the recovery of some of the stolen motors. Six people ranging in age from 17 to 44 are facing a total of 59 charges. They have all been released on conditions and are scheduled to appear in Bridgewater Provincial court on January 25, 2012. The four men , one woman, and a 17 year old boy were arrested on November 15th.

The following individuals have been charged:

- Alan George James, aged 44, of Mader's Cove, Lunenburg County
(18 counts of Theft )

- Denise Marie Bond, aged 38, of Chester Grant, Lunenburg County
(17 counts of Theft )

- Michael Amos James, aged 19, of Mader's Cover, Lunenburg County
(3 counts of Theft )

- Scott Reeves, aged 24, Mader's Cove, Lunenburg County
(12 counts of Theft)

- Jesse Albert Hamm, aged 21, Blockhouse, Lunenburg County
(7 counts of Theft)

- A 17-year old male, Lunenburg County
(2 counts of Theft)

High Liner Foods Reaches Agreement to Acquire Icelandic Group's U.S. and Asian Operations

High Liner Foods of Lunenburg has struck a deal to purchase Icelandic Groups U.S. and Asian processing plants. The transaction is valued at roughly 230.6 million dollars U.S. High Liner's Executive VP and Chief Financial Officer, Kelly Nelson says the Icelandic stakeholders were worried about a couple of, their worldwide brand of the parent company of the assets, which is Icelandic Seafood. Nelson says High Liner was able to come up with very creative ways of licensing the brands for a long period of time as well as developing a distribution agreement to make sure that the Icelandic harvesters continue to get access to the U.S. market.  The acquisition includes Icelandic USA's processing plant in Newport News, Virginia, as well as subsidiaries that operate a processing plant in China and procure product from other Asian countries. High Liner is acquiring several brands in connection with the acquisition and has agreed to a seven-year royalty-free licensing agreement with Icelandic Group for the use of the Icelandic Seafood™ brand in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The transaction is expected to be completed later this year or during the first quarter of 2012.

Mustangs off to New Brunswick for Monctonian Tourney

The South Shore Canadian Tire Mustangs are in New Brunswick for the annual 'Monctonian' tournament. The local major midget club opens up their round-robin Thursday night against the Miramichi Rivermen. Head Coach Tim Boyce says it's key to open the tournament with a win.
"It's kind of tough, you know, we've never seen the team play. Obviously, you approach every game the same, you want to worry about what you're doing on the ice and not what the other team is doing. The first game of any tournament is always the most important, you want to get off to a good start."
Boyce says he expects the tournament to be a good test for his club. The Mustangs take on Miramichi at 5:30 Thursday evening in Moncton. They also play Charlottetown and St. John's during their round robin.

Glen Murray Hockey Tournament hits the ice

Park View Panthers 2011 Boys Hockey Team
One of the top high school hockey tournaments along the South Shore gets underway Thursday night. The 9th annual Glen Murray tournament kicks off Thursday evening with two games including the Park View Panthers hosting the Sir John A MacDonald Flames. Panthers Assistant Coach Mark Seamone says the Flames won't be taken lightly. He says he believes his team has a great chance to defend their title. The Flames and Panthers open the tournament at 6pm, followed by the Bridgewater Vikings taking on the Liverpool Warriors at 7:45. All games are held at the Bridgewater Memorial Arena.

Province Invests $750,000 into Fisheries Museum Design Study

Lunenburg West MLA Gary Ramey, left, with Lunenburg MLA Pam Birdsall

The province is spending $750,000 on a design study for the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic. Lunenburg MLA Pam Birdsall made the announcement at the Museum Thursday morning. She says the study will provide options to address future maintenance needs for the Museum. Meanwhile, the mayor of Lunenburg calls the funding announcement for the Museum a "positive" for the town. Laurence Mawhinney says it's an important step for the building's future.

"These buildings wear out, they weren't built to last forever and ever and there's a lot of use to this building, a lot of weight in this building and it does need to be properly engineered and designed so that it's going to be stable and stabilized for the next 40 to 50 years."
Mawhinney says the Museum is a major attraction on the South Shore and applauds the government for their support. The money is coming out of the capital plan for 2012-13, meaning the study won't begin until sometime after the beginning of the fiscal year next spring.

Resolute Forest Products: "It's an Important Development"

The VP of Communications for Resolute Forest Products - formerly Abitibi Bowater - called last night's vote by union members to accept concessions from the company at Bowater Mersey an important development. However, Seth Kursmen gave no assurances it will be enough to keep the mill in Brooklyn in operation. In an interview with CKBW/HANK FM News, Kursmen says the companies January 1st deadline to come up with a new management/labour plan to make the plant financially viable remains in effect. "We cannot have a mill continue to be in a losing position. There are multiple pieces that need to come together in order to correct the situation. You know, our timeline remains and we all need to stay focused on the goal," Kursmen says the company will continue to work with government and other stakeholders to address the various challenges the mill is facing. He wouldn't say when negotiations on a new collective agreement will begin.

Municipality of Queens Extend Olive Branch to Bowater Paper Mill

The Region of Queens Municipality has given the green light on a 10 year tax freeze for Bowater Mersey. The municipality voted on the deal this morning at a special meeting, which means a savings of approximately $135,000 annually at the mill. The motion passed unanimously. Mayor John Leefe says the municipality is simply trying to do its part to try and keep the mill open. Meanwhile, the Municipality of Lunenburg is expected to follow suit this week. They're set to sit down with Bowater executives later this afternoon. On Wednesday night union locals 141 and 259 voted to accept contract concessions, meaning 110 workers will be out of a job. The vote was 104-97 in favour of accepting concessions. Negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement are expected to begin in the near future. Meanwhile, Premier Darrell Dexter will be in Liverpool at 3pm today to address the current situation at the Mill. CKBW/HANK FM News will have more on this developing story.

Razor-Thin Vote To Accept Concessions @ Bowater Mersey Mill in Brooklyn

Unionized workers at Bowater Mersey have narrowly voted to accept contract concessions that include cutting 80 full-time and 30 casual positions in an effort to save the paper mill. Members of CEP Local 141 and 259 voted 51.7 per cent in favour of accepting the concessions during a secret ballot Wednesday night. Union President Courtney Wentzell was clearly dejected as he delivered the news to a handful of his co-workers at the union hall in Brooklyn.  Meanwhile, Brian Godfrey has worked at the mill for over 30 years and says the result, if anything, means there's some hope. No word on when negotiations between the company and union will commence. Wentzell didn't take any questions from reporters or reveal how many of the union's 228 members voted.