Thursday, December 1, 2011

BREAKING: Multi-Million Dollar Support Package for Bowater Mersey

It's a huge development that may help keep the Bowater Mersey paper mill in production. The government of Nova Scotia has worked out a multi million-dollar support package for the Brooklyn based mill. A spokeswoman from the premier's office confirmed the agreement late Thursday afternoon. Premier Darrell Dexter will give details about the deal Friday afternoon during an announcement in Liverpool. Mill owners Resolute Forest Products told Dexter they would close the plant without help from the government, concessions from the union and reduced electricity costs. President of CEP Union Local 141 Courtney Wentzell says he'll need to know the details of the deal before he can endorse it. The union at the mill recently voted to cut 110 full- and part-time jobs in an effort to reduce labour costs and help save the operation. On Tuesday, the province's Utility and Review Board ruled that the mill would receive a three-year discount on its electricity costs. The Region of Queens Municipality has also approved a 15 per cent property tax reduction for the mill worth about $135,000 per year. Officials for Resolute did not return messages seeking comment. CKBW/HANK FM News will have more on this story tomorrow afternoon and full reaction.

Lumberjacks, Crushers meet in Pictou

The CIBC Wood Gundy Lumberjacks head to Pictou Thursday night to battle the Weeks Crushers. The Jacks have dropped two in a row and are looking to bounce back from an 8-1 loss to Truro Saturday night. Head Coach Terry Rhindress says the team has to focus on what they do well.
"The key for us is to get a good start and play 60 minutes again. We know we can play with them, we have to get pucks deep, get pucks to the net, you know, we have to cycle the puck low. When we play our low game and cycle the puck, you know, that's our bread and butter, that's where we succeed."
Rhindress says his club needs to stay composed in their own zone and play better positionally. The Lumberjacks and Crushers face off at 7:30 in Pictou.

Mustangs face off against Dartmouth

The South Shore Canadian Tire Mustangs bring a modest two-game winning streak into Dartmouth Thursday night against the Taylor Flooring Major Midgets. Dartmouth leads the Mustangs by one point in a sea-saw battle for second place in the Major Midget standings. Head Coach Tim Boyce says it will be a tough test on the road.
"Solid goaltending. Obviously the kid in nets, Jack Flinn, has been on a real roll this year. We are going to have to get some traffic in front of him, get some dirty goals. The other thing we're going to have to do is look to take away the middle of the ice, slow things down in the neutral zone because they are a very good skating club."
Boyce says he expects his team will struggle with their usual fast-paced forecheck because of the larger ice surface in Dartmouth. The two teams square off at 6:30 Thursday night at the Dartmouth Sportsplex.

District of Lunenburg assumes control of Osprey Ridge

The Municipality of the District of Lunenburg has assumed control of Osprey Ridge Golf Course after the club couldn't meet a 60 day deadline to meet financial obligations. The Municipality issued a notice of default to the golf course towards the end of September and is now on the hook for upwards of $3.2-million in unpaid mortgage payments. The Chief Administrative Officer for the Municipality, Tammy Wilson, says they've started the process of hiring a consultant to sell the property.
"We have a proposal call out for the development of a prospectus and marketing strategy to market the land, with the objective of finding investors to acquire the property as a long-term solution."
Wilson says once a consultant is hired, there will be a public process to determine interest in acquiring the land. The Municipality expects Osprey Ridge to be open next season and operated by the non-profit group Bridgewater Golf and County Club.

Fleur de Sel, Charlotte Lane among Taste of Nova Scotia award winners

Several popular South Shore eating establishments have scored big at the Taste of Nova Scotia Prestige Awards. Fleur de Sel of Lunenburg won the Restaurant of the Year Award for chef inspired fine dining, as did Charlotte Lane of Shelburne for chef inspired casual dining. Charlotte Lane co-owner Roland Glauser says the award means a lot to his business.
"We are so pleased that our customers enjoy our product so much, you know, it really makes it worth our while to be here in Shelburne and it's really good to get this recognition."
Glauser says Charlotte Lane received 250 out of a possible 900 votes between the eight award categories. Elsewhere, the Consumer Choice Product of the Year award went to Schoolhouse Gluten-Free Gourmet of Mahone Bay for their pumpkin muffins.Waitress Simone Momberquette, who works at Trattoria della Nonna in Lunenburg, was voted server of the year. The awards honour restaurants and producers providing exceptional culinary products and services.

Good Lobster Catches Reported

The lobster season between Eastern Passage, along the South Shore and around the tip of the province to Digby got underway Tuesday.
Fishermen bringing-in their early catches predict numbers will be about the same as last year, if not slightly higher.
The DFO's Conservation and Protection officer Bill Wolfe in Liverpool says the price per pound should be set any day now. He says: "The buyers for the most part are going to set the prices and hopefully they will set them soon. With harvesters moving their fresh lobsters into market, there are all kinds of rumours on the wharves that (prices will be) anywhere from $3.25 to $3.50 per pound. But, that isn't set yet."
Wolfe says the weather has been a factor in a smooth-run so far this lobster season for fishermen and their vessels.

Crosswalk Safety A Concern in Lunenburg

A town councillor in Lunenburg is pleased the local traffic authority will examine crosswalk safety within the community. Peter Zwicker believes there's a definite need for more crosswalks in the town and adds there's been a number of close calls recently. He says it's a good time to conduct a review, especially given Bluenose Academy planned opening next year. "I think with approximately 600 students coming to the new academy, they are probably going to be heading to the grocery store, coffee shops and convenience store there's going to be a lot more pedestrian traffic in that area and it something we need to be aware of and take the necessary steps to ensure that area is safe,"  Council also discussed the need for a new crosswalk near Hall Street and the Tim Horton's at their meeting this week. Zwicker says the traffic authority will come back with recommendations for council to consider in the New Year.

RCMP: ATV Stolen from Simpson Corner

Mounties in Lunenburg are looking for tips in locating a 2011 Polaris Razor Ranger ATV. It's blue in color and is a four seater. Police say the ATV was taken sometime overnight on Sunday, November 20th. It was stolen from Simpson Corner. Anyone with information on the theft is asking to contact the Cookville RCMP detachment.

Bridgewater's Giant Tiger wins Lieutenant Governor's award

Margaret Matthews of Employment Solutions (left) and Shane Demmings of Giant Tiger (right)

A Bridgewater business has received an award for recognizing persons with disabilities as a valuable asset in the work place and the community. Giant Tiger received the Lieutenant Governor's Persons with Disabilities Employer Partnership award Wednesday night at a ceremony in Halifax. The store manager at the Bridgewater Giant Tiger, Shane Demmings, says the award speaks volumes for their business.
"Well, it's a great honour for sure to be recognized in this way. We have a great partnership with the Employment Solutions society that nominated us for the award and we've had a lot of really good success stories come out of working with them and employing people with barriers to the workforce."
Demmings calls the award a pleasant surprise but is happy people think the local business is making a difference. Bridgewater's Giant Tiger is one of 10 businesses province-wide to receive the award Wednesday night, including Giant Tiger's Halifax location. He says the store plans to showcase the award for the public to see.

December: Another Critical Month for Bowater Mersey

It's the beginning of another critical stretch for Bowater Mersey. Today is the deadline for 80 workers at the mill to either accept or reject severance packages from their employer while Resolute Forest Products is expected to make a decision on whether or not they will continue to operate the Brooklyn mill next week. A number of stakeholders have already agreed to numerous company demands and cost reduction measures which include a break on power rates, job cuts, wage freezes and tax relief. However, the company hasn't said if its enough to keep the mill in operation. Premier Darrell Dexter has yet to provide any details on potential assistance from the province to help keep the mill remain open. Resolute is expected to begin its Board of Director meetings on December 7th.

Cash Taken During Xmas on the Lahave Parade

Bridgewater Police are investigating after someone stole some cash out of a vehicle at the NSCC Campus. The theft occurred around 5:15PM and 6:45PM during the Christmas on the LaHave parade on Sunday. Police say the thieves found both Canadian and American currency inside the vehicle. They are asking anyone with information to contact the Bridgewater police or Crime Stoppers'.