Friday, March 30, 2012

Municipal Elections: Chester to Introduce Evoting

Chester will move towards evoting when residents head to the polls during municipal elections this fall. Residents will be able to vote over the phone or by computer for the advance poll only. Warden Allen Webber says the municipality is very traditional and council wanted to maintain the paper ballot in some capacity. "As much as we like to be forward thinking, we are also very traditional in this municipality. The older population is used to going to the polls - we may reduce the number of polls in future years, but its unlikely it will be anything we will completely eliminate," Webber says the ultimate goal is to increase voter turnout and he hopes the change will appeal to younger voters.

Mawhinney: Schools Need More Maintenance Funds

The South Shore Regional School Board will hand the keys to Lunenburg Academy back to the town at the end of the month. Town staff and school board officials have completed a walk through of the historic building in an effort to survey the condition of the facility. Mayor Laurence Mawhinney says the building will need some maintenance work and during council this week, had some sharp criticism for past provincial governments. He says regardless of the political stripe - school boards have been grossly under funded to keep up maintenance at schools across the province. "The monies being provided to look after the 27 or 28 buildings operated by the school board in Lunenburg county was just not adequate to keep them in a state that was going to carry them forward. Anyone who owns a home and looks after it properly knows you have to do maintenance every year. That was not happening at our school properties - the academy is but one,"  Mawhinney stresses he's not blaming the Regional School Board. However, with a number of new schools opening across the province - he's is hoping the trend will be reversed. The 117 year-old Academy, owned by the Town, housed grades one through twelve until 1965 when a new high school was built. It was home to elementary students up until this month when the new Bluenose Academy opened in Lunenburg.

Gasoline Prices Rise Again

The price of regular gasoline at South Shore pumps has taken another overnight jump. A litre of self serve regular is selling today for $1.43.5.  Thats a little over 3.5 cents more than yesterday.  The increase, granted by the Utilities & Review Board, follows a similar increase in New Brunswick yesterday.

Common Ground: Changes to "Race Week" Pub Nights

Some noise complaints have forced the Municipality of Chester and organizers of "Race Week" to find some common ground. The traditional pub nights at the Yatch Club will continue, however, live music will be shut down at 1AM. The change was in response to numerous concerns raised by people who reside near the Yatch Club. Chester Council made the decision during their meeting on Thursday. Randy Stevens is Commodore of the facility. "It works for both parities, it works for us as the Yatch Club and it works for the Municipality. We are an integral part of the community as I mentioned to council and we certainly want to make everybody as happy as we can - I think it was a good compromise," The organization will still allow guests to remain on the property until 2AM as normal. Warden Allen Webber also thought it was a fair decision as well."The neighbors that live in the area have a legitimate concern with the noise. We found a compromise but we need the live music shut down at 1 o'clock. They can keep the bar open and they will be some noise associated with that but it's a reasonable compromise," Chester Race Week is held August 15-18.

Queens County Woman Charged with Public Mischief

An 18 year-old Queens County woman charged with public mischief will appear in court next month in relation to the death of the Brandon Wentzell.  The 19 year-old died February 5th from a lethal combination of the painkiller Dilaudid and vodka. Charges were laid following an extensive police investigation surrounding a bogus relationship between Wentzell and a girl named Clarissa. Their relationship was built through an online dating website, however, the girl never existed and the relationship was a hoax. It's believed the women charged was behind the hoax. The pair had made numerous attempts to meet but each time their date was cancelled at the last minute. The last time a meeting was supposed to happen was Super Bowl Sunday. Later that night, Wentzell began drinking and taking drugs. Soon after his death, Wentzell's mother received multiple text messages from someone claiming to be Clarissa's mother. The texts stated Clarissa had committed suicide after learning of Brandon's death. That led Bridgewater police to expand their investigation. The woman accused of being behind the hoax will enter a plea to the charges on April 18th in Bridgewater.

Changes in Mandatory Hemelt Use at Lunenburg Arena

Helmets will be mandatory next year for anyone under the age of 12 who is skating at the Lunenburg Arena. The age is being bumped up by two years. Town of Lunenburg councillor Jamie Myra says it's a safety issue and a proactive change. "We've always said that there has been times at public skate or at other times over there where we were surprised nothings ever happened and to my knowledge there really hasn't been any incident that has brought this forward. We just felt we should be proactive and put this into place,"  Myra says he would not be surprised to see helmet use mandatory for all ages at the arena down the road. The town will promote the change more in the fall in hopes it will give skaters time to buy some head gear if they don't already own a helmet.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Town approves amendments for off-leash Dog Park

Now that one is all but confirmed, Bridgewater's mayor says there's room for another. Town council approved amendments to its municipal planning strategy and land use by-law to permit leash-free dog spaces in certain areas of Bridgewater. The move is the next step to building a leash-free space in Generations Active Park. Carroll Publicover believes another leash-free park could be built in the Municipality of Lunenburg. He says there are a number of potential locations.
"There's lands around the MARC that I think might be suitable, Miller Peace Park; I don't know how big it is, but maybe, and maybe there's certain times when that could be a leash-free park and the rest of the time a place to walk, and you know, we have the other side of the 103, our lands, former industrial lands that are there, I think there are sites all over the place."
Councillor David Mitchell says the off-leash space at Generations Active Park could be ready sometime this summer if its grubbed and has proper signage.

Former SSRSB member pursuades MODL to support nine-seat board

A former school board member is persuading the Municipality of Lunenburg to endorse a nine-seat option for the boards electoral boundaries. Karen Reinhardt spoke with council members Tuesday explaining a nine-seat choice would be the best practice to follow; losing only one seat from the previous school board and allowing for wide representation through the region. The school board has endorsed a six seat option as their first choice, plus two seats for the the African and Mik'maq representatives. Reinhardt says that option would create problems including increased workloads for members.
"With those few members, you're not going to have a lot of different viewpoints, a lot of different experience, a lot of different expertise around the board table which is really important for the kind of decisions and discussion that go on there."
The Municipality has deferred a decision until their next committee meeting. Meanwhile, the Utility and Review Board will hold a public hearing on electoral boundaries May 2 at the school board office.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Support for Yarmouth-Maine Ferry Growing in South Shore

The Town of Lunenburg will explore making a one-time contribution to help support efforts to re-establish the Yarmouth to Maine ferry. A campaign is underway to have the service restored but organizers say it will require government funding for the first couple of years. Mayor Laurence Mawhinney says council received a funding request from an advocacy group in Yarmouth hoping to build momentum to restore the ferry service. "They've come forward and said 'can we count on you' and 'can we also ask for your support' and I think it's a reasonable request because I do think Nova Scotia's attractiveness has been diminished without the ferry service," Mawhinney says it's no secret tourism operators across the South Shore took a hit when the ferry ceased operation more than three years ago. He says if municipal units rally behind the ferry it might encourage the province to get involved.

Mawhinney: Seeks Another Term in Lunenburg

A long time political figure in the South Shore says his health is good and he will seek another term in office. Laurence Mawhinney has held the mayoral seat in the Town of Lunenburg for more than three decades. He was first elected in 1976 and has been a member of council for 36 years. Even after another lengthy council meeting last night, Mawhinney says he still find the job both interesting and challenging. "We've got a number of challenging issues before us as a community, not the least of which is what happens with the future of Lunenburg Academy, how do we continue the restoration of the waterfront and how do we continue to build this UNESCO site - there are things that are still not yet complete," Mawhinney says his spirit is strong and adds there are many projects he'd like to see through before retiring. Municipal and school board elections will be held province wide this October.

Search "Scaled Back" For Missing Men Off Cape Sable Island

The search for three men missing from a yacht disabled off Cape Sable Island has been turned over to the R-C-M-P as a missing persons case.  Officials at the rescue centre in Halifax decided late last night to withdraw a Hercules aircraft and two Cormorant helicopters from an area about 150 kilometres south of the Island.  The missing men were not wearing survival suits when they went into the frigid waters early yesterday. Ottawa says the tragedy may be a failed attempt at human smuggling.  Public Safety Minister Vic Toews (TAVES) says some of the five men rescued are claiming refugee status -- and are said to be from Russia, Ukraine and Georgia.

Bridgewater council unsure about Healthy Eating Policy

It's an initiative to make healthy foods more available in recreation and municipal settings across the South Shore. A partnership featuring a number of groups including Lunenburg Queens Recreation, Public Health Services and Health and Wellness are trying to implement a healthy eating policy to have more nutritious foods at arenas or municipally-organized special events. The group was looking to target such local festivals in Bridgewater including the Canada Day and Christmas on the LaHave events. Mayor Carroll Publicover says council isn't quite convinced about the idea. He says they want to consult with committee members from the two local festivals, exchange thoughts and discuss the policy at their next meeting. The Municipality of Chester has approved the policy while the District of Lunenburg is discussing it further.

Business as usual for Bridgewater Zellers

Its business as usual for the time being at Bridgewater Zellers. The local store is one of about 60 in Canada that has not been purchased by Target. External communications manager for Hudson Bay company, Tiffany Bourre, says they are reviewing there options and hope to have a strategy in place later this spring. Bourre could not confirm what would happen to the store once the strategy is determined but can confirm workers have not received notices saying the store is closing because they don't have a closure date. Roughly 40 full and part-time employees work at the local retail store.

Josephson, Team NS lead at Canadian Masters

Team Nova Scotia keeps rolling at the Canadian Masters curling championship in Quebec. The Dartmouth club featuring Bridgewater's Glenn Josephson notched two more wins Tuesday to improve their record to 3-0. The team beat New Brunswick 5-4 and British Columbia 9-3 to move into first place in the competition. The Nova Scotia squad will play Manitoba and Yukon Wednesday.

Hockey game raises over $2,000 for echo system

Another successful fundraiser for the Health Services Foundation of the South Shore. The Health Care Hustlers narrowly beat the Park View Lady Panthers 21-20 in a shootout to win the 3rd annual Head to Head for Health hockey game last Friday night. Bernadette Jordan says this year's event raised roughly $2,100 to go towards the Health Foundations campaign for a new Echo system. She says they are still in need of about $40,000 to reach their goal for the new Echo. Jordan adds, they don't anticipate any changes for next year, but its still early.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Riverport: New Fire Hall has Community Support

A new fire hall has strong support among residents of Riverport. A community group is leading efforts to develop the former Riverport Elementary School property. The Riverport School Site Committee met with about 50 residents last night to discuss potential future use for the old school property. Spokeswoman Debra Hofrichter says their proposal has enough support to move forward and submit the draft plan to the municipality. The group is also pitching the idea of a constructing a skilled trade facility, multi-use civic centre or creating greenspace. Hofrichter says the committee will send out surveys in the near future to gauge which proposal has the most support. The group would need to acquire the property from the municipality and the school would then be demolished. However, she says the entire plan is contingent on an environmental assessment of the property.

Casey Calls For Education Review

Photo: Karen Casey
Liberal MLA Karen Casey
Nova Scotia's education system is in dire need of over-hauling and not for the sake of finding ways of cutting back.  Thats how Liberal education critic Karen Casey sums up the situation and the impact of budget cuts following a public meeting in Bridgewater last night.  Casey, Liberal leader Stephen McNeil and health critic Leo Glavine hosted the event.  Following the session last night, Casey tells CKBW/Hank-FM News, she's more determined than ever to strive for a better way of making the system more affordable.  She says: " we have a situation where we need to look at a review of the whole public education system: what we deliver, how we deliver it, the models that we use and make sure that we protect what is working and protect what is necessary for our students to be successful."  Liberal leader McNeil says his party wants to formulate a strong education plan, geared more toward students and their families.  The meeting last night in Bridgewater was the first of several the Liberals are holding around the province in the coming weeks.

One Dead, Three Injured In Yachting Incident Off Cape Sable Isle

One person is dead and two injured after a yacht broke down and was drifting about 128 kilometres south of Cape Sable Island.  A Cormorant helicopter is looking for three other people who are in the water.
Three other people were taken off the vessel by a passing tanker and are en route to Saint John, New Brunswick.  The rescue centre says nine people were on board the vessel and early indications are they are foreign nationals.  There is no information on whether the three missing people are in a life-raft. The two injured and the body of the dead person were being airlifted to a hospital in Yarmouth.

Men Rescued From Yarmouth County Lake

Five men were plucked last night from the cold waters of a lake in Yarmouth County.  The Halifax search-and-rescue co-ordination centre says a Cormorant helicopter flew to Great Pubnico Lake after receiving a call at 9:30 last evening that the men were in the water.  The helicopter reached the scene in about 25 minutes.  The men were hoisted out of the water and treated for hypothermia. The rescue centre says they're in good condition despite their ordeal.  The boat they were in ...sank.

Bridgewater Woman Found Guilty of Aggravated Assault

A Bridgewater woman has been found guilty of stabbing her former boyfriend ... a dozen times on New Years Day 2011.  Although Katelyn Leigh Whitney-Joudrey claimed self-defence, saying she feared for her life, Judge Jim Burrill found she was not under threat of grievously bodily harm or death when she drove a knife into Kiel Naugler's neck so deeply it went into his vertebrae.  The 22-year-old Whitney-Joudrey was found guilty yesterday of aggravated assault by trying to end Naugler's life, aggravated assault for wounding him and assault with a knife, though the judge will consider staying the last two charges during sentencing in June.  The judge described the couple's relationship as one of "co-existence with one another in scoring their next hit of drugs.''  Whitney-Joudrey will be sentenced June 4th.

Liberals Formulate Education Plan, Starting On South Shore

The state of our education system was front and centre last night at a public meeting in Bridgewater.  Nova Scotia Liberal Leader Stephen MacNeil, education critic Karen Casey and health critic Leo Glavine were hosts.  McNeil says his party wants to formulate an education plan thats geared more toward students and their families.  In a CKBW and Hank-FM News interview, McNeil says: "as we've had successive budgets where this government has been cutting from education, we want people to express how thats been impacting on their children and schools and also help us form a plan for the future of education in Nova Scotia."  Similar meetings are planned right across the province.
Meanwhile, getting back to last night's meeting, education critic Karen Casey says she has found in talking with many South Shore parents they are still smarting from the elimination last year of the reading recovery program in area schools. She tells us: "(They feel) there did not seem to be any rationale for taking away a program that had already been researched based proven as one-on-one intense instruction to help our struggling readers learn to read."

Zellers leaving Bridgewater?

If Zellers is leaving Bridgewater, its news to the property manager of the Eastside Plaza. Jim Chambers of Chambers Developments says Zellers has approximately 10 years left on their lease. Chambers says nothing has been said to indicate Zellers is leaving.
"We have no information whatsoever that they intend to leave. It's their lease, they will tell us if that's what they want to do, but we have had no information to that effect whatsoever. They have an operating clause that says they're going to operate, so this could go on for a long time."
He says there are many rumours floating around the town.
"The truth is that out of 280 stores, Zellers has sold the leases to all of them, except for about 50 or 60, so its only allowing us to assume that they may want to sell this lease, but we have had no information whatsoever."
He says Zellers will continue to operate until the tenant and landlord make an alternate agreement.

Bridgewater Mayor welcomes buyer for former Post Office

The mayor of Bridgewater welcomes a new tenant for the old Canada Post building. CKBW and HANK-FM News first reported the potential sale of the property last week after a company spokesperson confirmed negotiations are underway. Carroll Publicover says its good news for the town.
"I think it would be wonderful to see the building put back into use, you know, it's an historical icon; 109-years-old, it's one of the most outstanding visual properties on King Street."
There's been no word on how negotiations are going. Publicover says he doesn't know who the buyer is or if anything will happen to the building.

Martin finishes 4th at Florida event

A solid result for Olympic hopeful Jenna Martin. The defending 400 metre Canadian Champion finished 4th over the weekend at the UCF Invitational in Orlando, Florida. Martin finished less than a second behind Mary Wineburg of USA, who was ranked in the top ten in the world in 2011. The Bridgewater native competes again April 6 and 7 at the Florida Relay's at the University of Florida.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Chair: LaHave Manor has good relationship with Town

The LaHave Manor Corporation and Town of Bridgewater are trying to iron out a location for a proposed group home. The organization is trying to access property on Evergreen Road but the town says its not accessible for a group home. Elmer Garber says the home is their best option, but it would take time to try and change town by-laws or get a development agreement. And Garber says time isn't on their side. He says they are still hoping to meet with officials from the town of Bridgewater to find a solution. He feels the town and LaHave Manor have a good relationship. "It's not a town that has discriminated against our clients in the past. I can't say that they have - it's been a good experience for LaHave Manor and I think it's been good for the town of Bridgewater as well," The corporation has signed a 30-day extension to keep the offer open for the Evergreen home, giving them time to meet with the town. The new group home could accommodate up to five people.

Price of Lobster: Hits 5-year High

The price of lobster is sitting at a five year high. Fishermen in LFA's 33 and 34 are selling their catch for $6.00 per pound after the season opened with prices set at $3.25 in November. James Mood is the president of the 1688 Professional Lobster Fishermen's Association. The PLFA formed in January in an effort to drive wharf prices up to at least $5.50 per pound. He says a combination of factors have helped push the price up - including the formation of their group. "I think the fishermen pushed it up themselves when they stopped selling lobsters - they just stopped. They had lobsters, in tubes and holding facilities they just stopped selling to the dealers. This industry works on supply and demand," The PLFA now boasts more than 800 members and Mood says they are half-way to their membership goal. The association's target is to have 80 percent of 1688 licence holders from Shelburne to Digby signed up before next season.

Anniversary for Historic Bluenose Schooner

The historic Bluenose was launched 91 years ago today in Lunenburg. The schooner is a provincial icon for Nova Scotia as well as important Canadian symbol. The original Bluenose was sold in the 1930s when fishing schooners were replaced with motor schooners and trawlers. The vessel was used as a freighter until it sank in 1946 off the coast of Haiti. It was later commemorated in 1963 by a replica Bluenose II. The name "bluenose" originated as a nickname for Nova Scotians from as early as the late 18th century. Nova Scotia's famous sailing ambassador is currently undergoing a major rebuild at the Lunenburg Shipyard and will be re-launched this summer.

South Shore Health Prepares for Accreditation

South Shore Health will find out next month if it will receive a passing grade for accreditation. The process affirms the authority is meeting national standards in health care. CEO Alice Leverman says staff began intensifying efforts over the past year to ensure they meeting the necessary requirements. "Like any big event, there is always anticipation, some build up and anxiety. But we are very hopeful we will be celebrating next month,"  She says offering high levels of service in every department is a key priority for medical professionals in the South Shore. The health authority is expecting a decision on accreditation on April 20th.

For Debate: Former Riverport Elementary Property

Residents of Riverport will get to hear the latest proposals for the former elementary school property tonight. The school closed last year and several community groups are hoping to turn the property into a gathering place. Some of the options being considered, include building a new fire hall, creating green space or constructing a multi-use civic centre. Riverport School Site Committee spokeswoman Debra Hofrichter says support is for the project is key to moving forward. "It is extremely important to us that we have the support of the community. So, Monday nights meeting is to present this draft proposal to the community and ask for their opinion and to ask for their support," An environmental assessment would need to be carried out on the property and Hofrichter says the group still needs to acquire the property from the municipality. Tonight's meeting will be held at the Riverport Fire Hall beginning at 7 o'clock.

Queens County Man Sentenced on Child Porn Charges

A Queens County man will spend six months in jail and eighteen months on probation for possessing child pornography.  39 year old Steven John Croft of White Point has been banned by the court from accessing the Internet except for job purposes while he's on probabtion for a year and a half.  After a lengthy on-line investigation, police raided Croft's home with a search warrant last July 26th.  Court testimony shows they found child porn pictures and movies stored on a computer in the home.

Injuries & Charges Result From Bridgewater Bar Fight

A fight at a Bridgewater bar over the weekend has resulted in serious injuries for one man and serious charges for another!  It happened around 1:30 Saturday morning.  A 30 year old man was found bleeding and unconscious by police at a nightspot which they haven't identified.  The victim was rushed to South Shore Regional and then flown to the QE-2 in Halifax.  A 20 year old man was arrested and charged with assault causing bodily harm and being drunk in a public place.  He's been released on conditions and makes a court appearance May 30th.  Investigators are looking for witnesses and are asking anyone to contact them if they saw the fight.

South Shore Health in need of palliative care volunteers

It's deemed as a service to help people refocus their hope. Now, South Shore Health is looking for more volunteers for their palliative care program. They currently have 15 volunteers, but more are needed to cover the region. The bereavement coordinator, Irene Hirtle, says the South Shore has an older demographic and is more prone to life-threatening illnesses.
"And those kind of illnesses that people in our program suffer from could be malignant diagnosis like cancer or they could be respiratory like COPD or kidney failure, cardiac disease, all of those kinds of things and they can all be part of the palliative care program, too."
Palliative care can be provided to people at home, in a hospital or in a long-term care facility. Volunteer Liz Brown says she started volunteering 12 years ago and hasn't looked back.
"It was just a general interest in people I think, and we meet such wonderful people and we get so much back from what we give, so its a caring and sharing opportunity for everybody."
Brown says volunteering is a great way to help people with life-threatening illnesses. Anyone interested in volunteering should contact 634-7015.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Workshop to teach Farming Business

Here's your chance to learn more about starting a farm business. The province is hosting a one day workshop dedicated to teaching people about farming or helping current farmers sharpen their business skills. The workshop will also cover tips and strategies on marketing, as well as trends and technical practices by local farmers and agricultural experts. The local event goes Saturday at the Best Western Plus and Convention Centre in Bridgewater. To register, get more information, see the agenda or look at speaker biographies go to  .

Head to Head for Health hits the ice in Bridgewater

It won't be your typical hockey game. The Health Services Foundation of the South Shore and Park View are teaming up to play the Head to Head for Health Hockey Game Friday night at 7pm. The Health Care Hustlers will take on the Park View Lady Panthers. Bernadette Jordan with the Foundation says the event is a fundraiser for the echo system, but goes a little further.
"It's achieving a goal by helping us get youth more involved at the hospital foundation, but also its a great spirit thing for the team here because all of the departments work together and put players in, so they sometimes might not work together in the hospital, but on the ice they'll work together and it's great, it's a lot of fun."
Jordan says the game is expected to include props, special guests and a few more things out of the ordinary. Players hit the ice at 7pm at the Bridgewater Arena.

Local NDP MLA's Attend Federal Convention

Photo: Pam Birdsall

New Democrats are in Toronto for today's opening of their leadership convention, where a successor to the late Jack Layton will be chosen.  Tonight there will be a tribute to the former leader. Local MLA's Pam Birdsall, Vicki Conrad and Gary Ramey are attending.  Birdsall tells us, Layton was very familiar with the South Shore and its politics.  She says "he was connected to small communities right across the country.  He was at one point the president of the Canadian Union of Municipalities so he really understood how it all worked and how municipal government plays into provincial government and into federal government. I think thats something a lot of people don't understand."  The perceived front-runner in the race to succeed Layton is Montreal M-P Thomas Mulcair, a former Quebec Liberal who has the most support from the party's caucus.  Critics say though, Mulcair is too abrasive, and wants to move the party from the left to the centre.  About 130-thousand party members are eligible to vote for the new leader, in person, by mail, or by email.

Bridgewater Vikings off to Division-3 provincial hockey championships

The Bridgewater Vikings are off to Yarmouth hoping to bring a provincial banner back home. The Vikings' boys hockey team is competing in the Division-3 championships against five other teams including Inverness, Par-en-Bas and Dalbrae. The Vikings play their first game at 4pm Friday afternoon against Richmond Academy. The tournament goes all weekend in Yarmouth. Full tournament details can be found at .

Higher Gas Prices Fuel Inflation

Gasoline prices are up again at South Shore pumps. If you pull into a station today, you will end up paying 2.5 cents more for a litre than you did yesterday. The price today is $1.39.8 .  This just adds fuel to Stats Canada's report out this morning claiming higher gasoline prices right across the country last month drove up the inflation rate.  The annual inflation rate in February rose to 2.6 per cent -- up a-10th of-a-percentage point from January.  Pump prices last month were 2.6 per cent higher than they were in January, and 8.9 per cent higher than they were in February of last year.  In the past 12 months, food prices jumped 4.1 per cent.  StatsCan says core inflation rose two notches to 2.3 per cent, which is higher than the Bank of Canada's target line of two per cent.

Future unknown for Gorham facility in Liverpool

The mayor of Queens says the region may not want the Gorham facility back. The regional school board revealed Wednesday night it is returning the property back to the municipality. John Leefe says it's not that simple. He says the board can offer the building to the municipality, but they are not obliged to take it. He says he wants to understand the costs before council can make a decision.
"Ultimately, the region's taxpayers are the ones that have to bear any costs that may be associated with receiving ownership. So, their are a lot of T's to be crossed and a lot of I's dotted prior to a final decision being taken."
The school board is revamping its mid-level transition, senior high alternate and adult education programming for 2012-13. All programs are currently held at the Gorham facility, but would be transferred to South Queens Junior High and Liverpool Regional High next year. Leefe says council can't make a decision on the matter until they receive a letter of offer from the school board.

Martin competing at Disney meet in Florida

Its expected to be a good test for South Shore runner Jenna Martin. The Olympic hopeful will compete this weekend in the Walt Disney World Invitational in Florida. She is using the event to help prepare herself for the London Olympics in August. Martin is the defending 400 metre Canadian Champion. She has been in Florida training for the past six weeks.

Bridgewater curler off to Canadian Masters

A Bridgewater curler is representing Nova Scotia at the 2012 Canadian Masters Curling Championships in Montreal. Glenn Josephson will play lead with Alan Darragh, Reid Romkey and John Darragh out of the Mayflower and Dartmouth curling clubs. Josephson is playing in his eighth Canadian championship but first Masters. He says he can draw on experience to help him play well.
"First of all you learn how to win and secondly, you know, when the important shots have to be made and what to do when it's really close at the end of the game and those are the things that just come with experience more than anything else."
 Josephson says this event completes his career...after winning provincial championships at every other age group. The Masters gets underway Monday in Montreal. The club will open up competition against Alberta Tuesday.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Plans for Collaborative Health Care Centre in Bridgewater

Bridgewater could be the next South Shore community in line for a collaborative health care centre. A action team consisting of fifteen medical professionals and business leaders has been assembled to quarterback the initiative. The proposed centre would reduce wait times and greatly benefit people without a family doctor. CEO of South Shore Health Alice Leverman says more and more physicians want the opportunity to work as a team as opposed to setting up a private practice. "We need to provide those types of practice environments to ensure we can not only retain the physicians and other prodivers that we have but to continually be recruiting for health professional in the area," The centre would also offer medical services through nurses, nurse practitioners and other health-care professionals. Collaborative health-care centres already exist in Caledonia, New Germany and Lunenburg.

NS Government Subsidizes Digby Ferry, Ignores Yarmouth: Liberal MLA

The Princess of Acadia
Princess of Acadia

The province will help subsidize the Digby-Saint John ferry service, "Princess of Acadia", for three more years to the tune of a million dollars a year.  The New Brunswick government will match the amount.  The decision flies in the faces of those in the Yarmouth area who are campaigning for re-establishment of ferry service to Maine. Yarmouth Liberal MLA Zach Churchill tells us, premier Darrell Dexter is being hypocritical. Churchill says: the premier "is throwing money all around the province. Yet, when it comes to a major economic driver in southwestern Nova Scotia, that feeds the tourism industry across the province, he has consistently said "No" to that!"  A campaign continues to have the Yarmouth-Maine service re-established. Organizers say it will require government funding though for the first couple of years of operating.

No Serious Damage Nor Injuries Resulting From South Shore Grass Fire

Several fire departments were able to bring a raging grass fire under control late yesterday afternoon in Dayspring.  No buildings were lost but there were fears at one point that a strong wind might blow the fire into some homes.  No one was hurt either.  Conditions are becoming tinder-dry as a result of the unusual high temperatures.

Trial Date Set For Alledged Home Invader

A trial date has been set for a man accused in a South Shore home invasion more than 6 years ago.

Brian Hector Oickle has pleaded "NOT GUILTY" to breaking into a terminally-ill senior's home in Chelsea in July 2005, tying her up and stealing some 30-thousand dollars in cash.
Oickle is facing 5 charges including forcible confinement, robbery, break and enter and possession of stolen property.  He's also charged with cocaine possession stemming from an incident in Truro in the same year (2005).  Oickle will remain in jail until his trial date ... May 17th.

SSRSB puts four more schools up for review

Four more schools are heading to the review process. The South Shore Regional School Board has added Newcombville Elementary, New Ross Consolidated, New Germany Rural High and New Germany Elementary to the list of schools to be reviewed this year. Six other schools have been approved for the review process including Bridgewater Junior/Senior High, Petite Riviere Elementary, Gold River-Western Shore, Pentz, Hebbville Academy and Mill Village. Board Member Judith Sullivan-Corney says the review of the four schools goes hand-in-hand with the six other schools.
"Especially the small schools; Pentz, Petite, Hebbville and Newcombville because there are several different configurations or different potential ideas that could be explored if the four of them are under review at the same time."
Three schools will not be reviewed. Sullivan-Corney says she believes its important schools goes through the process.
"I think there are many opportunities and potential that we need to look at and I don't think we can do so without doing school review, without getting community input and without understanding the vision the community has for good education for their students."
Sullivan-Corney says she delayed making a ruling on the four schools until Wednesday night to gather more information and make an informed decision. The review process can lead to schools being closed, upgraded or consolidated. Next up will be an in-depth analysis of each school, expected to begin in the next few weeks.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

SSRSB expected to rule on schools delayed for possible review

A decision is expected to come Wednesday night on the possibility of reviewing four more Lunenburg County schools. The South Shore Regional School Board delayed making a decision on New Ross Consolidated, Newcombville Elementary and both New Germany schools during its February 22 meeting. Bridgewater Junior/Senior High, Petite Riviere Elementary, Gold River-Western Shore, Pentz, Hebbville Academy and Mill Village have been identified for review this year. Aspotogan, North Queens and Greenfield will not be reviewed. The review process has many options including recommending a facility be closed, upgraded or consolidated. The board meeting gets started at 7pm Wednesday night in Bridgewater.

South Shore MLA's Prepare for NDP Convention

A number of South Shore MLA's will be in Toronto for this weekend's NDP leadership convention. Denise Peterson-Rafuse, Vicki Conrad and Pam Birdsall have all confirmed their attendance for the two-day event. Seven candidates are vying to become the party's next leader. Conrad and Birdsall announced in January they would support Toronto MP Peggy Nash in her leadership bid. However, Thomas Mulcair, Brian Topp and Nathan Cullen have emerged as the main contenders in the race which at one point featured nine candidates. Peterson-Rafuse has not indicated who she plans to support. The next leader of the federal NDP will be known sometime Saturday afternoon.

Negotiations underway to sell Former Post Office

A century-old King Street property could soon be off the real estate market. Canada Post spokesperson Lori Lancaster confirms to CKBW and HANK-FM News negotiations are underway to sell the old Canada Post building. Lancaster couldn't divulge many details regarding the potential sale. She says a buyer has stepped forward, but can't say who it is. There has been no indication about what the future use of the building would be. The Bridgewater property has been for sale since 2010. According to the town's Heritage Advisory Committee, a document reveals the building was built in 1909.

South Shore Residents Will Benefit From A Provincial Tax Cut

As the province prepares to unveil its budget for the coming year, the finance minister says one thing you can bet on and win ... will be a cut in income taxes.  Graham Steele says with the deficit coming down dramatically and the economy improving, such a tax cut would be only right. Canadian Taxpayers Federation Atlantic Director Kevin Lacey commends the minister for realizing South Shore residents and others province-wide pay the highest taxes in the country. He says: "This is a step in the right direction ... the government finally admitting that Nova Scotians pay too much tax and now it sounds like they're going to try and do something about it." The federation says high taxes is one of the biggest problems facing the provincial economy. Lacey says the province has the highest taxes in all of Canada relative to the size of its economy. He says "addressing the problem is going to help jump-start the economy, by taking money out of the hands of government and putting it where it counts, in the hands of the average South Shore resident and others across the province."  The budget comes down April 3rd.
The finance minister also says his deficit forecast for the 2011-12 fiscal year has dropped to 261-million dollars from the 365-million he was projecting back in December.

New Lunenburg School Is High-Tech Energy Efficient

Its quite a day, getting used to new surroundings in a brand new learning facility! Bluenose Academy in Lunenburg is welcoming its students and staff on this first day of school. It's considered one of the most energy efficient buildings in the province, featuring a solar wall, wood pellet boiler and is heated using solar energy. The green roof in the gym is covered with local plants and moss while the architectural design honours the historic town. Lunenburg Mayor Lawrence MaWhinney says.... he's impressed! The mayor tells us ... "I think they've done an excellent job in getting all of the bits and pieces together that are a part of modern technology. My only hope is that it will be as durable as what they built 117 years ago!" The academy will be home to 570 students and replaces the 117 year old Lunenburg Academy and the newer Centre Consolidated and Riverport Elementary schools. A date for an official grand opening ceremony has not been set yet.

Fundraising continues for Olympic hopeful

Fundraising efforts continue for Olympic hopeful Jenna Martin. Co-chairperson for Jenna's Run for London 2012, Kevin Hayward, says they're nearing their fundraising mark.
"The community support here has been absolutely tremendous for Jenna to date, but a lot of her training is funding that she has to raise herself, so we still have a goal of between $10,000 to $15,000 to get Jenna to the Olympics this August."
Hayward says the last three months have been quiet, mainly because Martin has been training in Florida. He says the remaining money needed will go towards helping Martin compete across the world before the Canadian Olympic trials in June. To help Jenna Martin reach the London Olympics, you can provide a financial donation by calling Kevin Hayward at (902) 543-6090.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

MODL provides lifeline for Osprey Ridge Golf Course

Another step in the waiting game to find a possible buyer for Osprey Ridge Golf Course. The Municipality of Lunenburg has approved a temporary borrowing resolution to pay a balloon payment of $2.9-million to the Municipal Finance Corporation. The municipality issued a default notice to operators of Osprey Ridge last September and assumed title of the property in December. CAO Tammy Wilson says council could have decided to pull money from their own reserves.
"That would put the municipality in a position where we'd be depleting our reserves to address this issue. We are developing a marketing strategy and hopefully being able to market the golf course in the near future and because of that we chose a three-year loan as opposed to anything longer."
The Minister of Service Nova Scotia will need to approve the temporary borrowing resolution. The balloon payment is due in May.

Yarmouth Chases Down 'Hockeyville' title

On-line and telephone voting is intense as Yarmouth chases the crown to become Canada's Hockeyville. The town is one of five across the country in the running for the 100-thousand dollar prize and chance to host an NHL pre-season game. Mayor Phil Mooney says its an uphill battle with a place like Kelowna, BC for instance, having the potential for 2-million votes. "People right across southwestern Nova Scotia have been contacting everybody they know to cast one, one-hundred or one-thousand votes for Yarmouth," Voting can be done online at or by calling 1-866-533-8066.  The other communities in the running are Amos, Quebec; Stirling-Rawdon, Ontario; West Duck Lake, Saskatchewan; and West Kelowna, BC. The deadline is midnight tonight and Canada's top hockey community will be announced March 31st.