Thursday, May 31, 2012

New Trail Opens On Brier Island

The bridges are built, the gravel is hauled and the signs are in. Digby County students and the Nature Conservancy of Canada put the finishing touches on a new and improved trail on Brier Island yesterday. The five-kilometre trail was built to give tourists and residents a scenic view of the southern coast and to protect the property. Craig Smith from Nature Conservancy says the idea of teaming up with students came from Cobequid Trails Consulting.

Among many jobs the students hauled gravel, planted two signs, and built five 20 foot bridges over creeks.

Liberal Leader Begins Summer Tour On South Shore

Photo: Stephen McNeil
Stephen McNeil
Nova Scotia's Liberal leader is convinced his party will make inroads with the South Shore electorate in the next provincial election.  Stephen McNeil believes the party might be able to unseat one or more of the area's sitting NDP members of the legislature.  Because of that, he intends to be visible in the area through the summer.  This morning, McNeil kicked off his annual summer tour across the province.  He says the South Shore was chosen deliberately as the starting point.

McNeil is meeting today with business leaders in Chester, Lunenburg, Mahone Bay and Bridgewater. He expects to be back on the South Shore in a few weeks to visit Queens and Shelburne Counties.

Fourth Season Of Farmers' Market

Spring means warm weather, barbeques, and the Bridgewater Farmers' Market. This Saturday the market opens for it's 4th season on the King Street parking lot. Ran by members and a not for profit society, the venue features more than 14 vendors selling local fruit, veggies, meats, candles, baked goods and more. The season kick-off will also feature music from international singer/song-writer Darren Arsenault.

As well as local performers, the market has a community booth that promotes causes and raises funds. It opens this Saturday from 8:30 until noon and will run weekly until Thanksgiving.

Lunenburg: New Rescue Boat

Lunenburg's Volunteer Fire Department will be the owner of a new rescue boat. The 25 foot fibreglass boat is about 9 feet bigger than the departments original. The $87,000 purchase was made between fundraising, federal funding and through a joint account between the fire department and the town of Lunenburg. Assistant Deputy Chief Trevor Lohnes says the boat will be able to go farther in an emergency.

The boat will also feature a cut-out door for personal rescue, radar and a water pump for fire fighting on islands and boats. It will arrive from Halifax in about 3 weeks.

Surprise Turnout At SSRSB Candidates Meeting

A surprising turnout for School Board officials at Wednesday night's candidates information session. Roughly 50 people attended the meeting to learn more about what it takes to be part of the school board. Board member Judith Sullivan-Corney says it was nice to see that many people take in the meeting.

The public learned about the qualifications needed to run, who makes up the board and the roles of board members. Hebbs Cross resident Jennifer Naugler says the meeting helped answer her questions.

Naugler says she hasn't decided whether she will run or not. Meanwhile, Elmer Garber says the meeting touched on some key information.

School Board nominations close September 11. Sullivan-Corney says she is open to holding another meeting in case people were undecided or unable to attend.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Video: Governor General's Visit To Yarmouth

Mayor Phil Mooney

It was a warm welcome for the Governor General of Canada in Yarmouth on Wednesday. David Johnston was greeted by Yarmouth mayor Phil Mooney before heading into an informal meeting with community leaders and citizens at Town Hall. During his whirlwind tour of south western Nova Scotia, Johnson took in a first hand look of a lobster pound and embarked on a two hour boating excursion to do some lobster fishing in the harbour. On Thursday, Johnson will visit West Pubnico. It will mark the first time a Governor General of Canada has visited the historic Acadian community of Pubnico.

NDP: Dexter Shuffles His Cards As Election Nears

A major shake-up within the majority NDP government in Nova Scotia. Premier Darrell Dexter has shuffled his cabinet, appointing Maureen MacDonald as the province's first female finance minister. MacDonald takes over for Graham Steele, who announced on Wednesday that he will not seek re-election after an 11-year career in politics. Steele made his announcement during a speech to the Bridgewater and Area Chamber of Commerce.

Meanwhile, Bill Estabrooks also announced he will not run again after 14 years in public life, and his former job as transportation minister will be filled by NDP backbencher Maurice Smith. Dave Wilson will become the new health minister, and Leonard Preyra enters cabinet for the first time in Wilson's former job as communities, culture and heritage minister. Steele was first elected to the provincial legislature in a 2001 and sworn in as finance minister when Nova Scotia elected its first NDP government in June 2009.

Buyer Walks Away From Old Post Office Sale

Talks have broken down on a potential sale of the old Canada Post building on King Street in Bridgewater. CKBW and HANK-FM News first reported the potential sale of the property in March after a company spokesperson confirmed negotiations were underway. Mayor Carroll Publicover says the potential buyer has decided against the purchase.

Publicover wouldn't comment but a tentative plan was to create a microbrewery in the building. The mayor says there are other parties ''unofficially'' interested in purchasing the 109-year-old landmark. The spot has been for sale since 2010.

Lohnes Finding Stride Before Nationals

A Bridgewater judoka continues to excel on the mat. Whitney Lohnes finished first in the under-20 division and third in the seniors category at the Ontario Open in Toronto. She also placed third recently at the U.S. Open in Miami and fifth at the Miami World Cup. Lohnes will continue training ahead of junior and senior nationals, which are scheduled for early July in Toronto.

Seniors Warned About Door To Door Pitchmen

The Better Business Bureau is warning South Shore residents, especially seniors, to be extremely cautious when answering the door this summer to traveling alarm system sales people.  There have been complaints right across the continent of people being subjected to high-pressure sales tactics and felt deceived by the salesperson into buying an expensive personal safety alarm system.  The BBB's Atlantic President Don MacKinnon says many of these so-called sales people don't have a license to sell door-to-door or legally sell and install alarm systems.  He warns seniors to use caution.

You can always contact the Better Business Bureau for advice.  Last year, several South Shore residents were cohearsed into buying these systems and handed over thousands of dollars.

Bridgewater E-Voting By-law Passes First Reading

A by-law concerning electronic voting in Bridgewater has passed first reading. Council approved its first look of the 'Alternative Voting Method' for the October elections during their Monday night meeting. The potential move would see e-voting, like telephone and internet, available for residents 10 days before the ordinary polling day scheduled for October 20. The returning officer and staff believe paper ballots should also be provided. Mayor Carroll Publicover disagrees.

Second reading is expected to be held at council's June 25 meeting.

E-Voting Scrapped In Lunenburg Until 2016

The town of Lunenburg won't offer e-voting when voters head to the polls this October. Council and staff felt they didn't have enough time to properly implement the new voting system in time for municipal elections. Mayor Laurence Mawhinney says they didn't want to confuse voters so close to an election. Voter turnout in the last municipal election in Lunenburg was around 55 percent - well above the province average. Council is working to draft a by-law to introduce e-voting for municipal election in 2016.

Lunenburg: Active & Vibrant Despite Greying Population

Town of Lunenburg mayor Laurence Mawhinney says the town is a vibrant and active community. He was responding to questions surrounding census data released by Statistic's Canada on Tuesday. The latest figures indicate Lunenburg has the highest median age among the main communities in the province at almost 53 years. However, Laurence Mawhinney says the town continues its work to attract young families to the area.

In regards to employment, Mawhinney says major companies such as High Liner, HB Studios and Composites Atlantic are committed to the town and each feature a median age of 45 years and younger. Several new homes are also under construction which Mawhinney says is another positive step.

Governor-General In Yarmouth Today, West Pubnico Tomorrow

Governor General David Johnston
The town of Yarmouth will be hosting a special visitor today.  Governor-General David Johnston will be there to learn more about the area.  He will get a first hand look at a lobster pound, do some lobster fishing and have a private meeting with Mayor Phil Mooney to discuss the loss of the ferry service two years ago.
The Mayor says it was at the Governor-General's insistence that he better understand the impact of the ferry loss on the area.

The Governor General will present awards during a late-afternoon reception.  He will also visit West Pubnico on Thursday and then return to Halifax later in the day.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

VIDEO: Province Releases Aquaculture Strategy

Sterling Belliveau
The province's fisheries minister is promising to increase oversight in the aquaculture sector. Sterling Belliveau released a strategy Tuesday to improve regulations and share more information with the public about the $50-million industry. He says he's trying to understand public concern over aquaculture.

Under the plan, the provincial government wants companies to report fish losses due to disease and mandate disinfection of aquaculture sites. The announcement comes a month after a fish farm near Shelburne was ordered to kill hundreds of thousands of salmon due to a viral outbreak. Infectious salmon anemia was found at a Cooke Aquaculture site outside Shelburne Harbour earlier this year.

Efforts To Get New Yarmouth Ferry Service Moving Ahead

A meeting in Stockholm, Sweden a few days ago may go a long way in re-establishing ferry service between Yarmouth and Maine.  The head of the Nova Scotia Ferry Partnership and an official of the province's economic development department met with officials interested in exploring the possibility of re-establishing the link.  Yarmouth Mayor Phil Mooney says the meeting was a forerunner of what may come in the not too distant future.

The mayor is hoping a new ferry can be in operation by next year.  Meanwhile, the special committee set up by the premier to examine the best economically- feasible ferry service for the area will be in Yarmouth next week, gathering information for its study.

UPDATE: Queens General Health Project

The final stage of prep work before a tender is issued for the Queens General Health Project is underway. Maintenance staff are in the midst of constructing temporary inpatient units at the hospital. The new units will keep patients comfortable and away from construction areas while the bulk of the work is being carried out. South Shore Health spokeswoman Liz Finney says a number of staff needed to relocate their offices in order to accommodate the short term units.

A work tender for the $16 million dollar project is expected to be awarded in July with construction scheduled to begin in August. The QGH Project includes a new primary care clinic and redevelopment of the 22-bed in-patient unit at the hospital in Liverpool.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Fawson Seeking Second Term On MODL Council

The current deputy mayor of the District of Lunenburg is looking for a second term on council. Frank Fawson will try and retain his seat in the October 20 election. Fawson has been on council since 2008. He says he's glad members are involved in "Your Council - Your Ideas" sessions to help councillors meet with the public. Fawson says he has work to be done.

Fawson expects sustainability, sewage in the LaHave River and renewable energy to be pressing issues for council in the near future. He says one council highlight includes reducing the overall debt by $2-million, with no new borrowing. He is running for District three councillor, serving constituents in Dayspring, Rhodes Corner and Crouses Settlement.

Lumberjacks Announce Co-Captaincy For 2012-13

A pair of 20-year-olds will lead the CIBC Wood Gundy Lumberjacks on the ice this season. Michael Crawley and Jacob Conrad have been announced as the co-captains this year. Head Coach Terry Rhindress says he isn't sure how a co-captaincy will work yet.

Rhindress says the two players will be expected to help younger players develop their games. Crawley led the Jacks with 78 points last season while Conrad rejoins the team after spending the previous three years with Gatineau in the Quebec league.

Shelburne: Border Services Intercept Illegal Weapons

A Shelburne County man faces charges after three packages containing illegal stun guns and pepper spray were intercepted by the Canada Border Services Agency. The packages - bound for an address in Shelburne County - were flagged at the Vancouver International Mail Centre in December. After a lengthy investigation, 23 year-old Scott Nickerson was arrested earlier this month. Manager of Criminal Investigations for the CBSA, Albert Price says 32 stun guns were seized along with ten cans of pepper spray.

In total, Nickerson is facing 20 charges including five smuggling related offences under the customs act. He is due in court June 14th in Halifax.

Governor General To Visit Yarmouth

The town of Yarmouth is gearing up to host the Governor General. David Johnston will visit the area Wednesday afternoon after he takes in a few events in Halifax Tuesday. The Governor General will visit mayor Phil Mooney, meet with education, business and environment representatives, visit a lobster pound, go lobster fishing in the town's harbour and present awards during an evening reception. He will also visit West Pubnico Thursday.

Chester Curling Club To Host Three Provincial Events in 2013

The Chester Curling Club will be a busy spot next season with three provincial events scheduled to hit their ice. The AMJ Campbell Provincial Junior championship rolls into the Village between Christmas and New Year's followed by the under-18 play downs in late February. In early March, the provincial mixed event will be in the spotlight. Bridgewater will host one Provincial bonspiel in 2013; the Under-13 Youthspiel championship in mid-February. The Molson Coors Mens Tankard is pegged for Truro next year while the Scotties has been awarded to the Halifax Club. The locations were announced at the Nova Scotia Curling Association's AGM over the weekend in Halifax.

Whalen Qualifies For NCAA Championships

Chelsea Whalen

A Liverpool native has punched her ticket to the NCAA Track and Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa. Chelsea Whalen had a javelin throw of 46.44 metres this past weekend at the East Preliminary Round in Jacksonville, Florida. Whalen's throw placed her ninth in a field of 48. She is currently ranked 21st in the nation heading into the competition, which will be held June 6-9 in Iowa.

Open Meeting For Potential School Board Candidates

A meeting will be held this week for people thinking about becoming a school board member this October. The regional school board is hosting the information session. The meeting is expected to provide potential members with an indication of what it means to be part of an elected School Board. It will also include information like how to run a campaign, the highlights and challenges of being a School Board member, and the role of governance and management. The meeting will be held Wednesday from 6:30-9pm at the School Board office in Bridgewater.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Facts And Folklore: Book to Be Launched

A book with quips and quirks about the South Shore will be launched Saturday at the Bridgewater Mall. South Shore Facts and Folklore was written by Vernon Oickle and talks about some of the region's history, culture and people. Oickle says the book is full of useful information.

The book is dedicated to current region of Queens Mayor and former teacher John Leefe. Oickle says Leefe taught him and inspired his interest in local history. The book will be launched at COLES Book Store from 1-3pm.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Slight Drop In Gasoline Price

The recently slumping price of oil is headed up again. After gaining 76-cents yesterday, oil is up another 50-cents this morning to trade at $91.16 U-S a barrel. Still, oil is down 13 per cent so far this month. Here on the South Shore this morning, gasoline prices are down a bit. The URB set the price overnight for regular self serve at $1.29 per litre. Thats a penny less than yesterday's price.

Air Cadets Celebrate 60th Anniversary in Queens

The 545 Air Cadets will celebrate 60 years in Queens County this weekend. It's a big milestone for the squadron which will culminate with a celebration at Queen Place in Liverpool on Sunday. The cadets have been busy preparing for the gala event - set to feature demonstrations, displays and visit from Premier Darrell Dexter. Commanding Officer Brian Oickle believes the anniversary is a great opportunity to show case the program.

The air cadets are in the midst of moving their program to the former South Queens Junior High facility in hopes of becoming more visible in the community. Events begin at 2 o'clock on Sunday afternoon.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Soccer Club To Manage Centre Fields

The Lunenburg United Soccer club will be managing the fields they play on. The Municipality of Lunenburg has entered into an agreement with the club to look after the former Centre school soccer fields this season. Club secretary Rachel Bailey says the fields are crucial to their operation.

Club members were concerned about the future of the fields in February because Centre school was pegged to close. Bailey says it will be business as usual for this season.

MLA Birdsall Speaks Out On Power

The MLA for Lunenburg says the future of power lies with the Lower Churchill project. Emera, the parent company of Nova Scotia Power, has an agreement with Nalcor Energy in Newfoundland to provide power to our province once the project is complete. Pam Birdsall believes the project will benefit the province when its ready.

Nova Scotia Power has asked the province’s Utility and Review Board for rate hikes of three per cent in each of the next two years for residential customers. Meanwhile, Birdsall says the opposition brought up deregulating the energy market during the spring session of the Legislature. She says Nova Scotians shouldn't travel down that road.

The first phase of the proposed $6.2-billion Lower Churchill project is expected to be completed by 2017.

URB To Hold School Board Hearing In June

A date has been set for a public hearing on the size of the next South Shore Regional School Board. Judith Sullivan-Corney announced Wednesday night the province's Utility and Review Board will hold the hearing June 18 at the board office in Bridgewater. The meeting will begin at 10am. The province decided to make changes to the Education Act in April to allow the opportunity for smaller school boards. The amendment will require school boards to have at least five members, along with two at-large members representing African Nova Scotian and Mi'kmaq communities.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

VIDEO: Tattoo's New Events & Performers 2012

The Royal International Tattoo will feature more than national and international performers this year. They will host a new Nova Scotia Webcam to give fans a backstage peek of rehearsals and set up of the Halifax Metro Centre. On Canada Day, Tattoo events will air on PBS, and former Tattoo members are set to get married during the show. Artistic Director Ian Fraser says they put the event together as a fast moving package with lots of variety.

The show will also feature 3 sub themes: The Titanic, the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the War of 1812. And after 12 years, the Naval Gun Race will return. There will also be free pipe and drum workshops. The annual Tattoo hits the stage on July 1st.

Jennex Nixes Moratorium On School Closures

The province's Education Minister is saying "no" to a moratorium on school closures in Nova Scotia. Ramona Jennex turned down the request during a meeting with District of Lunenburg mayor Don Downe Tuesday in Halifax. Downe was hoping for a moratorium because three schools have been closed in the municipality and are now their responsibility. He's calling on the government to take action.

Downe presented three options to the minister which includes a provincial position on the impact of school closures in rural communities, reviewing and revising the 1982 agreement between the Department of Education and Municipalities to transfer ownership of schools to the province to reflect the change in municipal units borrowing powers and reviewing the school review process. The two sides are expected to come together in the next few weeks.

PC Leader Embarks On South Shore & Valley Tour

Nova Scotia's Progressive Conservative Leader has embarked on a two day tour of the western part of the province.  Jamie Baillie is concentrating on the South Shore, Yarmouth and the Valley as he prepares for a provincial election, which could happen next spring.  His tour is aimed at the fishing, farming, forestry and tourism industries. 

He tells us South Shore residents deserve to know his beliefs and his party stands.

Baillie has meetings lined up with business and community leaders and citizens at large. He will be touring fish plants, the Shelburne ship repair facility and the restoration project at White Point Beach resort.

Baillie will wrap up his swing through the area when he speaks Thursday night at the nomination meeting in Bridgewater for new-minted Lunenburg-West PC candidate David Mitchell.

Staying The Course: MODL Says "No" To E-Voting

The Municipality of Lunenburg is sticking to their guns when it comes to voting. Council members decided against a motion to watch a presentation on e-voting for the upcoming municipal elections. Deputy Mayor Frank Fawson attended a meeting recently with the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities and says roughly 70% of municipalities in the province will be using some form of e-voting. Councillor Martin Bell says its too late to try and establish e-voting with only four months before the October elections. Bridgewater and Chester have both indicated they will use electronic voting for their advance polls.

South Shore: Bogus Money Floating Around

Police are trying to figure out if there is a connection between phony money floating around Halifax and the South Shore. Three cases have been reported in Bridgewater and Lunenburg in the last week where counterfeit bills were passed. Three other cases were spotted over the last week in the Halifax Regional Municipality. The bills seized were mainly $50's and $20's and are the older series paper currency as opposed to the new polymer banknotes. Constable Will Creamer of the Bridgewater Police Service says his office is working with the Financial Crime Unit in Halifax to see if the cases are connected. A Dartmouth man has been charged in relation to the incidents in Halifax. Counterfeit bills have also turned up recently in Windsor and Amherst.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Municipality of Lunenburg Sets Tax Rates

The Municipality of Lunenburg is holding the line on their residential tax rate. Council approved its 2012-13 budget Tuesday night. The residential rate remains at $0.81 cents per 100 of assessment while the commercial tax rate dropped $0.10 cents from $2.05 to $1.95. Mayor Don Downe says they plan to stay the course.

Residents will also continue to be taxed the two-and-a-half cents for the Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre. The municipality has a capital budget of just over $3.4-million while its operating budget is $29.8-million.

600 New Patients For Nurse Practitioners

Bridgewater's two new nurse practitioner's had a busy first week. They've accepted over 600 new patients. Spokesperson for South Shore Health Liz Finney says that even though the phone lines were busy, the first week has gone very well.

New patients will only be accepted after July 16th if they don't have a family physician. This will give the nurse practitioners time to intake their current new patients and arrange follow up appointments. The new hires are the first step towards Bridgewater's proposed Collaborative Health Centre.

Its Tick Time!

'Tis the season for ticks ... lots of ticks .... all the way from Yarmouth to the central part of the province.  There are various variations ... wood ticks, dog ticks and in some places .... black-legged ticks.
Museum of Natural History entomologist Andrew Hepda tells us, there is little you can do about them, except grin and bear it and take precautions.  He says its important to dress properly and to check for ticks when you get home.

"When you come back in just do a top to bottom check to see if there is "anybody" on you. It usually takes about 24 hours to get up into a feeding position so they're still crawling around for that first 24 hours. Once they start feeding (on your blood), it still takes them a good 48 hours to get that full feed. So, you've got lots of time to check."

Black legged ticks are the ones that can be potential carriers of lyme disease.  They have been confirmed to exist in some parts of the region.  Last year, a couple of black-legged ticks were found in Yarmouth County and confirmed to be carriers of the virus that causes Lyme disease.

Tipping Fees Going Up At Whynott Settlement Landfill

It will soon cost more to dump items at the Whynott Settlement landfill. Bridgewater council has agreed to recommendations from the waste management committee to raise the price of tipping fees to help recover costs. The biggest increase will see commercial haulers charged $141 to drop their waste, up from $60. Councillor Bill McInnis says the cost increases will mainly affect businesses and some residents.

Compost fees will be $100, increasing by $25, and rural septic users will pay just over $31. Blue bags remain at no charge. The price changes are effective August 1.

Potential For More Products From Forestry

Photo: Christopher A d’Entremont
There is great potential for expanding the forest industry in Lunenburg, Queens, Shelburne and Yarmouth counties.  Thats the belief of Argyle MLA Chris D'Entremont. He points to the many products that can be produced, aside from the traditional paper and building products.

"The minerals, the extract and those kinds of things. Lets do some research. Lets see where we can go on that one and bring that forward. We know that when it comes to bio-medicine, there's a lot of money available in that, that might be able to take a piece of what that industry is and keep it alive."

D'Entremont says the forest industry needs to be more self-sufficient and not reliant on the large pulp and paper mills, like Bowater-Mersey.

Long-Service Awards For South Shore Paramedics

A trio of South Shore paramedics will receive long service medals during a ceremony in Halifax today. Bruce Leaman of Liverpool along with Crystal Larkin and James Currie of Shelburne will receive the prestigious award this year.  The Paramedic Long Service Award is based on five-year increments of service of 20 years and more. Paramedics with 20 years of service receive a medal for their dress uniform. For each additional five-year increment, paramedics receive a service bar pinned on the medal. The awards have been given out every year since 2010 in conjunction with Emergency Medical Services week in the province. The award is in the shape of the Star of Life, which is internationally recognized as the symbol for paramedic service. It also has the Nova Scotia Coat of Arms along with the EHS logo and is worn on the Paramedic dress uniform.

Man Charged In April ATV Incident

A Lunenburg County man is facing charges in relation to an incident in First South back in April.  The driver of an ATV was injured when he and his vehicle ran into barbed wire strung between two trees.  After an investigation, the RCMP have now charged a 65 year old man with criminal negligence and setting a trap that likely will cause bodily harm.  A court appearance is expected in a few days.

Mitchell Receives PC Nod For Lunenburg West

Lunenburg West has its PC candidate for the next provincial election. Current Bridgewater councillor David Mitchell got the nod after there were no other nominations received by the Tory Party. He replaces Carolyn Bolivar-Getson, who chose not to seek the nomination after battling health issues. Mitchell says he hopes to start a new chapter of his life as a provincial politician.

Mitchell says he's undecided about running for Bridgewater council now that he's running for MLA. He says he's not bothered by the wave of NDP orange covering every constituency on the South Shore.

Mitchell says school review and power rates are the biggest issues concerning South Shore residents. A meeting to announce Mitchell as the official Progressive Conservative candidate for Lunenburg West will be held Thursday evening at the Bridgewater Legion.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Queens MLA: Opposition Playing Politics Over Power Rates

The NDP MLA for Queens is calling it a productive session in the house. The Nova Scotia Legislature rose after 34 days Thursday with the government introducing 33 bills. But, it was the issue of Nova Scotia Power and rate increases that caught the most attention. Both Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil and PC Leader Jamie Baillie wanted the government to remain in the house until the issue was resolved. Vicki Conrad says it was a last minute ploy by the opposition.

Conrad says she's looking to get back to her constituency and dealing with local concerns.

Bridgewater, Liverpool Nominated For Kraft Celebration Tour

At least two South Shore towns have been nominated for the Kraft Celebration Tour. The event gives 10 communities across Canada a chance to win $25,000 towards improving active living in your area. Both Liverpool and Bridgewater have been garnering support so far. Queens County resident Joel Zwicker nominated Liverpool. He says the community needs a skate park.

Residents are encouraged to vote for Liverpool and Bridgewater by writing a small testimonial about why they should be chosen. People have until June 10 to show their support before judging begins on the nominated communities.Previous Nova Scotia winners include Amherst, Pictou, Port Hood and Sackville. To have your say go to

Fire Near Chester Under Investigation

No one was hurt as a result of a fire near Chester last night. Although an old garage containing vehicles in Haddon Hill on Highway 3 was destroyed. A century-old residence on the property that was once an inn, known as Haddon Hall, suffered considerable damage. At around 11:30 fire fighters from Chester, Chester Basin, Hubbards, Blandford and Western Shore were involved in battling the blaze. The fire department and police are in the preliminary stages of investigation.

Argyle MLA Says Its The NDP way Or No Way At All

NS Legislature Building
The spring sitting of the Nova Scotia legislature has wrapped up.  Proposed power rate hikes dominated the closing days of the session with both opposition parties saying the Dexter government doesn't want to deal with the issue.  Argyle PC MLA Chris D'Entremont says the government actually refuses to deal with anything that isn't NDP-branded.  He says:

"They don't want to listen to the opposition parties at all. I know how the back rooms tend to work. There's a little bit of trade-off that goes on. Once in a while, an idea gets put into an NDP bill or a government bill or there's a bill that comes forward from the opposition. But, when it comes to something substantive, absolutely nothing! There have been no dealings whatsoever!"

Meanwhile, the just-concluded session produced 34 government bills including one that extends the life of the former NewPage mill workers' pension plans.  Another ensures the utility review board evaluates the Maritime Link, part of the proposed 6.2-billion dollar Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project in Labrador.

Most Wanted: Bridgewater Police Make Arrest

A 22 year-old man listed among Halifax's most wanted has been arrested by police on the South Shore. Members of the Bridgewater Police Service took 22 year-old Matthew Sudds into custody last night after a foot chase in the downtown core. Sudds had outstanding warrants issued by Halifax Regional Police surrounding an assault and failure to appear in court. He has been transferred into the custody of Halifax Regional Police and is due in court later today.

RCMP Seek Public Help In Solving Lunenburg County Break & Enter

It happened well-over a month ago but Lunenburg County RCMP are still puzzled by a break and enter at a home in Cherry Hill.  Someone broke into the home along highway 331 during the afternoon or early evening of April 6th.

Among the haul stolen were two engagement rings, gold rings, watches, necklaces, vintage Beatles and Elvis records, silver coins and the list goes on.  The value is thought to be in the thousands of dollars.

Earlier this month, some of the stolen goods were found scattered in the woods off the Petite Riviere Road in Petite Riviere.

Investigators are seeking the public's help in tracking down the thieves.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Jennex: Former Board Members Can Re-Offer

Education Minister Ramona Jennex says she has no problems with former board members running in the October elections. Jennex fired the 12-member board last November after a scathing report from Deloitte Inc. revealed frequent violations by the board of its own by-laws, persistent cases of conflict of interest and too much focus on individual agendas. Members including Karen Reinhardt, Herb Seymour and Butch MacLeod have indicated they intend to run again while others remain undecided or don't plan to run. Jennex says she isn't concerned about former members getting re-elected.

She says every person has the democratic right to run in municipal, board, or provincial elections.

Chester: No Tax Hikes Included In Budget

There won't be any new tax hikes this year for residents and businesses in the municipality of Chester. Council passed their operating and capital budgets during their regular meeting this morning. The residential tax rate was set at $0.64 per $100 of assessment while commercial rates will hold steady at $1.54 per $100 of assessment. In a release, Warden Allen Webber says economic and environmental sustainability remains a priority for council and staff in hopes of promoting growth in the area. He says an example would be the large-scale wind project at the Kaizer Meadow Landfill site. The $5.5 million dollar project will be fully owned by the municipality. Other projects include fixing up the wharf in Chester Basin, constructing several sidewalks and putting a focus on health and well being initiatives. Overall, the municipality will feature an operation budget of just over $22 million dollars.

NSP Petition Turned Away

An online petition that opposes Nova Scotia Power's rate increases was turned down today in the legislature.  Roughly 30,000 signatures were gathered from social media websites. The NDP government blocked the petition based on a rule that prohibits tabling electronic petitions. Opposition Liberal leader Stephen McNeil says the rule is out dated.

McNeil adds that support for the petition grows everyday. Last week Nova Scotia Power asked its customers to pay six per cent more for electricity over the next two years. A utilities and review board hearing will be held on the request this fall.

Court: Preliminary Hearing Set In Chester Basin Murder

A preliminary hearing for a teenager accused of killing his mother in Chester Basin will begin in January. Five days have been set aside for the hearing involving 18 year-old John (Jack) Buckley. He has pleaded not guilty to a charge of second degree murder in the death of Victoria Brauns-Buckley. The woman's body was found at her home on the Borgels Point Road on March 2nd, however its not known how she died. A preliminary hearing is used to determine whether there is enough evidence to proceed to trial. The hearing will begin on January 16th in Bridgewater.

Group Urges Minister About Rural Education Strategy

Paul Bennett
A group of individuals are looking to change the way the province deals with rural education. The Small Schools Delegation met with Education Minister Ramona Jennex Tuesday to discuss their study called "Schools at the Centre: A Revitalization Strategy for Rural Communities." The group has asked for a moratorium on school reviews and closures during the proposed process. Chair Paul Bennett says change needs to happen sooner rather than later.

Bennett says Jennex seemed positive about the study but would need time to look over the document.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

BREAKING: Leopold Found Guilty of Manslaughter

A jury has found a Liverpool man guilty of manslaughter in the death of his fiancée. It took a twelve member panel more than four hours to render a verdict in the trial of James Leroy Leopold. Sentencing will take place on June 27th. Leopold will be remanded to Nova Scotia Correction Centre.