Friday, February 10, 2012

RCMP find body of missing Shelburne County woman

RCMP have found the body of a missing Shelburne County woman. Police say in a news release that foul play is not suspected in the death of Chelsea Hopkins. The 23-year-old's body was found in a wooded area near her home shortly before 4pm Friday afternoon. She was reported missing on Thursday afternoon. In a news release, the Mounties thanked the public for its assistance in providing information about the missing woman.

Sports: Crushers top Lumberjacks

Devan Gunn scored a powerplay marker midway through the third period, lifting the Pictou County Weeks Crushers to a 4-3 win over the CIBC Wood Gundy Lumberjacks. Cody Coffin, Brennan Saulnier and Jake Bullen scored for the Jacks while Dylan McQuaid turned aside 31 shots on the loss. Head Coach Terry Rhindress says his club put in a good effort, in a losing cause. The Jacks went 0 for 3 on the powerplay while Pictou went 1 for 3 with the man advantage. The Lumberjacks next game goes in Summerside Sunday against the Capitals.

McNeil: Questions Bowater $50-M Bailout

Some more uncertainty for workers at Bowater-Mersey. Resolute Forest Products says it will temporarily cease operations at its Bowater Mersey mill in Brooklyn on March 11th. The Nova Scotia government recently gave the company a 50-million dollar rescue package and Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil is questioning that decision. "We like everyone want to see the people of Queen County and the entire province go to work. Just imagine what could happen if that $50 million was invested into small business in Lunenburg and Queens County...The long-term sustainability of those jobs may be greater," The company says world paper markets are saturated and there is a shortage of new orders.

BREAKING: SSRSB facing 2.1% budget cut

The South Shore Regional School Board is tasked with a 2.1 per cent budget cut for fiscal 2012-13. Education Minister Ramona Jennex released the information during a teleconference Friday afternoon. The cut represents just over $1.4-million in the South Shore Regional School Board's budget. Jennex recently said budgets have to reflect the reality of dropping enrolments over the past year. In total, the province is reducing funding to all eight school boards by 1.3 per cent, totalling $13.4-million. Last year, the province reduced funding to school boards by 1.65 per cent. In a letter to board chairs, the minister outlined conditions for boards as they plan their budgets:

-- The province is increasing the allocation for special education, including supports for children with autism, by $12.2 million

-- School boards will achieve reductions in teaching positions through enrolment decline and retirements. This is expected to keep the student-teacher ratio at its current rate of 12.9-1, which is the lowest in a generation

-- The province is maintaining the cap on class size from Primary to Grade 3. Boards will have the flexibility to adjust the cap by two students per class, compared to the cap in 2011-12, to avoid combined classes when appropriate

-- Savings in administration continue to be the priority. Boards must continue efforts to reduce board consultants by 50 per cent by 2013-14

Individual school board allocations will vary depending on their enrolment decline and the funding formula. The province is protecting boards with the sharpest enrolment drops by capping reductions at 2.1 per cent. Boards, like all departments and agencies, must manage wage and inflation costs.

RCMP search for missing Shelburne County woman

RCMP are looking for the public's help in locating a missing woman  Barrington RCMP say 23-year-old Chelsea Justice Anne Hopkins of Shelburne County was reported missing Thursday afternoon. Police say Hopkins left her residence on Oak Park Road Wednesday morning and has not been seen or heard from since. Hopkins is described as 5 foot 3 inches tall, 125 lbs, blonde hair, and blue eyes. She may be wearing a man's brown camouflage coat, and tall orange rubber boots with a blue sole. Police are asking anyone with information on her whereabouts to contact Barrington RCMP.

Baillie: Concerned for Workers/Future at Bowater

An unexpected shutdown of operations is coming at Bowater-Mersey. The paper-machines at the Liverpool-area mill will cease operating for three weeks starting March 11th. The parent company Resolute Forest Products says world paper markets are saturated with the product right now and there is a shortage of new orders. Its the second shutdown at Bowater mill since before Christmas when it was closed for three weeks for the same reasons. Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie says two shutdowns within three months after a $50-million dollar provincial and local government bailout is a dubious sign of trouble. "The right way for Nova Scotia to proceed for the forest industry - for all industry - is to focus on getting the basics right...Having power rates that are affordable, having a tax structure that is fair and I think a better way forward is to try and move away from these band-aid bail outs in the future and focus on getting the fundamentals right,"  During the shutdown next month, only a skeleton crew of staff will remain. Everyone else will be temporarily laid-off.

BREAKING: Three Week Shut-Down Planned at Bowater

An unexpected shutdown of operations is planned at Bowater-Mersey. The Brooklyn based mill will cease operations for three weeks starting March 11th. The mill's parent company - Resolute Forest Products says world paper markets are saturated with the product right now and there is a shortage of new orders. It's the second shutdown at Bowater mill since before Christmas when it was closed for three weeks for the same reasons.

Lunenburg Academy: Town Takes Ownership on March 30

Lunenburg Academy will be back under the town's control by the end of March. However, the future use of the historic school building is still up in the air. Mayor Laurence Mawhinney says the town is still looking at a number of options. Among them, a culture, arts and education centre and maybe an interpretive centre for the town's UNESCO designation. The mayor says the town will be meeting with representatives from the South Shore Regional School board in the coming weeks to ensure the transition is smooth. The new Bluenose Academy will hold its first classes on March 21st and be home to students from Centre Consolidated, Lunenburg Academy and Riverport schools.

Council in Chester Pleased with Highway 14 Upgrades

A councillor in Chester is pleased a rough section of Highway 14 will see some new pavement this summer. The Nova Scotia government made the decision to pave a nine kilometre stretch of the Windsor Road late last year. Tenders to pave the stretch between Canaan Road and Kaizer Meadows went out earlier this month. District 7 councillor Sharon Church-Cornelius says she was pleasantly surprised to hear the news. "We were just as surprised as everyone else when we heard the story on the radio (CKBW/HANK FM) last week. The road is in desperate need of repair and we are hoping in the near future the rest of it gets done, it certainly needs it," Church-Cornelius says she's been hearing concerns surrounding Highway 14 for as long as she's been on council. It's also a victory for residents of the area who have been circulating petitions over the years in hopes of getting the road re-paved.

Queens Mayor Lauds Water Power

Power Dam on Mersey River

As many parts of the province, including Chester, move forward with alternative methods of power generation, the District of Queens is sticking with its own version of generating electricity.
The county has been somewhat of a leader in alternative energy, long before wind power or tidal power were even being considered. For almost a century, turbines have been generating power from dams along the county's two main rivers. District of Queens Mayor John Leefe says the dams make a significant contribution. He says: "We could argue that Queens has the greenest energy in the province with six dams on the Mersey and one of the Medway. They produce a tremendous amount of electrical energy. Its all renewable energy." Meanwhile, studies have been done on the potential for producing ... wind ... power in Queens. However, tests have shown the area does not have significant wind potential and proposed projects over the years have been scrapped. The mayor says unless the rivers dry up, there will be no lapse in water power production. Despite that, the District of Queens does have a planning strategy for wind power. Mayor Leefe says it might be useful ... some day!

Tankard: Stevens beats Dacey, tied for third

A pick in the 4th end was the turning point of the game between Mark Dacey and Chad Stevens at the Molson Tankard. Up 2-1 in the 4th, Stevens was lying four with the hammer when Dacey's final rock picked, leaving Stevens with an easy draw for five and a 7-1 lead. Stevens says it was a huge point in the game, and allowed the Chester club to pick up their third victory in the 7-2 win over the five-time provincial champ. Stevens sits in a tie for third at the moment, but isn't feeling too much pressure to play well in front of the local crowd.
"Actually, it's a little comforting to have some people here from home and people supporting you all the way, but yeah, it throws a little added pressure at times but we enjoy it."
Ian Fitzner-LeBlanc and Jamie Murphy are tied for first with 4-1 records. Play gets underway Friday afternoon as the round robin comes to a close.


Ian Fitzner-LeBlanc 4-1

Jamie Murphy 4-1

Chad Stevens 3-2

Mark Dacey 3-2

Peter Burgess 3-2

Kent Smith 2-3

Brent MacDougall 1-4

Ian Juurlink 0-5

Friday Schedule


Mark Dacey vs. Peter Burgess 

Ian Juurlink vs. Chad Stevens
Brent MacDougall vs. Kent Smith 
Jamie Murphy vs. Ian Fitzner-LeBlanc


Kent Smith vs. Chad Stevens 

Mark Dacey vs. Ian Fitzner-LeBlanc 
Peter Burgess vs. Jamie Murphy 
Ian Juurlink vs. Brent MacDougall