Monday, April 16, 2012

Province Supporting Isolated Rural Schools

The provincial government is reaching out to help more isolated rural schools. Education Minister Ramona Jennex announced $22-million in funding towards additional programming or teaching resources to 98 schools including 10 on the South Shore. Jennex says she decided to change the funding formula after a number of meetings with school boards across the province. She says there were a number of factors.
"We also looked at the distance children drive to get to school and then, how far it would be from that school to another school, so, from elementary school to elementary school and we've included that in the formula and we've grandparented the small schools that might not be isolated because, as you know, there are increased costs for boards to be heating buildings without the children there."
The funds will be provided to each regional school board, not individual schools. There has been no increase in the local school boards total revenue from the province because of this change.
  • For the SSRSB, the following small schools have been grand-fathered and are the basis of a calculation per school in our funding, based solely on the fact that there are fewer than 100 students in each school:

Pentz Elementary

Mill Village Consolidated

Petite Riviere Elementary
  • The following schools are small and isolated and the board's funding formula includes a calculation to off-set a portion of additional costs for staffing and property services:
New Ross Consolidated

North Queens Community School

Big Tancook Elementary School

  • For the following small high schools, the school board receives funding in the formula calculation to off-set a portion of the cost of staffing (amount varies school to school):
Bridgewater Junior-Senior High School

Forest Heights Community School

Liverpool Regional High School

New Germany Rural High School

Fire Crews Battle Blaze in Fox Point

It took about 50 firefighters to keep a garage fire from destroying a home in Fox Point over the weekend. The blaze broke out around midnight on Friday. Crews from Chester, Blandford and Hubbards battled the fire until 3:30AM Saturday morning. The fire completely destroyed the garage and damage to the home was minimal. Its cause is believed to be electrical.

Chester Clippers are Junior "C" Champs

The Chester Clippers have captured the Maritime North Junior "C" Championship. The top ranked Clippers defeated the Kivallig Canucks 7-3 in the Championship game over the weekend. They were undefeated in the tournament with four wins and one tie going into the championship game. The tournament was held in PEI.

Mahone Bay Mayor re-offering for Municipal Elections

The mayor of Mahone Bay is seeking another term in office. Joe Feeney has confirmed he will re-offer for the position in October's municipal elections. Feeney says he wants to be part of the decision-making process for the next few years.
"I'm still young enough and able enough and healthy enough and interested and eager to try as best I can, with the assistance of whoever is serving on council, to get those decisions made and put in place."
 Feeney says he's not sure if anyone will run against him, but he welcomes the challenge.

"I believe very strongly in government service at any level. I have great respect for people who are willing to accept the challenge and would welcome anybody that wants to come out and participate and give back to their community."
He says he's most proud of the town setting up a water treatment plant and cleaning up the community's harbour. Feeney says he looks forward to the completion of a regional governance study between Mahone Bay, Municipality of Lunenburg and town of Bridgewater. Feeney has been the town's mayor since 2000. Municipal elections will be held October 20.

Power Restored after Car strikes Utility Pole

Power is back on after a car struck a power pole along Highway 10 in Cookville Sunday night. RCMP and Fire Department officials responded to the scene around 6pm. It's not known how many people were affected by the outage. The highway was blocked off for hours so Nova Scotia Power crews could fix the utility pole. Its not known at this time if there were any injuries.

Martin finishes second at Miami Hurricane Invitational

A second place showing for Jenna Martin over the weekend. The Bridgewater native ran 52.22 seconds in the women's 400 metre final at the Miami Hurricane Invitational in Florida. Martin is training to represent Canada at the London Olympics in August. The result eclipses her best time this year of 52.68 seconds. She is planning to take part in Athletics Canada 4 x 400 metre relay camp this week.

Health Authority Puts Focus on Fishermen's Memorial

South Shore Health wants to ensure a hospital in Lunenburg is meeting the needs of the community. The health authority is establishing an advisory committee to look at ways of improving the level of service at Fishermen's Memorial Hospital. Board chair Roxie Smith says the face of health care and demographics have changed over the years and the authority must adapt. She says the goal is to customize operations so they meet the specific needs of area residents. Focus groups will be conducted in the coming weeks with a model that takes into account guidelines established for Collaborative Emergency Centres. An area of interest for residents will be the emergency department at the hospital which has seen numerous closures in recent months due to doctor shortages. The advisory committee will present their findings to the board of South Shore Health by the end of June.

South Shore Surf claim silver at Provincials

The South Shore Surf midget boys basketball team claimed silver at the Basketball Nova Scotia Division 1-A Provincials Sunday. The Surf, who went undefeated in their pool, defeated New Waterford in the semi-final 80-46 but fell 83-80 to the Dartmouth Lakers in the championship game. Adam Fitzgerald of the Surf was voted to the provincial tournament all-star team.