Tuesday, December 18, 2012

UPDATED: Resolute Won't Re-Open Oakhill Sawmill

Resolute Forest Products will not re-open a Lunenburg County sawmill.The Montreal-based company is preparing to dismantle the Oakhill Sawmill and move its equipment out of province to service other operations within the company. Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs, Jacques Vachon revealed the company's plans in a letter to the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg. The Oakhill sawmill was idled shortly after the Bowater Mersey Paper mill was closed in June. The sawmill used to employ roughly 100 employees.  The operation was not purchased by the Nova Scotia government in a massive land and assets deal announced last week.

Province, School Board Split Costs For Judicial Review

It's being pegged as a miscommunication between the South Shore Regional School Board and Department of Education. An official with the education department says the two sides will now split the cost of legal and arbitration fees for the judicial review involving Peter Speight. The school board said earlier this week they would incur $47,000 while the Department of Education would cover $116,000. Department spokesperson, Dan Harrison, says the two parties had a misunderstanding over the costs.

Each side will now pay $81,500. However, the school board remains committed to its earlier stance, saying no teaching positions will be affected by the unbudgeted expense.

Energy Audit Planned For Four Bridgewater Facilities

Four facilities in Bridgewater are going under the microscope to have their energy consumption reviewed. The Memorial Arena's seniors complex and shed along with Brookside Cemetery's office and garage will be audited to see if they can reduce their carbon footprint. The four buildings have never been audited and staff believe their could be significant energy-saving opportunities. The audits are part of the town's initiative to lower energy consumption in facilities by 15% compared to 2007-08 levels. Council has approved an unbudgeted expenditure of $4,800 for the audits. Efficiency Nova Scotia has agreed to cover half the costs of the project, and could pay for all of it if the audit recommendations are fully implemented.

BREAKING: Charges Dropped In Chester Basin Murder Investigation

A second degree murder charge has been dropped in the case of an 18 year-old accused of killing his mother in Chester Basin. Jack Buckley was released from custody this afternoon after spending the past nine months behind bars. The body of 57 year-old Victoria Brauns-Buckley was found inside her home on the Borgels Point Road on March 2nd.  Her teenage son was arrested a week later and charged in relation to her death. The cause of her death has never been released. Crown lawyer Lloyd Tancock told reporters their case lacked sufficient evidence to obtain a conviction in the case.

Meanwhile, defence lawyer Patrick MacEwan says his client is relieved and was told he would be released on Saturday. The investigation into the death of Brauns-Buckley remains active.

Shelburne: Green Light For Aquaculture Projects

The province has approved two new aquaculture sites in Shelburne County. Fisheries Minister Sterling Beliveau says the approvals come with strict agreements to ensure the sites will protect the local fishing industries and coastal environment. Kelly Cove Salmon Limited, a subsidiary of Cooke Aquaculture will operate the new sites in Jordan Bay. The Nova Scotia government says the company went through a rigorous application process that took 26 months. Belliveau says these new sites will help to further grow the industry and the economy. An extensive review concluded these sites would pose minimal risk or adverse effects to fish, fish habitat, and fisheries resources.

Some conditions attached to the licences and leases include:

-- following a code of containment for Atlantic salmon in marine net pens

-- enhanced environmental monitoring by a third-party consultant, including more site visits and additional sampling locations

-- reduced stocking densities.