Sunday, March 31, 2013

Chester Rink Captures Atlantic Championship

The Mary Fay team from Chester has captured the Atlantic Under 18 Women's Curling championship. Fay took the title yesterday with a 6-0 win over New Brunswick's Justine Comeau in the final. The Fay rink, which includes Jennifer Smith, Karlee Burgess, and Janique LeBlanc, completed the Stephenville, Newfoundland event with a perfect 5-0 record.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

UPDATED: Two Dead After Blockhouse Crash

Two men involved in a serious crash have died due to injuries sustained in the collision near Blockhouse. The 48-year-old driver of the pickup, Eric Mervin Veinotte, passed away Friday night. The 27-year-old driver of the car, Matthew Arden Deal, died in hospital Saturday morning. The two men are from Lunenburg County. Both men were originally taken to Bridgewater hospital but later moved to Halifax. The passenger of the car remains in South Shore Regional Hospital with serious injuries. Police were called to the scene near the Exit 11 overpass around 4:30am Friday morning. The cause of the collision is still under investigation.

School Board: Auditor General's Recommendations Almost Complete

The South Shore Regional School Board is well on their way to fulfilling recommendations from the province's auditor general. The 2008 report from Jacques Lapointe discovered the board did not adequately screen employees through criminal record and child abuse checks. The report also cited failure to carry out fire and safety drills as well as maintenance issues that required buses to be taken out of service until repairs could be made. But, as Superintendent Nancy Pynch-Worthylake points out, most of the issues have been taken care of.

Pynch-Worthylake says the lone recommendation they need to resolve deals with policies and practices designed to minimize risk in their system. She expects the auditor general to check-in with the board again later this spring.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Three People In Hospital After Vehicles Collide In Blockhouse

Three men are in hospital following an early morning crash in Blockhouse. RCMP say a car collided with a pickup truck around 4:30am along Highway 324 at the overpass of Exit 11 on Highway 103. Police say two men in the car and the driver of the truck have suffered life-threatening injuries. The car caught on fire and was fully engulfed when police arrived on scene. All three people were originally transported to the South Shore Regional Hospital in Bridgewater, however, the driver of the truck was then airlifted to Halifax by EHS Lifeflight and the driver of the car was transported to Halifax by ambulance.  The passenger of the car remains in the South Shore Regional Hospital. Highway 324 was shut down as police continued to investigate with the assistance of a traffic analyst. This portion of the highway should be reopened shortly. The cause of the collision is still under investigation.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

No Appeals Received On Bylaw Change For Evergreen Road

The province's Utility and Review Board has confirmed that no appeals have been received that would quash a decision for more residents to live at Compassion House in Bridgewater. The deadline passed Wednesday night without any opposition, although an official with the UaRB did note that one appeal was received earlier but withdrawn. Town council voted last month to approve bylaw changes, allowing the LaHave Manor Corporation to have up to five mentally or physically challenged residents in need of care to live under one roof on Evergreen Road. Mayor David Walker says he's pleased the development can proceed.

The corporation applied for the bylaw changes last year. It now defines the home as a single dwelling unit, not an institution and allows five people to live in the home, up from the previous three.

Blood Collection Returns To Queens General

Outpatient blood collection will return to Queens General Hospital Tuesday. The collection area will be located near the reception area on the main level of the hospital. The service has been offered from Queens Place for the past several months in an effort to reduce traffic on site during installation of underground pipes. That work was completed last week. South Shore Health has also announced the reopening of the hospital's kitchen and cafeteria. The health authority is reminding residents the hospital remains a construction area. Work on the Queens General Health project is expected to be complete next spring.

School Board Chair: "We Did The Best We Could"

The chair of the South Shore Regional School Board believes they did the best they could under their current budget situation. Jennifer Naugler says the board took their time, took their roles very seriously and made their decisions. Four out of six schools in the review process have been scheduled to close, including Gold River-Western Shore by September of this year. Naugler says the closure will help generate some savings for their upcoming budget, but it may not be enough.

The board's director of finance says closing Gold River-Western Shore and sending its students to Chester District could save just over $195,000 annually. The board will continue to look at balancing its 2013-14 budget over the next few weeks.

No Injuries After Two-Vehicle Collision In Bridgewater

Bridgewater Police say no one was injured after a two-vehicle collision along Aberdeen Road Wednesday night. The incident occurred just after 8:30pm near the traffic lights intersecting with North Street and Glen Allan Drive. Members of the Bridgewater Fire Department were also on scene. A section of Aberdeen was closed for roughly 45 minutes to clean up the site and remove the vehicles from the area.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

School Closures Pegged For Lunenburg, Queens Counties

Four schools are expected to close over the next few years after decisions were handed down from the South Shore Regional School Board. The immediate school to close will be Gold River-Western Shore Elementary, effective September of this year. That means students will attend Chester District Elementary this fall. SAC Chair for Gold River-Western Shore, Sarah Swinamer, says she wishes they could have had one more year for a transition period.

Meanwhile, Pentz and Petite Riviere schools are also pegged to shut down if a new school is built in the area and Mill Village in Queens will close in September 2014, with students transferring to Dr. J.C. Wickwire. Other changes will see students from grades nine at Chester Area Middle School go to to Forest Heights in September 2014. New Ross will be reconfigured to be a primary to grade eight school in 2014, with grade nines also going to Forest Heights. Full details are available below.

New Ross Consolidated

- Motion is to reconfigure New Ross for primary to grade eight with grade nines going to Forest Heights beginning September 2014 is approved by a 6-2 vote (Board Members Griffin and Crossland vote against)

Mill Village Consolidated

- Board approves option 5-2 (Board Members Fougere and Crossland voted against, while Board Member Stevens declares a conflict with child in the school, so she doesn't vote) to close Mill Village and transfer students to Dr. J.C. Wickwire effective September 2014. Also, grade five students at Mill Village be transferred to new South Queens middle school in Liverpool when they enter grade six in 2013, leaving Mill Village reconfigured as a grade primary to grade five school. Board approves by a 6-1 vote. (Board Member Simms voted against)

Gold River- Western Shore Elementary

- Board Members approve motion to close Gold River-Western Shore Elementary in September 2013 by a 5-3 vote  (Board Members Crossland, Griffin, and Stevens voted against). This means students will attend Chester District Elementary in the fall.

Chester Area Middle School

- The board approves a motion that will see students in grades 9 from CAMS attend Forest Heights in September 2014. This means CAMS would be reconfigured to include Grade 6,7,8 with 9-12 going to Forest Heights Community School in September 2014. The motion is approved by a 6-2 vote (Board Members Crossland and Griffin voted against).

Petite Riviere Elementary

- Board votes unanimously to permanently close Petite Riviere Elementary and request a new school be built to replace Petite and Pentz.

Pentz Elementary

- Board members vote unanimously that Pentz Elementary be permanently closed and request a new school to be built to replace Pentz and Petite Riviere Elementary.

Hebbville Academy

- Board members unanimously approve keeping Hebbville Academy open and with current configuration of  primary to grade five and grades six to nine. (Board Chair Naugler removed herself from vote because she has three kids in the school.)

UPDATED: Moore Case Delayed

An impaired driving case involving the death of a nine-year-old girl has been put over until May. Candice Roxanne Moore did not appear in Bridgewater court today but was represented by her lawyer. Moore is facing four charges after an incident January 19th in Pleasantville. Moore was driving when she dropped off her daughter, Olive, at a home. The nine-year-old was struck by the vehicle and later died in hospital. Moore is facing impaired driving cause death charges, refusal to comply with a demand for a breath sample, dangerous driving causing death and criminal negligence causing death. The matter will be back in court May 15.

Case Involving Death Of Young Girl Begins

The court case involving a 30 year-old woman accused of impaired driving causing the death of her young daughter begins in Bridgewater today. Candice Roxanne Moore is facing six charges after an incident January 19th. Moore's nine year-old daughter, Olive, was killed when she was struck by a van after being dropped off at home in Pleasantville. The Mount Pleasant woman was charged nine days after the tragic incident occurred following an investigation by Lunenburg County RCMP. The charges include impaired driving causing death, refusing to provide a breath sample, criminal negligence and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.

Dog Dealer Wants Court Condition Removed

A recognized canine dealer is challenging a court condition preventing her from selling dogs. Gail Benoit was charged with fraud earlier this month after she allegedly sold two dogs she didn't own. An investigation began after a New Brunswick woman told Bridgewater police her boxers dogs were sold without her permission. The two dogs were sent from Saint John to Halifax to be looked after temporarily. However, a few weeks later the owner claims she found out the dogs were sold. Benoit asked the condition be removed during a court appearance in Bridgewater. She explained selling dogs is her livelihood and felt the condition was unfair. Judge Gregory Lenehan scheduled an April 4th hearing to deal with the matter.

Four People Homeless After Liverpool Area Fire

Four adult members of a South Shore family are homeless as a result of a house fire yesterday near Liverpool. The fire broke out at 66 Shore Road, just outside the town. The two-storey home was extensively damaged. However, the four residents escaped unhurt. The Red Cross is helping with emergency lodging and relatives and friends are assisting by taking in several displaced family pets. There's no word on the cause of the fire.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

School Board: Decisions Coming On Six Schools Under Review

The future of six schools will soon be decided by the South Shore Regional School Board. The eight members will vote on motions for each school during a meeting Wednesday night. The board has discussed a few options for certain schools including approaching the province to fund a new school for students at Petite and Pentz, and transferring grade nines at New Ross and Chester to Forest Heights in 2014. Board member Jennifer Naugler says it's time for decisions to be made.

Naugler says its been a difficult and emotional time for the board after meeting with parents, community members and students during the entire process. The meeting gets underway at 7pm Wednesday night at Hebbville Academy.

On This Date: Original Bluenose Launched 92 Years Ago

It was 92 years ago today when the original Bluenose was launched in Lunenburg. The historic fishing and racing schooner built by Smith and Rhuland Shipyard hit the water in 1921. Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic Curator Ralph Getson says it was an overcast day with a little snow on the ground and a light breeze blowing with the Bluenose was launched around 10 o'clock that morning. He says there was a launch party on board when the vessel slid into Lunenburg Harbour.

Getson says its a special day to look back at the craftsmanship of the people of this province. The Bluenose is a national icon and has adorned such items as the Canadian dime since 1937 as well as the Nova Scotia license plate. (Photo Courtesy of Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic)

Wolter Brothers Reaching New Heights On the Track

The Wolter brothers of Lunenburg County ran their way into the record books recently. Mattias Wolter ran a personal best in Nashville over the weekend to win the 2000 meter steeplechase in a very fast time of 5:38 in his season opener. He set a stadium record in the race, and a new provincial record. He will race this weekend in Stanford, California in the 3000 metre steeplechase. Meanwhile, his younger brother Tobias Wolter ran a personal best of 6:05 to win the 2000 metre steeplechase in Orlando, Florida. This is a Nova Scotia record and ranks him number one in Canada this year. The time also meets the standard for the Canadian World Youth Track and Field team, which travels to Europe in July.

Bridgewater Council Approves LCLC Operating Budget

It's a step in the right direction for the operating budget of the Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre. Bridgewater council approved the document last night. The draft budget presented to council states the town along with the Municipality of Lunenburg would be tasked to pay a combined total of just over $562,000 for the first year of operation. The figure then drops to about $385,000 the next year and $360,000 in 2015-16. Mayor David Walker says they have to pay more until they can start generating revenue.

Walker says he's pleased with how the budget looks and adds, all signs point to an opening on September 1. The Municipality of Lunenburg is also expected to approve the operating budget during their council meeting this evening.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Shipyard Alliance Named Finalist For Boatyard Of The Year

The three groups that make up the Lunenburg Shipyard Alliance are finalists for boatyard of the year from a magazine in the United Kingdom. Classic Boat named the Alliance as one of five finalists. The magazine recognized the group for their work on Bluenose II, stating "the 200 years of experience shared by the Lunenburg Industrial Foundry, Snyder's Shipyard and Covey Island Boatworks, culminated on September 29 with a relaunch that was watched by thousands of proud Canadians." President of Covey Island Boatworks, Al Hutchinson, says he's proud of being nominated.

Hutchinson believes the winner will be announced in early April.

School Board: More Cuts Coming Over Next Few Years

The next few years are shaping up to be difficult for the South Shore Regional School Board. Finance Director Wade Tattrie revealed recently they are expected to cut another $2.2-million from their budget between 2014 and 2016. Tattrie says the cuts recognize the full transition of the Department of Education's HOGG funding formula. He expects the cuts will get worse.

The HOGG funding formula is a model used to distribute money for education among school boards. The board will get a better indication of what the next few years look like after additional details are provided by the province. Meanwhile, board members will make a decision on how to move forward on six schools in the region currently under review on Wednesday.

Lumberjacks Defenseman Joins 'Q' Team For Playoff Run

The Sherbrooke Phoenix have called-up CIBC Wood Gundy Lumberjacks defenseman Brendan Nickerson for the rest of the playoffs. The 16-year-old is expected to join the team for game three of their opening round series against the Baie-Comeau Drakkar. Baie-Comeau leads the series two games to none. Nickerson was selected 38th overall by the Phoenix in last year's league draft. He had three points in 41 games with the Lumberjacks during the regular season.

Peterson-Rafuse Nominated In Chester-St.Margarets

A South Shore member of the legislature has been nominated to again carry the NDP flag in the next provincial election. Denise Peterson-Rafuse of Chester-St. Margaret's was elected in 2009 and has served in the Dexter cabinet as minister of Community Services and Seniors. She's also chair of the Senior Citizens Secretariat. Peterson-Rafuse's nomination meeting was held over the weekend. Peterson-Rafuse said at her nominating session: “I am eager to continue making a positive difference for seniors, working poor and our most vulnerable citizens. This is important to me both as the Minister of Community Services and for the people I represent in Chester-St. Margaret’s".

Bantam 'AA' Ice Sharks Bring Home Bronze From Provincials

The South Shore Bantam 'AA' Ice Sharks brought home bronze from the provincials over the weekend. The hockey club finished second after the round robin and had to play Sackville for a spot in the final. Sackville shutout the Ice Sharks 4-0, relegating the local club to a third place finish. Sydney beat Sackville in the final to win the provincial crown.

Program Aims To Bring Youth And Seniors Together

A four-week program designed for seniors and youth to engage in physical activity is beginning this week in Bridgewater. 'Game Day' is bringing the two age groups together to help learn more about people in the community while also participating in activities like badminton, washer toss, yoga and pickle ball. The Seniors Safety Coordinator in Lunenburg County, Beth George, says they want to see youth and seniors doing more together.

The hour-and-a-half sessions will start this Wednesday and run until April 17 at Bridgewater Junior-Senior High. To register, contact Beth George at the Bridgewater Police Service.

Parking Space Limited At Liverpool Hospital

There will be limited parking available at Queens General Hospital this week. Officials with South Shore Health say the lower parking lot will be closed beginning Tuesday. Workers will be installing the main sewer line as part of the 16 million dollar hospital project. They should be finished on Friday when the parking lot is expected to re-open. During construction, parking will be available next to the nurses residence in Liverpool. The health authority is asking staff and the public to either car pool or use drop off and pick up over the next few days. The Queens General Health project will feature a new collaborative health care clinic and the redevelopment of 22 inpatient units. It's expected to be ready in the spring of 2014.

Clippers Win Second Straight Provincial Junior 'C' Hockey Title

The Chester Clippers are once again provincial hockey champions. Alex Armstrong scored 38 seconds into double overtime to give the Clippers a 9-8 win over the Barrington Ice Dogs Sunday night in Bridgewater. The 4-1 series win gives the Clippers a provincial title for the second year in a row. Chester's Kyle Dilosa received the playoff MVP award, recording 29 points in 12 games. The Clippers will represent Nova Scotia at the Atlantic Junior 'C' Championships in Hampton, New Brunswick from April 4th to 7th.

Belliveau Calls For Federal Help In Reestablishing Ferry Service

The province's fisheries minister and Shelburne area MLA is calling upon Ottawa to become an active participant in the campaign to restore ferry service between Yarmouth and Maine. Sterling Belliveau says the feds need to be involved to turn the concept into a reality.

The province has committed 21 million dollars over seven years to the service and Belliveau says Ottawa needs to at least match that! Meanwhile, he is running for re-election. However, he doesn't know yet where he will run. Belliveau's Shelburne riding has been cut in half with one half becoming part of the new Argyle-Barrington and the other part of Queens-Shelburne. He says the issues haven't changed all that much since the last time he ran an election campaign. The economy, health care and transportation still dominate.

High School Hockey Game Raises Money For "Miss Ally" Crew Families

The Park View and Barrington High ladies hockey teams and the community of Lunenburg raised a thousand dollars yesterday for the families of the 5 crewmen who were lost at sea in February aboard the fishing vessel, Miss Ally. The referees donated their time, the winner of the 50-50 donated his take back to the cause, and there was a teriffic afternoon of hockey. ParkView came back from a 3-1 deficit to win the game 5-3. Top scorers were Janaya Nickerson for Barrington and Morgan Greek for Park View, each scoring two goals for their teams.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Curling Title For Bridgewater Rink

A Bridgewater team has captured the 2013 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation boys curling title. The Trevor Crouse rink topped Greg Rafuse of Forest Heights 9-4 in the weekend final in Chester. The Crouse team, which went undefeated includes Kyle Barrie, Morgan Bishop, and Ben Conrad.   

Clippers Take 3-1 Series Lead In Junior 'C' Hockey Final

Jeremy Church scored twice and the Chester Clippers are one win away from another championship title after a commanding 5-1 win in game four of the Nova Scotia Junior 'C' hockey final. Luc Way, Josh Thompson and Mathieu Bourgeois also scored for Chester, to give the Clippers a 3-1 series lead over the Barrington Sea Star Ice Dogs.  Doran Arey scored for Barrington. Ben Bailey stopped 35 shots between the pipes for the Clippers while Chad Harris took the loss in goal for Barrington. Game five will take place in Bridgewater tonight at 7pm.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Mooseheads Roll Over Seadogs In Playoff Opener

The "Q" playoffs started last night and what a start for the Halifax Mooseheads. The Herd exploded for eight goals in second period en route to an 11-1 rout over Saint John. Marty Frk set a franchise record with eight points including five goals while Jonathan Drouin notched six assists. Game two in the best of seven series goes tonight at 7 at the Metro Centre.

Debert Host For Region's 4-H Conference

Seventy-five youth from 4-H clubs around Atlantic Canada will learn new skills at a leadership conference in Debert this weekend. The conference for 4-H members, age 14 to 21, features topics such as financial skills, personal branding, networking and online security. Agriculture Minister John MacDonell says the 4-H movement helps rural youth build self-confidence and life skills to benefit them in all areas of their lives. Meanwhile, Lunenburg's Taylor Hayden will provide interactive and entertaining activities to help members strike a balanced lifestyle at home, school and in business. Hayden is an author and a motivational speaker. 4-H Canada is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

Friday, March 22, 2013

"I Probably Won't Run For Re-Election" : Vicki Conrad

Photo: Vicki Conrad
Chances appear to be pretty good the MLA for Queens will not be a candidate when the next provincial election is called. Vicki Conrad says she's about 90 percent sure she won't run again. She says family issues are weighing heavily on her decision. But thats not all.

Conrad tells us she will confirm her decision during the spring sitting of the legislature. Conrad says she's already had talks with Shelburne MLA Sterling Belliveau and she believes he may run in her riding once she confirms she's not reoffering. Conrad has been the MLA for Queens since 2006.

School Board: Special Saturday Meeting To Be Held

The South Shore Regional School Board has called a special board meeting this weekend to continue talk around the school review process. It will be the second to last meeting for the group before they are expected to announce their decisions. The future of six schools in Gold River-Western Shore, Petite Riviere, Pentz, New Ross, Mill Village and Hebbville is expected to be decided next Wednesday night. Board Chair Jennifer Naugler says it's a necessary meeting to have to make sure members are prepared as possible.

The meeting will be held at the board office in Bridgewater beginning at 9 o'clock Saturday morning.

Ice Sharks Tie Chebucto At Bantam 'AA' Hockey Provincials

The South Shore Ice Sharks Bantam 'AA' hockey club salvaged a tie against Chebucto this morning at provincials in Amherst. Alex Wentzell scored with 35 seconds left to play to level the game at 3-3. That's the way it would finish. Alex Miller and Conal Lucey also scored for the Ice Sharks, who sit at 1-0-1 through two games. Zack Zinck earned the tie in goal. The Ice Sharks will play Cumberland at 4pm this afternoon. Meanwhile, the Park View boys hockey team is competing at provincials as well in Sydney. They play at 2pm today against North Nova and then again at 6pm against Riverview.

Keddy Pleased New 'Building Canada Plan' In Budget

The member of parliament for South Shore-St. Margaret's says the new 'Building Canada plan' will help local municipalities. The Federal Finance Minister announced the 10-year program in Thursday's budget. The minister announced more than $47-billion in new funding in the plan to support local and economic infrastructure projects. Gerald Keddy calls it a significant plan.

The money available in the first year of the new plan will be less than the current $3.2-billion, but will increase to almost $6-billion in 2024. The plan will take effect starting next year.

Shelburne County Group Marks International Women's Day

A South Shore support group is marking an important day with an event this evening at the Barrington Municipal High School. The Shelburne County Women's Fishnet is celebrating International Women's Day. The group will recognize local women of the past and present, showcase art and displays and musical performances. Chairperson Dayle Eshelby says it's important to honour women and their accomplishments.

The event starts at 6pm. Tickets for the event are $5 for adults, $2 for students and money raised will go towards student bursaries in Shelburne County.

Musical Acts Revealed For "Big Ex" Concert Nights

A pair of rising country musicians will headline "The Big Ex" concert stage this summer. Organizers with the South Shore Exhibition have announced Kira Isabella and Chad Brownlee will perform during the popular evening concerts in July. Isabella will take centre stage for the Thursday evening concert while Brownlee is the main act on Saturday. Isabella is an Ottawa native and already has three singles that have charted on the Canadian Top 100. Brownlee hails from Kelowna and has been nominated up for a Juno Award for Country Album of the Year. His album "Love Me or Leave Me" has two singles that cracked the country's Top 100 songs. The South Shore Exhibition will be held July 23rd to 28th in Bridgewater.

Junior 'C' Hockey Final Heads To Barrington

The Junior 'C' hockey championship series shifts to Barrington for the next two days for game three and four. It's been a tight-checking series so far between the Chester Clippers and the Sea Star Ice Dogs, with each team winning a game in overtime. Barrington General Manager, Steve Crowell, says it's been a seesaw battle.

Crowell expects a raucous crowd tonight for game three and hopes it will give the edge to his club. Puck drops at 8pm at the Barrington Municipal Arena. Game four will be held Saturday night at 8pm in Barrington as well.

Diesel Gas Down In Price; Regular, Up Some!

If you drive a vehicle that uses diesel fuel, you'll be happy this morning when you haul into a gas station to fill-up! Diesel is down just over 3 cents a litre this morning. Its selling for $1.31.9.  If you use regular gas, self serve is up about 3/4 of a cent to $1.35.8 per litre.  If high-test is your thing, its up in price by about the same amount to $1.44.8 per litre.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Hockey: Bantam 'AA' Ice Sharks Open Provincials With Win

The South Shore Ice Sharks Bantam 'AA' hockey team scored a 2-1 win over Glace Bay this afternoon in Amherst to open up provincials. Cooper Stuart and Alex Miller scored the goals while Parker Rowter got the win in nets They will play Chebucto at 8 tomorrow morning.

Little Change Likely In Gas Prices

Don't expect much change at South Shore gas pumps tomorrow. The utility and review board will set the coming week's prices at midnight and will likely follow New Brunswick's lead today. There's little price change at the gas pumps in New Brunswick. Those who use diesel and furnace oil are seeing some savings though. The Energy and Utilities Board has lowered the maximum prices of those fuels by two cents per litre. Regular and high-test gas prices dropped by less than half-a-cent overnight in New Brunswick.

Mixed Feelings Over Proposed Development Networks

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation says re-establishing regional development agencies or creating new networks in Nova Scotia would be a waste of money. Regional director Kevin Lacey says the provincial government doesn't seem to have learned from its experience with the Southwest Development Authority. It was disbanded a couple of years ago over money mismanagement issues.

The mayor of the Region of Queens is among those favoring establishment of such a development agency for this area. Christopher Clarke says if managed properly, they would benefit Lunenburg, Queens and Shelburne by focussing on attracting business and jobs.

School Board: Finance Director Feels Schools Need To Close

The school board's director of finance believes there needs to be some school closures this year to help balance the budget. The board is facing a 1.5 per cent funding reduction from the province for their 2013-14 budget, an almost $1-million loss. There is also expected to be an $850,000 cut for wage and cost of living increases. Wade Tattrie feels there's not too many other options to consider.

Tattrie says they're in a serious financial state right now and adds a school closure would help because it would impact their budget going forward. He urges the board to consider all options before they make their decision next week.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Queens Food Bank Holds Volunteer Recruitment Meeting

A critical stage has been reached with a shortage of volunteers for the Queens County Food Bank. The secretary-treasurer says a volunteer recruitment drive will be held this evening to bring in a fresh group of people. Craig Condon says they have roughly 18 volunteers, and he would love to see another 18 people donate some time. He says the current crop of volunteers have put in their time and a new group is needed.

Condon says if they can't recruit enough volunteers, a decision would then be made by the food bank's board of directors on its future. The meeting starts at 6:30 tonight in the community room at Queens Place Emera Centre.

Bridgewater Group Exploring Options Other Than Library Space

The president of a Bridgewater company confirms he's looking beyond a King Street property to move his business. Swain and Associates along with Cafe 12 are the two groups under consideration for the library building space, once the public library moves into their new home near the Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre. John Swain says they have been growing for the past few years and are in need of a new spot. He says they had to explore other opportunities.

Swain says the library building has always caught his eye, but he's ready to expand the company sooner rather than later. He expects to know more about moving into another property by the end of the month.

New Direction For South Shore Jobs Growth: Baillie

A change in political direction is whats needed to improve the job climate on the South Shore. Thats the message delivered to the Bridgewater Chamber of Commerce by the province's PC leader Jamie Baillie. Addressing the business crowd, Baillie said the economy here has become stagnant and new ideas and direction are needed.

Baillie is travelling the province these days in the lead-up to a possible spring election.

Horse Pull Yanked From "The Big Ex"

The South Shore Exhibition is losing another popular attraction. The "International Horse Pull" competition will not be held this year as a result of government funding being pulled from the Cumberland, Maine-based group. South Shore Ex Manager Christine Sarty says the loss will be felt.

The horse pull competition has been an attraction at the exhibition for close to half a century. A few years ago, the "International Ox Pull" was scrapped because of the mad cow scare and its never returned to the Ex. This year's South Shore Exhibition runs July 23rd to July 28th.

MODL: Offers Funding For Bridgewater Skate Park

The Municipality of Lunenburg has tentatively approved funding towards a skate park near the LCLC. The vote to give the local skateboard park group $10,000 each year until 2016 was mixed but received enough votes to send the matter to council for final decision. The group was asking for $100,000 from both the municipality and town of Bridgewater. CAO Tammy Wilson says the decision was a bit of a switch from what was recommended by the audit-finance committee.

Council members have put conditions on the matter including Bridgewater match the municipality's funding committment. A formal approval is expected to be made March 26.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Shelburne Kayak Festival Looking For Volunteers

The Shelburne Kayak Festival is back for another year and officials are in search of volunteers. The event is entering its second year and will feature a series of instructional activities for people who already kayak, or may be interested in getting started. Volunteers are needed to help the group that is returning from last year. Manager of Community and Economic Development, Jerry Locke, says they're looking for help right away.

The festival will be held in mid-August around Islands Park. People who are interested in helping can contact the Town of Shelburne or go here .

New After School Program To Promote Physical Activity

The provincial government has announced money for six South Shore communities to develop after-school programming. The 'After the Bell' initiative was designed to provide physical activity in 12 to 15-year-olds. Lunenburg MLA Pam Birdsall announced details recently in Mahone Bay. She says the program can help address some glaring issues that need to change.

The province is providing $23,000 for programs in Argyle, Barrington, Mahone Bay, Shelburne, South Queens and Yarmouth. The World Health Organization recommends kids participate in an hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily.