Wednesday, April 3, 2013

New Germany: Child Hospitalized After Dog-Attack

RCMP are investigating after a pit-bull attacked a five-year-old child at a home in New Germany. Police say they responded to a 911 call from a home owner stating that her 18-month-old pit bull attacked a child. The call came in at 4 o'clock Wednesday afternoon. RCMP and paramedics responded to the incident and the child, who suffered serious facial injuries, was transported to the IWK hospital in Halifax by ambulance. The dog has been seized by the Lunenburg County Animal Control officer and will be put down at the owner's direction. Police do not anticipate charges.

UPDATED: Minister Halts Review, Board Chair Questions Timing

In a stunning move, the province's Education Minister has requested school boards suspend the school review process for next year while a new process be developed. Ramona Jennex has also asked school boards to delay any school closings decided this year until the new process is in place. This includes four South Shore schools, most notably Gold River-Western Shore Elementary, which the board decided would close this fall. Jennex says they want to delay a decision for one year.

The department of education is waiting for a report from 'The Commission on Building Our New Economy' to help develop the new approach. Meanwhile, the chair of the South Shore Regional School Board says she's surprised by the announcement. Jennifer Naugler says board members worked hard and dedicated themselves to putting time and energy into their recent decisions on school closures. She says she's caught off guard by the education minister.

The new review will also look at the current process of turning schools over to municipalities after they are closed. A discussion paper for public input will be ready this fall, with the new process expected to be in place early next year.

BREAKING: Education Minister Suspends School Review Process

Education Minister Ramona Jennex is calling for new school review process to be developed. This new process requests school boards across NS to suspend school review in for 2013-14. School boards are also being asked to delay any school closings decided this year until the new process is in place. Four schools in the South Shore region were slated for closure within the next few years. They now get a reprieve. We'll have more on this story shortly.

Blockhouse Fisherman Killed In Wharf Incident

Police say a 61 year-old lobster fisherman was the victim of a mishap at a wharf just outside of Mahone Bay. The incident happened Tuesday morning in Indian Point as two fishermen prepared to head out to tend to their lobster traps. The Mounties say one of the two men fell into the water and was found floating unconscious. Police have identified the individual as Reid Risser of Blockhouse. Risser was unconscious when he was pulled out of the water shortly after 7 o'clock. He later died in hospital. Corporal Jamie Vacon of the Lunenburg County RCMP says the matter is being investigated by the Department of Labour.

Former Queens Mayor Gives Amalgamation Pep Talk

There's interest in possibly amalgamating some municipal units in West Hants. The area chamber of commerce has called upon a veteran of the process for some information and guidance. The West Hants Chamber of Commerce has arranged for former District of Queens Mayor John Leefe to address a special meeting. The former mayor will share his experiences with amalgamating the various arms of government into one in Queens County back in 1996. He says it helped simplify the process of government.

The Town of Windsor has already said amalgamation might be an alternative action if suitable cost-sharing arrangements are not realized with the Municipality of West Hants. The amalgamation information meeting is set for tonight (Wednesday) starting at 6:30 at the Hants County War Memorial Community Centre in Windsor. There will be no admission charged.

Acadia Band Chief Questions High Salary Allegation

Fiscal mismanagement at the Acadia First Nation is being alleged by aboriginal protesters. They picketed yesterday outside the band office in Yarmouth. They claim thousands of dollars in salary advances have been paid to some band Councillors and staff, but haven't been re-paid. One protester has alleged Chief Deborah Robinson hauled in more than a million dollars since 2010 in salary and travel reimbursements. The chief says that figure is a puzzler and she doubts the amount quoted is really accurate.

Meanwhile, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation has lobbied the federal government for accountability legislation for all politicians and its now being made the law. CTF spokesman Kevin Lacey says the salaries of many band chiefs and councilors are huge!

Acadia First Nation Chief Deborah Robinson says her salary is now 130-thousand dollars a year and another 20 thousand for travel. She says all band councilors and herself are audited regularly and nothing unusual's been found.

School Board: Dr. Jim Gunn Hired As Interim Superintendent

A man with 36 years in public education has been selected to be the interim superintendent for the South Shore Regional School Board. Dr. Jim Gunn has served as a superintendent of the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board for nine years until he retired in 2005. Before that, he was a principal for a decade. He will take over for Nancy Pynch-Worthylake, who has accepted a position with the Department of Education. Gunn says he's only in this for the short term.

He will join the board early next week until at least mid-July. A release from the school board says a request for proposal has been issued to look for a company to begin the search for a full-time superintendent.

Chester: Workshops To Focus On Road Safety

Road safety will be the focus of two workshops in Chester later this week. The municipality has been selected to participate in a "Share the Road" awareness campaign led by the Nova Scotia government and Dalhousie University. The workshops will seek public input and examine how road safety can be improved so drivers, cyclists and pedestrians feel safe using the roads in their community. Chester's transportation co-coordinator, Gordon Tate, says each community offers a different form of road-use.

Chester will partner with Dalhousie for the community consultations set to be held on Thursday. The workshops will be held at Forest Heights in Chester Grant (3PM) and Aspotogan Heritage Trust building in Hubbards (7PM).

South Canoe Wind Project Needs To Clear Another Hurdle

A community group against a large Lunenburg County wind farm has filed an appeal with the province's regulatory board. "Friends of South Canoe Lake" are opposed to the construction of 34 wind turbines between Vaughan and New Russell. They claim the development will lower their property value and cause health issues. The appeal was filed Tuesday with the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board. The organization is appealing Chester council's decision to enter into a development agreement with the proponents of the $200 million dollar wind energy project. Councillors voted 6-1 on March 14 to approve the project after a pair of exhaustive public hearings. Minas Basin Pulp and Power, Oxford Frozen Foods and Nova Scotia Power are leading the project. If it moves ahead, it would generate enough power to heat 32,000 homes.