Wednesday, April 17, 2013

MacNeil's Impact Felt On South Shore

Anne Murray and Tommy Hunter are just two of the many singers paying tribute today to Rita MacNeil, who has died suddenly at the age of 68. Murray is remembering MacNeil as a "dear sweet woman" and a gifted singer-songwriter who represented women and her beloved Nova Scotia eloquently in her songs. Those are words being echoed by the manager of the Astor Theatre in Liverpool. MacNeil packed the Astor Theatre in Liverpool on two occasions in 2009 and 2011 and Chris Ball says he will never forget his experience with her.

MacNeil also held a concert in Lockeport in 2009 and that venue was also packed with her legion of fans. She died last night following complications from surgery. MacNeil leaves behind two adult children.

Rollover Sends Woman To Hospital

A 51-year-old woman has been transported to Halifax hospital after a single vehicle rollover near Exit 9 along Highway 103. RCMP confirm the incident happened just before noon today. Sgt. Derek Smith says the vehicle was heading towards Bridgewater when the crash occurred. Police don't believe speed or alcohol are a factor. The woman has been taken to the Queen Elizabeth 2 Hospital. Her injuries were not considered to be serious.

MODL: Fire Fighter Recognition Sufficient At 50 Years

The Municipality of Lunenburg has decided against recognizing volunteer firefighters who put in more than 50 years of service. Council voted in favour of the idea, while Lee Nauss and John Veinot stood up against it. The municipality currently honours those with 50 years of service, and council feels it is an appropriate cut-off date. Veinot says he disagrees.

Nauss adds, it's insulting to volunteers who continue to put in time and aren't recognized for their prolonged service. Veinot believes there is less than 10 people in the municipality with over five decades of volunteering in fire departments and recognizing them shouldn't be a problem. A municipal clerk pointed out that council does have a policy in place for substantial achievement, which could be used to honour fire department members with over 50 years of service.

Southwestern NS Looks For Tourism Boost

A committee is being set up by the Dexter government to help promote tourism in southwestern Nova Scotia. Declining tourism has been a hot topic in the region since the province cut funding to the Yarmouth to Maine ferry service, resulting in the end of the service in late 2009. Speaking in Yarmouth this morning, tourism minister Percy Paris says the new committee, chaired by Mayor Pam Mood, will include local community, tourism and business leaders. He also says the province is renewing its efforts to find an operator to run a new ferry service. Yarmouth Liberal MLA Zach Churchill says this should have been done three years ago, not during the lead-up to an election campaign. Last month, Paris said bids by two potential ferry operators were rejected because they did not meet the criteria for a viable operation.

Queens: Region Looks To Attract New Business

The Region of Queens is putting a strong emphasis on attracting new business in the county. Mayor Christopher Clarke says council is working proactively to build the economy nearly a year after the loss of the Bowater Mersey mill. The municipality recently approved $85,000 in funding to help market the region to new business. Clarke says it's been an ongoing initiative.

President of the South Queens Chamber of Commerce welcomed the news in a media release. Barry Tomlin says council has clearly recognized there is a need to focus on economic development to create jobs and increase the county's population.

Crews Knock Down Fire In Dayspring

A homeowner and his dog escaped unscathed after an early morning fire in Dayspring. Fire crews from Oak Hill, Dayspring and Bridgewater battled the blaze at 190 Oak Hill Road before knocking it down. Dayspring Fire Chief Stanley Slauenwhite says the mobile home went up in smoke around 4am.

RCMP, EHS and NS Power crews were also called to the scene. The Red Cross is expected to step-in to help the homeowner, who has been displaced.

Communities Hold Meeting To Discuss School Closure Options

The communities of Gold River and Western Shore are holding a meeting Wednesday night to discuss their options to avert a school closure. Residents are up in arms with the school board's decision to close their school this summer because of the lack of transition period for students to attend Chester District Elementary in September.The school board stood by their decision to keep the school closed during a meeting late last week and Education Minister Ramona Jennex has said she won't interfere or make changes to the Education Act. The meeting will be held at the Western Shore Fire Hall at 7pm.