Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Italy Cross: Couple Arrested, Face Murder Charges In Ontario

Two people were arrested Tuesday morning in Italy Cross in connection with a pair of deaths in Ontario. Sgt. Al LeBlanc says their major crimes unit assisted Peel Regional Police in helping carry out the arrests. Peel Regional Police Inspector George Koekkoek confirms 33-year-old Melissa Merritt and 36-year-old Christopher Fattore were arrested around 10am. They face first degree murder charges in the deaths of Caleb Harrison and his 63-year-old mother Bridget. Harrison was found dead in his Mississauga home last summer. His mother had died in the same home several years earlier. Her death had been considered suspicious. Koekkoek says it brings closure to the case for the families.

Both accused will make a court appearance in Halifax Wednesday morning. They're expected to return to Ontario on Friday.

Updated: Man In Serious Condition Following Barrington Fire

RCMP are investigating after a fire Tuesday afternoon in Barrington Passage. Police say a blaze broke out around 12:50pm in a mobile home that was under construction along Highway 3. A 69-year-old man from Barrington Passage sustained serious burn injuries and was airlifted by LifeFlight to the QEII Hospital in Halifax for further treatment. Fire officials were called to the scene along with police and EHS.

LaHave River Ferry Close To Return

The return of service for the LaHave River Ferry depends on the weather. An official with Department of Transportation, Pam Menchenton, says the ferry has to be moved to its original berth and it has to be attached to the cable. She says testing will follow, before the ferry can start crossing again. Menchenton says they're proceeding with caution.

She says they want to get it up and running as soon as possible to help local residents. The ferry broke free from its cable during a January 3rd snowstorm. It travels daily from East LaHave to LaHave.

Local Mayors, Wardens Push For Highway Twinning

The province is sticking to its plan when it comes to twinning Highway 103. Eight mayors and wardens from across the South Shore wrote letters to the minister of transportation and infrastructure renewal, urging him to consider a larger scale of the project. However, the minister says twinning the highway depends on cost-sharing opportunities with the federal government. Chester Warden Allen Webber says he understands the province's stance, but would like to see more being done.

The province is expected to start construction on phase one this year on a new interchange and connector road in Ingramport, which is included in their five-year highway improvement plan. Other phases are planned between Tantallon and Hubbards. They are currently in the planning and design work stages.

New Doctors Favour Quality Of Life, Shorter Patient Lists

A group representing doctors in Nova Scotia says they know many people in rural areas need a family physician. Kevin Chapman of Doctors Nova Scotia says shortages are creating pressure on the health care system across the province. He says 55 doctors have left their practice over the past five years. Chapman says it doesn't sound like a large number, but it's subtracting numbers from an already weak equation.

Meanwhile, Champman says new doctors are putting more weight into quality of life and balance when deciding where to open their practice. He says it's part of the reason patient lists are shorter than they were 10 or 20 years ago.

School Board Looks To Control Spending

Cost saving measures are being introduced within the South Shore Regional School Board in order to avoid a deficit. The belt tightening will hit substitutes in certain positions the hardest. However, Director of Finance Wade Tattrie says the cutbacks won't have any impact inside the classroom. He says if they kept the status quo, the board would be looking at a deficit of more than $360,000.

As of Monday - administrative, guidance and library staff will not be replaced if they can't be at work. Meanwhile, custodians will not be replaced on their first day off work. Tattrie says the board is confident they'll be able to save enough money to balance the books. The cost saving measures will be in effect until March 31.

Gas Prices: Diesel Shoots Up Over 6 cents

The price of diesel fuel is up more than six cents. The Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board used a special clause to change the prices at midnight. Diesel is now selling for just over $1.50 per litre.
The regulatory board says the change is necessary due to significant shifts in the market price of oil. The price of gas did not change.