Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Local Curlers Battle International Competition In B.C.

Two youth teams representing the Chester curling club will meet some of the best players in their age group from across the world. The Optimist International under-18 curling championships get underway Thursday in Surrey and Langley, B.C. Teams from across Canada, the United States and Japan will compete in the tournament. The Nova Scotia girl's team consists of Cassie Cocks, Megan Brown, Rachel Crouse and Taylour Stevens. They open up play against Ontario. On the boy's side, the Nova Scotia team of Adam Cocks, Brett Dorey, Jacob Rowsell and Spencer Demone take on Northern Ontario in their first match. For more information and results, click here .

Liberal Majority Delivers First Budget

The majority Liberals under Premier Stephen MacNeil will unveil its first budget Thursday since taking office. Finance Minister Diana Whalen has been meeting with business leaders, towns and communities over the past few weeks to discuss their needs. However, Whalen stated it would be a difficult budget because her part has only been in power for six months. The grits have already announced they would eliminate interest on student loans to help new graduates. During a fiscal update in December, it was revealed the province was facing a $481 million deficit. Also, the new government has stated the province could not afford a reduction in the HST.

Bridgewater Mayor Happy To See Topsl's Re-Opening

The re-opening of the Tops'l Tavern in Bridgewater is getting a thumbs up from the mayor. There is new ownership of the King Street property and the general manager expects between 20-30 people will be hired. David Walker says it's good to see more jobs becoming available.

Walker is also commending the new owner for making significant renovations to the building. Tops'ls is scheduled to open Thursday morning.

Province Accepting Moose Hunting Applications

South Shore hunters hoping for the chance to get a moose license have until the end of next month to apply. The deadline to send in an application is midnight on May 31. The draw will take place on June 25 at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre and winners will be notified by mail.  The draw is also broadcast on the Nova Scotia Federation of Anglers and Hunters website. Moose hunting is only available in Victoria and Inverness counties between September 29 and November 8. A special three-day season in part of Inverness County is scheduled to begin December 9. Applications can be sent by phone, online or mail.

More Information:

To be eligible, an applicant must be a resident of Nova Scotia, have a valid Nova Scotia Wildlife Resources Card and be at least 18 years old. Hunters who held a moose hunting licence between 2009 and 2013 cannot apply for a licence this year.

Hunters can apply online at by following the Hunting key topic. Hunters can also call 1-900-565-3337 from a landline and the application fee will automatically be added to their phone bill. The phone option does not work with cellphones and it cannot be billed to a different phone number. It costs $7.83 (plus HST) to apply for a licence online or by phone.

Applications can also be paid by cheque and submitted by mail, using a form from the Natural Resources website. It costs $11.35 (plus HST) to apply by mail. Cheques should be made payable to HMC Communications Inc.

Each licence is valid for one season and in one geographic zone. Hunters must pick their season and zone when they apply.

Detailed information about the seasons, the five hunting zones and restrictions on the use of vehicles, is explained on the website.

Bridgewater: Tree Causing Problems For Churchill Street Family

A tree is causing some financial problems for a Bridgewater family. Gordie Rendell and his wife live on Churchill Street and have spent hundreds of dollars removing roots from a large tree that entered one of their underground pipes. Now, they're considering removing the old pipe and installing a new one at a cost of about $6,000. However, it's a question of responsibility.

Town staff are consulting with the family about their options.

Springhill Dissolution Moving Ahead

Former Region of Queens Mayor John Leefe is meeting today and tomorrow for the first time with town officials in Springhill. He was appointed last month as transition co-ordinator as Springhill prepares to be dissolved of its town status. Leefe is facilitating the process and guiding discussions for the town to become part of the Municipality of Cumberland.

The provincial Utility and Review Board gave permission several weeks ago for Springhill to lose its town status.

Another Nova Scotia Town Heading For Dissolution

Another Nova Scotia community is applying to be dissolved as a town. Financial pressures have forced Bridgetown in the Annapolis Valley to approach the province's Utility and Review Board. Its the third town in the province to do so in the past couple of years and for the same reasons. The President of the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities David Corkum says a change is needed in the way everyone does business.

Corkum predicts many municipalities may be forced to go that route if they want to survive. He says its becoming too costly for communities. Other towns forced to divest themselves of their town status include Springhill and Canso.

Former Bowater Forest Roads Off-Limits

Forest roads on former Bowater land will be temporarily closed due to expected weather conditions. The roads will be off limits to all motorized vehicles until further notice as of Thursday. The decision will protect the roads during wet spring conditions. Muddy roads can also trap vehicles in remote areas where cellphone service is weak and create potentially dangerous situations. A map showing all closed gates is on the Department of Natural Resources website. The former Bowater lands have 2,500 kilometres of forest roads.