ASCF Celebrates Earth Day With Grants

By MNN. Last updated: 2014-04-23 16:26:39

The Atlantic Salmon Conservation Foundation was in a generous mood on Earth Day Tuesday as they handed out over $750,000 in grants to 53 separate projects slated for this year, including 7 in Nova Scotia, totaling $78,000. Both the amount of projects funded and the total expenditure represent records for the eight-year-old foundation, which is a volunteer, non-profit charitable organization dedicated to achieve healthy and sustainable Atlantic salmon stocks throughout Eastern Canada. It is funded through a federal government endowment, with help from 3 provincial Liquor Boards.

Projects in Southwestern Nova Scotia include $12,000 towards rebuilding fish habitat and a watershed management plan in the LaHave River by the Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation, and $10,000 for an acid rain mitigation plan in the Gold River watershed undertaken by Dalhousie University.

Province Climbs Into Truro Raceway Saddle

By MNN. Last updated: 2014-04-23 15:52:11

Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell has announced legislative changes to allow an interim board to replace the indebted commission that runs the Provincial Exhibition and a harness racing track in Truro.

Colwell says the board would be headed by Bible Hill businessman Bruce Kennedy, and that the board would continue its work while an audit begins of the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition.

He says the $90,000 audit will be performed by KPMG and is expected to be completed in early July, and adds the position of permanent general manager for the Provincial Exhibition will be listed in the coming weeks.

In February, the government foreclosed on a loan and took over the assets of the commission.

NDP Introduces Bill To Protect Oak Island Booty

By MNN. Last updated: 2014-04-23 15:36:55

A History Channel feature on two brothers who are making efforts to recover the treasure reputedly hidden by Spanish pirates or even Templar knights centuries prior to the arrival of the French or English, has sparked renewed interest in the legends of Oak Island. Chester-St. Margaret’s Bay NDP MLA Denise Peterson-Rafuse introduced a bill Wednesday to protect whatever artifacts are found for the benefit primarily of residents and tourists in the South Shore, but for all Nova Scotians.

Peterson-Refuse said, “The mystery at Oak Island is a rich part of South Shore heritage”, in a press release. Specifically, the bill would require existing permits for treasure hunting on Oak Island to transition to a new heritage research permit, allowing treasure hunters 2 years for exploration, and enabling the province to appoint an archeologist, paid for by the researchers, to monitor operations. Any discovered items, such as coins, would them become property of the province, although treasure hunters would be able to keep 75% of the treasure.

Wynand Baerker of Chester Marine Services, while expressing support of the bill, noted Norwegian Petter Amundsen’s ten years of research, which includes elaborate clues as to the location of a buried treasure within Shakespearean manuscripts, adding that the announcement coincided with The Bard’s birthday.

Relief In Sight For Kentville Motorists

By MNN. Last updated: 2014-04-23 15:34:48

“Potholes” were on the agenda during Tuesday night’s Kentville Town council meeting. Kentville Mayor Dave Corkum says approximately $250,000 has been set aside for road repairs. Weather permitting, repairs will begin next week with Park , Main and Belcher Streets topping the priority list. Road work is expected to be complete by mid-May.

Pioneering Court-Monitored Drug Treatment Program Announced In Kentville

By MNN. Last updated: 2014-04-23 13:05:35

Justice Minister Lena Diab described it as “labour intensive”. Health Minister Leo Glavine called it “monumental”, and a “positive step forward”. But for people in Kings County whose addictions lead to criminal behavior, a new court-monitored drug treatment program, the first of its kind in Canada, will give them resources to overcome their behaviours and turn their lives around which don’t exist anywhere else.

At a press conference Wednesday at the Kings County Municipal building, Justice Minister Diab outlined the federally-funded program, which is geared to only those 18 and over whose crimes aren’t violent or major, who have assumed responsibility for their act, and commit fully to the addiction treatment. Candidates can be referred by those within the legal or medical systems, or themselves, but will be on a tight leash.

While the intensive treatment program, which would last up to two years, would provide the offender with a host of resources, graduation would require being drug-free for at least three months, and participating in community projects. Any backsliding would likely result in sentencing.

The one-year pilot program, slated to begin in May, will be closely monitored to see if it prevents re-offending, with the goal of saving both the Justice and Health systems much-needed time and money.

Organ And Tissue Donation Awareness Week

By MNN. Last updated: 2014-04-23 09:34:17

This week marks National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week, and organizers are using it to highlight the fact that of over 4,500 Canadians waiting for an organ transplant, 121 are here in Nova Scotia. And most of those waiting for organs are looking for kidneys. Sobering statistics show that in 2011, 80 Canadians died waiting for a kidney, and kidney patients wait for an average of 3.8 years for a transplant, too long for many.

Consider discussing organ transplant with your family, ensure you sign an organ donor intent form, and you’ll not only be helping to reduce the cost of treating kidney disease, which runs into the billions, you could help save a life. For more information see kidney.ca/atlantic, or contact the Atlantic Branch of the Kidney Foundation of Canada at 902-404-8099.

Park Street in Kentville remains on the "Wall of Shame"

By MNN. Last updated: 2014-04-23 09:10:01

After leading the pack for a time, Park Street in Kentville is currently in fifth place in CAA's annual Worst Roads online contest.

Aylesford Road is still hanging on in 10th place.

A road in the Cape Breton town of Washabuck Centre currently holds down top spot. If there is a Valley road you think needs to be on that list, you still have a chance to vote, but hurry, because the online poll closes Friday.

The poll has attracted votes from over 4,600 Atlantic Canadians, and you don't need to be a CAA member to participate.

See www.atlantic.caa.ca/worstroads to ensure your worst road experiences democratic justice.

Universite Sainte Anne gets the green from taxpayers

By MNN. Last updated: 2014-04-23 05:41:17

The Municipality of Clare is a little greener is more ways than one after an Earth Day funding announcement yesterday by West Nova MP Greg Kerr. Ottawa is spending $480,000 on brand a new research, development and innovation (RD&I) cluster in conjunction with Université Sainte-Anne (U.S.A.). The province will contribute another $75,000.

The funding will help the almost 125 year-old institution expand its Bachelor of Science program by sharing a main laboratory in partnership with a private sector enterprise, and includes two greenhouses, in addition to funding the salary of a full-time project coordinator. The lab, housed within Nova West Laboratory's existing facility in Saulnierville, will focus on genomes and biochemistry studies. One greenhouse will be for agriculture and fisheries, and the second will focus on forestry.

The press release noted the Ivany Report's suggestion of doubling research funding, and looking for value-added, sustainable approaches for traditional industries.

Kings District RCMP nab a man wanted for crimes dating back two years

By MNN. Last updated: 2014-04-23 05:40:22

Kings District RCMP arrested a 23 year old man last weekend on numerous charges dating back to 2012.

Robin Lee Spidle is facing various charges including two of luring a child, uttering threats and criminal harrassment as well as breaching release conditions.

Spidle was observed by an off duty R.C.M.P. officer while shopping in New Minas last Saturday who recognized him and called for a uniformed officer to arrest him.

He's been released on conditions and will be back in court May 12th.

Valley real estate report

By MNN. Last updated: 2014-04-23 05:39:18

Real Estate figures for March showed sales increases across the province with the only exception being here in the Annapolis Valley.

And the imminent return of the ferry service between Yarmouth and Maine is providing smooth sailing for markets there and on the South Shore.

Actual sales over the winter increased in the Yarmouth area by over 30%, and average prices surged by over 17%, with smaller increases on the South Shore.

However, despite the long winter, sales increased seasonally in all regions except HRM and the Valley, and March itself showed the picture improving in the Halifax area.

Valley figures showed significant drops in listings, sales, and average sale prices in March, putting it at the bottom among provincial regions in all 3 categories.

Annapolis Valley School Board award winners announced

By MNN. Last updated: 2014-04-23 05:38:50

A total of 23 educators and 4 education partners were honoured Tuesday by Lieutenant Governor J.J. Grant and Education Minister Karen Casey, who kicked off Education Week with an annual awards presentation.

The ceremony was held at Rocky Lake Junior High School in Bedford, and the week recognizing outstanding contributions from educators has been celebrated since 1935.

The theme this year is Active Citizenship: Get Involved, Take Action, Be the Difference, and teachers from the Valley region were prominent among honourees.

Winners from the Annapolis Valley School Board included Cathy Reimer from Port Williams Elementary School, Melanie Miller from West Hants Middle School, and Suzanne Greenlaw from Middleton Regional High School.

For a complete list and write-up of the winners, see ednet.ns.ca/educationweek2014

Windsor Budget

By MNN. Last updated: 2014-04-23 05:37:53

After two days of intense discussions last week, the Town of Windsor has released its draft 2014/15 budget, and managed to lower the tax rates for both residential and commercial taxpayers.

Mayor Paul Beazley was quoted in a press release as saying that both Council and staff were working very hard to find sustainable savings, and to pass those savings back to ratepayers.

The residential rate falls 6 cents to $1.90, and the commercial rate slides 9 cents to $3.99.

But there will be some changes in policing and reduced Kings Transit services. As well, savings will be gleaned from partnered servicing in water and sewer operations with West Hants and with Planning Services with Wolfville, in addition to general belt tightening and reduced grants to local organizations.

The release also mentioned endorsement of a recent motion by Joint Councils of Windsor, Hantsport and West Hants to discuss future governance options with Municipal Relations Minister Furey.

Final ratification of the budget will be on the Town Council agenda for later this month.

Pictou County home goes up in flames

By MNN. Last updated: 2014-04-23 05:36:33

A Pictou County home has been destroyed by fire.

An elderly couple wasn't injured but they lost their home in the Bridgeville area just south of New Glasgow when it went up in flames around six o'clock Monday evening.

They stayed with relatives for the night and the Red cross is helping out with emergency supplies.

Preliminary hearing set for two NS/NB murder suspects

By MNN. Last updated: 2014-04-23 05:36:00

A preliminary hearing will be held in July for two people charged with murder in the death of Loretta Saunders.

26-year-old Blake Leggette and his 28-year-old girlfriend Victoria Henneberry are charged with first-degree murder.

They did not appear in court on Monday when four days were set aside for the preliminary hearing, starting July 21.

Saunders disappeared from Halifax on February 13.

Her body was found nearly two weeks later off the Trans-Canada Highway in New Brunswick.

Woman badly hurt in New Glasgow area

By MNN. Last updated: 2014-04-23 05:35:08

A woman was seriously injured in a car-pedestrian accident on a highway west of New Glasgow.

The accident happened at exit 19 on Highway 104 near mid-day yesterday.

The 48-year old woman was walking along the shoulder of the road when she was hit.

She was taken to hospital in New Glasgow.

17-year old stabbed in Digby

By MNN. Last updated: 2014-04-23 05:34:26

The R-C-M-P is investigating a stabbing in Digby that happened Monday night when a 17 year old man was knifed in the side.

He was taken to hospital with injuries that were not considered life-threatening.

Two men are facing charges of assault with a weapon.

McNeil is "stalling" on Boat Harbour, according to Jamie Baillie

By MNN. Last updated: 2014-04-23 05:34:01

Premier Stephen McNeil won't commit to a timeline on the cleanup of Boat Harbour in Pictou County.

McNeil says the government needs to understand what kind of effluent it's dealing with.

He adds that the most recent data is nearly 20 years old.

However; opposition Tory Leader Jamie Baillie feels that the government needs to stop stalling.

Federal Finance Minister urges Obama to "Get moving" on XL-Pipeline approval

By MNN. Last updated: 2014-04-23 05:27:25

Canadian Federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver says the Obama Administration is hurting the U-S with its recent decision on the proposed Keystone X-L oil pipeline.

Late last week, Washington decided to delay until next year whether to approve the pipeline, which would take Alberta oilsands products to refineries in Texas.

Oliver points out that the delay in the decision will hurt the American and Canadian economies, while leaving the U-S dependent on oil from unstable overseas foreign countries.

The New York Times says Canadians are doing better than Americans

By MNN. Last updated: 2014-04-23 05:26:03

A report says middle-class Canadians are better off financially than their American counterparts.

The New York Times says an analysis it did with a data research firm shows the Canadian median income rose above that of the U-S within the past four years.

However; Benjamin Tal, C-I-B-C's deputy chief economist, claims that it's not so much that Canada's middle class is doing great, but it's more like America's is "doing badly.''

Final funeral for Calgary stabbing victim to be held today

By MNN. Last updated: 2014-04-23 05:25:12

Funeral services will be held in Calgary this afternoon for Lawrence Hong, the last of five victims of a stabbing rampage.

Hong, who was 27, and four others were fatally stabbed eight days ago at a party to celebrate end of classes at the University of Calgary.

Five charges of first-degree murder have been laid against 22-year-old Matthew de Grood, who appeared yesterday in a Calgary court via video hookup.

The judge ordered him to undergo a 30-day psychiatric examination to determine if he's fit to stand trial.

Death toll rises in South Korean ferry sinking

By MNN. Last updated: 2014-04-23 05:24:42

The number of bodies recovered from the ferry disaster off South Korea has risen to 135.

Most of the remains have been found on the third and fourth decks of the ship, which capsized and sank a week ago.

Searchers continue to look for about 170 remaining bodies.

Valley sports

By MNN. Last updated: 2014-04-23 05:23:51

Capping off what has been a spectacular year both personally and for the Axemen , captain Liam Heelis has been named as the Atlantic Conference nominee for what is called the BLG Awards, sponsored by the Ottawa law firm of Borden Ladner Gervais in recognition of the top student athletes in Canada.

Liam started off the year by attending an NHL training camp with the Florida Panthers, and then spearheaded a gold-medal winning Candian team at the 2013 Universiade in Italy.

He led all Canadian University hockey with 24 goals on the way to an AUS Championship for the Axemen, and earned AUS MVP, first team and all-Canadian all star nods.

Coach Darren Burns was understandably proud of his star, and noted his on-ice accomplishments are equaled by his commitment to both his studies and the community.

With typical modesty, Heelis said all Acadia student athletes have to be excellent jugglers as well, and was very honoured to be nominated among such an impressive group, which already features athletes who have started professional careers.

The male and female winners will be announced at a ceremony in Calgary Saturday, and Heelis is the fifth Acadia nominee since the award's inception in 1993.

In the Q League, Halifax beat Val d'or 6 to 5 in overtime, the Mooseheads now trail in the series two games to one with game four tonight.

In the MHL, the Truro Bearcats edged the Dieppe Commandos 5 to 4; the Bearcats lead that series 3 games to 2.

NHL action: Montreal beat Tampa Bay 4 to 3 to sweep that series, and Boston blanked Detroit 3 to nothing to lead that series 2 games to one.

In basketball, Toronto beat Brooklyn 110 to 95 to tie that series at one game apiece.

Baseball action had the Jays over Baltimore 9 to 3, while the Yankees beat Boston by the same score.

News stories from 2014-04-22.