Fam­ily pay­ing price for liv­ing in Amherst

Down­town van­dal­ism cost­ing new mother

The Amherst News - - FRONT PAGE - By Christo­pher Good­ing Amherst News christo­pher.good­ing@amher­st­news.ca Twit­ter: @ADN­dar­rell

The vic­tim: a work-from-home mother cur­rently col­lect­ing ma­ter­nity ben­e­fits.

That is, un­til some­one smashed the win­dows of the re­tail space she and her hus­band rents out. Now they are look­ing to those ma­ter­nity ben­e­fits to help re­place the win­dows. Again.

When Ash­ley and Ray Hickey pur­chased the Church Street prop­erty across from the Cine­plex Cin­ema in Amherst, the goal was to of­fer re­tail space down­stairs while liv­ing with their new­born, Alex, in the apart­ment up­stairs. Down­town Amherst is a rel­a­tively quiet place af­ter 9 p.m. most week­days, but the Hick­eys have been ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the po­lar op­po­site of that peace.

“A few days be­fore [Alex] was born some­one broke this one,” Ash­ley said, point­ing to the first of a row of large, dou­ble pane win­dows Sept. 18. “So then last night, around nine o’clock, we heard the crash­ing of these two.”

The win­dows, both the same size as the first, ap­pear to be punched. A sin­gle, fist-size hole in each are crowned with cracks and shards of glass.

It’s the sec­ond time in three months the new mother is look­ing to her ma­ter­nity ben­e­fits to off­set the cost of fix­ing van­dal­ism since mov­ing to the com­mu­nity from Parrs­boro.

“These things are about a grand apiece… the re­al­ity is mat-leave is ex­pen­sive. When you go on matleave you take over a 60 per cent cut in pay.”

“The po­lice asked us if it’s per­sonal, is it some­one we have (a prob­lem with). We just moved to town. We haven’t lived her for longer than six months. We don’t re­ally know any­one.”

Ash­ley Hickey

Amherst Po­lice are fol­low­ing up on the mat­ter, and pre­lim­i­nary in­for­ma­tion sug­gests two peo­ple were in­volved, Ash­ley

said. As it stands, the first case re­mains un­solved, and Ash­ley is frus­trated this re­cent case will net the same re­sults un­less some­one steps for­ward.

“The po­lice asked us if it’s per­sonal, is it some­one we have [a prob­lem with]. We just moved to town. We haven’t lived her for longer than six months. We don’t re­ally know any­one.”

Any­one with in­for­ma­tion about this incident is asked to con­tact Amherst Po­lice at 902667-7227 or Nova Sco­tia Crime

Stop­pers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or sub­mit tips by Se­cure Web Tips at www.crimestop­pers. ns.ca. Calls to Crime Stop­pers are not tapped or traced and if po­lice make an ar­rest and lay charges based on a tip, callers qual­ify for a cash award.

In 2016, Crimestop­pers. ca paid out $13,690 in cash re­wards based on 60 tip-re­lated ar­rests re­sult­ing in 206 charges.

Christo­pher Good­ing-Amherst News

It’s hard get­ting a good night’s rest in Amherst be­ing a new mother and land­lord when van­dals are re­peat­edly dam­ag­ing your com­mer­cial rental prop­erty, says new­born Alex’s mother, Ash­ley Hickey.

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