Top stories of June 2018
Changes announced at SaltWire papers
Changes were announced to some of Nova Scotia’s familiar newspapers.
SaltWire Network of Halifax — parent company of The Chronicle Herald — announced alterations to some of its Nova Scotia publications, effective July 1.
Amherst News and The Citizen Record were merged to become one publication. The Amherst News was also shifted from a paid-for subscription publication to a free community newspaper, which will be delivered to all residents of Cumberland County.
In another move, The Truro Daily News and The News in New Glasgow were both shifted from paid-for daily publications to paid-for weekly publications.
And in a third modification announced by the company, The Queens County Advance was consolidated with the South Shore Breaker to create a single community newspaper for the South Shore.
Springhill firefighters deal with suspicious fires
Firefighters in Springhill were kept busy dealing with a rash of fires, most of which have been deliberately set.
The latest fire, in early June, destroyed a vacant house on Highway 2 in Springhill Junction, just a few kilometres from the former town limits.
In Springhill, a suspicious fire damaged the former Rollways Motel while there have been a number of other grassfires that have caused the fire department to be called, sometimes two or three times a day.
Carter is unsure if the suspicious fires are the work of one person or several, but was urging anyone who sees anything suspicious should call the RCMP.
Questions raised about long-term clam closure
Holly Martin couldn’t understand the reasoning behind a continued clam closure along the Northumberland Strait in Cumberland County.
Martin, who lives in Amherst but loves to dig clams for her own use, was among those who vented their frustration at a lack of action by the federal government during a public meeting at the Northport Community Centre in early June.
Parts of the shoreline from Seagrove to Cameron Beach have been closed since the 1980s because of high fecal coliform counts. There is regular testing by Environment Canada and not all the clamming areas are contaminated. However, they are still closed.
Martin said she doesn’t blame the people enforcing the closure, but thinks the federal government needs to hire more people so those areas eligible to be reopened to clamming are.
NSLC to move store from downtown Amherst
Downtown Amherst was set to lose its liquor store as the area’s NSLC store was ready to move.
Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation spokeswoman Bev Ware said the LaPlanche Street store would close before the end of the year with a new express store opening in the same building as the West Amherst Esso.
Ware said the West Amherst location offers a number of things the NSLC looks for when choosing a location, including visibility, parking, access and the ability to unload product.
“That location works well,” she said.
The express store concept is a neighbourhood type operation designed especially for customer convenience where they can pop in and pick up their favourite products.
Hay honoured during Amherst Pride Flag raising
Rev. Eldon Hay was the epitome of intelligence, integrity and compassion. His work to bring equality and understanding for the LGBTQ community was honoured during Amherst’s Pride flag-raising ceremony in midJune.
Activist Gerard Veldhoven said Hay’s passion for equal treatment went far beyond the needs of the LGBTQ community to include advocating for the rights of any individual or group of people.
“This is precisely the reason he has won the respect and love of so many.”
Hay, who was named to the Order of Canada in 2004, began his journey as an activist in support of his son and daughter. Veldhoven said Hay had a conviction that equality will be a reality and that was spurred on by his concerns for his children.
Gaillard participates in John Michels Sr. Ladder Sit
Trevor Gaillard, a veteran Amherst firefighter, was lifted up to 70 feet in the air at the top of the department’s aerial platform during the 18th John Michels Sr. Ladder Sit at the Walmart parking lot.
It was a major fundraiser for the Amherst Fire Department’s muscular dystrophy campaign.
It was actually the 23rd year for the ladder sit that began as a challenge between the Amherst and Cole Harbour-Wesphal fire departments. In 2000, it was renamed in honour of Lt. John Michels Sr.
Gaillard has wanted to sit atop the ladder since he first joined the fire department, but his job prevented him from taking off the three days required to spend 50 hours atop the ladder truck. This year, he has the time and figured it would be good for him to put his name forward for the task.
Rushton sweeps to win in Cumberland South
Tory Rushton refused to take anything for granted, even on election night and even when he was up by more than 1,000 votes with more than half the polls reporting. Even after his opponent called to congratulate him.
Still after the dust settled and the final votes were tabulated, the 38-year-old Oxford man was elected as Cumberland South’s MLA-elect with a decisive victory over Liberal Scott Lockhart and two other candidates.
Rushton received 3,417 votes compared to 1,829 for Lockhart. New Democrat Larry Duchesne received 292 votes and Green Party candidate Bruce McCulloch picked up 235 votes.
Rushton replaces former party leader Jamie Baillie, who stepped aside as MLA in January amid allegations of misconduct.
Amherst funds physician recruitment campaign
Amherst said it was prepared to financially support a Cumberland County doctor recruitment committee, but the Municipality of Cumberland said no thanks.
At its June council meeting, council agreed to commit more than $10,000 to the recruiting efforts, covering its share as well as the county’s and even Oxford’s, if it’s unable to provide its share of the funding.
Funding will cover expenses associated with attending job fairs where doctors are recruited as well as booth fees for recruiting events at Dalhousie University in September, at the Family Medicine Forum in Toronto and the Dalhousie specialty recruiting fair next spring.
Thieves take valuable items from historic Minudie home
Laurie Glenn Norris was disappointed someone would break into a home that’s an important connection to Minudie’s history.
Sometime between June 1 and June 10, thieves broke into the 175-year-old home of Amos Thomas Seaman and made off with a fireplace, some hurricane lamps and a large bookcase with its contents left scattered on the floor.
The house is vacant and contains a number of artifacts dating back to the mid-1800s, although she said the more valuable items have been removed to another location that’s more secure.
The heritage association has been working to improve the property since taking it over three years ago with renovations to the interior and exterior. Eventually, the association would like to turn the building into an interpretive centre or museum to go along with Amos ‘King’ Seaman Museum, the two churches and the Lake cemetery in Minudie.
Springhill vents about loss of playground
It’s not what Bev Sharpe wanted, or expected to see, when she looked out the back window of her Mechanic Street home in Springhill in late June.
The playground equipment that the neighbourhood and other Springhill residents had raised thousands for nearly 10 years ago was going up in flames.
Sharpe said a neighbourhood group began raising money for the play structure a decade ago. She said there were no playgrounds for children in her section of Springhill and she was terrified a child would eventually get struck playing on the street.
Kendall Spence from the Springhill Fire Department said the call came into the department just before midnight and firefighters were on the scene for about 45 minutes. He said the fire is under investigation and didn’t want to comment on how it started.
Amherst’s Jeremy Martin keeps a kite under control at Dickey Park during the town’s Celebrate Summer Kickoff on June 22.
Rogan Porter of Cumberland Pride joins Const. Michelle Harrison of the Amherst Police Department, Amherst Mayor David Kogon and Cumberland County Warden Allison Gillis in holding up the Pride Flag during a June flag-raising in Amherst.
An Indigenous dancer participates in National Indigenous People’s Day in downtown Amherst on June 21.
NDP Leader Gary Burrill hammers in a lawn sign for Cumberland South candidate Larry Duchesne during the by-election campaign.