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Moving backward…

PICTOU COUNTY – Moving forward together?
The emotional turmoil building over the last few months has come to a climax as the plebiscite vote results came out.
The majority of voters exercised their right to vote against amalgamation of the four units, the towns of Pictou, New Glasgow, Stellarton and the Municipality of Pictou County.
The polls closed at 7 p.m. and the full results were revealed at 9:37 p.m., 5,632 yes (44 per cent) and 11,069 (66 per cent) no.
Voter turnout rate was unofficially 17,000, equaling 55 to 60 per cent voter turnout rate with official results released on Tuesday, May 31.
The only area that did not vote majority no was New Glasgow. The municipality was 23 per cent yes and 77 per cent no, Pictou was 48 per cent yes and 52 per cent no, Stellarton was 25 per cent yes and 75 per cent no and New Glasgow 66 per cent yes and 34 per cent no.
“I thought with it being a controversial vote it would have been a bit higher,” noted Josephine MacDonald, returning officer.
MacDonald noted municipal elections see 58 to 60 per cent voter turnout, which is what this vote was on par with, with the majority of votes coming in prior to plebiscite day at 35 per cent in advance and electronic voting.
MacDonald noted the electronic voting went very well and is thankful for all of her volunteers, the day went on without a hitch, she said.
“It was a big undertaking.”
Municipal elections will go forward October 15 as is currently.
After more than two years of working on the MOU and the terms of reference and studies
Overshadowed by the plebiscite was the District 3 councillor race between Kent Corbett and Darla MacKeil. The seat became vacant this spring when councilor Ed MacMaster passed unexpectedly. Yes Winner, Darla MacKeil came in with 439 votes and opponent Kent Corbett with 386.
People can view the results online at each of the municipality’s websites.

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Small fire at Shipyard Causes detours

A small fire in a building at the Pictou ship yard caused the building to be evacuated earlier today for the safety of the workers. The fire has since been extinguished and workers have returned back to the building. The section of Front Street from Depot Street to where it turns into Kinnear Street was blocked off at the time.

More details to come.

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Engaging key sectors: Youth, economic and social development

PICTOU COUNTY – The MOU Steering Committee initiated a number of conversations with key sectors over the past several weeks. These included youth, economic and social development sectors. These events were independently facilitated to ensure a safe and neutral space for all perspectives and viewpoints to gather.
On May 3, an intergenerational conversation was hosted at the Pictou County Wellness Centre. The purpose was to identify ways to better include youth in community decision-making.
Most participants recognize that youth feel that they have a voice but that their voice is not heard. Another common theme was that youth participants are unaware of how to engage in the community (politically, economically, socially and environmentally) so that they might influence positive change.
Ways to overcome barriers to youth inclusion were identified; these included offering transportation so that youth can participate or hold meetings at the schools. Another idea that emerged was creating youth councils and other ways to bring youth voice and leadership into decision-making spaces in community and government.
On May 4, the Steering Committee hosted another conversation that brought the economic and social development sector together. Though originally envisioned as two separate conversations it was soon realized that it would be better to bring members of both sectors together since they are both a part of the economic fabric of our community.
In this session the message heard was a strong desire for a united voice for the region. Participants felt that Pictou County needs to be developed as a whole; integrating economic, social and political spheres, and that a collaborative approach is necessary to ensure the long-term success and viability of the region. Sector representatives view themselves as a part of the larger system that is informed by the community.
Participants felt that this conversation was important because “Pictou County should be the second strongest region in Nova Scotia,” quoting one of the participants. It has the people, the resources and the desire to do and be better, and it needs to gain traction to move the region forward in a positive direction.
Those in attendance that were not in favor of amalgamation stated that they felt a unified approach, based on inclusion (ages and cultures), community engagement, collaboration, community development, business development and entrepreneurship, was essential to moving forward.
The MOU Steering Committee values the input gathered in these conversations and views them as foundational for the future regardless of the outcome of the plebiscite.
To learn more, please visit

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Where to find plebiscite results

PICTOU COUNTY – Returning Officer Josephine MacDonald says that citizens will be able to access official plebiscite results online once polls close at 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 28. A dedicated webpage is being set up and can be found at:
The website will contain both text and graphical representations of the results and will be reported for each ward and district. The results of the special election for District 3 will also be posted there. Results should be available within one to one and a half hours of the polls closing. All results will be reported at once.
Additionally, local news media will be reporting that evening. The Advocate and The News will have reporters at the returning office when the polls close and will be sharing updates via their websites, Facebook and Twitter accounts.
The Advocate:, Facebook (ThePictouAdvocate), Twitter @PictouAdvocate.
The News:, Facebook (NewGlasgowNews) and Twitter @ngnews.
ECFM 94.1 will be providing updates in 15-minute intervals throughout the evening beginning at 8 p.m.
Results will also be available at, Facebook (1PictouCounty), and Twitter @OnePictouCounty.
For more information visit

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Fun Day Saturday on fire safety

PICTOU LANDING – Fire safety will be the focus of a fun, educational day on Saturday.
Since Christmas, there have been seven house fires in Pictou Landing as well as a numbers of grass fires.
Because of this, Const. Shaylene Sutherland with Pictou County District RCMP has partnered with various volunteer fire departments and the Department of Natural Resources to provide an information day.
The day began as a one-hour presentation and has grown into a full-day event at the Pictou Landing gymnasium on Maple Street. It is for all ages with activities for small children as well as adults.
Children have the opportunity to try on child-sized fire fighter gear as well as play fire extinguisher games.
“It’s really hands on,” notes Sutherland. “We designed it so that people would come for the whole day and be engaged.”
Representatives from the Department of Natural Resources will be available to talk about grass fire safety, New Glasgow Fire Department to have demonstrations with the ladder truck, fire extinguisher safety training and children’s activities, Thorburn Fire Department for an off-road vehicle display as well as the fire marshall’s office.
There will also be a free barbecue put on by the volunteer fire departments.
Presentations will focus on hoarding and teen arson prevention among other things.
Information will also be available for opportunities to volunteer with the volunteer fire departments.
The event is this Saturday, May 28 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 a.m. in the Pictou Landing gymnasium.

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Kinettes hosting MS Walk Sunday

NEW GLASGOW – The Kinsmen and Kinette Clubs of New Glasgow are jointly hosting the annual MS Walk on Sunday at Glasgow Square.
Lynn Fleet, who is co-chairing the event with Katelyn Dykstra and Brian MacIntosh, says the clubs are looking forward to the event, which starts with check-in time at 10 a.m. and start time at 11 a.m. in an effort to eliminate the debilitating ailment called Multiple Sclerosis.
“We’re all new to the club; this is our first year,” Fleet said. “I’m loving it. I thought I knew what Kinsmen and Kinettes were about but it’s so much more. I’m really looking forward to the day.”
The walk will start and finish at Glasgow Square and utilize George Street Bridge and a portion of the Samson Trail.
It is among the Medavie Blue Cross MS Walk series that takes place in 14 communities across Atlantic Canada in May.
The walk is among many of the same type taking place on Sunday under the auspices of the MS Society of Canada.
It is the society’s largest pledge-based fundraiser involving more than 60,000 participants and volunteers in more than 160 communities across Canada in the spring and early fall.
“There are usually 50 to 60 people participating at this location and more than 20 volunteers,” Fleet said.
The funds raised at the walks are dedicated to supporting what the society considers groundbreaking, Canadian-led research as well as services and programs so that people affected by MS have the best quality of life possible until a cure is found.
It’s an opportunity for people to recruit family members, friends and colleagues to join in the walk and to celebrate achievements made over the years.
“It’s a great way to show your support,” Fleet said. “Having this research will help people.”

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Chisholm among winners at annual Fitz of Fury races

SCOTSBURN – Nolan Chisholm was among winners on Sunday during the annual Fitz of Fury bicycle races.
Chisholm crossed the finish line in 37 minutes, 22 seconds to win the Under-15 Division, completing two laps of the 5.-kilometre course up and down Fitzpatrick Mountain.
Among other local racers, Lyla Hahn won the girls’ U-13 Division, while Tony Corbin and Tim Shea won their divisions.
Fitz of Fury was back to its customary spring date after poor weather last spring pushed the 2015 edition to the fall.
Numerous members of the Pictou County Cycling Bike Club, which is open to riders at least 10 years old who are interested in road or mountain biking.
Bikers get to go on weekly group rides and train for rides and races in Pictou County and elsewhere.
Pictou County Cycle owner and operator Clint Snell was among organizers of Sunday’s races and helps out bikers with their fitness.
Bikers are preparing for the annual Granton Road race on June 26 that utilizes Granton and Abercrombie roads and the Trenton Connector.

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Clark drives MacDonald’s car to win in Maritime Pro Stock Tour opener

ENFIELD – Cassius Clark is quickly making Scotia Speedworld his playground.
The Farmington, Maine native led all but four laps to take home the checkered flag in the Parts for Trucks Maritime Pro Stock Tour season opener, the Lucas Oil 100 on Saturday at Scotia Speedworld. Clark was the wheelman behind Pictou resident Rollie MacDonald’s car.
“This is the way you want to start a season,” said Clark. “The car was just really good from when we unloaded. We made a few small adjustments. We won our heat race and started up front, so we were able to run at our own pace.”
He said his team had the car humming right off the hauler.
“It was really strong right out of the box,” he said. “Andrew (Hicken) and the crew, Rollie getting us the stuff we need to go fast. It’s an awesome team.”
Greg Proude was pleased with the finishing position of his No. 29 entry.
“We’re happy with it,” said Proude. “The car was good.”
The Springvale racer said a mistake may have cost him a shot at Clark and the win. Proude said the team won’t be touching too much on the car before the second circuit race at Riverside International Speedway on June 11 in James River. The Ron MacGillivray 150 goes green at 6 p.m.
“I would have liked to have not made my mistake there early on with my brake pedal,” he explained. “Thirty laps to go and the brake pedal went right to the floor because I was stupid and forgot to pump it.
“We got back from sixth place up to second. I think we might have had something for Cassius at the end. I’m pretty happy with it.”
Terence Bay’s Craig Slaunwhite said third place for his no. 99 team was almost like a win.
“It’s a good way to get our season started points wise,” said Slaunwhite. “I got up on the wheel and led a lap, which in the big picture is needed. I think it’s a good start for our season.”
Slaunwhite said he has his eyes on the big prize—the 2016 Pro Stock Tour championship. He admitted patience and picking the right spots will be vital to achieving that.
“You have to be very methodical when it comes to passing here,” he said. “Our goal this year is thinking big picture. This year we have to get some strong finishes.”
Rounding out the top five were Darren MacKinnon and defending series champion Donald Chisholm of Antigonish.

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Safe Harbour welcoming second family

NEW GLASGOW – Members of Pictou County Safe Harbour are elated to welcome a second Syrian family to the area.
The group raised funds to bring the Almethyb family to New Glasgow this past winter and have been steadily working to bring family members of theirs here as well.
“The family coming are first cousins of the Almethybs,” explains Sarah MacIntosh-Wiseman.
“They came to Canada through the government stream of refugee sponsorship in late January, early February to Hamilton, Ontario.”
The family members haven’t seen each other in five years and MacIntosh-Wiseman says they are very excited.
“The family is keen on moving here to Pictou County,” she says. “They have heard about the services we have offered with settlement and language. With the government stream a caseworker is assigned to work with so many families, whereas we have more hands on the ground and more volunteers to help the families get to appointments. The (Nova Scotia Community College) has very generously donated the staff twice a week for five weeks to teach English language skills and Safe Harbour has other volunteers helping with language. The family coming has had no English training yet.”
The family consists of seven children who range in age from three to 18.
As for where the family will stay, MacIntosh-Wiseman says they have a few leads but are open to anyone with a four-bedroom, two-bathroom property which they would be willing to rent out on the east side of New Glasgow.
“They have no means of transportation so we want them to be in walking distance to their family.”
Having come from the government stream, the family has the bare minimum in terms of furniture and household items, but Safe Harbour has more than enough in storage.
“We won’t have the financial responsibility with this family because they are government funded, but we will be helping with the transportation costs to get here and provide supports and resources.”
The Almethybs have more family sitting in a refugee camp, but MacIntosh-Wiseman notes the sponsorship program has slowed considerably, leaving a 24- to 36-month wait to sponsor refugee families.
Once the family arrives and are provided with the amenities they require, Safe Harbour will be arranging to have those impacted by the Fort McMurray wild fires who have returned, to see what is available for the taking. Any remaining items will be distributed to families in need in the county.
“We’d like to see it be put to good use.”
She says the arrival of the new family will have a large impact on the Almethyb family, providing an increased sense of home.
The family was scheduled to arrive on Tuesday and a welcoming reception was planned to take place at New Glasgow Academy. The community attended a welcome gathering at New Glasgow Academy Tuesday evening.
“We want to show them a true Pictou County welcome.”
Bikes for Kids has also reached out to provide bicycles for the children.

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Mariners do laps at swim-a-thon

PICTOU – Members of the Pictou County Mariners Swim Club swam laps to raise money for its work last Wednesday at the Pictou Fisheries Pool.
The two-hour event required swimmers to complete 200 lengths of the pool.
Age Group swimmers (older and stronger) actually did swim the 200 lengths, which equals five kilometres, in less than two hours. The other, younger, Nova Tech swimmers were divided up into teams of three or four and each team tried as a group to complete the 200 lengths.
The fund-raiser officially began on May 1 when 35 swimmers registered and started looking for sponsors. By the time the swim-a-thon began, the team had raised $5460.
There were two swimmers who raised more than $600.
The money will go towards equipment and some extra training for officials for local swim meets.
Mariners swimmers are preparing to compete at junior provincial championships in late June at Acadia University in Wolfville. Senior Provincials are the weekend of July 8.
The Age Group Long Course Development Meet is June 4 and 5. Mariners are also involved in the Tri-County meet with Antigonish and Port Hawkesbury on June 12.
The Nova Tech swimmers completed a meet in Port Hawkesbury.
Mariners swimmers are also competing at the East Coast Nationals.

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My father inspired my love for sports

At different times, in different ways, for different reasons, I’ve been asked the questions throughout my life.
How and why did I become so interested in sports before I even started school? Who or what was the influence on a kid so young? Where did that interest originate at a time when there was no television and the only thing on radio was news about the war.
My reply has always been the same.
My father, more than anyone else, more than anything I encountered, passed on his love of sports, perhaps intentionally, perhaps not intentionally.
I took the bait.
Dad, who owned a car dealership on Trenton Road, had three favourites: hockey, baseball and boxing.
Very early, I was tagging along.
He took me to many senior New Glasgow Bombers games at the old Arena Rink in downtown New Glasgow. To this day, I still have clouded thoughts about the 1943-44 season. I was just five years old.
I remember more about the next winter when the Bombers won the Maritime championship. That was the town’s first tri-province winner in almost 40 years. It was pretty darn exciting for a six-year-old, particularly when players like Tiger Mackie and Buddy Sweet invited Dad and I into the dressing room afterwards.
During the summers back then, Dad took me to lots of baseball games, primarily in Stellarton, and sometimes out in Westville, when the two county teams played in the Central League, the forerunner to the Halifax and District League. I was nine and 10 then.
No, I wasn’t born when the great Babe Ruth made an appearance in Westville, hitting a number of home runs to the delight of the crowd. But I knew all about it before I even got to grade one.
Just after the war, father and son were a tandem going to boxing matches, watching the likes of Keith, Percy and Sparky Paris, Bearcat Jackson, and Spinny Wright, the town’s police chief. The first occasions I sat at ringside I was seven and eight. I think I liked the sound of the bell the most.
In 1947, when Dad’s garage burned to the ground, taking part of the curling club with it, he had a small building erected across the street. When his new garage opened, he allowed pro boxer-policeman Freddy Wilson to use the temporary structure for a gym. The rent? “Teach my son to defend himself,” Dad told him. I never boxed in front of a crowd, but I worked out with Freddy for quite a while.
The rest is history, my newspaper career now into its 63rd year.
The parental influence Dad had on me – a deep and lasting passion for sports – had nothing to do with athletic endeavours during his teenage years. He had missed that part of his life, like so many young men of his generation.
Dad was 15 when the First World War broke out.
He wanted to go overseas from the very beginning. He tried to sign up in New Glasgow, but being from a prominent family, everyone knew him – and his age.
So he went off to Halifax, “suggested” to recruiters that he was 16 and, with no questions asked, he enlisted in the 36th Battery of the Canadian Field Artillery. After a posting at the Royal Military College, he became a second lieutenant, taking courses in aeronautics, navigation, artillery observation, bombing and light machine gun engagement of air targets.
He was sent overseas where he was made a pilot in the Royal Flying Corps. He piloted a bomber in night bombing raids – still only 15. One night, returning from raids, he flew into heavy fog near Dover – yes, the infamous White Cliffs of Dover – and crashed. He woke up in a British hospital. Just a few weeks later, he was back on duty, continuing bombing raids until the war ended.
Dad, like many veterans, never talked about the war and, from my earliest years, all I can remember was that we had to be very quiet at home when newscasts about the Second World War were on the radio. When that war ended in 1945, a six-year-old was reported to have shouted, “Hurray, no more news.”
While he never discussed his war experiences, Dad had two scrapbooks, now very yellowed and delicate to handle. They are filled with photos he took while overseas. Photos of men he served with. Photos of planes they flew. Photos of numerous plane wrecks and overturned planes. Photos of other landmarks in Britain.
Sure, we were allowed to look through the scrapbooks as much as we wanted, but he wouldn’t talk about the stories behind the men and the planes in the photos. It was like a great big secret that would remain hidden forever.
He obviously spent considerable time putting the scrapbooks together. Each photo has an identification – printed neatly and obviously with a fountain pen. The only regret – the photos of airmen and others are accompanied by last names only.
Dad died 47 years after his war service ended. Later, as we went through his belongings, I found an old camera in his dresser, buried under clothes, maybe purposely hidden and forgotten.
I took the camera to Waldren’s Studio in New Glasgow where John Skinner took me into the dark room to open the camera. To our surprise, there was still an old film in it. John developed it and – an even bigger surprise – the negatives were still clear enough to see images of damaged planes. Yes, photos taken almost 50 years earlier!
We always knew Dad didn’t want to pass on his wartime experiences, or even tell us what it was like “over there.”
But he sure did a bang-up job instilling his young son with a passion for hockey, baseball, boxing and other sports.
Thank goodness he did.

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MacLennan wins Earle 5-K race

TRENTON – Dave MacLennan is still king of the road in Trenton.
The legendary Scotsburn distance runner was overall winner of the five-mile race in a time of 29 minutes, 39 seconds to cap the 2016 Joe Earle Memorial Day races on Victoria Day.
MacLennan was in the head pack from the starting line at Scotia Park and made his move returning downhill on Park Street to pull away from runner-up Peter Corbin.
“I had you in my sites and I said I gotta go,” MacLennan said to Corbin after the race.
Walter Linthorne was third, while Dave Hood and Raymond rounded out the top five.
Breanna Sandluck was the first overall female finisher.
Scott Langille was sixth after taking the initial lead.
MacLennan’s exploits followed his fifth place finish in 2:52:01 on Sunday during the annual Blue Nose Marathon in Halifax.
A total of 427 runners registered for the races in Trenton, while Mayor Glen MacKinnon noted the 90 runners aged four or younger.
“That says volumes for the future of the races in Trenton,” he said.
With only light rain overnight and a cool, overcast morning, few could recall more ideal running conditions for the annual races.
Three of those in the five-mile race came from East Pictou and walked the distance. Karen LeBlanc and Faye Kinney finished in an hour and eight minutes, while Jean Anderson finished in an hour and 12 minutes.
It was Cindy MacKinnon Day in honour of the long-time community and sports volunteer throughout Pictou County.
Next year will be Edwina Palmer Day.
Baxter MacArthur Memorial, Open Men’s Mile
First: Peter Corbin, New Glasgow 4:43 Second: Scott Langille, New Glasgow 4:58 Third: John Helpard, Victoria, B.C. 5:03
Hartling Family Memorial Open Mile Girls 15 and Under
First: Siona Chisholm, Antigonish 5:19 Second: Allie Sandluck, MacPherson’s Mills 5:20 Third: Emma Cameron, Antigonish 5:21
Gloria Clark Memorial Open Mile Women
First: Breanna Sandluck, MacPherson’s Mills 5:19 Second: Kali Caulier, Bedford 6:07 Third: Kim Perrin, New Glasgow 9:01
Carl MacDougall Memorial One Mile Boys 15 and Under
First: Ethan MacDonald, New Glasgow 4:59 Second: Liam Chisholm, New Glasgow 5:32 Third: Logan Bennett, Thorburn 5:39
Jesse Smith Memorial 1/8 Mile boys and girls two and under
First: Maci MacDonald, Little Harbour Second: Hunter Hoagland, Hatchet Lake Third: Jordan Paris, New Glasgow
The Boyles Memorial 1/8 Mile 4 and Under Boys
First: Lucas Artibello, Antigonish Second: Jaxan MacDonald, Little Harbour Third: Jamie Watters, New Glasgow
The Elda Earle Memorial 1/8 Mile 4 and Under Girls
First: Bella Landry, Oromocto, N.B. Second: Kayla Hale, Westville Third: Ellie Rex, Westville
Donald Gabby MacDonald Memorial 1/4 Mile Boys 6 and Under
First: Tanner Hayden, New Glasgow 1:20 Second: Grady Cohen, New Glasgow 1:26 Third: Gavin MacDonald, Pictou 1:32
Mackie Jenkins Memorial 1/4 Mile Girls 6 and Under
First: Danika Gillis, Kenzieville 1:53 Second: Lexi MacIntyre, Westville 1:55 Third: Ashtyn MacHattie, Thorburn 1:57
Bobby Gill Memorial 1/2 Mile Boys 7 Years
First: Issac Boudreau, New Glasgow 3:22 Second: Josh Wood, New Glasgow 3:23 Third: Ryan Henderson, Pictou 3:43
The Cromwell Memorial 1/2 Mile Girls 7 Years
First: Chloe Ferguson, Westville 3:44 Second: Katelyn Haynes, Westville 3:54 Third: Leah Haynes, Westville 3:55
Paul MacDonald Memorial 1/2 Mile Boys 8 Years
First: Will Delorey, Monastery 3:17 Second: Brayden Linthorne, Stellarton 3:46 Third: Luke Burns, Stellarton 3:47
William Tanner Memorial 1/2 Mile Girls 8 Years
First: Amelia MacCallum, Fraser’s Mountain 3:18 Second: Avery Cohen, New Glasgow 3:45 Third: Mya Ress, Trenton 3:46
The MacNeil Family Memorial 1/2 Mile Girls 9 Years
First: Kylea Bennett, New Glasgow 3:25 Second: Anna Kennaley, Bridgeville 3:27 Third: Rihanna MacKay, New Glasgow 3:32
Johnny Cooke Memorial 1/2 Mile Boys 9 Years
First: Kysac MacDonald, Halifax 3:02 Second: Mac Wallace, New Glasgow 3:14 Third: Austin Earle, New Glasgow 3:17
Burton Luddington Memorial 1/2 Mile Girls 10 Years
First: Mya Artibello, Antigonish 3:13 Second: Jesse Cameron, Antigonish 3:21 Third: Natasha Hahn, Pictou 3:25
Charlie Stevens Memorial 1/2 Mile Boys 10 Years
First: Nick Delorey, Monastery 2:58 Second: Lucas MacDonald, Stellarton 3:00 Third: Jake Henderson, Pictou 3:02
Andre Roussey Memorial 1/2 Mile Girls 11-12 Years
First: Cara MacDonald, New Glasgow 2:44 Second: Siona Chisholm, Antigonish 2:50 Third: Emily MacDonald, Antigonish 2:53
Jock Wilson Stevens Memorial 1/2 Mile Boys 11-12 Years
First: Conrad Robertson, New Glasgow 2:59 Second: Jack Noftall, New Glasgow 3:00 Third: Lance Horton, Trenton 3:04
Doug MacInnis Memorial 1/2 Mile Girls 13-14 Years
First: Mairian Canning, Antigonish 2:50 Second: M. Artibello, Antigonish 2:51 Third: Allie Sandluck, MacPherson’s Mills 2:54
Jim MacArthur Memorial 1/2 Mile Boys 13-14 Years
First: Ethan MacDonald, New Glasgow 2:34 Second: Malik Broan, Halifax 2:49 Third: Logan Bennett, Thorburn 2:51
Joan Carrigan Memorial Women 14-35
First: Breanna Sandluck, MacPherson’s Mills 36:05 Second: Jessica Zentner, New Glasgow 37:31
Third: Emily Morton, New Glasgow 39:28
Raymond Pentz Memorial Five Mile Woman Masters 36 and Over
First: Debbie MacDonald, New Glasgow 37:02 Second: Melanie MacCara, New Glasgow 39:08 Third: Michelle Sutherland, Pictou 41:35
Nonnie Morgan Memorial Five Mile Men 14-35
First: Peter Corbin, New Glasgow 30:34 Second: Walter Linthorne, Stellarton 30:59 Third: Ryan MacDonald, New Glasgow 31:48
Doucette Family Memorial Five Mile Men’s Junior Masters 36-49
First: Dave Hood, Stellarton 31:05 Second: Shawn Noftall, New Glasgow 33:31 Third: Donald Holder 34:25
Dennis Lawless Memorial Five Mile Men Senior Masters 50 and Over
First: Dave MacLennan, Scotsburn 29:39 Second: Jim Lays, Stellarton 34:48 Third: Darrell Spears, New Glasgow 34:55
Douglas V. MacDonald Memorial Five Mile Canadian Armed Forces
First: John Helpard, Victoria, B.C. 36:17

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Lobster Carnival bringing more pro wrestling to town

PICTOU – Prepare for an evening of fun, laughs and of course, a whole lot of booing.
May 27 is shaping up to be another night of great professional wrestling suitable for the whole family at Pictou’s Hector Arena.
“It will be an action-packed night of entertainment; safe for the whole family to enjoy and it’s all for the Pictou Lobster Carnival,” says event organizer Ryan Mader.
All funds raised from the event will go toward this year’s carnival taking place July 8 through 10.
Last year, Kowboy Mike Hughes defeated Titus to win the coveted Lobster Cup in the tournament final. He returns this year as the current Heavyweight Champion of Prince Edward Island. Also returning, fresh off his latest European tour, is international wrestling star The American Patriot.
“With so much great talent coming, the wrestling fans of Pictou County are in for a huge treat,” notes Mader. “We’ve been able to sign one of the top talents in Canada to be part of this card”
The “Redneck Renegade” Cody Deaner is no stranger to big matches, once facing Olympic Gold Medalist Kurt Angle in a match for WWE Television. Deaner was also a member of the TNA Wrestling roster and currently appears worldwide with Global Force Wrestling.
“I’m looking forward to just giv’er with all the fans in Pictou,” explains Deaner. “And of course, giving my opponent a DDT and pinning them one, two, three!”
Deaner learned his devastating finishing move from its creator, WWE Legend, Jake the Snake Roberts.
Returning as well this year is the first Lobster Cup winner, Riddick Stone, along with maritime legend Wildman Gary Williams and local grappler Lincoln Steen plus many more!
Doors open at 6 p.m. for advance ticket holders. Advance tickets can be purchased for $12 at various local venues. They are $10 for seniors and children 12 and under. Rush tickets at the door are $15. Rush seating opens at 6:30 p.m. Bell time is 7 p.m.

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Duo holding Queen’s Court

Move over adult colouring. A new form of self-expression is about to take centre stage in Pictou County and it promises glitz and glamour, music and entertainment, comedy and fashion and all points in between.
On July 16, Jake Chisholm and Shaun McLean will be joined by some special guests to present what they believe is Pictou County’s first ever drag queen show followed by an evening of dance liberation.
Jake & Shaun’s Big Gay Affair will be an evening of fun and frolic where the audience can let their hair down and inhibitions crumble. Feel sexy, sassy, sophisticated and get ready to participate in the making of a memory.
Chisholm says he dressed in drag for Halloween and had a blast, so he decided to take it a step further. While this will be his first time performing as a drag queen, he and McLean have been working since then ironing out the finer details of the show, which will take place at Glasgow Square in New Glasgow.
They will be joined by four additional talented goddesses making up the court of queens including Miranda Wrights who hails from River John, C. Leah Cruise from Antigonish and more. Jillian Duggan, a former fiddler with the Keltic Kittens, will also perform.
“A typical drag show would be in a smaller bar setting where the entertainer is on stage but has a close interaction with the audience,” says Chisholm. “It would involve lip synching and choreography. But this show will be more of a concert-style on a big stage with lights, confetti canons, live performances and lip synching and a lot of fashion – which is fun.”
He adds, “Each queen will do two songs in addition to a group number, and there are skits that are full of comedy. Jillian Duggan will be playing a piece that begins softly on a darkened stage that fades off before building to an electrifying tempo. It’s absolutely bone-chilling!”
A lot of work goes in to dressing in drag, Chisholm explains, and it’s a huge art form. “Most of us make our own clothes and do our own choreography. And it’s very expensive to buy the wigs, makeup, clothes.”
But, he says, they do it as a form of self-expression in the same way an artist puts paints to canvas or a jewelry maker unites precious stones and metal or a musician makes an instrument sing.
“For drag queens and kings it’s a very personal experience,” he says. “We really have to put ourselves out there and lay it all on the table.”
The show on July 16 promises an evening of music, laughter, campy comedy and more. “Let your hair down and come have some fun. It won’t be boring, that’s for sure!” Chisholm promises.
For more information and cheeky updates visit the event on Facebook at Doors open at
7 p.m., showtime is 7:30 p.m. and the after party runs till 1 a.m. with KGB Entertainment. Tickets are now on sale.

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Health building investigated for poor air quality

After some complaints to the Nova Scotia Health Authority, some renovations and extensive cleaning is happening to the mental health and addiction services building located just off East River Road.
The problem was discovered when staff began issuing complaints’ of the air quality in the building causing them health problems.
“There have been concerns from staff,” said Tom MacNeil, director of health, safety and wellness at the organization.
Some of the complaints coming forth MacNeil noted were all issues that pointed to air quality problems. Staff was complaining of issues such as scratchy throats all the way to skin problems like rashes.
MacNeil said that at this stage air quality tests have already been performed and they are on approximately their third round of testing.
“Our first round of testing came out good, they’re fair,” he said.
Some of the first concerns of the issue were reported last July from staff of the public health section of the building said MacNeil which resulted in some staff being relocated to the Aberdeen Hospital.
“We did some work, we cleaned out the ducting in the public health side,” he said.
This year complaints from the mental health section of the building began and the same actions were taken for that area.
Some staff was relocated to other buildings during the time. MacNeil said that they were not planning on doing any real upgrades to the building but rather a concentrated clean.
During the time, however, there has been no disruptions to services provided to patients as well as no complaints from patients of issues with air quality.
As to MacNeil’s knowledge there has not been any serious medical problems requiring medical attention from staff.
“I don’t think it got to the point where they needed medical attention,” he said.
“Our next steps will be to meet all of the concerns of our staff.”

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Young county singers in support of Fort McMurray

STELLARTON – “That’s What Friends are For – Children for Fort McMurray” is a concert scheduled for 7 p.m. on June 18 at Sharon St. John United Church in Stellarton.
The concert is in support of the Red Cross for Alberta Fires Appeal.
Masterminded by two of Pictou County’s leading voice and choral teachers, Ann Holton and Monica George Punke, the concert will feature many of the young students from their voice studios who are eager to perform and help make a difference for all affected by this disaster. As teachers, they know just how much young and capable talent abounds in Pictou County.
Supporting this venture is Ann Holton’s brother, Dylan Holton, who will be making a special guest appearance with such well known songs as Weight of the World and Yes, She Does.
Currently on tour, when asked if he would be involved with this concert singing solos and with the young performers, said without hesitation, “100 per cent, I’m in.”
Dylan Holton was recently a finalist in an international song writing contest and takes any opportunity to be part of tours that involve him with school children.
Both Ann Holton and Punke have friends and relatives in Alberta, and some of those are in Fort McMurray. The disaster caused by the ongoing forest fire that recently roared through the area has struck home for them as it has done for many people in Pictou County and across the rest of Canada.
They said, “Music has proven to be a pillar strength in times of disaster. You don’t have to be a musician to be touched by music. It is such a powerful motivator, helping to bring healing and a smile amidst tears and struggle.”
Entry to the concert is by donation. “It is important to support both the relief fund and these young performers who are so excited to use their talents to help others,” they added.
All of the money raised will go to support the Fort McMurray disaster.

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MacGillivray Properties obtains former Scotsburn Dairy building

STELLARTON – Another building on South Foord Street will have a bit of a makeover, thanks to MacGillivray Properties Ltd.
The company purchased the former Scotsburn Dairy building and are revamping it to meet the needs of its new prospective occupant, Nova Scotia Spirit Co.
NS Spirit Co. will be setting up shop with a distillery and storefront, moving from their current location in Hillside.
Donald Clarke, property development co-ordinator, says the building is no longer a dairy, so they removed the 160,000 litre silo for milk last week during the beginning of renovations.
“We want to move the building toward a new life,” Clarke says, adding the renovations should be complete by late fall and there may be additional space to rent once complete.
“We want to restore the building back to its original look in the front, blast the brick and put up some nice signage. We hope (NS Spirit Co.) will be very successful and breathe new life into the building that has been closed the last year and a half.”

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First cruise ship visit of the year

PICTOU – It was a pleasant surprise when a Pearl Seas cruise ship visited Pictou for the day on Saturday.
The vessel docked at Pier C at 10 a.m. and departed at 6 p.m. Its passengers were able to walk along parts of Pictou’s downtown, while selected visits were organized at Hector Heritage Quay in Pictou and the Museum of Industry in Stellarton.
“This is awesome,” said Michelle Young, who co-chairs the Pictou County Cruise Committee with Geralyn MacDonald.
“We’re on the (Pearl Seas’) radar. We’re always saying, ‘Think of us if you’re going this way. It’s a perfect way to start the (tourist) season.”
Pearl Seas already scheduled two late summer stops in Pictou this year, so the spring visit was part of the list. But MacDonald said she contacted the cruise company once she knew the ship would be passing Pictou Harbour from Halifax on its way to Charlottetown.
Visitors were able to enjoy a mainly clear, summer-like day as temperatures reached the high 20s.
“We knew a week ago – Friday the 13th – that they were coming,” MacDonald said. “It was a good opportunity to pull into Pictou.”
Members of two pipe bands were rounded up despite the long weekend to perform for the visitors during their arrival and departure.

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Funding landed for health app

NEW GLASGOW – Health QR CEO Patti Ryan says she’s elated with the financial boost the company is receiving for its application from Innovacorp.
The Halifax-based digital medication management start-up announced Innovacorp’s investment of $250,000 in the company.
“The investment from Innovacorp will take us to the next level,” said Ryan, who is based in New Glasgow.
“We have completed pilot product testing with Compass Pharmacies, Halifax, and are actively selling our product to Atlantic Canadian pharmacies. This investment will enable us to follow through with our commercialization plan.”
Ryan was previously employed with the former Pictou County Health Authority. She earned a community studies degree from Cape Breton University and a Masters degree in public administration from Dalhousie University.
Health QR is a health information technology company developing medication management solutions that improve health outcomes and pharmacy workflow. It will use the investment from Nova Scotia’s early stage venture capital organization to bring its product to market.
“We’ve been working with Innovacorp for a whole year,” she said. “Innovacorp is a great opportunity for people setting up things related to technology. It’s really hard to find investment in this area.”
Ryan’s firm has set targets of 100 pharmacies by September and 500 by the end of this year.
The company is developing solutions for medication non-adherence. About half of patients in North America don’t take their medication as prescribed, with as many as one-third of patients not even getting their prescription filled. Poor adherence causes a significant amount of medication-related hospitalizations and accounts for $100 billion in annual healthcare costs, she says.
Its technology gives prescription customers secure access to their pharmacy information, letting them manage their medications or those of a loved one.
The solution provides an intuitive, interactive mobile app that makes it easy to view active prescriptions, order refills online, receive reminders when refills are due and be alerted when a prescription is about to expire.
“Non-adherence to medication impacts all levels of the healthcare system from big pharma to the individual patient,” said Gregory Phipps, managing director of investment at Innovacorp.
“Health QR is developing marketable medication adherence solutions by collaborating with industry stakeholders and patient groups.”

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The Thistle introduces free shuttle service

NEW GLASGOW – A local bar and eatery has introduced a unique service for patrons.
The Thistle Bar and Grill launched a shuttle service, free of charge, to make sure its patrons get home safely.
“We are trying to keep people from drinking and driving,” explains Trevor Murphy, owner of the establishment.
“There have been times me and my wife want to go out and have a drink with supper but it’s hard to get a taxi and there’s zero tolerance, so one of us can’t drink,” he explains.
The Thistle has partnered with Nova Scotia Spirit Co. and Highland Ford to offer a seven-passenger van that will travel around the county for those wanting to go out.
“We hope it pans out and that customers enjoy the service. It’s something no one else is offering.”
The shuttle runs from 5 p.m. until close. A pick up requires a minimum of two people. It’s all free of charge, although gratuities are accepted.
“The drivers are paid, but they are also donating some of their time as well and they all have families at home, they just don’t want to see people drinking and driving,” says Murphy.
The shuttle service began Thursday and runs daily. All you need to do is text 902-301-5065 with your address and number of people.
“It’s best to text because the driver can’t always answer the phone,” notes Murphy.
He says they have received a lot of positive comments regarding the service from people around the county.
Members of the New Glasgow Regional Police Service are thrilled about it.
“In 2016, we had 22 calls reporting an impaired driver by either drugs or alcohol,” explains Const. Ken MacDonald. “This is welcome news and we applaud the Thistle for taking the initiative. We don’t want people to drive while impaired, it’s one of the leading causes of injuries or deaths on our roadways.”
Murphy is very pleased to be able to offer this service.
“We feel awesome about this. At the end of the day we just want our customers to come here, have a good experience and be sent home safe. We want them to come back.”
A note to users of the shuttle service: it is a direct shuttle so there are no bank or store stops along the way.
For more information, visit the Thistle Facebook page at The Thistle Bar.

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Dr. Farrell honoray chair of river race

Dr. Gerry Farrell has been named honorary chair of the 15th annual Race on the River Dragon Boat Festival.
Recently retired as the medical director of the Palliative Care Unit at the Aberdeen Hospital, Farrell’s model for community palliative care formed Pictou County’s first palliative care program. In 2000, the first integrated palliative care team of Pictou County was formed and is still growing strong today. Farrell’s vision of a peaceful and comforting place for patients and their families was opened in 2006 when a former storage space of the hospital was transformed into a six-bed unit through community funding, thanks to Farrell and his team and the support of the Pictou County Health Authority. The program has grown into one of full service, integrating hospital and community care.
Outside of medicine, Farrell is well known for his love of gardening and photography, in which some of his photos can be seen in the corridors of the Palliative Care unit.
More than 30 teams are registered for Race on the River July 22-23. Aside from the races, the festival offers children’s activities, musical entertainment, games and food from onsite vendors.
For more information visit or to inquire about registering a team contact Roger Swarbrick at

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Cape Sharp Tidal turbine at Aecon site nearly completed

PICTOU – A tidal turbine being built here is nearly finished, and from any angle at close range, it’s big.
It’s the first of two five-storey high turbines – each weighing 1,000 tonnes and spanning 16 metres – that are being installed near Parrsboro by Cape Sharp Tidal – whose partners are OpenHydro and Emera.
All the assembly and steel fabrication has been done at the Aecon Atlantic Industrial Inc. facilities in Dartmouth and Pictou.
Sarah Dawson, community relations manager for Emera, led a media tour of the construction site in Pictou last week.
“This is an exciting time for the Cape Sharp Tidal project to put Nova Scotia and Canada on the global map for tidal energy development,” she said. “This summer, we’ll be focused on the safe and successful deployment of the turbines. And when the time comes, we’ll celebrate all that we’ve accomplished to build a new tidal industry in Nova Scotia. This is the first of two tidal arrays for OpenHydro and a first for Canada, which will advance growth of the global ocean energy economy.”
OpenHydro spokesman Jeremy Poste said much has been learned from past designs to build a turbine that can withstand the powerful Bay of Fundy tides that will spin the turbines and are intended to generate electrical energy to power the equivalent of 1,000 homes.
The current design has blades connected to an outside ring and no inside ring. At 16 metres, it is wider than the previous test turbine that was placed in the water in 2009.
“The design is different – the concept is the same,” he said. “There is more efficiency. It is much stronger.”
The turbine will sit on three feet at the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE) test site on the floor of the waterway called Minas Passage between Minas Basin and Minas Channel near Cape Sharp and an area known as Black Rock, a few kilometres west of Parrsboro.
“The only adjustment is positioning the turbine where we want for tidal flow,” he said.
Poste said there have been discussions with local fishers to ensure minimal impact on fish species that inhabit the waterway, “that on the production side and environmental side, that we are doing the right thing.”
Cape Sharp is among several locations for OpenHydro projects. Others are in Scotland and in the bay bordered by the French provinces of Brittany and Normandy.
Poste said the turbine is the same as those harnessing tidal power off the coast of France, but where they are located is not as strong as the Fundy tides.
“There is less current speed now, but the next ones will be in an area where the currents are similar,” he said.
A special barge called Scotia Tide at the Pictou site with special lift equipment will load and transport the turbine over two weeks around Nova Scotia to Cape Sharp.
It is targeted to leave Pictou the first week of June and be deployed in late July.
The second turbine will be deployed later in the summer.

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Kids, adults get thrills at annual fishing derby

TRENTON – Trout was on the supper menu in many households in the area following the Pictou County Rivers Association’s annual fishing derby at Steeltown Park last Saturday.
Nearly 400 people of all ages took part in the event, association member Kevin Dean said.
“It’s a great opportunity,” he said. “It teaches kids to fish and to have fun. It’s great to see the smiles on their faces.”
The association generally stocks one pond at the park, but the large registration prompted its members to stock two ponds with 1,600 fish of varying size and length.
Prizes were awarded based on the length of the trout. At one point, Andrew Ferguson caught the longest trout at 44 centimetres, while Ava Matte caught one 43 centimetres long and Lola Timmons’ was 42.5 centimetre in length.
Dean and a fellow member did their customary thing, spending the night beside the pond guarding the fish before their usual breakfast – rabbit pie.
The association was formed in 1990 by a group of Pictou County residents who have been dedicated to protecting and conserving Pictou County rivers with their volunteer work and education.
It helps the province stock rivers and streams with trout species raised at a hatchery near Antigonish.
The fishing derby takes place each Saturday of the Victoria Day long weekend. Each participant is permitted to catch up to five fish.

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Clothing company hoping to ride the East Coast wave

PICTOU – The success of East Coast Lifestyle has spurred an innumerable amount of start-up clothing companies across Canada, including one right here in Pictou.
It started as a bit of a joke in a way, thinking about the unique names around Nova Scotia and how one could make shirts poking fun at that.
The idea for a clothing line grew from there.
“I thought it would be a neat idea to make shirts poking fun at towns like Pick-toe or a yak for Stewiacke,” explains Peter Young, creator of Beeches Road Clothing.
While driving through town a few months ago, Young noticed three people in the span of 100 metres on Beeches Road out walking and they all had on East Cost Lifestyle shirts.
“I couldn’t believe how popular it was,” he says.
“Their logo is just an anchor to represent East Coast life and I started thinking, there’s more to East Coast living than just anchors, there is more than can be dove into.”
That’s when he came up with the idea for Beeches Road Clothing, a take on East Coast living with different aspects – like lobsters for example.
So Young mocked up a couple of designs, with his design and arts background in mind, and bought some transfer paper to see how it would turn out; he was so pleased with the finished product that he created a website and is now having the shirts made to order.
“I’m going to have some physical inventory soon, but right now it’s just made to order.”
Young is also taking a different business model with the company.
“For every shirt sold, five dollars will be donated to a charity.”
The first cause will be the Fort McMurray wildfires.
“It’s become a lifestyle here in Pictou County and in Atlantic Canada of people working away in the oil industry, working out west.”
In fact, Young himself has a few family members working in the oil industry in the U.S. and abroad and he says it really makes a person think about the different lifestyles people lead in Atlantic Canada.
He was also recently in touch with a couple whose wedding he photographed.
“They live in Fort McMurray and as they were being evacuated, they watched their house burn and everything in it, including their wedding photos. So many people lost everything.”
This is his way of giving back to those who need it.
Young says he would really like to see the business take off. He just started the company two weeks ago and says so far, people are really receptive.
“I have some orders so that really gave me more enthusiasm about the whole idea.”
Until the end of June, for every shirt purchased through Beeches Road Clothing, $5 will be donated to the Canadian Red Cross for the Fort McMurray efforts.
“You are helping someone out and getting a shirt at the same time.”
For more information or to view the product visit, where you can also read Young’s blog.
As for where the name of the business came from, Young says, “I grew up on Beeches Road. It’s where I became who I am.”

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Crash claims life

BROADWAY – The chief of the Barney’s River Fire Department says more fatal crashes like the one on Monday will occur on Highway 104 until twinning or something else is done to reduce them.
Joe MacDonald says heavy traffic from the Victoria Day weekend and upcoming spring and summer traffic loads will make the stretch of highway between Sutherlands River and Antigonish less safe.
He is among many nearby residents and concerned citizens lobbying to get the section of highway twinned as soon as possible.
“It’s not a matter of if it’s going to happen, but when. It’s going to be happening again and again and again until it’s twinned,” he said.
“I don’t know what else they can do but separate them with a median. Traffic was really heavy, like it would be on a holiday weekend, and people are in a rush to get to their destinations.”
Pictou District RCMP is continuing to investigate the three-vehicle collision that occurred just before 4 p.m. on Monday. Two of the vehicles collided head-on.
A 35-year-old Halifax woman died at the scene. Two children, a three-year-old girl and a four-year-old boy, were in the car with the deceased woman. The boy sustained non life-threatening injuries and was transported to hospital. The girl was not injured.
The RCMP’s preliminary investigation has determined that an SUV was travelling east on Highway 104 near distance marker 188 and crossed the centre line, striking the rear driver’s side of an oncoming pick-up truck.
The SUV continued east directly into the path of a westbound car, colliding head-on with it.
The 72-year-old female driver of the SUV from Pomquet sustained serious injuries and was transported via LifeFlight to hospital in Halifax.
The pick-up’s occupants were not injured.
The highway was closed and traffic was diverted onto Route 4 at the Sutherlands River and Barney’s River exits after the crash.
Eleven members of the Barney’s River Fire Department responded to the crash, with assistance from the Merigomish and Thorburn departments. Fire fighters remained on the scene until dusk, and the highway remained closed until past midnight.
MacDonald said he attended a recent meeting in Antigonish regarding the matter of twinning the road. He also referred to June 11 as a target date for getting more names on the petition, which already has nearly 6,000 names.

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