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Four teens arrested in stolen vehicle

NEW GLASGOW – Four teenagers from Cape Breton landed on the wrong side of the law in the very early morning hours of Monday in the downtown area.
New Glasgow Regional Police arrested the four teens when they saw a vehicle going the wrong way on Provost Street. The suspect vehicle had no front or rear bumpers and while police attempted to check the vehicle, the suspect vehicle fled and immediately lost control in the area of St. John’s crossing (North Provost Street and Trenton Road).
No one was injured and there was no property damage. Upon investigation, police discovered the vehicle was stolen from Cape Breton.
Police apprehended the youth and arrested and charged the driver, a 17-year-old male from Cape Breton area with possession of stolen property, dangerous driving and flight from police and breach of probation, driving while licence is revoked.
In addition, the passengers were also arrested and charged. A 15-year-old male, 15-year-old female and a 16-year-old female, all from the Cape Breton area, were charged with possession of stolen property. All teenagers will be appearing in court this afternoon.
New Glasgow Regional Police continue to investigate.

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Relay for Life registration Tuesday night

NEW GLASGOW – There are currently 32 teams registered and the countdown is on for the 2015 Relay for Life to be held on June 27.
Kim Dickson, media relations chair for the local Relay event says, “It’s our 10th anniversary and we are hoping many of the teams from previous years will join us. We will host another registration night on Tuesday, May 26 at 6 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Express Hotel on Stellarton. We invite community members to drop by to register a team, register as a survivor or purchase luminaries. You may register as a team or if you register as an individual, we will help you join a team.”
Pictou County residents have had more than their share of cancer. And most have also been inspired and uplifted by survivors.
“The funds raised during the Pictou County Relay for Life go towards,not only important research, education advocacy but also tangible support for cancer patients and their families such as support for meals, accommodations at the Lodge that Gives or enabling a child to experience Camp Goodtime.”

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RCMP seeking public’s help

PICTOU LANDING – Pictou County District RCMP are asking for the public’s assistance in solving a suspicious cottage fire.
On Thursday, May 14, shortly after at 8 a.m., Pictou County District RCMP responded to a fire at a cottage on Rustico Lane, Pictou Landing. When officers arrived on scene they found members of the Pictou Landing Fire Department battling the blaze, which destroyed the cottage.
Further investigation revealed several nearby cottages had been broken into and vandalized.
The Provincial Fire Marshall’s Office was called in to assist with the investigation and has deemed the fire to be suspicious.
Police investigations into the cause of the fire and the break and enters are continuing.
The RCMP are asking anyone who has information about this to contact them at (902) 755-4141. People with information can also contact Crime Stoppers toll free at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), text TIP202 + your message to ‘CRIMES’ (274637), or by Secure Web Tips at Calls to Crime Stoppers are not taped or traced and if police make an arrest and lay charges based on a tip, callers qualify for a cash reward from $50 to $2,000.

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Crime Stoppers looking for help

FRASER’s MOUNTAIN – Nova Scotia Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help in solving a hit and run motor vehicle collision.
On February 16 , 2015, at approximately 2:55 p.m., a motor vehicle collision occurred on Logan Road involving a white Dodge Durango and a newer model black, four-door Audi. The driver of the Audi did not stop at the scene of the collision.
The driver is described as a white male in his early 30s, with medium to dark coloured hair. It’s believed there was a female passenger in the front seat of the Audi.
Pictou County District RCMP continue to investigate this incident and is looking to speak with anyone who may have witnessed the collision or recognizes the description of the suspect vehicle and driver.
Anyone with information on this or any other crime is asked to contact Crime Stoppers toll free at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), text TIP202 + your message to ‘CRIMES’ (274637) or by Secure Web Tips at Calls to Crime Stoppers are not taped or traced and if police make an arrest and lay charges based on a tip, callers qualify for a cash reward from $50 to $2000.

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What if no one answered the call?

You awaken in the middle of the night to a screaming smoke detector. You check to make sure everything is OK, but find your hallway is full of smoke.
Quickly you gather your loved ones and get out. With smoke billowing out of your home you call 911. Within minutes firefighters should begin arriving but, what if no one answered? What if no sirens sounded, no big red trucks rushed to your aid? What would you do?
In Pictou County that is not going to happen but some firefighters foresee a problem in the not so distant future. Like many areas in Canada, Pictou County relies on volunteer firefighters to protect our Communities. In fact, 90 per cent of firefighters in Canada – 89,000 firefighters – are volunteer.
Fire departments in Pictou County often started because of tragic events involving great losses of property or lives. Communities galvanized by these events came together to plan, fund raise, gather equipment, buy trucks and train firefighters. Fire departments became not only the protectors of communities but often the very heart of them. Barbecues, fund raising dinners, parades, festivals, dances and so many more community events were held by firefighters and ladies auxiliaries.
Back in the day, being a firefighter was a sought after role and often chiefs had long lists of people wanting to sign up.
Large groups of people, often from the same families, filled department rosters. Kids grew up seeing their fathers, uncles, or brothers responding to calls and helping their communities. Those kids often became firefighters. Today, men and women of all walks of life answer calls to not just fires but a plethora of incidents. Medical assistance, car accidents, chemical spills, off road rescue, water and ice rescue and so on. The demands on our fire departments are greater then ever.
Volunteerism in general is not what it used to be and, due to economic realities, many of our county’s youth are moving away in search of work. Many firefighters are getting closer and closer to retirement age and unless today’s youth start stepping up to volunteer, who will answer the calls in the not so distant future?
Some departments in the Pictou County area have began to accept junior firefighters. Youth aged 16 to 18 receive training and assist members at calls. Eventually, these members become full-fledged firefighters, getting them interested early before they get a lot of outside interests and exposing them to positive role models.
The Pictou County Firefighter Association will be hosting a Firefighter Membership Drive for all departments in our county at Wal-Mart in New Glasgow on May 23 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fire trucks and tons of specialized pieces of equipment will be on had. The public will have a chance to get a close-up look at what firefighting looks like in Pictou County. EHS NS, RCMP and New Glasgow Regional Police will also be their. Sparky and a few other special guests will be on hand with activities for people of all ages.

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ALS 2015 walk slated for June 6

WESTVILLE – The Committee for the 2015 Pictou County Walk for ALS is busy making plans for the annual event which is slated for June 6 in Westville.
ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a rapidly progressive and fatal neuromuscular disease that causes the degeneration of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Eighty per cent of patients will pass away within two to five years of diagnosis.
The Ice Bucket Challenge last summer was a lighthearted way to talk about, raise funds and increase awareness for a serious issue. Walk organizer Sara Watters says she hopes to build on the momentum created by the challenge with the annual walk.
Registration for the event will take place at 9:30 a.m. at the Westville Civic Centre, with the kick-off and opening ceremonies slated to begin at 10:30 a.m.
Participants will then move across the street to the Victoria Park track for the actual walk. As in the past, the event will feature entertainment, a barbecue and door prizes.
The walk helps to raise funds to support those living with ALS and invest in research to make it a treatable, not a terminal, disease. With the money raised from the event, 40 per cent goes to ALS research, while 60 per cent is used to aid those living with this disease.
“The committee recognizes the tremendous support of the people of Pictou County over the past three years, and is hoping that this year will build on their success,” Watters said.
“More than just a fundraising event, the walk is a celebration of hope for those living with ALS. It is also a celebration of lives lived for family and friends of those who have lost their fight to ALS.”
Forms can be downloaded at for those wishing to pledge to the event.
Watters can be contacted at or 902-396-5718 for additional information.

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Four generations complete Miss Miles

NEW GLASGOW – Six residents representing four generations are still celebrating their achievement by finishing the 2015 Miss Miles five-kilometre walk and run for women.
Grace Paris of Chance Harbour and her 87-year-old mother Belle Sangster of Westville were joined by Paris’s daughter Emily MacDougall and her 18-month-old daughter Sophie and her other daughter Beth MacKenzie and her daughter Ava, who is two and a half, for the second annual Miss Miles on Mother’s Day, May 9, in New Glasgow.
There were among nearly 800 people who took part.
Paris said she extended her thought of running with her daughters and grand-daughters by including her mother in the equation.
“That’s when it all started,” she said. “I said ‘I bet my mom could do this.’ Then I realized it would be really nice to have four generations running. I thought of it the first of April and called my mom and asked her if she’d like to try it. She said, ‘I think I can.’ We started practising weekly. We just worked at it.”
Paris said she knew her mother was a good candidate for the 5-K distance because of the other things she does to keep in good physical and mental condition, such as Tai Chi, curling and bowling.
“Mom’s very active,” she said. “She’s been curling out of Westville for 54 years and curls twice a week, and she bowls once a week and works with a lot of community organizations. She’s always been that way.”
The result was a walk done at a pace that all six team members could complete, sometimes by carrying the toddlers. But Sangster left no doubt she was glad to take part.
“She was very pleased she finished,” Paris said. “I was very pleased. It was a memorable Mother’s Day.”
Sangster said she was glad to participate with the other family members and feels fine.
“I was very proud to do it,” she said. “I was very pleased my daughter invited me to go. I had no complaints afterward and I’m feeling good.”
Sangster said it felt natural to join her family members in the event because she keeps busy anyway.
“I just like to be out and about,” she said. “You have to keep active.”
Paris’s daughters and grand-daughters also stay active.
They go to the YMCA, where Ava and Sophie swim every week.
Ava was entered in a race for girls up to four years old on Monday during the Joe Earle Memorial Day races in Trenton.
Emily was entered in the five-mile race.

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Deflated footballs thrown into play

Okay, a personal confession: The closest I ever came to playing a game with a football was in the early 1950s, and it wasn’t even football. It was rugby.
I had just entered Grade 9 at New Glasgow High School and, probably because of my size, athletic director John (Brother) MacDonald came looking for me one morning during recess. He wanted me to come out for rugby practice that afternoon.
I was afraid not to show up. So there I was, on the field with some pretty good rugby players. In fact, they were good enough to win a Nova Scotia championship, a common achievement for the green and white in those years. Guys like George Manos, Bobby Wadden, George Harper and Ronnie Roper excelled at the sport.
There was no offensive position available among those stars. So Brother wanted me to learn to play in the scrum. You know that part of rugby: where players bend down, bang heads and try to move the opponents far enough back to get possession of the ball. It didn’t take many afternoons of that to convince me to drop out – before I lost both ears while pushing and shoving for field position. My career ended before it ever began.
I found it became a lot more enjoyable when my assignment was being on the sidelines, taking notes for newspaper stories. Watching those NGHS teams is where I became a fan of rugby, and subsequently an even bigger fan of what is known as Canadian football and American football.
Through 60 some years since then – a long time, I suggest – I have watched a lot of footballs being battled for on the turf. From university games in Nova Scotia to Canadian Football League matches in several cities, to a few National Football League contests south of the border, I learned to love the game. Watching football on television hundreds of times – maybe it has been thousands of times – the sport became one of my favourites.
In all those years, I never once thought about the air pressure contained in a football. It was just something that was never talked about by anybody, and never written about. It really wasn’t a topic of widespread interest. Something like discussing the proper weight of a hockey puck perhaps?
Anyway, “deflated footballs” suddenly became a very hot subject not long after the New England Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl a few months ago. Maybe everyone had tired of praising quarterback Tom Brady and the many other talented stars on the Patriots roster. It was time to find something to stir up a little controversy.
Well, it stirred up the pot alright. A controversy, somewhat like black clouds on the horizon, suddenly surrounded the champs. It quickly became a rather big controversy, too.
The debate blew into tornado proportions last week when the NFL announced that it had found Brady and the Pats guilty of a major crime – footballs being deflated on Super Bowl Sunday.
An appeal by Brady may yet alter the outcome, but the NFL, the most popular sports league in the United States, certainly came down hard on the league’s best team. It was ruled that Brady would be suspended for four games at the beginning of the 2015 season. As well, the club was fined a million bucks and the franchise would lose two important draft picks. A heavy sentence in anyone’s mind.
What amazed me in the first couple of days after the rulings was the widespread reaction to the punishment. Even by sports fans way up here in Nova Scotia, a long day’s drive from Boston.
I admit I wasn’t even thinking about the issue as a potential column subject. Not until the morning after the issue hit the fan.
While walking my two dogs, two different neighbours, also with dogs in tow, brought up the Brady story. Not long after, while having breakfast, it was the hot topic on all of the sports channels. When I went on Twitter, it was the biggest subject in tweets, bar none. Later, when I dropped into Tim Hortons for a coffee, I overheard Brady’s name being debated among four guys at a nearby table.
Brady and the Pats, if you believe the league’s findings, had broken the rules. And you don’t break rules in any professional sport without paying the consequences. The integrity of the game is at stake in such incidents. Period, paragraph.
And though I thought – at least initially – that the NFL had come down exceptionally hard on the game’s number one quarterback and number one team, I started questioning my own judgment on the matter.
So let’s take the matter a step further. Which was the bigger crime? The Patriots deflating footballs on the sport’s biggest day, or baseball star turned manager Pete Rose betting on games involving teams that didn’t include his own?
The more I weigh the pros and cons of the two transgressions, the more I think the football issue was more serious. Yet Rose was suspended for life from the sport he loved, the sport in which he was so very, very good. The ban has resulted in his exclusion – at least until now – from baseball’s hall of fame.
Honestly, I don’t think Rose’s wagering on games that didn’t involve his team had any major bearing on the sport itself. Yet deliberately breaking rules, like deflating footballs, can have an impact on game results. That may have been the case in the Super Bowl. We’ll never know for sure.
Maybe I’m wrong to think the football incident deserves harsher punishment than the Rose affair. One thing is for certain, though. This latest controversy will drag on for a very long time.
Meanwhile, way back in those innocent high school days of the ’50s, I doubt anybody gave thought to how much air – hot or otherwise – was in the footballs.

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Shaw strong in half marathon

NEW GLASGOW – Abbey Shaw turned some heads on Sunday when she ran the Blue Nose Half Marathon.
Shaw, who is from New Glasgow, placed 26th overall, was second woman and first in her age category with an official time of one hour, 29 minutes and 24 seconds during the race in Halifax.
“I have her pegged to win the women’s part of the Johnny Miles Half Marathon if she runs it,” said Terry Curley, race director for the Johnny Miles Running Event Weekend that is marking its 50th anniversary of the original marathon in 1975. “She doesn’t run much and she’s a little under the radar, but she’s a very good athlete.”
Shaw, 22, said she is not sure about the Miles but enjoyed the Blue Nose run.
“It’s about my eighth half marathon, but it’s the first time for me running outdoors this year,” she said. “I was on the treadmill all winter. The run Sunday was good. It started to rain but then it stopped and was perfect weather.”
Shaw was among 1,480 runners and 864 women in the half marathon.

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Athletes gear up for crucial meets

STELLARTON – Track and field athletes from Pictou County and other district schools are taking time to prepare for upcoming events.
Many of them gathered on May 2 at the Pioneer Track for races and field disciplines, thankful that the infield has dried up enough to secure full use of the facility.
“The track meet was a good start for the school season, especially the middle school students,” coach Pat Carty said. “They get a chance to find out the procedures of a track meet.”
The warm up featured some of the top athletes, such as Alyssa MacNeil and Kaelan Schmidt, who are once again expected to do well at regional and provincial championships.
MacNeil won her 200-metre heat, while Schmidt continues to improve in his jumping events.
Dates have already been determined for meets after Victoria Day.
The district meet will be on May 22 and 23 and the regional championships will be on May 29 and 30 at the Pioneer Track.
The provincial championships will take place on June 5 and 6 at Acadia University in Wolfville.
More and more, the Pioneer Track is taking shape, and there is an extra incentive to make the sure the facility is of a standard to host major events. It could be the host venue for the 2016 provincial championships and work has been done to improve the facility.
A mesh fence around the track is installed, as are bleachers on each side of the field house. Steps are also being built on each side of the field house. The gravel parking lot will be upgraded and enlarged.
The time is also drawing near for registration for the summer track season when athletes who have graduated from high school and are competing for their respective post-secondary schools will continue with training and competitions.

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Hector Arena draws kids to pickup event

PICTOU – Hector Arena ball hockey, sponsored by Shiretown Home and Auto, drew nearly 40 youngsters to the arena in Pictou on Saturday.
The result was a lot of fund for the kids and $390 raised for the arena.
Organizer Kent Corbett said it was a good start, although he hopes it will be joined by an adult component.
“The kids loved it,” he said. “I think the older division will develop.”
Four adults played two-on-two for nearly 20 minutes when not enough adults registered in the 18 and over category. The kids played in five to nine and 10 to 14 age groups. The plan is to operate the event for six weeks, resuming next Saturday.
“I hope it goes every year,” Corbett said. “It’s another way to use the arena.”
Corbett saluted Shiretown Home and Auto for attaching casters to the goal nets to prevent them from defacing the rink floor when they’re being moved on and off the surface.

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Joe Earle Memorial races big draw

TRENTON – Warm weather and plenty of volunteer help made the Joe Earle Memorial Races an ideal place to be.
More than 300 runners of all ages graced Scotia park on Monday, taking advantage of the promising spring weather and recording some impressive results.
Dave MacLennan of Scotsburn was once again the master of the five-mile distance as finished in 30 minutes and 35 seconds while Dave Hood was a distant second and Peter Corbin was third.
Corbin led the first lap before Hugh Munroe made a surprise push uphill on Park Street.
“I knew you’d catch me,” Munroe told MacLennan.
“Hugh was looking some good going up,” MacLennan said. “It was a good day for me.”
MacLennan was running a day after a marathon on Sunday, which came a week after he won a marathon on May 10 in Fredericton, N.B.
MacLennan placed seventh overall and was among eight runners to crack three hours at the 2015 Blue Nose Marathon won by Matthew White of Dartmouth on Sunday in Halifax.
MacLennan was runner-up to his long-time nemesis Scott Clark from Summerside, P.E.I. in the senior master category for runners aged 50 to 59. Clark’s official time was 2:56:22, while MacLennan finished in 2:58:35.
“Halifax was tough,” he said. “My legs went away at 15-K. It was a challenge.”
MacLennan enjoyed the Fredericton Marathon course immensely and posted a winning time of 2:47:30, while recording an average pace of four minutes per kilometre.
“It’s a super course,” he said. “Some people find it boring but it’s the flattest course around here.”
Bill MacEachern of Lorne finished second to Sandy Rutledge of Halifax in the golden master category for those aged 60 to 69 in a time of 3:30:40.

Following are results as compiled by race officials:

Baxter MacArthur Memorial, Open Men’s Mile: First: Peter Corbin, Linacy,4:51 ; Second: Jacob Pentz, Trenton 5:15; Third: Jim Teed, Westville 5:51

Hartling Family Memorial Open Mile Girls 15 and Under: First: Breanna Sandluck, Thorburn, 5:25; Second: Abby Lou MacDonald, Hammond’s Plains, 5:50; Third: Ally Sandluck, Thorburn, 5:50.5

Gloria Clark Memorial Open Mile Women: First: Lauren Quann, Pictou, 5:25; Second: Kali Caulier, Bedford, 6:00; Third: Bonnie LeFrank, Halifax, 6:31

Carl MacDougall Memorial One Mile Boys 15 and Under: First: Ethan MacDonald, New Glasgow, 5:41; Second: Ian Reynolds, New Glasgow, 6:07; Third: Kieran Hislop, New Glasgow, 6:30

The Boyles Memorial 1/8 Mile 4 and Under Boys: First: Gavin MacCallum, New Glasgow; Second: James Ponikau, New Glasgow; Third: Ashton Rutledge, Westville (Times N/A)

The Elda Earle Memorial 1/8 Mile 4 and Under Girls: First: Emerson Hale, New Glasgow; Second: Jade Murray-Clark, Truro; Third: Piper Findlay, Eureka (Times N/A)

Donald Gabby MacDonald Memorial 1/4 Mile Boys 6 and Under: First: Joshua Wood, New Glasgow, 1:41; Second: Tanner Hayden, New Glasgow, 1:42; Third: Chase Comeau, New Glasgow, 1:44

Mackie Jenkins Memorial 1/4 Mile Girls 6 and Under: First: Chloe Ferguson, Westville, 1:42; Second: Leah Haynes, Green Hill, 1:50; Third: Lilly MacDonald, Alma, 1:54

Bobby Gill Memorial 1/2 Mile Boys 7 Years: First: Neal MacFarlane, New Glasgow, 3:37; Second: Jax Laird, Pictou, 3:46; Third: Luke Burns, Stellarton, 3:57

The Cromwell Memorial 1/2 Mile Girls 7 Years: First: Amelia McCallum, New Glasgow, 3:49; Second: Taylor Hayden, New Glasgow, 4:02; Third: Mya Ross, Trenton, 4:07

Paul MacDonald Memorial 1/2 Mile Boys 8 Years: First: Kysac MacDonald, Hammonds Plains, 3:13; Second: Austin Earle, New Glasgow, 3:21; Third: Owen Conrad, Westville, 3:24

William Tanner Memorial 1/2 Mile Girls 8 Years: First: Rihanna MacKay, Plymouth, 3:43; Second: Cheyanne Hynes, Trenton, 4:15; Third: Anna Kennaley, Bridgeville, 4:45

Bill MacNeil Memorial 1/2 Mile Girls 9 Years: First: Clare Forsyth, Edmonton, 3:28; Second: Jessa Cameron, Antigonish, 3:28.5; Third: Natasha Hahn, Trenton, 3:30

Johnny Cooke Memorial 1/2 Mile Boys 9 Years: First: Jax Graham, Trenton, 3:14; Second: Cale Cummings, Trenton, 3:25; Third: Marshall Brown, New Glasgow, 3:36

Burton Luddington Memorial 1/2 Mile Girls 10 Years: First: Emma Cameron, Antigonish, 3:22; Second: Lily Sullivan, New Glasgow, 3:42; Third: Josie Dunne, Westville, Kristena Earle, New Glasgow, 3:49 (tie)

Charlie Stevens Memorial 1/2 Mile Boys 10 Years: First: Landon Sim, Sinclairs Island, 3:02; Second: Willem Fraser, Stellarton, 3:13; Third: Ian McFarlane, New Glasgow, 3:15
Andre Roussey Memorial 1/2 Mile Girls 11-12 Years: First: Abby Lou MacDonald, Hammonds Plains, 2:58; Second: Allie Sandluck, Thorburn, 3:03; Third: Autumn Rafuse, New Glasgow, 3:05

Jock Wilson Stevens Memorial 1/2 Mile Boys 11-12 Years: First: Ian Reynolds, New Glasgow, 3:09; Second: Jack Noftall, New Glasgow, 3:12; Third: Aiden Hahn, Pictou, 3:16

Doug MacInnis Memorial 1/2 Mile Girls 13-14 Years: First: Ellen MacDonald, Hammonds Plains, 2:51; Second: Paige MacDonald, Trenton, 3:13

Jim MacArthur Memorial 1/2 Mile Boys 13-14 Years: First: Liam Chisholm, Kenzieville, 2:49; Second: Kaleb Clark, MacLellans Brook, 2:55

Joan Carrigan Memorial Five Mile Woman 14-35: First: Jessica Zentner, Woodburn, 35:53; Second: Kali Caulier, Bedford, 37:14; Third: Breanna Sandluck, Thorburn, 37:40
Raymond Pentz Memorial Five Mile Woman Masters 36 and Over: First: Melanie MacCara, New Glasgow, 40:45; Second: Marilyn MacCara, New Glasgow, 41:44; Third: Michelle Sutherland, Pictou, 31:19

Nonnie Morgan Memorial Five Mile Men 14-35: First: Peter Corbin, Linacy, 31:34; Second: Walter Linthorne, Stellarton, 31:43; Third: Adam White, Trenton, 39:22

Doucette Family Memorial Five Mile Men’s Junior Masters 36-49: First: Dave Wood, Stellarton, 31:19; Second: Hugh Munroe, Egerton, 31:50; Third: Shawn Noftall, New Glasgow 33:02

Dennis Lawless Memorial Five Mile Men Senior Masters 50 and Over: First: Dave MacLennan, Scotsburn, 30:35; Second: Jim Lays, Westville, 37:40; Third: Bill MacEachern, Lorne 38:40

Douglas V. MacDonald Memorial Five Mile Canadian Armed Forces: First: Harvey Stiles 40:20

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Classic rockers, East Coast faves rounding out 2015 Jubilee lineup

NEW GLASGOW – Fan favourites and first timers, legends and rising stars highlight the remaining lineup for the 20th anniversary of the Jubilee.
Classic Canadian rockers Platinum Blonde and Honeymoon Suite, along with East Coast favorites Gloryhound, Neon Dreams and the Christine Campbell Band, will join headliners Steve Earle and The Dukes, The Trews and Classified on the Jubilee Main Stage July 31 through August 2.
Two of Canada’s biggest 80s hit makers, both still going strong, will hit the stage. Platinum Blonde took over the crowd in 2011, and fittingly return for the platinum anniversary of the Jubilee on August 1. And Honeymoon Suite, another 80s mega-hit maker, make their Jubilee debut on July 31.
Halifax rockers Gloryhound return on the heels of a memorable performance opening for The Sheepdogs in 2013, this time opening for The Trews.
Neon Dreams, an innovative EDM band from Halifax, will take their electro, house-feel to the Main Stage for the first time, opening for Classified.
Halifax-based Christine Campbell Band, who has opened for Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band and most recently for Jann Arden, will open for Steve Earle and the Dukes on August 2.
Rounding out the anniversary lineup on the Main Stage are ECMA and Music NS Award winning pop/hip hop artist Ria Mae, Motown, soul funksters Roxy and the Underground Soul Sound, blues rocker Carson Downey Band and the high energy jam band The Fourth Well.
The Jubilee Late Night Stage at Acro Lounge will feature performances from Roxy and the Underground Soul Sound, Neon Dreams, Christine Campbell Band, Universal Soul, The Fourth Well and DJ Tlee and DJ Kyla.
“There truly is something for everyone in this year’s line-up,” said executive director Carlton Munroe. “We’re really pleased with the artists we have to showcase, new to our stage and returning favourites, and can’t wait to get the waves rocking on the East River!”
Tickets for the event are now on sale at For the complete schedule, check out

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Monkey Junk back in town

WESTVILLE – The Whitetail Pub and Grill in Westville will be swarming with “Monkey Junkies” on May 23 as the band likes to call them.
If you’ve been following blues in Canada lately you may have heard the band Monkey Junk mentioned. In recent years they have stepped up their touring game and taken in some hardware like the 2014 Canadian Independent Music Award – Blues Artist/Group of the Year.
As the Pictou County Blues Society wraps up for a season, they are going out on a rocking note with Monkey Junk. With three albums out already and another set to release in September, the will be playing a lot of their own tunes during the set.
“It’s nice to inject some new material into our show,” said Matt Sobb, drummer. “It makes for a varied show.”
The band has already started testing out some of their new music from the upcoming album, Moon Turn Red, at a few shows they just finished on the West Coast.
For those not familiar, Money Junk is an Ottawa-based band featuring Steve Marriner, Tony D and Sobb. Marriner sings, plays baritone guitar and harmonica, Tony D plays guitar and Sobb is on drums.
On their new album everything is original music except one cover of David Wilcox’s Hot Hot Papa. The cover track on the album won’t be your regular cover though, as Wilcox himself joined the band in the studio this past November to record the song.
“We were very fortunate to have David Wilcox be a guest on his own song,” said Sobb. “We were excited at how the song turned out and he really liked it.”
And as a lot of things seem to, the collaboration on the song has a Nova Scotia connection as the band had the chance to connect with Wilcox during the Dutch Mason Blues Festival in Bible Hill last year.
With the guys growing as a band together you can also expect some different sounds from their new songs. “We’ve really grown into our own sound.” said Sobb. “This one is the most contemporary probably.”
The band is hoping to keep feet on the dance floor for their Whitetail appearance.
“It’s a dancing, partying type crowd,” said Sobb. “For us, it’s great having people up front ready to soak in what we’re putting down.”

Win tickets to see the May 23 show at the Whitetail. Email:

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All the Way G for county hip hop artist

SCOTSBURN – A county based hip hop artist is set to drop his third CD.
Tye Strickland – RT Music Production will be releasing his latest, All the Way G, in both physical and digital formats through his site, today.
The follow up to 2013′s Warrior, Strickland had intended to release All the Way G late in 2014 but personal commitments and family reasons delayed the project until this year.
“I didn’t want to disappoint people because I had it advertised for last October. It happens to the best of them,” Strickland said.
About half the tracks were completed when the project was put on hold, with Strickland resuming work on it this spring. At the time of this interview the masters had been delivered to the pressing plant.
All the Way G, a collection of instrumental hip hop grooves, follows 2013′s Warrior and 2012′s joint with rapper Big Sche Eastwood – Black Caesar Mob Shyt – in Strickland’s effort to release a record a year.
Strickland said he draws inspiration from older, more established artists rather than up and comers and newer names, and pulls from the Halifax bass tape circuit, the Miami scene, and the New York sound.
“I listen to a lot of American music,” Strickland said. “I’m older, I’m not coming up under some of these guys you’ve got out there now. You’ve got your Classified and your Drake and stuff but I was young listening to music when Classified was here… he’s a pioneer in his style, but I’m not doing music like him at all. I respect everything he’s doing but I’m doing different music, y’know? He’s a legend in the game.”
“When I was coming up there wasn’t a lot of hip hop from Canada. I mostly listen to American music, Gangster rap. I love a lot of amateur stuff more than some big productions. I’m more inspired sometimes by listening to some kid with a distorted track or whatever just because it’s new.”
One thing that sets the RT Music sound apart is that he does not rely on sampling; all of his tracks are built from scratch using self created drum loops, keyboards and midi.
“I completely compose all my own music. I don’t use samples. Not that I wouldn’t use samples, I just haven’t yet,” Strickland said. “Everything is my own composition. I started out with my first gear, I would get some drums in there and I had a nice keyboard and I’d loop some keyboard sounds, just primitive tracks… I learned how to play some guitar, I translated all that to my keyboards. I learned music along the way. My thing is I try to be musical.”
Part of being “musical” to Strickland is to keep the tracks fairly clean, uncluttered and not overly complex for the sake of it. He holds back on the bells and whistles. Literally.
“The thing with the music that I do… the cool thing about hip hop is it’s minimalist music,” Strickland said. “The challenge with being minimalist is can you make that melody carry for three minutes, y’know? You might be able to make a funny sound or a jingle but is it funky enough that you can loop that for three minutes? Can you carry a song out of that?”
The CD’s title, All the Way G, Strickland said, represents a coming together of his sound, style, production as well a certain maturity and completeness as an individual.
“This record is going to be tight,” Strickland said. “It’s my third record, it’s coming full circle with hustling, composing, my whole thing. I’ve been in it for a while, I’m not putting nobody down. People can do whatever. They’re young and they’ve got time, and they’re serious about it and this and that, it’s all good. People have different styles of hip hop… At the same time I’m not a big show, I don’t have a big show and that type of stuff.
“I’m not pulling beats out of a cereal box,” Strickland said. “I put real blood, sweat, and tears into my music. I’m not a kid, this is grown man business.”

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Squeezing organizations for cash is not the way forward

To the Editor:
I’m writing to express my dismay that the Department of Community Services has reduced the Canadian National Institute of the Blind’s annual grant by 30 per cent. As a legally blind resident of Halifax, I rely on CNIB’s services to learn how to get around the city safely.
I moved to Halifax from Vancouver last year and have been very impressed with the city’s accessibility. However, with funding cuts, CNIB won’t be able to reach as many low vision and blind residents.
Instead of cutting grants to those who need it most, the provincial government should consider ways to further include low vision and blind people into our city. A person with vision loss that cannot contribute is a burden on the system. Only by providing adequate services can we improve this city so that low vision and blind people can be part of Halifax’s success.
Iris Laven

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Closing land registration offices is not an ‘excellent’ move

To the Editor:
As a title researcher since 1999 in the County of Pictou, and actually many other counties in our province, I am writing you to respond to an email that has been sent to all property online users, law firms, title searchers, surveyors, etc.
The email deals with the closure of Land Registration offices around the province which, in itself is, in my eyes, a nightmare. I am not sure if the people in Pictou County realize that the service they have been provided with at the Registry of Deed in Pictou is going to be gone.
So, no more Pictou County people to help us with Pictou County property; no more friendly, patient mappers that listen and help with mapping problems and no more access for the public.
In the email it states that it is intended that the remaining locations or centres of excellent, will “offer an even higher level of service and expertise than that the currently demonstrated in existing land registration offices.”
Are you there, at the top, out of your minds? How can you even justify this statement?
The people that are leaving us have worked at the registries around the province for many, many years. These are the people with the knowledge and know how, and you are telling us that without them it is going to be excellent, so are you telling that it is not excellent now? How do you know?
I certainly didn’t get an email or a phone call to ask my opinion on the customer service I have received as a very frequent visitor and also very frequent caller of the Pictou Registry and other registry offices.
I am very disappointed in the decision that has been made to close down offices that have provided us with an excellent service when it comes to the property in our county and our province.
It is stated that a lot of work is done by e-submission of documents. Okay, what about all the documents that can’t be e-filed? I guess law firms will have to charge their clients more because documents will have to be couriered to Amherst.
What about the questions legal assistants have? They will not be able to deal with the volume in Amherst.
As a title searcher, I know that most of the properties left for migration are nightmare properties with title problems and mapping problems. I will not be able to call the Registry anymore with questions or will not be able to go to Pictou and meet with the mappers and show them the problems. As legal assistants, we will have to realize no more fast closings – it is just not going to happen.
In closing I would like to thank all of the Registry staff around this province where I have travelled in these 16 years, for their excellent service, their excellent work, kindness and professionalism.
Jori Hart
Salt Springs
Freelance title searcher/legal assistant

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Pictou gets needed lift

Two events have the potential to put a spring in Pictou’s step.
The first of eight small cruise ship visits on this year’s calendar is scheduled for May 28. It’s a day stop this time, although four of the others are to be overnight ones.
The other event is getting rolled into bicentennial celebrations for Pictou Academy and news that McCulloch Heritage Centre will be the site of a Museum of Nova Scotia archaeological dig on June 13.
On its own, neither of these occasions looks like a game-changer. Collectively, they could be, for supporters of both the local cruise ship industry and the school’s heritage.
Pictou has earned its place as a small cruise ship destination, and the benefits are spread wide. Cruise ship hosts have worked hard and worked smart for years to bring cruise ship tourism to this crucial point. The result has been a ripple effect for other parts of Pictou County, and it’s all about making a noise, letting more people know that this is a preferred place to live and visit.
That is what is at stake when communities beyond Pictou join the mission, offering the Museum of Industry in Stellarton and attractions in and around downtown New Glasgow as options when passengers leave their ships for new adventures.
As for Pictou, there are unfinished components to what the town has to offer. While the Hector Heritage Quay has much to offer, it won’t be the same if its gift shop is closed or the building is idle from serving no other function. Over time, the Northumberland Fisheries Museum will unveil its new facility and its features. There is a real challenge to co-ordinate everything so that the cruise passengers’ first impressions of the place are good ones and lasting ones.
The dig behind the homestead of Dr. Thomas McCulloch has limitless opportunity to connect Pictou’s present with its past. Fire destroyed that first home for the Academy, but people built anew more than once before the Academy’s current home opened some 75 years ago.
McCulloch’s example lives in today’s high school students who take part in a science fair at an elementary school in Scotsburn, or marshal their artistic skills for plays like this year’s edition called When in Rome.
History shows what an exporter of talent Pictou Academy has been, and it still is. The Nova Scotia Museum has chosen the original school site for the dig in June. The more people come out to take part in it, the more connected people and communities will be to a significant part of Pictou County’s past. After all, there was a time when the Academy was a destination for graduation from senior high school in the area.
These are ways we benefit from the past, present and future.
Steve Goodwin

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Roof leak repairs slated for jail, Wellness Centre

PRIESTVILLE – Roof leaks at the new Northeast Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Priestville and the Pictou County Wellness are being repaired.
A Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, spokesman said there were some leaks that occurred at the jail due to heavy snow during the late winter and early spring.
“The extreme snow conditions last winter placed several feet of snow on the roof of the Northeast Nova Scotia Correctional Facility,” TIR communications advisor Brian Taylor said. “As can be the case with large accumulations of snow on a building, the heavy snow load caused the roof to leak due to flexing from the weight, and due to snow covering roof drains and air vents. The roof leaks stopped as soon as the snow melted. Staff were monitoring closely during the melt and through the heavy rains over the past several weeks.”
He said there have been no additional leaks reported.
BIRD Construction was the general contractor for construction of the facility that began in July 2012.
“The contractor is scheduled to do a roof inspection this week,” Taylor said. “If any damage or deficiencies are found, they will be repaired immediately. Since the roof is under warranty, this will be done at no cost to the province.”
The facility officially opened in February to replace older ones in Amherst and Antigonish.
Nearly 200 offenders occupy the facility at a given time. The total staff complement is 62 full-time positions and 24 relief staff.
Meanwhile, plans are also in place to repair the roof at the Wellness Centre, said New Glasgow Mayor Barrie MacMillan, who chairs the board of directors for the Pictou County Wellness Centre Corporatation.
“It comes down to extreme weather conditions experienced by a lot of new buildings and old buildings,” he said.
He said the work was done under warranty by the contractor, Bird Construction.
Wellness Centre general manager said it’s still being determined what work needs to be done. Leaks were discovered during a provincial high school championship tournament in late March, forcing some games to other venues before the leak was contained.
“We have been up to investigate what the cause was,” he said. “It was snow and ice and there will be some more repairs.”

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Large crowd turns out for Farmers Market opening

NEW GLASGOW – It was a great opening day for the 2015 edition of the New Glasgow Farmers Market.
Newly installed general manager Kristi Russell said she was overwhelmed by the customers’ response on opening day last Saturday.
“It’s been incredible,” she said. “I couldn’t ask for better.”
Customers crammed the market from its usual opening time at 8:30 a.m. until near closing time at noon.
Russell said she’s enjoying her new role beyond being one of the vendors at the market.
“I love it,” she said. “It’s nice being a vendor, but I get the chance to view this from the other side of the table.”
Despite the late spring, some plants and food items were available, although other mainstays are expected to arrive later, possibly on May 23.
Russell said plans are progressing toward hosting a third annual dinner at the market this year.
She said the timing of the dinner, which features local food for sale at the market and prepared by local chefs, will depend on whether the event can be staged in the new, year-round building being constructed this year.
Funding for an enclosed all-season building to augment the current facility for the New Glasgow Farmers Market was announced in November.
Market board president Melissa Zimmerman said at that time, “Each week we see in excess of 1,000 customers come through our doors and we welcome this opportunity to provide local food and goods year round in an enhanced space that will help us better serve our customers and grow the market even more,” she said.
The Town of New Glasgow is constructing the 60-foot-by-60-foot building in response to popular demand and a growing number of vendors that will double the market’s overall capacity.
New Glasgow and the Municipality of Pictou County have approved matching amounts of $63,000 for the project, while the farmers market’s share is $15,000. A federal share is coming from ACOA through its Innovative Communities Fund.

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History… in the making

The Grade 11 class of Pictou Academy sat down in the school’s presentation centre last week for a history lesson on their school.
Each year since Grade 4, the class has been doing special activities surrounding the history of Pictou Academy in preparation for their graduating year, as they will be the graduating class on the schools 200th year.
“This class is working toward the actual celebration of the history,” said Beth Henderson, a member of the Pictou Academy 200 committee.
In preparation for all of this, the class has been writing papers about important figures in the school’s history and even taking field trips to note important discoveries made by former PA students.
During the presentation last Friday, the class listened to special guest Dr. Laurie Stanley Blackwell speak about a book, which the class then received as a gift, generously donated by John Marshall Antiques and the PA Educational Foundation. The book the students received and that Dr. Stanley Blackwell spoke about was about Rob MacNab and was written by Frank Baird. The tagline of the book says, “A dramatic tale of witchcraft and feisty preachers.”
The students also enjoyed a presentation by local author Monica Graham who has written a book about the history of PA to commemorate its 200th anniversary.
Graham used photos to supplement her presentation, showing depictions of the different stages that the school went through to get where it is now, as well as some of the more notable people who had graduated from Pictou Academy.
“From Grade 4 to now it’s wonderful to see how they’ve blossomed,” said Henderson about next year’s graduating class.
“The PA committee are making sure that the grads celebrate in their special way.”

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Bikes for kids taking off

Some of the best memories from childhood may be from playing with your friends, or riding bikes outside.
That can’t always be the case with every child though, as some families don’t have the means to afford bikes for their children. But since about 2003, the United Way of Pictou County has been stepping up and helping out kids who don’t have bikes, and the environment at the same time.
“We collect and receive donated bicycles from the community,” said Tony Newman, a volunteer with the project since 2010.
The bike project has people drop off unused and unwanted bicycles that are then refurbished and tuned up – sometimes even turned into completely new bikes with parts salvaged from others. The program sees about 100 bikes a year come in and eventually sent back out to kids after they are refurbished.
“We’ve also been very lucky from support from the community,” said Newman.
Each year the program gets a lot of support from Pictou County Cycle which provides training on how to repair the bikes to volunteers that are interested. The program is also getting some help with a venue in which to repair the bikes. This year, everything will be conducted from the former Anchor Motors building located at 193 Westville Rd., New Glasgow.
The program will officially start May 25 with repair nights running on Mondays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. until July 31, which will be the final day for the program. Bikes can be dropped off during the repair sessions.
Applications for the program will be available at the Untied Way office or by emailing the co-ordinator of the program. Information will also be available at the barbecue and junior bike rodeo taking place at the Pictou County Wellness Centre on June 14.
Program organizers are always looking for new volunteers to take part in the program and help fix bikes as well.
“They do a lot of work for us and the project is dependent on volunteers,” said Delaney Collins, this year’s Bikes for Kids program co-ordinator.
“For most volunteers it’s the opportunity to give back to the community,” Newman said of why people give their time to the effort.
Volunteers of all ages are welcome to take part in helping with repairs as well.
“For me, being the person to watch that little person’s face light up when you’re handing over a bike to them, it’s like Christmas morning watching kids see Santa Claus,” said Courtney Cameron, former program co-ordinator. “It’s just seeing that glow and happiness.”
For some of the kids receiving bikes, it gives them a sense of responsibility, as well as access to summer memories that most children share growing up.
“As adults we forget, but when you close your eyes and really think about the best summer experiences you had it’s you and your friends riding on bikes, so it’s making sure the next generation gets that, too,” she said.

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Bleachers, fencing at Pioneer track

STELLARTON – More improvements have taken place at the Pioneer Track and more are planned, Pat Carty says.
Carty, who heads the Pictou County Recreation and Athletic Society, says the work is designed to make the facility safer and more attractive.
The most recent work involved setting up bleachers that were relocated from New Glasgow.
“They will be there permanently,” he said.
The bleachers were previously located at the Tartan Field in New Glasgow and were moved to the track as an in-kind donation by the town.
Geralyn MacDonald, New Glasgow’s director of community economic development, said the bleachers are a good fit for the track. “They just weren’t being utilized a lot (at Tartan Field),” she said.
She said portable bleachers will be brought in for events, such as the annual Festival of the Tartans.
The PCRAS has also arranged with members of the Construction Engineering Flight 144 Pictou to build stairs on each side of the field house in June.
The society previously completed a project to complete fencing around the track oval as a way to keep people and pets off the infield. It received municipal and provincial funding for the job and for moving the bleachers, Carty said.
“The new fence was planned from the start but was delayed as a cost-cutting measure,” he said.
Carty said signs at the entry points note that bikes and digs are not permitted on the track.
“Our bigger problem is Canada geese on the infield,” he said.
He and others occasionally bring their dogs to chase the geese away.
Carty cited two other pieces of work to be considered if the track hosts the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation’s provincial track and field championships in 2016. He said the gravel parking lot will need to be upgraded and expanded.
He did not rule out installing surveillance cameras to monitor activity and keep the facility secure to meet requirements of hosting the NSSAF and other events.

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The healthy games

With hundreds in the 55-plus age range flocking here this year, Pictou County will not only put its best effort forward, but its best food as well.
After an application for a provincial Thrive grant was approved, a plan to have a nutrition element added to this year’s provincial 55 Plus Games was set into motion.
“We really want to make sure options are available,” said Marin MacLeod, the newly hired co-ordinator for the healthy eating aspect of the games. As part of her duties, MacLeod will be providing samples of healthy foods at events leading up to the games and during the games as well as consulting with the venues to help them integrate healthy options to their menus.
“We do want to expand the consumer choice,” said MacLeod.
She will be doing free training with staff and volunteers for the venues taking part in the games and taking into account feedback she gets there to help her in organizing.
Some of the options MacLeod is already hoping to implement are foods like healthy baked items such as muffins, fruit kabobs and yogurt parfaits.
“We know there’s a concern that healthy food may not taste as good,” said MacLeod. She assures that with the help of a county nutritionist, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s list of healthy and delicious recipes. She shared that she is hoping to get items like healthy cheesecake brownies in the mix of foods as well.
MacLeod will be attending the Turn Up the Heat event at the S.W. Weeks complex in Parkdale on June 6, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., to share samples of healthy foods with the community.
“Sometimes in that age group there are different concerns,” said Rae Gunn, co-ordinator of Active Pictou County, which is also involved in the initiative. The goal is to make the connection between active lifestyles and healthy eating.
“So far I think we’ve been met with enthusiasm,” said MacLeod. “We really want to convey to people that healthy eating doesn’t just mean a celery stick.”

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School site part of dig on Archaeology Day

PICTOU – An archaeological dig behind McCulloch House is timely, Murray Hill says.
The dig will be at the site of Pictou Academy’s first building, which was destroyed by fire in 1811. It is one of four sites the Nova Scotia Museum through the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage’s archives, museums and libraries unit chose for digs to celebrate Public Archaeology Day on June 13.
Hill is a board member with the McCulloch Heritage Centre, which operates the McCulloch House Museum in season. He said the dig coincides with plans to mark the 200th anniversary of the founding of Pictou Academy in 1816.
“We need this,” he said. “It fits well with our community and with the 200th anniversary (of the Academy). It will be a very significant tie-in with that.”
Hill and fellow board member Donna Bullerwell welcomed Museum of Nova Scotia’s curator of history Martin Hubley and curator of archaeology Katie Cottreau-Robins to the area behind McCulloch House where the Academy was located.
The curators took photos based on the building’s location on a site plan contained in a bound historical landscape re-creation composed in 1997. The report proved invaluable in selecting McCulloch as one of the dig sites.
Cottreau-Robins said current plans include museum staff arriving on June 12 to remove the sod so that digging can begin right away on June 13. She anticipates about 25 people working a morning shift and 25 more people in the afternoon.
“This is super,” she said. “Places like McCulloch, it’s community-driven. They have to keep it going. It’s going to work great. If they hit black layers of charred wood, they’ll know they hit the school. As artifacts come up, people can view them and sort them.”
The goal of Public Archaeology Day is to give the public a chance to experience archaeology and learn about what is involved in excavating sites and the recording its features and artifacts. The digs also provide an opportunity to learn more about sites like McCulloch House Museum.
“We wanted to allow the public to come dig and visitors to see it,” Cottreau-Robins said. “They’ll go to the heritage centre and they’ll want to come back.”
Pre-registering is required, and its deadline is June 6. Families are welcome, but participants must be at least nine years old.

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