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Westville male in custody after stabbing in Stellarton

STELLARTON – A 19-year-old Westville male is in custody after a 16-year-old Pictou County resident was stabbed on Friday.
Stellarton police chief Don Hussher said in a press release that the incident took place in a parking lot on Grant Street in Stellarton at approximately 5:45p.m.
The person in custody and will appear Monday in Pictou Provincial Court on charges of aggravated assault, possession of weapon and carrying a concealed weapon.
The victim, while being transported to hospital by a friend for treatment, was able to obtain the services of an ambulance that was parked on Foord Street in Stellarton.
Hussher said in the press release that the victim was transported from there to the Aberdeen Hospital in New Glasgow by ambulance for treatment and was airlifted to Halifax because of the injuries. He said the victim is recovering from his injuries.
Stellarton Police are continuing their investigation with assistance from Westville Police, RCMP Identification Services and RCMP dog Services.

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Special edition of East Coast Road Trip airing in honour of Mainville

East Coast FM is airing a presentation of East Coast Road Trip at 9 a.m. on Saturday and 9 p.m. on Sunday as the radio station pays tribute to Fleur Mainville.
The local musician and community advocate died on Wednesday after a lengthy illness. She was 37.
Wake Up program host Ann MacGregor said she was planning a weekend musical tribute to Mainville that includes passages from the last segment of her weekly East Coast Road Trip.
“Fleur always shined a light on others so we’re doing that for her,” MacGregor said. “We were very blessed to have her.”

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Much loved musician Fleur Mainville passes away

The county is saddened to hear of the passing away of Fleur Mainville, a much loved local musician.
Mainville, 37, passed way Wednesday after battling cancer.
In addition to her husband Andrew and two children as well as family and friends, she leaves to mourn hundreds of music students who can play the fiddle thanks to her expert tutelage, in addition to countless people whose lives she touched through her generosity, her spirit and her dedication.
An overwhelming number of tweets and Facebook post tributes began Wednesday and continue today.
Our heartfelt thoughts go out to her family and friends.

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Jiu Jitsu event looking like smash hit

Pictou County is hosting an event this weekend that will be a big first, not only for Pictou County, but also Canada.
Submission series 902 promises action filled Submission only Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and grappling bouts. It will start at 7 p.m on Friday at Glasgow Square and, as of press time, was nearly sold out.
For those who may not be familiar with the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, it is possible that if you have ever watched a UFC (ultimate fighting championship) fight you have seen the strategic manoeuvres of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at work. This form of martial arts, along with grappling, is one that fighters use as their ground game, once the fight is taken from feet to floor.
“Basically, they have invited seven local guys from all over the Maritimes.” said Adam Fraser, a member of Titans Gym in New Glasgow who is helping organize the event.
“They are going to match up against six or seven guys from across North America.”
Organizers have invited world class fighters to Pictou County to take on some of the Maritimes top fighters in the first of a series of bouts where different fighters will be brought in for the challenge.
“For 15 minutes they will fight and try to submit their opponent,” said Fraser. Contenders will use moves like joint locks and arm bars to win the match.
The event is being organized by Titans Jiu Jitsu Academy owner Jaret MacIntosh, with the help of others in the area who are hoping they can spread the interest of the sport. The competition is only open to purple, brown and black belt competitors, as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a very difficult form to learn and it can take from 10 to 12 years to earn a black belt. There are currently only about five black belts in Nova Scotia.
“We just wanted to promote the sport,” said Fraser, “to show that we do really have a lot of talent in Atlantic Canada.”
In addition to having almost 300 seats available in the venue, the event will also be filmed by Eastlink TV in HD and be available after the event for streaming on as well as being broken into a three -part series. Tickets for the event can be found at Tickepro’s website, at Glasgow Square or at the door on fight night. V.I.P tickets are $45 each and include seats in the first three rows, servers for the bar and water. Regular tickets are $35. An after party will also be taking place at Shenanigans Sports bar in New Glasgow.
“We’re planning to put on three events this year,” said Fraser. So far, the event has had overwhelming support locally as a way to generate new revenue in the community as well as get the names of Atlantic Canadian Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitors out there.
The world class fighters who will be attending the event will also be giving a workshop at the Titans gym the day after the main event at noon.
Fraser himself has been training at Titans for six years. He compares the martial art to a game of chess in which there are thousands of combinations of moves and it is incredibly mentally testing as well as physical.
“It takes a lot of perseverance and a lot of work,” Fraser said.

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Local teams getting ready for Winter Carnival games

NEW GLASGOW – Players of varying ages are getting ready for special broomball games in conjunction with the annual West Side Winter Carnival in New Glasgow.
Students at A.G. Baillie Memorial School practised last Thursday for their game on Saturday against New Glasgow Academy that represents a broomball championship on the outdoor rink at the West Side Community Centre.
The game will start at 2 p.m. and is the last event that day as part of the annual Broomball/West Side fundraising campaign. The various events from the campaign in memory of Jean MacLeod-Proudfoot raised more than $20,000 last year.
The Baillie team should be a skilled one, physical education teacher Matt MacGillivray said.
“We have some good athletes playing on the team,” he said.
While the actual West Side Winter Carnival goes from Thursday through Saturday, the broomball program starts with the centre’s door-to-door fund-raising blitz from 6 to 8 p.m. today.
Other events include a kids’ dance on Thursday, while on Friday the official opening and ribbon cutting will take place from 6 to 6:15 p.m. and will be followed by a public skate, sledding on the hill and entertainment.
The Tatamagouche All-stars will be back for a game at 7 p.m. against the New Glasgow No-Stars.
Fireworks will close off the evening at 9 p.m.
Saturday’s program includes a pancake breakfast from 8 to 10 a.m. before the Baillie-NGA game that afternoon.
There will also be a Jean MacLeod-Proudfoot Memorial Broomball Challenge kick-off pub from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Sunday.
One more fund-raising event has been scheduled for Jan. 31, the Jean MacLeod-Proudfoot Memorial Broomball Challenge featuring teams representing the West Side Centre and the North End Community Centre. The game will start at 7 p.m. at the North End centre. A dance will follow featuring Jessie and Derick.
The events are part of a three-week winter carnival program at venues that included Glasgow Square, as well as the West Side and North End centres.
“This is the fifth year the North End and West Side residents have worked together to put on an event that supports their respective community centres,” said Nancy Dicks, a New Glasgow town councillor who is chairing the organizing committee. “It is a wonderful opportunity to promote recreation and fellowship while at the same time raising funds for the North End Recreation Centre and West Side Community Centre.”

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U-14s to honour Desmond, Paris

STELLARTON – An under-14 girls’ volleyball tournament is being planned for Feb. 15 and 16 to coincide with the first observance of Nova Scotia Heritage Day.
Organizers see the timing of the Volleyball Nova Scotia tournament as a way to take advantage of the holiday on Feb. 16. It’s also an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of Viola Desmond, a human rights activist who was selected to be honoured this year.
Desmond was a Halifax businesses woman who challenged racial segregation at a film theatre in New Glasgow in 1946.
Henderson Paris has also been selected as the tournament’s honourary chairman for his activism that included the Marathon of Hope he led for 20 years until it was succeeded by the current Marathon of Respect and Equality (MORE) event.
“It’s a holiday and it’s a chance to honour Viola Desmond and what Henderson followed up with while leading his Marathon of Hope,” said Keith Melanson, the veteran volleyball coach who helms the local U-14 team. “It was a great time with the holiday to do this.”
The plan is to welcome up to 12 teams to the dual courts at New Glasgow Academy. Should the draw increase to 16 teams, G.R. Saunders School where the U-14 team trains, would be available.
Nova Scotia Heritage Day has been designated by the province to be observed on the third Monday of each year.

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Kingston ousts Pictou II en route to Legion title

PICTOU – A Kingston team has captured the Nova Scotia/Nunavut Command Legion Curling Association’s annual curling championship.
The team skipped by Dayle Murray defeated Weymouth 7-6 on Monday at the New Caledonian Curling Club in Pictou to advance to the national championship in Saskatoon, Sask.
Kingston, whose branch has won the championship several times in the past, trailed 4-1 after four ends before scoring two in the fifth and stealing one in the sixth to tie the match.
After Weymouth went ahead 5-4 in the seventh, Kingston took two in the eighth, while Weymouth tied the game 6-6 with a single point in the ninth.
It was a weekend of ironies. Kingston defeated the Pictou II team skipped by Tom LeBlanc twice, including a win on Sunday afternoon that eliminated the host team.
“It was fantastic to watch,” Pictou II lead Dan Currie said of Monday’s clincher. “I don’t feel so badly when we lost to the champs.”
The Pictou II team twice defeated an elderly foursome representing Wolfville. Both games were on Sheet I and went into extra ends.
Skip Charlie Corkum, 67, is the youngest on the team. Second Paul Allen is 85 and lead Hubert Sutherland in 89.
“Someone warned us not to get into a draw game with them,” Currie said.
Murdoch was a member of Pictou teams that won the championship in 1991 and 1995.
“It was a great weekend,” he said. “It was good for Legion camaraderie.”
A Truro team defeated the New Glasgow Branch 34 team skipped by Haylett Clarke to take the consolation honours on Saturday.
Kingston defeated River Hebert I Sunday evening to advance to Monday’s showdown.
The Monday draw was assured after River Hebert I handed Weymouth its first loss on Sunday afternoon.
Pictou II defeated New Glasgow and Wolfville before losing its first game to Kingston and stayed alive with its other win over Wolfville and by ousting Bridgewater I earlier on Sunday.
The Pictou I team skipped by Cliff Taylor, Murdoch as mate, second Danny White and lead Kenny Pettipas opened with a loss to Kingston before defeating New Glasgow and River Hebert II. River Hebert I later ousted the Pictou I team.
Westville’s team skipped by Mike Deagle opened with a loss to River Hebert I before defeating Bridgewater II and was later ousted by Bridgewater I.

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Miramichi Valley captures Anse MacDonald banner

NEW GLASGOW – Miramichi Valley proved to be the class of the annual Anse MacDonald boys’ high school basketball tournament as they defeated the host North Nova Gryphons 106-61 on Saturday in the championship game.
The New Brunswick team took an early 6-0 lead and used a strong full-court press and deadly shooting to run away with the game.
“That’s one very good team, Gryphons’ head coach Paul Butler said. “They can flat out shoot the ball. They press well, they’re well coached and they play the right way. We had a good tournament, though, and it was a good atmosphere.”
Dylan Perry led the Gryphons with 14 points against Miramichi Valley, while Jalen Johnson had 10 and Colin MacIntosh and Colby Russell each had eight points.
MacIntosh was named the tournament’s top defensive player, while Michael Williams was named to the all-star team.
Travis Valanne was named tournament most valuable players, while Miramichi Valley teammate Evan VanBuskirk also made the all-star team.
Johnson netted 18 points and Elijah Boucher had 11 as North Nova opened the tournament on Friday with a 67-40 win over J.L. Ilsley.
Johnson had 16 points, while Henry Clausson-Munro added 14 and J.C. McRae 10 in North Nova’s 69-67 win over the Tantramar Titans from Sackville, N.B.
The Gryphons and Miramichi Valley went unbeaten to finish first in their respective pools and advance to the championship
Tantramar defeated Cabot 93-81 to win third place, while the Amherst Vikings defeated J.L. Ilsley 61-40 to take fifth place.
In other games, Miramichi Valley defeated Cabot 117-68 and Amherst 64-38, while Cabot topped Amherst 87-71 and the Titans downed Ilsley 73-44.

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Scotians eye busy schedule

TRENTON – A full slate of games await the Pictou County Aecon Scotians over the next two weeks.
After sweeping two games by scores of 8-4 on Friday in Springhill and 8-3 on Sunday in Trenton against the Cumberland County Blues, the Scotians will wind up the month of January with five games.
They will visit the Blues today in Springhill and visit the Strait Pirates on Friday in Port Hawkesbury before hosting the Valley Maple Leafs at 7 p.m. on Sunday in Trenton.
The Scotians will follow with two make-up games by visiting the Maple Leafs on Jan. 28 in Windsor and hosting the Cole Harbour Colts on Jan. 31 at 5 p.m. in Trenton. The game with the Leafs was re-scheduled from Dec. 6 and the game with the Colts from Jan. 4.
On Friday, Bradley MacEachern’s three goals and one assist, Craig Matheson’s two goals and a goal and two assists each from Lucas Eshleman and Brandon Verge paced the Scotians. Mitchell Warner also scored.
The Scotians trailed the Blues 3-1 in the second period before scoring four straight goals.
On Sunday in Trenton, the Scotians led 4-3 after the first period but took a 7-3 lead into the third.
Eshleman scored twice and Riley Cameron added a goal and three assists to lead the Scotians.
Matheson had a goal and two assists, while Verge, Darrell Wheadon, Liam Murphy and Brendon Duff also scored.

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Old Maripac, too, belongs in the hall

Like any Canadian kid, I cultivated an early passion for the game of hockey.
It was right after the Second World War and, although my playing career ended on the cold, windy outdoor ice at Connolly’s Dam in the East River Road area of New Glasgow – where it began just a few winters earlier – I’ve maintained my love for the sport for some 70 years.
I was lucky. My father loved hockey, too, and he started taking me to APC Senior League games at the old Arena Rink downtown when I was six and seven years old. When the Arena Rink was sold to Thompson and Sutherland’s in the late 1940s, we attended games at Pictou County’s two remaining facilities, the new Stellarton Memorial Rink and Pictou Arena.
The Stellarton Royals and Pictou Maripacs were the “home” teams until New Glasgow got a new stadium. Those clubs provided good hockey, and both had a lot of talent in their lineups, mostly local players. With that, in a roundabout way, brings me to a matter that’s been on my mind for quite a long time.
In last week’s column, I reiterated my long-standing argument that Nelson Wilson, who started with those Stellarton Royals in 1947 as a 16-year-old, belongs in the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame. For now, I put that debate aside.
But there’s another old hockey star from that era – who I loved watching when he starred with the Maripacs – that I believe also deserves induction into the provincial hall.
I speak of Mark Babineau.
Pictou had good teams in the late 1940s and into the 1950s. Among other achievements, they won the APC league championship in 1952-53. Many of their top players were from other places, guys like Tic Williams, Mel Gadd, Chick Charlton and Frankie Prozenor.
And then there was the local boy, Babineau, who developed into one of the finest players in Maripacs history. He always played key roles, regardless of how many fine players were in the lineup.
When Mark was growing up during the Second World War, he wasn’t dreaming of someday playing in the National Hockey League. But he had a hockey dream – to play with the hometown Maripacs, a team he had watched from their earliest seasons.
Well, he lived that dream. Oh how he lived it. He was so good that, like Wilson in Stellarton, he began playing with the Maripacs as a teenager. And what a career he had.
Other than a few games with New Glasgow one year, part of a season in New Haven of the Eastern Professional League, and a final year with the 1955-56 Pictou County Pontiacs, he was a Maripac through and through.
How good was he?
If you like statistics, try this on for size: in 1949-50, in just 32 league games, he scored an incredible 57 goals among 94 points. Not many players, at any level, accumulate that many goals in so few games.
It wasn’t a fluke. He also recorded a 37-goal year, two 30-goal seasons, a 27-goal campaign and a 24-goal winter. Those figures, from statistics whiz Corey Hartling, show that Babineau could turn on red lights.
In the nine years between 1947-48 and 1955-56, the hometown boy had 329 goals, including 64 in the playoffs.
Starting in his minor and junior days, till his post-senior winters in the Pictou Rural Hockey League, he played in the old downtown Pictou Arena from the day it opened until the day it closed. He was proud of that unique feat.
His final years were in the rural league because the APC circuit had gone out of business, and he wanted to continue his career a while longer. Playing first with Scotsburn, then McCarthy’s Electric, in two seasons in the league he won the scoring title both times.
As a Maripac, he played for years alongside the great Williams, one of the best players developed in the Maritimes in that era. They worked beautifully as linemates and, though many oldtimers will say that Williams helped make Babineau so good, I also suggest Mark’s work made Tic even better than he might have been.
Babineau’s hockey involvement didn’t end when he stopped playing. Instead he tried coaching younger players. Pictou had a junior B team at the time and he was a member of its coaching staff for a few years. When the opportunity came to be the head coach of a local club in the new Highland Midget League, he wasted no time accepting. Under his wing, the club won both the league championship and provincial title.
I’m convinced if Mark had continued coaching that he would have had many more successes. But he decided to step down, finding a lack of time between the position and the fact he was working for the town.
When he was inducted into the Pictou County Sports Heritage Hall of Fame – an original inductee I should add – I sat down with him and we chatted about his hockey years. He talked about always being happy playing the game, and would have enjoying coaching longer.
That day, he explained: “It took a lot to concentrate on the game. Even when I played, I took the game to bed, trying to get over it, nerves and stuff. And coaching was really different from being a player. Sometimes I went home with the weight of the whole team on me.”
For a long, long time, I’ve admired Mark Babineau – as a player, as a person, as a friend. It’s hard to believe, though, that he’ll turn 87 this year. Time sure moves along.
The time has come – long overdue really – for the good folks in Pictou to step up and nominate their hometown boy for induction into the provincial hall of fame.
As I suggested about Nelson Wilson last week, I truly believe Mark Babineau deserves an honoured pew in Halifax.

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Stars line up for birthday bash

Birthdays. Some love them, some loath them. A very fortunate few, however, get Bruce Guthro, Lennie Gallant and Dave Gunning together to entertain them. J.P. Cormier is one of those people, and you’re all invited to his annual Birthday Bash at Glasgow Square on January 24.
Also featured at the Bash will be Thom Swift, the Elliott Brothers, Jim Dorie, Decota McNamara and J.P.’s nephew Dylan Cormier along with J.P.
The bash will take place the day following Cormier’s actual birthday, and has been an annual tradition for the past seven birthdays. “I think it was just a conversation we had one day about celebrating my 40th which, at the time, seemed like a huge milestone and it just went on from there,” Cormier said of the bash’s origins. “The first year was an absolute sell out and this is the seventh year now.”
In previous years, the bash took place in Sydney, however, since relocating to Pictou County it made sense for Cormier to set up closer to his adopted home.
“I called Carlton Munroe, (events manager at Glasgow Square) and we basically set the whole thing up in under 12 hours,” Cormier said.
Cormier opting to relocate his annual bash may be a sign that his years of drifting may be over.
“I’ve been moving around for the last five years,” Cormier said. “I left Cheticamp in 2010. All I’ve been trying to do in all that time is find a place to put my studio. I’ve had a long history with Pictou County through my association with Dave Gunning. I’ve been coming here for 20 years to work, record and play. I have a lot of friends here, I settled here.”
Although in many ways the bash is a gift to Cormier himself, he won’t be the only one benefiting from the night of music as a portion of the proceeds will be going to the Pictou County Christmas Fund Telethon – a charity with special meaning for the musician.
“My father passed away when I was 8, about 23 days before Christmas, and left us destitute and our Christmas was literally saved by an organization much like Christmas Daddies,” the Cape Breton raised Cormier said. “That was always my number one concern, that part of the profits go to that kind of a charity.”
One part of the bash that may prove hard to improve upon is the talent involved, a collection of top Atlantic artists that even Cormier himself is impressed by.
“This might be the biggest year I’ve ever had for artists,” Cormier said of the night’s performers. “This year I got really lucky! We’ve had some tremendous musicians and every year is a treat for everybody involved, but especially me. This event is a little selfish for me because what I get out of this is getting to hang out with these guys for a day and a night. It’s kind of a big birthday present for me.”
The night’s sets will flow “festival” style, with about three hours of music planned. But, he adds, “There’s always jamming involved in these things too,” Cormier said. “There are magic moments that only happen at the Bash.”
Tickets for J.P. Cormier’s Annual Birthday Bash are on sale now and can be purchased from Glasgow Square, H&R Music, or online at

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Ten Seconds to Freedom headlining benefit Jan. 31

It’s probably fair to say that the greatest hits of the Pictou County entertainment scene chart during those now hard to remember snowless months we know as summer. Sure, daylight at 7 p.m., T-shirt temperatures and unchallenging road conditions seem to encourage, or at least do little to dissuade leaving the house but even in winter there are good reasons to venture out of the house and indulge in some responsible rocking.
A benefit to be held at the Whitetail Pub & Grill in Westville for county resident Jenny LeBlanc is one such reason. Recently diagnosed with cancer for a second time and facing a round of chemo, the benefit – a night of music with a silent auction and a 50/50 draw – will raise funds to assist LeBlanc.
Steve Bellefontaine of the band Ten Seconds to Freedom was contacted by the benefit’s organizers and pieced together the evening’s musical lineup which, in addition to his group, will feature The Cozmic Polar Bears and singer-songwriter Pat Spaulding.
Ten Seconds to Freedom, relative newcomers in band terms, have had a few solid gigs to date and have been generating favourable feedback and crowd response. Humbly in the early stages of band-om, the band sees this period as a chance to tighten things up and get a feel musically for one another. And they are pretty happy to be able to lend their time and talents to benefit someone in need.
“It’s the coolest thing in the world that I can put a pick to strings and make a difference,” Brad MacPherson, the band’s vocalist and rhythm guitarist said.
The band’s amplified string section made of MacPherson, lead guitarist Jon Mason and bassist Bart Williams have been playing together for some time. Drummer Steve Bellefontaine, formally of Tait’s Hill and As of Yet, joined the trio more recently but the foursome has been clicking well.
Original material is an eventual goal but for the time being, the more pressing goal is filling out a full three-hour set of choice, interesting and less common cover songs.
“It’s kind of a focus on the band and tightening up and getting used to one another and how we want to approach our own sound,” Williams said.
“We want to have enough songs to play around town more than once and not bore everybody with the same stuff,” Mason said.
“We want to be the band that plays a song nobody else plays and we’re getting there,” Bellefontaine added.
The band has found themselves tapping into the pre-millennium catalogue, mining it for songs that are both guitar-hooky and strong vocally with bands like Weezer, Collective Soul and a hefty dose of Big Shiny Can-Con.
“I would say our focus would be to cover as many memorable 90s bands that fall into the alternative genre,” Williams said.
Indeed, the band’s 90s rich set has earned them a bit of praise and attention in their short existence, which gives them a certain level of motivation in chasing their ideals.
“The comment I heard the very most after we last played was, ‘This is like I’m 19 again and going to the bars for the first time’,” MacPherson said.
The benefit for Jenny LeBlanc will take place at the Whitetail Pub & Grill on January 31.

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Photography helps Pictou Landing resident find escape regarding environmental issues

The lecture hall of the Museum of Industry was comfortably packed Saturday afternoon for Clean Air – A Basic Right.
It was a sequel or spin off, of sorts, from the photo exhibit last year; this time around Clear Air took the form of a lecture from Jonathan Beadle of Pictou Landing First Nations.
Beadle took part in the earlier photo exhibit and, in addition to his remarks, he shared some of his images and gave an explanation of them.
As for his photography, Beadle said that taking up a camera helped him shed pent up negativity and gave him a more channelled and productive outlet for that energy.
“I was so deeply involved in this environment issue and it filled me up with a lot of negative energy,” Beadle said. “It got to the point where I was not well with myself.”
While passionate about the issues, Beadle felt his charged venting was not something he wanted to expose his young family to and soon found that his camera offered him a form of healing as well as coping.
“I found that passion around that time for photography,” he said. “It kind of gave me an escape in which I could find something that would occupy my time and not be so centred on this struggle that we had with the environment in my community. At that time it was something that I really needed.”
“I’m very glad and happy that this has come into my life the way it has,” Beadle said.
Photography has proved to be a life changing hobby for Beadle. Today, he can create images rather than be angry, but it is much more a coping device than a cure.
“Getting into this resurfaced some old feelings that I probably did need,” Beadle said. “It’s only human to want to fix something. You see a problem and you want to fix it. It’s just common sense. Common sense tells us that and common sense tells us that there’s something massive going on here. You can’t just turn away and not see the impact of what that does.”
Beadle talked not only on the environmental impact surrounding the Northern Pulp mill but also the social impact it has had on his and the surrounding community at large.
For Beadle the largest concern was that of trust.
“There are so many reasons why we don’t want to trust one another,” Beadle said. “I think when we begin to show we can trust one another I really think that things will change. I really think then we’ll be able to come up with the answers and want to deal with clear air, or clean water and clean land. We’re not ready for it because there just isn’t enough trust. There just isn’t enough love in the world right now.”
Beadle commented that their were “mixed messages around trust” and in expanding on that expressed a desire to see the community at large come together in a more trusting, co-operative spirit.
“My message to anyone,” Beadle said, “is if we’re not willing to work together then I don’t see that there’s going to be a lot of progress in how society at large can move forward.”

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Good reason for optimism

The year is completing three weeks today, and it’s already had a significant good-news story.
Stars aligned last week with the announcement of federal funding for a project that features the Pictou Landing First Nation, Nova Scotia businesses and the Pictou County Chamber of Commerce in a partnership to build a prototype structure that will become its new administrative home.
Justice Minister Peter MacKay announced the $58,500 in funding through ACOA, money that will go directly to the Chamber to lead the project.
As both Chamber of Commerce executive director Jack Kyte and First Nation Chief Andrea Paul suggested, good things can happen over a cup of coffee.
MacGregors Industrial Group will supply the building, while PoleCo. will provide the energy efficiency component with solar and a back-up system.
One gets the impression that all these groups – the Chamber, First Nation, MacGregors and PoleCo. – were chomping on the bit to break out somehow, and that it could only happen if they worked together on a common cause.
The Chamber has been eager to make a difference, to fill the void created locally when the Pictou Regional Development Agency and its related RDAs across the province closed and nothing replaced them.
The First Nation has more of a voice it did not have in Pictou County as the county assesses its economic future in uncertain times, thanks to the overture it received from the Chamber.
MacGregors Group has sought to grow its prefabricated and modular building operations with its wood platforms and light but strong steel framing.
Nova Scotia is sorely behind the times in establishing solar energy as a worthy renewable energy alternative. PoleCo. has a chance to help Nova Scotians correct that mistake.
These are ingredients that work better together than they might have on their own. That’s why this partnership has such enormous potential to grow and replicate itself in a positive way.
Pictou Landing will be part of an experiment that will lead to a much-needed replacement for its idle band office.
Meanwhile, MacKay mused about the opportunities to assemble light, sturdy, energy-efficient buildings for transport to areas of extreme weather, such as the Far North and the Caribbean. Replacing the homes, shops and high-rise buildings in places like Haiti with more weather-worthy structures built here in Pictou County makes a lot of sense.
By mentioning the heavy-lift aircraft available to transport the buildings elsewhere, MacKay confirmed both the civilian and military applications the newer C-17 and C-130 aircraft affords Canadians and others in need.
It’s too early to tell how big this news is, but it’s a good start.
Government, commerce and community took one day last week to help point the way to the future.
Steve Goodwin

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Cruise group preparing for busy season in 2015

PICTOU – What is unique about Pictou is making it an increasingly attractive tourist destination.
Organizers are preparing to host 10 small visits, including four overnight calls, by the Pearl Seas cruise ship line in the spring and fall of 2015 after two visits last October.
“Cruise representatives are asking us ‘What’s new, what’s different?’” said Michelle Young, the Pictou Recreation and Parks co-ordinator who co-chairs the host Pictou County Cruise committee with Geralyn MacDonald. “They’re looking for a unique experience.”
If there is one different experience visitors can count on this year, it’s the new facility for the Northumberland Fisheries Museum, whose construction is nearing completion for a spring launch.
A fall publication cited Pictou, along with Corner Brook, N.L., Summerside, P.E.I. and St. Andrew’s N.B. as four “hidden gems” among the cruise ships’ ports of call in Atlantic Canada.
The spike from two visits last year and one in 2013 is the latest reward for nearly nine years of work to promote Pictou County as an attraction for cruise ships and Pictou as a small cruise ship port of call, said committee co-chairperson Geralyn MacDonald, New Glasgow’s community economic development manager who is also a member of the Atlantic Canada Cruise Association (ACCA).
The Pictou Business and Marketing Society, the towns of Pictou and New Glasgow and the Municipality of Pictou County jointly pay the ACCA membership that costs $5,000.
“It’s exciting because in Nov. 2006 before we moved forward we didn’t know if we were port ready,” she said. “We got funding to host a workshop and we knew we had to work with the ACCA. Without that membership there wouldn’t be any ships.”
MacDonald said the quest to establish unique attractions is a concerted one embraced by all the groups hosting cruise ship visits.
“We’re not going to offer what other ports offer,” she said. “We work together so there are no duplications.”
MacDonald said much of the clientele onboard the smaller cruise ships have been on larger cruise ships with more generic attractions, such as food and entertainment, and they want to try something different.
“Some of them recalled a stop in Halifax where there was one pipe band,” she said. “Here, we have a pipe band and Highland dancers. They loved that. Our Scottish Tradition is a selling point. Each visit, we find out what they like.”
Four overnight stops means the host committee can stretch their itineraries.
“We’ll be working with the cruise line, tour operators and businesses to extend the itineraries,” she said.
MacDonald will be accompanied by Cindy MacKinnon from Destination Eastern and Northumberland Shores (DEANS) to work at an ACCA booth during cruise ship trade show from March 16 to 19 that is considered the biggest of its kind in the world.
She said the growing cruise business has prompted the host group to consider establishing a welcoming centre and enough financial support to hire a staff person to focus solely on the growing local cruise ship industry.
“The increasing number of visits presents a challenge in terms of commitment,” Young said.
Both MacDonald and Young have noted the regional benefit generated by the cruise visits.
“For the passengers coming off of the cruise ships, there are no boundaries,” Young said. “Our presence has really increased.”

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Correction facility set to open Feb. 9

PRIESTVILLE – The opening of the new Northeast Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Priestville is within sight.
Staff training is ongoing and some construction remains to be completed before the facility’s official opening on Feb. 9.
Prior to that, family and public tours for the facility are scheduled.
“Things are falling into place,” facility superintendent Tim Carroll said. “There are some things to be done, some of them beyond opening day, but things are working well. I couldn’t be prouder.”
Besides public tours on the afternoon of Feb. 6 and all day on Feb. 7, immediate family members of staff will also be invited to tour the facility, which will replace two older ones in Amherst and Antigonish.
“Staff will have the opportunity to bring their loved ones in for a tour and show them where they work,” Carroll said. “We wanted to give them that opportunity.”
Nearly 200 offenders will occupy the facility at a given time. The total staff complement calls for 62 full-time positions and 24 relief staff.
Most of the cells are for two offenders, while there are eight segregation cells and some single units for those earning special privileges.
The Priestville location was one of three short-listed and was chosen over the others in Addington Forks, Anti. Co. and Debert.
It will replace the Antigonish facility that housed 19 offenders and was built in 1948, while the building in Amherst dates back to 1890 and accommodated up to 27 offenders.
The new facility also has a geothermal heating and cooling system that Carroll said is working well so far.
Culinary, library and horticultural services are located as part of the services provided to help offenders acquire skills that may lead to jobs once they serve their prison terms.
Carroll said the existing facilities had these services to some degree but the new facility offers more room and opportunity for offenders.
“Even though these places were older we had those benchmarks,” he said. “It’s much more conducive in the new facility.”

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Johnny Miles Marathon celebrates 40 years

NEW GLASGOW – When Dr. Johnny Miles Williston started the Johnny Miles Marathon in 1975, he probably never would have imagined that 40 years later it would still be going strong.
In 2015, the event will celebrate its 40th year and even after four decades it continues to grow and evolve. Runners take part from across Canada and the United States.
“This growth has led to four consecutive years of record numbers of participants and expansion of the Johnny Miles Running Event Weekend to a year-round series of running events,” explains race director Terry Curley. “Our 40th anniversary will be a milestone and an event to remember.”
This year got under way with the New Year’s Eve 5K Resolution Fun Run that saw a capacity crowd of 200 participants brave the cold and complete the course. This was the second annual JMM New Year’s Eve Run and it is held as a family friendly event, with no registration fee.
This May will be the second annual running of the Miss Miles 5K Fun Run on Mother’s Day weekend.
“We see a long future for the Miss Miles 5K. This event is unique in that it is an all-female event,” says race director Carol Curley.
She says the organizers wanted to celebrate the strength of women in running and could think of no better way to do this. Last year’s event sold out very quickly so the maximum number of participants has been expanded for 2015.
The premier event of the JMM series – the 40th running of the Johnny Miles – will take place on June 20 and 21. Activities start June 18 with the JMM Special Recognition Awards and the induction of six runners into the Glenn “Big Dog” Chennell Runners Hall of Fame. Terry Curley says the founders of the event will also be honoured and recognized.
Registration opens June 19 and will be followed the next day with the Johnny Walk and Tim Hortons/Subway Kids Fun Run. There will be the Sobeys Carbo Loading Social, the JMM Stay Active Expo and race kit pick up. The main running events all take place June 21.
The Johnny Miles Running Event Weekend is followed by the Shiretown Dental Clinic “Run for the Lobster” on July 5. It has also been around for nearly 40 years and continues to gain popularity.
The Melmerby Triathlon returned in 2014 and set a new record number of participants. This is yet another event that has been in place for 35-plus years. The multi-sport event is all set to take place July 25 and 26.
“Even with all of the Johnny Miles running events mentioned here continuing to show growth year after year there are also a large number of other running events evolving as well throughout the year,” says Curley. Some of those are the YMCA Ugly Sweater Run in December, the Pictou County Hypothermic Half Marathon in March, the NNEC True Grit 5 &10K in May, the Fritz Frenzy Trail Run also in May and The Run for Juvenile Diabetes and the Run for the Cure in the fall. Curley and his team go out of their way to support all of these events and provide whatever resources are required to make each one successful. Curley sees all events as a step forward in achieving the JMM Committee’s mandate of “Creating a Healthier Community.”
New Glasgow Mayor Barrie MacMillan says New Glasgow is proud to be the home town of the Johnny Miles Running Event Weekend. “The JMM is one of our region’s signature events and one that we are very honoured and pleased to support. The mantra of the committee led by race directors Terry and Carol Curley has had a tangible impact on lifestyle in our town and county. It has become a legacy.”
Pictou County is quickly becoming the destination of choice for many runners because of these events and Curley credits Dr. Johnny Miles Williston and the founder’s vision as the reason.
“Our committee is pleased that we can play a major role in keeping Dr. Williston’s vision alive, and are equally pleased to play a significant role with what is happening in the local and Atlantic running community.”
“The Johnny Miles Running Event has long had a significant impact on tourism in Pictou County and the Northumberland Shore,” says Cindy MacKinnon, managing director of Destination Eastern and Northumberland Shores (DEANS). “It is one of the reasons we are recognized as a sports tourism destination.”
“We are very proud of our success and accomplishments but we recognize that none of this would be possible without the support from our community, participants and the leadership of our municipal and corporate partners,” concludes Curley.
For more information on any of these events or to register visit

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Caboose on track to come home

TRENTON – Two train cabooses will have their final destination in Trenton.
At a Trenton council meeting on January 13, the town announced the procurement of the rail cars.
One of the cabooses, which has already been on the rail road tracks for a few months now, is serving as a decorative caboose with a message to kids to stay in school painted on the side of it. That caboose was donated by Cape Breton and Central Nova Railway and can be found on display on the rail road tracks running parallel to the town’s Main Street near Grandview Avenue.
The second caboose will arrive in Trenton in the spring, according to town CAO Cathy MacGillivray.
The bid for the made-in-Trenton caboose was put down in December. At the town council meeting last week, council approved a $2,500 bid for caboose #79294 from Oromocto, N.B., as well as approving $414 to Mel’s Auto and Window Glass for the transfer of the donated caboose.
“Were going to put it here to go with our Heritage Room,” said MacGillivray.
The Trenton Hawker Siddeley caboose that will arrive later this year was acquired by the town after a little help from a town resident and model train collector Jamie Richards.
“I knew that Trenton was looking for a caboose, specifically a Hawker Siddeley caboose, and that they were having a hard time finding one,” said Richards, who currently lives in Truro.
“A friend of mine had earlier sent me a picture of this caboose with a note saying that it was in Oromocto and that the town there was wanting to sell it.”
Richards then contacted MacGillivray to let her know about the caboose.
He is thrilled to know that he had a part in bringing the caboose home to Trenton and even noted that in his collection of model trains, he has a 1/87th or HO scale Hawker Siddeley caboose.
“I am very pleased and absolutely giddy, of course, that the info I provided helped them in getting this, but I can’t take all the credit,” said Richards, noting that if it had not been for the email information he received he wouldn’t have been able to tell the town of this great find.
“As a model railroader and rail fan, this is going to be a regular stop for me when I am home visiting Mom and Dad.”

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Councillor reflects on significance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day

(EDITOR’S NOTE: New Glasgow town councillor Henderson Paris, chair, Town of New Glasgow UNESCO Committee Against Discrimination & Racism, provides a commentary on the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.)

NEW GLASGOW – January 19 was celebrated as Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the United States and this day was also observed around the world by those who wanted to pay tribute to and remember the leadership of Rev. King.
Coun. Henderson Paris, chair of New Glasgow’s UNESCO Committee Against Discrimination & Racism, offers a commentary on the life and work of King Jr.
Henderson said as he reflects on the life and impact that Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made on him, there is one constant message that remains clear. “That is the message he preached adamantly about – peace, unity and non-violence and embracing your fellow man with respect, equality and dignity. As well, rights, freedoms and inclusion were well emphasized in most of his speeches.”
Henderson said King, as a 39-year-old pastor, activist, humanitarian and civil rights leader achieved a great deal in his young life. “Rev. King had the remarkable ability and persona to assemble a massive following of people, which was a gift given to him by God. He courageously and proudly protested and demonstrated publicly with African Americans and others who were sympathetic to the cause to break the ropes of racial divide so that his people could have a better life.”
The town councillor said he often thinks about that April 4, 1968 day when King he was struck down by an assassin’s bullet in Memphis, Tenn. “I wonder if he had not been killed how much greater difference could he have made – to not only improve race relations in the U.S.A. but around the world as well. Unfortunately, we will never have the opportunity to witness the ‘what if’.”
King’s most famous speech, “I Have a Dream,” from the 1963 March on Washington, to this day remains one of the most talked about speeches of all time.
“I think about the March from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965, which took place over five days and that they walked 54 miles all in order to have equal voting rights. Actually, the movie Selma is now out and playing in some movie theatres.”
Forty-seven years have passed since King was assassinated; 50 years have passed since the march on Selma and 52 years have passed since the march on Washington. “How much has changed, not only in the USA but indeed around the globe? Personally, I feel that there has been much change. However, most unfortunately, we are seeing a series of similar events happening repeatedly, not only in the U.S.A. but again around the world. Tragic events such as shootings, riots, school shootings, taking young innocent lives needlessly along with horrific abuse of all kinds to human beings are rapidly happening far too often!
“This madness cannot and must not be allowed to continue. Rev. King’s message to everyone at all times was clearly about non-violence. Somehow, someway this must be the ultimate practice for the entire world to undertake. I think he would ask what message are we delivering to our young people when these sort of violent crimes are the norm in our societies. Where is the peace and humanity in the world?”
Paris said he wonders what King would say if he knew the U.S.A. had elected its first black president. “I think he would have been overwhelmed with delight. However, his advice would be to work with all people… My thoughts are that he would also say that we still need to walk together, to pray together and above all, be united together.
“Rev. King has left us with an incredible legacy and as I endeavour to commemorate the man and the day held in his honour… my hopes and dreams are that our world will one day see the amazing virtues of which this man envisioned for all to see and uphold: Peace, freedom, equality, humanity, diversity, unity, togetherness.”

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MOU partners begin steering committee meetings

PICTOU – The Pictou County participating municipal partners have begun the Steering Committee meetings as part of the MOU signed on November 10, 2014.
The Municipality of the County of Pictou, together with the towns of New Glasgow, Pictou and Stellarton are the participating municipal partners. Each has appointed two elected representatives to the Steering Committee which has appointed Warden Ron Baillie as the chairperson and Pictou Mayor Joe Hawes as vice chairperson.
“I feel privileged to be nominated as the chairperson and look forward to working with the MOU Steering Committee as we embark on the hard work and analysis of a regional government structure for Pictou County,” said Baillie.
The committee is just starting the work associated with the MOU and the terms of reference have been approved for the committee’s operation.
Scott Conrod, CAO for the Town of Pictou, has been selected to serve as the project manager. The CAOs, town clerk and senior staff of the participating municipal units will support the project manager and work associated with the MOU.
At the request of Trenton Mayor Glen MacKinnon and Westville Deputy Mayor Lennie White, Baillie and members of the MOU Steering Committee met with the town councils of Trenton and Westville in mid-December.
“The Steering Committee has responded to the Town of Trenton’s concerns… and we await their response regarding participation in the MOU process,” said Baillie. “We are also looking forward to hearing from the Town of Westville regarding the meeting we had with them on December 18.”
The Steering Committee is now reviewing the draft terms of reference for the various workplans associated with the MOU as well as developing the community consultation and communication plan.
“The participating municipal units are committed to providing our citizens with regular updates and information regarding the MOU process as we move forward in the coming months,” remarked Hawes.
MOU Steering Committee members are: Warden Ron Baillie, Municipality of the County of Pictou (MOU Chairperson; Coun. Deborah Wadden, Municipality of the County of Pictou; New Glasgow Mayor Barrie MacMillan; Coun. Jack Lewis, Town of New Glasgow; Pictou Mayor Joe Hawes; Coun. Cam Beaton, Town of Pictou; Stellarton Mayor Joe Gennoe, and Coun. Denise Taylor, Town of Stellarton.

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Partnership gives First Nation a lift

PICTOU LANDING – Need and opportunity have converged at Pictou Landing First Nation.
The First Nation community is joining local businesses to build what will be a new home for its administrative building that combines modern construction technique and design with state-of-the-art energy efficiency.
Justice Minister Peter MacKay announced $58,500 in federal funding last Thursday through ACOA’s Business Development Program that the Pictou County Chamber of Commerce is receiving to lead the project.
Chamber executive director Jack Kyte said the project is a product of a series of discussions with Pictou Landing Chief Andrea Paul.
“It’s such an exciting project,” Paul said. “It’s huge for our community. It’s going to represent who we are as Mi’kmaq people.”
Kyte said he approached Paul about ways the chamber and First Nation could work together, while Paul alluded to services scattered throughout the community after its band office had to close.
“Jack had invited Pictou Landing to sit at the table at the Pictou County Chamber of Commerce,” she said.
“Our band office is where all our activities take place, but we had to get out of that building and figure out where to put everyone. It was a sick building. We put people in all sorts of different buildings.”
Kyte said the process is a lesson on how to work together and achieve success.
“You can’t learn from an office,” he said. “You have to get out and talk to people. It’s about understanding people and listening to what they do.”
The First Nation community will collaborate with the local fabrication company MacGregors Industrial Group and PoleCo, a Halifax-based renewable energy engineering company on the project, with assistance from the Pictou County Chamber of Commerce.
“This is a really exciting opportunity for us,” said Sean Fleming on behalf of PoleCo.
He said the solar power for the building will have back-up from a battery and a generator with a heat recovery component.
“We’re looking forward to taking this through to completion in the next few months,” Dave MacGregor said on behalf of MacGregors. “The opportunity is to create a demonstration project that can be used welse. That’s what excites us and why we’re happy to be a part of it.”
He said the buildings provide prefab, modular construction, efficient delivery of the buildings and their energy efficiency.
Pictou Landing First Nation, MacGregors, PoleCo, and the chamber are also contributing financially toward the project, although Paul referred to federal and provincial sources of funding for the project.
The design will focus on quick assembly, insulation and renewable energy technologies, such as solar powered systems.
Following research and design, the proponents will look for opportunities to construct a demonstration building, and use it as a marketing tool for potential sales in Canada’s in response to high energy costs and construction is challenges.
MacKay said the building will be a prototype for use in areas of extreme weather, such as the Far North and the Caribbean. He said heavy lift military airplanes could deliver the prefab structures where it would be otherwise impossible to transport them by land.

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Taylor: police review should continue

STELLARTON – Town council’s lone dissenter on its decision to abandon its police review process says it should continue.
Denise Taylor cast the lone nay vote on the motion to maintain the town’s current police service and discontinue the review process.
The decision follows an agreement last year to halt the request-for-proposal process that included offers for shared services with the towns of New Glasgow and Westville, as well as an offer from the RCMP to provide police service.
Taylor said her understanding was that the process would resume at some point.
“I voted against the motion because the previous motion was to only stay with the status quo on an interim basis,” she said.
“I requested that the police review committee should have discussed the matter together. I felt the discussion should be with everyone at the table. It’s a lot about the process, not individuals making a decision.”
The review committee included members of town council, the town’s police commission, the town solicitor and a representative from the Department of Justice.
Taylor said the decision last week to stay with the current service was not a repudiation of the three options presented.
“We were 10 months into a process and couldn’t come to a decision,” she said.
“It’s not that (the current service) was the best option.”

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Chocolate Festival fun

Keeva Roy of Abercrombie nears the end of a hearty pancake breakfast at the North End Rec Centre. The breakfast has been an annual event of the last decade and runs in conjunction with The Chocolate Festival.   (Cameron photo)

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Pictou Landing to benefit from efficiency project

PICTOU LANDING – Pictou Landing First Nation is joining local businesses to design a building that combines modern construction techniques with state-of-the-art energy efficient technology.
The First Nation community will collaborate with the local fabrication company MacGregors Industrial Group and PoleCo, a Halifax-based renewable energy engineering company on the project, with assistance from the Pictou County Chamber of Commerce.
The chamber will receive federal funding through ACOA’s Business Development Program to help it lead the project.
Pictou Landing First Nation, MacGregors, PoleCo, and the chamber are also contributing financially toward the project.
The design will focus on quick assembly, insulation and renewable energy technologies, such as solar powered systems.
Following research and design, the proponents will look for opportunities to construct a demonstration building, and use it as a marketing tool for potential sales in Canada’s in response to high energy costs and construction is challenges.
The intent is for a demonstration building to be used as the First Nation’s band office.
Read more details about this project in the January 21 edition of The Advocate

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Single-vehicle rollover

Pictou District RCMP are currently investigating a single-vehicle collision that happened Wednesday morning, January 14, on Highway 104 at the westbound exit ramp for Exit 25.
The preliminary investigation has determined that at approximately 7:40 a.m., a vehicle operated by a female left Highway 104 at Exit #25 in New Glasgow and struck a road sign. The vehicle then continued into the median and rolled several times before coming to rest upright on its wheels.
The driver – and lone occupant in the vehicle – was able to get out of the car on her own and was transported to the Aberdeen Hospital with minor injuries.
RCMP remind drivers that due to the wet roads and freezing temperatures now common over night,  highways are often icy so motorists are asked to slow down and drive to road conditions.

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