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Showing news for the month of February , 2016

DRUG IDENTIFIED IN MINI-MALL EVACUATION
Friday 5th February 2016
New Glasgow Regional Police have determined the drug located in the downtown Mini Mall which resulted in an evacuation last October was an illegal drug known as dimethyltryptamine. As a result of the investigation a 33 year old woman from Pictou County has been charged with possession of a controlled substance. The evacuation of the Mini Mall lasted roughly 6 hours that day, and there were no injuries as a result of the incident. Dimethyltriptamine is a white substance, and police say it is a derivative of the drug known as bath salts.


SKULL RECOVERED AT SCHOOL NOT A LOCAL MISSING PERSON
Friday 5th February 2016
A human skull found on a former school site is not that of a local missing person. New Glasgow Regional Police Major Crimes Unit say that the remains found at the former Temperance Street School last July are not of any missing persons cases in the area. Police are checking against missing persons cases outside of the region.


ANOTHER WICKED WEEKEND OF WEATHER FOR THE MARITIMES
Friday 5th February 2016
It's another miserable, messy start to the weekend across Atlantic Canada. Environment Canada is calling for a mixed bag of nasty weather, with everything from winter storm warnings to rainfall warnings in effect across the four provinces. Significant snowfall is expected today over northern Nova Scotia with heavy rain along the Atlantic coast and Cape Breton. The rain is expected to change to freezing rain mixed with ice pellets followed by snow as temperatures drop. Forecasters are suggesting people postpone travel plans if possible today in southern New Brunswick, which is expecting heavy, blowing snow. Between 20 and 40 centimetres of snow could blanket Prince Edward Island by Saturday morning. In Newfoundland, forecasters are warning of the possibility of flash floods due to heavy rain that's expected to last into Saturday.


PREMIER SAYS PROVINCE COULD HAVE HANDLED PHARMACARE CHANGES BETTER
Friday 5th February 2016
The premier concedes that changes to a seniors drug plan weren't initially communicated property. Stephen McNeil says he's open to addressing concerns about the revamped pharmacare program, which is based on a blend of government contributions and premiums charged to seniors. Under the new system, it will be based on the incomes of single people and couples.  The Nova Scotia Health Coalition has complained to the Ombudsman's office over the rollout of the changes, saying it has left seniors confused and stressed.


PROVINCE INSISTS YARMOUTH FERRY WILL GO AHEAD THIS YEAR
Friday 5th February 2016
There's still no ferry lined up to run between Yarmouth and Maine this year. But the province says the service is a go. Transportation Minister Geoff MacLellan says Bay Ferries is working on acquiring a ship. The company was named as the new operator of the service late last year. Some tour companies have already cancelled hotel bookings because there hasn't been definitive word on when the ferry will resume.


SPORTS ROUNDUP - FEBRUARY 5 *UPDATED 11:30 AM*
Friday 5th February 2016
Swim lessons at the Pictou Fisheries Pool are cancelled for today and also cancelled for Saturday.
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The Weeks Junior A Crushers suffered a loss at the Wellness Centre, as they were shutout 4-0 by the Campbellton Tigers. The Crushers are still tied for first in the South Division with Valley, but the Wildcats have 3 games in hand.
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The Weeks Major Midgets play host at the Wellness Centre Saturday night to Halifax, then host Cole Harbour Sunday afternoon at 12:30.
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The Pictou County Scotians travel to Glace Bay to take on the Junior Miners on Saturday night at 7:30.
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The Scotsburn Major Bantam Crushers are at the Wellness Centre on Sunday against the Novas.
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The Northern Subway Selects Female Midget AAA squad travels to Bedford to play Metro Boston Pizza at the BMO Centre Sunday morning at 11:45.
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The Bluenose Curling Club will be hosting the 2016 Nova Scotia Wheelchair Curling Provincial Championship today through Sunday. This is the first time that the event will be held outside the Halifax area and also the first time that there will be 3 teams competing for the provincial title. The winner will advance to the National Wheelchair Curling Championship in Regina in April. The local team is skipped by Devin Forbes, who curls out of the New Caledonian Curling Club in Pictou, with teammates Bill MacKenzie, Philip Sutherland and Kathy McIsaac, all members of the Bluenose club in New Glasgow. Jane Marshall, who is the chairperson of the event, says that the club members are very excited to be hosting this provincial and they are able to do it because of a generous donation from the local Investor's Group Financial office for the purchase of a portable ramp that allows the wheelchairs access to the ice surface. The host team is hoping ,with both the Bluenose and New Caledonian clubs being accessible and bringing a provincial event to the area, that other wheelchair users will be encouraged to give the game a try. Everyone is welcome to come and see this unique version of “the roaring game”.
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The North Nova Gryphons girls hockey team was to host a five-team PowerPuck Tournament at the Wellness Centre, but with the cancellation of school, the tournament is cancelled for today - organizers are trying to reschedule the tournament to start tomorrow.
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NATIONAL SPORTS
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The Winnipeg Jets cap a six-game homestand tonight when they host the Carolina Hurricanes. Winnipeg has just one win over the homestand and is 3-6-and-0 over its last nine games. It's one of four games on the ice, including Calgary facing Columbus.
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All-stars Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan were too much last night for the Portland Trail Blazers. Lowry scored 30 points and DeRozan added 29 as Toronto earned a 110-103 win, its 13th in 14 contests. A busy night in the N-B-A with 10 games on tap.
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Spurs guard Manu Ginobili will be out for at least a month after surgery for a testicle injury he suffered during the team's win over New Orleans earlier this week. Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson had his back turned to Ginobili as he was working toward the basket when he spun quickly and struck the 38-year-old guard in the groin with his right knee.
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Two Texas police departments have closed their cases on a possible assault involving Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel. Charges have not been filed despite allegations Manziel struck his former girlfriend last weekend. Cleveland is expected to release Manziel next month, ending two turbulent N-F-L seasons.
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The first round of the P-G-A's Waste Management Phoenix Open continues today. Rickie Fowler, Shane Lowry and Hideki Matsuyama shared the lead when round was suspended. Graham DeLaet enters today as the top Canadian at 1 over.
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The second round of the L-P-G-A's Coates Golf Championship continues today in Ocala, Florida. Ha Na Jang was the leader at 8 under when play was suspended. Canada's Brooke Henderson enters today's action at 4 under.


GAS THE SAME; DIESEL WAY UP
Friday 5th February 2016
Gas hasn't changed, but diesel has taken a jump. A litre of regular self-serve is still 89.5 cents, but a litre of diesel is up almost four cents to 90.4 cents.


COUNCILS VOTE FOR AMALGAMATION BUSINESS PLAN: PROVINCE WILL KICK IN MONEY FOR TRANSITION COSTS *UPDATED 10:50 AM*
Friday 5th February 2016
A new wrinkle in the saga of amalgamation. As the four councils voted last night in favor of the financial plan for the proposed amalgamated government, the province is now pledging millions of dollars to help defray the costs of combining. If the public votes for amalgamation in the May plebiscite, the province will give $27 Million over five years. Municipal Affairs Minister Zach Churchill says this money is to help with transition costs and infrastructure spending. The Utility and Review Board is holding public hearings on the amalgamation next month in Stellarton, and anyone wishing to speak at the hearing is asked to write to the board by February 24th. Scroll down to March 7th for contact information.

All of the documentation can be found here.


NSP CREWS GEARING UP FOR ANOTHER STORM
Friday 5th February 2016
Nova Scotia Power is preparing for a storm system that’s expected to bring freezing rain and wet snow to the province today, and is encouraging customers to be prepared, as well.The power company says it is moving crews and trucks into position around the province in advance of the storm, so it will be prepared to respond to any outages. The potential for outages is of particular concern in areas hardest hit by last weekend’s storm because it has left trees weakened and damaged. The utility is also encouraging its customers to have an emergency kit on hand and follow other storm preparation tips listed online.

Track power outages across the province here.


BAGGAGE HANDLERS AT HFX AIRPORT CHARGED WITH THEFT
Friday 5th February 2016
Theft charges have been laid against three baggage handlers at Halifax Stanfield International Airport. Authorities won't say which airline the accused work for or what was allegedly stolen. Police say more arrests are expected.


MAN ARRESTED FOR IMPAIRED DRIVING AFTER GOING WRONG WAY ON TRANS-CANADA
Thursday 4th February 2016
Pictou County District RCMP arrested a 41-year-old New Germany man for Impaired Operation of a Motor Vehicle. Around 9 p.m. last night, Pictou County District RCMP received a report of an erratic driver on Highway 104, near Alma. Police also received a report that the same vehicle was travelling in the wrong direction on Highway 104 and had crashed in the median near Exit 20 in Pleasant Valley. When police arrived on scene, the driver of the vehicle fled on foot but was arrested a short time later. The man is scheduled to appear in Pictou Provincial Court on 21 March. The investigation is continuing.


YEAR ONE OF NEW EDUCATION PLAN ROLLED OUT BY PROVINCE
Thursday 4th February 2016
Students and teachers will see more positive changes in 2016 as part of government's commitment to refocus, rebuild and renew the education system. Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Karen Casey provided the annual report on Nova Scotia's Action Plan for Education today. The minister has consistently said that every step in the action plan must be in the best interest of students and if there is a good idea, it will be considered, if something is not working, it will be changed. Improvements in year one of the action plan include a streamlined grade Primary to 3 curriculum with a greater emphasis on math and literacy, the early introduction of coding to help today's students become more career ready, a greater focus on financial literacy, homework standards, and more support for young children. New strategies in math, literacy and coding will provide a framework for a lifetime of learning.


JUDGE RULES EVIDENCE FROM DECEASED WITNESS ADMISSIBLE
Thursday 4th February 2016
A judge had ruled she will accept a statement from a witness who is now dead that implicates a Cape Breton man accused of murdering a 19-year-old woman in 2006. Judge Robin Gogan heard arguments on the "beyond-the-grave" evidence over the past week at the Nova Scotia Supreme Court trial of Thomas Ted Barrett in Sydney. A video showed Sheryl Ann Flynn telling Cape Breton Regional Police interviewers that Barrett informed her in 2009 that he'd strangled Brett Elizabeth MacKinnon three years earlier. Flynn died of a drug overdose on Oct. 13, 2013. Barrett is being tried for the second-degree murder of MacKinnon, with closing arguments expected Friday. MacKinnon was last seen in early June 2006 and was reported missing on July 13 of that year. On Nov. 21, 2008, local residents found her remains near a hiking trail on the outskirts of Glace Bay.


TWO MORE CHARGES ADDED TO MURDER SUSPECT'S CASE
Thursday 4th February 2016
A 36 year old Pictou County man charged with murder has had his case held over as two more charges were added. Robert Jason MacKenzie appeared in Pictou Court this morning following a 30-day psychiatric evaluation, as he faces a charge of second degree murder in the death of Nicole Campbell late last year. He also faces charges of stealing prescription drugs with a knife and possession of a weapon in an unrelated matter. MacKenzie is expected to return to court for plea February 17.


MINISTERS MEETING TO DISCUSS NATIONAL CHILD CARE PLAN
Thursday 4th February 2016
Canada's new families minister will sit down with his provincial counterparts today and tomorrow in Edmonton to talk about the path forward on a national child care system. The meeting comes more than a decade after former Liberal minister Ken Dryden and the provinces agreed to create a national daycare program, only to see the agreements disappear when the Conservatives took office in 2006. Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos says this meeting will renew talks about a national early learning and child care framework and how it might look.


SPORTS ROUNDUP - FEBRUARY 4 *UPDATED 11:30 AM*
Thursday 4th February 2016
The Weeks Junior A Crushers have another match at the Wellness Centre, hosting Campbellton at 7 tonight. While the two teams are at opposite ends of their respective divisions, the Crushers have only two more wins than the Tigers at this point.
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The Bluenose Curling Club will be hosting the 2016 Nova Scotia Wheelchair Curling Provincial Championship starting Friday through Sunday. This is the first time that the event will be held outside the Halifax area and also the first time that there will be 3 teams competing for the provincial title. The winner will advance to the National Wheelchair Curling Championship in Regina in April. The local team is skipped by Devin Forbes, who curls out of the New Caledonian Curling Club in Pictou, with teammates Bill MacKenzie, Philip Sutherland and Kathy McIsaac, all members of the Bluenose club in New Glasgow. Jane Marshall, who is the chairperson of the event, says that the club members are very excited to be hosting this provincial and they are able to do it because of a generous donation from the local Investor's Group Financial office for the purchase of a portable ramp that allows the wheelchairs access to the ice surface. The host team is hoping ,with both the Bluenose and New Caledonian clubs being accessible and bringing a provincial event to the area, that other wheelchair users will be encouraged to give the game a try. Everyone is welcome to come and see this unique version of “the roaring game”.
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Sweden and Russia played to a 5-5 tie yesterday in Female Walter Duggan World Handball action. Scoring for Sweden: Breagh Hedd 2, Claire Hodgson 1, Cierra Gammel 1, Becca Jackson 1. For Russia: Lacey MacKay 2, Sydney Gaudet 1, Eliza Eleponga 1, Meghan Almer 1
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The North Nova Gryphons girls hockey team is hosting a five-team PowerPuck Tournament this weekend at the Wellness Centre. The Gryphons will welcome the Pictou Academy Pitbulls, Dr. J.H. Gillis Royals, Park View Panthers and Fredericton Black Cats to the two-day tournament. There will be a few changes to the usual rules - all games will be two 12-minute periods, and games tied at the end of regulation play will go directly to a shootout. In addition, all penalties will lead to a penalty shot by the opposing team, with all other players lined up at the blue line behind centre ice. North Nova's first match is Friday morning at 11. The championship game is scheduled for Saturday afternoon.
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NATIONAL SPORTS
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Mike Babcock will coach his 1,000th career N-H-L game when the Toronto Maple Leafs host the New Jersey Devils. Toronto is 9-1-and-4 in its last 14 home games against New Jersey. Elsewhere, Edmonton visits Ottawa and Columbus takes on Vancouver.
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The Toronto Raptors put their club-record 11-game win streak on the line tonight in Portland. The Blazers have won their last seven home games against Toronto as well as 12-of-13 meetings overall. It's one of four games on the hardwood.
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Super Bowl 50 has been deemed safe. N-F-L security leaders and top law enforcement officials say they've learned from recent attacks in Paris and California. N-F-L senior vice-president of security Jeffrey Miller says the league has "a great deal of confidence" in the safety plan for the game.
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Canada moved up three spots to number 85 in the FIFA world soccer rankings. A total of 204 countries are listed. Belgium remained first overall ahead of Argentina and Spain.


TWO VEHICLE COLLISION ON MOUNTAIN ROAD DAMAGES BOTH VEHICLES, INJURES DRIVER
Thursday 4th February 2016
One man was taken to hospital following a two vehicle collision around 5:45 last night. The male driver of a Honda CRV was travelling Westbound on Mountain Road when he collided with a Hyundai Santa Fe, which was parked on the shoulder. The 70 year old driver collided with the parked vehicle, causing his CRV to flip on its roof and extensively damaging both vehicles. The driver was taken to Aberdeen Hospital and treated with non-life threatening injuries. The parked Santa Fe was unoccupied.


NEW DISPATCH SYSTEM DEPLOYED IN ROCKLIN FIRE
Thursday 4th February 2016
Fire departments were called out to a structure fire in Rocklin Wednesday afternoon. Westville Fire Chief Kenny Dunn told NG News his department responded to assist Alma. Dunn said he thought there were two people in the home at the time of the fire, but they both got out safely. This is the first time that Automatic Aid was used since it was put into effect on Monday. The new system automatically dispatches fire departments to assist in situations such as a structure fire or motor vehicle accident. Dunn says Automatic Aid worked well, with plenty of manpower deployed to deal with the fire.


WORKERS STILL CLEARING OUT LOCAL TRAILS
Thursday 4th February 2016
Note for frequent users of New Glasgow's trails - The Samson Trail has been cleared, plowed and sanded and is now open again, while the Pioneer Trail remains closed as work related to fallen trees and branches is still underway.


GROUP HOME WORKERS IN CB ALLEGE WORKPLACE IS UNSAFE
Thursday 4th February 2016
Allegations of assaults, unsafe sexual activity and illicit drug use have surfaced at a youth group home in Cape Breton. The Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union say youth workers at the home in Sydney have complained they don't feel safe. The union says there are sex acts occurring among residents -- and when reported to management, staff members are directed to simply observe. Cabinet minister Geoff MacLellan says the government has dispatched a team to the home to investigate.


EASTERN PASSAGE RESTAURANT OWNER COMPLAINS HER BUSINESS FAILED PARTLY DUE TO POOR WORK ETHIC OF EMPLOYEES
Thursday 4th February 2016
A Halifax-area restaurant owner has sparked a social media uproar by complaining that a new generation of employees with a poor work ethic helped kill her business. A recent Facebook post from Kim Stacey -- owner of the now-defunct Emma's Eatery in Eastern Passage -- cites several reasons for the closure. But much of the online debate has focused on her decision to highlight what she describes as the entitled attitude of young staff members. In her post, Stacey complains that during the nine years the eatery was open, young employees demanded shifts that did not interfere with their social activities, hobbies and cellphone use -- making it impossible for her to run her business properly.


PEI HOLDING PUBLIC MEETINGS ON ELECTORAL REFORM
Thursday 4th February 2016
The Prince Edward Island government is moving ahead with plans for democratic reform. A provincial committee will be holding six community meetings across the province over the next two months to discuss a plebiscite that will be held this fall. The plebiscite will be used to choose how members of the legislative assembly are elected. The upcoming meetings will help determine what question will posed in the plebiscite. 


LIBERALS UNDER FIRE FOR TECHNICALITY IN RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS SETTLEMENTS
Thursday 4th February 2016
Canada's Indigenous Affairs minister says her department will look into the cases of residential school students who were disqualified for compensation by a technicality. Carolyn Bennett made the commitment in the Commons after the Liberal government came under fire during question period. The issue centres on an administrative split, created when the federal government took over the operation of some residential schools while leaving others in the control of religious leaders. An estimated one-thousand students who attended the federally-operated institutions were found ineligible for compensation because of the split. Bennett says she'll have officials review the issue. N-D-P critic Charlie Angus calls the issue a "travesty conjured up in the Department of Justice" and says the government should pay compensation to the students.


BLOOD SERVICES TAKING STEPS TO PROTECT FROM ZIKA VIRUS
Thursday 4th February 2016
Canada is moving to protect its blood supply from the threatening Zika virus. The agency responsible says people who have travelled outside of Canada, the continental U-S and Europe will be ineligible to give blood for 21 days after their return. Canadian Blood Services says the nation-wide waiting period will take effect at all of its clinics starting Friday as a way to ensure the virus has been eliminated from a person's bloodstream and to mitigate the risk of Zika entering our blood supply. Quebec's blood operator, Hema-Quebec, will be implementing the same change as of this Sunday.


TRUDEAU SENDS CABINET MINISTER TO SENATE QUESTION TIME
Thursday 4th February 2016
Another step has been taken in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's plan to make the Senate and more independent and less partisan chamber. Fisheries Minister Hunter Tootoo yesterday became the first cabinet minister to submit to questioning in the Upper Chamber. Standing in the Senate's centre aisle, Tootoo answered more than a dozen questions about programs and policies in his portfolio. Both Conservative and Liberal senators said the 30-minute session was an improvement over the traditional question period held in the Red Chamber. During a normal Senate question period, the government leader in the chamber answers queries on behalf of all government departments. However, Trudeau has not named a government leader in the Senate, forcing the Upper Chamber to find other ways of holding the government to account.


PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICER WARNS CANADIANS AT RISK DUE TO ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION
Thursday 4th February 2016
Canada's top doctor is sounding a warning about alcohol in this year's public health report, noting many simply don't realize the potential health risks of drinking wine, beer or spirits -- even at low amounts. Chief public health officer Dr. Gregory Taylor says drinking alcohol has become a "normalized" part of life for most Canadians but it holds potential harms, including several cancers, liver disease, auto accidents and suicides. An estimated 22-million Canadians aged 15 and up consumed booze in 2012, and at least 3.1-million drank enough to be at risk for immediate injury and harm, with even more at risk for such chronic health effects.


MOUNTIES ALLOWING PEAK BEHIND THE CURTAIN ON SOCIAL MEDIA FRIDAY NIGHT
Wednesday 3rd February 2016
Another Maritime police force is taking to social media to give residents more insight into their operations. Nova Scotia R-C-M-P say they'll be live tweeting a sampling of incoming 9-1-1 calls on Friday night and providing insight into the important role dispatchers play in emergency response. They say they'll also answer questions posed on the Twitter account @RCMPNS with the hashtag #CopCallsNS. The commanding officer of Prince Edward Island's R-C-M-P also live-tweeted during a ride-along last month. 


WINDSOR APARTMENT FIRE DISPLACES SEVEN
Wednesday 3rd February 2016
At least seven people were displaced by a fire early today that extensively damaged a four-unit apartment building in Windsor, N.S. The blaze also forced the precautionary evacuation of two adjacent structures, including the Windsor House assisted-living complex. The fire at 10 Wentworth Road was reported shortly after 1 a.m. Evacuees were initially taken to a church hall across the street with help from staff of the assisted-living home, firefighters and the RCMP.


HEARING IN CB MURDER CASE HINGES ON WHETHER TESTIMONY FROM A DEAD WITNESS ADMISSIBLE
Wednesday 3rd February 2016
A decision on whether to accept a statement from a witness who is now dead that implicates a Cape Breton man in a murder is before a Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge.  Judge Robin Gogan heard arguments on Tuesday on the admissibility of a police statement given in 2012 by Sheryl Ann Flynn. Crown prosecutor Kathryn Pentz says court heard Flynn tell police in the video that Thomas Tedd Barrett told her he'd strangled 19-year-old Brett Elizabeth McKinnon in 2006. Barrett is on trial for the second-degree murder of McKinnon. The prosecutor says she argued in the judge-only trial that Flynn was not under the influence of any illegal substances when she made the statement to police and knew what she was doing. Flynn died of an overdose in 2013. Defence lawyer Brian Bailey was unavailable for comment.


SYRIAN REFUGEES WILL NEED MORE HELP, SAYS GOV'T REPORT
Wednesday 3rd February 2016
An internal Immigration Department document obtained by The Canadian Press says the needs of government-assisted Syrian refugees are greater than originally expected. But while the requirements are common among all government-assisted refugees, the report says these cases are unique because of the rapid timeline for resettlement set by the Liberal government. The analysis found Syrians sponsored by the government tend to have bigger families, are younger, and speak less English or French than those privately sponsored.


SPORTS ROUNDUP - FEBRUARY 3 *UPDATED 11:30 AM*
Wednesday 3rd February 2016
The Bluenose Curling Club will be hosting the 2016 Nova Scotia Wheelchair Curling Provincial Championship starting Friday through Sunday. This is the first time that the event will be held outside the Halifax area and also the first time that there will be 3 teams competing for the provincial title. The winner will advance to the National Wheelchair Curling Championship in Regina in April. The local team is skipped by Devin Forbes, who curls out of the New Caledonian Curling Club in Pictou, with teammates Bill MacKenzie, Philip Sutherland and Kathy McIsaac, all members of the Bluenose club in New Glasgow. Jane Marshall, who is the chairperson of the event, says that the club members are very excited to be hosting this provincial and they are able to do it because of a generous donation from the local Investor's Group Financial office for the purchase of a portable ramp that allows the wheelchairs access to the ice surface. The host team is hoping ,with both the Bluenose and New Caledonian clubs being accessible and bringing a provincial event to the area, that other wheelchair users will be encouraged to give the game a try. Everyone is welcome to come and see this unique version of “the roaring game”.
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In Peewee C, Trenton defeated Thorburn 5-2 in Thorburn Monday evening . Scoring for Trenton was Owen Broody and Keegan Fournier with 2 each, and Colby Niles. Assists came from Nathan Roper, Dawson Mackay, and Danial Cameron. Thorburn's goals came from Robert Walsh and Keegan Norris. Winning goalie was Michael Francis.
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NATIONAL SPORTS
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The N-H-L has rescheduled three games that were postponed because of a recent snowstorm on the East Coast.  The Pittsburgh at Washington game will take place March 1st.  The two other games -- Anaheim at Washington and Philadelphia at the New York Islanders -- have been reset for April 10 at the end of the regular season.
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There are just three games in the N-H-L tonight.  The Montreal Canadiens host Buffalo, Detroit is at Tampa Bay and the Calgary Flames welcome Carolina in the late game.
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It's a busy night around the N-B-A with 11 games on the schedule.  The top teams in the league are both on the road as LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers visit Charlotte. And Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors are in Washington, D-C. The Toronto Raptors are off after playing back-to-back nights.
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Boston University researchers say former N-F-L quarterback Ken Stabler had the brain disease C-T-E. The Hall of Fame finalist died of colon cancer last July at the age of 69. A neurology professor says the disease was found to be widespread throughout Stabler's brain, with "quite severe" damage to the regions involving learning, memory and regulation of emotion.  C-T-E, which can only be diagnosed after death, is linked to repeated brain trauma and associated with symptoms such as memory loss, depression and progressive dementia and has been found in the brains of dozens of former football players. 


PICTOU COUNTY COUNCILS TO VOTE ON AMALGAMATED BUSINESS PLAN
Wednesday 3rd February 2016
The four councils in Pictou County planning to merge will vote tomorrow on a business plan for a proposed amalgamated municipal government. The towns of New Glasgow, Pictou, Stellarton, and the Municipality of Pictou County are all holding special council meetings Thursday night to vote on the final proposal to be presented on Friday to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board. According to NG News, the plan will give the councils a look at the new amalgamated structure from a financial point of view. They'll also be able to make sure their their pre-conditions are met. New Glasgow and Stellarton councils will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday; Pictou town council will meet at 6:30 p.m. and the Municipality of Pictou County is holding its meeting at 7 p.m., beginning with an in-camera session followed by a public meeting. The Memorandum of Understanding committee has to file its business plan with the Board by Friday. The UARB will then host public meetings on the proposed amalgamation next month.


NEW GLASGOW MAN ARRESTED FOLLOWING COCAINE SEIZURE
Wednesday 3rd February 2016
Police arrested a 39-year old New Glasgow man and seized cocaine following a vehicle stop in Truro on Sunday morning. The man has been charged with Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking Cocaine and Obstruction of Justice. He was released and will appear in Truro Provincial Court on April 18. The investigation is continuing.


ECONOMISTS SAY NB BUDGET COULD BE THE TEMPLATE FOR OTHER PROVINCES
Wednesday 3rd February 2016
Experts say the austerity budget tabled by New Brunswick is a harbinger of things to come as other jurisdictions across the country struggle with sluggish growth or even contraction. New Brunswick increased taxes, cut spending and shrunk its civil service in a 8.9 billion dollar budget released yesterday. Finn Poschmann, C-E-O of the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council, says the message for provinces to come is "this could be you." The get-tough budget was tabled as every other province looked back on a weak economic year, amid signs worse may be to come. A forecast from T-D Economics, released last week, included downgrades to 2016 growth prospects from coast to coast. The study says plunging commodity prices will continue to hurt resource-rich Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador and, to a lesser extent, Saskatchewan. It says economic growth in the other provinces — Quebec, Nova Scotia, P-E-I, Manitoba and New Brunswick — is expected to slowly expand at less than two per cent in 2016 and into 2017.


TRUDEAU TO MEET ALBERTA PREMIER TODAY
Wednesday 3rd February 2016
Alberta's premier says with her province's economy losing revenue because of low oil prices, she has plenty to discuss with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau when he visits her in Edmonton today. Rachel Notley says she will drive home the point that Alberta needs to get oilsands product to tidewater and to other markets in order for Canadians to get the best return on the resource. The head of the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors says the industry isn't looking for a handout -- just federal support on building pipelines.


ALLIES ASKING CANADA TO CONTRIBUTE MORE SYRIAN AID
Wednesday 3rd February 2016
Britain, Germany and Norway want Canada to double its financial assistance to help ease the humanitarian crisis brought on by the ongoing Syrian civil war. The request from the foreign governments comes ahead of a major donors conference the three are hosting in London tomorrow. Asked if International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau will take a cheque to the meeting, a spokesperson for the Global Affairs Department deferred. Michelle Saucier said in an email that Canada is still determining how available funding can be invested and what an appropriate contribution looks like. The Liberal government is considering what role Canada will play in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which is now part of the Syrian war as well. Meanwhile, the clock is also ticking on the matching fund program announced by the previous Conservative government and extended by the Liberals. Canadians have until the end of this month to donate to organizations active in overseas relief efforts and see their money matched by Ottawa.


LIBERALS TOPS IN FUNDRAISING
Wednesday 3rd February 2016
The Conservatives have been dethroned as kings of federal fundraising. The Liberal party has surpassed the Tories, who held the crown for more than a decade. Fourth-quarter reports filed with Elections Canada match the two parties' political fortunes in the October 19th election, when the Grits scored an upset majority win, sending the Conservatives to Opposition benches. The financial reports show the Liberals raked in 6.5-million dollars during the last three months of 2015 from almost 56-thousand donors. The Conservatives pulled in 5.3-million from almost 43-thousand donors. The N-D-P, which finished a disappointing third in the election, pulled in 2.8-million from almost 63-thousand donors.


RICHMOND COUNTY RESIDENTS COULD HAVE MAYORAL RACE FOR FIRST TIME
Tuesday 2nd February 2016
Residents of Nova Scotia's Richmond County could be electing a mayor for the first time. Councillors passed a motion last night by a vote of 4-3 to elect a mayor at large instead of a warden chosen by fellow councillors. Deputy Warden Malcolm Beaton cast the deciding vote and says a mayor elected by citizens can be more impartial. Beaton says there was some concern that a mayor would cost more than a warden but he says municipal officials will be sure to account for that. 


POLICE GIVE ALL-CLEAR AFTER BOMB THREAT IN ST. JOHN'S COURT
Tuesday 2nd February 2016
Police in Newfoundland investigating a bomb threat at the provincial court building in the capital of St. John's say no explosives were found. The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary's canine team and explosive disposal unit scoured Atlantic Place as dozens of workers were evacuated. Const. Geoff Higdon says the building which houses provincial courtrooms, shops and offices has now re-opened. Police responded to the reported bomb threat around 10 a.m. local time.


AUDITOR GENERAL SAYS BORDER SERVICES NOT DOING ITS JOB DETECTING ILLEGAL EXPORTS
Tuesday 2nd February 2016
Auditor general Michael Ferguson says the Canada Border Services Agency is not keeping a close enough eye on exports, causing high-risk shipments — including illegal drugs and stolen cars — to leave the country undetected. In his latest report, the federal watchdog says the agency is not reviewing all export declarations and not examining many shipments that had been flagged by its own internal system — or by warnings from other departments. Up to 20 per cent of high-risk exports identified by the agency's centralized targeting units were allowed to pass without inspection. Much of the breakdown relates to staff levels; in some locations, inspections cease entirely if a single staff member goes away on vacation. Ferguson also concludes that goods valued under $2,000 do not require a permit, but can be subject to random inspection. Even on that count, he says, the agency is falling down because of a lack of staff. Small undeclared parcels are a popular means for drug traffickers to get their illicit goods out of the country, but Ferguson's auditors found hunting for those shipments is not a priority under the current system.


OXFORD FROZEN FOODS TO RECEIVE PAYROLL REBATE
Tuesday 2nd February 2016
Nova Scotia Business Inc. has approved a payroll rebate for Oxford Frozen Foods Limited. The province says the food producer has the potential to create up to 110 new jobs under the new agreement, which could mean an additional $18.7 million in salaries for rural Nova Scotia. NSBI says the rebate, roughly $1.48 Million, would be smaller if fewer jobs are created. Learn more about Oxford Frozen Foods here.


HALIFAX OFFICERS CLEARED BY WATCHDOG AFTER WOMAN INJURED IN ESCAPE
Tuesday 2nd February 2016
The provincial police watchdog has cleared a pair of Halifax Regional Police officers of wrongdoing after a woman fractured her back, pelvis and wrist after falling from a window while trying to evade arrest. The Serious Incident Response Team says the 25-year-old woman admitted she was trying to escape police at an apartment building last July 10 when she was injured. The woman told the team she either jumped or fell from the apartment window as a result of her own actions. The independent agency says the officers were attempting to arrest the woman for a breach of a court order, but she ran to an apartment and locked herself inside. When one of the officers ran to the back of the building, he found the injured woman on the ground. The agency says the two officers acted quickly to ensure the woman received medical care, adding there are no grounds to consider charges against either officer.


SPORTS ROUNDUP - FEBRUARY 2 *UPDATED 11:10 AM*
Tuesday 2nd February 2016
The Bluenose Curling Club will be hosting the 2016 Nova Scotia Wheelchair Curling Provincial Championship starting Friday through Sunday. This is the first time that the event will be held outside the Halifax area and also the first time that there will be 3 teams competing for the provincial title. The winner will advance to the National Wheelchair Curling Championship in Regina in April. The local team is skipped by Devin Forbes, who curls out of the New Caledonian Curling Club in Pictou, with teammates Bill MacKenzie, Philip Sutherland and Kathy McIsaac, all members of the Bluenose club in New Glasgow. Jane Marshall, who is the chairperson of the event, says that the club members are very excited to be hosting this provincial and they are able to do it because of a generous donation from the local Investor's Group Financial office for the purchase of a portable ramp that allows the wheelchairs access to the ice surface. The host team is hoping ,with both the Bluenose and New Caledonian clubs being accessible and bringing a provincial event to the area, that other wheelchair users will be encouraged to give the game a try. Everyone is welcome to come and see this unique version of “the roaring game”.
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The Scotsburn Major Bantam Crushers are in Halifax tonight to play the Hawks.
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The Pictou County Scotians were roughly equal with the opposition in shots on goal, but couldn't get past Pierrick Heudes as they were shut out 5-0 by Cumberland County last night in Springhill. The Scotians next game is in Glace Bay on Saturday against the Junior Miners.
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Kelly MacInnis stopped 41 shots as the Rangers deafeated the Canadians 3-2 last night in Leo fahey twilight Hockey League action at the Westville Miners Sports Center. Jana Shaw paced the Rangers with two goals with Katie Bray chipping in with a single tally. Julie Anderson and Gena Henderson replied for the Canadians.
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Canada won the 1st Division World Indoor Handball Tournament yesterday at the Walter Duggan Gymnasium by defeating Italy 10-9 and Argentina 10-3.
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NATIONAL SPORTS
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Rookie sensation Connor McDavid returns to the ice tonight. McDavid skated with his Oilers teammates in practice yesterday after breaking his clavicle in a game against Philadelphia on November 3rd. Edmonton hosts the last-place Columbus Blue Jackets tonight.
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The N-H-L's all-star break is over, with a packed schedule of 12 games.  They include the Toronto Maple Leafs visiting Boston, Montreal in Philadelphia and the Ottawa Senators in Pittsburgh.  Later, the Winnipeg Jets host Dallas and the Edmonton Oilers welcome Columbus.
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The Phoenix Suns will have a new head coach when they take on the Toronto Raptors tonight. The team fired coach Jeff Hornacek yesterday with the Suns in the midst of a 2-and-19 skid that leaves them 14-and-35. He has been replaced by 13-year veteran point guard Earl Watson, who was in his first season as a Suns assistant.


GROUNDHOGS PREDICT EARLY SPRING BY A 2-1 MARGIN *UPDATED 9:25 AM*
Tuesday 2nd February 2016
The first of North America's famed, four-legged forecasters has made his weather prediction and it's bound to make winter-weary Canadians happy. Nova Scotia's Shubenacadie Sam didn't see his shadow this morning as he scurried from his tiny shed at a provincial wildlife park. According to tradition, if the groundhog doesn't see its shadow when it emerges from its burrow on Groundhog Day, an early spring is in store. Pennsylvania's Punxsutawney Phil, arguably the best-known weather predicting woodchuck, also predicted an early spring, drawing cheers and whistles from the crowd. Ontario's Wiarton Willie was the lone holdout, predicting six more weeks of winter.


PASTOR ACCUSED OF SEX CRIMES DECADES AGO IN NOVA SCOTIA
Tuesday 2nd February 2016
One of Canada's most progressive Christian pastors who officiated the country's first same-sex marriages is accused of sex crimes in the Maritimes. R-C-M-P say Toronto Reverend Brent Hawkes has been charged with indecent assault and gross indecency related to allegations of a sexual assault in the 1970s in Kings County, Nova Scotia. In a statement on the website of the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto, Hawkes said he is innocent, adding that "the purported events simply did not take place." The church board says Hawkes is a man of "high integrity" and has its "steadfast support." The 65-year-old Bath, New Brunswick native officiated the 2011 state funeral in Toronto for N-D-P leader Jack Layton.


THINK TANK SUGGESTS EI CHANGES
Tuesday 2nd February 2016
The C.D. Howe Institute says reforms to employment insurance and moves to develop a more highly skilled workforce can help Canada's labour market adjust to weakened economic conditions. The Toronto-based think-tank says the federal government should make changes to EI because the program only covers about half of unemployed Canadians. The document's author, Craig Alexander, argues that Ottawa should replace its regionally based criteria for EI with eligibility and benefits rules that are uniform across the country. Alexander also says Canada must focus on creating a more highly skilled workforce as a way to increase productivity. He says such positions made up virtually all net job creation between 1999 and 2012. The former chief economist at TD Bank says the labour force is facing a number of challenges, including globalization, an aging population and technological changes — all factors that have been compounded by the steep slide in commodity prices. Meanwhile, the report notes that in recent years Canada has seen a shift toward more precarious types of employment such as temporary, self-employed and part-time jobs. The new Liberal government has promised reforms to the EI program, including reducing the waiting time for benefits to one week from two.


GHOMESHI TRIAL - DAY ONE
Tuesday 2nd February 2016
A woman who alleges she was sexually assaulted by Jian Ghomeshi will be back on the witness stand today as the trial of the disgraced former broadcaster continues. Ghomeshi, who used to host CBC Radio's popular culture show "Q," has pleaded not guilty to four counts of sexual assault — two of which relate to the woman who is testifying — and one count of overcoming resistance by choking. Yesterday, the woman told Ghomeshi's judge alone trial that the 48-year-old seemed like a charming gentleman who abruptly would turn violent. She told the court Ghomeshi once yanked hard on her hair without warning when they were kissing in his car, and on another night a few weeks later, started suddenly punching her in the head while they were kissing in his living room. The woman, who cannot be identified, says she didn't go to police when the alleged incidents took place in December 2002 and January 2003 because she didn't think anyone would listen. Ghomeshi's defence lawyer tried to poke holes in the woman's testimony, however, highlighting inconsistencies between what she told police and what she said in court. Marie Henein accused the woman of, at best, failing to remember important details of what she said happened, or, at worst, of making up some of her story. The woman responded by repeatedly insisting she did not lie, but may not have correctly recalled certain peripheral points of her interaction with Ghomeshi. Ghomeshi, who has been out on bail since being charged in November 2014, maintained a serious look throughout the first day of his highly-anticipated trial and watched Henein intently as she conducted her cross-examination.


CRUZ WINS IOWA CAUCUSES, CLINTON NECK AND NECK WITH SANDERS, TWO OUT OF RACE
Tuesday 2nd February 2016
Democratic U-S presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is congratulating chief rival Hillary Clinton for waging a "vigorous campaign" in last night's Iowa caucuses, the first contest of the 2016 election. Sanders says it looks the two are in a "virtual tie" for first place, though the Clinton camp is casting her performance as a win. Clinton captured 22 delegates to the party convention, and Sanders captured 21, with one delegate left to be decided. Meanwhile, Ted Cruz's victory in Iowa means he'll collect eight delegates to the Republican National Convention. He beat billionaire Donald Trump and Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who will each get seven delegates, while Ben Carson gets three, and Rand Paul and Jeb Bush each get one.
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Two U-S presidential candidates pulled out of the race in the wake of their showings in Iowa. Former Maryland governor Martin O'Malley ended his Democratic campaign before the votes were all counted, and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee dropped out on the Republican side.


OLDEST LIVING PERSON MAY BE IN QUEBEC
Tuesday 2nd February 2016
Guinness World Records is on a fact-mission in Haiti to find out if Cecilia Laurent of Laval, Quebec, is the oldest woman alive. Laurent is believed to have turned 120 on Sunday and her 28-year-old great-grandson, Ronald Chery, says only three of Laurent's 12 children are still alive, with the eldest in her 80's. But he says that doesn't make Laurent too sad, adding that, "She says to keep faith in God -- and don't ask too many questions." Laurent moved to Quebec from Haiti in 2010 after the country's earthquake. Chery says he couldn't help but contact Guinness and send the London-based organization copies of Laurent's passport and birth documentation. He said Guinness employees are trying to confirm the date of her birth, which her family swears is January 31st, 1896. Chery says if authenticated, Laurent will be named the oldest person alive.


VIOLA DESMOND HERITAGE MINUTE TO BE LAUNCHED TOMORROW
Monday 1st February 2016
A new Heritage Minute to be launched online tomorrow will tell the story of a Nova Scotia woman who challenged segregation in the province in the 1940s. Viola Desmond was arrested at a New Glasgow movie theatre in 1946 while sitting in a downstairs section reserved for white patrons instead of in the balcony for non-whites. Her case became a catalyst for change and in 1954, segregation was legally ended in Nova Scotia. The Heritage Minute stars actress Kandyse McClure, who has appeared in "Battlestar Galactica" and "Hemlock Grove." 


PICTOU COUNTY MARKS START OF AFRICAN HERITAGE MONTH
Monday 1st February 2016
African Heritage Month was launched this morning in Pictou County.  The launch and Proclamation signing ceremony, usually held at New Glasgow Town Council Chambers, was moved to Glasgow Square theatre this year to accommodate the larger crowds which have attended in recent years. This year's theme for African Heritage Month has a special Pictou County connection: it's No. 2 Construction Battalion: Legacy of Commitment –They Fought to Fight. The Battalion, a regiment of black soldiers who fought in the First World War, was headquartered in Pictou and is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. African Heritage Month celebrations will conclude on February 27th with a matinee dance and social at Glasgow Square Theatre, featuring The Natural Talent Show Band from Halifax and Pictou County’s own Angela Cromwell. Tickets are on sale now. Click here for a full list of African Heritage month activities throughout the province.


ABOUT 1,200 STILL WITHOUT POWER - NSP SAYS IT COULD TAKE ALL DAY
Monday 1st February 2016
Nova Scotia Power says some customers may be in the dark until tomorrow after heavy snow knocked out electricity to about 67,000 customers over the weekend. The utility says crews are tackling smaller areas and individual outages with the goal of having power restored by the end of the day. However, the utility says outages in the hardest hit areas of the province could take longer. It says ice-encased equipment and trees entangled in power lines are creating a challenge for crews. It says crews from New Brunswick helped reconnect power to more than 5,500 customers overnight in the Antigonish, Stellarton and Port Hawkesbury areas. Nova Scotia Power says it contacted customers directly by phone when it became clear that some of the estimated restoration times would not be met.

Click here for the NS Power outage map.


SPORTS ROUNDUP - FEBRUARY 1
Monday 1st February 2016
The Weeks Major Midgets have a pair of games at the Wellness Centre on the weekend – Saturday night they defeated Halifax 4-3 in a shootout. Kevin Mason got a pair of goals and Jaden Mason had the other for Pictou County in regulation. On Sunday the Weeks picked up another win, defeating the Cape Breton Tradesmen 4-1. Scoring for the Weeks were: Ryan Bakker with 2, and 1 each from Chad Tucker and G. Blackmore.
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The Scotsburn Major Bantam Crushers lost both matches at the Wellness Centre, shut out by the Bedford Barons 2-0 Saturday night, then doubled 6-3 by the Joneljim Cougars Sunday afternoon. Crushers' goals were scored by Kade Mason, Blake Kontuk and Colin MacGillivray. The Crushers are in Halifax on Tuesday night against the Hawks.
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The Pictou County Scotians dominated the Strait Pirates in a 5-2 victory Sunday night in Trenton. Scoring for the Scotians were Adam Downey with three, Christopher Brooker, and Blair Dewtie. The Scotians are back in Springhill tonight to play Cumberland County.
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The Northern Subway Selects Female Midget AAA team were to play a pair this weekend, although the game on Saturday against the Panthers at the Wellness Centre was cancelled. The team was defeated in East Hants by the Penguins 6-3 Sunday morning. Goals for the Selects were scored by Julia Scammell, Cam Halliday and Madelyn Borque, with Annika Mason getting an assist.
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The Pictou Maripacs Atom B team won their division 2 years in a row at the Annual Adam Larade Tournament in Pictou, defeating Thorburn 2-1.
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Pictou County Lightning Midget Boys team won two important seeding games in Truro Sunday, in advance of provincials in March. Game 1 saw the midget boys defeat Truro’s CBA Tigers 76 - 63. Leading the way for PCL were Jaren Johnson with 40 points, Glen Cox with 13 and Chris Gillin with a strong double double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.  Playing back to back games, the Lightning continued their aggressive defence by defeating Cole Harbour 76-56. Jaren Johnson again led the team in scoring with 20 points but was limited due to foul trouble.  Chad Russell stepped up with 13 points, followed by Chris Gillin with 12 points and 17 rebounds.
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The Kanokai Judo Club is taking new participants for the February to June term. The Club is located at 558 South Frederick Street in the Pictou County Gymnastics building (formerly Pictou County Y) on the second floor. Classes are held Monday and Thursday nights and everyone is welcome to try it out a couple of times before deciding if they'd like to join. Drop in any time and watch as well.  For further information contact Cindy Fraser at kanokaijudoclub@hotmail.com or 902-759-0700.
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NATIONAL SPORTS
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In a showcase of the NHL's finest players, a journeyman tough guy and current minor leaguer took MVP honours after helping Team Pacific win the four-team, 3-on-3 tournament. John Scott scored twice and recorded a plus-2 as Team Pacific knocked off Team Central in the second semifinal game. He provided his team's first goal in the opening minute and added a second-period tally to spark the Pacific's three-goal surge in a 61-second span. That was more than enough offence for fans to select Scott as MVP of the tournament. Scott wasn't listed among the three MVP candidates for a Twitter vote late in the final game, but fans took it upon themselves to select him once again. Scott also helped the Pacific beat the Atlantic 1-0 in the 20-minute final game, playing a little more than five minutes and accounting for two of his team's 16 shots. He will return to the minors about $90,000 richer after leading Team Pacific to the $1 million grand prize.
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NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has signed a new contract that runs through 2022. Bettman says the signing took place many months ago. He's been the league's leader since 1993 when it had 24 teams. Now, it has 30 franchises and there may be one or two more in a couple of years. The NHL has had three lockouts under Bettman. The current collective bargaining agreement with the NHL Players' Association expires the same year Bettman's latest contract ends.
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Chester’s Mary Fay is a national champion. The rink skipped by the 17-year-old won the Canadian Junior Women’s Curling Championship with a 9-5 victory over Sarah Daniels' foursome from British Columbia. Now, Fay and second Karlee Burgess, third Kristin Clarke, lead Janique LeBlanc and coach Andrew Atherton will represent Canada at the World Junior Championships in Taarnby, Denmark in March. They were already set to represent Canada at the Youth Winter Olympics next month in Lillehammer, Norway.
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The Golden State Warriors' latest winning streak has reached seven games as they moved a little closer to breaking the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls' NBA record of 72 victories. Klay Thompson scored half of his 34 points in the second quarter of the Warriors' 116-95 rout of the Knicks in New York. Draymond Green tied the franchise record with his ninth triple-double of the season, finishing with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists to help the Warriors improve to 44-4.
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In a Pro Bowl that pitted Team Michael Irvin against Team Jerry Rice, it was only fitting that the two teams would combine for 10 receiving touchdowns and over 800 passing yards. Russell Wilson threw for 164 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions as Team Irvin rolled to a 49-27 victory over Team Rice.
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The Detroit Lions want Calvin Johnson to take more time to decide whether he wants to continue his playing career. The Lions have issued a statement saying they stand by their previous statement that they supported the 30-year-old wide receiver. This comes after ESPN reported that Johnson has told family, friends and Lions coach Jim Caldwell that he is retiring. ESPN did not name its sources. Johnson's current contract calls for him to count $24 million against the salary cap this year. He declined to say last season if he would restructure his contract.


NO SCHOOL TODAY - FOR SOME *UPDATED 7:10 AM*
Monday 1st February 2016
For many students, there will be no school today. The Chignecto Central Regional School Board says that due to Friday's school cancelations, the assessment and evaluation day for secondary teachers will happen today, with secondary students returning to class on Tuesday. Elementary students will return to class as usual. Any questions should be directed to administration offices at individual schools.
Also, Due to an ongoing power outage, school is canceled today for students at Dr WA MacLeod Consolidated School. Teachers and support staff are to report to Northumberland Regional High School for the day,


HEAVY SNOW CLOSES WALKING TRAILS
Monday 1st February 2016
The wet, heavy snow not only left thousands without power for most of the weekend, but it has led to the closure of several walking trails. The Samson, Pioneer and Johnny Miles Memorial Trails are closed for the next few days as workers plow out the snow and clear fallen trees and tree branches.


MOU PUBLIC HEARING NEXT MONTH IN STELLARTON
Monday 1st February 2016
The municipalities applying to merge under the Memorandum of Understanding are holding another public hearing next month. The hearing, in front of the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board, will be Monday 7 March at the Holiday Inn Express in Stellarton. All are invited to attend, but those who wish to speak at the hearing, or make comments in writing, are asked to write to the Clerk of the URB by 24 February.
Address: Clerk of the Board, PO Box 1692, Unit M, Suite 300, 1601 Lower Water Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 3S3
Telephone: 1-855-442-4448 or 902-424-4448
Fax: 902-424-3919
E-mail: board@novascotia.ca


NB GOV'T TO SLASH CIVIL SERVICE MANAGEMENT JOBS TO HELP BALANCE BUDGET
Monday 1st February 2016
A New Brunswick government source says the provincial budget that will be handed down tomorrow will slash the number of civil service management jobs by 30 per cent -- or at least 180 positions. The source says senior management cuts will take effect this winter, while middle management reductions will be phased in over several years. The source, who shared the information with The Canadian Press on condition of anonymity, says reorganization of the civil service, including other job cuts, is projected to save 46 million dollars.


NDP LEADER WORRIES LIBERALS MAY BREAK PROMISE TO FUND CBC
Monday 1st February 2016
N-D-P leader Tom Mulcair is expressing concern the Liberals may not honour their campaign promise to boost funding for the C-B-C. Mulcair sent an open letter to Melanie Joly Sunday, days after she gave an interview to The Huffington Post in which she refused to say specifically how much the government would increase the C-B-C's budget. In the letter, Mulcair writes "that after years of deep cuts, it is unacceptable for the cultural sector to face this kind of uncertainty once again." In 2012, Stephen Harper's Conservative slashed C-B-C funding by 115 million dollars over three years. Since then, the public broadcaster has been hit by layoffs and program cancellations. During last year's election campaign the Liberals promised to invest 150 million dollars in new annual funding for the C-B-C. And Joly's office has issued an email statement saying the government will fulfil its pledge.


GHOMESHI TRIAL BEGINS TODAY
Monday 1st February 2016
Disgraced former C-B-C Radio host Jian Ghomeshi goes on trial by judge alone today in Toronto. He's facing four counts of sexual assault and one of overcoming resistance by choking in connection with allegations levelled by three women. Ghomeshi had been a rising star before the sex scandal erupted in October 2014. He was fired by the public broadcaster after the C-B-C said it had graphic evidence that he'd physically injured a woman. Ghomeshi admitted to engaging in what he called "rough sex," but insisted the encounters were always consensual. The ensuing scandal sparked a nationwide conversation about consent and workplace sexual harassment.


POLICY EXPERT SAYS LIBERALS CAN'T SOLVE VETERANS AFFAIRS DEPT WITH MORE MONEY
Monday 1st February 2016
A policy advisor for the Harper government says the governing Liberals' plan to pump more cash into services for veterans may not be so easy to achieve. Andrew Bernardo says writing a cheque for veterans won't guarantee improved services. He says he doesn't believe the Liberals fully appreciate how difficult it will be to make good on an election promise to push an extra 300 million dollars through the system. Federal figures indicate Veterans Affairs came in 200 million dollars under budget last year. A department report says the current pot of unspent funds is the result of veterans not taking advantage of available benefits. While the Conservatives were in power, they were accused by the opposition parties of trying to balance the budget on the backs of veterans by underspending at Veteran's Affairs. Under the government's accounting system, the full cost of some programs must be booked up front in the year they're announced, which Bernardo says will drive up the federal deficit.


POT PRODUCERS SEEK ADVERTISING RULES AHEAD OF LEGALIZATION
Monday 1st February 2016
Canada's biggest producers of medical marijuana want to see advertising rules for pot like the ones applied to alcohol, as they prepare for the legalization of the recreational market. Tweed, Mettrum and Bedrocan are all awaiting the launch of the Trudeau government's long-promised legal recreational market. The companies want advertising laws quickly put in place to avoid what they call a "Wild West" scenario. The government will soon set up a task force to hear from public health, substance abuse and public safety experts. Licensed medicinal marijuana producers are currently allowed to publish only basic information about their products, such as name and price, but active promotion of the product is prohibited. The regulations pose a legal conundrum for marijuana producers who want to market their products. Tweed president Mark Zekulin says changing the rules would benefit consumer choice about the different strains available.