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TRICOUNTY VANGUARD YEAR IN REVIEW: October 2018

Customers file into the Yarmouth NSLC at 10 a.m., many heading towards the rear of the store where the Cannabis Shop is located.
Customers file into the Yarmouth NSLC at 10 a.m., many heading towards the rear of the store where the Cannabis Shop is located.

A sampling of some of the news from the month.

Weymouth was part of ATV pilot program that province was launching

Nova Scotia was launching a pilot project to enhance trail connections for off-highway vehicles in six communities and Weymouth was one of them. The pilot would enable off-highway vehicles to use the shoulders of roadways – and the roadway itself where necessary – to travel safely in select areas from one trail to another or to access services. Only registered, licensed and insured off-highway vehicles can operate on the shoulder of the roadway in the six pilot communities as long as the operator has a valid driver’s licence. “This three-year pilot will enhance trail connections and associated off-season tourism opportunities while providing us with an opportunity for further study,” said Lloyd Hines, Nova Scotia’s minister of transportation and infrastructure renewal. Those welcoming the project included Barry Barnet, executive director of the ATV Association of Nova Scotia, who said, “This will go a long way to support our work of building an interconnected trail network across Nova Scotia and spreading the message of safe, responsible off-highway vehicle use.”


New classroom supports were announced; government said there had been new hires throughout province

The provincial government said it was addressing recommendations contained in a report on inclusive education and hiring had taken place to provide more supports to students, families and teachers. The goal, said Nova Scotia’s education minister, was to provide more supports to students and families while lessening the burden on teachers. The province said education assistants, parent navigators, autism and behavioural support specialists, school psychologists and speech language pathologists had been hired to better support students in the classroom. “We know the model of inclusion needs to change so that all our kids have the supports they need to help them succeed. We’ve started with on-the-ground resources that parents and teachers have told us are needed most urgently,” said Zach Churchill, minister of education and early childhood development, “…this is just the beginning.”


A photo of the video screen showing the unidentified flying object that was seen by at least four people on Cape Sable Island on Sept. 15.
A photo of the video screen showing the unidentified flying object that was seen by at least four people on Cape Sable Island on Sept. 15.

Evidence of new UFO sighting had people talking at Shag Harbour UFO museum

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Shag Harbour has been well-known for more than a half-century for its UFO incident of 1967, but in early October 2018, when people gathered at the Shag Harbour Incident Interpretive Centre, they got to learn about a much more recent local UFO sighting, one that had taken place over Cape Sable Island Sept. 15.

Noted UFO researcher Chris Styles, one of four witnesses to this new sighting, had just arrived in Yarmouth at about 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, when he got a call from his friend, Justin Brown, saying a UFO had been hovering over him on Cape Sable Island for 10 minutes. At the scene with Brown was Laurie Wickens, one of the eyewitnesses to the 1967 Shag Harbour UFO sighting.

Styles arrived in time to view the unidentified sphere through binoculars before it disappeared for good. Brown was able to capture the sighting on video, which was shown Oct. 6 during the gathering at the UFO museum.


Hal Theriault and Stacey Doucette, along with the board of directors of the Electric City Interpretative Centre project, hosted a public meeting on Oct. 4 to let the public know how they plan to recover from the fire on Aug. 29, which burnt many of their Electric City artifacts, which were going to be used in the new interpretive centre they plan to open.
Hal Theriault and Stacey Doucette, along with the board of directors of the Electric City Interpretative Centre project, hosted a public meeting on Oct. 4 to let the public know how they plan to recover from the fire on Aug. 29, which burnt many of their Electric City artifacts, which were going to be used in the new interpretive centre they plan to open.


Electric City project group was not giving up despite losing material in fire

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For nearly a decade, Hal Theriault and Stacey Doucette had been researching the New France Electric City near Weymouth. Along with their board of directors, they had been working towards establishing an interpretive centre to share their research and stories from the community of Weymouth.

Their plans had been dealt a blow when an Aug. 29 fire destroyed a building containing artifacts, research material and photographs pertaining to the Electric City project – the same building where they had hoped to set up their interpretive centre.

“Weymouth, as you may know, has been victimized by fires too often in its history,” Theriault said. “This will not stop us from moving forward.” The late-August fire had been deemed suspicious and was being investigated by the RCMP. Said Theriault, “The easy way would have been to say we don’t have anything anymore and we’re going to give up. That never entered anyone’s head. We may not have everything we started out with, but we still have the story.”


The Cat ferry passing the Ships Stern Light while leaving Yarmouth harbour, sailing past Cape Forchu, during an August 2018 crossing. ERVIN OLSEN PHOTO
The Cat ferry passing the Ships Stern Light while leaving Yarmouth harbour, sailing past Cape Forchu, during an August 2018 crossing. ERVIN OLSEN PHOTO

Cat saw its passenger total climb again in 2018 as Bay Ferries looked to Bar Harbor as ferry’s new future U.S. destination

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The Cat ferry had carried 50,185 passengers during its 2018 sailing season between Yarmouth and Portland. The company had seen its passenger totals go up each year since taking over the route in 2016. Which American location would be The Cat’s port of call in 2019 had yet to be determined as the ferry concluded its 2018 season on Oct. 8.

Bay Ferries was looking to switch from Portland to Bar Harbor and had presented a proposal to the Town of Bar Harbor in July. Bay Ferries wanted to go to Bar Harbor for several reasons – shorter distance, lower operating costs, tapping into a robust tourism market. On Oct. 16, Bar Harbor town council authorized its town manager to sign a lease agreement with Bay Ferries. Bay Ferries CEO Mark MacDonald said the company was still getting cost estimates for work required at the Bar Harbor terminal facility to begin sailing in June 2019. This work would be at the expense of Bay Ferries and the province, MacDonald said.


Jason McCaw was one of the first people in Yarmouth to legally buy recreational marijuana.
Jason McCaw was one of the first people in Yarmouth to legally buy recreational marijuana.

Good turnout on Day 1 of cannabis sales; supply challenges were being experienced nationwide

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Close to 80 people lined up outside the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation store in Yarmouth on Wednesday morning, Oct. 17, waiting for the NSLC’s cannabis shop to open for the first time.

It was a similar scene in many places across Canada as this country became the second nation in the world (after Uruguay) to legalize cannabis. Yarmouth NSLC manager Mike Wilson said he was pleased with the turnout on Day 1 of cannabis sales. “One of the larger outlets in Halifax had 200 standing in the lineup,” he said. “For a small town like Yarmouth, this is great. Good support.”

Cannabis also was available online and at 11 other NSLC stores across the province. At the time, the NSLC had 97 products representing 52 strains in inventory. Based on estimated sales projections, it expected to have a three-week supply of inventory on hand for the opening week.

Supply challenges for cannabis products were being experienced nationwide. Dave DiPersio, NSLC’s vice-president and chief services officer, said suppliers were working hard to get the product labelled and shipped. “We will process inventory receipts as quickly as possible, so product is available for our customers,” he said.

READ ALSO: INSIDE THE YARMOUTH CANNABIS STORE


A.F. Theriault and Son Ltd. in Meteghan River, Digby County, celebrated its 80th anniversary on Oct. 20. TINA COMEAU PHOTO
A.F. Theriault and Son Ltd. in Meteghan River, Digby County, celebrated its 80th anniversary on Oct. 20. TINA COMEAU PHOTO

Family, community and 80 years were celebrated as A.F. Theriault and Son marked anniversary

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A special event was held in Meteghan River recognizing a milestone in the history of one of the region’s best-known businesses. It was a celebration of the 80th anniversary of A.F. Theriault and Son Ltd., the largest and oldest family-run boatyard in Nova Scotia, and it also was a chance to cut the ribbon for the company’s new office building.

Six months had passed since the announcement in April of a $6.65-million expansion (including federal and provincial funds) for A.F. Theriault and Son and much had taken place since then, including work on the new office facility, as well as work on a new marine railway that would increase vessel haul-up capabilities from 600 to 1,500 tons. Aside from the company’s solid reputation as a shipbuilder and its status as a major employer, though, a theme that emerged during the day’s presentations was an emphasis on family and community.

To demonstrate just how important family and community is to this business – the largest and oldest family-run boatyard in the province – the Oct. 20, 80th anniversary celebration was also expanded into an Employee Appreciation Day and a Family Day for the community at large. A ribbon cutting for the company's new office building also took place.


Some tri-county fire departments were leaving Yarmouth fire dispatch service

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At least seven fire departments in the tri-counties had given formal notification that they would be leaving the Yarmouth fire dispatch service, according to a report from Yarmouth Fire Chief John Verrall. Speaking to town council during its committee-of-the-whole meeting of Oct. 24, the chief said the Barrington/Port La Tour, Island/Barrington Passage and Shelburne fire departments had said they would be going with Valley Communications.

The Meteghan, Salmon River and Hectanooga departments would be moving to the Digby dispatch service. The Middle/Upper Ohio department was planning to switch to a Bridgewater-based service, town council was told. Overall (including these seven departments), 24 fire departments received dispatch services from the Yarmouth dispatch centre. The future of the Yarmouth-based service had been up in the air since April, when the town issued layoff notices to its four dispatchers, saying it intended to explore other dispatch options that would be less costly to the town.


One of the pieces of the 3rd order Fresnel lens from the Cape Sable Lighthouse found in a warehouse on the Saint John, N.B. waterfront.  COURTESY NOVA SCOTIA LIGHTHOUSE PRESERVATION SOCIETY
One of the pieces of the 3rd order Fresnel lens from the Cape Sable Lighthouse found in a warehouse on the Saint John, N.B. waterfront. COURTESY NOVA SCOTIA LIGHTHOUSE PRESERVATION SOCIETY

Return of old light would help brighten Clark’s Harbour’s 100th-anniversary celebrations

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A long-lost light from the Cape Sable Island lighthouse would be coming home to Clark’s Harbour. The news came as an anniversary gift of sorts, given that Clark’s Harbour would be marking its centennial in 2019. The old light had been found in crates in an old government building on the Saint John waterfront. The discovery came to the attention of Joe Flemming, president of the Nova Scotia Lighthouse Preservation Society. There followed a process of confirmation, with experts called upon to take a look. Once it was confirmed that the lens was from the old Cape Sable Island light, Clark’s Harbour Mayor Leigh Stoddart was contacted. “When he (Flemming) asked if we were interested, I said certainly,” the mayor said. “It would be fitting for us where it’s our 100th anniversary. It would be great to have it back.”

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