A group hoping to save Sacred Heart Church in Sydney is now reaching out to the public for help. The Friends of Sacred Heart Church is planning a public meeting at the church on Wednesday evening at 6:30. The Diocese of Antigonish closed the church earlier this year and the final mass was held there in June. However, the Friends of Sacred Heart have been negotiating with the Diocese to lease the building. Members of the group want to be able to use the church for meetings, events and concerts. The group continues to host cruise ship passengers at the historic building.
As predicted, the price of gas went down, overnight. Gas fell by 2.3 cents a litre and now goes for a minimum of $1.32.6 in Cape Breton. Diesel dropped slightly by .7 cents a litre and now costs a minimum of $1.29.8.
There’s going to be a rally to save the rail line in Cape Breton at the Mayflower Mall on Saturday. The parent company of the Cape Breton and Central Nova Scotia Railway says it plans to apply to abandon the line from Point Tupper to Sydney because it’s losing money on the operation. Saturday’s rally is being sponsored by the local business community and will feature a display illustrating the importance of the railway on the Island. Municipal and provincial politicians will also be on hand to deliver speeches. Rally organizers say 13 Cape Breton companies with a total of about 300 employees now depend on the railway. Saturday’s rally will run from 1:00 to 3:00 in the afternoon.
One analyst is predicting another drop in gas prices, this week. Meanwhile the price of gas and diesel went down in New Brunswick, last night. Gas there fell by 2.9 cents a litre while diesel dropped by 1.5 cents. The current minimum price for a litre of regular gas in Cape Breton is $1.34.9. Diesel now costs a minimum of $1.30.5.
The Fire Marshall’s office is investigating after a vacant, two-storey home in New Waterford was damaged by fire, this morning. The New Waterford Volunteer Fire Department got the call to 425 Ninth Street at around ten to five. New Waterford Fire Chief Lenny Barrington says the fire started inside the home which suffered extensive damage to its interior. He adds the building has been vacant for about two years and had no power.
The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board has installed cameras on some of its buses in an effort to crack down on drivers who pass school buses while their red lights are flashing. The move comes after the Board recorded the highest number of violations for the practice in a provincial survey last October. Transportation Co-ordinator Colleen MacMullin says there were 87 cases in a two-week period. She adds that number of violations is alarming because every one of them could have resulted in an injury or death. The board has installed cameras that can identify drivers and the license plate of the vehicle they’re driving on eight of its buses. The buses will be moved around to different areas and the board might install cameras on more buses in the future.
The Cape Breton Regional police commission is going to have to decide if a potential candidate to sit on its board is in a conflict of interest. Yesterday, the CBRM’s nominating committee referred the matter to the police commission because its preferred candidate has a brother on the Regional Police force. The candidate isn’t being named due to confidentiality reasons. Nominating committee chair, Mayor Cecil Clarke polled each committee member on whether they think the candidate could be in a conflict of interest. Committee member Councillor Eldon MacDonald says he believes there is a perceived conflict. Mayor Clarke says police commission chair Councillor Claire Detheridge will be informed of the issue in advance of today’s police commission meeting. There were four applicants short-listed for the vacant spot on the board of police commissioners.
The five men charged in a jail house attack on Thomas Ted Barrett are due back in court today to enter pleas. 39 year-old Barrett from Glace Bay is facing a host of criminal charges, including the murders of Laura Jessome from Bras d’Or and Brett Elizabeth MacKinnon from Glace Bay. In June, he was repeatedly stabbed and severely beaten while in custody at the Burnside jail in Dartmouth. The five suspects in the case are facing charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault, and assault with weapon. Barrett has been released from hospital and is believed to be back at the Cape Breton Correctional Centre.
The advisory committee formed to save the rail line in Cape Breton will meet for the first time, today. The committee is made up of representatives from the business community as well as the three levels of government. It was formed after the Cape Breton and Central Nova Scotia Railway announced plans to abandon the Point Tupper to Sydney stretch of the line. Its parent company Genesee & Wyoming will also meet with the advisory committee but provincial Transportation Minister Geoff MacLellan says a date hasn’t yet been set. The company says it plans to apply to abandon the line on October 1st because it’s losing money on the operation. Today’s meeting gets underway at 3:00 this afternoon at the ACOA office in Sydney.
Provincial finance minister Diana Whalen will provide an updated budget forecast, today. In June, audited financial statements for 2013-14 revealed the province’s deficit had ballooned to $678.9 million. Whalen projected a deficit of $279 million when she tabled the spring budget in April. She’s already warned that the province is in a tough financial situation because of an unexpected drop in revenues, higher departmental expenses and a one-time adjustment to the public service pension plan. Whalen will unveil the update in Halifax early this afternoon.