ANTIGONISH: Central Supplies owner Steve Smith announced his decision to sell to the Kent Building Supplies organization, effective December 31.
The year 2015 marked the 40th anniversary of Central Supplies, but Smith pointed to changes in the home improvement industry.
Smith said he decided on Kent because he has known the company for years, calling the business fair and honest. When asked if there is any concern Kent might begin shutting down Central Supplies stores, Smith said he believes Kent will invest and expand.
Central Supplies has locations in Antigonish, Guysborough, Inverness, and Port Hawkesbury.
HALIFAX: In early December, the provincial government agreed to purchase four of the seven public-private-partnership (P3) schools within the Strait regional school board (SRSB), and reached an agreement with a private developer for the SRSB’s three remaining P3 schools to postpone a decision on these buildings until the completion of this year’s school reviews in Inverness and Antigonish counties.
Nova Scotia’s Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (EECD) confirmed it will purchase Richmond Education Centre/Academy (RECA), Tamarac Education Centre (TEC), East Antigonish Education Centre and Academy (EAECA), and Cape Breton Highlands Education Centre and Academy (CBHECA), along with seven other P3 schools across the province, for a combined total of $50.5 million.
PORT HASTINGS: Strait regional school board superintendent Ford Rice used part of December’s regular monthly board meeting to provide an update on the board’s approach to the Nova Scotia Teacher’s Union work-to-rule directive, which has its members arriving 20 minutes before classes begin and leaving 20 minutes after classes end.
Rice insisted the province’s seven school board superintendents spent several weeks in communication with each other and with the provincial Department of Early Education and Childhood Development (EECD), with regard to potential safety issues that could arise if the NSTU proceeded with strike action or a work-to-rule directive in light of failed contract negotiations between the teachers’ union and the provincial government.
HALIFAX: On December 6, Premier Stephen McNeil selected Cape Breton-Richmond MLA Michel Samson to fill in for Diana Whalen, who took what was described as a brief medical leave after being hospitalized on December 5.
Samson is already the Minister of Energy, Minister of Trade, Minister of Acadian Affairs and Minister for Part 1 of the Gaming Control Act, serves as the House Leader, and sits on Treasury and Policy boards.
For the time being, Samson will take over Whalen’s duties as justice minister and attorney general, and deputy premier.
When asked how he’ll manage the extra work, Samson said his position is only temporary.
MULGRAVE: During a town council meeting in December, Mulgrave Mayor Ralph Hadley said the Department of Municipal Affairs was told that a by-election will prove too costly for taxpayers. He also pointed to the fact council did not receive any nomination papers from prospective candidates looking to fill the one remaining seat at the council table during the last call for nominees.
When asked if they will place an ad looking for a potential town councillor, Hadley said they want to know if there is interest first. A councillor would only serve until the matter of the town’s dissolution is solved.
STRAIT AREA: Power outages, poor road conditions, a fatal accident in Richmond County and an unexpected overnight stay in Whycocomagh for several Maritime Bus passengers were among the outcomes of a series of storms that lashed Cape Breton and northeastern Nova Scotia on December 15 and 16.
Heavy snowfall and frequent white-out conditions made driving treacherous On December 15 and throughout most of December 16, and RCMP officials shut down Highway 104 between Exits 45 and 46 for most of December 16 following an early-morning accident that claimed the life of 52-year-old Theresa Ann Landry, who was driving to her job as a chef at the Strait-Richmond Hospital.
The weather resulted in the closure of several businesses, schools, government offices and related services around the Strait area.
ARICHAT: Maris Freimanis, who served as CAO for the Town of Port Hawkesbury for just over six years before stepping down at the end of October, was hired by the Municipality of Richmond County in December.
Freimanis, whose 36 years of public life also include two decades as city engineer for New Brunswick’s City of Bathurst, officially assumed the role of Richmond’s interim CAO December 19.
Freimanis’ hiring was confirmed shortly after the municipality’s Director of Finance, Jason Martell, announced that he had stepped away from the CAO duties that he carried out on an interim basis since early October.