Good news for Richmond County on the baseball diamond and beyond

The Richmond Hawks won the 11 and Under Provincial Tier 3 Provincial Tournament in New Waterford on the weekend of August 23-25.

After months and years of negative news stories, Richmond County residents were treated to some good news recently.

The most recent came from the triumphs of local minor baseball teams.

At the 11 and Under Provincial Tier 3 Provincial Tournament in New Waterford on the weekend of August 23-25, the Richmond Hawks went 3-0 during the round robin portion, then defeated the Sydney Ramblers 6-5 in the championship final.

Also on August 25, the Isle Madame Mariners won the 13 and Under Cape Breton League Tournament in Petit de Grat, besting the Sydney Minor Blue Jays 4-1 in the final.

That same weekend, the Isle Madame Mariners Bantams took the bronze medal in the 15 and Under Tournament in New Waterford.

Weeks before that, the Isle Madame Mariners Mosquito team also took third place at the 11 and Under Cape Breton League Tournament.

Last weekend, the Richmond Cougars competed at the 13 and Under Provincial Tournament in Hants North.

Also during the Labour Day weekend, the Richmond Amateur Baseball Association crowned its 2019 champion from among four Richmond County teams.

This was very welcome news for a county which has seen its share of bad press recently, starting with the spending scandal involving former municipal officials a few years ago, the animosity over the number of municipal council districts, and last winter’s firing of the Chief Administrative Officer and subsequent resignation of the warden. Then in June, the MLA for Cape Breton-Richmond was removed from the Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative caucus.

It might be an understatement that the past few years have been politically tumultuous in Richmond County.

But aside from successes on the baseball diamond, Richmond County has many other reasons to be proud.

The owners of the Port Hawkesbury Paper mill in Point Tupper are turning a profit and have ambitious plans for the operation like additional uses for their excess water; further development of its land; transportation opportunities thanks to access to a rail line, a deep-ice free port and a nearby airport; upcycling mill sludge to be used as fertilizer; land-based aquaculture thanks to the fresh and salt water supply; and the manufacture of green diesel.

Just down the road, Nova Scotia Power started the process of dismantling its 91-metre stack, this after completing a $14.5 million refurbishment of the plant’s turbine and generator to get it ready for hydro-electric power via the Maritime Link.

This good news is in addition to the new and revitalized small businesses which have been established around the county; the flow of new and returning residents into Richmond; the projects being undertaken – like the sidewalk and streetscape project in Arichat; and a great tourist season this year, highlighted by the anniversary of the St. Peter’s Canal, the emergence of “Harbour Wars” in Little Harbour and renovations to the Dundee Resort.

Yes, the headlines have not always been positive in the past, but this recent wave of good news can make residents hopeful there are better days ahead, not just on the baseball field.