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January 2014 Archives

Veterans Affairs Rally

Ron Clarke

Posted by Robert Doublett

As many as a thousand people heard the call and came out to a final rally at the Veterans Affairs office in Sydney. The office will close for good today.

Military veteran Ron Clarke has taken the lead in Cape Breton on the effort to save the office from closure. He adressed the crowd today at what organizers called a 'black ribbon' ceremony.

Here's what he had to say.

Listen audio (runs 4:46)

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The Tom Miller Award

Chester Borden

Posted by Robert Doublett

This year's recipient of the Tom Miller award has been announced.

The award is presented to an individual of CBRM who has made a significant contribution to the community with respect to the encouragement, promotion, initiation or development of human rights within our community.

This year Chester Borden takes home the honour for his work with Cape Breton youth; most specifically his work with the Whitney Pier Youth Club.

Listen audio (runs 9:17)

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Clarke Comes Home

Ron Clarke

Posted by Robert Doublett

A group of veterans and supporters gathered at Sydney airport today, for the return of their representative, Ron Clarke.

Clarke was part of a delegation that was in Ottawa to meet with the minister responsible for Veteran's Affairs, Julian Fantino. The meeting did not go well, and the Veteran's Affairs office in Sydney is still slated to close tomorrow.

Clarke says the fight is not over yet.

Listen audio (runs 6:09)

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The 'Royal' Opposition

Kenneth MacKenzie

Posted by Robert Doublett

When the Gaelic College in St. Ann's received a designation by the queen allowing it to use the word "royal", there was an outcry in Cape Breton.

Some people balked at the notion that the college would ask for such a thing considering the royals' history of trying to eliminate the gaelic language.  The Gaelic College stuck by its guns though and said it intended to keep the designation. 

Now there is an effort underway to try to convince the board to reverse that decision.

Listen audio (runs 6:22)

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Malcolm Monroe's Foreign Exchange

Josefina Posada, Martin Basile Alvarez and Anee Marie MacLean

Posted by Erin Ashley

Malcolm Monroe Junior High is trying to raise the profile of its foreign exchange student program, and boy do they have a couple of great kids to set the example.

Earlier today Yvonne LeBlanc-Smith met Josefina Posada Montoya from Columbia; and Martin Basile Alvarez from Mexico. Both are 15 years old. They arrived here in September.

Yvonne started by asking them about the their experience here.

Listen audio (runs 9:32)

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Nashville Nor'east Announces The Band Perry

Terry Smith: Nashville Nor'east's marketing manager

Posted by Robert Doublett


Organizers of the Nashville Nor'east Country Music Festival have announced platinum selling country stars, The Band Perry, as their first headline act to perform at the inaugural Festival in Cape Breton, taking the stage May 23 at Centre 200 in Sydney. 

Terry Smith is Nashville Nor'east's marketing manager.


Listen audio (runs 7:15)

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Quashed Cases

Crown Attorney Steve Drake

Posted by Robert Doublett

An appeal heard in a Sydney Court yesterday relates to hundreds of court documents judged to have been prepared incorrectly by Cape Breton Regional Police.

Informations are court documents that include the basic information about a case and the person charged.

A local defence lawyer discovered an error in nine of his cases. He learned, the officer writing the Informations was not involved in the investigations.

As a result, the Judge threw out the cases, ruling the officer preparing the informations did not have sufficient knowledge. The charges included assaults, impaired driving and breaches of bail conditions.

The Crown has appealed the judge's decision. Crown Attorney Steve Drake explains the appeal to CBC's Joan Weeks.

Listen audio (runs 3:10)

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High Risk Drunk Driver Released

Gerald and Patricia Smits

Posted by Robert Doublett

A man from Cape Breton who killed two people while driving drunk has been released from prison. 55 year old Michael Cooper served a full seven-year sentence for the deaths of Angela Smits, 19, and her 20-year-old boyfriend, Michael MacLean.

Cooper told the Parole Board of Canada he would not stop drinking and driving, prompting police in Halifax to warn the public he's a high risk to re-offend.

Under the conditions of his sentence, Cooper is barred from consuming, purchasing and possessing alcohol and entering any place alcohol is sold or consumed. He is under a curfew and is barred from driving for life.

Angela Smits' parents Gerald and Patricia wanted his photo posted anywhere alcohol is sold. Smits said he wants bars to be aware of Cooper and restrictions placed on him so that he won't able to purchase alcohol. Through his lawyer, he made the request to the NSLC, the province's Utility and Review Board and the Alcohol and Gaming Division. That request has been denied.

Listen audio (runs 4:48)

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Revisioning Our Industrial Past

Lauchlan MacKinnon

Posted by Robert Doublett

Putting a skating track in the Open Hearth Park is part of a larger process of re-imagining Cape Breton 's industrial heritage.

PhD. Candidate Lauchlan MacKinnon has been looking into this process and has published an article about it.

Listen audio (runs 5:38)

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JP's Big Birthday Bash

JP Cormier

Posted by Robert Doublett

This weekend marks the annual birthday bash for Cape Breton's JP Cormier.

The bash has become an annual fundraising tradition for the Membertou Trade and Convention Center

Listen audio (runs 14:32)

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Island Speeedway Gets New Owners

Bill Vasil

Posted by Robert Doublett

Husband and wife Bill Vasil and Lynne Delorey-Vasil of Antigonish have purchased the former Island Speeedway on Grand Lake Road.

They're promoters of the NAPA Sportsman Series at Riverside International Speedway and want to bring the sport to Cape Breton.

Listen audio (runs 9:48)

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What is Reasonable Accommodation?

Rubi Ramji: Professor at Cape Breton University

Posted by Robert Doublett

York University has been in the news over a controversial decision it made recently.
    
The University sided with a student, who had argued he shouldn't have to meet with female students, on religious grounds.
   
His professor had denied the student's request, because he felt it would discriminate against women.

Meanwhile, a martial arts student in Halifax is telling the media that she was relegated to a female only part of the room in her weekly training sessions because a man in the group said he would not touch or train with women because of his religious beliefs.

She says it made her feel like a second class citizen to be separated by gender.. She felt she was being discriminated against and was offended when the man refused to shake her hands in the customary way after practices.

The issue of reasonable accommodation is something universities across the country grapple with to varying degrees. What needs to be considered?

Rubi Ramji is a Professor at Cape Breton University in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies who has researched the issues of accommodation.

Listen audio (runs 7:40)

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ECMA Showcases Announced

Dawn Beaton: ECMA Board Member

Posted by Robert Doublett

A big day for many Cape Breton musicians! Today the East Coast Music Association announced the names of all those who will be performing in showcases..

Among the Cape Breton traditionalists like Chrissy Crowley, Mary Jane Lamond and Wendy MacIsaac, new traditonalists like Fiona MacGillivray, singer songwriters Breagh MacKinnon Carleton Stone, Dave Samson, and bands Pretty Archie and Tom Fun will take the stage.

However, the ECMA has added a radius clause to its contract with musicians. That means that musicians must disclose other non-ECMA events to ECMA staff should other dates fall within the radius clause dates. The wording is designed to continue ticket sales for the association.

To talk about this we have ECMA Board member Dawn Beaton in studio.

Listen audio (runs 7:09)

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Capture 2014: Nova Scotian Realism

Oni Nordstrom and Tom Smart

Posted by Robert Doublett

If we were talking about art and I said Nova Scotia Paint, what would come to mind?  Maybe a picture of a sailboat, or a fiddler at a kitchen party?

Perhaps one of the many wonders of nature and life that we have in our province, but it is very likely the image would be a realistic one. Realism is the cornerstone of Nova Scotia art.

An exhibition in Halifax is challenging the notion of what realism actually is as far as art is concerned. Organized by the Dalhousie Art Gallery in association with Professional Living Artists Nova Scotia (PLANS) the works in the exhibition seeks to dispel common assumptions about the nature of Realist art by presenting work by artists who are pushing its boundaries.

Two Cape Breton visual artists have been asked to take part water colour artist Christopher Gorey from Ingonish, and Oni Nordman who defies description.

Listen audio (runs 13:26)

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North of Smokey Crime Prevention

RCMP Staff Sergeant Craig Yorke

Posted by Robert Doublett

Persistent problems with violent crime and arson North of Smokey have drawn attention to that area in recent years.

Now there's some good news from police. The RCMP says recent initiatives have led to a reduction in crime, and an increased feeling of safety in the community.

Staff Sergeant Craig Yorke is district commander for Victoria County. He spoke about the headway that's been made during a presentation to county council this week.

Listen audio (runs 5:33)

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A Call for Viola Desmond Day

PC MLA Eddie Orrell

Posted by Robert Doublett

While the Liberals promised a new provincial holiday, they have yet to name the day.

You may have seen in the Halifax Chronicle Herald that Cape Breton PC MLA Eddie Orrell will be asking the Nova Scotia Legislature to declare the holiday Viola Desmond Day.

Viola Desmond was a beauty care product salesperson and she stopped in a movie theatre in New Glasgow on one of her business trips.  Because she was an african Nova Scotian, she was asked to move from her seat. She did not.

Her case is dicsussed and celebrated in Nova Scotia as a breakthough in the civil rights struggle in this province.

Listen audio (runs 7:11)

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The ICEAP Needs Homestay Help

Vicki Xu & Lana Pocpolitak

Posted by Robert Doublett

A school in Glace Bay is looking for families that are willing to open their homes.

The International Centre for English Academic Preparation has about 250 students from around the world.

Many are already living with families. But the school says it could use many more hosts.

The CBC's Wendy Martin spoke with Vicki Xu and Lana Pospolytag. Vicki is originally from Beijing, she is the homestay coordinator at ICEAP and Lana Pospolytag is from Russia. She is studying at Cape Breton University.

Vicki Xu audio (runs 3:32)

Lana Pocpolitak audio (runs 4:51)

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Savoy Theatre battered by storms & water damage

Pam Leader: Manager of the Savoy Theatre.

Posted by Robert Doublett

The fact is, you could always hear the wind blow over the roof of the Savoy Theatre stage. When it blew hard, you'd be sure part of the roof would just rip off and blow away, but it never did.

Now the theatre in Glace Bay is facing a hefty repair bill after severe winter weather damaged the roof and the facade of the building, causing rain to start pouring into the theatre.

Rain has seeped into the building, so much so they've had to close the balcony and the stairwells, and call insurance to see what can be done to fix damages from the weather of the last few days.

Pam Leader, the manager of the Savoy, believes the heavy snow and ice piling up on the roof over the past few weeks resulted in the leaking this week.

Listen audio (runs 9:46)

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Nova Scotia Trails Federation gets Funding

Blaise MacEachern

Posted by Robert Doublett

The Nova Scotia Trails Federation is thrilled about a Federal funding announcement.

The Feds announced up to 25-million dollars to support the connection of the Trans Canada Trail.

Blaise MacEachern is chair of the Nova Scotia Trails committee. He spoke earlier today with reporter Yvonne LeBlanc-Smith.

Listen audio (runs 5:59)

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Lifetime Achievement for Buddy MacMaster

Art Menius

Posted by Robert Doublett

The work of Cape Breton master fiddler Buddy MacMaster is being recognized with an international award next month.

The Folk Alliance International has chosen MacMaster to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Other 2014 recipients include Dock Boggs and the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.

The award is being presented in Kansas City at the annual Folk Alliance conference in mid-February.

We've reached Art Menius, he's Chair of the Folk Alliance International committee that chooses the recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Listen audio (runs 9:16)

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The Great Escape: A Canadian Story

Ted Barris

Posted by Robert Doublett

GREAT_ESCAPE_JACKET_FINAL_FRONT_E7.jpg50 years ago Hollywood made a movie of The Great Escape. Starring Steve McQueen, James Garner and a whole host of handsome A-List actors the movie didn't tell the whole story.

On the night of March 24, 1944, 80 Commonwealth airmen crawled through a 336-foot-long tunnel and slipped into the forest beyond the wire of Stalag Luft III, a German POW compound near Sagan, Poland. The event became known as "The Great Escape," an intricate breakout more than a year in the making, involving as many as 2,000 POWs working with extraordinary co-ordination, intelligence, and daring.

Yet within a few days, all but three of the escapees were recaptured. Subsequently, fifty were murdered, cremated, and buried in a remote corner of the prison camp.

Ted Barris is a journalist and author who spoke with the people who were really involved and wrote a book called "The Great Escape: A Canadian Story".

Listen audio (runs 17:29)

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Medevac Calls Mayday

Tim Vaillancourt

Posted by Robert Doublett

The company providing Medevac services in Nova Scotia says, a flight that declared a mayday was never at risk.

On December 15th, a medevac flight was taking a patient from Sydney to Halifax. There was a storm that day and many commercial flights were cancelled. The pilots called a Mayday when they temporarily lost control of the plane and it dropped a few hundred meters.

The problem is believed to have been caused by ice build up.

Provincial Aeospace in St. John's Newfoundland has the contract to provide medical flights in Nova Scotia.

Tim Vaillancourt is vice president of operations and an experienced pilot. He spoke with CBC's Joan Weeks.

Listen audio (runs 4:08)

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Big News for the Coady Clutch

Joe Menchefski

Posted by Robert Doublett

By now you have almost certainly heard of the Coady Clutch, an innovation in the world of drumming that allows musicians to play certain rhythms very, very fast.  

The Cape Breton  company that developed and markets the Coady Clutch, and other drum accessories, Billdidit, is about to see a major expansion and a major change.

Joe Menchefski is the President of Billdidit.

Listen audio (runs 14:47)

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Snow Removal Update for CBRM

Mayor Cecil Clarke

Posted by Robert Doublett

After Cape Breton has been hammered with several significant early-winter snowstorms, and with many CBRM roads ice-packed and many sidewalks unplowed, an emergency meeting to discuss snow removal in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality was called to update councilors on snow removal in the area.

The meeting took place at 3 p.m. in the council chambers at the Civic Centre and Mayor cecil Clarke came into studio to give us an update.

Listen audio (runs 12:52)

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