Nova Scotia

Looking back at the top 10 Nova Scotia stories of 2018

From a Chase the Ace family feud to a surprise visit from a great white shark, it's been an eventful year in news in Nova Scotia.

What happens when seagulls with a penchant for pepperoni get into a hotel room? We found out in 2018

It's been an eventful year in Nova Scotia news, with headlines attracting attention from coast to coast to coast. Whether it was a Chase the Ace family feud or a surprise visit from a great white shark, here are some of the most-read stories of 2018.  

On the night he nearly died, this man resorted to leaving the ER to call 911 for help

One of our most read stories of 2018 focused on a man who was falling through the cracks of the Nova Scotia health care system. 

David Doucette says he would be dead if he hadn't resorted to leaving a Halifax emergency room in July 2017 following repeated attempts to be admitted, and then called 911 in a desperate search for medical help.

Only hours after he was returned to hospital by ambulance, the Halifax man was diagnosed with Stage 4 non-Hodgkins lymphoma. There was doubt he would survive the night. His hematologist described him as the sickest patient she's ever seen survive.

"I guess it wasn't my time yet," said Doucette, 52. "To me, being from here, it's unacceptable. And I'm sure every Nova Scotian would say the same thing."

'See you in court' aunt tells nephew after $1.2M Chase the Ace win

It was a story about winning a life-changing amount of money — and how money can rip a family apart. 

A photo-op to celebrate a $1.2-million lottery win in Margaree Forks, N.S., turned sour this summer when two family members feuded over the win.

Barbara Reddick of Guysborough, N.S., and her nephew, Tyrone MacInnis, posed for the cameras with a giant cheque after winning the Chase the Ace fundraiser benefitting two local fire departments.

Reddick then pointed at MacInnis and said: "See you in court."

Which she did.

Chase the Ace winners Tyrone MacInnis and Barb Reddick are shown this summer in Margaree Forks, N.S., with a cheque representing the $1.2 million jackpot. (Chase the Ace/Margaree)

Reddick paid for the ticket but asked MacInnis to buy it for her. She said she asked him to put his name on the ticket for good luck, but said they never had an agreement to split the jackpot.

A five-hour meeting in September settled the suit. MacInnis received $350,000 of the $1.2-million.

Teacher with criminal history arrested after altercation with student

A Cole Harbour teacher was arrested following an Oct. 3 incident involving a student in his class.

"An altercation occurred when the man removed ear buds from a 15-year-old youth's ears," the RCMP said in a news release in the fall.

"The youth then removed the man's lanyard that was attached to keys in his pants pocket. The man then pushed the youth into a wall, and put him on the floor."

The student, who wasn't injured, reported the incident to the school administration. 

Derek William Stephenson, an English teacher at Cole Harbour District High School, was arrested Nov. 9. He is currently on administrative leave and has voluntarily surrendered his teaching licence.

None of the allegations have yet been proven in court. Stephenson is scheduled to be back in court Jan. 18.

How seagulls, pepperoni got N.S. man banned from posh B.C. hotel

What happens when dozens of seagulls get into a hotel room and feast on spicy Nova Scotia pepperoni for hours? 

A lifetime ban from the hotel  — and one heck of a mess. 

Nick Burchill's story began with good intentions. He was taking a small suitcase full of Brothers Pepperoni — a widely requested Halifax delicacy — to some of his navy friends in the B.C. capital.

But then things went so wrong. 

He was banned from the Fairmont Empress hotel in Victoria, B.C., for 17 years. 

It's really a story you have to hear Burchill tell in his own words:

Couple reacts to shark swimming near their boat

3 years ago
Duration 1:38
Duana and François d'Entremont spotted what they believe to be a great white shark off Big Tusket Island, N.S. on August 17. 1:38

Leatherback turtle, not overturned boat, found washed up in Cape Breton

A creature that co-existed with the dinosaurs washed up dead near shore in Islandview, Cape Breton, last February. 

The man who found the massive creature thought it was an overturned boat. 

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans said although there have been some anecdotal reports of sightings, this was the first recorded sighting of a leatherback turtle in the Bras d'Or Lakes.

One of the world's largest reptiles, leatherback turtles can reach more than two metres in length and weigh more than 900 kilograms. They're known to swim up to 12,000 kilometres a year and dive to depths of up to 1.2 kilometres.

The turtles usually only ever come ashore to nest on warm tropical and subtropical beaches so it's a bit of a mystery as to why the turtle ended up so far north in winter and so close to land in Cape Breton's inland sea.

Halifax cartoonist on his image of Lady Justice

Halifax-based cartoonist Bruce MacKinnon's work has been shared all over the world, but one piece in particular resonated with many.

Lady Justice is on her back, blindfolded. And above her, a man with the Republican Party's logo on his shirt cuffs, is pinning her down with one hand and covering her mouth with the other.

Bruce MacKinnon drew the cartoon for Nova Scotia's Chronicle Herald newspaper, inspired by Christine Blasey Ford's Senate judiciary committee testimony this year against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

"I understand it's hard for people to look at, especially people who might be survivors of sexual assault," MacKinnon told CBC News. 

"For that reason though, I think a lot of people also agree that you can't turn off the conversation, pretend it didn't happen or look away."

Sears customers told to continue paying for worthless warranties

When Sears announced it was shutting its doors, the company assured CBC News at the time that customers paying for extended warranties would be refunded for the cost at the end of their financing term.

But Scotiabank, which now owns the Sears credit card accounts, has told some customers they must pay or face collections agencies

U.S. Border Patrol questions crews of at least 2 Canadian fishing boats

The Canadian government started an investigation this summer after reports that two Canadian fishing vessels were approached, and crew members questioned, by U.S. Border Patrol agents in Canadian waters in the Gulf of Maine.

The incidents happened near Machias Seal Island and North Rock. The border patrol agents said they were "looking for illegal immigrants."

Machias Seal Island is a tiny spot between New Brunswick and Maine that has been the subject of a territorial dispute between Canada and the United States for decades.

Roughly 700 square kilometres of water surround the island in what's called a grey zone. Lobster fishermen from both sides of the border fish those waters.

He never served, but Veterans Affairs pays for convicted murderer's PTSD treatment

A story about a convicted killer getting treatment through Veterans Affairs Canada for PTSD he developed as a result of his crime drew outrage across the country. 

Christopher Garnier never served in the military. He is serving a life sentence for second-degree murder in the death of Catherine Campbell, 36, whose body was found in Halifax in September 2015.

At trial, an expert for the defence testified Garnier developed post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the killing. At a sentencing hearing in August, a Crown prosecutor told the court that Garnier's treatment is being paid for by Veterans Affairs because his father, Vince Garnier, is a veteran.

After public outcry, Veterans Affairs said it would not pay for benefits for incarcerated relatives of veterans.

Watch 'curious' great white shark swim alongside boat

A Nova Scotia woman's close encounter with a shark this summer was among one of the most popular stories of the year. 

Duana d'Entremont and her husband, François, captured the moment on video when the massive shark swam alongside the couple's boat near Big Tusket Island, N.S., in August.

"See if I ever swim again," Duana d'Entremont says in the video after letting a surprised expletive slip.