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Richmond Co. RCMP reminding the public of phone scam targeting elderly

Richmond Co. RCMP are reminding the public to be aware of a phone scam.

Police say it's sometimes referred to as the emergency or grandparent scam.

They say a local couple were defrauded of over $5,000 and other unsuccessful attempts were reported.

The scam involves a fraudster posing as a grandchild or family member; the person then claims they are in trouble and need money.

Police say the caller will say they are injured if asked about their voice being different.

RCMP say if you get a call like this do not provide any money to the caller, contact a family member to verify the story if you are concerned, and notify the police of the call.


RCMP reminding everyone to keep safety top-of-mind on Halloween

RCMP say they will be keeping a close eye on children and adults this Halloween.

Local officer, Constable Deepak Prasad says there will be an increased police presence across the Quad Counties.

Prasad tells The Hawk officers will be making sure people of all ages are safe.

"Making sure kids are obeying the rules of the road, because they do get kind of excited," he says. "Later in the night we will be targeting impaired drivers that might be leaving from parties."

Prasad says children need to be safe on the streets when trick-or-treating and use extra caution crossing the road.

He says drivers need to keep an eye out for extra kids on the road.

Prasad says there are some rules for trick-or-treaters and adults to keep in mind.

"Of course, before you starting chewing down on your chocolates make sure you parents inspect them (and make sure they're safe to eat)."

There are some curfews in place; in Inverness and Richmond Counties trick-or-treating is allowed until 8 p.m.

In Port Hawkesbury trick-or-treating will run from 5 to 8 p.m. with no masks after 8, and a 10 p.m. curfew will be in place for kids under 16.


Tenants forced from Antigonish apartment building after oil leak

Officials with the Red Cross say 20 tenants have been forced to vacate their apartments in Antigonish.

They say there was a furnace oil leak at a 12 unit building located at 78 Arbor Drive in the town Thursday night.

Officials say the leak is outside the building, but due to the fumes there are some safety concerns.

Fire officials ordered the building be vacated until cleanup and repairs are completed.

Red Cross officials have provided food to residents and assisted some with finding a place to stay.


GASHA official says readiness is key even as Ebola risk remains low

A spokesperson with the Guysborough Antigonish Strait Health Authority says health officials are prepared in the unlikely event a case of Ebola surfaces in the district.

Jenn Leuschner, the health authority's manager of public and primary health care, says the risk of Ebola in our province remains low, but readiness is a priority regardless.

Leuschner tells The Hawk they've done a lot to get themselves prepared.

"Triage and screening tools are in place (at local hospitals)," she says. "In the event that we had a suspected case, we would work closely with the medical officer of health in the province, who has detailed plans as to how to care for a patient who meets the risk factors for Ebola."

Leuschner says they have to be ready, despite the low risk of a case here.

"Training and preparations are underway with respect to screening tools and the resources we need for all health care workers to be prepared."

Leuschner says they have an infection control lead who works closely with officials in the province's Department of Health and Wellness.

She says the lead gets the most up-to-date training and resources on Ebola, and brings it back to GASHA.


Paq'tnkek woman charged in relation to more than $350,000 in missing funds

A woman from the Paq'tnkek First Nation in Afton, Antigonish Co. has been charged in relation to missing funds.

Antigonish RCMP say they responded to a complaint from band officials in December.

They say they discovered more than $350,000 in misappropriated funds from the Mi'kmaq Employment and Training Secretariat between 2010 and 2013.

Sgt. Brian Rehill tells The Hawk it took months to lay charges against Dawn Marie Johnson, 38, because of the complexity of the investigation.

"There has to be a lot of research and work done (with a) fine-tooth comb, following paper trails, what was done here, who signed what," he says. "They're very time-consuming and labour-intensive- they do take a lot of time before you reach the point of charges laid and arrests being made."

Johnson faces charges of theft over $5,000, fraud over $5,000, uttering a forged document and forgery; she's expected to appear in court Nov. 26.

Rehill says she worked in the band office.

"Right now it's sufficient to say she was a band council employee there, and was entrusted with funds," he says. "This was the end result, with charges laid."

Rehill says the amount could be quite a bit higher, as they're still trying to determine an exact figure.

He says they're also trying to determine if funds started going missing earlier than 2010.


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