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TEC hosts SAERC feeder system public meeting Monday night

The first of three public meetings on the future of the SAERC feeder system of schools takes place on Monday night.

Members of the School Options Committee for the feeder system-composed of SAERC, TEC and Mulgrave-will hold their first public meeting at TEC at 7 p.m.

Strait Regional School Board Human Resources Director Sherman England tells The Hawk it's important for parents, students and residents within the feeder system to provide their input in the school review process.

 "This is really the kickoff of the public sessions. Getting into public meeting two and three," he says, "you start to look at options and really the draft of a final report when you get to that final meeting, or that third meeting, that will be held later on, I guess, in the winter."

England says the second meeting will be held in Mulgrave, most likely before the end of January.

The third meeting is at SAERC.

Board members voted to place the SAERC feeder system under review in October.

The review process was brought about by declining enrolment at the three schools in question.

One of the potential outcomes of the review is the permanent closure of one of the schools.

There has been speculation that Mulgrave, the school with the lowest enrolment, would be the school tabbed to close.

England says he's a non-voting committee member, so he has no response to the idea this review is only about Mulgrave.

"That will be something the Committee will decide in regards to its own decision that it will make, and once they do make the decision," he says, "they'll make a recommendation to the Board and then the Board will make the final decision, because the Education Act requires the Board make the decision on that component."

England says committee members must have their review done between early February and early April.

He says any possible changes as a result of the review could be implemented as early as the next school year.


Winter parking bans return

Overnight winter parking bans are set to come into effect in some municipalities within the Quad Counties.

Bans start in both Antigonish Town and County as of Dec. 1.

That includes all town-owned parking lots, as well as streets and marked parking lots at StFX.

The Town of Mulgrave's winter parking ban also comes into effect at 12:01 a.m.

The Town of Port Hawkesbury's ban started Nov. 15.

Most bans start at 12:01 a.m.

Port Hawkesbury is the exception; it starts at 1 a.m.

All overnight winter parking bans last until 7 a.m, until the middle of April.

Municipal officials say your vehicle could be towed at your expense if it interferes with snow removal and other winter maintenance.


Antigonish teen earns Duke of Edinburgh award

A student at Dr. John Hugh Gillis Regional High School will receive a prestigious award Monday afternoon.

Seventeen-year-old Emma Boudreau of Antigonish will be presented with a Certificate of Completion of her Bronze award on behalf of the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award program.

MLA Randy Delorey will make the presentation.

Emma surpassed the requirements of the award, which takes a minimum of six months to complete and is achieved by meeting or exceeding the criteria in four categories (Service, Skills, Physical Recreation and Adventurous Journey).

The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award started in Nova Scotia in 1972.



RCMP warn of phone scam

Police say at least three people in the Port Hawkesbury area have received threatening calls from scammers posing as local RCMP officers.

They say the scam includes another caller posing as a Canada Revenue Agency official to try to make the victim pay an imaginary debt to make the problem go away.

Cst. Mark Skinner tells The Hawk the tactics, which consist of threats and a warning they're coming to the resident's home, go against RCMP procedure entirely.

"They're not talking about a specific incident, it's simply kind of an idle threat in that respect- we simply don't conduct our business this way, in any way, shape or form," he says. "If we indeed were looking to arrest someone, I think probably one of the worst things we could do is call them up and tell them we're going to arrest them."

Skinner says these matters can be hard to prosecute, because the calls occasionally originate from outside the country.

He says the people behind the scam will probably retire the act now that it's received coverage, but they'll return with another method.

"Now that we've gone out with it in the Inverness (Co.) area- and Nova Scotia in general- perhaps they'll change their tactics," he says. "It appears that these individuals aren't interested in stopping anytime soon."

Skinner says none of the people targeted gave money to the callers.

He says you should call the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre if you receive a suspicious call.


Fraud suspect expected in court

A woman from Port Hawkesbury facing a fraud charge is expected to return to court Monday.

Police have charged Karla Jean Bagley, 38, with fraud over $5,000.

Bagley's case opened in June; she's scheduled to return to Port Hawkesbury Provincial Court for election-and-plea.

The hearing was adjourned in September and October; both Crown and defence said they needed more time to review evidence.


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