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Former Paq'tnkek band office employee sentenced on forgery charge

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

Antigonish RCMP say they responded to a complaint from band officials in Dec. 2013.

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

Dawn Marie Johnson, a former band office employee, had faced charges of theft over $5,000, fraud over $5,000, uttering a forged document, and forgery; she entered not guilty pleas to all of her charges in Feb. 2015.

Johnson, 41, was committed to stand trial following a preliminary hearing in Antigonish Provincial Court in Nov. 2016; she was expected to stand trial in September.

Instead, she changed her plea to guilty on the forgery count, in the amount of more than $111,000, in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax in August; she had a sentencing hearing in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Antigonish Monday.

Johnson received an 18-month conditional sentence, which will be served as house arrest, followed by 12 months of probation; she was also ordered to pay restitution of more than $111,000.

Her remaining charges were withdrawn at the hearing.

 

Hearing for drug bust suspect adjourned

A man from Port Hawkesbury charged with drug-related offences after a traffic stop in the town has had his case adjourned.

Police say members of the Inverness District RCMP Street Crime Enforcement Unit stopped a vehicle on Reeves St. in February.

They say officers seized cocaine and drug paraphernalia from the driver and a passenger.

Jared Bradford McNamara, 30, and Sean Dale Simon, 36, have been charged with possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking; they were released on conditions shortly after their arrests.

McNamara was expected for election-and-plea in Port Hawkesbury Provincial Court Monday; instead, the hearing was adjourned until Jan. 22.

It was also adjourned Jan. 3.

Simon is scheduled to stand trial in March.

 

Inverness Co. man expected in court on drug, firearms charges

A man from Inverness Co. charged with firearms-related offences and a drug count following the search of a home is scheduled to return to court Tuesday.

Police say officers and members of the Inverness/Richmond RCMP Street Crime Enforcement Unit seized marijuana, five rifles and ammo when they searched a St. Rose home in October.

Joshua MacNeil, 38, faces multiple firearms-related charges and one count of possession of marijuana.

MacNeil, whose case opened in December, is expected for an election-and-plea hearing in Port Hawkesbury Provincial Court.

   

We'koqma'q officials say they're pleased with aquaculture funding

The chief of the We'koqma'q First Nation says band members are very pleased with a federal funding announcement for their steelhead trout industry.

Rod Googoo says the roughly $549,000 will create employment and a feeling of pride in their community.

He says it's going to help them expand their fish farm and upgrade their fish processing plant.

Googoo tells The Hawk they're trying to keep their product at the top of the line.

"The feed that we feed our fish is completely free of chemicals, pesticides and herbicides- it's just good, quality fish," he says. "Every fish we grow is already sold."

Googoo says they grow the fish from when they're small until they're processed.

He says the funding gives them a chance to solidify their place as one of the premier steelhead trout growers in the region.

Rodger Cuzner, the MP for Cape Breton-Canso, says the money will be used for filleting and processing, and to upgrade pens and cages.

He says production will nearly triple- from about one million pounds annually to three million pounds.

Cuzner says the expansion will mean a lot for members of the community.

"This investment, along with some of the partnerships they've developed over the last number of years, allows them to play on the international stage," he says. "It's a great way to continue to grow some jobs and some further opportunities within that community."

Cuzner says they'll have the needed consistency to compete in the market.

He says this will take band members to the next level, but they also have plans to move the industry forward.

Photo credit: ACOA

 

Former Paq'tnkek band office employee who pleaded guilty to forgery scheduled for sentencing

A woman from the Paq'tnkek First Nation in Afton, Antigonish Co. charged in relation to missing funds is expected to return to court Monday.

Antigonish RCMP say they responded to a complaint from band officials in Dec. 2013.

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

Dawn Marie Johnson, a former band office employee, had faced charges of theft over $5,000, fraud over $5,000, uttering a forged document, and forgery; she entered not guilty pleas to all of her charges in Feb. 2015.

Johnson, 41, was committed to stand trial following a preliminary hearing in Antigonish Provincial Court in Nov. 2016; she was expected to stand trial in September.

Instead, she changed her plea to guilty on the forgery count in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax in August; she's scheduled for sentencing in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Antigonish.

Her remaining charges are expected to be dealt with at that hearing.

   

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