Roundup: 3 COVID deaths, Hfx developer leaves Bridgewater projects, N.G. loses long-time volunteer, Isabella Samson releases debut album

Isabella Samson. Photo: Submitted

Plus: The epic battle of Little-Bit and the ficus plant — a lighthearted essay by Steven Laffoley

COVID-19 has killed three more Nova Scotians. According to the most recent government update, the victims are a man in his 70s from the Central Zone, a woman in her 70s from the Western Zone, and a man in his 80s from the Western Zone.

So far, COVID has killed 142 Nova Scotians, and 33,722 people across Canada.

“My thoughts are with their families and loved ones as they navigate through this tremendously difficult time,” Premier Tim Houston says in a press release. “I hope they find some comfort in the warmth extended to them by their neighbours and fellow Nova Scotians. And I hope that Nova Scotians continue to come together and do all we can to prevent this from happening to another family.”

Meanwhile, many federal Conservative politicians — including party leader Erin O’Toole — continue to offer their support to the Freedom Convoy supporters gathered in Canada’s capital to protest against vaccination mandates and public-health laws. During their illegal gathering, the protestors have waved Nazi and Confederate flagsillegally blocked traffic, ignored public health lawsurinated and danced on the National War Memorial, and threatened workers at a homeless shelter while stealing food.

COVID by the numbers
Health officials estimate there are 3,913 active cases of COVID in Nova Scotia, with 256 new lab-confirmed cases reported yesterday. But those numbers don’t reflect COVID’s true extent. Houston’s government recently stopped widespread testing and follow-up, saying that the pervasiveness of the Omicron strain requires focusing on vulnerable areas like hospitals.

Nova Scotia Health is now asking people to self-report their test results to “collect information to help quickly identify people who are eligible for and may benefit from COVID-19 medications and treatments.”

Health officials also reported 10 new hospital admissions and nine discharges yesterday, for a total of 92 people hospitalized for COVID and getting treatment in specialized units, including 15 in ICU. There are also 116 people who were admitted to hospital for another reason but tested positive for COVID (or were in a COVID unit but no longer require specialized care), and 142 who contracted the disease in hospital.

Halifax developers leaves South Shore projects
Black Seal Properties is abandoning its plans to develop lots on King Street in Bridgewater, which have been vacant since a 2017 fire.

“Our land acquisition cost was too high, construction costs were too high for the financial formula to make sense,” company co-owner Adam Barrett says. “So, we walked away from it.”

Keith Corcoran reports for LighthouseNow.

Jack Pink. Photo: Steve Goodwin

New Glasgow mourns long-time volunteer
Businessman Jack Pink — who recently passed away at age 98 — worked much of his career with the Sobeys empire, but his community service stands largest in people’s memories.

United Way of Pictou County executive director Ellen Fanning recalls his volunteering, including work on the board as president and campaign chairperson, and as a Leader of the Way canvasser.

The organization launched the Jack Pink United Way Volunteer Award in 2005, feting Pictou County residents for exceptional leadership, ongoing volunteer efforts, and commitment to the community.

“All of us at United Way were deeply saddened to learn of Jack’s passing,” Fanning says in an email. “He was a long-time friend, volunteer and truly dedicated champion of our work in Pictou County.”

Steve Goodwin has more for the Pictou Advocate.

Isabella Samson releases debut album
Seventeen-year-old Cape Breton singer and musician Isabella Samson, who first captured attention during a provincial tour last summer, recently launched her first album.

She describes If It’s Not Forever as a folk-pop album.

“Because it was my first album, and I was only 16 when I wrote it, I tried to focus on things that I had experience in,” she says. “At 16, probably the largest thing that was happening in my life was change. “The whole album is surrounded (by) change: in regards to relationships, in regards to COVID, in regards to getting older and going to university.”

Jake Boudrot interviews her for the Reporter.

Steven Laffoley

The epic battle of Little-Bit and the ficus plant
We’re slogging through a lot of gloomy news these days, so now for something completely different: a warm-hearted and funny tale about a fierce and half-blind Chihuahua with a pronounced incontinence problem, a persistent ficus plant, and a Quixotic struggle.

See Steven Laffoley’s latest Unravel Halifax essay.

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