Roundup: 4 COVID deaths, RCMP seize guns and body armour, Antigonish hockey player battles in Beijing, crumbling rural roads cost residents

Antigonish's Alex Grant, who plays with Helsinki in the KHL, has joined Team Canada for the Beijing Olympics. Photo: Twitter

Plus: Expert advice to help you stay safe when Nova Scotia Power service fails

COVID-19 has killed four more Nova Scotians, according to the latest government update. The victims are three women from the Central Zone (in their 60s, 80s, and 90s respectively) and a man in his 90s from the Eastern Zone.

“This has been a tragic year so far,” Premier Tim Houston says in a press release. “It is important that we work together as a province. Please get vaccinated and continue to follow the public health restrictions in place. By doing this, we can help prevent more Nova Scotians from having to experience such grief.”

Health officials estimate there are 3,647 active cases of COVID in Nova Scotia, with 401 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 four discharges yesterday, for a total of 97 people hospitalized for COVID and getting treatment in specialized units, including 13 in ICU. There are also 120 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 134 who contracted the disease in hospital.

Pictou County man faces multiple charges
A video posted on social media led the RCMP to a search a Pictou County home and arrest a 35-year-old man.

On Jan. 10, the Inverness County District RCMP began investigating a video showing a man “waving a handgun around in a reckless manner” at a business on Whycocomagh Mountain Road in Whycocomagh.

“The police were not aware of the incident prior to the video being posted to social media,” Cpl. Chris Marshall says in an email. “The video formed part of the investigation and aided in identifying the man that was arrested.”

Jeremy MacKenzie is scheduled to appear in Port Hawkesbury Provincial Court on May 30. Jake Boudrot reports for the Pictou Advocate.

Backgrounder: The Canadian Anti-Hate Network has been monitoring MacKenzie, and describes him as “a former military combat veteran” and “popular figurehead” of the racist Plaid Army group.

Antigonish hockey player seeks Olympic gold
As Team Canada seeks Olympic gold in men’s hockey, the team’s ranks will include one Nova Scotian, with Antigonish native Alex Grant recently joining the squad.

Read more in the Reporter.

Crumbling rural roads cost residents
Hwy. 10, north of Bridgewater, has been a checkerboard of potholes, cracks, and patches for years, with conditions worsening every winter. The provincial government is promising to repave the road by 2023, but meanwhile, residents are left with mounting automotive repair bills.

Keith Corcoran has more for LighthouseNow.

A Nova Scotia Power crew in Port Hawkesbury in 2019. Photo: Twitter

Don’t be left in the dark
Nova Scotia Power service failures have become part of life in this province, especially during winter. Always annoying, the blackouts can be downright hazardous in cold weather, when people desperate to warm their houses or have a hot meal can make rash, unsafe choices.

In his new column, Unravel Halifax safety expert James Golemiec shares advice to help you stay relatively comfortable while you wait for the lights to come back on.

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