Roundup: COVID kills 14 more Nova Scotians, Port Hawkesbury renters fight eviction attempt, Mahone Bay baseball prospect bound for U.S., volunteers plant thousands of trees

Volunteers planted some 2,500 trees during a recent event in Pictou Co. Photo: Heather Knight

Plus: Local history — when Halifax was a gateway to the world and one of Canada’s wealthiest cities

Health officials report 14 more COVID-19 deaths in Nova Scotia, but Dr. Robert Strang, the province’s chief medical officer of health, is undaunted.

“The pandemic isn’t over, but as we make our way out of this latest Omicron wave, I’m optimistic about what summer may hold in Nova Scotia,” he says in a press release.

Spanning the period from May 17 to 23, the latest epidemiologic summary shows declines in hospitalization and confirmed cases.

Provincial labs confirmed 1,584, COVID cases during the week, with 40 people hospitalized due to the disease. But with many people no longer testing and the Houston government withholding daily data, that’s not a true picture of the disease’s spread. The World Health Organization confirms 527,048 new COVID-19 cases around the globe in the last 24 hours. 

So far, COVID is known to have has killed 6,283,119 people worldwide, including 40,706 in Canada and 391 Nova Scotians

World Health Organization officials add that those are only the deaths directly from COVID. When they tally deaths that doctors could have otherwise prevented had COVID not exacerbated an existing condition, the count skyrockets to 14.9 million.

Port Hawkesbury renters fight eviction attempt
Port Hawkesbury Councillor Blaine MacQuarrie is urging residents to fight an attempt by AOI Properties to kick tenants out of a six-unit apartment building.

In a letter to tenants, landlord Kelly MacNeil says the planned evictions are due to upcoming septic and water work, which will purportedly leave the building uninhabitable for three months.

But a former caretaker says the work’s already been done and took a single day. MacQuarrie isn’t buying MacNeil’s explanation either. “Their intention is: vacate the building, and then eventually do renovations, and then they’re going to put rent up,” he says. “There’s a number of questions that have to be answered.”

Jake Boudrot has more for the Reporter.

Dorothy Grant. Photo: Submitted

Gateway to the world
Today, people (generally affluent people living elsewhere) often misdescribe Halifax as the capital of the have-nots, a haven of defeatism and negativity. The witless cliché is a stark contrast to how people saw the city in the first years after Canada formed.

In those days, Halifax was seen as vibrant and bustling, our country’s gateway to the world. Industry was booming, millionaires abounded, and workers commanded some of the best wages in the country.

Dorothy Grant looks back in this recent Unravel Halifax post.

Volunteers plant thousands of trees
A diverse group of locals recently gathered near the Pictou County Forest School to plant 2,500 red and white spruce trees. Tree Canada, a non-profit group that works to plant and nurture trees in urban environments, worked with the municipality to organize the event.

Strathlorne Forest Nursery donated 500 seedlings. Forest technician George Dempsey explains that they chose red and white spruce they’re native to the area’s existing Acadian forest.

“Less mixture of trees, less chance of disease,” Dempsey says.

Heather Knight reports for the Pictou Advocate.

Jack Laws. Photo: Submitted

Baseball prospect headed stateside
Jack Laws, a 17-year-old student from Mahone Bay, is taking some big steps in his pursuit of a big-league baseball career.

Earlier this year, he signed a two-year commitment to play for the Miles Community College Pioneers in Montana. And in August, he’ll represent Nova Scotia at the Canada Summer Games in August in Ontario.

“It’s always something I’ve dreamed of,” he says. “I remember watching my cousin play in the tournament as a kid. I just remember seeing how cool of an experience it looked like. It seemed like our own Canadian Olympics.”

Kevin McBain has the story for LighthouseNow.

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