Roundup: COVID spreading faster, Tatamagouche inspires poet, emergency brain surgery for young hockey player, Bridgewater stabbing suspect to test Crown’s case

Poet Garth Ukrainetz

The provincial government announced 11 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday, raising the total of known active cases in Nova Scotia to 44. All the new cases are in Central Zone.

This does not include a potential case detected on Nov. 21, as public health tested a rapid COVID-19 screening program for bar staff and patrons in downtown Halifax.

Dr. Robert Strang. Photo: Communications Nova Scotia

“The majority of new cases we are seeing involve social interactions: people who may or may not be symptomatic going downtown with friends and staying for several hours,” says Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, in the press release. “Last night’s pilot provides us more information as our testing and screening strategy continues to evolve.”

New gathering limits and other restrictions take effect today in metro Halifax Regional Municipality and parts of Hants County. The list of potential exposure locations has grown to include several more local shops, restaurants, and fitness facilities.

Poet finds inspiration in Tatamagouche
Albertan poet Garth Ukrainetz was enjoying his August 2019 vacation in Nova Scotia when the muse struck him: his poem “Tatamagouche” was the result. “It’s hard to explain that poetic feeling,” he says. “I’ve had these poetic hunches before and followed through on them, which brought forth wonderful poems.”

He imagines a Second World War Canadian sailor from the village, clinging to flotsam in the freezing North Atlantic after a U-boat sunk his ship. “The water is freezing cold, he’s all alone, and it’s the middle of the night,” explains Ukrainetz. “He starts singing his dirge in the darkness.”

Read the poem and learn more of the story behind it in this new story from The Light by Raissa Tetanish.

Vision for new AGNS takes shape
The design team is now finalized for the new Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, planned for the Salter block of the Halifax waterfront.

“We proposed a sinuous building surrounded by regenerative gardens that will signal a radical new beginning for the AGNS, the waterfront, Nova Scotians and the world of art,” says Bruce Kuwabara, founding partner of KPMB Architects. “We want people to experience art in a great setting. We want people to feel welcome and at home. We believe we have created a place for everyone.” 

In this recent Halifax Magazine story, Janet Whitman looks at the new design and talks with Rob Sobey about his family’s $10 million donation support the project.

Momentary lapse leads to brain surgery
Fifteen-year-old Anthony MacDonald took off his helmet, as players often do, during hockey practice on Nov. 10. An errant puck hit him in the head, causing a skull fracture and bleeding on the brain. Before the day was done, a helicopter had whisked him from Cape Breton to Halifax, where he had emergency surgery.

He’s at home now, in the early stages of what doctors expect to be a long and complicated recovery. “We’re not going to hide from the fact that he took his helmet off,” says father Mark MacDonald. “It was a very innocent thing but that’s what can happen… We cannot stress enough to kids: keep your helmet on no matter what.”

Jake Boudrot has the story for The Reporter.

Preliminary hearing date set for stabbing suspect
The 31-year-old Bridgewater man accused of stabbing a police officer and dog before several days on the lam last summer plans to test the Crown’s case against him in a preliminary hearing next year.

Tobias Charles Doucette also elected to have his Nova Scotia Supreme Court trial heard by a judge and jury if a provincial court determines at the preliminary hearing there’s enough evidence to go to trial.

Doucette’s preliminary hearing (a proceeding available to accused people facing serious charges) is scheduled for two days in June 2021. Doucette is currently free on bail. The allegations against him haven’t been tested in court and he is presumed innocent. Keith Corcoran reports for LighthouseNow.

Need to know
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This story was originally published in Halifax Magazine.

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