Roundup: Strang fears as COVID grows, Boston tree on its way, no charges for cop after New Glasgow shooting, Bridgewater faces housing crunch

As of yesterday, Nov. 15, Nova Scotia has 21 known active cases of COVID-19, with two new cases added in the latest government update. Both new cases are in the Central Zone and linked to previously reported cases.

Dr. Robert Strang. Photo: CNS

“As we continue seeing cases increase, I am growing more concerned that people are going about their lives as if we are not still in the midst of a pandemic,” says Premier Stephen McNeil in a press release. “I know the vast majority of Nova Scotians are following public health guideline… But for those who are not, you are not only putting your own health in jeopardy, but also the health of others.”

Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, shares the premier’s concern. “As we’ve seen in other provinces, cases of COVID-19 can spike in the blink of an eye,” he adds. “We cannot become complacent… Continue following the protocols and limit your number of close social contacts and social activities.”

Boston Christmas tree on its way
Every year since 1971, Nova Scotia has sent a Christmas tree to Boston to thank the community for its speedy humanitarian response after the Halifax Explosion.

Heather and Tony Sampson. Photo: CNS

This year, the 15-metre tree comes from Heather and Tony Sampson in Richmond County. “We had a spectacular one,” says Tony Sampson. “We used to live beside the tree… I’ve watched it grow since it started [43 years ago].”

The tree is now en route to the U.S. There won’t be any related public events this year because of pandemic concerns, but the local ABC station will broadcast the lighting on Dec. 3. Jake Boudrot has the story for The Reporter.

No charges for cop who shot man
A New Glasgow police officer who shot a mentally ill man won’t face charges. The Serious Incident Response Team released the results of its investigation on Friday, determining the suspect was approaching with a knife when, “fearing for his personal safety,” the officer shot and injured him. The Pictou Advocate reports.

Harold Benge Atlee

A women’s health care pioneer
When Harold Bengee Atlee graduated from Dalhousie Medical School in 1911, he was just 21. But his youthfulness wasn’t the most controversial thing about his career: he had revolutionary ideas about women’s health care and access to abortions.

“Another controversy embroiled him when he had a Catholic patient who need a hysterectomy, a procedure the church condemned, as it ended her chance to have more children,” writes Dorothy Grant. “An outraged Atlee confronted her priest, convincing him to relent.”

Grant looks back at his revolutionary career in this new Halifax Magazine historical report.

Confronting the housing crunch
Like communities around Nova Scotia, Bridgewater is facing an affordable housing crunch, with few vacancies even as rents soar ever higher. The town’s new municipal government is promising to confront the problem.

“We need to recognize while there are many things not in our direct control, we can influence policy and people outside our organization,” says new mayor David Mitchell. Keith Corcoran has more for LighthouseNow.

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This story was originally published in Halifax Magazine.

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