Roundup: Firefighters’ equipment stolen, Antigonish politicians threatened, plans for small-options home sputter, COVID exposes mental-health-care gaps

Members of the Thorburn Fire Department demonstrate how to use extrication equipment; someone recently stole similar equipment from the Barneys River fire department. Photo: Pictou Advocate files

Plus: After guiding Neptune Theatre for six years, Lisa Bugden makes a dramatic change

Firefighters in a Pictou County village are reeling after someone stole their Jaws of Life and other specialized tools they use to extract victims from car crashes.

“It’s very disheartening to know this equipment is not available,” says Joe MacDonald, chief of the Barneys River volunteer fire department. “It’s not only the department; it’s about everyone who travels … “We don’t always have to use it but it’s nice to have them. You feel better having it on a call.”

Police say whoever did it likely broke into the firehall between 11 p.m. on Oct. 26 and 11 p.m. on Oct 30, taking $35,000 worth of gear.

Steve Goodwin reports for the Pictou Advocate.

Antigonish politicians threatened
The chief administrative officers of Antigonish’s town and county governments say area politicians have been bombarded with threats and harassing messages since a recent vote to dissolve the town government and absorb it into the county.

“This is unacceptable behaviour and deeply troubling,” say Jeff Lawrence and Glenn Horne in a press release. “We are asking this small group of residents to stop with the harassment. We are asking the rest of our community not to condone this harassment. The decision to move forward with special legislation for consolidation was not made lightly, and it was a decision made by both councils, not one individual person.”

RCMP spokesman Chris Marshall says police are investigating.

Drake Lowthers has more for the Reporter.

David Mitchell. Photo: LinkedIn

Plans for small-options home sputter
Bridgewater town government has kiboshed Metro Community Living’s plans to build a small-options home, instead selling the desired block of land to a developer who plans to build a townhouse.

Council agreed to Metro Community Living’s plan in July, but management of the Dartmouth-based real-estate holding firm never signed the final agreement to complete its purchase of the land.

“I’m disappointed … (It) was a great location, on the bus route,” says Bridgewater Mayor David Mitchell. “There were a whole bunch of boxes that it ticked … We need it.”

Keith Corcoran has the story for LighthouseNow.

COVID-19 exposes gaps in mental health care
The pandemic has a powerful lesson to teach policymakers, according to World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“COVID-19 has highlighted the gaps in the capacity of health systems around the world to address mental health conditions,” he says in a recent speech. “When we need more and better-quality mental health services, the world is held back by decades of under-investment … COVID-19 has triggered an unprecedented mental health crisis, but it is has also brought mental health to the forefront. As such, it’s an unprecedented opportunity to make significant changes to protect and promote mental health around the world, especially for young people.”

The World Health Organization reports 185,699 confirmed new COVID cases around the globe in the last 24 hours. So far, the disease is known to have killed at least 6,572,800 people, including 46,389 in Canada and 588 Nova Scotians.

Lisa Bugden. Photo: Submitted

Lisa Bugden takes a bow
After six years helming Neptune Theatre through some of the most challenging years in its history, general manager Lisa Bugden is set to move on, working her last day on Nov. 4.

And it’s a dramatic shift: she’s buying into a flower business. “Well … I’m not going to be designing them,” she says. “I mean, you know, not right off the bat. But I want to learn that side of the business too. It’s just like it was for me coming to Neptune. It’s about understanding the craft. You need to know all of that before you can ever hope to promote or sell or manage.”

She tells Alec Bruce about it, and looks back on her time with Neptune, in this new Unravel Halifax web exclusive.

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