Roundup: Highlighting gaps in kids’ mental-health care, school bus stolen Musique Royale showcases new duo, COVID kills 15 more

The new Mi'kmaw Native Friendship Centre is planned to stand in the shadow of Citadel Hill. Photo: Bruce Murray

Plus: The Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre will soon have a new home — in the shadow of Halifax’s most prominent colonial relic

The Mi’kmaw Native Friendship is finally on the cusp of getting a new building.

One of Halifax’s most prominent and enduring community organizations, the group has long made do with its small and dated North End building. But now, plans for a long-promised new centre are approaching their final stages, with HRM poised to transfer the needed land.

The likely location is rich in symbolism: the former Canadian Blood Centre property, in the shadow of Halifax Citadel.

“I actually stopped by the property the other day and stood there looking up at Citadel Hill,” says executive director Pam Glode-Desrochers. “I couldn’t stop thinking what a legacy piece this place will be for the Mi’kmaq, and for any Nova Scotian. It says that while we recognize the past, we know the future is here, and we’re going to do things differently.”

Alec Bruce has the story in the new issue of Unravel Halifax.

School bus stolen
Someone stole a school bus from a parking lot in Antigonish at around 3 a.m. on Sept. 4.

“The bus was parked in the Eastern Auto parking lot for the summer months as this is where it was being stored,” says Conseil scolaire acadien provincial spokesperson Stéphanie Comeau. “Having a bus stolen days before the start of the school year has added challenges … There still have been no reports of anyone seeing the bus, which is very concerning.”

Drake Lowthers has more for the Reporter.

Gaps in kids’ mental-health care
Tomorrow, Jim and Heather Wyatt will unveil a new “Buddy Bench,” one of several coming to New Glasgow. An American program, the benches are intended to help lonely kids make friends. The Wyatts are involved to highlight gaps in kids’ mental-health care and memorialize their son Brennan, who died by suicide in 2019.

“He struggled for years,” Jim says. “He was prescribed anti-depressants but nothing seemed to work. He reached out so many times but he was in too big a hole and couldn’t get out of it. … He would get upset about what he was going through and the whole stigma of mental health.”

Steve Goodwin reports for the Pictou Advocate.

Keith Hamm and Julie Hereish. Photo: Submitted

Musique Royale showcases new duo
Cellist Julie Hereish and violist Keith Hamm have long been a couple, but their musical collaboration began during COVID.

Now, they’re embarking on a Debut Atlantic concert tour, performing in seven Maritime communities.

“Like many musicians we … lost all our work and all of our performances,” Hamm recalls. “Julie and I are a musician household couple, and we are extremely, truly lucky to have each other in the house … Our first project together was to learn the music on the program for the Debut Atlantic audiences and we had a lot of fun putting it together.”

Kevin McBain interviews the for LighthouseNow.

COVID fatalities climb
Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 death toll jumped last week, as provincial officials report the disease killed 15 people from Sept. 6 to 12. During the same period, 39 people were hospitalized with the disease, with 48 currently in care receiving COVID treatment, including nine in ICU.

The World Health Organization reports 521,174 confirmed new COVID cases around the globe in the last 24 hours. So far, COVID is known to have killed at least 6,478,747 people, including 44,347 in Canada and 522 Nova Scotians.

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