Roundup: Pictou County collision kills 4, COVID costs adding up, South Shore libraries hopes to move on with new boss, Mi’kmaw Summer Games return

Athletes from around Nova Scotia recently converged on Potlotek First Nation for the Mi'kmaw Summer Games. Photo: Dana MacPhail-Touesnard

Plus: A chowder to remember — a drugged meal in Halifax sent the Titanic film crew into turbulent waters

Four men are dead after a head-on collision on Highway 104 in Pictou County on Sunday night.

The victims include the driver and sole occupant of a car, and the driver and two passengers from the SUV. A 51-year-old passenger is in hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Police continue to investigate; an RCMP spokesman told CBC that the car was travelling in the wrong direction on the highway.

The Pictou Advocate has more.

Ashley Nunn-Smith

South Shore libraries hope to move on
A year after Troy Myers resigned amidst allegations of sexual misconduct, South Shore Public Libraries has a new chief librarian, Ashley Nunn-Smith.

She hopes to move on from the scandal as the library marks its 50th anniversary, adding that work on equity, diversion, and inclusion are among her top priorities.

“Not all libraries have tackled that,” she says. “Some kind of stay back a little bit and remain neutral; the lack of action is a statement in and of itself.”

Keith Corcoran reports for LighthouseNow.

Pandemic costs climbing
COVID-19 hospitalizations, which have spiked dramatically in the province since Premier Tim Houston ended most protections and began his “living with COVID” strategy, are costing Nova Scotia $1 million per day, says infectious disease researcher Dr. Tara Moriarty in her latest series of tweets analyzing the pandemic.

By her tally, the Omicron variant has thus far added $4.2 billion to health-care costs Canada-wide.

Houston’s government is now withholding most pandemic data, only releasing monthly epidemiologic reports, so it’s hard to get an accurate picture of the current state of the disease in the province. The latest available data says that in the week ending July 25, COVID caused the hospitalization of 60 more Nova Scotians.

World Health Organization officials report 997,348 confirmed new COVID cases around the globe in the last 24 hours. So far, COVID is known to have killed at least 6,390,401 people, including 42,681 in Canada and 463 Nova Scotians.

Bill Paxton

A chowder to remember
Director James Cameron, actor Bill Paxton, and dozens of crew members were shooting scenes from the 1996 blockbuster Titanic in Halifax, when — like so many visitors before them — they decided to have a feed of seafood chowder.

The meal was delicious, but it quickly became apparent something was wrong.

“The crew was all milling about,” Paxton told a reporter later. “Some people were laughing, some people were crying, some people were throwing up … One minute I felt OK, the next minute I felt so goddamn anxious I wanted to breathe in a paper bag.”

Eighty people ended up in hospital, where they learned the chowder was tainted with the powerful narcotic PCP. Police investigated, but have never determined who poisoned them or why.

Dorothy Grant looks back in her latest Unravel Halifax history column.

Mikmaw Summer Games return
After two years of COVID cancellations, the Nova Scotia Mi’kmaw Summer Games returned last month, bringing dozens of athletes to the Potlotek First Nation in Richmond County for competition and cultural connections.

In the latest issue of the Reporter, see exclusive photos of the action.

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