Roundup: RCMP failures lead to Mi’kmaw alert system, vax booster bookings open, Pictou hosts local musicians, South Shore hockey team hopes for brighter season

Author Steve Vernon and Amy McIsaac, owner of the Dartmouth Book Exchange. Vernon sometimes hosts storytelling events at the shop. Photo: Bruce Murray

Plus: Since making Nova Scotia his home, Steve Vernon has built a career on sharing its lore

When a gunman disguised as a Mountie was rampaging across central Nova Scotia in 2020, RCMP communicators failed to issue an alert or give the public give timely information about the unfolding mass murder, instead sending vague, misleading, and tardy tweets.

The reliance on Twitter is particularly worrisome to Mi’kmaw communities.

“First Nations communities were in the dark because the RCMP issued alerts over Twitter and many Indigenous people … aren’t on social media, so were unaware of the warnings,” writes Janet Whitman. “The Union of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq has since launched its own alert system that reaches thousands of members.” 

The Reporter has more.

Author shares Nova Scotian lore
Steve Vernon first visited Nova Scotia as a teenager, and quickly embraced the province, making it his home. Today’s he’s one of its most prolific storytellers, recording and preserving local lore. Recently, he sat down with Unravel Halifax for a chat about More Maritime Murder, his latest collection of true-crime tales.

He previews one of the most memorable stories he unearthed: “Omar Roberts … murdered somebody down in Yarmouth area back in 1922. He was a famous hunter, tracker, fisherman. I believe his second wife had passed and he was living by himself. He decided he needed somebody to do the housework. He hires this local girl and starts to remark on how much she looks like his dead wife. Things get a little darker from there … It’s got all the wholesome entertainment that Maritimers usually love to read.” 

Read Vernon’s interview with Ameeta Vohra.

Booster bookings open
“The pandemic is not over,” cautions the World Health Organization in a recent press release, as experts continue to urge the use of protections like masking and vaccination. Yesterday, with little public notice, the Nova Scotia government opened booster bookings for everyone age 18 and over.

WHO reports 281,790 confirmed new COVID cases around the globe in the last 24 hours. So far, COVID is known to have killed at least 6,507,002 people, including 44,740 in Canada and 522 Nova Scotians.

The Sanctified Brothers

Pictou hosts local musicians
A showcase of Nova Scotian musical talent continues through the month in Pictou, with the Global Voices concert set for Sept. 24, featuring DeeDee Austin, the Sanctified Brothers, and Aundru Branch and Halfway Tree.

“We have assembled a large and diverse line up of acts from local favourites to new faces from out of provinces,” says organizer Troy Greencorn. “Our goal was to create three themed concerts, providing employment to artists and technicians, while offering up three great afternoons of free entertainment downtown.”

The Pictou Advocate has more.

Hopes for a brighter hockey season
The South Shore Jr. A Lumberjacks finished a dismal 7-28 last season, a scant one-win improvement over the previous season’s record. But coach Brad Tesink promises fans better results this year.

“Obviously, last year we weren’t happy with the way our record ended up,” he says. “When you break it down though, there were a lot of one-goal games. We have to find ways to win those tight games this year and to continue to build on a good second half from last season.”

Kevin McBain reports for LighthouseNow.

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