Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 count hit new heights yesterday, with the provincial government reporting a record-smashing 175 new cases.

There are now 1,203 known active cases in the province, with 40 people in hospital, including nine in ICU.

“Case numbers continue to be very high and that’s not unexpected,” Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, says in a press release. “As the lab worked through its backlog, positive cases were added into our data system and the data entry is still a bit behind. That delay is reflected in the high numbers we’re still seeing. The team is working hard and I expect data entry will catch up quickly.”

On April 30, Strang and Premier Iain Rankin shared news of a backlog at the Nova Scotia Health Authority lab and in public health’s case data entry. They say workers at the lab have cleared the backlog and are now processing tests within 48 to 72 hours; they expect to be caught up on contact and data entry “in the coming days.”

So far, COVID-19 has killed 69 Nova Scotians, and 24,450 people across Canada.

The new Warriors logo.

Liverpool school replaces racist logo
After six decades with a logo depicting a crude caricature of a First Nations man, Liverpool Regional High School is replacing its Warriors logo.

Grade 10 student Autumn McDonald designed the image, after students voted for the change in a referendum last year. She’s happy to help the school shed the outdated representation.

 “As an Indigenous person myself, it wasn’t good,” she says. “When I was trying to design a logo, I didn’t really know what to do until my mom brought up the shield ideas, which is kind of a universal symbol.”

Kevin McBain reports for LighthouseNow.

Tough spring for sap harvesters
The weather isn’t being kind to Nova Scotia’s maple-syrup producers this spring.

“For this year, we had extended cold spells, extended warm spells, and not much in the way of textbook sap weather,” says Pictou County producer Darren Noble. Ideal conditions are warm days, cold nights, and occasional periods of rain.

Ultimately, he produced about 450 litres of sap this year, which is actually more than last year (when conditions were also tough) but he had to burn more wood to get it, eating into profit margins.

Raissa Tetanish has the story for The Pictou Advocate.

James Forman

The fraudster Halifax protected
In Victorian Halifax, James Forman was a senior officer with the Bank of Nova Scotia and a well regarded community pillar, “active in the community as a member of the Nova Scotia Literary and Scientific Society, treasurer of the Halifax Mechanics’ Institute, trustee for the Provincial Building Society, member of the council of the Horticultural Association and International Show Society, and president of the North British Society of Halifax.”

And then, a curious accountant learned the truth: their trusted associate had stolen some $315,000 from the bank. According to the bank’s official history, “it was nearly half the shareholder’s total equity in 1870, and more than 15% of the Bank’s total assets.”

In response, the city’s leaders were shockingly magnanimous. Instead of persecuting him, they closed ranks to protect him, hushing up the news. He repaid about half of what he stole and the bank wrote off the rest. He retired without facing charges.

Bob Gordon looks back in this Halifax Magazine historical report, originally published April 2019.

The Trews

New Trews album in the works
Antigonish rockers The Trews are at work on an as-yet unnamed album, and the pandemic is having a big part in shaping it. The first single is “I Wanna Play,” which the band describes as a “pandemic anthem,” capturing what people have been feeling since COVID-19 hit.

“This is our song for the lonely in the strangest time in recent history,” says lead singer Colin MacDonald. “A musical longing for understanding, meaning, and emotional release. It’s also just a really catchy and anthemic rock jam that we’re all really excited about.”

Jake Boudrot has more for LighthouseNow.

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Halifax Magazine