Citing sluggish improvement in case numbers, Premier Iain Rankin and Dr. Robert Strang (Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health), announced yesterday that the lockdown will continue until mid-June and students will finish the school year at home.

“We are making progress with decreasing our case numbers, but that progress is slower than we would like,” Rankin says in a press release. “In order to get back to more normal living this summer, I’m asking Nova Scotians to stick with our restrictions a little longer, get vaccinated as soon as you can, and stay close to home.”

Strang also urges people to obey the travel-related rules and not go to their cottages.

“People should recognize that if they actually have a cottage or second place to go to, they are extremely privileged,” he says. “There are many people that are struggling to maintain their home losing their jobs right now. If you have a second home choose one of your homes and make that your permanent residence for the next few months. Do not go back and forth. That’s not too much to ask when many people are struggling for a lot more. We have people struggling for their lives in hospital.”

Dr. Robert Strang. Photo: CNS

Two more COVID deaths
Health officials reported two more COVID-19 deaths yesterday: a man in his 60s in the Eastern Zone and a woman in her 60s in the Central Zone. The disease has now killed 74 Nova Scotians, and 25,066 people across Canada.

Yesterday the province tallied 83 new cases of COVID-19 and 164 recoveries, for a total of 1,262 known active cases. There are 101 people hospitalized in Nova Scotia with the disease, including 20 in ICU.

As of May 18, workers have dispensed 442,535 doses of COVID-19 vaccine in Nova Scotia, with 40,096 Nova Scotians getting the second dose that completes inoculation.

The 57,576 Nova Scotians who followed the advice to vaccinate as quickly as possible and got the no-longer-offered AstraZeneca vaccine continue to await news about what their second dose will be, and when they’ll get it. Last week, Strang promised to provide that information sometime in June.

Reuters is reporting that a Spanish study indicates that Pfizer may be a “safe and effective” second dose for those people.

Four charged in Annapolis Valley murder
Early on May 24, 2020, police responded to a reported home invasion in Wolfville Ridge. During the investigation, they discovered a burnt-out vehicle containing the remains of 51-year-old Robert Campbell. Almost a year later, the RCMP has arrested four people.

Rebecca Elizabeth Moir of Five Islands and Brandon Doucette of L’Ardoise are both charged with murder, criminal negligence causing death, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, and unauthorized possession of a firearm. Moir is also charged with possession of a weapon while prohibited, and Doucette with discharge of a firearm and pointing a firearm.

Darroll Murray Atwell of Robinson Corner and Devyn Adam Dennis of Bishopville are both charged with indignity to human remains, accessory after the fact, break and enter with intent to commit an indictable offence, and arson.

The Reporter has details.

Atlantic Journalism Award finalists announced
Regular Halifax Magazine contributor Ameeta Vohra is an Atlantic Journalism Award finalist, nominated in the Atlantic Magazine: Best Profile Article category for her March 2020 story about Halifax Thunderbirds captain Cody Jamieson.

When Vohra took the assignment, she was expecting to do a standard sports story, but it grew into something more. In a deeply personal and candid interview, Jamieson shares what lacrosse means to him personally, and its importance to First Nations culture.

“What ultimately unraveled was a story of how this sport led him to a better way of life,” Vohra explains. “Lacrosse was a healing tool for him. It guided him through a rough patch in his life. It’s also prompted him to help others facing the same issues he did in life. The accomplishment was good storytelling that went beyond the sport itself, talking about life lessons and First Nations culture.”

Read the story here.

Pictou County youth hurt in ATV crash
A 13-year-old was flown to hospital with injuries that police describe as “serious but not-life-threatening” after crashing an all-terrain vehicle into a ditch in Egerton. The RCMP hasn’t shared any information about the cause of the accident.

The Pictou Advocate has more.

Photo: Submitted

Lunenburg tree spat simmers
Recently, workers cut down one of two 18-metre trees near Paul Kellogg’s Lunenburg home, and the one still standing is slated to come down soon.

ABCO Industries Holdings is working to get driveway access leading to a waterfront brewery near the public-right-of-way. The trees stand close to Tannery Road but are on ABCO property.

Jason Huskilson, a director with the business, says the trees are a safety issue, suggesting that a curve in Tannery Road near the driveway could pose an issue for drivers.

Kellogg isn’t buying that, pointing out that there are potential solutions that don’t require a chainsaw: “Development can go hand-in-hand with respecting the environment and working with it.”

Keith Corcoran reports for LighthouseNow.

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