To quote Charles Dickens: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times …
The last year has seen trials and tribulations, victories and defeats, highs and lows. There was an increased awareness of environmentalism, less certainty about the future, a federal election, a year since the legalization of cannabis … all marking the end of a decade.
In the spirit of bidding farewell to one decade and welcoming 2020 with open arms, we looked back at the news headlines and news makers that dominated the pages of The Advocate in 2019 and had the most hits on our social media sites.
Sometimes, events that are important to one person don’t even register with others.
Read on to find out what was most significant to you, our readers, over the past year …
Website: New Glasgow man arrested on child pornography charges
A 20-year-old New Glasgow man was found to be in possession of child pornography after the New Glasgow Regional Police Department and RCMP ICE unit were alerted by a social media site. While officers were arresting the man, he reached for what appeared to be a handgun; however, it was determined it was a firearm replica.
Staff Pick: Hero’s send off
Local teenager Daniel Arsenault is remembered through an outpouring of random acts of kindness throughout the community after living with muscular dystrophy all his life and eventually passing away at the age of 18.
Website: County man charged for obtaining sexual services from youth
A 30-year-old Stellarton man was accused of contacting three females under age 18 to arrange to pay them for sex.
Staff Pick: County makes history: First ever mosque opening in Trenton
The first-ever mosque in Pictou County opens in the former Christ the King Church on Forge Street in Trenton after a crowdfunding campaign. History made as Pictou County expands its cultural and spiritual reach.
Website: Police investigating Trenton incident
A 30-year-old Stellarton man was arrested after being charged with breach of an undertaking, breach of probation, damage to property, assault with a weapon and forcible confinement. Police later said the incident was “isolated” and “at no time was public safety in jeopardy.”
Staff Pick: Stellarton Council makes ‘emotional’ decision to cease rink operations
The town council decided to cease operations of the Stellarton Memorial Rink due to the financial burden of upkeep on the building, effective March 31, 2020. An Aging Building Audit indicated it would cost at least $4.1 million just to keep the rink safe and operational.
Website: Fire in downtown Pictou
Local bargain store Poppy’s One Stop caught fire with the stubborn blaze lasting for several hours in the town’s downtown core. The Water Street building was well-known throughout the community, having previoulsy housed a dollar store, and later had to be razed due to fire and water damage.
Staff Pick: More information needed, Environmental Minister to Northern Pulp
Nova Scotia’s Environment Minister Margaret Miller announced that more information would be needed to make a decision on the proposed Northern Pulp wastewater treatment plant to replace the Boat Harbour Treatment facility. Miller concluded that not enough information had been provided to properly assess the impacts on the environment. She called for a focus report from Northern Pulp to provide the information that she said was “lacking.”
Website: Theft of $30,000 of tools in Pictou County
RCMP respond to the report of a theft of a number of tools totaling around $30,000 including Dewalt brand carpentry tools, reciprocating and skil saws as well as a generator and more. The tools were housed in a utility trailer that had been parked at a cottage lot on MacKenzie Road in Black Point, east of Pictou Landing.
Staff Pick: Students take to the streets for action on Climate Change: Fridays for Future rallies held
Based on young Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, local school kids take to the streets to protest inaction on climate change and share worry for their future. The peaceful demonstrations were meant to shed light on the issue of climate change, and how it is affecting the world.
Website: RCMP investigate indecent act
A woman calls RCMP with a complaint of a man who had flashed her and asked her on a date. The incident took place on the Jitney Trail and the victim was a woman who was walking her dog.
Staff Pick: Natural Therapy: Local vet opening eco-adventure park for other vets
Veteran Tyson Bowen works to create an eco-park in Lorne for veterans to go and relax and enjoy nature. His creation was in response to increased reports of post-traumatic stress disorder — especially among veterans. The first order of business was converting an old farmhouse.
Website: Local business expanding to build factory
Twin Rivers Properties announces that it will be building a pre-fabricated modular construction facility to augment its mini-home park and rental operations. The manufactured housing facility will be built on approximately nine acres in Granton in the “Industrial Avenue” area.
Staff Pick: Celebrating 20 years on the river: Women Alike ABreastARiver marking two decades of dragon boat racing
The story of how the dragon boat team began after a retreat at the Tim Hortons Camp and the history of the team was explained. July headlines are dominated by the team’s successes and achievements.
Women Alike make history: Nominated to Pictou County Sports Heritage Hall of Fame as part of 18th Race on the River
During the Race on the River event it was announced that the team has been nominated to the Pictou County Sports Heritage Hall of Fame.
Website: Suspect in custody following stabbing Thursday night
RCMP responded to a report of stabbing at a Pictou Landing home with the suspect, a 20-year-old man, later being caught. He was arrested without incident at a nearby store. Police believed it was not a random act as both the victim and the suspect were known to each other.
Staff Pick: Squealin’ good time: First Ribfest an oinking good success
The first annual Pictou County Ribfest fundraiser for local organizations Viola’s Place Homeless Shelter and Habitat for Humanity Pictou County Chapter proved a massive hit for Pictou County with the event attracting large crowds each day. The event was held in downtown New Glasgow in the vicinity of Glasgow Square and featured succulent ribs and fantastic entertainment.
Website: Hynes found guilty as charged
Accused Shawn Wade Hynes was found guilty after lengthy legal proceedings in the case of a local man being shot with a nail gun while on the job. The incident took place on a construction site where the two had been working at the time. Judge Del Atwood said Occupational Health and Safety infractions contributed to the guilty verdict.
Staff Pick: Trial for accused in Nail Gun Incident
The trial for Shawn Wade Hynes captivated the county as the trial was held for the accused in the nail gun shooting of a coworker on a construction site. This story was the most widely read on The Advocate’s social media sites each time a story was posted.
Website: Update: Charges laid in fatal collision in Pictou County
RCMP charged a 19-year-old Trenton man after a fatal two-vehicle collision on Highway 104 in Barneys River Station. The young driver was charged with criminal negligence causing death after a mattress flew off the roof of the car he was driving and landed on the highway; two women died at the scene.
Staff Pick: DEBATE NIGHT: Central Nova candidates debate draws hundreds
A large crowd from Central Nova showed up for the federal election debate for the Central Nova candidates hosted by The Advocate and Pulse Pictou County at the Nova Scotia Community College, Pictou Campus, not long before voting day. Five out of six candidates fielded a set number of questions that had been pre-determined by Advocate readers.
Website: Pinty’s Grand Slam Schedule
Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling was a hit for Pictou County with the schedule of events for the tournament being especially popular for viewers to find out when they could attend. Curling fans referred to the schedule so they could check out what date and time their favourite team would be on the ice at the Pictou County Wellness Centre.
Staff Pick: Roaring end to Grand Slam: Curling event exceeds expectations at Wellness Centre
Pictou County was buzzing with praise and positivity as many compliments poured in about the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling event held at the Pictou County Wellness Centre which hosted teams from all over the world. Organizing committee for this event felt it was a huge success as hundreds of people turned out to the two rinks each day to watch the action.
Website: Hold on to your tree
The large Christmas tree decorated in front of the Aberdeen Hospital on East River Road in New Glasgow took a tumble after a particularly windy day this December.
Staff Pick: Premier holds firm: Boat Harbour Act will be upheld
Premier Stephen McNeil announces, after some delay, that he will honour the Boat Harbour Act and not be extending the date for the facility’s closure which will cause Northern Pulp paper mill to cease operations on this date as an alternative plan has not been approved.