A 40 year-old Gardiner Mines man charged with the first degree murder of his common-law partner was ordered to undergo a 30-day psychiatric assessment in Sydney court, this morning. The assessment will determine Richard Wayne McNeil’s fitness to stand trial and his criminal responsibility. McNeil was arrested at the scene after police found the body of 33 year-old SaraBeth Forbes in the couples’ home on Tuesday of last week. Forbes worked as a teacher’s aid at Tompkins Elementary in Reserve Mines, and the couple’s son Devon goes to the school.
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The price of gas went down by more than forecast, overnight. Gas dropped by 3.6 cents a litre and now goes for a minimum of $1.10.9 in Cape Breton. Diesel fell by 2.5 cents and now costs a minimum of $1.02.8 cents a litre on the Island.
The Council put together to examine classroom working conditions is due to release its final report, today. The group was formed last month after the Liberal government imposed a contract on teachers. Members include nine teachers picked by school board superintendents, along with a student, a parent, and a guidance counsellor appointed by government. The only Cape Breton member is Memorial High School teacher Kerri-Lynn Power. The province has already acted on eight of the Council’s 18 initial recommendations. The Department of Education has also released a draft policy on student attendance based on a recommendation from the group. People can comment on the draft policy on the Department website until May 9th.
We don’t yet have gas price predictions, this week. However, the price of gas in New Brunswick went down by 2.7 cents a litre, last night. Diesel there dropped by 2.3 cents. The minimum price for a litre of regular gas in Cape Breton is now $1.14.5 cents. Diesel now goes for a minimum of $1.05.3 cents a litre on the Island.
The Liberal government is expected to present a balanced budget this afternoon that many believe will lay the groundwork for a provincial election call within days. In a pre-budget address to the Halifax Chamber of Commerce last month, Finance Minister Randy Delorey promised a modest tax cut to small businesses and a greater effort to slash red tape. The small business income tax rate is due to rise to $500,000 from $350,000. The Canadian Press is reporting the budget will contain $2.4 million in annual funding for two medical programs that would lead to the hiring of an extra 50 doctors a year. Delorey is due to deliver his budget address at 1:15 this afternoon.