A preliminary hearing gets underway today for two Glace Bay men who’ve been charged in the death of Laura Jessome from Bras d’Or. Thomas Ted Barrett and Morgan James MacNeil each face a count of second degree murder in the death of the 21-year-old, whose body was found in a hockey bag in the Mira River in 2012.
Cape Breton Regional Police are looking for a budget increase of about $754,000 in the upcoming fiscal year. Police Chief Peter MacIsaac says the extra money will cover a 2.5 per cent wage increase for police officers, dispatchers, jailers and civilian staff. MacIsaac told the Board of Police Commissioners yesterday that the total operating budget for Regional Police will be 25.1 million dollars. He adds the size of the force is on par with the national average based on the population it serves. The Police Chief also says staffing numbers with the police will remain the same this year.
Sydney councillor Eldon MacDonald says there’s a growing prostitution problem on Charlotte Street. MacDonald told police commissioners at yesterday’s meeting that business owners say there appears to be more prostitutes operating in the area at all hours of the day. The manager of one store who wants to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation says several female prostitutes have been seen standing in storefront doorways and flagging down customers from an empty lot. Meanwhile, Police Chief Peter MacIsaac says charges have been laid against female prostitutes in three or four instances over the past several months. MacIsaac says there are resources and a plan in place to deal with the problem although he doesn’t elaborate.
The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board has cancelled classes today due to weather conditions. E’toile de l’Acadie in Sydney is also closed for the day. Police are warning drivers about dangerous driving conditions, this morning because of blowing and drifting snow. And, Marine Atlantic has suspended crossings due to weather conditions in the Cabot Strait. Last night’s crossing from North Sydney as well as this afternoon’s 12:30 sailing have been postponed until 11:45 tonight.
A pre-trial hearing for a Glace Bay man charged in the death of Brett Elizabeth MacKinnon from Glace Bay is set to take place, today. 39 year-old Thomas Ted Barrett is charged with second degree murder in the case after MacKinnon’s remains were found in the Paschendaele area of Glace Bay in 2008. The 21 year-old had been reported missing in 2006. Barrett’s trial in the case is set to take place in January of next year. Barrett is also charged with second degree murder along with Morgan James MacNeil in the death of Laura Jessome from Bras d’Or. A preliminary hearing in the Jessome case is scheduled to take place in June.