Parishioners at St. Mary’s Polish Church in Whitney Pier are vowing to rebuild after fire destroyed the century-old church on the weekend. The fire marshal’s office is still investigating the cause of the Saturday blaze, but officials say it appears the fire was a result of work being done on the church’s roof. Everything was lost in the fire, except two exterior signs from the church. Parishioners gathered to worship at St. Michael’s Society Polish Village Hall, yesterday. However, they were told during yesterday’s mass that Holy Redeemer Church in Whitney Pier will make room for them at masses there on a temporary basis. St. Mary’s Parish council chair Tom Urbaniak says he’s confident they will rebuilt. The church had been slated for closure in 2012 by the Diocese of Antigonish, but was given an indefinite reprieve so that it could celebrate its100th anniversary last year.
Regional Police are asking for the public’s help in finding an 85-year-old Sydney man. Police say Raymond Ling was last seen on Wednesday in the Pitt and Charlotte streets area near the Scotiabank. He’s described as white, five-feet-eight inches tall, weighing 200 pounds, with shoulder-length white and grey hair and a long white and grey beard to his chest. They add Ling is often at the Tim Horton’s in Whitney Pier. Police say they don’t believe foul play is a factor in Ling’s disappearance but are asking anyone with information on his whereabouts to call them.
Concerns continue to mount over the reduction of services at the Northside General Hospital as the District Health Authority announced more Emergency Department closures, yesterday. The District says the Emergency Department at the Northside General will be closed overnight beginning on Sunday and throughout the month of December. It adds the 3PM to 8AM closures will continue until at least early January because of a shortage and doctors to cover the shifts. A new group call the Friends of the Northside General Hospital is calling for a public meeting with provincial Health Minister Leo Glavine. Northside-Westmount Tory MLA Eddie Orrell says he expects that will happen sometime in the coming weeks. The Emergency Department at the Northside General remains closed this morning as efforts to clean up after a water pipe break, continue. The Health Authority has also announced scheduled Emergency Department closures for the New Waterford Consolidated Hospital. It says the Collaborative Emergency Centre there will be closed every Monday in December. It adds that situation will also continue until at least early January.
Only 30 people came out for last night’s all-candidates debate for the bye-election in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality. Lee McNeil, Darrell Flynn and Alfie Maclean are running to fill the District 10 seat left vacant when Darren Bruckschwagier resigned. The event at Oceanview Education Centre in Glace Bay was organized by the CBC and the Cape Breton Post. The candidates took questions from the small crowd on everything from recreation and the loss of services to how to improve the local economy without raising taxes. Voters in District 10 will also choose a new school board representative in the bye-election after Darrell Flynn resigned from the post to run for the Council seat. People can cast ballots in advance polls either online or by phone. Those who prefer the traditional paper ballot can vote on Election Day, Saturday, December 6th.
Election Officials in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality have released turnout results from the first day of advance voting to fill Council and School Board seats in District 10. They say 335 people cast ballots online or by phone, yesterday. They add that represents about 4.6 percent of eligible voters. The Returning Office says the Voter Help Desk and the Clerk’s Office have taken a number of calls from people looking for help with electronic voting. It adds most were easily accommodated with minimal assistance. The Returning Office plans to release a daily total of those who cast their ballots in the advance online and telephone polls. People who would like to vote using traditional paper ballots can mark their X between 8:00 in the morning and 7:00 at night on election day, Saturday, September 6th.