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Posted at 10:36 am on February 16, 2018

Local motorists are getting a break at the gas pump today. The Utility and Review Board set its weekly petroleum prices overnight, dropping gasoline by 5.8 cents a litre on the eastern mainland and 5.7 cents on Cape Breton.

The minimum price for litre of regular self serve unleaded is now $1.10.7 in the eastern mainland and $1.11.6 on Cape Breton.

Diesel is also down by 5.8 cents a litre. The minimum price for diesel is now $1.13.5 in the eastern mainland and $1.14.3 on Cape Breton.

Posted at 10:35 am on February 16, 2018

A well known local priest who was involved in a number of social service organizations has died. Father Vernon Roger Boutlier was 81. Boutilier was Director of Antigonish Diocesan Charities and founding Director of Family Services of Eastern Nova Scotia. He was also founding director and chairman of the Board of Directors of Point Pleasant Lodge in Halifax.

He was also founder of the Travel Bursary Fund for youth exploring their Celtic Heritage and a member of the Board of Directors of CJFX Radio. Boutilier also led guided tours of Scotland, Ireland and Italy for many years.

Funeral mass will be held Monday in Sydney Mines.

Posted at 10:25 am on February 16, 2018

A St. FX graduate who led the university’s extension department , was a pastor and Archbishop has died.  Archbishop Joseph Neil MacNeil was 93.

MacNeil graduated from St. FX in 1944 with an Arts degree.  He was ordained as a priest in 1948.  MacNeil served as an assistant pastor at three Nova Scotia parishes.

He led the extension department at St. FX for nine years in the 1960’s before being appointed Bishop of Saint John, New Brunswick in 1969.  In 1973, he was appointed Archbishop of Edmonton, a position he held until his retirement in 1999.   He was inducted into the St. FX Hall of Honour in 2015.    MacNeil’s funeral will be held in Edmonton Friday.


Posted at 10:18 am on February 16, 2018

A successful year for the Antigonish Community Energy Co-op has them excited for more possibilities in 2018. The group is entering into their third year of operation, and are preparing for a number of events in the near future.
ACE Coop communications coordinator Patrick Yancey says that open houses, community meetings and an upcoming group buy mean a busy start to 2018. Yancey says the group buy is a great way for people to get solar equipment at a decent price:
Yancey says that going solar is much easier now that the Town of Antigonish has adopted a new solar policy. Yancey says that an information session will be held in St. Andrew’s next Tuesday evening, so anyone who is interested in learning more about solar energy is encouraged to attend.

Posted at 10:10 am on February 16, 2018

The province announced this week that there will be more assistance given to post secondary students and their loans. Students can now receive $20 more in their

St. FX Students Union President Annie Sirois

weekly loan limit along with an extension in loan forgiveness.

St.FX Students Union President and Students Nova Scotia Chair, Annie Sirois says that the increase from $180 to $200 is necessary due to the inceased costs of living:
The extension in loan forgiveness means that students who complete their degree in five years or less can have their entire provincial student loan eliminated; which is a bump up from four years.

Posted at 9:40 am on February 16, 2018

A new paper from a St. FX University Mathematics professor and two of his students has found that people speed up when clapping together.  Ryan Lukeman says the idea for his study came from a concert he went to a few years ago by the alternative rock band Wilco.  Lukeman says the audience was clapping to the beat but quickly lost tempo, leading band members to comment about how poor the crowd was in keeping time.
Lukeman and his students recorded groups of various sizes clapping a rhythm, ranging from one person, to a pair, to more than 200 people. Lukeman says what they found was clapping by a single person on average would not speed up, but it did for groups of two or more.
Lukeman specializes in collective behaviour.  The study was published last month in the open access journal Nature Scientific Reports.
To read the full paper, follow this link:

Posted at 6:55 am on February 16, 2018

A well known figure in the local golf community has received a promotion. Ed Ryan is now the head golf professional at the prestigious Cabot Cliffs golf course in Inverness. Ryan had been the Associate PGA of Canada Professional and Guest Services Supervisor at Cabot Cliffs sister course, Cabot Links for the past year.

Ryan spent almost three decades as Manager of Golf Operations and Head Golf Professional at the Antigonish Golf Club.

Posted at 10:38 am on February 15, 2018

The Antigonish Affordable Housing Society is planning a number of fund-raising events over the next several months.  It’s part of its Housing for Hope Campaign

Riverside Estates

with a goal of collecting $250,000 for Phase Two of its Riverside Estates affordable housing complex. Construction will begin in the spring, with an expected completion in the fall.

Society Chair Colleen Cameron says several events have been lined up already.
Earlier the society received $100,000 from the Aviva Community Fund competition that will go toward the Community Room.  Total cost of Phase 2, which includes 10 units is $1.6 million; government sources will also be approached for additional financing.

Posted at 8:09 am on February 15, 2018

Further dialogue was held yesterday afternoon to discuss the possibility of a Business Improvement District in Antigonish. The event, which was hosted by the Antigonish Chamber of Commerce featured more insight into the proposed link between the town and business community.
Special Projects Coordinator with the Town, Steve Scannell says that feedback for the proposal has been both positive and negative. Many believe it will be a great support for the business community, yet others worry about how to fund the position:
One proposed way to fund the position is through a BID levy, which Scannell says is feasable with the Town’s low commercial tax rate. People in attendance asked about the involvement of St.FX and the County in the BID, to which Scannell says are “on-going discussions”.

Posted at 7:58 am on February 15, 2018

Nova Scotia’s Education Minister says it is too early to hypothesize on next week’s teacher’s union strike vote, but he believes it will hurt the students. Zach Churchill made these comments a day after the Nova Scotia Teachers Union announced a strike vote for next week.
Churchill, who is travelling the province to hear from educators and administrators says that any disruption to classes ultimately affect the students, and he hopes not to see that. Churchill can understand why there is frustration, however:
This comes less than a month after Educational Consultant Avis Glaze made 22 recommendations to the province’s education system, including removal of 1,000 principals and vice-principals from the NSTU.