Vote for your Favourite 2014 Resolution for a $100 Gift Certificate from Inglis Jewellers. Just put it on the same e-mail specials@trurodaily.com
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We Got News For YOU!! Welcome to the YEAR END IN REVIEW CONTEST.

We invite our readers to check out the following pages to vote for their favourites! Our editorial staff narrowed the selections down to 10 categories with 5 stories on each page. Just email to specials@trurodaily.com your list of favourite choices and we will put your name into a draw for a chance to win our Grand Prize of $300 Gift Certificate, 2nd place will receive a $200 Gift Certificate and 3rd place a $100 Gift Certificate, all from Inglis Jewellers.
Email your name, address and phone number to specials@trurodaily. com. The Year End In Review Contest runs from January 17th to January 31st. Draw will be done February 3rd.

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My 2014 New Year's Resolutions

Vote for your favourite resolution. E-mail your number selection to specials@trurodaily.com

1. I'm going to spruce up my home
2. I'm going to lose weight
3. I'm going to travel
4. I'm going to learn how to make wine
5. I'm going to improve my finances
6. I'm going to quit smoking
7. I'm going to spice up my life
8. I'm going to spend more time with family

9. I'm going to exercise more
10. I will improve my mental well-being, laugh more, enjoy life
11. I'm going to do something nice for someone each day
12. I will improve myself, reduce stress and be less grumpy


1. Jones remembered as ‘pillar’ in his community

Human rights advocate who grew up in Truro passes away at the age of 71

TRURO – His nickname was Rocky – sometimes simply ‘the Rock' – and for many among Nova Scotia's impoverished minority communities he stood as a solid pillar in the fight for racial equity.

Rocky Jones received the Order of Nova Scotia in 2010. Jones, a social activist, died on July 29 after suffering a heart attack.

Burnely (Rocky) Allan Jones, who grew up on the corner of Ford and Cross streets in Truro died Monday night of a heart attack. He was 71.

"The Jones family, they've always been a pillar," said Truro councillor Raymond Tynes, who grew up in the same neighbourhood and continues to live across the street from the site of Jones's boyhood home.

"But I remember Rocky when it was really rough here in Truro. He promoted black pride and that opened a lot of doors."

Jones was the fourth eldest in a family of 10 children who received a strict Christian upbringing and grew up to become a well-known lawyer and civil rights activist.

A graduate of Dalhousie law school, Jones was a strong advocate for minority and human rights in general. He set up his own law firm in Halifax and devoted his time to criminal and labour law while also fighting for social reform in the areas of education, employment, justice and housing.

Jones became renowned for community leadership and for changing the lives of many Mi'kmaq and African Canadians. He was also a strong believer that African Canadians need to work together for change, and to that end Jones helped establish the Black United Front of Nova Scotia and the National Black Coalition of Canada.

He also helped create two Dalhousie University programs - the Transition Year Program and the Indigenous Blacks and Mi'kmaq Initiative.

In 2010, he was awarded the Order of Nova Scotia, the province's top honour.

"What I liked about Rocky is that he opened the eyes up of all Nova Scotians and then took our case outside of Nova Scotia, which helped give support," Tynes said. "It's a tough loss ... He's going to be remembered for a lot of things but what's important to not just the black community, but everybody, is what we do with what he gave us. That's what's going to be important."

"Rocky was a great man," said his older sister Marie (Jones) Francis, 74.

But coming from a large, close-knit, but humble family, he held no more of a special place among her siblings than anyone else, she said.

"He was one of the family and he didn't have a special pedestal within the family."

At least while he was alive.

"We realize more and more now how special and distinct and different our family was and the love that flowed through," Francis said.

2. Zann triumphant despite red sweep across province

The red tidal wave that swept across Nova Scotia on Oct. 8 was not enough to wash the orange from the Truro zone.

"I'm feeling very emotional. I feel very bad for my colleagues who've lost their seats," a victorious Lenore Zann said, moments after her NDP seat had been declared the winner in the riding of Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook Salmon River.

Zann's victory was a rarity for the NDP who were swept from power by an overwhelming Liberal majority across the province.

After the results of all 49 of the riding’s polls had been reported, Zann was declared victor by nearly 500 votes.

3. Casey posts lopsided win in Colchester North

The provincial red tide swept into Colchester North last night as Liberal Karen Casey re-claimed her seat in the legislature.

Casey’s win puts to rest an issue raised several times during the campaign by the opposition that crossing the floor in 2011 would hurt her chances for a win.

Casey, 67, is a three-time MLA for the riding, first elected to the legislative assembly in June of 2006 and served as education minister until a cabinet shuffle in January, 2009, when she was appointed to the health portfolio.

After a short stint as interim leader of the PC party, Casey’s long-time affiliation with the party was severed in January 2011 when she crossed the floor and became a member of the Liberal Party.

4. Valley couple co-ordinates huge project to benefit single mothers at Christmas

A Valley couple is using their past experiences to bless single mothers this Christmas season. Peter and Ronda Fahey are making a major commitment to assist single mothers in Colchester County who are underfunded and underprivileged.

Peter, president and CEO of PFI International, a company that invests in solid asset-based businesses, and former Wilson Equipment owner, is overseeing a PFI Christmas Bonus Program for single mothers. He has donated $10,000 towards the initiative and is rounding up local businesses to donate gift certificates as well, with the hope of having $20,000 worth of gift certificates in total.

"You have to gift back, especially at Christmas. There was a time we were not so fortunate,” said Peter as to why the couple, who has three sons, is taking on the project.

"My parents were divorced and mom had nothing," he said.

The program intends to have a $3,000 package with gift cards from area businesses such as Inglis Jewellers, Tim Hortons, Canadian Tire, Wilsons Gas Stop and others.

In addition, the goal is to give out as many $500 gift certificate packages as possible.

There will also be $5 tickets sold at various locations throughout the county for a $1,000 gift certificate for Inglis Jewellers.

5. More education/awareness required to deal with soldiers suffering from PTSD

Soldiers trying to deal with the after effects of war need to know they will have unyielding support when they return home.

That was the suggestion made by Kevin McNeil, 28, brother of W.O. Michael Robert McNeil, who died Nov. 27 from an apparent suicide, prior to funeral services on Dec. 5.

"We'll never be in these guys shoes. We'll never experience what they have ever gone through, no matter what," McNeil said, while speaking to media in front of the Truro Armoury.

"What we can do, is make more people aware," he said of the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

"More families that are going through the same thing we are going through, to talk to these soldiers and let them know that they're jobs aren't in jeopardy and that we're here for them. That we're supporting them for whatever they do for us."

McNeil described his older brother as a "family man first" and "a hero second" to his country.


1. Truro Raceway gets extension

BIBLE HILL – Bernard McCallum was a happy man Thursday.

The 54-year-old Brookfield resident, who has been a harness racing trainer and driver for the past 37 years, woke up unsure of when, or if, he would get to race at his home track at Truro Raceway again.

Veteran harness racing driver and trainer Bernard ‘Pooker’ McCallum brushes down Putnam’s Kream Thursday in his stable at Truro Raceway. The Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition Commission, which operates the raceway, announced Thursday racing would “continue for the near future” following a commission meeting Wednesday night.

But those fears were put to rest, for now at least, when the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition Commission, which operates the raceway, issued a press release stating racing would "continue for the near future."

"It's pretty good," McCallum said. "It's nice to know we’re going to be racing for the next little while."

The half-mile oval is set to host a card Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

Thursday's announcement is a temporary one, however, as there is no timetable for how long the 138-year-old track will continue operating.

The decision to continue racing was made at Wednesday's commission meeting, which was the first since four new board members – Bruce Kennedy, Cameron MacEachern, Robert 'Sonny' Siteman and Gary Muise – were elected on Aug. 28. The Truro Harness Horse Owners Association (THHOA) still has money put up in July by the Nova Scotia Harness Racing Industry Association to keep the track operating after the commission announced it was shutting down the raceway due to its $1.1-million debt. With that funding in place, it was decided to continue racing while the commission, which was declared insolvent last month following a financial review, continues to work on a long-term solution.

"We're working on it as we speak," commission chair John Douglas said.

McCallum said the decision is a crucial one for the survival of the raceway. The horseman, more commonly known as 'Pooker' in racing circles, said shutting down for any length of time as this point in the season would do even greater damage.

"Once you shut down it’s hard to get people back," he said. "People find other things to do."

Steve Morton, president of the THHOA, agreed. He said shutting down would kill any momentum the raceway has gained since July's announcement the track would close. Just weeks after that, the raceway experienced it's best Atlantic Grand Circuit Week in several years with significant spikes in both attendance and betting.

"You don't want to lose that fan base, the new people and all that momentum we've been able to gain," he said. "Plus you want to give the owners an opportunity to earn money, pay stall rent and race their horses. Starting in April and closing in September would make no sense."

Douglas said he feels a long-term solution to the commission's woes is attainable.

"I think it can work," he said. "We have four new board members who are very successful in their business endeavours in their lives and that experience is important."

But he also added such a solution won’t happen at the drop of a hat.

"We didn't get in this position overnight and we're not going to get out of it overnight. But if we can struggle through this period and get a better business plan in place, we can go from there."

2. Lottery winners celebrate at Parkland Truro

Tara MacPherson received the birthday present of a lifetime Friday when she and a group of co-workers were presented with a $1-million cheque.

MacPherson is one in a group of 16 people from Parkland Truro who have taken part in a lotto pool over the past three months.

The winning numbers were drawn in the Lotto Max draw last Friday night. The Atlantic Lottery Corporation labelled the group The ‘Sweet 16' Nursing Care Crew.

"We have five children, so it will be a nice Christmas this year," said Robin Legge, one of the winners.

3. Tatamagouche student saves teacher from choking

A North Colchester High School teacher is lucky to be alive today and he has a student to thank.

During a lunch break at the Tatamagouche school on Monday, teacher Garnett Nickelo found himself in a bit of trouble and was grateful student Maggie Langille came to his rescue.

Nickelo was eating a roast beef lunch in his homeroom while battling a cold when a piece of his sandwich became lodged in his throat.

Langille, a Grade 11 student, and a handful of other students were eating their lunch in Nickelo's homeroom that day, a common occurrence in the school.

"I saw him take a sip of water and put his head down. I asked, 'you OK?' and he shook his head no. I asked, 'do you need the Heimlick' and he said yes," said Langille, 16, of The Falls.

She said the maneouvre only took about 10 seconds before the stuck food was freed from Nickelo's throat.

4. RECC receives high praise during opening day celebrations

Smiling faces and laughing, boisterous, busy children seemed to be the order of the day during the official opening of the Rath Eastlink Community Centre (RECC) on Saturday, Sept. 28.

"I like it so far," said Jacob MacRitchie of Lower Onslow, who was making his first visit to the centre with younger brother Joshua, 9, in tow.

"The rock wall is twice as high as the last one I was at (in Alberta). I really like how well put together it is. I am by no means an expert wall climber but it certainly has more options than the one I was at last."

And overall, MacRitchie's initial observation was that the "facility seems well put together," especially with the open concept it offers.

5. Woman strangled in Truro Heights murder-suicide

The RCMP have confirmed a woman murdered in Truro Heights earlier this week was strangled.

Cheryl Mildred Thompson, 47, was found dead in an apartment at 5 Mitchell Dr. in Truro Heights at about 3:30 a.m. on Wednesday. RCMP and the Northeast Nova Major Crimes Unit reported the cause of Thompson’s death yesterday.

A man believed to have been in the apartment at the time of the woman’s death barricaded himself in a vehicle on a private road in the Portapique area for hours following the find. Gerald Martin Thompson, 49, died shortly after supper as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot.


1. Home Hardware celebrates Debert distribution centre expansion

Work being carried out in two phases by local contractors

Truro Daily News DEBERT - For Paul Straus and other head honchos with Home Hardware Ltd., there is no question that patience has been a virtue.

"Finally, we can see the fruits of our labour in getting to this point," said Straus, the company's president and CEO, during a celebration at the company's Eastern Distribution Centre in Debert, which is in the process of undergoing a 236,000 square-foot expansion.

Scott Courtemanche, left, director of facilities and equipment with Home Hardware Ltd., and Brian Reed, construction and design manager, were among officials who visited Debert last June to celebrate the construction of a large expansion to the company's Eastern Distribution Centre.

"This has been a long time in coming," he said, while taking a break from the festivities. "But we've had some patience and worked with the folks in the community. Today we're here celebrating the rewards of that work of putting the planning and the efforts into staying in Debert.

" The 18 acres required for expansion is on former Debert army camp land owned by the municipality. Efforts to purchase the property began in 2005. That initiative was stalled, however, because of provincial regulations, which forced a massive archaeological dig for aboriginal and historical artifacts suspected to be on the site.

Over the past several years, the Municipality of Colchester has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars undertaking a full archaeological study, which essentially prompted no results. In the meantime, all Home Hardware officials could do was sit back and wait, which prompted fears by the municipality that the distribution centre would be moved elsewhere.

Strauss emphasized on Wednesday, however, that "Debert is an important part of Home's business.

" The company has realized the growth of 31 stores over the past five years within the Atlantic region, bringing the total to 217.

"And over the last number of years we've had a 35 per cent increase in our volume in Atlantic Canada," he said.

That has resulted in cramped space at the distribution centre, which has made the expansion even more crucial to the company's future plans.

Home Hardware employs about 230 fulltime workers with an additional 50 employees being hired during summer months.

That results in an overall financial contribution to the Colchester County's economy of $19 million per year, a factor not lost on Mayor Bob Taylor.

"I think this today is a big commitment by Home Hardware that they're here for the long haul," he said. "I think one of the big things is, a couple of years ago we were concerned that this wasn't going to go ahead. And not only the expansion, but that the whole operation might move out of here.

" The expansion is being conducted in two phases, with the first phase taking up 180,000 square feet. That is to be completed at the end of January, with the 56,000-square-foot second phase slated to begin next spring, with completion planned for the summer.

All the contractors involved in the expansion are local, or within a short proximity to Colchester County, said construction and design manager Brian Reed, who added that he has been very pleased with both the relationship his company has had with municipal staff and the on-site workers.

"We wanted to hire as many local trades as possible," Reed said. "We're right on schedule and maybe a little bit ahead."

2. Last Saturday of March sees shutdown of Zellers Truro store

TRURO - Hundreds of Zellers shoppers were saddened when the store in the Truro Mall shut down for good on March 30.

"It's like a funeral,” said Hilden shopper Joanne Bonin, at the time. “The tears started when the doors opened."

More than 150 people turned out for bargains of up to 90 per cent.

The first Zellers store opened in Canada in 1931 and the company had operated in Truro for more than 50 years when it was closed along with all other remaining stores (in stages) across the country.

Approximately 70 employees (half who were fulltime) were left jobless with the Truro shutdown.

Staff members said it was impossible to pick specific memories that stood out because they had been through so much together.

3. In late August the Scotsburn plant in Truro announced a $25-million expansion

Truro – The Scotsburn Dairy Group announced that about 40 new jobs were to be created through the first of a three-phase expansion of its Truro plant.

The company said the project was valued at $25 million for its plant in the Truro Business Park. Of that amount, the province was to contribute $7.5 million (a $5.5 million loan and a $2-million capital equipment incentive).

The opening phase of the plan, worth $10 million, involved the installation of a new production line tht was shipped in from Denmark. The machine is intended to enable Scotsburn to make new types of ice cream bars in different shapes and with a variety of different ingredients such as pieces of chocolate, brownies, cookies and fruit.

4. Giant Tiger announces expansion of Lower Truro store in February

'Bigger, brighter, better,' owner says

LOWER TRURO – An expansion of the Giant Tiger store was announced in February aimed at providing wider, more open aisles for shoppers’ convenience, franchise owner Jamie Brake said, at the time.

"Bigger, brighter, better," he said, of the expansion that saw the store grow from 18,960 sq. ft. to 25,230 sq. ft. Construction was completed in mid summer and Brake said the expansion was warranted solely on the business generated at the store.

Employee numbers were also expected to grow from 39 people to about 45. Brake also said the expansion would enable him to increase the store’s inventory.

"There will be new items added everyday," he said. “It will enhance more … and it will just be so cool."

5. Bar owner expands territory

TRURO - Big changes took place in 2013 within the Hubtown’s entertainment sector when Split Crow and Ryan Duffy’s co-owner Derek Forsyth set out to expand his holdings in bar and restaurant industry.

"Sometimes change is needed. Sometimes change is good," said Forsyth at the time after purchasig the Warehouse Bars in February from former owner Murray Nicholson.

That purchase included Chevy's, Rustlers and Keggers from former owner Murray Nicholson.

Forsyth and business partner Damian Byrne of Halifax, had also just previously purchased the former Lamp Cabin in Springhill, which they converted to another Split Crow.

But, they didn’t stop there, either. By early September, Forsyth and Byrne had also taken over ownership of the Champions Bar and Grill on Robie Street.


1. Town council passes unanimous vote to put new library in Normal College

TRURO – After 25 years of discussion and debate, a decision has been made on where a new regional library will go. Truro town council unanimously voted to put the new regional library in Truro’s old Normal College. The decision was made in October.

Colchester County council, which had agreed to provide 40 per cent of the $7-million project but wanted the library to be located in the former hat factory, is expected to honour its financial commitment.

Truro council agreed it would look at ways, with the input of developer Leo Rovers, to reduce costs if county council were to withdraw its financial support.

The old Normal College in Truro has been chosen to house a new public library for Truro and area. The decision came in October, after years of debate. File photo

Councillors said the decision is the best one for everyone involved.

“I think it’s going to make the best library. I think it’s the best decision for the town and county,” said Coun. Tom Chisholm.

Jesse Thomas, a Truro resident and regular user of the library, told the Truro Daily News he was happy the town chose the Normal College.

“It’s better because it’s in the (downtown) core. It’s right because of the location, the aesthetics and heritage (component), the economics and functionality,” said Thomas, 23. “And, it’s a provincial heritage site that’s at the top of its class in design.”

Library officials refused to give their personal opinions on the decision but library director Janet Pelley said she’s glad a decision has been made.

“I thought it was a very good possibility the Normal College would be chosen,” Pelley added.

“I hope the architect will take into consideration our needs and extend it into the future,” said library youth services administrator Lynda Marsh.

Truro Mayor Bill Mills said the next step is to form a construction committee and a contractor should soon meet with library staff.

“The best-case scenario (to open the new site) would be the end of 2014 but it could be in two years,” said Mills.

The mayor said financial donations will be accepted if anyone wishes to aid in the library project and tax deductible receipts would be made available.

2. New light at end of tunnel for Bass River family facing deportation

BASS RIVER – An English family living in Bass River who had been facing imminent deportation have been given a reprieve.

“Sean got a job offer yesterday,” Becky Platnauer said Thursday morning regarding her husband.

The couple and teenage daughter Angelica have been living in Bass River for four years after immigrating from West Sussex, England.

After their temporary visas expired last spring, the family applied for permanent residency. Although they believed all proper steps had been taken, they were informed by Immigration Canada in early September they had to leave the country "immediately" because of complications with Sean’s previous employer.

With the new job offer in hand “allows us to stay and live in the community while we go through the permanent residency process again,” Sean said. “And that can take up to 28 months, so this allows us to stay and work here in the meantime.”

3. Colchester County, Truro to receive $1 million for flood mitigation projects

TRURO – Truro and Colchester County will be the first in the province to take advantage of funding worth $1 million for flood mitigation.

The provincial government announced in early April that $3 million annually for five years, totalling $15 million, will be available towards flood issues. One million of that is guaranteed to this area, as a pilot project, within the next year. The money will be used based on flood assessment projects ($300,000) and infrastructure projects ($700,000).

In addition, $2 million will be granted throughout the province for agricultural and dike issues.

Colchester County Mayor Bob Taylor said another aerial engineering study, valued upwards of $400,000, could be done.

Truro Mayor Bill Mills said money will help with the town’s storm water runoff system and projects such as ditching and the creation of holding ponds.

4. County's fracking decision lauded by citizens

TRURO – When Catherine Duchesneau heard the news, it brought her to tears.

“I have just found out they are not allowing the fracking water to go through the system at this point and I am crying with happiness,” she said, in an e-mail to the Truro Daily News in May.

The decision was courtesy of Colchester County council to deny an application by Atlantic Industrial Services  (AIS) to discharge fracking wastewater into the municipal sewer system.

Council’s verdict overturned an earlier decision by the county’s public works director to approve the AIS request to discharge 4.5 million litres of treated wastewater into the system, which ultimately would have fed into the Bay of Fundy.

5. Investigation into Stewiacke business fire continues

STEWIACKE - Family members and staff of BJ Electric are heartbroken the business many of them called home is gone.  Tim Storer, a Stewiacke employed at the business for 17 years, lives about an eighth of a mile away on Main Street, and could feel the early September fire and explosion in his home.

"I heard a bang ... I thought it was thunder at first ... then it shook the house," Storer told the Truro Daily News.

About 13 fire departments were called to help and Colchester RMCP’s Cpl. Trevor Allen said the explosions “could be heard in Shubenacadie” and could have been caused by propane tanks in the back of the building. No injuries were reported. A cause wasn’t determined on the weekend and an investigation was launched.

The Stewiacke Home Hardware custom cabinet shop on George Street was also destroyed by fire overnight Jan. 20 of this year. An investigation into the cause deemed it accidental. It had started inside a shed on an adjacent property and spread to the business.


1. Bearcats win historic title

TRURO - The Truro Bearcats will be taking some hardware with them when they go to the RBC Cup national championship. The Bearcats won the Fred Page Cup Eastern Canadian junior A hockey title Sunday with a 3-2 victory over the Summerside Western Capitals in double overtime in front of 2,174 fans at RECC.

The victory, the first Fred Page title in the team's 16-year history, crosses one of the main goals of the season off the Bearcats' list. The other was the Kent Cup league title, which Truro lost in five games to Summerside.

Truro claims first Eastern Canadian championship

"It's unbelievable," said Bearcats forward Dylan McGuigan, who scored a pair of goals, including the tying tally at 10:09 of the third period to send the game to extra time. "We've worked all year to get to this point. We wanted to win the Kent Cup championship but came up short but we found a way to win all four games here at home and it's unbelievable."

Philip Fife, who won the Kent and Fred Page Cups with the Woodstock Slammers last season, potted the winner at 15:41 of the second overtime period when he was sent in alone by Kyle Morrison and fired a shot that beat Summerside goaltender Kevin Bailie, prompting a thunderous cheer from the hometown crowd. The 20-year-old Oromocto, N.B., native was met by a mob of his teammates as they poured off the bench to celebrate, gloves and sticks flying everywhere.

"That was definitely the biggest goal I've ever scored," Fife said with a beaming smile at centre ice in the middle of a celebration of players, their families and fans. "It feels great just to win the tournament. It was a great play by Kyle to get the puck up to me and it feels unbelievable. There's nothing better than winning a championship."

The win was the fourth in a row for the Bearcats at the tournament, which saw Truro play some of its best hockey of the season. It was clear the Bearcats were motivated, outworking the opposition in each contest while scoring timely goals and playing squeaky-tight defence. Truro outscored the opposition 16-7 at the event.

"We wanted it so bad and you just knew everyone was going to work," Fife said. "We played our game. We listened to (head coach) Shawn (Evans) and (assistant coach Troy) Fougere and all our coaches and we got the job done." But it didn't always look like the Bearcats were going to.

After McGuigan opened the scoring just 1:15 into the game, the Capitals turned the tables on the Bearcats in the second period with a pair of goals just 17 seconds apart from Wes Herrett and J.P. Harvey for a 2-1 lead. The markers breathed life into a Summerside squad that was playing its fifth game in as many days as they dominated the second period.

"I'd be lying if I said it didn't, " Fife said of the goals knocking the Bearcats on their heels. "I think that kind of got to us a bit but we're a strong team. We have 20 leaders and we just came together after that second goal and we said 'that's enough, we've got to get going here', because the game was far from over."

The Bearcats showed their determination to win by dictating the play in the third period, outshooting the Capitals 11-4 and pinning Summerside in its own end for much of the frame.

"We threw everything at the net just hoping one would go in and we got lucky and one went in and we finished it off in double overtime," McGuigan said.

Shayne Campbell made 36 saves for the win while Bailie stopped 43 in the Summerside crease.

In spite of playing so much hockey, the Capitals never stopped fighting and pushed the Bearcats every step of the way.

"You would think their legs would get to them a bit but it wasn't that way," Fife said. "They played hard the whole game, it's a championship game so you've got to expect that."

2. McIsaac set to call shots in NHL debut

Truro’s Jon McIsaac realized a lifelong dream Nov. 21 when he got the chance to referee his first NHL game between the Philadelphia Flyers and Buffalo Sabres in Philadephia.

That, in itself, is cause enough to make this list.

But what takes this story to the next level is his NHL debut came on the one-year anniversary of his mother Joan’s death from complications due to multiple strokes. The 67-year-old never missed a game either of her sons – Jon has an older brother Jamie – played in or officiated.

The 29-year-old, who grew up in Valley, officiated a second NHL contest on Dec. 16 between the Colorado Avalanche and Dallas Stars.

3. Mirror image: Pinkney reels in second national championship

Colleen Pinkney won her second Canadian senior women’s curling title with a 7-6 victory over Alberta’s Debbie Santos in Summerside.

The interesting thing about this story, other than the fact it booked the Truro foursome’s spot at the 2014 world championship in Dumfries, Scotland, April 23 to 29, is the victory was a near carbon copy of Pinkeny’s last national title in 2009.

In both tournaments, held in Summerside, Pinkney battled sickness and went 10-0 into the final game of the round robin, which she lost to finish 10-1, still earning a bye to the final. In both years the losses came on the same sheet of ice.

But most importantly for Pinkney, in both years she emerged as champion.

After her 2009 crown, Pinkney went on to a world championship in Chelyabinsk, Russia.

4. Moore helps Canada to men’s ball hockey gold

Lower Onslow’s P.J. Moore helped Canada a men’s world ball hockey championship with a 7-1 victory over the United States in the final.

The best part of the story for the 23-year-old defenceman is the fact it happened on home soil in Toronto.

Moore, who was also named one of Canada’s top-30 junior ball hockey players of all time this year, can hang the medal next to his world junior gold won in 2010 in Villach, Austria.

Moore made his contributions at the event, collecting a pair of assists in an 8-1 win over Slovakia in the quarter-final.

5. Rams crowned ACAA rugby champions

Hard work and tenacity finally paid off for the Dalhousie Rams when they beat the Mount Allison Mounties 22-17 in the ACAA women’s rugby final at the Farnham Mill Rugby Park.

The win was the first time the Rams had managed to topple the rival Mounties in a playoff game in four years.

Although the Rams built a comfortable 22-5 lead, the Mounties mounted a second-half charge and nearly tied the game in the final seconds after pinning the Rams on their own goal line. The Rams, however, weathered the storm and were able to keep the Mounties from scoring.

The following day, fullback Joan Cole, who led the Rams in scoring this season, was named the conference player of the year and coach Dave Cotterill was named conference coach of the year.

Cole, Jessica Stickney, Georgia Lewis, Whitney Shaver, Becky Blank, Jessica MacAskill, Kathleen Starritt were all named to the conference all-star team.