Tantramar Report: Amherst family killed in fire; COVID cases surge in NB; council approves lifting skateboard ban

A photo of a family on display surrounded by flowers
A memorial in Victoria Square, Amherst, to remember victims of a tragic fire in Millvale, Nova Scotia this week. Photo: Town of Amherst Facebook
Erica Butler - CHMA - SackvilleNB | 14-09-2021

On Tuesday’s Tantramar Report:

family of six from Amherst were found deceased on Monday evening after a fire in a camper trailer in Millville, Nova Scotia. The victims have been identified by family as 30-year-old RJ Sears, 28-year-old Michelle Robertson, and four children, eleven-year-old Madison, eight-year-old Robert Ryder, four-year-old Jaxson, and three-year-old Colin.
Sears’ father told the Canadian Press that the family had been at the trailer for a short stay. It’s not clear when the fire happened.
Police say preliminary investigations do not indicate the fire is suspicious in nature, though the fire marshall is investigating.
The Town of Amherst, in conjunction with Cumberland North MLA Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin, have set up a memorial in Victoria Square in Amherst where people can come and pay their respects to the victims and their family.

​​New Brunswick’s COVID-19 cases surged over the weekend, with 122 new cases reported and five more people admitted to hospital since Friday. The surge has prompted new rules for schools province-wide. As of Tuesday, students of all ages must wear a mask in school and while on school buses. Masks may be removed when students are eating, drinking or engaged in sports or physical education classes, says the province.

Skateboards are no longer banned on the streets of Sackville. In a 4 to 3 vote Monday night, council passed second and third reading of a revised streets bylaw that will allow people to ride skateboards on streets with certain restrictions, such as wearing helmets, yielding to cars, and refraining from tricks.

A radar speed sign used on Pond Shore Road to track speeds and remind people of their current speed has been stolen. Public works liaison council Matt Estabrooks told council Monday night that the $4,000 sign was stolen on August 30, the very same day a repaired radar speed sign was installed in the opposite direction on Pond Shore Road. The second sign has been removed until public works staff figure out a way to protect it against theft. Town engineer Dwayne Acton said he’d welcome the return of the sign to the public works department, no questions asked.

Sackville town council will be considering how to spend an additional $372,387 in gas tax funding in its 2022 budget. The money can be spent on a number of different infrastructure projects that must be approved by the province. Citizens who want to weigh in can do so in council public budget meeting next week on Monday, September 20. Anyone wishing to speak must register in advance with the town clerk’s office by the end of day Tuesday.