Students in select schools will learn about the real and lasting consequences of fire as part of a grass fire public awareness pilot project in Cape Breton Regional Municipality. Representatives of the Department of Natural Resources, the provincial Fire Marshal’s office, Cape Breton Regional Municipality Fire and Police Services, and the Burn Treatment Society of Nova Scotia, will visit several classrooms today, May 12 and Tuesday, May 13. Schools expected to receive the presentations include St. Michael’s Junior High, Morrison Junior High, St. Joseph’s Elementary and Sydney Mines Junior High. Although fire prevention talks are common in schools, this is the first time the agencies have combined efforts to discuss grass fires that threaten urban and rural areas. The pilot project is part of a larger, multi-agency public awareness campaign designed to discourage Nova Scotians from setting grass fires. A poster created as part of the pilot program reads: Grass fires can leave you scarred for life. Grass fires spread out of control faster than you can stop them. And the damage they cause isn’t limited to property. They put homes, wildlife and even people’s lives at risk. On top of all that, for starting a grass fire you could face several financial and criminal penalties. In recent years, firefighters from municipal and volunteer fire departments and from the Department of Natural Resources have faced an increasing number of grass and woodland fires in Cape Breton County and in the rest of Nova Scotia. Statistics show many of these fires are arson-related or were ignited by residents who lost control of burning garbage, brush piles or grasslands. For more information on grass fire awareness see the website at www.gov.ns.ca/natr .
A 34-year-old man wanted by Haldimand OPP is in a New Brunswick hospital and in custody after being shot by police.Charles Potts of Haldimand was taken to hospital after a confrontation with police on the Trans-Canada Highway between Edmunston and Saint-Leonard shortly after 10 p.m. Monday. Edmunston is 1,200 kilometres and a 12-hour drive from Dunnville in Haldimand County.Haldimand OPP had been looking for Potts in relation to a May 22 incident on Robinson Road in Dunnville involving a male in crisis.Following the Robinson Road incident, OPP issued an alert about Potts describing him as being armed and dangerous. The OPP closed down Robinson Road between Stringer and Carter Roads for nine hours to search for him but the search was unsuccessful.Police in Edmunston, NB, were called to investigate a break and enter at an Edmunston business shortly after midnight on May 27.Police were told an armed man had shot at and injured an employee of the business, Edmunston Police and New Brunswick RCMP said in a joint statement“The suspect fled the scene in a stolen company vehicle,” said the police statement. “The vehicle left the road near Highway 2 and the suspect fled on foot.”The New Brunswick RCMP canine unit was called in to search for the suspect but the search was unsuccessful.However, shortly after 10 p.m. Monday, Edmunston police spotted a man they believed to be the suspect driving another stolen vehicle. Police followed the vehicle which led them into RCMP jurisdiction.Members of the West District RCMP responded to the scene and put a spike belt on the Trans-Canada Highway.“The vehicle was brought to a stop and the man exited the vehicle with a firearm,” the statement said. “A short time later, the man took actions that were threatening towards the members and police discharged their firearm towards the man.“He suffered what are believed to be non-life-threatening injuries and he was transported to hospital, where he remains for treatment.”Insp. Steve Robinson, of the Edmunston Police, confirmed that the man they arrested is Charles Potts.“We’re not sure why he was here,” Robinson said. “We’ve never had any dealings with him before this.“He may have been just trying to escape Ontario and maybe he was trying to go further east, to Halifax.”Anyone travelling from Ontario or Quebec heading to the East Coast by highway has to go through Edmunston. The community is like a funnel, Robinson said.Edmunston is a community of about 18,000 people just a couple of kilometres away from the Quebec border in the northwestern part of New Brunswick. It is on the Canada-United States border and is across from Madawaska, Maine.“We don’t usually get incidents like this,” Robinson said. “This was something pretty unusual for us and people were really upset when they heard someone (the employee of the business) had been shot.”The employee was taken to hospital, treated and released, he said.Potts meanwhile remains in custody and in hospital. He is due to appear in court in Edmunston on Tuesday.Edmunston Police and the New Brunswick RCMP’s major crime unit are continuing their investigation. Meanwhile, an independent review of the incident and police actions will be conducted.Potts will also face charges in Haldimand, but at this point it’s unclear when he will be returned to Ontario, Const. Rod LeClair of the Haldimand OPP [email protected]/EXPVBall