Southern Kings trying to cope

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A forensic officer enters the home on St. Mary's Road West near Montague, continuing the investigation into a double murder at that location on Wed., Aug. 20, 2014.

Province loses innocence in six senseless deaths

Southern Kings is a region in shock and mourning this week following a double homicide on the outskirts of Montague on Wednesday night. The town is still recovering from a triple tragedy this past spring when three young men died in a building fire in Charlottetown. In an area where everyone knows and cares about each other, the five senseless deaths are almost too much to comprehend. It’s a tragedy for the families and the community – in both incidents.

An editorial earlier this week discussing the stabbing death of a Charlottetown man involving a 17-year-old female suspect, noted that a first-degree murder charge is almost unheard of in this province. Dramatically, we saw two more first-degree murder charges laid this week.

It seems that quiet, pastoral P.E.I., largely bypassed by the bustling rat race and crime of big cities and more populous provinces, has suddenly lost its innocence.

A father and son were killed Wednesday night at the father’s home along the rural St. Mary’s Road, just south of Montague. The suspect, a 46-year-old man living barely 10 kms away, was arrested the next morning with charges laid that night. The rapid–fire developments left residents speechless and shaking their heads. This sort of thing doesn’t happen on P.E.I.

Police said as the investigation proceeded through the night Wednesday, a suspect was identified and taken into custody from a private home on the edges of Montague around 7:40 a.m. Thursday morning. Police said there was never any danger to the public and they deny there was a manhunt, as reported by the media. But without a few simple details, it’s understandable that there is confusion with the public on why there was no manhunt or public notice.  We’re waiting for a fuller explanation.

 

Weekend thoughts

 

How long does it take to hire a varsity women’s basketball coach at UPEI? More than 20 candidates responded to an advertisement to fill the head coaches’ position. They have been narrowed down to five people for interviews before an eight-person selection committee. The current vacancy is the result of Greg Gould’s resignation last June to protest developments inside the athletic department. That precipitated a full departmental review which recommended action on the very issues raised by Mr. Gould. The coach is now seeking his job back and would have to be considered the odds-on favorite. There is a serious time element with practices about to start. Recruiting and season preparation are now serious issues for a team without a head coach for the past three months.

 

A hearty welcome to delegates attending the annual Premiers Conference in Charlottetown next week. Once again, the Council of the Federation will meet without the presence of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. At one time, the premiers sat down with the PM annually, but Mr. Harper has yet to join the premiers in such a format. The PM is too busy in the Far North meeting with party faithful, fine tuning his election campaign talking points and sharpening his attacks on the Opposition to be bothered joining with other first ministers in saluting the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference — or seeing Shania Twain in concert.

 

Notwithstanding this age of amazing technological advances and electronic shortcuts, it seems like a regressive step to require more laborious dialing for local telephone calls. Starting today, we will be prompted to add the 902 area code before the seven digits local number. By Nov. 16, 10 digits dialing with be mandatory in preparation for the launch of a new 782 area code in P.E.I. and N.S. Should residents brush up on their Morse Code to spell SOS? Hint: it’s three dits, three dahs, and three dits.

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Montague, Southern Kings P.E.I.

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