Mark McCrowe (The Club; Aqua) Has Won This Year’s NL Gold Medal Plates 

The Gold Medal Plates is “the ultimate celebration of Canadian excellence in cuisine.” Eleven cities in Canada round up their finest chefs to square off for gold, silver, and bronze medals. The winner also goes on to compete in the national Canadian Culinary Competition in BC, in February of 2015.  Mark’s winning dish was Moose and Juice: charcoal grilled moose loin, with chanterelle dust, ragout of shank, and fatback, with Nan’s toast, roasted roots, moose jus with Labrador tea, pickled berries and crispy moss. It beat out many notable offerings, including food from silver winner Chris Chafe (The Doctor’s House Inn) and bronze winner Shawn Hussey (Chinched).

Wildlife Officer Jailed for Fabricating Evidence and Telling Lies 

After a fellow colleague turned him in, Wildlife Enforcement Officer James Webster pleaded guilty to his offences of lying to the court and fabricating maps (as evidence) when ticketing a man for operating an all terrain area outside of an approved area. Webster is claiming he doesn’t know why he did it, and blaming poor health, including memory loss and mental impairment from a stroke, but Judge Garrett Handrigan didn’t feel there was any evidence of that. The judge was also clear that an example needs to be made of any officer not upholding their oaths to tell the truth and only the truth in court. Webster has been sentenced to six months in jail. He has also lost his job.

Beth Ryan Won the $2,000 Cuffer Prize; Tracey Waddleton Took 2nd and 3rd 

The most competitive short story award in the province crowned its winner last Thursday: Beth Ryan, author of What is Invisible, took first place for her piece, “Campfire Stories.” The judges were the esteemable: Russell Wangersky, Jessica Grant, and Joan Sullivan, who praised Ryan’s spot-on details and perfect ending. Notably, because the competition allows 2 submissions per person, Tracey Waddleton took both 2nd and 3rd place. It’s been a good year for Waddleton: she was also shortlisted for the Fresh Fish Award for Emerging Writers. Remember the name, she’s no doubt on the next wave of local writers.

Jumping Bean Coffee Founder Jeff LeDrew Joins the Federal Fight Against Keurig 

Vermont-based Keurig Coffee controls 90% of Canada’s market for single-serve coffee pods. They do what they can to keep it that way, with shady practices like allegedly threatening retailers that if they sell anything but Keurig coffee, Keurig will pull their popular product from their store, or even charge them more for it.  Keurig also tells consumers that Keurig coffee machines are not compatible with rivals’ pods (which isn’t true). In response, Toronto’s Club Coffee are saying that Keurig’s “anticompetitive practices drive up prices and limit consumer choices” for Canadian coffee drinkers, and they have filed a Competition Bureau complaint. Other Canadian companies, like Jumping Bean Coffee in St. John’s, have banded forces with them.

Infinite Possibilities is the Only Local Show to Make Top 15 in CBC’s ComedyCoup 

The goal of CBC ComedyCoup is to have the country vote on countless ideas for Canadian Comedy shows, and eventually narrow the contestants down to one winning show that will receive $500K in production financing to create a half-hour special for CBC prime time. Every week, the cast and crew of each proposed show had to post a themed video to help the public in voting for their favourite show. Despite some great ideas from Newfoundlanders, only one show made the Top 15 in the country this week: Infinite Possibilites. The team consists of Patrick Condon, Mark Perry, and Ian Vatcher. If they make it to the final 5, they’ll fly to Whistler, BC to pitch their show to CBC executives. And if they’re chosen, their half hour, prime-time slot will air on CBC in the fall of 2015.

Fourteen Year Old Musgravetown Boy Flies Solo; Breaks Record 

He might need to wait until he’s eighteen to drive a car, but for now a plane will do for fourteen year old Kyle Ash. He is officially the youngest pilot to ever fly solo at the Gander Flight Training School. Upon finding out, at a very young age, that people were paid to fly planes, he decided that was the job for him, and clearly got to work as soon as he could. How does a kid get to drive a plane before a car in this province? There’s no age restrictions at all: once you log enough hours of practice, the sky is yours to travel. Kind of. He has his student permit, which restricts him to only flying on school grounds. But come sixteen, he can apply for a recreational pilot licence.

International Acclaim for Graham Kennedy’s Saltwater Cowboys Photography 

The Discovery Channel’s hit show, Saltwater Cowboys followed a few fleets of fisherman to document the danger and drama of their job. Local photographer Graham Kennedy did the show’s promo photography, and his shots, stunning as always, won honourable mention at the Moscow International Photo Awards.

New Proposal Could Promise Greater Chance for Oil Spills in Placentia Bay 

In an area already declared by a federal tanker safety panel as a high risk for oil spills, Atlantic Pilotage Authority have submitted a proposal asking if they can move the location where pilots board vessels another 15 kilometers further into the bay. Locals, including fishermen who fish the bay, and who therefore know the area well, are rightfully worried this will lead to more frequent oil spills. As local fishermen have said, there are some well known danger zones in the bay, with a history of punching holes in ships. The proposal is driven by a desire to “improve efficiency” of tanker travels, including the many tankers that come and go from Come by Chance’s refinery. Anthony McGuiness, CEO of the Atlantic Pilotage Authority, says modern tankers are much safer than they used to be, and that only empty tankers would be allowed to proceed without a pilot to the proposed inner line. Still, anyone who dismisses the logic and insight of Newfoundland fisherman as paranoia” is being alarmingly dismissive.