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Monday, August 31, 2009

Brain Research Seminar

Brain research will be the focus of a seminar for 700 District Six teachers tomorrow. They will meet at the Kings Valley Wesleyn Church to hear from Eric Jensen. He is an author and world-renowned speaker on the subject of brain research. His lecture will focus on development and how teaching strategies and techniques can be tweaked to benefit students.

Superintendent Zoe Watson tells CHSJ News, this seminar is just one of several through-out the year teachers will attend to help them and their students.

Emergency Department Re-Opening

After months of repair work, the Emergency Department of the Oromocto Hospital will re-open tomorrow morning. It had to be shut down back on May.20th when a water line broke and caused significant water damage to the Emergency and Diagnostic Imaging Departments totalling $360,000.

The Diagnostic Imaging Department will re-open soon.

Waste Water Money

Fredericton is teaming up with Ottawa and the Province to invest five million dollars to upgrade that city's main waste-water treatment plant. $1.6 million is on the table from the Federal and Provincial governments while Fredericton will contribute the rest.

The project involves major improvements to the existing treatment plant, which serves 90 per cent of the population and is processing twice the waste water it was designed to handle.

Several City Streets Remain Closed Due to Storm Flooding

The aftermath of Tropical Storm Danny is still being felt in East Saint John where several streets remain closed due to flooding. Police tell CHSJ News streets blocked off to traffic include McAllister Drive at Golden Grove Road, Golden Grove and Dresden, Simpson Drive, Rothesay Road at the end of Rothesay Avenue and Ashburn Lake Road at the entrance to Rothesay Road.

Also closed because of too much water on the road is: Holland Street, Todd Street, Broadway Avenue, Glenn Road and Brown Street. Several basements flooded in the Glen Falls area as heavy rain brought about 60 millimeters of rain to our city.

City Looks to Youth to Fill Job Vacancies

A motion at tonight's common council meeting may see more teens working for the city next summer. The proposal recommends the city hire more youth with financial difficulties who plan on pursuing post secondary education, in the slots of summer student positions. Councillor Bill Farren tells us he hopes to see an application system worked out the teachers to hire students.

If the motion is passed, applications for the positions should be ready by Early December.

Peel Plaza Project on Tonight's Council Agenda

Peel Plaza is being pushed ahead at tonight's common council. A proposal will be discussed recommending council approve the revised funding of the Peel Plaza Municipal Upgrades Project and authorize staff to proceed with a tendering process. The request totals almost 4 million dollars in capital funding, if passed the project will be one step closer to completion.

Harbour Passage Painting Up for Discussion Tonight

Harbour Passage may be getting a face lift sometime in the not to distant future. A proposal at tonight's common council meeting may mean Jamac Painting and Sandblasting will be hired to repaint and repair the steel structures along Harbour Passage. The original budget estimate was 89,000 dollars, but Jamac will be able to complete the job for 30,000.Council will start tonight at 6:30.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Report Being Reviewed - Meetings Planned

The Department of Social Development is now reviewing a consultant's report on revitalizing the Crescent Valley area -- and -- part of that revitalization process will include replacement housing for old social housing which fell to the wrecker's ball earlier this year. Minister Kelly Lamrock tells CHSJ News the new development will be geared to mixed income levels.Lamrock says he will be down around the middle of next month to meet with various community groups before making final decisions on the recommendations in the consultant's report -- once those decisions are made -- a time table will be determined for construction of the replacement housing.

Pink Bus

The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation's "pink bus" is stopping in Sussex today on the last leg of its tour through Greater Saint John. The foundation promoting the importance of breast screening and early cancer detection before heading to Alma tomorrow. Tour Rep, Selina Hughes tells CHSJ News everyone is welcome onboard to see the breast model, information boths and video on having a mammogram.
Their goal is to have 85 per cent of all women between the ages of 50 and 69 in Atlantic Canada routinely screened for breast cancer by 2010. The Pink bus will make its last stop in New Brunswick on September 10th before heading to Nova Scotia.

Harbour Clean Up

Ottawa and Fredericton realize they have to help out with the Harbour Clean-up Project. That from Mayor Ivan Court as City Officials continue to evaluate the proposal and draw up a working map. Court tells CHSJ News, this municipality or any other cannot front the bill for this type of proposal and help from the other two levels of government is a must.
Court admits the price of materials and labour have jumped 24% over the past four years and they continue to look at ways to get the total price tag down.

Minor Hockey KV

August is coming to a close and that means for most homes in the Kennebecasis Valley, hockey fever is building. The Minor Hockey Association has been planning for the up-coming months since the previous season finished and President Darren Zwicker tells CHSJ News, everything appears to be falling into place.
Zwicker says if the trend continues....he expects numbers will be up this season by 3-5% coming in at just over 1000 players last year. There is also a registration date on the third of next month.

Dragon Boat Results

The 5th annual Dragon Boat Festival kicked off yesterday at the Renforth Wharf near Rothesay. With over 254,000 dollars raised for the St. Josephs Hospital Foundation's Wellness Garden, Organizer Jill Logan tells CHSJ news regardless of the weather she feels it was still a success.
Festivities began yesterday morning with a traditional Chinese Ceremony. First place winners were the Plumbers and Pipefitters team, followed closely by Dundee Securities.

Minto Barricade

The 28 year old man who barricaded himself inside a Minto home for 13 hours yesterday, has been arrested without incident. Minto RCMP responded to a firearms complaint shortly after 4:00am. RCMP did have contact with the man during the day and he was finally arrested shortly after 5:00.Highway route 10 that runs through Minto was closed during the stand-off as a safety precaution. The highway is now open to traffic.

Damage from Danny

It seems Danny did manage to do some damage to our area afterall. Last night tropical depression Danny passed through our region leaving rocks, branches and approximately 60 mm water on our roads. Emergency crews have been busy all night responding to calls of flooded basements and flooding on the East Side in the McAllister Drive area. Police are warning people to steer clear of Foster Thurston Road, Asburn Lake Road and the Rothesay Road, which remain closed in certain sections.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Armed Stand Off

An armed stand off in Minto is keeping police busy today. RCMP in the area have closed Highway 10 through Minto to monitor a person who've barricaded themselves on Pleasant Street. No word on if hostages are involved. This tip was phoned in by a caller, police will be releasing further information later today as the story develops. If you have a news tips, please feel free to call out 648-3000 newsline.


Two robberies in the area last night have police searching for the thieves responsible. Two masked men entered the Courtney Bay Inn lobby with a weapon just after 12 and fled with an undisclosed amount of money. Shortly after 1 o'clock, a taxi driver was robbed under the same circumstances. Police believe the two men to be in their late teen's or early twenties. No one was injured.

SJ Minor Hockey

With a new season just around the corner.......Saint John Minor Hockey has most of it's pucks lined up and ready to fire. The Association continues to wait for ice time schedules from the city. President Bob Purdy tells CHSJ News, from everything he is hearing, the number of children on blades should be up.
Purdy says they currently have 34 teams looking for ice time in five rinks and that is never easy admitting a new arena could alleviate some of that pressure. Registration letters are out and begins on the 18th and 19th of next month.

Dragon Boat Festival

The 5th annual Dragon Boat Festival kicks off today at the Renforth Wharf near Rothesay. 52 teams with more than one thousand paddlers will compete in 25 races throughout the day to raise money for the St. Josephs Hospital Foundation's Wellness Garden. Organizer Jill Logan tells CHSJ news NB Southern Railway will run a passenger train between Harbour Station and the festival site on James Renforth Drive.
The goal of this year's event is to raise 250 thousand dollars. Festivities begin this morning with a traditional Chinese Ceremony. The outdoor Festival also includes musical performances, tug-of-war competitions, martial arts demonstrations, children’s activities and a food fair.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Latest on Tropical Storm Danny

If your taking part in the Dragon Boat Festival tomorrow, no doubt your keeping a close watch on Tropical Storm Danny. This is the latest information we have. The hurricane center in Dartmouth is now predicting this will be a mostly rain event which will roll into our backyard late tomorrow and pull out Sunday afternoon. Forecaster's are now calling for anywhere between 70-90 millimeters of rain in less than a 24 hour span. Heavy swell associated with the storm may cause signifigant surf and rip tides along the coastal areas and people are being urged to stay a good distance back.

As far as the wind is concerned, meteorologists say it will be windy but not as bad as first predicted.

President of UNB Says Goodbye

The long-time face of UNB is fading into the back-ground. John McLaughlin delivered his final adress in his role as President this afternoon saying goodbye to colleagues and friends. He tells CHSJ News, his greatest accomplishment is strengthing the school's role as a national university.
McLaughlin says there are many challenges for the university in the future including fiscal and competition. Dr. Eddie Campbell assumes the role of President on Tuesday.

KV Library is Staying Put

Landing Court will continue to be the home of the Kennebecasis Library. The facilities board voted unanimously to leave the building where it is as opposed to a possible move to Rothesay. An independent study, which cost tens of thousands of dollars stated the current location is fine but in need of an expansion. Quispamsis Mayor Murray Driscoll tells CHSJ News, the town owns the property adjacent to the library which is available.

Driscoll adds there has been alot of talk recently about environmental concerns with said property but that is not the case.

How Are Things Coming Along on the Q-Plex

Despite all of the rain this summer, construction marches on for the Q-Plex Facility. After breaking ground six weeks ago, crews are now pouring concrete, putting in footings and building the first floor walls. Project Manager Barry Brown tells CHSJ News, so far, not alot of complaints from neighbours.

Brown says the project remains on schedule for completion next summer.

Meeting at the Norton Legion

Several communities have received a letter from the Department of Transportation in recent days. It's notification of a service cut-back which includes no longer cleaning out parking lots such as churches and Legions. Gord McKenzie with the Norton Legion is not pleased and tells CHSJ News, this is not the same as several church parking lots in other communities paying for it's plowing service because this building also serves as the EMO set-up for the community.

Mckenzie says the letter indicates this move is necessary due to cost restrictions. A meeting to discuss the issue is set for tonight, seven o'clock at the Norton Legion.

New Technology for Parking

Imagine if you can being able to put some extra minutes on your parking display ticket from your Black-Berry. The technology is available and being used by city officials in Fredericton in their off-street lots. With the help of a credit card, you can pay for the day or add some time if your running late.

This technology is also being used in several other cities from coast to coast.
Richard Smith is General Manager of the Saint John Parking Commission and tells CHSJ News, they are aware of the technology and it is something they will further examine about bringing to Saint John.

Sales-Persons Being Investigated

Four salespersons involved in the promotion of an alleged illegal distribution of securities issued by a shell company related to CTIC, will appear in front of a panel of the New Brunswick Securities Commission next month. Staff have filed a motion alleging that Pierre Emond and Armel Drapeau of Edmundston, Jules Bossé of St-Jacques and Robert Saintonge of Fredericton promoted an illegal distribution of CTIC securities.

NBSC staff believe the distribution shows signs of a Ponzi scheme. The initial bankruptcy trustee indicates that money received from investors was being used to pay other investors. The scheme, which is still under investigation, is currently estimated to be in the range of $15 million, $5.7 million of which was in this Province.

Princess Street Block Party Tonight

The city's Fusion group is hosting a block party tonight to celebrate the completion of phase one of the Princess Street redevelopment. Sebastian, Happinez Wine Bar, O'Leary's, and the Big Tide Brew Pub will feature appetizers and drink specials along with musical entertainment. Spokesperson Kelly Lawson tells CHSJ news they hope to draw a large crowd.

City Planner Jody Kliffer will also be delivering an update on the street reconstruction project. The block party will take place between 5:30 to 7pm tonight on Princess Street between Canterbury and Prince William Streets.

Tropical Storm Danny Losing Steam

Saint Johners can expect about 50 mms of rain and up to 70 km per hour winds this Saturday night as Tropical Storm Danny hits us. Meteorologist Claude Cote with Environment Canada tells CHSJ news the system is less vigorous now and will cross the mainland of Nova Scotia--not New Brunswick.

The storm is currently centred over the Atlantic just East of Georgia.

Lifesaving Society Issues Warning Ahead of Tropical Storm Danny

Strong words from the Lifesaving Society today in anticipation of Tropical Storm Danny, which is expected to reach the Maritimes this weekend. Hurricane Bill had a minor impact on the province last weekend but Executive Director, Elizabeth Lamothe, says many people took risks during the storm that were nothing short of stupid. Last Sunday, thousands of people stood on ocean beaches to look at the large waves. She says they not only put themselves in danger but they also risked the lives of their potential rescuers.

The organization is warning people to stay away from the water this weekend when the tropical storm makes landfall. Three young men were swept off the rocks at Peggy’s Cove in Nova Scotia during Hurricane Bill forcing rescue personnel to retrieved them. A family in Maine was also swept out to sea where a 7 year old girl was pronounced dead.

Pink Bus Continues Tour in NB

The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation is touring the Atlantic region promoting the importance of breast screening and early detection. The “Pink Bus” is stopping in Quispamsis today as well as Grand Bay Westfield and Sussex this weekend--after already making stops in Saint John and Rothesay. Tour Rep, Selina Hughes tells CHSJ News the goal is to have 85 per cent of all women over 40 in Atlantic Canada routinely screened for breast cancer by 2010.

Hughes says 1 in 8 women in Atlantic Canada will be diagnosed with breast cancer and only 53 per cent are going in for regular screening--which is the highest in the country. The five month "pink bus" tour will include a total of 124 stops in four provinces.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

EIA Process for Second Refinery a Go

It's full steam ahead for Irving Oil's Environmental Impact Assessment for it's proposed second refinery. This despite word from the company just weeks ago the proposal is in a holding pattern. Pierre Doucette is with the Environment Department and tells CHSJ News, this makes alot of sense from the company and their point of view because if the proposal gets a second life, this is a huge part of the process they don't have to start from scratch.

Doucette says there have been other smaller cases where this has happened but no proposal of this size before. The Environment Department's Open House is scheduled for o'clock at the Simonds Lions Auditorium. Irving Oil has also announced the date for it's open house which is September. 9th between two and nine o'clock at the Community College.

Maintenance Work Coming to the Refinery

If you noticed some industrial cranes hovering in the shadow of the Irving Oil refinery, so did we and here is why they are there. They are in place as preliminary work get started for their planned Fall Maintenance Project. Full details of what they are going to be doing won't be released for two more weeks.

Spokes-person Leslie McLeod tells CHSJ News, letters have been sent to their neighbours around the facility to tell them there might be some higher than normal flaring, noise or odour coming from the facility. This planned work will not affect the refinerys output to it's customers.

Street Party for Romero House

Plenty of sunshine and smiles were on display for Romero House's street party today. This was the organizations way to show their thanks for all of the funds raised for the soup kitchen over the past two months. Over $60,000 dollars is in their account after announcing they might lose their full-time staff due to a shortage of cash. Director Carolyn McNulty tells CHSJ News, she is not retiring but will be stepping back some due to her health.

McNulty has been serving Greater Saint John for almost thirty years when she began helping people out of her own home.

Blood Donors are Staying Home

A shocking discovery from Canadian Blood Services today. Spokes-person Amanda Cullen tells us she has spoken to people who are boycotting giving the gift of life. This is due to the news the production lab on University Avenue might re-locate to Halifax. Cullen tells CHSJ News, it's important to point out that nothing is set in stone at this point.

Cullen points out if the production lab does re-locate, there will still be donation labs set up in Saint John and Moncton.

Report on Energy in Atlantic Canada Released

The energy sector has become the most important group of industries in Atlantic Canada, according to the latest report by the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council. APEC Senior Economist David Chaundy, tells CHSJ news the push for clean energy could open up considerable potential for new growth.

Chaundy says the most important challenge has been the drop in demand for energy products amidst the recession --and-- the need to consider the emphasis of energy export to the suffering New England Market.

Keeping an Eye on Tropical Storm Danny

The Canadian Hurricane Centre is tracking Tropical Storm Danny which is headed our way this weekend. Environment Canada Meteorologist, Claude Cote, tells CHSJ news it's too soon to predict the exact path of the storm--but--says the Maritimes will be hit Saturday night.

Cote says New Brunswick will likely get the most rain--around 50 mms---but the system is expected to be a post-tropical storm by the time it reaches us.

Strong Summer for Moosehead

Plenty of smiles at Moosehead Breweries despite the soggy summer. With all the rain in June and July, there were concerns it could be a tough year for sales but bring on Cracked Canoe and Moosehead Light Lime. They have vaulted strong summer numbers with Light Lime becoming the companies third best selling brand. Vice-President of Communications Joel Levesque tells CHSJ News, lime is on it's way to other provinces as we speak.

Levesque adds sales are not only up here at home but around the Maritimes as well.

Update on Peel Plaza

The long drawn out process for Peel Plaza and the new home of the Police Headquarters and Justice Complex is coming to an end. That according to Mayor Ivan Court who says despite the lack of ""shovels in the ground"" the proposal is not in a holding pattern and they continue to put in place the final plan. Court tells CHSJ News, once the Police Department is out of City Hall, the opportunity for extra revenue with a new tenant is there.

Court adds all this recent talk of finding a new location for the new Police Headquarters and Justice Complex would do nothing but jack up the over-all cost of the project. Construction is expected to get started this fall.

Gas Prices Holding Steady

Gas prices in the province haven't budged an inch overnight. The Energy and Utilities Board is posting a maximum price for regular self serve at a dollar-one-point-8 cents a litre with most gas stations in the metro area still selling a fuel for 99.1 cents a litre.

Diesel fuel is up nearly a penny to land at 98.5 cents a litre before the possible 2 cent delivery charge--and--propane is up half a cent from yesterday at 96.5 cents a litre.

Fourth Starbucks on the Way for Saint John

The coffee market in Saint John is getting a little more competition. A new Starbucks is under construction in Brunswick Square. Paullette Hicks is the General Manager of the mall and tells CHSJ News, they have been working on this deal for quite some time.

With a Tim Hortons just around the corner from the new Starbucks, Hicks says there are no hard feelings and both companies realize competition and having a choice is healthy.

Heather Way Gets Speed Humps to Slow Traffic

City Works crews didn't waste any time in getting a project done. After announcing on Monday they were installing speed humps along the southbound lanes of Heather Way they are in place. Several calls to our news-room tell us they hit them and got quite a surprise. The decision to install the humps was made after months of consultation when a 79-year old woman was struck and killed by a speeding vehicle in October of last year.

A 16-year old boy was charged with dangerous driving causing death back in June and handed a two year suspended sentence. City Hall tells us they do have a plan for the North-bound lanes but no word yet on what they are.

Mayor Optimistic Provincial Share of Funding is Coming for a Key Project

A week after Ottawa handed over just a million dollars for refurbishment work at the Canada games Stadium, Mayor Ivan Court sounds optimistic a cheque from the Province isn't far behind. Court tells CHSJ News, Saint John MLA's have told them they are on-board with this proposal.

Court says the important thing is to get started on the majority of the work at the stadium right away.

Election: Talking in Circles

If there is a Fall federal Election looming, the Conservative Party doesn't appear to be worried about it. Heritage and Official Languages Minister James Moore tells CHSJ News, he hasn't met anyone recently that wants an election now or anytime soon.

Moore says Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff is about as in-decisive as you can get telling everyone he wants an election and then two days later backing off the statement.

City's New Methadone Clinic Has Lengthy Wait List

The new Methadone clinic at St. Joseph's Hospital opened just over 2 weeks and the doctor in charge says things are going well. Dr. Duncan Webster says they have over 100 people on the waiting list but, those numbers change daily.

Dr. Webster says before methadone is prescribed, patients get a physical exam and they determine if the patient has a substance abuse problem.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

More Spending from Ottawa and Fredericton

Water and waste-water infrastructure in Sussex Corner are getting a much needed upgrade thanks to the Province and Ottawa.Both are investing just over $270,000 dollars towards the projects and the Village will cover the remainder of the cost. This upgrade will provide municipal water and sewer services to residents along Route 111 and in the East Coast Village Home Park of Sussex Corner. No word on what the total cost of the project is, when construction will get started or when it will be finished.

Also, Ottawa has invested $53,000 dollars and the Province $35,500 in a new educational tourist attraction at the Fundy Trail Parkway. The cash will go towards buying and managing a small scale working sawmill.

Merit Awards to be Handed Out

The woman affectionately known as the ""Moose Lady"" is being honored for her commitment and hard work. Cathy McCullom of Welsford will receive one of six Merit Awards to be presented next month. McCullom gained national attention three years ago when she took on the then Lord Provincial Government to put up moose fencing along Highway Seven.

Fundy River Valley MLA and Energy Minister Jack Keir will be on hand to present the awards on Sept.8th at the KBM starting at seven o'clock.

Close to a Million Dollars for Saint John

Along with the Port City....Saint John now has a new title......Cultural Capital of Canada for 2010. It was unveiled during a news conference today at the Arts and Culture Center along with a cheque from Ottawa for $750,000 dollars. This will be used to help celebrate the city's 225th anniversary. Heritage and Official Languages Minister James Moore says Saint John can be proud of it's arts and culture accomplishments.

Quebec was also designated a 2010 Cultural Capital of Canada earlier this week.

Getting Ready for a City Wide Party

Imagine if you can, trying to make plans and organize a year long party? That is the task Peter Buckland and the Saint John 225 Committee are taking on during the city's 225th anniversary next year. Buckland is chair and tells CHSJ News, this ia golden opportunity for all of Greater Saint John.

Details of the year long celebration will be rolled out during a news conference in five to six weeks time.

Grand Bay Westfield Money

Along with Saint John, Federal officials were also in Grand Bay Westfield handing out funding. It totals $90,000 that will go towards new batting cages and improved tennis courts. The batting cages will be built near an exsisting field and the tennis courts will be completely over-hauled.

Ottawa's contribution is just over $31,000 dollars while the Town puts up the rest which comes in at just over $62,000 dollars.

Sears Warns Consumers

Sears Canada is warning consumers about safety hazards with certain models of Frigidaire and Kenmore stoves sold across the country over a seven-year period. The company says the warnings apply to smoothtop freestanding electric ranges with rotary knobs and digital displays. Sears says the stoves' elements may heat up without being turned on, fail to cool down after being turned off, or heat to different temperatures than those specified by users. The ranges were sold in retail stores, online and through the company catalogue between June 2001 and September 2008. Sears says it will contact customers who bought the affected units to arrange a free repair, and urges consumers not to use their stoves until the problem is dealt with. Customers with questions are urged to call Sears at 1-866-691-9948.

St. Andrews Gets Recreation Funding

The town of St. Andrews is getting 75 thousand dollars for improvement to its arena and tennis courts. Federal Minister of State Keith Ashfield made the announcement today saying it will increase the quality of life in the town.

The Town of St. Andrews is providing nearly 128 thousand dollars for the project and the community has raised 15 thousand dollars. Work includes adding two new tennis surfaces and improving the energy efficiency of the W.C. O’Neill Arena.

City Development Officers Given More Powers

Homeowners who want to make small changes to their properties that require city approval can now do so a lot faster and easier. Amendments to the city's planning act give Development Officers new powers that will prevent a number of items from heading to the Planning Advisory Committee. City planner Sarah Herring tells CHSJ news the changes give Development Officers the authority to approve or deny minor variances.

Herring says the changes will not only remove headaches for homeowners, it will also save city staff time and money.

Energy Crunch Coming

The top researcher with non-profit organization Canarie Inc isn't suggesting we abandon nuclear power--but--says investing in renewable energy in the next ten years is vital. Prominent provincial academic at the University of Moncton, Yves Gangnon, says the province should abandon its pursuit of nuclear power in favour of renewable energy. But Bill St. Arnaud says most of North America's aging nuclear power plants will be going off-line in the next ten years.

He says individual businesses and homeowners should be looking for ways to generate their own renewable energy--because those that do will be the ones saving money during the energy crunch.

Concert Announced for Harbour Station

One of the most popular and best-selling artists in the Christian music industry is making its only maritime appearance at Harbour Station this fall. The Newsboys will make a stop on their ‘Way We Roll Tour’ on October 8th. The group has released 15 albums and has been nominated for four Grammy’s.

Tickets go on sale this Saturday at 10 a.m.

Demonstration at Potash Terminal

The Potash Terminal along Broad Street will be the scene of a protest at Noon today. The International Transport Workers Federation is calling out Potash Canada for chartering vessels from Dowa Line. The company has pled guilty and been fined for dumping dirty oil over-board it's vessels in Florida. ITF Inspector Gerard Bradbury tells CHSJ News, they have no evidence this has happened here in Saint John.

Bradbury says the demonstration is to draw attention to the companies actions and try to kep them accountable.
Now that the final report from a group trying to help save two river cable ferries is in the hands of the Province, when can we expect to get a look at it? Village of Gagetown councilor Bob McDowell tells CHSJ News, he and most know that a pay for use service is highly probable scenario.

McDowell points out the Deer Island Island ferry is run by a private operator and they seem to make it work although the numbers they have crunched show for Gagetown, it isn't a feasible solution. The Hampstead Ferry service has already been cut. A spokes-person with the Department of Transportation tells CHSJ News, there is no timeline for a final decision.

Plenty of Funding Announcements Today

The pace picks up again today after a flurry of announcements last week with the first stop this morning at ten at the Saint John Arts Center. MP Rodney Weston will be joined by Mayor Ivan Court and the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages James Moore. Then at one o'clock, Provincial Minister of Tourism and Parks Stuart Jamieson will be joined by Fundy Royal MP Rob Moore for an unveiling.

The Interpretive Centre of the Fundy Trail will provide the back-drop where a new attraction to honor the logging industry will be on display. Minister Jamieson will them make his way to Sussex Corner for another news conference at three o'clock. That is where details of a Provincial-Federal water funding announcement is expected to be rolled out.

Search for a New City Manager

City Hall has activated it's search for a new City Manager. Along with an ad on it's web-site, notices will go out in news-papers and web-sites from coast to coast. Terry Totten took a severance package of half a million dollars back in June to go along with his pension. Pat Woods is the acting City Manager and Mayor Ivan Court tells CHSJ News, he is a good contender.

Court says it wouldn't be fair to bring someone into the posistion in the middle of budget deliberations so they have set a Jan.1st deadline.

Saint John Resident's to Board the Queen Mary

Almost 80 people will be leaving the Port City aboard the Queen Mary when the luxury liner makes a stop in Saint John next month. Tour organizer Rae Wallace of Freedom Travel says the local passengers are very excited to board this ship in Saint John because that chance hasn't been offered in many years.

The tour begins in Saint John on September 6th but also spends two nights in New York City and overnight stay in New Hampshire before returning to Saint John on the 11th.

Seadogs Continue Season Ticket Drive

Just shy of the 2000 mark, officials in the Saint John Seadogs front office are confident they can reach their self-imposed goal. They hope to have 2500 season tickets locked up before the team plays their home-opener next month. President Wayne Long tells CHSJ News, the late showing of the summer season certainly is a strike against them.

Long also expects that once they finalize their roster at the close of training camp, a few more hockey fans will emerge.

Shopping in the United States

Here is something you might not know if your travel across the border on a frequent basis. The Canadian Automobile Association and Health Canada have teamed up to let you know about some of the things you can't bring home after a trip to the good old U.S. of A.

Some of the products include baby walkers, children's sleepwear, cribs, cradles and playpens just to name a few.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Teachers Conference in Saint John

Close to 700 teachers have gathered in Saint John for the next three days. They are in the city for a seminar to discuss best practices in classroom assessments. Dawn Weatherbee is with the Department of Education and tells CHSJ News, assessment is a very powerful motivator or de-motivator for students.

Weatherbee says none of the teachers are being paid for their attendance and that shows the commitment each has to their students.

ICT The Partial Cause and Solution to Global Warming

The Chief Research Officer with a non-profit research organization says the Internet Communications and Technology sector has a huge role to play in global warming. Bill St. Arnaud with CANARIE Incorporated says ICT currently produces 2-3 per cent of the world's Carbon Dioxide emissions but that could reach 12 per cent within a decade. He says the cause is the energy used to power electronic devices and new appliances.

St. Arnaud says up the flip side, ICT can use smart technology to come up with ways to reduce the carbon foot print. He says one way to do that is by bringing whole data centres--- such as Google--- to Canada where they can run completely on renewable energy such as hydro power. St. Arnaud is one of the speakers at an industry and e-business convention underway at the Delta.

Third Tanker Arrives at Canaport

And then there were three. The third LNG Tanker docked at the Canaport Terminal late yesterday afternoon and will be off-loaded before the end of the day. Officials at the facility tell us everything is working the way it should.

Construction als continues on the third storage tank which is scheduled for completion early in the new year.

Looking for a New General Manager

Who will be the new General Manager of Saint John Waterfront Development? That is the question in circles around the metro today with the announcement that Michael Baldwin is stepping down at the end of next month. Baldwin took over the job almost a year ago on Sept.2nd from Ross Jefferson. Baldwin tells CHSJ News, his replacement is totally out if his hands.

No word on what Baldwin's new job is but he tells us it takes him back to Fredericton. He was in adminstration at UNB before taking the GM's job where he handled the development and leasing of university owned land.

A Fitting Tribute to Fallen Officer

A fitting tribute to a fallen RCMP Officer. Hampton RCMP has a new patrol boat which has been named after Constable Jason Porter. He along with his young daughter and son were killed in a head on crash back in February on Highway Seven. Officers were asked to submit a name over the past several months and ""Porter's Salute"" was the unanimous choice.

The vessel will be used to patrol the water-ways near Belleisle Bay and the Kennebecasis and St. John Rivers which is a combined distance of more than 320 kilometers.

Atlantic Province's Challenge Each Other to Eat Locally

The provinces agriculture minister is challenging New Brunswicker's to become locavores on September 4th. That's the day the four Atlantic province's are competing to see who can get the most people to eat locally produced food.

Agriculture minister Ronald Ouellette says the benefits of eating locally grown food will have environmental and economic spin offs for New Brunswickers. Ouellette will be joined by his Atlantic counterparts, John MacDonell of Nova Scotia, George Webster of Prince Edward Island and Kathy Dunderdale of Newfoundland and Labrador, who have all pledged to eat only food from the Atlantic region that day. To join the competition head to

Soup Kitchen Celebrates Fundraising Success

Former MP and chair of the Romero House Finance Committee Paul Zed says the soup kitchen will celebrate its success in raising more than 60 thousand dollars this summer. Earlier this year, Zed challenged the community to come up with 30 thousand dollars so staff at Romero House would not be laid off in August. Thanks to donations and fundraising--in large part by Irving Oil and its employees--the soup kitchen doubled that goal. Zed tells CHSJ News the work is never over.

A street party will be held on Thursday in celebration of the money raised.

World Congress Meeting

Industry along with the research and academic communities. Just some of the focus of the 2009 World Congress on Privacy, Security, Trust and the Management of E-Business which gets started today at the Delta. Several seminars are planned including a discussion about the Provincial Energy Hub. Provincial spokes-person Greg Sprague tells CHSJ News, E-Business plays a huge role in all this Energy Hub talk.

The conference gets started this morning at nine at the Delta.

Local Man Wins Writing Competition

Paul Healey of Rothesay has taken home top prize in one of five divisions for his short story. It's part of the 32nd Annual Atlantic Writing Competition where over 250 writers from all four Atlantic Provinces submitted novels, poetry, short stories, and works for children.

This is the third year for the competition and Healey was the only winner from this Province.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Changes Coming to Roadway

There is permanent change coming to the look of Heatherway Drive in East Saint John. City Hall has decided to install speed humps along the southbound lanes of the road. This decision comes after months of consultation after a 79-year old woman was struck and killed by a speeding vehicle in October of last year. A 16-year old boy was charged with dangerous driving causing death back in June and handed a two year suspended sentence.

City Hall tells us they do have a plan for the North-bound lanes but no word yet on what they are.

Beaver Harbour Man in Hospital

A 61-year old man from Beaver Harbour is resting at the Regional with possible head injuries and broken bones. This after an accident yesterday on Highway One near the Pennfield Air Strip.

RCMP tell us the mans ATV hit a large pile of sea weed which made the vehicle flip.
The man flew off the bike and rolled along the asphalt.

Norton Legion Not Happy with Cut-Back

The Department of Transportation has sent out letters to several communities notifying of a cut-back of service. They include Norton and it's Legion where as of October.1st, the parking lot of the building will no longer be plowed. Gord Mckenzie tells CHSJ News, this is un-acceptable because the building also serves as the EMO set-up.

Mckenzie says there will be a meeting at the Legion this Friday night to discuss this cut-back. It gets started at seven o'clock.

Fight to Save Blood Center in Saint John

As Canadian Blood Services continues to forge ahead with plans to move it's Saint John distribution center to Halifax, a provincial task force continues to review it's options to stop it. Both sides met earlier this summer no closer than when they started. Rothesay Conservative MLA Margaret Ann Blaney tells CHSJ News, all of their questions concerning weather and making sure blood gets through to Saint John have gone un-answered.

No word on a second meeting between the two parties is being talked about.

Rothesay Man Wins Top Prize

If you see Paul Healey in your travels, make sure you say congratulations. The Rothesay man has taken home top prize in one of five divisions for his short story in the 32nd Annual Atlantic Writing Competition. This year, over 250 writers from all four Atlantic Provinces submitted novels, poetry, short stories, and works for children.

This is the third year for the competition and Healey was the only winner from this Province.

Former MP Responds to Opinion Polls

Former Saint John MP Paul Zed is calling the recent dip in the polls for the federal Liberals a summer lull. The Harper Conservatives are showing an 11 point lead against the Liberals which have dropped in the public opinion polls by 7 points. Zed tells CHSJ news it's nothing to lose sleep over--however.

Zed says there is no appetite for a fall election, but adds people are very worried about high unemployment numbers and the current deficit. As for whether he will run for re-election, Zed says it's still to early too say--but--he is enjoying life away from politics to do more charity work.

'Pink Bus' Tour for Breast Cancer Coming to Saint John

The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation is touring the Atlantic region promoting the importance of breast screening and early detection. The “Pink Bus” will make stops in Saint John, Rothesay, Quispamsis and Grand Bay-Westfield beginning Wednesday.

124 stops in four provinces are part of a five month trip to have 85 per cent of all eligible women in Atlantic Canada routinely screened for breast cancer by 2010. The first stops will be at the CIBC on Consumers Drive and Sobeys West on the 26th.

Hurricane Bill Breezes Past Saint John

Hurricane Bill is now tropical storm Bill after delivering a glancing blow to Newfoundland and Labrador overnight. The Canadian Hurricane Centre says Bill has left the province's Avalon Peninsula and is rapidly moving out to sea north, northeast of St. John's with maximum winds of about 102 km/hr.

Here in Greater Saint John, Hurricane Bill offered little more than a bruise with about 20mms of rain, up to 60km/hr winds and no major flooding or heavy down-pours. NB Power is also reporting no power outages at this hour--however-- About 43 thousand Nova Scotia customers were without electricity at the peak of the Hurricane as high winds and heavy rain knocked down some trees in that province. All are now back on the grid. Marine Atlantic will resume operations between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland this morning after a 24 hour suspension.

City Victim to Another Armed Robbery

The Golden Mile Billiards the scene of an armed robbery last night. Police tell us two masked men walked in around nine o'clock last night, showed a weapon and demanded cash. They got some and took off. There were about 4 patrons and one employee at the billiards at the time of the crime but no one was hurt. Police say they currently have no suspects.

Kayak Rescue

A bit of excitement for one kayaker in Saint John yesterday evening. City fire crews were called to the coast off Sea Street on the West Side at about six o'clock last night for a kayaker in distress. When crews arrived they found a man clinging to the side of his boat about 600 feet out, trying to paddle to shore. Fire fighters swam out to meet the man and attached a line to his kayak, pulling him to shore. He was not hurt.

Canada Games Stadium Refurbishment

To help with the refurbishment of the Canada Games Stadium, UNB Saint John is investing $800 thousand dollars to the project. Vice President of the university Robert MacKinnon tells CHSJ News, the school is going to benefit from the project and improve Tucker Park.

MacKinnon says once the work is complete, students and faculty will be able to use the facility and it will also help recruit students from outside Greater Saint John.

One Man Fights For Anti-Bullying Legislation

A Woodstock man is in the process of asking the Government of Canada to introduce legislation on the topic of bullying. Rob Frenette, founder of Bullying Canada, is asking the Government to officially introduce legislation on the topic of bullying for the first time.Tobique-Mactaquac M.P. Mike Allen has agreed to present the Bullying Legislation Petition in the House of Commons.

For more information or to sign the petition please visit the Bullying Canada website. A link to the site will be available at -- click news.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Water Upgrade

A difference of opinion is bubbling beneath the surface over water -- last week -- Rothesay mayor Bill Bishop indicated water supplied by the city for K-Park residents isn't potable and doesn't meeting national standards. But mayor Ivan Court begs to differ.
Court says the city water meets existing national drinking water standards -- meantime -- Rothesay is beginning work on an expansion of the town's water system to K-Park thanks to help from federal-provincial funding amounting to just over five million dollars. The city has also received 16-million from the two upper levels of government to begin a multi-year upgrade to its drinking water system.

Student Rep at DEC

District 8 Education Council and other's around the Province will welcome a new member this fall. The council is testing a new idea that involves a Student Representative that will sit in on meetings and act as the voice of students in the respective districts.
The representative will be elected from student council and will serve for 1 year with the term ending June 30th. The student's for the upcoming school year are expected to be announced next week.

Quispamsis Growing

[ Murray Driscoll -- Photo by Diane Henry]

Quispamsis is one of the fastest growing communities in the province and the mayor says he doesn't expect any drastic changes in the momentum. Mayor Murray Driscoll tells CHSJ News, it will be a long while before they reach peak capacity:
Driscoll says there are still volumes of land available for development in the town.

Bus Routes

Students may need to be at their bus stops 10 to 15 minutes earlier this fall. School District 8 officials say everyone who had a bus last year will have one this year, however, cuts to the budget for transportation may mean mixing high school, middle and elementary school students on some routes to make that possible.
Students return to school September 8th and letters explaing the new bus routes and schedules will be in the mail in the coming days.

Bill Headed For NS, Not NB

Hurricane Bill is on it's way, but not in our direction. The Category 1 storm is expected to churn east today, bringing strong winds and heavy rain to coastal areas in Nova Scotia. Bill isn't expected to make landfall anywhere in Nova Scotia but is projected to do so in Newfoundland's Burin Peninsula early tomorrow. So far the storm is following the path of weather predictions.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Buckle Down for Bill

The arrival of Hurricane Bill in the not to distant future has KV Emergency Measures Organization strongly recommending residents prepare for the storm. Loose yard equipment and decorations should be put away and also ensuring enough drinking water, batteries, food and prescriptions are on hand in case of an emergency is always a good idea.

For for information please visit the NB EMO website at;

Friday, August 21, 2009

Bill Blocks Cruise Ship

Hurricane Bill is making its presence felt even before actually moving into the area -- Carnival Cruise Lines has cancelled Saturday's scheduled visit by the Carnival Triumph with its 32-hundred passengers. The cancellation also means a rescheduling of a soccer match between the Carnival Triumph's team and the Saint John Sharks. The soccer match - which will be rescheduled - will be the first for what will become the annual Fundy Cruise Challenge Cup -- up for grabs is a trophy compliments of Mayor Ivan Court.

CUPE President Happy With WorksafeNB Decision

The President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees says the decision to keep the WorksafeNB facility in Grand Bay publicly operated is the right move.Danny Legere tells CHSJ News, when a facility becomes privately run it's main goal is to increase profits, which isn't right when it comes to rehabilitating injured workers.
Legere says WorksafeNB shouldn't be trying to turn a profit, it should be helping injured workers.He says he thinks the public backlash about the rumours of the facility going private helped sway the board of directors decision.

Accident on Highway One

A single vehicle accident on Highway one this afternoon has a happy ending. No on was hurt when a pick-up truck pulling a camper trailer lost control. The truck stayed up-right and drove into a ditch Westbound but the trailer broke free and flipped.

The Musquash Fire Department arrived on scene just before two o'clock and had things cleaned up just before four. Fire officials do report that because of drivers that wouldn't slow down, they almost had several other accidents while responding to this one.

Hurricane Bill Expected Sunday

He will be a category one storm when he rolls into Canadian water. That is the latest on Hurricane Bill as it tracks towards our region this weekend. Meteorologist Claude Cote tells CHSJ News, all of the activity in Greater Saint John is expected to start Sunday and roll through most of the day.
Cote says wind speed will reach a high of 60 kilometers per hour and anywhere between 50-70mm's of rain is expected.

New Brunswick Receives Good Credit Rating

The province shouldn't have any problem getting a loan after a report by Standard and Poor.The agency is stating New Brunswick is in good shape credit wise, and is the highest east of Ontario.Acting Finance Minister Jack Keir says items in the five point plan put forward in the last budget are the reason for being in good shape.The plan included, The Plan for Lower Taxes in New Brunswick, and $1.2 billion dollars for infrastructure and support for businesses.

Local Doctors Get Support

[Margaret Ann Blaney--File Photo from GNB Website]

Health Critic and Rothesay MLA Margaret Ann Blaney is thrilled with the latest news for Provincial doctors. This after physicians from coast to coast have thrown their support behind the medical society in it's wage battle with the Graham Government. Blaney tells CHSJ News, this throws cold water on what Health MInister Schryer has been saying that this Province is physician friendly.

The Medical Society plans to take the Provincial Government to court next month over a proposed wage freeze. This despite the Graham government introducing legislation to block any legal action and to throw out a deal reached between the two late last year.

Red Cross Urges Preparedness

Be prepared for anything.....that word of advice today from the Red Cross as Hurricane Bill could bring high wind and heavy rain over the weekend. Spokes-person Dan Bedell tells CHSJ News, one of the things people over-look in an emergency kit is contact numbers:
Bedell adds it never hurts to have plenty of batteries on hand and make sure anything thing that might get caught by a gust of wind around your home is tucked away.

NB Power Keeping Close Tabs on Hurricane Bill

Today and through-out the weekend, NB Power officials will keep close tabs on what direction Hurricane Bill will take. Spokes-person Heather McLean tells CHSJ News, normally this time of year the utility is conducting vegetation maintenance which is a big help.
McLean adds one of the big problems with a wind storm can be this time of the year with still alot of leaves on trees. At Point Lepreau with all of the construction going on, staff are conducting an inspection of the site to make sure any and everything that might get blown away is being tied down.

City Hall Gets Ready for Bill

Don't be surprised to see City Works Crews busy today working around drain systems. This as City hall prepares for what-ever Hurricane Bill might blow our way. Communications spokes-person Leah Fitzgerald tells CHSJ News, Saint John Water is also busy making the rounds checking the waste-water pumping and treatment facilities to make sure the screens are clear.
Fitzgerald says their biggest worry at this point is any flooding due to the heavy rain. Shelters will be activated should flooding force anyone from their home.

Saint John Prepares for Hurricane Bill

What-ever Hurricane Bill might bring our way this weekend, Saint John Energy crews will be ready. They are not going to be on stand-by but if something should happen, crews will roll into action. President Eric Marr tells CHSJ News, even with-out the threat of the Hurricane, they start getting geared up for what-ever the winter season might bring this time of year.

Marr says the reason they won't have crews on stand-by is is cost and crews will be ready should anything happen.

Cyclists Bike Through Saint John For Climate Change

Local cyclists are hoping to spread the world about climate change by joining the Canada to Copenhagen: Pedal for the Planet bike tour tomorrow. The KyotoPlus coalition is pedaling across Canada to encourage positive government action on climate change. Organizer for the Saint John to Sussex segment, Joe Godin tells CHSJ news they want to bring attention to the Prime Minister's attendance at the global climate treaty talks in Copenhagen next December.

Cyclists will pass through Saint John on Saturday and at 8 in the morning they will leave Kings Square for Sussex.

Police Deal with Break and Enters

Police are investigating a break and enter at the Rise N Shine hair salon and tattoo shop on King Street. Police say someone smashed in a window and entered the building, but nothing was stolen.

Meanwhile, one youth has been arrested following a break and enter at the Power Store on Loch Lomand Road early this morning. Police tell us a teen is facing charges of break and enter and probation violation for house arrest. They don't believe the two B & E's are related.

Sussex RCMP Busy with Multiple Arrests

A 23 year old man from the Belleisle area has been arrested in connection with an assault on a pregnant woman. RCMP say the woman entered the Sussex Health Center around 4:30 yesterday morning with minor injuries from a former partner. A man has been released pending a court appearance.

Meanwhile, three teenage girls have been arrested for allegedly shoplifting from the Atlantic Superstore in the Dairy Town. They are scheduled to appear in Sussex Youth court on September 23rd to enter a plea. And a man is facing charges for possession of a controlled substance after RCMP stopped him for speeding near the town's recreation fields last night. Officers allege they found a small quantity of marijuana inside the vehicle. The man is due in court late October.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Port Authority Still Waiting For Ottawa To Call

(Cruise ship docked at Long Wharf - file photo)

The waiting game continues for the Port Authority -- port officials are looking for federal and provincial stimulus funding to help with a proposed 42-million dollar upgrade to expand docking facilities beyond Pugsley Terminal to handle more and larger cruise ships. Port Authority chair Stephen Campbell tells CHSJ News he's waiting for some indication from Ottawa.Campbell says the clock is ticking for applications under the government stimulus packages -- he says the expansion is crucial to growing not only the cruise business but also to handle increased shipments of potash.

Grand Manan Resident Facing Arson Charge

32-year old Henry Harris has been charged with arson and is due in court to enter a plea next month on the 17th. He was arrested by RCMP earlier today in connection with a fire on Grand Manan back on May.13th.
It happened on the Hill Road when a rope and a crate had been torched beside the home and quickly spread. The person living in the home noticed the flames after it burned through the television cable. Harris has been released until his court date and is from Grand Manan.

Guilty On All Counts

The tax payers won't feel this court case in the wallet. Anthony Lawrence Foote pled guilty to robbing two Dooleys Pool Halls, and the Grove Lounge, and trying to rob another Dooleys, Lin Chau Restaurant, and the Fundy Heights Convenience Store.Foote has owned up to committing the rash of robberies in the city during the month of July.He will remain locked up until he is sentenced on October 13th.

Drug Seizure In Charlotte County

There are close to 600 marijuana plants less in the Charlotte County area.RCMP in partnership with other provincial agencies have seized the dope in several locations throughout the area, and it roughly equals 300 thousand joints.The mounties say the seizures are apart of efforts to reduce crime in the province, and those involved in marijuana production generally have ties to other organized crime.

Provincial Officials Urging If You Feel Ill Stay Home

[Rural Health Executive Director Lynn St-Pierre-Ellis, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eilish Cleary, and Department of Post-Secondary Education and Labour Spokesperson Dan Fraser---Photo Courtesy of]

Provincial officials advising students who feel ill this fall to stay away from the community college. Spokesperson with the Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, Dan Fraser, says they will do what they can to ensure students with the H1N1 flu don't fall behind while they are home sick. He also says they will be taking some extra precautions at the colleges to try to prevent the spread of the swine flu:
Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr.Eilish Cleary says there is not a huge difference in the symptoms between the swine flue and regular seasonal flu. So she says those with any flu symptoms should isolate themselves from the public until they feel better.

Fire Fighter Sent to Hospital During Uptown Blaze

One fire fighter taken to hospital last night with undetermined injuries after crews met heavy smoke and thick fire at vacant boarded-up building in the uptown. When crews arrived at 154 Queen Street South around nine o'clock they contained the blaze to one side of the basement. Fire investigators believe the fire is suspicious and may have been set in a basement bathroom.

The building suffered smoke and water damage.

13 Year Old Robbed on the West Side

Police are investigating a robbery near the West Side Carleton Community Centre yesterday evening. A 13 year old was jumped by two teenagers who stole his money and took off. Police say no weapons were involved and the boy is fine.

Gas Prices Take Dip

Good news for drivers heading into another summer weekend. For the first time in five weeks the price of gasoline has dropped. The Energy and Utilities Board has set the maximum retail price for regular self-serve gas at 101.8. That's about a cent lower than yesterday and most stations in the greater Saint John area are selling gas for just under a dollar a litre.

The cost of diesel has also fallen to a dollar-four a litre, while propane has creeped up to 96 cents.

School District 6 Has Solved Busing Issue

School buses picking up children in District 6 will continue to get all students who live more than 1.6 kilometres from the school. The earlier announced budget cuts stated the rule would be changed so that only students living 2.4 kilometres from a school could use bus services. Superintendent Zoe Watson tells CHSJ News, a new computerized transportation software has solved their problems.

Watson says even though the district has one less bus than last year, this software has found a way to provide the same level of service. She says there will be fewer stops and buses will be picking up more students, which is where the budget realizes savings.

School District 8 Prepared for Fall Flu Season

Schools in District 8 are preparing in case of an onslaught of H1N1 in the upcoming school year. To be sure students are safe during flu season, staff will be asked to review the importance of sanitation with students. District 8 Superintendent Susan Tipper tells CHSJ News the district will be prepared with a hygiene strategy plan when the school year begins.

District Officials urge students who feel they may be falling ill this fall to see a doctor straight away.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

District 6 Budget May Break Even

Despite the gloomy predictions of school district budgets for this upcoming year, District 6 is looking to break even on it's 2009-2010 numbers.Director of Finance John MacDonald tells CHSJ News, it's happened before in the district, but it's going to be tough.
MacDonald says one area that is in the red is Special Needs and Student services. He says it's projected to be over $600 thousand dollars below the amount allotted, but that is because the district has had to hire an additional 9 teacher assistants.MacDonald says some areas are showing a deficit right now because of the previously announced cuts, but those numbers could be different in a few months.

High School Numbers Dropping

High school enrolment is expected to be down again this year in District 8. Almost 12,000 students are enrolled in the upcoming school year, but that's 225 less then the year before. The enrolment of students in the Saint John area has been on the decline for several years now seeing drops of 300 students in some years. Grade 9's entering into high school have the same trend with Harbourview and Simmonds High not even nearing its 259 student capacity. District 8 officials assure CHSJ News that numbers always improve when the school year begins in September.

Photos on Display

[One of the Graphic Photos on Display]

[Photo by Jim Hennessy]

Graphic but gripping photos of Canadians struggling with cancer are on display in King Square.Cancer survivor Mary Stilwell says the images stir up emotions from her diagnosis 8 years ago.

The close to 500 photographs will remain on display in King Square until September 3rd.

Federal Government Invests $1.4 Million Into Canada Games Stadium

[MP Rodney Weston Making The Announcement-----Photo by Dave Briggs]

It's official--the Federal government is investing $1.4 million dollars into renovation work at the Canada Games Stadium.Saint John M-P Rodney Weston says he thought there was going to be a joint announcement with the province, but they have just not come through with their funding.Weston says he knows the provincial government is committed to the project, and hopes they make a funding announcement soon.
Weston says he's not an engineer, so he can't say for certain when the the refurbishment will be completed.He says he's confident the stadium will be done before Saint John hosts the Acadian Games in June 2010.

Hampton Woman Sentenced

46-year old Lenna Rackley of Hampton has been sentenced on two counts of committing fraud over $5,000. Ms. Rackley has received two consecutive four-month conditional sentences and was ordered to pay over $15,000 in restitution to the Court. The charges come from an investigation into Employment Insurance fraud.

It revealed that Ms. Rackley submitted false information online in order to receive employment insurance benefits on several occasions between August of 2005 and December of 2007.

Teenager Caught Stealing Credit Cards

A 17-year old is facing charges for theft and fraud. This after Grand Bay Westfield RCMP were called to investigate after several credit cards were stolen from a home in the Town last night. The cards were traced and had been used at several locations through-out Greater Saint John just hours after they were stolen.

Officer's arrested a teenager around midnight and discovered the suspect was a relative of the person who had their credit cards stolen.

Keeping an Eye on Hurricane Bill

This weekend could spell the end of our run of hot, dry weather. Environment Canada is keeping a close watch on Hurricane Bill and how close it will come to hitting us here at home. Meteorologist Linda Libby tells CHSJ News, it's tough at this point to figure out the path the storm will follow three days from now.

Libby says the other variable is the storm could make land-fall anywhere from Newfoundland to the Bay of Fundy.

Save the Bay Meeting

An update on the regulatory process was given to members of the Save Passamaquady Bay group at it's annual general meeting last night. This as investors probe the possibility of building an LNG Terminal in Maine which means tanker traffic through the Bay which home-owners don't want. Spokes-person Jessie Davies tells CHSJ News, Ottawa and Fredericton have been great supporters for their cause.

Premier Graham recently completed a report on the Downeast LNG draft environmental impact statement. He says the project would have major impacts on the lives of those who live and work on Head Harbour Passage and Passamaquoddy Bay.

Shannex Seniors Retirement Campus Expanding Property

Shannex New Brunswick may be expanding the size of its property on Swanton Drive in Quispamsis. Company officials are hoping to buy additional land adjacent to its current site. The company needs land rezoned for parking, pedestrian access and landscaped areas but representatives have delayed a presentation to town council until the purchase of the new land is finalized.

In a letter to councilors and Mayor, construction project manager Darrell Dixon says they need more time to redesign their site plan before going ahead with the rezoning application. The purchase and sale agreement for the lot expansion closes September 15th.

Little River Reservoire Association Launches Website

The Little River Reservoir Association will soon be turning to businesses and government for help with plans to create a walking trail at the reservoir. The group is hoping to enhance recreational options in the area and several tonnes of garbage have already been removed to prepare the site for future construction.

Association President Glen Creamer says they have completed the conceptual stage of the project and need funding to improve the parking and beach areas. The volunteer group has also launched a new website

Two Arrested After Assault and Police Track Down Uptown Shooter

City police are trying to track down the man responsible for shots being fired at the corner of Germain and Queen Streets this morning around one o'clock. Apparently police found a lot of spent shotgun shells on the street and a witness has reported seeing the man shooting into the air. Police say they are not sure what he may have been shooting at.

Meanwhile, two men are facing assault with a weapon charges in court later today after a 41 year old man was jumped on Smythe Street around three this morning. Police tells us a father and his 15 year old son were walking home when three men attacked the father with a shovel. Two men in their 20's have been arrested and are in custody.

Merit Awards Handed Out in Quispamsis

(New Brunswick Merit Award Recipients in Quispamsis - Photo By Diane Henry)
Local MLA and Minister of Health Mary Schryer on hand last night at Quispamsis Town Hall to present the New Brunswick Day Merit Awards. The recipients are being honoured for their contributions to the community.

Craig Jones and the Fundy Lacrosse Association have received the awards for sport, recreation and active living; The Kennebecasis United Baptist Church and Kings Valley Wesleyan Church have been honoured for their volunteer programs; and former Quispamsis mayor Ron Maloney and president of the Teen Resource Centre Larry Hache have been awarded for community leadership.

Quispamsis Expands Water System

About 34 homes in Quispamsis will soon have access to the town's water tower. Town council has given approval to the third phase of water system improvements. Director of Engineering, Gary Losier, says the expansion to Autumn Avenue and Summer Court is necessary for the town's future sustainability.

Losier says residents will have to pay a fixed user fee of about 200 dollars annually for access to the water line whether they hook into it or not by 2011. There will be a usage charge on top of that for those who choose to go off their wells. Dillon Consulting LTD will compile information needed to put the one kilometer, 43 thousand dollar, waterline expansion job to tender.

Proposed RV Lot Turned Down

An RV sales lot destined to Rothesay Road is not going to become a reality thanks to public outcry from residents. At Monday night's council meeting more than a dozen people voiced their opinion about the proposed Aberdeen RV lot on Rothesay Road. The lot would consist of 30 RV trailers on display, and residents believe it would become an eye sore for the neighbourhood. Resident Heather Chaisson says if the lot is allowed to move in, it opens the door for future commercial development. Chaisson says this does not improve the quality of life in the neighbourhood.

Common Council overwhelming denied the proposal being presented by Hughes Surveys and Consultants.

NB Power Decommissioning Courtney Bay Generating Station

If you're cruising past the Courtney Bay generating system and notice a crane and busy work crews---don't be alarmed. NB Power is undergoing it's decommissioning activity, and are removing a breaching to one of the stacks.An NB Power spokesperson tells CHSJ News, the breaching is essentially an exhaust pipe, and the work is a safety precaution. No word on how long work will continue for.

Meanwhile, Emera Inc tells us the sale of the site to them from Irving will not be finalized until the end of the year.

Stadium Getting Federal Funds

(Saint John M-P Rodney Weston will officially announced federal funds for Canada Games Stadium today - file photo)

There will be smiles this morning as Saint John M-P Rodney Weston officially announces 1.4-million dollars in federal funds for the upgrade of the Canada Games Stadium. The news conference is being held at the Stadium beginning at ten -- meantime -- still no word from Fredericton on provincial funds. The city -- private sector -- and -- U-N-B-S-J are all onboard with funding to help with the six million dollar project. The stadium and track will be home to the Acadien Games next summer.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Clean Air Coalition Says It's A Good Start

Gordon Dalzell with the Clean Air Coalition tells CHSJ News, the funding from the Environmental Trust Fund is a good start, but there is still more to be done.Dalzell says advocacy groups need to start seeing some funding, because there is only so much that can be done on a volunteer basis.
Dalzell says he thinks the funding is great news, especially the projects that relate to renewable resources.

Citys Image Becoming Greener

[Mayor Ivan Court---Photo by Dave Briggs]

Mayor Ivan Court says this funding for environmentally friendly projects is helping change the citys image.
Court says the image of city continues to change each day, and says the last two generations of residents recognize mistakes made in the past, and it's time to learn from those errors.He says the funding from the Environmental Trust Fund will greatly help the greater Saint John area become more green.

24 Environmentally Friendly Saint John Projects Getting Funding

[Environment Minister Rick Miles----Photo by Dave Briggs]

The provincial government is taking over half a million dollars from the Environmental Trust Fund for 24 projects in the greater Saint John region.Environment Minister Rick Miles says the projects not only benefit the environment, but will boost the economy.
Miles says the projects being funded will create jobs throughout the Saint John region.
$54 thousand dollars will be going to the Fundy Region Solid Waste Commission for it's waste reduction projects in schools, and $40 thousand is going to the restoration of the Kennebcasis River.

Money for the City market

Ottawa and City Hall are each putting in $25,000 dollars for a study on the City Market. This is phase one of a multi-tiered project to look into some renovation work needed. Amy Poffenroth is Deputy Commissioner of Buildings and Inspections Services and tells CHSJ News, this will give them some expert advice on work needed on several projects in the building including the exterior and tower portion.

Poffenroth says a final report should be in place by the winter.

Cash for St. Andrews

St. Andrews has received Federal and Provincial cash to make upgrades to it's waste-water treatment plant. It's just over $976,000 each towards the total eligible cost of the project with the town contributing the balance. The plant, located on Prince of Wales Street, is over 25 years old with outdated equipment and reaching capacity.

Improvements will create a modern plant capable of meeting the Town’s current and future treatment needs. No word on what the total cost of the project is or when work will get started.

Landfill Making Hay With Gas

(Provincial Environment Minister Rick Miles announcing provincial funds for landfill gas project - photo by Gary MacDonald)
The Crane Mountain Landfill is making some history -- officials say it's the first in North America to capture methane gas - produced by decomposing garbage - and use it to generate electricity to power the site. General Manager Marc MacLeod tells CHSJ News excess electricity will be sold to Saint John Energy to help generate revenue which in turn will eventually reduce tipping fees and help with expansion of various programs.Saint John Energy president Eric Marr says the electricity purchased from the landfill will power between 300 and 400 homes per year.The provincial government is contributing 1.75-million dollars to help with the five million dollar total cost of the project.

South Central Peninsula Parking Changes a Success

The results are in ----- residents in the South Central Peninsula like the changes made to parking.Dave Hardy with Hardy Stevenson and Associates says the general feedback received from public forums was people like the opposite side of the street parking.Hardy says emergency vehicles are finding streets easier to manoeuvre now compared to the study done in 2001.
Hardy says residents concerns remain on snow removal. He says people are still confused by snow bans, and think the snow will be removed rather than pushed aside.

Where is the Ferries Report

Residents who use the Gagetown, Hampstead and Bellisle ferries are asking the question....""What does the Future Hold for the Vessels?"" Former MLA Eric Allaby is leading a committee working on a final report with recommendations for the Department of Transportation. The report was supposed to be finalized by the end of last month, but still no word on when it will surface. Our news-room has left messages for Allaby and have yet to hear back.

A call to the Department of Transportation and it's spokes-person says they like residents, continue to wait to get a look at the document before any final decisions are made about the future of the vessels. Residents in the affected area's of the ferries held rallies and protested the Legislature to have the decision to scrap the vessels reversed back in the spring.

Update on Construction of Shannex Complex

The look at the end of Millenium Drive continues to take on a new shape. Construction of phase one of the Shannex Complex continues to make steady progress with a completion date set for next summer. How-ever, the retirement living building and nursing home is on target for completion this winter. Site General Manager John Campbell tells CHSJ News, with construction of this size, timing is always a tough thing to predict.

Campbell adds they have increased the crews on the site to get the buildings ""groove tight"" before the colder weather hits.

Rock Thrown at Vehicle

A close call for one driver on Highway One last night. Sussex RCMP were called to an over-pass near Penobsquis just before midnight to find a vehicle had been hit with a boulder.

The driver wasn't hurt and officer's continue to search for who threw the rock.

Missing Boat Found

If you own a boat and can't find might want to give RCMP in Grand Bay Westfield a call. Officers found a 12' aluminum boat abandoned 100 meters south of the Brundage Point ferry landing yesterday morning.

Sargeant Gary Fournier tells CHSJ News, they are not dealing a with a missing person and just want to get the boat back to it's rightful owner. You can get in touch with them at 757-1020.

Quispamsis Town Council Meets Tonight

Work on the Quispamsis water system will be up for discussion during tonight's town council meeting. More residents will be getting town water if the next phase of an expansion plan is approved. The expansion would include homes on Autumn Avenue and Summer Court. If the third phase of the project is approved, Dillon Consulting LTD will compile information needed to put the job to tender.

Also on tonight's agenda is a request by Shannex New Brunswick for a land rezoning. The retirement facility needs land rezoned for parking, pedestrian access and landscaped areas. The meeting gets started tonight at 7pm.