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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

More Methadone For Saint John?



A steering committee is in place and a decision on whether or not Health Minister Mike Murphy is on board with expanding methodone treatment programs in the city is near. Police Chief Bill Reid says another meeting with the minister is in order, but he is optimistic about the decision and expanding addiction programs in the city is necessary.

Murphy has said previously that drugs are a major concern throughout the province, but specifically in Saint John because addiction affects the public image of the city.

Working with City Police



Students and workers at the Centre for Criminal Justice Studies at UNB Saint John will be working with city police to help try and reduce the amount of criminal activity in the city. The director is Dr. Mary Ann Campbell who says through research, information can be used to help prevent criminals from re offending.

Campbell says the public often only hears about criminals who re offend, not those who benefit from treatment. A future goal for the Centre for Criminal Justice Studies is to provide professional workshops to help police deal with criminals who offend because of mental issues.

New Waste Water Facility Moves Ahead



Expect to see some activity in the Red head Road Area in the coming weeks. Pomerloe Incorporated from Dartmouth will get started with construction of the new Eastern Waste Water treatment Facility, set up near the existing Hazen Creek plant off the Red Head Road. Brian Keenan is with Saint John Water and tells CHSJ News, environmental concerns have been factored in with work so close to the Red Head Marsh.

When construction of the facility gets started the first week of May, crews will begin construction of 20 pumping stations that will re-direct waste-water to the new facility. The $51.8 million dollar project should be finished in two and half years.



Seniors Club Want Their Opinion Heard



The Kennebecasis Seniors Club wants to make sure it's needs are not being lost in this process. Currently using space at St. Davids Church, things are getting crowded for their needs as they share space with a day-care and badminton club. Elaine Bacon tells CHSJ News, more ice time, basketball courts and a place for people to get exercise is great but they want to make their voice heard.

Bacon loves the idea of a multi-purpose field house as long as space is made available for their club. 


Open House at Rothesay Town Hall



By the third week of June, we should have a better indication where the Town of Rothesay plans to invest some tax-payers dollars. An open house was held at the Town Hall last night to get feed back from residents on what their Recreation Master Plan should include....... a multi-purpose field house, new rink, new trails or something else? ADI Architecture is putting together the final report and tells CHSJ News, all municipalities are facing recreational issues.

A draft of the report should be finished by the third week of June. 

Feedback on City Website



Your opinion is in high demand--- the city is looking for residents to speak up on what they want to see available online. Most specifically they want your three top wishes, a public meeting was held last night and despite a poor turnout Deputy City Manager Andrew Beckett tells CHSJ News there will be more attempts made to get the public involved.

Beckett says they will consider using focus groups to analyze the website upgrades. If you want to have your say you can check out the survey by going to our website at


President of NB Liquor to face Conflict of Interest Hearing



A conflict of interest hearing is being held for the President & CEO of NB Liquor for allegedly breaching the province’s Conflict of Interest Act. Dana Clendenning was appointed President and CEO of the province’s Crown Corporation just days after Premier Shawn Graham was elected Premier in 2006.

Before that Clendenning became involved with Fredericton businessman Barry O’Donnell and offered to lobby for funding to help grow and support O’Donnell’s call centre business. O’Donnell says he received invoices for services rendered by Clendenning’s consulting company until April 2007. Under the Conflict of Interest Act, those employed as heads of crown corporations are not permitted to carry on other business.  The hearing for Clendenning is scheduled for June 4th.

Wife of Man Wrongfully Convicted of Murder Seeks Provincial Compensation



The wife of a man wrongfully convicted of murder in 1975 is seeking compensation from the provincial government. Angela Walsh walked with UNB law students today to the provincial legislature to ask the government to table the petition in support of her husband, Erin Walsh.

Walsh, now 60 years old, was acquitted on March 14th of last year by the New Brunswick Court of Appeal in the Saint John murder of Melvin (Chi Chi) Peters. This after new evidence surfaced in 2005. Acting Justice Minister, Greg Byrne, and Premier Shawn Graham both refused to table the petition and would not speak to the law students during the daily legislative sitting. Opposition critic Tony Huntjens agreed to offer the petition into the official record.

Enterprise Saint John Focuses on Workforce Expansion



Enterprise Saint John is hoping to break the disconnect between employers and potential employees in the city. CEO Steve Carson says they are are focusing on workforce expansion and connecting young people with opportunities.

Carson says they want to get information from employers about their needs today, six months from now and two years from now, so that students can move in the right direction. He says they have already recruited an executive director and volunteers to lead the initiative.

MLA Looks for Solution to Flooding



The MLA for Charlotte-The Isles wants to work with JD Irving to come up with a solution to flooding problems along the Magaguadavic River and Lake Utopia. Rick Doucet tells CHSJ news rising water levels have been a problem for many years and he has received several calls again this year.

Doucet says he believes there is a better way of controlling the water without flooding people's properties and homes. He says it's a great opportunity to clear the air between residents and JD Irving.

Hospice Gets $25,000 for New Project



Money from the federal New Horizons for Seniors Program is going toward a new fundraising idea by Hospice of Saint John. The non-profit organization plans to open a thrift store run by volunteers, selling donated items. MP Rodney Weston made the announcement today and tells CHSJ news he has been working with Hospice to identify where money is needed.

Vice-chair of the Hospice board of directors, Cathy Connolly tells us the funding will help with the research and administrative costs of setting up the thrift store which could generate up to $150,000 in revenue for Hospice. Connolly says they are currently considering locations on both the West and East side of the city.

Wind Power Report



Wind power continues to be locked into the radar of the Department of Energy. It has released it's report on the best practices for model wind turbine provisions. It will act as a resource for local governments concerning wind energy projects and will provide guidance for future zoning and the issuing of permits for wind farms throughout the province.

The report provides a summary of best practices from around the world in choosing sites for wind farms. It addresses public concerns relating to their development, including noise, visual effects, and interference with telecommunications. The Kent Hills Wind Farm has been operating since January with construction on several more continuing around the Province.

Recreation Master Plan Meeting



Still on the subject of the Recreation Master Plan for Rothesay, your invited to an open house to discuss the proposal today between 4-8 o'clock. Town Officials and representatives from A.D.I. Architecture will be on hand to discuss what they have so far and get all of your input before finalizing the report next month.

All sports leagues are looking to state their case about what sports facility needs to be constructed with-in the town to meet the most urgent need. The open house is at the Town Hall.

Rothesay Applies to Borrow Money



Town officials in Rothesay are planning for the future. They have applied for the authority to borrow three million dollars over 15 years for possible renovations to their arena. Mayor Bill Bishop tells CHSJ News, it's no mystery the building needs some work but this is just to make sure the money will be there if and when they might need it.

Bishop adds once the Recreation Master plan is complete, then they will know which direction they will go in. That report is scheduled to be finished by the middle or end of next month. 

Traffic Study Report Request



If your daily commute takes you along Campbell Drive and Highway 111, there is no need to remind you about some of the traffic chaos which has and continues to unfold in the area. According to Rothesay Regional Police, there have been 117 accidents in this area since 2004 and the Deputy Mayor of Rothesay is requesting a traffic study of the area. Blair MacDonald tells CHSJ News, he is sure something can be done.

The Town will send their request to the Transportation Department in the coming days. 

Blood Task Force Gathering Information



The Task Force set up to keep Canadian Blood Services Distribution Center in Saint John held it's first meeting with stakeholders last night. Health Department Officials met with the four members of the Legislature which includes Rothesay Conservative Margaret Ann Blaney who tells CHSJ News, it was to get a wider understanding of what the distribution center means to all levels of health care.

Blaney says the next move for the Task Force is to meet with medical health professionals and then officials from CBS as they continue to build their case. 


Raids Against the Hells Angels



Members of the Hells Angels are feeling the sting of the RCMP in this Province and Quebec. it a joint operation aimed at disrupting the criminal activities of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club in both provinces. Things got started early this morning with numerous search warrants being executed. Officers are proceeding with the seizure of a commercial business in the northwestern half of the Province.

There have been numerous arrests so far and charges include conspiracy to commit murder, murder, trafficking in controlled substance and gangsterism.

Roll Up the Rim Winner



If you've been wondering if anyone from Saint John has grabbed one of the grand prizes in this years Roll Up the Rim to win contest......wonder no more. Michael Robichaud will pick up his 2009 Toyota Venza later this morning.

Robichaud bought his winning coffee at the MCallister Drive Tim Hortons and that is where he will be presented the keys to his new vehicle this morning at eleven o'clock.

Property Fight Continues in Rothesay



The future use of a piece of property in Rothesay continues to un-fold. 37 Gondola Point has sat vacant for years and there is now environmental concerns after a large oil spill back in 2002. The property falls under a Heritage Designation and this is where things get complicated. The Heritage Board wants the property advertised at fair market value, which they feel is around $200,000 dollars before giving permission to bring in the wreckers ball. The owner wants to list the property for over one million dollars. Mayor Bill Bishop tells CHSJ News, the power given to the Heritage Board is to preserve the Town's past.

The Environment Department has given the owners three months to clean the property up. The owner, Steve Murphy was at last night's council meeting but declined to speak with us saying now would not be a good time for him to say something he might regret. 


Another Fire in the Uptown



An all too familiar call of late for City Fire Crews last night . Another house fire, this time in the uptown at 53 Albert Street. Crews arrived at 7:30pm to find smoke and flames coming from the building where the fire started in the bedroom of an apartment in the back.

All 12 people in the building got out safely and have been put up by the Red Cross or are staying with family and friends. No word yet on how the fire started but the bottom half of the building has been heavily damaged. 

City's Winter Management Plan May Need Tweaking



The city's winter management plan continues to be a work in progress. City councilors poked holes through the Commissioner of Municipal Operations' proposed snow-clearing plan last night. Among other things, Paul Groody is suggesting the city ban overnight on-street parking during the winter for most of the city. That means some uptown residents may have to park one street away from where they live. This has the ire up of councilor Donnie Snook who lives uptown.

Groody says the solution is adequate off-street parking. Groody says the city needs to significantly reduce the number of vehicles on the streets during snow storms if people want good quality service. He is also recommending council keep a contingency snow-clearing fund every year, and increase by-law enforcement against people dumping snow on sidewalks. Council has referred their questions about the plan to the city manager.

The Late Esmonde Barry Recieves Posthumous Honour



The late Esmonde Barry has been awarded posthumously for his work to improve seniors' health care. The Coalition for Seniors and Nursing Home Residents' Rights presented the award to his wife Maureen during last night's council meeting. Mayor Ivan Court says his contributions to health care will live on forever.

Barry formed the coalition in 2004 to bring justice to seniors.