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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

First Hospitalization Due to Swine Flu

The Health Department is confirming the first hospitalized case of the so called swine flu in the province.This is the seventh case of the H1N1 virus announced in two days.Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Van Buynder says they received confirmation that a woman in her 30's from northern New Brunswick is currently recovering in the hospital.The Health Department anticipated more severe cases would occur, and health care staff are prepared to respond appropriately.This brings the total number of cases in the province to 17.

Uptown Business Owner Reacts to Concrete Curbing

A business owner in Uptown Saint John says the citys decision to use concrete curb rather than granite curbing is hypocritical.Feel Good Store owner Anne McShane tells CHSJ News, shops need to adhere to Heritage rules when doing construction, and so should the city.
McShane says the cost saving argument doesn't really make sense, because granite lasts much longer than concrete.She says she would like to see uptown businesses revolt against the decision by adding neon signs, and vinyl windows to their shops, even though it's against the rules of Heritage buildings.

Injured Workers Advocates Seek Second Appeal Tribunal for Tammy Gray

[Injured Worker Tammy Gray at a News Conference on Wednesday- Photo By Diane Henry]

The story of Tammy Gray is once again being aired out in the media by advocates for the injured worker. The 37 year old has been left unable to walk on her own after a hospital cart fell on her while working at Fundy Linen in 2004. Worker advocate, Bob Davidson says WorkSafe NB is refusing to provide proper housing for the single parent that will allow her to safely move about her home.

The teary-eyed Gray says she has already fallen down three times in her current home on St. John Street breaking her shine bone, ankle and big toe. Davidson says he is requesting a second Appeal Tribunal and will be filing a complaint with Social Development Minister Kelly Lamrock and the Premier.

Local MLA Takes Aim at WorkSafe NB Officials

[Lancaster MLA Able LeBlanc at a News Conference Wednesday- Photo By Diane Henry]

Lancaster MLA Able LeBlanc is taking exception to what he calls the practice by WorkSafe NB to refer injured workers to the provincial welfare system in stead of providing housing for the disabled itself. LeBlanc says it is the financial responsibility of WorkSafe NB to provide services for injured workers, not taxpayers.

LeBlanc says the result is artificially low employer assessments and the President and CEO of WorkSafe NB is not doing his job. A court of appeal decision earlier this year sent the matter back to the commission partly because of LeBlanc's presence as an MLA at the tribunal.

Fight at Correctional Institution

A fight at the Atlantic Institution in Renous has sent one inmate to the hospital.Over the weekend two inmates were involved in a fight, and one inmates injuries are not believed to be serious.Correctional Service Canada will be reviewing the incident to determine what corrective measures to take.

Identity of Body in East Saint John Released

The identity of the body found in a creek in East Saint John last weekend is finally being released.The Major Crime Unit identified the man as Jaakko Lauri, who lived in the Moreland Trailer Park near where his body was found.Lauri was last seen on the 7th of June and was suffering from depression.No foul play is suspected after the body was found in a creek behind a strip mall last Saturday morning by River Valley Ground Search and Rescue.

Saint John Man Wants Market Square Re-named

Saint John resident John Campbell wants the Market Square park on the lower west side renamed in honour of the longshoreman. He tells CHSJ news they have done a lot for the community and are deserving of some recognition.

Acting City Manager Pat Woods says staff will have to do some research to determine the history behind the park name and if council is able to change the name of Market Square.

No Go for Granite Curb

The city has decided against using granite curbing for the Princess Street sidewalk repairs. City staff say the lower cost of concrete curbing will save about 235 thousand dollars which can be used for other reconstruction projects. Staff also say granite would cost more for ongoing repair and maintenance work.

Both Uptown Saint John and city resident Donna Reardon sent letters to Council in May from asking the City reconsider the decision to use concrete curb as opposed to granite curb.

Drunk Driving Charges Up 37 Per Cent

The Saint John Police Force has been cracking down on drug impaired driving in the past few months, and for good reason. Half of the front line officers on the Saint John Police Force have been trained in a new Drug Recognition Expertise program. An officer with the program says this means Saint John will have one of the only forces in the country with all front line officers trained in Drug Recognition.

Since the training, drunk driving charges are up 37 per cent. Program training is expected to be complete by the end of the fall.

Fire Crews Deal with Tractor Trailer Problems Last Night

A couple of tractor trailers keeping emergency crews busy last night. At around 6:20 in the evening fire crews were called to 125 St. John Street where a tractor trailer carrying large equipment to the Digby ferry pulled down a cable and phone line. Saint John Energy has since fixed the problem.

Then about 10 minutes later, crews were called to highway 7 near Grand Bay Westfield where a tractor trailer was leaking fuel all over the road. Apparently the truck's drive shaft punctured the fuel tank on both sides and crews spent nearly two hours cleaning up the mess. A plugging compound was used to stop the leak and the Department of Environment was called in. No streams were contaminated.

News Cases of H1N1 Virus

The number of people with the H1N1 virus in the province has climbed to 16 with six new cases being reported. Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eilish Cleary, says a Fredericton-area man; A man and woman from northern New Brunswick; and two women and a man from the Moncton area, have all contracted the so-called swine flu. They range in age from their 20's to their 40's and there is no word on how they may have caught the virus.

Information on the severity of these six new cases is expected later this week.

Police Budget Showing a Surplus

The 2009 police operating budget is looking good after the first fiscal reporting period. The 2008 budget was in a deficit of over 900 thousand dollars, but so far this year there is a surplus of over 70 thousand. Police Chief Bill Reid says sometimes you have to review what happened the year before, and try and remedy the situation.

Reid says the perfect storm of 2008 is over, where one costly event came after another, whether it be expensive investigations, or the increase in fuel costs. Reid says the budget is subject to situations out of his control---but things are looking very good so far this year.