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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.