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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Highway One Near St. George Is Under Water

A travel note for you this afternoon.
The Department of Transportation advising drivers that water is covering Route 1 at the Manor Road in the St George area.
The highway remains open, but motorists are asked to be very careful.

Motorists travelling west are encouraged to divert to Route 7 and then to Route 2 to enter the United States.

Premier Views Damage In Charlotte County

Premier David Alward says his government is discussing with Ottawa the possibility of financial assistance for people affected by flooding.

Alward saw first-hand some of the damage the flooding caused in the St. Stephen area.
People in the province are contending with dropping temperatures today as emergency officials work to stem the overflow of rivers after days of rain.  Temperatures in some regions have fallen below the freezing mark.
Karl Wilmot, a spokesman for New Brunswick's Emergency Measures Organization, says the change in weather is a mixed blessing.    He says it will slow the possible overflow of water, but it's going to be a problem for homeowners with drenched basements.

Rising Waters Close US Crossing At Milltown

The Milltown bridge is closed due to the rising water level of the St. Croix River.
US Customs in Milltown is closed due to the rising water level while the Canadian customs remains open.

St. Stephen Residents Can Report Water Damage

Residents of St. Stephen experiencing water damage from flooding have some recourse with the Province.
Homeowners can report damage or create a work order for a home inspection which will register them for the Disaster Financial Assistance Program.
It's expected word on that will be coming soon from the province.
To report water damage, call Service New Brunswick at 1-888-298-8555 or click here

Direction Set for Former Paramount Theatre Location

Uptown Saint John has set its sights on turning the former Paramount Theatre into a multi-purpose performance venue.

That conclusion after consultations with the public and various stakeholders.

President of Uptown Saint John Matt Alexander tells CHSJ News he's confident he can get funding from the government to help out with the 3.6 million dollar price tag.

He says if government contributes, the rest of the money will be raised through a capital campaign.

Common Councillor Speaks Out On Raise Given To Enterprise Saint John GM

Common Councillor Bruce Court is fit to be tied over the General Manager of Enterprise Saint John Steve Carson receiving a 21 thousand dollar raise.

Court is angry because the city is trying to cope with a shortfall as it tries to put together next year's budget and not raise the tax rate. He points out there is a wage freeze in effect for city hall management and some municipal unions.

Court tells CHSJ News he wants to see Enterprise Saint John get less money next year from the city.

Charlotte County EMO Officials Urge Those Under Flood Threat To Leave

The EMO spokesperson for Charlotte County says the situation worsened overnight. Darren McCabe says the flood threat is high for anyone living near Elmsville, Bonney River, Second Falls and into St. George because of rising water levels on the Magaguadavic River.
He says if home owners feel threatened or are flooded and can get out, EMO officials are recommending that they leave and head to the reception centre.

Charlotte the Isles MLA Rick Doucet says Cooke Aquaculture is one of many unsung heroes who took part is water rescues yesterday.
He says people were clinging to the sides of the homes in Bonney River and the company sent out boats rescueing about 40 people.
The Reception centre in St. George is set up at the Family Worship Centre at 89 Mount Pleasant Road in St. George. To reach them, call 467-5287, 755-3759.

Saint John High Helps Family Who Lost Everything In House Fire

A fundraiser is taking place over the next few days at Saint John High to help out a students whose family lost everything after two separate fires on the same day last week destroyed their home on Broadway Avenue. Teacher Angie Cameron tells CHSJ News they're hoping to raise something like 25 hundred dollars for the family who suffered a devastating loss at the worst possible time of the year.

If the teachers raise more money, the students will have to dress up anyway the teachers want but if the students raise more, some of the teachers will have their heads shaved.

Moncton Man Wins Dream House Draw

David Jardine of Moncton is the winner of the dream home in the Saint John Regional Hospital Foundation's Home Lottery.  Jardine works as a dishwasher and he tells CHSJ News he had a good feeling when he bought his ticket.

Meanwhile, Alison Aiton of Fredericton winning 153-thousand dollars in the 50/50 draw. She says the first person she told was her sister. The lottery raising about 700 thousand dollars. It will be split among the Regional Hospital, the New Brunswick Heart Centre, and Mindcare New Brunswick.

Operation Christmas Rolls Along

Hampton RCMP conducting check stops as part of Operation Christmas focusing on impaired driving, seat belts and speeding.

300 vehiches were checked over the last few days and several violation tickets and warning issued to drivers but, no incidents of drunk driving.
District 3 RCMP will continue the check stops over the next few weeks hoping to make the Holiday season safer for everyone.

EMO Officials Fearful About Water Levels Along The St. John River

Emergency Measures officials in Fredericton are casting a wary eye on the St. John River for the possibility of more flooding. Spokesman Karl Wilmot says the high water levels are now making their way downstream.

Wilmot says they are seeing a slight decline in water levels in Fredericton but, he says there will be an increase downtstream.  He adds the problem is the water only has one outlet which is the Reversing Falls in Saint John. St. John river began spilling over its banks in some low-lying areas yesterday after a storm that brought heavy rain.

Two People Saved From Drowning Just In The Nick Of Time

The Red Cross is reporting a dramatic rescue last night in Bonny River not far from the fire hall which was being used as a shelter for people who had to be evacuated from their homes because of flooding.

A man and woman were in a car when the daughter of a Red Cross volunteer, Jennifer Sharkey, who's a paramedic, noticed their lights had disappeared from view.

The car had gone into the water and the two were on top of their vehicle screaming for help as it was being swept downstream. A boat, owned by Rodney Cooke, was launched and they were pulled to safety.

NB Power reports there are still more than 400 homes and businesses without electricity this morning with most being in Sussex and Bathurst.
All mainland schools in District 10 will be closed today because of road conditions.
On the advice of the Department of Transportation, the schools will remain closed because of washed out roads and blocked bridges.

The island schools (Grand Manan, Deer Island and Campobello) will be open today.

Hospital Home Lottery Winners Drawn

The big home in Millidgeville on Anchorage Avenue valued at something like 750 thousand dollars was the first price in the Hospital Home Lottery for the Regional Hospital and it was won by a Moncton man, David Jardine. The 50/50 cash prize of more than 153 thousand dollars was won by Alison Aiton of Fredericton. Judianne Luck of Saint John won either the 2011 Toyota Tacoma or 2011 Toyota 4Runner.

Mayor Says Frontier Centre's Criticism Of City For Lack Of Transparency Is Off Base

Mayor Ivan Court is dismissing a report from the Frontier Centre for Public Policy that Saint John is the least transparent city in Canada.

The Centre charges the city did not make its 2009 audited financial statements public but Court tells CHSJ News it is simply not the case because all the information was available online.

Premier Alward Has Not Heard From City On Pension Changes

Premier Alward says he hasn't been contacted directly about the city's pension woes.

In an interview with CHSJ News, the Premier says he can't really make a comment until he's been briefed on any request for changes to provincial pension legislation but some preliminary talks could be underway at the departmental level.

The city wants changes to provincial pension legislation to relieve some of its financial obligations to the civic pension fund's huge deficit which would include deferring contributions for a year.