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Friday, April 8, 2011

Saint John Man Wins Big Prize

If you're happy when you win a free coffee or donut from the Roll Up The Rim To Win contest at Tim Hortons, then imagine what Bernard Desmond Junior is feeling.

The Saint John man has won a 2011 Toyota Matrix, one of forty grand prizes being given out in the contest.

He will be getting the keys to his new ride in a ceremony on Tuesday.

Beds Being Reserved For Surgery Patients

The Saint John Regional Hospital is setting aside 85 to 95 beds strictly for post-op patients in an effort to cut down surgery wait times.

Executive Director of the Regional Hospital Margaret Melanson tells CHSJ News it's the first step to addressing what has been a serious issue for doctors.

A big reason for the slowdown is the high number of acute long care patients taking up beds.

She says for now, about 20 of those reserved beds will be allowed for ALEC patients if the need arises.

Eventually, only surgery patients will make use of the beds.

Crews Begin To Unwrap Seniors Complex

Some good news for seniors living in the subsidized apartment complex at Market Square -- crews are beginning to remove the plastic wrap that has enveloped the building since last fall.

The building has been wrapped to allow major upgrade work to continue through the winter months -- but -- some seniors began to complain about the lack of fresh air and view.

Social Development Minister Sue Stultz paid a visit to the complex last night to get a first hand glimpse of the situation.

Crews ran into some unforeseen structural problems and the job is now expected to be completed by early summer at a cost of just over 5-million dollars -- about 700-thousand over the original budget.

New Housing Starts Sluggish

It's a soft start to the year for new home builders in the greater Saint John area -- a new report from Canada Mortgage and Housing shows the number of new homes started up to the end of March down by almost 65-percent compared to last year.

Fredericton's starts are down by 50-percent this year while Moncton has been hit the hardest with new home construction off by almost 88-percent compared to a year ago.

City Wants More Flexibility

Common council expressing it's frustration with the lack of power they have to govern their own affairs.

They're seeking more legislative freedom to tackle key issues like fire service or handling derelict buildings.

Mayor Ivan Court says the lack of flexibility is hindering progress, like taking 5 to 10 years to get legislation changed to tear a building down.

The city, along with other municipalities in the province, have already approached the province about having more control but council plans on making their case again to the Minister of Local Government.

The Dogs Are Taking Victoriaville Seriously

With the sadness of not getting the Memorial Cup still lingering, The Saint John Sea Dogs are looking forward to round 2 of the playoffs and the race for the President's Cup.

President Wayne Long tells CHSJ News no one is underestimating Victoriaville as a team.
He calls them a great team that gave Bathurst a surprise beating them in four straight.

He says this series will be a great challenge for them, adding any team that makes it to the final 8 is a very good club. Game 1 goes tonight wth the Dogs hosting Victoriaville at Harbour Station. The puck drops at 7:30.

The Jobless Dips In The Port City And In The Province Last Month

It's a better job story in Saint John and in the Province today.
Provincially the jobless rate went down from 9.8 per cent in February to 9.6 per cent in March.  Here in Saint John, it fell from 6.6 per cent in February to 6.4 per cent last month.
Across the country, the unemployment rate fell one-tenth of a point to 7.7 from 7.8 per cent.

PRO Kids "Fun"raising Dinner Features Millrats Coach

Hundreds on hand at the Delta Hotel last night for the annual PRO Kids "fun" raising dinner.

The organization that places kids in positive recreation activites honouring Bobby Hayes of the Joshua Group for being a champion of change.
The two groups have a history of working together.

Saint John Mill Rats coach Jaren Jackson gave a speech highlighting his career in basketball and coaching and drawing attention to programs like PRO Kids offer kids who may be at risk a safe place to make friends, learn which sports they love and build confidence for the future.Jackson also announcing last night the Millrats will play a Japanese basketball team April 24th at Harbour Station in a fundraiser for relief efforts following the earthquake and tsunami last month.

You can still vote for PRO Kids to win $10,000 as part of the Irving Oil Challenge Cup.
To vote click here