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Monday, July 11, 2011

Richard Oland's Death A Homicide

The suspicious death of Richard Oland last Thursday is now a homicide investigation -- that from Police Chief Bill Reid.

He says the evidence and information from the autopsy indicate foul play.

Police not releasing the cause of death or if they are close to making any arrests.

However, Reid suggests that Oland and the perpetrator did know each other and neither the public or the Oland family are in any danger.

The body of the 69 year old Oland was found last Thursday morning in his Canterbury Street office.

Oland Death A Homicide

Saint John police now confirm the death of businessman Richard Oland is a homicide investigation.
Police also say Oland and his assailant probably knew each other.

Suspicious Fires Being Investigated In Sussex Area

Several suspicious fires taking place Sunday at a property in Penobsquis.

When the RCMP arrived shortly after 2:30 in the afternoon, they found a building and three tractor trailers were ablaze but no one was around and there are no reports of anyone being injured.

The Mounties in Sussex are appealing for anyone with information about how these fires were set or who may have seen anything suspicious taking place in the area is being asked to contact the Sussex detachment or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

City Wants To Recognise Property Owners Who Fix Up Their Buildings

The city wants to give an extra incentive when it comes to getting property owners to fix up their vacant or derelict buildings.

The city is planning to create an Annual Rehabilitation/Renovation Award and Councillor Peter McGuire tells CHSJ News it would be great to recognize those who better our neighbourhoods.

McGuire says fixing up a building can have a profound effect on a neighbourhood, like the recent revamp which took place on Adelaide Street.

There are about about 120 vacant buildings in the city and Common Council recently was given the ability to raze abandoned buildings if they remain empty for too long.

No Threat To Residents From Railway Fire

It was a scary situation for a while at a blaze off the Gault Road near Bay Street after thousands of railway ties were set on fire sending flames high into the air. 24 thousand railway ties were being stored on the site. Acting Fire Chief Mark Gillan tells CHSJ News the railway ties had been soaked in cresote which was a major concern when burning.
The provincial environment department was also notified over concern about what might be in the runoff. Foam was spread over the railway ties to help bring the blaze under control.

Environment Minister Margaret-Ann Blaney says her staff has been at the site of the blaze since last night.

She says wind conditions were favourable in keeping the fumes away from nearby residents.

City Police are investigating as well as the fire department because it's believed arson was likely the cause. Police telling us an earlier fire which destroyed a two storey garage at 117 Glen Road was deliberately set and they have a possible suspect

Medical Society Urging Primary Healthcare Reform

A new survey on the experiences of people in the province with health care comes as no surprise to the New Brunswick Medical Society.

People by and large are satisfied with the care they get from their family doctors but when they have an urgent problem, only 30 per cent say they can get an appointment on the same day or even the next.

 Medical Society President Dr. Allison Kennedy tells CHSJ News there should be a change in the way primary care is delivered with a more collaborative approach in patient care involving several health care professionals and we need to recruit more doctors.

The survey also finds 29 per cent of people in the province suffering from 3 or more chronic conditions never talk to anyone in health care about what they can do to make their lives better.

Dr. Kennedy maintains medical school grads like the idea of a more collaborative approach to treating patients so changing the system might get us more family doctors.

Workers In Daycare And Senior Care Say They Need More Money

The people who look after your children in daycare are still waiting to find out if they'll be paid more than just the minimum wage.

Vallie Stearns, who chairs the provincial Coalition for Pay Equity, tells CHSJ News this is the time when the rubber hits the road for the Alward Government in its desire to significantly increase the number of daycare spaces over the next four years. She argues more money will have to be paid to those workers in daycare.

Home support workers, who look after seniors in their homes, are also waiting to see if they'll be paid more. Stearns warns if you don't have enough home care workers with an aging population, the alternatives are to build more nursing homes or house the seniors in hospital beds which is far more expensive proposition and less efficient use of taxpayer dollars.

New Home Construction Remains Sluggish

Housing starts in the greater Saint John area remain behind last year's levels.

The latest survey from Canada Mortgage and Housing shows new home construction off by 40-percent in the first half of this year compared to the same period last year -- the survey is also showing new construction lagging in Fredericton and Moncton as well.

Meantime -- the Canadian Real Estate Association is forecasting zero growth in existing home sales across the province this year.

Two Serious Fires In City Likely Arson

A couple of major fires in the city last night were deliberately set. Acting District Chief Mark Wilson says the first one broke out at 117 Glen Road in a two storey, three bay garage which was totally destroyed.

There was heat damage to the outside of the adjacent home. City Police tell us they have a possible suspect.

Then after 11:00, there was another fire set to a large pile of 20 thousand railway ties off the Gault Road in the vicinity of Bay Street. Fire Chief Mark Gillan says ten thousand of those railway ties were likely set alight.

There was concern about the air being contaminated from toxic smoke but Gillan says the direction of the wind this morning has helped. There are an estimated 25 homes are in the vicinity but a far distance away from where the fire is.

Fire crews were worried about the fire spreading to nearby woods and the provincvial environment department has been called because of concerns over the runoff from the creosote on the railway ties.

Valcourt Sees Change In How Parliament Works These Days For The Better

He's back........Bernard Valcourt is enjoying another go at federal politics 18 years after the first one.

The Madawaska-Restigouche MP elected to the Harper government after the Conservative's majority win in May.

Valcourt says this time round he sees public service employees taking more pride in their work.

He adds caucus members have more input now in the government's policy initiatives and MP's are more responsible with the public purse.

Politics is the family business, Valcourt's sister Martine Coulombe was elected last fall in the provincial vote as part of the Alward Government's majority.

City Police Expected To Release More Information on "Suspicious Death"

Police Chief Bill Reid may have more to say today about the suspicious death of prominent local business man Richard Oland.

The body of the 69 year old was found Thursday morning in his Canterbury Street office.

Sgt. Glen Hayward with the city police says a news conference is tentatively scheduled depending on what information came forward over the weekend and what can be publically released.

Visitation for Oland continues today at Brenan's Funeral home from 2 until 4 and from 6 until 8, with the funeral being held tomorrow at noon at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Rothesay.

In a news release sent yesterday, Oland's brother, Derek, who was in a remote part of Labrador last week and difficult to reach, says his family is saddened by the sudden death.

New Brunswick Youth Orchestra Gets International Recognition

The New Brunswick Youth Orchestra putting the province on the map with a win at an international music festival in Vienna, Austria.

Sixty-eight aspiring musicians spent the last two weeks overseas and brought home their division title with a score of "outstanding."

Viola player Thomas Littlewood tells CHSJ News they were the only Canadian orchestra competing at the festival and the members were over the moon when they learned about their win.

Littlewood says the orchestra began preparing for the festival last October, rehearsing almost daily on their own and coming together one weekend a month to practice together.
He adds winning a prize of this magnitude brings international recognition to both the country and the province.

Traffic Disruption Along Kennebecasis Drive

A traffic change to keep in mind for the rest of the summer. From now until September Kennebecasis Drive will be closed between Beach Crescent and Tucker Beach Road.

Crews will be replacing culverts and reconstructing parts of the roadway.

Drivers are advised to use Millidge Avenue to get to the western end of Kennebecasis Drive and Sandy Point Road to get to the eastern end.