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Friday, October 14, 2011

Province Says Funding Is There For Group Homes In City Slated For Closure

The Provincial Government is responding to claims that it's responsible for the impending closure of 3 group homes in the city. 

That charge being made by the Canadian Union of Public Employees which represents the workers. Not so, according to Judy Cole of Social Development. 

Cole says there are too many empty beds and the province won't subsidise beds that are empty but there has been no cut in funding.

CUPE says the province isn't making placements at the 3 group homes which are run by non-profit New Direction.

Cole says the government is optimistic it will be able to place the 13 people who live in the group homes elsewhere. 

Grand Manan Adventure Out Of Service

Engine trouble is why the Grand Manan Adventure is currently out of service.
Greg Ryder of Coastal Transport tells CHSJ News a specialist was flown in from Winnipeg to have a look at the engine.

He says they have ordered replacement parts which are due to arrive in Black's Harbour early next week and he expects the ferry to be back in service by mid to late next week.

In the meantime, the Grand Manan Five is handling all service runs between Black's Harbour and Grand Manan.

North End Food Drive Continues

They are doing well physically and about half way to the goal of filling a trailer full of food.
Passionate North enders Tammy Calvin and Andrea Richards are fasting until the trailer set in Lansdowne Plaza is packed with food.
Calvin tells CHSJ News students from Centennial School dropped off some food day.

She says the kids marched down together and every child brought a food donation with them.
As for going without food, Calvin says they are busy so aren't noticing being hungry as much.
You can drop off non-perishable food donations at the trailer in Lansdowne Plaza.

They are looking for:
·        Soups and can goods
·        Bread and rolls
·        Canned vegetables
.        Canned fruits
·        Rice, pasta, Kraft Dinner etc.
·        Cereal and oatmeal
·        Snack foods for children’s lunches
·        Baby foods, diapers and formula
·        Laundry soap, shampoo, body soaps, deodorant etc.
·        Crackers
·        Condiments – soya sauce, ketchup, mayo. etc.
·        Pancake mixes and syrups
·        Peanut butter, cheese whiz, jams etc.

New E-R At Regional Hospital Being Praised

The New Emergency Department at the Regional Hospital is now fully staffed and officials are pleased at how things are going.

The new Chief of Staff at the Regional, Dr. John Dornan calls it a real success story with 54 patient rooms and staffing up from 8 to 22.

The problem, according to Dr. Dornan, is finding them beds in the hospital after they've been treated in the E-R because so many are being used by patients waiting to go elsewhere, such as nursing homes, when the spaces open up.

Prince Edward Street Robbery Update

Two teens are being sought by City Police for the robbery of a woman just after 7 last night on Prince Edward Street by the mall. The woman was knocked to the ground and had her bag taken. The two suspects are described as white with slender builds with one being 5'6"to 5'8" in height and was wearing a hooded sweatshirt. 
The other is from 5"1" to 5'3" and was also wearing a hoodie. Police say they ran down Prince Edward Street before turning onto Richmond Street.
If you know who these guys are, police are urging you to call them at 648-3333 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477(TIPS).

Surgical Wait Times Get Shorter

The Regional Hospital is hoping to have 7 operating rooms utilised next year with the aim being to reduce the surgical wait times. Right now, they have six operating rooms being used. 

The Regional Hospital's Executive Director Margaret Melanson says the surgical wait times have improved but they still can be made shorter.
Another struggle is with acute care beds being used by patients who should be elsewhere but are stuck in hospitals because nursing home beds aren't available

The Horizon Health Network has been told, as of the end of September, 23 per cent of the beds in the Regional Hospitals are occupied by people who are essentially waiting to be moved to another setting for their care.

Robbery Near Prince Edward Square

The Major Crime Unit is investigating a robbery which was reported last night shortly after 7:00 on Prince Edward Street near the liquor store. 

We're told a woman was knocked to the ground and had her bag stolen by two men who then ran off. 

She sustained just minor injuries.

Horizon Health Network Has Balanced Budget

No talk of any layoffs as the Horizon Health Network meets in the city. 

In fact, Harry Doyle, who chairs the finance committee, says they have a 33 thousand dollar surplus as of the end of July. 

The Canadian Union of Public Employees had been expressing concern back in August of pending layoffs.  

As for layoffs in the future because of the provincial government's rising deficit, Doyle says that would be the last thing they want to do at Horizon and then there's always attrition when departing workers are not replaced.