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Thursday, November 3, 2011

NB Power Working To Restore Power

A transmission outage at the heart of why the lights are out for about 1200 people in the province.

It's tough to make dinner in Brown's Flat, Grand Bay-Westfield, Oak Point and Nerepis but, NB Power's Melissa Morton says crews are working to get the lights back on.

She tells CHSJ News they are looking into the cause of the outage.

Liberals Troubled By Growing Deficit

Oppositon Finance Critic Donald Arseneault says the province still doesn't have a plan on how to manage our finances -- this in the wake of a second quarter report that now projects the province's deficit for 2011-2012 to be almost 546 (m) million dollars.
 
Arseneault tells CHSJ News simply cutting department expenses wasn't enough and the province needs to focus on bringing in revenue by taking the economy off the backburner.

As far as the possibility of taxes going up, he says the province needs to stop downloading the debt onto the taxpayer.

Lights Out For 2000 in Grand Bay-Westfield and Woodstock

The high winds might be too blame for the lack of electricity currently being experienced by over 2000 people in the Province.

NB Power Customers in Lower Greenwich, Grand Bay-Westfield and Brown's Flat are without power today.

Our newsroom placing a call to the utility to see why the light are out.

Province Seeking Feedback On Minimum Wage And Prescription Drugs

The provincial government is looking for public feedback on two major topics that could effect households across the province.

A six-week consultation process on the possible introduction of a special minimum wage for servers earning tips is underway and the province wants your thoughts on the issue.

Ontario, Qu├ębec, British Columbia and Alberta have a tip differential minimum wage in place that is lower than the regular minimum wage.

Also, the government is proposing to increase the co-payment ceiling for seniors covered by province's Prescription Drug Plan to $500 per year from the current $250 per year. The amount paid for each prescription would remain unchanged at $9.05.

The province says the change would affect less than 24-thousand seniors and would save the province 3 million dollars per year.

To send your feedback to the province, go to www.gnb.ca/consultations or www.gnb.ca/health.

Tim Horton's Fire In East Saint John

Fire crews taking care of an electrical fire at the Tim Horton's on McAllister Drive.

District Fire Chief Peter Saab tells CHSJ News the call came in around noon and began in the electrical room at the back of the store where it was confined.

He says the fire was quickly put out and no one was hurt.

Horton's was closed for the rest of the day for repairs and to allow investigators look into what caused the fire.


And we have an update on what might have led to a pickup truck crashing into a home on Watson Street Wednesday night. The 53 year old driver died of natural causes which are believed to be responsible for the collision happening in the first place.

Shale Gas Opponents Not Surprised With Violation

Those who have been taking a stand against fracking and shale gas exploration in the province are not surprised by the latest developments in this controversial issue.

The province says Windsor Energy violated the Oil and Natural Gas Act by doing seismic testing in Sussex without the town's permission.

Chris Rendell is a member of Hampton Water First and he tell CHSJ News the incident will give us a taste of things to come if the industry gets off the ground.

He says we expect the same profit-centric reasoning when it comes to safety, water, and pollution issues.

Homeowners Looking For Ways To Lower Heating Costs

According to the consumer price index for the province, energy costs for the 12 months up until the end of August rose almost 15 per cent and now with the colder weather, we're starting to turn on the heat.

The manager of Alternatives Kathy Blair tells CHSJ News alot of people in this province make do with electric baseboard heating but you can add other sources to defray the cost with a wood or pellet stove and a heat pump can lower your heating costs by one-third but location with that is everything. It should be where you spend the most time. 

Blair says zone heating by using wood, wood pellets, gas or fireplaces is the most efficient because you only heat the rooms you use the most. 

She adds technological advances can now heat larger areas using less energy.

Simonds High and Brown's Flat Schools Closing Early

 Two regional schools are closing today, one due to a water problem and the other due to a power outage.

Simonds High is closing at 12:30 today due to a broken water line at the school.
Buses will arrive at that time to begin taking students home.

Brown's Flat School is closing at 1:00 due to a power outage in the area.
Buses will arrive at 1:00 to take the students home.

City Crews Responding To Fire Calls East and in Lorneville



Crews responding to a possible fire at the Tim Horton's at McAllister Drive.
Smoke is coming from an electrical room in the back  and they are evacuating.

Firefighters also responding to a peice of heavy equipment on fire at the old Maritime Hydroseed location in Lorneville.

Tories Aim To Cut 4 Million From Winter Costs

The Province aiming to chop about $4 million in winter maintenance costs.

The Department of Transportation is making six key changes to its winter maintenance program such as new private roads will not be plowed however, those private roads that the department is already clearing will be grandfathered.

The department will be reducing the number of snowplows by five per cent - which represents removing 21 old and inefficient units from service which are. expensive to maintain and are prone to break down.

The number of winter staff positions will be reduced, mainly through attrition, during the next two years, for estimated savings of $2.2 million.

The department will keep a close eye on the use of the road salt in accordance with provincial guidelines and they will ensure stricter adherence to designated service levels for roads.

For more information, click here

Provincial Deficit To Exceed 545 Million

The Alward government expects the provincial deficit to increase to more than 545 million due to a weakening economy.
That's an increase of $31.4 million from last quarter's projection.

Finance Minister Blaine Higgs says this province has not been insulated from the global market conditions including the impact of  Europe's debt crisis and the lowering of the U.S. credit rating.

He says revenues are projected to be $37 million lower than budgeted due to a weakened economy and projected decreases in personal income tax revenue, lower revenues from the NB Liquor and from the Lotteries and Gaming Commission.

Higgs says by the end of the year, New Brunswick will be over $10 billion in debt.  He calls it unacceptable and unsustainable and it serves to underline the importance of the government renewal exercise which will look at how to deliver services to the public on a more efficient basis.   For more information, click here

Exercise On Loch Lomond Road Today


Do not be alarmed if you see a bunch a scary activity on the Loch Lomond Road this morning.

Brunswick Pipeline and local agencies holding a mock exercise between 9 and 11 to test emergency readiness.

It's happening in East Saint John and residents may see some activity near Fire station number 2 on Loch Lomond Road.

Aquaculture Company Facing Pesticide Charges

Several charges have been laid against an aquaculture company in Charlotte County after an investigation by Environment Canada.
    
Three senior company officials with Kelly Cove Salmon, a division of Cooke Aquaculture are looking at 11 charges of releasing pesticides into waters near a fish farm which Environment Canada believes killed large numbers of lobster In the Bay of Fundy between 2009 and 2010.
   
The three officials are scheduled to appear in provincial court in St. Stephen on December 13th.

Gas Prices Virtually The Same

If you have to fill up, don't expect much of a change with gas prices after the weekly setting.

The maximum price for self serve regular fell a bit by 1.3 cents a litre. 

Diesel increased by less than half a cent.

Heating oil is basically the same as it was and the listed price for propane is less expensive by just under a cent a litre.

Three Separate Collisions On West Side

The west side was a beehive of activity late yesterday afternoon with three different crashes occurring over a span of 90 minutes.

It all began with a two vehicle collision at Westgate Drive and Manawagonish Road about 4:20. This was followed just minutes later by another two vehicle collision at the corner of Young and Havelock streets.

Finally, just before 6 last night, a truck crashed into a house on Watson street.

A man was rushed to hospital by ambulance after being removed from the truck.