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Monday, January 30, 2012

Social Media Awards Looking For Nominations

The Oscars are not the only awards up for grabs in February -- nominations are now being accepted for the 2nd annual Salty Awards, which celebrates Saint John's social media community.

Categories include Twitter Person of the Year, Best Facebook Page, Coolest Blog, Hottest YouTube, and Best Use of Social Media in a Campaign.

Nominations close on February 6th with the awards being handed out on February 16th.

For more information, click here.

Freedom Tours Calms Fears About Mexican Travel

If you're scared to go to Mexico after hearing about the beating of a Canadian tourist in a resort there, perhaps you shouldn't be.

That according to Freedom Tours owner Ellen Tucker. She tells CHSJ news Mexico isn't as dangerous as you might think--and that as far as international ranking are concerned, it's actually pretty high on the list of safer places to to travel.

The 37 year old woman, Sheila Nabb, was vacationing at a 5-star hotel in Mazatlan. A 28-year-old named Jose Ramon Acosta Quintero has been charged with attempted murder in the case.

Profits Are Up But Booze Sales Still Slide In N.B.

NB Liquor's third quarter profits are up yet fewer people were buying booze over the holidays.

The crown corporation releasing figures show they made more than 44 million dollars from October 3rd to January 1st but sales from spirits, wine and beer are down.

NB Liquor President Daniel Allain says the holiday season traffic was lower than expected and picked up a week before Christmas.

He adds economic uncertainty continued to account for weak volumes in the quarter which were responsible for an overall decline in sales.
Sales for spirits were down 3.2 per cent and wine declined 1.8 per cent while beer sales were down 9.8 per cent.

For more info, click here

Local Campaign Almost Brings In Almost A Million Dollars

The total says it absolutely is possible.  

A "Heart of the Possible" capital campaign for the Boys and Girls Club bringing in 943 thousand dollars exceeding their goal.  
The campaign's goal was 750,000 dollars.

Last September,  The Premier came to town with a big cheque for $150, 000 to help the campaign reach it's goal.

The money is being used to to refurbish the gym, pave their driveway, create a mural on the building and update their learning room.  Additional funds will be used to build a new playground structure and for other projects.

Sentencing On Drug Pleas Delayed

More drug charges have been laid against a Charlotte Street man who earlier pleaded guilty to a pair of charges of possessing cocaine for the purpose of trafficking. 

Trevor Garland pleaded not guilty to additional charges of possessing cocaine for the purpose of trafficking along with possession of dilaudid and marijuana.

A presentence report was ordered back in November but is still incomplete. That prompted the judge to remand Garland to jail until February 16th. 

The prosecution is asking for a prison term of at least 2 years on the two guilty pleas. 

Garland was arrested as part of a police crackdown on street level dealing.

Regulated Gas Prices In Province Blasted

Gas regulation in the province is broken.......That declaration from independent gas retailer Chris Scholten of Scholtens who was pressing the provincial government to have a legislated minimum price for gas in light of what's been happening in Fredericton when Costco drastically reduced gas prices for its members.
Scholten warns more independent retailers will be driven out of business and that means less tax will be collected by the province. 

Provincial Finance Minister Blaine Higgs seemed open to the idea of a legislated minimum price for gas which they have in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island but was rejected by Energy Minister Craig Leonard and the Premier.

Tax Rate Is Expected To Be Approved Tonight

Common Council is still finalising its 2012 budget after a heated meeting over the weekend. 

It's expected the budget with 9 million dollars worth of cuts will be unveiled and then Saint John taxpayers will have a chance to have their say about the cuts before a vote is held. 

Councillor Bruce Court tells CHSJ News it's likely the tax rate will be approved tonight and he concedes there will be staff cuts. 

Council has come under criticism for conducting its budget deliberations largely behind closed doors.

Rescue In River Off K-Park

A father who was skating in front of Kennebecasis Park had to be rescued by his son yesterday afternoon. 

The man fell through the ice near the shore where it doesn't freeze that well. His son used a hockey stick to help get his dad out of the river who was then taken to hospital to be examined. 

They had managed to make it to shore by the time emergency crews arrived.

Losier Won't Lose Sleep Over Davidson's Comments

Grace Losier is unfazed by criticism by Bob Davidson who says the taxpayers of Saint John, Quispamsis and Rothesay subsidize the policing of Grand Bay-Westfield.

The town's mayor says in 1997 when the town was determining policing both the City police and Rothesay Regional Police were invited to participate.

She tells CHSJ News she doesn't lose any sleep over Davidson's comments adding

the deal is offered nationally and the town availed itself of it.

She says at the time maybe those other communities should have answered the call for expressions of interest for policing.

Losier says the RCMP are her town's policing of choice and they have been great for the community.

Court Says Blood Symposium Wasn't Grandstanding

Some people accused the Mayor of grandstanding for the upcoming election when he decided to push ahead with his symposium on blood, despite Canadian Blood Services saying that the decision to move the blood production lab from Millidgeville to Dartmouth is a definite thing.

Court tells CHSJ News that his decision to hold the symposium anyway wasn't a bid for votes, but a response to the problem of shoddy medical care. That's something that has effected him deeply: he lost his 18 year old son because of medical incompetence.

Court says that it's unrealistic to call Dartmouth when it needs blood--and lives will be at risk. CBS says that they're moving anyway, and will work with the province to keep the blood supply safe.