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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mother Remembers Slain Son With Education Fund

The memory of a 29-year-old Saint John man who's life was cut short a year ago is being kept alive by his mother.

Marina Dow tells CHSJ News she wants to give back to the community and has established the Jason Dow Education Fund.

She tells us he was very smart and graduated from high school and university with high honours and also used to DJ at the Carleton Community Centre.   A teen dance is coming up at the Centre on Saturday night from 7-11pm.

The "For the Record Benefit Auction and Dance" is coming up on March 10th at Royal Canadian Legion #2 on Ludlow Street West from 7pm until 1am.

All proceeds will be given the Jason Dow Education Fund and distributed evenly to Saint John High, UNB Saint John and the Carleton Community Centre.

For more info, call 658-2920.

Totten Says His Marching Orders Came From Council

A waste of time—that's what former city manager Terry Totten calls John Ferguson's aspersions on the integrity of city staff back in 2005. Totten maintaining--on the contrary--he constantly asked council to take urgent action on the pension plan's unfunded liability.

Ferguson's allegations included that financial reports were riddled with errors, that disagreements between Totten and then-councillor Glen Tait were creating delays with Vision 2015, and that Totten's recommendations contradicted the Chartwell report.

The former city manager testifying he never would have contradicted a report that cost upwards of $300,000 to complete.

Totten says he was proud to get his marching orders from council and the accusations were false, saying, “I would have had nothing to gain from that.”

Crack Up on King Street

City police on scene of a crack up between a taxi and a Saint John Transit bus just after 4 this afternoon.    No one was hurt.

NB Liquor Says It Should Stay With Government

NB Liquor CEO Daniel Allain says selling the company would not be a viable option for the province. 

In a report to government, it is recommending it stay a publicly owned agency.

There was speculation that the provincial government would consider selling NB Liquor due to province's massive amount of debt.

The report says NB Liquor contributes about $207 million a year to the province, and preserving that flow of money is crucial as the government struggles to reduce its deficit.
Allain says in a letter to cabinet that NB Liquor must become more entrepreneurial in the future.

No Arrests Yet In West Side Bomb Scare

No arrests yet in the the bomb threat that occurred at the Bank of Nova Scotia last Friday and the police want your help.

Main Street West was blocked off for about six hours and a RCMP bomb squad had to be called in to destroy a suspicious package.

The Major Crime Unit wants to hear from you if you have any information and can be reached at 648 3333 or you can call Crimestoppers at 1 800 222 TIPS.

Public Health Monitoring A Whooping Cough Outbreak

Public health is keeping a close on a whooping cough outbreak in the province.

The province says it begins with cold-like symptoms including sneezing, runny nose, a fever and mild cough and worsens over a period of several weeks to include serious coughing spells that often end with a "whoop."

It can be easily transmitted from person to person, mainly through droplets from the nose, mouth and throat of an infected person.

47 cases of whooping cough have been confirmed mostly among people between the ages of 9-14.
Most of the cases are in the Moncton and Saint John areas.

To find more info on whooping cough, click here

Another Candidate Joins The Ballot

44 year old Scott Waddell is putting his name on the ballot for a shot at joining Common Council.

The life-long resident, who currently works in customer service, will be running in Ward 4 of East Saint John.

He tells CHSJ News clean drinking water and pension reforms are some of his priorities, as well as his constituents.  He says citizens have not been hearing back in a timely manner from councillors and he believes they should be treated properly like customers.

He says he would give the current common council a grade of "D" and wants to restore the reputation of local politics in Saint John.

People Wearing Pink For Anti-Bullying Campagin

Everybody is looking pretty in pink today.

Today is Pink Shirt Day, a nation-wide anti-bullying campaign where supporters where pink. 

Spokesperson for Jen Schaeffers tells CHSJ News it is great to see the campaign grow organically from coast to coast.

New Brunswick is officially observing the day.

The phenomenon began 5 years ago when two Nova Scotia teens wore pink as a sign of solidarity for a fellow student who was bullied for wearing the colour.

Liberals Find Tory Funding Cuts Ironic

The Liberal health critic finds it ironic that the Alward government would cut funding to a Bathurst obesity clinic given their emphasis on wellness.
Bill Fraser tells CHSJ News this is a government that talks a big game about doing what's best for future generations yet they cut funding to a clinic
that treated about 800 patients.

He says it's very ironic when you have a government minister in Saint John saying healthcare costs must be under control and part of that is prevention and active living meanwhile the Premier and Health Minister are taking away the funding.

Fraser says preventative health care is the only way this province will be able to address the costs that come with an aging population.

Treatment for the patients at the Bathurst obesity clinic ends today.

Red Cross Looks For Volunteers

The Red Cross is hosting an information meeting tonight for anyone who might want to be a volunteer for the agency.

Anyone who wants to learn what Red Cross volunteers do in disasters and emergencies and what's required if they'd like to join the team can find out more tonight.

Last year, Red Cross volunteers called to 111 disaster or emergency events throughout the province.   The events ranging from house fires and flooding.

Many volunteers also went to other provinces to help in the aftermath of disasters like the wildfire at Slave Lake, Alberta or major flooding in Manitoba.

The information night runs between 6:30 and 7:30 tonight at the Red Cross office on Lansdowne Avenue.

Marigolds Project Is Underway

The Marigolds Project will be reaching a milestone this year with its 15th anniversary as students at 50 schools begin growing them this week.

Students from Sussex to St. Stephen will be taking part with even a couple of the high schools joining in.

 Organiser Barry Ogden tells CHSJ News as many as 160 thousand marigolds will be put into the ground and one of the big benefits is to empower students to believe they can make a difference for the better.

Ogden has been told the marigolds are now a must see for many of the cruise ship passengers.

Totten says Ferguson Didn't Offer Sufficient Guidance

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Former City Manager Terry Totten taking the stand at the defamation trial of John Ferguson this (Wednesday) morning. Totten telling the court that from 2004 onward he made numerous requests for guidance on how to handle the pension problem—particularly on whether they wanted to raise contributions or raise taxes--but was brushed off.

Totten said John Ferguson used high pressure tactics and never seemed satisfied with the answers to his questions when they sat on a work group together. The court saw an email in which Totten wrote, “I'm not clear what you expect of me, councillor Ferguson. I'm being blatantly honest. I need your help to get my act together on this.”

Totten further testified his reccomedations to council on the city's pension woes weren't heard, saying “You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink” Lawyer Barry Morrison asked, “The horse here being common council?” to which Totten replied, “That's exactly right.”

Jobs Outlook Better In Saint John Than Most Other Cities

There's been alot of negative news out of City Hall over the last couple of months with cutbacks in bus service, fire and police but something else has been happening during the same time which is a bit more positive. 

The Conference Board of Canada has included Saint John among 11 cities it considers will have positive prospects for job seekers over the next little while based on a growing number of job postings.

Today Is Leap Day: February 29th

You might want to write a check or a letter because this only happens every four years.
Today is Leap Day--February 29th.

Four million people will celebrate their birthday today and most leap year babies are strict Februarians meaning outside of a leap year they celebrate on the 28th.

Karin Henriksen of Norway holds the record for Leap Day babies.   She gave birth to 3 children on consecutive February 29ths her daughter Heidi in 1960 and her sons Olav and Leif-Martin in 1964 and 1968 respectively.

Both Sweden and the former Soviet Union used to observe a February 30th.