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Friday, December 14, 2012

City Church Celebrates Dickens' 200th Birthday

Dickens & Christmas go together like egg nog and shortbread.

To celebrate the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens, Trinity Anglican Church will be reading his works celebrating the man who gave us the Yuletide classic A Christmas Carol.  

David Goss tells CHSJ News when he was in London a couple of years ago he discovered that Dickens has ties to Saint John that many people don't know about. 

He says those connections will be revealed to those who attend this weekend.

Events include readings tonight by 15 different people, A free turkey dinner hosted by Club Hope of Saint John High will be held tomorrow along with a screening of A Christmas Carol tomorrow night.   More events continue on Sunday.

For more info, call 693-8558.  

All the events are happening at Trinity Anglican Church on Charlotte Street.

Keir Gets A New Post

Former Provincial Energy Minister Jack Keir has a new job.    Grace Losier announcing Keir will be the new Executive Director of Region 9 as of January 1st.
Losier is the chairperson of the Regional Service Commission.

Losier says Jack has a great understanding of the issues in urban and rural New Brunswick adding he'll be a valuable asset to the commission.

12 Regional Service Commissions have been established to increase regional collaboration and enhance long-term strategic planning.

Units Will Be Replaced At NB Heart Centre

Next year's Health Department budget includes funding to replace two imaging units at the New Brunswick Heart Centre in the Regional Hospital.

Health Minister Ted Flemming tells CHSJ News the units in the cardiac catheterization lab are nearing the end of their useful life after a refurbishment 11 years ago.

The equipment uses specialized x-ray equipment that help doctors place stents in precise locations in heart arteries guiding them to ensure they get to the right place.

Flemming adds this equipment is critical to saving lives.

Ski Season Starts Tomorrow

Attention, snow bunnies and boarders: it's that time of year again!

Poley Mountain is opening tomorrow for the season after having been manufacturing snow since the end of November. General Manager Bill Anderson tells CHSJ News even if you're a total newbie there's something for you to enjoy at Poley, including ski camps for kids and ski school for adults.

The Chute, Snow White and Lazy Way will all be open tomorrow. Anderson says this is the earliest they've been able to open for a few years, because of last winter's weirdly warm temperatures.

BREAKING: Smouldering Petroleum Coke Leads To Alarm At Port

There's been an incident this afternoon in the pet coke shed at Forterm on the West Side of the Port.

Pet coke, or petroleum coke, is a by-product of Coleson Cove's oil refinery coker. The pile of the substance began to smoulder around 1 this afternoon.

Acting Platoon Chief Roy Byers tells CHSJ News the elevated temperatures aren't likely to progress to anything more serious. The Department of Environment, Coleson Cove, and port officials remain on scene for much of the afternoon as the damage is assessed. 

There's no immediate danger and no reported injuries.

Pension Reform Continues To Be Hot Topic

Pension reform is a hot topic these days in the Port City and beyond--and the provincial government will host a pan-Canadian summit in 2013 to look at how governments can address pension issues.

The two-day summit will tackle challenging questions related to the future of public and private sector pensions. Human Resources Minister Troy Lifford says NB's Shared Risk Model has become of great interest to other municipalities because it offers employees better protection and reduces liabilities for taxpayers.

Executive-Director Of The Boys And Girls Club Has New Job

Debbie Cooper, who has been the Executive-Director of the Saint John Boys and Girls Club, is moving on up to a new job.

Cooper will be the Regional Director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada. Cooper sees lots of potential for further development and improvement of what the Boys and Girls Clubs can offer such as early childhood education.

Cooper warns community groups are being asked these days to do alot more but without adequate support, there comes a breaking point.
She will be based in Saint John but do alot of travelling throughout the region.

Work Continues On Peel Plaza Parking Garage

Construction continues on the Peel Plaza Parking garage between Station, Sewell and Carleton Streets.

Drug Bust By Mounties In Oromocto

A man in his 30's arrested after a drug bust at a home in Youngs Cove. 

The RCMP in Oromocto say they confiscated 125 marijuana plants, several pounds of dried pot, contraband smokes, drug paraphernalia and cash.

The accused will be appearing in court at a later date.

Recall Of Beef Burgers Expands

More beef burgers are being recalled by Loblaw, which owns the Superstore, because of possible e. coli contamination. 

This latest recall affects Butcher's Choice Hickory Barbecue Beef Burgers with best-before dates of Feb. 1st and Feb. 10th.

Earlier, it was announced Butcher's Choice Garlic Peppercorn Beef Burgers with a best-before date of March 3rd were being recalled.

City Must Reach Understanding With Unions On Long-Term Disability

The issue of long term disability benefits is presenting a bit of a bump in the road in common council's efforts to adopt the Shared Risk Model for its pension plan.

Council has accepted on principle a Memorandum of Understanding with the city's unionized groups, on the condition the issue of long term disability gets sorted out by Monday. 

Commissioner of Finance Greg Yeomans tells CHSJ News they need to look at the cost as plan members age and transition to a regular pension. The issue is something for which the Shared Risk model does not provide.

Council will meet with unionized groups and consult with potential bridge benefits with insurance companies over the weekend. An update will be provided on Monday, which is also when a vote is expected on the 2013 budget.