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Thursday, January 31, 2013

NB Power Bringing In Help To Restore Power

High winds knocking trees onto power lines leaving more than 39,000 NB Power customers in the dark.

The utility tells CHSJ News the areas most affected Fredericton, St. Stephen, Sussex, Rothesay, Bathurst and Moncton. 

An NB power spokesperson says, while they continue to make progress restoring power, the winds continue to cause new outages. 

Crews will continue to work around the clock and NB Power has already hired contractors to help and have asked for help from neighbouring utilities in their restoration efforts.

Meanwhile, crews from Saint John Energy are also working to restore power.

For updates on NB Power outages, click here 

For updates from Saint John Energy, click here

New Jobs Come To Fredericton

25 new research and development jobs are coming to Fredericton.

Siemens Canada will employ the workers at its newly established research and development facility in the capital city.

The company announced its partnership with NB Power back in July to integrate smart grid technology into the electrical system and focus on virtual power plants.

Bayside Drive Power Poles Down

Crews had their hands full after downed power lines on Bayside Drive creating a traffic mess earlier today.

Credit: Brett Stevens

Destructive Storm Hammers SJ

A wild day of wind and rain have been incredibly destructive in the Port City.

Extremely strong wind gusts have blown the siding off homes, knocked down countless trees and snapped power poles.    The resulting mess has kept utility employees, police and others very busy today.

The causeway is closed to traffic Eastbound because of high water and Bayside Drive is closed from the Causeway to Redhead Road due to downed power lines. 

The Chipman Hill Pedway has now reopened as the windows have been secured. Large glass planes were dangerously close to coming out of the pedway and falling onto to Chipman Hill.  

NB Power is reporting more than 33,000 customers are without power in the rain and wind storm.   Over 8600 in impacted in Darlings Island, Quispam, Rothesay, Hampton and the Peninsula.    Major outages are also reported in Sussex and St. Stephen and Moncton.

Saint John Energy is dealing with numerous broken poles and wires down and expect that work to continue until tonight.

City police telling CHSJ News the Redhead dyke is now closed due to the high water.
High surf is reported at Saint's Rest today.   Police are directing traffic at several intersections where the lights are out.

Lancaster Avenue is blocked to traffic at Simms Corner after a power pole came down.
The storm leading to cancelled and delayed flights at the Saint John Airport.

The following roads are closed:  
  • Bayside Drive at the Causeway to Red Head Road (downed power lines)
  • East lane of the Causeway (water)
  • Sand Cove Road at the entrance to the Irving Nature Park
  • Germain Street between King Street and Union Street
  • Red Head Road at the eastern dyke (water)
  • Churchland Road from Loch Lomond Road to Cozy Lake Road (downed tree)

Thousands Are Without Power in Storm

Saint John Energy is reporting power outages east, west and uptown due to the high winds and rain today.     We are told crews are working to get the lights back on.  

City police are directing traffic at many east side intersections because many traffic lights are not working.

A pole knocked down some wires on Bayside Drive near the animal shelter.   City police have blocked traffic from the east side of the causeway and Bayside Drive. 
Lancaster Avenue is blocked to traffic at Simms Corner after a power pole came down.

The high winds resulting in a massive power outage province wide impacted over 15,000 people including more than 5000 in Nauwigewauk, Quispam, Rothesay, Kingston, Grand Bay-Westfield and beyond.

The surf is high in the winds at Saint's Rest beach and we hear the water is very high on the causeway.

The storm is impacted air travel as well with cancelled and delayed flights arrriving in Saint John and some departures are delayed also.

Some Schools Close With Loss Of Electricity

Kennebecasis Valley High has closed down for the afternoon after losing power.   Buses are coming shortly to get the kids home.

St. Stephen High and St. Stephen Elementary schools are also closed along with St. George Elementary.

In the Anglophone West School District, Oromocto High, Harold Peterson Middle School, Sunbury West school along with Gesner, Summerhill and Lower Lincoln elementary schools are shut down for the afternoon as well.

High Winds Knocking Out Power

The high winds are causing problems with power outages. More than 32 hundred customers are without power in the Rothesay district which includes Hampton, Grand Bay-Westfield and the Kingston Peninsula. More than 19 hundred customers are without electricity in Sussex.

Due to high winds Saint John Energy is advising their customers that you may see power interruptions through out the day although no major outages have been reported as of yet.

If you've got a shack in the ice fishing village at Renforth, you might want to go get it.....if you can catch it.

We've received word from one of our listeners the wind is blowing the shacks around quite a bit and even sending a few of them down river.

The wind and rainfall warnings remain in effect this afternoon.

You Might Want To Check On Your Ice Fishing Shack

If you've got a shack in the ice fishing village at Renforth, you might want to go get it...if you can catch it.

We've received word from one of our listeners the wind is blowing the shacks around quite a bit and even sending a few of them down river.

A wind and rainfall warning remain in effect for the Saint John area.

Car Rolls Over In Musquash

No one was injured after a car left Highway 1 in Musquash yesterday morning around 8:00 when road conditions were treacherous.

(Photo Courtesy Of Fire Chief Wayne Pollock)

Fire In Rothesay

K-V firefighters called out around midnight to a blaze which destroyed a garage and all the contents inside at 18 Gentleman Lane. 

CHSJ News has been told the garage was fully ablaze in flames when  firefighters arrived. 

There was a vehicle nearby that sustained some damage. As for a cause......Discarded ashes from a woodstove are suspected.

Gas Prices Jump

There has been a significant increase in the price of gas after the weekly setting.......Self serve regular in the city rising a few cents a litre to $1.27.9 while diesel is now at $1.41.9.

Composition Of Pension Board Decided

In a closed-session special meeting last night, Common Council established how the Board of Trustees for the Shared Risk Plan will be made up, its obligations and how they will be paid.

The Declaration of Trust needs to be finalized by Friday to satisfy the requirements of the Memorandum of Understanding. Mayor Mel Norton says there will be eight trustees: four from the city and one from each union. The most recent document is simply one more step in a much longer process which will necessitate additional documentation being approved by council to complete.

Under the Shared Risk Plan, retirees are not represented on the pension board. One amendment to the draft motion curtailed how far pension trustees are allowed to travel for training seminars.

Councillor Susan Fullerton was the only dissenting vote against the terms of the Declaration of Trust.

The trustees from the unions are Paul Stackhouse (Fire Fighters Local 771), Jamie Hachey (Saint John Police Association), Micheal Meahan (CUPE Local 18), and Paul Johnon (CUPE Local 486), Cathy Craig, Alan Lock, Ian Polley and John de Gruyter (City of Saint John).

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

26 Crashes In 2 Hours This Morning

There were at least 26 crashes within 2 hours in the southern part of the province this morning.

RCMP says it's due to the weather and messy road conditions. No one was killed from the accidents, but RCMP stress drivers to slow down and take their time.

RCMP warn you to be extra cautious if you have a high sided vehicle and you're driving through the Tantramar Marsh area near Sackville, where high winds will be especially dangerous.

You can dial 511 anytime for road conditions throughout the province.

Local Film Highlights Homelessness & How To Help

A new short film series by the Human Development Council is putting the spotlight on local organizations that assist the homeless and marginalized in our community.

Celeigh Barber-Russell of the HDC tells CHSJ News the inaugural film, From The Front Lines,  portrays an optimistic, hopeful picture of both Saint John's progress and direction in dealing with the issue of homelessness. It brings together representatives from various community organizations speaking about the work they do and why matters

Barber-Russell says the HDC is planning a video series showcasing more of the city's not-for-profits and community groups. To see the film, click here

Construction On Sewell Street, Rothesay Ave & Chesley Dr

Some construction work being done in Saint John that might disrupt your commute...

Sewell Street will be closed to traffic heading east bound for the next 5 weeks until the end of February.  Work is being done on the Carleton-Sewell parking garage from 7 am until 5 pm.

Rothesay Avenue -- near the Mediterranean Restaurant -- will be reduced to one lane in both directions until 10 o'clock tonight while a water main is being repaired.

Chesley Drive is also reduced down to one lane heading east bound until 10 o'clock tonight while a water main is repaired.

Saint John To Host NBL All-Star Weekend

GM Ian McCarthy & Coach David Cooper
Saint John Mills Rats are the proud hosts for the National Basketball League of Canada's All-Star weekend.

On April 13th and 14th, Harbour Station will be filled with the best players in the league who will face off in an East versus Atlantic game.

Mill Rats Coach David Cooper tells CHSJ news it's an incredible opportunity for Saint John. He says we can expect to see about 10,000 people visiting during the weekend from across Canada and the United States. Cooper says in just 2 years the NBL is one of the top 5 competitive leagues in the world, and the All Star Weekend will bring in former NBA players.

Mill Rats GM Ian McCarthy says they'll sit down with the league to figure out player selection in the next few weeks, which will also use a form of fan voting. Although players haven't been picked yet, McCarthy says Anthony Anderson has the best stats for MVP and Jerice Crouch is one of the top 5 scorers.

The event will include a Three Point Shootout, a slam dunk contest, and the Legends Game. Last year Halifax was the host.

New School Will Get Rid Of Portables And Enhance Green Space

The construction of a new elementary school in the Valley beside Quispamsis Middle School will be getting rid of alot of the modular classrooms. There are fifteen of them being used for 300 elementary school students.

The Superintendent of the Anglophone South School District Zoe Watson tells CHSJ News those portables are getting long in the tooth and they have been encroaching on green space.

The new school on Pettingill Road next to Quispamsis Middle School will be able to house 350 students which provides a bit of a buffer should enrollments rise. Watson says there has been a levelling off of the student numbers in the Kennebecasis Valley.

Finance Minister Says He's Not On A Mission To Sell NB Liquor

NB Liquor and every other provincial government asset is being reviewed according to Finance Minister Blaine Higgs.

He says the mission is to determine whether it makes sense for the province to be in that business.

NB Liquor employees fear the liquor corporation is on the selling block and they fear for their jobs if it's privatized.

Higgs maintains the Alward Government is not on a mission to sell NB Liquor but it will have to compete like any other retail business even though it is a government monopoly.

Be Wary Of Slippery Streets & Sidewalks Today

A word of warning from the RCMP for drivers........Road conditions are very slippery from the Kennebecasis Valley to Sussex. The roads appear to be wet but are covered with black ice in many areas so take care.

The roads are slippery in Rothesay and the town letting us the roads have been salted & sanded.    Uptown Saint John tweeting this morning that the sidewalks are slippery uptown.

Countless collisions have been reported in the Fredericton area due to black ice.

Quispam Home Suffers Fire Damage

No one hurt after a fire in Quispamsis this morning.  

KV fire crews called around 9 to the home at 104 Robin Hood Lane and quickly knocked down the blaze.

Assistant District Fire Chief Alick Taylor tells CHSJ News the fire was contained to the basement but the home did sustain heavy smoke damage.

Taylor says the homeowners are displaced for the time being but will be able to get back into the house.

Fire This Morning On West Side

A fire earlier this morning in a two storey apartment building at 278 Duke Street West. It was reported shortly after 7:00. 

Firefighters managed to knock it down quickly with no injuries reported.

One Man Hospitalised After Assault

City Police reporting one man is in hospital for observation after being assaulted near Market Square. Another man was arrested.

Shooting Suspect In Court Today

A 37 year old Fredericton area man will be formally charged in court today following a shooting and standoff yesterday which began at 2 in the morning and finished up late yesterday afternoon with the suspect surrendering to Police.

The RCMP surrounded his home in Beaverdam,  just south of Fredericton for hours.

The standoff followed the shooting of a woman in the Lincoln Heights area of the city.

Police say a 40-year-old woman sustained a single gunshot wound, was taken to hospital where she underwent surgery. After the shooting, Police traced the suspect's car to the Beaverdam area.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cheap, Fun And Uncensored: Fringe Fest Hits Port City

It's official: Saint Johners will be joining the lunatic fringe this summer.

Festival co-chairs Dr.Sandra Bell and Pauline Cronin announced today that the first-ever Fundy Fringe Festival is scheduled for August 21-25. The independent theatre festival is one of 23 of its kind in North America, promising cheap, fun, and experimental acts with no censorship or jury process.

Dr. Bell tells CHSJ News Fundy Fringe will be a laid back event with the express mandate of keeping theater fun and accessible to all. The shows will be happening at various locations and time slots around the city, allowing fringe-goers to easily take in multiple performances in a single day.

Local businesses and community partners on board with the festival include the Imperial, Interaction Children's Theatre, Market Square, the NB Museum, and the SJTC. Check out the Fundy Fringe Festival on Facebook here

Finance Minister Wants To Reduce Sick Time

Provincial Finance Minister Blaine Higgs is looking for ways to increase government revenue and cut spending in a two pronged approached to attacking the deficit. He also wants to deal with what he sees as too much absenteeism among provincial employees.

Higgs standing firm on the three day waiting period before worker's compensation kicks in despite getting some flak at his pre-budget consultations.

He says an analysis of the absenteeism which occurs just before retirement or vacations indicates there is a real problem with the system being milked.

Higgs points out those people who have legitimate reasons to be off work suffer because of the abusers.

Saint John Documentary Film Made On Poverty And Homelessness

Against all odds is what reducing poverty and getting the homeless off the streets can feel at times.

The Saint John Human Development Council is releasing a documentary film on the efforts being made to do just that. The film is entitled "From the Front Lines".

The Human Development Council's Randy Hatfield tells CHSJ News a rising tide isn't lifting all boats with the number of people using the North End food bank, for instanc, on the rise. He calls it a story of resilience, determination, sacrifice and strength.
  If you want to see the film, it will be shown tomorrow at noonhour in the theatre at the museum in Market Square.

Alzheimer's Cafe Providing Support & Care For A Year

People struggling with Alzheimer's disease and their loved ones have been finding comfort in a monthly cafe for over a year now. The event offers a guest speaker including doctors, snacks, music and fellowship and is held on the last Sunday of the month at St. Mark's church on Dexter Drive in West Saint John.

Jamie Matthews, Regional Co-ordinator for the Saint John chapter, tells CHSJ News those with Alzheimer's disease benefit along with their loved ones.

He says the goal is to get people talking and to clarify the misconceptions about dementia adding it's not something people should be ashamed of.

It's Alzheimer's Awareness Month and the theme is "See Me Not My Disease, Let's Talk about Dementia".

For more info, click  here  and here

No Squatters In Empty Building, According To Fire

Fire officials don't believe there were any squatters living in the vacant building on Mecklenburg the morning it caught on fire.

Divisional Chief for Fire Prevention Mark Wilson says fire crews had to force their way into the building when they arrived on scene, meaning the building was locked and secured at the start of the blaze. Wilson says he can't speak for whether or not squatters had been there before.

Wilson adds fire crews regularly check vacant buildings to make check they're secure. If they're not, it's up to the owner to make sure the building is safe.

Investigators are still trying to determine a cause, which Wilson describes as "putting together a large puzzle."

Shooting Suspect Surrounded By Police In Home

There was an early morning shooting in Fredericton and a home in New Maryland is surrounded.

Police were called to the Lincoln Heights neighbourhood around 2 this morning and there, they found a woman suffering from a gunshot wound. She was rushed to the Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital to undergo surgery.

The RCMP have had the home surrounded now for several hours with a suspect inside.

Sex Workers 2-3 Times More Likely To Die On The Job Than Police

Police Chief Bill Reid and AIDS Saint John are urging a progressive, compassionate approach to the city's sex workers.

In a presentation to common council the police chief spoke to the potential benefits of mobile methadone and better access to affordable housing. Dr Leslie Jeffery says Saint John's sex workers are in dire straits, accepting risk to life and limb and hazardous working conditions because they have no better options.

Outreach worker Catherine Belliveau says anyone who believes sex workers are being coddled by the system should come down to their office and look at the reality for themselves. She and AIDS SJ Chair Dr Leslie Jeffery pointed out sex workers are 2 to 3 times more likely to be killed on the job as police or taxi drivers--and Saint John isn't exempt with 12 reported assaults in the past year.

 A report by the city's police commission determined it would be both unlawful and unethical to penalize sex workers for jaywalking, as suggested in a motion several months ago by Common Councillor Susan Fullerton.

Fire Chief Says Mecklenburg Building Was On Their Radar

Lots of questions are being raised about who's responsible for the city's vacant buildings after a major weekend fire at an empty residence on Mecklenburg Street.

Fire Chief Kevin Clifford tells CHSJ News fire officials were long aware of the building and were in talks with the owner to get it renovated. 

Further, the fire chief says owner had taken steps to board up and secure the building, so if anyone had managed to sneak in there they would have had to work hard to do it. 

The fire in the wee hours of Sunday leveled two large buildings and endangered a number of others. A total of 23 people were displaced from their homes. 

Photo credit: Peter Jossleyn

Marijuana Grow Op Discovered In Saint John

City Police arresting two women and two men after discovering a marijuana grow op on Wright Street.

A joint search between City Police, Rothesay Regional Police and the RCMP dismantled the drug operation yesterday afternoon. Three people in their twenties and a man in his late fifty's are facing charges for producing marijuana.

One of the men is also facing a charge of production of hashish. All four have been released and are scheduled to appear in Provincial court on April 9th.

23, Not 16 People Effected By Fire

More people than previously thought being affected by the Mecklenburg fire.

The Canadian Red Cross says instead of 16 people, 23 have been displaced from buildings either destroyed or damaged from Sunday's fire.

The additional 7 people includes a family of 5 from one of the destroyed buildings and a couple from one that was damaged by smoke and water. The Red Cross says the 7 stayed with relatives without registering with other evacuees with the Red Cross.

The major fire Sunday morning destroyed buildings at 72 and 74 Mecklenburg street, and badly damaged another. The dilapidated buildings are in the process of being torn down. No word yet on a cause.

Town Hall Meeting Held To Oppose The Harper Government

Those people unhappy with what they call the Harper Conservative agenda turning out last night for a town hall meeting in the Arts Centre at Peel Plaza that was held, in part, by the Idle No More protests that have been happening. 

The President of the Saint John and District Labour Council Ron Oldfield tells CHSJ News he's unhappy with the changes made to Employment Insurance which neither employers nor workers, who fund the programme, were pressing for.

Stephanie Merrill of C-C-N-B Action accuses the Harper Government of tearing apart laws that protect the fisheries and water in a matter of months.    

Rob Moir, who came in second for the NDP in Saint John during the last federal election, says we're seeing the gap widening between the Uber rich and the rest of us along with the dismantling of environmental laws.

North End Raid

A raid carried out on Jack Street

City Police telling CHSJ news they seized stolen property including lots of electronics along with a gun. 

Five people have been arrested.

Common Council Approves Funding For Big Projects

Saint John will benefit from investments in roads, a new fire truck and the North End Community Center this year.

Common Council has passed the 2013 capital budget which it says was drafted with the expressed mandate of giving the taxpayers what they wanted as priorities.

Mayor Mel Norton says council has worked hard to keep its eye on the big prize which is clean drinking water.

Only $8.5 million dollars of the $20.1 million in the budget are from outside contributions and they're looking to keep new debt in the range of $11 million.

City Manager Pat Woods blames the allotment of less money to some areas to global and local economic conditions which had a major effect on how much there was to go around.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Financial Benefits From Shale Gas Are Not Coming Soon

The President of the Atlantica Centre for Energy says this province needs the right regulations for a potential shale gas industry and a regime for royalties.

John Herron tells CHSJ News there will be no test wells drilled in the province this year.

He says from a commercial perspective there is no shale gas industry in this province today, there won't be next year and probably not the year after that adding we are a few years out.

When and if shale is found, Herron says this province can become like 24 other jurisdictions in North America by developing their natural gas resources from shale.

Mecklenburg Fire Demolition Begins

Crews have begun the demolition work at the site of a fire on Mecklenburg Street that destroyed two buildings and damaged a third.

Water Line Break At Carleton Community Centre

The Carleton Community Centre will be closed from now until possibly this Friday due to a water line break in the building.

City officials say the Market Place Wellness Centre will stay open and appointments will be honoured.

Man Lucky To Be Alive From Crash In Musquash

Photo courtesy of Ltd. Paul Poirier
One man is lucky to be alive after a crash in Musquash.

The Musquash Fire Department responding to a call round 11pm last night that a man had crashed his pick-up into a utility pole on Route 790. The truck was carrying logs at the time, which ended up crashing into the passenger side of the cab from the force of the impact.

Officers say power and phone lines were down, including one house that had the service entrance ripped off of it.

The man was able to get out of his truck before firefighters arrived and was sent to hospital for treatment.

Urban Farming Provides Many Benefits, Says Activist

It's unusual for anyone to keep chickens in their backyard, but that's exactly what Raymond Breau does in East Saint John.

Breau tells CHSJ news there's countless benefits for having hens, like growing your own food and being environmentally friendly. He boasts that they're manure is rich in nutrients and have greatly improved his garden. Breau says there are many stereotypes about the birds which are simply not true, such as they're noisy, carry diseases or are stinky.

And carry for them isn't labour intensive either... Breau says it only takes 5 minutes a day to check on them, with feeders and water containers holding ample amounts of supplies.

Mecklenburg Buildings Being Torn Down

Photo courtesy of Brett Stevens
The two buildings on Mecklenburg that received the most fire damage are being torn down today.

The Divisional Chief for Fire Prevention Mark Wilson tells CHSJ they're bringing in a private contractor to bring the dilapidated and dangerous buildings down. While that's happening, investigators will be keeping a keen eye on the buildings as they continue their search for the origin of the fire. Wilson says they still don't know what started the fire, but believe it started at the rear of the vacant building.

Witnesses, first responders, and residents will all be interviewed today to help solve the mystery.

As for the frozen cars, a tow truck will move them around the corner in hopes that the sun will melt their icy casing. Wilson says there's been no other damage to the cars, that became encased after water from the fire hose froze on them.

The major fire Sunday morning fire destroyed buildings at 72 and 74 Mecklenburg street, and badly damaged another. 16 people have been displaced.

Drug Grow Op Found In Hoyt

A Hoyt couple are facing drug related charges after RCMP discovered a grow op at their home.

The 38-year-olds were arrested on Friday and later released on conditions. The two are facing charges of marijuana cultivation and possession for the purpose of trafficking. During a search police seize marijuana plants, grow operation equipment, and an unsafely stored firearm.

The two are set to appear in Burton Provincial Court on April 8.

Efforts Underway To Assist Fire Victims

7 kids including an unborn baby from 3 famillies are looking for everything you need to live after a devastating fire on Mecklenburg street.

Stephanie Craig actually lives in St. Andrews but has an apartment on Orange street and is friends with one of the fire victims.

She created a Facebook group in the aftermath of the blaze and has seen a tremendous outpouring of support with people offering everything school supplies to baby clothes.

She tells us she is impressed with the support was surprised to wake up this morning and see the group now has 1000 members.

Craig says they need the use of a large vehicle to transport larger items that people are offering to donate.  

To help out, you can post directly on the Mecklenburg Facebook page, click here

Fresh Start Services through the Salvation Army on Prince Edward Street.

Cannon Security on Bayside Drive above Beats and Bytes.

(photo courtesy of Brett Stevens)

Five Nabbed In Drug Bust

Three men and 2 women, all from Saint John are under arrest after a 4 month drug investigation.

Members of City Police, the RCMP, Rothesay Regional Police Force and Canada Border Services Agency carried out raids on Somerset St., McLaren Blvd. and Baxter Road along with searching a vehicle.

Police confiscated cocaine, marijuana, prescription pills, 4 firearms, ammunition, a prohibited knife, other edged weapons, contraband cigarettes and over $6000 in cash.  

The drugs seized have an estimated street value of more than $11,300. 

More Video From Weekend Blaze

More video from the weekend fire on Mecklenburg Street in the city's South End - this video shot courtesy Doug Epton shot from behind the buildings shows the intensity of the flames as fire fighters struggled in frigid temperatures to bring the blaze under control. Click here.

Health Minister Meets With His Critics

Provincial Health Minister Ted Flemming met with the New Brunswick Medical Society over the weekend amid its criticism of him.  The Medical Society accused him of attacking doctors and characterised the relationsip as not being a good one.

Flemming says he has a duty to look after taxpayer dollars and if the Auditor General Kim McPherson  pinpoints a problem with double billing by some doctors, he has to investigate.

Flemming says 99.9 per cent of the doctors are honest, hardworking, decent people who are a tribute to the province. He says no one questioned McPherson's integrity or alleged she didn't know what she was talking about.

Shelter Keeps Homeless Warm During Cold Snap

In this bitter cold snap, men who are homeless are finding some warmth in the cold.

Jill Driscoll runs the Out of the Cold men's shelter at Grace Presbyterian Church on Hazan street. She says they regularly take in 6-11 men every night and make sure they have coverings, jackets, and boots. The shelter is only open at night, so in the morning they're given a $5 Tim Hortons card, which allows the homeless some temporary shelter to warm up in during the day.

Driscoll says the men are always extremely greatful when they enter the shelter, which accepts a lot of men facing various addictions. She says often the Salvation Army is full, and they turn away anyone who could be drunk or on drugs.

With the extra cold weather we've been having, Driscoll says the shelter has been opening their doors earlier at 8 o'clock.

Finance Minister Says Shale Gas Is A Must

Provincial Finance Minister Blaine Higgs has no doubt.......Moving ahead with shale gas development is essential for the future economic well being of the province. 

Higgs says shale gas is something New Brunswick can build on if there is enough of it on hand to extract reasonably and if the province can get something out of it in terms of jobs and growing the economy.

Higgs goes on to say companies are repositioning themselves back to the U.S. because of low energy costs which are being driven by shale gas and he can see companies being attracted to New Brunswick for the same reason.

The U.S. is expected to be self sufficient in energy in a few years time.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

UPDATE: Cold Causing Problems At Mecklenburg Fire

The extreme cold causing some problems with fighting the blaze on Mecklenburg street that destroyed 2 buildings and caused severe water and smoke damage to a third.

Divisional Chief for Fire Prevention Mark Wilson tells CHSJ news they had problems with a few fire hydrants freezing up, causing them to use hydrants a little farther away. Another big danger was the close proximity of surrounding buildings and high winds. 

Now that the scene is secure, investigators will try to determine a cause. Wilson says any fire is considered suspicious until they find out how it started. He says crews will most likely be on the scene for the rest of the day.

The Saint John Fire Department had to call in 4 off duty crews to battle the 2 am blaze, which started and destroyed a 3 story vacant building at 72 Mecklenburg street.  The Canadian Red Cross says 16 people - including 5 children - have been evacuated. Wilson says they won't return to their homes for at least 24 hours.
Wilson says the blaze is classified as a major fire.