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Friday, May 31, 2013

Ride A Big Bike, Help A Good Cause

Get ready to see a lot of bikes out and about for the 5th annual Ride for Dad.

The event started as a way to create awareness about and raise money for prostate cancer.

Organizer Tony Mowery tells CHSJ News it's an extremely curable disease if caught early.

He says having over 300 bikes ride through the City brings some attention to the cause.

Registration begins at 8am tomorrow morning in the rear lot of the Lord Beaverbrook Rink and the ride begins at 11am on a police led parade throughout the city.

The bikes take part in a poker run to St. Martin's, they meet up with the Fredericton and Moncton events in Sussex before heading back to the Port City for their owns awards event.

Car Collides With Child On Bayside Drive

A kid is fine after colliding with a car at 153 Bayside Drive around noon today.

Police and emergency responders were dispatched to the scene after the child appeared to be trapped, but it turns out they were just shaken up more than seriously injured.

NB and PEI Hardest Provinces In Which To Get An Abortion

The anti-abortion organization right to life Right to Life is claiming Henry Morgentaler's lawsuit to have abortions covered by Medicare in New Brunswick ends with his death. In a statement, the organization's director Peter Ryan said, "His legacy is the death of hundreds of thousands of Canadian children, including over 9,000 in New Brunswick. He thought he was helping women but a dead child helps no mother. His opinion on the matter no longer counts. Only the truth matters now."

But Simone Leibovitch of Fredericton's Morgentaler clinic tells CHSJ News the clinics will continue to fight for what they call a human rights issue. She calls the situation in New Brunswick and PEI "unique," since they are the only provinces that don't cover the procedures. In New Brunswick women must seek permission from their family doctor to get an abortion---which can be difficult in a province where many people don't have family doctors. Besides, Leibovitch says she knows of some doctors who are pro-life and will not even prescribe birth control.

In PEI, women have to go off-island to get the procedure which Leibovitch says is impossible for women who are often already strapped for cash or unemployed.

Despite his controversial legacy, Morgentaler had been hailed as a champion of women's rights before his death this week at age 90.

Saint John Soldier And Comrades To Be Honoured

The official opening tomorrow morning of the 22 Bravo Landing and Private David Greenslade Peace Park in Millidgeville will be emotional.

Private Greenslade, who attended Saint John High, and six of his comrades were killed after a roadside bombing in Afghanistan in 2007.

David's mother, Laurie tells CHSJ News her son has not been forgotten by Saint Johnners over the passage of time and he lived a life worthwhile which will be the inscription ont he gate as you enter the park.

The dedication ceremony starts at 10:00 next to the Romeo and Juliette ferry landing.

Saint John To Get Visit From Alberta Premier

It's not hard to guess at what will be the main topic of conversation will be when Alberta Premier Alison Redford visits the the province next Friday and that's the proposed West to East oil pipeline.

Redford will be talking to the Saint John Board of Trade, touring the Irving Oil Refinery and addressing the Legislature.

The pipeline which has been promoted by former Premier Frank McKenna appears to be gaining momentum.

Premier David Alward, who's looking for some positive economic news, calls this project "historic" and compares it to the building of the national railway.

Get Out In The Woods And Have A Ball While Helping Nature

Our rivers, lakes and marshes are part of what makes our province unique, and the Nature Conservancy of Canada works tirelessly to protect them. 

David Loundes of the Nature Conservancy of Canada tells CHSJ News they've preserved 15,000 acres of land here in New Brunswick and 2.6 million acres Canada-wide.

Tomorrow, the Nature Conservancy  will be hosting a cleanup of the Musquash Estuary Nature Reserve. Volunteers will meet at 9am and the cleanup is expected to run until 4pm. Snacks and water will be provided, and keep in mind the trail is rugged and can be challenging. Long sleeves, long pants, hats, gloves, and good hiking footwear are a good idea. 

It's open to individuals, groups, and families.  For further information contact 1-877-231-4400 or click here

Snook Facing Sex Charges In Newfoundland

Former Common Councillor Donnie Snook is now facing four sex charges against a boy under 14 in Newfoundland.

These charges date back to December of 1995 and Snook is scheduled to appear in a Cornerbrook courtroom June 11th or at least have lawyer do so on his behalf.

Snook spent a year as an officer of the former Salvation Army Citadel in Mount Moriah back when he was in his early 20s and commissioned to be the church’s senior pastor.

Snook pleaded guilty to 46 charges of abusing children in Saint John earlier this week. He's back in court here on June 25th to have a date scheduled for sentencing.

Mounties Look For A Man Offering A Ride To A Child

The Mounties in Oromocto releasing a sketch of a man after a 12 year old girl was approached from a car in Mazerolle Settlement.

On May 10th at about 5pm, Oromocto RCMP got a call that a 12 year-old girl was approached while walking along Mazerolle Settlement Road.

The man offered to give the girl a drive but the girl refused and told her parents.

He was driving a dark 4-door SUV with tinted windows and a grey interior.

The man has a thin build, reddish colored skin with wrinkles about 60 years old or older.    He had thinning hair possibly balding.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Oromocto RCMP at 1-506 357-4300 or N.B. Crime Stoppers at or 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Gridlock on the Viaduct This Morning

Traffic at a standstill on the Viaduct this morning.

Commuters have one less lane when coming uptown during morning rush hour with one blocked off for the bike lane.

Some motorists have complained at the change causing traffic congestion especially when cyclists don't seem to be using it.

No Criminal Charges Will Be Filed In Perry's Death

City police consulting with the Crown prosecutor's office deciding no criminal charges will be laid in the death of Serena Perry.

Perry died on February 14th, 2012 while she was a patient at the Regional Hospital.

The forensic pathology examination can't confirm a cause of death and as a result Police Chief Bill Reid has requested the Coroner's office hold a public inquest into Perry's death.

Ruling Made On Minto Man Who Killed His Neighbours

30 year old Gregory Despres, who brutally stabbed Fred Fulton and Verna Decarie to death in their Minto home back in 2005, will remain locked up in a secure psychiatric facility inside Dorchester Penitentiary.

A review board has determined Despres still is a threat after hearing from psychiatrist Louis Theriault who testified his treatment has stalled.   

Despres was found not criminally responsible for the horrific carnage because he could not understand the wrongfulness of his actions.

Both Fulton and Decarie were in their 70s.   

Theriault is recommending Despres be transferred to the Restigouche Mental Health Hospital in Campbellton to allow for visits from his family, which might help him understand his role in the murders but the board turned that down.

Power Restored In South End

If you lost power earlier in the south end, CHSJ News has been told the lights are back on. City Police telling CHSJ news the power was disrupted after a transformer blew up.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Faulty Detector & Broken Water Pipe Keep Crews Busy

If you were wondering about the series of sirens uptown & west--we can tell you why.

Fire crews busy in the last hour with a faulty detector at Scotsburn Dairies-- the Popsicle factory on Station street and now crews are west dealing with a broken water pipe at Moosehead breweries.


Summer Fun At Stonehammer Geopark

It's a piece of geological history in our own back yard.

Stonehammer Geopark showcaes the colliding continents and ice age volcanoes that formed the land we call home. The park includes well known sites like Rockwood Park and interactive exhibits and a chance to learn more about how New Brunswick was formed millennia ago. 

Director Bill Merrifield recently gave a presentation to common council in which he explained why it's a great educational opportunity, especially for the kids. He described the park as providing a sense of ownership and context for the land.

The park is asking the city for $25,000 in the next fiscal year which they say would be invested directed back into the community via signage and marketing.

Steer Clear Of Beaches & Dunes With Your ATV Or Truck

The Department of Natural Resources reminding the public that it's illegal to drive on beaches, dunes, lakeshores and riverbeds.

Motorized vehicles represent a big threat to the conservation efforts in these places where many at-risk species make a gravel-sand beach their home.

DNR is asking for your help by avoiding beaches and shores where bird species may nest and the public should be most careful in areas with signs and fencing.

For more info, click here

Former Mayor Reacts To Snook

A sad situation but time heals all wounds and they city will move on .......That's the reaction of Councillor At Large Shirley McAlary to her former colleague on Common Council, Donnie Snook pleading guilty to so many charges of abusing children he was in the business of helping.

McAlary, who is out and about a lot, concedes she did not suspect Snook of being a pedophile.

Alot of people who had contact with Snook may be beating themselves over how they could have been fooled for so long. That's understandable according to Katina Feggos, Case Manager of Clinical Services at Family Plus/Life Solutions.

She says the real focus, though, should not be on what they should have known or done but on what the individual did to violate their trust.

Couples Benefit From Traveling Together

38 per cent of people responding to a survey say by traveling together they learn they have more in common with their partner than they thought.

Couples Therapist Ashley Howe tells CHSJ News most Canadians want to travel with partners rather than alone.

She says people were noticing a trend of single vacations and people trekking through Europe alone so there was an impression that travel alone was becoming more popular.

The survey found 88 per cent of Canadians prefer to travel with their spouse.

Gas Prices Are Down

You'll get a bit of a break with gas prices this morning after the weekly setting. 

Self serve regular in the city is going for $1.25.2 a litre with diesel at $1.27.7. 

Propane is also cheaper with a maximum price of $1.03.6 a litre and the max for heating oil is less expensive at $1.10.3.

Fredericton Author Fined For Tax Evasion

A New Brunswick author has been fined $9,000 for failing to file his personal and corporate income tax returns.  

Glenn Willard Murray of Fredericton was sentenced on nine separate charges under the Income Tax Act.

Murray is the director of Three Serious Guys Inc. and author of a popular book series.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The SJFD's Armstrong Gets A Promotion

He's a 34 year veteran of the Saint John Fire department and now he's the Deputy Fire Chief.

CHSJ News asked Joe Armstrong about the changes he has seen in firefighting over the years.

He says the first night he worked they didn't have air packs for the holiday relief firefighters working on the trucks.   He says the equipment has come a long and everything is very modern now.

Armstrong says he's excited to work with Chief Kevin Clifford and the Mayor and council adding exciting things are happening in the city.

Prest Died In His Cell

City police confirm the inmate who died at the jail on the Old Black River Road is 39 year old Adam Lee Steven Prest.

He was found unresponsive in his cell about 1:20 yesterday.

The Major Crime Unit has determined there is no foul play involved in his death and no criminal offences occurred.

Prest was charged last Wednesday with 2nd degree murder in Rothesay in the death of his common law partner 33 year old Tanya Shand.

Crown Prosecutor Offers More Details On Snook Proceedings

With Donnie Snook pleading guilty to all 46 charges against him, Crown prosecutor Karen Lee-Lamrock pointing out at least the victims will be spared the ordeal of a long trial.

Lee-Lamrock tells CHSJ News the magnitude of the Donnie Snook case is the most severe she has ever dealt with in terms of the number of victims.

Snook also faces an extortion charge, which Lamrock explained has to do with acquiring pictures through the use of threats. The benefit of the guilty plea is that the families will be spared the ordeal of a long trial.

New Brunswick Federation Of Labour Has New President

The wolves are at the door everyday.......That's the situation facing all too many workers according to the new President of the Provincial Federation of Labour. 

Patrick Colford of Miramichi tells CHSJ news the clock is being turned back with a huge gap between the rich and the rest of us. He says there are workers with fulltime jobs who are having a tough time providing for their families. Despite that, he's optimistic about the future, believing the Harper Government will pay a price for its reforms to Employment Insurance. 

Colford is a member of the Canadian Union of Public Employees and ran federally for the NDP. Ron Oldfield of the Saint John and District Labour Council also ran for the Presidency but lost out to Colford.

Snook Crimes Go Back 12 Years & Involve Some As Young As 5

Former Common councillor Donnie Snook pleading guilty in court to 46 charges involving 17 children.

The charges involving 17 boys between January 2001 until Snook's arrest in January of this year.

Most of the victims were from the Saint John area and range in age from 5 years old to 15 years old at the time of the offenses.

They include 13 charges of touching a child for a sexual purpose, 9 charges of producing child pornography and 2 charges of sexual assault.

The 41 year old Snook is due back in court on June 25th at 9:30am to set a date for sentencing.

Anyone with further info on this case is asked to contact City police or Crime Stoppers. 

For City police call  648-3333 or contact NB Crime Stoppers online at at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Grow-Op Dismantled In Beaver Harbour

Officers seizing marijuana plants and drug paraphernalia as they dismantled a grow-op in a home near St. George late Monday night. 

The RCMP arrested a 33-year-old man who will be in court at a later date. The Mounties say it's possible a second person will face charges.

Snook's Lawyer Says His Client Is In A Good State Of Mind

Donnie Snook's lawyer Dennis Boyle says his client is in a good state of mind.

Boyle says he is probably somewhat relieved that this matter has taken the first steps towards correction, rehabilitation and perhaps healing.

Boyle would not say where Snook is being jailed.

Snook's Former Friend Upset At Seeing Him In Court Today

Donnie Snook's former friend was in court today and didn't like what he heard.

Darrell Bastarache tells us he was upset when he saw Snook in court today.

He says didn't look to remorseful and he thinks that is pretty sad.

Bastarache says parent's have to be cautious and don't fall for every little nice gesture.

He says the kids trusted them and no one ever saw this coming. 

Bastarache's own children were part of the children's charities that Snook was involved in.

BREAKING NEWS........Snook Pleads Guilty

There were audible murmurs in the courtroom as former Common Councillor Donnie Snook pleaded guilty to a total of 46 charges involving 17 victims dating back to 2006 including threats of extortion. 

He had originally been charged with 8 charges of child exploitation. 

Snook entered the courtroom with buzzed hair looking thin, tired and dishevelled. 

The prosecution is asking for a 2 week adjournment to set a date for sentencing.

A Heads-up For Drivers From The City

Repaving is taking place along Rothesay Avenue between McAllister Drive and the Thruway starting today and also on Millidge Avenue between Tartan Street and University Avenue.

Somerset Street will be closed to traffic from Thornborough Street to Barker Street and Wellesley Avenue will be closed from Montgomery Crescent to Cranston Avenue for street reconstruction and sewer work.

Snook Back In Court

We should find out this morning if more charges will be laid against former Common Councillor Donnie Snook who has been charged with 8 counts of child exploitation. 

Since he was arrested with his laptop in early January at his home on Martha Avenue, a special task force has been investigating.

Police Chief Bill Reid has said more allegations have been made since then and this has led to an expectation of more charges being laid. 

Snook has not made any pleas yet on the charges and decided to remain in custody.

Concept Plan For Rothesay Common Rolled Out

We now have a better idea what the upgrade of the Rothesay Common will look like as a concept plan was unveiled at an open house. 

It includes a rock lined brook, a display fountain, a piece of sculpture, 2 reconstructed basketball courts,an oval skating loop, rubber surfacing for the playground that will not be enlarged and a new nature play tot lot. 

Rothesay Mayor Bill Bishop tells CHSJ News there will be an artificial rink for use in the winter. The open house was told the chiller for that ice will be inside a building to reduce the noise level. It's estimated to cost 10 thousand dollars a month to main an artificial ice surface. 

Bishop says there will be no splash pad. 

There has been concern about parking around the Common but Bishop says the fire chief has told the town fire trucks will be able to make there way through without being impeded.

UNBSJ Professor Researching Domestic Violence Risk Assessment Tool

When domestic violence escalates, the results can be tragic. But what if police could predict when to intervene? 

That's the idea behind a family violence risk-assessment tool being researched by UNB Saint John professor Dr. Mary Ann Campbell. She tells CHSJ News making arrests isn't the entire solution, because putting someone in handcuffs doesn't mean they won't become violent again.

Campbell says police could use the tool to refer high risk families to a special unit that could follow up and provide services and support.

She tells us there's currently a lot of discussion about the right risk tool to use in Saint John but, generally, people seem to be leaning towards a willingness to adopt one.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Investigation Underway Into Inmate Death At Regional Jail

City police say they don't believe foul play is involved in the death of a 39 year old inmate at the Regional Correctional Centre Tuesday afternoon -- they tell us they were called to the Old Black River Road jail shortly after one this afternoon.

So far no name has been released although there is alot of speculation about who it is. 

We have placed calls to the Department of Public Safety but so far the Department which is responsible for operations at the jail has not offered up any details.

Bike Lane Now Open, Means Changes For Drivers Too

If you like to bike, you're in luck.

Drivers and cyclists are advised that the temporary two-way bike lane on Main Street and the Viaduct from Chesley Drive to Union Street is now open.  The bike route is an alternate way to get from the North End to the Uptown since the Harbour Passage is once again closed due to repairs to the bridge.

As a result, the speed limit is reduced to 50 kilometers an hour.

West-East Pipeline Alone Won't Make Province Rich, Says NDP Leader

The province's NDP leader says the pipeline is not going to be the silver bullet that saves New Brunswick. 

Dominic Cardy tells CHSJ News that he supports the project, but we're not just going to make this province wealthy by pulling things out of the ground and processing raw materials. 

He says we need to work on education and skill-training so we can compete for what he calls the high-end jobs.

Cardy says the educational system has let many people down, and needs to be turned around before New Brunswickers can become competitive in the job market.

Colourful Performance Art On Germain

Germain Street is getting a dash of colour today in the form of large, funny drawings decorating the public space beside the Feel Good Store.

Performance Artist Tim Turnell and his daughter worked together on the illustrations, which are from an obscure German children's book called Slovenly Peter. He tells CHSJ News he's posting the images and then acting out the strange and funny tales for passers by. The tales warn little children against the dangers of disobeying their parents, playing with matches, and other mischevious behaviour.

Turnell will be posting different images and doing his performance art throughout the week. He'll also be performing in the Fundy Fringe Festival coming up in August.

Canoe Rescue At Reversing Falls

A person canoeing in Reversing Falls overturned just past the Falls restaurant, but has been rescued safely.

Police getting the call shortly before 1pm that the occupant of the canoe--a man from Perth--was clinging to the side of the boat. The Coast Guard was been notified and a small powerboat came in to assist them and tow the canoe back to shore.

Police are on the scene.

Tarp Covered Building Draws Ire Of Neighbours

For the past 16 months, a tarp has covered the upper three storeys of a Carmarthan Street townhouse. Owner Brian Blanchard says he hasn't had the money to repair the building, which dates back to before the Great Fire of 1877.

Saint John Building Inspector Amy Poffenroth tells CHSJ News her office is aware there have been complaints about the building, which rained a pile of loose bricks onto the sidewalk in February 2012. It was after that damage--caused, according to Blanchard, by a leak in the roof of which he was unaware--that the decision was made to cover the facade of the historic rooming house with the tarp. Wooden barricades have also been installed blocking off part of the sidewalk.

Although the adjoining buildings are occupied, the tarp-covered portion has remained vacant for years. While Blanchard says the only people complaining are disgruntled ex-tenants, neighbours disagree, saying the plastic covering is unsightly and flaps loudly in high winds. Further, the derelict look of the building discourages others in the neighborhood from taking pride in their own properties.

Blanchard says he's commited to finishing the job in early September.

Pictured: damage to 138-140 Carmarthen. Credit: Peter Josselyn

Electricity Will Cost You More Starting Next October

You'll have to pay 2 per cent more for the electricity you use beginning on October 1st. That word from NB Power following rates being frozen over the past 40 months at their June 2010 levels.

NB Power says it has eliminated 300 jobs, frozen salaries, successfully reduced operating costs by $47 million annually and had record earnings. 

NB Power President and C-E-O Gaetan Thomas claims another $20 million in yearly cost savings have been identified with plans calling for the utility's debt to be lowered by $1 billion in the next 10 years.

Smile, Litterbugs: You Could Be On Candid Camera

If you like to skip out tipping fees by polluting our roadsides, rivers and woods, you could soon be saying "cheese"--on surveillance video.

City staff are working on a report to put in cameras to catch litterbugs in the act per the request of Common Councillor David Merrithew. He tells CHSJ News he was disgusted after seeing a huge illegal site in Red Head the residents were trying to clean up.

Merrithew says there are plenty of opportunities for people to dispose of their trash properly if they take the time to educate themselves, and he'd like offenders to get the maximum fines to make an example out of them.

City staff will come back with more information on how much the cameras would cost and where they would go.

City Contract Sparks Debate Over Buying Local Vs. Buying Smart

Supporting local businesses is crucial in these tough ecnomic times--but what if "buying local" comes with a hefty price tag?

At its most recent meeting, common council wrestled with whether to award a groundwater drilling contract to a locally-based company, or a lower bidder from Quebec. City staff concluded the Saint John company not only cost more but had less solid research. Yet Common Councillor John Mackenzie feared the Saint John company's bid was $100,000  higher because they have an insider's knowledge about potential issues with the terrain. MacKenzie and fellow councillor Bill Farren expressed concern that the taxpayers would ultimately pay more in cost overruns.

Common councillor Shirley McAlary disagreed, saying council cannot give preferential treatment to local companies when the request was put out to everyone. In fact, councillor Ray Strwobridge pointed out, that kind of favouritism could land the city in legal trouble.

If all goes according to plan the well would provide water to much of the West Side. The contract was finally awarded to the Quebec company to the tune of $268,000.

Acadie-Bathurst MP Calls For Abolishment Of Senate

The member of parliament for the northern part of the province saying the senate was put there by people and can be removed by people. 

Yvon Godin, the MP for Acadie-Bathurst tells CHSJ News that the senate has never been in touch with the everyday Canadians, and in light of the recent senate expense scandal, it's clear that it's time for them to go.

In a speech to union delegates at the New Brunswick Federation of Labour convention Godin saying we have good senators, the institution is the problem.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Quispamsis Getting A Lot Greener

Quispamsis has launched a new tree-planting program with the help of a 2013 TD Green Streets grant. Residents can plant a tree on their local streets and also be able to "adopt" a tree for a cost of $30.

The goal is to have 100 trees adopted in the first month.

Rain, Rain Go Away

It's been a soggier May than usual--but at least it's been good for the province's forests and gardens.

Environment Canada meteorologist Claude Cote tells CHSJ News we usually get 118 millimeters of rain in May, and and of this morning we had 137ml.

There's some sun in the forecast for tomorrow, but the rest of the week is still looking pretty cloudy.

Saint John Businessman Fined For Tax Evasion

A local businessman being slapped with a six-figure fine after pleading guilty to charges of tax evasion. 

Bruce English, the owner of Soil Solutions, an environment dust control business, has been fined over 200-thousand dollars. 

Over 120-thousand dollars for not reporting business income for three years and nearly 100-thousand dollars for making false statements on his HST returns and understating his payable HST for the same three-year period. 

The fine has to be paid within a year and makes up 75% of the taxes he tried to evade.

MacKenzie Trial Hears Opening Statements

12 members of a jury at the second degree murder trial of Crystal Dawn MacKenzie will hear from 23 witnesses.

She is being retried for the March 2010 death of Patrick Thomas on Alma Street.

Prosecuter Jill Knee told the jury they will hear testimony that on the night of Thomas's death the couple were partying and getting along before fighting began.

Knee says the case will tell how a neighbour separated the two and MacKenzie was in a neighbour's apartment before grabbing a butcher knife and saying "I'm going to kill him" before Thomas was found bleeding from a stab wound on Alma street.

Defence lawyer David Kelly told the jury Thomas was violent and abusive when drinking and since her last trial, MacKenzie has remarried, had two more children and moved on with her life.

The trial continues at the Sydney Street courthouse

Massive Marijuana Seizure In Home Near Florenceville-Bristol

Police seizing enough marijuana from a home to make more than 85,000 joints. 

Officers using a search warrant found and seized dried plants, marijuana plants in different stages of growth and hash oil from a house in Piercemont, which is about 15 kilometres away from Florenceville-Bristol. 

They also found an ATV that was reported stolen back in 2011. 

A 59-year-old man and a 60-year-old woman were arrested, they'll appear in court at a later date. They're expected to face a number of charges.

Work Continues on the King Square bandstand

Crews continue work on the King Square bandstand restoration project. 

City Police Show Up At Labour Rally

The police showing up to Union Street after traffic was blocked off by people holding signs and chanting. 

The protest was made up of union delegates who protested in support of 7 strikers at Maritime Broadcasting.

Daniel Legere of CUPE was there, and he tells CHSJ News it's the beginning of something much bigger.

He says it's the start of an enlightening that we're going to see more and more of and not just in this province but from one end of the country to the other as attacks on workers, in general, keeps coming from different levels of government. 

The protest started at the Trade and Convention Centre, where the New Brunswick Federation of Labour is hosting a convention for delegates.

The rally dispersed soon after the police arrived.