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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Boardwalk Buzzing With Canada Day Countdown Preparations

The countdown is about to begin. 

The 9th annual Canada Day Countdown is a concert that starts at 2pm on the boardwalk and features a line-up of 10 different musical acts, including a tribute to the late Stompin' Tom Conners, who passed away in March. It continues until 2am on July 1st. 

For more information, including a list of the bands playing, click here.

NCC's Moose Sex Project Gets Land Donation From Former Diplomat

The group behind a conservation project that aims to spark cross-border romance between moose has acquired hundreds of acres of land in a wilderness corridor.
That's largely comprised of recent land donation from former diplomat Derek Burney and Joan Burney, who donated 781 acres to the conservancy's efforts.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada now has 845 acres in an area that bridges this province, which has a healthy population of moose, with Nova Scotia, where moose are endangered with a population of only 1000 individual moose in the province.

It's called the Moose Sex Project and Andrew Holland of the organization tells CHSJ News by protecting this corridor they hope the animals can move freely between the two provinces. He says if mating between the two provinces is a success, it'll diversify the gene pool for moose in Nova Scotia.

Holland tells us the corridor is not along the Trans-Canada Highway.

Firefighters Rescue Passenger In Car Rollover

Photo courtesy of Musquash Fire Dept.
Fire crews extricating a passenger from a car that rolled over on Highway 1. Musquash firefighters used hydraulic rescue tools to get the person out of the vehicle, which went off of the road on Saturday afternoon. 

One person was already out of the car when firefighters arrived, both people were brought to the hospital by ambulance with what appears to be non-life threatening injuries.

East Side House Fire

A blaze breaking out in a single family home on the east side of the city. 

The fire department's division chief Mark Wilson says they got the call early in the morning and when they showed up to 1845 Golden Grove Road, they were met with heavy fire and smoke coming from the house.

He says they started an aggressive attack on the inside, and with the help of the Kennebecasis Valley Fire Department, it took crews two and a half hours to get the fire under control.

Wilson says the fire is being investigated by the city police's Major Crime Unit and the fire department's Fire Prevention and Investigation Division.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Truck Parade On King Street

You might have watched a steady stream of Irving Oil trucks driving down King Street earlier this morning, slowing down traffic for a brief spell. 

If you were wondering what was going on, we have the answer.

Darren Gillis of Irving Oil tells CHSJ News they were re-creating a picture of a truck parade from 1960, the year the refinery opened. Gillis says, to mark the launch of their new Air Miles Campaign, they're re-living that celebration with another celebration.

The truck parade is slated to drive down Garden Street, Lancaster Street and Route 1 today. 

Red Cross Sends Atlantic Volunteer Group to Alberta

A volunteer team from the East coast is out West. 

24 Red Cross volunteers are in flood-ravaged Alberta, helping with the flood relief effort on the ground. The 22 disaster volunteers and two staff who have traveled to the province will help run emergency shelters in the Calgary area and other evacuated areas. 

Meanwhile, a much larger group continues to help flood victims from offices located in Darmouth and Sydney, Nova Scotia, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, and here in Saint John. The support will continue through the Canada Day long weekend and likely all of the following week.

The volunteers from New Brunswick now in Alberta are: Catherine Vautour from Bronson Settlement, Gail Brownlee from Moncton, Glen Martin from Lower Kingsclear, Jeanette Miller from Oromocto, Julie Basterache from Jardineville, Lindsay Mitton from Moncton, and Renée Cormier from Shediac.

Police Look For Suspect In Fiery Causeway Crash

City police are looking for a suspect who fled the scene of a fiery car crash on the causeway which sent a woman to hospital.

At 5pm yesterday, a car speeding on the eastern part of the causeway veered out into oncoming traffic, then swerved back, hitting another car. Both vehicles were pushed into the guardrail and the suspect's car burst into flames. 

Police say the suspect then fled the scene on foot, and the woman in the other vehicle was brought to hospital with injuries.

Mounties Reminding Motorists To Drive Safely This Holiday Weekend

Long weekends are made for kicking back and relaxing, except when you hit the roadway. The RCMP say on holiday weekends, there's a lot of traffic on the roadways, so they're reminding drivers to obey the rules of the road. 

The minimum you'll have to shell out for a violation under the provincial Motor Vehicle Act is $172.50, and you can lose demerit points. Constable Derek Black of the Oromocto RCMP says depending on the type of infraction, fines can increase. Fines for speeding can go up to nearly $292.50 when a car is going more than 25 kilometres an hour above the speed limit, and fines double when speeding in a construction zone. 

Here's a list of the most common infractions seen by the Oromocto RCMP:

-Failing to have a front license plate displayed on a vehicle
-Not being able to produce upon request from a police officer an insurance card, drivers license, vehicle registration
-Having a vehicle with tinted windows that prevent more than 30% of light to enter the vehicle

-Passing on a solid line
-Failing to wear a seatbelt, both the driver and any passenger over the age of 16 can receive a ticket. It’s also the responsibility of drivers' to ensure that children are buckled up.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Police Reminding You To Lock Your Vehicle

City police feel like they are making some progress in getting people to lock their vehicles.

It might seem second nature to you and me but for many 
people it's a old habit that must be changed.

Sgt. David Hartley-Brown of the Community Services Unit tells CHSJ News a big part of it is that we are in a rush.

Our minds are preoccupied with other issues so it's an oversight.   He says we don't take the time to ask ourselves if we locked the door or left the laptop in the backseat.

Hartley-Brown says they are seeing some improvement in the numbers of vehicles that are being stolen.

Trial Of Twin Brothers In Deadly Home Invasion Into Home Stretch

The trial of the Saia twin brothers on charges stemming from a fatal home invasion last November on the lower west side is winding down.

The prosecution wrapped up its case with police testimony about the arrest of 21 year old Brandon Saia after a foot chase at Duke and Watson Streets. The arrest happened three days after the home invasion on Prince Street West. Bradley Saia was not arrested until sometime later in Halifax.

The defense did not call any witnesses.

Closing arguments to the jury, comprised of 7 women and 5 men, will take place Tuesday morning. Jury deliberations will not take place until Wednesday after Justice Judy Clendenning delivers her instructions.

Tourism Minister Optimistic About Summer Season

The Canada Day weekend officially kicks off the summer vacation period and Provincial Tourism Minister Trevor Holder is excited about this year's potential.

Holder tells CHSJ News his department has been refocusing its promotions on key markets like the Big Apple where we showcased a video in Times Square.

He says there has been a lot of investment in refreshing our Fundy experience branding through improvements like the second cruise terminal and expansion of the Fundy Trail.

The Minister says his department is also more savvy in how it's targeting its promotions through the use of postal and zip codes and as result Holder says he's feeling good about this year's summer tourism season.

The Liberal Say Tax Hikes Are Broken Promises

Broken promises and desperate decisions...that's what the Liberals are saying about tax increases kicking in on Canada Day.

It was announced back in March in the provincial budget.
CHSJ News asked Liberal finance critic Roger Melanson if given the current fiscal situation the province really had any choice.

He says on the third budget of their mandate they made a desperate decision to increase income tax and we need to understand the impact it may have on consumer confidence and disposable income.

Melanson says corporations will pay more in taxes as well, but he says it's obvious the working person will carry the greatest tax burden.

Your Pay Cheque Is About To Shrink

Tax increases go into effect as of Canada Day in the province because of the provincial budget. 

If you earn 30 thousand dollars a year, you will pay about $179 dollars more in provincial income tax and a single income earner making over 60 thousand will pay 796 dollars more. 

The Atlantic Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation Kevin Lacey tells CHSJ News this is a problem of the government's own making because of overspending.

The Taxpayers Federation would like to see a commitment from the Premier that once the provincial budget is balanced, these tax increases will be rolled back.

Target Scheduling Job Fairs

Target will be holding job fairs next week in Saint John, Fredericton and Moncton from Wednesday through Saturday. 

The job fair in Saint John will be happening at Loch Lomand mall.

Wednesday, July 3rd, 8:30am - 5:30pm

Thursday, July 4th, 11:30am - 8:30pm

Friday, July 5th, 8:30am - 5:30pm

Saturday, July 6th, 8:30am - 5:30pm

Saint John Movie Theatres Bought

The movie theatres on the east side and in Rothesay are being sold. Empire Company Limited, the owner of Sobeys, wants to concentrate on the fortunes of the grocery chain.   

Cineplex, Canada's largest cinema company, is buying 26 Empire theatres for 200-million dollars.

 Landmark Cinemas will acquire 20 others for 55-million dollars.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Blood Stains Found On Clothing Of Accused In Home Invasion

The jury at the trial of Brendan and Bradley Saia, both 21, for a bloody and deadly home invasion on Prince Street heard plenty of forensic testimony from police and a specialist from Halifax.

The court was told blood stains were found on the sneakers and clothing worn by Brendan Saia as well as Ronald McCutcheon who had been let out of jail by mistake.

Police were also told a lot of the evidence they wanted analysed could not be processed by the lab on time.

A forensic expert from the lab in Halifax testified the DNA samples from the Saia brothers cannot be distinguished from one another because they are identical twins. 

Christopher Reid's D-N-A was taken from a knife. A-J Dennison's D-N-A from a knife blade. Dennison died from the stab wounds he sustained and no conclusion could be made from the D-N-A on a machete and its handle.

Oven Fire Source Of Smoke

A flurry of excitement earlier this afternoon at the highrise on Smythe Street - fire crews responding to an alarm that turned out to be an oven fire - the blaze filled the apartment and hallway with a lot of smoke.
Fire fighters brought in heavy duty exhaust fans to clear the smoke while paramedics checked out the people living in the apartment as a precaution.

Golden Grove Road Fire Is Suspicious

Fire investigators are en route to the scene at 2010 Golden Grove Road after a fire broke out earlier today.

Mark Wilson of the Saint John Fire Department tells CHSJ News a lot of the fire is knocked down.

He says they are still digging out the fire extension into the roof, attic and walls adding it's hard to put crews in the house as they know about holes in the floor.

Wilson says this building is one they were keeping an eye on it adding there is a history there and the cause is suspicious at this time.

Two Of The Four Men Identified In Child Sex Probe

We now know where the four provincial men facing charges in the Operation Snapsnot probe are from.

On June 13th, police seized computers, cd's, dvd's and more from a Lincoln home and a 42 year old man was arrested and later released.

The next day in another search where similar material was seized 52 year old Fred Price of Frederiction was arrested.

On the 21st, a search in Lorne netted more of the same resulting in charges for a 36 year old man and on June 24th another search was conducted in Miramichi where computers and more were seized leading to charges for 48-year-old Donald Martin.

All four men have future court dates.

The investigation being led by RCMP's Internet Child Exploitation Unit with help from other units and other police forces.

The Town of Quispamsis Encourages Ideas For A BMX Park

The town of Quispamsis wants to expand recreation and is looking to the younger generation for ideas on a BMX park for bike riders.

Barry Brown is the Parks Manager for the town and he tells CHSJ News there will be a pump track with jumps along the way to make things interesting but the larger the jumps, the more pedaling that's required on the part of riders.

Brown says the town has not decided on a permanent location for a 40 metre square and are hoping the young people will offer up some suggestions. He says there would also be some green space as part of the park but it would take a couple of years to finish up the project. Brown is hoping there will be a start sometime this year.

Crews Battling Golden Grove Road Blaze

Fire crews are on the scene of a structure fire at 2010 Golden Grove Road.    

City police are blocking traffic are either side of Golden Grove road.

It appears the building involved is vacant.  

Additional resources have been called in to help from the KV Fire department.

Grace Foundation Approached By Trudeau

It's not entirely clear whether the Grace Foundation wants its 20 thousand dollars back from Federal Liberal leader Justin Trudeau for a failed fundraiser over a year ago at the Imperial Theatre. 

That, according to a spokesperson for Trudeau who says he asked the Foundation last week to specify if it wants its money back in cash or ``some other arrangement,'' like having him headline another fundraising event for free but the foundation has yet to respond. 

No other group has sought repayment except for the Grace Foundation which released a statement claiming it was distressed over the issue becoming "a political football" and aimed some pointed criticism at Fundy Royal Conservative M-P Rob Moore for fuelling the controversy.  

Online Child Predators Targeted

A major child pornography bust in Atlantic Canada with 22 arrests including 4 in New Brunswick. 64 charges have been laid.

The arrests are part of a joint investigation into the exploitation of children.

Police say two children were taken into safety as a result of the investigation because they were at risk of being harmed.

The charges include accessing, making and possessing child pornography and voyeurism.

Self Serve Regular Is Cheaper

You'll pay a bit less for self serve regular in the city after the weekly setting. 

It has dropped by just over a cent a litre to $1.25.3. Diesel is virtually unchanged at $1.28.7 a litre. 

Propane is less expensive with a maximum price of 97 cents a litre and the max for heating oil is $1.11.6.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Traffic Note for Catherwood Street

Both the eastbound and westbound lanes of Catherwood Street on the West side will be closed to thru traffic from 8am to 430pm tomorrow between Manawagonish Road and Ready Street for repairs.   For more info,  call 658-4455.

Canada Day Uptown Boasts New Event

For one hour on Canada Day, our Mayor Mel Norton will preside over a re-enactment of a "Pie Powder Court".

That is a special tribunal held at fairs or markets that dates back to 18th century England.

Following this, the Mayor will be awarding certificates to citizens declaring them Honourary Deputy Market Clerk.

It begins at 10am on Monday in the City market.

You can get all the details on the event and all other Canada Day events by clicking 


Stabbing Victim Testifies at Saia Brothers Trial

The trial of twin brothers continues with the jury hearing testimony from a young man who was stabbed during a deadly home invasion on November 3 of last year. 

21 year-old Christopher Reid testifying he went to sleep with a meat cleaver and a knife by his bed, because he was afraid a group was going to kick in the door to his house on Prince Street West. 

He says he woke up to men yelling "Saint John Police Force" so he grabbed the knife. He says he saw three men go by and he stabbed the last. 

Reid was then hit in the head with a hammer, hit in the back with a machete and got cuts on his shoulders, throat and neck.

The court also heard from Melissa Perry who testified her boyfriend, A-J Dennison didn't want to participate and was later stabbed during the home invasion. 

Perry is the sister of Serena Perry who died at the Regional Hospital under mysterious circumstances and whose body was found in the amphitheatre.

Former Chicken Noodle Club Volunteer Speaks Out

There's stigma attached to the name Chicken Noodle Club ever since the arrest of former Common Councillor and pedophile Donnie Snook and his guilty pleas on more than 40 charges of child exploitation. 

Snook became the face and voice for the Chicken Noodle Club. Judith Meinert-Thomas, who was a volunteer for 4 or 5 years, says a makeover is needed to ensure its survival but she's confident it will withstand the current difficulties.

Meinert-Thomas says besides a new moniker, a new person will have to be hired who will be spotless.

She points out the lunch program feeds 18 thousand young people a year in the south end and that's nothing to sneeze at.

Weston Calls For Changes on the Release of High Risk Sex Offenders

Saint John MP Rodney Weston says he is personally troubled with the number of high risk offenders being released into our community.

He says many people are expressing concerns to him over safety and protecting famillies.

After speaking with local police and the federal office of Public Safety, Weston says its clear changes need to be made with how known sex offenders are released, what information should be made available to the public and the locations where they are to be released.

Weston says he'll be working with the Minister of Public Safety and the province to examine the current provisions in place. 

He's calling for stronger rules to ensure more public disclosure of information surrounding the release of high rish sex offenders and the application of conditions to their release which protect the public interest.

Holland Will Remember Scott For Politics, Personality

One of Andy Scott's former employees says he'll remember him for not shying away from the tough issues.

The former Fredericton Liberal MP passed away at the age of 58, and Andrew Holland, who started working for Scott in the fall of 2003, tells CHSJ News, he tackled contentious topics like same-sex marriage and gun control head-on.

Holland says Scott would manange to bring people on both sides of the issue together so the community would have a good conversation about and a better understanding of what was being discussed in Ottawa and Parliament.

Holland worked for Scott for four years, and says on a personal level he was a huge sports enthusiast and a really good father.

Water Rescue After Fire Breaks Out

One of our listeners letting us know about a water rescue that took place last night on the St. John River at Gorham's Creek off Belleisle Bay. 

We're told a stove caught fire on board a sailboat and one person may have suffered burns.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

BREAKING NEWS - Severe Weather Alerts Ended

Environment Canada says the severe weather warnings for the greater Saint John area - Kennebecasis Valley - and - Sussex have ended.

BREAKING NEWS - Tornado And Severe Thunderstorm Watches Issued

Environment Canada issuing a tornado warning for Sussex, Kennebecasis Valley and Kings County.

The warning advises people living in or near this area to be on the lookout for bad weather and take the necessary safety precautions.

Meantime - Environment Canada has also issued a severe thunderstorm watch for the Saint John area this evening - the federal agency says there is a potential for severe storms with hail and high winds.

$20 Million To Support Research & Innovation Province Wide

It's good news for people who work in labs in the Province.

The province announcing a $20 million dollar investment to support research and innovation.

Robert Hatheway tells CHSJ News it means the New Brunswick Innovation Fund will have predictable funding long term.

This funding allows the NBIF to support any spot or location that is doing research within the province and with that comes commercialization.

This money will allow researchers at universities and colleges around the province access additional research dollars from other agencies and industry.

Radio Strikers Mark One Year

As of today, seven radio personalities have been on strike for 365 days. The Maritime Broadcasting strikers rallied in King's Square during lunchtime to mark a year since their strike began.

 Ron Oldfield of the Saint John & District Labour Council was there, and he tells CSHJ News they're asking local businesses to withdraw support from the station. He says by them advertising on the station, they're financing a strike and allowing the employer to continue on with bad practices. 

Provincial NDP leader Dominic Cardy also voiced his support for the strikers. He tells CHSJ News he hopes the strong show of support gets things moving so the strikers can get a first collective agreement.

Patrick Colford, the president of the provincial Federation of Labour tells CHSJ News the situation is a disgrace. He says they're not asking for the moon, they're asking for a fair wage.

Zed Says Scott Leaves An Incredible Legacy

Paul Zed says no one will forget Andy Scott.

The former Fredericton Liberal MP passed away at the age 58 after an illness.

Zed says he's very sad that Scott has left us too soon.

He tells he says Scott last week and he was concerned about leaving his 6 year old son Noah without a dad so he was working on a project detailing his life so his young son will remember him.

Liberal leader Brian Gallant issuing a statement saying Scott's roots in the provincial party run deep having served as a president of the Young Liberals in 1979 and in the 80's working as a field worker, director of fundraising and executive director.

Feeding Deer Won't Become A Crime

Feeding these forest critters is not against the law. Council going along with a recommendation from City Staff that putting in a bylaw to make feeding deer an offense would be impractical. 

Councillor Shirley McAlary says when you implement a bylaw, you have to be able to enforce it, and in this case, they wouldn't be able to. 

Councillor Bill Farren expressed some reservations, saying Saint John, like outlying areas, is becoming overrun by deer, and his concerns lie in the health issues. He says many people will stop if you have a by-law in place. 

Councillor Donna Reardon says she'd like to see council try to get the message out that it's not a good idea to feed the deer, even though they can't police it.

Harbourview High Choir Off On Their European Adventure

Now that school is over, the Harbourview High Ensemble Choir will be off to Europe for more than just sightseeing.

Choirmaster Mike Malloy tells CHSJ News they will be giving several performances along the way in some historic locations including  the Vimy Ridge Memorial, the last synagogue that was left standing in Germany after the Holocaust at Essen and the church in Leipzeg where Johann Sebastian Bach was organist for 27 years as well as a Canada Day concert in Amsterdam on June 30th.

Malloy calls it a unique opportunity because they will be performing as well as sightseeing and, as such, the barriers will come down and they will be able to see more than if they were just tourists on vacation. He adds the young people are, in his words, "a tad excited".

Snook's Sentencing Hearing Scheduled

Donnie Snook's sentencing hearing is scheduled for August 29th and could last more than one day. 

Judge Alfred Brien also says the actual sentencing itself may not take place then. 

He has also ordered a sex offender assessment to be part of the pre-sentence report on the likelihood of re-offending.

Snook's lawyer Dennis Boyle is not ruling out further charges being laid. 

Boyle also suggested Snook is not being housed in the local jail but would not say where he is being held.

Judith Meinert was a member of the Board at the Inner City Youth Minister when Donnie Snook was the Director and also volunteered at the Chicken Noodle Club when he was there. 

She admits to being left speechless at what has come to light since early January.

Meinert says she and Snook often went to evening prayer together but obviously his life was not all it seemed with alot of compartmentalisation.

City Taking Proactive Approach To Release of Sex Offenders

Controversy has been swirling around the release of three sex offenders into the community in recent months, an issue that hasn't been lost on council. 

They voted to begin work that would result in them getting a heads up in the future. 

Deputy Mayor Shelley Rinehart says the city is very vulnerable right now, and answers are needed to understand how the numbers of sex offenders are distributed across Canada, the reasoning behind the decision to release those individuals into particular communities and whether or not the context is taken into account.

They'll also be setting up a meeting with various officials to talk about the best way to resolve the problem in a way that protects the interests and safety of the community.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Holder Welcomes Ferry Replacement Announcement

Provincial Tourism Minister Trevor Holder is welcoming word of a replacement vessel for the 42-year old Princess of Acadia on the Saint John to Digby run.
Holder tells CHSJ News it will play an important role in securing the future of the Bay of Fundy tourism experience.
Business leaders on both sides of the bay are also welcoming the announcement especially those in the seafood industry who say the service is a crucial link to markets for their products.

Cloud Of Uncertainty Lifted From Bay of Fundy Ferry Service

Good news for those relying on the Saint John to Digby ferry service - the federal government has announced the process will begin to find a replacement for the aging Princess of Acadia.
Saint John M-P Rodney Weston is one of a number of federal and provincial reps who made the trek to Digby for the announcement.

New Brunswickers Head West To Help Flood Victims

Maritimers are known for their community spirit, and plenty of us are using that to help out with the flood relief effects in Alberta. 

Dan Bedell of the Canadian Red Cross tells CHSJ News many trained people from all over New Brunswick, in particular, are ready to go. This province is familiar with floods, albeit on a much smaler scale, in places like Perth Andover and Charlotte County.

Bedell says while the situation might be getting better in parts of Calgary, there are as many as a dozen outlying communities which are still feeling the worst of this nearly-unprecedented natural disaster on Canadian soil. 

The Red Cross is supporting evacuations and states of local emergency, helping to set up, equip and provide round-the-clock staffing for 11 emergency shelters.

Cops Look For Those Responsible For $2 Million In Damage

RCMP are investigating a suspicious fire that destroyed a rock crushing plant in Astle, which is near Stanley.

On Saturday evening  RCMP were called off of Highway 8 to investigate a fire that destroyed the plant, which used to supply a paving company. The monetary loss is estimated to be in the area of two million dollars.

Anyone with information about this fire is asked to contact the RCMP or Crimestoppers.

Poutine Challenge Is A Hot Mess

It was a ooey, gooey mess at Market Square today.

 One would could deny the first-ever Poutine Challenge was a smash hit with flavors running the gamut from seafood and cream cheese to turkey and cranberry. 

Stephany Peterson of the Hardman group tells CHSJ News the free samples and festive atmosphere were a  big draw for Saint Johners, and it's wonderful the event also coincided with Ste-Jean Baptiste Day, considering that's the namesake of our fair city.

Grannan's, York Bistro and Britt's snagged the top 3 spots in the poutine challenge--but all the creations served during the challenge will be showing up on local restaurant menus until the end of the season. It's all part of the Canada Day Countdown which features events at Market Square from now until the weekend.

BREAKING NEWS: Found Body Is A Woman

Just before 9 this morning, emergency personnel got the call about a body spotted in the water near Long Wharf.

The body has been removed from the water and taken to the Regional to be identified and to determine a cause of death.

The body is a woman but the age is unknown.

The major crime unit is leading the investigation.

Look Up At 250 New Fish In The Market

Look up when you are in the City market.  
More than 250 fish made by over 500 students are part of a community art project.

Chloe Brown is a student at Barnhill Memorial who made one of the dangling fish.

She says her teacher asked her and a friend if they wanted to paint a fish for the market and they said yes.

Robin Anderson also took part and tells CHSJ News it's always good to have your work displayed in public.

The fish will be on display until late this year and then auctioned off for the Harbour Lights campaign.

BREAKING NEWS - Emergency Crews Recovering Body

Police - fire - and - medical crews are in the process of recovering a body from the harbour at Long Wharf.
It was first spotted just before nine this morning.