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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Florida Government Responds To Concerned Travellers

The government of Florida has just announced that the Florida Highway Patrol will not enforce a new law requiring Canadians to have an International Driving Permit.
CAA saying in a statement they are grateful that the state of Florida has responded to pressure from CAA and thousands of concerned Canadians on this issue.

However, they are still seeking clarity from the state on whether this applies to all the over 400 law enforcement agencies that exist in Florida.

In the meantime, CAA advices Canadians travelling in the next few days that it's better safe than sorry and they should get an IDP. Those who will not be travelling for some days, and those already in Florida are advised to wait for  developments.

We will issue a release once the situation becomes more clear.

Cardy Says Lamrock Switcheroo Is Sign Of Things To Come

Here's a bit of a political shocker: a former Liberal cabinet minister under then Premier Shawn Graham has joined the NDP.

Kelly Lamrock was Minister of Social Development and led an anti-poverty initiative as well as giving some thought to running for the Liberal party leadership.
Provincial NDP leader Dominic Cardy says Lamrock worked with him on the anti-patronage bills adopted by the Alward government, discovered they had a lot in common and more people could be coming on board.

Lamrock says he's excited to have the chance to work with fellow progressives in developing clear policies that will give New Brunswickers real choices down the road. Lamrock gave some consideration to running for the leadership of the Provincial Liberal Party leadership but decided not to.

Heading South? This Change Could Effect You

Snowbirds and March Break-ers, beware.

aAchange to Florida driving regulations could cramp your style if you're heading South of the border. As of January 1, travellers will now need an International Driver's Permit as well as their Canadian license to get behind the wheel in a move intended to stop confusion over foreign languages on licenses.

CAA spokesman Gary Howard tells CHSJ News  it's causing a lot of hassle with long lineup, increased wait-times, and people confused about whether the new rules apply to them.

As it stands you need to have the $25 permit to drive in Florida and could face stiff penalties. Howard called the new regulations wrongheaded because almost all Canadian drivers licenses are issued in English.

Industrial Water Customers May Have To Pay Up

The hydro bill could be getting a little steeper for the city's industrial and commercial customers.

Common council hearing on Monday evening the rationale behind switching to a computerized metering system which would eliminate the need for meter readers and ensure the customers aren't being over or under-billed.

Councillor David Merrithew asked deputy commissioner of water Kendall Mason whether businesses aren't getting too sweet a deal, to which Mason responded there is no doubt the city is under-billign those customers.

Negotiating the water rate between the city and big corporations including Irving has been an ongoing issue for a number of years.

Emotions Can Vary When Someone You Know Falls From Grace

There has been concern about how young people in the city who have had contact with former Common Councillor Donnie Snook will react to his fall from grace.

Katina Feggos-Russell of Family Plus Counselling tells CHSJ News the entire community can be affected when a high profile personality gets into trouble and there's a real roller coaster of emotions such as denial, anger, grieving, a sense of betrayal and disillusionment.

She says there are some people who will try to block the person out as a means of coping and advises parents to let their children express how they're feeling openly and honestly.

New Focus To Help Students In the Anglophone South School District Cope

The mental health of students is beoming more of an issue in the Anglophone South School District.

Superintendent Zoe Watson tells CHSJ News an action plan is going to be developed. Part of that will be more training for teachers and guidance counsellors so they can recognise when a student is having difficulty coping and in need of help. Watson also says psychologists want to give a presentation to the District Education Council.

The "Celebrate What's Right With The World" initiative, launched back in 2008, will continue which attempts to get students to think positively, look for possibilities to do better, fix what's wrong and ride change.

In previous years, the focus had been on obesity and nutrition.

Former Liberal Cabinet Minister Joins NDP

The provincial NDP has itself a new member who just happens to be a former provincial Liberal cabinet Minister. 

Kelly Lamrock, who had considered running for the provincial Liberal leadership before deciding against, has joined the New Democrats, saying he's excited to be working with progressives. 

Lamrock led an initiative to reduce poverty when he was Social Development Minister under then Premier Shawn Graham. 

Provincial NDP leader Dominic Cardy says he and Lamrock found they had a lot in common while working on the anti-patronage bills being adopted by the Alward Government.

Gas Prices Change Slightly

Not much of a change with gas prices after the weekly setting. 

Self serve regular is selling in the city for $1.31.6 a litre which is virtually unchanged from yesterday. 

Diesel did go up by almost a couple of cents to $1.46.2 a litre. 

Heating oil did rise by almost 3 cents to a maximum of $1.24.6 a litre.

No Outside Play At West Side School

The high winds from last Saturday's storm caused a problem at St. Rose school on the west side. 

Wood ash blew over onto the school property from the nearby pulp mill and the students were not allowed to play outside.

The health and environment departments were called in and it was determined there were no health risks but nevertheless, it was decided to remove the snow which has been happening all week.

The children might be allowed out to play today.

Arson Suspected In North End Fire

It's believed a fire in the north end last night shortly after 9 was deliberately set. 

Platoon Chief Joe Armstrong says the fire at 168 Main Street North began on the outside of the vacant two storey building and that's where it was contained.

This was the second fire at that building in the last thirty days.