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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Enterprise Saint John Undergoing A Makeover

More details will be unveiled today about how the True Growth strategy, released with such fanfare a few months ago, will translate into more jobs and economic growth.

General Manager Steve Carson tells CHSJ News Enterprise Saint John is being redesigned. He says under the new configuration, there will not be just one organisation responsible for attracting new businesses and investment to the area.

Deputy Mayor Shelly Rinehart, who works at the university and is spearheading the True Growth initiative, tells CHSJ News the outmigration of young people is scary for the future.

Students Conduct Social Experiment Doubling As Homelessness Awareness Campaign In The Uptown

They were holding handwritten cardboard signs and silently sitting on steps and sidewalks in the uptown. 

Four groups of college students posed as though they were homeless in what was partly a social experiment and partly a homelessness awareness campaign. 

Alicia MacDonald, a nursing instructor at the New Brunswick Community College in Saint Andrews tells CHSJ News that they wanted to observe the way homeless people are treated in this city.

She tells us that the reception they received depended on the location of the group. The students heard some negative comments about their messages with people even saying that they're disgusting and some saying homelessness is a choice.

MacDonald says that was balanced by other people who stopped to ask questions and try to donate money. She says they didn't accept any donations, they were just asking people to support their community's homelessness and mental health initiatives. She says that people are a community's best resource.

Woman Granted Bail In "Baby Taylor" Case

Thirty-year-old Christine Margaret Wood of Riverview, who is charged with concealing the body of a child, has been granted bail.

She was charged after the discovery of a newborn baby's body more than four years ago.

RCMP have been investigating since the boy's body was found in 2009 by a group of all-terrain vehicle riders on the side of Taylor Road.

Police believe the newborn had been left there up to five months before being discovered. Wood is scheduled to enter a plea July 3.

Inquest Into Boy's Death Hears From Classmates, Lifeguards

The inquest into the the death of a Chinese student at the Aquatic Centre in September of 2011 continues, with two lifeguards taking the stand. 

The jury heard from the classmates of the late Yifan Wang who were with him the day the Chinese student died. Before he was pulled from the pool, video shows him going down the water slide and then disappearing, which is consistent with testimony from friends.

One of the then high-school aged lifeguard on duty when Yifan Wang died says she spied the boy limp, vertical, deep under water with no bubbles coming to the surface. 

 Both she and the head lifeguard said the incident led to greater awareness, and more skills upgrading at Aquatic Center and that everybody did what they were supposed to do on the day of his death. The inquest also heard there were three people, two lifeguards and a paramedic, working on Wang within moments of the discovery he was unresponsive.

According to the head lifeguard at the time, the only potential error was that the young man was dragged into a puddle of water, which made it impossible to use the portable defibrillator for fear of electrocuting bystanders. 

Family Doctors Looking For Work Won't Find Many Opportunities In This Province Says Medical Residents

Doctors who want to live and work in this province may be forced to look elsewhere.

That's from Dr. Bobby Pomerleau, an assistant chief resident in Saint John. Medical residents have written a letter to Premier David Alward and Heath Minister Ted Flemming expressing their concerns that this province is discouraging family physicians from practicing here.

Pomerleau says that before he became aware of these issues, he would always say yes, that he is a New Brunswicker and wanted to stay and work in this province, but as he's nearing the end of his residency training, he says it's becoming more and more obvious that there simply aren't practice opportunities in our cities.

He says the few positions available in the province require doctors to take over established practices or move to remote and rural areas where there's little support for new physicians.

Point Lepreau's Power Output Increases

Point Lepreau's power output continues to climb. 

NB Power says that the nuclear power plant is now operating at 60% capacity. Power was down earlier in the year because of trouble with the reactor's fuel caps, forcing the company to slow re-fueling. They've said that the caps were too tight after adjustments were made during a refurbishment of the plant that finished in November.

The company says they'll continue to boost energy over the next few weeks until they reach full power. Point Lepreau began sending energy to back the grid in late April, with the reactor at 35% power.

Two-Person Protest About Health Care Cuts

Two protestors gathering outside of a provincial announcement on the west side to show their disagreement with health care cuts.

Rick Patton, who works in nursing with CUPE, tells CHSJ News the cuts that Health Minister Ted Flemming is imposing will have an impact on all communities in the province, big and small, but especially in rural areas, which he says have seen a reduction in both staff and service.

Patton tells us he's worked at the Ridgewood Veterans Heath wing for the past 25 years. 

Seeking Senior Input On How To Age Well

"People in their 70's are happier that people in their 40's"   

That from John McLaughlin of the Premier's Senior Panel says we look at the aging society with a negative view when many seniors are happy and active.

Healthy and Inclusive Communities Minister Dorothy Shephard says 9 public sessions will be held with the aim to include seniors in discussions about the future. 

CHSJ News asked her if she fears the public meeting will be hijacked by other topics.
She says it's meant to be a very positive dialogue on how we can create age-friendly communities and what the priorities are for the 97 per cent of our seniors and aging population live on their own.

Seniors in Saint John can take part in a public session at the Royal Canadian Legion on Wilson Street on June 4th between 6 and 9pm.

Mounties Still Looking For Armed Robbery Suspect

The search is still on for a man who robbed a convenience store at gunpoint in Lower Woodstock. 

The RCMP is looking for a man with a handgun who demanded money from the cashier at Maliseet Fuels on Route 165 late at night. He fled without getting anything and the cashier wasn't hurt. 

The suspect is about 5'8 tall and weighs around 250 to 270 pounds. He was wearing a ski mask, and black or blue cargo pants, dark blue or black hoodie, black gloves and a white shirt. 

If you have any information about this case, you're asked to get in touch with Crimestoppers by visiting or calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477)

To watch a video of the robbery, click here.

Inquest Opens Into Student's Death

A jury of three women and two men have been chosen to hear testimony at the inquest into the death of a Chinese student at the Aquatic Centre in September of 2011

The General Manager of the Aquatic Centre, Karen Ervin was the first witness to testify at the inquest  

She wasn't working on the Sunday when Yifan Wang died.

She testified there is usually 1 lifeguard for every 25 swimmers. The inquest will be focusing on the Ultimate Swim when everything at the swimming pool can be used. 

Yifan Wang's family is not in attendance.

Death Total Downgraded In Oklahoma Twister

The Medical examiner's office is revising the death toll from the Oklahoma tornado to at least 24.

The Oklahoma state medical examiner's office says that 20 children are among the dead in the tornado that ripped through Oklahoma City suburbs.

Medical examiner spokeswoman Amy Elliott confirmed the children's deaths last night.    The tornado made a direct hit on an elementary school in Moore and rescuers were seen pulling children alive from the rubble.

Authorities are still searching for victims throughout the community.

Martinon Fire Damages Garage & Two Vehicles

No one was hurt but two vehicles and a garage suffering damage after a blaze in Martinon on Monday.

Crews got the calls to respond to Victoria Road where a garage was fully involved. 

The fire also damaging the siding on a nearby home.

The Saint John Fire and Police department's are looking into the cause.

Inquest To Begin Into Death Of Chinese Student At Aquatic Centre

An inquest is scheduled to get underway today into the mysterious death in September of 2011 of a 17 year old Chinese student at the Aquatic Centre.

Yifan Wang had just moved to Saint John as an international student when he was swimming with some friends at the Aquatic Centre. To this day, what happened to him remains murky but he was not responding when pulled from the pool and died two days later.

A coroner's jury will hear from witnesses to determine the circumstances and make recommendations to avoid something like this happening again. It will not, however, be assigning blame.

Lawyer Rod Gillis had been representing the family but that was before he got into legal trouble himself and suspended from practicing law in the province.

Poll Ranks Weston As One Of The Silent MP's

Look who's talking....or rather, not talking. In a ranking by Samara, an independent charitable organization that studies democracy in Canada, two New Brunswick MPs made the top-ten list of least-talkative representatives on Parliament Hill. 

Keith Ashfield was number one and Rodney Weston placed seventh.....Weston tells CHSJ News he speaks out in other ways.

He says he steps out on many issues so he doesn't think he's silent on any issue and he thinks actions speak louder than words.

Ashfield clocked in with 922 words spoken in 54 days of debate....that's over 225-thousand fewer than chatterbox British Colombia MP Peter Julian whom the study ranked  "most talkative".

White Nose Syndrome Threatens Provincial Bat Population

Bats used to be a common sight on summer nights in the Maritimes....but they certainly aren't any longer.

New Brunswick Museum zoologist Donald McAlpine tells CHSJ News since 2006 the 3 most common bat species in New Brunswick have been wiped out by a fungus known as white nose syndrome.

He says that number has dropped from more than 7000 to just 79 and they are expecting that by next winter that the overwintering population in the province will be essentially gone.

White nose syndrome was probably introduced to the bats here by cavers from Europe, where the fungus originates. There's no known cure.

St. Martin's Mayor Thrilled With Fundy Trail Investment

The village of St. Martin's stands to benefit the most from a 7.9 million dollar funding announcement at the Fundy Trail.

MP's Rob Moore and Rodney Weston along with Premier David Alward letting everyone know last week at the trail.

Mayor Betty Ann Chatterton tells CHSJ News as the Fundy Trail grows so will the village.

She says it will also mean jobs during construction and as the trail expands it will mean more tourism jobs too.

Work on the next phase of the Fundy Trail begins next month.