Linked Header

Monday, September 30, 2013

City Fire Department Hosting Inaugural Gala

It's an event that's been a long time coming...after 227 years the fire department is hosting its inaugural gala. 

Not only will they be celebrating over two centuries of service, they'll also be fundraising for the Salvation Army's Community Outreach Program. Fire Chief Kevin Clifford tells CHSJ News the firefighters came up with the idea. He says the group is often at fire scenes offering help to victims, so it was a natural fit.

Clifford says events like this help boost morale no matter where you work.

The formal event is happening on Saturday, October 5 from 6pm to midnight at the Saint John Trade and Convention Centre. Tickets are $100 a pop, to buy one, click here.

Local Baseball Player Signs With Toronto Blue Jays

A baseball player from the Port City joining the Major League team he grew up rooting for. 

20-year old right-hander Andrew Case of Saint John singing a Major League Baseball deal with the Toronto Blue Jays. He says his heart stopped when he got the call over the weekend, after impressing scouts at a tournament in Toronto by pitching a no-hitter. 

Case, who is in Alberta right now, is coming home for a few weeks to celebrate with family, then will head back out West to train at the Prairie Baseball Academy until late February or early March when he reports for spring training in Florida. The six-foot-two 190 pound Case says he hopes to get some more power behind his best pitch, a fastball which now sits at the low-90s, and put on some muscle.

He says he hopes his story inspires other Saint John baseball players to work hard because anything is possible.

Alward Appreciative Of Warm Reception In SJ

Premier David Alward expressed he was impressed by the quality of the reception he and members of the Tory caucus received in the Port City at their recent retreat.

Alward, speaking at the grand opening of the new law courts at Peel Plaza, also seemed to embrace the Renaissance City label coined by Mayor Mel Norton, saying the new law courts are simply one example of the rebirth and change happening in the city.

Alward described Peel Plaza as a "palace", saying it shows a link with Saint John's past while also providing a safer, more secure environment than the old law courts.

Social Assistance Rate Rising In October

The number on your social assistance check will be a little higher this month. 

The province boosting the province's basic social assistance rate by four percent on the first of October, and it's going to go up again by three percent in April of next year. The government says it's part of their focus to reduce, prevent and alleviate poverty in the province. 

They're also making a few other changes to the system, including more support for families with high shelter costs and better assistance for clients with disabilities who are living with their parents.

VIDEO: Number Of Sex Abuse Victims Escalates

Deceased city police officer Ken Estabrooks may have sexually abused 263 children over the course of nearly three decades dating back to the late 1950s. 

That word coming from the private investigator contracted by Common Council to investigate the extent of the abuse. After decades of secrecy, private investigators and the city say vulnerable children were targeted for at least 25 years. Most of the sexual abuse victims were boys but some girls have been identified in the investigation. They were between the ages of 6 and 19 when the abuse happened.

About 53 of the victims are still living, 33 are dead and it's believed there are another 152 suspected victims.
Estabrooks confessed in 1975, but charges weren't laid until more than 20 years later. Perry revealing to CHSJ News he continued to sexually abuse children after resigning from the police department and being quietly transferred to a job in City Works. He was finally convicted in 1999 and sentenced to six years in jail, dying of cancer in 2005.

A toll free number has been set up for victims wanting to contact investigator Dave Perry and receive counseling paid for by the city of Saint John. The number to call is 1-866-790-4764.

Perry says the investigation could take up to a year to wrap up.

Uptown Bar Broken Into

City Police telling us this morning they arrested one person for a break in at the Peel Pub on Union Street.

Woman Hit By Car

Emergency crews were called out late yesterday afternoon outside the City market after a woman was struck by a car.
It happened around 4:30pm in front of Billy's Seafood Company on Charlotte Street. 

When City Police and Fire arrived on the scene, the woman was laying on the ground but was conscious and speaking.

She was was put on a stretcher and taken away in an ambulance.

More Details Coming In Another Case Of Abuse Of Trust

An update into the investigation of now deceased former city police officer Ken Estabrooks, with more alleged victims coming forward, being delivered today. 

And as the decades-old case continues to unfold, the province's Youth Advocate speaking on the social impact of an all too similar case which came to light just this year. 

Norm Bosse tells CHSJ News, like Estabrooks, disgraced former Common Councillor Donnie Snook was in a position of trust and authority and he believes Snook used that power as a way of getting away with abusing his victims. "Who is going to question him?" asks Bosse.

While many may blame themselves for what happened, Bosse says at the end of the day only one person is responsible for Snook's actions, and that is Snook himself. However, he believes parents need to be aware of what their children are doing.

Bosse, who is a lawyer, represented the victims of sexual abuse at the hands of notorious pedophile Karl Toft at the Youth Training Centre in Kingsclear in the '90s.

Regional Services Commission Has Big Decision To Make

The city, towns and local service districts that make up the Fundy Regional Services Commission will have to decide soon whether to give Saint John Airport 600 thousand dollars for marketing. 

The Airport Authority making the case it needs to advertise in order to boost passenger numbers. Grand Bay-Westfield Mayor Grace Losier, who chairs the commission, is calling it a good investment after hearing the Airport say the little it has spent recently on advertising coincides with a rise in passenger numbers.

Losier concedes it's scary to think that Air Canada almost left Saint John a couple of years ago and what sort of effect that would have had on the local economy.

Emotions Still Running High In Sussex Over Arena Vote

"A real can of worms".........That, from Trevor Thorne who lives outside Sussex on the recent vote about whether people outside the town should pay higher taxes to financially support the 8th Hussars Arena. 

They voted against and the registration fees have gone up considerably. 

Thorne tells CHSJ News the higher fees come with consequences........The Sunday night league has folded and minor hockey registrations are down 35 to 40 per cent which won't help make the shortfall any less.

The shortfall is estimated at 150 thousand dollars and Thorne says the issue has divided the community. 

Thorne, who has played hockey in the town for 30 years or so and had sons in minor hockey, believes the town was after a tax grab from the outlying communities and the arena was just an excuse.