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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Train Derails, Catches Fire Near Plaster Rock

A CN freight train derailing and catching fire in the northwestern part of the province.

The train jumping the tracks about five kilometres outside the village of Plaster Rock in the community of Wapske just after 7pm. According to reports, the train was carrying propane and crude oil. 
One witness describes seeing two huge fireballs. While nearby homes were evacuated, there were no reported injuries. Emergency crews planning on letting the fire burn itself out
A team of eight disaster volunteers with the Red Cross arriving in Plaster Rock from Fredericton to help local authorities with a reception centre and shelter if needed for any evacuees. A shelter opening at the Tobique Plex recreation and community centre at 159 Main Street.

City Police Sharing Social Media Safety Tips

While you might be excited about that new gadget you just bought or that trip down south you're planning to escape the cold, you shouldn't be sharing that information on social media. 

That's according to Sergeant Jay Henderson of the City Police, who has some tips for the public on how to keep yourself safe on the internet. He says posting purchases and travel information on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms can make you a target for theft and break and enters. 

Henderson says don't post your birthday, address or any other personal information that could make you vulnerable to identity theft. He also suggests customizing your security settings.

Watch Out For Falling Ice

Be careful of what's underneath your feet and above your head when you're taking a walk.

The City of Saint John says as temperatures continue to fluctuate, ice and snow build ups dropping off roof tops, power lines, trees and other elevated areas. 

They're letting you know you should be cautious of falling ice and snow as it can cause serious injuries.

Crews closing the sidewalk on the east side of St. Patrick Street from King Street to Union Street because of the risk of falling ice. 

The City says it will be closed until further notice.

Woman Slightly Hurt In Collision With Plow

A 40 year old Hampton woman being checked out in hospital after a collision involving a plow.

It happened on the old highway near Hi-Lo Farm when a woman trying to pass a plow lost control of her vehicle on ice and ending up striking oncoming traffic.

RCMP Corporal Pat Cole tells CHSJ News they are waiting for a tow truck to remove the plow from the scene.

We are told that area was very icy.

UNB Faculty Set Strike Deadline

This could have a major effect on students and staff alike...... the Association of University of New Brunswick Teachers has voted to set a strike deadline of January 13th.

If it goes ahead, the strike would be a first for UNB--there's never been a faculty strike at the school in its 230 year history.

It would effect more than 800 full time and part time staff.

The key issues are compensation and working conditions comparable to other similarly-sized universities according to the Teacher's Association.

The association is working to arrange a general membership meeting for Thursday after which more details could come out.

Mayor Defends Vote To Explore RCMP Policing SJ

With Common Council voting to get more information about the possibility of the RCMP taking over policing in Saint John, Mayor Mel Norton tells CHSJ News it's simply a matter of getting more of the facts--which is never a bad thing.

The Mayor says contrary to what Police Association President Jamie Hachey says, the mayor's vote does not interfering with the bargaining process: council is still the funder of the police commission, and the mayor is required by legislation to sit on the commission.

Perry Inquest Set For March

The Coroner's inquest into the death of Serena Perry is scheduled to begin at the Saint John Law Courts on St. Patrick's Day.

A release on the government's website says two weeks have been set aside where presiding coroner John Evans and a jury will hear evidence from subpoenaed witnesses.

Perry was 22 years old when she died on February 14th 2012 while a patient at the Regional hospital.

The jury can make recommendations aimed at preventing any future deaths under similar circumstances.

Two Men Flee Scene After Crashing Car Into Home

City Police are looking for two men who crashed a car into a home on Millidge Avenue then fled the scene on foot. 

Sergeant Jay Henderson says it happened on Sunday afternoon and the suspects took off running heading towards Charlton Place. Both the home and the white Chevrolet Impala both sustaining some major damage. Henderson says the car is being impounded and will be forensically processed.

The first man, who police believe was the driver, is described as being white, skinny, in his twenties, between 5'6 and 5'9, and was wearing a blue ball hat and grey sweater. The passenger is described as being stocky, of mixed race (black and white), with short dark hair, about 5'11 to 6'0, and was wearing jeans and a blue sweater. Police urging anyone with any information to call 648-3333 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

City Council Will Get Cost Comparison Between RCMP & SJPD

Standing room only at Common Council, with people pouring in to hear which way Councillors would vote on a request for a report on how much it would cost for the RCMP to police the city. 

Councillor Shirley McAlary raising concerns about running into legal trouble since both the Mayor and Councillor Greg Norton sit on the Police Commission. She says the city could be penalized by the Labour Board and she does not want to be involved in a lawsuit. 

Mayor Mel Norton casting the tie-breaking vote in favour of getting a cost comparison between the RCMP and city police. With contract negotiations currently underway, Saint John Police Association President Jamie Hachey tells CHSJ News if this continues they will be going straight to the Labour Board. He says they will not be browbeat into a labour settlement.

Hachey accusing the Mayor of driving a wedge between council members.