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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Military Funeral to be Held Tuesday



A military funeral service for a soldier killed in Afghanistan last week will be held on Tuesday afternoon in Gagetown. New Brunswick resident, Trooper Corey Hayes was killed when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device north-east of Kandahar City on March 20th. He was one of four soldiers killed that day.

The funeral service will take place at St. Luke's Chapel at 1 o'clock March 31st.

MP Accuses Province of Failing to Protect New Brunswickers' Health



The federal Regional Minister for the province, M-P Greg Thompson, is slamming the provincial Department of Environment for its claims that the Jamer Materials' quarry in Bayside poses no health or environmental risks.  Thompson tells CHSJ News the arsenic levels are approximately 180 parts per million - or 15 times the national Guidelines- in the Jamer Material's soil.

Thompson says the contamination threatens the water supply for the entire town of St. Andrews. He says it's clear the province has utterly failed to meet its most basic responsibility of protecting New Brunswick's environment and the health of its people. Environment Minister Roland Hache is declining comment.

We have placed a call to the general manager of Jamer Materials to get his reaction to MP Greg Thompson's comments--but--have not received a reply.  However, in a release dated February 27th GM Mark Clark says there will be safe guards in place for their expansion plans in Bayside. He also says less than one per cent of the watershed will be impacted by those activities.

Neither a federal nor provincial Environmental Impact Assessment will be carried out for the project.

Few Women Hold Senior Management Positions



The Atlantic Provinces Economic Council is challenging the private sector to place more women in senior management positions. ACAP 's quarterly report says women account of only 18 per cent of senior managers in the private sector in this region. It is slightly higher when including the public sector-- at 30 per cent. Rosella Melanson with the New Brunswick Advisory Council on the Status of Women tells CHSJ News it is to their benefit to have more women in senior management.

When it comes to regular management positions, ACAP says women make up 39 per cent of managers in the Atlantic Region. That is slightly higher than the national average of 37 per cent.

Ferry Demo Fails To Budge Transportation Minister



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(Supporters of three river ferries rally on the front steps of the Legislature - photo by Gary MacDonald)

They carried signs and sang songs -- about 300-people converging on the Legislature over the noon hour to protest the planned cut of the Gagetown - Hampstead - and - Belleisle ferries.
Gagetown mayor Randy Smith says the ferries can be a vital part on Premier Graham's road to self sufficiency -- he says the ferries are part of the rural road system which could turned into a tourism promotion to keep visitors from driving through on the Trans Canada highway.
But -- Transportation Minister Denis Landry isn't backing down -- he says he doesn't have any wiggle room in his budget -- and -- when asked by CHSJ News how many ferries may suffer the same fate next year -- Landry responded we will have to wait until next year.
The communities have until the end of April to come up with solutions to keep the ferries afloat.

Enterprise SJ Selects West Side Resource Person



Enterprise Saint John has chosen UNBSJ graduate, Jay Reid, as its resource person for West Side development. Reid is a West side resident and the former Mayor's Executive Assistant.

Council last year unanimously voted to request Enterprise Saint John assign a staff person to examine the economic needs of the West Side. Councillor Bill Farren has been a champion for business growth on that side of the city. He says there will be a meeting soon to announce a project involving the public and private sector on the West Side for late spring-early summer.

Child Death Review Committee Releases Recommendations



The provincial Child Death Review Committee has released three recommendations today to prevent deaths of children who have been placed under the care of Social Development. The committee was established to investigate the case of a child who died while receiving services from a First Nations child and family service agency.

The recommendations include that written guidelines be established to clarify kinship placement practices,  a clinical audit be carried out to assess the effectiveness of social work practice in First Nations child and family services agencies--and--finally that the Department of Social Development give priority to assessing the need to increase resources for monitoring and support of quality child welfare practices. Social Development Minister Mary Schryer says she will issue a full response to the committee's recommendations within 45 days.


Singing Sisters Look To Grab Top Spot



Would you be willing to let anyone hear you sing the shower? The answer from most would be no but the Breen Sisters from Saint John want you to vote for their tub tune. Jill Breen and her sisters have reached the final of a contest on the Ellen Degeneres show titled your favorite bathroom singer. Jill tells CHSJ News, they are very excited to have gotten this far.

The girls sing ""Sold"" The Grundy County Auction song by John Michael Montgomery. You can see the video and vote for the girls at

Time Ticking for Education Minister



The clock is ticking for Education Minister Kelly Lamrock with five days left in the month. The minister has said he would speak about the future make-up of Lorne, Hazen White St. Francis and Princess Elizabeth by the end of the month. There is a proposal on the table to consolidate Hazen White and Lorne and make Princess Elizabeth an elementary school.

District Eight officials says the shrinking student population has forced this recommendation. A spokes-person in Minister Lamrock's office says a decision would be made by next week. 


Bell-Aliant Chopping More Jobs



Down sizing efforts continue at Bell-Aliant today. The company has announced a voluntary retirement incentive to a limited number of its unionized employees in Atlantic Canada. This will allow senior front-line employees to retire and also supports the companies plan to introduce a more efficient cost structure this year.      

The offer is a financial incentive to some employees, who are already eligible for retirement this year. A total maximum of roughly 120 employees will be able to take advantage of the offer, which will be limited by department, to ensure service to customers is not affected.


The Search for Bodies is Underway near Maine



One body has been found but one is still missing near Eastport Maine today. Coast Guard crews and other local agencies are searching by air and sea after a 34-foot fishing vessel from Lubec, Maine with two people on board is said to have gone down. 

The crew of the fishing vessel Perfect Choice reported by radio to a Coast Guard Station they observed a debris field in Johnson Harbor that contained a survival suit and what appeared to be a submerged boat. The Maine Marine Patrol recovered a body near the debris.


Hit and Run Under Investigation



Rothesay Regional Police are asking for your help as they investigate a hit and run. It was five last night when a vehicle was rear-ended near Colwells Store. The driver pulled over to exchange info with the vehicle that rear-ended him when it circled around him, turned towards Saint John and took off down the road.

Officer's are looking for a small silver colored vehicle which was being driven by a woman with a dark complexion. If you saw this accident and have any info, give police a call at 847-6300.

Confusion Settled over Gas Numbers



The Energy and Utilities Board has made a correction to it's early released gas price schedule. The numbers were dated March.19th which of course is a week ago. The new figures show an increase in the maximum retail price of gasoline at an even 85 cents which is up just under two cents. Most stations are selling a litre of self-serve for 85.3.

Diesel is up over a nickel coming in at 93.3 and furnace oil is up over five cents as well, in at 71.9.