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Friday, April 24, 2009

Weston Fails To Get Positive Response From Minister




(Saint John M-P Rodney Weston - file photo)

He didn't get the answer he was looking for -- but -- Saint John M-P Rodney Weston has the loss of the Canadian Blood Services distribution center in front of the federal Health Minister.
Weston raised the issue during Question Period in the House of Commons today -- but -- the Minister says her department can't interfere in the business decisions of the agency -- she says it's an "at arms length" agency when it comes to corporate and operational decisions.
The agency plans to close its University Avenue center and move it to a new facility in Halifax within the next two years.

One Mile Interchange Moves Along Smoothly



It's full steam ahead for work on the One Mile Interchange. Energy Minister Jack Keir tells CHSJ news a contract has already been awarded for ramps on the highway side and the next contract will be handed out in July. The project is designed to give truck traffic going to the industrial parks in East Saint John direct access to Bayside Drive instead of traveling through the city and around the Lower Cove Loop.

The 45 million dollar One Mile Interchange project is expected to be finished by the fall of 2011.


The Seadogs Have Found A New Head Coach



The Saint John Seadogs are welcoming their new head coach for next season.
Former Columbus Blue Jackets coach Gerard Gallant will be taking the helm and has signed on for the next three years.
Gallant says hockey fans in the city can expect an exciting physical team next year.

Also being named to the coaching staff of the Seadogs is former CIS Coach of the Year Mike Kelly, and the teams longtime Head Scout Norm Gosselin has been promoted to Director of Player Personnel.

Two Inmates Assaulted at Prison



Two inmates at the maximum-security Atlantic Institution in Renous have returned to their cells after being assaulted last night. The injured prisoners were both taken to the nearest health care facility to be treated after the attack took place around 8:30pm.

Correctional Service Canada is currently reviewing the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Rivers Levels Edge Near Flood Stage



River levels are expected to touch just below the flood point in the Greater Saint John area by Sunday. The provincial Emergency Measures Organization is warning people living or working in low-lying areas near open-water to move property away from water edges or out of their basements. 

Officials with the City of Fredericton say they expect some minor flooding along the St. John River this weekend, but don't expect it to affect any of the main roads.

Government Awards $17.6 Million Contract in St. Andrews



The federal government has chosen Maricon Construction Management for a contract worth 17.6 million dollars to build a new wet lab at the St. Andrews Biological Station. The project will consolidate existing buildings into one state of the art wet lab facility. The building will house the majority of marine life and research operations.

Modernization of the St. Andrews Biological Station will also see the construction of a new 4,500 square metre science building with offices, laboratories, a computer centre, and a large library. Construction of the new wet lab is expected to begin this month and take about 65 weeks. All phases of the modernization project should be finished by June 2012.

Province Approves River and Mountain Name Changes



A branch of the Kennebecasis River which is now recognized as Little South Branch Kennebecasis River. The provincial government has officially changed twelve geographical names in the province. Many rivers and mountains in Gloucester County have had their names converted to French names.

The Wellness, Culture and Sport Minister has approved the changes based on the recommendations from a steering committee.  The decisions will be forwarded to the Geographical Names Board of Canada for final approval.

Unions Warn Of More Suffering And Higher Costs



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Organized labour is painting a bleak picture for the future of injured workers and employers in the province if the Workers Rehab Center in Grand Bay-Westfield is privatized.
In the latest round of the battle -- Canadian Union of Public Employees national rep Mike Davidson says services to injured workers will be cut while employers will pay 15-percent more -- and -- he says it's time for a full debate in the Legislature because the corporate board of Worksafe N-B is out of control and unaccountable.
Davidson says the Worksafe N-B board has been working on the deal behind closed doors with consulting those involved -- he says it's time for an open and transparent process.

Locals Play Major Role In Provincial Benefits Blueprint



Saint Johners are playing a leadership role in the provincial Benefits Blueprint initiative.
The team will be led by former Enterprise Saint John chair Dale Knox -- other local members include Enterprise Saint John chair Bob Manning - Enterprise Saint John CEO
Steve Carson - Rothesay Town Manager John Jarvie - the Human Development Council's Randy Hatfield - Andy Carson from Irving Oil - Ross Jefferson - Shelley Rinehart - and - Deputy City Manager Pat Woods.
The group will look at ways to take advantage of the impact of economic growth and development in the province.

Plenty of Support for New program



Support today from Harvard University for the Chair of the City's Recreation Committee. For years, Barry Ogden has been saying an active body will produce an active mind and new research is backing that up. The study shows 45 minutes of sustained physical activity, every day, will have a positive affect on the brain and learning. Barry Ogden tells CHSJ News, students in Chicago and Saskatchewan have already been tested.

Ogden says along with the benefits this study preaches, physical activity everyday will help lower health care costs and start knocking down the obesity rate which in this Province, is the highest in the country.

New Look for District Eight



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(Millidgeville North getting more students in the fall - photo courtesy School District 8)

There is a new look coming to a pair of schools in District Eight this fall. Grades three through five at M. Gerald Teed will move down the road to Millidgeville North making M. Gerald Teed a kindergarten through grade two school. Lorne school will maintain it's status as a middle school and an english middle school program will be put into effect at Millidgeville North. Superintendent Susan Tipper tells CHSJ News,

Also in the fall of 2010...... the early immersion entry point will happen in Grade Three at Millidgeville North. The District Eight Education Council fully supports this re-organization which was presented to parents during a re-registration process a few weeks ago.


Sexual Assualt Charged Laid in Hampton



Not alot of details about an incident at the high school in Hampton yesterday. RCMP were called to the building yesterday for a complaint.

A teenager has been arrested and charged with sexual assault for in-appropriate touching.


Saint John Woman on Board Hijacked Flight



A Saint John woman is still catching her breath after a harrowing experience earlier this week. The manager of Sears Travel, Terri O'Donnell was one of the passengers hijacked on board the Canjet Airliner in Montego Bay on Monday. O'Donnell tells CHSJ News, she gives full marks to the flight crew who handled the situation in a professional manner.

O'Donnell says the flight crew convinced the gun man to let the passengers go in exchange for money. They were then huddled into the terminal for a head count and she made her way home the following day. O'Donnell adds this has not thrown her off from flying. 


Blood Task Force Continues Work



A case continues to be built by the Blood Services Task Force to have the distribution center in Saint John stay where it is. Members of the medical community were asked for their input and it was earlier this week, Saint John MP Rodney Weston told us after his meeting with officials from CBS, there was no consultation with the medical community before making this decision.

Member of the Task Force, Rothesay Conservative MLA Margaret Ann Blaney tells CHSJ News, they continue to build their case and will meet members of the business community in the coming days. No word on when they will present their case or have a face to face meeting with Canadian Blood Services.

Mayors Two Day Meeting Starts Tonight



Representatives from all three levels of government along with invited guests will meet in Saint John over the next two days. The five regional mayors have organized a meeting titled....""Imagine the Possibilities"" with the help of Enterprise Saint John. Rothesay Mayor Bill Bishop tells CHSJ News, it's a great opportunity to find out what everyone else is trying to get done.

There are several special guests including Premier Shawn Graham, Veterans Affairs Minister Greg Thompson. Dr. Shelly Reinhart and Dave Hardy. The two day meeting will wrap up tomorrow at Samuel De Champlain.  

Robbery and Fire in Saint John



For the second time in as many nights, a business in the city has been hit by thieves. It was just before eight o'clock when officer's were called to a convenience store at 201 Charlotte Street and were told by the clerk he was robbed. A man walked into the building, flashed a weapon, demanded money and ran from the store with a handful. Nobody was hurt.

City Fire and Police were then called to the North End at two this morning on reports of a vehicle fire. When they arrived on Main Street, they found a van fully engulfed in flames. Two vehicles parked next to the van suffered some minor heat damage......the van was destroyed. City Police say the fire was set.

Another Canadian Soldier is Dead



(Compliments of the Canadian Press)

Another Canadian soldier is dead in Afghanistan. The military says that 30-year old Maj. Michelle Mendes based in Ottawa, was found dead in her room at the Kandahar Airfield yesterday afternoon. The statement says the incident is under investigation, although enemy action has been ruled out as a cause of death. No further details are available.

The latest death brings to 118 the total number of Canadian soldiers who have died during the Afghan mission since it began in 2002.