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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Another Case of Swine Flu in the Province

A tenth case of the H1N1 virus --better known as the swine flu--has been confirmed in the province. Chief medical officer of health, Dr. Eilish Cleary, says the latest victim is a woman in her 50's from the Fredericton area.

So far, none of the reported cases in New Brunswick have required hospitalization.

Lower Taxes, Less Money

The province's Opposition Finance Critic says despite a tax reduction to take effect tomorrow, taxpayers will actually have less money than before the March 2009 budget. Bruce Fitch says taxes are still not down to the level they were in 2007 and new fee increases means taxpayers will see less money than before the tax cuts.

Among the hikes are increased fees for vehicle registrations and driver’s licenses. Fitch says the Graham government is trying to make itself out as a hero by cutting taxes when New Brunswickers will have a deeper hole in their wallet than before. The Plan for Lower Taxes includes personal income tax savings of about 124 million dollars this year.

RCMP Seize Drugs on Tobique First Nation

RCMP have have dismantled a drug operation on the Tobique First Nation. More than two pounds of marijuana was seized from a home on the Lagoon Road yesterday, along with scales, packaging materials, 12 hundred dollars in cash and eight weapons.

A 42-year old man has been arrested and is being held for a show cause hearing.

JDI Gets Air Quality Approval

JD Irving will be getting a new air quality approval to operate its softwood sawmill near Saint-LĂ©onard. Environment Minister T.J. Burke says the company's current air quality approval expires July 30th.

The renewal for five years follows public consultation, including a 120-day public review period.

Reward For Lost Insulin Pump

A reward is being offered for the return of a lost insulin pump at Parlee Beach on Saturday. Brian McKiel says his son was swimming at the beach Saturday evening and discovered when he left the water that his pants were gone. McKiel tells CHSJ news the tiny pump, the size of a pager, was in the pants pocket.

McKiel says his son Sean is now back using a needle 3-4 times a day for his Juvenile Diabetes until he can get the pump back that will automatically regulate his insulin for him. A $300 reward is being offered for its return--and--it can be dropped off at any Kent Building Supplies stores in the Maritimes. McKiel says replacing the unit will cost about 68 hundred dollars.

NCO Call Centre Closing

We're getting reports that the NCO call centre here in Saint John will be closing and moving its operations. An employee, who has asked his name not be mentioned, tells CHSJ news the staff were told yesterday the centre will be closing its inbound department on August 31st and moving it to Panama. He says the outbound operation will also be closing by the end of the year.

We've placed several calls to the call centre and head offices to confirm the report but they have not returned our messages. No word on how many employees will lose their jobs.

Saint John Transit Says No to Pilot Project

A pilot project for the transit commission in Fredericton won't happen here. Buses in the capital city will offer a ride for 50 cents starting next month during the evenings and Saturdays. Saint John Transit General Manager Frank McCarey tells CHSJ News, they are always looking for ways to increase ridership, but this isn't one of them.

McCarey says they have looked at the 50 cent per ride project in other area's and it doesn't produce the results they were hoping for. Saying that....he wishes the Fredericton Transit Commission all the best with the pilot project.

First Turbine is Away

No further delays for NB Power in getting one of the refitted turbines to Point Lepreau. Crews had to back off yesterday due to the weather but loaded the piece of machinery on a barge this morning. Spokes-person Heather McLean tells CHSJ News, everything went according to plan and the turbine should arrive at the generating station this afternoon.

If the weather holds, McLean says they hope to load the second turbine on the barge tomorrow and deliver it to Point Lepreau.

Refurbishment Work Continues

We have the latest update for you on how things are coming along with the refit at Point Lepreau. The release of all 760 calandria tube inserts has been completed. This means crews can now get started on removing the tubes. The feeder platforms have been installed and are ready to be used. This is to provide better access for workers to get started with feeder installation and other work.

The generator stator core was put back into place this month. This is the latest piece of the puzzle for when the main generator rotor is re-installed which crews hope to do this month. At last count, things were still running behind schedule with completion of the project now scheduled for next year.

Court and the Paper Continue Feud

Any chance for peace between City Hall and the local paper may be out the window with the latest accusastions. Mayor Ivan Court says in a recent editorial board meeting, editor Jamie Irving told him if he doesn't do what they say......things will get more difficult for him and his role as mayor.

Court tells CHSJ News, he has no problem with fair comments but there is something wrong when one person or organization feels they have this much power.
Court says he will not bow down to anyone who has their own vested interest in what happens at City Hall. We have left a message for the papers editor Jamie Irving but have not yet heard back.

Graduation Day for Some

69 paramedics will graduate from the Atlantic Paramedic Academy today. It was founded in 2001 by St. John Ambulance and transitioned to Medavie EMS in December of last year.

They shouldn't have a hard time finding work as paramedics have been in short supply over the past few years.

Change to Gas Price Schedule

You have an extra day to enjoy the price of gas at a Loonie a Litre this week. Tomorrow is of course a Holiday, so that means the Energy and Utilities Board won't release it's new price schedule until Midnight Thursday.

Normally, we find out what we will be paying at the pumps at midnight Thursday but under certain circumstances, the legislation prescribes changes to the schedule.

Try Again to Move a Turbine

NB Power officials hope today is their day. After weather put their plans on hold to move one of the refurbished turbines to Point Lepreau yesterday, officials will try again to load it onto a barge. You'll remember both fell into the harbor last fall while being loaded onto a barge and had to be sent back to the U.K. for a refit.

If they get the first one on it's way today, they hope to get the second to Point Lepreau by the end of the week.

Busy Monday for City Police

The search continues for a crewman who went AWOL at the Port yesterday. City Police were called to the water-front late yesterday afternoon and spoke to the ship's captain who says they were getting ready to pull into the Bay, when they did a head count and discovered one of their sailors was missing. Officer's have been keeping an eye out for the man and the vessel remains tied up at the Port waiting to see if he will be found.

City Police are also looking for someone who damaged four vehicles at the Irving Nature Park last night. It was around 9:30pm when a vehicle decided to put on a show by doing a few brake stands and doughnuts and caused the damage. Nobody was hurt.