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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Board of Trade Supports Peel Plaza

The Saint John Board of Trade is supporting the creation of Peel Plaza as a justice complex.Chair Kathy Craig tells CHSJ News, the city desperately needs an updated police headquarters.Craig says the city had a temporary lease for the current headquarters, and it's not set up properly.
Craig says the new facility will enable the police force to better serve the public, victims and prisoners.She says the Board of Trade has been assured by Finance Commissioner that the project will not impact the tax rate in the city.

ER Doctors Meeting Tonight

Medical staff are meeting to discuss ways to guarantee someone is always on duty in every emergency room.Dr. Andrea Garland tells us ER doctors and medical professionals are meeting at the Regional Hospital tonight to discuss ways to prevent an ER from going unmanned. The discussion comes several months after doctors refused to work overtime hours causing the Sussex Emergency Room to close overnight so the doctor could cover the unit at the Regional.It was reported earlier in the year that there are 8 doctors staffed in the city's emergency rooms, when the desired number would be twenty.

Red Ink Predicted For City Budget

The chair of the city's finance committee says the latest projection is showing city hall could end up with about a 300-thousand dollar budget deficit this year.
Deputy Mayor Stephen Chase tells CHSJ News the budget took a hit with just over a million dollars in extra snow removal costs -- but -- he says they have made up some of that over expenditure since the winter with the wage freeze for civic managers.
Chase says the deficit is minimal when you consider this year's budget is in the 120-million dollar range - he remains optimistic they will end the year without red ink on the bottom line.

Paving Work Tying Up Traffic in the Ken Valley

A heads up if you're heading out to the Valley this afternoon -- paving continues on Campbell Drive at the intersection in front of the fire station. Traffic is backed up coming off the MacKay Highway and down Campbell Drive -- we are also told there are work crews busy by the railway overpass on the Gondola Point Road -- so caution is advised in that area as well.

Charlotte County Roads Getting Some Cash

The provincial government is investing 7.5 million dollars to improve transportation infrastructure in the Charlotte County area. The announcement was made today by Transportation Minister Denis Landry and Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet.The Town of St. Stephen will receive $1.25 million over a five-year agreement to reconstruct King Street. The Town of St. George is receiving $150,000 for work on Route 172, and Blacks Harbour is getting $95,000 for storm sewer upgrades on Route 176.

Update On Armed Robbery's

There have been no arrests made relating to the four armed robbery's in the city recently, but city police do have some solid leads.Sgt. Kim Philips tells us there is a possibility that the sudden rash of robbery's are connected.Since last Wednesday two Doolys pool halls, a restaurant in East Saint John, and the Grove Lounge have all been held up.There have been no injuries in any of the incidents.

Saint John the Site of a Justice Pilot Program

This fall Saint John will be the site for a pilot project aiming to improve the service delivery model for the Family Division of the Court of the Queen's Bench.Justice and Consumer Affairs Minister Mike Murphy announced the location during a recent meeting of the Law Society of New Brunswick.The details on what the project will consist of have not been determined just yet, but Murphy says now that a location has been decided upon, concentration on developing the project is next.

Rothesay Councilors Want More Answers

An explanation as to what caused a fire back on April.7th in Rothesay is not sitting well with all of the town councilors. Fire Chief Larry Greer says the two fires on Dunedin Road were caused by an electrical occurance and no word on what caused flames to ignite at a home on Newport Road. Deputy Mayor Blair MacDonald isn't satisfied with that explanation and believes home-owners deserve somethign more concrete than that.

Mayor Bill Bishop has met with Chief Greer and says he isn't willing to say what the cause of the fire is until they are 100% sure. Council is requesting a meeting with the Chief to discuss the matter further in either closed or open session.....his choice.

Another Armed Robbery and More Bear Sightings

City Police believe the man responsible for three armed robberies in East Saint John has made his way across the bridge. Someone fitting the man's description robbed Dooly's on Manawagonish Road last night. A man with a weapon walked into the pool hall just before eleven o'clock, demanded cash and ran out with a handful. This is the fourth business held up in less than a week.

City Police also had more calls about the mother bear and her cubs on the West-Side. Traps set out by the Department of Natural Resources has still not caught any of the animals and officials say safety is now their major concern and they may have to put the animal down if it is not caught soon.