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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Romero House Laying Off Staff

Romero House will be laying off its entire staff as of August 7th.A spokesperson for the soup kitchen tells CHSJ News, the doors of the facility will stay open because there is still a great need for it's services, but it will be entirely volunteer staffed starting next month.Letters have been sent to donors looking for more money in order to keep some staff, but as it looks right now the lay offs are inevitable.The spokesperson says just because the money isn't there, doesn't mean people still aren't hungry.

Tentative Meeting Planned For Public and Moncton Youth Residences

The public up in arms about the proposed home for at risk teenagers in Quispamsis will have the opportunity to meet with the Executive Director of Moncton Youth Services and town officials.Mel Kennah tells CHSJ News, with the amount of people voicing concerns over the site, a group meeting is in the works.Kennah says there are generally concerns to be heard when opening a new site, but only one instance comes close to what they are seeing in the Ken Valley.
Planning Advisory Committee Chair Bob McLaughlin said at last night's meeting that he has been receiving voice mails full of profanity. Kennah says luckily he hasn't received any of those types of calls.Kennah says the tentative date for the public meeting is Tuesday, July 21st.

Playground Promoter Honoured By City

(13-year old Moriah Russell - photo by Gary MacDonald)
A 13-year old city girl's dream is now a reality -- Moriah Russell discovered a Saint John resident who promoted vacation schools and playgrounds in the early 1900's.
Russell began researching the role Mabel Peters played as a social reformer and asked common council to honour Peters by dedicating the new playground at the Allison Grounds as the Mabel Peters playground because she thought it was neat how Peters worked for playgrounds.
This morning -- Mayor Ivan Court did just that and unveiled a sign at the entrance to the newly named playground -- he says Peters' role in promoting playgrounds across the country is another of those little known facts about our city and its residents.
Court says he will now ask the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to have at least one playground in each community dedicated to Mabel Peters -- that request will come during a Federation board of directors meeting in September.

Acadia Broadcasting Buying Ontario Radio Stations

Saint John's Acadia Broadcasting Limited is expanding its holdings in northern Ontario.
Acadia has reached a deal with Dartmouth based Newcap Inc to purchase its two FM stations in Thunder Bay.
The stations will join three others in Kenora - Dryden - and - Fort Frances under Acadia's subsidiary Northwoods Broadcasting Limited.
The deal is worth 4.5-million dollars and is subject to approval by the Canadian Radio - Television and Telecommunications Commission.
In addition to the Ontario stations and Country 94 and 97.3 the Wave here -- Acadia also owns and operates stations in St Stephen and Bridgewater.

New Head of the ER Department at the Regional

Regional Health Authority B is introducing the new head of Emergency Medicine for the Regional Hospital.Dr. Michael Howlett is the new acting head of the department, and says physician recruitment, scheduling and staffing are his top priorities.Dr. Howlett tells CHSJ News, interest from doctors outside of the region is much higher than he anticipated.
He says right now there are 8 ER doctors on staff at the Regional, and would prefer if the number was somewhere in the realm of 22.

Dr. Howlett worked as a family physician before becoming a full time emergency medicine specialist, and was the chief of the ER department at a Truro hospital.

Road Work Gets Provincial Funding

[Media Scrum with Transportation Minister Denis Landry----Photo by Andrew Holland]

It must be summer!!! - more paving is scheduled for a busy stretch of highway in the greater Saint John area. The Transportation Department plans to repave almost four kilometers of the westbound lanes along Highway One between the Ashburn Lake Road and the Harbor Bridge - the contract is worth 1.2-million dollars. Meantime -- District Transportation Engineer Allan Kerr says there has been some very preliminary discussion about adding a third lane to a busy stretch of the MacKay Highway -- he says if traffic counts don't justify the addition -- they soon will. Ken Valley councils have expressed concern about the growing volume of traffic in the area which is leading to an increasing number of accidents.

JD Irving Makes a Sale

A sale has taken place within the J.D. Irving family. Irving Industrial Rentals has been purchased by Hertz Global Holdings. J.D.I. spokes-person Mary Keith tells CHSJ News, this move affects three employee's that will be taken on by Hertz's subsidiary, Mathews Equipment Limited in East Saint John.

The company was established in 1998 and Keith says the transfer of employee's will take place this week with the equipment moved over in the next 35 to 45 days. Keith adds the sale was finalized after J.D.I decided the company had limited growth. No word on what the company was sold for.

Update on Canaport Site

An update on what is happening at the Canaport LNG Site. After receiving it's first tanker load of gas at the end of last month, the shipment began flowing through the pipeline this week. No word on how long it will take it to reach it's destination. Spokes-person Carolyn Van Der Veen tells CHSJ News, the second shipment of gas is expected at the end of the month but no confirmed date. The docking and off-loading of the vessel is very weather dependant.

Van Der Veen adds management at the facility are very pleased with how smoothly things have gone with everything. They credit it to the design of the terminal and the construction workers.

Lung Association Gets a New Boss

Congratulations are in order for Dr. Barbara MacKinnon on becoming the new President and CEO of the New Brunswick Lung Association. MacKinnon takes over from Ken Maybee who has held the title for the past 16 years. Dr. MacKinnon tells CHSJ News, she has known about the new duties for awhile now.

Dr. MacKinnon says Maybee has established a wonderful formula on how to improve respitory health for everyone in the Province and she looks forward to continuing that trend.

Safety Car Hits the Road

Be on the lookout for a flashy blue-and-white Smart car towing a display with the slogan, Grab Your Keys. The vehicle will visit community events in rural parts of the Province on weekends until October. The initiative is the next phase in the Be Safe and Sound campaign promoting highway safety among young and new drivers.

The approach of Grab Your Keys reflects research undertaken by the Department of Public Safety as it developed its highway safety strategy. The research determined that, to reach young drivers and new drivers:

PAC Chair Not in the Mood to Talk

PAC Chair Bob McLaughlin refused to speak on the record with the media following the meeting. Citing that he was too frustrated, he says over the past week, he has received several messages at his home full of profanity and no one willing to leave their name or phone number so that he can call them back. McLaughlin adds he, along with most of the members of the PAC are volunteers and are doing the best job they can.

Mclaughlin along with a representative for the angry home-owners will meet with Moncton Youth Services in the coming days after they take over the property tomorrow. Town Council cannot reverse this decision and the only recourse the home-owners have at this point is to file paper-work with the Provincial Planning Apeals Tribunal which they say they will.

Upset Home-Owners Show Up at PAC Meeting

No lack of opinions at the Town Hall in Quispamsis last night for the Planning Advisory Committee meeting. Over 50 residents opposed to a youth home for at risk teenagers being set up at 186 Vincent Road showed up to find out why they had not been consulted about the project and how it could have been approved with-out doing so.

Rothesay Regional Police showed up to make sure things didn't get out of hand PAC Chair Bob McLaughlin adressed the group again halfway through the meeting and assured all on hand, he along with the Executive Director of Moncton Youth Services would meet with a representative to discuss the groups concerns. Lou Elton owns the Little Acorns DayCare which is two homes down from the youth home. Her concern is for her children and those entrusted to her care.

Elton says she has already received letters from parents who say they love the care she provides for their children but they are taking them out of the daycare because of the youth home. Moncton Youth Services say they hope to have the facility up and running by September.

Accident on the Hammond River Road

Two people walked away with no injuries after the vehicle they were travelling in rolled over last night. Rothesay Regional Police say they were called to the Hammond River Road last night at 7:30pm and emergency crews got the driver and passenger out of the vehicle.

They were looked over and are going to be fine. No word on what caused the crash but no charges are expected.