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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Federal Liberal Leader Whistle Stops In The City

(Federal Liberal Michael Ignatieff - photo courtesy

Federal Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff is making a swing through the city Thursday -- in the morning he's attending a Liberal party breakfast at the Lily Lake Pavilion where former Saint John M-P Paul Zed is expected to announce he will seek a return to politics. Over the noon hour -- Ignatieff speaks to a Board of Trade luncheon at the Delta then he's off to Prince Edward Island. Ignatieff is on a tour of the Maritimes as the latest polls show the Harper Conservatives and the Liberals in a virtual dead heat. Meantime -- Saint John M-P Rodney Weston has called a news conference for ten this morning to announce some federal funding for the city.

Overhead Costs Killed Mawhinney Real Estate

[Marc Mawhinney-----photo courtesy of]

Check SpellingMarc Mawhinney tells CHSJ News, even though business was booming, the overhead costs just got out of control.
Mawhinney says his group continued to bring in a lot of sales, and a lot of revenue, but he never anticipated the costs being as high as they got.He says his Sussex office will also be closing, and says he's been trying to make the transition for employees as painless as possible.Mawhinney says several employees are in talks with competitors, and his rental properties are being taken over by Peace of Mind Property Management.Mawhinney says he would like to stress the fact that his business closing is not a sign the city's real estate market is in trouble.

Marsh Creek Public Consultation

Anyone curious to know what's going on at Marsh Creek is invited to attend an information session this evening.Members of the Terrain Group, who is carrying out the preliminary design and the cost benefit analysis on the $18 million dollar project will be on hand for any questions.The public consultation sessions is aiming at identifying issues and impacts which should be included in the preliminary design and cost benefit analysis study.The session gets underway at 6 o'clock, and runs until 9 at Exhibition Park, Building #1.

Trial Date Set for Hampton Teenager

The 15 year old girl charged with first degree murder in the death of an elderly New Brunswick man is going to be facing a judge and jury on January 12th.She had previously elected trial by judge alone, but will be facing the jury as well.78-year-old Frank Tonge of Damascus died in his home from a single stab wound to his upper body. A pre trial will be taking place on October 9th, and the January trial is expected to last 9 days.

Best Buy Eyes Saint John Market

Major retailers continue to eye Saint John for expansion even though the eight billion dollar Irving second refinery proposal has been shelved. Geoff Stollery of electronics giant Best Buy tells CHSJ News his company is considering a new outlet for our city within the next two years -- he says they don't make decisions based on what's going to happen in the next six months. Stollery says it's a ten year commitment and he sees momentum here in the city's retail market. Best Buy owns the Future Shop chain -- and -- Stollery says if the plan goes ahead it will include a new and expanded Future Shop outlet in the immediate vicinity of the Best Buy store.

Fundraising Event for Romero House

A mystery meal fundraiser is in the works to help raise money for Romero House.Hilton Saint John will be preparing a variety of dishes, and for a $50 dollar ticket you can get a surprise lunch.Executive Chef Colin Sifton says the idea came out of how people who use Romero House services never know what they are getting to eat.
The event is taking place on August 27th on Brunswick Drive, and tickets are available at the Hilton Front Desk as well as at the Saint John Board of Trade starting next Wednesday.

Romero House Long Term Goal

[Romero House Executive Director Carolyn McNulty and Chair of the Fundraising Committee Paul Zed------Photo by Dave Briggs]

Romero House is able to continue operations after surpassing it's $30 thousand dollar goal from donations.Executive Director Caroyln McNulty says it's great news coming after a rough year. She says the harsh winter, and construction on Brunswick Drive decreased the amount of donations coming in.She says for the long term a stability fund needs to be established.
McNulty says she would like to see the fund grow as she gets ready to hand over operations of Romero House to her daughters.Chair of the Finance Committee for the soup kitchen Paul Zed says the plan is to tuck away some of the money raised for a rainy day.

Local Realtor Reacts to Mawhinney Group Closure

Bob McVicar with Exit Realty tells CHSJ News, the news of the Mawhinney Group closing is sad for the city.
McVicar says he doesn't think the closure is going to have a negative affect on the Saint John Real Estate market. He says the real estate market has seen significant growth in the city over the past three years, with 2008 being the highest ever.He says it's a shame the Mawhinney Group didn't work out, because he introduced a new model for selling houses. He says the average age for a realtor is over 55, and Mawhinney introduced the business to a number of young people.

Mawhinney Real Estate Going Out of Business

It's been confirmed that Mawhinney Real Estate is closing its doors for good. The Saint John Real Estate Board says it will be working closely with the company to manage listings and member changes and transfers. Executive Officer, Angela Beyea says home sellers who are currently in a contract with Mawhinney Real Estate should contact their realtor.

She adds, the company is currently active and in good standing with the Board but once the company is fully closed home sellers will be immediately free to list their property with any other company. Belyea insists the closure is not a red flag for Saint John’s housing market because many businesses fail to survive their first year. Mawhinney opened his company back in January and quickly expanded to Sussex and also branched out in property management - home staging - lawn care - and - mortgages. He closed his property management company last week.

Rothesay Man Reaches Donation Milestone

A Rothesay man will be the first in the province to reach a major milestone this week. Don Shaw will make his 600th plasma donation on Friday becoming only the 75th Canadian to have done so.

To reach this milestone Shaw donates plasma on a weekly-basis. The protein-rich liquid in blood is used to help patients with liver diseases, shock, cancer and bone marrow therapy.

Accused Teen Murderer Back in Court

A 15-year-old girl charged with first-degree murder in the death of an elderly New Brunswick man is back in court today to have a trial date set. She's charged in the stabbing death of 78-year-old Frank Tonge of Damascus and has elected trial by judge alone. Tonge died in his home from a single stab wound to his upper body

The case was adjourned last month to give lawyers time to review a court-ordered psychiatric assessment of the girl.

Region's Shopping Malls Holding Their Own

Shopping malls in Atlantic Canada are holding their own through the economic crisis -- that's the word from John Morrison of the International Council of Shopping Centers. Morrison says shopping center sales in Atlantic Canada for the first quarter of this year are up by almost five percent -- but -- he says some retail sectors like clothing - furniture - and - building supply stores are still struggling.Morrison says there is still a period of uncertainty ahead especially with the Loonie rising in value making our exports more expensive -- he was speaking to the Atlantic region conference of the International Council of Shopping Centers underway at the Trade and Convention Center.

Rothesay Gives Owner One Month to Clean Property

Rothesay Mayor Bill Bishop is hoping changes to its unsightly premises by-law will help skirt problems like the one the town's facing with the old Dexter property. The owners broke heritage by-laws when the home at 37 Gondola Point Road was demolished--but--what Bishop is concerned about now is the fact the rubble is still on the property.

The home used to be owned by business man, Val Dexter, before he passed away in 2002, leaving it to his sister. A furnace oil leak in 2004 has left the property contaminated and the new owners decided it would be easier to tear down the house, rather than dig around it, to clean up the oil leak. Bishop says the owners have one month to clean up the rubble before tackling the soil pollution.

South End Convenience Store Robbed

One man is in custody after a robbery at Sam's Convenience Store on Carmarthen Street last night. Police say a man walked into the South End store around 9:30pm and threatened to shoot someone if he didn't get cash.

Two men believed to be involved in the robbery were later found getting out of a truck--which may have been stolen-- on King Street East. A man in his 20's was arrested, while the other man ran off. No word on charges at this point.

Police Hoping for Reports of Vehicle Theft

Police are asking West Side residents who think their vehicles may have been stolen from last night to report it to police. Officers have one man in custody for prowling and probation violation. They believe he may have been going through people's vehicles on Manawagonish Road.

Police are waiting for residents between Fairville Blvd and Manchester Avenue to report any stolen items--no matter how small.