Linked Header

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Community Activist Frustrated By Court Sentences

He's calling it a "slap in the face for the community" - volunteer John Campbell is fuming over recent sentences handed to two men involved in separate incidents on the west side recently. Campbell tells CHSJ News basically allowing them to walk with no real consequence for their crimes will eventually break the new found pride in neighbourhoods like the lower west side where volunteers have been working hard to rebuild community spirit.The court cases sparking Campbell's outrage centered on two men convicted of weapons related charges -- one of them -- an 18-year old -- was a member of the so called West Side Mafia gang -- he was given a conditional discharge so he could attend the birth of his child.Campbell says people have to start pressing their politicians to get tougher on crime.

Former City Manager Speaks

It has been a long time since we have heard from Terry Totten but City Hall's former manager is speaking for the first time since leaving the job back in June. Under a cloud of controversy, Totten was awarded a one-time payment of half a million dollars and is receiving $60,000 dollars a year in pension plus an extra 10% of his salary to be paid for by the city. Totten tells CHSJ News, he has no regrets and will let his 15-year record speak for itself.

Totten says he has been keeping busy with projects around the house and is looking ahead to something else but nothing concrete at this time.

Update on Valley Youth Home

The first client for the at risk youth in Quispamsis is expected to arrive at ther end of the month. This as interior renovation work finishes this week and staff training is on-going. Mel Kennah is Executive Director of Moncton Youth Services and tells CHSJ News, the numbers for the facility will be watched closely.

CHSJ News has learned four home-owners in the area of the Youth Home that have filed an appeal received notices last week that they have been granted. No word yet how-ever when the hearing date will be.

Update on Subway Robbery

19-year old Steve Hamilton has plead guilty to a charge of armed robbery. This after the Subway in Millidgeville was held up last night. He will be back in court October.1st for sentencing. 19-year old Ryan Loman has plead not guilty to the same charge and will be back in court tomorrow for a bail hearing. A 17-year old girl is also facing charges in relation to the hold-up but no word on her because of her young offender status.

There was a short vehicle chase after the hold-up along Main Street and down to St. James in the South End.

Phase Two of One Mile House Interchange

(Some of the new roadbed which is part of the One Mile Interchange - photo by Jim Hennessy)

Expect to see a flurry of activity in and around the One Mile House Interchange project. The contracts have been awarded for phase two with Fundy Contractors of St. George selected to build the viaduct substructure valued at over $31.5 million. K-Line Construction of Wodstock will relocate the utilities which is work valued at over $291,000 dollars. Transportation Minister Denis Landry says there are good paying jobs that go along with this.

The project is expected to be finished in three years at a total cost of $65 million dollars.

New Transit Building Opens

Saint John Transit's new operations center on McDonald Street East is officially open for business.
Plenty of politicians from all three levels of government were on hand as were staff to celebrate their new home which comes in at over $23 million dollars.
The new facility will hold close to 70 of the 40-foot limo's and features many energy efficient features including the heating system.
Construction of the facility began in March of last year and the office space is still a work in progress.

Chair of the Transit Commission and City Councilor Chris Titus says there are more announcements coming for the building in the coming weeks.

Kingston Man Arrested

A Kingston man has been arrested in Poodiac after police saw him putting marijuana plants in the trunk of a vehicle.

The vehicle was parked near Poodiac Road and more than 200 unharvested marijuana plants were found and seized by RCMP.

The man faces a charge of possession of controlled substance and has been released.

Woman Hit by Bus

One woman taken to hospital with minor injuries this morning after she was hit by a city transit bus while using a cross walk. Police tell CHSJ news the woman was crossing at Charlotte Street and King Square when the bus pulled out after dropping off some passengers and hit her.

The bus driver has been ticketed for failing to yield to a pedestrian.

Morning Crash Causes Highway Gridlock

One person sent to hospital as a result of a morning crash-up along the MacKay Highway that caused grid lock heading West bound for about an hour. No word on the extent of the injuries---but-- RCMP say a three-car pile up appears to have been caused by increased traffic as students head back to school and adults head back to work following the long weekend.

Someone trying to avoid a collision hit the brakes, slid along the median, and created a domino affect for two other vehicles. Traffic was backed up from the Fox Farm Road exit for miles.

Liquor Store Theft

GrandBay Westfield RCMP are on the look out for a sort of beer bandit. A man in his 30's walked into the Blue Canoe Irving on Highway 7 in Welsford yesterday afternoon and stuffed several bottles of liquor into an empty tote bag before walking out the door without paying.

Video surveillance captured the man as he made off with his booty and was picked up by a dark-coloured pick-up truck.

Merit Awards to be Handed out Tonight

The woman affectionately known as the ""Moose Lady"" is being honored for her commitment and hard work. Cathy McCullum of Welsford will receive one of six Merit Awards. McCullum gained national attention three years ago when she took on the then Lord Provincial Government to put up moose fencing along Highway Seven.

Fundy River Valley MLA and Energy Minister Jack Keir will be on hand to present the awards tonight at the KBM starting at seven o'clock.

Getting Enough Sleep This Fall

Now that the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer are's time for students to get back to a routine. Sleep specialist Dr. Rachel Morehouse tells CHSJ News, maintaining a schedule seven days a week will help keep the heavy eyes away.

Dr. Morehouse adds young children typically need the most sleep but a new study shows teenagers benefit from a good diet of between 8 and 9 hours sleep every night which they are not getting.

Online Prose Literacy Map Launched

The Canadian Council on Learning has launched an online map that identifies literacy levels in communities across the country. The Prose Literacy Map has been created in recognition of UNESCO International Literacy Day with profiles of more than 52 thousand municipalities.

Prose literacy refers to the knowledge needed to understand and use information from stories, poems and fiction--and--is measured on a scale of 1 to 5. In Saint John, 57.2 per cent are at or below level 2 Adult prose literacy. Check out the Prose Literacy Map online:

Saint John Employers Planning Moderate Growth

A new survey by Manpower Employment shows Saint John businesses are planning to do more hiring in the fourth quarter of the year compared to the third quarter. However, even though the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey shows 13 per cent of city employers plan to hire between October and December that's far off the pace of what we saw last year at this time.

Saint John area employers are expecting a moderate hiring climate with 80 per cent intending to maintain their current staffing levels and four per cent unsure of their hiring intentions.

Record Temperature for Saint John

If you were saying to your neighbour yesterday morning.....""Man it feels cold out"" you are exactly right. It was a new record low for Saint John coming in at 1.1 Celsius which breaks the old mark of 1.2 set back in 2000.

Temperatures at night have taken a fall into the single digit over the past two weeks after the blast of heat last month. The three day forecast is coming right up.

Three Arrested in Armed Robbery

Three people are due in court today following an armed robbery and high speed chase in Millidgeville last night. Police tell CHSJ news two 19 year old men and a 17 year old girl are facing charges after the Subway in Millidgeville was robbed at gun point. Three people took off in a vehicle with some cash after showing a sawed-off shot gun to the Subway employees.

A couple of minutes later police spotted them and a chase got underway along Main Street down to St James. Two were arrested on the spot, while a third ran away and was cuffed just around the corner. They remain in custody until their court appearance later this morning.

District 8 Ready For Class

With 11,747 students so far for this new school year.....teachers and staff at District Eight have the Smartboards plugged in and ready to go. The over-all enrollment number is a drop of 225 from last year but officials were expecting a decline of 325. Superintendent Susan Tipper tells CHSJ News, all students who travelled by bus last year will do so again this year.

Tipper adds those students who will be travelling by City Transit can pick up their bus passes when they get to class today.

District Six Prepared for Back to School

While the numbers remain strong in the Kennebecasis Valley, District Six is seeing a decline in student population in Hampton and Sussex for the second year in a row. Superintendent Zoe Watson tells CHSJ News, it is a concern.

Watson adds many renovation and repair projects to several buildings have been going on during the summer. They include new ventilation at Hampton Elementary and two modular class-rooms added at Quispamsis Middle and Elementary.

Traffic Expected to be Heavy Today

Whether you have children or goes with-out saying that there has to be a little more care behind the wheel today. The first day of school is here and Sargeant Evan Scott, head of the Traffic Division with Rothesay Regional Police tells CHSJ News, traffic will be heavier in many respects.

Sargeant Scott adds try not to get distracted when behind the wheel whether it be with a cell-phone or something as simple as dialing the radio. RCMP are giving fair warning the fine is doubled for those with a heavy foot in a school zone coming in anywhere between $340 to over $1200 dollars.

NBCC Increases Number of Seats This Fall

It's a new year for Community Colleges around the province and class-rooms will be more crowded. 500 new students have signed up for a higher education thanks to government investment aimed at increasing the number of community college seats.Early numbers show there will be 7200 full time students at Community College campuses this year.

The provincial government also plans to introduce a change to the current governance model of the NBCC system this fall. It will create two independent structures respecting the Province's two official languages.

School Season Means Flu Season

It will be interesting to see what attendance numbers look like for schools in District Six and Eight this year. This with all the talk of swine flu and what impact it might have on class-rooms. Dr. Cristian Muecke tells CHSJ News, it's important that anyone showing flu-like symptoms stay home.

Dr. Muecke adds the regular flu shot, which does not protect against the swine flu, will be available next month. The pandemic vaccine is expected to be available by December.

Province Still Working on Stadium Funding

The Provincial Government is again making public it's full support of the Canada Games Stadium refurbishment project. Many are still wondering how-ever where is the cheque? Premier Graham tells CHSJ News, they are trying to iron out the details with Ottawa to secure some funding.

Graham adds they are not eligible right now for current federal funding under the stimulus package