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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Big Luxury Liner Making Its First Visit To The City

(Queen Victoria - photo courtesy Cunard Lines)

You may notice a huge addition to the waterfront Thursday morning -- the luxury liner Queen Victoria will be in port for its inaugural call to our city.
The big ship -- which is due to dock at 8 -- was christened in December of 2007 and carries two thousand passengers.
Its sister ship the Queen Mary 2 returns Tuesday and will make a third call on our port in early November wrapping up the cruise season.

Police Seek Robbery Suspect

City police are looking for the suspect in a robbery in the North End.
The robbery occurred just before 4pm this afternoon at the Bank of Nova Scotia on Main Street North.

A man in his 40's about 5 foot 8 inches tall with long grey hair wearing black pants and a purple shirt handed the teller a note demanding cash.
The suspect said he had a weapon but one was not displayed. No one was injured and the suspect left on foot with an undisclosed amount of money.

Boys and Girls Club Making Plans

Businesses are preparing for the worst case scenario as the brunt of the H1N1 pandemic could hit in the coming weeks. One of them is the Boys and Girls Club where close to 400 children make a stop everday. Director Debbie Cooper tells CHSJ News, the board of directors has adopted a policy through the Department of Health.

Cooper says staff have been briefed on what to keep an eye out for and try to enforce three easy rules....cough and sneeze into your sleeve, wash your hands and stay home if your sick.

One Home-Owner Not Happy With Construction Job

A recent construction job to Route 845 has one woman upset. It was back in August when the road was worked on she tells us it is causing headaches and a heavy burden on motorist's wallets. Leena Churley tells CHSJ News, the road was built up, shredded and pieces of it are puncturing tires and damaging windshields and this is not the first time they've had a problem with a road.

Churley says other motorist's take the Gondola Point ferry as an alternate route to avoid the road but she doesn't have that luxury. CHSJ News contacted the D.O.T and they tell us they are looking into the matter.

Health Authority Changes It's Name

A new name has been unveiled for all organizations which fall under the umbrella of Regional Health Authority "B". It will no be known as the Horizon Health Network." This is a merger of South-East Moncton, Saint John, Fredericton and the Miramichi where it's headquarters is. Health Network was selected as the descriptor because a network is an interconnected organization of people, groups and institutions with similar interests.

The word "Horizon" has the same meaning in both French and English and is approachable, inclusive and it is geography neutral.

How Much is the New Logo Going to Cost

$16,000 dollars is the price tag for this name change for the Health Authority. Spokes-person Erin Barnes tells CHSJ News, a consultant was hired to talk with everyone involved about the direction the new name should go in.

Signs around the region will not bear the new name until they need to be replaced and all signage will not be changed at once. All of the info has been changed on the authorities website and other changes will be rolled out in the coming weeks.

Cruise Ships in Port

(The Norwegian Dawn, Norwegian Cruise Line from King Street--Photo By Diane Henry)

Both the Norwegian Dawn and the Caribbean Princess are in port today in Saint John.

Moose-Vehicle Collisions on the Decline

(File Photo)
The Welsford volunteer fire chief says there has been a noticeable drop in the number of moose-vehicle collisions since wild-life fencing was constructed along a section of Highway 7. Jim Lannigan tells CHSJ News he hasn't been keeping count, but doesn't remember any moose related crashes since the fencing was installed. He says there are, however, accidents still happening with wildlife where the fencing has not been installed.

53 kilometres of fencing and 5 highway underpasses were built in the summer of 2008 along Route 7. The latest stats for moose-vehicle collisions show 22 crashes in 2007, compared to 18 in 2008. There were also 15 people injured as a result of those collisions in 2007, compared to only 4 last year.

RCMP Cars Torched in Oromocto

(Photo Courtesy of the RCMP)

Two RCMP cars have been torched while mounties from Nova Scotia were in Oromocto on business yesterday. Oromocto RCMP say the vehicles were in the parking lot of the Days Inn Hotel when the local Fire Department responded to the call at one in the morning. Both cars were already engulfed in flames when they arrived and were a total loss.

The Fire Marshall has joined the RCMP in their investigation.

Securities Commission Investigates Illegal Distributions

Orders have been issued against four people by the New Brunswick Securities Commission. This is the result of an on-going investigation into alleged illegal distributions. The people in question are Pierre Emond, Armel Drapeau, Jules Bossé and Robert Saintonge and none are registered with the NBSC.

The motion alleges the respondents were involved in the promotion of securities of two companies around the Province. The current paperwork against the four prohibit them from selling or advising on any securities transactions until further order from the NBSC.

St. Stephen to Get New Government Garage

Great news for the Department of Transportation and the citizens of St Stephen. The new government garage will be setting up shop at the Industrial park off Progress Drive in Milltown. Local MLA Rick Doucet tells us this has been a long time in waiting:

Doucet says they should start construction late this fall and continue in early spring. The DOT will provide service as far as St George. In 2002 the old government garage was condemned.

No Help for Tropical Storm Victims

Bad news for those still dealing with damage caused by flooding during Post Tropical Storm Danny. The province has decided it does not meet the criteria of the Disaster Financial Assistance program. The tropical storm struck the province at the end of August leaving behind 109 millimetres of rain in Saint John alone.

Public Safety Minister John Foran says he realizes a number of residents in southern New Brunswick were affected by flooding but damages for the most part were in basements. Damage caused by sewer back-up are insurable losses and are not covered by provincial and federal assistance programs. Foran says anyone affected by flooding is advised to contact their insurance company.

Peel Plaza Update

(File Photo of Conceptual Design for Peel Plaza Development)

City staff will review proposals to contruct the Peel Plaza development in about 60 days with the help of a consultant. Acting City Manager Pat Woods says the three shortlisted companies will be submitting their proposals by November 27th.

Woods says the reviews will be looking at the financial, design, value engineering aspects and any value added proposals included in the three bids.

Reaction to Mental Health Task Force Report

The President of the Schizophrenia Society of New Brunswick, Gregory Zed, is pleased with the government's quick response to Mental Health Task Force Report. Zed tells us families feel disengaged.

Zed says the Society is hosting a session called "Your Recovery Journey" next month which fits in with the recovery-based model for mental health services.

Pandemic Flu Shots

The message remains the same from Provincial Health officials......get both the seasonal and H1N1 vaccine shots. This as plans to combat the virus continue to be rolled out. Dr. Scott Giffin is the District Medical Officer of Health and says no one will be forced to get either shot but there is more than just yourself to consider.
To this point, the only recent confirmed case of the H1N1 flu in the Province has been at RCS Netherwood School earlier this month. There were 149 individual cases when they were still keeping count earlier this year.

Energy Minister's Meeting with Prime Minister

No commitments from Ottawa coming out of a meeting this week between Prime Minister Harper, Premier Graham and Energy Minister Jack Keir. All three discussed the refit at Point Lepreau and Atomic Energy of Canada. AECL announced late last week the project is now 16 months behind schedule. Keir says phase one of the project, which falls under NB Power's umbrella, finished ahead of schedule:

Conservative Leader David Alward has criticized Keir for not keeping a close enough watch over this file. The Energy Minister says if Alward knows what the inside of a core reactor looks like then strap on a tool belt but the Provincial Government has fulfilled it's commitment.

Grand Lake Generating Station to Shut Down

NB Power's Grand Lake generating station is shutting down next June and as a result NB Coal in Minto, it's only customer, will close in December. Darryl Bishop of NB Power says the 58 employees at the mine will get severance packages.

38 workers at the generating facility will be offered positions within NB Power. Bishop says NB Coal would become too expensive to operate because of its age and the cost associated to make it compliant with new environmental regulations regarding mercury and sulfur dioxide levels.