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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

City Police Chief Talks about New Tazer Guidelines

The Saint John Police Force will likely adopt new guidelines released by Tazer International.

They include not using the weapon on a suspect's chest because of a possible link between Tazer use and cardiac arrest. Police Chief Bill Reid says some officers are reluctant to use the Tazer now.
He says it's not surprising given what is going on across the country with respect to deaths from Tazers.
Reid adds the officers are well-trained but, sometimes they have to make split-second decisions.
Chief Reid says the committee responsible for Tazers will look over the new guidelines and likely include them in their future training and policies.

District 8 Preparing for a Math Attack

[Superintendent Susan Tipper---File Photo]

Grade 5 math scores are showing a decrease in the provincial testing this year in District 8.

Superintendent Susan Tipper says with the lower scores the district is going to implement an aggressive approach to teaching numeracy.
Tipper says one of the approaches is hiring more staff.
Tipper says this "math attack" will not have any influence on how the district concentrates on teaching literacy.
The districts literacy scores showed an increase for this year.

Train and Car collide in Bloomfield

A close call in Bloomfield this afternoon after a collision between a car and a train.
Hampton RCMP say it happened about 1:30pm when a car tried to cross tracks on the Bloomfield Station Road.
Amazingly, no one was hurt. Police report the lights at the crossing were working at the time.

Delays at Canaport Facility

Despite their best efforts to keep out of work local unionized trades-people from disrupting their everyday routine, work at the Canaport LNG has been anything but normal. In a two sentence statement, the company says construction has slowed due to some delays with protests occurring near the Terminal site. Yesterday (Tuesday) construction was suspended for the day for the safety and security of employees travelling to and from the Terminal site.

Construction has resumed today but in a news release, RCMP say they have been dealing with protests since late last week near Lepreau. Several out of work local unionized trades-people have been slowing down buses believed to be transporting workers to and from the site. Officers tell us charges could be laid.

Dalhousie Gets Probation

Despite an appeal, Dalhousie Universities under-graduate medical education program is being placed on probation. This term begins tomorrow, Oct.15th/2009 and many are asking, how does this affect the new medical school set to open on the campus of UNB Saint John next September? Officials tell us it doesn't as they continue to get the curriculum set up for students who will begin their studies in 2010.

Officials also point out despite the probation.....the undergraduate medical program remains accredited and the ruling doesn't affect any students ability to become a doctor.

City Fire-Fighters Get a Nice Pay Bump

Common Council has signed a collective agreement with the firefighters union---whether they wanted to or not. Councillor Chris Titus asked contract negotiater John McIntyre what if the city didn't sign and McIntyre says since it is binding arbitration there isn't much choice.

McIntyre says this deal is valid until December of next year which means future budget numbers will not be affected by it.

Deputy Mayor Will Not Re-offer on Pension Board

The Deputy Mayor will not be put his name in the hat for reappointment to the pension board. Stephen Chase says sitting on council and the board presents itself with conflicting responsibilities.

Chase says as a member of council he knows his first priority is to the tax payers and the general health of the city.

Councilor Court is Staying With Pension Board

Still with the pension board, Councillor Bruce Court says he will re-offer for his position on the pension board. Court says he has no issue distinguishing between being a councillor or a trustee on the board.

He says he always tries to make decisions that are best for the city and it's citizens.

City Hall Tourism Department is Gone

The city no longer has a Tourism Department. Common Council has accepted the proposal from the Destination Marketing Organization to handle all tourism issues relating to Greater Saint John. Deputy City Manager Andrew Beckett says full time city employees affected are not being put aside.

Beckett adds the DMO will be given an incentive to hire the one full time employee and says the part time and seasonal staff will fair well with the new structure.

Strong Housing Numbers in Grand bay Westfield

Housing values in Grand-Bay Westfield this year have already exceeded last years numbers. Mayor Grace Losier tells CHSJ News, this tells them that people want to stay in the community.

Losier adds she suspects that programs from federal and provincial governments have contributed to the numbers as well.

City Police Add Up Impact Numbers

All in all.....a successful weekend for City Police and Operation Impact. Sargeant Jeff LaFrance tells CHSJ News, they set up ten spot checks through-out the metro over a three day period and checked 2500 vehicles. 61 tickets were handed out, one suspended license was uncovered and two impaired drivers were locked up.

LaFrance adds there were 11 major and 7 minor accidents.

Cases of Fraud in Sussex

Two cases of fraud are being investigated by Sussex RCMP. This after a pair of businesses on Main Street accepted personal checks for service and items purchased. It happened back on September.30th and October.2nd and they were returned as no sufficient funds yesterday. The man who wrote the checks used a reference name from Sussex as a person he was working for but the reference was never checked out.

A suspect has been identified but officers warn businesses not to accept personal checks unless they know the person from whom they are accepting them.

Symphony NB Seeks $10,000 from Rothesay

(Dr. Thomas Condon with Symphony NB--Photo By Diane Henry)

Symphony New Brunswick is hoping to raise 2.5 million dollars to hire five full-time string musicians. The organization is asking the town of Rothesay for a one thousand dollar operating grant and a pledge of ten thousand dollars over five years. Spokesperson, Dr. Thomas Condon says the money would help them add to their orchestra, as well as help pay for travel.

The request has been referred to Rothesay's finance committee for budget deliberations.

Wintery Weather Causes Traffic Crashes

The first snowfall of the season brought with it a number of crashes last night in the city. Snow mixed with rain, reducing visibility, and five separate crashes sent at least three people to hospital.

Police say a 23 year old man may have a broken arm and leg after being hit by a car on Millidge Avenue while crossing the street last night around 8:40pm. Not long after, a three vehicle crash sent one man to hospital, after he apparently blacked out and side swiped one car, then hit head-on with another on Millidge Avenue. Also, one woman was taken to the Regional to be checked out after a crash on Lancaster Street. Rothesay Regional Police says the wet-snowy weather has made the roads slippery in the Valley this morning.

Scott Avenue Residents Score a Victory

(Joy Clowater, Resident of 10 Scott Avenue--Photo By Diane Henry)

Rothesay residents living in four mixed income apartment buildings on Scott Avenue have scored a victory. Town council has passed a motion not to move ahead at this time with plans that would displace them from their homes. Resident, Joy Clowater says the decision is not set in stone, but it's good enough.

An option was on the table for Rothesay to buy and demolish the apartment buildings in order to build a new field house on Scott Avenue. Mayor Bill Bishop tells CHSJ News that's not council's wish. Bishop says, while there is nothing they can do about future council's reversing the decision, this council is not interested in demolishing the buildings. Instead, the town is now looking at another piece of property further down the road that is larger and with only one home on it.

Unemployed Labourers Turn to Common Council for Support

Common Council is being asked where they stand in regards to non-unionized workers at the Canaport LNG terminal. Tradespeople spokesperson Mike Duncan says right now there are 104 workers from outside the province employed by Integral Energy Services Limited at the facility, rather than skilled New Brunswickers.

Duncan says there are currently 412 unemployed tradespeople in the city, which is having a negative effect on the local economy.

Council Backs Unemployed Labourers

Mayor Ivan Court says council understands the plight local union workers are facing. He says last week unionized workers from Fredericton came down to try and find a resolution:

Councillor Bill Farren says his support is behind the local workers, because this province spent so much time encouraging workers to come back and now they are being treated this way.

Grand Bay-Westfield to Get New Collector Road

The Town of Grand Bay-Westfield is one step closer to having a new core collector road. The mayor and council announced last night that the Environment Impact Assessment is complete. Mayor Grace Losier says it took about one year and a half.

Losier says preliminary work will start before the ground is frozen and the road will be finished in a year.