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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Soppit Pleased With Another Successful Cruise Ship Season

The Saint John Port Authority is happy to be part of another successful cruise ship season.
The industry brings 25 million dollars into the economy and the city welcomed over 187-thousand passengers.
Captain Al Soppitt says the local industry is led by the port but includes tour operators, the municipality and others.   He thinks they function as a great team.
Soppitt says the cruise ship industry has exceeded expectations and will welcome over 200,000 passengers in 2010 and a goal to reach 300, 000 by 2015.

Maine Governor's Office Cautious About Possible Energy Deal

The Governor's Office in Maine is taking a wait and see approach toward the possible sale of NB Power to Hydro Quebec.
Karin Tilburg is Senior Policy Advisor to Governor John Baldacci.
She tells CHSJ news they don't know yet what impact it will have on their efforts find renewable energy sources.
She says it's a goal of the Governor and the state to be energy self-sufficient.
Tilburg says right now they can't say whether it's a better deal for one province over the other.

Man Charged After Another Person Injured in Hampton Accident

A man faces charges after an accident injured another person in Hampton.
RCMP responded to the accident just after 1pm yesterday at Lakeside Road and William Bell Drive.  One truck flipped damaging the vehicle and tools which were spread all over the highway.  Damage is estimated at over $100,000 to vehicles and equipment
A 44-year-old man was treated in hospital and released.
The accident blocked the highway for nearly two hours.
A 50-year-old man was charged with failing to give right of way.

Students Stay Home in School District Six

Nearly half of the students from Quispamsis Middle School skipped classes yesterday amid illness and fears surrounding the H1N1 flu virus. A spokesperson says 37% of the school's students stayed home today--but--expects absenteeism to drop off over the next few days. He tells CHSJ news all but two elementary schools have received their H1N1 vaccinations:
Hopper says he doesn't believe all of absent students are away from school because of the H1N1. In other schools, he says absenteeism rates range from 10 to 24 per cent. Hopper also says he does not know the number of confirmed pandemic flu cases within the district.

Premier Says Province is Dealing with H1N1

Nearly 20 per cent of New Brunswickers have received the H1N1 vaccination shot according to the premier. Shawn Graham says this province is among the highest in administering the shot, and says the demand for it comes as a shock.

Graham says given there hasn't been a national pandemic like this in decades he thinks operations have been going well. He says right now members of the priority groups are still getting the shot, while others will have to wait until more of the vaccine is made available.

AnyWare Group Reaches Milestone

A local company is on the grow. AnyWare Group has reached the twenty-thousand-user milestone of its health care technology service. CEO Robert Lalonde tells CHSJ news this means more revenue for the company and they will be re-investing in engineering projects, new products and more staff.
Lalonde says this positions the company as a key player in the health care service-provider industry and he is very excited about the future possibilities.

Red Rose Tea Building Sold

Commercial Properties Limited has bought up another heritage building in Saint John. This time the real estate company has snatched up the Red Rose Tea Building on Mill and Smythe Streets. Property manager Jeff Yerxa tells CHSJ news its a modern uptown set against a backdrop of world-renowned architecture, historic sites and compelling streetscapes.

The Red Rose Tea building officially changed hands yesterday afternoon and Yerxa says it's still too soon to say what plans they have for it. He does say, however, there won't be drastic changes to the historic structure.

Big Heart Award Recipient Announced

The Saint John Board of Trade has announced this year's recipient of the "Big Heart Award". Key Industries will be presented with the honour during an awards dinner at the Trade and Convention Centre on November 25th.

The Big Heart Award recognizes those who are working to make the community a better place to live through their support of charitable or other community causes.

Price of Gas Slides Back Down

It won't cost quite as much to fill your gas tank today. The Energy and Utilities Board has set the maximum pump price for regular self-serve at a dollar-point-five--which is down a penny from yesterday.

Diesel has also taken a slight dip landing at 103.2 and furnace oil is down to 84.9. The price of propane on the other hand has inched up to 92.1 cents per litre.

Two Youths Arrested

About six police cars attended the scene of another labour related protest yesterday evening--this time at the intersection of Bayside Drive and the Courtney Bay Causeway. Demonstrators were protesting the use of employees from outside the province by local companies. Police say the protestors were well behaved and they were only there to make sure no one went out onto the road.

Meanwhile, two youths are facing charges after city police found two people in a stolen refrigeration truck near the Courtney Bay Causeway last night. Police tell CHSJ news a company truck was stolen from Colbrook Crescent on the East Side and a number of items are still missing from it. One youth is due in court later today, while the other will be in court on a later date.

H1N1 Clinics to be Held Today and Tomorrow

Public health is holding an H-1-N-1 flu shot clinic in Sussex today -- the shots will only be given to those in the priority groups. A similar clinic has been scheduled for here in the city tomorrow at the Barrack Green Armoury.

Clinic details:

• Sussex, November 5, 9am-9pm, Royal Canadian Legion, 66 Magnolia Ave

• Saint John, November 6, 8:30am-9pm, Barrack Green Armoury, 60 Broadview Ave

Priority Groups are defined as:

• Children 6 months to 18 years

• Pregnant women 20 weeks plus

• Pregnant women less than 20 weeks with underlying medical conditions

• Parents of children under 6 months

• First Nations (on reservation only)

Main Street Fire May be Suspicious

(Crews battling fire at 325 to 333 Main Street - photo by Gary MacDonald)

A supper hour fire on Main Street north has left up to 8-people homeless and fire investigators suspicious about the cause. The alarm was sounded around 6:30 last evening after flames were spotted behind the buildings at 325 to 333-Main -- this resident - Allan - tells CHSJ News he didn't realize anything was out of the ordinary until fire fighters came banging on his door.

Deputy Fire Chief Mark Gillan is stopping short of calling the blaze arson. No one was hurt and the Red Cross was called in to assist the fire victims -- there is video of last night's fire scene under yesterday's date.