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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Service Based Budgeting Presentation

Common council is going to be getting a look at what a service based budget would look like.

The style of budgeting shows the relationship between funding levels and expected results on a service basis.
Council will get a presentation at tomorrow nights meeting on how the accountability tool works, and will even get a sample of the sports and recreation service file, done in a service based way.
The public portion of the meeting gets underway at 5:15 tomorrow evening in the council chambers.

Province Invests in St. Stephen Jobs

The province is providing a $500, 000 loan guarantee and investing $100, 000 to help maintain up to 70 jobs at a St. Stephen company.

SWP Industries Inc. is a value-added manufacturing company in the Bordertown.
The company produces a line of value-added wood products, fencing products from northern white cedar, as well as manufactured vinyl and aluminum fencing.
They serve more than 400 dealers in the US and Canada.

Still No Location for Uptown Liquor Store

Still no word on where NB Liquor plans to put a new store in uptown Saint John.

Spokesperson Nora Lacey tells CHSJ News, the uptown core presents several challenges including parking and the ability for trucks to make deliveries.
She says the corporation is still looking at the area, but there is no update as of yet.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

More Cash on the Way for the City Market

More money is on the way for the City Market and Common Council has been told the improvement will be quite significant. The City's Commissioner of Buildings, Bill Edwards says this will be over and above what's already been spent.
City Building Inspector Amy Poffenroth is talking about upgrades to the City Market Tower.

More Positive Spinoffs for Citys Green Project

The Energy Manager for the city says the green thermal utility project will help reduce energy costs.
Samire Yammine tells CHSJ News, since the project uses energy that was previously wasted, this will help make the city more efficient in terms of producing energy.
Yammine says this will also prove to be cost effective for building owners who no longer require hot water heaters and coolers.
He also says when city hall begins getting their heating and cooling needs through the project, and entire floor of city hall will become vacant.

Incident at Atlantic Institution

RCMP and Correctional Services Canada are investigating after an assault at the Atlantic Institution in Renous.

It happened just after 9pm and the inmate was immediately taken to hospital for treatment of his injuries.
The unit where it occurred was shut down while the rest of the jail was starting regular evening lockdown procedures.
There is no suspect in the assault and the injured inmate remained overnight in hospital and is now back at the institution.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Kingston Man arrested after incident on the Kennebecasis River

A 39-year-old Kingston man is in custody after an incident on the Kennebecasis River near the Gondola Point Ferry landing this afternoon.

Hampton RCMP tell CHSJ News the man was near open water between the two ferries and he was intoxicated and one person said they saw him with a rifle.
Police say he will have a remand hearing in the morning and face an impaired driving charge along with other criminal code offenses.
RCMP also say the man is well known to police.

Praise for the City's Winter Management Plan

(file photo)

Residents are providing city staff with some positive feedback about it's winter management plan.
Deputy Commissioner of Municipal Operations Kevin Rice says after the first snow storm, there were calls with questions and concerns- -- but after the last snow fall the calls were praising the work the city is doing.
Rice says other municipalities are taking notice of the citys winter management plan, and has even fielded questions from Halifax media on how it works.
Rice says there are very few municipalities in North America that allow on street winter parking.
Just last week the city altered it's overnight parking ban, allowing 6 streets to be exempted from the rules.

Traffic Lights are out at Rothesay Avenue and Thorne Avenue

Here's a heads up for motorists heading to or driving in East Saint John.
 The traffic lights at Rothesay Avenue and Thorne Avenue will not be working until tonight or tomorrow morning.   The strong wind gusts damaged the lights.

Detours have been set up and motorists are advised to use alternate routes.
The City also advises motorists that other traffic lights in other parts of the city may be
affected by the high winds as well.

McKenna speaks at Saint John fundraiser next month

(file photo)

One of the province's most recognizable former politicians will be in Saint John next month.
Former Premier Frank McKenna is the guest speaker at a fundraiser for earthquake ravaged Haiti.
McKenna will speak about the ongoing disaster relief in the country and tell the
crowd how Saint John can help make a difference in the long-term efforts to rebuild.

The Saint John for Haiti fundraiser is coming up on St. Patrick's Day at the Delta hotel.

Canadian Tire issues recall of Mastercraft battery chargers.

(courtesy of Canadian Press)

Canadian Tire is recalling Mastercraft battery chargers because of problems with overheating. The well-known retailer did not indicate how many units are involved in the recall, but says they were sold at Canadian Tires stores from 2000 until 2009.

The battery concerned is the three-hour Mastercraft charger model No.54-2973, which was sold with Mastercraft 18-volt cordless drill kits and combo kits.
Customers should contact Techtronic Industries, toll-free at 1-800-597-9624, for information on having a replacement charger shipped to them at no cost.

Mayor Says Green Thermal Utility Project Will Result in Many Savings

[Mayor Ivan Court---Photo by Dave Briggs]

Mayor Ivan Court says the green thermal utility project is another example of Saint John leading the pact.
Court says the project will allow the city to heat and cool uptown buildings, without relying on the fluctuating fossil fuels.
Court says since underground piping is being installed heading to Peel Plaza, it will be easier to install the necessary equipment for this project, because construction is already underway. He says it will also allow other buildings to install the equipment.
The Green Thermal Utility is a multi-phase project, and could take up to 10 years to fully develop. The goal of the project is to reduce C02 emissions by over 60 thousand tonnes.

Federal Government Invests $9.8 million towards Energy Project

[Saint John M-P Rodney Weston----Photo by Dave Briggs]

A major energy project for the city is getting a $9.8 million dollar shot in the arm from the federal government.
Saint John M-P Rodney Weston announced the funding towards the city's Green Thermal project, which is the first of it's kind in North America.
The project looks to use renewable thermal energy from the Bay of Fundy to cool and heat buildings in the central peninsula.
Weston says this will help bring future developments to the area.
The total estimated price tag of the project is $29.8 million dollars.

NB Power Sale Delayed For Two Months

The Provincial government has announced it's delaying the $3.2-billion sale of NB Power assets to Hydro-Quebec for nearly two months.Energy Minister Jack Keir says legislation to sell the utility will be filed around the end of March and then a committee of members will have more than 30 days to examine the final deal. There will be televised hearings be held at which members can call expert witnesses.Keir claims the government is trying to be as open and transparent as possible before proceeding with the sale.
Government house leader Greg Byrne says the debate will help explain the deal but won't change the terms of the contract being signed with Hydro-Quebec. He says the government now hopes to approve the legislation by May 21st.

Only Two Parents Attend Town Hall Meeting On Education

The latest School District 8 Education Council town hall meeting was not well attended with only two parents coming out to voice their concerns.Vice Chair Bob McDevitt says he was disappointed by the turnout but one issue did emerge.
A parent brought in a report card from Samuel De Champlain which broke down each of the students grades into sub-categories for each subject. She said it made the report card much more comprehensive because she knew where her daughter was struggling within a particular subject.
McDevitt says DEC will be looking for a presentation on how District 1 does its report cards. How the school district constructs it's report card is provincially regulated so he was unaware of the different style but it will be examined more closely.

High Winds Causing Problems in Travel

The high winds are causing problems this morning in and around Saint John. NB Power reports an outage in Rothesay affecting 60 customers. The traffic lights at Thorne and Rothesay Avenues near Haymarket Square were earlier blown over and couldn't be moved until the power was shut off by Saint John Energy. A tree has come down on Hillcrest Road. The morning departure of the Princess of Acadia from Saint John to Digby was cancelled because of the winds. Another caller has given us a heads up about debris blowing off the roof of the Courtenay Bay Hotel which could cause problems for both drivers and pedestrians. A snowfall warning has been issued for the Fredericton area and Environment Canada is calling for up to 50 millimeters of rain for the Saint John region over the next two days.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

2010 Dragon Boat Festival announces fundraising target

It's time to start talking about the Saint John Dragon Boat Festival coming up in August.
This year's event will support the purchase of equipment for minimally invasive spine surgery.

Festival chair Bob Boyce says this equipment along with the expansion of the Extended Day Surgery program will allow St. Joseph's hospital to double the number of spine surgeries performed in a year.
 The goal is to raise $232,000 dollars at this year's event on August 28th in Renforth.
For information on how to register for the 2010 Saint John Dragon Boat Festival, go to

Health snapshot of Saint John area paints negative picture

The state of your health is largely up to you. That fact emerges from a health snapshot of the Saint John region released by the New Brunswick Health Council.
Its C-E-O Stephane Robichaud tells CHSJ News the healthcare system itself might influence only ten per cent of how healthy you are.
The health snapshot for the Saint John region shows we are dying prematurely from heart attacks, strokes and respiratory diseases. We still smoke too much, are too obese and don't eat enough veggies and fruit.

Federal and Municipal funding announced for the Visit Canada Trail

The federal government announcing 135 thousand dollars for upgrades to the Visit Canada trail at Rockwood Park which will include some landscaping and permanent installation of monuments.
The city is contributing 310 thousand dollars. The trail features a site for each province. Meantime, what is being billed as a big announcement about funding for infrastructure in Saint John will be made tomorrow morning at city hall.

City prepares for expected rain

A rainfall warning has been issued for the Saint John region with anywhere from 25 to 40 millimeters expected, the bulk of it tomorrow. That raises the spectre of flooding, especially in east Saint John.
The Deputy Commissioner of Municipal Operations, Kevin Rice tells CHSJ News that amount of rain could cause problems.

He adds the city will be working today to make sure everything is clear for tomorrow.

Award for Dr. Randall Miller of the New Brunswick Museum

The head of geology and palaeontology at the New Brunswick Museum has won the distinguished scientist award.
Dr. Randall Miller wins the award from the Atlantic Geoscience Society.
The award is given out every year to a person who has developed and promoted the geoscience in the Atlantic region.
Dr. Miller may be best known in international circles for the discovery near Campbellton of the world’s oldest articulated shark fossil.

Gas Prices Rise After Weekly Setting

There has been a jump in gas prices after the weekly setting. The maximum price for self serve regular rose by almost 4 cents a litre to $103.5 but is being sold in the city for $1.00.9 a litre. The max for diesel has risen to $107.1 but it's being sold for $104.5 around town. Furnace oil has risen by more than 3 cents a litre to 90.4 cents but propane went down to $1.14.

New Daycare In Rothesay

As the demand for child-care grows, so does the number of businesses in the Kennebecasis Valley looking to provide the service. The latest is Polka Dots and Bowties setting up shop in Rothesay in the Fairvale Plaza. Co-owner Nicole Arrand tells CHSJ News, the new space consists of 4000 square feet inside with 2600 feet of a fenced in play area outside.
Arrand says it wasn't easy finding a space to suit their needs but are happy with the spot they have chosen. If all spaces are full, there will be 14 staff members on hand.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Moosehead Breweries makes distribution deal with the Boston Beer Company

Moosehead Breweries has announced a distribution with the Boston Beer Company.
It begins immediately and means that Moosehead and its subsidiary the
the Premium Beer Company will take over Canadian distribution of Boston Beer’s flagship brand Samuel Adams Boston Lager.
Megan Parsons of Moosehead Breweries tells CHSJ News that Moosehead's president
Andrew Oland has a direct connection with Jim Kochafter he met him while living in Boston a few years ago.

North End Building Suffers Damage

          (Home on Barker Street Gutted by Flames)
                     (Photo by Jim Hennessy)

The quiet calm of a spring like afternoon was shattered in the North End with a fire call. Crews arrived at the corner of Barker and Somerset Street to find smoke and flames rolling out of the three-storey structure. Divisional Chief Kevin Clifford says the battle was watering down the flames running through the roof.

While the front end of the home suffered extensive damage, the back end is in good shape. No one was living in the building and Chief Clifford says it is way to early to say how the fire started.

Unplanned Power Outage for Saint John Energy Customers

Saint John Energy is currently experiencing an unplanned outage in the area of Bayside Drive and Westmorland Road.

Crews are on scene working to get the lights back on, and are investigating what caused the outage.
No word on when work will finish up.

Fundraising Campaign for UNBSJ Commons Building

[Commons Building Plan----Photo courtesy of Dan Tanaka of UNBSJ]
The University of New Brunswick Saint John is embarking on a fundraising campaign to come up with the remaining money for it's Commons Building.

The $25 million dollar project already has 80 per cent of it's capital raised, and Vice President Dr. Robert McKinnon tells CHSJ News, the last 20 per cent is always the hardest to raise, but is confident the fundraising team can do it.
McKinnon says the new commons building will be LEEDS Silver certified, and while it's more expensive to construct, it will pay off in the long run.
Planning for construction is ongoing right now, and McKinnon says the plan is to have students in the building next year.

Mayor Says Renovations at UNBSJ Will Provide Positive Spinoffs

[Mayor Ivan Court----File Photo]
Mayor Ivan Court tells CHSJ News, the economic spinoff of this project is massive.

Court says the 25 million dollar project will give people in the city jobs, and will allow them to earn money to send their children to university.
Court says it was an easy decision for city hall to invest $2 million dollars into the project.

The federal government came up to the plate with $8 million, and the province invested $10 million. The faculty, staff and friends of UNBSJ invested an additional $400 thousand for a grand total of $20.4 million dollars.

Tory M-L-A Says The Deal Still Needs to be Put to the People

[Saint John Portland M-L-A Trevor Holder---File Photo]

Saint John Portland Tory M-L-A Trevor Holder tells CHSJ News, the whole argument was the deal had to be done before March 31st to prevent a rate increase.

Holder says since the Energy Minister took the rate increase off the table, the deal doesn't have to be pushed through.
Holder says in stands behind the notion a general election, or referendum needs to be called so the people can have a chance to voice their opinions.
Holder says the Conservatives have been clear that the status quo has to change in regards to NB Power, and that's all M-L-A Jeannot Volpe meant by saying any deal is better than no deal.

Energy Minister Suggests Tories Can't Make Up Their Mind Over NB Power Deal

[Energy Minister Jack Keir----File Photo]
Energy Minister Jack Keir is suggesting the Conservative government is scrambling on it's attitude towards the proposed sale of NB Power.

Just last week, Conservative M-L-A Jeannot Volpe said any deal is better than no deal, and Keir says Volpe said the comment was a mistake.
Keir says the fact of the matter is this opportunity will benefit every New Brunswick for generations to come.
Keir announced Tuesday that a planned three per cent rate hike on April 1st is on hold while the province finished negotiations.

Landmark uptown restaurant closes

(Reggie's Restaurant on Germain Street)
(photo by Tamara Steele)

Reggies restaurant on Germain Street, a fixture in the uptown since 1969, is closed.
Reggie Belliveau started the business way back when but sold it in 2001 to Philip Brewer.

The store front has brown paper on the windows and the for lease and closed signs are up on the windows.

Atlantica Centre For Energy Weighs In On NB Power Deal

The Atlantica Centre for Energy likes what it sees in the revised agreement for bits and pieces of NB Power to be sold to Hydro Quebec. The Centre's Vice-President John Herron tells CHSJ News they do have a concern about getting a commitment from Hydro Quebec about growing the energy hub in Saint John. Another concern is future price increases being tied to the consumer price index. Herron says Atlantica would like to have any future price rise tied to the increases paid by Quebecers.
Herron says the centre believes all electricity users in the province will benefit from lower rates and industry will be more competitive.

Appeal Made To Remove Ice Fishing Shacks From River

If you still have an ice fishing shack on the river, You better get it to shore sooner rather than later. So says Gary Gower, President of the Renforth Ice Fishing Association. He tells CHSJ News the mild weather and rain that's on the way could make for quite a mess if you don't act now.
The deadline for removing the ice fishing shacks isn't until mid March but Gower says there's no way they can wait that long.

Housing Market In Saint John Described As Strong

Remax has released an optimistic report on the Saint John housing market with January starting out strong. Gordon Breau of Remax tells CHSJ News prices were 13.5 per cent higher than in January of last year with the average price of a home rising to almost 176 thousand dollars. Breau believes those price rises will moderate and wind up the year with an increase from 6 to 8 per cent. The number of listings in the Saint John market is up by 9 per cent which, Breau claims, will moderate price increases.
The Remax report calls the economic prospects in Saint John good with the concept of the energy hub driving sales and prices.

Vote Overwhelmingly In Favour Of Liquor Store For Peninsula

A dominant yes vote for moving ahead on finding a location for an agency liquor store in the Kingston Peninsula.
Over 200 residents showed up for a vote on whether or not NB Liquor should look into establishing a store in the area.
The Chair of the Chamber of Commerce Linda Dupuis tells CHSJ News she's not surprised by the large turnout for the vote. She concedes there was a bit of controversy over who was eligible to vote for the agency store with NB Liquor stating specific boundaries for people who lived in the proximity of another store.
195 people voted yes for the store while 36 voted no. The next step is for NB Liquor to issue public tenders to shop owners.

Provincial Energy Minister Wants Rate Increase Delayed

(Provincial Energy Minister Jack Keir)
(File Photo)

Provincial Energy Minister Jack Keir says more details about how the government plans to proceed with the N-B Power deal will be announced on Friday.
In the meantime, Keir is asking N-B Power to delay a three per cent rate hike on April 1st if he's unable to finalize the deal with Hydro-Quebec by the end of next month.
Keir says the 3.2 (b) billion dollar plan to sell 10 power plants is a complicated agreement and there's a chance it may not be finalized by March 31st.
Opposition energy critic Bruce Fitch says Keir's request just shows the government is flying by the seat of its pants with the power deal.

Ambulance New Brunswick Changes Policy On Speed

Ambulance New Brunswick has announced a change to its policies so paramedics can decide for themselves when they may exceed speed limits. This follows questions that arose in the Legislature last week over the death of a 56 year old woman in Norton. Concerns have been raised about response times being slower than they could be.
Paramedics, using their own discretion and judgement, can now deviate from the code 1 policy which stipulated they could exceed the speed limit along the highway by 10 kilometers an hour but they can't  go any faster than 130 kilometres an hour on the highway.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Opponent of proposed NB Power sale thinks Liberals are desperate

(photo courtesy of Greg Cook)

One of the groups opposed to the sale of NB Power to Hydro Quebec thinks the Graham liberals are getting desperate.

Greg Cook of "No to the Sale of NB Power" which has nearly 30-thousand members on Facebook, tells CHSJ News that is the only explanation as to why the government hired a Washington public relations firm known for selling "lost causes".

The group has a rally planned for March 20th at the Legislature in Fredericton, 11 days before the final vote on the deal.

Fundraising Campaign for UNB Saint John unveiled tomorrow

(Construction at UNB Saint John campus)
(file photo)

The campus at U-N-B-Saint John resembles a huge construction site these days. To help pay for it, a major drive will be announced tomorrow afternoon to launch the University Common's fundraising campaign. U-N-B Saint John Vice-President Dr. Robert McKinnon tells CHSJ News the new Commons building with a state of the art library is being built near entrance.
Dr. McKinnon is hoping the building will reshape the look and feel of the entrance to the campus.

Forest Hills man wants better communication between City and residents

A father who lives in Forest Hills would like to see better communication with the city. Andrew Pettipas became concerned when he saw that his water yesterday was not only discoloured.

He tells CHSJ News he poured a glass of it and you could clearly see things floating in it.

Pettipas says he tried to get information from the city by calling a few numbers without success. He finally did get someone who appeared nervous about saying much of anything and hung up before Pettipas could find out if the water was safe to use.

City fined $3000

The city has been fined 3 thousand dollars for violating the Clean Environment Act.
The charge was laid after a delay by Saint John Water in notifying the Health Department between June 29th and 30th of 2008 which was stipulated as a condition of its approval to operate.

The city maintains at no time was public safety compromised.

Costco Opening and Job Fair Drawing Closer

(New Costco Store At Eastpoint)
(Photo by Jim Hennessy)

If your a fan of Costco, May 27th is the date you want to have circled on your calendar. That's when the largest store in Atlantic Canada in East Saint John will open it's doors. There will be a three day job fair next month with the company looking to hire close to 100 people. Gary Swindells is Regional Operations Vice-President and tells CHSJ News, the starting wage is between $11 and $22 dollars an hour because they want people to have careers and not just jobs.
The job fair starts at the new store in Eastpoint on March 5th between 10 in the morning and 8:00 at night, March 6th between 10 in the morning until 5PM and the 7th from 10 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon.

House Destroyed In Rothesay By Explosion And Fire

A house in Rothesay has been destroyed by fire on Colonsay Place near Iona Avenue. Rothesay Regional Police tell CHSJ News there was some sort of explosion or popping heard just after midnight before the fire started. They received a few 9-1-1 calls from people who heard the noise. When police and fire crews arrived, the house was fully engulfed in flames. A car was also destroyed in the fire and part of a garage. Police also tell us a couple got out of the house after being alerted by the family dog. The explosion may have been caused by a propane cylinder in the garage.

Traffic Disruption Today Along Highway 7

Traffic along Highway 7 at Welsford about one kilometers north of the intersection with Highway 101 will be disrupted this afternoon around 4:00 because of blasting. The Department of Transportation says it will last for about 15 minutes.

Free Seminar on Budgeting

As the credit cards bills from Christmas start to squeeze your finances, some expert advice might be needed.
Tamara Kelly of Credit Counseling Services of Atlantic Canada tells CHSJ News they are offering tips on how to budget your money. Kelly says the most important thing people should know about budgeting is how much is coming in and going out and the implications of carrying debt.
Tonight's free seminar will be held at Gentle Path Counselling on Germain Street from 6:30 to 8pm.

Meeting To Be Held Tonight on Liquor Store For Kingston Pensinsula

The Kingston Peninsula might soon be home to an NB Liquor agency store. There will be a meeting at the Legion on the Peninsula tonight to explore the possibility. The meeting gets started at the Legion at seven o'clock. The NB Liquor Corporation says there has been an expression of interest in the community but approval will be needed from the people who live there before the next step is taken. That would be to determine if there is an existing business willing to house an agency liquor outlet.

Water In East Saint John Could Be Discoloured

You might have to run your taps for a few minutes before you get in the shower if you live in East Saint John.
Saint John Water tells CHSJ News that a transmission line was returned to service yesterday and that stirred up some sediment in the system.
They expect the issue was cleared up overnight and assure us the water is safe to drink, cook with and bathe in. Brent McGovern of Saint John Water reports 22 million litres of water a day is leaking from one kilometer of pipe between Finney Hill and Lakewood Heights. He maintains a system of district metering will allow the city to get a better handle on where the heaviest leaks are occurring with alot of water being lost.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Saint John company gets over $300, 000 from Ottawa

The federal government is giving a Saint John Company 333 thousand dollars to develop technology that will monitor offshore call centres simultaneously and fix any problems that crop up. The simple ones would be fixed automatically and the more complex ones would be left to the skills of computer engineers in Canada. John Munro of the Ambir Technology Group says this type of government funding is critical.

Munro says its also getting tougher in this part of the country to find the computer specialists who have the right skill set. He calls it a labour market issue that has to be addressed otherwise growth will be impeded.

RCMP seek help in solving 2007 case of theft

St. George RCMP is asking for the public's help in a case of theft and mischief in Lepreau almost 3 years ago.

Between September 29th and October 1st 2007, a grey Morooka crawler belonging to NB Power was stolen. It was parked on the East side of Route 790, and driven several kilometres to a gravel pit on Seven Mile Lake Road.

The crawler was used to knock over a rock crusher which damaged it’s frame and tracks.
It was found near the Route 790 & Seven Mile Lake Road intersection against a tree.

Damages is estimated at $80,000.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Local Teacher says students need exercise

The Provincial Legislature is debating whether or not to spend a few extra dollars on getting more young people active when they're in school. Saint John High teacher Barry Ogden tells CHSJ News students who exercise regularly not only behave better.........they also do better academically.

Ogden says we have to make sure students get at least forty minutes of aerobic exercise daily for their brains to work well.

Ogden, who also chairs the city's recreation committee, points to a study done by Harvard University that shows comprehension increased by as much as 400 per cent for some young people who did engage in daily exercise.

Minister wants search to continue

Now is not the time to be giving up on finding answers in the disappearance of two fishermen from White Head in the Bay of Fundy.
So says Provincial Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet who isn't happy with the search for 45 year old Harold Cossaboom and 35 year old Corey Cossaboom being called off.
Doucet tells CHSJ news the search was called off a little too prematurely and
hopes something can be done to find out what happened to the boat.
The Transportation Safety Board is trying to determine why the fishing boat "The Whole Family" sank. The RCMP are also investigating as a missing persons case.

Weston on Harbour Bridge

[Saint John M-P Rodney Weston---File Photo]
Saint John M-P Rodney Weston says there is always progress being made on the Harbour Bridge issue, and the province even being willing to discuss it shows that.

Weston tells CHSJ News, he's surprised when he hears reports the Harbour Bridge Authority is waiting on the federal government to approve it's budget before it seeks out a lender.
Weston says what it's going to take is the provincial government to sit down with the feds and find a solution.
The Harbour Bridge Authority needs to receive $35 million dollars to perform mainenance, and the city and province have both signed off on allowing it to find a lender.

Mayor Reacts to New Bus

[Quispamsis Mayor Murray Driscoll----Photo by Dave Briggs]

Quispamsis Mayor Murray Driscoll says the amount of traffic and interest the Comex service is generating reflects the growth happening in the town.

Driscoll tells CHSJ News, he wants everyone to try commuting on public transportation, and use the Park and Ride lots.
He says there are a lot of parking spaces to accommodate everyone, and says it's a way to save money.
Driscoll says he consistently hears positive feedback from citizens on the service, and says while every bus isn't full, a lot of them are.

New Bus in Quispamsis

[Articulated Saint John Transit Bus]
Quispamsis is the new owner of a brand new articulated bus.

The purchase of the second accordian style bus for the region was in collaboration with Hampton, Quispmasis, the Saint John Transit Commission, as well as the provincial and federal governments.
Chair of the Transit Commission Chris Titus says he's surprised how quickly the Comex service needed a new bus, but isn't surprised the service is working.
Titus says the service is helping save millions of dollars in regards to parking in Saint John, as the service has save the Parking Commission from having to build another parking garage.
Titus says the buses are designated for the park and ride system, where passengers in Quispamsis can commute into Saint John and leave their vehicles in a designated parking lot.

The new bus can hold approximately 61 passengers, where the regular city transit buses hold 40.

Shots Fired at Vehicle in Grand Manan

Grand Manan RCMP are investigating after shots were fired at an empty vehicle Sunday afternoon. No one was hurt but, police have arrested a 37-year-old man from Grand Manan who was seen shooting the vehicle.

After a search of the residence where this happened, police seized three firearms, ammunition and the damaged vehicle. The accused was held in custody and has a court date in St. Stephen today. Another 37-year-old man was also arrested for obstruction and later released. He will appear in court at a later date.

Federal NDP Candidate Chosen In Charlotte County

The New Democratic Party officially has a candidate for the Southwest riding in the next federal election.
Third time runner Andrew Graham is going for the spot and tells CHSJ News he doesn't count his chickens before they hatch but thinks the resignation of longtime Tory M-P Greg Thompson may help his chances. He believes Conservative voters who were loyal to Thompson may look at other parties now that he will not be running again. Graham says his platform will consist of economic development for fishing, farming and forestry.He says even though there will not be a federal election this year,  his campaign gears up today.

First Articulated Bus In Quispamsis

People in Quispamsis are going to be noticing a different 40 foot limo on the roads after this morning.
Saint John Transit is unveiling the town's first articulated bus, with remarks coming from M-P Rob Moore, M-P Rodney Weston, Health Minister Mary Schryer and Mayor Murray Driscoll.
The ribbon cutting gets underway at 11 o'clock, just down the street from the town hall at the Park and Ride lot.

Options Summit on Energy Organised By Opponents Of NB Power Sale

A wide ranging discussion of energy is being promised this morning in Fredericton by those who are opposed to the same of some of the assets of NB Power to Hydro Quebec. Tom Mann of the Coalition to Stop the Sale tells CHSJ News these will be presented as alternatives to any sale which, he charges, have been dismissed by the provincial government.
Tidal power, wind power, solar power, nuclear power and biomass will all be part of what's talked about.

Four Saint John Businesses Vandalised

City Police are investigating after four businesses along Rothesay Avenue were vandalised. Ball bearings were shot through the front windows at Dairy Queen, the new Lexus dealership, Saint John Hun-day and Nissan. The damage was first discovered after midnight with marble sized holes through the windows.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Loch Lomond Villa Closed Until Further Notice

The Norwalk Virus has hit the Loch Lomond Villa again this year so until further notice, visitation to the facility is restricted to “”necessary only”” until further notice. In a news release, CEO Cindy Donovan says the virus is extremely contagious and staff want to isolate it to protect both residents and staff.

Along with the visitation restrictions, strict hand-washing guidelines are being put in place for both staff and those who require a necessary visit to the facility.

News Casts On Hold Due to Renovations

Due to the current renovations at Country94, the hourly news casts are currently on hold. The technicians are currently setting up the software, and systems and we hope to bring you the most up to date news as soon as possible. If we are unable to make it to the air today, join us tomorrow morning as Brian McLean will recap today's news, with tomorrows breaking stories. We thank you for your patience.

Kennebecasis Valley Chamber of Commerce Pleased With Progress

Happy with the progress it is making, the Kennebecasis Valley Chamber of Commerce is pleased with what has been happening so far in this new year. President Phil Broderson tells CHSJ News, the door is always open for businesses to set up shop in Rothesay or Quispamsis:

Broderson adds there are a few new members that have joined the chamber lately but at this point, he can't say who.

Cresent Valley Master Plan Meetings

[Social Development and Housing Minister Kelly Lamrock----File Photo]

March.9th, 11th, 16th and 18th have been set aside as community information sessions regarding the Cresent Valley Master Plan. Last week, the Graham Government unveiled a 20-year, five phase proposal that would add 1373 new homes in the area along with new and updates to current green spaces. Social Development and Housing Minister Kelly Lamrock tells CHSJ News, he has no pre-conceived notions as to what he would like to hear from residents:
Still no locations or start times for the meetings with two set aside for residents and one for the business and non-profit organizations.

Parents Urged to Register Kindergarten Students

Parents with a kindergarten aged children should be registering their kids for classes now.
Director of Education for District 8 Bev MacDonald says not only will registering early help families, but faculty as well.
MacDonald says early registration allows parents to attend Welcome to School activies with their children, which will help ease the transition of starting school.
Right now there are 623 children registered, and over 800 in Kindergarten this year.

NDP Nominating Meeting Tonight

Southwest New Democrats will be meeting to decide who will be representing them in the federal party.
A meeting in Grand Bay Westfield takes place tonight, where Andrew Graham will once again seek nomination. Halifax NDP M-P Megan Leslie will address members, and speak of the growing support in the Maritimes.
Things get underway at 7 o'clock this evening at the Grand Bay Westfield Centrum Building.

Local Lottery Winner

One lucky Saint Johner is over $7 million dollars richer this morning.

With getting 6 of 6 numbers on the Lotto 649 draw someone in the city is sitting on a ticket worth $7.6 million dollars.
The identity of the winner will be released after the prize is claimed at the lottery office in Moncton.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Missing Fishermen Are Identified

The search for two fishermen from Whitehead Island has been called off. The vessel, the “Whole Family” was reported missing Thursday night, and a good portion of the Bay of Fundy has been searched by the Coast Guard with help from search and rescue. Debris from the vessel was found yesterday afternoon but the two fishermen on board have not yet been found.

They have been identified as 45-year old Harold Cossaboom and 35-year old Corey Cossaboom. RCMP are now handling this as a missing persons case while the Transportation Safety Board continues to investigate the sinking of the vessel.

Saint John Wine Fair Tonight

The Trade and Convention Center will provide the back-drop for the 8th annual Saint John Wine Fair tonight. It is one of the most anticipated events of the new year and a major fundraiser for the Red Cross. Marketing chair Janelle Shillington tells CHSJ News, there is a fine selection for wine lovers to enjoy:
Shillington adds all of the money raised goes toward the Red Cross's on-going efforts in Greater Saint John. Things gets started at 7:30pm.

Province Reacts to Mortgage Change

[Social Development and Housing Minister Kelly Lamrock----File Photo]
Concerned that many people are taking on too much debt, Ottawa has moved to make it tougher for first-time buyers to get in over their heads when entering the hot housing market. Social Development and Housing Minister Kelly Lamrock tells CHSJ News, we don't want to see in this country what happened recently to the housing market in the United States:
One of the measures would require a potential home owner to meet the ability to pay a five-year fixed-rate mortgage whether they chose that option or not.

J.D. Irving Companies Match Employee Contributions for Haiti

The J.D. Irving group of companies continues to support humanitarian relief efforts in Haiti. The company has matched $40,000 in employee contributions for a total contribution of $80,000 to the Red Cross.
Jim Irving says it is the company's hope that the employee's contribution along with the international effort will mean that the people affected by this tragedy continue to get help.
John Byrne of the Red Cross says with the committment from the J.D.I group they can continue to provide emergency medical care, food, water and shelter to 320, 000 people in Haiti.
The JDI Group has also provided a truckload of diapers and tissue from Irving Personal Care and Irving Tissue in Dieppe.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Changes for six streets under the City's overnight parking ban

The City of Saint John is making changes to it's overnight parking ban exempting some streets.
Leah Fitzgerald tells CHSJ News it came about because of requests from residents.
She says municipal operations did an evaluation and added 6 streets to the list of streets where parking is allowed in some cases because of alternate side parking.
Fitzgerald adds residents can contact municipal operations if they see vehicles on a street where overnight parking is banned.

Here is the list of exempt streets:

McKiel Street between Morris Street and Conners Street

First Street between Cranston Avenue and Cedar Grove

Heather Way between Hickey Road and the Dead End

Mount Pleasant Avenue between Civic #86 and Civic #96

Spruce Street between Wright Street and Seely Street

Topeka Street between Edith Avenue and Park Avenue

Crown and Defense call for rehab for Hampton Teen

The prosecution says it will not seek an adult sentence for a 16 year old Hampton teenager convicted of second degree murder. She stabbed 78 year old Frank Tong to death in his Damascus home last June. Sentencing has been delayed to March 19th with the defense and prosecution jointly calling for an intense psychological rehab programme while she remains in custody. Defense lawyer Dave Lutz told the court she took a life but this programme may save her life.
He says the program is provided by government specifically for troubled youth.

The girl, who can't be identified, read a letter to the court expressing her remorse. One of Tong's daughters, in a victim impact statement, said she finds herself crying at the drop of the hat and has been left an emotional wreck.

Uptown Arson

(photo courtesy of City Police)

City police need your help is finding the people responsible for an arson at the Royal Bank in Uptown Saint John earlier this month.
It happened at the ATM on King Street on February 5th.
Police tell us a the suspect was captured on video surveillance.
If you have any information, call Police at 648-3333.

Women in Politics

         (Profile Shot of Power Point Presentation)
                    (Photo by Jim Hennessy)

Dr. Joanna Everitt was the guest speaker at a lunch and lear at the library today. The topic was women in politics and Dr. Everitt tells CHSJ News, there are a number of reasons why women shy away from politics including the party not actively recruiting and women hold back from presenting themselves as candidates.

Dr. Everitt says New Brunswick is second worst in the country for female representation at both the Provincial and Federal levels and hopes the number can reach 50% in the near future.

Update on Fire in Kennebecasis Valley

          (2 Arena Lane Just Moments After Fire Hit)
                   (Photo by Jim Hennessy)

Still plenty of questions left to answer surrounding the fire at 2 Arena lane back on the 4th. Officers tell CHSJ News, the blaze hasn't been ruled an arson and the forensic investigation continues with tests still at the lab and no time-line as to when they will be complete.

The top left hand side of the building was heavily damaged when fire broke out in the early hours of the morning. Kennebecasis Valley Fire Chief Larry Greer told us back on the 9th that the fire did get started in a piece of furniture outside of the building.

Rothesay Conservative MLA Accepts Apology

(Rothesay Conservative MLA Margaret Ann Blaney)
                    (File Photo)

Rothesay Conservative MLA Margaret Ann Blaney has accepted the apology of Saint John Lancaster MLA Abel Leblanc. It happened yesterday, a week after the Liberal MLA flipped the bird to members of the opposition and challenged any and all of them to meet him outside. Blaney tells CHSJ News, this is not the first public outburst from Leblanc and Premier Graham's reaction to both has been disappointing.
The other public outburst Blaney is referring to is last year when Leblanc, at a news conference, called for for violence in the streets over the proposed changes to Long Wharf.

New Business in Quispamsis

            (New Business in Quispamsis Plaza)
                    (Photo by Jim Hennessy)

If you can't wait for the warm weather to start working on your golf swing, you will want to hear this. A new business has opened in Quispamsis with a driving range and golf simulators to take you where the grass is green and the sun always shines. Tay-un-Kim is co-owner of Golf Rush in the plaza right next to the former Royal Bank and tells CHSJ News, they have been working on the concept since November.

Kim adds her husband Young-Su is a golf pro and is available for lessons.

Winterfest Gets Underway Running Through The Weekend

(Mayor Ivan Court)
(File Photo)

Municipalities in Greater Saint John are inviting you out to the 2nd Annual WinterFest all weekend long. There will be ice fishing in Renforth, a snow-bath in Quispamsis, skating at Lily Lake and a childrens show in Grand Bay Westfield. Saint John Mayor Ivan Court tells CHSJ News this is a nice opportunity to shake off those mid-winter blues. There is even a bartender Olympics scheduled.
The festival gets started today and runs until Sunday. You can find a complete list of events at country

Liquour Store For Kingston Peninsula Being Considered

Could the Kingston Peninsula soon be home to an NB Liquor agency store? There will be a meeting at the Legion on the Peninsula on Tuesday of next week to explore the possibility. NB Liquor spokesperson Nora Lacey tells CHSJ News, there has been an expression of interest from the community.  Lacey adds if the proposal is approved, the corporation would then issue a tender to see if an exsisting business has any interest in being home to the agency store. The meeting gets started at seven o'clock.

Search On In Bay Of Fundy For Missing Fishing Boat

The search is on over a large area of the bay of Fundy for a fishing vessel that did not return last night.The name of the vessel has not been released but two people are on board. Lt Edward Stansfield tells CHSJ News the boat spent the day fishing for scallops and a Hercules and Cormorant have been sent from Greenwood to find it. The search will intensify at daylight this morning.
Lt Stansfield was unsure where the vessel sails out of but we have been told the whole of White Head and Grand Manan is on pins and needles awaiting further word. Lt Stansfield could not confirm whether fish crates were seen bobbing in the sea.

Referendum Vote On NB Power Sale Is Defeated

An Opposition motion that called for a referendum on the controversial N-B Power deal with Hydro-Quebec was defeated in the Legislature by the Liberals. Conservative Leader David Alward says the 3.2 (b) billion dollar sale of 10 power plants will affect the future of the province and the public deserves to have a voice. But the motion was defeated by a vote of 28 to 22. Government house leader Greg Byrne says the government was elected to govern and make tough decisions.
Alward says he will continue to do whatever he can to try to stop the deal. Premier Shawn Graham says he wants to finalize the agreement by the end of March.

Abel Leblanc Apologises

(Saint John Lancaster M-L-A Abel Leblanc during last Thursday's outburst)
(File Photo)

The M-L-A from Saint John Lancaster has apologized after making a rude gesture in the provincial legislature. Abel LeBlanc was suspended for three days after raising his middle finger twice and waving his fist during a verbal attack on Opposition members last Thursday challenging to meet him outside. LeBlanc now says he's sorry and House Speaker Ray Boudreau says he has declared the matter closed and there would be no further discussion about it in the Legislature.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Chemical Spill in the Uptown

         (Haz-Mat Unit at Red Rose Tea Building)
                 (Photo by Jim Hennessy)

A few tense moments for people working at the Red Rose Tea building. It had to be evacuated just before one o'clock after a pressure vessel ruptured on the third floor computer room. Deputy Chief Mark Gillan tells CHSJ News, the vessel contains a fire extinguishing product that is an asphyxiant but the quantity of the product didn't concern them that it would start moving through the building and make people drop to the floor.

Crews are still on scene (as of 3pm) ventilating the building and nobody was hurt.

Lamrock comments on NB Power deal

Provincial Social Development Minister Kelly Lamrock concedes it will be a huge job.
He's talking about a wholesale revamping of the social assistance system which will mean getting rid of the rules that don't make sense while ensuring the system won't be abused. Lamrock, who expressed reservations about the original Hydro Quebec deal for NB Power, says he hasn't had a lot of time to think about the opposition's motion to hold a referendum on the sale.
Lamrock says he hopes some people still care about poverty and literacy
and not contributing to the NB Power drama.
The issue of a referendum is expected to be debated today in the Legislature.

Local Pioneer may get National Recognition

A Saint John woman could be recognised as a person of historical significance by the federal government thanks, in large part, to the work done by a home schooled student in the city. Mariah Russell tells CHSJ News she researched the life of Mabel Peters who is considered the pioneer of playgrounds but has been largely forgotten.

Russell says Peters was concerned that young people had no safe places to play even though she did not have any children of her own. There has been talk of erecting some sort of monument, perhaps along the waterfront.

Fire Crews respond to chemical spill at Red Rose Tea building

The Saint John Fire Department are at the scene of a chemical spill at the Red Rose Tea Building.
Deputy Fire Chief Mark Gillen tells CHSJ news the source of the spill was a ruptured container on the third floor.
About 20 litres of the product that displaces oxygen was released into the building.
Gillen adds they are putting together a plan to ventilate the building and they should know in about an hour if the occupants can back in today.
City police have traffic blocked at Union and St. Patrick Streets,
St. Patrick and Smythe Streets and at Smythe Street and Station Street.

Maintenace Project at the Refinery

Don't be suprised if you find a letter from Irving Oil in your mail in the coming days if you live in East Saint John. It's concerning a maintenance project that will be carried out for the next six weeks at it's refinery. A good portion of the work will take place in the gasoline treating units and the heavy oil conversion unit. This project means 100 contract workers have steady work for the next month and a half.

The work is not weather dependant so officials at the refinery expect the work will finish up in the six week time frame.

Highway Work Project Announced

(Section of Highway One Where Work Will Happen)
                (Photo Courtesy of D.O.T)

More cash has been awarded by the Province for highway work. Eleven companies have been hired to clear land for a new highway corridor. The work will prepare for the construction of a four-lane highway between Waweig and Lepreau. Total cost of the project is $900,000 dollars and Charlotte the Iles and Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet tells CHSJ News, there will also be over 100km's of moose fencing put in place.

Minister Doucet adds this project is also great economic development for the trade corridor.