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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Irving Oil and it's Employees Helping Out

They say the generosity of Saint Johner's is huge and this next story certainly proves that. Irving Oil is partnering with the Canadian Red Cross to provide aid to the Haitian disaster relief effort. The company will donate $50,000 and has committed to match all donations collected by Irving Oil employees until the end of the month.

Employee's are organizing 50/50 draws, donation boxes and casual days, among other things to keep the money rolling in. The Province has also committed $100,000 dollars toward the relief efforts.

The Mail is Moving Slow in Quispamsis and West Saint John

If you live on the West Side or in Quispamsis and have noticed you don't seem to be receiving your normal amount of mail......we have the reason why. Canada Post Spokes-person Genevieve LaTour tells CHSJ News, they are short staffed in both area's.

LaTour adds they attempt delivery everday but given the number of people not able to come to work, every area can't be covered. She expects the situation will improve by next week.

Stanley is Getting a New Nursing Home

A nine million, 30-bed nursing home will be built in Stanley to replace Nashwaak Villa Inc. The announcement was made by the Provincial Government today with construction to begin this spring and finish by the fall of next year. Along with the much-needed beds, 80 construction jobs are being created for the project.

This is the 11th nursing home in the province being replaced with a new facility and two other nursing homes will be built in Neguac and Dieppe. Five nursing homes are set to undergo major additions, 31 will be renovated and six will undergo minor repairs. All of the new facilities should be finished by 2016 and 2017, creating a total of 297 new beds.

Put NB People First Continues it's Fight

         (Rally at the Legislature on Jan.12th/2010)
                (Photo by Jim Hennessy)

Put NB People first continue their push to get the NB Power-Hydro Quebec taken off the table. The group will visit the offices of three Saint John area MLA's on Monday. Mary Schryer's office in Quispamsis is the first stop at nine o'clock followed by a trip to the West Side and Abel Leblanc's office on the Manawagonish Road. Things wrap up with a stop at Jack Keir's office in Grand Bay Westfield.

A Town Hall meeting will then be held on Tuesday night at Kennebecasis Valley High School. Among the speakers is Ron Oldfield with the Saint John District Labour Council, NDP Leader Roger Duguay, Jack McDougall of the Green Party and Quispamsis MLA Mary Schryer. Things gets started at seven o'clock.

District Eight Education Council Open House

The first of five Town Hall Style meetings hosted by the District Eight Education Council goes tonight. Rob Fowler is Chair of the Education Council and tells CHSJ News, this has nothing to do the recent criticism of the District by Enterprise Saint John Chair Bob Manning.

Fowler adds in a meeting just before the holiday, the DEC spent two hours in a public session going through assessment results and a new plan of attack on how to raise scores. Tonight's meeting is at River Valley Middle School starting at seven.

Toddler Dies From Methadone

Sad news out of Halifax with word the 23 month old baby girl who ingested methadone last Friday at a home in Havelock has died at the I-W-K. She was taken there after paramedics were called to the home last Friday. Two people were earlier taken into custody but later released with no charges laid. The RCMP say they're treating the toddler's death as suspicious and their Major Crime Unit is now in charge of the investigation. The name of the child has not been released.

School District 8 Plan To Improve Student Achievement

Bev MacDonald
                                                                       (File Photo)   

District 8 is putting in place a school improvement plan that will see every school in the district ready for provincial assessments. While the Province works on a 5-year model, the school district will work on a 3-year basis and the schools will update their plans on every year. Director of Education Bev MacDonald says it's based on the provincial education plan "When Kids Come First" focusing on literacy, numeracy and science. It also includes a professional development plan that will focus on giving teachers the training and skills they need in order to reach the goals set out for academics.

Gas Prices Rise In Saint John Area

Gas prices in the Saint John area are continuing to increase after the weekly setting. The maximum price for self serve regular has gone up almost 2 cents a litre to 104.8 but most stations are selling it this morning for 102.2 a litre. The maximum price for diesel has also risen by less than a cent to 110.7 a litre but is being sold in the city for 108.1. The maximum price for furnace oil is 93.9 and propane is at $1.17.

School District 8 Budget

School District 8 is on target to maintain balanced books for the end of its fiscal year in March. The more than 94-million dollar budget included a big reduction in funding which meant cuts to transportation including buses, thier drivers and routes. Heating costs are lower this year and all the teachers they planned to hire are in place. Minor repairs to the District's schools cost over 1 million dollars and they could have spent more with some schools over 40 years old.

School District 6 Budget

It looks like District 6 is going to have a surplus in its budget by the end of the school year. The Director of Finance John MacDonald tells CHSJ News, right now the numbers are breaking even, but is confident when it's closer to March there will be some left over cash.
MacDonald says even with provincial cuts to transportation, surprisingly enough that is where the surplus is coming from. Superintendent Zoe Watson says any surplus is good news, but with an 80 plus million dollar budget, and extra hundred thousand dollars doesn't go very far.

Conservative Leader Promises N-B Power Policy Coming Soon

The Tories are promising to release a plan for the future of N-B Power soon -- and -- Conservative leader David Alward says the party's plan will include input from New Brunswickers.
He says the Graham government has excluded residents from having any kind of say about the controversial sale of the utility to Hydro Quebec.
Alward says the party's plan will be released before the agreement is approved by the Legislature -- but -- he says the main focus right now is to try to block the deal.