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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Minister Keir Frustrated With Talks on Harbour Bridge

(Shot of the Harbour Bridge From West Side)
                 (File Photo)

No movement in the on-going battle over the future of the Harbour Bridge.

Energy Minister Jack Keir was in Ottawa this week and came away with a negative vibe from the feds.

Keir tells CHSJ News, even a comment by the ex-deputy minister of Transport Canada suggesting what the Graham Government is looking for is fair and reasonable, didn't go over well.

Keir says he gets the impression that when it comes to the Harbour Bridge file, Ottawa doesn't want to move forward.

Ottawa's proposal for the Harbour Bridge includes providing $17.5 million toward repairs and in return, the bridge becomes part of Highway One with the province responsible for all future costs and the tolls are removed immediately.

Headstone Repairs Are Underway

     (Damaged Headstones at St. Josephs Cemetery)
                    (Photo by Jim Hennessy)

So far, 35 of the close to 500 headstones damaged last weekend at St. Josephs Cemetery have been repaired.

Crews have been lifting and re-sealing the stones to their bases and some may never be put back to their original state.

Manager of the Saint John Diocese Cemeteries Darryl Olsen tells CHSJ News, they have had plenty of offers for help which is welcome but not needed at this point.

Olsen says he can appreciate that many families have put the stones back on their base but asks them not to because they need to be re-sealed.

As for when they might be finished, Olsen expects the work will continue for several weeks. Crime Stoppers is offering a one thousand dollar reward for any information relating to who knocked over the stones.

City Police are Looking For Your Help

A robbery that happened over a month ago is still active and City Police are asking for your help.

It was March.7th at two o'clock in the morning when a person was walking home along Harbour Passage when they were beaten up and robbed by a group of men.

The men were last seen headed north near the LBR. You can get in touch with the City Force at 648-3333 or call Crimestoppers.

Preparing for a Big Birthday Party

More details of Saint John's 225th birthday celebration are being rolled out with only three weeks left to go.

Things kick off on May.18th with plenty of festivities though-out the day including a night of song, dance and fun at Harbour Station.

The show is called ""Making History"" and is being put together by Kate Elman Wilcot who tells CHSJ News, the show will celebrate the history and stories that shaped the city.

Wilcot adds they also have invited 400 children to close out the show by singing and dancing on stage.

Doors open at six and the show, which is free, gets started at seven.

Grand Bay-Westfield appoints new Fire chief

The town of Grand Bay-Westfield Council has a new fire chief.
Troy Gautreau takes on the job as of May 1st.

Gautreau has 19 years of firefighting experience and previously served as Deputy Chief for six years and as the Training Officer for the Grand Bay-Westfield Volunteer Fire/Rescue Department.
He also holds a Certificate in Fire Service Leadership from Dalhousie University.

Play-Off Fever Hits Saint John

(Vehicles Lined Up at the Station)
     (Photo by Jim Hennessy)

If your waiting to get tickets for the Presidents Cup Final, don't wait too long.

Over 100 people showed up this morning when the Harbour Station Box Office opened at ten to secure their seat. Game One between the Seadogs and the Wildcats goes Friday night at the Station.

Most of the fans waiting in line are pumped about how the Dogs are doing but also concerned with how the schedule for the final has come together.
Other people in the line-up also agree that Saint John is getting the short end of the stick after earning home ice advantage by finishing first over-all.

The Coliseum in Moncton is booked for a Trade Show between Monday and Thursday of next week so the league ruled to open in Saint John and then alternate games for the remainder of the series.

Game One on Friday night is sold-out but tickets are still available for game three.

 (Fans Lined Up For Play-Off Tickets)
       (Photo by Jim Hennessy) 

Saint John Seadogs Living with Decision

Knowing that some fans are upset with the schedule, the President of the Seadogs is trying to move past it and focus on the task at hand.

Wayne Long tells CHSJ News, it was a 12-hour meeting yesterday to iron things out and now it's time to concentrate on what they want and that's a championship.

Long adds he is thrilled with the line-up for tickets today and is hoping Game One will be a sell-out on Friday night.

Changes Coming to Westmorland Road

Some changes are coming to improve the traffic flow along Westmorland Road and make it easier for residents who live along their to get out of their driveways.

A set of traffic lights will be installed at McLaughlin Crescent to make it easier for drivers to turn on to Westmorland.

Head of Municipal Operations Paul Groody says the real solution to the traffic congestion would be far more expensive.

Groody says the pedestrian lights at Northumberland and Westmorland will stay and there will be a dedicated left turn lane at Retail Drive.

Ambulance Hits Guardrail

Four people were taken to hospital this morning when an Ambulance New Brunswick ambulance got into a crash.

It happened in Stewiacke, Nova Scotia and the ambulance hit a guardrail.

A patient and a nurse were taken to hospital in Halifax and are going to be alright.
Both paramedics on board were take to hospital in Truro, checked out and are going to be fine.

Reversing Falls Pipeline Project To Be Delayed Two Years

(Mayor Ivan Court)
     (File Photo)

3.8 million dollars in federal stimulus money had been earmarked to construct two water pipelines at the Reversing Falls Bridge. That work will be delayed for two years, in part, because of the repairs to the Harbour Bridge and its felt there would be too much of a traffic disruption if work was being done on two bridges at the same time. Mayor Ivan Court worries the federal funding could be lost and he'll be knocking on the door of M-P Rodney Weston. The Mayor wants to use the money destined for the Reversing Falls on other water projects instead.
Court also says if those two pipelines had been up and flowing, there would have been no need for a bloil water order last week because water would have been sent to the east side from the supply in west Saint John.

Two Youths Arrested In The Valley For Numerous Vehicle Breakins

Rothesay Regional Police picked up a couple of young people for attempting to break into vehicles in the Hammond River area. When they investigated further, police now believe the two may be connected to as many as 20 previous breakins which have taken place over the past several months.

West Side Conservatives To Choose Their Candidate Tonight

The Conservative party faithful on the west side will be out for the Saint John Lancaster nomination meeting tonight.Three people hope to represent the west side riding held since 2003 by Liberal MLA Abel Leblanc when he defeated then provincvial cabinet minister and later Mayor Norm McFarlane. Police officer Dean Secord, business owner Dorothy Shephard and Crown Prosecutor and Common Councillor Chris Titus are vying to be the Conservative candidate in the riding for the September 27th provincial election. Tonight's nominaton meeting at the Branch 69 legion gets underway at 7.

Liberals Courting Candidate To Run In Rothesay

With just under five months to go before the Provincial vote, another name has shown up as a possible candidate. The Deputy Mayor of Rothesay, Blair McDonald tells CHSJ News, the Graham Liberals have asked if he would be interested in carrying it's banner on September.27th. Admitting it is an attractive offer, McDonald tells us he hasn't made up his mind and the party hasn't given him a deadline to do so.
The riding of Rothesay has been a Conservative strong-hold since 1999 when MLA Margaret Ann Blaney was first elected to office. Blaney has already said she will be seeking re-election.