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Monday, May 31, 2010

Community Colleges Split

Minister for Post-Secondary Education Donald Arseneault is announcing major changes to the province's community colleges.

The New Brunswick Community College and the Coll├Ęge communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick are now managing separate English and French institutions.

He says the split will allow for more funding from the federal government and the private sector.

The province decided the split would better represent the French and English communities.

Alward Responds to Minister's Accusations

An accusation by the Energy Minister is being called a lie by Conservative Leader David Alward. Jack Keir says if elected in the September vote, the Conservatives will consider moving the energy department back to Fredericton.
Alward tells CHSJ News, he is also confused about Keir saying former President of the Provincial Conservative Party Lisa Keenan is questioning the relevance of having the energy department in Saint John because the conversation never happened.
Alward says these accusations do nothing to promote what both parties need to be talking about when it comes to energy and it's future role.

Provincial Health Minister Mary Schryer Rules Out Nothing With Blood Services

(Provincial Health Minister Mary Schryer)
                (Photo by Brian McLain)

Canadian Blood Services may have made changes to its original plan in moving the blood distribution centre from Millidgeville to Dartmouth in 2012 but Provincial Health Minister Mary Schryer isn't ready to accept it as the end of the story. She tells CHSJ News the situation in Saint John has changed alot since the decision was first made and the officials at Canadian Blood Services should be more open minded.
She points to the advances made at the Heart Centre in the Regional Hospital and the opening this September of the medical school. Schryer says alot depends on what local doctors tell her and nothing has been ruled out when it comes to alternatives.

Number of Deer to be Killed Going Up

The Province is increasing the number of anterless deer that can be killed this fall to try and help ease overpopulation.

The number of permits for the area between Saint John and Fundy National Park is going up to 1500 this fall.

Anne Downey has been speaking out about the problem and tells CHSJ News, it's a good start but ticks and lyme disease are a big part of this problem.

Downey says it was just days ago that a woman and her husband hit a deer riding on a motorcycle in the middle of the day in the Meehans Cove area.

The application period to apply for antlerless deer permits begins June 14 for those who hunt with a rifle or bow.

81 Year Old Saint Johnner Speaks Out About Difference Between Treatment At A U.S Hospital And The Regional

(Heart Valve Recipient Jack Stevens)
                (File Photo)

The first patient to undergo the new minimally invasive heart procedure at the Regional Hospital is 81 year old Jack Stevens who says he's feeling well these days and looking forward to playing a little golf come July. Stevens suffered congestive heart failure while in the U.S. and spoke about the difference in treatment between an American hospital and the Regional. He says there seemed to be a lack of humanity at the U.S. hospital which he likened to a supermarket with the first thing wanted to know was what sort of insurance he had. By contrast, Stevens says there was more interest in him as an individual at the Regional Hospital. He gave a cheque to the Regional Hospital to show his appreciation but didn't want to publicly reveal how much it was for.

Thrift Store Close to Finding New Home

The Salvation Army Thrift Store has a big plan for it's future and it involves the soon to be closed Zellers Select in the North End.

The organization confirms it is negotiating to move into the building and hope to have a plan finalized in the next two months.
Roy Bannon is District Manager and tells CHSJ News, their current set-up in Lansdowne Plaza doesn't serve their needs any longer.

Bannon adds when they shut down the Parkway Mall Thrift Store earlier this year, it was all part of the bigger plan to find a new location.

Bannon says it is his belief the Zellers Select Store will be broken up into three working spaces for lease.

Giant Tiger is Not Moving

One company we know for sure that won't move into the Zellers Select location is Giant Tiger.

Speculation has been high the store will leave it's Prince Edward Square set-up to make a new home in the North End.
Vice President of Marketing Dave Thorpe tells CHSJ News, the company is very happy with it's current set-up in Prince Edward Square and feels this location is best serving the community.

As for when the Zellers Select store is shutting down and what the future holds for it's employee's, we placed a call to Hudsons Bay which owns the store and have yet to hear back.

New Heart Procedure For Frail Patients Introduced At Regional Hospital

(The Medical Director of the New Brunswick Heart Centre, Dr. Vernon Paddock)
                                  (Photo by Brian McLain)

A new life saving heart procedure is being used at the Regional Hospital for those patients who are too frail to undergo open heart surgery. The Heart Centre's Medical Director, Dr. Vernon Paddock says the procedure is less invasive with an inflatable balloon being used to insert a new heart valve and the recovery time is just a few days as opposed to several weeks. Up until now patients had to travel to other provinces for this treatment. Dr. Paddock cautions the gold standard remains an operation if the patient is up to it.

Causeway Closed After an Accident

(City Police Cruiser Heavily Damaged on Causeway)
                  (Photo by Jim Hennessy)

The Causeway was shut down for over an hour in both directions this morning.

Sargeant Buck tells CHSJ News, City Police received a call just after eight o'clock about a driver being all over the road and after the vehicle was stopped, another police cruiser coming to assist was involved in a crash with another vehicle.
The police cruiser has extensive damage and the officer driving is a little shook up but no injuries.
No word on the driver of the other vehicle involved in the accident but the driver of the vehicle officers were chasing has been arrested and is facing several charges.

Fires On Boardwalk Raise Concern

(Market Square)
   (File Photo)

The Fire Department is worried a couple of weekend fires along the Boardwalk may have been deliberately set. Both broke out in the wooden timber planks next to the Hilton and the cause is suspicious. City Police are also now part of the investigation. Another fire damaged a picnic table by the volleyball courts at Market Square and profane graffitti has been spray painted along the wall  that winds its way around Loyalist Plaza. Whether all of these incidents are related remains to be seen.

Disability Awareness Week Kicks Off

Disability Awareness Week kicks off today. Rachel Harlow with the Partners for Workplace Inclusion Program says she wants the public to know that people with disabilities aren't that different and they have something to offer employers. Harlow says there will be an information booth set up in Market Square today and tomorrow from 10am-2pm handing out information on disability related issues.

Tragedy Hits Riverview

The RCMP say three young people are dead and two others are in hospital after a car slammed into a tree in the southeastern part of the province. Four of the five people were thrown out of the vehicle in the crash Saturday night on Route 905 in Forest Glen. Police say an 18-year-old woman, a 19-year-old woman and an 18-year-old man were pronounced dead at the scene. An 18-year-old man and a 17-year-old girl were rushed to hospital in critical condition. Police say all five were from the Riverview area. Police say it appears the people were not wearing seatbelts, adding that speed may have been a contributing factor in the crash.

Alward Charges Focus Has Been Lost On Lepreau Refurbishment

(Provincial Conservative Leader David Alward)
                     (File Photo)

It was the previous Lord Government that signed on to the refurbishment of the Point Lepreau nuclear power plant. Conservative leader David Alward was in the provincial cabinet at that time. He says Atomic Energy of Canada is responsible for the cost overruns but the issue is who will pay for the replacement power. Alward tells CHSJ News the focus appears to have been lost by the Premier and Provincial Energy Minister Jack Keir because of the proposed sale of NB Power to Hydro Quebec.
Alward says the Legislative Assembly should have oversight of the project and it ought to be the number one priority of NB Power these days.

Keir Warns Energy Department Could Be Leaving City Under Tories

(Provincial Energy Minister Jack Keir)
          (Photo by Sherry Aske)

Provincial Energy Department Jack Keir is raising the spectre of the Energy Department being moved from Saint John back to Fredericton if the Conservatives win the September election. Keir points to a pledge made by Conservative leader David Alward to reduce the number of cabinet ministers along with remarks attributed to the former President of the Provincial Conservative Party Lisa Keenan. According to Keir, Keenan is a senior advisor to Alward and he says she questions the relevance of having the Energy Department in Saint John.
Keir warns the previous Lord Government lumped energy in with natural resources and it just makes sense that the energy department be close to where most of the energy is being produced.