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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Strong Numbers For Community College Campuses

Newly released numbers from Community College campuses across the Province show more people are going back to class to further their educations.

NBCC welcomed 2805 students in first year programs.

That figure is up 7.6% from last fall with a 12% increase in applications compared to last year.

The numbers mark the largest yearly enrolment intake in NBCC history.

The college has also seen an increase in its first year seat capacity of a 143 seats.

Erin Walsh Passes Away

       (Erin Michael Walsh Dead At The Age of 62)
                            (File Photo)

A man who was wrongfully convicted in the murder investigation of Melvin ""Chi-Chi""Peters in 1975 has died.

Erin Walsh passed away on Monday in Kingston, Ontario at the age of 62.

Walsh's 1975 conviction was overturned by the Provincial Court of Appeal in 2008.

He was suing the province, City Police and William McCarroll, a sitting judge who was the Crown prosecutor at the time, for compensation.

In 2009, Walsh reached an out of court settlement but no dollar figure was ever dis-closed.
 He was looking for compensation of fifty million dollars.

The funeral for Walsh will be held tomorrow in Ontario.

Two Men Hurt On The West-Side

Injuries to two men don't appear to be serious after an accident on the West Side this morning.

It was just after nine o'clock when a small explosion happened while someone was welding at Parts for Trucks on Fairville Boulevard.

Both men have been taken to the Regional to be checked out. Work-Safe NB have been called in to investigate.

Black Bear Looking For Food

A hungry black bear is keeping residents in the Kennebecasis Valley on edge.

It was spotted eating out of a compost bin at a home on Dykeman Cresent last night and the Department of Natural Resources says they are aware of the problem and have set two traps in the area.

Spokes-person Matt Jones tells CHSJ News, it's hoped the animal will make his way into deeper woods soon for his winter slumber.

Jones adds the old adage holds true.....don't poke the bear by trying to get close and take a picture of it that it won't attack unless provoked.

Rothesay Regional Police say the animal has been seen lumbering through neighbourhoods on the Model Farm and Elliot Roads.

If you do see it, officers ask that you give them a call at 847-6300.

Rothesay Continues To Work On New Water Tower

With all of the tenders now in place, the push is on by officials in Rothesay to get started right away with construction of it's new water tower.

Cash for the project was received under the Federal Stimulus Infrastructure Program and if not completed by March.31st, the municipality is on the hook for the costs.

Mayor Bill Bishop tells CHSJ News, he realizes the time-line is tight.

The new water tower will be set-up south of the River-side golf course on the opposite side of the McKay Highway.

Numbers Continue To Slide In District Eight

(District Eight Superintendent Susan Tipper)
                 (File Photo)

District 8 has 300 fewer students this year.

Superintendent Susan Tipper says as of September 30th they have 11, 574 students.

10 years ago, District 8 had 14, 498 students meaning on average they have been losing about 300 students every year which is what was projected to happen.

Another Change To Uptown Traffic Pattern

There is another change coming to the traffic pattern in uptown Saint John.

If your coming down King Street, you can no longer make a right hand turn on to St. Patrick Street when the light is red starting a week from today.

City Staff did an evaluation of the area after several requests were made and feel this new rule will reduce the risk of someone getting hit trying to cross St. Patrick Street.

A new set of traffic lights is being installed and signs are being put up in the area as a reminder as well.

Putting On A Sculpture Symposium

All municipalities in Greater Saint John are being approached by the Saint John Community Arts Board.

It's goal is to host an International Sculpture Symposium in 2012.

Chair Michael Wennberg tells CHSJ News, part of they thought behind the idea is the exposure this event will bring with it.

Each municipality would receive a stone sculpture to erect in the spot of their choice when the symposium wraps up.

If approved, the event would run for six weeks during the summer and early fall.

Mayor Says Provincial Legislation Needed On Pesticides

(Mayor Ivan Court)
    (File Photo)

It's not a slam dunk by any stretch of the imagination. The city will have to decide whether to stop using toxic pesticides and herbicides to get rid of unwanted weeds and bugs after hearing an appeal from the Conservation Council. It claims the city is putting children and babies at risk.

Mayor Ivan Court warns any one municipality, however large, can only have so much impact because there is no control on the sale to members of the general public.

A decision by Common Council will be made on the basis of a report to be prepared by City Manager Pat Woods. Meantime, the new provincial Environment Minister is Rothesay M-L-A Margaret Ann Blaney.

Moosehead Rolls Out New Suds

Moosehead Breweries and the Ale House are unveiling a new beer this afternoon.

It's called Cask Ale and will only be available at the business in Market Square.

It's being described as a natural, traditional style of British-Ale both smooth and creamy.
Moosehead says with this new product, it is returning to it's roots, the same ale that Susannah Oland used to make when she started the family-owned brewery in 1867.
The first drink will be poured at five o'clock.

No Major Change With Gas Prices Around Town

A big change from last week with gas prices around town because there is very little change after the weekly setting. The maximum price for self serve regular went up by under two cents a litre while the max for diesel actually went down by half a cent. Heating oil is also a bit lower at 94.6 cents a litre and the max for propane increased by two cents with the listed price at $107.9.

Unusual Early Morning Robbery In North End

A 64 year old man was attacked and robbed in the north end early this morning around 1:30. City Police telling CHSJ News he was delivering subs at the time and had to be taken to hospital with head injuries but they're described as not serious.  We're also told the subs were the only things stolen.

Open House Today For Saint Johnners To Have Their Say On New Municipal Plan

Plan SJ continues to receive feed-back as it puts together ideas that will shape the new municipal plan for the city that will be a roadmap to guide future development over the next generation.

Deputy Commissioner of Planning Jacqueline Hamilton tells CHSJ News, they are close to completing the first two years of the proposal. According to Hamilton, there is more capacity for Saint John to grow then there is demand so tough decisions have to be made on whether to focus attention on the urban core or in the suburbs.

Hamilton adds right now is a key time for public input as this phase will set the course for the new municipal plan.
An open house meeting is scheduled for today at Simonds High School starting at four and running until eight o'clock. A final report is due to be handed over to City Council in 2012.

Summer Literacy Progamme Declared A Huge Success

The District 8 Education Council hearing last night about the benefits of a summer literacy program at Centennial School.

It is located in one of the City's priority neighbourhoods and teachers face many challeges in getting the students to come to class during the school year.

Teacher Cindy Fleming says 30 kids in grades four and five took part in the program over four weeks. Breakfast and lunch were provided and in most cases volunteers provided transportation as well.

The program had 95 per cent retention and organizers purposely held it on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday so the children's famillies could still have their long weekends available.

School District 8 Wants To Meet With Provincial Conservatives To Discuss Priorities

(District 8 Education Council Chair Rob Fowler)
            (File Photo)

The chair of the Distict 8 Education Council is optimistic about Jody Carr being the new Education Minister.

Rob Fowler tells CHSJ News the DEC met with the Conservative caucus when they were formulating their education plank.
He admits District 8 has some homework to do in terms of getting its priorities clear for a previously planned Minister's meeting and he is requesting a meeting with the new Wellness, Culture and Sport Minister Trevor Holder and the Saint John Conservative caucus.
Aging schools and the higher number of special needs students in Saint John as compared to other school districts are two pressing issues mentioned prior to the provincial election.

Saint John Gets Visit From Federal Industry Minister

Federal Industry Minister Tony Clement was in Saint John yesterday and tells CHSJ News, he continues to strive and make this country's economy more innovative and competitive.

He concedes the deficit for this year is high but points out it's a lot lower than other countries such as the United States. Despite the ballooning deficit this year, Clement maintains Canada is still very attractive to businesses looking to set up shop.

 He adds his office is also working to make the telecom sector more open and competitive.