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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Coyote On Commerce Drive

ACAP Saint John snapping a pic of a coyote in the wetland near the McAllister Mall on Commerce Drive.
The image taken March 5th with a remote sensor camera.

The environmental group doesn't suspect the animal is a threat to the public or their pets but, they feel obligated to let people know so they do what is necessary to protect themselves.

The images are part of an ongoing project identifying the function of wetland habitats in supporting fish and wildlife during the winter.
You can see more pictures on the ACAP Saint John facebook page.
For the link click here

You May Get The Ticketing Or Towing Charges Back

If your vehicle was the victim of ticketing or towing on January may be eligible for a refund.  On that date the South Central peninsula was under a snow ban.
You may be eligible if you were registered before January 23rd to receive email alerts, relied on the City's website, a parking brochure or text alerts to find out about snow ban declarations.
All application forms and supporting documents must be in to the Parking Commission by April 22nd by 4:30pm.

You can find the link to the application form by clicking here

Local Doctor Pleased With Task Force

President of the Medical Staff Organization in Saint John Andrea Garland tells CHSJ News she is pleased with the announcement of a task force that will address scheduling and access issues with the Regional Hospital's operating rooms.

She says it's a great first step in finding a solution to a tense issue.

She adds she is not actively seeking a spot on the force but would join if asked.

Pocologan Man Dies In Brush Fire

A sad story from Pocologan as a man burning brush dies in a fire today.

The 73-year-old man was tending to a brush fire and got caught up in some branches where the fire had spread.
His wife tried to free him but could not and he died in the fire. The woman was not hurt but, some of her clothing burned.

Proposed M-L-A Pension Plan Changes Slammed

Proposed changes to how much money M-L-A's will receive in their pensions don't hit the mark according to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

Its Atlantic Director Kevin Lacey tells CHSJ News the pensions for the M-L-A's are not funded the way pension plans are for other retirees and, even with the changes, will wind up costing taxpayers millions of dollars each year which is money that could be spent on health and education.

Lacey says the Taxpayers Federation would like the M-L-A's pension plan to be changed from defined benefits to a matching RRSP set up.

Task Force Created To Address OR Issues

A new task force being created to come up with recommendations on how to begin addressing the shortage of operating room time and inconsistent access at the Regional Hospital.

The issue came to a boil after two senior surgeons went public on the issue.

President and CEO of Horizon Heath Network Donald Peters says Horizon has been working on the issue for years but compounding issues like budgets and lack of beds created a perfect storm for frustration.

The force will be lead by Nancy Savage,VP of Clinical Services and Margaret Melanson, the Executive Director of the Regional Hospital. 

They will have a report to doctors and nurses in 2 weeks.

U-N-B Saint John Students To Help Small Businesses

U-N-B Saint John is receiving 150 thousand dollars in federal money for student interns to help small businesses do better with their web sites.

The Director of the E-Commerce Centre at the university, Dan Doiron tells CHSJ News they've talked to more than 3 thousand businesses.

More than 80 per cent of small businesses in this part of the country have websites but only half of them are having success and that's where the students come into play.

Doiron says traffic on one of the websites increased by 39 per cent and another business began selling in Japan which would not have been possible without having the right website.

Doiron adds 30 per cent of the interns get fulltime job offers from the businesses they help better market their website.

Rothesay Students Are Ready To Read

Over 650 students at Rothesay High are reading the tale of a young man with Tourett's syndrome for this year's Big Rothesay Read.
The book is "Jerk California" by Jonathan Friesen.
Organizer Mary Anne Gallagher tells CHSJ News the book is about Sam Carrier who is from a broken home and has just finished high school.
She says the whole story involves his search for information on his father, dealing with his Tourett's syndrome and dealing with a girl and trying to figure out if she likes him. She says it's appealing to high school kids and adults alike.

The book's author Jonathan Friesen will visit Rothesay High students next month to discuss his novel.  Students, adults and businesses are being given a little incentive where by taking part in the big read, they can win a coffee party from Java Moose.
For more information, click here

Potholes Causing Headaches

Potholes continue to wage war on vehicles using city streets - the latest victim is the car on the left that lost its front wheel to a crater at Union and Chipman Hill this morning.
At last report - this one had been filled with a pylon as a warning - but - nothing else.
Crews are out on pothole patrol doing what they can given the fluctuating temperatures and snow melt runoff.
City officials are advising motorists to slow down - and - avoid driving through puddles.
You can also click here and fill out the service request form to report a pothole - the online form even allows you to upload a photo of the offending pothole - there is also a phone number for reporting potholes.

Smith's Family Want Video To Be Part of Inquest

The inquest into the death of a mentally ill 19 year old woman from Moncton in a Kitchener, Ontario jail will begin April 4th with lawyers for the Ontario coroner presiding over the inquest claiming jailhouse video would be of little help but Ashley Smith's family considers the video to be key evidence that could help determine why she died.

Smith choked herself to death with a strip of cloth in 2007.

The lawyers say videos depicting Smith's treatment at Joliette prison in Quebec are not relevant to what happened in Kitchener.
The videos show Smith being injections without her consent and medical staff threatening her with further injections.
Before she died, Smith was forcibly medicated, isolated and transferred from one prison to another 17 times.

Crews Battle Fire On The Lower West Side

City fire crews battling a house fire on the lower west side at this hour.  The call came in just after 11am this morning at 319 Clifton Street West.
District Fire Chief Peter Saab tells CHSJ News the fire is now under control in the one and a half story home.

He says everyone living there got out safely, no one was hurt.
The first floor of the building suffering extensive damage and it appears that the fire began in the basement of the home.

Port Gets New Cruise Lines

The Port of Saint John will be welcoming cruise ships this year from two lines that have not previously docked in the city...... M-S-C Cruises and Oceania Cruises.

The announcement was made as representatives of the provincial government, the Saint John Port Authority and industry attended Cruise Shipping Miami which is the world’s largest annual cruise trade show.

M-S-C Cruises and Oceania Cruises have each booked two calls to the port during the fall of 2011 bringing an additional 10,000 passengers to the city.

More than 70 ships are expected to dock in Saint John in 2011, bringing to the city and region more than 200,000 passengers and close to 70,000 crew members. The Port estimates that more than $30 million was spent last year as a result of cruise traffic to the port.