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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Smooth Start To School Year In District 6

A few minor glitches to report but, other than that it's a smooth start to the school year in District 6.
Acting Superintendent Gary Hall tells CHSJ News they did everything they could to lessen the impact of spring budget cuts on the classroom.

The district office itself has four less people with the budget cuts in the spring.
Hall says it takes a bit longer to respond to some things but they are doing the best they can.

Police Educate Students About Online Dangers

School has just started and city police are already trying to teach students some important lessons.

The Saint John Police Force making kids aware of the potential dangers on the internet and how it can impact your life.

Cst. Don Metcalf is a school liaison officer and he tells CHSJ News cyber-bullying is a very real threat as it can make victims feel depressed and in some cases take their own life.
He adds they are also teaching kids about child predators and how rapidly things can spread on the web, especially when it comes to private or compromising photos.

Provincial Tourism Numbers Are Lukewarm

"Okay" is the term being used by the Tourism Industry Association of New Brunswick when describing the tourism season in the province so far this summer.

Executive Director Real Robichaud tells CHSJ News while the final numbers aren't in yet, the combination of high gas prices, the exchange rate, and the weather have all contributed to a 1 to 2% drop in business this season.

However, Robichaud says the Fundy region did well -- the Hopewell Rocks are reporting a 1.5 percent increase in business.

Layoffs Of Healthcare Workers Have Begun

Provincial Health Minister Madelaine Dube has given workers at Miramichi City Hospital assurances there won't be any forced layoffs as the Horizon Health Network looks to cut costs and balance its books.

The President of the New Brunswick Council of Hospital Unions Norma Robinson tells CHSJ News that assurance doesn't include the CUPE members who work outside Miramichi.

Robinson says the layoffs have already begun in Fredericton and Moncton and the union has been told they'll be carried out in waves.

Moncton Area Teen Vying To Be The Next Star

A teen from the Moncton area aiming to be Canada's next Selena Gomez.
Shania Fillmore of Saint Phillipe is a top 6 finalist in YTV's The Next Star competition.
Fillmore says she was watching the show and always wanted to audition and finally went for it.

She says the competition is a lot of hard of wark but, they are having so much fun doing it and that is all that matters.

Fillmore was named after Shania Twain and says she was very inspired by her music.
For more on The Next Star competition, click here

Grand Manan Adventure Wrapping Up Summer Service

It's that time of year.....time to dock the Grand Manan Adventure as the summer tourist season wraps up.

The Province and Coastal Transport preparing to take the new ferry out of service.
It may seem as if she just got here because she did..the new 82-car, 65-million dollar ferry took its maiden voyage back on August 11th.

Coastal Transport's Murray Ryder says the ferry must be drydocked for more repairs
to one of the bow thrusters.  That will start on the 11th for about 10 days and the work is covered under the warranty.
The work will not result in any interruptions in ferry service for passengers travelling between Blacks Harbour and Grand Manan.

Power Disruption On West Side

Another power outage this morning to tell you about.......This one happening on the westside of the city.

The general area is (Wilson Street, Coster Street and Westwind Place) and was caused by a broken pole on Wilson Street.

About 50 customers are without service and Saint John Energy crews are on site repairing the damage.

Power is expected to be back on between 9:00 and 9:30.

Police Believe They May Have Halted Crime Spree

Court appearances are likely today for two men, in their 20's who were arrested over the weekend in Rothesay on the Marr Road for possession of stolen property.

They will be charged with holding up the Somerset Pub and Colonial Inn last week but are also under investigaton for vehicle breakins in the Valley and a break and enter at a home on the Kingston Peninsula.

Teenager Suffers Head Injuries On the Peninsula

A hay trailer rolled over and wound up in a ditch on the Kingston Peninsula near the Pipertown Road over the weekend severely injuring a teenaged boy.

The 15 year old fell off the hayride and struck his head on the road.

Major Power Outage In Saint John Area

A power outage is not what you want to experience as you prepare for the first day of school but there was a major disruption last night with thousands of people still in the dark this morning.

The power went out around 7:30 last night in a large part of the east side, the Valley and Kingston Peninsula all the way, we are told towards Sussex.

Some parts of East Saint John as you make your way to the airport did not get reconnected until around 1:30 this morning.

 As of early this morning, NB Power reports there are more than 11 thousand people outside the city still without electricity.

CHSJ News fhas been told three insulators blew along High way 111 but there has been no official word on the cause from either NB Power or Saint John Energy.

More Traffic Disruptions

Union Street between St. Patrick Street and Chipman Hill is scheduled to be closed beginning today.

The Aquatic Centre, Chipman Hill Suites, and Mercantile Centre will have local access from the bottom of Union via St. Patrick/Main only. Access to Vito’s Restaurant will be via Hazen Ave. Access to Latour Tower Parking Garage will be from Union via Chipman Hill.
This phase is scheduled to last until September 16.

Union Street from the Brunswick Square Parking Garage through to Crown Street is scheduled to be open to two-way traffic today.

The Highway 1 eastbound exit ramp for Lorneville (exit 112) will be closed for approximately 10 days. This closure is required as part of the highway realignment process.

Common Council Told Cutting Live Translation Is Legal

The City Solicitor telling Common Council it is not in violation of the official languages act by getting rid of live French translation during council meetings.

Councillor Bill Farren tells CHSJ News the city still translates its agenda and related documents, which keeps it in line with the law.

Farren adds live translation is still being offered but it has to be booked at least a week in advance.

Live translation was cut back in April in order to save from 30 to 40 thousand dollars and because it was rarely used. Official Languages Commissioner Michel Carrier says the official languages legislation is unclear when it comes to live translation.

Another School Year Begins

Grades K-to-9 students in District 8 heading back to school today while grades 10, 11, and 12 enjoy a final day of summer.

 Acting Superintendent Robert Johnson says the staggered start date is to help grade nine students transitioning to high school. He says some of the students come from smaller schools and moving to a larger one can be intimidating.

Johnson says the goal is to put students at ease in their new school and hopefully reduce some bullying as well.

Some parents are sending their little ones off to the first day of Kindergarten today. By mid-August there were 33 more kindergarten students registered than the same time last year but that's not necessarily an indication of more students.

Johnson says registration which now takes place in October gives parents an opportunity to come and visit the school. The school district can offer support programs if children need to be worked with.

Community Colleges Expect Growth In Enrollment

Enrollment at community colleges around the province is continuing to rise to record levels.......a rise of over 7 per cent last year with a ten per cent increase in applications to attend.

Community College President and C-E-O Marilyn Luscombe tells CHSJ News there's a good reason for that when 70 per cent of the jobs in the future will require some form of post secondary education.

She also points out attending community college is far less taxing on the pocketbook than going to university.

Luscombe adds community college is moving beyond what many people had considered to be the second tier of post secondary education with a concerted effort at rebranding its image.

Premier Indicates Senior Care Will Be Tackled Soon

The Premier thinks any future decisions on the care of seniors must be multi-faceted.

The provincial nursing home association suggesting vacancies at special care homes can solve the problem of seniors taking up hospital beds which is overly expensive and not ideal.

Premier David Alward says the government is reviewing the state of care in the province but special care homes have a part to play in caring for seniors.

Alward says the review is to make sure care is affordable in the long-term and he's hinting the government will have something to say in the coming weeks about senior care in the province.