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Monday, December 19, 2011

City Hotel Offers Free Stay For Those With A Sick Loved One

Saint John's Delta hotel is again offering free lodging for those who are travelling this week to visit a family member in the hospital.
Delta Brunswick General Manager Paulette Hicks they have been involved for 22 years now in the Home for the Holidays program.

It runs from December 22nd to the 30th and they provide free accomodation to take a little pressure off famillies as they go through a difficult time.

Hicks says it is a national program and their staff works closely with the Regional hospital and St. Joe's to roll out this program every year.

On The Vine Store In Rothesay Closes Up Shop

Sad news with 6 days before Christmas..the On the Vine store in the Kennebecasis Valley has closed its doors.

The Hampton road store opened two years ago.

No word on how many employees are impacted but the East Saint John location will remain open.

Apply Soon For Help With Home Heating Bills

If you plan on applying for the 2012 Home Energy Assistance Program, the forms will available on Thursday.
The $100 benefit will help low-income families cope with high-energy prices.  It's for those with incomes up to and including $28,000 this year and the benefits for those who qualify will be issued within 2 to 4 weeks of submitting a completed application.

You can apply by going to the Department of Finance or Service New Brunswick websites or by calling 1-800-669-7070 and the forms are also available at Service New Brunswick outlets.   For more info, click here

Grand Manan RCMP and Crimestoppers Seek Help In Solving Arsons

Crimestoppers and the RCMP in Grand Manan are looking for whoever is responsible for a series of arsons on Grand Manan Island over the last three years.

Between 2008 and August 2011, Grand Manan RCMP and local firefighters have responded to several suspicious fires. The culprits are targeting abandoned buildings and storage sheds resulting in thousands of dollars in damage.

If you have any information, you could earn up to $4500 in rewards between Crimestoppers and the village of Grand Manan.

For more information, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or click here

To see video, click here

City Wants More Commercial Development On West Side

There's already alot of commercial development along Fairville Boulevard on the west side but the city is looking at even more in the years ahead. 

Chief City Planner Ken Forrest wants a plan to be ready for Common Council next summer. 

West side Councillor Bill Farren tells CHSJ News people in that part of the city want more commercial development but only in moderation........They don't want to see as much congestions as there is on the east side.
Farren says this type of growth along with refurbishing the Trade and Convention Centre are what you have to do in order to create jobs.

Common Councillor Wants Public Transit Strengthened

Common Councillor Donnie Snook coming up with suggestions to strengthen city bus service which is facing cuts a week from today.

His ideas include asking the province to get rid of the fuel tax for public transit as well as relieving the property taxes at the transit building which amount to 378 thousand dollars this year, the imposition of a so-called congestion tax on vehicles entering the city, establishing a water bus service from the west side, bike rentals and charging higher rates at the new parking garage which is being constructed as part of the Peel Plaza development.

Farren Calls for Refurbished Trade and Convention Center

Saint John needs a refitted Trade and Convention center to help boost its economy: that according to councilor Bill Farren.

Farren says council has received reports for years that the center needs to be refurbished. An updated center would create service industry jobs, as well as bringing in business to the airport, hotels, and restaurants. The center has only 4 shows schedule for 2012--and that's unheard of.

As it is, other Maritime centers are attracting the trade shows because they have modern facilities. If we wait to upgrade our center, he says all the more business and jobs will be lost.

New Brunswickers Mark Anniversary of the Battle of Hong Kong

New Brunswick historians and veterans marking our local connection to the Battle of Hong Kong. 70 years ago this week the historic battle, which took place during the Pacific Campaign of World War II, came to an end.

Saint John history teacher Barry Ogden explains what happened 70 years ago this week, that reservists from New Brunswick were defending Hong Kong, and that many of them were killed and taken prisoner.

Soldiers from Norton, Apohaqui, and the Bay of Chaleur fought in the Battle of Hong Kong. Ogden says that it's a part of New Brunswick history that we should all be proud of.

In memory of New Brunswick's involvement with the battle, the village of Belldune unveiling plans for monument to a dog named Gander. The canine soldier died defending troops in that battle by carrying a live grenade away from them in his mouth.

Saint John Businesspeople Call For Action On Child Poverty In City

The poverty rate for children under the age of six in Saint John is at 34 per cent. Tom Gribbons, who chairs the Business Community Anti-Poverty Initiative, is alarmed by that, calling it frightening.

The business group is calling for the early childhood learning programme at St. John the Baptist school be made permanent and other such programmes be set up at schools around the city.

Gribbons says there should be three or four around town.

He warns unless steps are taken to help young people succeed from cradle to career, the city could find 34 per cent of its potential work force that is unprepared 20 years down the road.

Future Of Pulp And Paper Mill Under Threat

Although J-D Irving says it's generally supportive of the proposed new municipal plan as cobbled together by Plan SJ but is raising concerns over the proposed designation of three of its properties in the city.

Planner Holly McMackin with Dillon Consulting says the most serious threatens the long term future of the Irving Pulp and Paper mill with a proposed 30 metre wide park and natural areas designation along the coastline of the site which has been used for marine industrial purposes.

McMackin says the company wants that designation removed.

Changes are expected to be made by the time the final draft of the plan makes its way for adoption by Common Council in the new year.

City Planners To Shift Their Attention To West Side

Now that the Plan SJ exercise on developing a new municipal plan for the city is drawing to a close, city planners want to embark on a new venture which is being called the Golden Mile Corridor on the west side along Fairville Boulevard.

Chief City Planner Ken Forrest would like a plan on that be ready for Common Council next summer.

Meantime, Peter McGuire is urging his fellow common councillors to support what he's calling a strong financial investment on roads in the city during their budget deliberations.

McGuire has sent a letter to Council pointing to the results of the citizens survey which shows the condition of roads to be the one of the most significant issue of concern for Saint Johnners and the level of satisfaction is declining.