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Friday, January 20, 2012

Hampton Rallies Around Bullying Victim

The town of Hampton is rallying around a little girl who was the victim of bullying last week.
RCMP are looking into the alleged incident where the 12-year-old was held down and had her hair cut.
Organizer Leanne Cochrane tells CHSJ News she put the rally together because she's a mom and has empathy for the child.

She says everyone has their own experience whether you are an adult in the workplace or a child in a classroom, bullies are everywhere.

The rally begins at 11am tomorrow at the Hampton Pavillion and runs until 1pm.
It will feature a motivational speaker, dance troupes and a martial art demonstration.

For more info, click here

Vibrant Communities Looking For Input On Poverty Forum

Businesses, non-profit groups, politicians and those in poverty coming out to discuss what can be done to reduce poverty in the city.

A forum was held earlier today and Acting Co-ordinator of Vibrant Communities Cathy Wright tells CHSJ News a few ideas were brought to the forefront, like trying to get businesses more involved when it comes to employing those in poverty.

Other ideas include changing government policies on those affected by poverty and how to maximize the arrival of the YM-YWCA to the Crescent Valley area.

She says Vibrant Communities has set up an online forum so the conversation can continue and can be found here.

City Police Make Arrest In West Side Sexual Assault

The Family Protection Unit of the City police force arresting a 25 year old Chance Harbour man for aggravated sexual assault in Saint John.

The charge against Bradley Scott Wilson relates to an assault that took place last Thursday on the west side.

Wilson will remain in jail until another court appearance scheduled for Monday.

Storm Causes More Than 24 Crack-Ups

It should have been a pretty winter day but, extremely slippery road conditions in Greater Saint John leading to more than two dozen collisions.

At one point, the Rothesay Avenue overpass was blocked by a jacknifed tractor-trailer that hit a police car.
Emergency personnel and area tow trucks were kept hopping responding to vehicles off the road.

So many vehicles were in the ditch near the Fox Farm Road on the Mackay Highway, police were referring to it as an "auto graveyard".

Crews from the City of Saint John's municipal operations are out clearing snow along with salting and sanding roads and sidewalks.
A Winter overnight parking restriction is in effect meaning vehicles parked on the street between midnight and 7am could be ticketed and towed.

However, there is no snow ban in effect for the South Central Peninsula tonight.

For more info, click here

Firefighters Say Common Council Is Risking Lives

Saint John fire fighters says the public is being put at risk due to proposed funding cuts in the 2012 budget.

Paul Stackhouse is the President of the Fire Fighters Association.  He tells CHSJ News with the loss of up to 750-thousand dollars, 8 to 24 firefighters could be cut and a truck from the Courtney Avenue fire station would be gone.

He says the departments response time would increase from 4 minutes to 6 or 7 minutes -- well in excess of international standards.

Stackhouse adds not only would it put lives at risk but insurance will also increase for homeowners, businesses, and landlords.

He says the city faces many fire risks because of old buildings and many industrial businesses and the cuts are unacceptable.

A rally to protest the cuts is being held tomorrow morning in front of city hall at 8am while Common Council meets to discuss the budget.

Finance Minister Says Its Not Up To Ottawa To Fix Healthcare In Province

Federal transfer payments account for 20 per cent of the healthcare budget and they won't be increasing. Prime Minister Harper made that clear to the Premiers.

Provincial Finance Minister Blaine Higgs says that means the Alward Government will have to take the bull by the horns and make changes to rein in spending and make the system more efficient regardless of the flak.

Higgs is optimistic the right changes will free up more money to be spent better but he concedes people are sensitive anytime they hear about healthcare changing.

Deputy Mayor Says Fire Budget Affected By Potential Wage Increases

Deputy Mayor Stephen Chase explaining why the proposed budget for the fire department is 460-thousand dollars less than last year.

Council had committed to a budget increase of one percent for the fire department.

Chase says firefighters are currently negotiating for a pay increase and the city is estimating they may get a 3 to 4 percent increase.  If that happens, Chase says it is coming out of the fire budget.

He says the department may have to lose firefighters to make ends meet.

The projected fire budget for 2012 is 23.2 million dollars.

Case Made Against Selling Off NB Power

There's alot of speculation about NB Liquor being sold to give the provincial government some much needed revenue. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is urging the Alward Government to do just that.

Martha Thompson, who's President of the union local representing liquor store workers, argues that would not be good for the economy in the long run because good paying jobs would be replaced by minimum wage ones with less disposable income to spend.
Thompson also claims the overall cost of doing business within the liquor corporation is among the best in the country.

City Police Warn Residents To Slow Down Today

A few centimetres of snow leading to traffic chaos in Greater Saint John.

The Highway 1 overpass eastbound at Rothesay Avenue is closed after a tractor-trailer struck a police car and another car hit the tractor-trailer. The person in the car was sent to hospital to be checked out. No one else was hurt.  The truck has jack-knifed across the road.

Emergency personnel have their hands full with multiple accidents on the Mackay Highway from the Dolan Road Circle K to Rothesay Avenue Exit.

Highway 7 between Saint John to Grand Bay-Westfield is extremely icy.
A road warrior tells us it's looks bare but, it's a sheet  of ice.

Police are responding to numerous accidents around the city and on Highway 1 between Saint John and Quispamsis and they are asking everyone to slow down or to stay home until road conditions get better.

(photo courtesy of Lindsay Cole)

RCMP Looking For Armed Robbers

The RCMP have released photos and descriptions of two suspects in the armed robbery of Zealand Convenience, on Route 104.

A shot was fired but no one was hit. The store owner was assaulted and taken to hospital where he was treated and later released. An undisclosed amount of cash and cigarettes was stolen. 

There was an earlier armed holdup at Estey's General store on Route 104 in Millville where a shot was fired with cash and cigarettes being stolen.