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Monday, January 23, 2012

Grease Fire Forces Evacuation In Rothesay

Did you just go by the Campbell Drive Superstore and wonder what the fuss was all about?

A grease fire causing the store to fill with smoke and everyone was evacuated while the smoke was cleared out.

The fire itself was put out by a fire supression unit before KV Fire crews and police arrived on the scene.

A Rothesay Regional Police officer telling CHSJ News a short time ago that customers and staff are already being allowed back in.

City Prepares For Rain and Mild Temps

The City is keeping a close eye on the rain and mild temps this week.

Municipal Operations crews are inspecting catch basins in known trouble spots making sure they are open and ready to handle any run-off.

With temperatures around the 8 degree mark, the freeze-and-thaw cycle can cause ice to form on the streets and sidewalks.
Crews will be out to put down salt and sand.

You are reminded to drive carefully as the temperature changes later this week.

Lights Out At Rothesay Avenue & Russell Street Intersection

A weekend accident in the area of Rothesay Avenue and Russell Street causing significant damage to the new traffic lights and they are out of service until further notice.

The City tells us because of the collision significant repairs are required.

The City is working with the Provincial Department of Transporation for temporary and permanent solutions at the intersection.
A stop sign has been placed at Russell Street in the interim to clarify that right-of-way will remain on Rothesay Avenue.
Drivers are advised to avoid the Rothesay Avenue and Russell Street intersection during peak traffic times.

Gallant To Enter The Liberal Leadership Race

The race is on to find the next leader of the provincial liberal party.

Moncton lawyer Brian Gallant will officially throw his hat into the ring on Wednesday with 5 stops around the province.

The campaign launch begins with a lunchtime event in Moncton followed by stops in Caraquet, Miramichi and Fredericton.

Gallant will wrap up his tour with a speech here in Saint John that night at the Delta.

The Liberal leadership convention is planned for October.

Blood Symposium Still On

Mayor Ivan Court and the Canadian Union of Public Employees are going ahead with the blood symposium tomorrow night at the Trade and Convention Centre. 

This, despite the Alward Government's decision to stick with Canadian Blood Services and not go it alone which pretty much sealed the fate of the blood production lab on University Avenue. 

Nonethless, Mike Davidson of CUPE is soldiering on saying it's too important to drop. The C-E-O of Enterprise Saint John Steve Carson says losing it will be a blow to the local economy.
The event gets underway tomorrow night at 7:00.

NB Power Telling People "Don't Be Scammed"

A warning from NB Power not to be taken in by scammers who are pretending to be from the utility. 

One such con is to be approached by someone driving an unmarked car who will demand payment immediately or your power will be disconnected but we're told that's not how NB Power operates. 

Melissa Morton tells CHSJ News other people have been approached by someone claiming to be an NB Power water heater contractor but such contacts are initiated by customers when they run into problems and the cost of servicing your water heater is included in the rental fee on your monthly bill.

She adds NB Power is also not selling any device that supposedly will save you money on your electricity bill.

City Budget To Be Debated Tonight And Voted On

Common Council will meet behind closed doors late this afternoon to discuss the city's 2012 budget before it's brought out into open session to be debated publicly and voted on.

A closed door meeting had been scheduled on Saturday but Common Councillor Bill Farren tells CHSJ News it was cancelled because city staff didn't have all the information on the alternate budget should the province reject proposed changes to the city's pension plan. 

If that happens, 9 million dollars in cuts will have to be made.

Farren admits discussion has been heated but he blames previous Councils for ignoring the city's growing financial problems.

Pilot Project Aims To Help High Risk Patients

Nearly 8000 people in Greater Saint John are on the waitlist for a family doctor.

A pilot project at St. Joe's will see three doctors working in the urgent care centre also treat some high-risk patients.
The eligible patients include those with more than 1 chronic illnesses, those on blood thinners and women needing preventative healthcare like pap tests.

The six month program has seen 367 patients so far and anyone on the list waiting for a family doctor will be contacted starting with those at the top of the list.

Staff at the Horizon Health Network are optimist about recruiting several family doctors within the next year.
To add your name to the family doctor waitlist, call 648-6232.

Court Support Raise For Managers As City Budget Comes up For Vote

"Managers give us far more than we're giving them" that from our Mayor on why he supports City managers getting a 1.25 % raise in the middle of budget turmoil.

The city budget will be voted on tonight at Common Council

Ivan Court tells CHSJ News everyone is entitled to a little raise and they don't work 40 hours a week. 

He says the managers were the first to step up to the plate adding this budget turmoil didn't start two years ago and they were the first to take a two year wage freeze.

Court adds managers are on call 7 days a week and they are not protected by union rules.

Major Decisions Coming In Healthcare

Provincial Finance Minister Blaine Higgs is pulling no punches when he says the health care system can't go on with yearly increases in cost of 6 and 7 per cent because it will be unsustainable.
Higgs notes there has been some improvement over the past year through better spending controls but still maintains the funding for healthcare still isn't being spent as well as it should. 

He adds delivery of healthcare services will have to become more efficient and big decisions will have to be made on what makes sense for a province the size of New Brunswick.

Fire In South End Apartment Building

A late night fire on Orange Street leaving 11 people homeless.
The Canadian Red Cross is providing support to the affected residents. 

This includes temporary accommodation, clothing and food for a mother and her five children as well as to a single man who was living in another one of the 4 apartments in the building.

A couple and their child who also lived in the building are with relatives for the time being.