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Friday, April 20, 2012

John Ferguson Trial Wraps Up Evidence Portion Of Case

After weeks of testimony, the evidence portion of the John Ferguson defamation trial has come to an end.

Pension Board Lawyer Barry Morrison concluded his cross-examination by asking Ferguson if he was using smoke and mirrors to make it seem like the pension board was up to no good.

Ferguson said "no" and stated that even though it has taken over 5 years, the truth has finally come out.

The case resumes Monday morning at 9 o'clock at the Court of Queen's Bench.

Saint John Fire Crews Helping In Moncton

It was a tense lunch hour in Moncton today after a building was evacuated in the downtown after a report of hazardous material possibly anthrax being found on one floor.

12 personnel from the Saint John Fire department along with the Hazmat and decontamination unit were called to the scene earlier today.

CHSJ News learning the material was found in a building that may house the French consulate.
Police encouraging people to avoid the area of downtown Moncton after barricades were set up at several intersections.

Forum Offers First Glimpse Of Callahan

A 90-minute forum for those running for Mayor of Saint John was the first time anyone saw Joe Callahan.

He is originally from Texas and became a Canadian citizen just six years ago.
Callahan says the debate with his three other competitors was quite the experience.

Meanwhile, Mel Norton tells us in order to reduce poverty you need to work closely with those in the community.

Mayor Ivan Court tells us he was impressed with the turnout adding the more information we can give to the public the better.

Matt Thompson says to reduce poverty we need to invest in our at risk neighbourhoods.

High School Principal Charged In Child Porn Probe

A shocker from the Miramichi where a high school principal is facing four charges as a result of an investigation into Internet child exploitation.

37 year old Kirk Matheson, the principal at North and South Esk Regional High School in Sunny Corner, has been charged with luring, possession of child pornography and counselling to commit an offense.

Matheson is accused of passing himself off on the Internet as a woman to persuade boys to send him nude photos of themselves. Police have identified two victims from the local area thus far.

Matheson, who's scheduled to reappear in court June 11th, has been released from custody but he has to stay clear from the Regional High School.

Police In K-V Warning Of Internet Scam

Rothesay Regional Police receiving a complaint of a fraud regarding the filling out of a short survey on Facebook or a pop up on a webpage.

The survey usually entails filling out a few questions and the prize on offer is a gift certificate to Costco or Walmart or free I-Pad.

The last question of the survey requires you to type in your cell phone number and that's where the problem lies. Once this is done your phone is automatically billed for $9.99 or $18.99. Globally, there has already been over 1 billion dollars lost to this scam.

Police are advising to be cautious with the information that is entered on the internet. Information such as your name, phone number, address, banking or credit card information should not be entered on unknown sites.

Bus Drivers Campaigning For Saint John Transit To Get More Funding

City bus drivers making their presence felt outside the U-N-B Saint John Grand Hall on Charlotte Street where inside the Mayoral candidates talked about social issues including public transportation.

The President of local 1182 of the Amalgamated Transit Union, Tom McGraw tells CHSJ News the bus cuts are hurting alot of people and something must be done.

He points out alot of people can't afford to take a taxi every day to get to work if a bus isn't available.

McGraw says there have been three rounds of cuts in the past year with the loss of 24 thousand hours of service. 

John Ferguson Accused Of Wanting To Upset People

Pension Board lawyer Barry Morrison is accusing former Common Councillor John Ferguson of swinging a hardwood baseball bat at his fellow Council members at the time and the Pension Board instead of extending an olive branch.

Ferguson was being questioned about his suggestion of creating an ethics panel or commission. He told the court it would have cleared up alot of the misrepresentation and misinterpretation of his criticisms. 

Ferguson added they're doing it now in St. Stephen where he's the town manager and causes him no anguish at all but the negative reaction he got spoke to the atmosphere that was prevalent at Common Council back then.

Morrison contends Ferguson's criticism was all part of a campaign to become Mayor which he denies. 

Morrison went on to charge Ferguson's presentation to Common Council was devoid of information. 

Ferguson suggested all he was doing was conveying the information he had been told about the city's pension plan and its rising deficit but did not make any allegations himself. Morrison called that taking the cowardly route to which Ferguson replied he stands by his presentation.

Mayoral Debate Underway At UNBSJ Great Hall

Missing Man's Body Found In The U.S.

The body of a St. Stephen man missing since March has turned up on the American side of the border.

RCMP got a call from the Baileyville, Maine police department that a local fisherman found a vehicle submerged in the St. Croix River.

The body of Kenneth Lee was discovered inside.
An autopsy is being conducted in Augusta, Maine.

Inflation Drops Nationally But, Not Here

Big drops in the price of food and gasoline knocked the inflation rate down seven-tenths of a point in March to 1.9 per cent.
It's the first time since September of 2010 that the rate has fallen below the Bank of Canada's sweet spot of two per cent.

Even though the rate fell, you probably don't have more money in your pocket -- because most items measured were more expensive in March than in February. 
Here in Saint John, the rate went up to 2.4 from 2.2 in February but it went down provincially from 2.6 per cent to 2.4 per cent.

Ontario Court To Rule On Harbour Bridge Performance Bonds

An Ontario court is expected to rule today how it will handle performance bonds for Concreate U-S-L - the company working on the Harbour Bridge and One Mile Interchange that was placed in receivership last month.

Premier David Alward tells CHSJ News the province is protected with the necessary labour and product bonds in place.

Alward says it's his understanding the projects won't suffer major delays as a result of the legal wrangling.

The two projects totalling about 110-million dollars are scheduled for completion this year.

John Ferguson Defamation Trial

Search Called Off

Some doubt being expressed about whether there was a plane crash at Grand Lake yesterday afternoon. 

The Joint Rescue Co-Ordination Centre in Halifax conducted a search well into last evening but nothing has been discovered. 

Major Paul Doucette tells CHSJ News no planes were overdue and there were no distress calls even though they did receive eyewitness accounts, apparently, which prompted the search.
After interviewing pilots in the area, it's believed someone simply saw a low flying aircraft near the water.

Premier Defends Generic Drug Policy

Premier Alward says his government's changes to the generic drug policy is fair to pharmacists.
The Pharmacists Association says they will be forced to cut staff and services thanks to government caps on mark-up and dispensing fees - but - in an interview with CHSJ News - the Premier says the new policy recognizes the challenges faced by pharamcists after consultations with them.
Alward says the new generic drug policy is good for New Brunswickers - however - he says pharmacists are private business owners and they will ultimately make business based decisions. 
The new policy takes effect June 1st.