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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Point Lepreau Gets New Safety Rating

Point Lepreau is one step closer to re-opening in the fall of 2012 with a satisfactory safety rating from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

NB Power reports the CNSC rating is in line with other Canadian nuclear power plants, and shows an improvement in Fire Protection and Emergency Management. The report also questioned how Canadian plants responded to the nuclear disaster in Japan last year--and concluded that all the reactors in this country are safe and do not pose a threat to the public.

The report will be presented at a public meeting on August 15th.

Hartland Bridge Is Google Doodle

When you go to Google a search today, you might want to take a second look at the doodle!

The drawing is of our very own Hartland Covered Bridge. Today marks the 111th anniversary of the iconic landmark that stretches over the Saint John River. The image shows the "Google" letters traveling through the bridge with the New Brunswick, Canada and UK flags over the entrance.

The search engine website changes it's 'doodle' daily to mark important events and anniversaries.

Barn Blaze In Kingston

No one was injured in a barn fire off Route 845 in Kingston. Fire officials responding to the call around 11pm last  night found a barn on fire on the rural road.

According to Corporal Pat Cole of the RCMP, a tractor, tents, a trailer and other equipment was inside. Cole says the blaze was accidental and they're not treating it as suspicious.

No word yet on the cost of the destroyed equipment.

VIDEO: Carnival Glory

Carnival Glory visits Saint John.

Vacant Lots Must Be Dealt With

It looks terrible...that from common councillor John MacKenzie on the state of abandoned lots in the city. MacKenzie had motioned common council make sure derelict lots are grassed over and made presentable--but that won't be happening quite yet. MacKenzie tells CHSJ News it's a simple fix to put in topsoil and grass seed, or at least pave them over properly. He says it's an ongoing problem that has left some neighbourhoods looking neglected.

Mayor Mel Norton saying more information has to be gathered because some of the properties don't belong to the city--and if they're on private land, they're not within the city's purview. In the end, council opted to gather more information.

Today a burned out building on Victoria Street North was demolished, and another will come down on Friday. Some concerned citizens have been using social media to voice worries no one will want to rebuild on the sites.

New Wheelchair Accessible Van Hitting The Streets

People with mobility impairments will have a better way of getting around town.

Right of Way Transit is providing a private wheelchair accessible van in and around Saint John. Jeff Sparks is one the partners in this project. He tells CHSJ news it provides more options for people with disabilities.

"It will allow them to receive on demand service at the point they need it without having to book 2-3 weeks in advance. It will also improve their quality of life."

Sparks adds the newly converted Dodge Grand Caravan will allow people to spend a night or early morning with friends when normal services are off the roads. The ride will be dispatched with Diamond Taxi.

For more information on Right of Way Transit, click here.

Explore Parks With A Pass

For $60 you can visit all nine provincial parks. It's called the Explorer Pass 2012, a card that will offer free admission, a round of golf or other perks.

 Culture, Tourism and Healthy Living Minister Trevor Holder hopes that regular park users will buy the pass and visit a park that they've never been to.

New Brunswick's provincial parks offer opportunities to camp, hike and be outdoors.

Deaf Voices Finally Heard

The deaf community in Saint John finally having their voices heard at the new Health Plan discussion. Hearing impaired Saint Johnner Wanda Berrette tells CHSJ news through an interpreter their #1 complaint is when they visit the ER.

"We'll say to them can you please call in an interpreter? And then we sit there for 45 minutes to an hour just to go into triage because they don't want to call an interpreter. They have a list at the hospital, but they never look at it, they use that list."

Berrette adds it's been difficult to give their input when health surveys are held over the phone. She says the deaf community is often told to lip read or get a family member to translate, but that kind of communication is difficult and often falsely translated.

City Finance Commissioner Likes Tolls To Pay For Roads

City Finance Commissioner Greg Yeomans is frustrated over roads around town.

The state of roads, according to surveys, is uppermost in the minds of Saint Johnners.

Yeomans is not opposed to tolls to help pay for the upkeep of roads. He points out one loaded 18 wheeler is the equivalent of 96 hundred cars in terms of wear and tear and the city is saddled with the cost of maintenance with no way to generate revenue to pay for it.
Yeomans concedes when there were tolls on the Harbour Bridge, some truckers would try to avoid paying by going over the Reversing Falls Bridge and through the uptown.
Nonetheless, Yeomans says he was infuriated when the tolls were removed.

Garbage Collector Fined In Death Of Worker

Dominion Refuse handed a fine of 35 thousand dollars for the death of one of its workers.

25 year old Adam Wade Harris of the St. George area was after a large bin that was being dumped into the back of a garbage truck at Blacks Harbour somehow went sideways and struck him.

In the aftermath of Harris's death, Work Safe NB ordered the bin locking mechanism at the back of the truck be repaired, training for workers in the safe dumping of bins as well as for the operators who hoist the bins into the garbage trucks.

Arrests Made In North End Assault

City Police report a man was roughed up in the north end. 

Two underage teens find themselves arrested and looking at possible charges of assault causing bodily harm.

Parking Changes Could Be Afoot

It's a quality of life issue--that from Mayor Mel Norton about the accessibility of parking between uptown's business and residential districts. Common Council discussing the possibility of May to November parking on both sides of King Street East.

Mayor Mel Norton tells CHSJ News he doesn't buy that changing parking on King Street East would become a slippery slope--because King Street East is uniquely suited to the mpve, and other streets would have to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Councillor Shirley McAlary agreeing with Norton--while Councillor Donna Reardon said parking is a delicate balance with which we should not tinker.

Health Minister Pulls No Punches On How Unhealthy We Are

New Brunswick is the unhealthiest province in Canada, that coming from Health Minister Madelaine Dube.  She hosted a public meeting with Saint Johnners to hear their suggestions for the new health plan. 

Right now the province is facing problems with obesity, smoking, chronic disease and an aging population. And at 8.6 million dollars which is spent each day on health care, Dube tells CHSJ news we need to work together to find a new strategy to deal with these problems without going broke.

"We need to make some changes within the system to make sure we have better outcomes. Right now it's not a little investment, it's the outcomes we don't have compared to the level of funding we're providing."

The suggestions include early health education for children, electronic medical records to help with various medical visits and more after hours primary care.

This is the first time public meetings have been held to generate a new health plan which is expected by the end of the year. 

 Video courtesy of the Government of New Brunswick.