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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Lost Envelope Contains Family's Life Savings

One Saint John family is living through a waking nightmare.

Dawn Marie Pettinger tells CHSJ news she and her husband withdrew their life savings in cash for a down payment on a home when the envelope went missing somewhere along the way. According to her, he reached in his pocket and it was simply gone--and hasn't reappeared despite retracing his steps, calling police, and putting an ad on Kijiji.

It was lost somewhere in the area of Thorne Avenue, Golf Street, and Moreland Trailer Park. Pettinger, who is a disabled mother of two, urges whoever found it to do the right thing. She says in these economic times she could understand why someone would want to keep the money, but wants whoever has it to think about the pain they're causing.

Pettinger suffers from congestive heart failure and has two kids ages 2 and 5.

 Anyone with information is asked to contact us at 648-3000.

Major Wave of Layoffs Rocks Radian 6

They just got government grants back in June for hiring and now Radian 6 is laying workers off including some here in Saint John.

One employee tells CHSJ News she got the news this morning and some of her colleagues had been there for a long time.
The Radian 6 offices are on Canterbury street and the workers let go today have the choice of not coming back or working until the 31st. The company offers social media monitoring services.

One Ferry At Gondola Point To Undergo Refit

One of the ferries at Gondola Point is going in for a refit.

A spokesperson at the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure tells CHSJ News a ferry will be brought in to replace the one being worked on.

It's not know when the work will begin because the contract has not been awarded yet but, we are told the work will be finished by December 14th.

Another Suspicious Fire

It's a total loss.  A fire in Lorneville destroying a large shed and a hardtop trailer but the house escaped any damage.

Platoon chief Mark Wilson tells CHSJ News he called in another tanker after seeing black smoke from the Tourist bureau on Highway 1.

He says the owners of the home, trailer and baby barn are away on vacation and they will be working with family that live nearby.

Wilson says fire investigators are looking into the cause as well as City Police. 

There was another fire which gutted a home at 63 Patterson Street in Minto. The family was not at home when the blaze started.

Alward & Lepage To Meet In Saint John Event

It's a first for Saint John and it seems like a natural.
Premier David Alward and Maine Governor Paul Lepage are the keynote speakers at the inaugural N2 International Exchange Forum.

Board of Trade President Imelda Gilman tells CHSJ News the two leaders will host a luncheon at the Lily Lake Pavilion tomorrow and the day includes two panel discussions on energy and expanding markets. 

She says they will finish out the day with a celebration of the 25 year sister-city relationship between Saint John and Bangor.

For more info, click here

Lepreau Again Generating Electricity

Point Lepreau is producing electricity.   

NB Power says the generating station began producing electricity yesterday for the first time since 2008.

The plant has been out of service since March 2008 for a refurbishment meant to extend the life of the reactor by 25 years.

The project is about three years behind schedule and $1 billion over the original $1.4-billion budget.

NB Power has said the reactor is expected to return to full service sometime this fall. 

Shed Fire in Lorneville

City fire crews are battling a fire in a two story shed in Lorneville.

Black smoke can be seen in the area.

Saint John Scores Poorly on Business Ranking

Should we be worried that Saint John recently came in 78th in a ranking of the 100 best cities in Canada for entrepreneurs? Mayor Mel Norton says no. He tells CHSJ News the numbers aren't as grim as they look.

Norton says while there's definitely room for improvement the survey crunched the numbers based on the ratio of population to businesses: which means tiny touristy tours like Alma actually end up ranking better than the Port City.

New Twist In Air Ambulance Service Story

CHSJ news learning new information regarding the incident in Grand Manan over the weekend where a heart attack victim had to wait 3 hours for Ambulance NB to arrive to take him to the Saint John Regional Hospital.

An hour after the air ambulance was called, they were told it wasn't en route, but was actually in Halifax. That's according to Gina Urquhart, who's 60-year-old father-in-law suffered the attack. She tells CHSJ news they called the air ambulance at 2:50pm to warn there was a chance it would be needed. They then called at 3:15pm to confirm it would be needed, at 4:20pm the nurses called to check it's ETA, and were told at that point it was in Halifax. It wasn't until 6:15pm that it finally arrived.

Urquhart says the three hours of waiting was extremely frustrating and nerve wracking, especially since there was an Atlantic Charters plane going unused. She adds when Ambulance NB arrived they didn't offer an explanation as to why they were in Nova Scotia an hour after they were called.

On the Ambulance NB website, the service based in Moncton says it transports patients to specialized hospitals in Halifax and Quebec when needed.

She's thankful no permanent damage was done to her father-in-law, but she's worried as to what could happen in the future.

CHSJ news will be speaking to the CEO of Ambulance NB later this afternoon.

Landfill Producing Its Own Power From Garbage

Gemtec and the Fundy Region Solid Waste Commission are already doing what Sustainable Saint John would like to see more of.

Waste Commission General Manager Marc McLeod tells CHSJ News for a few years now they have been collecting the methane gas produced at the landfill and then generating electricity.

McLeod says the upfront cost of between 3.5 and 4 million dollars was substantial but now the landfill is netting something like 350 thousand dollars a year so, in the long run, it will turn out to be a worthwhile investment.

Saint John Community Organisations Looking For Volunteers

A wide variety of community organisations that do their part to make life better in Saint John are on the lookout for volunteers who can make it happen.

Brunswick Square is where you should be starting tomorrow morning at 10 and continuing on Friday from 10 to 4 if you have some time on your hands and would like to put it to good use.

Executive-Director Eileen McLaughlin tells CHSJ News the fourth annual Volunteer Recruitment Expo will bring all of these organisations under one roof.

Among those on hand will be Meals on Wheels, Read Saint John, Big Brothers-Big Sisters, the Boys and Girls Club, MADD and Stonehammer.

McLaughlin says they get alot of retirees stepping up to the plate but also university students who want to help the community and bolster their credentials with prospective employers.

High School Drug Bust

Three St. Stephen high students were arrested during their lunch hour after police got information on drug use and trafficking around the school.

Two boys, aged 16 and 17 along with a 15 year old girl are from the St. Stephen area.

It's thought they will be facing charges of trafficking and possession of marijuana.

Big Issues At Stake Before Budget Deliberations Begin

If everything's a priority, then nothing is a priority....and according to Mayor Mel Norton, this common council knows exactly what it wants to accomplish.

He tells CHSJ News common council has boiled down the information from ward meetings and brainstorming sessions to six main issues, outlined in a booklet soon to be released to the taxpayers. The spotlight is on the pension plan, roads, water, recreation, and economic development as the major issues to be solved.

With budget deliberations soon gearing up, Norton says the public shouldn't expect to be thrown any curve balls on where the largest envelopes will go. Once the final draft is approved you can look it over on the city's website.

Port CEO Says SJ Could Be A Great Home Port For Cruises

We see a lot of cruise ships in Saint John...but what if we were their home port instead of a pit stop on the way? Could mean increased tourism and hotel revenue for the uptown down the road.

Port CEO Jim Quinn tells CHSJ News there's a lot to consider--but depending on what the research says, it could be workable. He says it would largely depend on what kind of interest there is from the cruise industry.

Quinn says our deep port means we can handle a lot of the biggest ships out there, which is a definite bonus.