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Monday, November 5, 2012

Big News On The Future Of The Gothic Arches

An uptown landmark threatened for years with demolition has been saved by a Toronto developer who wants to turn it into high-end apartments.

The Gothic Arches have officially been sold for an unnamed figure to developer Jody McCairns.

Realtor Bob McVicar tells CHSJ News renovating old churches is a trend we're going to see more of across the country as attendance declines and some dioceses have more real estate than they know what to do with.

The former church on Wentworth Street is over 130 years old and has been on the market for 4 years.

Man Changes Plea In 2011 Murder

50-year-old Stephen Wallace Martin pleading guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter in last years death of 70-year-old Robert Ryan. Martin was originally charged with second degree murder.

Ryan's body was found in his basement on December 20th after a fire at his home at 374 Mount Pleasant Avenue North. An autopsy found Ryan died from blunt force trauma to the head. He had a broken jaw, two black eyes, defensive injuries and severe burns.
Investigators discovered gasoline had been poured along the floor, over Ryan's body and into the garage. Police seized matches, an empty bleach bottle and a small metal safe from the home.
The court heard that Martin became angry when he woke up to Ryan performing a sexual act in front of him.  Martin then attacked Ryan with a stool. Ryan was homosexual and lived alone in his home, but Martin would often stay there.

After the incident Martin went to his brother's house where he was living and said that he had killed Robert Ryan with the bar stool legs. Martin then hid at his sister's house until his arrest on December 23, 2011.  

Victim impact statements and the pre-sentence report are scheduled to be read in court on December 10th.

Interest In Remembrance Day Growing

A slew of Remembrance Day concerts are rolling out at schools and churches in Greater Saint John leading up to the huge ceremony Sunday at Harbour Station.

Performers include the Loyal company band, the Saint John Chorale and the Harbour View Choral Ensemble. 

Michael Molloy of Harbour View High tells CHSJ News he's noticing that more people are becoming more interested in Remembrance Day.

He says we have seen this generation of World War 2 vets age before us becoming frail so it's hard to see the warrior of old.

Everyone attending the "A Salute To The Veterans" concert at Harbour View High on Thursday night can join in a sing-along of songs from World War II.  

Tickets for the concert are available at the school, from choir members and at the door on the night of the concert.

Special seating is being arranged for veterans,  for more info call 643-2912.

ICT Is Still Hot Despite Recent Layoffs

The presidents of our local university and college still believe there's a strong job market in the ICT sector, even in the wake of the Radian6 layoffs.

UNBSJ President Dr. Eddy Campbell says just like any business, the ICT sector has ups and downs, but he understands Radian6's marketing department was too large.
He says that's small comfort to those who lost their jobs, but he was also told it wouldn't be long until they found jobs here in New Brunswick.

NBCC President Marilyn Luscombe tells CHSJ news of course it's significant that almost 100 jobs were lost, especially from a company that's been doing really well. She says she was also told that this happens with companies around the world, and it's just a matter of that industry adjusting and re-adjusting. She believes other jobs will come back and Radian6 will thrive.
Radian6 had received government grants back in June for hiring. At the end of October the ICT company laid off about 100 workers in Saint John and Fredericton. The company offers social media monitoring services.

Wine Remains A Hot Seller At NB Liquor

NB Liquor sales are down a bit. Total sales for the three months that finished up at the end of September were $109.2 million, down $800,000 or .8 per cent the year before.

Despite the slight decline, net earnings increased by $900,000 or two per cent to $47.6 million, primarily because of bigger profit margins.

Wine sales increased by 4.2 per cent or $800,000. The sale of hard liquor declined by 1.4 per cent or $300,000 and beer sales were down by 1.8 per cent or $1.1 million

Mystery Solved

City Police releasing more information about why they taped off an entrance to a building on Princess Street yesterday morning.

Two police cars and the forensic services surrounded 80 Princess Street where there was a trail of blood leading from a nearby alleyway into the building. 

City Police tell CHSJ News they answered a call about a disturbance but no one was around when they arrived. 

Upon further investigation, police discovered everyone was accounted for and the blood made the situation look worse than it turned out to be.

Charges Laid After Stabbing Death

More information has been released about charges being laid in the aftermath of a fatal weekend stabbing on the lower west side.

21 year old Ronald McCutcheon was arrested and charged with robbery after a home invasion at 341 Prince Street. 

Another 21 year old man, who was stabbed, has been released from hospital and charged with a weapons offense. 

The 18 year old man who died after being stabbed was a suspect in the home invasion. His name is not being released at the request of the family.

The Province Is Still Spending Too Much

The provincial government is facing a duel dilemma........A projected deficit that almost doubled to 356 million dollars together with a rising unemployment rate which is up to 11.6 per cent provincewide.

Finance Minister Blaine Higgs says the province is receiving $110 million less in anticipated tax revenues because of a weakened economy.

Kevin Lacey, the Atlantic Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, tells CHSJ News there's another problem.......The province, over the last five years, has been spending too much money despite recent attempts to rein it in and until that spending is tackled, the deficit will remain a problem.

Higgs concedes expense projections have also grown by $51 million.

Lacey is urging the Alward Government to avoid the temptation of raising taxes which he claims will make a bad situation even worse.

Climate Change Deniers On The Fringe

There hasn't been a whole lot of talk in the past few days after the devastating effects caused by Hurricane Sandy of climate change or global warming being some sort of scientific hoax. The climate change deniers have been silent.

Sustainability consultant Carl Diuvenvorden lives in Upper Kingsclear and has worked on agriculture projects around the world. He tells CHSJ News the climate change deniers have been given a platform in the media under the guise of balance with presenting opposite points of view but are now finding themselves on the fringe because the science is clear.

Diuvenvorden, who was one of the Canadians personally trained by former U-S Vice President Al Gore in "An Inconvenient Truth", predicts you're going to be seeing more extreme weather events taking place.

Common Councillor Wants Action On City Pension Plan

As Common Council gets ready for budget deliberations, Common Councillor Susan Fullerton is worried the Provincial Task force on reforming the city's pension plan will not be reporting back to Council before the end of the year.

In a letter to Council, Fullerton is calling for a committee to be formed with her serving as chair to come up with a Made in Saint John solution that could be compared to the Dutch model from the Provincial Pension Task Force.

Fullerton is also a member of the Pension Board but makes the admission she's completely in the dark as to what the status is and what, if any, progress has been made on changing the pension plan.