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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

2 Men Charged With Drug Trafficking

Two men convicted drug trafficking being sentenced in court.

46 year old Hung Tan Nguyen of Fredericton will serve 8 years in prison on eight counts of trafficking marijuana.

50 year old Kevin Karl Chase of Bull Creek, near Woodstock, was sentenced to 8 months in jail on one count of trafficking marijuana.

Both men are prohibited from owning a firearm, weapon, or ammunition for a period of 10 years.

The two were among 7 people arrested in August last year as part of a two-year drug investigation in the Fredericton area.

Energy Drinks Could Be Deadly, Says Health Critic

Energy drinks are a common pick me up these days, especially among teenagers and shift-workers but the Opposition Health Critic wants to see the Alward government review how the caffeine loaded beverages are marketed to people under 19.

Liberal M-L-A Donald Arsenault tells CHSJ News it's a safety issue.

He says if you believe in reducing future health care costs and in the safety and protection of young people then this is an issue that should be important.

Arsenault points to the number of deaths that have been linked to energy drinks as a reason to review the legislation.

Councillor Suggesting 3 Areas To Kick Start Plan SJ

Common Councillor Donnie Snook wants to get the ball rolling with Plan SJ in the Old North End, Lower South End and Waterloo Village.

The Ward 3 Councillor tells CHSJ news he'd like to see restoration of old buildings, roads fixed, increased public safety,
a new waste management program and work be done with community groups to improve the area.

Snook believes for Plan SJ to get started, we need to point out what specific areas need the most work.

Mayor To Give State Of The City Address Tonight

Mayor Mel Norton will be giving Saint John its first-ever State of the City Address tonight at the Trade and Convention Center.

It's a presentation on where we are currently as a municipality, and where we're heading in 2013. It will hosted by the Board of Trade and the cost is $35 for non-members, $25 for members.

The State of the City Address kicks off at 5pm.

Police Arrest Man In Fredericton Relating To NS Confinement Case

A 63-year-old man has been arrested in the investigation into the alleged sexual assault and confinement of a 16-year-old boy in Upper Chelsea, Nova Scotia. 

The Nova Scotia man was arrested Monday evening in Fredericton. The accused was without handcuffs when he was taken into the justice centre in Bridgewater through a public entrance.

 John MacKean of Lower Sackville is facing a charge of sexual assault and a prostitution-related charge and is due back in court on Thursday.

47 year old David James Leblanc has already been charged with seven offenses in the case, including sexual assault and forcible confinement.

Police launched an investigation in September after a woman in Upper Chelsea reported that a barefoot teen who was chained at the wrists and ankles, showed up at her doorstep seeking help.

Building Being Demolished On Union Street

You may have noticed the demolition work going on near the corner of Union and Charlotte Streets.

An old building is being taken down carefully as it sits between two structures.

CHSJ News has learned the property owners were issued a demolition permit.

The City is telling us the work is not in a heritage area and not a City project.

Missing Artwork Found Undamaged On Church Steps

The artwork that was stolen from a home in St. Andrews over the weekend has been found.

Around 9 this morning RCMP received a call from volunteers at St. John the Baptist Anglican chapel in Chamcook, just outside of St. Andrews. The volunteers found 11 pieces of the stolen art, including the portrait "Angel" by Herzl Kashetsky, on the steps leading to one of the entrances to the chapel.

None of the artwork was damaged.

Mayor Stressing Co-Operation When It Comes To More Regionalisation

Mayor Mel Norton vows Saint John will not be the gorilla in the room as more regionalisation of local government is taking shape with meetings of the interim boards of the Regional Service Commissions.

One such meeting being held today at City Hall to talk about a draft budget for the commission covering the Saint John region. 

Norton tells CHSJ News he doesn't see any problem with all the communities in the Saint John area working together to make the region stronger because the other Mayors realize the city has to be doing well for the region, as a whole, to do well.

The Mayor acknowledges Saint John will have a lot of influence on what's decided because of its population which will affect the outcome of votes.

Conflict At Council Over Filling 5 City Positions

Some Common Councillors don't see eye to eye on hiring what are considered 5 key positions in the city.

The positions vacant are in human resources, communications, Commissioner of Water and Commissioner of Growth and Development.

Deputy Mayor Shelley Rinehart believes if we're going to grow our community we'll need the manpower. Common Councillor Donnie Snook strongly disagrees, saying we shouldn't add to staff unless it's for front line services.

Councillor John Mackenzie doesn't believe 5 positions is too much and says the jobs need to be filled. West Side Councillor Bill Farren disagrees, saying that every year before budget he's receives a list of positions that have to be filled and is fed up with it. He says if they're asking for Saint Johnners to do more with less, so should city staff.

Mayor Mel Norton supports the hirings and says it's filling positions that are already in place, not adding new ones.

Saint John Firefighter Remembered

Dale Clinton is being remembered by family, friends and Mayor Mel Norton as a dedicated firefighter who pursued his work with passion. 

The 39 year old Saint John firefighter passed away in Ottawa last week after an early morning incident at a construction site. The Mayor offered words of sympathy before Common Council for a man described as dedicated and passionate about his work.

Clinton joined the Saint John Fire Department in 1999. His brother, Chris, is also a firefighter.

Tap Water Leaves A Bad Taste In Taxpayers Mouths In More Ways Than One

Bad tasting tap water is as much of a cliche in Saint John as the potholes.

And now, Common Council is hearing the time has likely come to increase water rates for taxpayers in order to pay for the upgrades we need. 

The Commissioner of Environmental Services Bill Edwards is recommending Common Council raise the water rates by 7.4% to cover the cost of updating the infrastructure.

Councillor at Large Shirley McAlary and others agree, saying it makes sense to increase the rates gradually rather than giving rate payers a big price shock all at once down the line.

The proposed rate increase works out to about $74 per year, per household, and it could go up as soon as 2013. 

Council is also looking at using more meters which would let you pay only for what you use.