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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Saint John Wears Red Ribbon For World AIDS Day

Today marks the 24th annual World AIDS Day, a day marked around the globe for people to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with the chronic disease and to commemorate people who died.

Julie Dingwell is the executive director at AIDS Saint John, and she tells CHSJ news today is a chance to pause and reflect on how we're dealing with the epidemic. She says there's still a lot of discrimination in Saint John and around the world towards people with HIV. She says it's that discrimination that sometimes discourages people from getting testing out of fear of being shunned. 

Dingwell says AIDS is no longer a death sentence here in Canada, but a chronic manageable condition. She stresses it's still a global pandemic, and our government needs to step up. Dingwell says just recently parliament voted down bill C-398 which would've let Canadian drug manufactures send medicine to Africa to help fight HIV. Only 2 batches of medicine have been sent to one country since 2008, she says.

Early Morning Fire On Saint Andrews Street

Saint John Fire Department putting out a fire at a vacant building at 16 Saint Andrews street in uptown.

Platoon Chief Eric Garland tells CHSJ news they received the call just before 6 am. He says the fire was on the second floor and caused extensive damage to the roof and right side of the house. Garland says it took 45 minutes to get the fire under control and the building suffered considerable damage.

Garland says the building appeared to be under renovations.

Sussex Tennis Court & Trails Getting An Upgrade

The tennis centre and trails in Sussex getting a big boost.

Fundy Royal MP Rob Moore announcing $30,000 from the government will be put into updating the rec facilities.

The updates mean washrooms in the tennis centre and signage for walking trails. The signs will be location specific, meaning they'll include GPS coordinates which will help locate people faster in an emergency.

The funds are part of the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund which helps projects that look to improve existing community infrastructure.

Uptown Gets Sweet With Gingerbread Houses

The Butterfly Shoppe
Here's a trail that's sweeter than Harbour Passage.

The Gingerbread Trail is a new fundraiser in Saint John, which will see 21 businesses across uptown build their own gingerbread house to be displayed and raffled off before Christmas. All proceeds from the fundraiser go straight to kids at The Joshua Group and non-profit group Gala Ballet Productions.

Gala Ballet board member Darlene Baker tells CHSJ news they encourage the shop owners to make the houses from scratch and use the "Land of Sweets" theme from their upcoming production of The Nutcracker.

She says the business are really excited about creating the sweet houses, and there's a prize for the best one. The Nutcracker is playing at the Imperial Theatre December 8th & 9th.

Tickets are $2 each or 3 for $5, with the draw happening on December 22nd.

To see a map of the trail, click here.