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Monday, January 7, 2013

A Popular Place To Slide Gets A Parking Ban

A popular place to go sliding is getting hit with a parking ban.

The Saint John Airport is enforcing a new parking ban at the Airport Service Road at the north-western part of the airport grounds.

President and CEO of the Saint John Airport David Allen says in a release it's to ensure emergency vehicles can make it through the area in a timely fashion.

Fencing has already started to be put up today, and signage about the parking ban will be posted. The airport warns any cars that now park on the road will be towed.

Teenage Girl In Critical Condition After Getting Hit By Car

A 15-year-old girl is in critical condition at the Saint John Regional Hospital, after she was struck by a car on Route 105 in Douglas, just north of Fredericton.

RCMP say the Fredericton teen was walking eastbound around 9:30 Saturday night when she was hit by a car heading in the same direction. She was originally taken to the Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital before being transferred to Saint John.

The driver was unhurt. RCMP are asking anyone who may have information which help the investigation to contact the Keswick RCMP at 506-357-4300.

Court Back To Normal After Peel Plaza Damage

Court proceedings are back to normal today, but at the old sites at City Hall, Sydney and Charlotte streets.

Jim McAvity, regional director of the Crown prosecutors' office in Saint John, says in an email court services have worked non-stop moving into Peel Plaza.

McAvity says there's been minimal disruptions to scheduled proceedings. The move comes after water damaged the new Saint John Law Courts building at Peel Plaza last week, delaying the first court sessions scheduled for last Wednesday.

Now word yet on when the building will reopen.

4 LSD's Vote Today On RVCC Support

Residents of four local service districts are voting today are whether or not they want to keep supporting the River Valley Community Centre with their tax

The Centre is paid off so a new tax rate would be much lower but if it's voted down, anyone using the facility would be subject to much higher user fees.

Last month, Grand Bay-Westfield Mayor Grace Losier told CHSJ News says even if you're not directly using the arena, the whole community benefits by having this kind of facility. 

Some residents have said they spent enough time supporting the centre with their tax dollars and they would like to use it for something else.

Two of the LSD's will be voting on the 15th because poor weather postponed their info sessions.
Ivan Corbett of Local Government in Hampton tells us complete voting results will be released on January 16th.

Saint John Man Dies In NS Collision

A man from Saint John has died after a crash in Nova Scotia over the weekend.

41-year-old Matthew Christian Gould was a passenger in a pickup truck when the 17-year-old woman who was driving lost control of the truck.

RCMP Cpl Scott MacRae tells CHSJ news snow and ice pellets created poor road conditions. He says the driver was sent to hospital, but is unsure if she's from Nova Scotia or New Brunswick.

The collision occurred around 3:27 pm on Highway 7 at Bear Hill Road near Musquodoboit Harbour on Saturday.

Man Charged With Stabbing Under House Arrest

A 35-year-old Saint Johnner charged with a south end stabbing early on New Year's Day will be confined to his home until his next court date on February 6th.

Jonathan Ferguson is not allowed to contact the victim and must be on good behavior until he reappears in court to elect how he'll be tried.

The stabbing sent a man in his twenties to hospital.

Premier Mum On Possible Tax Increases

Premier Alward says he's concerned about a drop in provincial revenues - but - says it's too early to say if there will be tax increases in this Spring's budget.

Common Council To Hear Controversial Rezoning

Alot of objections will be voiced tonight at Common Council about rezoning applications that would change the designation of 3 properties along Bayside Drive from Family Suburban Residential to Pits and Quarries. 

A number of people who live in Red Head are expressing concerns about the noise, damage to roads, dust in the air and the effects of blasting. 

Despite that, City Staff are going along with the Planning Advisory Committee and recommending approval with several conditions attached, saying the rezonings are justifiable under Plan SJ.

City Budget Cuts Fire Service But Boosts Saint John Transit

The proposed 2013 city budget comes up tonight at Common Council for approval. 

It includes a 560 thousand dollar cut in funding from what was requested by the fire department. How that will affect staffing will be up to Fire Chief Kevin Clifford.

Saint John Transit will be getting more money to make improvements in morning and evening bus service as well as the route to the university and Regional Hospital. 

Now that millions of dollars have been freed up with reduced payments to the pension plan, Mayor Mel Norton tells CHSJ News more funding is available for roads, recreation and economic development.

195 thousand additional dollars will be spent to double the enforcement programme in getting rid of dangerous buildings in the city. Common Council is also being advised by city staff to examine curbside recycling instead of bringing back spring cleanup at an annual cost of 380 thousand dollars.

The city expects to get from 350 to 400 thousand dollars less in funding from the province in 2014 and 2015.

Catastrophic Drug Coverage Could Be Further Improved

There's some optimism the Alward Government's catastrophic drug plan will be made better, perhaps when the new provincial budget is unveiled in March. 

That's the hope of Provincial NDP Leader Dominic Cardy, who tells CHSJ News this is a matter of good economics.

Cardy says he knows someone who has to remain on social assistance because her drugs cost as much as $7000 a month so she can't afford to return to work unless there's adequate coverage at her place of employment.

Just How Big Is Tourism In NB?

Tourism is huge in New Brunswick. But how huge? 

Tourism Minister Trevor Holder tells CHSJ News it's now a one billion dollar industry and ther focus will be on what he calls the four pillars. The Bay of Fundy, the Acadian culture, the river system and the warmest salt water beaches north of Virginia.

The Conference Board of Canada expects tourism in the province will have gone up by 3 per cent this year once all the numbers have been crunched.

City To Build New Park In Unexpected Location

The city will be getting a new park this year, but not where you might think. The Port plans to build a public park on the rooftop of its new cruise ship building that opened up last year along Water Street. 

Port President and C-E-O Jim Quinn tells CHSJ News it's one of the features of the new building he's proudest of.

Quinn says when the plans were unveiled at a cruise industry get together in Florida, it captured a lot of attention because the only other place where something like this has been built is in Miami itself.

City's Homeless Need Warm Blankets

With the temperatures dropping past 20 below, can you imagine being stuck on the streets without even a warm blanket?

Fortunately for the city's less fortunate, a blanket drive called Blankets for Hope is looking to change that situation for Saint Johners who have fallen on hard times. 

Organizer Tammy Robichaud tells CHSJ News her fiance used to be homeless  which has led them to help out others. She says while it might seem like a basic necessity for those living comfortably, a warm blanket can be a matter of life and death if you're on the streets.

You can drop off blankets at Downey Ford Lincoln on Consumer Drive and Brett Chevrolet Cadillac on Rothesay Avenue until January 31. They will be given out to people in need next month.