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Monday, February 4, 2013

E-Books Becoming More Popular In NB Libraries

Readers are turning increasingly to non-traditional audio and e-books--and new stats from the New Brunswick Public Libraries show those forms are getting a foothold here in NB.

Over 1, 400 e-books and audio books were downloaded between December 26th and 28th this year, more than twice what was borrowed in 2011. Education Minister Danny Soucy says they hope the new formats will encourage New Brunswickers to read more often.

Close to 15,000 e-books and audiobooks are available through the Electronic Library. For more information, contact your local branch.

Parole Hearing For Saint John Man Convicted Of Killing Woman While Impaired

The Saint John man who caused the death of 50 year old Sheila Bayers on the Airport Arterial in March of 2011 when he slammed into her car going the wrong way is up before a parole hearing.

Jordan Sullivan was sentenced to 3 years in prison for impaired driving causing death and has served 8 months. Sue Dale tells CHSJ News the loss of her best friend has been emotionally devastating.

Dale doesn't think 8 months for taking a life is long enough.   The tragedy has prompted her to join Mothers Against Drunk Driving and now is on the board of MADD.

Prominent Saint John Lawyer Being Investigated

An investigation has been launched by the New Brunswick Law Society in the aftermath of prominent Saint John lawyer Rod Gillis's conviction for obstruction of justice which carries a maximum sentence of ten years in prison.

The Law Society's Executive Director Marc Richard tells CHSJ News the investigation is in its early stages and Gillis will be able to practice law in the meantime.

Gillis will be sentenced April 4th with the maximum sentence being 10 years in prison.

The charge was laid in connection with former M-L-A Frank Branch's civil lawsuit involving the North Shore Forest Products Marketing Board.

Businesses Work With Loss Of Penny

You can give a penny, but no longer take a penny.

Today you'll stop receiving pennies when paying with cash. Instead, the change will be rounded up or down to the nearest nickel.

Marcelle Saulnier from NB Liquor says they'll not be changing prices to reflect the change, but rather round up your cash back. She says they're trying to be very open with customers about the change, with signs of the new rounding rules at their counters.

Amounts ending in 1 or 2 cents will go down to the nearest 10, 3 or 4 will round up to 5 cents, 6 or 7 will go down to 5 cents, while 8 and 9 will go up to 10:

1/2 = 0 c.
3/4 = 5 c.
5/6 = 5 c.
8/9 = 10 c.

If you're paying with debit or credit, the price of your item will still be penny specific.

Hard Times Can Lead To Racism

Doors are more open now in Saint John for people of colour than it was 50 years ago, but racism still turns it's ugly head.

That's according to Ralph Thomas, president of PRUDE (Pride of Race, Unity, Dignity through Education) and VP of NB Black History Society. He tells CHSJ news in tough economic times when opportunities are limited, people tend to look at differences and make decisions based on that. 

Thomas grew up in the country in the Willow Grove are by St. Martins, and says people were much more accepting and helped one another. Whereas in the city 50 years ago, black people were excluded from certain buildings and functions.

Thomas doesn't believe racism will ever completely go away, saying people will judge anyone that's different, whether that be race, religion, sexuality, etc. But when racism does come around, PRUDE takes action through education and "nips it in the bud."

February is Black History month, for a list of events around the province, click here.

Truck Overturns In Lepreau

Musquash firefighters using hydraulic extrication tools to cut a man out of his overturned truck on Highway 1 in Lepreau on Sunday afternoon.

Once the vehicle was stabilized the roof was cut off and the man in the truck was taken to hospital by ambulance as a precaution.

Firefighters were on the scene for almost 90 minutes.

Just A Few Power Outages Remain

NB Power almost has everyone in the Rothesay District back on in the aftermath of last week's big wind storm but, as of early this morning, there are still ten outages being reported which affect 28 customers. 

Julie Drummond lives in Upperton and she was still without power late yesterday afternoon while all the people who live around her were back on and wonders if she somehow fell through the cracks.

What's it like being without power for so long? Drummond says all her food is a writeoff but she does have a wood stove to keep the house warm, adding even during the ice storm, the power wasn't off as long.

Car Crashes Into Hydro Pole

One woman taken to hospital after her car crashed into a hydro pole yesterday afternoon along Sandy Point Road. 

The fire department had to use the jaws of life to extricate her from the car but we're told she will recover from her injuries.

Saint John Businesses Urged To Buy Transit Passes

The Saint John Urban Transportation Initiative wants to get more people riding city buses and one way to do that is to lower the cost. 

Project Co-ordinator Sara Stashick tells CHSJ News they want to get the word out to businesses about the opportunity to buy transit passes for their employees in bulk at a discount.

Stashick says this would improve access to public transit for workers who don;t get paid alot but there are only 6 businesses on board thus far but she's hoping for more once the word gets out. 

In order to qualify, businesses need more than 20 employees.

Health Minister Says Spend Smarter To Avoid Cuts

Each person in the province should be able to get world class healthcare considering the government spends 3 billion dollars a year to provide it. 

That's the view of Provincial Health Minister Ted Flemming who says there's a big difference between cutting and spending smarter and that's how you can rein in the year to year increase in healthcare costs.

Flemming says they managed to reduce the individual costs of all those personal computers you see at virtually every desk in every hospital around the province by 450 dollars each by going with one manufacturer and one specification.