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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Motorcycle Rapist Moving Into Local Halfway House

A sex offender known as the "motorcycle rapist" being moved to a city halfway house today. 

John O'Brien was convicted of raping eight women in Nova Scotia and was sentenced to 37 years in prison, and now qualifies for statutory release. 

Saint John police deputy chief Bruce Connell tells us he's being housed at a federal halfway house, so while the Saint John police force do keep an eye on anybody on parole, it's not their responsibility to track O'Brien: that's the responsibility of those running the facility on Carleton street. 

A petition against sharing the city with O'Brien has gone up online. To see it, go to:

Federal Government Supports Project To Help Women Become Financially Independent

A three-year project to help marginalized women become financially self-sufficient and secure has received federal backing. 

The feds giving nearly $300, 000 to the Urban Core Support Network, and coordinator Brenda Murphy tells CHSJ News that hearing from local women is a key part of the initiative.

MP Rodney Weston made the announcement, and he tells us that if the information is shared throughout the country, it could benefit other communities who have the same problems we have here in Saint John.

Fire Causes Minimal Damage, Minimal Disruption At Port

Quite a smoke-show last night after some fluff ignited at the American Iron and Metal shredding operation at the port, but Jim Quinn tells CHSJ News that the damage the fire caused was minimal; the flame went up underneath the conveyer belt, melting it.

By the time Quinn got to the site, the fire department had put out the blaze. He tells us there may be a small hiccup in operations, but nothing major.

Another Public Meeting On E-I Changes And Protest

There's still alot of uncertainty and concern about what effect the changes to Employment Insurance will bring about. That's why a meeting on E-I will be held at the Sussex Legion tomorrow night starting at 7.

It's being organised by Dennis Belliveau who will chair the meeting. Belliveau is from Blacks Harbour and tells CHSJ News fishermen won't be the only people who could be affected because if you live in a small town and get laid off, there aren't that many jobs going around.

Belliveau doesn't know if Fundy Royal M-P Rob Moore, who has been invited, will be on hand.   Meantime, a protest against the reforms will be held Friday afternoon at the King Street office of Saint John M-P Rodney Weston. Schoolbus drivers in the Saint John area, many of whom are women, are especially upset.

Sheriff Gives Advice To A City Business Audience

BellAliant's CEO in Atlantic Canada extending her wisdom to a business audience at the first meeting in Canadian Women in Communication's CEO Breakfast Series in Saint John.

Karen Sheriff tells CHSJ News that when she mentors young people she tells them not to worry about the next change or promotion but focus on what they are doing and do it well.

She says one mistake that young people make is moving up or changing jobs quickly.

Sheriff says new stats show the younger generation working today will not only change jobs but careers 3-5 times in their lifetime.

Assault Victim Identified

The 43 year old man who suffered serious injuries in a confrontation at A-J's Lounge on Manawagonish Road Easter Monday has been identified as Scott Crawford.

He remains at the Regional Hospital in serious condition.

A 37 year old man was arrested by City Police and is tentatively scheduled to be formally charged in court May 8th at which time his name will be released.

Regional Hospital Responds To Dilution Of Chemo Medication

Since March of last year, the Regional Hospital says 186 of its patients have received lower than intended doses of a chemotherapy drug used to treat certain cancers.

The Regional Hospital is in the midst of contacting those patients who are being advised to get in touch with their oncologists to guage the impact.

Chief of Staff Dr. John Dornan doesn't believe getting less of the medication has had an adverse effect on them battling their disease but concedes he just doesn't know for sure. He hasn't heard of any problems thus far and characterises the risk as low. The dilution ranges from 3 to 20 per cent.

The under dosage came to light just last Thursday and the hospital now has a new supplier.

City Police Looking For Convicted Robber

Police are looking for a man currently on the lam from a Saint John halfway house.

Brady Richard Polchies is serving a federal sentence of more than 4 years for robbery and more.

He was last seen wearing jeans and light brown boots and he often wears a ball cap with a white and blue pattern jacket with a hood.

He is 6 foot 1, 199 pounds with black hair and brown eyes with numerous tatoos on his arms, hands and face.

Police think he could be in the Kingsclear First Nation area as he has family there but he also has ties to Oromocto, Fredericton and Woodstock.

When he took off before he was caught here so he could be in the city.

If you have seen him, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or click here

Deer Survey To Be Released

Whether you think they're majestic creatures or just plain pests, town officials will gauge popular opinion on deer in the valley by uploading a survey onto the Quispamsis town website. 

Quispamsis mayor Murray Driscoll tells CHSJ News that when the results come in, they'll be shared with the Department of Natural Resources. The survey goes up on April 22nd and will be posted until May 31st. Driscoll tells us it will ultimately help in creating a deer management plan.

A Change At The Top At Irving Oil

Irving Oil will be getting a new company President and C-E-O on April 22nd. 

Mike Ashar is retiring on April 19th after five years. His successor is Paul Browning who will be taking over April 22nd. 

Browning comes to Saint John from General Electric in New York where he has been working since 2011 as President and C-E-O of its thermal products division. He has also worked at Caterpillar

Want To Flip Some Historic Homes? Here's Your Chance

Folks interested in flipping some colourful, albeit damaged, homes dating back to 1860 could soon have their chance. Common Council has issued a request for proposals to develop the so-called Jellybean Houses on Wellington Row, which were purchased by the precious council back when Peel Plaza was just a gleam the previous council's eye.

Councillor Donna Reardon tells CHSJ News the former synagogue on the corner of Wellington Row also needs a developer, although that space may prove more challenging to renovate given the unique demands of its architecture. In November 2012, a Toronto-area developer announced his intentions to convert another historic church, The Gothic Arches, into condos.

Councillor Bill Farren tells CHSJ News the proximity to the police station might not be a selling point for some, but the area is also excellent for street-level retail.

The city bought the buildings, which date back to before the Great Fire of 1877, just in case they could be included in a larger project down the line; however, further expansion now looks unlikely given the much-publicized outcry over cost overruns at the Justice Complex.

Port Hit By Serious Fire

A scary situation early last night at the port on the west side as fire crews were called to the American Iron and Metal shredding operation. 

Platoon Chief Joe Armstrong says fire had to be put out in a storage building with a large conveyer system inside and a couple of rail cars but was prevented from spreading.

Heavy smoke and flames could be seen. The blaze broke out around 7 and firefighters didn't leave until 10:00. 

No one was injured as six employees managed to get out of the building safely.

There's no word on how the fire started but it's not believed to be suspicious.