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Monday, April 22, 2013

Suspects In Planned Via Passenger Train Attack Arrested In Canada

RCMP say they have arrested two people who were allegedly plotting to attack a Via Rail passenger train.

The suspects were arrested in Toronto and Montreal.

Police named them as Chiheb Esseghaier and Raed Jaser. The investigation was part of a cross-border operation involving Canadian law enforcement agencies, the FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The alleged plotters have reportedly been under surveillance for more than a year.

The arrests are not connected to the Boston Marathon bombings.

Appreciate NB's Natural Beauty On Earth Day

April 22 is Earth Day, on on that occasion and Andrew Holland of the Nature Conservancy of Canada wants to remind New Brunswickers that we live in one of the most unspoiled provinces in Canada.

He tells CHSJ News we get so accustomed to our natural surroundings that we forget to simply pause and reflect on how lucky we are.

Holland Earth Day is a great occasion to do for a walk, play hide and seek with your kids, or simply pause and take a good look at where we live.

Drug Bust In Charlotte County

A St. George man has been arrested after St. George RCMP executed a search warrant.

Yesterday RCMP executed a search warrant at a St. George home and seized marijuana, prescription pills, drug paraphernalia, and money.

A 59-year-old man was arrested and later released on conditions. He is scheduled to appear in St. Stephen Provincial Court at a later date.

Explosion Raises Concerns About Safety Of Proposed Fertilizer Plant

After an explosion at a West Texas fertilizer plant killed at least 14 people and injured more than 200, some are wondering whether the fertilizer production plant Atlantic Potash are talking about building in the McAllister Industrial Park would be safe. 

Common councillor Ray Strowbridge tells CHSJ News it's not only too soon to start worrying that, but that even in the eventuality there was an accident we have a strong enough emergency response team to deal with that.

In addition, Strowbridge says Atlantic Potash will have to fulfill the province's safety requirements, and council will do its due diligence as the project comes closer to being a reality.

Valley Residents Can Now Have Their Say On Deer

The Kennebecasis Valley Regional Deer Committee has started an online survey to get a feel for what people want to see done with the growing population of deer, if anything. 

Hampton Councillor Bob Doucet chairs the Deer Committee and is hoping to get a large response. He tells CHSJ News when this is all said and done, he's hoping the Natural Resources Department will come up with a comprehensive deer management plan.

Doucet says the concerns he has heard from people range from the deer being a nuisance to a danger when they roam on the road and the possibility of catching Lyme Disease from deer ticks which is quite debilitating. 

He concedes the issue is controversial because others in the Valley don't want to see anything done and argue people are infringing on the deer's habitat.


Young Man Charged In Glen Falls Beating Will Be Sentenced Next Week

One of the men who pleaded guilty in a beating which shook up the quiet community of Glen Falls will be sentenced next Thursday.

John Alexander Adams and Robert Hachey, both of them 18,as well as a younger teen have been charged in the February 26th assault. That night police received several calls from the Glen Falls area about a young man wandering around the neighborhood bleeding and confused.  According to testimony from, the victim was beaten with a baseball bat. He's now reportedly in a rehabilitation center after a lengthy stay in hospital.

The sentencing was delayed as the police finish their work on the case. The court heard Adams has written a letter of apology to the victim.

Meet The Candidate Forums Scheduled In Ward 3

One of the candidates running in the Ward 3 byelection to fill a vacant seat on Common Council says he brings a varied background to the table that you don't normally see with your typical run of the mill city councillor.

Graeme Stewart-Robertson had given some thought before last May's municipal election to running for Mayor before deciding against. He did run to be a councillor unsuccessfully and is giving it another shot. 

Stewart Robertson tells CHSJ News he has been involved in all manner of issues in the last decade ranging from poverty reduction to climate change, tourism and urban planning. He promises to bring a more energetic perspective to Council.

Stewart-Robertson is hoping to attract the votes of people who normally don't bother because they're dissatisfied with politics and have tuned out.

There will be a Meet the Candidates Forum tonight at Saint John the Baptist-King Edward School starting at 6:30 with another tomorrow night at the Carleton Community Centre.

Rail Car Leaves Line On West Side

A rail car has derailed on the line behind Moosehead Brewery with runs to the Irving pulp mill. Traffic is not being disrupted.

(Photo Courtesy Of  Brett Stevens)

UNB In A Race To The Bottom Says President of the Assocation of NB Teachers

The symbol of New Brunswick's future could be the call centre. 

That statement coming from president of the Association of New Brunswick Teachers, Miriam Jones, in response to the announcement that U-N-B is making cuts to academic programming. Jones, who teaches at U-N-B Saint John tells CHSJ News the budget cuts threatens UNB's status as a comprehensive university and means the school will graduate fewer teachers, nurses, engineers, lawyers, computer scientists, biologists and psychologists in years to come.

Jones says if we don't have a reputation as a comprehensive university, granting agencies aren't likely to look favourably on applications from people from UNB, meaning the school will get fewer grants and less research will get done. 

She tells us that resources are already stretched too thin on the academic side, and if they get even thinner, UNB would be in danger of not actually being comprehensive enough to call itself a real university, it would be more like a polytechnic or professional school.

Provincial Government Retirees Threaten Legal Action

Provincial government retirees are talking about going to court if the Alward Government tries to unilaterally impose the shared risk pension plan. 

They appear to be universally opposed despite the best efforts of provincial Finance Minister Blaine Higgs to change their minds about the effect this would have on their pensions. 

Higgs maintains if the shared risk model had been in place for the past twenty years, the indexing of their pensions would not have changed.

He also points out provincial taxpayers have had to make special contributions to the provincial pension plan of over 50 million dollars a year.

Lung Association Claims Higher Taxes Don't Result In More Illegal Tobacco Use

Higher tobacco taxes don't necessarily translate into more smokers resorting to illegal cigarettes despite what Imperial Tobacco might say. At least that's the contention of the President and C-E-O of the New Brunswick Lung Association, Barb MacKinnon who has seen the numbers. 

MacKinnon tells CHSJ News the provinces with the higher taxes on smokes have a lower percentage of illegal tobacco use. She believes it's because some of that tax revenue from smoking is used for policing to clamp down on illegal tobacco. 

According to 2008 figures, about 26 per cent of all smokers are buying illegal tobacco.

Proposed Seniors' Complex In Millidgeville Has Detractors

Common Council will receive a proposal tonight for a seniors' development at 700 Millidge Avenue which would be just above University Avenue. 

The proposal would consist of four buildings being constructed in a campus style layout for seniors suffering dementia to those who are still active and mobile. 

Common Council can refer the rezoning applpication to the Planning Advisory Committee or deny it outright, which appears unlikely. 

There have been written objections received by the city which argue the land should be kept in its natural state as an urban reserve so what's left of the wetland isn't destroyed and this will be a test of the councillors' resolve to adhere to the vision of Plan SJ