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Friday, May 10, 2013

Recent Forest Fires Spark Air Quality Advisory

Provincial public health officials issuing a precautionary smoke advisory because of the high number of forest fires.

Dr. Denis Allard is warning residents to take precautions when heavy smoke affects air quality.

He suggests babies, kids, pregnant women, older adults, smokers and those with chronic heart and lung disease stay indoors with the windows closed to reduce their exposure to the air outdoors.

People experiencing difficulty breathing or chest pain should consult their physician.

Silent Witness Project Includes Alice Leadlay

A 24th life size red silhouette now presents 80 year old Alice Leadlay--another provincial woman to die at the hands of her partner.

A ceremony acknowledging Alice and the other women represented by the Silent Witness project in Quispamis today.

Alice's son David Leadlay tells CHSJ News he's flattered on her behalf.

He says with her silhouette she is remembered more as a person not lost as a statistic.

KV Outreach worked with the Leadlay family and the Rothesay Regional Police to have Alice Leadlay included in the Silent Witness project.

A reception served strawberry shortcake---Alice's favourite dessert.

Man Pleads Guilty In Drunken Machete Attack

A man accused of threatening his partner with a machete in a grocery store parking lot has pleaded guilty to assault and a weapons charge. 

51 year old Arnold James Lawrence Cote was arrested on April 23rd after a drunken confrontation with his girlfriend.

The victim was driving Cote to the liquor store when he began waving the machete around and hitting her with the back side of the blade. When they stopped in the parking lot, she ran up to another woman and asked for help---as it turned out, she was the wife of a senior-ranking Rothesay Police official.

Cote will be back in court of June 7th.

Work Now Underway On Bandstand

Work has begun to refurbish the bandstand in King Square thanks to 100 thousand dollars from an anonymous donor.

Plans call for sandblasting and repainting along with the installation of a new granite fountain.

Unemployment Rate Rises Locally

The economy managed to generate 12 thousand 500 new jobs in April helping to offset some of the massive job losses in March.

The small pickup kept the nationwide unemployment rate steady at 7.2 per cent.

It was a different story locally with the unemployment rate rising in Saint John from 9.1 in March to 9.2 per cent. The jobless rate provincewide also going up from 10.5 to 10.9 per cent.

Economists say all of April's gains came in the form of new employees, rather than self-employment and that's a good sign.

They also note there was an increase of about 36 thousand fulltime jobs while parttime employment fell by 23,600.

Teens Give Award To Chief

Teens often get an undeserved bad rap--but Dante Adams and Tristan Simpson are proving that stereotype wrong. 

The pair presented a plaque to the Saint John Police Force to show their appreciation for the work the police do in the community. 

Adams tells CHSJ News they wanted to speak up for those who don't have a voice, including younger children who have been rescued from dangerous or abusive situations.

Adams and Simpson presented an award they created called The Voice of the Children to Police Chief Bill Reid at the latest meeting of police commission.

Liberals Demand Carr's Resignation Over Information Leak

After the test score of a 17 year old student at Oromocto High School was leaked by the Department of Education, the Opposition Liberals are calling for Education Minister Jody Carr to resign. 

Education Critic Chris Collins tells CHSJ News Carr's office abused its power, likening the snafu to a Health Minister using his or her position to find out the medical test results of a patient.

The student in question had received media attention due to questions raised over whether she should write the English Language Proficiency Exam. The Liberals are asking the premier to intervene and relieve Carr of his duties.

Island View School Wins $20K For Outdoor Classroom

After 6 weeks of voting, Island View School has won a $20,000 outdoor classroom in the Majesta Trees of Knowledge contest.

The west side school gets the grand prize money, expert consultation from Tree Canada to help bring their classroom to life and outdoor learning curriculum support from Focus on Forests.

The new Island View School outdoor learning space will open in October and feature a covered amphitheatre-like classroom, learning pods to facilitate smaller group learning and a new structure to help direct rain into the school’s water garden.

After slipping to 2nd spot in the voting, the school rallied back to 1st place with community support before voting closed last month.

Pay Freeze For M-L-A's

It looks like M-L-A's and provincial cabinet ministers will have their pay frozen for another year under amendments introduced in the Legislature.

Government house leader Paul Robichaud says this will freeze the wages of M-L-A's and cabinet ministers for the fourth year in a row.  

Robichaud says the last time they got a raise was back in 2008.

Power Outages In Saint John Area

Power outages being reported this morning by NB Power in Qusipamsis and the Kingston Peninsula including MacDonald Consolidated School which will be closed for the day. 

More than 730 users are affected. It's believed all the power will be back on by 10:00 but most people will have theirs restored sooner than that.

Growing The Economy Isn't About Oil, Says Academic

Saint John needs jobs--but at least one prominent academic would disagree with Mayor Mel Norton that a West-East oil pipeline is the way to get them. 

Dr Sarah White was invited to give a lecture hosted by Sustainable Saint John about
the policy of building a greener future; how to add value to local economies through green technology, and efficiencies in energy, waste, and water management.

White tells CHSJ News it's foolish to repeat the same mistakes but expect different results.
She says Europe has moved toward a greener model and seen economic growth as a result, and we need to look at what's actually working everywhere else  instead of to our carbon-centric past.

The City Of Saint John Picks Up Two Awards For Energy Efficiency

At the 5th annual Premier's Energy Awards, the City has two winners.

The City's Energy Manager Samir Yammine has won the Energy Efficiency Champion Award with his work since 2011 saving the City an estimated 1.8 million dollars every year.

Yammine tells CHSJ News he began working in the city's energy department nearly 15 years ago.

He says when they started they were few programs like it so it was a bit of a struggle in the beginning.

The other winner is the new Police headquarters at Peel Plaza for new Commercial Construction.