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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Women's Empowerment Program Attracts National Attention

A Saint John-based leadership program for women is sharing its success story with representatives from Toronto and Winnipeg. 

Power Up! is a program for low-income women in the city's priority neighborhoods. Janet McLauglin joined five years ago, at the start, and says it creates a support system for women. 

McLaughlin says each woman that goes through the program, leaves with a new group of friends. She says she knows many women from Power Up! who still keep in contact with each other.

Over the next few months, groups from the three cities will assess each others' programs to find a best practice model to share with other women's groups across Canada.

Common Council Supports Increasing Regional Policing

Some of the outlying communities are going to have strong feelings about this one...... Saint John common council's unanimously supporting the idea for increased regional policing. 

Common Councillor Greg Norton tells CHSJ News it's throwing away money to duplicate services that already exist.

He says we have a number of police forces that have duplication with management and various units so Norton thinks we need to do some work to see where we can shave some of that off.

Norton acknowledges while the decision to change policing models is up to the Regional Services Commission, having a major player like Saint John on side might be an incentive to get the ball rolling.

Black River Road Robber Gets Double Recomended Sentence

A 33 year old Saint John man got more than he bargained for for his part in a major break-in at a home on Old Black River Road. Ashley James Charlton pleading guilty this afternoon to breaking and entering, theft, and breaching a court over.

Police originally received the call back in November of 2012 from a woman who had left shortly after 7am and returned around 4pm to find her home destroyed. Everything from jewelry, family photos, food, the oven, light fixtures, cameras, linens and Christmas gifts had been stolen and the place trashed. The victim, a widowed single mother of a special needs child, stated in a victim impact statement the sense of violation was even worse than the loss of $15,000 dollars worth of items--none of which were ever recovered.

While the crown recommended 6 months in jail, Judge Henrink Tonning called that "insignificant" and gave Charlton double that, saying given the length of his record a year was the least he deserved.

Mispec Park Work Should Be Complete Soon

Once damaged by storms and neglect, Mispec Park has gotten a new lease on life.

Councillor at Large Shirley McAlary explains Canaport LNG has stepped up to do all the maintenance work on the park including cutting the grass, maintaining the trails, and installing new washrooms and changing rooms...and the city is also doing its bit.

McAlary says the city's restoration work should be finished by next week and the contractor will begin work on the parking lot. 

McAlary gave credit to her fellow councillors David Merrithew and Ray Strowbridge for their efforts to see the beach fixed up.

It's expected there will be a grand re-opening celebration of the refurbished park next month.

More Development Proposed in Quispamsis

Quispamsis might be getting more development on its side of Millenium Drive as Rothesay ponders whether its rules and regulations are too restrictive.

Avant Garde Construction, which is refurbishing the bandstand in King Square, is proposing a single story 86 hundred square foot building called Hazelton Place. There would be room for three offices with 30 to 40 employees when fully occupied. One of the offices will be a law firm.  

Avant Garde would like construction to start next month but there will have to be a final review by the town's Planning Advisory Committee before final approval at Council.

UPDATE: Motorcyclist In Intensive Care After Crack-Up With Deer

A 38 year old man on a motorcycle suffering serious head injuries after a crash this morning with a deer.

It happened on Highway 1 eastbound just past the Somserset Street exit just before 9am.

The man remains in intensive care in hospital.

Traffic was reduced in the area for a few hours with police on the scene.     The deer was killed in the collision.

Saint John Tech Support Centre Purchased

California based CenterBeam with its tech support centre in Saint John which has 140 employees has been bought by Earth Link, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. 

CenterBeam's C-E-O Kevin Francis, who comes from Maritimes, is calling the deal a win-win for customers and employees. 

He believes more people will be hired in Saint John.

Street Vendors Will Still Need To Feed The Meter

You can have your vendor truck on city-approved sites this summer; however, you'd better be willing to pay up for parking. While the specifics are still being worked out by city staff, food and craft vendors will still need to feed the meter (or pay-and-display) while they hawk their wares. If there's a time limit for parking, the vendor will have to move in accordance with the posted limits.

Building Inspector Amy Poffenroth says it's simply working within the existing by-laws. 

But Common Councillor Ray Strowbridge says that's not very business friendly. He says business owners shouldn't be expected to dig for change for the meter, or tell their customers to follow them while they move the truck.

Thirteen sidewalk vendor sites have also been approved. At the sidewalk sites, there is a prohibition against selling used goods like clothing and toys. At parking spaces, on the other hand, there are no restrictions on what vendors can sell. 

Poffenroth referred to this year as a "trial run," saying by next summer it's possible the by-laws will change to allow for dedicated vendor spaces.