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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Thousands Of Dead Birds At Canaport LNG

Workers at Canaport LNG were met with a grim scene over the weekend as 7,500 birds--some of them possibly listed as endangered--were found dead near the gas plant.

 Research head of zoology at the New Brunswick Museum Donald McAlpine tells CHSJ News the birds were attracted to the large flame at the plant in the foggy weather, very much like moths are attracted to flames.

Canaport has been working to reduce flaring, and McAlpine called the event extremely unusual. He did say, however, that could have been predicted with the large amounts of birds migrating at this time of year and also the low cloud ceiling. 

The flares are a way to burn off excess gas.

VIDEO: Medals for Local Korean War Vets

38 Korean War vets from this province receiving medals of peace today for service in Korea.

9 of those honoured in a service at Ridgewood veterans hospital.

Another service for 29 recipients is taking place at  Branch 69 legion.

MP Rodney Weston was on hand along with MLA Dorothy Shephard.

Ambassador Cho Hee-Yong presenting the medals to the recipients today.

Tempers Flare At Pension Meeting

Retirees came out in droves this morning to hear about the shared risk pension plan the Alward government is proposing to replace a defined benefits model. Hundreds showing up to the New Brunswick Pension Coalition's information meeting at the qplex. 

Spokesperson Clifford Kennedy says the polls filled out at the meeting will be used to help the coalition figure out what they should do next--whether they go legal, or attempt to get into a discussion process with government.

Liberal Leader Brian Gallant addressed the crowd, showing his support for the Pension Coalition. Gallant suggesting a judicial review to find out if switching to that model from a defined benefits model is legal.

Quispamsis was the first stop on a tour of the region. Kennedy he polls filled out at the meeting will be used to help the coalition figure out what they should do next.

Former mayor and teacher Ivan Court getting up and telling the room it's time to get rid of this government.

UPDATED: Fire Knocked Down At City Hall

Fire crews are reporting a small fire on the roof of City Hall is now extinguished. Folks are now being allowed to move freely through the pedway and to return to City Hall.

Some crews remain on scene to clean up equipment.

No cause of the fire has been determined yet.

UPDATE: Platoon Chief Roy Byers of the City Fire Department tells CHSJ News the blaze caused some smoke damage to the building. Fire crews ventilating the elevator shaft at City Hall after roof fire, however, the elevators are running.

Byers tells us there are no reported injuries from the fire.

BREAKING: City Hall Evacuated Due To Fire On Roof

Fire crews have responded to a report of smoke in the elevator shaft at City Hall around level 4. That call came in shortly after 2pm and City Hall was evacuated. At least 5 fire trucks were on scene.

Crews are working underneath the roof to extinguish a fire in the roof area where they've been met with some heavy smoke. There's roofing work being done on the building but it's unknown whether the work is related to the fire.

Saint John Airport Delivers Sobering Message

Saint John Airport needs alot of help to compete with other airports in the region. That message delivered to the Fundy Regional Services Commission which was told the airport is bleeding 150 thousand passengers a year to other airports. 

Discussions are underway with U.S. Airways about a direct flight from Saint John to J-F-K Airport in New York. The Fundy Regional Services Commission was also told talks will be held with Jet Blue as well. 

The Commission has also been told the runway will have to be extended by 3 thousand feet which could cost something like 30 million dollars. Larry Shepherd, President of Mintage Financial Corporation which represents the local airport, says they lost out on a major European cargo operator because the runway is too short. 

The Commission is being asked for 600 thousand dollars over four years so the airport can better market itself to potential passengers.

Some Changes As Hunters Gear Up For Moose Season

Moose season runs from next Thursday until Saturday--and with over 4600 licenses being given out this year, the Department of Natural Resources has set up a number of new registration stations so that hunters can get their moose registered quickly.

The new private moose registration stations are in Neguac, Saint-Paul, Tay Creek, McAdam, Saint- LĂ©onard and Edmundston. Moose can also be registered at 17 department offices throughout the province. Time is of the essence to get moose to a butcher shop after they are shot for safety reasons and it's hoped the new stations will cut the wait time. 

A change in the moose hunting rules is also making it possible for a previously chosen hunter to be issued a moose licence in the event of the death of the primary licence holder before  moose season. The change will come into effect in time for this fall's hunt.

Saint John Energy Increasing Rates On October 1

The mercury's dropping--and your power bill's going to be going up as of October 1.

Saint John Energy wants all their customers to be aware of a 2% increase in energy rates as of next month.  It marks an end to a 40-month rate freeze in the province.

The energy rates in Saint John are still pretty low, though....on average, residential rates with Saint John Energy are are 10% lower and commercial rates are 4% lower than others in the province. The increase will tack about $2.74 into the monthly bill of most residential customers.

Farren: Taxpayer Complaints Still Not Being Addressed

Councillor Bill Farren has been left scratching his head after he couldn't get any support for a request that the city manager look into better ways of addressing citizen complaints.

Farren tells CHSJ News he's heard from residents having problems with things like flooding and erosion and they feel the city has turned its back on them. Further, he hads the people are the ones footing the bill and he doesn't want anyone to have the impression the city isn't listening to them. 

He says he'll make the motion more specific and bring it to common council again in a few weeks.

More Tickets To Go On Sale To See Best Skaters In The World

Single event tickets for the 2013 Skate Canada International in Saint John go on sale this Friday morning at 10. 

The event will take place at the Harbour Station from October 25th through 27th.

Single event ticket prices range from $15 - $55, plus surcharges. 

Family 4-Packs, which includes four tickets, four hotdogs, four fries and four drinks for $95 to $200, plus surcharges are also on offer. 

All-event ticket packages are still available for $100 - $170, plus applicable surcharges.

Police Release Images From Child Abuse Video To Track Down Suspect

The New Brunswick RCMP's Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) Unit are turning to social media to track down a man wanted in an investigation into a sexual assault against a child and the production of child pornography.

The unit has released picture captured from a video in which a man is abusing a girl approximately 3 years old. The video first appeared on the Internet in 2005, and since then police agencies across North America have attempted to identify the man and victim. The video is thought to have been made somewhere in North America and  the girl is likely between 10 and 12 years of age today. 

 The man is described as Caucasian, approximately 180 to 200 pounds, with brown hair. He has a distinctive dark circular mark on his right forearm and a ring on his left hand.

The video came to the attention of the New Brunswick RCMP during an unrelated investigation.

Tree Species Showcased At New Arboretum

It's a rare chance to see the region's diverse tree species all in one place.

The town of Rothesay, in partnership with TD Green Streets, is opening the area's first native tree arboretum at 11am today at 401 Dolan Road, just off the arterial next to the ball field. 

It includes 32 types of commercial tree species native to the Acadian Forest, and another 28 trees and shrubs that are native to Canada.

The arboretum is intended as an educational opportunity for students and locals. For more information click here

Traffic Tieups Galore

Emergency crews responding before 8 this morning a short time ago to a collision between a car and motorcycle on Grandview Avenue by the Irving Oil refinery and, after that, there was a three vehicle collision westbound on Highway 1 by the Somerset Street exit.

Also, paving will be taking place along McAllister Drive for the rest of the week and traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction. Paving will also be taking place over the next couple of days along Charlotte Street from King Square South and the traffic flow will be disrupted.

Local Korean Vets To Be Honoured

The South Korean Ambassador to Canada will be in town later today to honour 29 veterans of the Korean War. 

They will be presented with Ambassador of Peace medals to mark the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean War. 

There will be a ceremony at Legion Branch 69 on the west side at 4:00 for those veterans who can get out and about. Before that takes place, there will be a private ceremony at Ridgewood for the veterans who can't make it to the Legion.

10 Year Old Raises Awareness For Childhood Cancer Fundraiser

Ten year old Isaac Larson has been through more than any kid his age should ever have to experience.

After being diagnosed with a form of leukemia at age 6, he's been battling complications from a bone marrow transplant ever since. Larson tells CHSJ News he came to the most recent meeting of common council to raise awareness of childhood cancer and show his appreciation for everyone who has helped his family. He and his dad handed out gold ribbons to council in support of childhood cancer research.

 A fundraiser called Inside Ride happens in Saint John on October 5th. Teams dress up and compete on stationary bikes to raise money for kids with cancer and their families. For the full details on Saint John's first-ever Inside Ride, click here

Flexible Sunday Shopping Gets Lukewarm Reception At City Hall

The so-called day of rest wouldn't be quite as restful in the Port City if some business owners have their way.

According to the Board of Trade 85.1% of their members want more flexibility to set retail hours on Sundays. Out of 543 members, only 228 businesses responded to the survey.  

Common Councillor Shirley McAlary isn't a fan of the idea, which she says would force retail employees to either work Sunday or risk losing their jobs.

Councillor Bill Farren said he was "bewildered" that any businesses would want to stay open 7 days a week. The matter will come before common council again after the mayor returns from a vacation.