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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Many Want To See Better Use Made Of Harbour

Water on many people's minds at the second of three brainstorming sessions on how to redesign the boardwalk. 

Landscape Designer Jennifer Allan facilitating one of the groups in the Market Square atrium and tells CHSJ News there was lots of talk about ways to incorporate the harbour into the designincluding a floating aquarium you can rent out for events. Another nautical-themed idea she heard at the workshop is taking the buoys at the old Coast Guard site and using them as canvases for artwork.

She says the sentiment she's been hearing is that there are not enough connections to the water here in the Port City.

You can give your input online by clicking here.

Literacy Rates Have Not Budged In Last Decade

A newly released survey says the low rates of adult literacy in the province have not moved since 2003, despite the many programs in place bent on bringing it up.

That's according to results from a new international survey of adult skills conducted in 33 countries. Natasha Bozek of the Literacy Coalition of New Brunswick tells CHSJ News there are many reasons it is stagnating, including poverty, high unemployment rates and parents and adults who are not engaged in learning or don't think it's important. 

Bozek says the results revealed there's a wide education and skills gap between people in the province. While literacy rates haven't budged here in the province, the rates in Canada as a whole dropping over the last decade.

Mom Files Lawsuit Over Daughter's 2011 Fire Death

Legal action being filed against a local property management company, a building owner, and a tenant.....Carol Connell alleging in recently-filed documents it was their negligence that killed her 19 year old daughter Sarah Connell.

Connell died in a house fire on First Street In May 2011....the documents say the home had poor ventilation, no smoke alarm and the exits were not clearly marked.

In their statements of defence both Peace of Mind Management and owners Randall and Rebecca Brook say it was the tenant, Jonita Holmes, who failed to act reasonably to protect the girl. Holmes has not filed a statement of defence and none of the allegations have been proven in court.

VIDEO: Happy Dogs and Cats At Federal Funding Announcement

Wagging tails and barking at the ideas of new people who might pet them...but little do the dogs know that visit means money to improve their lives while they live at the shelter.

Saint John MP Rodney Weston announcing $45,000 to help the Saint John SPCA Animal Rescue for improvements to the shelter.  

Rescue League Vice-President Todd Crawford  says they will also receive funding from Fido and some other local businesses.

Crawford tells us we view their commitment to the community very seriously and some of the programs we would like to provide involve enhanced adoption services and expanded foster programs.

The funding announced today includes plumbing and the installation of fixed equipment in the cat isolation and equipment rooms. 

The shelter also receiving funding from FidoCares and a number of private companies including Maritime Fence and Homestar Inc. 

Most Have Their Power Back

The lights are coming back on in the Hampton and Sussex areas after a big power outage this morning impacting more than 900 people.

It's down to less than 40 in Hampton, Norton and Damascus and 4 outages in the Sussex wereimpacting more than 300 mainly in the Peticodiac area. 

It's down to 8 customers now.

NB Power estimates that the different communities will start seeing the lights coming back on between now and 330 this afternoon.

Power Outages Reported

The high winds causing some power outages.

NB Power reports 7 such outages in Hampton, Damascus, Lower Norton, Upham and Titusville affecting more than 400 customers and 6 in Sussex which have left more than 600 customers in the dark. 

NB Power is saying the power should be back anytime from 8:30 to 12:30.

Young People In Province Desperately Need Better Mental Health Services

Too many young people with mental health problems have been falling through the cracks and not getting the help they need. That message was delivered to MindCare New Brunswick by parents who have had first hand experience trying to get their children help. 

The Executive Director of Dots NB (named after a report by Bernard Richard, “Connecting the Dots: A report on the condition of youth-at-risk and youth with very complex needs in New Brunswick”)  Maureen Bilerman is one such parent. She tells CHSJ News early intervention is essential adding one in five students in any classroom needs such help and only 20 percent are getting treated which can lead to disastrous consequences down the road as happened with Ashley Smith of Moncton who choked herself to death while jailed in Kitchener, Ontario.

Another parent, Stephanie Chaisson found many of the people she dealt with in the healthcare system seemed to be at a loss on how to deal with teenage psych patients. 

he also told the conference there are two psychologists at the Mercantile Centre who deal with young people. When she sought help for her daughter, one was on maternity leave and the other had a waiting list of 8 months.

Increase In Injury Cap Now The Subject Of Insurance Hearings

The effect of increasing the minor injury cap from 25 hundred to 75 hundred dollars in the province is now before the New Brunswick Insurance Board which is holding hearings. 

The province maintains your premiums shouldn't have to rise because there's a built in cushion to absorb the higher costs. 

The insurance industry is looking at a 20 to 25 per cent increase in the cost of claims with the increased cap. 

The number of claims being made has been dropping in the province over the last ten years.

Extended Sunday Shopping Hours Are A Go

If your busy work or home life makes it hard for you to shop during the week, you're in luck.

Common council has passed a change to the by-law which will let businesses decide what hours they want to open on Sundays. That means you could see some retailers opening at 9am instead of 12---although some businesses may choose to keep things the way they are.

Malls will have to make that decision as well. All the retailers will have to abide by the same rules.

The Day of Rest Act was first passed back in 1985. While some object to the idea of more Sunday shopping hours as unnecessary, the Board of Trade has said it could help our flagging local economy, and besides businesses should be able to make that call for themselves.

You'll Be Seeing Less Of Common Council On Channel 10

If you tune in to Channel 10 for common council every week you might soon be disappointed.

Council has voted to switch to biweekly meetings since--- they say--they've gotten rather speedy at dealing with the city's business. Yet the change sparked a fairlycontentious debate, with common councillor Greg Norton saying the change sends the wrong message to taxpayers.

Common Councillor Susan Fullerton pointed out fewer meetings will actually save the taxpayers money.

Common Councillor Donna Reardon says if the new schedule doesn't work, they'll return to weekly meetings. Mayor Mel Norton--who doesn't get a vote except in case of a tie--says he thinks it's the wrong decision especially around budget time.

Fire Prevention Week Focusing On Preventing Kitchen Fires

As the mercury drops people are spending more time indoors and  in the kitchen--and that means an increase in house fires. 

Divisional Fire Chief Mark Wilson tells CHSJ News you should be careful this Thanksgiving by ensuring you don't leave the house while you having things baking or simmering. He says he's even seen fires start when people get distracted talking to guests and forget about what's going on in the kitchen.

Wilson says a lot of fires also start when people come home late at night, put food in the oven then fall asleep--so you may want to choose a midnight snack that doesn't involve the oven, or simply order some takeout.