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Monday, October 28, 2013

UPDATE: House Fire In Willow Grove

Crews from several fire departments battled a blaze in Willow Grove for a total of 5 hours this afternoon.

The Simonds Fire Department responded to a structure fire on Willowood  Drive, just off of Route 111, Willow Grove at 1:20 p.m yesterday. Crews found heavy, black smoke coming from the eaves of the home. 

No one was home at the time but the family cat was inside The pet was revived using a CPR Vet pack.  Other departments from Hampton, Kennebecasis Valley, St. Martins, Nauwigewauk, Upham, and the Peninsula helped in supplying water and personnel. 

November Is Family Violence Prevention Month

For many, home isn't so sweet.

Police addressing the issue of violence in families during November, which is family violence prevention month in the province.

They say violence happens inside the home every day in the form of hitting, threats, rape, put-downs, being controlling, taking money and destroying property and victims very often keep it to themselves. Crime Stoppers says it doesn't matter if it happened in the privacy of your own home, violent behavior is a crime.

If you or someone you know is a victim of family violence, you can also report it anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or visiting
The Muriel McQueen Fergusson Foundation and its community partners encourage you to check your telephone book for helpful resources.

It's Time To Put Snow Tires On Your Vehicle

While you might not want to hear it, the snowy season is right around the corner and now is the time to get your vehicle winter-ready. 

Gary Howard of the Canadian Automobile Association says a good rule of thumb for when to put on winter tires is when the temperature outside starts to dip below seven degrees. He tells CHSJ News that's because those types of temperatures tend to bring a risk of frost. However, any earlier and you could risk wearing the tread unevenly.

Howard warns people not to mix and match their tires. He says that's like wearing a sneaker and bootyou will have very inconsistent performance, and it can actually be more dangerous than having all of the same tires.

As for all-weather tires? He says they are okay if you live in a temperate climate like in British Columbia, but not here, where we get a lot of snow.

Public Safety Radio System Has Been Restored

The Saint John public safety radio system is back up and running after being down from Saturday night right through yesterday.

Sergeant Jay Henderson of City Police tells CHSJ News no service was lost during the outage. The City telling us public safety was not compromised during the disruption.
They say a failure in the component of the primary radio system used for dispatching emergency services in the area is to blame for the outage.

Crews Battling Structure Fire In Willow Grove

Firefighters responding to a blaze in Willow Grove.

The Kennebecasis Valley Fire Department being called in to help battle the structure fire. Hampton and Nauwigewauk also lending a hand.

KV Fire says they received the call just before 2pm.

100 Men Who Care Group Forming In Greater SJ

A group of men getting together to show they care too. 

A 100 Men Who Care chapter is beginning to form in the city, inspired by the local women's group that raised $18,500 dollars at their first meeting for the SPCA and $20,000 for Romero House at their second. Organizer Michael Whelton tells CHSJ News after seeing what they accomplished, he thought the men in the greater Saint John area should step up to the plate.

Each man involved gives a hundred dollars four times a year. At a meeting, three organizations make a presentation, and the one with the most votes from the men gets all of the money. Whelton says the initiative gives community-minded men the opportunity to get together and help local charities.

There are 60 men currently registered. The first meeting is on December 3 at Millidgeville North School, 500 Woodward Avenue at 5:30pm. Click here for a link to their website.

Overwhelming Support For Electronic Medical Records

It appears to be just a matter of time before our medical records will all be digital. That's appears to be the desire of most of us, according to a new poll by Harris/Decima. It finds 96 per cent of Canadians think it important that the health care system go digital. 

Infoway Vice-President Shelagh Maloney tells CHSJ News people nowadays want to have more control over their health by having as much information as possible.

89 per cent of the respondents say it's important for them to have full advantage of digital health tools and capabilities.

Maloney adds 64 per cent of doctors have an electronic medical record and 86 per cent of those people surveyed say it's important for their doctors to use digital medical records.

UPDATE: Radio Communications In City Disrupted

Work continues to restore normal communications after a major failure of the Saint John public safety radio system over the weekend with a disruption in transmissions.

If you have a scanner, that's why you weren't able to hear anything. A limited number of backup channels were used in the meantime. Emergency services in the city are still operating on backup and the problem is not expected to be fixed until sometime this afternoon.

The city tells CHSJ News there was a failure in the primary radio system that's used for the dispatching of emergency calls and claims public safety was not jeopardized.
System provider Bell Mobility says it's working to restore the primary service as quickly as possible.

Food Recall Expanded

More salads and dips produced by Reser’s Fine Foods are being recalled. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says the latest recall is being issued because the food might be contaminated with Listeria. 

This is the third such recall of Reser’s Fine Foods products since October 5th.

The newest one includes various potato salads, macaroni salads, creamy spinach dip and cole slaws, all with best before dates between October 10th and November 27th.

Some of the products are also sold under the brand name "Market Pantry".

Wishlist Of Changes Aimed At Improving The Uptown

Better signs pointing to the uptown, incentives for developers, and more promotion for newly-refurbished King Square are just some of the ideas being floated by Uptown Saint John as priorities for 2014; however, there's there's one big ticket item for uptown development according to Mayor Mel Norton.

The Mayor expressed a wish that Uptown Saint John consult with the business community and other groups and determine which uptown street would be best to make into a pedestrian-only thoroughfare, even on a temporary basis. 

Waiting until 2015 would mean an entire season of tourist revenue lost according to the Mayor. Prince William Street is among several possibilities for a car-free zone focused on shopping and dining.

Skate Canada International Was A Big Success

There were no slip-ups off the ice at Skate Canada International, the performance behind the scenes went just as planned. 

That word coming from Cynthia Benson, the co-chair of the local organizing committee during the finale of the event at Harbour Station that began on Thursday.

Benson tells CHSJ News there was a huge turnout and there has been general sense of excitement in the air over the past few days. And that sense of enthusiasm that wasn't lost on the athletes visiting the city who she says loved the crowds, and the standing ovations that they gave.

She says the event gave Saint Johners the rare opportunity to check out world-class skaters perform in the pre-Olympic season, adding, it's not every day people living in the city walk past Olympic athletes in the pedway.

Benson says they are hoping the event returns to the Port City.

Best Selling Parenting Author In Town

Parenting trainer and the best selling author of "Discipline Without Distress" Judy Arnall in town over the weekend to speak at a learning conference on the campus of U-N-B Saint John. 

Arnall, whose a mother of 5, tells CHSJ News parents can use bribery and the threat of punishment with their children when they're young but not so much as they get older. That's when you want to have influence over how your children behave as you start losing control.

Arnall says it's essential parents control their anger because it teaches their children self control and how to contain their anger which is a necessary life skill. Arnall reminds parents that they are models for how their children behave.

One piece of advice she has for parents is to do the best you can with the resources you have and grow a really thick skin. Another is to stick to no when you say it to your kids and don't waver.

Prime Minister's Office Getting Unwanted Scrutiny

More and more stories are emerging as some MP's and now Senators complain about the power of unelected people in the Prime Minister's office to tell them what to do, what to say and how to vote.

Political Science Professor Don Desserud tells CHSJ News this is far removed from the vision of how Parliament was supposed to operate but the power of the P-M-O had been growing long before Prime Minister Harper assumed office.

Alberta MP Brent Rathgeber says one reason he quit the Conservative caucus was he could no longer stomach being told what to do and say by unelected youngsters in the Prime Minister’s Office. Former federal cabinet minister Peter Kent called some of the actions of the P-M-O "juvenile".

Debate On Fates Of 3 Senators To Resume

The Senate will continue debating this week whether or not to suspend Senators Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin and Patrick Brazeau without pay after a lot of drama last week complete with accusations of backroom deals. 

New Brunswick born Senator Jim Munson worked in the P-M-O under Prime Minister Chretien and tells CHSJ News keeping the P-M away from the niity gritty to give him plausible deniability is not all that far fetched because it's the job of the political staffers to protect their boss from the whiff of scandal.

Having said that, Munson says there's little doubt the P-M would know what the issue was about.

Munson, who has been in the Senate for 10 years, does say it has become more politically divisive and he blames Prime Minister Harper for stacking it with his appointees, some of whom complain about being told how to vote by unelected people in the P-M-O.