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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Doucet Surprised To Hear Parrott Is Back In Caucus

While Liberal MLA Rick Doucet is surprised to hear Dr. Jim Parrott is back in the Conservative caucus, it won't change his game plan for re-election one little bit.

He says like anyone you will be stepping into the ring with, he'll be running under the Alward government's Conservative banner and this government has given the people of his constituency a rough ride over the last 4 years.

Doucet currently representing the riding of Charlotte the Isles where Dr. Parrott will be seeking the Tory nomination after sitting as in independent and a Tory in the riding of Fundy-River Valley in the last four years.

An Outstanding Warrant And A Stolen Safe

According to Sergeant Jay Henderson of city police, a man was pulled over around 4pm yesterday on Manawoganish Road near Barnhill School. Police found him to have an outstanding warrant as well as a large amount of marijuana in the vehicle.

He was hit with additional charges of trafficking on top of the outstanding warrant and will make a court appearance in the near future.

As well, at 4:30am a business off Wilson Street West was broken into an a small safe was stolen. The canine unit was brought out to conduct a search but no arrests have been made yet.

Acute Care Patients Can Fill Out A Survey

Do you have a hospital stay planned next month?

During the month of May, all medical, surgical and obstetrics inpatients discharged from Horizon Health acute-care hospital facilities will be provided a survey before they leave the hospital.

The survey is confidential and the information collected will help Horizon Health evaluate the performances of hospitals and learn how to better serve and understand the needs of patients and their families.

The survey results will be posted on Horizon's website. 


Both Lanes at King Square North Back Open To Traffic

Both lanes are back open to traffic from Sydney to Charlotte after some pothole filling this morning.

Parrott To Rejoin Tory Caucus

Doctor Jim Parrott will be rejoining the Tory caucus effective immediately.

According to the Premier, Parrott apologized for his previous statements that were critical of the government's stance on healthcare and asked to rejoin caucus.

Parrott was elected to represent Fundy-River Valley in the 2010 general election, then ouste fo his controversial comments in 2012.

He'll be seeking the nomination for Charlotte-The-Isles for the Conservatives in the next provincial election.

You Now Have Until Monday To File Your Taxes

You still have some time to squeak in under the deadline and appease the tax man.

The CRA announcing that you have until midnight on or before May 5, 2014, to file your 2013 income tax and benefit return and pay any balance owing.

The deadline was formerly today, but there was five-day service interruption due to the Heartbleed Bug.

As a result, interest and penalties will not be applied to individual taxpayers filing their 2013 tax returns by midnight on or before May 5.

St Andrews Man Fined For Tax Evasion

You could say the tax man came knocking for a businessman in St. Andrews businessman.

Everett Kenneth Lord was fined $2,200 after pleading guilty to two counts of failing to file tax returns.

He failed to file both personal and corporate returns for 2011 and  was given until July 30, 2014 to pay up.

He was previously convicted on four charges for failure to file corporation income tax returns.

What's The Best Way To Mark Potholes?

Big potholes on the road are hard enough to avoid--and marking them with traffic cones doesn't seem to be helping the problem any, according to common councillor John Mackenzie.

He says often it appears the cones are removed or don't adequately show where the problem is.

Bill Edwards of Transportation Services says it's hard to prevent people from stealing the cones--although he has no idea what people do with them--but they're only supposed to be temporary markers
, offering a warning just until crews get back to fix the pothole.

Mixed Reactions To The Darling's Island Road Closure

Early in the day the Darling's Island road is not covered by water so why the need to close road for all  residents. 

Some residents are wondering why when it's partially covered in the morning but covered later in the day when the tide is high.   The province cites concerns over structural integrity of the road itself.

CHSJ News asked Resident Angela Boudreau if she thinks DOT should have filled the potholes to avoid closing the road completely.

She tells us she's not any kind of road repair expert but it seems to her that it would be hard to keep the water off the road long enough to keep those potholes filled for very long right now.

One residents suggesting if DOT filled the potholes with gravel temporarily it would be a much cheaper short term fix.

Eight Department of Natural Resources trucks can be scene on the island along with two boats that are transporting people across the water.   

Some residents are very appreciative of the DNR's help in assisting them leave the island for work or school and get home again.

Traffic Reduced on King Square North

Part of one lane is blocked for pothole filling on King Square North between Sydney and Charlotte.

Breakaway Blimp Found

The mystery of where the runaway blimp promoting Budweiser that broke free on the east side over the weekend because of gusty winds has been solved. 

According to Labatts, it was discovered in a remote wooded area. 
Transport Canada had issued a warning to pilots in the area.

Late Night Fire Call At Boys And Girls Club

Firefighters converging on the Boys and Girl Club last night shortly before 11. 

Divisional Chief Mark Wilson telling CHSJ news they were called because of smoke and odour in the main corridor.

Wilson says they found the motor inside a wall heater had overheated.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

$80M Contract Awarded To Lorneville Mechanical

A Saint John-based company striking it big, with Irving Oil giving Lorneville Mechanical Contractors a five-year project work contract valued at 80-million-dollars.

The money will be going towards the maintenance of the refinery along with Canaport L-N-G. Up to 40 jobs will be created at the company for tradespeople including pipe-fitters, boilermakers, labourers and scaffolders.

Engineers and project managers will also be needed for the project.

Autopsy Being Conducted On Body Found In Odell Park

Fredericton police awaiting the results of an autopsy on human remains found in Odell Park to find out the cause of death.

Dental records are also being processed to confirm the person's identity.

The remains were found in a remote area of the park on the city's south side shortly after 9am Monday.

Your Natural Gas Bill Will Be Going Down

Big industrial users will be paying more for natural gas under new regulations--and after a decision delivered by the EUB, it looks like residential customers will be paying a lot less.

Enbridge General Manager Gilles Volpe explains rates will be going down by 14% compared to 2013 rates.

Industrial users will soon be paying rates more in step with their actual usage, rather than getting a break as they have in the past.

Volpe called the changes important to the long term future of the gas utility.

Supicious Fire At Used Car Dealership

A fire that broke out in a used car dealership near St. Stephen is considered suspicious. 

Investigators and the office of the Fire Marshal of the province are now looking into what caused the blaze at St. Croix Auto Limited, which left one employee with burns on the hands and suffering from smoke inhalation.

Group Trying To Reduce Child Victimization

The Canadian Centre for Child Protection aims to reduce child victimization through programs and services for parents and children's charities.

Noni Classen tells CHSJ News the healing process that communities like Saint John are experiencing is very important.

She says successful prosecutions send a message to kids that it wasn't their fault because often nothing comes out and people are not caught or charged.

Classen says the sexual abuse of children is the most under reported crime there is.  

For more information, click here

Two Break-Ins In The North End

City Police are reporting two break and enters in the city's North End.

The first one on Cranston Avenue happened between 8am and 2pm, and the he thief got through an unlocked sliding window and stole an X Box.

Later in the afternoon around 3pm police were called to Albert Street to a 3-unit building that had been empty for a few months. All of the apartments sustained major damage with the thieves cutting through the walls to get at a large amount of copper piping.

If you saw anything suspicious you're being asked to contact the Police or Crimestoppers.

Meeting On Adoption Records Postponed

A meeting on the proposal to unseal adoption record in the province scheduled for today in Saint John has been postponed.

It will now be on May 20 at the Holiday Express Inn from 7-8:30 p.m.

The meeting for Fredericton will be May 14 at the Fredericton Inn from 7-8:30 p.m

Labour Rally Outside Conservative Nomination Meeting

On the outskirts of a Conservative nomination meeting in the Kennebecasis Valley, a small group of CUPE members rallying on the state of labour in the province.

CUPE Regional Vice-President Stephen Drost tells CHSJ News they're unhappy with the way New Brunswick workers are being treated and say they plan on ramping up pressure on the province to treat them fairly.

Drost says from now until the election and even after that, the Alward government is going to be hearing from them. He says they're not happy with the direction the government is going and they plan on doing everything in their power to overthrow it.

He says CUPE Local 1251, which represents correctional officers, human service councilors and custodians, have been without a collective agreement for nearly three years. They were also protesting the very controversial issue of provincial pension reform, with Drost telling us they want to send a strong message to the government that they're not getting their pensions.

Dire Warning About Future Of Provincial Economy

A new book entitled "Over the Cliff" warns New Brunswick is heading for financial ruin unless tough decisions are made, sooner rather than later.

That dire warning is right on, according to Kevin Lacey of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. The book was written by the director-general of the Canadian Institute for Research on Public Policy and Public Administration. 

Lacey tells CHSJ News the longer it takes to balance the budget, the worse it will be for the province's bottom line and the less money there will be for things like health and education. He points out paying the interest on the provincial debt is the third or fourth biggest government expense.

The book cites a stagnant economy, bloated government bureaucracy and aging population as reasons for concern.

Lacey also agrees with Finance Minister Blaine Higgs that to even consider getting rid of the shared risk pension plan for provincial government retirees is financial lunacy and irresponsible. The Pension Coaltion has launched a lawsuit against the government in response.

Police Investigating Shooting Incident On The East Side

An incident in which an east side home off Courtenay Avenue had its window shot out in broad daylight yesterday is under investigation by Saint John Police.

Sergeant Jay Henderson explaining the homeowner called police around 3pm after hearing the shots and seeing the window had been shattered.

A car was seen speeding off after the shots were fired. No one was injured and the Major Crime Unit is trying to piece together what happened and why.

General Rick Hillier In Saint John Talking About Giving

A crowd gathering at the Boys and Girls club to hear Retired General Rick Hillier speak about giving back. It's all part of the Celebration of Giving event in Saint John.

Earlier this morning Telus announced a $500,000 donation to Atlantic Canadian charities that benefit young people. 

Also on hand this morning are Liberal Leader Brian Gallant, Councillor Shirley MacAlary and the Y's Shilo Boucher.

Since its inception in 2009 the TELUS Atlantic Canada Community Board has contributed $2.1 million in support of more than 140 local charitable projects for organizations including First Steps, the Salvation Army, the Doaktown Library, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Atlantic Canada and the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra.

First Steps, a Saint John organization, received $20,000 from the TELUS Atlantic Canada Community Board in 2013 to buy 13 new computers for the facility. The organization offers housing to pregnant women and mothers under 25 years old and their children who do not have a safe place to live. While some computers are used to run the program and track its success, the majority of them are being used by the mothers for homework, parenting and job research.

New Brunswick Family Defies The Odds In Lottery

What are the odds of this happening......A New Brunswick mother and son winning a million dollars each in the Lotto 6/49 draw twice in just five months. 

Roger Richard and Denise Richard of St. Phillippe won a million in the November 27th draw and now Roger's mom, Evangeline, who lives in Dieppe, also won a million dollars in the April 9th Lotto 649. 

The odds of winning just one draw are just one in over 5 million.

Shots Fired On East Side

City Police converging on a house along Courtenay Avenue on the east side yesterday afternoon after getting a report of shots being fired. No one was injured.

A window of the two storey building looked to be shot out with broken glass strewn about. Police were out and about asking neighbours if they saw anything. 

A daycare is located close by.

Flemming & Higgs Get Conservative Nods

Two familiar faces getting Conservative nods in the K-V for the upcoming provincial election. 

Health Minister Ted Flemming officially named the candidate for Rothesay at a nomination convention at Kennebecasis Valley High School while it was announced Finance Minister Blaine Higgs will run in Quispamsis. 

Flemming tells CHSJ News there's a lot they want to see through, likening it to a half-painted floor saying you don't stop there and the more progress you make the enthused you get. He says the Liberals, who just held a big policy convention in Fredericton, are all about pressing pause and that the party is going nowhere.

Higgs tells us it's not just smoke and mirrors...they know what needs to be done. He says the idea that you have to spend more money to deliver better services is absolutely wrong because that way of thinking is unsustainable. He expects the provincial budget will be balanced by 2018.

City Taking A Long Hard Look At Fleet Replacement

We're looking a major cost overruns for snow clearing this winter---and that means an extra-careful examination of city-owned vehicles that need to be replaced, with an eye to determining what's essential and what's not.

Councillor at Large Shirley McAlary says she thinks we dropped the ball a bit last year, since the fleet replacement policy appeared to get mixed up and things didn't end up getting ordered.

Councillor Bill Farren questioned whether we really need to replace so many half ton trucks this year, since they aren't the real workhorses in terms of plowing and other big jobs.

But Bill Edwards of Transportation Services begged to differ, saying the half tons lug around men and equipment all day and we even have to augment the current fleet with rentals on a regular basis because we don't have enough of them.

McAlary pointed out that putting off spending money on the fleet is a false economy--it'll just end up costing more the longer it is delayed. Council voted to order the vehicles slated for replacement, and look at a second list this summer. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Voter Cards In The Mail

Voters in municipalities holding by-elections,  first elections, or plebiscites to form rural communities should get cards in the mail this week telling them when and where to vote.

More than 53,000 Voter Information Cards are being sent out. The cards tell you all the details on where and when to vote.

For more information, click here

The Flood Plan Is On For Darling's Island

Public Safety enacting the flood plan for Darling's Island.

Paul Bradley tells CHSJ News they have been keeping an eye on the water level on that road for a number of days.

He says they had some concerns about potholes in the road and it's overall structural integrity so the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure made the call to close it.

Boats will be in place on Darling's Island for a resident shuttle service.  

It will be set up next to the road.

People should contact the Emergency Measures Organization at 1-800-561-4034 if they have questions regarding this plan. For emergency situations call 911. For advice on non-emergency related help contact the Emergency Measures Organization at 1-800-561-4034.

SJPD Seeks Tips In Weekend Assault

A 33 year old woman remains in critical but stable condition in hospital following an assault early Sunday morning.

Sgt. Tony Hayes says Saint John Police responded to the scene of a large fight at 169 Charlotte Street at 2:35am.

He says officers arrived to find an unconscious woman who was taken to hospital.

The Major Crime Unit of City police is looking into the matter and if you have any information you are asked to contact them at 648-3333.

You can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or click here

New Brunswick Urged To Do More To Attract Immigrants To Province

Immigrants are an economic driver and the province should be doing all it can to attract them to New Brunswick. So says economic development consultant and President of Jupia Consultants, David Campbell. 

Campbell tells CHSJ News for every thousand immigrants who settle here, you need 400 people to provide services for them.

Campbell points out there has to be a reason for them to come and then to stay or else they'll just move on to the larger cities.

City Police Officer Back In Court Making His Case

City Police officer Chris Messer, who's facing an assault charge, was back in court with his lawyer Brian Munro arguing he has not received full disclosure from the prosecution. 

Munro wants access to police wiretaps, telling the court 9 shots were fired into Messer's home on Westfield Road to take the heat off a police investigation of break and enters in that area. 

Munro also claims there's no medical evidence to show Randy King, whom he describes as a career criminal, was assaulted. 

Munro says he finds it odd that, according to police statements, they have a good idea who fired the shots into Messer's home, yet no one has ever been charged. 

He's asking for a Stay of Proceedings so Messer won't have to stand trial on the assault charge and poses the question to Court of Queen's Bench Justice Judy Glendenning whether his reputation has been damaged beyond repair.

The Unofficial Campaign Heats Up This Week

The campaign before the campaign will be heating up this week with four separate nomination meetings this week.

Tonight, it's the Conservatives turn with a combo meeting at KV High for Quispam MLA and Finance Minister Blaine Higgs and Health Minister and Rothesay MLA Ted Flemming.

On Wednesday night, Liberals in the riding of Saint John-Portland will chose a candidate at the RKYC and on Thursday night, the Liberals host another nomination meeting at the Sanctuary Theatre to choose a candidate to run in Saint John Harbour.      Former MLA and Cabinet Minister Ed Doherty is rumoured to be running again.

All eyes will be on the Saint John-Lancaster Liberal nomination meeting on May 10th with 3 well-known names seeking to run there.

Former Mayor Ivan Court, former common councillor Peter McGuire and Realter Don Ketchum are all vying to represent the west side riding for the Liberals.

For more info on the upcoming nomination meetings, click here  or here

Body Found In Fredericton Park

A body has been found in O'Dell park in Fredericton this morning.

Fredericton police telling CHSJ News that human remains were found in the park and police are on scene.

K-V-H-S Again Reaches The Top

The provincial Reach for the Top championship was held over the weekend and for the 9th time in the last 10 years, Kennebecasis Valley High has won. 

Chris Huddleston, Alexis Lamontagne, Ryan Queen, Sam Cookson and Keegan Reynolds will now be competing for the national title in Toronto late next month.

Provincial Liberals Adopt New Position On Abortion

The provincial Liberals spent the weekend debating policy questions, they'll be running on in the provincial election campaign. 

The party is continuing its support for a moratorium on shale gas exploration. It wants a re-examination of the shared risk pension plan for provincial government retirees, lower the entry point for early French Immersion to grade 1, development of a ten year plan for education and improved access to abortion which has emerged as a hot button issue ever since the recent announcement that the Morganthaler clinic will be closing down in July. 

The Alward Government plans to stick with the policy that requires the approval of two doctors unless you want to pay privately out of your own pocket to terminate a pregnancy which was brought in by then Liberal Premier Frank McKenna. Party leader Brian Gallant has said the current restrictions are unconstitutional. 

The Liberals have also selected a candidate to run on Kings Centre which includes Grand Bay-Westfield. She's Shannon Merrifield, co founder of Fusion who has also worked as an employment advisor.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Teacher Believes People Should Volunteer Early In Life

Volunteering is the highest level of thinking because it builds empathy. 

That statement coming from Saint John High teacher Barry Ogden who is very well-known locally for several projects including Marigolds on Main which earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records. Ogden says he started coaching 42 years ago and explains to CHSJ News why he continued to volunteer.

He says it was probably the idea that people in need needed someone for support, which likely led him into his teaching career and everything else in his life.

Ogden says he wants to see young children getting involved in volunteering so they can understand other people, animals and life itself.

Youth Speaker Has Tips For Parents Of Teenagers

The teenage years can be a tumultuous time for parents, but trying to befriend your teenager is a bad way to bond and could actually hurt your relationship. 

That suggestion from Saint John-based youth speaker and leadership coach Nick Pereira who tells CHSJ News if you want to become closer with your kids, you should stick to parenting. Pereira says a lot of parents are concerned with their kids liking them, but adds teenagers naturally want to disconnect from their parents and become their own person, so you should support that while always showing love.

He says you need to set firm boundaries as a parent.

Click here if you're looking for more information on Pereira.

Tomorrow Is The National Day of Mourning

A day of remembrance being held for those who have been hurt on the job and those who never made it home from work. 

The City of Saint John observing the National Day of Mourning on April 28 with flags at all of the City of Saint John facilities including City Hall being lowered to half-mast in recognition of those who have been injured or died in the workplace. 

An official public ceremony marking the day will be held at the Day of Mourning monument at the W. Franklin Hatheway Labour Exhibit Centre in Rockwood Park at noon-hour with City Councillor John MacKenzie speaking on behalf of the city. 

The day was officially recognized by the federal government in 1991. Click here for more information.

It's Just A Test

Point Lepreau will be testing it's emergency response plan as it relates to the station.

NB Power, Musquash Fire Rescue and the Saint John Fire are all taking part in this one day emergency drill beginning at 9am on Monday.

For the purpose of practicing emergency response procedures and communications, the exercise will simulate an incident at the Point Lepreau generating station.

Residents may see emergency response vehicles and hear radio chatter simulating an emergency.

Grass Fire On Old Black River Road

Fast work by the Saint John Fire Department to prevent a grass fire from spreading to a nearby home at 1681 Old Black River Road. 

There had been fears that the fire had actually damaged the siding of the home but the fire department says there was no structural damage.

SJ Alzheimer's Cafe Hosts Dr. Gemma Jones

A 2011 study finds 747,000 Canadians are living with cognitive impairment including dementia and if nothing changes by 2031, that number will increase to 1.4 million.

Coping with and learning about dementia is key not only for those with dementia but for their friends and family too,  which is where the Saint John Alzheimer Cafe comes in.

The event has been operating in Saint John for over two years based on the model from Europe to offer support and education to those with dementia and their loved ones.

Dr. Gemma Jones, author of Alzheimer's Cafes and Why They Work, will be speaking about that in Saint John today. The local monthly cafe is coming at St. Mark's United Church on Dexter Drive on the west side at 2pm today.

For more info, click here.

Woman Hospitalized After Uptown Assault

A 33-year-old woman is in intensive care at the Regional Hospital after undergoing surgery for a head injury following a fight in the south end.

City Police say the aggravated assault took place around 2:35 Sunday morning on Charlotte Street by Horsefield and the area was taped off until the forensic identification team finished its part of the investigation.

There are no reports of arrests being made.

Holocaust Victims Remembered

Tomorrow is the international day of Holocaust Memorial Observance.

In Saint John at an event put on by the Saint John Jewish Historical Museum, attendees will hear from Hedy Bohm. Her parents were murdered in Auschwitz. In 1944, Hedy was taken to Germany as slave labourer before she was liberated by the Americans  in 1945 and it is only recently that she has been able to share her story of survival.

Memorial  candles will be lit in memory of victims of the Holocaust. The event gets underway tonight Monday at 7:30 P.M. at the Shaarei Zedek Synagogue on at 91 Leinster Street.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Small Fire At East Side Church

Smoke could be seen coming from the Full Gospel Assembly Church on Mount Pleasant Avenue East earlier tonight.

City fire crews responding and quickly knocked the blaze down.

The source of the smoke was a plastic drain pipe that has an electrical wire in it to keep the water from freezing.

Platoon Chief Eric Garland tells CHSJ News people were in the church when the call came in.

He says they did a search anyway but everyone was out of the building when crews arrived on scene.

Garland says the cause is likely accidental but a fire investigator was brought in anyway.

Many Feel Their Dream Wedding Is Out Of Reach

Many people spend their entire lives planning for their big day, but just a few of us are preparing for it. 

A study by BMO InvestorLine revealing that on average, Canadians plan to spend $15,000 on their wedding and invite an average of 100 guests. Interestingly enough, almost 40-percent of those people feel like they won't be able to afford the wedding day of their dreams with only 28-percent actively investing for the event.

Those who plan on getting married between the ages of 18 to 44 plan to spend the most at an average of more than $18,000 while those 65 and older plan to spend the least at almost $5000.

Wellness Programs May Be Missing The Mark

Traditional wellness programs are failing employees because they're not addressing the elephant in the room which is the problem of how they can better manage their personal finances.

Frank Wiginton, C-E-O of Employee Financial Well Being estimates 61 per cent of workers are financially stressed. By contrast, only 16 per cent are considered obese yet every wellness programme focuses on diet and exercise. 

He also points out people who are stressed out are six times more likely to be depressed and 7 times more likely to suffer from high anxiety which are not good for productivity on the job.

Get Ready For Radler

Do you like juice in your beer? 

Moosehead hopes you do. The company rolling out a new product called Radler.

Ray Gracewood of Moosehead tells CHSJ News consumers want products that are not traditional beer flavours.

He says they are very excited about the response from testing on this product adding it feels different and tastes different and a whole different consumption experience.

Radler-style beverages have been around for 100 years in Europe.    The Moose Light version blends grapefruit, grape and lemon juice with beer.

It will be available in New Brunswick liquor stores next week and will begin shipping to Nova Scotia in early May.

Some lucky Saint Johners might find it in local liquor stores this weekend.

The Arts Still Matter

It's a sad fact for supporters of local arts and culture that those sectors are the first places to suffer in an economic downturn.

Symphony New Brunswick President Reid Parker tells CHSJ News even though many people would rather give to a children's charity or their local hospital rather than a symphony or theatre company, the arts are still a worthy investment.

Parker says music and the arts are still crucial to growing our cities because they provide an incentive for people to move here, and improve the quality of life for those who live here already.