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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Open Letter To Man Who Befriended Autistic Child On Flight Goes Viral

Photo Courtesy of Shanell Mouland
An open letter written by a mother of an autistic three-year-old to the kind stranger that sat next to them on long flight, going viral. 

36-year old Shanell Mouland of Quispamsis says when a businessman sat next to her daughter on the plane she was nervous about how he would react, but was pleasantly surprised when the man put away his papers and started talking and playing with Kate. Mouland tells CHSJ News the man gave her entire family a peaceful flight.

With the post garnering attention from the Huffington Post and the New York Daily News, Mouland says she's proud her letter is reaching so many people.

Mouland tells us she and the man have been in contact since the flight from Orlando, and she describes him as modest, and not looking for any recognition. You can read Mouland's post, which has 62,000 likes on Facebook, on her blog Go Team Kate.

H1N1 Flu Death Reported In Fredericton Area

A woman in the Fredericton area has died from complications arising from H1N1, New Brunswick's first flu-related death this season.

According to media reports, the province's Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eilish Cleary says the woman was middle-aged, with an underlying health condition and would have been considered in the at-risk category.

The woman's death was reported by the Horizon Health Network.

The Province Reacts To UNB Strike

The Province is keeping an eye on the faculty strike at UNB.

Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Jody Carr says the government recognizes the whole university community is impacted by this and they hope it is resolved quickly.

Carr also says they hope students are able to finish this term with little disruption.

Lacey Calls Wage Increases The Profs Want "Outrageous"

Professors at UNB are on strike and among their demands are wage hikes of 26 percent over 4 years.

Kevin Lacey of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation says professors make on average $100,000 a year.

He says the reason this is so important to taxpayers is nearly 50 per cent of each university's budget is paid for by working families in the province adding these wage increases are outrageous when you consider the fiscal situation the province is in.

Vandals Destroy Zoo Sign

photo courtesy of Lynda Collrin
You can't miss it but now you will.  

The instantly recognizable 3d fibreglass sign at the Cherry Brook Zoo was destroyed on the weekend.

Lynda Collrin says it happened sometime during all that heavy rain on Saturday night into Sunday morning and they were a couple beer cans left behind.

She CHSJ News they can't repair the sign to its former state adding the money needs to go other places with animal care being at the top of the list.

Collrin calls it a wasteful and foolish thing for someone to do adding she doesn't understand what they get out of doing something like that.

There is an open police investigation and if you saw anything, you are asked to contact police with your information.

Provincial E-M-O Issues Ice Movement Advisory

Above-zero temperatures and heavy rains could cause ice-jam flooding, the Department of Public Safety's E-M-O warns.

Current weather conditions could cause ice covers to deteriorate and snow to melt. If you live or work along streams, tributaries or rivers, you're being reminded to be on the alert for ice movement and to stay away from the water's edge as you could be hit by moving ice.

Environment Canada forecasting rain in most areas of the province, issuing a rainfall warning to Saint John, Saint John County, coastal Charlotte County and more. We could be getting up to 25 millimeters overnight.

You can download an emergency preparedness guide from the Get Prepared website, information on preparing for an outage at NB Power's website and you can see a list of weather warnings at Environment Canada online.

Rothesay Council Learns Lessons From Ice Storm

With Rothesay council feeling like they were left in the dark during the Christmas ice storm, the town taking measures to make sure that doesn't happen again. 

Council passing several motions at a town meeting so they are better prepared for emergencies in the future, including appointing a Rothesay representative to the Kennebecasis Valley E-M-O to work alongside the Director, and establishing a warming centre at the Bill McGuire Centre on Renforth Drive. Mayor Bill Bishop tells CHSJ News they plan on getting quotes for generators.

Councillor Matt Alexander saying it was incredible how unprepared they felt. Bishop says the storm, which knocked out power to some homes in the Rothesay cluster for nearly a week, was unprecedented and council could have done a better job handling the situation. He says they will do a better job next time.

Police Arrest Teen With A Loaded Gun At Home

A 15 year old boy is being held in custody for having a loaded gun.  Sgt. Jay Henderson tells us officers conducted a search on Charlotte Street just before 7 last night. 

Officers located a loaded gun in the search.    The young person was arrested and is facing chargess of posession of a prohibited firearm with ammunitition, pointing a firearm and more.

City police reminding motorists to remove valuables from your car and make sure they are locked. 
The culprit used a rock to smash a side window from a vehicle parked in a driveway on Seely Street.   It's not known if anything was taken.

If you have information about a crime you want to share with police, you can find the number to contact them directly at 648-333 or anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS.

Committee Exploring Building Emergency Exit For K-Park

With the only way in and out of Kennebecasis Park across a rail line, many residents are worried about being trapped in their neighbourhood if disaster hits. 

Rothesay Council sharing that concern, with the town reaching out to Saint John Council, inviting them to appoint a member to a committee focused on redesigning the entryway, which is located in the city. 

Rothesay Mayor Bill Bishop tells CHSJ News if the town experienced a train derailment like the one near Plaster Rock just last week, the neighbourhood would be completely isolated with emergency vehicles unable to get in and residents unable to get out. He tells us they will be looking into building an emergency exit for K-Park.

In the committee mandate, it states up to ten trains cross the K-Park entryway daily, many of them carrying hazardous materials.

NB Government To Roll Out New Collections Strategy

This could be a little chilling for folks who have outstanding student or business loans.

 According to media reports, the New Brunswick government is testing out a new approach to collecting outstanding dollars owed to the provincial treasury for things like loans and general receivables.

The new Collection Services Unit being rolled out  will send out notices, and workout a consolidated approach to debt collecting including offsetting wages and other penalties. The government has to act quickly: under the current law, the province has 6 years to collect outstanding debts, bit as of 2016 they'll have only 2 years.

It's estimated 2.6 billion dollars are currently owed to the government.

Shale Gas Could Open Up New Industries, Says Mayor

With environmental groups, and concerned citizens expressing reservations over shale gas development Mayor Mel Norton tells CHSJ News he's hoping to allay some of those concerns.

Norton says in terms of research, most of the work has already been done, and he's hoping to move ahead with responsible shale gas development because it's the right thing to do for Saint John.

Norton says shale gas can lead to entirely new industries like the fertilizer plant---and also provide stable energy costs to existing businesses