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Monday, January 27, 2014

VIDEO: Burned Out Building Coming Down

The roads will continue to be blocked off near the scene of a major uptown blaze on Union Street until crews are convinced its safe for the public. 

Saint John Fire Platoon Chief Peter Saab tells CHSJ News the area is high traffic and they decided to bring the building down today.

He says as the day went on the walls starting bowing more and for public safety they think they should get it down as soon as possible.

The blaze which broke out at around 3 this morning leaving two people without a place to live according to the Red Cross. 

The man who lived in one apartment was away at the time while the other, a taxi driver, got out of the burning building with just the clothes on his back.

Crews Concerned About Fire-Damaged Buildings Collapsing

The major blaze that completely gutted two buildings on the corner of Union and Waterloo may be extinguished but the scene is still potentially dangerous. 

Deputy Chief Joe Armstrong tells CHSJ News crews are keeping the area blocked off to traffic until the collapse zone is better secured or the building walls they're concerned about are knocked down.  He says over the next couple days we will likely be seeing those destroyed buildings demolished.

The Red Cross says two people are now homeless. The man who lived in one apartment was away when the early morning fire broke out, and the other is a taxi driver who escaped the burning building with just the clothes on his back. The cause of the fire is still not yet known.

Province Appoints Outside Mediator In Faculty Strike

Postsecondary, training and labour Minister Jody Carr announcing the appointment of a special outside mediator while directing both sides in the UNB faculty dispute back to the bargaining table.

Carr says Brian Keller will meet with both sides on Wednesday and Thursday.

Carr adds he has the endorsement of both sides and this move adds a new level of urgency to the process.

Carr says Keller is an expert in labour law practicing in the field since 1972 and has served as vice chair of the Canadian Labour Relations Board.

CHSJ News Informs Man On Floating Ferry When He'll Be Rescued

A cable broke on the Westfield ferry about 1030 this morning due to ice build up with 8 cars, 10 passengers and 2 crew members on board the ferry.

One of those passengers is Mike Koti of Summerville, who called CHSJ News from the anchored vesssel, telling us he got on the ferry at Harding's Point's about only travelled about 50 feet and there was a big bang with ice hitting the side of the boat.

After that he heard a big bang underneath his car and thought "oh no, don't tell me they broke the cable".

While Koti himself was unaware of this until we told him,  DOT told CHSJ News in an email a short time ago that the crew dropped anchor and the ferry will be towed to shore at approximately 2pm this afternoon when ice is expected to move in the river with the change in tides.

New Reading Program Launched By Sea Dogs

The aim is to get young children who are in kindergarten to grade 3 at St. John the Baptist-King Edward School reading books. 

The Sea Dogs, Canaport LNG and the Anglophone School District  have launched the program that will see those students who read three books be eligible for Sea Dog tickets. 

Sea Dogs President Wayne Long tells CHSJ News they want to make reading fun for the kids and he's hoping the program will be expanded to other schools from St Stephen to Sussex next year.

School District Superintendent Zoe Watson says it's essential children know how to read by grade 3, otherwise it becomes more of a challenge later on and can result in behaviour problems. 

It's estimated 60 per cent of people in the province 16 years of age and older have problems with literacy.

Ferry Drifting Down River

We're getting reports from our road warriors that the Westfield Ferry has snapped its cable and is drifting down the river, possibly with vehicles on board. 

We've contacted the Department of Transportation for comment and are still waiting for a reply.

On The Police Blotter: Assault, Resisting Arrest, And A B&E

The SJPD had a busy weekend responding to a number of calls for service.

A 20 year old was charged with resisting arrest and obstruction of justice after attempting to run from police during a traffic stop and refusing to provide a breath sample. Sergeant Jay Henderson of the police department explains a home on Saint James Street was also broken into and a TV stolen.

Further, 2 men ages 20 and 50 are facing charges of assault with a weapon and common assault after an incident on Rodney Street West.

A 25 year old victim was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Liberals Calling For Health Plan

People in the province need to know what the future of healthcare is going to be. 

That, from Liberal healthcare critic Donald Arsenault who's calling on Health Minister Ted Flemming to come up with a health care plan in light of the latest layoffs in radiation and nuclear medicine at Horizon Health.

Arsenault claims the people who work in healthcare are uncertain about what the future holds and for the first time ever, no nurse practitioners have been hired and other provinces are coming in to approach these graduates.

Rothesay MLA To Run Again

Saying his work is not done, the MLA for Rothesay, Ted Flemming, who's also Health Minister and Attorney General, tells CHSJ News he'll be seeking re-election in September and is ready to defend the Alward Government's record.

Flemming says aside from having a new leader, the same group of Liberals will be running who showed they didn't know how to run the province under then Premier Shawn Graham and were essentially fired in the last provincial election.

VIDEO: Major Fire On Union Street

Two buildings have been destroyed after major fire broke out shortly before 3am in the uptown.

The fire appears to have started at 221 Union, where the Pawn Star pawn shop was located, then spread to the adjacent former beauty salon. Deputy Chief Joe Armstrong tells CHSJ News the cold weather complicated matters for fire crews as they found some fire hydrants frozen when they arrived, and securing a water supply was a challenge.

No tenants were at home in the upper floor apartments at the time of the fire, although the Red Cross is reporting 10 people from nearby buildings have been evacuated. Fire crews managed to stop the fire from spreading to the building along Union Street that once housed Union Deli.

City Police tells CHSJ News
Union is closed from Charlotte to Carmarthen--also Sydney Street from King Square North to Peters Street. Power is also out in that area.

The cause of the fire has not been determined.

Lung Association Urging Homeowners To Test For Radon

This colourless, odourless radioactive gas could be seeping into your home without you even noticing, and the New Brunswick Lung Association is urging you to test for it. 

Radon is caused by the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water and can get into your home through cracks and openings. It's the second leading cause of cancer in Canada.

Community Outreach Manager Roshini Kassie tells CHSJ News you should make sure to buy a long-term test kit in order to get your true level of radon concentration, since radon levels in your home vary over time. You can buy a home testing kit at various hardware stores or through the NB Lung Association by calling 1-800-565-Lung. For more information, visit their website.

Major Uptown Fire

A major fire breaking out early this morning at the corner of Sydney, Union and Waterloo Streets. 

The building that houses Pawn Stars right at the corner appears to have been destroyed. Fire crews managed to stop the fire from spreading to the building that once housed Union Deli and are trying to keep it away from the nearby buildings along Waterloo. 

City Police telling us the area from Union to Prince Edward Street will be blocked off to traffic for most of the morning.

Power has also been shut off to parts of the uptown because of the blaze.