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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Doucet Happy 24-Car Ferry Will Serve Deer Island

One local MLA is very pleased the government decided to go forward with its original promise.

It's been announced that the 18 car John E. Rigby ferry in Deer Island will be replaced with a 24 car ferry. Charlotte-The Isles MLA Rick Doucet tells us this is really good for the islanders. He says people in the area came together and came up with some very compelling reasons as to why they needed this, and in this case the government listened very clearly.

The government previously said due to cutbacks and trying to save money, the Rigby would be replaced with another 18 car ferry. Doucet says a public meeting was held on the island with many residents bringing forth very good reasons as to why a 24 car was needed.

NB To Look Into Neonatal Admissions, Frequency of C-Sections

A new program by the provincial government is looking into the care new moms and their babies are getting in the province--and how we can do better.

The New Brunswick Perinatal Health Program will gather information on births and use it to develop better healthcare policies.

They're particularly interested in neonatal admissions, and why moms in New Brunswick have been getting more C-sections than is recommended by the World Health Organization. While WHO suggest that caesarian sections should be used in no more than five to 15 per cent of all births, in NB, they're now at 28 per cent.

The information-gathering will start this spring.

New App Links Consumers, Local Businesses

Want to buy local, but aren't sure whether a shop carries what you need? There's an app for that.

The Saint John Board of Trade has announced the MyChamber app can help you find local businesses, discounts, and deals nearby.

Jeff Roach of Sociallogical tells CHSJ News the app could help propel business in Saint John forward in today's marketplace.

Other cities throughout Canada also use the app, so it's useful when you're traveling as well. MyChamber uses GPS to pinpoint your location and is free to download through the app store. Find out more here

New Plans For Exhibition Park

With the snow a meter deep throughout the city, the thought of an indoor fieldhouse where kids could play sports year round sounds like a great idea to some people. 

The idea of such a fieldhouse at Exhibition Park has been around for a while but now it's getting new traction, with Frank McCarey of the Exhibition Park Association telling common council the fieldhouse would be great for the local community and also to host regional and even national sports competitions.

Meanwhile, some councillors expressed concern that we already have too many recreational facilities that aren't being kept up as well as they could be.

Council will hear back from a committee on the idea this spring.

Questions Raised Over Energy Institute's Credibility

A fiery back and forth in the legislature over the credibility of the provincial Energy Institute. 

Liberal Leader Brian Gallant says he questions the framework of the body, and believes it was created as a scapegoat for the Alward government to get its narrative out and they simply want the institute to say yes to shale gas development in New Brunswick.

Minister of Energy and Mines Craig Leonard firing back by saying it's ironic that while Gallant is questioning just how credible the institute is, he is waiting on a report they're creating for Environment Canada to make his decision on shale gas.

The conversation coming after Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eilish Cleary turned down an invitation to join the institute. Last fall, Louis LaPierre stepped down as the head of the Energy Institute after it was revealed he misrepresented his academic qualifications.

Saint John High Tech Company Getting Big Bucks

A big chunk of federal money of up to 483 thousand dollars going to Ambir Technology, a Saint John company on Canterbury Street that's been around for 10 years. 

Chief Technology and Delivery Officer Paul Mansz says there's so much information these days, many companies find it difficult to sort through all the big data to find solutions to their problems. That's where Ambir comes into play to come up with computer designed solutions to virtually any problem.

Saint John M-P Rodney Weston says the money is coming from the Federal Industrial Research programme to transform innovative ideas into commercial ventures.

Weston describes Ambir as the type of company that will be critical to future economic prosperity.

Budworm Outbreak Described As "Imminent"

People who depend on forestry for their livlihoods are worried another outbreak of the spruce budworm is imminent in New Brunswick.

When the last big population explosion of the spruce budworm occurred between 1977 and the early 90's, just over half of the total area of New Brunswick was defoliated at one point. 

The Harper Government is spending 18 million dollars to come up with an early intervention strategy that will stop the budworm from spreading but not cause harm to the environment.

Schools Closed For Day

All schools in the Anglophone South School District from Sussex down to St. Stephen, including Saint John and the Valley are closed today as well as Francophone South schools in Saint John and Quispamsis.

 All classes at the Atlantica Centre for the Arts have been cancelled for the day.

Ready Arc Training and testing Welding school closed today with student testing postponed.

100 Men Who Care Give To Lion's Sick Children Fund

Between hospital bills, hotel stays and gas, getting by can be tough for the parents of a sick child who needs to travel for treatment. 

But a few families in the greater Saint John area could be getting a little help thanks to a donation of $13,200 from local chapter of the 100 Men Who Care to the Lion's Sick Children Fund.

Lynn Smith going up to accept the check and she tells CHSJ News the money means four or five families are going to immediately be able to be served. Smith believes their message struck a very personal chord with the men. Each man taking part in the event each donating $100.

The other two charities that made presentations to the group were Hestia House and the Lunch Connection.

Police Follow Footprints To Make Arrests

Two arrests made on the west side in Fundy Heights after City Police saw footprints in the snow and decided to follow them. 

They led to a driveway on Young Street where an 18 year old man and 17 year old youth were seen leaving. The two were stopped for trespassing and the story they gave didn't sound right. 

Police then discovered the 17 year old had on him a substantial amount of marijuana and the 18 year old was carrying a concealed prohibited weapon.

More Snow Coming Tonight

The latest storm system will wind up dumping 10 centimeters of snow in the Saint John region before it ends just in time for your morning commute but more is on the way tonight. 

Andy Firth of Environment Canada tells CHSJ News you can expect another 5 to 10 centimeters of snow tonight into tomorrow morning followed by another storm system on Friday.  He says that one should be starting off with snow Friday afternoon quickly changing over to rain because of the warmer air and there will be a prolonged period of rain into Saturday.

Firth says the snowfall tonight will be virtually a carbon copy of what we saw last night through this morning.