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Monday, March 17, 2014

A Chilly Groundbreaking For The New Y

On a bitter day in the North end, many excited members of the extended Saint John Y family reaching a crucial milestone...a groundbreaking on the new facility.

MP Rodney Weston told the chilly crowd everyone has been waiting for this for a long time and he wanted to thank everyone especially Dale Knox, Shilo Boucher and everyone from the Y.

Some kids joined Y CEO Shilo Boucher and the politicians to big in the ground with gold shovels. 

Dale Knox also announced that the campaign has reached $4.8 million dollars and they will happily accept donations from the community.

The new Y is set to open on Churchill Boulevard in the late fall of 2015.

To make a donation, click here

Transformer Fire And Car Crashes In Musquash

Musquash firefighters responded to a transformer fire and a pair of car crashes over the weekend.  
The transformer fire happened Saturday shortly after 9 o'clock in Lepreau and caused a power outage for 6 hours in that area.

One crash happened on Route 1 near New River on Sunday shortly after 2 in the morning after the car hit a guardrail. A few hours later, there was a rollover on route 790 in Musquash around 8am in which the vehicle ended up on its roof in a brook.

No one was injured in either crash. The roads were extremely slippery at the time.

CBS Workers Could Soon Strike

Canadian Blood Services workers in the province may soon be on strike, after they say the latest contract offer didn't offer enough money for the hours worked.

CUPE rep Mike Davidson tells CHSJ News the action could effect as many as 40 workers,

including phlebotomists, clinic assistants and drivers.

The workers will be in a legal strike position as of tomorrow. CUPE Local 1655 has requested another meeting next Thursday March 27th in hopes of negotiating a new deal. 

More Work Being Done On Partridge Island

A new committee with representatives from Irish, Jewish, historical, and political groups in the city has agreed to develop a detailed report on the future of Partridge Island.

That report will come out in October, around the same time as the engineering study that's already been commissioned. Mayor Mel Norton tells CHSJ News it's been in the works for a long time, and the dedicated volunteers who have agreed to be part of the committee are an asset to the project's continued success.

Joshua Thompson has spent the past several years studying Partridge Island and he says he's thrilled to be on board, because it's vital for the younger generation to value our community's historical legacy.

Various ideas have included a green park with walking trails, a monument, and an interpretation center. 

Councillor Still Struggling Over Fluoridation

Common Councillor John MacKenzie says if substantial amounts of money in healthcare costs can be saved by fluoridating water, then the provincial health department should pick up the tab.  The issue will come up before Common Council tomorrow night.

Both the Dental Society and District Medical Health Officer Dr. Scott Giffin argued health dollars are saved because of fluoridation but how much of a saving is unknown. 

Councillor Gerry Lowe says most of the people he has heard from don't want fluoridation. That appeared to be the consensus judging by the results of a Country 94 poll we conducted after the city voted to stop fluoridating the water.

MacKenzie admits he is troubled by the decision to stop fluoridating the city's water supply after hearing more than half of children suffer from toth decay.

Provincial NDP Snags Conservative

A former President of the provincial Conservative party's youth wing is jumping ship. 

William Carter of Hampton is joining the NDP. Carter is also a former Conservative party staff member. 

The NDP has scheduled a news conference tomorrow to introduce Carter and have him elaborate on his reasons for changing party allegiance.

Utopia Traffic Stop Leads To Coke Seizure

A Saturday night traffic stop in Utopia leading to the seizure of nearly 6 grams of coke.

The 47 year old man from Pennfield was stopped in his vehicle about 10:30pm on Johnson Lane.

He was arrested at the scene and later released with an August court date in St. Stephen provincial court.

Unique Drinking Facts For Saint Patrick's Day

It's Saint Patrick's Day in Canada's "Most Irish" City, which means the whiskey and green beer will be flowing at local watering holes.

To help your avoid feeling green tomorrow, CHSJ News has gathered a few drinking tips:

-Eat before you drink, especially proteins, fats and dense carbohydrates: they'll slow down the rate at which you get tipsy and allow you to enjoy the fun for longer.

-Pop and other carbonated mixers make your body absorb the alcohol faster, as does drinking warm drinks like Irish Coffee. Energy drinks mask your body's ability to tell you when you've had enough, making you more likely to drink more and be hungover.

- If you want to drink responsibly you should have no more than one drink per hour, or alternate alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic ones.

-Once alcohol is in your blood neither coffee nor a cold shower will make you sober up more quickly.

-One trick for avoiding a hangover: if you're drinking bottled beer, put your bottle caps in your pocket. Count them and have that many glasses of water when you get home. 

 Above all, make sure that you have a plan to get home safely and don't drive if you've been celebrating.

Police Chief To Present Common Council With A Dose Of Reality

We expect police to be there to deal with emergency situations when they're needed but will a budget frozen at 2014 levels or even with a 2% increase allow them to keep up the current level of service? 

Chief Bill Reid tells CHSJ News the police department will be giving Common Council the lowdown on what the future will look like with a budget frozen at 2014 levels. He warns it won't necessarily be a pretty picture. The Chief pointing out the Shared Risk Pension means $300-thousand dollars comes out of the police budget right off the top, which was never the case before.

Common Council has warned all city departments they'll be looking at a budget freeze in the coming year or a 2 per cent increase.

RCMP In Grand Bay-Westfield Nab Wanted Man

A 29-year-old man from Markham, Ontario, has been arrested in Grand Bay-Westfield on charges in connection with credit card fraud and will be back in court today.

The RCMP arrested a man for violating a condition imposed by the York Regional Police and then they found out he was wanted on a number of outstanding warrants for credit card fraud in Ontario.

Zhong Cai Liu has been charged with violating a court order not to leave Ontario and not possess any credit card or any card with a magnetic strip unless it's in his name.

Additional charges related to credit card fraud are anticipated.

Canada Loses To The Swiss At Harbour Station

Team Canada, skipped by Rachel Homan, lost 8-2 to Switzerland at the Ford World Women's Curling Championship. The Swiss trailed 2-1 after five ends but Binia Feltscher made a wonderful shot in the fifth end, a double takeout to score three. Switzerland put the game away by stealing one more in the sixth, two in the seventh and one in the eighth end.

Switzerland is tied with Allison Pottinger of the U.S. at 3 and 0 atop the round-robin standings. Canada is in a four way tie for third with Russia, Sweden and South Korea.

The loss ended a 15 game winning streak for the Homan rink including an unbeaten run at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

The U.S. takes on Sweden this morning at 9:30 while the Swiss meet Latvia. Team Canada takes on Denmark this afternoon at 2:30 and then the U.S. tonight at 7:30.

What's Next For Partridge Island?

We should find out later today what the next step will be in the continuing talk about doing something with Partridge Island. It has been largely abandoned since the end of the Second World War.

A noonhour news conference has been scheduled at City Hall on Partridge Island involving Mayor Mel Norton, Saint John M-P Rodney Weston and Provincial Tourism Minister Trevor Holder. 

Former Fundy Baykeeper David Thompson tells CHSJ News the installation of a floating dock that could be stored away in the winter is more feasible than building and maintaining a road or walkway to get people back and forth as well as being cheaper to maintain.

Thompson doesn't think a road or walkway would stand up to the stormy weather in the Bay and might prove too inviting for vandals to make the crossing and cause damage when people aren't about.