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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

NB Government To Roll Out Telestroke Program

The provincial government is rolling out a new program that could drastically reduce the amount of time stroke patients wait for medical advice.

Health Minister Ted Flemming says the TeleStroke program will use telecommunications equipment to link emergency department physicians to an on-call neurologist.

The on-call neurologist can offer advice such as when to administer t-PA, a drug which reduces blood clots.
The Department of Health is working with Horizon Health Network, Vitalité Health Network, Ambulance New Brunswick, FacilicorpNB and the Heart and Stroke Foundation to put the program in place by the end of 2014. For more information click here

Police Re-Issue Appeal For Missing Man

Fredericton police re-issuing an appeal for a missing person.

40 year old David John Watt was last seen in early December and his friends and family are concerned about his welfare.

Watt is described as five foot ten weighing 150 pounds with short brown hair and brown eyes.    

Anyone with information in regards to his disappearance is asked to call the Fredericton Police Force at 506-460-2300 or click here

Province and Teachers Work Out A Deal On Pension Plan

The provincial government and the New Brunswick Teacher's Association have reached an agreement about the teacher's pension plan.

Finance Minister Blaine Higgs explains more details of the agreement will be released over the coming days, but he can say the agreement meets their mutual objectives for a more sustainable and affordable plan. The practice of special payments--which have cost hundreds of millions of dollars--will also be done away with.

The plan will now include matching contributions from the teachers and the province. It's also being reported teachers will not be able to retire as early as they can now and the retirees may not always receive cost of living increases. That will depend on how well the pension plan is doing.

The two sides have been working on the agreement for the past four months. Information sessions for teachers about the changes will begin on April 22nd.

Angling Season Opens Today

As rivers and lakes begin to open up and thaw, anglers are getting ready for the season.

Fishing season opens today on many rivers and brooks in the province with more lakes and rivers opening May 1. Northern lakes open May 15.

The DNR is reminding anglers to report their catch online or by using the postage paid survey card provided in the Fish 2014 book.

The Mayor Dislikes The Wage Hike But Supports Other Aspects of the Police Deal

Mayor Mel Norton thinks the wage increase in the new police deal is too high considering the average Saint Johner only makes $35,000 a year and can't imagine salary increases anywhere close to 12 per cent over 3 years.

Norton tells CHSJ News he does like the the removal of the layoff clause and the ability to allow civilians into certain positions as officers retire.

He says that creates some flexibility because they can be filled by civillian employees who have a lower income.

Norton says the elimination of a training fund represents an immediate savings of $150,00 a year.

Saint Johnners Can Sign Condolence Book For Jim Flaherty

You can sign a book of condolence for the late former Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty in the King Street office of Saint John M-P Rodney Weston this week and next. 

Weston says the Harbour Bridge deal, Hearbour cleanup and the agreement on a water treatment plant would not have happened were it not for Flaherty.

Weston's office is located at the head of King Street just below Charlotte. A state funeral for Flaherty is scheduled tomorrow afternoon in Toronto in an historic Roman Catholic cathedral downtown.

NDP Leader Calls The Literacy Issue Critical

Lieutenant Governor Graydon Nicholas inviting high school students from across the province to come together in the name of literacy.

A Youth Literacy Summit is being hosted at Government House in Fredericton today on New Brunswick Literacy Day.

NDP Leader Dominic Cardy tells CHSJ News accepts the challenge made recently to make literacy an election issue.

He thinks its really critical to spread awareness and it can solved with political will and political action.

According to the 2012 Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies, over 50 per cent of New Brunswick adults between the ages of 16-65 do not have the literacy skills required to meet the demands of life and work in Canada's modern industrialized economy.

Possibility Of Flooding Becoming Real

River Watch is keeping a close eye on the Nashwaak River and its tributaries which are expected to reach flood stage today. 

Water levels have been rising as much as a metre a day. People who live alongside the river are being warned to be alert with ice jams forming at MacLaggan Bridge, Tay Bridge, Durham Bridge and Marysville Bridge.

Ice movement has been occurring in several smaller rivers and tributaries. Ice jams have formed within the last 48 hours but are currently not holding back water at the following locations....Hammond River between the Route 860 and Lakeside Road intersection to one kilometre above the French Village Covered bridge or Highway 1...........Hammond River at Route 100........ Creek River near the Oldfield Road and  Nashwaak River at Taymouth.

Council Ponders Overnight Trash Collection Problems

Maybe you've been woken up by the crashing and grinding noises in your neighbourhood at night: garbage collection isn't a pretty business but it has to be done sometime.

The city's Kevin Rice explains from their perspective it might make sense to have garbage collection during the day for a several reasons: namely, crews are concerned about the vermin they can't see that are hiding in the trash, getting harassed while they're working, and other nuisances of working in the dark.

As well, Common Councillor Shirley McAlary said the switch would free up crews to fill potholes or plow overnight.

Rice said it wouldn't necessarily save money to make the switch but it might be a smarter allocation of resources. Council voted in 2008 to switch collection to overnight because it was thought unslightly for tourists.