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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Saint John Doctor Speaks Out On Prescription Drug Abuse

Two of the projects in Saint John that will receive grant money from the Chesley Research Fund will study how to best manage pain after operations. 

Dr. Donald Lalonde and Dr. Geoff Cook will study whether pain can be managed as well with painkillers after carpal tunnel surgery as it can with opiates. Dr. Lalonde says in Saint John after such surgery, patients are receiving Advil and Tylenol with great success but the majority of doctors elsewhere are prescribing opiates to deal with the pain.

Dr. Lalonde believes narcotics are being prescribed unnecessarily and it has become a huge problem. He calls it a doctor induced problem and tells CHSJ News the abuse of narcotics that are prescribed for pain kills more people each year than from accidents and suicides combined.

The other projects receiving grant money will determine the effect of coping with pain after someone undergoes spinal surgery and the impact of an anti-cancer drug on the heart.

Sea Dogs Unveil Anniversary Logo

The Sea Dogs revealing a new logo to mark their tenth anniversary season.

The new logo will be featured on the team's website, in news releases and various promotional and merchandising materials through the season.

Sea Dogs President Wayne Long says it's hard to believe they are approaching the 10 year mark as an organization.

Oil Tanker Safety Regulations Rolled Out By Feds

Making the country's oil tanker system safer. That's what the Harper Government is aiming to do with new regulations.

Transport Minister Lisa Raitt in the Port City to make the announcement. 

The measures include changing the laws so that chemical dispersant can be used and oil can be burned during a spill situation, bringing in heftier fines in the case of an incident and modernizing the country's marine navigation system to try and stop spills before they happen.

Response planning partnerships will be created with areas that have or will have high levels of tanker traffic including Saint John and the Bay of Fundy.

The safety measures being brought in on top of those announced by the federal government in March of last year.

Why Not Use Concrete To Fix Potholes?

We've all been dodging the potholes on Broad Street, Crown, and everywhere else in the city. Common Councillor Gerry Lowe is questioning why the city doesn't look at more durable building materials like reinforced pavement or concrete--especially on areas like Paradise Row which see a lot of heavy traffic from tractor trailers.

The city's Bill Edwards says it's true that there are other materials that can slow the formation of potholes, including concrete. But while concrete is strong and durable, but it has expansion and contraction issues and can't be used in all cases.

WATCH: Celebrating Police Week

Teens Against Drunk Driving, Big Brothers Big Sisters taking part in the parade for Police Week.  

The Saint John Police Department taking part with an event in King Square allowing their many partners to set up information booths.

Constable Tony Arsenault of the Community Services Unit tells CHSJ News the work really involves problem-solving.

He says when they hear about a specific problem in the City as a unit they have many resources and networks to draw from to try and sold that problem.

The Crescent Valley Resource Centre and ONE Change also taking part in the event at noon today.

To contact Tony Arsenault, call him at 632-6139 or email him at

Incident at Harbour View High

One girl was taken away in a police cruiser for questioning and another taken by ambulance after an incident at Harbour View high.

Sgt. Glen Hayward tells CHSJ News the girls are friends and it appears it may have been unintentional.

Hayward could not confirm what kind of weapon was used in the incident. 

Council Asked To Contribute $75K To New YMCA

After a number of major funding announcements for the new YMCA, a town council in the Kennebecasis Valley being called on for their support. 

The town of Quispamsis being asked to contribute $75,000 over the next five years to the facility on Churchill Boulevard in Saint John. Councillor Peter Rioux expressed some reservations because the town already has a $24-million recreational facility. 

CHSJ News asked Mayor Murray Driscoll if he thinks the new Y will take away from what's happening at the qplex. Driscoll says no, as they have a rink at the town facility and an outdoor summer pool.

In the end, the town referring the matter to the finance committee for next year's budget.

MRI Patient Shares Her Story

MRI Patient Shelley Cohen Thorley tells CHSJ News she's thrilled to be here to see the announcement of a new 3T MRI machine at the Regional Hospital, because after doctors discovered an 8-centimeter blood clot in her brain the prognosis was less than positive.

She tells CHSJ News her life changed dramatically when she was watching TV in bed with her husband and felt a sharp pain in her head. As she reached for an asprin, she noticed that her hand was appearing in double vision--and that's when she knew something was seriously wrong.

Thorley-Cohen says she had a splitting headache. and the old machine made a noise like a drill every time she had to go in it--but the technology then saved her life.

Quispam Council Exploring Dog Friendly Swim Area

When the dog days of summer are here, where can Quispamsis residents bring their canine friends to cool off? That's the dilemma some dog-owners in the community are facing with warm weather just on the horizon. 

The Town Director of Community Services Dana Purton Dickson recommending to council that part of Gondola Point Beach to the right of the swim area be designated as dog-friendly as says the number of swimmers at that location is much lower than Meenan's Cove and people are already bringing their dogs there before the beach opens, after it closes and in the off season.

The area would be fenced from June to September and would be dog-friendly from October to May but without the fencing. Council deciding to gauge public interest through social media, Q-Mail and the town website and if there is enough interest they will move forward. 

There is already $5000 allocated in the 2014 budget for a dog-friendly swim area which will be used for fencing and signage.

Regional To Get New 3T MRI

The Saint John Regional Hospital Foundation has announced a campaign to fundraise and donate $1.5 million toward a 3T MRI machine, which would be used by patients throughout New Brunswick.

The $4 million piece of equipment will be purchased jointly by the Province, Horizon, and the Hospital Foundation.

Health Minister Ted Flemming tells CHSJ News it was a perfect funding scenario: it's revenue neutral for the province, and the Foundation agreed to pay the difference.

The 3T MRI will allow doctors to identify diseases in the heart and brain sooner.....and treat them more precisely. The Regional also has a less-powerful 1.5T MRI machine.

Crews Already Looking At New Approaches To Snow And Ice

This winter is one most of us will be remembering for years to  come: and the city is already looking ahead to next winter, to see what we can do differently to keep our roads more clear.

Kevin Rice of the City's Transportation Department explains they're looking at wetting the salt before it hits the road so that it's already activated and it doesn't end up scattering off the road.

Rice says this winter also made them realize that an "all hands on deck" approach to storms isn't always the most efficient, because you can wind up with more equipment than you have people

Green Road Work Will Proceed Despite Last Minute Objections

Uncharted territory at Rothesay Town Council last night.  
After approving a motion to accept a contract for construction on Green Road, it was rescinded and a concerned resident was allowed to speak.

Mayor Bill Bishop then called for a recess where they all left the room to discuss it.

He says some councillors felt they should at least address the concerns of the citizens but they had already voted on awarding the contract so it became a legal issue.

The town had to decide on the Green Road project during last night's meeting because a tender has been awarded   In the end, they did approve it a second time.  

Some residents oppose the inclusion of sidewalks they don't think are needed and will require the removal of trees and hedges from their properties.

Nighttime Trash Collection To Remain

Despite complaints from city workers about dim working conditions and vermin embedded in the trash, common council has voted against switching South End trash collection from nighttime to daytime.

Almost a decade ago, nighttime trash collection started as a pilot program. Common Councillor John MacKenzie explains he hasn't heard any compelling reasons to make the switch back, and he's concerned daytime collection could cause traffic snags, especially in the winter when snowbanks drastically narrow uptown streets.

The city's Kevin Rice explained while daytime collection wouldn't exactly be cheaper, it would free up some man hours that could be used elsewhere.

In the end, council voted to maintain the status quo.