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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Teachers & Parents Celebrate 23 Middle and High School Students

Laughter and tears as 23 middle and high school students spent a few hours celebrating big accomplishments.

The 2014 Turnaround Achievement Awards for the Saint John Education centre held tonight at Lily Lake Pavilion.

15 year old Brandon Humphrey-McCashion of Fundy Shores School overcame a hip injury and discovered a love for wheelchair basketball and now plays for the provincial team.

He says it gave him a purpose to be able to go an play basketball instead of watching his friends play sports.

18 year old Trevian Snow of Harbour View High has battled depression and has advice for other students who struggle with it.

He says keep trying and never give up hope because once you push through these tough times you will be the best person anyone has every met.

Anglophone South Community Engagement Co-ordinator Erika Lane says it's inspiring to see the impact of teachers and principals have in the lives of their students.

She says they know their teachers, guidance counsellors and principals are behind them 100 per cent and beyond that the greater community which speaks volumes to them.

The event's guest speaker Spencer Mason spoke of his own struggles with drug addiction and coming through the other side to find happiness in marriage, school and in operating a business.

The Elsie McGraw Memorial Walk Coming Up Tomorrow

Voice Found Saint John hosting a walk in the uptown tomorrow in memory of a Saint Johner who fought for those without a voice.

Elsie McGraw dreamt of seeing local victims of child sexual abuse find the help they need but died unexpectedly earlier this year.

Local advocate Jessie Lanigan tells CHSJ News she met Elsie at a walk she organized last year and showed her a whole new way to raise awareness.

She says being around people who have similar experiences is powerful and uplifting adding they understand why you are the way you are and what you have been through.

The Elsie McGraw Memorial Walk is coming up tomorrow afternoon at 430pm. 

If you want to take part, meet at the King Square bandstand and you are encouraged to wear red.

For more info on Voice Found, click here

KV Police Looking For Your Input

The Kennebecasis Regional Police Force is updating their plan for the next 5 years--and as part of that, they're looking for your input.

If you, or anyone you know, would like to offer your opinion as to the future direction of the police department, you're being asked to submit your thoughts via email.

They're particularly interested in what you believe their priorities should be and how you propose they handle them.

You can send you emails to until June 6.

Federation Of Labour Predicts Injured Workers Will Lose Out

The New Brunswick Federation of Labour is warning changes to how appeals by injured workers are heard will make it harder for them to get compensation. 

Instead of a three person panel which includes a labour representative, the appeal will be heard by a lawyer.

Lawrence McKay of the Federation's Occupational Health, Safety and Environment Committee tells CHSJ News the Workers Compensation Board has found itself on the losing end of appeals which means its policies have been contravening the Act. He suspects these changes are mean't to change the outcomes.

McKay predicts the changes will make appealing compensation decisions more expensive and could be beyond the reach of injured workers who are not unionised.

A Warning Against Any More Cuts In Bus Service

Saint John Transit has been cut to the bone and any further reductions will come at the expense of bus service being reduced. 

That warning from Transit General Manager Frank McCarey who says he knows from first hand experience, the last round of cuts is still being felt. He says a person who works in his dentist's office used to take the bus but then bought a car after the last round of cuts and likely won't be back.

McCarey says cleanliness on board buses has suffered because of staffing reductions and, for the first time he can remember, certain routes had to be missed because there weren't enough buses to put on the road. 

Maintenance costs are up by 10 per cent because the buses are getting old and need more upkeep to stay on the road with some of them over 20 years of age.

A Depressing Report On Housing

If you want to buy a home, you'll have a wide array of choices at a good price. 

Canada Mortgage and Housing is predicting housing starts will decline both this year and in 2015 in Saint John, Moncton and Fredericton. Slow demand for housing being caused by weak economic and employment growth. 

A downward trend is also expected this year and next in the resale market with new listings at historically high levels.

The vacancy rate for rentals will stay high.

NDP Calling For Crackdown On Impaired Drivers

NDP Fredericton North candidate Brian Duplessis is calling for a crack-down on drug use among drivers. Duplessis says it's especially important given the trend toward legalizing marijuana.

The NDP also wants tougher penalties for repeat impaired drivers, including automatic license suspensions for failed tests, mandatory alcohol interlocks for any drunk driving conviction, and stiffer fines the more convictions you have.

According to a MADD study, one-third of young Canadians think driving stoned is safer than driving drunk.

River Watch Ends

Another sign that we're marching--slowly, but surely--toward summer.

The New Brunswick government has announced it's wrapping up its River Watch operations, which allowed New Brunswickers to call a hotline or check the website for updated flood conditions.

Water levels have now fallen well below flood stage and are expected to keep going down.

The spring freshet caused major flooding in Sussex, but fortunately, it wasn't as bad as expected in Perth Andover and elsewhere.

Prowler Steals NB Government Laptop In Rothesay

A suburban car prowler managed to make off with some pricey electronics--but not for long.

Sergeant Jay Henderson explains they got a call from a citizen with a description of the 24 year old who was checking cars on the Rothesay Road.

When they pulled him over near Ashburn Road, he was found to have an Government of NB-issue laptop and an iPhone, both of which are believed to have been stolen.

He was also found to be wanted on a province-wide warrant. he'll be appearing in court later this afternoon.

Big Lotto Win In Sussex

If you happened to buy a ticket in Sussex for last night's Lotto 649 draw, you could be 7 million dollars richer. 

Atlantic Lottery is telling us a ticket sold in Sussex for last night's draw is worth that much.

Crash Closes Part Of Loch Lomand Road

A collision between a car and a hydro pole on the east side has closed a portion of Loch Lomand Road at Little River in both directions. 

Drivers are being advised to take the Airport Arterial or Eldersley Avenue.

It will be a while before the road is reopened because the hydro pole has to be removed first before the car can be towed.

Power has also been disrupted in that area and is not expected to be restored until later this morning.

Decision Not Expected This Year On New Plant In City

A decision is not expected until sometime next year from Repsol on whether it will proceed with building a $2 billion plant at Canaport L-N-G to export natural gas to Europe. 

Bloomberg News is reporting Repsol, which is the largest energy company in Spain, is at least giving consideration to the possibility because of unease in Europe over its dependence on Russian natural gas after the upheavel and violence in the Ukraine. 

Premier David Alward has told CHSJ News when he met with more than 20 ambassadors from the European Union, they were primarily asking him about exporting energy from Saint John.

Canaport LNG has reportedly been underutilised as a facility to import liquified natural gas.

You'll Have To Pay More For Gas

As expected, there has been a slight increase in the price of gas after the weekly setting. 

Self serve regular in the city is selling for $1.35.2 a litre with diesel at $1.37.6.

The maximum price for heating oil has also increased to $1.25.8 a litre but propane is a bit cheaper at $1.05.