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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

UPDATE: Local Realtor To Clean Up Former Bargain Shop

Earlier today, we highlighted the deplorable condition of the former Woolworth's at 91 King Street--namely, the unsightly brown paper that has been sagging in the windows for years.

Local Realtor Stef Turner tells CHSJ News she just took control of the listing recently, and she's going to get rid of the paper within the week.

She says the owner, Rod Gillis, had considered spending the money to clean up the property--however, he concluded any potential buyer would be starting from scratch anyway, and it wouldn't make sense to spend the money. Mainly, she said, it was just been a case of no one taking the initiative.

They're replacing the paper with new signage advertising the building for sale. Turner says the building is zoned for mixed usage--meaning we could see commercial space on the bottom and apartments on top--and remains structurally sound despite a little water damage. Turner is inviting the public to comment on the future of 91 King Street via Twitter--for more info, click here

Elderly Man Wakes Up To Stranger In His Bedroom

A nightmarish situation in McAdam, with an elderly man waking up to find a stranger in his bedroom.
The man stole the victim's wallet and billfold and while there were keys to a truck and ATV in the wallet, neither vehicle was stolen and the elderly man was not hurt.
RCMP calling on the public for help finding the suspect in this home invasion. If you have any information, you're being urged to contact them at (506) 784-1205 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Saint John Sign Occasionally "Ain't On"--But Not For Much Longer

The Saint John sign on Fort Howe has been known to have letters burnt out on occasion--you might call it the "Ain't On" sign.

Common Councillor Susan Fullerton says you leave your porch light on when you're expecting guests to show that they're welcome, and the Saint John sign is our metaphorical porch light.

If the city goes through with its proposed change to LED lights, they would have a 10 year lifespan.

Hemmings Speaks On Bringing Love Into The Workplace

A full ballroom at the Delta for the People of Influence Luncheon featuring local filmmaker and musician Greg Hemmings.

He discovered his personal philosophy for putting love in the world also meshed with his beliefs for business.

He says after really spending time studying the visions of people who inspire him he realized they have the right to speak boldly about love so can't we do it in the business community adding it doesn't mean we can't be just as competitive and just profitable.

Natasha Doucet of the Regional Hospital Auxiliary says proceeds from this event go towards the purchase of a virtual sky ceiling for oncology.

She says it's for patients going through radiation treatments to provide a pleasant distraction during an otherwise unpleasant experience.

The auxiliary's next event features Olympic Gold Medalist Alex Bilodeau and his brother Frederic at the Qplex on June 5th.

Fundy Regional Services Commission Exploring Regional Policing

You might experience some deja-vu upon hearing the Fundy Regional Services Commission is once again exploring the idea of regional policing. 

Executive Director Jack Keir tells CHSJ News this time, the idea is that he would study the cost of expanding the Saint John Police force into other communities and each community can decide if they want to be policed by the S-J-P-D or not.

Quispamsis Mayor Murray Driscoll, who was opposed to the motion, saying this is a road they've already been down and that there is no appetite to move away from what they have now with the Kennebecasis Regional Police Force. Rothesay Mayor Bill Bishop who was also opposed echoing those sentiments, saying they are going around in circles.

However the motion did pass.

Robbery At North End Convenience Store

A man is in custody after a robbery at a convenience store in the North end.

City Police tell CHSJ News there was a weapon involved in the incident at At Your Convenience on the corner of Newman and Adelaide but they can't say what type of weapon it was.

The man acted alone and they're not looking for anyone else. No one was hurt.

Over $40K In Equipment Stolen From Business

City Police's Major Crime Unit is investigating after more than $40,000 in equipment was stolen from a commercial business on the Manawagonish Road on the West side.

Sergeant Jay Henderson explains two diesel plate compactors worth up to $18,000 each were swiped, and he says they are very heavy and the thief or thieves would have needed a large truck or trailer to move them. 300 traffic pylons were also lifted worth an estimated $9000.

Henderson says they believe the theft happened between Sunday May 18 and Tuesday May 20 of this year.

Mayor Says Owner Of Bargain Shop Should Be Ashamed

The former Bargain Shop--better known to long-time Saint Johners as the old Woolworth's--on the corner of King and Charlotte Street is a disgusting sight these days, with brown, water-damaged paper sagging in the windows revealing a crumbling interior.

CHSJ News asked Mayor Mel Norton whether something can be done about the eyesore. He says what the city can do is limited, but he's personally appalled that someone in this city would allow their property to deteriorate to that level. He says they should clean it up immediately.

The property was purchased by embattled city lawyer Rod Gillis a number of years ago. One year ago this June, Gillis was sentenced to 22 months in jail for obstruction of justice, but was freed a day later. CHSJ News tried to reach Gillis for comment, but his listed residential number has been disconnected.

Perry Family Says They Won't Give Up

A sad, delayed, painful matter--that's Mr Justice Hugh McLellan's estimate of the Serena Perry case.

 Perry died at the Regional Hospital back in February 2012. Today at the Court of Queen's Bench, members of the family and lawyers were present for yet another tiny step toward setting a date for the inquest, which has become mired in questions over which parties should get standing and what information can be made public.

The victim's mother, Rose, says she won't give up.

According to John Gillis, the lawyer for the family, we're still no closer to setting a date for the actual inquest into Perry's death.

New Markets Being Explored For Canaport LNG

More attention has been focused on Saint John of late as a place where natural gas could be exported to Europe in light of what has been happening in Russia and the Ukraine. 

The Europeans are said to want to lessen their dependence on Russian natural gas. Irving Oil President Paul Browning can see the potential for Canaport L-N-G. He says Europe would be the most obvious choice as a market, and also talks about South America and India.

Browning says what the company needs before anything else takes place is an abundant supply of natural gas that's cost competitive.

It appears Irving Oil and all four Atlantic Premiers who met in Saint John agree on the need on commercializing natural resources.

Shale Gas Protester Sentenced

A 34-year-old man from the Elsipogtog First Nation has been ordered to steer clear of any shale gas protests in the future and placed on 18 months probation.

Jason Augustine pleaded guilty to mischief, two charges of obstructing a police officer and one count of assaulting a police officer. 

Those charges were laid after violence on October 17th near Rexton when police moved in to control what they called a dangerous situation involving firearms, improvised explosive devices and other weapons.

Augustine also pleaded guilty to mischief in connection with another incident July 27th near Harcourt where he was blocking equipment.

Large Container Ship Visits The Port

The largest container ship to ever visit Saint John is on the west side of the port until 11 tonight.
Andrew Dixon of Port Saint John tells CHSJ News they are very pleased with the growth in the container sector.

He says Tropical Shipping continues to be a regular service caller and MSC has been coming to Saint John for two years and they are continuing to grow in volume every quarter.

One Stop Shop To Streamline Development

If you've ever tried to get a building permit, or figure out where your application to the city is in the process, you might have noticed that the process for would-be developers in Saint John can be confusing and even contradictory.

The City is now looking to streamline all that with a so-called One Stop Shop for development. Technical Services Engineer Pamela Bentley explains they're looking at ideas from other cities, including online permit-tracking, automated texts that tell you when your application has passed a regulatory step, same-day permits, and overall a better sense of transparency for the customers using the system.

Mayor Mel Norton told the team behind the d One Stop Shop they've displayed an excellent vision, and several common Councillors referred to the streamlined process as long-need, and overdue.

Council voted to support the principles behind the One Stop Shop. Documents will go to the Planning Advisory Committee for approval in the fall.