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Friday, August 7, 2009

Romero House Keeps Staff

Never one to back down from a challenge, former Saint John M-P Paul Zed says the doors are staying open at Romero House.Zed is the chairman of the Finance committee for the soup kitchen, and he tells CHSJ News, the commitment everyone has shown to Romero House has been overwhelming.
Today was the day Romero House was supposed to cut it's staff due to financial difficulties, but Zed says there are over 100 volunteers working and 8 permanent staff.
Zed says an celebration event is in the works for the end of the month, and says the amount of businesses and organizations getting involved to show their support is impressive.

Education Cuts This Fall

With 24 million dollars being cut from education for the upcoming school year, changes are underway in school districts across the province. Cut backs include student busing and staff lay offs that involve teaching assistants, intervention workers and library assistants.
Opposition Education Critic Claude Landry tells CHSJ News the governments treatment of the staff who received lay off notices is disgraceful.

Van Burnt in St. Stephen

Add another burnt vehicle to the list in St. Stephen.A tip to our newsroom tells us several stop signs were damaged, and a van was set on fire.RCMP confirm a van was burned, and an investigation is underway.
No word on if there is any connection to the 13 cars destroyed at a garage early last month.

More Federal - Provincial Funding About To Flow

Look for a good news announcement soon regarding some funding to help the city begin upgrades to its water treatment system. Saint John Conservative M-P Rodney Weston tells CHSJ News he expects to be making an announcement within days. Weston also tells us a deal is close to being finalized which will see federal-provincial funding for a six million dollar upgrade of the Canada Games Stadium.

Hampton Community in Blooms Competition

The town of Hampton is trying to earn bragging rights as residents prepare for the judges of the International Communities in Bloom competition.Laurie Mills tells CHSJ News, it would be great if residents between now and Sunday can do some tidying up before the judges get here.
Mills says Hampton won the national competition in 2007, and says the town has a shot at winning the International title.The public is invited to attend the judges’ reception on Monday evening at 7:30 at the River Center in Hampton.

Mayor Thinks Harbour Cleanup Cost Overrun May Be Less

(Mayor Ivan Court - file photo)

Mayor Ivan Court thinks the projected 20-million dollar overrun for the harbour cleanup project may end up being reduced. Court says things have changed in the marketplace with the shelving of Irving Oil's proposed second refinery -- so -- he thinks contractors will be a little sharper with their pencils than originally when it seemed like a number of major projects were on the books.The mayor says the city remains on track for meeting its target of treating all of East Saint John's sewerage -- meantime -- Tim Vickers of the Atlantic Coastal Action Program says it doesn't make sense to push for other projects until this one is completed.The original cost of the harbour cleanup project was pegged at 88-million dollars with completion set for 2012.

Animal Cruelty Charges Delayed

RCMP are waiting on the crown prosecutor before animal cruelty charges will be laid against two men in St. Stephen. They are accused of leaving a large dog in a parked vehicle overnight last May when they crossed over to the U-S. The dog died after suffering from excessive heat and lack of food and water.

The two were scheduled to appear in St. Stephen court last Tuesday but RCMP did not receive the Necropsy report until the day before the court appearance. The file still needs to be reviewed and approved by the Crown Prosecutor before charges can be laid. No court date has been set.

City's Jobless Rate Remains Steady

Saint John remains a bright spot in Atlantic Canada as far as the jobless rate is concerned. Stats-Canada reports our unemployment rate remained at five percent between June and July -- that's lower than Halifax and St John's. It's also lower than the national rate which also remained unchanged at 8.6-percent last month. The provincial rate inched up slightly to 9.4-percent last month from 9.2 in June.

Job Stats Improving

The number of job listings being advertised in this country is below where it was a year ago. President of Career AIM David Forster tells CHSJ News, the rate is 3 per cent higher than last month, but still lags behind last years number by 17 per cent. Forster says these stats prove we are starting to see the economy recover.

Right now there are just over 5000 job postings for New Brunswick, down by nearly a thousand a month ago.

Passenger Train Rides Announced for Dragon Boat Festival

The St. Joseph's Hospital Foundation is celebrating the 5th anniversary of the Saint John Dragon Boat festival on August 29th with the Dragon Boat Express. NB Southern Railway will run a passenger train between Harbour Station and the festival site on James Renforth Drive.
Return trips will be offered throughout the day of the event for 10 dollars per person--with all proceeds going directly to the Hospital Foundation's Wellness Garden Fundraising Project. For more information visit or contact St. Joseph's Hospital Foundation 632-5497

Busy Morning for City Police

One man is facing charges after police found him rifling through a jeep early this morning on Main Street in the North End. He was arrested and will be charged with attempted robbery. There have been a number of thefts from vehicles in the city recently.

Meanwhile, police are looking for the driver of a Ford Ranger that crashed into a couple of houses around 3:30 this morning in the South End. Homes on Pitt and Leinster Streets were struck by the truck, which was later found empty. And a man in his 40's is facing a charge for refusing to take a breathalyser after drive-thru workers at a McDonald's called police. They say the man was driving drunk when he had a snack attack last night.