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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

City Issues Warning Over Ice Conditions

The City and it's Fire Department reminding you that the ice conditions on lakes and rivers may not be safe.

It's a timely warning after a rescue on the Saint John River last weekend of a snowmobiler who went through the ice.

Communications Officer Leah Fitzgerald tells CHSJ News firefighters had to go down a very steep drop with ropes and ladders to get onto the ice.

She says it was a harrowing rescue as some firefighters and one police officer did fall through the ice but managed to get out quickly and were not hurt.
To check on ice conditions at Rockwood 658-2908.

Potential Blow To Local Economy

It could be bad news for the local economy -- we're getting reports that the timeshare division of Wyndham Worldwide is closing down in April, which would put 300 people out of work.

Other divisions are not affected.

Our newsroom has placed a call with Wyndham Worldwide for confirmation but no response so far.

Chipman Hill Suites Offering Job Hunter's Getaway

The Chipman Hill Suites is looking to give a boost to those who have been hit hard by the economy.

The suites are looking for submissions from couples who are over 25, have been out of work for 6 months, and are actively looking for work.

The winning entry will win a 2 night stay at the Chipman Hill Suites and owner Susan Fullerton tells CHSJ News it's nice to offer a break to those under a stressful situation.

The winner will be chosen by staff and a free stay will be given out once a month.

You can submit your story to or via snail mail at Chipman Hill Suites, 76 Union Street, Saint John, New Brunswick, E2L 1A1

Saint John Should Not Take A Back Seat To Moncton On Sporting Events

There's no reason why Saint John has to take a back seat to Moncton when it comes to staging major outdoor sporting events like a CFL game. That, according to Barry Ogden who chairs the city's Leisure Services Committee. He tells CHSJ News the Canada Games Stadium has to be promoted the same as Harbour Station.

Ogden says in the past the City had an organization that seeks out events but, they do not anymore.
He adds Moncton and Halifax both have groups that do that.

Ogden says the CFL has been contacted to make clear Saint John wants to host a CFL pre-season game.

The City Will Support Paramount Project If The Other Levels Of Government Will

The city is willing to pony up 300 thousand dollars for the restoration of the Paramount Theatre in King's Square but only if the project also gets funding from the other levels of government. The general manager of Uptown Saint John Peter Asimakos says they've done the number crunching.

He says they completed a business plan before Christmas that shows the profitability for the project in year 2 making it sustainable.
Even though the commitment from the city is only conditional, Asimakos says it sends a positive message to potential contributors.

Pharmacists Call More Help With Methadone Program

The need is there for more provincial pharmacists to be in the methadone program.

That call from two pharmacists, one in Devon and the other in Saint John.

Pharmacist Sean Luck of the Guardian Drugs on Loch Lomond Road tells CHSJ News it took a tragedy to change his mind about the program.
He says he was like everyone else and he thought methadone users are on the street, doing drugs, dirty and they steal but, after he lost a patient to suicide it really opened my eyes.
Of the 200 pharmacies in the province, only 50 are participating in the methadone program.

Possible Gas Leak Disrupts Busy City Intersection

Flashing lights and sirens causing a commotion at King and Germain this morning -- fire crews - ambulances - and - police responding to reports of gas fumes in the area.  
District Fire Chief Gerry Morris tells CHSJ News readings inside nearby buildings including the CIBC bank failed to turn up any traces of natural gas.
Morris says there were roofers working on one of the buildings and it appears some of the fumes from propane fired heaters may have been hauled in through the ventilation system.
After double checking for gas fumes - the o-k was given a few minutes later and life returned to normal at the busy intersection.

City To Spend More On Paving Roads This Year

Common Council has spelled out in detail what it will spending its 42 million dollar capital budget money on this year. While money is tight, there will be more funding to pave the roads.

The head of Municipal Operations Paul Groody concedes the city has alot of streets that cannot be maintained as they are. 220 lane kilometers of city streets will have to be reconstructed.

City Manager Pat Woods expects the city will have to keep a close eye on what it spends for the next few years because the province is in a cost saving mode.

There are several projects on the wish list that will go ahead if there is funding help from the province and federal government. These include retrofitting the Trade and Convention Centre, restoration of the Paramount Theatre and an artificial turf field in Millidgeville. The city manager singled out the Trade and Convention Centre as a priority because of the economic spinoffs.

The capital budget contains over 18 million dollars to be spent on the Peel Plaza development by the city this year. Deputy Mayor Stephen Chase isn't happy about that but fellow Council member Chris Titus sees the project in a positive light with potential for future growth in a part of the city that has been largely vacant. Chase points out 60 per cent of new money is being eaten up by Peel Plaza but, nonetheless, he still voted in favour.

Cause Of Garage Fire Appears Suspicious

The fire department launching an investigation to determine how a garage fire got started at 17 Green Street East early this morning.

The fire department found the two storey building fully engulfed in flames when they arrived and has been heavily damaged.

No one was injured and three nearby buildings did not sustain any fire damage.