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Friday, April 1, 2011

Nearly 7000 Without Power

The storm causing widespread power outages across the province with nearly 7000 people in the dark.
Those outages impacting over 3300 NB Power customers in St. Stephen and over 2000 in Fredericton.
Crews are working to restore power.

Weston Happy The Deal Came Together

Conservative incumbent Rodney Weston says as of today the residents of Saint John are being treated fairly with respect to highway infrastructure.
Weston says he is pleased that Ottawa and Fredericton were able to remove the tolls and complete their part of the agreement signed in November.
Weston did fire a shot at the Opposition saying it is disappointing that the Province has a Liberal Party more concerned with holding up this deal than treating Saint John like the rest of the Province.

Bridge Tolls Now History

New Brunswick's only toll bridge is now just a memory.
The toll plaza booths are empty and the lights are green after the Legislature gave final approval and Royal Assent to a Bill abolishing the Harbour Bridge Authority and the tolls earlier this afternoon.
Provincial Department of Transportation crews quickly moved in setting up barriers to block off all but the two outside lanes east and west to keep traffic flowing at an orderly but safe pace.
The toll plaza booths were shut down just before four this afternoon.

RCMP Warn Drivers To Be Careful On Highway 7

Driving on April Fool's Day is not funny at all.
A series of collisions prompting the RCMP to issue a warning about poor road conditions on Highway 7 between Saint John and Fredericton.
The mounties tell CHSJ News motorists should be extra careful on that stretch and if possible, stay off the road.
In Saint John, City police responding to a few accidents around the city and we are told the roads are slippery in the metro area and in the region.

Authority Chair Calls It The End Of An Era

It's the end of an era with the tolls set to come off the Harbour Bridge this afternoon.
The Chair of the Harbour Bridge Authority says he feels bad for the employees.
Bob McDevitt tells CHSJ News it's a sad day for them.
He says many of the employees spent many years working for the Authority and they have been putting up with the hovering question mark about their future since the last federal election.

McDevitt says there are no police cars monitoring the toll plaza today it's up to the province to handle that now.

Bridge Tolls Coming Off This Afternoon

New Brunswick's only toll bridge will soon become history -- the Legislature has given approval to a Bill dissolving the Harbour Bridge Authority and giving ownership to the province.

Transportation Minister Claude Williams says the tolls will be removed as of 4 this afternoon.

It's part of a federal-provincial agreement announced in late November by Prime Minister Harper during a stop in the city.

The tolls were supposed to be removed by yesterday -- but -- approval of the Bill bogged down in debate over details -- the Opposition Liberals announced this morning they would support the necessary Legislation.

Breaking News - Bridge Bill Gets Final Approval

The Legislature has just given unanimous consent to the Bill to dissolve the Harbour Bridge Authority thereby abolishing the tolls.

The Lieutenant Governor is on his way to the Legislature to give Royal Assent to the Bill -- that means the tolls should be off later this afternoon or this evening at the latest.

Royal Commission Into Nuclear Power Gets Support

The Conservation Council of New Brunswick is joining the call for a Royal Commission into the future of nuclear power in the wake of what is happening in Japan.

The Conservation Council's Raphael Shay tells CHSJ News the nuclear disaster in Japan occurred after the reactors were actually shut down and was caused by a lack of coolant which can happen at any reactor under certain circumstances. He maintains the best you can do is mitigate the risk but not eliminate it entirely.

Premier David Alward downplayed safety concerns when he was asked about bringing Lepreau back on line in the fall of 2012 earlier this week in the city after talking to the board of Trade and Rotary Club.

Salty Jam 2011 Features Rosanne Cash

Rosanne Cash and the legendary Downchild Blues Band are just some of feature acts at this year's Salty Jam music festival.
Planning Committee Chair Renea Sleep says the festival is now 6 years old and still gaining momentum.

She says they added a third night last year and compared to two years ago they are growing which is what any festival wants to do.
Again this year the event is working the The Give, the fundraising event for the Saint John Regional Hospital Foundation.    The Give will receive 10 per cent of Salty Jam's proceeds.
Tickets are already on sale for the event running July 7 to the 9th.   For more information on the line-up for Salty Jam 2011, click here

Salty Jam Lends A Hand To The Give

Victoria Clarke of the Saint John Regional Hospital Foundation says last year volunteers for The Give filled the bar area helping out in the Salty Jam tents.

She says they had a great volunteer experience and they were able to keep the tips and the proceeds from all returnables which came out to $3000 for last year's campaign.

The Give is trying to raise $680,000 for a provincial stem cell therapy program at the Regional hospital.
For more info on the The here

Dogs Seized After Attack

City Police were called after two dogs attacked another one along Guilford Street on the lower west side.

No one was hurt in the attack but the injured dog had to be taken to a vet for treatment and will survive.

The two attack dogs were seized and now await their fate at the Animal Rescue League.

Their owner could be facing charges.

Longshoremen Happy With Metal Shredder

Longshoremen in Saint John coming out in support of the medal shredder that will be constructed at the port on the lower west side.

 Local 273 of the International Longshoremen's Association was asked to take concessions in order for American Iron and Medal to set up its medal shredder on the lower west side.

Pat Riley of the local tells CHSJ News they normally say no but decided to accept contract concessions because American Iron and Medal will be here for the long term having signed a 40 year lease agreement with an option for another 20 years.

Riley believes the medal shredder won't add any more noise than there is now. That has been a concern of residents living nearby.

Breaking News - Bridge Tolls Could Be Off Later Today

The Liberal Opposition is offering to support a Bill clearing the way for the removal of the Harbour Bridge tolls.

Opposition leader Victor Boudreau made the offer this morning as the Legislature continued to review details of the Bill.

That means the Legislation to dissolve the Bridge Authority can receive third and final reading along with Royal Assent today -- that's expected by early this afternoon and that means the tolls are expected to be removed by later this afternoon or this evening.

Get The Shovels And Snowblowers Out

The drive home this afternoon may not be pleasant according to the latest weather forecast. Environment Canada has issued a heavy snowfall warning for Saint John with 15 centimeters expected and higher amounts inland.

George Parkes of Environment Canada tells CHSJ News the bulk of the snow will be falling late this afternoon through the early evening with mixed precipitation near midnight. He also warns winds will be gale force.

Flurries are expected through the day tomorrow with another couple of centimeters possible.

Lease Agreement Signed For Metal Shredder

Another step forward for a major 30 million dollar expansion at the port with the establishment of a medal shredder on the lower west side.

A 40-year lease agreement has been signed by the Saint John Port Authority and American Iron and Metal based in Montreal.

The medal shredding operation will create of 23 jobs. The official launch will happen in the fall.

Counterfeit Ring Dismantled

Funny money is making the rounds from the Dairytown to the Port City.

Sussex, Rothesay and Saint John police combining forces to bring down a counterfeit ring in the region.
The phoney bills being circulated in Sussex, Hampton, Rothesay, Quispamsis and Saint John.

Investigators identifying the suspects based on video images from some of the businesses where it was used.

Police arresting one woman, two men and a girl under the age of 18.

The four released and will be in court to face charges at a later date.