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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

T&C Neighbour Supports $10 Million In Upgrades

While Councillor Bill Farren's motion to have the City fund $10 million dollars in upgrades for the Trade and Convention Centre did not receive support, Market Square's owners say the work is necessary.
Colin Whitcomb, Vice President of the Hardman Group,  says very little work has been done of the convention facility since it was built in the 80's.
Whitcomb tells CHSJ News says Saint John shouldn't be prepared to say let's close the file on that.

He's says those booking conventions will go to newer facilities first and as a result that may hurt business in Saint John.

Whitcomb adds there is new competition now with Fredericton and Moncton opening new convention centres and he points out it took many years for Halifax to secure federal funding for their upcoming project.

Protestors Will Not Be Moved Out

The city will not be asking the the Occupy Saint John movement to leave King's Square.

City spokesperson Leah Fitzgerald tells CHSJ News despite a few complaints and some minor issues like removing hammocks from the bandstand, things have been fine.

She's other than that they haven't heard too adding they are generally pretty quiet.

She says parks crews are keeping a close eye on the landscape to make sure it isn't damaged.

Looking ahead to Remembrance Day, she says if the cenotaph is needed for a ceremony or for laying down a wreath, the city will ask the protesters to move aside temporarily.

Pair Plead Guilty In Grand Bay-Westfield B&E

Just after midnight on Tuesday, RCMP responding to a break and enter in progress on River Valley Drive at Big Mike's Barber Shop in Grand Bay Westfield.

City Police intercepted a vehicle a short time later arresting  a man and a woman were arrested in connection with the break and enter.

22-year-old Darryl Raynes of the Kingston Peninsula and 20-year-old Melissa Craft of Saint John appearing in Hampton court on charges of break, enter and theft and wearing a disguise in the commission of an offence.

Raynes pleaded guilty to both charges and will remain locked up until sentencing which is set for December 13th in Hampton.

Craft is being held in custody until a bail hearing in Sussex Thursday morning.

Meantime, City Police have arrested two other people for a breakin at New Systems Laundry on Lansdowne Avenue.

Chase Says Clean Water Top Priority Despite Drama With MP

Deputy Mayor Stephen Chase says the bottom line is to get money for clean drinking water for the city -- despite being upset at the fact that he was not asked to be part of group looking into the matter.

The group was created by Saint John MP Rodney Weston and consists of members of council as well as 2 local MLA's.

Chase says since he was part of a city committee with the same goals, he should have been asked to join.  But he's willing to step aside fro the greater good.

However, Chase is concerned with the fact that the group is being spearheaded by an MP and not someone from city hall.

Chase ran against Weston in the federal election but the MP says the exclusion was not politically motivated.

Penobsquis Residents Disillusioned With Government

Natural Resources Minister Bruce Northrup will be going on the web tomorrow afternoon to talk about shale gas exploration and take your questions.

One of the residents in Penobsquis looking to be compensated for water loss and property damage from mining is Heather McCabe who tells CHSJ News this whole ordeal has soured her on government.

 She says while running in the last provincial election, Northrup promised to do all he could to help them out ever since being appointed to the provincial cabinet, he doesn't return their calls and they feel the government has abandoned them.

Francophone Parents in K-V Talk Turkey With Education Minister

Parents in the Kennebecasis Valley who would like to see a french school built might be a bit more optimistic after a meeting with Provincial Education Minister Jody Carr.

One of the people at the meeting was Ernest Thibodeau who's the President of the School District 1 Education Council. He tells CHSJ News there are 600 students in the Valley who could be attending a francophone school.

Thibodeau says the parents believe any new school should be large enough to accomodate from 300 to 350 students and he's talking about it being built sooner rather than later.

 Carr told the parents he could make any sort of commitment before the Legislature resumes sitting but he vowed to work with them to see it get done.

Driver Collides With Moose

The Simonds Fire Department responding to a collision on Route 111 in Rowley last night around 8:00. 

When crews arrived they found a single vehicle had struck a moose. 

The driver was taken to hospital by ambulance to be checked out. 

 The highway was closed for a short time while things were cleaned up.

Councillor Farren Wants City To Pay For Upgrades

Councillor Bill Farren playing the role of the lone wolf when it comes to paying for upgrades to the Trade and Convention Centre.

He wanted the city to pay for the 10 million dollar upgrades in order to encourage economic development but council voting down the idea.

Farren says we're losing business to other cities and you have to spend money to make money
Council has only committed to a third of the upgrades and wants funding from the other levels of government.

Apartment Building Fire In Millidgeville

A three storey apartment building at 9 Polaris Court off University Avenue had to be evacuated last night between 9:30 and 10 after a fire broke out. 

Acting District Chief Kevin Clynick says it started in a ground floor apartment where heavy fire, smoke and heat were coming from and was put out quickly.
21 people were living in the building which has 12 apartments.  Everyone got out safely and some of the residents received help in finding a place to stay by the Red Cross.

                                                 (Photo Courtesy of Joe Comeau)

University Student In City Being Treated For T-B

Public Health officials are investigating after a student at U-N-B Saint John has been diagnosed with tuberculosis.

Something like 300 students and five professors who had contact will be tested over the next few days. The student who's afflicted is being treated by an infectious disease specialist and reportedly is doing well.

Saint John usually has one or two reported cases of T-B each year. Only those people who have close contact with someone who is afflicted are considered to be in any danger of becoming ill from T-B which spreads through the air.