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Friday, August 31, 2012

Shingle Vandals Nabbed

Four teenagers have been arrested in connection with an incident that caused thousands of dollars worth of damage to the Hampton Community Center.

Staff discovered upon arriving at the building that someone had ripped shingles off the roof of the building and discarded them into the swimming pool below.

The investigation led police to identify and arrest four suspects, two men from Hampton, one man from Titusville, and one man from Nauwigewauk. All four will appear in court later in the fall.

Truck Stolen In Hampton

The District 3 RCMP need your help finding a pickup truck stolen from a driveway in Hampton early this morning.

The truck was stolen from the driveway on Mapleton Crescent at about 4 a.m. It is a brown 2009 Toyota Tacoma, with licence plate number NCN 382.

Anyone with information is asked to call the RCMP at 506-832-5566. Information can also be provided anonymously through Crime Stoppers at or 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

School Supplies Needed

If your kids have enough school supplies, why not spend an extra dollar or two for needy children in the community?

The Community Food Basket is looking for donations of school supplies including looseleaf, crayons, duotangs, scribblers, and glue sticks.

According to volunteer Anne Wade they don't need any more pencils, but everything else would be appreciated at this time of year. She says they currently don't have a lot of the items families are coming in looking for.

Please drop off any donation at The Community Food Basket of Saint John located at 215 Charlotte Street. For more information call 652-2707 or after hours at 652-2707.

Events For Labour Day Weekend

Summer is winding down and it's time to celebrate the long Labour Day weekend...

In Saint John, you can head to Rockwood Park on Monday for the annual Labour Day festivities between 1 and 4pm. There will be a BBQ, live music, canoe tours, a magic show for the kids, plus wagon and pony rides.

A Bigger Paycheque For Daycare Workers

Daycare and early childhood education workers will soon be smiling on payday....the provincial government has brought back a $2.75/hour wage subsidy for people who work with kids, which is one of the lowest-paid professions.

 Education minister Jody Carr tells CHSJ News they plan has been to decrease the turnover rate, as well as bring wages in New Brunswick up to speed with the rest of Canada. He further says childcare worker wages are a pay equity issue, since the profession is mainly pursued by women.

The change is effective on September 1rst and will be paid retroactively to April 1, 2012. Over the next 3 years the government intends to spend $38-million on a bigger early childhood action plan called Putting Children First.

Celebration Of A Mother's Life Tomorrow

There will be a celebration of the life of Sarah MacDonald tomorrow at the Wallace Community Chapel in Sussex at 1:00. 

She's the 32 year old mother of three from Belle Isle Creek who was struck and killed by a car earlier this week while standing next to her car after her family's R-V ran out of gas by East Scotch Settlement Road. 

There's visitation this afternoon from 1 to 3 and again tonight from 6 to 8 at Wallace Funeral Home on Sunnyside Drive in Sussex.

How Young Is Too Young To Operate An A-T-V?

The Canadian Pediatric Society this week is recommending no one under the age of 16 should be operating an A-T-V. 

The New Brunswick All Terrain Vehicle Association maintains anyone under the age of 6 is too young. 

Association President Daniel Boucher tells CHSJ News there has been a huge change for the better in the province in the last few years with more of an emphasis on safety training. 

He argues more kids get injured playing hockey than they do on A-T-V's and a child hasn't died in the province on an A-T-V in the past six years.

Boucher adds the A-T-V Association recommends adults get safety training as well. The Association would also like to see speed limits on trails.


Ambulance Response Times In City Are Shorter

The new ambulance station on City Road has been up and running for a number of months now but the official opening has just taken place. 

The President and C-E-O of Ambulance NB Alan Stephen tells CHSJ News alot of thought went into choosing where the ambulances should be located to reduce response times and that has happened. Stephen says what that means is over a hundred people stand a better chance of surviving medical emergencies. 

Before it was built, the ambulance service was operating out of a hotel room across the street which Stephen concedes was inadequate.     

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Hunting Age Changed

As of Saturday, 12 year olds will be permitted to hunt game and small varmints under the law in New Brunswick. Previously, the legal age was 14. The New Brunswick Wildlife Federation made the switch as part an initiative to get more young people interested in hunting.

12 year old hunters will have to be accompanied by an adult--and before they can carry a firearm, they will be required to finish a firearm safety/hunter education course or bowhunter education course offered through local offices of the Department of Natural Resources. Most provinces in Canada already have a legal hunting age of 12.

Results Of NB Air Quality Study Released

New Brunswick is breathing a little easier according to the release of the provincial air quality survey results. According to Environment Minister Bruce Fitch, the closure of some of the larger mills and the generating station on Grand Lake have made a significant improvement in the quality of the air we breathe. 

He tells CHSJ News the main concern is that we become complacent when we see positive results--because we always have to keep moving forward.

The survey keeps an eye on carbon monoxide, acid rain,ground level ozone and a variety of other factors--and all the surveyed sites in New Brunswick conform to the Canada-wide standard.

MLA Says A Vote Is A Vote

It might not be a popular decision, but a vote is a vote: so says MLA Jim Parrat regarding the decision to charge families from Greenwich and West Westfield to use the River Valley Community Center. 

Parrott says despite what some citizens say, they made every effort to get the word out about the vote to discontinue funding for the center by leaving letters and mailouts for residents.

The residents say a new vote needs to be held because the previous one didn't include the demographic that uses the center.

Former Case Worker For Province Jailed

A 40 year old Quispamsis man has learned his fate for defrauding the provincial department of Social Development of more than 36 thousand dollars.

Kenneth Neaves has been sentenced to 1 year in jail after Judge Anne Jeffries determined he committed a breach of both trust and authority.

Neaves was working as a case worker for Social Development, using clients and even family members to perpetuate the fraud from 2007 to 2009 when he was caught by a fluke.  

Judge Jeffries told the court it appears Neaves had woven a web of lies to such an extent he could not recognise reality and tried to blame others. She also speculates he would have continued with the fraud had he not got caught.  

The judge also pointing out the Court of Appeal has determined people who steal from their employers should go to jail.

No Break At The Pumps

Gas prices continuing their ascent with a significant increase in the price of self serve regular after the weekly setting. 

It is now up to $1.32.1 a litre in the city with diesel at $1.36.1. 

Propane also more expensive with a listed maximum price of 94.6 cents a litre.

Heating oil has risen to a max of $1.17.7.

Board Of Trade Bullish On Business Climate In City

Business is booming in Saint John according to business leaders in Port City.

A tour put organised by the Saint John Board of Trade showcased growth in health knowledge, I-C-T, energy and developing the former Coast Guard site down by Market Square.

Board of Trade Chair Larry Hachey tells CHSJ news that we take ourselves for granted and beat our selves up alot so this was an opportunty to showcase what was going on and people were surprised at how vibrant the city is.

Southern NB Railway mentioned it was bringing New Brunswickers who were out west back to the province to work for their company. 

The I-C-T sector is said to now employ 3,000 people in Saint John with over 100 companies.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Monkeytown Monkey-Nappers Foiled

Whoever was monkeying around at the Magnetic Hill Zoo doesn't have Hercules any longer. The squirrel monkey, which was kidnapped at some point overnight and held for 18 hours, has been founddue to an anonymous tip. 

Zoo Manager Bruce Dugan tells CHSJ News they got a tip some university students stole the monkey as a prank.

Dugan says he agreed not to press charges as long as Hercules was returned safe. The monkey is reportedly a bit nervous and skittish and is being monitored. This is isn't the first case of monkey-napping to be reported in the Maritimes--in 2008, and young monkey was stolen from the Cherry Brook Zoo in Saint John then returned.

Another Call Center Bites The Dust

In the Fredericton area, 250 people will be out of work with the closure of the Marriott call center. The call center had received more than $750,000  in government dollars.

According to a release by provincial NDP leader Dominic Cardy, New Brunswick governments have given at least $15 million since 2000 to call centres that have closed their doors.

NB Liquor Donates Some Proceeds

Sipping on your favourite beverage you could also help conserve the province's rivers. The Atlantic Salmon Conversation Foundation is entering a month long partnership with NB Liquor with the proceeds of sales from some brands going to various community groups. 

Executive director Stephen Chase he expects the partnership to raise a good chunk of change for conservation projects.

NB Liquor estimates the month-long campaign will raise $25,000 to $30,000 to be distributed among various community groups. The initiative will run until September 30th.

UPDATE: Saint Johners Stranded In New Orleans

Hurricane Issac is continuing to move over New Orleans--and one Saint John couple is getting a vacation that's memorable for all the wrong reasons. 

Gary and Janelle Flanagan tell CHSJ News they've gone from being disappointed about their ruined vacation to concerned for their safety as Hurricane Issac pushes over levees, knocks out power for thousands, and immerses beachfront roads throughout Louisiana. 

The Flanagans say it's been pretty tense hunkering down in their hotel room in the French Quarter--but they're been impressed by the friendliness and support of the locals. They're hoping to head home to friends and family by Saturday.

Flying Out Of Saint John Airport Doesn't Cost You More

The air show at Saint John Airport is part of a campaign by the local airport to have a higher profile and emphasise how important it is to the Saint John region.

Airport President and C-E-O Bernie Leblanc tells CHSJ News a study has found it is not more expensive to fly out of Saint John in spite of the perception otherwise.

American airports such as Bangor are proving to be more of a challenge with pricing because they operate under a different model.

That's why discussions have been taking place with the Harper Government to see if the costs can be reduced. Leblanc says 5 million passengers use U.S. airports in order to save money.

Pension Gap In Province Widens

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation taking dead aim at what it sees as the pension gap in New Brunswick, calling it "astounding".

The Taxpayers Federation releasing numbers that show last year the average government worker saw more than 87 hundred dollars go into his or her pension plan. That compares to just over 4 thousand dollars for everyone else.

The Federation's Atlantic Director Kevin Lacey says government workers in the province not only have more money going into their pension plans, more of them actually have workplace pension plans to draw upon with almost three-quarters of workers in New Brunswick outside of government with no pension at all.  

He says the Premier will make the situation better but is just tinkering around the edges with his shared risk model for change that's also being looked at by the city.

Power Outage Caused By A Crow

A crow caused a 35 minute power outage in much of the uptown knocking out traffic lights and leaving many businesses in the dark.

CHSJ News has been told the crow flew into a line blowing a transformer in the substation at the foot of Union Street.

Red Head Wants No More Broken Promises

Whether they've lived there for four or forty years, Red Head residents all had the same feelings at last night's community meeting... They want to build a community association, but don't want any more broken promises from Councillors like what they've experienced in the past. 

The meeting held at Red Head United Church saw about 50 concerned residents and Ward 4 Councillors Ray Strowbridge & David Merrithew. Both Common Councillors said they won't be in control of the Red Head association, but will help it form together and will take their group concerns to City Hall.

Susan Wall has lived in Red Head for 36 years, and she says she'd like to see more fun brought to the community. Wall adds though the community has felt left out, it's nice to see two Councillors who are willing to to work with them.

For forty years Shawn Cawley has lived in the area, he says some problems are the roads, a neglected baseball field, and the winter parking ban.

Deborah Kneeland says even though she's been there for only three years, she's seen Red Head been neglected. She points to three years ago when the previous Councillors never came to their parking ban meetings. She says people are so upset about being let down in the past that they're afraid to go forward, but it needs to be done to make positive changes.

Common Councillor Ray Strowbridge ensures say he can't speak or fix what happened in the past, but he's going to represent the people of Red Head.

About twenty five people put their names on the list for the first community association which is set to meet next month.

Dog Killed In West Side Car Accident

Two people were lucky to emerge unscathed but their dog wasn't so lucky after a car rolled over a couple of times on the west side. 

The car actually went airbourne in the area of Market Place and King Street West sometime after 9:30. 

City Police say the dog died after going through the sun roof.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hurricane Strands Saint Johnners In New Orleans

A couple of Saint Johnners stranded in Louisiana are giving CHSJ News the scoop on their experience in New Orleans, as the city hunkers down in preparation for Hurricane Issac. Today also marks the 7th anniversary of catastrophic Hurricane Katrina--although this storm is expected to be much less severe. 

Janelle Flanagan and her husband Gary live in the North End. After saving for their vacation all year, the Flanagans say they never expected their New Orleans experience to include a hurricane. She tells CHSJ News the atmosphere is a little tense, with people stocking up on supplies, boarding up their homes and businesses, and closing up shop for the day.

At 12:20 p.m. Eastern time, Isaac had sustained winds of 75 mph. That's a mile above the speed needed for a Category 1 hurricane. Hurricane Katrina was a Category 3 hurricane on landfall.

NB Man Wanted On Canada-Wide Warrant

A man who once lived in New Brunswick is wanted on a Canada wide warrant: Phillip Lyon's parole was suspended when he walked away from a halfway house in Kelowna, B.C. in May 2012.

He lived in Doaktown prior to moving to the Okanagan a few years ago. 36-year-old Lyons is known to have contacts throughout New Brunswick leading police to believe he may be here. Lyons is described as white, 5'10, 223 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. He has a tattoo on his left forearm of a cross and tribal symbol surrounding an eye 'FTC'.

Anyone with any information on the whereabouts of Phillip Lyons is asked to contact their local police or anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Deadly Crash Near Belleisle Creek

One woman is dead after a crash yesterday, when she was hit near East Scotch Settlement Road in Belleisle Creek.

The 32-year-old woman from the area was traveling with her family when their RV ran out of gas.  She was standing next to their vehicle, which was parked across the road from the RV, when a car passed between their vehicle and the RV and hit her. She died at the scene. An RCMP re-constructionist is aiding the investigation. It was dark at the time of the crash, and road conditions were dry.

The name of the victim has not yet been released.

Expect Warmer Temps This Autumn

The dog days of August are here...and it looks this summer's warmer temperatures will continue for at least part of the autumn.

 Meteorologist Dayna Vetesse tells CHSJ News we'll still see the usual fall rain despite the trend--which hopefully won't be too late to help out farmers who have been struggling all summer with near-drought conditions.

Vetesse says it's still hard to predict whether the warmer temps will result in increased tropical storm activity in the Maritimes.

In For A Penny, In For A Pound On Peel Plaza

In for a penny, in for a pound--that's the message from Common Councilor Ray Strowbridge about the public park area of Peel Plaza. Strowbridge tells CHSJ News finishing off the remaining infrastructure might cost upwards of a million dollars, but the park is the only thing people actually want. 

He says even those who have protested the build have agreed the green space is key--- because it's accessible to the public.

Council voted to go ahead with the green space despite the cost, saying that it makes no sense to have a brand new building surrounded by dirt roads and piles of gravel.

"Out Of Destruction Comes Creativity"

The Provincial Young Liberals are feeling good about the party these days after the devastating election defeat two years ago.

Communications Director Sandenn Killoran tells CHSJ News it's time for an aggressive approach to train young people and, hopefully, keep them from moving by attracting 21st century industries to the province. He cites research and development, information technology and environmental development as emerging economic opportunities.

Killoran says better training for young people in the province is essential because having just having a high school education doesn't cut it anymore arguing a Bachelor's degree is seen as being the equivalent of what a high diploma once was.

Over 800 People Without Power

845 people are without power in the Oromocto and Douglas Harbour area area due to an unplanned outage. According to the NB Power site, customers should have their power restored between 1 and 2pm.

Air Show Delayed By One Day

Saint John Airport just announcing that because of the weather, the flying portion of the air show has been changed.

After getting permission from Transport Canada, the air show, itself, will be staged tomorrow from 2 to 4 in the afternoon when the skies will be clear under a canopy of blue.

You'll be able to see the aircraft up close from 2 to 4 this afternoon in a static display with another one being held tomorrow from 4 to 7. 

Some Of The Planes In Saint John For Air Show

Another Dodgy Fire On West Side

A pickup truck that was destroyed in a fire on the west side had been reported stolen. 

Acting Platoon Chief Marc Carey says the truck was ablaze near Bayshore Beach in a ravine between Sea Street and City Line. 

The cause is suspicious with both the fire department and City Police investigating.

No one was injured.

New City Bus Transfer Policy & Family Rate

Saint John's transit woes are no secret...but there could be a few fixes coming soon. Vibrant Communities recently presented council with the results of a study on how to best deliver the services bus users need.

SJ Transit has announced they will now honour transfers for up to an hour of travel in the same direction, instead of just the next bus. As well, up to 3 kids under 5 will now ride free with an adult.

The survey asked 525 people, 90% of whom said they needed the bus to get around, about their main issues and asks for the transit service.
Some other solutions including nixing property tax on transit buildings, making fares cheaper, and improving the transfer policy. Barry Galloway of Vibrant Communities tells CHSJ News the next step is getting the province on board.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Police Looking For Stolen Truck

The District 3 RCMP is investigating the theft of a truck from the Loch Lomond area this past weekend.

The 2007 grey Ford Ranger with the plate CMC 888 was stolen from Florida Beach in Loch Lomond yesterday. The owner had parked it at the beach with the doors locked.  It was last seen on the 25th.

If you have information on the theft, please contact District 3 RCMP at 506-832-5566 or anonymously through N.B. Crime Stoppers at, or 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Picture: A grey 2007 Ranger similar to the stolen vehicle.

New Brunswick Teen Killed In Saskatchewan

An 18-year-old woman from the province is dead after being hit by an SUV in a construction zone in Saskatchewan.

RCMP say Ashley Dawn Richards of Lakeside was working as a flag person on a highway when she was hit Friday near Midale, southeast of Weyburn.

An autopsy is scheduled for this week in Regina.

Sgt. Paul Dawson says charges have not been laid, but are pending against the driver of the SUV, a 44-year-old man.

Dawson could not say if speed was a factor in the crash, noting an investigation is underway.

Saskatchewan Highways Minister Don McMorris says the tragedy is a stark reminder of the need to slow down and drive carefully in construction zones.

Courtesy of the Canadian Press.

Liberals Urge Government To Help Students

The Liberal Opposition is urging the Alward government to give students a helping hand.
Post-Secondary Education critic Chris Collins points to PEI as good example. They've recently removed interest on student loans so university is more accessible, loans are paid off faster and students can start making major investments such as buying a home.

Collins tells CHSJ news the government needs to follow PEI's strategy and improve access to education here in New Brunswick. He says over the past couple of years the provincial government has reinstated the parental-contribution clause to student loans, lowered financial assistance, cut funding to the apprenticeship program and increased those fees by 120%.

Collins adds helping students will grow our skilled work force and keep them in the province.

Nutritious Food Up 9% In Two Years

The price of nutritious food in the province has gone up over 3% this year, making a total of 9% the past two years.

That coming from a study by the NB Common Front for Social Justice. They purchased fresh produce and meats at 31 grocery stores across the province, and found the monthly cost for properly feeding a family of four was $827.45 a month.

Jean-Claude Basque tells CHSJ news if someone makes just above minimum wage, that's half their pay check.  He says most of the food that goes on sale is usually junk food, and buying healthy food that's on sale and freezing it still costs more upfront. The study revealed CO-OP had the cheapest prices, while Superstore was the most expensive.

Basque said people need to get more revenue to afford proper nutrition and food chains need to promote health and put good food on sale. He says the government needs to raise minimum wage to match the cost of living.

BC Couple Lucky Passengers

A lucky couple didn't realize how exciting their anniversary cruise would be.

71-year-old Gordon & 65-year-old Marilyn Clarke, from Duncan on Vancouver Island are Aquila Tours millionth passengers. The couple tell us they've always wanted to see the east coast, and the cruise on the Carnival Glory was a 46th anniversary gift from their daughter and son-in-law.

Aquila Tour's Beth Kelly Hatt says the couple is receiving a free highlight tour in a limo, a visit to the NB museum, and a lobster lunch. Hatt says why not celebrate a million passengers, she adds the cruise lines have really helped to make it happen. She said they originally though their millionth passenger would arrive in the fall, but the numbers have been higher this year.

Aquila Tours has been running for 30 years and expect they'll see their next millionth passenger in 10 years.

Red Head To Form Community Association

Out of sight.......Out of mind. 

That's how many of the people in Red Head feel and they're looking to change that by forming a community association with help from Ward 4 Comon Councillors Ray Strowbridge and David Merrithew. 

Strowbridge tells CHSJ News he has been told of many concerns on the minds of people who live in that part of the city. They include erosion of the shoreline, no sidewalk along Red Head Road and lack of timely snowplowing as well as no recycling bins nearby.
A meeting will be held tomorrow night at 7 in Red Head United Church to get things off the ground.

Springsteen Traffic Feedback

If you were at yesterdays Bruce Springsteen concert, the Codiac RCMP want your feedback on it's traffic plan. A special toll-free number has been set up for concert goers and residents on how traffic control was before, during and after the concert.

If you'd like to put your two-cents in on the Magentic Hill concert, call 1-866-358-8854 before 6 o'clock Tuesday evening. Or you can e-mail

B&E At A St. Andrews Arena

RCMP are looking for two men who broke into the W.C. O’Neill Arena in St. Andrews early in the morning this past Friday and stole undisclosed items.

Based on surveillance video, police are looking for two men in their late teens or early 20s.  One wore a grey hoodie when he entered the arena, and a white nylon jacket when he left. The second suspect had dark hair and a goatee. He wore a black & plaid t-shirt, and glasses. They both left on bikes.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the St. Andrews RCMP at 506-755-1130 or through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Air Show & More For 100th Anniversary

A couple of big anniversaries being celebrated this Tuesday and Wednesday at the Saint John Airport.

They'll be hosting a variety of old and new planes for the 100th anniversary of flight in the province and the 50th anniversary of Canada's Golden Hawks -- which formed in Chatham and later became the Canadian Snow Birds.

Saint John Airport's Colleen Mitchell tells CHSJ news the free events include an air show from 2:00pm until 4:00pm on Tuesday and exhibits from 3:00pm until 7:00pm on Wednesday, where you'll be able to talk to pilots and even go on select planes.

Mitchell says the planes -- such as a Sabre F-18 Hawk One, FG-1D Corsair and Tiger Moth -- come from all across the country.

For more information, click here.

Maritime Students Deepest In Debt

Getting a student loan to pay tuition is an expensive reality for many post-secondary students, and Maritimers are expected to owe the most and take the longest to pay off.

That coming from a new BMO study that shows half of Canadian college and university students expect to be at least 20-thousand dollars in debt when they graduate.  The survey also shows about 20 per cent expect to graduate with more than 40-thousand dollars of debt.

Stephen Spence is the President for the New Brunswick Student Alliance, and he tells CHSJ news the average four year degree costs $84,000 dollars, and that cost isn't going anywhere but up.

Spence says despite lower job prospects and high debt, we need to stop thinking of post secondary education as an expenditure, but as an investment. He says going to university shows a potential employer you learn quickly and apply yourself.

City Bus Service Could Be More Affordable And Accessible

Saint John Transit is underfunded and riders pay more then they do for bus service in other communities. That, according to a report to be presented tonight to Common Council by Vibrant Communities. 

It's calling on Common Council to make public transit a priority next year with recommendations to increase ridership and make it more affordable, including an adopt a bus shelter programme, flexible payment options for monthly bus passes and discounted transit passes for the working poor. 

The President of the Transit Workers Union, Tom McGraw tells CHSJ News bus service, in a city like Saint John, will never be the number one priority and there's a good reason why since only about ten percent of the city's population ride the buses but they are usually the most financially vulnerable.

Vibrant Communities also recommends funding for bus service from the province and federal government as well as the city with federal gas tax revenues being earmarked for public transit. 

New Brunswick is the only province in the country that levies property taxes on transit buildings and that's why Vibrant Communities is calling for Saint John Transit be granted an exemption.

Tour Company To Welcome 1 Millioneth Guest Today

Aquila Tours celebrates an incredible milestone today.
They will welcome their one millionth guest on a cruise ship excursion.
CEO Beth Kelly Hatt tells CHSJ News she could never have imagined this when they started out.

She says it's been an exciting adventure and back in the 80's when they had just a few guests they didn't expert to reach 1 million guests for their tours.

That special guest is arriving on the Carnival Glory cruise ship this morning due in port at 9.