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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.