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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Is Violent Crime On The Upswing In SJ?

Home invasions, stabbings, mysterious trails of blood...if you've been listening to the news lately you might think there's more crime happening in Saint John than usual.

But when CHSJ asked Police Chief Bill Reid what he thinks, he was quick to dispell that impression, saying it's only because a couple of incidents have happened in a similar time frame that people are concerned.

Reid says we've actually seen a crime reduction in recent years, and the only reason we find these incidents so shocking is because we see so little of that kind of thing overall.

One Saia Brother Appears In Court

A 21 year old Saint John man sat low in his seat in a crowded courtroom, his expression worried, as he pled not guilty to all charges that he forcibly entered a West Sider home while masked and carrying a weapon.

Brandon Saia stands accused in a November 3rd home invasion that left one teenager dead. His brother, Bradley Saia, is still wanted in connection with the same incident. Another man has already appeared in court.

Saia reappears in court Tuesday afternoon.

Teens Get A Taste Of Life In The Real World

You might have noticed some pint-sized guests at your workplace today. Don't worry, though: nobody's breaking any child labour laws.

It's Take Your Kid to Work Day, which aims to help kids understand what it's like in the real, working world of deadlines and water cooler chats.

Susan Tipper of PALS (Partners Assisting Local Schools) tells CHSJ News the kids are learning a lot and having fun at the same time.

Some of the kids begged to differ though, saying while it's a great excuse to get out of school it's not the most exciting thing they've ever experienced.

250,000 Grade 9 students across Canada participate in Take Your Kid to Work Day.

Lunch Honoring Veterans Another Huge Success

Rothesay police, young cadets, city officials and more came out to respect and honor veterans from Greater Saint John at the annual Rothesay Sobeys Veterans Lunch.

For the 15th year veterans enjoyed a lunch and dessert served by volunteers while telling stories and listening to live music.

Sobeys Manager Don Gass the unique thing is they thank him so much for the lunch, when the day is about about the veterans. Gass says he and veteran John Ricketts originally started the lunch as a breakfast. Since then about 7 Sobeys across the Maritimes have started the tradition.

Although co-found John passed away a few years ago, his wife Evelyn Ricketts still comes out every year. She tells CHSJ news it's amazing to see police and young cadets honoring our vets, saying the only thing missing is John.

The lunch featured a display full of aged newspaper articles, veteran photos and a big "Lest We Forget" flag.

Cops Raise Big Money For Local Charities

A big cheque for two worthwhile charities, coming from the city's police force. The force has raised $20,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society and the city's Junior Police academy through its fundraiser ball.

Junior Officer Mike Daley of the Academy tells CHSJ News the program helped him make better choices in his young life and besides, he really enjoys it.

The Junior Police Academy is a mentorship program for at risk youth at the Boys and Girl's Club, while Cops for Cancer supports research, patient services and more through the Canadian Cancer Society.

Man Accused In Deadly Home Invasion To Appear In Court

21 year old Brandon Saia, who was wanted by City Police in connection with a home invasion last weekend during which an 18 year old man died, is expected in court this afternoon.

Arrest warrants have also been issued for his 21 year old brother, Bradley and a 16 year old.

12 Victims Have Come Forward In Estabrooks Investigation

Over 12 abuse victims of a deceased former Saint John police officer have come forward since the City of Saint John announced the hiring of a Toronto investigation firm back in August.

Ken Estabrooks was convicted of sexuallly abusing children in the 90's and died in 2005.

Dave Perry tells CHSJ News some of the victims knew each other 40 years ago and know each other now.

He says they are finding the victims are from an area of the City where they lived very close and they all grew up together and took care of each other.

Investigator Laura Bradbury tells CHSJ News the people they are speaking to say the abuse is on the surface of their lives everyday.

She says the emotions are raw and hidden and pervasive in the behaviours they use to mask the feelings such as turning to drugs and alcohol and getting into trouble with the law.

Dave Perry says they are hearing from women who are victims of Estabrooks as well adding many of the victims are taking advantage of the counselling provided by the City and they expect more victims to come forward.

City council approved $100,000 for the investigators to look into the abuse allegations against Estabrooks. When and if that money runs out, the firm would have to come back to council for additional funding.

Traffic Congestion At Gondola Point Ferry

The Transportation Department telling us there is just one ferry operating at Gondola Point this morning because of a mechanical malfunction and traffic is backing up.

Window Smashed Out at King Street Jewellry Store

Someone tried to smash the front glass of Cowie & Sons on King Street last night. 

City Police say the second barrier of strong glass didn't break all the way, so nothing was stolen. 

Part of the window is boarded up this morning.

Deer Ticks Could Be A Worry In Quispamsis

The weather may be getting colder but a little bug could still be hanging around.

Deer ticks tend to hang on to deer for winter, can survive the cold and could carry lyme disease. That could be an area for concern in Quispamsis, where there are plenty of deer in the area. 

Quispam Council will be meeting with the Kennebecasis Valley Regional Deer Committee on November 13th to look into doing a tick drag. The drag involves pulling a white sheet over a piece of ground to collect ticks to study in a lab to see if they're infected. A women named Anne Downey wrote a letter to council requesting they look into it. 

Mayor Murray Driscoll tells CHSJ news deer ticks have never been a big problem in Quispam, but would like to make sure it never will be considering the amount of deer in the area.

A Few Glitches, But Mostly A Smooth Move For The SJPF

Saint John's boys in blue getting a brand new home this week. Police Chief Bill Reid tells us by the time the weekend rolls around the force will have moved entirely from City Hall into the new justice complex at Peel Plaza. 

Reid tells CHSJ news everything's gone smoothly by and large, although there have been a few glitches here and there.

He says most of the units have been moved in but a few are still operating from City Hall.