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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Who Clears The Snow From Fire Hydrants?

If a snow bank is covering a fire hydrant near or on your property, do you clear it or does someone else?

According to Mark Wilson, Divisional Chief for Fire Prevention, it's the responsibility of Saint John Water to make sure there's no snow in and around fire hydrants. In other areas, such as Halifax, it's the responsibility of the homeowner, but that's not the case in Saint John. Wilson says it's always nice if people do clear the snow, but it's not necessary.

Even if the snow isn't cleared, Wilson says all crews are pretty aware of where hydrants are in their area. He says there's a large pole that also indicate where a hydrant is located. If snow fully covers the hydrant, crews can quickly find the next closest one which is usually nearby.

2 Big Trades For The Sea Dogs

It's a huge trade day for the Sea Dogs.

The Sea Dogs announcing 19-year-old Saint Johner Ryan Tesink has been traded to the Armada, while 19-year-old Saint Johner Aidan Kelly has been traded to the Titan. In return, the Dogs receive 17-year-old defenceman Jeremy Doucet from the Titan.

Sea Dogs Coach and GM Mike Kelly tells CHSJ news both Tesink and Kelly were strongly sought after by the other teams. Kelly says while it's hard to let go of players you've had from 2-3 years, the Sea Dogs are in a transition year and will need room for the younger players to play. He believes the trade will work out well for Tesink and Kelly, and gives those teams an opportunity to move up in the standings.

Kelly describes the new Doucet as very competitive and not afraid to mix things up. He says every time they've played against Doucet with Bathurst, he was a gritty and tough player, which Kelly says you need in the mix.

The Port Mourns Former Prez Soppitt

The Port of Saint John is mourning the passing of former CEO Captain Al Soppitt. 
Soppitt spent 30 years with the Port before retiring in 2011 at the age of 65.

Current Port CEO Jim Quinn tells CHSJ News many are feeling his loss in Saint John and beyond.
  Quinn says Soppitt was extremely well known and well respected adding its a real loss to the Port's marine community here.

Quinn calls Soppitt a really decent man and an excellent leader in our Port system. 

Soppitt passed away this week after a battle with cancer. 

Police Warn of Two Internet Scams

City police are warning about two internet scams separating people from their money.

One involves a person answering an ad to become a mystery shopper.  A potential victim gets a letter with tasks to be completed and gets a cheque to help  them fulfill their tasks.    The victim cashes the cheque and one of the tasks will be to use a money transfer company and wire a large portion of the money to a name provided in order to test the company's procedure and customer service skills.
Later, the victim finds out the cheque is counterfeit making them accountable to pay for the funds they wired.

The other scam involves online dating.   You could be on a legitimate dating site when someone claims to have a very sick family member and after a few messages, they ask you to send them money to help their situation.  In all cases, the victim never meets the individual in person.  

If you are a victim or know any information relating to these scams call the City police   at 506-648-3333 or New Brunswick Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

Resident Fears Falling Roof Ice May Hurt Someone

A City resident is voicing concern about potential disaster looming in the form of ice and snow hanging off the roof of City facilities.

Vern Garnett tells CHSJ News the dangerous combo is hanging off the roof of the City market at both the North and South Market street entrances.

He fears this ice falling on someone and causing serious injury.

The City responding to CHSJ News says they address issues on a case by case basis adding if snow and ice is overhanging at public building entrances, they use snow rakes or other means to alleviate the danger.

In some cases, areas may be cordoned off due to overhanging snow and ice if it is not practical to remove it.

Because of the snowfall, Staff are doing a review of public buildings today to assess any dangers of overhanging snow and ice and they will be dealt with on a case by case basis.

Liberal Leader In No Rush To Get A Seat In The Legislature

The new provincial Liberal leader says he will bide his time and not force any M-L-A out so he can get a seat in the Legislature. 

Brian Gallant calls doing that "old politics" and tells CHSJ News he doesn't view not being in the Legislature as a disadvantage because it has freed him up to travel around and begin rebuilding the party to fight the next election. 

On the other hand, being in the Legislature would raise his profile in the eyes of the public. 

Gallant says there will be discussions in the future about all possibilities but, if history is any indication, there will be a byelection called at some point before the next provincial election.

Mayor Norton Talks Budget & Snowplows

Mayor Mel Norton is hopeful the 2013 budget for Saint John will be passed at tonight's meeting of common council.

CHSJ News had a chance to speak with the Mayor at his first New Year's levee since taking office last Spring.

We asked for his assessment of the job the City did handling Sunday's record snowfall.

He says the City management will be in touch with City works department to check on the status of the equipment acknowledging that there have been difficulties with some of gear.

Norton said hard decisions in the past due to the pension problems mean the City has not made the strategic investments in plows, trucks and more.

He adds now the pension crisis is resolved they can now look at putting some money into snow clearing equipment.

Slow Down For Emergency Vehicles Or Face A Fine

There's been a few changes to the Motor Vehicle Act when it comes to emergency responders.

If a police officer, fire fighting vehicle or ambulance are stopped on the highway and are flashing their lights, you must slow down and move over to the left away from the emergency vehicle.

If there are two or more lanes of traffic, you must move into another lane for safety. The fine for not slowing down and moving over for an emergency vehicle is $292.50 and 3 demerit points.

Food Basket Seeing Big Increase In Users

The Community Food Basket in Saint John saw a major increase of people dependent on their service in 2012.

Carolyn Danells, chair of the board for the food basket, tells CHSJ news they saw an increase of 10% -- or about 40 families or individuals. Danells believes the reason to be a lack of jobs, but also points to increasing prices for food and services while wages stay stagnant.

Danells is incredibly thankful for the amount of donations they did receive over the holidays, but does admit donations do dwindle after the Christmas season. From January through March, the non-profit group needs double the donations than normal, since they give 2 orders to families instead of 1 a month. Danells says they double what they give because of the increased cost of heat and light bills during the cold winter months.

The food basket is located at 215 Charlotte street, and is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 2 until 4 pm.

Fire Crews Respond To ATV On Fire

City fire crews responding to an ATV fire inside a garage on Sunday afternoon on the lower west side.

Crews were able to remove the vehicle from the garage on Lowell Street West to limit the damage to the building.

No one was hurt, the cause is believed to be accidental and crews were on scene for about 40 minutes.

Alward Says Don't Compare Shale Gas To NB Power Sale

Premier Alward says there is a major difference between the controversial sale of NB Power proposed by former Premier Shawn Graham and his government's move to develop our shale gas resources.