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Thursday, January 3, 2013

2 Cases Of E.Coli Found In Saint John, 3 In Fredericton

The Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health is investigating five recent confirmed cases of E. coli in the province -- including 2 cases here in Saint John and 3 others in Fredericton.

One person has been admitted to hospital while the others have been released from emergency rooms.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eilish Cleary says they don't know if the cases have a common source. She urges the importance of washing your hands thoroughly after using the bathroom or changing diapers, and stresses you to wash fruits & veggies and fully cooking meat before eating.

Symptoms of this E. coli strand are severe cramps, bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain and vomiting. Some people may develop anemia and kidney problems.

Cleary said anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek advice from their health care provider and continue to wash their hands and properly prepare food.

Jail Time For U.S. Man Attempting To Smuggle Child Porn

An American man, who was arrested at the St. Stephen border crossing in October, is sentenced to 15 months in jail for possession of and smuggling images of children being sexually abused into Canada.

RCMP say 31-year-old Shayne Clark from Philadelphia was arrested when members of the Canada Border Services Agency searched his car and found a laptop containing pictures of children being sexually abused.

Clark pleaded guilty and was sentenced yesterday in St. Stephen Provincial Court. His name will be added to the National Sex Offender Registry for 10 years and he submitted his DNA to the Offender DNA Data Bank. Clark also can't be in any public area with children under 16 or be in contact with children under that age for 10 years.  He'll also be on probation for 3 years when he's released from jail. 

Premier Optimistic About Economic Prospects

Premier David Alward says the economy will continue to present some challenges - but - he remains optimistic about our economic prospects:

New Castle Names New GM Of Algonquin

With new parents -- comes a new manager.

Today, New Castle Hotels & Resorts naming Tim Ostrem as the new General Manager of the historic Algonquin Resort in St. Andrews.

Officials with the Algonquin say Ostrem has 23 years experience in management, 17 of those spent with upscale brands such as Delta, Fairmont, and The Cambridge Suites Hotel Toronto.

New Castle and Halifax-based Southwest Properties bought the Algonquin from the provincial government in 2012. Major renovations are currently taking place with a $20 million price tag, which include new roofing, windows, heating, and an indoor pool with a two-story water slide.

The hotel is set to reopen in June 2013.

Research & ICT Strong Areas Of Growth For 2013

The Board of Trade will be getting together early in the new year to talk about what its role will be in the second True Growth strategy that has been launched by Deputy Mayor Shelly Rinehart to stimulate economic activity. 

Board of Trade President Imelda Gilman tells CHSJ News sees at least one area where growth can take place. She says UNB, Horizon Health, NBCC, and Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick are all working together to develop our research cluster and generating revenue in our region.

Gilman says another area of potential growth is the ICT cluster which already employs more than 3 thousand people locally.

Snow Clearing Continues After Storm

The City's deputy commissioner of Transportation and 
Environment Services says Sunday's storm brought some challenges including equipment issues.

Kevin Rice says 50 per cent of the sidewalk plows are in for repairs which is limiting their ability to meet service objectives. 

He says this was a storm with a lot of snowfall in a short period of time and strong winds so as crews cleared streets the wind blew the snow back in.

Hiring Freeze Lifted With Pension

The hiring freeze for city workers is lifted now that the city has resolved the pension issue.

Mayor Mel Norton says there are dozens of vacant positions, including chief city planner, previously held by Ken Forrest. Norton says they won't just fill positions on a whim, but rather look deeply into what services are needed and hire high quality people.

Norton points to Water and Growth & Development as critical jobs that need to be filled. In the mean time, while the city manager is looking for a replacement for Forrest, responsibilities will be divided up between Amy Poffenroth and Jacqueline Hamilton.

The Mayor says people left for many reasons, including uncertainty with the pension, but now that it's resolved he's confident they'll find people to work for the city.

New Year's Stabbing Victim Still In Hospital

35 year old Jonathan Ferguson of Saint John is due back in court on Monday for a bail hearing after a stabbing early on New Year's Day.

Ferguson is facing charges after the incident about 130 in the morning on January 1st.

A man in the 20's remains in hospital for treatment of injuries he suffered in the assault.  

Dig Deeper To Fill Up

It'll cost you more to fill up on this chilly morning.

Regular self serve gas is up at the weekly setting to 127 from 124.9 last week.
At one pump it's still going for 124.4 a litre.

Diesel is up also from 139.5 to 141.3 a litre but still selling for 137.8 at one city pump.

Home heating oil is up to 118.1 from 116.9.

Pension Info Session To Answer Questions

If you have any questions when it comes to the city's pension plan, you'll have the chance to get them answered.

Common Council unanimously approved a motion made by Ward 2 Councillor John MacKenzie to have a public information session on the Shared Risk Plan. Mackenzie says it would be an opportunity for employees and retirees to get first hand information about the plan.

Councillor at large Shirley McAlary wants to ensure that the session is for asking questions only, not to challenge the plan or come in with a new idea. Ward 1 Councillor Greg Norton would like to see a FAQ page set up on the city website in addition to the session, so some questions may be answered in advance.

It's now up to City Manger Pat Woods to find a venue, send out the information and possibly arrange more than one session.

2013 Budget Delayed Until Monday

It's been delayed, yet again. Common Council delaying passing the 2013 budget in order to add some tweaks with the Shared Risk Plan. The finalisation is now scheduled for Monday night.

Mayor Mel Norton says it was yesterday afternoon when they realized some fine tuning needed to be made. He says he's happy the budget is scheduled to pass Monday night, although he would've liked it to pass last night. He says he'd rather see all the fine tuning completed, than have an error that would come back to council.

Common Council's original date to pass the 2013 budget was before Christmas, but the mayor says they're still way ahead of last years council, who were still having budget talks in February.

Norton says it's likely the budget will be finalized on January 7th without any changes.

Jaws of Life Needed on Foster Thurston

The jaws of life required to remove one person after a two vehicle crack up on Foster Thurston Drive just after 2 yesterday.
A woman driving one of the vehicles went to hospital after being slightly hurt.

Less than an hour later, Crews responding to another two vehicle collision on Waterloo Street that sent one person to hospital to get checked out.