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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Investigation Underway Into Inmate Death At Regional Jail

City police say they don't believe foul play is involved in the death of a 39 year old inmate at the Regional Correctional Centre Tuesday afternoon -- they tell us they were called to the Old Black River Road jail shortly after one this afternoon.

So far no name has been released although there is alot of speculation about who it is. 

We have placed calls to the Department of Public Safety but so far the Department which is responsible for operations at the jail has not offered up any details.

Bike Lane Now Open, Means Changes For Drivers Too

If you like to bike, you're in luck.

Drivers and cyclists are advised that the temporary two-way bike lane on Main Street and the Viaduct from Chesley Drive to Union Street is now open.  The bike route is an alternate way to get from the North End to the Uptown since the Harbour Passage is once again closed due to repairs to the bridge.

As a result, the speed limit is reduced to 50 kilometers an hour.

West-East Pipeline Alone Won't Make Province Rich, Says NDP Leader

The province's NDP leader says the pipeline is not going to be the silver bullet that saves New Brunswick. 

Dominic Cardy tells CHSJ News that he supports the project, but we're not just going to make this province wealthy by pulling things out of the ground and processing raw materials. 

He says we need to work on education and skill-training so we can compete for what he calls the high-end jobs.

Cardy says the educational system has let many people down, and needs to be turned around before New Brunswickers can become competitive in the job market.

Colourful Performance Art On Germain

Germain Street is getting a dash of colour today in the form of large, funny drawings decorating the public space beside the Feel Good Store.

Performance Artist Tim Turnell and his daughter worked together on the illustrations, which are from an obscure German children's book called Slovenly Peter. He tells CHSJ News he's posting the images and then acting out the strange and funny tales for passers by. The tales warn little children against the dangers of disobeying their parents, playing with matches, and other mischevious behaviour.

Turnell will be posting different images and doing his performance art throughout the week. He'll also be performing in the Fundy Fringe Festival coming up in August.

Canoe Rescue At Reversing Falls

A person canoeing in Reversing Falls overturned just past the Falls restaurant, but has been rescued safely.

Police getting the call shortly before 1pm that the occupant of the canoe--a man from Perth--was clinging to the side of the boat. The Coast Guard was been notified and a small powerboat came in to assist them and tow the canoe back to shore.

Police are on the scene.

Tarp Covered Building Draws Ire Of Neighbours

For the past 16 months, a tarp has covered the upper three storeys of a Carmarthan Street townhouse. Owner Brian Blanchard says he hasn't had the money to repair the building, which dates back to before the Great Fire of 1877.

Saint John Building Inspector Amy Poffenroth tells CHSJ News her office is aware there have been complaints about the building, which rained a pile of loose bricks onto the sidewalk in February 2012. It was after that damage--caused, according to Blanchard, by a leak in the roof of which he was unaware--that the decision was made to cover the facade of the historic rooming house with the tarp. Wooden barricades have also been installed blocking off part of the sidewalk.

Although the adjoining buildings are occupied, the tarp-covered portion has remained vacant for years. While Blanchard says the only people complaining are disgruntled ex-tenants, neighbours disagree, saying the plastic covering is unsightly and flaps loudly in high winds. Further, the derelict look of the building discourages others in the neighborhood from taking pride in their own properties.

Blanchard says he's commited to finishing the job in early September.

Pictured: damage to 138-140 Carmarthen. Credit: Peter Josselyn

Electricity Will Cost You More Starting Next October

You'll have to pay 2 per cent more for the electricity you use beginning on October 1st. That word from NB Power following rates being frozen over the past 40 months at their June 2010 levels.

NB Power says it has eliminated 300 jobs, frozen salaries, successfully reduced operating costs by $47 million annually and had record earnings. 

NB Power President and C-E-O Gaetan Thomas claims another $20 million in yearly cost savings have been identified with plans calling for the utility's debt to be lowered by $1 billion in the next 10 years.

Smile, Litterbugs: You Could Be On Candid Camera

If you like to skip out tipping fees by polluting our roadsides, rivers and woods, you could soon be saying "cheese"--on surveillance video.

City staff are working on a report to put in cameras to catch litterbugs in the act per the request of Common Councillor David Merrithew. He tells CHSJ News he was disgusted after seeing a huge illegal site in Red Head the residents were trying to clean up.

Merrithew says there are plenty of opportunities for people to dispose of their trash properly if they take the time to educate themselves, and he'd like offenders to get the maximum fines to make an example out of them.

City staff will come back with more information on how much the cameras would cost and where they would go.

City Contract Sparks Debate Over Buying Local Vs. Buying Smart

Supporting local businesses is crucial in these tough ecnomic times--but what if "buying local" comes with a hefty price tag?

At its most recent meeting, common council wrestled with whether to award a groundwater drilling contract to a locally-based company, or a lower bidder from Quebec. City staff concluded the Saint John company not only cost more but had less solid research. Yet Common Councillor John Mackenzie feared the Saint John company's bid was $100,000  higher because they have an insider's knowledge about potential issues with the terrain. MacKenzie and fellow councillor Bill Farren expressed concern that the taxpayers would ultimately pay more in cost overruns.

Common councillor Shirley McAlary disagreed, saying council cannot give preferential treatment to local companies when the request was put out to everyone. In fact, councillor Ray Strwobridge pointed out, that kind of favouritism could land the city in legal trouble.

If all goes according to plan the well would provide water to much of the West Side. The contract was finally awarded to the Quebec company to the tune of $268,000.

Acadie-Bathurst MP Calls For Abolishment Of Senate

The member of parliament for the northern part of the province saying the senate was put there by people and can be removed by people. 

Yvon Godin, the MP for Acadie-Bathurst tells CHSJ News that the senate has never been in touch with the everyday Canadians, and in light of the recent senate expense scandal, it's clear that it's time for them to go.

In a speech to union delegates at the New Brunswick Federation of Labour convention Godin saying we have good senators, the institution is the problem.