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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

New Screening Program Could Save Lives

Getting screened for cancer improves your odds dramatically--and some people in the province will be taking advantage of a new screening program to catch the disease early.

The province has announced a new program beginning in early 2014 that will remind eligible individuals to get screened and track who's been checked and who hasn't.

A program has existed to screen for breast cancer since 1995--now colon and cervical cancer screening will be added to the list. Colon cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in Canada.

One Mile Interchange To Be Open Next Month

The $75 million dollar One Mile Interchange project, which will provide a direct connection between Highway One and Bayside Drive, will be finished by next month according to Tim O'Reilly of Traffic Services.

Truck traffic headed to the industrial areas out east will be rerouted onto the interchange---keeping it off city centre streets. There's going to be plenty of new signage to direct drivers where to go.

Don't Call 911 If You See A Cat In A Tree

We get the occasional call reporting cats stuck in trees around the city--so we asked Mark Wilson of the Saint John Fire Department whether the SJFD still performs those rescues like you see in the movies. 

He tells CHSJ News they generally don't, since there's a good likelihood a cat will come down on its own without any intervention from a firefighter.

Wilson says if there's a case of something or something being truly trapped or stuck they'll respond--but in the case of a cat up a tree 9 times out of 10 it'll come down on its own.

NB Power Integrates Companies Into Single Utility

The province's energy utility bringing its companies together under one umbrella. NB Power's Group of Companies are now one integrated Crown Corporation as required by the Electricity Act.

That company is now solely responsible for generating, transmitting and distributing the province's electricity.

The change means the Electric Finance Corporation which was created to deal with debt is disslved and the utility will take on $325-million in net debt, and a new subsidiary, the NB Energy Marketing Corporation, will be created.

President and CEO Gaƫtan Thomas says the changes will help keep energy prices low and stable over the next decade.

City Clarifies Estabrooks Costs

In an email, the City letting us know their contract with the Investigative Solutions Network regarding the Estabrooks investigation includes the approval of funding in $100,000 increments beginning last October and again in January and April of this year.    

About $300,000 has been spent so far and Common Council authorized another $100,000 just over two weeks ago bringing the total approved amount to $400,000.

Energy Drink Discussion

If your kids like those energy drinks, you may be interested in the results of this discussion today.

The Department of Health is hosting a dialogue that include the chief medical officer of health Dr. Eilish Cleary, Dr. Samuel Godefroy of Health Canada and Martin-Pierre Pelletier of the Canadian Beverage Association.

A report on the dialogue will be made available on the department of health's website later this fall.

The Best In Local Business Will Be Honoured

The top honours for local businesses will be given out tomorrow night by the Saint John Board of Trade. 

The mood of business in the city over the last year has been somewhat downcast. Saint John has the dubious distinction of having the highest unemployment rate along the cities surveyed by Stats Canada. 

Board of Trade President Eric Poirier tells CHSJ News it's not all doom and gloom these days. He characterises it as "cautious optimism".

Colwells, Liquid Gold Olive and Vinegar Inc. along with Maritime Hydroseed are all in the running for the Entrepreneurial Excellence award.

3D Property Managemen, Flex-Con Concrete Repair and Urban Shoe Myth are the finalists for the Emerging Entrepreneur Award.

The finalists for business excellence are Bayview Credit Union, Commercial Properties and Fortis Properties which owns the Delta.

The Young Entrepreneur Award is going to Sarah Jones of Jones Gallery.

UNB Saint John - The Promise Partnership gets the Big Heart Award and Carole Cunningham of the Saint John Board of Trade will receive the Chairman's Award.

Federal Money To Facilitate Fish Travel

$15,000 from the Feds means the Atlantic Coastal Action Program can fix up at a dam at Ashburn Lake facilitating fish travel.

Tim Vickers of ACAP Saint John tells CHSJ News some of the funding will be used to replace a historic dam where Ashburn Lake meets Ashburn Creek.

He tells us over time the dam has washed out and it gets filled in with large rocks preventing the fish from getting through.

A new dam will include a fish ladder that allows them come in and out of Ashburn Lake while the water levels are maintained.

Saint John MP Rodney Weston making the funding announcement this morning on behalf Fisheries Minister Gail Shea at the Glen Carpenter Centre.

Young Woman Missing

CHSJ News has been contacted by friends who say they're worried about a 19 year old woman who has been missing since September 29th. 

Genevieve Mary Cormier, known as "Gen" was last seen on the Reversing Falls Bridge heading west. 

She's described as being about five feet 7 with dark brown/blackish hair and has a tattoo on her back reading "Take these broken wings and learn to fly" with a bird.  

Her friends are urging you contact City Police if you know anything about her whereabouts because they're worried sick.

Lawsuits Could Cost City Mega Bucks Just To Defend

If the city has to defend itself in the face of 263 lawsuits, the cost could alone bankrupt the city. That word from Halifax lawyer John McKiggan.

He tells CHSJ News a class action lawsuit will be filed in a matter of days or weeks on behalf of the people who say they were sexually abused by the late Ken Estabrooks when he was a City Police Sergeant and later a city employee with the Works Department.

McKiggan says they want to find if the Mayor and Common Council back in 1975 signed off on transferring Estabrooks from the police to City Works after confessing. 

McKiggan says a class action lawsuit offers a more flexible solution.

Traffic Disruption On West Side

Main Street West  between Ready Street and Charles Street West will be reduced to one lane in both directions over the next two days for crosswalk improvements and roadway maintenance.

Man Saved From Leaping Off Bridge

Alot of activity for Police in the Valley. They had to save a man from harming himself when he was hanging off a bridge along Route 111 and threatening to jump the next time a truck came along. Police managed to grab hold of him before he could make the leap and he's now in hospital for mental health issues.

Another man was taken to hospital after losing control of the bicycle he was riding on Randy Jones Way. Police say he was wearing a helmet which save his head but did suffer injuries to his chest.

Another deer was struck causing considerable damage to the vehicle in Gondola Point by Miller Road and a home along Rothesay Road was broken into.

What's The Future Of Fallsview Park?

The future of the Reversing Fall Jet Boat business is up in the air-- and another question mark hangs over the future of Fallsview Park. 

Tourism Minister Trevor Holder tells CHSJ News it's time to take a second look at the park off Douglas Avenue and how we can make it more attractive to visitors.

Holder says he'd like to see consultation with the business community, especially the businesses that rely on Reversing Fall for revenue, and ask them what they'd like to see changed about the park. 

No word on whether we're likely to see a public consultation like that currently being held on the future of the Market Square/Loyalist Plaza. Holder says that would be up to Waterfront Development.

Land Bank Could Nip Vacant & Derelict Buildings In The Bud

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to vacant lots and derelict buildings--and common council is expressing its approval for the idea of a land bank to help further than end.

The idea was floated by Housing Alternatives, which has promoted adequate, affordable housing in Saint John area for 30 years. In essence, a land bank means a not-for-profit holds the title for a property until they can find a suitable investor to take it over. 

Housing Alternatives Executive Director Kit Hickey explains in the event there are vacant parcels of land that are turned over to the city, the land bank would hold them for future development. 

Common Councillor Gerry Lowe says it makes sense to let a not-for-profit deal with vacant lots since the city has a lot on its plate already.

Mayor Mel Norton calling the idea a "huge benefit" to the city.