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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Celebrating Saint John's Social Media Community

The best of the best of Port City social media receiving their Salty's at the annual awards tonight.

Jane Logan won coolest blog for her blog 'Hungry Janey'.

She tells CHSJ News she is a stay at home mom who spends a lot of time in the kitchen and she wanted to record it.

She says when checking the Google analytics last spring she found lots of people were checking it out so she bought the domain name.

Awesome Instagram went to Mike Capson, Best Facebook page goes to Chris Donovan for his page Humans of Saint John and the Hottest Youtube went to the video "I Wish" from the Boys and Girls club.

Twitter Person of the Year goes to WhiskyLassie aka Johanne McInnis.  

The Salty for best use of social media in a campaign goes to Joanna Vlamakis and Amber Hachey for their use of a Kijiji ad to get Joanna's stolen iPhone back.

To check out Hungry Janey click here

Charges Laid In Saunders Murder

28-year-old Victoria Henneberry and 25-year-old Blake Leggette are now facing charges in connection with the murder of Loretta Saunders.

They are scheduled to appear in Halifax Provincial Court tomorrow to each face a charge of first degree murder.

Yesterday afternoon, Loretta’s disappearance was declared a homicide. Her body was later found off the highway in Salisbury and transported to the Coroner Services office in Saint John, where an autopsy will be conducted in the coming days.

Who's Getting The Money From 911 Charges?

The Alward government is coming under fire for taking money out of 911 services to pay for the Emergency Measures Organization. Liberal MLA Rick Doucet tells CHSJ News the 911 charges on everyone's phone bill has been paying the salaries of EMO workers.

Doucet claims the government has misled the people by changing the definition of the telephone service to include co-ordinating emergencies -- in turn -- paying EMO workers while volunteers like the Fire Departments are still giving their time.

On the other side of things, Conservative MLA Curtis Malloch tells CHSJ News the government has to find places to find money to deal with emergencies.

Malloch says he doesn't understand why Doucet is acting like this is a surprise because the Minister stood in the house and clearly said the amendment was taking place.  He accuses Doucet of politically grand-standing during an election year.

Politicians, Community Members Wonder If Sally Ann Can Be Saved

With the news that the Salvation Army on Saint James Street is closing on April 30th, many are wondering if it's too late, and whether something can still be done.

Liberal Leader Brian Gallant tells CHSJ News he's very concerned to hear about the closure, because in his view, the Salvation Army has been doing great work with the city's homeless population since the early 80s.

Gallant says over that amount of time, workers building up a level of expertise it would be a shame to lose. Gallant visited the facility today to speak with workers and gain a better understanding of what the future of the Salvation Army in Saint John could look like.

Debunking Myths About Partridge Island

Local Historian Harold Wright wants to debunk what he says are some of the common misconceptions about Partridge Island in a presentation at the Main Branch Library.

Wright says contrary to popular belief, there aren't thousands of Irish immigrants buried there, but only 850. As well, he says it's inaccurate to compare Partridge Island to Ellis Island, as many people often do, because the role Partridge Island played in immigration was comparatively miniscule. As well, he says while arsenic and other unhealthy compounds were found on the site they don't make the island inherently dangerous.

He estimates vandals have done as much as 1 million dollars worth of damage to the island.

Wright says we need to stop thinking that Partridge Island is going to be a popular tourist attraction and try to build something there than this community can enjoy along the lines of the Irving Nature Park.

Cardy Speaks To BOT on Education, Energy and Jobs

For the first time in many years, the Saint John Board of Trade inviting the Provincial NDP leader to come and speak to its members.  

Dominic Cardy hit many topics including education, small business and the energy sector. 

Cardy tells CHSJ News the security is built in with the Energy East pipeline but the prospect of controlling a shale gas industry is another matter.

He says with shale gas you have hundreds if not thousands of wells scattered all through the backwood of the province in many cases and we don't have the inspection regimes so he can't see where we can safely regulate this industry.

Irving Oil was on hand at the Delta luncheon today along with Port Saint John and Mayor Mel Norton.

Police Confirm Connection Between SJ & Freddy Drugstore Robberies

Two robberies at drug stores three weeks apart are connected---the first at MediTrust on Manawagonish Road and the other at a Pharmasave in Fredericton.

Sgt. Jay Henderson confirms to CHSJ News there is a connection between the two crimes.

Two men in their 20's including one from Saint John are facing charges after a Pharmasave was robbed in Fredericton on Monday and that resulted in a standoff at a nearby hotel.

Kyle Alexander Cameron of Saint John and Tyson Paul Colford of Moncton are both facing charges.

The Saint John robbery occurred on February 4th and at the time police thought two people might be involved

Flemming Says Healthcare Costs Have Been Reined In

Provincial Health Minister Ted Flemming has unveiled details of the 2.6 billion dollar healthcare budget for 2014-2015. 

He says health care expenditures are expected to be under budget for the second year in a row because the province can't afford to do otherwise.

Flemming maintains the cost of healthcare was rising at such a yearly rate, it was becoming financially unsustainable.

As for the Liberals' plan for healthcare, Flemming charges they don't have one.

The budget includes 27 million dollars for the drug plan, more than 367 thousand dollars to improve the health of expectant moms and newborns and 2.2 million for mental health initiatives.

Flemming also announcing no one will have to pay for the cost of an ambulance as of April 1st. 70 per cent of New Brunswickers are covered by their own private plans if they have to use an ambulance.


Ice Storm Cost NB Power Big Bucks

NB Power has reduced its net debt by $55 million and expects a fourth consecutive year of earnings in 2013-14 despite incurring millions of dollars in storm expenses during the last quarter and some of the most volatile natural gas market prices in years. 

Restoring power to more than 88,000 customers following a series of destructive winter storms cost NB Power about $12 million. The 12 million  was made up of nearly $9 million for contracted crews from within and outside New Brunswick as well as $3 million in extra costs for utility crews and materials plus meals, travel, vehicles, and lodging.

NB Power says it's preparing for an expanded tree trimming program which is expected to get underway in April and May. 

UPDATE: Two Envelopes Containing Powder Found In SJ

A commotion in two corners of the City after a suspicious envelope arrived at St. Joe's and at an East side funeral home containing a white powder.  

No one was exposed and four people nearby at the time were  decontaminated along with the area involved.

Around the same time, another envelope with something suspicious inside was found at Fundy Funeral Home on Westmorland Road. 

That was taken away for analysis and again, no one was exposed.
Both Police and Fire believe they know the source of the envelopes.

Sgt. Jay Henderson of the City police tells us no one was hurt and they ask the public should they ever find a suspicious package to not open it but call police.    

The Major Crime Unit is looking into the incident. 

Changes For Spring Weight Restrictions

The start date for spring weight restrictions for truck traffic in southern New Brunswick has been delayed by one week due to all the cold weather in the forecast

Now, these restrictions will come into effect at midnight on Sunday, March 9, until midnight on Sunday, May 18.

These are the same dates set for restrictions in northern New Brunswick. 

District engineers are authorized to close roads to trucks or impose weight restrictions on highways or portions of highways depending on the road conditions.

Man Burned Trying To Save Garage

An attempt by a man on Latimore Lake Road to prevent his garage from catching fire resulted in him suffering minor burns. 

It all happened when his vehicle caught fire inside the garage and he tried to push it out of harm's way to prevent the fire from spreading.

Gas Prices Continue Upward Climb

There's no relief for drivers after the weekly setting of gas prices. Self serve regular in the city has gone up by two and a half cents to $1.36.9 a litre. 

The increase for diesel is even higher at 3 and a half cents a litre to stand at $1.54.8 around town. 

The maximum price for heating oil has risen by nearly a cent to $1.35.2 a litre.

 For the second week in a row, propane went down in price to a maximum of $1.49.2.