99.3 The River News-Jan 14th, 2020
FRANCIS DEATH TRIAL
The trial began yesterday for the man charged in the hit and run death of Brady Francis last February.
57-year-old Maurice Johnson is charged with failing to stop at the scene of an accident resulting in death.
22-year-old Francis was struck and killed while waiting by the side of a road in Saint Charles for a ride home to Elsipogtog. It took investigators more than three months to lay charges in the case.
The crown opened its case by introducing a number of pieces of evidence including a vehicle bumper. The trial in front of a judge alone is expected to take till the end of the month.
Brady Francis’ mother, Jessica Perley, was the first to take the stand.
Perley testified about showing up at the crash scene that night and kissing her dead son goodbye as he lay by the side of the road with skid marks near his body.
Atlantic premiers meeting in St. John’s have agreed that changes to the federal fiscal stabilization program are needed to better help provinces experiencing a significant drop in revenues.
But they say such changes should not compromise other transfer programs.
Premier Blaine Higgs had to take part in the meeting via video due to flight cancellations.
He says in a tweet that he feels very optimistic because the Atlantic premiers are on the same page and speaking with the same voice like never before.
NB CANNABIS SELLERS
The New Brunswick government says it received eight responses in its search for a single private operator to take over cannabis sales and distribution.
The province says companies from New Brunswick, Ontario, Alberta, Nova Scotia, and British Columbia have responded to the request for proposals.
Proposals will be evaluated during the coming weeks and a private operator to take over operations from Cannabis NB could be announced in the spring.
The Higg’s government is moving to a privatized model amid continued losses by the government-owned cannabis monopoly.
NB LIBRARY USAGE
A study by the University of New Brunswick shows library usage across the province is increasing.
Doctor Ted McDonald of the university says even with the increased availability of electronic alternatives… the amount of library cards and items checked out from libraries has increased by eight-percent.
McDonald says everyone was a bit surprised by the results gathered from 2010 to 2018 because of the rapid technological and social change over the past decade.
The researcher says the data shows that print publications still have a very healthy audience in New Brunswick.
Fishermen in the Maritimes will now be required to use specially coloured rope in the ongoing effort to protect marine life like the endangered right whale.
The DFO regulations will require all fishermen to use rope that has coulored strands in the braid, each colour identifies the particular fishery and the region.
The marked gear will help identify so called ghost gear that ends up abandoned in the ocean and will also help track where whales or other marine life became entangled.
DFO says further measures aimed at protecting Right whales are expected to be annoucne before the spring fishing season.