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Journalism - page 84

CD Plus closing stores in St. John’s and Corner Brook

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CD Plus in the Corner Brook Plaza closed Wednesday, while the CD Plus at the Avalon Mall in St. John’s closes today. Dale Bailly, vice-president of operations in Canada, said 17 of the stores closed across Canada as of Jan. 1 and 35 remain in business. In 1999 there were 150 stores. “Currently we are just shutting down the non-profitable locations,” Bailly said. “If they don’t make money, we close them.” Bailly blames music and movie downloading for declining sales. CD Plus started as Music City in the 1960 in Winnipeg, Man.

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Feds spending $4.5 million on training rural doctors

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The federal government announced Wednesday that it plans to spend $4.5 million to train rural doctors in our province. The money will be spread out over the next six years, and will add 16 spots at MUN for family residents. The students will be given specialized training in small community medicine in various rural communities throughout the province. “It’s clear that we need more doctors serving rural areas in all parts of our country, including places within Newfoundland and Labrador,” Senator Fabian Manning said in St. John’s. “There are hundreds of small towns scattered around this beautiful province, and getting to and from those towns is difficult at the best of times.” The money is part of a bigger $40-million federal program to put more doctors in rural areas across Canada.

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Libyans in our capital plan rally against Gadhafi

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Libyan students at Memorial University in St. John’s are planning on holding a stand of solidarity today (Thursday) to make it known they want change in their homeland. It will take place at Memorial University in front of the clock tower starting at 11:30 am. One student, who didn’t identify herself for fear of reprisals, said, “We want to have democracy. We want to have our freedom to say something or do something — not by your will and not by your order. So its time for [Moammar Gadhafi] to go.” Another anonymous Libyan student said, “Because we know Gadhafi and we know how he is thinking. He used and he is still using different kinds of weapons. Even the war weapons he used [Wednesday]…and I’m sure if he gets a chance he will use them again.” There are about a dozen Libyans studying at MUN under a program paid…

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Dry wells costing our province $20 million

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It turns out what Yvonne Jones was denouncing yesterday (government spending on oil exploration) is costing our province about $20 million. The plug has been pulled on the oil exploration project in the Parson’s Pond area. The plan to drill three wells on the northern peninsula drew criticism in 2009 from Opposition parties who called the efforts a gamble. Premier Kathy Dunderdale is remaining positive, saying the money was well spent. Furthermore, she said if she listened to critics — nothing would get done. She feels the province must be self-reliant in order to secure its future. Dunderdale noted finding oil would have been nice, but that the primary goal in the project was to gain an understanding of the geology of the area. Jones argued yesterday that the money didn’t need to come out of taxpayers pockets.

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Quebec researching possible tunnel to N.L. (again)

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Quebec is looking into the possibility of a tunnel that would run about 15 kilometres between Blanc-Sablon, on their Lower North Shore, and Newfoundland (St. Barbe to be exact). Quebec’s transport minister recently approved the provincially-funded study to look at what effects an underground link across the Straight of Belle Isle would have socially and economically. Back in 2005, a consultant’s study reported a link was feasible, but would cost about $1.7 billion. For the residents in Blanc-Sablon, their mayor feels it’s the only chance they have left to survive on the North Shore. They rely heavily on exports from Newfoundland, and the existing ferry trip takes about 12 hours. Major highway work would have to be done for the project to make sense, but the long-term savings potential could still make it happen. Time will tell if one day we can drive right out of Newfoundland.

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Deadline looming on pellet stove rebate

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The deadline to apply for a rebate under the ‘Residential Wood Pellet Appliance Rebate Program’ is March 18. To anyone who purchased and installed a wood pellet stove, you get 25 per cent back if you apply. According to Minister Shawn Skinner, “The rebate program has been well received by residents who have purchased a wood pellet appliance, and has supported our goal of creating a demand for locally-produced wood pellets.” Who doesn’t like to get money back on items purchased? Since the program was introduced in 2008, 481 rebates at an average of $581 each have been issued.

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Jones denounces government spending on oil project

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According to Yvonne Jones, it’s like the province has lost a high-stakes poker game by investing taxpayer funds in the Parson’s Pond oil well project. She said she is all for oil exploration in N.L., but it’s not the government’s role to fund it using public money. After drilling two of three scheduled wells, Nalcor announced it would be closing the whole project. “It’s never been government’s role to go out and do the exploration work, companies did their own work, made their own investments in areas where they saw potential,” said Jones. “I don’t see any reason to change that, we’ve had success using that route where the government ended up gaining royalties, we didn’t have to buy stakes in other projects, we just had to collect the royalties.” The mayor of Parson’s Pond is disappointed but believes Nalcor will be back. “They did find oil and natural gas…

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Toews blames Liberal MPs for no new prison

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We are not getting much-needed federal support for a new jail. That’s what visiting Public Safety Minister Vic Toews reiterated to reporters on Tuesday. He also said it’s the fault of Liberal MPs from our province for never bringing it to his attention. “If the MPs have an issue in that respect, they should bring it to my attention and we can have that discussion,” he said. “The Newfoundland and Labrador MPs have never identified this as a need in Newfoundland and Labrador.” MP Siobhan Coady voiced her thoughts: Toews was just playing politics. “Mr. Toews is very well aware of the request by this province. He knows all about this issue and still refuses to act,” she said. “Then to turn this into kind of a political football instead of providing solutions to a serious problem, I think it’s pretty disrespectful.”

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Ottawa’s support sought for Lower Churchill project

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Our government, along with the Nova Scotia government, is aiming to get a loan guarantee from Ottawa for the proposed Lower Churchill hydroelectric project (for more on project consultations see Indy coverage). Natural Resources Minister Shawn Skinner says it’s believed this guarantee would be the best option for the federal government to participate in the $6.2-billion project. Skinner says it would help reduce interest rates and lower the final cost of financing it all, plus Ottawa wouldn’t need to contribute funding. The provinces’ desire for $375 million in funding from the feds was requested last June, and Ottawa has asked for more information which will be presented today.

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Clothing store fire not gift shop’s fault

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Anyone remember the St. John’s fire in 2007 that destroyed William L. Chafe and Sons? Well, the fire started next door in Murphy’s gift shop and Chafe sued Murphy’s, claiming its owner had not done enough to ensure their electrical wiring was safe. Our provincial appeals court has upheld a decision that negligence was not a factor in this case. A trial judge found Murphy’s gift shop was not negligent. Chafe appealed, but in a decision released Tuesday, his clothing store lost.

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Problem with underground cable caused outage

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If you live in the area of Freshwater Road or Pennywell Road in St. John’s, you may be curious why your power was out this morning. According to Newfoundland Power spokesperson Michelle Coughlin, the outage was caused by a problem with an underground cable. Luckily crews got power back on for those affected by around 8:45am. A few cold showers may have been had this morning, but at least now your pipes won’t freeze while you’re at work.

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RNC seek help finding Erica Paul

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The RNC are seeking the public’s help in locating 13-year-old Erica Paul. Last seen on Saturday, Feb. 19 in the area of Keane Place in St. John’s, she is approximately 5’3″, weighs 140 pounds, has medium-length straight brown hair and green eyes. Police say she was wearing dark blue jeans, white DC shoes and a navy-coloured hooded sweater that read “Property of G-Unit.” Other particulars police gave to help identify her are two facial piercings: one nose ring and one middle lip ring. The police are asking anyone with information to help them find her to contact the RNC at 729-8000 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit Crime Stoppers online.

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Woman who doused two in gasoline gets seven years

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Dawn Power of Peter’s River has been sentenced to seven years in jail. On Jan. 8, while holding up a pharmacy in St. John’s, she doused two female employees in gasoline and threatened to set them on fire. The woman’s sentence included a second robbery at a sandwich shop. In the first incident, according to police, Power and the man she was with brandished a lighter and a crowbar at the employees and doused them in gasoline before leaving with 1,500 pills. Four days later, she threatened a sandwich shop employee with a knife but left with no money. Power pleaded guilty to both crimes.

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