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News for Thursday, July 15th, 2010

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For the second time in six months, the Fredericton Police department has introduced a new design for its patrol cars. A flashy blue and white vehicle with a large maple leaf and other graphics unveiled in November proved very unpopular. Chief Barry MacKnight says after hearing complaints from a lot of officers, he asked that a new design be adopted. The retro color scheme of black and white will be phased in as new vehicles are added to the fleet. MacKnight says he wanted the members to be comfortable in and proud of the vehicles. The cars are painted black with white doors and subtly feature the police force crest and city logo.

A Fredericton road worker quit his job after he was forced to urinate in his pants while directing traffic because his company failed to provide a break. Robert Sewell had been standing in the middle of the road recently, controlling traffic coming over a bridge in the Fredericton area. It was also a hot afternoon, Sewell said, and he was drinking a lot of water to prevent dehydration. Sewell said he had been into his second hour of holding a sign to direct traffic, without a break. He said he asked for a break several times, but was denied because there weren't enough workers to cover for him. The incident left him feeling degraded and humiliated. When the agent in charge arrived, Sewell handed him the sign and went home. There are no provincial regulations on when workers get breaks to use the washroom. However, employees are supposed to get a 30-minute break for every five hours they work. WorkSafeNB, the organization that oversees workplace safety issues, said there are no regulations on when workers get a bathroom break, but it is incumbent on employers to make sure workers have the opportunity to relieve themselves. Ed Hennessey, the co-owner of Safety First in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, the company Sewell was working for at the time, said he's never heard of such an incident in his 17 years in the business. Hennessey said he called the company's supervisor in Saint John to get more information on the incident and the supervisor told him the crew's breaks were adequate. He also said Sewell did not use his personal cell phone to call his supervisor and advise him of his situation until after he returned home.

A 43-year-old man was injured in a motorcycle collision in Rexton. The driver was travelling east on Route 495 about noon Tuesday when his motorcycle left road while making a small turn. The man has serious injuries and remains in a Moncton Hospital in stable condition. RCMP tell us road and weather conditions were good at the time.

A man is dead after a workplace incident in Eel Ground. The accident happened on Tuesday, and claimed the life of 32-year-old Michael Holmes. Holmes was working as a welder at the time of the accident, cutting steel from two truck trailers. RCMP and WorkSafe NB continue to investigate.

An RCMP officer suffered minor injuries after a single vehicle accident on Tuesday evening. The accident happened on Highway 116 near Rexton. The officer was on their way to an emergency call at the time. As oncoming cars pulled over to let the officer by, one car drove into the path of the officer, causing them to drive into the ditch, where the cruiser ended up on the roof. Road and weather conditions were good at the time of the accident. The investigation continues.

An Australian man suffered only a bite to his right leg after he entered an enclosure to try to ride Fatso, a five metre long crocodile. Police said the man had been thrown out of a tavern in Broome, found on the north coast of Western Australia. The website reports the man told police he climbed into Fatso's enclosure because he wanted to pet the animal. Park owner Malcolm Douglas said the cooler weather made the 800kg Fatso sluggish, which is likely why the man escaped. Haynes said the man had some "very nasty lacerations" to his leg and would remain in hospital. He said the man was lucky to be alive.

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