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JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending January 27th, 2006

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THIS WEEK’S NEWS SUMMARY
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MAN SENTENCED TO 10 YEARS FOR MURDER—1/21/06
Neil McCormack was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the 2001 stabbing death of 47-year-old George Glasford Dunkley. McCormack was originally charged with non-capital murder but a Home Circuit Court jury found him guilty of a lesser manslaughter charge. According to reports, McCormack and Dunkley both worked for Restaurants of Jamaica when they got in an argument about the company’s truck. Dunkley reportedly drove himself to the hospital where he later died after being stabbed in the chest by McCormack.

CONTENDER ACCUSED OF BRIBERY—1/22/06
More friction has erupted in the People’s National Party leadership race, with contender Dr. Karl Blythe accusing supporters of a fellow contender of bribing delegates in his Central Westmoreland constituency. Blythe charges that the activity has been taking place for several weeks and as recently as Thursday night. He has reported the allegations to the PNP hierarchy and has taken steps to withhold delegates’ nomination cards, claiming that due process will be followed in selecting bona fide delegates. Scores of irate citizens gathered at Blythe’s constituency office claiming that his action is a deliberate attempt to swing the results of the leadership race by installing delegates who favor his campaign.

RESIDENTS SUE AREA DEVELOPER—1/23/06
Residents of Nightingale Grove in St. Catherine are suing developers, Bushy Park Development Limited and St. Catherine Parish Council for breach of contract. President of the Nightingale Grove citizen’s association, Samuel Clunis cite breach of contact due to lack of infrastructure developments. Clunis says residents are complaining because poor curbs, culverts and improper drainage make the area vulnerable to flooding even in light rain. Many residents of the 270-house area have been living with these conditions since 1976.

POLICEMAN TO SERVE LIFE SENTENCE—1/24/06
Carl Graham, a former policeman in Clarendon, has been sentenced to life in prison for the 2000 robbery that left one customer dead. Graham fatally shot Lascelles Rosedom of Clarendon, a customer in the James Hill bar. Graham was charged with capital murder but appealed the ruling stating his sentence was manifestly excessive. The Court of Appeals dismissed his appeal and ordered his sentence to begin on March 17, 2005. Graham will be eligible for parole in 20 years.

AIR JAMAICA JAZZ AND BLUES FESTIVAL—1/25/2006
The 2006 Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival began today in Montego Bay. The jazz gates opened at 4:00 pm with performers starting as early 4:30 on the Ocean Spray Stage. According to Richard Lue, the acts lined up for the festival are excellent. Adequate parking is available and 15 shuttle buses used to transport attendees to their cars. In addition, there are parking signs in place for those coming from Kingston. Additional security has been contracted through adjoining parishes.

COUPLES TO BUILD NEW JAMAICA HOTEL—1/26/2006
Issa Hotels and Resorts announced plans to build Couples Trelawny, a 350-room hotel adjacent to Harmony Cove in Trelawny. Issa Hotels and Resorts also owns Couples Ocho Rios. Couples Negril, Couples Swept Away Negril and Couples San Souci. Additionally, the company also has plans to revamp the current Couples San Souci Property, According to Lee Issa, Chairman of Issa Hotels and Resorts, 100 hotel rooms will be added to the San Souci property bumping the total number of rooms to 250. Currently there is not an anticipated start date for the new project.

SCHOOLS IN FEAR—1/26/06
Students and teachers at three schools are in fear following separate incidents of violence since the start of the week. Classes have been suspended at Cedric Titus High School in Trelawny after reports of growing tension among residents of Clark’s Town and Falmouth since Monday’s stabbing death of an eleventh grade student. Teachers at the Eltham Basic School in St. Catherine are traumatized after a daylight robbery at the school on Tuesday. At the Boscobel Primary School in St. Mary, teachers are demanding more security following death threats against two of their colleagues. An emergency meeting has been called for teaches, parents and community members to discuss their concerns.

CONTRACTOR GENERAL IN THE DARK—1/27/06
A serious shortage of manpower has resulted in thousands of government contracts not being monitored by the Contractor General. According to Greg Christie, newly appointed CG, the majority of contracts entered by the government are not being overseen in any way. It is the Contractor General’s mandate to ensure the circumstances in which contracts are awarded or terminated do not involve impropriety or irregularity. Christie feels his office is in the dark, and wants more transparency in his office. Steps are being taken to address the situation. Christies has recommended a tracking system be implemented to bring all relevant information about contracts valued under $4 million into one single repository on a monthly basis.

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SPORTS
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WORLD’S FASTESET MAN TO COMPETE-1/21/2006
Asafa Powell, the world’s fastest man, is set to begin the 2006 season at the Queen’s/Grace Jackson Track & Field meet at the National Stadium. After facing speculation Powell may miss the Commonwealth Games. Stephen Francis, Powell’s coach, announced his sprinter is “good to go.” Powell will also be honored by the meet’s organizers for his support over the years. Other top athletes scheduled to run in the meet include World Championship silver medalist Michael Frater, bronze medalist Bridgitte Foster-Hylton and Olympic Relay gold medalist Sherone Simpson.

SUNSHINE GIRLS WIN AGAINST ENGLAND-1/23/2006
After struggling through the entire game, the Sunshine Girls fought back to a 41-40 victory over England. This win comes after back-to-back losses against Australia and New Zealand. The team’s captain, Elaine Davis, led the game for the girls with 26 baskets while Pamela Cookey was 18 of 24 for England. After a fast first half, the Jamaican girls had the support of the crowd in the fourth quarter and pulled out the win.

JAMAICAN GIRLS TO PLAY CANADA—1/25/2006
Jamaica’s under-20 female football team, Reggae Girlz, will play Canada today at Estadio Luis Fuentes in Vera Cruz. If they win, the girls will be heading to the final of the CONCACAF Under-20 Tournament. According to head coach Vin Blaine the girls are very confident heading into this game. They have been improving their performance with each game hoping for a win against Canada. With this win and a win at the tournament, the girls could ultimately play at the FIFA’s Under 20 World Cup in Russia this August.

REGGAE GIRLS LOSE TO CANADA—1/26/2006
With a 2-1 loss against Canada, the Reggae Girlz will have to win against Mexico for a chance to play in the World Cup in Russia. Head Coach Vin Blaine blamed bad luck and bad refereeing for the loss. If the Girlz win against Mexico, they will be in third place of the CONCACAF. First place team, Untied States and second spot Canada advanced directly to the World Cup. Turning their attention to the game against Mexico, Blaine knows this will be tough game.

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CREDITS/SOURCES
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The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.

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Written by Staff Writer