THIS WEEK’S NEWS SUMMARY
MORE SCHOOLS NEEDED—2/4/2006
Noel Monteith, State Minister for Education, announced yesterday the government will be providing 14,000 new school spaces by September 2007. This is a result of last year’s audit conducted by the Task Force on Education. According to the Government, 428,941 additional school spaces are needed to satisfy current educational needs and to reduce overcrowding in the primary and high schools. Current class size ratios are 45:1 in high schools and 35:1 in primary schools. According to Monteith, 408 new schools are needed to meet the findings of the audit. Seven prototype schools are complete and in use, 13 schools are being expanded and eight new schools are under construction.
POLICE FORCE UNDER INVESTIGATION—2/5/2006
Member of the rank-and-file division of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) are under investigation for police corruption. According to the Professional Standards Branch (PSB) who monitors police force conduct, corruption among the rank-and-file members is on the rise. The PSB has received reports of cops demanding as much as $30,000 from a motorist to ignore violations. Rank-and-file personnel make up more than half of the JCF and of the 8500 members, 4500 are corporals or constables. More recently, 11 members of the JCF retired in the public’s interest and are scheduled to appear in Supreme Court Wednesday.
HURRICANE DAMAGED SCHOOLS NEED REPAIR—2/6/2006
Alphansus Davis, principal of Spaldings High School, has to shift his students to other areas in the school when it rains due to damaged windows and a leaking roof. It has been more than a year since Hurricane Ivan blew through Jamaica, however hundreds of school buildings still need repairs. According to Senator Noel Monteith, 742 schools and education institutions received hurricane damage. Monteith explained schools still needing repair are being transferred to the Education Transformation Team. Monteith stated $5 billion dollars has been transferred from the National Housing Trust to repair the remaining 289 damaged schools and to fund the education transformation process.
RESIDENTS PROTEST ROAD CONDITIONS—2/7/2006
Cascade residents angry about current road conditions in their community protested outside the National Works Agency in St. Andrew yesterday. Residents complain they have been cutoff to parts of the Cascade community due to improper road conditions since 2004. A temporary bypass was installed by the Government, however the land-owner has blocked the access citing he has not received payment for use of his land. Road conditions have led to harsh conditions for coffee farmer who are not able to transport or plant and teachers who live out of the area must walk a distance to school each day. Robert Pickersgill, National Works Minister, blames past hurricanes and heavy rainfall for delaying work on the roads.
CHURCH FIRE UNDER INVESTIGATION—2/8/2006
Members of the North Street United Church launched an independent investigation into the fire that destroyed the 168-year-old landmark. Reverend Nigel Pusey and other members of the congregation allege the Jamaica Public Commission (JPS) employees of the light and power company tried to leave with faulty wires that could have been the cause of the fire. In a statement issued by JPS officials, JPS defends the removal of the wires as standard procedure if the employees believed the wires to be a safety hazard to people and property. The utility company will not comment further until the investigation is complete.
BODIES FOUND IN CAR TRUNK—2/8/2006
The bodies of Damion McKain of Caymanas Gardens and Garnett Green of Seaview Gardens were recovered from the trunk of a burning car in Rockfort yesterday. According to the Constabulary Communication Network , residents on Helsop Avenue reported seeing a car on fire. The Rollington Town Fire Department extinguished the car fire and recovered the bodies from the trunk.
RESIDENTS RIOT IN RESPONSE TO KILLING—2/9/2006
Residents of Tawes Pen and Ellerslie Pen took to the streets of Spanish Town, St. Catherine after the killing of Andrew “Bun Man” Hope, the leader of the notorious One Order gang. Rioters set fire to the old courthouse and chased away firefighters who arrived to put out the blaze. Protesters through rocks and other objects at them while looters took to the building and had it destroyed before fire fighters could return. Seven cars and one person were set on fire on the premises. Businesses closed and children were sent home from school early as the rioting continued into the night.
THREE FOUND DEAD IN MONTEGO BAY HOME—2/10/2006
The bodies of 44-year-old Derrick Taylor, 45-year-old Senil Taylor and a young woman were found yesterday in Taylor’s unfinished Montego Bay house. The house is in the Felicity Crescent Area of Montego Bay. All three bodies were discovered by Senil Taylor’s co-workers who came looking for him when he did not show up for work. According to Montego Bay police the room where the bodies were found had been ransacked and items were scattered among the floor. The three victims had multiple gunshot wounds. This is St. James’ first recorded triple murder since the new year.
SMITH WINS AT GOVERNOR’S CUP—2/6/2006
Trecia Smith, Jamaica’s world triple jump champion, was victorious at the Governor’s Cup in Samara, Russia over the weekend. It was Smith’s first victory in a year over Russian Olympic champion Tatyana Lebedeva. Smith upset the crowd by beating fan-favorite Lebedeva with a 17.75 meter jump. Lebedeva placed second with a 14.61 jump. Smith finished fourth in the triple jump at the Athens Olympics.
PLAYERS INVITED TO CAC GAME—2/7/2006
The Jamaica Football Federation has selected 23 under-21 players to begin prepping for play at the Central American and Caribbean Games qualifiers in April. Players attend camp until Thursday to prepare for April’s qualifying matches in Suriname against the Dominican Republic and Suriname. Matches are April 5, 7 and 9, 2006. The CAC Games are played in Columbia this July. The 23 players selected are from Harbour View, Reno, Portmore, Arnett Gardens, Village United, Waterhouse, St. Catherine, Sport Central, Tivoli Gardens and St. Elizabeth.
WOLMER CONTINUES WINNING STREAK—2/8/2006
The Wolmer boys continued their winning streak yesterday with a 56-46 win over Excelsior at the National Stadium Courts. The team has now won seven games in the KFC sponsored ISSA High School Basketball Southern Conference. Kerron Caine led the Wolmer boys to a 21-12 lead at the break, but Excelsior’s Deameatrio Wade rallied his team in the second quarter with 11 points. Wade had 20 points and 17 rebounds for the game while Wolmer’s Caine had 23 points and 11 rebounds.
RIVOLI ADVANCES IN KNOCKOUT—2/9/2006
Rivoli advances to the second leg of the Red Stripe Champions Cup Knockout with an 8-1 victory over Bath Sports Club of St. Thomas. Devon Hodges scored three goals, Patrick Beech had two and Omar Parker, Kemar Mills and Gregory Teape all scored one goal. It was Richard Eubanks who scored Bath’s only goal in the 71st minute of the game. In other games, Portmore Untied was victorious over Village, Constant Spring and Waterhouse tied at 0-0 and Seba defeated Harbour View 1-0.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.