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JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending February 17th, 2006

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Financial Institutions Services Ltd. closed their case in it’s $2 billion lawsuit against Donald Panton, a Kingston businessman. Panton, his wife Janet and son Jeffrey are co-defendants in the suit brought to the Supreme Court. The Pantons, who have been without an attorney since Monday, asked the court of Appeals for a stay in the proceedings. Justice Howard Cooke denied the stay. The Pantons and other defendants were sued in 1995 after the collapse of Blaise Financial in 1994. The Government had to pay millions of dollars to depositors and is now seeking to recover the money.

The murder of two priests from Missionaries of the Poor is still a mystery to investigators. The two men were shot and killed almost four months ago. According to Deputy Superintendent V.B. Austin, there have not been in any new developments. Austin says this case has been a challenging mystery. Investigators are awaiting results from tests run on people in the complex during the time of the murders. Brothers Suresh Barwa and March Cande-lario Laspura were among 15 others in the complex’s kitchen when a single bullet hit Barwa in the head and proceeded to strike Laspura.

According to Senator Delano Franklyn, the Government will be spending US$80 million to host the Cricket World Cup in 2007. Franklyn further explained in the State of the Nation debate on Friday, the Caribbean governments, collectively will be spending US$400 million to host the event. The Jamaican Government will be spending money to construct a multi-purpose facility at Greenfield in Trelawny, to refurbish Sabina Park and other items in preparation for the major event. Hosting the Cricket World Cup challenges organizers and the Caribbean Hotel Association to resolve accommodation issues. To solve this problem, The Ministry of Industry and Tourism is creating a program to register and license homes for use as accommodations. Franklyn believes this could emerge into a new market for Jamaica’s tourism industry.

Residents of Farm Town in St. Ann are to blame for three car fires, a grocery store fire and a house fire during two days of protest. Residents are protesting the killing of a community member. According to residents, police are not doing enough to apprehend suspects in the shooting death of 31-year-old Rayon Whitehorn. Residents believe this was a contract killing. The protest began Sunday when angry residents got in an argument with a group of men associated with a person believed to be involved in the murder. Top officials met with some residents yesterday to assure them they are working on the case.

The body of 19-year-old Benton Barnes was recovered from the Hermitage Dam in St. Andrew yesterday. Barnes has been swimming with two friends on Saturday when the accident occurred. Howard Newell, NWC water production manager, assured residents the quality of the water will not be affected. The NWC had a thorough purification process ran and analyzed the samples every hour. Newell explained people should keep out of the dam area. It is a prohibited area and all sporting activities, including swimming are forbidden.

Robert Bryan, executive director for Jamaica Cricket 2007 announced yesterday schools in close proximity to Sabina Park will be closed for five non-consecutive days during the 2007 Cricket World Cup. In addition, all road traffic will come to a halt for seven non-consecutive days along sections of South Camp Road and public transportation routes will be altered. Dr. Wayne Reid, chairman of Jamaica Cricket 2007 said the schools are being closed for the safety of the students. However, many people are upset claiming cricket is not an acceptable reason to close schools and disrupt the school year.

Professor Kenneth Hall took his new post as the fifth Governor-General of Jamaica last night in a ceremony held at King’s House in St. Andrew. Hall is the former Pro-Vice Chancellor and Principal of the University of the West Indies. The new Governor-General succeeds Sir Howard Cook, who held the position for almost 15 years. In his inaugural speech, His Excellency Hall spoke about finding a way for society to engage the youth. He believes today’s youth is the most educated and enthusiastic and full of innovative ideas, making them the foundation for Jamaica’s future. Hall will be joined at King’s House by his wife, Her Excellency Mrs. Hall, a former Senior Researched at the Allister McIntyre Center, UWI.

Neville Moody, Director of Industrial Safety at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security announced yesterday, they are still awaiting autopsy results for three Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) workers who dies six months ago. Arthur Williams, Woodford Brown and Owen Townsend collapsed while on duty at the Old Harbour Bay plant in St. Catherine. The three men where in the area where the plant pulls water from the sea into cool power-generating units. Colleagues who found the three men believed they were killed by toxic fumes. A previous autopsy was performed, however the results were inconclusive as to the cause of death.


Jamaica’s Busta Fighters will meet the United States taekwondo team February 19 at Atlantic City’s Battle for the Boardwalk. Jason McKay, Busta Fighters captain, was surprised by the United States when they accepted the match just 10 days before registration cut-off for the tournament. Busta Fighters have been seeking this match for months. The USA team had previously declined an invitation to the Busta Cup, but was present at the Pan-AM Championships in Trinidad and Tobago. The Busta Fighters have been undefeated in two years and have won 10 consecutive international matches.

Kenia Sinclair broke the national 800 metre record Friday night at the Tyson Invitational at Randal Tyson Track Complex in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Sinclair beat her previous national record set in Gainesville, Florida with a time of 2:01:81, the 13th best time this season. Sinclair finished ahead of two-time NCAA champion Alice Schmidt. Also at the Tyson Invitational, Veronica Campbell, the World Outdoor 100m silver medalist, took first place in the 60m with a personal best time of 7.04 ahead of Americans Me’Lisa Barber and Lauryn Williams.

Excelsior High School won the Jamaica Hockey Federation/Inter Secondary Schools Sports Association Under-19 Schools girls title yesterday. The favoured Excelsior girls beat St. Andrew 1-0 at Mona Astro Turf. It was a hard fought game with the only strike coming from Excelsior’s Yolande Hamilton in the 20th minute. Wolmer High beat Alpha Academy 3-0 to secure third place in the tournament. This was the first time St. Andrews had reached the finals in 20 years.

The Wolmer boys proved victorious in a 53-50 win over St. George College yesterday at National Stadium. This win secures them a place in the semi-finals of the KFC ISSA High School competition and improves their record to 8-0. Kerron Caine led the Wolmer team with 19 points and 11 rebounds while St. George was led by Joscelyn Campbell with 19 points and 12 assists. At half-time Wolmer led 30-23 but St. George came out fighting in the third and fourth quarters. With two minutes left in the game, the teams were tied 48-48 but Caine restored the lead for Wolmer. With 15 seconds left in the game, Wolmer’s Kavan Allen made two three throws to secure the win.


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

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