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JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending March 3rd, 2006

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THIS WEEK’S NEWS SUMMARY
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MAN CHARGED WITH MURDER IN ST. ANN—2/25/2006
Xavier Lewis, 28, of Farm Town has been charged with the murder of 31-year-old Rayon Whitehorne, also from Farm Town in St. Ann. Lewis was arrested on Thursday and taken to the St. Ann’s Bay Magistrate Court where he was remanded in custody until March 9. Ray Palmer, senior superintendent of police, also has two other suspects in custody. According to police the two day delay in arresting Lewis led to resident protests in Farm Town. Three vehicles, a store and home were all set on fire during the protests. It is believed the house belonged to a man residents claimed was involved in the murder. Whitehorne was killed while walking home from a bar where he was watching television.

JAMAICAN WORKFORCE NOT SAFE—2/26/2006
The Jamaican Employers Federation (JEF) and the Jamaican Confederation of Trade Unions (JCTU) are concerned about the safety of the Jamaican labor force. This concern comes after police statistics show nearly two-thirds of people murdered last year were employed people. Of the 1,674 murdered people, 1,125 of them were employed, with the majority being labourers. Senator Dwight Nelson, President of the JCTU believes the crime is depleting the country’s productive workforce and demoralizes workers. Most believe there could be an early lockdown of all businesses. There are currently some business who are closing earlier and busses stop running after a particular time due to unsafe routes and communities. Executive Director of JEF, Jacqueline Coke-Lloyd, says the cost of safety is increasing production costs for some businesses who have to hire security or provide safe transportation for some employees.

FIVE MURDERED IN ST. THOMAS—2/27/2006
Residents of Prospect and Needham found five bodies yesterday, all from the same family. The bodies were discovered in three separate locations, two in Prospect and one in Needham Pen, four miles away. The murders of Patrice Martin-McCool, Sean Chin, Marsha George, a child knows as Jesse and Terry-Ann Mohamed, all of an address in Duhaney Pen are believed to be linked to illegal drug trading. There are reports one child, Jahad George, is still missing. According to police, the murders took place late Saturday night and early Sunday morning.

FEMALE ELECTED PNP LEADER—2/27/2006
Portia Simpson Miller is the new President-Elect and Prime Minister-designate. She is the first female in history elected to leadership of the a major political party in Jamaica and she is slated to become the first female Prime Minister in the nation’s history. Miller has pledged her efforts to the children. According to Miller, she wants to do special things for the children, the future leaders of Jamaica. PNP President-elect Miller has received many congratulatory phone calls from leaders of CARICOM countries and members of the Untied States Congress.

FLIGHT ATTENDANT HELD ON SUSCPICION OF DRUGS—3/1/2006
AIR Jamaica flight attendant, Elan Parkinson, was arrested Monday night after police found five pounds of ganja compressed in his luggage. Parkinson was departing from Norman Manley Airport in Kingston on his way to London. According to police reports, the drugs were found while Parkinson’s luggage was being processed in an X-ray machine. The ganja was found compressed in a tin of cheese. Police are also questioning a woman who is believed to have given the tin of cheese to Parkinson. According to SSP Carlton Wilson, there has been an increase in ganja smuggling. Two weeks ago police seized 640 pounds of ganja concealed in tins of cheese headed for Anguilla. Since the start of the new year, 2,936 kilograms of ganja have been seized.

KINGSTON REDEVELOPMEN OVER BUDGET—3/2/2006
Current plans to revitalize downtown Kingston are projected to cost much more than originally budgeted. Francis Kennedy, Chairman of the Kingston City Centre Improvement Company (KCCIC), says recent design changes to the transportation centre were more than budgeted. The transportation centre located in the vicinity of Water Lane to Port Royal Street was originally projected to cost $180 million, however that figure has skyrocketed to $350 million. According to Kennedy, the increase in cost will not stop construction to the centre. The KCCIC is working to secure additional funds. Kennedy believes it is still a feasible project at $300 million, as it will be a revenue generating project with shops and other commercial aspects.

ESCAPED PRISONERS CAPTURED—3/2/2006
Three more of the 15 escaped prisoners from Clark’s Town Police Station were recaptured. Glenroy Wright of St. Catherine was captured on Tuesday night and the other two were found in Bounty Hall. Those two prisoners are awaiting identification parades as suspects in crimes committed since their escape. Wright was awaiting trial on charges of receiving stolen property and is now charged with escaping police custody. He is the second prisoner to be recaptured. The first, Marlon Murray, was taken back into custody just hours after the jailbreak. He was originally facing charges of assault with intent to rape. The Office of Professional Responsibility is investigating the jailbreak and believes it was caused by overcrowding and staff shortages.

SIXTH FAMILY MEMBER’S BODY FOUND—3/3/2006
The search for the missing Jihad George McCool came to an end yesterday after investigators were led to a shallow grave in Rosemount, St. Mary. According to reports, a 39-year-old deportee turned himself in to the police on Monday and led investigators to the child. McCool had been buried their since Sunday. Newspaper reports say the deportee who operates a bar in the Montego Bay area, confirmed the murders were centered around a drug deal. The man allegedly turned himself in after angry residents stormed the man’s house promising to avenge the deaths of the family.

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SPORTS
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HILLEL ACADEMY SWIM CHAMPIONS—2/26/2006
Hillel Academy won the Mayberry Investments Prep/Primary Schools swim meet at the National Stadium pool yesterday and retained their champion title. Hillel topped Wolmer with 378 points in combined team scores. Wolmer was second with 316 points. In the boys category, Hillel was first with 250 points and they placed third in the girl’s category with 128 points. In age group competitions, Hillel took tops honours in 9-10 boys, 7-8 boys, Under-6 boys and Under-6 girls.

KINGSTON COLLEGE WINNERS AT GIBSON RELAYS—2/27/2006
Kingston College had an impressive showing at the 30th staging of the Gibson Relays at National Stadium. Kingston won four relays and set two records. Holmwood’s girls also broke two records and came away with two wins. Kingston College’s Class One sprint relay team finished with a record time of 40.38 to beat Camperdown and Holmwood. Their time beat the previous record or 40.49 set by Jamaica College in 1992.

ST. GEORGE AND CALABAR TO PLAY GAME THREE—3/1/2006
St. George beat Calabar 61-60 to force a game three in the best of three series in the KFC-sponsored ISSA High School Basketball Southern Conference Under-16 competition. Cleon Robinson led St. George with 17 points and 10 rebounds, giving his team another chance at victory. Omari Williams led the Calabar boys with an impressive 30 points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots. Coming back in overtime, St. George used the crowds enthusiasm to take the narrow lead with just two minutes left on the clock. Game three will be played Monday night.

GERONIMO WINS FOURTH TITLE IN A ROW—3/2/2006
Steven Cooke, captain of the J22 named Geronimo has won his fourth title in a row after winning the 9th Annual SuperClubs Super Yacht Race at the Royal Jamaica Yacht Club yesterday. Cooke and Geronimo crossed the finish line third but received a favourable time correction due to low handicap. The Harry Hersh crossed the line second. The Jazz was first across the finish line but because it was a small boat, it had a small handicap and lost their chances of victory after the correct time was entered. The Jazz completed the race in second place after the time correction and was given a honours for completing the race without a spinnaker.

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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