THIS WEEK’S NEWS SUMMARY
NEW CENTRE TO BE BUILT AT TAMARIND FARM—3/4/2006
Senator Kern Spencer announced yesterday that a new transition centre will be built at Tamarind Farm Correctional Facility. This facility will be used to house 200 additional inmates serving between one and six months of a remaining sentence with low or medium risk. Inmates in the new centre will also be able to take part in new programs aimed at easing them back into society to live a healthy and crime-free life. These programs, still to be designed, include vocational/trade programs, spiritual studies and anger management classes. Spencer announced these plans during his part of the State of the Nation Debate.
MENTALLY ILL INMATES RELEASED—3/5/2006
The Commissioner of Corrections, Major Richard Resse, announced Friday that 34 of the 74 mentally ill prison inmates who were lost in the system had been processed and sent home over the last two years after being declared unfit to plead. Resse is working with the Department of Justice and the Independent Jamaica Council for Human Rights to determine how many more mentally ill inmates could be released. There are currently 130 mentally ill inmates in custody at the St. Catherine District Prison with 67 of them housed in a psychiatric area. According to Reese a new strategy has been in place in to monitor the inmates. Mentally ill inmates are categorized based on safety and security of others.
VAZ NAMED CARETAKER OF WESTERN PORTLAND—3/6/2006
Daryl Vaz received 175 votes to be named the new Caretaker of Western Portland. Vaz beat the former caretaker, Kenneth Rowe by more than 100 votes. A total of 262 delegates from Hope Bay, St. Margaret’s Bay, Buff Bay and Balcares were eligible to vote. According to Vaz his decision to come to Western Portland was due to lack of prior representation for the area. This election stems from a push from the JLP for delegates to decide who should represent them in the next general election after being represented poorly in prior elections.
GANG SEEKS RETALIATION—3/6/2006
Police in St. Catherine are on high alert after intelligence reports reveal plans the One Order Gang is seeking retaliation for the murder of their leader Andrew “Bunman” Hope. Hope was murdered in Spanish Town last month. According to police, they have received information that gang members hold the police responsible for Hope’s death and are making plans to attack officers. Hope is scheduled to be buried Wednesday at Number Five Cemetery near Tawes Pen. The One Order Gang operates out of Spanish Town.
SAFTEY ISSUES AT EAST KINGSTON HIGH SCHOOL—3/7/2006
Teachers at Vauxhall High School boycotted classes to protest the growing number of safety issues at the school after the rape of a female student. According to school officials, teachers often become intimidated and distracted by members of the community who walk on school grounds, look into classroom windows and harass the students. The Vice Principal of the school believes these people are entering school grounds through a perimeter fence that was damaged during Hurricane Ivan and never repaired. Although the school is staffed with School Resource Officers, the problems occur after they leave the school.
CHURCH FOUNDER AND ICON DIES—3/8/2006
Mortimo St. George Planno or Brother Kumi, has died at University Hospital of the West Indies. Planno, 76, was a founding member of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Jamaica and a founding member of the Rastafari Movement Association. Planno, who had been in and out of the hospital since he had a heart attack in 2001, suffered from hypothyroidism and died from respiratory failure. Planno is best known for his role during the 1966 visit of the Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I. He made himself known nationally during the 1950’s through his dealings with the Rastafari Movement.
NEW LEADS IN ST. THOMAS FAMILY MURDER—3/9/2006
Police in St. Thomas are following new leads in search of the people who killed six family members last week. New information is coming from a man who says he washed the car used to transport the body of the little girl who was murdered and buried in St. Mary’s. Police also have another man in custody who has not been charged. According to reports, police raided a small resort area in search of information after they learned a woman had been paid a small amount of money to dig the grave in St. Mary’s for the child. While previously thought drugs could have been a motive, the dead woman’s husband (McCool) has denied those allegations. Mr. McCool is currently serving time for a drug conviction.
FACILITY FOR MENTALLY ILL INMATES COMPLETE—3/10/2006
Improvements made at the Invalid Range of the Tower Street Correctional Facility have been completed. The hospital facility used to treat mentally and physically disabled inmates had been closed since it was damaged by Hurricane Gilbert in 1988. With the renovations came new equipment to make treatments easier including new dental and optical equipment. According to Major Reese, Commissioner of Corrections, the medical supplies were coordinated through the Florida Association of Volunteers and the American Corrections Association. The Ministry of Health provided the building material and building equipment.
NETBALL STARTS NEW LEAGUE—3/4/2006
The Jamaican Netball Association (JNA) started the new A League today. The new teams include the Ravens A, Hampshire A, Molynes United A, Alexander Strikers, Ocho Rios Magic, Springfield, Braeton, Omega, Blades Untied and Ebony Strikers A. The new league was formed to strengthen competition after competition in the B League was being dominated by a select few and teams in the Super League were being dominated by teams with more experience. With this move the C League will be reserved for younger teams and split into three zones.
CALABAR, ST. CATHERINE NAMED CHAMPIONS—3/8/2006
The St. Catherine and Calabar boys’ teams clutched the championship at the KFC/ISSA Southern Conference Basketball Competition yesterday at National Stadium. St. Catherine defeated Wolmer in the Under-19 division while Calabar defeated St. George in the Under-16 division. Javan Bailey led St. Catherine’s with 24 points and 10 assists while The Calabar boys were led by Omari Williams with 19 points and 21 rebounds.
URBAN KNIGTS WIN AGAIN—3/9/2006
The Urban Knights earned their seventh win the KFC/bmobile National Basketball season by defeating the Portmore Flames 69-66, Tuesday at National Stadium. The Knights were led by Paul Oliphant with 16 points and 11 rebounds to come from behind after the first quarter. Flames team member Dave McGowan finished the night with 18 points and eight rebounds. This is the second straight loss for the Flames whose record now stands at 2-4. In other play, the Jamaica Defense Force defeated defending Champions, St. George Slayers 58-55.
ASAFA WINS 100M—3/10/2006
The first leg of the World Athletics Tour got off to a good start for Jamaica in Melbourne yesterday. World record holder Asafa Powell won the 4×100 meter relay race with a time of 10.29 seconds. Trinidad’s Darrel Brown crossed the finish line second with a time of 10.34 seconds followed by Australia’s Joshua Ross. Marc Burns from Trinidad and Michael Frater, the Jamaican 2005 World Champion silver medalist. This was Powell’s first individual 100m in eight months. After the race Powell commented that he was running against a pretty good field and that he is feeling pretty good about himself and the race.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.