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JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending March 31st, 2006

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THIS WEEK’S NEWS SUMMARY

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POLICE MAKE LARGE GANJA BUST—3/25/2006

Narcotics officers in Kingston discovered large amounts of ganja during a two day special operation. In the first raid, narcotics officers seized a container housing more than 2,000 lbs. of ganja at Kingston Port. The drugs were found compressed in the container’s floor. In a separate incident, officers confiscated 775 lbs. of ganja in Bull Bay, St. Andrew. Two men, Fitzroy Robinson and Donovan Drummond were arrested after police found the drugs in the cars they were driving. The drugs seized are believed to be worth more than $11 million in street value.

 

WATERHOUSE RESIDENTS UPSET AFTER SHOOTING—3/27/2006

Residents in the Balcombe Drive area of Waterhouse are upset after Allan Coleman, also known as Allan Buckas, was shot Saturday evening. According to police, Coleman, who was affiliated with the Buckas Posse, was shot several times while riding his motorcycle around 5:00 pm on Ken Hill Dr. Michael Phipps, Detective Deputy Superintendent is urging residents to remain calm. He also says they have two suspects in custody. It is believed Coleman’s death is in connection to a turf war that is long standing in the Waterhouse, St. Andrew community.

 

PROGRAM DEVELOPED TO HELP UNDER ACHIEVING STUDENTS—3/28/2006

Students who do not score well on the Grade Nine Achievement Test and get automatically placed in secondary school, now a have a program to help them move up. The Student Empowerment Program will be launched for students in September 2006. This program is designed to assist students in learning the skills they need to progress into the tenth grade or job market. Additionally, students will be receiving hearing and vision screening throughout their enrollment in the program. It is estimated in 2005 there were more than 3,000 students not placed in secondary schools due to low test scores.

 

NEW UNIVERSITY TO OPEN—3/29/2006

Plans to develop the University of Western Jamaica were addressed by Prime Minister P.J. Patterson during his weekly press briefing at Jamaica House. Plans call for the University to be housed in Mountpelier, St. James. Studies will include Tourism and Hospitality Management, Accounting, Management, English and others. The school is estimated to cost US$1 million. Paterson also announced plans to construct a new lifestyle village in western Jamaica as well. The National Housing Trust has already received more than 400 acres at Barrett Hall to begin construction. According to Patterson, the village will target tourists and Jamaicans living in other countries.

 

KINGSTON BOY KILLED BY STUDENT—3/29/2006

Romane Nicholson, 17, was stabbed by another student in Eastern Kingston on Monday. Police have a 17-year-old boy in custody and are questioning other students about the death. The boys were students at Camperdown High School. According to the victim’s mother, she believes the two boys were gambling and got into a fight resulting in Nicholson being stabbed in his neck. Police are not commenting on the incidents surrounding the murder. Nicholson died several hours later at Kingston Public Hospital.

 

ARRESTS MADE FOR THEFT OF ELECTRICITY—3/29/2006

Sixty-eight arrests have been made for stealing the use of electricity from the Jamaica Public Service Company. Of those 68 arrested since January, eight were business owners and one JPS employee has been terminated in connection to the thefts. Officials from JPS announced the arrests came after an investigation by the company’s Loss Reduction Management Unit as part of the Loss Reduction Program. The criminals were targeted using global positioning and by analyzing patterns of electricity usage. According to JPS, this type of theft accounted for more than $2.6 billion in losses for 2005.

 

MORE TAXES FOR EDUCATION—3/31/2006

The Ministry of Finance and Planning and the Education Ministry are making a move to allocate more of the current payroll deduction taxes to help fund the education system, according to former Education Minister, Maxine Henry-Wilson. According to recommendations given to Prime Minister Patterson in 2004, a total of $52 billion is needed for the education system to undergo the needed transformation. Of the $52 billion recommended, $5 billion has been generated. More than $3 billion of that money was used to build new schools across the island, $500 million was used for the Teacher Enhancement Fund and $536 million was used for miscellaneous projects.

 

NEW PRIME MINISTER TAKES OFFICE—3/31/2006

Portia Simpson Miller was sworn into office yesterday at King’s House and officially became the nation’s first female Prime Minister. Simpson Miller, known for her care and compassion is hopeful for a better future, according to reports. On her agenda, Simpson Miller wants to transform the education system, and promises to reduce crime. The ceremony was attended by many national and international dignitaries including Louis Farrakhan, U.S. Congressmen and others. In her inaugural speech, Simpson Miller focused on improving the rights of Jamaicans and building peace through respect.

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SPORTS

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ASAFA AND TEAM COMPTETE IN RELAY—3/25/2006

Asafa Powell and teammates Michael Frater, Ainsley Waugh and Winston Smith worked well together in the first heats of the 4x100m relay. After receiving the relay baton, Powell started his leg of the race nearly six meters behind Ambrose Ezenwa of Australia. Powell was able to pass Ezenwa and advanced his team to the next heat with a time of 38.52 seconds. The team will run in the finals today after Trinidad and Tobago and England failed to complete their heats. The Jamaican team enters the finals with the seventh fastest time.

 

LEE AND NANGLE TOP SWIMMERS AT MEET—3/26/2006

Dominic Lee and Kendese Nangle have a lot to be proud of leaving the Tornadoes Swim Club Invitational Meet on Saturday. In the 400m medley for boys 11 and older, Lee set a new record. He then beat the old record in the boys 13 and older age bracket in the 400m medley with a time of 5:13.83. Additionally, Lee took first place in the 100 and 200m freestyle and 100m breaststroke competitions. Nangle was able to clinch wins in the girls’ 11-12 year-old brackets in 100m backstroke and 100m breaststroke and took second place in the 100m freestyle. Nangle will now prepare for the Carifta Games in Barbados on April 6.

 

JAMAICA FINISHES SEVENTH AT COMMONWEALTH GAMES—3/27/2006

The Jamaican team won an unprecedented 22 medals to complete the Commonwealth Games overall in seventh place. This is the most medals the country has ever won in the Game’s 72-year history. Garth Gayle, manager of the Jamaican track and field team credits the Jamaican Amateur Athletic Association for getting such a great group of athletes together for these games. Another first for the Jamaican team included a first-ever bronze medal in the women’s javelin competition.

 

VERE, WOLMER LEED MEET—3/31/2006

After three days of competition at the VMBS/ISSA Boys and Girls Championships, the Vere Technical girl’s stay on top of the standings, while Wolmer moved to the top in the boy’s division. Vere Technical leads the girls with 62.5 points after a first and second place finish in the class-two long jump put them ahead of the pack. Holmwood stands in second with 35.5 points. The Wolmer boys are in the lead with 30 points, just a one and half point lead over Calabar. Wolmer moved into first from fourth after an impressive win in the boy’s heptathlon by Dwight Webley.

 

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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