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JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending April 21th, 2006

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THIS WEEK’S NEWS SUMMARY
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INMATES ACCUSED OF ABUSE—4/15/2006
Several inmates at the St. Catherine Adult Correctional Center have been moved to another maximum security facility for their alleged involvement in a sex abuse scandal involving mentally ill prisoners. To date, only one case has been verified, however a report from the Ministry of National Security states other cases are being investigated. According to reports, these crimes are also being committed against inmates imprisoned for non-violent crimes. These inmates are being closely monitored for their safety and receiving medical treatment while the allegations are being investigated.

SQUATTERS ON THE RISE—4/16/2006
With the number of squatters on the rise across the island, private land owners are finding it hard to keep people off their property. And while the Government has yet to establish their squatter management unit, they have identified more than 300 squatter sites on the island. According to Roger Clarke, Minister of Agriculture and Land, the Government is aware of the growing problem and will be looking into finding a solution in the coming weeks. And it is not just the local governments and landowners who are interested to see what the Government will do. Squatters are also interested to see what types of assistance the Government will offer.

COP TO FACE ASSAULT CHARGES—4/17/2006
Constable Ricardo Evans is facing assault charges stemming from an altercation with a superior officer. Evans, an officer with the Mount Salem Police Department, is accused of drawing his firearm on a senior officer while being questioned about his involvement in an extortion investigation. Evans, along with other officers, was charged with breach of the Anti-Corruption Act Friday. Reports claim Evans has been extorting money from a person who disobeyed the Road Traffic Act. The alleged assault occurred two weeks ago.

THREE FOUND DEAD IN MONTEGO BAY—4/18/2006
Recent police records show three people were found dead in Montego Bay over the weekend. Saturday evening, Randy Johnson, 33 of Bogue Village Estates, was found dead from gunshot wounds to his upper body. Johnson was driving on Jarrett Street after dropping a friend off at her home. In another incident, Teresa Pitter, 36, and Barrington Kelly, 39, of Mt. Salem, were killed when an armed man open-fired on them and others while playing a game of ludo. All three victims were taken to Cornwall Regional Hospital. To date, the tourism capital has seen a rise in homicides compared to this time last year. Reports indicated Montego Bay has hit it’s highest murder rate since 2001.

MORE ARRESTS MADE FOR STEALING POWER—4/19/2006
Jamaica Public Service has made progress in apprehending the people who have been stealing electricity. In the past two weeks, arrests have been made, including the arrests of some highly influential business people. Among those arrested include a dentist from St. Mary, a business man from St. Thomas and the operator of a juice company. The arrests come after JPS publicly announced they would offer immunity to those who came forward and paid their account in full. The outstanding electricity bills from the three arrested totaled to more than $8 million. According to JPS reports, the company has lost more than $2 billion in electricity theft.

GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCED, NO REVENUES FROM WORLD CUP—4/19/2006
Dr. Omar Davies, Minister of Finance and Planning, announced recently the Government stands to only recoup US$9 million from ticket sales for the 2007 Cricket World Cup. Currently, the Government is spending US$100 million to host the sporting event. Bruce Golding, Opposition Leader, described the situation as a huge mistake by the Government to host this event. According to Golding this money would be better spent on other initiatives including the Transformation Project. In defense of his statement, Davies explained how rare it is for a country to turn a profit on events such as these.

PORTMORE HOME TO NEW HOSPITAL—4/20/2006
George Lee, Mayor of Portmore, announced plans for construction of a new hospital to begin later this year. According to Mayor Lee, they are in agreements to become the home of a new 200-bed hospital facility. Lee says the municipality and a company based in the Cayman Islands have been in negations and by the end of April the company should have all required surveys complete. Plans for a new hospitals have been discussed in the past and the idea is highly favored by residents. The company has surveyed residents for their ideas and opinions on the types of medical services needed in the area. Construction of the facility is projected to cost US$40 million.

POLICE TO APPREHEND CRIME BOSSES’—4/21/2006
Assistant Commissioner and head of Operation Kingfish, Glenmore Hinds, announced yesterday the police will be apprehending eight known crime bosses who are said to be responsible for much of the island’s crime. The announcement was made on the tail-end of the trial for Donald “Zekes” Phipps of Matthews Lane. Sentencing for Phipps has been postponed. Since the conception of Operation Kingfish, police have seized 170 illegal firearms, about 13 tons of cocaine and motorboats. According to Hinds, the police are looking into each crime bosses’ organization and expanding networks.

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SPORTS
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TRIALS UNDERWAY FOR CAGC—4/15/2006
Selection trials for the Jamaican team to play in the Caribbean Amateur Golf Championships are underway at Cinnamon Hill Golf Course in Rose Hall. Owen Samuda and Fabian Campbell finished out opening day with the lead just two under par with a 69 score. Samuda walked away with five birdies and a bogie on three holes, while Campbell shot for four birdies and bogied two holes. Just behind them was Narada Black who ended the day with a 73. The selection trials are slated to continue today and tomorrow at the Jablum Cinnamon Hill Classic. Cinnamon Hill will play host to the CACG later this year in August.

JAMAICA MEDALS AT CARIFTA GAMES—4/16/2006
Sharif Small of Jamaica College has won Jamaica’s first gold medal in this year’s Carifta Games in Guadeloupe. Small won the Under-20 discus competition with a throw of 51.6 meters ahead of Dominica’s Tyrone Benjamin and Barbados’ Andre Jones. The island’s second medal came from Christopher Waugh who won a bronze medal in the Under-17 boys high jump. Waugh finished third with a jump of 1.9m behind Barbados’ Daniel Burke and Bahamas’ Raymond Higgs. Higgs took the gold with a jump of 2.06m. In other events Team Jamaica has dominated the 400m heats and new records were set by Kalise Spencer in the Under-20 girls division.

JOHNSON WANTS TO FIGHT FOR TITLE—4/18/2006
Light-heavyweight boxer Glen Johnson wants to fight for the International Boxing Federation’s title according to reports by his management. This comes after British Champion Clinton Woods announced he will be fighting Jason Delisle on May 13. Johnson and his management believe they should be the next opponent to face Woods and have filed a petition with the IBF. In a previous agreement, management for Johnson and Woods spoke about fighting this summer for the IBF, 175lb-class belt held by Woods. Johnson’s record shows 44 wins, 29 by KO, 10 losses and two draws.

PLANS FOR KNOCKOUT CUP ANNOUNCED—4/19/2006
In a press conference yesterday, it was announced the top eight teams in the premier league will be participating in the Wray and Nephew Knockout Cup with the final game set for May 7 at National Stadium. In this playoff program, each team will receive cash benefits for the final placement in the tournament. The Cup winner will walk away with $400,000, runner up will win $100,000, semi-final loser to win $100,000 and the loser of quarter-final games leave with $50,000. Additionally, there are cash incentives for individual player awards including Most Valuable Player, winning coach and top goal scorer.

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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