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JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending May 5th, 2006

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Employees at the island’s international airports are under a tighter watch after recent investigations show these workers are helping move drugs onto planes. In the past week, seven employees, including agents and security officers have been detained for questioning. Shawn Bryan and Bryan Robinson from Air Jamaica and Georgia Hinds and Jenievive Dixon, two security guards were all arrested at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay. According to reports, they have been arrested in connection with the seizure of more than 220 pounds of ganja found on an airplane headed for the Bahamas.

Travelers who utilize Highway 2000 from Mandela Highway to Sandy Bay will soon see an increase in the toll. Starting May 1, 2006, the tolls are increasing by 8.25%. This new increase shows the tolls now ranging from $10 to $50. According to Trevor Jackson, the Managing Director of TransJamaican Highway Limited, tolls were increased due to inflation. Jackson states the increase is well below the inflation rate. Jackson also believes travelers will still use the highway as a better alternative to other roads. This stretch of road links St. Catherine to Sandy Bay in Clarendon.

Neighbors in the Cottage district are stunned by the news of two murders in their community. Sahsa Kay-Myers was killed by Damion Brown, 19, in her yard. Kay-Myers died instantly. Neighbors ran after Brown, cornering him until police arrived. Brown then attacked the police officer according to reports. The officer shot Brown twice and he was taken to Savanna-la-Mar Hospital where he died. The Bureau of Special Investigations is investigating the killing of Brown and the Little London police are investigating the murder of Kay-Myers. Kay-Brown was the third person to be attacked by Brown.

Garfield Sawyers, 27, of Montego Bay was shot and killed in the Niagara district by police Sunday night. Sawyers was one of the wanted gangsters identified by police, last week. According to police reports, Sawyers was the leader of the Fresh Roses gang and wanted in connection to a murder in 2005 and a shooting in March. Two other men on the police’s wanted list were taken into custody last week. Police arrested Jason Lyttle of Glendevon and Jason James of Granville. According to Assistant Commissioner of Police, Keith Gardener, these men are wanted for running four major crime networks in St. James: Stone Crushers, Tight Pants Crew, One Order and Killer Bees.

Ann Jeffery and Omar Franklin, both of St. Andrew were arrested at Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston under the Dangerous Drug Act. Both were employed by an aircraft handling agency, AJAS Limited. Jeffery and Franklin are the seventh and eighth airport employees to be arrested after police began intense investigations into an airport drug smuggling ring. A third person, Celist Watt of west Kingston, was also arrested after police found more than 95 pounds of compressed ganja in her suitcases. Further investigations in that case led to the arrest of Jeffery and Franklin.

Six people were injured when a section of the Pinero Group Hotel collapsed trapping workers in the rubble. Of the six injured one remains in the hospital. According to witness reports, the 16-foot columns in the area that collapsed did not appear to be properly reinforced. This is the most recent in several accidents at the hotel site. Workers believe there is something more happening they cannot control on this land. Workers have been commenting on the increase of accidents and frequency of people falling from the building. This 200-acre property owned by Pinero Group is the first of three hotels to be built along with an entertainment center, meeting facility and amusement center.

Five police officers were charged with robbery today and one was offered bail on Tuesday after appearing in court. Constable Ewan Donaldson from the Port Antonio Police Station in Portland was charged with robbery with aggravation and shooting with intent and offered $200,000 bail. Donaldson will be back in court on May 25, 2006. According to Director of Public Prosecutions, Kent Pantry, there is a civilian who should also be charged. This man, however did not show up for court. This man, along with Donaldson, are accused of stealing $350,000 in March 2005 from a businessman on Long Road.

Fans coming to the Cricket World Cup in 2007 now have another option for accommodations during their stay. Carnival Cruise Lines, out of Miami, will be providing a four-star cruise ship that can hold 3,000 fans. The ship will dock at the Montego Freeport Cruise Ship Pier and stay for three days before heading to Kingston Harbor for a two-and-a-half week stay. The announcement came by Nigel Pagan, chairman of Caribbean Synergy, who is finalizing the deal. The cruise ship rooms are in addition to the other 500 home-stay rooms needed. Rates for staying on the cruise ship are expected to be about 20% less than others in the region for the event. Sources estimate nearly 100,000 people will be in the region for the games.


Last year’s Wray and Nephew NPL champions, Portmore United and Harbor View are looking to win the cup tile after double header games with Seba United and Tivoli Gardens. Both teams are having a bit of a different season from last year. Previously, Portmore was unbeatable, however this year they did not make the cut for the NPL title. Harbor View is also a different team. At the start of the season, Harbor View was doing well and at the season’s half-way point, had a 13 point lead. Both teams are now fully dedicated and want to win the Cup. Today’s games will be played at National Stadium.

Portmore ended Seba United’s dreams of winning the Wray and Nephew Knockout Cup last night 3-1 in the semi-finals. Seba’s only goal was scored by Norman Foster in the sixth minute. The game did not go well for Seba when Glenworth Benjamin was red-carded and veteran goalkeeper, Loxley Reid, was injured at the end of the first half. For Portmore, it was Mario Swaby who scored in the 35th minute, Steve Morissey with a goal in the 57th minute and Anthony Bennet who made the last goal after 90 minutes of play. Seba’s assistant coach, Peter Hurge, believes losing Benjamin due to the red card destroyed their plan for winning the game.

The St. George Slayers enjoyed another victory as they beat the Blazing Panthers 77-75 in the KFC/bmobile National Basketball League at National Stadium Monday night. The Slayers were playing well, and after the first quarter led. 22-14. The Panthers were able to fight back in the second quarter, but still trailed going into half time. The Slayers were led by Andre Wilson with 17 points and 8 rebounds, followed by Michael Jackson’s 15 points and 4 assists. In other games, the Portmore Flames lost to the Arnett Gardens Rockers 80-77.

The Jamaica Amateur Bodybuilding and Fitness Association awarded titles this weekend at the championships held at Girl’s Guides headquarters. Richard Scotchman won 2006 Novice Mr. Jamaica and Tsitsi Chang won Miss Jamaica International. In other awards, Leslie Howard of St. Jago High School won Teen Mr. Jamaica. Scotchman beat 13 competitors to win this title in his first time entering the contest. Second place went to Marcos Whyte. Chang, also competing for the first time, beat Nicole Weller of Ocho Rios for her title. Chang also won in the Best Legs and Best Condition categories.

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

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