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JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending July 8th, 2005

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THIS WEEKS NEWS SUMMARY
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JA WOMAN SOARS AS FIRST C-130 PILOT – 7/02/05
As a student at Florida International University, Jeanine McIntosh was attracted to the Coast Guard’s humanitarian, rescue and law enforcement missions spurred on by her interest in flying. On Friday, Kingston native Lt. Jeanine McIntosh became the first female to pilot a C-130 search and rescue aircraft for the U.S. Coast Guard while serving at Air Station Barbers Point, Hawaii. Lt. McIntosh, also the U.S. Coast Guard’s first female African-American pilot, set a clear course to reach her goal: learning how to swim and undergoing corrective surgery for her 20/400 vision. Lt. McIntosh says that her record breaking achievement underscores that there are barriers still to be broken by women.

HOMES IN PORTLAND COTTAGE FLOODED – 7/03/05
Several homes and thoroughfares in the south-east Clarendon town of Portland Cottage were flooded on Saturday by rainfalls that only added to distress caused by Hurricane Ivan last September. The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) reported that about 20 families were affected by the floods and that residents had been evacuated to the Portland Cottage Community Centre. One resident whose small shack survived Ivan but not the recent rains stated that she was spared water damage to her furniture — it was all lost to Ivan nearly one year ago.

RITZ-CARLTON RETURNS FROM SPRING HIATUS – 7/04/05
The Ritz-Carlton Rose Hall in Montego Bay hotel reopened 347 of its 427-room luxe accommodations to guests over the July 4th weekend. The reopening came after a three month hiatus after flooding on the hotel’s ground floor caused damage to 87 guest rooms and the hotel’s operating system. The hotel that was at 35 percent occupancy level this past weekend but were booked to full capacity as of July 6.

VIOLENCE DIVERTS SCARCE MEDICAL RESOURCES – 7/04/05
Of the 275,000 patients at the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) in the past five years, almost 100,000 were treated for violent injury related to crime. Diversion of scarce medical resources to treat injuries resulting from violent crime may result in a shortfall in monies for anti-disease initiatives, Dr. Trevor McCartney, senior medical officer for KPH, said. 20,000 patients are admitted annually for violence related injuries — injuries that cost health services $743 million in 2004, most of that being unrecoverable.

FACING NO CONFIDENCE VOTE PORTLAND MAYOR RESIGNS 7/05/05
Threatened with a no-confidence vote by four People National Party (PNP) councillors and independent councillor Benny White, Portland Parish Council Chairman Alston Hunter resigned Monday from his mayoral position. The High Court had previously ruled that a 2004 no confidence vote breached procedures. Councillor White’s role in the July no confidence vote created an uneasy relationship between himself and Hunter. White submitted an application to the PNP for membership last week and is now courting the mayoral post. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court issued an order on Tuesday preventing deputy mayor Rupert Kelly from assuming the role of chairman and mayor for seven days.

AIR JAMAICA TO RECEIVE US$335 MILLION IN LOANS – 7/06/05
Parliament approved US$335 million in loans to Air Jamaica Tuesday to refinance the financially troubled airline. The monies are to include US$125 million from RBTT Merchant Bank, US$10 million for National Commercial Bank (NCB) and a US$200 million bond raised on the international capital market last week. The Opposition supported Finance and Planning Minister Dr. Omar Davies’ resolution requesting Parliamentary approval, despite concerns raised by Leader of the Opposition, Bruce Golding, that the airline had not presented a business plan.

WESTERN PARISHES BRACE FOR HURRICANE DENNIS – 7/07/05
Parishes across Western Jamaica cleared drains, manned shelters, and boarded up windows and doors as they prepared themselves for the arrival of Hurricane Dennis. Residents stocked up on food, building supplies, kerosene and batteries, bracing for winds anticipated to hit the island around 9:00 a.m. Thursday. Others worried about vacating property, leaving it prey to looters: Senior Superintendent Owen Ellington of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) stated that police were on a hurricane standing order, similar to one implemented last September for Hurricane Ivan. Members of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) set up operations in Black River, St. Elizabeth, the parish hardest hit by Ivan. The Norman Manley International Airport closed to travelers the Cornwall Regional Hospital discharged patients when possible and closed its doors to all but emergency cases.

2,000 SEEK SHELTER FROM DENNIS – 7/08/05
Hurricane Dennis skirted Jamaica, passing 60 kilometers off the north-eastern coasts, causing thousands to take refuge in emergency shelters on Thursday. Dr. Barbara Carby, director-general of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), said that weather conditions caused by Dennis were making it difficult for the ODPEM to deliver needed supplies to shelters located in 60 communities and caring for nearly 2,000 persons.

 

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SPORTS
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SUNSHINE GIRLS LOSE DECIDING GAME TO ENGLAND – 7/01/05
The JA Sunshine Girls lost their last match 58-47 in a three-Test series in play against England that took place in Birmingham last Thursday. The Sunshine Girls won their first-Test of netball action on Tuesday, but began play in the third-Test at a draw with England. Team play by England was consistent and their all-court defense pressured costly errors by the Sunshine Girls.

SPONSORSHIP CLASHES FLUSHES OUT WEST INDIES IN SRI LANKA TOUR – 7/02/05
West Indies will play on in their July tour of Sri Lanka without several top players after discussions between West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and the West Indies Players’ Association (WIPA) could not reach agreement over sponsorship guarantee fees. Batsmen Brian Lara, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Chris Gayle were dropped from the 14-man team in a row that was reminiscent of a dispute that kept top players from the first Test against South Africa in March. Captain Shivnarine Chanderpaul is on the roster for the two Tests and one-day series.

NPL SEEKS TO IMPROVE ITS GAME – 7/06/05
The National Premier League (NPL) has game — but is it on a world-class level of play? Crenston Boxhill, president of the Jamaica Football Federal Federation (JFF), announced Monday night the selection of a committee to push NPL play to new standards — world-class standards. Boxhill stated that he wanted more consistent play across the league, a championship determined by points and improved fan behavior. Boxhill made his comments while addressing the Wray and Nephew NPL presentation ceremony.

BOLT’S PARTICIPATION IN DOUBT – 7/08/05
Arrival of Usain Bolt, the World Junior 200m record holder, was in doubt for the 2005 Central American & Caribbean (CAC) Championships at the Thomas A. Robinson Track and Field Stadium in the Bahamas. With the approach of Hurricane Dennis canceling flights out of the Jamaican, the appearance of Bolt, a fan favorite, and coach Glen Mills was in question. Fourteen other Jamaican athletes will participate in the CAC Championships but Head coach Edward Hector commented that Bolt’s absence in the 200m was a loss to the team.
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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