THIS WEEK’S NEWS SUMMARY
JAMAICAN WORKERS CAUGHT LOOTING—9/3/05
Four Jamaican hotel workers in Biloxi, Mississippi were arrested for looting in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The four workers were taken into custody on Thursday, but no details were being released. Looting was widespread in portions of Louisiana and Mississippi following the storm, with stranded survivors crashing through storefronts to take whatever they could find. All of Jamaica’s 350 hotel workers stationed on the Gulf Coast have been accounted for and all are safe.
PORTMORE COULD BE ANOTHER NEW ORLEANS—9/4/05
Fearing a larger population than should populate Portmore, a university professor is urging local authorities to end further housing construction there. Stating that the area is already a fragile situation, more development could make it worse. Anthony Clayton, Professor of Caribbean Sustainable Development at the University of the West Indies, says the situation could be similar to what occurred in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina last week. Portmore is built on low-lying land, causing the professor to say it is not a good idea to purchase or build a home there.
MARIJUANA SEIZED FROM ICE CREAM STORE—9/5/05
Portland police seized more than 320 pounds of marijuana found at an ice cream parlor in this parish on Friday evening. The ice cream shop is owned and operated by a prominent businessman, Romeo Lowe, who was placed under arrest and charged following the seizure. The drug was believed to be destined for export given its packaging. Portland police are determined to rid the parish of drug lords, trafficker and those with outstanding warrants. Lowe was charged with possession, dealing in marijuana and conspiracy to export.
PROTESTORS SHOW THEIR ANGER—9/6/05
Sections of downtown, Montego Bay and other areas of St. James were overtaken by disorder and chaos in the midst of protests by citizens heeding the call of the leadership of the opposition party. The Jamaica Labour Party called for Jamaicans to show their displeasure regarding the recent price increases in various services. Protestors shut down roads, hauling debris and tires into streets and causing traffic jams and congestion. The Montego Bay tourism area was heavily policed in order to retain order, especially given the PetroCaribe Summit being held nearby.
VENEZUELA TO SUPPLY OIL TO CARIBBEAN—9/7/05
Sixteen Caribbean countries met for a one-day summit in Montego Bay to establish an agreement for Venezuela to supply oil to them on concessionary payment terms. Prime Minister P.J. Patterson says Venezuela will not be able to sell oil below market prices because it must sell in accordance with OPEC conventions. The oil must be purchased at prevailing market price. Because the oil cannot be supplied at a lower price, the payment terms have been the focus of any flexibility to be offered to Latin America and the Caribbean when purchasing oil from Venezuela.
MORE PROTESTS PROMISED—9/7/05
The Jamaica Labour Party will take to the streets again, says Opposition Leader Bruce Golding, if the government does not pay more attention to the problems of the poor. The People’s National Party decried the protests as a failure, saying they were anything but peaceful and caused significant disruption. Now everyone waits to see what will happen next. According to the opposition party, Jamaicans have a long history of protesting in order to bring about positive change for citizens. Businesses remained closed a day following the protests, uncertain whether they would continue. Golding urged patience, saying that sometimes inconvenience was the price of advancing the welfare of the people.
TOURISM INDUSTRY SEES CHANGES—9/8/05
After months of speculation and several concerns jockeying for position, The House of Issa has purchased the luxury resort Sans Souci Hotel and Spa in Prospect, St. Mary. The company will assume control of the property on September 11. The House of Issa is best known as the owner of Couples Resorts and says the Sans Souci is a perfect fit for the existing brand. The hotel will be rebranded as the Couples Sans Souci. For the time being, current staff will be retained through temporary contracts. Performance assessments will determine their future employment status.
KATRINA SURVIVORS ARRIVE HOME—9/9/05
Jamaican hotel workers who survived Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast arrived to the island yesterday. Employed under a Ministry of Labour jobs program, the survivors had been working in Mississippi at various casino resorts. Several were quoted as saying Katrina was the worst experience of their lives, and other storms cannot compare to this one. Some will not return to the Gulf Coast because of their harrowing experience, while others say they must work so they will go back. Those displaced by the hurricane will be given priority treatment as the program resumes for next season. Many of Jamaica’s affected workers remain in the US, trying to recover and transfer to other locations.
SMITH WITHDRAWS FROM GOLDEN LEAGUE MEET—9/3/05
Trecia Smith, triple jump world champion, withdrew from the season’s final Golden League meet because of an unspecified injury. Smith won last month’s World Championship in Helsinki, Finland; her withdrawal from the ISTAF meet improved Tatyana Lebedeva’s chances to win the $1 million Golden League jackpot. Only one other athlete has won the full jackpot, in 2003. Lebedeva is the only competitor eligible to win the prize.
MARVIN MORGAN HAS GOOD START—9/4/05
New player Marvin Morgan got off to a good start with the Boys’ Town team as he scored a goal giving them a 1-0 victory over his former team, Tivoli. The Life of Jamaica/Pan Caribbean Presidents’ Cup football competition was held yesterday. The game was evenly matched for most of the play but Morgan made the difference when he gained control of the ball and shot in past the goalkeeper for what turned out to be the winning point. The start of the half looked to be in Tivoli’s favor but in the end no points were forthcoming. Boys’ Town’s next contest was against Constant Spring. Another game of the day found Harbour View defeating Coorville Gardens.
FORMER PLAYERS HONORED—9/5/05
The Western Masters League honored former players who died during the past year by giving out awards in their honor at the recent awards ceremony. Five former players and one administrator were honored at the Hotel Grandiosa in Montego Bay. Former Hanover Masters players Allan Dexter, Winston Anglin, Oneil Eccleston and Donald Findlayson were posthumously awarded, as were Hornets goalkeeper Patrick Wellington and Paradise team manager Horace Foster. Hanover Masters won the league despite losing the four players in a car accident.
SUNSHINE GIRLS TO FACE AUSTRALIA—9/7/05
Jamaica’s Caribbean Champions will have to face reigning gold medalists Australia in the preliminary stages of the netball competition in next year’s Commonwealth Games. The last games were held three years ago in England, where Jamaica’s girls took bronze. Currently Jamaica is ranked third behind New Zealand and Australia. The first round netball matches are scheduled for the State Netball Hockey Centre in Australia. The games begin in March of 2006. Later this year, an exhibition match will be played between Australia and New Zealand, followed by Australia versus Jamaica in a three-match series.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.