Jamaica Observer http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/ JamaicaObserver.com, the most concise and in-depth website for news coverage on Jamaica and the Caribbean. Updated daily 7 days a week, 24 hours a day en-us copyright Jamaica Observer, 2011 Weekly Round-up: Zika-related microcephaly?&hellip;Gunmen murder 2 children&hellip;FA Cup in Ja http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/video/Weekly-Round-up--Zika-baby-video Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Winston De La Haye confirmed that the &ldquo;probable&rdquo; case involves a baby who was born in December at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital in Kingston, to a mother who had a rash during her pregnancy.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, the bloodshed continued with Wednesday night&rsquo;s killing of two children and a man when heavily armed men invaded their Williamsfield community in Hanover.<br /> <br /> The incident follows Sunday&rsquo;s killing of six gangsters in Montego Bay, St James<br /> <br /> And, FLOW and Manchester United have partnered to take the English FA Cup on a tour across the Caribbean.<br /> <br /> Watch as OBSERVER ONLINE wraps the week for you.<br /> <br /> Baby born with Zika-related microcephaly?<br /> <br /> US lifts gun ban<br /> <br /> UK prison would require tax hike &mdash; Government<br /> <br /> Elderly woman perishes in fire &mdash; Reports<br /> <br /> Bounty, Ninja lecture cops<br /> <br /> Corporate Area police to ride free on JUTC buses<br /> <br /> Gov't hires new forensic pathologist<br /> <br /> Montague wants improved working conditions for security guards<br /> <br /> PNP officials should be questioned in the open, says DPP<br /> <br /> OCA to investigate CDA, OCR handling of sex abuse case involving 6-y-o<br /> <br /> Missing trio found dead in Negril<br /> <br /> 6 gangsters killed<br /> <br /> Wanted man sets house with family on fire in attempt to escape arrest<br /> <br /> Jamaican bobsleigh team seeks funding to hire coach<br /> <br /> Work to be done! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13586396/paul_w300.jpg Local News Saturday, January 21, 2017 9:00 AM Cops link murder of St Elizabeth brothers to lottery scam feud http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Cops-link-murder-of-St-Elizabeth-brothers-to-lottery-scam-feud ST ELIZABETH, Jamaica &ndash; The police believe that the murder of two brothers at Retirement in north west St Elizabeth early Thursday is the result of an ongoing gang feud related to lottery scamming.<br /> <br /> The dead men have been named as Sherman Williams, 22 and Oshane Williams, 24, also called &lsquo;Tar&rsquo;, both of Retirement in the Maggotty police area.<br /> <br /> Reports are that at about 3:00 am neighbours heard gunshots. The police were called and the lawmen found the bullet-riddled bodies of the two men at Sherman Williams&rsquo; house in Retirement. <br /> <br /> The police said Sherman Williams was out on bail on lottery scam charges and was reporting regularly to them as a condition of his bail.<br /> <br /> The lawmen also said an older brother, Dwight Williams, also called &lsquo;Dewie&rsquo; was shot dead in October last year in the Mocho area of south St James. At the time, Dwight Williams was on the run, wanted for murder and shooting.<br /> <br /> According to the police, the Williams&rsquo; brothers and another alleged criminal gang, supposedly led by Tyvel Dixon have been feuding for years.       <br /> <br /> Garfield Myers http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13584092/crime-magnifying_w400_w300.jpg Local News Thursday, January 19, 2017 5:04 PM Forex: J$128.88 to one US dollar http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Forex--J-128-88-to-one-US-dollar KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; The US dollar on Thursday, January 19, ended trading at $128.88, up by 21 cents, according to the Bank of Jamaica&rsquo;s daily foreign exchange trading summary.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, the Canadian dollar ended trading at J$96.61, down from J$101.42, while the British pound sterling ended trading at J$158.09, up from J$157.61. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13584075/forex_w300.jpg Local News Thursday, January 19, 2017 5:00 PM PHOTO: FA Cup stops at Jamaica Observer http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/PHOTO--FA-Cup-stops-at-Jamaica-Observer http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13584026/fred-the-red_w300.jpg Local News Thursday, January 19, 2017 4:38 PM Reid demands report from Hampton board http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Reid-demands-report-from-Hampton-board KINGSTON, Jamaica &ndash; Education Minister Ruel Reid today lashed back at Chairman of the Hampton School Board, Trevor Blake, who yesterday denied that certain decisions, including a two-week leave for embattled principal Heather Murray, were arrived at during a January 11 meeting at the ministry.<br /> <br /> Murray was ordered by the ministry to take the time off and also seek counselling following public outcry over her appearance at the arraignment hearing for Moravian pastor Rupert Clarke, who is accused of carnal abuse involving a 15-year-old girl.<br /> <br /> Reid today reiterated that the ministry is awaiting a full report as requested on the school board&rsquo;s deliberations concerning Murray's actions. <br /> <br /> According to a news release from the ministry a short while ago, Reid said he has also taken note of statements to the media by Blake and following receipt of that report, the ministry will determine the next step.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It should be noted that in the January 11 meeting, Blake said there were capable persons at the institution to pick up the acting role so there would be no problem with Mrs Murray going off on leave as recommended,&rdquo; the release stated.<br /> <br /> It also added that Blake had sent a letter dated January 14 to Murray advising that she would proceed on two weeks leave, which was subsequently sent to Reid. <br /> <br /> Another letter dated January 16, was distributed to the vice principals and bursar of the school,  noting that Murray was sent on what Blake had described as &ldquo;compassionate leave&rdquo;, the ministry explained.<br /> <br /> The ministry emphasised that in light of the content of the letter and Blake&rsquo;s subsequent statements to the media, Reid expects a full report including the minutes from a board meeting of January 12 to determine the way forwarb<br /> <br /> Blake in a letter to the minister said the report requested for January 31 would be sent by February 3.<br /> <br /> He also said that sending Murray on leave would raise serious legal concerns and the 11-member board voted unanimously that no further action would be taken against the principal. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13581863/Ruel-Reid-2016_w300.jpg Local News Wednesday, January 18, 2017 9:22 PM Ja records first case of 'probable' Zika-related microcephaly http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Ja-records-first-case-of--probable--Zika-related-microcephaly KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; Chief Medical Officer, Dr Winston De La Haye has confirmed the first case of what is being described as &lsquo;probable&rsquo; Zika-related microcephaly in Jamaica.<br /> <br /> The OBSERVER ONLINE has also learnt that the baby was born at the Victoria Jubilee hospital in December 2016 to a mother who presented symptoms of fever and rash throughout her pregnancy.<br /> <br /> Contact has been made with Health Minister Christopher Tufton, but up to press time he has not responded.<br /> <br /> Last year, the Health Ministry disclosed that all pregnant women would be tested for the Zika virus.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;When a woman is tested positive for being pregnant and she has to go through the initial stages of testing, we are going to require her to also do a Zika test, so that we can track, as part of the monitoring,&rdquo; Tufton stated at a House of Representatives sitting in June.<br /> <br /> The unborn child is at high risk of developing microcephaly once the pregnant woman has been infected with the Zika virus.<br /> <br /> Microcephaly is an abnormal smallness of the head, which is associated with incomplete brain development. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13581621/De-La-Haye_w300.jpg Local News Wednesday, January 18, 2017 6:27 PM Forex: J$128.67 to one US dollar http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Forex--J-128-67-to-one-US-dollar KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; The US dollar on Wednesday, January 18, ended trading at $128.67, up by five cents, according to the Bank of Jamaica&rsquo;s daily foreign exchange trading summary.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, the Canadian dollar ended trading at J$101.42, up from J$98.80, while the British pound sterling ended trading at J$157.61, up from J$156.23.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13581529/Forex_w300.jpg Local News Wednesday, January 18, 2017 5:50 PM Gas prices down $0.54, diesel down $0.17 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Gas-prices-down--0-54--diesel-down--0-17 KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; Motorists should see a decrease at the pumps in the price of gasoline and diesel, effective Thursday, January 19, according to the latest ex-refinery costs from Petrojam.<br /> <br /> 87- and 90-octane gasoline will be sold for $96.16 and $97.82 per litre, respectively, down by $0.54 each.<br /> <br /> Automotive diesel fuel will be sold for $93.70 per litre following a decrease of $0.17, while ultra-low sulphur diesel is down by $0.32, and will be sold for $102.81 per litre.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, kerosene decreased in price by $0.10 and will be sold for $86.17 per litre.<br /> <br /> Propane liquid petroleum will be sold for $34.96 per litre, up by $0.74 and butane liquid petroleum will be sold for $40.65 per litre after a decrease of $0.15.<br /> <br /> Marketing companies and retailers will add their respective mark-up to these prices.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13581323/gas-pump_w300.jpg Local News Wednesday, January 18, 2017 4:47 PM Companies Office heads to southern parishes with mobile team http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Companies-Office-heads-to-southern-parishes-with-mobile-team KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; The Companies Office of Jamaica&rsquo;s mobile team will be taking its services to three southern parishes later this month.  <br /> <br /> Over the period January 23 to 27, the COJ&rsquo;s mobile team will facilitate the submission of company&rsquo;s business names, application and business names renewal, new company registration and outstanding company documents in the parishes of St Elizabeth, Manchester and Clarendon. <br /> <br /> According to the COJ, the mobile service will begin in Elizabeth on January 23 at the Junction Parish Library and St Elizabeth Parish Library between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm. Day two will see the mobile office moving to the St Matthews Anglican Church from 9 am to 3 pm.  <br /> <br /> Individuals seeking to take advantage of the offerings of the COJ in Manchester are required to visit the Golf View Hotel on January 25 and 26 between the hours of 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. <br /> <br /> COJ&rsquo;s mobile services will culminate at the May Pen Revenue Service Centre, Clarendon between the hours of 9:00 am and 3:00 pm. <br /> <br /> As part of efforts to increase compliance rate among businesses outside of Kingston and St Andrew, the Government agency has not only rolled a mobile team but has also opened a new satellite office in Montego Bay, St James which will serve the parishes of St Ann, St James, Trelawny, Westmoreland and Hanover. <br /> <br /> The satellite office is expected to allow for the registration and filing of company documents from the parishes, thus easing paperwork at its Kingston branch.<br /> <br /> Karena Bennett http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13581059/COJ.jpg Local News Wednesday, January 18, 2017 3:29 PM Hampton Board takes Reid to task, refuses to send Murray on leave http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Hampton-Board-takes-Reid-to-task--refuses-to-send-Murray-on-leave KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; Embattled principal of Hampton School, Heather Murray, will not be sent on leave, according to CEO of the Hampton School Board, Trevor Blake.<br /> <br /> In a letter addressed to Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Ruel Reid and copied to the media, the CEO stated that the Board had concluded that Murray's actions "did not amount to evidence of professional misconduct in her capacity as a teacher".<br /> <br /> Blake further stated that the school is approaching a period of examinations and the withdrawal of Murray would have 'deleterious' effects on those taking exams, and the whole student body.<br /> <br /> Last Wednesday, Reid told the media in a release that Murray had been sent on leave. According to him, the decision was taken at a meeting with senior ministry officers, Murray, members of the Hampton School Board, and the Munro and Dickerson Trust at the ministry's head office at National Heroes' Circle.<br /> <br /> The minister had further called on the school board to submit a full report to the ministry on the actions of the principal by January 30. <br /> <br /> However, the CEO of the Board has raised several objections to the contents of Reid's announcement. <br /> <br /> Blake stated that any direction by the minister to send Murray on leave would raise "serious legal concerns", and at no time had the Board agreed with the minister that she should have been sent on leave commencing Monday. <br /> <br /> Blake further contended that the Board could not have agreed that Murray's actions violated the Child Care and Protection Act, as the issue of her actions being inconsistent with the legislation was not mentioned at the meeting.<br /> <br /> Murray came under public criticism after attending the bail hearing of Rupert Clarke, a minister of religion who is accused of sexually molesting a 15-year-old girl. She later admitted to attempting to block media personnel from taking pictures of Clarke and signing his bail documents.<br /> <br /> Social media users and politicians, including PNP councillor Kari Douglas have called for her resignation.<br /> <br /> However, the 11-member Board said they have unanimously accepted Murray's public apology and that no further action will be taken against her. Blake said that the Board's report will be sent to the Ministry of Education by February 3. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13564319/Heather-Murray_w300.jpg Local News Tuesday, January 17, 2017 7:40 PM Forex: J$128.53 to one US dollar http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Forex--J-128-53-to-one-US-dollar2017-01-16T15-10-31 KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; The US dollar on Monday, January 16, ended trading at $128.53, up by two cents, according to the Bank of Jamaica&rsquo;s daily foreign exchange trading summary.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, the Canadian dollar ended trading at J$97.07, up from J$96.37, while the British pound sterling ended trading at J$154.41, down from J$156.22.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/9847300/Forex_w300.jpg Local News Monday, January 16, 2017 6:10 PM Weekly Round-up: Hampton principal apologises...Royal Caribbean sued...World Cup expanded http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Weekly-Round-up--Hampton-principal-apologises---Royal-Caribbean-sued---World-Cup-expanded KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; The case of a 64-year-old pastor accused of carnal abuse and rape involving a 15-year-old St Elizabeth girl, this week<br /> <br /> intensified amid calls for the resignation of other authorities surrounding the matter.<br /> <br /> Embattled principal for the Hampton School for girls, Heather Murray, on Wednesday admitted to signing bail documents for the pastor during her<br /> <br /> court attendance.<br /> <br /> Murray, who was sent on two weeks leave, has since apologized and admitted that her presence in court was inappropriate.<br /> <br /> In other news, it was reported on Tuesday that eight tourists who survived a deadly<br /> <br /> four-vehicle collision in Trelawny last January have filed a lawsuit against Royal Caribbean Cruises.<br /> <br /> According to US media reports, the tourists are claiming that the cruise line failed to provide a safe excursion.<br /> <br /> In sport, FIFA on Tuesday approved the expansion of the World Cup<br /> <br /> to 48 teams, adding 16 extra nations to the 2026 tournament, which is<br /> <br /> likely to be held in North America.<br /> <br /> Watch as OBSERVER ONLINE wraps this week for you.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570541/kesi_w400-13_w300.jpg Local News Sunday, January 15, 2017 10:00 AM Moravian Church responds to arrest and charge of clergyman, says law must take its course http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/moravian KINGSTON, Jamaica &ndash; The Moravian Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands has moved to assure the people of Jamaica of its continued commitment to stand on its mission to proclaim the Gospel of Christ and to seek the spiritual, educational and social development of everyone, in Christ&rsquo;s name.<br /> <br /> Acting president of the Moravian Church in Jamaica, the Reverend Phyllis Smit-Seymour, in a statement late Friday, said: &ldquo;We will continue to act with sound governance, in a responsible and responsive way. Within this context, the Moravian Church deeply regrets the circumstances that have led to the arrest of a member of its clergy &ndash; a matter that is now before the courts of Jamaica.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The church said they expect that in this, and any other allegations that may arise, that the law must take its course, and they are committed to respecting and accepting the due process of the law, and the course of justice.<br /> <br /> See the full statement from the Moravian Church below:<br /> <br /> Acting President of the Moravian Church in Jamaica, the Rev. Phyllis Smit- Seymour, has said that the Moravian Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands wishes to assure the people of Jamaica of its continued commitment to stand on its mission to proclaim the Gospel of Christ and to seek the spiritual, educational and social development of all persons, in Christ&rsquo;s name.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;As has been done since 1754&rdquo;, said Rev Smit-Seymour, &ldquo;we will continue to act with sound governance, in a responsible and responsive way. Within this context, the Moravian Church deeply regrets the circumstances that have led to the arrest of a member of its clergy - a matter that is now before the Courts of Jamaica.,<br /> <br /> We expect that in this, and any other allegations that may arise, that the law must take its course, and we are committed to respecting and accepting the due process of the law, and the course of justice.<br /> <br /> At this time, we of the Moravian Church must assert our ongoing and unequivocal support for the rights of all people, and especially so of our children, to live free of abuse, and the threat thereof.<br /> <br /> Undeniably, recent events have left us battered and wounded by the allegations that have been made. We know that we cannot be completely objective about ourselves, and so have sought outside help and counsel, remaining open to criticism and corrections, towards meaningful change.<br /> <br /> At the same time, we are re-examining our policies and processes, as we probe and deal with all the allegations made, with the purpose of maintaining the high moral standards that we have always espoused and expected of all servants and workers in our Church.<br /> <br /> In this, we prayerfully seek God&rsquo;s guidance and support.&rdquo; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13571565/christian-cross-symbol_w300.jpg Local News Saturday, January 14, 2017 8:38 AM Samuda refutes Lisa Hanna's 'plastic rice' episode http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Samuda-refutes-Lisa-Hanna-s--plastic-rice--episode KINGSTON, Jamaica &ndash; Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Karl Samuda has refuted claims by Member of Parliament for South East St Ann, Lisa Hanna, of an episode of cooking plastic rice earlier this week.<br /> <br /> Read: Lisa Hanna shares 'plastic' rice experience<br /> <br /> According to a release from the ministry today, Hanna had submitted separate samples of cooked and uncooked rice to the National Compliance and Regulatory Authority (NCRA) on Wednesday, January 11 and Thursday, January 12. <br /> <br /> Samuda said both sets of samples were submitted to the Bureau of Standards Jamaica for thorough testing, which revealed no evidence of plastic or unusual behaviour in the samples. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;The samples were subjected to starch, moisture content, floating and flame tests as well as Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) analyses,&rdquo; Samuda&rsquo;s release stated, adding that Hanna has been notified of the results of the tests. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570220/Lisa-Hanna_w300.jpg Local News Friday, January 13, 2017 4:48 PM Forex: J$128.54 to one US dollar http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Forex--J-128-54-to-one-US-dollar KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; The US dollar on Thursday, January 12, ended trading at $128.54, up by one cent, according to the Bank of Jamaica&rsquo;s daily foreign exchange trading summary.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, the Canadian dollar ended trading at J$97.66, up from J$95.36, while the British pound sterling ended trading at J$155.28, up from J$155.05. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/9847300/Forex_w300.jpg Local News Thursday, January 12, 2017 5:53 PM Hampton principal sent on leave http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Hampton-principal-sent-on-leave KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; Hampton School Principal Heather Murray is being sent on two weeks' leave as of January 16, for her actions outside the St Elizabeth Parish Court last week, when she attended the arraignment for Moravian Minister Rupert Clarke who has been charged with the rape and carnal abuse of a 15-year-old girl from the parish.<br /> <br /> Education minister Senator Ruel Reid made the announcement in a release a short while ago.<br /> <br /> The decision was taken at a meeting called by Senator Reid, with senior ministry officers, Murray, members of the Hampton School board, and the Munro and Dickerson Trust at the ministry's head office at National Heroes' Circle today.<br /> <br /> Reid said, given how Murray&rsquo;s actions were interpreted and the controversy having affected her administrative responsibilities, the time off was necessary "for reflection and completion of her report to the board and the trustees".<br /> <br /> Stemming from the meeting, Murray also sent out a statement apologising for her behaviour. Reports are that she blocked television cameras, which were filming outside the courthouse. <br /> <br /> "She is expected to complete a formal report to the school board and the Munro and Dickerson Trust about her actions outside the court where she said she had gone to support a friend, who is the wife of man accused of sexual abuse, " the ministry release said.<br /> <br /> In the meantime the school board has been given until January 30, to submit a full report to the ministry on the actions of the principal.<br /> <br /> "Mrs Murray is also expected to avail herself of professional counselling services given what was described as her recent emotional stress. The principal will finalise her report to the board and the management will review and take action as necessary," the ministry said.<br /> <br /> The statement also said that during the meeting, members of the board and Murray had extensive discussions on how her actions were perceived and the concerns raised by the public.<br /> <br /> Alphea Saunders http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13564319/Heather-Murray_w300.jpg Local News Wednesday, January 11, 2017 9:46 PM Hampton principal apologises, admits presence at court 'inappropriate' http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Hampton-principal-apologises--admits-presence-at-court--inappropriate- KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; Hampton Principal Heather Murray, who has become embroiled in the controversy surrounding the alleged carnal abuse and rape of a 15-year-old St Elizabeth girl by a minister of religion, has issued an apology.<br /> <br /> According to Murray, she had become so immersed in the emotional trauma of the hurt and embarrassment which the pastor&rsquo;s wife was experiencing that she failed to realise that her presence in the precincts of the court could be &ldquo;misconstrued as taking the side of her husband rather than the victim&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> The principal was thrown into the spotlight last week after turning up at the St Elizabeth Parish Court, reportedly in support of Clarke&rsquo;s wife, who she later explained in a statement was a &ldquo;very good friend of hers&rdquo;, having both attended Hampton School, been educators, as well as serving on several boards, committees and commissions.<br /> <br /> However, many members of the public have condemned Murray&rsquo;s decision to attend the bail hearing, especially since Clarke&rsquo;s wife was not present. Additionally, Murray&rsquo;s attempts at blocking media personnel from taking photographs of the 64-year-old accused clergyman have also drawn public chastisement. On social media, especially, Murray was blasted for her decision, with many users expressing outrage and disappointment at her attendance in court.<br /> <br /> See her statement in full below:<br /> <br /> The past few days have been among the most difficult periods of my life.<br /> <br /> I attended the in camera arraignment of Rupert Clarke at the special request of Mrs Yvonne Clarke, my sister and friend, who relied on me for total support during a period of intense physical and emotional distress.<br /> <br /> This state of personal turmoil rendered her incapable of being present at the Black River courthouse while the resident magistrate was considering an application for bail.<br /> <br /> On a personal level, I had become so immersed in the emotional trauma of the hurt and embarrassment which the wife of the accused was experiencing, that I failed to realise that my presence in the precincts of the court could possibly be misconstrued as taking the side of her husband rather than the victim.<br /> <br /> In my sisterly embrace and response of loyalty to her, I failed to take into account that my being there could expose my office or the institution I head to any hint of controversy or cloud of misunderstanding.<br /> <br /> At the start of the new school term yesterday morning, I apologised to my ladies who greeted me with love and understanding.<br /> <br /> Now that I have also apologised to the Munro and Dickenson Trust, as well as the Hampton School Board, I hereby offer a fulsome apology to the education community and Jamaica for my presence and actions in Black River, which have been misinterpreted as support for the individual accused of rape and molestation of a 15-year-old girl.<br /> <br /> The very thought that this might have been conveyed, grieves me deeply.<br /> <br /> It would contradict everything I have stood for over my lifetime as a teacher, principal, mother, wife, and woman.<br /> <br /> In this regard, my record of protecting all those under my care can withstand the most exacting scrutiny. There are countless teachers, pupils, parents, and workers in the field who can all attest to my resolute and consistent stand against any form of sexual abuse or exploitation.<br /> <br /> I also accept that it was imprudent and inappropriate for me to take any steps in the precincts of the courthouse, irrespective of the legal stipulations, which could interfere with the rights of the free press or impede the work of media practitioners in the pursuit of duty.<br /> <br /> Finally, I pledge that I will continue to faithfully serve and protect the children under my care as I have always done throughout my 40 years of service to the education system of Jamaica. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13564319/Heather-Murray_w300.jpg Local News Wednesday, January 11, 2017 6:29 PM Forex: J$128.53 to one US dollar http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Forex--J-128-53-to-one-US-dollar KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; The US dollar on Wednesday, January 11, ended trading at $128.53, up by 11 cents, according to the Bank of Jamaica&rsquo;s daily foreign exchange trading summary.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, the Canadian dollar ended trading at J$95.36, down from J$96.22, while the British pound sterling ended trading at J$155.05, down from J$155.09. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/9847300/Forex_w300.jpg Local News Wednesday, January 11, 2017 5:22 PM Gas prices down $0.62, diesel down $0.25 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Gas-prices-down--0-62--diesel-down--0-25 KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; Motorists should see a decrease at the pumps in the price of gasoline and diesel, effective Thursday, January 12, according to the latest ex-refinery costs from Petrojam.<br /> <br /> 87- and 90-octane gasoline will be sold for $96.70 and $98.36 per litre, respectively, down by $0.62 each.<br /> <br /> Automotive diesel fuel will be sold for $93.87 per litre following a decrease of $0.25, while ultra-low sulphur diesel is down by $0.89, and will be sold for $103.13 per litre.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, kerosene decreased in price by $0.37 and will be sold for $86.27 per litre.<br /> <br /> Propane liquid petroleum will be sold for $34.22 per litre, up by $0.35 and butane liquid petroleum will be sold for $40.80 per litre after a decrease of $1.52.<br /> <br /> Marketing companies and retailers will add their respective mark-up to these prices. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/9070182/Gas-Pump_w304_w300.jpg Local News Wednesday, January 11, 2017 4:55 PM Boyfriend of slain St Thomas teen remanded http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Boyfriend-of-slain-St-Thomas-teen-remanded ST THOMAS, Jamaica &mdash; The man accused of the murder of 19-year-old Tashoy Barrett was today remanded when he appeared in the Morant Bay Parish Court.<br /> <br /> The accused, 29-year-old Odaine Keyes, who was Barrett&rsquo;s boyfriend, is to return to court on February 15.<br /> <br /> Barrett, a HEART Trust/NTA student, was found in a pool of blood with her throat slashed at Keyes&rsquo; house in Grayston in St Thomas, on December 26.<br /> <br /> It is believed that she was killed from the night before.<br /> <br /> Tanesha Mundle http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13564463/Gavel-Canada_w300.jpg Local News Wednesday, January 11, 2017 3:24 PM JCF bids adieu to DCP Hinds http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/JCF-bids-adieu-to-DCP-Hinds ST ANDREW, Jamaica &mdash; The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) to said farewell to Glenmore Hinds - another member of the police&rsquo; high command. <br /> <br /> Hinds has served in the rank of deputy commissioner of police for six years, where he headed the Operations Portfolio. He was promoted to the rank on July 1, 2010.<br /> <br /> According to Acting Commissioner of Police Novelette Grant, he began his pre-retirement leave on Tuesday. <br /> <br /> Grant acknowledged Hinds&rsquo; stellar service to the force during a press conference held at the Office of the Police Commissioner on Old Hope Road this morning. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I also want to thank Deputy Commissioner of Police, Glenmore Hinds who after his 42 years of sterling contribution left on his pre-retirement leave yesterday. He is a familiar face that you&rsquo;re all used to seeing at this table,&rdquo; the acting commissioner said. <br /> <br /> Last Friday marked the last day of the Commissioner of Police Dr Carl Williams who went on early retirement after serving just over two years in the post. <br /> <br /> Jediael Carter http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13564191/HInds_w300.jpg Local News Wednesday, January 11, 2017 12:48 PM Forex: J$128.42 to one US dollar http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Forex--J-128-42-to-one-US-dollar KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; The US dollar on Tuesday, January 10, ended trading at $128.42, down by two cents, according to the Bank of Jamaica&rsquo;s daily foreign exchange trading summary.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, the Canadian dollar ended trading at J$96.22, up from J$95.89, while the British pound sterling ended trading at J$155.09, down from J$156.46.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/9847300/Forex_w300.jpg Local News Tuesday, January 10, 2017 6:33 PM Forex: J$128.44 to one US dollar http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Forex--J-128-44-to-one-US-dollar2017-01-09T14-57-33 KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; The US dollar on Monday, January 9, ended trading at $128.44, down by 11 cents, according to the Bank of Jamaica&rsquo;s daily foreign exchange trading summary.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, the Canadian dollar ended trading at J$95.89, down from J$96.30, while the British pound sterling ended trading at J$156.46, down from J$156.93. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/9847300/Forex_w300.jpg Local News Monday, January 09, 2017 5:57 PM Be cautious when travelling to malaria-affected countries, health ministry urges http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Be-cautious-when-travelling-to-malaria-affected-countries--health-ministry-urges KINGSTON, Jamaica &ndash; Following the identification of two imported cases of malaria in Jamaica, the Ministry of Health is urging individuals to be cautious when travelling to areas affected by malaria. <br /> <br /> The symptoms of malaria include fever, chills, headache, sweats, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting.<br /> <br /> The ministry said on Sunday that some population groups are at considerably higher risk of contracting malaria, and developing severe disease, than others. These include pregnant women, infants, children under five years of age, patients with HIV/AIDS, as well as non-immune migrants, mobile populations and travellers. <br /> <br /> The ministry is therefore advising people to contact physicians or health centres before travelling to malaria endemic areas. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Prevention medications are available in Jamaica. You should start taking anti-malarial drugs before you travel, take them during your travels, and continue to take them for up to one month after your return,&rdquo; the release stated.<br /> <br /> The ministry also stated that contact should be made if there is a development of any of the listed symptoms after returning from malaria-affected territories. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13556863/plane.jpg Local News Sunday, January 08, 2017 3:00 PM Multiple people shot at Fort Lauderdale airport http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Multiple-people-shot-at-Fort-Lauderdale-airport FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida (AP) &mdash; News media outlets are reporting that multiple people have been shot at Fort Lauderdale international airport.<br /> <br /> On its official Twitter account, airport officials said there was an "ongoing incident" in the Terminal 2 baggage claim area. They did not elaborate.<br /> <br /> Miami area television stations are reporting that at least nine people were shot and that the shooter is in custody.<br /> <br /> News helicopters hovering over the scene showed hundreds of people standing on the tarmac early Friday afternoon as an ambulance drove by and numerous law enforcement officers rushed to the scene.<br /> <br /> Former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer tweeted that he was at the airport when shots were fired and "everyone is running."<br /> <br /> Calls to the Broward Sheriff's Office and the Fort Lauderdale Police Department were not immediately returned. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13552628/Police-line_w504_w300.jpg Local News Friday, January 06, 2017 1:36 PM