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 WEATHER UPDATE: Matthew powers to Category 4 storm: US http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/WEATHER-UPDATE---Matthew-powers-to-Category-4-major-storm--US <br /> <br /> MIAMI, United States (AFP) &ndash; Hurricane Matthew rapidly gained power Friday, escalating to a powerful Category 4 storm as it moved over the open Caribbean sea just south of Jamaica, US forecasters said.<br /> <br /> A hurricane watch was issued for Jamaica due to the approaching storm, and forecasters warned of tropical storm conditions for Haiti and Cuba over the next two days.<br /> <br /> Packing wind speeds of 140 miles (220 kilometers) per hour, the storm moved in a western direction about 465 miles southeast of Jamaica.<br /> <br /> The hurricane watch issued for Jamaica indicates that hurricane conditions are possible by Monday.<br /> <br /> "Some additional strengthening is possible tonight," said the National Hurricane Center.<br /> <br /> "Matthew is expected to remain a powerful hurricane through Sunday."<br /> <br /> Matthew became a Category 1 hurricane on Thursday afternoon, the lowest on a 1-5 scale, then swiftly rose to Category 4 a day later.<br /> <br /> Tropical storm warnings were issued for parts of coastal Colombia on Friday, with Haiti also bracing for tropical storm winds and rain by Sunday.<br /> <br /> Forecasters said 10-15 inches (25-38 centimeters) of rain could fall on southern Haiti and across Jamaica. <br /> <br /> Isolated areas could be lashed with up to 25 inches of rain, risking life-threatening flash floods and mud slides. <br /> <br /> Ocean swells with the potential to cause dangerous currents and rip tides are also possible over the next two days in coastal regions of Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Haiti. <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13325035/Hurricane-Matthew-2_w300.jpg Local News Friday, September 30, 2016 'Don&rsquo;t run, show no hostility', cops warn as lawmen storm MoBay http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Don-t-run--show-no-hostility-cops-warn-as-security-forces-storm-MoBay <br /> <br /> ST JAMES, Jamaica &mdash; The security forces are currently conducting major internal security operations in sections of Montego Bay, St James with particular focus on the Glendevon and Norwood communities.<br /> <br /> The operations being conducted will include cordon and searches, stop and search and controlled vehicular check points. The police will also be executing outstanding warrants and serving summonses.<br /> <br /> As a result of the planned operations, members of the public are being reminded of the following:<br /> <br /> 1. Do not run away when being approached by a police officer, as you may appear guilty.<br /> <br /> 2. Show no hostility and comply with the instructions of the police.<br /> <br /> 3. Listen carefully to all the instructions or requests made of you.<br /> <br /> 4. Remain calm and remember that innocent persons have nothing to fear.<br /> <br /> 5. You have a right to ask what you are being arrested and or searched for.<br /> <br /> 6. You have a right to refuse to answer any questions until your legal representative is present.<br /> <br /> 7. Try to obtain the name, rank and regulation number of at least one officer on the scene.<br /> <br /> 8. If you are taken into custody, the police are responsible for your safety.<br /> <br /> 9. Citizens must not hinder the Police when they are arresting or apprehending anyone, as this constitutes a criminal offence.<br /> <br /> Responsibility of the police when making an arrest:<br /> <br /> 1. Do not use force if questions, requests, demands or commands are disregarded; citizens have a right to remain silent.<br /> <br /> 2. When questioning a citizen, it should not be done an intimidating manner.<br /> <br /> 3. An officer should present his/her identification card when asked by a citizen.<br /> <br /> 4. The Police have a responsibility to inform the citizen what he/she is being searched or arrested for.<br /> <br /> 5. Reasonable and proportionate force may be used by the Police to make a lawful arrest, in self defense, to other members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force or other citizens who are facing an immediate threat to their safety.<br /> <br /> These operations are part of ongoing efforts to cauterize the upsurge in violent crimes in St James.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13321528/jdf_w300.jpg Local News Thursday, September 29, 2016 WEATHER UPDATE: Matthew intensifies to 'major' Category 3 hurricane http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/WEATHER-UPDATE--Matthew-intensifies-to--major--Category-3-hurricane <br /> <br /> MIAMI, United States (AFP) &mdash; Hurricane Matthew intensified Friday into a major Category Three storm, packing winds of 115 miles (185 kilometres) per hour over the Caribbean Sea, US forecasters said.<br /> <br /> Warnings of heavy rains and winds were issued along the Colombia and Venezuela border, with Matthew expected to turn northward toward Jamaica by Sunday, the National Hurricane Center said.<br /> <br /> The hurricane's upgrade to Category Three on a scale of one to five came as the storm churned in a westerly direction over open seas about 105 miles north-east of Punta Gallinas, Colombia and 495 miles south-east of Kingston, Jamaica.<br /> <br /> "On the forecast track, the centre of Matthew will pass north of the Guajira Peninsula later today and tonight and remain over the central Caribbean Sea through early Sunday," said the NHC.<br /> <br /> "Little change in strength is forecast during the next 48 hours."<br /> <br /> Two to four inches (five to 10 centimetres) of rain are expected over Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire and parts of the Venezuelan and Colombian coasts through Saturday.<br /> <br /> Life-threatening swells and riptides could also endanger the coastlines of these areas, along with Puerto Rico, Haiti and the Dominican Republic in the next two days. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13324284/Hurricane-Matthew_w300.jpg Local News Friday, September 30, 2016 J&rsquo;can makes US customs most wanted list http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/J-can-listed-on-US-customs-most-wanted-list <br /> <br /> KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; A Jamaican man is among three Caribbean nationals who have made the latest top 10 Most Wanted List of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).<br /> <br /> He is 52-year-old Desmond Hugh Chambers, who also reportedly goes by the names Warren Michael Mullings and Gregory Lemuel Green.<br /> <br /> According to ICE, Chambers was convicted of possession with intent to distribute cocaine, second degree rape, first degree sex offense, and false imprisonment.<br /> <br /> He was ordered removed by an immigration judge on February 5, 1997 and was removed from the US on May 10, 2000. <br /> <br /> However, ICE reported that Chambers unlawfully reentered the US at an unknown date and despite numerous attempts to locate his whereabouts, he currently remains at-large.<br /> <br /> His last known locations are Maryland, Florida and Georgia.<br /> <br /> Chambers is wanted for removal from the US.<br /> <br /> The other two Caribbean immigrants are from Haiti and the Dominican Republic, respectively. They have been identified as  Pierre Rodolphe Marcelin, 44 and Victor Lenin Munoz. <br /> <br /> They too are wanted for deportation.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13321812/Chambers_w300.jpg Local News Thursday, September 29, 2016 WEATHER UPDATE: Hurricane Matthew upgrades to Category 2 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/WEATHER-UPDATE--Hurricane-Matthew-upgrades-to-Category-2 <br /> <br /> KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; Hurricane Matthew has strengthened to a Category 2 storm as it moves through the Caribbean.<br /> <br /> The Meteorological (Met) Service of Jamaica said in a release this morning that Hurricane Matthew is heading towards the central Caribbean Sea.<br /> <br /> At 4:00 am the centre of the hurricane was located 860 km east-southeast of Kingston, Jamaica.<br /> <br /> Matthew is moving towards the west near 22 km/h and this general motion with a decrease in forward speed is forecast through Saturday, the Met Service said.<br /> <br /> Hurricane Matthew is passing to the north of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao. Forecast models expect the hurricane to continue on its westward path on Friday and Saturday and then turn towards the north, bringing it closer to the Jamaica area on Sunday and Monday. <br /> <br /> The Met Service said a &lsquo;Hurricane Watch&rsquo; may be required for Jamaica later today and the storm is expected to strengthen during the next 48 hours, causing Matthew to become a major hurricane later today or tonight.<br /> <br /> Fishers on the cays and banks are advised to evacuate immediately and start returning to the mainland. Other small craft operators in Jamaica&rsquo;s coastal waters are also advised to return to port. Small craft operators who are in port are advised not to venture out.<br /> <br /> The Meteorological Service said it will continue to closely monitor this system.<br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13323935/Hurricane-Matthew_w300.jpg Local News Friday, September 30, 2016 WEATHER UPDATE: TS Matthew could become hurricane tonight http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/WEATHER-UPDATE--TS-Matthew-could-become-hurricane-tonight <br /> <br /> KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; The Meteorological (Met) Service has continued the severe weather alert for Jamaica as Tropical Storm Matthew continues moving westward through the eastern Caribbean and could become a hurricane by tonight.<br /> <br /> At 4:00 am the centre of Tropical Storm Matthew was located near latitude 14.0 degrees North, longitude 64.7 degrees West or 500 km east northeast of Curacao, the Met Service said in a release today.<br /> <br /> Matthew is moving towards the west near 26 km/h. This general westward motion with some decrease in forward speed is expected during the next couple of days.<br /> <br /> On the forecast track, the centre of Tropical Storm Matthew is forecast to pass to the north of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao on Friday. Forecast models expect the storm to continue on its westward path on Saturday and then turn towards the north bringing it closer to the Jamaica area on Sunday and Monday, the release said. <br /> <br /> Maximum sustained winds are near 100 km/h with higher gusts. The Met Service said gradual strengthening is expected during the next couple of days, and Matthew could become a hurricane by tonight.<br /> <br /> Fishers on the cays and banks are further urged to complete their preparations and be on the alert to evacuate.<br /> <br /> The Met Service said it will continue to closely monitor this system.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13319082/WEATHER_w300.jpg Local News Thursday, September 29, 2016 #TrackingMatthew: Hurricane Matthew now a category 5 storm, strongest since 2007 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/-TrackingMatthew--Hurricane-Matthew-now-a-category-5-storm--strongest-since-2007 <br /> <br /> MIAMI (AP) &mdash; Forecasters say Matthew has become a Category 5 hurricane, the strongest in the Atlantic since Hurricane Felix in 2007.<br /> <br /> The US National Hurricane Center in Miami says Matthew is packing top sustained winds of 160 mph (260 kph) after gaining new strength Friday. The storm is about 80 miles (125 kilometres) northwest of Punta Gallinas, Colombia, and about 440 miles (710 kilometers) southeast of Kingston, Jamaica.<br /> <br /> The centre says that as of 11:00 pm Friday, the storm is moving west at 7 mph (11 kph).<br /> <br /> Forecasters say they expect Matthew to remain a powerful hurricane through Sunday, when it is on track to approach Jamaica. Tropical storm conditions are possible there late Sunday and hurricane conditions possible Monday.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13325644/matthew-cat-5_w300.jpg Local News Friday, September 30, 2016 24-36 hours of rainfall expected if Matthew hits http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/24-36-hours-of-rainfall-expected-if-Matthew-hits <br /> <br /> ST ANDREW, Jamaica &ndash; Director of the country's Meteorological (Met) Service Division, Evan Thompson, says the country is likely to experience 24-36 hours of rainfall if the threatening category one Hurricane Matthew strikes.<br /> <br /> Thompson, who was speaking a short while ago at the Office of the Prime Minister on the projected path of the storm, said that Matthew is expected to make landfall between Sunday and Monday. He added that rainfall is expected to continue into Tuesday.<br /> <br /> The meteorologist said at that time, the hurricane is expected to upgrade to category two.<br /> <br /> Thompson said the Met Service is confident in the computer generated path hence it expects Matthew to continue heading westward then south before making a dramatic turn to the north then moving in a north westward direction over Jamaica.<br /> <br /> Kimone Francis<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13322736/rainfall_w300.jpg Local News Thursday, September 29, 2016 Met Service says Jamaica in Hurricane Matthew&rsquo;s cross hairs http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/High-alertMet-Service-says-Jamaica-in-Hurricane-Matthew---s-cross-hairs_75725 <br /> <br /> The Meteorological Service last evening suggested that Hurricane Matthew will not spare the island as it moves into the central Caribbean after dumping heavy showers on eastern Caribbean countries and causing at least one death.<br /> <br /> Met Service Director Evan Thompson made the projection at an emergency meeting with local officials called by Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who said government services have been placed on high alert.<br /> <br /> Yesterday, fishers on Jamaica&rsquo;s cays and banks were advised to evacuate immediately and return to the mainland.<br /> <br /> Other small craft operators in the island&rsquo;s coastal waters were also told to return to port, while those in port were advised not to venture out. <br /> <br /> The hurricane, which at 4:00 pm yesterday was located near latitude 14.1 degrees north, longitude 67.0 degrees west, or 240 kilometres north-east of Curacao, was forecast to continue on its westward path today and tomorrow and then turn towards the north, bringing it closer to Jamaica between Sunday and Monday.<br /> <br /> Matthew, which formed Wednesday morning near the Eastern Caribbean and has since been upgraded to a category one hurricane, had maximum sustained winds of nearly 120 km/h, with higher gusts, and was expected to strengthen as it gets closer to Jamaica. <br /> <br /> Last evening, Thompson said that Matthew is expected to stay on its projected path.<br /> <br /> The meteorologist said that as the system continues to move westward there might be some motion toward the south, which would seem to suggest that it is actually going to be moving away, but that will be short-lived as it is expected to make a dramatic turn towards the north. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;And so it is expected after Saturday to turn toward the north-west initially and then continue to move toward the north and take the centre of this hurricane very close to, if not over, Jamaica,&rdquo; Thompson said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;...Model prediction has improved over time, and so there is good reason to believe the reliability of the projections seen at this time,&rdquo; he said, adding that this would cause the system to spread its band of heavy rainfall over the entire island.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;...Currently there are projections that we would see somewhere in the order of two to four inches of rainfall over western parts of the island. In the east, rainfall amounts are expected to increase. It could get as [high] as eight inches over eastern parishes and it could even exceed that in hilly terrain. So we are expecting significant rainfall from the system as it moves past us,&rdquo; he said, adding that Matthew is expected to upgrade to category two as it nears the island. <br /> <br /> Thompson also pointed out that wind projection is likely to change and should not be taken lightly. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;The system could further intensify,&rdquo; he said. <br /> <br /> In the meantime, Holness said: &ldquo;The Government is now officially on high alert in preparation for a hurricane. It may not come; it may divert, but our job is to be prepared. So I&rsquo;ve officially placed the apparatus of the Government on alert.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The Government will do what it can; it will do its part, but I have to appeal to the individual responsibility of each and every Jamaican to look out for your own safety and security ...Heed the warnings that are given from the Government, particularly warnings to evacuate,&rdquo; he urged.<br /> <br /> At the same time, Holness said the Government will make an advance from the Constituency Development Fund available to parliamentarians. The amount, he added, will be communicated today. <br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13322977/231865_58765_repro_w300.jpg Local News Friday, September 30, 2016 Man shot dead by licensed firearm holder in HWT http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Man-shot-dead-by-licensed-firearm-holder-in-HWT <br /> <br /> ST ANDREW, Jamaica &mdash; A man was shot dead during a confrontation with a licensed firearm holder at the Constant Sprint Arcade, in Half Way Tree, St Andrew yesterday.<br /> <br /> He has only been identified by his alias &lsquo;Spike&rsquo;.<br /> <br /> According to reports from the Half Way Tree Police, about 3:30 pm, &lsquo;Spike&rsquo; and the licensed firearm holder were involved in an altercation when he was shot. The police were summoned and his body removed to the morgue. The licensed firearm holder has since been questioned and the firearm taken for ballistic testing.<br /> <br /> As investigations continue, the police are asking anyone who witnessed the incident to contact the Half Way Tree Criminal Investigation Branch at 926-2551, police 119 emergency number or the nearest police station.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13321647/Police-line_w300.jpg Local News Thursday, September 29, 2016