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NEWS BRIEFS

Thursday, July 10, 2003    

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Storm watch lifted

TROPICAL Storm Claudette veered further away from Jamaica yesterday, sparing the island the expected side-swiping from its roaring winds and thunderstorms.

At seven o'clock last night, the storm was about 206 miles southwest of Negril Point, Jamaica's most westerly point, and continuing a westward path at 24 miles an hour, that would take it further away from the island.

The tropical storm warning, meaning that winds could reach between 43 and 73 miles an hour, was discontinued for Jamaica, but the Meteorological Office warned that unstable weather would linger across the island into today.

They warned fishermen, especially those operating in small crafts, to maintain caution and to stay ashore until winds and sea conditions return to normal.

Claudette, travelling from east southeast of Jamaica, appeared on Wednesday as if it would have affected the south and southwest of the island, but drifted further away overnight, causing only sporadic showers.

Disaster relief officials said that they had no reports of major incidents associated with the rains.

Grant is new JAS president

NORMAN Grant, who was for the past three years the organisation's vice-president, was yesterday elected to lead the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), replacing the retiring Bobby Pottinger.

Grant, a Government senator, received 290 votes to beat his challenger, Dr Omer Thomas, by a margin of more than three-to-one. Thomas, the executive director of the Jamaica Bureau of Standards, received 90 votes.

Grant sought the presidency of the JAS in 2000, campaigning on a platform that the more-than-century-old farmers lobby needed modernisation and new energy.

He and his backers initially claimed vote-rigging in the contest, but later withdrew the allegations and agreed to work with the Pottinger administration.

Ironically, in this election, Thomas' platform was the need to re-energise and modernise the JAS.

Grant promised that his first task would be to bring in a reputable auditing firm to review the books of the JAS. He also pledged to change the JAS' poor image.

Lorrell Bruce is dead

FORMER Jamaican Consul General to New York, Lorrell Bruce, died of a heart attack in Denver, Colorado last Saturday. He was 87.

Born in Port Limon, Costa Rica, Bruce moved with his family to Jamaica, where he grew up in St Elizabeth and Kingston. A career civil servant, he held the position of special assistant to then prime minister, the late Sir Donald Sangster. In addition, he served as personal assistant to prime ministers Hugh Shearer and the late Michael Manley.

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