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 A diamond in the rough: Bernette Harvey&rsquo;s story http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/westernnews/A-diamond-in-the-rough--Bernette-Harvey-s-story_86285 MONTEGO BAY, St James &mdash; Ask any child what they want to be when they grow up. You are likely to hear &ldquo;lawyer&rdquo;, &ldquo;doctor&rdquo;, &ldquo;pilot&rdquo;, &ldquo;astronaut&rdquo;, &ldquo;manager&rdquo; &mdash; areas which, to them, embody success and the promise of a comfortable future.<br /> <br /> As a young girl, Bernette Harvey, the fourth of seven children, had no such dream. She grew up in Lucea, Hanover, nurtured from humble beginnings. She attended Rusea&rsquo;s High School but for reasons she declined to share, was not able to complete secondary education. <br /> <br /> But with the birth of her first child when she was 19 years old, came an urgent sense of motivation she had barely experienced before. She wanted to work hard and provide for her child in ways that she herself did not enjoy. To that end, while working as a server in a Juici Patties outlet, Harvey enrolled in evening classes to acquire the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) subjects she missed out on in high school. She later secured a somewhat stable job as a security guard with Securipro and in 2013 was assigned to Sandals&rsquo; boutique property Sandals Inn, formerly Sandals Carlyle. <br /> <br /> But even then, her dreams seemed limited<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This is it, this is as far as I&rsquo;m going to get. That&rsquo;s what I thought at the time,&rdquo; she told the Jamaica Observer with a thoughtful shrug of her shoulder. <br /> <br /> The employees of Sandals Inn saw more. They felt she could do more and be more. To their mind, her small stature, soft voice and demure character did not fit the stereotypical profile of a security worker. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Every time someone passed me at my security post, they would make this remark,&rdquo; she recalled. And the more they said it, the more she realised that she truly wanted more. She wanted growth, opportunities and benefits that her work as a security officer just could not provide. <br /> <br /> Dr Phillip Brown, Sandals Resorts director for training and development; and front office manager at Sandals Inn, Doreen Allen were prominent forces in Harvey&rsquo;s life at that time. They encouraged her to take the first decisive step, which led to her participation in 2015 in the resort&rsquo;s six-week hospitality and tourism training programme for the front desk. Upon completion, she was offered a job as a front desk agent and immediately began working. <br /> <br /> Three months into her new job, Harvey went a step further and enrolled with Sandals Corporate University to pursue certification in spa therapy. She completed a level three certificate course last year and is now a certified spa therapist at Sandals Royal Caribbean&rsquo;s Red Lane Spa, where she has been working since November. <br /> <br /> And she isn&rsquo;t done yet. Harvey, who turns 32 next month, is now enrolled in evening classes in human and social biology and principles of business to qualify for a degree in hospitality and tourism management. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;My journey at Sandals has just begun and I am excited about the many possibilities and opportunities that are heading my way. When I look at the person I was then and who I&rsquo;ve become, I feel a deep sense of pride that I&rsquo;ve come this far and that I had so much support from my colleagues. They treated me like family then and I&rsquo;m glad to be a part of them now,&rdquo; she told Career & Education.<br /> <br /> She has her eyes set on becoming a manager either in the spa or other areas within the hotel operation in the next five to 10 years.<br /> <br /> Harvey was awarded the resort&rsquo;s Diamond Talent of the Year for 2015. It was a shocking win for her, something she didn&rsquo;t expect because she thought she wasn&rsquo;t doing enough. Needless to say, the award has boosted her confidence level and challenges her to exceed her own expectations and limitations. <br /> <br /> Outside of work, she volunteers with the Sandals Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the luxury-included resort. She said she is inspired to give back to the community and make a difference in the lives of others, particularly because she has personally benefited from kindness and an outstretched hand.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It is often said that where you come from doesn&rsquo;t define you, but your determination and choices to rise above your means,&rdquo; Sandals&rsquo; regional public relations manager for the Montego Bay region Khadine Daley told Career & Education. &ldquo;Bernette Harvey is a true example of one who will grab the opportunity if given the chance. With her daily passion for work and life she will continue to sparkle like the beautiful gem she is.&rdquo; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587352/253709_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, January 22, 2017 3:00 AM Two hotels to be built in Trelawny http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/westernnews/Two-hotels-to-be-built-in-Trelawny_87174 Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett has signed an agreement with representatives of the Excellence Group Luxury Hotels and Resorts to build two hotels in Oyster Bay, Trelawny.<br /> <br /> The Ministry of Tourism said in a news release Thursday that the hotels are expected to add more than 700 rooms to the island&rsquo;s room stock. <br /> <br /> The Excellence Group plans to begin construction on their first property, which will be built at a cost of US$110 million, in February.<br /> <br /> It will have some 325 rooms and is expected to open its doors to guests in the first half of 2018.<br /> <br /> The second property, scheduled to open at a later date, will have 400 rooms.<br /> <br /> Bartlett signed the agreement with the CEO of the Excellence Group Antonio Montaner-Ferrer and the group&rsquo;s country manager for Jamaica, Rafael Matas, at Jamaica&rsquo;s booth at Fitur, which the ministry said is the largest international tourism trade fair for inbound and outbound Ibero American markets, now under way in Spain.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Investment in Jamaica&rsquo;s tourism sector is booming,&rdquo; Bartlett was quoted in the news release from the ministry. &ldquo;We welcome this new project, as it marks the entry of yet another major brand to the sector.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The entry of the Excellence Group to the Jamaican landscape will certainly broaden the options available to visitors and help to enhance our product offering,&rdquo; Bartlett said. &ldquo;I am pleased that both hotels will be luxury properties, as the first hotel will be branded as an Excellence property while the second will be operated under the group&rsquo;s top brand &mdash; Finest. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587214/253661_w300.jpg Local News Saturday, January 21, 2017 3:00 AM Should the fountain in Sam Sharpe Square be removed? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/westernnews/Should-the-fountain-in-Sam-Sharpe-Square-be-removed_86907 Last week the National Works Agency (NWA) announced a raft of measures to ease the chronic traffic congestion in the resort city of Montego Bay.<br /> <br /> Included in the measures is the relocation of the decade&rsquo;s-old fountain to another section of the historic Sam Sharpe Square. <br /> <br /> Jamaica Observer West&rsquo;s Alan Lewin took to the streets of Montego Bay earlier this week to ask: &ldquo;Do you think that the fountain should be relocated in an effort to ease the traffic congestion in the city?&rdquo; <br /> <br /> Here are some of the responses: <br /> <br /> Roy Spence, technician <br /> <br /> Yes. It needs to move and put something better where it is now. We need more space to ease traffic congestion.<br /> <br />  Judian Hines, sales representative <br /> <br /> No. I don&rsquo;t think it should be moved. It&rsquo;s a traditional landmark, where many Montegonians born come see.<br /> <br />  Natoya Fisher, bartender <br /> <br /> It&rsquo;s an attraction. And it&rsquo;s a traditional landmark where you can locate people if you want to find them. It should stay there.<br /> <br /> Signeita Rhoden, businesswoman <br /> <br /> No. I don&rsquo;t think it should be removed, it look good out there in the square.<br /> <br /> Shanice Lewis, student <br /> <br /> I believe that it should be relocated. It would be better if they put it in front of the Montego Bay Culture Centre.<br /> <br /> Princess Slay, sales clerk <br /> <br /> No, I don&rsquo;t think it should be removed. It needs to be more attractive and properly maintained.<br /> <br />  <br /> <br />  <br /> <br />  <br /> <br />  <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13581210/253137_79973_repro_w300.jpg Observer West Thursday, January 19, 2017 12:00 AM Obeah scammers http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/westernnews/Obeah-scammers_86928 MONTEGO BAY, St James - Members of the Lottery Scam Task Force are reporting a new trend emerging among more and more scammers &mdash; practising obeah to guard them from the long arm of the law. <br /> <br /> But last week a couple found out that the potions were not strong enough to stave off members of the Lottery Scam Task Force who swooped down on them during a pre-dawn anti-lottery operation in the inner city of Rose Heights, St James. <br /> <br /> According to Sergeant Kevin Watson, the media liaison officer of the Lottery Scam Task Force, the man and his Haitian wife confessed that they were voodoo practitioners after a variety of oils, believed to be used in voodoo rituals, were found hidden at their home. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;We arrested a man and his Haitian wife for their involvement in lottery scamming. During the operation we observed a little area, like a makeshift voodoo shrine, with various oils and the names of persons on pieces of paper,&rdquo; Sergeant Watson told the Jamaica Observer West. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;The man admitted that he is a spiritual worker. His wife is a Haitian, and she said voodoo is in her blood.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> Last year, the St James police revealed that two clergymen who were gunned down offered &ldquo;spiritual&rdquo; protection services to scammers for a price. <br /> <br /> Meanwhile, Sergeant Watson disclosed that since the start of this year, more than 30 people have been arrested for breaches of the Law Reform (Fraudulent Transaction) (Special Provisions) Act, 2013, commonly called the Lottery Scam Act. <br /> <br /> He explained that these people were nabbed during operations across the parishes of Trelawny, St James, Hanover, and Westmoreland &mdash; the parishes that make up the Police Area One. <br /> <br /> Of this 30 individuals, more than 20 were taken into custody between Wednesday and Saturday of last week. <br /> <br /> During Saturday morning&rsquo;s operation in Wiltshire, Trelawny, five people were arrested. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;We recovered mostly cellphones, documents containing identity information of persons overseas, cash amounting to US$3,500 and J$400,000 at one location,&rdquo; the task force media liaison officer revealed. <br /> <br /> He also informed the Observer West that one of the five detained in the Wiltshire raid revealed that he successfully completed a Jamaica Constabulary Force recruitment entrance test. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Of the five persons we arrested in Trelawny, Saturday morning, one of the young men at one of the premises indicated he did the police test. We want to ensure that we don&rsquo;t recruit persons of questionable character joining the police force. He expressed that he took the police test and that he was successful at the various stages and is awaiting call,&rdquo; Sergeant Watson said. <br /> <br /> Noting that, in December last year, two customer service representatives employed to money transfer agencies and a foreign national, who was held at the Sangster International Airport with cash and other lottery scam paraphernalia, were charged for breaches of the Lotto Scam Act, Watson warned that no one is immune from the cops. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13581593/253169_79998_repro_w300.jpg Observer West Thursday, January 19, 2017 12:00 AM MoBay mayor says St James crime initiative bearing fruit http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/westernnews/MoBay-mayor-says-St-James-crime-initiative-bearing-fruit_86939 MONTEGO BAY, St James &mdash; Chairman of the St James Municipal Corporation Homer Davis says the Government&rsquo;s decision to provide addition resources in a bid to put a lid on the high level of crime and violence in the parish is bearing fruit. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;As a result of how the Government views the whole question of gang-related matters in St James, they have given additional resources, in terms of personnel and equipment, and that is now bearing fruit,&rdquo; Davis argued. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Normally you would not have the police and military personnel strategically located in some of these back roads [rural areas], and we know that normally some of these back roads are used as safe passage for criminals to move around because the local police do not have the level of resources to police all the areas&hellip; so it is as a result of the efforts now being carried out by the Government in the parish of St James.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> Davis, who is also mayor of Montego Bay and councillor for the Cambridge Division, was referring to last Saturday&rsquo;s killing of six alleged members of the Ski Mask Gang in the deep rural community of Goodwill in St James during a gun battle with members of a joint police/military team. <br /> <br /> Police said four guns and a quantity of ammunition were seized following the deadly shoot-out. <br /> <br /> A policeman was reportedly injured, while a vehicle belonging to the Jamaica Defence Force was said to have been damaged. <br /> <br /> The police reported that about 9:00 pm on Saturday, lawmen strategically positioned on a section of the Goodwill main road signalled the driver of a Toyota Corolla motor car, in which the alleged gang members were travelling, to stop. The vehicle reportedly came to a halt, then shortly afterwards the occupants exited the vehicle and fired at the lawmen. The fire was returned and the six men received gunshot wounds. They were taken to hospital where they were pronounced dead. <br /> <br /> They have since been identified as: Oswyn Jarrett, otherwise called &ldquo;Ski Mask&rdquo;, the alleged leader of the gang; Deno Pryce, alias &ldquo;Buju&rdquo;; Andrae Daley, alias &ldquo;Pops&rdquo;; Marlon Samuels, alias &ldquo;Brutus&rdquo;; and two identified only by aliases &ldquo;Shenky&rdquo; and &ldquo;Fargo&rdquo;. <br /> <br /> Those killed were said to be responsible for a number of serious crimes, including robberies and murders, in sections of St James, particularly in the Jenkins Corner area of Barrett Town. <br /> <br /> Davis yesterday commended the police/military team that carried out the operation in Goodwill. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;The gang members have created mayhem in the communities in which they operated. They actually have the community under siege, where community members can&rsquo;t talk and are nervous, so they [residents] are now relieved,&rdquo; he argued. <br /> <br /> He said, however, that while nobody wants to see people killed in the manner like those in Goodwill on Saturday, &ldquo;criminals must understand that if the police come under this level of threat they are going to protect their lives&rdquo;. <br /> <br /> The Goodwill incident came just two days after Mayor Davis vowed to assist stakeholders in putting an end to the spate of crime and violence in St James. <br /> <br /> Addressing his first regular monthly meeting as chairman of the St James Municipal Corporation, Mayor Davis noted that the parish has been experiencing challenging times, particularly where crime and violence are concerned. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;As we are all aware, St James has been going through some challenging times. Times in which sometimes we feel that we should not be a part of the parish, so it can&rsquo;t be business as usual; the parish is bleeding, and we need to collectively put an end to the bleeding,&rdquo; Davis told the meeting. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I have the commitment of all our councillors, they have committed to do whatever necessary to put a lid on the wanton destruction of lives.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> Davis noted that the Government had already provided additional resources to tackle crime and violence, emphasising that there will be &ldquo;a very pronounced presence of the security forces in this parish&rdquo;. <br /> <br /> Last year, St James recorded more than 260 murders, in what many say was one of the bloodiest years in the recent history of the parish, which has just over 200,000 residents. <br /> <br /> Mayor Davis also used the sitting to urge the citizenry and other stakeholders to support the security forces in their quest to rid the parish of the scourge of crime. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Without a lawful community and lawful people we cannot proceed in the direction of growth and prosperity, so whatever we can do in our own endeavours to mediate, to assist communities that are going through difficult times, I think we should all commit ourselves to that,&rdquo; he urged. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13581682/253165_79993_repro_w300.jpg Observer West Thursday, January 19, 2017 12:00 AM Hanover Charities donates computers to Church Hill Primary http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/westernnews/Hanover-Charities-donates-computers-to-Church-Hill-Primary_86932 SANTOY, Hanover &mdash; Principal of the Church Hill Primary School in Santoy, Hanover, Delano Murdock, says that despite the high level of criminal activities in the area, the school is receiving the full support from the community. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;The crime is so bad, and it paints a negative picture, but I still get the support of the parents and community members,&rdquo; said Murdock. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;They are very much involved in the running of the school, and they help us greatly when it comes to extra-curricular activities, and indeed I am grateful.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> Murdock was speaking with the Jamaica Observer West last Friday following the official opening ceremony for a $2.2-million computer laboratory at the school. <br /> <br /> Hanover Charities had constructed the laboratory and installed 12 computers, while Food For the Poor donated the furniture. <br /> <br /> The school currently has 18 computers, but Murdock said another five is needed to adequately meet the demand of the institution. <br /> <br /> The school, which was selected upon the recommendation of Member of Parliament for Hanover Western, Ian Hayles, is the third institution in the parish to receive computers from Hanover Charities in recent years. Rusea&rsquo;s High School and Esher Primary are the other two. <br /> <br /> Chair of the Hanover Charities Katrin Casserly said her organisation plans to donate more computers to schools across the parish. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;So as the chair of Hanover Charities, I will personally ensure that we install more computer rooms in primary and high schools in our parish. Education is the only way out of poverty,&rdquo; Casserly stressed, as she encouraged teachers and students to use the equipment to the best of their ability. <br /> <br /> Meanwhile, Murdock said the computers were a gift from God. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;This computer lab has been a godsend, because over the years this community has been suffering a lot as it relates to computers. With this new curriculum, we are very much grateful, because the children will now be able to use this facility on their own compound,&rdquo; Murdock explained, pointing out that the curriculum is &ldquo;heavy laden with computer technology&rdquo;, which must be incorporated in their studies. <br /> <br /> The school currently has an enrolment of eight teachers and 197 students, 47 more than when Murdock took up the position as head of the school two years ago. <br /> <br /> The principal used the enrolment of students in the Grade One class, as an example of the tremendous growth that has taken place at the school under his watch. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;When I came here, we had 10 children in Grade One. The last school- leaving ceremony we had 37 in Grade One. So, I think we are improving. God is good!&rdquo; expressed an elated Murdock. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13581379/253157_79986_repro_w300.jpg Observer West Thursday, January 19, 2017 12:00 AM MBU get nod http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/westernnews/MBU-get-nod_86899 TUCKER, St James &mdash;Red Stripe Premier League champions Montego Bay United (MBU) will host the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Club Championships first round Group C games between February 27 and March 6, at the Montego Bay Sports Complex, it was announced earlier this week.<br /> <br /> For the second year running MBU will host their first round group, and will welcome three other teams, Elite Sport Club of the Cayman Islands, Grenades FC of Antigua and Club Barcelona Atletico of The Dominican Republic, with only the winners advancing to the finals, scheduled to be played from May 13-21.<br /> <br /> A record 20 teams from 11 countries, including last season&rsquo;s Red Stripe Premier League runners-up Portmore United, will take part in the competition that will see the top three from the finals advancing to the Scotiabank CONCACAF Club Championships.<br /> <br /> President of MBU Orville Powell told Jamaica Observer West this week that bidding to host the group made sense on several levels, particularly in sticking to their mandate of taking international club football to the city of Montego Bay.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We want to expose our fans to international club football and Montego Bay is in an ideal position to host this competition with the infrastructure we have here, and the culture of welcoming visitors from elsewhere,&rdquo; Powell said. &ldquo;We have better conditions here, better hotels and better facilities than some we have seen when we travel,&rdquo; he explained.<br /> <br /> MBU hosted their group last season and were beaten by then defending champions Central FC of Trinidad, who went on to defend their title. <br /> <br /> Powell said both the CFU and CONCACAF were pleased with their hosting, and so their bid this year was &ldquo;readily accepted&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> In 2014/2015 during their first time taking part in the competition, MBU travelled to Haiti to play their first round.<br /> <br /> Powell said that &ldquo;things could have been a lot better there and so the idea to host their first round group was hatched&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> There is also an economic advantage to hosting their group, he added. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Each team gets US$10,000 when they travel for their first round group and it can be very taxing in more ways than one to get from here to the other places, and in almost every case we would have to take flights through Miami and tickets are often expensive,&rdquo; he pointed out.<br /> <br /> However, as host, MBU would get US$104,000 from CONCACAF, which would be used to host the teams and officials, a sum, he said, is adequate for the task.<br /> <br /> The format will see the clubs &ldquo;divided into five groups of four teams, which will play a round-robin format, starting in late February through March, according to a release from CONCACAF. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13581225/253120_79901_repro_w300.jpg Observer West Thursday, January 19, 2017 12:00 AM Reno FC seek third straight RSPL win http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/westernnews/Reno-FC-seek-third-straight-RSPL-win_86901 FROME, Westmoreland &mdash; Former champions Reno FC will be gunning for a third straight win in the Red Stripe Premier League this Sunday, when they host last season&rsquo;s runner-up Portmore United at Frome, starting at 3:00 pm.<br /> <br /> Reno FC have made a strong restart after the holiday break, winning both games played &mdash; beating Boys Town 3-0 and Waterhouse 2-0 &mdash; to move two places up to seventh place on 24 points, but are still nine points behind Portmore United, who are in fifth place and seem set for a semi-final place.<br /> <br /> The return of striker Craig Foster has reignited the dormant Reno FC strike force, as he scored three goals in their two games played this month.<br /> <br /> Interestingly, Portmore United have scored just 17 goals in their 19 games, but have managed nine wins and will test the Reno FC&rsquo;s defence on Sunday.<br /> <br /> At WestPow Park, leaders and defending champions Montego Bay United (MBU) will take on promoted and struggling Jamalco FC, who will be playing their first ever RSPL game in Montego Bay.<br /> <br /> MBU salvaged a point from Portmore United on Sunday and led the competition by one point, with Tivoli Gardens breathing down their necks. <br /> <br /> The Montego Bay-based team need a comfortable win to create some breathing room, or at least stay at the top for another week.<br /> <br /> With Owayne Gordon and schoolboy sensation Jourdaine Fletcher as well as Kashief Brown available, the MBU coach Dillon Thelwell could give Dino Williams another week&rsquo;s rest after he sat out Sunday&rsquo;s game with a thigh injury.<br /> <br /> MBU, who have the best home record in the league with their eight wins, will face a Jamalco team, which are still searching for their first away win in their first season at this level. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/10595868/Football-2_w300.jpg Observer West Thursday, January 19, 2017 12:00 AM Petersfield FC meet Faulkland FC in Western Confed game http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/westernnews/Petersfield-FC-meet-Faulkland-FC-in-Western-Confed-game_86909 PETERSFIELD, Westmoreland &mdash; The first round of the Jamaica Football Federation&rsquo;s Western Confederation Charlie&rsquo;s JB Rum Super League will finally come to an end this afternoon, when Petersfield FC host promoted Faulkland FC in a rescheduled Zone 2 game in Petersfield, starting at 3:00 pm.<br /> <br /> The game was postponed from two weeks ago. <br /> <br /> Faulkland FC are on six points in third place, two points and a place ahead of the Westmoreland club, and both are coming off 2-0 losses in their most recent games.<br /> <br /> Faulkland FC were beaten by Montego Bay Boys Club in a St James derby last Thursday. The loss was the second of the season for Faulkland FC, the most they have had in their meteoric rise through the St James FA system over the last three seasons.<br /> <br /> Petersfield FC went down to a resurgent Wadadah FC at Jarrett Park on Sunday, and will need to improve at the offensive end of the field, having scored only two goals in their four games played, the least by any team in the competition.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, the second round will get under way on Saturday with three games; two more will be played on Sunday, while the other will be played on Tuesday.<br /> <br /> Zone 2 leaders Sandals South Coast will host Faulkland FC, whom they beat 1-0 on the opening day on Saturday; Boys Club and Wadadah FC will clash at the UDC field, while Three Miles River, fresh from a 3-0 win over defending champions Granville United, will host Clark&rsquo;s Town at Frome.<br /> <br /> On Sunday, Granville United will hope to reignite their title defence when they travel to Orchard to take on Hopewell United, while Holland United host Petersfield at Elleston Wakeland Centre.<br /> <br /> In the final game of the round on Tuesday, Zone 1 leaders Reggae Youths and Beaches Negril will meet at the UDC field. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13581759/253138_79938_repro_w300.jpg Observer West Thursday, January 19, 2017 12:00 AM Hip Strip - January 19, 2017 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/westernnews/Hip-Strip---January-19--2017_86890 CHARTING THE COURSE<br /> <br /> Our roving Hip Strip camera landed on Maps party ambassadors during a promotional shoot at The Palms at Palmyra in Montego Bay on Sunday. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13582029/253109_79875_repro_w300.jpg Observer West Thursday, January 19, 2017 12:00 AM St James Municipal Corporation honours Cornwall College d&rsquo;Cup football team http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/westernnews/St-James-Municipal-Corporation-honours-Cornwall-College-d-Cup-football-team_86911 MONTEGO BAY, St James &mdash; Members of the Cornwall College daCosta Cup football team and head coach, Dr Dean Weatherly, were honoured by the St James Municipal Corporation at its regular monthly meeting last Thursday, for their outstanding performance during the recently concluded season. <br /> <br /> During the meeting, team captain Jamario Hines and Dr Weatherly were presented with framed citations. <br /> <br /> Last year, the Montego Bay-based school lifted the daCosta Cup football title for the 12th time, while playing undefeated in that competition, winning all 18 games played. <br /> <br /> The team also played in the final of the lucrative Flow Super Cup, as well as the semi-final of the Ben Francis Cup. <br /> <br /> Chairman of the St James Municipal Corporation and Montego Bay Mayor, Councillor Homer Davis, said the corporation thought it fit to honour the players and their coach for the outstanding performance in the schoolboy competition, which brought tremendous joy to the parish of St James. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;We are recognising an institution which has excelled in academics, sports and other areas of life, not only in Jamaica but outside the borders of the island. <br /> <br /> As a municipal corporation, we are expecting the highest standard from that institution. We admire Cornwall College as a premier learning institution in western Jamaica, and, once again, we say thanks to the team and thanks to the coaching staff and thanks to corporate Montego Bay, who I am sure gave support to the team,&rdquo; Davis said. <br /> <br /> Accepting the citation, Dr Weatherly said it is a wonderful feeling for him and his players to be recognised by the Municipal Corporation when they are alive and well. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;It is a real pleasure for us, and especially myself, to receive these citations and to know that we are truly loved. It&rsquo;s really a good feeling,&rdquo; he said, adding that it has been &ldquo;hard work and sacrifice&rdquo; for the team members. <br /> <br /> For his part, Cornwall College&rsquo;s football team captain Hines expressed similar sentiments. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s really a pleasure to be recognised because many simple persons have done some great things and have not been recognised, so being recognised by the executives of the St James Municipal Corporation is a great feeling. It shows too, that hard work pays,&rdquo; Hines told the Jamaica Observer West. <br /> <br /> &mdash; Mark Cummings <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13581762/253140_79936_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Thursday, January 19, 2017 12:00 AM PHOTO: Health hazard http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/westernnews/Health-hazard-_86947 For several months now this drain at a section of Church Street in the resort city of Montego Bay has blocked by debris. <br /> <br /> Residents and motorists are calling on the St James Municipal Corporation to have it cleaned as soon as possible.(Photo: Alan Lewin) http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13581591/253175_80000_repro_w300.jpg Observer West Thursday, January 19, 2017 3:00 AM UTech Western Campus visit http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/westernnews/UTech-Western-Campus-visit-_86933 Sophia McIntosh, (second left), Western Campus Director, University of Technology, Jamaica, has the keen attention of new University of Technology, Jamaica President, Professor Stephen Vasciannie, (third left) during a visit to the Western Campus last Friday. <br /> <br /> Sharing in the discussion are (from left) Antoinette Smith, Western Campus Administrator, and Noel Whyte, member of Council who represents the university&rsquo;s interests in western Jamaica. <br /> <br /> Prof Vasciannie visited the Western Campus for a general staff meeting with members of faculty and staff, and specially invited student representatives. <br /> <br /> He was accompanied by University Registrar Dr Elaine Wallace; deans for faculties for programmes offered in the west, and other select administrative officers of the university. <br /> <br /> The team toured the facilities at both the Dome Street main campus and the Barnett Street location of the University&rsquo;s Caribbean School of Nursing. <br /> <br /> The UTech, Jamaica Western campus offers courses of study in law, business administration, nursing, midwifery, mathematics and education, information systems management and health administration. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13581378/253161_79988_repro_w300.jpg Observer West Thursday, January 19, 2017 3:00 AM Photo: An Evening of Excellence http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/westernnews/Photo--An-Evening-of-Excellence_86917 Widows (from fourth left) Winsome Simpson, Marian Fraser, Michelle Graham-Harrison and Ethel Graham pose with their plaques as they are joined with (from left) Samuel Coates, Bishop Dr Robert O Coates, Junour Bryan; President of the St James Lay Magistrates&rsquo; Association Claudette Bryan and Pastor Dr Andrene Coates, after they were recognised by the Visionaries Apostolic Church at Vernon&rsquo;s Drive, Montego Bay, recently, during their &lsquo;Evening of Excellence&rsquo; event. <br /> <br /> The brainchild of Bishop Coates, the inaugural event saw several widows receiving plaques and gifts, while the fatherless were presented with gift bags, which included back-to-school items. <br /> <br /> The event will be held annually. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13581229/253147_79967_repro_w300.jpg Observer West Thursday, January 19, 2017 12:00 AM Pier 1 reaches out to Blessed Assurance Children&rsquo;s Village http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/westernnews/Pier-1-reaches-out-to-Blessed-Assurance-Children-s-Village_86913 MONTEGO BAY, St James &mdash; A team from the marketing and promotions department at Pier 1 in Montego Bay recently made a donation to the Mustard Seed Communities Blessed Assurance Children&rsquo;s Village in Windsor Lodge, St James. <br /> <br /> During the visit to the home, the group, which included Peta-Gaye King, marketing and promotions manager, Talisha Shakes, stewardess, Marsha Brown, stores clerk and Daveia Magnus, presented the children at the home with toys and books, following a praise and worship session with the residents, as well as the staff. <br /> <br /> A cheque was also presented to Vanessa Dobson, the matron of the home, who thanked the entertainment complex for the donation. <br /> <br /> Magnus told the Jamaica Observer West that Pier 1 plans to make further donations to the home. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;It was such a heartfelt moment &hellip; and moving forward Pier 1 plans to continue to be charitable to the Mustard Seed Blessed Assurance Children&rsquo;s Village,&rdquo; said Magnus. <br /> <br /> She explained that this year&rsquo;s donation to the home, stemmed from a successful Toy Drive at Pier 1, which ran from December 1 to 31 last year. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Throughout December a Christmas barrel was placed at the entrance of Pier1 for patrons to donate toys, clothes, books or toiletries. The patrons of Pier 1 were very supportive of this cause and Pier 1 would like to thank them for the part they played in the charity,&rdquo; said Magnus. <br /> <br /> The children&rsquo;s home is an initiative of the Christian missionary of the Mustard Seed Communities group, which has as its mandate, &lsquo;caring for the most vulnerable&rsquo;. <br /> <br /> The facility serves children with mental and physical disabilities by providing housing and education. <br /> <br /> There are about 30 children at the home at present. <br /> <br /> &mdash; Mark Cummings http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13581228/253146_79966_repro_w300.jpg Observer West Thursday, January 19, 2017 12:00 AM Photo: Winner! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/westernnews/Photo--Winner-_86902 Spot Valley High&rsquo;s Tyrese Reid wins the boys&rsquo; Class 1 800- metre in a time of 1:53.68 minutes at Saturday&rsquo;s 13th staging of the Douglas Forrest Invitational development meet held at the G C Foster College in Spanish Town, St Catherine. (Photo: Bryan Cummings) http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13581213/253122_79899_repro_w300.jpg Observer West Thursday, January 19, 2017 12:00 AM Western Sports Diary - January 19, 2017 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/westernnews/Western-Sports-Diary---January-19--2017_86900 TODAY<br /> <br /> JFF Western Confederation Charlie&rsquo;s JB Rum Super League<br /> <br /> Petersfield FC vs Faulkland FC &mdash; Petersfield 3:00 pm<br /> <br /> St James FA Sandals International Division One<br /> <br /> Violet Kickers vs Somerton FC- UDC field 3:00pm<br /> <br /> Copperwood FC vs Bogue FC &mdash; Bickersteth 3:00 pm<br /> <br /> FRIDAY<br /> <br /> ISSA/Grace Headley Cup<br /> <br /> Zone A<br /> <br /> Troy High vs York Castle &mdash; Troy High 10:00 am<br /> <br /> Zone B<br /> <br /> Spot Valley High vs St James High<br /> <br /> Hopewell High vs Maldon High<br /> <br /> Cornwall College vs Irwin High<br /> <br /> Zone C<br /> <br /> Petersfield High vs St Elizabeth Tech<br /> <br /> St James FA Sandals International Senior League<br /> <br /> Heights FC vs Marl Road FC &mdash; UDC filed 3:00 pm<br /> <br /> SATURDAY<br /> <br /> JFF Western Confederation Charlie&rsquo;s JB Rum Super League<br /> <br /> Montego Bay Boys Club vs Wadadah FC &mdash; UDC field 3:00 pm<br /> <br /> Three Miles River vs Clark&rsquo;s Town &mdash; Frome 3:00pm<br /> <br /> Sandals South Coast vs Faulkland FC &mdash; Whitehouse 3:00pm<br /> <br /> Trelawny FA Monymusk Plantation Rum Major League<br /> <br /> Salt Marsh United vs Invaders SC &mdash; Davis Pen 3:00pm<br /> <br /> Daniel Town FC vs Granville FC- Daniel Town 3:00pm<br /> <br /> SUNDAY<br /> <br /> Red Stripe Premier League<br /> <br /> Montego Bay United vs Jamalco &mdash; Wespow Park 3:00 pm<br /> <br /> Reno FC vs Portmore &mdash; Frome Grounds 3:00 pm<br /> <br /> JFF Western Confederation Charlie&rsquo;s JB Rum Super League<br /> <br /> Hopewell United vs Granville United &mdash; Orchard 3:00pm<br /> <br /> Holland United vs Petersfield FC &mdash; Elleston Wakeland 3:00 pm<br /> <br /> Trelawny FA Monymusk Plantation Rum Major League<br /> <br /> Rio Bueno FC vs Harmony FC &mdash; Sea-road field 3:00pm<br /> <br /> Bunker&rsquo;s Hill SC vs Coopers Pen &mdash; Unity Sports Club 3:00 pm http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/10636791/sdiary_w300.jpg Local Sports Thursday, January 19, 2017 12:00 AM Grace #GoHard campaign excites the west http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/westernnews/Grace--GoHard-campaign-excites-the-west_86906 MONTEGO BAY, St James &mdash; Grace Foods hosted clients to its western launch of their high energy #GoHard campaign with much fanfare at The Palms at Palmyra in Montego Bay on Sunday. <br /> <br /> Guests were treated to an energetic performance by Montego Bay-based songbird Karen Smith, who took them down memory lane with popular Jamaican oldies during the fun-filled evening. <br /> <br /> DJ Gemini took over entertainment duties and proceeded to create a party atmosphere on the beach, playing music from several genres while sticking to popular hits. His formula easily got the crowd in a dancing vibe. <br /> <br /> Earlier in the day #GoHard brand ambassadors took guests through entertaining bowling and dance challenges, as part of the western launch of the campaign. <br /> <br /> The campaign will see Grace Foods gifting over $10 million in cash and prizes over the period January 6 to April 13. <br /> <br /> Prize options include a 2017 Nissan X Trail, a home makeover valued at $5 million, a scholarship valued at $4 million, $3.5 million in cash, a trip for two to London for the World Athletics Championship, as well as several instant prizes through the online promotion. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;We as Jamaicans work hard, play hard, train hard and study hard, our passion shows in our approach to life and this promotion is a nod to the best of who we are as Jamaicans,&rdquo; said Andrea Coy, CEO, Grace Foods Domestic. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13581193/253129_79908_repro_w300.jpg Observer West Thursday, January 19, 2017 12:00 AM 3 Nittty seeks dancehall fame http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/westernnews/3-Nittty-seeks-dancehall-fame_86903 MONTEGO BAY, St James &mdash;Alton Burke&rsquo;s love of music forced him to leave his native St Catherine for the resort city of Montego Bay, in a bid to get much-needed exposure in the tough music business. <br /> <br /> Known by the stage name 3 Nittty, the artiste, a barber by profession, has now started to get the long-awaited recognition he so deserves from his fans. <br /> <br /> Over the years, 3 Nittty has recorded a number of songs, including Nine Ball, Money Hunter, V Neck and Touch Button. <br /> <br /> But his latest release Gal Find A Man is the one he believes will catapult him into the mainstream of dancehall. <br /> <br /> Plans are now being finalised for the artiste to travel to the USA in the summer for promotional shows, as he gears up to release his first EP. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I want to thank all the people who have helped me in my music career, and to give thanks to God for carrying me through so far, and I am looking forward to big things,&rdquo; a confident 3 Nittty told Jamaica Observer West. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13581190/253127_79906_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Thursday, January 19, 2017 12:00 AM Wadadah end Super League losing skid http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/westernnews/Wadadah-end-Super-League-losing-skid_86732 MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica &mdash; Former champions Wadadah FC became the last team to score a win in the Jamaica Football Federation&rsquo;s Western Confederation Charlie&rsquo;s JB Rum Super League after they beat Petersfield FC 2-0 in a Zone Two game at Jarrett Park as the first round ended on Sunday.<br /> <br /> The win snapped a four games losing skid for Wadadah FC &mdash; their worst ever start to the competition. They are in last place, tied with Holland United on three points.<br /> <br /> Sandals South Coast returned to the top of the points table in Zone Two after edging Holland United 1-0 in Falmouth, while first-time entrants Three Miles River shocked defending champions Granville United 3-0 at Granville. In another game, Clarks Town came from behind to edge Beaches Negril.<br /> <br /> There were two other surprise results, Montego Bay Boys Club beat fancied Faulkland FC 2-0 on Thursday, while promoted Hopewell United beat Zone One leaders Reggae Youths 1-0 on Saturday.<br /> <br /> On Sunday at Jarrett Park, Leonardo Fogarthy scored on his debut, giving Wadadah FC the lead in the 13th minute, while Okeve Brown secured the points when he scored his first goal of the season in the 90th minute.<br /> <br /> At Granville, the defending champions missed a number of good scoring chances, especially in the second half on their way to losing for the second time in their last three games and are in fifth position in Zone One on five points.<br /> <br /> Clifton Woodbine, in the 18th minute, and Chevon Morris, in the 22nd minute, gave Three Mile River a 2-0 lead at half time, while an own goal from Akkem Edwards in the 87th minute off an ill-advised back pass from about 25 yards outbeat stand-in goalkeeper Davion Thelwell.<br /> <br /> Thelwell, a defensive midfielder, was a last-minute choice as goalkeeper after regular custodian Zahvia Hutchinson was unable to show up for the game.<br /> <br /> Sandals South Coast overtook Montego Bay Boys Club at the top of Zone Two after Ron Daley&rsquo;s fifth-minute goal was the difference between the teams.<br /> <br /> This was Sandals&rsquo; fourth win as they eased to 13 points &mdash; two more than the St James team.<br /> <br /> At Long Bay Beach Park in Negril, Clark&rsquo;s Town overcame a goal from the home team Beaches Negril to score their third win to be tied in the lead in Zone One with Reggae Youths. Both are on 10 points.<br /> <br /> Bryan Dixon gave Beaches the lead in the 33rd minute, but Kevin Brown equalised four minutes later before Ricardo Blake scored the winner in the 57th minute.<br /> <br /> On Saturday, Hopewell United scored their first win &mdash; a shock 1-0 victory &mdash; over the previously unbeaten Reggae Youths at the Orchard playfield in Hopewell.<br /> <br /> Hietolah Gordon, who represented Green Island High in the ISSA daCosta Cup schoolboy football competition this season, scored in the 66th minute and also missed a penalty late in the game as Hopewell held on for the win.<br /> <br /> Reggae Youths ended the game with 10 players after Shanoy Anderson was sent off in the 85th minute for abusive language directed at the referee.<br /> <br /> On Thursday, Montego Bay Boys Club pegged back newcomers Faulkland FC 2-0.<br /> <br /> Anthony Drummond and Marvin Sangster both scored in the second half for Boys Club &mdash; their first goals of the season.<br /> <br /> Drummond scored the opener in the 66th minute before Sangster secured the points in the 86th minute as Boys Club ended a two-game winless run. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13576136/252927_79666_repro_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, January 17, 2017 12:00 AM Excitement grows in MoBay for trade show http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/westernnews/Excitement-grows-in-MoBay-for-trade-show_86571 MONTEGO BAY, St James &mdash; There is a buzz of excitement accompanying the Jamaica Manufacturers&rsquo; Association (JMA) inaugural staging of the Jamaica International Exhibition (JIE), a trade show to run in the tourism resort city of Montego Bay June 1-4 this year.<br /> <br /> The trade show, which is earmarked to welcome over 600 international buyers and suppliers to the Montego Bay Convention Centre, is welcomed by Senator Don Wehby, chairman of Jamaica Promotions (JAMPRO).<br /> <br /> &ldquo;As the chairman of JAMPRO, I see this as a platform consistent with our primary role of matching investors with specific projects and, likewise, matching buyers with our own Jamaican network of world-class suppliers. This will be a forum of exchange and we welcome it,&rdquo; Wehby said at last week&rsquo;s launch of the event at the Montego Bay Convention Centre.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Events such as these represent an integral process in the development of Jamaica&rsquo;s export chain, and we look forward to hosting traders from around the world,&rdquo; Wehby added.<br /> <br /> An upbeat JMA President Metry Seaga said that &ldquo;one of the objectives of the JMA is to promote and conduct industrial shows&rdquo;, as it celebrates its 70th anniversary this year.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The JIE is the platform where we mark our stamp as the place of choice to do business in the Caribbean and expand your reach to the rest of the world,&rdquo; an ecstatic Seaga said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The fact of the matter is that developing local and global supply chains is important, and [is] a position that the JMA supports. We must focus on increasing trade in value-added, whether this is utilising our local content, or intermediate goods and raw materials from the rest of the world. But we need to also look to create and capture most of the value generated,&rdquo; Seaga stated.<br /> <br /> Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Karl Samuda also lauded the JMA for its vision to host the event.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I want to commend the JMA for this initiative because it is a clear departure from doing business as usual. I commend you for it, and you have my full support,&rdquo; Samuda stated.<br /> <br /> He noted that &ldquo;the JMA is famous for indicating the need to work very closely with other sectors in promoting their interest in expanding their output in being able to be on the cutting edge of change and competition.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;They have always sought to interact closely with the tourism sector. So I suppose when they sat down in their discussions they must have said to themselves: If they (tourism sector) don&rsquo;t come to us we are going to go to them. So it (trade show) comes right in the heart of the tourism sector and I commend you for that,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It shows that the association is alive and vibrant, thinking out of the box, bringing the international community together in the heart of the tourism sector,&rdquo; Samuda said. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13572215/252673_79421_repro_w300.jpg Local News Sunday, January 15, 2017 12:00 AM Two new ITA offices to be built http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/westernnews/Two-new-ITA-offices-to-be-built_86385 Two new Island Traffic Authority (ITA) offices are to be built in May Pen, Clarendon, and Savanna-la Mar, Westmoreland. <br /> <br /> Transport and Mining Minister Mike Henry also indicated that improvements and upgrades are to be made to existing ITA facilities across the island. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I am meeting with the Island Traffic Authority at the management level, on the ground, to discuss with them their facilities and how we can improve them,&rdquo; Henry told<br /> <br /> JIS News Wednesday at the launch of the pilot of the ITA Vehicle Management System, at the transport and mining ministry in Kingston. <br /> <br /> Henry said he is to schedule several visits to ITA facilities across the island in conjunction with the Transport Authority. <br /> <br /> Meanwhile, Henry lauded the ITA for the new Vehicle Management System which, he noted, has to be integrated into a broader transport plan. <br /> <br /> The system is designed to technologically capture all motor vehicle fitness and driver&rsquo;s licence information that is currently done manually at examination depots islandwide. <br /> <br /> It will eliminate the need for paper as well as the duplication of fitness records, eliminate and reduce bogus fitness certificates, promote more compliant vehicles on the roads, increase cost savings and reduce transposition errors. <br /> <br /> The pilot became fully operational on Thursday at the Swallowfield Island Traffic Authority and will be rolled out on a phased basis at other locations. <br /> <br /> The new system will also promote an integration of systems with the Jamaica Customs Agency, Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) and the Island Traffic Authority. <br /> <br /> Information technology consultant at TAJ George Wright said this system signals a new chapter in the motor vehicle registration process.<br /> <br /> Wright argued that the system will go a far way in strengthening the motor vehicle registration process and improving the integrity of the database. <br /> <br /> He said the TAJ is on a drive to make more of its services paperless and has had some measure of success in that regard, particularly with the implementation of the Revenue Administration Information System.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The phased roll-out of this electronic fitness certificate is another step in our joint effort to remove our reliance on paper,&rdquo; he said. <br /> <br /> Wright also noted that steps are being taken to digitise motor vehicle records using the recently acquired Enterprise Content Management System. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13564733/MHS_p10_w300.jpg Local News Saturday, January 14, 2017 12:00 AM Health concerns force closure of cells at Freeport Police Station http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/westernnews/Health-concerns-force-closure-of-cells-at-Freeport-Police-Station-_86288 Head of the Area One Police, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Warren Clarke has given an assurance that the temporary closure of some of the cells at the Freeport Police Station in Montego Bay will not negatively impact the punctual arrival of prisoners at the St James Circuit Court over the next four weeks. <br /> <br /> In fact, he expressed confidence that the cells will be reopened in a couple of days to accommodate prisoners who have been temporarily relocated to the Barnett Street Police Station lock-up, and elsewhere, while the St James Health Authority moves to address health concerns raised at the facility. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t think it (Circuit court) will be negatively impacted,&rdquo; ACP Clarke declared. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Following the intervention of the experts from the St James Health Authority, we will know how long the cells will be out. But I do not foresee it being out for more than a couple days&rdquo;. <br /> <br /> Commander of the St James Police Division, Senior Superintendent (SSP) Marlon Nesbeth, expressed similar sentiments. <br /> <br /> _ &ldquo;It [cell] will be closed temporarily, not for a sustained period,&rdquo; SSP Nesbeth said on Monday. <br /> <br /> The concerns were raised after reports surfaced that several of the cells at the Freeport lock-up were infested with insects. There were also reports of suspected cases of scabies. <br /> <br /> When contacted, chief public health inspector at the St James Public Health Authority, Lennox Wallace, confirmed that the some of the cells were infested with insects, but stressed that his department is awaiting the results of samples to determine if there is an outbreak of scabies at the lock-up. <br /> <br /> He added that the procedure to be administered at the facility should be completed in a couple of days. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Even though there is a health concern, we understand the national implications in finding appropriate places for the prisoners. So it will be done in short order. We are in contact with the Freeport police, we have cooperated fully and we will carry out our measures in short order, possibly before the weekend,&rdquo; Wallace explained. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;There is a public health problem there and we will have to use the method that we see fit to solve the problem. We have all the material in place. It will involve the moving of the persons in custody to appropriate cells, and then we will carry out our treatment.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> Those guarantees should be welcomed by Justice Bertram Morrison and Claudette Thompson of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, who both aired concerns at Monday&rsquo;s opening of the St James Circuit Court over whether relocated prisoners would reach the courtroom on time for trial. <br /> <br /> They both noted that the list, which contains 124 cases, is already a formidable one. <br /> <br /> The list is dominated by 45 matters concerning breaches of the Law Reform (Fraudulent Transactions) (Special Provisions) Act, otherwise called the &lsquo;Lotto Scam Act&rsquo;, as well as 34 cases of murder. <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13565141/252164_78796_repro_w300.jpg Observer West Thursday, January 12, 2017 12:00 AM Mount Peace double murder http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/westernnews/Mount-Peace-double-murder-_86283 The peace and tranquility of this Hanover farming community were shattered after unknown gun-toting assassins snuffed out the lives of two well-loved community members Saturday night. <br /> <br /> The dead men have been identified as 63-year-old shopkeeper, Vernon Hall, also called &lsquo;Chinno Man&rsquo; and 55- year-old cabinetmaker Patrick Robinson, both of Mount Peace in the parish. <br /> <br /> The Hanover police were summoned to the rustic community at about 8:30 pm Saturday after a barrage of gunshots disturbed the quiet of the night. <br /> <br /> Upon the arrival of the police, the blood-soaked, bullet-riddled bodies of the two members of the closely-knit community were discovered a short distance apart. <br /> <br /> Both men were believed to have been sitting on a bamboo bench, close to Hall&rsquo;s shop, when the armed hoodlums pounced. <br /> <br /> When the Jamaica Observer West visited the community earlier this week, the team was told that Hall&rsquo;s daughter, Chantoy Hall, who heard the gunfire while at home, received the shocking news via telephone that her father was one of victims of the explosions she earlier heard. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I couldn&rsquo;t believe,&rdquo; recounted a distraught Chantoy, who last spoke to her father after she left church Saturday afternoon. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;He was well-loved. Hardworking.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> Hall&rsquo;s brother, Dennis, who said that the tragic incident has left him &ldquo;stressed out,&rdquo; told Observer West team he had a premonition of his brother&rsquo;s death. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I did feel it. The night before I woke up with a terrible headache, but I never knew where it [was] coming from,&rdquo; the depressed brother reflected. <br /> <br /> According to one Mount Pace resident, had Hall, who was a Rastafarian, accompany fellow members of the faith to a function in Clarendon, his life might have been spared. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Two brethren came for him to_ travel to Nyabinghi drumming in Clarendon, but he told them he was unable to make it as he was going to participate in a domino tournament in the community the following day,&rdquo; the Observer West was told. <br /> <br /> The elder shopkeeper was well respected by Mount Peace residents, the Observer West was told <br /> <br /> &ldquo;If he even leave his business establishment open and gone nobody don&rsquo;t rob him because him a good man, &ldquo; a grieving man said. <br /> <br /> Residents also had fond memories of Robinson, who in recent years returned to live in the community, after leaving for a while. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;The whole community is just heartbroken to know that the two men were good men and they just gone like that.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> One proud community member stressed that Mount Peace has always been a peaceful district and is home to a variety of professionals. Football, she said, is the major sporting activity there. <br /> <br /> Like most of the other residents, she added that while she was satisfied with utility services in the community, she was however, disenchanted over the pot hole-riddled roads, which traverse the district. <br /> <br /> In fact, one of the residents claim that the poor road conditions may have contributed to the killers&rsquo; escape as the bad road surface may have slowed the police&rsquo;s progress into the community after the shootings. <br /> <br /> One of the residents theorise that the killers walked up to the men and shot them before making their escape from the murder scene on a motorcycle. <br /> <br /> Investigators said that at least two men were involved in the shooting as evidence of two different types of spent shells were observed at the scene. <br /> <br /> Up to yesterday, the killers remained at large, while the community in the meantime continues to mourn the loss of two of their respected residents. <br /> <br /> Since the start of the year, the parish of Hanover has recorded six murders. There were more than 51 homicides recorded in that parish last year. <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13565071/252163_78795_repro_w300.jpg Observer West Thursday, January 12, 2017 12:00 AM Hanover Visionaries turns to bamboo for crime reduction http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/westernnews/Hanover-Visionaries-turns-to-bamboo-for-crime-reduction-_86274 Public relations officer for the community based-Hanover Visionaries, Moncrieffe Leslie, says his organisation is hoping to reduce crime in the parish by providing work for idle hands through the production of items made from bamboo.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Hanover is suffering from a serious crime level and therefore we are taking it from a different level to see how we can get some of the people from the local community engaged, to reduce some of the idle hands,&rdquo; said Leslie, a former mayor of Lucea. <br /> <br /> Based in eastern Hanover, the group was formed in an effort to promote economic development throughout communities in the parish. <br /> <br /> Hanover Visionaries is made up of Community Development Committee (CDC) members, who will be operating and managing the Woodsville Bamboo Production and Skills Training Centre. <br /> <br /> The group plans to manufacture products such as bamboo charcoal and tar, as well as vinegar made from mangoes. <br /> <br /> According to the group, permission has already been granted by the Ministry of Education to use the buildings at the former Hillsbrook Primary School, which was closed more than a year ago, as factory space and a community centre. <br /> <br /> Last Thursday, representatives from the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) told a stakeholders&rsquo; meeting at the Merlene Ottey High School, located in the neighbouring Pondside community, that the corporation is willing to assist Hanover Visionaries with a business plan and the marketing of the products. <br /> <br /> JBDC business development officer for Trelawny and St James, Simone Harrison, described the project as &ldquo;an interesting one that has the potential to be successful&rdquo;. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;JBDC will be assisting the group with the business plan, proposal and preparation, if needed. And also, as I had shown them [at the stakeholders&rsquo; meeting] that the organisation also has a marketing arm [Things Jamaican] that would be also interested in products that they are planning to bring on board,&rdquo; Harrison explained. <br /> <br /> The stakeholders meeting was held following a tour of the area by various agencies, including the police led by Sergeant Edmond Cowan, a community, safety and security officer. <br /> <br /> The Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) tourism specialist, Beverly Stewart, has also expressed confidence in the project. <br /> <br /> However, during a visit to the parish last week, it was disclosed that JSIF was unable to fund the project at this time. <br /> <br /> JSIF said the community group&rsquo;s application was made at a time when the JSIF Rural Economic Development Initiative funding programme was coming to an end. <br /> <br /> However, Stewart said the group&rsquo;s request have been placed on hold until funds are identified. <br /> <br /> Leslie, however, is undaunted, and optimistic that preparation work for the project will get off the ground this week. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;We are going to start in a very small way by producing bamboo charcoal and some other agricultural products and you will see those on the market very soon,&rdquo; he said confidently. <br /> <br /> President of Hanover Visionaries Dewayne Thomas told the Jamaica Observer West that the group has also approached the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) for assistance. <br /> <br /> Member of Parliament for Hanover Eastern Dave Brown, who said he has heard about the project, told the Observer West that he is willing to examine how best he can get assistance for the group, once he receives something formal in writing. <br /> <br /> The Woodsville community in Hanover is located near the Westmoreland border, roughly two miles from the popular Mayfield Falls in Westmoreland. <br /> <br /> Leslie said his group was working closely with the operators of Mayfield Falls to bring in an eco-tourism aspect to the project. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;In the end I can assure you that this section of Hanover Eastern will start to benefit greatly, both economically, educationally and skills-wise,&rdquo; said an upbeat Leslie. <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13564800/252150_78787_repro_w300.jpg Observer West Thursday, January 12, 2017 12:00 AM