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 JLP names female teacher as candidate for St Catherine North Central http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/JLP-names-female-teacher-as-candidate-for-St-Catherine-North-Central_51130 Kerensia Morrison, a teacher and the assistant general secretary of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Area Council Two, has been named as the Jamaica Labour Party’s (JLP) candidate for the St Catherine North Central constituency. Elections Mon, 08 Feb 2016 00:00:00 GMT Ombudsman to probe claim of political intimidation in St Thomas http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Tense-stand-off_51131 THE Office of the Political Ombudsman is to open a probe into allegations that Delano Seiveright, the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) candidate for the St Thomas Eastern constituency, was threatened by armed men during a reported stand-off on the weekend between JLP and People’s National Party (PNP) supporters. Elections Mon, 08 Feb 2016 00:00:00 GMT Jamaica’s crime stats among highest worldwide, despite reduction http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Jamaica---s-crime-stats-among-highest-worldwide--despite-reduction-_1107 ALTHOUGH all the categories of serious and violent crimes have been on a decline locally, Jamaica still records some of the highest crime stats worldwide. Local News Mon, 08 Feb 2016 00:00:00 GMT Fire ravages 5 houses in downtown Kingston, 100 homeless http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Fire-ravages-5-houses-in-downtown-Kingston--100-homeless_51121 Fire of unknown origin early Sunday morning destroyed five houses on Barry Street between Rum Lane and Wildman Street in downtown Kingston. Local News Mon, 08 Feb 2016 00:00:00 GMT Cop arrested for shooting Clarendon teacher http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Cop-arrested-for-shooting-Clarendon-teacher_51126 The Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) Saturday evening arrested a police officer on suspicion of shooting with intent. Local News Mon, 08 Feb 2016 00:00:00 GMT Flat Bridge bypass opened, free for a month http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Flat-Bridge-bypass-opened--free-for-a-month_51120 SPANISH Town, St Catherine — The Angels to Linstead section of the north-south leg of Highway 2000 will be opened to the public today and will be free of cost for a month. The opening provided what has been described as a “real alternative” to the Bog Walk Gorge and the close to 300-year-old Flat Bridge, which has seen its fair share of accidents, some fatal throughout the centuries. Last Thursday saw the symbolic opening of the roadway by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, a handful of her ministers, and officials from the China Harbour Engineering Company which is building the north-south leg of the highway. Here are some scenes from the ceremony. Local News Mon, 08 Feb 2016 00:00:00 GMT Garrisons not a problem for PNP http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Garrisons-not-a-problem-for-PNP_50703 DON’T expect the ruling People’s National Party (PNP) to join in a fight against garrison politics if the definition of garrison politics is a set of people consistently voting a particular way. Elections Mon, 08 Feb 2016 00:00:00 GMT Cop, ex-cop on drug charge get $5-m bail http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Cop--ex-cop-on-drug-charge-get--5-m-bail_50696 Twenty-nine-year-old Constable Valdano Smith and 56-year-old retired Corporal Anthony Robinson, both of Spanish Town addresses, pleaded not guilty before being offered bail in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday. Local News Mon, 08 Feb 2016 00:00:00 GMT Contractor general denies delaying investigations until after election http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Contractor-general-denies-delaying-investigations-until-after-election_50804 CONTRACTOR General Dirk Harrison, has rejected as false, allegations that influential members of the governing People’s National Party (PNP) have instructed him to hold off on investigations into the controversial awarding of contracts in St Ann South Eastern until after the February 25 General Elections. Local News Mon, 08 Feb 2016 00:00:00 GMT Observer among winners at an evening of excellence http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Observer-among-winners-at-an-evening-of-excellence_51054 MANDEVILLE, Manchester – Twelve companies, including the Jamaica Observer, walked away winners at the Manchester Chamber of Commerce’s annual awards banquet recently. Central News Mon, 08 Feb 2016 00:00:00 GMT Ash Wednesday race meet still in doubt http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/CTL-WORKERS KINGSTON, Jamaica - The holiday race meet scheduled for this Wednesday (Ash Wednesday) remains in serious doubt as no agreement was reached at a meeting earlier today involving the workers and the management of Caymanas Track Limited (CTL). The CTL workers took strike action on Friday resulting in the non-staging of a 10-race programme on Saturday last. Local News Mon, 08 Feb 2016 17:44:10 GMT Gospel semis for Ash Wednesday http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Gospel-semis-for-Ash-Wednesday KINGSTON, Jamaica — The semi-final round of the Jamaica Gospel Song Competition, organised by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), is set for Ash Wednesday, February 10. Local News Mon, 08 Feb 2016 17:36:45 GMT Forex: J$121.44 to one US dollar http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Forex--J-121-44-to-one-US-dollar KINGSTON, Jamaica – The US dollar on Monday, February 8, 2016, ended trading at J$121.44 down by five cents according to the Bank of Jamaica’s daily foreign exchange trading summary. Local News Mon, 08 Feb 2016 17:34:16 GMT Jamalco, Cablepro book quarter-final spots in Sunshine Open League http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Jamalco--Cablepro-book-quarter-final-spots-in-Sunshine-Open-League KINGSTON, Jamaica — Many-time champions Jamalco and Cablepro have booked their spots in the quarter-finals of Netball Jamaica/Jamaica National Building Society Sunshine Open League after recording victories in the final preliminary round matches at the Leila Robinson Netball Court on Sunday. Local News Mon, 08 Feb 2016 17:22:11 GMT Bennett praises McCarthy's batting consistency http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Bennett-praises-McCarthy-s-batting-consistency KINGSTON, Jamaica — Junior Bennett, the Jamaica Scorpions head coach, is praising batsman Andre McCarthy for his displays so far in the regional cricket season. Local News Mon, 08 Feb 2016 17:13:25 GMT Schools remain open nomination day, but will close on election day http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Schools-remain-open-nomination-day--but-will-close-on-election-day KINGSTON, Jamaica – Chief Education Officer Grace McLean today advised that all schools should be held on nomination day, which is scheduled for tomorrow. Local News Mon, 08 Feb 2016 17:11:07 GMT Traffic being diverted after crash on Spanish Town Road http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Traffic-being-diverted-after-crash-on-Spanish-Town-Road KINGSTON, Jamaica — Police officers have cordoned off an area of Spanish Town Road in St Andrew and are diverting traffic following a motor vehicle crash this afternoon. Local News Mon, 08 Feb 2016 16:24:03 GMT ZikV confirmed in three pregnant Barbadian women http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/ZikV-confirmed-in-three-pregnant-Barbadian-women BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) – Barbados health authorities Monday confirmed that the mosquito-borne Zika virus had been detected in three pregnant women, bringing the number of people affected by the disease to seven. Local News Mon, 08 Feb 2016 16:18:17 GMT Scorpions depart for PCL clash with Hurricanes http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Scorpions-depart-for-PCL-clash-with-Hurricanes KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Jamaica Scorpions team is set to depart the island this afternoon for this Friday's Professional Cricket League (PCL) four-day game against Leeward Islands Hurricanes in Antigua. Local News Mon, 08 Feb 2016 15:32:26 GMT Motorcyclist collides with motor truck, dies — Police http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Motorcyclist-collides-with-motor-truck--dies---Police ST CATHERINE, Jamaica – A 42-year-old man died as a result of injuries he received in a motor vehicle collision along I-95 main road, Caymanas, St Catherine, this morning. Local News Mon, 08 Feb 2016 14:38:11 GMT 'Meteorite' kills man in south India, authorities say http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/-Meteorite--kills-man-in-south-India--authorities-say CHENNAI, India (AFP) — Indian authorities say a falling object that killed a bus driver and injured three others was a meteorite. If proven, it would be the first such death in recorded history. Local News Mon, 08 Feb 2016 13:47:03 GMT Wearing of masks at political meetings concern police http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Wearing-of-masks-at-political-meetings-concern-police KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) says it is concerned about cases of individuals concealing their identities by wearing masks on motorcades and at political and public meetings.  Local News Mon, 08 Feb 2016 12:33:56 GMT No evidence of political motive in JLP rally shooting – Police Chief http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/No-evidence-of-political-motive-in-JLP-rally-shooting---Police-Chief KINGSTON, Jamaica – Commissioner of Police Dr Carl Williams says there is no evidence of political motivation in last night’s shooting incident at a Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) mass rally at the Sam Sharpe Square in Montego Bay, St James. Local News Mon, 08 Feb 2016 11:45:04 GMT Martelly leaves office with Haiti in crisis http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Martelly-leaves-office-with-Haiti-in-crisis PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AFP) — Michel Martelly ended his presidential term Sunday without handing power to a successor, in an electoral crisis highlighting Haiti's long struggle to keep democracy on track in the 30 years since the Duvalier dictatorship ended. Local News Mon, 08 Feb 2016 11:40:09 GMT Noranda files for bankruptcy protection, plans to restructure http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Noranda-files-for-bankruptcy-protection--plans-to-restructure KINGSTON, Jamaica -- Noranda Aluminum Holding Corporation (NAHC) announced today through NASDAQ that the company and all of its wholly-owned direct and indirect subsidiaries have filed voluntary petitions for a court-supervised restructuring process under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. Local News Mon, 08 Feb 2016 11:35:55 GMT