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 Office of Public Defender reduces 796-case backlog since April http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Office-of-Public-Defender-reduces-796-case-backlog-since-April KINGSTON, Jamaica -- Acting Director of the Office of the Public Defender Matondo Mukulu says a backlog of 796 cases inherited when he took office in April has been reduced to 566. Local News Mon, 01 Sep 2014 12:08:20 GMT Vaz beats Rowe http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Vaz-beats-Rowe JAMAICAN-BORN Florida attorney David Rowe has been found by a Florida court to have destroyed evidence on a computer at the centre of his libel case against Daryl Vaz, the former information minister, and Rainforest Seafoods Limited. Local News Mon, 01 Sep 2014 02:18:21 GMT A safer gayle http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/A-safer-gayle THE St Mary Police have implemented measures to combat the recent spike in crimes in Gayle after a section of Tacky High was torched earlier this year and the school's watchman murdered in a separate incident. Local News Mon, 01 Sep 2014 02:54:07 GMT Smarter Card chaos http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Smarter-Card-chaos Senior citizens were yesterday left fuming over the long lines and lengthy delays they were forced to endure in collecting their Smarter Cards for the implementation of the Jamaica Urban Transit Company’s (JUTC's) electronic fare collection or cashless system. Local News Mon, 01 Sep 2014 02:18:27 GMT Help for St Thomas schools http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Help-for-St--Thomas-schools As of this month the Ministry of Education will seek to improve the performance of three high schools in St Thomas through the pooling of resources, under a school district arrangement model. Local News Mon, 01 Sep 2014 03:03:47 GMT Drought likely to continue into next year, Pickersgill http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Drought-likely-to-continue-into-next-year--Pickersgill Despite some showers in recent weeks, there is little chance that the drought currently ravishing the island will be broken before year-end, even with the October/November rainy season. Local News Mon, 01 Sep 2014 02:42:58 GMT All set for start of new school year http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/All-set-for-start-of-new-school-year Minister of Education Ronald Thwaites said all is set for today’s start of the new school year as adequate furniture and equipment are in place to allow for the smooth opening of the educational institutions. Local News Mon, 01 Sep 2014 02:34:03 GMT Barbados tourism sector now an export industry! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Barbados-tourism-sector-now-an-export-industry- Barbados is to legally declare its tourism sector an export industry, as part of two major developments which will radically transform the sector in that eastern Caribbean island. Local News Mon, 01 Sep 2014 01:57:33 GMT WELL DONE! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/WELL-DONE-2014-09-01T01-25-54 Staff at the Port Antonio Hospital pose for a photo op after being recognised for their diligent service to the rural health facility. (PHOTO: EVERARD OWEN) Local News Mon, 01 Sep 2014 03:24:44 GMT Parents praise police summer camp for at-risk youth http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Parents-praise-police-summer-camp-for-at-risk-youth2014-09-01T01-22-17 PARENTS who attended the closing ceremony for a two week camp hosted by the St Ann police had high praises for the organisers of the programme, which has resulted in major transformation in their children. Local News Mon, 01 Sep 2014 03:19:10 GMT Never forgotten http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Never-forgotten2014-09-01T01-17-17 Councillor for the Sturge Town Division in St Ann Marlon Garvey lays a wreath in remembrance of Marcus Garvey, during the celebration of the national hero’s birth in St Ann’s Bay on August 17. Looking on are Councillor for the Beecher Town Division Ian Bell (right) and Professor Oba T’Shaka, lecturer at the San Francisco State University. Local News Mon, 01 Sep 2014 03:16:14 GMT Who is this man? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Who-is-this-man- He sat with his hands clasped, gazing into the distance on Mandela Highway, oblivious of the speeding vehicles which left him covered in dust. Local News Mon, 01 Sep 2014 02:42:56 GMT New ministry policy coming for private schools http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/New-ministry-policy-coming-for-private-schools Chief Education Officer in the Ministry of Education Dr Grace McLean said the ministry needs to improve the monitoring of the private education sector and a new policy development is coming soon to address just that. Local News Mon, 01 Sep 2014 02:36:35 GMT PHOTO: When hunger calls http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/When-hunger-calls This sanitation worker seems oblivious to the danger facing him as he balances precariously on the back of this moving garbage truck, while enjoying a patty and drink meal in the Waltham Park area of Kingston, recently. (Photo: Kenyon Hemans) Local News Mon, 01 Sep 2014 02:30:59 GMT Northgate's parenting group hosts health fair http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Northgate-s-parenting-group-hosts-health-fair The Northgate Parenting Empowerment Place (N-PEP), a value-based parenting initiative spearheaded by the Northgate Youth and Family Development Foundation, recently hosted its first major back-to-school health fair at the Northgate Centre in White River, Ocho Rios,  for hundreds of St Ann residents. Local News Mon, 01 Sep 2014 02:09:02 GMT Promoter gives back to parish of birth http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Promoter-gives-back-to-parish-of-birth Promoter Dexton Ennis is passionate about bringing entertainment to the Jamaican people, but what many may not know is that the former “Follow the Arrow” promoter is just as committed to helping the less fortunate.  For years his birth parish, St Mary, has been reaping from his kindness with his latest act of goodwill being to the St Mary Infirmary in Port Maria. Local News Mon, 01 Sep 2014 02:11:57 GMT Buff Bay gets fire truck http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Buff-Bay-gets-fire-truck2014-09-01T00-10-35 The town of Buff Bay in Portland which has been without the use of a fire truck for months has finally received a unit just in time to deal with numerous fires caused by the dry spell affecting the island. Local News Mon, 01 Sep 2014 02:09:00 GMT St Ann seniors encourage young people to prepare for retirement http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/St-Ann-seniors-encourage-young-people-to-prepare-for-retirement The National Council For Senior Citizens, St Ann chapter recently hosted an information seminar as part of its efforts to encourage young people to prepare for retirement. Local News Mon, 01 Sep 2014 01:55:36 GMT Winners Circle http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Winners-Circle St Mary parish winner 2014 Denton Levers (left) Pauline Rainford, winner of the 'Grace Ketch Di Taste' Sauce Competition and Alicia Bogues (right) brand manager CB Chicken and Bad Dawg Sausages take time out to pose for the camera at the recent CB Pan Chicken Eastern Regional Eliminations. Local News Mon, 01 Sep 2014 01:48:19 GMT Redirect funds from secondary to tertiary education — UWI Guild http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Redirect-funds-from-secondary-to-tertiary-education---UWI-Guild REQUESTING that Government redirect funds from secondary education to bolster what is currently available for tertiary education is one of several alternatives the University of the West Indies, Mona Guild of Students is looking to put forward when it submits a proposal for financing tertiary education at the end of October. Local News Mon, 01 Sep 2014 01:06:52 GMT Chanderpaul sends warning with big hundred as Bangladesh, St Kitts/Nevis draw http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Chanderpaul-sends-warning-with-big-hundred-as-Bangladesh--St-Kitts-Nevis-draw BASSETERRE, (CMC) – Veteran left-hander Shiv Chanderpaul issued a stern warning to Bangladesh ahead of Saturday’s start of the first Test, when he hammered a top class hundred in the Tour Match here Monday. Local News Mon, 01 Sep 2014 20:11:53 GMT Mad rush at Transport Centre for Smarter Card http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Mad-rush-at-Transport-Centre-for-Smarter-Card KINGSTON, Jamaica — The police were called to maintain a presence at the Half-Way-Tree Transport Centre a short while ago after hundreds of people converged on the area. Local News Mon, 01 Sep 2014 19:43:33 GMT JUTC now accepting cash payments until Sunday http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/JUTC-now-accepting-cash-payments-until-Sunday KINGSTON, Jamaica—The Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) says it will accept cash payment for bus fares from all passengers including concession passengers until Sunday, September 7. Local News Mon, 01 Sep 2014 19:37:43 GMT VIDEO: Zimmerman acquitted because Trayvon Martin was black, says US attorney http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Zimmerman-acquitted-because-Trayvon-Martin-was-black--says-US-attorney KINGSTON, Jamaica — US attorney Jasmine Rand said that Trayvon Martin’s accused killer George Zimmerman was acquitted because the victim was black. Local News Mon, 01 Sep 2014 18:49:07 GMT Nurses go on strike in Ebola-hit Liberia http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Nurses-go-on-strike-in-Ebola-hit-Liberia MONROVIA, (AFP) - Nurses at Liberia's largest hospital went on strike on Monday, demanding better pay and equipment to protect them against a deadly Ebola epidemic which has killed hundreds in the West African nation. Local News Mon, 01 Sep 2014 17:54:18 GMT