Communications on Juliet’s Lodge Story bySant Justin
The July 25th death of twenty year old Hanna Defoe, a guest at Juliette’s Lodge in Vieux-Fort attracted national and international attention.
The hotel has since been investigated by the Ministry of Infrastructure’s Electrical Services Department.
Permanent Secretary- Alison Jean says the investigation was mandatory and in accordance with the Electricity Act.
It was carried out by the Chief Electrical Inspector. Jean says the findings were enough to order the shutdown of the establishment’s electricity services.
Jean says although the laws of St. Lucia only allows the Ministry’s Electrical Department to conduct inspections at the request of an establishment, they have been put on alert following the incident.
Additionally – the certificates that follow electrical inspection all carry expiration dates.
The Ministry of Infrastructure has expressed deep regret over the incident, offering condolences to the Defoe family.
James makes history Story byCarmy Joseph
Grenadian Kirani James made Olympic history on Monday when he won Grenada and the OECS its first Olympic Gold medal.
For the country and the grouping, it is the first Olympic medal, period. The 19 year old phenom, nicknamed “The Jaguar” who is also the World Champion in the event led the way to an all Caribbean finish.
Coming in second was the Dominican Republic followed in third by Trinidad.
His time of 43.94 – wasn’t enough to beat American Michael Johnson’s record of 43:18 but it was his personal best time.
Teddy Francis who is covering the games for HTS/Radio 100 in the UK spoke to James ahead of his race.
Describing his technique as “run fast and turn left” – James spoke of his preparation for his first Olympic games.
James who hails from the Grenadian community of Gouyave already has a street in St Georges named after him.
On Saturday –another famous Gouyave son – soca artiste Mr Killa released “Kirani City” – a song that pays homage to the runner.
Saint Lucia also played a role in the video and song – it was produced by Untitled 51 – as well as co-produced, mixed and mastered by Courtney Louis of Dutch Productions.
James spoke to Francis about the necessity of support not only in his country but throughout the region.
James is currently attending college in the United States. His country, Grenada currently in the throes of its annual Carnival must be equally electrified by his Gold medal winning performance.
Jamaica on bolt and independence Story byLovely St.Aime Joseph
Jamaica celebrates its 50th Independence anniversary today Monday 6th August. The Caribbean nation has a lot to celebrate with its athletes taking home four out of the six available medals in the 100 metres men and women’s Olympic races.
President of the Jamaica/Saint Lucia Association, Natalie Augustin, says 50 years of Independence is a significant milestone for Jamaica and is made even sweeter by the outstanding performance of the Jamaican/Caribbean athletes.
Augustin says Caribbean athletes, in particular Jamaicans have put on stellar performances that are attracting worldwide attention to the entire Caribbean region.
She says it is now left up to the leaders of the region to invest adequately in sports to encourage a new crop of outstanding athletes.
Activities to celebrate Jamaica’s 50th independence anniversary will continue throughout the month of August.
Jamaica’s Prime Minister, Portia Simpson-Miller said “I am so proud and so happy and pleased at the victory of Usain and Young Blake, describing their success as “Just Marvelous.”
She also added “It’s a serious achievement, an excellent achievement, particularly coming on the heels of our independence celebrations.”
Bolt won his consecutive 100 Metres Olympic Final on Sunday in an Olympic record of 9:63; he was followed by fellow Jamaican Yohan Blake and American Justin Gatlin.
Lawyer arrested Story bySant Justin
Officers from the Major Crime Unit on Thursday 2nd August arrested 44 year old Camillus Wayne Harrow, a lawyer of Bridge Street Vieux Fort.
Harrow was being investigated for Fraudulent Breach of Trust and issuing a dishonest cheque on 27th June 2012.
He was charged this past Saturday 4th August and was taken to court the following Monday.
At that hearing - Harrow was granted bail on each charge, a combined one hundred thousand dollars cash or suitable surety. Harrow was bailed under the conditions he would report to the Vieux Fort Police Station every Wednesday, surrender all travel documents and would not apply for any documents without the permission of the court.
He will reappear before the court on Thursday 30th August, and remains in the custody of the police until bail conditions are met.
Meanwhile, police continue to crackdown on praedial larceny in the country. Maxim Vernile was arrested on Monday after he was caught with a stolen bag of limes.
Vernile has reportedly been sentenced to the Bordelais Correctional Facility three times before for the same offence.
Forestierre man shot Story byCarmy Joseph
27-year -old Manassa Saiwak of Forestiere was discovered lying in a pool of blood on the road off the Marisule bus stop on Saturday 4th August.
Officers attached to the Gros Islet Police Station responded to the shooting incident that left Saiwak lying in a pool of blood on the road off the Marisule bus stop.
At the time, his white motor pick up registration number PE 7744 was parked on the bus stop where he was shot.
According to Police, Saiwak appeared to have received several gunshot wounds about the body by an unknown individual.
He was transported to Victoria Hospital via ambulance where he was treated and admitted in a critical condition. Investigations into the matter are ongoing.
Police on Defoe investigation Story byLovely St.Aime Joseph
Assistant Police Commissioner in charge of Crime and Intelligence, Frances Henry, says authorities are actively investigating the death of Hannah Defoe; cousin to Tottenham Hotspur striker Jermaine Defoe.
A post mortem revealed electrocution as the primary cause of death, secondary to drowning.
While Jermaine Defoe has expressed concern over the handling of the investigation, ACP Henry reassures the police are conducting the investigation in a serious and professional manner. Frances says the case still remains a very active investigation.
The ACP says the police are not in a position to speak specifics on the case or the legal issues that surround it.
Further - a determination will be made by the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions on whether the matter will be treated as a clear cut criminal case or a civil matter.
She says right now there is cross collaboration between the police and government agencies.
Meanwhile Jermaine Defoe has asked for measures to be taken to ensure nothing like what happened to his cousin ever happens again.
Local authorities and government departments are attempting to do just that.
Tourism minister on Juliet’s Lodge Story byWinston Springer
Tourism Minister, Lorne Theophilus continues to express concern over the island’s image in the United Kingdom Press.
The concern follows a string of negative publicity in the UK media. The latest incident follows the death of 20 year old British national, Hannah Defoe who was electrocuted while in the pool at local hotel, Juliette’s Lodge.
Defoe along with other family members was visiting the island for a family wedding. The bad publicity follows equally unfavorable reports after the death of a British AIDS expert earlier this year.
Theophilus says all is being done to comfort the Defoe family during this difficult time. Meanwhile - the Chief Electrical Inspector, acting in accordance with Sections 12 and 15 of the Electricity Regulations has since disconnected the electricity connection to the property.
The unfortunate incident occurred On Wednesday 25th July 2011. In the interests of the safety of guests and the general public, the owner was also advised the building should not be energized through a stand by generator as this action would constitute a violation of the law.
UWP on wages Story byCarmy Joseph
In responding to the first Press Release issued by the main opposition UWP on this issue last week – Public Service Minister Dr James Fletcher admitted a meeting had been held a few weeks ago in which the Ministry of Finance briefed public sector unions and the Government Negotiating Team on the current fiscal position of government and how it would impact wage negotiations between the two bodies.
Dr Fletcher said since that meeting on July 19th, the government had not received a report from its negotiating team.
As a result, the Cabinet had not decided its position in relation to wage negotiations with the public sector unions.
Dr Fletcher also made it clear that while a number of scenarios were presented by the Ministry of Finance at that meeting – the Cabinet would be the one making the offer to these unions – not the Ministry.
This morning - the UWP responded to that statement from Dr Fletcher with a copy of the power point presentation that was made to the public sector unions and the government negotiation team at that July 19th meeting.
Page 14 of that document does indeed contain the 0-0-3% increase the party says government intends to give to public sector unions.
Headlined, “Salaries and Wage Scenarios 2010/2011 to 2012/2013” it also contains two additional possible increases government could offer these unions which include the CSA and Teachers Union as well as Police and Fire officers.
Along with the 0-0-3% already stated by the UWP there is also a proposed 1.0-2.0-3.0 and 4-4-8%; meaning the suggested increases are 3%, 6% or 16% over the same period.
The first 0-0-3% would cost the government $10 million dollars, the second 1.0-184.108.40.206 would cost $33.4 million dollars and the third 4-4-8 would cost $93.4 million dollars.
On Page 18 of the document, the Ministry of Finance does suggest public sector unions should forego an increase listing a number of reasons including using the criteria of economic growth and inflation they were overcompensated 2007/2008 to 2009/2010 and because “generous stimulus package announced in the budget that should assist civil servants.”
Again – that document was prepared by the Ministry of Finance and presented to public sector unions and the government negotiating team at a meeting on July 19th.
Bursary disbursement Story bySant Justin
The Ministry of Education has issued a public apology to the residents of District 5, who were supposed to receive one-off bursary cheques on Friday May 3rd.
Chief Education Officer- Marcus Edward says due to the half day issued on Friday by the Acting Prime Minister, staff at the Ministry was unable to disburse funds.
The Ministry began disbursing cheques on Thursday 2nd August in the Communities of Soufriere and Choiseul.
Edward says the Ministry intends to accommodate District 5 this coming Friday August 10th. Edward says the distribution will recommence on Tuesday August 7th at District 1.
Ministry officials expect to begin at 10AM at the Gros Islet Primary School followed by the Babonneau Primary at 1PM.
Edward says following an explanation of the program by the Ministry, it has received favourable public response.
Meanwhile - the annual book bursary program has started and is ongoing at the RC Boys Primary School.
The one-off bursary was a campaign promised made by the St. Lucia Labor Party in its Blueprint for Growth.
New crash fire hall Story byAndrew Mondesir
The Crash/Fire Hall project, located at the Hewanorra International Airport, is now complete. Recently - a hand-over ceremony attended by the Minister responsible for National Security, Senator Phillip La Corbinere was held for the project which began in August 2011.
The Crash/Fire Hall project aligns the local air and sea ports authority with international security standards.
The Crash/Fire Hall has been inexistence since 1989 and was constructed as part of the Caribbean Airport Project, funded by the Government of Canada.
At that time, the Fire Service was male-dominated; a factor that has changed over time with the employment of more women.
Chief Fire Officer, Leslie Fontenelle, underscored the importance of having proper facilities for all employees of the service in conducting their duties in a professional manner.
Both the General Manager of SLASPA and the Minister of National Security underscored the need for inter-agency collaboration in further developing the island’s safety capacity.
The Crash/Fire Hall was formally declared open July 26th, 2012.
Communications on juliet’s lodge
James makes history
Jamaica on bolt and independence
Forestierre man shot
Police on Defoe investigation
Tourism minister on juliet’s lodge
UWP on wages
New crash fire hall
Subventions from government are paid to all aspects of Saint Lucia Carnival. That means taxpayers subsidize everything from bands, to shows and community events. The cash injection is in addition to the bulk funding provided by government to the entity that manages the festival – for the past two years that has been the Stakeholder Committee and before them it was the CDF. Three Carnival bands including the reigning Band of the Year have dropped out of competition due in part to funding constraints. Other associations like the National Carnival Queen Committee and tent leaders have lamented dwindling sponsorship dollars and the need for government funding.
But is it fair to expect Saint Lucians to pay for a product they ultimately have to purchase in the way of costumes, tent shows and events?
Is it realistic for Carnival stakeholders to expect government to subsidize their contribution to the festival?