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News in brief

Published:Tuesday | October 15, 2013 | 12:00 AM
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Backward move not to pick me, says Holness

Jamaica Labour Party leader Andrew Holness has suggested that delegates would be taking a backward step if they do not return him to that position in November.

Holness was speaking during a delegates rally in Old Harbour, St Catherine, Sunday night as he sought to drum up support for his campaign.

He argued that better has not come for Jamaica over the years because of the style of politics which is being practised.

Holness told delegates that the current leadership contest was not simply about whether delegates want him or his challenger, Audley Shaw, to lead.

According to him, it is a decision about whether they will embrace a new type of politics to take the country forward.

Holness said Jamaica now needs a politics of substance instead of gimmicks.

And he has asked delegates to return him as leader, saying he would practise a politics of truth and honesty.

JTA wants dismissed teachers back at Fair Prospect

The Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA) is appealing the September dismissal of two teachers from Fair Prospect High School in Portland.

The school's board dismissed the teachers on September 18 after they were reportedly involved in a fight on the compound of the institution.

JTA President Dr Mark Nicely said the appeal was filed on the grounds that the board breached procedure in penalising the teachers.

He said the JTA held discussions with the education ministry at a regional meeting, prompting the ministry to meet with the school last Friday.

Nicely argued that if the board sticks to its position, the matter would still have to be heard by the Teachers' Appeal Tribunal in the education ministry.

Kern case should end before January - judge

"I don't want to start January with this case."

That was the declaration from Senior Resident Magistrate Judith Pusey yesterday as the corruption trial of former junior energy minister Kern Spencer was again pushed back.

The nearly five-year-old trial adjourned early on September 13, and since then has failed to restart four times in the last two weeks.

Yesterday's adjournment was to facilitate Spencer's attorney, Deborah Martin, who is involved in another case in the Supreme Court.

Spencer and his former personal assistant Colleen Wright are on trial for money laundering and illicit enrichment arising from the implementation of the Cuban light bulb programme.

The case is set to resume on Tuesday.

Lincoln Thaxter installed as Portland custos

Lincoln Thaxter was last Thursday installed as the new custos of Portland.

Thaxter, who was born in Grants Level in the Rio Grande Valley, was presented with the grand commission and the magistrates' roll by Governor General Sir Patrick Allen.

"This is a local son of Portland. He is receiving this local and international recognition for his outstanding work and contribution. Lincoln has a passion for serving, and his success is a testimony of his commitment to education and discipline," said Allen.

Thaxter replaced Roy Thompson, who retired recently due to ill health.

Museums open for heroes' weekend

Minister of Youth and Culture Lisa Hanna has announced the opening of four museums over the heroes' weekend.

The museums, which will allow for free entry to members of the public are: Norman Manley Museum in Roxbourough, Manchester, the Museum of Seville in Heritage Park, St Ann, The National Museum at the Institute of Jamaica in Kingston and Fort Charles, Port Royal.

"This is in keeping with the efforts to move towards cultural transformation that I started in the ministry with an idea to use the knowledge of history to reach out to the young people," Hanna told the congregation during the launch of the National Heritage Week Church service, held on Sunday at the Power of Faith Deliverance Centre in May Pen, Clarendon.

Henry happy with calls for reparations

Member of Parliament (MP) for Central Clarendon Mike Henry has renewed his calls for reparations for slavery.

The MP, in his greetings at the launch of the National Heritage Week Church Service, said he has acknowledged the recent growing calls and the welcomed interest from the Caribbean for reparations for slavery. "It is most gratifying to those like the Rastafari, and myself, and others who have long echoed this call."

Annotto Bay Hospital, St Mary held a re-dedication ceremony last Friday to celebrate the completion of renovation work conducted at the facility following the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012.

Around J$90 million has been spent refurbishing the institution over the last 12 months, including $50 million from the National Health Fund, $20 million from the CHASE Fund, and around $11 million from the government of Japan.

Arlene Mighty, the hospital's CEO, said the purpose of the ceremony was to publicly thank and acknowledge the hard work of all those who had supported the facility during the last year.

Issa Trust Foundation on Friday ended a weeklong paediatric chronic kidney disease workshop and outreach programme, as the foundation continued its medical mission in Jamaica.

The kidney disease workshop, held in collaboration with Jamaica Kidney Kids Foundation, International Paediatric Nephrology Association (IPNA) and Couples Resorts, followed a week of health care delivery that impacted hundreds of persons in several St Mary communities including Oracabessa, Islington, Retreat and Couples Resorts.

Diane Pollard, president and CEO of Issa Trust Foundation, said the medical team this year included eye care on its roster for the first time, with help coming from the Michigan LionÕs Club.