Emergency meeting called to address safety concerns at CASE
An emergency meeting has been set for next week Tuesday as the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE) moves quickly to arrest growing incidence of violence at the school.
In the latest incident, fire on a dorm on Wednesday resulted in the hospitalisation of three students, while another was treated and released.
One of the hospitalised students is 18-year-old André Angus, who was stabbed in a November incident.
Earlier this year, a student, Romario Bacchus, was charged with four counts of attempted murder and arson, after he allegedly set fire to two rooms on the male dormitory at the institution on March 20.
CASE Chairman Ambassador Derrick Heaven says there are now significant concerns about the security of staff and students, given all that has transpired.
He says next week's meeting with the administration will be part of attempts to assess the situation and develop measures to immediately suppress further violent outbreaks.
During investigations on Wednesday, firefighters recovered bottles containing gasolene, which are believed to have been used to douse the room shortly before it was set ablaze.
Customs records second major cocaine find in days
The Jamaica Customs Agency is reporting the seizure of cocaine worth US$1.2 million in a container ship at the Kingston Container Terminal.
This is the second major seizure within the last four days.
Yesterday's seizure yielded 71 packages in three large plastic bags weighing 193.4 pounds.
The operation was conducted by Jamaica Customs, the Jamaica Defence Force Coast Guard, the Marine Police, and the Trans-National Crime and Narcotics Division.
On Monday, cocaine valued at approximately US$4 million was discovered at the Kingston Container Terminal.
No arrests have been made in connection with either seizure.
May Pen businessman shot in jewellery shop
A man who pushed his son out of the way and stood before gunmen who had invaded his business establishment in the May Pen bus park yesterday was shot by the men.
He is identified only as 'Barry G' and is reported to have received two gunshot wounds to his upper body.
It is alleged that two men entered the jewellery shop owned and operated by the man and said, "Nobody move, nobody get hurt."
The police said he shoved his son aside and stood in front of the men and was shot twice. He was rushed to the May Pen Hospital.
Up to press time, his condition remained unknown.
The police have since increased their presence in the park.
Reid wants more guidance counsellors in schools
Senator Ruel Reid is calling on the Government to take a closer look at the placement of guidance counsellors in schools.
He said the public is being duped into believing that there is a robust and effective guidance-counselling system in schools because most guidance counsellors are really guidance teachers.
"They are guidance teachers. They are actually given teaching assign-ments, and there is hardly any time left to deal with counselling," he said.
He said this was a major problem as schools were being asked to operate in a highly dysfunctional society with 70 per cent of students unable to ascertain desired educational outcomes.
Reid noted that by international standards, schools should be operating with one guidance counsellor to 250 students. However, he said considering Jamaica's problems, the counsellor-student ratio may have to be lower.
Reid was speaking at the launch of the Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment programme in St Andrew on Wednesday.