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Published:Friday | October 3, 2014 | 10:00 AM

Man is shot outside St James PC

A man said to be a prominent figure in the volatile Canterbury community in Montego Bay, St James, was shot in a brazen gun attack just outside the St James Parish Council building shortly after 1:30 p.m. yesterday.

The man, who had reportedly gone to the parish council to speak with an employee, was leaving the building when he was reportedly confronted and shot by a gunman.

The incident created instant chaos as several persons, including council officials, fled, some leaving their shoes and slippers behind.

The victim, who was shot in his shoulder and suffered a gash to his head as he fell to the ground, was rushed to the Cornwall Regional Hospital by a passing motorist.

"We are living in perilous times, indeed," said Montego Bay's deputy mayor, Michael Troupe.

"A shooting almost on the steps of the parish council in broad daylight is something to be worried about."

The police, who were early on the scene, have launched an investigation into the incident.

Agriculture ministry says country prepared for pig disease

The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries says Jamaica is prepared for an outbreak of porcine epidemic diarrhoea which affects pigs.

The disease, which has already been detected in North America, has not yet surfaced in Jamaica. However, according to the ministry, the situation is not being taken lightly and, in collaboration with industry stakeholders, it has been working with pig farmers islandwide to protect the local industry.

The chief veterinary officer of the Veterinary Services Division of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Dr Osbil Watson, is urging farmers to improve their sanitation and hygiene practices and prevent the entry of visitors on their farms.

Porcine epidemic diarrhoea is a viral disease of swine caused by the corona virus and is characterised by diarrhoea and emaciation, which can result in death.

The ministry says the disease is highly contagious in pigs. However, it is not a human health- or food-safety concern.

Eight business operators jailed for electricity theft

Eight business operators have been arrested for allegedly stealing electricity from the Jamaica Public Service (JPS).

JPS said its partnership with Crime Stop Jamaica, which started in July of this year, has resulted in the arrests. The initiative forms part of an intensified effort to reduce electricity theft by businesses, in particular.

"In August, reports of electricity theft, through Crime Stop, led to two business operators in Clarendon being arrested for trespassing on the works of the JPS and for the illegal abstraction of electricity. Both pleaded guilty in the May Pen Resident Magistrate's Court and were fined $50,000 and $60,000, respectively.

"Since September, six more business operators have been arrested, due to information given to Crime Stop. All contributors to the arrests enjoy the cover of complete anonymity," JPS said in a release.

The JPS-Crime Stop initiative targets electricity theft carried out in businesses, not residences, and persons wishing to report suspected incidents of electricity theft in commercial entities may call Crime Stop at 311.

Concerned persons may also call the JPS Customer Care Centre at 1-888-CALLJPS or 1-888-225-557 (Lime) or 1-888-935-5577 (Digicel).