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Published:Tuesday | July 22, 2014 | 12:00 AM


Kellier takes control of agriculture portfolio

Labour Minister Derrick Kellier is to assume ministerial responsibility for agriculture until the portfolio minister, Roger Clarke, recovers from illness.

Clarke, who is to undergo back surgery, is expected to be out of office for up to nine months.

Kellier's oversight duties for agriculture will begin in the House of Representatives today when he pilots a bill on the conch industry on behalf of Clarke.

With no junior minister in the agriculture ministry, well-placed sources say Kellier will be in charge of all agriculture-related matters in the House until Clarke returns.

Ian Hayles, the last junior minister in the agriculture ministry, was transferred to the Ministry of Land, Water, Housing, Environment and Climate Change, following a squabble with Clarke.

No junior minister has since been appointed at the ministry.

JTA awaits action from new election loser

Outgoing president of the Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA), Dr Mark Nicely, up to yesterday had not yet received any official document objecting to Friday's recount of the ballots cast in the association's presidential elections.

Nicely said the results would stand as they are until the JTA has been notified of any legal challenge to the results coming out of the recount.

Norman Allen, principal of Four Paths Primary and Junior in Clarendon, who was declared the winner on Friday, had demanded a recount following the initial results on July 1, which gave Georgia Waugh Richards, principal of Harmons Primary in Manchester, the edge.

Yesterday when The Gleaner spoke with Waugh Richards, she refused to say whether she had started legal proceedings to challenge the results.

She said the matter was now with her attorney and she would not be commenting.

Nicely noted that unless a court orders otherwise, Allen will be inducted as the 2014-2015 president-elect for the JTA at its annual conference on August 1 in Montego Bay, St James.