Across the Nation
Two weeks after a monster quake wrecked swathes of the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, and surrounding areas, the St Catherine Parish Council launched an earthquake emergency drill of its own to sensitise municipal officials.
Screaming workers ran from the council building at Emancipation Square in Spanish Town under the watchful eyes of emergency personnel.
Representatives from the Fire Prevention Department, Health Department, and the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) participated in the exercise.
"We are here to enhance the awareness of the workers about earthquakes and how best to evacuate a building in case the need arises," James Lee, assistant superintendent of fire prevention for St Catherine, told The Gleaner.
His views were echoed by Charmaine Gentles, marketing manager of the ODPEM.
"The personnel have to be aware of the possible effects disaster preparedness can have on the lives of individuals, so to be aware cannot be overemphasised," Gentles told The Gleaner.
Personnel from the nearby fire station were also on hand to carry out operations.
Parish council officials said they would like to increase disaster drills from once yearly to biannually.
"The drill is very good for the staff to know about disasters. Look what happened to Haiti?" asked Camille Bethune, a coordinator at the St Catherine Parish Council.
After years of delay, work is finally set to begin on the Greenfield feeder road in Treasure Beach, southwestern St Elizabeth
The Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) is to spend $26 million to rehabilitate the 3.25km of roadway from the Wlliamsfield main road to the entrance of the thoroughfare leading to the Fort Charles Beach.
The project will also improve the drains in the area, the clearing of bushes from the roadway, and the repair of a retaining wall.
Ground was broken for the project last Friday, with work set to be completed in four months.
JSIF was established in 1996 as a component of the Government's poverty-alleviation strategy.
The fund is designed primarily to channel resources to small-scale community-based projects.
Its operations were initially funded by a loan negotiated between the Government and the World Bank.
Though the fund was initially established as a temporary organisation with an initial lifespan of four years, it has been in operation for more than 10 years and has agreements that will continue until 2013.
A gunman who, last Friday, pleaded guilty to illegal possession of firearm after he was caught entering the Caymanas Park racetrack through a hole in its perimeter wall has piqued the interest of police personnel in the St Catherine South Police Division.
The gunman, a juvenile, who is said to be from a downtown Kingston community, was held by security personnel.
The juvenile was nabbed on January 5 with a Bryco 380 pistol and four rounds of ammunition.
The youngster, who was represented by attorney-at-law Michael Bean, appeared before Resident Magistrate Judith Pusey and is set to return for sentencing in the Corporate Area Gun Court on February 5.
After the killing of trainer Donovan Bruce at the racetrack last November, security was beefed up in the Caymanas Park stable area. Police intelligence indicated other trainers were being targeted after a deal went sour.
The juvenile's hometown has reportedly strengthened the police's suspicion of hitmen being involved in Bruce's killing.
A racehorse trainer has reportedly been under police protection, The Gleaner has learnt.>