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Volume No. 1 Issue No. 52 - Monday December 22, 2003
The Local News in Brief from The News Desk

Roseau, December 22, 2003
Government Wage Bill to Fall by a Further 5 percent in 2004/05

“During the first year and a half of the PRGF arrangement, the primary fiscal balance is projected to improve steadily. The adjustment will place greater emphasis on expenditure cuts, with key expenditure measures including a continuation of the freeze on all other non-interest current expenditures in the budget for FY2004/05, as well as a 5 percent reduction in the central government wage bill through the implementation of a comprehensive civil service reform.

Portsmouth, December 17, 2003
Portsmouth Residents Expresses Concern Over Ross University Plans to Build Student Dormitories

Mayor Adenauer Douglas of Portsmouth has expressed the concerns of residents over a proposal by Ross University to build student dormitories on its Portsmouth campus.

He warned that the economy of that town would crumble if construction was allowed to proceed. Hundreds of students at the university currently rent housing from the residents. Over the years this has been a major source of income for homeowners in the town.

Government officials have indicated that no decision has been made on weather to grant permission for the building of the dormitories.

The offshore medical school is considered critical to the economic success of Portsmouth and surrounding villages.

Roseau, December 6, 2003
Billy Doctrove only West Indian Umpire to Officiate in 2004 Under-19 Cricket World Cup

Dominica's Test cricket umpire Billy Doctrove has been selected as the only West Indian cricket umpire to officiate at the 2004 Under-19 Cricket World Cup in Bangladesh, organized by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

Doctrove, a former FIFA football referee, became the first Dominican to be selected as a West Indies cricket umpire when he stood in a Regional first class game in 1991 between Jamaica and the Windward Islands in Roseau.

''I'm very honoured to have been appointed by the ICC to officiate at the Youth World Cup, It's a major achievement and I think it's an opportunity for me to go out there in a different environment, different conditions and officiate at a very prestigious tournament in the world. I'm looking forward to going out there and doing my best, and represent Dominica to the best of my ability in a tournament that is closely monitored by the ICC.”

Doctrove hopes that the youth competition will serve as an ideal platform to stage his claim for a promotion to the senior ICC panel of umpires.

Portsmouth December 3, 2003
Adenaur Washway Douglas Elected Mayor of Portsmouth

Adenaur ''Washway'' Douglas was yesterday selected Mayor of Dominica’s second largest town, Portsmouth. The younger brother of former Prime Minister Rosie Douglas replaces Julian Brewster who was ousted by council members at a hastily arranged council meeting last night.

Brewster, who served as Mayor for the past seven years, said he was committed to working with Douglas to bring about development in the town. The town’s people have recently been at the center of an argument with the ruling party over plans to document visiting workers from Haiti and the Dominican Republic to Portsmouth. Several have claimed that such new rules would serve to curb economic activity in the town.

Roseau, December 3, 2003
Over 300 Persons Have Died From Aids in Dominica

On the occasion of World Aids Day, health authorities in Dominica have revealed that over 300 persons have died from the deadly disease. Health spokesperson Nurse Deborah Bethel also revealed that there are 90 know cases of persons between the ages of 25 and 44 currently living with the disease.

Bethel called on Dominicans to be mindful of their lifestyles and to do all in their power to stop the spread of the disease. Meanwhile, Dr Robertson Thomas who has been at the center of the Aids fight in Dominica called on health practitioners not to reveal the names of persons living with the disease.

He claimed that persons are often rejected and open to ridicule when their identities were revealed.

Roseau, December 3, 2003
PM Charles Suffering from Other Ailment

Lawyer Tony Asthaphan close friend and confidant of Prime Minister Pierre Charles have revealed that the Prime minister is suffering from another ailment in addition to his heart condition.

The government lawyer stopped short of revealing what the condition was, but indicated that other leaders in the Region were also suffering from the disease. His disclosure have led many to believe that the ailing leader may also be suffering from high blood pressure.

Roseau – November 28, 2003
PM Ordered to Rest for at Least Three Weeks

Government Press Secretary Sean Douglas today announced that Prime Minister Pierre Charles have been ordered to rest for at least three weeks by his personal physician Dr. Gerald Grell.

Earlier this month the Prime Minister complained of further discomfort following two heart surgeries this year in Trinidad and the United States. Many Dominicans have voiced concerns that the current deteriorating economic situation has taken its toll on the ailing leader. Many have even begun to speculate on the prospect of his resignation as Prime Minister. However, the Prime Minister recently reacted to this by indicating that he was “in it for the long haul”.

Foreign Affairs, Trade and Marketing Minister Osborne Riviere will act as Prime Minister in Charles’ absence.

Roseau – November 28, 2003
Police Welfare Association Unhappy with Government’s Decision to Appeal Judge’s Ruling

Chairman of the PWA, Cleville Mills have called on the 300 member Police Welfare Association (PWA) to a meeting to discuss government's decision to appeal the high court's judgment in favor of reinstating Sergeants Edward Etinoffe, Miriam Williams and Philbert Bertrand who were dismissed following a public probe in 2000.

Mills is reportedly unhappy with government’s decision to move ahead with the appeal to the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) court of appeal without consulting his membership. He voiced concern that government’s action could have serious repercussions for his membership.

Roseau, November 25, 2003
Twenty-six Government Employees to Lose their Jobs

Twenty six employees of the Ministry of Agriculture will be laid off at years’ end as Dominica’s economic situation worsens. Most of the workers are employed as daily paid employees at the Botanic Gardens in Roseau and Agricultural Stations island-wide.

Government officials disclosed that the cuts were necessary to keep the wage bill in line with an IMF backed austerity package for Dominica. General Secretary of the Public Service Union Thomas Letang expressed concern at the loss of jobs and eroding job security on the island.

Many of the displaced workers, some of whom have been employed for the past thirty years, will not receive a compensation package on separation.

Roseau, November 22, 2003
Prominent Dominican Businessman Pat Rolle Dead at 77

Businessman Pat Rolle best known as co-founder of Dominica’s lone cigarette manufacturing company Jas Garraway Tobacco Factory died earlier this week after a brief bout of illness.

The well known Dominican businessman was also a key stakeholder in the Garraway hotel in Roseau, Dominica’s newest locally owned hotel establishment.

He is survived by his wife of 50 years and seven children.

Roseau, November 22, 2003
Virgina Company to Construct Multi-million Oil Refinery in Castle Bruce

Tourism, Industry and Enterprise Development minister. Charles Savarin, has confirmed that his government have given the green light to Global Resources Corporation of Virginia, United States to construct a $2.4 billion oil refinery in the eastern village of Castle Bruce.

The facility will be built on 300 acres of prime agricultural land in that village. Many local farmers have expressed outrage at the site selected for the oil; refinery. The has also been reliably informed that international environmental groups are investigating the proposed construction. Dominica could stand to lose its standing as an environmentally friendly destination if the facility is built.

No confirmed date was given for construction to begin but Minister Severin indicated that the developers were in the process of accessing funding.

Roseau, November 22, 2003
PSU to Establish Mini-Mart for Workers

Faced with escalating costs of imported foodstuffs and falling paychecks, the Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU) have announced establishment of a mini-mart on its compound in Roseau, with construction set to begin next month.

According to General Secretary Thomas Letang, the union has contracted an individual to purchase goods that will be sold to its close to 3,000 members and the general public. He added the union intends to offer cheaper goods to DPSU's members who had their salaries reduced by eight per cent in July.

Read more of the EARLIER NEWS IN Brief

Comments about this article? Email:
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Volume No. 1 Issue No. 48
Disturbing Shadows
History of Hurricanes in Dominica
Classism and Racism Appears Rampant
Must Attend Dominica Picnic
Dr Tavernier: Leader in Agricultural Policy

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