Kingston Gleaner, February 21, 2008

Kingston Gleaner

February 21, 2008

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Issue date: Thursday, February 21, 2008

Pages available: 119

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Publication name: Kingston Gleaner

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Kingston Gleaner (Newspaper) - February 21, 2008, Kingston, Kingston A3: SERGEANT SURRENDERS Bl: BOYS’ TOWN BACK ON TRACKwww.jamalca-gleaner.coni VOLUME 174 NO. 45 THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2008 KINGSTON, JAMAICA 52 PAGES    includinggct$25Gov’t says no tolerance for weapons in schoolsCops to quiz Rodney Chin RODNEY CHIN, the director in Universal Management Development Company Limited (UMD), which executed the distribution of energy-saving Cuban light bulbs here, is to be questioned by the Fraud Squad next week. Valrie Neita Robertson, attorney-at-law representing Chin, told The Gleaner yesterday that she has agreed for the police to quiz her client. Meanwhile, it was not clear whether police would seek to interview Kern Spencer, the former junior government minister who had responsibility for the light bulb project. Deborah Martin, Spencer’s attorney, said she was not aware of any arrangements to speak with her client. Deputy Superintendent of Police Fitz Bailey, former head of the Fraud Squad, who is investigating, told The Gleaner that the investigations are ongoing. The light bulb saga unfolded in November 2(X)7 when Energy Minister Clive Mullings told the House of Representatives that there were serious concerns about the way four million free Cuban bulbs were distributed. It was revealed that Chin’s UMD underttxik the distribution of the bulbs. Another of Chin’s companies, Caribbean Communications and Media Network, was responsible for communication in the energy-saving project, which cost over $276 million. Flow, ESL at standstill THE BROADCASTING Commission has acquired court injunctions against telecommunications Firm Flow and cable operators Entertainment Systems Ltd (ESL). The injunctions come just days after cable subscribers of ESL raised concern over Flow’s recent acquisition of the assets of the Kingston and St Andrew-based company. Customers complained that they were not informed of the sale until after it was finalised. Cordel'Green, executive director of the regulatory body, said the commission was just as surprised by the transaction, as Flow had neglected to inform them of negotiations with the directors of ESL.NO BUSINESS The injunction against Flow, which t(X)k effect at 2:15 p.m. yesterday, bars the fast-growing multimilhon-dollar firm from acquiring the assets or ownership of any other cable television distributor without the commission’s approval. GREEN Flow has also been barred from making any changes to the contractual arrangement previously made between ESL and its customers, including adjustment of fees and payment schedules. The second order, which is against ESL, stipulates that the cable operator is prohibited from making any further steps in the sale or transfer of its assets to Flow until the court has reached a decision. The stop order, according to Nicola Brown of the Attorney General’s chambers, is in effect for 14 days. After this time, the court will hold a hearing to decide whether the order will be extended. Green said the main issue at stake was the interpretation of an aspect of the regulation which states that a licensee is required to gain the approval of the commission before a transfer of ownership can occur.BREACH OF BROADCAST ACT He said that, since August 27 last year, Flow was informed that it was in breach of Regulation 28 of the Broadcasting Act, as it had gone ahead and acquired the assets of some four cable operators without the commission’s approval.. “The commission was basically reading in the newspapers, like everybody else, that the arrangements for cable companies were changed overnight,” Green said. Green said that, despite its insistence to Flow that it was in violation of the regulation as it relates to its last four acquisitions, the company went ahead with its most recent deal. “This has now resulted in an appeal to the court for a fuiher pronouncement on the matter,” he said. Jean McPherson, director of marketing at Flow, yesterday told The Gleaner that the company had in fact been served with the stop order. “We are reviewing that injunction and we will respond to the Broadcasting Commission promptly,” she said. Stephen Chung, former director of ESL, told The (>leaner last night that he was not yet able to say anything about the injunction. SOMETHING EXTRA A5 ENTERTAINMENT DI EDITORIAL A6 MOVIES DI OPINION A7 MOTOR CAR FEATURE Cl ROVING WITH LALAH A9 COMICS C2 SPORTS Bl * HOROSCOPE C3 CLASSIFIEDS B5 STOCKS D6 MEMORIAM 87 EYES ON SCIENCE D7 FRIENDS ON FRIENDS Cricket ambassador Courtney Walsh is featured in Outlook’s 'Friends on Friends' this Sunday. His best friend said ... You’ll have to check us on Sunday to find out! item rptmMnj Ntrist 55 Orange Street Tel: 922-7929 89 C. Spring Rd. Tel: 905-0097 Arthur Hall and Shelly-Ann Thompson Gleaner Writers REACTING TO recent incidents of schtx)l violence, the education ministry has instructed that students caught carrying knives, or any other weapons, must be immediately turned in to the police to face charges under the Offensive Weapons Act. The education ministry is looking to the police for help in its new drive to get tough on students who carry weapons to schools. Adults who invade school compounds will also find themselves in trouble with the law, as the education ministry implements minimum guidelines to cut down on violent incidents. Education Minister Andrew Holness said yesterday, during a post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House, that students are too often merely given a slap on the wrist when they are found with offensive weapons seized by sch<x>l authorities. He said he now wants all such incidents reported to the police and the students charged under the Offensive Weapons Act. The minister was speaking the WHAT’S YOUR VIEW? LET US HEAR FROM YOU Fax: 922-6223 or email [email protected] same day reports surfaced that a viceprincipal was assaulted by two girls at Christiana High School in Manchester (see THE STAR for further details). Holness also said a student from a prominent high schcxtl in the Corporate Area was spotted yesterday with a firearm by police at the Half-Way Tree Transport Centre. However, when accosted, the boy escaped. WIDESPREAD PROBLEM Pointing to a recent search of a school in Portmore, St Catherine, the education minister said several knives, ice picks and other offensive weapons were found. “This is just one school, this is just a random snap search. It is a widespread problem,” Holness lamented. The National Parent-Teacher Association of Jamaica (NPTAJ) and the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) have backed the decision taken by the ministry. NPTAJ President Sylvester Anderson said violence in schools must be stamped out. “Our opinion is that a child ought PLEASE SEE TURN, A3 Don't miss out on RAYTON'SLOWEST, PRICES EVER ON      ^^ ia=l=l=M=l: Bantu Stain/oss Stool Fun 3-Door for 2 weeks only rn (Hi tllKtllll -St viral slits Vistas kl SMI Quality & Style at -#> ;

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