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Kingston Gleaner: Thursday, February 21, 2008 - Page 1

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   Gleaner, The (Newspaper) - February 21, 2008, Kingston, Kingston                                A3: SERGEANT SURRENDERS B1: BOYS' TOWN BACK ON TRACK SINGER AT   HOME' WORLDWIDE i : -: "i    :   .- :---! > SINGER AT   HOME   WORLDWIDE www.jam.lcgle.nT.com ^Vty&ty^ I^J f ^l^i^y. FEBRUARY 21, 2008 KINGSTON, JAMAICA 52 PAGES     includinggct$25 Gov't says no tolerance for weapons in schools Arthur Hall and Shelly-Ann Thompson Gleaner Writers REACTING TO recent incidents of school 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 school authorities. He said he now wants all such incidents reported to the police and ther 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: .com same day reports surfaced that a vice-principal 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 school 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 (JTAj 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 Cojbstoquiz 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 2007 when Energy lylinister Clive ;Mullings tpld 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 undertook the distribution of.the bulbs. Another of Chin's companies,'Caribbean Communications and Media Network, was responsible for communication in the energyrsaving project; Which cost oyer $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 took effect at 2:15.p.m. yesterday, bars the fast-growing multimillion-dollar firm from acquiring the assets or ownership of any other cable television distributor without the commission's approval. 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 GREEN 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, t "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 further 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 Gleaner last night that he was not yet able to say anything about the injunction. SOMETHING EXTRA	A5	ENTERTAINMENT	D1 EDITORIAL	A6	MOVIES	D1 OPINION	A7	MOTOR CAR FEATURE C1	 ROVING WITH LALAH	A9	COMICS	C2 SPORTS	B1 *	HOROSCOPE	C3 CLASSIFIEDS	B5	STOCKS	D6 MEMORIAM	B7	EYES ON SCIENCE	D7 FRIENDS ON FRIENDS Cricket ambassador Courtney Walsh is featured in Outlook'* friends oh Friends'this Sunday. His best friend said... You'll have to check us on Sunday to1 find out!'  Don't miss out on RAYTON'S for 2 weeks only Stainless Steal Full 3-Ooor item 55 Orange Street Tel: 922-7929 89 C. Spring Rd Tel: 905-0Q97   

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