Minister with Responsibility for Housing Lauds Operation Pride

first_img By Alecia Smith-Edwards, JIS Reporter RelatedMinister with Responsibility for Housing Lauds Operation Pride Advertisements Minister with Responsibility for Housing Lauds Operation Pride TransportMarch 16, 2012 FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Minister with responsibility for Housing, Hon. Dr. Morais Guy, says the restoration of the concept of the Programme for Resettlement and Integrated Development Enterprise(Operation PRIDE), could significantly address the country’s housing demand. He said that the Government is of the belief that “this excellent concept” can continue to be used as a vehicle to augment the delivery of affordable housing solutions to many needy beneficiaries, particularly low income earners. “As a Government, we maintain our belief in this excellent Operation PRIDE concept, which saw diverse communities of Jamaicans with differing needs for land and shelter, benefiting from greenfield sites and occupied land (brownfield sites), with infills and relocation where necessary,” he said, as he addressed a forum at the St. Luke’s Anglican Church Hall in Kingston, on March 14. The Operation PRIDE initiative was launched in 1994 by then Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Most Hon. P. J. Patterson, to address several issues, including informal settlements. Some of the objectives of the programme included the resolution of the shelter needs of a majority of low income Jamaicans through the establishment of new planned settlements and the upgrading of existing settlements; the improvement of environmental and public health conditions in settlements throughout the country; and the mobilisation of resources in the informal sector towards their own improvement, employment creation and national development. “Despite the achievements obtained under Operation PRIDE, the programme had to be suspended due to a number of implementation challenges. A principal challenge was the limited beneficiary deposit that was available, given the socio-economic standing of the beneficiaries to move the partnership forward,” Dr. Guy explained. The Minister further pointed out that one of the benefits of the programme was that it was comprehensively and spatially widespread to include most low income settlements throughout the country that lacked security of tenure and basic infrastructure, noting that the financing mechanism was geared to facilitate accumulations of the range of community resources including cash. “So, you see, the concept still remains sound and still is relevant,” he argued. He  said it is imperative that sustainability of the Operation PRIDE programme be examined within the context of the limited financial resources available for development projects and in light of the limited fiscal space within which the Government has to operate. Dr. Guy noted as well, that the restoration of the programme must also be examined within the context of the increasing environmental and technical standards to be met. “Consideration must also be given to the governance structures within the communities and the ways in which they can be utilised to harness the human and financial capital at the community level to move a programme of this nature forward, so that more of the sustainable, yet incomplete projects can be brought to completion,” the Minister said. He further informed that the Government has made provision for certificates of possession to be issued to Operation PRIDE housing residents, “who have long occupied lands earmarked for the purpose and have been making payments under this programme, but have not realised the dream to own a solution.” The Minister was addressing development associations and provident societies from across the country at the meeting, which was convened by the Community Organisations for Management and Sustainable Development (COMAND), a non-government, community-based umbrella organisation representing more than 30 provident societies and other marginalised communities. RelatedMinister with Responsibility for Housing Lauds Operation Pride RelatedMinister with Responsibility for Housing Lauds Operation Pridelast_img read more

Barnard teen murder suspect’s purported video confession: Lawyers agree to limit disclosure

first_imgConrad MacKethan(NEW YORK) — The New York City Law Department and the Legal Aid lawyers for the 13-year-old boy accused in the murder of Barnard College student Tessa Majors agreed Monday to limit disclosure of the teen’s videotaped statement to the NYPD.The two sides, chided by Judge Carol Goldstein for coming to family court unprepared, briefly huddled in a private room before announcing they had reached agreement.It was not announced in court who the protective order is meant to exclude, but it is likely that the law department, which handles the prosecutions of juveniles, does not want the 13-year-old’s statement provided to the families of the two other teenage boy implicated in the murder.Majors, 18, was stabbed to death on Dec. 11 in upper Manhattan’s Morningside Park, just off the campus of Columbia University, which sits next to Barnard.The 13-year-old suspect allegedly told detectives that he saw one of his companions stab the college student with a red-handled knife, according to police testimony.Police are still searching for one of the suspects — a 14-year-old boy — believed to be involved in Majors’ killing. The 14-year-old was on his way to turn himself in last week when he bolted from the car while it was stopped at an intersection, according to police sources.The third teenage suspect was questioned and released without charges.In court Monday, the New York City Law Department and the Legal Aid lawyers stipulated that any experts called to testify would be subject to a nondisclosure agreement.The defense will attempt to challenge the admissibility of the 13-year-old’s purported confession. The case returns to court on Jan. 2.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

NEWS SCAN: Food safety funding, cholera vaccine trial, low-cost infection prevention, anthrax anniversary, hantavirus in Europe

first_imgSep 9, 2011US Senate panel, unlike House, boosts food safety funds for FDAThe US Senate Appropriations Committee this week approved a fiscal 2012 appropriations bill that would boost food safety funding for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) while maintaining meat inspection funding for the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), according to reports from Washington. The action puts the Senate at odds with the House, which moved to cut funds for both functions in a bill passed in June. The Senate bill increases the FDA budget to $2.497 billion, from $2.447 billion in 2011, with the extra $50 million intended to help the agency implement the new FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, according to a National Journal report. The bill provides $1.007 billion for the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), the same as in 2011, the story said. It said the House version of the bill would cut the FDA’s budget by $285 million, or 11%, including an $87 million cut for food safety, and would also cut the FSIS budget by $35 million. Food & Water Watch, a consumer watchdog group, praised the Senate panel’s action in a statement. Wenonah Hauter, executive director, commented that the Senate version, unlike the House’s, does not expand a pilot program called the HACCP-Based Inspection Models Pilot in poultry plants. She described the program as an attempt to reduce the number of FSIS inspectors by allowing more industry self-inspection.Sep 7 National Journal reportSep 7 Food & Water Watch statementBangladesh study reports positive findings for cholera vaccineA study of a killed, bivalent whole-cell oral cholera vaccine in Bangladesh found that it was safe and had satisfactory immunogenicity in young children and adults, opening the door for researchers to study the feasibility of the vaccine in the cholera-endemic country. The findings, in Vaccine, are based on a South Korean reformulation of a similar vaccine that has been used in Vietnam. Study subjects received two doses of the vaccine or placebo administered 14 days apart. Blood samples were obtained before immunization and 7 days after each dose or placebo. Vibriocidal antibody responses were determined based on testing against Vibrio cholerae O1 Inaba, O1 Ogawa, and O139. Of 330 participants, 22 had mild symptoms after vaccination, such as fever or vomiting, with no difference between the vaccine and placebo groups. That finding was similar to other oral cholera vaccines. Researchers found antibody response varied by cholera strain but that. overall, a single dose elicited a high magnitude of vibriocidal and specific Immunoglobulin A responses in adults and children up to 2 years old. They concluded that the findings are promising, because a single-dose vaccine would help boost uptake and reduce cost for use in endemic and outbreak settings. Cholera vaccines aren’t typically used in outbreaks, because the vaccines are expensive and provide limited protection. However, new studies over the past year have suggested that vaccination campaigns could be worthwhile.Sep 8 Vaccine abstractStudy: Infection-control practices drops deaths, costs in peds ICUA 2-year study found that three low-cost infection-control interventions reduced mortality, decreased length of stay, and lowered costs in a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). The study, conducted by researchers at the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine, was conducted between 2007 and 2009 in a 20-bed PICU. A hand-washing intervention required healthcare workers to wash their hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based rub before and after leaving a patient’s room, before putting on and taking off gloves, and before and after touching potentially contaminated surfaces or body fluids. A second group of interventions was aimed at preventing ventilator-associated pneumonia and included measures such as elevating the head of the patient’s bed during breathing assistance and providing daily oral care with a long-lasting antiseptic. The third measure was designed to reduce central-line infections and involved ensuring compliance with use and maintenance guidelines. Researchers found that the number of deaths dropped 2%, patients got out of the hospital 2 days earlier, and hospital stays cost about $12,000 less. They projected that the implementation costs were modest but could save a hospital unit about $12 million a year.September Health Affairs abstractSep 8 UNC School of Medicine press releaseCenter for Biosecurity report marks anniversary of anthrax attacksThe University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Center for Biosecurity yesterday released a package of commentaries marking the 10th anniversary of the US anthrax attacks and outlining efforts that are still needed to prepare the nation for another bioterror event. The 42-page report is titled “A Crossroads in Biosecurity: Steps to Strengthen US Preparedness.” The lead commentary is authored by Tom Inglesby, MD, and Anita Cicero, JD, the center’s director and deputy director. A piece by D.A. Henderson, MD, MPH, the center’s distinguished scholar, a former US health official who led the global effort to eradicate smallpox, discusses challenges in the wake of the Sep 11 terror attacks. He pointed out that several practical problems in implementing prevention and control measures, such as how extensive smallpox vaccination should be in the event of an attack, have still not been addressed. “To be adequately prepared to cope is no less urgent today than it was then. There is still a lot to be done,” he wrote. In a piece on insider threats in high containment laboratories, immunologist Gigi Kwik Gronvall, PhD, argues that increased costs for lab security should have solid payoffs and that one neglected effort is management training for lab directors. In a report on biosurveillance gaps, epidemiologist Jennifer Nuzzo used the example of confusion early in Germany’s sprout-related Escherichia coli outbreak to point out how better connections are needed between clinicians and public health to provide quicker and more accurate surveillance. Other topics in the issue include establishing standards of care during catastrophic events, preparing hospitals for infectious disease emergencies, addressing anthrax remediation issues, and promoting community resilience.Sep 8 UPMC Center for Biosecurity commentary reportEurope sees near-doubling of hantavirus reports in last 10 yearsReports of European hantavirus infections almost doubled in the past decade compared with the 1990s, from 1,671 annual cases to 3,138, according to a report yesterday in Eurosurveillance, with several nations reporting spikes in one or more recent years. Among those high-water marks since 2005 have been 2,526 cases in 2005 and 3,259 cases in 2008 in Finland (compared with 1,919 in 2009 and 326 in 2010 through August), 1,688 in 2007 and 1,527 in 2010 through Aug 31 in Germany (compared with 181 in 2009), and 2,195 in 2007 in Sweden (compared with 138 in 2010 through August). Puumala virus, one variety of hantavirus, has caused the most cases, the report says, and rodents continue to be the most common disease carriers, although insectivores like shrews have played a role. The report also highlights hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome accompanying some infections but doesn’t specify its prevalence. The authors say it’s unclear whether the recent surge is due to a true increase in infections or to heightened awareness and better diagnosis. They write that epidemics occur “where climatic, biotic and abiotic conditions pave the way for the carrier species to become abundant and humans to come in contact with the virus.”Sep 8 Eurosurveillance reportlast_img read more

Guilbeau: ’25’ coming, but ’35’ has arrived

first_imgGlenn GuilbeauGlenn GuilbeauBATON ROUGE – “25 Is Coming,” is the slogan of an impressive LSU Basketball marketing campaign for 6-foot-10 power forward Ben Simmons — the consensus No. 1 high school player in the nation out of Montverde, Florida, via Melbourne, Australia. The smokers of Mad Men would be proud.This is a great move by LSU, which is usually not busy selling tickets for basketball in the spring and summer months. Not since Dale Brown was coaching and Shaquille O’Neal and Stanley Roberts were coming to join Chris Jackson in the spring and summer of 1989, that is.But “35 Is Already Here,” and so was “Midnight Madness” over the weekend. Only not at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center, but across Nicholson Drive at Alex Box Stadium. “No. 35” is 6-3 freshman sensation pitcher Alex Lange of Lee’s Summit, Missouri.If Simmons can climb as far and as fast as Lange, no one will be blaming the “25” hype machine.Late Show: LSU, Lange blank UNCW, 2-0Lange, a first-round draft choice himself after probably two more possibly glorious seasons on the diamond, went to 11-0 on the season Saturday night and Sunday morning as he struck out 12 before and after midnight in a 2-0, complete game win over North Carolina Wilmington in the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional at the Box. He became the first freshman pitcher in LSU history to reach the 100 strikeout plateau in that game. He also is believed to have become the first LSU pitcher of any age to start a game as late as 10:15 p.m. because of a three-hour rain delay in the previous game.LSU was 2-0 in the NCAA postseason entering another 10-ish p.m. start Sunday and Monday wee hour finish at the Baton Rain Regional in Mud Box. The LSU basketball team, meanwhile, has not won two NCAA postseason games in a season in a decade. Hopefully, Simmons will change that.Lange is just trying to carry on what Aaron Nola and Louis Coleman and Anthony Ranaudo did before him — get the Tigers to Omaha, Nebraska, and the College World Series.“I couldn’t help but reflect back to 2009,” LSU coach Paul Mainieri said at about 1:20 a.m. Sunday. “I thought I was watching Anthony Ranaudo out there on the mound when he struck out 14 against Baylor in this same game.”Ranaudo beat Baylor, 3-2, in the second game of the NCAA Regional on May 30, 2009, and LSU went on to win the national championship with Coleman and Ranaudo.Lange also has a tendency to look very much like Nola — perhaps LSU’s greatest pitcher ever over a three-year span. And the amazing thing is, in Lange’s mind, he did not have his best stuff. He said he battled through the early innings. Nola said such revelations from time to time.Lange did walk two through the first four innings and has walked 43 on the season. Nola walked only 45 over his last two seasons at LSU in 2013 and ’14. Lange might not reach that level of control, but what was impressive about Lange’s late night gem was how he grew stronger and better as Saturday night gave way to Sunday morning.LSU’s Alex Lange can’t wait to pitch in regionalThere were no walks after the fourth. There were six hits by UNCW, but never more than one in an inning. Lange had at least one strikeout in seven of his nine innings, and he struck out the side in the fifth, fanned two in the sixth and struck out the side again in the ninth. Yes, Lange’s 12th strikeout struck midnight for the Seahawks at 1:10 a.m.On Saturday, Lange struck out guys with his fastball. By Sunday morning, they were chasing his curve out of the zone for strike three.Mainieri never quite saw the struggle Lange did early. Mainieri may be only seeing a ride on Lange into the Omaha sunset.“You know, I thought, I don’t want to say he made it look easy,” Mainieri said. “It wasn’t easy. But he wasn’t laboring out there.”Lange could have pitched to closing time at 2 a.m.With one more like that and some help from a few mound co-stars here and there, and you can say, “35 Is Coming” to the College World Series.last_img read more

Speedway Motors announces Racer Appreciation Week

first_imgLINCOLN, Neb. (Jan. 17) – Speedway Motors will kick of its 65th anniversary year and help rac­ers everywhere get a head start on the 2017 season with its first-ever Racer Appreciation Week Feb. 6-11.Building on the success of Racer Appreciation Day, an open house event that attracted racers from throughout the Midwest, Racer Appreciation Week will take the celebration online and nation­wide with a weeklong series of promotions, social media spotlights, discounts and givea­ways.Racers can watch the Speedway Motors Facebook page, sign up for the company’s email club, or simply follow along at SpeedwayMotors.com to get in on all of the action during the week.“Our Racer Appreciation Day event was such a success that we simply outgrew it,” said company spokesperson Damon Lee. “We also had countless customers who were too far away to take part. So we thought, why not open it up to all racers using the power of the internet? We think it will be a great way to get racers excited about the upcoming season.”Racers can expect special offers and discounts sent via email throughout the week, and Speed­way is planning Facebook Live “virtual tours” of its facility along with tech talks with its knowledgea­ble staff members.There will also be coverage from inside the incredible Museum of American Speed. To top it all off, the Speedway Motors team will be giving away race products on its Facebook page every day throughout the week. It’s a celebration you won’t want to miss and one you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home.To make sure you get in on all of the Racer Appreciation Week festivities, visit SpeedwayMotors.com to join the email club, or follow Speedway Motors on Facebook.last_img read more