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KINGSTON, Dec. 3 (JIS): Night-time visibility along the roadway between Rockfort and Port Royal in East Kingston has been significantly improved through the installation of retrofitted street lights along that corridor, at a cost of just over $5 million.

The project, being jointly undertaken by the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy, and Mining; Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI); and Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS), entails replacement of the high pressure sodium (HPS) lamps previously used, with energy-saving Light Emitting Diode (LED) versions, assembled by the CMI.
The LED lights are expected to yield upwards of 50 per cent savings in energy costs.

The lights were symbolically commissioned into service on Tuesday (December 2) during a ceremony along the Palisadoes Road.

Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Minister, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, who was guest speaker, welcomed the project’s development and implementation, which he said resulted from a “meaningful” partnership.

“You have done this very well. This journey to conserve and to become more efficient users of energy is one that the entire country is on,” he stated.

The Minister pointed out that the Administration is undertaking a US$20 million project, through the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), “where we are transforming the way we utilise electricity in the Government”, adding that “we are going to be using that as a model for the rest of the country.”

In addition, he highlighted a World Bank-funded US$4.5 million project, which will assist micro, small, and medium-size enterprises (MSME) to implement energy efficient solutions. These, he said, include energy audits “to look at areas where they need to do the transformation, and to fund the (options) that will result in greater conservation and energy efficiency.”

“So, we are on a mission,… that has been joined by the stakeholders in JPS, our partners at CMI and, we hope, now, the entire country, as we…pursue this major effort of energy conservation and efficiency and to make Jamaica a better place for us all,’
Mr. Paulwell said.

In his remarks, CMI Executive Director, Dr. Fritz Pinnock, also commended the stakeholder inputs, pointing out that the Institute is “here to make a difference in the communities.”

In her remarks, President and Chief Executive Officer of the JPS, Kelly Tomblin, said the entity is committed to developing sustainable energy solutions that will redound to the nation’s benefit.

“Tonight stands as a shining example that when we get together, we really can get something done,” she added.
Other speakers included: Deputy Mayor of Kingston, Councillor Andrew Swaby, who represented Mayor, Senator Councillor Angela Brown Burke; CMI Registrar,

Dr. Mark Broomfield; and JPS Director, Asset Management, Steve Dixon.
Installation of the street lights came under a project, which was piloted in 2013 and involved putting in 30 retrofitted lights along the Palisadoes Road at a cost of just under $1 million.

The retrofitting and assembling of the lights in the pilot phase were undertaken by engineers and technicians at the CMI, and residents of Port Royal and adjacent communities. Ten of the residents were also trained and certified as energy auditors by CMI.

The project was subsequently expanded to incorporate installation of another 200 LED lamps along Rockfort and Port Royal at a cost of approximately $5.1 million.

The expansion followed discussions involving Minister Paulwell, who is also Member of Parliament for the area, and the principals of CMI and JPS, and saw the latter entities signing a Memorandum of Understanding in August to facilitate the arrangement.

Just over 180 of the additional 200 lights have been installed, with the project slated for completion within the next few weeks.

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CARPHA, HCC and PAHO call on the Caribbean Community to “Reimagine Healthy Spaces” for Caribbean Wellness Day



September 9, 2022 – The Caribbean Community is celebrating Caribbean Wellness Day (CWD) 2022 under the theme “Our Neighbourhood, Our Health”. In commemoration of the day, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), the Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), are calling on the region to “Reimagine Healthy Spaces” around three main themes – Active Societies, a Smoke Free Caribbean and Healthy Schools.

In a statement commemorating the occasion, Dr. Joy St John, Executive Director, CARPHA noted that, “We take this opportunity, at this stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, to create a renewed vision and re-commit to the practices and policies that we know support the health and wellbeing of our Caribbean people.”

Built spaces and urban planning laws can significantly impact the level of movement in society and is a crucial element in ensuring a healthier Caribbean.

“The commitment of governments towards the implementation of intersectoral public policies and programs so that all neighbourhoods have basic services, safe public transportation, areas where we can socialise, safe streets, places to walk and green spaces, is so important.” PAHO Director, Dr. Carissa F. Etienne said. “I want to recognize the efforts of many municipalities in the region that are working on making their municipalities healthy, responding to the needs of people, and facilitating strategies that improve the conditions of places where they are born, work, study and have fun,” she added.

Another issue to be addressed during the “Reimagine Healthy Spaces” campaign is the negative impact that cigarettes have on both public health and the environment.

Dr. St John noted that, “Millions of trees are cut down annually to produce the number of cigarettes that the industry demands to maintain profits, while cigarette butts and packaging can contribute to environmental pollution.” She asserted that, “This reimagining of a smoke-free Caribbean, that limits the negative impact of the tobacco industry on our health and our environment is necessary, not just for our own health but for the health of the next generation.”

Sir Trevor Hassell, President, Healthy Caribbean Coalition noted that “Healthy Schools are a cornerstone of our neighbourhoods and a building block of a productive society.  A Healthy school is smoke-free, promotes inclusive physical activity and is protected by healthy school policies.” He elaborated, “These policies would limit the sale and marketing of foods full of sugar, fats and salt both in and around schools, while increasing the availability of healthy foods and drinking water.”  In keeping with this, the recently launched digital campaign, ‘#ActOnFacts – The Food in Schools Matters’, encourages public and policymaker support for the introduction of policies that puts the health of our children at the centre.

Caribbean Wellness Day

Caribbean Wellness Day is celebrated each year on the second Saturday in September to address the threat posed by non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The day was originally conceived by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and is an integral part of the Port of Spain Declaration where the region united to fight the epidemic of NCDs. The event aims to increase awareness and promote activities to address non-communicable diseases including mental health issues.

The overall theme for Caribbean Wellness Day for the five year-period, 2020-2024 has been, “Power Through Collective Action”. It is this collective power that can be harnessed to affect the much-needed changes that can transform our spaces into enabling environments for a healthier Caribbean people. Collectively, the region has the power to bring the vision of a healthier Caribbean to life – one person, one neighbourhood, one nation at a time.

CARPHA, HCC and PAHO invite the public to join the celebration by visiting our social media pages to share your vision of Healthy Spaces. The campaign will feature key facts around the need for change, enable conversation in our communities and encourage our leaders to continue to build on the commitments made in the historic Port of Spain declaration.

Follow the campaign by using the hashtags: #CaribbeanWellnessDay, #CWD2022, #CWDHealthySpaces

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Covid Entry Vaccine mandate ‘working’ for Turks and Caicos



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


#TurksandCaicos, August 20, 2022 – The Turks and Caicos will not be dropping its vaccine mandate for visitors immediately according to E. Jay Saunders, TCI Deputy Premier, acting as Minister of Health; Saunders was speaking at a press conference on Monday August 8th.

He explained that while the government would certainly follow the advice of the health ministry the mandate would be around a while longer.

“We feel currently that the vaccine mandate is working for the Turks and Caicos. It certainly hasn’t slowed down the amount of tourists coming into the Turks and Caicos and we’re happy with that,” he said.

He expressed gratitude that the government would not have to be reactive and change the protocols just because of the low tourist arrivals.

“We are watching it to see what’s best for the country and so there’s no date on that. It’s not going to be in forever.

Eventually we are going to get to a point where we think that it’s safe enough, where we have enough herd immunity in the country where we can allow people to come in unvaccinated.”

While the acting minister did not have a specific date set for this removal he reassured that whenever the decision was made it would be with the best interest of the country in mind.

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer


#Cayman, August 20, 2022 – After cheers, celebration, and a proud victory for twenty-four old, Tiffany LeAnn Conolly, there is now dismay, disbelief, and shame.

Conolly was crowned Miss Cayman Islands Universe at the annual beauty pageant at the Westin Hotel on Saturday August 6.  Now, she is facing several criminal charges regarding an assault last year.  The newly crowned queen has not yet been convicted but appeared in Summary Court in March, facing two counts of common assault, two counts of damage to property, two further charges for disorderly conduct at a police station and one of assaulting a police officer.

Conolly was also arrested following an altercation at a former boyfriend’s house after allegedly assaulting her former lover and another family member, as well as a police officer at the detention centre following that arrest.

Conolly was still allowed to enter the pageant because she has not been found guilty of the charges; the case is still ongoing. On Saturday, she was awarded Miss Photogenic, Miss Best Smile and Miss Best-In-Gown.

The Miss Cayman Islands Universe title comes with a number of rewards and responsibilities, including a $70,000 three-year educational scholarship.  Nonetheless, Conolly may not be allowed to represent the island at the international pageant should she be convicted.

Chloe Powery-Doxey, the first runner-up and winner of Miss Best Legs, will become the new Miss Cayman Islands Universe if Conolly is convicted

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