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Government to spend more than $600 Million on Road and Infrastructure Project for St. Mary

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#Jamaica, September 19, 2017 – Kingston – The Government has signed a contract with Surrey Paving and Aggregate Company Limited for the first package of improvement works to be undertaken on 4.8 kilometres of main road from Agualta Vale to Broadgate in St. Mary.   The contract, which is valued at more than $597 million, is expected to begin in October and last for 14 months.

The project, which is being implemented by the National Works Agency (NWA) forms part of plans to improve an overall 18.4 kilometres of main roadway from Tom’s River to Agualta Vale.   The second phase, which involves 13.6 kilometres of main road from Broadgate to Tom’s River, will be undertaken over fiscal years.

Works to be carried out on the Agualta Vale to Broadgate main road include construction of shoulders, provision of sidewalks, relocation of utilities, installation of road furniture and road traffic control devices and the construction of surface and subsurface drains.   Construction of bridges and pavement upgrading are also to be carried out on the 28 parcels of lands that were acquired by the Government.

Addressing the contract signing ceremony at the Office of the Prime Minister on September 15, Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, said the need to have the roadway repaired has long been expressed, having been proposed years ago.   He said the project is being financed from the Capital ‘A’ budget, which is designated for Government of Jamaica-funded projects.

The Prime Minister informed that the works will improve road safety and maneuverability by removing some of the deep curves in the roadway.

“It will (also) increase mobility and reduce both travel time and transportation costs. The project will also resolve the drainage issues in the area while providing greater connectivity between the northern and southern highways of the country,” he said.

The Prime Minister added that the project will have a positive effect on the long-term economic benefits on neighboring towns and communities, through the creation of employment directly related to the works.

“At the end of the project, I expect the people of St. Mary and indeed Portland to say that their tax dollars were well spent,” he noted.

Mr. Holness informed that the contract-signing is a tangible demonstration of the government’s commitment to using infrastructural works to bring improvements to the lives of the people.   He indicated that the improvement works is but a “portion of the Government’s financial commitments to the parish of St. Mary”.

Since April 2017, approximately one billion dollars has been spent on infrastructural works in St. Mary.  They include river training, road patching, drainage improvements and the general rehabilitation of roads and bridges.

Meanwhile, State Minister in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Everald Warmington, said the overall purpose of the project is to “reduce the fear and trepidation associated with travelling through the junction because of ravines and hair-pin curves”.

“We intend to make the corridor far more reliable and intend to reduce travel times. These are all positives, which will redound to the benefit of not only those who live in St. Mary and Portland but to the entire country,” he said.

Consultancy firm, Stanley Consultants will assist with supervision on the project, and signed a contract with the Government valued at $29.4 million for this undertaking.

Release: JIS

 

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Bahamas News

Polio is back; 65 million missed shots in another COVID fall out

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#USA, August 4, 2022 – For the first time in almost a decade a new case of polio was recorded in the United States. The case which ended in paralysis emphasizes the danger the region faces as vaccination levels drop to 30-year lows.

The World Health Organization warned in early July explained that vaccination in the region of the Americas and the rest of world was dropping rapidly because of various spin off effects precipitated by the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Over 65 million infants missed out on basic vaccines in the last three years thanks to disruptions in routine healthcare, lockdowns and other circumstances. The effects are already being felt as once eradicated disease like measles and polio are once again emerging.

The Pan American Health Organization announced earlier this year the Americas are now facing another measles outbreak after having been declared free of the disease in 2016.

Dr. Jarvis Barbosa, Assistant director of PAHO said vaccination levels are now as low as they were in 1994 for measles and polio and Brazil has had several outbreaks of measles.

In the case of the United States an unvaccinated young adult developed the disease after contact with another individual vaccinated with a live version of the vaccine.

The breakout polio case in the US sent shockwaves across the country because of the severe nature of the disease. Polio is an extremely dangerous disease with no known cure. It causes paralysis in as many as 1 in 200 infected and that paralysis is permanent.

Normally very few school age children would be at risk in the Americas as the vaccine is required to start school but with the gap in vaccinations many more children are now at risk.

Polio was one of the most feared diseases of the 20th century, paralyzing and killing hundreds of thousands, especially children. Thankfully vaccinated individuals are not at risk and as such the WHO is advising that the best way to protect against polio is vaccination.

 

Photo Caption:  Child in Benin takes Polio vaccine, UNSDG

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Caribbean News

Dunn’s River Offers Special Summer Package

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#Jamaica, August 5, 2022 – Persons looking for an adventurous activity to do this summer are being encouraged to take advantage of the ‘Summa Thrills’ promotion, being offered by the world-famous Dunn’s River Falls and Park.

The promotion, which ends September 15, includes paying one cost to climb the Falls, ‘Tek-A-Hike’ and Zip over the Falls via the Chukka Falls Flyer. In addition, persons will also have access to the beach, splash pad, and other amenities.

The cost for residents is $5,000 per person and US$75 per person for non-residents. A photo identification is required to access the resident rate.

“We have partnered with CHUKKA to create this five-star experience,” Marketing Manager, Urban Development Corporation (UDC), Kereen Cole-Ivey, told JIS News.

She further informed that ‘Tek-A-Hike’ is the newest product offering at Dunn’s River Falls and Park and that the promotion provides an opportunity to build awareness and renew interest in the falls and park.

‘Tek-a-Hike’ is a guided, one-hour-and-a-half hike that starts at the Tranquility Gardens and ends in the Dunn’s River Falls & Park Nursery. Here guests can purchase plants or adopt a tree as part of the park’s Reforestation and Conservation Programme.

The hike is approximately two miles and is an experience that the entire family can enjoy. Along the trail, guests will learn about the flora and fauna on the entire property, which is called the Belmont property, as well as the general history of Dunn’s River Falls and Park. They will also get a chance to visit the Belmont Great House ruins.

“Coming out of COVID-19, we thought that this (Summa Thrills) would have been a very great adventure for the family and for everyone to enjoy and have a good time,” said Mrs. Cole-Ivey, adding that the UDC has other plans in place for Dunn’s River.

Dunn’s River Falls and Park is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Persons are being encouraged to book ahead via the Dunn’s River website at www.dunnsriverfallsja.com, otherwise tickets can be purchased on location.

You may also visit @dunnsriver.jamaica and @udcjamaica on Instagram or call 876 618-6052 for additional information.

The Dunn’s River Falls and Park is managed and operated by St. Ann Development Corporation (SADCO), a subsidiary of the UDC.

 

Contact: Shanna K. Salmon

Release: JIS

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Caribbean News

Carnival Cruise ordered to pay $10.2 million for passenger claiming rape by staff

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#USA, August 5, 2022 – A Miami-based Federal Court returned a more than $10.2 million verdict against Carnival Cruise Line in favour of a passenger who claims a former crew member raped her in a storage closet aboard the Carnival Miracle in 2018.

A jury issued the verdict recently in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida finding Carnival liable for damages to the plaintiff, for false imprisonment and sexual assault by a crew member, in December 2018.

The jury separately found that Carnival was not negligent and that the former crew member did not intentionally inflict emotional distress on Plaintiff.

According to a statement issued last week Tuesday, Carnival Cruise Line said the incident between the plaintiff and the former crew member was consensual and plans to appeal the court’s decision.

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