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Miss Jamaica DETHRONED

Twenty-three-year-old Shavrine Wilson has replaced the reigning Miss Jamaica Global 2014, Veronica McMaster, and will represent the country in the annual Miss Global International pageant on Saturday, December 6, at the RIU Montego Bay.

Wilson, who was first runner-up during the May 2014 coronation, was crowned at an informal ceremony in Kingston recently.

Pageant ambassador Lachu Ramchandani said McMaster was replaced because she refused to fulfill her obligations as queen.

“After trying to reach her through several messages and telephone calls, she made no effort to contact the franchise director’s office, and as a result of the non-performance of her obligations as a queen, a decision was made to crown the first runner-up, Shavrine Wilson,” Ramchandani said in a statement to The Gleaner.

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Governance, the NHT, and the Partnership for Jamaica

As president of the PSOJ, I have always been guided by the principle that the PSOJ should, at all times, present a balanced, non-political position on national issues, and in forming these positions must not only take into account the views of its members, but when appropriate, the views of civil society.

In the case of the NHT purchase of the Outameni property, an issue which has deeply divided and distracted the country, the PSOJ has, acting jointly with the JCC and the JMA, as well as taking into account the views of other private sector and civil society groups, issued three public statements which I think have been faithful to this principle.

These statements have become increasingly more critical of the NHT as new information has been made available to the public, and the final statement issued on Nov 26 stated up front that we were deeply disappointed that the opportunity has been missed to restore public confidence in this critical national institution, by wiping the slate clean and appointing a new NHT Board; that the NHT has erred in its decision to purchase the Outameni property for J$180 million; and that public concerns about this issue continue to distract the nation from focusing on other critical economic and social issues.

We also expressed the fear that governance concerns could negatively affect investor confidence in the wider economic reform being undertaken by the Government. Read more

Survey of Living Conditions says Jamaica ageing

The Jamaica Survey of Living Conditions (JSLC) has identified an ageing Jamaican population in its latest edition (2012), released by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) on Friday.

“The trend of population ageing continued to be observed, with the decline in the number of children per household being the greatest influence on mean household size,” the survey reported.

It added that there was a smaller proportion of children in the Kingston Metropolitan Area (KMA), compared with other towns and rural areas with approximately the same conditions.

The KMA covers the parishes of Kingston, Jamaica’s capital city, St Andrew, and southeastern St. Catherine, including Portmore.

According to the survey, the KMA also housed the largest proportion of the working age population (15–64 years), while the largest proportion of the dependent elderly people (65+ years) was found in rural areas.

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Digicel fibre network to help create ‘smart cities’ in Jamaica

DIGICEL yesterday said that its underground fibre network will help create ‘smart cities’ in Jamaica.

According to the telecommunications company, its recently installed advanced fibre-optic technology boosts Jamaica’s ability to handle large quantities of data at high speeds.

“Smart cities generate insights from big data to improve efficiency of physical infrastructure use and enhances decision-making as it engages e-participation with its citizens,” Digicel said, adding that these cities are regarded as major growth drivers, as close to 50 per cent of the global GDP comes from urban centres.

Earlier this year, Senator Angela Brown-Burke, who is also the mayor of Kingston, noted the importance of the fibre network.

“This investment in fibre by Digicel Business will certainly help us to achieve some of the broader objectives of the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation, as well as some of our ICT development plans,” she said. “We’re looking to redevelop downtown Kingston, and having this fibre network will definitely play a key role in making this work.”

The Government has already started implementing smart city projects, such as the Tablets in Schools initiative.

“Kids are going to go home with their tablets,” said Brown-Burke. “So once they’re in a Wi-Fi area, they can pick up and continue their work.”

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St George’s stun Jamaica College

St George’s College stunned Jamaica College 3-2 in the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/LIME Walker Cup final at Constant Spring Sports Complex yesterday.

The champions surprised JC on a soggy surface with goals courtesy of Shevon Stewart in the 13th minute, Gregory Messam Jr (26th, penalty) and Amoy Brown (39th). JC fought back with a brace from Junior Flemmings (61st, penalty) and (90th).

St George’s almost put the game out of reach before half-time, however, JC who went into the game in the hunt for a third title of the season fought back with a brace from captain Flemmings, but in the end it was too late and St George’s held on for their ninth Walker Cup crown.

Coming off a three-week break, St George’s showed determination as they did not want to end the season without a title. On the other hand, JC who won the LIME Super Cup and Manning Cup titles in the past two weeks could not celebrate another trophy.

St George’s College’s veteran coach, Neville ‘Bertis’ Bell, praised his team.

“Well, to be honest, I’m not sure if the rest was in our favour. Our strength has always been our confidence,” Bell told The Gleaner.

“I knew JC are a good team, but we are also a good team. This is not a surprise for us,” he added.

Gracious in Defeat

“It was not difficult to motivate the players. They wanted it. We have now won the most Walker Cup titles. We did not get the Manning Cup or Super Cup, but this is a schoolboy trophy. And, we are now tied with JC for most schoolboy titles,” Bell informed.

Meanwhile, JC’s coach, Miguel Coley was gracious in defeat.

“It was a good game. We made critical mistakes in the first half. We regrouped and scored twice in the second half. The team showed the heart of a champion and fought back, but it was too late,” Coley said.

“We will go back and focus on the Olivier Shield next week,” he noted.