We cut through the clutter to tell you some of the most important stories of the day.
Economy Continues To Grow
The Jamaican economy grew by one per cent in the first quarter of the fiscal year, April to June 2019. The data reflects the 18th consecutive quarter of growth of the economy. Director General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Dr. Wayne Henry, says the out-turn was buoyed by a 1.4 per cent expansion of the services industry that was counter balanced by contractions in the agriculture and fisheries industry and in construction. Dr Henry gave details about the first quarter growth figures at the PIOJ’s quarterly briefing in St Andrew on Monday, August 26.
Shaw Upset With Coffee
Minister of Agriculture Audley Shaw says he is in a “militant” mood about protecting the local coffee industry. He expressed negative sentiments about importers who keep coming to the Ministry for coffee import permits, even while farmers in Jamaica complain of distress in the prices they get for the crop. At a meeting Monday, August 26, with coffee farmers Mr Shaw threatened to stop issuing import permits for coffee if local farmers were not able to get better prices.
Dorian Takes Aim
Several Caribbean countries are taking different levels of precaution against Tropical Storm Dorian whose effects are expected to be felt after midnight Monday in Barbados. St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines are on a Tropical storm watch after Barbados declared a shutdown Monday morning. Caribbean Airlines has cancelled some flights to eastern Caribbean countries. The Met Service said Monday afternoon that the storm was still not a threat to Jamaica. At 4:00 p.m. the centre of Tropical Storm Dorian was located near latitude 12.7 degrees North, longitude 58.8 degrees West. Dorian is moving toward the west-northwest near 22 km/h, and this motion is expected to continue through Tuesday night, followed by a move toward the northwest on Wednesday. On the forecast track, the centre of Dorian is expected to move near the Windward Islands Monday evening and night and move into the eastern Caribbean Sea on Tuesday. Dorian is forecast to pass near or south of Puerto Rico on Wednesday and approach eastern Hispaniola Wednesday night.
South Coast Highway Signing
The Government has signed a contract with CHEC for the South Coast Highway Improvement project (Phase 1) Prime Minister Andrew Holness said the government is now pushing development to the east, having already done so for the west and centre of the island. He said the road works will open up some lands for development. The 14 Km dual carriageway from Harbour View, toward Yallahs, St Thomas, with other works to surrounding towns is to cost US$195 million. The signing took place at the Office of the Prime Minister Monday, August 26.
Parry Town Murders
Two men were shot and killed in Parry town, near Ocho Rios St Ann, Monday morning, August 26. Reports are that the men were sitting under a tree in a yard when men on foot approached. The men pulled firearms and shot the two under the tree. One died on the scene and the other died on the way to the hospital. One of the men killed was an entertainer with the Unstoppable team. Councillor for the area, Ian Bell has been appealing to police for the last several months to increase patrols and presence as residents in the area are afraid. Jamaica Today reported last month that Bell asked the police to impose enhanced security measures to reduce acts of criminality in the community where high levels of squatting have taken place in recent years.