AMET places cones on Bosch Bridge to expedite traffic
Raises for state prosecutors
Hard Rock investors may be giving up on city hotel
Bautista of the PRM on Odebrecht works overpricing
Green torch lit in protest against impunity
US Embassy donates more dogs for the canine unit
Major fire on cardboard industry on Av. Colombia
Team DR defeats Team USA in WBC
DR comes from behind again and defeats Colombia
Ozuna at Imagine in Punta Cana for Easter



AMET places cones on Bosch Bridge to expedite traffic
The Metropolitan Transport Authority (AMET) has installed cones in its most recent effort to reduce the intensity of traffic jams for vehicles crossing from eastern to western Santo Domingo. Hundreds of thousands of people live in eastern Santo Domingo and commute to work in the National District. 

The cones were installed along the extension of Professor Juan Bosch Bridge that crosses over the Ozama River on to the Av. 27 de Febrero overpass exit. 

AMET spokesman said the cones stop drivers from crisscrossing lanes and creating bottlenecks.  It is hoped that by restricting lane changes traffic flow from eastern Santo Domingo to the National District will improve. 

http://hoy.com.do/amet-coloca-conos-...izar-transito/


Raises for state prosecutors
Attorney General Jean-Alain Rodríguez has announced wage increases of around 25% for prosecutors. He said the hope is that all prosecutors be career government professional civil servants. At present, an estimated 70% are career officers. Rodríguez announced the remaining 30% will be hired through a competitive professional evaluation process. 

He said the raise will be effective immediately and will apply to all employees of the Public Ministry. There will be a wage scale to correct unfair distortions accumulated over the years. 

He made the announcement during the Second National Encounter of the Public Ministry. 

http://elnacional.com.do/procurador-...-procuradores/
http://www.7dias.com.do/portada/2017...o-publico.html


Hard Rock investors may be giving up on city hotel
After securing government permits for the construction of a 40-story hotel, 400-room announced by Hard Rock International in January 2016, the Mexican investors may be abandoning the building of the Hard Rock Santo Domingo Hotel and Casino at their chosen Piantini location. The announcement was made by Mayor David Collado. 

Piantini neighbor groups had criticized that the construction of the hotel, according to the architectural plans originally announced in press releases by the company, had violated multiple zoning laws and codes. The community representatives said the problems the construction of the 400-room hotel and casino in the middle of a residential and commercial area would create were not addressed.  Headlines were first made when community groups impeded the company from receiving the Ministry of Environment go-ahead for the construction, which was one of the last permits needed for a full go-ahead for the project.

Other high rise hotels built recently in the area have met the zoning regulations, including the JW Marriott, the Embassy Suites and the InterContinental that have respected the density limits that neighborhood groups said should also apply to the Hard Rock Santo Domingo Hotel. The neighbors highlighted zoning only allowed 23 floors and not the 40 floors initially announced by the company in a Hard Rock International press release. 

Neighbor groups also opposed the lack of adequate parking at the Av. Abraham Lincoln and Andres Julio Aybar Street location and the undesirable effects of operating a 2,136.77m2 (23,000 square foot) mega casino in the area. 

Mayor David Collado said that the lawyers for the developing company had said they would not continue with the plans to build the hotel. 

The construction of the hotel had received the backing of the Ministry of Tourism and the National Hotel & Tourism Association (Asonahores). If all had gone well, the hotel would have been opened by the end of this year. 

Roberto Henríquez, president of the Association of Hotels of Santo Domingo said that the dropping of the project sends a bad signal to national and international investors. However, others have argued that the halted project sends a positive sign to investors that zoning laws need to be respected in the city.

Hard Rock International is successfully operating a hotel in the Punta Cana area. The hotel company has called its operation in Punta Cana an “overwhelming success” and has wanted to repeat the success in Santo Domingo. 

http://www.7dias.com.do/portada/2017...o-domingo.html
http://elnacional.com.do/deploran-fo...stir-de-hotel/
http://www.elcaribe.com.do/2016/01/1...-pisos-lincoln


Bautista of the PRM on Odebrecht works overpricing
The president of the Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM), Andres Bautista complained that the Attorney General Jean Alain Rodríguez has not investigated the overpricing of the works built by the Brazilian firm Odebrecht. Bautista speculated the prosecutor does not want to have to reveal the names of the government officers and government party members that are involved. 

The Odebrecht case is under investigation after a New York City Court announced that the Brazilian company had admitted to paying US$92 million in bribes in the Dominican Republic for securing contract work. The only named person, Angel Rondón has denied receiving bribes and has argued he received a similar amount as professional fees for securing the work for the company. So far there have been no arrests by Dominican prosecutors. 

Bautista gave the example of overpricing in that the Coral Highway to Punta Cana was contracted for US$272 million, and Congress approved a US$163 million loan for the project. Nevertheless, he said in the SIGEF government financial system shows a record of US$454 million paid with foreign loans for the same construction. 

http://acento.com.do/2017/politica/8...ras-odebrecht/


Green torch lit in protest against impunity
The Green March (Marcha Verde) social movement organizers met on Sunday, 12 March 2017 to light a torch as a symbol of the journey that begins on Monday, 13 March across the country as activists continue to demand an end to impunity for those involved in bribery and corruption in government. 

The “green flame” was symbolically lit in the town of Capotillo, in the border province of Dajabón in the northwest. The location was where Dominicans began the Restoration War against Spain in 1861 to restore Dominican independence. The organizers explained the green flame will be taken across the country. 

Odebrecht officials have admitted paying bribes for US$92 million in the Dominican Republic for contract work, but the Dominican judiciary has yet to make the first arrest in the case. 

The green torch is part of continued efforts of Marcha Verde to raise awareness of the dangers to society and governance of allowing government officials to brazenly accept bribes and commit other illegal acts to the detriment of the country.

In a press release, Marcha Verde says the green torch will simultaneously cover journeys in Barahona in the southwest, Valverde in the northwest and Higuey in the east and will conclude with a major rally in Santo Domingo on 19 March at the Independence Park. The organizers are asking citizens to come out of their homes and businesses to greet the torch-bearers and light a candle, gas lamp or any type of flame to send a clear message that impunity and corruption will no longer be accepted in any government office, including the Presidential Palace.

http://www.7dias.com.do/portada/2017...odebrecht.html


US Embassy donates more dogs for the canine unit
The United States Embassy has donated 40 service dogs and vehicles for their transport as part of a program to enhance citizen security in the country. The dogs are assigned to the National Drugs Control Agency (DNCD), the Specialized Border Security Corps (CESFRONT) and the 911 System. The dogs will assist in efforts to combat drug trafficking, and conduct border patrols and other citizen security operations. The donation is estimated at US$400,000, including the seven vehicles assigned for the transport of the dogs. 

The US Embassy expects to make an additional donation of eight more vehicles for Cesfront, 911 program and the model jails system. 

Patrick Dunn, chargé d’affaires at the US Embassy, said the US government is committed to support the country in its efforts to improve citizen safety. He congratulated the National Canine Academy of the DNCD in Bonao for its advances in becoming a regional training center. 

The president of the DNCD, Vice Admiral Edmundo Félix Pimentel, and the director general of Cesfront, Brigade General Sugar Puttzi Frugis Martínez, received the donations for their respective institutions. 


Major fire on cardboard industry on Av. Colombia
25 firetrucks were called to combat the major fire at a box-making factory on Av. Colombia and Av. Monumental in northern Santo Domingo. The fire, which apparently began early Sunday morning, affected the installations at Compañía Comercial Caribe. No victims have been reported. It took all morning for firefighters to control the blaze. 

http://www.diariolibre.com/noticias/...mbia-EH6548152
http://elnuevodiario.com.do/app/article.aspx?id=525024


Team DR defeats Team USA in WBC
Cooperstown Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez threw the first pitch for the defending champion Team DR in the Saturday, 11 March 2017 World Baseball Classic game in Miami, Florida. For five innings it was smooth sailing for the United States team in the World Baseball Classic. Pitcher Marcus Stroman controlled the Dominican team, handing over a score 5-0 to relief pitchers at the start of the sixth inning. 

With the relief pitchers that followed, nevertheless, it was a different story. In the sixth inning, Manny Machado reminded the team about plantain power when he delivered the Dominican squad’s first of many home runs to follow. Nelson Cruz was too much for Team USA star reliever Andrew Miller. In the eighth, Cruz delivered a three-run homer that put Team DR in the lead 6-5. After that, Starling Marte hit another home run into the right-field bullpen. 

Tony Peña, team manager, attributed the win to the passion the Dominican team plays with:  “we are playing with heart.” 

With the 7-5 win over Team USA, the Dominican Republic extended its winning streak in the WBC to 10 games. While the DR is the defending 2013 champion of the tournament, the best Team USA has done in the WBC is 4th place. 

The 37,446 is the largest attendance for a game in the five years history of the Marlins Park. 

Read more and see videos of game highlights at: 
http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/ml...torylink=cpy 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9C3uzXwtoX0
http://www.espn.com/blog/sweetspot/p...wn-of-team-usa
http://sports.yahoo.com/news/the-uni...181926140.html
https://www.thestar.com/sports/baseb...up-homers.html
https://www.worldbaseballclassic.com/bracket
http://m.mlb.com/news/article/218932...icid=209143850
http://www.listindiario.com/el-depor...ras-de-campeon
http://www.7dias.com.do/portada/2017...ola-honor.html
http://www.listindiario.com/el-depor...ras-de-campeon
http://acento.com.do/2017/deportes/8...ruz-aqui-esta/
http://elnacional.com.do/tony-pena-e...on-el-corazon/


DR comes from behind again and defeats Colombia
Playing in Pool C, the DR defeated Colombia 10-3 in an incredible 11 innings at Marlins Park in Miami, Florida during the World Baseball Classic. Colombia had been ahead until the 9th inning. 

In the 11th inning, Team DR delivered the seven runs needed to win the game.  In the previous game against Team USA, the Dominican team also came from behind, overcoming a 5-0 lead starting in the 6th inning. 

In the game against Colombia, catcher Wellington Castillo was the hero. His two-run single off Colombian pitcher William Cuevas brought home the go-ahead runs in what ended up as a seven-run Dominican 11th inning. Team DR took advantage of the Classic-specific rule that places runners on first and second starting in the 11th inning, as reported by Major League Baseball. 

This is the 11th consecutive game Team DR has won in the World Baseball Classic. 

Despite mostly being a team of minor league baseball players with little MLB experience, Colombia also almost defeated Team USA, dropping a 3-2 decision in extra innings. 

With the win, the DR earned a spot in the second round robin of the World Baseball Classic set for the San Diego’s Petco Park, California from 14-19 March 2017.  Puerto Rico and USA have also qualified for the second round. 

http://m.mlb.com/news/article/219023...1-to-win-pool/
https://www.worldbaseballclassic.com/bracket


Ozuna at Imagine in Punta Cana for Easter
Puerto Rican reggaeton singer and songwriter Ozuna is booked for a performance at “Imagine Punta Cana” on Easter Saturday, 15 April 2017. He is coming with his band. Of Dominican origin, Ozuna will be playing these hits to Dominican fans:
“Corazón de seda”, “Dile que tú me quieres”, “En la intimidad”, “Te vas”, “El pecado”, “Después de las 12”, “Falsas mentiras”, among others. 
Listen to his music at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wklCLjvP8Hs

For information on upcoming events:
http://www.dr1.com/calendar


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