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Daily News - Wednesday, 09 April 2014

Solar power for clinic
On 8 April, President Danilo Medina inaugurated a solar power energy and air conditioning system that was installed in the Union Medica Clinic in Santiago. The Union Medica is one of the largest and most advanced private medical centers in the country. This private hospital and the also renowned Metropolitan Hospital of Santiago have helped raise Santiago's image as a center for general medical services and medical tourism.

Daniel Rivera, president of the administrative board of Union Medica, said that the electrification improvement project cost RD$125 million and the solar power system was capable of producing 501 kilowatts per hour from energy derived from 600 solar panels. This energy production supplies around 40 to 50% of the daily energy needed by the clinic.

Rivera noted that the hospital's new central air-conditioning system will improve air quality and reduce noise in the building.



President Medina opens more schools
President Danilo Medina continued to highlight his government's investment in education as he inaugurated yet another 11 schools (totaling 156 new classrooms), this time in Santiago. The schools are equipped to support the activities required for the full school day programs.

The inauguration ceremony took place at Francisco Arias School in Santa Maria in La Otra Banda.

The 11 schools were built and equipped at a cost of RD$441,303,248 and boast modern science laboratories, computer centers, kitchens, dining rooms, libraries, solar panels and other facilities.


Penal Code returned to Congress
Cesar Pina Toribio, Legal Advisor to the Executive Branch, announced yesterday that President Danilo Medina has reviewed the proposed new Penal Procedures Code and returned it to Congress with the request that both legislative chambers address major issues regarding the Penal Code that have arisen during these weeks of public discourse.

Toribio said that the President had asked them to ensure that the Code not only help with the security of citizens but also respect fundamental human rights, while first and foremost adhering to the Constitution.

He went on to say that the President recognized the work that had gone into the bill and congratulated the senators and deputies for their dedication. The changes to the Penal Procedures Code have been debated in Congress for more than seven years.


More telecom frequencies up for grabs
The Dominican Telecommunications Institute (Indotel) has renewed the tender for new frequencies that will enable telecoms companies to make considerable improvements to cellular and Internet services throughout the country.

The frequencies are in bands between 941 and 960 MHz; 1710 and 1755 MHz, as well as 2110 and 2155 MHz.

Some of the access and use of some of the 'new' frequencies (941-960 MHz and 2110-2120 MhZ) are part of a dispute brought Telemicro and Full Telephone Services (Satel). These companies claim that although they own these frequencies in question, they are being used by n but Orange as part of that company's 4G service.

Disputes aside, the granting of these frequencies will increase the bandwidth for cell phones and the Internet and will make the platforms significantly more stable for users.


Wife of Narcisazo provides list of suspects
Altagracia Ramirez, wife of the missing UASD university professor Narciso Gonzalez (Narcisazo), provided the National District prosecutor, Yeni Berenice Reynoso, a list of ten people, civilians and military personnel, who may have been involved in or may have information about the disappearance of her husband. Ramirez, who was accompanied by her lawyer, Tomas Castro, said to Reynoso that she hoped the prosecutor's office would carry out a thorough investigation to find out who was responsible for her husband's disappearance on 26 May 1994.

She strongly believes that her husband was tortured so that he would confess where he had obtained the information contained in a fiery speech he made at the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (UASD) on 25 May 1994.

Ramirez declined to make the list public, when asked if the list contained names of current members of the government or military personnel on active service. However, she did express hope that that the prosecutor would release the names. She did say that the list includes people in the public eye, and that possibly some of them had been involved in other crimes unrelated to those committed against her husband.




New buses for Santo Domingo
According to the director of OMSA, Manual Rivas, as of today, 44 buses will become part of their fleet with another 46 going into service over the next few weeks.

The buses had been parked for more than three years at the Dominican Naval Base.

Rivas explained that the buses have been reconditioned and that 44 buses will start service the Ave. 27 de Febrero corridor, beginning at 6 AM and running every 5 minutes.

He went on to say that the integration of these buses into the fleet would create new jobs including the hiring of an additional 200 drivers.


Cases of Chikungunya on the rise
Dr. Jose Manuel Puello, the director of the National Center for Control of Tropical Diseases (CENCET), has turned to the media to help raise awareness of the recently introduced Chikungunya fever. Speaking on the program Chevere Nights on Channel 11, Dr. Puello explained that the Chikungunya fever is not transmitted person to person, but rather a mosquito needs to bite an infected person and then bite another person to transmit the disease.

He said that the virus is transmitted by the same mosquito and that the virus had an incubation period of between seven and 12 days. He reminded viewers that the initial symptoms are high fever, joint aches, fatigue and rash.

He called on the population not to self-medicate, but rather consult a physician immediately. Dr. Puello emphasized the importance of preventing the spread of the virus by eliminating standing water around the home using chlorine to disinfect water.

The presence of the virus in the Dominican Republic has been confirmed by the United States Disease Control Center (CDC) and although it is not yet known exactly how many people have been affected, the number of suspected cases are increasing, especially in Haina and Nigua. Cases have also been reported in San Pedro de Macoris.


Ship runs aground
According to the Dominican Navy, a ship under the Chinese flag ran aground off Cabo Rojo in Pedernales province on Monday 7 April, and the Navy, together with other organizations is taking measures to ensure the accident will not cause severe damage to the coast or near-shore ecologies.

The ship called "Great Qin," destined for the port of Shandong in China, is laden with bauxite from Cabo Rojo. At present there is no imminent danger to the country, but the Commander of the Dominican Navy, Edwin Dominici has met with the Minister of the Environment Bautista Rojas Gomez, the director of the Dominican Port Authority, Ramon Rivas, and the Deputy Minister of the Environment for Coastal Affairs, Ydalia Acevedo to monitor the situation and coordinate measures across the government ministries and agencies.

The ship is 2.7 nautical miles to the south west of Cabo Rojo.


Bomb in Navarrete
The National Police arrested two men accused of carrying a bomb that was due to explode at noon yesterday 8 April in Navarrete.

The men were identified as Jose Luis Rodriguez, aged 26, and Jose Manuel Moran, 36.

According to the Police the men were travelling on a motorcycle with the bomb that had an automatic timer set to go off at noon. The motive for the proposed attack has not been revealed.

Last week the Police recovered an Uzi machine gun on a farm in Navarrete.

Navarrete is the home to several 'populist' organizations that often stage and instigate violent protests that have left scores of people dead and injured.

Listin Diario tried to speak to the Santiago prosecutor, Luisa Liranza, about the case, but Liranza refused saying that a press release would be issued in due course.


Still little rain
The National Meteorological Office (ONAMET) has said that the weather today should remain dry due to a system of high pressure moving through the Caribbean. However, there is a chance of clouds forming in the late afternoons that could lead to rain later in the day. The rains would be welcome given the unusually severe seasonal drought that many areas of the country are experiencing.

Forecasters predict that on Thursday, a high pressure system currently situated over the country, will begin to move away as a new front will arrive over the western part of the country, bringing with it higher humidity that could produce showers along the Atlantic coast, affecting the northeast, northwest and parts of the Cibao.

Government officials reminded the population that we were still experiencing a drought and water should be rationed especially in the south, southwest and northwest. Temperatures are predicted to be between 30?C and 31?C maximum, with minimum temperatures between 21C and 22C.


Update on the Dominican basketball team to World Cup
Eduardo Najri, general manager of the Dominican basketball team that will participate in the 24-team FIBA Basketball World Cup, said that Alfred Horford of the Atlanta Hawks will be on the Dominican team. He also confirmed that Orlando Antigua will coach the team. Najri also reports that James Feldeine would be the team's naturalized player. Antigua is leaving his position as assistant basketball coach at the University of Kentucky and has accepted the head coaching job for the men's basketball program at the University of South Florida.

In related hoops news, FIBA Basketball World Cup will take place in several Spanish cities from 30 August to 14 September 2014. The event carries a new name for the FIBA World Championship that has been taking place since 1950.

The Dominican Republic qualified to participate in the event for the Americas, together with Mexico, Puerto Rico and Argentina,. The US is participating as Olympic Champions and Spain as host country. For Oceania the participants are Australia and New Zealand. Europe is represented by France, Lithuania, Croatia, Slovenia, Ukraine and Serbia. Africa is represented by Angola, Egypt and Senegal. While Asia has three representatives: Iran, the Philippines and Korea.

Games are scheduled to be played in Madrid, Sevilla, Granada, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Bilbao and Barcelona.


Santiago's 10K for Sunday, 27 April
Santiago is readying for its own "Santiago Runs" race this coming Sunday, 27 April. The race starts at 8 am at the Gran Teatro del Cibao near the Monumento in Santiago. The organizer of the event, Paulo Paiewonsky said that around 1,200-runners and 3,000 walkers are expected to sign up. Registration points are at Accion Callejera, Asociacion de Industriales de la Region Norte (AIREN), Camara de Comercio y Produccion de Santiago, Diagnosis, Oficina Juan Hernandez and the store Sport 3 de Villa Olga. The registration fee for walkers is RD$300, and RD$500 for runners. By registering, runners will receive a commemorative t-shirt and a chip that will measure their time. The race is organized by Rotary Club Santiago Rincon Largo Inc. and it is part of the Strategic Plan of Santiago that aims to make the city more inclusive, cultural and healthy.

Members of the organizing committee include the Association of Industries of Santiago (AIREN), the runner club Santiago Flyers, the Santiago Chamber of Commerce and the Santiago Council for Strategic Development (CDES).

Super Dance to close Jaragua Renaissance
The Jaragua Renaissance Hotel will be closing on 26 April to undergo a year-long major renovation. To mark the countdown to the new hotel, the management is organizing a mega party with the participation of Fernando Villalona and Sergio Vargas, two of the best merengue orchestras in the Dominican Republic. The winner of the Salsa music of the year, Yiyo Sarante, will be entertaining the audience with his unique brand of salsa. And Joe Veras, of El Chuchicheo-fame, will be the bachata representative. Urban music will be on the stage too with Los Teke Teke. Tickets for the dance are RD$1,200, RD$700 (balcony), RD$2,000 platinum. For reservations and to book tickets, call 809 221-1414.

For more on upcoming events, see www.dr1.com/calendar

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