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Daily News - Wednesday, 26 November 2014

President Medina inaugurates more schools
Yesterday, Tuesday 25 November 2014, President Danilo Medina inaugurated five more schools with 82 classrooms, all of which will be implementing the extended school day.

The ceremony took place at the Carmen Quidiello de Bosch School in Santo Domingo in the presence of relatives of ruling PLD party founder Juan Bosch's widow Carmen Quidiello. The director of the National Library, Diomedes Nunez Polanco, who was Professor Bosch's assistant for many years, was also present.

Medina also inaugurated the Amin Abel Hasbun high school in Las Canitas, Santo Domingo East and Santa Fe and Esperanza School in Santa Barbara, Santo Domingo West.

In Monte Plata, the President inaugurated the Juan Bosch School in Pueblo Nuevo, Yamasa and the Francisco del Rosario Sanchez School, in Peralvillo.


Need to improve Internet connectivity
A total of 8,618,015 mobile phones are in use in the country, which means that 82.69% of the population has a telephone.

Nevertheless, there are phones and there are phones. According to Dominican Telecommunications Institute (Indotel) president Gedeon Santos, 86% of the phones are not worth more than US$20.

He said that although smart phones would help more people to connect to the Internet, they are still unaffordable to most. They cost at least US$200.

He adds that only 14% of homes are connected to the Internet. The figures are from the Enhogar 2013 study, which found that only 22% of homes in the Dominican Republic have a computer.

He went on to say that around 26% of the population is connected to the Internet and that this is one of the lowest rates in the region, only comparable to Nicaragua and Honduras. He added that for many people the connection is very weak.

The Enhogar research showed that many people only have access to the Internet at work. Nevertheless, the study showed that in middle class households many families have up to three computers.

De los Santos says that Internet connectivity needs to be improved throughout the whole country. The southwest of the country has the worst Internet coverage.


Consultation on people with disabilities to begin
The National Council for Disability (CONADIS) says it is starting a national consultation process to create a new law on the rights of disabled people.

CONADIS director Magino Corporan Lorenzo announced to the press that the discussions would begin in the south on 4 December and take three days.

He said that around 12.3% of Dominicans have some sort of disability and CONADIS wants to ensure that social policies include disabled people and foster a culture of inclusivity.


Manufacturing Competitiveness and Innovation bill passes
The Chamber of Deputies has passed the bill that modifies several items in the Industrial Competitiveness and Innovation Law 392-07. The bill now moves to the Executive Branch for signing into law and publication.

The bill improves the institutional framework for enhancing the competitiveness of the manufacturing industry. It also provides incentives for linkages both domestically and internationally as well as introducing new measures for encouraging exports.

Dominican Republic Industries Association president Ligia Bonetti has highlighted that the manufacturing base has dropped 10 percentage points since 2007 and is now at a weak 12% of GDP. Bonetti has consistently advocated for improvements to government industrial policy.




Rafael Blanco Canto to chair National Business Council (Conep)
For the first time, a tourism executive will head the National Business Council that represents the leading business organizations in the country. Rafael Blanco Canto, better known for the Viva Wyndham resorts, has been elected for the 2015-2017 term. Other board members are Ligia Bonetti, first vice president; Pedro Brache, second vice president; Lina Garcia, third vice president; Campos de Moya, secretary; Marisol Vicens, vice secretary; Rafael del Toro, treasurer and Leonardo Matos, vice treasurer.

Elected as members of the board for the period 2014-2016 were: Haydee Kuret, Juan Bautista Vicini Lluberes, David Soares, Aquiles Bermudez, Antonio Ramos, Samuel Conde, Oscar Pena, Maximo Vidal, Laura Pena Izquierdo, Jaime Gonzalez, Franklin Leon, Roberto Herrera, Pedro Perez Gonzalez, Teddy Heinsen and Issaachar Burgos as reported in El Nuevo Diario.

US Ambassador visits Bavaro power plant
A delegation from the United States Embassy, headed by Ambassador James Brewster, visited the Punta Cana Macao Energy Consortium Plant to learn about its operations and the new energy system that uses the energy released during the operation of the plant to produce hot water, steam and ice sold to hotels in the area.

The Ambassador said that he was very impressed by the performance indicators at the plant as they comply with international standards. The plant's operation is recognized by the Regional Integrated Energy Commission (CIER) as the third best electricity distribution company in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Brewster, who was received at the plant by the executive director, Roberto Herrera, said that the plant donated electricity to all the public schools in the area, thus making a contribution to the development of the Bavaro and Punta Cana tourism area.


Investigation into collapsed bank underway
National District Prosecutor Yeni Berenice Reynoso has revealed that the executives of the collapsed Peravia Bank are under investigation, and that money laundering is suspected. She said she had received several writs suggesting possible fraud at the bank, affecting account holders. She said she is working closely with the Superintendence of Bank and the Monetary Board.

Listin Diario reports that there is no exit ban of the bank executives. A source said that Gabriel Arturo Jimenez Aray, one of the bank's top executives, flew to Atlanta on 20 November 2014 and has not returned. Another executive, Jose Luis Santorro, was known to have left on 19 November via Panama, but returned to the DR the following day.

The Peravia Savings and Loans bank is the same entity that was involved in last month's bizarre attempted kidnapping of a Venezuelan businessman who came to the country to retrieve millions of dollars, supposedly owed to him by the bank.

Hundreds of people visited the main offices of the Banco Peravia de Ahorros y Credito on Winston Churchill Avenue in Santo Domingo.

News reports are speculating that the Superintendence of Banks may have been lenient or negligent toward this financial entity.

As reported in El Dia, preliminary investigations by the prosecutors revealed that savings were being diverted to third party private accounts abroad.





No electricity in Cibao Arena
The Northern Electricity Distribution Company (EdeNorte) has announced that today, Wednesday 26 November 2014, they are cutting off the electricity supply to the Greater Cibao Arena as the Ministry of Sport has allegedly refused to pay its electricity bill and owes EdeNorte several million pesos.

Arena administrator, architect Kiwa Dominguez said that there was no way that the Ministry and Edenorte could come to an agreement. She said that anyone hiring the arena would have to make their own arrangements for electricity.

The arena is used by thousands of people for graduation ceremonies, sporting events and concerts.


Arrests in murder of US lawyer
The National Police has arrested two suspects in the murder of a lawyer from the Washington D.C., Van Teasley in the Santo Domingo neighborhood of Gazcue on 31 October 2014.

The arrested men are 20-year old Luigy Miguel Gonzalez Gomez (Coca Negra) from Capotillo and 19-year old Jhon Michael Cabrera from Las Canitas.

El Dia reports that Gonzalez Gomez confessed to the murder of the 55-year old Van Teasley with whom he said he had a homosexual relationship.

While robbery is suspected, the prosecutors continue to investigate the case. Teasley was using AIDS/HIV retroviral treatment, as reorted in El Dia. Prosecutor Wagner Robles said that preventive custody would be requested for the two accused.

Police spokesman Jacobo Mateo Moquete said that Gonzalez Gomez had been in a one-year long relationship with Teasley and had met with Teasley, introducing Cabrera as his cousin.

It appears that they plotted to kill him and before arriving at his apartment had already bought plastic tie wraps from a nearby store, which they used to tie up the victim.

Gonzalez Gomez said that they met Teasley in Parque Independencia and then went to his apartment where they killed him and stole US$1,500 in cash as well as clothes, shoes and mobile telephones.

Moquete said that Gonzalez admitted they used a pillowcase to smother Van Teasley before going to a local hotel by taxi to divide up the money and stolen items.





Dominican baseball player kills motorcyclist
Rangers prospect Ronald Guzman was involved in a car crash in the central city of La Vega in the early hours of Tuesday morning, 25 November 2014 in which one person was killed.

Police said that Guzman was driving a Ford Explorer and hit a motorcycle, killing its 27-year old driver Eleazar Garcia at 1am on Tuesday.

Guzman is waiting to hear whether charges will be filed against him.

The 20-year old ballplayer had just finished his third season in the Rangers organization, the last two of which he spent with the Class A Hickory Crawdads. He hit .218 with a 63 RBI and six homers. He mostly played first base for Hickory, but also saw action in the outfield and at DH.

The accident comes within weeks of the death of St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Oscar Tavares in a car accident in the northern province of Puerto Plata.


Black Friday comes on strong
Dominicans have been quick to copy US traditions.... Many people here now celebrate Halloween and Thanksgiving. It was only a matter of time before stores started holding "Black Friday" sales. Last year it was an all-round success and this year the exception is the store that is not offering some of the best sales ever on Friday, 28 November 2014.

In Santo Domingo, Carrefour supermarket is advertising its Wine Fair for the weekend. Get excellent prices on European and especially French wines.

Tech store Cecomsa is advertising 30 to 15% off, depending on the time the customers go shopping (the store is open 6am to 6pm.).

Omega Tech, another large tech store, is offering the best prices on electronics for that day.

Bravo supermarket is advertising 50% off the second bottle of wine in a selection.

Plaza Lama is open from 6am for Black Friday sales.

Appliance store Corripio is advertising Black Friday sales on Thursday 27 November (for Banco Popular credit card holders) and Friday 28 November (general public).

La Curacao appliances store is advertising Black Friday sales on 28 and 29 November.

Pinturas Tropical is advertising 20-30% off on selected paint colors on Black Friday.

Jumbo supermarket is advertising an extended Black Friday, from 26 to 30 November when banks located within the center are offering special deals on loans.

Several vehicle tire vendors have been advertising Black Friday sales.

Lanco products are 30-40% off on Black Friday.

Casa Cuesta is advertising 20-30% off appliances.

Ikea is also in the sales and is promoting its own deals.

Office Depot at Galeria 360 is advertising sales from 6pm to 12 midnight on Thursday, 28 November and from 6am to 12 midnight on Friday, 29 November.

Carol pharmacy is advertising 15% off all prices on Thursday, 27 November and Friday, 28 November.

Home Gallery furniture store has 50% off all the furniture.

Simmons mattresses stores at Bella Vista Mall, Nunez de Caceres and Gustavo Mejia Ricart avenues have sales of 50-30% on mattresses.

Optica Lopez has 20% off eyeglasses at their Santo Domingo stores at Plaza Central, Churchill, Av. Venezuela, Sanchez Km 7 and in Santiago.

Stores at the leading shopping malls are offering big sales.

Johnny Ventura Concert
Living merengue legend Johnny Ventura ("El Caballo Mayor") presents his Christmas gala at the Opalo Gran Salon of the Embassy Suites by Hilton Santo Domingo on Av. Tiradentes with Gustavo Mejia Ricart in Santo Domingo this Friday, 28 November. This is a benefit for the Un Techo Para Mi Pais Foundation. 8:30pm.

There will be an area for dancing. Tickets at tuboleto.com.do

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

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