The News in Brief from The Dominican.net News Desk
Roseau – June 7, 2010 Prime Minister Skerrit announces July 9, 2010 as date for by elections in Dominica
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has announced that nomination day for by elections in the Marigot and Salisbury constituencies will be on June 21, 2010 followed by polling on July 9, 2010.
The by elections were necessitated by a boycott of Parliament undertaken by the United Workers Party (UWP) in protest at the conduct of the December 19, 2010 poll, which resulted in the seats been declared vacant.
The two seats were declared vacant by Speaker of the House Alix Boyd Knight after elected representatives Edison James of the Marigot constituency and Hector John of the Salisbury constituency failed to report for three consecutive seatings of the House.
At the press conference in which the Prime Minister made the announcement he said: “These by elections are unfortunate but they are necessary in our quest to uphold the provisions of the constitution. The DLP will contest both seats in the upcoming elections.
We believe we have a duty to ensure that the people receive e the representation they are entitled too. The DLP shall step in to fill the bridge created by the ill advised political actions by the United Workers Party,” he said.
It is widely expected that the UWP will contest the by elections and field the same candidates.
San Sauvere – May 24, 2010 Three die in San Sauvere landslide
Police and local residents have pulled three bodies from the rubble of a landslide in San Sauvere after more than nine hours of searching by rescue teams.
The three, including a five year old, his grandmother and father died after heavy rains triggered a landslide in the South Eastern village of San Sauvere. One man in the house escaped unhurt.
The dead are Harrison Stout age 51, Sarah Stout age 75 and 5 year old Dyer Stout.
More than four houses were swept away in the landslide considered to be the biggest such disaster in Dominica since the 1978 landslide in Bagatelle that left 8 persons dead.
Miami – May 18, 2010 Klinton Anslem named Florida State College ambassador
On May 13th 2010, Mr. Klinton K. Anselm was offered and accepted an appointment as Ambassador at Florida State College.
The Florida State College is a four year college that offers economically relevant, high-value bachelor’s degrees with all the flexibility and convenience.
Mr. Anselm was born in Riviere Cyrique-Grand Fond Dominica, to Mr. Bernard and Mrs Edris Anselm. Mr. Anselm left Dominica at a very young age and has never forgotten the land of his birth.
When asked about the appointment, Mr. Anselm stated, "It is indeed an honor to be an ambassador to this wonderful institution of higher academic learning, and truly rewarding to share this news with family, friends and fellow Dominicans.
If I can be of any help or assistance, please feel free to drop me an email: ambfscj.gmail.com or give me a call 904-616-1247.
Roseau-April 30, 2010 Dominica mourns the passing of two of its greats
Dominica is this week mourning the deaths of two outstanding citizens who died just a few days apart.
Thomas Baptiste former cricket umpire and sports man who represented Dominica in both cricket and football died earlier this week in Roseau at the age of 75.
Baptiste was an avid sportsman and devoted his life to the development of sports in Dominica. He is the father of Eastern Caribbean Appeals Court Judge Davidson Baptiste and Chief Magistrate in Dominica Evalina Baptiste. He is survived by his wife, children and grand children.
Former Dominican and Combined Island cricketer Kaleb Laurent also died this week. He was 65. He has been described as the greatest West Indian spin bowler who never got to play for the West Indies.
Many believe that he was the finest bowler of spin for a very long time in the Caribbean but was inexplicably left out of the West Indies team.
Laurent, from the village of St Joseph was a community builder who nurtured many young people from that village through his involvement with the Somerset Sports Club. He was for many years a school principal and served as sports minister in the first administration of the Eugenia Charles government from 1980 –85.
His first class cricket career spanned two periods, 1964-65 and 1973-74, during which time he played 16 matches, taking 48 wickets at an average of 26.14 with his right-arm off-breaks. He scored 176 runs.
Roseau- April 26, 2010 Police arrest 26 year old in stabbing death
Police in Dominica has arrested and charged a 26 year-old man from Steber Street in the stabbing death of 18 year old Justin Joseph of Fond Cole.
Joseph died at Princess Margaret Hospital from a single stab wound to the chest allegedly sustained in an altercation with the man from Pottersville.
This is the second reported homicide in Dominica for this year following a record thirtheen murders in 2009.
Toronto – April 19, 2010 Dominican born music artist raise the bar in Canada
Marlon Francis music artist.
Marlon Francis was born and raised in the Commonwealth of Dominica for the 1st 9 years of his life. Marlon moved to Toronto at the age of 10 and has adjusted to Canadian life.
Marlon had always had his sight on the entertainment business as a music performer. At a very young age he was writing and producing his own music and recorded his first CD at the age of 16.
A recording company at the time expressed an interest in Marlon; however, the deal fell through due to bad timing.
Since then Marlon has performed in acting on stage and as a music artist. He is now being represented by Susan J. Talent Management who got him his first break for the Much Music TV Commercial , which is currently aired across Canada.
For more information about Marlon Francis, contact Susan J. at
Susan J. Talent Management
1179 King Street West, Suite #211
Toronto, Ontario, M6K 3C5
Tel. (416) 536-5883 Fax (416) 536-0227
Grand Bay – March 26, 2010 Two men appear in court on drug charges
Theophin Benoit of Grand Bay was fined $57, 000 for the possession and intent to supply 6335 grams of cannabis, after pleading guilty to drug charges before Chief Magistrate Evelina Baptiste.
His codefendant Phillip Baron pleaded not guilty and was remanded in custody.
According to police reports, Benoit’s house was searched by the police and they found marijuana seeds and leaves with a street value for the drugs according to the court of $52,000.
Benoit was sentenced to pay $5,000 by April 30, 2010 or he will spend 10 months in prison on the charge of possession. For the intent to supply charge, he will pay the amount of $52,000 by June 7, 2010 or spend 18 months in prison.
Roseau – March 26, 2010 Inquiry into misconduct allegations of Magistrate Tiyani Behanzin adjorned
The inquiry into allegations of misconduct by Magistrate Tiyani Behanzin has been adjourned with no set date for the resumption of the case.
The local magistrate who is the son of former Prime Minister Roosevelt Douglas has been accused of handing down harsh sentences not in conformity with the laws. Chief Magistrate Evelina Baptiste, along with other local lawyers filed a report with the government, which was then referred to the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal.
Retired Judge of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court Stanley Moore is conducting the inquiry, but according to Behanzin the matter was adjourned because of some unresolved issues.
“Monday I made some submissions to the judge. I requested that the proceedings be recorded and then I made a submission to the tribunal. I have made a request that the proceeding be held in public. I have been tried and convicted in the press and if that’s the case, I rather the proceeding be made public because I think they need to see what is transpiring,” he said.
Roseau-March 23, 2010 Hearing into conduct of Magistrate Tiyani Behanzin
A complaints inquiry is underway in Dominica concerning the conduct of Magistrate Tiyani Behanzin. Four of his colleagues, members of the Bar Association have filed the complaints.
Behanzin describes the complaints inquiry as part of a conspiracy to oust him. The magistrate who is known for his harsh sentencing including giving prison time for petty theft has come under severe criticism from both lawyers and the general public (see sentencing).
Just last year, Chief Magistrate Evelina Baptiste spoke out publicly against Behanzin accusing him of involving his personal feelings in meting out sentences and that he operates outside the law in the execution of his duties.
The inquiry is being heard before the Judicial Legal Service Commission (JLSC), which is based in St. Lucia.
Roseau – March 19, 2010 Police go in search of a possible killer
Police in Dominica have launched a full investigation following the discovery of human skeletal remains in Elmshall.
Deputy Police Commissioner said the body was discovered based on information received after a man was brought in for questioning on a separate matter. This same individual is considered to be a person of interest in the case and is helping the police in their investigations.
Tests are currently being conducted at the Princess Margaret Hospital in an effort to establish the identity of the skeletal remains. There have been no recent reports of missing persons in Dominica.
Roseau – March 19, 2010 Dominica celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Organisation for La Francophonie
Dominica proudly joins 56 other Member States and Governments and 14 observers of the International Organisation for La Francophonie in celebrating the Organisation’s 40th anniversary this year.
The highlight of this year’s celebration of International Francophone Day on March 20th is a new programme entitled CNF Adopts-A-School. This involves the creation of a French Room at a Primary School, to encourage the learning of the French language and to create greater exposure to the cultural diversity of Francophone countries.
The National Commission for La Francophonie has selected the Roseau Primary School, where a classroom will be repaired, painted, decorated, furnished and labeled the French Room.
Additionally, a number of long-serving and outstanding teachers of the French language will be recognized at an Awards Ceremony / Francophone Soiree to be hosted by the National Commission on Friday March 26.
Dominica has been a Member State of the International Organisation for La Francophonie since December 1979.
CARLIFORNIA- March 4, 2010 Former Ross University student faces murder charges in mother?s death
Former Ross University student and pharmacy student Son Nguyen is facing trial for allegedly strangling and murdering his mother.
At the time of the murder, Nguyen was a first-year student at Ross University in Dominica. According to police reports, on December 20, 2008 Son Nguyen was on a break from school and staying with his 71-year-old mother. They shared a room.
Son allegedly argued with his mother and became angry when she didn't support his desire to become a pharmacist, insisting that he become a physician.
Son allegedly strangled his mother to death in the bedroom during the argument, left her there for the night , then called the police the next morning and told them his mother had passed away.
Nguyen has been charged with murder and faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in state prison if convicted. Opening statements were scheduled to begin today in Santa Ana, Carlifornia .
TARREAU ? March 4, 2010 Police investigate possible suicide in Tarreau
Police in Dominica are investigating what appears to be death by suicide of a young man from Tarreau.
According to Police Public Relations Officer Inspector Claude Weekes, 20-year-old Colin Felix of Tarreau was found with a noose around his neck, and hanging from the roof inside of his house.
Felix was transported to the Princess Margaret Hospital where he was pronounced dead by medical staff. Police say that Felix had a history of mental illness and that an autopsy will be performed and a coroner?s inquest into the cause of death convened next week.
Barcelona ? March 3, 2010 Giant wave crashes into cruise ship, kills two
Two passengers aboard a cruise ship were killed when 26-foot waves crashed into the vessel Wednesday, officials said. As many as 14 others were injured.
The Greek Louis Cruise Lines ship was off the French port of Marseille when it was hit by "abnormal" waves, some more than 26 feet (9 meters) high, cruise line spokesman Michael Maratheftis said.
Five windows in public areas were smashed, and two passengers, a German and an Italian, were killed, he said. Fourteen others were treated for light injuries, Maratheftis said.
The vessel, the Louis Majesty, was sailing under a Maltese flag and traveling from Barcelona, Spain, to Genoa, Italy, the Greek Public Ministry of the Mercantile Marine said.
The ship had 1,350 passengers and 580 crew on board, the ministry said.
After being struck, the cruise ship turned around and was heading back to port in Barcelona.
Buoy data off the French coast indicated that weather was the likely cause of the high waves. Winds were at 45 mph at that buoy.
ROSEAU ? February 21, 2010 Vince Henderson named UN ambassador Gregoire to become high commissioner
Former foreign affairs minister Vince Henderson has been appointed to serve as Dominica?s ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations in New York. He replaces Ambassador Crispin Gregoire who held the position from 2000.
Gregoire has been tipped to become Dominica?s High Commissioner in England.
Henderson retired from active politics before the December 18, 2009 elections, after serving as a government minister for about nine years. Before his stint as foreign affairs minister he served as minister of education.
ROSEAU- February 18, 2010 Man fined $267 000 and given jail time for cocaine and firearm possession
Chief Magistrate Evelyn Baptiste ordered 39 year old Edvar Benoit of Goodwill to pay $267 000 immediately or face up to a year-and-a-half in prison after he was convicted for the possession and intent to supply 10,000 grams of cocaine.
Benoit was also sentenced to spend another nine months in prison after pleading guilty to the possession of firearms and ammunition. The cocaine and firearms were found at the home of Benoit after the Police drug squad raided his home.
Charges were initially brought against his girlfriend Wyldolyn Peltier who was at his home at the time, but they were later dropped.
In passing sentence, the Chief Magistrate lamented the continued high use of drugs in the country and said that a message needed to be sent. According to Baptiste, ?He has made his choices? He does not care who is going to get that cocaine. Guess what! It might be an unsuspecting school boy.?
During his sentencing, Benoit told the court that he had secured the cocaine from Guadeloupe.
ROSEAU ? February 10, 2010 Four new ambulances for Fire Department
The Government of Dominica handed over four new ambulances to the Dominica Fire and Ambulance Services valued at a cost of well over EC $440,000.
This brings to six the number of new ambulances that the department has received over a four month period from the government.
Chief Fire Officer Josiah Dupuis said the receipt of the ambulances is timely and that it should help reduce the response time to ambulance calls. He noted that the aim of the department is to be able to respond to each ambulance call within ten minutes.
The ambulances were handed over by minister for National Security Charles Savarin.
ROSEAU?February 8, 2010 Prime Minister Skerrit promises help for Haiti, in Creole
Haiti?s decimated civil service will receive a modest boost from the nearby islands of Dominica and Saint Lucia, who will supply Creole-speaking staff to the quake-stricken nation.
During a recent visit to Port-au-Prince Dominican Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said the two countries could supply 50 to 60 Creole speakers in the short term, with more to follow.
Former Jamaican prime minister P.J. Patterson, who now serves as Haiti special envoy for the regional CARICOM bloc, said the staff would help restore earthquake-hit ministries.
While French is widely spoken by the Haitian elite, an estimated 90 to 95% of the population speak only Creole.
Castle Bruce ? February 6, 2010 Former national cricketer dies in road accident
Dominica has reported its first fatal vehicular accident for 2010, and the second in just over a month. Dead is 30 year old Kelvin Toussaint, a former opening batsman for the senior Dominica cricket team.
Toussaint was a passenger in a pick-up truck driven by Johnson Bannis, which was en route to the Eastern village of Castle Bruce when the vehicle veered suddenly from the road and plunged into a precipice.
The driver and another passenger Keron Robin sustained serious injury but are expected to recover.
Toussaint was for many years a regular fixture in the Dominica cricket side, which participated in the Windward Islands cricket competition. He had also represented Dominica at the regional youth level and at the Sir Garry Sobers Secondary Schools International cricket.
Toussaint?s death comes just over a month after the death of 26 year old Neil Karam who died in a vehicular accident on Goodwill road on December 30, 2010.
Following the most recent death, police are once again asking drivers to exercise extreme caution on the road.
Calibishie-February 6, 2010 Eighteen year old murdered in Calibishie
Dominica has recorded its first homicide for 2010. Police have confirmed the death of an 18-year-old resident of Vieille Case.
The young man was apparently stabbed to death following an altercation in the North-Eastern village of Calibishie last Friday night.
Two young men have been held in connection with the stabbing and are said to be helping police with their investigation.
This is the first recorded homicide in Dominica for 2010, following the record thirteen murders in 2009.
Last month, police in Antigua arrested 24 year old Dominican Tishara Daniel in the fatal stabbing in that country of American Nina Nilssen who had made a stopover on a cruise ship tour to celebrate her sister?s wedding. Police say Daniel confessed to the killing but gave no motive in the slaying.