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June 29, 2022
The Tamarind Farm Adult Correctional Centre rehabilitation programmes include carpentry, computing, tailoring, welding, event styling and décor.
The Tamarind Farm Adult Correctional Centre rehabilitation programmes include carpentry, computing, tailoring, welding, event styling and décor.

Spanish Town Hospital turns 70

The Spanish Town Hospital is celebrating 70 years of providing healthcare to the people of St Catherine and surrounding parishes.

Built in 1952, the facility provides primary and secondary care services to the parish's growing population, as well as patients from Kingston and St Andrew, and parts of Clarendon, St Mary, and St Ann.

Among these are general surgery, general medicine, obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics, orthopaedics, urology, anaesthetics, physiotherapy, X-ray, and laboratory services.

The Type B facility, which is the largest institution of its kind in the island, has the second-highest number of newborn deliveries in Jamaica.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has commended the staff of the hospital for their dedication and service. He said the Government acknowledges the challenges the hospital faces and "we are actively seeking to mitigate these issues and improve, not only patient care, but the overall experience for our valued public health workers at the facility".

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Prisoners showcase handiwork

Inmates at the Tamarind Farm Adult Correctional and the South Camp Adult Correctional centres last week showed off a wide array of products as the penal institution staged its summer showcase.

The items that were on display included home decor, knitted bags, clothing, handcrafted beaded jewellery, and metal and wooden furniture. The products were created by correctional officers and inmates through the various rehabilitation programmes at the correctional centres.

Lieutenant Colonel Gary Rowe, the commissioner of corrections, was pleased with the work of the inmates and encourage them to "stay the course for success in a creative way".

"Ultimately, the DCS (Department of Correctional Services) team is present to give inmates, to whom we have a duty of care, an opportunity to explore options and tap into their hidden skills. It is to give them the confidence to utilise their skills, create and earn," Rowe said.

Similarly, Dr Marc Thomas, deputy commissioner of corrections in charge of rehabilitation and probation aftercare services, spoke about the importance of skills training behind bars.

"Keeping persons in isolation does not lead to many positive outcomes. Once inmates can read, have skills and can provide for their families, they are less likely to reoffend, leading to higher outcomes," he said.

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CAC cautions vehicle-buyers

The Consumer Affairs Commission is urging persons to carefully read contracts when purchasing pre-owned motor vehicles.

"Read the contract and ensure that you understand fully what it is saying. There are times when we have had complaints where, when you look at the contracts, there really are some unfair contract terms; and so we ask persons, if you don't fully understand, ask questions," CEO Dolsie Allen said.

Allen pointed out that there are persons who buy motor vehicles without doing the requisite due diligence, which includes taking a mechanic to examine the unit.

She emphasised that consumers should take "due care" in ensuring that they get value for money, as purchasing a motor vehicle is among the highest investments that they will make.

"When you buy a motor vehicle, you have to let the provider know exactly what it is that you are buying the vehicle for. If you are buying it to drive now, then it is expected that it is going to be in good working condition. If you are buying it for scrap, then it is another story," Allen said, adding that the vendor should also disclose all defects of the vehicle upfront.

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Work progressing on Ward Theatre

Mayor of Kingston Delroy Williams said that much progress has been made in the restoration of Ward Theatre, the historic monument which stands at North Parade in the bustling downtown district of Kingston.

The 110-year-old building was completed in 1912, after the old structure was destroyed by the great 1907 Kingston earthquake. It has deteriorated over the years, and a decision was taken to close the building in the early 2000s, after the final blow was delivered by Hurricane Ivan.

The work, he said, includes extensive roofing work, painting, plumbing, retiling and general renovations to the seating areas, the gallery and entrance, bathrooms, dressing rooms, emergency exits and main exit doors. The next phase of renovation will involve the electrical rewiring and the upgrading of the air conditioning system.

Williams said that the completion of these would mark a "major achievement" in the renovation, after which "there is no turning back". He said that there are plans for the exterior of the Ward Theatre, which is currently being designed.

"We want to start that quickly. We want it to be part of our Kingston 150 Project, in that we would complete the design for the front of Ward Theatre and implement [it]," Williams said.

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