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Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Puerto Rico News Digest For March 6, 2019


PUERTO RICO UNDER DROUGHT WATCH


Puerto Rico's water utility (AAA) has indicated that the municipalities of Adjuntas, Caguas, Coamo, Lares and Naranjito could be facing water rationing in the near future if the current dry pattern prevails over the area, according to AAA Vice-President of Operations Doriel Pagán. However, the agency has stated that this is not likely to happen in the immediate future, and that no date for water rationing has so far been set.

The US Drought monitor has placed 30% of Puerto Rico's territory in the moderate drought category, while 80% of the archipelago is said to face atypical drought conditions.



CULEBRA REELS FROM TRANSPORT INTERRUPTIONS

From The San Juan Daily Star:

"Fortunato Vizcarrondo, a resident of Culebra, denounced on Tuesday that in the island municipalities they are currently living “as if in the hurricanes”, due to the problems with the Maritime Transport Authority (ATM) ferries, which have caused a shortage of products and goods, including gasoline."



LESS MONEY FOR PAN PARTICIPANTS

From El Nuevo Dia:

"1.35 million Nutrition Assistance Program (NAP) participants in Puerto Rico are getting smaller checks, and in some cases that represents a third of what they usually received..."


BOARD OKAYS CONVERSION TO NATURAL GAS

From Caribbean Business:

"The Financial Oversight and Management Board and the Puerto Rico Energy Bureau have given the  green light to a contract with New Fortress Energy LLC for the supply of liquefied natural gas 
(LNG) and conversion of units 5 and 6 of the San Juan Combined Cycle Power Plant..."


TOURISM CO. LAUNCHES PLAN TO BOOST TRAVEL

From  News Is My Business:

"Looking to strengthen the island’s tourism industry, the Puerto Rico Tourism Co. has launched a educational campaign to inform the public about the benefits provided by agency-certified travel agencies certified when planning trips or vacations..."



Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Puerto Rico News Digest For January 9, 2019


PR FBI CHIEF: ISLAND FACES "CRISIS OF VIOLENCE"



From CBS News:

"The top FBI official in Puerto Rico said the island is facing a "crisis of violence" and has asked the agency for more personnel and resources from the U.S. mainland. In an interview with local radio station NotiUno630 Wednesday morning, Special Agent in Charge Douglas Leff said no other agency field office in the country is facing what his San Juan office is facing in terms of crime..."


GONZALEZ TO INTRODUCE NEW STATEHOOD BILL


From El Nuevo Dia:

"Resident Commissioner in Washington Jenniffer González plans to introduce a new pro-statehood bill in the House. However, for the legislation to be addressed during this Congress, the government of Puerto Rico would have to hold a "statehood: yes-or-no" referendum this year..."


AGRITEK GETS POT LICENSE


From News Is My Business:

"Agritek Holdings Inc., a real estate investor for the cannabis sector in the United States and Canada, announced that its licensee and partner, 1919 Clinic, has received its final approval from the Puerto Rico Department of Health to begin operations under the medicinal cannabis program..."


NY TIMES NAMES PR TOP TOURIST DESTINATION


From Caribbean Business:

"Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló Nevares was pleased Wednesday with the New York Times(NYT) having selected the island as its top recommended travel destination this year. “Once again, we see rewarded the effort we have made to present Puerto Rico to the world as a world-class destination, to present the attractions of our beautiful Island, as well as highlighting the resilient nature of Puerto Ricans..."


TEACHER SHORTAGE ON HORIZON AS MANY RETIRE


From The San Juan Daily Star:

"About 65 percent of local public school teachers are near the average age for retirement, yet there are not enough qualified candidates in the island to replace them, Teachers Association President Ada Diaz said Tuesday..."


Monday, December 10, 2018

Puerto Rico News Digest For December 10, 2018

ARREST WARRANT SOUGHT FOR PEDOPHILE TEACHER


The federal probations office has asked the Department of Justice to issue an arrest warrant for former teacher Yaira Cotto Flores, who earlier this year was found guilty of having sexual relations with a 14-year-old student in 2016. She began communicating online with the student in 2015, and early the following year took him to a motel, where they had intercourse.

Cotto Flores was due to turn herself in to the federal Bureau of Prisons today so that she could start serving her 10-year prison sentence in Alabama, which would be followed by 8 years of probation. The teacher has failed to turn herself in on more than one occasion, and according to her husband, she has been seeking mental health treatment.


ROSSELLO NOT SAYING HOW HE'S PAYING FOR BONUS

From El Nuevo Dia:

"Governor Ricardo Rosselló Nevares said that the Christmas bonus to public employees will not threaten the government payroll spend during the last months of the fiscal year. However, the  governor offered little or no information regarding the "savings" that his administration reached to offset this $ 85.3 million disbursement..."

NO PROBABLE CAUSE AGAINST WANDA VAZQUEZ

From The San Juan Daily Star:

"In an unprecedented process, First Instance Court Judge Yazdel Ramos late Friday dismissed all three charges presented by the Independent Special Prosecutor Panel (PFEI, its Spanish acronym) against Secretary of Justice Wanda Vázquez, indicating the evidence presented did not show probable cause for arrest..."


PR HOUSE TO REQUEST JONES ACT EXEMPTION

From Caribbean Business:

"Puerto Rico Rep. José Aponte Hernández will ask the new U.S. Congress to study a request made this weekend by the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL), that Puerto Rico, Hawaii and Alaska be permanently exempted from the cabotage law known as the Jones Act..."


Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Mid-Term Election Endorsements

The Puerto Rico Monitor endorses the following candidates in today's election:

Andrew Gillum for FL Governor
Bill Nelson for FL US Senate
Stacey Abrams for GA Governor
Beto O' Rourke for TX US Senate
Janna Lynn Sanchez for TX US House
Alexandra Ocasio Cortez for NY US House

Julia Salazar for NY State Senate

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Puerto Rico News Digest for July 5, 2018


TROPICAL STORM BERYL FORMS



According to the National Hurricane Center, Tropical Depression Two has now become Tropical Storm Beryl, the second tropical storm of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season. According to the NHC's 2:30 PM AST update, the system reached maximum sustained winds of 40 mph early this afternoon, putting it in tropical storm status. As of this morning, the storm was expected to dissipate east of the Lesser Antilles sometime early next week. Keep checking this website and our Twitter feed  for any changes in the storm's status or forecast track. No watches or warnings have been issued so far. The latest stats on Beryl as of 3:45 PM AST are: 

LOCATION...10.3N 42.3W
ABOUT 1330 MI...2140 KM ESE OF THE LESSER ANTILLES
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...40 MPH...65 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...W OR 275 DEGREES AT 16 MPH...26 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1007 MB...29.74 INCHES


SENATE REJECTS REPEALING LAW 80


"Not even 24 hours after Rosselló called for an extraordinary session, the Senate rejected, for the third time, the bill that would repeal the compensation for unjustified dismissal act (Law 80-1976), and that would have allowed the  Government to comply with the agreement reached with the Oversight Board..."


PR GOVT TO CHALLENGE BOARD'S BUDGET IN COURT


"In a statement issued by his office, La Fortaleza, Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rosselló announced Thursday that “the Government of Puerto Rico” was asking the court to “defend” the budget approved by the island’s legislature, which he signed, and decide whether it or the budget certified by the island’s fiscal oversight board should be implemented..."


PARTS OF EL YUNQUE FOREST TO REOPEN FOR SUMMER


"[Forest Service Interim Chief Vicki Christiansen]...announced that another area in the forest, Yokahu Tower, was to reopen to the public on July 4. In addition to Yokahu Tower, La Coca Falls along PR-191 and the Puente Roto and Angelito trails on road PR-988 are the few forest attractions available for visitors at this time..."


MAN SHOT TO DEATH IN CIDRA HOUSE


A still unidentified male was shot to death shortly after 2:00 AM today in the mountain town of Cidra. Local police were alerted to the shooting by a phone call, and upon arriving at the residence on Girasol Street, in the Campo Bello sector, found the bullet-riddled body of the victim inside his house. Caguas homicide detectives are investigating.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Puerto Rico News Digest for June 28, 2018


PUERTO RICAN SOCIALIST HEADED TO CONGRESS?



Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Tuesday night victory over congressman Joe Crowley in the Democratic Party primary election for New York's 14th House District puts the young victor of Puerto Rican descent within striking distance of becoming the youngest woman ever elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Ocasio-Cortez, who was outspent by Crowley during the campaign by a ratio of 10 to 1, has espoused democratic socialist ideas and was able to garner strong grassroots support in the 14th district, which includes parts of The Bronx and Queens. As her congressional district is solidly Democratic, Ocasio-Cortez is the favorite to win the seat in November's general election.



MAN SHOT TO DEATH FOUND IN OROCOVIS


As reported by El Vocero, a murder was reported shortly before 10 PM last night on road PR-156, in the Las Marianas sector of the mountain town of Orocovis. A 911 call alerted police to the shooting, and upon arriving, they found the body of 35 year old Edwin López Rosario, who was a local resident. The victim had been shot several times in different parts of his body.


NUMBER OF GOVERNMENT WORKERS DROPS BY OVER 12K

From El Nuevo Dia:

"In one year, the number of public servants in Puerto Rico was reduced by 12,033 workers, according to the most recent Registry of Occupied Positions prepared by the Office of the Comptroller. This figure  represents a 6 percent decrease in the government's workforce..."


LAW 80 FIGHT CONTINUES BETWEEN GOVERNOR, LEGISLATURE

From Caribbean Business:

"Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said Thursday that dialogue over the repeal of Act 80 of 1976–on compensation for dismissals without just cause–remains open. “I want to reach a resolution that benefits the people of Puerto Rico. And I will use all the mechanisms that are available: Call for an extraordinary session,  dialogue or whatever to be able to find a solution that can comply with the agreement [with the island’s fiscal oversight board]. I hope all colleagues are willing to have that conversation,” the governor told the media..."


TRANSPORTATION DEPT TO OFFER SERVICES THROUGH APP

From News Is My Business:

"The Puerto Rico Department of Transportation has launched the CESCO Digital Mobile application to enable users to conduct transactions that until Monday could only be done in person at Driver Services Centers (CESCO,) the Treasury Department or via complicated websites. The tool was developed by students from the University of Puerto Rico in Bayamón, Gov. Ricardo Rosselló confirmed upon unveiling the new mobile technology..."



Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Puerto Rico News Digest For May 29, 2018


THE VIOLENCE CONTINUES: MAN SHOT TO DEATH IN CAROLINA
















As reported by El Vocero, a man was found shot to death early Tuesday morning on 73rd Street in the Villa Carolina neighborhood of the municipality of Carolina. The victim -- who remains unidentified -- was described as being dark-skinned, about 5 feet, nine inches tall and weighing approximately 140 pounds. He was dressed in a black shirt, red and white pants and black athletic shoes. An anonymous 911 call alerted police to the sound of gunshots in the area shortly after midnight. Police are investigating.


ROSSELLO AND BOARD DEFEND LABOR CHANGES

From El Nuevo Dia:

"Governor Ricardo Rosselló Nevares rejected yesterday that the repeal of the Unjust Dismissal Act (Law 80-1976) would leave the island´s working class in a vulnerable position, especially women and senior employees, because there are other labor laws to protect them..."


PREPA BUDGET FACES FIVE YEARS OF SHORTFALLS

From Caribbean Business:

"The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) said Friday that the approved fiscal-recovery plan for the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (Prepa) faces billions in financial risks that will hinder the transformation of the grid..."


PUERTO RICO RETAIL SALES GROW 6.7% FOR JANUARY

From News Is My Business:

"Puerto Rico’s retail sales for the month of January 2018 totaled $2.8 billion, representing a 6.7 percent growth when compared to the same period in 2017, when total sales were $2.6 billion..."