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25 years since the tragic plane crash at Loma Isabel de Torres in Puerto Plata

PUERTO PLATA.- Wednesday, November 15th marks the 25th anniversary of the fatal accident of a Cuban plane at the Loma Isabel de Torres in Puerto Plata, where total 34 people died – 16 Dominicans, 16 Cubans and 2 Italians

The tragedy occurred when the aircraft Ilyushin-18 owned by the Cuban company Aero Caribbean crashed at 850 meters high against the left mass of the Loma Isabel de Torres on a cold afternoon of that Sunday, November 15, 1992.

The strong impact against the hill and the tanks of the plane full of fuel rapidly turned into a large ball of fire a large area of ​​difficult access, and although the rescue work began that same night, they had to be interrupted by the bad weather that prevailed at that time.

The news about the unfortunate event was broadcast instantly by the then television program “The Fat of the Week” under the leadership of the late Freddy Beras Goico, who in a choked voice, announced the disaster where all the members of the national chess team perished.

The following day, Puerto Plata and the whole country woke up sorrowful and sad with the unfortunate news, where the outstanding doctor and former president of the Basketball Association and president of the Sports Union of Puerto Plata (UDEPLA), Cristóbal Merette Luna (Guidino) and the complete chess team of the city of San Francisco de Macorís died.

In the same way died the Dominican chess players Juan José Matos Rivera (Pachón) who was the head of the delegation), the referee Marcelino De La Rosa, the players Manolo Marte, Héctor Ogando Estévez, César González Jaquez, Marcelino De la Rosa, in addition to the trainer Adelquis Remón Gay who was a native of the town of Yabazón in the eastern province of Holguin, in Cuba.

It is recalled that the plane crashed at the time it was attempting to land for a second stop back to Havana (Cuba) at the General Gregorio Luperón International Airport in Puerto Plata, half an hour after leaving a group of passengers at Las Americas airport of Santo Domingo, after the pilot Rolando Flete sailing the sky in a terrible disorientation.

Aviation technicians explained that instead of following the route of the Atlantic Ocean, the aircraft traveled a distance in a west-east direction reaching the lower part of the city, specifically for the Costámbar tourism project and continued south of the slope of the mountain between the skirt and the top, crashing there and forming a ball of fire throughout the mountain that was observed hundreds of kilometers.

The civil defense, the Red Cross, the Fire Brigade and the Dominican Air Force participated in the work of recovering the human remains, from the dense vegetation of the mountain.

Source: Puerto Plata Digital

Nov 16, 2017

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Foreign Foundation starts construction of a public hospital in Sosúa

PUERTO PLATA.- Ironically, an international institution started work yesterday to build a public hospital in the tourist town of Sosúa, due to the failure of the last three Dominican presidents who promised to build a health center in that tourist town.

Because of the disappointment caused by Hipólito Mejía, Leonel Fernández, and the current president Danilo Medina, several of Sosúa’s citizens chose to seek help from other sources in order to get a hospital where citizens can receive medical assistance. So Sosua received the approval of The Good Samaritan Foundation presided by the Italian philanthropist Elio Madonia.

“Sosúa with the will of God will have a Hospital” was the expression of Mr. Madonia and other personalities. The hospital will cost several million pesos, on land that was purchased on the road to Sosúa -Montellano, almost in front of the facilities of the Puerto Plata Air Base.

The financial funds for the construction of what will be the “Grace Pediatric Medical Center” will be provided by the Italian community living in Canada, as they were empowered by several citizens of Sosúa about the need for a hospital.

For more than a decade and a half, businessmen, merchants and citizens residing in Sosúa have been asking the central government to build a public hospital that could be available to everyone, which would prevent many people from dying on the way to Puerto Plata due to lack of medical assistance in the area.

Those village requests, have only received multiple promises from the government officials in the last 17 years, particularly from the Dominican leaders, mainly the last two who have managed to be reelected into the office, but unfortunately everything has been a string of lies.

It is indicated that Sosúa was the pioneer population on the North coast focused on tourism, since 1941 with the reception of the Jewish colony, this population located in the eastern part of Puerto Plata, has not stopped receiving tourists for short and long stay.

Finally, the lack of a hospital has been one of the evils that afflicts the residents of the town, who by necessity and urgency have been demanding a health center for more than 20 years, to the point of holding demonstrations demanding from the government the construction of the public hospital without further delays.

Source: Puerto Plata Digital

Nov 16, 2017

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DR wins gold in judo in Bolivarian Games

Luis Castro won the gold medal in 55 kg judo in the Bolivarian Games taking place in Santa Marta, Colombia. The Dominican women judo team (Lorena de Jesus, Carolina de Jesus, Ana Rosa García, Eiraima Silvestre and Katherine Otaño) won the bronze medal.

In boxing, Elvis Rodríguez in 64 kilos and Raúl Sánchez in 75 kilos won bronze medals. Alexis Miguel de la Cruz is a contender for the gold medal in 56 kilos. Other gold medal contenders in boxing are Leonel de los Santos, Rohan Polanco Emiliano, and Raynery Vargas Pimentel.

The Dominican volleyball team is competing for the gold against Colombia.

Source: DR1, Elcaribe

Nov 16, 2017

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Japanese businessman shot in Montecristi

A rice businessman, of Japanese origin and a civil assistant to President Danilo Medina is in intensive care having been shot by assailants in Montecristi.

On Tuesday 14 November 2017, Takeshi Mukai underwent emergency surgery in HOMS in Santiago having been shot three times during an attack at his rice factory in Hato al Medio, in the municipality of Guayubín in Montecristi province.

Mirlan de los Santos, medical director at HOMS said that he was hoping for no further complications, having had a blood transfusion for internal bleeding, but he warned that the patient had a history of diabetes and suffered from hypertension. Mukai is currently in the Intensive Care Unit until his condition stabilizes.

Mukai, aged 65, was attacked by several men in the early hours of the morning when he arrived at his factory. The attackers took his shotgun, pistol, jewelry and money that he had in the safe.

They then fled with the Haitian watchman, whose whereabouts are unknown.

Source: DR1, DiarioLibre

Nov 16, 2017

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Official off days in 2018

The Ministry of Labor has shared the list of official holidays for 2018. Next year promises to have many long weekends with a number of holidays falling on either Thursday, Monday or Tuesday, including New Year’s Day, Juan Pablo Duarte Day, Independence Day, Good Friday, Labor Day, Corpus Christi, Restoration Day, Our lady of Mercedes Day, Constitution Day and Christmas.

The holidays in 2018 are:
Monday, 1 January, New Year’s Day.
Saturday, 6 January, Three King’s Day.
Sunday, 21 January, Our Lady of High Grace Day, in honor of the protector of Dominicans, Virgen de la Altagracia.
Monday, 29 January celebrates the birthday of Dominican Republic founding father Juan Pablo Duarte that actually falls on Friday, 26 January.
Tuesday, 27 February, Independence Day.
Friday, 30 March, Good Friday.
Monday, 30 April, Labor Day, that actually falls on Tuesday, 1 May.
Thursday, 31 May, Corpus Christi.
Thursday, 16 August, Restoration Day.
Monday, 24 September, Our Lady of Mercedes Day.
Monday, 5 November, Constitution Day that actually falls on Tuesday, 6 November.
Tuesday, 25 December, Christmas Day.

Source: DR1, Elcaribe

Nov 16, 2017

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DR wins gold in wrestling and water skiing in third day of Boliviarian Games

Wrestler Juan Ramírez Beltré will be bringing home a gold medal in freestyle wrestling at the Bolivarian Games taking place in Santa Marta, Colombia. Ramírez had won the gold medal in the Panamerican Games in Guadalajara 2011 but then had retired. At the Bolivarian Games he made his comeback. Overall, the Dominican wrestling team, the Games have been successful. The team has packed 12 medals (3 gold, 4 silver and 5 bronze). The three golds were won by Ramírez, Jose Antonio Arias and Yessica Oviedo for the women.

Other outstanding performances on day three of the competitions were by Álvaro Rudesindo, Yorfi Jiménez and Luis Miguel Pérez, that won silver medals. Carlos Félix y Billy Jean, won bronze, all in wrestling.
In water skiing, Robert Pigozzi won the gold medal in the Open Slalom category.

In rowing, Wendy Altagracia Simó celebrating winning the first bronze medal for a Dominican woman in the sport, a bronze.

Source: DR1, Hoy

Nov 16, 2017

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Dominican Republic acts to protect sharks and rays

The Ministry of Environment is announcing on Wednesday, 15 November 2017, a complete ban on commercial fishing and sale and trade of all shark and ray species within the country’s 269,489 km2 (104,050 mi2) exclusive economic zone.

The Dominican Republic is the 16th nation to declare its national waters closed to commercial shark fishing, and extends shark protections across more than 19 million square kilometers (7.4 million square miles) of ocean, an area about the size of Russia and India combined.

The initiative seeks to fulfill the country’s obligations to the shark and ray trade regulations established during the previous two Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) meetings in 2013 and 2016. It also satisfies a commitment the Dominican Republic made at the Summit of Caribbean Political and Business Leaders on Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands in 2013 to increase protections for sharks and rays across the Caribbean.

The announcement was made during an event at the Iberostar Bavaro Resort in Punta Cana by Deputy Minister Jose M. Mateo, director of biodiversity for the Ministry of Environment. Also participating was Jen Sawada, director of The Pew Charitable Trust’s global shark conservation campaign.

Source: DR1

Nov 16, 2017

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Dominicans running New York heroin

Special agent James J. Hunt, in charge of the New York Anti drug Agency (DEA), has said that New York is the major hub of heroin in the country.

In an interview with El Pais, the leading Spanish newspaper, he said that the mafia had lost control of the heroin business and that it was now being run by Colombians and Dominicans, who together had taken the business away from the Italian families. He explained, 40 years ago, heroin came from Europe, Sicily or Turkey and the mafia sold it to the African-Americans for resale. The mafia lost the business when the Colombians started to produce heroin in the 80s and 90s, and the price of the drug fell by half.

In 15 years time most of the key dealers had died or were imprisoned, and the Colombians then took over. They originally thought of using Mexicans as dealers but as they tended not to be on the streets, they used Dominicans instead. They then give the drugs to gangs of Dominicans for resale on the streets.

He explained that the Dominicans were buying the heroin from the Mexicans for between US$60,000 and US$70,000 a kilo, but that there was no real hierarchy and that the Dominicans were very fragmented.

He said that once they arrested three Dominican dealers in the Bronx, and confiscated four million dollars in cash and three kilos of heroin. The money was supposed to go to Mexico to be exchanged for heroin. He also said that in New York now they were intercepting ten times more heroin that 7 or 8 years ago.

Source: DR1, Elpais

Nov 16, 2017

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Public school teacher evaluations has begun

Over the past three weeks, the Ministry of Education has evaluated the performance of 26,300 public school teachers as part of its assessment of 60,000 educators. The purpose of the evaluation is to reveal the strengths and weaknesses of the education system. The evaluations come with a price tag of RD$140 million and will determine who gets wage increases between 17 and 32%. These are the first evaluations in eight years.

565 pairs of evaluators made their assessments based on watching each teacher in class for 45 minutes.

Participating in the evaluations are the Dominican Institution for Evaluation and Investigation of Education Quality (Ideice), the Organization of Ibero-American States for Education, Science and Culture (OEI), the Dominican Association of Teachers (ADP) and the Ministry of Education.

Source: DR1, Listindiario

Nov 16, 2017

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Dominican Christmas traditions

Christmas decorations have become part of Dominican culture with most households borrowing inspiration from international decorations while others express local creativity in preparing their homes for the holidays. Many of the decorating is so elaborate that in order to enjoy it for several weeks, decorations start to go up as early as October.

December, indeed, is to Dominicans what August is to Europeans. This means, it’s a time for friends’ gatherings and to enjoy traditional Christmas fare. El Dia reports on the tastes that traditionally mean Christmas for Dominicans.

Attend a Christmas gathering and expect to find roasted chicken or pork, paddies of cassava or plantain packed in plantain leaf or pasteles en hojas. There will be paddies of all kinds be they catibias or pastelitos filled with beef, chicken or cheese, sometimes combined with raisins. You can expect what Dominicans call “Russian Salad”, a salad that is a combination of potatoes, carrots, and beets in a cream or mayonnaise sauce.

Also at this time of the year, people consume “pan telera”, a kind of bread that while airy and delightfully chewy is texture, is practically tasteless.

There will be creamy eggnog (ponche), with a touch of rum and spice. For desert, you will find on the table nougat and dry fruits, and lots of imported apples, pears and grapes.

Source: DR1, Eldia

Nov 16, 2017

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Last updated November 17, 2017 at 12:17 PM
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