KINGSTON: Thousands of persons will tonight converge on the Waterfront in downtown Kingston for the Digicel 5K Imagine Run, which is set for a prompt 7 p.m. start. Now in its fifth staging, the event is aimed at raising awareness and financial support for persons with special needs. Last year, over 10,600 participants came out in support of the cause and contributed a total sum of $8.4 million, which was donated to 12 special needs institutions. “We are overwhelmed by the support that we get from Jamaica year after year and we are extremely thankful for it. It’s not only about the money, it is about raising awareness for special needs. Our aim is for Jamaica to become a fully integrated society, with access made for both able-bodied and special needs persons,” said Samantha Chantrelle, CEO of Digicel Foundation. She went on to emphasise the importance of sponsors to the event. “Of course, none of this would have been possible without the help of our very supportive sponsors. Corporate Jamaica continues to show that they take the social development of our island very seriously and it is no different with this 5K,” said Chantrelle. The Digicel Imagine Night Run is sponsored by Marksman, PayPak, Jamaica Producers Group, Urban Development Corporation, Express Fitness, Logo Stitch, Main Event, National Outdoor Advertising, Dairy Industries Jamaica Ltd., Honeybun, Innovative Signs, Jamaica Producers, ARRC Media, ProComm, The Lab, Courts Ready Cash, Courts Optical, Running Events, Urban Development Corporation, Pure National Ice, Gatorade and the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC). Media sponsors are Bess FM, Irie FM, Zip FM, Loop, Mello FM, Nationwide News Network, Love, Suncity, Sportsmax and members of the RJR Group including Power 106, Hitz 92 and TVJ. Traffic advisory Ahead of the race, participants are asked to take into consideration traffic changes. All roads leading to the race route and staging area will be closed to vehicular traffic between 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Traffic travelling to or from the Norman Manley International Airport will be diverted by the police during this time. The northern lane of Ocean Boulevard between West and Princess Streets and the two southern lanes of Port Royal Street between West and Princess Streets were closed to vehicular traffic from last night at 7 p.m. and will re-open tomorrow morning at 7 a.m. Parking is not permitted along the race route and on the streets in and around the staging area. Instead, participants may park at the Bank of Jamaica parking lot, Scotiabank (East lot only), Grace Kennedy (Hanover Street, George’s Lane) Kingston Craft Market, Old Fisheries Complex and the Downtown Transport Centre.
After high hopes and heightened adrenaline, the young Guyanese squash players have made their mark at the Caribbean Area Squash Association (CASA) Junior Championships at the Liguanea Club in New Kingston, Jamaica. Michael Alphonso got the ball rolling with a string of blemish-less games. He flattened Bermuda’s Ethan Roserea 11-1, 11-1, 11-1; Jamaica’s Aman Dhiman 11-5, 11-0, 11-1 and Barbados’ Alex Stewart 11-7, 11-1, 6-11, 11-7. His last opponent came in the form of Aidan Parris also of Barbados; he defeated him 3-11, 10-12, 3-11 to be crowned the Caribbean’s Under-13 champion.Being the top seed in his group, no less than first place was expected from Shomari Wiltshire and that is exactly what the young man delivered. He played three clean games, winning every set in ample time to demolish Cayman Islands’ Pierce Terry 11-1, 11-1, 11-1; Bermuda’s Matthew Elliott 11-2, 11-1, 11-2, and Barbados’ Darien Benn  11-3, 11-3, 11-9.Following closely behind Wiltshire was Samuel Ince-Carvalhal, who managed to cop third place in the same Under-15 category. He outplayed Jamaica’s Rhys Greenland 11-1, 11-3, 11-1; Cayman Islands’ Jace Jervis 11-8, 12-10, 11-8 and Bermuda’s Matthew Elliott 6-11, 5-11, 12-14, but had the tables turned on him by Barbados’ Darien Benn, who defeated him 9-11, 11-9, 8-11, 3-11.Abosaide Cadogan barely missed out on Under-15 girls glory after she lost 1-11, 11-5, 11-5, 4-11, 9-11 to Barbados’ Sumirra Suleman, who eventually took first place. However, Cadogan crushed Bermuda’s Ariana Lowther 11-4, 11-2, 11-1 and her Guyanese teammate Kirsten Gomes 11-7, 11-7, 11-7 in order to take second place.Despite losing out to Cadogan, Gomes had some glory of her own when she played tirelessly to cop third place. She defeated Shaelah Henry of the Cayman Islands 11-0, 11-2, 11-3 and Guyanese Madison Fernandes 11-1, 11-8, 6-11, 7-11, 11-3. Fernandes placed fourth in that category.Coming in third place in his Under-19 category was Rithew Saywack. He won encounters against Jamaica’s Luke Roberts 8-11, 4-11, 4-11; Jamaica’s Adam Ardito 11-1, 11-7, 11-3 and Guyana’s Alexander Cheeks 11-5, 9-11, 11-9, 11-3, but lost to Barbados’ Josiah Griffith 11-6, 11-3, 9-11, 11-2.Young Christina Fernandes also made her mark in the Under-11 category with a bronze medal. She won encounters against Samantha Azan 11-5, 11-8, 7-11, 12-10; Bermuda’s Taliah Wade 11-6, 11-7, 10-12, 4-11, 11-9 and Jamaican Maher Trehan 11-7, 11-2, 7-11, 6-11, 11-8. However, she lost encounters with Jamaican Elle Wilson 10-12, 13-15, 11-13 and Barbadian Phoebe Gittens 3-11, 10-12, 2-11.The competition will continue over the next few days with the staging of the team competition. So far, Barbados is in a prime position to take home the trophy having won the Girls Under-11, Under-15, Under-17, Under-19 and the Boys Under-19 and Under-17 individual prizes.
The Kodiak Police Department is working to improve its staff’s sensitivity towards people with special needs. That includes new approaches to identifying members of the community affected by autism.The change comes after an incident in September where three police officers used excessive force in subduing an autistic young man, Nick Pletnikoff, originally accused of trying to enter a vehicle by force.At the Kodiak City Council work session last night, Chief of Police Ronda Wallace presented an overview of the Kodiak Police Department, after which she responded to questions – including this one from Mayor Pat Branson.“I know the September 16 incident – that new training procedures have been put into place and that’s been publicly stated, but could you go over that for us again as to what kind of training measures have been put into place since that incident?” Branson asked.Wallace said Kodiak police officers would receive extra training which will give them the tools to recognize individuals with autism and described a KPD initiative which will support that effort.“I’m working on what we’ll call our Kodiak Cares Program,” Wallace said. “That will be a volunteer program with the special needs community where we have questionnaires that could be filled out on a volunteer basis to provide us with the information about somebody’s loved one, their child, or a vulnerable adult.”She said they’ll put that information into the KPD system and only law enforcement and dispatchers will be able to access it.“Additionally, there are photos taken that go along with those forms,” Wallace said. “That gets put into the system and a booklet gets built for officers with pictures and names, so if they encounter individuals out in the street and they recognize them, they can contact dispatch, dispatch can relay some of the information that may be on the forms about triggers for individuals.”She said that will better prepare officers to assist them.“We’re working on those things. It’s a process and it’s gonna take us a little bit of time, but in that time we’re getting the officers additional online training,” she said. “Been in contact with Krista McGuyer at Special Services from the high school who’s offered her services in bringing this training to our department. So, we’re working real hard on that.”In addition to hearing from the Kodiak Police Department – and alongside other items on the agenda – the council discussed extending its contract with the fisheries analyst it shares with the borough.