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Daily News - 22 December 1998

Heavy trucks and motorcycles banned from new tunnels
The Ministry of Public Works has alerted drivers of heavy cargo trucks and vans, motorcycles, pedestrians, horse-driven carts and peddlers that the tunnels of the 27 de Febrero Expressway are off limits to them. The Expressway is expected to open later this month. The Ministry reports that works are about to conclude at the underpasses under the Tiradentes and Máximo Gómez avenues. The project also includes tunnels under Winston Churchill and Abraham Lincoln avenue intersections with the 27 de Febrero Expressway.

New bridge over Baní
President Leonel Fernández was present at the inauguration of the new bridge built over the Baní River in the southwestern province of Peravia. The bridge replaces the other one that dates back to 1955. The new bridge was said to cost the state RD$37 million. The bridge brings relief to traffic bottlenecks that resulted from the older and smaller bridge. The new bridge is 122 lineal meters long and has two lanes in each direction. At the event, the Minister of Public Works Diandino Peña handed RD$32 million in checks to contractors that are responsible for the repair of other southwestern bridges that were damaged by Hurricane Georges along the Azua-San Juan de la Maguana route.

Drive with care on Las Americas Highway
In 1998 there have been 69 accidents on the Las Americas Highway that links Santo Domingo with San Pedro de Macorís in the Southeast. The community organization, "Iniciativa para la Salud y la Integración para el Desarrollo Comunitario" told Hoy newspaper that this year 69 persons died in traffic accidents. Of these almost half died near the beach town of Boca Chica. Critical points of the highway are the Km. 22, the entrance to the Las Americas International Airport (being remodeled with installation of overpasses), the Boca Chica rotunda, the crossing to the Seguro Social Hospital, the entrance to the town of Andrés, the entrance to Brisas de Caucedo and the entrance to Boca Chica beach.

PRD dissident not sure who he will support in city government election
PRD dissident, Hector Rafael Peguero Méndez said that he will wait until January to decide who he will support in the Dominican Municipal League secretary general elections scheduled for 26 January. The post is important because the secretary general is influential in deciding moneys allotted of the 4% National Budget cut to each municipality.
While the PRD won the most city governments, the mechanism by which the secretary general is elected allows for a minority party to win. The Partido Reformista Social Cristiano is counting on the support of the ruling party, the Partido de la Liberación Dominicana to win the election. It's candidate is Amable Aristy Castro, today senator for La Altagracia and a former president of the Senate, for the PRSC.
The PRD candidate, Julio Maríñez seeks to repeat as secretary general.
Peguero Méndez is president of the Chamber of Deputies. He was elected to the post with the support of the PRSC and PLD deputies. His party had another candidate for the post. The legislator for Independencia province recommended that if PRD candidate Julio Mariñez wants to win, he secure the support of three of the leading PRD presidential pre-candidates, Hipólito Mejía, Rafael Suberví Bonilla and Hatuey de Camps.

Sports Palace to be repaired by end of February
The Spanish firm Giscosa Caribe said that the definite repair of the Palacio de los Deportes Virgilio Travieso Soto will commence in two weeks and the city's most important basketball court will be finished by the end of February. Giscosa Caribe is investing RD$5 million in the project, said Luis Arroyo, vice president of the consortium. The company had handed in the sports facility on 11 September 1998 but the roof was ripped off by Hurricane Georges barely 11 days later. Arroyo said that they are honoring the 20 year guarantee and the government will not have to invest a penny in the repairs. The damages caused the cancellation of the National Basketball Tournament that had just started on 11 September. Arroyo explained that they will be reinforcing the roof covering with a special polyester frame that is expected to be able to resist the worst of hurricane winds. Some 11,000 cubic meters of synthetic material will be used and 15 Spanish technicians will come to Santo Domingo for the project.

Tallest building in Caribbean to be ready by year 2001
Construction of the tallest building in the Caribbean, the Torre Acropolis going up on Winston Churchill Avenue will be completed by June 2001, say the project's promoters. The tower will be 120 meters high and is expected to cost over US$50 million. Office space is selling for US$1,296 the square meter and commercial rents are commanding US$2,000 per square meter. Rent of the offices costs US$14.20 the square meter and in the commercial center US$20 the square meter, with a minimum 45 square meters.
Scotia Bank and Citibank are financing the complex. The builders say that the 10-floor commercial center is expected to be in operation by December 2000. The design of the building was carried out by the Chicago firm, Voa Associates, under Richard Knorr. The building is going up on an area of 7,409 square meters. Underground parking will have capacity for 1,200 parking spaces. Overall, the mall area will have capacity for 150 stores and eight movie halls. Floors 22-26 have been sold to Citibank. Stores that have signed on are TGI Friday's, Bennetton, McDonalds, Apple Woods, Candy Express, Nautica, Guess, Facconable, Italiani's, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Baskin Robins and Pizzarelli.

Dominican rock group goes big time
A Dominican CD, "Buscando una razón" was chosen the top Latin album of 1998. Manuel Tejada was the producer of the CD. He said the news was the best Christmas gift he could have received. Tejada said that the success of this Dominican rock group opens new doors to young Dominican musicians. In the past only bachata and merengue music groups had been able to go international with success. The group was formed when friends got together to make music they liked in September 1997.

December baseball games
This and next week's Dominican Winter Baseball League games are:

8 pm. Tuesday, 22 December
Gigantes del Nordeste vs. Tigres del Licey in Santo Domingo
Leones del Escogido vs. Aguilas Cibaeñas in Santiago

Saturday, 26 December
4 pm.Tigres del Licey vs. Leones del Escogido in Santo Domingo
8 pm. Gigantes del Nordeste vs. Aguilas Cibaeñas in Santiago

4 pm. Sunday, 27 December
Gigantes del Nordeste vs. Leones del Escogido in Santo Domingo
Tigres del Licey vs. Aguilas Cibaeñas in Santiago

8 pm. Monday, 28 December
Leones del Escogido vs. Tigres del Licey in Santo Domingo
Aguilas Cibaeñas vs. Gigantes del Nordeste in San Francisco de Macorís

8 pm. Tuesday, 29 December
Aguilas Cibaeñas vs. Escogido Lions in Santo Domingo
Tigres del Licey vs. Gigantes del Nordeste in San Francisco de Macorís

8 pm. Wednesday, 30 December
Gigantes del Nordeste vs. Leones del Escogido in Santo Domingo
Tigres del Licey vs. Aguilas Cibaeñas in Santiago

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