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Daily News - 24 December 1998

Merry Holidays to all
The Dominican Republic One Daily News Service takes a break tomorrow, 25 December, Christmas Day. The service will resume on Monday, 28 December. The DR1 Daily News is published on week days, with weekend news compiled for the Monday issue. The news does not publish on Dominican holidays.

10 million German marks to help the ecology
The Ministry of Agriculture signed an agreement with two German government cooperation agencies (GTZ and DED) to finance a project for the conservation and handling of the upper end of the Yaque del Norte river basin. The project will cost RD$80 million (10 million Deutsch Marks). The funds were donated by the Deutsch Reconstruction Bank and will preserve the natural resources and improve living conditions of 20 comunnities and a population of 50,000 persons. Some 32,000 tareas with be reforested.

Tourism up 8.6% in 1998
1998 was a good year for tourism, with an increase of foreign visitors of 8.6%. Minister of Tourism Felix Jiménez said that the increase in visitors came primarily from the growth of traditional markets and the develoment of new source markets such as the Latin America market. He said growth was not greater because of the negative effect of the bad press campaign in the English market, the celebration of the World Soccer Cup, and Hurricane Georges.
Canadian travelers to the DR were up 13.2%, the German market increased 12.7%, and the US market was up 10.8%. The French market showed the greatest increase of all, 67.6% . Chile grew 37.7%, while Argentina was up 24.8%.

TGI Friday assasin suspect sought
The Police is on the trail of a Ramón de Jesús Victoria Molina, who has been identified as the assassin who killed Lourdes Mayerlin Crispín Rosario in TGI Friday restaurant on 12 December. The Police alerted that the suspect is heavily armed. Police spokesman showed a picture of Victoria on TV. The shot that killed the woman was fired from a black Lexus. The Police investigated all owners of Lexus vehicles and now suspects Crespín Rosario who is missing from his residence. All ports and airports were alerted to impede the departure of the suspect.
28-year old bank clerk Lourdes Mayeling Crispín Rosario was in the wrong place at the wrong time. At 2:30 am on Saturday, 12 December she was shot to death in a rare incident by a stray bullet fired by unknown bandits who reportedly had been denied access to the American Bar Fridays located at the intersection of Tiradentes and Gustavo Mejía Ricart, in affluent mid town Santo Domingo Naco neighborhood. She had arrived to the restaurant/bar only half an hour ago with her husband, 32-year old Ramón Robert Sánchez and a group of friends. It was the first time the two had visited TGI Friday's, which opened this summer. Crispín died immediately when the bullet perforated her head. The assailants fired at bar hitting Crispín who was sitting in the outside terrace area. The couple had been married for five years. She leaves behind a two year old daughter.
Hoy newspaper reported that the aggressors bitterly complained when they were denied admission by the watchman who told them the place was full.

Brutal agent to be tried
Attorney General Mariano Germán Mejía said that his office will send to justice the Dirección Nacional de Control de Drogas officer who beat Luis Manuel Matos Feliz, one of the accused of a major cocaine contraband confiscated in Barahona. The lawyer of one of the accused showed a video where the drug control officer beat Matos at the DNCD headquarters.

School extended for those affected by Georges
The Ministry of Education announced it will extend the school year one month in schools around the country that were affected by Hurricane Georges. Schools are used as hurricane shelters. The Resolution 2001-98 said that schools that missed 15 days, will postpone the school year by one week. Students at schools that lost three weeks to a month will remain in school for 15 days more. Those that attended schools that had to be closed for more than a month or more will stay in school for another month.

Pola purchases the Dominicano
Grupo Ramos C. por A., owner of the Pola supermarket chain, purchased the Super Dominicano located at Avenida Lope de Vega. According to a report in Hoy newspaper, the supermarket transaction was for RD$88 million. The supermarket reopened as a Pola last week.

Thousands go home for Christmas
Santo Domingo's traffic slacked off towards noontime of Thursday, 24 December as thousands of Dominicans headed for their home towns to spend Christmas. Hundreds of others had already finished their Christmas shopping and were preparing for the evening extravaganza. The city's population is made up in great numbers of people who live in smaller towns throughout the country.

Overpass over Las Americas Highway is open
The Ministry of Public Works is allowing traffic over the not yet completed Las Americas Highway-Las Americas Airport entrance intersection. The overpass, an investment of more than RD$156 million, is facilitating traffic and gives thousands of returning Dominicans an insight into the many new thoroughfare improvements they will find in the city of Santo Domingo. Those returning from abroad for Christmas will also discover the almost completed Paseo de las Trinitarias, the 27 de Febrero Expressway center park, and the Winston Churchill with JF Kennedy overpass. All of these works will be in full operation by January.

Deficit electricity is major cause of ID and voting card delays
A confidential report published by the Listín Diario indicates that technical reasons are not the main reason behind delays in the issuing of the new voting and ID cards to citizens. According to the report, Datocentro, the company in charge of the equipment they are using for the process, handed in the equipment needed on 31 August 1998. The main problem affecting the process is the absence of adequate power supply that has resulted in damages to the equipment and delays in the process. The report says there is still time to correct the problems and finish on time.

Mining director favors selling out contract to Rosario mine
The director general of Mines, Octavio López favors the privatization of the Rosario Pueblo Viejo gold mine. He told the Listín Diario, "The Rosario Dominicana project has technical, financial and environmental factors that cannot be resolved with small investments. It has to be a big project to confront with big solutions the technical-metallurgical and technical-environmental demands of the sulfide project of Pueblo Viejo."
He said it cannot be capitalized such as projects being handled by the Comisión de Reforma de la Empresa Pública, the government entity that seeks 50% capitalists for government companies. "It is a project that demands a complex technology and the investment of capital that can only be financed by a pool of banks. We are talking of US$500 to US$700 million or upwards of US$1,200 million." Proven sulfide ore reserves are estimated at more than 100 million tons, which would generate over US$1.5 billion over the 30 year life span of the mine.
The opinion of the director of mines is a breath of fresh air, especially since the Salomon Brothers tender has not continued as scheduled. Sources indicate that several government sectors are not interested in the process continuing on schedule as audits had to be held that would reveal irregularities have taken place. Several of major international companies have desisted in participating in the bid given the delays. At present, the government is subsidizing the operation of the mine which is contaminating the area where it is located. Press reports have indicated that small companies interested in winning small contracts at the mine are lobbying for the favor of the government.

Honoris Causa Doctorate for Sammy Sosa
The Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra, one of the most prestigious universities in the DR, will grant a Honoris Causa Doctorate to Dominican baseball player Sammy Sosa. The rector of the university, Monsignor Agripino Núñez recommended the recognition. The ceremony will take place 11 January 1999. In the 36 history of the university, only 44 similar awards have been granted. This is the first time the award will be granted to a sportsman. Sammy Sosa became a world celebrity after breaking Roger Maris's home run record and winning the Most Valuable Player title of the National League of US Major League baseball.

Don't miss the Nativity Concert
Do not miss the 1998 Nativity Concert at the Cathedral of Santo Domingo. The Choir of the Cathedral, directed by José E. Delmonte Peguero will delight all with its Christmas music on 25 December, Christmas Day at 8 pm. Attend early, because seats at the Cathedral are limited. The event is sponsored by the Patronato de la Ciudad Colonial and admission is free. This year's soloists are Pura L. Tayson Mateo, Rafaela Taveras, Belkys Hernández, Alejandro Sosa and Modesto Acosta Vargas.
The program is as follows:
Fun, fun, fun de navidad (Spanish traditional carol)
Ave Maria (Hector Martínez Cabruja, Dominican Christmas carol)
Venid, pastorcillos (Juan Urteaga)
Dónde váis? (Spanish traditional carol)
Al Niño Dios la Virgen (17th century choir)
Oh, poor little Jesus (Black Spiritual)
A la nanita nana (Norman Luboff)
La Virgen lava pañales (Alice Parker and Robert Shaw)
Miles de pastores pequeñitos (Monsita Ferrer)
Campanas navideñas (Russian Christmas carol)
Cantad al Niño Dios (José Delmonte Peguero, Dominican Christmas carol)
O Tannenbaum (German Christmas carol)
Si al ver en el oriente (Esteban Salas, 18th century)
Adeste Fideles (John Reading)
Sancta María, Mater Dei (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)
Al mundo paz (Georg Fredrich Haendel)
En el portal de Belén (Ramón Díaz, Dominican Christmas carol)
Jesus, Joy of Man's Desire (Johann Sebastian Bach)
White Christmas (Irving Berlin)
Aleluya (Bienvenido Bustamente)
Cantique de Nouel (French Christmas carol)
Silent Night (Frank Savier Gruber and Joseph Mohr)

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

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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