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Daily News - 21 October 1999

Government sets priority works for 2000
The Fernández administration Government Council met yesterday and agreed to complete 34 priority works, that call for an investment of more than RD$7,000 million (about US$438 million). The Fernández administration is also giving priority to presenting to the National Congress six bills that will simplify and modernize the tax system. These will simplify business, real estate and inheritance transactions.
The government also agreed to make payments of RD$420 million to onion producers, to consolidate its debt with rice producers, and to issue RD$425 million in loans at 16% interest to cacao producers. The government will also make available a RD$800 million Banco de Reservas loan for severance payments to laborers of the State Sugar Council in order to accelerate the privatization of the government sugar consortium.
On the list of priorities is the implementation of the program to rebuild and maintain rural roads and complete repairs of bridges affected by Hurricane Georges last year. This project will be implemented with a US$48 million loan from the World Bank.
The Council agreed to meet again next week to study the National Budget for year 2000.

Priority public works:
National District (Santo Domingo):
Viaduct, expansion, electrifying, and appraising of the Av. 27 de Febrero corridor.
Rehabilitation of the Duarte Bridge.
Construction of a bridge parallel to Duarte Bridge.
Expansion of the Las Americas Highway.
Overpasses of the avenues Kennedy-Lincoln; Lope de Vega-Tiradentes-Kennedy; Ortega y Gasset-Kennedy; and underpass at the Máximo Gómez avenue.
Herrera Public Hospital.
Elila Mena Music School.
Manoguayabo highway.
Jacobo Majluta avenue.
Drainage tunnel of the Núñez de Cáceres avenue.
Several pedestrian bridges.
Mauricio Báez project.
Supreme Court of Justice building.
UASD library.
New buildings for Migration and Passport offices.
Repairs and remodeling of the El Huacal public offices building.
National Archives building.
Construction of the Technological Institute of the Americas.
Isabela Airport.
Roads leading to the Cyberpark.

Autovía del Este.
Repaving and installation of protection barriers, overpasses along the Las Americas Highway.
Rebuilding of the Tetelo Vargas Baseball Stadium in San Pedro.
Installations for the National Games set for La Romana.
Multi-sport facility in Hato Mayor.
Sabana de la Mar highway.
Higuamo Bridge.
Juan Dolio and Guayacanes streets.
Bridges destroyed by Hurricane Georges.
Rural roads destroyed by Hurricane Georges.

New aqueduct.
Avenida de Circunvalación.
Reconstruction of the highway that leads to the free zone.
Two bridges over Yaque del Norte River.
Estrella Sadhalá viaduct.
Three public health clinics
Expansion of the Santiago-Navarrette highway.
Rehabilitation of the Santiago-San José de las Matas highway.
Rehabilitation of the main avenues in Santiago.

Other interior:
Rehabilitation of the José María Cabral y Báez public hospital.
Rehabilitation of the Puerto Plata port.
Remodeling of the Cathedral of Puerto Plata.
Puerto Plata experimental lyceum.
Construction of an overpass at the entrance to Moca.
Moca-San Victor, Barranca-Villa Tapia-Salcedo, Las Yayas-Padre las Casas, La Piña-Naranjito-Los Almácigos highways.
Remodeling of the Cathedral of San Francisco de Macorís.
Streets of Santiago Rodríguez, El Valle, Monte Plata.
Branch of the state university in Mao.
Cabral-Polo highway in Barahona.

Repairs advance along Las Americas Highway
The repaving of the Las Americas Highway, that leads from Santo Domingo to Las Americas International Airport, and onwards to the beach destinations of Boca Chica, Juan Dolio and the East Coast, will be completed in four months time at a cost of RD$115 million, says Eng. Miguel Logroño. The works began two months ago.
The repaving and installation of crash barriers from the tollbooth to King Juan Carlos Bridge are intended to reduce the number of accidents along the highway. The repaving has an estimated cost of RD$80 million, and the "New Jersey-type walls" are costing RD$35 million.
The Ministry of Public Works has laid out plans to turn the highway into an expressway. Two toll-free three-lane parallel roads would be prepared for local traffic.

Strike victim was accidentally murderered by a friend
The secretary general of the provincial bureau of the Dominican Association of Professors, Higinio Santos read the final conclusions of an investigation carried out to determine how professor Apolinar Toribio died on 11 October. He was the only victim of the national strike called for 12 October.
The investigations accelerated a week after the death after an anonymous call was received directing the police investigation to Toribio's close friend, Domingo Antonio Grullón. Grullón confessed he had accidentally fired the shot that killed his friend. He confessed in the presence of district attorney Miguel Ramos, the inspector general of the National Police, General Raul Almonte Lluberes; the legal consultant of the Police, José Miguel Betances Ureña; the president of the provincial bureau of the Dominican Professors Association, Higinio Santos, and the president of the Dominican Union of Human Rights, Virgilio Almanzar.
He explained that on the evening of 11 October he, Toribio, and Antonio Santos (who is a fugitive of the Police) threw a bomb at the house of Miguelín Díaz that exploded around 8 pm. The threesome was hiding in the nearby ecological forest of the Compañía Anónima Tabacalera. After the bomb exploded, the group ran into the forest, and Professor Toribio fired a shot that made the others nervous, resulting in Grullón firing five shots, one of which caused the death of Toribio.
Several sectors had originally said that Toribio had died in a confrontation with the Police.

Police remits to justice case of gang committed 60 assaults
The National Police has formally accused a gang of six of the death of professor Vilma Núñez Guzmán and of 60 other assaults and seven rape cases of women in southern Santo Domingo. The case was sent to the District Attorney for its remission to the judiciary. The gang includes former policemen 25-year old Fausto Ortega Ortiz, and 23 year old Alexander Carmona Angomás. Also, 21-year old Alejandro Enrique Rosario González; 27-year old Luis Merán Zabala Ruddy; 28-year old Francisco Emilio Aquino Reyes; and 27-year old Luis Benjamín Báez Morla. The gang forced their victims to have oral sex and would usually burn their victims in the neck with the car cigarette lighter. The admitted to selling their booty in a San Cristóbal pawn shop. The case of Núñez is their only known murder. She appeared on 21 May 1999 in the bushes off Avenida Luperón. After her death, her assailants used her ATM card to steal RD$26,000 from bank money machines. The gang was caught when one of its subsequent victims got away, securing the help of two Policemen who arrested the men. A car cigarette lighter mark on the escaped victim's neck lead to the linking of the past cases.

Tropical Storm Jose forecast to move far north of DR
By 11 am Thursday, Hurricane Jose had been downgraded to Tropical Storm status as it continued to move away from a course that would threaten the Dominican Republic. Local meteorologists advise all to continue to monitor the storm, though, as a change of course is always possible. As of 11 am the storm was located near latitude 18.6 north, longitude 65.1 west, or about 20 miles (35 kms) north of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The storm is moving west northwest at 15 km/hr. Tropical storm warnings remain in effect for the British and U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Forecasters say that if its track is maintained, it will pass north of and near northeastern Puerto Rico during the next 24 hours. The hurricane did affect the islands of Antigua, St. Barts, Anguilla, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Maarten prior to veering north.
For tracking information on the storm, see:

Getting lots of pesos to the dollar
It's a good time to be a tourist in the DR. The official rate is at RD$15.90, and commercial banks are paying about RD$15.82 to the dollar, up from RD$15.60 prior to the increase in fuel prices about two weeks ago. Street vendors are buying dollars at RD$16.00. The situation is not expected to last long, though, as Christmas time is a time when friends and relatives visit bringing thousands of dollars. Likewise, foreign companies participating in the capitalization of government enterprises are expected to inject thousands of dollars into the economy.

Leading Winnipeg Pan Am technicians visit
Terry Wright, executive advisor to the past Winnipeg Pan American Games; Guy Lodge, director of installations; Bob McMahon, director of operations, and technicians Mario Cilenti and Alan Clark, are visiting Santo Domingo. The technicians that are credited with overseeing the best Pan Am Games ever spoke to Dominican sports federation leaders, and organizers of the 2003 Pan Am Games offering tips and valuable advice on what to do and not to do. Advance planning was stressed as well as the importance of getting the most out of selling the television transmission rights. Some 5,000 athletes from 42 countries are expected to participate in the Santo Domingo 14th Pan American Games.

Escogido Lions to present online games
For the first time, Dominican winter baseball fans will be able to follow their clubs live on the Internet. The Escogido Lions is advertising that their fans will be able to follow the games live on the Internet. Their new web site is www.escogido.com.do
The local championship starts 27 October with games in Santo Domingo and Santiago. Playing this year are the Escogido Lions, Licey Tigers, Pollos de San Francisco (former Gigantes de San Francisco), Estrellas Orientales, and Aguilas Cibaeñas. The Toros del Este will not be playing as the La Romana Stadium, severely damaged during Hurricane Georges, has not yet been repaired.

Motocross competition in Puerto Plata
The XIth National Motocross Competition will take place this Sunday in Puerto Plata at the La Gran Parada track starting at 10 am. Competitors are coming from Guatemala, the United States, Puerto Rico and the DR. They will vie for trophies in the following categories: 250 cc expert, novice; 125 expert and novice, 80 cc, mini, pee-wee and super pee-week.

Compu Expo opens 26 October
Compu Expo opens 26 October in Santo Domingo. In its 15th year, Compu Expo is the longest running trade exhibition held in the Dominican Republic. The latest in telecommunications and informatics available in the DR will be presented at the Hotel Dominican Fiesta. The event is organized by Valdez & Asociados. A complete program of conferences and talks is held parallel to the trade exhibition. The fair runs through 31 October.

Weekend shows
The Chilean rock group, La Ley, is taking a chance with the rain and is slated to perform at the Teatro Agua y Luz tonight at 8 pm. Tickets are RD$250.
On Friday, Rosana is the star of the evening, performing at the Hotel Jaragua at 9 pm. Tickets: RD$400.
On Saturday, Toque Profundo rock group will be again at the open sky Agua y Luz theater at 8 pm. Tickets are RD$150.
Vikki Carr will perform at a benefit at the Santo Domingo Country Club at 10:30 pm.
This is in addition to the Iberoamerican Theater Festival that continues in Santo Domingo.

Iberoamerican Theater Festival continues
The II Iberoamerican Theater Festival continues with multiple performances in the Plaza de la Cultura. The festival brings to Santo Domingo leading performers from Spain, Colombia, Cuba, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Chile, Haiti, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay and New York City. The three halls of the National Theater and the nearby halls of the Museum of National History and Geography and Museum of Modern Art will be used to present over 112 activities, including 26 plays during the 15 day event.

A parallel Dominican Theater Festival has been set up at the Palacio of Bellas Artes for 9-20 October.
Schedules for the main performances for both are as follows:

"Amanda" Giovanny Cruz, Dominican Republic
Thursday, 21 October at 9 pm

"El Célebre Especialista en el Gran Hotel Europa," Río Caribe-Ecuador/Venezuela
Friday, 22 October at 9 pm

"Bolívar", Rajatablas, Venezuela
Saturday, 23 October and Sunday, 24 October at 10:30 am and 9 pm

National Theater, Sala Ravelo:

"El Enano," La Tierra, Colombia
Thursday, 21 October and Friday 22 October at 7 pm

"Danzas Sagradas de la India," Soraya Franco, Dominican Republic
Sunday, 24 October at 7 pm

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