The 32 fire personnel attached to the Santa Cruz Fire Station in St. Elizabeth are now serving the public from more comfortable and modern facilities. The fire station was recently refurbished at a cost of $14.7 million, through funding provided by the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, with contributions from other public and private sources. Addressing the re-dedication ceremony for the building on Thursday, Acting Deputy Superintendent in charge of the fire station, Andrew Russell, informed that the upgrading, which started in January of this year, was carried out within budget. He said the scope of the project included demolition and removal of the existing timber roof, windows and doors; construction of new officers dormitory; expansion of existing kitchen space; building of reinforced concrete slab roof; repainting of the station building; complete rewiring of electrical network; and installation of new floor tiles, windows and doors, and plumbing fixtures. He said the work done was “the culmination of an important and eagerly awaited project, which will enrich the lives of the firefighters based there, boost their morale, enhance the delivery of service to the wider community and add value to the Jamaica Fire Brigade’s assets”. Minister of State for Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Colin Fagan, in his address at the ceremony, said it is appropriate that the refurbished facility is being opened during Local Government Month. He congratulated the firefighters for taking the initiative to start some of the work themselves, which he said, served as an inspiration for other stakeholders to support the project. “While funding was largely provided by the Ministry, through the St. Elizabeth Parish Council, I must acknowledge the input of those who partnered with us. This kind of partnership is a practical demonstration of our theme for Local Government and Community Development Month – Local Government on a mission together: Building better communities, he said. He gave a commitment that the Ministry “will do everything” to see to the completion of other necessary elements, such as security and landscaping, and urged the firefighters to take care of the facility.
WINNIPEG – A Winnipeg man has admitted to leaving his 89-year-old mother, covered in her own feces and urine, lying on the floor of the home they shared for several days until she died.Ron Siwicki, 65, pleaded guilty Monday to criminal negligence causing death, which carries a maximum life sentence. The musician is to face a sentencing hearing on June 26.A charge of manslaughter was stayed by the Crown.Siwicki’s mother, Elizabeth, had suffered from dementia since 2012 and had not had a refill of any prescription medications in the nine months before her death, said a brief statement of facts read by Crown attorney Alanna Littman.After falling out of bed in November 2014, Littman said the elderly woman suffered some sort of injury and was unable to get up.Defence lawyer Mike Cook said the mother had told her son she did not want medical treatment and, unable to lift her back into bed, he tried to care for her by giving her nutritional supplement drinks and water.“He was still very attentive to his mom. He provided her with food, hydration. He took care of her basic needs, but there came a point where he was overwhelmed,” Cook said outside court.“His mom had said to him, ‘Ronny, I don’t want to go to the hospital. Keep me at home. Take care of me at home.’”Littman told court that Siwicki left his mother alone on two evenings while he went out to play gigs. There was so much of her own feces and urine around her that the carpet underneath her had buckled. She had bedsores that extended down to her bones in some areas.Only after she had died did Siwicki try to clean her and call an ambulance, Littman said.Siwicki answered “yes” when asked by the judge whether he was agreeing to the facts read in court.Cook said Siwicki had lived with his mother all his life and was probably reluctant to clean her private areas out of embarrassment.The defence lawyer said he will ask for Siwicki to be allowed to serve his sentence in the community, but added that the Crown is going to seek time in custody. Neither side specified how long a sentence each will seek.Siwicki has been out on bail and has received support from friends and fellow musicians.On a Facebook page for Winnipeg musicians, friends said Siwicki took great care of his mother following the death of his father years earlier.
Canadian short-track speedskater Kim Boutin has captured a bronze medal in the women’s 500 metres at the Winter Olympics.The athlete from Sherbrooke, Que., finished fourth but was bumped up to third after South Korea’s Minjeong Choi was disqualified.Kim Boutin makes her Olympic debut one to remember, with a 500m short track #speedskating bronze: https://t.co/0PHWBpXBdW #TeamCanada | #PyeongChang2018 pic.twitter.com/zX1mWNnEtc— Team Canada (@TeamCanada) February 13, 2018Arianna Fontana of Italy won gold in 42.569 seconds while Yara van Kerkhof was second in 43.256.Boutin finished in 43.881 while Britain’s Elise Christie crashed out of the five-woman final.The medal capped what started out as a disappointing day for the Canadian team.Veteran racer Marianne St-Gelais, competing in her final Games, failed to make it out of the quarterfinals after receiving a penalty for impeding.St-Gelais made contact with Yara Van Kerkhof of the Netherlands while jockeying for position.The Canadian was also penalized for a false start, which came as a surprise to her.“It’s disappointing for sure because I don’t think I deserve this call,” St-Gelais said. “But short track is short track, so sometimes you have to deal with what is happening. I’m not happy with the decision. I don’t think I deserved it.”The 27-year-old from Saint-Felicien, Que., was a medal threat for the Canadians after winning silver in the distance at last year’s world championships.St-Gelais also took silver in the 500 during the 2010 Vancouver Games.The three-time Olympic medallist has earned silver in the 3,000 metre relay in each of the previous two Olympics.St-Gelais will compete in the 3,000 metres of Feb. 20 with fellow Canadians Boutin, Jamie MacDonald and Kasandra Bradette.“I have to focus on the other (races) if I want to make it count,” said St-Gelais. “We still have the relay. I’m lucky I got to race the three distances, so I have another chance.”