Dominica last Week: Top five stories you may have missed
Fatal fall in Grand Bay
A fatal fall from a 30-foot building in the village of Grand Bay has claimed the life of 56-year-old Mervyn Defoe of Fond St. Jean.
In a statement to the media Assistant Superintendent of Police in charge of the Southern Division, Leana Edwards stated that on May 31, 2022, Defoe who was a contractor by profession was aloft a four-storey concrete building at Highland Grand Bay conducting construction work on the decking of the fourth floor when he fell to his death at 12:45 p.m.
"It was related that Mervyn Defoe and a coworker were working on different sections of the decking. At some point, the coworker looked in the direction where Mervyn Defoe was working and he was not seen. The coworker went to the area where Mervyn Defoe was working, looked over, and saw him lying 30 feet below on the concrete pavement facedown in what appeared to be blood," Edwards said.
The Fire and Ambulance Services at Grand Bay were subsequently alerted and on arrival at the scene, Defoe, who resided at Alcendor Square in Grand Bayo, was found in an unresponsive state. Edwards said the district medical doctor of the Grand Bay Health Centre was summoned and pronounced the body dead on the scene at 1:24 p.m. She further noted that investigations into the matter continue.
"Armed and Dangerous" French man on the loose
A nationwide manhunt is still underway by the Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force (CDPF) for French citizen Alvin Linroy Baron, who is said to be "armed and dangerous."
According to a police report issued on May 26, 2022, by Assistant Commissioner of Police, Davidson Valerie, the Guadeloupe resident fled from the police during an exercise mounted by the law enforcement officers at Pointe Round, along the E.O. LeBlanc highway.
"During a search of Baron's rented vehicle by the police, one AK-47 rifle with a magazine containing 30 rounds of 7.62 ammunition, one 9mm pistol with a magazine containing nine rounds of 9mm ammunition, one plastic bag containing nine rounds of 7.62 ammunition and nine rounds of 9mm ammunition were found," Valerie reported.
The firearms and ammunition along with the Rav4 vehicle that Baron was driving have been seized and kept in police custody but police attempts to locate and capture the fugitive have been unsuccessful.
Baron who is also a citizen of the Commonwealth of Dominica by descent is said to be five feet eight inches tall, fair in complexion, has brown eyes, and sports black locks.
"Baron is known to be involved in serious criminal activities and is believed to be armed and dangerous," the police officer further disclosed.
Anyone who has any information that could assist with the arrest of Alvin Linroy Baron is asked to contact the police at telephone numbers 2665165, 2665164, or 2665117.
Government reveals DOMLEC purchase price
Following months of "intense and cordial negotiations" with the Dominica Electricity Company Limited (DOMLEC) then majority shareholder, Emera Incorporated, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has revealed that his government purchased the majority shares of the company for US$5 million or EC$13.5 million.
Speaking during the Third Meeting of the Second Session of the Tenth Parliament, he announced that Emera proposed to sell the shares at the market price listed for DOMLEC shares on the Eastern Caribbean stock exchange which is EC$3.50 per share.
"At that price, the government would have had to pay a total of EC$18.9 million for these shares," Skerrit said. "However, I am happy to report to the house and the people of Dominica that following months of intense and cordial negotiations the government purchased the shares at a total of US$5 million or EC$13.5 million, which is 5.4 million or 28.6% less than the listed value."
Furthermore, the Prime Minister stated that his government only bought back 51.9% of the shares, "which means that if the United Workers Party had not sold the 72% of the shares that government owns for $21 million, these shares would have been worth at least $26.3 million today."
International cricket to make its comeback in Dominica
Come July, cricket lovers in Dominica can look forward to the return of international cricket at the Windsor Park Sports Stadium (WPSS) as Cricket West Indies has announced the Nature Island as one of its locations in an action-packed summer of games.
The Windies are set to play two Tests, nine ODIs and 11 T20Is at home between June and August where they will host Bangladesh, India, and New Zealand in the Caribbean islands as well as the United States of America.
Bangladesh will be the first team to arrive on the Caribbean shores, where they will play two Tests, three T20Is, and as many ODIs.
The tour will begin with two Tests in Antigua and St Lucia before the white-ball action starts in Dominica (July 2 and 3) and Guyana. Six days after the conclusion of the Bangladesh series on 16 July, India's white-ball tour will commence, starting with three ODIs from 22 to 27 July at the Queen's Park Oval in Trinidad and Tobago. The first T20I will be played in Trinidad, followed by two in St Kitts and the remaining two in Broward County Cricket Stadium in Lauderhill, Florida.
The scintillating summer of cricket will conclude with three T20Is and three ODIs against New Zealand between 10 to 21 August. The Black Caps were originally set to visit the Caribbean in 2020 but the tour had to be rescheduled due to COVID-19.
DOMLEC shines again
While several other lights and power companies in the region recorded a decline in sales in the financial year 2021, Dominica Electricity Services (DOMLEC) led the way with a $3.51 million profit.
In their annual report, Chairman of the sole electricity company David Mc Gregor stated that electricity sales increased by 4.4% over that of 2020. The commercial, domestic, and hotel sectors grew by 4.9%, 3.5%, and 17% respectively. However, the industrial sector declined by 0.6%.
The company's generating capacity remains below the pre-Hurricane Maria level as the PADU Hydro Electric Power Plant has not yet been returned to service. It is expected to be commissioned by August 2022.
At the end of the financial year 2021, the company recorded total revenue of EC$92.05 million which Mc Gregor revealed exceeded the 2020 revenue amount by 14.52%. Total operating expenses of DOMLEC were $85.03 million or 13.3% above the 2020 figure. Net profit before tax for the year ended December 31, 2021, was EC$5.08 million as compared to EC$2.42 million in 2020. Taxes recoverable for the year amounted to EC$1.57 million resulting in a net profit after tax of EC$3.51 million as compared to a net profit after tax of $0.01 million in 2020.