Dominica Last Week: Top five stories you may have missed
By Ronda Luke
Roseau resident's body found on school premises; authorities probe incident
Authorities from the Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force (CDPF) have initiated an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the passing of Cleaver H. Burton, a resident of Roseau.
As per a recent news account, on the afternoon of August 24, 2023, Burton's lifeless body was discovered on the grounds of St. Martin High School in Roseau.
Following this discovery, the remains were transferred to the Dominica China Friendship Hospital (DCFH), where a medical practitioner officially confirmed Burton's demise.
While law enforcement sources have not indicated any suspicion of foul play, they have commenced an investigation into the sudden demise of Burton.
Dominica has its first Paris 2024 Olympic-qualified athlete, thanks to Mrs. Thea Lafond-Gadson
Dominica's sporting community is celebrating its maiden qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympics, all thanks to the remarkable performance of Mrs. Thea Lafond-Gadson. This National Triple Jumper achieved a new personal best and an impressive feat in her journey to the global stage.
The resounding success of Mrs. Lafond-Gadson was witnessed at the World Athletics Championships in Hungary, where she not only competed at the highest level but managed to shatter the national record not once but twice en route to securing a commendable 5th place finish in the triple jump finals.
The highlight of this historic achievement was her final leap, an astonishing 14.90 meters, which not only secured her an impressive 5th place finish but also solidified her position as Dominica's first-ever qualified athlete for the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympics.
During the same event, she established three new national records. Her initial jump in the Women's Triple Jump Finals set the tone with a record-breaking 14.71 meters, followed closely by another astounding leap of 14.49 meters. However, her final qualifying jump of 14.90 meters secured her spot in the Paris 2024 Olympics. It clinched her a well-deserved 5th place in the championship finals.
Another MVA claims the life of Marigot native
Tragedy struck when Kevin Julius Matthew, a Marigot native who had returned from the British Virgin Islands to attend his uncle's funeral, lost his life in a fatal motorcycle accident.
According to Inspector of Police Fixton Henderson, on August 21, 2023, around 3:15 p.m., the 49-year-old Tortola resident was travelling alone on his motorcycle northbound along the Eden main road in Wesley.
During this time, he seemed to lose control of the motorcycle and collided with a utility pole on the road's western side. The impact resulted in significant damage to the motorcycle and inflicted multiple injuries upon the rider. He was quickly transported to the emergency department at the Dominica China Friendship Hospital.
Tragically, Matthew succumbed to his injuries on the subsequent morning, August 22, 2023.
Inspector Henderson conveyed the sincere condolences of the Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force to Matthew's family and friends. The news of his passing has evoked deep sadness both in the British Virgin Islands, where he worked as a plumber, and in his homeland, Dominica.
A decomposing body found in Martinique is believed to be that of a missing Dominican
Authorities in Martinique believe that a body found in an advanced stage of decomposition may be that of an elderly Dominican who was reported missing on the French island. The body was discovered face down last weekend by a hunter in a vacant lot in Foux à Chaux district in Lamentin, French media has reported.
According to French police, the corpse fits the description of Peter Charles, an 80-year-old Dominican, who was reported missing in Martinique. Shreds of clothing also suggested that the body may be that of Charles.
Charles, born in Grand Bay, was reported missing on August 2. Reports are that he was last seen at the Aimé Césaire Airport in Martinique, where he was expected to take an aeroplane to Guadeloupe and then travel to Dominica. The octogenarian was at the airport in transit from London, where he was visiting his wife, who is being treated for cancer.
However, according to media reports from Martinique, he missed the plane after being arrested by the police over a "misunderstanding." Being unable to speak French made it difficult for Charles to be understood by the police, and he was eventually released.
He disappeared soon after that, and his luggage, papers and phone were found at a gas station near the airport. When Charles did not arrive in Guadeloupe as scheduled, his family tried to contact him but could not, and he was reported missing.
The authorities have stated that an autopsy will confirm the suspicions.
Ten additional Dominica students are off to China
Ten Dominican students have been granted the opportunity to pursue university education through the Chinese Government Scholarship Programme. Six of the students received their letters at a ceremony held at the Fort Young Hotel on Thursday. They are Ariel Rogers, Clitson Belleau, Jedidiah Ferrol, Kenan Lokey, Niyyat T.L Muhammad, and Valerian Philogene. They will join four other students who are currently in China pursuing their master's degree.
Chinese Ambassador to Dominica, His Excellency Lin Xianjiang, said about 170 Dominican students have been allowed to study in China since establishing diplomatic ties in 2004.
"And this year, another ten students have been awarded a scholarship. Another 4 of them are already in China," he stated.
He encourages students to take time out to explore China's beauty and share their experiences with family and friends.
His Excellency Lin Xianjiang went on to state that the studies pursued by the students are vital in the transition and development of Dominica.
"You will be the backbone of your country," he said. "Keep working hard…"
He continued, "I hope you can be good-will ambassadors between the two countries."