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Ruiz Finally Crowned WBA Champ… FBI To Investigate ROTC Fire…Hispanic Lawmaker Proposes Making English Official Language… PeopleSoft To Open Offices On Island…Vieques, Culebra To Get Modern Ferry…Calderon Promises Gov’t Employees Salary Increases… Hoy Makes L.A. Debut On March 1st… Navy Begins Carrier Training Off Panhandle

Ruiz Finally Crowned WBA Heavyweight King

February 25, 2004
Copyright © 2004
Agence France Presse. All rights reserved. 

Puerto Rico's John Ruiz has been officially crowned WBA heavyweight champion after Roy Jones confirmed he had relinquished the title to concentrate on his WBC light heavyweight championship.

The WBA had made him Ruiz interim champion after the 32-year-old beat American Hasim Rahman last December.

"I'm happy not having 'interim' next to my name. As proud as I am to be the first Latino heavyweight champion of the world, I'm equally proud to be the first two-time Latino heavyweight champion of the world," Ruiz said.

Ruiz took the title the first time with a decision over Evander Holyfield in 2001 but lost the undisputed crown last March when Jones became only the second middleweight in history to win the heavyweight crown.

Ruiz will defend his title against compatriot Fres Oquendo on April 17, with the betting the fight takes place in Porto Rico.

FBI To Investigate Fire At ROTC

February 24, 2004
Copyright © 2004
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

PONCE (AP) - The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is investigating last week’s fire at the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) facilities on the University of Puerto Rico-Ponce campus.

"Initially, they [the FBI] were informed of the fire because of the federal funds used for the program, and now they and we are investigating," said Norberto Jimenez, Fire Department chief for the southwest of the island.

Jimenez said authorities have already confirmed that there was criminal intent in the blaze and that all evidence found has been sent to the Institute of Forensic Science.

Meanwhile, authorities said the FBI is also investigating the blaze that destroyed the Sales Way department store in the town center.

"The cause is still being sought, but there are people from the FBI investigating," Jimenez said, adding that the damage from the fire was estimated at $390,000.

Hispanic Lawmaker Proposes Making English Official Language

February 24, 2004
Copyright © 2004
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The first thing Rep. Brian Nieves said when he sat down pretty much said it all: "Good afternoon. Or should I say, `Buenos dias'?"

Nieves, who is half-Hispanic, presented a bill Tuesday to a House committee that would make English the official language of Missouri.

The measure's only effect would be to codify that official state documents must be printed in English, said Nieves, R-Washington. Documents could also be printed in other languages, but English must be one of them.

"It's an attempt to unify and maybe do something that would appear to make sense to a lot of people in the state of Missouri," he told the House Tourism and Cultural Affairs Committee.

Nieves said his father, who arrived in New York from Puerto Rico at age 6 speaking no English, supports the bill.

PeopleSoft To Open Offices in Puerto Rico 2004

Latin America News Digest

February 23, 2004
Copyright © 2004
AII Data Processing. All rights reserved. 

U.S. software producer PeopleSoft, the second most important producer of company software worldwide, will open offices in Puerto Rico by the end of 2004, the company said on February 23, 2004.

The business of PeopleSoft on the island increases constantly, the company said.

The company, which at present has received a hostile acquisition bid by U.S. groupware company Oracle, registered an increase of nearly 40 pct year-on-year in the sales of its products in Puerto Rico in 2003, the vice president of PeopleSoft for Latin America, Enrique Perez Eiras, said. The Oracle offer is valid until March 12, 2004.

PeopleSoft will look for office space in the next 90 days, Perez Eiras added.

The amount of the investment of PeopleSoft in Puerto Rico was not quoted. Eight jobs will be created in the first office of the company in the country, Perez Eiras said.

Actually the customers of PeopleSoft in Puerto Rico receive services by the company offices in Miami, Florida.

PeopleSoft has some 130 customers in Puerto Rico, but the figure is bigger if the customers of JD Edwards on the island are taken into consideration. PeopleSoft bought the U.S. customer relationship management software company JD Edwards in 2003.

Modern Vessel Is Being Built For Vieques And Culebra

February 24, 2004
Copyright © 2004
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) - A state-of-the-art ferry for passengers to the island municipalities of Vieques and Culebra is being built in Mississippi at a cost of $2.8 million.

The Ports Authority said Tuesday that the vessel, named Caribeña, would be tried out Thursday in that state.

With a capacity for 292 passengers, the ship should improve the transportation services provided to the residents of Vieques and Culebra.

Governor To Announce Salary Increases For Government Employees

February 24, 2004
Copyright © 2004
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — Gov. Sila M Calderon announced on Monday that she will include a $150 monthly salary increase for government employees and $225 for police agents in Wednesday’s State of the Commonwealth address.

Calderon will present her proposed budget for fiscal year 2004-2005 on Wednesday evening before the legislature.

The governor said the increase for government employees belonging to unions will become effective on July 2004 while the increase for police agents and government employees not belonging to unions will be granted starting October.

The increase represents $575 during four years," Calderon said during a press conference were he was accompanied by a dozen leaders.

With the increase the basic salary of a police officers goes up from $1,875 to $2,100.

In addition the governor said legislation will be passed to grant a $100 monthly salary to government employees in fiscal year 2005-2006.

Hoy Makes L.A. Debut On March 1 Four Zoned Editions Reach Hispanics In Several Los Angeles-Area Communities

February 23, 2004
Copyright © 2004
PR Newswire Association LLC. All rights reserved. 

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Hoy, the nation's fastest growing Spanish-language daily newspaper, will hit newsstands in the Los Angeles area on March 1.

Hoy will provide 7 million Hispanic readers with more than 40 pages of daily news and features. Emphasis will be on local stories and issues most relevant to the community.

"The Los Angeles area represents the largest Hispanic market in the U.S. and has been calling for a fresh and different voice in daily news," said Louis Sito, publisher of Hoy and Tribune Publishing vice president/Hispanic media.

Hoy will offer eight pages of sports coverage, as well as entertainment news. A special weekend guide, called Vida Hoy, will cover restaurants, events, music, TV, movies and other entertainment news and features. Every day, Hoy will dedicate region-specific pages of news from Central America, South America, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean.

Navy Begins Aircraft Carrier Training Off Panhandle

February 23, 2004
Copyright © 2004
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AP) - The Navy has begun its third aircraft carrier strike group exercise off the East Coast and in the Gulf of Mexico since ending live-fire training at Vieques Island in Puerto Rico four years ago.

The carrier USS John F. Kennedy, four other surface ships and a submarine began the exercise Saturday and will continue through mid-March.

The exercise is part of the Navy's Training Resource Strategy devised to use existing East Coast and Gulf Coast ranges and facilities and improved simulation technology to replace a bombing and gunnery range on Vieques.

Portions of the exercise, including naval gunfire, will be conducted against simulated land targets at sea.

The Vieques closure also has forced the Marine Corps to look for new training sites. The Marines conducted their first training exercise at Eglin, which sprawls over 724 square miles in three counties, in December and are evaluating the results to determine if they will return.

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