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Acevedo Vila & Rosselló To Attend Santini Inauguration ... Governor: NPP Crisis Not a Factor... McClintock: A Primary For Loubriel's Seat... Burgos Eyes Future: May Run... Tirado Wants Primary For Senate Seat... Adult, 12 - Year - Old Face Murder Charges... Ricky Martin Travels to Thailand to Help

Acevedo Vila & Rosselló To Attend Santini Inauguration

January 12, 2005
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SAN JUAN (AP) — Gov. Aníbal Acevedo Vilá and Pedro Rosselló both confirmed they will attend the inauguration of the mayor of San Juan, Jorge Santini, Deputy Mayor Alfredo Escalera said Wednesday.

Escalera said at a press conference that several federal officials are also scheduled to attend the Jan. 16 activity, but he did not identify them.

The official inauguration ceremonies, which will be held at a cost of $250,000, will begin at 3 p.m. at the Paseo La Princesa in Old San Juan.

Governor: NPP Crisis Not a Factor

January 12, 2005
Copyright © 2005
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

MAYAGUEZ (AP)- Even with the contentious clash over the Senate presidency by a member of the New Progressive Party (NPP), Gov. Aníbal Acevedo Vila says the controversy won’t affect his administration.

"There is a spirit of unity and patriotic disconnection that goes beyond party lines that won’t change because there is a leadership crisis in the NPP," said Acevedo Vilá during the swearing-in of Mayaguez Mayor José Guillermo Rodríguez.

"I repeat what I said during the campaign. I am not here to do more of the same. Those who are still in that attitude are far behind," added Acevedo Vila, who won the past election over NPP gubernatorial candidate Pedro Rosselló, but didn’t win a majority in the Legislature.

McClintock: A Primary For Loubriel's Seat

January 12, 2005
Copyright © 2005
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — New Senate President Kenneth McClintock said Tuesday that the New Progressive Party should hold a primary to select the substitute for resigning Sen. Victor Loubriel.

However, McClintock said that he will listen to recommendations from the NPP director about the issue to determine if a primary is favored or a delegate assembly, as has also been proposed.

"I think that this (a primary) is the preference, but we are not coming to the director with our minds made up," McClintock said as he arrived together with Sen. Orlando Parga at NPP headquarters in Hato Rey for the meeting with the director.

Pedro Rossello has expressed his interest in taking the seat vacated by Loubriel and later aspiring to the position of Senate president, the post to which McClintock was sworn in on Monday.

But Calvin Tirado, who lost the 2003 NPP Senate primaries, has announced he also wants to take Loubriel’s seat.

If more than one candidate confirms their aspirations to a post before the State Elections Commission, it is mandatory to hold a primary, except in cases where all candidates agree to another process.

Burgos Eyes Future: May Run

January 12, 2005
Copyright © 2005
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — Norma Burgos, the New Progressive senator who obtained the most votes in the Nov. 2 elections, said that for 2008 her supporters want her to run for governor or mayor of San Juan.

Burgos said when she began her role as legislator in 2000, she made it clear that she would only be in the position for two terms.

"I think the people are placing me in two more positions, as governor and mayor of San Juan, by the calls I have received, by the information I receive in the street," Burgos said in an interview.

Burgos also left open the possibility of aspiring to be the first woman to occupy the post of resident commissioner in Washington D.C.

Tirado Wants Primary For Senate Seat

January 12, 2005
Copyright © 2005
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) - If the New Progressive Party insists on holding a delegate assembly and not a primary to select the substitute for the Senate seat vacated by Victor Loubriel, former senator Calvin Tirado will give up his aspirations for the post.

Tirado, who intends to challenge former governor Pedro Rossello for the seat, made his statements after the NPP director on Tuesday decided that the assembly of delegates will be the process used to fill the seat, which will be officially vacated on Jan. 19.

"I am not going to submit to a process that is discriminatory, is manipulated and has the intention to crush. And they will not run over me, not the constituents of the Arecibo district. They will represent the second betrayal. First, that of Loubriel, and now, of the party," Tirado said in a newspaper interview.

"I am going to insist on the primaries. When a vacancy arises, the party must hold a primary. I am not going to submit to a process that has been manipulated," he said.

Adult, 12 - Year - Old Face Murder Charges

January 12, 2005
Copyright © 2005
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) -- A woman was charged Wednesday in the death of a 3-year-old boy who was allegedly raped and slain by a 12-year-old. Relatives and a friend said the woman was the mother of the older boy, who also has been charged.

District Attorney William Bennett said Marisol Alverio, 28, was arrested Wednesday afternoon on charges of murder and reckless endangerment of a child. She will be arraigned Thursday.

Earlier Wednesday, the 12-year-old was ordered held without bail following his arraignment on rape and murder charges; the juvenile court hearing was closed.

``The evidence gathered indicates that Marisol Alverio acted with malice in failing to protect the victim from someone whom she knew was abusing (the victim) and in failing to seek medical attention for an obviously injured 3-year-old child,'' the prosecutor said.

Bennett did not reveal the relationship between Alverio and the 12-year-old, whose name was not released because of his age.

However, the victim's aunts and a male friend of Alverio said she was the older boy's mother. They said she was a family friend who had been caring for the preschooler while his parents were in Puerto Rico on family business.

Bennett would say only that the caregiver was not a member of the victim's immediate family.

Three-year-old Jeremy Rosario Milan died Dec. 19, two days after he was hospitalized with bruises and a severe head injury. An autopsy showed he died from blunt force trauma to the brain.

Bennett said Jeremy had been raped at least twice and beaten several times between Dec. 11 and Dec. 17.

The little boy's aunts, Sandra Rivera and Maria Gautier, said outside court they blamed Alverio. ``What was she thinking? She should be in here, not the child,'' Rivera said shortly before the woman's arrest.

The aunts described Alverio as a friend of Jeremy's mother who had watched the child on other occasions without incident. ``Jeremy liked going there,'' Rivera said.

The 12-year-old's family did not attend the arraignment. His lawyer, Alan Black, has declined to comment.

Denise Monteiro, a spokeswoman for the state's Department of Social Services, said the victim's parents, who have four other children, had gone to Puerto Rico to take care of a family emergency. They returned before he died.

``When the parents returned, devastated, of course, we rounded up the rest of the kids, because we wanted to ensure they were all right,'' Monteiro said.

Family and friends said the parents, Alejandro Gautier and Maria Milan, were back in Puerto Rico, where they buried Jeremy; they were expected to return to Springfield this weekend.

The 12-year-old was initially charged with assault and pleaded innocent to the crime in juvenile court Dec. 20; he's been in the custody of the state Department of Youth Services since then.

Under state law, juveniles convicted of murder can be held in state custody only until age 21.

Ricky Martin Travels to Thailand to Help

January 12, 2005
Copyright © 2005
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) -- Pop singer Ricky Martin says he knew he had to come to Thailand to help after watching the devastating scenes of the Asian tsunami.

``After looking at those images on television, it was impossible for me to stay at home with my arms crossed,'' said Martin, who arrived Wednesday from New York.

The 33-year-old Puerto Rico native talked about the Ricky Martin Foundation's anti-trafficking People for Children project, and the momentum he hopes to bring to the relief efforts in Thailand.

``I have a very powerful tool, and I must say, that is music. Music has given me the opportunity to reach masses of people,'' said Martin, whose hits include ``She Bangs,'' ``Shake Your Bon-Bon'' and ``Livin' La Vida Loca.''

He said he felt a need to give back, particularly to children, and to add to the efforts of the Thai government and international organizations.

``They are doing such a beautiful job reconstructing the souls, especially of these children,'' he said. ``I just want to be one more.''

Martin said he wants to figure out what his foundation can do to help, whether it is building orphanages and schools, or producing charity events.

``I will meet with victims tomorrow, and I will see in their eyes where is it that they're weak,'' he said, adding that he's prepared to give ``everything, and then more.''

Thailand has about 5,300 confirmed deaths and more than 3,000 are still missing from the Dec. 26 tsunami that killed more than 150,000 people around the Indian Ocean region.

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