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McClintock To Accommodate Rossello Swearing-In… Fortuño Denies Intervening In Senate Leader Dispute… 1k Reservists Returning From Iraq… NPP Ratifies Rossello As Its President… OMB Halts Cops’ Raises… Dieppa Keeps Title… Left-Lane Law Repealed… SEC Certifies Rossello As Senator… Fortuño Attends GOP Seminar… Rossello Seeks UT To Arecibo… Trinidad, Wright Fight Set

McClintock Tries To Accommodate Rossello Requests On Swearing-In

January 31, 2005
Copyright © 2005 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) – Senate President Kenneth McClintock affirmed Monday that he is trying to accommodate all the requests that have been made by the senator for the district of Arecibo, Pedro Rossello, even to hold the swearing-in on Sunday, Feb. 13.

Nevertheless, McClintock said he hopes Rossello’s official ceremony does not interfere with the political activity planned by McClintock and House President Jose Aponte, in memory of NPP founder Luis A. Ferre.

The Senate leader said he wants to avoid any appearance of irregularities, so that the difference will be clearly established between the official swearing-in, and the partisan activity honoring Ferre.

"We are trying to comply with most of the requests he has made of us … There is not a problem that it would be the same day before or after, always safeguarding that there is a clear distance, or would be, so as not to create the impression that an official Senate act is part of a partisan political activity," McClintock said.

Fortuño Denies He Intervened In Senate Leader Dispute

January 31, 2005
Copyright © 2005 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) – Resident Commissioner Luis Fortuño said Monday that rumors he had called New Progressive senators to ask them to maintain support of Kenneth McClintock in the face of Pedro Rossello’s efforts to take the Senate presidency are, "totally false."

"That is totally false, I have not entered into this dispute privately or publicly, and I am not going to enter it," he said at a press conference after a meeting with designated Police Superintendent Pedro Toledo.

Fortuño even criticized that the dispute over the Senate presidency is continuing to be discussed publicly, tarnishing the image of the New Progressive Party.

"At the end of the day, we are all New Progressives and we all have a job to be done as members of the party, so that discussions that are going to be had and decisions that are going to be made by different groups, should be internal and not come out in this way," he said.

Toledo, Fortuño Will Work Together To Find Funds For Police

January 31, 2005
Copyright © 2005 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) – Designated Police Superintendent Pedro Toledo and Resident Commissioner Luis Fortuño agreed Monday to work together to find the federal funds necessary for technology equipment for the police.

After meeting with Toledo at the police headquarters in Hato Rey, Fortuño said he already had begun to negotiate the allocation of funds for the federal fiscal year which begins in October.

"The appropriations period begins now, and the process of identifying funds for equipment. With this I have been told the Superintendent will go to the appropriations committee and to Homeland Security," to make the requests, Fortuño said.

Among the needs, Toledo said, are cameras for patrol cars, investigation equipment, and infrared cameras for areas with high criminal activity.

1,000 Reserve Soldiers Will Return From Iraq


January 30, 2005
Copyright © 2005 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

PONCE (AP) - US Army Reserve Commander, Jose Manuel Rosado, said Sunday that in two weeks approximately 1,000 Puerto Rican soldiers will be back on the Island after a year of service in the Middle East, mainly in Iraq and Kuwait.

However, he also said that over the next few months another 200 reserve soldiers will be deployed to the war zone.

Rosado, who is also chief of the San Juan based US Army’s Corp of Engineers in the Caribbean, said reserve soldiers currently in Iraq and Kuwait are from the military police unit as well as engineering, supplies, ammunitions, and communications battalions.

He said that currently there are some 1,822 soldiers active in Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan, and Bosnia. Of those, 1,700 are in Iraq’s war zone and in Kuwait, while the rest is in Afghanistan and Bosnia.

Commander Rosado pointed out that only one Puerto Rican reserve soldier has died during the time Puerto Rican soldiers have been in Iraq, Specialist Ramon Reyes of Caguas.

NPP Ratifies Rossello As Its President

January 30, 2005
Copyright © 2005 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) – The New Progressive Party’s (NPP) State Committee unanimously approved on Sunday a resolution to ratify Pedro Rosello as its president.

However, no one presented a motion for Rosello to continue lobbying for the Senate’s presidency, now occupied by Kenneth McClintock.

In what seems a contradictory act, the motion was seconded by McClintok, who was booed by the crowds when he stood up.

NPP first vice president and San Juan mayor, Jorge Santini, confirmed the delegates’ unanimous vote to ratify the former governor as their president.

OMB Halts Proposed Raise For Police Officials

January 30, 2005
Copyright © 2005 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) – The Director of the Office of Management & Budget (OMB), Ileana Fas Pacheco, suggested that she will recommend Governor Anibal Acevedo Vila veto the project to give police officials higher salaries.

The Project, approved Thursday by the Senate, proposes a gradual raise of police officials’ base salaries from $2,200 a month to $3,000 a month in 2008.

Fas Pacheco said that the main problem with the Project is that it does not specify where the source of the funds to cover these raises, which would start in October 2005 with a $200 a moth raise.

She also said that projects regarding salary raises should be approved when the new state budget is discussed.

"I have said to the Senate and the House of Representatives that we support the concept of a raise for government employees, but we feel that the responsible thing to do is to address this issue during the budgeting cycle," said Fas Pacheco.

Dieppa Keeps Title


January 30, 2005
Copyright © 2005 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

BAYAMON, Puerto Rico (AP) -- Puerto Rico's Nelson Dieppa (22-1-2) retained his WBO junior-flyweight title, stopping countryman Alex Sanchez with a right cross to the jaw with 2:15 left in the 11th round.

Sanchez (31-5-1) remained motionless for more than 15 minutes and was taken from the ring in a stretcher. The fighter raised both arms as he was being taken out of the ring, drawing applause from the fans.

Governor Repeals Left-Lane Law

January 29, 2005
Copyright © 2005 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) – Governor Anibal Acevedo Vila signed on Friday a law repealing another law that would only allow drivers to use the left lane on highways to pass other vehicles.

The governor decided to repeal the amendment approved in 2004 to the current traffic law after receiving advice from the designated Secretary of Justice, Roberto Sanchez Ramos, and from the designated Police Superintendent, Pedro Toledo,

"We also have to agree that the current physical conditions of our streets and the high volume of vehicular flow don’t allow permanently restricting drivers to only two lanes," said the governor in a press release.

The law would have gone into effect on Saturday, but the House of Representatives and the Senate approved a resolution to postpone its enforcement.

SEC Certifies Rossello As Senator

January 29, 2005
Copyright © 2005 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) – The State Elections Commission (SEC) certified Pedro Rosello on Friday as New Progressive Party (NPP) senator for the Arecibo District.

The resolution signed Friday by SEC president, Aurelio Gracia, orders that Rosello, the senate secretary, and the electoral commissioners of the three political parties be notified of the certification.

"The secretary of the State Elections Commission has reviewed the certification as well as the candidate’s file and has concluded that this candidate has met all the necessary constitutional and legal requirements and shall be certified," reads the document.

A date still has not been set for the ex governor to be sworn in, but he has publicly said that he aspires to reach the Senate’s presidency, now held by Kenneth McClintock.

Gracia states in the resolution the NPP electoral commissioner, Thomas Rivera Schatz, informed that Rosello was the only candidate who met all constitutional and legal requirements to fill the vacancy left after Victor Loubriel’s resignation.

Fortuño Attends Seminar On Republican Initiatives

January 28, 2005
Copyright © 2005 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) – Resident Commissioner Luis Fortuño traveled to West Virginia to participate together with 200 other Congress Republicans in a seminar on some of the more controversial initiatives of President George W. Bush.

Fortuño said that at every opportunity he has, he will present "the agenda of Puerto Rico" during internal debates of Senate and House Republicans.

"To meet for three days allows us interaction that, in Washington, is more difficult," Fortuño, said in a newspaper interview.

Bush will be the main speaker at the meeting, which will be held in a tourist complex in West Virginia.

Rossello Intends To Extend Urban Train To Arecibo

January 28, 2005
Copyright © 2005 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) – Pedro Rossello has said that as the future senator for Arecibo he would implement on a lesser scale in that district the platform of issues that he campaigned with for governor in the Nov. 2 elections.

His plans include extending the Urban Train route to Arecibo, getting every resident in the district a health card, and channeling the La Plata River.

"I am going to assume the role as senator for Arecibo; I will advance the interest of those that reside in the district and in all of Puerto Rico. I see this as a time to establish suitable relationships between the branches of government," the former governor said in a newspaper interview.

Rossello was certified by the New Progressive Party as the only candidate to fill the Senate seat vacated by the resignation of Victor David Loubriel. He still must be certified by the State Elections Commission and sworn into the Senate.

Trinidad Will Try To Reclaim Throne Against Wright


January 28, 2005
Copyright © 2005 Agence France Presse. All rights reserved. 

LAS VEGAS, Nevada, Jan 27 (AFP) - Felix Trinidad, who made a triumphant ring return after 29 months of retirement, will try to become a champion once more when he faces Ronald "Winky" Wright here on May 14, promoters said Thursday.

Puerto Rico's Trinidad, a champion in three weight classes, stopped Nicaragua's Ricardo Mayorga in the eighth round of his middleweight comeback fight last October at New York, improving to 42-1 with his 35th knockout.

American southpaw Wright, 48-3 with 25 knockouts, owns back-to-back triumphs over "Sugar" Shane Mosley as well as the World Boxing Association and World Boxing Council light middleweight crowns.

Trinidad will face Wright at the MGM Grand hotel arena here, promoter Don King said.

"It wasnt easy to get this deal done. In fact it was quite difficult," King said. "But I persevered and my never-say-die attitude prevailed.

"Whenever two great champions are asked to step into the ring against one another, a great deal of consideration takes place on both sides.

"I knew it was simply a matter of time before I would get this deal done because in the end both Tito and Winky like to fight and these are boxers who just dont walk away from a challenge."

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