Highway repair

PORT-AU-PRINCE – A major highway will get an overhaul with the help of $50 million from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The grant is for repair of parts of National Highway #1 which connects the two biggest cities and busiest seaports, Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haitien.

The goal is to foster economic development by making road transport from the north to Port-au-Prince more efficient and safer. The IDB says only 15 percent of the country’s 2,174 miles of roadways is in good condition.

Board resigns
KINGSTON – All 12 members of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission resigned amid questions about drug testing on an island that has produced some of the world’s top track stars. Sports Minister Natalie Neita-Headley said the 12 commissioners agreed to step down to give the government what she described as “a fresh start” as it reorganizes the commission. The resignations take effect Dec. 31. She told reporters Friday that Jamaica would review its anti-doping legislation and appoint qualified testing officers. The program was audited by the World Anti-Doping Agency after a former Jamaica director alleged it didn’t drug-test its athletes for entire months before they dazzled at the 2012 London Olympics. Eight Jamaican athletes have failed drug tests this year, including former world 100-meter record holder Asafa Powell.

Release demanded
SAN JUAN – Hundreds marched Saturday through the capital to demand the release of a 70-year-old nationalist Oscar Lopez who belonged to a militant group that sought independence for the U.S. territory decades ago. Lopez is scheduled to be released from a federal prison in Indiana in June 2023. He was sentenced to 55 years in prison after a 1981 conviction on charges including seditious conspiracy, use of force to commit robbery and interstate transportation of firearms. He received another 15 years in 1988 after being convicted of conspiring to escape from prison. Then President Bill Clinton offered him clemency in 1999 but he didn’t sign the deal in part because it did not include two comrades, who have since been released.

Resort investment
SAN JUAN – A major resort along the north coast is investing $500 million on a renovation and expansion project. Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla said the Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa will renovate some 400 rooms and build nearly 800 additional apartments. He said 161 permanent jobs will be created after the three-year project is completed.