GRATEFUL FOR TRACK Kingston College is following in the path of history by breaking ground for its new synthetic running track at the Melbourne campus on Elletson Road yesterday. They will become the second local high school to do so in one year following in the footstep of Calabar High, which opened its track last January. The new track is being facilitated by Bachelor’s family-headed RuJohn Foundation, which has contributed 75 per cent of the US$400,000 estimated cost of construction. Yesterday’s ceremony was well attended by past and current students, as well as political representatives. Work on the track will begin on Monday and is expected to be completed in late February. Byron Bachelor handed over the initial contribution to Byron Ingleton of Pavecom, the company responsible to start the early work on the project. The track will have a full 100m straight, but will measure 350m in complete length, along with international standard curves. This is not the first contribution from the Bachelors, who a year ago helped in building one of two new basketball courts for the North Street-based institution and Byron, along with wife Ingrid and daughter Christine, were all present yesterday. Byron, who represented Kingston College at the Boys Athletics Championships as a part of the successful medley relay team in 1979, where he ran in the preliminary round spoke about his love for Kingston College and giving back. “While at Kingston College, I was encouraged by George Thompson, then coach, that once you give, you will receive and it is not only when you are wealthy you are to give, as whatever you can give early in your life, it will add up big time after a while; and because of my love for the institution I had no problem to give back,” said Byron, who stated that his daughter, Christina played a great part as she had a secret meeting with Principal Dave Myrie, making it known that she wanted to help. The young Bachelor was very ecstatic about her family’s contribution. “I think this is a great project, and it gives us an opportunity from the RuJohn Foundation to touch a lot of lives. I think there is so much talent in Jamaica in track and field and this gives the kids the proper tools to be able to excel to their full potential,” she said. Myrie was thankful in his address. “I must thank RuJohn Foundation for its major role here, along with all others who have contributed. Special thanks to the Florida Old Boys Chapter, led by Audley Hewitt and all the other Old boys locally and overseas. This will definitely go a far way with the preparation of the track team, as this will guarantee less injuries and definitely will result in optimum performance.” he said Also present yesterday were JAAA president Dr Warren Blake; Juliet Campbell representing Puma; Denzil Wilks – chairman of the Sports Development Foundation; and Michael Vaccianna, board chairman of Kingston College.
Share Gabriel C. Pérez/KUTA federal court in San Antonio ruled on Wednesday that Texas lawmakers won’t need federal oversight when they redraw political maps in 2021.A U.S. district court has ruled Texas doesn’t need federal oversight of its 2021 redistricting efforts.Wednesday’s decision is part of a larger lawsuit from voters who challenged the state’s 2011 political maps. Courts have found officials intentionally discriminated against racial minorities when they drew those maps and ordered parts of the maps to be redrawn.Because the maps were redrawn in 2013, though, the U.S. District Court in San Antonio denied a request from plaintiffs to require the next round of redistricting in Texas to be supervised, or put under “preclearance.”“The Court concludes that ordering preclearance on the current record would be inappropriate,” the judges wrote, “given the recent guidance from the Supreme Court and the Fifth Circuit. It is time for this round of litigation to close.”The case was a test of a little-known provision in the Voting Rights Act, sweeping legislation passed during the civil rights movement. The provision could require any state, county or city found to have intentionally discriminated against voters to be put under federal preclearance. That means the jurisdiction would have to clear any political maps or voting or election laws with either the U.S. Department of Justice or a federal court.Although the court ultimately decided not to order preclearance, also known as a “bail-in,” judges said there were grounds for it.“The Court has found violations of the Fourteenth Amendment with regard to the 2011 plans, and concludes that these findings are sufficient to trigger bail-in as a potential remedy,” the ruling said.Plaintiffs had argued federal preclearance was necessary to prevent Texas lawmakers from enacting discriminatory maps in 2021.The court argued Texas still must follow the law.“Even without being subject to preclearance, Texas must still comply with the requirements of the Fourteenth Amendment and Section 2 of the VRA in the upcoming redistricting cycle, and undoubtedly its plans will be subject to judicial scrutiny,” the ruling said.Nina Perales, the vice president of litigation for MALDEF – part of the legal team representing the plaintiffs – said even though they weren’t successful in their request, they were able to reverse “many discriminatory boundaries in districts” in the 2011 maps.She said the legal challenge also put state lawmakers on notice ahead of 2021 redistricting.“[The] decision, even though it didn’t put Texas back under federal supervision for its redistricting, does sternly warn Texas that it cannot discriminate against minority voters or anybody else in its upcoming redistricting plans,” Perales said.This post has been updated.