The old submarine cable for the Vreed-en-Hoop Power Station is responsible for the recent blackouts, Public Infrastructure Minister, David Patterson has said.The minister said that the submarine cable for the Vreed-en-Hoop station in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) is damaged, and that normally when the power outage occurs, it would be reconnected immediately since there is in excess of 16 megawatts of power.However, “If the light trips again, it blocks the entire area, so the lights would have to be reconnected in sections, which is the cause of the problem.“As we find them (problems) we reconnect, but unfortunately it disconnects before you can identify where to fix because it’s a very old system,” the minister told the Government Information Agency (GINA) on Monday.The minister explained that he recently met with the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) board to improve response time to at least 15 minutes.However efforts are underway to repair the cable, but the operation is specialised and so quotations are out and work would commence shortly.“In Demerara, it’s not a question of generators, since all the generators are working, but it is a question of the distribution system,” Minister Patterson pointed out.The aged system is ineffective and results in frequent blackouts in the East Bank, West Bank and East Coast Demerara areas.“The system trips, and when it trips we have to close the circuit immediately, and that is the primary cause of the blackouts,” the minister said.The Infrastructure Minister explained that efforts are being made to implement a programme to upgrade the distribution system, and the contract will be awarded shortly. Priority will be on fixing the old distribution system to make it more effective.On Sunday evening, sections of the East Bank Demerara were without electricity for more than nine hours.
LANCASTER – A 19-year-old Lancaster man has been ordered to serve 11 years in prison for throwing a bottle of salsa that fatally injured a volunteer collecting donations for the homeless. The case of Joseph Peterson started out as a relatively minor affair when he was accused of stealing M&Ms and Twizzlers from a discount store. When Peterson fled with the candy, Charles Hairston, a 51-year-old homeless-group volunteer, tried to stop him, sheriff’s officials said. Peterson threw the bottle, hitting him in the head. Hairston died three weeks later. Peterson pleaded no contest Wednesday to voluntary manslaughter after prosecutors agreed to dismiss a charge of murder. He was sentenced to 11 years. Hairston then pushed a shopping cart into the car to stop it and a fight followed that carried into the store. Peterson threw items at Hairston, hitting him in the head with the salsa. Peterson was arrested, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor burglary and assault with a deadly weapon, and was sentenced to 30 days in jail and three years’ probation. But three days after the incident, Hairston went to a hospital complaining of a headache. Doctors diagnosed a subdural hematoma, or bruising inside his head, and Hairston underwent surgery on July 20. He died of complications Aug. 2 and the murder charge was filed. [email protected] (661) 476-4586160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “It’s probably a fair resolution on the matter,” Deputy District Attorney Bernie LaForteza said. Peterson’s attorney, Tyson Beers, said there was no malice or intent to kill on his client’s part. “We think it’s a good resolution,” Beers said. “Getting it down from second-degree murder to voluntary manslaughter is pretty good and a pretty big jump.” Hairston, a Lancaster resident, was outside a 99 Cents Only store July 14, 2006, collecting donations when Peterson, his girlfriend and another couple went inside the store, prosecutors said. Employees saw them taking candy and tried to stop them. Peterson drove away, nearly hitting an employee who was trying to write down the license plate number, prosecutors said.