…cites lower report of students using drugs in Region 10 schoolsCommander of E Division (Linden-Kwakwani), Senior Superintendent Linden LordAlthough Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) has been identified as one of the leading regions in relation to the highest rates of child sexual abuse and also a “hotspot” for marijuana cultivation, reports of children obtaining and using illicit substances are low.This is according to Commander of E Division (Linden-Kwakwani), Senior Superintendent Linden Lord.He recently told Guyana Times that while alarming reports had surfaced between last year and June 2019 about the prevalence of children being involved in the use of illicit substances at schools, the region is no longer plagued with such high cases.“You might get a report now and then but so far no amount that is alarming or high or frequent. We don’t have the amount of reports coming in,” the Commander said.Commander Lord explained that the possibility exists that a child or even a few may come into contact with marijuana in light of Region 10, specifically Linden, being a well-known area for cannabis cultivation.However, he stated that the police officers in the Division have been doing much work at the school level to ensure that students are properly educated on the harmful effects of using any illicit or illegal substance.“We have the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) programme which we introduced in schools and it is a continuous programme that is still ongoing. So I have persons [Police ranks] who would go to schools and talk to the children as it relates to the effects of using marijuana among other illicit substances. This has been very effective, in my view, and helps the children to become more aware about this topic.”In September 2018, there were major concerns over reports of the growing trend of students using drugs and Assistant Chief Education Officer (Primary), Owen Pollard had explained that since 2014, training programmes were developed and coordinated through the Education Ministry’s Schools’ Health and Welfare Unit.These programmes allowed welfare officers to be trained in drug prevention strategies and saw parents being educated on coping skills for dealing with children who have been affected by drug use and children are also being sensitised about the dangers of drug use.At that time, Pollard also said that the Education Ministry had stepped up its surveillance and its education efforts through the establishment of a task force that includes enforcement agencies like the Guyana Police Force (GPF) and the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU).Meanwhile, in October 2018, acting Head of CANU, Lesley Ramlall said that in the school system, there has been a decrease in the use of cigarettes, cannabis, cocaine and alcohol by children. However, he had noted that from 2017, there was an increase in the use of synthetic drugs.He had explained that the danger in using synthetic drugs in Guyana is that they are made in makeshift labs under unregulated conditions which affect the consistency of potency in each dose.
NEW YORK – The nation’s retailers, once hopeful for a strong spring selling season, are being forced to ratchet down their expectations after sales stalled amid the chill of February. Frigid weather stifled consumer demand for lightweight spring apparel. And some industry experts doubt that this season’s fashions – styles such as mini dresses in bright geometric patterns and baby doll dresses – will have broad appeal. Meanwhile, there’s concern that consumers will finally turn frugal because of the housing market’s continuing slump, and that last week’s stock market tumble might also cause shoppers to be more conservative. And there’s the lingering specter of higher gasoline prices. “People don’t necessarily feel less wealthy because the market falls all of the sudden or their housing value is lower,” but if those factors “persist over the next six months, it may affect long-term behavior,” according to Frank Badillo, vice president and senior retail economist at Retail Forward, a retail consulting company. Retailers are scheduled to report February same-store sales, or sales from stores open at least a year, today, but several retailers, including Limited Brands Inc., J.C. Penney Co. and Talbots Inc., have already warned of disappointing results. Same-store sales are considered the best measure of a retailer’s strength. Besides dealing with broad economic issues, merchants were grappling with one of the coldest Februarys on record. Limited said inclement weather affected sales for Valentine’s Day at its Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works chains. “The month has been disappointing, ” said Richard Jaffe, a retail analyst at Stiffel Nicolaus. The cold weather wiped out demand for spring clothes, and, because retailers had done a good job clearing out winter merchandise during a strong January sales period, there was little for shoppers to buy. “It’s cold, and Lord knows I don’t want to be schlepping around to stores,” said Jenny Fishman of New York, who has bought only some shoes over the past few weeks. “I can’t even fathom wearing spring clothes.” “We’re seeing February being soft,” Penney Chairman and Chief Executive Myron E. Ullman III said late last month. But he remained hopeful that sales would rebound with new spring fashions, and the company still has a bullish outlook for the next 12 months. The International Council of Shopping Centers is still sticking with its modest same-store sales-growth forecast of 2.5 percent to 3 percent, but Michael P. Niemira, ICSC’s chief economist and director of research, said winter weather slowed consumer demand at the end of February. While February is one of the least important months of a retailer’s calendar, merchants do hope to get some idea of which spring fashion trends are resonating with shoppers. John Morris, a retail analyst at Wachovia Securities, said other apparel retailers expected to post disappointing February sales include Abercrombie & Fitch Co., Aeropostale Inc., The Children’s Place Retail Stores Inc., and AnnTaylor Stores Co. Morris noted in a report that he expects Gap, whose continued troubles resulted in the departure of its CEO in January, to post a 5 percent same-store sales decline. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which has been retooling its merchandising strategy, expects a modest same-store sales gain of 1 percent to 2 percent for February. Meanwhile, rival Target expects same-store sales to rise a robust 4 percent to 6 percent for the month. The big winners are expected to include department stores, particularly high-end stores like Nordstrom Inc., whose customers buy their clothing ahead of the season. Saks Inc., which operates upscale Saks Fifth Avenue, said Wednesday that it had a robust 24.7 percent gain in February same-store sales.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!