sumfest-beach-party-2017.jpgReggae Sumfest 25 got off to a sizzling start as the Beach Party at Tropical Bliss on Sunday, July 16 reached fever pitch. Dubbed 'The Adult Playground' the theme did not disappoint as patrons danced and vibed to the sounds of Coppershot's Marc Chin and Cutty, Chris Dymond, Team Shella and Montego Bay's Dexta Peppa and Jigga.

Patrons were not deterred by the rains as they turned the Tropical Bliss Beach venue into a dance floor and partied with the Sumfest Beach party hosts Yanique 'Curvy Diva' Barrett and Mz Lady Ice from Dexta Daps' infamous Owner video. The night went into overdrive as the ladies put on a show that had entertained shocked and lived up to the 'Adult Playground' theme.

The selections were on point from the DJs as they had the patrons collectively dancing to the electric slide, bringing them through various eras and genres with smooth transitions to frenzy for Aidonia's Yeah Yeah. The party continued into the evening with the sounds of Maria Maria were mixed into DJ Khalid's modern remake Wild Thoughts and expertly transitioned after a few mixes to Ding Dong's Fling as the DJs delivered well rounded sets. By the approach of, midnight party goers were found prancing around the water swings and the Red Stripe swim up bar fully immersed in the party atmosphere and enjoying the vibes.

Josef Bogdanovich, CEO of DownSound Entertainment was pleased with the execution of the first event to kick off Reggae Sumfest 25 and expects the momentum to carry over into the other events leading up to the highly anticipated live shows on Friday, July 21 and Saturday, July 22.

"I was excited about the Festival before but after tonight I am even more energized about it. We wanted to bring to patrons a world class production complemented by quality entertainment and I think we achieved that with the Beach Party. The best sight to me was when the rain came and nobody moved! Everyone stayed and partied and the DJs and hosts were amazing. Tonight is an indication that Reggae Sumfest 25 will be one of the best we have had," said Bogdanovich.

Reggae Sumfest continues today (Tuesday, July 18) with the All White party at Pier One, then the Sumfest Blitz Retro Block Party onWednesday, July 19 also at Pier One. The Heavyweight Soundclash will take over the same venue on Thursday night before Reggae Sumfest 25 culminates with two live shows on Friday, July 22 and Saturday, July 23 at the Catherine Hall Entertainment Complex, featuring the likes of Alkaline, Aidonia, Tory Lanez, Sean Paul, Mavado and Spice alongside a host of other top acts.

CAPTION: Sumfest Beach Party: Robert Russell (left) and Josef Bogdanovich of DownSound Entertainment,
producers of Reggae Sumfest were in good hands with Beach Bunny Alicia
during the Reggae Sumfest Beach Party on Sunday, July 16 at Tropical Bliss.

Reggae Sumfest 2017

sumfest-beach-party-2017.jpgOn the heels of an electrifying start to Reggae Sumfest on Sunday July 16 at Tropical Bliss Beach and the Sumfest at Sunset Yacht Party on Monday July 17, patrons and organisers go white at Pier One tonight!

The annual event is an all white affair and promises a healthy serving of great music, scrumptious dishes and a diverse musical experience. The event is the third in a lineup of seven events over seven days in the tourist city, of Montego Bay.

The 25th staging of the Internationally acclaimed production continues under the theme

"Our Music, Our festival" on Wednesday July 18 at Pier One with the Blitz Block Party. Pier one plays host to the Heavyweight Clash on Thursday July 20 and the weeklong event culminates at Catherine Hall July 21 -22 for Night One and Two of the concert showcasing top Jamaican acts delivering the best of Reggae and Dancehall in an atmospher filled with authentic Jamaican cuisine and fashion.

Reggae Sumfest 2017

Chris Gayle launches online dance contest

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chris-gayle-photo-5.jpgChris Gayle has launched a dance challenge competition with a cash prize of a whopping US$5,000.

The Jamaican cricketer made the announcement on Saturday when he uploaded a video busting out the moves.

"(CEO Chris Ever Okay) I'll give the winner USD 5000 who do the Chris Gayle Dance Challenge ," he wrote.

" the best . Ladies, the challenge goes for you too...There's the video so make sure you're spot on as I am lol."

"Have Fun I'll post the top 5 on my page and the viewers choose the winner. Remember to use the HASHTAG! Will announce the winner on the 24th ," he added. -

mariah-carey-nick-kids.jpgMariah Carey and Nick Cannon's six-year-old twins have written and recorded rap songs.

Moroccan and Monroe look set to follow in the footsteps of their musically famous parents -- who divorced in 2016 after eight years of marriage -- and they have wasted no time by already hitting the studio to work on some tracks.

The 36-year-old rapper said: "They've been in the studio. They got records. It's popping.

"They're singing, writing, rapping. It's amazing."

While Cannon is pleased see his kids' talent flourish, he's not entirely comfortable with them working at such an early age.

Speaking to "Entertainment Tonight," he added: "I'll be honest, I'm not a huge fan of putting children into the work force. But they love it, so they get into the studio."

While Carey, 47, recently said she doesn't find co-parenting with Cannon that tough because he is a "laugh," she admitted raising twins can be "hard work" at times.

She said: "Twins are definitely hard work. I'm very lucky to have people to help me because to handle two kids by yourself the same age is not easy."

Even though Moroccan and Monroe appear to have already started their own careers, Carey has admitted they aren't always very keen to let her to go to work.

She said: "They have to understand sometimes when I go to work, they're like, 'I don't want you to go to work! Stay home! Don't go to work!'

"And then I feel guilt-ridden, but it's all right. They get used to it, and then when we spend time together it's more special."

ishawna-hot-pic.jpgDancehall artiste Ishawna has been dropped by her management company, Donsome Booking Agency.In a statement released by Donsome Bookings CEO, Donsome Hanson, it was revealed that the company is no longer be representing the controversial singer, and that they would only be responsible for honouring bookings up to July 7, 2017.

News of the separation comes on the heels of Ishawna being lambasted for her rude, ignorant and disrespectful comment dissing Jamaican cultural icon Miss Lou and the national costume, the bandana, on social media.The female deejay posted on Instagram that "mi nuh dress inna tablecloth like Miss Lou".

Ishawna also confirmed news of the split earlier this week after she updated her Instagram bio to reflect her new booking information.

No official reason was given for the split, however it is widely felt that he negative backlash from the Miss Lou comment factored in it..

Ishawna parted ways with Downsound Records last summer, shortly before the staging of Reggae Sumfest 2016, for which she was booked but did not turn up to perform. Ishawa is not booked for the festival this year.

15-y-o Jamaican boy killed in Florida crash

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crime-scene-5.jpgA 15-year-old boy from Jamaica died in a traffic mishap in Florida, USA on Sunday night, with seven other persons being hositalised as a result of the incident.

Dead is Travis Bernard of Montego Bay, St James.

Reports were that the mishap took place on Highway 192 near the Osceola-Brevard county line.

Indications were that a 40-year-old woman of Royal Palm Beach, Florida was driving at about 11:50pm, when a tyre blew out on her Toyota SUV.

She lost control of the vehicle, which overturned.

Bernard was reportedly ejected from the vehicle, and pronounced dead where he landed at the scene of the crash.

Three adults suffered serious injuries, while the driver, another adult and two teenagers were treated at hospital for minor injuries.

Weather clears as Bermudans head to the polls

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Early-morning showers gave way to sunny skies as voters headed to the polls on Tuesday in a general election expected to produce another nail-biting finish between the ruling One Bermuda Alliance (OBA), which is seeking a second five-year term, and the opposition Progressive Labour Party (PLP), which previously led the country for 14 years.

The OBA prevailed by two seats - 19 to 17 - at the last election in December 2012 with outright victory only confirmed on the stroke of midnight. But it became a minority government after two of its former cabinet ministers resigned to become independents.

Both parties, each fielding a full slate of 36 candidates, are confident of success after 40 days of campaigning.

The OBA is led by Premier Michael Dunkley, 59, while Opposition Leader David Burt is 38. He has led the PLP since last November when Marc Bean resigned following a stroke earlier in the year.

Five independents - including Paula Cox, a former PLP premier who quit the party after being rejected by party bosses despite being backed by her Devonshire North West branch are also in the mix.

Only two of the PLP's 36 candidates are white while the OBA's line-up includes 13. Bermuda's 65,000 population is 55 per cent black and 35 per white (plus 10 per cent others).

The PLP is fielding eight women candidates, the OBA 12.

Polling stations opened at 8 a.m. (local time) as a weather system which dumped an inch and a quarter of rain on the island on Monday began moving away, and will close at 8 p.m.

There are 46,669 registered voters - an increase of nearly 3,000 from April 2016.

The OBA inherited a national debt of US$1.4 billion after taking office. It has since risen to $2.4 billion with the government having to fork out $500,000 a day to service the crippling debt.

In his party's final news conference before election day, Dunkley noted the OBA's record on tourism and improving the economy.

"We have made progress in restoring jobs, opportunity and hope, but we still have a ways to go," he said.

"Our mission is to extend the recovery and renewal into every household. Now Burt and his colleagues have been trying to convince you that the choice in this election is between them and us, but the real choice is actually much simpler and much more important. Will Bermuda move forward or back?"

The PLP reiterated its pledge that education remains its top priority.

According to Burt, students had been forgotten under the OBA, while frequent changes in Education Ministers had created inconsistencies and a lack of accountability.

"It is a baffling exercise to imagine what the One Bermuda Alliance had been thinking when they had been wilfully ignoring the needs of our children and our teachers," he said.

don-tropical-storm-watch-warning.jpgLIAT has announced the cancellation of several flights to the southern Caribbean as the airline continues to monitor Tropical Storm Don.

The Antigua-based carrier has cancelled flights to and from Barbados, Grenada, Trinidad, Guyana, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Lucia and Guyana.

However, flight LI 309 from Antigua to St Lucia will operate as scheduled.

LIAT says flights to the northern islands in the Eastern Caribbean chain will not be affected.

The airline says passengers who have been affected will be allowed to rebook within the next two weeks with all change fees waived.

Meanwhile, in it's latest advisory issued at 11 o'clock this morning, the Miami based National Hurricane Centre says maximum sustained winds in the centre of Tropical Storm Don have decreased to near 40 miles per hour.

However, a tropical storm warning remains in effect for Grenada and St Vincent and the Grenadines while a tropical storm watch remains in effect for Barbados and Bonaire.

6 Western Union outlets closed

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western-union.jpgWestern Union's Agent in Jamaica, GraceKennedy Money Services (GKMS), has announced the closure of six of the remittance outlets across Jamaica as it seeks to combat fraud across its network.

The locations involved in the temporary closure include three in Montego Bay, St James; one in Falmouth, Trelawny; one in Brown's Town, St Ann; and one in Spanish Town, St Catherine.

GraceKennedy Money Services says it has decided to close these locations because of an unusually high number of suspected fraudulent transactions being reported at them.

It says these fraudulent transactions have occurred despite enhancement of its antifraud programmes and continued investment in technology.

GraceKennedy Money Services says the affected locations will be reopened if and when it is satisfied that adequate additional anti-fraud measures have been taken.