Jamaica is home, Damian Marley tells NY Times

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marley-damian.jpgAs a celebrated musician and bearer of the most recognizable name in reggae, Damian Marley is often on tour.

"Jamaica is still home in terms of my heart, though," said Mr. Marley, 37, who is to perform on the Welcome to Jamrock Reggae Cruise in November. "I was born and raised in Kingston, where my mom still lives, and even though I also live in Miami, when I talk about home, I'm always talking about Jamaica."

Below are excerpts from a conversation with Damian, a son of Bob Marley, about traveling abroad and coming home.

Q. When you return to Kingston, how do you get that sense of being back?

A. I often go to the Bob Marley Museum. It's like a home base. But other than that it's the people and the culture. I love going to Hellshire Beach. They serve fried fish and what we call festival, which is like cornmeal mixed with flour. They make it into a fried cake that is unique to Jamaica. Every weekend as kids we used to go to the beach to swim and afterward get fried fish and festival and bammy [a traditional flatbread made with cassava].

Your father said he was first exposed to music in Kingston. What types of music were you exposed to there?

I grew up listening to a lot of dance hall music. In those years, it was people like Shabba Ranks and Ninjaman and Peter Metro. Kingston is still very much the hub for music. It's the capital and most of the runnings and happenings in the country in terms of TV promotion happen there.

In 2005 your album "Welcome to Jamrock" contrasted Jamaica's image as a sandy paradise for tourists with the struggles faced by citizens who were living amid poverty and violence in its slums. Has the last decade brought any positive changes?

With the Internet becoming so popular, there are more opportunities for people to be exposed to and reach out to the world. When it comes down to government programs that help build a critical foundation for young people, I don't think there has been that much change. However, there is probably more awareness and more conversations about the need for change.

You once said you were lucky to be on the frontier of the resurrection of roots music. Where is the audience for reggae today?

I think for a long time Jamaica wasn't producing much roots music, but over the past three or four years it's becoming very popular again, not only here but also in places like India and Europe. I just came back from a tour in South America and we got a great reception in Colombia. The world over embraces it and they know Bob Marley. You could always sing "One Love" to people in places like China and they'll enjoy that.

Which countries inspire you the most?

Every place has something special about it. I had a good time in California when I went to the redwood forest, where they have trees that cars can drive through and these great rock formations that remind you of the life span of that place, versus the lifetime of a human being. Redwoods have been around longer than any person walking the Earth, so in that way it was very humbling and shows you the awesomeness of nature.

It's also very interesting when you go to a place where English is not their primary language and you see how they respond to the music. Where you have a conversation with people who can't respond in English and yet they're able to sing the songs back to you. When people are breaking language barriers to come see you, that means a lot.





andrea-mundell-bowen.jpgAndrea Mundell-Bowen, the sister of late Reggae pioneer, Hugh Mundell, was killed on her coffee farm in Golden Spring, St Andrew on Thursday night.

Early reports are that she was raped before she was brutally murdered and her body hidden under bushes. The Constant Spring Police is investigating.

Mundell-Bowen was the principal of Andreafay Blue Mountain Coffee. Her good friend, Philip Mascoll, paid tribute to her on Facebook.

"Condolences to this beautiful lady and her family! Sad! Sad! Sad! Sorry," an emotional Mascoll said.

According to Mascoll, Mundell Bowen was determined to build her small Blue Mountain Coffee business into a World-wide brand.

"She was on her way to doing this when some piece of garbage who will never have a scintilla of use to this World and Jamaica visited this abomination on this lovely human," he said, adding that Mundell-Bowen was self-financing the coffee farm and "invested heavily, every cent she had."

The company website states that Mundell Bowen was born in London, England and moved to Jamaica with her father (Barrister at Law) Alvin Mundell and mother Teresa Mundell (health care) when she was just two years old. She went back to London when she was 18 years old to study interior design, before turning to farming.

"Andrea has always had a passion for farming, agriculture and interior design and followed her dream in having a coffee farm and her own coffee label supplying great coffee to the world," the company website said.

In October 1983, her brother Hugh Mundell was shot and killed while sitting in a car along Grants Pen Avenue. Also in the vehicle were Mundell's wife and his protégé, Junior Reid, who survived the attack.





Two off-duty policemen from the Kingston Eastern Division seized a Taurus 9mm pistol along with a magazine loaded with seventeen rounds of ammunition on Sunday.

Two men were arrested in connection with the seizure at the intersection of Dunoon Road and Windward Road, Kingston 2.

Reports from the Elletson Road Police are that about 3:10am, the lawmen who were travelling in a private motor vehicle, on route from work, observed two men who were coming from a dance in the area.

The men aroused the suspicion of the police, when one of them pulled a firearm from his waistband and discharged a round. It is alleged that the man then handed the weapon to another man, who put it in his waistband.

The lawmen exited the vehicle in a tactful manner and both men were accosted, searched and the firearm and ammunition seized.

The identities of both men have been withheld pending further investigations.





Police list reveals 'Most Wanted' in Area One

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The Area One Police have listed the fifteen most wanted men in western Jamaica, advising them to turn themselves in to the nearest police station immediately.

The men, who are wanted in connection with murders and shootings, are namely:

1. Philbert Anderson

2. Nigel White

3. Carlington Godfrey , otherwise called 'Tommy'

4. David Stewart, otherwise called 'Coolie'

5. Desmond Bennie, otherwise called 'Dennie'

6. Eric Clarke, otherwise called 'Legacy'

7. George Miller otherwise called 'Lobster'

8. Joshua Anderson, otherwise called 'German'

9. Renaldo Richards, otherwise called 'Ren' or 'Mad Rass'

10. Romaine Esson, otherwise called 'Shenko'

11. Steve Vassell, otherwise called 'Buss Mi Strength'

12. Xavian Brisco, otherwise called 'Brisco'

13. Yasser James, otherwise called 'Fry Eye'

14. Rowandre Reid, otherwise called 'Blacks' and 'Rowan'

15. Kevon Smith, otherwise called 'Tito'

Anyone with information on their whereabouts is being asked to call the Criminal Investigation Branch at 922-5076, Crime Stop at 311 or 811, the police's emergency 119 number or the nearest police station.

Meanwhile, the public is being advised that anyone found harbouring these individuals will be prosecuted, as it is a criminal offence.





women-4x400-winners-jamaica-worlds.jpgJamaica's women delivered another historic performance to cop the country's seventh gold when they beat the rest of the world in the 2015 IAAF World Championships 4X400m final.

In the men's equivalent, Javon Francis ran a brilliant race to bring back the Jamaican into contention, even leading at one time, but could not hold and was eventually overtaken by the Americans who ended first.

Trinidad and Tobago was second and Great Britain third with similar time as Jamaica in the men's 4X400.

The women, however, took the early lead through Shericka Jackson on the second leg and maintained it until the third leg when America's Allyson Felix chopped down Jamaica's 20 metre lead to hand over the baton first to Francena McCrory on anchor.

When Jamaica's Novelene Williams Mills took the baton she saved the energy for the late surge to take Jamaica home in a world leading time of 3.19.13.

The Americans were placed second and Great Britain, third.

The Jamaican quartet comprised Christine Day, Shericka Jackson,Stephenie McPherson and Novlene Williams-Mills.

This is only the second time that Jamaica has won the event, the first being in Edmonton in 2001.

The golden run by the 4X400m women has pushed Jamaica's medal tally to 12 - seven gold, two silver and three bronze.





ricardo-williams-canadian-teen.jpgRicardo Williams, a teenager visiting Jamaica for the summer holidays was shot dead by unknown assailants along White Lane in the community of Olympic Gardens, St Andrew early Sunday morning.

Williams, 14, also known as 'Shangu' is reportedly from Scarborough, Ontatrio, Cananda.

According to a report from the Hunts' Bay Police, residents discovered Williams' body with gunshot wounds about 1:51 am and rushed him to hospital.

He was pronounced dead.

The police were unable to provide any further details, but indicated that their probe into the teen's death has been launched.





bad-from-mi-born-munga.jpgDancehall artiste Damian Rhoden, popularly known as Munga Honorable is currently being treated at the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) for a chop wound he suffered last night.

TPolice reports are that the 'Bad From Mi Born' deejay received over 30 stitches for the wound he received in his shoulder area.

The circumstances are not yet known but he was expected to have been released from hospital on Saturday.





DOMINICA: Hurricane Erika leaves four dead

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erika-damage-in-dominica.jpgSreets across Dominica turned into fast-flowing rivers that swept up cars as Tropical Storm Erika pummeled the eastern Caribbean island, unleashing landslides and killing at least four people.

The storm, which forecasters said could reach Florida as a hurricane on Monday, knocked out power and water supplies on Dominica as it dumped 15 inches (38 centimeters) of rain on the small island and headed west into the Caribbean Sea.

An elderly blind man and two children were killed when a mudslide crashed into their home in the southeast of the island, said Police Superintendent Daniel Carbon. Another man was found dead near his home in the capital of Roseau after a mudslide, but the cause of death was could not be immediately determined, Carbon told The Associated Press.

Police said another 20 people have been reported missing.

Erika was centered about 175 miles (280 kilometers) west of Guadeloupe, and was moving west at 15 mph (24 kph) with maximum sustained winds that had slipped slightly to 45 mph (75 kph), according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami.

Erika was expected to move near Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands on Thursday and be near or just north of the Dominican Republic on Friday as it heads toward Florida early next week, possibly as a hurricane.

Chris Landsea, a meteorologist at the hurricane center, said the storm could dissipate if it passed over Hispaniola or Puerto Rico or it could gather and pose a potential threat to Florida next week. "The uncertainties are very high," he said.

As the storm entered the Caribbean, it did the heaviest damage to Dominica, an island of about 72,000 people of lush forests and steep terrain. Authorities were still conducting a full damage assessment after rivers surged over their banks and walls of mud surged into homes.

About 80 per cent of the island was without electricity, and water supply was cut off, authorities said. Trees and light poles were strewn across streets as water rushed over parked cars and ripped the scaffolding off some buildings. The main airport was closed due to flooding, with water rushing over at least one small plane.

The main river that cuts through the capital overflowed its banks and surging water crashed into the principal bridge that leads into Roseau.

"The capital city is a wreck," policewoman Teesha Alfred said. "It is a sight to behold. It's a disaster."

Erika was likely to hit the island of Hispaniola, which is shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic, said chief forecaster James Franklin at the National Hurricane Center.

"That would certainly not be good news for Hispaniola," he said. "They're very vulnerable to flooding. And even if Erika is a weak system that could be very bad there."

Officials shuttered schools, government offices and businesses across the region and warned of flash flooding because of dry conditions caused by the worst drought to hit the Caribbean in recent years. Authorities warned power and water service might be temporarily cut off.

Erika is expected to dump between 4 to 8 inches of rain across the region, with up to 12 inches in some areas.

Dozens of flights were canceled in the region, and the U.S. Coast Guard closed all ports in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.





george-nooks.jpgIn response to repeated requests, Alternative Music Limited will stage the next edition of its KeesingLIVE! series on Saturday, September 19.

Members of the audience will be serenaded by singing sensation Romain Virgo and crooner par excellence, George Nooks. Patrons will likewise enjoy performances by 2012 Grammy nominee Prophecy, 2012 Rising Stars winner Sharona Jonas, and refreshing new singer/songwriter Kenny Smith.

KeesingLIVE! will be held at the headquarters of its home, Alternative Music Ltd, located at 5 Keesing Avenue (off Hagley Park Road), Kingston 10. Complimentary secure parking and shuttle service to the nearby venue is available at Tyre Warehouse located at 83B Hagley Park Road. The

KeesingLIVE! concert series was created with a view to presenting and preserving good, clean LIVE music by renowned artistes and new talent in beautiful, safe and relaxed surroundings. In pursuing its aims to enhance and uplift the community to which it belongs,

Alternative Music Ltd., will donate part proceeds from KeesingLIVE! to the Eve for Life non-governmental group, this provides vital support to young (mainly female) survivors of abuse. Additional information on EVE for Life will be available on Saturday, September 19. Gates open at 6.30 p.m. and showtime is 8.00 p.m. sharp. Tickets are $1,200, pre-sold, and $1,500 at the gate. Special rates apply for groups and students with valid I.D. Tickets are already on sale at Alternative Music Ltd. and at The Music Mart, 8 South Avenue, Kingston 10.