pnp-headquarters.jpgPeople's National Party's Ralston Wilson will be among the Councillors sworn in at the St. Catherine Municipal Corporation on Thursday after a magisterial recount for the Ginger Ridge division confirmed that he won the seat in the Local Government election.

Mr. Wilson defeated the Jamaica Labour Party's Huit Johnson by 16 votes in the final count.

Following the recount on Tuesday, Mr. Wilson's lead was increased to 18 votes.

Mr. Johnson, who will be the councillor/caretaker says he has accepted the decision.

There has been a change to the islandwide de-bushing and drain cleaning programme which remains at the centre of controversy. The programme has been reduced from $600 million to $400 million.

The announcement was made by Prime Minister Andrew Holness in the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

The Opposition earlier walked out of the House after insisting that the Prime Minister should speak about the programme.

Mr. Holness subsequently did speak on the matter, in the absence of the Opposition, and outlined that $400 million will be spent on the programme and that there will be a change to its scope.

"We have expended approximately $219 million out of the $400 million that has been allocated. The balance of approximately $180 million will be used exclusively to deal with the island's drainage network according to the strategic templates of priorities prepared by the NWA," he asserted.

Grammy Awards overview

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grammy-awards.jpgThe Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album is an award presented at the Grammy Awards, a ceremony that was established in 1958 and originally called the Gramophone Awards] to recording artists for quality works in the reggae music genre. Honors in several categories are presented at the ceremony annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to "honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position".

Originally called the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Recording, the honor was presented to artists for eligible songs or albums. The Jamaican group Black Uhuru received the first award in 1985. Beginning with the 1992 ceremony, the name of the award was changed to Best Reggae Album. Starting in 2002, awards were often presented to the engineers, mixers, and/or producers in addition to the performing artists. According to the category description guide for the 52nd Grammy Awards, eligible works are vocal or instrumental reggae albums "containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded music", including roots reggae, dancehall and ska music.

Stephen Marley holds the record for the most wins in this category, with six wins total (three times as a member of the band Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers). Similarly, Ziggy Marley has been presented the award four times total, three times as the leader of his eponymous band. Bunny Wailer has received the award three times, and two-time recipients include Burning Spear, Damian Marley, and Shabba Ranks. Jamaican artists have been presented with the award more than any other nationality. Buju Banton's nomination for the 2010 award sparked controversy and protest from the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation due to homophobic lyrics within his music.

johnny-daley.jpgComedian and Actor Christopher Johnny Daley reportedly received rave reviews for his performance in the semifinals of the Laugh Factory Funniest Person in the world competition held on Monday December 5,. The contest, currently being staged in Helsinki Finland, has 18 comedians from all over the globe vying for the top spot and a US$100,000 cash prize.

Johnny left the island last Friday to compete in the semifinals and finals of the international comedy contest after two months of campaigning for online votes and being selected out of over 80 applicants.

With only a five minute set to impress the Finnish audience and judges, Daley had the crowd crackling from the get-go. His set went over perfectly with the audience in attendance and gave him near perfect scores from the three judges. He now waits for the announcement of the final 5 acts who will perform this weekend in the grand finals,. Locally, Daley garnered support from popular Jamaica brand Magnum Tonic Wine who saw the opportunity to work with Johnny to 'Tek Charge' of Comedy in Helsinki.

"The Magnum brand saw this as a great opportunity to support a Jamaican product representing on the world stage. Christopher Johnny Daley is hard working and deserves the opportunity to show the world what we already see; talent, charisma and the ability to 'Tek Charge' of the grand prize!" shared Tamika West, Marketing Manager, J Wray & Nephew Ltd.

Beyonce tops Grammy nominations with 9 nods

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beyonce-photo-3.jpgBeyonce secured the most nominations for next year's Grammy Awards ceremony. She leads the field with nine after the release of her album Lemonade.

Following closely behind are Drake, Rihanna and Kanye West with eight nods each.

British singer Adele secured five nominations, tying with the late great David Bowie.

Other nominees include Chance the Rapper for best New Artiste, Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Tory Lanez, Bryson Tiller, Desiigner and Kirk Franklin.

The 59th Grammy Awards will take place on February 12.

devin-di-dakta-and-jl.jpggrammy-awards.jpgDevin Di Dakta and J.L. have been given their first nod for the honour award from The Recording Academy.

Devin Di Dakta who turned 21 yesterday says he is "excited and overjoyed" to wake up to the news of the nomination.

The collaboration EP Sly & Robbie Presents ... Reggae For Her features eight songs written by Devin and J.L. on the Tuff Gong International, Taxi Records label have been selected in the Best Reggae Album category of the 59th Grammy awards.

Other nominees in the Best Reggae Album category are: J Boog for Rose Petals on the Wash House Music Group label; Ziggy Marley for Ziggy Marley on the Tuff Gong Worldwide label, Raging Fyah for Everlasting on the Dub Rockers/VP Records label and Rebelution for Falling Into Place on the Easy Star Records label.

raging-fyah.jpggrammy-awards.jpgIn 2016 Pele, Demar, Anthony Watson, Courtland "Gizmo" White and Kumar collectively known as Raging Fyah released their third studio album "Everlasting" to rave reviews from fans and music industry alike.

Proudly the top charting album received the highest honor in music with a Grammy nomination for Best Reggae Album. Recorded live at Kingston's legendary Tuff Gong Studios producer Llamar "Riff Raff" Brown, Everlasting incorporates broad based influences, various acoustic subtleties, and a few guest artists, all of which further established Raging Fyah's reggae identity.

Speaking on their nomination, lead singer Kumar stated "We feel honored and humbled, we are just taking it in, it feels good. It gives us a sense of accomplishment as humble musicians. It's more than just the band, it's the Jamaican culture, reggae culture. Being nominated is a win itself, Its going to do a lot for the younger musicians Coming from Edna Manley I think it changes the culture of musicianship, of the struggles we overcome. To be nominated for Best Reggae Album alongside Ziggy Marley, J Boog, Sly & Robbie, Rebelution and SOJA is a win for us, for all struggling young musicians, we give thanks, we feel really good".

Granville Valentine, General Secretary of the National Workers' Union (NWU), has described the dismissal of 12 workers from the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) as an inhumane and unlawful act of political discrimination.

The workers, mainly from the agency's Parks and Markets Department, were recently handed termination letters, dated November 30.

They carried out a peaceful protest at the agency's Half Way Tree headquarters Monday afternoon.

Mr. Valentine, claiming political victimisation, said the workers are supporters of the People's National Party (PNP).

"It is inhumane, it is downright cruel to men of straw. These are persons who are at the lowest level of the economic scale and it's unfortunate that right after the national election, that persons would have taken such steps, which is deemed and looks in every direction to be political victimisation," Mr. Valentine lamented.

The NWU general secretary said a meeting on Monday with union representatives and the management of the NSWMA ended on a hopeful note.

"We are expecting that the senior management must do the prudent thing and reinstate these persons with immediacy and ensure that they too have a good and peaceful Christmas," he declared.

woman-shot-dead-chrissy-vaughan.jpgThe police in St James have vowed to bring to justice the man responsible for Monday morning's gun slaying of popular Montego Bay mortician, 31-year-old Chrissy Vaughan.

"He (killer) is known to the persons who were there (crime scene ) and we think that in very short order he will be brought to justice," head of operations at the St James Police Division, acting Superintendent of Police, Gary McKenzie told members of the western Jamaica media fraternity, at a press conference at the Freeport Police Station on Monday afternoon.

The shooting occurred sometime after 2 am, outside a club in Bogue Village, St James, where Vaughan was among a group of patrons when a fight broke out between two members.

One of the two reportedly took out a gunand fired, shooting the mortician in her head, as she sought to flee the scene in her motorcar. She lost control of the vehicle which slammed into a sidewalk.

The police discovered Vaughan slumped around the steering wheel of the vehicle, suffering from gunshot wound. She was taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead.

"Early this morning, the police were notified that an explosion was heard in the Bogue Village area. Based on what we gather so far, persons were at a club. They are known to each other and the understanding is that a dispute developed and one person drew a firearm and fired shots, one of which caught her," DSP McKenzie related.