Aarhus Reggae Festival artist lineup announced

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aarhus-reggae-festival-natty-king.jpgOn June 19th and 20th Reggae and Dancehall lovers in Aarhus, Denmark will experience the city's first ever two day Reggae festival. The event will take place at V58 (on the 19th) and Voxhall Entertainment Center (on the 20th).

As this is the first festival of this kind to be held in Aarhus, the promoters are being very careful as they are trying to select artists that they believe will get the event off to a good start. So far they have booked Natty King (from Jamaica), Etzia (from Sweden), Alpheus (from the UK), Empress Black Omolo (from Kenya), Lise Ranks (from Denmark), Pops Jabu (from Zimbabwe), Slo Down, Total Hip Replacement and Mwakenya (from Denmark). A lot more artistes will be added over the coming weeks.

Maria Jackson Entertainment is the official media/marketing company for the Aarhus Reggae Festival. All media inquiries regarding this event should be directed to mariajacksonent@gmail.com

Sizzla relocates to Zimbabwe; opens new studio

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sizzla-photo-6.jpgReggae artiste Sizzla has thrown in the towel on Jamaica and relocated to Zimbabwe, this after being given a farm for performing at President Robert Mugabe's 86th birthday celebrations in February.

"I am here to stay, Zimbabwe is home. I have received tremendous welcome," Sizzla reportedly told the state-owned Sunday Mail weekly newspaper. According to newzimbabwe.com, Sizzla's publicist Olimatta Taal confirmed that rather than pay the artiste in cash for performing at President Mugabe's birthday bash, Zanu-PF handed the Jamaican a farm located close to the town of Chegutu.

"Instead of giving him cash (for his performance) they gave him land. It is very honourable that he would take land instead of cash," Taal was quoted as saying.

Taal also stated that his Zimbabwe move had nothing to do with allegations that he was on the run from Jamaican authorities for gun crimes allegedly committed less than a month before President Mugabe's party.

Sizzla has reportedly also been granted a work permit and was working to consolidate business enterprises he has established locally to complement his singing profession. The singer said he plans to set up agro-industries on his farm to help local youths under his Jamaican social responsibility banner and has also made enquiries about investing in the local textile sector.

Sizzla has since set up a recording studio in the plush northern Harare suburb of Borrowdale where he resides and is working with local reggae groups such as Transit Crew to put together his debut album on Zimbabwean soil.

kern-spencer-daughter.jpgKern Spencer's Following The Spencers premiered Saturday at 10.30 pm on CVMTV.

The show, which is produced by Super K Studios in association with BOJTV, will showcase the Caribbean lifestyle through the eyes of a family that is involved in TV production. Kern Spencer said the idea came about after several persons asked him to write a book about his journeys and struggles in life.

"Since the encouragement to write a book started, I kept jotting down key points to start the book. Then I realized that our company had so much video and audio footage, which reflected Caribbean lifestyle, that was going to waste, so I said to myself, why not do a reality TV show," said Spencer.

A former junior minister in the People's National Party government, Spencer has had his image stained by allegations of corruption. He was jailed for benefiting improperly under the Cuban light bulb programme, but after six years before the courts, he was freed. Spencer said he will not be held hostage by the past. He said there is a demand for programmes like his and he will be seeking to capitalise on the opportunities.

"Families such as the Kardashians are doing it and making millions of dollars and are creating employment for persons," he said.

"The Caribbean, and in particular Jamaica, has so much that could excite viewers from all over the world," said Spencer, while adding that the production aspect of the reality TV Show will also bring about significant employment for persons involved in the industry, ranging from script writers actors, producers, camera men, editors and publicists.

jamaica-win-at-penn-relays.jpgJamaica's senior athletes, college students and high school boys came up big as the curtains came down on the 121st staging of the Penn Relays in Philadelphia.

The senior athletes copped 2 USA vs Rest of the World titles while the country's top high school boys and colleges including Calabar, St. Elizabeth Technical and the University of Technology secured Championship of America titles.

Jamaica's 4×100 meters team of Kerron Stewart, Sherone Simpson, Schillonie Calvert and Nathasha Morrison captured the 4×100 meters for a third year in a row, winning in 43.70 seconds.

The 4×400 meters team of Christine Day, Patricia Hall, Anastacia Le-Roy and Stephanie McPherson fended off the Americans to win in 3:26.58 seconds. The men's 4×100 meters team of Nesta Carter, Michael Frater, Jason Livermore and Asafa Powell had to settle for silver however after clocking 38.88 seconds to finish behind a USA Red team featuring Mike Rodgers, Justin Gatlin, Isiah Young and Ryan Bailey (38.68 seconds).

Jamaica finished second behind the USA in both men and women 4×200 meters logging times of 1 minute 21.45 and 1 minute 31.97 seconds respectively.

Meanwhile World Junior 200m bronze medallist Michael O'Hara helped Calabar to the High School Boys' 4×100 Championship of America title. The Calabar quartet of Zandre Blake, O'Hara, Jullane Walker and Seanie Selvin covered the Franklin Field Stadium track in 39.63.

Jamaica took the top four spots with St. Jago 39.89 (Raheem Chambers, Chad Walker, Nathon Allen, Ivan Henry), St. George's College 40.17 (Amoy Brown, Jelani Walker, Akeemo Minott, Joshua Darby) and St. Elizabeth Technical 40.42 (Rohan Cole, Okeen Williams, Hujaye Cornwall, Robin Black).

Clayton Brown, Odaine Lewis and Jullanie Walker were also High School Boys Championship of America winners on Saturday's final day. Brown of Jamaica College (JC) cleared 2.09m to take the boys' high jump title inside the Franklin Field Stadium in Philadelphia. He beat Lushane Wilson of St. Jago 2.06m. In the boys' long jump, Walker and Travis Riley gave Calabar 1-2 with 7.45m and 7.34m respectively.

Odaine Lewis of Cornwall College topped the boys' triple jump with 15.37. JC's Obrien Wasome took second with 15.28m and Campion College's Jordan Scott, third with 15.19m.

pj-patterson.jpgNew York - Western Union and GraceKennedy will hold their annual town hall series from May 4th to May 8th, 2015 in Brooklyn, New York; Toronto Canada and Miramar, Florida under the theme, "The Caribbean Diaspora - Borderless Possibilities." The keynote speaker for this year's series is the P.J. Patterson, former Prime Minister of Jamaica and President of Heis Consults Ltd.

"These forums are very important to us as they provide an excellent opportunity to engage the Caribbean diaspora - not just to network with our customers and get their feedback but also importantly, to encourage their participation in the discussion about issues that are critical to their home countries. Their contribution is very valuable as we explore ways to continue the development and promotion of the Caribbean while improving the quality of lives for those who live within the region," said Michelle Allen, Chief Executive Officer of GraceKennedy Money Services.

This year's discussion topics include "Corporate social responsibility - changing lives, cultivating generations through educational investment." Western Union and GraceKennedy will also share information on their commitment to education and support of the diaspora.

Each session will include a question and answer segment following the keynote speaker's presentation. Please visit www.networkcaribbean.ca for more details and to register.

Police and ministers of religion met with members of the Drumilly community in St. Ann Saturday morning within hours of a double murder in the deep rural district.

Dead are 24 year old Demar Smith, also called Chunky, a bus conductor of Drumilly, and his girlfriend 15-year-old Amoya Brown, of Good Hope, Clarendon. The two were chopped to death just before day break at Smith's house.

Members of the community immediately went in search of a man, who like Smith, was a tenant at the house.

Up to news time, there was no information on his whereabouts, but police have asked the man who they have not named, to make contact with the police.

In the meantime, Smith's sister, Sidonie Smith, was distraught and said her brother was killed for nothing at all. She said there seemed to be a dispute over electricity, which she said had been cut off to a section of the house, her brother occupied. Even as community members searched for the alleged killer, the St. Ann police community safety and security branch, led by Sgt. Lorna West-Small took a team to the scene for grief counselling.

Among them were Inspector in charge of Claremont Velrose Wilson, Methodist Minister Racquel Clemmings and Elder in the Seventh Day Adventist Church Bancroft Lopez. The community members, including siblings of Smith, were addressed by the police who asked for their cooperation.

The numbers of senior police officers for St. Ann were given out for easy reach by community members. The church leaders also prayed with the community members.

Kenny Benjamin's Serenity Farms up for sale

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The Kenny Benjamin-led Guardsman Group has put its recreational property in St Catherine up for sale.

Serenity Farms, located in Bushy Park, St. Catherine was once marketed as a tourist destination for families looking to get away from the city to experience nature and a relaxing retreat.

The property consists of flat farmland with development potential with access to water, electricity and includes several buildings, ponds and a house.

ian-lyn.jpgWanted for questioning by the Fraud Squad, Ian Lyn, the former director of Carmax Jamaica Limited, has broken his silence, declaring that he is not a thief, even as the cops say allegations of impropriety against the company he formerly ran has climbed to $160 million.

"First of all, let's make it clear that I am not a director of Carmax, since last October. I haven't been the head of operations for six months. Second, I am not a thief, because that is diametrically opposed to who I am. And third, the allegations are far from the truth," Lyn told The Sunday Gleaner by telephone from an undisclosed location overseas.

According to Lyn, he was never the majority shareholder in the company which traded in used cars. He added that he did not flee Jamaica to avoid possible fraud charges, similar to those levelled against Daren Blake, a director in Carmax.

"I am out of the country on business. I am many things, but I am not a thief. It is against who I am and everything that I strive to do for all the years of my business life," reiterated Lyn, a former president of the Jamaica Used Car Dealers' Association.

However, Lyn refused to say when he would be returning to Jamaica to face the music, following a plea from the Fraud Squad for him to turn himself in for questioning. Instead, the car dealer referred our news team to his lawyer, Shantez Stewart. The attorney later said he is taking instructions from his client and could not say when Lyn will make himself available to the cops.

"My client advised me to go to the Fraud Squad and present certain information, which I did. Having done that, we will now allow all the processes of the judicial system to proceed," said Stewart.

Head of the Fraud Squad, Superintendent Anthony McLaughlin, has already indicated that the police are considering their options, following Lyn's failure to turn himself in.

Last week, auto broker Roderick Byles obtained a Supreme Court order which placed Carmax into receivership. The assets of Blake and Lyn, who holds an American passport, were also placed into receivership.

asafa-and-kaci.jpgFrom New York to New Zealand there's probably at least one Jamaican everywhere on the globe at any given point in time.

Well, two of yard's most recognisable faces brought some Jamaican sunshine to chilly Philadelphia. Kaci Fennell and Asafa Powell linked up for an appearance on Fox News, where the duo spoke about the upcoming Penn Relays.

"?#?Yaadies? link up in Philadelphia, for Fox News and talking about the ?#?PennRelays? that are coming up," the reigning Miss Universe captioned a photo of the two of them on social media.

Asafa also took to social media to announce the yardie link up.

"Just did a great interview with Alex and Mike and Kaci Fennell on @fox29 #teamjamaica Penn Relays #gooddayphilly #myfox29philly," said the track star on Instagram.

Asafa is back on the team representing Jamaica at the Penn Relays this year.