April 2016 Archives

seretse.jpgPopular Sunday series, Jazz in the Gardens, will be held at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on May 1. Showtime is 6:00 pm.

Kathy Nunez, Jazz in the Gardens' executive director, is promising a great evening.

"We are promising patrons a very good evening... one filled with musical delights," she said.

The concert, dubbed Jazz 'N' Cabaret, will feature Christine Fisher, Demario McDowell, and Miguel Anthony; saxophonist and Digicel Rising Star talent competition winner Verlando Small, and guitarist Seretse Small.

Best Care Foundation and Voluntary Organization for the Upliftment of Children are slated to benefit from the show's proceeds.

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Reggae Sumfest 2017

reggae-fusion-project.jpgInternational music producer, EchoSlim, is set to produce Reggae fusion artiste, Nelson Serieux's, upcoming EP and album, entitled The Awakening and The Renaissance respectively. These collaborative projects come on the heels of the duo's first joint performance at Florida International University's Bayfest, a music festival with headliners including Migos, Trina, T-Vice and Dexta Daps.

The duo have already taken to the studio, cranking out tune after tune, including the single, "I'm Leaving," which will be featured on the new EP. The single samples the popular Bitty McClean song, Walk Away From Love.

"The most exciting part of this collaboration is the ability to create without boundaries," said EchoSlim, "the beauty of working with a fusion artiste like Nelson is that his voice is so versatile. You'll always hear the Reggae undertones, but I think everyone is going to be blown away by the range of vocals and genres for these projects."

Serieux's most current EP, "My Meditation", as well as other songs in the artiste's catalogue can be enjoyed on Soundcloud via https://soundcloud.com/nelson-serieux. Check out some of EchoSlim's recent projects on Soundcloud as well via https://soundcloud.com/echoslim.





cannabis-cup-2016.jpgThe Jamaica World Cannabis Cup 2016 festival will run from December 9 to 11 in Negri, according to one of the organisers, Ras Iyah V.

The group expect to receive their drug permit by next week giving them more time to expand the festival set for its second year.

Officially entitled Rastafari Roozfest Hosts High Times Cannabis Cup, the festival last November featured over 80 booths with ganja promotions or roots items.

Iyah V indicated that the festival will still run in collaboration with respected US-based magazine, High Times.

The festival was described as the largest of its kind in the island. It featured nightly stage shows and was visited by political heads including then Minister of Justice, Mark Golding.

ganja-licence.jpgGanja farmer Junior Gordon copped the most top awards at the 2015 Jamaica World Cannabis Cup. Other top winners included Juna Johnson for his Sativa flower entry entitled Orange Hill Lemon. Skinny & Andrew Williams received top prize in the indoor category for True OG.

The prizes were the culmination of the festival which featured over 30 Jamaican farmers and co-ops aimed to place in four ganja categories.

The local farmers entered in the hash, indoor, indica flowers and sativa flowers categories. The largest entries were from co-ops including the St Bess Ganja Growers (St Bess Growers), St Thomas Ganja Farmers Association (St Thomas Growers); and St Ann Botanical & Agro Processing Co-op (St Ann Botanical) and the Accompong Maroons.





Dengue cases rise

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dengue.jpgThe Ministry of Health is reportedly seeing more cases of the Dengue fever. Dr. De La Haye says the country remains on high alert.

"We're now at a total of 75, so we still need to be looking out. More specifically, dengue has four sub-types. Three and Four are the ones associated with Dengue hemorrhagic disease and Dengue hemorrhagic fever, the more lethal outcome potentially of dengue," Dr. De La Haye said.

However, "in patients we've suspected of having Dengue hemorrhagic fever, none of those have returned positive," he said.





Jamaica gets funding to fight Zika

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zika-virus-photo-2.jpgAt the request of Jamaica, the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Council of Ministers has approved an allocation under the European Development Fund to support the fight against the Zika Virus in the region. The approval came Wednesday on the final day of the 103rd Session of the ACP Council.

Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs, had proposed that the funds be made available to support the fight against the Zika Virus in Jamaica and the other countries in the Caribbean. She cited the serious potential for economic and social harm.





Two new cases of Zika virus confirmed

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zika-virus-photo-2.jpgThe Ministry of Health is reporting two more cases of the Zika Virus. This increases to eight the number of confirmed cases in Jamaica.

Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Winston De La Haye, said the cases were confirmed following the testing of samples at the Virology Laboratory at the University of the West Indies, Mona.

He said the lab has already received 203 samples, compared to 321 received by CARPHA since the start of the epidemic - thereby "approximating the total amount we've been giving to CARPHA over the last three months."

Dr. De La Haye said the two women, from Spanish Town Road and Duhaney Park, are recovering.

"To my knowledge they are fine as (are) the other six persons," he said.

The Acting Chief Medical Officer said the ministry would continue to fog areas within a 200-300 metre radius around each person's home who is found to be positive.





The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) has revealed that over $500 million worth of counterfeit items has been seized by them in recent years.

Alwyn Nicely, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Jamaica Customs Border Protection Division, says the seizures were part of a clampdown on breaches of intellectual property rights.

Speaking at a media briefing Thursday, Mr. Nicely said, "IPR, which is often seen as a victimless crime, is quite the opposite. We have, to date, seized and destroyed in excess of $523 million worth of goods (with items ranging) from illicit cigarettes to apparel."

He has also highlighted the dangers associated with the sale of counterfeit medication locally. He urged consumers to be cautious when purchasing pharmaceuticals as it was a matter of public safety.

"We must be absolutely sure that the things we are ingesting as medication are above board and legitimate," said Mr. Nicely.





police-commish-dr-carl-williams.jpgCommissioner of Police Dr. Carl Williams and the Police High Command have condemned the killing and have offered condolences to the family members, friends and colleagues of the slain policewoman.

"My heart goes out to the family members and colleagues of Ms. Williams who has passed under very tragic circumstances. I too mourn with you as she was a member of my immediate staff," Williams said.

"To her killers, the Jamaica Constabulary Force remains undaunted by this evil act. We will stop at nothing until her killers are brought to justice."

The Police High Command is also urging all officers both on and off duty to be extremely vigilant and to take swift and decisive action to protect themselves, family, colleagues and members of the public within the remit of the law.

The High Command also says the threat level against police personnel remains high.





policewoman-judith-williams-apr-29.jpgThe female police corporal who was shot six times by gunmen as she left her east Kingston home for work Thursday morning has died.

She has been identified as 54-year-old Judith Williams, who was attached to the Office of Police Commissioner Dr Carl Williams.

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The police say Williams died shortly after midnight at the Kingston Public Hospital.

Williams was looking forward to her retirement from the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

On Thursday morning, she had just left her home on Brae Street in east Kingston when she was surprised by two gunmen travelling on a motorcycle.

It's reported that the pillion pulled a firearm and opened fire, hitting her.

She was rushed to hospital where doctors made a valiant attempt to save her life.





Father of murdered 3-year-old found dead

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murdered-child-leashay-thomas.jpgThe father of the slain St James three-year-old child wanted in connection with her murder has been found dead.

Roosevelt 'Timmy' Thomas was found with multiple gunshot wounds at an abandoned house on Joan Avenue in Glendevon last night.

He had earlier escaped police custody while being interrogated at the Barnett Street police lock-up in the parish.

Thomas called a family member to say he was going to kill his daughter and dump her body at the beach.

He also threatened to kill himself.

Thomas reportedly went to the child's mother, took the child away and sent a text to his own mother to say the child was at the beaches.





policewoman-judith-williams-apr-29.jpgThe police say they now have a suspect in custody in relation to the murder of female police corporal, Judith Williams.

"We have a man in custody and he is being questioned in relation to a number of crimes, one of which is the killing of the female police corporal," said a senior detective in the matter.

Police say they were unable, at this time, to provide more details on the case.

Williams, 54, was attacked and shot multiple times as she made her way to work by gunmen traveling on a motor cycle in McIntyre Villa, also known as Dunkirk.

She died in hospital on Friday morning.

Her death has sent shock waves across the country and the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).





troy-pusey-and-shanique-myrie.jpgBwoy, what a mix up, confusion and bangarang wid Shanique Myrie and her husband! First, she did say him is a control freak and that him unstable, now him say that all she did want from him was a green card and money.

Him have a restraining order against her because she fight him off and now she say it's all lies.

Him say him did married to she because of love, only to find out that she did a kip man wid him all along because she did tell her friend them that it was a business marriage. She say a no so it go.

Bare mix-up and blenda cause di two a dem a do 'exclusive interview' like say dem a some big celebrity.

All now we cyaan decided who a lie and who a tell di truth. KMT.





junior-reid.jpgThe funeral arrangements have been set for the older brother of entertainer Junior Reid.

Before the final farewell, there will be a tribute event this Thursday in memory of Patrick Sutherland Reid, popularly known as Thrilly. Meanwhile, the Wake is slated to take place on May 14, and the funeral service is set for May 15.

Thrilly was a key member of JR Productions. The "One Blood" singer further explains that his brother will continue to live on through him, and his 11 children.

Thrilly died from complications of hypertension at Medical Associates in Kingston, days after his birthday on April 10.





Richie Stephens to tour with Chaka Khan

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richie-stephens-photo-2.jpgRichie Stephens is gearing up to leave the island for a tour with the legendary Chaka Khan.

Following a string of shows with Khan, Richie is expected to spend months in Europe performing at a number of events with his newly formed Ska Nation Band.

Richie Stephens expressed that forming the Ska Nation Band with the Italian musicians, has allowed him to do what he really loves which is Ska music.

The album, Richie Stephens, and the Ska Nation Band is currently available on all digital platforms.





fatal-crash.jpgA visitor to the island,, twenty-two-year-old Laura Arango of Revere, Massachusetts, USA, died in a motor vehicle crash in Hanover Tuesday morning.

Reports are that Arongo was a passenger in a white Toyota Voxy motor vehicle that was travelling on the Point main road in the vicinity of the Molasses Port, when it slammed into a parked truck at about 11:30 am.

It's understood that the car was travelling from the direction of Lucea towards Montego Bay, St James.

Miss Arongo and the driver were reportedly taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead and the driver admitted.

The Hanover police are investigating.





Dad flees as daughter's body found at beach

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murdered-child-leashay-thomas.jpgThe St James Police are now searching for Roosevelt Thomas for questioning in connection with the death of his 3-year-old daughter.

He's also known as 'Skinny' from a Flanker address in Montego Bay, St James.

The dead girl has been identified as Leashay Thomas, who lived with her mother in Flower in the parish.

Leashay's body was found floating in the waters of the Dump Up Beach in the second city Tuesday morning.

Reports are that a man, said to be the father, called a family member to say he was going to kill his daughter and dump her body at the beach.Thomas reportedly went to the child's mother, took the child away and sent a text to his own mother to say the child was at the beaches.

The matter was reported to the police, who conducted a search of the area Monday night but to no avail. They found the body Tuesday morning after returning to search for the missing child.





policeman-son-jquan-forbes-photo-1.jpgThe Police High Command has ordered an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of a Constable's son at their home in Olympic Gardens, Kingston on Monday night. It is understood that the boy used his father's service pistol to shoot himself in the head.

Dead is 14 year old J'Quan Forbes, a student of Wolmer's Boys School. His father, who is attached to the Denham Town Police Station, is facing a charge of negligence.

Reports are that shortly after 7 o'clock, the child was reprimanded by his father about an email he received from his school about his academic performance. Following the discussion, the policeman went to bed. An explosion was later heard.

When the policeman went to his son's room, he was found with a wound to the head and the service pistol as well as a note beside him.





Couple found dead in car in Portmore

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crime-scene-7.jpgA man and a woman were found dead in a motor car on Meadowvale Drive in Portmore, St Catherine.

Dead are: 37-year-old Michelle Murdock of St Paul Avenue, Caymanas, and 49-year-old businessman Patrick Johnson of Cougar Drive, both in Portmore.

Reports are that about 3:15 am, explosions were heard and the police summoned.

When the lawmen got to the location, both Murdock and Johnson were found with gunshot wounds inside a Mazda motor car.





MISSING: Two Americans cruise ship passengers

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missing-cruise-ship-passengers.jpgPolice in Trelawny are seeking the public's assistance in locating two American nationals who were passengers on a cruise ship that docked at the Falmouth Pier on Tuesday, April 26 and went missing.

They are 33-year-old Hayden Gerson and 32-year-old Alisha Frank. Gerson was dressed in light coloured shorts and a grey t-shirt while Frank was dressed in a red short skirt and red open back blouse.

Reports from the Falmouth Police are that about 9:26 a.m., both disembarked the vessel allegedly to make a trip to Montego Bay, St. James; they have not been seen or heard from since.

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Hayden Gerson and Alisha Frank is being asked to contact the Falmouth Police at 954-3222, the police's emergency 119 number or the nearest police station.





crime-scene-gun.jpgThree alleged robbers, including a woman, were injured Tuesday night during a gun battle with the police in Clarendon.

Shortly after 8 o'clock, persons held up and robbed patrons at a bar in Cross Keys, Manchester. They escaped in a car but were pursued by the Manchester police, aided by a Jamaica Defence Force helicopter, to Four Paths in Clarendon.

One of the police vehicles was damaged by the getaway car during the chase. A gun battle then followed and one of the men who escaped from the vehicle was captured in bushes.





jamaican-chef-fowles.jpgJamaican-born chef Andre Fowles finished as runner up in the final of Food Network's, Chopped Champions Tournament.

Fowles' appearance on the show is historic as he is the first Jamaican-born as well as the youngest chef to compete in the tournament.

The final which started out with four contestants was whittled down to two, between Fowles and eventual winner Adam Greenberg.

Caramelised onion and coffee ice cream with chocoflan apple crumble was the dessert created by the Jamaican which did not prove good enough for the win.

The chef who left Jamaica in 2014 is now the resident sous-chef at Miss Lily's, a Jamaican restaurant in New York.

Prior to joining the team at Miss Lily's, Fowles worked for two years as chef de partie under the tutelage of Martin Maginley, multi-award-winning chef at the cashmere-chic Round Hill Hotel & Villas.

He also worked at Kingston's celebrated Mac's Chop House under the celebrated Mario Machado.

Fowles attended Donald Quarrie High School and was trained at the Runaway Bay HEART Academy. He credits his grandmother, Veronica Davis, affectionately called 'Mama Cherry' for his foray into the culinary arena.





For Immediate Release
Tuesday April 12th, 2016 - Toronto, ON Canada

judy-mowatt-photo-1.jpgReggae Legend, Icon and Queen Judy Mowatt will celebrate the release of Colin Levy's album Unleashed for two dates: Montreal on Saturday April 30th at Le Belmont (4483 Boulevard St. Laurent) at 10 pm and in Toronto on Sunday May 1st at the Opera House (735 Queen St. E.) at 7 pm.

The Living legend, who rose to fame as a backing vocalist for Bob Marley and member of the I-Threes, and after a successful solo career, will perform in Toronto at the infamous Opera House. Included in her early evening performance will be hit singles "Many Are Called," "Black Woman" and "Sister's Chant."

Ms. Mowatt's performance is a rare and an exclusive engagement, and supportive to Colin and his musical mission via Unleashed. "When Colin called and asked me to perform for his album launch, I said yes right away. He always makes positive music, and I gladly lend my voice to that movement. See you soon Montreal and Toronto!"

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After taking 2 years off from making music, Colin Levy is ready to take center stage. Backed by the Hardcore band, Colin will perform the lead single from his album, "Smile" which was produced by Willie Lindo and Dean Fraser. Serviced to radio DJs around the world, it has become one of the most requested songs by fans. In addition to "Smile," fans in both cities will hear music produced by Stephen Marley ("Forever Praising Jah"), Willie Lindo ("Life") and Dean Fraser ""One Chance").

The 17 track disc features guest appearances by Marcia Griffiths ("One Chance"), Lady Saw ("Do It Again"), Heather Cummings ("Lover's Converse"), Anthony B ("West Best"), Lutan Fyah ("Bad Habit"), Turbulence and G. Forest ("Good Newz"). When asked about the recording with such greats, Colin shared "the vibrations we felt when making these songs together helped take the music to another level. We didn't just make music, we made an imprint that people can take with them to feel good - day or night" and fans agree! Feedback by way of comments on the artists social media pages suggest that not only do they like the lead single "Smile," they placed their pre-orders for the album feeling instinctively it has music they want to hear.

Joining Colin on stage to celebrate the launch of Unleashed in both Montreal and Toronto are JUNO Award winners Exco Levi and Mikey Dangerous, Leroy Gibbons, Fire Lion, Jah Cutta, Christini and Totally Blaze.

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Distributed by VPAL (a division of VP Records), Unleashed is accessible to fans around the world through VPReggae.com, iTunes.com and other favorite online music outlets.

As one of Canada's most recognized Reggae and Lover's Rock musicians, Colin Levy's has traveled the country and the world promoting Reggae. His commitment to fans has lead to the fans commitment to him, making Colin a mainstay on the radio, at stage shows and festivals.

About Colin Levy:

Born and raised in Jamaica and emigrating to Canada, Colin has been involved in music as a songwriter, producer and live entertainment producer. He has received several awards in music, and has an extensive discography with artists in Jamaica and Canada.

Fans can keep in touch with Colin online at www.ColinLevyMusic.com or via his Fan page www.Facebook.com/IleyCharDavidMusic

Fans can purchase tickets to the 'Unleashed' album release party using these links:

Montreal
http://wantickets.com/Events/202889/Unleashed-Colin-Levy-Iley-Chardivd-Record-Release-Showcase/

Toronto
http://www.ticketfly.com/event/1135319-colin-levy-iley-chardavid-toronto/





JIPO to mark Intellectual Property Week

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The Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO) will be staging a number of activities to mark Intellectual Property (IP) week from, Sunday April 24 to Friday, April 29.

Speaking in an interview with JIS News, Copyright and Related Rights Manager at JIPO, Sophia Clarke said the week is being celebrated to increase public awareness about the protection and rights of people's creativity and invention.

The week started with a church service on Sunday, at the New Transformed Life Church and continued Monday, with the acknowledgement of 'World Book and Copyright Day' and a Copyright Seminar at JIPO, 18 Trafalgar Road offices. Clarke shared that the seminar will focus on, the Marrakesh Treaty; which addresses the improved access to copyrighted works for people who are visually impaired; and the Beijing Treaty, which has created a new layer of monopoly rights for the creators of audiovisual works.

Other activities include an 'Open House' and acknowledgement of 'World Intellectual Property Day' on Tuesday, April 26 at JIPO.

She explained that the open house is to facilitate questions about laws that can protect original concepts and prevent it from being exploited by others without the owner's permission.

On Tuesday, there will be presentations from JIPO, the IP arm of the Counter Terrorism, Organized Crime Division in the Jamaica Constabulary Force (C-TOC) and the Jamaica Customs Agency about infringement and enforcement of IP laws.

On Wednesday, April 27, focus will be placed on 'Entrepreneurship Day' under the theme 'Idea to Enterprise' with emphasis on how to earn from inventions to become successful entrepreneurs. This will be held at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries located at 4 St. Lucia Avenue.

"We have called on successful entrepreneurs; people who have moved their idea to a successful business, to share their journey," Clarke noted.

On Thursday, April 28 the JIPO team will view material that was seized by the C-TOC, and has been ordered to be destroyed by the Court. The week will end on the Friday, April 29, with an outreach at Calvary Missionary Church Hall in Highbury Crescent, St. Thomas.

Members of the public are being invited to visit the JIPO office to get information about intellectual property rights and attend the list of activities planned during the week.





Lord Tanamo of Skatalites fame is dead

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Lord Tanamo, a former member of the legendary Skatalites band, died Tuesday in Toronto, Canada. He was 82.

The singer/percussionist, who was born Joseph Abraham Gordon, combined ska with mento and calypso on several of his songs including Japanese Invasion. He led the Skatalites on songs like Come Down and I'm In The Mood For Ska.

Raised in Denham Town, West Kingston, Lord Tanamo was strongly influenced by the legendary Trinidadian calypsonian Lord Kitchener, who lived in Jamaica during the 1940s.

At the dawn of the 1970s, when calypso and mento waned among Jamaican artistes, he kept the beat alive with songs like Rainy Night In Georgia, originally done by Tony Joe White.

He migrated to Canada during the mid-1970s but continued to record singles and albums for producers in Jamaica, most notably Bunny Lee and Sonia Pottinger.





Junior Reid's brother is dead

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junior-reid-photo-1.jpgPatrick Sutherland Reid, older brother of singer Junior Reid and a key member of his JR Productions, died last Tuesday.

Popularly known as 'Thrilly', he died from complications of hypertension at Medical Associates in Kingston at age 55.

"Is a great loss, Thrilly was mi bes' friend. Somebody mi coulda always talk to," Reid said.

Raised in the Waterhouse area of Kingston, Thrilly Reid was also an independent producer who worked with artistes from his community.

He is the second of Reid's brother to die. Their younger sibling, Leighton 'Grammy' Reid, passed away several years ago.

Patrick Sutherland 'Thrilly' Reid is survived by 11 children and eight grandchildren.

His funeral service is scheduled for May 15 at a location to be announced.





prince-photo-1.jpgPrince has taken the number one and two slots on the Billboard 200 albums chart with the greatest hits album The Very Best of Prince and the Purple Rain soundtrack, as both re-entered the chart in the wake of his death last Thursday.

The Very Best of Prince sold 179,000 units and Purple Rain shifted 69,000 units.

Another Prince album hit the top 10 as The Hits/The B-Side re-enters at number six with 41,000 units sold.

The three titles are also the number one, two and seven selling albums of the week.

Prince's overall catalog of albums sold 256,000 copies.

In the meantime Prince is on course to dominate the UK charts this week. The musician holds every spot in the top five in the midweek chart update, with 16 albums set to enter the top 100.





beyonce-lemonade.jpgPop queen Beyoncé gave viewers a lot to process Saturday night when she released Lemonade.

The "visual album" which aired on HBO, features videos for 12 of the 13 songs on her new album.

Of note is the song Hold Up which brings attention to the Jamaican music culture. The song, which speaks of her cheating lover, has Beyoncé occasionally speaking in Patois.

Beyoncé has been known to incorporate aspects of reggae and dancehall in her music over the years. She released the chart topping single Baby Boy with Sean Paul back in 2002. In the single Run The World (Girls), she sampled Vybz Kartel's Pon De Floor produced by Major Lazor.

Beyoncé also has a remix of Standing On The Sun with Mr. Vegas.





A boat captain who goes by the name Man O War has been arrested by the police and slapped with ganja related charges.

Man O War, whose given name is Cregg Donald, was charged by the narcotics police with possession of ganja, dealing in ganja and taking steps to export ganja.

The police say Donald was arrested after a white Toyota Hilux, owned and driven by him, was searched at a yacht club in St. James and one knitted bag with compressed ganja amounting to 31 pounds was found.

Man O War is one of two persons to be arrested and slapped with ganja-related charges by the Police Officers attached to the Narcotics Division along with the Marine Police.

In the first incident, on Wednesday, an American man was arrested when a boat, docked at the yacht club, was searched and twenty-five packages of compressed vegetable matter resembling ganja was found, weighing approximately 130 pounds.

Five 15-gallon barrels of fuel was also found on the boat. The man's identity is being withheld pending further investigations.





Big drug bust at a yacht club in Montego Bay

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ganja-seized.jpgThe Narcotics Police have arrested two men, including an American, following two drug busts at a yacht club in Montego Bay, St James.

One hundred and sixty pounds of ganja was seized in the operations.

In the first incident, on Wednesday, the American was arrested when a boat, docked at the yacht club, was searched and twenty-five packages of compressed ganja weighing 130 pounds seized. Five 15-gallon barrels of fuel were also found on the boat.

The American's identity is being withheld.

On the following day, the cops arrested Cregg Donalds otherwise called "Man O War", a Boat Captain of Oracabessa, St. Mary at the yacht club. A pick-up owned by him was searched at the yacht club and a knitted bag with compressed ganja weighing 31 pounds was allegedly found.





Jamaican on cocaine charge in Bermuda

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cocaine-seized-photo-1.jpgA Jamaican national accused of importing a quantity of cocaine into Bermuda was charged in the country last week.

Charged with importing cocaine is 30-year-old Tyrone Brown, who was not required to enter a plea to because it must be heard by the Supreme Court before.

Reports are that Brown attempted to enter the island with roughly 900g of cocaine to the which has a street value of between BMD$95,700 (approximately J$11.7 million and BMD$209,625 (approximately J$25.6 million) if sold on the streets of the island.

The presiding magistrate ordered Brown further remanded into custody until May 2, at which point he is expected to be scheduled to appear before the Supreme Court for arraignment.





Robber killed in shoot-out with cops

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crime-scene-7.jpgOne man was shot and killed during a confrontation with the Police on Cottage Road, Montego Bay, St. James last weekend.

The police said that a .38 Taurus revolver with two live rounds was recovered after the shooting.

A car, with the men aboard was reportedly spotted along a section of Cottage Road by the police who gave chase. A gun battle reportedly ensued, and the men, while trying to make they escape crashed their car into a wall just outside the gate of the Montego Bay Cricket Club.

Residents in Montego Bay said that the deceased is one of two men who were believed to have been involved in robbery.

The matter has been reported to the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM).





Big names for JAMPRO Board

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junior-reid-photo-1.jpgSeveral high profile individuals have been appointed to the board of Jampro,an Agency of the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce.

Heading the eight-member board is Grace Kennedy Chief Executive Officer Don Wheby. The Deputy Chairman is President of the Jamaica Manufacturers Association Metry Seaga.

Other board members are Businessman Zachary Harding, Digicel Executive Peter Lloyd and company executive Yoni Epstein.

The other members are Honey Bun Executive Michelle Chong, Sandals Executive Gary Saddler and Supreme Ventures Director Ian Levy.





$300,000 reward for capture of QQ

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The St. Ann Police have increased to $300,000 the reward for information leading to the arrest and charge of 50-year-old Brian Forbes, otherwise called QQ, of Drumily in St. Ann.

Forbes is wanted in connection with the April 25, 2015 murders of 15-year-old Amoya Brown and 25-year-old Demari Smith.

It was reported that a dispute developed with Mr. Forbes and the two, who were his neighbours, about a noise disturbance. Ms Brown and Mr. Smith were both chopped with a machete. They died while being treated at hospital.

Forbes has since been on the run.

Anyone knowing his whereabouts is being asked to call the St. Ann's Bay Police at 972-2211, Crime Stop at 311, Kingfish at 811, Police 119 emergency number or the nearest Police Station.





policeman-son-jquan-forbes.jpgPolice detectives are investigating the fatal shooting death of a child on Monday night was an accident or if it was suicide.

The dead child has been identified as JQuan Forbes,a student of Wolmer's Boys' School in Kingston and the son of a detective constable assigned to the Denham Town Police Station.The policeman has been admitted in hospital after he collapsed after making the gruesome discovery.

Reports are that the policeman left the gun at home and the child picked up the weapon when it reportedly went off and JQuan accidentally shot himself. However, detectives are probing several angles in the matter - one of them is that the child may have intended to kill himself.

Reports are that the father had an argument with JQuan about an email, and instructed the boy to complete his homework. The policeman reportedly fell asleep and was awakened by an explosion in the house. The body of the teen was found on the floor in his room close to the service firearm of his father.

Sources report that a suicide note was also found at the scene.





Teetimus looking a hype by wearing nail polish

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Another day...another entertainment person looking a hype by doing something stupidly out of the box.

The latest in the series is producer/artiste Teetimus who made sure everybody knows that he wears nail polish. Of course, he got a big write-up in the Star, with the writer even referring to Teetimus as 'ICONIC'. What the hell?!!!

Do these writers even know the meaning of the words they are using? Teetimus has produced a few songs that have done well, but Teetimus is certainly no icon. Please, my colleague journalists, please choose you words carefully. Words are the tool of our trade, let's stop cheapening them like that. Please.

Anyway, back to Mr Teets and the nail polish.

But, then again, is there really anything more to say on this non-subject?





prince-photo-1.jpgPrince may have overdosed on what was likely heroin or narcotic painkillers and was then given a so-called "save shot" six days before his death, TMZ is reporting, citing several unnamed sources.

"Save shots" usually help combat opiates such as heroin and narcotic painkillers in the bloodstream. Doctors and paramedics have used the injectable medication, called naloxone, for years.

Authorities have yet to determine the cause of death of the 57-year-old music legend who was found unresponsive in his Paisley Park recording studio in suburban Minneapolis, Minnesota. Post-mortem results are pending.

A medical emergency forced Prince's jet to land in Illinois on Friday (15 April) as he was heading home to Minneapolis from a concert in Atlanta, Georgia. Representatives told TMZ at the time he was suffering from the flu.

But that's when he was given the "save shot" and doctors recommended he stay in hospital for 24 hours, TMZ reports. However, Prince checked himself out in just three hours, apparently because the hospital couldn't meet his demand for a private room. When he left he "was not doing well", a source told TMZ.

Prince had cancelled two performances earlier in the month, and his representatives cited health issues without offering any details.

Minnesota authorities are reportedly attempting to obtain Prince's health records from Moline, Illinois, where the hospital is located.

A 911 call unearthed by TMZ revealed that a witness, who may have been one of the first to find Prince unresponsive, believed him dead even before the first responders arrived.

"Um, we're at Prince's house," the man said on the call. "So, yeah, um, the person is dead here."

As tributes to the creative icon poured in from around the world, Prince's sister Tyka Nelson spoke briefly to a crowd of mourners who amassed outside his recording studio. "Thank you for loving him," she said. "He loved you all."





Adele is Britain's richest female singer

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adele-21.jpgAdele has been named as Britain's richest ever female musician according to the Sunday Times Rich List.

A list of the top 50 music millionaires in the UK and Ireland, puts the singer's L85 million fortune in the 30th position overall.

Among the top ten richest are Sir Paul McCartney at number 1 (L760 million), U2 in third (L500 million), with Sir Elton John, Mick Jagger and Sting in fourth, fifth and tenth respectively.

For the fifth year running Adele is also ranked top of the Young Music Rich List, covering those aged 30 and under.





ruel-reid.jpgEducation Minister, Senator Ruel Reid says that the withdrawal of mandatory auxiliary fees in high schools will not create major financial challenges for the institutions. He has outlined that the schools will be adequately funded from the money that will be set aside for the new policy.

Since the announcement of the policy change, there have been concerns about the source of funding for high schools. Stakeholders are worried whether the government subvention can plug the budget gap that is expected.

Reid has sought to assure that not all schools will receive the same amount. He asserts that parents are still free to contribute to the schools, but it will not be mandatory.

And despite the Minister's assurance, more concern has been voiced about the pending policy change. Retired Principal, Esther Tyson, is questioning the sustainability of the move.

She fears that the benefits will not be proportional as some schools need it more than others.





Canada to legalise ganja in 2017

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canada-marijuana-rally-flag.jpgAn announcement by Canada's health minister Jane Philpott that the government will introduce legislation to make the sale of marijuana legal in 2017, with four-twenty (April 20) - an unofficial holiday among ganja advocates. Hundreds of weed heads demonstrated outside Parliament in Ottawa on Wednesday, April 20.

According to reports, this would make Canada one of the largest Western countries to legalise widespread use ganja. Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pushed for legalisation during his electoral campaign.

Responding to concerns, Philpott pledged to keep marijuana "out of the hands of children and profits out of the hands of criminals", during an announcement on the 20th of April. The day is in fact recognized as an unofficial holiday among cannabis advocates.

Canada already accepts medical use of the drug, and some argue that making marijuana legal would significantly cut down the demand and strain on the country's justice system.

"We will work with law enforcement partners to encourage appropriate and proportionate criminal justice measures," Philpott said.

The announcement was met with a demonstration outside Parliament on Ottawa, involving hundreds of marijuana users.

Critics oppose the change, saying that it could potentially harm the people's health, but a former Toronto police chief appointed as the government's point person on legalisation (Bill Blair), argues that marijuana regulation will be similar to that of alcohol.

"We control who it's sold to, when it's sold and how it's used, and organised crime doesn't have the opportunity to profit from it," he told Reuters.





gayle-and-natasha.jpgWest Indies cricketer Chris Gayle is calling his daughter Blush.

He took to Instagram on Wednesday evening to announce the baby's arrival and sing praises to his baby mama, Natasha Berridge.

"We would like to welcome the arrival of our beautiful daughter 'Blush' to this world 2 hours ago, Thank God. #GoodHealth&Strength - The greatest gift and feelings anyone would want. Great experience witnesses every bit of it. Have to give my blessings to Tasha, strong woman.#Amen," he wrote.

It is thought that Gayle is calling the baby Blush to make light of a media fiasco he was involved in sometime ago in Australia, where while complimenting a reporter, he told her, "Don't blush, baby."

"Don't 'BLUSH' baby turned into Real Life event!" one of his followers commented.





Fourth suspect held in murder of Luciano's son

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luciano-son-menalik.jpgProsecutors reported on Thursday that a fourth suspect is to be charged with the murder of 19 year old Menelik McClymont, the son of reggae artiste Luciano.

The disclosure was made when the three teenaged boys charged with McClymont's murder appeared before the Corporate Area Criminal Court. They were remanded until May 11.

Eighteen-year-old students Jerome Coombs and Kemanie Shaw of Ambrook Lane, St. Andrew, along with 18-year-old Nashlyn Morgan, were charged on March 4.

Menelik, who was a student of Maths Unlimited, was attacked and stabbed several times by a group of men at Parkington Plaza on February 27. He died a day later at hospital.





Celebs burn a spliff in honour of 'Weed Day'

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ganja-smoking.jpgApril 20 marked a special day in marijuana history as there were several events held locally and internationally to mark the annual four/twenty celebrations.

From early Wednesday, celebrities around the world took to social media to begin the festivities and spread the word to get the momentum going. Snoop Lion, Wiz Khalifa, and Rihanna were among the international celebrities who made posts to their Instagram pages 'lighting up' the weed.

On the local circuit, artistes such as Jesse Royal, Inner Circle, and Raging Fyah also endorsed the annual 'holiday'. Social media app SnapChat also got in on the action by releasing a Bob Marley filter yesterday morning in an observation of the 4/20 celebrations.

Though the 4/20 celebrations seemed to have started over the last decade or so with the relaxation of marijuana laws across the globe, allowing festivities to become more mainstream, several articles posted yesterday highlighted the fact that the day has been observed as 'Weed Day' since the 1970s.

According to Vox.com, Steven Hager, a former editor of the marijuana-focused news outlet High Times, told the New York Times that the holiday came out of a ritual started by a group of high-school students in the 1970s. Hager explained that a group of Californian teenagers ritualistically smoked marijuana every day at 4:20 p.m. The ritual spread, and soon 4/20 became the code for smoking marijuana. Eventually, 4/20 was converted into 4/20 for calendar purposes, and the day of celebration was born. One other common belief is that 4/20 was the California police or penal code for marijuana and smokers would use the code whenever they were about to light up, but there's no evidence to support those claims.

As support for the decriminalisation of marijuana grows globally, several businesses have emerged with marijuana-based products as their main sellers. As a result, many businesses are today looking to capitalise on the 4/20 'holiday' and its benefits.





Curfew for all students in St James

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A curfew is now in place for all students in the parish of St James.

According to the police, all students under 17-years-old in the parish must be at their homes by 9 pm.

Head of the St James police Senior Superintendent Steve McGregor says only children in the company of their parents will be overlooked by the police.

The measure was taken as criminals have been reportedly luring children into illegal activities and encouraging them not to go to school.

However, not everyone is in support of the curfew.

SSP McGregor says the police are challenged by residents in some communities in the parish whose residents are not receptive to the curfew.

He says the police are working hard to change this view and notes that cooperation is needed to keep children safe and away from criminal activities.

From January 1 to April 2, St James has recorded a ten per cent decrease in crime when compared to the similar period last year.





Robber shot dead by householder

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crime-scene-7.jpgOne of four armed robbers who held up the occupants of a house and robbed them of an undetermined amount of items Thursday morning was shot and killed by one of the householders.

The incident reportedly occurred shortly after 4 o'clock, when the men invaded the home in the Bickersteth community and proceeded to rob the householders.

A licensed firearm holder, who was among the householders, challenged the robbers.

After the shooting subsided, one man was found lying on the veranda in a pool of blood. The Uzi submachine gun was taken from him and handed over to the police.

A trail of blood was noticed leading from the house into the bushes. The police are now combing the bushes in search the escaped robbers.





prince.jpgWord of Prince's death sparked a massive outpouring of grief on social media, outside his famed studios and even from the White House.

Fans rushed to record stores to pick up albums and other Prince memorabilia. Some said the icon's death "is what it sounds like when doves cry," a reference to his monster hit from 1984.

"As one of the most gifted and prolific musicians of our time, Prince did it all. Funk. R&B. Rock and roll. He was a virtuoso instrumentalist, a brilliant bandleader and an electrifying performer," U.S. President Barack Obama said in a statement. " 'A strong spirit transcends rules,' Prince once said -- and nobody's spirit was stronger, bolder, or more creative."

Kaleena Zanders cried in the car as she drove to Amoeba Music in Los Angeles on Thursday. She spent $173 on Prince-related items at the store, including a vinyl edition of Prince's iconic album "Purple Rain."

"Prince means the future, because he's changed music, everyone in music, he's influenced every person," she said, "and I believe that he represents our future, and it kind of died with him in a way."

Fans camped out by Paisley Park, the artist's home and recording studio, leaving bouquets of flowers and signs at a makeshift memorial.





Music legend Prince dies at home in Minnesota

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prince-photo-1.jpgPrince, who defined the sound of the '80s with songs such as "Kiss" and "Purple Rain" and defied the music industry in a fight for creative freedom, died Thursday.

The 57-year-old singer was found unresponsive in an elevator at Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, Minnesota, Carver County Sheriff Jim Olson said.

Paramedics tried to perform CPR but were unable to revive him, the sheriff said. He was pronounced dead at 10:07 a.m., less than 30 minutes after sheriff's deputies responded to a medical call at the scene.

Authorities are investigating the circumstances surrounding his death, Olson said. An autopsy is scheduled to take place Friday.

Prince's publicist confirmed his death but didn't provide details about the possible cause or who was with the musician.

"It is with profound sadness that I am confirming that the legendary, iconic performer, Prince Rogers Nelson, has died at his Paisley Park residence this morning," publicist Yvette Noel-Schure said.

A man called 911 at 9:43 a.m. from Prince's estate, first reporting an unconscious person and then reporting a death, according to a transcript of the call released by authorities.

"The person is dead here. ... And the people are just distraught," the man said as he struggled to find an address to give the dispatcher.

The person who died, deputies soon discovered, was Prince. Authorities haven't identified who made the call to 911 or details about the circumstances surrounding the call.

Source: CNN





Snapchat releases Marley filter on four/twenty

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bob-marley-photo-3.jpgSocial network Snapchat released a Bob Marley lens filter on four/twenty, which co-incided with the official celebration of weed day.

The lens filter gives you dreadlocks in a Rasta tam, and a digital Bob Marley face, with Marley's One Love, Could You Be Loved, and No Woman No Cry background music interchangeable with the raise of an eyebrow.

However, although the filter was done in partnership with the Bob Marley Estate Snapchat has come under fire for its introduction. Critics point out that the timing of the release of the lens filter was inappropriate.

Persons have shared their disgust on social networking site Twitter where the words 'Bob Marley' have trended worldwide, as users express outrage that Snapchat thought it cool to reduce Bob Marley's legacy to weed day. Many users are questioning why wasn't the filter released on his birthday?

Snapchat has since responded to the backlash, stating that the aim was to give users a new way to share their appreciation for Bob Marley and his music.





gramps-morgan.jpgAfter selling his own brand f scotch bonet hot peppers and marketing it online, of his new hot sauce, Gramps Morgan of renowned Grammy-winning reggae group, Morgan Heritage, is now venturing into coffee.

His business venture, Gramps Morgan Farms has announced a partnership with Java'Mon Coffee, owned by a businessman who used to buy the hop pepper by the palate from Gramps.

"We met online and he ordered a palette and I was like, What?! Are you sure you want so much?," Gramps said in a radio interview.

The two started talking and when Gramps learnt about the coffee venture, the two made a decision to go into partnership

Gramps is currently on tour in Africa along with his siblings, Morgan Heritage.





cardi-b-wide-feature.jpgAmerican reality television star, Cardi B made reference to Alkaline's Champion Boy song, muuch to the delight of her 3.3 million Instagram followers

In a photograph where she is huddled between fans, Cardi B captioned her picture,"Dem did a Seh mi career soon dead a two years laters now and mi never feel so alive #Championgaleverybody wish bad pon di champion Gal ;)"

This reference to "Champion Gal" is a direct shadowing of controversial artiste, Alkaline's hit Champion Boy.

Cardi B who appears in the hit reality show, Love and Hip Hop NewYork has worked with Jamaicans on her music career.

The reality star who has 3.3 million followers on Instagram has worked with Popcaan and Shaggy on singles since she came to prominence in 2014.

The post on Instagram garnered over 37,000 likes with persons excited about her reference to the Alkaline's hit.





skatta.jpgProducer Cordel 'Skatta' Burrell has a good reason to smile as a track from 'Coolie Dance' riddim has been featured in Will Smith's movie Concussion.

The riddim which was produced over 10 years ago is still hugely popular in the dancehall. The song that was featured in the movie is Nina Sky's Mova Ya Body that was released on the rhythm.

Commenting on its selection Burrell expressed gratitude but not surprised as it's not the first time the rhythm has been sought after.

"This is not the first time that the song has been featured on that scale. This has happened before. That rhythm has been sampled so many times that I am no longer shocked when I see it doing good overseas. It being featured in the movie will definitely show good results in the royalty payments," he was quoted as saying.





bunny-wailer.jpgA 10-member team of Rastafarians, including reggae star Bunny 'Wailer Livingstone, former Columbia Records executive Maxine Stowe, and attorney-at-law Hannah Harris Barrington, met with Prime Minister Holness, and Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia 'Babsy' Grange inside the courtesy room at Jamaica House.

A delegation from the Rastafari Millennium Council (RMC) visited the government office on Tuesday, the eve of 50th anniversary of the historic visit to Jamaica of the late Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie in 1966.

Maxine Stowe asked for greater protection for the use of Jamaica's ganja as an international product, and to ensure greater flow of benefits from Jamaican music from the international record companies, Holness confirmed that the new Administration has been looking at the issue of legalisation of ganja, and the use of the drug locally and how the country can fully exploit its benefits.

"We have set up a sub-committee (of the Cabinet) to take a very close and detailed look at the present legislation, which actually promises more than it delivers," Holness said.

He stated that a lot of people were under the impression that the legislation delivers free use and trade of the drug, but that was not the case.

Attorney-at-law Hannah Harris Barrington, who was born in England of Jamaican parentage, pleaded for the prime minister's support of the RMC's efforts to get parliamentary acknowledgement of the UN 2007 declaration and its implications for the Rastafari community in Jamaica.





Bolt targets three-peat, sub-19 seconds 200m

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usain-bolt-wins-gold-200m-beijing-2015-photo-4.jpgSprint superstar Usain Bolt says he is aiming to top off his legacy by a three-peat running the first ever sub-19 seconds 200 metres.

"Just to defend my titles, to do the three-peat. That's my main goal. That's my main focus," Bolt said. "My secondary goal is to try to run sub-19. That's something I really want and I hope that everything goes smoothly and I can get it. That would be a big step for me."

He made the announcement at the official opening ceremony of the flagship Hublot store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

Bolt has already swept the 100m and 200m sprints at the last two Olympics and added gold in the 4x100m relays in both Beijing (2008) and London (2012) with his Jamaican teammates.

Bolt said he would ramp up his preparations carefully so he can end his Olympic career with a flourish.

"I really want to be at my best leading up to the championships. I have two months before (Jamaican) trials and three and a half months before the championships," he said.

Bolt said he would run his first race in Cayman, then in Ostrava and then to his coach's June meet in Jamaica before the trials and then on to the Diamond League meeting in London.





Car wash attendant shot dead

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crime-scene-7.jpgA 27-year-old car wash attendant was shot dead in the Raymonds area of Hayes in the parish just after 8 last night.

According to reports, Anthony Ferguson, a labourer of Raymonds, had just retired to his apartment when loud explosions were heard. Residents summoned the police who found the Ferguson lying in a pool of blood.

Investigators say Ferguson was attacked by gunmen and who kicked down the door to his apartment before opening fire, killing him on the spot.

"So far what we know is that the deceased is a car wash attendant who worked in the area, and he was at home when he was attacked and killed," an investigator told The Star.

Since the start of year, the Hayes community has seen an upsurge in violence, with scores of persons being shot and killed.





The Education Ministry has announced plans to increase subvention to secondary schools as it moves to abolish auxiliary fees come September.

Speakingat a graduation ceremony for school principals, Education Minister Ruel Reid said the current contribution of $11,500 that the ministry pays for each student will be increased to $19,000.

Reid says the 65 per cent increase will facilitate the removal of auxiliary fees.

Reid also said the education ministry will add $2 billion to the school tuition assistance programme to facilitate the increased payments it will make to schools.

The removal of auxiliary fees was one of the Jamaica Labour Party's election promises.





money-hidden-in-shampoo-bottle.jpgAn American visitor who was arrested at the Sangster International Airport more than a week ago after allegedly being found with more than US$100,000 has been charged with money laundering. He is scheduled to appear in the Montego Bay Resident Magistrate's Court Wednesday.

35-year-old Dalton Forrester of Brooklyn in New York was arrested on April 9 by detectives from the Counter-Terrorism and Organized Crime Investigation Branch (C-TOC). According to the police, he was in the process of clearing customs when irregularities were detected. He was found with a little over US$101,000.

Forrester was unable to provide a satisfactory account for the cash. He has been charged with Cross Border Movements of Funds, Concealment of Criminal Property, Bringing into Jamaica Criminal Property, Possession of Criminal Property and Conspiracy to Possess Criminal Property.





CCU was wrong says police commissioner

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karl-williams-police-commish.jpgCommissioner of Police Dr Carl Williams says the Corporate Communications Unit (CCU), blundered when it sent out information about the arrest of four men following a major drug bust off the coastline of Belmont in Westmoreland on Saturday.

The commissioner said the information from lawmen on the ground during the operation was that four men were arrested subsequent to the interception of a 28-foot vessel laden with some 798 kilograms of cocaine, which has an estimated street value of J$900 million.

However, the information disseminated by the CCU on Sunday said the four men arrested were observed abandoning the vessel and running off in different directions. CCU said then that the men were pursued and taken into custody.

Since their arrest on Saturday, the four men have been released.

The police commissioner said investigators were satisfied that there was no evidence linking the men to the vessel intercepted and seized.





hands-behind-bars.jpgA St. Andrew businessman was arrested by investigators attached to the Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch (C-TOC), following a probe into the unauthorised sale of different brands of hair on the local market.

The 43-year-old man was arrested following a raid at a house in Meadowbrook Estate Monday night.

C-TOC investigators seized several large boxes of hair valued at $500,000.

The suspect is now facing charges under the Trademark Act and Intellectual Property breaches.

C-TOC conducted the operation after the registered rights holder of several brands of hair being sold locally, filed a complaint with the branch.

Inspector Clarence Bailey, Head of the Intellectual Property Unit at C-TOC, said hair brands such as Nappy Annie, Yaman and Afro-Kinky were being sold illegally by the businessman.

He said the businessman will be charged this week.





Ishawna releases T-shirt dress line

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ishawna-photo-6.jpgDancehall artiste Ishawna, has launched her infamous 'Legendary T-Shirt Dress"' just in time for the summer. The controversial T'Shirt dress that turned heads and made headlines last year is now available in stores in Kingston.

Ishawna, signed to mega label Downsound Records, first wore the simple yet sexy white number to guest host an episode of Season 8 of the Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall Reality Show.

She has been turning heads consistently with her style over the years and recently won 'Fashion Icon of the year' and Young Hot & Hype Female in this February's staging of the 2016 Youth View Awards.

"This dress represents my style and flavor, bold, fun and risky. I like to push the envelope with my music and my style and the dress is an example of this, Raunchy and Stylish," Ishawna shared.

The Legendary T-Shirt Dress line is available in Jamaica in Black, White and Gray, and can currently be purchased in Kingston at Shop NecessiTs, Bargain Mall in Clock Tower Plaza, Half Way Tree.





Kartel stretches hand from inside prison cell

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vybz-kartel-photo-26.jpgJailed dancehall deejay Vybz Kartel will be reaching out to various schools across the island through his school refurbishment programme, his team has told the media.

The self-proclaimed 'world boss' has been spearheading the project from inside his prison cell as he wants to give well needed help to schools falling apart.

Kartel's affiliate, Jeffrey Hype, reportedly told local tabloid the Star that the artiste has a number of new projects up his sleeve following his latest business venture with Gaza Vybz Rum.

"We have a school ting weh we a try put in order fi support some school and help some school, and try refurbish some school right now. We a go around and look some school weh want help. You know seh Vybz Kartel is all about children are the future," Hype was quoted as saying.

In responding to this kind of outreach, university lecturer and cultural researcher Dr Donna Hope-Marquis told the tabloid that it would seem that this is a strategic move on the dancehall artist's part.





British woman arrested for cocaine

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A British woman has been arrested in connection with the seizure of 25 pounds of cocaine at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, St James.

The police say about 3:30 p.m. Saturday, drugs valuing an estimated J$13 million was found hidden in a false compartment in the woman's luggage. She was detained for questioning.

Her identity is being withheld pending further investigation.

Meanwhile, investigators have theorised that some of the cocaine from the multi-million dollar shipment that was intercepted in Westmoreland yesterday was destined for the Jamaican market.

However, a senior investigator says there are indications that the bulk of the cocaine was to be shipped to other countries.

Thirty-six bales of cocaine were found on board a vessel at Belmont Beach during a joint operation between the Police Narcotics Division and the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Coast Guard valued at US$7.2 million or just above J$900 million.





Triple murder on Old Harbour Road

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crime-scene-7.jpgThe police have launched a investigation into the brutal murder of three men on Old Harbour Road in Spanish Town, St Catherine Friday night.

Dead are: 37-year-old Shawn Baccas otherwise called 'Rugo', 58-year-old Derwin Prince otherwise called 'Rasta', carpenter and 37-year-old Anthony Rose otherwise called 'Mark' all of Old Harbour Road addresses in the old capital.

Reports from the Spanish Town Police are that about 10 pm, the three men were at a bar on Old Harbour Road playing a game of dominoes when two men entered the establishment.

The men reportedly ordered drinks at the bar before opening gunfire on the unsuspecting group. All three were rushed to hospital where they were pronounced dead. The gunmen escaped in the area.

In the meantime, detectives are appealing to anyone with information that can assist with their investigations to contact the Spanish Town Police at 984-2305, 811 or Crime Stop at 311.





Woman arrested at JFK for cocaine in coffee

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cocaine-coffee.jpgA Jamaican woman was arrested at Kennedy Airport in the United States, for trying to smuggle three pounds of Cocaine hidden in two bags of Coffee inside her suitcase.

27 year old Sharese Lee Ann Drake, of Windsor Heights St Ann arrived at JFK Airport from Montego Bay, on Wednesday.

Reports in the NY Daily news yesterday are that Customs and Border Protection Police Officers searched her suitcase and found a plastic coffee bag containing white powder.

Drake was taken to a private search room, where the officers found a second bag full of powder. Both tested positive for cocaine.

The estimated value of the cocaine is more than 50,000 USD.

Drake was arrested and handed over to Port Authority Police.

She will be prosecuted by the Queens District Attorney on drug smuggling charges.

Drake is being held on Rikers Island on $50,000 bail.

She hails from the parish of St Ann and is Runaway Bay resident.





Eight-year-old molested by mother's lover

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shocked.jpgThe Child Development Agency (CDA) says it is currently investigating reports of the sexual abuse of an eight-year-old girl in Highgate, St Mary.

Media reports are that the child was sexually assaulted by a mechanic who is romantically involved with her mother.

The child was reportedly also treated at hospital following the assault and has since been released.

However, there is no confirmation that her abuser has been arrested.

Head of the CDA Rosalee Gage-Grey says her office is currently investigating the matter which was reported to them last week.

She says the CDA has already made contact with the eight-year-old girl.

Gage-Grey says the CDA is in contact with the Highgate police, but are still unable to declare whether the child's abuser has been arrested.

According to media reports the incident occurred some two weeks ago when the man visited the child's house.

The accused reportedly fled when the police sought him for questioning.

However, according to reports he has since been operating normally in the Highgate area.





Cop shot dead by licensed firearm holder

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constable-shane-francis.jpgcrime-scene-gun.jpgConstable Shane Francis, assigned to the St Ann police station was shot dead by a licensed firearm holder in White River, Ocho Rios, St Ann, on Sunday.

Reports are that Francis, 30 was leaving the party when he had an argument with the licenced firearm holder. It is alleged that Francis pulled his licensed firearm and approached the man who also pulled his licensed firearm and fired two shots hitting Francis to the left side of the chest and right hip.

He was rushed to hospital by other police personnel who were present, but he was pronounced dead.

Reports are that the shooter has turned in himself.

Meanwhile, the High Command of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) say that a "top-level" probe has been launched into the circumstances surrounding the shooting death of Constable Francis.

The High Command is expressing condolences to the family and colleagues of the slain policeman and has offered the support of the JCF Chaplaincy Services Branch, which has been tasked with providing counselling.





Sade Serena hits Billboard with Shaggy collab

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sade-serena-shaggy-dum-remix.jpgJamaican songstress Sade Serena's latest EP, titled 'Jerk Sauce', has officially entered the Billboard chart.

The singer collaborated with platinum-selling recording artiste Shaggy on a her latest hit song called Dum, a track from the EP, which is a vibrant mix of R&B, pop and dancehall. The single peaked at number 23. She topped the South Atlantic Heatseekers chart at number one and Jerk Sauce is now steadily climbing the R&B Chart.

As Billboard describes the song as an infectious hip-swaying number, Sade Serena described her journey to get there. "Growing up, I have always looked up to Shaggy and other reggae artistes like Sean Paul and Elephant Man that paved their way into mainstream success," says Sade. "To have a diamond-selling artiste like Shaggy on my record is a dream come true for me."

The BET Music Matters artiste also recruited Grammy Award-winning producer J-Vibe for Dum.





bunny-wailer.jpgEntertainer Bunny Wailer and Maxine Stowe are at the centre of a controversy along with Dr. Michael Barnett regarding the visit to Jamaica by Prince Ermias the grandson of Emperor Haile Selassie.

The visit has sparked tension between some members of the Rastafarian community who believe that the offical motorcade being planned should also drive through Trench Town. However, the organisers say that is not on the cards and have suggested instead that effort will be made to have the prince visit Trench Town on another occasion.

Prince Ermias visit to Jamaica will mark 50 years since his grandfather's historic visit on April 21, 1966.

ermias-emperor-haile-selassie-grandson.jpg





Bogdanovich the new owner of Reggae Sumfest

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joe-bogdanovich-and-ishawna.jpgDownsound Records CEO, Josef Bogdanovich is reportedly the new owner of one of Jamaica's most recognised music brands, Reggae Sumfest.

Although Downsound is remaining tight-lipped about the recent acquisition, several sources have confirmed to Yardflex that Bogdanovich has bought the entity.

Reggae Sumfest organisers were quoted as saying that they had persons who were "interesed" and that they would put out a release at the appropriate time.

Downsound representatives could not be reached for comment.





spice-reggae-sumfest.jpg

Selector Foota Hype posted this video on Instagram claiming that it is Spice. Watch it and tell us if you think that woman who is getting a proper proer beating is really dancehall artiste Spice.





Get a dancehall baptism with Savage's Culu Culu

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savage-culu-culu.jpgReports are that selectors in the dancehall are performing baptisms to Culu Culu, a single from artiste Savage which is gaining some traction.

Savage's PR machinery has also apparently gone into overdrive with a story in a tabloid stating that Christians were upset at these so-called mock baptisms. However, Christians have no idea what is a Culu Culu or a Savage.

Anyway, this is Savage's response to any christian who would probably be offended: "The song has a revivalist feel, the song spiritual and people ah get inna spirit. Starting from Bishop Escobar inna Jamaica, it has spread to Trinidad, Barbados, Guyana and Costa Rica, and even Dubai, is a trend that is developing all over social media, it a climb, people inna dance ah get inna spirit," Savage said.

"People are just having fun, most people who participate are actually people who attended church when they were growing up and they respect God. This is just another way to acknowledge Him and still have some fun while doing it.





Hollywood Carnival blasts off June 25

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hollywood-carnival-photo-1.jpgOn Saturday, June 25, Los Angeles' Hollywood Blvd. will miraculously transform into a Grand Carnival & Street Extravaganza with parade-goers and masqueraders dressed in vibrant, breathe- taking costumes dancing to pulsating rythms of Calypso, Soca, Reggae, Zouke, Latin, Punta, Meringue, Mariachi, Reggaeton, Blues, Jazz, Steel-pan, Indian, Asian and other worldly music.

This cultural fusion will attract a significant amount of local attendees from the diverse multi-cultural society, not to mention a variety of tourists - creating a great family-friendly environment.

The Annual Los Angeles Culture Festival - a world culture festival - expresses the colors of culture and freedom of the world as one people. This is a celebration of our cultures and traditions, featuring colorful costumes, dances, food, arts & crafts, and music from around the world.

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The celebration will commence with the Grand Marshal beginning the Parade of the Bands, on the world famous Hollywood Blvd. It proceeds for three (3) miles ending on N. Highland Ave., the main entrance to the Carnival Culture Village. Our parade and culture village will feature several well- known celebrities from various genres, including movie stars and music icons.

The Parade of the Bands registration form and deposit of $300.00 (three hundred dollars) USD to confirm participation for the Annual Los Angeles Culture Festival™ must be received no later than April 15, 2015. Late registration may be accepted after April 15, 2015, with an increase in registration fee. Payment will only be accepted by certified check or money order payable to Los Angeles Culture Festival™; no personal checks will be accepted.

All confirmed registered groups will be listed on our website (www.laculturefestival.com).





ruel-reid.jpgHow can the information miniser have no information?

On Wednesday at the post Cabinet media briefing, the Information Minister Senator Ruel Reid had no knowledge about the swearing in of Everald Warmington as a Minister of State in the OPM.

In what has been described in one paper as an "oafish performance" the Information Minister was clearly uncomfortable at the postCabinet press briefing.

He subsequently is quoted as saying that plans are underway to restructure that portfolio.

On Thursday, following the Throne Speech, Reid said people are accustomed to the information portfolio being at the Office of the Prime Minister, but that is no longer the case.

"My response is largely policy and I speak on behalf of the cabinet to do the press-cabinet briefing," he said.

"We'll have to calibrate much closer to the extent that I will field questions from the public to make sure that there is a seamless movement of information so (if) I am asked questions, I have the information, or I'll have to respectfully seek the information and get back to the press."





The value of the cocaine shipment that was seized in Westmoreland Saturday morning has now been placed at just under J$1 billion.A total of 798 kilograms of cocaine was seized during the joint police-military operation in Belmont Beach in the parish.

Reports are that the cocaine has a street value of US$7.5 million or approximately J$909 million.

Jamaican law enforcement officials had initially estimated the value of the cocaine at approximately US$6 million or J$720 million.

Saturday morning's operation was conducted with assistance from the United States.

In a statement, the Jamaica Defence Force said a US Maritime patrol aircraft spotted a vessel suspected of illicit trafficking and passed the information to the Jamaica military.

The four men held in connection with the cocaine shipment are to be questioned in the presence of their attorneys.





crime-scene-7.jpgroad-accident.jpgA St. Catherine family has been plunged into mourning after a brother and sister died in a motor vehicle crash early Saturday.

They have been identified as Chevell Lewis, 14, a student of St. Andrew High School for Girls and Information Technology Technician Jermaine Lewis,24 of Eltham Acres in Spanish Town.

The police report that the incident occurred about 5 o'clock along Brunswick Avenue.

It is not clear how the crash occurred.

The Nissan Tiida, which was being driven by Lewis, plunged into a house before overturning.

Lewis had to be cut from the wreckage.





Man shot and killed at KFC drive-thru

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crime-scene-gun.jpgA man was shot and killed at the KFC in Santa Cruz, St Elizabeth shortly after 10 Thursday night.

The dead man has been identified as Maurice Campbell, aka Junior, a 41-year-old farmer of Georges Valley in the parish and also of Montego Bay, St James.

According to a police report, Campbell was in his vehicle at the popular eatery's drive-thru when he was approached by an unknown assailant.

The assailant shot Campbell several times before escaping in an awaiting motor vehicle. No motive has been established for the killing.





fluffy-and-curvy-vs-miss-kitty-and-yanique.jpgAfter offering a horrible, unapologetic, taped apology last week, Miss Kitty and Yanique, the Fluffy and the Curvy Diva respectively, were back fo Saturday's airing of Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall.

Miss Kitty and Yanique were suspended after a nasty spat on live television two weeks ago.The producers refused to say for how long the duo had been suspended, leaving some persons online to call for Kitty to be banned indefinitely.

"The show is better with the two of them," a source close to production team is reported as saying.

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diana-king-nov-27.jpg"JAMAICA is TOLERANT of RAPE & SEXUAL ABUSE of CHILDREN even INCESTS but NOT of SEX between CONSENTING #LGBT ADULTS," 45-year-old Diana King wrote on her Facebook page this week..

Of course, King, the first Jamaican artiste to publicly declare that she is a lesbian (even though it had been speculated for years) faced severe backlash online for the comment.

"@DIANAKINGDOM this is nonsense--rapists and child molesters get beheaded before the cops come get them--nonsense--don't speak ill of JA."

"@DIANAKINGDOM your way of speaking out on a issue is to attack the entire country to gain what? hostility, more resentment toward LGBT?"

Diana King responded:

"I DON'T NEED SURVEYS • IF U CONSCIOUSLY OBSERVE U WILL SEE the TRUTH • ITS UP to U IF U CHOSE (sic) to ACCEPT IT or DENY IT," she tweeted clearly not deterred social media users.





shaggy-photo-2.jpgShaggy is set to perform at the 31st staging of the CHUM FM Breakfast in Barbados concert on Thursday and, according to the platinum-selling dancehall star, fans can expect to hear tracks off his new album.

Among the singles are 'That love' and one featuring Jovi Rockwell, called 'I got you'.

Shaggy, who has been in the music industry for more than 25 years, said that everything has changed drastically since when he got into the game but it is full of many great new additions.

One such game-changer is social media, according to Shaggy, who noted that today, aspiring artistes do not even need to get airplay on radio stations in order to get their songs heard.

That said, he admitted he now is learning constantly - "every day you haffi learn something new" - because he too has to adapt to the new way of doing things.

He shared that he would even consider working with an Afro beat, as music and beats out of Africa are really storming the airwaves now.





Aidonia's videographer dies in car accident

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aidonia-videographer.jpgLamar Doukie otherwise known as Peakstate, official videographer for dancehall artiste Aidonia and his 4th Generation camp died as a result of injuries he sustained in a car accident earlier this week as he accompanied entertainer Aidonia to a football match in Montego Bay.

The car in which he was travelling flipped and rolled, and another person was injured and is reportedly in serious condition at the hospital.

"We are very shaken up by the accident, the whole 4th generation family. Doukie was like a family member, he resided with us and everything. The second person is in serious condition and is still at the Cornwall Regional Hospital in Mobay," Lav, Aidonia's brother, said.

Doukie had been working on several projects for Aidonia and the other members of the camp. He just shot a video for Aidonia and a European artiste called Chucky Serious. He also did a viral video for Aidonia plus official videos for Tanso, Jayds and Nicko Blast.

"I just wanna extend our deepest condolences to the family of lamar as he was like a brother to use and the entire 4th generation family is in great pain and grief at this moment," Lav said.

Yardflex sends condolences to Doukie's family and also his musical family.

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crime-scene-demo.jpgThe body of a woman found in Salt Pond Gardens, Portmore, St. Catherine on Saturday has been identified as that of a 26 year old resident of New York.

According to the New York Post, Tanesha Ford, who was a medical assistant, secretly took a flight to Jamaica on Saturday afternoon and was gunned down hours after she arrived in the island.

The police are not clear how the mother of a 4 year old ended up in Portmore, hours after she landed in Montego Bay. Her body was found with multiple bullet wounds.

The newspaper says her family reported her missing on Tuesday. They were unaware that Miss Ford was in Jamaica.

She visited the island last year for her grandmother's funeral.

Her identity was confirmed by her cousin after he received a text message with the crime scene photo from a Jamaican relative.





Pregnant mother shot dead

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crime-scene-gun.jpgTwenty-nine-year-old Kayon Grizzle of a Green Island address was reportedly shot and killed at her home on Wednesday night. She was eight months pregnant..

Reports are that about 8:30 p.m., Miss Grizzle was at home with her three children ages ten, eight and six, when a man kicked opened the door and entered the dwelling.

He then dragged Miss Grizzle outside, after which shots were heard.

The cops were alerted and, upon their arrival, found Grizzle lying in a pool of blood with gunshot wounds.

Grizzle was reportedly eight months pregnant.





crime-scene-7.jpgThat is the question the family 14-year-old Ryan Clarke, his friends and the community are asking.

Young Ryan's body was found in bushes in Tivoli Gardens on Wednesday.

Head of the Kingston Western Police Division, Howard Chambers said the body of the teen was found behind the Edward Seaga Sports complex at approximately 4:00 pm.

"The report we received is that the child went missing the day before but the parents had not reported the case to the police," Chambers told Loop News.

Authorities say they are yet to determine what was the cause of death but have since stepped up their investigations in the matter.





Judy Mowatt for Montreal, Toronto concerts

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judy-mowatt.jpgReggae legend, icon and Queen Judy Mowatt will celebrate the release of Colin Levy's album "Unleashed" for two dates: Montreal on Saturday April 30th at Le Belmont and in Toronto on Sunday May 1st at the Opera House.

The Living legend, who rose to fame as a backing vocalist for Bob Marley and member of the I-Threes, and after a successful solo career, will perform in Toronto at the infamous Opera House. Included in her early evening performance will be hit singles "Many Are Called," "Black Woman" and "Sister's Chant."

Ms. Mowatt's performance is a rare and an exclusive engagement, and supportive to Colin and his musical mission via Unleashed. "When Colin called and asked me to perform for his album launch, I said yes right away. He always makes positive music, and I gladly lend my voice to that movement. See you soon Montreal and Toronto!"

Backed by the Hardcore band, Colin Levy will perform the lead single from his album, "Smile" which was produced by Willie Lindo and Dean Frase, in addition to music produced by Stephen Marley ("Forever Praising Jah"), Willie Lindo ("Life") and Dean Fraser "One Chance").

The 17 track disc features guest appearances by Marcia Griffiths, Lady Saw, Heather Cummings, Anthony B, Lutan Fyah, Turbulence and G. Forest.

Joining Colin on stage to celebrate the launch of Unleashed in both Montreal and Toronto are JUNO Award winners Exco Levi and Mikey Dangerous, Leroy Gibbons, Fire Lion, Jah Cutta, Christini and Totally Blaze.

Distributed by VPAL (a division of VP Records), Unleashed is accessible to fans around the world through VPReggae.com, iTunes.com and other favorite online music outlets.





Two Billboard Awards noms for OMI

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omi-photo-3.jpgSinger OMI picked up two nominations for the recently announced Billboard Music Awards.

OMI who hails from Clarendon, took the international scene by storm when his 2012 hit single Cheerleader was re-released for the international market.

Cheerleader has been nominated for the Top Selling Song of 2015.

It will go up against Adele's Hello, Wiz Khalifa's See You Again, The Hills by The Weeknd and Fight Song by Rachel Platten.

OMI will also challenge Fetty Wap, Charlie Puth, Silento and Bryson Tiller for the Top New Artiste Award.

Ludacris and Ciara will host the 2016 Billboard Music Awards on May 22.





butch-stewart-gordon-butch.jpgThe Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) has rejected a suggestion that the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) be used to finance the Government's income tax relief plan.

The suggestion was made by hotelier Gordon 'Butch' Stewart.

The JHTA, in a news release, said while the suggestion is well intentioned it does not fall within the mandate of the TEF.

According to the JHTA, the TEF funds are essential to maintaining the competitiveness of the tourism sector, its growth and other critical initiatives such as the Tourism Linkages Hub.





A member of the Duppy Flames gang was shot and killed during a joint police/military operation near Harbour View, St. Andrew, early Wednesday morning.

The operation has resulted in the fatal shooting of one man, the capture of two others and the seizure of an assault riffle.

Over 200 security personnel are involved in the operation.

However, police are now making efforts to ascertain whether the dead man is Marlon Perry, alias Duppy Flames, the reputed leader of the gang.

The police have been pursuing Perry who is wanted for a number of murders, for several months.





jamaican-passport-bordo.jpgA Jamaican, on Monday, pleaded guilty to identity theft in Charleston, West Virginia.

According to a news release from Acting U.S. Attorney Carol Casto's office, 31 year old Roland Jason Duckett admitted he used another person's identity in an attempt to obtain a U.S. passport.

Duckett said he entered the U.S. from Jamaica in 2007 and stayed until after his visa expired. The release states that in August last year, he paid another individual for the use of identification documents, including that person's birth certificate and Social Security card.

Duckett used the documents to obtain a West Virginia driver's license in the individual's name. Last November, he mailed a passport application from Charleston in an attempt to obtain a passport. His application was flagged for fraud.

Agents with the Diplomatic Security Service of the U.S. Department of State determined Duckett's true identity.

The Jamaican faces up to five years in prison when he is sentenced on July 8.





Visage the ultimate 'Party Starter'

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visage-video-promo.jpgOn a recent trip to the Bahamas, Yardflex caught up with Obi Pindling, manager of and performer in the number one party band in The Bahamas - Visage. We grabbed Obi for a sit-down to discuss a number things, including the band's diverse repertoire; their current single, "Party Starter"; the impact world wide of Visage and plans in the pipeline.

Yardflex: Tell us a little about yourself and about Visage - how and when was it formed?

OBI: I have ALWAYS been into music and was in my first band at 12 which was a group of us neighbourhood kids delving into music. In high school, I started another band to participate in the newly-commenced Inter High School talent show. The two years we participated, we won. After graduating from high school at age 16, in 1975, I went to Boarding school in Canada to do their grade 13 program rather than doing "A" levels here at home. In Canada, it was a 6-subject program as opposed to the 3 for "A" levels. I started law school at the University of Sussex in England at age 17 in 1976. Got my law degree in 1979, and went to Bar school in London and was called to the Bar in England in July 1980 and in the Bahamas in August 1980 at the tender age of 21.
I formed the band in August 1981, some six months after returning home from law school and four months of pupillage in London.


Yardflex: Who are the members of Visage?

OBI: Current members are:
Dyson Knight - lead & BG vocals
Nehemiah Hield - lead & BG vocals
Wendy lewis - lead & BG vocals
Erica Lightbourne - lead & BG vocals
Shawn Ferguson - lead & BG vocals
Obi Pindling - guitar, keyboards, background vocals
Ian Young - bass
Carlos Dean - drums
Keiran Roker - keyboards
Antoyne Hinsey - keyboards
Benjamin Alexander - samples, seqencing & programming


Yardflex: What genre of music does Visage specialise in?

OBI: .At home, we are primarily known as a soca band, since we are the first band in the country to concentrate heavily on playing the top soca hits from the region. This started back in 1986. Having said that, however, the band's repertoire is extremely diverse also performing Bahamian junkanoo & rake & scrape music, ole skool 70's & 80's R&B/Soul/Dance classics, reggae, contemporary jazz and also contemporary top 40.


Yardflex: Tell us about Visage's discography

OBI: We recorded and released our first single in 1983 which was a junkanoo song entitled "Junk-A-Jam". Our second single was a reggae tune entitled "Emmie" released in 1984 which was engineered and produced by legendary Jamaican engineer/producer, Steven Stanley at Compass Point studios here in Nassau.In 1995, we released another junkanoo single "Ya Better Move On". This single was the impetus for us to recording an album, which we started later that same year.

Those sessions contained a variety of genres -- junkanoo, soca and reggae and our fusion of junkanoo and soca which we called "Socanoo". We released the CD, entitled "Energy" in 1996 and it was extremely successful spawning no less than seven major hits. The very first release was a dancehall tune called "Conch Soup" which was produced by yet another legendary Jamaican producer, Dave Kelly.

Our next CD was released in 2001, when we teamed up with top soca producer, Darron Grant from Barbados, who was a childhood friend of our bass player, Ian Young, who is also from Barbados. Entitled "Brigga Dum Bram", this CD was, again, extremely popular and successful. That too, spawned 7 hits nationally. This CD marked the first time Visage had any international success and the single "Hold Ya Head" garnered immense airplay throughout most of the region and on Caribbean radio stations in the US, Canada and the UK. In fact, "Hold Ya head" was licensed by VP Records and put onto their "Soca Gold" compilation CD in 2002. That year also started a run of performances at Trinidad Carnival in 2002, 2003 and 2004 for the band

We teamed up with Darron for two more CD's. The next CD entitled "Power" was released in 2003. While not resulting in as many hits as the first 2 CD's, we scored internationally with a tune called "Still Need A Man" which again, was licensed by VP for the Soca Gold CD in 2003.

In 2004, we released a CD called "Xplosion" with similar results to "Power". VP wanted to license another tune "Man Shortage" but this was derailed because of legal disputes over their deduction of taxes from our royalties while we were never citizens or Residents of the US.

We took a six-year hiatus from recording another CD and never went back in the studio until 2010 when we released a CD entitled "Nuttin' But Da Truth" which scored three very popular tunes here including the very popular "Til Me Time Come" which was produced by legendary Trinidadian producer, the late "Sheldon "Shelshok" Benjamin.


Yardflex: What have been your biggest hits to date?

OBI: Locally, I would say "Conch Soup", "Energy", Das Junkanoo", "Nuttin' In It", "Come Into My Room", "Get De Hell Out De Party" "Better Move On".
Both at home and internationally, "Hold Ya Head", Still Need A Man" and "Til Meh Time Come"


Yardflex: Where are some of the places the band has toured?

OBI: Trinidad, St. Maarten, Miami, Ft. LauderdaleChicago, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Toronto, Turks and Caicos and, of course, all over the Bahamas.


Yardflex: What project(s) are you working on now?

OBI: We just released a new single in December called "Party Starter". Additionally, some of my vocalists have recorded solo projects which we include in our stage presentations. Among them are "La Bam Bam" by Benji,who is from St. Lucia ; "Een Missin' It" by Wendy and "Our Party" by Dyson.Last month, we concluded negotiations of a 2 song production deal with another major Trini producer for release later this year.

At the moment, we are putting tons of rehearsal time in for our 2 upcoming performances at the bahamas Junkanoo carnival (first on Aril 16th and the 2nd on 6th May) as well as 2 performances in Beijing, China at the Latin American and Caribbean Music Festival May 1 to 3, where we have been selected to represent the Bahamas.


Yardflex: Who comprises your management team?

OBI: Me, myself and I. (Laughs)


Yardflex: Are you signed to a label?

OBI: No we are not.


Yardflex: What has been the impact of Visage locally and internationally?

OBI: Locally, Visage is immensely popular, known as "the Bahamas' #1 Party Band" because of our high energy performances.
Internationally, I cannot honestly say that we have made any "impact" as such although we have always been extremely well received wherever we have performed, especially in Trinidad and Miami Carnival. In fact, in 1998, at Miami Carnival, we were second in the "Best Band On The Road" competition.


Yardflex: What is the ultimate goal of Visage?

OBI: There are are numerous goals that we have but I guess if there has to be an "ultimate", I would say it would be to score a major hit on the Billboard and other international charts with the Bahamian rhythms of junkanoo and rake n' scrape.


Yardflex: Well, having listened to your music, we can definitely say that we are looking forward to your shake-up of the Billboard Chart. We wish you all the best.

OBI: Thank you





Adele's Hello continues to break records

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adele-21.jpgAdele's hit single Hello continues to break records as it is spending its 21st week in the top spot on Billboard's Adult Contemporary radio airplay chart.

With its continued command, the song ties Kelly Clarkson's Breakaway and Celine Dion's A New Day Has Come for the longest Number 1 run among women since the list launched in 1961.

It also equals the third-longest stay at the summit among all acts.





Fluffy and Curvy suspended from MKQ

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fluffy-kitty-curvy-yaninque.jpgMagnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall fans have been having their say after realising that Judge Miss Kitty and Hostess Yanique have been suspended indefinitely from the show according to the show's executive producer, Mark Kenny.

Speaking with The Jamaica Star, Kenny says he's unable to give at timeline for the self-proclaimed 'Fluffy' and 'Curvy' diva's return to the show, he also denied reports that Miss Kitty and Yanique were given three and one-week suspensions respectively for their spat during the April 2 live show.

"We are still in discussion with them at this moment," Kenny said, explaining why a date for their return could not be given.

Beenie Man's new girlfriend Krystal Tomlinson hosted Saturday night's show in place of the suspended Yanique, while Miss Kitty was replaced with dancehall artiste Pamputtae on Saturday night.

Miss Kitty and Yanique delivered a pre-recorded apology that was aired at the start of show over the weekend.





Dexta Daps Meets In Car Accident

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dexta-daps-photo-3.jpgRecording Artiste Dexta Daps was this morning (Mon) involved in a traffic accident in Saint Catherine.

Reports are that the artiste is fine after only receiving a few bruises, however there were online reports which stated erroneously that the artiste was in a coma.

Details on the accident have not yet been ascertained however, the vehicle Dexta was in, is said to been written off.

Dexta had recently returned to the island following overseas stints.





Zip FM's ZJ Liquid also boasts the title of producer and artist. A fan favourite by giving music lovers an array of hit productions, Liquid's prolific lyrics as an artist are only matched by his charisma and humbleness

His latest anticipated musical offering "Msquared" has already created a strong buzz and fans eagerly await the April 15th worldwide release distributed by 21st Hapilos DIgital.

Speaking on the album, Liquid explained the thought process, creation and inspiration. "Msquared is the name of the album, it's an album I've been working on for almost a year and a half. And it's just a project that I always had in mind, a project where it's not a juggling, all the songs on the same riddim. It's an album putting together some of Jamaica's best artists and make a link with the international world as well, do as much fusing as I could at this time. It's a compilation album and I myself have 2 songs on it. Msquared is a vibe, one of those things you want to do different as a producer. I've been producing for the past 10 years and this is definitely different, fusing different genres that I've been exposed to. There is a little Afrobeat, EDM vibe, a little trap and skrillex, soca undertones and of course the hardcore dancehall and reggae vibe. Msquared name comes from my son and my daughter i put the 2 names together."

The album features such artistes as Grammy award winners Sean Paul and Beenie Man who teamed up with newcomer Vershon, international stars Vybz Kartel, Mr.Vegas, Konshens and Samantha J with Assassin, and rapper Safaree aka Stunman among a host of stars.





Brace for increase in the price of rice

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Jamaican consumers have been advised to brace for a 10 to 15 per cent increase in the price of rice from Guyana following a hike in the cost to import gain.

Managing Director of Jamaica Rice Mills Derrick Nembhard says in mid-March, the Guyana Rice Development Board introduced a pricing schedule which requires Jamaican importers to pay US$400 per tonne if they are importing 1,500 tonnes or more.

However, if the Jamaican importers want less than the 1,500 tonnes they will have to pay more than US$400 per tonne.

Nembhard says as a result of the increase in the price of rice imported from the region, the cost is being passed on to consumers.

Recently, the Jamaica Rice Milling Company signed agreements with the Guyana Rice Development Board to import a total of 80,000 tonnes of rice from Guyana during 2016.

However, Nembhard says the Guyana Rice Development Board independently arrived at the pricing schedule.





US judge throws out lawsuit against Red Stripe

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red-stripe.jpgA US federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought against the makers of Red Stripe for labeling it as Jamaican style beer, though it was being made in the United States, starting in 2012.The judge dismissed the class action without prejudice.

The plaintiffs, Aaron Dumas and Eugene Buner, sued Diageo-Guinness, claiming they bought Red Stripe because its label calls it "Jamaican Style Lager" with "The Taste of Jamaica."

They sought class certification and damages for false advertising, unfair competition, business law violations and negligent and intentional misrepresentation.

Red Stripe has been brewed in Jamaica since 1938, and imported to the United States since 1985. Diageo bought the rights to Red Stripe in 1993 and moved production for the North American market to the United States in 2012.

District Judge Barry Ted Moskowitz dismissed the complaint on April 6, stating that a reasonable customer would not be misled by the visible packaging into believing that Red Stripe is brewed in Jamaica with Jamaican ingredients.

He wrote that the mere fact that the words 'Jamaica' and 'Jamaican' appear on the packaging is not sufficient to support a conclusion that consumers would be confused regarding the origin and ingredients of the beer.





Jamaican among 3 policemen charged in the BVI

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hands-behind-bars.jpgA Jamaican is among three policemen in the British Virgin Islands who have been arrested on several charges, including the theft of thousands of US dollars from alleged drug dealers.

The Jamaican has been identified as Shawn Henry, a member of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force. He has been accused along with Pamphill Prevost of Dominica and Simon Power, a resident of the British Virgin Islands.

The three have been charged with theft; acquisition, possession or use of proceeds of criminal conduct; removing property from the territory; possession of a controlled substance with intention to supply another; and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

The policemen, who were arrested last Tuesday following a near two-year investigation, were denied bail when they appeared in a BVI court on Friday.

The cops are accused of stealing approximately US$20,000 from an alleged criminal.

On Friday, prosecutors told the court that the three cops, who were members of the Proactive Unit of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, used intelligence to conduct sting operations during which they would intercept alleged criminals and steal a portion of the narcotics and monies seized.

In addition to those charges, Prevost and Power have been indicted for three counts of theft. Both policemen allegedly stole US$14,000 from an alleged drug dealer. Prosecutors say they also stole between US$60,000 and US$80,000 from two other drug dealers in October 2012, in addition to 158 kilogrammes of ganja.





notice-records.jpgWayne 'Unga' Thompson and Jason 'Big Bass' Welsh better known as Notis Records formerly Notice Production continues to explore their creativity resulting in the evolution of the group into Notis Heavyweight Rockaz which is being noticed big time.

They have caught the attention of British based media outlet BBC 1Xtra which did a series of recordings as part of an ongoing documentary chronicling noteworthy happenings in the reggae and dancehall space. This resulted in a buzz worthy live session featuring Unga (Producer/Drummer) and Welsh (Bass) showcasing what has been dubbed as a masterfully crafted piece of work by many industry players. The video can be seen on the official website of BBC 1Xtra.

In the eight minute-long visual the group presents a live rendition of their single 'Rocky Road', a performance which signals a number of firsts for the duo -- first single off their Crossroads riddim (also featuring Jessie Royal, Kabaka Pyramid, Chevaughn, and Bushman) and the first time that they themselves have put their vocals on a single.The video amassed over 75,000 views on Facebook. 'Rocky Road' is a groovy roots rock reggae composition that speaks to challenges along life's journey but with faith and good work ethic the vision can become reality.

Notis is credited with hits such as Ding Dong & Chevaughn's 'Holiday', Future Fambo' 'This Life' added to the remix featuring Mavado; and more recently Iba Mahr's Diamond Sox amid a top 10 spot on the Billboard Reggae Chart for their Heart & Soul rhythm project (Busy Signal - Come Over).





vybz-kartel-to-drop-new-album-viking-vybz-is-king.jpgAdidjahiem Records/TJ Records in association with Zojak World Wide will be releasing "King of the Dancehall", the brand new album from Vybz Kartel.

The 14-track set contains all-exclusive, never before released tracks from the "World Boss" Vybz Kartel. Recorded before his incarceration, the tracks have been completed by renowned dancehall producer Linton 'TJ' White of TJ Records and Adidjahiem.

in a written statement released to the media, Kartel says "King of the Dancehall" is a masterpiece, an album that encompasses the very essence of Adidja Palmer and by extension, The Jamaican experience."

As the title suggests, the album is dancehall to its core. In another part of his statement Kartel said "This album will bring its listeners into the world of hardcore dancehall, not some 'pop music' watered down version. It will give you a peek into my Jamaica. Not the one on the tourist board ads, but the real Jamaica...dancehall Jamaica."

Distributed by Zojak World Wide, the album will hit stores on June 10th.





French singer releases new single, 'Music'

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French singer Delphine released her first single "Music", and her video clip, co-produced with Art & Media and distributed by Tuff Gong International.The music video for "Music" also premiered globally on Friday.

"Music" is the story of a music that takes the color of those who live for her, those who break down the barriers of difference. The music that brings people together, whatever their origins and cultures, which offers each of them the same wealth, the chance to share the present moment.

Delphine is a talented singer-songwriter and composer who believes that no matter where you come from, where you live and where you are going, the music is all around you and even if you do not like it, the music will always make vibrate your soul.

Determined to be an artist since she was a little girl, she joined at the age of ten singing and dancing schools and has followed drama lessons and later she did training in lyrical and classical singing, followed by several courses of song writing, improvisation and gospel.

Delphine has joined various live bands in France and Germany, and has tried different musical styles, such as Blues, Funk, Reggae, and Soul. She has not hesitated to take stages across the world, like in Thailand, with a Pop Rock band, but also in Canada with an American blues band.





super-cat-now.jpgDancehall DJ Super 'Don Dadda' Cat, considered one of the greatest deejays of all times is set to deliver his first New York area outdoor music festival performance in over 15 years. The 'Don Dadda' will headline the 3rd annual Oracabessa Festival on Memorial Monday May 30, 2016 at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens, NY. The announcement was made by radio jocks Dubb Master Chris and DJ Roy of Irie Jam Radio, WVIP, 93.5FM.

Super Cat, who was christened William Anthony Maragh, achieved international fame in the late 1980s with hits songs "Cry Fi De Youth and "Boops" which sparked a slew of 'sugar daddy' songs. The hit parade continued in the 90s with "Don Dada", "Ghetto Red Hot" and stateside hit "Dem No Worry We" which featured Jamaican born US rapper Heavy D.

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After being signed to a major label deal with Columbia Records, Super Cat was featured on a 1992 remix of US hit single "Jump" with Kris Kross. He collaborated with the duo again in 1993 for their song "It's Alright" which earned him the titled "Dancehall Artist of the Year" by hip-hop Source Magazine. He also collaborated on the 1993 hit single "Dolly My Bady" with The Notorious B.I.G., featuring Mary J. Blige and Puff Daddy.

Super Cat is currently being managed by legendary artiste manager and super producer Robert Livingston, who shaped his career locally and internationally, guiding him to much of his musical success over the year.

"Super Cat rarely performs in the tri-state area these day. In fact I could say he has not performed at an outdoor music festival here in the last 15-20 years" Louie Grant, Executive VP of Irie Jam Media said.

Other performers booked for the Oracabessa Festival include 'Gully Gaad' Mavado, 'Mr Smooth' Ken Boothe, Nesbeth, Vershon and Soca King Mighty Sparrow.





elephant-man-passport.jpgThings are definitely looking up for dancehall deejay Elephant Man. No wonder he is giving God the praise.

The deejay was recently freed from a longstanding rape chare after the alleged victim died, and then last week he was given back his work permit for the United States.

The flambouyant deejay shouted out the good news to the world on Instagram in a short clip entitled "The Lord is my light and my salvation" in which he shows off his US visa. In another video he saya: "52 states, work permit, see deh, visa up and live give, give God the glory, rain a fall, give God the glory."

Elephant Man also mentioned his friends, selectors Tony Matterhorn and Foota Hype who are currently in the US for a string of events.





freddie-mcgregor-photo-2.jpgThe Big Ship keeps on sailing and this time around there's a new album from the captain himself, Freddie McGregor.

The veteran reggae singer in a recent radio interview disclosed that the album, rntitled True To My Roots will be released in Japan first at the beginning of June and then Europe and North America at the end of June. A second single from the album, with the same title as the album itself, has just benn released

"Amazing...I call this one (the album) amazing," said a very happy Freddie, who explained that the album was produced by himself, Dalton Browne, Clevie Brownie and Lloyd Campbell from Joe Frazier Records."

"We had enough time in terms of production, it is a superb production," the Big Ship captain said of the 15 track album, adding that.there was a reason why we called it True To My Roots, as we in reggae music need to get back to the rooots of the music.

The song-writing team includes Freddie McGregor, along with Dalton Browne and Clevie Brownie.

The single is available on iTunes,and Freddie exhorts his fans to go out and purchase it.

"The people dem fi jus run go buy da single yah fi 99 cents," he said in the interview.





Two murders in St Ann Friday night

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crime-scene-7.jpgTwo persons were killed in separate incidents in St Ann on Friday night.

The first murder occurred about 9:30 pm in Runaway Bay. Reports are that Donald Clayton, a 57-year-old farmer of Bellaire, Runaway Bay, had a dispute with a man when a knife was used to stab him several times. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The second murder occurred about 11:35 pm.

Twenty-five-year-old Romaine Pryce, a welder of Wharf Street in St Ann's Bay, was shot and killed by unknown assailants as he stood at the intersection of Musgrave Road and Marcus Garvey Way in St Ann's Bay.

Pryce was approached by two men who opened fire at him. No motive has been established in that killing.

The St Ann police are investigating both murders.





derrick-rochester.jpgDerrick Rochester, a former PNP member of parliament and proponent of workers' rights under the National Workers Union, has died.

Rochester, who had been ailing for some time, passed on Saturday afternoon at age 76.

Former Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and party members have contacted Rochester's wife Beryl, and family members, offering condolences.

Rochester first entered politics at the local government level in the 1960s and became member of parliament on different occasions.

His work as island supervisor for the NWU has resulted in a better quality of life and training for bauxite workers. He also received a national honour in recognition of his work after retiring from representational politic in 2002.





Million-dollar payout for man beaten by cops

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On Friday, the Court of Appeal awarded $1million to St Ann resident Eric Gordon, who said he was beaten unconscious by four police officers at the Ocho Rios Police Station.

Gordon said he was beaten by the cops in July 2000 after he went to present his driver's licence.They were identified as constables Delroy D Clarke, Ricordo S Morgan, Dionne W Williams and Inspector Nathan Boreland.

The victim sued the state and the police officers over the assault. However, the cops denied assaulting Gordon, and it has been asserted that Clarke and Morgan were not at the station at the time of the incident. It was also alleged that Gordon injured Boreland's thumb when the cop was trying to restrain him.

According to court documents, Gordon said he had gone to the station to present his licence after he was cautioned about a defective tyre during a traffic stop. Gordon said everything went downhill after he asked the officer, to whom he presented his licence, his name.

He was left with a concussion, fractured ring finger, fractured bone in right hand and was unable to work for 12 weeks.A medical report said that the trauma to Gordon's head "might have repercussion later".

Gordon lost his lawsuit in the Supreme Court but on Friday the appellate court upheld his appeal and awarded him the $1million.





Employees of the National Workers Union (NWU) are demanding a meeting with the leadership of the trade union to discuss growing concerns regarding its affairs.

A two-page letter addressed to NWU General Secretary Granville Valentine, was signed by senior employees including a Vice President, a Deputy Island Supervisor, Assistant Island Supervisors, as well as rank and file employees,

The concerns surround the reported lack of meetings of the NWU's management committee and the slow pace in filling the post of financial secretary, following the death of the person who had held the post.

Additionally, the employees expressed outraged over the reported collapse of the staff health insurance scheme. The cash crunch affecting the NWU has also resulted in the non-payment of statutory and third-party deductions.This has resulted in legal action against employees whose homes, motor vehicles and personal loans have fallen in arrears.

The workers are demanding a full list of all Union members, copies of annual returns, and details of the Union's financial accounts.

It is understood that the Union's management has ignored the request to meet, and that the employees are restive and vowing to take action.





crime-scene-7.jpgCommuters battled in vain in traffic on Friday evening after two shootings on Red Hills Road led to cops cordoning off the crime scenes and diverting the traffic into even more horrendous traffic.

According to reports, the first incident occurred in the vicinity of Calabar High School at about 5:15 p.m., and then shortly after in the vicinity of Lee's Food Fair, less than five minutes away.

The Constant Spring police could not confirm if the incidents are related, however, reports are that a man believed to be a taxi operator was shot and injured. Eyewitnesses say a man on a motorcycle rode up beside the motor car and opened fire.

The police have reported that two men were rushed to the Kingston Public Hospital for treatment.





ganja-image-1.jpgAmericans are more supportive of marijuana legalization than ever before, and that support has led to 23 states passing medical marijuana laws and another four states legalizing recreational marijuana use. In November, voters in states including California, Florida, Massachusetts, and Nevada could weigh in on the issue too. With advocates ramping up their efforts to win support for marijuana legalization in these states, let's take a closer look.

California

California is the biggest marijuana battleground state in 2016. The state was a pioneered in medical marijuana laws, but it's taken a back seat on recreational marijuana legalization since Proposition 19, a pro-pot ballot measure, failed to pass in 2010.

That could change in November. Various advocates are pitching pot plans they hope will pass muster with voters this November, but the one generating perhaps the most enthusiasm is the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, a proposal spearheaded by billionaire tech entrepreneur Sean Parker that has found support among both advocates and doctors.

Florida

After a well-funded anti-pot campaign financed by billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson derailed medical marijuana legislation here in 2014, marijuana advocates have doubled down on their efforts to get a decriminalization measure enshrined in law in 2016.

That earlier pro-pot measure failed to get the 60% of votes necessary to change the State's constitution by only by a couple percent, and recent polls suggest that advocates have the votes necessary for approval this time around. According Public Policy Polling, 65% of Florida voters approve of the medical marijuana initiative that will be on the state's ballot in November.

Massachusetts

Some of the Bay State's top politicians are lobbying against its passage, but voters could have the final say on legalizing recreational marijuana if the question makes it onto the ballot in November.

Massachusetts voters decriminalized marijuana in 2008, and legalized medical marijuana in 2012. This year, voters could build upon their pot-friendly track record if they decide residents should be allowed to possess 1 ounce of marijuana outside their home, and 10 ounces of the herb inside their home.

If a majority of Massachusetts voters say "yes," then it could become the first state (not including Washington, D.C.) east of the Mississippi to legalize recreational marijuana.

Nevada

Residents of the Silver State will decide in November if they want to approve initiative petition 1, a proposal that would tax and regulate pot similarly to alcohol in the state.

The state's legislature declined to take up the measure last year, but if petition 1 passes this fall, then individuals will be allowed to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana. Like most states, the ballot measure establishes a network of licensed dispensaries and taxes marijuana substantially.





Deitrick Haddon for CUJ GOSPLASH

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deitrick-haddon-teaser-photo.jpgThis Emancipation day gospel fans can look forward to another staging of the ultimate beach family fun day and gospel concert, CUJ GOSPLASH at Sugarman Beach in Hellshire, St. Catherine. An exciting element has been added to the 2016 staging of the 4th Annual event though, that will have patrons even more excited about the concert line-up.

The August 1st event will feature Deitrick Haddon, Grammy nominated singer, pastor and star of the popular reality series Preachers of L.A. Haddon, who is also a producer and songwriter, is best known for progressive gospel, and contemporary styles of music.

Produced by Action Entertainment, CUJ GOSPLASH 2016 promises to be the best yet as plans are already underway to ensure patrons young and old, Christians and non-Christians have a memorable experience. This family oriented event will include a wide variety of rides, games, give-a-ways, a talent show, pulsating gospel music and a star-studded gospel concert, featuring some of Jamaica's most talented gospel artistes and international act, Deitrick Haddon, who promises to close the show with a powerful and inspiring performance.

Part proceeds from CUJ GOSPLASH 2016 will go towards the Braeton Primary and Junior High school to aide in the continuation and completion of a computer lab project ACTION Entertainment embarked on last year.

CUJ GOSPLASH 2016 is being staged by ACTION Entertainment in association with the RJR Communications Group.





daniel-lemma.jpgEthiopian/swedish soul artist Daniel Lemma teams up with Scandinavias top-ranking reggae musicians, Hot This Year Band (U Brown, Million Stylez, Norris Man, Etzia, Lutan Fyah and many more) to release his 7th album.

The result is a collection of 10 timeless songs performed in an authentic style, from ska and rocksteady to roots reggae and rub-a-dub.

The first single and video, "Mr Hibbert", pays tribute to one of the heroes and founders of reggae music, the legendary singer Toots Hibbert, as well as the golden era of reggae music he has come to represent.

The song, as well as the forthcoming album, is produced by Patrik "Partillo" Alexandersson whose previous collaborations includes Collie Buddz, Lutan Fyah, Yellowman, Chronixx, Jah Vinci, Jaqee and more.

Full-length album "Common Ground" will be released on April 27.





Get ready for Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival!

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bahamas-junkano-festival.jpgThe Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival is described as the perfect dose of Music, Culture, and Vibes and it takes place April 15-16, 2016 in Grand Bahama and May 6, 2016 in Nassau. The inaugural event last year, drew a crowd of 50,000 strong, and it would be no surprise if this year's event surpasses that.

The carnival promises non-stop live entertainment day and night with the best Bahamian musicians and their contemporaries from across the Caribbean and the around the world. According to the organisers, "If you love music, plan to attend the Carnival Kick Off from April 15-16, 2016 in Grand Bahama, where contestants in the Junkanoo Carnival Music Masters Song Competition will compete in a semi-final concert at Taino Beach. After Grand Bahama, get ready to amp up the music once again at the Music Masters Mega Concert on Friday, May 6, 2016 in Nassau."

The top 10 contestants will compete on the mega stage, alongside featured artists from around the world.

Inside Da Cultural Village

Da Cultural Village is the epicenter of culture at Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival. Whether you love Bahamian food, art, creativity and the spirit of the people; or you simply dig the idea of being immersed in a new cultural experience, head to Da Cultural Village at Taino Beach in Grand Bahama or Long Wharf Beach in Nassau. Bahamians and visitors alike can soak up the culture inside Da Cultural Village. Snack on conch fritters or roasted corn inside the food court or fill your stomach with a hearty fish dinner or chicken in the bag, all traditional Bahamian favorites. Discover the art of Junkanoo music at the Junkamania concert on Thursday, May 5 and the creativity of our youth at Youth Culture Fest on April 9.

Road Fever Street Party

Road Fever is the signature street party of Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival. Held on Saturday, May 6, it will see thousands of costumed revellers flood the streets to jump and wine and party through the streets. Join in the fun by ordering a costume with a registered Road Fever company (See listing on website) and #jumpindaline. Road Fever is all about the vibes. Each costume section has a travelling bar and a roving deejay that rides along the route, ensuring the vibes are always turned up. There is a Road Fever Grand Stand inside Da Cultural Village for spectators, but the real fun is in participating. If you love to party, you do not want to miss Road Fever. And there's a bonus, Road Fever companies have non-stop parties along the road to carnival. Practically every weekend there is a wet fete, paint or powder party: something to get you in the Junkanoo Carnival spirit, starting with their individual costume launch events





Tuff Gong Pictures, a subsidiary of Tuff Gong International, in association with CEEN TV, is pleased to announce "Live from Tuff Gong", a weekly half-hour entertainment show that will bring exclusive content on all things directly related to and affiliated with the Bob Marley group of companies including Tuff Gong international which, as the exclusive regional licensee of Universal Music, Warner Music, and Disney is the largest distributor of entertainment in the Caribbean.

Bringing more than just entertainment news this show will also include the hottest updates on all things reggae music, compelling interviews with renowned artistes, videos, coverage of the latest events and launches, behind the scenes access, travels to stunning locations, and live performances of the reggae's finest artistes from the world renown Tuff Gong Studios

New to the Marley brand, Tuff Gong Pictures is happy to be a part of this partnership with CEEN TV, General Manager Marie Bruce stated, "We are pleased to align with CEEN TV and look forward to providing stellar content to today's audiences, to whom authentic entertainment content is King!"

CEEN TV is the premier 24-hour Caribbean content driven channel, currently distributed in North America.

Hosted by media personality Debbie Bissoon, "Live from Tuff Gong" will air every Saturday starting April 9, 2016 at 10:00pm with repeats on Mondays at 6:30pm and Wednesdays 9:30pm. Viewers can also tune in online at www.ceen.tv.





Chris Martin signs Big Deal with KFC

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chris-martin-big-deal.jpgThe KFC Big Deal, which has three pieces of delcious KFC chicken has been apopular staple in Jamaica for decades and for all age groups.

Singer Chris Martin's popularity has been soaring ever since he entered Digicel Rising Stars years ago. Chris' song Big Deal has been an instant hit, so it is little woner that KFC has signed a Big Deal with the singer.

KFC's newest marketing campaign, the '2016 Big Deal', has been described as a natural fit. Chris Martin is joined by Busy Signal; both having just dropped their latest track "Steppin" together last month.

According to Tina Matalon, Marketing Director, KFC Jamaica: "Working with Chris has been great! Once Chris took 'BIG DEAL' to another level with his hit song, we just knew we had to do something with him at some point. And then having Busy on the track as well added some spice to it, making it hotter than ever."

KFC's popular BIG DEAL meal which is available in all three flavours: Original Recipe, Hot 'n' Spicy and KFC Jamaica's very own signature BBQ sauce, is available at all 34 KFC restaurants island wide.





panama-papers.jpgThe fallout from a leak of four decades' worth of confidential records known as 'The Panama Papers' continues around the region.

Authorities in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) said the release of some 11 million documents has prompted them to investigate whether there have been any breaches of financial regulations in the territory.

The BVI has long played a prominent role in the offshore financial industry, and it figures notably in the leak of files from the Mossack Fonseca law firm.

Financial regulators in the BVI issued a statement saying they will pursue a thorough investigation through the BVI's competent authorities, and further action will be taken, where necessary.





Earthquake rocks Grenada and T&T

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A 5.7 magnitude earthquake rocked sections of Grenada and Trinidad & Tobago Thursday morning.

The National Disaster Management Agency in Grenada has confirmed that there were no reports of damage but said they would continue to monitor the situation.

Reports from the Seismic Research Centre at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine, Trinidad stated that the earthquake occurred around 8:22 a.m.

The Caribbean Disaster Management Agency has said it will also continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as necessary.





Scammer on fraud charges in the US

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hands-behind-bars.jpgA Jamaican man who allegedly scammed a New Jersey resident out of nearly a quarter million dollars was yesterday charged in the US with conspiracy to defraud.

30 year old Ricardo Reid was charged following an investigation that brought US agents to Jamaica in 2014 and led to his arrest February 1 this year. According to court records, Mr. Reid, an alleged leader of the Partners 'n' Crime gang, bought and sold lists of individuals through criminal brokers.

The indictment states that Mr. Reid and others would call potential victims to tell them they had won an overseas lottery and had to pay registration fees and taxes to collect their winnings. If the victims fell for the scam, they were instructed to make payments via wire transfers using Western Union or Money Gram.

Other times, they were told to send cash or money orders to co-conspirators in the United States, who would smuggle the cash into Jamaica. Court records say Mr. Reid and co-conspirators would continue to demand advance payment of taxes as long as the victims could pay or until they realised they had been scammed.





crime-scene-gun.jpgThree men were killed in an alleged shoot-out with the Savanna-La-Mar police on Great Georges Street in Westmoreland early Friday morning.

Reports are that shortly after 3 o'clock, the police were alerted to a disturbance at the Lu's Lucky Supermarket.

On their arrival, they saw a group of men at the back of the building. The police say the men opened fire and a shoot-out ensued.

When the shooting subsided, three men were found with gunshot wounds. They were pronounced dead at hospital.





Kitty clears the air; says sorry

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miss-kitty-photo-3.jpgFluffy Diva Kitty is seeking to clear the air on the supposed 'beef' between she and Curvy Diva Yanique.

"It was being said in the media that there was a problem or 'beef' between the hostess and myself. I had no such 'beef' and was surprised to see and hear this being said. I realised that this 'beef' was being orchestrated in the media with the intent of stirring unwanted controversy. It is very important to note that I wanted to have no part in any such contrived spectacle for cheap popularity," she said.

"During my years in media and entertainment I have worked assiduously to build my career and brand based on genuine accomplishments and my God-given talents. In an effort to protect those accomplishments and to 'clear the air' I addressed the contrived issues during the said live broadcast," she expressed.

"Although I tried to deal with the issue decently, on reflection I admit that it was not the appropriate place to mention the matter. I chose it because the matter was raised during the live show the previous week by one of the competition's judges and felt that I had to address it on the same 'stage'," Miss Kitty added.

"I would also like to thank my team and the people of Jamaica for their continued support throughout the years including the past few days... so big up oonu good clean self and help me buss a Miss Kitty blank... Lalalalala.... because a progress me say!" she said.





shanique-myrie-photo-1-better.jpgReemeber Shanique Myrie? The woman who got nearly four million dollars after she sued the Barbadian government over an illlegal cavity search and won the case.

Well, her estranged husband Troy Pusey, who she met on Facebook, claims that he was beaten by his wife, Shanique, who is now facing charges in Harford, Maryland, for assault. She is to go to trial on May 5.

Troy Pusey secured a protective order against Myrie which states that she should not "abuse, threaten to abuse, and/or harass" him. But Myrie is reported as saying that her husband was emotionally unstable.She was arrested by the Harford County police following an incident, which allegedly took place on February 26. Pusey alleged that Myrie has been fully abusive to him.

"He said I chased him down with knife, and I kicked him in his groin, and that I punched him on his hand that he did surgery on, and stuff like that," Myrie reportedly told a Jamaican tabloid

"He's just upset because I walked out of the marriage. That's why he's trying to ruin my reputation there. That's why he's doing what he's doing. I'm telling the media in Jamaica, do not listen to him," Myrie told The STAR.

"I was picked up at the airport because I went away to visit some friends in Florida, and when I was coming back to visit my husband, I was picked up at the airport by police officers. They locked me up for two days. I was on US$50,000 (J$6,080,000) bail, then it dropped to US$10,000 (J$1,216,000)," Myrie explained.





groovin-2013-chris-and-toots.jpgVeteran reggae superstars Toots Hibbert, who recently reached a court settlement for the injury he sustained in 2013, is now officially confirmed as a headline performer alongside Beres Hammond at New York's Groovin In The Park 2016. The event unfolds at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens, NY on Sunday, June 26, 2016.

This year's festival promises to be a ravishing treat for music lovers who will have the opportunity to see the Jamaican icon and former lead singer of The Maytals in concert.

"We here at Groovin Inc are extremely happy Toots has fully recovered from his injury and is ready to grace the stage again" Groovin Inc CEO Chris Roberts disclosed.

Toots was originally booked to perform at the festival in 2013 but was pulled after sustaining a head injury at an outdoor festival in Richmond, Virginia.

"It was heartbreaking for the team when we heard about Toot's injury in 2013 and doctors informed us he would not be able to perform at the festival. His health was our utmost concern, Toots is a friend for over 20 years and is like family" said Andrea Bullens of Bullzii Marketing /Groovin Inc, who had negotiated the deal.

Fan were left with Patti LaBelle, Tank, Ginuwine, Tyrese, Sanchez and Queen Ifrica. It took 2 entertainers - Half Pint and Steel Pulse to fill the void. Now that Toots is back, New York music fans are looking forward to seeing the veteran star in concert.

Toots comes to the sizzling one day reggae and R & B festival with superb credentials. He is responsible for some of the biggest hits in reggae's history, including 'Pressure Drop,' 'Sweet And Dandy' and '54-46' (That's My Number)" In 1968, Toots & the Maytals' released the hit single 'Do the Reggay,' which gave the burgeoning genre its name. By 1971, the Maytals were stars in Jamaica. The group was featured in the landmark reggae film The Harder They Come in 1972, which introduced an international audience to the Maytals' appeal.

Toots & The Maytals released True Love in 2004, a retrospective all-star collaboration featuring rock's upper echelon (Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Jeff Beck and Trey Anastasio), country icons (Willie Nelson and Bonnie Raitt), modern ska rockers (No Doubt), new folk-rock disciples (Ryan Adams and Ben Harper) and dancehall star Shaggy.





Morgan Heritage off on tour

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morgan-heritage-tour.jpgMorgan Heritage are not resting on their laurels even after winning the coveted 2016 Grammy award for Best Reggae Album.

For the latter part of 2015 and into the new year, the sensational roots reggae quintet of siblings Peetah Morgan (vocals), Una Morgan (keyboard/vocals), Gramps Morgan (keyboard/vocals), Lukes Morgan (rhythm guitar) and Mr. Mojo Morgan (percussion/vocals) proudly spread their musical message of "Cool To Be Conscious" by successfully touring Asia, Europe, Africa, America and The Caribbean.

Onward this spring to Africa, Morgan Heritage will continue to carry the reggae torch by kicking off the summer season in Florida, and the European leg July 1st, 2016. "After our stadium tour in Africa in the Spring, this Summer we embark on a tour of festivals and clubs across Europe and North America. For us touring is 2nd nature but touring behind the level of success Strictly Roots has attained, is a first for us. Needless to say, we're enjoying the journey and grateful for the continued love and support of our fans around the world." stated Mojo Morgan

Making their historical musical mark in reggae, The Royal Family of Reggae's musical melting pot of influences has always been self evident both in their music, and worldwide stage presence alongside some of rock, soul, pop or afrobeat biggest acts. It is that celebration of music that once again will be highlighted on the upcoming "So Amazing US Tour" as the award winning band will be joined by Laza and Jemere Morgan, and on selected dates the torchbearers for modern British reggae music, "The Skints" and California's Beach Rock Reggae group "Wheeland Brothers"

"The So Amazing Summer Tour will feature some amazing talent from Jamaica, America and even the UK. Reggae music is global and we wanted to continue to display the globalization of Reggae music by sharing our stage with young talented Reggae artist and artist influenced by Reggae artist. The Skints from the UK, Wheeland Brothers from Southern California, Laza Morgan and Jemere Morgan from Jamaica all gives us confidence that the future of the music is very bright." Morgan Heritage





hands-behind-bars.jpgFour suspects including two women who are said to be associates of Marlon "Duppy" Flames Perry, one of the country's most wanted fugitive were detained on Tuesday during a major police/military operation in Yallahs, St Thomas.

The operation was aimed at capturing Perry, however, a source said he was able to elude the dragnet.

A large detachment of police and military personnel using helicopters conducted the operation.

Perry is wanted for several murders in St. Thomas.

They include the December 22 murders of two members of the police force Corporal Kenneth Davis and Constable Craig Palmer.They were shot dead at a shop in Poor Man's Corner in St.Thomas.

The Police High Command is offering a reward of J$1.5 million for Perry's capture.





Bolt to start the season in Cayman

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usain-bolt-wins-gold-200m-beijing-2015-photo-3.jpgDouble sprint world record holder Usain Bolt will take the track in his first 100m race, since winning the world title last year in Beijing, when he contests the event at the Cayman Invitational Truman Bodden Sports Complex in Grand Cayman on May 14.

This will be Bolt's second appearance at the Cayman Invitational since 2013 when he won in 10.09 seconds. He will face the Cayman national record holder Kemar Hyman in the event, as well as compatriot and Commonwealth champion Kemar Bailey-Cole.

In a statement, he said: "I am pleased to announce that I will be competing in the 100m at the Cayman International T&F meeting on May 14. It will be my first international competition in 2016 and my second time to run in Cayman. I always enjoy competing in the Caribbean and look forward to meeting my fans in Cayman"

World 400m champion and Olympic 200m champion Allison Felix will be making her 2016 competitive debut at the meet but is yet to decide on the event she will contest.

Fellow American sprinter Carmelita Jeter, the 2011 world champion, will compete over her specialist distance of 100m and will line up against Jamaica's Natasha Morrison.

Action in the men's 200m will see Jason Young facing world championships finalist Zharnel Hughes who competes for Great Britain, Miguel Francis of Antigua and Barbuda and Kenyan record-holder Carvin Nkanata.

Jermaine Gonzalez will take on Delano Williams in the men's 400m and the women's 400m hurdles will have Janieve Russell, Shevon Stoddart, Ristannana Tracey and American Kori Carter, who ran a NCAA and personal record of 53.21 in 2013.

Former schoolboy champion and 2013 200m World Youth Champion, Michael O'Hara, fresh into the pro ranks, will make his debut while, Tyler Mason will contest the men's 110m hurdles where he will face home town favourite Ronald Forbes and Americans Aleec Harris and Spencer Adams.





marcus-mckenzie.jpgIt was reported by RJR News that there is tension among staff at the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) over the hiring of the Marcus McKenzie the son of Local Government and Community Development Minister Desmond McKenzie.

NSWMA sources revealed that is now on the agency's payroll, the story said.

The NSWMA is an agency of the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development

The hiring of McKenzie's son has not gone down well and employees are citing nepotism.

According to a NSWMA insider, the appointment of McKenzie has come as a surprise, as on Friday March 11, a memorandum was circulated to staff advising that there is freeze on hiring and contract renewals until further notice.

Employees say eyebrows were raised when the memorandum was recalled.

When contacted, McKenzie confirmed that he was employed to the Commercial Services Department effective Monday. His role involves soliciting new customers.

The agency has since denied the reports.





Ganja licences put on hold

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ganja-licence.jpgThose hoping to enter the legal ganja industry will have to wait a while longer as the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) says it has had to push back the date for accepting applications.

The Authority had announced that the process would have started yesterday.

However, in a press release today, it said the transition to a new Government has caused some delays in getting certain regulations approved.

Chairman of the CLA, Dr Andre Gordon says a meeting needs to be held with the Minister of Justice who has to review and approve them for the industry to be able to begin operations.

However, it says the Authority expects that it will start reviewing applications before the end of the month.The Cannabis Licensing Authority has indicated that 11 types of licenses across five main categories will be made available to interested persons.

The categories are cultivator, transportation, processing, retailing, and research and development.





fluffy-and-curvy-vs-miss-kitty-and-yanique.jpgFollowing outcry on social media and a subsequent meeting with stakeholders, Fluffy Diva Kitty and Curvy Diva Yanique have been ordered by the principals of the Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall show to apologise to viewers for their out of order behaviour during Saturday night's live show.

Both parties have to apologise on live television this Saturday,but is this apology sufficient? Persons were clamouring for one or both to be suspended owing to the disgusting level of rudeness which was displayed.

It is being said that this slap on the wrist is merely a way of appeasing all those who have been making their feelings clear on the matter, rather than a desire for the stakeholders to really discipline the Fluffy and Curvy.

It will be interesting to hear what they have to say, but we hardly think that we will tune in to MK&Q on Saturday.





usain-bolt-and-girlfriend.jpgPhenomenal sprinter and party animal, Usain Bolt took to Instagram over the weekend to share a picture of his girlfriend with his 2.5 million followers.

"President And First Lady," was the caption Usain used to describe himself and his girl. He did say in a recent interview that he had found love, but did not elaborate much, except for saying that his new love was from May Pen.

Later on Sunday, the superstar sprinter was spotted kissing his girlfriend at the Bacchanal Jamaica Road March.

Good for you Usain, we wish you all the best.





Justin Bieber debuts dreadlocks. Why?

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justin-bieber-locks.jpgWhite Canadian singer and teenage heartthrob, Justin Bieber showed off his new hairstyle on Instagram and then live at the iHeart radio awards on Sunday.

He first posted two pictures to the social media platform, with one captioned simply, "Why."

The second shot, posted at 2:30 a.m., had no caption, but he showed off both the new look and his shirtless bod in the mirror self.

Bieber has since been accused of cultural appropriation, but the majority of his fans found his locks amusing and even compared him to the grinch.





beenie-man-photo-8.jpgDreadlocked entertainer, Moses Davis, aka Beenie Man, is reportedly building a church in Waterhouse.

Interestingly, however, construction on the building was forced to grind to a halt recently owing to violence in the area.

Beenie Man was speaking with ZIP 103 FM when he disclosed the issues with the building of his Ethiopian Orthodox church.

Of course, this begs the question: How will worshippes worship there without fear?

Meanwhile, Beenie Man is gearing up for the release of his latest album Unstoppable. The title track released earlier this year features international artist Akon.





Over $50 million stolen from Scotia bank

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Investigators from the Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Branch (CTOC) are probing the theft of more than $50 million from Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS).

The Director of a courier company, hired to service the bank's Automated Banking Machines (ABMs) is under investigation.

He was questioned three weeks ago by Fraud Squad detectives.

BNS called in CTOC in December after it conducted an audit and discovered that millions of dollars supplied to the courier service to place in its ABM's were diverted.

It's believed that more than $55 million was stolen.

The cops are expected to lay charges.





audley-shaw.jpgIt appears that Finance and Public Service Minister Audley Shaw's explosive announcement that the money collected from a special tax on fuel was placed in the Consolidated Fund instead of a special fund set aside for that purpose should not have been such a shocker after all, in light of deliberations which took place in Parliament late last year, an expose in Jamaica's national newspaper, The Sunday Gleaner, has revealed..

Shaw and Prime Minister Andrew Holness had given a commitment in the run-up to the February 25 national polls that the money set aside for the oil hedge would be used by the Jamaica Labour Party administration to help fund a new tax policy to provide relief to hundreds of taxpayers.

But Shaw told a Private Sector Organisation President's Forum last week that now that he has taken over the country's purse strings he has found out that the money has been spent or otherwise budgeted.

"We had suggested that part of the payback of the $1.5 million tax break would be use of the tax on fuel that was supposed to be a special fund that was set aside," Shaw told the forum.

"We have found that the oil hedge fund was not set aside, that it is actually already accounted for in the Consolidated Fund," added Shaw.

However, according to the report, Hansard, the official verbatim records of Parliament, shows that during a sitting of the Lower House last September, Shaw, the then opposition spokesman on finance, was given a full account of what was being done with the money by then Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips.





peter-phillips-photo-1.jpgOpposition Spokesman on Finance, Dr. Peter Phillips, says the Andrew Holness administration will have to impose new taxes in order to fund its income tax relief plan.

He says this is based on the IMF agreement, and the disclosure by Finance Minister Audley Shaw about monies he thought were available to finance the plan. There has been increased discussions about the matter, since Mr Shaw stated that monies he thought were available for the plan did not exist.

The government has committed to providing income tax relief to persons earning up to $1.5 million annually. Dr Phillips says this will be done by new taxes because the current administration will have no other options. He sees the IMF programme as the biggest factor. This as he sees no relaxation of the 7% surplus requirement which is critical to the agreement with the Fund.

And Dr Phillips has outlined further reasons why he asserts that there will be new taxes. He says Mr Shaw's utterances are in conflict with the JLP's ten point plan.





norman-manley-airport.jpgAn investigation is being carried out by the Border Protection Unit of the Jamaica Customs Agency and the police following the discovery of two firearms in cargo at the Norman Manley International Airport on Thursday.

According to a statement from Jamaica Customs, members of the Contraband Enforcement Team and the police seized the two disassembled firearms which were concealed in electronic equipment. It's reported that during routine checks of cargo that arrived from the US, officers were alerted to inconsistencies.

Further checks led to the discovery of a 9 millimetre Ruger Special pistol with a magazine, an Olympic Arm point-2-2-3 rifle with 3 magazines and a scope concealed in the cargo.

Jamaica Customs is making arrangements to acquire a fixed portal scanning unit. Commissioner of Customs, Major Richard Reese, says the equipment will result in increased revenue as well as improved border protection. Customs officers will be able to accurately identify products in containers and detect suspicious items.

Reese explained that with the scanning unit, containers can be viewed vertically or horizontally. He added that the equipment is expensive and the agency is looking at various proposals to see how best it can be financed.

Major Reese added that Customs officers will be able to access information from the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) system relating to shipments so if images do not match an alarm will be triggered.





hands-behind-bars.jpgOne of the women arrested on an extradition request in western Jamaica last week is wanted in the state of North Dakota in the United States on a 66-count indictment for her alleged involvement in the lottery scam.

Prosecutors revealed this morning that Kimberly Hudson, who is eight months pregnant, has been indicted on one count of attempting to and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, 48 counts of wire fraud, 15 counts of mail fraud and one count of money laundering.

Hudson was denied bail when she made her first court appearance before the Corporate Area Criminal Court on Monday. She is one of the eight persons who were taken into custody during a series of police operations targeting persons suspected of being involved in lottery scamming.

The others are Alrick McLeod, Dahlia Hunter, O'Neil Brown, Xanu Morgan, Korme Gray, Dario Palmer and Jason Jahalal.Seven of the eight were remanded until April 13.

Prosecutors told the court that authorities in North Dakota have alleged that Hudson was part of a criminal organisation operated by a Jamaican man identified as Labrick Wilcocks in the US and elsewhere. Allegations are that members of the organisation, including Hudson, allegedly conspired to run a lottery scam that fraudulently induced persons in the US and elsewhere to send millions of dollars to Jamaica to cover fees and taxes for lotteries they never won.Prosecutors alleged that a total of 80 elderly victims were convinced to send more than $5.6 million in fees to the criminal organisation.





Vybz Kartel's Gaza Vybz Rum hits the streets

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gaza-vybz-rum.jpgDancehall entertainer Vybz Kartel is tucked away behind bars, but his latestet venure, the Gaza Vybz Rum is free to run the road.

The product will be available in three flavours: Gold rum, white rum and a Fusion - a tasty purple-coloured combination of strawberry, melon and blueberry.

"We are going to hit the marketplace hard this week. Up move, Gaza Vybz rum mek mi cup move. We are already getting a lot of orders all over the island, and in Caribbean islands such as Trinidad," Gaza spokesperson Jefrrey Hype said.

The product will be distributed by Dain Dain Company Limited.

"We have also wrapped a bus to market and transport the product island wide," Jeffrey Hype said.

This is Kartel's second foray into the rum market. Vybz Kartel and Corey Todd had a successful partnership with Street Vybz Rum which hit the market in 2008. Bottled by KRB Lea Rums in Kingston, production was stopped in 2011 because of a disagreement between Kartel and Todd. Kartel and Todd patched up their partnership and resurrected the Street Vybz brand in 2012. But since then, Street Vybz went off market again.





'Bleaching argument stale out,' says Khago

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khago-bleach.jpgIn an interview with Zip103 FM on Saturday, Khago, who is now sporting a severly bleached out face, stated vociferously that the bleaching argument stale out. "Mi know di people dem a talk. And me a seh , Kartel done tell dem dat already."

"I feel seh people free fi do wah dem waan do wid demself, because me nah go out an do tings fi harm other people," he added.

"A music we a do and we just feel fi mek a change inna wi life," he contended.

Khago had set off a storm of comments and speculation on social media this week when he re-emerged from a short hiatus with lightened skin, piercings and tattoos.He told Zip FM that everyone is entitled to their opinion, but they should also be mindful that "you have one life to live".

"When it come on to how you feel to carry yourself, mi feel trimming my hair have nothing to do wid nobody. A me grow it," Khago said.

As it relates to the cutting of his dreadlocks, Khago explained that it was out of necessity as it was becoming a medical hazard for him.

"The locks get too heavy pon my neck and it did a strain and mi end up affi cut it off," he noted.





Gully Bop can't get anybody pregnant says Chin

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gully-bop-and-shauna-chin-photo-1.jpgIn response to rumours that her former love,Gully Bop, has a baby on the way, Shauna Chin had this to say:

"Gully Bop caan breed nobody (laughing), and he knows that, so when... him stop give that girl money, she soon find out what time it is. She breed fi somebody else and a try put it on Bop," Chin said.

Over the past week, reports have emerged on social media that a girl is pregnant for Gully Bop.

bop-and-amari.jpgGully Bop's camp has said that the artiste is involved with the girl and pays her rent, but they are unsure if he is the father of the unborn child.

Meanwhile, Gully Bop's current girlfriend Amari said the rumours have made their bond stronger.

"At first, I was pissed off, and I still am, but I will stand by him. I was embarrassed, more than hurt because it is a real relationship. It has made the relationship stronger," she said.





kitty-and-yanique.jpgThe so-called divas Kitty and Yanique are definitely in the wrong space, dem shoulda inna di boxing ring, after the showdung pon big big television Satday night.

All now people still a ask a what really gwaan pon TVJ the other night wid the Fluffy Diva Kitty and the Curvy Diva Yanique?!

It neva look good, it neva sound right and di two a dem need fi apologise to the viewers. And so too should TVJ.

Prople shock so till! Imagine inna di miggle a di Magnum Kings and Queens show, Kitty decided fi set the record straigh that she doan have no beef with the nex on who call herself Curvy Diva.

According to Kitty: "I just want to clear the air now, because mi a real woman, mi a real top gal a road so wi deal wid things directly. Some things have been said, and I just want to clear them up..you and I have no beef whatsoever. This manufactured beef is disingenuous, it is duplicitous, it doesn't exist. The manufactured feud that we have doesn't exist at all.

"Just the same, to Jamaica I am all about empowerment , I am about empowering women, my career has been built on that, so let us do accomplishment. But mi love your song, Sheldon, mi like that, and in Jesus name, mek our accomplishments judge us. The only thing I want to beef with ah my bank account, big up mi education, big up miself fi impress some more woman, and frighten some more woman, buss the blank and say lalalalalala!".

Yanique responded: "Can I talk now? Can I talk now? Here is the situation, hold on I hear you, I am not stopping the show. We never have no beef, we didn't. Instead of coming on air, We didn't have no beef but my thing is, so instead of coming on air, how about addressing me? my dressing room is next to you, and it's been awhile, so therefore you are doing it for the public. Kitty? Me this! Yanique. If we have an issue, you can come to my dressing room and say that. Let's continue, let's continue the show, it's not a show, it's not for the public, yu know where mi dressing room deh!".





khago-bleaching-split.jpgkhago-bleach.jpgOkay, here's the scenario. An online publication posted this picture with the following headline: 'Kartel set the trend, I can do what I want' - Khago addresses bleaching speculations".

It appears that there are three persons in this picture, but thre are actually two persons: Kartel on the left, Khago in the middle and Khago (as he looks now) at right.

However, the Khago at right - with the bleached out face and no locks looks so dramatically different from the Khago in the middle (as he was then) that one reader commented quite innocently: "Why is Khago placed between these two men?"

The reader, "Bar Ker" just could not comprehend that the bleached out face person at right is Khago. Well, girl chile, you are not alone.





crime-scene-7.jpgThe Claremont Police are reporting that the two alleged praedial thieves who were beaten and chopped to death in Bensonton Thursday afternoon, were spotted with a goat in a motor car.

Information from the Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) is that at about 12:30 pm, residents saw the two men in the vehicle with a stolen goat.

Residents from the area intercepted the vehicle - it is alleged that the men fled but were subsequently caught.

One of the men was severely beaten, while the second thief's throat was slashed. Both men were taken to the hospital where they were pronounced dead.

The St Ann Criminal Investigative Branch (CIB) are following several leads.

Police are urging anyone with information as to the identities of the men and as it regards to the incident to contact the Claremont police at 972-3244, the police's emergency 119 number or the nearest police station.





Busy's big break

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busy-signal-photo-12.jpgDancehall recording artiste Busy Signal was heard in an American ad campaign this week which features Fast and Furious actor Jason Statham, for the launch of the new LG G5 smartphone expected to be released today April 1.

The song 'Watch Me Now' was also recently chosen by international beverage company Diageo through the Smirnoff brand, as the title track for their ongoing ad campaign in Europe.

Last year, his Major Lazer produced hit EDM dancehall single 'Bumaye/Watch Out For This' was used in a global Pepsi advertisement which featured football superstar Lionel Messi.

Soldier, principal in murder/suicide.

The police have confirmed a murder-suicide, which occurred in the Hope Village district of Williamsfield in Manchester yesterday, involving 42 year-old Jamaica Defence Force soldier, John Williams,and Gail Anderson, 42, principal of the Hope Village Early Childhood Institution.

Reports are that the bodies were found at approximately 3:40 p.m. with gunshot wounds to the head. A licensed firearm was also recovered from the scene.

Residents are said to have heard loud explosions and summoned the police.





'Kartel became a cannibal,' says Chronixx

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vybz-kartel-photo-23.jpg"Gangsterism, Cannibalism ... because Vybz Kartel overtime became a cannibal. When you listen his music it was very cannibalistic. It became so pleasant to the human like there is a thing in us that craves chopping up people and beheading people and cut out a man inside," entertainer Chronixx said in a radio interview.

Chronixx also brought Vybz Kartel's single Kill Dem All And Done under the microscope, selling the idea that the content was not positive for youth, yet they crave such material.

chronixx-photo-8.jpg"When you see how youth react to a song that says go and kill everybody, kill dem all and done ... and everybody excited," he said, laughing.

However, after a huge backlash from Kartel fans, Chronixx posted the following" "for all true supporters of Vybz Kartel as a true talent... you have all right in the world. Put every other element aside, Vybz Kartel as a student of the music and our culture is an undeniable and exceptional talent who has proven himself to be a fearless creative soul on this earth."





200 lbs of ganja seized in St. Elizabeth

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ganja-seized.jpgAn anti-narcotics operation in St Elizabeth on Wednesday resulted in the seizure of approximately 200 pounds of ganja.

The ganja, which was found in an open lot in Burnt Savannah, has a street value of $1.4 million.

No one was arrested in that incident.





crime-scene-7.jpgTwo in one week!!!??? And both are from Mandeville, Manchester.

For the second time this week a Jamaican woman has died suddenly in the British Virgin Islands.

According to BVI News Online, the second person to die is Suzette Edwards-Frett who was employed to the British Virgin Islands Health Services Authority.

It's reported that she got married a few days ago to a court employee.

She recently posted pictures showing her in a bed at a hospital in the BVI.

On Monday, another Jamaican woman, 38-year-old Tracy Forbes, died suddenly at her Long Trench home in the BVI.

The Royal Virgin Islands Police Force said investigations so far have not indicated anything suspicious regarding her death.

However, a post mortem will be conducted.





postal-worker-glen-grays-and-cops.jpgNEW YORK -- Police Commissioner Bill Bratton had some harsh words for the officers accused of handcuffing a postal worker while he delivered packages on his route in Brooklyn.

CBS New York reports Bratton said he was "very concerned" about the March 17 confrontation between 27-year-old Glenn Grays and four plainclothes officers and a lieutenant.

"I'm very concerned about the performance of the officers, about the leadership role of the lieutenant involved and about the processing of the arrest at the precinct stationhouse," Bratton said Tuesday.

He also questioned the legitimacy of Grays' arrest for disorderly conduct.

"Based on what I witnessed on that, the various videos I've reviewed now, I have strong concerns about the charge against the individual," Bratton said.

The entire incident was captured on cellphone video.

DNAinfo reports the officers involved have been "removed from their normal posts as the NYPD investigates the incident."

Grays was in the middle of his shift on Saint Patrick's Day when he claims an unmarked police car nearly ran him over in Crown Heights. He said he then shouted at the officers, who stopped and demanded identification.

"My ID right there on the side of the truck," Grays can be heard saying in the video.

"Let's go get your ID," an officer says.

"I'm not going nowhere," Grays responds. "I'm delivering my postal route."

The video then shows the officers telling Grays to "stop resisting" even though it doesn't appear that he is resisting.

"I'm not resisting!" Gray yells back.

Grays is then handcuffed and put in the unmarked patrol car, his mail truck left unattended. That's when the video ends.

Bratton said the NYPD's Internal Affairs is investigating. He said the officers were members of a conditions unit and were supposed to work in uniform.

"Out of the investigation into that incident will be why were they in plainclothes, for what purpose, who authorized it," he said.

The commissioner was also concerned that a USPS truck was left unattended.

In an interview with "CBS This Morning," Grays said: "The only thing I think saved me is that it was on videotape."

"Never been arrested, never received a summons. I was extremely terrified. I wouldn't say afraid - I passed the stage of afraid," Grays said. "I was afraid that if I didn't comply that something was going to happen to me."

The NYPD has been hit with other caught-on-camera incidents of alleged police harassment against people of color, including the 2014 death of Eric Garner.

Grays said he wants justice. To him, that means disciplinary action.

"I don't want them to be jobless because they might have family, kids they need to support," Grays said. "It's sad that I thought that when I put on a uniform that I'll be treated a little different, but it's no difference. You know, I'm just another brother with a uniform."





Khago dip himself inna bleach?

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khago-bleach.jpgA how Khago get so brown? That's the question everyone is asking, and we a ask it to.

Khago is sporting much shorter hair and bleached out face.

"But wait, how the man get so brown, everybody a get brown inna Dancehall," one Twitter user said.

On Facebook, users compared the artiste's change in appearance to Alkaline's bleaching.

"So Alkaline bleach and get bigger inna Dancehall so other man a try do it and hope it get him luck," said one user.

Another user posted that the entertainers are now going to extreme lengths to get attention.

"Man put things inna them eye, man a bleach the skin them get from God just fi stay relevant in Dancehall, it's sad," said the user.

khago-sting.jpg





Memorial service for Jimmy Riley April 6

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jimmy-riley-birthday.jpgThe funeral service for legendary reggae singer Jimmy Riley wjill be held Wednesday April 6 at the Webster Memorial United Church on Half-Way- Tree Road, St Andrew.

Start time is 1:00 pm.

People attending are encouraged to wear bright colours or white,and there'll be lots of musical tributes.

The body Riley will be cremated.

Jimmy Riley, who is the father of reggae singer, Tarrus Riley, lost his battle with cancer in New York, last Wednesday morning. He was 68.





By Stephen A. Cooper

bob-marley-photo-3.jpgIf he were alive, the Honorable Robert Nesta "Bob" Marley, O.M. (Order of Merit), would have celebrated his 71st birthday on February 6. Even with the thirty-fifth anniversary of his tragic death from cancer coming this May, Bob remains the most recognizable ambassador of reggae music the world over.

Marley's timeless appeal and continued relevance stems in no small part from the stirring political, racial, and social consciousness painstakingly infused in his songbook. From tracks like One Love to War (adapted from Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I's historic speech before the United Nations General Assembly in 1963), Them Belly Full (But They Hungry), Get Up, Stand Up, Concrete Jungle - and many, many more of his songs - Bob Marley used the bully pulpit of international music stardom to disseminate the treasure of his accumulated moral wisdom.

No different from the revelations of a learned Rasta elder "reasoning" in a sacred Nyabinghi drum circle in the woods, Marley's lyrics offer much more than mere artful, pleasant sounding ditties set to an engaging tune; unlike lyrics of today, they are not window dressing whose only purpose is to accompany a deep base or gyrating beat.

Instead, through artful poetry, a beatific voice, and his magnetic charisma, Bob Marley spurred dancing and singing. But critically, and I submit, the reason his music stands the test of time: Bob's lyrics challenge listeners' hearts and minds. From staunch supporters to his fiercest critics, Bob's songs force everyone to recognize oppression, unfairness, and inequality - in all its multifaceted, nefarious forms.

This is why there can be no doubt: If Bob Marley was alive today he would denounce - using the strongest, most acerbic terms - the leading Republican candidate for President of the United States, Donald J. Trump. A small sampling of Marley's discography and musical mainstays evidence the disdain the reggae star would have held for the billionaire mogul.

donald-trump.jpg

To prove the point, imagine the following hypothetical conversation between Trump and Marley, using each man's publicly spoken (or sung) words except where otherwise indicated by brackets ("[ ]").

Donald Trump and Bob Marley (An Imagined Conversation)

TRUMP: That's one of the nice things [Bob]. I mean, part of the beauty of me is that I'm very rich. [Indeed, I have been known to say:] The second-greatest day of a man's life is the day he buys a yacht, but the greatest day of a man's life is the day he sells it.

MARLEY: [Donald,] [y]ou see[m] [like] men sailing on their ego trips. Blast off on their spaceships. Million miles from reality. No care for [an average Joe], no care for me." (Stiff Necked Fools)

[Donald, don't you know?] The greatness of a man is not how much wealth he acquires . . . . Don't gain the world and lose your soul, wisdom is better than silver or gold. (Zion Train)

TRUMP: [Fine, fine, I get it Bob. Money doesn't impress you. [But,] [l]et me tell you, I'm a really smart guy.

MARLEY: Here comes the conman coming with his con plan . . . . (Crazy Baldheads)

TRUMP: [Bob! I don't know why you are being so mean . . . . After all,] I have a great relationship with the blacks. I've always had a great relationship with the blacks. [That being said about "the blacks", you should know:] Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.

MARLEY: [Donald, you] don't want to see us unite. 'Cause all [you] want us to do is keep on fussing and fighting. [You] don't want to see us live together. (Top Ranking)

TRUMP: I will build a great wall [Bob] . . . .

MARLEY: Why can't we roam this open country? Oh, why can't we be what we want to be? We want to be free!" (Three O'Clock Roadblock).

Let me tell you my friend if you gonna live this life, it's not good for you to build strife. (Craven Choke Puppy)

To divide and rule could only tear us apart. (Zimbabwe)

TRUMP: [Look here Bob,] [w]e need to make America great again.

MARLEY: [Donald, really, I] [c]an't take your slogans no more. . . . [just] can't take your slogans no more . . . . (Slogans)

You can fool some people sometimes, but you can't fool all the people all the time. (Get up, Stand up)

TRUMP: [Ok, Bob, no more slogans. But just so you know, so there is no mistake about this,] I do not wear a rug. My hair is one hundred percent mine.

MARLEY: [You] crazy, [Donald,] crazy. [And] we gonna chase . . . crazy baldheads [like you] out of town. Chase [you] crazy baldheads out of town. (Crazy Baldheads).

Mr. Trump walks off in disgust and Bob Marley shakes his head sadly.

MARLEY: Pressed on [his] conscience. Oh yeah. And [he] live[s] [his life] on false pretense every day - each and every day. Yeah. These are the big fish, who always try to eat down the small fish, just the small fish. I tell you what: they would do anything to materialize their every wish. Say: Woe to the downpressors . . . they'll eat the bread of sorrow! Woe to the downpressors . . . they'll eat the bread of sad tomorrow. (Guiltiness)

About the Author:

Stephen Cooper is a former federal and D.C. public defender. He writes full-time and lives in Woodland Hills, California.

Stephen A. Cooper, Esq.
stevecooper7214@gmail.com





tesha-miller-photo-1.jpgtesha-miller-photo-2.jpgReputed Clansman leader Tesha Miller has been deported to Jamaica by the US government after serving a prison sentence there. He had been convicted in the United States in 2014 on a charge of illegal entry.

According to reports, Miller along with other deportees,wass being processed at Mobile Reserve and subsequently released.

Police said they have been keeping a watch on communities within Spanish Town, which is the seat of the gang. There has been a simmering leadership dispute within the gang, and Miller's brother, Craig Miller, was shot and killed at a premises on March Pen Road in Spanish Town last year.

Elan Powell, Assistant Commissioner of Police said systems are in place to ensure that order is maintained.

Miller fled to the United States after he was freed of gun and robbery charges by the Court of Appeal in March 2013. He was sentenced in the High Court Division of the Gun Court to seven years' imprisonment for illegal possession of a firearm and 15 years for robbery with aggravation, which led to him filing the appeal.





Reggae Sumfest 2017

cannabis-cup-2016.jpgThe Jamaica World Cannabis Cup 2016 festival will run from December 9 to 11 in Negri, according to one of the organisers, Ras Iyah V.

The group expect to receive their drug permit by next week giving them more time to expand the festival set for its second year.

Officially entitled Rastafari Roozfest Hosts High Times Cannabis Cup, the festival last November featured over 80 booths with ganja promotions or roots items.

Iyah V indicated that the festival will still run in collaboration with respected US-based magazine, High Times.

The festival was described as the largest of its kind in the island. It featured nightly stage shows and was visited by political heads including then Minister of Justice, Mark Golding.

ganja-licence.jpgGanja farmer Junior Gordon copped the most top awards at the 2015 Jamaica World Cannabis Cup. Other top winners included Juna Johnson for his Sativa flower entry entitled Orange Hill Lemon. Skinny & Andrew Williams received top prize in the indoor category for True OG.

The prizes were the culmination of the festival which featured over 30 Jamaican farmers and co-ops aimed to place in four ganja categories.

The local farmers entered in the hash, indoor, indica flowers and sativa flowers categories. The largest entries were from co-ops including the St Bess Ganja Growers (St Bess Growers), St Thomas Ganja Farmers Association (St Thomas Growers); and St Ann Botanical & Agro Processing Co-op (St Ann Botanical) and the Accompong Maroons.





Dengue cases rise

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dengue.jpgThe Ministry of Health is reportedly seeing more cases of the Dengue fever. Dr. De La Haye says the country remains on high alert.

"We're now at a total of 75, so we still need to be looking out. More specifically, dengue has four sub-types. Three and Four are the ones associated with Dengue hemorrhagic disease and Dengue hemorrhagic fever, the more lethal outcome potentially of dengue," Dr. De La Haye said.

However, "in patients we've suspected of having Dengue hemorrhagic fever, none of those have returned positive," he said.





Jamaica gets funding to fight Zika

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zika-virus-photo-2.jpgAt the request of Jamaica, the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Council of Ministers has approved an allocation under the European Development Fund to support the fight against the Zika Virus in the region. The approval came Wednesday on the final day of the 103rd Session of the ACP Council.

Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs, had proposed that the funds be made available to support the fight against the Zika Virus in Jamaica and the other countries in the Caribbean. She cited the serious potential for economic and social harm.





Two new cases of Zika virus confirmed

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zika-virus-photo-2.jpgThe Ministry of Health is reporting two more cases of the Zika Virus. This increases to eight the number of confirmed cases in Jamaica.

Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Winston De La Haye, said the cases were confirmed following the testing of samples at the Virology Laboratory at the University of the West Indies, Mona.

He said the lab has already received 203 samples, compared to 321 received by CARPHA since the start of the epidemic - thereby "approximating the total amount we've been giving to CARPHA over the last three months."

Dr. De La Haye said the two women, from Spanish Town Road and Duhaney Park, are recovering.

"To my knowledge they are fine as (are) the other six persons," he said.

The Acting Chief Medical Officer said the ministry would continue to fog areas within a 200-300 metre radius around each person's home who is found to be positive.





The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) has revealed that over $500 million worth of counterfeit items has been seized by them in recent years.

Alwyn Nicely, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Jamaica Customs Border Protection Division, says the seizures were part of a clampdown on breaches of intellectual property rights.

Speaking at a media briefing Thursday, Mr. Nicely said, "IPR, which is often seen as a victimless crime, is quite the opposite. We have, to date, seized and destroyed in excess of $523 million worth of goods (with items ranging) from illicit cigarettes to apparel."

He has also highlighted the dangers associated with the sale of counterfeit medication locally. He urged consumers to be cautious when purchasing pharmaceuticals as it was a matter of public safety.

"We must be absolutely sure that the things we are ingesting as medication are above board and legitimate," said Mr. Nicely.





police-commish-dr-carl-williams.jpgCommissioner of Police Dr. Carl Williams and the Police High Command have condemned the killing and have offered condolences to the family members, friends and colleagues of the slain policewoman.

"My heart goes out to the family members and colleagues of Ms. Williams who has passed under very tragic circumstances. I too mourn with you as she was a member of my immediate staff," Williams said.

"To her killers, the Jamaica Constabulary Force remains undaunted by this evil act. We will stop at nothing until her killers are brought to justice."

The Police High Command is also urging all officers both on and off duty to be extremely vigilant and to take swift and decisive action to protect themselves, family, colleagues and members of the public within the remit of the law.

The High Command also says the threat level against police personnel remains high.





policewoman-judith-williams-apr-29.jpgThe female police corporal who was shot six times by gunmen as she left her east Kingston home for work Thursday morning has died.

She has been identified as 54-year-old Judith Williams, who was attached to the Office of Police Commissioner Dr Carl Williams.

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The police say Williams died shortly after midnight at the Kingston Public Hospital.

Williams was looking forward to her retirement from the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

On Thursday morning, she had just left her home on Brae Street in east Kingston when she was surprised by two gunmen travelling on a motorcycle.

It's reported that the pillion pulled a firearm and opened fire, hitting her.

She was rushed to hospital where doctors made a valiant attempt to save her life.





Father of murdered 3-year-old found dead

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murdered-child-leashay-thomas.jpgThe father of the slain St James three-year-old child wanted in connection with her murder has been found dead.

Roosevelt 'Timmy' Thomas was found with multiple gunshot wounds at an abandoned house on Joan Avenue in Glendevon last night.

He had earlier escaped police custody while being interrogated at the Barnett Street police lock-up in the parish.

Thomas called a family member to say he was going to kill his daughter and dump her body at the beach.

He also threatened to kill himself.

Thomas reportedly went to the child's mother, took the child away and sent a text to his own mother to say the child was at the beaches.





policewoman-judith-williams-apr-29.jpgThe police say they now have a suspect in custody in relation to the murder of female police corporal, Judith Williams.

"We have a man in custody and he is being questioned in relation to a number of crimes, one of which is the killing of the female police corporal," said a senior detective in the matter.

Police say they were unable, at this time, to provide more details on the case.

Williams, 54, was attacked and shot multiple times as she made her way to work by gunmen traveling on a motor cycle in McIntyre Villa, also known as Dunkirk.

She died in hospital on Friday morning.

Her death has sent shock waves across the country and the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).





troy-pusey-and-shanique-myrie.jpgBwoy, what a mix up, confusion and bangarang wid Shanique Myrie and her husband! First, she did say him is a control freak and that him unstable, now him say that all she did want from him was a green card and money.

Him have a restraining order against her because she fight him off and now she say it's all lies.

Him say him did married to she because of love, only to find out that she did a kip man wid him all along because she did tell her friend them that it was a business marriage. She say a no so it go.

Bare mix-up and blenda cause di two a dem a do 'exclusive interview' like say dem a some big celebrity.

All now we cyaan decided who a lie and who a tell di truth. KMT.





junior-reid.jpgThe funeral arrangements have been set for the older brother of entertainer Junior Reid.

Before the final farewell, there will be a tribute event this Thursday in memory of Patrick Sutherland Reid, popularly known as Thrilly. Meanwhile, the Wake is slated to take place on May 14, and the funeral service is set for May 15.

Thrilly was a key member of JR Productions. The "One Blood" singer further explains that his brother will continue to live on through him, and his 11 children.

Thrilly died from complications of hypertension at Medical Associates in Kingston, days after his birthday on April 10.





Richie Stephens to tour with Chaka Khan

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richie-stephens-photo-2.jpgRichie Stephens is gearing up to leave the island for a tour with the legendary Chaka Khan.

Following a string of shows with Khan, Richie is expected to spend months in Europe performing at a number of events with his newly formed Ska Nation Band.

Richie Stephens expressed that forming the Ska Nation Band with the Italian musicians, has allowed him to do what he really loves which is Ska music.

The album, Richie Stephens, and the Ska Nation Band is currently available on all digital platforms.





fatal-crash.jpgA visitor to the island,, twenty-two-year-old Laura Arango of Revere, Massachusetts, USA, died in a motor vehicle crash in Hanover Tuesday morning.

Reports are that Arongo was a passenger in a white Toyota Voxy motor vehicle that was travelling on the Point main road in the vicinity of the Molasses Port, when it slammed into a parked truck at about 11:30 am.

It's understood that the car was travelling from the direction of Lucea towards Montego Bay, St James.

Miss Arongo and the driver were reportedly taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead and the driver admitted.

The Hanover police are investigating.





Dad flees as daughter's body found at beach

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murdered-child-leashay-thomas.jpgThe St James Police are now searching for Roosevelt Thomas for questioning in connection with the death of his 3-year-old daughter.

He's also known as 'Skinny' from a Flanker address in Montego Bay, St James.

The dead girl has been identified as Leashay Thomas, who lived with her mother in Flower in the parish.

Leashay's body was found floating in the waters of the Dump Up Beach in the second city Tuesday morning.

Reports are that a man, said to be the father, called a family member to say he was going to kill his daughter and dump her body at the beach.Thomas reportedly went to the child's mother, took the child away and sent a text to his own mother to say the child was at the beaches.

The matter was reported to the police, who conducted a search of the area Monday night but to no avail. They found the body Tuesday morning after returning to search for the missing child.





policeman-son-jquan-forbes-photo-1.jpgThe Police High Command has ordered an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of a Constable's son at their home in Olympic Gardens, Kingston on Monday night. It is understood that the boy used his father's service pistol to shoot himself in the head.

Dead is 14 year old J'Quan Forbes, a student of Wolmer's Boys School. His father, who is attached to the Denham Town Police Station, is facing a charge of negligence.

Reports are that shortly after 7 o'clock, the child was reprimanded by his father about an email he received from his school about his academic performance. Following the discussion, the policeman went to bed. An explosion was later heard.

When the policeman went to his son's room, he was found with a wound to the head and the service pistol as well as a note beside him.





Couple found dead in car in Portmore

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crime-scene-7.jpgA man and a woman were found dead in a motor car on Meadowvale Drive in Portmore, St Catherine.

Dead are: 37-year-old Michelle Murdock of St Paul Avenue, Caymanas, and 49-year-old businessman Patrick Johnson of Cougar Drive, both in Portmore.

Reports are that about 3:15 am, explosions were heard and the police summoned.

When the lawmen got to the location, both Murdock and Johnson were found with gunshot wounds inside a Mazda motor car.





MISSING: Two Americans cruise ship passengers

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missing-cruise-ship-passengers.jpgPolice in Trelawny are seeking the public's assistance in locating two American nationals who were passengers on a cruise ship that docked at the Falmouth Pier on Tuesday, April 26 and went missing.

They are 33-year-old Hayden Gerson and 32-year-old Alisha Frank. Gerson was dressed in light coloured shorts and a grey t-shirt while Frank was dressed in a red short skirt and red open back blouse.

Reports from the Falmouth Police are that about 9:26 a.m., both disembarked the vessel allegedly to make a trip to Montego Bay, St. James; they have not been seen or heard from since.

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Hayden Gerson and Alisha Frank is being asked to contact the Falmouth Police at 954-3222, the police's emergency 119 number or the nearest police station.





crime-scene-gun.jpgThree alleged robbers, including a woman, were injured Tuesday night during a gun battle with the police in Clarendon.

Shortly after 8 o'clock, persons held up and robbed patrons at a bar in Cross Keys, Manchester. They escaped in a car but were pursued by the Manchester police, aided by a Jamaica Defence Force helicopter, to Four Paths in Clarendon.

One of the police vehicles was damaged by the getaway car during the chase. A gun battle then followed and one of the men who escaped from the vehicle was captured in bushes.





jamaican-chef-fowles.jpgJamaican-born chef Andre Fowles finished as runner up in the final of Food Network's, Chopped Champions Tournament.

Fowles' appearance on the show is historic as he is the first Jamaican-born as well as the youngest chef to compete in the tournament.

The final which started out with four contestants was whittled down to two, between Fowles and eventual winner Adam Greenberg.

Caramelised onion and coffee ice cream with chocoflan apple crumble was the dessert created by the Jamaican which did not prove good enough for the win.

The chef who left Jamaica in 2014 is now the resident sous-chef at Miss Lily's, a Jamaican restaurant in New York.

Prior to joining the team at Miss Lily's, Fowles worked for two years as chef de partie under the tutelage of Martin Maginley, multi-award-winning chef at the cashmere-chic Round Hill Hotel & Villas.

He also worked at Kingston's celebrated Mac's Chop House under the celebrated Mario Machado.

Fowles attended Donald Quarrie High School and was trained at the Runaway Bay HEART Academy. He credits his grandmother, Veronica Davis, affectionately called 'Mama Cherry' for his foray into the culinary arena.





For Immediate Release
Tuesday April 12th, 2016 - Toronto, ON Canada

judy-mowatt-photo-1.jpgReggae Legend, Icon and Queen Judy Mowatt will celebrate the release of Colin Levy's album Unleashed for two dates: Montreal on Saturday April 30th at Le Belmont (4483 Boulevard St. Laurent) at 10 pm and in Toronto on Sunday May 1st at the Opera House (735 Queen St. E.) at 7 pm.

The Living legend, who rose to fame as a backing vocalist for Bob Marley and member of the I-Threes, and after a successful solo career, will perform in Toronto at the infamous Opera House. Included in her early evening performance will be hit singles "Many Are Called," "Black Woman" and "Sister's Chant."

Ms. Mowatt's performance is a rare and an exclusive engagement, and supportive to Colin and his musical mission via Unleashed. "When Colin called and asked me to perform for his album launch, I said yes right away. He always makes positive music, and I gladly lend my voice to that movement. See you soon Montreal and Toronto!"

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After taking 2 years off from making music, Colin Levy is ready to take center stage. Backed by the Hardcore band, Colin will perform the lead single from his album, "Smile" which was produced by Willie Lindo and Dean Fraser. Serviced to radio DJs around the world, it has become one of the most requested songs by fans. In addition to "Smile," fans in both cities will hear music produced by Stephen Marley ("Forever Praising Jah"), Willie Lindo ("Life") and Dean Fraser ""One Chance").

The 17 track disc features guest appearances by Marcia Griffiths ("One Chance"), Lady Saw ("Do It Again"), Heather Cummings ("Lover's Converse"), Anthony B ("West Best"), Lutan Fyah ("Bad Habit"), Turbulence and G. Forest ("Good Newz"). When asked about the recording with such greats, Colin shared "the vibrations we felt when making these songs together helped take the music to another level. We didn't just make music, we made an imprint that people can take with them to feel good - day or night" and fans agree! Feedback by way of comments on the artists social media pages suggest that not only do they like the lead single "Smile," they placed their pre-orders for the album feeling instinctively it has music they want to hear.

Joining Colin on stage to celebrate the launch of Unleashed in both Montreal and Toronto are JUNO Award winners Exco Levi and Mikey Dangerous, Leroy Gibbons, Fire Lion, Jah Cutta, Christini and Totally Blaze.

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Distributed by VPAL (a division of VP Records), Unleashed is accessible to fans around the world through VPReggae.com, iTunes.com and other favorite online music outlets.

As one of Canada's most recognized Reggae and Lover's Rock musicians, Colin Levy's has traveled the country and the world promoting Reggae. His commitment to fans has lead to the fans commitment to him, making Colin a mainstay on the radio, at stage shows and festivals.

About Colin Levy:

Born and raised in Jamaica and emigrating to Canada, Colin has been involved in music as a songwriter, producer and live entertainment producer. He has received several awards in music, and has an extensive discography with artists in Jamaica and Canada.

Fans can keep in touch with Colin online at www.ColinLevyMusic.com or via his Fan page www.Facebook.com/IleyCharDavidMusic

Fans can purchase tickets to the 'Unleashed' album release party using these links:

Montreal
http://wantickets.com/Events/202889/Unleashed-Colin-Levy-Iley-Chardivd-Record-Release-Showcase/

Toronto
http://www.ticketfly.com/event/1135319-colin-levy-iley-chardavid-toronto/





JIPO to mark Intellectual Property Week

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The Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO) will be staging a number of activities to mark Intellectual Property (IP) week from, Sunday April 24 to Friday, April 29.

Speaking in an interview with JIS News, Copyright and Related Rights Manager at JIPO, Sophia Clarke said the week is being celebrated to increase public awareness about the protection and rights of people's creativity and invention.

The week started with a church service on Sunday, at the New Transformed Life Church and continued Monday, with the acknowledgement of 'World Book and Copyright Day' and a Copyright Seminar at JIPO, 18 Trafalgar Road offices. Clarke shared that the seminar will focus on, the Marrakesh Treaty; which addresses the improved access to copyrighted works for people who are visually impaired; and the Beijing Treaty, which has created a new layer of monopoly rights for the creators of audiovisual works.

Other activities include an 'Open House' and acknowledgement of 'World Intellectual Property Day' on Tuesday, April 26 at JIPO.

She explained that the open house is to facilitate questions about laws that can protect original concepts and prevent it from being exploited by others without the owner's permission.

On Tuesday, there will be presentations from JIPO, the IP arm of the Counter Terrorism, Organized Crime Division in the Jamaica Constabulary Force (C-TOC) and the Jamaica Customs Agency about infringement and enforcement of IP laws.

On Wednesday, April 27, focus will be placed on 'Entrepreneurship Day' under the theme 'Idea to Enterprise' with emphasis on how to earn from inventions to become successful entrepreneurs. This will be held at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries located at 4 St. Lucia Avenue.

"We have called on successful entrepreneurs; people who have moved their idea to a successful business, to share their journey," Clarke noted.

On Thursday, April 28 the JIPO team will view material that was seized by the C-TOC, and has been ordered to be destroyed by the Court. The week will end on the Friday, April 29, with an outreach at Calvary Missionary Church Hall in Highbury Crescent, St. Thomas.

Members of the public are being invited to visit the JIPO office to get information about intellectual property rights and attend the list of activities planned during the week.





Lord Tanamo of Skatalites fame is dead

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Lord Tanamo, a former member of the legendary Skatalites band, died Tuesday in Toronto, Canada. He was 82.

The singer/percussionist, who was born Joseph Abraham Gordon, combined ska with mento and calypso on several of his songs including Japanese Invasion. He led the Skatalites on songs like Come Down and I'm In The Mood For Ska.

Raised in Denham Town, West Kingston, Lord Tanamo was strongly influenced by the legendary Trinidadian calypsonian Lord Kitchener, who lived in Jamaica during the 1940s.

At the dawn of the 1970s, when calypso and mento waned among Jamaican artistes, he kept the beat alive with songs like Rainy Night In Georgia, originally done by Tony Joe White.

He migrated to Canada during the mid-1970s but continued to record singles and albums for producers in Jamaica, most notably Bunny Lee and Sonia Pottinger.





Junior Reid's brother is dead

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junior-reid-photo-1.jpgPatrick Sutherland Reid, older brother of singer Junior Reid and a key member of his JR Productions, died last Tuesday.

Popularly known as 'Thrilly', he died from complications of hypertension at Medical Associates in Kingston at age 55.

"Is a great loss, Thrilly was mi bes' friend. Somebody mi coulda always talk to," Reid said.

Raised in the Waterhouse area of Kingston, Thrilly Reid was also an independent producer who worked with artistes from his community.

He is the second of Reid's brother to die. Their younger sibling, Leighton 'Grammy' Reid, passed away several years ago.

Patrick Sutherland 'Thrilly' Reid is survived by 11 children and eight grandchildren.

His funeral service is scheduled for May 15 at a location to be announced.





prince-photo-1.jpgPrince has taken the number one and two slots on the Billboard 200 albums chart with the greatest hits album The Very Best of Prince and the Purple Rain soundtrack, as both re-entered the chart in the wake of his death last Thursday.

The Very Best of Prince sold 179,000 units and Purple Rain shifted 69,000 units.

Another Prince album hit the top 10 as The Hits/The B-Side re-enters at number six with 41,000 units sold.

The three titles are also the number one, two and seven selling albums of the week.

Prince's overall catalog of albums sold 256,000 copies.

In the meantime Prince is on course to dominate the UK charts this week. The musician holds every spot in the top five in the midweek chart update, with 16 albums set to enter the top 100.





beyonce-lemonade.jpgPop queen Beyoncé gave viewers a lot to process Saturday night when she released Lemonade.

The "visual album" which aired on HBO, features videos for 12 of the 13 songs on her new album.

Of note is the song Hold Up which brings attention to the Jamaican music culture. The song, which speaks of her cheating lover, has Beyoncé occasionally speaking in Patois.

Beyoncé has been known to incorporate aspects of reggae and dancehall in her music over the years. She released the chart topping single Baby Boy with Sean Paul back in 2002. In the single Run The World (Girls), she sampled Vybz Kartel's Pon De Floor produced by Major Lazor.

Beyoncé also has a remix of Standing On The Sun with Mr. Vegas.





A boat captain who goes by the name Man O War has been arrested by the police and slapped with ganja related charges.

Man O War, whose given name is Cregg Donald, was charged by the narcotics police with possession of ganja, dealing in ganja and taking steps to export ganja.

The police say Donald was arrested after a white Toyota Hilux, owned and driven by him, was searched at a yacht club in St. James and one knitted bag with compressed ganja amounting to 31 pounds was found.

Man O War is one of two persons to be arrested and slapped with ganja-related charges by the Police Officers attached to the Narcotics Division along with the Marine Police.

In the first incident, on Wednesday, an American man was arrested when a boat, docked at the yacht club, was searched and twenty-five packages of compressed vegetable matter resembling ganja was found, weighing approximately 130 pounds.

Five 15-gallon barrels of fuel was also found on the boat. The man's identity is being withheld pending further investigations.





Big drug bust at a yacht club in Montego Bay

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ganja-seized.jpgThe Narcotics Police have arrested two men, including an American, following two drug busts at a yacht club in Montego Bay, St James.

One hundred and sixty pounds of ganja was seized in the operations.

In the first incident, on Wednesday, the American was arrested when a boat, docked at the yacht club, was searched and twenty-five packages of compressed ganja weighing 130 pounds seized. Five 15-gallon barrels of fuel were also found on the boat.

The American's identity is being withheld.

On the following day, the cops arrested Cregg Donalds otherwise called "Man O War", a Boat Captain of Oracabessa, St. Mary at the yacht club. A pick-up owned by him was searched at the yacht club and a knitted bag with compressed ganja weighing 31 pounds was allegedly found.





Jamaican on cocaine charge in Bermuda

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cocaine-seized-photo-1.jpgA Jamaican national accused of importing a quantity of cocaine into Bermuda was charged in the country last week.

Charged with importing cocaine is 30-year-old Tyrone Brown, who was not required to enter a plea to because it must be heard by the Supreme Court before.

Reports are that Brown attempted to enter the island with roughly 900g of cocaine to the which has a street value of between BMD$95,700 (approximately J$11.7 million and BMD$209,625 (approximately J$25.6 million) if sold on the streets of the island.

The presiding magistrate ordered Brown further remanded into custody until May 2, at which point he is expected to be scheduled to appear before the Supreme Court for arraignment.





Robber killed in shoot-out with cops

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crime-scene-7.jpgOne man was shot and killed during a confrontation with the Police on Cottage Road, Montego Bay, St. James last weekend.

The police said that a .38 Taurus revolver with two live rounds was recovered after the shooting.

A car, with the men aboard was reportedly spotted along a section of Cottage Road by the police who gave chase. A gun battle reportedly ensued, and the men, while trying to make they escape crashed their car into a wall just outside the gate of the Montego Bay Cricket Club.

Residents in Montego Bay said that the deceased is one of two men who were believed to have been involved in robbery.

The matter has been reported to the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM).





Big names for JAMPRO Board

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junior-reid-photo-1.jpgSeveral high profile individuals have been appointed to the board of Jampro,an Agency of the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce.

Heading the eight-member board is Grace Kennedy Chief Executive Officer Don Wheby. The Deputy Chairman is President of the Jamaica Manufacturers Association Metry Seaga.

Other board members are Businessman Zachary Harding, Digicel Executive Peter Lloyd and company executive Yoni Epstein.

The other members are Honey Bun Executive Michelle Chong, Sandals Executive Gary Saddler and Supreme Ventures Director Ian Levy.





$300,000 reward for capture of QQ

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The St. Ann Police have increased to $300,000 the reward for information leading to the arrest and charge of 50-year-old Brian Forbes, otherwise called QQ, of Drumily in St. Ann.

Forbes is wanted in connection with the April 25, 2015 murders of 15-year-old Amoya Brown and 25-year-old Demari Smith.

It was reported that a dispute developed with Mr. Forbes and the two, who were his neighbours, about a noise disturbance. Ms Brown and Mr. Smith were both chopped with a machete. They died while being treated at hospital.

Forbes has since been on the run.

Anyone knowing his whereabouts is being asked to call the St. Ann's Bay Police at 972-2211, Crime Stop at 311, Kingfish at 811, Police 119 emergency number or the nearest Police Station.





policeman-son-jquan-forbes.jpgPolice detectives are investigating the fatal shooting death of a child on Monday night was an accident or if it was suicide.

The dead child has been identified as JQuan Forbes,a student of Wolmer's Boys' School in Kingston and the son of a detective constable assigned to the Denham Town Police Station.The policeman has been admitted in hospital after he collapsed after making the gruesome discovery.

Reports are that the policeman left the gun at home and the child picked up the weapon when it reportedly went off and JQuan accidentally shot himself. However, detectives are probing several angles in the matter - one of them is that the child may have intended to kill himself.

Reports are that the father had an argument with JQuan about an email, and instructed the boy to complete his homework. The policeman reportedly fell asleep and was awakened by an explosion in the house. The body of the teen was found on the floor in his room close to the service firearm of his father.

Sources report that a suicide note was also found at the scene.





Teetimus looking a hype by wearing nail polish

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Another day...another entertainment person looking a hype by doing something stupidly out of the box.

The latest in the series is producer/artiste Teetimus who made sure everybody knows that he wears nail polish. Of course, he got a big write-up in the Star, with the writer even referring to Teetimus as 'ICONIC'. What the hell?!!!

Do these writers even know the meaning of the words they are using? Teetimus has produced a few songs that have done well, but Teetimus is certainly no icon. Please, my colleague journalists, please choose you words carefully. Words are the tool of our trade, let's stop cheapening them like that. Please.

Anyway, back to Mr Teets and the nail polish.

But, then again, is there really anything more to say on this non-subject?





prince-photo-1.jpgPrince may have overdosed on what was likely heroin or narcotic painkillers and was then given a so-called "save shot" six days before his death, TMZ is reporting, citing several unnamed sources.

"Save shots" usually help combat opiates such as heroin and narcotic painkillers in the bloodstream. Doctors and paramedics have used the injectable medication, called naloxone, for years.

Authorities have yet to determine the cause of death of the 57-year-old music legend who was found unresponsive in his Paisley Park recording studio in suburban Minneapolis, Minnesota. Post-mortem results are pending.

A medical emergency forced Prince's jet to land in Illinois on Friday (15 April) as he was heading home to Minneapolis from a concert in Atlanta, Georgia. Representatives told TMZ at the time he was suffering from the flu.

But that's when he was given the "save shot" and doctors recommended he stay in hospital for 24 hours, TMZ reports. However, Prince checked himself out in just three hours, apparently because the hospital couldn't meet his demand for a private room. When he left he "was not doing well", a source told TMZ.

Prince had cancelled two performances earlier in the month, and his representatives cited health issues without offering any details.

Minnesota authorities are reportedly attempting to obtain Prince's health records from Moline, Illinois, where the hospital is located.

A 911 call unearthed by TMZ revealed that a witness, who may have been one of the first to find Prince unresponsive, believed him dead even before the first responders arrived.

"Um, we're at Prince's house," the man said on the call. "So, yeah, um, the person is dead here."

As tributes to the creative icon poured in from around the world, Prince's sister Tyka Nelson spoke briefly to a crowd of mourners who amassed outside his recording studio. "Thank you for loving him," she said. "He loved you all."





Adele is Britain's richest female singer

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adele-21.jpgAdele has been named as Britain's richest ever female musician according to the Sunday Times Rich List.

A list of the top 50 music millionaires in the UK and Ireland, puts the singer's L85 million fortune in the 30th position overall.

Among the top ten richest are Sir Paul McCartney at number 1 (L760 million), U2 in third (L500 million), with Sir Elton John, Mick Jagger and Sting in fourth, fifth and tenth respectively.

For the fifth year running Adele is also ranked top of the Young Music Rich List, covering those aged 30 and under.





ruel-reid.jpgEducation Minister, Senator Ruel Reid says that the withdrawal of mandatory auxiliary fees in high schools will not create major financial challenges for the institutions. He has outlined that the schools will be adequately funded from the money that will be set aside for the new policy.

Since the announcement of the policy change, there have been concerns about the source of funding for high schools. Stakeholders are worried whether the government subvention can plug the budget gap that is expected.

Reid has sought to assure that not all schools will receive the same amount. He asserts that parents are still free to contribute to the schools, but it will not be mandatory.

And despite the Minister's assurance, more concern has been voiced about the pending policy change. Retired Principal, Esther Tyson, is questioning the sustainability of the move.

She fears that the benefits will not be proportional as some schools need it more than others.





Canada to legalise ganja in 2017

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canada-marijuana-rally-flag.jpgAn announcement by Canada's health minister Jane Philpott that the government will introduce legislation to make the sale of marijuana legal in 2017, with four-twenty (April 20) - an unofficial holiday among ganja advocates. Hundreds of weed heads demonstrated outside Parliament in Ottawa on Wednesday, April 20.

According to reports, this would make Canada one of the largest Western countries to legalise widespread use ganja. Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pushed for legalisation during his electoral campaign.

Responding to concerns, Philpott pledged to keep marijuana "out of the hands of children and profits out of the hands of criminals", during an announcement on the 20th of April. The day is in fact recognized as an unofficial holiday among cannabis advocates.

Canada already accepts medical use of the drug, and some argue that making marijuana legal would significantly cut down the demand and strain on the country's justice system.

"We will work with law enforcement partners to encourage appropriate and proportionate criminal justice measures," Philpott said.

The announcement was met with a demonstration outside Parliament on Ottawa, involving hundreds of marijuana users.

Critics oppose the change, saying that it could potentially harm the people's health, but a former Toronto police chief appointed as the government's point person on legalisation (Bill Blair), argues that marijuana regulation will be similar to that of alcohol.

"We control who it's sold to, when it's sold and how it's used, and organised crime doesn't have the opportunity to profit from it," he told Reuters.





gayle-and-natasha.jpgWest Indies cricketer Chris Gayle is calling his daughter Blush.

He took to Instagram on Wednesday evening to announce the baby's arrival and sing praises to his baby mama, Natasha Berridge.

"We would like to welcome the arrival of our beautiful daughter 'Blush' to this world 2 hours ago, Thank God. #GoodHealth&Strength - The greatest gift and feelings anyone would want. Great experience witnesses every bit of it. Have to give my blessings to Tasha, strong woman.#Amen," he wrote.

It is thought that Gayle is calling the baby Blush to make light of a media fiasco he was involved in sometime ago in Australia, where while complimenting a reporter, he told her, "Don't blush, baby."

"Don't 'BLUSH' baby turned into Real Life event!" one of his followers commented.





Fourth suspect held in murder of Luciano's son

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luciano-son-menalik.jpgProsecutors reported on Thursday that a fourth suspect is to be charged with the murder of 19 year old Menelik McClymont, the son of reggae artiste Luciano.

The disclosure was made when the three teenaged boys charged with McClymont's murder appeared before the Corporate Area Criminal Court. They were remanded until May 11.

Eighteen-year-old students Jerome Coombs and Kemanie Shaw of Ambrook Lane, St. Andrew, along with 18-year-old Nashlyn Morgan, were charged on March 4.

Menelik, who was a student of Maths Unlimited, was attacked and stabbed several times by a group of men at Parkington Plaza on February 27. He died a day later at hospital.





Celebs burn a spliff in honour of 'Weed Day'

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ganja-smoking.jpgApril 20 marked a special day in marijuana history as there were several events held locally and internationally to mark the annual four/twenty celebrations.

From early Wednesday, celebrities around the world took to social media to begin the festivities and spread the word to get the momentum going. Snoop Lion, Wiz Khalifa, and Rihanna were among the international celebrities who made posts to their Instagram pages 'lighting up' the weed.

On the local circuit, artistes such as Jesse Royal, Inner Circle, and Raging Fyah also endorsed the annual 'holiday'. Social media app SnapChat also got in on the action by releasing a Bob Marley filter yesterday morning in an observation of the 4/20 celebrations.

Though the 4/20 celebrations seemed to have started over the last decade or so with the relaxation of marijuana laws across the globe, allowing festivities to become more mainstream, several articles posted yesterday highlighted the fact that the day has been observed as 'Weed Day' since the 1970s.

According to Vox.com, Steven Hager, a former editor of the marijuana-focused news outlet High Times, told the New York Times that the holiday came out of a ritual started by a group of high-school students in the 1970s. Hager explained that a group of Californian teenagers ritualistically smoked marijuana every day at 4:20 p.m. The ritual spread, and soon 4/20 became the code for smoking marijuana. Eventually, 4/20 was converted into 4/20 for calendar purposes, and the day of celebration was born. One other common belief is that 4/20 was the California police or penal code for marijuana and smokers would use the code whenever they were about to light up, but there's no evidence to support those claims.

As support for the decriminalisation of marijuana grows globally, several businesses have emerged with marijuana-based products as their main sellers. As a result, many businesses are today looking to capitalise on the 4/20 'holiday' and its benefits.





Curfew for all students in St James

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A curfew is now in place for all students in the parish of St James.

According to the police, all students under 17-years-old in the parish must be at their homes by 9 pm.

Head of the St James police Senior Superintendent Steve McGregor says only children in the company of their parents will be overlooked by the police.

The measure was taken as criminals have been reportedly luring children into illegal activities and encouraging them not to go to school.

However, not everyone is in support of the curfew.

SSP McGregor says the police are challenged by residents in some communities in the parish whose residents are not receptive to the curfew.

He says the police are working hard to change this view and notes that cooperation is needed to keep children safe and away from criminal activities.

From January 1 to April 2, St James has recorded a ten per cent decrease in crime when compared to the similar period last year.





Robber shot dead by householder

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crime-scene-7.jpgOne of four armed robbers who held up the occupants of a house and robbed them of an undetermined amount of items Thursday morning was shot and killed by one of the householders.

The incident reportedly occurred shortly after 4 o'clock, when the men invaded the home in the Bickersteth community and proceeded to rob the householders.

A licensed firearm holder, who was among the householders, challenged the robbers.

After the shooting subsided, one man was found lying on the veranda in a pool of blood. The Uzi submachine gun was taken from him and handed over to the police.

A trail of blood was noticed leading from the house into the bushes. The police are now combing the bushes in search the escaped robbers.





prince.jpgWord of Prince's death sparked a massive outpouring of grief on social media, outside his famed studios and even from the White House.

Fans rushed to record stores to pick up albums and other Prince memorabilia. Some said the icon's death "is what it sounds like when doves cry," a reference to his monster hit from 1984.

"As one of the most gifted and prolific musicians of our time, Prince did it all. Funk. R&B. Rock and roll. He was a virtuoso instrumentalist, a brilliant bandleader and an electrifying performer," U.S. President Barack Obama said in a statement. " 'A strong spirit transcends rules,' Prince once said -- and nobody's spirit was stronger, bolder, or more creative."

Kaleena Zanders cried in the car as she drove to Amoeba Music in Los Angeles on Thursday. She spent $173 on Prince-related items at the store, including a vinyl edition of Prince's iconic album "Purple Rain."

"Prince means the future, because he's changed music, everyone in music, he's influenced every person," she said, "and I believe that he represents our future, and it kind of died with him in a way."

Fans camped out by Paisley Park, the artist's home and recording studio, leaving bouquets of flowers and signs at a makeshift memorial.





Music legend Prince dies at home in Minnesota

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prince-photo-1.jpgPrince, who defined the sound of the '80s with songs such as "Kiss" and "Purple Rain" and defied the music industry in a fight for creative freedom, died Thursday.

The 57-year-old singer was found unresponsive in an elevator at Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, Minnesota, Carver County Sheriff Jim Olson said.

Paramedics tried to perform CPR but were unable to revive him, the sheriff said. He was pronounced dead at 10:07 a.m., less than 30 minutes after sheriff's deputies responded to a medical call at the scene.

Authorities are investigating the circumstances surrounding his death, Olson said. An autopsy is scheduled to take place Friday.

Prince's publicist confirmed his death but didn't provide details about the possible cause or who was with the musician.

"It is with profound sadness that I am confirming that the legendary, iconic performer, Prince Rogers Nelson, has died at his Paisley Park residence this morning," publicist Yvette Noel-Schure said.

A man called 911 at 9:43 a.m. from Prince's estate, first reporting an unconscious person and then reporting a death, according to a transcript of the call released by authorities.

"The person is dead here. ... And the people are just distraught," the man said as he struggled to find an address to give the dispatcher.

The person who died, deputies soon discovered, was Prince. Authorities haven't identified who made the call to 911 or details about the circumstances surrounding the call.

Source: CNN





Snapchat releases Marley filter on four/twenty

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bob-marley-photo-3.jpgSocial network Snapchat released a Bob Marley lens filter on four/twenty, which co-incided with the official celebration of weed day.

The lens filter gives you dreadlocks in a Rasta tam, and a digital Bob Marley face, with Marley's One Love, Could You Be Loved, and No Woman No Cry background music interchangeable with the raise of an eyebrow.

However, although the filter was done in partnership with the Bob Marley Estate Snapchat has come under fire for its introduction. Critics point out that the timing of the release of the lens filter was inappropriate.

Persons have shared their disgust on social networking site Twitter where the words 'Bob Marley' have trended worldwide, as users express outrage that Snapchat thought it cool to reduce Bob Marley's legacy to weed day. Many users are questioning why wasn't the filter released on his birthday?

Snapchat has since responded to the backlash, stating that the aim was to give users a new way to share their appreciation for Bob Marley and his music.





gramps-morgan.jpgAfter selling his own brand f scotch bonet hot peppers and marketing it online, of his new hot sauce, Gramps Morgan of renowned Grammy-winning reggae group, Morgan Heritage, is now venturing into coffee.

His business venture, Gramps Morgan Farms has announced a partnership with Java'Mon Coffee, owned by a businessman who used to buy the hop pepper by the palate from Gramps.

"We met online and he ordered a palette and I was like, What?! Are you sure you want so much?," Gramps said in a radio interview.

The two started talking and when Gramps learnt about the coffee venture, the two made a decision to go into partnership

Gramps is currently on tour in Africa along with his siblings, Morgan Heritage.





cardi-b-wide-feature.jpgAmerican reality television star, Cardi B made reference to Alkaline's Champion Boy song, muuch to the delight of her 3.3 million Instagram followers

In a photograph where she is huddled between fans, Cardi B captioned her picture,"Dem did a Seh mi career soon dead a two years laters now and mi never feel so alive #Championgaleverybody wish bad pon di champion Gal ;)"

This reference to "Champion Gal" is a direct shadowing of controversial artiste, Alkaline's hit Champion Boy.

Cardi B who appears in the hit reality show, Love and Hip Hop NewYork has worked with Jamaicans on her music career.

The reality star who has 3.3 million followers on Instagram has worked with Popcaan and Shaggy on singles since she came to prominence in 2014.

The post on Instagram garnered over 37,000 likes with persons excited about her reference to the Alkaline's hit.





skatta.jpgProducer Cordel 'Skatta' Burrell has a good reason to smile as a track from 'Coolie Dance' riddim has been featured in Will Smith's movie Concussion.

The riddim which was produced over 10 years ago is still hugely popular in the dancehall. The song that was featured in the movie is Nina Sky's Mova Ya Body that was released on the rhythm.

Commenting on its selection Burrell expressed gratitude but not surprised as it's not the first time the rhythm has been sought after.

"This is not the first time that the song has been featured on that scale. This has happened before. That rhythm has been sampled so many times that I am no longer shocked when I see it doing good overseas. It being featured in the movie will definitely show good results in the royalty payments," he was quoted as saying.





bunny-wailer.jpgA 10-member team of Rastafarians, including reggae star Bunny 'Wailer Livingstone, former Columbia Records executive Maxine Stowe, and attorney-at-law Hannah Harris Barrington, met with Prime Minister Holness, and Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia 'Babsy' Grange inside the courtesy room at Jamaica House.

A delegation from the Rastafari Millennium Council (RMC) visited the government office on Tuesday, the eve of 50th anniversary of the historic visit to Jamaica of the late Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie in 1966.

Maxine Stowe asked for greater protection for the use of Jamaica's ganja as an international product, and to ensure greater flow of benefits from Jamaican music from the international record companies, Holness confirmed that the new Administration has been looking at the issue of legalisation of ganja, and the use of the drug locally and how the country can fully exploit its benefits.

"We have set up a sub-committee (of the Cabinet) to take a very close and detailed look at the present legislation, which actually promises more than it delivers," Holness said.

He stated that a lot of people were under the impression that the legislation delivers free use and trade of the drug, but that was not the case.

Attorney-at-law Hannah Harris Barrington, who was born in England of Jamaican parentage, pleaded for the prime minister's support of the RMC's efforts to get parliamentary acknowledgement of the UN 2007 declaration and its implications for the Rastafari community in Jamaica.





Bolt targets three-peat, sub-19 seconds 200m

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usain-bolt-wins-gold-200m-beijing-2015-photo-4.jpgSprint superstar Usain Bolt says he is aiming to top off his legacy by a three-peat running the first ever sub-19 seconds 200 metres.

"Just to defend my titles, to do the three-peat. That's my main goal. That's my main focus," Bolt said. "My secondary goal is to try to run sub-19. That's something I really want and I hope that everything goes smoothly and I can get it. That would be a big step for me."

He made the announcement at the official opening ceremony of the flagship Hublot store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

Bolt has already swept the 100m and 200m sprints at the last two Olympics and added gold in the 4x100m relays in both Beijing (2008) and London (2012) with his Jamaican teammates.

Bolt said he would ramp up his preparations carefully so he can end his Olympic career with a flourish.

"I really want to be at my best leading up to the championships. I have two months before (Jamaican) trials and three and a half months before the championships," he said.

Bolt said he would run his first race in Cayman, then in Ostrava and then to his coach's June meet in Jamaica before the trials and then on to the Diamond League meeting in London.





Car wash attendant shot dead

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crime-scene-7.jpgA 27-year-old car wash attendant was shot dead in the Raymonds area of Hayes in the parish just after 8 last night.

According to reports, Anthony Ferguson, a labourer of Raymonds, had just retired to his apartment when loud explosions were heard. Residents summoned the police who found the Ferguson lying in a pool of blood.

Investigators say Ferguson was attacked by gunmen and who kicked down the door to his apartment before opening fire, killing him on the spot.

"So far what we know is that the deceased is a car wash attendant who worked in the area, and he was at home when he was attacked and killed," an investigator told The Star.

Since the start of year, the Hayes community has seen an upsurge in violence, with scores of persons being shot and killed.





The Education Ministry has announced plans to increase subvention to secondary schools as it moves to abolish auxiliary fees come September.

Speakingat a graduation ceremony for school principals, Education Minister Ruel Reid said the current contribution of $11,500 that the ministry pays for each student will be increased to $19,000.

Reid says the 65 per cent increase will facilitate the removal of auxiliary fees.

Reid also said the education ministry will add $2 billion to the school tuition assistance programme to facilitate the increased payments it will make to schools.

The removal of auxiliary fees was one of the Jamaica Labour Party's election promises.





money-hidden-in-shampoo-bottle.jpgAn American visitor who was arrested at the Sangster International Airport more than a week ago after allegedly being found with more than US$100,000 has been charged with money laundering. He is scheduled to appear in the Montego Bay Resident Magistrate's Court Wednesday.

35-year-old Dalton Forrester of Brooklyn in New York was arrested on April 9 by detectives from the Counter-Terrorism and Organized Crime Investigation Branch (C-TOC). According to the police, he was in the process of clearing customs when irregularities were detected. He was found with a little over US$101,000.

Forrester was unable to provide a satisfactory account for the cash. He has been charged with Cross Border Movements of Funds, Concealment of Criminal Property, Bringing into Jamaica Criminal Property, Possession of Criminal Property and Conspiracy to Possess Criminal Property.





CCU was wrong says police commissioner

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karl-williams-police-commish.jpgCommissioner of Police Dr Carl Williams says the Corporate Communications Unit (CCU), blundered when it sent out information about the arrest of four men following a major drug bust off the coastline of Belmont in Westmoreland on Saturday.

The commissioner said the information from lawmen on the ground during the operation was that four men were arrested subsequent to the interception of a 28-foot vessel laden with some 798 kilograms of cocaine, which has an estimated street value of J$900 million.

However, the information disseminated by the CCU on Sunday said the four men arrested were observed abandoning the vessel and running off in different directions. CCU said then that the men were pursued and taken into custody.

Since their arrest on Saturday, the four men have been released.

The police commissioner said investigators were satisfied that there was no evidence linking the men to the vessel intercepted and seized.





hands-behind-bars.jpgA St. Andrew businessman was arrested by investigators attached to the Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch (C-TOC), following a probe into the unauthorised sale of different brands of hair on the local market.

The 43-year-old man was arrested following a raid at a house in Meadowbrook Estate Monday night.

C-TOC investigators seized several large boxes of hair valued at $500,000.

The suspect is now facing charges under the Trademark Act and Intellectual Property breaches.

C-TOC conducted the operation after the registered rights holder of several brands of hair being sold locally, filed a complaint with the branch.

Inspector Clarence Bailey, Head of the Intellectual Property Unit at C-TOC, said hair brands such as Nappy Annie, Yaman and Afro-Kinky were being sold illegally by the businessman.

He said the businessman will be charged this week.





Ishawna releases T-shirt dress line

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ishawna-photo-6.jpgDancehall artiste Ishawna, has launched her infamous 'Legendary T-Shirt Dress"' just in time for the summer. The controversial T'Shirt dress that turned heads and made headlines last year is now available in stores in Kingston.

Ishawna, signed to mega label Downsound Records, first wore the simple yet sexy white number to guest host an episode of Season 8 of the Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall Reality Show.

She has been turning heads consistently with her style over the years and recently won 'Fashion Icon of the year' and Young Hot & Hype Female in this February's staging of the 2016 Youth View Awards.

"This dress represents my style and flavor, bold, fun and risky. I like to push the envelope with my music and my style and the dress is an example of this, Raunchy and Stylish," Ishawna shared.

The Legendary T-Shirt Dress line is available in Jamaica in Black, White and Gray, and can currently be purchased in Kingston at Shop NecessiTs, Bargain Mall in Clock Tower Plaza, Half Way Tree.





Kartel stretches hand from inside prison cell

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vybz-kartel-photo-26.jpgJailed dancehall deejay Vybz Kartel will be reaching out to various schools across the island through his school refurbishment programme, his team has told the media.

The self-proclaimed 'world boss' has been spearheading the project from inside his prison cell as he wants to give well needed help to schools falling apart.

Kartel's affiliate, Jeffrey Hype, reportedly told local tabloid the Star that the artiste has a number of new projects up his sleeve following his latest business venture with Gaza Vybz Rum.

"We have a school ting weh we a try put in order fi support some school and help some school, and try refurbish some school right now. We a go around and look some school weh want help. You know seh Vybz Kartel is all about children are the future," Hype was quoted as saying.

In responding to this kind of outreach, university lecturer and cultural researcher Dr Donna Hope-Marquis told the tabloid that it would seem that this is a strategic move on the dancehall artist's part.





British woman arrested for cocaine

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A British woman has been arrested in connection with the seizure of 25 pounds of cocaine at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, St James.

The police say about 3:30 p.m. Saturday, drugs valuing an estimated J$13 million was found hidden in a false compartment in the woman's luggage. She was detained for questioning.

Her identity is being withheld pending further investigation.

Meanwhile, investigators have theorised that some of the cocaine from the multi-million dollar shipment that was intercepted in Westmoreland yesterday was destined for the Jamaican market.

However, a senior investigator says there are indications that the bulk of the cocaine was to be shipped to other countries.

Thirty-six bales of cocaine were found on board a vessel at Belmont Beach during a joint operation between the Police Narcotics Division and the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Coast Guard valued at US$7.2 million or just above J$900 million.





Triple murder on Old Harbour Road

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crime-scene-7.jpgThe police have launched a investigation into the brutal murder of three men on Old Harbour Road in Spanish Town, St Catherine Friday night.

Dead are: 37-year-old Shawn Baccas otherwise called 'Rugo', 58-year-old Derwin Prince otherwise called 'Rasta', carpenter and 37-year-old Anthony Rose otherwise called 'Mark' all of Old Harbour Road addresses in the old capital.

Reports from the Spanish Town Police are that about 10 pm, the three men were at a bar on Old Harbour Road playing a game of dominoes when two men entered the establishment.

The men reportedly ordered drinks at the bar before opening gunfire on the unsuspecting group. All three were rushed to hospital where they were pronounced dead. The gunmen escaped in the area.

In the meantime, detectives are appealing to anyone with information that can assist with their investigations to contact the Spanish Town Police at 984-2305, 811 or Crime Stop at 311.





Woman arrested at JFK for cocaine in coffee

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cocaine-coffee.jpgA Jamaican woman was arrested at Kennedy Airport in the United States, for trying to smuggle three pounds of Cocaine hidden in two bags of Coffee inside her suitcase.

27 year old Sharese Lee Ann Drake, of Windsor Heights St Ann arrived at JFK Airport from Montego Bay, on Wednesday.

Reports in the NY Daily news yesterday are that Customs and Border Protection Police Officers searched her suitcase and found a plastic coffee bag containing white powder.

Drake was taken to a private search room, where the officers found a second bag full of powder. Both tested positive for cocaine.

The estimated value of the cocaine is more than 50,000 USD.

Drake was arrested and handed over to Port Authority Police.

She will be prosecuted by the Queens District Attorney on drug smuggling charges.

Drake is being held on Rikers Island on $50,000 bail.

She hails from the parish of St Ann and is Runaway Bay resident.





Eight-year-old molested by mother's lover

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shocked.jpgThe Child Development Agency (CDA) says it is currently investigating reports of the sexual abuse of an eight-year-old girl in Highgate, St Mary.

Media reports are that the child was sexually assaulted by a mechanic who is romantically involved with her mother.

The child was reportedly also treated at hospital following the assault and has since been released.

However, there is no confirmation that her abuser has been arrested.

Head of the CDA Rosalee Gage-Grey says her office is currently investigating the matter which was reported to them last week.

She says the CDA has already made contact with the eight-year-old girl.

Gage-Grey says the CDA is in contact with the Highgate police, but are still unable to declare whether the child's abuser has been arrested.

According to media reports the incident occurred some two weeks ago when the man visited the child's house.

The accused reportedly fled when the police sought him for questioning.

However, according to reports he has since been operating normally in the Highgate area.





Cop shot dead by licensed firearm holder

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constable-shane-francis.jpgcrime-scene-gun.jpgConstable Shane Francis, assigned to the St Ann police station was shot dead by a licensed firearm holder in White River, Ocho Rios, St Ann, on Sunday.

Reports are that Francis, 30 was leaving the party when he had an argument with the licenced firearm holder. It is alleged that Francis pulled his licensed firearm and approached the man who also pulled his licensed firearm and fired two shots hitting Francis to the left side of the chest and right hip.

He was rushed to hospital by other police personnel who were present, but he was pronounced dead.

Reports are that the shooter has turned in himself.

Meanwhile, the High Command of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) say that a "top-level" probe has been launched into the circumstances surrounding the shooting death of Constable Francis.

The High Command is expressing condolences to the family and colleagues of the slain policeman and has offered the support of the JCF Chaplaincy Services Branch, which has been tasked with providing counselling.





Sade Serena hits Billboard with Shaggy collab

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sade-serena-shaggy-dum-remix.jpgJamaican songstress Sade Serena's latest EP, titled 'Jerk Sauce', has officially entered the Billboard chart.

The singer collaborated with platinum-selling recording artiste Shaggy on a her latest hit song called Dum, a track from the EP, which is a vibrant mix of R&B, pop and dancehall. The single peaked at number 23. She topped the South Atlantic Heatseekers chart at number one and Jerk Sauce is now steadily climbing the R&B Chart.

As Billboard describes the song as an infectious hip-swaying number, Sade Serena described her journey to get there. "Growing up, I have always looked up to Shaggy and other reggae artistes like Sean Paul and Elephant Man that paved their way into mainstream success," says Sade. "To have a diamond-selling artiste like Shaggy on my record is a dream come true for me."

The BET Music Matters artiste also recruited Grammy Award-winning producer J-Vibe for Dum.





bunny-wailer.jpgEntertainer Bunny Wailer and Maxine Stowe are at the centre of a controversy along with Dr. Michael Barnett regarding the visit to Jamaica by Prince Ermias the grandson of Emperor Haile Selassie.

The visit has sparked tension between some members of the Rastafarian community who believe that the offical motorcade being planned should also drive through Trench Town. However, the organisers say that is not on the cards and have suggested instead that effort will be made to have the prince visit Trench Town on another occasion.

Prince Ermias visit to Jamaica will mark 50 years since his grandfather's historic visit on April 21, 1966.

ermias-emperor-haile-selassie-grandson.jpg





Bogdanovich the new owner of Reggae Sumfest

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joe-bogdanovich-and-ishawna.jpgDownsound Records CEO, Josef Bogdanovich is reportedly the new owner of one of Jamaica's most recognised music brands, Reggae Sumfest.

Although Downsound is remaining tight-lipped about the recent acquisition, several sources have confirmed to Yardflex that Bogdanovich has bought the entity.

Reggae Sumfest organisers were quoted as saying that they had persons who were "interesed" and that they would put out a release at the appropriate time.

Downsound representatives could not be reached for comment.





spice-reggae-sumfest.jpg

Selector Foota Hype posted this video on Instagram claiming that it is Spice. Watch it and tell us if you think that woman who is getting a proper proer beating is really dancehall artiste Spice.





Get a dancehall baptism with Savage's Culu Culu

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savage-culu-culu.jpgReports are that selectors in the dancehall are performing baptisms to Culu Culu, a single from artiste Savage which is gaining some traction.

Savage's PR machinery has also apparently gone into overdrive with a story in a tabloid stating that Christians were upset at these so-called mock baptisms. However, Christians have no idea what is a Culu Culu or a Savage.

Anyway, this is Savage's response to any christian who would probably be offended: "The song has a revivalist feel, the song spiritual and people ah get inna spirit. Starting from Bishop Escobar inna Jamaica, it has spread to Trinidad, Barbados, Guyana and Costa Rica, and even Dubai, is a trend that is developing all over social media, it a climb, people inna dance ah get inna spirit," Savage said.

"People are just having fun, most people who participate are actually people who attended church when they were growing up and they respect God. This is just another way to acknowledge Him and still have some fun while doing it.





Hollywood Carnival blasts off June 25

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hollywood-carnival-photo-1.jpgOn Saturday, June 25, Los Angeles' Hollywood Blvd. will miraculously transform into a Grand Carnival & Street Extravaganza with parade-goers and masqueraders dressed in vibrant, breathe- taking costumes dancing to pulsating rythms of Calypso, Soca, Reggae, Zouke, Latin, Punta, Meringue, Mariachi, Reggaeton, Blues, Jazz, Steel-pan, Indian, Asian and other worldly music.

This cultural fusion will attract a significant amount of local attendees from the diverse multi-cultural society, not to mention a variety of tourists - creating a great family-friendly environment.

The Annual Los Angeles Culture Festival - a world culture festival - expresses the colors of culture and freedom of the world as one people. This is a celebration of our cultures and traditions, featuring colorful costumes, dances, food, arts & crafts, and music from around the world.

hollywood-carnival-photo-2.jpg

The celebration will commence with the Grand Marshal beginning the Parade of the Bands, on the world famous Hollywood Blvd. It proceeds for three (3) miles ending on N. Highland Ave., the main entrance to the Carnival Culture Village. Our parade and culture village will feature several well- known celebrities from various genres, including movie stars and music icons.

The Parade of the Bands registration form and deposit of $300.00 (three hundred dollars) USD to confirm participation for the Annual Los Angeles Culture Festival™ must be received no later than April 15, 2015. Late registration may be accepted after April 15, 2015, with an increase in registration fee. Payment will only be accepted by certified check or money order payable to Los Angeles Culture Festival™; no personal checks will be accepted.

All confirmed registered groups will be listed on our website (www.laculturefestival.com).





ruel-reid.jpgHow can the information miniser have no information?

On Wednesday at the post Cabinet media briefing, the Information Minister Senator Ruel Reid had no knowledge about the swearing in of Everald Warmington as a Minister of State in the OPM.

In what has been described in one paper as an "oafish performance" the Information Minister was clearly uncomfortable at the postCabinet press briefing.

He subsequently is quoted as saying that plans are underway to restructure that portfolio.

On Thursday, following the Throne Speech, Reid said people are accustomed to the information portfolio being at the Office of the Prime Minister, but that is no longer the case.

"My response is largely policy and I speak on behalf of the cabinet to do the press-cabinet briefing," he said.

"We'll have to calibrate much closer to the extent that I will field questions from the public to make sure that there is a seamless movement of information so (if) I am asked questions, I have the information, or I'll have to respectfully seek the information and get back to the press."





The value of the cocaine shipment that was seized in Westmoreland Saturday morning has now been placed at just under J$1 billion.A total of 798 kilograms of cocaine was seized during the joint police-military operation in Belmont Beach in the parish.

Reports are that the cocaine has a street value of US$7.5 million or approximately J$909 million.

Jamaican law enforcement officials had initially estimated the value of the cocaine at approximately US$6 million or J$720 million.

Saturday morning's operation was conducted with assistance from the United States.

In a statement, the Jamaica Defence Force said a US Maritime patrol aircraft spotted a vessel suspected of illicit trafficking and passed the information to the Jamaica military.

The four men held in connection with the cocaine shipment are to be questioned in the presence of their attorneys.





crime-scene-7.jpgroad-accident.jpgA St. Catherine family has been plunged into mourning after a brother and sister died in a motor vehicle crash early Saturday.

They have been identified as Chevell Lewis, 14, a student of St. Andrew High School for Girls and Information Technology Technician Jermaine Lewis,24 of Eltham Acres in Spanish Town.

The police report that the incident occurred about 5 o'clock along Brunswick Avenue.

It is not clear how the crash occurred.

The Nissan Tiida, which was being driven by Lewis, plunged into a house before overturning.

Lewis had to be cut from the wreckage.





Man shot and killed at KFC drive-thru

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crime-scene-gun.jpgA man was shot and killed at the KFC in Santa Cruz, St Elizabeth shortly after 10 Thursday night.

The dead man has been identified as Maurice Campbell, aka Junior, a 41-year-old farmer of Georges Valley in the parish and also of Montego Bay, St James.

According to a police report, Campbell was in his vehicle at the popular eatery's drive-thru when he was approached by an unknown assailant.

The assailant shot Campbell several times before escaping in an awaiting motor vehicle. No motive has been established for the killing.





fluffy-and-curvy-vs-miss-kitty-and-yanique.jpgAfter offering a horrible, unapologetic, taped apology last week, Miss Kitty and Yanique, the Fluffy and the Curvy Diva respectively, were back fo Saturday's airing of Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall.

Miss Kitty and Yanique were suspended after a nasty spat on live television two weeks ago.The producers refused to say for how long the duo had been suspended, leaving some persons online to call for Kitty to be banned indefinitely.

"The show is better with the two of them," a source close to production team is reported as saying.

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diana-king-nov-27.jpg"JAMAICA is TOLERANT of RAPE & SEXUAL ABUSE of CHILDREN even INCESTS but NOT of SEX between CONSENTING #LGBT ADULTS," 45-year-old Diana King wrote on her Facebook page this week..

Of course, King, the first Jamaican artiste to publicly declare that she is a lesbian (even though it had been speculated for years) faced severe backlash online for the comment.

"@DIANAKINGDOM this is nonsense--rapists and child molesters get beheaded before the cops come get them--nonsense--don't speak ill of JA."

"@DIANAKINGDOM your way of speaking out on a issue is to attack the entire country to gain what? hostility, more resentment toward LGBT?"

Diana King responded:

"I DON'T NEED SURVEYS • IF U CONSCIOUSLY OBSERVE U WILL SEE the TRUTH • ITS UP to U IF U CHOSE (sic) to ACCEPT IT or DENY IT," she tweeted clearly not deterred social media users.





shaggy-photo-2.jpgShaggy is set to perform at the 31st staging of the CHUM FM Breakfast in Barbados concert on Thursday and, according to the platinum-selling dancehall star, fans can expect to hear tracks off his new album.

Among the singles are 'That love' and one featuring Jovi Rockwell, called 'I got you'.

Shaggy, who has been in the music industry for more than 25 years, said that everything has changed drastically since when he got into the game but it is full of many great new additions.

One such game-changer is social media, according to Shaggy, who noted that today, aspiring artistes do not even need to get airplay on radio stations in order to get their songs heard.

That said, he admitted he now is learning constantly - "every day you haffi learn something new" - because he too has to adapt to the new way of doing things.

He shared that he would even consider working with an Afro beat, as music and beats out of Africa are really storming the airwaves now.





Aidonia's videographer dies in car accident

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aidonia-videographer.jpgLamar Doukie otherwise known as Peakstate, official videographer for dancehall artiste Aidonia and his 4th Generation camp died as a result of injuries he sustained in a car accident earlier this week as he accompanied entertainer Aidonia to a football match in Montego Bay.

The car in which he was travelling flipped and rolled, and another person was injured and is reportedly in serious condition at the hospital.

"We are very shaken up by the accident, the whole 4th generation family. Doukie was like a family member, he resided with us and everything. The second person is in serious condition and is still at the Cornwall Regional Hospital in Mobay," Lav, Aidonia's brother, said.

Doukie had been working on several projects for Aidonia and the other members of the camp. He just shot a video for Aidonia and a European artiste called Chucky Serious. He also did a viral video for Aidonia plus official videos for Tanso, Jayds and Nicko Blast.

"I just wanna extend our deepest condolences to the family of lamar as he was like a brother to use and the entire 4th generation family is in great pain and grief at this moment," Lav said.

Yardflex sends condolences to Doukie's family and also his musical family.

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crime-scene-demo.jpgThe body of a woman found in Salt Pond Gardens, Portmore, St. Catherine on Saturday has been identified as that of a 26 year old resident of New York.

According to the New York Post, Tanesha Ford, who was a medical assistant, secretly took a flight to Jamaica on Saturday afternoon and was gunned down hours after she arrived in the island.

The police are not clear how the mother of a 4 year old ended up in Portmore, hours after she landed in Montego Bay. Her body was found with multiple bullet wounds.

The newspaper says her family reported her missing on Tuesday. They were unaware that Miss Ford was in Jamaica.

She visited the island last year for her grandmother's funeral.

Her identity was confirmed by her cousin after he received a text message with the crime scene photo from a Jamaican relative.





Pregnant mother shot dead

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crime-scene-gun.jpgTwenty-nine-year-old Kayon Grizzle of a Green Island address was reportedly shot and killed at her home on Wednesday night. She was eight months pregnant..

Reports are that about 8:30 p.m., Miss Grizzle was at home with her three children ages ten, eight and six, when a man kicked opened the door and entered the dwelling.

He then dragged Miss Grizzle outside, after which shots were heard.

The cops were alerted and, upon their arrival, found Grizzle lying in a pool of blood with gunshot wounds.

Grizzle was reportedly eight months pregnant.





crime-scene-7.jpgThat is the question the family 14-year-old Ryan Clarke, his friends and the community are asking.

Young Ryan's body was found in bushes in Tivoli Gardens on Wednesday.

Head of the Kingston Western Police Division, Howard Chambers said the body of the teen was found behind the Edward Seaga Sports complex at approximately 4:00 pm.

"The report we received is that the child went missing the day before but the parents had not reported the case to the police," Chambers told Loop News.

Authorities say they are yet to determine what was the cause of death but have since stepped up their investigations in the matter.





Judy Mowatt for Montreal, Toronto concerts

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judy-mowatt.jpgReggae legend, icon and Queen Judy Mowatt will celebrate the release of Colin Levy's album "Unleashed" for two dates: Montreal on Saturday April 30th at Le Belmont and in Toronto on Sunday May 1st at the Opera House.

The Living legend, who rose to fame as a backing vocalist for Bob Marley and member of the I-Threes, and after a successful solo career, will perform in Toronto at the infamous Opera House. Included in her early evening performance will be hit singles "Many Are Called," "Black Woman" and "Sister's Chant."

Ms. Mowatt's performance is a rare and an exclusive engagement, and supportive to Colin and his musical mission via Unleashed. "When Colin called and asked me to perform for his album launch, I said yes right away. He always makes positive music, and I gladly lend my voice to that movement. See you soon Montreal and Toronto!"

Backed by the Hardcore band, Colin Levy will perform the lead single from his album, "Smile" which was produced by Willie Lindo and Dean Frase, in addition to music produced by Stephen Marley ("Forever Praising Jah"), Willie Lindo ("Life") and Dean Fraser "One Chance").

The 17 track disc features guest appearances by Marcia Griffiths, Lady Saw, Heather Cummings, Anthony B, Lutan Fyah, Turbulence and G. Forest.

Joining Colin on stage to celebrate the launch of Unleashed in both Montreal and Toronto are JUNO Award winners Exco Levi and Mikey Dangerous, Leroy Gibbons, Fire Lion, Jah Cutta, Christini and Totally Blaze.

Distributed by VPAL (a division of VP Records), Unleashed is accessible to fans around the world through VPReggae.com, iTunes.com and other favorite online music outlets.





Two Billboard Awards noms for OMI

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omi-photo-3.jpgSinger OMI picked up two nominations for the recently announced Billboard Music Awards.

OMI who hails from Clarendon, took the international scene by storm when his 2012 hit single Cheerleader was re-released for the international market.

Cheerleader has been nominated for the Top Selling Song of 2015.

It will go up against Adele's Hello, Wiz Khalifa's See You Again, The Hills by The Weeknd and Fight Song by Rachel Platten.

OMI will also challenge Fetty Wap, Charlie Puth, Silento and Bryson Tiller for the Top New Artiste Award.

Ludacris and Ciara will host the 2016 Billboard Music Awards on May 22.





butch-stewart-gordon-butch.jpgThe Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) has rejected a suggestion that the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) be used to finance the Government's income tax relief plan.

The suggestion was made by hotelier Gordon 'Butch' Stewart.

The JHTA, in a news release, said while the suggestion is well intentioned it does not fall within the mandate of the TEF.

According to the JHTA, the TEF funds are essential to maintaining the competitiveness of the tourism sector, its growth and other critical initiatives such as the Tourism Linkages Hub.





A member of the Duppy Flames gang was shot and killed during a joint police/military operation near Harbour View, St. Andrew, early Wednesday morning.

The operation has resulted in the fatal shooting of one man, the capture of two others and the seizure of an assault riffle.

Over 200 security personnel are involved in the operation.

However, police are now making efforts to ascertain whether the dead man is Marlon Perry, alias Duppy Flames, the reputed leader of the gang.

The police have been pursuing Perry who is wanted for a number of murders, for several months.





jamaican-passport-bordo.jpgA Jamaican, on Monday, pleaded guilty to identity theft in Charleston, West Virginia.

According to a news release from Acting U.S. Attorney Carol Casto's office, 31 year old Roland Jason Duckett admitted he used another person's identity in an attempt to obtain a U.S. passport.

Duckett said he entered the U.S. from Jamaica in 2007 and stayed until after his visa expired. The release states that in August last year, he paid another individual for the use of identification documents, including that person's birth certificate and Social Security card.

Duckett used the documents to obtain a West Virginia driver's license in the individual's name. Last November, he mailed a passport application from Charleston in an attempt to obtain a passport. His application was flagged for fraud.

Agents with the Diplomatic Security Service of the U.S. Department of State determined Duckett's true identity.

The Jamaican faces up to five years in prison when he is sentenced on July 8.





Visage the ultimate 'Party Starter'

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visage-video-promo.jpgOn a recent trip to the Bahamas, Yardflex caught up with Obi Pindling, manager of and performer in the number one party band in The Bahamas - Visage. We grabbed Obi for a sit-down to discuss a number things, including the band's diverse repertoire; their current single, "Party Starter"; the impact world wide of Visage and plans in the pipeline.

Yardflex: Tell us a little about yourself and about Visage - how and when was it formed?

OBI: I have ALWAYS been into music and was in my first band at 12 which was a group of us neighbourhood kids delving into music. In high school, I started another band to participate in the newly-commenced Inter High School talent show. The two years we participated, we won. After graduating from high school at age 16, in 1975, I went to Boarding school in Canada to do their grade 13 program rather than doing "A" levels here at home. In Canada, it was a 6-subject program as opposed to the 3 for "A" levels. I started law school at the University of Sussex in England at age 17 in 1976. Got my law degree in 1979, and went to Bar school in London and was called to the Bar in England in July 1980 and in the Bahamas in August 1980 at the tender age of 21.
I formed the band in August 1981, some six months after returning home from law school and four months of pupillage in London.


Yardflex: Who are the members of Visage?

OBI: Current members are:
Dyson Knight - lead & BG vocals
Nehemiah Hield - lead & BG vocals
Wendy lewis - lead & BG vocals
Erica Lightbourne - lead & BG vocals
Shawn Ferguson - lead & BG vocals
Obi Pindling - guitar, keyboards, background vocals
Ian Young - bass
Carlos Dean - drums
Keiran Roker - keyboards
Antoyne Hinsey - keyboards
Benjamin Alexander - samples, seqencing & programming


Yardflex: What genre of music does Visage specialise in?

OBI: .At home, we are primarily known as a soca band, since we are the first band in the country to concentrate heavily on playing the top soca hits from the region. This started back in 1986. Having said that, however, the band's repertoire is extremely diverse also performing Bahamian junkanoo & rake & scrape music, ole skool 70's & 80's R&B/Soul/Dance classics, reggae, contemporary jazz and also contemporary top 40.


Yardflex: Tell us about Visage's discography

OBI: We recorded and released our first single in 1983 which was a junkanoo song entitled "Junk-A-Jam". Our second single was a reggae tune entitled "Emmie" released in 1984 which was engineered and produced by legendary Jamaican engineer/producer, Steven Stanley at Compass Point studios here in Nassau.In 1995, we released another junkanoo single "Ya Better Move On". This single was the impetus for us to recording an album, which we started later that same year.

Those sessions contained a variety of genres -- junkanoo, soca and reggae and our fusion of junkanoo and soca which we called "Socanoo". We released the CD, entitled "Energy" in 1996 and it was extremely successful spawning no less than seven major hits. The very first release was a dancehall tune called "Conch Soup" which was produced by yet another legendary Jamaican producer, Dave Kelly.

Our next CD was released in 2001, when we teamed up with top soca producer, Darron Grant from Barbados, who was a childhood friend of our bass player, Ian Young, who is also from Barbados. Entitled "Brigga Dum Bram", this CD was, again, extremely popular and successful. That too, spawned 7 hits nationally. This CD marked the first time Visage had any international success and the single "Hold Ya Head" garnered immense airplay throughout most of the region and on Caribbean radio stations in the US, Canada and the UK. In fact, "Hold Ya head" was licensed by VP Records and put onto their "Soca Gold" compilation CD in 2002. That year also started a run of performances at Trinidad Carnival in 2002, 2003 and 2004 for the band

We teamed up with Darron for two more CD's. The next CD entitled "Power" was released in 2003. While not resulting in as many hits as the first 2 CD's, we scored internationally with a tune called "Still Need A Man" which again, was licensed by VP for the Soca Gold CD in 2003.

In 2004, we released a CD called "Xplosion" with similar results to "Power". VP wanted to license another tune "Man Shortage" but this was derailed because of legal disputes over their deduction of taxes from our royalties while we were never citizens or Residents of the US.

We took a six-year hiatus from recording another CD and never went back in the studio until 2010 when we released a CD entitled "Nuttin' But Da Truth" which scored three very popular tunes here including the very popular "Til Me Time Come" which was produced by legendary Trinidadian producer, the late "Sheldon "Shelshok" Benjamin.


Yardflex: What have been your biggest hits to date?

OBI: Locally, I would say "Conch Soup", "Energy", Das Junkanoo", "Nuttin' In It", "Come Into My Room", "Get De Hell Out De Party" "Better Move On".
Both at home and internationally, "Hold Ya Head", Still Need A Man" and "Til Meh Time Come"


Yardflex: Where are some of the places the band has toured?

OBI: Trinidad, St. Maarten, Miami, Ft. LauderdaleChicago, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Toronto, Turks and Caicos and, of course, all over the Bahamas.


Yardflex: What project(s) are you working on now?

OBI: We just released a new single in December called "Party Starter". Additionally, some of my vocalists have recorded solo projects which we include in our stage presentations. Among them are "La Bam Bam" by Benji,who is from St. Lucia ; "Een Missin' It" by Wendy and "Our Party" by Dyson.Last month, we concluded negotiations of a 2 song production deal with another major Trini producer for release later this year.

At the moment, we are putting tons of rehearsal time in for our 2 upcoming performances at the bahamas Junkanoo carnival (first on Aril 16th and the 2nd on 6th May) as well as 2 performances in Beijing, China at the Latin American and Caribbean Music Festival May 1 to 3, where we have been selected to represent the Bahamas.


Yardflex: Who comprises your management team?

OBI: Me, myself and I. (Laughs)


Yardflex: Are you signed to a label?

OBI: No we are not.


Yardflex: What has been the impact of Visage locally and internationally?

OBI: Locally, Visage is immensely popular, known as "the Bahamas' #1 Party Band" because of our high energy performances.
Internationally, I cannot honestly say that we have made any "impact" as such although we have always been extremely well received wherever we have performed, especially in Trinidad and Miami Carnival. In fact, in 1998, at Miami Carnival, we were second in the "Best Band On The Road" competition.


Yardflex: What is the ultimate goal of Visage?

OBI: There are are numerous goals that we have but I guess if there has to be an "ultimate", I would say it would be to score a major hit on the Billboard and other international charts with the Bahamian rhythms of junkanoo and rake n' scrape.


Yardflex: Well, having listened to your music, we can definitely say that we are looking forward to your shake-up of the Billboard Chart. We wish you all the best.

OBI: Thank you





Adele's Hello continues to break records

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adele-21.jpgAdele's hit single Hello continues to break records as it is spending its 21st week in the top spot on Billboard's Adult Contemporary radio airplay chart.

With its continued command, the song ties Kelly Clarkson's Breakaway and Celine Dion's A New Day Has Come for the longest Number 1 run among women since the list launched in 1961.

It also equals the third-longest stay at the summit among all acts.





Fluffy and Curvy suspended from MKQ

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fluffy-kitty-curvy-yaninque.jpgMagnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall fans have been having their say after realising that Judge Miss Kitty and Hostess Yanique have been suspended indefinitely from the show according to the show's executive producer, Mark Kenny.

Speaking with The Jamaica Star, Kenny says he's unable to give at timeline for the self-proclaimed 'Fluffy' and 'Curvy' diva's return to the show, he also denied reports that Miss Kitty and Yanique were given three and one-week suspensions respectively for their spat during the April 2 live show.

"We are still in discussion with them at this moment," Kenny said, explaining why a date for their return could not be given.

Beenie Man's new girlfriend Krystal Tomlinson hosted Saturday night's show in place of the suspended Yanique, while Miss Kitty was replaced with dancehall artiste Pamputtae on Saturday night.

Miss Kitty and Yanique delivered a pre-recorded apology that was aired at the start of show over the weekend.





Dexta Daps Meets In Car Accident

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dexta-daps-photo-3.jpgRecording Artiste Dexta Daps was this morning (Mon) involved in a traffic accident in Saint Catherine.

Reports are that the artiste is fine after only receiving a few bruises, however there were online reports which stated erroneously that the artiste was in a coma.

Details on the accident have not yet been ascertained however, the vehicle Dexta was in, is said to been written off.

Dexta had recently returned to the island following overseas stints.





Zip FM's ZJ Liquid also boasts the title of producer and artist. A fan favourite by giving music lovers an array of hit productions, Liquid's prolific lyrics as an artist are only matched by his charisma and humbleness

His latest anticipated musical offering "Msquared" has already created a strong buzz and fans eagerly await the April 15th worldwide release distributed by 21st Hapilos DIgital.

Speaking on the album, Liquid explained the thought process, creation and inspiration. "Msquared is the name of the album, it's an album I've been working on for almost a year and a half. And it's just a project that I always had in mind, a project where it's not a juggling, all the songs on the same riddim. It's an album putting together some of Jamaica's best artists and make a link with the international world as well, do as much fusing as I could at this time. It's a compilation album and I myself have 2 songs on it. Msquared is a vibe, one of those things you want to do different as a producer. I've been producing for the past 10 years and this is definitely different, fusing different genres that I've been exposed to. There is a little Afrobeat, EDM vibe, a little trap and skrillex, soca undertones and of course the hardcore dancehall and reggae vibe. Msquared name comes from my son and my daughter i put the 2 names together."

The album features such artistes as Grammy award winners Sean Paul and Beenie Man who teamed up with newcomer Vershon, international stars Vybz Kartel, Mr.Vegas, Konshens and Samantha J with Assassin, and rapper Safaree aka Stunman among a host of stars.





Brace for increase in the price of rice

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Jamaican consumers have been advised to brace for a 10 to 15 per cent increase in the price of rice from Guyana following a hike in the cost to import gain.

Managing Director of Jamaica Rice Mills Derrick Nembhard says in mid-March, the Guyana Rice Development Board introduced a pricing schedule which requires Jamaican importers to pay US$400 per tonne if they are importing 1,500 tonnes or more.

However, if the Jamaican importers want less than the 1,500 tonnes they will have to pay more than US$400 per tonne.

Nembhard says as a result of the increase in the price of rice imported from the region, the cost is being passed on to consumers.

Recently, the Jamaica Rice Milling Company signed agreements with the Guyana Rice Development Board to import a total of 80,000 tonnes of rice from Guyana during 2016.

However, Nembhard says the Guyana Rice Development Board independently arrived at the pricing schedule.





US judge throws out lawsuit against Red Stripe

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red-stripe.jpgA US federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought against the makers of Red Stripe for labeling it as Jamaican style beer, though it was being made in the United States, starting in 2012.The judge dismissed the class action without prejudice.

The plaintiffs, Aaron Dumas and Eugene Buner, sued Diageo-Guinness, claiming they bought Red Stripe because its label calls it "Jamaican Style Lager" with "The Taste of Jamaica."

They sought class certification and damages for false advertising, unfair competition, business law violations and negligent and intentional misrepresentation.

Red Stripe has been brewed in Jamaica since 1938, and imported to the United States since 1985. Diageo bought the rights to Red Stripe in 1993 and moved production for the North American market to the United States in 2012.

District Judge Barry Ted Moskowitz dismissed the complaint on April 6, stating that a reasonable customer would not be misled by the visible packaging into believing that Red Stripe is brewed in Jamaica with Jamaican ingredients.

He wrote that the mere fact that the words 'Jamaica' and 'Jamaican' appear on the packaging is not sufficient to support a conclusion that consumers would be confused regarding the origin and ingredients of the beer.





Jamaican among 3 policemen charged in the BVI

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hands-behind-bars.jpgA Jamaican is among three policemen in the British Virgin Islands who have been arrested on several charges, including the theft of thousands of US dollars from alleged drug dealers.

The Jamaican has been identified as Shawn Henry, a member of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force. He has been accused along with Pamphill Prevost of Dominica and Simon Power, a resident of the British Virgin Islands.

The three have been charged with theft; acquisition, possession or use of proceeds of criminal conduct; removing property from the territory; possession of a controlled substance with intention to supply another; and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

The policemen, who were arrested last Tuesday following a near two-year investigation, were denied bail when they appeared in a BVI court on Friday.

The cops are accused of stealing approximately US$20,000 from an alleged criminal.

On Friday, prosecutors told the court that the three cops, who were members of the Proactive Unit of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, used intelligence to conduct sting operations during which they would intercept alleged criminals and steal a portion of the narcotics and monies seized.

In addition to those charges, Prevost and Power have been indicted for three counts of theft. Both policemen allegedly stole US$14,000 from an alleged drug dealer. Prosecutors say they also stole between US$60,000 and US$80,000 from two other drug dealers in October 2012, in addition to 158 kilogrammes of ganja.





notice-records.jpgWayne 'Unga' Thompson and Jason 'Big Bass' Welsh better known as Notis Records formerly Notice Production continues to explore their creativity resulting in the evolution of the group into Notis Heavyweight Rockaz which is being noticed big time.

They have caught the attention of British based media outlet BBC 1Xtra which did a series of recordings as part of an ongoing documentary chronicling noteworthy happenings in the reggae and dancehall space. This resulted in a buzz worthy live session featuring Unga (Producer/Drummer) and Welsh (Bass) showcasing what has been dubbed as a masterfully crafted piece of work by many industry players. The video can be seen on the official website of BBC 1Xtra.

In the eight minute-long visual the group presents a live rendition of their single 'Rocky Road', a performance which signals a number of firsts for the duo -- first single off their Crossroads riddim (also featuring Jessie Royal, Kabaka Pyramid, Chevaughn, and Bushman) and the first time that they themselves have put their vocals on a single.The video amassed over 75,000 views on Facebook. 'Rocky Road' is a groovy roots rock reggae composition that speaks to challenges along life's journey but with faith and good work ethic the vision can become reality.

Notis is credited with hits such as Ding Dong & Chevaughn's 'Holiday', Future Fambo' 'This Life' added to the remix featuring Mavado; and more recently Iba Mahr's Diamond Sox amid a top 10 spot on the Billboard Reggae Chart for their Heart & Soul rhythm project (Busy Signal - Come Over).





vybz-kartel-to-drop-new-album-viking-vybz-is-king.jpgAdidjahiem Records/TJ Records in association with Zojak World Wide will be releasing "King of the Dancehall", the brand new album from Vybz Kartel.

The 14-track set contains all-exclusive, never before released tracks from the "World Boss" Vybz Kartel. Recorded before his incarceration, the tracks have been completed by renowned dancehall producer Linton 'TJ' White of TJ Records and Adidjahiem.

in a written statement released to the media, Kartel says "King of the Dancehall" is a masterpiece, an album that encompasses the very essence of Adidja Palmer and by extension, The Jamaican experience."

As the title suggests, the album is dancehall to its core. In another part of his statement Kartel said "This album will bring its listeners into the world of hardcore dancehall, not some 'pop music' watered down version. It will give you a peek into my Jamaica. Not the one on the tourist board ads, but the real Jamaica...dancehall Jamaica."

Distributed by Zojak World Wide, the album will hit stores on June 10th.





French singer releases new single, 'Music'

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French singer Delphine released her first single "Music", and her video clip, co-produced with Art & Media and distributed by Tuff Gong International.The music video for "Music" also premiered globally on Friday.

"Music" is the story of a music that takes the color of those who live for her, those who break down the barriers of difference. The music that brings people together, whatever their origins and cultures, which offers each of them the same wealth, the chance to share the present moment.

Delphine is a talented singer-songwriter and composer who believes that no matter where you come from, where you live and where you are going, the music is all around you and even if you do not like it, the music will always make vibrate your soul.

Determined to be an artist since she was a little girl, she joined at the age of ten singing and dancing schools and has followed drama lessons and later she did training in lyrical and classical singing, followed by several courses of song writing, improvisation and gospel.

Delphine has joined various live bands in France and Germany, and has tried different musical styles, such as Blues, Funk, Reggae, and Soul. She has not hesitated to take stages across the world, like in Thailand, with a Pop Rock band, but also in Canada with an American blues band.





super-cat-now.jpgDancehall DJ Super 'Don Dadda' Cat, considered one of the greatest deejays of all times is set to deliver his first New York area outdoor music festival performance in over 15 years. The 'Don Dadda' will headline the 3rd annual Oracabessa Festival on Memorial Monday May 30, 2016 at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens, NY. The announcement was made by radio jocks Dubb Master Chris and DJ Roy of Irie Jam Radio, WVIP, 93.5FM.

Super Cat, who was christened William Anthony Maragh, achieved international fame in the late 1980s with hits songs "Cry Fi De Youth and "Boops" which sparked a slew of 'sugar daddy' songs. The hit parade continued in the 90s with "Don Dada", "Ghetto Red Hot" and stateside hit "Dem No Worry We" which featured Jamaican born US rapper Heavy D.

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After being signed to a major label deal with Columbia Records, Super Cat was featured on a 1992 remix of US hit single "Jump" with Kris Kross. He collaborated with the duo again in 1993 for their song "It's Alright" which earned him the titled "Dancehall Artist of the Year" by hip-hop Source Magazine. He also collaborated on the 1993 hit single "Dolly My Bady" with The Notorious B.I.G., featuring Mary J. Blige and Puff Daddy.

Super Cat is currently being managed by legendary artiste manager and super producer Robert Livingston, who shaped his career locally and internationally, guiding him to much of his musical success over the year.

"Super Cat rarely performs in the tri-state area these day. In fact I could say he has not performed at an outdoor music festival here in the last 15-20 years" Louie Grant, Executive VP of Irie Jam Media said.

Other performers booked for the Oracabessa Festival include 'Gully Gaad' Mavado, 'Mr Smooth' Ken Boothe, Nesbeth, Vershon and Soca King Mighty Sparrow.





elephant-man-passport.jpgThings are definitely looking up for dancehall deejay Elephant Man. No wonder he is giving God the praise.

The deejay was recently freed from a longstanding rape chare after the alleged victim died, and then last week he was given back his work permit for the United States.

The flambouyant deejay shouted out the good news to the world on Instagram in a short clip entitled "The Lord is my light and my salvation" in which he shows off his US visa. In another video he saya: "52 states, work permit, see deh, visa up and live give, give God the glory, rain a fall, give God the glory."

Elephant Man also mentioned his friends, selectors Tony Matterhorn and Foota Hype who are currently in the US for a string of events.





freddie-mcgregor-photo-2.jpgThe Big Ship keeps on sailing and this time around there's a new album from the captain himself, Freddie McGregor.

The veteran reggae singer in a recent radio interview disclosed that the album, rntitled True To My Roots will be released in Japan first at the beginning of June and then Europe and North America at the end of June. A second single from the album, with the same title as the album itself, has just benn released

"Amazing...I call this one (the album) amazing," said a very happy Freddie, who explained that the album was produced by himself, Dalton Browne, Clevie Brownie and Lloyd Campbell from Joe Frazier Records."

"We had enough time in terms of production, it is a superb production," the Big Ship captain said of the 15 track album, adding that.there was a reason why we called it True To My Roots, as we in reggae music need to get back to the rooots of the music.

The song-writing team includes Freddie McGregor, along with Dalton Browne and Clevie Brownie.

The single is available on iTunes,and Freddie exhorts his fans to go out and purchase it.

"The people dem fi jus run go buy da single yah fi 99 cents," he said in the interview.





Two murders in St Ann Friday night

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crime-scene-7.jpgTwo persons were killed in separate incidents in St Ann on Friday night.

The first murder occurred about 9:30 pm in Runaway Bay. Reports are that Donald Clayton, a 57-year-old farmer of Bellaire, Runaway Bay, had a dispute with a man when a knife was used to stab him several times. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The second murder occurred about 11:35 pm.

Twenty-five-year-old Romaine Pryce, a welder of Wharf Street in St Ann's Bay, was shot and killed by unknown assailants as he stood at the intersection of Musgrave Road and Marcus Garvey Way in St Ann's Bay.

Pryce was approached by two men who opened fire at him. No motive has been established in that killing.

The St Ann police are investigating both murders.





derrick-rochester.jpgDerrick Rochester, a former PNP member of parliament and proponent of workers' rights under the National Workers Union, has died.

Rochester, who had been ailing for some time, passed on Saturday afternoon at age 76.

Former Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and party members have contacted Rochester's wife Beryl, and family members, offering condolences.

Rochester first entered politics at the local government level in the 1960s and became member of parliament on different occasions.

His work as island supervisor for the NWU has resulted in a better quality of life and training for bauxite workers. He also received a national honour in recognition of his work after retiring from representational politic in 2002.





Million-dollar payout for man beaten by cops

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On Friday, the Court of Appeal awarded $1million to St Ann resident Eric Gordon, who said he was beaten unconscious by four police officers at the Ocho Rios Police Station.

Gordon said he was beaten by the cops in July 2000 after he went to present his driver's licence.They were identified as constables Delroy D Clarke, Ricordo S Morgan, Dionne W Williams and Inspector Nathan Boreland.

The victim sued the state and the police officers over the assault. However, the cops denied assaulting Gordon, and it has been asserted that Clarke and Morgan were not at the station at the time of the incident. It was also alleged that Gordon injured Boreland's thumb when the cop was trying to restrain him.

According to court documents, Gordon said he had gone to the station to present his licence after he was cautioned about a defective tyre during a traffic stop. Gordon said everything went downhill after he asked the officer, to whom he presented his licence, his name.

He was left with a concussion, fractured ring finger, fractured bone in right hand and was unable to work for 12 weeks.A medical report said that the trauma to Gordon's head "might have repercussion later".

Gordon lost his lawsuit in the Supreme Court but on Friday the appellate court upheld his appeal and awarded him the $1million.





Employees of the National Workers Union (NWU) are demanding a meeting with the leadership of the trade union to discuss growing concerns regarding its affairs.

A two-page letter addressed to NWU General Secretary Granville Valentine, was signed by senior employees including a Vice President, a Deputy Island Supervisor, Assistant Island Supervisors, as well as rank and file employees,

The concerns surround the reported lack of meetings of the NWU's management committee and the slow pace in filling the post of financial secretary, following the death of the person who had held the post.

Additionally, the employees expressed outraged over the reported collapse of the staff health insurance scheme. The cash crunch affecting the NWU has also resulted in the non-payment of statutory and third-party deductions.This has resulted in legal action against employees whose homes, motor vehicles and personal loans have fallen in arrears.

The workers are demanding a full list of all Union members, copies of annual returns, and details of the Union's financial accounts.

It is understood that the Union's management has ignored the request to meet, and that the employees are restive and vowing to take action.





crime-scene-7.jpgCommuters battled in vain in traffic on Friday evening after two shootings on Red Hills Road led to cops cordoning off the crime scenes and diverting the traffic into even more horrendous traffic.

According to reports, the first incident occurred in the vicinity of Calabar High School at about 5:15 p.m., and then shortly after in the vicinity of Lee's Food Fair, less than five minutes away.

The Constant Spring police could not confirm if the incidents are related, however, reports are that a man believed to be a taxi operator was shot and injured. Eyewitnesses say a man on a motorcycle rode up beside the motor car and opened fire.

The police have reported that two men were rushed to the Kingston Public Hospital for treatment.





ganja-image-1.jpgAmericans are more supportive of marijuana legalization than ever before, and that support has led to 23 states passing medical marijuana laws and another four states legalizing recreational marijuana use. In November, voters in states including California, Florida, Massachusetts, and Nevada could weigh in on the issue too. With advocates ramping up their efforts to win support for marijuana legalization in these states, let's take a closer look.

California

California is the biggest marijuana battleground state in 2016. The state was a pioneered in medical marijuana laws, but it's taken a back seat on recreational marijuana legalization since Proposition 19, a pro-pot ballot measure, failed to pass in 2010.

That could change in November. Various advocates are pitching pot plans they hope will pass muster with voters this November, but the one generating perhaps the most enthusiasm is the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, a proposal spearheaded by billionaire tech entrepreneur Sean Parker that has found support among both advocates and doctors.

Florida

After a well-funded anti-pot campaign financed by billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson derailed medical marijuana legislation here in 2014, marijuana advocates have doubled down on their efforts to get a decriminalization measure enshrined in law in 2016.

That earlier pro-pot measure failed to get the 60% of votes necessary to change the State's constitution by only by a couple percent, and recent polls suggest that advocates have the votes necessary for approval this time around. According Public Policy Polling, 65% of Florida voters approve of the medical marijuana initiative that will be on the state's ballot in November.

Massachusetts

Some of the Bay State's top politicians are lobbying against its passage, but voters could have the final say on legalizing recreational marijuana if the question makes it onto the ballot in November.

Massachusetts voters decriminalized marijuana in 2008, and legalized medical marijuana in 2012. This year, voters could build upon their pot-friendly track record if they decide residents should be allowed to possess 1 ounce of marijuana outside their home, and 10 ounces of the herb inside their home.

If a majority of Massachusetts voters say "yes," then it could become the first state (not including Washington, D.C.) east of the Mississippi to legalize recreational marijuana.

Nevada

Residents of the Silver State will decide in November if they want to approve initiative petition 1, a proposal that would tax and regulate pot similarly to alcohol in the state.

The state's legislature declined to take up the measure last year, but if petition 1 passes this fall, then individuals will be allowed to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana. Like most states, the ballot measure establishes a network of licensed dispensaries and taxes marijuana substantially.





Deitrick Haddon for CUJ GOSPLASH

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deitrick-haddon-teaser-photo.jpgThis Emancipation day gospel fans can look forward to another staging of the ultimate beach family fun day and gospel concert, CUJ GOSPLASH at Sugarman Beach in Hellshire, St. Catherine. An exciting element has been added to the 2016 staging of the 4th Annual event though, that will have patrons even more excited about the concert line-up.

The August 1st event will feature Deitrick Haddon, Grammy nominated singer, pastor and star of the popular reality series Preachers of L.A. Haddon, who is also a producer and songwriter, is best known for progressive gospel, and contemporary styles of music.

Produced by Action Entertainment, CUJ GOSPLASH 2016 promises to be the best yet as plans are already underway to ensure patrons young and old, Christians and non-Christians have a memorable experience. This family oriented event will include a wide variety of rides, games, give-a-ways, a talent show, pulsating gospel music and a star-studded gospel concert, featuring some of Jamaica's most talented gospel artistes and international act, Deitrick Haddon, who promises to close the show with a powerful and inspiring performance.

Part proceeds from CUJ GOSPLASH 2016 will go towards the Braeton Primary and Junior High school to aide in the continuation and completion of a computer lab project ACTION Entertainment embarked on last year.

CUJ GOSPLASH 2016 is being staged by ACTION Entertainment in association with the RJR Communications Group.





daniel-lemma.jpgEthiopian/swedish soul artist Daniel Lemma teams up with Scandinavias top-ranking reggae musicians, Hot This Year Band (U Brown, Million Stylez, Norris Man, Etzia, Lutan Fyah and many more) to release his 7th album.

The result is a collection of 10 timeless songs performed in an authentic style, from ska and rocksteady to roots reggae and rub-a-dub.

The first single and video, "Mr Hibbert", pays tribute to one of the heroes and founders of reggae music, the legendary singer Toots Hibbert, as well as the golden era of reggae music he has come to represent.

The song, as well as the forthcoming album, is produced by Patrik "Partillo" Alexandersson whose previous collaborations includes Collie Buddz, Lutan Fyah, Yellowman, Chronixx, Jah Vinci, Jaqee and more.

Full-length album "Common Ground" will be released on April 27.





Get ready for Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival!

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bahamas-junkano-festival.jpgThe Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival is described as the perfect dose of Music, Culture, and Vibes and it takes place April 15-16, 2016 in Grand Bahama and May 6, 2016 in Nassau. The inaugural event last year, drew a crowd of 50,000 strong, and it would be no surprise if this year's event surpasses that.

The carnival promises non-stop live entertainment day and night with the best Bahamian musicians and their contemporaries from across the Caribbean and the around the world. According to the organisers, "If you love music, plan to attend the Carnival Kick Off from April 15-16, 2016 in Grand Bahama, where contestants in the Junkanoo Carnival Music Masters Song Competition will compete in a semi-final concert at Taino Beach. After Grand Bahama, get ready to amp up the music once again at the Music Masters Mega Concert on Friday, May 6, 2016 in Nassau."

The top 10 contestants will compete on the mega stage, alongside featured artists from around the world.

Inside Da Cultural Village

Da Cultural Village is the epicenter of culture at Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival. Whether you love Bahamian food, art, creativity and the spirit of the people; or you simply dig the idea of being immersed in a new cultural experience, head to Da Cultural Village at Taino Beach in Grand Bahama or Long Wharf Beach in Nassau. Bahamians and visitors alike can soak up the culture inside Da Cultural Village. Snack on conch fritters or roasted corn inside the food court or fill your stomach with a hearty fish dinner or chicken in the bag, all traditional Bahamian favorites. Discover the art of Junkanoo music at the Junkamania concert on Thursday, May 5 and the creativity of our youth at Youth Culture Fest on April 9.

Road Fever Street Party

Road Fever is the signature street party of Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival. Held on Saturday, May 6, it will see thousands of costumed revellers flood the streets to jump and wine and party through the streets. Join in the fun by ordering a costume with a registered Road Fever company (See listing on website) and #jumpindaline. Road Fever is all about the vibes. Each costume section has a travelling bar and a roving deejay that rides along the route, ensuring the vibes are always turned up. There is a Road Fever Grand Stand inside Da Cultural Village for spectators, but the real fun is in participating. If you love to party, you do not want to miss Road Fever. And there's a bonus, Road Fever companies have non-stop parties along the road to carnival. Practically every weekend there is a wet fete, paint or powder party: something to get you in the Junkanoo Carnival spirit, starting with their individual costume launch events





Tuff Gong Pictures, a subsidiary of Tuff Gong International, in association with CEEN TV, is pleased to announce "Live from Tuff Gong", a weekly half-hour entertainment show that will bring exclusive content on all things directly related to and affiliated with the Bob Marley group of companies including Tuff Gong international which, as the exclusive regional licensee of Universal Music, Warner Music, and Disney is the largest distributor of entertainment in the Caribbean.

Bringing more than just entertainment news this show will also include the hottest updates on all things reggae music, compelling interviews with renowned artistes, videos, coverage of the latest events and launches, behind the scenes access, travels to stunning locations, and live performances of the reggae's finest artistes from the world renown Tuff Gong Studios

New to the Marley brand, Tuff Gong Pictures is happy to be a part of this partnership with CEEN TV, General Manager Marie Bruce stated, "We are pleased to align with CEEN TV and look forward to providing stellar content to today's audiences, to whom authentic entertainment content is King!"

CEEN TV is the premier 24-hour Caribbean content driven channel, currently distributed in North America.

Hosted by media personality Debbie Bissoon, "Live from Tuff Gong" will air every Saturday starting April 9, 2016 at 10:00pm with repeats on Mondays at 6:30pm and Wednesdays 9:30pm. Viewers can also tune in online at www.ceen.tv.





Chris Martin signs Big Deal with KFC

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chris-martin-big-deal.jpgThe KFC Big Deal, which has three pieces of delcious KFC chicken has been apopular staple in Jamaica for decades and for all age groups.

Singer Chris Martin's popularity has been soaring ever since he entered Digicel Rising Stars years ago. Chris' song Big Deal has been an instant hit, so it is little woner that KFC has signed a Big Deal with the singer.

KFC's newest marketing campaign, the '2016 Big Deal', has been described as a natural fit. Chris Martin is joined by Busy Signal; both having just dropped their latest track "Steppin" together last month.

According to Tina Matalon, Marketing Director, KFC Jamaica: "Working with Chris has been great! Once Chris took 'BIG DEAL' to another level with his hit song, we just knew we had to do something with him at some point. And then having Busy on the track as well added some spice to it, making it hotter than ever."

KFC's popular BIG DEAL meal which is available in all three flavours: Original Recipe, Hot 'n' Spicy and KFC Jamaica's very own signature BBQ sauce, is available at all 34 KFC restaurants island wide.





panama-papers.jpgThe fallout from a leak of four decades' worth of confidential records known as 'The Panama Papers' continues around the region.

Authorities in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) said the release of some 11 million documents has prompted them to investigate whether there have been any breaches of financial regulations in the territory.

The BVI has long played a prominent role in the offshore financial industry, and it figures notably in the leak of files from the Mossack Fonseca law firm.

Financial regulators in the BVI issued a statement saying they will pursue a thorough investigation through the BVI's competent authorities, and further action will be taken, where necessary.





Earthquake rocks Grenada and T&T

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A 5.7 magnitude earthquake rocked sections of Grenada and Trinidad & Tobago Thursday morning.

The National Disaster Management Agency in Grenada has confirmed that there were no reports of damage but said they would continue to monitor the situation.

Reports from the Seismic Research Centre at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine, Trinidad stated that the earthquake occurred around 8:22 a.m.

The Caribbean Disaster Management Agency has said it will also continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as necessary.





Scammer on fraud charges in the US

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hands-behind-bars.jpgA Jamaican man who allegedly scammed a New Jersey resident out of nearly a quarter million dollars was yesterday charged in the US with conspiracy to defraud.

30 year old Ricardo Reid was charged following an investigation that brought US agents to Jamaica in 2014 and led to his arrest February 1 this year. According to court records, Mr. Reid, an alleged leader of the Partners 'n' Crime gang, bought and sold lists of individuals through criminal brokers.

The indictment states that Mr. Reid and others would call potential victims to tell them they had won an overseas lottery and had to pay registration fees and taxes to collect their winnings. If the victims fell for the scam, they were instructed to make payments via wire transfers using Western Union or Money Gram.

Other times, they were told to send cash or money orders to co-conspirators in the United States, who would smuggle the cash into Jamaica. Court records say Mr. Reid and co-conspirators would continue to demand advance payment of taxes as long as the victims could pay or until they realised they had been scammed.





crime-scene-gun.jpgThree men were killed in an alleged shoot-out with the Savanna-La-Mar police on Great Georges Street in Westmoreland early Friday morning.

Reports are that shortly after 3 o'clock, the police were alerted to a disturbance at the Lu's Lucky Supermarket.

On their arrival, they saw a group of men at the back of the building. The police say the men opened fire and a shoot-out ensued.

When the shooting subsided, three men were found with gunshot wounds. They were pronounced dead at hospital.





Kitty clears the air; says sorry

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miss-kitty-photo-3.jpgFluffy Diva Kitty is seeking to clear the air on the supposed 'beef' between she and Curvy Diva Yanique.

"It was being said in the media that there was a problem or 'beef' between the hostess and myself. I had no such 'beef' and was surprised to see and hear this being said. I realised that this 'beef' was being orchestrated in the media with the intent of stirring unwanted controversy. It is very important to note that I wanted to have no part in any such contrived spectacle for cheap popularity," she said.

"During my years in media and entertainment I have worked assiduously to build my career and brand based on genuine accomplishments and my God-given talents. In an effort to protect those accomplishments and to 'clear the air' I addressed the contrived issues during the said live broadcast," she expressed.

"Although I tried to deal with the issue decently, on reflection I admit that it was not the appropriate place to mention the matter. I chose it because the matter was raised during the live show the previous week by one of the competition's judges and felt that I had to address it on the same 'stage'," Miss Kitty added.

"I would also like to thank my team and the people of Jamaica for their continued support throughout the years including the past few days... so big up oonu good clean self and help me buss a Miss Kitty blank... Lalalalala.... because a progress me say!" she said.





shanique-myrie-photo-1-better.jpgReemeber Shanique Myrie? The woman who got nearly four million dollars after she sued the Barbadian government over an illlegal cavity search and won the case.

Well, her estranged husband Troy Pusey, who she met on Facebook, claims that he was beaten by his wife, Shanique, who is now facing charges in Harford, Maryland, for assault. She is to go to trial on May 5.

Troy Pusey secured a protective order against Myrie which states that she should not "abuse, threaten to abuse, and/or harass" him. But Myrie is reported as saying that her husband was emotionally unstable.She was arrested by the Harford County police following an incident, which allegedly took place on February 26. Pusey alleged that Myrie has been fully abusive to him.

"He said I chased him down with knife, and I kicked him in his groin, and that I punched him on his hand that he did surgery on, and stuff like that," Myrie reportedly told a Jamaican tabloid

"He's just upset because I walked out of the marriage. That's why he's trying to ruin my reputation there. That's why he's doing what he's doing. I'm telling the media in Jamaica, do not listen to him," Myrie told The STAR.

"I was picked up at the airport because I went away to visit some friends in Florida, and when I was coming back to visit my husband, I was picked up at the airport by police officers. They locked me up for two days. I was on US$50,000 (J$6,080,000) bail, then it dropped to US$10,000 (J$1,216,000)," Myrie explained.





groovin-2013-chris-and-toots.jpgVeteran reggae superstars Toots Hibbert, who recently reached a court settlement for the injury he sustained in 2013, is now officially confirmed as a headline performer alongside Beres Hammond at New York's Groovin In The Park 2016. The event unfolds at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens, NY on Sunday, June 26, 2016.

This year's festival promises to be a ravishing treat for music lovers who will have the opportunity to see the Jamaican icon and former lead singer of The Maytals in concert.

"We here at Groovin Inc are extremely happy Toots has fully recovered from his injury and is ready to grace the stage again" Groovin Inc CEO Chris Roberts disclosed.

Toots was originally booked to perform at the festival in 2013 but was pulled after sustaining a head injury at an outdoor festival in Richmond, Virginia.

"It was heartbreaking for the team when we heard about Toot's injury in 2013 and doctors informed us he would not be able to perform at the festival. His health was our utmost concern, Toots is a friend for over 20 years and is like family" said Andrea Bullens of Bullzii Marketing /Groovin Inc, who had negotiated the deal.

Fan were left with Patti LaBelle, Tank, Ginuwine, Tyrese, Sanchez and Queen Ifrica. It took 2 entertainers - Half Pint and Steel Pulse to fill the void. Now that Toots is back, New York music fans are looking forward to seeing the veteran star in concert.

Toots comes to the sizzling one day reggae and R & B festival with superb credentials. He is responsible for some of the biggest hits in reggae's history, including 'Pressure Drop,' 'Sweet And Dandy' and '54-46' (That's My Number)" In 1968, Toots & the Maytals' released the hit single 'Do the Reggay,' which gave the burgeoning genre its name. By 1971, the Maytals were stars in Jamaica. The group was featured in the landmark reggae film The Harder They Come in 1972, which introduced an international audience to the Maytals' appeal.

Toots & The Maytals released True Love in 2004, a retrospective all-star collaboration featuring rock's upper echelon (Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Jeff Beck and Trey Anastasio), country icons (Willie Nelson and Bonnie Raitt), modern ska rockers (No Doubt), new folk-rock disciples (Ryan Adams and Ben Harper) and dancehall star Shaggy.





Morgan Heritage off on tour

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morgan-heritage-tour.jpgMorgan Heritage are not resting on their laurels even after winning the coveted 2016 Grammy award for Best Reggae Album.

For the latter part of 2015 and into the new year, the sensational roots reggae quintet of siblings Peetah Morgan (vocals), Una Morgan (keyboard/vocals), Gramps Morgan (keyboard/vocals), Lukes Morgan (rhythm guitar) and Mr. Mojo Morgan (percussion/vocals) proudly spread their musical message of "Cool To Be Conscious" by successfully touring Asia, Europe, Africa, America and The Caribbean.

Onward this spring to Africa, Morgan Heritage will continue to carry the reggae torch by kicking off the summer season in Florida, and the European leg July 1st, 2016. "After our stadium tour in Africa in the Spring, this Summer we embark on a tour of festivals and clubs across Europe and North America. For us touring is 2nd nature but touring behind the level of success Strictly Roots has attained, is a first for us. Needless to say, we're enjoying the journey and grateful for the continued love and support of our fans around the world." stated Mojo Morgan

Making their historical musical mark in reggae, The Royal Family of Reggae's musical melting pot of influences has always been self evident both in their music, and worldwide stage presence alongside some of rock, soul, pop or afrobeat biggest acts. It is that celebration of music that once again will be highlighted on the upcoming "So Amazing US Tour" as the award winning band will be joined by Laza and Jemere Morgan, and on selected dates the torchbearers for modern British reggae music, "The Skints" and California's Beach Rock Reggae group "Wheeland Brothers"

"The So Amazing Summer Tour will feature some amazing talent from Jamaica, America and even the UK. Reggae music is global and we wanted to continue to display the globalization of Reggae music by sharing our stage with young talented Reggae artist and artist influenced by Reggae artist. The Skints from the UK, Wheeland Brothers from Southern California, Laza Morgan and Jemere Morgan from Jamaica all gives us confidence that the future of the music is very bright." Morgan Heritage





hands-behind-bars.jpgFour suspects including two women who are said to be associates of Marlon "Duppy" Flames Perry, one of the country's most wanted fugitive were detained on Tuesday during a major police/military operation in Yallahs, St Thomas.

The operation was aimed at capturing Perry, however, a source said he was able to elude the dragnet.

A large detachment of police and military personnel using helicopters conducted the operation.

Perry is wanted for several murders in St. Thomas.

They include the December 22 murders of two members of the police force Corporal Kenneth Davis and Constable Craig Palmer.They were shot dead at a shop in Poor Man's Corner in St.Thomas.

The Police High Command is offering a reward of J$1.5 million for Perry's capture.





Bolt to start the season in Cayman

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usain-bolt-wins-gold-200m-beijing-2015-photo-3.jpgDouble sprint world record holder Usain Bolt will take the track in his first 100m race, since winning the world title last year in Beijing, when he contests the event at the Cayman Invitational Truman Bodden Sports Complex in Grand Cayman on May 14.

This will be Bolt's second appearance at the Cayman Invitational since 2013 when he won in 10.09 seconds. He will face the Cayman national record holder Kemar Hyman in the event, as well as compatriot and Commonwealth champion Kemar Bailey-Cole.

In a statement, he said: "I am pleased to announce that I will be competing in the 100m at the Cayman International T&F meeting on May 14. It will be my first international competition in 2016 and my second time to run in Cayman. I always enjoy competing in the Caribbean and look forward to meeting my fans in Cayman"

World 400m champion and Olympic 200m champion Allison Felix will be making her 2016 competitive debut at the meet but is yet to decide on the event she will contest.

Fellow American sprinter Carmelita Jeter, the 2011 world champion, will compete over her specialist distance of 100m and will line up against Jamaica's Natasha Morrison.

Action in the men's 200m will see Jason Young facing world championships finalist Zharnel Hughes who competes for Great Britain, Miguel Francis of Antigua and Barbuda and Kenyan record-holder Carvin Nkanata.

Jermaine Gonzalez will take on Delano Williams in the men's 400m and the women's 400m hurdles will have Janieve Russell, Shevon Stoddart, Ristannana Tracey and American Kori Carter, who ran a NCAA and personal record of 53.21 in 2013.

Former schoolboy champion and 2013 200m World Youth Champion, Michael O'Hara, fresh into the pro ranks, will make his debut while, Tyler Mason will contest the men's 110m hurdles where he will face home town favourite Ronald Forbes and Americans Aleec Harris and Spencer Adams.





marcus-mckenzie.jpgIt was reported by RJR News that there is tension among staff at the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) over the hiring of the Marcus McKenzie the son of Local Government and Community Development Minister Desmond McKenzie.

NSWMA sources revealed that is now on the agency's payroll, the story said.

The NSWMA is an agency of the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development

The hiring of McKenzie's son has not gone down well and employees are citing nepotism.

According to a NSWMA insider, the appointment of McKenzie has come as a surprise, as on Friday March 11, a memorandum was circulated to staff advising that there is freeze on hiring and contract renewals until further notice.

Employees say eyebrows were raised when the memorandum was recalled.

When contacted, McKenzie confirmed that he was employed to the Commercial Services Department effective Monday. His role involves soliciting new customers.

The agency has since denied the reports.





Ganja licences put on hold

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ganja-licence.jpgThose hoping to enter the legal ganja industry will have to wait a while longer as the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) says it has had to push back the date for accepting applications.

The Authority had announced that the process would have started yesterday.

However, in a press release today, it said the transition to a new Government has caused some delays in getting certain regulations approved.

Chairman of the CLA, Dr Andre Gordon says a meeting needs to be held with the Minister of Justice who has to review and approve them for the industry to be able to begin operations.

However, it says the Authority expects that it will start reviewing applications before the end of the month.The Cannabis Licensing Authority has indicated that 11 types of licenses across five main categories will be made available to interested persons.

The categories are cultivator, transportation, processing, retailing, and research and development.





fluffy-and-curvy-vs-miss-kitty-and-yanique.jpgFollowing outcry on social media and a subsequent meeting with stakeholders, Fluffy Diva Kitty and Curvy Diva Yanique have been ordered by the principals of the Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall show to apologise to viewers for their out of order behaviour during Saturday night's live show.

Both parties have to apologise on live television this Saturday,but is this apology sufficient? Persons were clamouring for one or both to be suspended owing to the disgusting level of rudeness which was displayed.

It is being said that this slap on the wrist is merely a way of appeasing all those who have been making their feelings clear on the matter, rather than a desire for the stakeholders to really discipline the Fluffy and Curvy.

It will be interesting to hear what they have to say, but we hardly think that we will tune in to MK&Q on Saturday.





usain-bolt-and-girlfriend.jpgPhenomenal sprinter and party animal, Usain Bolt took to Instagram over the weekend to share a picture of his girlfriend with his 2.5 million followers.

"President And First Lady," was the caption Usain used to describe himself and his girl. He did say in a recent interview that he had found love, but did not elaborate much, except for saying that his new love was from May Pen.

Later on Sunday, the superstar sprinter was spotted kissing his girlfriend at the Bacchanal Jamaica Road March.

Good for you Usain, we wish you all the best.





Justin Bieber debuts dreadlocks. Why?

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justin-bieber-locks.jpgWhite Canadian singer and teenage heartthrob, Justin Bieber showed off his new hairstyle on Instagram and then live at the iHeart radio awards on Sunday.

He first posted two pictures to the social media platform, with one captioned simply, "Why."

The second shot, posted at 2:30 a.m., had no caption, but he showed off both the new look and his shirtless bod in the mirror self.

Bieber has since been accused of cultural appropriation, but the majority of his fans found his locks amusing and even compared him to the grinch.





beenie-man-photo-8.jpgDreadlocked entertainer, Moses Davis, aka Beenie Man, is reportedly building a church in Waterhouse.

Interestingly, however, construction on the building was forced to grind to a halt recently owing to violence in the area.

Beenie Man was speaking with ZIP 103 FM when he disclosed the issues with the building of his Ethiopian Orthodox church.

Of course, this begs the question: How will worshippes worship there without fear?

Meanwhile, Beenie Man is gearing up for the release of his latest album Unstoppable. The title track released earlier this year features international artist Akon.





Over $50 million stolen from Scotia bank

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Investigators from the Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Branch (CTOC) are probing the theft of more than $50 million from Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS).

The Director of a courier company, hired to service the bank's Automated Banking Machines (ABMs) is under investigation.

He was questioned three weeks ago by Fraud Squad detectives.

BNS called in CTOC in December after it conducted an audit and discovered that millions of dollars supplied to the courier service to place in its ABM's were diverted.

It's believed that more than $55 million was stolen.

The cops are expected to lay charges.





audley-shaw.jpgIt appears that Finance and Public Service Minister Audley Shaw's explosive announcement that the money collected from a special tax on fuel was placed in the Consolidated Fund instead of a special fund set aside for that purpose should not have been such a shocker after all, in light of deliberations which took place in Parliament late last year, an expose in Jamaica's national newspaper, The Sunday Gleaner, has revealed..

Shaw and Prime Minister Andrew Holness had given a commitment in the run-up to the February 25 national polls that the money set aside for the oil hedge would be used by the Jamaica Labour Party administration to help fund a new tax policy to provide relief to hundreds of taxpayers.

But Shaw told a Private Sector Organisation President's Forum last week that now that he has taken over the country's purse strings he has found out that the money has been spent or otherwise budgeted.

"We had suggested that part of the payback of the $1.5 million tax break would be use of the tax on fuel that was supposed to be a special fund that was set aside," Shaw told the forum.

"We have found that the oil hedge fund was not set aside, that it is actually already accounted for in the Consolidated Fund," added Shaw.

However, according to the report, Hansard, the official verbatim records of Parliament, shows that during a sitting of the Lower House last September, Shaw, the then opposition spokesman on finance, was given a full account of what was being done with the money by then Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips.





peter-phillips-photo-1.jpgOpposition Spokesman on Finance, Dr. Peter Phillips, says the Andrew Holness administration will have to impose new taxes in order to fund its income tax relief plan.

He says this is based on the IMF agreement, and the disclosure by Finance Minister Audley Shaw about monies he thought were available to finance the plan. There has been increased discussions about the matter, since Mr Shaw stated that monies he thought were available for the plan did not exist.

The government has committed to providing income tax relief to persons earning up to $1.5 million annually. Dr Phillips says this will be done by new taxes because the current administration will have no other options. He sees the IMF programme as the biggest factor. This as he sees no relaxation of the 7% surplus requirement which is critical to the agreement with the Fund.

And Dr Phillips has outlined further reasons why he asserts that there will be new taxes. He says Mr Shaw's utterances are in conflict with the JLP's ten point plan.





norman-manley-airport.jpgAn investigation is being carried out by the Border Protection Unit of the Jamaica Customs Agency and the police following the discovery of two firearms in cargo at the Norman Manley International Airport on Thursday.

According to a statement from Jamaica Customs, members of the Contraband Enforcement Team and the police seized the two disassembled firearms which were concealed in electronic equipment. It's reported that during routine checks of cargo that arrived from the US, officers were alerted to inconsistencies.

Further checks led to the discovery of a 9 millimetre Ruger Special pistol with a magazine, an Olympic Arm point-2-2-3 rifle with 3 magazines and a scope concealed in the cargo.

Jamaica Customs is making arrangements to acquire a fixed portal scanning unit. Commissioner of Customs, Major Richard Reese, says the equipment will result in increased revenue as well as improved border protection. Customs officers will be able to accurately identify products in containers and detect suspicious items.

Reese explained that with the scanning unit, containers can be viewed vertically or horizontally. He added that the equipment is expensive and the agency is looking at various proposals to see how best it can be financed.

Major Reese added that Customs officers will be able to access information from the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) system relating to shipments so if images do not match an alarm will be triggered.





hands-behind-bars.jpgOne of the women arrested on an extradition request in western Jamaica last week is wanted in the state of North Dakota in the United States on a 66-count indictment for her alleged involvement in the lottery scam.

Prosecutors revealed this morning that Kimberly Hudson, who is eight months pregnant, has been indicted on one count of attempting to and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, 48 counts of wire fraud, 15 counts of mail fraud and one count of money laundering.

Hudson was denied bail when she made her first court appearance before the Corporate Area Criminal Court on Monday. She is one of the eight persons who were taken into custody during a series of police operations targeting persons suspected of being involved in lottery scamming.

The others are Alrick McLeod, Dahlia Hunter, O'Neil Brown, Xanu Morgan, Korme Gray, Dario Palmer and Jason Jahalal.Seven of the eight were remanded until April 13.

Prosecutors told the court that authorities in North Dakota have alleged that Hudson was part of a criminal organisation operated by a Jamaican man identified as Labrick Wilcocks in the US and elsewhere. Allegations are that members of the organisation, including Hudson, allegedly conspired to run a lottery scam that fraudulently induced persons in the US and elsewhere to send millions of dollars to Jamaica to cover fees and taxes for lotteries they never won.Prosecutors alleged that a total of 80 elderly victims were convinced to send more than $5.6 million in fees to the criminal organisation.





Vybz Kartel's Gaza Vybz Rum hits the streets

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gaza-vybz-rum.jpgDancehall entertainer Vybz Kartel is tucked away behind bars, but his latestet venure, the Gaza Vybz Rum is free to run the road.

The product will be available in three flavours: Gold rum, white rum and a Fusion - a tasty purple-coloured combination of strawberry, melon and blueberry.

"We are going to hit the marketplace hard this week. Up move, Gaza Vybz rum mek mi cup move. We are already getting a lot of orders all over the island, and in Caribbean islands such as Trinidad," Gaza spokesperson Jefrrey Hype said.

The product will be distributed by Dain Dain Company Limited.

"We have also wrapped a bus to market and transport the product island wide," Jeffrey Hype said.

This is Kartel's second foray into the rum market. Vybz Kartel and Corey Todd had a successful partnership with Street Vybz Rum which hit the market in 2008. Bottled by KRB Lea Rums in Kingston, production was stopped in 2011 because of a disagreement between Kartel and Todd. Kartel and Todd patched up their partnership and resurrected the Street Vybz brand in 2012. But since then, Street Vybz went off market again.





'Bleaching argument stale out,' says Khago

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khago-bleach.jpgIn an interview with Zip103 FM on Saturday, Khago, who is now sporting a severly bleached out face, stated vociferously that the bleaching argument stale out. "Mi know di people dem a talk. And me a seh , Kartel done tell dem dat already."

"I feel seh people free fi do wah dem waan do wid demself, because me nah go out an do tings fi harm other people," he added.

"A music we a do and we just feel fi mek a change inna wi life," he contended.

Khago had set off a storm of comments and speculation on social media this week when he re-emerged from a short hiatus with lightened skin, piercings and tattoos.He told Zip FM that everyone is entitled to their opinion, but they should also be mindful that "you have one life to live".

"When it come on to how you feel to carry yourself, mi feel trimming my hair have nothing to do wid nobody. A me grow it," Khago said.

As it relates to the cutting of his dreadlocks, Khago explained that it was out of necessity as it was becoming a medical hazard for him.

"The locks get too heavy pon my neck and it did a strain and mi end up affi cut it off," he noted.





Gully Bop can't get anybody pregnant says Chin

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gully-bop-and-shauna-chin-photo-1.jpgIn response to rumours that her former love,Gully Bop, has a baby on the way, Shauna Chin had this to say:

"Gully Bop caan breed nobody (laughing), and he knows that, so when... him stop give that girl money, she soon find out what time it is. She breed fi somebody else and a try put it on Bop," Chin said.

Over the past week, reports have emerged on social media that a girl is pregnant for Gully Bop.

bop-and-amari.jpgGully Bop's camp has said that the artiste is involved with the girl and pays her rent, but they are unsure if he is the father of the unborn child.

Meanwhile, Gully Bop's current girlfriend Amari said the rumours have made their bond stronger.

"At first, I was pissed off, and I still am, but I will stand by him. I was embarrassed, more than hurt because it is a real relationship. It has made the relationship stronger," she said.





kitty-and-yanique.jpgThe so-called divas Kitty and Yanique are definitely in the wrong space, dem shoulda inna di boxing ring, after the showdung pon big big television Satday night.

All now people still a ask a what really gwaan pon TVJ the other night wid the Fluffy Diva Kitty and the Curvy Diva Yanique?!

It neva look good, it neva sound right and di two a dem need fi apologise to the viewers. And so too should TVJ.

Prople shock so till! Imagine inna di miggle a di Magnum Kings and Queens show, Kitty decided fi set the record straigh that she doan have no beef with the nex on who call herself Curvy Diva.

According to Kitty: "I just want to clear the air now, because mi a real woman, mi a real top gal a road so wi deal wid things directly. Some things have been said, and I just want to clear them up..you and I have no beef whatsoever. This manufactured beef is disingenuous, it is duplicitous, it doesn't exist. The manufactured feud that we have doesn't exist at all.

"Just the same, to Jamaica I am all about empowerment , I am about empowering women, my career has been built on that, so let us do accomplishment. But mi love your song, Sheldon, mi like that, and in Jesus name, mek our accomplishments judge us. The only thing I want to beef with ah my bank account, big up mi education, big up miself fi impress some more woman, and frighten some more woman, buss the blank and say lalalalalala!".

Yanique responded: "Can I talk now? Can I talk now? Here is the situation, hold on I hear you, I am not stopping the show. We never have no beef, we didn't. Instead of coming on air, We didn't have no beef but my thing is, so instead of coming on air, how about addressing me? my dressing room is next to you, and it's been awhile, so therefore you are doing it for the public. Kitty? Me this! Yanique. If we have an issue, you can come to my dressing room and say that. Let's continue, let's continue the show, it's not a show, it's not for the public, yu know where mi dressing room deh!".





khago-bleaching-split.jpgkhago-bleach.jpgOkay, here's the scenario. An online publication posted this picture with the following headline: 'Kartel set the trend, I can do what I want' - Khago addresses bleaching speculations".

It appears that there are three persons in this picture, but thre are actually two persons: Kartel on the left, Khago in the middle and Khago (as he looks now) at right.

However, the Khago at right - with the bleached out face and no locks looks so dramatically different from the Khago in the middle (as he was then) that one reader commented quite innocently: "Why is Khago placed between these two men?"

The reader, "Bar Ker" just could not comprehend that the bleached out face person at right is Khago. Well, girl chile, you are not alone.





crime-scene-7.jpgThe Claremont Police are reporting that the two alleged praedial thieves who were beaten and chopped to death in Bensonton Thursday afternoon, were spotted with a goat in a motor car.

Information from the Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) is that at about 12:30 pm, residents saw the two men in the vehicle with a stolen goat.

Residents from the area intercepted the vehicle - it is alleged that the men fled but were subsequently caught.

One of the men was severely beaten, while the second thief's throat was slashed. Both men were taken to the hospital where they were pronounced dead.

The St Ann Criminal Investigative Branch (CIB) are following several leads.

Police are urging anyone with information as to the identities of the men and as it regards to the incident to contact the Claremont police at 972-3244, the police's emergency 119 number or the nearest police station.





Busy's big break

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busy-signal-photo-12.jpgDancehall recording artiste Busy Signal was heard in an American ad campaign this week which features Fast and Furious actor Jason Statham, for the launch of the new LG G5 smartphone expected to be released today April 1.

The song 'Watch Me Now' was also recently chosen by international beverage company Diageo through the Smirnoff brand, as the title track for their ongoing ad campaign in Europe.

Last year, his Major Lazer produced hit EDM dancehall single 'Bumaye/Watch Out For This' was used in a global Pepsi advertisement which featured football superstar Lionel Messi.

Soldier, principal in murder/suicide.

The police have confirmed a murder-suicide, which occurred in the Hope Village district of Williamsfield in Manchester yesterday, involving 42 year-old Jamaica Defence Force soldier, John Williams,and Gail Anderson, 42, principal of the Hope Village Early Childhood Institution.

Reports are that the bodies were found at approximately 3:40 p.m. with gunshot wounds to the head. A licensed firearm was also recovered from the scene.

Residents are said to have heard loud explosions and summoned the police.





'Kartel became a cannibal,' says Chronixx

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vybz-kartel-photo-23.jpg"Gangsterism, Cannibalism ... because Vybz Kartel overtime became a cannibal. When you listen his music it was very cannibalistic. It became so pleasant to the human like there is a thing in us that craves chopping up people and beheading people and cut out a man inside," entertainer Chronixx said in a radio interview.

Chronixx also brought Vybz Kartel's single Kill Dem All And Done under the microscope, selling the idea that the content was not positive for youth, yet they crave such material.

chronixx-photo-8.jpg"When you see how youth react to a song that says go and kill everybody, kill dem all and done ... and everybody excited," he said, laughing.

However, after a huge backlash from Kartel fans, Chronixx posted the following" "for all true supporters of Vybz Kartel as a true talent... you have all right in the world. Put every other element aside, Vybz Kartel as a student of the music and our culture is an undeniable and exceptional talent who has proven himself to be a fearless creative soul on this earth."





200 lbs of ganja seized in St. Elizabeth

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ganja-seized.jpgAn anti-narcotics operation in St Elizabeth on Wednesday resulted in the seizure of approximately 200 pounds of ganja.

The ganja, which was found in an open lot in Burnt Savannah, has a street value of $1.4 million.

No one was arrested in that incident.





crime-scene-7.jpgTwo in one week!!!??? And both are from Mandeville, Manchester.

For the second time this week a Jamaican woman has died suddenly in the British Virgin Islands.

According to BVI News Online, the second person to die is Suzette Edwards-Frett who was employed to the British Virgin Islands Health Services Authority.

It's reported that she got married a few days ago to a court employee.

She recently posted pictures showing her in a bed at a hospital in the BVI.

On Monday, another Jamaican woman, 38-year-old Tracy Forbes, died suddenly at her Long Trench home in the BVI.

The Royal Virgin Islands Police Force said investigations so far have not indicated anything suspicious regarding her death.

However, a post mortem will be conducted.





postal-worker-glen-grays-and-cops.jpgNEW YORK -- Police Commissioner Bill Bratton had some harsh words for the officers accused of handcuffing a postal worker while he delivered packages on his route in Brooklyn.

CBS New York reports Bratton said he was "very concerned" about the March 17 confrontation between 27-year-old Glenn Grays and four plainclothes officers and a lieutenant.

"I'm very concerned about the performance of the officers, about the leadership role of the lieutenant involved and about the processing of the arrest at the precinct stationhouse," Bratton said Tuesday.

He also questioned the legitimacy of Grays' arrest for disorderly conduct.

"Based on what I witnessed on that, the various videos I've reviewed now, I have strong concerns about the charge against the individual," Bratton said.

The entire incident was captured on cellphone video.

DNAinfo reports the officers involved have been "removed from their normal posts as the NYPD investigates the incident."

Grays was in the middle of his shift on Saint Patrick's Day when he claims an unmarked police car nearly ran him over in Crown Heights. He said he then shouted at the officers, who stopped and demanded identification.

"My ID right there on the side of the truck," Grays can be heard saying in the video.

"Let's go get your ID," an officer says.

"I'm not going nowhere," Grays responds. "I'm delivering my postal route."

The video then shows the officers telling Grays to "stop resisting" even though it doesn't appear that he is resisting.

"I'm not resisting!" Gray yells back.

Grays is then handcuffed and put in the unmarked patrol car, his mail truck left unattended. That's when the video ends.

Bratton said the NYPD's Internal Affairs is investigating. He said the officers were members of a conditions unit and were supposed to work in uniform.

"Out of the investigation into that incident will be why were they in plainclothes, for what purpose, who authorized it," he said.

The commissioner was also concerned that a USPS truck was left unattended.

In an interview with "CBS This Morning," Grays said: "The only thing I think saved me is that it was on videotape."

"Never been arrested, never received a summons. I was extremely terrified. I wouldn't say afraid - I passed the stage of afraid," Grays said. "I was afraid that if I didn't comply that something was going to happen to me."

The NYPD has been hit with other caught-on-camera incidents of alleged police harassment against people of color, including the 2014 death of Eric Garner.

Grays said he wants justice. To him, that means disciplinary action.

"I don't want them to be jobless because they might have family, kids they need to support," Grays said. "It's sad that I thought that when I put on a uniform that I'll be treated a little different, but it's no difference. You know, I'm just another brother with a uniform."





Khago dip himself inna bleach?

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khago-bleach.jpgA how Khago get so brown? That's the question everyone is asking, and we a ask it to.

Khago is sporting much shorter hair and bleached out face.

"But wait, how the man get so brown, everybody a get brown inna Dancehall," one Twitter user said.

On Facebook, users compared the artiste's change in appearance to Alkaline's bleaching.

"So Alkaline bleach and get bigger inna Dancehall so other man a try do it and hope it get him luck," said one user.

Another user posted that the entertainers are now going to extreme lengths to get attention.

"Man put things inna them eye, man a bleach the skin them get from God just fi stay relevant in Dancehall, it's sad," said the user.

khago-sting.jpg





Memorial service for Jimmy Riley April 6

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jimmy-riley-birthday.jpgThe funeral service for legendary reggae singer Jimmy Riley wjill be held Wednesday April 6 at the Webster Memorial United Church on Half-Way- Tree Road, St Andrew.

Start time is 1:00 pm.

People attending are encouraged to wear bright colours or white,and there'll be lots of musical tributes.

The body Riley will be cremated.

Jimmy Riley, who is the father of reggae singer, Tarrus Riley, lost his battle with cancer in New York, last Wednesday morning. He was 68.





By Stephen A. Cooper

bob-marley-photo-3.jpgIf he were alive, the Honorable Robert Nesta "Bob" Marley, O.M. (Order of Merit), would have celebrated his 71st birthday on February 6. Even with the thirty-fifth anniversary of his tragic death from cancer coming this May, Bob remains the most recognizable ambassador of reggae music the world over.

Marley's timeless appeal and continued relevance stems in no small part from the stirring political, racial, and social consciousness painstakingly infused in his songbook. From tracks like One Love to War (adapted from Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I's historic speech before the United Nations General Assembly in 1963), Them Belly Full (But They Hungry), Get Up, Stand Up, Concrete Jungle - and many, many more of his songs - Bob Marley used the bully pulpit of international music stardom to disseminate the treasure of his accumulated moral wisdom.

No different from the revelations of a learned Rasta elder "reasoning" in a sacred Nyabinghi drum circle in the woods, Marley's lyrics offer much more than mere artful, pleasant sounding ditties set to an engaging tune; unlike lyrics of today, they are not window dressing whose only purpose is to accompany a deep base or gyrating beat.

Instead, through artful poetry, a beatific voice, and his magnetic charisma, Bob Marley spurred dancing and singing. But critically, and I submit, the reason his music stands the test of time: Bob's lyrics challenge listeners' hearts and minds. From staunch supporters to his fiercest critics, Bob's songs force everyone to recognize oppression, unfairness, and inequality - in all its multifaceted, nefarious forms.

This is why there can be no doubt: If Bob Marley was alive today he would denounce - using the strongest, most acerbic terms - the leading Republican candidate for President of the United States, Donald J. Trump. A small sampling of Marley's discography and musical mainstays evidence the disdain the reggae star would have held for the billionaire mogul.

donald-trump.jpg

To prove the point, imagine the following hypothetical conversation between Trump and Marley, using each man's publicly spoken (or sung) words except where otherwise indicated by brackets ("[ ]").

Donald Trump and Bob Marley (An Imagined Conversation)

TRUMP: That's one of the nice things [Bob]. I mean, part of the beauty of me is that I'm very rich. [Indeed, I have been known to say:] The second-greatest day of a man's life is the day he buys a yacht, but the greatest day of a man's life is the day he sells it.

MARLEY: [Donald,] [y]ou see[m] [like] men sailing on their ego trips. Blast off on their spaceships. Million miles from reality. No care for [an average Joe], no care for me." (Stiff Necked Fools)

[Donald, don't you know?] The greatness of a man is not how much wealth he acquires . . . . Don't gain the world and lose your soul, wisdom is better than silver or gold. (Zion Train)

TRUMP: [Fine, fine, I get it Bob. Money doesn't impress you. [But,] [l]et me tell you, I'm a really smart guy.

MARLEY: Here comes the conman coming with his con plan . . . . (Crazy Baldheads)

TRUMP: [Bob! I don't know why you are being so mean . . . . After all,] I have a great relationship with the blacks. I've always had a great relationship with the blacks. [That being said about "the blacks", you should know:] Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.

MARLEY: [Donald, you] don't want to see us unite. 'Cause all [you] want us to do is keep on fussing and fighting. [You] don't want to see us live together. (Top Ranking)

TRUMP: I will build a great wall [Bob] . . . .

MARLEY: Why can't we roam this open country? Oh, why can't we be what we want to be? We want to be free!" (Three O'Clock Roadblock).

Let me tell you my friend if you gonna live this life, it's not good for you to build strife. (Craven Choke Puppy)

To divide and rule could only tear us apart. (Zimbabwe)

TRUMP: [Look here Bob,] [w]e need to make America great again.

MARLEY: [Donald, really, I] [c]an't take your slogans no more. . . . [just] can't take your slogans no more . . . . (Slogans)

You can fool some people sometimes, but you can't fool all the people all the time. (Get up, Stand up)

TRUMP: [Ok, Bob, no more slogans. But just so you know, so there is no mistake about this,] I do not wear a rug. My hair is one hundred percent mine.

MARLEY: [You] crazy, [Donald,] crazy. [And] we gonna chase . . . crazy baldheads [like you] out of town. Chase [you] crazy baldheads out of town. (Crazy Baldheads).

Mr. Trump walks off in disgust and Bob Marley shakes his head sadly.

MARLEY: Pressed on [his] conscience. Oh yeah. And [he] live[s] [his life] on false pretense every day - each and every day. Yeah. These are the big fish, who always try to eat down the small fish, just the small fish. I tell you what: they would do anything to materialize their every wish. Say: Woe to the downpressors . . . they'll eat the bread of sorrow! Woe to the downpressors . . . they'll eat the bread of sad tomorrow. (Guiltiness)

About the Author:

Stephen Cooper is a former federal and D.C. public defender. He writes full-time and lives in Woodland Hills, California.

Stephen A. Cooper, Esq.
stevecooper7214@gmail.com





tesha-miller-photo-1.jpgtesha-miller-photo-2.jpgReputed Clansman leader Tesha Miller has been deported to Jamaica by the US government after serving a prison sentence there. He had been convicted in the United States in 2014 on a charge of illegal entry.

According to reports, Miller along with other deportees,wass being processed at Mobile Reserve and subsequently released.

Police said they have been keeping a watch on communities within Spanish Town, which is the seat of the gang. There has been a simmering leadership dispute within the gang, and Miller's brother, Craig Miller, was shot and killed at a premises on March Pen Road in Spanish Town last year.

Elan Powell, Assistant Commissioner of Police said systems are in place to ensure that order is maintained.

Miller fled to the United States after he was freed of gun and robbery charges by the Court of Appeal in March 2013. He was sentenced in the High Court Division of the Gun Court to seven years' imprisonment for illegal possession of a firearm and 15 years for robbery with aggravation, which led to him filing the appeal.





Reggae Sumfest 2017

Dengue cases rise

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dengue.jpgThe Ministry of Health is reportedly seeing more cases of the Dengue fever. Dr. De La Haye says the country remains on high alert.

"We're now at a total of 75, so we still need to be looking out. More specifically, dengue has four sub-types. Three and Four are the ones associated with Dengue hemorrhagic disease and Dengue hemorrhagic fever, the more lethal outcome potentially of dengue," Dr. De La Haye said.

However, "in patients we've suspected of having Dengue hemorrhagic fever, none of those have returned positive," he said.





Jamaica gets funding to fight Zika

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zika-virus-photo-2.jpgAt the request of Jamaica, the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Council of Ministers has approved an allocation under the European Development Fund to support the fight against the Zika Virus in the region. The approval came Wednesday on the final day of the 103rd Session of the ACP Council.

Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs, had proposed that the funds be made available to support the fight against the Zika Virus in Jamaica and the other countries in the Caribbean. She cited the serious potential for economic and social harm.





Two new cases of Zika virus confirmed

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zika-virus-photo-2.jpgThe Ministry of Health is reporting two more cases of the Zika Virus. This increases to eight the number of confirmed cases in Jamaica.

Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Winston De La Haye, said the cases were confirmed following the testing of samples at the Virology Laboratory at the University of the West Indies, Mona.

He said the lab has already received 203 samples, compared to 321 received by CARPHA since the start of the epidemic - thereby "approximating the total amount we've been giving to CARPHA over the last three months."

Dr. De La Haye said the two women, from Spanish Town Road and Duhaney Park, are recovering.

"To my knowledge they are fine as (are) the other six persons," he said.

The Acting Chief Medical Officer said the ministry would continue to fog areas within a 200-300 metre radius around each person's home who is found to be positive.





The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) has revealed that over $500 million worth of counterfeit items has been seized by them in recent years.

Alwyn Nicely, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Jamaica Customs Border Protection Division, says the seizures were part of a clampdown on breaches of intellectual property rights.

Speaking at a media briefing Thursday, Mr. Nicely said, "IPR, which is often seen as a victimless crime, is quite the opposite. We have, to date, seized and destroyed in excess of $523 million worth of goods (with items ranging) from illicit cigarettes to apparel."

He has also highlighted the dangers associated with the sale of counterfeit medication locally. He urged consumers to be cautious when purchasing pharmaceuticals as it was a matter of public safety.

"We must be absolutely sure that the things we are ingesting as medication are above board and legitimate," said Mr. Nicely.





police-commish-dr-carl-williams.jpgCommissioner of Police Dr. Carl Williams and the Police High Command have condemned the killing and have offered condolences to the family members, friends and colleagues of the slain policewoman.

"My heart goes out to the family members and colleagues of Ms. Williams who has passed under very tragic circumstances. I too mourn with you as she was a member of my immediate staff," Williams said.

"To her killers, the Jamaica Constabulary Force remains undaunted by this evil act. We will stop at nothing until her killers are brought to justice."

The Police High Command is also urging all officers both on and off duty to be extremely vigilant and to take swift and decisive action to protect themselves, family, colleagues and members of the public within the remit of the law.

The High Command also says the threat level against police personnel remains high.





policewoman-judith-williams-apr-29.jpgThe female police corporal who was shot six times by gunmen as she left her east Kingston home for work Thursday morning has died.

She has been identified as 54-year-old Judith Williams, who was attached to the Office of Police Commissioner Dr Carl Williams.

police-commish-dr-carl-williams.jpg

The police say Williams died shortly after midnight at the Kingston Public Hospital.

Williams was looking forward to her retirement from the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

On Thursday morning, she had just left her home on Brae Street in east Kingston when she was surprised by two gunmen travelling on a motorcycle.

It's reported that the pillion pulled a firearm and opened fire, hitting her.

She was rushed to hospital where doctors made a valiant attempt to save her life.





Father of murdered 3-year-old found dead

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murdered-child-leashay-thomas.jpgThe father of the slain St James three-year-old child wanted in connection with her murder has been found dead.

Roosevelt 'Timmy' Thomas was found with multiple gunshot wounds at an abandoned house on Joan Avenue in Glendevon last night.

He had earlier escaped police custody while being interrogated at the Barnett Street police lock-up in the parish.

Thomas called a family member to say he was going to kill his daughter and dump her body at the beach.

He also threatened to kill himself.

Thomas reportedly went to the child's mother, took the child away and sent a text to his own mother to say the child was at the beaches.





policewoman-judith-williams-apr-29.jpgThe police say they now have a suspect in custody in relation to the murder of female police corporal, Judith Williams.

"We have a man in custody and he is being questioned in relation to a number of crimes, one of which is the killing of the female police corporal," said a senior detective in the matter.

Police say they were unable, at this time, to provide more details on the case.

Williams, 54, was attacked and shot multiple times as she made her way to work by gunmen traveling on a motor cycle in McIntyre Villa, also known as Dunkirk.

She died in hospital on Friday morning.

Her death has sent shock waves across the country and the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).





troy-pusey-and-shanique-myrie.jpgBwoy, what a mix up, confusion and bangarang wid Shanique Myrie and her husband! First, she did say him is a control freak and that him unstable, now him say that all she did want from him was a green card and money.

Him have a restraining order against her because she fight him off and now she say it's all lies.

Him say him did married to she because of love, only to find out that she did a kip man wid him all along because she did tell her friend them that it was a business marriage. She say a no so it go.

Bare mix-up and blenda cause di two a dem a do 'exclusive interview' like say dem a some big celebrity.

All now we cyaan decided who a lie and who a tell di truth. KMT.





junior-reid.jpgThe funeral arrangements have been set for the older brother of entertainer Junior Reid.

Before the final farewell, there will be a tribute event this Thursday in memory of Patrick Sutherland Reid, popularly known as Thrilly. Meanwhile, the Wake is slated to take place on May 14, and the funeral service is set for May 15.

Thrilly was a key member of JR Productions. The "One Blood" singer further explains that his brother will continue to live on through him, and his 11 children.

Thrilly died from complications of hypertension at Medical Associates in Kingston, days after his birthday on April 10.





Richie Stephens to tour with Chaka Khan

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richie-stephens-photo-2.jpgRichie Stephens is gearing up to leave the island for a tour with the legendary Chaka Khan.

Following a string of shows with Khan, Richie is expected to spend months in Europe performing at a number of events with his newly formed Ska Nation Band.

Richie Stephens expressed that forming the Ska Nation Band with the Italian musicians, has allowed him to do what he really loves which is Ska music.

The album, Richie Stephens, and the Ska Nation Band is currently available on all digital platforms.





fatal-crash.jpgA visitor to the island,, twenty-two-year-old Laura Arango of Revere, Massachusetts, USA, died in a motor vehicle crash in Hanover Tuesday morning.

Reports are that Arongo was a passenger in a white Toyota Voxy motor vehicle that was travelling on the Point main road in the vicinity of the Molasses Port, when it slammed into a parked truck at about 11:30 am.

It's understood that the car was travelling from the direction of Lucea towards Montego Bay, St James.

Miss Arongo and the driver were reportedly taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead and the driver admitted.

The Hanover police are investigating.





Dad flees as daughter's body found at beach

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murdered-child-leashay-thomas.jpgThe St James Police are now searching for Roosevelt Thomas for questioning in connection with the death of his 3-year-old daughter.

He's also known as 'Skinny' from a Flanker address in Montego Bay, St James.

The dead girl has been identified as Leashay Thomas, who lived with her mother in Flower in the parish.

Leashay's body was found floating in the waters of the Dump Up Beach in the second city Tuesday morning.

Reports are that a man, said to be the father, called a family member to say he was going to kill his daughter and dump her body at the beach.Thomas reportedly went to the child's mother, took the child away and sent a text to his own mother to say the child was at the beaches.

The matter was reported to the police, who conducted a search of the area Monday night but to no avail. They found the body Tuesday morning after returning to search for the missing child.





policeman-son-jquan-forbes-photo-1.jpgThe Police High Command has ordered an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of a Constable's son at their home in Olympic Gardens, Kingston on Monday night. It is understood that the boy used his father's service pistol to shoot himself in the head.

Dead is 14 year old J'Quan Forbes, a student of Wolmer's Boys School. His father, who is attached to the Denham Town Police Station, is facing a charge of negligence.

Reports are that shortly after 7 o'clock, the child was reprimanded by his father about an email he received from his school about his academic performance. Following the discussion, the policeman went to bed. An explosion was later heard.

When the policeman went to his son's room, he was found with a wound to the head and the service pistol as well as a note beside him.





Couple found dead in car in Portmore

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crime-scene-7.jpgA man and a woman were found dead in a motor car on Meadowvale Drive in Portmore, St Catherine.

Dead are: 37-year-old Michelle Murdock of St Paul Avenue, Caymanas, and 49-year-old businessman Patrick Johnson of Cougar Drive, both in Portmore.

Reports are that about 3:15 am, explosions were heard and the police summoned.

When the lawmen got to the location, both Murdock and Johnson were found with gunshot wounds inside a Mazda motor car.





MISSING: Two Americans cruise ship passengers

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missing-cruise-ship-passengers.jpgPolice in Trelawny are seeking the public's assistance in locating two American nationals who were passengers on a cruise ship that docked at the Falmouth Pier on Tuesday, April 26 and went missing.

They are 33-year-old Hayden Gerson and 32-year-old Alisha Frank. Gerson was dressed in light coloured shorts and a grey t-shirt while Frank was dressed in a red short skirt and red open back blouse.

Reports from the Falmouth Police are that about 9:26 a.m., both disembarked the vessel allegedly to make a trip to Montego Bay, St. James; they have not been seen or heard from since.

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Hayden Gerson and Alisha Frank is being asked to contact the Falmouth Police at 954-3222, the police's emergency 119 number or the nearest police station.





crime-scene-gun.jpgThree alleged robbers, including a woman, were injured Tuesday night during a gun battle with the police in Clarendon.

Shortly after 8 o'clock, persons held up and robbed patrons at a bar in Cross Keys, Manchester. They escaped in a car but were pursued by the Manchester police, aided by a Jamaica Defence Force helicopter, to Four Paths in Clarendon.

One of the police vehicles was damaged by the getaway car during the chase. A gun battle then followed and one of the men who escaped from the vehicle was captured in bushes.





jamaican-chef-fowles.jpgJamaican-born chef Andre Fowles finished as runner up in the final of Food Network's, Chopped Champions Tournament.

Fowles' appearance on the show is historic as he is the first Jamaican-born as well as the youngest chef to compete in the tournament.

The final which started out with four contestants was whittled down to two, between Fowles and eventual winner Adam Greenberg.

Caramelised onion and coffee ice cream with chocoflan apple crumble was the dessert created by the Jamaican which did not prove good enough for the win.

The chef who left Jamaica in 2014 is now the resident sous-chef at Miss Lily's, a Jamaican restaurant in New York.

Prior to joining the team at Miss Lily's, Fowles worked for two years as chef de partie under the tutelage of Martin Maginley, multi-award-winning chef at the cashmere-chic Round Hill Hotel & Villas.

He also worked at Kingston's celebrated Mac's Chop House under the celebrated Mario Machado.

Fowles attended Donald Quarrie High School and was trained at the Runaway Bay HEART Academy. He credits his grandmother, Veronica Davis, affectionately called 'Mama Cherry' for his foray into the culinary arena.





For Immediate Release
Tuesday April 12th, 2016 - Toronto, ON Canada

judy-mowatt-photo-1.jpgReggae Legend, Icon and Queen Judy Mowatt will celebrate the release of Colin Levy's album Unleashed for two dates: Montreal on Saturday April 30th at Le Belmont (4483 Boulevard St. Laurent) at 10 pm and in Toronto on Sunday May 1st at the Opera House (735 Queen St. E.) at 7 pm.

The Living legend, who rose to fame as a backing vocalist for Bob Marley and member of the I-Threes, and after a successful solo career, will perform in Toronto at the infamous Opera House. Included in her early evening performance will be hit singles "Many Are Called," "Black Woman" and "Sister's Chant."

Ms. Mowatt's performance is a rare and an exclusive engagement, and supportive to Colin and his musical mission via Unleashed. "When Colin called and asked me to perform for his album launch, I said yes right away. He always makes positive music, and I gladly lend my voice to that movement. See you soon Montreal and Toronto!"

judy-mowatt-sat-30-apr-2016-montreal.jpg

After taking 2 years off from making music, Colin Levy is ready to take center stage. Backed by the Hardcore band, Colin will perform the lead single from his album, "Smile" which was produced by Willie Lindo and Dean Fraser. Serviced to radio DJs around the world, it has become one of the most requested songs by fans. In addition to "Smile," fans in both cities will hear music produced by Stephen Marley ("Forever Praising Jah"), Willie Lindo ("Life") and Dean Fraser ""One Chance").

The 17 track disc features guest appearances by Marcia Griffiths ("One Chance"), Lady Saw ("Do It Again"), Heather Cummings ("Lover's Converse"), Anthony B ("West Best"), Lutan Fyah ("Bad Habit"), Turbulence and G. Forest ("Good Newz"). When asked about the recording with such greats, Colin shared "the vibrations we felt when making these songs together helped take the music to another level. We didn't just make music, we made an imprint that people can take with them to feel good - day or night" and fans agree! Feedback by way of comments on the artists social media pages suggest that not only do they like the lead single "Smile," they placed their pre-orders for the album feeling instinctively it has music they want to hear.

Joining Colin on stage to celebrate the launch of Unleashed in both Montreal and Toronto are JUNO Award winners Exco Levi and Mikey Dangerous, Leroy Gibbons, Fire Lion, Jah Cutta, Christini and Totally Blaze.

judy-mowatt-sun-1-may-2016-toronto.jpg

Distributed by VPAL (a division of VP Records), Unleashed is accessible to fans around the world through VPReggae.com, iTunes.com and other favorite online music outlets.

As one of Canada's most recognized Reggae and Lover's Rock musicians, Colin Levy's has traveled the country and the world promoting Reggae. His commitment to fans has lead to the fans commitment to him, making Colin a mainstay on the radio, at stage shows and festivals.

About Colin Levy:

Born and raised in Jamaica and emigrating to Canada, Colin has been involved in music as a songwriter, producer and live entertainment producer. He has received several awards in music, and has an extensive discography with artists in Jamaica and Canada.

Fans can keep in touch with Colin online at www.ColinLevyMusic.com or via his Fan page www.Facebook.com/IleyCharDavidMusic

Fans can purchase tickets to the 'Unleashed' album release party using these links:

Montreal
http://wantickets.com/Events/202889/Unleashed-Colin-Levy-Iley-Chardivd-Record-Release-Showcase/

Toronto
http://www.ticketfly.com/event/1135319-colin-levy-iley-chardavid-toronto/





JIPO to mark Intellectual Property Week

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The Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO) will be staging a number of activities to mark Intellectual Property (IP) week from, Sunday April 24 to Friday, April 29.

Speaking in an interview with JIS News, Copyright and Related Rights Manager at JIPO, Sophia Clarke said the week is being celebrated to increase public awareness about the protection and rights of people's creativity and invention.

The week started with a church service on Sunday, at the New Transformed Life Church and continued Monday, with the acknowledgement of 'World Book and Copyright Day' and a Copyright Seminar at JIPO, 18 Trafalgar Road offices. Clarke shared that the seminar will focus on, the Marrakesh Treaty; which addresses the improved access to copyrighted works for people who are visually impaired; and the Beijing Treaty, which has created a new layer of monopoly rights for the creators of audiovisual works.

Other activities include an 'Open House' and acknowledgement of 'World Intellectual Property Day' on Tuesday, April 26 at JIPO.

She explained that the open house is to facilitate questions about laws that can protect original concepts and prevent it from being exploited by others without the owner's permission.

On Tuesday, there will be presentations from JIPO, the IP arm of the Counter Terrorism, Organized Crime Division in the Jamaica Constabulary Force (C-TOC) and the Jamaica Customs Agency about infringement and enforcement of IP laws.

On Wednesday, April 27, focus will be placed on 'Entrepreneurship Day' under the theme 'Idea to Enterprise' with emphasis on how to earn from inventions to become successful entrepreneurs. This will be held at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries located at 4 St. Lucia Avenue.

"We have called on successful entrepreneurs; people who have moved their idea to a successful business, to share their journey," Clarke noted.

On Thursday, April 28 the JIPO team will view material that was seized by the C-TOC, and has been ordered to be destroyed by the Court. The week will end on the Friday, April 29, with an outreach at Calvary Missionary Church Hall in Highbury Crescent, St. Thomas.

Members of the public are being invited to visit the JIPO office to get information about intellectual property rights and attend the list of activities planned during the week.





Lord Tanamo of Skatalites fame is dead

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Lord Tanamo, a former member of the legendary Skatalites band, died Tuesday in Toronto, Canada. He was 82.

The singer/percussionist, who was born Joseph Abraham Gordon, combined ska with mento and calypso on several of his songs including Japanese Invasion. He led the Skatalites on songs like Come Down and I'm In The Mood For Ska.

Raised in Denham Town, West Kingston, Lord Tanamo was strongly influenced by the legendary Trinidadian calypsonian Lord Kitchener, who lived in Jamaica during the 1940s.

At the dawn of the 1970s, when calypso and mento waned among Jamaican artistes, he kept the beat alive with songs like Rainy Night In Georgia, originally done by Tony Joe White.

He migrated to Canada during the mid-1970s but continued to record singles and albums for producers in Jamaica, most notably Bunny Lee and Sonia Pottinger.





Junior Reid's brother is dead

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junior-reid-photo-1.jpgPatrick Sutherland Reid, older brother of singer Junior Reid and a key member of his JR Productions, died last Tuesday.

Popularly known as 'Thrilly', he died from complications of hypertension at Medical Associates in Kingston at age 55.

"Is a great loss, Thrilly was mi bes' friend. Somebody mi coulda always talk to," Reid said.

Raised in the Waterhouse area of Kingston, Thrilly Reid was also an independent producer who worked with artistes from his community.

He is the second of Reid's brother to die. Their younger sibling, Leighton 'Grammy' Reid, passed away several years ago.

Patrick Sutherland 'Thrilly' Reid is survived by 11 children and eight grandchildren.

His funeral service is scheduled for May 15 at a location to be announced.





prince-photo-1.jpgPrince has taken the number one and two slots on the Billboard 200 albums chart with the greatest hits album The Very Best of Prince and the Purple Rain soundtrack, as both re-entered the chart in the wake of his death last Thursday.

The Very Best of Prince sold 179,000 units and Purple Rain shifted 69,000 units.

Another Prince album hit the top 10 as The Hits/The B-Side re-enters at number six with 41,000 units sold.

The three titles are also the number one, two and seven selling albums of the week.

Prince's overall catalog of albums sold 256,000 copies.

In the meantime Prince is on course to dominate the UK charts this week. The musician holds every spot in the top five in the midweek chart update, with 16 albums set to enter the top 100.





beyonce-lemonade.jpgPop queen Beyoncé gave viewers a lot to process Saturday night when she released Lemonade.

The "visual album" which aired on HBO, features videos for 12 of the 13 songs on her new album.

Of note is the song Hold Up which brings attention to the Jamaican music culture. The song, which speaks of her cheating lover, has Beyoncé occasionally speaking in Patois.

Beyoncé has been known to incorporate aspects of reggae and dancehall in her music over the years. She released the chart topping single Baby Boy with Sean Paul back in 2002. In the single Run The World (Girls), she sampled Vybz Kartel's Pon De Floor produced by Major Lazor.

Beyoncé also has a remix of Standing On The Sun with Mr. Vegas.





A boat captain who goes by the name Man O War has been arrested by the police and slapped with ganja related charges.

Man O War, whose given name is Cregg Donald, was charged by the narcotics police with possession of ganja, dealing in ganja and taking steps to export ganja.

The police say Donald was arrested after a white Toyota Hilux, owned and driven by him, was searched at a yacht club in St. James and one knitted bag with compressed ganja amounting to 31 pounds was found.

Man O War is one of two persons to be arrested and slapped with ganja-related charges by the Police Officers attached to the Narcotics Division along with the Marine Police.

In the first incident, on Wednesday, an American man was arrested when a boat, docked at the yacht club, was searched and twenty-five packages of compressed vegetable matter resembling ganja was found, weighing approximately 130 pounds.

Five 15-gallon barrels of fuel was also found on the boat. The man's identity is being withheld pending further investigations.





Big drug bust at a yacht club in Montego Bay

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ganja-seized.jpgThe Narcotics Police have arrested two men, including an American, following two drug busts at a yacht club in Montego Bay, St James.

One hundred and sixty pounds of ganja was seized in the operations.

In the first incident, on Wednesday, the American was arrested when a boat, docked at the yacht club, was searched and twenty-five packages of compressed ganja weighing 130 pounds seized. Five 15-gallon barrels of fuel were also found on the boat.

The American's identity is being withheld.

On the following day, the cops arrested Cregg Donalds otherwise called "Man O War", a Boat Captain of Oracabessa, St. Mary at the yacht club. A pick-up owned by him was searched at the yacht club and a knitted bag with compressed ganja weighing 31 pounds was allegedly found.





Jamaican on cocaine charge in Bermuda

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cocaine-seized-photo-1.jpgA Jamaican national accused of importing a quantity of cocaine into Bermuda was charged in the country last week.

Charged with importing cocaine is 30-year-old Tyrone Brown, who was not required to enter a plea to because it must be heard by the Supreme Court before.

Reports are that Brown attempted to enter the island with roughly 900g of cocaine to the which has a street value of between BMD$95,700 (approximately J$11.7 million and BMD$209,625 (approximately J$25.6 million) if sold on the streets of the island.

The presiding magistrate ordered Brown further remanded into custody until May 2, at which point he is expected to be scheduled to appear before the Supreme Court for arraignment.





Robber killed in shoot-out with cops

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crime-scene-7.jpgOne man was shot and killed during a confrontation with the Police on Cottage Road, Montego Bay, St. James last weekend.

The police said that a .38 Taurus revolver with two live rounds was recovered after the shooting.

A car, with the men aboard was reportedly spotted along a section of Cottage Road by the police who gave chase. A gun battle reportedly ensued, and the men, while trying to make they escape crashed their car into a wall just outside the gate of the Montego Bay Cricket Club.

Residents in Montego Bay said that the deceased is one of two men who were believed to have been involved in robbery.

The matter has been reported to the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM).





Big names for JAMPRO Board

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junior-reid-photo-1.jpgSeveral high profile individuals have been appointed to the board of Jampro,an Agency of the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce.

Heading the eight-member board is Grace Kennedy Chief Executive Officer Don Wheby. The Deputy Chairman is President of the Jamaica Manufacturers Association Metry Seaga.

Other board members are Businessman Zachary Harding, Digicel Executive Peter Lloyd and company executive Yoni Epstein.

The other members are Honey Bun Executive Michelle Chong, Sandals Executive Gary Saddler and Supreme Ventures Director Ian Levy.





$300,000 reward for capture of QQ

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The St. Ann Police have increased to $300,000 the reward for information leading to the arrest and charge of 50-year-old Brian Forbes, otherwise called QQ, of Drumily in St. Ann.

Forbes is wanted in connection with the April 25, 2015 murders of 15-year-old Amoya Brown and 25-year-old Demari Smith.

It was reported that a dispute developed with Mr. Forbes and the two, who were his neighbours, about a noise disturbance. Ms Brown and Mr. Smith were both chopped with a machete. They died while being treated at hospital.

Forbes has since been on the run.

Anyone knowing his whereabouts is being asked to call the St. Ann's Bay Police at 972-2211, Crime Stop at 311, Kingfish at 811, Police 119 emergency number or the nearest Police Station.





policeman-son-jquan-forbes.jpgPolice detectives are investigating the fatal shooting death of a child on Monday night was an accident or if it was suicide.

The dead child has been identified as JQuan Forbes,a student of Wolmer's Boys' School in Kingston and the son of a detective constable assigned to the Denham Town Police Station.The policeman has been admitted in hospital after he collapsed after making the gruesome discovery.

Reports are that the policeman left the gun at home and the child picked up the weapon when it reportedly went off and JQuan accidentally shot himself. However, detectives are probing several angles in the matter - one of them is that the child may have intended to kill himself.

Reports are that the father had an argument with JQuan about an email, and instructed the boy to complete his homework. The policeman reportedly fell asleep and was awakened by an explosion in the house. The body of the teen was found on the floor in his room close to the service firearm of his father.

Sources report that a suicide note was also found at the scene.





Teetimus looking a hype by wearing nail polish

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Another day...another entertainment person looking a hype by doing something stupidly out of the box.

The latest in the series is producer/artiste Teetimus who made sure everybody knows that he wears nail polish. Of course, he got a big write-up in the Star, with the writer even referring to Teetimus as 'ICONIC'. What the hell?!!!

Do these writers even know the meaning of the words they are using? Teetimus has produced a few songs that have done well, but Teetimus is certainly no icon. Please, my colleague journalists, please choose you words carefully. Words are the tool of our trade, let's stop cheapening them like that. Please.

Anyway, back to Mr Teets and the nail polish.

But, then again, is there really anything more to say on this non-subject?





prince-photo-1.jpgPrince may have overdosed on what was likely heroin or narcotic painkillers and was then given a so-called "save shot" six days before his death, TMZ is reporting, citing several unnamed sources.

"Save shots" usually help combat opiates such as heroin and narcotic painkillers in the bloodstream. Doctors and paramedics have used the injectable medication, called naloxone, for years.

Authorities have yet to determine the cause of death of the 57-year-old music legend who was found unresponsive in his Paisley Park recording studio in suburban Minneapolis, Minnesota. Post-mortem results are pending.

A medical emergency forced Prince's jet to land in Illinois on Friday (15 April) as he was heading home to Minneapolis from a concert in Atlanta, Georgia. Representatives told TMZ at the time he was suffering from the flu.

But that's when he was given the "save shot" and doctors recommended he stay in hospital for 24 hours, TMZ reports. However, Prince checked himself out in just three hours, apparently because the hospital couldn't meet his demand for a private room. When he left he "was not doing well", a source told TMZ.

Prince had cancelled two performances earlier in the month, and his representatives cited health issues without offering any details.

Minnesota authorities are reportedly attempting to obtain Prince's health records from Moline, Illinois, where the hospital is located.

A 911 call unearthed by TMZ revealed that a witness, who may have been one of the first to find Prince unresponsive, believed him dead even before the first responders arrived.

"Um, we're at Prince's house," the man said on the call. "So, yeah, um, the person is dead here."

As tributes to the creative icon poured in from around the world, Prince's sister Tyka Nelson spoke briefly to a crowd of mourners who amassed outside his recording studio. "Thank you for loving him," she said. "He loved you all."





Adele is Britain's richest female singer

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adele-21.jpgAdele has been named as Britain's richest ever female musician according to the Sunday Times Rich List.

A list of the top 50 music millionaires in the UK and Ireland, puts the singer's L85 million fortune in the 30th position overall.

Among the top ten richest are Sir Paul McCartney at number 1 (L760 million), U2 in third (L500 million), with Sir Elt