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buju-banton-photo-11.jpgNew York, New York (November 15, 2018). With only days before his release Buju Banton remains positive and in great spirits. He is currently counting down the days, along with millions of others to his release.

Yet, he would like to send a message from his heart to all before he is released.

"In light of the adversity I have encountered, I feel the need to stress that my only desire going forward is peace and love. I only want to be associated with my craft. Having survived, I want to share the good news and strength of my music. I just want to continue making music, which Ive devoted my life to. I look forward to the opportunity to say a personal thanks to my fans and everyone who supported me"

-Love Buju Banton

crime-scene-gun.jpgBusinessman Ren 'Basil' Malcolm, the operator a bike store on Courtney Walsh Drive (Derrymore Road) was shot seven times all over his body, including once in the head. The video footage showing the gunman entering and leaving the building has been obtained by Yardflex.

Minutes after 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Basil, as he is affectionately called, was attacked by a lone gunman inside his establishment, located on the popular street. The gunman, shown to be slim built, walked causally into the shop, strolled innocently past workers and went into Basil's office where he shot him several times after a brief conversation.

According to the eyewitness, a vehicle was waiting for the perpetrator. However, after being challenged by a licensed firearms holder, the driver reportedly sped away leaving his accomplice behind.

"It come in like a movie, middle day and the man dem have shoot-out, mi couldn't believe it," the eyewitness told a popular tabloid. "Mi hear di shot dem start from inside di building, until it come outside. Di man dem run guh up a di top of the road and di man weh tek dem on run dem dung, but dem escape."

In confirming the incident, the police's Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) said that two other individuals, including the firearm holder who engaged the gunman, were being treated for gunshot wounds.

CCU further reported that the gunman was able to flee the scene by boarding a taxi.

As word of the incident spread, numerous motorcyclists, some of whom were visibly irate, came to the scene, questioning the motive for killing Malcolm.

"A can't Basil. Dem man deh nuh do nutten, dem man deh nuh trouble people. Dem man deh a good man," one shouted.

Another cyclist, who said he would hang out at Malcolm's business regularly, was at a loss for words.

"From dem shoot Basil, dem can shoot anybody, dem ya man no respect nobody," he said, wondering if . "A probably extort, dat a di only thing mi can think off, cause a suh dem place ya run, if yu nah pay extortion, dem come kill yu."

police-federation-logo.jpgFootage from a closed circuit television (CCTV) camera as they seek to uncover who is responsible for the murder of a parent yesterday morning outside Lannaman's Preparatory School in St Andrew.

The deceased has been identified as Ainsley Folkes. He was killed shortly after dropping off his child at the institution.

The police team, which responded to the killing, told THE STAR that the incident may have been captured on a nearby CCTV camera.

"There are cameras around, there is a camera on the school building so it is likely that some activity may have been captured," a policeman declared as he cordoned the scene.

Shortly after dropping off their children at school, there was a rush by some parents to get their little ones away from the compound following the brazen killing.

Another parent who witnessed the attack ran after the gunman who managed to escape in a waiting Nissan Tiida motor car.

The parent reportedly told the paper that: "The man nuh even dress like a gunman. If you see him, him look like a big man inna him 40s. Him dress normal. If yuh see him, you wouldn't think that was his intent. I mean, yuh can't tell but now we don't know who to look for. It could have been any of us."

The gunman knocked on Folkes' window as he sat in the car and as Folkes brought down the windows, the gunman reached for his waistband, pulled the firearm and shot him multiple times.

"I can't believe it. I stood by my car waiting for him (Folkes) to acknowledge me, a jus suh we move once we drop off the kids dem and see each other. Me see the man pull the gun, fire and run. Mi run after him but him manage fi escape around the road cause the car was waiting for him. Mi can't believe di man jus come and kill off the man suh," the eyewitness told the tabloid.

Folkes reportedly managed to exit his vehicle where he ran on to the school compound and collapsed. He was rushed to hospital where he was pronounced dead. School was closed prematurely as counselling was provided and will continue throughout the week.

The St Andrew Central police said that investigations are ongoing.

crime-scene-gun.jpgA man was shot dead Monday morning outside the Lannaman's Preparatory School in Kingston, moments after dropping off his son at the institution.

Reports are that the father took his son onto the school compound and was returning to his vehicle, which was parked across from the school gate, when explosions were heard.

The source said the bleeding man returned to the compound in search of help. He was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The incident happened shortly after 7:30 am. It is also being reported that the deceased was a licensed firearm holder, however, his weapon cannot be found.

Church members pressured as young pastor arrested

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The members of the church at which a young pastor was picked up for questioning about the sexual abuse of a minor are now coming under a lot of pressure from their community.

Members say they are now under scrutiny from community members since the young pastor's arrest, and according to one stalwart in the church, she is afraid to leave her home because of the backlash that she is receiving.

"Everything happened so fast and the church just stopped immediately," said the member. "Dem a tell him seh him must stop talk to that little girl, enuh, and him never did a listen."

Daily tabloid, The Star, is reporting that the pastor took the child out on numerous occasions and even though he was pressed by members of the church to desist from the action, he still continued.

"There were times when he would often be in conflict with the church. One time he even took the child out for her birthday to Carib, and the church was really upset about it," the member said.

arrested.jpgA church pastor who was leading his congregation in prayer was arrested on Sunday following complaints by a 13-year-old child that he had sexually molested her.

The service was interrupted on Sunday as the congregation was in the middle of a service when the mayhem started.

"We were praying and I saw two officers come to the church door. He (the pastor) was praying at the altar, so the police told one of the ushers to go and call him," the member said.

Head of the Centre for Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA), Superintendent Charmaine Shand, confirmed that the pastor was taken into custody for the offence of having sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 16.

Up to press time, he had not been charged.

Reports from CISOCA are that the suspect was contacted by the minor, who told him that she was locked out of school sometime last week.

Shand said that from reports the pastor picked the child up in Half-Way Tree and took her to a house where he had sex with her.

The man, whose name is being withheld pending further investigations, is being questioned in relation to this incident and another involving another minor.

charged.jpgThe police in St Ann have charged two 15-year-old boys in relation to the recent murder of 14-year-old Ocho Rios High School student, Raven Wilson. Police sources say that Raven was with at least one of the boys on the day of her disappearance, and was later killed. The other 15-year-old boy allegedly played the role of helping to dispose of items belonging to the girl, and assisted in dumping the body.

The identities of the accused teenagers cannot be revealed, as they are juveniles. One of the boys was charged with murder, while the other was charged with accessory after the fact to murder. The charges followed a ruling from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) last Thursday that the two boys should be charged.

Additionally, the teenagers were taken to court last Thursday, and were remanded in the custody of the state. They are to return to court later this month.

In confirming the detention of the teens at Thursday's monthly meeting of the St Ann Municipal Corporation, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Rudolph Taylor, said the teens were picked up over a week ago.

Raven Wilson's body was found in her community of Top Road in the parish capital, St Ann's Bay, on Sunday, October 21. Her body, with a wound to the head, was discovered in a garbage bag in bushes at about 6:35 a.m. The student had been missing since Friday, October 19. It is understood that she left home for school at about 6:30 a.m., but did not attend the institution that day.

The police reportedly recovered belongings of hers, including her schoolbag and a pair of shoes, which were classified as vital evidence in the probe into her death. The schoolbag was recovered at a premises in Top Road two days after Raven's body, which was clad in her school uniform, was found.

Investigators are also focused on the results of forensic tests on the recovered items, and also a post-mortem report on Raven's body.

JLP councillor happy with MannaPack rise in schools

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jlp.jpgAs the issue of whether the products from Nutrition Products Limited (NPL) has been replaced by the imported MannaPack Rice continues to unfold in the St Catherine Municipal Corporation, Jamaica Labour Party councillor for the Ensom City Division, George Moodie, has defended the issuing of the product, saying it is a nutritious supplement and not a replacement for the nutribuns, milk and juice supplied by NPL.

Moodie, who had vowed to address the issue at last Thursday's general meeting of the municipal corporation with evidence of the value of the imported rice, and what he described as a mischievous attempt by Peoples' National Party councillor Roogae Kirlew of the Above Rocks Division to malign the Government, was earlier in the meeting prevented from doing so.

However, in an interview with The Gleaner, Moodie, who is also a school principal, said Kirlew's assertion at last month's general meeting that the Government had scrapped the national nutrition programme of providing bake products and sachets of milk and juice to students islandwide, under a school-feeding programme operated by Nutrition Products Limited, was false and misleading.

"I want to make it clear that Nutrition Products Limited is still providing products to our schools and the Manna Rice is a very nutritious supplement to the programme," said Moodie, while displaying a container with some of the MannaPack Rice he had personally prepared for his presentation.

"This product has tremendous nutritional value and should be encouraged for the benefit of our students. My colleague's attempt to discredit the product and malign the Government is purely political," observed Moodie.

Meanwhile, in a statement from Nutrition Products Limited, the company charged with the responsibility for the production and distribution of nutritious snacks to schools islandwide, it was made clear that the company currently operates a school-feeding programme that provides bake products, milk and juice to over 1,000 schools at a minimal contribution.

The statement further described the company as a statutory body functioning under the portfolio of the Ministry of Education, funded directly by the Government and assisted by local and international donor agencies.

Two charged for attempting to expost cocaine

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charged.jpgIn another incident, also on Friday, a team from the Narcotics Police Division arrested and charged two men at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, St James for attempting to export cocaine.

They are: 47-year-old Nigel Barham, businessman of Nain district, St Elizabeth and 52-year-old Dennis Daley, farmer of Myersville district, also in the parish.

Police say the drug weighed approximately 4.5 pounds, and has an estimated street value of about $2.2 million.

The men were subsequently charged with Possession of Cocaine, Dealing in Cocaine, Attempting to Export Cocaine and Conspiracy to Export Cocaine.

They are scheduled to appear before the St James Parish Court on Thursday.

Policeman caught with cocaine and $1-Million in cash

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police-hat.jpgFour men, including a policeman, have been arrested for allegedly breaching the Dangerous Drugs Act.

The unidentified police corporal was reportedly caught on Friday by Narcotics police in Porus, Manchester with one kilogramme of cocaine and $1 million in cash.

The policeman was reportedly travelling in a Toyota motor car with another man about 4:20 p.m. when it was intercepted, searched and the drugs along with cash found.

Both men were subsequently taken into custody. Their identities, according to the police, are being withheld pending further investigations.

Body found in container

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crime-scene-tape-gloves.jpgThe Old Harbour police in St Catherine are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a man whose body was found on Friday in an empty container at an industrial complex in the parish where packing is done for exporting.

The deceased, who remains unidentified, is believed to be about 52 years' old, is of dark complexion, medium built, and was clad in black pants and socks.

Reports are that about 1:30 p.m., the container, which was delivered to the facility on Wednesday, November 7, was about to be loaded with produce when the body was discovered inside of it.

The police were summoned and the scene processed.

Guyana, CMC - The Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) re-opened this morning a few hours after a Fly Jamaica airliner made an emergency landing 45 minutes into its flight to Toronto, Canada. Six passengers were injured.

"We can confirm that Fly Jamaica flight OJ256 bound for Toronto has returned to Georgetown with a technical problem and has suffered an accident on landing. At this time, we believe that all 118 passengers and 8 crew members are safe. We are providing local assistance and will release further information as soon as it is available," the carrier said in a statement.

Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson confirmed that six people were injured during the incident and were being treated at the Diamond Regional Hospital.

"They are all stable and are being looked at," Patterson said, adding that all the passengers and crew on board had been accounted for with "no reports of any broken bones or such".

The Boeing 757 aircraft with 118 adults and two infants on board was forced to return to the CJIA minutes after its departure for Canada because of technical difficulties and over ran the airstrip on the emergency landing.

"Where the aircraft veered off is about the exact same place the Caribbean Airlines (plane did)... so fortunately for us on this occasion, the extension (of the runway) was there so they were able to utilise the extension," Patterson said, adding that investigations into the matter had already started.

The plane with its eight crew members of six Guyanese and two Jamaicans, also had on board one American, 82 Canadians, 35 Guyanese, one Pakistani and a Trinidadian.

Patterson said that the flight departed Guyana at 2:10 a.m. (local time) and at 2:21 a.m., the pilot indicated "there was some hydraulic problem and he requested permission to return and he did".

On landing, the emergency services were activated and since then an investigator from the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority has taken responsibility for the crash site. Patterson said that the United States' National Transportation Safety Board has been informed.

Fly Jamaica Airways was certified by the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA) in September 2012, and was cleared to operate in the United States by US authorities in December. On November 16, last year the airline formed by a Guyanese businessman and three Jamaican shareholders, was given permission by the Guyana government to begin direct flights between Guyana and Cuba.

crime-scene-gun.jpgRamiesh Simpson, a prominent Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) activist, was shot and killed last night at his home in Logwood, St Thomas. His wife, who was also shot and injured, was rushed to the hospital.

It is reported that about 9 p.m. the Simpsons had just pulled up at their home when Rameish stepped out the vehicle to open the gate. He was allegedly attacked and shot multiple times, killing him on the spot.

His wife was later shot and injured after she ran from the vehicle.

Reports are that the men set the vehicle on fire before fleeing the scene.

Simpson made local news in 2015 after he and his cousin were arrested and charged with the illegal possession of firearm and ammunition following reports from the police that they removed the items from a van which Rameish, in seeking to elude the police, drove into the sea.

The items were allegedly fished from the sea following what the police described as a high-speed chase, which ended with Rameish driving his vehicle into the sea in the vicinity of Grants Pen, St Thomas.

Both men were offered bail and had restrictions imposed on their movements.

In granting bail, Resident Magistrate Calise Wiltshire had said claims from the prosecution that Rameish was part of a criminal gang in St Thomas was not enough reason to deny bail.

crime-scene-gun.jpgThe Westmoreland police are carrying out a high level probe into the quadruple murder this morning (Nov 8). The police say they believe that the killings could have been carried out by members of the Kings Valley gang who have been terrorizing sections of the parish.

Those killed are brothers: 31 year old mechanic Howard Humes, 33 year old farmer Paulton Humes, and 23-year-old Shavane Humes, as well as the spouse of one of the brothers, 25-year-old Keneisha Wilson.

Reports that about 1:15 this morning, residents living in the Masemure community, alerted the police after hearing gunshots coming from the direction of where the Humes family reside.

Upon the arrival of the police, the four were seen suffering from gunshot wounds.

A 5 year old child was the only occupant who was spared by the gunmen.

Community members, family and close friends of the victims, expressed their shock at the gruesome quadruple murder, which they say is the first of its kind in the community.

Pheona Malcolm - Campbell, mother of the slain woman, was broken up about the incident. She says her daughter was innocent.

And, Kenneth Wilson, who is the father of the slain woman, in an interview with Jamaican radio station, Irie FM News, said that the Humes family had been receiving threats.

Head of the Westmoreland police, Superintendent Gary McKenzie says the police are hoping for a quick breakthrough into the murders.

Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett has expressed deep sadness at the passing of celebrated architect and hotelier, Earl Levy.

"On behalf of all of us in tourism, I would like to offer my condolences to the family and friends of Earl Levy, during this very difficult time," said Minister Bartlett.

Levy is the mastermind behind the luxurious Trident brand in Portland. He opened the Trident Vacation Villas in the mid-1950s; then later designed the lavish Trident Castle, Hotel & Villas, in the 1980s. Over the years, Trident has received a number of service awards and has played host to a large number of celebrities such as Audrey Hepburn, Kate Moss, Johnny Depp and Denzel Washington.

He also assisted with the refurbishing of the iconic Devon House attraction in Kingston, as well as designing a number of well-appointed residential properties across the island.

"The contribution that Mr Levy, or the Earl of Portland as he is affectionately called, has made to the tourism industry is significant. He was an outstanding entrepreneur, family man and designer. He will certainly be missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him," said the Minister.

Bartlett also noted the influence Levy had in strengthening brand Jamaica through his extraordinary designs.

"Earl Levy is truly irreplaceable but we take comfort in knowing that the industry will benefit from his contributions for many years to come," said Minister Bartlett.

Two confirmed cases of dengue in St Catherine

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dengue.jpgThe St Catherine Health Department says there are two confirmed cases of dengue fever in the parish and a few suspected cases that are presently been assessed by the authorities.

Delivering the Health Department's monthly report at the general meeting of the St Catherine Municipal Corporation Thursday, Chief Public Health Officer for the parish, Grayson Hutchinson, said these are isolated cases and there is no reason to fear that an outbreak is imminent at this time.

"We don't foresee an outbreak. Recent rains have caused an increase in mosquito infestation in a number of areas in the parish, especially in Portmore and its environs.

"The vector control unit of the department is currently carrying out a massive mosquito eradication drive in these areas, targeting the breeding sites, and we are seeing encouraging signs of success," Hutchinson told The Gleaner. He said that for the period under review, 35 drains were inspected of which 23 were found to be breeding sites, and fogging was undertaken in 61 communities.

According to Hutchinson, the major challenge facing the department presently is the malfunctioning ultra low volume (ULV) fogging machine which is mounted on the back of a pickup truck that can cover a wider expanse.

"In the meantime, we have employed a number of temporary workers to carry out adulticidal or fogging work in these areas and this has proven to be very effective, but there is still the need for ULV support to assist with the adulticidal work," the chief public health officer noted.

Hutchinson was quick to point out that there is no cause for alarm about any malaria outbreak, because the health department is proactive in its screening efforts.

The Ministry of Health is assuring the public that measures have been taken to restrict the spread of Malaria beyond the three Nicaraguans who were diagnosed with the virus on a fishing boat that was rescued in Jamaican waters.

In a release on Thursday, the health ministry said: "Vector control activities, including disinsection of the vessel, was conducted and are ongoing as per standard operating procedures."

The health ministry stressed that "of note, no breeding sites with the Anopheles mosquito, which transmits malaria were found in any of the locations the members of the crew accessed".

According to the Jamaican health authority, the Jamaica Defence Force Coast Guard notified it that a Nicaraguan vessel with 93 persons aboard was intercepted in Jamaican waters on Tuesday.

It said the Kingston and St Andrew Health Department carried out the requisite procedures and it was during that process that two of the men aboard the vessel were diagnosed. They were taken to the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) where they were isolated and treated. A third man from the vessel was diagnosed in a subsequent assessment.

Jamaica was returned to the Malaria free list in 2012 after an outbreak in 2006. The last local case of malaria was in 2009. Since then there have been imported cases of Malaria each year.

"Jamaica has been able to maintain its Malaria free status through surveillance, early detection and rapid isolation and treatment of all cases," the health ministry said.

"We encourage the public to play their part in keeping Jamaica Malaria free by reporting to public health officials any unofficial entry of foreigners," it added.

charged.jpgThe Clarendon police are reporting that they have captured one of the parish's most wanted criminals.

He is Shane Hannah, also called "Most High".

Hannah was held in Old Harbour, St Catherine on Monday and has since been charged with murder.

The police say he is charged in connection with the killing of taxi operator Nigel Winter, whose body was found in Swansea, Clarendon on September 21.

A former soldier, Garfield Brown, is already in custody for the same crime.


November 8, 2018

Patricia Chin Honored at American Friends of Jamaica Humming Bird Gala

Recipient of Humanitarian Award at the Prestigious Annual Event

patricia-chin-honored-at-american-friends-of-jamaica-humming-bird-gala.jpgNew York, NY- On Friday, October 26, 2018, Co-founder of VP Records, Patricia Chin was honored with a prestigious International Humanitarian Award at American Friends of Jamaica's (AFJ) 2018 Hummingbird Gala. Held at The Plaza Hotel in New York City, the evening provided opportunity for the Diaspora community, supporters and friends with an interest in Jamaica to provide financial resources to vulnerable Jamaicans in the areas of education, healthcare and economic development. VP Records also served as a proud sponsor of the prestigious annual event.

The evening began with a silent auction while guests mingled and convened before the program began. During the program, Master of Ceremonies, Ruschell Boone of NY1 introduced AFJ's annual vignette showcasing the year's work of transformative programs in Jamaica. Commentary from AFJ president Wendy Hart and Executive Director Caron Chung then led to a live auction where a total of $400K was raised. They then introduced the two Humanitarian awards for the evening, beginning with President of Real Estate Development and Management company, A.J. Dwoskin & Associates Inc., Mr. Albert J. Dwoskin.

While receiving her award, Patricia Chin stated "I want to thank everyone for coming out tonight and supporting Friends of Jamaica and I am honored to receive the Hummingbird Humanitarian Award." When Patricia Chin, also known as Miss Pat, is not busy with helping run her label VP Records, she takes care of her many charities including her passion project with Alpha Boys School in Kingston Jamaica, where she helps to raise funds to keep the more than century old institution thriving and well.

The night concluded with live music from Dancehall Legend Johnny Osbourne, UK Singer and Songwriter Estelle, International Reggae MegaStar Tarrus Riley, TTO Band with LeRoy Graham Jr., Andy Bassford, Dean Fraser, Kyle Graham and more. International Reggae/Dancehall DJ, Max Glazer spun the latest tunes. Special guests in attendance included Reggae superstar Busy Signal, Chris Blackwell and more.

patricia-chin-honored-at-american-friends-of-jamaica-humming-bird-gala-photo-1.jpgpatricia-chin-honored-at-american-friends-of-jamaica-humming-bird-gala-photo-2.jpgpatricia-chin-honored-at-american-friends-of-jamaica-humming-bird-gala-photo-3.jpgPhotos by Ajamu Myrie

To left photo: Patricia Chin with Mr. Albert J. Dwoskin. Both recipients Humanitarian Award

Top right photo: Patricia Chin with Tarrus Riley

Bottom photo: Tarrus Riley and Estelle perform "Love Like Ours" from Estelle's "Lovers Rock" album

AFJ's annual Galas attract diverse individuals who have special bonds of friendship with the people of Jamaica. Former honorees include Joseph Matalon, Chairman ICD, Vincent HoSang, President Caribbean Food Delights, Cecil Sam Wright, President Quality AutoMall, Bob Pittman, iHeartMedia, Gary "Butch" Hendrickson, National Continental Baking Company, Lowell Hawthorne, GoldenKrust, Dennis Lalor, ICWI, Kenny Benjamin, Guardsman Group, Denis O'Brien, Digicel, Ralph and Ricky Lauren, Harry Belafonte and others. To date, the AFJ has presented grants of over US$14M. The AFJ demonstrates the power of collaboration to engage with and to support residents of underserved Jamaican communities. 2018 Hummingbird Gala sponsors include A. J. Dwoskin & Associates, VP Records, jetBlue, ADA Music 25 and Vanessa Noel.

"The Gala was an extraordinary opportunity to experience stellar artists in an intimate setting while showing support for the mission of the AFJ" stated AFJ Executive Director, Caron Chung.

About the AFJ

Founded in 1982, the American Friends of Jamaica is a charitable 501(c)(3) organization built on the principles of service and philanthropy and is established to give assistance in the areas of education, healthcare, and economic development. The AFJ works in a collaborative effort with Jamaican organizations and stakeholders to bring about change in the lives of Jamaicans who need a hand up. The AFJ has partnered in providing shelter to the homeless, education to inner-city youth, healthcare to individuals and equipment to health facilities. The AFJ annual grant cycle begins the first Friday in November each year and grants are disbursed at the end of the first quarter in April the following year. Contributions are tax deductible as provided by law.

For press inquiries, please contact:

Female taxi driver shot dead

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crime-scene-gun.jpgA female taxi operator was shot dead in Race Course, Toll Gate Clarendon by unknown assailants yesterday.

She is identified as 45-year-old Claudia Thompson from Ebony Park in the parish. According to police reports, Thompson was at a tire repair shop around 1:20 pm when she was approached by unknown assailants who opened gunfire hitting her multiple times in the upper body.

Lawmen were summoned and her body subsequently removed to the morgue.

Investigations are ongoing.

A fourth dolphin stranded in St Thomas beach; dies

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National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) says it finds the report of another stranded dolphin along the White Sand Beach in Holland Bay, St Thomas, yesterday "very rare and unfortunate".

NEPA, in a release today, said a team from its Veterinary Services Division as well as the University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech) responded to the report, which revealed that the animal had already died. Arrangements were subsequently made to dispose of its remains.

The agency noted that the incident is the second of its kind in three days, as a similar incident involving three dolphins occurred on Monday in the same vicinity. Upon arrival that day, the response team discovered that two of the animals had already died.

"Several unsuccessful attempts were made to re-float the animal that was still alive. Veterinary professionals on location finally determined that continued attempts to re-float the animal would be futile. The animal was subsequently euthanized," NEPA disclosed.

Monique Curtis, Manager, Ecosystems Management Branch of NEPA said: "A stranding of this nature along the island's coastline is very rare and unfortunate. We acknowledge the collaborative effort and speedy response from relevant agencies and stakeholders within the area particularly Mr Everal Davis, who reported the incident, and the Golden Grove Sugar Factory, which provided assistance."

She indicated that the next steps include further surveillance of the area for other strandings and investigations into the possible cause of the incidents.

NEPA shared that the species identified on the beach has been confirmed to be the pygmy killer whale (Feresa attenuata), which is a small member of the oceanic dolphin family, who prefer deeper areas of warmer tropical and subtropical waters.

4 family members shot dead in Westmoreland

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crime-scene-gun.jpgFour members of a Westmoreland family were shot dead in their community this morning.

Dead are: 31-year-old mechanic, Howard Humes; 23-year-old Shavane Humes; 33-year-old farmer, Paulton Humes, otherwise called 'Dwight' and 25-year-old Keneisha Wilson all of Masemure Meadows, Westmoreland.

The four were found dead at their home about 1:00 am by police officers who responded to reports of gunfire heard in the community.

The lawmen said the four bodies had multiple gunshot wounds. They were removed to the morgue after the crime scene was processed.

The lawmen are appealing to residents with information that can assist in the investigation to contact the Little London police at 876-955-7449, Crime Stop at 311, 811, police 119 emergency number or the nearest police station.

Winston Chung Fah "Chungie/Coach, an outstanding footballer who has touched the lives of many football fans, especially those who followed Santos, Campion, Vere Tech, and Clarendon College, has died.

Reports are that he lost his battle with cancer today.

A GoFundMe account that was set up recently, noted that Chung Fah has been a mentor and inspiration to so many young men and women. "Unfortunately, over the last few years, Chungie has been in and out of the hospital. He is currently hospitalized in Miami. When he is discharged he will need professional home care, occupational and physical therapy along with various assistive devices. Let us show our love and appreciation by making a contribution to defray some of his expenses."

The target was US$125,000.

French visa application centre opens in New Kingston

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visa.jpgJaicans wishing to visit France for extended periods (more than 90 days), whether to work or attend school, no longer have to travel to Panama to obtain a visa, now that a French visa application centre has been established at the DHL building in New Kingston. The centre, which was established in August but officially opened yesterday, will be managed by VFS Global, an international company that manages visa applications on behalf of more than 100 countries.

Owing to financial constraints and other issues, the visa processing services at the French Embassy in Kingston were terminated in 2015. Persons who wanted visas for short stays in France have had to apply for a Schengen visa at the Spanish Embassy. And even though the centre is now in operation, persons can still apply for visas for short visits to France at the Spanish Embassy in Kingston.

"If an applicant plays good faith, presents good documentation and can justify all the requirements, then he will get the visa," said newly installed French ambassador to Jamaica, Denys Wibaux, at the official launch yesterday at DHL. "If people come fraudulently, they will not get through. We are an open country to tourists from all over the world, and in particular, Jamaicans and business people".

He continued: "Previously, Jamaicans applying for visas to go to France could go through our consular services in the French Embassy in Kingston. A few years ago, we had, for reasons of economy and adjustment of our public finance, to close the visa section in our embassy."

Wibaux said the new facilities will process up to 12 applications daily, but indicated that special arrangements could be made in cases of emergency.

Successful applicants should receive their visas in 12-15 days.

Application Process for French Visa

Visit the France visas official website at

  1. Start visa process by creating an account and filling out an application form online.

  2. Create an account on the VFS Global website to schedule and pay service fees

  3. Return to account on to confirm you have an appointment.

  4. Go in person to the new VFS Visa Application Center for France with your passport, appointment confirmation letter, proof of payment completed and a signed visa form, and all supporting documents. VFS then sends applications to the Consulate General of France in Washington, DC, for processing.

  5. Track status of application.

police-officers.jpgMembers of the Jamaica COnstabulary Force (JCF) who choose to dance with revellers at events are doing so at their own risk, as the force has reiterated its stance on how police personnel should conduct themselves.

This comes as another policeman is again in the spotlight after a video surfaced on the weekend, showing the lawman 'daggering' two females at once. The officer, attired in full khaki and appears to be at the rank of an inspector or above, did not shy away from dancing up a storm, as he was being influenced by the loud cheers and the commanding selector who fuelled the apparent showdown.

In the 34-second amateur video, the policeman is seen talking to a male friend at the event when he is surprised by a female dancer. The policeman readily engages with the first female to the amusement of the selector, who cheered him on while pumping the music.

To the surprise of the officer, a second female dancer joined them. She jumped on the back of the first dancer, while the policeman balances both females. According to the report in Jamiacan tabloid, the Star, it was not clear when or where the event took place, however, social media users assumed it to be somewhere in the Corporate Area at one of the weekly events.

Assistant Superintendent Dahlia Garrick, while not speaking specifically to the video in question, said that officers who act contrary to the rules and regulations of the JCF may face consequences for their actions.

"Members are always expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner. Anything that contradicts the force's rules and regulations can be seen as a breach of order and discipline," she said.

When asked if such a move (dancing in uniform with revellers) had severe repercussions, Garrick said: "Such a matter is definitely fit for administrative review and action. The administration would investigate to determine the breach and necessary punishment for the breach."

gofundme-logo.pngSophraya Price's life has become a waking nightmare. Loop news reports that two years ago, Price was your typical active university student playing sports like netball, posting selfies online and getting up to regular college girl shenanigans like shopping with her girlfriends. Now she is in a fight to save her life, having been confined to a wheelchair. Her bones are fragile and brittle, she is prone to seizures, and she is in constant agony as her body has turned traitor, betraying her at every corner.

And she needs your help. The family and friends of Sophraya Price are appealing to the public to contribute to the young lady's Gofundme page.

"My life is a nightmare. I'm afraid to go out now because I'm prone to getting a fractured bone easily, and we Jamaicans have the tendency when greeting someone, to hit them," she told Loop News reporter, Claude Mills.

"I had been getting treatment in Cuba. It's been a year now since I last went to Cuba. I was supposed to go back in January, but because of insufficient funds and being back and forth in the hospital, we could not go back for my treatment, which is supposed to be once every three months, and my conditions (ailments) have been progressing really fast and I've developed other illnesses," she said.

The treatment is a five-day course which costs US$5,000.

"However, with all these other conditions, we are not sure what other treatments and procedures will be needed when we go back to Cuba," Price said.

On September 20, 2016, the young and vibrant Northern Caribbean University student went for a netball drill. She was fresh out of community college with an associate degree in social work, and had started university three weeks before. Her eyes were set on her goal to do clinical work. But while going through her routine, her legs suddenly went rubbery and weak, and she collapsed. She was taken to hospital, where within a week she became paralysed and suffered multiple seizures. At first it was thought that she had a spinal injury. But the truth was much worse. She has a veritable laundry list of symptoms and conditions brought on by a rare neurological and autoimmune disorder. She has been diagnosed with six different types of epileptic and non-epileptic seizures - osteoporosis, osteopenia, osteoarthritis, Raynaud's syndrome, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, connective tissue disease and query paraneoplastic syndrome. Confined to a wheelchair and with regular trips to the emergency room, Price needs continuous treatment and medical assessment.

"Battling with these conditions, it's really not easy. I mostly stay in bed because of severe pain. I cannot be in crowded places, I'm afraid that someone might bounce on me and cause more pain. There is so much going on with my body, it's really hard to explain. Each time I go to the doctor, there is a new diagnosis," Price said.

She would give anything to walk again.

"My visits with each of my specialist is more frequent, so you know that it's more money too. I'm told they really can't help me here because they don't have certain resources. I know I can get the help in Cuba, but there is just not enough funds, so it gets me on my downside. I take so many medications and do treatments, and that's very costly. So when we do raise something, it goes straight to medications or visits to the doctor for other treatments," she said.

Through it all, she is trying to remain optimistic.

"Overall, with all these conditions, I really do try to keep myself occupied, I might not be able to go out as much now, but I've now opened an online pet store..., plus I'm on some serious meds that make me sleep a lot that practically takes up most of my days," Price added.

With hope for better days ahead, she is seeking the necessary support and assistance to get back on her feet.

Do help Sophie to walk again, if you can.

Memorial service for Elva Saturday at JC

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elva-ruddock.jpgThe memorial service celebrating the life of Jamaican comedian Elva Ruddock is slated for this Saturday at the Carl Hendrickson Auditorium at Jamaica College.

The service begins at 2 p.m.

The service will be followed by a celebratory party.

There will be a shuttle bus service from Portmore and Half Way Tree for members of the public who may need transportation.

Elva died at Kingston Public Hospital on October 7, after battling Lupus.

dengue.jpgThe Health Ministry has confirmed that three men aboard a Nicaraguan vessel which drifted into Jamaican waters last week have malaria.

The vessel is near Port Royal.

Dr. Jacqueline Bissasor-McKenzie, Chief Medical Officer of Health, said that 93 people were found aboard the vessel.

As is customary, she said, a medical team visited those on board the vessel and carried out tests, which confirmed three people had malaria.

Dr. Bissasor-McKenzie said the persons were taken to Kingston Public Hosital where they were isolated and treated. Two of the men have completed the treatment while one is still undergoing medical care.

A post-test evaluation will be carried out on the individuals.

Usain Bolt's Australian football dream has ended

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bolt-usain-football.jpgSprint king Usain Bolt's attempt to become a professional footballer with Australia's Central Coast Mariners collapsed Friday as his trial period was terminated after contract talks failed.

The eight-time Olympic champion had been trying out with the A-League side since arriving in August, hoping to fulfil a childhood dream to become a soccer player.

The 32-year-old's quest garnered worldwide attention, which intensified when he scored two goals in a pre-season friendly.

But his abilities have been questioned and the club reportedly offered him only a fraction of the Aus$3 million (US$2.1 million) his management were said to be seeking, with outside sponsors needed to make the deal viable.

"The Central Coast Mariners and Usain Bolt's representative Ricky Simms can today advise that the indefinite training period of Usain Bolt with the Mariners has drawn to an end, effective immediately," the club announced.

"As previously stated, the club and Ricky Simms have been in conversations with external partners to find a commercial solution that suits all parties.

"Despite several promising potential partners, both Bolt and the Central Coast Mariners have amicably concluded that they will not be able to settle on a suitable deal in a timely manner."

Tesha Miller charged with murder

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tesha-miller.jpgThe reputed leader of the Spanish Town-based Clansman gang Tesha Miller has been slapped with charges of accessory before and after the fact to murder. The murder allegedly happened in 2008 in St Catherine.

Miller is to appear in the Home Circuit Court on November 9 to answer the charges.

His lawyers Bert Samuels and Able Don Foote say they will be applying for bail.Miller and his girlfriend were picked up in a shopping area in St Andrew on Tuesday by detectives from the Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime Investigations Branch.

On Wednesday, Foote brought an application in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court for Miller's immediate release from custody. Parish Judge Vaughn Smith heard the application and ordered that Miller should be charged or released by 9 a.m on Friday, November 2.

Miller was deported from the Bahamas in April 2017. On his return to Jamaica, he was charged with making a false declaration to immigration officers at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston. Miller pleaded guilty and was fined.

compressed-ganja.jpgA St Mary man who was held by the Manchester police with 25 pounds of ganja, was slapped with fines amounting to $400,000 when he appeared in the Mandeville Parish Court on Monday.

Reports are that about 10:30 a.m. on October 23, the Manchester police intercepted a white Toyota Axio motorcar with three men on board travelling along the Spur Tree Hill main road in the parish.

During a search of the vehicle, the police found two bags containing loose and compressed ganja, weighing 25 pounds. The Narcotics Police, who took over the investigation, subsequently interviewed and jointly charged all three men for possession of ganja, dealing in ganja and trafficking in ganja.

The three accused, 61-year-old Adrian McDonald and 24-year-old Fabian Waugh, both chefs of Cock Street, Port Maria; and Sadray Burray, 24, a construction worker of Friendship, Islington, appeared in the Mandeville Parish Court last Friday, but the matter was postponed until Monday.

When the case was called up on Monday, McDonald took the rap and pleaded guilty, and was hit with the unusually high fines. He was fined $80,000 for possession of ganja, with an alternative of eight months in prison; $160,000 for dealing in ganja, or eight months in prison; and $160,000 for trafficking ganja, or eight months in prison.

If the fines are not paid, the sentences are to run concurrently.

The charges were dismissed against the other two accused.

3 arrested as guns, explosives seized in Tivoli

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ak-47-assault-rifle-ammo.jpgFour high powered weapons and several sticks of explosives were seized by members of the security forces operating in the State of Public Emergency in Western Kingston on Thursday.

Three persons have been arrested in connection with the find.

Reports are that about 3:05 p.m., a joint police/military team went to an area known as 'Bumps in Tivoli Gardens and during a search two AR 15 rifles, one AK 47 and one Winchester rifle were found.

In addition to that, 54 5.56 rounds of ammunition, four.38 rounds of ammunition, 11 sticks of explosives, several gun parts and six empty magazines were also found.

Three persons were arrested in connection with the seizures. However, their identities are being withheld pending further investigations.

Trinidad rattled by 9 earthquakes in nine days

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earthquake.jpgPORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC - Trinidad and Tobago started November in the same manner as it ended the previous month with an earthquake rattling the twin-island republic. The Seismic Research Centre (SRC) of the St Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) said that an earthquake with a magnitude of 4.0 rattled parts of the country on Thursday at 8: 40 a.m local time.

It is the ninth tremor felt in the country in as many days and the SRC said that it was located Latitude: 9.85N, Longitude: 60.48W, and at a depth of 30 kilometres.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage but the quake was felt 117 kilometres south east of San Fernando, 124 kilometres south east of the eastern town of Arima and 145 kilometres south east of the capital, Port of Spain.

Seismologist and Acting SRC Director Dr Joan Latchman has been warning Trinidad and Tobago and the wider Caribbean to be prepared for a major earthquake and that the various tremors in recent days are not anything new.

On Sunday, Trinidad and Tobago recorded an earthquake with a magnitude of 4.1. In August, many residents ran into the streets after a quake with a magnitude of 6.8 rocked the country followed by several aftershocks causing damage and but no loss of lives.

crime-scene-tape-gloves.jpgA 14-year-old child was burnt to death and other members of his family chopped and wounded, reportedly by a 41-year-old man, in Mocho, Clarendon on Wednesday. The man who reportedly carried out the attack was later found hanging in a section of the community.

The deceased child has been identified as Leroy Hamilton, while the man who is suspected to have committed suicide after carrying out the deadly attack is Craig Lawrence.

Reports are that at about 2:45 a.m., Lawrence went to the house where the child and other relatives were, and was denied entry to the dwelling.

Further reports are that he responded by forcing his way into the house and attacked and chopped occupants therein, including a 53-year-old woman and her daughter. The man then set the house on fire and left it to burn.

The 53-year-old woman and the other female managed to escape the flames, but the child was not so lucky. His charred remains were later found. A search was carried out for the man and his body was found hanging in a section of the community.

It is so far unclear what relationship existed between the attacker and the victims.

tesha-miller.jpgPolice detectives from the Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigations Branch will have to charge reputed leader of the Klansman Gang Tesha Miller by Friday or release him.

One of Miller's attorneys, Able-Don Foote filed a habeas corpus application for his release in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court, yesterday. Habeas corpus is a writ requiring a person under arrest to be brought before a judge or into court, especially to secure the person's release unless lawful grounds are shown for their detention. An order for his release was subsequently ordered by Parish Judge Vaughn Smith on Wednesday.

Miller is to be charged or released by 9:00 am on Friday.

Miller and his girlfriend were arrested on Monday at a shopping centre in Barbican, St Andrew.

tesha-miller.jpgDetectives attached to the Counter-Terrorism and Organized Crime Investigations Branch today (Tuesday) arrested the reputed leader of the Clansman Gang, Tesha Miller.

Miller was reportedly held at a plaza in Barbican, St Andrew by members of CTOC.

The police, in a statement, said Miller along with another man and a woman are in custody.

Police, when contacted, declined to comment on the matter and would not say what Miller is being questioned for.

They say more information will be released as soon as it becomes available.

cici-liquid-candy.jpgChairman of the Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society, Dr Wayne West, also condemned what appears to be the use of a popular movie character, the Minios, to spread the homosexual message to children.

"This is part of the desensitisation of our children and there are significant forces behind this," Dr. West reportedly told The Sunday Gleaner.

He said this desensitisation is being spread by some feminist groups and members of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community, among others, who fit into a cultural Marxist philosophical framework.

"Most people are aware of Marxism as an economic phenomenon, but they are not aware of Marxism as a cultural phenomenon which seeks to bring down all traditional roles, family, marriage and values that we hold. I see the candy as just another effort to indoctrinate children, to desensitise them ... and I'm sure it is carefully orchestrated by significant persons," declared West.

He argued that it has been recognised that the sooner you begin to indoctrinate children the better it is, and five years old is the age which those with their agendas will look to start."We speak about these things but they are not occurring in isolation. You hear people making aggressive attempts to get what they call 'comprehensive sexuality education' in the schools, and this is just about what this candy is doing, desensitising children to sex and making them (believe) that in their approach to sex anything is permissible and at any age too," charged West.

cici-liquid-candy.jpgChildren's advocate Betty Ann Blaine, has charged that the controversial candy being sold to primary school children is another effort by the homosexual political movement to condition children.

"If you look at some of the initiatives being taken globally, children are being taught about homosexuality and transgenderisim, and it is being done at the youngest ages," Blaine told The Sunday Gleaner.

"So I am not surprised that they are packaging the homosexual agenda and ideology and focusing on the children. I am only alarmed and distressed that it has reached Jamaica, it is at our school gates, and our children, who are so innocent, gravitate to it because the minions are so popular," added Blaine.

She argued that Jamaica has to take a stance on the conditioning of the nation's children.

"Our Government has to be vigilant as far as these types of candies are concerned. I think that they should be pulled off the market and we should know who is importing them and who is monitoring what is being sold at school gates," declared Blaine.

cici-liquid-candy.jpgThe Sunday Gleaner reported that a new liquid candy being marketed to the children at primary schools across the island, with a symbol that appears to be rainbow-coloured male genitalia, has sparked outrage from some parents and children advocates. The CiCi liquid fruit candy comes in colourful packages featuring minions, the fictional yellow creatures that appear in the popular Despicable Me movie franchise.

One package of the liquid candy features a female minion, who is yet to appear in the movies. She is a seemingly young girl wearing a skirt and an exposed brassiere, with the rainbow coloured image and a 'ME&U' trademark, also on the front.

The candy is being sold in downtown Kingston in some wholesales at $220 for a pack of 12, and at school gates for between $30 and $40 each. It has two manufacturing addresses, India and China, and is described on the package as a sugar-boiled confectionery with its main ingredients being glucose syrup and citric acid.

Last week, several parents cried foul as they pointed to the rainbow-coloured image on the package.

"Even though it's not a large image, it's on the packaging nonetheless, and I really wouldn't want it giving my child any ideas," said Penny, mother of a seven-year-old girl.

"A so dem do poor people pickney all the time. Tek time influence them wid them out-a-order business. If me see my pickney wid it me a dash it weh. It don't look right," said another parent.

"If it was a liquor or something then you could understand. Me know people a go say it small and it might not be a big deal but something about it no sit right with me, especially the thing squirting out the tip, that just look wrong," added one parent.

bahamas-logo-OK.jpgA Jamaican has been fined and ordered deported from the Bahamas after pleading guilty to an immigration related offence. Gary Anthony Clarke, 43, who is from Westmoreland, appeared before a Magistrate on Thursday on a charge of overstaying.

According to court dockets, Clarke was taken into custody on October 22, accused of making threats and overstaying. Clarke was further questioned on his status to remain in The Bahamas, and it was at this time he admitted to remaining in the country for more than four years. Clarke said he overstayed in hopes of reconnecting with two children who he fathered while in The Bahamas.

The Jamaican was ordered to pay a fine of US$3,000 or serve six months in prison.Once that condition is satisfied, the Magistrate ordered Clarke be turned over to immigration officials for deportation.

crime-scene-tape-gloves.jpgThe Portmore police are awaiting the results of a post-mortem examination to determine whether a taxi operator and a female were killed and their bodies later dumped in bushes in Portmore, St Catherine.

The bodies, which were in a state of decomposition, were found along the Dyke Road in Portmore on Thursday afternoon. The police were alerted to the bodies by residents who came upon the gruesome sight.

The deceased have been identified as 34-year-old Andrew Haylett, taxi operator of Greater Portmore, and 23-year-old Monique Brown, unemployed of Daytona, also in Portmore.

The police found a motorcar belonging to Haylett a day before the discovery of his body along with that of the female.

Investigators are trying to determine whether the two were killed elsewhere.

jps.jpgGovernment has cleared its $7 billion debt owed to the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) for streetlights.

This was disclosed by Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie. He made the disclosure at a disaster preparedness and mitigation town hall in Douglas Castle near the St Ann/Clarendon border on Thursday.

In explaining the sudden move to pay off the streetlight debt that accumulated over several years of delinquency by the government, McKenzie said the state was being hit by interest charges every time it missed a payment.

Consequently, a decision was made for $4.5 billion to be paid to the light and power company over a two-month period to reduce the debt significantly and, after discussions with the finance minister and approval from Cabinet,"we have now paid off the entire debt. So, come the end of the financial year,we will not owe the JPS one cent."

McKenzie said the arrears stood in the way of residents getting defective streets lights repaired and new ones installed. He said the JPS has now committed to repairing the country's 12,000 malfunctioning streetlights by the end of the 2018/2019 financial year.

crime-scene-gun.jpgOn Sunday morning, two men were shot and killed in East Kingston, in a reported robbery attempt, involving a licensed firearm holder. One has been identified as Andre Smith of West Avenue in east Kingston.,

According to reports, Smith was among several men who held up a licensed firearm holder at her home.

It's understood that shortly before 1am, the men surprised the woman while she was about to enter her house. The armed men relieved her of her firearm and barged into the house. A relative of the woman made an alarm and another firearm holder challenged the men. During an exchange four persons were shot, including a schoolgirl.

The police were called to the scene, and all four were taken to hospital, where two of the intruders, including Smith, were pronounced dead, and the wounded householders treated.

Preliminary reports are that the stolen firearm as well as two illegal weapons had been seized from the shooting scene.

Prior to his death, rights group Jamaicans for Justice(JFJ) had declared that Smith was a subject of persistent police abuse, harassment and death threats. JFJ had called on Police Commissioner Major General Antony Anderson to take action.

flooding-kingston.jpgTeams from the National Works Agency (NWA) have been dispatched as of Wednesday morning to investigate the cause of Tuesday's flooding along Marcus Garvey Drive in Kingston. In addition to that thoroughfare, sections of downtown Kingston as well as Waltham Park Road and Hagley Park Road were among the worst affected areas.

Marcus Garvey Drive was only recently extensively redeveloped, and Stephen Shaw, NWA Communication Manager, responding on RJR's Beyond the Headlines during the crisis, said, in relation to that thoroughfare, the agency would seek answers to various related questions such as whether some drains had been blocked or whether it was the sheer volume of water generated by heavy rain, "and with that we're also going to be looking at possible solutions to that particular issue..."

Motorists in the several sections of the Corporate Area were stranded Tuesday afternoon into late night after the downpour caused flooding and triggered major traffic gridlock.

Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie said the situation was compounded by the fact that major road redevelopment projects are taking place, "so it means that some areas are going to be affected more than (others) because of the construction work that is taking place."

84-year-old man killed in St Thomas

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crime-scene-gun.jpgA senior citizen was found murdered in St. Thomas Tuesday morning.

He has been identified as 84 year-old Nathaniel Cummings, of Danvers Pen in the parish.

Mr. Cummings' body was found at his house about 7:15.

It is reported that it had several wounds to the back.

A 12 gauge shotgun cartridge was found outside his house.

Investigators are awaiting the results of a post mortem.

police-cars.jpgThe St. Ann police have reportedly collected additional items from a premises in the Top Road community, as investigations continue into the murder of a teen girl.

This after a school bag believed to belong to the murdered teen girl, was found at the premises earlier this afternoon (Oct 23).

It's said to be close to the spot where her body was found.

The body of 14-year-old Raven Wilson of Top Road in St. Ann's Bay, was discovered with a wound to the face, in a garbage bag in her community, on Sunday.

A resident disclosed that a large crowd, including the girls relatives, gathered in the area.

crime-scene-demo.jpgST ANN, Jamaica -- A 21-year-old man was stabbed to death by an angry mob in Mammee Bay, St Ann on Sunday, the police have reported.

The deceased has been identified as Akeem Harrison otherwise called 'Boysie' or 'Blacks', who the police said is of Marley District in St Ann and Red Hills Road in St Andrew.

Reports from the police's Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) are that, Harrison was attacked by the mod about 3:20 pm.

Reports are that Blacks attempted to flee the community after being accused of sexually assaulting a child there a week ago. Information is that the mother of the child confronted Harrison about the reported sexual assault, but the allegation was denied.

Harrison then reportedly decided to leave the community, but on Sunday at about 3:20 p.m., he was set upon, beaten and stabbed multiple times by an angry mob after being pointed out near Mammee Bay, St Ann. The police were alerted and on responding, found Harrison's lifeless body, which was taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The St Ann police are again appealing to persons to desist from taking the law into their own hands, as they can be prosecuted for such acts. The police are conducting further investigations to locate Harrison's attackers.

The death came hours after the gruesome discovery of the body of 14-year-old Raven Wilson, a student of Ocho Rios High School, who was reported missing since Friday. The body was found in a garbage bag with wounds to the head in bushes close to her home in Top Road, St Ann's Bay in the parish.

The two killings on Sunday bring to 34 the number of homicides that have been recorded in the parish so far this year.

Reports are that the body of St Andrew businessman Jean-Pierre Rhone, of Stillwell Road in St Andrew, was discovered in the Port Royal area on Friday. Rhone, the managing director of New Era Design and Consulting, was reported missing.

The Jamaica Constabulary Force's Corporate Communication Unit (CCU was unable to provide details surrounding the murder, but said that investigators were still processing the scene.

On Friday, the police in a news release said that the 27-year-old was missing and that he was last seen at home about 5:20 pm on Wednesday.

CCU said residents stumbled upon the body shortly after 1:00 pm Friday and contacted the police's emergency centre.

It is believed that Rhone was murdered between 12:00 pm Thursday and 1:00 pm Friday.

crime-scene-tape-gloves.jpgChild rights and advocacy organisation Hear The Children's Cry is calling for more to be done to protect the nation's children from criminals and to prosecute offenders. The organisation, in a statement Monday morning, condemned the murder of 14-year-old Raven Wilson whose body was found in St Ann's Bay, St Ann on Sunday. She was reported missing on Friday after she did not return home from school.

Her death followed the killings of Shanoya Wray and Yetanya Francis, both 14, in the Corporate Area last month.

"We have not even gone ten months of the year and nearly 40 children have already been murdered during 2018. That is double the usual gruesome annual statistic," charged the organisation's founder Betty Ann Blaine.

"The truth is, children in Jamaica are at terrible peril and are at the mercy of vicious criminals on a daily basis. They are not safe in their homes, they are not safe at school, they are in danger in their communities and on the roads, they are at horrible risk on public transportation, not to mention being vulnerable targets of paedophiles when they are online," Blaine continued.

She repeated her call for Prime Minister Andrew Holness to convene a Emergency Child Summit to devise a plan to protect the nation's children.

National Junior Record holder Daeshon Gordon dies

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National Junior Record holder Daeshon Gordon passed away suddenly yesterday morning. She was 22-years old. The Florida-born 100m hurdler was completing studies for her undergraduate degree at Northwestern State University (NSU) after finishing a remarkable collegiate track and field career this spring.

NSU's director of athletics Greg Burke said: "Our hearts go out to Daeshon's family, and to our track and field family, at this extremely difficult time. "There are no words to express the feelings that so many have when a young life ends abruptly and much before its time."

Gordon smashed the Jamaican junior record at the 2015 Beijing World Championships Trials, with a personal best of 12.97 seconds to take fourth place in the final of the women's 100-metre hurdles.

She represented Jamaica at the 2014 World Junior Championships and is a two-time All-America hurdler at Louisiana State University.

Businessman shoots gun-man during robbery attempt

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crime-scene-gun.jpgA would-be robber was shot by his intended victim in downtown Kingston on Friday.

Reports are that about 5:30 p.m., the business operator was sitting in his vehicle close to his place of business when he was approached by two men armed with guns. A police source said the men held up the business operator and demanded that he hand over his money and other items of value.

Reports are that one of the men began slapping around the business operator who appeared unwilling to respond to the demands of the thugs.

What took place later has left several members of the public in shock.

"While they were there harassing the businessman he managed to pull his gun and opened fire," said one alleged eyewitness.

Shocked and confused the men who were trying to rob the business operator turned and began running from the location as the sound of gunfire rang out.

Reports are that one man from the group was shot and injured. He was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead. Police from Kingston Central, who have since confirmed the reports, say they are searching for the other man who managed to escape.

The exact location of the business was withheld because of security reasons.

A Canadian citizan, 30-year-old Ailive McDonald of North Service Road, Grimbsy in the North American country, who was staying at a hotel in Rose Hall, St James, has been missing since Tuesday, October 16.

McDonald is of brown complexion, stout built, with a large tattoo on his neck.

He is about 193 centimetres (six feet four inches) tall.

Reports from the Barrett Town police in St James are that McDonald was last seen at about 8:16.p.m. wearing a white T-shirt and a pants. All efforts to contact him since then have been unsuccessful.

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Ailive McDonald is being asked to contact the Barrett Town police at 876-953-7899, the police 119 emergency number, or the nearest police station.

New Era Designs managing director missing

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Businessman Jean-Pierre Rhone of Stillwell, St Andrew has been reported missing.

According to the police, 27-year-old Rhone, who is the Managing Director of New Era Design and Consulting was last seen at home about 5:20 pm on Wednesday.

He is of brown complexion, slim build and is about 168 centimetres (5 feet 6 inches) tall. His mode of dress at the time he went missing is unknown.

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Jean-Pierre Rhone is being asked to contact the Constant Spring police at 924-1421 , police 119 emergency number or the nearest police station.

bail.jpgDelando Brissette, the man charged with killing a taxi driver and one of his passengers, was on Tuesday granted bail in the sum of $1 million with one or two sureties when he appeared in the St. Thomas Parish Court in Yallahs.

As part of his bail condition, he is to surrender his travel document and a stop order placed on him.

He is to report to the Yallahs police Monday to Friday.

Brissette is to return to court on December 11.

He was charged with the murder of taxi operator Jerome Bogle of Aeolus Valley and Jevaughn Russell of Pondside, Yallahs.

Former footballer on murder charge

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charged.jpgFormer Premier League football player Roberto Fletcher, popularly known as Haiti, has been charged by the Hunts Bay police with murder and wounding with intent.

He is booked to appear in court later this week. Fletcher, who played for several Premier League clubs, was arrested two weeks ago during a special police operation in Newport West.

Investigators alleged that on October 9, 2017, the 38 year-old football player and another man opened gunfire on two men along 4-40 Drive in Waterhouse, St. Andrew during a reported gang feud in the area.

One of the men, Ashley Thompson, died.

The second man was hospitalised.

Loom get-rich-quick scheme probed

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Financial Services Commission (FSC) says an investigation has started into the operations of the latest get rich quick scheme to emerge on the market. Loom, which is also advertised as the Birthday Club and a Blessing Plan, uses mainly Instagram and Facebook or direct messages through WhatsApp to attract customers, promising up to 300 per cent return on each investment.

People are invited to invest as little as $5,000 and to invite at least two more persons to join. The operators then promise that after one week of the initial investment, persons will see returns of up to $20,000.

David Geddes, Communication and International Relations Manager at the FSC, says the agency's Investigations and Enforcement Division is trying to locate the operators of the illegal scheme so it can issue a cease and desist order. Geddes pointed out that the operators of Loom would fail at any attempt to become licensed because of their unsustainable business model.

missing-teen-shavaun-wignall.jpgEighteen-year-old Shavaun Wignall of Wondy Way, Bamberry, Connecticut, USA and Lime Hall in St Ann has been missing since Monday, October 15.

He is of dark complexion, slim built, and is about 180 centimetres (five feet 11 inches) tall.

Reports from the St Ann's Bay police are that Wignall was last seen at home in Lime Hall at about 5:00 p.m. wearing a brown and white T-shirt, brown shorts and a pair of blue slippers.

All efforts to contact him since then have been unsuccessful.

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Shavaun Wignall is being asked to contact the St Ann's Bay police at 876-972-2211, the police 119 emergency number, or the nearest police station.

Forex: J$132 to US$1

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The US dollar on Wednesday, October 17 ended trading at J$132.00 down by 17 cents according to the Bank of Jamaica's daily foreign exchange trading summary.

Meanwhile, the Canadian dollar ended trading at J$101.86 down from J$102.09 while the British pound ended trading at $173.39 down from J$174.44.

6 years in US prison for lottery scammer

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scam-alert.jpgLavrick Willocks who masterminded a lottery scam that defrauded at least 95 Americans out of more than US$5.8 million was sentenced Monday to six years in a US federal prison.

Prosecutors said Willocks, 29, operated the scam out of a mansion in Jamaica where he lived with his mother, Dahlia Hunter.

US authorities eventually charged 27 people and identified victims in at least five states: North Dakota, South Dakota, South Carolina, Texas and Arizona. Officials said one of the victims died by suicide.

Willocks pleaded guilty in July 2017 to conspiracy, and prosecutors dropped 65 other counts of wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering.

He faced up to 40 years in prison, but Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan O'Konek recommended only about six years because Willocks cooperated and his plea deal prompted several other defendants to also plead guilty.

Willocks, who stood and addressed U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland, apologised for his role in the scheme but accused the government of overstating his involvement. All his co-defendants have pleaded guilty or been convicted, and most have been sentenced, including Hunter, who was sentenced last week to about 1 ½ years of time served.

The case is being prosecuted in North Dakota because the investigation began there in 2012, a year after an 82 year-old woman lost her life savings. Defense attorney Joe Johnson asked for a sentence of two years -- about the time Willocks has already served -- saying the Jamaican became a reluctant leader only because he had a college education.

Willocks will be eligible for parole after serving about another three years.

ruel-reid-photo-1.jpgEducation Minister Senator Ruel Reid has cautioned school administrators to manage their budgets wisely and not to place undue pressure on parents to plug shortfalls. Senator Reid has again reminded administrators that only voluntary contributions are to be requested of parents at the secondary level.

He was addressing the Conference of the Association of Principals and Vice Principals held on Sunday.Mr. Reid said with so many families struggling financially, the government has made efforts to give adequate funding to schools.

"We can't go back to the stage where we are forcing the parents to make the contribution and then we lock the money up in fixed deposit... It creates social problems because the same poor parents that we have to contend with out there complain. They say that they can't support that policy," argued the minister.

He said all school budgets have been received and will be scrutinised.

usain-bolt-wins-gold-200m-beijing-2015-photo-5.jpgUsain Bolt was stunned to learn he must take a drugs test despite having retired from athletics and waiting to learn if he will be given a professional contract in football.

The former sprinting star took to Instagram on Monday to show a testing notice he has received, apparently from Football Federation Australia (FFA).

"So guys, I've retired from track and field looking to become a footballer but look at this," said Bolt, before showing the letter on the video.

"How am I going to get a drug test today? I'm not even a professional footballer yet. Seriously.

"So I asked the lady: 'Why am I getting drug tested when I haven't signed for a club yet?' and she said they told her I'm an elite athlete so I have to get tested. Okay then."

Bolt is on trial with A-League side Central Coast Mariners, who are yet to offer him a contract.

The 32-year-old, who holds eight Olympic gold medals and the world records in the 100 and 200 metres.

ganja-seized.jpgThe narcotics police arrested and charged a man and woman, for breaches of the Dangerous Drugs Act on Thursday, October 11. They are 19-year-old Kaydian Sheppy of Kingston and 22-year-old Osborne Rowe, a labourer of Spanish Town in St. Catherine.

Sheppy and Rowe are jointly charged with possession of ganja, dealing in ganja, taking steps preparatory to export ganja, and conspiracy.

Reports are that about 11:30 a.m., Sheppy checked in to board a flight destined to the eastern Caribbean when her luggage was searched. Police say six and a half pounds of compressed ganja was found in a false compartment.

Sheppy was taken into custody and on further investigations, Rowe who gave the suitcase to Sheppy was also taken into custody.

The drug has an estimated street value of $26,000.

They are scheduled to appear in the Corporate Area parish court on Wednesday, October 17.

Nine alleged members of the Westmoreland based King's Valley gang, which includes two females, have been transferred to Kingston, following a joint police/military operation in Westmoreland on Wednesday. The operation was carried-out in King's Valley and Peggy Barry district in Grange Hill, Westmoreland.

Head of the Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch (CTOC) Assistant Commissioner, Fitz Bailey, says the operation was conducted to curb murders in the area.

ACP Bailey says members of the King's Valley gang are wanted for various criminal activities in Westmoreland. The Assistant Commissioner says, a motor vehicle and a Taurus pistol are among items seized during the operation.

ACP Bailey has vowed to bring to justice, all other members of the king's valley gang.

Minister Bartlett orders Security Audit of Hotels

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ministry-of-tourism.jpgKINGSTON, Jamaica; October 14, 2018: Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett has ordered an intensive security audit of the tourism sector including hotels and attractions as part of efforts to strengthen destination assurance.

"I've directed the Tourism Product Development Company, which is in charge of maintaining quality assurance within the destination, to coordinate an intensive security audit of the sector so as to identify gaps and ensure that the destination remains safe, secure and seamless for visitors and locals alike. Security arrangements are part of the licensing requirements for many sector operators, so we will apply tough sanctions where breaches and or significant weaknesses are found. " said Minister Bartlett.

The Tourism Working Group established recently by Bartlett to conduct a comprehensive review of issues in the sector, and headed by PriceWaterhouseCoopers Senior Partner, Wilfred Baghaloo will also be a part of the process.

The Tourism Development Product Company, (TPDCo), through its various departments, works closely with all operators of tourism- related facilities promoting the attributes of a quality product, monitoring same and engaging the relevant authorities in a continuous effort to satisfy consumer demand and expectations. The company adopts, sets and promotes standards, guidelines and checklists for the industry in order to attain global competitiveness.

Minister Bartlett added that, "Security remains a top priority of my Ministry as this is an integral component to maintaining destination assurance. We are committed to ensuring that all visitors and locals feel safe."

The TPDCo will over the next couple of weeks review security protocols and issues across the sector and provide recommendations where needed. Tough actions where needed will follow.

The teenage student from Lacovia High School in St Elizabeth who had a fight with her mother in front of the school is now missing from home. According to the police, attempts to locate the girl at her home and her relatives' houses have so far been futile.

"The girl apparently ran away from home ... at this point, we could soon be putting out a missing person report for the child," a police insider said.

The video of the tussle between the child and her mother has been circulating online. The three-minute video clip shows the girl, who is in school uniform, is seen fighting her mother at the front of Lacovia High while being jeered by a group of students looking on. During the tussle, both the Lacovia High girl and her mother fell to the ground.

The video has triggered mixed reaction from Jamaicans. Some people criticise the woman apparently going to her daughter's school to beat the child, while others say the girl was out of order for fighting her mother.

charged.jpgA teen who was taken into police custody on Sunday, following accusations that he killed his 72-year-old step-grandfather and buried him in a shallow grave has been slapped with a murder charge.

The Constant Spring police today reported that the teen, 19-year-old Sahmar Graham, will be facing the court at a date to be announced for the death of Errol Seabourne, a farmer of Burnside Hill, Red Hills in St Andrew.

Seabourne was reportedly last seen on Friday morning, when relatives who had been preparing for the funeral of another family member said it was unlike him to not show up at the "set-up" and the funeral on Saturday.

On Sunday, when one of his nieces went to Seabourne's house to make checks, she was told by Graham, who was living with him, that he had not seen him since Tuesday.

The niece detected a foul odour and raised an alarm. Residents conducted a further search that led them to an area where they saw fresh soil and the dead man's hand protruding from the dirt.


grupo-aeroportuario-del-pacifico-will-operate-the-norman-manley-airport-in-2019.jpgKINGSTON, Jamaica, Oct. 10, 2018 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ -- The most honorable Andrew Holness, Prime Minister of Jamaica hosted the Norman Manley International Airport Public-Private Partnership Execution of the Concession Agreement to Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacifico (GAP).

GAP is a Mexican corporation that operates thirteen international airports in large metropolitan areas, industrial centers, and world-class leisure destinations of Mexico and Jamaica. In the last 18 years, the Group has invested over $1.2 billion US Dollars in the airports, positioning itself as one of the fastest growing airport groups of its size in the world. During 2017, the airports of the Group managed 40.7 million of passengers.

In April 2015, Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacifico assumed operational control of Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, investing over 191 million US Dollars to acquire a 74.5% stake in this airport. This was the largest investment of the Group outside Mexico.

GAP has developed a culture committed to customer service. One of the main objectives of the Group once it takes control of the operations of the Norman Manley International Airport next year, will be to improve the infrastructure and equipment to fulfill passengers' needs.

Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacifico, manages airports based on establishing strong partnerships with the airport owner, the passengers, the airlines, business developers, members in the air transportation industry and notably, with the local authorities.

"We will collaborate with the government of Jamaica in identifying tourism development opportunities and possible investors from Mexico; as well as explore potential growth for new resorts, tourism facilities and time-share business in parts of the country where the connectivity provided by the airport could be a catalyst", mentioned Raul Revuelta, Chief Executive Officer of the Group during the ceremony in which participated Hon. Robert Montague, Minister of Transport & Mining.

Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacifico, S.A.B. de C.V. (GAP) is a Mexican company that operates 13 international airports in the Pacific and Central Regions of Mexico and in the Caribbean:

  • Guadalajara and Tijuana, serving the main metropolitan areas.
  • Mexicali, Hermosillo, Los Mochis, Aguascalientes, Guanajuato and Morelia, serving mid-sized and developing cities.
  • La Paz, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo and Montego Bay, serving some of the leading tourist destinations.

In Mexico, the airports are owned by the Mexican government and were assigned 50-year concessions as part of a national initiative to privatize and improve the quality and safety of the country's airport services. In the last 18 years, GAP has invested over $1.2 billion USD in the airports. During 2017, the airports of the Group managed 40.7 million passengers.

In April 2015, GAP assumed operational control of the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay.

Police have launched an investigation into a physical altercation between a mother and her daughter at the front of a prominent high school in St Elizabeth.

The incident was captured on video and circulated online.

In the three-minute footage, the woman is seen fighting the girl, who is in school uniform, at the front of the educational institution while being jeered by a group of students looking on.

The tussle escalates to the point where both parties fall to the ground.

Police sources from St Elizabeth say that the law enforcement officials have since reached out to the two and are investigating the matter. According to the police insiders, personnel from the victim support unit have also gotten involved.

The community of Grange Hill in Westmoreland is now under heavy police-military security. Residents woke up this morning to find the community blanketed by soldiers and police with helicopters flying overhead.

"I have never seen anything like this in Grange Hill," said Errol Stewart, the principal of the Grange Hill High School.

"They have everything... dogs, metal name it."

Grange Hill is currently the epicenter of the violence in Westmoreland. It has two major gangs fighting for the spoils of lottery scamming.

Earlier this year, seven murders were recorded in one night of extreme violence.

crime-scene-tape-gloves.jpgVeteran jockey, Vassel Najair died Monday from injuries sustained nearly two weeks ago at Caymanas Park. Najair was struck by getaway horse PERFECT ASSET on Wednesday, September 26, prior to the start of the seventh event. The incident occurred after three five-year-old mares bolted from the starting gate and ran onto a narrow walkway leading from the grandstand area to the winners' enclosure.

Najair suffered head injuries while trying to block the runaway horse and was rushed to the Spanish Town Hospital.

Michael Bernard, executive chairman of Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL), expressed his sorrow at Najair's passing.

"Both myself, as a horseman, and SVREL, regret the untimely loss of Najair. He was a very enthusiastic and dedicated member of the racing fraternity and, most recently, up to early September, an employee of SVREL," Bernard said.

Najair started riding July 29, 1967, and won a double on his first day in the saddle, partnering Gold Spoon to victory in the third race. He returned to land the ninth with Chantrelle. Najair recorded his last winner on August 7, 2017, aboard Peter McMaster's Ras Emanuel, taking his tally to 278 winners from 2,756 rides.

riu-hotel-rapist.jpgDetectives attached to the St James Criminal Investigations Branch have charged the entertainment coordinator who allegedly raped two female visitors at the RIU hotel in Montego Bay, St James.

Twenty-four-year-old Demar Dowe Scott, otherwise called 'Ninja', of Comfort district in Manchester, is charged with illegal possession of firearm, two counts of assault with intent to rob, two counts of rape, and two counts of grievous sexual assault.

He is scheduled to appear before the St James Parish Court on Wednesday.

Reports are that about 11:15 p.m on Thursday, September 27, Scott forcibly entered the hotel room of the two American women, brandished a firearm before sexually assaulting them.

It is further reported that one of the women disarmed him and shot him before he escaped.

Following investigations, Scott was arrested and subsequently charged.

Hurricane Michael likely to hit Florida mid-week

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A tropical weather system that rapidly strengthened into Hurricane Michael on Monday is likely to intensify ahead of an expected strike on Florida's Panhandle by midweek, forecasters said. Michael could strengthen into a major hurricane with winds topping 111 miles per hour by Tuesday night before an expected strike on the Panhandle or Big Bend, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Since the storm will spend two to three days over the Gulf, which has very warm water temperatures and favourable atmospheric conditions, "there is a real possibility that Michael will strengthen to a major hurricane before landfall," Robbie Berg, a hurricane specialist at the Miami-based storm forecasting hub, wrote in an advisory.

Florida Governor Rick Scott issued an order for a state of emergency for 26 counties to rush preparations, freeing up resources and activating 500 members of the Florida National Guard. By mid-morning Monday, a large mound of sand in Tallahassee had been already been whittled down to a small pile as residents tried to prepare for potential flooding. A city of Tallahassee worker promised that another mound was ordered and on its way.

All indications are that it's going to be severe," said City Commissioner Gil Ziffer, adding that if the storm hits Florida's capital, there would be significant tree damage and power outages.

"Hopefully we will have no one hurt and no loss of life."

By 11 a.m. Monday, Michael's top sustained winds were around 75 miles per hour. The storm was centred about 50 miles off the western tip of Cuba, and about 140 miles east-northeast of Cozumel, Mexico.

It was moving north around seven miles per hour.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) is to rule whether charges are to be laid against the police corporal who was nabbed on Tuesday night, allegedly delivering firearms to gunmen in Newlands, Portmore, St Catherine. The 52 year old corporal, who is attached to the St Catherine South Police Division, was questioned for several hours Sunday in the presence of his attorney, Peter Champagnie.

A file is now being compiled for submission to the DPP.

Investigators have accused the policeman of being a member of the Umbrella Gang. He was arrested during an operation by members of the Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Branch (C-TOC). The cops intercepted his vehicle in the community of Newlands and seized an AK47 rifle, a Taurus pistol and more than 20 rounds of ammunition in his possession.

t's alleged that the policeman was delivering the guns and ammunition to members of the Umbrella Gang who are locked in a deadly feud with rival factions in Newlands.

An 18 year old boy was also arrested during the snap raid on Myers Lane.

hands-behind-bars.jpgInvestigators from the Major Investigation Division (MID) have detained the caretaker employed to the Church of God of Prophecy in Spanish Town, St Catherine, for questioning in connection with the murder of Pastor James Johnson. The caretaker was arrested Sunday during a raid at his house along Old Harbour Road in Spanish Town.

Acting Assistant Commissioner McArthur Sutherland, head of the Criminal Investigation Branch, reports that the cops went in search of the caretaker who had been eluding investigators over the last two weeks. He was found hiding in the ceiling of his house.

According to the senior investigator, the cops had been searching for the caretaker to ask him some questions about the "differing statements" he gave to investigators about the shooting death of Pastor Johnson. Investigators began preliminary questioning on Sunday, however, he is to be questioned in the presence of his attorney on Monday.

Acting ACP Sutherland declined to say whether he is a suspect.

Ballistics tests are now being conducted on the licensed firearm of the caretaker. A post mortem performed on Wednesday revealed that Pastor Johnson died after being shot in the neck and back by his assailant.

He was killed on the compound of the Church of God of Prophecy on September 23. It was reported that the 29 year old pastor was in his office at the church when he was attacked and shot. His licensed firearm was stolen.

7 years in prison for Peter Abrahams' murderer

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arrested -photo-1.jpgThe man who was last year charged for the killing of noted retired journalist and public commentator, Peter Abrahams, has been sentenced to seven years in prison for the crime.

The man - 61-year-old Norman Tomlinson - pleaded guilty to manslaughter last month, after having been charged with murder in February of last year.

Abrahams, 97, was found dead with multiple injuries at his home in Red Hill, St Andrew on January 18, 2017.

Reports were that Tomlinson, the spouse of Abrahams' household helper, visited the now deceased man and a dispute developed between the two men.

In a fit of rage, Tomlinson reportedly beat Abrahams to death.

World renowned Jamaican fashion designer Ivy Ralph passed away early this morning. She was 90 years old. Ralph, who was in Nuttall Hospital, died at approximately 3:45 am. Regarded as a pioneer of Jamaica's fashion industry, Ralph won worldwide acclaim when she created the Kareeba suit in the early 1970s.

"It was an idea I had as a child, a more comfortable style of dress for men. I wanted to help them get away from the jacket-and-tie routine, to something far more comfortably suited to the island's climate," Ralph is quoted in her biography.

Jamaica's then Prime Minister Michael Manley, the bio explained, "saw the ensemble and immediately sought out Ralph. The rest, as the saying goes, is history. It took off like wildfire, everybody wanted a Kareeba and she was busy night and day just trying to keep up with the orders, exporting to Saks Fifth Ave, B Altman, and top boutiques across the USA and the Caribbean".

The Kareeba, which was the subject of an article in the New York Times on March 24, 1976, was embraced by world leaders and celebrities, among them Barbados' Prime Minister Errol Barrow, Guyana's President Forbes Burnham, Tanzania President Julius Nyerere, the king of Swaziland, World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Muhammed Ali, and American pop star Michael Jackson in his young days. In 1999 Ralph the Jamaican Government invested Ralph with the Order of Distinction for outstanding contribution to the promotion of fashion for export.

earthquake.jpgPORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP): The US Geological Survey (USGS) says a 5.2 magnitude aftershock rattled northern Haiti, a day after a 5.9 magnitude earthquake left at least 12 dead and 188 injured at the same location. The USGS says the aftershock's epicentre was located 15.8 kilometres (9.8 miles) north-northwest of Port-de-Paix and had a depth of 10 kilometres. It struck at about 3 p.m. local time on Sunday.

"It was an aftershock. It was at the same location," said Paul Caruso, geophysicist with the USGS. "This is the first significant aftershock."

At the time, emergency teams were bringing relief to victims of Saturday's quake, which toppled cinder-block homes and rickety buildings. Authorities said at least 12 people died and 188 were injured.

The government reported seven deaths in the Nord-Ouest province and four other deaths in the community of Gros-Morne in the province of Artibonite, the newspaper Le Nouvelliste quoted Secretary of State for Communications Eddy Jackson Alexis as saying.

The US Geological Survey said the quake hit at 8:11 p.m. Saturday night and was centred 12 miles (19 kilometres) northwest of Port-de-Paix, which is about 136 miles (219 kilometres) from the capital of Port-au-Prince. The quake was 7.3 miles (11.7 kilometres) below the surface.

The country's civil-protection agency issued a statement saying several people were injured and some houses were destroyed in Port-de-Paix, Gros Morne, Chansolme and Turtle Island. Among the structures damaged was the Saint-Michel church in Plaisance.

The civil-protection agency officially confirmed the deaths of at least 10 people.

In 2010, a vastly larger magnitude 7.1 quake damaged much of the capital and killed an estimated 300,000 people.

Social media outpouring following Elva's death

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elva-ruddock.jpgThere has been a major outpouring of grief and shock on social media following the passing of Elva Ruddock, popular stand-up comedy performer and event host. Elva passed away, after battling the autoimmune disease, Lupus. Her death left the theatre and media communities on which Ruddock left her mark in shock.

Hundreds of persons have been putting up Elva's picture on their social media statuses as a way of paying tribute to the comedienne and host of the popular Full House Fridays on FAME.

Elva always showed her bubbly side and had kept the extent of her illness private. According to social media personality Marlon Campbell, Ruddock had made him aware the first time she was hospitalised during the summer, but he never had the opportunity to visit her. He had contacted her to host an event over the past week, but Ruddock's words were "Di doctor tell me to build a likkle bit."

Theatre practitioner and comedian Owen 'Blakka' Ellis said although he was aware of her diagnosis, Ruddock had chosen to not share the full details of her health and treatment with anyone within the circle. "She would not share her illness as a means to not give it the time and space. She would have only mentioned it and say: 'Mi nah talk about it'. In addition to that, she hated sympathy," he said.

Elva was raised in Rollington Town, St Andrew, before moving to Portmore, St Catherine, and is the second of four children born to Ruby and Charles Ruddock.

elva-photo-1.jpgMedia personality and comedienne Elva Ruddock died yesterday. Reports are that she had been ailing for some time with lupus and had been hospitalised.

News of her death has shocked the entertainment, media and theatre industries on which Ruddock made her mark.

"Elva was one of those persons who could easily bring sunshine on a rainy day in anyone's life. Her bubbly personality was quite infectious. Elva was one of a kind and will always be remembered for her hilarious interactions on TV and radio. She commanded our attention with her presence and she will be greatly missed by all of us," Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange said in a statement.

A police corporal and a teenager were arrested in Newlands, Portmore, St. Catherine Tuesday night.

The 52 year-old corporal and the 18 year-old boy were held with two illegal firearms, including an AK 47 rifle and a quantity of ammunition during a snap raid in Myers Lane.

The policeman is suspected to be a member of the Umbrella Gang which operates in Newlands. Superintendent Leighton Grey, head of Operations for the St. Catherine South Police, said about 8:30 p.m. his division was contacted by the Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Division (C-TOC) for assistance.

They intercepted a motor car which was being driven by the policeman. When the vehicle was searched, an AK 47 rifle with the serial number obscured, a magazine containing fifteen rounds of ammunition and a Taurus nine millimetre pistol were found.

The policeman's licensed firearm was also seized.

A pair of licence plates was reportedly found in the trunk of the car.

A man suspected to be the intended recipient of the guns escaped. He reportedly goes by the alias Terror Blacks. The policeman and the teenager are to be questioned by detectives from C-TOC.

The Police High Commmand has ordered a top level investigation into the suspected link between the police corporal and the criminal gang.

While the cops were arresting the police corporal and teen, heavy gunfire broke out in sections of Newlands. Members of the Umbrella gang reportedly invaded a section of the community and this led to a gun battle.

A man was arrested and placed under police guard Wednesday morning when he turned up at Kingston Public Hospital with a bullet wound to his mouth. C-TOC investigators say he is a member of the Umbrella gang.

There has been a flare-up of gang violence in Newlands since last weekend.Superintendent Grey said the friction between two gangs was triggered by a robbery.

The Bog Walk Gorge in St Catherine has been re-opened following reports that is was closed.

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management says it made the decision to close the gorge for public safety reasons as rainfall continues in the hilly sections of St Catherine causing water levels in the Rio Cobre to rise.

In the meantime, the Barry route is now impassable.

Motorists are being urged to use alternative routes through Sligoville or the North-South Highway.

People are also urged to avoid flooded waterways such as fords, gullies, streams and rivers.

Despite the gorge being re-opened, motorists are advised to proceed with the usual caution.

Jamaica and France to sign air service agreement

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Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett recently departed the island for Paris, to finalise air service arrangements, which will result in the development of direct flights from Montego Bay to France.

"I am very excited to announce that Jamaica is going to be increasing connectivity with France. The Director of Tourism and I will be meeting with Air France/KLM and French Tourism Investors, to tie up an arrangement that will certainly benefit our country," said Minister Bartlett.

The discussion initially took place during a courtesy call by outgoing French Ambassador to Jamaica, Jean-Michel Despax to the Minister's New Kingston office.

During this meeting, a decision was also made for the Minister's delegation to visit officials such as the Jamaican Ambassador to France and a new marketing company.

"We are being invited to meet in France with the Minister of State for Foreign Trade, the Promotion of Tourism and French Nationals Abroad, Hon. Matthias Fekl, the French Aviation Authority, Air France and a number of investors who now have an interest in a Tourism Product in Jamaica. One of these investors is Sofitel [a chain of luxury hotels based in Paris, France, and owned by AccorHotels]," said the Minister.

According to data from the Jamaica Tourist Board, stopover arrivals from France in 2017 saw a 40.2% increase in arrivals, with 7400 visitors to the island. However, arrivals have not been consistent over the past seven years. The island had its peak in 2014 with 12,087 stopover visitors.

"We truly believe the arrivals from the French market will not only stabilise but see a significant increase once we improve the connectivity. There is a deep interest in our culture, food and music from French Nationals and of course our Jamaicans living in France. We will no doubt have to improve our marketing in this region, but I look forward to welcoming more French tourists once we have finalised this deal," said the Minister.

arrested -photo-1.jpgFour men are now behind bars after a cache of firearms, including an Uzi sub-machine gun, and more than 600 rounds of ammunition were found in a barrel at the wharf in Kingston yesterday. The police say two of the men were arrested at the wharf while the others were apprehended in secondary operations.

Law enforcement sources say the Uzi sub-machine gun, along with nine pistols, 26 magazines and the bullets were stashed in a barrel that also contained food items. The barrel was shipped from the state of Georgia in the United States and listed the recipient as a man in the Kingston 6 area, police sources revealed.

According to reports, detectives from the Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Division (C-TOC) conducted a snap operation at Berth 7 at the Kingston Container Terminal where the barrel was scanned and "anomalies" discovered.

The weapons were found during a subsequent search.

Ammunition found

243 - 9mm bullets

100 - 5.56 bullets

100 - 7.62 bullets

130 - .40 bullets

50 - .45 bullets

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Popular female promoter from NY killed in Jamaica

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crime-scene-gun.jpgPopular dancer and female promoter who hails from Anchovy District in St. James, but resided in New York, USA, was shot and killed by gunmen in Anchovy, on Saturday, September 29, and her male companion shot and wounded.

She has been identified as Judith Annabell Miller-Warren, known to all as "Cocky Tractor". She was a popular dancehall promoter locally and abroad.

Reports by the Freeport police are that about 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Miller-Warren who recently arrived in the island, and a male companion, was travelling in a Nissan motor car in Anchovy community.

On reaching a section of the area known as Nigger Ground, they were ambushed by a group of armed men, who opened fire on the vehicle.

Miller-Warren and her male companion received multiple gunshot wounds to their upper bodies and are believed to have been robbed by their assailants.

The police were summoned and upon arrival, both victims were transported to the Cornwall Regional Hospital, where Miller-Warren was pronounced dead and the male admitted in critical condition.

Immediately following the news of her murder, a host of tributes started to roll out for Miller-Warren via social media.

"Cocky Tractor" as she was fondly called is remembered by her brilliant moves on the dance floor.

Just a few years ago, Miller-Warren now turn promoter entered the popular Dancehall Queen Contest and performed exceptionally well.

crime-scene-tape-gloves.jpgPolice Commissioner Major General Antony Anderson has condemned the killing of District Constable Mellissa Edwards-Whyte, who was assigned to Crime Stop.

Edwards-Whyte was fatally chopped during a domestic dispute at her home about 9:00 last night.

In expressing his condolences, the police chief said: "It is unfortunate that domestic violence has robbed us of another promising talent, Woman District Constable Mellissa Edwards-Whyte was met with such cruelty and callousness and no effort will be spared in bringing closure to this matter."

The Chaplaincy and Community Safety and Security Branch (CSSB) have been instructed to provide all the necessary support to colleagues and friends of the late district constable.

Members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) are also being reminded to use the resources available to the force, such as the Chaplaincy and Medical Services Branch, to assist them deal with domestic and other issues that impact their emotional, psychological and physical well-being.

In the meantime, police personnel are being encouraged to remain vigilant and undaunted as they continue to enforce law and order and build safer communities.

Alleged rapist hotel worker in police custody

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custody.jpgA Riu Hotel trainee worker who allegedly raped two female guests at gunpoint in their room on Thursday night is now in police custody.

Based on preliminary investigations, the police have identified the gunman as Demar Scott. However, there is uncertainty about where he is from as the police have found two identification cards for him, giving two different addresses. One ID card says he is from Exchange district in Ocho Rios, St Ann while the other says he is from Comfort district in Williamsfield, Manchester.

The 23-year-old suspect was held by police on Friday afternoon. In a statement, the hotel said the man had been in training for only three days before allegedly committing the dastardly act.

"Last (Thursday) night, September 27th, there was a very unfortunate incident in the Riu Reggae Hotel in which two guests were attacked by a trainee at the entertainment department of the hotel. The man, who had been in training for only three days, was able to escape," Riu said.

"The hotel management immediately called the police and accompanied and supported the guests with everything in this difficult moment," the hotel added.

The release did not reveal much details, citing protection of the guests' privacy.

"We are unable to share further details both for the protection of our clients privacy as well as to not interfere in the investigation being already carried out by the local authorities," the short statement read.

Police report that about 11pm, the gunman entered a room being occupied by two female guests at the prominent hotel through a balcony door.

The man then reportedly held up both women at gunpoint and forcibly had sexual intercourse with them, before being disarmed by one of the victims who opened fire at the suspect.

The suspect was reportedly shot in the upper body but still managed to escape through the balcony door. He remained on the lam for more than 12 hours before he was reportedly collared by cops in a central Jamaica parish early Friday afternoon

2000 pounds of ganja seized in Manchester

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ganja-seized.jpgThe Narcotics Division of the Jamaica Constabulary Force say they have placed a dent in the illicit ganja trade with the seizure of over 2,000 pounds of compressed ganja in Manchester on Friday.

Reports are that between 11:30 a.m., and 1:00 p.m. the police searched sections of the bushes along the coast line in Gutts River in the Alligator Pond area of Manchester, where several packages of marijuana were found.

No one was arrested. Members of the Narcotics Division are investigating.

The find follows Thursday's seizure of about 1300 pounds of compressed ganja in St Elizabeth.

Reports are that about about 8:00 p.m., members of the JDF Coast Guard were on patrol when they intercepted a vessel in the vicinity of Fort Charles Beach, Treasure Beach in St Elizabeth with three men aboard.

A search of the vessel revealed several packages of compressed ganja, weighing about 1300 pounds.

The men were taken into custody and the drug seized.

crime-scene-gun.jpgThe festering crime problem that has been plaguing St James jolted the tourism sector on Thursday night when a gunman barged into a hotel room in Montego Bay and raped two female tourists before he lost possession of his weapon and was shot by one of the visitors. After he was shot, the gunman allegedly jumped over a balcony and fled. The weapon, which was reportedly stolen from the room of another guest, was turned over to the police.

"Based on our initial investigations, the gunman was employed to the hotel two days ago as an entertainment coordinator, so it was not someone who walked in off the street," a police officer told The Gleaner. "The gun he had in his possession was stolen from the room of another guest, who is a licensed firearm holder."

According to police reports, at approximately 11:15 p.m., the two visitors, who are from Detroit in the United States, were in their room at the Riu Reggae Hotel in Ironshore, Montego Bay, when a man, who was armed with a handgun, walked in on them. With gun in hand, the man demanded that they perform various sexual acts on him.

While he was raping one woman, the gun reportedly fell from his hand. The other woman picked up the weapon and pointed it at him. He tried to disarm the woman, who fired two shots at him. He ran out of the room, jumped a balcony and fled. The police, who were summoned to the property, found blood stains below the balcony.

"We believe he was shot either once or twice, based on the amount of blood below the balcony and on the ground leading into bushes off the hotel's compound," said a police officer. "We will be carrying out further searches to see if we find him."

Based on preliminary investigations, the police have identified the gunman as Demar Scott. However, there is uncertainty about where he is from as the police have found two identification cards for him, giving two different addresses. One ID card says he is from Exchange district in Ocho Rios, St Ann while the other says he is from Comfort district in Williamsfield, Manchester.

"When we went to the location, one of the women handed over a 9mm Glock 17 pistol with serial number DTN201," said a police officer. "It was loaded with 16 live rounds of ammunition."

Confirming the incident in a statement, the management of RIU said: "Last night, September 27, there was a very unfortunate incident in the Riu Reggae Hotel in which two guests were attacked by a trainee at the entertainment department of the hotel. The man, who had been in training for only three days, was able to escape. The hotel management immediately called the police and accompanied and supported the guests with everything in this difficult moment. We are unable to share further details, both for the protection of our clients' privacy, as well as to not interfere in the investigation being already carried out by the local authorities."

Some six hours after the Riu incident, another Montego Bay hotel was also dragged into the news. At about 5:45 a.m. on Friday, the police, acting on information, went to the Hotel Gloriana on Sunset Boulevard in Montego Bay, where five men were arrested and two illegal firearms seized. The men were wanted in connection with a recent shooting in Spring Mount, also in St James.

CanEx 2018: 'Treat ganja as sacred'

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ganja-image-5.jpgAmerican businessman and former talk show host, Montel WIlliams, charged individuals in the medical cannabis sector to remember to treat the plant as sacred.

"It's time for us to remember it's a healing plant; it's a blessed plant; it's a sacred plant, let's treat it that way. Let's treat this industry that way so that people recognise that you can do good things and still make money," Williams urged.

He was speaking Thursday on the opening day of the 2018 CanEx Jamaica -- Business Conference & Expo at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St James.

In bringing welcome, Mayor of Montego Bay Councillor Homer Davis warned investors in the cannabis trade that they must ensure that they do not breach Jamaica's business codes.

"I caution, however, that these investments must be orderly and must conform to the laws of our land. I am sure the cannabis industry is a sustainable one and one that can provide well-paying job opportunities for our citizens, our scientists and certainly those who are involved at other levels of the trade," he said.

The conference, which will run until September 30, has attracted a number of foreign stakeholders.

Yesterday, former Mexican President Vicente Fox and his wife Marta, arrived in Montego Bay. He is slated to deliver a keynote speech at the conference today.

He was met on arrival by senior advisor in the Ministry of Tourism, Delano Seiveright; CanEx founder and organiser, Douglas Gordon; and CEO of Zimmer & Co T'Shura Gibbs.

Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Audley Shaw is also scheduled to address the conference today.

Held for the first time in 2016, CanEx Jamaica Business Conference and Expo brings together top cannabis industry experts from the United States, Canada, South and Central America, Europe, Australia, and the Caribbean.

ganja-image-5.jpgFormer television personality Montel Williams has categorised operators in the medical cannabis industry who refuse to pump some of their gains into advancing research on the plant, as drug traffickers in the global black market.

"As we make more and more money, and as we get involved in this business, if you don't set aside some of your money for testing and for research, then I will tell you, you are as crooked and as criminal as anybody who has been involved in an [illegal] drug business. How many houses do we need? How many cars do you need?" Williams, who is a radio talk-show host and actor, said.

"So the science needs to be done. We need to continue to do science and we need to do it as vigorously as we possibly can," he continued.

He was addressing Thursday's opening day of the 2018 CanEx Jamaica -- Business Conference & Expo at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St James, Jamaica.

The conference, which will run until September 30, has attracted a number of foreign stakeholders.

Yesterday, former Mexican President Vicente Fox and his wife Marta, arrived in Montego Bay. He iwas slated to deliver a keynote speech at the conference on Friday. He was met on arrival by senior advisor in the Ministry of Tourism, Delano Seiveright; CanEx founder and organiser, Douglas Gordon; and CEO of Zimmer & Co T'Shura Gibbs.

Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Audley Shaw is also scheduled to address the conference today.

Held for the first time in 2016, CanEx Jamaica Business Conference and Expo brings together top cannabis industry experts from the United States, Canada, South and Central America, Europe, Australia, and the Caribbean.

Earthquake rocks St Lucia during TS Kirk

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earthquake.jpgSt. Lucia, feeling the wrath of Tropical Storm Kirk, was hit by a strong earthquake on Friday, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damages.

The Seismic Research Unit of the St Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) said that the earthquake with a magnitude of 5.6 hit the island at 8:32 am (local time).

It said the location of the quake was Latitude: 15.11 north, Longitude: 60.43 west at a depth of 10 kilometres (km).

The quake was felt 134 km north east of Castries, 108 km east south east of Roseau in Dominica and 91 km north east of Fort-de-France, the capital of the French-speaking island of Martinique.

Tropical Storm Kirk was drenching St Lucia with heavy rains and string winds, knocking out electricity in some parts of the island as well as causing several landslides. The storm is located 140 miles west south west and of St Lucia and 160 miles west south west of Martinique.

The authorities have discontinued a tropical storm warning for Martinique and Guadeloupe, and the Meteorological Service of Barbados has discontinued the tropical storm warning for the island and Dominica.

A tropical storm warning remains in effect for St Lucia and a tropical storm watch is in effect for St Vincent and the Grenadines.

medical-ganja.jpgMinister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Audley Shaw, disclosed that Jamaica has made its first shipment of medical marijuana extract oil to Canada. According to Shaw, "Jamaica is uniquely positioned to be a global player and we are committed to providing the leadership and resources required for opening the international markets including Canada and Europe for our licensed and regulated Jamaican companies."

The shipment was authorised through an import permit issued by the Government of Canada through Health Canada for Jamaica and an export permit issued by the Ministry of Health in Jamaica.

The import permit from Health Canada was obtained on behalf of Jamaican-based licensed producer Timeless Herbal Care which was then granted an export permit by the Ministry of Health in Jamaica.

According to Courtney Betty, President and CEO of Timeless Herbal Care, "Timeless continues to be a trailblaser in Jamaica and the accomplishment of landing the first shipment of extracted oil which was cultivated and extracted at our facilities in Jamaica is a fulfillment of a mission we began five years ago. This was made possible by our commitment to the development of small farmers and local communities and through partnerships such as our Research at the University of Technology.

"Our international partners such as Open Vape and Mount Sinai Hospital are also helping to guide us in producing the highest grade extracted oil which can be used for clinical trials leading to the development of medicinal products for the world."

Prisoner escapes from hospital

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A 50-year-old prisoner is on the run after escaping from Kingston Public Hospital (KPH), where he had been admitted.

He has been identified as Eric Banner, otherwise called Whites.

The police say he escaped about 6 o'clock Tuesday morning.

Banner was arrested and charged on June 8 for the offences of shooting with intent, illegal possession of a firearm and illegal possession of ammunition.

He was also charged on June 9 with possession of counterfeit notes.

The police say his last known address is West Cumberland in Portmore, St. Catherine.

TS Kirk rekindles

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Tropical Storm Kirk rekindled on Wednesday as expected, after fizzling Tuesday, torn apart by its own quick speed and high wind shear.

The National Hurricane Center said it is now headed toward the northern Windward Islands, where tropical storm warnings and watches were issued Wednesday morning.

The storm was about 415 miles east of Barbados, with sustained winds of 45 miles per hour.

It is heading quickly west at 18 miles per hour.

The fickle storm is forecast to expire yet again after it crosses the islands and heads into the eastern Caribbean.

car-clothes-of-driver.jpgThe police are searching for a motor vehicle operator who led them on a high speed chase through several communities in the Corporate Area before abandoning the car and making his escape in bushes in the Queens Hill area of St Andrew on Tuesday.

Police say the man fled the motor car leaving most of his clothing behind.

A detective investigating the case said that the chase started after the male driver of a grey Toyota Corolla motor car disobeyed a police signal to stop while driving along the Mandela Highway.

"The man was seen on the Mandela High Way driving in a reckless manner and when he was signaled to stop, he disobeyed," the police officer said.

The chase reportedly ended up in Queens Hill, where lawmen cornered the unruly motorist on a road that led to a dead end. At this point, determined to escape, the man reportedly stripped down to his underwear and fled into nearby bushes, in the process assaulting an officer who attempted to apprehend him. The police officer's phone and watch were reportedly damaged.

The students at the Duckenfield Primary School in St. Thomas who were given unprescribed pills were scheduled to return to the hospital today for a follow-up examination. They will do a final blood test.

On Friday when the students visited the hospital for observation, they were said to be in good health.

The pills were reportedly given to the students by a man who was previously employed at Duckenfield Primary. It is reported that the children were told the pills were vitamins that would increase their speed.

Brandon McIntosh was listed by the Morant Bay Criminal Investigation Branch as a person of interest.

ganja-image-3.jpgJaican health and wellness distribution company, Zimmer & Co, has sponsored 200 local farmers to attend the CANEX Business Conference and Expo free of cost. The third staging of CanEx Jamaica will take place September 27-29, 2018 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Montego Bay, St. James.

The CanEx Jamaica Business Conference and Expo is a business-to-business (B2B) conference that brings together cannabis industry professionals from 20 countries across North America, the Caribbean, Europe, South, and Central America to discuss the latest advances in the medicinal, health, wellness, legal, regulatory, business and investment landscapes.

Zimmer CEO, T'Shura Gibbs noted that as "title sponsors for the conference, Zimmer & Co. has agreed to work with three other growing associations including the Ganja Growers and Producers Association, to facilitate additional farmers who wish to attend. The tickets will allow the farmers access to the expo. Farmers who wish to take advantage of this offer should contact their growing associations who will be contacted directly by the CanEx Jamaica organisers to facilitate the programme."

Keynote speakers at this year's conference include former President of Mexico, Vicente Fox, former television talk show host and Founder of Lenitiv Labs, Montel Williams, and CEO of Canopy Growth Corporation, the largest cannabis company in the world, Bruce Linton, and Colombian Senator, Juan Manuel Galan.

Ananda Alert activated for two missing girls

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missing-teen-chevonese.jpgAnanda Alert has been activated for 16-year-old Chevanese Thompson of Simon district, St. Catherine. She is of brown complexion, slim build and is about 168 centimetres (5 feet 6 inches) tall. Reports from the Spanish Town Police are that Chevanese was last seen dressed in her school uniform--a burgundy tunic and a grey blouse. All attempts to locate her have failed.

Anyone with information as to the whereabouts of Chevanese Thompson is being asked to contact the Spanish Town Police at 876-984-2305, Police 119 emergency number or the nearest Police Station.

Over in St Catherine an Ananda Alert has been activated for 15-year-old Jhannell Bryan of Newland, Portmore, who has been missing since Wednesday, September 19. Reports from the Portmore Police are that Jhannell left home for school about 7:00 a.m. wearing a purple tunic, a grey blouse and a grey tie. She has not been seen or heard from since.

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Jhannell Bryan is being asked to contact the Portmore Police at 949-8422, Police 119 emergency number or the nearest Police Station.

No photograph of Jhannell is available at this time.

The US Coast Guard has nabbed three drug smugglers and seized millions of dollars worth of cocaine in the Caribbean Sea. It has transferred the smugglers and the cocaine, which is valued at about US$3.3 million, to US Drug Enforcement Administration agents.

This follows last week's seizure of a go-fast vessel off Loiza, Puerto Rico.

The Coast Guard said it was the result of ongoing multi-agency law enforcement efforts. Three men - two Dominican Republic nationals and a French citizen - who were apprehended are facing US federal prosecution in Puerto Rico.

While on a routine patrol off Puerto Rico's northern coast, the US Coast Guard said the crew of an aircraft detected a suspicious 35-foot go-fast vessel without navigational lights, about 50 nautical miles north of Puerto Rico. The Coast Guard intercepted the vessel.

The crew later found 112 kilograms of cocaine in the water.

The Jamaica Defence Force on Monday announced the operation hours for businesses in sections of Kingston and St Andrew that are now under a state of public emergency.

The following are the opening and closing hours that are applicable to businesses.

- Clubs and fast food restaurants - 7:00am to 9:00pm

- Bars and Taverns - 9:00am to 8:00 pm

- Gas Stations - 6:00am to 9:00pm

- Supermarkets, grocery shops, haberdasheries, cookshops and any other place - 8:00am to 7:00 pm

- Pharmacies - 8:00am to 8:00pm

- Churches - 9:00am to 9:00pm

- Any other public place - 9:00am to 7:00pm

A state of emergency has been imposed in the Kingston Western, Kingston Central and St Andrew South police divisions, to combat rampant criminality.

ganja-image-5.jpgThe University of Technology (UTech) Pharmacy Alumni (UPA) and the Caribbean Institute of Pharmacy Policy Practice and Research (CIPPPAR) have developed a new "farm to pharmacy" short course on medical cannabis for Jamaican pharmacists.

The four-month course was developed by Associate Professor, UTech, Jamaica, Dr Ellen Campbell Grizzle with the support from Leaf of Life Jamaica Limited, which will provide technical expertise in the area of pharmacology, prescribing and dispensing of medical cannabis. The course, which is primarily online, also brings together experts from Jamaica and the United States who are said to be adding their cutting-edge technology to the training.

"We looked at the offerings now available for pharmacists in the medical cannabis space and recognised that these were not adequate for the needs of the medical cannabis patient and industry in emerging states and cultures like ours. The dynamics in our situation require that we avoid segmenting pharmacists training as narrowly as done elsewhere. The course builds on the strong training in pharmacology and dosing that pharmacists possess," Campbell Grizzle said in a release.

She noted that participants will be required to complete an action research project that offers solution-oriented outcomes.The first cohort is set to complete the course in November 2018.

"We are confident that our approach to training will be meaningful to our pharmacists and attract the attention of pharmacists regionally and globally," Campbell Grizzle said.

'Babsy' Grange saddened at Errol Miller's passing

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errol-miller.jpgFormer Executive Chairman of Flow Foundation and a Board Member of the Institute of Sports (INSPORTS), Errol Miller has died.

Miller had been ill and earlier this month was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit at The University Hospital of the West Indies.

In a release expressing condolences, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange, said Miller's passing leaves her feeling deeply saddened.

Grange said: "When I heard today of Errol's death I was overcome by a sense of great loss as he was someone who I admired very much and someone who contributed a lot in his professional life and as a volunteer."

She said Miller had served on the INSPORTS Board with distinction, "Ready in his quiet way to give advice which was always helpful to the organisation."

"I was not expecting that Errol would leave us at this time and he will surely be missed by many. To his wife and the rest of his family, relatives, friends and associates as well as to the FLOW Foundation, the Chairman and Board of INSPORTS, I express my sincere condolences. May his soul rest in peace."

mbj-wta-winner-2018.jpgFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Montego Bay, Jamaica, 23 September, 2018 // Sangster International Airport (SIA), Jamaica's leading gateway to the world, was named the Caribbean's Leading Airport for the tenth year in a row at the World Travel Awards (WTA) hosted at Sandals Montego Bay on Saturday 22 September.

Operated by MBJ Airports Limited, SIA emerged as the winner from a pool of 13 Caribbean competitors nominated for the prestigious award. The accolade was first bestowed on SIA in 2005. It won again in 2009 and has won the title again every year since.

"We are deeply honored to be named the Caribbean's Leading Airport for the tenth consecutive year. This prestigious award validates our tireless efforts to deliver world-class service and showcase Jamaica's rich culture at Sangster International Airport," commented MBJ CEO Rafael Echevarne.

"We are grateful that our continuous work to improve the physical infrastructure of the airport and provide passengers with outstanding service has been recognized by the global travel industry and users of SIA, who have voted us number one in the region year after year for the past decade. Our entire staff, our partners and every citizen of Jamaica can be proud of this tremendous achievement," Echevarne added.

MBJ has led a number of initiatives over the past three years to improve the passenger experience within the arrivals and departures terminals while upgrading the taxiways and aprons on the airside. Several transformational projects are now underway to bring further upgrades to the airport, including a redesign of the ticketing hall and an expansion of the commercial concourse.

About MBJ Airports:

MBJ Airports Limited, operator of Sangster International Airport, connects Jamaica to more than 50 international destinations. A record 4.2m passenger used the airport in 2017. MBJ operates SIA under a 30-year concession awarded in 2003 and provides employment to more than 160 Jamaicans. SIA has been named the Caribbean's Leading Airport by World Travel Awards for the past nine years in a row.

About World Travel Awards:

World Travel Awards (WTA) was established in 1993 to recognize and reward excellence in key segments of the tourism, travel and hospitality industries, thereby encouraging practitioners to continuously improve the standards of their product and service offering.

omar-colleymore-and-wife.jpgOmar Collymore, who is before the courts for the alleged contract killing of his wife, Simone and a driver who was transporting her in January of this year, has been slapped with another murder-related charge. Collymore has been charged with attempted murder in relation to another woman, following a recent ruling by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Reports are that in late December last year, a former girlfriend of Collymore was ambushed and fired on by gunmen while she was driving in St Andrew. The intended victim, however, managed to escape the attack unharmed. That incident was reportedly followed up some days later by the attack on Simone Collymore and the driver, Winston Walters, who was in her company on arrival at her home. The same group of gunmen from the first attack reportedly took part in the attack on Simone Collymore and Walters. The two were shot dead on January 2 just inside the Forrest Hills, St Andrew apartment complex.

Following intense police investigations, Omar Collymore was charged with his wife's murder, this after being nabbed at a guesthouse in St Elizabeth, reportedly on a failed bid to illegally leave the island.

Reports are that a confession from one of the gunmen who was arrested alongside Collymore resulted in Collymore being linked to the attack on his previous acquaintance.

Five accused, including Collymore, appeared in the Gun Court section of the St Andrew Parish Court on Thursday, and were all remanded until October 12, when an application for bail is expected to be heard.

crime-scene-gun.jpgPolice investigators are seeking to establish the motive behind the killing of a 29-year-old pastor, James Johnson on Thursday evening.

Johnson was killed around 5 o'clock at the Church of God of Prophecy on Old Harbour Road in the St Catherine North police division where a state of emergency is in force. The police say he arrived at the church, parked his car and entered the building and shortly after a gunman entered and opened fire hitting Johnson multiple times. It is reported that all the shots were to his back. The gunman later escaped.

Johnson was pronounced dead at the Spanish Town hospital.

Police investigators reportedly recovered seven spent shells from the scene.

A past student of the Garvey Maceo High School in Clarendon, Johnson was born in the community of Red Hills in the parish. He was the public relations officer of the Church of God of Prophecy, and a political enthusiast and also did stints in media at Nationwide News NetworK.

wayne-marshall-easton-funeral.jpgFormer Cabinet Minister and Member of Parliament, Hon. Easton Douglas, OJ, CD, was accorded an Official Funeral by the Government of Jamaica today at the St Andrew Parish Church.

Hundreds turned out to bid farewell to a man who served his country well, and rose from his modest beginnings to well-deserved heights.


Among the dignitaries in attendance were Prime MInister Andrew Holness, Opposition leader Peter Phillips, former prime ministers P J Patterson and Portia Simpson-Miller, both former presidents of the PNP, of which Douglas was a member.

Many government ministers and officials as well as leading figures in the PNP and different sectors were also present.


The congregation heard Douglas' story that started with him being born to peasant parents from Old Harbour to being a policy maker in Cabinet while serving as Member of Parliament for South East St Andrew from 1989 to 2002.

During that time, Douglas served as Minister of Health and the Public service as well as Housing, Land and Environment under Prime Ministers Michael Manley and Patterson.

Douglas' daughter Kari gave the remembrance with the sermon delivered by Reverend Robert Thompson.

Reggae artiste, Wayne Marshall performed his gospel hit "Glory to God".

Livingston Cain, the juror accused of bribing fellow jurors in the Vybz Kartel (Adidja Palmer) murder trial, had his bail extended and will return to the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on October 18.

On his last court appearance in September, Cain's attorney, Queen's Counsel Valerie Neita Robertson, made a no-case submission after the prosecution closed its case. Consequently, presiding Parish Judge Maxine Ellis, who had indicated that she needed time to familiarise herself with the evidence, postponed setting a date for the ruling.

But when the matter was mentioned the prosecutor asked for a new date to be scheduled. Cain's attorney had indicated from the last occasion that she would not be present as she would be in a trial in the Supreme Court.

Neita Robertson, in her no-case submission, argued that her client is entitled to his own analysis of the evidence regarding several areas of the evidence.

Cain is being tried on six counts of attempting to pervert the course of justice and one count of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, following allegations that he was captured on a phone recording offering the jury foreman in the Kartel murder trial $500,000 for a not-guilty verdict.

He is also accused of approaching other jurors and promising one of them that he would "take care of him" if he returned a not-guilty verdict.

The charges stemmed from allegations that between the start of Vybz Kartel's murder trial in the Home Circuit Court on November 18, 2013 and the handing down of a verdict in March 2014, Cain tried to persuade his fellow jurors to return a verdict of not guilty and even offered the jury forewoman $500,000 for a result in favour of Vybz Kartel and his co-accused.

Sister Minnie passes; funeral September 28

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Pan Africanist and businesswoman, Minion Phillips, the ex-wife of PNP President and Opposition Leader, Dr. Peter Phillips, has died.

She was a restaurateur and championed the cause of pan-Africanism for several decades and was affectionately called Sister Minnie. She died on Monday at the Tony Thwaites Wing of the University Hospital of the West Indies. She passed away several days after she was admitted to hospital and placed on life support.

Mrs. Phillips is the mother of four of Dr. Phillips's children - including North West Manchester MP, Mikhael Phillips, who was elevated to the post of PNP Vice President a day before her death.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness paid tribute to Mrs. Phillips in the House of Representatives and sent his condolences to Mikhael and the Phillips family.

Dr. Phillips thanked his colleagues and paid tribute to his late ex-wife.

A thanksgiving service will be held on September 28.

'Rock Star' wanted by police

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Detectives attached to the Morant Bay Criminal Investigation Branch have listed Brandon McIntosh, otherwise called 'Rock Star', of Ivan Scheme, Duckenfield as a Person of Interest in the incident involving the 19 students.

He is being asked to contact the police by noon today.

A news release from the Corporate Communicatons Unit of the Jamaica Constabulary Force says persons with information that can help the police locate Mr. McIntosh should call 982-1027, the 119 emergency number or contact the nearest police station.

Persons can also share information with the Police via the Stay Alert application.

Ministry investigates mystery pill given to students

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The Ministry of Education is investigating last week's incident at the Duckenfield Primary School in St Thomas where students were given unprescribed pills by an unauthorized person. The students fell ill and were taken to the Princess Margaret Hospital last Friday.

Director of Safety and Security in Schools, Assistant Superintendent Coleridge Minto, says the Education Ministry is conducting the probe along with the police. He is expecting to get an update on the case today.

Eighteen students of Duckenfield Primary were taken to the hospital on the advice of the Ministry of Health. Another student was treated at a private medical facility.

Some of the children had symptoms with the most common being abdominal pain and drowsiness.

CMC - The United States has named two Trinidad and Tobago nationals as financiers of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

"While coalition efforts have led to the collapse of ISIS's self-declared caliphate, Treasury continues to aggressively target financiers supporting ISIS's radical agenda. We are sanctioning individuals involved in financial facilitation to obstruct and deter ISIS financial operations in regions across the world," said Sigal Mandelker, Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.

"Our actions coincide with the 10th meeting of the Counter-ISIS Finance Group (CIFG), which includes 52 countries and international organisations committed to disrupting critical sources of ISIS revenue to permanently prevent ISIS from accessing the international financial system."

The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) named Emraan Ali and Eddie Aleong as those assisting in financing the operations of the terrorist group. It said in the case of Ali, a dual U.S. and Trinidadian citizen, national was designated for acting for or on behalf of ISIS.

"Ali has been involved in money transfers from Trinidad and Tobago to Syria in support of ISIS. As of January 2017, Ali would receive and provide funds to Trinidadian ISIS fighters. For several years, a number of citizens of Trinidad and Tobago in Syria received money transfers through Ali. In the summer of 2015, Ali lived at an ISIS guest house in Syria and had been assigned to Raqqah, Syria," it said.

OFAC said that Aleong was designated for assisting in, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or financial or other services to or in support of ISIS.

"As of March 2018, Trinidad-based Aleong facilitated money transfers to ISIS members in ISIS-controlled territory. As of January 2017, a Trinidadian ISIS supporter possibly planned to work with Eddie Aleong to transfer funds to Ali, who would then provide the funds to Trinidadian ISIS fighters in Syria."

The Treasury Department said that the designations are part of the broader United States government's ongoing and concerted efforts to disrupt ISIS-related financial activities around the globe

US seeks to extradite Jamaican man to Cayman

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US law enforcement authorities are attempting to extradite a Jamaican to Cayman where he is wanted for manslaughter in relation to the death of a ward of the state three years ago. According to documents filed with the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Larry Levers,46, was a supervisor at the Bonaventure Boys Home - the temporary living facility for at-risk children under the age of 16 in Cayman.

Court documents state that on November 29, 2015, Mr. Levers and a second supervisor took a 14-year-old boy and four others on a fishing trip.

During the excursion the teenager drowned. Both men were placed on leave while police opened investigations into the death. They face charges of manslaughter and child cruelty.

Levers reportedly left The British Overseas territory for Jamaica in September 2016. However, according to court documents, Caymanian police traveled to Jamaica to interview Levers in July 2017, but he had already left the country for the U.S. earlier that month under a fake name.

Levers is scheduled to have a bond hearing in the US today.

MORE traffic changes as of Sunday

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The National Works Agency (NWA) is to restrict right turns from the Merle Grove High School or CVM Television onto Constant Spring Road, starting Sunday, September 23, as part of its traffic management plan for the Corporate Area. Motorists who wish to make such a manoeuvre should travel along Dubnrobin Avenue, Red Hills Road, Eastward Park Road and onto Constant Spring Road.

The NWA says the traffic change is being implemented in order to reduce vehicular conflicts along this stretch of roadway. A median barrier will be erected to prevent conflicting movements.

The agency explains that with the traffic now being rerouted away from the Portia Simpson Miller Square, Washington Boulevard and Dunrobin Avenue are critical to the movement of vehicular traffic. It further says that the constant right turning movement across Constant Spring Road is impeding the flow of traffic heading into Half Way Tree and New Kingston from the direction of the Dunrobin Avenue/Constant Spring Road intersection. The NWA says that new restriction will allow the works agency to have two lanes of traffic heading towards Half Way Tree in the mornings and one lane heading in the opposite direction. The situation will be reversed for the afternoon peak flow.

In the meantime, the NWA says the one-way system that was implemented along Cassava Piece Road and the upper section of Constant Spring Road has been discontinued.The system was implemented in order to allow better movement of traffic between Cassava Piece Road and Mary Browns Corner. The NWA says an additional lane has been created for use, especially by students entering the Immaculate High School.

shocked.jpgThe Ministry of Health says it has been informed of an incident where several children at a primary school in St Thomas were given pills by an unauthorised person.

In a media release yesterday, the Ministry said that the St Thomas Health Department (STHD) was alerted last Friday by the school's principal, where 19 children had ingested unprescribed tablets. Some children had taken the pills the previous day and others on Friday. The Health Department was not informed of any child having symptoms at the time of being alerted. Arrangements were made for all the children to be brought to the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) Accident and Emergency Unit.

Eighteen children were seen and one child was taken to a private practitioner by the parent. Some of the children had symptoms, with the most common symptom being abdominal pain followed by drowsiness. All except one child was clinically well on assessment; that child was diagnosed and treated for mild allergy.

The 18 children seen at the PMH had blood investigations done that were normal but the liver function tests remain outstanding. The Ministry said these children will be reviewed with these results and parents and guardians have been advised to return immediately if any problems arise with the children.

The Ministry also warned parents and teachers to be alert for persons who would try to sell or give substances to children.

Commuters in some sections of the Corporate Area were facing additional difficulties in their movement on Tuesday morning, with two major roads having been damaged by heavy rains.

A section of Constant Spring Road, in the vicinity of the Rubis service station, collapsed overnight.

Traffic was reduced to single-lane for a while but was subsequently restored to two lanes.

A section of the intersection of Hagley Park Road and Waltham Park Road has also collapsed, badly disrupting the flow of traffic from Waltham Park Road onto Hagley Park Road, according to Senior Superintendent Calvin Allen, head of the Public Safety and Traffic Enforcement Branch.

On Monday morning, there was a four hour delay caused by a bomb threat, however, the Michaelmas Session of the Home Circuit Court resumed Monday afternoon with several cases being mentioned.

Court officials were forced to shut down the operations of the Supreme Court in downtown Kingston Monday morning after the Police High Command informed them of the bomb threat.

Several judges were removed from the precincts with the assistance of the military.

Firefighters and police personnel combed the building in search of any possible devices.

None was found.

Prosecutors from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions reported Monday afternoon that 979 cases are listed to be heard in the Michaelmas Session, which ends in December.444 cases of murder and 342 cases of sexual offence are down to be tried during the term.

There are also 12 cases involving lottery scamming, 10 anti-gang cases, four abductions, 15 cases of wounding, attempted murder, manslaughter, arson and forgery slated to be heard in the term.

Manning High student shot dead in Westmoreland

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crime-scene-gun.jpgThree persons, including a 16-year-old student, were killed in separate incidents in Westmoreland, between Sunday and Monday.

Perhaps most telling among the deaths was the killing of Manning's School fifth form student, Shamar Tomlinson, otherwise called 'JT', of Crowder District in Grange Hill, Westmoreland, early on Monday morning.

Reports are that about 2:40 a.m., Tomlinson was at his home, when gunmen kicked open the door and opened fire on him. He was hit in the head and died on the spot.

In May of this year, a shooting spree involving gangsters in Grange Hill left seven persons, including two children, dead and 10 others nursing gunshot wounds.

On Sunday in the same parish, 20-year-old Davian Malcolm, unemployed of Ricketts Street, Savanna-la-Mar, was shot and killed by unknown assailant(s) at his home.

Reports from the Savanna-la-Mar police are that about 8:30 p.m., Malcolm and two other men were standing at a shop when it is alleged that a motorcar was driven up, from which two men alighted with guns and opened fire at them.

The police were alerted and on their arrival, Malcolm, along with the two other men, were seen with gunshot wounds. They were taken to hospital, where Malcolm was pronounced dead the others were admitted.

The third murder in the parish was that of 32-year-old Renaldo Reid, otherwise called 'Boom', a farmer of Coolie Town, Forth Williams, who was shot and killed at his home on Monday. Reports from the Whithorn police are that about 2:30 a.m., Reid was at home when the door to his house was kicked in by armed men.

It is alleged that the men robbed him and then opened gunfire at him.

He received multiple gunshot wounds and was taken to hospital, where death was confirmed.

Truck driver murdered at Riverton City dump Saturday

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crime-scene-gun.jpgThe police have reported that a truck driver was shot dead and a woman shot and injured by unknown assailant/s at the Riverton City Landfill, Kingston 11 on Saturday.

The deceased has been identified as 32-year-old Anthony Francis, otherwise called 'Pops', of Ferguson Drive in Riverton City.

Reports from the Hunts Bay police are that residents heard explosions about 5:30 pm and summoned them.

The responding officers said Francis was found with multiple gunshot wounds, while the woman had a wound to one of her legs. They were both taken to hospital where Francis was pronounced dead and the woman treated and released.

Investigations continue.

Opposition Leader, Dr Peter Phillips, has vowed that a future People's National Party (PNP) government will abolish what he describes as "the apartheid system of education in Jamaica".

Apartheid was the system of government that existed in South Africa up to the early 1990s, in which the black majority was segregated from the white minority, excepting for work. The majority black population was poorly educated and mostly impoverished. Phillips made the promise on Sunday as he addressed the public session of the PNP's 80th annual conference inside the National Arena in St Andrew. He was presenting what he called the PNP's 'covenant with the people'. The Opposition leader stressed that the covenant that is to also address matters related to land ownership in order to resolve the longstanding squatting problem, "will not cover everything". Neither is it a manifesto.

peter-phillips-photo-4.jpgDr Phillips told cheering Comrades on Sunday that one of the biggest problems facing the country at the moment is that of inequality.

"This vast gap that exists between the few and the many is (at) the heart of what is holding us back as a country," he said.

Apart from the inequality issue, Phillips noted that 60 per cent of the country's labour force earns the minimum wage, with 80 per cent of what is earned spent on food.

"They live at low wages, but we can't get out of the low wage trap if we not educating the majority of our children," Phillips argued.

In addressing what he called the reality of education in Jamaica today, Phillips pointed to 45 schools where three out of every four children get five subjects, including mathematics and English Language. He said those students were effectively getting a "world-class education".

"And you have 118 non-traditional high schools where not even two (students) in 10 getting the same results. Those youngsters in the non-traditional high schools are the people that end up a bette'n (betting) shop door a roll a spliff a morning time, and we see them. Sometimes we see them so often we don't even see them. We get used to it. Life can't gwaan so. So our commitment is to change these structures of inequality by assaulting these structures and the institutions that keep poverty entrenched in this country, and inequality scarring our lives," Phillips said to strong applause.

"We give our commitment that we will abolish the apartheid system of education in Jamaica," Phillips added.

He told the crowd that the party will harness the support of the entire country to get it done, including the churches, the private sector, teachers, parents and community-based organisations.

"We make the commitment that the next PNP government will provide every student in Jamaica with at least one meal daily, because pickney can't learn on a hungry belly," he said.

4.6 magnitude earthquake rocks Jamaica

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earthquake.jpgA 4.6 magnitude earthquake shook sections of Jamaica Sunday afternoon.

That's a significant upgrade from the preliminary estimate which had put its strength at magnitude 3.3

The Earthquake Unit says the tremor with a focal depth of 23.1 kilometre was felt in St Catherine and Kingston and St Andrew.

The epicentre was located approximately 4 kilometre east of Angels in St Catherine.

However, persons living as far west as St Elizabeth said that they felt the tremor.

Standing fan recall

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The National Compliance and Regulatory Authority has issued an immediate recall of all 18 inch standing fans with the brand name VideoCon and bearing the model number: VC-1881PP.

A news release from the agency says the fans were imported by VideoCon Trading Limited located at 65 to 67 Orange Street in Kingston.

It's reported that while undergoing abnormal operation and overload tests the fan motors burnt in both situations.

The National Compliance and Regulatory Authority says persons who purchased the VideoCon fans should stop using them immediately.

It adds that the fans should be returned to the point of purchase as they are a safety hazard.

"Fully dunce" nothing to glorify, police emphasise

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The police are lamenting the trend emerging in some inner-city communities, involving youngsters widely using a set of new slang to praise individuals who display deviant behaviour, and who openly promote that they are fully illiterate and therefore lack all forms of normal reasoning.

The police said the term 'fully dunce' is becoming hip and trendy in some communities, and is now being used by persons to declare their willingness to resort to violence to deal with issues, because they supposedly lack reasoning ability to resolve problems differently.

"It is a trend we see popping up and being displayed on social media. Individuals who are deemed members of the younger generation, using slang to praise those individuals who openly disclose that they are illiterate," said a senior officer from the St Andrew South Police Division in reference to intelligence across his division and further afield.

"Dark like midnight, not open to reason, and most of all, they are claiming that they are fully dunce," said the officer.

The senior policeman said while some members of the public may brush this aside as nothing serious, it is an implication that members of the security forces have to face daily when manning streets across the country.

"To think that we have now reached a stage where we are hearing individuals criticising those who strive to be educated, and (instead) praise those who are illiterate, as a matter of fact, 'fully dunce', is something that needs to be addressed," said the policeman.

He added that he felt it was time for officials in other agencies to start an educational campaign to reach out to these individuals and to outline to them that the path they are taking of praising individuals who drop out of school and are proud to say they are fully illiterate, is dangerous.

The lawman said he strongly believes that if this is not addressed quickly, sooner or later, these individuals will become hardened criminals, with a new group or generation of violence producers who are not open to reason, and this could only spell destruction for the country.

The police also said the new trend is noticeably being pushed by some entertainers.

Red Hills cabbie missing

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A taxi operator, 64-year-old Edion Morse of Kirkland Close, Red Hills, St Andrew, has been missing since Friday, September 14. He is of dark complexion, medium built and about 175 centimetres (five feet nine inches) tall.

Reports from the Red Hills police are that Morse was last seen about 5:30 p.m. on Charlemont Avenue, Kingston 8, wearing a black and beige shirt, brown pants and brown shoes. He has not been heard from since then.

All efforts to contact him since then have been unsuccessful

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Edion Morse is being asked to contact the Red Hills police at 876-945-8270, the police 119 emergency number, or the nearest police station.

instaboss.jpgThe bail application for a former Jamaican police officer who fled the island after the killing of an entertainer in St Mary last year, was denied in the St Mary Parish Court on Thursday.

Oshane Wayne Thompson is implicated in the killing of upcoming deejay, 31-year-old Kriston Pearson, also known as 'Instaboss' or 'Maffie', of Charles Town, St Mary and Exchange in Ocho Rios, St Ann. Pearson was shot dead on May 7, 2017. The presiding parish judge denied bail on the basis of possible witness interference, and also with a view of the accused being a likely flight risk. The case is scheduled for committal proceedings on October 2.

Last year Thompson resigned from the police force after being questioned about the death of Pearson, which occurred during an altercation between the two, reportedly over a woman, at a party in St Mary. Thompson then fled the island, but was recently arrested and handed over to the Jamaican authorities by the US Enforcement and Removal Operations Unit. He arrived in the island on August 30, and was arrested by Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) officers and later charged with the murder of Pearson.

The charges against him followed prior investigations, including by the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) which indicated in a release after the accused man's arrival in Jamaica that a number of local agencies, including the JCF, the office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) and the commission, had played important roles in fostering the capture and deportation of the fugitive former lawman.

INDECOM said it had also recommended to the DPP earlier this year that Thompson, when caught, be charged with murder in relation to the Pearson killing. An attorney for the former cop recently said Thompson, in fleeing the country, acted out of fear for his life, after having received a number of death threats.

Attorney Peter Champagnie, who is representing the ex-policeman, did not go into details then, but said the ex-cop did not leave the country through any illegal means.

Police in Antigua probe Jamaica man's death

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ST. JOHN'S, Antigua, CMC - The police have announced plans to probe circumstances that may have led to the sudden death of a 51-year-old customs officer earlier this week.

The police report that Lloyd "Silah" Francis, originally from the eastern parish of St Thomas in Jamaica, was found dead at his home on Monday.

According to the Antigua Observer, officials from the Strategic Communications Office said they are awaiting the outcome of an autopsy before determining the course of their investigation.

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Meteorologists are reporting that for the first time in a decade there are four named storms simultaneously spinning in the Atlantic Basin; the last time this featured was in 2008.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami on Wednesday night issued advisories on Hurricane Florence, located over the western Atlantic Ocean, on Hurricane Helene, located over the eastern Atlantic Ocean, on Tropical Storm Isaac, located a few hundred miles east of the Lesser Antilles, and on newly formed Subtropical Storm Joyce, located several hundred miles west-southwest of the Azores.

"A broad area of low pressure is located over the central Gulf of Mexico. Although the shower activity is still disorganised, upper-level winds are forecast to become more conducive for development, and it is likely that a tropical depression will form Thursday or Thursday night, before the system reaches the western Gulf coast. Regardless of development, heavy rainfall and gusty winds are expected across portions of northeastern Mexico, Texas, and Louisiana late this week. Interests there should monitor the progress of this system, and refer to products from their local weather office," the NHC warned.

The NHC said an area of low pressure is expected to develop near Bermuda late this weekend or early next week and gradual development is possible after that time while the system drifts westward over the western Atlantic.

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$40-million in losses as fire blazed on Ashenheim Road

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fire.jpgDespite the relentless efforts of 40 firefighters early Tuesday morning, a massive fire caused extensive damage to Ping's Fabric and Atlantic Hardware on Ashenheim Road in St Andrew.

Up to yesterday evening, the origin of the fire could not be determined. Firefighters had to cut through shutters and roofs to tackle the blaze, which later prompted the closure of the road.

Superintendent Andrew Russell, who heads the Kingston and St Andrew Division of the Jamaica Fire Brigade, says the situation at the premises should be brought under control and the road reopened today.

"At 12:55a.m. [Tuesday] the brigade received a call that a warehouse complex was seen engulfed in flames. It was six hours of rigorous firefighting. Six units from York Park, Half-Way Tree, Trench Town, Stony Hill and Spanish Town battled the blaze.

"The fire was confined to Ping's Fabric and Atlantic Hardware, but other establishments were also affected, like Chem Quip Limited and J. Tyson Catering. The relentlessness of firefighters prevented the fire from spreading to adjoining premises," he said.

Meanwhile, National Works Agency Communications Manager Stephen Shaw says that once the fire brigade gives the go ahead, Ashenheim Road will reopen.

Guns bark in Swallowfield as residents and police clash

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police-shooting.jpgPolice personnel and residents had to scamper for cover yesterday evening in the Swallowfield area in St Andrew, as gunmen challenged lawmen in a gunfight.

Last night's melee is said to have stemmed from a police killing of a teenager on Bundy Lane in the community on Monday.

Police sources say that yesterday morning, criminals attempted to firebomb the Stadium Gardens Police Station. There was also an unconfirmed report that gunmen opened fire on the station. Debris was used to block a section of Arthur Wint Drive, near the station.

The police subsequently cleared the road after calling in reinforcements.

Minutes after clearing the roadway, however, cops on Arthur Wint Drive were forced to take cover as gunshots rang out from inside the community.

Superintendent of police in charge of the Corporate Communication Unit, Dahlia Garrick, says there was a strong police presence in the area where the roadblock was mounted.

More traffic changes in the Corporate area

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Following a meeting with senior engineers and police personnel on Monday afternoon, NWA communications manager Stephen Shaw said Gretna Green Avenue was a major trouble spot.

He said motorists attempted to use Gretna Green Avenue to bypass to traffic on Hagley Park Road and this contributed to the gridlock at the intersection of Hagley and Waltham Park roads .

So now, the police will be making additional traffic changes:

1. Traffic movement to be restricted along Gretna Green Avenue.

2. Access to Waltham Park Road through the Total Gas Station at the intersection of Waltham Park Road and Gretna Green Avenue will be restricted.

3. Access being granted to vehicular traffic along Hagley Park Road from the direction of the intersection of Waltham Park and Hagley Park Road, heading towards Half-Way Tree.

4. Buses operated by the Jamaica Urban Transit Company and franchise operators will be allowed to use Olympic Way and Bay Farm Road to access Spanish Town Road.

5. Openings in the median along Spanish Town Road, between Majesty Gardens and Penwood Road will be closed.

Shaw is reminding persons that Henley Avenue and Penwood Road are available for persons wishing to travel towards Half-Way Tree from Spanish Town Road.

The original traffic changes in the Corporate Area took effect last week to facilitate a major bridge construction project in Three Miles.

On Sunday, traffic restrictions went in full force in Three Miles and will remain for eight months.

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crime-scene-gun.jpgA 15-year-old girl was one of two members of a St James family who were shot and injured at their home by a group of unknown assailants on Sunday evening.

Reports are that about 7:00 p.m., the two were standing outside their home in Granville in the parish when a group of gunmen who drove up in a motorcar, opened fire on them.

The two were shot and later taken to hospital, where one victim, a 23-year old man who was hit multiple times, was admitted for treatment. The girl, who was grazed by a bullet, was treated and released.

The shooting follows the killing of 13-year-old Shamar Hoffenden, who was shot with a gun that reportedly belonged to someone with whom she was said to have had an intimate relationship, in another section of the Granville community late last month.

The grade eight Green Pond High School student was reportedly playing with the weapon when she was shot in the head.

Florence, Isaac and Helen - 3 storms all at once

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Tropical Storm Isaac is expected to become a hurricane and continue to strengthen during the next few days, while Florence and Helen have both been upgraded to hurricanes.

The Meteorological (Met) Service of Jamaica said at 4:00 pm, Isaac was centred 2240 km east of the Windward Islands and is moving toward the west near 19 km/h. It is expected to accelerate during the next 36 hours.

At the same time, Florence was centred 1160 km southeast of Bermuda while the centre of Helene was located 230 km southwest of the Southernmost Cabo Verde Islands.

Isaac is expected to move across the Lesser Antilles and into the eastern Caribbean Sea Wednesday night or Thursday as it continues to move westward through the end of the week.

The storm's maximum sustained winds have increased to near 110 km/h with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is forecast, and Isaac is expected to become a hurricane tonight. Weakening is anticipated to begin by the middle of the week while the storm approaches the Lesser Antilles.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Florence is forecast to rapidly strengthen to a major hurricane by Monday, and is expected to remain an extremely dangerous major hurricane through Thursday.

It is moving toward the west near 11 km/h, and this general motion is expected to continue today. A west-northwestward motion with an increase in forward speed is expected by Monday, and that motion is forecast to continue through mid-week

On the forecast track, the centre of Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas Tuesday and Wednesday, and approach the southeastern coast of the United States on Thursday.

The hurricane's maximum sustained winds have increase to near 140 km/h with higher gusts.

On the other hand, Hurricane Helene is moving toward the west near 20 km/h, and a turn toward the west-northwest is expected on Monday, with a continued west-northwestward motion through Tuesday.

On the forecast track, the centre of Helene will continue to move away from the Cabo Verde Islands.

Helene's maximum sustained winds have increased to near 120 km/h with higher gusts and additional strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours.

Gov't could honour Miss Lou with National Hero title

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The government has signalled its intention to reconstitute the National Heroes Committee that will, among other things, consider the nomination of Louise Bennett Coverley for the designation.

Ms. Lou was honoured Friday, on the 99th anniversary of her birth, during a function in Gordon Town, St. Andrew, where a statue was unveiled.

The event saw tributes from Prime Minister Andrew Holness, and Culture Minister Olivia Babsy Grange, as well as Bongo Herman, and Barbara Gloudon.

The installation of the statue, done by sculptor Basil Watson, is part of the government's plan to establish Ms. Lou Square in Gordon Town, as a lasting tribute to the mother of Jamaican culture.The official renaming will be done next year on Ms. Lou's 100th birthday.

Weeks after the discovery of the remains of Shanoya Wray, the 13-year-old girl whose skeletal remains were found at a house in Mona, the burnt body of Yetanya Francis was found in the 12th Street section of Arnett Gardens on Friday, August 24. The police said they suspect Francis was attacked, raped and then her body was set ablaze and dumped at the spot where it was found.

Blaine is imploring Jamaicans to "use these two murders as a catalyst for change".

She said Jamaicans should use the double tragedy of the teenagers being viciously killed, to work for positive changes in the area of child safety in Jamaica.

In relation to Wray, Blaine is appealing for help for her family, including her six siblings.

She argued that, "these murdered youngsters may have been residents of poor, underserved communities, but they were valued humans, part of the fabric of all of our lives. They were people with rights, with lives they had hoped to live, with bright futures now denied them."

Blaine lamented that, "hundreds more of our bright, young Jamaicans continue to face the same risks that killed Shenoya and Yetanya."

She pleaded that, "We must all pull together to protect our children".

She said Hear The Children's Cry is urging Jamaicans to, among other things, lobby their Members of Parliament (MP) to make public declarations on workable solutions to protect children; engage churches to implement child protection policies and help train community members to use them; and establish community groups that will enforce 8:00 p.m. curfews for children.

"We also want to invite concerned citizens to offer practical assistance to Shanoya's family, including her siblings, four brothers ages 3, 5, 6 and 17, and two sisters, 15 and 20 years' old," Blaine added.

Persons wishing to help may contact Hear The Children's Cry at 26 Haining Road, Kingston 5. Telephone numbers are 876-929-0431, 876-294-8123-5, or 876-822-0483; email:

Shanoya Wray, the 13-year-old girl whose skeletal remains were found at a house in Mona, St Andrew after she went missing, was buried on Sunday, September 9.

The funeral service was held at the Bedward Gardens Seventh Day Adventist Church in the Bedward Gardens community in St Andrew.

And with just hours before the teenager is laid to rest, convenor of the lobby group, Hear the Children's Cry, Betty-Ann Blaine, is calling for Jamaicans to use the occasion of the funeral to agitate for tangible support for the family of the victim and greater protection for the nation's children overall.

Blaine is also calling on Jamaicans to mark the occasion with prayers, and to not allow the death of Shanoya and that of 14-year-old, Yetanya Francis of Arnett Gardens, "to be another nine-day wonder".

Said Blaine: "We need to use the pain and the heartbreak, and the injustice done to these children and to their families, to stir us to effective action on behalf of all Jamaican children."

The police reported that the skeletal remains of Wray was found at premises on Walley Close in Mona, St Andrew five days after she was reported missing.

The remains were found in a bathtub that was filled with a corrosive substance. The discovery triggered shock and anger across the country.

A 27-year-old Trinidadian national, Sanjay Maharaj, who is a school teacher; and 19-year-old Lenardo Madden, a former medical student at the University of the West Indies, have been charged in relation to Shanoya's murder.

Maharaj has been charged with murder, while Madden was charged with accessory after the fact.

Flow exec Errol K Miller in need of blood

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Errol K Miller, Executive Chairman of FLOW Foundation, has been hospitalised and is presently in urgent need of blood donation.

Reports are that Miller has been admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) of the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI).

Full details of his condition are not known at this time.

"We are asking people to continue to pray for him," said Troy Cockings, Director of Flow Foundation, who confirmed the news.

Cockings said Miller has been in hospital for the past two weeks.

Other Jamaicans who heard about the development have also appealed via social media for blood donation.

Tribute to Kofi Annan - the most hon. PJ Patterson

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Please see below a tribute from the Most Hon. P J. Patterson, former Prime Minister of Jamaica for Kofi Annan, the seventh Secretary General of the United Nations who recently died in Bern, Switzerland.

Tribute to Kofi Annan

The world has lost another of its truly outstanding servants with a passion for dedicated service to the cause of freedom, peace and development.

Kofi Annan was a man of unique and yet many distinctions. He was the first, and to date the only, person who passed through the labyrinth of the United Nations and its many agencies to ascend to the post of secretary general by virtue of his brilliance at every working stage; and the first son of sub-Saharan Africa to become chief of that global institution.

The advent of the seventh secretary general to the pinnacle of global leadership coincided with the turn of the new century which demanded a creative effort to find new institutional directions in order for the United Nations to meet contemporary realities. Kofi Annan perceived the UN as a catalyst for change and an instrument for human progress.

His style was one of quiet but resolute diplomacy which would forestall conflict whenever possible and be ready to respond promptly and effectively whenever tension could not be defused or conflict averted.

In 2001, this humanitarian icon was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in his own right and the United Nations rightly applauded for its institutional role at a time of turbulent global upheaval.

Kofi Annan was a visionary who conceived the Millennium Development Goals as the engine for moving forward the international society in its entirety, recognising fully that the pistons of the developing world had to be ignited for the advance of humankind.

With the end of the Cold War, Kofi Annan will be remembered for the tremendous energy he devoted in the search to build a more effective and efficient network of multilateral institutions which entailed new insights as to the linkages between terrorism, security, human rights, poverty and the environment.

We from the Caribbean who belong to small island states and countries restricted by the size of our economies will remember the Kofi Annan for the constant attention he paid to our severe resource constraints and vulnerability to a spate of natural disasters. His passionate advocacy was highlighted in the Barbados Programme of Action that the UN Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States adopted at the start of his incumbency.

For this urbane and astute secretary general, the concept of retirement meant primarily a transfer of his focus and attention from his New York headquarters to roam the continent of his descent and broker agreements which would foster harmony and economic growth.

As chairman of the Group of Elders, he sought to rid Africa of the dogmas of the past in order to embrace pragmatic progress in working democracies under the rule of law.

The rich legacy Kofi Annan bequeaths must inspire "a new generation of men and women to carry on the relentless struggle into a new era when the hopes and aspirations of their martyrs and heroes will be realised once and for all".

Mine was the privilege of having known Kofi throughout the years and the honour of a productive working relationship which grew into a close brotherhood.

We are grateful to his widow Nane Annan, his children and family for having permitted him to share so much time and space with the world at large. Kofi Anan has now joined our noble ancestors and entered that realm of eternal rest and enjoys perpetual peace at last.




vybz-kartel-photo-11-larger.jpgThe juror accused of bribing fellow jurors in the Vybz Kartel (Adidja Palmer) murder trial, will know his fate later this month. The lawyer representing Livingston Cain, Valerie Neita Robertson, made a no-case submission after the prosecution closed its case against him in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court Thursday.

Neita Robertson, in her no-case submission, stated that her client is entitled to his own analysis of the evidence and that he had such a view in respect of several areas of the evidence. She added that two of the witnesses corroborated Cain's view, testifying during the bribery trial, that the prosecutor in the Vybz Kartel trial did not present enough evidence to say that the men were guilty.

Cain is being tried on six counts of attempting to pervert the course of justice and one count of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, following allegations that he was captured on a phone recording offering the jury foreman in the Kartel murder trial $500,000 for a not guilty verdict.

He is also accused of approaching other jurors and promising one of them that he would "take care of him" if he returned a not-guilty verdict.

The charges stem from allegations that between the start of Vybz Kartel's murder trial in the Home Circuit Court on November 18, 2013 and the rendering of a verdict in the matter in March 2014, Cain tried to persuade his fellow jurors to return a verdict of not guilty and even offered the jury forewoman $500,000 for a result in favour of Vybz Kartel and his co-accused.

13-y-o student shot by masked gunman in Falmouth

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crime-scene-gun.jpgA 13-year-old student of Muschett High School in Trelawny is now nursing bullet wounds in hospital after he and two men were shot and injured by a masked gunman in Falmouth, the parish's capital, yesterday morning.

Speaking with The Gleaner in the aftermath of the shooting, Superintendent Dwight Powell, the commanding officer for the Trelawny police, said that based on initial investigation, the injured student was not the target of the attack.

"The student was not the target but was in close proximity," said Powell. "We are in the process of conducting some counselling sessions with the parent of the 13-year-old as well as with the student population at his school."

According to reports, shortly after 6:15 a.m., the teen was walking along George's Street in Falmouth when he saw a man, who was armed with a handgun, chasing another man and firing shots. He was shot and injured before he could take cover.

The man who was being chased a 38 year-old linesman who is employed to the Falmouth Cruise Shipping Pier - and a 50-year-old bus operator also suffered bullet wounds and were hospitalised.

"This is the first incident of this kind that has occurred here in Falmouth in the many months that I have been here," said Powell. "The investigations are ongoing, and I am appealing to any person who may have information on this incident to bring it to our attention."

The man, who the police believe was the target of the attack, suffered bullet wounds to his arm, buttocks, and pelvis. The student was shot in the region of the groin while the transport operator was shot in the shoulder.

Following the shooting, the gunman reportedly ran to a waiting motor car, which sped away from the scene.

Cops probing courthouse bomb threat

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police-federation-logo.jpgPolice say they are now doing voice analysis of a phone call made to the Half Way Tree Parish Court on Tuesday that warned of a bomb being planted at the facility.

The call brought the day's proceedings at the court to an abrupt halt and forced the evacuation of the building.

Police said the bomb squad was called and, after a search of the building, nothing was found. Court resumed on Wednesday.

Despite the fact that things have returned to normal, police say they are not taking the bomb threat lightly as it was the second such call made at a local court facility in less than two months.

In August, a similar call was made at a court in Duncans, Trelawny causing disruption to court proceedings.

Police sources say that, close to midday Tuesday, an individual with a foreign sounding accent called the Half Way Tree court and issued the threat. The Court Management Services (CMS) said as a result of the development, all court cases that were scheduled for Tuesday that were not dealt with up to that point of the day, were adjourned and the respective parties issued with new dates to return to court.

"We ask for the patience and understanding of members of the public as we work with the police to ensure the safety and security of all users of the court," the CMS stated in a release at the time

On August 21, police said an anonymous phone call was also the source of the scare in Trelawny, which brought the day's court proceedings to a halt as law enforcement personnel searched for a possible explosive device.

crime-scene-tape-gloves.jpgMANDEVILLE, Manchester:

Linton Stephenson, the 59-year-old Seventh-day Adventist deacon wanted for the murder of a 25-year-old Mandeville woman, Khyhymn Campbell, has been found dead in Manchester.

The police say Stephenson's decomposing body was found at his Bloomsville Circle home in the parish.

According to the police, the body was found near a bottle.

The police are theorising that he may have committed suicide by drinking a toxic substance. It is not clear for how long the body was there.

Stephenson was being sought by the police after his car was found near the Marshall's Pen area with Campbell's body, which was stuffed in an igloo, wrapped in a sheet, with her throat slashe

i-love-montego-bay.jpgMBJ Airports Limited is transforming Sangster International Airport (SIA) into a showcase of Jamaica with the expansion of the departure terminal and commercial area under its new Master Plan.

The airport operator has selected one of the world's leading engineering firms to develop a new Master Plan in consortium with seven local firms. MBJ is focusing on infrastructure improvements that leverage the latest technology while improving the experience for passengers by transforming SIA into a reference for efficiency and service and a bastion of Jamaican culture.

MBJ will be adding 25,800 square feet to the departure terminal to improve service for passengers and redeveloping the commercial area post security with an expanded footprint and updated look and feel. The design theme within the new Master Plan is being developed to reflect the country's natural beauty, while the commercial area will be developed with a renewed focus on Jamaican specialty products and original handicrafts.

"We will launch a request for proposals in short order to select retailers to operate concessions at the airport," CEO Rafael Echevarne announced.


Special consideration will be given to those retailers planning to sell Jamaican products and crafts. As part of its support to the local craft industry, MBJ launched the Jamaican Artisan competition in 2017 to discover new talent and provide the top-three winners a commercial outlet in shops at the airport. Jamaican products sold at SIA represent some USD 19m in sales each year. Already more than half of the 27 specialty souvenir stores operating at the airport sell Jamaican goods, while six sell items produced in the island exclusively. Duty-free shops at the airport specialize in Jamaican spirits, which account for over 40% of their sales, meanwhile. The stores themselves are mostly locally owned, with 81% of the businesses operating at SIA held by Jamaicans.

About MBJ Airports:

MBJ Airports Limited, operator of Sangster International Airport, connects Jamaica to more than 50 international destinations. A record 4.2m passenger used the airport in 2017. MBJ operates SIA under a 30-year concession awarded in 2003 and provides employment to more than 150 Jamaicans. SIA has been named the Caribbean's Leading Airport by World Travel Awards for the past nine years in a row.

florence.jpgHAMILTON, Bermuda, CMC - Bermudians were upgrading their storm supply kits as Hurricane Florence intensified on Wednesday to a powerful Category 3 storm packing maximum sustained winds of 125 miles per hour as it continued to drift towards the British Overseas Territory.

Local forecasts suggest that Florence -- the third hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic season but the first major one -- will weaken in the next 24 to 48 hours owing to wind shear.

However, the Miami-based National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said the storm is expected to remain a strong hurricane "through early next week".

At noon local time, Florence was 1,370 miles east-southeast of the island, moving west-northwest at 13 miles per hour.Its nearest point of approach to Bermuda within the next 72 hours is forecast to be 643 miles to the east-southeast on Saturday. But the storm is expected to come closer to the island after then.

The Bermuda Weather Service said it was not considered a threat to Bermuda at this time but the Emergency Measures Organisation (EMO) announced it is monitoring its track.

"While the Bermuda Weather Service notes that the storm's track will continue to fluctuate as the week progresses, the ministry takes this opportunity to remind the public that Bermuda is in the midst of hurricane season, and encourages the public to use this opportunity to update their storm supply kits," a National Security Ministry spokeswoman said.

"The ministry notes that the EMO is prepared and stands ready to convene should Hurricane Florence's forecasted track pose a threat to Bermuda."

woman-found-igloo.jpgThe Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica is urging the alleged murderer of a 25-year-old Manchester student to surrender to the police.

Linton Stephenson, 59, a deacon in the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Mandeville has been named as the suspect. He is also wanted for illegal possession of a firearm and assault.

Stephenson, also called Jawbone, is believed to have killed Khyhymn Campbell on August 28 at his Bloomfield Street home and later abandoned her body along the Marshall's Pen main road in the central Jamaica parish capital.

"We use this medium to unequivocally condemn what appears to be the recent cold and brutal murder in Manchester of yet another female member of the community," said Pastor Everett Brown, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica.

Brown furthered called for Jamaicans including members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church to immediately come forward if they can help the security forces. Seventh-day Adventists affirm the dignity and worth of each human being and decry all forms of physical, sexual and emotional abuse and act of crime and violence, Brown said.

Stephenson was on parole after being released from prison for the killing of a woman in St Mary some time ago.

killer-neverson.jpgA Trinidadian man on the US Marshals' 15 most wanted fugitives list for allegedly killing his sister and an ex-girlfriend in New York City in 2002 has been captured in Connecticut. (Please note that elsewhere he is identified as Jamaican.)

The Marshals Service says 54-year-old Andre Neverson was caught Tuesday in Bridgeport outside a home where he had been hiding. He had been on the most wanted list since 2004.

Authorities allege Neverson fatally shot his sister on July 8, 2002. They say that he abducted his ex-girlfriend the next day and that she was found two days later with a fatal gunshot wound to the head.

Marshals say Neverson is a native of Trinidad and Tobago who is in the US illegally.

It could not immediately be determined when he will be returned to New York or whether he has a lawyer.

killer-neverson.jpgA Jamaican man has been apprehended in the United States 16 years after he is believed to have shot to death his sister and an ex-girlfriend.

(Please note that elsewhere he is identified as Trinidadian.)

Andre Neverson, now 54, was tracked to a house in Connecticut and taken into custody, the New York Daily News reported citing police sources.

Investigators believe that on July 8, 2002, Neverson twice shot his older sister Patricia Neverson, 39, during an argument over money inside their Crown Heights home in Brooklyn, New York. The following day, he reportedly picked up his female companion, Donna Davis, at the college, she was attending in Queens, New York. Authorities believe she had ended the relationship.

Davis' body was found among overgrown weed in a Brooklyn lot. It has not been determined when he will be transferred to New York to face charges.

According to the newspaper, Neverson's mother, Erine Neverson, said her son deserved the death penalty for allegedly killing his sister.

"I want them to catch him before I die. I want to ask him how he could do that to his sister," the newspaper quoted the elderly woman as saying in 2007.

Erine Neverson reportedly died in 2009.

Before the 2002 incidents, Andre Neverson had served five years in prison for attempted murder after he was reportedly convicted for shooting the uncle of another ex-girlfriend, the New York Daily News reports. The newspaper says Neverson was deported to Jamaica after his release from prison but illegally re-entered the US shortly after.

Most wanted man 'Taliban' killed by police

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crime-scene-gun.jpgInvestigators from the Independent Commission of Investigation (INDECOM) have commenced a probe into Wednesday morning's fatal shooting of two men who allegedly engaged the police in a shootout in St James. One of the men, Donrick Campbell, alias 'Taliban', was said to have been listed as being wanted by the St James police in connection with a number of murders and shootings in the parish.

The other deceased has been identified as Owen Jenkins.

Reports are that about 4:40 a.m., the police went to a premises in Irwin, St James, where they were engaged in a gunfight with men who alighted from a house on the property.

After the shooting died down, Campbell and Jenkins were found suffering from gunshot wounds, and were taken to hospital, where they were both pronounced dead. The police said two firearms were recovered from the scene of the shooting.

5.2 earthquake hit offshore Negril

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earthquake.jpgThe Earthquake Unit at the University of the West Indies, Mona is reporting that a 5.2 earthquake hit offshore Negril, Westmoreland this morning.

The unit says the quake occurred at 9:35 a.m. approximately 150 kilometres west of the resort town.

It says the earthquake had a focal depth of 13 kilometres and was reportedly felt in parts of Kingston and St Andrew.

$17-M for Jennifer Edwards in unfair dismissal case

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jennifer-edwards.jpgThe National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) has paid out just over $17 million to its former executive director Jennifer Edwards to settle her wrongful dismissal case.

In May the Industrial Disputes Tribunal (IDT) ruled that the March 2105 dismissal of Edwards from the NSWMA was unjust and she should be paid three years basic salary to February 2018, plus payment for the vacation leave she would have been entitled to over the three years.

Late last week Audley Gordon, executive director of the NSWMA, told The Sunday Gleaner that with help from the Ministry of Local Government, the entity has found the money to pay Edwards.

While not confirming the amount, Gordon admitted that it was in excess of $17 million.

"The IDT ruled and we are of the opinion that this ruling should not be challenged," said Gordon.

"She served the authority and we believe in a dignified closing of this issue. We took a principled stance to make the payment and we wish her well."

Trade unionist and industrial relations consultant Lambert Brown, who represented Edwards, at the IDT, told The Sunday Gleaner that he could not confirm if she had been paid, but he was aware that the process had started.

crime-scene-tape-gloves.jpgOn Tuesday, August 28 at approximately 1:25 a.m., the Manchester police found the body of a woman, with a slashed throat, wrapped in a sheet, in an igloo on the back seat of a Toyota Starlet motor car along Marshall's Pen Road in the parish.

Two days later, fears were confirmed when Dr Pastor Amos Campbell positively identified the body as that of his 25-year-old daughter, Khyhymn Campbell.

"My daughter decided to move out on her own, and whilst her mother and I asked her to wait a while because there was a lot she didn't know about the world, and a lot she needed to learn, because, truthfully, she grew up pretty sheltered, she still decided to move out," the grieving father is reported to have told The Gleaner in an interview.

"We didn't really hear from her for the past three months because she wouldn't accept our calls out of, possibly, fear that we would deter her from living away and ask her to move back home."

Campbell said when calls from him and his wife to his daughter went unanswered, he would then ask other immediate family members to reach out to her and they would be successful.

"That's why I knew something was wrong, when all the calls made to her phone, by my wife and I, all other family members and close friends went unanswered. I knew then that I had to go to the police station. After visiting the station, I was taken to the morgue, and it was there that my mind was and will forever be negatively stained. I see that picture every now and again. This whole thing has been a real horror story," he recounted.

Campbell said his daughter, who attended the Bishop Gibson High School and later Northern Caribbean University, was always interested in medicine, but was contemplating a possible switch to education prior to her premature end at the university.

"I wanted for her to be able to complete her studies and hold down a good job before even thinking about moving out on her own, but she made the decision this year, and that is when she was exposed to danger," he said.

At the True Vine True Holiness Ministries, located near the New Green roundabout in the parish, where Campbell pastors, Khyhymn was known as one of the best dancers at church.

The police are still on the hunt for the suspect in connection with Khyhymn's murder, Linton Stephenson, aka Jaw Bone, said to be a deacon of a Seventh-day Adventist Church in Mandeville and former worker at the Big Rat's Auto Shop.

The police are asking anyone with information on his whereabouts to contact the Mandeville CIB at (876) 962-2832, police 119 emergency number, or the nearest police station.

Manhunt on for deacon in gruesome murder of woman

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manhunt-launched.jpgA manhunt is now on for 59-year-old Linton Stephenson, who the police believe can assist with their investigation into the murder of a woman in Manchester.

Police reports are that lawmen were on patrol along the Winston Jones Highway, which is on the Marshall's Pen main road in Mandeville, after 1:00 am Tuesday, when they saw a Toyota Starlet motor car parked on the road with the front doors open.Checks were made and the body of the woman was found in a cooler box on the back seat.

Police say the body was nude and had what appeared to be cuts to the back and front of the neck and face. The throat had also been slashed, the police say.

The scene was processed and the body removed to the morgue pending identification and post-mortem examination.

The police say, based on information received, they went to Bloomsville Circle where Stephenson lived.He was reportedly not seen, but the house was searched and red substance resembling blood was seen on several areas of the bathroom -- where a knife, with what appeared to be blood, was found in the face basin -- blood was seen on the walls, inside one of the bedrooms, and also on the stairs.

It is suspected that the woman was killed at the location and taken to where she was found.

Further investigations by the police led to the discovery that Stephenson, who also goes by the name Gary Stephenson and the alias "Jawbone", has a history of violence.

He is listed as wanted by the police in a case of assault at common law and illegal possession of firearm. These crimes were committed in the Mandeville police area earlier this month.

Prior to that, police say that Stephenson was charged with murder, which was later reduced to manslaughter, for the killing of his wife, Claudette Nelson, 42, in 2006. She was a higgler from St Mary.

Police reports are that, during a domestic dispute, Stephenson, who was also a higgler at the time, used a machete to inflict several wounds all over Nelson's body, dug out her eyes, cut out her private part, and removed her intestines.

She died on the spot.

Capleton returns to court Tuesday

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capleton.jpgCapleton's ongoing rape case continues this week.

The "Fireman" who was charged in April this year, is to return to the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on Tuesday September 4.

The new date was scheduled after the court was told that the case file was incomplete.

Capleton was arrested and charged following accusations that on April 28, the entertainer forcibly had sexual intercourse with a female hairdresser he hired to groom his locks at a hotel in New Kingston.

ganja-seized.jpgThere has been another multi-million dollar ganja seizure at the Sangster International Airport.

The Narcotics police arrested a Canadian man following the seizure of five pounds of cocaine on Thursday. About 12:30 in the afternoon, the man was preparing to board flight to Toronto when he was interviewed and his luggage searched.

The cocaine, which is valued at $3 million , was reportedly found in his luggage.

The Canadian was arrested on reasonable suspicion of breaching the Dangerous Drugs Act

Big crowd greets Bolt at Sydney football debut

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bolt-usain-football.jpgUsain Bolt's football debut for the Central Coast Mariners on Friday lasted about 20 minutes against an amateur local team and with almost 10,000 people in the crowd.

The eight-time Olympic gold medalist is trying to become a professional football player and has been given a tryout with the Australian A-League club based in Gosford, north of Sydney. Bolt started on the left wing and had a clumsy first touch, but settled in and found himself in scoring positions a couple of times before having a stoppage-time shot blocked.

"I was a little bit nervous, but as soon as I got on the field I think the nerves went away," Bolt told broadcaster Fox Sports. "I wish I had more touches, but I'm not fit yet. I've just got to put in the work and get up to speed."

The Mariners already had a commanding lead when Bolt went on as a substitute in the 72nd minute -- wearing the number 95 on his shirt -- and easily won 6-1. The 32-year-old Jamaican predicted it would take four to five months until he's "playing like one of the guys."

Even if he doesn't make it as a football player, Bolt can still draw a crowd. Some critics have said that's what his trial period in the A-League is all about. Bolt has regularly said his ambition is real.

The crowd for Friday's match was about four times bigger than the average home attendance the Mariners attracted last season. The Australian Associated Press reported that the exhibition game was broadcast in 60 countries.

Another woman found stabbed to death

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Two days after a woman was found with her throat slashed and her body stuffed into an igloo in Manchester, the police there are investigating another brutal murder of a female. The latest victim has been identified as 66-year-old farmer Winifred Elliot, of New Forrest district in the parish, who who was also knifed to death.

Reports are that the woman was found with multiple stab wounds in her house on Thursday morning. The find has again left residents of the parish on edge and in grief.

Only days earlier, the body of a young woman was found with her throat slashed inside an igloo along the Winston Jones Highway near Mandeville.

The Mandeville Police reported in that case that about 1:25 a.m., a mobile patrol team saw a grey Toyota Starlet motorcar parked on the roadway with the front doors open.

Checks were made and the body of the female, with its throat slashed, was found wrapped in a sheet and stuffed inside a cooler box on the backseat of the vehicle. The scene was processed and the body removed to the morgue, pending identification and a postmortem examination.

The body of the victim is described as being of brown complexion, medium built, about 168 centimetres (five feet six inches) long, with tall, natural hair. The woman appears to be in her late 20s, the police said.

Detectives assigned to the Manchester Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) are seeking the public's assistance in identifying the body.

The police are asking anyone who can assist in identifying the woman's body, or who has information that can otherwise assist in their investigation, to contact the Mandeville CIB at 876-962-2832, the police 119 emergency number, or the nearest police station.

Persons may also call Crime Stop at 311 or 811.

The gruesome discoveries in Manchester came amid the chopping death of a woman and her 10-year-old son in St Ann, shortly after the horrific rape, murder and burning of another female, this time a child identified as 14-year-old Yetanya Francis, a student of Kingston Technical High School.

She was killed in Arnett Gardens, St Andrew after going missing there on Thursday night. Her charred remains were found the following day.

Francis' fate in particular triggered shock and anger from Jamaicans far and wide, including Prime Minister Andrew Holness, whose response included a declaration that: "The thugs who murdered 14-year-old Yetanya Francis have no place in the Jamaican society we are seeking to create."

woman-and-son-chopped-to-death.jpgOrville 'Bull' Scarlett of Watt Town in St Ann, the man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend and her son, who was chopped to death by angry residents of his community on Friday morning.

Scarlett was named as a person of interest in Tuesday night's murder of his common law wife and the woman's child in Linton Park, St Ann. An appeal was issued for him to turn himself over to the police. Reports from the Watt Town Police are that about 1:45 am, Scarlett was attacked by residents who chopped him several times. The police were summoned and he was seen lying in the back of a yard with chop wounds all over his body.

He was taken to the St Ann's Bay Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Scarlett had reportedly fled the scene after allegedly slaughtering 32-year-old Alesha Francis, alias 'Alecia', and her son, Teco Jackson. It is reported that Francis had ended her relationship with Scarlett over a year ago. However, he had vowed to take revenge on the woman for her decision.

Police reports are that on Tuesday at about 10:00 pm, Francis and her three children were walking home when they were pounced upon by a man. The man, believed to have been Scarlett, attacked and chopped Francis before turning the machete he wielded on her children.

The injured persons were assisted to a hospital, where Francis and Teco were pronounced dead.

Neville Lee hailed as a gentleman and a gentle giant

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neville-lee-sonic-sounds.jpgFounder of Sonic Sounds, Neville Lee was hailed as a gentleman, a gentle giant -- a kind, caring man with a huge heart for family. That family included friends, those he worked with and the community. The Thanksgiving Service for his life was held at Saints Peter and Paul Church in St Andrew, Tuesday.

Lee, died on July 31 from leukaemia and diabetes. He was 80 years old.

His younger brother Willie Stewart, former drummer with reggae band Third World, remembered Lee as a gentleman.

"My brother Neville was an exceptional human being with a capacity to love each and every persons; always putting his family first. When I say family, it was extended to his friends, those he worked with and the community at large. He was a great listener always ready to encourage and celebrate any success in life no matter how big, no matter how small," said Stewart.

"His laughter was always bright, radiant and effervescent. He was a loving husband, a devoted and committed father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend. No task was too small or too big for him to give a helping hand. Neville was able to connect with and advise and motivate people from all walks of life," he continued. "From the man in the street to the biggest corporate executive; from the youngest member of the family to the most troubled teenager or an adult trying to figure out what life is all about."

Lee got involved in the music industry after returning to Jamaica from London in 1969 at the invitation of his older brother, musician/businessman Byron Lee. He worked as a manager at Dynamic Sounds, the record-manufacturing and distribution company Byron owned, after which he left and set up his own company, Sonic Sounds.

The praise and worship session at the Inner City for Christ Ministry in Arnett Gardens came to an abrupt end as church-goers scampered for cover as guns barked right outside their tabernacle late Tuesday night. One man was discovered shot in what residents on 12th Street in the South St Andrew community claim was a reprisal attack for the murder of 14-year-old Yetanya 'Princess' Francis, who was raped and whose body was burnt in the church's open lot last Thursday.

Police said that the injured man, a shopkeeper, was shot multiple times by at least three thugs who ordered ganja before the shooting took place at about 9:30 p.m. They said that the gunmen made their escape on a section of 12th Street that has been without street lights for months.

According to the residents, the shopkeeper lived two doors down from Francis' home and was targeted because he was allegedly involved in a case of carnal abuse three years ago.

Police, however, could not confirm the allegations, even as they took a man into custody for questioning about the rape case and patrolled the area, hoping to calm fearful residents.

The incident has left many tense as rumours of further reprisals from the shopkeeper's relatives have spiralled. Some residents pointed fingers at men from another section of the community who they say are trying to take the rape probe into their own hands.

Others speculated that Tuesday night's attack may be a decoy aimed at hiding the true perpetrators, while some, like Yetanya's mother, Latoya Riley, took the opportunity to flee the community.

Last Thursday, Riley was awoken by the smell of her daughter's burning flesh at about 10 p.m. The teen had reportedly left the house an hour earlier to purchase food before she went missing. A search was launched and her body found early Friday morning. On Thursday, residents and the authorities marched through the community and offered counselling to traumatised persons. Groundsmen at the Inner City for Christ Ministry also spent the day bushing the ill-fated open lot and erecting lights.

Police Commissioner Major General Antony Anderson has charged members of the newly formed Public Safety and Traffic Enforcement Branch (PSTEB) to be consistent in their approach to policing, arguing that it will help to win public trust and shape behaviour.

The branch was formed out of a merger of the Traffic & Highway Division and the Motorized Patrol Division.

Speaking at the launch at Harman Barracks in Vineyard Town, Kingston, Anderson said the unit's approximately 700 members will be deployed across the Corporate Area and St Catherine to ensure greater traffic management and public safety.

The branch will feature motorcycles, motorcars, bicycles and beat patrols.

Personnel, which underwent training in human rights, situational awareness, among other areas, will be outfitted in bright neon yellow uniforms and motorcycles to make them easily identified.

"The new branch should benefit the public through increased police presence and improved effectiveness in public spaces and thoroughfares; reduce incidences of traffic collisions, injuries, and fatalities; improve public trust and confidence in the police," charged Anderson.

With the killing of yet another child, social media users have been pleading for an end to such horrifying acts.

"A 14-year-old dead last week and now you have a 10-year-old. When it all ago end, dear Lord? It can't a continue so. Time for us Jamaicans to start turning over the criminals one by one," a social media user argued.

Her nude, partially burnt body was found the following day.

Several groups have expressed outrage over the teen's killing.

Residents of the usual quiet community of Linton Park are now irate and threatening to administer their own form of justice on the accused man despite police personnel being active in the rural community and its surroundings, as they seek to calm boiling tensions there.

It is reported that Francis had ended her relationship with Scarlett over a year ago.

However, he had vowed to take revenge on the woman for her decision.

Police reports are that on Tuesday at about 10:00 p.m., Francis and her three children were walking home when they were pounced upon by a man.

The man, who is believed to have been Scarlett, attacked and chopped Francis before turning the machete he wielded on the children.

The third child, said to be a seven-year-old girl, escaped unharmed.

The injured persons were assisted to a hospital, where Francis and Teco were pronounced dead.

Since news of the heinous crime has spread, social media sites, including Facebook, have exploded with posts condemning the horrific acts.

One social media user, a Facebook poster, described Alesha Francis as an excellent mother.

"She always a try for her children and God know she don't deserve to be killed. What you leave her two young children to do? A hope dem ketch the killer. It wicked!" The social media user said.

For some, the news came too soon amid the nation mourning the death of 14-year-old Yetenya Francis of Arnett Gardens in South St Andrew. Yetenya, a promising student of Kingston Technical High School, is suspected to have been raped before she was murdered and her body set ablaze after she went missing last Thursday night.

manhunt-launched.jpgThe police are appealing to Orville Scarlett, the man who is allegedly to have murdered his ex-lover and her 10-year-old son in Linton Park, St Ann on Tuesday night, to turn himself in to the law.

Scarlett reportedly fled the scene after allegedly slaughtering 32-year-old Alesha Francis, alias 'Alecia', and her son, Teco Jackson.

The suspect, who is known by the alias 'Bull', is being asked to report to the Brown's Town or St Ann's Bay Police station by midday on Thursday.

The accused man is also wanted for questioning in relation to the wounding of his ex-lover's 12-year-old son in the same attack that led to the fatalities.

The child remains hospitalised in serious condition after being chopped during the attack.

custody.jpgPolice say one person has been taken into custody for questioning, in relation to the murder of Yetanya Francis.

The individual was picked up on Tuesday.

The 14-year-old girl was killed in her Arnett Gardens community, late last week.

She had left home for a nearby shop to purchase food last Thursday, and did not return home.

Death for croc that killed man in Portmore

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The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) and the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) have commenced the process to capture the crocodile that reportedly killed a man in Portmore, St Catherine on Sunday.

The deceased, 67-year-old Wilford Edmondson, who was also known as Alfred, was fishing in Hellshire Pond, St Catherine with friends about 9:15 am when it is said that the reptile attacked him.

The crocodile, the Jamaica Observer was told, took the man into the mangrove and inflicted wounds to his head.

In a statement, NEPA said an incident response team from its agency and the UDC visited the location on Sunday and is awaiting the completion of the Jamaica Constabulary Force's investigation into Edmondson's death.

In the meantime, the agencies said the process to capture the crocodile could be completed by the weekend.

NEPA reminded members of the public to exercise caution in areas which are clearly identified as natural crocodile habitats, and to observe the posted warning signs and refrain from interacting with the crocodiles.

Bearer charged in murder of Brandon Murray

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The police say that there has been a breakthrough in the murder of businessman John Brandon Murray who was brutally gunned down as he left the Mayfair Hotel in St Andrew on June 10.

The Criminal Investigation Branch reported that a man was arrested and charged following intensive probe; however, detectives are relentlessly pursing strong leads in an effort to bring in other suspects in the murder.

The accused, Christopher Chambers, also known as Chris, a bearer of 15 Waltham Park Road in Kingston 13, was apprehended during a police operation and was formally interviewed in the presence of his lawyer and subsequently charged on Saturday, August 25, with conspiracy to the murder of the businessman.

Murray was gunned down about 4:45 pm while walking from the hotel on West King's House Road when men drove up in a white Toyota Probox motor car and opened gunfire hitting him several times.

Doctors pronounced the 48-year-old football administrator dead upon his arrival at Kingston Public Hospital.

Woman, young boy chopped to death

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crime-scene-tape-gloves.jpgA woman and a young boy were chopped to death in the community of Linton Park in Watt Town, St Ann last evening, while another child has been hospitalised with injuries sustained during the incident.

According to reports, 32-year-old Alecia Francis was walking along the roadway with 10-year-old Teco Jackson and the other child about 10:30 pm when they were attacked by a man, who chopped them several times.

The police said they were summoned by residents who were alerted by cries of help.

The three were taken to hospital where Francis and Teco were pronounced dead and the other child admitted in stable condition.

Investigations are ongoing.

murdered-couple.jpgThe St Ann police have revealed that the charred remain found in two burnt vehicles in Haddon, Moneague on Thursday, May 31 this year were those of a couple from Runaway Bay, St Ann, who went missing on May 3.

The results of forensic tests provided to the police late last month confirmed that the bodies belonged to 39-year-old Andre Wedderburn, otherwise called 'Rider', and 21-year-old Celene Gordon, both of Cardiff Hall, Runaway Bay.

The police's Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) had reported at the time in a release about the couple's disappearance that "contact was last made with Wedderburn and Gordon on Wednesday, May 2."

It added that, "Efforts to make further contact (with them) have proven futile. Their mode of dress at the time they went missing is unknown."

Twenty-eight days later, a farmer was on his way to his field in a section of Hadden district in the Moneague area, when he came upon two burnt-out vehicles sometime after 11:00 a.m.

The police were alerted, and during their processing of the scene, the two human remains, later identified as Wedderburn and Gordon, were discovered.

A postmortem that was conducted on the remains in June, did not establish the cause of the couple's death. DNA samples taken from the relatives of the couple were subsequently submitted to the forensic laboratory, which confirmed a match with the bone samples of the deceased individuals.

Meanwhile, an investigation remains ongoing to determine the identity of the charred remains of another man who was found in a burnt-out vehicle in Claremont, St Ann on Monday, May 28.

It was theorised that the burnt body was that of a well-known radio journalist and disc jockey from the Corporate Area, who had been reportedly missing prior to the discovery.

Residents in Claremont had discovered a burnt Nissan Tiida motorcar at about 9:30 a.m., and the police, who were summoned, later found the charred remains in the trunk of the vehicle.

The police revealed that the car was rented on May 20 for two days by a male in the Corporate Area.

The vehicle was reported missing on May 27 at the Matilda's Corner Police Station in St Andrew.

Two men killed in Belmont, Westmoreland

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crime-scene-gun.jpgTwo men were fatally shot in Belmont, Westmoreland Sunday morning.

They have been identified as 41 year old Fitzgerald Richards, otherwise called "Jarrett," and 33 year-old Dwayne Bell, a mason of a Spanish Town, St Catherine address.

Shortly after 1:00 a.m., residents of the quiet community heard several loud explosions coming from a house and called the police.

The two men were found in bed with multiple gunshot wounds. Two men were reportedly seen running from the house after the shooting.

No motive has been established for the killings.

andrew-holness-photo-5.jpgPrime Minister Andrew Holness and opposition leader, Dr. Peter Phillips have lashed out at the gruesome murder of 14 year old Yetanya Francis of Arnett Gardens Kingston on Thursday. Mr Holness, in his statement, has again called for an end to the killing of the nation's children.

Yetanya had gone to a shop to purchase food and when she did not return home, relatives became concerned. Her nude, partially burnt body was found in an open lot in the community on Friday.

In a statement, Mr. Holness expressed outrage at the incident and said the thugs who murdered the 14-year-old girl have no place in the Jamaican society.

Mr. Holness said he has spoken to the Minister of National Security and the Commissioner of Police, and both emphasized their resolve to ensure that the perpetrator or perpetrators are brought to justice.

The Prime Minister also appealed to anyone with information on the killing to report it to the police or to call Crime Stop at 311.


And, Opposition Leader Dr. Peter Phillips visited the family of 14 year old Yetanya Francis to offer support and condolences. He was accompanied by Member of Parliament Mark Golding.

Francis was killed in her Arnet Gardens community on August 23. She went missing the Thursday evening and her body was found Friday morning.

Dr. Phillips described the girls killing as a new level of brutality. The Opposition Leader said the community needs better lighting and more police patrols.

He urged residents who have information to come forward.

Politician Easton Douglas dead at 81

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Easton Douglas, a former Member of Parliament and cabinet minister in the administrations of Michael Manley and P.J. Patterson, died on Sunday morning.

Mr. Douglas, 81, died at home after a long battle with cancer.

Prior to his death, he had been hospitalised for more than a week and later released.

A Jamaica House Facebook post expressed condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Mr. Douglas.The statement said Mr. Douglas dedicated his life to contributing to the development of Jamaica, both in government and the private sector.

Opposition Leader Dr. Peter Phillips said Mr. Douglas served well in many capacities, first as a civil servant then in the political field, where he was MP for South Eastern St. Andrew for three terms, and held several cabinet posts, including Minister of Health, Minister of the Public Service, and Minister of Environment & Housing

Portmore man killed by crocodile Sunday morning

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crime-scene-tape-gloves.jpgThe police have confirmed that 67-year-old Wilford Edmondson was the victim of a deadly crocodile attack on Sunday morning.

Reports are that about 9:15 am, Edmondson and a group of friends were fishing at the when the crocodile attacked. The crocodile took the senior citizen into the mangrove and inflicted wounds to his head.

"The Marine Unit of the police searched for a while and recovered a part of the body, we don't have any information on whether NEPA has captured the crocodile as yet," a representative of the Constabulary Communications Unit (CCU) is quoted as saying

The police are continuing their investigations into the matter.

Meanwhile, the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) is appealing to members of the public to desist from capturing or harming crocodiles. The American Crocodile, which is one of Jamaica's protected animals, is typically docile but can be aggressive when harassed, NEPA informed in a release today.

Crocodiles are protected under the Wild Life Protection Act and it is an offence to have a crocodile or any part of the animal in one's possession. Anyone found guilty of these offences are liable to a fine of up to $100,000 or twelve (12) months imprisonment.

Members of the public are urged to call NEPA at 1-888-991-5005 or 754-7540 if crocodiles are seen in areas outside of their natural habitat where they may pose a threat to human activities or if they are being captured, harassed, harmed or the meat is being sold.

Reports may also be made to 119 or the nearest police station.

attorney-andjustice-minister-mark-golding.jpgSt Andrew South Member of Parliament (MP) Mark Golding says he is arranging with Crime Stop for a $500,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the culprit(s) in the murder of 14-year-old Yetanya Francis in the constituency between Thursday night and Friday morning.

Golding made the disclosure on social media site Facebook yesterday, stating that he would provide more details on the reward soon.

The teenaged girl, who resided in Trench Town and attended the Kingston Technical High School, reportedly left home to purchase food about 8'o clock Thursday night but did not return home.

Her nude body was found partially burnt in the said community the next morning. According to reports, there were signs of rape and strangulation.

Yetanya's killing revived memories of the brutal slaying of 17-year-old Mickolle Moulton in the neighbouring community of Arnett Gardens on August 6 last year.

Mickolle, who was a Meadowbrook High School student, and her 12-year-old sister were shot in their bedroom by someone who pointed a gun through a window.

Park and Hundred at war AGAIN!!!!!

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Park Lane and 100 Lane off Red Hills Road in St Andrew are again at war and so far three persons have been shot dead and several others wounded.

As reported last week by Yardflex, the deadly violence resumed last Tuesday when a 37-year-old woman, Hafia Fowles, the common-law wife of a don who is in prison, was shot dead by gunmen in 100 Lane.

Her murder has been said to be directly linked to the celebrating by 100 Lane residents over the fatal police shooting of a Park Lane strongman just over one week ago.

A curfew was imposed in the area last Wednesday amid reports of planned reprisals for Fowles' death. The curfew should have been lifted Friday evening, but it has since been extended following another flare up Saturday evening, which has left two persons dead and others injured.

Reports are that the gunmen fired shots near to the entrance of Park Lane on Saturday evening and when the shooting ended, it was discovered that six persons, including a woman, had been shot. They were taken to hospital, where two persons died while undergoing treatment.

Meanwhile, Lee Clarke, councillor for the Whitehall division, which includes Park and 100 lanes, is reported as saying that the residents of Park Lane are not to be blamed for the violence. He disputed reports that the don's wife was gunned down by residents of Park Lane.

"The lady from 100 Lane was killed allegedly for being an informer," said Clarke.

"Nobody from Park Lane is going to go over to 100 Lane in middle day and kill somebody. Park Lane is a community that clings together. Park Lane is not in any war with 100 Lane, and the police better keep it that way.

"There has been a threat from 100 Lane to Park Lane. People in Park Lane are depending on the police not only to keep the place quiet, but to always be on the lookout," added Clarke.

A senior police source claimed that the six persons shot near the entrance of Park Lane Saturday evening were part of a group that was urged to leave the streets by members of a police party before the shooting happened.

The Police High Command says that the curfew has been extended until Tuesday.

neville-lee-sonic-sounds.jpgThe Thanksgiving Service for the life of former head of Sonic Sounds, Neville Lee, will be held next week Tuesday, August 28 at the Saints Peter and Paul RC Church

Mr. Lee died in hospital on July 31. He was 80 years old.

In paying tribute to the music industry giant, Minister Olivia 'Babsy' Grange said his contribution to the local music industry was monumental. In a news release, she noted that Mr. Lee worked with his brother, the late Byron Lee of Byron Lee and the Dragonnaires, before setting up Sonic Sounds record distribution company on Retirement Road in St. Andrew. She said he distributed records by greats such as Jimmy Cliff, Peter Tosh, John Holt, Ernie Smith, Yellow Man, Jimmy Riley and Ken Boothe.

Miss Grange recalled that Mr. Lee was also involved in the formation of the Power House Label with producer George Phang from where the hit "Greetings" by Half Pint was released.

Sonic Sounds was founded in 1978 by Neville Lee, brother of Byron Lee, who was front man for Byron Lee and the Dragonaires until his death in 2008. Neville managed Dynamic Sounds, the studio Byron Lee bought from Seaga, changing the name from West Indies Records Limited. Neville later left Dynamic to found Sonic.

Clarendon municipal police officer shot dead

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crime-scene-gun.jpgA Clarendon municipal police officer was fatally shot in Caanan Heights in the parish on Wednesday night.

At approximately 8:30 p.m. 21 year-old Gerald Brown was shot several times by a gunman.

He died at hospital.

crime-scene-gun.jpgA man who was described as Westmoreland's most wanted fugitive, was fatally shot by the police on Wednesday.

He has been identified as 28 year-old Donovan Roach, otherwise called Tim Roach.

Shortly after midday, the police raided a house at the Hermitage Housing Scheme in Bethel Town, in search of Roach.

During a reported gun battle, he was fatally shot and a 9mm pistol with five rounds and a magazine were seized. A member of the police team was injured. Investigators say Roach, who was a member of the Venomous Viper Gang, was wanted for several murders, shootings and rape in Westmoreland.

Trinidad earthquake a wake-up call

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earthquake.jpgThe 7.3-magnitude earthquake that rocked Venezuela on Tuesday and which was also felt in Trinidad, Grenada and Barbados is a wake-up call for Jamaica and the Caribbean.

"The earthquake is another reminder of the need for Caribbean states to develop resilience in order to cope with all credible extreme events, including seismic and climatic extremes. Early reports from (the islands) indicate that strong to moderate shaking occurred, and that many members of the public, as well as institutions, such as radio stations, were caught unprepared by the strength and duration of the shaking," said disaster risk management expert Franklyn McDonald.

"It should be noted that Trinidad and Tobago, like Jamaica, is considered by many experts to be in a 'seismicity gap', that is, an area where a large earthquake can be reasonably expected at any time. Tuesday's event should cause members of the public, civil society groups, the private sector, and the Government to review their responses to the event and to seek to improve their earthquake-readiness measures as a matter of urgency," he added.

Jamaica's risk can be attributed, at least in part, to its sharing of the Enriquillo Plantain Garden Fault, which erupted to cause the devastation in Haiti in 2010.

The island also has a history of highly destructive earthquakes. The 1692 quake destroyed Port Royal, while a 1907 event claimed 1,000 lives in Kingston.

Yet, up to 2014, some 70 per cent of the Jamaica's building stock was said to be designed without professional inputs despite the 200 or so tremors that occur on the island annually.

No more bullas in schools

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Several food items, including the popular bulla cake, will be affected by the collaborative effort of the ministries of education and health to remove products high in sugar content from local schools as part of a campaign to promote healthier eating among students.

Education Minister Ruel Reid made the announcement while addressing yesterday's final day of the three-day Jamaica Teachers' Association's (JTA) 54th annual conference in Montego Bay, St James.

"Only two per cent of our schools have their own canteens, so Nutrition Products Limited will be reorganised to support the delivery of lunches by providing the resources, or material, for you to provide the meals, only in those schools that don't have canteens," Reid told school administrators.

"Bullas and all those things will be withdrawn, generally, from the market, and it (approved food items) has to be whatever products are very much consistent with the Government's nutrition policy. In terms of sugar content, the manufacturers will get a standard they will have to operate with."

Since 1973, Nutrition Products Limited has been providing public schools with meal items, including bulla cakes and bag juices, under the education ministry's portfolio.

In June, three Jamaican immigrants filed a lawsuit against a western Oklahoma couple alleging human trafficking.

The lawsuit alleges that husband and wife Walter Schumacher and Carolyn Schumacher of Clinton, about 80 miles west of Oklahoma City, lured the workers with promises of good wages and free or low-cost housing, but instead used them as cheap labour and charged them high costs for housing.

The Jamaicans went to the US under student work visas between 2008 and 2012.

An attorney for the Schumachers did not return a phone call seeking comment, but previously denied the allegations and described the couple as "heartsick."

The lawsuit follows a similar action filed in 2017 by three Filipino immigrants who entered the US on temporary work visas in 2012.

Wile there have been previous civil lawsuits over the treatment of immigrants in the United States on work visas, immigration attorney Kent Felty of Denver said they are and will continue to be rare, partly because of the language barrier immigrants face, their unfamiliarity with U.S. law, and the amount of time it would take an attorney to win what might be a small judgement.

"You can say it's not about the money, but it's about them money ... you can't do it as a private attorney, it's all about if you're going to get paid, " said Felty, who is not involved in the lawsuits.

"Half the country would give them a million dollars on a thousand dollar case, and half the country would like to see them deported," said Felty, who successfully sued the John Pickle Company in Tulsa and Falcon Steel Structures, Inc., in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, over claims similar to the allegations against the Schumachers.

Felty said none of the $1.3 million judgement in the Pickle case was paid while the Falcon case was settled for an undisclosed sum.

The plaintiffs in the current cases are represented by the nonprofit Equal Justice Center, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom law firm, which provides pro bono services.

A curfew has been imposed in Park Lane and 100 Lane, Kingston 19 in the St. Andrew North Division.

'This follows the murder of 37-year-old nail technician, Hasia Fowles, from the 100 Lane community on Tuesday evening. Fowles is the common-law wife of 100 Lane area leader, Rohan Nelson, who is currently in jail. Nelson was among a number of men who were freed of murder charges in connection with the killing of seven persons on 100 Lane in 2001. The police reported that on Tuesday evening, Fowles was sitting along the roadway with friends when a motorcar was driven up and the occupants opened fire, hitting her several times. She was taken to hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

The curfew began Wednesday at 6PM and will remain in effect until 6:00 p.m. on Friday, August 24.

The boundaries of the curfew are:

The Intersection of Red Hills Road and Pennant Terrace to the intersection of Pennant Drive and Pennant Terrace.

The Intersection of Whitehall Avenue and Red Hills Road to the intersection of Whitehall Avenue and Pennant Drive.

EAST at the Intersection of Whitehall Avenue and Pennant Drive to the intersection of Pennant Drive and Pennant Terrace and west at the Intersection of Whitehall Avenue and Red Hills Road to the intersection of Red Hills Road and Pennant Terrace.

The curfew comes following the murder of a woman in the community Tuesday evening.

During the hours of the curfew, all persons within the boundaries of the curfew are required to remain within their premises unless otherwise authorized in writing by the ground commander.

Close to $200 million in assets and properties linked to drug kingpin Norris 'Deedo' Nembhard should be forfeited to the government, following an order from the Supreme Court. The Financial Investigation Division (FID) has confirmed the order was made last Friday after a legal fight with Nembhard over the properties.

A "great house" located in St Ann is among five developed and undeveloped properties that are to be turned over to the State. The other assets include a Mercedes Benz and ten other motor vehicles.

In 2015 the Supreme Court ordered that the properties should be restrained following an application by the Asset Recovery Agency (ARA), a division of the FID.

The following year the ARA obtained a default judgement for the forfeiture of the properties after Nembhard failed to file a defence, the FID said.

However, he subsequently filed an application asking the court to set aside the default judgement.

According to the FID, the court, in refusing the application, said Nembhard had provided no evidence to account for the five-year delay in challenging the application by the FID, which was first made in 2011.

The court found, too, that the convicted drug kingpin did not show that he had a real prospect of successfully defending the claim, the FID said.

Nembhard was one of several Jamaicans designated as drug kingpins by then US President George Bush in 2004.

Constant Spring Market vendors disgruntled

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Vendors at the Constant Spring Market in St Andrew are adamant that the government is against "poor people" after officially learning that they have little over a month left in the space.

This morning, the more than 70 vendors were each issued with eviction notices by the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC).

They have up to September 30 to leave.

The upset vendors mounted a demonstration to protest the evictions.

The KSAMC revealed last year that the market is to be sold to facilitate the expansion of Constant Spring Road.

"We have sense, we know that development must take place but we have to eat and they have not been telling us anything in relation to relocation and I think there's enough space around the back to accommodate us. [It] is almost like they have a deliberate intent to get poor people out the system," said Patrick, proprietor of Patrick's tailoring in the market.

Bar owner and operator Kameka Livingston shared Patrick's view arguing that the road expansion project is being used as a ploy to take the land.

"The land space is very big so, if they even take the market there's a lot of space at the back that we can still use but they're using the road as an excuse to take the land from us. They're not putting us anywhere, they're not trying to negotiate with us, we don't see the Member of Parliament and we don't see the councillor," she asserted.

"They're not giving us any options, is like a bullying thing, they're bullying us. People on Red Hills Road who were illegal got a nice little market, people on Ferry who were illegal got a nice market and we are legal and they are throwing us out on the street, to do what?," she lamented.

No school fees for kids of public sector workers

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Public sector workers with children attending public educational institutions will not be required to pay auxiliary fees as of the 2018/19 academic year, which begins in September.

This was announced by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education Dean-Roy Bernard during a parent sensitisation session held at the Karram Speid Auditorium at Merl Grove High School in St Andrew on August 16.

Bernard told JIS News the decision is a negotiated agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service and unions representing public sector employees.

"That is a Government policy and this (Education) Ministry intends to give full support to (it). So we are sending out a bulletin to our schools just to highlight and remind them of this," he said.

The bulletin is slated to be circulated to public schools by early next week.

Bernard noted, however, that beneficiary parents must present proof of employment at public sector institutions in order to be exempted from paying the fees.

Policeman shot dead in Westmoreland

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crime-scene-gun.jpgThe police in Westmoreland are searching for the gunman who fatally shot one of their colleagues in Petersfield last night.

No motive has been established for the murder of 41-year-old police constable Rohan Bucknor, who was attached to the Little London Police Station in the parish.

The police say about 9:45 Bucknor was at a barbershop in the community when a gunman walked up and opened fire hitting him multiple times.

The gunman escaped and the policeman was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Police and soldiers blanket East Kingston

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crime-scene-tape-gloves.jpgA police military team is has been dispatched to sections of East Kingston where rival gangs have attacked and shot five people - two fatally - in three separate incidents over the last 24 hour.

Police reports indicate that in the first incident at about 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, a number of persons were standing in the Brydon Street area of the Kingston Eastern Police Division, when a group of men walked up brandishing guns.

Reports are that the men opened fire, hitting two men in the process. The attackers then fled the scene.

The injured men were rushed to hospital, where they were admitted for treatment. The police said three hours later, another group of men went to a neighbouring section of Brae Street and opened fire at a group of persons, before also fleeing the area.

Two men were subsequently found suffering from gunshot wounds. They were rushed to hospital, where one succumbed to his injuries.

The deadly skirmishes did not end there.

Police report that about 1:30 a.m. on Sunday, they received reports that explosions were heard on Shoe Lane. A team of officers went to investigate and during a search, the bullet-riddled body of a man was found in a house.

The police said the series of attacks is the latest in a longstanding feud between rival gangs in the area.

charged.jpgTwenty-seven-year-old Trinidad and Tobago national Sanju Maharaj and 19-year-old Jamaican Leonardo Madden, both charged with the murder of 13-year-old Shanoya Wray, are scheduled to return to court tomorrow.

The teen's partially decomposed body was found inside an apartment on Whalley Close in Mona, St Andrew, last month.

The police had been called to the home after a neighbour, concerned about Maharaj's strange behaviour and a lingering odour, peered through a window and saw the body inside.

The lawmen subsequently found Madden in the home and Wray's body in the bathtub.

There was also evidence that led detectives to believe that a corrosive substance was poured over the body in an attempt to get rid of the remains.

Maharaj, a teacher, is currently before the court on a sexual assault charge with Wray as the complainant.

No early elections, says Holness

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andrew-holness-photo-5.jpgPrime Minister Andrew Holness has said he is not considering calling a general election at this time.

There has been speculation about an early election amid increased political rallies by the two main political parties.

Mr. Holness denied the claim while addressing the issue at a political rally at the Brown's Town Community College in St. Ann on Sunday.

Jamaicans last went to the polls in February 2016.

Police probing Corey Todd's wife shooting

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corey-todd-and-wife.jpgIt's been almost two weeks since Shemara Todd, the wife of Corey Todd, owner of Taboo night club, was shot by bike riders while driving along Washington Boulevard in Kingston. And it has been hush-hush ever since.

Finally, the police say that they are reportedly following a number of leads into the shooting.

According to the police, they are leaving no stones unturned in their investigations and are already following several leads and are determined to capture the perpetrator or perpetrators responsible for the shooting.

According to the Corporate Communications Unit, they are looking into all possible leads including those circulating on social media that it may be connected to her husband's shooting several years ago.

Investigators also confirmed reports that a large sum of money was taken from the Taboo nightclub owner's vehicle, but theorize that it was taken by hoodlums after the shooting incident and not by the attackers.

Shemara Todd was shot and injured earlier this month by two gunmen on motorcycles who were seemingly awaiting her along a section of the Washington Boulevard highway.

The woman was reportedly shot four times and lost control of her Mercedes-Benz SUV, which collided with several other vehicles before finally crashing into the wall of a home.

Todd was rushed to hospital by a passing by a passing motorist.

Unconfirmed reports are that Mrs Todd left the island via air ambulance for an undisclosed location.

gun-shooting.jpgThe People's National Party (PNP) is calling for the Prime Minister to fire Robert Montague, the current Minister of Transport and Mining and the former Minister of National Security, over his decision to empanel a special review body which granted 29 gun licences to persons who reportedly had questionable characters.

Mr. Montague made the disclosure at a press conference on Friday where he defended his action.

The Firearm Licensing Authority (FLA) had rejected the applications from the 29 persons, reportedly on account of adverse traces during background checks.

The press conference came a day after Television Jamaica reported that Montague, as the then security minister, overturned a decision of the FLA and granted a gun licence to a man who the police said allegedly had ties to criminal activities.

robbery.jpgA Jamaica woman who is based in the United States has been left stranded in the island following a robbery in downtown Kingston over the weekend. The woman was robbed of her travel documents and cash.

Officers attached to the Darling Street Police Station say that they received a report that the woman, was walking on Princess Street in downtown Kingston on Saturday when she was held up at knife point by a group of men and robbed of over a $100, 000 and documents, including her passport. She told the police that losing the money and other documents has left her literally stranded in the island as she was to leave the island later that same day.

Police were up to early Tuesday morning searching for the group of hoodlums who held up the woman .

The men cornered the woman, threatened to harm her and then grabbed her bag and ran, he said.

Police are reportedly following several leads in their efforts to locate the perpetrators.

According to law enforcement officers, there has been a noticeable increase in robberies in and around downtown Kingston in recent months, a development that has triggered concerns among members of the public.

Decomposing body of contractor found in St James

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crime-scene-tape-gloves.jpgThe decomposing body of a contractor was found at his home in Lilliput, St James, on Monday.

Detectives attached to the Barrett Town Police Station said they are not sure of the cause of death. However, they have identified the man as 73-year-old Neville Parkinson, otherwise called 'Rasta'.

Reports are that Parkinson's body was found by residents after they went to look for him after not seeing him for a couple days.

Reports are that about 8:30 a.m., a neighbour went to his house to investigate what had happened to him. After smelling something unpleasant coming from his house, the resident alerted others in the community, and they made their way inside his house where his body discovered.

The police were called and his body was removed to the morgue.

Police following leads in murder on Arnie Francis

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Police say they are following several leads into the murder of businessman Arnie Francis in Mona, St Andrew on Thursday night.

One of the leads suggest that the 54-year-old man, who was a manager at Alliance Investment Management Limited in New Kingston, St Andrew, fell victim to a contract killing, a senior officer from the St Andrew Central Police Division told Loop News.

Francis was attacked and shot multiple times as he arrived at his home on Butter Cup Drive.

"We are looking at several leads as we step up our probe in this case and the main one is that the attack was a contract hit," the senior officer said on Saturday.

Police said preliminary investigations revealed that the attacker shot the business man multiple times and then fled the scene.

"There were no signs that he was robbed," police said.

The Matilda's Corner police reported that about 9:25 pm, Francis entered his home with his wife when they were pounced upon by a lone gunman who opened fire at them. Francis was hit multiple times in the upper body, while his wife was shot in the leg. The gunman then made his escape.

The couple was taken to hospital, where Francis succumbed to his injuries and the female was admitted in stable condition.

crime-scene-tape.jpgA 21-year-old student of the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) in Kingston, drowned after saving a woman from also drowning at Vortex Springs, Florida in the United States on Wednesday.

While several persons have expressed sadness at the tragic circumstances, which led to the Jamaican's death, others have hailed his heroic exploits. The student has since been identified as Terril Crossfield, who was residing in Pensacola, Florida at the time of his death.

According to a release from the Holmes County Sheriff's Office in Florida, deputies responded to the drowning at the Vortex Springs venue on Wednesday at around 1:30 p.m.

Vortex Springs is a freshwater diving, swimming and camping resort located in Ponce De Leon. Eyewitnesses told the police that Crossfield responded to a female swimmer, who showed signs of being distressed in the water. The Jamaican successfully passed the swimmer to another individual in the water to bring her to safety on shore. But Crossfield then started experiencing difficulties and went underwater. Witnesses told the police that a diver pulled the student from the water and CPR was administered until emergency responders arrived.

The Holmes County Sheriff's Office said Crossfield was later pronounced dead at the scene.

As news spread of the tragic death of the Maritime student, several Jamaicans expressed their sadness of the news on social media site, Facebook.

"Terril (Crossfield) you died being a hero bro. My heart is cold and bleeding right now when I heard of your death. You were kind, helpful and honest. Sleep in peace, but I wish you could come back," one social media user posted.

Another comment read: "So sad... Such a promising young man. May his soul rest in peace... Keeping his family and friends in my prayers."

Meanwhile, the Students' Union of the Caribbean Maritime University has also joined those in expressing condolences to Crossfield's family.

"The Students Union of the Caribbean Maritime University would like to extend our condolences to the family of the late Terril Crossfield. We pray that the Lord will give his family and friends strength in their time of grief. #RipTerril," wrote the union on their Facebook page.

The Holmes County Sheriff's Office in Florida is continuing their probe into the latest drowning at Vortex Springs. Crossfield is the third person to have died at the resort since the start of the year, according to US media reports.

crime-scene-tape-gloves.jpgThe Anchovy Police have confirmed that an elderly bus driver who had just arrived on the island from visiting his wife in the United States of America, died several hours after his involvement in a fatal crash which occurred along the Spring Garden main road in St James.

The police have also reported that the vehicle being driven by the elderly man resulted in the death of a taxi operator from the community of Hopewell and seriously injured five other passengers along Spring Garden main road on Wednesday night of July 31st.

The ill-fated accident claimed the life of Ricardo Wallace, otherwise called "Links" 38-year-old taxi operator of Lookout district in Hopewell, Hanover.

Reports by the Anchovy police are that about 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Wallace was transporting passengers from Hopewell to Montego Bay in his Toyota Ipsum, seven seater motor car.

On reaching a section of the Spring Garden main road, in the vicinity of Ramson compound, Wallace collided head-on with a Toyota Hiace tour bus, which was traveling in the opposite direction and which was being driven by the elderly man. Wallace and five passengers sustained head and body injuries. They were rushed to the Cornwall Regional Hospital where Wallace was pronounced dead and the other victims admitted in serious condition.

A number of motorists who arrived on the accident scene threatened the life of the elderly bus driver who was also injured in the crash.

In fear of his life, he refrained from going to the hospital for treatment and was discovered dead the following day at his apartment in Bogue Village. Investigators also pointed out that, they were informed that the elderly man who had just arrived in the island on Emancipation Day, had just performed a heart surgery in the USA and had returned home to heal.

crime-scene-gun.jpgThe police are seeking to determine the motive for last night's gun attack on businessman Arnie Francis and his wife at their home on Buttercup Drive in Mona, St Andrew.

Fifty-year-old Francis, who was the Manager at Alliance Investment Management Limited in New Kingston, St Andrew, succumbed to his injuries in hospital while his wife is admitted in stable condition.

The police say they arrived home about 9:25 and were attacked by a gunman as they entered the premises.

They say the businessman was shot in his upper body and that his wife was shot in one of her legs.

The gunman then escaped.

Meanwhile, news of Francis's murder sent shockwaves through the business community and tributes have been pouring in.

Ganja seized in Hanover valued at $11m, police say

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ganja-seized.jpgThe narcotics police are reporting that the ganja which was seized in Green Island, Hanover on Tuesday night is valued at $11 million.

The ganja, which weighed 2,734 pounds was found in the vicinity of Davis Cove.

Three persons were taken into custody.

Two buses and two firearms with 29 rounds of ammunition were also seized during the operation.

CXC results Friday

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cxc-logo.jpgThe Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) says it will release the results of its May/June 2018 exams on Friday.

The results are to be released at a ceremony in Grenada.

CXC said the report on candidates' performance will be presented as well as one on administration issues.

In the meantime, CXC said candidates can access results for the May/June Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) online as of August 12.

Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC) results will be available on August 16.

shocked.jpgAn 18-year-old Brooklyn teenager who returned from a trip from Jamaica has been identified as the mother of the premature newborn found dead inside an airplane toilet at LaGuardia Airport in New York.

Officials said the teenager, who had travelled with her sister, could have been the victim of a botched abortion.

The teenager, who checked into Kings County Hospital after she got off the plane, claimed she never knew she was pregnant when she rushed into the bathroom of an American Airlines plane after it landed at LaGuardia about 10:45 Monday night.

A law enforcement source said she put the baby in the toilet and covered it with paper.

The teenager reportedly told investigators she had not been feeling well for days.

The source said she showed little emotion.

Doctors examined her at Kings County Hospital.

The teenager told police she had visited a doctor in Jamaica before flying back to the U.S.

It was unclear whether police asked if she had gone for an abortion.

A cleaning crew for Airway Cleaners found the baby's body in a middle bathroom of the plane, which was parked outside an American Airlines hangar early Tuesday morning.

The baby appeared to have been born three months premature.

court-image-1.jpgThe Court of Appeal has added another three years to the sentence of a Jamaican man convicted of smuggling cocaine into the island.

Dwayne George Watson, of Mavis Bank address in St Andrew, Jamaica, was sentenced to six years in prison earlier this year by a Supreme Court judge, but will now have to serve nine years after prosecutors successfully argued the sentence was "manifestly inadequate".

Watson, who was arrested at Bermuda's L.F. Wade International Airport with US$200,000 worth of cocaine, told authorities he thought he was importing cannabis.

In his judgement, Appeal Judge Anthony Smellie said Watson's claim was not enough to earn him a reduced sentence.

He said: "A mere assertion by a defendant that he believed the drug to be different from that actually imported must be approached with great circumspection.

"In response to an indictment for the importation of an illegal drug, it can hardly be sufficient for him merely to point to the condition of the container itself as a reason for his failure to ascertain the true nature of the drugs. There should ordinarily be something more -- some objective point of reference -- against which his professed belief might be assessed for credibility."

Watson arrived in Bermuda from Jamaica via New York when he was stopped for a random search on September 1 last year.

Customs officers noticed that he shook while he answered questions and that the suitcase had been zip-tied shut. An x-ray of the case showed "irregularities" in the handle. Customs officers drilled into the handle and found white powder inside. A further search revealed 11 packages of cocaine and cocaine freebase, also known as crack, in the case's base, handle and corners.

More than a kilogramme of cocaine was found, which prosecutors said had an estimated street value of up to US$200,634.

He told police he agreed to smuggle cannabis into Bermuda because he had struggled to find work in Jamaica and was shocked to find the packages contained cocaine.

He said he expected to receive $3,000 and planned to use the cash to buy a taxi.

In January, Acting Puisne Judge Juan Wolffe sentenced the then 22-year-old Watson to six years in prison on the basis that he believed the drugs to be cannabis. But, the Crown filed an appeal on the grounds that the sentence was inadequate. Watson's lawyer, Elizabeth Christopher, argued that based on her client's youth, early plea and lack of previous convictions, combined with his mistaken belief about the drug, the sentence was appropriate.

The Court of Appeal found that the judge had set the basic sentence "far too low", which resulted in a low final sentence. Jamaican-born Justice Smellie said: "While there is some cogency to Ms Christopher's submissions, they do not justify or explain the disparity of sentencing in this case. This sentence, when assessed against the established principles and precedents of sentencing, must be regarded as manifestly inadequate."

Attorney-at-law Peter Champagnie, who is representing the security guard who shot and killed a patron at a Dream Weekend party last week, says his client has been receiving death threats since the incident.

Champagnie told Loop News that he will be raising the issue among others related to the case in a letter to the police high command.

"Chief among (the issues) are security concerns and a publication that have appeared on some social media sites that have revealed the identity of the guard and his family members and address," said the attorney.

According to Champagnie, the publication of his client's personal details has "jeopardized the safety" of the security guard.

Jean Mathieu, 37, a businessman of a Millsborough Crescent address in St Andrew, was shot dead at a party at Cayenne Beach in Negril, Westmoreland last Friday morning.

Police report that about 3:15 am, Mathieu was a patron at the Dream Live party when he became engaged in an altercation with the security guard over access to the VIP area.

The dispute reportedly escalated with Mathieu, a licensed firearm holder, bringing his gun into play before being shot in the chest by the security officer. He was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

police-station.jpgThe St Andrew South Police say that investigations into the circumstances surrounding the shooting of a woman that occurred at the intersection of Washington Boulevard and Headley Avenue in Kingston on Friday were advanced.

Police have not named the woman, but reports are that she is Shemara Todd, the wife of nightclub operator Corey Todd, who runs the popular Taboo clubs with locations in Kingston and Montego Bay.

Law enforcers said that around 5:15 pm, the woman was driving her Mercedes Benz along the road when men drove up on motorcycles and shot at her. She was hit several times but escaped her attackers before crashing the car in a fence.

Police later took her to hospital where she remains in serious but stable condition.

The Supreme Court last Friday granted an injunction preventing the board of management of the Kensington Primary School in Portmore, St Catherine, from blocking a five-year-old girl from entering the school because of her dreadlocked hairstyle.

The injunction was granted on a motion filed by Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) on July 18 on behalf of the parents of the child, who, last month, were given an ultimatum that their daughter had until August 29 to remove her locks to enter grade one in September in keeping with the school's policy.

The human-rights group challenged the school's position on the basis that enforcement of the rule would violate constitutionally protected human rights of the child and her family and that no other remedy existed to prevent the threat of that violation, given the school's demand.

Attorneys from the Attorney General's Chambers, appearing on behalf of the Government of Jamaica, consented to the order.

crime-scene-gun.jpgThe Dream Live party, which is a part of the five-day Dream Weekend music festival at Cayenne Beach in Negril, Westmoreland was on Friday morning the scene of a deadly shooting.

Jean Mathieu, a 37 year-old businessman of Millsborough Crescent in St. Andrew, was shot during a reported altercation with a security guard.

It's reported that about 3:15, Mr. Mathieu was at the entertainment event when he tried to take a female companion into the VIP area with out the required armband. He was denied entry by the guard.

Mr. Mathieu reportedly hit the guard several times before pointing his licenced firearm at him. The guard then pulled his licensed gun and fired a round hitting Mr. Mathieu in the chest.

He was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

In the meantime, Assistant Superintendent Dahlia Garrick, head of the Jamaica Constabulary Force Corporate Communications Unit, said detailed searches should be conducted to prevent persons from entering entertainment events with firearms.

ASP Garrick reminded patrons at the annual Dream Weekend events to hand over their licensed firearms at Negril police station for safe keeping.

The organisers of Dream Weekend say that there is a strict no weapons policy for the event.

A detailed probe has been ordered into the operations of St. Ann Development Company (SADCO) in relation to operations of the Dunns River Falls. It is unclear what prompted the probe.

However, the Board of the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) said it took the decision with the support of the Board of SADCO

The UDC Board said it is of the view that, based on internal preliminary reports, there is sufficient cause for concern. It said it has contracted international specialists to perform an examination of the governance and control environment, as well as evaluate any potential weaknesses or risk areas.

UDC said it will act swiftly to consider and address concerns raised upon conclusion of the examination.

It said Dunns River Falls remains open to the public for recreational activities during the auditing process.

ganja-seized.jpgThe Narcotics Police have commenced investigations into the seizure of approximately 400 pounds of compressed ganja in Spice Grove, St Elizabeth on Thursday, August 2.

Reports are that about 9:30 p.m., police were on operation in the community when they found seven knitted bags containing 48 parcels, each with compressed ganja.

The drugs were seized and an investigation launched.

The drugs have an estimated street value of $1.6 million.

The Narcotics Police are appealing to anyone with information about the seizure to contact them at 923-5729, the police 119 emergency number, or the nearest police station.

Havendale under siege from criminals

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For years, residents of the middle class community of Havendale in St Andrew have been complaining they are being held at ransom by criminals who are committing armed robberies at will.

On the morning of Saturday August 4, a young couple was reportedly held at gunpoint and robbed of everything but their lives. They had reportedly just walked onto Havendale Drive from Mannings Hill Road when they were approached by two men who brandished handguns and demanded that they hand over their back packs, wallets, cellular phones and other valuables.

The backpacks contained laptop computers which the couple used to work on social media services for entities. The profits are in turn used to fund the teenagers' tertiary education costs.

A few weeks ago, a carload of robbers held up a female and threatened to rape her after stealing her belongings. That incident followed another in which a teenaged girl suffered several cuts and bruises after she scaled a barbed wire fence in order to escape gunmen travelling in a motorcar who demanded her to get inside their vehicle.

The community has been a feeding ground for robbers for years and the residents have complained that, despite numerous reports to the police, it seems the robbers can't be caught.

Havendale residents are calling on the police to ramp up their presence in the community and make a concerted effort to catch the nefarious characters.

"This has been going on for too long now. We are tired of making reports and although there are police patrols, the thieves always seem to get away. We cannot live as hostages in our own area," one distraught man said.

"There has to be a way for the police to help us. Maybe by walking along the road and catch them off guard. For years we have been suffering now. We need help before somebody gets killed by these thugs," one woman, who declined to be named, said.

The Ministry of Health says its investigation into claims that visitors to the island contracted leptospirosis after swimming at the Blue Hole attractions in St Ann is inconclusive at this point because of a lack of information.

The ministry says inspections were conducted at the sites by the St Ann Health Department, which is now reporting that there is not enough evidence to conclude that the locations were the source of the leptospirosis.

Leptospirosis is an infectious disease caused by bacteria known as Leptospira.

It is transmitted through the urine of infected animals that enter the water or soil and survive for months.

The health ministry says it is awaiting communication from official sources in the United States regarding any citizen who may have contracted the disease in Jamaica.

The ministry says prior to receiving the complaints the health department had been monitoring the water quality on a monthly basis from the mouth of the river upon its exit to the coast.

According to the ministry, samples were also collected recently from different points in the vicinity of the Blue Hole attractions, which tested negative for the bacteria that causes the disease.

Full Statement

The Ministry of Health and the St Ann Health Department have been investigating and monitoring the Blue Hole attractions in St. Ann following reports of cases of Leptospirosis associated with visits to the locations.

Following on inspections at the Blue Hole attractions, the St. Ann Health Department is reporting that not enough evidence exists to conclude that the locations in question were the source of Leptospirosis in the cases reported.

There is limited information available on the publicised cases and the Ministry of Health is awaiting communication from official sources in the USA regarding any citizen who may have contracted the disease in Jamaica.

The Ministry of Health is concerned about any possible risk to the public and has therefore conducted investigations and follow-up visits to the locations.

During the initial visit to the attractions, the public health inspectors reviewed the services offered, food service operations, sanitation and sewage disposal and other aspects of the operations.

Breaches of public health standards were identified at some facilities and the St. Ann Health Department had issued instructions to the management of the attractions to remedy these. Afollow-up visit was conducted in late July, which indicated that several of the breaches were remedied while others were still in progress. Prior to receiving the complaints, the health department had been monitoring the water quality on a monthly basis from the mouth of the river upon its exit to the coast.

Samples were also collected recently from different points in the vicinity of the Blue Hole attractions, which tested negative for the bacteria that causes the disease.

Leptospirosis is an infectious disease caused by bacteria known as Leptospira. It is transmitted through the urine of infected animals that enter the water or soil and survive for months. It is transmitted by rodents, dogs, farm animals, and horses. Animals and humans become infected through contact with water, food or soil that contains the urine of the infected animals. The bacteria can enter the body through the skin or mucous membranes especially if the skin is broken from a cut or scratch. Person to person transmission is rare. The disease causes a wide range of symptoms and some persons have no symptoms at all.

Leptospirosis occurs worldwide but is most common in temperate or tropical climates. It is an occupational hazard for many people who work outdoors or with pets and animals. The disease is also associated with swimming, wading, kayaking, and rafting in contaminated lakes and rivers.

The St. Ann Health Department will continue to maintain a presence at the Blue Hole attractions and along the White River course. Additionally, routine checks will be carried out at the various locations to ensure the health and safety of the public.

The former leadership of the State-owned Petrojam oil refinery spent more than J$1.4 million (US$10,500) to host a 'staff party' for 25 guests at the upscale Palms at Palmyra in Montego Bay, St James, on September 19, last year.

That was less than 24 hours before they racked up another bill of just under J$5 million (US$37,827) at the Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall for accommodation and food for a four-day staff retreat and board of directors meeting.

The spending continued with the company shelling out a further US$132,162 (J$17.1 million) to an American firm to provide 'Balanced Scorecard Training and Strategic Development' during the retreat.

Details of the spending by the former leaders of Petrojam were provided to The Gleaner in response to an Access to Information (ATI) request.

But the company noted that it had provided The Gleaner with only some of the invoices for the retreat, which ran from September 20 to 23, 2017, with no explanation as to what invoices were omitted or why.

According to the invoices provided by Petrojam, the pre-retreat staff party was coordinated by Rose Hall Developments Limited, but there was no indication if accommodation was provided after the party with the staff retreat set to begin at the nearby Hyatt Ziva the following day.

Efforts to get additional information from Petrojam last week, including the number of staff members and directors who attended the retreat, were unsuccessful, as the company insisted that other questions would only be answered via another ATI request.

But a public-relations and event planner with government clients told The Gleaner that the purpose of the party before the retreat was more important than the bill.

According to the event planner, who asked not to be named, the J$1.4-million bill for 25 guests was in line with standard industry pricing for premium VIP hosting.

"The bigger picture is - why is a government entity spending this amount of money? Was this the best spend of our resources and what are other government entities doing for VIP hosting?" said the event planner.

Another event planner added, "The pricing for 25 people could be justified based on the deliverables needed to execute the event. However, at almost $55,000 per head, what was the return on investment for hosting the party; that's very important in Government."

The Strategy Management Group out of the US, which operates the Balanced Scorecard Institute, billed Petrojam the US$132,162 for professional fees, an introductory course, accommodation, meals and travel for presenters and shipping.

A balanced scorecard is a strategic management tool used by businesses and governments worldwide to set and measure targets.

The Gleaner has asked Petrojam to outline the method used to procure the services of Strategy Management Group and justify the engagement of an overseas firm at that cost.

The Petrojam management team that organised the party and retreat was led by Floyd Grindley, who has since resigned. The board chairman at the time, Dr Perceval Bahado-Singh, and the other Jamaican members of the board have also resigned and have since been replaced.

neville-lee-photo-1.jpgFor the second time this week, the music fraternity has been plunged into mourning.

Neville Lee, producer, manufacturer, distributor and founder of Sonic Sounds, passed away on Tuesday, while a patient at the Medical Associates Hospital in St Andrew.

Mr Lee, who is being hailed as a philanthropist, a humanitarian, and a devoted huisband, father and grandfather, made his transition following a battle with leukemia and diabetes. He was 80 years old and had celebrated 58 years of marriage on Monday. He is survived by wife Winnifred, who spent their anniversary at the hospital with him on Monday; children Stephen, Gordon, Jason and Susan, along with several grand-children.


Neville Lee is remember for his compassionate and giving nature. One of his grand-daughters told Yardflex that her grandfather "truly an Angel. He was compassionate and was always giving."

And that sentiment has been echoed hundreds of times by those who knew him well, as well as those who had just a passing acquaintance. Culture Minister Olivia "Babsy" Grange said she felt a personal loss with death of such a giant in the music industry.

In seeking ways to honour Neville Lee, film-maker Lennie Little-White is calling for the main studio at CVM TV to be renamed in his honour.


In a letter to CVM Chairman Wayne Chen, he explained that Lee was an initial investor in the station and when there was difficulty in getting the station off the ground, Lee gave up the ground floor of the Sonic Sounds building on Retirement Road to house the first cadre of employees without charge.

"When we acquired the current space on Constant Spring Road, he and I were totally responsible for converting an empty warehouse into a TV studio. He provided some of his own staff to help in the construction phase. Given his major contribution in the creation of the current main studio, I am recommending that the board names the primary studio as The Neville Lee Studio," said Little-White.

A stalwart in music industry, Lee formed Sonic Sounds, in 1979, having been recruited into the music business by his brother, the late Byron Lee, owner of record-manufacturing and distribution company Dynamic Sounds.


Mr. Lee's son Jason recalled his father's strong sense of business and commitment to develop the local industry.

"From the early days Sonic Sounds pretty much controlled the distribution of all the major reggae artistes -- Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Jimmy Cliff, Bunny Wailers, Rita Marley, Gregory (Isaacs), you name them. Daddy also had the Volcano music label during this time. All the artistes loved him as he was very generous with his time and knowledge. He eased out of the business in 1989."

Former Third World percussionist Irvin "Carrot" Jarrett has died.

Reports are that the Reggae singer and naturopathic doctor died suddenly this morning.

Jarrett was part of the classic line-up of the Third World band and played on some of the band's hit songs including 96° in the Shade, Always Around and Now That We Found Love.

Jarrett, who left the band Third World in the 1980s, has been touching lives as a holistic health provider since the 1990s.

Jarrett married Alisia Lawson in June 2013.

He was the CEO of CREED Group Entertainment, a production entity designed as an umbrella framework for health and educational projects. CREED is the acronym for Consistent Rhythmic Energy Enticing Dance.

Yardflex sends condolences to the family of Carrt Jarrett.

Brother and sister charged with triple murder

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charged.jpgThe woman and her brother who were taken into custody in relation to the murder of 29-year-old Kashief Jackson and her two babies in Tower Hill, St Andrew last Wednesday have been slapped with various charges relating to the murders.

The police's information arm, the Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) this evening identified the siblings as 27-year-old Jamelia Leslie a lab technician and 26-year-old Javone Leslie a construction worker both of Guava Ridge in Mavis Bank, St Andrew.

They have been charged with three counts of murder, arson and burglary and are scheduled to appear before the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on August 2.

Jackson's body along with that of one-year-old Aviere Williams and seven-day-old Aranza Williams were found by relatives in the house which Jackson shared with her partner, 42-year-old Artnel Williams.

The police reported that the children died from smoke inhalation while Jackson died from stab wounds.

Residents in the small community on the outskirts of Mavis Bank in rural St Andrew said that the mother was found clutching the week-old girl to her bosom, while the boy, who would have marked his second birthday next month, was found in a blue bath pan a few feet from his mother and sister.

Allegations from residents are that Jackson was in the middle of a love triangle rife with jealousy and involving the female accused.

On Tuesday night the CCU also confirmed that the arrested woman has a four-year-old son for the slain woman's boyfriend.

crime-scene-gun.jpgTwo men were killed in a confrontation with the police early Sunday morning in the community of Dampie, an area close to Mineral Heights in Clarendon.

Reports are that a police team was conducting an operation in the Dampie area when they were greeted with gunfire from assailants. The police say the gunfire was returned and when the shooting subsided, the two men were found suffering from gunshot wounds.Two illegal firearms were also found.

A member of the police team was also shot in the leg.

All three injured persons were taken to the May Pen Hospital where the gunmen were pronounced dead and the police constable admitted for treatment.

He is said to be in stable condition.

crime-scene-gun.jpgThe Hanover police have taken two persons into custody in connection with the brutal gun slaying of a 91-year-old woman and her grandson Wednesday night.

The deceased have been identified as Laurel Fray and her grandson, Jessie Spence, 15, of Malcolm Heights, Lucea, Hanover.

Reports are that about 9:00pm, Fray and Spence were at home when they were pounced upon by a group of heavily armed gunmen who opened fire hitting them multiple times.

The two were taken to hospital where they were pronounced dead.

The police believe the double murder is linked to a recent killing of a a top-tier member of the One Link gang, which is based in Lucea, Hanover.

The police have released the names of three persons of interest in connection with the gruesome murders.They are Howard McIntosh, otherwise called Zil; Nicoy McKenzie, otherwise called Nick and Ricardo Bird otherwise called White Man.

The police are asking the three to turn themselves in by 6:00 Thursday evening.

hands-behind-bars.jpgA police constable, 31-year-old Ramon Walker from St Thomas, has reportedly been charged in connection with the robbery of a businesswoman at her home in Manchioneal, Portland.

Constable Walker was arrested on July 16 by detectives from the Criminal Investigative Branch in Port Antonio following the robbery outside the woman's house.

According to police reports, in the early hours of July 16 this the woman was pounced upon by armed thugs outside her house and robbed of $700,000 in cash.The men then escaped.

However, the police later held the constable and arrested him.

Constable Walker is booked to appear in the Portland Parish Court on July 27 to answer to the charge of armed robbery and aggravated assault.

He was on suspension at the time of the incident.

Interestingly, in 2014, Walker was also implicated in a major car stealing ring operating between Kingston, St Thomas, Clarendon, and Portland.

Investigators believed that he was the mastermind in that operation.

New fraud-related charges have again been laid against embattled attorney-at-law Jennifer Messado.

Messado was charged Tuesday by investigators from the Counter-Terrorism and Organized Crime Investigation Branch (C-TOC) with forgery and obtaining money under false pretense

The police say the charges stem from an allegation that in June 2017 Messado prepared an Agreement of Sale for a property without the knowledge and consent of the owners.

It is further alleged that the attorney forged the signature of the mortgager to facilitate the fictitious transaction and collected US$150,000 as down payment for the prospective purchaser.

She is scheduled to appear before the Kingston and St. Andrew Parish Court on Tuesday, September 11.

She is currently before the court on similar fraud charges.

bail.jpgA 41 year-old St. Elizabeth farmer who is accused of sexually assauting his daughters was on Monday offered bail when he appeared before the Parish Court.

He is charged with incest, sexual touching and having sex with someone under 16 years-old.

The court heard that over ten years ago, the man sexually assaulted his first daughter, who is now 24 years-old.

She reportedly ran away from home at age 18.

The man's other daughter, who is 15 years old, has reported to the police that he has been sexually assaulting her.

The 41 year-old man was offered bail in the sum of $500,000 and warned not to have any contact with his daughters.

He is to also report twice weekly to the police, surrender his travel documents while stop orders have been placed at all ports of exit.

He is to return to court on December 4.

Fayval Williams, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Finance, says Jamaicans should brace for continued fluctuation of the local currency against the US dollar.

It's now costing an average J$134.0 5 cents to purchase one US dollar.

Speaking at the Post Cabinet Press Briefing Wednesday morning, Williams said that there is greater demand for the US currency.

She said more companies, "looking at their debt structures," are purchasing US dollars to service those debts as interest rates in the local market decrease.

Noting that "a lot of companies have US dollar debts on their books," she said that "as rates converge -n the local market, it's advantageous for them to change out those US dollar loans into Jamaican dollar loans."

This, she said, was a very good strategy, "but in executing these transactions what actually happens is that the companies have to go into the market to buy the US dollars to repay the loans, and that causes increased demand."

An additional factor driving the slide in the value of the Jamaican dollar, she said, a significant increase in imports this year, compared to 2017.

Mineral fuels, machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, manufactured goods and food were the leading items being imported, she disclosed.

The Ministry of Education has issued a bulletin to public schools advising that children of civil servants should be exempted from parent contribution fees, for the next three years.

In the bulletin issued on Monday, the ministry said this is in keeping with the Heads of Agreement signed on February 13 between the Government and the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions (JCTU) on behalf of certain weekly, daily and hourly paid workers.

The contract covers the period April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2021.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica has given its support to the union and workers of Petcom following claims that an employee was suspended because of his refusal to work on the sabbath.

Nigel Coke, Communication Director of the Jamaica Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, says there seems to be a clear and blatant breach of the worker's freedom of worship.

The Seventh Day Adventist Church is appealing to employers to respect the constitutional rights of workers to enjoy freedom from religious discrimination.

It noted that there have been cases where some employers have even declined to hire persons based on the individual's religious belief or practice.

petcom.jpgPetcom has chided the National Workers Union (NWU) following its claim on Monday that employees at the company's Spanish Town Road headquarters are restive after one of their colleagues, who is a Seventh-Day Adventist, was suspended because of his refusal to work on Saturdays.

The union said it was flabbergasted and horrified that the staff member, who has been with the company for 26 years, has been suspended without pay since December 2017.

But in a statement on Tuesday, Petcom described the NWU's assertions as premature and ill-advised and said it appeared to be aimed at creating rancour and sully the company in the public sphere.

Petcom said it is still committed to pursuing negotiations with the NWU to resolve all labour related issues.

In its statement on Monday, the NWU said a notice for the withdrawal of labour was issued to Petcom last month.

It said the notice cited issues relating to unwarranted suspensions, redundancies, unjustifiable dismissals, undignified treatment of staff and the company's reluctance to improve wage and fringe benefits.

However, Petcom said it will not be pressured to meet any unjustified or unfair demands with the threat of industrial action.

Vybz Kartel Appeal: Juror feared for her life

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vybz-kartel-photo-11-larger.jpgThe ethical dilemma facing the female juror dismissed from the Vybz Kartel murder trial was real and the presiding judge, Justice Lennox Campbell, was not wrong to discharge her, senior deputy director of public prosecutions Jeremy Taylor has asserted.

Taylor was presenting his legal arguments in the appeal filed by Kartel and three other men to have their murder conviction and prison sentences overturned.

The entertainer, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, was convicted in 2014, along with his protege, Shawn Storm, as well as Kahira Jones and Andre St John, for killing Clive 'Lizard' Williams at a house in Havendale, St Andrew in 2011.

Last week, Shawn Storm's attorney complained that the entertainer was not in the judge's chambers when the decision to discharge the juror was taken and argued that this was a breach of his right to a fair trial.

However, Taylor, in recounting what transpired in the judge's chambers, said the female juror had indicated that her son was in custody at the Horizon Adult Correctional Centre, the same facility where Kartel and his co-accused were being housed.

He said the woman revealed that during one visit to her son she and St John's "eyes mek four" and that her son had told her that he was approached by Kartel.

According to Taylor, the woman indicated that she had become fearful.

As a result, he said Campbell took the decision to discharge her and indicated that he would announce in open court that she was being dismissed for personal reasons.

"The decision to discharge her was not opposed by anyone," said Taylor, referring to the attorneys for all men who were present in the judge's chambers.

"Neither was there any dissenting voice when Mr Campbell said he would announce in court that she is being discharged for personal reasons," he continued.

Added Taylor: "He was not wrong. The ethical dilemma was real."

Further, he a cited legal authority which suggests that an accused can be excluded from discussions in the judge's chambers on the condition that a court reporter is present.

"A court reporter was present [in this case] which is why we have a transcript of what transpired," Taylor argued.

marcus-garvey-photo-3.jpgGovernment and people of Namibia for naming a street in the capital, Windhoek, in honour of Jamaica's first national hero, Marcus Mosiah Garvey.

The street renaming ceremony took place yesterday, during Prime Minister Holness' official working visit to Namibia.

"Naming a street in this capital city of Windhoek in honour of Marcus Garvey represents a demonstration of posterity of the value of the contribution of one who has played a lead role in countering negative appellations forced on black people in Africa and the Diaspora," said Prime Minister Holness.

According to a release from the Office of the Prime Minister, Holness noted that the historic renaming of the street is a symbol of pride and honour.

No visa needed for Namibia

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Jamaicans travelling to the Republic of Namibia for business or tourism will not be required to obtain a visa.

The Governments of Jamaica and Namibia on Monday morning agreed to a visa waiver programme.

It is the first of several agreements between both countries, as Prime Minister Andrew Holness began a full day of discussions with Namibian President Dr. Hage Geingob.

Previously, Jamaica unilaterally waived visa requirements for Namibians entering the country as an expression of solidarity and support during Namibia's liberation struggle.

Namibia on Monday reciprocated this action.

Speaking at a joint news conference with President Geingob in the Namibian capital Windhoek, Mr. Holness said both countries have now cemented a deeper bond.

hands-behind-bars.jpgDetectives from the Half Way Tree Criminal Investigation Branch have taken two suspects into custody in relation to the discovery of the skeletal remains of a woman on Whalley Close in St. Andrew last Friday.

The men were arrested on Saturday.

A statement from the police says one of the men is believed to be a Trinidadian.

The police say they are awaiting the results of a DNA test to establish the identity of the victim.

held.jpgTwo suspects are now in custody in connection with last Wednesday's murder of a woman and her two children in Mavis Bank, St Andrew.

Reports are that a man and a woman have been held and the man is believed to be a former lover of the deceased woman. The other suspect is the man's sister.

"We can say that two persons have been taken in custody and are being questioned and could be soon possibly charged in connection with the triple murder," said a police source on Monday.

Police were looking at a number of leads including information that the deceased woman, Kashief Jackson, 29, was involved in a love triangle turned sour.

Information sourced also pointed to the deceased woman having been entangled in a dispute with another woman who her spouse was reportedly still sexually involved with.

Reports from the Mavis Bank police are that the bodies of Jackson and her two children; one-year-old Aviere Williams and seven-day-old Aranza Williams were found their home in Tower Hill on Wednesday July 18.

Ms Jackson's body had chop wounds and the room was set ablaze.

A post mortem will be conducted this week to determine the cause of death of the children. It is suspected that they died of smoke inhalation.

crime-scene-tape-gloves.jpgThe Jamaica Police Federation has expressed condolences to a female corporal who lost her son in a drowning accident in Canada over the weekend.

Javaughn Black, 7, died Saturday after accidentally drowning during a family trip to Sandbanks Provincial Park in Canada, according to a GoFundMe account launched to raise funds to return his body to Jamaica for burial.

The Police Federation on Sunday said it was saddened by the news and offered condolences to Javaughn's mother, Detective Corporal Sherrie Thomas.

"We know that Sherrie loved her son beyond measure and all boundaries," Arlene McBean, chairman of the federation, said in a statement to rank and file police officers.

"Sherrie, we are here for you through difficult time and beyond. We all declare that the Almighty God will cover you and your family with his comforting hands, spirit of strength and healing powers," McBean said.

The GoFundMe launched to raise funds for the return of Javaughn's body to Jamaica has already exceeded its US$10,000 target.

All funds raised will go directly to Thomas to offset the unexpected expenses, stated family members behind the account, further noting that, "Any additional funds raised will go towards funeral arrangements for Javaughn in his hometown in Jamaica."

According to the family members, what was supposed to be a fun filled experience turned to tragedy when Javaughn lost his life in the accidental drowning.

"Every effort was made to revive Javaughn by emergency responders including an off duty ER doctor that happened to be at the beach with her own family," said the relatives, adding that "45mins after arriving at Prince Edward Memorial Hospital doctors gave the horrible news that Javaughn was gone.

It was the first time that Javaughn was travelling overseas, according to the family members who noted that the boy was Thomas' only son.

Cementing its place as the Caribbean's top University, The University of the West Indies (The UWI) made its debut in the Times Higher Education University Rankings as the only institution in the Caribbean region to be listed in the 2018 Latin America University Rankings.

The list, which includes 129 of the best universities across the region, was released on July 18, 2018, by the prestigious United Kingdom-based publication, and leading provider of higher education data for the world's research-led institutions.

Compiled using rich and robust institutional data, times higher's criteria included teaching; research; citations/research influence; international outlook; and knowledge transfer.

The UWI was ranked among the 40 best universities in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The University was also ranked 4th for its international agenda and 26th for its research impact.

The UWI placed 37th out of 129 universities rated overall.

"The UWI's exceptional performance in these rankings is the result of a series of deliberate strategic initiatives advanced by The UWI in the implementation of its Triple A Strategy (Strategic Plan 2017-2022), focused on Access, Alignment, and Agility." the regional university said in a statement.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles commented: "Entering officially into the rankings for the first time required tremendous mobilisation of resolve and resources. While we are very pleased with our entry ranking, alongside the largest, wealthiest universities, private and public, in the biggest countries we recognise that we cannot rest on our laurels, not even for ten minutes, until we have reached top ten status in the next ten years. We know what we have to do and our team is getting on with it."

He added, "As The UWI sets its sights on the global university ranking to be released in September 2018 in Singapore, we note that radically our enhancing international reputation and status is our ultimate target."

Vice-Chancellor Beckles serves as the President of the Association of Caribbean Universities and Research Institutes with a remit to improve the regional and global standing of universities in the region. There are over 100 registered Caribbean universities.

This year marks a milestone anniversary for The UWI. The regional institution celebrates 70 years of service and leadership as the largest, most longstanding, higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean.

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Ambrook Lane under curfew

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curfew-in-areas-of-west-kingston.jpgThe police are reporting that a curfew has been imposed in Ambrook Lane, Kingston 10 in the St Andrew Central Division. The curfew began at 6:00 pm yesterday and will remain in effect until 6:00 pm on Tuesday, July 24.

The boundaries of the curfew are as follows:

North along Tarrant Drive from the intersection of Tarrant Drive and Woodglen Drive to number 15 Tarrant Drive. East along an unnamed lane leading from 15 Tarrant Drive using an imaginary line to the intersection of Ambrook Lane and Hagley Park Road.

South along Hagley Park Road from the intersection of Ambrook Lane and Hagley Park Road to the intersection of Hagley Park Road and Woodglen Avenue. West along Woodglen Drive from the intersection of Tarrant Drive and Woodglen Drive to the intersection of Hagley Park Road and Woodglen Drive.

The police said during the hours of the curfew, all persons within the boundaries of the curfew are required to remain within their premises unless otherwise authorised in writing by the ground commander.

Canadian ganja firm to expand to Jamaica

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ganja-firm-logo-aphria.jpgCanadian company Aphria Inc. says it is preparing to expand its cannabis business into South America and Jamaica by acquiring a subsidiary of Scythian Biosciences Inc. for an undisclosed price.

The Ontario-based company says it will establish a presence in Colombia and several other countries by acquiring several companies through the purchase.

In Jamaica, Aphria will acquire Marigold Projects Jamaica Ltd. which has several licences to cultivate, process and sell cannabis products and services for therapeutic, medical and scientific purposes.

Aphria's expansion follows Canopy Growth Corp.'s announcement earlier this month that it has acquired a Colombian medical marijuana company in exchange for shares valued at about $45.7 million.

Mo Bay dump fire has residents fuming

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fire.jpgSome residents and businesses in Montego Bay, St. James, are getting ready to leave the city as the after-effects of a fire at Retirement dump continue to be felt throughout the parish. The Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce has labelled the situation a disaster.

At a news conference on Thursday, Winston Lawson, president of the Chamber, said days after the fire was put out, the smoke nuisance persists, with the effects being felt as far as sections of Hanover.

He said the smoke is "causing immense discomfort and ill-health to citizens, who have been complaining of asthmatic attacks, swollen eyes and the taste of electricity on the tongue."

According to Lawson, the situation is taking a toll on productivity as business people are among those who are considering leaving Montego Bay until the problem is addressed.

The Montego Bay Chamber has also rejected Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie's apology in relation to the fire.

Lawson called the apology, proffered on Tuesday, inadequate and unacceptable.

He said the Chamber wants to see the relevant authorities, including the Office and Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), put in place a permanent fix for the problem.

baptised by gospel singjay and ordained Minister Ryan Mark at Hellshire Beach in St Catherine yesterday morning.

crime-scene-tape-gloves.jpgThe police are still piecing together the circumstances which led to the horrific slaying of a woman and her two babies at their home in Tower Hill, St Andrew on Wednesday.

The lawmen said the bodies of 29-year-old Kashief Jackson, one-year-old Aviere Williams and seven-day-old Aranza Williams were found by relatives with multiple stab wounds.

The constabulary's Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) reported that lawmen from the Mavis Bank Police Station were summoned by relatives and on their arrival at the home, Jackson was seen inside the house while Aviere and Aranza were seen outside on the veranda.

They were taken to the hospital where death was confirmed.

CCU detectives are now probing the circumstances surrounding the deaths of three, amid reports that the baby father of Miss Jackson had another woman and that this woman and Jackson were at odds. The father of the children has also said that he was in St Elizabeth at the time of the murder.

vybz-kartel-photo-11-larger.jpgProsecutor Orrett Brown has told the Appeal Court that he cannot explain how three telephone calls were made from the mobile phone of Vybz Kartel nine days after it was handed over to police investigators.

Brown making his submission on day five of the hearing in the Court of Appeal said three calls were made on October 9, 2011.

The phones were handed over to the police on September 30, 2011.

"I will not attempt to advance an explanation," Brown said.

During the trial, a police investigator testified that the phone "dialled itself" as he tried to account for the calls while the police had the phone.

There was laughter in the Court of Appeal when Brown repeated this explanation.

vybz-kartel-photo-32.jpgThe prosecution in the appeal case for Vybz Kartel and his co-appellants on Friday argued in the Court of Appeal that there was no proof to show that the digital evidence that they had relied on, including the phones that were seized from Vybz Kartel, were manipulated and altered.

Attorneys representing the appellants, over four days, sought to convince the appeal judges that during the 2014 trial for the murder of Clive "Lizard" Williams, Justice Lennox Campbell, who had presided over the murder trial, admitted contaminated evidence.

However, Assistant Director of Public Prosecution Orrett Brown told the court that Justice Campbell had not accepted contaminated evidence.

He said the assertions from defence lawyers that the evidence were contaminated were "fanciful".

A prosecutor this morning told the Appeal Court that there was a mistaken belief about a damning text retrieved from the mobile phone of entertainer Vybz Kartel.

Assistant Director of Public Prosecution Orrett Brown said the "misapprehension" arose because the file or folder for the message was created on July 6 but the actual message was created on August 19.

The appellants have raised concern that the damning text claiming that the deceased Clive 'Lizard' Williams "chop up fine fine" was made six weeks before his murder.

The prosecution is claiming that Lizard was killed August 16.

Kartel, whose given name is Adidja Palmer, Shawn 'Shawn Storm' Campbell, Kahira Jones and Andre St John are appealing their conviction and sentence for the August 2011 murder of Williams.

The matter is being heard by Court of Appeal President Justice Dennis Morrison, along with justices Patrick Brooks and Frank Williams.

The hearing continues.

2 unidentified bodies found in St. Catherine

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crime-scene-tape-gloves.jpgThe bodies of two unidentified men were found along the Barry main Road in rural St Catherine on Sunday morning.

Reports are that about 7:15 a.m., the bodies were discovered about two feet from apart on the roadway.

The men were lying on their bellies with what appeared to be gunshot wounds to the heads.

Two spent shells were recovered from beside the bodies.

The deceased are both believed to be in their mid-20s, with one being of medium build, about five feet 10 inches tall, and of clear complexion.

He was clad in a white long sleeve T-shirt, grey plaid underpants, white shorts, white Bobby socks and black Adidas slippers.

The other deceased is of slim build, clear complexion, about five feet nine inches tall, and was clad in grey jeans pants, white T-shirt and black Desert Clarks shoes.

The St Catherine North police, in whose division a state of emergency is in place, are investigating the incident.

click-here-to-support-help-ian-fray-acid-attack-survivor-organized-by-kevin-demercado.jpgLast year, gas installation driver Ian Fray was subjected to a horrendous acid attack in Spanish Town during a robbery incident which will mar the remainder of his life.

He has been hospitalised for a year now, awaiting surgery, enduring excruciating pain, his sight irreparably damaged and his face burnt and ravished beyond recognition.

Mr. Ian Fray, a beloved father, brother, son and friend was attacked September 2017 when on the job delivering gas cylinders. Ian had acid thrown on him during a robbery attempt in Spanish Town, Jamaica and sustained serious burns to majority of his body. He has been in Intensive Care since the attack, undergoing multiple surgeries. Recently, Ian began to recover some of his sight, which is great news to doctors, family and friends alike. Unfortunately, they are unable to undertake the surgery that would restore his sight completely, as his eyelids were burnt off during the acid attack, and the amniotic membrane, has to be sourced from overseas. The family is currently struggling with local hospital fees and are anticipating the other expenses associated with this surgery, including flights to and from the United States and consultations there. Ian Fray and his family have been brave and strong throughout this entire process, and we hope to be able to ease their burden by raising funds to cover this latest surgery. Please help us in supporting this courageous man!

Click here to support Help Ian Fray: Acid Attack Survivor organized by Kevin Demercado

Woman shot and killed near UWI

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crime-scene-gun.jpgA woman was shot and killed by gunmen during a brazen daylight attack close to the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) in Mona, St Andrew on Friday.

The deceased has been identified as Rushell Anglin, a 29-year-old business operator with a Kingston address.

Reports are that about 2:30 p.m., the woman was at her place of business which is located close to the UHWI, when men drove up to the location in a motor vehicle.

Information reaching Loop News is that a man got out of the vehicle and walked up to the woman and shot her several times.

The explosions sent persons in the area scurrying for safety.

After shooting the woman, the attacker returned to the vehicle, and the men fled scene.

The Half-Way Tree police are now investigating the incident.

Chinese businessman killed in Featherbed Lane

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crime-scene-tape-gloves.jpgThe police are still trying to determine the motive behind the killing of a Chinese businessman on Featherbed Lane in Spanish Town, St Catherine yesterday.

He has been identified as 39-year-old Xiang Qui, operator of DL Wholesale and Meats situated at 71 Featherbed Lane.

The police report that they were alerted by a passerby who stumbled upon Qui's body about 6:00 a.m.

The businessman's body was found face down in a pool of blood.

Investigators say the victim sustained a blow to the head.

There were no signs of forced entry to the business place.

stefflon-don-photo-1.jpgInternational recording artist Stefflon Don will not be performing at Reggae Sumfest Blitz all black party, being held at the Hard Rock Cafe party tonight., DownSound Entertainment (DSE), the organisers of Reggae Sumfest have announced.

Stefflon Don's management team cancelled her performance at the last minute, citing a scheduling conflict, DSE stated.

Commenting on the matter, DSE's CEO Joe Bogdanovich said that he was really disappointed with the way in which the matter was handled by Stefflon Don's management team.

"All formalities had been finalised and the fans were really looking forward to enjoying some great music. I think her team acted in a way that was unprofessional and communicated very poorly, which is unfortunate because she is an extremely talented artist," Bogdonavich said.

"However, we've not allowed this setback to ruin the night. Blitz is going to be a great event, and we have some brilliant entertainment lined up for the patrons. It is most certainly an event not to be missed," he added.

The much anticipated party is being hosted by popular rapper and reality TV star Safaree, who will also be performing. The full line up of entertainment includes music by Creep from Chromatic, Rolexx, Noah Powa, and Team Shella.

Popular Jamaican singer Jada Kingdom will also be gracing the Blitz stage. She is best known for hits like 'Best You Ever Had', 'Unwanted', 'Love Situations', and 'Wull On'.

The British Government's plan to deport a former nurse whose Windrush Generation father served in the Royal Air Force is being cited by politicians and campaigners in the UK demanding an immediate end to what they described as the government's cruel and inhumane hostile environment policy.

Sharon Vitalis has been threatened with ejection from the UK, which would separate her from her two British-born children - one of whom is just 12 years old- despite living in the country for most of her life.

According to Britain's Independent newspaper, the 45-year-old woman, who worked for the National Health Service for more than 15 years, was born in Germany while her father was deployed to the country during service with the RAF. Her family moved back to the UK months after her birth.

Unlike her UK born siblings, who have never faced problems with their status, she has been told she is not British on the ground that she was not born within the nation's boundaries.

Ms Vitalis lived in the UK until the age of six, when she moved to the Caribbean with her mother and siblings to go to school.

She returned when she was in her early 20s and began working as a nurse.

She faced no problem for 17 years, during which she gave birth to a daughter in 1999 and a son in 2005.

Her partner later moved to the US after the couple split.

In 2013, when Ms Vitalis went to collect her 15-year-old daughter from Gatwick Airport after living with her father, she was stopped by immigration officials and taken to a detention centre.

Ms Vitalis was later reunited with her daughter, but she was issued with deportation proceedings and therefore was dismissed from her National Health Service job.

She is currently waiting for an appeal decision in October and is unable to work or claim benefits in the meantime.

The case has emerged amid mounting criticism over the Home Office's hostile environment following the Windrush scandal, which exposed that thousands of Commonwealth citizens had been wrongly targeted by immigration officials, with some detained and deported, costing then Home Secretary Amber Rudd her job.

hands-behind-bars.jpgA Bahamian fugitive, who is wanted on drug charges, has been nabbed in Clarendon.

According to information from the police, 43 year-old Prescott Roxbury, who is from Nassau, was detained along with a woman during an anti-narcotics operation in Commissary, Frankfield about 9 o'clock Saturday night.

Roxbury and the woman, who has been identified as 53 year-old Elaine Edwards of Morant Bay, St. Thomas, were found at a two-bedroom house.

A bag containing 14.5 pounds of ganja, valued at $60,000, was allegedly found in their possession.

They were both charged with possession of and dealing in ganja.

Roxbury and Edwards are scheduled to appear before the Clarendon Parish Court on Thursday.

In September 2015, the Royal Bahamas Police Force listed Roxbury and two other Bahamians as wanted for possession of dangerous drugs with intent to supply.

vybz-kartel-photo-10.jpgThe metadata for one of the damning text messages which prosecutors used to convict top entertainers Vybz Kartel and Shawn Storm of murder was created six weeks before the victim's death, the Appeal Court was informed on Monday.

Bianca Samuels, one of the attorneys for Shawn Storm, was referring to the text message reportedly found on one of the mobile phones taken from Kartel in which it was said that Clive 'Lizard' Williams "chop up fine, fine."

Samuels was making her submissions in the appeal filed by the two entertainers against their conviction and prison sentence.

She said evidence presented during their 17-week murder trial that ended in April 2014 showed that the metadata was created on July 6, 2011, six weeks before prosecutors claim Williams was killed.

Samuels noted, too, that there was evidence that the mobile phones taken from Kartel were used while the instruments were in the custody of the police.

"This one has left me puzzled," said Samuels, who along with Isat Buchanan and Daynia Allen, represent Shawn Storm.

The panel of three judges hearing the appeal appeared surprised by the assertion.

"Our silence was sharing in your puzzlement," said president of the Court of Appeal Justice Dennis Morrison, who along with justices Patrick Brooks and Frank Williams, are hearing the case.

Samuels said this raises "more than a reasonable doubt" about the integrity of the evidence, which should not have been put to the jury.

The Firearms Licensing Authority (FLA) has embarked on an island-wide drive to clamp down on licensed firearm holders who are said to be using their weapons to carry out a number of illegal activities.

So far, the FLA drive has reportedly had some startling findings.

Among those, FLA authorities said, was a case in which they were able to nab a license firearm holder who was providing security services for a notorious gang leader in Spanish Town, St Catherine.

The gun holder was reportedly serving as a bodyguard for one of the warlords in the once crime-ridden old capital, which for quite some time now, has been the centre of extreme gang activities nationally, including racking up a huge murder tally.

Speaking at an FLA press conference at the Terra Nova Hotel in St Andrew on Friday of last week, Shane Dalling, the authority's Chief Executive Officer, said the licence of the firearm holder in question has been revoked since the alleged nefarious service was discovered.

Dalling said the firearm holder was among over 100 persons whose firearms licences have been revoked since the start of this year.

crime-scene-tape-gloves.jpgPolice have reported that an 18-year-old woman died this morning following injuries she sustained in a motor vehicle accident on the Gully Road in Oracabessa, St Mary.

Dead is Abigail Angus, a student at the University of the West Indies, Mona.

Reports from the Oracabessa Police are that about 4:20 am, Angus was a passenger in a grey Toyota Fortuner motor truck when the driver allegedly lost control of the vehicle which collided with a tree. Angus died while undergoing treatment at hospital.

The Oracabessa Police are investigating.

crime-scene-tape-gloves.jpgA pedal cyclist is dead and eight persons including a 2-year-old child were injured following a three-vehicle crash along Allan Avenue in Port Antonio, Portland, Saturday night..

According to a preliminary report from the police, a grey Toyota Wish motor car with three people aboard was travelling towards Port Antonio when it crashed into a taxi going in the opposite direction.

The police say the taxi was about to make a right turn unto Smatt Road when it was hit by the Toyota, which swerved into the path of a pedal cyclist, who was hit and thrown unto a concrete-paved walkway, before slamming into a grey motor car - flipping over several times before stopping on its top.

The pedal cyclist was pronounced dead on the scene by a doctor.

The three occupants of the Toyota including a six-year-old child and the driver were rushed to hospital. The four passengers who were traveling in the taxi were also taken to hospital.

The Portland police are investigating.

One of Europe's leading airlines, Eurowings, a subsidiary of one of the world's biggest airline companies, Lufthansa, will begin operating a twice-weekly scheduled service between Germany's largest populated metropolitan region and Montego Bay, beginning July 3 this year.

The scheduled flights will operate every Monday and Friday from Cologne/Bonn, and will use their Airbus 330 aircraft which has 310 seats.

Flights will run July 3 through to October 27, 2017.


braemar-shooting.jpgPeter Champagnie, the lawyer for Andrew Woolery, the licensed firearm holder who shot a security guard during an altercation at Braemar Estate in St Andrew recently is angry about a "vicious rumour" being circulated about non-payment of maintenance fees by his client.

He vowed to aggressively pursue those who have been spreading the 'rumours' via social media.

"It has come to our attention that there are person or persons on social media who have been circulating a lie that Mr Woolery had owed maintenance (on his apartments) for years, and this is not true," said Champagnie.

"We intend to take action against these defamatory statements, because it has caused Mr Woolery a lot of discomfort as he is in real estate and this is a vicious rumour that is being communicated via social media, and people need to desist from doing so," the attorney added.

Meanwhile, Wollery was questioned by investigators from the Half-Way Tree Police Station on Monday about the hooting incident which went viral after it was captured on video.

The video footage shows Woolery engaged in a heated discussion with KingAlarm security officers about leaving the property, before being attacked from behind by a man in civilian clothing, who is said to be a security guard at the complex.

A struggle ensued between the two men, with other personnel entering the fray, and a shot was subsequently fired, hitting the supposed plainclothes security guard in the neck. The injured man was rushed to the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI), where he was admitted in a stable condition.

The King Alarm security officers who were present at the scene have since been pulled from duty.

The attorney is quoted as saying that his client generally in good spirits, with lacerations from being forcefully shoved to the ground having not been to a significant degree, but he has been "complaining of pains in the back and in the head".

An early morning dispute between two men over coal wood left one hospitalised in a serious condition after being attacked with a chainsaw.

The reported attacker, who allegedly struck in Logwood district in St Thomas on Tuesday,has been taken into custody by the police.

Reports are that shortly after 7:00 a.m., the men got into an argument over the wood, with one contending that the other had stolen from him.

Things took a violent turn, and one man allegedly used a chainsaw to cut the other in the belly.

The badly injured man was taken to hospital, while the alleged attacker was taken into police custody.

Up to late on Tuesday, while the police confirmed the incident, there was no clear indication of whether the injured man had survived the attack.

charged.jpgA 15 year old boy who was taken into custody in relation to the death of a teenage girl in Seaview Gardens, St. Andrew has been charged.

15 year old Olivia Gonzales, who was a student of Tarrant High School, was fatally shot on June 30.

Police had reported that Olivia was among a group of friends who were reportedly handling a firearm when it went off hitting her.

Head of the St Andrew South Police Division Superintendent Gary Francis says the boy was charged yesterday with manslaughter and illegal possession of a firearm.

Head of the St Andrew South Police Division Superintendent Gary Francis.

In addition Superintendent Francis says the other suspect remains in custody as investigations continue into the incident.

Suzanne Couch has died

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Musician and singer Suzanne Couch died Tuesday morning in Mexico, while reportedly undergoing treatment. Couch was battling stage four breast cancer.

She recently performed at Hope In The Hills benefit concert at Strawberry Hill in St Andrew, where she and her band captivated the audience in a stirring performance, lasting almost two hours.

"This experience has been very emotional for me," she told journalists at the concert.

"I've been wanting to do this show for two years, we had some issues getting sponsorship. Even though there were challenges I knew that I had to keep pushing because I am sick. It's incurable and it's spreading; I'm in a lot of pain and I'm taking a lot of drugs right now. The next stage after this is treatment," Couch said then.

The concert featured her daughter Sarah, along with Billboard artiste Joss Stone and was staged in support of the Hope Institute of Jamaica

Court allows fresh evidence in Kartel's case

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vybz-kartel-photo-11-larger.jpgThe Court of Appeal Court has ruled that it will allow the attorneys for Vybz Kartel and his co-convicts to introduce fresh evidence in challenging their 2014 conviction for the 2011 murder of Clive 'Lizard' Williams.

The panel of Court of Appeal president Justice Dennis Morrison, Justice Patrick Brooks and Frank Williams, granted the application a short while ago.

Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, and Shawn Storm, whose given name is Shawn Campbell, and their co-convicts, Kahira Jones and Andre St John are seeking to have their convictions quashed.

They were convicted in 2014 for the murder of Clive "Lizard" Williams and given life sentences.

Kartel will be eligible for parole after serving 35 years while Campbell and Jones will have to serve 25 years each before being eligible for parole. St John will do 30 years before being considered for parole.

The convicts were granted leave to appeal their murder conviction after citing several reasons, including claims that they did not receive a fair trial and that justice was miscarried in their cases, as well as that the trial judge, Justice Lennox Campbell, had erred in admitting contaminated cellphone evidence and that there was more than reasonable doubt about the phone's integrity.

ganja-seized.jpgThe Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) in collaboration with the United States (US) Coast Guard reportedly interdicted a boat smuggling over 2,000 pounds of ganja in Key West, Florida.

The drugs, worth about US$2 million wholesale, were interdicted on Friday as part of the US Coast Guard's Operation Full Court Press.

"In conjunction with DHS [Department of Homeland Security] partners and the partner nation of Jamaica, we were able to swiftly interdict the 2,116 pounds of marijuana," said Cmdr. José Díaz, commanding officer of the US Coast Guard's Thetis.

"This effort represents an ongoing regional maritime security effort in concert with our international partners to combat transnational criminal networks and promote stability across the Caribbean region by disrupting organized crime illegal activities," he added.

During the patrol, Díaz said Thetis crewmembers also worked with the US Coast Guard Cutter Heriberto Hernandez crew and the Puerto Rico Joint Forces of Rapid Action to rescue and repatriate 29 Dominican Republic migrants.

police-shooting.jpgTwo men who allegedly engaged a police team in a shootout in St James on Saturday afternoon were shot and killed by the lawmen. One has been identified as Shacardo Malcolm of Five Miles, Irwin in St James.

Reports are that about 1:45 p.m., a team of police officers was on patrol in the Irwin Heights area of the parish that is under a state of emergency, when they were shot at by men who then ran off.

The police gave chase and during an ensuing gun battle, the two men were shot.

They were taken to hospital, where they were pronounced dead.

The police reported recovering a handgun from the scene.

The Independent Commission of Investigation (INDECOM) has commenced an investigation into the incident.

A Jamaica woman is today happy that she met a popular pastor who has reportedly helped her to overcome her case of major demon possession, right into her very vagina.

In an exclusive interview with Yardflex, the woman, named Antoinette (not her real name), expressed her relief that she finally found the problem solver man, who she says pulled a long metal pipe the length of her elbow to her wrist, all the way out of her vagina.

Antoinette told Yardflex that the celebrity preacher also extracted numerous needles out of her during the intense session.

"I have two more sessions with him before me fully cure," Antoinette explained, adding that there is a small monetary cost for each time she visits the demon slayer.

As to exactly why the nefarious creatures have found a home in Antoinette's nether region is hard to say, however, she is hailing the preacher's skill at extracting the unwanted visitors.

crime-scene-tape-gloves.jpgThe brutal murder of an elderly returning resident and his British wife captured the world media and shone the spotlight in an unfavourable way on Jamaica. Now, the police have charged a man for stealing money from the accounts of the elderly Portland couple who were killed last month.

Saqeino Farr, 24, was charged yesterday with seven counts of obtaining goods by means of false pretence and conspiracy to defraud.

The police say Farr, whose mother worked as a domestic helper for the victims 74-year-old Alford Anderson, and his wife Florence, 71, allegedly stole more than $8 million from their credit card accounts and used the money to buy items.

Far is to appear in the Portland Parish Court next Tuesday.

The partially burnt bodies of elderly British couple were found at their home in Mount Pleasant on Friday, June 22.

The police theorised that they were killed to thwart the investigation into the fraud.

The murder investigation is ongoing.

Reports are that recently resigned chairman of Petrojam Dr Perceval Bahado-Singh was paid more than US$75,000 by the state agency as reimbursement for airline tickets he said he purchased, including at least one dated after the event he was scheduled to attend.

Details of the payments were made during a sitting of Parliament's Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) as the operations of Petrojam remained under the microscope.

Telroy Morgan, the acting General Manager for Refinery Optimization and Business Support at Petrojam, faced the PAAC instead of its General Manager Floyd Grindley who told the committee he had emergency family business overseas and could not attend.

Morgan told the meeting that Bahado-Singh, who does not live in Jamaica, was reimbursed nearly $10 million for 26 overseas trips between December 23, 2016 and May 10, 2018.

He was also reimbursed for trips he did not attend.

The money for at least two of these trips has since been repaid to Petrojam.

Morgan said Bahado-Singh was reimbursed for a London and Brazil trips totalling more than US$17,000 which he later returned to PetroJam.

The PAAC was told that Grindley gave written instructions for all matters involving the former chairman, including payments and reimbursements, many with only airline itinerary and no meeting itinerary.

Bahado-Singh's direct purchasing of tickets did not receive the prior approval of the permanent secretary and was in breach of the company's procedure.

"For the chairman, based on our review of the facts and data, those didn't follow the regular protocol in terms of getting the PS's approval, because based on the schedules that we have provided and upon examining the facts, the chairman took it upon himself to make those purchases directly in terms of his airline tickets," said the acting chief financial officer, Carlene Evans.

Lawyers urge court to release Mavado's son

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mavado-and-son.jpgLawyers representing dancehall entertainer Mavado's 16-year-old son, who is facing a charge of murder, on Tuesday urged a parish judge to release him on bond.

During the bail hearing before the St. Andrew Parish Court, defence attorney Bert Samuels argued that the teenager is a fit candidate for bail, adding that the evidence against him is weak.

Prosecutors have strongly opposed bail, stating that the eyewitness knew the accused.

The bail hearing will continue on July 31. The teenager and 23 year old Andre Hines were charged three weeks ago with the murder of Lorenzo Thomas, in Cassava Piece, St. Andrew.

Prosecutors reported that on June 5, men armed with guns, machetes and gasoline, invaded Mr. Thomas's home.

He was shot, beheaded and his body set ablaze.

The police say Mavado's son and Mr. Hines were a part of the group.

simon-croskill.jpgReports are that veteran broadcaster Simon Crosskill is in urgent need of blood.

According to a post on Sportsmax's social media page, Crosskill will be undergoing surgery, his fourth in four months.

Persons who want to donate blood can do so by visiting the UWI Blood Bank or any blood bank island wide and give blood under the name Simon Crosskill.

braemar-shooting.jpgPolice are probing the shooting of a man, believed to be a security guard, by a licensed firearm holder on the compound of an apartment complex in New Kingston on Monday at about 6pm on the Braemar Avenue compound. The scenario was caught on video camera by Dancehall artiste, Mr Vegas, who uploaded it to social media.

Detectives from the Half Way Tree Police Station say they are now collecting statements and are looking at video footage from a number of cameras that captured the incident.

Meanwhile, attorney-at-law Christopher Townsend, who is representing the licensed firearm holder who was involved in an altercation with security guards at an apartment complex on Braemar Avenue in St. Andrew, says his client is not contemplating legal action at this time. This is in relation to two cases of assault against his client which are under investigation by the police.

The licensed firearm holder gave a statement to the St. Andrew Central Police Wednesday in relation to him allegedly being assaulted by security guards of the apartment complex as well as King Alarm guards.

Mr. Townsend has declined to comment on what led to the incident until he receives instructions from his client.

The police have reported that the businessman's firearm was seized for ballistics testing after he shot one of the guards during the altercation.

In a statement Tuesday, King Alarm said its guards who were involved in the altercation have been pulled from duty pending the outcome of an investigation.

police-shooting.jpgAngry residents of Standpipe off Old Hope Road in St. Andrew on Tuesday morning took to the streets again to protest against the fatal shooting of 26-year-old resident, Shae Williams, otherwise called 'Rufus'.

Williams was shot by police Monday night, after which residents mounted a fiery roadblock across from the United States Embassy. They remounted the roadblock at the same location shortly before 7 o'clock Tuesday morning disrupting traffic. This time they used their bodies and an old bus as the barriers.

The residents claim that Mr. Williams had just driven up on a motorcycle when he was confronted by a police team.

They say he was shot despite denying that he had a gun. Mr. Williams' mother, who claimed that one of the cops admitted that her son was killed in error. She said the police also did not give him assistance after he had been shot.

Meanwhile the Jamaica Constabulary Force Corporate Communications Unit is reporting that at about 8:30 Monday night, the police had a confrontation with two men on a motorcycle, one of whom reportedly pulled a firearm and was fatally shot by the police. A firearm was reportedly found at the scene.

The Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) and the Bureau of Special Investigations (BSI) are probing the incident.

Reports are that there findings contained in an internal audit of the State-owned oil refinery Petrojam indicate that were losses of over $4-billion between April 2015 and October 2017.

The audit, which was conducted by Petrojam's minority owner, Petroleos de Venezuela, PDVSA, finds that Petrojam did not meet its operational targets over the two and a half year period.

And, although Petrojam did turn a profit over the period, the report notes that was only because oil prices were in the company's favour, and other external conditions turned out to be beneficial.

The audit uncovers major inefficiencies at the refinery, caused by outdated technology and worn out facilities. These led to opportunity losses of nearly USD$23-million.

Invoicing errors also led to another 6-million US dollars in losses, while physical losses of product, due to things like evaporation, cost the company USD$2-million more than estimated. That's a total loss of over USD$31-million or JMD$4-billion.

The audit finds that unaccounted oil losses have been increasing in the last two years. This has surpassed the maximum allowed objective for both fiscal years 2015/16 and 2016/17. This was caused by planned and unplanned shutdowns in the different process units, measurement errors, and high rates of sedimentation, among other things.

crime-scene-gun.jpgTwo persons are in custody in relation to the fatal shooting of a 15 year-old girl in Seaview Gardens, St. Andrew on Saturday.

One of the suspects is under 18 years old.

It was reported that Olivia Gonzales, a student of Tarrant High School, was among a group of persons playing with an illegal gun when she was shot.

The firearm used in the incident has not been recovered.

Superintendent Gary Francis, head of the St. Andrew South Police, told RJR News that residents have been cooperating with investigators.

Superintendent Francis said the police are confident that charges will be laid soon following a review of the case.

Government agency Aeronautical Telecommunications Limited (AEROTEL) has accumulated a phone bill of almost $2 million and is unlikely to recover the amount. The company reportedly racked up a bill of $1.9 million over 23 months.

The issue was raised at Tuesday morning's sitting of Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

Howard Armstrong, General Manager of AEROTEL, explained that the Closed User Group (CUG) phone was not returned to the company after a former chairman, Maurice Henry, left the job at the start of 2012.

He admitted that the phone was not disconnected until 23 months later when roaming bills were generated from as far as the Phillipines. Mr Armstrong said the matter was taken through civil court to recover the funds but the former chairman has been reported as destitute.

PAC member Morais Guy, who said he was disappointed that the matter took 23 months to come to light, called for someone at Areotel to be penalised for the "gross oversight".

fire.jpgResidents of Windsor Avenue in May Pen, Clarendon are on edge after gunmen went on the rampage early Monday morning, firing shots and setting fire to five houses.

The incident happened about 2 a.m.

One woman, who declined to give her name, recounted having to escape the fire with her two year-old baby clutching on her waist.

She, along with other residents, said they examined the rubble afterwards hoping they could salvage some items but everything was destroyed.

Residents reportedly found 40 spent shells in the aftermath.

Superintendent Vendolyn Cameron Powell, head of the Clarendon Police, has said her team is investigating the incident.

Pregnant woman killed in Portland

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crime-scene-gun.jpgA pregnant woman is dead as a result of a vicious incident in which five persons were shot by gunmen in Portland early on Sunday.

The deceased has been identified as Kimberley Baugh, 24, a resident of Orange Bay in the parish.

Reports are that approximately 2:45 a.m., a group of persons was at a premises in Orange Bay cleaning up after a party at the location, when two men with guns went to the premises and opened fire indiscriminately at the group of persons, hitting some of their targets.

Those injured were taken to hospital, where Baugh was pronounced dead.

The other victims have been admitted in hospital

The police said they have apprehended a suspect - a relative of the victims of the shooting - in connection with the attack.

Woman in Trelawny crash identified

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crime-scene-tape-gloves.jpgThe police have released the identity of the woman who died after the sports utility vehicle collided with a Knutsford Express bus along the roadway in Trelawny Thursday afternoon.

The deceased has been identified as 27-year-old Deandra Bravo of a Marine Circle, Bogue, St James address.

Reports from the Constabulary Communication Unit (CCU), the police's information arm, are that the crash took place at about 4:00 p.m., and the sole occupant of the SUV was trapped in the vehicle, which caught fire and was burnt to a shell with the occupant inside.

The highway had to be closed for hours, with traffic being diverted to the old road through the town of Rio Bueno.

Reports indicate that the bus was traveling towards St Ann and the SUV in the opposite direction, when the collision occurred along the main roadway.

A number of passengers travelling in the bus received multiple injuries, and were rushed to the Falmouth Hospital.

Travelers are being advised that starting from June 30, new US restrictions affecting powders in carry-on luggage will affect people entering America.

As a result, powdered and granular substances such as cosmetics, talcum powder, ground coffee, cake mixes, flour, drink mixes and spices weighing 12 ounces/340 grams or more, must be packed in checked bags only, NMIA Airports Limited - a subsidiary of the Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ) - outlined in a media release on Thursday afternoon.

It said passengers departing Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA) for the US will be checked for powdered substances in packages 12 ounces/ 340 grams or more at the security screening checkpoint.

Powdered or granular substances in packages of 12 ounces or larger will not be allowed beyond the checkpoint. However, medically-prescribed powder-like substances and baby formulas of 12 ounces/340 grams or larger, are exempt, and may be transported in the cabin of the aircraft.

But sealed containers will be inspected for signs of alteration or tampering to the packaging, and containers that are unsealed are inspected to ensure the contents are consistent with the labels.

The airport said passengers will still be able to buy packages of powdered substance in the airport, post-security checkpoint. However, passengers with connecting flights who purchase powdered substances after the security checkpoint must place the item(s) in their checked bags at the point of connection prior to going through security.

Or if the items are placed in Security Tamper-Evident Bags (STEB) at the point of purchase, they may proceed with the item(s) in their carry-on luggage.

The airport said the new procedure is similar to the treatment of Personal Electronic Devices (PEDs).

shocked.jpgThe 13-year-old boy who is accused of the murder of nine-year-old Kadijah Saunders in Whitehouse, Westmoreland, was remanded Wednesday when he made his first court appearance.

He was remanded to a place of safety until he returns to court on July 25.

The boy was charged last week following a ruling by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

He was taken into custody three weeks ago after Kadijah's body was found in bushes along the Bog main road.

She went missing on June 5 after leaving school in Brontie, Westmoreland.

A post mortem revealed that she was raped and strangled.

Investigators reported that Kadijah was last seen in the company of the teenager as they left school.

They both lived in the same community.

ganja-image-4.jpgA 45-year-old prominent businesswoman has found herself in trouble with the law after police reportedly found approximately 400 pounds of ganja at premises that she is said to occupy.

For her troubles, the woman, identified as Vivien Boland, was on Wednesday hauled before the St Catherine Parish Court at Spanish Town to answer to charges laid against her, which she denied.

She was offered bail in the sum of $150,000.

Reports are that on June 8, police went to a premises in Sligoville, St Catherine, where the woman operates a business and also has her home. Police claimed that during a search of the premises, the quantity of drugs was found.

Boland denied any connection to the drugs, claiming it was not found in her presence.

Her attorneys Peter Champagnie and Kemar Robinson have argued that the location where the search was carried out was also occupied by other persons.

The accused is scheduled to return to court on September 4.

Relatives of a Jamaican man who died after an arrest in Barrie, Ontario, Canada are calling for justice as a police watchdog conducts an investigation into the incident.

Olando Brown died on Friday after an arrest that involved Barrie police officers.

The force said the 32 year-old man went into medical distress after he was taken to a police station.

Ontario's police watchdog, the Special Investigations Unit, is probing the case and has asked anyone with information to contact it.

Mr. Brown's family has shared a video posted online that appears to show police using a stun gun on a man more than once, and also appears to show the man being hit by an officer.

Members of his family said they are looking for answers.

A vigil for the Jamaican was held in Barrie on Monday. His aunt, Barbara South, said those who attended the vigil were outraged at the incident.

Barrie's police chief told reporters on Monday that officers performed first-aid on Mr. Brown and called paramedics after he went into medical distress.

A lawyer representing Brown's family said his clients want to know why and how their loved one died.

Cops blanket downtown as Livity goes to court

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There was an increase in police personnel outside the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court for the appearance of alleged Tivoli Gardens area leader Leighton Livity Coke, and six other accused on Friday morning.

Following an incident on their last court appearance, the Police High Command indicated that security would be increased in and around the precincts of the Parish Court during high profile court cases.

A supporter of the accused reportedly issued a threat against a Parish Court Judge.

The judge is expected to rule on Friday whether the seven accused will be granted bail.

They are accused of the murder of Patrick Davis, the alleged leader of the Screamers Gang in Denham Town on March 12.

Lawrence Pommels, an operations engineer at the state-run National Energy Solutions (NESOL), who is facing a litany of charges including money laundering, was on Tuesday granted bail in the sum of $800,000 when he appeared in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court.

He was ordered to report to the police daily and must surrender his travel documents. A stop order has also been placed on him at all ports. It was revealed in court last week that Pommels and 34-year-old mechanic, Ricardo Harris, were held in connection with the seizure of $85 million in cash.

His attorney, Christopher Townsend, made the successful bail application after dismissing the arguments made last week by the Clerk of the Court that Pommels was a flight risk who had access to large amounts of cash. The clerk had also expressed concern about the safety of a witness in the case.

Pommels and Harris were thrown into the spotlight when detectives swooped down on two houses in New Harbour Village in Old Harbour, St Catherine, and seized millions of dollars in cash and four high-end motor vehicles, including a BMW X6 and an Audi, as well as other valuables on June 7.

The two men were charged with breaches of the Corruption Prevention Act, money laundering, possession of criminal property, and bribery.

Lawrence was reportedly in charge at NESOL, which is located along Washington Boulevard in St Andrew, at the time of his arrest.

The two men were arrested after a high-level probe involving investigators from the Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Branch (C-TOC) and the Financial Investigation Division (FID).

A Pennsylvania man is facing drug charges after allegedly trying to pass through security at Philadelphia International Airport with more than three dozen bags of heroin.

He was preparing to board an American Airlines flight to Montego Bay, St. James.

Authorities say Augustine Passanante was at the checkpoint when the body scanner detected an anomaly.

Agents reportedly found Mr. Passanante in possession of 42 bags of heroin and a vial of methamphetamine.

He was taken into custody by the police.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 2.

The Parliamentary Opposition's desire during Tuesday afternoon's sitting of the House of get answers from the government about scandal-hit Petrojam ended in a stalemate which saw frayed tempers and shouting matches.

Peter Bunting, member of Parliament for Manchester Central, asked Energy Minister Dr. Andrew Wheatley to answer questions related to the upgrade of the Vacuum Distillation Unit, the compensation packages for the Human Resources Manager, donations made by Petrojam in 2017, funds advanced to the Chairman of Petrojam for a trip to London and a retainer paid by Petrojam to an entertainment company.on Petrojam. Wheatley should have respond from last week to Bunting's questions.

However, Karl Samuda, leader of government business, informed the House the questions would not be answered on Tuesday.

Bunting was having none of it and this resulted in several heated exchanges with House Speaker Pearnel Charles, who insisted he move on. Mr. Samuda then indicated the questions would be answered before the end of the Sectoral Debate, but Bunting wanted specifics on the date for the answers.

"What is important to the member is that he can read all the Standing Orders he wishes, he will not get an answer to his question today," Samuda responded, before insisting that he had made it clear the answers would come by the close of Parliament on July 3.

Bunting decided to take a stand against what he described as unfairness by the House Speaker, who he believed was not trying to remain neutral.

He was then joined by the other members of the opposition, who were the picture of solidarity as they stood with him.

They later broke into a chant, repeating, "Let the member speak" as as House Speaker Pearnel Charles tried to quiet Mr. Bunting.

The parliamentarians went several more rounds, but despite the insistence of the opposition MPs, the questions remained unanswered.

Hundreds of Jamaicans were left totally frassed Monday as a National Commercial Bank (NCB) system failure resulted in them being unable to carry out financial transactions at all ATMs and point of sale. Merchants had to send away custormers who tried to pay with NCB debit cards, as the transactions failed to go through.

Hundreds of persons reported being unable to pay for goods using their bank cards or to withdraw money from electronic banking machines.

One NCB customer, Tia Simmonds, was at the Cross Roads branch, where she said many people were stranded as they were unable to withdraw funds.

She said no one from the bank was available to address the concerns of the customers.

Another customer, Claire Clarke, argued that the problem ocurrs at the end of each month.

NCB advised customers Monday afternoon via its Twitter page that ABM, iABM, debit card point of sale and Quisk transactions were all unavailable.

It said all effort was being made to restore services in the shortest possible time.

More shootings and deaths in May Pen

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crime-scene-gun.jpgTwo days after six persons were shot and injured in the May Pen Market in Clarendon, criminals have struck again with fatal consequence at almost the same place in the now volatile town and parish.

Reports are that on Monday afternoon, a man was shot dead in a bus park in May Pen, which is close by a section of the market.

The police reported that about 2:40 p.m., alarm was raised among people doing business in the town centre, when several gunshot explosions rang out.

The police were called and the body of a man was found.

He was later pronounced dead.

On Saturday, six persons were shot and injured during a gun attack in the town's market. A day after, on Sunday, a man was killed at his home in Cow Pond district, May Pen.

He was identified as Horacio Williams, otherwise called 'Ratio' or 'Sambo', who is believed to be about 42 years old.

Reports from the May Pen police were that about 3:00 a.m. they were summoned to the area where it was alleged that men had gained entry to Williams' house and beat him before throwing him into a tank at the premises.

Williams was removed from the tank and taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

robbery.jpgThe Greater Portmore police are seeking the public's help in locating a black SUV which was used in a robbery in the municipality on Thursday.

A radio personality was robbed of more than $600,000 in the incident.

The woman went to a financial institution in Portmore and made a withdrawal shortly after 10 o'clock.

She then drove to her home in Bridgeport when the SUV with two men abroad drove up.

One of the men alighted the vehicle and accosted the woman.

She reportedly resisted his attempts to grab the bag with the cash.

It is reported that she threw the bag onto her roof during a struggle with the robber and made an alarm for assistance from residents. Despite this, the robber climbed onto the roof and retrieved the bag.

The woman again confronted the robber and attempted to recover her bag, but the man pulled a gun and threatened to shoot her.

She relented and the man jumped into the waiting vehicle.

While trying to escape, the driver of the SUV reversed into a wall, extensively damaging the vehicle.

The Greater Portmore Police are urging persons who may recognise the damaged vehicle to contact them.

Fatal stabbing in St Thomas

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crime-scene-knife.jpgA man is in police custody following a fatal stabbing in St. Thomas Monday morning.

The deceased has been identified as 27 year-old Stephen Knight.

Shortly after midnight an argument reportedly developed between the two men in Duckensfield.

Mr. Knight was stabbed with a knife.

He was pronounced dead at the Princess Margaret Hospital.

10 month old found dead in bucket

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crime-scene-tape-gloves.jpgThe police are investigating the death of a ten month-old girl last night at a house in Mount Moriah, St. Ann.

It's reported that, shortly before 4 o'clock Sunday morning, the child's body was discovered in a bucket of water in the kitchen by one of her siblings.

She was pronounced dead at the St. Ann's Bay Hospital.

The Cave Valley Police confirmed that they received a report.

According to a police source, investigators have collected statements from relatives including the mother of the child.

crime-scene-gun.jpgThere was a double murder in Tollgate, Clarendon Sunday night.

The deceased are construction worker Zephaniah Shaw and Benjamin Clark, both of Decoy Road in the parish.

They were at a bar on Decoy Road when approximately 10:20, five men entered and opened gunfire at them.

Uphell Purcell, Councillor for the York Town Division,stated that one of the men was killed shortly after leaving his political meeting.

Days before, at least two other persons - two businessmen - were shot dead in separate gun attacks. One was attacked and shot while supervising road work along a main thoroughfare just outside the town, while the other was shot by gunmen who invaded his home.

mavado-daughter-and-son.jpgThe 16-year-old son of Dancehall artiste, Mavado, who charged in relation to the brutal murder of a man in Cassava Piece, St Andrew was remanded when he appeared in the Kingston and Andrew Parish Court Tuesday. The teenager was a no-show at his first court appearance last week.

His attorneys Bert Samuels and Bianca Samuels began submissions for a bail application, which is to continue on July 3.

The teenager was charged earlier this month along with 23-year-old Andre Hinds for the June 5 murder of Lorenzo Thomas, popularly known as 'Chulups' and 'Israel'.

Hinds is being represented by attorney-at-law Kemar Robinson.

It is being alleged that the two accused were among a group of men who went to Thomas' house.

The door was kicked open and Thomas was shot, chopped with machetes and then set ablaze.

5 shot in May Pen

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crime-scene-gun.jpgFive people were shot and injured yesterday after a lone gunman opened gunfire on a vendor in the May Pen town centre in Clarendon.

Reports are that about 3:45 pm vendors in the vicinity of the Denbigh/Four Paths bus park were sent scampering for cover when the lone gunman fired several shots.

The gunman, according to eye witness reports, approached a female vendor at her stall posing as a customer.

He then took what appeared to be a revolver from a plastic bag he was carrying and attempted to fire at the vendor.

When that effort failed, he pulled another gun from the same bag and opened fire, hitting the vendor who ran in her bid to escape.

The gunman gave chase, firing several shots in her direction and injured four other persons.

The perpetrator then escaped along Council Street, which runs beside the Clarendon Municipal Corporation building.

The vendor received shots to her buttocks and arms. She and the other four persons were rushed to the May Pen Hospital for treatment.

portland-couple-killed-photo-1.jpgThe farming community of Mount Pleasant in west Portland has been rocked by a double murder after the bodies of Charlie Anderson, 74 and his wife Gayle Anderson, 71, were discovered 'partially burned' in the early hours of Friday morning.

The couple, who had retired to Jamaica from Manchester, England, were said to have sustained several wounds to the neck and face.Mrs. Anderson, who only recently returned to Jamaica from the United Kingdom (UK), was reportedly found with her hands and feet bound. Mr Anderson's body appeared to have been partially burned and also had what investigators believed to be gunshot wounds.

Preliminary police investigations revealed that the couple had recently been defrauded of $8 million Jamaican dollars (£50,000) by credit card scammers.

According to a family member, between August last year and May of this year, a total of 45 credit card transactions were made at prominent hardware stores and supermarkets in Portland without their knowledge.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Throyville Haughton told The Sunday Gleaner: 'Both bodies had wounds to the neck and face. However, we are not yet able to say what might have caused those injuries.

'We are making every effort to bring closure to this heinous crime, and as such, we are getting assistance from our Area Headquarters and also from Technical Services from Kingston. Our detectives are still in the area carrying out investigations.'

Reports are that the woman was forced to return to the UK in order to secure copies of commercial transactions made by the fraudster (s).

"She returned about two or so weeks ago with the printout [record] from her bank in England," commented the source.

"To the best of my knowledge, those documents were handed over to the police, who started their investigation. I also learned that between August last year and May of this year, a total of 45 credit card transactions were made at prominent hardware stores and supermarkets in Portland," the source further disclosed.

According to investigators, they are looking for a man from the Mount Pleasant community who reportedly fled the area a little over a month ago. The police said that they believe that the man could assist with their investigation.

"I am baffled by these murders. They (the deceased couple) have given so much to this community, and they have never said no to anyone. Each time they are in Jamaica, they bring back shoes, clothes, tablets, food stuff, school items, and other stuff for residents," said Jerome Heslop, a farmer from the community. "It is a wicked and sinful act, and the community has lost two great people."

Meanwhile, Mr and Mrs Anderson's sons said in a statement to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office: "Our parents Charlie and Gayle enjoyed a long and happy marriage of 55 years and leave behind their four grandchildren and one great-grandchild. They were hardworking people, building a business with integrity and making sure we were always provided for. Charlie and Gayle were pillars of the community in Manchester and Jamaica, and were hugely popular and loved by many. They were just beginning the next chapter of their lives, retiring to Jamaica before this terrible tragedy. We would like to thank our friends, family and community for their prayers and support. We are completely devastated and ask for privacy at this extremely difficult time."

hands-behind-bars.jpgFive persons were arrested and several illegal items seized during raids in St. Mary on Wednesday.

Two persons were arrested for lottery scamming while three were held on outstanding warrants.

The raids occurred during a curfew that was imposed in sections of Annotto Bay, St. Mary on Wednesday as the police clamped down on illegal activities in the parish.

The curfew will end at 6 o'clock Friday morning.

However, Assistant Commissioner Norman Heywood, head of Area 2 headquarters, said the police will continue to maintain a strong presence in Annotto Bay to stem the flare-up of violence.

American boy drowns at pool at Bahai Principe

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crime-scene-tape-gloves.jpgThe police are probing the circumstances which led to an eight year-old American boy drowning at the Bahia Principe Hotel in Runaway Bay, St. Ann on Saturday.

He has been identified as Antoine Bookard of a Philadelphia address.

It's reported that about 5 o'clock, Antoine was in the pool with family members.

Reports are that the pool was closed at the time.

The boy was later found unresponsive.

Antoine was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Clarendon businessman shot dead

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crime-scene-gun.jpgHomicide detectives are probing the fatal shooting of a prominent businessman, political activist and contractor in Clarendon.

Keith Osbourne, 56, otherwise called Smoker, was killed by gunmen Thursday afternoon while he was overseeing repairs along the Paisley main road.

About 12:30, Mr. Osbourne was standing along the road when a Nissan Tiida motor car with several men drove up.

The police say two men alighted and one of them opened fire hitting Mr. Osbourne several times.

The gunmen then drove away.

Investigators say they have not yet established a motive for the killing.

Policeman arrested for stolen vehicle

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hands-behind-bars.jpgInvestigators from the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) have arrested a police constable for reasonable suspicion of larceny of a vehicle in Spanish Town, St Catherine.

The incident allegedly occurred on Thursday, June 21.

Reports from the Spanish Town police are that about 1:45 p.m. the constable, who is attached to the St James Police Division, was in the process of selling a Nissan AD Waggon when problems emerged.

During the transaction, the prospective buyer reportedly became suspicious when discrepancies were discovered with the documents that were allegedly registered to the vehicle.

The police were called in and an investigation was immediately launched. It revealed that the vehicle had been reported stolen in Portmore, St Catherine exactly a week earlier on June 14.

The car was seized and the constable was taken into custody, but his identity has been withheld pending further investigation.

The Inspectorate of Constabulary (IOC) is also investigating the development.

Mavado is declaring his son's innocence

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mavado-photo-12-large.jpgAccording to Mavado's attorney Tamika Harris, the entertainer is claiming his son is innocent.

Harris says Mavado is distraught and a little perturbed and maintains that the allegation against his son is not true, and is willing to go at lengths to defend him.

She is representing the 16-year-old who is charged with conspiracy to murder, arson, shooting with intent, as well as illegal possession of firearm and ammunition.

As he is a minor, the teen's name cannot be released to the public.

The minor is being charged in connection with the murder of 23-year-old Lorenza Thomas, also known as "Chulups" and "Israel".

Harris also indicated that Mavado is to return to the island but he does not want the media to know when.

court.jpgChief engineer at the state-run National Energy Solutions (NESOL), 33-year-old Lawrence Pommels, and 34-year-old mechanic, Ricardo Harris, who were arrested after $35 million was allegedly found at premises in Old Harbour , St Catherine on June 7, are to make their first appearance in court on Tuesday, June 19.

The men, who have been charged with money laundering, possession of criminal property, breaches of the Corruption Prevention Act and bribery, were booked to appear in the St Catherine Parish Court on Friday, but the date was pushed back to this week.

Their attorneys are expected to apply for bail when the matter is mentioned on Tuesday.

In addition to the cash, four high-end motor vehicles, including a BMW X6 and an Audi, along with other valuables, were also seized by detectives who raided the homes in Old Harbour.

Pommels, a recent graduate of a local university, was reportedly in charge at NESOL at the time of his arrest. NESOL previously operated as the Rural Electrification Programme, which had its mandate widened from just bringing electricity to rural communities.

What is being described as the culmination of a high-level probe saw investigators from the Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Branch as well as the Financial Investigation Division (FID), swooping down on two houses in New Harbour Village last week Thursday, resulting in the cash, motor vehicles and other valuables being seized.

Opposition Spokesman on Energy, Phillip Paulwell, has since indicated that he wants the management of NESOL and officials of the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology to appear before Parliament's Public Administration and Appropriations Committee to answer questions in light of the NESOL developments.

mavado-son-yardflex.jpgA second suspect has been charged with the murder of 23-year-old Lorenzo Thomas, otherwise called 'Israel' or 'Trulups' in Cassava Piece, St Andrew on June 5.

Detectives from the Criminal Investigation Branch's (CIB) Major Investigation Division (MID) have charged 23-year-old Andre Hinds along with Dancehall entertainer, Mavado's 16-year-old son.

They are jointly charged with murder, conspiracy to murder, arson, shooting with intent and illegal possession of firearm and ammunition.

The two accused are scheduled to appear in court on Monday, June 18.

Three students of Ardenne High School in Kingston were rushed to hospital following an accident at the 10th Jamaica Driver and Traffic Safety Expo at Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre in Kingston on Saturday.

Reports are that the students from Ardenne High School, were part of group of drummers, performing at the mentioned event when a large screen fell on the stage where they were gathered.

A team of medical officials and other persons from the audience rushed to offer assistance and found one of the students suffering from a head injury, another remained motionless while the third was found with a cut and swelling to his foot.

They were all placed in an ambulance and rushed to the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) for treatment.

Alphonso Grennell, one of the organisers of the event explained what caused the accident.

"A heavy gust of wind caused the harness securing the screen on the main stage to break. As a result three members of a performing band were injured, all of whom have been taken to hospital for treatment," Grennell said in release.

The organiser said officials at the event remain committed to safety and as a result, all safety protocols were observed before and during the event.

mavado-and-son.jpgThe police have reported that the 16-year-old son of deejay Mavado was set to have his first appearance in court on Monday, June 18. The juvenile has been charged with murder, conspiracy to murder, arson, shooting with intent and illegal possession of firearm and ammunition.

He has been charged by detectives from the Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) with the June 5 murder of Lorenzo Thomas o/c 'Chulups' and 'Israel' in Cassava Piece, St Andrew.

An adult suspect who was also held in connection with Thomas' killing is reportedly still in custody but the police say his details will be released pending further investigations.

According to reports from the Jamaica Constabulary Force's Corporate Communications Unit, Thomas, a 24-year-old labourer was killed by men who kicked open the door to his home about 3:30 am armed with firearms, machetes and gasoline.

The men reportedly fired multiple gunshots at Thomas before inflicting several chop wounds then set him afire.

rapper-xxx-tentacion.jpgDEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Deputies at the Broward Sheriff's Office in Fort Lauderdale, United States are searching for suspects in relation to the murder of Jamaican-American rapper-singer XXXTentacion who was pronounced dead yesterday evening at a Fort Lauderdale-area hospital.

The troubled rapper-singer was fatally shot in the driver's seat of a luxury electric sportscar, the Broward Sheriff's Office said. The 20-year-old rising star, whose real name is Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy, was shot outside a Deerfield Beach motorcycle dealership.

XXXTentacion had been at RIVA Motorsports checking out inventory when he was approached by two armed suspects as he prepared to drive off in a black BMW i8 at about 4 p.m., sheriff's public information officer Keyla Concepcion said. At least one of them fired, and then both suspects fled the scene in a dark SUV, Concepcion said.

A sheriff's office statement described the shooting as an apparent robbery attempt, adding that no immediate arrests were made. His brief career was mired in controversy.

In 2016, he was arrested on charges including home invasion for a 2015 incident, and less than a month later was jailed on charges that he attacked his girlfriend, who was pregnant at the time.

Later, he faced more charges including witness tampering.

gully-bop-photo-3.jpgDrama-filled dancehall artiste Gully Bop will answer a charge of assault occasioning bodily harm in the St Thomas Parish Court on June 27.

The artiste, whose real name is Robert Malcolm, was last Friday arrested in the parish on assault charges following allegations that he boxed a girl during a dispute.

Gully Bop was arrested after the female complainant made a report at the Morant Bay Police Station that he hit her in the face during an argument at Nuts River . The alleged assault reportedly caused the female swelling and pain.

The entertainer was granted $40,000 bail.

mavado-photo-12-large.jpgJamaican singjay, David Brooks, more popularly known as Mavado was allegedly defrauded of just over $30 million by prominent attorney Jennifer Messado. Reports are that Messado's attorney revealed, too, that she was arrested Tuesday on a fourth set of fraud-related offences and is to appear in court on Friday in relation to those charges.

These latest developments in the seemingly never-ending saga of the prominent attorney and fraud-related charges, were revealed in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court Wednesday afternoon.

Messado, who was led into court in handcuffs is facing fraud-related charges linked to the sale of several properties in St Andrew.

Clerk of Court Hansurd Lawson strongly opposed bail, claiming that, among other things, she has been in contact with one of the complainants in the case and has been moving around money in her bank account related to other complainants.

Despite this, Messado was granted bail by Parish Judge Vaughn Smith in the amount of $5 million with the same conditions as her two previous cases.

The Clerk of the Court, in outlining the newest allegations against Messado, said Mavado told the police that in April 2017 he went to view to a property in the Kingston area. Mavado began making arrangements to purchase the property through his attorney, Tamika Harris.

The Clerk of the Court revealed that Mavado later paid Jennifer Messado $30.7 million for the property and signed a sale agreement and a document giving him possession. However, it was later discovered that the property was not for sale.

"The owner of the property said he does not know who Miss Messado is and never gave her permission to sell his property," Hansurd Lawson, the clerk of the court informed the court.

He acknowledged that the entertainer has been reimbursed $7 million, but is "still out of pocket for the rest of his money".

The other complainants in the case for which Messado appeared in court today are St Andrew businessman Norman Horne and his sister, Charlotte.

Horne, according to the clerk of court, was allegedly defrauded of $28 million which he paid Messado for a property located on Argyle Road in St Andrew.

It was later discovered that the property is owned by the Sports Development Foundation and is not for sale.

Munga's murder case now at Supreme Court

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munga.jpgThe murder case involving deejay Munga Honorebel has been transferred to the Supreme Court.

Munga appeared before the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court in Kingston last week, when the decision was made to refer the case to the Supreme Court.

Munga Honorebel, whose real name is Damian Rhoden, is charged with the murder of Cleveland Smith, who was the nephew of Dancehall artiste, Mr. Vegas. Cleveland Smith was shot dead at 315 Molynes Road, Kingston 20, about 1:00 am on February 12, 2017. Munga was arrested on May 27, 2017.

The dancehall deejay who was granted bail in the sum of JM$500,000, is expected to return to court on July 3.

Top lawyer Jennifer Messado arrested AGAIN

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hands-behind-bars.jpgIt is no joke, attorney Jennifer Messado is back in police custody.

She was detained on Tuesday after further allegations of fraud were made against her, this time by two complainants -- a popular entertainer and a well known businessman.

Mrs Messado's attorney, Christopher Townsend, admitted that she was being questioned by detectives of the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA) and it is likely that she will be charged.

Additional fraud charges were laid against Mrs Messado two weeks ago.

The attorney, who specialises in real estate transactions, was re-arrested and charged with breaches of the Forgery Act.

On May 15, during her appearance in the St. Andrew Parish Court on similar charges, the court was told that detectives were opposed to Mrs Messado being granted bail as she was being investigated for other matters.

She was offered bail in the sum of $800,000 and is to return to court on July 3.

Mrs. Messado is charged jointly with Real Estate broker Beverly Barakat.

chase-cross.jpgMavado's 16-year-old son is still in juvie.

The teen was being held at the Constant Spring Police Station but was transferred to the Metcalfe Street Secure Juvenile Remand Centre early this week.

He was detained last week with other relatives including, recording artiste Chase Cross.

Chase, whose real name is Sameer Coombs, is Mavado's cousin. He was charged with assault and released on bail last week Friday.

However, it was reported on Tuesday that Chase Cross has again been detained by the police.

counterfeit-cigarettes.jpgThe narcotics police on Tuesday seized more than $300 million worth of counterfeit cigarettes in Montego Bay, St. James.

Hundreds of boxes of cigarettes were seized Tuesday morning during an operation in Westgate Hill, St. James.

A man was arrested.

The operation was is ongoing.

police-station.jpgThe police have stepped up their investigation into the murder of Clarendon businessman Brandon Murray at the Mayfair Hotel in St Andrew on Sunday and are hoping that closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras located at the premises can lead them to the killers.

Murray, 47, a restaurateur, was murdered on the compound of the hotel at around 4:45 p.m.

Deputy Superintendent Winston Hunt of the Half-Way Tree Police Station is reported as saying the investigation spanned several parishes.

"The scene was revisited Monday morning and we basically did neighbourhood investigations and appealed to anyone with information pointing to suspects. What I can tell you is that there are [recording] devices. We have made requests to see if those devices were up and running at the time of the incident," Hunt disclosed.

"We are keeping our fingers crossed because we have seen on occasions where even though there are cameras, there are technical challenges," he said.

"The investigation is not confined to the Mayfair Hotel. We have to look at the Clarendon neighbourhood in which he resided and we have to look at the area in which he worked, too. We are keeping an open mind," Hunt said.

Meanwhile, Sport Minister Olivia 'Babsy' Grange expressed shock at the tragic passing of Murray, who was co-founder of Sporting Central Academy football club.

"Brandon contributed to the development of football in Jamaica, first as a player, football club owner, and as the person best known for the rehabilitation of football fields in Jamaica. I pray for his family and loved ones at this time," Grange said in a statement.

Member of Parliament for Central Clarendon Mike Henry also expressed condolences on the passing of the businessman, which has plunged the Clarendon business community into mourning.



For those of us from the Caribbean and other third world countries, we understand the struggles that our parents faced to send us to school. Unbelievable, these struggles still occurs today; not having anything for breakfast and or lunch kept us at home not knowing what tomorrow will bring.


Today we are out to make a change and I am starting with my home country, Grenada. Let me introduce you to 'Smile Kids Grenada ', a Free Primary School Breakfast program. My wife, (Kerryann Wells) and I, (Devon Wells) launched this program as a pilot project in March 2018 at the St. Andrew's R.C. School to gather key information and to construct a structure for other schools.

Smile Kids Grenada project will provide kindergarten to grade three students on the tri-island of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique with a hot breakfast (cereal, fruits, and milk), twice a week before classes begin.

Breakfast is an essential factor that aids in one's ability to learn and perform well throughout the school day. No matter the circumstances of a child's home or the financial situation, we believe every child should have that equal opportunity to demonstrate his or her true potentials in their everyday lives.



Smile Kids Grenada is a volunteer-run program with the support of compassionate donors like you and the partnership of companies like Spice Isle Frozen Yogurt and Grenada Gospel Festival . Anyone can help make a difference in a student's life by becoming a generous donor today. Companies and corporations also have the opportunity to partner with us on this great initiative that will not only improve a student's performance in school but will nurture them to a brighter future.

September 2018 new school year, our goal is to launch this program at six other schools in Grenada as the demands and requests have overwhelmed our mailbox. We can only imagine what it will cost us to run this program but with your help and continuous donations, we can make it happen (Click Here to support).

If you would like more information or get involved with this project, please call me at 1.473.419.8732 or 416.795.6343 or email or visit


Smile Kids Grenada
Excel Plaza, Grand Anse



chase-cross.jpgEntertainer Chase Cross, who just happens to be the cousin of Gully Gad, Mavado, has been charged with assault and released from police lockup. Chase Cross was among a group of people including Mavado's son who was arrested this week.

However, Mavado's 17 year old son remains in police custody and has reportedly been transferred from an adult facility to a lockup for juveniles.

Meanwhile, Mavado who is still wanted by the police for questioning in relation to the violence in the Cassava Piece Community is expected to turn himself in after fulfilling his contractual obligations in the United States according to his lawyer.

The Constant Spring police department issued a notice on Tuesday asking Mavado to report to the police for questioning.

The dancehall singjay was supposed to report by midday on Wednesday but he left the island before the order was issued.

All this stems following an incident in Cassava Piece where shots were fired at Mavado who escaped unhurt. Subsequent that saga a man was brutally murdered in the same community.

Police have since arrested and charged one man, while investigations continue in other matter.

Munga granted bail; returns to court July 3

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munga.jpgDancehall deejay Munga was granted bail in the same sum of $500,000 when he appeared before the Halfway Tree Gun Court on Thursday.

The entertainer was represented by Kaysian Kennedy who appeared on behalf of Munga's lawyer Christopher Townsend who is currently off the island.

Last year, Munga was slapped with a $500,000 bail after he was arrested and charged with the murder of Cleveland Smith, the nephew of fellow entertainer Mr. Vegas in Ackee Walk, St. Andrew.

The dancehall deejay who has maintained his innocence is expected to return to court on July 3.

sandals.jpgSandals Resorts International has dismissed as "misleading and downright spurious" a video criticizing the hotel chain's entertainment hiring practices.

The 10-minute long video accused Sandals of continuously showing disregard for Jamaican professionals by "putting foreign nationals in charge of entertainment, both at the corporate and contractor level". It also accused the resort of racism in its hiring of senior managers including executive chefs and general managers.

Sandals has however rubbished the accusations, stating that 80 per cent of performers in its Jamaican resorts are Jamaicans.

"The remaining 20 per cent are used to execute circus shows, mainly as the local group capable of doing so is fully booked," said the resort in a statement.

It also said, "allegations surrounding racism could be no further from the truth as at SRI, the ratio of expats to Jamaicans is less than two per cent.

"It is important to highlight that Sandals has several Jamaican General Managers and Hotel Managers leading resorts in other islands across the Caribbean," the Gordon "Butch" Stewart-run hotel chain added.

The Ministry of Tourism meanwhile said while it "reviews the concerns within the content, there is present misleading and erroneous information that must also be understood in the context of an increasingly competitive tourism sector."

According to the ministry, the record growth in the industry has left "many hotels and attractions packed and bursting at the seams".

It also supported Sandals' statement that 80 per cent of its entertainers are Jamaican.

"We are working very closely with Entertainment and Culture Minister, Olivia Babsy Grange to meet with all relevant stakeholders to dissect and address upfront all concerns," the ministry said.

crime-scene-gun.jpgThe Half-Way Tree police are investigating Sunday's murder of a Clarendon businessman and football academy co-founder at a hotel in St Andrew.

It's reported that around 4:45 p.m, 47-year-old John Brandon Murray of a Clarendon Park address in Clarendon, was shot and killed by unknown assailants at the Mayfair hotel on West Kings House Close in St Andrew.

Reports are that approximately 5:15 p.m., the 47-year-old man was driving on Kings House Close and upon reaching the hotel he was attacked by men travelling in a vehicle.

The men opened fire, hitting Murray several times before driving away from the location..

Murray, a former footballer, was co-founder of Clarendon's Sporting Central Academy and a partner in Murray's Fish and Jerk Hut also in the parish.

mavado-photo-12-large.jpgMavado's legal team says that the entertainer is willing to meet with detectives, but the time has to convenient.

In a letter to the police, the lawyers reportedly outlined the artiste's schedule and requested an appropriate date to get the session done. The attorneys say 'Vado is willing to meet with investigators, but has to be mindful of the legal implications if he fails to honour his obligations.

The police issued a statement on Tuesday asking the entertainer, whose real name is David Brooks, to report to the Constant Spring Police Station in St Andrew by midday the following day.

"The police believe that Mr. Brooks can assist with an ongoing investigation," the statement said.

But Mavado's attorneys Peter Champagnie and Tamika Harris say at the time the statement was issued Mavada was overseas honouring previous contractual obligations.

The request for Mavado to report to the police came after a series of incidents in the St Andrew community known as Cassava Piece last weekend.

In the first incident, which occurred last Saturday, Mavado was reportedly shot at by a man with whom he had a dispute earlier.

Days later, two men from the community were shot and killed by unknown assailan

chase-cross.jpgEntertainer, Chase Cross, has been charged with assaulting Anthony Goulbourne, the man accused of shooting at Mavado during a dispute in Cassava Piece on Saturday.

Goulbourne reported that he was assaulted by Chase Cross and Mavado.

Mavado, who is overseas, is expected back in the island this weekend to be questioned by the police.

Chase Cross has been released on station bail.

Since the shooting, rival gunmen have been trading bullets in Cassava Piece.

A man was killed and his body set on fire earlier this week.

The police have since imposed a curfew in the area.

mavado-photo-12-large.jpgDetectives from the Major Investigation Division (MID) have taken over the probe involving Mavado's 17 year old son, along with other relatives and associates of the dancehall entertainer.

This was disclosed during Friday's hearing of a writ of habeas corpus filed in the St. Andrew Parish Court.

Mavado's attorneys had filed the writ demanding the release of the entertainer's son, his brother, two cousins and gardener. They were arrested on Tuesday as part of the investigation into the deadly violence in Cassava Piece, St. Andrew. During the hearing, investigators told the parish judge that the MID now has an interest in the five individuals.

The cops are to return to court on Monday to give the parish judge a status report on the individuals.

KFC signs Leon Bailey for Bid Deal promo

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leon-bailey.jpgKFC Jamaica has announced a partnership with Jamaican football sensation, Leon Bailey ahead of the launch of the company's World Cup marketing campaign.

Bailey, who plays professionally for Bayer Leverkusen in the German Bundesliga, will star in marketing campaigns for KFC Jamaica's limited time Winner Box meal offer and its flagship Big Deal, set to launch next week. The partnership will also see KFC teaming up with Bailey, Bailey's brother Kyle Butler and the Phoenix All-Star Academy, as they embark on plans to give back to Jamaica.

Bailey has already begun discussions with KFC to give back to Cassava Piece, from where the sports star originally hails, as well as the wider community, through sports development.

"Bailey has big plans in the near future both in his career on the field and here in Jamaica off the field," said Andrei Roper, Brand Manager for KFC Jamaica."KFC is here to support his vision for his community and Jamaica in any way that we can."

Bailey first honed his skills at Phoenix All-Star Academy, owned and operated by Bailey's father Craig Butler.

The footballer's talent has caught the attention of numerous football clubs including Manchester United, Chelsea and his current team Bayer Leverkusen.

"KFC Jamaica has always been a supporter of youth development through sports and Leon Bailey is the embodiment of development through football," Roper added.

Bailey's great success has garnered the support and adoration of Jamaicans globally.

Restaurants of Jamaica, owners and operators of KFC locally, is the first and only Jamaican Corporate entity that Bailey has partnered with.

Bailey's professional football career began in Belgium at Koninklijke Racing Club Genk (KRC Genk), where he scored his first goal for the team in November 2015. His talent and performance throughout the season saw Bailey top scoring for the club in 2015 and being awarded the Belgian Young Footballer of the Year for the 2015 - 2016 season. Bailey's success continued into the 2016 - 2017 football season, when his goal scored against Rapid Wien in September 2016 was recognized as the Top Goal of the season.

By the end of the 2017 - 2018 football season, Bailey had scored 12 goals over 34 games which played a key role in Bayer Leverkusen's 5th place finish in the Bundesliga.

KFC added that Jamaicans should expect big things from the KFC-Bailey-Phoenix Academy partnership in the future. "Leon is a BIG DEAL in the truest sense. The sky is the limit for him and KFC Jamaica is proud to be a part of his growth and ascension both on and off the field," Roper added.

"This partnership between KFC Jamaica and Leon is very exciting, and one that we plan to bring to life in a BIG way, not just on television and in traditional media, but in the digital and social media space, at our KFC restaurants and in the community."


Tina Myers-Matalon (left), Marketing Manager for KFC Jamaica signs the deal with Craig Butler (right) Head of Phoenix Academy as Andrei Roper (centre), Brand Manager for KFC Jamaica looks on.

Gang leader shot dead by police

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police-cars.jpgThe alleged leader of the Compound Gang, based in Gregory Park, Portmore, St. Catherine, 23-year-old Demar Montague, otherwise called 'Eddie', was fatally shot during an alleged confrontation with the police.

The police say the incident happened yesterday morning about 5:30 a.m. in Portland West area in the parish.

According to the police, Montague, who was wanted for shooting with intent and illegal possession of firearm, was shot and injured when he engaged lawmen in an exchange of gunfire during an operation in the area.

They say two firearms - a .40 Smith and Wesson pistol and a .38 revolver, a magazine and nine rounds of ammunition - were seized during the incident.

Montague was taken to hospital where he died while undergoing treatment.

The matter has been reported to the Bureau of Special Investigations and the Independent Commission of Investigations.

mavado-photo-12-large.jpgCamika Harrison, one of two attorneys-at-law representing Mavado, who was a "no-show" at Wednesday's questioning session at the Constant Spring Police in St Andrew said he had left the island on Sunday and the police should have been aware of that situation.

"The police has all the necessary resources to check on his whereabouts... They have PICA (Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency), which is at their disposal. They should have known. He has not been in the island for more than 24 hours... He does not live in Jamaica and returned home (to the United States)."

Pierre Rogers is also representing the entertainer.

Harrison said she and Rogers met with a senior cop at the Constant Spring Police arrangements were being made for their client to come in.

Mavado is booked for a show in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Sunday.

johnny-daley-photo-1.jpgFor immediate release June 6, 2018, Kingston Jamaica After what was thought to be a done deal and the start of a new chapter for Comedian and broadcaster Chris Johnny Daley's Johnny LIVE radio show on University owned radio station News Talk 93fm; the show came to a premature halt on Tuesday when Daley was informed that the station was ceasing new programming until further notice.

Negotiations began almost a month ago with Station Managers and Chris Daley and even with the sales team for Newstalk 93 FM. There was an agreement made for the new home of Daley's Johnny LIVE radio show to air on Newstalk 93fm weekday afternoons 2:30-5pm starting on June 4th 2018.

"The station manager assured me that all was well and we were set to sign the final contract on the very first broadcast day Monday June 4, they even wanted the show to start earlier than that date so its a surprise that the University and the Station Management are at odds and i am caught in the middle" Daley explained

The Johnny LIVE Afternoon show was off to a great start and feedback on the the first show on Monday was already positive, however communication with the University and the Radio station's management seemed to have either broken down or was non existent.

"If the Stations Management did not have the authority to engage my show to join the station then they shouldn't have done so. If the University is making this decision without realizing how it affects people then i'm very disappointed. My team and i have made adjustments to our lives to accommodate the daily afternoon show, my producer left another job to work with me, this isn't something to be taken lightly," Daley added

The comedian had also started a social media promotional campaign about his new radio home urging his fans to tune in. This would be the third home of Daley's radio brand as it was previously aired on Suncity Radio and Bess 100FM.

"The whole thing makes me very sad because fans have been asking me when i would be back on radio and i was happy to tell them that Johnny LIVE had a new radio home. I really don't like to be constantly moving the brand from station to station but even if Newstalk can work out its internal issues with the University i doubt i will return to the table because they have been surprisingly unprofessional," Daley stated

In the meantime Daley is focused on his Johnny LIVE Comedy Bar comedy series held on a Tuesday night at 100 Hope Road. He is set to have fast rising American comedian Shuler King appear in Jamaica for the first time on June 26 for a Comedy Bar special.

Janice Young | PR Director/Event Coordinator/ Advertising Consultant

StreetCred Jamaica | PR, Bookings, Event Management & Advertising Consultation

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Kingston, Jamaica

Phone: (876) 356-7406

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crime-scene-tape-gloves.jpgFamily and friends of 23-year-old Lorenza Thomas, otherwise called 'Israel' or 'Trulups', of Cassava Piece Road are in mourning after his bizarre "three deaths on Tuesday morning as violence intensifies in the St Andrew community.

Thomas was reportedly at home early in the morning when armed men kicked in the door to the house that he occupied and shot and then severed his head. His body was then set ablaze by the attackers.

The Police were summoned,the scene processed and his body removed to the morgue.

It's the latest round of violence in and around Cassava Piece in recent days, following the shooting incident involving dancehall entertainer Mavado in the community and the murder of a man in the nearby Constant Spring Market.

Mavado was reportedly involved in a physical confrontation which led to him being shot at on Saturday. Later that day, Cassava Piece resident, Ian Robinson, otherwise called 'Gaza Man', was shot dead at the Constant Spring Market.

Police say they are now monitoring the area and have not made any connection to t

mavado-photo-12-large.jpgPolice officers from the Constant Spring station swooped down on the entertainer's Norbrook residence in search of him.

"We have confirmed that Mavado has left the island, but we have taken his 16 year-old son into custody. Mavado's nephew, Chase Cross, is also in custody as well as his brother and his cousin. They will all be questioned regarding crimes committed in the area," the source said.

The development comes hours after the gruesome murder of a man in Cassava Piece early Tuesday morning as the internecine gang violence intensified in the area.

The deceased has been identified as 23-year-old Lorenza Thomas, otherwise called 'Israel' or 'Trulups', of Cassava Piece Road.

Thomas was reportedly at home early in the morning when armed men kicked in the door to the house that he occupied and shot and then severed his head. His body was then set ablaze by the attackers.

The Police were summoned,the scene processed and his body removed to the morgue

Thomas was the second person killed in three days in the wake of a shooting incident involving Mavado in the community on Saturday. The first murder was that of a Cassava Piece resident, Ian Robinson, otherwise called 'Gaza Man', who was shot dead at the Constant Spring Market.

Mavado was reportedly involved in a physical confrontation which led to him being shot at on Saturday. The police have a man in custody in relation to that shooting but he is yet to be charged.

mavado-photo-12-large.jpgPolice have ordered dancehall artiste Mavado to turn himself into the authorities for questioning and have detained a number of the deejay's close relatives at the Constant Spring lock up in relation to the flare up of violence in the entertainer's Cassava Piece, St Andrew community.

"We are calling on the entertainer to visit the police station as we seek to ask him a number of questions in relation to a number of developments in the Cassava Piece area," a senior officer from the Constant Spring police division is reported as saying.

Police confirmed that Mavado, whose real name is David Brooks, reportedly left the island Monday night, hours before law enforcement officers from the Constant Spring station swooped down on the entertainer's Norbrook residence in search of him.