Reggae SumFest - July 17-23 - Montego Bay - Jamaica

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Poor leadership in schools to be tackled

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professor-chris-emdin.jpgChanging the way students are taught in Jamaican schools is one of the suggestions being put forward to achieve educational success for them and their institution.

The problem of poor leadership in schools has been a sore point highlighted in the National Education Inspectorate Report. The JN Foundation will be hosting a two day summit starting on Monday aimed at inspiring leadership in schools

Professor Chris Emdin from Columbia University in New York who is one of the speakers says he hopes to impress upon participants the need to be up front about what is not working in school. According to the latest National Education Inspectorate Report, most schools are performing at an unsatisfactory level in terms of leadership.

Of the 953 schools inspected, only one percent had an exceptionally high leadership rating.





robert-pickersgill.jpgMember of Parliament Robert 'Bobby' Pickersgill and an assistant have been robbed of $2.5M in jewellery and a quantity of United States and local currencies.

The robbery occurred at Pickersgill's Millsborough Avenue home in Barbican, St Andrew, according to prosecution.

The items - $2.5M in jewellery and US $3,800 belonging to Pickersgill, and US$3,800 and J$200,000 which is that of his assistant - were snatched from a vault in the bedroom of the People's National Party MP, between June 10 and July 10

Neither Pickersgill nor the woman was at the house at the time of the incident.

Pickersgill gardener - Cedrick Dougharty - has since been collared in the theft.

On Friday, Dougharty pleaded guilty to the deed before Parish Judge Vaughn Smith in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court, in Half-Way Tree.

Dougharty - who looks at least a decade older than his 36 years - cried as he admitted taking the items from his boss' home.

Tears could still be seen running down his cheeks after he was removed from before the court and placed in the holding area with other inmates.

The Long Lane, Stony Hill Road resident was remanded in police custody until September 5 when he will be sentenced.

He was ordered to give his fingerprint to the police.





Tearful funeral for Delus

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delus-funeral-photo-1.jpgThen tears flowed freely as the body Delmark "Delus" Spence body was carried from the church. A song recorded by Konshens, in memory of his brother, echoed throughout the halls of the capacity-filled church.

The service - held at the Church of Resurrection, Duhaney Park, St Andrew - saw scores of fans, family members, friends and players in the local entertainment industry coming out to bade farewell and pay tribute.

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"He is gone but will never be forgotten," said a relative pausing as tears flowed.

As she spoke, Konshens, the brother of the deceased, provided support as she tried fighting back the tears.

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Konshens - decked in dark shades, a white shirt and grey pants - stood in silence, lines of grief etched across his face.

A few feet away, other close relatives looked on with sombre faces.





businessman-huey-gowdie.jpgshango-jackson.jpgSt. Andrew businessman Huey Gowdie, who was convicted last month with the death of his girlfriend's estranged husband, Shango Jackson, was sentenced to 10 years in prison before the Home Circuit Court Friday morning.

Gowdie, an event promoter, was charged for murder but convicted for manslaughter. At the trial, Gowdie contended that he was acting in self-defence when he shot Mr. Jackson at a house in Beverly Hills, St. Andrew.

But prosecutors led evidence that on July 12, 2012, Mr. Jackson went to his home where his estranged wife also resided. Shortly after his arrival, an argument developed between Mr. Jackson and a man who was at the residence.

Prosecutors say a call was made and Mr. Gowdie drove to the house on Shenstone Drive. He pulled his firearm and fatally shot Mr. Jackson during an argument.

In passing sentence, trial judge Evon Brown told Gowdie that he showed no remorse for the shooting death of Mr. Jackson, who was the Operations Manager for Sparkles Production.





flat-bridge-crash.jpgflat-bridge-bishop.jpgBishop Stephen Ricketts and the seven persons were travelling in a Suzuki Grand Vitara when the driver reportedly lost control of the vehicle while crossing Flat Bridge were returning from St Thomas where they had gone to hunt duppies.

Tales abound about the bishop's many animal sacrifices right in the street in front of his church; church members drinking animal blood; burying of live white chickens in the church yard to sanctify the ground; him being a self-professed "science man" who was well sought after to cast out demons or duppies and going on regular "duppy catching missions";

Residents of the community say that sometimes the bishop was seen travelling with a skull in his vehicle or going gravedigging.

In the early morning of Saturday, July 16, Ricketts' Suzuki Vitara was returning from what some residents described as a "duppy catching mission" with eight persons on board, when the driver lost control and the vehicle overturned at the Flat Bridge in Bog Walk Gorge.

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The bishop drowned in the Rio Cobre, along with two of his sons - Shevaughnie and Sujay Ricketts, as well as church members Benjamin Ellis, Crystine Morris and O'Neil Robinson.

El Frego Slew, who was driving the vehicle, as well as 19-year-old Shane Harris were the only survivors.

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The sixth victim that was pulled from the Rio Cobre at 10 am on Saturday was O'Neil Robinson. Shane Harris, who was originally from Tawes Pen in St Catherine had lived with Bishop Ricketts and his family for the past three years.

All the victims were members of the Mount Maria Zion Truth Fellowship Spiritual Church of God located in the Commodore community.

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crime-scene-7.jpgThe police are now probing the murder of a man on Old Hope Road in Kingston on Monday.

He has been identified as Errol Lewin. Police report that Lewin was at a cook shop, at 84 Old Hope Road, watching television with a group of other persons.

So engrossed was Lewin with the programme being aired that he never saw when a car pulled up and one man alighted.

The man pulled a firearm, walked straight up to Lewin and shot him several times, sending the other persons and the owner of the cook shop scampering for cover.

Lewin died on the spot.





The police are now investigating a case of negligence against one its members whose service pistol was stolen from her in St Catherine on the weekend.

It is reported that on Saturday, the police constable, who is stationed in St James, accompanied colleagues to function at Job Lane in Spanish Town.

Information reaching The Star is that she left her service pistol inside a motor car and went to use a restroom. When she returned, it was observed that thieves had broken into the vehicle and had stolen the firearm. Police confirmed that other personal effects were also stolen from the vehicle.

The matter was reported to the Spanish Town police and an investigation was launched.





A rose by any other name is just as sweet; cerrasse by any other name is just as bitter.

So when the Education Minister is saying that he is going to abolish auxiliary fee in schools and replace it with parent contribution - of the same amount or sometimes even more - the it's a case of six of one half dozen of the other.

A report states that the official policy of the Ministry of Education is for secondary schools to abolish auxiliary fees and instead request non-mandatory parent contributions not exceeding $20,000, except by spcial permission from the ministry to charge more.

For the 2016-2017 academic year, Jamaica College has asked parents to contribute $31,500 in fees, Wolmer's Boys has requested $27,000, while Manchester High, Campion College and Immaculate Conception High have announced fees of $21,000, $30,000 and $44,500, respectively.

This reflects the exact value of the auxiliary fees charged by these schools in the previous academic year.

So where then is the so called free education?





14 persons killed on the roads in 6 days

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14-killed-six-day-bog-walk-crash.jpgThe Road Safety Unit in the Ministry of Transport is reporting that 14 people have been killed on Jamaican roads in the past six days.

The ministry had reported that up to June 12 there was a 10 per cent decline in fatal crashes and a two per cent drop in fatalities as the number of persons killed on Jamaican roads hit a 200 mark.

Now seven days later, the number of road fatalities is up to 214 - a two per cent increase when compared with the similar period last year.

According to the Road Safety Unit, males account for 84 per cent of fatalities since the beginning of the year.

The statistical report also states that motorists account for 26 per cent of deaths while pedestrians account for 18 per cent of fatalities in 2016.





lasco-top-cop.jpgCorporal Kimaryo Pinnock suffered a heart attack and has been at the Kingston Public Hospital since Friday.

Pinnock was named top cop at the Police of the Year Awards ceremony held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in April of this year.

He was selected from a list of 12 finalists.

The Police of the Year Awards Programme was initiated in 2000 through a partnership between LASCO and the JCF to publicly acknowledge the professionalism and dedication of the members of the force.





flat-bridge-crash.jpgThe driver of the vehicle in which six people died after it plunged into the Rio Cobre Sunday morning is to be slapped with manslaughter charges.

Calvin Allen, the senior superintendent in charge of police traffic division, said that the driver will be slapped with six counts of manslaughter.

Allen said also that the man had been driving without a licence.

The vehicle -- a blue 2012 Suzuki Vitara -- plunged into the Rio Cobre 1:00 am after the driver reportedly misjudged the turn onto the bridge.

The Suzuki Grand Vitara -- which was owned and operated by Bishop Stephen Ricketts who also died -- was carrying eight persons at the time





tivoli.jpgSenior Superintendent Steve McGregor, territorial Commander with responsibility for operation, said that there will be a meeting on Tuesday evening between residents and the police to ease the tension in the community.

"I will take a personal interest in the situation and on that day I will give them an update as to who has been charged, who has been transferred and so on," he said, referring to police.

The matter is being investigated by the Independent Commission of Investigations.





crime-scene-7.jpgA man who ran into a building and during an alleged confrontation with the police in Tivoli Gardens was shot and injured and later pronounced dead at the Kingston Public Hospital. A 9mm pistol with eight rounds was reportedly taken from the young man.

However, the 19 year-old is now being hailed as a good boy and residents say he was shot in his bed by the cops.

Residents have disputed the police's version of the shooting and demanded justice.

"Dem kill Tevin, dem go inside his house and kill him. It was no shoot-out, but that is what dem do all the time go inna people house and fire one barrage a shot and then seh a shoot-out and come and seh dem find gun when is dem a walk with spare gun," said one resident, who identified herself as Tuni

"We don't know why police officers don't like us in Tivoli Gardens. A sleep him a sleep inna him house and dem go wake him up an him hold up him hand. All him tripe a come through him side. Dem do mi friend bad and him nuh live no life yet, dem mek di whole a him bleed out," Tuni added.

The residents insisted that there was no shoot-out and that it was the police who were firing gunshots in the area and teargas on residents.

"Through dem neva want nobody video dem when dem a come down wid di body dem fire up one bag a shot and throw tear gas," one resident said.He said that following the shooting, the police came under attack from members of the Young Generation Gang, of which Gordon is belived to be a member, and had to call for assistance from Mobile Reserve and the Jamaica Defence Force.

"Police on duty at the police post came under attack from gunmen and Denham Town Police Station was also fired on," SSP Chambers said.

The senior officer said that, while the gunmen were attacking the police, residents mounted a fiery roadblock on Spanish Town Road and also hurled stones and bottles at the police resulting in two officers being injured -- one in the face and the other on his arm.





Young female doctor killed in crash

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young-doctor-dmegan-auden.jpgDr Megan Auden, 25, the daughter of popular Mandeville doctor Paul Auden, died Saturday afternoon after the car she was driving collided into two others on the Greenvale Road in the parish capital.

The Mandeville Police say about 3:45 p.m Megan was travelling towards Greenvale.

On reaching the intersection between Greenvale and West roads, her car skidded on a wet road surface into the path of two Toyota Corolla motor vehicles travelling in the opposite direction.

She was reportedly flung from the vehicle and was soon after pronounced dead at hospital.

Ten passengers travelling in the other vehicles were injured and were also taken to hospital.





Tense calm in Tivoli after fierce gunbattle

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tivoli.jpgThere is now a uneasy calm in sections of West Kingston following Friday morning's disturbance which saw the Police post in Tivoli Gardens coming under attack.

The shooting erupted between the police and gunmen following the fatal shooting of a resident of Tivoli Gardens Friday morning.

He has been identified as 19-year-old Kevin Gordon, otherwise called Scrappo.

Residents mounted roadblocks along Spanish Town Road, forcing the authorities to issue an advisory telling persons to stay away from the area.





Fire destroys Old Harbour market

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firemen.jpgOver 200 vendors at the Old Harbour Market in St Catherine are without a place to ply their wares due to a massive fire which gutted the market early Friday morning.

The Old Harbour police confirmed that about 1:00 a.m fire was observed at the market.

An alarm was raised and calls made to the nearby Fire Station. However, the lack of a fire truck at the Old Harbour Fire Station in St Catherine did not help the situation.

Help was summoned from Spanish Town, Portmore and May Pen.

The fire was brought under control after about four hours with the assistance of 37 fire personnel.





Relatives set 7 year-old girl on fire

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shocked.jpgA seven-year-old girl who was reportedly set on fire by relatives in Lionel Town, Clarendon has been admitted in hospital. The incident occurred on Tuesday but was brought to the attention of the police yesterday.

It's reported that the child sat on a container of rum which was later broken and spilled on her dress. The child's aunt allegedly used a lighter to set the seven-year-old a blaze. The child suffered burns to the left side of her lower body.

Meanwhile, the 17-year-old aunt and the grandmother were charged by the police yesterday. The aunt has been charged with assault occasioning grievous bodily harm while the grandmother was charged with cruelty to a child.

The grandmother was granted bail while the aunt remains in police custody.





Tivoli residents shoot up police station

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tivoli.jpgThe Tivoli Gardens police station was fired upon this morning by gunmen after a Tivoli resident, 19-year-old Tevin Gordon was shot dead allegedly by the police in Building 12.

Reports are that, the attack on the police went on for more than 45 minutes.

Residents of Tivoli Gardens as well as West Kingston Member of Parliament, Desmond McKenzie, have accused the police of acting unlawfully. They claim that the police opened fire on residents indiscriminately.

According to Mr. McKenzie, he too had to take cover due to the heavy gunfire allegedly from the police. He says he strongly condemns the action of the police.

The residents expressed anger at the shooting death of Gordon, who they claimed was killed in his house in cold blood.





shocked.jpgKingAlarm, the security company to which the two security guard victims of Friday morning's murder suicide were employed is expressing shock at the incident.

The agency says it has launched its own investigation into the matter.

Managing Director at KingAlarm John Azar says Martin, the man who killed his common law wife before turning the gun on himself, had been employed to the company for over 16 years and that he considers him a friend having worked closely with him in various capacities during the period.

Azar says reports from members of the team are that Martin was seen in a jovial and pleasant mood before the incident.

He says in addition to counseling for the team members, an offer has been extended to Martin's family to provide them with grief and Post Traumatic Stress counseling as well.





Almost a third of Rio Olympic tickets unsold

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RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AFP) -- Nearly a third of tickets to the Rio Olympics remain unsold just over three weeks from the opening ceremony, an official said Wednesday, insisting that sales were on course.

"We have sold over 70 per cent of available tickets," a spokesman for the Rio 2016 organising committee said in an emailed statement.

The spokesman said this was "ahead of our revenue targets" and that "our goal is to sell out all tickets."

The total unsold so far amounts to some 1.7 million tickets to events at the first Olympics ever held in South America, he said.





Cops kill man in St James

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crime-scene-7.jpgA man was fatally shot during an alleged confrontation with the police in Dumfries, St James, this morning.

He has been identified as Ricardo Campbell otherwise called 'Red Eye'.

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





Fourth person dies in Highway 2000 crash

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highway-2000-crash.jpgAnother passenger injured in Wednesday night's deadly crash along the Spanish Town leg of Highway 2000, has died.

This was disclosed by Senior Superintendent Calvin Allen, Head of the Highway and Traffic Department. Initially, it had been reported that three persons had died from the crash, including the driver. However, SSP Allen confirmed that a fourth person who had been undergoing treatment, succumbed to injuries.

The first three victims have been identified as 54-year-old bus driver Everton Melhado of Dawkin district in James Hill, Clarendon; 67-year-old Veronica Edwards of Trout Hall Pass district, also in Clarendon and 60-year-old Hortense Barnett.

SSP Allen said investigations revealed that the driver was speeding with the packed bus when one of the tyres blew out, causing the vehicle to flip over several times.

He said 12 of the 17 injured passengers are still in hospital; four of them children.





crime-scene-7.jpgA man was shot dead, another injured during a break-in, while a woman was raped at gunpoint in three separate incidents in Portland last night.

In the first incident, the body of a man, who the police said has so far been unidentified, was found with gunshot wounds this morning at Snow Hill in the parish. According to the police, about 1:30 a.m. they were summoned to Snow Hill where they found the man's body lying in the roadway with multiple gunshot wounds. The police say the man is about 5'6" tall, of dark complexion and was wearing brown shorts, red slippers and blue shirt. The body has a tattoo on his left shoulder and had a low haircut. This would bring to five the numbers of murders in Portland since the start of 2016.

In the second incident also at Snow Hill, the police said a licensed firearm holder woke up to find a man standing in his bedroom with a gun making threatening demands. The firearm holder reportedly pulled his weapon from under a pillow and a shootout ensued. During the exchange of gunfire, the resident was reportedly shot three times in the leg. The gunman then ran away leaving behind a trail of blood, which the police say indicates he too might have been shot.

In the third incident, a man reportedly held up a woman at gunpoint while she was making her way home shortly after midnight. The police say the man raped the woman and robbed her of an undermined sum of money.





$17-M ganja haul in Clarendon

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ganja-seized.jpgThe police are reporting the seizure of over 2,800 pounds of ganja during operations carried out in Portland Cottage district in Clarendon Wednesday.

Reports are that between the hours of 12:30 pm, and 4:30 pm, police officers were conducting operations in the area when the drug, which has an estimated street value of J$17 million, was allegedly found.

Several individuals, including a foreign national, were subsequently arrested after the seizure; however their identities are being withheld pending further investigations.





missing-clarendon-sisters.jpgTwo Clarendon sisters who abandoned their home, and were reported missing by family members, were found at a man's house in Montego Bay, St James.

Twenty-year-old Antoinette Lisa Mullings, who is eight months pregnant, and her younger sister 17-year-old Shanakay Mullings, both left their home in Longborough, Clarendon on Monday.

The girls had said they were going shopping in Mandeville, Manchester for the soon-to-be-born baby.

Head of the St James police, Senior Superintendent Marlon Nesbeth, told THE STAR that the girls "left their home to visit the elder one's spouse, so to speak".





crime-scene-7.jpgThe St. Ann Police have charged Alexus Newland, otherwise called 'Dal Dal', of Milford, St. Ann in connection with the killing of three year-old Nevalesia Campbell.

Newland was charged Wednesrday evening following the completion of a question-and-answer session. He was initially identified by the St. Ann police as a person of interest following Sunday's discovery of the mutilated body of young Nevalesia. The infant's body was found with chop wounds in bushes in Brown's Town.

Superintendent Wayne Cameron, head of the St. Ann Police Division, told RJR News that Mr. Newland had retained an attorney. He's scheduled to appear in court at a later date.

In the meantime, the mother and stepfather of 3-year-old Nevalesia Campbell are booked to appear in Court this morning. Mahalia Poyser, a 24-year-old bartender and her common law husband, 30-year-old Roy Dawes, were charged on Monday with breaches of the Child Care and Protection Act.

Miss Poyser had initially told police that Nevalesia had been put to bed, and was later discovered missing. Investigators say the adults left Nevalesia and another child unsupervised to attend a party in the community. The mother discovered the child missing after returning from the party.





75 killed in truck attack in Nice, France

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shocked.jpgAt least 75 people have died in the French city of Nice after an attacker plowed a truck, which was "loaded with" grenades and other arms, into a large crowd during Bastille Day celebrations Thursday night, officials said.

The incident left an "apocalyptic" scene, according to eyewitnesses, on the famed Promenade des Anglais, put the city on lockdown and drew swift condemnation from world leaders.

The American consulate in Marseille said it was trying to "determine if any U.S. citizens were injured in the event."

The exact nature of the attack was unclear, but the Paris anti-terrorism prosecutor's office was put in charge of the investigation.

Christian Estrosi, president of the Nice region, told French TV that the motorist "fired on the crowd, according to the police who killed him" and said that "the truck was loaded with arms, loaded with grenades."The truck was driven by someone who appeared to have "completely premeditated behavior," Estrosi added.

According to Eric Ciotti, who represents Nice in the French parliament, 75 people were killed and another 65 injured, including 15 critically.





Jamaica helping Guyana to fight crime

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Jamaica is providing assistance to Guyana in strengthening its crime and security intelligence-gathering strategies and techniques, Police Commissioner Seelall Persaud has announced.

Addressing the annual police awards ceremony Wednesday, Persaud said the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has begun conducting an assessment of the Guyana Police Force's (GPF) crime and security intelligence system with the aim of recommending improvements.

He told the ceremony that the plan would be implemented as soon as it is completed and accepted by the authorities here. "Thereafter, we will pursue with implementing those recommendations and we are likely to see a great change in our intelligence infrastructure and see a great interface between crime intelligence and security intelligence and further develop pour general capacity to deliver the highly expected services of the people of our communities."

Having said that, here are some reactions to this article: Guyana gets help from Jamaica? Did I read right?. Please tell me this is a big JOKE...look at how many persons are being kill and instead of using all our resources and time to try and figure out how to stop the crime here in Jamaica we leave our problems to solve themselves and gone a Guyana. but a wah this!!...SMDH

But a wha dis? Jamaican police cannot fight their own crime but offering expertise intelligence to Guyana police?

Cho, man. Jamaica have a breed a criminal weh we need help with.Rahtid,wi gone international,scotland yard,mi6 and interpol soon call wi fi advice to bakscup

Ha this is a laughing matter because dem should a be looking for duppy film then once dem catch him they can show the Guyana police how fi dweet!!!

Tell me it ain't so. JDF helping other police department about policing? Thanks for making me laugh!





Over 300 new routes coming, promises gov't

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Commuters across various sections of the island will soon have access to increased public transportation. Transport Minister Mike Henry says effective next Wednesday, there will be a limited reopening of 436 Route Taxi and 48 Rural Stage Carriage Routes.

He says the routes include 18 newly created routes for Route Taxis and two Rural Stage Carriage bus Routes.

Applications for these routes will remain open until October 13.

Some of the new routes include Charles Town to Kinloss Trelawny, Lionel Town to Longville Park Clarendon and Port Antonio to Belleview Portland.

In the meantime, Mr. Henry says the new motor car age requirement for new road licence applications/take-over-service and change of vehicle is twenty years.

He says motor cars over fifteen years will, however, require a structural safety report, from the Island Traffic Authority (ITA).





Cop name 12 wanted men

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police-station.jpgThe St. James Police have released the names of 12 men they described as the parish's most wanted fugitives.

The men are wanted for serious crimes, including murders and shootings committed in the parish.

The release of the names of the men comes on the heels of the recent flare-up of gun violence in the parish which left 11 persons dead and 10 others injured last week.

Those wanted for murders are: Almando Junior Bravo, Richard Grey otherwise called 'Zombie and Delano Wilmot otherwise called 'Lano'.

Shaneil Lutan is also wanted for two counts of murder as well as Escaping Custody and Illegal Possession of Firearm.

Marcus Robinson otherwise called 'Killer' is wanted for Illegal Possession of Firearm and Escaping Custody.

Ithream Shuriah is wanted for Illegal Possession of Firearm and Robbery with Aggravation.

Those wanted for Shooting with Intent are Aswyn Jarrett otherwise called 'Skii Mask', Kevin Hemmings otherwise called 'Skelly' and Oneil Clarke otherwise called 'Goaty' as well as Marlon Samuels otherwise called 'Brutos'.

Jevaughn Campbell otherwise called 'Jev', 'Cooking Oil' and Adrian Robinson otherwise called ''Rasta' are wanted for Wounding with Intent.

The police are asking the men to turn themselves into the Freeport Police by 5pm on Monday. Anyone knowing the whereabouts of these men is being asked to contact the nearest police station.





crime-scene-7.jpgA 3 year-old girl who had been gonee missing has been found. Dead.

Reports are that rsidents of Orange Hill, St Ann on Sunday morning, July 10 found the body of the little girl who went missing from her home in the area on Saturday night.

Extensive searches of the area were done late Saturday night into early this morning, where her body was found in bushes early Sunday morning.

It is being reported that the child had several chop wounds over sections of her body when she was found at around 11 am.





delus.jpgA date has been revealed for the funeral service for dancehall artiste, Delus, the brother of Konshens.

The day after Delus' untimely passing, Konshens had promised to keep fans abreast of the funeral arrangements. He did so on the weekend when he posted on social media that his brother's funeral is set for Saturday July 23.

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According to the post, the service will be held at the Church of Resurrection located at 1 Dickens Avenue, in Duhaney Park. Start time is 11:00 am.

The 35 year-old Delus, whose real name is Delmark Spence, is said to have committed suicide at his home in Havendale, St Andrew, in June. His body was found in a bathtub with what appeared to be a bullet wound to the head.

The entertainer's suicide death plunged the fraternity in mourning.





JUTC employee shot dead in Spanish Town

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jutc-bus.jpgThe Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) has expressed sadness at the shooting death of one of its employees in Spanish Town, St Catherine, this afternoon.

He has been identified as Donovan Nugent, bus cleaner and janitor at the State-run entity.

Nugent is the second bus cleaner employed to the company to be killed. In 2015, 30-year-old Marvin McLeary was found dead on King Street in the parish.

Preliminary reports are that about 4:00 pm, Nugent was approached by an armed man at the Spanish Town bus park who opened gunfire hitting him. He reportedly died at the scene.





crime-scene-7.jpgThe burnt body of a female in her teens was reportedly found in a cane field in Toll Gate, Clarendon on Tuesday.

The police say the body could not be properly identified at the time.

In the meantime, the family of an 18 year old girl who went missing on Friday say the burnt body could be that of their relative.

The police say they will have to use DNA and await the findings from an autopsy to determine identity and cause of death.





black-man-killed-by-white-cops.jpgLouisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Wednesday that the Department of Justice will launch a federal investigation into the fatal police shooting of Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old black man shot and killed Tuesday after an altercation with two white police officers in Baton Rouge.

Sterling is one of at least 505 people who have been shot and killed by on-duty police officers so far in 2016, according to a Washington Post database tracking such shootings.

And his killing is the latest in a nationwide string of fatal police-involved arrests captured on video. Like many others, the first versions of what happened are coming more from a video showing a fragment of the incident than from police, who have had relatively little to say so far. Thus no clear picture has yet emerged of the full sequence of events that led to the death.

"The video is disturbing to say the least," Edwards (D) said.

The bystander video of the shooting, which circulated online Tuesday evening, showed two Baton Rouge police officers attempting to detain Sterling after the officers responded to a call "from a complainant who stated that a black male who was selling music cd's and wearing a red shirt threatened him with a gun" outside the Triple S Food Mart, a convenience store, according to a Facebook post by the Baton Rouge Police Department. Police said they responded about 12:35 a.m. Tuesday, and that Sterling was armed with a gun when officers confronted him.

Sterling was shot and killed while pinned down by the officers.





godfrey-dyer.jpgOne prominent tourism stakeholder is insisting that a state of emergency is necessary to deal with the upsurge of crime in western Jamaica. Godfrey Dyer, Chairman of the Tourism Enhancement Fund, says the call for a state of emergency might be taken out of context with persons believing it to mean similar action to what took place in West Kingston. However, he said it should not be taken in that capacity.

"I'm not against a state of emergency, however, I can't see why the police are not using the army more. Why can't the army be downtown and elsewhere?" he questioned.

Mr. Dyer said he would support a limited state of emergency, but it should not be likened to the 2010 security operation in West Kingston.

"In my opinion, which is the lesser of the two evils? The amount of killings that are going on around downtown Montego Bay and all around the place...or (a state of emergency)? What a state of emergency means is that the army will have full power because they will be patrolling the entire area. I don't want people to mix up what happened in 2010; that was a different kind of state of emergency," he sought to explain.

He said the continuous incidents of crime will be more harmful to tourism, than a limited state of emergency.





Should a state of emergency be declared to arrest crime in Montego Bay?

Omar Robinson, President of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association, is not in agreement with the call for a state of emergency, neither is the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce is not in support of the call.

Gloria Henry, President of the Chamber of Commerce, says while the state of emergency may have some short term benefits, it could cause more damage over the long term.

"We believe that it could be considered harmful in the long-term to the brand - Brand Jamaica, Brand Montego Bay. It wouldn't solve the problems we have in Montego Bay and we believe that security forces certainly have to take the necessary actions that are within the law and they need to use them along with intelligence to solve the issues that we are facing with the rising rate of murders here in St. James. We are also saying that the continued response of changing persons and changing leadership has not solved the problem either in Montego Bay," she asserted.





caribbean-airlines.jpgCaribbean Airlines has confirmed that Two passengers died on the weekend having suffered medical emergencies while on separate flights.

Head of Communications Dionne Ligoure, said the first incident occurred on Friday on flight BW 524 where a passenger arriving at Piarco International Airport was unwell.

The passenger was taken to a health facility and he died while receiving treatment.

The second incident occurred on Saturday with a female passenger on flight BW 525.

The flight had to be diverted to Kingston in order to deal with the medical situation.

Miss Ligoure said the passenger was later pronounced dead by medical personnel in Jamaica.





butch-stewart-gordon-butch.jpgThere is controversy in Tobago over the proposed site for a hotel to be operated by the Sandals group.

Sandals Chairman Gordon Butch Stewart, has expressed an interest in a site known as No Man's Land for a 750-room hotel.

However objections have been raised about use of the location.

Stewart's admission comes as an online petition continues to gain support, calling on the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) to start public consultation and have full disclosure and accountability on the proposed development in Tobago.





tommy-lee-photo-10-simplified.jpgThe lawyer for popular dancehall artiste, Leroy Russell otherwise called Tommy Lee has made contact with detectives from the Kingston East division regarding the request for the artiste to report to the Elletson Road police station for questioning.

The police say they are in dialogue with the attorney who made contact this morning.

A release last week from the police said Tommy Lee is wanted for questioning in relation to a shooting on Saunders Avenue, Kingston 2.

He was asked to report to the police by July 4.

Meanwhile, the police say Rohan Smith otherwise called Dawg, who was also asked to report to the Elletson Road police by July has not yet done so.

He is wanted for questioning in relation to the murder of Woman Corporal Judith Williams.





A store clerk who was arrested for stealing $45,000 worth of clothing from a boutique where she worked -- after she was seen on Facebook wearing some of the dresses -- claimed she did not really steal the clothes because she was going to return them after she wore them.

Shanna Williams, 31, of a Kingston address, was recently charged with larceny as a servant after police raided her house and found several articles of clothing from her workplace.

The Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court heard on Friday that Williams stole the clothes sometime in June from the shop at Southdale Plaza in Half-Way-Tree, St Andrew.

But Williams told the court: "I did not steal them, my intention was to just wear dem and bring dem back,"

The boutique owner then told the court that Williams was arrested after she posted pictures of herself wearing some of the stolen dresses from the store.

She also told the judge that she was reliably informed that Williams was planning to emigrate to the US in August and that she was planning to have a party in July.

The businesswoman said is fearful of losing her visa. Consequently, she said she just wanted her money and be finished with the matter.

The judge then told Williams: "From one fashionista, to another fashionista I am going to give you time to make restitution because you just got carried away with your love for fashion.

"She look good though," the judge said, which brought on more laughter.

The judge then asked Williams if she brought the money and she produced $16,000.





The female student of the Convent of Mercy Academy (Alpha) who was hit when police personnel reportedly opened fire on an illegal taxi at the intersection of North Street and Mark Lane in Kingston about 7 o'clock Thursday morning, seems to be on the road to recovery.

INDECOM says it reported that the police signalled the vehicle to stop and after the driver complied, a cop opened fire at the vehicle. A gaping bullet hole could be seen in the back windscreen of the white Honda motor car through which the bullet came before it hit the child.

INDECOM says the scene and motor car were processed by forensic examiners and investigators and statements collected from witnesses. The incident later sparked a fiery protest in downtown Kingston. This is not the first time that someone is being injured in a vehicle on which the police opened fire. In fact, the issue was the subject in INDECOM's annual report released last year.

Witnessed the incident? Call INDECOM:
Kingston Office: 968-1932
Mobile: 878-0167
Toll free: 1-888-991-5555, 1-888-935-5550





The US Department of State has upgraded Jamaica to a Tier 2 ranking on its Watch List for its fight against Trafficking in Persons (TIP) in its 2016 TIP Report which was published on Thursday.

The country's compliance with Human Trafficking laws and its comprehensive and multi-pronged approach to tackling this threat to human safety and freedom have led to the rise in the rankings by one level.

A Tier 2 ranking means that the country is making important strides in tackling this scourge and is well on its way to full compliance with international Human Trafficking laws and standards. Although the island has not reached a Tier 1 ranking, the US State Department has noted significant improvements in how we treat with victims and criminals involved in this transnational crime.

The report stated that the Government of Jamaica has increased its efforts to investigate, prosecute and convict traffickers.The country secured two convictions, over the reporting period for Forced Labour and Sex Trafficking.

What's more, Jamaica received recognition for the charges proffered against a public official. The report, further praised Jamaica's efforts in its protection of victims. The TIP shelter continues to be in operation, offering care and protection to victims.





kingston-college-schools-challenge-quiz-team.jpgTVJ informed prestigious all-boys institution, Kingston College KC this week that the school has been banned from Schools Challenge Quiz. The reason given is that KC, the school which has won the quiz more times than any other school in Jamaica, brought the competition into disrepute last year.

Camperdown, which took TVJ to court over the handling of one of the matches, has also been barred from the competition for 2017 and 2018. Alas, in a letter to KC's Principal, Dave Myrie, TVJ's General Manager, Claire Grant, cited an outburst from one of the school's quiz coaches as the reason for the ban.

Coach Kenyatta Powell accused TVJ on social media of unjustly ending KC's run in the competition during a hotly contested match with Campion College. The dispute drew the attention of Jamaica's former Ambassador to Washington and KC Old Boy, Stephen Vasciannie, who insisted that justice should prevail and the the match be awarded to KC.

Vasciannie told Grant that the deduction of four points from Kingston College during their quarter-final match, which resulted in KC being belatedly declared losers to Campion, is unfair and unjust. He warned the TVJ General Manager that the integrity of the competition, which has a rich history, is at risk. Former Jamaica Bar Association President and KC Old Boy, Ian Wilkinson, also expressed similar concerns.

KC has 7 days to appeal the two-year ban.





The police are, this evening, alerting members of the public to be on the lookout for counterfeit Jamaican currency.

The Jamaica Constabulary Force's Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) says multiple counterfeit notes have been discovered in the last 24 hours.

CCU says the counterfeit notes were discovered as cash that was tendered as payment at one of the country's international airport was being processed.

It says the forgeries are limited to the Jamaican $1,000 notes, which all bear the serial number CC174514.

CCU is urging members of the public to take the necessary precaution when dealing with cash and to immediately contact the Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime division if any counterfeit notes are discovered.





tommy-lee-photo-10-simplified.jpgPopular dancehall artiste Leroy Russell, otherwise called 'Tommy Lee' has been listed as a person of interest by detectives in the Kingston Eastern police Division.

They have also listed a man known as Rohan Smith, otherwise called 'Dawg' as a person of interest.

The police say Tommy Lee is wanted for questioning for a shooting on Saunders Avenue, Kingston 2, while Rohan Smith is wanted for questioning in relation to the murder of Woman Corporal Judith Williams on Thursday, April 28.

Tommy Lee and Rohan Smith are being asked to report to the Elletson Road Police Station on or before Monday, July 4.

Anyone knowing their whereabouts is being asked to contact the Elletson Road Police at 928-1261 or 928-1262, call the 119 emergency number or contact the nearest Police Station.





Usain Bolt diagnosed with a Grade 1 tear

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tear-usain-bolt.jpgSix-time Olympic champion, Usain Bolt, after running 10.04 to book his place in the men's 100m final at Jamaica's Olympic trials on Friday night, pulled out of the final with a hamstring injury.

"After feeling discomfort in my hamstring after the first round last night (Thursday night) and then again in the semi-final tonight (Friday) I was examined by the Chief Doctor of the National Championships and diagnosed with a Grade 1 tear," explained Bolt in a Twitter post.

"I have submitted a medical exemption to be excused from the 100m final and the remainder of the National Championships," added the world record holder for 100m (9.58) and 200m (19.19).

According to Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) selection policy, the first three finishers at the National Senior Championships will be selected, unless there was a medical exemption from a world top top three athlete. The athlete is then expected to prove his/her fitness before the start of the competition.

Bolt continued: "I will seek treatment immediately and hope to show fitness at the London Anniversary Games on July 22 to earn selection for the Olympic Games in Rio."

Bolt is targeting a defence of his 100, 200 and 4x100-metre titles in Rio.

In the absence of Bolt from the 100-metre final, his Racers Track Club teammate Yohan Blake scored a hard-fought victory.





crime-scene-gun.jpgFriday night's shooting rampage in St James which has left three persons dead and six injured has been linked to the lottery scam.

Police Commissioner Dr Carl Williams says lottery scamming is behind the recent upsurge in violence across St James, Westmoreland and Hanover.

Addressing a press conference in Montego Bay on Saturday, Commissioner Williams said the lottery scam had become pervasive across western parishes, bringing with it violence and mayhem.

Nine persons were shot - three of them fatally - at a shop in the community of New Ramble.

Those killed have been identified as 16-year-old Adrian Thelwell, 27-year-old Nicholas Campbell, both of New Ramble addresses, and 28-year-old Troy Scoville of a Kingston address.





ganja-trafficker-money.jpgAuthorities in Miami have seized at least $24 million in cash following the Tuesday arrest of a suspected marijuana trafficker.

The Miami Herald reported that the bust is the largest in the history of the Miami-Dade Police Department and said officers were still counting the money Wednesday.

According to the Miami Herald, most of the cash was bundled in increments of $100, placed in vacuum-sealed bags, and stuffed inside dozens of orange Home Depot-branded buckets.

Tuesday's raid was the culmination of a six-year--long investigation into Luis Hernandez-Gonzalez. The Herald reported that Hernandez-Gonzalez, 44, ran a North Miami store that sells equipment for indoor gardening. Investigators suspected the business catered to marijuana growers.

In addition to the raid on Gonzalez-Hernandez's house, where the cash was discovered, local police and federal agents raided the store, where they discovered marijuana seeds, marijuana labeled "Super Skunk" and "Chernobyl" and $180,000 in a safe.

Gonzalez-Hernandez, who reportedly admitted instructing his customers on how to grow marijuana, appeared in court Wednesday on charges of money laundering, marijuana trafficking and possession of a firearm while committing a felony, among other state charges. He ws ordered held on $4 million bail.

Gonzalez-Hernandez's sister, Salma Hernandez, was also arrested and charged with drug possession and conspiracy.





Student stabbed to death by another student

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crime-scene-7.jpgA student was stabbed to death in an altercation with a student from Oberlin High School on Wednesday morning.

Reports are that the student was on his way to school when he had an altercation with another youth of the same age group.

The incident unfolded in an area called Grant Hill.

A knife was brought into play and the teenager stabbed.

He was rushed to hospital but succumbed to his injury.

The student has been apprehended.





woman-killed -in-ochi-kyri.jpgA 58-year-old vendor is now in the custody of the Ocho Rios police after he allegedly stabbed his girlfriend to death at her workplace on Tuesday morning, June 29.

Police officers on the scene confirmed that the woman is Kyria Nelson, a 22-year-old employee of Torpedo Loan financing company on Brown's Plaza in the heart of Ocho Rios.

She was stabbed to death at her workplace at some time after 8am.

It is alleged that the vendor had been seen sharpening his knife from yesterday. At sometime after 8 this morning, he awaited the young woman as she entered the loan company to carry out his plan.The man then proceeded to slash her throat and he stabbed her several times.

When he completed his act, he left her in the building and proceeded to escape where he was apprehended by the Ocho Rios police some distance away from the plaza.

Head of the St Ann police, SSP Wayne Cameron explained that Nelson was alive, when she was rushed to the hospital.

However, she later died.





Barrington Levy to headline Reggae Sumfest

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barrington-levy-photo-2.jpgBarrington Levy will headline Reggae Sumfest on July 23, at Catherine Hall Entertainment Complex in Montego Bay.

Nominated this year for a Best Reggae Album Grammy for Acousticalevy, he returns to Sumfest after a three-year break.

"God bless my fans, on the night of the show, you will see what happens. I am asking the fans to come with the good vibes, the happy vibes. Walk with your tape and leave your machete, walk with your queen and leave your machine. Keep it clean, seen," said Levy.

Three years ago, Levy stole the show with an energetic, one-hour set. Next month, he will once again be backed by his California-based band, Detour Posse.

Levy is still promoting Acousticalevy which features unplugged versions of some of his biggest hits.

Levy, Sanchez and Tarrus Riley are among the big names on the closing night of Sumfest which is held this year under the theme, 'Our Music, Our Festival'.

Organisers have changed the format of the show, with an all-star Jamaican line-up over two days.





law-student-teresa-wilson.jpgJamaican law student arrested in the United States for mail fraud is alleged to have been involved in the lottery scam, in which she and co-conspirators defrauded an elderly victim of US $270,000 (J $34 million at today's exchange rate).

The allegations against 27-year-old Teresa Wilson are outlined in court document, a copy of which was provided to Loop News by the United States Department of Justice.

Wilson -- a resident of Montego Bay, St James who just completed studies at the Norman Manley Law School -- has been charged with mail fraud.

"It was a part of the conspiracy that co-conspirators would, and did, willfully devise and participate in a scheme to call an elderly victim, and make material false representation that they were associated with a lottery, including that one of the callers was an attorney for the lottery, to fraudulently obtain the victim's money," the document obtained by a popular website stated.

"It was further a part of the conspiracy that the co-conspirators would and did make material false representations that the victim had won approximately [US] $3.5 million as part of the lottery sweepstakes," the document stated further.

The criminal acts involving Wilson -- who calls herself a "wild child, caring and loving", on her Instagram profile -- and her co-conspirators reportedly occurred between October 2014 and March 2015.

The money in question was reportedly sent by the elderly victim on dates in November 2015. On one occasion, the victim is said to have mailed a package containing US $120,000 via UPS from Virginia to a co-conspirator's address in Florida.

That sum was reportedly collected in March 2015 by a Dwayne Breary who signed the alias Sandra Smith in an effort to conceal who the recipients of the package were.

According to the document, law enforcement officials obtained telephone messages sent by Wilson to a Yanique Coach on March 19, 2015, instructing, "Check the stacks tho," in reference to money.

A few days later, on March 22, 2015, Wilson reportedly sent a message via telephone threatening Coach. The message reportedly stated in part, "People belly go bang and U can't step out fi sort out business and save u self... Weh U priorities."

Another co-conspirator in the scheme was only identified in the document as SS.

The victim reportedly sent the cash after being told that in order to receive the "lottery money" the victim needed to pay fees and taxes in cash.

The victim, who lived in Virginia, was told to send the cash through UPS to various addresses in Florida and Georgia, which the victim allegedly did, sending packages of "large amounts of cash" to South Florida and the Middle District of Florida.

"It was further a part of the conspiracy that Teresa Wilson and another co-conspirator would and did travel from Jamaica to the United States to obtain the packages," the court documents said.

"It was further a part of the conspiracy that Teresa Wilson and other co-conspirators would and did perform acts and make statements to hide and conceal and cause to be hidden and concealed the purpose of the conspiracy and the acts committed in furtherance thereof," the document said.

If convicted, the State is seeking a forfeiture order of Wilson's assets, "which constitutes or is derived from proceeds traceable to the violation, including but not limited to a money judgement representing the amount of proceeds obtained by the defendant as a result of the allegations alleged in the indictment".





Jamaican man missing at sea in Cayman

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Cayman police say a Jamaican man, 40-year-old Migeal Aedran Palmer is among a group missing at sea.

A Caymanian identified as 59-year-old Carl Demmie Ebanks of West Bay is also missing.

According to police, the men are believed to have left from Ronald Martin's Dock, on North West Point Road in West Bay, on Ebanks' boat for an unknown destination. The vessel has been described as a Wellcraft boat -- approximately 20ft in length.

The men were reported missing three days after setting out for sea.

Police said the men did not file any report with Port Authority before beginning their journey.

"On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday last week, before the men were reported missing, the police helicopter flew over large areas offshore, including the Sister Islands, in the course of its schedule," a release from the police said.

"During those flights, the crew would have noted the vessel had it been seen a distance offshore, but did not see any vessel matching this description. No distress flares were seen, nor were any emergency calls on Channel 16 heard [the marine emergency channel]," the release added.

The release added: "While the areas patrolled offshore on these days were large, it cannot be known, given the vagueness of the details provided, that these areas would have fallen in any search pattern. Likewise, given the time that had elapsed since the believed departure time of the boat, as well as the fact that the destination was unknown, no search area could be defined by the time of the report on Saturday."

Police said that all local agencies as well as regional law enforcement were notified of the missing persons.

The search continues for the men.





Be careful when buying pumpkin

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The public is being warned to be careful when purchasing pumpkins. The warning was issued after thieves stole some of the crop from the Bernard Lodge Estate in St. Catherine on the weekend.

Opposition Senator Floyd Morris, who operates the farm, said the pumpkins were sprayed with insecticide and fungicide on Friday.

"I am issuing a warning to citizens within the Portmore, Spanish Town, Gregory Park area, not to purchase pumpkins from unknown farmers because those pumpkins are likely to harm their health," he urged.

He said some of the pumpkins, which were not fit, were removed from their vines and left in the field.

Mr. Morris said the matter is to be reported to the police.





crime-scene-gun.jpgPatrick Brown, a 55-year-old vendor from St Catherine, was shot and killed about 10:00 pm Saturday in the vicinity of the Buff Bay market in Portland.

His wife Michelle, 45, was also shot and injured in the incident.

Reports are that the couple was packing up to leave when they were approached by three masked men who made certain demands. One reportedly pulled a gun and shot Brown, while another shot his wife in her hand. They escaped in a motor car.

The couple was taken to the Annotto Bay Hospital where Brown was pronounced dead.





pnp-headquarters.jpgThe People's National Party National Executive Council has approved a nomination period for the positions of president and vice presidents.

The date was approved at the council's meeting yesterday at the University of the West Indies, a statement from the Opposition party said Monday.

"Nominations will open for the positions of president and vice presidents on Wednesday, July 13, 2016 at 10:00 am and close on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 at midday," the release said.

It also said nomination forms will be available from the party's secretariat.





hands-behind-bars.jpgA student of the Norman Manley Law School Teresa Wilson has been arrested in the United States on charges of mail fraud.

The 27-year-old Wilson was arrested in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on June 16.

Wilson recently completed studies at the Norman Manley Law School, at the University of the West Indies, in St Andrew, and was awaiting final exam results when she was reportedly busted.

A law enforcement official at the Broward County Sherriff's Office reportedly disclosed that Wilson is now in the custody of the US Marshals Service of the Southern District of Florida.

Wilson had allegedly been on the radar of US investigators for at least two years.

Associates of Wilson's at the law school are urging others not to rush to judgement at this time.





Jamaican journalist Garfield Burford has been appointed News and Current Affairs Consultant at the state-owned Antigua & Barbuda Broadcasting Services (ABS).

The appointment became effective June 1, 2016. Burford joins the entity on a one-year contract.

Melford Nicholas, Minister with responsibility for Broadcasting in Antigua and Barbuda, said, "The appointment of Mr Burfod represents a significant milestone in the Ministry's pursuit, to transform ABS, until it becomes the new standard for Broadcast Media Services in Antigua and Barbuda".

Burford is expected to assist the management of ABS in developing and improving the standards for gathering, preparing and delivering the respective News and Current Affairs Programmes, a release by the government said.

Prior to his latest appointment, Burford spent nearly 13 years at CVM Television in Jamaica where he was news and current affairs manager.





Two students from Holy Childhood High were injured during a brawl along Half Way Tree Road in St Andrew on Friday.

Several students of the all-girls school and caused traffic pile up in the busy commercial district,as the two students ended up nursing injuries.Police have confirmed that students, along with their parents, had to go to the Half Way Tree Police Station giving statements.

The incident is the second violent flare up involving persons associated with an educational institution in the area, this week.

Earlier this week, there was a stabbing and shooting incident at the St Andrew High School for Girls compound which is located just across the road from Holy Childhood. That incident involved two males - a parent and another man. The men were reportedly attending a school leaving ceremony for sixth form students.





The driver of the ill-fated Honda Civic carrying workers at the Bahia Principe Hotel and which that crashed into a truck along the Laughlands main road, St Ann on Tuesday night has died, bringing to four the number of fatalities.

The St Ann police say 21-year-old Michael Glascow of Village Green, St Ann's Bay, the driver of the car, died in hospital on Wednesday.

The other deceased have been identified as 22-year-old Eric Forbes of Steerfield, St Ann, 24-year-old Jahnor Powell of Charlestown, St Mary and Teisha Douglas, whose address has not been ascertained. Two other persons remain hospitalised.

The six were travelling along the Laughlands Main Road on their way from work at the Gran Bahia Principe Hotel when Glascow lost control of his Honda Civic and crashed into a truck travelling in the opposite direction.

The impact the sent Glascow's car into another that was waiting to enter the main thoroughfare. Police say so far investigations suggest Glascow was at fault and no charges are pending against the truck driver.





The teacher who reportedly stabbed a parent - who in turn shot the teacher - is not a member of staff at the prestigious all-girls institution.

The police say one of the men was shot and the other was stabbed during the fight which occurred during a school-leaving service at the school on Tuesday evening. Unconfirmed reports are that a domestic dispute led to the altercation.

According to the police, they have not arrested any of the two men who were involved in the violent altercation at the school on Tuesday. Communication officer with the Jamaica Constabulary Force, Stephanie Lindsay, says no arrests were made because the police are still investigating the incident.

Lindsay says the police will prepare a case file to present to the Director of Public Prosecutions who will decide on how to proceed with the case.

On Wednesday,Principal of St Andrew High School for Girls, Sharon Reid told The Gleaner/Power 106 News Centre that there are indications that the altercation stemmed from a domestic dispute. Shealso sent a letter to the Editor setting the record straight by explaining that the two persons were not affilated with the school.





One man charged for NCB worker's killing

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ncb-employee-karetha-robertson.jpg

A man has been charged by the police in relation to the kidnapping and murder of National Commercial Bank (NCB) employee, Karetha Robertson.

Robertson was abducted from her home in Portmore, St Catherine, by two men back in March, and was killed shortly after.

Her body was found in Pembroke Hall, St Andrew, with a gunshot wound to the head.

Police have identified the suspect who is heading to court as Shamar Beckford.

There were recent reports of a suspect being taken into custody in connection with Robertson's murder, but prior to now there was no indication of any charged being laid against the implicated individual.

Police report Robertson arrived at her Portmore home on the evening in question, and was attacked by two men who bundled her into a waiting motor vehicle and sped off.

Her body was found hours later.

A Toyota Rav4 sports utility vehicle that was being driven by Robertson, was found at Hillary Avenue off Red Hills Road in St Andrew.





Body of policeman identified

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crime-scene-7.jpgA policeman, whose body was found in Spanish Town Friday afternoon, has been identified as Sergeant C Morrison who was attached to the Detention & Courts Division.

Residents discovered the body, which had stab wounds to the back of the head, at approximately 1:30 in the afternoon in the vicinity of Brunswick Avenue and Job's Lane, and alerted the police.

The body was found in a pool of blood, and clad in black sweat pants and a white T-shirt.

The sergeant's 1997 white Toyota Mark 11 was found earlier in the day on a nearby roadway with blood stains all over the interior.





Konshens mourns death of his brother, Delus

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konshens-and-delus.jpgSubkonshus music artiste, Konshens, is devastated by the news of his brother Delus' suicide.

The acclaimed deejay was among those who converged on Delus' East Riverside home Wednesday evening following the devastating news.

Konshens was seen openly crying over the tragedy.

Delus celebrated his birthday on June 18, while his girlfriend reportedly celebrated her birthday today (Wednesday). Friends say the two had gone to beach and everything seemed to be okay.

However, shortly after they returned home, Delus reportedly went in the bathroom and carried out the act.

Sources say that the act was captured on his cell phone.





Dancehall artise Delus commits suicide

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delus.jpgConfirmed reports are that dancehall artiste Delus committed suicide Wednesday evening at his East Riverside Drive home in Havendale, St Andrew.

A large contingent of police and various press persons have converged upon the scene since news broke that the entertainer shot himself in his bathroom.

Delus lived right across the road from Big Ship, the studio-and-house owned by veteran singer, Freddie McGregor.

delus-commits-suicide.jpg

Delus, who is the brother of dancehall heavyweight, Konshens, was a frequent visitor to Big Ship. However, Freddie McGregor was off the island at the time of the incident.

Delus was best known for songs such as What Tomorrow May Bring, La La La, Afraid to Love Again and Time.





gay-flag-and-us-flag.jpgThe United States Embassy in Jamaica says the rainbow flag being flown at its consulate is also being flown "across the globe" at all its embassies.

A tweet from the US Embassy this afternoon read: "Across the globe US Embassies flying our flag half-mast in memorial & rainbow flag in solidarity w LGBT our citizens."

The tweet comes hours after a controversial tweet from Attorney General Marlene Malahoo-Forte denouncing the flying of the rainbow flag in Jamaica, following a mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, on Sunday.

"I strongly condemn #OrlandoNightClubShooting but find it disrespectful of Jamaica's laws to have #RainbowFlag flown here. #MyPersonalView," Malahoo Forte said in a post on Monday.





businessman-huey gowdie-and shango-ex-wife.jpgSt Andrew businessman Huey Gowdie was Wednesday convicted of manslaughter in the Home Circuit Court.

Gowdie was on trial for murder arising from the shooting death of popular businessman Shango Jackson in the upscale community of Beverly Hills, St Andrew in 2012.

Jackson was shot and killed at the Shenstone Drive home he shared with his ex-wife, who was reportedly involved in a romantic relationship with Gowdie.

Prosecutors argued that Gowdie went to the premises to with the intent to kill.

businessman-huey-gowdie.jpgHowever, defence attorney argued that Jackson was shot after he attacked Gowdie and threatened to kill him.

After deliberating for nearly two hours the seven-member jury convicted Gowdie of the lesser charge.

The verdict left some of his relatives and friends in tears, among them being Jackson's ex-wife.

shango-jackson.jpgValerie Neita Robertson, Gowdie's attorney, said she was "grateful its not murder."

"It was a verdict based on the lack of intention to kill," said Neita Robertson.

She also indicated that she will appeal the verdict.





ex-cop-and-girlfriend.jpgA murder suicide in their community Wednesday evening, has left residents of Short Hill in St Elizabeth,in mourning. A nail technician was reportedly shot dead by and her lover, an ex-policeman.

The deceased have been identified as, 41-year-old nail technician Tamara McIntosh, a resident of Short Hill; and 59-year-old Easton Douglas of a Passage Fort address in St Catherine,Douglas is a retired police inspector.

According to reports from residents of the community, shortly after 6:00 p.m, gunshots were heard coming from a location, where Douglas was visiting McIntosh. Upon investigation, the bodies of the two were seen with what appeared to be gunshot wounds.

A glock pistol was seen on the ground beside Douglas' body.

Residents say the couple was involved in an 'on again, off again' relationship, which was apparently a source of much tension between the two.





Ethiopia's foreign minister, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus arrived in the island Sunday for an historic two-day official visit.

The visit is the first by an Ethiopian minister of government and is aimed at strengthening relations between Jamaica and Ethiopia.

It also comes nearly five decades after the visit of Emperor Haile Selassie in 1966.

The Ethiopian Consulate says Tedros will meet with several government ministers in an effort to boost what it describes as the long-standing relations between the two countries.

It says the Ethiopian foreign minister will also seek support for his country's bid to become a member of the United Nations Security Council next year.





hands-behind-bars.jpgA Jamaican man will have to serve two years in a Barbados jail after he failed to pay BD$15,000 in fines for drug-related offences.

Samuel Leroy Campbell was held after he arrived at the Grantley Adams International Airport on Thursday. He was interviewed by Drug Squad personnel and sent to the hospital where he allegedly passed 121 packages of cannabis weighing one kilogramme.

Campbell was subsequently charged with possession of cannabis, possession with intent to supply cannabis, trafficking cannabis and importation of cannabis.

The Jamaican appeared before a Barbados Magistrate and was fined $10,000, or two years in prison for possession of cannabis.

He was fined an additional $5,000 for importation of cannabis or two years in jail.

The fines were not paid and Campbell was sent to jail.

The sentences will run concurrently.





Bolt, Shelly in-form at JN Racers Grand Prix

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usain-bolt-jamaica-flag.jpgReigning World and Olympic champions Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce warmed up for Jamaica's Olympic trials later this month by recording contrasting 100m victories on Saturday night at the inaugural JN Racers Grand Prix held at the National Stadium.

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Bolt gave another indicator that he was rounding back into top form when he powered his way from behind to land the men's blue ribband event in a season's-best 9.88 seconds, two-hundredths of a second outside the world lead.

Nickel Ashmeade was second in 9.94 seconds with Yohan Blake third in a season's-best also with 9.94 seconds and former world record holder Asafa Powell fourth in 9.98, also his season's-best effort.

Fraser-Pryce who was running her first race since the end of May, shrugged off a niggling toe problem to post 11.09 seconds in recording a fighting victory in the women's 100m over World Indoor champion Barbara Pierre 11.11 and Kelly-Ann Baptiste 11.15 seconds.





crime-scene-7.jpgThe police have not yet identified any suspects in the murder of the Canadian national who was shot and killed in the resort town of Negril last weekend.

The 35-year-old real estate broker, Andre Palakia of Ontario, Canada and his girlfriend were walking along the West End main road when two men approached on a motorcycle and attempted to rob his girlfriend.

She resisted and the men opened fire. Palakia who was shot in the incident was rushed to hospital where he was pronounced dead. The killing comes just over a month after Jamaica made international headlines with the brutal the slaying of two American Christian missionaries in Albion Mountain, St Mary.

According to the latest police statistics, more than 490 persons have been killed across the island since start of the year.





crime-scene-gun.jpgThe police are reporting that they have now restored calm to sections of Old Habour Bay, St Catherine following a flare-up in the aftermath of the fatal shooting of four men in an alleged shootout around 3 o'clock this afternoon.

The director of communication with the Jamaica Constabulary Force, Superintendent Stephanie Lindsay says illegal three weapons were recovered.

She said the incident apparently angered residents who converged and blocked the roads.

The residents also set fire to a vehicle that was on the scene.

However, residents say the men who were known to them were actually working in the area.

The shooting is reported to have happened inside a building.





Barbados authorities investigated a possible bomb threat at the Grantley Adams International Airport earlier today.According to reports, several emergency vehicles were seen rushing to the airport around 1:30 pm this afternoon, shortly after an Air Canada flight landed.

The plane was isolated on the tarmac as police responded to reports of a bomb threat.

The Barbados Fire Service said that the 180 passengers who were on board disembarked from the aircraft.The call that came into the Fire Service was that "there was an Air Canada flight, Airbus 321 and they said there was a bomb threat and it was due to arrive as 1:30 pm."

Nine fire officers, one divisional officer, one station officer and one subofficer responded from the fire station at the Grantley Adams International Airport.

Three crash tenders were also at the scene.

The flight landed between 1:30 pm. and 1:37 pm.

Emergency services also carried out checks on the plane, and the airport has since been re-opened.

Isabelle Arthur, Manager, Media relations & Manager, Air Canada Foundation issued a statement:"A passenger became unruly today on flight AC1966 an Airbus A321 from Toronto to Barbados with 114 passengers onboard. Authorities met the aircraft after it landed and as a precautionary measure officials performed a full search of the airplane.Passengers have now been transferred to the terminal where our customer service agents are taking care of them.As this is now a police matter we are unable to comment further."





2 Jamaicans possibly killed in Orlando gay bar

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orlando-shooter-omar-mateen.jpgThe Jamaican Consulate General in Miami says it has received unconfirmed reports that at least two persons killed in the Orlando nightclub massacre were Jamaicans.

But the foreign affairs ministry says the consulate is seeking to confirm these reports.

Foreign affairs minister Kamina Johnson Smith, who is abroad, says checks are being done through the Office of Foreign Missions and the hospitals in Orlando.

Senator Johnson Smith says she has instructed the Consul General to remain in touch with the Jamaican community and its leaders to provide support where possible.

Fifty people were killed in the mass shooting in a gay club on Sunday morning.





US group Fifth Harmony remakes Kartel's song

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fifth-harmony.jpgJailed dancehall DJ Vybz Kartel has again been given an international boost, as pop group Fifth Harmony has released a cover version of his hit single Gon' Get Better.

The release sees the group translating the catchy chorus from patois to English without changing the melody or meaning of the song.

Fifth Harmony is a five member American girl group formed in season two of The X Factor in 2012.

The group is currently enjoying the success of its single Work from Home which has made the top 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with over 8 million records sold.

Vybz Kartel on the other hand last week released a new album King of the Dancehall which is now exclusively available on Apple Music.





bishop-popeye-whittingham.jpgUnder the title, 'Making a Better & Brighter Jamaica', US-based Bishop Dr Popeye C. G. Whittingham, has started a GoFundMe page to raise money to assist with his charitable work in Jamaica. This includes raising money for school equipment and school supplies for needy students.

A philanthropist who is always seeking creative ways to fund his ever-growing portfolio of not-for-profit projects, Dr Whittingham wears the caps of NYPD Clergy liaison; NYPD Police Square Club Chaplain; Sergeant U S Army ((Disabled Veteran); NYPD American Legion Police post member and NYPD POPPA Suicide intervention Counselor

When quizzed about his latest act of altruism, he stated: "This means so much to me, because I have been through this while growing up. I was one of those kids..not able to get the things that I needed for school and it was very hard, very stressful and very depressing and as a child that shouldn't be."

He added, "My aim is to raise the funds from now so that when the school terms begin in September everything will be in place to provide the children with the supplies that they need so that they can focus on having a better and brighter education."

A few years ago, the Bishop put in place a scholarship programme (The Popeye C G Whittingham Scholarship Fund) which has already helped several kids from the inner city in Jamaica, including students from Tivoli Gardens Comprehensive High School, his alma mater. Two scholarships are available for award each year.

Dr Whittingham, who is also a businessman, explained that reaching out through GoFundMe was a way of getting the wider community actively involved in the process of giving.

He concluded, "We know that with your help we can make this into a reality and make a bigger, better and brighter future for our children of Jamaica.





ganja-seized.jpgA man who allegedly attempted to board a flight at the Norman Manley International Airport with 17 pounds of compressed ganja is to appear before the St. Andrew Parish Court on Wednesday.

He's 28-year-old Michael Preddie, of Fairfield, Spur Tree in Manchester.

Preddie was arrested and charged with breaches of the Dangerous Drugs Act on Tuesday.

It's reported that shortly after 9pm officers were carrying out checks when they were alerted to a suitcase belonging to Preddie.

It was searched and ganja valued at more than J$100-thousand reportedly found.





alexandra-dean.jpgA Jamaican nursing school graduate was killed last weekend after she was caught in crossfire at a Miami Gardens house party.

Alexandra Dean, 23, was at the party shortly before 11 Saturday night when people began fighting outside the home, 40 NE 212th Ter. Someone opened fire, and Dean was shot, according to Miami Gardens police. Miami-Dade Fire Rescue took her to Aventura Hospital, where she died.

According to Miami Gardens Police, the house party drew in a large crowd since it was advertised on social media as a party inspired by "Project X," a movie about an epic high school party. When the large group of people arrived to the residence, a disturbance broke out, which led to the shooting, just before 9 p.m.

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"That girl did everything in the world to get where she's at, where she was," said the victim's friend, Montreal.

Dean's mother Pauline Dean who flew in from Jamaica after she heard the news, said that she just wanted to help those in need as a nurse practitioner. "That was her dream," she said. "She didn't get a chance to do what she really wanted. Somebody cut her life really, really short. She's only 23 years old."

On Monday, a spokeswoman for the university released a statement that said, "Alexandra Dean was beloved by her fellow NSU students and faculty, and we extend our deepest condolences to her family. She was a good student in a tough program and had just participated in commencement ceremonies where she received her BSN degree this past May. She was preparing to take her nursing boards. Becoming a nurse was her passion."

Dean's mother said she cannot get the last conversation they had out of her head. "When I spoke to her Friday, I said to her, 'Study, eat, sleep, study, eat, sleep," she said. "She says, 'Yes, mom. I'm gonna do that.' Somebody invited her to the party." "Whoever shot that gun should know that bullets don't know directions," she said.

Police are currently investigating this case and are looking for the person or people behind it.





killer-mom-photo-1.jpgA hearing was held in Florida on Friday for a Jamaican immigrant accused of smothering her two children to death inside a home in Fort Lauderdale this week.

Sophia Hines was ordered to remain in jail without bond. Her attorney said his client was not well enough to appear before a judge.

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It is reported that she is on suicide watch in the psychiatric ward of a Broward County jail. Public defender Betsy Benson said the Jamaican suffers from severe postpartum depression.

Police said Miss Hines, who is 40 years old, suffocated her 7-month-old son, St. Leo, and her 3-year-old daughter, Ariel, with a bed sheet Wednesday at a house in Miramar.

Miramar police spokeswoman Tania Rues said Miss Hines and her children were visiting from Philadelphia.





crime-scene-7.jpgA seven year-old girl is dead after falling ill and being taken to church for healing prayers.

The parents of a seven-year-old girl are being questioned by the police after she died while being prayed for at a church in Old Harbour, St Catherine on Tuesday.

The child, Iasha Frazer, reportedly fell ill with a high fever on Friday. On Monday her father left her in the care of his 16-year-old daughter after anointing her with alcohol.

But Iasha's condition worsened and her sister took her to her mother. The mother in turn took the child to a church to be prayed for but the prayers failed to heal the child and she died inside the church.

The police were then called and, after assessing the situation, took the parents into custody.

"They can be charged for negligence that led to the death of the child as they should have taken her to hospital," one cop said.





corey-and-devin.jpgNightclub operator Corey Todd pleaded not guilty to assault charges Wednesday morning when he appeared before the St. Andrew Parish Court.

Todd was charged last week with assaulting last season's Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall winner, Devin di Dakta.

Todd is to return to court on August 22 to answer to charges of assault and malicious destruction of property.

Prosecutors reported that in January of this year, Mr. Todd confronted Devin di Dakta at his Taboo Nightclub in Constant Spring, Kingston and demanded that the artiste apologize for using his name in one of his songs.

During the alleged confrontation the artiste was physically assaulted.





Decrease in transfer tax coming

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pnp-horace-chang.jpgThe government has signalled that it will reduce the transfer tax. This follows a recent call from the Realtors Association of Jamaica (RAJ).

The announcement was made Tuesday morning by Dr. Horace Chang, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, at the RAJ's 50th Anniversary Symposium.

"This will be done as part of a total tax reform, but we have given a manifesto commitment and we will keep our commitments. They may be changed in form, but not changed in substance because when we are government, you have to look at the total picture. In opposition, we deal with the principles. We have given the commitment to reduce stamp duty and transfer tax and it will be kept," Dr. Chang asserted.

The Realtors Association, late last month, said it would lobby the government for a reduction of the transfer tax and stamp duty in the next fiscal year.

The taxes were reduced seven years ago, but were increased in 2014 as the government sought to raise additional revenue to satisfy the requirements of the programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Lower transfer tax and stamp duty influenced a pick up in real estate activity in 2010.

Meanwhile, Dr. Chang has linked the decision to the reduce the transfer tax to the government's tax reform plan, which he says is expected to spur growth.





Cuban president to visit Jamaica

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Cuban President Raul Castro has been invited to visit Jamaica. Prime Minister Andrew Holness, issued the invitation during the recent Summit of the Association of Caribbean States, which was held in Havana.

"He agreed and we'll work out a date, and most certainly, we will ensure the bipartisan nature of the visit," Mr. Holness expressed.

Raul Castro has been President of the Council of Ministers of Cuba since 2008.





crime-scene-gun.jpgThe Green Island police are probing the shooting deaths of a man and his common-law wife and the injury of three men on the Prospect main road in Hanover on Monday.

The deceased have been identified as 33-year-old Rohan Atkinson, otherwise called 'Bike', and 27-year-old Kimberly Brown, otherwise called 'Kim', both of Cousins district in the parish.

Reports from the police are that about 9:10 pm, the three injured men were travelling in a Toyota Belta motor car when they observed another motor car, which had crashed on the side of the road.

The men pulled over to assist. However, as they approached the motor car, their vehicle was fired upon by armed men on motorcycles, who were behind the crashed car.

All three men received gunshot wounds.

The driver of the motor car managed to get to the hospital and a report of the incident was made to the police.

On arrival at the accident scene, the police saw a Toyota Corolla crashed into a tree on the embankment.

The police say checks were made and the bodies of the deceased were seen with multiple gunshot wounds. They were pronounced dead at hospital.

The police say two of the injured men were hospitalised in serious condition while one was treated and released.

No motive has been established for the incident, the police say.





crime-scene-7.jpgA couple who thought they were going to assist occupants of a car that appeared to have run off the Prospect main road was shot and killed Monday night in the parish.

And another motorist who went to their assistance was shot and seriously injured.

The deceased have been identified as 33-year-old Rohan Atkinson and 27-year-old Kimberly Brownm both from Hanover.

The incident occurred around 9 o'clock when the couple left the car in which they were travelling to investigate what appeared to be an accident scene.

They were fired on by men on a motorcycle.

The motorist who went to their aid was also shot.





glenroy-sinclair-gleaner-reporter.jpgEmployees at the Gleaner company are still in shock at the passing of two members of the Editorial staff within days of each other.

Senior reporter Gary Spaulding's body was discovered at his home on Monday. His death, follows that of another Gleaner colleague, Glenroy Sinclair, on Saturday morning.

Sinclair died from a heart attack he suffered while at work Friday afternoon.





Gleaner journalist Gary Spaulding is dead

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glenroy-sinclair-gleaner-reporter.jpgSenior Gleaner reporter Gary Spaulding is dead.

Mr. Spaulding was found dead at his Hughenden home on Monday afternoon. He was 52 years old.

Employees at the newspaper company were overcome with grief as news broke of Spaulding's passing and many of them converged at his home after work on Monday.

Spaulding's death comes just days after one of his work colleagues, Glenroy Sinclair died after collapsing at work.

Spaulding's career in media spans decades.

He started off as a reporter at the The Gleaner Company before moving to RJR Communications Group in 1997. He began his second stint at The Gleaner Company in 2007.

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policewoman-judith-williams-apr-29.jpgTwenty-seven-year-old Constable Gladstone Williams and 26-year-old Jessie Anderson of Seaview Gardens in St Andrew are to appear in court this week to answer charges in relation to the murder of Corporal Judith Williams.

The policeman and the civilian were charged on Thursday with murder, conspiracy to commit murder and illegal possession of firearm. Williams was charged after he was pointed out in an identification parade.

Corporal Williams was shot several times by armed men about 6:30 a.m. on April 28 at a bus stop on Brae Street in Dunkirk, east Kingston as she made her way to work.

She died from her injuries in hospital a day later.





prime-minister-portia-simpson-miller-photo-3.jpgOpposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller and three of her former ministers are to appear in court tomorrow in relation to the ongoing corruption case against Dutch oil firm, Trafigura Beheer.

Simpson Miller, along with former cabinet ministers Phillip Paulwell, Robert Pickersgill, and Colin Campbell, as well as PNP member and businessman, Norton Hinds were subpoenaed by high court judge Lennox Campbell last week to answer questions in the matter.

However, the case is to be stayed when they appear tomorrow pending the hearing of the appeal filed by lawyers representing Simpson Miller and the other members of the PNP.

On Friday, the Appeal Court had dismissed an application by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions to strike out the appeal filed by lawyers for the PNP members. President of the Appeal Court, Justice Dennis Morrison, who delivered the decision, had also ordered that all proceedings in the Trafigura case be stayed until the appeal is heard.

Dutch authorities want to question officials of the PNP about a J$31 million donation by Dutch company Trafigura Beheer to the party in 2006. It is illegal for Dutch companies to donate to political parties.

At the time of the donation, Trafigura had an oil-lifting contract with a Jamaican state agency under the then PNP administration.





norman-manley-airport.jpgA salary dispute involving fuel handlers at two of the island's international airports could force the grounding of some aircrafts at the facilities next week if the issue between a contracted firm and the fuel handlers is not resolved.

The dispute is between United Management Services (UMS) and the handlers.

Vincent Morrison, president of the Union of Clerical, Administrative and Supervisory Employees (UCASE), which represents the handlers, on Friday indicated that UMS is contracted by GB Energy and Total to manage the fuel farms at the two airports.

Morrison said the fuel handlers have been in negotiations with UMS since March of last year for an increase in their wages.

UCASE is now said to be waiting to see if its proposed terms will be met, before leading the handlers into industrial action.

The union is reportedly hoping to avoid a work stoppage because of the likely negative impact the withdrawal will have on aircraft which depend on the services of the handlers, but is insistent that the two marketing companies are in a position to offer a better deal to the handlers, whose request the union is contending to be reasonable.





reggae-boy-austin.jpgThe Reggae Boyz after a sterling 2-1 victory performance against World Number-3 ranked Chile on May 27 in Vina Del Mar, were upset 1-0 by Venezuela in their opening Copa America Centenario Group "C" match at Soldier Field in Chicago, home of the NFL's Chicago Bears.

The Boyz in an uneven first half performance, first put Venezuela under early pressure which saw JeVaughn Watson's header from the right side of the penalty box crash onto the crossbar and rebounded into play, where Adrian Marriapa failed to turn the rebound in.

After the Boyz applied some more attacking pressure, their defence was caught out by the Venezuelans, sending through Josef Martinez on the left side. He made no mistake in the 15th minute by slotting under the advancing body of goalkeeper Andre Blake to score against the run of play.

Nine minutes later Rodolph Austin was shown a straight red card for a dangerous tackle against a defenceless player, which left the Boyz with 10 men. Head coach Winfried Schaefer made a forced change 5 minutes from half time, replacing the injured Kemar Lawrence with Leicester City's English Premier League champion's captain Wes Morgan.

At the half, Venezuela 1, Jamaica 0.

And although the Boyz tried hard in the second half, Venezuela dominated possession with the numerical advantage to maintain the lead and won 1-0 at the final whistle. A disappointing result for Jamaica whose coach Winfried Schaefer was sent to the stands by the referee for arguing with match officials.

The Reggae Boyz next play on Thursday (June 9) against Mexico at the Rose Bowl in California.





zika-virus-photo-2.jpg"As part of the second phase of our activities we will be placing more emphasis on pregnant women, their partners and those who develop severe diseases such as Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS), while we continue to engage the population and stress the importance of taking personal responsibility."

GBS and microcephaly are the two main possible outcomes of Zika that have concerned the global health community.

In fact, even before Jamaica confirmed its first case of the virus on January 29 this year, the Ministry of Health issued an advisory urging women to delay pregnancy because of the link between Zika and microcephaly, a condition in which an infected infant's head is smaller than the heads of other children of the same age and sex.

Based on what is known about the link between the two, the risk of microcephaly is highest in the first to second trimester. The Ministry of Health said that the two pregnant women are now in the second trimester.

"As it relates to the pregnant women, we only discovered the first case of Zika back in January, fast-forward nine months to the cycle of pregnancy and the reality is, we will begin, I think, to discover or otherwise, cases in September thereabout," Dr Tufton said. "...We believe that come September and beyond, the risk of seeing some of those cases will increase."

The health minister said so far, there has been no confirmed case of microcephaly or GBS linked to ZIKV in Jamaica. He said all 16 people affected by ZIKV have "fully recovered". Dr Tufton said, too, that the pregnant women are being "continuously monitored".

In intensifying its response to the Zika fight, the ministry will continue to monitor pregnant women at the community level throughout their pregnancies, including providing them with educational support, Dr Tufton said. And, with an estimated 40,000 women becoming pregnant each year, he said the ministry will provide bed nets for every pregnant woman who visits State-run antenatal clinics over the next six months. So far, the ministry has secured 20,000 of those bed nets.





zika-virus.jpgThe first phase, dubbed 'Operation: Mosquito Search and Destroy', focused on cleaning up surroundings to reduce mosquito breeding sites and the prevalence of the Aedes aegypti mosquito - the vector that transmits the viruses that cause dengue, chikungunya and Zika.

Speaking at a press conference to provide an update on the ZIKV outbreak, Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton disclosed that Jamaica now has 16 confirmed cases of the virus, including the two pregnant women.

The health minister said so far, there has been no confirmed case of microcephaly or GBS linked to ZIKV in Jamaica. He said all 16 people affected by ZIKV have "fully recovered".





Sixty families will have the comfort of new two-bedroom houses from Food for the Poor (FFP) Jamaica later this year, thanks to the J$53 million donated by individuals, companies and others during the charity organisation's second annual 5K Run/Walk held on May 7.

Andrew Mahfood, CEO of FFP Jamaica, said these families will benefit in a phase basis in upcoming months.

"Hundreds of poverty-stricken families are currently on our waiting list for houses," Mahfood said in a recent interview, "They are in dire need, many of whom are single mothers with their children, who are suffering bitterly without a proper housing structure with necessary facilities that are in accordance with good standards of living."

Approximately $46.5 million was raised from the first 5K Run/Walk in May last year with over 50 houses built.





Get out your umbrellas this weekend

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Met Office predicts rain The Meteorological (Met) Service of Jamaica says a system has developed over the western Caribbean Sea and is currently moving west-northwestward away from Jamaica but will influence weather conditions across the island this weekend.

The Met Service, in a news release Friday afternoon, said the forecast is for periods of showers and thunderstorms, which could be heavy at times, to affect sections of all parishes starting Friday afternoon and through Saturday.

The Met Service said it will continue to monitor the situation.





crime-scene-7.jpgSt Mary man has been charged with the murder of 53-year-old Dexter Dacres, a St James High School teacher whose decomposing body was found at his Granville, Trelawny home in March.

The accused, 19-year-old labourer Prince Walford of Hamilton Mountain, St Mary, is booked to appear in the Falmouth RM Court next week Wednesday.

The police were summoned to the Haven Heights section of Granville, on Wednesday, March 9, where residents became curious after detecting a foul odour coming from the teacher's rented apartment.

Upon their arrival, the cops found Dacres' decomposed body wrapped in a sheet, with multiple stab wounds. The police found a note which allegedly read, "I killed him because he tried to rape me" in the English language teacher's bedroom, where condoms and lubricants were also located.

The accused was recently picked up at his work place in Galena, St Mary and handed over to the Falmouth police. He was charged last week after reportedly confessing to the crime.





andrew-holness-photo-3.jpgLawyers for Prime Minister Andrew Holness have obtained an injunction barring Television Jamaica (TVJ) from rebroadcasting the programme 18 Degrees North that made certain allegations about his house and tax payments.

The injunction was granted by Justice Chester Stamp in the Supreme Court Friday morning.

18 Degerees North was aired on TVJ on Monday and was scheduled to be carried again on Sunday.

"The proposed rebroadcast would further harm the claimant reputationally, which harm could not be compensated by any award as to damage for libel," read a section of the documents.





Ganja licences good to go... almost.

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ganja-image-1.jpgAll those desirous of legally entering into the ganja cultivation business should soon have the opportunity to do so.

This is because the regulations governing Jamaica's legal marijuana industry are scheduled to be published online on Tuesday, May 31.

In a media outline on Monday, Hyacinth Lightbourne, chairperson of the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA), said the board has approved the licensing regulations, which were gazetted last Thursday.

Upon being published online, members of the public will be able to apply for licences to grow, process, distribute, sell and transport both hemp and ganja for medicinal and scientific purposes.

Ms Lightbourne said the stringent regulations in place are intended to discourage illicit practices in the marijuana industry.

Under the regulations, potential legitimate participants in the industry will have to acquire specific licences for each aspect of the industry they want to be involved in.

Ms Lightbourne said this measure is to ensure that the business is properly regulated.

She noted that the regulations do not address the issue of exporting ganja.





lucea-mayor-shernette.jpgFormer Mayor of Lucea Shernet Haughton pleaded not guilty to charges of misconduct in a public office and breaches of the public sector procurement regulations of 2008 when she appeared in the Hanover Parish Court yesterday.

The charges stem from a report by the Office of the Contractor General that was submitted to Parliament in March 2015.

The report accused her of nepotism and criminal offences in the Hanover Parish Council's award of 22 contracts, with a cumulative value of $3.7 million, to her relatives and affiliates.

Haughton, a first-time councillor, resigned as mayor of Lucea in April 2014, but remains a People's National Party councillor for the Green Island Division of the Hanover Parish Council.





PM Andrew Holness retains lawyers

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andrew-holness-photo-3.jpgPrime Minister Andrew Holness has retained the services of senior attorney Gordon Robinson after the airing of a television programme Monday night in which he was the subject.

"I totally and completely reject the assertions, inferences and innuendoes made in the television Programme

18 Degrees North aired on TVJ on Monday, 30th May.

"In particular, I wish to make it clear that all my property taxes are paid up to date and I have never entered into any arrangement with the intent of evading any of Jamaica's tax laws or benefiting from public contracts," Holness said in a statement.

"I view this matter seriously and have retained legal counsel. Senior counsel has already advised that there are factual basis on which the programme's content is libellous," Holness said.

"My family and I have been the subject of several attacks on our character and reputation in the past. As a public figure, I expect to be a target. However, it appears that there is a co-ordinated and persistent attempt to tarnish me and my family. Now that the matter is in my attorney's hands, any future query or clarification should be addressed to senior counsel Gordon Robinson," the prime minister said.





prime-minister-portia-simpson-miller-photo-3.jpgLawyers representing Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller and three People's National Party (PNP) officials in the long-standing Trafigura matter yesterday filed an appeal seeking to halt the proceedings after High Court Judge Justice Lennox Campbell ordered that subpoenas be issued for them.

Queen's Counsel K D Knight stated that he will be going to court on Monday and explained that an appeal has already been filed and the court order is a consequence of that appeal.

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Paula Llewellyn, QC, yesterday explained that the subpoenas were issued after Simspon Miller, Robert Pickersgill, Phillip Paulwell, Colin Campbell, and businessman Norton Hinds failed to appear in court.

The witnesses were required to give sworn testimony regarding the investigation by the Netherlands Government into the payment, in September 2006, of $31 million to an account bearing the name CCOC to which certain members of the PNP were signatories.





andrew-davis-shop-southdale-plaza.jpgandrew-davis-illusions-club.jpgTwo business owners were shot and killed in Half-Way Tree, St Andrew, Monday night. They have been identified as 50-year-old Helen Meghoo and 60-year-old Andrew Davis.

Davis, who was the owner of the now defunct Illusions night club, operated a bill payment and lottery ticket business in Southdale Plaza. He and McGoo were shot multiple times as they sat inside their car, just after closing their about 7:45 pm.

According to the police, Meghoo and Davis, who is her common-law husband, had just closed up their business place on Southdale Plaza when they were attacked by a lone gunman.

The gunman reportedly sprayed the car with gunshots, hitting the two occupants multiple times in their upper bodies. The gunman escaped.They were rushed to the hospital where they were pronounced dead.

Senior Superintendent Millicent Sproul Thomas, head of the St Andrew Central Police, says no motive has yet been established for the killings.Robbery has been ruled out as nothing was taken from the couple.





Two killed in Hughenden Avenue gun attack

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crime-scene-7.jpgTwo men were murdered last night in Hughenden, St Andrew and two others injured while playing a game of cards on Hughenden Avenue, police have confirmed.

Information reaching our news desk is that about 8:25 pm, Adrian Thompson, believed to be about 34-years-old, of a Glenmuir address in Clarendon and 36-year-old Fabian Reid-Thomas, otherwise called 'Drippy', were among four men at a shop owned by one of the victims.

Reports are that a gunman approached and opened fire hitting them.

The men were rushed to hospital where Thompson and Reid-Thomas were pronounced dead and the other two admitted in stable condition.

No motive has been established for the incident.

Investigations are ongoing.





Lisa Hanna says she's running for PNP VP

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lisa-hanna-photo-3.jpgLisa Hanna has announced her bid for vice president of the People's National Party (PNP) via social media.

Hanna, who is the current chairman of the PNP's Region One, made the announcement on Instagram Sunday afternoon using the hashtags #IAmRunning and #LisaVP2016

The MP for South East St Ann says she will be running in a bid to strengthen the PNP and make it inclusive. She says she wants to build a party that is more accountable and transparent to delegates and Jamaicans, as well as uses modern management principles.

Hanna continued in her message on Instagram that she wants to build a party that practises "build of politics rather than a 'tear down, cut down, stab you in the back politics".

Former national security minister and PNP general secretary, Peter Bunting, has also given strong indications that he will be contending for president in September.





Teenagers, Beware of raper man taxi drivers!

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shocked.jpgTen teenage girls were raped last month by robot tax operators.

Head of the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA), Superintendent Enid Ross- Stewart, said that one person has been arrested in connection with an incident of rape that may be linked to a series of similar circumstances in the Corporate Area.

"For the last month we have had at least 10 cases of rape. These rapes were committed by men who drive white plate cars, reported to be unregistered taxis. The persons who were raped took them as taxis," Ross-Stewart said.

"We were able to arrest one person, simply because the young lady remembered. She had the presence of mind to take the registration number so we were able to track the person. We were able to arrest this culprit and we are now looking at some of these reports to see if he is involved in more than just this one."

Ross-Stewart has also encouraged parents to make a greater effort in ensuring that their children understand that they should avoid taking unauthorised taxis.

"Remember that when you take these taxis, even if they are red plates, just take a quick glance. I just want the young girls to understand that they must be able to care for themselves. Parents, tell your children not to just take any vehicle, (avoid) the white plates," Ross-Stewart.





BoJ stems slide in dollar

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The Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) says it sold US$158 million to the foreign exchange market on April 28 and May 20 in an effort to stem the slide in the value of the Jamaican dollar. It was the biggest intervention by the Central Bank in the market.

Speaking Thursday morning at the Central Bank's quarterly media briefing, BOJ Governor Brian Wynter, described the movement in the dollar as excessive.

According to Mr. Wynter, the pressure on the dollar was due mainly to the prospect of a large US dollar bond issued on the local capital market by a foreign financial institution.

He, however, expressed confidence that the BOJ's intervention is enough to settle the dollar.

"It is our expectation that these actions, combined with the economic conditions that I have described will restore calm to the foreign exchange market in the near future," he said.

In the meantime, the BOJ governor says he does not expect the recently announced tax plan to derail the inflation target of between 4.5 and 6.5 per cent this fiscal year.

"The tax on fuel, the $7 per litre, has a direct impact of something of the range of 0.2 percentage points added to the inflation number. But as I say, you're seeing a decline from other forces, so that's why I am hesitating to give a raw number," he delared.





One dead, nine injured in Portland crash

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crime-scene-7.jpgA man is dead and nine persons in hospital following a motor vehicle crash on the Woodstock main road in Portland Thursday.

According to the Buff Bay Police, about 3:20 in the afternoon, three persons were travelling in a Toyota Corolla when the driver reportedly lost control of the vehicle. It collided with a Toyota Wish which had seven passengers.

All ten persons were taken to hospital where 38 year old Marshall Carpenter died.

Two women are among the nine persons who remain in hospital. Three of the injured are said to be in serious condition.





Five dead in major road accident in St Ann

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st-ann-crash-photo-1.jpgFive persons have died, while several remain in hospital, following a motor vehicle collision on the main road between Runaway Bay and St Ann's Bay, in St. Ann.

No students were not among the fatalities, however, two students have been hospitalized with head injuries.

Principal of York Castle High School Raymond Treasure, students from at least four schools were on the minibus when it overturned. But, he says three students from his school were among those injured and taken to St. Ann's Bay Regional Hospital.

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According to eyewitness reports, a minibus operating between Brown's Town and Ocho Rios collided with an SUV and overturned.

Firefighters had to cut the top of the bus to rescue those trapped in the vehicle.

The incident led to significant traffic delays in the area.

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Prisoner shot dead after escape attempt

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crime-scene-gun.jpgAn inmate who allegedly tried to escape from the St Catherine Adult Correctional Centre was this afternoon shot dead by a correctional officer.

According to the National Security Ministry, the inmate was pronounced dead at the Spanish Town hospital.

His name is being withheld, however, as his family has not yet been informed.

In the meantime, the Ministry says the police and the Independent Commission of Investigations are investigating.





vybz-kartel-money-featured.jpgThe way is being cleared for jailed dancehall deejay Vybz Kartel to kickstart his appeal.

Reports are that Kartel could soon get several boxes of transcripts from his trial and once reviewed, he can instruct his legal team to start the appeal against his life-sentence conviction.

Tom Tavares-Finson, one of the deejay's attorneys, confirmed this development.

"The transcripts have been reviewed, and we were told that they have been copying and numbering the pages over the last couple of months. As you can well imagine, it is a couple of boxes of transcripts, but we have been informed that within the next week, it will be finished and Vybz Kartel will receive it, and then he can instruct his legal team, whosoever he chooses, to act and start the appeal process," Tavares-Finson reportedly told an online news outlet.

Vybz Kartel, whose given name is Adijah Palmer; entertainer Shawn 'Shawn Storm' Campbell; Kahira Jones; and Andre St John were sentenced on April 3 to life imprisonment for the August 16, 2011 murder of Clive 'Lizard' Williams.

Justice Lennox Campbell ordered that Vybz Kartel serve 35 years in prison, with hard labour, before he becomes eligible for parole. Campbell and Jones are to serve 25 years before becoming eligible for parole, while St John is to become eligible after serving 30 years of his sentence. Following a 65-day trial, they were convicted on March 13.

A fourth accused, Shane Williams, was acquitted by the 11-member jury.

Kartel is being held at the Horizon Adult Remand Centre in Kingston.

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Ananda Alert for missing 12 year-old

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missing-child-devano-smith-photo.jpgA high-level Ananda Alert has been activated for 12-year-old Devano Smith of Wood Haven Avenue, Tree Oaks Gardens in Kingston 19 who has been missing since Tuesday, May 24.

He is of brown complexion, slim build and about 160 centimetres (5 feet 3 inches) tall.

Reports are that Devano was last seen at school about 2:45 pm, dressed in a khaki shirt and khaki pants and a blue epaulet. He has not been heard from since.

The police urge anyone knowing the whereabouts of Devano Smith to contact the Duhaney Park Police at 933-4280, police's emergency 119 number or the nearest police station.





spelling-bee-chaunte-blackwood.jpgJamaica's Spelling Bee champion, Chaunte Blackwood has advanced to Thursday's final of the Scripps Spelling Bee being held in the US.

13-year-old Chaunte moved past 200 other spellers from across the United States and elsewhere to do battle for the coveted Scripps Spelling Bee Cup.

"I am thrilled and honoured to be among the top 45 finalists, down from 284, and I am am looking forward to this amazing experience here in Maryland", Chaunte reportedly told The Gleaner.

Her coach, Hanif Brown, himself a student, has been equally upbeat.

"Chaunte has already made it this far and we are hoping she will go all the way to the top," he said.

On Wednesday, Chaunte correctly spelt the word a-i-l-e-t-t-e and c-a-n-t-i-n-a.

Points from her preliminary test on Tuesday were added to her spelling score today. The final will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and ESPN starting at 10 a.m.

Chaunte, the Gleaner's Children's Own Spelling Bee champion, attends Ardenne High School in Kingston.





sex-offenders-registry-logo.jpgA total of 124 names were added to the Sex Offenders Registry between July 2014 and last December. The figure comprises 120 men and four women.

Janet Davey, Director in charge of Probation After-care Services at the Department of Correctional Services, says more than 80% of the offenders were charged with having sex with a minor. She says the list contains the names of ex-convicts and persons who received non-custodial sentences.

However, Ms Davey says the Sex Offenders Registry is underutilized. She is appealing to school administrators and others to use the registry to determine the suitability of prospective employees. She says the Department of Correctional Services is taking steps to ramp up its public education programme to increase awareness of the registry.

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Pastor/teacher charged for kissing student

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A student who was left traumatised after she was kissed by her teacher, who is also a minister of religion, reported the incident to her parents and the man has been arrested and charged.

The pastor, who teaches at a traditional high school in Clarendon, is said to be among four male teachers who have been arrested and charged with sexual abuse and child molestation in the parish.

Allegations are that the teacher, who conducts mentoring session at the school, was in a session with a female student when he kissed her.

The student told her parents who reported it to the school, which called in the police and the pastor was arrested and charged.





Labour Day in Pictures

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labour-day-1.jpgSenator Councillor Dr. Angela Brown Burke and Mr. Robert Hill, Town Clerk assist with the installation of a new door at the St. Tekle Haimanot Early Childhood Dev. Centre in East Rural St. Andrew. Garfield Bennett, Principal of the school looks on.

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Senator Councillor Dr. Angela Brown Burke giving a face lift to St. Tekle Haimanot Early Childhood Development Centre in East Rural St. Andrew as Councillor Pat Morgan from the Dallas Division also joins in.





Ganja sub committee set up

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cocaine-seized-photo-1.jpgBahamian arrested at Sangster International Airport

A Bahamian man who was allegedly held with cocaine at the Sangster International Airport on Friday, is now behind bars.

He has been identified as Burlin Mitchell Starr, 52, of South Beach, Nassau.

The police report that about 9 a.m., officers were conducting security checks in the departure hall when three parcels, wrapped in masking tape, were examined and found to contain two pounds of cocaine.

It has an estimated street value of J$1-million.Starr was later arrested.

He is scheduled to appear in court on May 27.





Abandoned baby found by fruit vendor

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shocked.jpgA one-day-old baby boy was found abandoned on Sunday, May 22 near the KFC in Old Harbour, St Catherine, by a fruit vendor.

The vendor found the baby with its placenta still attached in a black plastic bag and a hand written note nearby.

The note which appears to have been written by the child's mother stated that the she was a rape victim from Manchester and she could not abort the baby.

Also included in the note was the baby's birth date which was listed as May 21, 2016.

The vendor accompanied by the Old Harbor Police took the baby to the Spanish Town Hospital.





hands-behind-bars.jpgThee police officer, who is being held on suspicion that he had a female colleague killed last month, is now being probed for the 2013 murder of another police officer.

Information about the latest probe was disclosed by his attorney Peter Champagnie, who said detectives informed him of the development on Friday.

The suspect is being probed for the murder of Sergeant Courtney Simpson, who was attached to the Protective Services Division of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

Simpson, who was the bodyguard of then state minister Julian Robinson, was shot multiple times at his gate in Harbour View, St Andrew, on the night of April 8, 2013, by men travelling in a white motor vehicle.

The suspect is expected to face a number of identification parade this week.

The cop was held several weeks ago in relation to the murder of Corporal Judith Williams, who was shot six times while at a bus stop near her home at McKintyre Villa (otherwise known as Dunkirk), in Kingston, on Thursday, April 28.

The 54-year-old Williams was attacked by two men traveling on a motorbike. She died hours later.

A civilian was held shortly after, followed by Williams' colleague.





Trinidad in fear over ISIS terror threat

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isis.jpgThe twin island republic of Trinidad and Tobago is facing a potential a terror attack from ISIS.

The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) is investigating an audio file, claiming that a terrorist attack will be carried out in Trinidad during the Corpus Christi holiday.

An unidentified man is heard warning citizens to stay away from the local shopping malls as he has received word of an impending terror attack. He also warned that the families of those involved in the plan have already been notified and he advises others to tell their families to stay inside.

"They planning a strike to hit the malls in Trinidad, ISIS, either between Friday/Saturday, or Thursday, Friday, Saturday," the voice says.

TTPS Head of Corporate Communications, Ellen Lewis urged persons to remain calm while police carry out their investigations. She has also reminded persons that the audio may be a hoax:

"It has been received and we are seeking to determine the source and whether it is credible...

"The intent is clearly to create panic and mischief as this is not the first [report] of its kind."





shocked.jpgA primary school principal who suffered the embarrassment of having his male member partially bitten off, was not shown the welcome sign when he turned up unexpectedly at his school last week.

The principal, who is on sick leave owing to the injury, drove onto the compound and when the students, teachers, parents and members of the community realised that it was him, drama unfolded.

The police had to be called to the school and the officers escorted the principal safely to his vehicle and watched until he drove away .

A parent, who was at the school last week when high drama unfolded, declared that the principal is no longer welcomed there

She said, "I attended this school, and now my children are here, and this type of embarrassment is distracting. The students are frightened and they don't trust him. They tell him they don't want him and dem run him weh. The police had to be called in and one of the officer cranked up him gun to scare away the children."

A father said he would remove his son from the institution if the principal in question continued working at the school.

"Mi a move my son and send him go another school 'cause a learn mi send my pickney go school fi learn, and pickney look up to principal. Mi nuh want nuh principal trick my child," he said.

Bryon Buckley, director, corporate communication at the Ministry of Education, confirmed that the ministry is aware of the disturbance which occurred at the school.

"A team from the ministry went there and spoke to the staff and the principal. He (the principal) was advised by the ministry not to be on the compound so as to quell things," Buckley said.

The St Andrew North police also confirmed that police were called to the institution to control the situation which had unfolded.





marvin-the-dancer.jpgDetectives from the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA) have launched a probe into a recent 'dance routine' involving entertainer Marvin the dancer, his cronies and a female.

Head of CISOCA, Superintendent Enid Ross-Stewart said that police have since reviewed the online video of the incident. The video shows what appears to be a girl being humiliated on stage by Marvin the Dancer and at least three other men during one of his routines.

Police said they were now trying to find the girl to find out her age to determine whether charges could be laid against the dancer.

"If she is under age, the police would be able to act. In the case where the victim is adult, she would have to make a complaint to the police," one senior officer explained.

The officer went further to explain that if it is indeed a case where the alleged victim is mentally challenged - as it is being reported by some media outlets - a relative of the victim would have to make a report.

The footage which went viral last week shows Marvin the Dancer and his cronies chasing the female. In the video, it appears the female tries to get away but is cornered by the marauding males who force themselves on her while gyrating wildly.

The footage has triggered widespread condemnation from several groups.The dancer has since used his instagram page to apologize for the incident but this has done nothing to stop the reactions of concerned members of the public.





usain-bolt-wins-gold-200m-beijing-2015-photo-4.jpgUsain Bolt used his strong finish to win the 100 meters in 9.98 seconds at the Golden Spike meet in Ostrava, Czech Republic on Friday.

The Jamaican, who holds the world record in the 100m and 200m, recovered from a slow start but pulled ahead in the second half of the race to breeze unchallenged to the victory.

With the time, Bolt improved on his season's best of 10.05 in the Cayman Islands on Saturday. After that first race of the season, he needed treatment on a tight hamstring in Germany on the way to the Czech Republic.

He didn't appear to be limited on Friday. Ahead of the race, he said he would be happy with a time of 9.8.

New telecoms company enters the market

Cabinet has granted a mobile spectrum licence to telecommunications company, Symbiote Investments. The company will provide internet service in Jamaica. This is the third licence issued for the provision of mobile telecommunications service in the island.

Technology Minister Dr. Andrew Wheatley says Symbiote will have to pay US$20.8 million for use of the spectrum.

Dr. Wheatley says Symbiote, a Jamaican company, will increase competition in the telecoms market.

"A timeline is attached for full roll-out of the infrastucture and operations. I believe that within a year, we should see significant operations taking place and a full roll-out of this company," he said.

In the meantime, the Technology Minister says 500 persons are expected to be employed by Symbiote.





Woman stabs teen to death for hitting her son

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crime-scene-7.jpgA woman is in the custody of the St Mary police, after she stabbed a teenager to death on Thursday evening, May 19.

Dead is 15-year-old Devario Gardner of Bromley, St Mary.

It is being alleged that the woman stabbed the teen following a report from her six-year-old child that the teen had hit him.

The unfortunate incident occurred around 4:30 pm, according to initial police reports.

It is being further alleged that the woman approached Gardner with the allegations that he had hit her son. A dispute later developed and the woman took a knife and stabbed the teen in the chest.

Gardner was taken to the hospital, but was pronounced dead.

The woman was later taken into custody, where she is being held pending further investigations.

Gardner is said to be a student of the Jamaica Foundation for Life Long Learning in the parish.





A total of 14 high school students were arrested after being caught by the police on Wednesday afternoon at a house in Cooreville Gardens, St Andrew, where at least some of them were engaged in sexual activities.

They were released into the custody of their parents after appearing in the Family Court on Thursday. All 14 students were taken before the Family Court, accompanied by their parents, on charges of being in need of care and protection.

The students were taken into custody by personnel from the Hunts Bay and Duhaney Park police stations following a raid on the home in question, which is the residence of one of the boys who were involved.A 12-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl were among the eight boys and six girls who were arrested. The others were all 14-year-olds.

The police reported that the group of students was surprised by a police team at about 5:30 p.m. Of the group, two 'couples' reportedly admitted to have been engaged in sex at the time of the cops' arrival, but the others denied having been similarly engaged.

Arising from development, a senior police officer reportedly indicated that no sexual offence charges could be laid against the four students who admitted to having been engaged in sex, because they are all minors and the acts were voluntary on the part of all four.





merciless.jpgDancehall artiste Merciless will be seeking additional treatment on Wednesday after an attack by an iron-wielding assailant left him with bruises, cuts and a broken wrist.

The attack allegedly occurred on Monday afternoon when the 44 year-old deejay was at a mechanic shop in Free Town, Clarendon.

Eyewitnesses say that the deejay was approached by an unknown man who proceeded to severely beat him with a piece of iron, eventually breaking the deejay's wrist.

The deejay, whose real name is Leonard Bartley, was reportedly taken to the May Pen police station where the incident was reported.

The May Pen police have confirmed the incident.





usain-bolt-jamaica-flag.jpgFor Usain Bolt, the announcement that 31 athletes were caught doping in retests from the 2008 Beijing Olympics was "really bad news."

"It's rough. It's rough in the sport," the Jamaican great said Wednesday. "Something that's been tarnishing the sport for years."

Bolt was speaking a day after the International Olympic Committee announced that the 31 athletes could be banned from competing at the Rio de Janeiro Games. He said the World Anti-Doping Agency and others "are doing a very good job of cleaning up the sport. They've proven that anybody who has cheated, they're going to catch."

Bolt will run in the 100 meters at the Golden Spike meet in the eastern Czech city of Ostrava on Friday, his first race in Europe ahead of the Rio Games.

He said he believed that the crackdown on doping could prove successful.

"Hopefully, we can take steps forward in making the sports better and in the upcoming years we won't have these problems," Bolt said. "But, I think it's a process, and I think over time we will get better because they're doing such a good job."

In track, Russia is banned from competing because of a WADA panel report detailing state-sponsored doping. The IAAF has yet to decide if the Russian track team will be allowed to compete in Rio.

"I don't really think about it," Bolt said. "For me, rules are rules. I really don't make the rules, so, all I do is follow the rules. I can't really do anything about it."

Friday's race will be his second 100 after clocking 10.05 seconds in the Cayman Islands on Saturday. After that, he needed a treatment in Germany on the way to Prague.

"I had a tight hamstring after the last race but I went to see a doctor and he solved the problem," Bolt said. "I'm feeling pretty good right now. I'm feeling much better. I was training yesterday and everything was better."

The six-time Olympic champion will race for the eighth time at the Golden Spike meet, part of the IAAF world challenge series.

"I'll be very happy with at least 9.8," he said.

Bolt acknowledged his career might be coming to an end but was still not there.





Two children killed in fire

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fire.jpgA four-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl, were burnt to death when fire gutted a 10 bedroom house close to Studio One Boulevard in Kingston on Wednesday morning.

Close to 15 other persons were left homeless as a result of the fire.

Reports are that, at about 4:30am, persons saw smoke coming from a house located in the tenement yard and raised an alarm.

Fire fighters were quick on the scene but were unable to save the children.

Grief-stricken relatives of the deceased ran through the streets crying out when they discovered the children's fate.

"Mi want back mi cousin! Mi want back mi cousin!" a girl, who appeared to be in her teens, said.

The mother of one of the children, unable to cope with her loss, had to be rushed to hospital. A man, said to be the father of one of the children, had to be restrained from entering the burning house.

The entire house was destroyed.





Marcia Barrett, the cousin of the farm worker who died in Canada, has taken issue with the assertions made at the Ministry's news conference yesterday. Ms. Barrett remains adamant that her cousin, Sheldon McKenzie, was stripped of his labour rights under the farm work programme, which also tried to cut off his access to health care. The matter was publicised by the media in Canada.

Labour Minister, Shahine Robinson, denied that Mr Jackson was prevented from receiving health care. She asserted that less than a day after Mr. McKenzie fell ill the Jamaican Liaison office responded, and was kept abreast of developments concerning Mr. McKenzie. But Miss Barrett insists that apart from an initial conversation with Mr McKenzie's mother, there was no more communication with the Ministry's representative. She strongly opposes the Ministry's version of events.

She is also adamant that not enough was done by the Liaison Officer. In the meantime, Miss Barrett has not stated whether legal action is being contemplated. However, she has declared that she will now be more forceful as an advocate for other workers facing similar situations.





balfour-gordon.jpgcrime-scene-gun.jpgThe husband and wife pair abducted from their home in Hanover Wednesday night and later murdered have been identified.

The husband has been identified as 66-year-old Balfour Gordon and his wife has been identified as Aleth Gordon, 45.

The two, along with a worker, were abducted from their home in Elgin Town and taken to Mosquito Cove District, over three miles, where they were shot.

The three were abducted around 8:00 pm when the husband and his worker were washing his bus, Loop News has been told. They were taken away in the bus that was being washed.

The worker managed to make it to the hospital after the gunmen left them for dead. The attackers reportedly drove the bus back to the couple's home where it was left.





Mr. G accuse Dexter Daps of allegedly ordering death treats against his life.





damion-crawford-and-cliff-hughes.jpgCommencing May 25, former People's National Party (PNP) Member of Parliament Damion Crawford will be hosting his own current affairs programme on Nationwide Radio.

Nationwide senior reporter Abka Fitz-Henley tweeted the information a short while ago, along with a photo of Crawford signing the contract with station owner Cliff Hughes.

The programme called 'Straight Forward With Crawford' is to air on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 8:00pm to 10:00pm.

On May 3, Crawford announced he would be hosting a radio programme but he gave no details.

"A now the place mash up... they gave Damion Crawford a radio show. Him alone and the mic... Crawford & Company and ur my company. It's shelled," he announced then.





policewoman-judith-williams-apr-29.jpgThe Police Constable implicated in the murder of one of his colleagues was not pointed out Tuesday during an identification parade.

Witnesses failed to identify the policeman under investigation for the murder of Woman Corporal Judith Williams.

He remains in custody as investigators continue their probe of the case.

Assistant Commissioner Ealan Powell, Head of the Criminal Investigation Branch, said other ID parades are scheduled in the matter.

Corporal Williams was shot dead at a bus stop in East Kingston three weeks ago, while on her way to work.





hands-behind-bars.jpgA Jamaican couple who was allegedly held with ganja in Guyana has been denied bail. They have been remanded to the New Amsterdam Prison until May 30.

The Jamaicans were allegedly found with 15.8 pounds of ganja, concealed in the false bottom of a suitcase while they were attempting to travel via the backtrack route to Suriname on May 12.

Benjamin Carrington, 29, and Dian Patterson, 22, who both gave their address as Papine St. Andrew, appeared before a Magistrate where they pleaded not guilty to the charge of being in possession of narcotics for trafficking.

Miss Patterson reportedly told investigators she was unaware of her boyfriend's business dealings.





Former Reggae Boy Fuller to retire

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reggae-boy-fuller.jpgFormer national striker Ricardo Fuller has called time on his playing career after taking part in a testimonial game to honour former stoke city defender Andy Griffin.

The 36 year old Fuller, who ended a three month contract with Oldham in January this year, says it will be his last parade on the field, having spent the last 15 years in the professional ranks.

Fuller played locally with Tivoli Gardens before moving overseas in 2001 to join Crystal Palace after which he moved to Preston North End, Portsmouth, Southampton, Ipswich and Stoke City, where he had his most successful stint.

He played 182 games for Stoke, scoring 43 goals. His returns at the international level were less impressive having netted just nine goals in 73 appearances.





500 pounds of ganja seized in St Elizabeth

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ganja-seized.jpgMembers of the Area 5 Narcotics police, on Sunday, made yet another major ganja seizure in the parish of St. Elizabeth.

About 500 pounds of ganja were found during an anti-narcotics operation in the Comma Pen community.

A search of a hut in nearby bushes, revealed the ganja which was in various stages of being cured in preparation for export. The ganja was seized and later destroyed. No one was arrested during the operation.





Taximan gunned down in Half-Way-Tree Sunday

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crime-scene-gun.jpgA taxi operator.was on Sunday night gunned down in Half-Way-Tree, St Andrew.

He has been identified A Lloyd Aitken of Hagley Park Road, Kingston 10.

Reports from the Half-Way-Tree police are that about 8:10 pm, police were alerted to Hagley Park Road, in the vicinity of the parish church, by the sound of explosions.





brother-and-sister-chevelle-jermain-lewis.jpgThe lives of sister and brother, Chevelle Asley Lewis and Jermaine Dominick Lewis were celebrated Saturday at Faith Temple New Testament Church of God in Portmore, St Catherine.

The two were killed in a motorcar accident last month after the vehicle in which they were travelling crashed into a house in Spanish Town.

A third form student at St Andrew High School for Girls, Chevelle was remembered for her active participation in school - tracks, swimming, Key Club, and dance - and her mischievous, yet loving presence.

Her brother Jermaine, a Kingston College alum, was remembered as a kind gentleman who, like his younger sister, was capable of making anyone smile.

"I'd like to think of Jermaine as the little giant with a heart of gold... who had a passion for life," his cousin Maurice Rose said in delivering the eulogy.

Former schoolmates reminisced on the brotherhood they shared.

An information technology technician, Jermaine was described as a promising individual who dreamed of owning an IT company some day.





Cops probe double murder in Clarendon

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hands-behind-bars.jpgThe Clarendon Police are probing a double murder in the parish Sunday night. A man and his common law wife were fatally shot at their home in May Pen.

Shortly after 9 o'clock, residents of Ivy Close heard explosions and called the police. The man was found with bullet wounds in bushes near his house, while his common law wife was found at the rear of the premises. She was also shot.

Senior Superintendent Fitz Bailey, Head of the Clarendon Police, who visited the scene, told RJR News that the cops are trying to establish a motive for the attack.

American woman charged for gun found in her luggage at airport.

An American woman who was last week arrested and charged with illegal possession of firearm and ammunition has been convicted.

After pleading guilty in the Montego Bay Resident Magistrate's Court on Thursday, May 12, Nikkii Adams, 33, an insurance underwriter of Georgia in the United States of America, was fined J$600,000 or 18 months at hard labour for illegal possession of firearm.

She was also fined J$500,000 for failing to declare the firearm.

Police officers arrested Adams on Tuesday, May 10 after routine checks at the baggage area of the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, St James, revealed a Taurus pistol in one of the suitcases.'





Public gatherings have been banned in Lacovia, St. Elizabeth following the fatal shooting of 56 year old District Constable Lewis Robinson in the community early Monday morning.

Head of the St. Elizabeth Police Superintendent Lansford Salmon made the announcement Thursday while addressing the issue of crime in the parish, at a monthly meeting of the St. Elizabeth Parish Council.

Superintendent Salmon says the ban applies to all public gatherings and entertainment activities, especially those held at night.

He said the ban will be lifted when calm is returned to the community which is now very tense.

In the meantime, Superintendent Salmon said two other communities in St. Elizabeth are facing similar bans.

They are Braes River, where there was a recent shooting which left two persons injured, and Barbary Hall. He indicated that the ban in Barbary Hall will be lifted at midnight Saturday.





crime-scene-gun.jpgFive persons who are allegedly linked to lottery scamming were shot and injured by a gunman in Mandeville, Manchester Thursday night.

The individuals were at a plaza when the man walked up and opened fire on them.

According to the head of the Manchester Police, Superintendent Vendolyn Cameron-Powell approximately 9 p.m. yesterday, a group of five alleged scammers were at the plaza on Caledonia Road when gunmen appeared and opened fire hitting all five.

The men were taken to the hospital and treated for minor injuries.

According to the police, the victims are not wanted, but are a target for gunmen.

Information about several illegal activities at bars and clubs along Caledonia Road has since surfaced.

"It is really a cause for concern and we can't do anything just now as it concerns these businesses because they have their license to operate," Cameron-Powell said.

They have been admitted to hospital. Their injuries are not considered life threatening.

Deputy Superintendent Hempford Wade of the Manchester Police told RJR News that one of the injured persons was linked to the lottery scam.





More good news for ganja

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ganja-licence.jpgThe Government of Jamaica has reiterated that it will be relying significantly on the establishment of a legalized marijuana and hemp industry to achieve the level of economic growth it has set itself.

"Jamaica cannot afford to miss this boat. Where there is no vision the people perish so we must change our mindset and get ready for success. We must be bold while ensuring we meet all of our international obligations," Finance Minister Audley Shaw, declared while opening the 2016/17 Budget Debate in Parliament on Thursday.

In that regard, he said he would be leading by example in his own constituency of Manchester North Eastern, taking steps to prepare farmers for their legitimate involvement in the industry and to establish extraction facilities to process and create value-added products.

"We will build an industry in Jamaica where we process and manufacture value-added products and not export raw materials. This is about an opportunity for small farmers who will now earn from land which is presently sitting idle," he said.

This, he said, was important to Jamaica's Tourism industry "where Jamaica will be positioned as the medical tourism capital for the world bringing Health and wellness to the world."

Jamaica is uniquely positioned, he added, to play a leading role in the medical marijuana industry.

Accordingly, he said the country "must move with a sense of urgency and turn ganja which has been a negative for Jamaica into a major asset creating wealth for our country."

Pointing overseas, he said the American market for legal marijuana is predicted to rise from US$6.7 billion in 2016 to US$21.8 billion by 2020.

"Canada has built a major industry which is opening up for full legalization next year. The Dutch ministry of Health is exporting medical marijuana to Canada, Italy, Germany and the Czech Republic. Israel which is the largest recipient of United Sates aid has over 12,000 medical marijuana patients and is leading the world in research on medical marijuana," he elaborated.





Kingston Mayor Angela Brown-Burke in China

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mayor-angela-brown-burke-photo-1.jpgMayor of Kingston, Senator De. Angela Brown Burke is representing Jamaica at the 12th China (Shenzhen) International Cultural Industries Fair May 12-16, 2016.

Dr TANG Lixia, Director-General, Foreign Affairs Office, Shenzhen Municipal People's Government expressed his gratitude to the office of the Mayor for her commitment and dedication to promoting friendly relations between the two cities.

Brown Burke also expressed her appreciation to Dr Lixia and the Foreign Affairs Office of Shenzhen Municipal for the invitation to attend the Cultural Industries Fair and reiterated her commitment to the cause.

Senator Burke also noted that a meeting will be held between the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation and the Vice Mayor in Charge of International Relations and The Chief of Education Bureau in Shenzhen Education on May 12, 2016.

Shenzhen has 73 sister cities and friendship cities from 48 countries in five continents around the world. Their sister city network strives to include more members, generate concrete results and create mechanisms, which are ways to ensure that the cities would be able to connect with Shenzhen and other cities in the network, sharing resources and promoting cooperation across the spectrum in economic affairs and trade, education , culture, etc.

Mayor Senator Brown Burke returns to the Island next Wednesday.





The three teenage boys charged with the murder of Luciano's son, Menelik McClymont, were further remanded when they appeared in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on Thursday.

Parish Judge Simone Wolfe-Reece further remanded the accused teens citing that the case file was not yet complete. They will return to court on May 26.

Charged with murder are Jerome Coombs, 18, of Bob Marley Boulevard in Cooreville Gardens, Kingston 20; Camanie Shaw, 18; and Nashlyn Anderson, 18, both of Ambrook Lane, Kingston 10.

Luciano, who was present in court, left seemingly disappointed that the matter did not get under way.

McClymont, 19, died on Sunday, February 28, as a result of stab wounds he received on Saturday, February 27. According to reports, McClymont was stabbed several times, around 2:30 p.m. in the vicinity of Parkington Plaza on Half-Way Tree Road, St Andrew.

He was rushed to hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.





Jamaicans will have to pay more for petrol, cigarettes, and even departure taxes in order to compensate for a raise in the income tax threshold. However, the country has been spared increases in general consumption tax.

With an additional $7 in gas tax imposed starting today, motorists will now pay about $31 in taxes on every litre of 87 octane gasolene at an expected ex-refinery price of $100 per litre.

Before yesterday's announcement, Jamaicans were paying approximately $24 in taxes on each litre of gas.

Light bills are also likely to increase, as the tax on heavy fuel oil has been revised and a Special Consumption Tax has been imposed on liquefied natural gas, which is mainly used in the generation of electricity.





Audley Shaw's budget

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audley-shaw.jpgFinance Minister Audley Shaw on Thursday announced new revenue measures aimed at raising $13.7 billion to help fund the $580 billion budget.

Here is the full list of the revenue measures:

1. Across-the-board increase in income tax threshold to $1,000,272.00

2. Increase in personal income tax on salaries of persons earning over $6 million per year from 25 per cent to 30 per cent

July 1, 2016

3. Increase in Specific Consumption Tax on petrol by $7 per litre

May 13, 2016

4. Introduction of Special Consumption Tax on LNG and revision of heavy fuel oil regime

May 13, 2016

*This means electricity bills will increase

5. Increase in Special Consumption Tax on cigarettes from $12 per stick to $14 per stick.

May 13, 2016

6. Increase in departure tax from US$14 to US$35

June 1, 2016

*This tax will now be denoted in US dollars.





hands-behind-bars.jpgPHILADELPHIA, United States (CMC) - The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency says several Jamaicans were arrested in a operation in Pennsylvania that targeted criminal immigrants, according to officers from its Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).

Arrests were also made throughout Delaware and West Virginia.

The number of Jamaicans arrested was not disclosed, however, the ICE said all of those arrested have been convicted of crimes in the United States, or fell within the ICE's enforcement priorities for deportation.

Convictions include corruption of a minor, child pornography offences, indecent assault, robbery, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, driving under the influence, cocaine and heroin possession, and felony fraud.

In addition to the Jamaicans, nationals of Mexico, Uruguay, Kenya, El Salvador, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Argentina, Liberia, Honduras, Brazil, Ghana, India, Costa Rica, Papua New Guinea, Bosnia, and Germany were also arrested.

Among the summaries of some of immigrants arrested is a 39-year-old Jamaican with prior convictions for possession with the intent to distribute a controlled substance.

ICE said he was arrested on May 6 at a Philadelphia residence after being released from local custody and remains in custody pending a hearing before a federal immigration judge.

In fiscal year 2015, ICE said it conducted 235,413 deportations nationwide.

It said 91 per cent of individuals removed from the interior of the United States had previously been convicted of a criminal offence.





hands-behind-bars.jpgTwo brothers, charged with the murder of businessman Trevor Meikle, were remanded when they appeared in the Mandeville Criminal Court Wednesday afternoon.

Steve and Alwayne Edwards were charged on Tuesday with murder and robbery with aggravation. They are booked to return to court on June 29.

Mr. Meikle was killed on April 17 while at his daughter's house in Ingleside, Manchester.

His attackers stole cash and jewellery.





reggae-sumfest-logo.jpgFans of Reggae Sumfest, Jamaica's premier reggae festival, will this year enjoy a real Reggae Night.

This was among the big changes announced for the 2016 staging of Reggae Sumfest. Also, the organisers have made the decision to drop the two International Nights this year. Additionally, there will be no foreign acts on Reggae Sumfest.

The format for this year's Sumfest will include two nights - Dancehall Night on Friday, July 22, and Reggae Night on Saturday, July 23.

CEO of Summerfest Productions Joe Bogdanovich says it has become too expensive to secure an international act, adding that it can cost up to US$2 million (J$248 million).

Reggae Sumfest will be staged from July 17 - 23 in Montego Bay.





Student held with gun at school

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hands-behind-bars.jpgAn 18-year-old student of Charlemont High School in Linstead, St. Catherine is in police custody after he was allegedly held with a gun Tuesday morning.

According to a police source, the student was at school when he was searched and a homemade gun with three rounds reportedly taken from him.

The police subsequently searched the student's home in Linstead, St. Catherine. Empty bullet casings were reportedly found.

The student is to undergo questioning.





oracabessa-high-student-rushane.jpgA Grade 10 student of the Oracabessa High School in St Mary was stabbed to death on Monday evening by two other classmates.

Initial reports are that theboy was walking near to the vicinity of Oracabessa police station, when an argument developed between him and another male student of the Oracabessa High School.

The dispute turned physical between the two. A third student intervened in the dispute and used a knife to stab the Grade 10 male.

An inspector, who was near to the police station, rushed to the scene and assisted the student. However, he was pronounced dead at hospital.

The two male students implicated in the incident are also Grade 10 students of the Oracabessa High School.

They were taken in custody.





hotel-collapse.jpgTwo construction workers on the Royalton Hotel site that collapsed on Tuesday are reportedly still missing.

The Ministry of Health reportedly made the disclosure at around midday.

The Royalton Hotel is being established on the property which is the former Grand Lido Hotel, and is undergoing major reconstruction. A section of the resort under construction collapsed at about 6am, injuring several workers.

Five injured workers were taken to the Noel Holmes Hospital in Hanover and the Savanna-la- Mar Hospital in Westmoreland, for treatment. One of the victims is reportedly in critical condition.

Reports are that the men were pouring concrete on a section of the construction site when it collapsed. Police and more than 20 firefighters and other rescue workers converged at the site.





Mother, 12-year-old son shot dead at home

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crime-scene-7.jpgA St James mother and her 12-year-old were murdered at home early Wednesday morning, the police report.

They are 49-year-old Yvette McLean and Devontae Haughton of Tucker District.

The two were attacked about 2:52 this morning by gunmen who kicked open their door and started firing on them.

Two other family members at the house were not harmed.

The mother and her son were taken to hospital where they were pronounced dead.

Police are yet to establish a motive for the attack.





oracabessa-high-student-rushane.jpgRushane Murray, 16-year-old Grade 10 student of Oracabessa High School in St. Mary who was knifed to death by his classmates this week, has been described as a very quiet student, who was full of potential.

Rushane was a was on his way home when he was stabbed to death by another student following a dispute with a different male from the school.

"Rushane was a very quiet and pleasant young man, who had potential. He interacted well with his peers and had good respect for his teachers. He was never accused of any improper conduct," school principal Lofters is quoted as saying.

Murray was pursing Building Technology as his vocational area.

In the meantime, the school received several counselling and visits from various stakeholders on Tuesday to assist with the grief process.

These included officers from the St Mary Community Safety and Security Branch (CSSB), the Ministry of Education, head of the St Mary police, Superintendent Stephanie Lindsay and members from both political divides.

In the meantime, the principal of Oracabessa High School revealed that the male student, who is accused of stabbing Murray was brought before the school board once for behavioural issues. However, the board reverted its decision to expel the student and placed him along with 10 others in a special programme to transform their behaviour.

The police report that Rushane, who is from Herbert Swaby Avenue, Tower Isle in the parish, was on his way home from school at about 5:30 pm on Monday, May 9, when a dispute developed between him and the other student.The police say the dispute became physical and a knife was brought into play, which resulted in Murray being stabbed.

He was taken to hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

The two students have not been charged and are still in custody.





hotel-collapse.jpgMinister of Local Government, Desmond McKenzie has ordered the immediate halting of construction at the Royalton hotel site in Negril, Hanover saying there have been numerous breaches.

According to McKenzie, the order halting the construction will initially be for 30 days, but will be extended if necessary.

He says a preliminary report into the incident indicates that substandard material was being used, work was being undertaken outside of permitted hours and construction was being undertaken in areas for which there had been no approval.

McKenzie has also acknowledged that the Hanover Parish Council has long been receiving reports about breaches at the construction site, however, it failed to intervene.

"I'm not offering any defence, but we need also to strengthen the capacity of the local authority to respond in a more meaningful way," he said.

Meanwhile, the Negril Chamber has called for a speedy probe into the building collapse at Royalton site.





AK47 seized in East Kingston

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gun-ak-47-dunkirk.jpgThe Kingston Eastern Police on Tuesday seized an AK-47 rifle during an operation in the vicinity of Wildman Street, Dunkirk in Kingston 2.

The police say no one was arrested in connection with the seizure.





KSAC this week broke ground with the CHASE Fund to commence the construction of the Family Park at William Grant Park.

According to Senator Mayor Brown Burke "The Family Park will not only be a place of fun, relaxation and togetherness, but will also re-emphasize the celebration and importance of The Family where parents and children, brothers, sisters,cousins, aunts and uncles, religious organisations, students and adults will come to enjoy the facility, and feel a sense of belonging, a sense of pride and a sense of love. Where children of all ages will come to play, and they will learn through play: developing social and cognitive skills as they learn how to be kind to one another, how to look out for each other, how to negotiate their differences; gaining self confidence as they master new skills and teach others what they know."

Mayor Brown explained that "This idea was born out of the necessity to have a facility for children and families in Downtown Kingston, where families living in close proximity wouldn't need to go very far to enjoy a world class interactive park with distinctively thematic activity and play areas that are 'attention-grabbing' yet educational."

The full project is estimated to cost in excess of $50.0 Million Dollars the CHASE Fund will take up a major portion of this project to the tune of $20.7 Million Dollars which will go toward the building of the Mother Hen Corner, Journey to Africa and The Seashell Amphitheatre.

The KSAC will be actively engaging other partners to assist in the funding to funding of the other themed areas which are:• The Mosaic Space• Reggae Avenue• The Main Family Monument• the Tuck Shop• the Walking Trail• the restroom facility Structural Engineer Scheed Cole will be responsible for the execution of these area.

"Over 95% of the material to be used in the construction of the facility will be recycled material and it is for this reason that we I am using this opportunity to launch our plastic bottle collection drive and appeal to residents of Kingston and St. Andrew and the wider Jamaica, whether at the

Level of the household or large companies to donate! donate! donate! as many of your plastic bottles as possible to help us with the completion of this awesome project, approximately 3million bottles will be needed," says Mayor Brown Burke. Collection zones across the municipality will be announced very shortly.





crime-scene-gun.jpgThe Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) have confirmed that a district constable was shot and killed in Lacovia, St. Elizabeth on Sunday.

Information is that the policeman was found dead in his Toyata Camry motorcar about 8pm.

He had gunshot wounds to his head and chest.

The deceased has been identified as 56-year-old Lewis Robinson, who was attached to the Santa Cruz Police station.

Residents heard loud explosions and summoned the police. Robinson's body was found along the Lacovia Main Road.

The St. Elizabeth police say investigations are ongoing.





faye-jacobs.jpgFormer Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) candidate for Central Westmoreland Faye Reid Jacobs has died.

News of Reid-Jacobs' death was confirmed by the police who said that the former politician allegedly committed suicide by injecting a substance into her body.

She was found by relatives on Sunday, May 8 at 6:30 pm at her Mountainside Boulevard, Long Mountain, St. Andrew home.

Faye Reid- Jacobs in 2015 tendered her resignation as the party's candidate in the Central Westmoreland seat after electoral defeat by the People's National Party's Dwayne Vaz.

Reid-Jacobs was a financial consultant and the sister of the late Pauline Reid, former President of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce.

Reid Jacobs unsuccessfully contested the 2014 Central Westmoreland by-election for the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) against the People's National Party's Dwayne Vaz.

She resigned as the JLP's caretaker for the constituency less than one year after the defeat.

Reid Jacobs was the Executive Director of the consultancy firm Caribbean Integrated Financial Services Limited.





Suspect held for cop's murder

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hands-behind-bars.jpgA suspect has reportedly been held for questioning in relation to the murder Monday morning of a district constable in Lacovia, St Elizabeth.

The man was held Monday afternoon.

Lewis Robinson, a 56-year-old resident of the parish, was held up and shot after 2 o'clock and his firearm stolen.

Police report that Lewis' body was found in his car with a gunshot wound to his mouth.

Head of the St Elizabeth Police Division, Lansford Salmon, said residents in the area reported that they heard gunshots after 2 o'clock.

The attack in the area has left police in the division on high alert.





crime-scene-7.jpgSixty-four-year-old Clarendon pastor Leon Brown was killed on Monday afternoon and his wife seriously injured in a motor vehicle crash along the Clarendon Park Main Road.

The pastor was killed around 1:20 pm, after the Toyota Corolla he was driving slammed into a truck.

The pastor had just driven out of a gas station where he had stopped to buy petrol when the crash occurred.

It took a team from the Clarendon Fire Department more than half an hour to remove the couple from the mangled car..

Brown, the pastor of the Bethel Gospel Hall in Mocho died on the spot.

His wife has been hospitalised in serious condition.





hands-behind-bars.jpgA Portland security guard is now in police custody for allegedly raping a 10 year-old-girl in the community of Breastwork on the weekend.

According to the police, the child left her home and went to a nearby river with family and friends on Saturday afternoon.

It is alleged that after swimming, the girl decided to head home for a change of clothing, but did not return and family members became worried.

The police say the girl's sister went to investigate and found the child naked and crying.

An alarm was raised and the security guard was later picked up by the police.

Residents, however, converged at the Port Antonio Police Station demanding that the man be turned over to them.

The residents claim it was not the first time the security guard, believed to be in his 40s, was sexually molesting the child.

He is also said to be involved in a relationship with the child's mother.





faye-jacobs.jpgThe People's National Party (PNP) has joined in expressing condolences following the alleged suicide of former banker and politician Faye Reid Jacobs.

The police say Jacobs died yesterday two hours after she was taken to hospital after reportedly ingesting a chemical substance.

In a release, the PNP says it is saddened by this event and offered condolences to her family and friends.

The party also Reid Jacob's contribution to the political life of Jamaica.





Noting that the recent murder of two missionaries in St Mary was an unfortunate, but isolated incident, head of the Criminal Investigation Branch, ACP Ealan Powell, says that missionary groups are safe in Jamaica.

The police in Jamaican Police have emphasised that other missionary groups will be safe when they come to Jamaica.

ACP Powell is encouraging other missionaries who may have concerns to contact the police.

The bodies of 48-year-old, Randy Hentzel, and 53 year-old, Harold Nichols were found between April 30 and May 1.

Autopsies have revealed, that they died of gunshot and chop wounds.

Both missionaries lived and worked in Jamaica, for a Pennsylvania-based religious organization called Teams for Medical Missions.

The two men and their families did evangelism, bible ministry and built homes.

At the time of their deaths, the men were reportedly in the process of checking on the completion of the foundation for a home for a poor St Mary family, ahead of the visit by other missionaries, to finish the structure.





missionaries-killed.jpgThe group, Teams for Medical Missions, two of whose members were murdered in St. Mary, has postponed its upcoming trip fo Jamaica.

The announcement was made at a memorial service for the slain missionaries, Harold Nichols and Randy Hentzel, held on Saturday.

"Because of the circumstances, because of the part that Harold and Randy played in our teams, because of the fact that we house them in the Nichols' home, we felt it was unkind and unable for us to have the team come this week," said John Heater, Director of Teams for Medical Missions.

But despite the negative international publicity, as a result of the killings, it appears the team is looking to strengthen ties with Jamaica in the future.

The local police and a team from the FBI visited the crime scenes last weekend.





The issue of free movement of Jamaicans and other CARICOM nationals will be up for discussion at the regional Heads of Government conference scheduled to take place in July.

Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs, said the matter was placed on the agenda at Jamaica's request.

It follows the recent actions of Trinidad and Tobago to deny entry to a number of Jamaicans.

Senator Johnson Smith said after several discussions with her Trinidadian counterpart, Senator David Moses, she was able to get a written response.

"He has now committed to retrofitting an appropriate area within the Piarco Airport to ensure that they are, by July of this year, more able to treat with Jamaicans and all nationals who use the Piarco Airport and are denied entry," she said.





Good news for Ganja

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ganja-licence.jpgA week after a new Board of the Cannabis Licensing Authority was appointed, the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) says it has signed off on regulations that will result in the development of a legal ganja industry in Jamaica. That is legal for medicinal, therapeutic and scientific purposes.

The regulations, as set out, will put the CLA in a position to start issuing licenses in the next few weeks for those interested in participating in the ganja industry. But before it reaches that stage, a few more things are to be done.

The regulations that were signed off on must now go to the Office of the Chief Parliamentary Counsel where the document will be finalised for the signature of the Chairman of the CLA as well as the Minister of Justice, ahead of it being submitted for gazetting and entry into law.

The CLA will, in the interim, be convening town hall meetings in several parishes during the last two weeks of this month to discuss the regulations.

The CLA was created by the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act 2015. It has powers to make and oversee the implementation of regulations for licences, permits and other authorisation for the cultivation, processing, distribution, sale and transportation of hemp, as well as ganja, for medicinal, scientific and therapeutic purposes.

The regulations that were signed off on do not deal with the hemp industry, which will be discussed in the future.





policewoman-judith-williams-apr-29.jpgThe Police High Command has promised further details on the probe into the brutal murder Corporal Williams, following confirmation that a suspect is in custody and the motorbike that was used by the killers has been seized by investigators.

Police sources have indicated that a least one serving member of the force is among persons being questioned about the murder.

The attack on Williams has been described as a 'hit' by senior investigators on the case. Now they are putting the pieces together to fully establish the motive behind the tragic incident, and the linkages that were involved.

Williams' murder has rocked her colleagues, many of whom have had to undergo grief counselling.





Dancehall duo Voicemail okay car accident

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Reports are that dancehall duo #Voicemail escaped life threatening injures Friday after the vehicle they were traveling in veered of the road and crashed into a ditch in Falmouth.

Hours later duo member #Qraig sought to assure fans and well wishers that despite being a bit shaken up they were ok.





prince-ermias-photo-1.jpgYardflex is no stranger to big ups, but this one by Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie, the grandson of HIM Haile Selassie is special in more ways than one.

The Prince and his wife visited Jamaica last week, and we were privileged to hang out with him, and we must say, that Prince Ermias is the MAN.

Blessed love Prince...and come back for another visit soon. The welcome mat is always spread out for you and the family.

download the video here.





Popcaan pleads guilty

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popcaan-photo-4.jpgJamaican entertainer Popcaan on Tuesday pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer in Antigua.

Popcaan, whose given name is Andre Sutherland, was taken before a magistrate court in Antigua and Barbuda court on summary offenses.

He entered the guilty plea to the two charges, battery on police and was fined EC$1,000 (approximately $45,409) and obstructing a police officer. He was fined EC$1,000 (approximately $45,409).

If he fails to pay the fines, he faces six months imprisonment.

Popcaan was arrested in Antigua and Barbuda early Tuesday morning.





Popcaan fined, released from custody

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popcaan-photo-3.jpgFollowing his arrest earlier this morning Dancehall recording artist #Popcaan was moments ago released by police on fine after his legal team of Michael Archibold, Lawrence Daniels and Jermaine Rhudd filled the necessary paperwork.

This stemming from a brief altercation with what appeared to be a #police office during his performance. The incident seem to stem from a misunderstanding after a fan was being escorted off stage.





Proper preparation of ackee

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ackee.jpgAccording to Acting Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health, Dr. De La Haye, ackee contains high levels of a toxin called hypoglycin and if not ripened properly, can potentially lead to death if consumed.

He says persons should thoroughly clean the fruit by removing the seed and the pinkish/reddish membrane.

Wash the ackee properly, cook before eating and dispose of the water used. Other foods such as salt fish, ground provision and rice are to be cooked separately.

Symptoms of ackee poisoning include vomiting, stomach cramps/abdominal pain, dizziness, diarrhoea and sweating.

The Ministry of Health says persons experiencing these symptoms should seek medical attention immediately and should have a sweet drink while on their way to the health centre or hospital.

ackee-cooked.jpg





hands-behind-bars.jpgA Costa Rican man, who was held along with a Jamaican woman with approximately 570 pounds of ganja and several barrels of fuel, Tuesday, pleaded guilty to Breaches of the Dangerous Drugs Act.

He is 39 year old businessman Ragelio Dixon Austin.

However 26 year old Melinda Cole otherwise called Sherika Williams and Shelly pleaded not guilty to the charge when she appeared in the St. Elizabeth Court in Santa Cruz.

She was offered 200,000 bail.

Mr. Ragelio Austin is to be sentenced on May 13, while a mention date of June 13, has been set for Miss Melinda Cole to seek legal representation and return to court.

Two cases of ackee poisoning

In the wake of two cases of ackee poisoning since the start of the year, the Ministry of Health is warning the public to be careful in the preparation and consumption of the fruit.

In a statement Wednesday afternoon, the Health Ministry said if ackee is not prepared properly, it can be harmful due to the potentially high levels of toxins.

Acting Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Winston De La Haye, says only fit and well opened ackees are to be used by householders.





popcaan-photo-3.jpgDancehall recording artiste Popcaan was last night arrested by the police in Antigua while performing at a stage show there.. The incident seem to stem from a misunderstanding after a fan was being escorted off stage. A report carried in the Antigua Observer this morning stated that the conflict began when a number of supporters climbed onto the stage and a police officer began removing them.

In the video shown below, Popcaan is seen intervening and saying on the mic not to handle them so rough. He also physically separated a patron from the police officer who reacted by strongly pushing Popcaan.

"Several patrons stepped in the way and another officer intervened to calm the police officer. The dancehall artist later reportedly responded by directing a diss song to the police officer further escalating the situation.

"The artiste then left the stage where he alleged a further conflict occurred and patrons began throwing bottles onto the stage.

In a further video the artiste - while being escorted by police officers into a vehicle - can be heard accusing the police of breaking open his mouth





Another cop attacked by gunmen

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police-cars.jpgA Corporal is in serious but stable condition after being attacked while on his way from work at the Guy's Hill Police Station in St. Catherine early Sunday.

It's reported that gunmen opened fire on his vehicle in Kitson Town in the parish - hitting him in the face and thigh.

The incident comes days after Corporal Judith Williams died after being shot in while on her way to work last Thursday.

The policewoman was shot multiple times in Franklyn Town, east Kingston; and a policeman was attacked and injured in Sandy Bay, Clarendon, while at home with his common-law wife on Thursday night.

Head of the Police Federation Sergeant Raymond Wilson said the spate of attacks on members of the force is frightening.

"I find it very difficult to understand the spate of attacks in recent days. We are aware of the shooting of our female colleague and to wake up to this this morning - it is quite heartrending for cops on the ground who require motivation in light of the spate of criminal activities to go out there and do a job when we ourselves are being attacked," Wilson said.

The policewoman subsequently died from her injuries.





The police have confirmed reports that a boat transporting Jamaicans to the USA, capsized off the coast of Bahamas, earlier today (April 30).

However, details of the incident have not been released.

The police say authorities also seized some contraband.

Concerned relatives have contacted Irie FM News, expressing frustration with being unable to get information about the incident.

The relatives fear their loved ones have drowned, however the police say they cannot confirm any report of deaths.





Missionary killed in St Mary

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american-missionary-randy-hentzell.jpgThe body of a missionary from Mango Valley in St Mary, was found Saturday afternoon at Wensworth in the parish.

The missionary, who has been identified as 48-year-old American Randy Hentzel, was found with his hands bound and a wound to the mouth.

Reports from the police are that about 8:00 am, Hentzel and another missionary went out on a motorcycle. Then, around 2:00 pm, Hentzel's body was found beside the motorcycle.

The police were reportedly summoned.

The other missionary has not been seen since.





McLeod clocks world-leading time

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hurdler-mcleod-jamaica.jpgJamaica's World Indoor champion Omar McLeod scorched to a world-leading and meet record victory in his first outdoor sprint hurdles race of the season at the Drake Relays in the United States ON Saturday.

Running in cold conditions and a negative wind, McLeod blazed to 13.03 seconds to win the event and break the previous record 13.14 which was set by fellow Jamaican Hansle Parchment in 2014. Parchment was third in Saturday's race in a season's best 13.42 seconds.

Reigning Commonwealth Games champion Kaliese Spencer was fourth in the women's 400 meter hurdles, clocking 56.39 seconds in her opening race of the season.

Another Jamaican, Ristanna Tracey was 7th in 59.08 seconds in the event won by Britain's Meghan Beesley in 55.43 seconds.





Jamaica and Cuba will sign a memorandum of understanding for multi-destination tourism between the two countries on Friday.

A similar agreement will be signed with the Dominican Republic in June.

Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, made the announcement on Friday at the opening of the Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX) at the Montego Bay Convention Centre.

He said Jamaica is taking proactive steps to leverage its long-standing relationship with Cuba, to boost arrivals through the arrangement with that country and the Dominican Republic.

"Cuba which is our neighbour 90 miles away, will allow visitors to arrive there and then come to Jamaica. I believe that now that Cuba now better relations with the entire region, this will enable us to have greater connectivity."

He said Jamaica is also in discussions with China and the aim is to concretise a tripartite agreement with China, Jamaica and Cuba.





ganja-seized.jpgA Haitian is among three men arrested on Saturday following a major ganja seizure on a beach near Pelican Cay, off the coast of Old Harbour, St. Catherine.

The other two men are Jamaicans.The police say the seizure of 650 pounds of ganja and three 15 gallon bottles of fuel has dealt another blow to the guns-for-drugs trade between Jamaica and Haiti.

The police say the ganja seized is worth just under $4-million

It's reported that about 4:45 p.m., the Marine Police were patrolling the Pelican Cay area when they observed the bottles of fuel ashore.

This aroused their suspicion, leading them to search the surrounding area.During the search, the ganja was found in plastic bags.

The three men, who were at the location, were held and arrangements are being made for them to be interviewed.

Investigators theorise that the drug was being prepared for pick-up.





ganja-seized.jpgNASSAU, Bahamas (CMC) - Two foreign nationals, including a Jamaican, are due to appear in court later this week after they were arrested at the Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) over the weekend.

Police said that the two women, the other from Amsterdam, were arrested after members of the Drug Enforcement Unit, acting on information, conducted a search of a suitcase where they uncovered just over three pounds of ecstasy pills

"The two women were subsequently arrested and taken into custody. Investigations are ongoing," a police statement noted, adding that the two unidentified women were taken into custody late Friday.





court.jpgA man held and charged in connection with the rape of a Jamaican woman in Trinidad, is scheduled to appear in court on Monday.

The police report that the 38-year-old man was arrested at his home last Thursday, after he reportedly raped the 26-year-old woman at her home last week Sunday morning.

According to the police the woman was accosted by a man as she arrived at her home in Orchard Gardens, Chaguanas.

The man reportedly placed a knife to her throat and demanded that she hand over her belongings.

When she told him that she had nothing, he forced her into the house and allegedly raped her.

The man is expected to appear in the Tunapuna Magistrates Court on Monday to answer to charges.





ermias-emperor-haile-selassie-grandson.jpgHis Imperial Highness, Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie and his wife, Princess Saba Kebede, departed the island yesterday, following their nine-day visit to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the State visit of his grandfather, the late Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie.

The Prince, who reportedly spoke with the state-controlled JIS News before leaving the Sangster International Airport, in Montego Bay, expressed appreciation to the Government and people of Jamaica, particularly the Rastafarian community, for making his visit memorable. He said he hopes to return to Jamaica soon.

Prince Sahle-Selassie said he cherished the fond memories of his visit and "it was very good to see that the legacy of His Majesty is still alive in Jamaica today."

Among his most memorable stops during his cross island tour was his visit to the Maroons of Accompong, St Elizabeth, he said.

"That was a great experience, also the visits to the different mansions of Rastafari: Bobo-shanti Hill, Nyah Binghi and the 12 tribes," he said, adding that visiting the high school named in honour of his grandfather, in Kingston, was also of great significance.

The Prince's visit involved a number of activities, including a floral tribute to National Hero, the Right Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey at National Heroes Park; courtesy calls on Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Leader of the Opposition Portia Simpson Miller, as well as tours of the historic exhibition, 'Rastafari: Unconquerable!' , at the National Museum of Jamaica in Kingston and Montego Bay

(JIS)





crime-scene-7.jpgA top level probe has been launched into the killing of two American missionaries who were ambushed in Albion Mountain, St. Mary on Jamaica's north east on Saturday.

One of the missionaries, 48 year old Randy Hentzel, was found shot to death about 2 o'clock Saturday afternoon. Then, shortly after 5 o'clock Sunday afternoon, the body of 53 year old Harold Nichols was discovered by a search team comprising the police and residents. The body had bullet wounds.

The police have not yet ascertained a motive for the killings.

It's reported that the men disappeared while on the way to meet their team in Albion Mountain where they were constructing a house for a family.

Terry Nichols, the wife of Harold Nichols, working with a Pennsylvania based medical mission, said that she and her husband had been bringing medical teams to Jamaica "every quarter for the last 20 years."

The couple moved to Jamaica in 2002 and since then have also been assisting in building small homes for persons "in unfortunate circumstances."





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

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

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

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

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





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

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

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

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

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





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

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

police-commish-dr-carl-williams.jpg

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

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

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

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

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





Father of murdered 3-year-old found dead

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

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

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

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

He also threatened to kill himself.

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





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

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

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

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

She died in hospital on Friday morning.

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





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

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

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

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

The Hanover police are investigating.





Dad flees as daughter's body found at beach

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

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

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

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

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

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





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

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

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

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





Couple found dead in car in Portmore

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

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

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

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





MISSING: Two Americans cruise ship passengers

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

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

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

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





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

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

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





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

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

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

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

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

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





Big drug bust at a yacht club in Montego Bay

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

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

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

The American's identity is being withheld.

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





Jamaican on cocaine charge in Bermuda

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

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

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

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





Robber killed in shoot-out with cops

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

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

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

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

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





Big names for JAMPRO Board

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

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

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

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





$300,000 reward for capture of QQ

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

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

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

Forbes has since been on the run.

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





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

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

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

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

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





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

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

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

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

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





Canada to legalise ganja in 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





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

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

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

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

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





Fourth suspect held in murder of Luciano's son

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

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

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

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





Celebs burn a spliff in honour of 'Weed Day'

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

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

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

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

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

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





Curfew for all students in St James

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

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

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

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

However, not everyone is in support of the curfew.

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

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

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





Robber shot dead by householder

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

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

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

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

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





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

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

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

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

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

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





Music legend Prince dies at home in Minnesota

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: CNN





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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





Car wash attendant shot dead

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

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

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

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

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





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

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

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

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

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





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

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

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





CCU was wrong says police commissioner

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

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

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

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

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





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

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

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

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

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

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

He said the businessman will be charged this week.





Ishawna releases T-shirt dress line

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

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

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

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

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





Kartel stretches hand from inside prison cell

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

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

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

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

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





British woman arrested for cocaine

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

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

Her identity is being withheld pending further investigation.

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

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

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





Triple murder on Old Harbour Road

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

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

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

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

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





Woman arrested at JFK for cocaine in coffee

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

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

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

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

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

Drake was arrested and handed over to Port Authority Police.

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

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

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





Eight-year-old molested by mother's lover

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





Cop shot dead by licensed firearm holder

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

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

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

Reports are that the shooter has turned in himself.

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

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





Sade Serena hits Billboard with Shaggy collab

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

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

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

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





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

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

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

ermias-emperor-haile-selassie-grandson.jpg





Bogdanovich the new owner of Reggae Sumfest

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

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

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

Downsound representatives could not be reached for comment.





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

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

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

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

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

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

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





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

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

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

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

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

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





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

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

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

It is not clear how the crash occurred.

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

Lewis had to be cut from the wreckage.





Man shot and killed at KFC drive-thru

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

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

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

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





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

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

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

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

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

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





Pregnant mother shot dead

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

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

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

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

Grizzle was reportedly eight months pregnant.





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

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

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

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

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





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

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

Over 200 security personnel are involved in the operation.

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

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





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

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

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

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

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

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





Brace for increase in the price of rice

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

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

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

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

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

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





US judge throws out lawsuit against Red Stripe

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

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

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

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

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

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





Jamaican among 3 policemen charged in the BVI

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





Two murders in St Ann Friday night

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

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

The second murder occurred about 11:35 pm.

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

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

The St Ann police are investigating both murders.





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

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

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

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

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





Million-dollar payout for man beaten by cops

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

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

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

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

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

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





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

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

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

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

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

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





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

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

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

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





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

California

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

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

Florida

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

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

Massachusetts

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

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

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

Nevada

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

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





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

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

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

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





Earthquake rocks Grenada and T&T

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

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

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

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





Scammer on fraud charges in the US

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

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

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

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





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

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

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

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





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

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

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

Perry is wanted for several murders in St. Thomas.

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

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





Bolt to start the season in Cayman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





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

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

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

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

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

Employees say eyebrows were raised when the memorandum was recalled.

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

The agency has since denied the reports.





Ganja licences put on hold

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

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

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

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

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

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





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

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

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

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

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





Over $50 million stolen from Scotia bank

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

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

He was questioned three weeks ago by Fraud Squad detectives.

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

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

The cops are expected to lay charges.





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

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

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

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

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

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





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

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

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

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





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

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

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

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

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

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





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

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

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

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

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





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

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

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

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

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

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





Busy's big break

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

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

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

Soldier, principal in murder/suicide.

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

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

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





'Kartel became a cannibal,' says Chronixx

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

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

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

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





200 lbs of ganja seized in St. Elizabeth

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

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

No one was arrested in that incident.





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

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

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

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

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

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

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

However, a post mortem will be conducted.





By Stephen A. Cooper

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

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

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

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

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

donald-trump.jpg

To prove the point, imagine the following hypothetical conversation between Trump and Marley, using each man's publicly spoken (or sung) words except where otherwise indicated by brackets ("[ ]").

Donald Trump and Bob Marley (An Imagined Conversation)

TRUMP: That's one of the nice things [Bob]. I mean, part of the beauty of me is that I'm very rich. [Indeed, I have been known to say:] The second-greatest day of a man's life is the day he buys a yacht, but the greatest day of a man's life is the day he sells it.

MARLEY: [Donald,] [y]ou see[m] [like] men sailing on their ego trips. Blast off on their spaceships. Million miles from reality. No care for [an average Joe], no care for me." (Stiff Necked Fools)

[Donald, don't you know?] The greatness of a man is not how much wealth he acquires . . . . Don't gain the world and lose your soul, wisdom is better than silver or gold. (Zion Train)

TRUMP: [Fine, fine, I get it Bob. Money doesn't impress you. [But,] [l]et me tell you, I'm a really smart guy.

MARLEY: Here comes the conman coming with his con plan . . . . (Crazy Baldheads)

TRUMP: [Bob! I don't know why you are being so mean . . . . After all,] I have a great relationship with the blacks. I've always had a great relationship with the blacks. [That being said about "the blacks", you should know:] Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.

MARLEY: [Donald, you] don't want to see us unite. 'Cause all [you] want us to do is keep on fussing and fighting. [You] don't want to see us live together. (Top Ranking)

TRUMP: I will build a great wall [Bob] . . . .

MARLEY: Why can't we roam this open country? Oh, why can't we be what we want to be? We want to be free!" (Three O'Clock Roadblock).

Let me tell you my friend if you gonna live this life, it's not good for you to build strife. (Craven Choke Puppy)

To divide and rule could only tear us apart. (Zimbabwe)

TRUMP: [Look here Bob,] [w]e need to make America great again.

MARLEY: [Donald, really, I] [c]an't take your slogans no more. . . . [just] can't take your slogans no more . . . . (Slogans)

You can fool some people sometimes, but you can't fool all the people all the time. (Get up, Stand up)

TRUMP: [Ok, Bob, no more slogans. But just so you know, so there is no mistake about this,] I do not wear a rug. My hair is one hundred percent mine.

MARLEY: [You] crazy, [Donald,] crazy. [And] we gonna chase . . . crazy baldheads [like you] out of town. Chase [you] crazy baldheads out of town. (Crazy Baldheads).

Mr. Trump walks off in disgust and Bob Marley shakes his head sadly.

MARLEY: Pressed on [his] conscience. Oh yeah. And [he] live[s] [his life] on false pretense every day - each and every day. Yeah. These are the big fish, who always try to eat down the small fish, just the small fish. I tell you what: they would do anything to materialize their every wish. Say: Woe to the downpressors . . . they'll eat the bread of sorrow! Woe to the downpressors . . . they'll eat the bread of sad tomorrow. (Guiltiness)

About the Author:

Stephen Cooper is a former federal and D.C. public defender. He writes full-time and lives in Woodland Hills, California.

Stephen A. Cooper, Esq.
stevecooper7214@gmail.com





tesha-miller-photo-1.jpgtesha-miller-photo-2.jpgReputed Clansman leader Tesha Miller has been deported to Jamaica by the US government after serving a prison sentence there. He had been convicted in the United States in 2014 on a charge of illegal entry.

According to reports, Miller along with other deportees,wass being processed at Mobile Reserve and subsequently released.

Police said they have been keeping a watch on communities within Spanish Town, which is the seat of the gang. There has been a simmering leadership dispute within the gang, and Miller's brother, Craig Miller, was shot and killed at a premises on March Pen Road in Spanish Town last year.

Elan Powell, Assistant Commissioner of Police said systems are in place to ensure that order is maintained.

Miller fled to the United States after he was freed of gun and robbery charges by the Court of Appeal in March 2013. He was sentenced in the High Court Division of the Gun Court to seven years' imprisonment for illegal possession of a firearm and 15 years for robbery with aggravation, which led to him filing the appeal.





Taximan killed in car accident

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crime-scene-7.jpgA St. Ann taxi operator was killed in a motor vehicle collision early Tuesday morning on the White River main road in the parish.

Dead is 37-year-old Ian Harrow of Lewis District, St Ann.

Reports from the Ocho Rios Police are that at about 1:25 am, Harrow was travelling towards Prospect, St Mary in a white Toyota Corolla motorcar, which collided head-on with a Toyota Corona motorcar travelling in the opposite direction.

A third vehicle collided in the back of the Toyota Corona motorcar. The motorists were assisted to the hospital by lawmen.

Harrow was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead, while the other two drivers were treated and released from hospital.

A source from the St Ann Traffic Police could not confirm to Loop News the total number of persons who received injuries in the accident, however eyewitness reports had suggested that up to eight persons were injured.





Another person dies from swine flu in Jamaica

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swine-flu-symptoms.jpgAn elderly female has died from the H1N1 Virus or Swine Flu, bringing the number of deaths related to H1N1 to seven.

Two health officials are among the victims who have died as a result of the Virus.

Acting Chief Medical Officer at the Health Ministry, Dr Winston De La Haye has confirmed that a seventh person has died from H1N1.

Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton is to provide an update on H1N1 or Swine Flu and Zika Viruses being reported across the country today.

The ministry has reported close to 70 confirmed H1N1 and five Zika cases.





hands-behind-bars.jpgAccording to www.barbadostoday.bb, 63-year-old O'Conner Newton was held in Barbados after he passed out 68 packages of cannabis on arrival from Kingston on March 18.

He has been charged with possession, possession with intent to supply, trafficking and importation of two pounds of cannabis.

Reports are that upon arrival, Newton was interviewed by police and was later referred to the state-run Queen Elizabeth Hospital where he passed out 68 packages of cannabis he had ingested.

It is not clear if he has been appointede a lawyer.





jamaican-woman-tracy-forbes-bvi.jpgTracy Forbes, a 38 year-old mother of three was found unresponsive at her Long Trench home in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) on March 28.

Her sudden death has left the Jamaican community in BVI in shock, with a popular Jamaican broadcaster in the island expressing grief.

Forbes, who is originally from Manchester, Jamaica had been living in BVI for close to 10 years.

According to the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) investigations so far indicate nothing suspicious.

The island's police force noted that upon inquiries they were told that Forbes had gone to bed after midnight and was later found unresponsive by her partner at around 3am.

A post-mortem will be conducted to determine the cause of Forbes' death.

Forbes leaves behind her partner and three children, including a one-year-old.





NWA manager killed in St Thomas

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crime-scene-7.jpgA parish manager at the National Works Agency (NWA) was killed by gunmen in Lyssons, St Thomas shortly after midnight this morning.

He has been identified as 30-year-old Theos Blake.

Blake was shot dead as he visited friends on Lyssons Road in Morant Bay.

The police's Corporate Communications Unit says the incident happened about 12:05 a.m. when Blake was attacked by armed men. Explosions were heard and Blake's body was found, face down, by his friends.

So far no motive has been identified for the killing. The police continue to investigate.





cocaine-flight-attendant-marsha-reynolds-and-dad.jpgThe real-life "Jackie Brown" flight attendant who allegedly ditched two suitcases full of cocaine at a Los Angeles airport tearfully defended herself to her broken-up father.

"Somebody gave her the bag," her sullen dad told The Post on Saturday outside the family home in South Jamaica, Queens.

The father, who wouldn't give his name, recalled the emotional encounter with his little girl, 31-year-old Marsha Gay Reynolds, just before she landed behind bars on Wednesday.

"She broke down, of course," he said slowly, in a hushed voice. "She said she didn't know what was in" the luggage. "I'm not in a good place right now," he confessed, looking at the ground.

Prosecutors aren't buying her story and believe Reynolds had carried drugs before and only got cold feet after being randomly stopped at an LAX checkpoint for airline workers.

The JetBlue worker was heading to board a flight to La Guardia Airport on Friday when she kicked off her Gucci heels, dropped her bags stuffed with 60 pounds of drugs - $3 million worth - and bolted, according to police.

"She knew if she dropped both [her bags and heels], she'd be able to run away more quickly," said Marshall McClain of the Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association. "She was then able to hotfoot it out of the terminal, down an up escalator while barefoot, where we assume she got into a car and took off to parts unknown."

McClain told the Los Angeles Times he doesn't think it was Reynolds' first rodeo.

"I don't believe anybody would trust a mule with that amount of dope the first time out," he said.

Following the drug dump, Reynolds, who is a nursing student at Mercy College, caught a flight to New York and holed up in the Hilton hotel near JFK Airport, sources said. She surrendered to authorities Wednesday and was charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine.





missing-cop-ewan-duncan.jpgThirty-two-year-old police constable Ewan Duncan has been missing since Friday, February 12.

Duncan, who was attached to the Mobile Reserve lived in Fellowship Hall, Oracabessa, St. Mary

He is of brown complexion, stout build and is about 180 centimetres (5 feet 11 inches) tall.

The Oracabessa Police say about 4:30 a.m., on February 12, Duncan left home to go swimming and has not been seen or heard from since.

At the time he went missing, he was wearing a white turtle-neck shirt, grey jeans pants and grey sneakers.

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Constable Ewan Duncan is being asked to contact the Oracabessa Police at 975-3233, Port Maria Police Station at 994-2223, Police 119 emergency number or the nearest Police Station.





audley-shaw.jpgThe Minister of Finance, Audley Shaw, says the government will have to find a new source of funds to help finance its planned income tax break for workers earning up to $1.5 million.

According to Shaw, the JLP had assumed that the money collected from the gas tax could be used to partially fund the tax break, but he said those funds had already been used up in the consolidated fund under the previous People's National Party administration.

He made the disclosure at a Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica breakfast on Tuesday.

However, many analysts had taken the JLP's tax break apart in the run up to the February 25 general elections and told them louldly that the plan was simply not feasible.

According to Shaw the government remains committed to implementing the income tax break, which was promised during the recent election campaign. It forms a part of the Jamaica Labour Party's 10-point Plan for Growth and Job Creation.

The JLP had planned to use an estimated $9.5 billion from the gas tax to help fund the measure that is expected to cost the country $12.5 billion.





Fraud squad police believe they have cracked a fraud scheme in which a business place was fleeced of over $62 million by one of its managers.

Detectives assigned to the Fraud Squad at the Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch (C-TOC) reported that, on Monday, they arrested and charged 37-year-old Taneka Stewart-Blake, of a Mahoe Avenue address in Old Harbour, St Catherine.

Reports are that Stewart-Blake was a manager at a prominent business place in Mandeville, Manchester between December 2008 and December 2015.

It is reported that she misrepresented the daily sales at the company and pocketed $62,753,681.

The matter was reported to Fraud Squad and an investigation subsequently launched.

Stewart-Blake was arrested and charged on Monday, March 21 and is to appear before the Corporate Area Criminal Court on Wednesday, March 30. She has not been offered bail.





Health officials in Jamaica are highly concerned about the state in which a Jamaican man working at the United States military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba was transferred to Kingston for emergency medical care.

Heightening the concerns of health officials is the non-response by US Embassy officials in Kingston to request for information to guide them on the course of treatment of the injured man who said to be in critical condition at the University Hospital of the West Indies.

Reports are that the man, who was employed to a Jamaican contractor at the US military base, developed a dental abscess and sustained complications after attempts were made to drain it.

Reports are that no medical data on the sick man was supplied at the time of transfer, no were local health officials notified prior to arrival.

According to sources in the public health sector here, attempts to get assistance from the United States Embassy have been unsuccessful.

As a result, one local health official has suggested that the Jamaican government put measures in place to ensure that a similar incident is not repeated.





JetBlue flight attendant remains in custody

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The JetBlue flight attendant accused of attempting to smuggle nearly 70 pounds of cocaine through Los Angeles International Airport will remain in custody in a New York jail.

The judge overseeing the case, Viktor V. Pohorelsky, had originally granted 31-year-old Marsha Reynolds $500,000 bail during a hearing in a Brooklyn court Thursday, a decision he made in large part because she surrendered herself, he said. But a judge in Los Angeles, from where she fled to New York, overturned the decision late Thursday and Reynolds' attorneys failed today in New York federal court to have the L.A. decision overturned. So she will remain in police custody until April 7, when she will appear in front of a California court.

It is unclear when she will be transported to California by U.S. Marshals.Reynolds was charged with possession with the intent to distribute cocaine after she allegedly dropped a suitcase full of the drugs at an airport security checkpoint at LAX airport on March 18, before fleeing. She turned herself into authorities in New York Wednesday.

A family spokesman, Allan Jennings, said after Thursday's bail hearing that Reynolds maintains she did not know what was inside the bag when she was at the airport.

LAX police soon after found 11 packages of cocaine wrapped in green cellophane and labeled, "BIG Ranch" inside one of the bags Reynolds had left behind, the affidavit says.The cocaine weighed just over 68 pounds. Wholesale, the drugs would be worth about $750,000 in Los Angeles, said Special Agent Timothy Massino, a spokesman for the US Drug Enforcement Administration. On the streets of Los Angeles, Massino said the retail value of the cocaine could be as high as $3 million.

Security threats from "insiders," including airline and airport employees and workers hired by contractors, have been a focus of the TSA, particularly after the December 2014 arrest of several Delta Air Lines baggage handlers. Prosecutors allege they smuggled guns, including an AK-47, from Atlanta to New York.





cocaine-flight-attendant-marsha-reynolds-photo-3.jpgThe former Mis Jamaica contestant and JetBlue flight attendant arrested in an LAX cocaine smuggling case is "a very accomplished young lady" and the allegations are "completely out of character," her attorney said.

Dennis J. Ring said it was too early in the case to answer specific allegations against Marsha Gay Reynolds but defended her character. He said she is a U.S. citizen born in Jamaica who had competed in beauty pageants in the past. She was studying to become a nurse while working for JetBlue, he said.

Reynolds is a former beauty pageant contestant and has been a New York-based JetBlue employee for six years. She is also a full-time nursing student.

Her New York lawyer, Brad Mazarin, told ABC News she is in "high spirits," calling her a "very nice young lady." But the case is now out of his hands, he said.Reynolds, who worked for JetBlue Airways, kicked off her heels and fled Terminal 4 around 7 p.m. Friday, just minutes after she was randomly selected for additional screening, according to a criminal complaint filed this week. Barreling the wrong way down an escalator, Reynolds sprinted out of the terminal and disappeared outside.

cocaine-flight-attendant-marsha-reynolds-photo-4.jpgTSA officials did not pursue her because they were concerned her abandoned luggage might have contained explosives, the complaint said. When they did investigate her luggage, they found it loaded with 70 pounds of cocaine.

Now, questions are being asked about how Reynolds was able to elude authorities. Even though her airline crew member badge had been scanned at a security checkpoint moments before she fled LAX, authorities were unable to identify her until the following day. It took until Saturday for authorities in Washington, D.C., to identify Reynolds from the database, according to a source with knowledge of the case who spoke on condition of anonymity because of a lack of authorization to discuss the case with the media.

An FBI spokeswoman said investigators learned Reynolds' identity hours after the 31-year-old boarded a flight Saturday from Los Angeles International Airport to New York, where she resides.

The TSA officer who had scanned her badge told airport police he remembered her last name, according to the source with knowledge of the case. That information should have been enough to stop Reynolds from boarding a second flight, the source said. The difficulty in identifying Reynolds - and the ease with which she managed to escape the terminal Friday - highlighted serious security flaws at the nation's second-largest airport, said Marshall McClain, president of the Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Assn.





Scores of gay squatters who ere eviceted from a house in an affluent neighbourhood in 2013 are right back where they started. The men, who have been accused of being a nuisance since they returned some three months ago, reportedly keep growing in numbers

Estimates are that over 30 cross-dressers and homosexuals are now living at the St Andrew residence much to the disgust of their neighbours.

"Dem need fi go somewhere else. They are a nuisance to us around here," said a female resident, while another added that they often steal water and fruits from trees.

A domestic helper said, "When we a come or leave work, we afraid cause dem will rob we."

However, claims of nuisance, were quickly denied.

"A nuh we a di trouble makers. A di one dem weh go New Kingston rob people and dem ting deh," he said.

It is not known who is the owner of the property.





luciano-son-menalik.jpgThe funeral service for Reggae singer Luciano's son Menelik McClymont will take place on Friday, April 3 at Meadowvale Seventh-Day Adventist Church, Red Hills Road.

His stepmother Sonia Sterling who confirmed the arrangements said he will be buried at the Meadowrest Memorial Park in St Catherine. According to a report in the Jamaica Observer the singer is not handling his son's death very well.

His wife told the paper that Luciano has to be cancelling his shows and added to that some promoters are threatening to sue. While promoters are unfeeling towards the grief he has been going through his wife said the entertainment community has been very supportive.

luciano-messenjah.jpg

"A couple of artistes pass through and offer dem condolences... Beres Hammond, Marcia Griffiths, Tony Rebel. It really make a difference. And we have been getting text from people far and wide," she was quoted as saying.

Luciano's son was stabbed several times on February 27 at about 2:30 pm. He was rushed to the hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

Three teenagers have been arrested and charged for his son's murder.





Feds Block JetBlue Flight Attendant's 500K Bail

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The JetBlue flight attendant who kicked off her Gucci heels and ran leaving 70 pounds of cocaine behind at LAX will have to stay in jail a little while longer.

Marsha Gay Reynolds, 31, appeared in Brooklyn Federal Court on Thursday where a judge granted her a $500,000 bond. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alicia Washington asked the judge to delay Reynold's release pending an extradition appeal by a federal magistrate judge in Los Angeles.

Reynolds reportedly abandoned 2 suitcases containing $3 million worth of cocaine at a random checkpoint screening at LAX airport Friday.

The 31-year-old nursing student flew back to Queens where she surrendered to federal agents on Wednesday.

She faces 10 years in prison if convicted on possession of cocaine with intent to distribute charges.

Washington told Magistrate Viktor Pohorelsky Reynolds was a flight risk.

"The defendant's co-conspirator also has tried to flee to Jamaica (the Caribbean Island) as recently as last night," she said.

Washington said Reynolds' unidentified accomplice has access to forged travel documents.

Wearing grey Converse sneakers and jeans, Reynolds appeared in court with her mother and Allen Jennings, a controversial Pentecostal preacher who was accused of sexual harassment when he was a city councilman.

Jennings and Reynolds' mother put up their homes to secure her 500K bond.

"Miss Reynolds is a very good young woman,," Jennings said in open court. "She may not have been fully aware of what was in the bags."

Jennings added that Reynolds flew back to NY using her JetBlue credentials which were still valid until Thursday when JetBlue suspended her.

Reynolds, who is a former beauty queen in her native Jamaica, is studying to be a nurse at Mercy College. She also ran track at New York University.





cocaine-flight-attendant-marcha-reynolds-photo-1.jpgNEW YORK (AP) - A JetBlue flight attendant accused of trying to sneak a suitcase full of cocaine through Los Angeles International Airport and making a dramatic dash to escape says she might not have been sure what was in her bag, a spokesman for her said Thursday as prosecutors suggested she had smuggled before.

Marsha Gay Reynolds, a former Jamaican beauty queen and college track athlete, turned herself in Wednesday to face a federal drug charge.

Authorities said they found 70 pounds of cocaine in her luggage at LAX on March 18 after she was flagged for a random security screening, flung off her high heels and bolted barefoot down an upward-moving escalator. They said she ran out of the terminal and crossed the country to New York.

Reynolds' spokesman Allan Jennings, representing her family and her defense lawyer, said, "She may not have been fully aware of what was in the bags."

cocaine-flight-attendant-marsha-reynolds-photo-2.jpg

But Assistant U.S. Attorney Alicia Washington told a court that last week was "not the only time the defendant has engaged in this conduct." Washington didn't elaborate, and Jennings said he was surprised by the claim.

A U.S. magistrate judge set bail for Reynolds at $500,000 and then warned her parents and two friends from her church they could lose their homes if she flees. He gave prosecutors a day to appeal before Reynolds can be freed.

Reynolds, a 31-year-old Jamaican-born U.S. citizen, graduated from New York University and ran track there. She was a runner-up in the Miss Jamaica World 2008 pageant, which sends the country's representative to Miss World contests.

Leaders of the Jamaica pageant were "shocked and surprised" at news of Reynolds' arrest, said organizer Laura Butler, who doesn't know Reynolds. She said Reynolds apparently had traveled to Jamaica to compete while living in New York, as the contest allows for women of Jamaican heritage living elsewhere.

Reynolds arrived last week at a security checkpoint in LAX's Terminal 4 wearing jeans, heels and a black suit jacket and carrying her known crew member badge, an FBI agent's sworn statement said. She was off duty at the time.

Asked to step aside for a random check, Reynolds nervously looked around and made a cellphone call as she was led to a screening area, the statement said. When a Transportation Security Administration officer asked her for identification, she dropper her bag, ditched her Gucci shoes and took off, an affidavit said. A TSA officer said he didn't pursue her because his primary concern was her abandoned luggage.

In it was just over 68 pounds of cocaine, worth as much as $3 million on the streets of Los Angeles, authorities said.

JetBlue Airways Corp., which suspended Reynolds, said it was cooperating with the investigation.

Prosecutors said Reynolds "took advantage of her position as a crew member" and "abused the trust" she had. If convicted, Reynolds could face at least 10 years in prison, prosecutors said.

The TSA has been concerned about security threats from insiders, including airline and airport employees, particularly after several baggage handlers were arrested in December 2014 on charges of smuggling guns from Atlanta to New York.





missing-teens-tabuka-britania.jpgAnanda Alerts have been activated for two teens - Britania Esty and Tabuka Thompson - who have gone missing on Saturday, March 19.

Britania, 15, of Bedward Gardens was reportedly last seen at the National Stadium around 9pm, dressed in a white blouse, white shorts and a pair of white shoes.

The teen, of dark complexion, slim build and is about 154 centimetres (5 feet 1inch) tall, has not been heard from or seen since.

The police have urged anyone knowing the whereabouts of Britania Esty to contact the Papine Police at 927-2047, the police's emergency 119 number or the nearest police station.

The other disappeared teen, 14-year-old Tabuka Thompson of a Hope Town Road address in St Andrew, was last seen in Tavern in the parish, about 7:15pm - wearing a black pants and white blouse.

The child has not been heard from since, while efforts to contact her have proven futile

Tabuka is of dark complexion, medium build and about 152 centimetres (5 feet) tall.

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Tabuka Thompson is being asked to contact the Papine Police at 927-2947, the police 119 emergency number or the nearest police station.





charly-black.jpgDancehall DJ Charly Black, who is currently in Brussels, Belgium is expected to leave the country's capital Wednesday, following bomb attacks on an airport and a metro station on Tuesday.

Reports are that Charly and his team are all safe.

Meanwhile, dancehall artiste, Spice, is breathing a sigh of relief after returning to Jamaica following a performance in Brussels, Belgium.

She returned from a month long tour which ran from February 17 to March 19.

She started in Berlin, Germany and ended in Brussels, Belgium.





Jimmy Riley dead at 61

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jimmy-riley-and-son-tarrus-riley.jpgReggae legend Jimmy Riley, has died.

Reports are that the reggae singer, who is the father of Tarrus Riley, died Wednesday morning in New York after a battle with cancer. He was 61.

Born Martin James Ziggy Norman Riley, 22 May 1954, he was recognised mainly as a soloist but was also a member of The Sensations and The Uniques.

Jimmy is known for the hits Love and Devotion and Give Thanks And Praise.

He topped the UK reggae chart with his version of Marvin Gaye's Sexual Healing.

Tarrus Riley's label mate, Alaine, was among the first of a long list of members of the entertainment fraternity to show support.





james-fortune-and-wife.jpgGrammy-nominated gospel singer James Fortune has begun serving five days in a Texas jail for assaulting his wife during a 2014 argument.sp

Fort Bend County jail records show the 38-year-old Fortune turned himself in Monday night in Richmond, about 20 miles southwest of Houston.

Fortune earlier this year month pleaded guilty to assault on a family member, in a plea deal. Fortune must also serve five years of probation, do community service and not have any contact with his estranged wife.

Fortune's hits include "Hold On" and "I Trust You."

In court, a prosecutor read a victim impact statement from Fortune's wife in which she wrote, "I hope in all of this you get help. Serious help. Although this probation might be like a slap on the wrist, I hope you look at it as a moment to better yourself and change something within you for your future."

This is the second time Fortune has pleaded guilty after hurting a family member.

In 2002 he took a plea deal for six years of probation after burning his four-year-old son in hot water.

Investigators said Fortune said it was a form of discipline.

The boy was burned over 40 percent of his body.

Source: AP





crime-scene-gun.jpgThe police are trying to determine the motive behind the deadly attack on a Nigerian man in the northern Jamaica parish of St. Ann.

The bodies of Edward Omoregih, 60, and his wife were found with bullet wounds by their driver at their home in Free Hill in Bamboo, early Tuesday.

Mr. Omoregih was pronounced dead on the scene, while his wife has been admitted in serious condition.

Investigations continue.





Massive raid in Tivoli

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police-cars.jpgThere was a massive operation underway in sections of Tivoli Gardens in Kingston.

Police, in a pre dawn raid on Tuesday, swooped down on sections of the West Kingston community, searching for guns and wanted men.

"The clamp down is part of an initiative to bring the recent crime situation under control and to go after some persons we believe are key players in the ongoing gang feud that has once again triggered tension in the area," a senior officer told explained.





kingston-college-schools-challenge-quiz-team.jpgThe row engulfing this year's staging of the popular Schools' Challenge Quiz competition is escalating with the threat of legal action by Camperdown High and strong discontent being expressed by Kingston College.

Former Jamaican Ambassador to the United States and Professor of International Law at the University of the West Indies, Stephen Vasciannie has sent a letter to Television Jamaica's General Manager, Claire Grant.

Vasciannie told Grant that the recent deduction of four points from Kingston College during their quarter-final match, which resulted in KC being belatedly declared losers to Campion College, is unfair and unjust. He warned the TVJ General Manager that the integrity of the competition, which has a rich history, is at risk.

The Professor said fairness should result in the match being awarded to KC.

Vascaiannie noted that, at the end of the match, it appeared that Kingston College had won by four points. According to Professor Vasciannie, his understanding from persons present at the studio when the match was recorded is that the judges held that Kingston College had mispronounced the name "Absalom".

He said, on examination, it is evident that there was nothing wrong with the pronunciation of "Absalom". Ambassador Vasciannie's letter was copied to the Chairman of the RJR Communications group, Lester Spaulding.

Vascianne is a former President of the Kingston College Old Boys Association.

The SCQ competition was engulfed in controversy earlier this week when an incorrect tally of the scores resulted in a rematch being ordered between Camperdown and Ardenne High, which Ardenne won. Camperdown has threatened legal action in the matter.





toronto-mayor-rob-ford.jpgControversial former Toronto mayor Rob Ford is dead

Rob Ford, the former Toronto mayor who polarized voters with his brash, uncompromising political style and became an international celebrity for his drug and alcohol use while in office, has died. He was 46.

His family confirmed his death today, saying he had been fighting cancer.

He became known internationally in 2013 after Toronto police said they had obtained a video that appeared to show Ford smoking crack cocaine.

Ford had remained a councillor after withdrawing from the 2014 race to keep his job in Canada's largest city. He withdrew after being hospitalised with an abdominal tumour and endorsed his brother, Doug, who would lose out to John Tory.

A statement from his office announced the death of the "beloved son, brother, husband and father".

"A dedicated man of the people, Councillor Ford spent his life serving the citizens of Toronto.

"The family asks that you respect their privacy and join them in their grieving and their prayers."

Swept to the office in 2010 on a platform pledging to "stop the gravy train", Ford would soon become involved in a number of highly publicised incidents.

After months of denials about the content of the video, Ford admitted to smoking crack, but said he was not an addict. After reports of a second video emerged of him smoking crack, he decided to enter rehab.

It was reported yesterday that he had been in a palliative care facility.





Dr Winston De La Haye, the Acting Chief Medical Officer (CMO) in the Ministry of Health, was held up and robbed by gunmen in the upscale Acadia area in Constant Spring on Saturday.

Dr De La Haye and his wife reportedly went to pick up their child on Acadia Drive in St Andrew, when they were accosted by two armed men.

Head of the Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB), Assistant Commissioner Elan Powell, said on television on Saturday, that the couple was robbed of cash, cell phones and jewelry, but was not harmed by the attackers.

The robbers were said to have made good their escape on foot in the area.

Dr De La Haye was recently appointed to act in the senior post within the Ministry of Health, following the retirement of the former office holder, Dr Marion Bullock-Ducasse.





butch-stewart-gordon-butch.jpgHotelier and chairman of the Jamaica Observer sewspaper, , Gordon 'Butch' Stewart made the headlines last week when he dropped a 17.5 billion dollar lawsuit against his print media rival, the Gleaner company.

According to Stewart's paper, the lawsui stated that the report that "the shares of businessman Gordon 'Butch' Stewart in Gorstew have been frozen due to his failure to pay legal cost to the tune of J$40 million to one Noel Sloley is false and defamatory.

"This publication was and is factually incorrect. The freezing order in question is in respect of costs claimed by Jamaica Tours Limited, which is the subject of ongoing litigation in the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal."

There has so far been no response from the Gleaner, but online has been buzzing. Most of the comments have been supportive of the intended action, but a few have been critical.

Brlow are a some of the comments:

"I am no lawyer here...but let me see if I can reason this out.

Some time in March 2009 (Observer Article dated March 15, 2009) United States and local agents, in a ground-breaking development, swooped down on the offices of Jamaica Tours Limited, owned by the family of Opposition Senator Noel Sloley, to trace the origin of a vexatious e-mail that allegedly libeled Gordon 'Butch' Stewart...Fast forward to 2016...Jamaica Tours Limited is claiming Legal Costs. You can only claim legal costs when you triumph in the Courts. So, I guess its safe to say JTL/Noel Sloley did. That now leads us to the issue of the frozen shares. So the shares were frozen not because of "failure to pay legal cost" but the freezing order in question is in respect of costs claimed by Jamaica Tours Limited, which is the subject of ongoing litigation in the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal. Hhhmmm, sounds like someone is splitting hairs."

"Mr Stewart you want tell us that the Gleaner print a misleading story on there web site Friday and now today Monday it cause you significant damage and also resulted in significant losses, you know that what you mention you got to prove the " significant damage" and "significant losses" to the courts to be compensated, now I can understan the false and defamation lawsuit.

"But you also admitted that the freezing of assets is true but it pertain to the Jamaica Tours Limited and not one Mr Noel Sloley. Now you know that if Mr Noel Sloley is Jamaica Tours Limited or a part of then the story only is deceptive and not entirely false, I wish you we'll, knowing fullwell this going to take years to litigate if you really got a case."





crime-scene-7.jpgshocked.jpgThugs on the weekend shot up the Morgan Bridge police station in Grange Hill Westmoreland, causing one police officer to sustain minor injury

Reports are that shortly after 3 o'clock Saturday morning, the man who has been now been detained, stormed into the guardroom and said he was there to make a complaint.

It is understood that while the man was making the complaint, several gunshots were heard being fired in the station yard.

When the shooting subsided, several bullet holes could be seen in the wall and window of the police station.

The shooting incident comes just days ahead of the visit of newly appointed security minister Robert Montague in Westmoreland for a town hall meeting.





luciano-son-menalik.jpgThe three boys charged with the murder of Menelik McClymont, 19, the son of reggae artiste Luciano, were denied bail when they appeared in court on Thursday.

The three, two of them students, were remanded until April 21, after prosecutors strongly opposed bail.

Jerome Coomb,18,Kemanie Shaw , 18 and Nashlyn Morgan, 18, were charged on March 4, following an investigation by the CIB.

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

He died a day later at hospital.





bob-marley-photo-3.jpgThe Marley family chalked up another victory when a United States court sided with them in a lawsuit filed against a company that sold shirts with the late Bob Marley's image.

The estate of the Jamaican icon had filed a suit after low-cost T-shirts - featuring a photo of a speaking Marley next to the yellow, green and red colors associated with his Rastafarian faith - went on sale at Walmart, Target and other major US retailers.

In 2011 a Nevada jury awarded over $2 million in damages and legal fees to firms owned by Marley's children that said they had lost an order to sell T-shirts at Walmart as the unauthorized rival was distributing a similar product.

The defendants lodge an appeal but that was rejected on Friday by a federal court which agreed that the non-family companies violated the 1946 Lanham Act, a key US law on copyright infringement.





Another doctor dies from Swine Flu

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swine-flu-pig.jpgA second medical doctor has died from H1N1 (Swine Flu) related complications.

The doctor, Denise Duncan Goffe, is the sixth person to have died since the virus was first reported here in January.

Duncan Goffe, who was just over 60 years old, had been admitted to the University Hospital of the West Indies.

The acting chief medical officer, Dr Winston De La Haye, says she was in the high-risk group as she had other complications.





Police scoop up 10 wanted men

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hands-behind-bars.jpgWanted men - most of whom were wanted on charges ranging from rape to murder - have been apprehended by the Westmoreland police.

The 10 were picked up as the police executed 300 warrants since the start of January, David White, the superintendent in charge of the Westmoreland division, told Loop News.

Among the offenders were motorists wanted on road traffic violations.

"We are stepping up our drive," said White, who is well-regarded within the police force.

At the same time, the senior cop said that 'Jawbone', one of the most wanted men in the western end of Jamaica is now on his radar. He's wanted for a number of murders and is known to frequent the areas of Waterworks, Savanna-la-Mar and Whithorn in the parish.

"We won't stop until we get this man. He's our number one priority, I can emphasize, until we get him off the street," said the superintendent, who took over the Westmoreland division last year.

Meanwhile, White said that his men have recovered nine or 10 firearms since January. The figure, he said, is more than the total number of firearms recovered in 2015.





dahlia-harris.jpgPlaywright, artistic director, actress, broadcaster, communications practitioner and marketing specialist, Dahlia Harris has been appointed as Director of Culture in Education at the Ministry of Education, Information and Youth.

Harris, who was Principal Director of Culture under the previous PNP administration, was dismissed following a dispute with senior members of the then Lisa Hanna-led Youth and Culture Ministry.

Her appointment comes as the Andrew Holness administration begins to ring the changes in its first few weeks in office.

She is a graduate of the University of the West Indies, where she pursued a double major in mass communications and literature.She has served as a member of the Board of the Creative Production and Training Centre, and the Entertainment Advisory Board of the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment.





JUTC puts plans on hold

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jutc-buses-photo-1.jpgThe state-run Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) has put plans to charge passengers who pay with cash a higher bus fare on hold.

In January, the JUTC announced that come April persons who pay with cash will have to pay a fare of $120.

The company said persons who use the JUTC smarter card will continue to benefit from the current fare of $100.

However, JUTC Marketing and Communications Manager, Clinton Clarke, says arising from the change in administration the management of the bus company took the decision to put the plans on hold.

Clarke says the matter is under evaluation and the public will be informed when a final decision is made.

Nevertheless, he says the JUTC is still encouraging users to obtain and use smarter cards.





The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) has confirmed plans to discontinue the practice of giving extra answer sheets to students sitting two of its exams, but says that this will not place candidates at a disadvantage.

The change applies to the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) exams and the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE).

The council says it is aware that some people are concerned about the new policy. However, it has sought to assure the public that it has a new booklet which has adequate space for students to write answers.

The council says the new booklets were used on five previous occasions and it did not receive any complaints that CSEC or CAPE candidates needed additional answer sheets.

According to CXC, it has done adequate research and is confident that the space provided in the new booklet is more than adequate for the expected responses.

The CXC says in an effort to ensure that no candidate is disadvantaged, the new answer booklets, also provide a general area, at the back of the booklet to facilitate candidates who write significantly more than is typical.





No breakthrough in murder of man by gays

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crime-scene-7.jpgFollowing the killing of Nicholas Beadle at the hands of alleged homosexuals last month, police say they have yet to make any breakthroughs in bringing the still-at-large perpetrator to justice.

Beadle, 27, was stabbed to death while on his way home from work on February 25 as he navigated through a path in the vicinity of West King's House road. He died while receiving treatment in the hospital.

The deceased man's family is now waiting for an arrest with a heavy heart, and hoping police find his assailants.

"My son died, and now you hear them saying they are stepping up security," said the victim's father. "That not helping me again! I already have my loss. This is one of our biggest losses."

No motive for the attack appears to be that of robbery.





crime-scene-gun.jpgThe Clarendon police say they are following several leads into the murder of a businessman in the parish late yesterday evening.

Dead is 48-year-old Everton Mundle otherwise known as Iga of a Harris Street address.

Mundle, who owns a nightclub in Denbigh, was playing a game of football with friends in the community.

It's reported that during the game armed men approached him and opened fire hitting him several times.

No one else was injured in the attack.

Mundle was pronounced dead upon arrival at hospital.





BSJ now charging GCT, as required by IMF

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Effective Monday, the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) will begin charging General Consumption Tax (GCT) on all services it provides as part of instructions issued from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to the Government of Jamaica.

A newspaper advertisement said the BSJ is now a registered taxpayer.

Among the services offered by the BSJ are laboratory testing and product certification.

Dr. Winston Davidson, BSJ Chairman, said the multi-laterals raised concern about what they considered an anomaly in the operations of the BSJ.

"The Ministry of Finance, through the World Bank project, has decided to charge the Bureau of Standards GCT on all transactions. That has caused an increase in the budget by millions of dollars. There is no increase in the profit margin to the Bureau, just that it has dug into our budget by nearly over $20 million, this never happened before but since the iMF conditions require that, we just have to comply with that," he said.





cop-killed-hanover-accident-photo-1.jpgThe police have released the identity of the constable who was killed in a horrific three-vehicle crash on Sunday afternoon on the Orange Bay main road in Green Island, Hanover.

cop-killed-hanover-accident-photo-2.jpg

He has been identified as 20-year-old Demoy Witter, who was attached to the Negril Police Station in Westmoreland.

The crash, which occurred about 3 o'clock, involved a Toyota Altis, a coaster bus, and a Honda motor car, which was driven by the policeman. Two policemen and three foreigners were also injured.

Reports are that the Honda Civic may have drifted into the path of the Coaster that was traveling in the opposite direction and it resulted in the collision.

The policemen and the foreigners were released from hospital on Sunday night.

Pictures of the crash site reveal a mangled Honda Civic, crushed to a quarter of its original size.

cop-killed-hanover-accident-photo-3.jpg





A major crisis is looming on the already sick public healthcare sector amid reports that more nurses are being recruited for overseas jobs.

According to the president of the Nurses Association of Jamaica (NAJ) Janet Coore Farris, more nurses likely to leave the island next month, when British recruiters arrive.

The current atio of one nurse to 40 patients in some health facilities in Jamaica is in stark contrast to the international standard of one nurse to five patients, she explained, adding that the situation will worsen. These registered nurses "don't even have to have their degree in nursing; they will just have to have a certificate," she said.

Such is the extent of the demand for these nurses, she elaborated, that they will not need to have specialist training, just experience working in the particular area.

Mrs Coore Farr said the United States, Canada and England are interested in Jamaican nurses because they are well trained.

Furthermore, she said, Jamaican nurses are eager to take up jobs overseas because of the improved salaries.

"They are going to be paying them anywhere between L36,000 to L40,000... and that... works out to be anywhere between six-point-something (Jamaican) dollars to seven-point-two million dollars a year. So, we really do have a crisis on our hands," she declared.





Court orders Butch Stewart's assets frozen

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butch-stewart.jpgThe court has ordered a freeze on the assets of local hotelier and media mogul, Gordon "Butch" Stewart, until he pays up some outstanding legal costs.

This after Noel Slowley went to the Supreme Court yesterday (March 11), and got an order freezing Stewarts share in his company Gorstew Limited, to recover legal cost amount to $40 m.

The order will remain in force until Stewart pays the money.

The matter stems from an application Stewart made in the Supreme Court in 2009, claiming that he was liabled in an email allegedly sent from a computer at Mr. Slowleys company in Montego Bay.

Stewart was instructed by the court to have forensic experts search the computers at Mr. Slowley's company.

Stewart claimed then that the search was stopped by the directors of Slowleys company and Stewart sought to have the directors jailed for disobeying a court order.

The matter was thrown out by the court and attempts by Stewart to appeal the ruling also failed.

The court awarded damages to Slowley and his company in the amount of over $40 m.

In court on Friday, Slowley applied for and was granted an order to freeze Stewart's assets until the money has been paid.





Two held in attack in Norwood

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hands-behind-bars.jpgThe police have held two persons in relation to Tuesday's attack in Norwood, St. James that left three people dead.

The police say the two were accosted between yesterday and this morning.

They say the detainees will be processed and interviewed.

The police also say they are maintaining a presence in the sometimes-troubled Norwood community.

Gunmen yesterday walked into a cook shop in the community and opened fire killing three men.

The police have said the shooting stemmed from a dispute between the operator of the cook shop and a woman over a cellular phone.





curacao-gerrit-schotte-en-cicely-van-der-dijs.jpgThe Court of Justice in Curacao has sentenced former prime minister Gerrit Schotte to three years imprisonment after he was found guilty of bribery, forgery and money laundering charges.

The court also ruled that his long-time partner, Cicely van der Dijs, be sentenced to 18 months in prison.

In addition, the court Friday said that the former Curacao prime minister cannot participate as a candidate in any elections for the period of five years.

Schotte, the leader of the MFK party, was appointed the country's first prime minister in October 2010, He served for two years before members of his own administration quit and formed a new government. Schotte labelled the move as coup sponsored by The Hague.





carson-trump-presidential-debate.jpgBen Carson, the former pediatric neurosurgeon who dropped out of the Republican presidential race last week, endorsed Donald Trump on Friday, praising his "guts" and "energy."

"There are two different Donald Trumps," Carson said at the billionaire's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. "There's the one you see on the stage and there's the one who is very cerebral, sits there and considers things very carefully. You can have a very good conversation with him. That's the Donald Trump that you're going to start seeing more and more of."

Trump agreed with that assessment.

"I probably do agree. There's the public version ... it seems to have worked over my lifetime," he said. "I think it's different than the personal one."

Moments later, though, Trump seemed to reject that idea.

"I don't think there are two Donald Trumps. I think there's one Donald Trump," he said.

When asked about Trump's past criticisms of his candidacy, Carson said, "We buried the hatchet. That was political stuff."

"We move on," he added.

Trump gave a rambling speech in Iowa in November in which he called Carson a "pathological" liar and compared it to child molestation.

"If you're a child molester, there's no cure, they can't stop you. Pathological, there's no cure." Trump said at the time.

Carson said on Friday that he opposed to efforts within the Republican Party to derail Trump's candidacy.

"What I have seen recently is political operatives ... trying to thwart the will of the people," Carson said. "I want the political process to play out."





swine-flu-pig.jpgThe Medical Officer of Health for Clarendon, Dr Kimberly Scarlett Campbell, has reported that the parish has recorded three suspected cases of the Influenza A or H1N1 Virus.

The cases which were recorded in February are yet to be confirmed as lab results are still outstanding.

However, Dr Scarlett Campbell reported to the Clarendon Parish Council at its monthly sitting yesterday that there has been an increase in the number of undifferentiated cases of flu in the parish and she believes this is due to the H1N1 virus.

She noted that the Clarendon health department is aware of the threat of the H1N1 and is reporting that there is sufficient medication available to treat suspected high risk cases.

Additionally she said the parish will be hiring a public health inspector who will be responsible for inspecting institutions such as schools, police stations and lock-ups to ensure adherence to prevention and control standards.

As a preventative measure, the Medical officer said the health department has embarked on a massive immunisation programme for its frontline healthcare workers at hospitals and health centers as they are seen as a high risk group.





crime-scene-7.jpgThe decomposing body of a St James High School teacher was discovered at the house at which he was living in Trelawny, by police Wednesday morning.

He has been identified as Dexter Dacres.

According to the police, they were summoned to the swanky New Haven Heights neighbourhood, by residents who detected a foul odour coming from the teacher's home.

Upon their arrival, the cops discovered the decomposing body wrapped in a sheet. It had multiple stab wounds.





Triple murder in Norwood

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crime-scene-7.jpgA large contingent of police and soldiers converged at the scene of a triple murder in the Shanty Town section of Norwood in St James, on Wednesday.

Reports are that three men were among patrons at a cook shop when they were shot by men who alighted from a motor car.

The attackers then made off in the waiting motor car.

A tense calm now exists in the community.





41-y-o woman shot dead in St Elizabeth

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crime-scene-gun.jpgThe St Elizabeth police are investigating the shooting death of a 41-year-old woman who was killed early Wednesday morning morning.

The police have named the victim as Marva Salmon of Southampton, which is just a few miles south of Santa Cruz.

Early reports, but as yet unsubstantiated, from the police indicate that the weapon used in the shooting death of Salmon was unlicenced.





Over the last few weeks, a number of carjacking incidents have plagued the capital city, Kingston. Late Tuesday night, a young couple was carjacked on Beechwood Avenue causing them to flee for their safety.

Only last week, a member of the diplomatic corp was confronted by a man in the middle of the street forcing him to stop the car while two other men jumped into the back seat and tried to overpower him.

A struggle ensued as the assailants attempted to make off with the vehicle.

In February a prominent architect was also carjacked with young men also jumping into the back seat demanding money and taking away his firearm. In this instant, the carjackers acquired his details and demanded he meet with them with a sum of money to recover said firearm.

The architect died subsequently from unrelated circumstances.

More recently, an elderly member of a prominent business family was carjacked in Jacks Hill where demands were made for money.

Again last month, three young women making their way home from a soca party stopped at a traffic light in the Holborn Road vicinity only for three men to jump into the back of the car and demand that the keys to the vehicle and money be given to them. The incident was reported to the police.

Back in January, a head of a prominent security company was carjacked on Old Hope Road. The trap set, saw him being distracted by a man stepping in front of the vehicle while two others jumping into the back seat demanding money and the keys to the car.

Superintendent Jacqueline Green of Constant Spring Police Station, responsible for St Andrew North Division said: "We regard carjacking as a form of robbery and in most cases the criminals see something in the car that they want such as the driver's fancy jewellery, a computer bag or high-end smartphone.

They tend to employ a technique whereby they bump into the victim's vehicle and as the driver goes to investigate, he/she gets robbed."

"If a driver should suspect a carjacking will take place, he or she should drive into a well-lit area or pull into the nearest police station. Always ensure that your car doors are locked and the windows are up; particularly the rear windows. Don't display or leave valuables in your car. Look alert and be extra careful when pulling up or stopping at intersections and stoplights," she said.





'You are welcome...but,' Cuba tells Obama

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barak-obama-in-jamaica.jpgCuba's state newspaper said Wednesday US President Barack Obama will be warmly welcomed when he makes a historic visit later this month, but warned him not to expect political concessions.

"The US leader will be welcomed by the government of Cuba and its people with the hospitality that distinguishes them and will be treated with all consideration and respect," official daily Granma said in an editorial.

But it hastened to add: "No one can harbor the slightest doubt about Cuba's unconditional adherence to its revolutionary and anti-imperialist ideals."

Obama will visit the island March 21 and 22 -- the first visit by a US president since Calvin Coolidge in 1928, and a symbolically charged capstone to the rapprochement that he and Cuban leader Raul Castro announced in December 2014.

Before announcing the visit, Obama had insisted he would only travel to Cuba if the communist government made progress on reforms in areas such as human rights.

But Granma warned him not to be a pushy guest, quoting Castro himself as saying: "We will not allow ourselves to be pressured on our internal affairs. We have won this sovereign right with great sacrifices."

The editorial reiterated the Castro government's demands for the United States to return the naval base at Guantanamo Bay, end its more than 50-year-old embargo on Cuba, and fully normalize ties in areas such as immigration.

Obama's Republican opponents accuse him of betraying the cause of human rights in Cuba by engaging with the Castro regime.

Cuesta said a softer touch would ease doubts and encourage those who believe the country should move in the direction of greater rights but are wary of Washington's intentions.

Since taking over nearly a decade ago from his older brother Fidel, the father of Cuba's 1959 revolution, Raul Castro has slowly opened up the Cuban economy. But the political system is still completely dominated by the regime, and dissidents regularly face crack-downs and arrest.





Usain Bolt to compete in May

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usain-bolt-wins-gold-200m-beijing-2015-congratulated-by-fans.jpgWorld 100m and 200m record holder Usain Bolt is expected to hit the track sometime in May according to his coach Glen Mills

Speaking after the launch of the Racers Grand Prix a short while ago at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, Mills confirmed that Bolt will have several races before he participates in his club's Grand Prix.

"Usain will definitely compete in May but as to the actual date and time I am not able to say at this time" he said.

As to Bolt's preparation, Mills said: "I am happy with how he is progressing at this time."

'I killed him because he tried to rape me'; note found at slain teacher's house

"I killed him because he tried to rape me" is the note allegedly found at the house of slain St James High English Language teacher Dexter Dacres. Condoms and lubricants were also said to be found in the English language teacher's bedroom.

Reports are that Dacres, 53, who lived alone was last seen on Saturday in the company of a boy who he said was a relative of his, residents report.

Dacres' decomposing body was discovered at his home in New Haven Heights, Granville, Trelawny Tuesday morning.





Was NCB employee's murder a contract killing?

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ncb-employee-karetha-robertson.jpgInvestigators are trying to determine whether a contract was taken out on the life of Karetha Robinson, the National Commercial Bank employee who was abducted and killed last week.

A senior investigator told RJR News that detectives are following several leads.

The body of the 43 year old banker was found on Friday in Pembroke Hall, St. Andrew, hours after she was abducted from her home in Greater Portmore, St. Catherine. The body had a bullet wound to the neck.

Her stolen Toyota Rav4 was intercepted by a security team along Hilary Avenue in St. Andrew.

Two men fled from the vehicle, and are still being sought by the police.





Burnt body of African national found

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crime-scene-7.jpgThe badly burnt body of an African national was found in Westmoreland on Monday.

He has been identified as Mofolumeso Adunfa.

Police report that residents in Ashton District discovered Adunfa's charred body about 10:00 AM.

The residents called the cops and they arrived and processed the scene.

Details are unclear but the police are treating the death as murder and are now trying to establish a motive for the killing.





Missing US visitor found hale and hearty

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missing-us-visitor-meckling.jpgThe police have reportedly located the American woman who went missing in Montego Bay, St James on Saturday.

She is said to be in good health.

Police on Monday reported that 32-year-old Aaren Meckling, a citizen of the United States of America, was vacationing at a resort on Kent Avenue in Montego Bay and was last seen leaving the resort about 2:00 pm the day she went missing.

They have not released details of her whereabouts, or if she did, in fact, go missing, or was just hanging out with friends.





crime-scene-7.jpgThe police in Clarendon are investigating the shooting of two men, one fatally, in the parish within hours on Thursday night into Friday morning.

In the first incident at about 8:20 p.m. on Thursday night, a 50-year-old labourer of Bullards Content was shot and injured by a lone gunman in his community.

The victim was at home in his yard, when he was pounced upon by a lone masked gunman, who opened fire with a handgun.

The man under attack ran off and later learnt that he had been shot in the right hand.

The police responded to an alarm that was raised, and took the injured man to hospital, where he was treated for the injury.

About 2:50 on Friday morning, 29-year-old Odane Wright was shot and killed by unknown assailants in another section of the parish.

Residents reported hearing explosions in an area of Effortville called 'Buzz Rock', and summoned the police.

Upon the arrival of the lawmen, Wright's body was found in a pool of blood in his home, with what appeared to be gunshot wounds to the head and elsewhere on his upper body.





jamaica-world-table-tennis-champioship.jpgJamaica secured a bronze medal in group four action at the World team Table Tennis Championships in Kuala Lumpar.

The team of Michael Hyatt, Kane Watson and Mark Philips defeated Panama 3-1 in their division four playoff match to take 75th place overall at the Championships

Hyatt stopped Jose Guerra 11-9, 11-7, 11-8, Philips beat Arturo Siu 11-7, 11-5, 11-8, while Hyatt also won in three sets beating Omer Avi-tal, 12-10, 11-4, 11-5.

The Jamaicans ended their participation with four victories and one loss.

Meanwhile top seeds China and Japan will contest tomorrow's division one final following semi-final wins over the Korean Republic and England respectively.

China and Japan will also contest the women's final following semi-final wins over Chinese Taipei and the Democratic Republic of Korea.





court.jpgA coroner's jury in Cayman, considering the death of a Jamaican couple two years ago, returned verdicts on Friday after hearing evidence about the couple's volatile and abusive relationship.

They found that 21 year-old Nichelle Anna-Kay Thomas died from multiple chop wounds and the manner of death was unlawful killing.

For 39 year-old Devon Roy Campbell, the jurors found that the cause of death was hanging. His death was ruled a suicide.

The jury of three men and four women heard evidence over three days.

Miss Thomas's body was found on February 9, 2014, in a closet at the Bodden Town home where she worked as a part-time helper.

The police found Mr. Campbell's body hanging from a tree in the back yard.

The couple reportedly met in Jamaica when Ms. Thomas was 17 and still in high school. She went to Cayman in May 2012 and lived with Mr. Campbell.

The jurors heard that Mr. Campbell was jealous and controlling, and various witnesses testified that they had heard him threaten to kill her, for various reasons, particularly if she tried to leave him.





luciano-photo-1.jpgThree 18 year-olds -- Nashlyn Morgan, Jerome Coombs and Kemanie Shaw -- have been charged in connection with last month's fatal stabbing of 19-year-old Menelik McClymont, the son of reggae artiste Luciano.

Jerome Coombs, and and Kemanie Shaw, both 18 year-old students, were charged on Friday.

Nashlyn Morgan, another 18-year-old, was also charged.

The three are to appear in court on Wednesday.

Mr. McClymont, who was a student of Maths Unlimited, was attacked and stabbed several times by a group of men at Parkington Plaza on February 27.

He died a day later at hospital.





hands-behind-bars.jpgThirty-eight-year-old Mark Grey, a medical doctor practising in Manchester, has been charged with grievous sexual assault and procuring abortion arising from a case in which he has been accused of impregnating a 12-year-old girl.

The allegations against him were that twice in 2014, the doctor had sex with the then 12-year-old child, who became pregnant on both occasions. It was alleged that the doctor aborted both pregnancies.

Further allegations were that on a third occasion, in 2015, the doctor again had sex with the minor, and again she became pregnant. The third pregnancy was reportedly aborted at a local hospital.

Attorney Hensley Williams, who appeared on Grey's behalf in court on Wednesday, said there was no forensic evidence to substantiate the crown's claims, and no independent witness to support the allegations against his client.

Williams, in his bail application, argued that the complainant, who is now 14 years old, is suffering from a mental illness. He said his client has denied the allegations which were made by the girl.

Dr Grey was granted bail in the Mandeville Resident Magistrate's Court on Wednesday in the sum of $200,000 with surety.

The case will again come up for mention on May 4.





A good Samaritan was instrumental in the rescue of a young man who was severely beaten and flung in the Sandy Park Gully, in St Andrew, where he was left for dead early Saturday morning.

"First me think it was a girl," Lance Brown, a man who saw him in the gully Saturday morning, reported.

Brown said he thought the person was dead until he went down into the gully and saw that he was still breathing.

Reports are that the victim stopped in the area to make a call when he was attacked by a group of men who, after savagely beating him, threw him into the gully.

Brown - who came upon the man in the gully around 7:30 am - called the Matilda's Corner Police.

He was taken from the gully by a team from the Half-Way Tree Fire Station which was summoned to the scene. The man was rushed to the University Hospital of the West Indies for treatment.





jordan-foote-trinity.jpgHoly Trinity Manning Cup footballer Jordan Foote has lost his battle with cancer.

Jamaican Schoolboy Football announced Foote's passing in a Facebook post on Saturday morning.

"SchoolBoy Football team would like to offer our condolences to the family of Holy Trinity high School player Jordan Foote who has lost the battle against cancer," the post said.

Foote had been diagnosed with bone cancer last summer and missed the entire 2015 schoolboy football season. His left leg was amputated five inches above the knee in November, with several organisations donating money towards helping to pay for the surgical procedure on the youngster.

However, Foote's football coach Devon Anderson reported last month that the cancer had worsened and indicated that the situation was dire.

"We just have to hope for the best but expect the worst, and know if the inevitable comes, it comes, but I hope it doesn't come for now," Anderson, the coach of Holy Trinity's Manning Cup team, said.

Foote was an outstanding player for Holy Trinity before being diagnosed with the disease last summer, helping the team reach the Super Cup finals in 2014. In an interview with Loop News in November, he expressed confidence that he would one day play football again.





about-swine-flu.jpgA 29-year-old woman who was pregnant with twinsreportedly died of the H1N1 virus, popularly called Swine Flu, at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI).

The woman is the fourth swine-flu related death in Jamaica since cases of the virus were first reported locally in early February, 2016.

A medical doctor, 50-year-old Suzanna Roye, who had also been hospitalised at the UHWI, was the first patient to die from H1N1-related issues in Jamaica. A 49-year-old woman, who had other illnesses, died a week later, followed by an 84-year-old woman days later.

The virus has been classified as a category one illness, which requires medical practitioners to notify the relevant public health authority within 24 hours of suspecting a case of severe acute respiratory illness.





flippa-mafia.jpgKemar Davis, the brother of Jamaican entertainer Flippa Mafia, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison in the United States.

He was sentenced in a New Jersey courtroom yesterday for his role in a major drug ring which US authorities say Flippa Moggela directed from Jamaica and his New Jersey home.

Kemar and another brother, Roger Davis, both pleaded guilty for their roles in the ring, which reportedly shipped kilogrammes of cocaine between the states of California and New Jersey.

Roger Davis is serving a 10-year prison sentence.

Flippa Mafia, whose given name is Andrew Davis, is awaiting sentencing following his conviction last December on charges of first-degree distribution of cocaine and second-degree money laundering.





Another vendor murdered in Ocho Rios

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crime-scene-7.jpgA vendor was shot and killed by an unknown assailant in Exchange, Ocho Rios, St Ann on Monday night.

Dead is 29-year-old Richard Lewis of Middle Street, Exchange.

Reports were that are about 11:40pm, Lewis was walking along Middle Street in his community, when an armed man approached him and shot him several times.

Lewis ran from where he was shot, but collapsed along Green Street in the community.

He was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Just under a month ago, a female vendor was murdered in Ocho Rios, in the Pineapple area of the resort town.





andrew-holness-photo-3.jpgJamaica's new prime minister, Andrew Holness, will receive a basic salary of $7.3 million, in addition to $1.2 million in travel allowance, while leader of the opposition, Portia Simpson Milller will get $6.4 million and the minister of finance $5.9 million.

Other cabinet ministers and the Speaker of the House get $5.5 million per year while junior ministers get $4.8 million. Parliamentary secretaries and the deputy speaker get $4.1 million. All other parliamentarians - those who do not hold executive positions - get just under $3.5 million per year. Senators get $17,000 per sitting or for committee meetings.

But its not just salaries, the Leader of the Opposition gets $276,000 per year as housing allowance while junior ministers and parliamentary secretaries get $207,000.

Housing allowance is not given to backbenchers or the deputy speaker. All mp's except backbenchers get $78,000 as subsistence per year and most get a telephone allowance each year amounting to $30,000.

prime-minister-portia-simpson-miller-photo-3.jpg

All mp's are also entitled to a chauffeur and constituency secretary. That constituency secretary gets $956,000 per year and the chauffeurs get between $469,000 and $500,000 basic but that can be supplemented with commuted overtime and subsistence which can run an additional $190,000 to $260,000.

Cabinet members, junior minsters and parliamentary secretaries are also allowed household help with ministers getting 2 and the junior ministers and parliamentary secretaries one each.

The household staff are paid by parliament at a cost of $481,000 each per year.





Major clean-up underway in Mo Bay

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A major clean-up is being undertaken by the National Works Agency (NWA) following heavy rains in St James and Hanover last weekend, leading to several streets in downtown Montego Bay being flooded.

Janel Ricketts, NWA Community Relations Officer, told RJR News that improper garbage disposal also continues to be a contributing factor in drains being blocked.

"We have so far targeted the South Gully in the Princess Street area and we will be moving from here on to the Creek Street Area and from here we will focus on the North Gully," she said.

She disclosed that $10 million was spent on drain cleaning in the area two weeks ago.





ncb-employee-karetha-robertson.jpgNational Commercial Bank employee, Karetha Robertson, was abducted from her home in Portmore Thursday evening by two men and subsequently killed.

Her body was found in Pembroke Hall, St Andrew on Friday morning with a gunshot wound to the head.

Police report that when Robertson arrived at her Portmore, St Catherine home on Thursday night, she was attacked by two men who bundled her into a motor vehicle and sped off.

Her body was found hours later.

A Toyota Rav4 sports utility vehicle, which was being driven by Robertson, was found at Hillary Avenue off Red Hills Road in St Andrew.





NCU professor Teran Milford collapses and dies

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ncu-professor-tehran-milford.jpgThe Northern Caribbean University has confirmed reports that "stalwart" of the institution Dr Teran Milford collapsed and died this morning.

Milford was reportedly engaged in his regular morning routine of walking with his wife, Audrey, when the incident occurred.

His most recent position at NCU was Dean of the College of Education and Leadership.

A representative of the university said the institution is now in a state of shock and mourning.





Oh what a tangled web we weave...!!!!

Pictures of anal sex and oral sex taking place between a well-known lecturer at a prominent university and one of his students have been leaked on social media and the reaction has been wild!

Many persons suspected that the married lecturer and his female student, with whom he was very chummy, were getting their groove on ... and the explicit picture confirmed it. The big question is: Who took the pictures and who leaked them online?

The pictures which were leaked showed the face of the female clearly, but the lecturer's face was not in any of the photographs released.

The official word from the university is that they were ignorat of the pictures and the allegations, but the matter would be investigated.





shocked.jpgWhat happens in Vegas may not always stay in Vegas.

Officials in Clark County, Nevada, home to Sin City, issued an official warning about a syphilis outbreak after confirming 694 new cases of the sexually transmitted infection, 615 of them in men, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. That's a 128% increase over the number of cases confirmed in 2012.

The increase gives Nevada the dubious honor of the state in the western U.S. with the highest rate of syphilis, according to the Associated Press.

"We are considering this an outbreak because disease rates in our community are continuing to climb and we see no plateau at this point," Chief Health Officer Joe Iser said in a statement to the Review-Journal.

In its early stages, the bacterial infection can cause open sores called chancres that are often mistaken for a symptom of some other condition, according to the CDC. In later stages of the condition, it can cause rashes across the body, or invade the ocular or nervous systems, potentially leading to life-threatening complications.

While some of the increase in syphilis rates could be tied to population increases or increased detection rates, the AP reported, health officials say an increase in inconsistent condom use as well as anonymous app-assisted hookups hold some of the blame.

That latter explanation is more complicated than it seems, since meeting people online is just one potential risk factor for contracting a sexually transmitted infection.

"It's never as simple as being 'just' about an app," Debby Herbenick, an Indiana University sexual health expert, told Mic's Nicolas DiDomizio in 2015. "I have had a few students who have met sex partners through Tinder and gotten an STI through such encounters, but I've also had students who have gotten STIs from people they were dating or had sex with at a party, who they had just met."

Las Vegas disease investigator Elizabeth Adelman told the AP that health authorities had "sought permission for a passive presence on platforms such as the gay website Adam4Adam, so users can reach out to them for information. Other popular apps that officials are looking at include Tinder and Grindr."

Source: AP





It will cost more to go to Champs this year

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It's all systems go for the 106th staging of the ISSA Grace Kennedy Boys and Girls Athletics Championships following the launch of the event at the Spanish Court Hotel on Wednesday.

Among the changes for the event will be increased ticket prices which will see patrons paying $1500 for the bleachers and $4500 for the Grand Stand on the final day (SaturdayMarch 19 ).

Title sponsors Grace Kennedy have also thrown in an additional incentive of $25,000 for the school of any athlete who breaks a record at this year's event.

The championships will get underway on Tuesday, March 15, while the first set of finals are set to be contested on Wednesday's second day.

The competition comes to a close March 19 with Calabar and Edwin Allen seeking to defend their respective boys and girls titles.





hands-behind-bars.jpgJamaica Labour Party activist Rameish Simpson, who was charged with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, is back in police custody for breaching his bail condition.

Simpson, who was out on J$3 million bail, was ordered to be at home during the hours 6.00 p.m to 6.00 a.m daily, but according to reports when the St. Thomas police visited his house about 6.00 p.m on Teusday he was not there.

He reportedly turned up 15 minutes later and was taken into custody. His attorney, Hensley Williams, attended the Yallahs Night Court to argue that the curfew breach was not major.

However, due to the absence of Simpson's file, the judge could not address the matter, as a result of which he is scheduled to return to court on Thursday.

Simpson and his cousin Richard Simpson were charged in December, after a firearm and ammunition were allegedly found in a vehicle in which they were traveling.





Male teacher found with throat slashed

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crime-scene-7.jpgPolice investigators are working feverishly to apprehend the killers of a teacher in St. Mary on Monday.

The body of 44 year old Orville Francis was found at his house in Wilderness about 4:30 p.m un Monday.

The throat had been slashed.

No motive has yet been established for the killing.





2 dead in St Ann crash

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crime-scene-demo.jpgThe St. Ann traffic division has launched a probe into the circumstances surrounding a fatal collision, which claimed the lives of two men and the injuring of two others Monday, on the Llandovery main road, Runaway Bay, St. Ann.

Dead are 26-year-old Donavan Haye, of Clarks Town, St. Ann and Nicholas Henderson.

Reports are that about 3:00 p.m., the driver of an Isuzu tipper motor truck was travelling along the roadway, when on reaching a section of the roadway, collided with an Isuzu box motor truck, which was travelling in the opposite direction.

Four men received multiple injuries and were taken to hospital where Haye and Henderson died while being treated and the other two admitted.

Investigations continue.