THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
PORTMORE’S JUNIOR MAYOR CALLS FOR MORE HEALTH, WELLNESS INVESTING
Sherissa Pinnock, who was recently named Junior Mayor for the Portmore Municipality, wants Jamaicans to increase their investment in health, wellness, and growing herbs. She believes this will result in Jamaicans living longer and healthier lives. Sherissa, 15, is a student at The Cedar Grove Academy in Portmore, and she is calling for the creation of herb and wellness gardens in the schools. These would be funded with some of the $500,000 she will receive to develop projects that will improve the Portmore Municipality. She believes gardening will bring people together. Her first two herb and wellness gardens will be established at Bridgeport Primary School, which she previously attended, and her current school, The Cedar Grove Academy
CHRISTMAS DAY CELEBRATION FOR OLDEST JAMAICAN
Desmond McKenzie, Jamaica’s Minister of Local Government and Community Development, honored the island’s oldest living person, Ms. Ida Troupe, on Christmas Day her 117th birthday. The celebration occurred at her home in West Kingston. A retired vendor, Troupe was born on December 25, 1900. She was one of the first people to move into the 1963 housing development in Tivoli Gardens and still lives in the community. McKenzie, who also serves as Member of Parliament for West Kingston, said he was happy to honor Ms. Troupe on her birthday. Troupe may also be the oldest living person in the world.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
AFTER COUSIN”S MURDER, SUPERSTAR RIHANNA WANTS END TO GUN VIOLENCE
Rihanna, 29, the international singing star who was born in Barbados, is calling for an end to gun violence in the country following the shooting death of her 21-year-old cousin. In a posting to Instagram, the singer wrote, ““RIP cousin… can’t believe it was just last night that I held you in my arms! Never thought that would be the last time I felt the warmth in your body!!! Love you always man!” Rihanna ended the message by calling for an end to gun violence. The police are conducting an investigation into the fatal shooting of Tavon Kaiseen Alleyne of Lake Close, Eden Lodge, St. Michael, who was killed walking near his home. He was approached by a man who shot him several times before running from the scene.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
“BARREL CHILDREN” A CONCERN FOR DIASPORA
The so-called “barrel children” of Jamaica frequently suffer when a parent travels abroad for work. The term refers to the brown or blue shipping containers that are used by Jamaicans in the Diaspora to send material support back to their families on the island. Children of parents who leave them in the care of relatives or friends while they seek better economic opportunities in other countries for periods of two to ten years in order to satisfy legal, financial and immigrant requirements of host nations, may, in reality, never see their parents again. According to clinical social worker Dr. Claudette Crawford-Brown of the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, who has studied the issue for over 30 years, children left behind experience significant psychological and emotional damage from this situation. In Kingston, 74 percent of households in some communities have at least one child who has been left behind by one or both parents. These children feel worthless and sad, and the pain of the absent parent can last a lifetime, said Crawford-Brown.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
JAMAICAN NAMED TOP CRUISE, WEDDING DESTINATION IN THE WORLD
For the third time, Jamaica has been voted the leading wedding and cruise destination in the world. The nation was so named at the 24th Annual World Travel Awards, which were held in Vietnam at the JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa. Donnie Dawson, Jamaica’s acting Director of Tourism, said the nation was honored to be recognized as the top destination in 2017, adding that the award affirms that collective efforts to promote the country have succeeded. Dawson went on to say that the tourism partners will continue their efforts to grow the tourism product so that visitors have memorable experiences “in the home of all right.” The Jamaica Tourist Board was named the Caribbean’s leading tourist board as well.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
ACKEE VILLAGE DRAWS FOREIGN VISITORS
Ackee Village in Portmore, St. Catherine, was designed to attract tourist who want a different kind of Jamaican experience, and just a few months after opening, the venue appears to be on track to do so. While not highly publicized and still a “work in progress,” the attraction is being praised for its location away from the traffic of the roadside and its array of vendors. The village has been called “quaint” by visitors. The village project was made possible with $11 million from the Ministry of Local Government, plus US$80,000 in funding from the Caribbean Local Economic Development project in partnership with the Portmore Municipality. Currently, there are 20 vendor stalls with space set aside for a riverside park and restaurant on 28 acres of land.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
RISING SWIM STAR CITES ALIA ATKINSON AS INSPIRATION
Zaneta Alvaranga, 13, is one of Jamaica’s rising swim stars and says she is inspired by the country’s Olympic swimming sensation Alia Atkinson. Alvaranga, a student at Immaculate Conception High School, set new national and CARIFTA records in April 2017 in the Girls’ 11-12 year-old 50-meter butterfly competition. Alvaranga said that Atkinson was her inspiration because she is the first black woman to break a world swimming record and one of the few Jamaicans to represent the nation at the Olympics. While Alvaranga’s goal is to represent Jamaica at the Olympics in the future, she is making her education a priority for now. She praises Atkinson for staying in touch with youth swimmers in Jamaica and is willing to help younger athletes “become more like her.”