FLORIDA WOMEN’S GROUP SUSPENDS TREASURER ON CRIMINAL CHARGES—05/23/15
The group Jamaican Women of Florida, Inc. has decided to suspend Pamella Watson, its recently elected treasurer, due to several federal criminal charges she faces. Watson’s suspension is pending the outcome of her court case, and the group says she is innocent until proven guilty. The group has assured its members that none of its funds were compromised by Watson’s alleged crimes.
JAMAICAN WOMAN GOES ON TRIAL IN UK FOR HARMING GRANDDAUGHTER—05/24/15
Juanita Smikle, a Jamaican-born woman in Nottingham in the United Kingdom, has been accused of harming her granddaughter, who later died. Shanay Walker, aged 7, was found dead in her bed in July 2014. Smirkle is accused of being cruel to Shanay and four other children. Smikle’s daughter, Kay-Ann Morris, 24, has denied killing Shanay, who was her niece, and two other children. She refused to give evidence in the trial at Nottingham Crown Court, however. Smirkle cited her own upbringing in Jamaica as a reason for the way she treated her own children.
HOLNESS TO PARTICIPATE IN UK FORUM—05/25/15
Andrew Holness, former Prime Minister of Jamaica, will participate in several events in the United Kingdom in June 2015. The events are designed to facilitate discussion about the nation’s future. Holness with participate in the London JN Outlook for the Future debate meant to engage members of Jamaica’s Diaspora. He will also participate in the JN Outlook event in Birmingham. The forums will focus on the Jamaican economy and its future development.
LATOYA WANTS DARLINGTON TO SUPPORT THE ARTS—05/26/15
Jamaican singer Latoya Black, 24, has drawn praise for her recent performance as Motormouth Mabel in the Darlington Operative Society product of “Hairspray.” She is also gaining attention for her calls for individuals to support local arts groups in the area. Black came to Darlington from Jamaica in 2010 to join family members. She credits the Operatic Society for helping her to settle in to her new home.
U.N. TOURISM GROUP SESSION TO BE HEADED BY JAMAICA’S MCNEIL—05/27/15
Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism and Entertainment Dr. Wykeham McNeil will make history when he takes the position as chairperson of the 100th session of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in Rovinj, Croatia. Jamaica was elected to chair the Executive Council for 2014-2015. This is the first time an English-speaking Caribbean country was chosen for this honor.
JAMAICAN ADVANCES TO SCRIPPS SPELLING BEE SEMIFINALS—05/28/15
Sara-Beth McPherson of Jamaica has advanced to the semifinals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee in National Harbor, Maryland, in the United States. She correctly spelled the words “petunia” and “armentia” to advance in the competition. She also provided the correct answers in the vocabulary portion of the program. The event is being televised on ESPN2 and ESPN3.
NOVELIST MARLON JAMES TO APPEAR AT CARIBBEAN MONTH WORDFEST—05/29/15
The bestselling Jamaican novelist Marlon James, poet Cheryl Boyce-Taylor, and Tracey Baptiste, children’s book author, will headline the Caribbean Month WORDFest event in Brooklyn, New York, at the Medgar Evers College. This is the largest meeting of Caribbean authors, readers, and other literati in the world. The event is being held as part of Caribbean American Heritage Month.
JAMAICA, UNITED KINGDOM SIGN AGREEMENT TO STOP DRUG TRAFFICKING—05/29/15
Jamaica’s National Security Minister, Peter Bunting, will sign a Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of the country with the United Kingdom. The agreement between the two countries is designed to fight drug trafficking and to address the issue of Jamaicans trying to smuggle drugs into the UK. Many of the Jamaicans currently housed in UK prisons are believed to have participated in drug trafficking activities between the two countries.