THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
BARNSWELL WANTS DIGITAL NATIONAL IDENTIFICATION SYSTEM FOR JAMAICANS—01/10/15
Scean Barnswell, the mayor of May Pen, wants Jamaica’s government to create a digital national identification system for all citizens. He believes this will help in fighting crime in the country. Barnswell has also called for greater protection of the national borders. The digital national ID card would include information about every Jamaica securely stored on a magnetic strip. This data could then be easily accessed by police.
PRYCE QUITS PNP POST—01/13/15
Raymond Pryce, who had been serving as Deputy General Secretary of the People’s National Party (PNP), has handed in his resignation from the post. Pryce cited “recent events” in a letter to Portia Simpson Miller, Prime Minister and president of the PNP, as reasons for leaving. In the letter he stated that political situations in North Eastern St. Elizabeth have continued to play out in public in spite of his best efforts to curtail this activity. He also noted the “strain and concern” he felt as a Member of Parliament and party officer that have limited his ability to perform his job as he would wish.
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE IN NEGRIL ANGRY ABOUT SAND-MINING ACTIVITIES—01/14/15
Negril’s Chamber of Commerce is objecting to sand-mining going on in the area. The Chamber was alerted by constituents that trucks have been moving sand in the middle of the night to a major hotel development. Additionally, the Chamber was told that the sand is being stored at this development in preparation for moving it to another north coast property. The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), the Jamaica Constabulary Force and the Commissioner of Mines were contacted to explain exactly what is going on with these sand-mining operations and to begin an impartial investigation into the activities if warranted. The Chamber has expressed serious concerns about the roles of NEPA and the Commissioner of Mines in regard to this issue, noting that it is alarmed that sand is being mined in Negril, which suffers from significant beach erosion.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
ACTRESS ASKS FOR DIASPORA SUPPORT FOR CHARITY EVENT—01/09/15
Sheryl Lee Ralph, an American actress and singer of Jamaican descent, has called for the Jamaican Diaspora to support those who benefit from the 2016 Sagicor Sigma Corporate Run, which is one of the biggest charity events in the Caribbean. The race will be held in New Kingston, Jamaica, on February 22. Ralph serves as a Patron for the event. The road race has been in operation for 17 years and has made donations totaling more than J$166 million to foundations and institutions in Jamaica that are focused on child health issues. In 2016, the donations will go to help children with cancer in Jamaica, the Pediatric Unit and Lounge of the Black River Hospital, and to buy a mammography machine for the mobile breast cancer screening project of the Jamaica Cancer Society.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
TRELAWNY’S BURWOOD BEACH REOPENS—01/09/15
Burwood Beach in Trelawny is ready to reopen following years of renovation. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, Jamaican Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, declared the revamped facility open at an official ceremony at the beach. The upgrades, which totaled $28 million, include the construction of perimeter fencing, gazebos, sanitary conveniences, a play area for children, and a bandstand. Eventually, the location will also include shops, restaurants, and a multipurpose area. There are also plans to purchase adjoining land to expand parking and attractions at the beach. The Trelawny Parish Council will oversee beach operations. The redevelopment was funded by the Tourism Enhancement Fund.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
FIRST ANNUAL ONE LOVE MUSIC FESTIVAL TO LAUNCH IN FEBRUARY 2016—01/14/15
Cedella Marley, the CEO of Tuff Gong International, is ready to stage the first One Love Music Festival at Rose Hall Great House in Montego Bay. The event will run between February 4 and 5 and is designed to raise funds to celebrate the life and legacy of reggae legend Bob Marley through support for education, the environment and poverty relief. The Bob Marley Foundation will partner with the Rose Town Foundation and the Sandals Foundation to provide funding for these initiatives. The festival itself will include a gala reception and live concert with performances by Akon, Sevyn Streeter, Kymani Marley, Julian Marley, Skip Marley and other local performers. According to Cedella Marley, Bob Marley’s daughter, her father always told her that with hard work anything can be accomplished and so she is committed to fusing contemporary and seasoned musical artistes to provide entertainment for audiences of all ages.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
BLAKE DOES NOT SUPPORT CALLS TO RESET WORLD RECORDS—01/14/15
Dr. Warren Blake, the president of the Jamaica Athletics Administration Association (JAAA), is not supporting calls from Ed Warner, chairman of UK Athletics, to reset all world record marks in response to a continuing doping crisis in international track and field. Warner has suggested that resetting the records will return the sport to “credibility.” This would effectively remove the five IAAF world records held by Jamaica, including those of Usain Bolt in the men’s 100m, 200m, 4x100m and 4x200m, as well as that of Merlene Ottey, who holds the women’s indoor 200m record. Blake says this is not a feasible solution, since it would penalize athletes who have never been suspected of doping.