THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICAN MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT TO DEPLOY “VACCINE AMBASSADORS”
In order to encourage more Jamaicans to get the COVID-19 vaccine, the first of 40 “vaccine ambassadors” will move through St. Andrew North East to urge their constituents to receive the vaccinations and to facilitate vaccination of community members. Under a new initiative, all Members of Parliament will recruit the ambassadors throughout their constituencies. The move has been endorsed by Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who emphasized that engagement with communities on an individual basis is critical to the national COVID-19 vaccination education program. Delroy Chuck, the Member of Parliament for St. Andrew North East, said that 20 more ambassadors will be deployed in the area in the future.
JOINT SELECT COMMITTEE APPROVES PLAN TO MAKE PORTMORE JAMAICA’S 15TH PARISH
After reviewing a proposal that would make Portmore the 15th parish of Jamaica, a joint select committee gave its approval to the plan, noting that it will be subject to additional fine-tuning before being brought before Parliament. The plan was approved without input from the opposition People’s National Party, however, as those members were absent from the meeting. According to committee chairman Dr. Andrew Wheatley, the plan is likely to improve the flow of traffic during peak travel hours in the parish; traffic congestion is one of the issues of concern to the residents of Portmore. Fitz Jackson, the Member of Parliament for St. Catherine South, has publicly objected to the proposals, saying it will provide only “cosmetic” changes and nothing “concrete” for the residents.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
KITTS TO OPEN SECOND CRUISE PIER
Construction of a new pier has been completed in St. Kitts, and Port Zante is ready to welcome cruise ships to its popular terminal. The pier “will be operationalized when the need arises,” according to Tuffida Stewart, the acting CEO of the St. Christopher Air and Sea Ports Authority. Stewart added that the second pier is available to vessels for berthing in the upcoming travel season and as early as October 2021. St. Kitts is planning for more cruise ships to dock at the second pier to allow an extra layer of protection for the larger oasis-class ships that often call in the country. St. Kitts is preparing to relaunch its cruise industry for major ships on September 14, 2021, when the “Celebrity Equinox” will be the first large ship to visit the country since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The island has put in place strong health and safety protocols in preparation of the ship’s arrival at Port Zante.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
NEW JERSEY CITY RENAMES STREET TO HONOR CONTRIBUTIONS OF JAMAICANS
On September 4, 2021, Jamaicans and friends of the island gathered to celebrate the renaming of a portion of one of Paterson, New Jersey’s major streets in recognition of the exceptional contributions Jamaicans have made to the city. Two blocks of Vreeland Avenue were renamed “Jamaica Way.” According to Paterson mayor Andre Sayegh, the renaming was a “proud moment for our multicultural municipality.” The street is located in an area that is home to many Jamaicans and Jamaican businesses. Sayegh added that the city is finally paying tribute to a nation that has made major contributions to Paterson. Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange marked the occasion with a message affirming that the government of Jamaica had “taken note of all that you continue to do to ensure that Jamaica stands at the center of commerce, culture, and social engagement” in the city. She added that renaming the street is an indication of the wide sphere of influence created by the Jamaican Diaspora.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
JAMAICAN DISTILLERY MAKES OFFICIAL RELEASE OF SPECIAL RUM IN TIME FOR INTERNATIONAL RUM DAY of 2021
History was made when National Rums of Jamaica Limited (NRJ) via its subsidiary Long Pond Distillers Limited became the first distillery to officially release the Long Pond ITP-15 Single Vintage/Single Marque Jamaican Rum. The release was timed to coincide with International Rum Day on August 16, 2021. This is the first time the rum has been released since 1753, more than 268 years ago, under the Long Pond Seal of Approval. Dr. Debbian Spence-Minott, chief of marketing at NRJ, noted that this was a historic moment for connoisseurs and aficionados of rum worldwide. The Long Pond ITP was described as capturing the essence of Trelawny’s history in a bottle. It has been aged in American Oak barrels especially selected by the distillery’s master blender for a period of 15 years. The rum is unique as the John Dore Pot Still used to produce it. This can only be found at the Long Pond Distillery in Clark’s Town, Trelawny, and it is the only mechanism of its type that is still in operation in the world.
The introduction of this new rum will provide the Long Pond brand with an opportunity to strengthen its reputation of providing iconic, authentic, premium, and quality Jamaican rums.’
NRJ CEO Martha Miller confirmed that the company anticipates ‘that having introduced this expression, a plethora of consumers globally will be enticed by the heritage surrounding the distillery’.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
SKIP MARLEY RECORDING CERTIFIED GOLD BY RECORDING INDUSTRY
The song “Slow Down” by Skip Marley featuring H.E.R. has been certified “gold” by the Recording Association of America (RIAA). Its sales have exceeded 500,000, according to an announcement made on September 7, 2021. The song was featured on Marley’s 2020 EP “Higher Place” and did well on a number of Billboard magazine’s charts in that year. It took the Number 1 spot for several weeks on the Adult R&B Airplay chart and peaked at Number 14 on the Rhythmic Airplay chart. It also hit Number 23 on the Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart and Number 9 on the Hot R&B Songs chart. The Marley family name has long been associated with gold and platinum certifications, and Skip Marley, the son of reggae legend Bob Marley and Cedella Marley, a member of the gold-and-platinum-selling group Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers, said he was “elated” to be a member of that exclusive club. Cedella Marley said she was proud of her son, who is “continually blazing his own trail” in music. “Slow Down” was nominated for the Best R&B Song at the Grammys and the Best Collaboration and Video of the Year Award at the Soul Train Music Awards.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
JAMAICA’S ELAINE THOMPSON-HERAH WINS 100-METER FINAL AT WANDA DIAMOND LEAGUE
In a perfect finish to her history-making season, Jamaican runner and Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah took the gold medal in the 100-meter final at the 2021 Wanda Diamond League in Zurich, Switzerland. She ran the distance in 10.65 seconds. Thompson-Herah is the second-fastest woman in history over the 100 meter distance.