Fire Protest in Negril due to dead motor-cyclist


Fire Protest in Negril due to dead motor-cyclist

by Stephanie Hamilton

There is a tense calm in Negril, Westmoreland, this afternoon,  following a fiery protest this morning, over the death of a motor-cyclist.

Dead is 26-year-old, Noval Mcinnis of Red Ground in Negril.

The motorcyclist, who was using his vehicle to tow another, reportedly died in a collision, with a police service vehicle.

The man, who was sitting on the motorcycle being towed, escaped serious injury.

The incident reportedly occurred about 1:40 a.m.

Residents blocked the road, and demonstrated over the incident, calling for justice.

They claim, that the police were heavy handed, in their approach to the incident.

According to Assistant Superintendent of Police in Negril, Adrian Hamilton , the bike being driven by Mcinnis, lost control, and crashed into the police vehicle.

ASP Hamilton says, he has met with the family, and investigations have commenced.




MRSA Confirmed at Bustamante

The government has confirmed that the Bustamante Hospital for Children in St. Andrew was this year affected by the highly contagious MRSA bacterium.

MRSA is associated with conditions of close personal contact, poor hygiene, and exposure to contaminated objects. The bacterium is resistant to a number of widely used antibiotics.

The infection causes bumps, pimples and boils to develop on children and may result in blood poisoning and heart complications.

Medical sources told our news center that last week a number of children at Bustamante Children’s hospital were quarantined after being affected by the MRSA infection.

Responding to questions today, Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Marion Bullock-Ducasse said there’s no current outbreak. But Dr. Ducasse says there was an outbreak of the infection in July of this year.

If the MRSA bacterium get into a break in the skin, it may cause potentially deadly infections, such as blood poisoning or complications of the heart valves.

Dr. Ducasse says she’s unable to say if anyone has died of the infection outbreak in July. But she insisted that the outbreak has been contained.

Yesterday in Parliament, Health Minister Dr. Fenton Ferguson, declined to give a direct answer when asked about an outbreak of MRSA at the Bustamante Hospital.

Ferguson was being questioned by West Portland MP, Daryl Vaz,

Mr. Vaz pressed on.

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JPS Debt Write Off to take effect November 4

JPS Debt Write Off to take effect November 4

by Stephanie Hamilton

Customers, who owe large amounts of money to the Jamaica Public Service, will get the opportunity to reduce their debt, under an amnesty.

JPS customers with outstanding bills, have an opportunity, to negotiate up to 70% off debts, owed to the company.

The debt amnesty will start on November 4, and runs until December 19.

Residential and small commercial customers, owing in excess of $50,000 as at August 31, and have had their service disconnected, can receive this debt right-off.

Additionally, residential and small commercial customers, with active accounts and owe more than $100,000 as at August 31, can apply for the amnesty.

Customers will have the opportunity, to conduct telephone negotiations, or face to face negotiations with JPS Representatives.

JPS Head of Marketing and Amnesty Project Manager, Tishan Lee, says the company wants to see customer’s debt free.






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Two Police Men Arrested in Connection with Manchester Murder

Two Police Men Arrested in Connection with Manchester Murder

by Stephanie Hamilton

Two policemen have been arrested in connection with the murder of a Manchester business woman, Norma Coleman, in the parish on Friday.

The Police Communications Unit says, a top level probe by Senior Investigators from The Criminal Investigation Branch, resulted in the arrest of two lawmen on Monday .

Detectives from CIB who are reporting significant progress in their probe of the incident, are now spearheading the investigation.

On Friday, October 23 about 1:30 p.m., the 61-year-old businesswoman of Begonia Drive, Mandeville, Manchester was shot and killed on confidence avenue in the town.

Preliminary investigation indicates that Mrs. Coleman’s death was a contract killing involving persons closely associated with her.

Assistant Commissioner of Police, Ealan Powell who heads the Criminal Investigation Branch has indicated that there is “a worrying increase in murders suspected to be contract killings involving family members who are hiring others to kill relatives.”

He has given the assurance that the requisite resources will be allocated to this and similar investigations to speedily bring all involved to justice.

Investigators are appealing to the husband of Mrs. Coleman, Mr. Vincent Coleman and Mr. Marshall Small, both of Mandeville to report to the Mandeville Police Station by midday tomorrow as the police believe these men can assist the investigations.




Two schools in St Mary and St Ann resume

Two schools in St Mary and St Ann resume

by Primrose Oliver

Classes have resumed at two schools in St Ann and St Mary, after teachers received their October salaries, this morning.

Teachers at Ocho Rios High in St Ann and St Mary’s High in St Mary, staged sit-in’s  this week, in protest over the non-payment of salaries.

However, information reaching Irie FM ews, is that the monies were paid-over, and the teachers resumed normal duties.

The October salaries, which were to be paid last Thursday, were delayed until Monday, due  to the magnitude of work involved in computing the salaries and allowances at the new rates  agreed, under the 2015/2017 heads of agreement.

However, teachers at bursar paid schools had reported, that they did not see the money reflected in their accounts.


Should Vybz Kartel, a convicted murderer, be nominated for Reggae Awards?

Vybz Kartel who is serving a life sentence for murder continues to run dancehall the way he did before he was incarcerated.

 Kartel shot to fame in the early 2000’s as part of the Bounty Killer led Alliance. After leaving the Alliance and forming is own Gaza Empire, the artistgained a following unlike no other in Jamaica.

Even from behind the prison walls, Kartel has maintained his dominance in dancehall with producers constantly releasing new tracks that they say were recorded before his incarceration. However, there are persons who are upset about Kartel’s continued impact.

Member of Parliament, Oliver “Babsy” Grange, came to Vybz Kartel defense saying that his talent should be what we look at, not the negative things that he has done in the past.

“I think Vybz Kartel as an artiste is talented. I don’t feel like he should be excluded. Whatever may be the personal issue that he is involved in, he is serving his time. He is a talented artiste, and the talent should be recognized,” Grange said.

Kartel made a lot of things that were once frowned upon in dancehall culture, accepted and embraced. Before Kartel, Jamaican women would not admit to being freaks and taking part in oral sex. Vybz Kartel not only made it cool for ladies to admit to this practice but because of him other entertainers felt freely to sing about such behavior.

This behavior from Vybz Kartel has caused other great dancehall reggae artists like Sizzla Kalonji and Bounty Killer to criticize Kartel.

 Grange believes that having Kartel nominated for Reggae Awards could have some negative influence on young people. However, she also believes that as an artiste he also has a positive impact.

“It could have some negative impact. I think that there are aspects of his creative expressions that have negative impact, but there are also aspects of his creative expressions that have a positive impact. I would hope that after this period of time in his life has passed that whatever creative expression comes from him would be positive, rather than a mixture of positive and negative,” she said.

Should Vybz Kartel be nominated for reggae awards?

Unrepentant – Ferguson defensive as opposition MPs fire questions over dead-babies issue

Jermaine Barnaby
Fenton Ferguson speaking on the dead-babies issue in Parliament yesterday.

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has given the clearest indication yet that she has no intention of relieving Dr Fenton Ferguson of his ministerial responsibility for health, telling the minister in Parliament yesterday to ensure that adequate systems are in place to prevent the recurrence of another dead-baby scandal.

“I want to extend sympathies to members of the families, and I hope that the Ministry of Health and the minister will look at the present system to see what needs to be done to ensure that what happened will never, ever happen again,” Simpson Miller said yesterday.

The prime minister was making her first public comment on the matter involving the deaths of 19 babies at two of the country’s leading health facilities. Nineteen babies have died at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) and the Cornwall Regional Hospital as a result of being infected with the klebsiella and serratia bacteria. Ferguson said that most of the babies who died were less than seven months premature, less than two pounds and, in many cases, very ill.

“When babies are born under seven months, their organs are not well developed … . Their immune systems are significantly compromised, so I don’t want anyone to give any impression that these are babies in the real sense,” said Ferguson before being attacked by opposition MPs who said they were babies.

“I’m talking about neonates versus full-term babies, and that is why they end up in the nurseries because they have special issues.”

Ferguson, following a statement to the House of Representatives, was subjected to hours of grilling by opposition members of Parliament, some of whom demanded his resignation over the matter. He said that the deaths of the babies was regrettable, even as he stressed that Jamaica’s infant mortality rate was 12 per 1,000 births, down from 21 per 1,000 births in 1990.

Yesterday, appearing uncharacteristically ruffled, Ferguson resisted suggestions that he resign and said that those who were culpable would pay. At one point, Ferguson told Darly Vaz, West Portland member of Parliament (MP), “You are not the brightest man in town.” Vaz has been vocal on the matter, and after posing several questions to the minister, took his seat and said, “You just don’t get it.”

“Tek blame fi what?” Ferguson muttered from his seat after opposition MP Karl Samuda suggested that he accept responsibility for the matter.

Ferguson said that two persons have, so far, resigned as a result of the scandal and that “the matter of culpability is being pursued”. Dr Cecil White, chief executive officer of the UHWI, and Professor Trevor McCartney, the hospital’s medical chief of staff, have resigned.

Samuda, who declared that he did not “give a damn” about the statistics put forward by Ferguson to support the view that Jamaica had a good public-health system, said he should not be “fearful about being fired or being forced to resign”.

“We must hold our people responsible for carrying out their duties,” Ferguson said.

“As a result of our investigations, there have been two casualties,” Ferguson said, even as he defended Chief Medical Officer Dr Marion Bullock DuCasse, who, former health minister Rudyard Spencer suggested failed to perform her role in reporting to the minister.

Spencer said that it was “at least unfortunate that she took so long to advise” the minister about the outbreak.

Ferguson said that they got two letters from two members of the staff of the UHWI and they did not indicate the need for an intervention. Bullock DuCasse learnt about the outbreak on September 7 but did not tell him until September 16.

“When she got it on the 7th of September, there were not 18 deaths … that would have been on the serratia outbreak. It is not like she had got something saying, ‘Eighteen neonates have died’ and kept it to herself,” Ferguson said.

He said that when he was advised on September 16, he immediately acted on the matter.

Dr Horace Chang, MP for North West St James, said “the failure of the system is almost a disaster”.

“We are aware that there will be infection in the system from time to time … clearly, here, the system failed. You are the minister and you should have taken action already … . The fact that you have been reported to on the 7th and the entire system failed and caused the deaths of babies, you should have removed some people already if you are not going to take responsibility yourself,” Chang said.

Ferguson said that based on investigations, there was “a breakdown in the reporting system and persons have paid a price for having done that”.

Ferguson told fellow legislators that a special unit was being set up in the Ministry of Health to monitor both private- and public-sector facilities for newborn babies. He said that the unit would be headed by neonatologist Dr Michelle-Ann Richards Dawson and would comprise Dr Jacqueline Bisasor McKenzie and Dr Simone Spence, with support from the ministry’s epidemiologist, Dr Karen Webster, and the chief nursing officer.

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Lightbourne requested Privy Council to sit in Ja before 2010

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The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council has confirmed that a letter presented to the Senate by Marlene Malahoo Forte on Thursday was in fact an authentic correspondence from the United Kingdom-based final court in 2010 to former justice minister Dorothy Lightbourne.

However, prior to its correspondence with the Jamaican authorities, John G. Almeida of the law firm Charles Russell in the United Kingdom had written to L di Mambro, acting registrar of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London in November 2009 on behalf of the Jamaican Government.

He advised the Privy Council that he had been asked by Lightbourne to indicate that the Jamaican Government would like to explore the idea of a visit by the Privy Council to conduct hearings in the country.

“The Government of Jamaica considers it important that the country’s final court of appeal is seen by its citizens to be participating in the Jamaican justice system on location, albeit for a short period,” Almeida stated.


no comment


When The Gleaner contacted Almeida for comment on the issue, the attorney said the policy of the law firm to which he is employed is that it does not comment “on such matters and enter the political arena”.

In a statement yesterday, Minister of Justice Senator Mark Golding said he received two emails from the Privy Council in London with two letters attached. The first, dated November 29, 2009, to the Privy Council, came from John Almeida of the London-based law firm Charles Russell. The second letter, dated April 16, 2010, was from the Registrar of the Privy Council.

In the letter from the Registrar, the Privy Council said that if it were to visit Jamaica, the Jamaican Government would have to bear the costs of return air fares in club class for eight persons, in addition to covering the costs of five-star hotel accommodation for eight nights for five judges and 10 nights for three support staff. The costs for security arrangements formed part of the expense package.

According to Golding, unlike the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), the Privy Council is not established to operate as an itinerant court. “While the Privy Council has been willing, over the past five years, occasionally to visit other countries to hear appeals, this is at a considerable cost to the host countries. Furthermore, given that the judges of the Privy Council have, as their primary duty, the hearing of domestic UK appeals in their capacity as judges of the UK Supreme Court, the scheduling of visits to other countries will need to take that into account.”

In contrast, when the five CCJ judges and their support staff visited Jamaica to hear the Shanique Myrie case, the costs of the airfare, accommodation, and meals for the CCJ judges and accompanying personnel were all paid for by the CCJ itself.

The Ministry of Justice’s records show that the Government incurred expenditure totalling J$1,032,755 in hosting their visit to cover the venue rental at the Jamaica Conference Centre, close-protection officers and judges’ orderlies, Internet service, and protocol cars.

Mobile mania strikes MPs too

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Jermaine Barnaby
Peter Bunting
Jermaine Barnaby
Fitz Jackson
Jermaine Barnaby
Anthony Hylton (in the foreground) and Derrick Kellier beside him.
Jermaine Barnaby
Derrick Smith, in foreground, Andrew Holness beside him, and Audley Shaw click away.
Jermaine Barnaby
Desmond McKenzie
Jermaine Barnaby
Lisa Hanna
Jermaine Barnaby
Dr Dayton Campbell
Jermaine Barnaby
Arnaldo Brown
Jermaine Barnaby
Delroy Chuck

A number of issues, including the vexing topic of the deaths of 19 babies due to infection at two of the island’s major hospitals were being discussed in Parliament yesterday. But look at some of our members of parliament!

Justin Bieber Samples Dancehall Music

Justin Bieber Samples Dancehall Music

by Monique Pryce

International pop sensation Justin Bieber has released a song that is sampling the dancehall music genre.

Justin Bieber collaborated with Skrillex for Sorry.

Skrillex, an Electronic Dance Music producer is known for collaborating with reggae entertainer Damian Junior Gong Marley on the track Mek It Bun Dem. It currently has more than 160 million views on Youtube.

Justin’s song which was released last Thursday currently has more than 30 million Youtube views.

Justin also worked with producer Blood Diamond on the track. Sorry is from Bieber’s new album, Purpose, which is scheduled for release on November 13.