JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS: January 10th – 16th, 2015

JAMAICAN SENTENCED IN NEW YORK FOR GIRLFRIEND’S MURDER—01/10/15
Christian Ferdinand, 22, of Jamaica, received a sentence of 29 years in prison in New York for the murder of a teenage girl who had refused to abort their child. Ferdinand was convicted of murdering his 14-year-old girlfriend, setting her body on fire, and throwing the remains into the ocean.

CUSTOMS IN U.S. APPREHEND PASSENGER ON DRUG CHARGES—01/11/15
Customs agents in the United States arrested a passenger who arrived at John F. Kennedy International airport in New York on charges of attempting to smuggle cocaine into the country. Customs authorities stated that Chevelle Rusheen Nesbeth boarded the plane in Montego Bay and was smuggling the drugs in her suitcase. The cocaine was discovered hidden in the handrails of the suitcase.

JAMAICANS SHOW SUPPORT FOR PARALYZED MOTHER—01/12/15
Althea McFarlane, who has been paralyzed for more than six years, received some much needed help from Jamaicans locally and overseas after a newspaper story informed readers of her situation, as well as about the needs of others in the parish. Kim Brown Lawrence, councilor/caretaker for St. Ann Parish Council’s Brown’s Town division, found a number of families in desperate need of help during a house-to-house visit. The Mind Body and Soul Health Ministry, a charity formed chiefly of Jamaicans in the Diaspora, was the first group to respond to the call for aid.

JAMAICANS IN CANADA ALLOWED STOCK MARKET INVESTMENTS—01/13/15
Jamaicans who are living in Canada will be allowed to participate in stock trading and other such activities on the local stock exchange beginning on April 1, 2015. This will occur as the Jamaica Stock Exchange prepares to receive authorization from Canada’s administration for the more than 300,000 individuals of Jamaican heritage living in Canada the chance to participate in the local stock market. The Jamaica Stock Exchange will facilitate arrangements over the internet.

HEALTH FACILITY IN CANADA TO HIRE JAMAICAN NURSES—01/14/15
Central Health in central Newfoundland, Canada, was facing a serious nursing shortage, but has now decided to hire licensed practical nurses (LPNs) from Jamaica to fill the vacancies. According to Trudy Stuckless, the chief nursing officer, Central Health made contact with every school in Canada in its search for nurses to fill nearly 50 vacancies, but could not find the needed workers. Eight nurses from Jamaica are currently moving through the immigration process and expect to begin work at Central Health by the spring of 2015.

DIASPORA CONFERENCE TO FOCUS ON INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES—01/15/15
The Sixth Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference, which is scheduled to be held in Montego Bay, will focus on the many opportunities for investment in Jamaica. According to Arnaldo Brown, the focus on this topic represents a continuation of activities initiated in 2013. The topic also reflects statements by members of the three largest Diaspora communities (United States, Canada, United Kingdom) that they receive very little information about investment opportunities on their home island.

DANCEHALL STAR MAKES DEAL WITH LABEL BASED IN UNITED STATES—01/16/15
Future Fambo, Jamaican dancehall artist, has been working on his profession and recording with local producers since he entered the music industry. He established a foundation that has made it possible for him to obtain a one-album deal with the independent label Blaze Entertainment Records, which is based in the U.S. He says that while he may have been “out of sight” in Jamaica, he has been working in the Diaspora. The album will be his first.

YOUTH DAY COMES TO JAMAICA—01/16/15
The free family festival known as Youth Day is scheduled to come to Montego Bay in Jamaica on January 24, 2015. The festival, which began in Toronto, Canada, and is still based there, has been in operation for eight years. The event is designed to highlight the exposure to the arts, children’s self-esteem and  self-expression. Youth Day has the support of Jamaica’s Ministry of Tourism.