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October 28 trial date for man accused in MP’s murder

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October 28 trial date for man accused in MP’s murder

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

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THE man who has been charged with the murder of Dr Lynvale Bloomfield, Simeon Sutherland, is scheduled to stand trial later this month.

When the matter was called up in the Portland Parish Court last week, an October 28 trial date was set.

Sutherland’s bail was extended after attorney-at-law Peter Champagnie asked the court that his client’s bail continue on the same conditions he had been originally offered.

At the same time, Champagnie noted that he will be applying for the matter to be tried in Kingston instead of Portland. The attorney argued that his client would not get a fair trial if the case were to be tried in the north-eastern parish.

Bloomfield, who was the Member of Parliament for Portland Eastern at the time of his death, was found dead at his house in Passley Gardens, Portland, on February 2. He had multiple stab wounds.

Sources close to the probe had said that bloodstains were in sections of the house, as well as in the yard.

Days after the discovery of Bloomfield’s body, Sutherland was detained as a person of interest in his murder, but was released. However, he was rearrested in March after scientific evidence allegedly linked him to the crime scene.

— Racquel Porter

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Children aged 5 to 14 hardest hit by dengue

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MINISTER of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton has disclosed that children between the ages of five and 14 account for the age group with the largest number of suspected and confirmed dengue-related deaths.

The revelation was made during Tufton’s statement to Parliament yesterday, where he stated that as at November 7, there were 61 suspected/confirmed deaths, of which 17 occurred in 2018 and 44 since the start of the year.

The minister noted, too, that the highest rate of dengue cases was also among that age group, followed by children one to four years.

As at November 7, the National Surveillance Unit received a total of 12,794 notifications for dengue between January 1, 2018, and November 7, 2019 — 2,235 in 2018 and 10,559 since 2019.

Of the 12,794 notifications for the period 7,179 cases, with dates of onset in the period under review, have been classified as suspected, presumed or confirmed.

The majority of the suspected/presumed/confirmed cases were females, with the burden of the number of cases greatest among the 25 to 59-year-old cohort, followed by the five to 14-year old cohort.

Last week, the Jamaica Observer interviewed a St Catherine woman, whose daughter reportedly died shortly after being infected with what doctors believed to be dengue.

The woman, 30-year-old Simone Lewis, recalled that on October 20 her daughter, eight-year-old Karrisa Downer, began complaining about having a headache.

Lewis said shortly after, Karrisa developed a fever which worsened throughout the night into the following day.

She said the child spent the morning vomiting and complained regularly about having a stomach ache.

“Mi bring her to the private doctor here in Portmore where we live. Him examine her and seh she have an infection in her throat. So he gave me antibiotics for her, not Cataflam (Diclofenac), something for the fever and something for the pain. So I was giving it to her now, that was the Monday. Couple days later I realise that she not getting better. Mi naah see nuh progress or nothing like that. I give her the medication and she keep bringing it up back,” Lewis explained.

She said, by this time, the child’s appetite had decreased and she had become increasingly weak, sleeping through most of the days.

Frustrated, Lewis said she returned to the doctor with Karrisa on Friday of that week. After an examination, the doctor theorised that Karrisa had contracted the dengue virus.

The mother said a referral was written for the Bustamante Hospital for Children, where the child was admitted hours later.

“Them seh the same thing to. Seh she have the symptoms fi dengue. So them seh them affi confirm it through a blood test, but it was it. So they did it and I was supposed to take it up the lab to confirm it but they said they know it was it,” Lewis stated.

“Once she go in the Friday everything start go downhill, downhill, downhill. It just start get worse. Them seh she even developed pneumonia while she was in the hospital. The Saturday night they realised she wasn’t breathing properly. They did an X-ray and seh fluid in her lungs and that’s why she can’t breathe properly. Early Sunday morning she start vomiting blood and stop breathe. Mi couldn’t manage it. Mi affi come out the room. Mi father was there and come tell mi froth a come out her nose and mouth. Them deh deh about 15 minutes a try get back her heart rate. When them get it back them seh them need her fi go ICU (Intensive Care Unit),” Lewis told the Observer.

She said no space was available in the ICU and so it was suggested that Karrisa be transferred to the University Hospital of the West Indies but it was later communicated that there was also no space available there.

On Sunday, the child was placed in a medically induced coma and was only transferred to the ICU on Monday when space became available.

“So she was still on the machine and she wasn’t making any progress then they said with all of the fluid her lungs got damaged. Then the kidney now stop work. All of this just happen in a short space of time but them seh a suh it work. She never did a pass out nothing, no urine. The following day she just pass off. She end up never make it,” Lewis said, confirming that Karrisa, a Naggo Head Primary School student, died on November 1.

“It’s heartbreaking for me. To sit down a watch your only child in pain and can’t breathe nuh easy. It did just rough. It break mi heart, mi a tell you. It’s hard. I can’t even stay home alone. I think about her so much,” Lewis said.

Yesterday, the minister announced that Cabinet had approved a $1-billion expenditure over three months to combat the spread of the virus.

He said this will see to the establishment of a National Dengue Coordination Committee to include a multisectoral/agency response.

Tufton said the key ministries, agencies and departments that will be called into action include: Ministry of Local Government and Community Development; Social Development Commission; National Solid Waste Management Authority; Ministry of Education, Youth and Information; Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries; and the National Works Agency.

But Opposition spokesman on health Dr Morais Guy, while expressing appreciation for the move, said the announcement was a “little too late”, noting that the minister had “fiddled while Rome burned”.

Guy rapped the minister, arguing that there were too many reported deaths, including those of young children.

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‘New beginning’ for Ja’s faith-based tourism

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‘New beginning’ for Ja’s faith-based tourism

Bartlett says visit of TD Jakes pivotal for country

BY HORACE HINES
Observer staff reporter
hinesh@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

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FALMOUTH, Trelawny — Faith-based tourism in Jamaica got a major boost yesterday with the arrival of 1,800 visitors as part of Bishop TD Jakes’s 2019 Faith and Family Cruise on the MS Nieuw Amsterdam, which called at the Falmouth Cruise Port.
Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett met the iconic, international clergyman and his entourage at the Falmouth Port, after which they headed for a brunch, hosted by Jamaica Vacations Limited, at Royalton White Sands Resort in Trelawny.
“This truly is a momentous day for Jamaica and for faith-based tourism. Since 2010, this is the largest, single grouping of Christian visitors who have come to Jamaica. Today, 1,800 visitors came from all walks of life, from several countries across the world,” Bartlett noted.
“They came because of one man, who is today the leading Christian leader, arguably, in the world. And Bishop TD Jakes, his presence in Jamaica signals a new beginning for us in a long effort to bring faith-based tourism to a position where we can begin to structure and make something positive of it,” he continued.
The senior pastor of The Potter’s House in Dallas, Texas, who is also a best-selling author and award-winning film-maker, announced that he has already had discussions with Bartlett about collaborating with Jamaica in several ventures.
“Back home I am doing things in real estate development and there is a great deal of synergy — films and television, and so forth — that are possibilities for Jamaica. So we look forward to continuing our dialogue and see what can come out of it,” Jakes said.
He added: “I want to make a special cry out to all of the artistic people, producers, developers…and so on, we stand on the verge of perhaps creating opportunities for your expertise to be used and I look forward to discussing it further. Artistes, ministers, business leaders…executives, we cover the wide range of subjects that I think you would find interesting, not just faith, but faith and business because Jesus says, if you see a man naked he doesn’t need the word, he needs a coat; if he is barefoot, he doesn’t need God bless you, he needs shoes. And so we are talking about practicalising our faith in ways which could have a possible impact, and I believe it’s possible.”
Bartlett disclosed that, among the plans discussed, was the staging of one of the bishop’s signature events, Caribbean Summit, at Montego Bay Convention Centre between late 2020 and early 2021, which he predicted will bring 20,000 visitors to the island.
He argued that with Jakes’ social media following, Jamaica could be positioned as “a place for meetings and for conventions from religious groups”.
“Just a single posting about Jamaica on his page is going to be seen by 16 million people. The invitation, therefore, is huge, and the implications are equally huge for growth and development for our industry to begin with,” Bartlett added.
“But beyond that, we are talking about practical investments. We are talking about investments in hotels, we are talking about investments in real estate…also investments in community development, and The Potter’s House and the community around it represents an opportunity for us to look at what is possible because of modelling, and how we could create such a facility that will enrich our people and give a balance between spiritual values and temporal realities,” the tourism minister said.
For more than 40 years, Bishop Jakes has helped millions of people realise their purpose through his ministry. He has been recognised as “America’s Best Preacher” by the Times Magazine, as well as “one of the nation’s most influential and mesmerising preachers” by the New York Times. In 1996 Jakes founded The Potter’s House, a non-denominational, multicultural church in Dallas, Texas, which has grown to more than 30,000 members.
Jakes expressed his enthusiasm over his one-day visit to the island.
“I want to thank you, Minister [Bartlett], for this hospitality and the prime minister also for bringing us and making this possible for us to engage and have a conversation. We brought the people here because we love Jamaica, we love the Jamaican people, we love the culture, and, yes, we’ll admit, we love the food,” Jakes said.

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PHOTO: Doc to the rescue

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PHOTO: Doc to the rescue

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

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