Construction ofClosed Harbour Beach Park in Montego Bay will begin following the official groundbreaking by Prime Minister,Andrew Holness on Friday. The project, which is being primarily funded by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) and executed by the Urban Development Corporation (UDC), will be one of the largest transformative development for the parish. The project forms a part of the UDC’s Montego Bay Redevelopment Programme which will see the conversion of the 16-acre property into recreational space with amenities that will allow for it to operate as a free access licenced public beach. The project which is estimated at a cost of JMD $1.296 billion is anticipated for completion within 18 months with main funding provided by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF). According to Holness“the Closed Harbour Beach Park development is one which signifies the integrated and inclusive development which is required for the achievement of Vision 2030.” "This development will not surpass the people of Jamaica but rather will work with and for them following on the economic and sociocultural impact which the park will provide,” Holness said. Hailing the project as “the continuation of the reimaging of Montego Bay”, Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism in his remarks noted that significant contribution to domestic tourism will be ushered in through the development of the park as the first obligation to the people of Jamaica will not be ignored as they will claim the park as their own. Senator Ransford Braham, Chairman UDC, who expounded on the scope of the project, noted that upon transformation, the property will see widening of the sidewalk and new perimeter fencing along Gloucester Avenue and Howard Cooke Boulevard while the interior of the park will feature a Beach Futsal & multi-purpose court, kids play area, food kiosks and outdoor dining area. Dr Carey Wallace, Executive Director, TEF assured that the agency is always willing to support projects of this nature particularly those which ensures the inclusion of ordinary Jamaicans in Jamaica’s development agenda.

Cedric Wilson and Cheryl Lewis

The Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) has announced the appointments of two new Deputy Directors General: Cedric Wilson and Cheryl Lewis. They were appointed by the Prime Minister,Andrew Holness, upon the recommendation of the Office, to serve for three-year terms. The appointments took effect on February 1, a release from the OUR stated. “Ms. Lewis and Mr. Wilson join Maurice Charvis in the post, bringing the total number of Deputy Directors General at the OUR to three, the release said. Prior to his appointment, Wilson served as Director of Regulation, Policy, Monitoring and Enforcement at the OUR, the most recent of several positions he has served in since joining the organization in 2004. An Economist, Mr. Wilson has 25 years’ experience working in the electric utility industry. He was employed at the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited as Tariff Specialist and General Manager of Corporate Planning for over 10 years and worked as a Regulatory Consultant in the electricity and water sector for some 15 years. Mr. Wilson has undertaken work in several countries across the Caribbean. Notably, he was project manager for the CARICOM renewable energy study in 2009 and tariff consultant to the Eastern Caribbean Energy Regulatory Authority Project in 2016. Additionally, he has collaborated with the Public Research Utility Centre (PURC), University of Florida, USA, in the delivery of a regulatory seminar in Africa and is a regular speaker at PURC’s biannual conference on utility regulation. Ms. Lewis joined the OUR as Deputy General Counsel in October 2010 and has served as General Counsel to the OUR for the last six years prior to her appointment. During her tenure at the OUR, she has provided leadership and effective representation locally and internationally. Ms. Lewis has also been at the centre of and has played a pivotal role in, discussions, negotiations and planning for the successful introduction of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) in the electricity sector and the development of the associated infrastructure in Jamaica. She has also delivered special lectures internationally on Jamaica’s experience with LNG. Prior to joining the OUR, Ms. Lewis worked as Counsel in the Attorney General’s Chambers for 15 years where she served in various capacities including as Assistant Attorney-General in Litigation, Divisional Director of General Legal Advice and Divisional Director of the Commercial Affairs Division. She is a British Chevening Scholar (2001) and holds a Master of Laws (LLM) in International Business Law from the University of Manchester, England, a Legal Education Certificate (LEC) from the Norman Manley Law School, Jamaica and a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from the University of the West Indies, Barbados. In congratulating Ms. Lewis and Mr. Wilson, Director General, Ansord Hewitt says the appointments augur well for the development of the OUR and the work it has to do. “This will be particularly helpful to me in streamlining the activities of the OUR and allowing more options with respect to assigning leadership responsibilities for the sectors and activities we regulate,” said Hewitt.

Unknown Gringo

Montego Bay artiste Unknown Gringo is gunning for the top spot in dancehall. He has been gaining traction in recent months with a raft of hit songs including chart-riders like 'Money Factory' and 'Brawling Death' in recent weeks. Now, he has released a video for his latest release, “Money Factory” that is racking up thousands of views on YouTube. “The video was released this week and it is doing very well, big up the producer Shabdon Records. My next project will be ‘Money Machine’ featuring Chronic Law, that has over 30,000 views so we will be doing a video for that soon,” Unknown Gringo said. He is also gearing up to release his first EP, “Rise of the Unknown Gringo” which will feature seven tracks, some of which will be previously unreleased tracks in July 2019. The artiste has performed at a number of 'JB Outta West' shows in Montego Bay and Negril, as well as several events all over Jamaica. He is booked to appear on one of the shows of this years Britjam in Montego Bay. Music producers have begun to recognise the talent and are sending dope beats his way. Plus promoters have begun to bank on him as one of the wave of new artistes from Western Jamaica who are making their mark internationally in dancehall. Born Frantz Morris, No Face Unknown grew up in the crime-torn Flankers area of Montego Bay before his family moved to Trelawny. He started singing in church and even released a gospel song, which led to his taking the name 'Francheeno' and he began to work with several producers including Through Divine Productions for whom he recorded the popular 'All Night Long' and another label, Third Eye Records. He established a working relationship with Must Rich Records and One Harmony Records which are based in the United Kingdom. Through those companies, he released songs including 'Open Your Eyes', 'Man Love So True' and Life Set a Way for Chiney K Records. He took a break from music to pursue his business interests. When he returned to the music industry in 2016, he adopted the No Face Unknown wearing a mask to disguise his face. The new image created a sensation in the media and the dancehall public and his career began to take off. He got a major hit with the single, 'Tank Up' and 'I Am the Chosen' and 'Bingo'. In 2018, he tweaked his name, calling himself 'Unknown Gringo' and got rid of the mask. He recorded several singles for independent record label, Chase Mills Records, including the club banger, 'Vroom Vroom', 'Cute Cute' and the bad man anthem, 'Brawling Death'. He also recorded several singles under his own label, Desconocido Records. Recent singles include 'Money Factory' for Shabdon Records and 'Go Up' under the Chase Mills Records label.

Aston Cooke

Tributes have been pouring in for playwright Aston Cooke, who was found dead at his St Andrew apartment on Friday morning. "I have lost a friend, not just a colleague, so his death has really shaken me up," Lenford Salmon, a senior advisor to Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports Minister Olivia Grange, told Loop News reporter Claude Mills. Salmon, who is a principal at Jambiz International Inc, which produces theatrical productions, met the playwright36 years ago and maintained a great friendship over the years. "I spoke to him a week agoas we were seeking to get the MissWorld competition to be staged in Jamaica. We were going to London to speak to them, a move orchestrated by Minister Olivia Grange. This is a tremendous loss for Jamaica, he was one of the island's foremost designers, not only of set design, but carnival costumes. He was a brilliant playwright, and he had a passion for the development of youths in theatre, and is a co-founder of Jamaica Youth Theatre (JYT). He was a product and a moving force of the schools drama festivals, and he put his life into maintaining it," Salmon said. Cooke was one of the principals of Crown of Beauty Jamaica Limited, which owns the Miss Jamaica World franchise. He is the recipient of 10 national Actor Boy Awards for outstanding achievement in Jamaican theatre and an inductee to the Caribbean Hall of Fame for Arts and Culture. In 1985, Cooke was responsible for writing the first episodes of Oliver at Large for Jamaica's "King of Comedy" Oliver Samuels‚ which became Jamaica's most successful scripted television series to date. Cooke has served as director of boards for several organisations, including Television Jamaica Limited, Jamaica AIDS Support for Life (JASL) and as Board Chairman of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) during 2013 and 2016. Grange expressed shock and sadness at the passing of the playwright. “The news of Aston’s passing on this Jamaica Day is a blow for us all. But Aston would be proud of the glorious display and embrace of Jamaican culture in our schools and communities. Our culture was his life. He displayed a level of commitment to his culture that must be emulated and admired," the culture minister said. “In the midst of our cultural celebrations today, we say farewell to a gentleman who has left us a proud legacy that echoes the makings of a cultural icon. We are sure the spirit and legacy of Aston Cooke will live on," she continued.“On behalf of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport and the JCDC, I wish to express our deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathies to the family and friends of Aston Cooke. Be comforted in the fact that his legacy is untouchable and that he has given his best years to what he loved dearly, his culture.” Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the JCDC, Mexine Bissasor, described Cooke asa quiet giant who made a tremendous contribution to Jamaica’s culture and specifically, theatre,. “His legacy is one that speaks to love, passion and honour. His deep love for the artform saw him being a part of all the veins of the heart of the industry; he has served the Commission three different times up to the day of his death," she said. Meanwhile, executive director of JASL, Kandasi Levermore said Cooke's untimely death has left the organisation with a void it will never be able to fill. She said his work with JASL over the past two decades speaks volumes but it is his calm disposition and astuteness in creating that body of work which the JASL family will miss him for most. “Aston’s passing is devastating for all of us and will leave us with a void for a very long time. The creative flair that he brought to the team is marked only by a man who has immersed himself in all aspects of life, and that he did well – in the arts which he loved dearly, both as an actor and playwright; pageantry; and as a committed servant of the marginalised," she said. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Aston Cooke attended All Saint's Primary School in Jones Town, Kingston, and later won a Common Entrance place to enter Wolmer's Boys' School. He began writing plays as a student at Wolmer's as an active participant in the Schools' Drama Festival of Jamaica. His first one-act play, Pickle‚ won several awards for Wolmer's Boys’ School in the Jamaica Secondary Schools Drama Festival. Cooke is artistic director of the Jamaica Youth Theatre, a group he founded in 2004 that serves as the performing arm of the Schools' Drama Festival of Jamaica. He led the visionary campaign for the Jamaica Youth Theatre (JYT) to be selected from over 100 companies from 40 countries worldwide and eventually representing the nation at the 2010 "Contacting the World Youth Theatre Festival" in Manchester, England. He is also a published writer, with his book, 'Country Duppy & Jonkanoo Jamboree'.

Kokolo Foster.

Tornadoes Swim Club'sKokolo Foster highlighted the second night at the 2019Walter Rogers Age Group Championships with a national record in the Girls' 11-12 100-metre breaststroke on Friday. Foster won the gold medal in 1:18.51, a time which also lowered the 2009 Championship record held by Danielle Boothe of 1:20.31. Boothe would go on to have a very successful CARIFTA Championships that year in Aruba winning three gold,four silver, and a bronze. Foster’s teammate Sabrina Lyn also achieved a championship record on the night, lowering her previous record from 1:18.42 to 1:17.51 on her way to gold in the Girls' 13-14 100-metre breaststroke. The Girls' 15 and over gold medal was won by another swimmer who competed at CARIFTA 2009,Octivia Gray of the Marlins Swim Club.She won in 1:25.76. In 2009 she had won the bronze medal in the event in a time of 1:21.61 The fastest time of the night came from Chester Adams of the Y Speedos who won in a personal best time of 1:10.90 to take the Boys' 15 and over title.

Last season’s beaten finalists, Brown’s Town FC, condemned Boys’ Town to their first loss in the Magnum KSAFA Super League football competition, when they secured a 1-0 victory in their top-of-the-table Zone B feature at Constant Spring Complex on Friday night. Ryan Lewis netted the all-important goal at the 28th minute, which secured all three points and moved the unbeaten Brown’s Town up to 10 points and sole leadership in the group. Boys’ Town, who were demoted from the Premier League and are playing Confed football for the first time in years, dropped one place to third after the defeat. The Colour Reds are on six points. Central Kingston FC took advantage of Boys’ Town’s slip by defeating Mountain View FC 1-0 in Friday night’s opening game. Chantamoi Taylor was Central Kingston’s hero, scoring at the 11th minute to ensure his team’s third straight victory. Since losing their opening match against Brown’s Town, Central Kingston have not dropped a point and they are now second in Zone B on nine points. Mountain View, on the other hand, extended their miserable form by slumping to their third consecutive loss. The east Kingston team is bottom of the standings with one point, garnered in their opening game draw against Santos. The latter are also struggling, having only that point from the Mountain View FC game to their tally, as they lie second from bottom after back-to-back losses. Santos will get another opportunity to alter that trend and their lowly status on Sunday when they challenge Rockfort FC in the feature game of a double-header at Constant Spring, that is set to begin at 7:00 p.m. Sherton McPherson, Oneeko Allen and Shai Smith are the players on whom Santos will rely most for goals in this tough encounter. Rockfort FC are seasoned campaigners, having made the semis for five years running. They are off to a somewhat slow start this season, drawing twice and losing once to make two points from three games. All their matches have been against the leading teams in Zone B and they will believe they are in with a live chance of taking their first win in Sunday’s fixture. The players who are likely to figure in Rockfort FC’s display include veteran goalie Russell Hosang, plus offensive players Geovauni Samuda, Romarie Myers and Romario Phipps. The opening match is a 5:00 p.m. Zone A fixture between Real Mona FC and Meadforest FC. Both are buoyed by victory in their last game, with the unbeaten Real Mona FC moving to seven points, which had them in the joint leadership position up to Friday night ahead of the game between defending champions Barbican FC and bottom-of-the-table Constant Spring FC, which had lost all three of their previous matches. Real Mona FC, with veteran goalie Kenrick Picknight, are quite balanced with experience and youth and will rely on Ryan Reid and Andrew Pedlar, among others. Meadforest FC also won promotion this season, as Major League champions after beating Constant Spring. They repeated that finals win in their first Magnum KSAFA Super League clash last weekend, winning 3-1 to advance their tally to four points. Meadforest FC, with coach Karume Huie, will seek another win, hoping Jodeu Gordon, Bryan Campbell, and Deandre Walker will play the main role. Meanwhile, three Zone B matches are scheduled in KSAFA’s Major League, also on Sunday. They are Bull Bay vsAugust Townat Bull Pen, SwallowfieldvsNew Kingstonat Vauxhall High School, and Allman/Woodford vsGreenwich Town at Alpha Boys’. All games are set to kick-off at 3:00 p.m.