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Medical Student, Maricka Shaw, Crowned 2022 Hanover Festival Queen



#Jamaica, June 27, 2022 – Medical student, Maricka Shaw, topped the field of seven contestants vying for the 2022 Hanover Festival Queen title, to walk away with the crown during Saturday’s coronation at Rusea’s High School in Lucea.  She will represent Hanover in the national leg of the competition, which is organised by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC).

Among Ms. Shaw’s prizes were $90,000 courtesy of Orange Bay Health Centre, Reggae Paradise and the JCDC; a JCDC trophy; a weekend for two courtesy of Grand Palladium Resort; and a gift basket courtesy of Fontana Pharmacy.

The 21-year-old, who was sponsored by Seaview Pharmacy, was an early standout in the parish competition.   As such, it came as no surprise to many when she landed the title and the lion’s share of sectional prizes

The talented future medical doctor won the awards for Most Congenial, Most Active in the Community, Most Culturally Aware, and Most Popular on Social Media.

In the Most Congenial category, Ms. Shaw received a trophy sponsored by Massy Distribution and $10,000 courtesy of Jango Show Store.  She won a trophy courtesy of Lasco Financial for being adjudged Most Active in the Community and $10,000 courtesy of Councillor of the Riverside Division in Hanover, Darren Barnes.

The Queen collected another trophy sponsored by Lasco Financial for being adjudged Most Culturally Aware and an additional $10,000 from Councillor Barnes.  She was awarded a plaque for being Most Popular on Social Media, courtesy of Excelsior.

The first and second runners-up respectively were 21-year-old Radio Producer, Celine Richardson, who was sponsored by Miss Tano Trucking Services, and 19-year-old teacher’s assistant, Briana Johnson, who won the prize for Best Performer.

Ms. Shaw, who spoke with journalists, had high praises for the other contestants, describing them as “queens”, adding that “we have built a friendship that I am certain will last forever.”  She indicated that participating in the competition did not affect her studies, as she practices effective time management.

Ms. Shaw pointed out that while she was excited and a little nervous about representing Hanover in the national competition, “through Christ I can do all things.”

The newly minted queen said was looking to embark on a mission to “teach other young ladies that you can be confident in who you are and to never set any limits [on yourself], because the only limits there are in life are those that you set for yourself.”

She said with the local competition now concluded, she was looking to commence work on her parish project which will focus on mental health awareness.

“In today’s society, many persons neglect this aspect of our health, especially our young people; and, in subtle ways, it has been affecting our lives, our communities and Jamaica. Therefore, this project will entail educating our public, forming support groups in our communities, as well as giving guidance [about] how to cope [with] or treat any mental illnesses that you are experiencing,” Ms. Shaw stated.

This year’s National Festival Queen Competition is being held under the theme – ‘Reigniting the Power of the Jamaican Woman’.


Contact: Serena Grant

Release: JIS

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Bahamas News

Polio is back; 65 million missed shots in another COVID fall out



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


#USA, August 4, 2022 – For the first time in almost a decade a new case of polio was recorded in the United States. The case which ended in paralysis emphasizes the danger the region faces as vaccination levels drop to 30-year lows.

The World Health Organization warned in early July explained that vaccination in the region of the Americas and the rest of world was dropping rapidly because of various spin off effects precipitated by the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Over 65 million infants missed out on basic vaccines in the last three years thanks to disruptions in routine healthcare, lockdowns and other circumstances. The effects are already being felt as once eradicated disease like measles and polio are once again emerging.

The Pan American Health Organization announced earlier this year the Americas are now facing another measles outbreak after having been declared free of the disease in 2016.

Dr. Jarvis Barbosa, Assistant director of PAHO said vaccination levels are now as low as they were in 1994 for measles and polio and Brazil has had several outbreaks of measles.

In the case of the United States an unvaccinated young adult developed the disease after contact with another individual vaccinated with a live version of the vaccine.

The breakout polio case in the US sent shockwaves across the country because of the severe nature of the disease. Polio is an extremely dangerous disease with no known cure. It causes paralysis in as many as 1 in 200 infected and that paralysis is permanent.

Normally very few school age children would be at risk in the Americas as the vaccine is required to start school but with the gap in vaccinations many more children are now at risk.

Polio was one of the most feared diseases of the 20th century, paralyzing and killing hundreds of thousands, especially children. Thankfully vaccinated individuals are not at risk and as such the WHO is advising that the best way to protect against polio is vaccination.


Photo Caption:  Child in Benin takes Polio vaccine, UNSDG

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Caribbean News

Dunn’s River Offers Special Summer Package



#Jamaica, August 5, 2022 – Persons looking for an adventurous activity to do this summer are being encouraged to take advantage of the ‘Summa Thrills’ promotion, being offered by the world-famous Dunn’s River Falls and Park.

The promotion, which ends September 15, includes paying one cost to climb the Falls, ‘Tek-A-Hike’ and Zip over the Falls via the Chukka Falls Flyer. In addition, persons will also have access to the beach, splash pad, and other amenities.

The cost for residents is $5,000 per person and US$75 per person for non-residents. A photo identification is required to access the resident rate.

“We have partnered with CHUKKA to create this five-star experience,” Marketing Manager, Urban Development Corporation (UDC), Kereen Cole-Ivey, told JIS News.

She further informed that ‘Tek-A-Hike’ is the newest product offering at Dunn’s River Falls and Park and that the promotion provides an opportunity to build awareness and renew interest in the falls and park.

‘Tek-a-Hike’ is a guided, one-hour-and-a-half hike that starts at the Tranquility Gardens and ends in the Dunn’s River Falls & Park Nursery. Here guests can purchase plants or adopt a tree as part of the park’s Reforestation and Conservation Programme.

The hike is approximately two miles and is an experience that the entire family can enjoy. Along the trail, guests will learn about the flora and fauna on the entire property, which is called the Belmont property, as well as the general history of Dunn’s River Falls and Park. They will also get a chance to visit the Belmont Great House ruins.

“Coming out of COVID-19, we thought that this (Summa Thrills) would have been a very great adventure for the family and for everyone to enjoy and have a good time,” said Mrs. Cole-Ivey, adding that the UDC has other plans in place for Dunn’s River.

Dunn’s River Falls and Park is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Persons are being encouraged to book ahead via the Dunn’s River website at, otherwise tickets can be purchased on location.

You may also visit @dunnsriver.jamaica and @udcjamaica on Instagram or call 876 618-6052 for additional information.

The Dunn’s River Falls and Park is managed and operated by St. Ann Development Corporation (SADCO), a subsidiary of the UDC.


Contact: Shanna K. Salmon

Release: JIS

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Caribbean News

Carnival Cruise ordered to pay $10.2 million for passenger claiming rape by staff



By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer


#USA, August 5, 2022 – A Miami-based Federal Court returned a more than $10.2 million verdict against Carnival Cruise Line in favour of a passenger who claims a former crew member raped her in a storage closet aboard the Carnival Miracle in 2018.

A jury issued the verdict recently in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida finding Carnival liable for damages to the plaintiff, for false imprisonment and sexual assault by a crew member, in December 2018.

The jury separately found that Carnival was not negligent and that the former crew member did not intentionally inflict emotional distress on Plaintiff.

According to a statement issued last week Tuesday, Carnival Cruise Line said the incident between the plaintiff and the former crew member was consensual and plans to appeal the court’s decision.

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