With a look at some of the top stories making the news today, September 14 across your Caribbean-American community in South Florida, I’m…for CNW 90.

Today’s newscast is brought to you by the Florida Department of Health;

To help stop the spread of COVID-19, The Florida Department of Health in Broward County reminds everyone to practice social distancing, wash your hands often with soap and water and cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.

Coming up in the newscast, Broward and Miami-Dade to enter phase two reopening today, Jamaican reggae legend Toots Hibbert dies in Kingston and Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness rolls out 19-member cabinet.

Now for the news in the detail

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Friday announced that the remaining two South Florida counties will move into the next phase of reopening. The three counties were initially left out of phase two reopening, but last week Tuesday, it was announced that Palm Beach County will enter phase two. Miami-Dade and Broward Counties will enter Phase 2 starting today. Phase two reopening allows for entertainment venues like movie theaters, concert houses, auditoriums, bowling alleys, playhouses and arcades to reopen at 50% capacity, under strict rules. As earlier announced, however, bars will remain closed in all three counties. Over the last two weeks, COVID-19 cases in both counties have declined significantly with Miami-Dade reporting a 14-day positivity rate of 6.13% while Broward’s is 3.9%. Broward officials say they are uncertain whether cases will trend upward following Labor Day weekend, and residents should remain vigilant and continue to take the necessary safety precautions. Residents are still required to wear a facial covering when in public, and maintain social distancing of at least six feet. People violating the facial covering requirement will now receive a $100 fine.

In Caribbean News,

Over the weekend, the Caribbean region said goodbye to two legendary entertainers, Antiguan calypso musician Sir Rupert Philo, widely known as ‘King Swallow’ and Jamaican reggae legend Toots Hibbert. King Swallow died on September 11 at the age of 78 after a prolonged illness. Over his illustrious career, he was known for his social and political commentary, as well as his many hits which include Fire in the Backseat, Subway Jam, Party In Space and Satan Coming Down. He earned several calypso crowns over his career and won Antigua’s road march titles five times. Sir Rupert was also knighted by Antigua and Barbuda in 2011 for his outstanding contribution to culture and to calypso.

Also on September 11, the Jamaican diaspora mourned the loss of the frontman of reggae and ska band Toots & the Maytals,  Frederick Nathaniel “Toots” Hibbert. Known as the godfather of reggae, Hibbert died at the age of 77 in Kingston. The cause of his death remains, although he had been recently tested for coronavirus and later put into a medically induced coma. The last medical update on his condition had come from Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia “Babsy” Grange, just last week Wednesday, urging Jamaicans to donate blood to the singer. Hibbert is credited with popularising reggae music and even naming the genre – his 1968 single “Do the Reggay” is the first song to use the term. In a statement, the band and Hibbert’s family thanked medical staff “for their care and diligence”. He is survived by his wife and seven of his eight children.

Also in Jamaica, Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced his full 19-member cabinet with several new, young ministers appointed among those with years of cabinet experience. Senator Aubyn Hill, former junior Ministers, Everald Warmington and Floyd Green were among those promoted while newcomers Marsha Smith, Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn, Alando Terrelonge and Robert Morgan will taste Cabinet experience for the first time. Major shifts in the cabinet include Karl Samuda who is now in charge of Labour and Social Security, Fayval Williams now responsible for Education and Darly Vaz who will head the ministry of Energy, Science and Technology. Notably missing from the Cabinet list was 85-year-old veteran politician Mike Henry. Rumours are swirling that this term will be his last as a member of parliament before he retires. The ministers were sworn in at King’s House yesterday.

For more information on these and other stories, visit CNWNETWORK.com. Remember to pick up this week’s copy of our Caribbean National Weekly at your nearest Caribbean – American outlet.

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