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Mother who passed out baby in toilet says she thought it was a snake

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Mother who passed out baby in toilet says she thought it was a snake

KINGSTON – A 34-year-old woman who reported a bizarre toilet birth has denied allegations that she tried to kill the newborn.

Gaysharine Whyte, of New Road in Yallahs, St Thomas, claims to have been unaware that she was pregnant and has protested her innocence. Whyte alleges to have passed out what appeared to be a snake in a toilet last Saturday night.

The woman, according to information from the family and an official police report, ran away in fright.

The following morning, a man said to be of unsound mind was reportedly given a machete and told to kill what was believed to be a creature. However, when they entered the bathroom, a crying newborn was discovered in the toilet bowl.

The police were notified and the baby and her mother were taken to the Princess Margaret Hospital, where they were both admitted.

Hospital authorities have confirmed that the baby is in good health.

This is the third Jamaican child in a month that has survived being in a toilet just after birth after newborns were rescued in St Mary and St Ann in October.

Speaking with The Gleaner yesterday, Whyte, who is mother to another child, said that she might need counselling after what she described to be a traumatic event.

“I do pregnancy test two times and dem come out negative. Sometimes you see me belly big and shoot out, then at other times, it gone down flat. Every time I go to church, them say is a spiritual problem,” she said, admitting that she did not consult a doctor.

Whyte, who was discharged from the Princess Margaret Hospital on Wednesday, revealed that she had come under withering criticism from members of her neighbourhood.

“They are creating rumours to tear me down. I was not trying to kill my baby. I have another daughter who I treat very well. Since Saturday, I’m with the baby every day. Everything just happen sudden on me, and now is the time for people to try and give me strength and not put me down because they don’t know what happen in my life.

“I am a good person and a good mom. … I love my baby and I’m sorry for what took place,” she told The Gleaner yesterday.

Whyte revealed that the baby, who remains in the hospital, is yet to be named.

Equally devastated by the encounter is Whyte’s mother, Barbara Graham, who gave insight into what happened on Saturday night.

“She did under some science business,” said Graham, referring to the Jamaican vernacular for sorcery. “She go church and dem tell her seh she have bad belly. Saturday in the day, she guh toilet, but then me hear she cry out, ‘Mommy!’ and mi run guh in the bathroom and mi hear something like puss in her chest a cry a come down,” she said, placing her hand on her chest and moving it downwards to her abdomen.

“Suh mi fraid and run out because mi never really experience dem something deh yet. Suh mi say, ‘A wah dat!’ And she a bawl because something drop outa her like a snake. … God almighty know we nuh go back inna the bathroom Saturday night, so Sunday morning we call a man, give him a machete and tell him to go look what in there.”

In the meantime, residents of New Road have expressed doubts about the veracity of Whyte’s story.

“It just don’t mek sense. Dem a liad and the two of them need fi gaw prison and the Government tek the baby,” said one of six residents who discussed the unusual event yesterday.

“Dat girl did know seh she pregnant because a weh day she pass me with big, big belly. Everybody did see that she pregnant. And if a mad man coulda see that it was a baby in the toilet, how come dem neva see?” another man lashed out.

The St Thomas police said that Whyte is to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

The Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA), which is investigating the matter, said that the matter of care and protection of the child will be brought before the court for a ruling.

The CPFSA is encouraging mothers to contact the CPFSA if they are undecided about caring for newborns, adding that the agency could place them in the formal adoption system.

The CPFSA can be contacted by calling 876-948-2841-2. Undecided mothers may ask to speak with a member of the Adoption Unit. (The Gleaner)

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Art & Entertainment

Dominica’s 2020 World Creole Music Festival, Cancelled

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Dominica’s 2020 World Creole Music Festival, Cancelled 


Roseau, Dominica – (September 9, 2020) The Ministry of Tourism, International Transport and Maritime Initiatives, through the Discover Dominica Authority (DDA) has been monitoring the situation across the globe in relation to the spread of COVID-19.  

A decision has been taken to cancel Dominica’s top signature event, the World Creole Music Festival. The event, which was carded for October 23, 24 and 25, 2020, would have been the 22nd edition. In 2019, the World Creole Music Festival recorded over 20,000 attendees and has served as a robust economic stimulant for the island. 

The Minister for Tourism, International Transport and Maritime Initiatives, the Honourable Denise Charles, during an interview on August 28, 2020 officially announced the cancellation of the event stating “We would have loved to have the World Creole Music Festival, but as you know these are challenging times and the health and safety of our citizens is priority and, as a result, the government has taken the responsible decision to cancel the World Creole Music Festival for 2020.” Miss Charles also reminded patrons of the importance of the established protocols for COVID-19, “We have to adhere to the protocols, as a government, we cannot encourage mass gathering activities until things are under control,” the Honorable Minister asserted. 

The decision to cancel the World Creole Music Festival was extremely comprehensive. The Dominica Festivals Committee engaged in thorough consultation with members of the Dominica Festivals Committee and approximately forty diverse stakeholders, all of whom have played a critical role in the implementation and success of the festival over the years. Given the current world pandemic, an assessment was done of the status of the current source markets to include Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Maarten and by extension Europe (France, England) and North America. The analysis encompassed the number of COVID-19 active cases, boarder restrictions and overall ability of individuals to travel. It was concluded that there is much uncertainty as it relates to airline frequency and capacity, and that new protocols for travel and mass gatherings may hinder the experience for patrons significantly.  Consideration was acutely given to the fact that travelers may have less disposable income and that generally, businesses who usually invest in the event may not have funds available for sponsorship due to their own challenges related to the pandemic.

The World Creole Music Festival has increasingly met its annual objectives as a signature event in Dominica by creating awareness for the destination and, along with other signature events held annually, contributing to approximately 10% of annual stay-over arrivals in Dominica. The event records performances of over fifteen acts across the three nights and in many cases showcases up to ten different genres of music. Therefore, this decision was not easy or straightforward. Stakeholders were presented with up to four options regarding the augmentation of WCMF 2020, and the pros and cons of each option were carefully weighed. The ability of the event to fulfil its overall objectives, especially where economic activity is concerned, was given measurable consideration, hence leading to the decision to cancel.  

We wish to take the opportunity to thank all patrons of Dominica’s World Creole Music Festival locally, regionally, and internationally for their continued support and understanding. Look out for the next edition of Dominica’s World Creole Music Festival, scheduled for October 29, 30 and 31, 2021.

For more information on Dominica, contact Discover Dominica Authority at 767 448 2045. Or, visit Dominica’s official website: www.DiscoverDominica.com, follow Dominica on Twitter and Facebook and take a look at our videos on YouTube.

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About Dominica: Dominica (pronounced Dom-in-EEK-a, and not to be confused with the Dominican Republic) is a haven for adventure travelers seeking a unique vacation that includes: hiking and adventure, cultural events/festivals, diving and water sports, whale/dolphin watching and canyoning adventures. Dominica lies south of Guadeloupe and north of Martinique in the Eastern Caribbean. Air travelers can connect to Dominica on Air Antilles, Air Sunshine, Caribbean Helicopters, Coastal Air Transport, Hummingbird Air, LIAT, Seaborne Airlines, or WINAIR from the surrounding hubs of Antigua, Barbados, Guadeloupe, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, and U.S. Virgin Islands.  If travelling by sea, travelers can connect to Dominica on L’Express Des Iles ferry service from Guadeloupe, Martinique, and St. Lucia.

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COVID-19

Safety First? Bahamas bans US Tourists

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Tourism Minister Dominic Fedee says the government’s priority remains the health of the Saint Lucian public.
This comes on the heels of news that the Bahamas has banned entry to American Tourists as coronavirus cases continue to spike in the United States.
Will Saint Lucia take similar steps?
Let’s find out.

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Local News

Fly By Night ! NWU Speaks on behalf of disgruntled LIAT staff

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The national workers union representative for LIAT workers here in Saint Lucia, met with staff Monday to discuss their future given the bleak outlook painted by LIAT shareholder governments since the inception of the COVID 19 pandemic led to the loss of key traveller revenue. The blow, has left the already cash strapped airline crippled and workers anxious over what the future may hold for the company.

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