Tracy Morgan leaves hospital, No word on Ardie Fuqua, assistant

Tracy Morgan is reportedly doing much better after car crash.

Tracy Morgan was released from the hospital on June 20, and transferred to a rehabilitation facility, where he is expected to undergo weeks of extensive physical therapy in order to fully recover from the injuries he sustained in the June 7 car accident on the New Jersey Turnpike.

By Carmen Glover

On Friday, June 20, one week after his luxury tour bus was rear-ended on the New Jersey Turnpike, killing his friend James McNair, “30 Rock Star” Tracy Morgan was released from Robert Wood Johnson Hospital and transferred to an undisclosed rehabilitation center to continue with his recovery.

Morgan was critically injured in the accident which occurred on June 7 at 1:00 a.m., when the comedian’s bus was hit by Walmart truck driver Kevin Roper. According to information released by the National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB), Roper had been speeding, going 20 miles over the posted speed limit, despite notices urging caution due to lane closures. Roper was believed to be exhausted after reportedly driving for up to 24 hours without sleep.

Comedian Ardie Fuqua remains in critical condition in NJ hospital.

Comedian Ardie Fuqua remains in critical condition in NJ hospital but no information has been provided about the status of his progress, or whether he has improved in any way.

Morgan’s spokesman indicated that the rehabilitation period was underway and is expected to take some time.

“Tracy has been transferred to an undisclosed rehab center, where he is expected to remain for the next few weeks. While he is continuing to show signs of improvement, he still has a long way to go,” said Lewis Kay, Morgan’s spokesman.

No information was provided on the progress of Morgan’s assistant and his fellow comedian Ardie Fuqua, who were also hospitalized in critical condition after the accident.  The public is urged to keep praying for the recovery of Fuqua and Morgan’s assistant so that they may improve and leave the hospital as well. -OnPointPress.net.

Exciting music festival returns to Roy Wilkins Park on June 29

Reggae Superstar Marcia Griffiths.

Reggae Superstar Marcia Griffiths will perform at the festival with some of her close friends.

By Tiffany Mea

New York’s  fourth annual “Groovin’ in the Park” concert will hit Roy Wilkins Park in Queens, NY on Sunday, June 29th, 2014. This year serves up an exciting dose of reggae, soul and pop-rock performances into one jam-packed day.

Jamaica’s soulful hit-maker Beres Hammond and Australian pop-rock legends Air Supply will headline the show. Chronixx, one of Jamaica’s most-talked about rising roots stars, and his band Zinc Fence Redemption, will make their NYC festival debut. While Marcia Griffiths celebrates her 50th year in reggae with a few of her friends (John Holt, Judy Mowatt and Bob Andy). The one-day extravaganza will also showcase  elements of Jamaican culture with its mouth-watering cuisine and the island’s fashion.

Beres Hammond will headline the festival.

Soulful reggae crooner Beres Hammond will headline the festival.

Hailed as the only Jamaican female vocalist to have chart-topping success in such a vast range of styles (doo-wop covers, rock steady, roots and funk), Marcia Griffiths’ versatility and willingness to adapt has worked to her advantage. From her international break as one of the I-Threes (Bob Marley’s iconic backing trio) to her chart-topping success with “Electric Boogie” (the 80s hit prompting the Electric Slide dance), the First Lady of Reggae’s accomplishments have commanded royal respect throughout her 40-year plus career.

Judy Mowatt, who sang with Marchia Griffiths and Rita marley as the I-Threes, will perform at the festival.

Judy Mowatt, who sang with Marchia Griffiths and Rita marley as the I-Threes, will perform at the festival.

During her set at Groovin in the Park, she will perform alongside original I-Threes’ member Judy Mowatt, veteran singer John Holt and her long-time singing partner Bob Andy. Marcia Griffiths and Judy Mowatt were recently honored with the “Reggae Ambassador’s Award” in New York by VP Records and Groovin Inc.

Legendary reggae singer John Holt will perform at the festival.

Legendary reggae singer John Holt will perform at the festival.

Known to many as the “Otis Redding of Reggae,” Beres Hammond has been producing and pouring out his smoky-sweet vocals over every kind of riddim track for almost 40 years. Beres Hammond, who ignited New York City with musical flames when he last appeared on Groovin’ in the Park in 2012, has a track record of hits that is unprecedented in reggae, including “Rockaway,” “In Love With You,” “What One Dance Can Do,” “She Loves Me Now,” “Step Aside,” “Double Trouble” and “Putting Up Resistance.”

Legendary reggae singer Bob Andy will perform at the festival.

Legendary reggae singer Bob Andy will perform at the festival.

His latest Grammy-nominated album One Love, One Life (2012, VP Records) peaked at #1 on Billboard’s Top 10 Reggae Album chart and was lauded by Rolling Stone as “one of the best albums of a four-decade-long career.”

Air Supply will join Beres Hammond  as the show's headliners.

Air Supply will join Beres Hammond as the show’s headliners.

With over 100 million albums sold worldwide, Australian soft-rock pop legends Air Supply have scored eight Top 10 Billboard hits in the United States, including anthems like “Making Love Out Of Nothing At All,” “Good Bye,” “Its Never Too Late” and “Lost In Love,” which was named “Song Of The Year” in 1980. The group mesmerized music fans at the 2011 Jamaica Jazz & Blues festival and their upcoming performance at Groovin in the Park will be no different. In 2013, Air Supply was inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame.

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The 21-year-old roots vocalist Chronixx is one of hottest new reggae artists on the circuit. He recently dropped his new project Dread & Terrible, which was written entirely by himself. The conscious singer-songwriter has been building a name for himself with energetic live performances and raves reviews from media and industry alike. In a recent Billboard interview, Island Records’ founder Chris Blackwell said Chronixx’s music is “completely fresh, uplifting and very pure.” Major Lazer selector Walshy Fire added that “the world will recognize him as one of reggae’s greatest artists.” He already has an impressive catalogue of smash hits – including “Behind Curtain,” “Tell Mi Now,” “Here Comes Trouble,” “African Heritage” and his patriotic island anthem “Smile Jamaica” that has placed him on reggae’s frontline.

Marcia Griffiths usually delivers a terrific performance and is expected to do the same at the festival.

Marcia Griffiths usually delivers a terrific performance and is expected to do the same at the festival. She will be joined onstage with pals Judy Mowatt, Bob Andy and John Holt.

Groovin’ in the Park 2014 will be a day to remember. Sponsors supporting the celebration this year include Grace Kennedy, TD Bank, SQPA, Nutrament, MoneyGram, The Smoke House, The Door Restaurant, Bullzii and Groovin Radio. Since 2011, Groovin’ in the Park has consistently brought world-class entertainment to New York City. Previous performers include Gladys Knight, Babyface, Machel Mantano, Beres Hammond, Jimmy Cliff, Patti Labelle and TGT (Tyrese, Ginuwine & Tank). For more information visit www.groovininthepark.com or contact Tiffany@withlovepr.com-OnPointPres.net.

Patricia Boothe, editor of Everybody’s magazine, dies

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Patricia Boothe, late editor of Everybody’s magazine.

By Carmen Glover

Patricia Boothe, the Jamaica-born longtime editor of Everybody’s, a Caribbean-American themed magazine that is published by Herman Hall, has died. Boothe died on Friday, June 13, 2014. She was in her mid-fifties. In a press release posted on his Twitter page Hall said:

“I regret to announce the passing of Patricia Boothe, EVERYBODY’S Magazine editor. Pat suffered from a heart problem most of her life and succumb (sic) to it last Friday at New York University Hospital  after a brief illness. She leaves behind her son Leon, her mother Mrs. Boothe, {and} a sister Maxeen. They reside in New York and her brother and other relatives {live} in Jamaica. She was only in her mid 50s.

Pat was very dedicated to me and primarily responsible for the editorial growth of the magazine especially during the decades of 1980s and 1990s. She preferred to be a behind-the-scene person and shunned the limelight. She declined to do interviews with personalities.

Everybody's magazine publisher Herman Hall unveils a Marcus Garvey tribute issue at the Jamaican Consulate in New York in December 1999.

Everybody’s magazine Publisher Herman Hall unveils a Marcus Garvey tribute issue at the Jamaican Consulate in New York in December 1999.

I am shattered over Pat’s passing. She inspired me and without her EVERYBODY’S would have folded years ago.”

Former Everybody’s magazine managing editor Michelle Stoddart, who is now the director of PR and community development at Resorts World in Queens, New York said in a statement:

“Journalist Pat Boothe loved music and she was never more excited then when a new batch of reggae, soca, or calypso albums hit the market. Her reviews which graced the pages of Everybody’s magazine were informative and compelled you to buy or pass on that new music. Her columns and her great personality will be missed.”

Boothe’s wake will take place on Friday, June 27 between 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Jeremiah C. Gaffney Funeral Home. The funeral home is located at 92 Wahl Avenue, at the corner of Wahl and John Street, Long Island, NY, 11096. The funeral service will be held on Saturday, June 28 at 10:00 a.m. at Good Tidings Gospel Chapel, located at 345 Malcolm X Boulevard, Brooklyn, New York, 11233.–OnPointPress.net.

VP Records, top reggae distributor, expands presence in Africa

Sizzla, one of the top reggae artists on the VP Records label.

Sizzla, one of the top reggae artists on the VP Records label.

VP Records, the Queens, New York, based distributor of reggae music, is set to expand its presence in the African market. The world’s largest reggae label has hired Territory Manager Jay Jules to lead the Pan-African marketing efforts.

Jules will be responsible for establishing strategic partnerships in order to expand VP product sales and visibility and to capitalize on flourishing opportunities across the continent. The British-Jamaican music executive currently resides in South Africa and has a strong handle on the marketplace.

“I’m eager to open new doors with this role. I not only want to make reggae more accessible in Africa, but also shine light on the vibrant African reggae scene and culture that already exists here,” says Jules.

VP Records President Randy Chin states: ” Africa has a legion of dedicated reggae fans and now with increasing global connectivity in today’s tech and online world we are able to fulfill that demand. We are excited about this expansion and confident that we can effectively reach reggae fans in Africa.”

For more information email tiffanym@vprecords.com .-OnPointPress.net.

Tracy Morgan, assistant, improve but Ardie Fuqua still critical

Tracy Morgan is reportedly doing much better after car crash.

Tracy Morgan is reportedly doing much better after car crash.

By Carmen Glover

Nearly two weeks after he was seriously injured in a car crash on the New Jersey Turnpike, “30 Rock” and Saturday Night Live star Tracy Morgan has improved, with his condition, and that of his assistant upgraded to “fair.” However, comedian Ardie Fuqua, who was riding in the vehicle with them, remains in critical condition. Morgan’s mentor, and co-writer James McNair was killed  immediately at the site of the crash. He was buried last week and fellow comedians collected money for his daughter’s graduation, which was reportedly given to the heartbroken girl at the funeral.

Comedian Ardie Fuqua remains in critical condition in NJ hospital.

Comedian Ardie Fuqua remains in critical condition in NJ hospital.

Walmart truck driver Kevin Roper, whose truck rear-ended the tour bus carrying the comedians, had not slept for 24 hours, prior to the accident. He was arrested and released on $50,000 bond.

According to Morgan’s publicist, his condition was upgraded to fair and Morgan is beginning to show a little bit of his “personality.” His fiancé, ex-wife and other family members have been by his side, providing the comedian with support and encouragement during his recovery. Morgan suffered a broken leg, nose and ribs. He underwent surgery and the hospital’s spokesman said that his injuries will take “many weeks” to heal.

Specific details have not been given about the nature of Fuqua’s injuries. OnPointPress.net will continue to update this story and bring new details to our readers.-OnPointPress.net.

Tim Duncan’s impressive resume is tops in current team sports

Tim Duncan (c) celebrates his 5th NBA championship  with his Spurs teammates.

Tim Duncan (c) celebrates his 5th NBA championship with his Spurs teammates.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

The San Antonio Spurs are again NBA champions, the franchise’s 5th title, all with Tim Duncan on the court and coach Gregg Popovich at the helm. However, as the Spurs continue to be celebrated for their teamwork, Duncan’s individual greatness seems to be a bit undersold. Simply put, Duncan has the best resume of all current players in any American team sport today.

Duncan, pictured with Tony Parker (l) and Bruce Bowen (r), won Finals MVP honors on 3 different occasions.

Duncan, pictured with Tony Parker (l) and Bruce Bowen (r), won Finals MVP honors on 3 different occasions.

Duncan’s resume includes 14 All-Star appearances (in 17 years played), 14 All-NBA selections (10 1st team selections), Rookie of the Year honors, 14 All-Defensive selections (8 1st team and 6 2nd team), 2 NBA MVP awards (2002-2003), 3 NBA Finals MVP awards (!999, 2003, 2005), and 5 NBA championships (1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2014).

LeBron James is a 2-time NBA champion with 2 Finals MVP awards but has lost to Tim Duncan and the Spurs on 2 different occasions.

LeBron James is a 2-time NBA champion with 2 Finals MVP awards but has lost to Tim Duncan and the Spurs on 2 different occasions.

The list of comparable players would include huge names in his sport like Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. It would also include baseball players Derek Jeter, Albert Pujols or David Ortiz. Football stars Peyton Manning and Tom Brady would also be included in the list of whose resume’s fall short of Duncan’s.

The case for Duncan stems from the length of time he and his team have been elite, his indiviual excellence in his prime, and the nuumber of championships he has helped lead his team to win. In basketball, the only current star with as many rings as Duncan is Bryant. Bryant was a major part of a Los Angeles Lakers team that won 3 consecutive championships (2000 – 2002) but he has only won NBA MVP once, was given one less Finals MVP award than Duncan, and spent the beginnng half of his career no better than the second best player on his team.

Kobe Bryant is one of the most decorated NBA players of all time. He was awarded Finals MVP twice (2009,2010).

Kobe Bryant is one of the most celebrated NBA players of all time. He was awarded Finals MVP twice (2009,2010).

Though Duncan played his first 6 seasons along side Hall of Fame Center David Robinson, Duncan established himself as the team’s best player by his second season. As Bryant has spent the last two seasons recovering from injuries, Duncan has helped lead his team to consecutive NBA Finals appearances. Duncan’s top notch performances in the last two seasons also illustrate how vital he is to his team’s success.

Derek Jeter is one of the most celebrated baseball players in history and is hoping that his final year playing with the Yankees  ends with a championship.

Derek Jeter is one of the most celebrated baseball players in history and is hoping that his final year playing with the Yankees ends with a championship.

Derek Jeter, the captain of the New York Yankees, is also known for being a classy, productive leader for a winning franchise. Jeter also has 5 championships and was a key part of a team that won 3 consecutive World Series (1998 – 2000) and 4 in 5 years. Jeter was World Series MVP in 2000 and was helped the team win another title in 2009. Yet, Jeter has never won league MVP, and played most of his career surrounded with a plethora of All-Star calliber players, which lessened the reliability of the Yankees on Jeter’s performance.

Peyton Manning is one of the NFL's biggest stars and one of the best quarterbacks of all time. He won Super Bowl MVP in 2006.

Peyton Manning is one of the NFL’s biggest stars and one of the best quarterbacks of all time. He won Super Bowl MVP in 2006.

Brady and Manning seem to be constantly linked as the two quarterbacks that are viewed as the best the NFL has seen in the past 20 years. Manning has had a stellar career to date, amassing 5 NFL MVP awards (2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2013), and 2 Offensive Player of the Year awards (2004, 2013). He won Super Bowl MVP in the one Super Bowl his team won in 2006. Manning has been the Super Bowl on two other occasions (2008, 2013) and was unsuccessful in those attempts.

Tom Brady is one of the most famous athletes in the world. Winning 3 Super Bowls and being married to one of the most famous super models in the world (Gisele Bundchen) can boost a person's popularity.

Tom Brady is one of the most famous athletes in the world. Winning 3 Super Bowls and being married to one of the most famous super models in the world (Gisele Bundchen) can boost a person’s popularity.

Brady has been the starting quarterback for the Patriots since 2001 when he helped the team win the first of 3 Super Bowls (2001, 2003, 2004). Brady was named Super Bowl MVP twice (2001, 2003), NFL MVP twice (2007, 2010), and Offensive Player of the year twice (2007, 2010). The Patriots also made it to the Super Bowl in 2007 and 2011 but came up short on both occasions. Brady has played his entire career with the same head coach, Bill Belichek, the same as Duncan and Popovich. While Brady has helped lead his team to the playoffs in many consecutive years, the fact that the Patriots haven’t won the Super Bowl since 2004 shows how difficult winning a championship really is.

Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich will be forever linked as they have helped lead the Spurs to 5 NBA titles.

Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich will be forever linked as they have helped lead the Spurs to 5 NBA titles.

Duncan is also known for his humility and stoic demeanor. Duncan is not in many commercials, isn’t married to a super model or a global icon. He is, however, a great basketball player whose career accomplishments stand above his contemporaries, even as he continues his career with no signs of slowing down. He may not want the extra attention that comes with his success, but he certainly deserves it.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and a management training consultant. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on Twitter.com.

Spurs win fifth NBA title, epitomizing teamwork, poise and humility

The Spurs captured the franchise's 5th championship and 4th with their big 3, Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, and Manu Ginobili.

The Spurs captured the franchise’s 5th championship and 4th with their big 3, Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, and Manu Ginobili.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

On Sunday night, June 15, as Father’s Day was winding down, the San Antonio Spurs wrestled the NBA Championship title away from the Miami Heat by demonstrating the power of teamwork. The Spurs put on another dazzling shooting expedition while cruising to a 104 – 87 victory over the Heat to capture the franchise’s 5th NBA Championship. The win avenges a crushing seven-game series loss in last year’s NBA Finals to the Heat. Small forward Kahwi Leonard was named Finals MVP. The core players of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobli and Leonard all made it clear that the bitter loss remained on their minds all season-long.

Kawhi Leonard earned Finals MVP honors by taking it to last year's Finals MVP, LeBron James.

Kawhi Leonard earned Finals MVP honors by taking it to last year’s Finals MVP, LeBron James.

“I had a great group of guys behind me pushing me. They told me I had talent and they pushed me. Coach Pop pushed me and my mom pushed me,” Leonard said.

For his part, Spurs forward Duncan, speaking after the game, said the defeat last year motivated the team to succeed this year and that  “It’s unbelievable to be back here.”

“We were so close last year. This year was a great rematch and we wanted to redeem ourselves. I’ve been blessed to play with Timmy and Manu,” said Parker.

Congratulations to the 2014 NBA champs. Pictured (l-r) Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, and Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard.

Congratulations to the 2014 NBA champs. Pictured (l-r) Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, and Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard.

Meanwhile Ginobli said this year was about redemption. “I felt better mentally, physically. What happened last year made us stronger and we were not going to let this opportunity get away. We played at a high level.”

The Spurs overcame a rough start to game 5 to seal the series in front of the home crowd. The Spurs seemed to be on fire from the second quarter of the game, demonstrating superb ball movement and excellent shot-making. The Spurs were also diligent on defense, holding the Heat to under 100 points, a task they completed in all five games of the series. The 2014 NBA Championship games showed a stark difference from the tightly contested series a year ago. While LeBron James showed periods of excellence throughout the series, the rest of the Heat seemed vastly overmatched, especially Dwyane Wade, who seemed bored and uninterested.

Coach Gregg Popovich showed why he's the best in the business with a masterful coaching display en route to his 5th championship.

Coach Gregg Popovich showed why he’s the best in the business with a masterful coaching display en route to his 5th championship.

The Spurs showed great teamwork in all five championship games, winning the last three games by at least 17 points. Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili got the bulk of the attention during the series but other players like Boris Diaw, Danny Green, Tiago Splitter and Patty Mills played significant roles in the Spurs victory.

NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and his teammates were the clearly superior team this time around in the Finals.

NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and his teammates were the clearly superior team this time around in the Finals.

However, it was play of Finals MVP Leonard that set the Spurs apart from the Heat. His defensive intensity sparked his offense and caused chaos in the Heat’s game plan all series long. Having the steady hands of Coach Gregg Popovich, who was named Coach of the Year, also had a strong role in leading by example. The Spurs dynasty appears to be intact and their method of winning championships will no doubt be studied by other teams who desire the same results. Congratulations to the Spurs who demonstrated poise, teamwork, humility and a burning passion to win at the highest level of the game. They deserve the championship trophy this year. Well done Spurs!-OnPointPress.net.