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STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL 1ST JUNE 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (via the Bahamas Information Services)

On Tuesday, June 7th, 2016 Bahamians will go to the polls, in the final step of a Constitutional Referendum, to decide whether to amend the nation’s Constitution. 

 

There has been a suggestion that the Constitutional Referendum is not necessary, and that ordinary legislation is sufficient to address current inequities in our country between men and women with respect to citizenship and the right not to be discriminated against. That suggestion is incorrect.

 

It is important to understand the facts and the law. 

 

The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. It takes precedence over any other law. The provisions which treat men and women differently with respect to citizenship rights and freedom from discrimination are entrenched provisions in our Constitution. They can only be changed by a Constitutional Referendum.

 

Put another way, if we want our sons and daughters to be guaranteed equal rights under the law with respect to citizenship and the right not to be discriminated against, those rights must be written into the Constitution and entrenched at the highest levels. Ordinary legislation can be passed by Parliament, and it can also be changed, as it often is, by a simple majority in Parliament. Ordinary legislation cannot offer the same guarantees as entrenched constitutional provisions.

 

It is the nature of a Constitution to reflect and protect a nation’s most fundamental values. That is why our Constitution says that the State may never treat citizens differently because of the color of their skin, or because of their religion, or their political views.  

 

The proposed amendments to the Constitution were drafted written after an extraordinary period of consultation with legal and other experts.  The lawyers who drafted them did so with great precision, and with the benefit of hindsight from the earlier process.  They did so in a way that would ensure that men and women have equal rights under the law as citizens of The Bahamas.  They also did so in a way that provides new Constitutional protections for our law that says marriage must be between a man and a woman. 

 

Hundreds of information sessions have been held across The Bahamas so that Bahamians can see for themselves the text of the Constitution and the proposed changes. 

 

We urge all citizens to be cautious about misinformation and legal distortions in these final days leading up to the vote.  This is a time for sober and dispassionate reflection about what we want our Constitution to say about the ability of men and women as citizens to enjoy equal rights under the law. Importantly, we should remember that the decisions made on 7th June 2016 will affect us and generations yet unborn.

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Sada Williams: Training alongside the best athletes in the world to become the pride of Barbados at Paris 2024

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Source Olympics.com

 

After participating in both the Youth Olympic Games Nanjing 2014 and the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, 400m runner from Barbados Sada Williams hopes that the help she has received through her Olympic Solidarity scholarship, and the ability to train in Jamaica, will take her to the top at Paris 2024.

Sada Williams will be cheered on by the whole of Barbados at the Olympic Games Paris 2024, but the athlete appears relaxed about shouldering the hopes of an entire nation. She has the chance to become the first woman from the eastern Caribbean island to finish on the podium at the Olympic Games, and only the second athlete, after Obadele Thompson claimed the 100m bronze medal at Sydney 2000.

“There’s no pressure, really,” says Williams. “I know Barbados will be proud of me regardless of the outcome, and I couldn’t be happier to represent them at the Games.”

Aside from earning a medal in Paris, Williams is also hoping to break the 48-second barrier and record a personal best. The 26-year-old’s upward trajectory certainly suggests she is capable of this, with her bronze medals at the 2022 and 2023 World Athletics Championships coming either side of a gold medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Williams believes her recent performances have been helped by a move to Jamaica, where she trains in the same group as multiple Olympic medallist Shericka Jackson.

“I have training partners who are some of the best athletes in the world – training and competing with them is really great. It pushes me and us to be better athletes. In Barbados, I didn’t really have that type of competition or training group.”

Olympic Solidarity support

Williams’s move from Barbados to Jamaica was supported by an Olympic Solidarity scholarship, which provides financial assistance to athletes through monthly grants.

“The scholarship has provided me with the necessary funding to train and compete here in Jamaica. It’s also given me the opportunity to travel to various meets around the world, and to compete in and prepare for major competitions, such as the Commonwealth Games and Olympic Games.”

The scholarship has also shown Williams that coming from a small country with fewer resources for sport does not have to be a barrier to success.

“It shows me that there are people out there who believe in me and my potential,” she says. “They want to see me succeed at the highest level while representing my country. So, I’m truly grateful for that opportunity.”

Lessons from the Olympic Games

Paris 2024 won’t be Williams’s first appearance at the Olympic Games. Her time at Tokyo 2020 was “bittersweet”, after she failed to progress from the 400m semi-finals. But Williams also learnt a lot from her very first Olympic experience in 2014. Aged 16, she competed at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, reaching the 400m final.

When Williams was a teenager, there was no female athlete from Barbados whose success she could look to replicate. But now she is a source of inspiration for the next generation from her home country. She is hopeful Barbados can one day rise to the levels of neighbouring Jamaica and become an athletics powerhouse.

“I always hope that I’m inspiring young athletes from Barbados, whether I compete locally or internationally,” she says. “I always want the best for track and field in Barbados. I want other athletes in Barbados to believe that they can excel at the highest levels without needing to leave the country. It would be really nice to have the same facilities and resources as Jamaica or the United States in Barbados.”

Over 1,300 athletes supported through Olympic Solidarity

A total of 1,331 athletes from 159 National Olympic Committees (NOCs), covering 26 sports, received Olympic Solidarity scholarships for Paris 2024. Olympic Solidarity aims to ensure that talented athletes of all backgrounds have an equal chance of reaching and succeeding in the Olympic arena by providing crucial funding to help finance their Olympic dreams. With a particular focus on athletes and NOCs most in need, individual scholarship-holders receive financial support through monthly grants that contribute to their preparation and qualification for the Games, whether in their home country or at a high-level training centre abroad.

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Education

NATIONAL PRIMARY SCHOOL SPELLING BEE RESULTS

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Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, 14th June 2024 – Sponsored by F Chambers and Islands Printing, and in conjunction with the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, on June 4, 2024 saw a keenly contested Primary Schools Spelling Bee.

After an intense competition, we are thrilled that Marbelli Costillo of these amazing sixteen (16) spellers emerged victorious as the top speller. Marbelli represented Provo Christian School. We are extremely proud of each and every one of the spellers who showcased their exceptional spelling skills and represented their schools with excellence.

To the spellers we can say that your hard work, determination, and dedication have truly paid off. Your commitment to learning and your passion for language have set you apart as outstanding spellers and students.

Congratulations once again to all the participants. Keep reaching for the stars and never stop exploring the power of words!

Sixteen (16) spellers from across the country competed for the coveted title of Champion Speller, they included:

Adelaide Oemler Primary: Amber Gonzales and Coach Stafford Salmon

Alpha Christian Academy: Elaynie Regis and Coach Heather Robertson

B.E.S.T. Institute: Sydney Kay Brisbane and Coach Tanisha Rigby

C Hubert James Primary: Tivon Wright and Coach Uldean Harris-Wright

Community Christian Academy: Khamora Coalbrooke and Coach Glenda Jones

Eliza Simons Primary: Kevaun Lamoy Lewis and Coach Althia Rocke

Enid Capron Primary: Herifer Fermin and Coach Elizabeth Vandenburg

Ianthe Pratt Primary: Karessa Wynter and Coach Daniela Carroll

Iris Stubbs Primary:  Hernadgeka Pierre and Coach Debrica Davids-Beckford  
International School of the TCI: Lola Jimenez and Coach Iman Rudi-Bonotti

Ona Glinton Primary: Malachi Warlock and Coach Jacqueline Henry

Oseta Jolly Primary: Edley Charles and Coach Tevyon Lewis

Precious Treasures International School: Jaden James and Coach Monique Fletcher

Provo Christian Academy: Marbelli Castillo and Coach Terry-Ann Roberts

Richmond Hill Preparatory: Dabria Thomas and Coach Veranick Burrick-Sinclair

Shining Stars Preparatory: Danae Leslie and Coach Aldith Campbell

The top Three winners were

Winner  Marbelli Castillo, Provo Christian School

1st Runner Up Jaden James, Precious Treasures International School

2nd Runner Up Lola Jimenez, International School of the Turks & Caicos

The following prizes were sponsored by Sponsors F Chambers, Island Printing & TCI Paint

Grand Prize/Winner: MacBook Air

1st Runner Up Prize: Apple iPad Mini

2nd Runner Up Prize: Apple iPad Mini

Top 7 of final 10: Asus Memo Tablet

Remaining Participants: $50 gift certificates

Complimentary Trophies for everyone

The Champion Coach received a Lenovo laptop sponsored by the Department of Education

A special thank you is extended to all volunteers who helped to make the competition a success:

CHAIRPERSON Ms Jacqueline Henry

SCORERS Ms Evadne Williams and Mr David Bowen

JUDGES Mrs Claudette Dean, Pastor Pedro S Williams and Mrs. Latoya Skippings

PRONOUNCERS Ms Shelaine Been and Ms. Kawanza Morley

TIMEKEEPER  Mr. Jermaine Fulford

Profound thank you is extended to Ms. Tanya Swann, Director of Sales and her team of Groups and Conventions at Beaches Turks and Caicos for coordinating the hosting of the event at the resort and providing complimentary snacks.

Commenting as Lead Sponsor: Mark Fulford Managing Partner of F Chambers said “It’s good to see a growing participation in the TCI National Spelling Bee. This year we saw 16 schools compete and the energy and healthy spirit of competition grew as well. As sponsors we will continue to work with the Ministry of Education to raise the caliber of this prestigious event. It is always a pleasure to give back and we salute our corporate friends at TCI Paint who joined hands with us again to make all the donations a reality. Congratulations to the 2024 winner……and all the participants on a Job well done. It is evident that a lot of work was put in and simply making it to the National Spelling Bee deserves recognition.”

Minister of Education, Hon. Rachel Taylor extended congratulation to all sixteen (16) schools who participated in this year’s National Spelling Bee. They are all winners and have represented their schools well! Special commendation to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners whose efforts have aided in their victory. Through this event, our young spellers experience the joy of learning new words, understanding their pronunciation and meanings, enhancing their spelling skills, and enriching their vocabulary. I extend my heartfelt congratulations to the brave young ladies and gentlemen chosen to represent their schools. I also express sincere gratitude to the teachers, members of the Education Department led by Mrs. Sarah Kennedy and our private partners for their dedication to the success of this event. My Ministry views these events as crucial for the overall development of our children.

The Ministry and Department of Education event coordinator, Mrs. Sarah Kennedy commended the participants for not only demonstrating their spelling prowess but also their ability to handle pressure with grace. “We applaud your achievements and the dedication you have shown to honing your spelling skills. Each one of you is a shining example of the values we hold dear for the future for our beautiful by nature islands”.

She also expressed heartfelt gratitude to the coaches and parents who have provided guidance, support, and encouragement to our spellers throughout their preparation for this competition. Your unwavering belief in their abilities has played a vital role in their success.

Turks and Caicos Islands National Primary School Spelling Bee continues to promote success  and again we say thanks to the sponsorship of the leading corporate sponsors, F Chambers and Island Printing, TCI Paint, FLOW, Radio Turks & Caicos and Beaches Turks & Caicos.

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News

Life Sentence for “Mad Max”

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#TurksandCaicos, June 18, 2024 – KENDALL RONDRE DEAN has been sentenced to LIFE IMPRISONMENT for the murder of JOSHUA SWANN.  Mr. Dean, also known as “Maddie,” “Mad Max,” and “Dre,” was sentenced on June 10th, 2024, to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 30 years.

A nine-member jury found Mr. Dean guilty on April 22nd in the Grand Turk Supreme Court.  Based on the evidence presented, Mr. SWANN of Five Cays was shot multiple times about the body on Sunday, August 8th, 2021, while at North West Point in Providenciales.

Mr. Swann was transported to the Cheshire Hall Medical Center, where he succumbed to his injuries.  Detectives of the Serious Crimes Unit (SCU) received a report, and following intensive investigations and interviews, Mr. Dean was arrested and subsequently charged.

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