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Jamaicans urged to make fire safety a priority

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Montego Bay, Jamaica, October 24, 2016 – Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, has called on households and business entities to put safety measures in place in order to reduce the devastating consequences of fires.    “Across Jamaica each year, fire is a major cause of damage to property and physical infrastructure and, sadly, loss of life.  Risk assessment and careful monitoring of situations that are likely to result in combustion is important,” he said.

The Governor-General’s remarks came in a speech read by Custos of Westmoreland, Hon. Rev. Hartley Perrin, at the national Fire Safety Awareness Week church service held yesterday (October 23), at the Wesleyan Holiness Church in Savanna-la-Mar, under the theme ‘Don’t burn carelessly! Uncontrolled burning brings death and destruction’.   “It is without question that fires can derail economic growth and development, as was evident in segments of the agricultural sector in 2015.  However, if we renew our efforts to prevent them and lessen their tragic consequences, the gains will redound to the benefit of all,” the Governor-General pointed out.  He commended the Jamaica Fire Brigade on its programmes to increase the awareness of citizens to fire hazards and how to reduce risks.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, in his message read by Caretaker for Eastern Westmoreland, Andrea Walters, said that fire prevention must be taken seriously.  He noted that the theme highlights the importance of personal responsibility in preventing fires and related injuries or deaths.

Hailing the work of the Jamaica Fire Brigade, the Prime Minister noted that the entity has been instrumental in reducing risks in Mavis Bank in St. Andrew and Maine in St. Elizabeth, which were known to be fire-prone areas. He said there have been vast reductions in the number of fires in the areas this year.  “During Fire Safety Awareness Week, we recognize and laud the invaluable contribution of our firefighters, who commit themselves selflessly to preventing loss of lives and property.  These hard-working and brave Jamaicans carry out their duties extraordinarily, oftentimes in extremely life-threatening situations,” the Prime Minister pointed out.  “I wish the Jamaica Fire Brigade a successful week of activities as it endeavors to arm the nation with important information about fire safety and prevention,” he added.

For her part, Leader of the Opposition, Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, in a message read by Public Relations Officer of the Jamaica Fire Brigade, Emilio Ebanks, applauded the Jamaica Fire Brigade for utilizing the annual Fire Safety Awareness Week observance to heighten public knowledge and awareness of the dangers of fires.  She urged all Jamaicans to support the week and expressed the hope that the activities will mobilize all individuals, families, and communities towards prevention and safety measures.  Fire Safety Awareness Week is being observed from October 23-29.

 

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PREPARE FOR PRICE SPIKES AT THE PUMP: OPEC TO MAKE MAJOR GAS PRODUCTION CUTS 

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#TurksandCaicos, October 5, 2022 – A significant jump in gas prices may be looming as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is expected to cut production in its meeting on October 5th. Gas prices rose more than $2 dollars on Tuesday in anticipation of the meeting.

Gas prices had soared to incredible highs in early 2022 following sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine and western countries subsequently shunning the oil and gas provided by the Eurasian nation.

This year oil remained steadily above $110 a barrel for the most part from February to July even rising to $130 a barrel briefly in March and everyone felt the pinch eventually.

Gas Prices in the Turks and Caicos rose more than $1.68 reaching highs of $8.10 and power bills in June caused widespread panic and outrage in residents, prompting calls for the government to investigate and birthing forgiveness programs for the swaths of families unable to pay the bills in full.

The TCI has still not quite recovered from the ultra high prices earlier this year based on the government’s monthly gas price index and $2.5 million was just allocated to put a cap on fuel prices for domestic customers.

Now according to analysts at Reuters, oil production may be cut up to 1 million barrels per day. Currently oil prices are trading well below 100 dollars but all eyes are on the OPEC meeting to be held in Vienna.

With demand staying strong across the globe as the Russia-Ukranian war drags on, quarantines and lockdowns become a thing of the past, and upcoming sanctions to Russian crude oil consumers must brace for what analysts say will likely be a jump, once again, in prices.

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Crime

Virginia Mourns Black Community Leader Murdered on Vacation in Turks & Caicos 

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#TurksandCaicos, October 5, 2022  – Kent Carter was an army veteran and the first Vice President of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Arlington Virginia.  An established realtor in his native US and described as a ‘stand up guy’, Kent was an active leader in his community— until last Sunday when criminals in an effort to take out rivals, uncaring of innocents, sprayed the vehicle he was traveling with bullets.

For months Turks and Caicos community leaders have been warning that gun violence is robbing us of our bright young men, now another nation has been robbed as well. It has been confirmed that Carter leaves behind a wife and at least one young daughter.

Kent’s death was confirmed by the NAACP Arlington Branch on Wednesday in a notification of loss.

“NAACP Arlington Branch mourns the tragic and unexpected loss of our 1st Vice President, Kent Carter, who passed away Sunday, October 2, 2022, while vacationing abroad.”

In the immediate hours after the announcement the story was picked up by multiple major American media houses including Fox News and tributes began to pour in. Virginia Senator Don Beyer described it as a ‘terrible loss’. Across the board from political organizations to county board members, to homeowners whom he had helped close on properties the environment was one of shock and disbelief.

Magnetic Media has observed the effect Carter, who described himself as a proud ‘girl dad’ had on the individuals around him. He participated in food drives, black upliftment sessions and was a regular vacationer to other places worldwide. Carter was not only a social activist he was a top realtor in his area and his personal social media is filled with smiling photos of families and individuals he helped to make homeowners, calls to action and social outreach programs.  The outpouring of grief was astounding.

His neighbor Robert York described him to Fox News.

“Just a really great, standup guy, you know? One of the best neighbors you could have,” he said “He and his family, just really great neighbors. So this is just incredibly sad news.”

After enjoying a jet ski ride on Sunday October 2nd he was headed back to his hotel when gunmen rained bullets on the vehicle he was traveling in with when the operators of the rides who were themselves the target of the attack.

Indiscriminately cruel are the words that must be used to describe these criminals to whom innocence has proved to be no deterrent and proximity enough for a death sentence.

The tragedy raises tough questions. How many of our young men are involved in the ‘gun and drug trade’ which National Security officials have fingered for the attack? How deeply are they embedded? How many of them are on the streets in reasonable day jobs?

The government was aware of the issue at least as weeks ago at the very onset of this violence the premier rejected the idea that the young men involved in crime were not able to support themselves saying rather that they were trying to take shortcuts to wealth.

“In this microwave generation where instant gratification surpasses everything else there are too many young people who don’t want to go through the process and work hard. If you’re not prepared to do it the old-fashioned way and to be honest you’re making a shortcut that could potentially end in an early grave.”

 

Photo Credit: NAACP Arlington Branch

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Statement on Incident Involving Visitor on 2nd October 2022

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#TurksandCaicos, October 4, 2022 – The Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) regrets the unfortunate incident involving the death of a visitor to our islands on 2nd October 2022.  The incident which occurred was accidental and not one in which the victim was targeted.  While the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police force (RTCIPF) continues their investigations, we wish to reassure the public (citizens, residents, and visitors alike) that the safety and security of all, is our top priority.

The TCI has long established itself as a safe destination for visitors from around the world.  Evidence of this can be seen in the countless awards the destination has won, most recently at the World Travel Awards.  Our commitment to providing safety to residents and visitors is unwavering.  The government will continue to work with local authorities including the RTCIPF and our partners in the international community to protect residents and visitors alike.

The incident which occurred on the date mentioned above is one that is rare and does not reflect who we are as a people.  On behalf of the government and people of these islands, we extend our sympathies to the family and friends of the victim.

As this matter is now an on-going police investigation, further statements will be referred to RTCIPF.

The TCI remains a safe destination and the government is working assiduously for it to remain as such.

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