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TCI: Washy, Calvin, Jay Morley and Bishop Coleta; new executive of Opposition PNP

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#Providenciales, March 3, 2019 – Turks and Caicos – Resoundingly returned as leader of the Progressive National Party is Charles Washington Misick, and the choice is by vote not appointment despite expressed concern that it would be. 

The ‘elder statesmen’ as he is affectionately called by his party has not held this job, officially, for more than 15 years.

Misick, who is one of five elected Members of Parliament for the PNP in the Turks and Caicos House of Assembly, had been functioning as the Leader of Opposition business in parliament.  Tonight, he officially has the full title in a surprising but expected outcome.

Surprising, because C. Washington Misick had not entered the race during the nomination stage but was tonight congratulated as the new leader by a fellow candidate in the leadership race and his nephew, Donhue Gardiner.

“The race for Leader of the Progressive National Party is over and Hon C. W. Misick has won.  I wish him all the best and pledge him my support in the awesome task ahead,” said Gardiner in a concession release.

It is widely circulated on social media that Hon Washy secured 88 votes, far surpassing his nearest contender – Donhue Gardiner – who got 21 votes and Rev. John Malcolm, who secured 19 votes.

In the race for chairman, the winner is Calvin Green, a former customs officer who topped Shaun Malcolm for the position by seven votes; Malcolm – 63, Green – 70.

The deputy chairman was elected with 78 votes as Jay Morely, Gospel minister and recording artist; Kimberly Williams was also in the running for ‘dep-chair’ and managed to get 54 votes.

Chaplain for the party is Bishop Coleta Williams, who edged out Rev. John Malcolm by one vote with 67 of the delegates in support of Bishop Williams as the new spiritual leader of the PNP.

The elections happened late today during the business session of the National Congress of the PNP and results started flooding social media shortly after 8 p.m.

The party leader, according to the Progressive National Party constitution selects his or her own deputy.  There is no report on who that individual might be at this time.

There were no votes for George Lightbourne; the MP for Grand Turk North, who vowed to not attend the convention in protest.

#magneticmedianews

#PNPleaderrace

#WashingtonMisick

#PNPhasnewofficialleader

Health

Woman dies on Tuesday; 32nd Covid Death for Turks & Caicos

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – The Turks and Caicos has recorded its 32nd death related to COVID-19.

A Ministry of Health press release informed that the individual who was in quarantine in Grand Turk and requested emergency aid on Tuesday; response came from the public health team in Grand Turk.

The person, who we are told is a special needs young woman – was unvaccinated and had underlying medical conditions.

The death rate in the Turks and Caicos of both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons has climbed alarmingly this year.  In the 21-month period from March 2020 when the country recorded its first case to December 2021, there were 26 deaths recorded in the TCI.

In the 19 days since the start of 2022 that number has increased to 32; which means six deaths already in January.

 

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Bahamas News

Cruising should slow down says PAHO

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

‘Slow down on Cruising’, that’s the word from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO in their latest recent press conference.

Dr. Ciro Ugarte Director of Health Emergencies at the PAHO was referring to the Bahamas but made sure to note that the advice was highly relevant to many countries in the times of omicron.

“In the context of intense transmission, due to the Omicron variant as we have highlighted several times. It is just logical to suspend or at least limit the cruise ship traffic as an outbreak on board might end up exceedingly high and probably will go beyond the capacity of local health services”

Both the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos are experiencing a massive uptick in cases and several warnings regarding cruise travel have been issued by the US Centers for Disease Control.

Cruising just resumed for many regional countries this past Summer, Turks and Caicos was among the latest to restart on December 13.

A stop to sailing would be devastating to economies, however, ports of call like Grand Turk which are reeling with rocketing case numbers of COVID are urged to consider the suggestion of slowing down on ships by PAHO.

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Caribbean News

Understanding Sargassum with help from the TCI’s Department of Environment & Coastal Resources  

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – Sargassum, also known as seaweed, is a natural brown macroalga that lives in temperate and tropical oceans of the world. The floating micro eco-system is important to many species, including baby turtles, little crabs, and tiny fish. All these animals use the floating rafts of the sargassum for protection, shelter, and food.

Over the years, sargassum has been increasing its quantity in the Caribbean due to climate change. As water temperatures increase, sargassum blooms, and as this continues, it occurs in large amounts. This can be dangerous for some marine life because when seaweed washes up on the shore, some species become trapped in the sargassum mat.

Environmental Outreach Coordinator at the Department of Environmental and Coastal Resources for TCI, Amy Avenant, says the Turks and Caicos Islands has not seen the worst of the overgrowth.

“In the Turks and Caicos Islands, we have not seen the full severity of sargassum blooms. Our neighbours in Bonaire, for example, experience up to six feet of sargassum, and they have found stranded dolphins, sea turtles, and sometimes even birds,” said Amy Avenant.

“When the sargassum washes up on shore, it starts to decompose, and when it decomposes, it emits methane, and that is the stinky sulfuric eggy smell that you can smell when you walk past it on the beach. It is a bad thing for climate change because of the methane, but it is not harmful to your health.”

Turks and Caicos saw this in extreme amounts in October; so severe, resorts were forced to bag and bury the stinky seaweed which for over a week covered the usually sandy white stretch of Grace Bay beach.

Avenant noted that in the TCI, we have a balance between managing the influx of sargassum and impacting the areas where it lands because its influx is correlated to the cycles of the moon.

She also said sargassum can be used as a fertilizer in farming. If you collect it, the advice is to spread it out and ensure you wash the excess salt off before adding to your gardens or farms.

There are also hidden dangers and habitat threats to the piles of sargassum on shorelines.

Avenant informed, when you see sargassum on the beach, ensure you watch out for wildlife that might be stuck and species which might have made a home of the ocean’s deposit which has washed up, this is heightened on rocky shores.

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