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Two switches shut down; FortisTCI assures they were ready in this week’s unexpected power failure

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#Providenciales, June 7, 2019 – Turks and Caicos – A series of switch failures is what led to the two power outages of Tuesday June 4 and Wednesday June 5; for some residents it meant more than 24-hours without electricity and for FortisTCI it meant pulling the back-up out of stock. 

FortisTCI’s CEO, Eddinton Powell held a press conference this morning at the headquarter office on Leeward Highway in Providenciales, where media learned that it was failure of one switch and then another which caused the two black outs.

“The first outage began on Tuesday June 4, approximately 8:54 a.m. and service was fully restored to all customers by 10:37 a.m.  This outage was the result of failed electrical equipment at the main substation.  A second outage began on the same day in the late afternoon at approximately 4:52 p.m., following the failure of another critical path high voltage switch on the transmission system to the company’s substations, which serve customers via underground cables.”

Mr. Powell called the latter switch ‘critical path switch’, responsible for dispatching 35 kV of electricity; a high voltage switch which would take more work and a longer time to restore.  It is also the switch which feeds the Grace Bay Substation, which carries electricity to Leeward and Leeward Palms; all three areas were longest without electricity earlier this week.

“You just can’t move those transmission and distribution lines that are connected to that switch.  In effect what we had to end up doing, and this is why it took so long is we had to replace that entire switch. Replacing that switch, programming the new switch, using heavy equipment and cranes to move that switch into place because these switches weigh tons.  You’ve got to bring in specialty cranes to move the switch and then that took time to reconnect all of this transmission and distribution line.”

Mr. Powell confirmed that no part had to be brought in; that foresight on the part of FortisTCI ensured that the company was ready to respond to what was an unexpected technical failure.

“I want to ensure all of our customers that this country has a very good utility, not withstanding the incidents we’ve had,” Mr. Powell also shared that, “In the case of the last outages where our customers were, in some cases, out for 24-hours, we had to replace that entire equipment and we had that equipment in stock.  We did not have to bring that in and that is another indication of how well you plan for these kinds of things because you can have critical equipment in stock for years and it doesn’t move but until you that time when you need it, you need to have it and we had it.”

Public reaction to the prolonged power outage was varied, but comments on social media mainly lambasted the electricity company for the system failure, the inconveniences it was causing and a lag in communication with the general public. 

The CEO apologised, thanked the public for its patience, thanked the team for a job well done and repeated that the Turks and Caicos has a very good utility company in FortisTCI.

Forty staff members worked to restore the electricity, which while off for a full day in Grace Bay impacted households, schools, tourism operations and businesses.

Electricity was restored on June 5, 2019 at 7:46 p.m. “without further incident.”

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News

EXPERIENCE TURKS AND CAICOS MOURNS THE PASSING OF MR. REGGIE DICKENSON

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PRESS RELEASE

 

PROVIDENCIALES, TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS (June 22nd, 2024) – It is with deep regret that Experience Turks and Caicos confirms the passing of Mr. Reggie Dickenson, one of our employees who worked in the Grand Turk office.

Mr. Dickenson passed away on Saturday, June 22nd following a vehicular accident in Providenciales. We extend our condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.

A passionate, vivacious and animated person, Mr. Dickenson was a former employee at the Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board who transitioned to Experience Turks and Caicos in 2023.

He worked as the Grand Turk Customer Service Representative alongside Ms. Kadeisha Forbes, a role he took seriously as he greeted visitors to the Cruise Centre, interacted with them and ensured they had the relevant information they needed to enjoy their stay on island.

Mr. Dickenson was known for his unwavering positivity and team spirit, always eager to contribute his opinions and ideas. He last participated in a Customer Service Training session with his colleagues on June 10th in Providenciales where he invoked laughter with his witty remarks.

Minister of Tourism, the Hon Josephine Connolly expressed her sadness upon receipt of the news of Mr. Dickenson’s passing.

“Reggie was a passionate son of the soil of Grand Turk. I last saw him at our celebrations for Salt Cay Day where he was thoroughly enjoying himself. This is devastating news. Reggie would certainly be missed and I would like to extend my condolences to his family and loved ones. May he Rest in Eternal Peace,” the Minister said.

Mr. Alvin Hegner, co-chair of Experience Turks and Caicos also expressed his condolences.

“Reggie will definitely be missed. He had a larger-than-life personality, always jovial and a positive. His energy was infectious and his loss will certainly create a void that would be difficult to replace. From the board and staff of Experience Turks and Caicos, I would like to extend my condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. May he Rest in Peace.”

Experience Turks and Caicos will update the public on Mr. Dickenson’s funeral arrangements as those details become available.

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News

Arrests made in connection with Serious and Organised Crime

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***MEDIA RELEASE***

 

#TurksandCaicos, June 21, 2024 – Over the last 24 hours, officers from the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force Serious Crime Unit and the Tactical Unit undertook proactive operations in Kew Town and The Bight to combat serious and organised crime.

During these operations, three addresses were searched, and eight males were arrested for Gang Membership, Robbery and Firearms offences.

They are currently detained and will be processed in due course. The men detained are between 19 and 27 years old.

Superintendent Dean Holden, Head of Crime, Safeguarding, Public Protection, and Intelligence, said, “This proactive activity is part of our continued targeting of persons we suspect are involved in serious and organised crime. These arrests and continued operations are to progress investigations into serious offences, disrupt serious criminality, and demonstrate to our communities our commitment to striving to protect them and build public confidence.

“We will continue to conduct such operations when necessary and urge the public to contact us if they have any information that can assist investigations or otherwise support our fight against serious and organised crime.”

Anyone with information that may help in this investigation is urged to contact the closest police station, 911, the Serious Crime Unit at 231-1842, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-8477 to provide any information anonymously.

Additionally, individuals are encouraged to download the Crime Stoppers P3 app to share information anonymously.

 

Release: RTCIPF

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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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