#Providenciales, June 14, 2019 – Turks and Caicos – Grand Turk is poised for a resurgence of its economy and a return to its glory days, if political party promises are more than mere talk. Recent reports by the PDM Administration and an announcement by the PNP Opposition offer bold solutions to years’ old problems for the nation’s capital, including over a dozen new projects and a hotel investment.
In its quarterly government town hall meeting held on June 3, 2019, Grand Turk residents were informed that: “The following repairs, development and improvement works have been tendered and are moving to contract: The Parade Grounds repairs; NJS Francis Building repairs; Governor’s Beach Development; HJ Auditorium repairs; ramp at Grand Turk Port pavement and gate house and ramp (RORO Ramp) repairs; Ministry of Education Building; Crown Land Building; new block at Her Majesty’s Prison; Fire Hall and Fire Truck; West Road Basketball Court repairs and Library construction.”
The update from the PDM Administration is welcomed news, however residents are ready to see the action which will shift the island from shambles to shine.
The Victoria Public library burned to the ground in what is suspected to be a case of senseless arson; 90 percent of its precious contents were lost in that March 2017 fire. Yet, the historic building has sat in charred ruins since that time on Front Street.
The PDM informed that ‘library construction’ is past the tender process and onto the contract stage.
On social media, talk shows, through mainstream media and at previous town hall meetings; residents have been vociferous in their disappointment that despite a multi-million-dollar investment fund in partnership with Carnival Cruise Line, successive reports of Government Budget surpluses and previous announcements of hurricane repairs, much of the island’s public buildings and spaces are run down.
In the September 2018 town hall meeting; it was promised that the Mega One Triton would be removed. However, the boat which ran aground off Governor’s Beach in Superstorm Sandy in October 2012, remains an abandoned eyesore and environmental threat on the popular beach.
On June 3, 2019 residents were told: “The Mega One Triton (abandoned boat on governor’s Beach) will be removed this year. The removal has been costed and funds allocated for that project.”
During the meeting on September 1, 2018 hosted by the PDM Administration, it was also promised that the perimeter fencing at the JAGS McCartney International Airport would be fixed, but sadly that too remains an issue eight months later.
On Monday June 3, 2019 the Government said: “Airport fencing is being fixed. The JAGS International Airport is set to fully reopen next month.”
Grand Turk’s International airport has been only partially operable since the hurricanes of September 2017.
The PNP Opposition believes that getting the JAGS McCartney operational for domestic flights is just the beginning though and on Tuesday June 12 announced that if re-elected in 2020, there administration is prepared to make a bold move for Grand Turk.
“We (TCIG) now have over $200 million in cash and we look at what happens in Grand Turk when Carnival leaves in the afternoon, the island shuts down. We can remedy that. We can remedy that and the Progressive National Party is making a promise today that the Progressive National Party government will make the investment in the development of a resort in Grand Turk to ensure that we have direct airline, commercial, international airline service to the nation’s capital. We can do it and we will, there is no excuse!”
The PDM Administration reported a half a million dollars in spending allocated for the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College. Issues at the tertiary institution are also long standing; students in March 2018 staged a protest outside of Parliament. One placard read: “Stop the Crap, so we can Crap. TCICC GT needs running water.”
On June 3, 2019 the PDM Cabinet Ministers said “Over $500 thousand allocated for repairs to the TCI Community College Grand Turk Campus.”
Grand Turk residents at the town hall meeting were informed that in a few weeks, there would be a new boat for the Police marine branch in Grand Turk; that a domestic fire truck is only months away from reality now and that Ona Glinton primary would get its repairs and HJ Robinson high would get its new classroom block.
The national CCTV plan moves to phase two this year, which means increased security and surveillance capabilities of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands police; that too is already funded.
Also funded and onto the contract stage is a new Vendors Market on Front Street.
The PDM Administration informed the 50 attendees at the meeting held at the Anglican Church Sunday School hall, that, “Altogether for the 2018/19 budget more than $9 million was allocated for investment in Grand Turk and under the most recent Budget (2019/20) approximately $15 million to go toward improvement and repairs in Grand Turk– that including Government Funded Projects and Infrastructure Accounts Projects.”
Turks and Caicos Islands school sports season 2023/24 officially opens in September
Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, September 19, 2023 – After an active summer of events, Turks and Caicos Islands School Sports (TCISS) season 2023/24 will open with TCISS Football for Boys and Girls on September 30, 2023.
The opening ceremony of TCISS Football will take place at the TCI Football Association on Venetian Road, Providenciales and we will commute to the National Stadium for the games. Games will take place weekly on Fridays and Saturdays. After making their debut last year, TCISS Girls Football will run concurrently with Boys Football on a split pitch from September through October. The championship games are slated for October 28, 2023.
Last year’s Girls’ football champions were the Marjorie Basden High School after defeating the British West Indies Collegiate 2-1. The Boys’ champions were the Clement Howell High School who beat out the Elite High School who forfeited the game 1-0. All current students, fans and alumni are encouraged to watch the games weekly each Friday and Saturday, with tickets for Adults $5 and Children $3.
TCISS Boys Basketball quickly picks up after the Football season ends, spanning from early November 2023 to January 2024. Home and away games are one the highlights of this event, affording all teams a chance at a ‘home-court’ advantage throughout the season. As is tradition in TCISS, schools will be randomly selected and placed into pools to compete. Ultimately the strongest teams will meet at the championships. The reigning champions are the Clement Howell High School who defeated the A. Louise Garland Thomas High School 92-56 for the gold.
In a double-team affair, TCISS Girls Softball will launch a few weeks post Boys Basketball’s commencement, for a season which lasts from November 2023 – January 2024. This means softball and basketball seasons will run concurrently like last year, and tickets will allow entry to both games. The reigning champions are the HJ Robinson High School who won the championships 14-6 in their hometown Grand Turk against the Wesley Methodist High School. The championships will return to the nation’s capital next year, in honour of last year’s champions.
Ending the TCISS season will be the Track and Field events also known as Athletics. The Athletics opener will be the Track and Field Development meets. Historically this has been segmented into two meets: Sprints and Throws, Distance and Jumps.
Following will be the TCISS Inter-High Track and Field Championships also known as Nationals in March 2024 then the TCISS Inter-Primary Track and Field Championships also in March. Last year’s champions of Inter-High was the A. Louise Garland Thomas High School and for Inter-Primary the Ona Glinton Primary School. After being implemented last season, TCISS Track and Field champions are determined by a medal count with gold holding the most weight.
TCISS 2023/24 Sport Schedule
- TCISS Inter-High School Football Boys, TCISS Inter-High School Football Girls – September 30, 2023 – October 28, 2023 (Providenciales)
- TCISS Inter-High School Basketball – November 2023 – January 2024 (All-Island)
- TCISS Inter-High School Softball – November 2023 – January 2023 (Season Games – Providenciales. Semi-finals & Championships – Grand Turk)
- Track and Field Development Meets – February 2024
- TCISS Inter-High School Track and Field – February – March 2024 (Providenciales)
- TCISS Inter-Primary School Track and Field – March 2023 (Providenciales)
The full TCISS event schedule and further updates will be found on the TCI Sports Commission’s website www.gov.tc/sports/.
For the latest news on the TCISS, fans can follow on Instagram (@tcisportscommission) and Facebook (Turks and Caicos Islands Sports Commission). To share your experience with TCISS on social, use the hashtags #TCISS and #morethanjustsports.
Court Ruling leaves Young Son without Mother, Father killed in 2022 violence
Freelance Court Reporter
#TurksandCaicos, September 19, 2023 – A young son is left without a father, taken through gun violence and his mother, now deported back to her home country of Jamaica.
A Jamaican woman, ANDREA ROSE MARIE ATKINSON, now in her late fifties, who was married to a Wheeland, Blue Hills, Providenciales native, appeared before the Hon. Chief Magistrate Mr. Jolyon Hatmin.
Atkinson was charged on August 7th with remaining in the Islands beyond the permitted time. The Chief Magistrate (CM) asked the lady if she would like an opportunity to get legal representation? She said, your Honour, I just want to get this over with because “mi can’t take da cell no more” “mi bin lock up now fa sa much days, mi just a plea guilty and go back to mi Yard.”
The lady, communicating in her native, raw Jamaican patois tried to explain to the CM that she once had a permanent resident certificate (PRC) but after the divorced she was trying to get a work permit.
She said, yes, she overstayed but she was trying to make herself legal.
The woman asked the CM for some time to sort out her son and her things before they send her home. The mother of a boy child told the chief magistrate that she didn’t know where her child was because since law enforcement arrested her and took her into Immigration lock-up and since, she has not seen or heard from her son.
This matter was heard in August.
Investigation by this reporter uncovered that the son, a Turks and Caicos Islander, was taken in by one of the deceased sisters; therefore an aunt to the boy.
The CM sentenced the Jamaican woman ANDREA ROSE MARIE ATKINSON to a fine of $2,000.00 to be paid immediately in default, she will serve 90 days imprisonment.
He also recommended deportation; giving the former PRC holder seven days to sort out her son and her belongings.
REOPENING OF THE TURKS & CAICOS ISLANDS HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY
The First (1st) Sitting of the First (1st) Meeting of the Third (3rd) Session of the Twelfth (12th) Legislature of the House of Assembly of the Turks & Caicos Islands
The Opening Ceremony for the First (1st) Sitting of the First (1st) Meeting of the Third (3rd) Session of the Twelfth (12th) Legislature of the House of Assembly occurred on the 14th September at 10 o’clock in the forenoon with its usual pomp and fanfare.
During the proceedings, the Honourable Premier and Minister for Public Policy, Hon. C. Washington Misick, moved the motion that the House of Assembly be suspended to allow for the reading of the Speech from the Throne, presented by Her Excellency, the Governor Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam.
The Speech from the Throne, having highlighted some of the Government’s accomplishments since being elected to office on 19th February 2021, culminated with the proposed Legislative Agenda to be considered for the upcoming legislative year which included, but is not limited to:
Constitution (Amendment) Order;
Retiring Allowance (Amendment) Bill;
Community College (Amendment) Bill;
Gaming Control (Amendment) Bill;
Business Licensing (Amendment) Bill;
Real Estate Licensing Bill
Immigration Bill; and
Crown Land (Amendment) Bill
The Speech from the Throne took a long-term perspective and placed emphasis on fulfilling the objectives of the Vision 2040 document and the Government’s strategic plan to move the Turks and Caicos Islands towards developed country status within the next two decades by investing in projects and policies that will result in a more robust triple-bottom-line economy.
The Speech from the Throne also addressed short to medium term deliverables; highlighting that the Government has twelve (12) high-priority projects being progressed. It posited that the National Delivery Unit (NDU) is tasked with assisting project owners and implementers advance the Government’s priorities. The value added by this Unit is the facilitation with streamlining of project management processes to ensure the most efficient timelines and use of available resources – all for the ultimate benefit of the citizens of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The day’s proceeding ended with a motion entitled: Write-Off of TC Invest/TOLCO Loan that was tabled by the Minister of Finance, the Honourable E. Jay Saunders. The motion which sought to write off $10.8 million in debt accumulated by scores of borrowers was passed. This write-off was a welcomed intervention by many Turks and Caicos Islanders, laden with debt obligations for over 11 years following the divestiture of the former TC Invest Agency. The write-off directly affects over 150 borrowers but is indirectly beneficial to many more.
For some, giving them a second lease on life, which, when property ownership is considered can be extended to inter-generationally.
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