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Inferno gobbles up iconic, Crackpot Kitchen in Grace Bay

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The Turks and Caicos Domestic Fire Department threw everything they had at a raging inferno, which erupted shortly after 8 p.m. at the Ports of Call plaza in Providenciales, Grace Bay.

At this hour, the blaze is smoldering and lots and lots of damage is done.

Raging inferno completely destroys upper story of eastern wing of Ports of Call plaza; home of Crackpot Kitchen Restaurant. Photo shared on social media

All three fire trucks are working and all of them have had to refill with water at least one time each, in order to contain the fire which appears to have started at Crackpot Kitchen, a popular, locally-owned restaurant run by the TCI’s Culinary Ambassador, Chef Nikita Skippings.

In one of the early videos circulating on social media; very faintly you can hear Chef Nik shouting his disbelief as a fire, fanned by high winds gobbled up the second story, patio-styled eatery, which is also home to the Chop Off-Cook Off culinary competition.

There is no report of injury, at least, not physically but it is clear the damage is extensive. Only a charred mess is left of the roof of the eastern wing of the building.

It is said, businesses occupying the bottom floor have also suffered some damage.

Drone photo shared on social media; Ports of Call, Grace Bay, Providenciales

Residents are tonight stunned at the news, saddened by this outcome which only compounds challenges already being faced due to the economic fall-out caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Restrictions have been significantly eased in the Turks and Caicos Islands, which has no active cases of COVID-19 on record at this time; the country peaked at 12 cases.

Emergency Orders uphold an evening curfew which begins 8 p.m. daily; the restaurant, as with all other businesses in the complex would have been closed since 5 p.m.

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TWO SEXUAL Assault Cases begin in Providenciales Supreme Court

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Wilkie Arthur

Freelance Court Reporter

 

 

#TurksandCaicos, September 26, 2023 – On Monday 25th September 2023 in the Providenciales Supreme Court before her Ladyship Ms. Tanya Lobban Jackson and a seven member Jury to be empaneled, there are TWO sexual assault/rape cases are listed to commence.

TRIAL 1: NICHOLL PRUDHOMME allegation date is on January 17th, 2022. The defendant is represented by Ms. Sheena Mair, who is also on bail.

The reported virtual complainant in this case is an adult in her 20’s.

TRIAL 2: DARROL FORBES allegations totaling six counts linked to alleged sexual abuse of one of his underage daughters.

The incidents, for which Forbes is being tried, range in dates from June 1st to August 31st  in 2020.

Forbes is represented by Keith James and is on bail.

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Finance minister not worried about Q1 negative growth

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Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer 

 

 

#TurksandCaicos, September 26, 2023 – E Jay Saunders, TCI Finance Minister, isn’t worried about an economic downturn following a quarter of negative growth in Q1 of 2023.

Speaking to Magnetic Media on Tuesday September 19th, the country’s Deputy Premier said:  “Revenues don’t grow forever— you will have declines— but I am not nervous.”

During the recent Throne Speech, it was revealed that revenues were down and spending, too had decreased for the first quarter of TCIG’s fiscal year.

Saunders explained that with any country or even business, there were quarterly dips and spikes in economic performance but what mattered was the overall picture, which for the Turks and Caicos keeps climbing.

He also explained what could have caused the dip.

Saunders said that over the past two years the sale of luxury condominiums from places like the Ritz Carlton and post pandemic traveling boom, had rocketed the country’s income pumping up the cash brought in from stamp duties and other related taxes.

With less travel predicted and the country in a sort of in-between stage of construction with major buildings in the process of being finished but not as much new inventory on the market, Saunders said a drop in profits was not far-fetched.

He stressed though that this was not a reflection on ‘Brand TCI,’ rather the expected rise and fall of the economy. With the introduction of new real estate and the prime tourism season, revenues are expected to rebound.

The dip does however highlight an issue in the Turks and Caicos, that is its heavy dependence on tourism to buoy the economy and how quickly that can turn, as evidenced by the recent pandemic.

The Government says it has clocked the issue and is working to diversify the economy to isolate residents from economic shocks.  The question is whether those reported efforts to build other significant revenue streams for the TCI happening quickly enough.

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Royal TCI Police Briefs

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#TurksandCaicos, September 26, 2023

GUN ARREST

A 30-year-old male suspect remains in police custody assisting detectives of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force with investigations, after the seizure of an AR15 Assault Rifle and several rounds of ammunition.

Preliminary reports state, that around 1.37 a.m. today, information was obtained regarding a suspicious vehicle that was intercepted by Police Officers.

This led to the arrest of the suspect, who was in the vehicle when officers intercepted it in the vicinity of Rock Plaza, Millennium Highway. A search of the vehicle resulted in the assault rifle and ammunition being found.

DRUGS FOUND

In a separate incident today at 8.25 a.m., Marine Branch officers acting on information proceeded to an area off Sapodilla Bay, South Dock, and noticed several packages floating in the sea. Eighteen packages were retrieved from the sea.

Upon inspection, the packages contained cocaine with an estimated street value of $250,000. Both incidents remain under active police investigations.

Commissioner of Police Trevor Botting said today, “This arrest and drug find was a result of information obtained from members of the public and great teamwork between different sections of the Force on the land and at sea. We remain grateful for your assistance and trust in the Police Force as we continue our partnership to ensure the TCI remains a safe place to live work and visit.

“This is the second assault rifle seized within the last two weeks and these successes are the result of hard work and commitment by my officers to pushing back on criminals intent on causing harm to our communities.

“I wish to again thank and encourage the public to continue working alongside us, if you see something, say something, there are options available for sharing information with us”.

The public is being asked to contact 911, the closest police station, the RTCIPF Serious Crime Unit at 232-8752, or call TCI Crime Stoppers at 1-800-8477 and give any information on illegal activities.

Additionally, persons are encouraged to contact the Miami-Dade & Florida Keys Crime Stoppers at 1-305-471-8477 and give any information anonymously.

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