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Magnetic Media response to TCI Minister of Health Edwin Astwood

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#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos – August 28, 2020 — It took nearly two days, but the Minister of Health informs that he was aware but unprepared to reveal to the country that there was a third COVID-19 death at the time of his Wednesday August 26 press conference.

The information was withheld intentionally admits Minister Edwin Astwood in that statement issued today. 

The reason given by the Minister is he needed more time for his team to notify next of kin or family of the death of the person in question.

‘Next of kin notification’ is the reason officials may provide for withholding the identification of a deceased person; the goal is to ensure the loved ones of the deceased is well aware of their death before personal information is released to the general public or media.   

In this instance ‘Next of Kin’ as a reason for not informing of a COVID-19 death is utterly irrelevant. 

Here’s why:  The statement, which was eventually issued on Wednesday night to inform of the death still had no identity, no time of death, no sex or age of the person. 

In the end, the Minister in his Wednesday press release only said, what he could have said earlier… that there was a third COVID-19 related death.

The Minister claims he is deeply concerned and goes on to try to chastise Magnetic Media for exposing one of two possible scenarios.  And there were two…

We questioned if it was a convenient truth intentionally left out at the press meeting.

We also offered that it was possible the Minister was unaware of the death at the time of the press conference.

We now know that he did intentionally leave it out.  We also now know that he was well aware of the death and suspicion for possible cause of death.

Magnetic Media takes this opportunity to state that in our obviously powerful, little WhatsApp blast we are speaking solely about Minister of Health, Edwin Astwood;  no one else. 

This clarification must be made since the Minister tries to promote the hypothesis that my piece was directed at his ‘health professionals’.

It was not.  It was just directed at the Minister with responsibility for Health, Agriculture, Sports and  Human Services.

It is concerning that the Minister of Health found the time to draft and issue a two page media statement on our report which is of unquestionable accuracy.  From where I sit, there is much critical work to be done.  From what we are told, the Health Team is overwhelmed with an enormous work load.   It is not useful to us for our Minister of Health to be “catching feelings” every time something of essence is said related to his ministry.

We are thinking, participating beings and this is our country too.

We are in a multi-faceted crisis, together.  That people are dying as a result is a vital fact.  It should not have been left out of a national press conference.  It actually would have worked to underscore the urgency of residents to adhere to the health messages.

To the Minister:  Magnetic Media will not shrink from citing what is noteworthy and news worthy because you are chaffed Mr. Minister…  and perhaps if there was any response to Magnetic Media’s emails, texts, voice note or calls – I could believe you were truly sincere when you say you want a partnership.

Accountability.  Transparency.  Kudos when you nail it.  Call out when you drop it. Get used to your job and welcome to the new normal.

Deandrea Hamilton, CEO – Magnetic Media

Magnetic Media is a Telly Award winning multi-media company specializing in creating compelling and socially uplifting TV and Radio broadcast programming as a means for advertising and public relations exposure for its clients.

TCI News

Provo Water Company Issues an Update on Water Distribution Challenges

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PROVIDENCIALES, TCI. MAY 22, 2024: Provo Water Company (PWC) announced today that, due to persistent demands, water restrictions will continue through June 2024 as the organization continues its commitment to improving the water distribution network through various projects addressing current distribution challenges.

The water restrictions, which have been in place on an as-needed basis, will continue in the following areas: West of Suzie Turn: Including The Bight (between Beaches Resort and Turtle Cove), Cooper Jack, Industrial Park, Thompson Cove, Cherokee Road, Blue Mountain, Downtown, Airport Road, Kewtown, Blue Hills, Five Cays, South Dock, and Chalk Sound will encounter low to no water pressure during nightly restrictions from 11:00 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. Venetian Road and Turtle Tail: Will undergo a 50% water restriction from 9:00 p.m. to 5:30 a.m., potentially leading to reduced water pressure for customers.

In response to the ongoing high water demands, PWC Managing Director Robert Hall reaffirmed his team’s unwavering commitment to mitigating these challenges.

He said, “Water demands on Providenciales are still high, and as we continue to make progress on our improvement projects to address these short-term distribution challenges, we kindly ask for your patience and understanding while we work expeditiously to resolve these issues.”

PWC is currently working on three key projects to improve water distribution across Providenciales. The primary focus is on the New City Water Transmission Main Project, which includes the installation of larger-diameter pipes along a new route. This initiative aims to significantly boost water flow and establish an alternative distribution route through which to distribute water.

Another project currently underway involves replacing older valves in the water distribution network with newer, larger-diameter valves. This upgrade will enhance water flow, resulting in improved distribution along the existing network pipes. The third project focuses on enhancing the current booster equipment responsible for augmenting water flow within the distribution network.

These enhancements will bolster the booster’s capacity to leverage the upgraded pipe diameters and replaced valves more efficiently.

Speaking on the projects and their progress, Hall said, “These projects have always been a part of our plan to accommodate the growth of the country. Unfortunately, unforeseen setbacks due primarily to the long-term effects of the pandemic and its impact on the world economy and supply chains, among other factors, have taken their toll on our project timelines. Our team is committed to resolving these issues as quickly as possible, but we are taking every measure to ensure that we do so in a way that allows us to continue providing incredible service and value to our customers.”

In addition to the improvement projects, PWC is also in the process of building a new water plant on the northwest side of the island. This new plant will introduce a new distribution point closer to the areas currently experiencing water restrictions and provide a host of benefits to water distribution for the whole island. Hall emphasizes the significance of water conservation as a crucial measure in addressing water shortages.

Simple actions like repairing leaks, utilizing water-efficient fixtures, and practicing mindful water usage can greatly contribute to preserving precious water resources and reducing monthly bills.

For more information on Provo Water Company and its water efficiency and conservation initiatives, visit its website, provowater.com, and social media pages at @ProvoWaterCompany for tips and announcements, or contact our customer service team at customerservice@provowater.com.

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STATEMENT FROM THE HONOURABLE C. WASHINGTON MISICK, PREMIER TURKS AND CAICOS GOVERNMENT

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#TurksandCaicos, May 22, 2024 – As Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands, I assure our American friends that the Turks and Caicos Islands prioritizes hospitality, cultural exchange, and mutual respect.  You will find our doors open and our hearts eager to share the warmth and beauty of our homeland.  We value the trust and confidence travelers from around the world place in us when they choose the Turks and Caicos Islands as their destination.  Transparency and accountability are paramount in our operations, ensuring that our decisions are made lawfully and in the best interests of all residents and visitors.

The Turks & Caicos Islands welcome over one million visitors each year, more than half of whom are American.

Respect for the rule of law and an independent judiciary are key tenants of our justice system, and all persons are equal in the eyes of the law.  Judges are permitted to use their discretion in sentencing individuals who have been convicted of violating our Firearms law. In fact, in cases that occurred prior to the five cases that have generated media coverage, the mandatory 12-year minimum sentence has never been imposed by the Court because judges determined in each case that exceptional circumstances warranted shorter sentences.

Our justice system is designed to uphold the rights and freedoms of all individuals, regardless of their place of origin, while maintaining the security and integrity of our Islands.  Our judicial and law enforcement institutions are dedicated to impartiality and consistency in enforcing our laws.

Recent events have underscored the importance of adhering to the principles of justice and accountability.  Let me be clear: In the Turks and Caicos Islands, the law stands firm and applies to everyone equally, without exception.  Our commitment to the rule of law is unwavering and remains a cornerstone of our democratic values.

We are committed to providing a safe and enjoyable experience for all citizens, residents and visitors.

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TCI News

TURKS & CAICOS GOVERNOR’S RESPONSE TO ABC NEWS INTERVIEW

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The Turks and Caicos Islands values its warm relationship with the United States and
welcomes over 1 million visitors each year. Our countries have close ties and work in
strong partnership to tackle shared threats in the region.
In the spirit of respect for this relationship, the Hon. Premier and I received a US
Congressional Delegation to listen to their concerns about five US Nationals charged and
on bail for the possession of ammunition offences. US Congressman Guy
Reschenthaler’s commentary on ABC news following the meeting is highly regrettable.
His characterisation of our meeting is not one we recognise. Our discussions were
professional and respectful with a focus on clarifying the legal position and the well-being
of the individuals.

A mandatory minimum sentence of 12-years and a fine for possession of firearms and/or
ammunition is in place to serve and protect all who reside and visit the Turks and Caicos
Islands. The law provides discretion in exceptional circumstances for the judge to impose
a reduced custodial sentence less than the 12-years and a fine that is fair and just for
each case. To date, no US National has received the mandatory minimum sentence of
12-years.

We do not target US Nationals and any statements to the contrary are without merit. Our
independent justice system upholds the rights and freedoms of all individuals, regardless
of nationality, whilst maintaining the security and integrity of our Islands. All five US
Nationals are on bail with reporting conditions and are receiving US consular support.
Three have pled guilty and two will enter their pleas within the next two weeks.
Like the United States, we have a constitutional separation of the executive and judicial
branches. There is no remit for the Turks and Caicos Islands Executive nor the UK
Government to intervene or comment on ongoing legal cases before the courts.

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Law enforcement agencies apply professional standard operating procedures for
processing matters through the legal system and will investigate any concerns where it is
felt standards were not met. There have been no United Nations sanctions against His
Majesty’s Prison Grand Turk. A February 2024 Turks and Caicos Islands Human Rights
Commission report was positive with no findings against prisoner conditions.
I appreciate the Congressman is concerned for his constituent, but the situation calls for
respectful dialogue that guards against misrepresentation. It is important there is respect
for due process and for public servants to perform their duties without fear or compromise.
The rule of law is paramount and all are equal before the law.
The Turks and Caicos Islands continues to welcome all visitors to enjoy our Beautiful by
Nature Islands.

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