#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos – August 25, 2020 — A press conference held by the TCI Premier today fell short of expectations and Magnetic Media continues to field a barrage of comments about the subject matter and the abrupt conclusion of the presentation by Hon Sharlene Robinson.
The press conference, held at 2pm today at the Office of the Premier in Providenciales, was attended by media in the room via Zoom. It was carried live on Facebook and radio.
A succinct report on Her Majesty’s Prison and the plan to curtail the anarchy, strengthen the human resources and restore dilapidated infrastructure at the facility was overdue; still residents expected more.
“That ending was so abrupt,” offered a listener in Grand Turk.
A woman in Providenciales commented: “I still trying to put my tea cup to my mouth and can’t because she hung up on us. All these relevant issues and you already had your face made up not to answer questions so why have a conference? We need answers. The woman hung up on us.”
From comments posted publicly during the social media broadcasts and those coming to our news organization directly, it is clear, the PDM Administration must reconsider its public relations strategy to heed the repeated concerns about the tone of the media sessions which seem defensive, dismissive and evasive.
From the Premier, residents learned of the deployment of members of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands police to manage the facility, as Her Majesty’s Prison – home to 71 inmates – prepares for a new Prison Superintendent.
The current superintendent – Grahame Hawkins – will not renew his contract with the Ministry of Home Affairs; essentially quitting the job which has been uncommonly brutal from day one.
For those speaking candidly to Magnetic Media, this was not the national announcement they were looking forward to hearing. Many believe the focus should have largely been on the ongoing challenges linked to COVID-19.
“I guess we have to wait for another press conference later in the week!“
Desperation is building in the Turks and Caicos; no different from any other country struggling to regain footing under the weight of a crushing pandemic which has stolen the most valued of things.
Now outlawed are breathing God-given air without a face covering in public, touching fellow human beings with handshakes, hugs, high-fives or fist bumps. We feel strange clearing out throats, laughing out loud, standing too closely and most of us flinch, just a little, when a temperature gun is pointed at our foreheads.
Covid-19 has decimated our economy. The World Tourism Council reports that Turks and Caicos was robbed of $94 million between January and April alone; ranking No. 1 in the world for percentage loss of tourism revenue due to the pandemic.
People are despairing over the rocketing number of new COVID-19 cases; the dire financial strain on their families and businesses and the perilous prognosis for their more immediate futures.
Schools are not reopening, banks are not extending loans or special considerations, salaries are evaporating yet the bills keep on coming, and for many are even higher than before.
Plus, we are entering the height of the Atlantic Hurricane Season and the low of the Tourism Season.
The Government has announced a one-time stimulus payment for individuals and qualifying companies; but roll out of the monies has lost significant steam; the first round of distribution remains incomplete.
The Social Services Department is supporting 703 families, with room for 130 more until the allotted funds of $500,000 run out. Each family, which qualifies, receives $200 per month for three months.
Turks and Caicos is not an independent nation, but it is inhabited by a fiercely independent people who are usually able to take care of themselves and their families.
It is clear this ‘once in a hundred years’ pandemic has brought an unexpected burden which is burying many families and companies and the hope is for Government to act on a plan which can hopefully keep these islands from going completely under.
TWO SEXUAL Assault Cases begin in Providenciales Supreme Court
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.
Finance minister not worried about Q1 negative growth
#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.
Royal TCI Police Briefs
#TurksandCaicos, September 26, 2023 –
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.
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.
FIND US ON FACEBOOK
News4 days ago
Police say DNA confirmed identity of headless body
News4 days ago
Carnival cruise port is open to others Cruise ships — Management
Bahamas News1 week ago
Eleuthera Medical Center Marks 5 Years, Private community clinic ‘grows with the demand’, adds Dental and Dermatology to slate of services
Bahamas News1 week ago
Royal Caribbean to open adults only private island destination
Bahamas News1 week ago
OFFICERS ATTEND NATIONAL DAY OF BRAZIL CELEBRATION
Caribbean News4 days ago
Smart City Project a Testament to Innovation, Progressive – Dr. Morris Dixon
Finance4 days ago
UK holds steady on interest rates
News4 days ago
Grand Turk drops in Rank for Cruising, Port profits down; Still Optimism High after major meeting with Carnival