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TCI News

$200 million hotel & casino for Grand Turk; Bahamian developers to start construction in February

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#TurksandCaicosIslands – November 5, 2020 — A $200 million development agreement signed for hotel and villa construction in Grand Turk and a Bahamian company has been given the nod by the Turks and Caicos Islands Government (TCIG).

CORRECTED: Grand Lucayan development for the western side of Grand Turk, not eastern side as reported in the previous version of this article.

Fifteen months after the plan was presented to the TCIG cabinet, a development agreement was on Monday November 2 signed with Grand Lucayan Resorts Ltd; it is expected to add a casino, 75 hotel rooms and 75 villas to Grand Turk.

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It is already touted as the largest development project led by Bahamians.

Collin C. Ingraham, who according to his LinkedIn profile is the principal of the Bahamas-based, Lucayan Group of companies which includes Lucayan Energy Services and Lucayan Water Systems, was joined by local investors, members of the Cabinet and Bahamian partner, Glenardo Knowles, a former investment officer with The Bahamas Investment Authority.

The Cabinet, in June approved the land for the development, including a 99-year lease.

The Cabinet report of June 3, 2020 informed:  “Approved for the combination and subdivision of Parcels 10503/75, 77, 82, 84, 86, 88, 91, 92, and 123 on Grand Turk and reaffirmed its previous decision to grant a 99-year lease over parcels 10503/91, 92 and 123pt to Grand Lucayan Resorts Limited for the construction and operation of a Villa Hotel and Multi-complex center.”

L-R: Terrance Astwood; Collin Ingraham and Anya Williams, TCI Acting Governor

Top officials from TCIG were on hand for the signing on Monday at the Office of the Premier in Providenciales including Anya Williams, Acting Governor; Sharlene Robinson, TCI Premier and Directors of the Grand Lucayan which included local investor; among them Terrance Astwood.

Mr. Astwood confirmed construction on staff housing is projected to begin in February 2021.

The proposal was approved in July 2019 and Cabinet received an update in November later the same year.  By June 2020, the project and land were approved and the Cabinet report of October 28, issued today said: “Approved amendments to a previously approved Development Agreement (DA) between Grand Lucayan Resort and the Turks & Caicos Islands Government for the construction of a Resort and Casino inclusive of Seventy Five (75) Hotel suites, and Seventy Five Condo units on Grand Turk.”

New Development Agreement signed on Monday November 2, 2020 at the Office of the Premier, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands

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Bahamas News

Kamala Harris to meet with Caribbean leaders in The Bahamas

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

 

 

#USA, June 5, 2023 – Kamala Harris, United States Vice President will journey to Nassau Bahamas in June for a top level meeting with Caribbean  leaders, marking the first time she will visit the region since occupying office in 2021.

According to the White House in a statement, the meeting will bring attention to a range of regional issues.  Harris and the Caribbean leaders will continue talks on the shared efforts to address the climate crisis, such as promoting climate resilience and adaptation in the region and increasing energy security through clean energy.

Additionally, the statement informed that Harris’ trip “delivers on the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to advance cooperation with the Caribbean in pursuit of shared prosperity and security, and in recognition of the common bonds and interests between our nations.”

The June 8th meeting builds on and strengthens the U.S.-Caribbean Partnership to Address the Climate Crisis 2030, which was launched by the Vice President and Caribbean leaders in Los Angeles at the Summit of the Americas as further mentioned by White House Statement.

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Caribbean News

Woman who lost foot is Alexandra Truwit, Yale Grad & All American Swimmer

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By Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer

 

 

#TurksandCaicos, June 5, 2023 – A champion swimmer, marathon runner, Ivy League graduate and world traveler with a huge smile– that is Alexandra Truwit; at only 22 years old, she has a whole life ahead of her, one that may have now been made exponentially harder by the loss of her foot in an incident which continues to be unconfirmed, but reported as a shark attack off the coast of Providenciales.

Magnetic Media learned Truwit, who is a very experienced swimmer, was on a private charter captained by an employee of Big Blue Collective (not a Big Blue Charter).  She was bitten by what eyewitnesses think could have been a Caribbean Reef Shark and her foot below the ankle was completely severed.

It’s a heartbreaking incident exacerbated by the young woman’s obvious love for- and proficiency in- the water.

The Yale website describes Truwit as a Two-time USA Swimming Academic All-American.  Featured as a ‘Teen Titan’ in her high school, she was one of ten young people chosen for the school’s magazine. 

Truwit, who has a twin brother, cites nail art and baking as her life joys. Already having survived ‘mono’ as a teen, she volunteers as a Special Olympics “hugger” and started a Special Olympics club at her high school.

She was airlifted from the Turks and Caicos on the day of her accident and there have been no updates on her condition so far.  Residents in the TCI and the US have expressed via social media their best wishes for the young achiever and must now wait, hoping for the best possible outcome.

One resident said, “So sorry Alexandra you had to encounter such a traumatic experience while on vacation on our beautiful Island.  I am praying for a successful surgery and speedy recovery for you, hopefully, the surgeon can work their magic for you.”

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Government

Governor’s Appointed Member touts Civil Service Upgrade during Budget Debates

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By Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 

 

 

#TurksandCaicos, June 5, 2023 – There are sweeping changes coming to the civil service this year after years of complaints about delays and understaffing.

“For the year 2023/24, the office of the Deputy Governor has a very ambitious public sector transformation centered around improving service delivery and the customer experience.”

This came from Governors Appointed Member Willin Belliard, as he rose in the budget debates on Thursday May 18 to detail the revamp.

Phase one of E-procurement which will allow for the virtual submission of tenders is to be implemented. Along with that will come E-Jobs, a similar system touted to make job applications virtual, swift and easy.

Implementation of the Human Capital Procurement Program is also on the list of deliverables. Human capital is sorely lacking in the Turks and Caicos across the public and private sectors with hundreds of vacancies sitting open and resignations continuing to pile up.

Public servants will also find it easier to enroll into the all new Public Sector Pension Plan with the advent of a portal to remove the need for paper based applications.

The previously announced pay grading exercise is on the table to be completed and a Contract management unit has now been created to manage the delivery of projects that taxpayers are funding.

Residents of the Turks and Caicos have complained bitterly about the state of the civil service in the country for years. From police records to the treasury, the service is characterized by low staffing, frustrating wait time and long lines.

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