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Overjoyed! Cecily Rigby-Ewing, another veteran Educator honoured at Oseta Jolly reopening

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#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos – December 18, 2020 – Clad in a golden gown for her golden moment, Cecily Rigby-Ewing was delighted to be honoured with an entire department of the Oseta Jolly Primary School being named to honour her years in the classroom.

Government dignitaries including the Karen Malcolm, the Minister of Education; Goldray Ewing, MP for Blue Hills and Sharlene Robinson, Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islnds were among the officials on hand for the opening of the reconstructed school and the naming of the refurbished early childhood wing.

Ministry of Education reopens Oseta Jolly Primary School in Blue Hills on Monday December 14, with Early Childhood Development Centre being named in honour of retired educator, Cecily Rigby-Ewing. Mrs. Rigby-Ewing cuts the ribbon at the ceremony where Premier Sharlene Robinson was also in attendance

It is now called the Cecily Rigby-Ewing Early Childhood Development Centre.

“I am grateful to be granted the privilege to have my name placed on this institution.  As I stand here on the times I’ve spent in the classroom nurturing and imparting knowledge on students of the beautiful by nature country.  I am overjoyed to know that I will be remembered by both students and members of the community and the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands.  I would like the principal and teachers at this school – both present and future – to never forget that I am willing to share my love and knowledge of teaching with anyone that crosses my path.  I challenge the principal and teachers of this great institution to never allow any child that walks through these corridors to feel they are incapable of learning.  It takes a loving hear, passionate instructor and proud individual to encourage students to believe in themselves and remember with hard work and dedication, they (the students) can be anything in life.”

Principal Rachel Handfield cuts the ribbon to reopen Oseta Jolly primary school which had been displaced by the hurricanes of 2017; students and faculty will return to the campus for the first time in January 2021. Sharlene Robinson, TCI Premier and Karen Malcolm, Minister of Education were among dignitaries in attendance for the opening December 14.

The Oseta Jolly Primary school was the worst hit school in the back-to-back blow of hurricanes in 2017; on Monday December 14, the PDM Administration reopened the institution located in Blue Hills, Providenciales in a ribbon cutting and plaque unveiling ceremony.

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Health

Woman dies on Tuesday; 32nd Covid Death for Turks & Caicos

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – The Turks and Caicos has recorded its 32nd death related to COVID-19.

A Ministry of Health press release informed that the individual who was in quarantine in Grand Turk and requested emergency aid on Tuesday; response came from the public health team in Grand Turk.

The person, who we are told is a special needs young woman – was unvaccinated and had underlying medical conditions.

The death rate in the Turks and Caicos of both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons has climbed alarmingly this year.  In the 21-month period from March 2020 when the country recorded its first case to December 2021, there were 26 deaths recorded in the TCI.

In the 19 days since the start of 2022 that number has increased to 32; which means six deaths already in January.

 

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Bahamas News

Cruising should slow down says PAHO

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

‘Slow down on Cruising’, that’s the word from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO in their latest recent press conference.

Dr. Ciro Ugarte Director of Health Emergencies at the PAHO was referring to the Bahamas but made sure to note that the advice was highly relevant to many countries in the times of omicron.

“In the context of intense transmission, due to the Omicron variant as we have highlighted several times. It is just logical to suspend or at least limit the cruise ship traffic as an outbreak on board might end up exceedingly high and probably will go beyond the capacity of local health services”

Both the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos are experiencing a massive uptick in cases and several warnings regarding cruise travel have been issued by the US Centers for Disease Control.

Cruising just resumed for many regional countries this past Summer, Turks and Caicos was among the latest to restart on December 13.

A stop to sailing would be devastating to economies, however, ports of call like Grand Turk which are reeling with rocketing case numbers of COVID are urged to consider the suggestion of slowing down on ships by PAHO.

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Caribbean News

Understanding Sargassum with help from the TCI’s Department of Environment & Coastal Resources  

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – Sargassum, also known as seaweed, is a natural brown macroalga that lives in temperate and tropical oceans of the world. The floating micro eco-system is important to many species, including baby turtles, little crabs, and tiny fish. All these animals use the floating rafts of the sargassum for protection, shelter, and food.

Over the years, sargassum has been increasing its quantity in the Caribbean due to climate change. As water temperatures increase, sargassum blooms, and as this continues, it occurs in large amounts. This can be dangerous for some marine life because when seaweed washes up on the shore, some species become trapped in the sargassum mat.

Environmental Outreach Coordinator at the Department of Environmental and Coastal Resources for TCI, Amy Avenant, says the Turks and Caicos Islands has not seen the worst of the overgrowth.

“In the Turks and Caicos Islands, we have not seen the full severity of sargassum blooms. Our neighbours in Bonaire, for example, experience up to six feet of sargassum, and they have found stranded dolphins, sea turtles, and sometimes even birds,” said Amy Avenant.

“When the sargassum washes up on shore, it starts to decompose, and when it decomposes, it emits methane, and that is the stinky sulfuric eggy smell that you can smell when you walk past it on the beach. It is a bad thing for climate change because of the methane, but it is not harmful to your health.”

Turks and Caicos saw this in extreme amounts in October; so severe, resorts were forced to bag and bury the stinky seaweed which for over a week covered the usually sandy white stretch of Grace Bay beach.

Avenant noted that in the TCI, we have a balance between managing the influx of sargassum and impacting the areas where it lands because its influx is correlated to the cycles of the moon.

She also said sargassum can be used as a fertilizer in farming. If you collect it, the advice is to spread it out and ensure you wash the excess salt off before adding to your gardens or farms.

There are also hidden dangers and habitat threats to the piles of sargassum on shorelines.

Avenant informed, when you see sargassum on the beach, ensure you watch out for wildlife that might be stuck and species which might have made a home of the ocean’s deposit which has washed up, this is heightened on rocky shores.

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