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PDM Campaign song reveals Temard for ED #1; PNP Candidate blasts on the blunder



Otis Morris, PNP Candidate for Grand Turk North, ED#1, Photo by TCI Images

#TurksandCaicos – December 18, 2020 – ‘We Voting PDM’ seems to be the name of the song, it is certainly the hook and while the listing of all 15 of their general election candidates may have escaped some people, it was not missed by Otis Morris, candidate for electoral district #1 for the Progressive National Party.

“…they tried to further bamboozle us by suggesting that they have a major surprise candidate for Electoral District No. 1 and therefore they are saving that announcement for a later date. Little did they know that they released a song that very night with the name of Hon. Temard Butterfield as their candidate for the district who is now serving as one of the Governor’s appointed members in the House of Assembly. How much more shameful and disrespectful can this PDM administration get?”

Hon. Temard Butterfield was rumored to be the fifth all island candidate choice for the governing party.  On December 5, supporters and voters were informed candidates would be revealed on December 12.

The reveal, on Saturday was nearly complete, but one candidate was absent for the speeches, the announcements and in the party’s new posters promoting 14,  not 15 individuals.

Morris was critical of the venue for the rally and questions the ethics of the shift of Butterfield from being appointed by the Governor in a neutral position to now preparing to side with the governing party.

“On this occasion, the PDM in another failed attempt to pull off a mega-rally has used the public’s purse and state facilities to host a rally at the premises of our National Stadium on Saturday, 12 December 2020 to announce their full slate of candidates for the upcoming general election.” 

Morris, in a statement issued to media adds, “Hon. Butterfield serves at the pleasure of the Governor and his contributions in the House of Assembly are expected to be devoid of partiality and in the best interest of the people of this country. In short, he is expected to not take sides in the House; he should be objective and display the proper decorum of a statesman. His overt affiliation with the PDM calls all of his previous contributions into question and if he has any integrity left in him, he will do the right thing and resign.”

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Otis Morris labelled the PDM, ‘tone deaf’.

“They spend lavishly on hosting elaborate production setups for their rallies costing tens of thousands of dollars while the people of our country remain jobless, hungry and facing the threat of evictions from their homes and apartments.

It is time for the people of our country to get a compassionate government who cares about their livelihood, who will address comprehensively their needs for shelter and nourishment, without having to jump through complicated hoops to access basic benefits for their survival.”

Grand Turk North will likely be a three-way race including incumbent George Lightbourne, who broke from the PNP to run Independent; Otis Morris and the PDM’s candidate who – according to the song – is Temard.

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



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



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  



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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