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Small Business Woman cries foul; says hefty ticket is unfair, heartless

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#TurksandCaicos, February 13, 2021 – A souvenir shop owner in Grace Bay was stunned by a ticket which fined her the maximum $5,000 for not having a sign posted to say how many people are allowed into the store at a time; and even more stunned that officers seem to pick and choose who faces the fine and who does not.

“I am not being treated fairly.  I feel singled out, I feel like nobody cares for the local businesses.  After the ticket, I took it upon myself to take videos – over 30 different stores – where there is no sign informing of capacity.”

Tropical Tees & Things has been open ten years in Grace Bay at the Regent Village and its owner, Chevette Capron has taken her concern to authorities at the Ministry of Heath, Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police and elected government officials only to be told to fight out her complaint in court.

“When I prepared my business to be allowed to be reopened, no one told me that I had to have this sign.  I have never seen this sign around and was unaware I needed this sign.  When I was approved by Health inspectors to reopen last year about two months before we brought the flights back in, I was given a list of things I needed to do to comply.  I did those things and my approval to open was granted.  I was fully compliant.”

Mrs. Capron said she installed signs for social distancing, signage for face mask and covering and sanitization station was set up in the store.  At no point was she asked to erect a capacity sign.

“I later learned that it is advisable to inform the store owner about these small infractions before issuing a ticket.  The officer said he told the cleaning lady about it.  Unfortunately, the lady I have to clean up does not speak English and did not pass that message along to me.

I was also told that the $5,000 fine is meant for big businesses which break the law.  I am not a big business; my store size is 720 square feet.  I feel I have no representation and I feel the government is not looking out for the small business person. Our businesses are being crushed.  The Department is responsible and should be making sure the business owners are aware of the changes and breaches.”

Changes in the Public Health Regulation during the Coronavirus Pandemic have been many.  Dozens of lists of the constantly updated requirements are issued, some never make public  publication.

“I have been looking for the notice and no one can find it. I was actually told to fight it out in court.”

Capron, who prides herself on being a law-abiding citizen said that approach does not sit well with her.  Chevette Capron believes a judge would be compelled to deliver a verdict and fine based on the written law.  Although there are lesser fines, because of the lack of clarity about the regulations; Tees and Things could end up being ordered by a court to pay the $5k. 

“I’m not asking for a handout.  If I should have had the sign, then be fair and give me the warning.  Be fair and give me a fine that suits my business size and the infraction.  The fact that you’re going to take this harsh approach is just heartless. “

Mrs. Capron explained business remains very slow; only pulling in about 10 percent of former revenue.  She works in the store herself, as a cost-cutting measure. 

Tropical Tees and Things now has the sign with her capacity in the shop window.  The promise is the dispute the ticket.

Government

Washington MISICK challenged, and holds onto Leadership of the PNP

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#TurksandCaicos, February 24, 2024 – Magnetic Media can report that WASHINGTON MISICK has emerged and remains LEADER of the governing Progressive National Party.It has been a contentious battle today at the PNPs National General Congress (NGC) for party leadership with interest coming from: Jas Walkin, the party’s 2021 campaign manager who this week publicly withdrew his bid; Dameko Dean, former Wheeland candidate who had published an article revealing his quest to lead the PNP and E Jay Saunders who today unsuccessfully challenged MISICK for the role.Saunders has tried for leader before and has served as the party’s deputy leader, at the pleasure and selection of Washington Misick since June 2019.The run for party leader was a risky maneuver by Saunders, son of former PNP Party leader and Chief Minister Norman Saunders.Delegates cast votes, giving E Jay Saunders 58 votes and Washington Misick 88. The elder statesman convincingly retaining delegates’ confidence.It is also reported that, based on the PNP Constitution, Saunders needed 70% support from delegates in a preliminary run off.  He was unable to secure that much backing.A constitutional motion to change the selection process of the deputy leader to a delegate vote reportedly failed.It is therefore unclear what the immediate future, politically is for Saunders whose party and government roles are hinged on Washington Misick’s prerogative to have him or someone else in these posts.However Misick is already promoting a strict focus on uniting the party following the NGC meeting held at the Shore Club.

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Crime

TCI Community College staff struck and robbed, another chased in car by attackers

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Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer 

 

#TurksandCaicos, February 23, 2024 – Attacks against several of its staff members last week have forced the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College to reassess its security.

“The college is robustly ending in immediate steps to review and reinforce our campus security protocols,” said a February 16 letter to staff seen by Magnetic Media.

The letter puts the date of the incidents as February 15th at one of its Providenciales campuses.

In the first,  a male member of staff was attacked and his car stolen after he left a meeting. When Magnetic Media queried police about the event, they released additional details of the robbery.

We were told around 9:15 pm, Thursday February 15, a 39-year-old male and his colleagues were leaving the TCI Community College Campus, Princess Drive, Providenciales, when a group of men surrounded his vehicle.

The man, noticing that one of the men had stopped at the rear of the vehicle, approached him to investigate and was struck on the head. In the immediate aftermath, the assailants escaped in the victim’s car, leaving the TCICC staff member injured at the scene.

The victim was transported to the Cheshire Hall Medical Center by police officers, and up until news production time, the car had not yet been recovered.

Following this incident, the Community College also revealed that a car chase had taken place.

A female member of staff this time, was chased down by suspected criminals as she left the campus. The employee managed to outdrive the people pursuing her and arrive safely at her destination, but she was described as shaken.

Now both, police officers and campus administration are urging residents to remain vigilant, especially when heading into their cars at night.

Safety tips that can help residents avoid attack, robbery, injury, or worse include:

  • Stay alert when heading to your vehicle; don’t be distracted by your phone; pay attention to your surroundings.
  • if you see anything or anyone suspicious, do not investigate on your own; go back and get a security guard or similar personnel to assist.
  • Have your keys ready in your hands before approaching your car, so you can enter the safety of your vehicle immediately.

The police have not yet arrested anyone for the robbery attack against the employee.

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News

Royal TCI Police share CAREER DAY Highlights

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#TurksandCaicos, February 23, 2024 – On Thursday, 8th February 2024, between 9 am – and 2 pm, the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force attended a Career Day event at the Enid Capron Primary School, Five Cays, Providenciales.

Under the theme “Be aware, choose a career”, the RTCIPF showcased the many career options available in policing.

Members of the Community Policing Unit, Safeguarding and Public Protection, Anti-Gang and Drugs Unit, Marine Branch, Traffic Enforcement, Air Support Unit and Mechanical Department were present.  Officers answered questions posed by the young, impressionable minds.

Insp Ensa Wilson lectured students on various topics, including: “Good Touch, Bad Touch”, alerting adults to inappropriate situations and the importance of calling 911.

Students were asked questions following the lecture and were given RTCIPF tokens.

Sgt. Kavin Mars, along with PC Fitzlewis McDonald and Kiyon Doughty of the Anti Gang and Drug Unit, freestyled “Don’t Huff, Don’t Puff, Don’t Do That Stuff” and warned students of the dangers –health and legal – of using drugs.

Superintendent (Community Policing and Divisions) Dwight Gardiner commended the school’s initiative and applauded the representation of officers present.

Supt. Gardiner said: “Career Days often highlight the importance of community policing and underscore law enforcement’s vital role in fostering trust, collaboration, and safety within neighbourhoods.

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