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Newly Elected MPs make inaugural tour of Cheshire Hall Medical Centre to assess the COVID-19 response



#TurksandCaicos, March 1, 2021 – The incoming Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Agriculture, Sports and Human Services, Honorable Erwin Jay Saunders, and Member of Parliament, Honorable Jamell Robinson conducted a tour of the Cheshire Hall Medical Centre in Providenciales on Tuesday, February 23rd 2021 to review the hospital’s current operational status and the COVID-19 response.

The island of Providenciales has been the epicenter for COVID-19 cases and the medical center has cared for 98% of COVID-19 patient admissions. The national management and stabilization of the COVID-19 pandemic is a major issue on the incoming Government’s agenda, and the newly elected officials were eager to understand the latest developments at the secondary health care level.

Chief Executive Officer at InterHealth Canada – Turks and Caicos Islands Hospital, Dr Denise Braithwaite-Tennant and General Manager of Facilities, Martin Dawtry, spearheaded the 2-hour tour. Special areas of interest were the hospital’s 749 square meter shelled space, which can be developed to increase the hospital’s capacity as a long-term resolution. The area was constructed since the inception of the hospital as a spare unfinished space for any future expansion needs, and is temporarily used as storage for hospital supplies.

The Outpatient Department renovation project was another key area. The duo examined 12 consultation rooms, which were retrofitted with medical gas lines for oxygen support, inpatient beds and other biomedical equipment late last year. Resources are pre-deployed into the area only under circumstances where the number of COVID-19 patient admissions exceed the bed capacity of the General Wards. Six Outpatient Department consultation rooms were also retrofitted at the Cockburn Town Medical Centre in Grand Turk for the same purpose.

Other departments visited during the tour include the Maternity Ward, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, General Ward, Surgical Suites, Radiology, Laboratory, the Emergency Department and designated areas used for the assessment of suspected and confirmed COVID-19 cases. The tour was followed by an introductory meeting with the hospital’s senior management team. The incoming elected officials are due to be officially sworn into parliament this week after the national General Election, which was held on February 19TH, 2021.

Commenting on the tour, Honorable Erwin Jay Saunders stated: “It was a great tour. I am happy that we were able to conduct this tour of the facility from the top to the bottom to see what is happening. I believe the team is doing a fantastic job with the available resources, and we look forward to working with InterHealth Canada – Turks and Caicos Islands Hospital in a partnership approach to provide the community with quality health care.”

Honorable Jamell Robinson stated: “As a first visit, it was great to see the inner workings of the TCI Hospital as a Member of Parliament rather than a patient. I think we are blessed to have the facility and the ability to do the type of expansion that we need to be able to cater to our normal patients, in addition to our response to the COVID-19 pandemic that is ongoing. It is very promising, and we look forward to working closely with InterHealth Canada – Turks and Caicos Islands Hospital and the Ministry of Health to stabilize the pandemic until the vaccines have been fully distributed.”

Chief Executive Officer at InterHealth Canada – Turks and Caicos Islands Hospital, Dr Denise Braithwaite -Tennant said: “It was a very productive visit, and we are grateful that the Members of Parliament took the opportunity to see the excellent groundwork that has been reached with the Outpatient Department Renovation Project, and other projects that were achieved collaboratively with the TCI Government. It was also important for the MP’s to examine the shelled space as this is a pivotal moment in time that requires a discussion on the development of this space to expand critical care and additional inpatient beds. This would allow us to remain sustainable and resilient for the future.”





#TurksandCaicos, May 20, 2024 – The Governor’s Office can confirm that Her Excellency the Governor Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam and the Honourable Premier Charles Washington Misick will this morning receive a US Congressional delegation, who have requested a meeting to discuss the recent arrests of US nationals for possession of ammunition offences.

The US delegation, which arrived yesterday evening, was met by Protocol officials and is due to depart this afternoon.

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Eleven Senators, Three Governors make appeals for Leniency; Five Americans now face 12 Years in Prison



Deandrea Hamilton                                                                                                                              



#TurksandCaicos, May 20, 2024 – US law makers are going to bat bigtime for their citizens detained in the Turks and Caicos for breach of the firearms ordinance, a congressional delegation arrived on Sunday for talks on an amicable  conclusion in the controversial court matters.

Here for a meeting set to take place today,   the congressional delegation is led by Senator Markwayne Mullin.

Five tourists are facing the 12 year minimum for possession of bullets, they say were inadvertently left in their checked baggage, but they can get a lesser sentence if the judge rules that it is warranted under the ‘Exceptional Circumstances’ clause in the Firearms Ordinance, newly amended and stiffened in 2022.

Eleven U.S. Senators and three State Governors have addressed letters to the TCI government beckoning for leniency in the cases of American citizens charged and detained for breach of Turks and Caicos gun laws which strictly prohibit the possession of unregistered firearms or ammunition; an infraction which carries with it a penalty of 12 years imprisonment.

It became known that at least one governor was communicating with Daleeni Daniel- Selveratnam, Turks and Caicos Governor about the unsettling situation.

J Kevin Stitt, Governor of Oklahoma appeared on television vocalizing his thoughts, calling the mandatory 12 year sentence “absurd.”  His letter for leniency was endorsed by Josh Shapiro, Governor of Pennsylvania and Glenn Youngkin, the Governor of Virginia.

“We humbly ask that your government – in its wisdom – temper justice with mercy and recognize that these made mistakes but had no apparent malicious intent,” states the May 14th letter signed by all three governors.

Twelve days before, Senators had already expressed their dire concern in correspondence dated May 2nd.

Magnetic Media obtained that letter which 11 senators have supported; their dispatch issued to the Attorney General of the Turks and Caicos, Rhondalee Braithwaite-Knowles, KC.

Senators Markwayne Mullin, Oklahoma; Robert P. Casey Jr, Pennsylvania; Mark Warner, Virginia; Tim Kaine, Virginia; James Lankford, Oklahoma; Michael Cloud, Texas; John Fetterman, Pennsylvania; Bob Good, Virginia; Guy Reschenthaler, Pennsylvania; Josh Brecheen, Oklahoma and former presidential contender, Ted Cruz of Texas boldly signed the document, with strong words for the TCIG.

“We do not discount the fact that the authorities in Turks and Caicos take the presence of unspent ammunition cartridges seriously to prioritize the safety of its civilians. However, based on our relationships and understanding of the circumstances of these American citizens, we strongly urge you to exercise leniency when reviewing their cases.”

Both letters point to the current good relationship between the Turks and Caicos and the United States as the reason to have the cases of Michael Lee Evans, 72 of Texas; Bryan Hagerich, Pennsylvania; Tyler Wenrich, 31 of Virginia and Ryan Watson, 40 of Oklahoma come to a reasonable conclusion.

Since Monday May 13, added to the four men and despite the media attention and US State Department warnings, Sharitta Grier, 45 of Orlando, Florida was arrested, sentenced and is now out on bail on near identical charges.

She is the fifth American held in recent months for the discovery of ammunition upon departure of the islands.

Grier, was on Thursday May 16 arraigned for allegedly having two bullets in her baggage; detected as she was exiting the Turks and Caicos following a Mother’s Day getaway with her daughter.  By Friday, bail had been granted to the woman who is still expressing shock at the gravity of the consequences; a dozen years in a Grand Turk prison.

A week earlier, a Thursday May 8, media release by the Turks and Caicos National Security Council informed of the Attorney General’s report to the group, which included the Premier, Minister of Tourism and Governor on the nuances of the legislation, according to a recent Court of Appeal decision.

“The Attorney-General, in respect of the law applicable to the cases against US Nationals on charges relating to the possession of ammunition, confirmed that an Attorney General’s Reference to the Court of Appeal certified that where a court finds there are exceptional circumstances, the sentencing judge has discretion under the law, to impose a custodial sentence and a fine that are fair and just in the circumstances of each case rather than impose the mandatory minimum. The Chief Justice is advancing sentencing guidelines in this respect.”

On Sunday, Senator Mullin of Oklahoma landed in Provo, with him:  “Rep. Reschenthaler of Pennsylvania; Rep. Good of Virginia; Rep. Brecheen of Oklahoma and Rep. Cloud of Texas.  They have a few staff members and an escort of four marines.  They will be in meetings all day. We are hoping for an agreeable resolution today,” explained a source close to the senate.

We’ve also learned that the Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis may climb aboard this train in the name of reasonable justice after Floridian, Sharitta Shiniee Grier was last week charged.

On social media, Grier has opened up about her arrest.

“Once the police cuffed my leg to a chair and left me in a room by myself I started crying out to the Good Lord, saying I know you are real but I need you to move for me, right now!  I need you to show me a sign that I’m going to be alright.”

Grier explains that before she could wipe away tears, “Mrs. Susan and her husband My Pop Pop” turned up, came to check on her while in police custody and are now lending her moral support.

Court correspondent Wilkie Arthur informed that during Grier’s arraignment, the courtroom was filled with some of the other Americans accused and their families; in her post, she called Ryan (Hagerich) and Bryan (Watson), both men who share a vacation villa as they await verdicts in their bullet possession matters, her ‘brothers.’

“I know it was God who placed them in my life.  They have a heart of gold, just like me and I love them. We are family forever.”

It is this kind of solidarity that the defendants hope will work in their favour as their Representatives have reportedly taken advocacy to a new level; landing at the private airport in Providenciales on Sunday to – in person – make appeals on behalf of the five Americans with the hope of seeing them avoid the lengthy prison term mandated by TCI law.

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Subject identified






May 18th, 2024.

Following a police shooting incident on May 14th, the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force (RTCIPF) is now able to name the deceased male subject, with the permission of the family.

The Serious Crime Unit contacted the relatives of the deceased, and formal identification has taken place, with the subject being identified as 14-year-old Antorens Dorcely, also known locally as ‘Toto’.

During this challenging time, the RTCIPF also expressed its deepest condolences to the deceased’s family, and the force will continue to offer support through our Family Liaison Officer.

In light of this incident, the RTCIPF is urging the public to show respect and sensitivity towards the grieving family by refraining from sharing any footage of the deceased on social media.

Sharing such material can cause additional distress and harm. We emphasize the importance of empathy and respect for the family’s privacy as they navigate their grief. The death of any young person is a loss to the TCI.

The RTCIPF is committed and dedicated to conducting a thorough investigation and ensuring that all aspects of the incident are carefully examined and the findings are communicated transparently to the public.

A request has been made to an external police force to conduct a review of the incident. This is a routine procedure and intended to ensure an independent and objective review of the facts. The community’s cooperation and respect during this time are essential. The RTCIPF assures the public that we remain dedicated to upholding justice and accountability.

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