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TCI: Pandemic Icons Awarded by the TCHTA



#TurksandCaicos, March 11, 2021 – Annually, the members of the Turks & Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association host a night of celebration, applauding the exceptional service and achievements of employees in the hospitality sector.

This year, the 13th annual TCHTA Star Awards focused on the efforts of those in the industry and on the front-line who showed selfless commitment to their teams and to the wider Turks and Caicos communities.

The closure of the country’s borders due to COVID-19 delivered a devastating blow to the tourism sector; the largest industry and revenue-generator in Turks and Caicos. Still, these Pandemic Icons went above and beyond to do their part in maintaining the strength and vitality of the sector and the country at large.

Many of the country’s most anticipated events have been cancelled because of COVID-19. Todd Foss, President of the TCHTA, said it was important to the association that it not lose the opportunity to give accolades to these beacons in the community. “The heroism and selflessness shown by employees in the tourism industry and by the essential workers in our community is something we are honoured to pay tribute to. We are thankful to the Board of Directors and members of the association for their continued support of this event, and especially thankful to The Palms for providing a venue and protocol team to assist us in producing this special edition of the TCHTA Star Awards.”

In contrast to the fanfare of the sold-out formal event held a year ago, this year’s ceremony was limited to awardees and their managers in strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols. Awardees were scheduled in groups and set to arrive every half hour. A greeter ensured each group was sanitized and properly distanced as they filed onto the lawn, and seating was spaced appropriately.  Once awards were received, the awardees exited the space immediately and the resort team re-sanitized the area in preparation for the next group.

Despite the strict protocols, the beauty of the event left nothing to be desired. The perfectly manicured Croquet Lawn was immaculately decorated with confetti-filled balloons in the event’s signature black, white and gold colours, and each group provided with white parasols to keep them shaded.  Take-away breakfasts sponsored by The Palms and Beaches Turks & Caicos were available to guests as they exited.

Stacy Cox, CEO of the association shared her excitement at the execution of Pandemic Icon Awards, “This year’s event was intimate, yet dynamic. Our awardees have exceeded the standard set by the TCHTA. They are gold-star individuals who embody the true spirit of the Star Awards. We are ecstatic that the event was so seamlessly executed, and that our new Minister of Tourism, Hon Josephine Connolly could join the festivities. The TCHTA is proud of the accomplishments of these hard-working tourism professionals, and those of our essential workers who have dedicated themselves to working keeping Turks and Caicos healthy and safe.”

Along with the tourism employees, special awards were given to Ministry of Health, the Royal Turks & Caicos Islands Police Force, Interhealth Canada, and The Salvation Army for their work in the communities throughout the pandemic.  Cargo Express, TCI Distributors, and the TCHTA Community Staples committee were also awarded for the accomplishments of the feeding program held last year.  

Hon Matthew Stubbs was in attendance as shadow Minister to the Minister of Tourism, Hon Josephine Connolly, who gave the keynote address and joined in the presentation of the awards. Mr. Jeff Morgan, General Manager at The Palms, delivered the welcome address.   Ms. Sonia Simmons, TCHTA Communications Manager, was Mistress of Ceremonies.

Press Release: TCHTA

Caribbean News

Rich Nations told to pay for Climate Change, Mia Mottley bring another charged speech to World Leaders



By Shanieka Smith

Features Writer


#Barbados, June 25, 2022 – Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, unapologetically laid the blame for the climate crisis on wealthy nations.  She said it is long past time for them to compensate countries undergoing the effects of climate change.  Motley expressed her thoughts and made the request in New York, where she joined a panel on sustainable development at the Global Citizen NOW summit with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Bill Nye.

“We’ve been carrying the costs on our balance sheet of your behaviour…”We’re not asking for the world.  We’re saying:  Look, put some money down and help us,” she said.

Barbados is battling rising sea levels, which threaten the water supply and encroach on coastal communities.  The World Health Organization has also warned that sea-level rise and changing weather could put immense pressure on freshwater resources.  However, this has not been a result of Barbados, which accounted for less than 0.01 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions in 2020.

Mottley expressed that the reason for the issues of climate change is the G20 nations, including the US, UK, China, Russia and the EU.  The countries that have released the vast majority of the emissions heating the planet.

“That’s what”s put us in this position,” she said.

To emphasize the effects of climate change on the island, she added, “Can you imagine going to a restaurant next to a place full of sargassum seaweed smelling?”  “You’re not gonna go!”

Meanwhile, the heavy polluters are better equipped to deal with the consequences of climate change, and smaller developing nations in the Caribbean are forced to battle climate extremes with very few resources.

“It would be not so bad if we had 25, 30 years to adapt.  Instead, we’ve got 12-13 years, according to everyone,” she said.  This is approximately 144 months.

Motley said that mitigating the issue is not simple and that it comes with obstacles like Covid-19 and Russia-Ukraine. She said, however, that we have to “push past the pain.”

She added, “the issue is, will we get there fast enough to save those of us on the front line?”

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138 illegals add to the over 900 migrants captured by TCI Joint Forces




#TurksandCaicos, June 25, 2022 – RTCIPF Marine Operations Centre and partners continue to work together to protect our borders and keep TCI secure.

During the evening of Wednesday 22nd June 2022 the RTCIPF Marine Operations Centre identified a target of interest and immediately started to track the vessel around 5 miles North West of Providenciales travelling at around 7 knots.

The operator immediately updated colleagues within the Royal Turks and Caicos Marine Branch who made their way to the location and intercepted a vessel containing irregular migrants. Following a delicate, coordinated operation with the necessary stabilization of the vessel which was unsafe, severely overcrowded and the occupants were without life vests, the RTCIPF Marine Unit was joined by a second RTCIPF Marine crew and a third vessel crewed with TCI Regiment to support the delicate operation.

The vessel was carefully offloaded at sea to ensure the safety of the occupants and then the boat was towed to South Dock where it arrived around 4:45am with a total of 138 persons, 98 males and 40 female including 1 juvenile, who were then taken into custody by the Immigration Department. One male needed immediate medical attention in relation to a leg injury sustained.

Superintendent Martyn Ball said, “Again working with partners we have safely intercepted another vessel that was desperately overcrowded, unsafe and risked the lives of those on board. It continues to demonstrate the professionalism and dedication of the RTCIPF Marine Unit, working together with colleagues in the Marine Operations Centre, TCI Regiment, TCI Immigration and Health to save lives and keep our borders here in the Turks and Caicos Islands safe.

In the last couple of months over 900 individuals on 9 dangerous and unseaworthy vessels have been intercepted here in the TCI.

I would appeal to anyone if you have any information relating to such activity that you call CrimeStoppers free and anonymously on 1-800-8477, not only will you be saving lives but also supporting our national security here in the Turks and Caicos Islands.”



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International joint forces seize $99 Million in Cocaine in Caribbean Sea



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


The US Coast Guard, and ships from the Netherlands made drug busts in the Caribbean Sea over the last few weeks resulting in a cumulative seizure of 5,237 pounds of cocaine.  The Coast Guard says the illegal narcotics which were offloaded at Base Miami Beach last Friday value $99 million.

The drugs were seized in the international waters of the Caribbean Sea by crews from: Coast Guard Cutter Donald Horsley, His Netherlands Majesty’s Ship Friesland, His Netherlands Majesty’s Ship Groningen.

Coast Guard Commanding officer of the Thetis, which transferred the drugs to the base in Miami, Justin Nadolny praised the partnership between themselves and the Netherlands which led to the massive seizure.

“Interdicting drug traffickers on the open ocean is challenging work and every interdiction is complex and unique,” he said. “This offload is a testament to the teamwork and devotion of every crew assigned to carry out this mission, and it showcases the strength of the valuable international partnerships united to combat transnational organized crime.  The fight against drug cartels in the Caribbean Sea requires unity of effort in all phases from detection, monitoring, and interdictions, to criminal prosecutions by international partners and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in districts across the nation.”
The Turks and Caicos also have an agreement with the US Coast Guard signed in recent months which allows for tighter partnerships between the two countries (and the Bahamas) in the fight against illegal migration and drug trafficking in the county’s waters.

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