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“Enormous” problem Curtailing Crime says Premier as TCI mourns murder of Alpheus Gardiner

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#TurksandCaicos, October 19, 2021 – It was important that the Premier spoke in a National Address on Saturday (October 16) about the very dark trend of the previous four days; two men, shot and robbed in broad daylight in parking lots in Providenciales by culprits who were masked, armed and trigger happy; the first man survived, the second man did not.

“Today, I feel compelled to come to you to bring you expressions of condolences.  To the family to Alpheus Gardiner and indeed to all families who have been victims of crime, but especially murder and other violent crimes.  This senseless loss of life must stop and it is my Government’s intention to ensure that it does.  Alpheus Gardiner was a personal friend, he was also a teacher and spent many years as a Permanent Secretary.  In short, he has made tremendous contributions to the life and progress of the people of these Turks and Caicos Islands,” said Washington Misick, Turks and Caicos Premier in a live social media broadcast from his Providenciales office.

He called Mr. Gardiner a personal friend who even in his retirement remained active in Turks and Caicos life.

“Mr. Gardiner a career public servant who dedicated over 40 years of service to the public service and people of the Turks and Caicos Islands, joined the public service in 1971 as a Teacher at the Bottle Creek Primary School.

In 1977 he was promoted to the post of Principal of the Bottle Creek Primary School and in 1979 was appointed to the post of Primary School Advisor (Education Officer); a post he held for 3 years before being promoted to the post of Director of Sports in 1982.

In 1992 Mr. Gardiner was promoted to the post of Permanent Secretary within the Ministry of Health and Social Security; a post he held for 3 years before being assigned to the Ministry of Police and Prisons in 1995; Works and Utilities in 1997; Health and Social Services in 1999; Communication, Tourism, Transport, Immigration, Labour and Civil Aviation in 2001 and Development, Investment and Tourism in the Office of the Chief Minister in 2003,” informed a Turks and Caicos Islands Government release on the passing of the retired official.

Alpheus Gardiner, 68, died fighting for his life at hospital.

Reports are that he was rushed to the Cheshire Hall Medical Center after being shot in the abdomen by two masked and armed assailants who fled the scene in his white truck.  The parking lot ambush happened around 10 a.m. on Thursday October 14, soon after Mr. Gardiner exited the Royal Jewels store at Arch Plaza on Leeward Highway.

The ambush and shooting of the prestigious retiree who resides in North Caicos, resulted in the country’s seventh homicide for 2021, and it took place mere yards away from the Office of the Premier.

TCIG also said: “In 2005 Mr. Gardiner rose to one of the highest ranks in the Turks and Caicos Islands Civil Service when he was appointed to the post of Establishment Secretary in the Office of the Chief Secretary which held the responsibility for the overall oversight and management of the public service of the Turks and Caicos Islands; a post he held for 2 years before his retirement in 2007.

In spite of officially retiring from the civil service in 2007, Mr. Gardiner continued to serve the public service and people of the Turks and Caicos Islands in various capacities since his retirement, having served as a Justice of the Peace, Notary Public and Presiding Justice on the island of North Caicos as well as a former member of: the North Caicos District Administration Board; the Turks and Caicos Islands National Insurance; Education Advisory and Tourist Board and the Turks and Caicos Islands Public Service Commission, an appointment he recently held until August 2021.”

It was a mortifying crime report, the family in desperation summoned help from the Community requesting donations of blood.  It was said scores of people showed up in support of the beloved North Caicos native.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like for you to remember him.  Reach out where possible to support his family at this very vulnerable time for them,” said Premier Misick.

The Turks and Caicos Premier was supported in the presentation by H.E. Anya Williams, Acting Governor and Kendall Grant, Acting Commissioner of Police.

“In what may be described as a crisis, I understand that it is human nature for you to expect your premier to fix things and fix it fast.  However, in a complex situation like the emerging pattern of violent opportunistic crime, familiar answers, and I am sure there are lots of them, might not work and could even be counter-productive; we have to allow the Police to do their job,” said Hon Misick in the address, “There is no off the shelf solution to the troubling challenges we face, with all the unknowns and uncertainties, we need to remind ourselves that we cannot change the past but we can and we should change how we perceive it and how we look to the future.  Given the totality of the dynamics, the problem is enormous and all 40 thousand plus of us will have to work together to overcome it.”

The Premier wrapped this train of thought in a package familiar to islanders, another request to support the Royal TCI Police investigators with information on this or any other crime.

“We are our brothers’ keeper and when we have information that will lead to the solution of crime we must make sure it ends up in the right hands.  But together we will get through this difficult period… My Fellow Turks and Caicos Islanders and Residents of this beautiful country, I am asking you to take care of each other and I am counting on you to do so.”

Residents who tuned into the national address said they expected more from the country’s leader, adding that he seems to be out of touch.

“It was a lot of mentioning of money, but there wasn’t any mention of the people of the islands getting help with these monies and that is what caused the death of this guy, day before yesterday was it and that is why the Filipino guy got shot. It was all about money. I will say it again, once money is on the streets, if the economy gets stimulated with money, you would not have none of this,” said a Providenciales man who believe another round of stimulus cash is overdue of the PNP Administration.

The first attack happened around 12:30 p.m. in the parking area of the Turtle Cove Marina, an employee of Mango Reef was shot.  His vehicle was also stolen and fortunately, Gary James, a pastry chef at the restaurant survived his ordeal.

The pattern is tremendously disconcerting.  No longer under the cover of darkness, but in the brilliance of the daylight, people are being targeted, perhaps even stalked and caught unawares by assailants who have demonstrated they have no regard for human life.

Though the head of Policing was in the room, the premier had no update on the suspects and no advice for residents.  There was no report on security activities which would take place in order to possibly prevent further attacks, there was however another pronouncement of the financial investments in the force in recruitment, training, equipment and facilities.

“Your government has been proactive; we’ve made huge investments in security infrastructure some of which you’ve heard about in the past.  Expansion to the police force strength from 320 to north of 350 (members); yesterday the 15th October., the (acting) Commissioner swore in five detectives from the United Kingdom, with another 10 detectives to be sworn in over the next 60 days and in addition, the RTCIPF is recruiting 18 local officers.  We are serious about fighting crime.”

The Premier credited the National Security nerve centre, inclusive of the National Security Council as being proactively engaged and driven to establishing a technologically advanced national security strategy and team.

“To demonstrate our seriousness in dealing with the matter, we intend to make Turks and Caicos one of the safest destinations I the world by leveraging our financial strength to do so.”

 

 

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Bahamas News

Bahamas and Germany Enter Agreement to Facilitate Direct Airlift

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#TheBahamas, December 4, 2021 – The governments of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, and of the Federal Republic of Germany entered into a technical bilateral Heads of Agreement aimed at fostering closer ties between both countries.  A central feature is an Air Traffic Agreement to facilitate direct flights from Germany to The Bahamas, which would in turn facilitate movement of goods and services, ease of direct shipment as opposed to going through a third country, among other things.

The HOA was signed during a ceremony at the Ministry of Works & Utilities on Tuesday, November 30, 2021.  The Hon Alfred Sears, who served as Acting Minister of Tourism, Investments & Aviation, and His Excellency Dr. Stefan Keil, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to The Bahamas signed the agreement.  Also present were: Permanent Secretary Reginald Saunders, Ministry of Tourism Investment & Aviation; Luther Smith, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works & Utilities; Bacchus Rolle, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Works & Utilities; Melanie Roach, Director of Public Works; and Carl Christian Illing, Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany, Bahamas.

Mr. Sears said it was a pleasure both countries entered into such an agreement, which he deemed would bring together, two peoples.

The Bahamas and Germany formed diplomatic ties in 1974 and have enjoyed successes in commercial enterprise, tourism and family ties as many Bahamians live in Germany.

“This relationship has been growing and this (agreement) represents the ease of travel, business and social interaction between our two countries,” Mr. Sears said, adding that Bahamians consume and use German products namely vehicles, pharmaceuticals and other items.

In other areas, Mr. Sears noted that The Bahamas is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world susceptible to effects of global warming. He thanked Germany for its role in the recent COP26 held in Glasgow, Scotland, during which that country pledged some twenty million Euros for disaster risk reduction initiatives.

He recalled Hurricane Dorian, which struck Abaco and Grand Bahama from September 1-3, 2019 and, as a result, residents in the path experienced storm surges 20 feet high, many lives were lost, clinics, other public buildings and infrastructure were damaged and/or destroyed, and The Bahamas lost a large portion of its GDP.

“The commitment of Germany resonates with us,” Mr. Sears said, “as we rebuild and build the infrastructure stronger.”

The minister shared the possibility of acquiring more vehicles from Germany, targeting more stopover visitors from there with projection of higher spend and enjoyment of more cultural activities.  Permanent Secretary Saunders supported this, by confirming that direct air travel is being facilitated through the agreement.

Ambassador Keil too acknowledged the close relationship between both countries, and that the technical agreement will further strengthen those ties.

 

By Lindsay Thompson

BIS

Photo Caption: Photos show Minister Sears and Ambassador Keil during the signing ceremony at the Ministry of Works & Utilities, November 30, 2021.

(BIS Photos/Yontalay Bowe)

 

 

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Caribbean News

DIGICEL+ GIVES CUSTOMERS THE GIFT OF MORE SPEED THIS CHRISTMAS

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The fastest internet just got even faster…for the same great price

 

Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – 1st, December 2021 –  Digicel+ is gifting The Turks and Caicos Islands faster home fibre speeds for Christmas, and beyond. Fulfilling the brand promise of Simply More (more power, more speed and more reliability), customers will now benefit from up to 2x faster download speeds on broadband and bundle plans.

This is all about a better experience for customers, and not about the cost. This free upgrade gives Digicel+ customers an even better home fibre internet experience, for anyone, on any device. And as part and parcel of the digital lifestyle, Digicel+ is the gateway to a Smart Life, which means that state-of-the-art Smart Solutions like Smart Homes and Smart Security are no longer just concepts, but a powerful reality.

Addison Stoddard CEO of Digicel TCI said, “This Christmas, we’re excited to reward customers with a super slick, superfast, super reliable home fibre experience, underpinned by service delivery that is, of course, second to none. Our entry-level plans are the fastest on the island and this puts us head and shoulders above any other internet offering in the country.”

The upgraded packages now start with download speeds of 50Mbps, and go up to 300Mbps for the speed demons and heavy gamers out there. This allows the Turks and Caicos Islands to connect to the global knowledge economy, have amazing entertainment options, and power their personal and professional experiences, thanks to these new superfast internet speeds.

Addison Stoddard continued, “It’s more of what our customers expect; more of what they want and it’s another way that we can be a part of our customers’ digital lives – at home, on the go, anywhere and everywhere. Simply put, Digicel+ is simply more.”

Over the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has solidified the importance of having a steady, powerful and reliable home internet connection, mainly due to many schools going online and parents working remotely. Now, with even faster internet speeds, customers get the best home fibre experience every time. This provides opportunities for MORE working, MORE schooling, MORE gaming, and MORE streaming with Digicel+.

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Bahamas News

Guys, Have 2 Minutes? Here’s How to Check Yourself for Testicular Cancer

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Testicular cancer is a rare form of cancer for men in The Bahamas.  It is highly curable — if you know it’s there!

 

November 30, 2021 – Men…how often do you perform a self-exam to check yourselves for testicular cancer?

While it’s a relatively rare form of cancer, young men aren’t exempt – in fact, testicular cancer occurs most often in young and middle-aged men. The good news is, it can usually be treated successfully.

The most common symptom of testicular cancer is a lump on your testicle. But that’s not the only sign of this disease.

Men who have testicular cancer may experience several different kinds of symptoms, says oncologist Timothy Gilligan, MD, a Medical Oncologist at Cleveland Clinic who specializes in treating testicular cancer.

Testicular cancer most frequently strikes men younger than age 44, and is the most commonly diagnosed cancer for men ages 15 to 34. It is almost always curable if found early, Dr. Gilligan says, and it is usually curable even when at a later stage. So it’s important to know signs and symptoms.

Here, Dr. Gilligan says, are five possible signs of testicular cancer you might not know about:

5 Testicular Cancer Symptoms That Aren’t a Lump  – Know what to look for and catch it early

  1. A feeling of heaviness or pressure in your scrotum.
  2. Change in testicle size or firmness.Certain types of testicular tumors can reduce testosterone or increase estrogen in the body, which can result in a change in testicle size or firmness.
  3. Swollen legs.When a tumor spreads to the lymph node, it can constrict blood flow in the veins and result in a blood clot. The clots often occur in the legs, which causes them to swell. You might even experience blood clot symptoms such as pain and difficulty breathing.
  4. Lower back pain and shortness of breath.These are symptoms of advanced testicular cancer, meaning the cancer has spread to lymph nodes behind your stomach. Shortness of breath also may signal that the cancer has spread to your lungs, which may make it harder for air to move in and out.
  5. Breast growth or tenderness.In rare cases, hormone changes also can cause breast tenderness or growth of breast tissue. Some tumors can secrete high levels of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), which stimulates breast development.

If you experience any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor right away, Dr. Gilligan says. If your physician diagnoses you with epididymitis or orchitis and the symptoms do not resolve quickly with antibiotics, request an ultrasound to evaluate for a testicular tumor.

“While up to 95 percent of men with testicular cancer are cured, it’s important to get care quickly if you’re experiencing symptoms because testicular cancers usually grow fast,” Dr. Gilligan says. “If there is disease, the earlier it is treated, the greater than chance for success.”

 

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