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Budget Allocation is $16 Million for Minister Kyle Knowles

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Deandrea Hamilton and Dana Malcolm
Editorial Staff

It is a brand new minister heading a somewhat new ministry and when Kyle Knowles, the member from Wheeland made his debut as a front bencher during the recently concluded Budget session in the House of Assembly, he announced his mission in a ministerial statement under the theme: “Forging Ahead: Building A Stronger, More Sustainable Ministry.”

There are seven departments within the newly minted, Public Safety and Utilities and the allocation for tops $16 Million for areas, listed by Minister Knowles as: Water Undertaking; Customer and Government Information Services; Postal Services; Correctional Services; Domestic Fire and Rescue; Energy and Utilities and Rehabilitation and Community Services.

The minister announced his spending priorities and on the table is an $850,000 allocation for the completion of the Halfway House in Providenciales; another $300,000 is allocated for the Community Enhancement Program to assist rehabilitation efforts and community projects, while $613,763 will go to the establishment of the Multi-Sector Regulatory agency.

“The Ministry’s mandate is an important and critical one and I pledge my full support to ensuring that we continue with renewed momentum and zeal to deliver for the people of these islands.

Mr. Speaker, my Ministry’s mission is to consistently excel in service delivery, produce high quality products, enhance customer service experiences and uphold the highest standards of excellence and accountability, while safeguarding the well-being, safety and security of the citizens of the Turks and Caicos Islands,” said Minister Knowles.

An electronic monitoring system, to the tune of $384,900 was allocated for the Parole Board and  $1,615,420  is earmarked for enhancing security across the prison, bringing increased training and staffing resources and broadening of the farm activities at His Majesty’s Prison, also known as the Department of Correctional Services.
A common criticism of ministries of government is their inability to spend the funds allocated, funds which are often announced as necessary to advance development of the society. Minister Kyle Knowles reported on last year’s performance where there was a shortfall in spending.

“Mr. Speaker, as a brief recap of the Ministry’s 2023/2024 performance, total actual revenue for the Ministry was 1.85 million dollars ($1,852,199.40) against an projected 2.35 million dollars ($2,352,025.98). While this was a shortfall of twenty-one percent (21%), this was due to external factors – a planned grant from Expertise France for the RESEMBID programme was not implemented.

The operational performance for 2023/2024 saw the achievement of ninety-five (95%) of the revised estimates being spent. Total expenditure was 13.24 million dollars ($13,237,019.75) against the projected 13.92 million dollars ($13,922,059.92).”

Still he seemed pleased that projects, namely: Construction and renovation of structures for Water Undertaking; Construction and renovation of structures for the Department of Correctional Services and Purchase of plant and heavy machinery for Water Undertaking were on the previous fiscal period’s agenda, adding that most program strategies were completed with a focus ramping up the ministry’s performance.

“As I deliver remarks in this new capacity, I accept the mantle and carry it forward, building on the foundation and accomplishments of the former Minister and his executive team.
It would be remiss of me, if I did not pause to express gratitude to the Minister for Home Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunications Commission and in that same vein to thank the Executive Team of my Ministry, led by Permanent Secretary Mrs. Bridgette Newman, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ms. Teann Thomas, Head of Secretariat Ms. Shanetta Thompson, all Heads of Departments and support staff for the warm welcome I have received and I look forward to building on the Ministry’s successes as together we chart the way forward.”

TCI News

Orlando Mother Remanded for Bullet possession in Turks and Caicos

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Wilkie Arthur and Deandrea Hamilton 

Editorial staff

 

Remanded until July, but her attorney Leanna Brooks-Campbell is likely to make application for bail as the matter is now transfered to the Supreme Court.

American tourist from Orlando, Florida Shanita Shinee Grier, 45, who was arrested Monday, after two bullets were allegedly found in her baggage is the newest defendant facing the stiff penalties associated with breaching the Turks & Caicos Firearms Ordinance.

Grier was exiting TCI at the Providenciales International Airport with her daughter when the ammunition was detected, ending her Mother’s Day trip to the islands on an unexpectedly sour note.

Today, the chief magistrate remanded her to prison until July 5, 2024, however that can change.

She is facing charges of unlawful possession of ammunition; a crime punishable with a minimum 12 year sentence except in the case of a judge ruling that the case falls in the category of “exceptional.”

Then, and only then would it warrant a different sentence by a judge.

Support for the Floridian was impressive; Bryan Hagerich and Ryan Watson and their relatives filled the Magistrate’s Court on Old Airport Road informs Court Correspondent, Wilkie Arthur.

It was a show of patriotic solidarity on an issue which has elicited emotive views on all sides for Americans who are hoping to prove they were tourists on holiday and nothing more.

Bryan Hagerich of Pennsylvanian and Ryan Watson of Oklahoma also charged in two separate instances for being in possession of ammunition while wrapping up their TCI vacations in April and May respectively.

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InvestTCI facilitates the Development Agreement Between TCIG and Molo Hotel Group 

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Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – May 14th, 2024 – The Turks and Caicos Islands Government and Molo Hotel Group reached a pivotal juncture on Monday, May 13th, 2024, with the ceremonial signing of a development agreement at the Premier’s Office on Providenciales. The agreement, which received official Cabinet approval on March 13th, 2024, signifies a steadfast commitment to advancing the economic landscape of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Molo Hotel Group is a family-owned business, renowned for its distinguished portfolio of high-quality hotels worldwide. The development initiative encompasses the construction of three distinct IHG branded hotels: InterContinental Turks and Caicos, Kimpton Turks and Caicos and Hotel Indigo Turks and Caicos. Scheduled for completion by 2027, each resort boasts a distinctive design from luxury to laidback sophistication spanning across the shores of Grace Bay Beach.

Kimpton Turks and Caicos – an epitome of luxury lifestyle living, will feature 192 guest rooms including three outdoor pools, a luxury spa and a fitness center. Additionally, seven dining options ranging from a beachfront restaurant to a rooftop bar.

Adjacent to the Kimpton, InterContinental Turks and Caicos will offer 59 classic luxury suites with panoramic ocean views. Mirroring its counterpart, this resort will offer an array of dining options and upscale facilities.

Steps away from the Intercontinental and Kimpton resorts, Hotel Indigo Turks and Caicos will embrace a sense of community and contemporary elegance, offering 56 bedrooms. The resort will feature an onsite restaurant, lobby bar, outdoor pool, and fitness room.

Beyond the realm of hospitality, this development agreement underscores the government’s commitment to fostering economic growth and enhancing employment opportunities in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Molo is partnering with the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College (TCICC) to actively promote hospitality as a career choice and support in developing training programs, career fairs, seminars, workshops, and events to raise awareness about hospitality careers. Molo has committed to provide employment and apprentice opportunities to TCICC students and provide mentoring and practical on property training to students.

The signing event was graced by Hon. Charles Washington Missick, Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Hon. Jamell Robinson, Deputy Premier, Hon. Kyle Knowles, Minister of Public Safety and Utilities, Hon. Rachel Taylor, Minister of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture, Łukasz and Marcin Slominski, Owners of Molo, Ross Morrow, Managing Director Molo, Arik Kono, Vice President Upscale Development for IHG, Dr. Candice Williams, President and CEO of the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College, Angela Musgrove, InvestTCI CEO, Dr. Barbara Ambrister, Chairperson of the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College, Dr. Delores Stapleton- Harris, Vice President of Academic, Vocational and Student Affairs for the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College, Mr. Kevin Baxter, Dean of Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET) and Sheryl McLaughlin, InvestTCI Investment Services Executive.

Commenting on the development agreement, Premier, Hon. Misick, stated “The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing of IHG/Molo Hotels is a significant step towards a sustainable future for hospitality in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Three hotels, Kimpton, Intercontinental, and Hotel Indigo, will be introduced, enhancing our tourism product and creating employment opportunities.”

He further added, “Partnerships with the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College and Turks and Caicos Islands Sports Commission are underway, demonstrating the Government’s commitment to developing human capital and elevating tourism offerings. This project will bring economic growth, embrace local talent, and enrich our economy.”

Additionally, Mrs. Angela Musgrove, CEO of Invest Turks and Caicos Islands, emphasized “This collaboration confirms our commitment to fostering economic growth and prosperity within our country. We have worked closely with Molo Hotel Group, and we are confident that this transformative project will further position the Turks and Caicos Islands as a premier destination for travel and investment. Much to our delight, it will also provide opportunities for engagement with our Community College and small business community.”

The Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands, operating through its primary Investment Promotion

Agency, Invest Turks and Caicos Islands, remains committed to attracting and facilitating Foreign Direct Investments to the country by providing a comprehensive suite of services. Through strategic initiatives and targeted promotion, the agency catalyzes sustainable development, driving innovation and small business opportunities across various sectors of the economy.

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TCI News

AMERICAN MOTHER AND DAUGHTER ALLEGEDLY ARRESTED FOR TWO BULLETS

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Deandrea Hamilton and Wilkie Arthur

Editorial Staff

 

A DAUGHTER reportedly brought her mother to the Turks and Caicos for Mother’s Day, and both were allegedly arrested, leaving the Turks and Caicos Islands today (Monday 13th, May,2024).

Officials say they were found with two rounds of ammunition in their luggage.

Police have confirmed the arrest to Magnetic Media after inquiries.

Turks & Caicos residents are already reacting to this latest report, “dumbfounded” by the mistake which keeps being repeated despite all of the high profile attention the matter has received in leading news organizations and the warning the US Embassy has issued. There is also the well publicized stance of the TCI Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions that these individuals must be punished according to the law.

In this newest case, the daughter was released, and the mother remains in police custody pending charge and court appearance later this week.

Police inform they will update soon.

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