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TURKS & CAICOS GOVERNOR’S RESPONSE TO ABC NEWS INTERVIEW

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The Turks and Caicos Islands values its warm relationship with the United States and
welcomes over 1 million visitors each year. Our countries have close ties and work in
strong partnership to tackle shared threats in the region.
In the spirit of respect for this relationship, the Hon. Premier and I received a US
Congressional Delegation to listen to their concerns about five US Nationals charged and
on bail for the possession of ammunition offences. US Congressman Guy
Reschenthaler’s commentary on ABC news following the meeting is highly regrettable.
His characterisation of our meeting is not one we recognise. Our discussions were
professional and respectful with a focus on clarifying the legal position and the well-being
of the individuals.

A mandatory minimum sentence of 12-years and a fine for possession of firearms and/or
ammunition is in place to serve and protect all who reside and visit the Turks and Caicos
Islands. The law provides discretion in exceptional circumstances for the judge to impose
a reduced custodial sentence less than the 12-years and a fine that is fair and just for
each case. To date, no US National has received the mandatory minimum sentence of
12-years.

We do not target US Nationals and any statements to the contrary are without merit. Our
independent justice system upholds the rights and freedoms of all individuals, regardless
of nationality, whilst maintaining the security and integrity of our Islands. All five US
Nationals are on bail with reporting conditions and are receiving US consular support.
Three have pled guilty and two will enter their pleas within the next two weeks.
Like the United States, we have a constitutional separation of the executive and judicial
branches. There is no remit for the Turks and Caicos Islands Executive nor the UK
Government to intervene or comment on ongoing legal cases before the courts.

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Law enforcement agencies apply professional standard operating procedures for
processing matters through the legal system and will investigate any concerns where it is
felt standards were not met. There have been no United Nations sanctions against His
Majesty’s Prison Grand Turk. A February 2024 Turks and Caicos Islands Human Rights
Commission report was positive with no findings against prisoner conditions.
I appreciate the Congressman is concerned for his constituent, but the situation calls for
respectful dialogue that guards against misrepresentation. It is important there is respect
for due process and for public servants to perform their duties without fear or compromise.
The rule of law is paramount and all are equal before the law.
The Turks and Caicos Islands continues to welcome all visitors to enjoy our Beautiful by
Nature Islands.

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Education

NATIONAL PRIMARY SCHOOL SPELLING BEE RESULTS

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Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, 14th June 2024 – Sponsored by F Chambers and Islands Printing, and in conjunction with the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, on June 4, 2024 saw a keenly contested Primary Schools Spelling Bee.

After an intense competition, we are thrilled that Marbelli Costillo of these amazing sixteen (16) spellers emerged victorious as the top speller. Marbelli represented Provo Christian School. We are extremely proud of each and every one of the spellers who showcased their exceptional spelling skills and represented their schools with excellence.

To the spellers we can say that your hard work, determination, and dedication have truly paid off. Your commitment to learning and your passion for language have set you apart as outstanding spellers and students.

Congratulations once again to all the participants. Keep reaching for the stars and never stop exploring the power of words!

Sixteen (16) spellers from across the country competed for the coveted title of Champion Speller, they included:

Adelaide Oemler Primary: Amber Gonzales and Coach Stafford Salmon

Alpha Christian Academy: Elaynie Regis and Coach Heather Robertson

B.E.S.T. Institute: Sydney Kay Brisbane and Coach Tanisha Rigby

C Hubert James Primary: Tivon Wright and Coach Uldean Harris-Wright

Community Christian Academy: Khamora Coalbrooke and Coach Glenda Jones

Eliza Simons Primary: Kevaun Lamoy Lewis and Coach Althia Rocke

Enid Capron Primary: Herifer Fermin and Coach Elizabeth Vandenburg

Ianthe Pratt Primary: Karessa Wynter and Coach Daniela Carroll

Iris Stubbs Primary:  Hernadgeka Pierre and Coach Debrica Davids-Beckford  
International School of the TCI: Lola Jimenez and Coach Iman Rudi-Bonotti

Ona Glinton Primary: Malachi Warlock and Coach Jacqueline Henry

Oseta Jolly Primary: Edley Charles and Coach Tevyon Lewis

Precious Treasures International School: Jaden James and Coach Monique Fletcher

Provo Christian Academy: Marbelli Castillo and Coach Terry-Ann Roberts

Richmond Hill Preparatory: Dabria Thomas and Coach Veranick Burrick-Sinclair

Shining Stars Preparatory: Danae Leslie and Coach Aldith Campbell

The top Three winners were

Winner  Marbelli Castillo, Provo Christian School

1st Runner Up Jaden James, Precious Treasures International School

2nd Runner Up Lola Jimenez, International School of the Turks & Caicos

The following prizes were sponsored by Sponsors F Chambers, Island Printing & TCI Paint

Grand Prize/Winner: MacBook Air

1st Runner Up Prize: Apple iPad Mini

2nd Runner Up Prize: Apple iPad Mini

Top 7 of final 10: Asus Memo Tablet

Remaining Participants: $50 gift certificates

Complimentary Trophies for everyone

The Champion Coach received a Lenovo laptop sponsored by the Department of Education

A special thank you is extended to all volunteers who helped to make the competition a success:

CHAIRPERSON Ms Jacqueline Henry

SCORERS Ms Evadne Williams and Mr David Bowen

JUDGES Mrs Claudette Dean, Pastor Pedro S Williams and Mrs. Latoya Skippings

PRONOUNCERS Ms Shelaine Been and Ms. Kawanza Morley

TIMEKEEPER  Mr. Jermaine Fulford

Profound thank you is extended to Ms. Tanya Swann, Director of Sales and her team of Groups and Conventions at Beaches Turks and Caicos for coordinating the hosting of the event at the resort and providing complimentary snacks.

Commenting as Lead Sponsor: Mark Fulford Managing Partner of F Chambers said “It’s good to see a growing participation in the TCI National Spelling Bee. This year we saw 16 schools compete and the energy and healthy spirit of competition grew as well. As sponsors we will continue to work with the Ministry of Education to raise the caliber of this prestigious event. It is always a pleasure to give back and we salute our corporate friends at TCI Paint who joined hands with us again to make all the donations a reality. Congratulations to the 2024 winner……and all the participants on a Job well done. It is evident that a lot of work was put in and simply making it to the National Spelling Bee deserves recognition.”

Minister of Education, Hon. Rachel Taylor extended congratulation to all sixteen (16) schools who participated in this year’s National Spelling Bee. They are all winners and have represented their schools well! Special commendation to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners whose efforts have aided in their victory. Through this event, our young spellers experience the joy of learning new words, understanding their pronunciation and meanings, enhancing their spelling skills, and enriching their vocabulary. I extend my heartfelt congratulations to the brave young ladies and gentlemen chosen to represent their schools. I also express sincere gratitude to the teachers, members of the Education Department led by Mrs. Sarah Kennedy and our private partners for their dedication to the success of this event. My Ministry views these events as crucial for the overall development of our children.

The Ministry and Department of Education event coordinator, Mrs. Sarah Kennedy commended the participants for not only demonstrating their spelling prowess but also their ability to handle pressure with grace. “We applaud your achievements and the dedication you have shown to honing your spelling skills. Each one of you is a shining example of the values we hold dear for the future for our beautiful by nature islands”.

She also expressed heartfelt gratitude to the coaches and parents who have provided guidance, support, and encouragement to our spellers throughout their preparation for this competition. Your unwavering belief in their abilities has played a vital role in their success.

Turks and Caicos Islands National Primary School Spelling Bee continues to promote success  and again we say thanks to the sponsorship of the leading corporate sponsors, F Chambers and Island Printing, TCI Paint, FLOW, Radio Turks & Caicos and Beaches Turks & Caicos.

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News

Life Sentence for “Mad Max”

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#TurksandCaicos, June 18, 2024 – KENDALL RONDRE DEAN has been sentenced to LIFE IMPRISONMENT for the murder of JOSHUA SWANN.  Mr. Dean, also known as “Maddie,” “Mad Max,” and “Dre,” was sentenced on June 10th, 2024, to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 30 years.

A nine-member jury found Mr. Dean guilty on April 22nd in the Grand Turk Supreme Court.  Based on the evidence presented, Mr. SWANN of Five Cays was shot multiple times about the body on Sunday, August 8th, 2021, while at North West Point in Providenciales.

Mr. Swann was transported to the Cheshire Hall Medical Center, where he succumbed to his injuries.  Detectives of the Serious Crimes Unit (SCU) received a report, and following intensive investigations and interviews, Mr. Dean was arrested and subsequently charged.

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News

Two Robbery Matters called at June Sufficiency Hearings

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Wilkie Arthur

Eagle Legal News Media

 

 

#TurksandCaicos, June 18, 2024 – He’s 53 years old and from the nation’s capital of Grand Turk, Turks, and Caicos Islands.

He appeared before her Ladyship, the Hon Chief Justice Mrs. Mable Agyemang on Friday 10th June charged with Robbery.

At the Sufficiency Hearing (SH) proceedings, his attorney, Mr. Ashwood Forbes, a senior defense counsel, quite rightly did not challenge the sufficiency of the evidence against his client, and the matter proceeded to trial by orders of the Chief Justice.

The accused ANTHONY FRANKLIN SEYMOUR, aka Tony, remained on remand at the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation on Grand Turk.

FRANDY MERONE of Providenciales is also charged with Robbery and other offenses. His sufficiency proceedings were adjourned to the next sufficiency of July 4, 2024. The reason this man’s matter could not proceed was that he was not represented at the hearing. This is due to the fact that he had just applied for legal aid the day before the SH.

The Chief Justice was not pleased with what she had heard from the accused, and she did attempt – twice – to proceed with the matter as it was MERONE’S fault he did not have an attorney.

The CJ eventually granted the adjournment to the next sufficiency hearing proceedings in July.

The defendant will be joined by his co-accused, at the hearing in July through video link from His Majesty’s Prison.

MERONE is on bail, but his co-accused is in prison as he was unable to find anyone to sign his $7,500.00 bail, offered by the learned Chief Magistrate Mr. Jolyon Hatmin, when the matter was transferred to the Supreme Court.

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