Criminal Assizes closes with no concrete solution to challenges

The curtains came down on the April 2018 Assizes last week Wednesday with only 14 matters completed out of the 136 that were listed for adjudication.

Timothy Williams – to be sentenced for Robbery with Violence

It was done during a special sitting of the high court held at the Grenada Trade Centre at Morne Rouge in Grand Anse, amidst an ongoing thrust by the authorities to find an adequate facility to house the nation’s high courts.

Approximately 3 months ago, court sittings were halted as judges and staff members were forced to evacuate the Cable & Wireless building on The Carenage in St. George’s amidst radiation concerns.

This brought a halt to a number of ongoing criminal and civil cases among them, the Kevin Mc Farlane trial, which was taking place before Justice Adrien Wayante-Roberts at High Court No. 5.

Mc Farlane was being tried on 2 counts of Rape, Indecent Assault and Kidnapping against an adult female from the sister isle of Carriacou.

The jury was dismissed by Guyanese-born judge Madam Justice Paula Gilford during a sitting at the Grenada Trade Centre (GTC), approximately 2 weeks ago, when the court, which has not had a sitting since the beginning of May, temporarily resumed operations to finalise a number of outstanding matters.

The Kevin Mc Farlane trial will be among the 108 matters that will be traversed to the September 2018 Assizes.

According to Crown Counsel in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Brendon La Touché, a total of 10 matters are pending sentencing in the upcoming assizes.

These include one involving the mentally disabled Dexter Slinger, who was charged with Non-Capital Murder for causing the July 2016 chopping death of 50-year-old Michael Bascombe who died after receiving a severe chop wound with a cutlass on the right side of his neck.

Murder accused Darren Maitland is also awaiting sentence for the January 2015 death of Leslie “Dutty Cup” Isaac, who died after receiving multiple stabs to his body during an altercation with Maitland and two others.

Maitland along with his younger brother Jacob Maitland and Kimon Charles, were initially slapped with the indictable charge, however, the state prosecution dropped the charge against them and Maitland was stuck with the charge.

Another matter up for sentencing is Timothy Williams, for crimes of Robbery with Violence.

In December 2017, Williams, who has been held as a remand prisoner at the Richmond Hill Prison since August 2016 for the alleged commission of crimes of s serious nature, had fell and broke one of his legs during a daring attempt to escape custody on the compound of the High Court in St George’s.

In recent times, sex and sex-related crimes, especially those committed against young girls have dominated the assizes list with there being 55 out of the 139 on the January assizes list, compared to the 62 sex-related cases, out of 167 that were on the October 2017 assizes list.The island’s newly installed acting Commissioner of Police (CoP)

Edvin Martin recently announced his intention to form a “specialised sexual unit,” as part of a new thrust towards the modernisation of the force and its operations.

In commenting on the development, La Touché, told THE NEW TODAY last week Friday that such a move is “a step in the right direction to help curb the prevalence of these types of offences (sex-related).

“It means (that) we will have a dedicated unit charged with dealing with these types of offences – so, it’s a positive,” he declared.

Greater police involvement in tourism sector

Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation, Dr. Clarice Modeste-Curwen met with recently appointed Ag. Commissioner of Police, Edvin Martin to discuss the further strengthening of the relationship between the tourism sector and the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF).

Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Hon. Clarice Modeste Curwen and Acting Commissioner of Police Edvin Martin

The meeting took place last Friday at the Minister’s Office at the Ministerial Complex and was also attended by Advisor in the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Brenda Hood and Product Development & Research Manager of the Grenada Tourism Authority, Kirl Grant-Hoschtialek.

Areas discussed for improvement were the traffic congestion within the town of St. George especially when cruise ships are in port and strategies for the prevention of harassment and petty crime.Minister Modeste-Curwen and Ag. Commissioner Martin agreed to work closer together to find a holistic solution to existing and future challenges within the sector.

In addition, consideration was given to the enhancement of security mechanisms for the tourism industry, including the improvement of response times and increased capacity to properly secure tourism assets.

Ag. Commissioner Martin stated that improved synergies between the Police and private security “is crucial to better protect our attractions and other areas of interest, especially the Market Square and beaches”.

During the meeting Minister Modeste-Curwen told the island’s chef cop that “Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean is renowned as a safe and enjoyable destination”.

“We need to work more closely with the Police Force to maintain our unique selling proposition of a peaceful nation with naturally warm and hospitable people”, the female government minister was quoted as saying.

Over 700 graduates bid goodbye to TAMCC

The 2018 graduation ceremony of the T.A. Marryshow Community College (TAMCC) for the first time saw two valedictorians being recognised and two differently abled students receiving Associate degrees.

Valedictorians, Blossom Degale and Jahrel Stewart address fellow graduates of TAMCC

Valedictorians Blossom Degale, a Natural Science Student and Jahrel Stewart, an Information Technology Student, received a Grade Point Average of 3.94 and 3.95 respectively.

The graduation ceremony was held last Thursday at the National Cricket Stadium under the theme “Transforming the learning experience for Graduates to adopt and succeed in a disruptive world of Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship”.

The ceremony was noted for the distribution of certificates to 777 students – 622 Associate Degrees, 77 Technical Diplomas, 33 Certificates, and 45 Competency Based Certificates in 52 Programmes.

In addressing the graduates, Principal of the College, Dr. Jeffrey Britton expressed confidence that the future of Grenada and the world by extension are in good hands.

“When I reflect on the enormous contributions that they have made to our communities, I am optimistic about the future of our institution, our country and the global community”, he said.

“The class of 2018 is a reflection of the success of this generation, the shared values that this society needs, demonstrated in educational service, genuine concern for the environment…”, he added.

Dr. Britton went on: “Today we celebrate your success. You have experienced a period of challenges and growth of discovery and determination of intellectual inspiration that will serve you well in whatever endeavours you pursue”.

TAMCC and McMaster University have recently started an engagement partnership aimed at transforming the local college into a prestige institution in the region.

Director of Development at McMaster University, Paul Grossman was invited by the college to deliver the featured address to the 2018 graduates and he seized the opportunity to challenge the graduates to be different and amazing.

“This is a surely important time for T.A. Marryshow and also McMaster…but let’s be honest for a moment, what really matters here? Does it matter that another two colleges/universities have engaged in a partnership… none of this matters unless the advantages of this institutional changes impacts you – smart ambitious students in Grenada and of course in Canada”,
he said.

Paul Grossman – invited to deliver the key note address

Grossman labeled the students from both institutions as “partners in transformation of what’s happening here in TAMCC and at McMaster University…”

“For a moment, I would like you to close your eyes and imagine what it’s like to come to Canada from Grenada. When you leave yourself vulnerable to forces that are not only out of your control but very often unfamiliar to you, even if you’re trying to better your situation, make life better for yourself, for your family and loved ones, it can be a very tiring and lonely journey”, he said.

“As you the members of the T.A. Marryshow class of 2018 take your next steps, regardless of where you go or how you get there, be sure to carry with you the knowledge and confidence to inspire you, to not only overcome obstacles and challenges but to adversely seek them out.

You can pursue changes in changeable situations, you can work against the status quo and that way you can take the mantle of  leadership – be different and be amazing. You have the ability to make that change and that to me is why our institutions are partners,” he added.

Valedictorians Degale and Stewart gave a joint address to their fellow graduates, encouraging them to have futuristic thinking as they move on.

Degale said: “Regardless of (the) varying reasons for attending this college we must admit that having this institution as an option is a blessing. This is because many of our parents or guardians cannot afford to send us to universities of our choice after secondary school.

“This institution prevented a lot of our young minds from idling at home…At TAMCC we got a taste of college life…we are all sitting here today, ready to take the next step in our lives hoping that the midnight oil never runs out.”

Stewart chipped in: “We must not let our young mind become (scared) of the affairs of the unknown because the unknown is precisely what makes life more exciting. Although it’s wise that we make plans that would keep us on track, it is paramount that we realise the truth, none of us really knows what happens next, hence, we cannot forget to think and dream beyond other person’s expectations.”

Minister of State in the Ministry of Education with Responsibility for Tertiary Education, Skill Development & Educational Outreach, Pamela Moses delivered the charge to graduates advising them to rise to the challenges that they will face, in an effort to be able to take advantage of opportunities that will present itself.

TWO MURDERS IN FOUR DAYS!!!

by Nisha Paul

Tesday Mc Sween – charged for the murder of Khalid

Two of the nation’s youth had their lives cut short by acts of violence and the use of deadly weapons at different locations in St. George, within a four-day time span.

Dead are Khalid Griffith of Perdmontempts, St. David and 21-year-old Bradley Francis of the Grand Anse area in the south of the island.

Francis, the latest murder victim, met his unfortunate demise during the wee hours of Monday morning, after receiving a stab wound in his back and what appeared to be chop wounds on his right shoulders, in the vicinity of the Woburn Community Centre.

The incident occurred exactly 4 days after last week Wednesday’s stabbing to death of Griffith, who is the son of reigning Calypso Monarch Kelly “Rootsman Kelly” Clyne.

Griffith was found lying in a pool of blood on the ground somewhere in the vicinity of the Grand Anse Beach area, close to the popular Umbrellas Restaurant with multiple stab wounds to his neck and arm.

A 32-year-old Labourer from Birchgrove, St. Andrew, was charged with Non-Capital Murder in connection to the death of Griffith.

Khalid Griffith – was stabbed to death last week Wednesday night

Tesday Mc Sween, who was slapped with the indictable charge last week Friday, appeared unrepresented before Chief Magistrate Tamara Gill on Monday at the St. George’s No. 1 Magistrate’s Court in the city.

The murder suspect, who currently resides at Marian in St. George, found himself in trouble with the law after allegedly using a weapon, believed to be a knife to inflict the wounds on Griffith.

THE NEW TODAY understands that police officers who attended to the crime scene immediately took Griffith to the St. George’s General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

An autopsy concluded that he died from hypovolemic shock.

Sources told THE NEW TODAY that the murder suspect was taken into custody within two hours of the incident.

Rootsman Kelly – left distraught over the murder of his son

According to a source, officers at South St. George’s Police Station were able to get a description of the suspect and later that night spotted him in the Grand Anse area and took him into custody.

“I heard that the police were in a vehicle and just passed a man walking the road when one of the officers said that looked like the man we are looking for. The driver turned the vehicle around and blocked the road and when they approached the man he admitted on spot that he jook the man (Griffith) with a knife.

“The police asked him about the weapon and he told them that he threw it away.

The murder suspect, who has a recent conviction for Manslaughter, has been remanded to the Richmond Hill Prison until his next court appearance on August 10.

The death of 24-year-old Griffith comes weeks before his father takes the big stage to defend his Calypso Monarch title at the highly anticipated national Dimanche Gras competition.

The Calypsonian told reporters that his son’s sudden death has left his family devastated.

“When I went inside that room and saw my son lying down on that bed with blood and all the stab wounds, it’s just too much for me to bear… he was a good boy and spent the most time with me as a son even though I had a son before him, my eldest son didn’t grow up with me but Khalid, on the other hand stayed with me from a baby,” the bereaved father said.

Bradley Francis – the latest person to be stabbed to death on the island

Rootsman Kelly indicated that his son and the alleged perpetrator had a clash the Sunday before.

“So, apparently, he (murder suspect) came back to the beach yesterday evening and saw Khalid and stood in the dark and as he was walking along, decided to attack him and escape”, he said.

The reigning calypso monarch disclosed that approximately two-and-a-half years ago, a similar tragedy struck his family.

“I lost a member of my family through violence years ago – he was the same age as my son…and up to this day I didn’t get over that incident…and now my son suffered the same fate and this is really hard on all of us who knew him”, he told reporters.

“This has really taken a toll on me. I still can’t get myself to sleep or eat because I really wasn’t expecting that,” said Clyne, who is unsure whether this tragedy will have an impact on his ability to defend his crown on Dimanche Gras night.

Rootsman Kelly also said: “When we heard the news, I was really afraid for my mom who collapsed after hearing the news. So, this one hit the family really hard and especially at a time like now when I am supposed to be concentrating on defending my title”.

Meanwhile, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Christopher Nelson was still reviewing the police files on Wednesday in connection with the murder of Francis.

Information reaching THE NEW TODAY is that two teenagers, ages 17 and 18, were picked up by police on Monday in connection with the death.

Mr. Killa releases “Oil It”

Former national soca monarch, Hollice “Mr. Killa” Mapp, has released his first major song for the season “Oil it” on Tuesday.

Hollice “Mr. Killa” Mapp

The song has already been exposed to social media and attracting hundreds of thousands of views from live stage performances.

“Oil it” combines traditional Soca elements with the more globalised pulse of dancehall & EDM sounds.

This new mix signals Mr. Killa’s readiness to press hard into the global markets raising the profile of Grenada’s talent around the world.

The track was a product of exceptional teamwork, written by ‘Mr. Killa’ and produced by Fabrice Raquil.

Additional musical arrangements were done by Ransum Recordz and Mixed and Mastered by Monsta Entertainment Brooklyn NY.

The song is under the Eclectik Music/Unity Concept label.

Over the last two years, Mr. Killa has been focusing on diving deeper into his creative well, experimenting and producing ultra-modern music, while working with his ever-expanding network in the entertainment industry.

Over the next year, fans of Mr. Killa will be treated to a whole new side as he makes waves with music so fresh and unique that he is truly proving his capability as a musician who is able to lead in more than one genre worldwide.

WHAT CONTROVERSY?

By Gemma Raeburn-Baynes

NO controversy – just a great time for all celebrating the Spice Island.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony with Minister Cox

The “Spice Island Cultural Day Extravaganza” staged on July 21 at Vinet Park in Montreal was a celebration of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique and it was a massive success.

The event was developed and organised by members of the Grenadian community in Montreal in collaboration with the office of the Honorary Consul for Grenada in Quebec, Mr. Leonard Wharwood Jr. and the Grenada Nationals Association of Montreal Inc.

The aim was to showcase the music, culinary delights and other cultural offerings of the Spice Island at a well-organised summer festival.

And the more than 3,000 Montrealers that flocked to Vinet Park, which is located in Little Burgundy, the historical birthplace of Montreal’s Black community to enjoy and celebrate the delights of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique, was evidence of the grand success that was the event. Much to the satisfaction of our many sponsors, media partners and partner organisations.

More than 300 individuals participated as vendors, entertainers, including King Ajamu, Tallpree, KennyC and many others, chefs, models, masqueraders making Spice Island Cultural Day a point of reference for Grenadian-ness in Montreal as well as the potential of becoming a signature event in this the city of festivals.

Also several well-respected politicians and community leaders took time off to be present at the extravaganza adding to the prestige of the event. They included Mme Thibeault, who represented Montreal’s Mayor Valerie Plante, as well as Ambassador Derrick James, Consul General for Grenada in Canada, Mr. Leonard Wharwood Jr, Honorary Consul for Grenada in Quebec, Ms. Patricia Maher, CEO of the Grenada Tourism Authority and one of the main sponsors of the event and Dr. Myrna Lashley, Honorary Consul for Barbados in Montreal.

Grenada’s Minister of Youth, Sports, Culture and the Arts, Norland Cox was on hand to represent the Grenada Government and to present awards to six Grenadians in the Diaspora.

Given the overflow of positivity that surrounded the extravaganza from the planning stages, we the organisers were more than surprise to read about a so-called controversy surrounding the organising of Grenada Day here in Montreal.

There was no controversy as stated in your newspaper article of July 20.

As far as we know, in 2016, after attending a meeting held by the Honorary Consul for Grenada in Montreal to begin to establish a Grenada Day, Ms Florence Jones went rogue and registered

“Grenada Day” under her own name and her spouse, unknown to Honorary Consul Wharwood, thus the birth of Spice Island Cultural Day.

For the records: Spice Island Cultural Day Association of Quebec (SICDAQ) is a registered incorporated non-profit organisation founded in 2017 with the mission of promoting Grenadian culture through storytelling, literature, performing arts, music, food and entertainment to the greater Montreal area.

It has as its mandate to promote multiculturalism through art, spoken word and performing arts while contributing to entrepreneurial multiculturalism.

SICDAQ also brings a cultural balance to the fabric of Montreal. Its mandate is also to promote the Spice Island culture in Canada and strengthen the cultural and social understandings for present and future generations of Black and Caribbean Canadians.

The Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique community in Montreal, with an estimated population of 8000, has, and continues to form a longstanding, active and very integral part of the Caribbean and Black community of this very cosmopolitan city.

Our vision is an ongoing extravaganza of celebration showcasing the rich and very powerful ancestral traditions, history, culture, achievements and aspirations of the tri-island nation state of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.

Our mission, which was definitely accomplished in our inaugural event, was to showcase and celebrate Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique in all its glory and talents with inclusion, pride, innovation, creativity and grow the product over time to become a “go to” event for promoting Grenada to the world.

The Grenadian and Caribbean community’s growth in and contribution to Montreal, Quebec and Canada are evident and SICDAQ’s initiative seeks to enhance those contributions as well as work towards the development of our homeland of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.

Our aim is to work towards “lifting” our community and our native land with special focus on assisting our youth and encouraging their positive involvement in initiatives such as ours.

Our action deserves support since this is what makes a great community.

So in Montreal on Saturday, July 21, there was no controversy. Ask the thousands of Montrealers including our media partners, sponsors and government officials, both local and from Grenada who showed up and thoroughly enjoyed The “Spice Island Cultural Day Extravaganza”

(Gemma Raeburn-Baynes is the Public Relations Officer of Spice Island Cultural Group – Montreal, Quebec)

Editor’s Note: THE NEW TODAY was given the following transcript of a message allegedly sent by Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell to one of the two Grenadian factions in Montreal on the controversy. It reads as follows:

“I will arrange to come to Montreal to discuss with both groups to have a united front. I will be communicating with all concern the plans for my visit”.

How beneficial was the CARICOM leaders meeting?

This week, the Washington-based publication, Latin American Advisor, sought responses from me, and others considered knowledgeable on Caribbean affairs, to three questions regarding the recently-held CARICOM heads of government meeting in Jamaica.

For the benefit of readers of this column, I provide more detailed answers to the three questions here than I did to the Washington publication.

The first question posed was: what were the main accomplishments of the meeting? Undoubtedly, the main achievement of the meeting was a renewed commitment to making the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) more effective. After years of ‘pausing’ the implementation of the many national actions required to advance the single market, new life has been breathed into the process.

Significantly, the new Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, who has taken over lead responsibility for the CSME from her predecessor, Freundel Stuart, will hold monthly meetings with officials of the CARICOM Secretariat. This oversight by the Prime Minister will allow regular monitoring of progress and allow Ms. Mottley to consult directly with her colleague heads of government on removing bottlenecks to implementation which has long been a hindrance to advancing the economic integration process.

Additionally, a special meeting of the Heads of Government will be held in November to focus exclusively on the CSME. There is now a large body of reports from various sources, including the private sector, that can inform the meeting of leaders. There are many contentious issues to be faced. Overcoming the challenges will not be easy, but the willingness to dedicate a meeting to deal exclusively with the matter is a positive sign.

The second question posed by the Latin American Advisor was: what resulted from the presence of non-Caricom heads of state, Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel and Chilean President Sebastián Piñera, at the meeting?

Cuba and CARICOM countries have had a strong co-operative relationship since 1972 when four independent nations of CARICOM, defied the U.S. embargo to establish diplomatic relations with Cuba. Relations with Cuba were dominated by the leadership of the Castro brothers – Fidel and Raul – for the 46 years that followed. Therefore, it was important that CARICOM leaders and the new Cuban President had the opportunity to get the measure of each other and to understand whether there would be any divergence of policies by either side.

As it turned out, the meeting underscored the solidarity of Cuba and CARICOM, including CARICOM’s support for the lifting of the U.S. economic and financial embargo against Cuba. Leaders also agreed to increase trade and deepen economic relations.

With regard to Chile, Chilean President Sebastián Piñera has continued showing the interest in the Caribbean displayed by his predecessor in office, Michelle Bachelet. It was agreed that the CARICOM-Chile joint commission would be convened in Barbados to further cooperation on a range of issues of mutual interest, including a multidimensional approach to measuring poverty.

Chile is also interested in a free trade agreement with CARICOM which would be difficult but should not prevent agreement on a partial scope scheme. CARICOM needs to diversify its trading arrangements to break its vulnerability to a narrow group of countries.

Chile has shown willingness to help champion arguments for a change in rules that disqualify Caribbean countries from access to concessional financing from international financial institutions. In this context, President Piñera’ encounter with CARICOM heads was a very important development.

The final question was: what are the most critical issues currently facing the Caribbean, and do the region’s leaders have the right plans to tackle them?

The critical issues for the Caribbean are: unemployment, the damaging effects of climate change, high debt that limits their fiscal capacity for spending on social welfare and infrastructure; and an international environment that is unhelpful to their plight.

Over the last decade, in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis that originated in the U.S. and that spread globally, efforts to tackle these issues have largely been pursued at a national level. Regional collaboration was eased to one side, as beggar-thy-neighbour policies were implemented.

There will long be a debate on whether the failure to implement regional responses contributed to retarding growth in Caribbean countries and increasing their dependence on countries outside the region, and therefore, compromising their individual and collective independence.

In the event, many heads of government have privately indicated that the July meeting was one of the best in the last five years. New energy and interest were displayed, and significantly, while there was some argument that the ‘E’ in ‘CSME’ should be abandoned because it has no realistic possibility of accomplishment in the foreseeable future, many leaders insisted on its retention as a legitimate aspiration of the Caribbean people and, therefore, a necessary goal of Caribbean governments.

The ‘E’ in ‘CSME’ embraces the creation of a single ‘economy’, going beyond a single market. It would include a single currency, a single Central Bank, common financial legislation and regulation, restrictions on governments from printing money, limitations on incurring debt and constraints on careless spending of foreign reserves. It would also remove the necessity to change currencies to travel around the Caribbean and to pay for goods and services.

Indeed, what the ‘E’ in CSME would do is to replicate across CARICOM, the successful project by the countries of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) in establishing a single currency and deeper and supportive integration arrangements that have saved their individual states from greater economic hardship and facilitated movement of Caribbean people within their own region.

Steps are being taken to stay on the path to a single economy. They are baby steps such as completing work on a financial services agreement and an integrated capital market. But, they are nonetheless important steps, and they indicate that the meeting of heads of government, rather than being sidetracked by narrow national interests, appeared to have moved – albeit not leapt – to a more regional approach to dealing with the issues confronting them regionally and collectively.

It is important to note that, by its own choice, the Bahamas is not part of the CSME arrangements and many of the observations in this commentary do not apply to it.

(Sir Ronald Sanders is Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the U.S. and the OAS. The views expressed are his own)

FIU Investigating Financial Irregularities in Local Steelband

A leading and influential figure in the steelband movement is now formally under investigation by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) for alleged financial irregularities.

THE NEW TODAY understands from reliable sources that the person was interviewed on Friday by the FIU based on a formal complaint lodged against him by a steel orchaestra that he had headed for several years.

The source who spoke on condition that he was not identified said that the band brought a file to the FIU last Wednesday with certain information and the individual concerned was called in two days later to be interviewed.

He said that the FIU was expected to conduct another interview with the individual this week.

“The man is in serious trouble”, said the source.

Another senior member of the band involved confirmed to this newspaper that a file has been handed over to the FIU and the individual was called in to be questioned on certain financial dealings involving the band’s money.

The file was handed over after several behind the scene manoeuvres to reach a settlement on alleged misappropriation of the band’s funds.

THE NEW TODAY also understands that both the FIU and Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) might also be called in by government to investigate the use of funds given last year by the Spicemas Corporation (SMC) to build a stage for the holding of the 2017 panorama competition.

Government was forced to set up a two-man Commission of Inquiry after the show was called off at the last minute as the stage was not built.

According to a well-placed source newly appointed Culture Minister, Senator Nolan Cox “is determined to get to the bottom of the no stage issue”.

He said that the Minister is concerned about the fact that “the SMC paid in full for a stage in advance and no stage was given”.

Speculation is rife that an individual linked to a steelband on the outskirts of the city might be called in and questioned by the FIU and Police about the money.

Sen. Cox has also instructed the Grenada Steelband Association (GSA) to conduct an audit of its financial business in the last three years in light of the use of the annual subvention given to the body by government to facilitate the annual carnival season.

THE NEW TODAY also understands that all is not well within the local steelband movement and moves are afoot to form a rival organisation now under the Presidency of Jason Skeete.

The architects of the move are said to be two persons involved with Angel Harps Steel Orchaestra and Commancheros Steelband.

There are reports that the two individuals were unsuccessful in their attempts in February to file a no-confidence motion against the present executive.

A GSA member labelled the action of the two as “treason” but said that it failed as other band members refused to go along with “the plot”.

THE NEW TODAY understands that a lot of money are passing through the various steelbands on the island but with little financial accountability taking place.

EC$1 MILLION COCAINE BUST

Defense lawyers have managed to secure bail for three of the four drug suspects involved in the EC$1.1 million cocaine drug bust carried out on Hog Island over the weekend by members of the Drug Squad of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF).

Carriacou resident Kimei Richardson (in the navy blue hat), who was denied bail and Woburn man Craig Messiah, who was granted $200, 000 bail

The suspects are Woburn, St. George residents Clinton Brathwaite, Craig Messiah, and Abijah Davis, as well as Kimei Richardson, a 33 year-old Fisherman of Six Roads in Carriacou.

Brathwaite, Messiah, and Davis were granted bail Tuesday in the sum of $200, 000 when they appeared before Chief Magistrate Tamara Gill at the St. George’s No. 1 Magistrate’s Court.

The suspects are facing joint indictable charges of Possession and Trafficking of a Controlled Drug in connection to the discovery of 11.265 Kilograms of cocaine in a hole on Hog Island.

All four accused were represented in court by defense attorneys, Dr. Francis Alexis, QC and Anselm Clouden, whose bail application for Richardson was met with strong objection from the Police Prosecution team led by Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Godfrey Victor.

The senior officer told the court that Richardson had other matters of a similar nature pending before the Carriacou, St. David and Sauteurs Magistrate’s Courts and expressed concern that he will reoffend.

However, ASP Victor did not offer any objection for bail to be granted to the other co-accused persons.

He told the court that Richardson’s last drug conviction dates back to 2015, where he was fined $500, that his most recent drug offence took place a few days ago, in which the suspect is jointly charged with another individual.

The Chief Magistrate was informed that Richardson and the other individual are due to reappear before the Carriacou Magistrates’ Court on August 10 in connection with that offence.

Clinton Brathwaite (in blue long sleeve shirt) and Abijah Davis, were also nabbed for the drugs

However, Attorney Clouden charged that this information “ought not to be grounds to prejudice the bail application” for his client.

The attorney said, while Richardson has other matters pending before the court, he only has one of a similar nature.

After a rather lengthy application, which led to the matter being stood down for some time, Chief Magistrate Gill denied bail for Richardson and granted bail for the other drug-accused persons in the amount of $200, 000, with 2 sureties.

As part of their bail conditions, Messiah, Brathwaite and Davis were ordered to surrender all their travel documents to the court, request permission to leave the state and report to the South St. George Police Station every Monday and Friday.

The drug suspects are scheduled to reappear before the Chief Magistrate on September 21.

THE NEW TODAY understands that the Drug Squad had been engaged in constant surveillance of Richardson who has been under the radar for alleged drug dealing over the years.

A source said that it was this action on the part of the security forces that led them to Hog Island to nab the four suspects implicated in the latest major drug haul.

Brathwaite has been identified as a 25-year-old Fisherman, Messiah, a 34 year-old Painter and Davis, a 37-year-old Fisherman by profession.

 

NAWASA’s 15th annual CPEA Award Ceremony

For yet another year, the National Water and Sewerage Authority (NAWASA) has given back to its employees by awarding the students of its employees who were successful in the 2018 Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment (CPEA).

NAWASA’s 15th CPEA Award Ceremony saw nine students receiving assistance as they prepare for their years of secondary school.

The nine students who were awarded by NAWASA

The ceremony was held at NAWASA’s Board Room last Friday, in the presence of board members, parents and employees.

Bringing words of encouragement to the students was Chairman of the Board of Directors, Anthony Mac Leish who extolled the commitment of the state-run body to “endorse and promote initiatives that recognise academic achievement”.

“When we speak about honouring our employees for the sacrifices they make daily, this initiative is one of those that showcases this. We want our employees to know that we value you. We recognise your commitment beyond self and we appreciate your service to this tri-island state. NAWASA hopes that the token given today will assist parents and students in their preparation for the next stage of their educational journey…”, he said.

“To the awardees, we applaud you for your commitment to your studies which has paid off and NAWASA encourages you to work even harder as you move into secondary school and beyond.

You have made your parents, family and teachers and NAWASA extremely proud. As you move into the next stage of your learning course, I ask you to continue this journey, your educational journey, with a thirst for learning wherever this may take you, for it was once said ‘tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today’”, he added.

As NAWASA seeks to make the best individuals out of the nine students awarded this year, a motivational speaker was brought in to ensure that the awardees begin their first year of secondary school on the right note.

Varnesta Noel encouraged the awardees to envisage their career path now, so that they can be better prepared for achieving it.

She said, “You are not too young to start thinking about it. It starts right now, today, at Form One, you need to start thinking now what you really want to be and you need to go for it. So, ask yourself who am I, what do I want to be and seek guidance and how to become who you want to become.

“Now, does the sun ask itself, am I good, am I worthwhile, is there enough of me? No, it burns and it shines. Does the sun ask itself what does the moon think of me, how does Mars feel about me? No, it burns and it shines. Does the sun ask itself am I big as other suns in other galaxies? No, it burns and it shines. Just like the sun, be who you were created to be and you would set the world on fire.”

Representing the Ministry of Education at the event was Corporate Communications Officer, Daisy Hazzard, who told the awardees to make the best of their secondary school years.

“Your high school journey that you are about to embark on is going to be one of the most important periods of your life. No matter where you go for the rest of your life…even when you finish your secondary journey and you move on to college and you move on to university and you become doctors or plumbers or lawyers or whatever you will be, you will always remember your secondary years. They’re very, very important years because they lay the foundation for who you will become for the rest of your life,” she stated.

Over 100 students have been awarded thus far by NAWASA, through this initiative.