Defective AC unit forces workers to evacuate

Public officers were forced to evacuate the Ministerial Complex building which houses the Prime Minister’s office last week Thursday after smoke started pouring out from an air-conditioned unit.

Emergency response teams responded immediately after receiving a call about the incident shortly after 8.00 a.m.

According to reports reaching THE NEW TODAY, employees in the health and agriculture departments on the second floor of the building detected smoke inside the building and that some of them would have inhaled the bad fume coming from the air conditioning unit.

The employees immediately evacuated the building and the area was cordoned off for security purposes.

This newspaper learnt that the problem at the facility was caused due to a rubber in the air-conditioning unit that burnt out and that the bearings were rushing thus making a loud noise.

In a press release issued last week Friday, Parliamentary Secretary with responsibility for Information, Senator Winston Garraway confirmed the incident and congratulated employees for their swift response.

“Just about 8 o’clock yesterday morning, there was a smell of burning rubber coming from the second floor, precisely from the AC unit on the north end of that floor”, the Senator said, “It was smoke, and it could have been fire, and people got out”.

Officers attached to the Fire Department, the Service men for the AC Unit and the Electrical Engineers from the Electrical Unit of the Ministry of Works were called in and were able to ascertain that within that AC Unit there was a malfunction where the rubber encasement deteriorated and the smoke was as a result of melting rubber.

“They were able to at least shut it down and put all the measures in place to ensure that it wasn’t something more serious”, Garraway said.

In securing the Complex, other air conditioning units on the different floors were inspected. Workers, after being outside for about two hours, were then given the all clear to return to their desks.

Sen. Garraway said that the occurrence further underscored the need to have proper evacuation plans for the Ministerial Complex.

“We are just about to go into the Hurricane Season, and it could be any disaster, any hazard, and we must have a plan that is working, and to ensure people are safe and are protected,” he added.


Police clamping down on fraudulent sale of vehicles

The Royal Grenada Police Force is determined to clamp down on people who engage in the fraudulent sale of vehicles.

A Press Release issued by the Community Relations Department of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) warned persons who are involved in the sale of vehicles and pocketing the monies for their own personal consumption notwithstanding a bill of sale by the financial institution, that it is criminal offence to do so.

The release was issued against the backdrop of a recent increase in reports of persons borrowing monies from financial institutions to purchase vehicles, selling these vehicles and failing to pay back the financial institutions and to complete the process.

A source close to the RGPF related to THE NEW TODAY Newspaper one such incident.

The source who spoke on condition of not being identified said that an individual who resides at Darbeau, St. George’s obtained a loan from the Grenada Public Service Credit Union to purchase a car.

He said that the individual who had not finished paying back for the car loan then sold the vehicle to a barber for $13,000.00 in 2008.

Seven days later, the barber sold the car which is a Mazda Familiar, to another individual for $15,000.00.

This newspaper learnt that a Baliff who works on behalf of the Credit Union visited the third individual who had control of the car last month to have it reposed.

The source said the Baliff informed the individual who resides at Paraclete, St. Andrew’s that there is a bill of sale on the car that is in default.

“The RGPF is warning persons involved in this practice to desist immediately or face the legal consequences,” the release said.

Persons found guilty of such an offense can face as much as ten years imprisonment.


No boycott took place

Sir Carlyle Glean – served as the Fifth Head of State

Sir Carlyle Glean – served as the Fifth Head of State

Former Governor-General, Sir Carlye Glean did not boycott the May 7th ceremony held at the Trade Centre at Grand Anse to inaugurate his successor, Dr. Cecile La Grenade.

A report put out by another local weekly that is close to the government hinted that Sir Carlyle who was appointed to serve in the position by the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration, had snubbed the event.

However, a well-placed source told THE NEW TODAY newspaper that he was not invited by the State for the inauguration of Dr. La Grenade, the first female Governor-General on the island.

He said that an official on the Office of the Clerk of Parliament later called the former Governor-General and apologised to him for not sending out an official invitation to the swearing-in that was done by local high court judge, Margaret Price-Findley.

“I can assure you that Sir Caryle would have attended the ceremony if an invitation was sent to him. He is not that kind of a person. He is a real gentleman, one of the finest persons you can find in Grenada”, he remarked.

“ I checked out the story and found out that it was just a mere oversight by the Clerk of Parliament office and had nothing to do with Sir Caryle deciding to boycott or stay away from the ceremony for Dr. La Grenade. That is so far from the truth”, he said.

The new GG in her maiden address at the ceremony praised Sir Carlye and another former Governor-General, Sir Daniel Williams for the advice given to her about the job as Head of State.

No announcement has been made by government on the accommodation made for the new Governor-General in light of the fact that the official residence of the Governor-General has not been rebuilt since its destruction in 2004 by Hurricane Ivan.

Sir Carlyle was staying at rented premises in the south of the island that was being paid by the State.

Latest Book Publication launched at local hotel

Book signing

Book signing

Spa Director at ‘Heaven & Earth Spa’, at the Calabash hotel, Hazel (Sally) Dawson On May 13 launched her first Health and Wellness book.

Hazel, who now resides in Grenada, was thrilled of her long held ambition of publishing a compilation of valued health tips.

The book, which is intriguingly titled ‘It’s your Life – Life Choices & Life Advice,’ was unveiled at an event held at Calabash, Lance Aux Epines, St. George’s.

At the event, Hazel welcomed close friends and well-wishers to an evening of champagne and canapes at the hotels’ Bash Bar & Restaurant.

Persons in attendance got an opportunity to purchase signed copies of the book, which is beautifully illustrated throughout with copies of Hazel’s original paintings.

Whilst fulfilling her responsibilities as the Spa Director at ‘Heaven & Earth Spa’, Calabash, Hazel also lectures on reflexology to medical students at St. George’s University.

Hazel has dedicated her life to helping other people and furthering her medical knowledge.

She first qualified as a State Registered Nurse (SRN) in general nursing in England and progressed through various roles culminating her nursing career as Matron of a nursing home in Oxfordshire, England.

‘It’s your Life’ is an engaging collection of Ms. Dawson’s pearls of practical wisdom, gathered over several decades of life experiences, studies, travels and challenges.

Ms. Dawson has an impressive reservoir of knowledge in different aspects of life, much of it arising from her travels to locations such as China and Thailand to study traditional Chinese medicine and Thai massage, Portugal, The Gambia and various Caribbean islands.

A firm believer that knowledge is power, Ms. Dawson has shared her passion by training therapists in Algarve, Portugal, St Lucia and Grenada.




Caribbean talks conservation on Branson’s island

NECKER ISLAND, British Virgin Islands – Surrounded by a turquoise sea and a menagerie of exotic animals on a billionaire’s private island, political and business leaders gathered Friday to back an initiative aimed at expanding protection for the Caribbean’s imperiled coasts and waters.

The ‘Caribbean Challenge’ calls for special protected zones along at least 20 per cent of the region’s coasts by 2020 in hopes of protecting its biodiversity and its crucial tourism market.

The region’s scattered islands have 10 per cent of the world’s coral reefs and some 1,400 species of fish and marine mammals.

Richard Branson, the adventuring CEO and founder of the Virgin Group of companies, co-hosted the two-day meeting at Necker Island, his home in the British Virgin Islands where he has developed an ultra-exclusive eco-resort that showcases renewable energy technology, reintroduced flamingoes, imported lemurs and other creatures.

“It’s just so important to get every single Caribbean country 100 per cent behind protecting the wonderful sea life and the wonderful reefs and mangroves, and therefore the species that occupy our oceans,” Branson said from his 74-acre Caribbean retreat, a haven for entertainment and business A-listers.

British Virgin Islands Premier Orlando Smith and Grenada Prime Minister Keith Mitchell also co-hosted the gathering of delegations from nine Caribbean countries, chiefs of resort companies and cruise lines, representatives of the World Bank, United Nations and other international bodies, private foundations and environmental groups.

“This is not a situation where we can say: This is a Caribbean thing and it doesn’t include anybody else. This is an international issue,” Mitchell told reporters gathered for a brief press conference held on Necker’s tennis courts, not far from an animated group of lemurs.

On Friday, delegations from the participating governments signed a communiqué pledging to establish a framework for a regional approach to coastal conservation, including “increasing considerably the number of marine protected areas”.

They also said they recognised an urgent need to protect sharks and rays, and vowed a “dramatic acceleration in the transition from fossil fuels to alternative energy sources over the next five years”.

One of the key sponsors was the Virginia-based Nature Conservancy, which touts the Caribbean Challenge, begun in 2008, as one of the world’s most ambitious conservation initiatives.

The conservation group has been providing technical expertise to the participating islands for years.

“The Caribbean is truly paradise under threat, and today’s focus is a critical step toward a brighter future,” Glenn Prickett, chief external affairs officer with the Nature Conservancy, said in an e-mail.

If the Caribbean, the world’s most tourism-dependent region, takes strong steps now to protect its natural resources, conservationists say it will be in a far stronger position to protect its small economies and cope with future threats from climate change and ocean acidification due to greenhouse gases.

The challenges are many in the ecologically stressed Caribbean, which covers some 10,000 square kilometres (3,860 square miles). Once brilliant coral reefs have lost their lustre due to warming waters and disease. Live coral cover of regional reefs has plummeted to an average of just eight per cent from 50 per cent in the 1970s, the International Union for Conservation of Nature says.

Many reefs have been degraded by overfishing, runoff pollution and coastal development.

Some of the Caribbean Challenge’s participating countries — Bahamas, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Grenada, St Lucia, St Kitts & Nevis, St Vincent & the Grenadines, and the British Virgin Islands — have already taken steps to reach their conservation targets.

The Dominican Republic has actually exceeded its 20 per cent goal by creating more than 30 new protected areas in recent years. The Bahamas established the largest marine protected area in the region by expanding a national park in Andros from 185,000 acres to 1.28 million acres.

Heavily overfished Jamaica has set up several “no-take” fishing sanctuaries and fishermen say they are seeing improvements.

The initiative is modelled after similar conservation financing efforts in the Pacific and linked to the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund, a sustainable finance mechanism that will generate funding. The initial endowment capitalisation target of US$40 million has been reached, according to the Nature Conservancy.

But there are questions about how deep the political will really is in a region with heavily indebted governments. Political leaders have long spoken about the need for protecting coasts, developing alternative energy sources and diversifying tourism-dependent economies but little has been accomplished.

Antigua & Barbuda recently dropped out of the initiative for reasons that are not clear.

Grenada’s prime minister believes that now is the time for the Caribbean to come together and tackle shared environmental threats. More countries and territories are being encouraged to join the compact.

“The political divide in our region is very deep, but this is one issue where all nations are on the same side,” Mitchell said.

Under the former National Democratic Congress (NDC) government of Tillman Thomas, Grenada was recognized globally for its work in Climate Change conference around the world that attracted world leaders such as President Barack Obama of the United States.

Eat Healthy Campaign

Anya Chow-Chung – we are helping the  farmers

Anya Chow-Chung – we are helping the

A plea has been made to Grenadians to consume as far as possible locally produced foods.

Chief Agriculture Officer Daniel Lewis said that the local population should be given the opportunity to have access to healthy food that is highly nutritious.

Lewis made the comment while addressing the launch of the Health and Wellness Centre at the Foodland chain of Supermarkets in collaboration with the Grenada Network of Rural Women Producers (GRENROP).

The agricultural official said a lot of the problems that are associated with non-communicable diseases have the genesis in a person’s consumption pattern.

He felt that now GRENROP has easy access in marketing its products, it provides Grenadians with a wonderful opportunity to eat healthy.

Acknowledging that the marketing of agricultural products is a challenging aspect, according to Lewis this is a key component in the development of the agriculture industry.

The Chief Agriculture Officer said that he is confident that local producers are capable of performing at the highest level once the market is available.

During the ceremony, the owners of Foodland, George F. Huggins and Company (Grenada) Limited announced that it was putting measures in place to ensure that the local agricultural produce purchased for its chain of supermarkets is bought from bonafide farmers.

Daniel Lewis – eat healthy

Daniel Lewis – eat healthy

The company outlined its plans for the holding of a series of workshop in the area of praedial larceny for its employees.

Anya Chow-Chung who is the Executive Assistance to the Chief Executive Officer of the company, George Menezes said since she began working with the business enterprise, she often heard the CEO who, incidentally is her father, advocating the need for harsher penalty to be meted out for those engaging in praedial larceny.

She said the company is putting mechanisms in place in order to collaborate with the praedial larceny unit of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) for a series of workshops for members of staff.

Chow-Chung said the workshops are geared at educating employees of the supermarkets, especially the purchasing officers on the relevant issues surrounding praedial larceny.


Sunshine Promotions Awards Netherlands Insurance

Ian “Judah” St. Bernard presenting award to Richard Strachan, Managing Director of Netherlands Insurance

Ian “Judah” St. Bernard presenting award to Richard Strachan, Managing Director of Netherlands Insurance

One of the country’s leading insurance companies has been awarded by Owner and Promoter of Sunshine Promotions, Ian “Judah” St. Bernard.

Netherlands Insurance Co. (W.I.) Ltd was presented with an award by St. Bernard in recognition of the company’s unwavering support for local promoters and the performing arts in the Grenada.

The award was accepted by Richard Strachan, Managing Director of Netherlands Insurance, on behalf of his company at the close of the annual ‘A Night of Love’ concert,

The concert which took place two weeks ago in honour of mothers featured a number of local acts like Tamara, Valene Nedd and Glaze, along with regional performers Alaine, John Holt and Junior Kelly among others.

This year marked the seventh anniversary of the event in which Netherlands Insurance has been a title sponsor and major contributor to the event.

St. Bernard who presented the award said, “We are pleased to present this award in recognition of the support Sunshine Promotions and a number of other local promoters have received from Netherlands Insurance for the promotion of local art forms.”

Netherlands Insurance is also renowned as a champion of the development of not only the performing arts but also various other artforms in Grenada.

Commenting on why Netherlands Insurance has championed the arts in Grenada, an enthusiastic Manager said, “The arts are very important as a form of expression, culture and cultural preservation, entertainment and all-round development. This is a cause that the team at Netherlands feel strongly about and are confident that the part we play makes a positive contribution to making the performing arts accessible to the widest possible audience. ”

In addition to A Night of Love, Netherlands Insurance has also been a major contributor to a number of other events and programmes such as The Cathedral Organ Fundraising Chorus which featured Lorraine Klassen; Carnival and a number of carnival-related events like White in the Moonlight; the Annual Legends in Concert, as well as an array of dance, voice, instrument and performing groups.

Strachan specifically noted the recently held and successful steel pan concert hosted by the Suzuki Pan Wizards & Friends, which featured Natasha Joseph – independent musician from Trinidad & Tobago – who also held a master class for all local panists on improvisation on pan.

“The concert and classes with Ms. Joseph was well executed and I am certain that this will go a long way in improving the skill set of our local pan players,” he further noted.

Netherlands has long been a trailblazer championing the development of the performing arts and is determined to continue leading the way in promoting the diverse art forms that abound in Grenada.

Another initiative of GRENLEC

Acting Principal of Boca Secondary School, Cephas Belfon says the court will make  students more competitive

Acting Principal of Boca Secondary School, Cephas Belfon says the court will make
students more competitive

The Principal, Staff and Students of Boca Secondary School as well as residents throughout the community will soon have at their disposal a multi-purpose hard court, thanks to the Grenada Electricity Services Limited (GRENLEC).

The project, which is already under construction, is being done through a collaborative venture between GRENLEC, Boca Secondary School and the Government of Grenada.

The cost of the project, estimated at $296,000.00, is expected to be completed by the second week of July.

During a brief ceremony held at the Boca Secondary School grounds on Tuesday, Interim Chief Executive Officer, GRENLEC, Clive Hosten said that the construction of the multi-purpose court will not only serve the needs of Boca students but the entire community.

He said that the project provides opportunity for students and the community to engage in various activities including nightime, as the facility will be equipped with proper lighting.

Hosten said that the facility will also foster community development and encouraged all stakeholders to take care of it.

Acting Principal of Boca Secondary School, Cephas Belfon is happy for the start of the project, as the dream now becomes a reality.

He said the construction of a multi-purpose hard court was a dream of past principals and is elated that it is being done under his watch.

Interim Chief Executive Officer, GRENLEC, Clive Hosten is happy to develop  communities

Interim Chief Executive Officer, GRENLEC, Clive Hosten is happy to develop

He thanked GRENLEC and Government through the Ministry of Agriculture for this worthwhile assistance.

He said that the proposal for the hard court was made some three years ago and was immediately approved, but some issues with the property and drainage caused a delay.

The problem, he said was rectified by the lands department of the Ministry of Agriculture and the voluntary service of Marshall’s Bobcat and company, which cleared the area free of cost.

According to Belfon, the construction of the facility would aid the school in preparing students for competing games as prior years, they had to visit other courts for training.

“This facility will end all that”, Belfon said, the facility would give “deviant” individuals within the community an opportunity to channel their energy in positive activities. Thanks to all for making this a reality”, he said.

Deputy Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Education, Patricia Felix, told the stakeholders that she was hopeful that the facility will be used for its intended purposes and expect better representation from the students of Boca Secondary in competitions such as Intercol 2014.

The construction of the Boca hard court is the latest of GRENLEC’s Community Partnership Initiative (GCPI).

Earlier this month, the island’s lone electricity company presented $135,597.00 to eleven charitable organisations throughout the country.

GRENLEC prides itself as the leader in supporting and empowering community development throughout Grenada.


Foodland partners with Women’s Group

Foodland Supermarket – stocked with locally produced items

Foodland Supermarket – stocked with locally produced items

An agricultural group formed by women has been given easy access to sell their produce to a local supermarket.

The Foodland chain of supermarkets has bought into the Grenada Network of Rural Women Producers (GRENROP) slogan of “Buy Local, Eat ocal, Stay Healthy” by creating a health and wellness centre at its outlets.

The partnership was launched last week Thursday at the Foodland car park on the Kirani James Boulevard.

GRENROP’s President, Theresa Marryshow gave her organisation’s commitment to provide Foodland with a high standard of quality in the joint marketing initiative which she described as a milestone for them.

Marryshow in giving details about how the partnership came into being, said that in July 2012, a discussion was held between herself and Foodland’s General Manager Marc Chow-Chung.

The GRENROP President said they are committed to strengthening the relationship that has been developed with the chain of supermarkets.

The organisation is engaged in producing local jams and jellies, confectionaries, cocoa balls, wines, and farine, and also supply fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs and poultry on the local market.

Director of George F. Huggins and Company (Grenada) Limited which is the parent company for the supermarkets, Anya Chow-Chung indicated that through the joint partnership, both parties are bringing to the customers more of what the local farmers have to offer.

“It is our company’s privilege to be able to provide this avenue and market showcasing and retailing the products and delicacies,” she said.

According to Chow-Chung, Huggins feels very privileged as a local private sector entity to be a contributor to the collective efforts of those who are involved in the agriculture industry by helping to make a difference in the lives of farmers.

Chow-Chung who is also the Executive Assistance to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) George Menezes said that since she began working with the company she can recall hearing the CEO who, incidentally is her father being a very strong advocate for buying local produce.

She stated that Huggins which is a household name on the island has played a pivotal role for many years in many facets of the communities in which it operates.

She spoke of the company’s foundation having been in agriculture and at the outset traded in the country’s staple products such as cocoa, nutmeg and mace.

Chow-Chung said Huggins is convinced that the agriculture sector is key to the country’s future and viability in light of the current world economic crisis.

Agriculture Minister Roland Bhola who was on hand to witness the ceremony underscored the importance of agriculture to the local economy.

Minister Roland Bhola – support what is produced locally

Minister Roland Bhola – support what is produced locally

Bhola indicated that agriculture provides the country with a host of securities that include food, nutrition, and employment.

He believes that unless initiatives like the GRENROP and Foodland cooperation are undertaken many of the people living in rural Grenada would have to relocate to the urban parts of the country in search of jobs and sustenance for their family.

The Agriculture Minister spoke of how collaborative efforts can become beneficial.

“What we see is a demonstration of how working together in unison can bring to fruition what most of us want to see happening in this country,” he said.

Bhola challenged the rest of the population to support what is produced locally.

He feared that until and unless the people support the local producers by purchasing and using their items, the initiative between GRENROP and Foodland will not get very far.

The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) played an integral part in the work of GRENROP’s since 2004.

Local Coordinator, Cosmos Joseph who attended the launch of the health and wellness center, spoke of being satisfied with the progress the group has made over the years.

Joseph believes that the partnership the women’s group has developed with the chain of supermarkets is a true demonstration of what can be achieved through genuine partnership between a well organised group of rural women and a private sector business entity with an interest in the sustainable development of the economy in which it operates.

“We at IICA applaud this initiative through which greater volume of agro-products are marketed,” he said.

However, Joseph admonished GRENROP to live up to their slogan.

He said that in order to guarantee the sustainability of the partnership, the organisation must ensure that their products are of the highest quality and are free from pesticide residues.

“They must develop the habit of keeping proper production records in order to be able to negotiate for a fair, competitive price for commodities supplied to Foodland,” he said.

GRENROP has a membership of 62 women whose age range between 21 and 79 years.

The women’s group is affiliated to the Caribbean Network of Rural Women.


LIME Employees attend Blackberry World Conference

Two Employees from LIME Grenada

Two Employees from LIME Grenada

Two (2) Employees from LIME Grenada were among delegates attending the Blackberry Live Conference held in Miami from May 14-16 at the Marriot World Centre.

The Conference saw delegates from around the world such as business leaders, IT professionals, BlackBerry(r) channel partners, and enterprise developers focused their attention on six (6) key items – Blackberry Products and Development, BlackBerry In Action – Case Studies & Solutions for Your Organisation and Industry, BlackBerry Jam Americas – App Development, BlackBerry & Beyond: Trends Shaping the Future of Mobile, BlackBerry 10 Bootcamp for Channel Partners and Mobile Solutions.

LIME debuted the most recently launched Blackberry device; the Blackberry Z10 at the Grenadian by Rex Resorts on April 22 and can now boast of having a certified Blackberry 10 Service Expert in house to support the product.

Junior Checkley one of the delegates and Blackberry 10 Certified Service expert when asked about his experience at the Conference commented, “It was a great opportunity to attend the BlackBerry Live 2013 and learn all about what the new Blackberry 10 platform has to offer. I now look forward to adequately serving LIME’s customers with the Product”.

The other LIME employee, Malynda Ramsey also spoke of her first time experience at the Conference.

“I feel like Blackberry was reinvented for me, mainly because of the fact that BBM will be going cross platform in the future. I strongly believe that this is a very good move in a time like this where smart phone users will be able to get the most from their mobile devices”, she said.

During the past week, LIME and the La Borie Development Organisation (LDO) on announced a partnership, which will see the village grouping renamed as the LIME LDO.

The La Borie Development Organisation was formed in September 2004 to assist residents with restoration efforts after Hurricane Ivan.

The organisation has grown to the point where it now looks after the holistic needs of the residents in the area to include financial and educational needs.

The announcement was made on Saturday during the opening of the La Borie Resource Centre.

In attendance was Parliamentary Representative for the area, Public Utilities Minister, Gregory Bowen, as well as representatives from LIME and residents of La Borie.

LIME donated a total of 5 Computers plus Free Internet Service to the organisation.

The Resource Centre will provide easy access to the residents of La Borie and surrounding communities to the Worldwide Web and assist with harnessing and developing the computer skills of residents.

President of the LIME LDO, Ralph Lord noted that, “LIME and LDO have always enjoyed a good relationship and so it’s just fitting to formalise the arrangement.”

He spoke to the value of the support offered by LIME to his organisation and the direct benefits provided to residents of La Borie such as bringing LIME’s products and services closer to the residents of La Borie.

LIME’s representative, Lorraine Mitchell encouraged residents to maximise the use of the facility for their personal development and to continue to support LIME through the use of the company’s Products and Services.

She re-iterated that LIME is able to give back to Communities such as La Borie because of the loyalty extended by customers.

The Resource centre was unveiled by LIME’s representatives, as well as Minister Bowen, and Pastor John, a well-known religious leader in the Community.