RGPF warns against spread of false information

Cadet Officer Rebekah Jones – warns against the misuse of the social media

The Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) would be getting tough with persons who spread false information through the social media network, and BlackBerry Messenger (BBM).

Head of the Community Relations Department (CRD) of the RGPF, Cadet Officer Rebekah Jones told members of the media last week the police wish to encourage persons using the social media such as Facebook and BBM to desist from sharing information that is untrue and which may appear to be very funny.

“What they are actually doing is creating fear of crime, social panic and a total disruption of the quality of life based on the nature and the gruesomeness of the information that you’re sending to persons throughout the world,” Jones said.

She said spreading false information is likened to instigating something that is not legal.

“Anything that you do that is not legal, then there is a penalty for it,” she said.

Just last week a broadcast message was released through the BBM that there is a group of men dressed in clothing of the Special Services Unit posing as Police Officers.

Jones said such behaviour creates unnecessary panic in the nation.

She spoke of the RGPF having had no official report of the report of men clad in military uniform.

“If that is the case, then these persons need to come forward to the police and let us know so we can deal with it appropriately,” she said.

Jones said reports that are untrue are not doing the public any good.

NDC congratulates gold medalist Kirani James

Kirani James – brought home Grenada’s first Olympic Medal

St. George’s, August 6, 2012 – The National Democratic Congress wishes to congratulate our superstar athlete, Kirani James, on his outstanding victory in the 400 meter final at the Olympic Games in London, England.

“It is with a deep sense of pride that the general membership and executive of the NDC join with Grenadians at home and abroad in congratulating Kirani and ushering in a great day in the annals of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique,’’ said Arley Gill, Public Relations Officer of the National Democratic Congress.

James, 19, won the race 43.94 seconds, making him the first man from outside the United States to break the 44-second barrier.

He also has run the fastest 400 ever by any Caribbean athletes. In addition, it was the first medal to be won by an OECS athlete at the London Games.

“The NDC and the rest of the nation are grateful to Kirani and wish him continued success,’’ Gill said. “At the same time, let us continue steadfast in our support of the Grenadian athletes who are still competing at the Olympics.’’

Gill described Government’s renaming of Lagoon Road to Kirani James Boulevard, following his World Championship victory in 2011, as a “visionary act.’’

NDC PRP Arley Gill – praised Kirani’s success

However, he has suggested that a committee should now be set up to execute a plan for upgrading and enhancing the boulevard.

NDC General Secretary, Peter David, also commended James and has recommended that a fitting tribute to the athlete on his Olympic success should be the renaming of the soon-to-be-refurbished athletic stadium after James.

“He is more than deserving of such a tribute,’’ David said.

CCF showcased the spectacle of the mas

Despite the rocky start to the Children’s Carnival Frolic (CCF) which saw a two-hour delay to the advertised starting time of 11:00 a.m. at the Grenada National Stadium last Saturday, it was fun and entertainment for the young ones as they had their time in enjoying their aspect of Spicemas.

Junior Calypso Monarch Nathan J

From the time the first steel band, Digicel Florida All Stars took to the stage at 1:10 p.m. it was smooth sailing up until 8:00 p.m. without any hindrance from a threatening weather system.

Not only were the children treated to pan, mas and calypso by their peers, but they had the opportunity to come face to face with a number of cartoon characters that included Sponge Bob, Mickey Mouse and Dora.

The children were also exposed to a Children’s Village where they had the opportunity to have their face painted and also obtained various treats.

Chairman of the Spice Mas Corporation Colin Dowe was extremely proud with the performances that were displayed by the youngsters.

Dowe spoke of the portrayals as being excellent indicating that the bands gave a wonderful account of themselves.

Junior Panorama

Six steel bands participated in the junior panorama which featured music done years gone by from local calypsonians.

Playing Japs “Outlaws” the Junior Harpers were able to successfully defend the title they won last year.

They walked away with the title with a score of 270 points, 24 more than the band in second place.

This is the seventh junior title for the band which was formed in 1965.

Ninety youngsters formed part of the band that had 116 pieces of instrument.

Junior Arranger Andre Skeete said it did not take him long to arrange the song.

However, according to Skeete, the choice of the song came on the last minute.

He said up to the end of May the management team had not yet settled on a song, but incidentally he came across the song while browsing on Youtube.

The Junior Arranger said he was pleased with the way the players executed the song.

“I just wanted the children to come out, play their hearts out,” he said.
The second position was taken by Coyaba New Dimension which is the Bomb Tune Winner.

The band which incidentally played in second position scored 246 points.
The 30 junior members played a song by Inspector, “Power in the Soca” on 74 pieces of instrument.

The third position was occupied by Food Fair Wiz Kids which scored 193 points.

With a total of 181 points was Digicel Florida All Stars who placed fourth.

In fifth position was Rainbow City All Stars which scored 180 points, while the sixth position was taken by Grand Roy Pan Angels with 174 points.

The judging panel of Randal and Alan Robinson, and Curlan Matthew made their choice based on the criteria of arrangement 40 points, general performance 40 points, tone 10 points, and rhythm 10 points.

The CCF was not without its own controversy.

One of the St. John’s based steel band, Pan Ossia was booted out of the competition on the account of violating a rule, and instead made a guest appearance.

Although a member of the management committee of the band declined from commenting on the issue, THE NEW TODAY Newspaper was reliably informed that an arranger from Trinidad and Tobago was engaged in arranging the competition song, “Music Man” by King Ajamu for the juniors.

Another controversy in the panorama competition was the removal of Adrian Mark as one of the judges.

Mark who had already taken up his place at the judges’ quarters and had his name announced by the Master of Ceremony, Shakiera Boca Roseman was pulled out by some members of the Carnival Committee.

Parade of the Bands
Creativity and spectacle were showcased during the parade of the Traditional Mas Bands, and the Fancy Mas Bands.

With shortknee being recognized as part of the theme for Spicemas, there were two bands crossing the stage from among the six Traditional Mas Bands, both of which took the top honours.

Waterloo Shortknee scored 245 points to take the first place in the traditional mas, while Hermitage Shortknee amassed 238 points for the second place.

The third position was taken by Demonic Angels with 233 points, and fourth-placed band was Legends Mas Band with 216 points.

In the fifth position was the Grenada Moko Jumbie which scored 207 points, while Red Rose Wild Indians finished sixth with 180 points.

Seven bands took part in the fancy mas section of the competition.

The Junior Band of the Year for Spicemas 2012 went to Commancheros and Associates with 549 points.

In second position was Helen Marie and Associates with 520 points.

The third-placed band, Lazarus Antoine and Associates scored 446 points.

The parade of the bands was judged on creativity 30 points, visual impact 15 points, presentation 45 points, and authenticity 25 points.

Three individuals also graced the stage displaying various costumes.

The winning individual costume went to Whitney Bowen with a total of 263 points.

Bowen who was the Junior Queen of the Band, Commancheros and Associates portrayed Queen Venus.

Second place went to Shanika John with 245 points, while Jamie Stewart who scored 231 points placed third.

The King of the Band was Garvin Augustine with 229 points.

They were judged on creativity 30 points, presentation 45 points, and authenticity 25 points.

Junior Calypso Competition
A new calypsonian was crowned in the Junior Calypso Competition.

Nathan J won the hearts of the judges with his song, “Facebook” to dethrone last year’s winner, Reyond Thomas who had to settle for the second position.

Nathan J scored 245 points, while Thomas scored 233 points.

The third position was occupied by Jolani Flemming who scored 231 points.

The 12-year Nathan J encouraged his peers, through his song to avoid spending a lot of time of the social media and put their energies into reading books that are valuable to them.

The song was written by Croqueta, one of the reigning Independence Monarchs and father of Nathan J.

He told THE NEW TODAY Newspaper being a newcomer, he is happy to have won the competition, and is looking forward to continuing in the future.

The Presentation Brothers’ College Student said he saw all of the competitors of having an equal chance in the competition.

He spoke of putting in a lot of time in rehearsals with his pops and practicing with the band.

Nathan J. said winning the competition gives him more confidence and a push to go forward to other competitions.

The 2012 Junior Monarch spoke of his father being his role model in the calypso arena.

He said his interest in singing calypso was raised by looking up to Croqueta, and knowing that he has a talent in singing he decided to take the challenge.

Nathan J was a semi-finalist at the Calypso Monarch Competition.

All of the ten junior calypsonians featured issues affecting them in their song.
They were backed by the band Soca Pioneers

The juniors were judged by Roland Bernard, Simon Green, and Peter Regis.

The judges were guided by the points, lyrics 30, melody 30, rendition 15, originality 15, and presentation 10.

Another Minister enters the political race

Oswald Roderick McBurnie, the leader and establisher of GUPM

A new political party has emerged in less than one year before Grenadians go to the polls in the upcoming elections constitutionally due in 2013.

The Grenada United Patriotic Movement (GUPM) – The Alternative, last week Monday was officially introduced to the local media as the newest political party in the country.

Oswald Roderick McBurnie, the leader and establisher of the party considers the GUPM as the alternative party to take Grenada forward.

McBurnie said that for the past 28 years two main political parties have dominated the country, however the level of discontentment among the population over the past 13 years shows a need for another political party. He said Grenada needs a party that will not just talk, but take action.  He said  that his party would campaign on the watchword – Truth.

“We believe there is the need for a new brand of politicians … A brand of politicians that would not just want to get into power by any means necessary”, he said going back to the NNP will be back to the same, and staying with the National Democratic Congress (NDC) even if the party is realigned with a new slate of candidates will be staying with a party that is “too slow, too crawling”.

GUPM Caretaker for St George North-West Constituency, Oswald Peters

He said that he has been working with a small group of people for the last two months to put structures in place, organizing the party’s constitution, which he claim is 75% complete, and so is their manifesto. He said that presently GUPM is putting together a demo-manifesto that will be published by September of this year highlighting what Grenadians can expect from the party.

GUPM’s motto is “Sacrifice Before Self” and according to McBurnie the party’s main focus will be agriculture, health, education and implementing local government.

He said GUPM would consist of “ordinary” people capable of running a government and the party’s colour is purple. GUPM leader said the party’s symbol has not been finalized.

McBurnie said that he has been ordained as an Apostle of the Lord Jesus, a Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with more than 28 years of experience in Grenada, the United States of America and the United Kingdom.

The New Hampshire resident said he would be the party’s candidate for St George North-East, a constituency presently represented by Nazim Burke of the ruling Congress government.

He said that by the end of August most of GUPM’s candidates should be in place. According to the political leader “Burke is a good person” but believes that he has not done a good job in representing the people of the Constituency.

McBurnie was joined by his caretaker for St George North-West Constituency, Oswald Peters of Beausejour, St George. Peters, a businessman who owns World Type Mobile, is the future candidate for St George North-West Constituency. Former Prime Minister now Opposition Leader and Parliamentary Representative, Dr Keith Mitchell has been the parliamentary representative for St George North-West Constituency since 1984.

To become a member of the party each person is expected to deposit $500.00 into an account under the name of the Constituency they will represent.

Minister of Education backs Minister of Finance

Education Minister, Mrs Franka Alexis-Bernadine says Nazim Burke is a highly respected finance minister

Minister for Education, Frank Alexis-Bernadine is in defense of Finance Minister Nazism Burke’s handling of the country’s finance.

Addressing hundreds of graduates at the T. A. Marryshow Community College two weeks ago, the education minister responded to statements made by Principal of the College, Jeffrey Britton regarding government’s decision to cut the institution’s budget without explanation as the on-going debate over the College’s plan to increase fees at the start of the new academic year continues.

Mrs Bernadine assured TAMCC’s faculty that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration is resolute to finding solutions to TAMCC’s financial challenges but reminded them that the global economic reality is impacting the local economy. Mrs. Bernadine has expressed concern in raising fees at the college at a time when parents are finding it difficult to send their children to school and meet other obligations.

She said that the decision to increase TAMCC fees must first go before the Cabinet and that was not done.

Minister of Finance Nazim Burke

The senior government minister said Burke has been doing his best to keep the Grenadian economy afloat and guiding them through this process. “He is a highly respected finance minister within our region,” she said.

Mrs Bernadine urged them to stick to the facts. “You know the reality and must therefore stick to the facts and not allow politics to distort the realities with promises from people who say they can do better because they can’t,” she said.

She urged them to forge ahead despite the challenges and become creative so that at the end of the recession they can move forward. She reminded all that the Ministry of Education receives the largest disbursement in the budget but “the money is never enough”. She suggested that they learn from the University of the West Indies’ (UWI) expertise to help deal with TAMCC’s financial challenges.

RGPF to step up on acts of domestic violence

Commissioner of Police Willan Thompson – the murders are very uncharacteristic in the country

Commissioner of Police Willan Thompson has commanded the men and women under his charge to ensure that they are properly appraised of the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act, Number 19 of 2010, and are fully aware of their authority under the Act.

In a brief address to members of the media last week Thursday, Commissioner Thompson said since domestic violence has been criminalized, the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) shall ensure that provisions of the Act are stringently applied by Police Officers.

He said the RGPF would have to become more vigilant in regards to all matters of domestic violence.

The Police Commissioner described the murders of three women over an eight-day period as being horrendous.

He said it is observed that all three murders were allegedly perpetrated by men.

Commissioner Thompson said violence of that magnitude is very uncharacteristic in Grenada.

He said the society must find ways and means to prevent incidents of that nature to reoccur.

The island’s top Cop believes that person who are in abusive relationships should get out permanently and seek counseling.

He also believes that neigbours have a responsibility to help curb violence in the home.

“Often times neighbours are aware of those situations, and in the spirit of good neighbourly behaviour, I suggest that where possible, neighbours should help find a solution before those situations take on national significance,” he said.

File photo of Police Officers

Commissioner Thompson said despite how trivial those matters may appear, they should be reported to the police.

At a media briefing two days before the Commissioner’s Press Conference, Head of the Community Relations Department, Cadet Officer Rebekah Jones described the incidents as being “crime of passion.”

File photo of Police Officers

Dwight Sampson – don’t expose your body

Young people who are looking at participating in this weekend’s carnival celebrations are being advised to exercise self-control and respect in their behaviour.

While addressing a press conference last week, Member of the Alliance of Evangelical Churches (AEC) Dwight Sampson admonished young people who are tempted to participate in the carnival activities to do so in a respectable way.

While the AEC is not promoting carnival revelry Sampson reminded the young people that their bodies are the Temple of the Holy Spirit.

“Don’t expose your body, don’t dress naked, don’t use this opportunity to behave… wild and wassy in the street, don’t over use alcohol, do not experiment with drugs… At the end of the day you have your dignity, you have your self-respect, your have your value, you have your morals and ethics,” he said.

Sampson also warned against indulging in pre-marital sex.

He said such behaviour can result in a life-time of problems for them.

“Sex is a very spiritual thing, it was created by God for the institution of marriage,” he said.

Second Vice-President of the AEC, Pastor Devon Rachae who also addressed ludeness on the streets said the Church is not saying that carnival is fun.

“We are in complete opposition to revelry in that kind of way… What we are saying is that there are different avenues in which young people can, in fact, have fun and enjoy themselves,” Pastor Rachae said.

Pastor Rachae said people who venture into relationships at this time of the season for short-term conveniences and pleasures can cost them their lives.

Men’s Coordinator of the AEC, Pastor Alpha Stafford believes the level of ungodliness becomes worse every year.

Pastor Stafford said the nation needs to know that “the voice of God is speaking to us.”

The Men’s Coordinator is baffled over the quality of songs that receive air play on the various radio stations.

Co-op Bank invests in serving Diaspora: MOU signed

Co-Op Bank support Grenada Diaspora Homecoming 2012

The Grenada Co-Operative Bank is lending its support to and getting visibility in the Grenada Diaspora Homecoming.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the Bank and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs last week Friday that sees Co-Op Bank taking responsibility for all thematic platforms used by the Diaspora during its Homecoming 2012 activities.

The Bank Executive Manager, Customer Care, Mrs. Mondale Squires-Francis says she believes that their contribution to these activities under the Government of Grenada Diaspora initiative is critical to setting the foundation for Grenadians living abroad, contributing, investing and helping in the development of Grenada.

She said that Co-op Bank, dubbed the Bank of the Diaspora is involved to ensure these investments bring to Grenada the kinds of rewards and benefits it can. While not disclosing how much money Co-Op Bank will be contributing towards the homecoming 2012, Mrs. Squires-Francis says that the Bank will be contributing a substantial amount on all the activities which began on August 05 and concludes on the 18.

Mrs Mondelle Squires-Francis and Mrs Elizabeth Henry-Greenidge exchange signed MOU

Mrs. Squires-Francis said that the Bank established a Cambia at the Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA), to facilitate financial transactions by returning nationals.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Elizabeth Henry-Greenside thanked the bank for its contribution in the area of the thematic platforms, pointing out that the Bank has always contributed to the Diaspora. Activities organized by the Diaspora includes a workshop in Carriacou dealing with “Management and Negotiations” and another on “Copyright and Royalties”, and according to Mrs. Henry-Greenside, these are two important areas of development beneficial to local artistes, public servants and other professional organizations.

She said the Bank would also sponsor training exercises in areas such as CPR and mental health training. She said that the Government of Grenada recognizes the important role the Diaspora plays in nation building and is happy that Co-Op Bank is involved.

More than 14,000 Grenadians residing throughout the world have already returned to their homeland for the summer. Mrs. Ingrid Jackson-Edwards, Ambassador, Diaspora Affairs, said that they are working with the Grenada Board of Tourism (GBT) to welcome them. She said that the only complaints received thus far by returning nationals is the need for more activities to keep them active and entertained.

Mrs. Jackson-Edwards said she hopes the business community will heed the calls of retuning nationals and capitalize on the opportunities created by the Diaspora Homecoming.

The activity is being held at the height of Spice Mass 2K12, Carriacou Regatta and Rainbow City Festival which provides a number of events.  Grenada’s Counsel General, Derek James was also present at the signing of the MOU.

ANOTHER WOMAN MURDERED

The country has recorded another murder in less than one week, bringing the toll to nine.

The body of Marsha Cherman of Pearls, St. Andrew’s bearing multiple chop wounds was discovered on her stomach underneath a blue tarpaulin late Monday night outside of her dwelling house.

Numerous chop wounds were visible on the left side of her head, neck and both hands.

Cherman’s living companion, Isaac Gilbert, a 45-year old, is accused of committing the offense which Head of the Community Relations Department of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF), Cadet Officer Rebekah Jones described as a “crime of passion.”

There are reports that Cherman’s son was awaken when he heard the confrontation taking place inside the house.

The child who is a teenager saw his step-father reigning blows on his mother with a cutlass.

The youngster allegedly pelted a deodorant bottle at Gilbert before escaping from the house seeking help from the police.

Gilbert allegedly surrendered himself to the lawmen mere hours after Cherman’s body was found.

A post mortem performed on the body concluded that she died as a result of hypovolemic shock due to multiple lacerations to the body.

An informed source told THE NEW TODAY newspaper the couple were experiencing domestic problems for a period of time.

The source who does not wish to be identified said Gilbert, a truck driver, accused the 33-year old Cherman who is a domestic worker of bringing a man to attack him.

Jones who briefed the media on the killing confirmed that the couple had sought mediation from the police.

She said the RGPF is encouraging complainants and victims of domestic violence to visit the various Police Stations to reports acts of violence that are being committed against them.

Jones said in many instances people fail to follow up on their complaints of violence and abuses in order to pursue the full course of justice.

She said the last two murdered victims had reported acts of violence to the police but did not continue with the process.

“It’s a problem where we have the victims start the process, we encourage them to continue by all means and then they decide that they should not continue because they would ‘make up.’ You normally would find this in crimes of passion where family is involved,” she said.

This is the fourth woman to have been murdered for the year.

Meanwhile, the past week has been a busy one for the lawmen of the Eastern District.
The murder in St. Andrew’s comes on the heels of a 16-year old student from Conference, St. Andrew’s who committed suicide over the last weekend.

The student died on Sunday after he allegedly drank gramoxone the night before.

He was rushed to the General Hospital where he died.

Two other incidents at what is known as the “Cow Pen” at Grand Bras Estate, and at Beauregard engaged the attention of the police.

The incidents have left two persons nursing stab wounds.

Police are on the hunt for the persons involved in the incident at the “Cow Pen.”

A “Water Fest” at Beauregard has left a 16-year old nursing a stab wound on the left side of the chest.

Government gives 85 acres to UWI

Education Minister, Mrs. Franka Alexis-Bernadine and Prof. E. Nigel Harris, UWI Vice Chancellor sign agreements in the presence of Prime Minister Tillman Thomas and Dr Curtis Jacobs, Head of UWI Open Campus, Grenada among others

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) led Government has formally transferred 85 acres of real estate to the University of the West Indies to facilitate a campus in St. Andrew.

The transfer of property to UWI makes Grenada the contributor of the third largest parcel of land to the University chain. The Campus will be constructed in Hope, St Andrew, and documents to formalize the arrangement were presented to Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies, Professor E. Nigel Harris during a ceremony at the Ministerial Complex last week Friday.

Prime Minister Tillman Thomas who presented the documents for the land called the move for a UWI campus in Grenada a “significant investment in the future of the people of Grenada,” particularly the island’s northeastern section of the island.

He said that project would afford both short-term and long-term progress to Hope and surrounding areas, similar to the changes and enhancements that came with campus locations in Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Jamaica.

The Congress Leader said the decision to locate the campus in the Hope area is in keeping with his government’s pre-election pledge to decentralize development and make education accessible to all. He said Government is “sparing no effort in making all possible opportunities available”, including partnering with the UWI to expand its operations in Grenada, to the benefit of “our children and children’s children.”

“For many years governments have focused on short term interests. We took the bold decision to raise the bar and instead placed our attention on securing our future by investing in the education of our people allowing them to take advantage of the opportunities that are becoming and will become available. We are proud of our achievements in this area,” he said.

Vice Chancellor, UWI, Prof. E. Nigel Harris says construction of the campus is expected to commence in stages within months.