Trinidad: Woman arrested for stealing $40k in wigs and weaves
(Trinidad Newsday) A Diego Martin woman has been arrested and charged with stealing more than $40,000 worth of wigs and hair weaves from a businesswoman. Police recovered the wigs and weaves at house ...
(Trinidad Guardian) Infuriated after he was dumped by his girlfriend, a San Fernando man went to her home on Friday night and hacked her co-worker to death. The stab wounds inflicted by th...
Disturbing trend: Girls making, distributing porn in Trinidad
CONCERNED: Permanent secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Jacqueline Johnson, speaks at the Joint Select Committee on Human Rights, Equality and Diversity at the ANR Robinson Room, Parliamen...
(Trinidad Express) A POLICE officer was robbed of his vehicle on Thursday. The thieves rear-ended his Mazda BT 50 pick-up truck in Golconda. At around 6 p.m. the 32 year old constable was headed north ...
VIDEO WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT: Body cam footage of deadly Pueblo officer-involved shooting released Posted: 01/17/2019 - Jamal Murray scored 22 of his 25 points in the third quarter, Nikola Jokic fini...
For ten years Natasha Athara Lewis struggled up the three flights of stairs at the John Donaldson Technical Institute in pursuit of certification in fashion design. Lewis was born with cerebral palsy and uses crutches and a wheelchair to get around. "For those ten years I took every step repeating in my head, 'I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me', so it never seemed overwhelming, just difficult, but never overwhelming. I knew God had a reward for me at the end of each course I pursued," she told WMN.
The struggle has paid off for the Magna Cum Laude graduate of UTT’s Caribbean Academy of Fashion Design with a Bachelor of Fine Art in Fashion Design, and the proud owner of Athara’s Design, a fashion boutique specialising in contemporary ladies’clothing and fashion jewellery. Lewis draws inspiration from nature, the theatre and new and retro movies, and has found a medium through which she voices her empowerment philosophy, “It is the ability and not the disability that really matters”.
She uses discarded materials such as plastic, plastic bottles, garbage bags, old magazines, bubble wrap, paper bridal runner, felt and leather in her designs, all symbolic of the way in which she believes people with disabilities are perceived by the wider community.
She said members of the differently-abled community have been stereotyped as weak, victims, burdens, outcasts, non-contributing weights on society and incapable of full participation in everyday life. It is her dream that the mindset of society would be similarly converted into thinking of the disabled as strong, creative, trend-setters and valued assets who, once given the opportunity can be tremendous contributors to society. She said her work has been showcased at events hosted by the differently-abled community and earned favourable reviews. She intends to offer dramatic presentations of wearable art collections as a vehicle to share her gift of fashion, as well as to convey her message of empowerment.
Lewis' perseverance was recently recognised by the staff at Malick Secondary School, where she teaches technology education: Clothing & Textiles and Garment Production (CVQ). They were able to secure sponsorship of a ramp through the Massy Foundation and the National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB). The ramp is expected to be completed next month and will afford Lewis more accessibility to her classroom and the washrooms. She said the issue had been raised with the Ministry of Education but staff at the school decided not to wait any longer and sought assistance elsewhere.
[caption id="attachment_746776" align="alignnone" width="768"] Natasha Athara Lewis and Rajdeo Sinanan, dean at Malick Secondary School, at the entrance to the ramp sponsored by Massy Foundation and NLCB. The ramp will give Lewis greater access to her classroom and other facilities at the school.[/caption]
"I especially thankful to the principal Mr Harry Jaikaran and the dean Mr Rajdeo Sinanan, who looked for alternatives and approached Massy Foundation and NLCB, who provided funding for the toilet facilities and the driveway leading to an area close to the classroom, respectively. Mr Sinanan spearheaded the projects and the toilet was completed in the July/August vacation and the driveway which started in the December break is about 90 per cent complete. This will no doubt change my experience at the school, in terms of accessibility, dignity and providing me with an opportunity for greater participation. I never had any doubt it would work out, just as God had sustained me through my years attending school, I knew He would do the same for me to now teach at school," she said with a smile.
It is this same confidence and determination that allows Lewis to always look at ways around obstacles, rather than become daunted.
On any given weekday she can be seen hard at work in her classroom with a roomful of students who trying to emulate the way she handles her sewing machine. "I laugh and have to remind them that the way I operate my machine is not "normal", she joked.
The industrial sewing machine has been personalised to suit Lewis' needs. Regular machines are equipped with a peddle, which is pressed by the foot to operate the machine. Lewis' machine has been modified to allow her to use her elbow to operate a hook, which then powers up the peddle.
As a child Lewis attended the Princess Elizabeth School for the Physically Disabled and then the St James Secondary School.
"I wanted to go to Miami to pursue my dream, then they brought that programme here. I was one of the first to enroll," she recalled of the fashion design programme. She said her parents, Michael and Phyllis, along with extended family members always encouraged her to follow her dreams. One of her aunts gave her her first sewing machine when she was 18.
Lewis, a nominee for a National Youth Award in 1992 and 1993, also has a passion for community building and has served as director of the St James Church of the Nazarene's Caravan. She also provides graphic design services for the church's Vacation Bible School book. She is also a motivational speaker who offers her insights to new students at the University of the West Indies.
"My passion to mentor people, especially youths continued to grow. I was aware of the many challenges of our youths and so I felt convinced that I can use my life-story as an inspiration to the youths, and to help them to appreciate and use fashion design for their own self expression. I therefore applied to the teaching service and received my teaching appointment in 2014 at the school where I currently teach."
It is also her dream to see this country implement the use of aides for people with disability to conduct their work. "My greatest desire is to see the government make laws and policies to ensure that all public spaces are accessible to all person of the society. Accessibility is not a privilege, but a right.”
Three years after embarking on a journey to lose weight and lead a healthy lifestyle, Duvone Stewart said he has overcome his battle with the bulge.
“It (weight) is not fighting me,” he declared in a recent Sunday Newsday interview.
“It is a discipline, a mind frame. It is about acceptance, knowing that you want this to be done and this is what has to be done. The transition has been very, very successful.”
The arranger for reigning Panorama champion steelbands bp Renegades and Pan Elders, Stewart, 42, who once tipped the scales at 430 pounds, said his extreme weight loss has changed his life in ways he never imagined.
“I am living a piece of Duvone that was never really seen by me and by many people.”
Stewart, who has gone from a waist 56 jeans to a size 34, now wears average-sized T shirts and no longer requires extended seatbelts when travelling overseas.
[caption id="attachment_746766" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Arranger Duvone Stewart, commanding bp Renegades to victory at last year's Panorama, is no longer the 'big, fat man' on stage. Stewart had gastric sleeve bypass in 2016 and has slimmed down from 430 pounds.[/caption]
He also exercises regularly and monitors his blood pressure and cholesterol.
Stewart jokingly recalled before his decision to shed the pounds, he was an unmistakable presence on the stage at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain, during Panorama competitions.
“But when I grace the stage with my bands, people still cannot believe it is me. People would say ‘Duvone is the big, fat man.’ That is not Duvone no more. I am the Duvone they watching now.”
In September 2016, the Tobago-born arranger underwent gastric sleeve surgery at a medical facility in Mexico, an operation which significantly reduced his stomach to limit the intake of food.
Stewart said his stomach was reduced by 90 per cent during the irreversible 45-minute surgery.
After the procedure, the panman eliminated red meat, beef, pork, ham, goat from his diet. He also stopped consuming carbonated foods and drink.
Stewart said his diet now includes fish, green salads, vegetables, provision and soups.
“Christmas gone, I see lamb, turkey, ham, jam, all of that pass in front of me and I never had an appetite for it because the body don’t need it. Soups, provision, chicken breast, salad and I am good.”
It was Stewart’s fans who encouraged him to have the life-changing surgery.
He said they had suggested a void would have been left in the arranging fraternity if he was somehow incapacitated as a result of his obesity.
Stewart said he decided then to heed his supporters’ advice, not only for himself but the steelpan movement.
He further contemplated his accomplishments in pan and found there was merit in their suggestion.
Stewart, who did not suffer from any lifestyle diseases – diabetes or hypertension – at the time of his surgery, said he had terrible eating habits, mostly because of late rehearsal sessions with the band.
Now, the arranger said alongside his weight loss, his self-esteem and energy level also has experienced a boost.
“It has just sent a confidence boost to all of the bands I work with. All the friends that I interact with and all of the new friends who I tend to interact with because I tend to share my success story in such an elaborate way. If I can do it, anybody can do it.
“So, I keep focused on my diet, what I consume, how I consume, when I consume. I am not threatened to become the person that I was before because I am more confident and happy.”
Laventille’s pride Desperadoes Steel Orchestra will play Nailah Blackman’s Iron Love for this year’s Panorama.
This was confirmed on Thursday evening, during one of the band’s rehearsal sessions at the old government printery compound, Tragarete Road, Port of Spain.
The song, which features the Laventille Riddim Section, is essentially a modified version of her late grandfather Ras Shorty I’s Iron Man but offers a play on the words, I on love.
The song also laments crime and bitterness in the world, accentuating love and positivity.
A visibly elated Blackman was on hand to hear the announcement and mingled with players at the panyard.
Desperadoes’ captain Adrian Glasgow had earlier told Sunday Newsday the 73 year old band, which placed third in last year’s competition with Voice’s (Aaron St Louis) Year For Love, had six songs from which to choose for the prestigious competition, all of which have been ripping up the airwaves.
Apart from Iron Love, they also considered Farmer Nappy’s (Darryl Henry) Hookin Meh, Nadia Batson’s So Long and others.
[caption id="attachment_746763" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Desperadoes arranger Carlton "Zanda" Alexander directs his players in last year's Panorama final at Queen's Park Savannah, Port of Spain. They placed third with Year to Love. FILE PHOTO[/caption]
For veteran arranger Carlton “Zanda” Alexander, Iron Love gave him an opportunity to reconnect with the music of yesteryear – a period in which, he said, much attention was paid to the messages and nuances in songs.
“When I heard the song, I thought it was put together in a very interesting way because there was a song done by her (Nailah’s) grandfather and it is a good continuation of what he did. I am happy to know that it came from somebody whose roots I knew,” Alexander said.
He felt Iron Love, though ideally structured, also provided opportunities to explore his creativity.
“That was my main thing in selecting it.”
Asked if he felt the 11-time Panorama champions, which has been sponsored by West Indian Tobacco Co Ltd (Witco) for the past 54 years, could secure victory number 12 in this year’s competition, Alexander would only venture: “We are going in the name of the Creator and may God give us the blessing."
He said the “spirit in the panyard is good.”
[caption id="attachment_746762" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Desperadoes die-hard supporters crowd the band during the Laventille pan parade in August 2018. FILE PHOTO[/caption]
(Despers no longer carries the Witco title officially, as it once did, because of advertising restrictions on tobacco products.)
Glasgow, who became captain just two months ago, was confident.
“When I want to go at something, I going at it to claim victory. And based on the vibes that going on now, I have that confidence that we would claim victory again,” he said.
“Don’t matter we not up the ‘Hill’ again, the vibes we pushing is a good vibes going into the Panorama. I am going with a positive mind to go back on top.”
And while excitement is high in the Despers camp, Glasgow lamented the legendary band, which was expected to return to its revered home at Upper Laventille Road, Laventille, before last year’s Carnival, may not do so anytime soon.
Despers’ panyard was given temporary accomodation at the old government printery compound last year.
Previously, the band's panyard was housed at the former site of the Greyfairs Church of Scotland on Frederick Street, Port of Spain and at the National Insurance Board carpark, corner Cadiz Street and Queen’s Park East, Belmont.
“I can’t say if the band going back up or not. It is up to the band to make the decision,” said Glasgow.
According to Glasgow, several factors have contributed to the band’s decision to stay away from its home base.
He said the reconstructed panyard at Upper Laventille Road still cannot accommodate the band at its full strength of 150 players for rehearsals and other events.
“The refurbishment was to take all of that into consideration. The band really needed a spot where we could spread out to be comfortable.”
The one-storey structure was to be used for practice sessions and the hosting of major Carnival events.
Glasgow said manoeuvring the pan racks to and from the band’s headquarters also remains a challenge.
“Laventille is a place that I love and I would like for the band to go back up. But one of the problems is the racks going back up.”
The captain said the problem was compounded by the narrow roadway to the headquarters.
“It have so many cars in Laventille right now, is a problem for the racks to pass. Long time, as a young boy, I used to sit by my window and see the band coming down with the racks. At that time it did not have so many cars on the road.
“But now, people just buying cars and parking them on the side of the road. So it harder for the band to do those things they did long time...not just carrying up the racks but coming down will be a problem too.”
Glasgow said crime, which was largely responsible for Desperadoes’ decision to leave its panyard in 2011, was still a major concern.
He said: “It come a stage where our players do not want to go up to the Hill anymore because they studying when they leaving the panyard to come down the road, is all kinds of obstacles.
“It will be tough for them to go up there and when is time for them to leave is a problem coming down the road. Sometimes, it don’t have any cars working to pick up people.”
On such casualty of the crime was Atiba Pantin, 25, of Tesheira Street, Diego Martin, who was shot dead at the panyard on January 11, 2015,while moving pan racks along with four men.
The man had been hired by Despers to carry steelpans from the Hill to Belmont.
Glasgow said many of the band’s players, who lived out of the area, also did not want to venture up the Hill for rehearsals.
“Some of them does be scared to come up there.”
Saying Desperadoes had last practised at its headquarters eight years ago, Glasgow said while Laventille’s die-hard supporters missed the band’s presence in the community, they have still resolved to support it.
As a way of maintaining ties with the community, Glasgow said members usually distribute Desperadoes T-shirts to residents during the Carnival season "to show that the love is there still.”
“Yuh know marriage will mash up, things will happen. But, Laventille is we base. But no matter where we go, it is Laventille. That is the whole thing. We representing Laventille no matter what, anywhere we go.”
Commenting on the shift in the management of steel pan, Glasgow expressed confidence in the Beverly Ramsey-Moore-led Pan Trinbago.
“I have confidence in them, the kinds of things I hear them talking and I believe they will do a good job.”
As for the setback in the payment of players’s remittances for last year and possibly 2019, Glasgow said: “The most important thing is that the band already get their prize money.”
He said while some players will be despondent, sacrifices will have to be made if the new Pan Trinbago was to achieve its objectives.
“Give them a little time, let them see what people could do.”
Ramsey-Moore was expected to address the launch of the 2019 competitions at the BP Renegades Pan Theatre, Charlotte Street, Port of Spain yesterday.
WATCH out Len “Boogsie” Sharpe! Eleven-year-old Jeremy Granado has set his sights on being the next master arranger of steelpan music. He wants it all – to be the best pannist, best drummer and best band leader this country has ever produced.
Since 2015, Jeremy has been entering and winning competitions for San Fernando Boys’ RC School which has rewarded him with the captaincy of its steelband. He alternates between the drums and the pan, depending on the selection.
In his debut year at San Fest 2015, Jeremy aced the competition with a Vanessa Headley arrangement of Kitchener’s Pan in A Minor and walked away with the trophy for best pan solo.
Encouraged by his victory, he entered the competition again in 2016 in both the pan solo and instrumental solo categories. His sister Joelle, who was a student of St Gabriel’s Girls’ RC at the time, dethroned him in the pan solo category. He redeemed himself, however, by winning best instrumental solo (drums).
[caption id="attachment_746756" align="alignnone" width="788"] San Fernando Boys RC student Jeremy Granado displays the medals, certificates and trophy he won at San Fest 2018 on a visit to Newsday's office in San Fernando. PHOTO BY ANSEL JEBODH[/caption]
In 2017, he received certificates of excellence in both the drum and pan categories. In November 2018, he surpassed his previous records being declared the most outstanding performer, under 12, at San Fest having won the best pan solo and second place in the instrumental solo (drums).
“It was one of my proudest moments,” said Jeremy, who also performed over the Christmas holidays with his schoolband at its concert held at the National Academy for the Performing Arts' campus in San Fernando. The band also entertained shoppers at Gulf City Mall and played at two benefit concerts at Our Lady of Perpetual and Christ the King RC churches, San Fernando.
Jeremy's parents, Charmay and Peter, gave him his first drum set when he was three. After his many requests to play the steelpan as well, his mother enrolled him with Golden Hands to begin his formal training. He was four when started playing the tenor pan under the tutelage of Headley.
Impressed by what she was hearing, his mother also started recording his performance as he experimented with his own beats and arrangements at home. The recordings, said Charmay, are for the archives as she felt certain he is destined for greatness.
[caption id="attachment_746757" align="alignnone" width="784"] Jeremy Grando in performance at SanFest 2018, Naparima Bowl, San Fernando. FILE PHOTO[/caption]
“He is a natural. It’s all in his head. His life is centered around music. Everywhere we go, he would tell me, 'mummy hear that, hear that beat,'” she said as Jeremy demonstrated his gift, continuously drumming on the desk and chair during the Newsday Kids interview.
He wants to one day start a family band.
“I want to stick with music – the pan and the drums,” said Jeremy, who has also received training in the saxophone and guitar and can play the double seconds and guitar pans. "My sister plays the pan and piano, so we would form our own music band and I would do the arranging.”
When he is not playing, doing lessons in preparation for SEA next year, or serving as an altar server at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Jeremy is fixed to the television or on the internet listening to renowned pan players and drummers or watching basketball.
At over five feet tall, he also has a passion for football and basketball. His favourite basketball player is Stephen Curry of Golden State Warriors.
“He is doing well with his academics and with his extra-curricular activities,” said his proud mother. "What he is doing right now he loves, so he is balanced."
When she was just four years old, Santana Morris vowed to herself never to let circumstances define who she was or would become.
Morris' is a story of a child with a low self-esteem because of her inability to pronounce words properly, who out of sheer determination, transformed into a self-assured 28-year-old educator, author and now UN Youth Ambassador to her native country, Jamaica.
She recently published an educational six-series publication that will officially be launched in Jamaica next month, with a scheduled launch in this country, in August. She told WMN about her journey of overcoming fears and triumph.
"As a child I was unable to speak until I was four, and could only utter sounds. While it initially lowered my self-esteem, it also drove me to excel. I knew I would have to study twice as hard to catch up with my fellow classmates and my love for reading just happened naturally. I was determined also to help others with learning challenges. While my own challenges had taken its toll on me before I decided to turn my obstacles into my drive. I read quietly, until I formed my first legible word, which I knew I would be able to speak," she recalled.
That first word was "mummy" and brought tears to her mother's eyes. It was also an indication to her mother, Marion, that Morris, an only child, was ready to become who God had purposed her to be.
Morris remembered how her mother would be at her side daily, helping her sound out words, allowing her to think critically and read to her heart's content. Her father, Carlton, provided emotional, physical support and quietly championed his resilient little daughter, giving her the push she needed.
She did the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT), which is equivalent to our SEA, and secured a spot at her first choice, Herbert Morrison Technical High School. She went on to graduate from Shortwood Teachers' College (Jamaica) with a diploma in Education, and also earned a degree, and Master’s in general management from the University of Technology. What followed, she said, has left her mother not only deservedly proud, but jokingly begging Morris to "slow down".
At only 28, Morris has caught the attention of Jamaican educators, her prime minister, governor general, and members of parliament, through her efforts to improve on and develop existing reading programmes in Jamaica and the Caribbean. She has been able to impact on literacy in Jamaica through her not-for-profit organisation, The Jamaican Intensive Reading Clinic, of which she is founder and executive director. The clinic, which has its base in Corinaldi Avenue, Montego Bay, Jamaica, is backed by a board of directors and a host of volunteers.
Morris said, she saw a need to provide children with strategic tools for them to contribute to their own learning and knew more emphasis had to be placed on developing critical and analytical skills at reading. It was with this in mind she successfully organised and executed not one, but three vacation reading camps across her country. The first, held in 2016 for one week, saw dozens of children ages six to 17 asking their parents to appeal for an extension in its duration. Morris' camp has earned good reviews on social media across Jamaica.
"I used social media, made a clarion call for 100 volunteers and ended up with over 300. It was so fulfilling just being able to see the children's enthusiasm and hear the parents' feedback on how their children benefited," she said modestly.
Since then, Morris has been able to partner with private and government agencies to offer more to the children within their one week of packed activities, including exposure to different literacy activities.
Her camps have been endorsed by several members of parliament in Jamaica, as well as Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves.
A Voice for Jamaica's Youths:
Her efforts has earned her several national awards, including the Governor General Award for Excellence in 2016, the Prime Minister's Youth Award for Excellence in Leadership in 2017 and then "saluted" by the Jamaican Ministry of Education, Youth and Information for the UN Youth Ambassador's post, which she copped last year.
In 2017, Morris was also recognised in Washington DC as one of the 30, Under 30 Leaders/Emerging Change Makers. None of these accolades, though, seems to have affected Morris' humility, as she credited all her achievements to God.
"God is in the midst of every idea, every concept, every plan, every completion. I know I am not doing this alone, He is with me every step of the way," she said.
Meanwhile, Morris also recently wrapped up a six-school tour across her country, where she engaged in interactive dialogue with students, which allowed them to voice their opinions on the issues they face.
The tour was themed Preserving our Youths through strategic intervention, in creating safe spaces in the 21st Century.
Morris said she also used that platform to highlight some of the safe spaces for youths across her native land and inform students on their UN-declared human rights.
A report was compiled from this initiative, which, as Youth Ambassador (Jamaica), she intends to present at the UN meeting in New York, next month.
"My hope is to be the voice that Jamaican youth feel they don't have and which when they feel brave enough to speak out, gets stifled. My aim is to also look at having youths more involved in decision and policy making in education. So we can see a change for opportunities to be implemented for young people."
Morris, though, doesn't see illiteracy as an issue isolated to only Jamaica. In fact, she is determined to impact on young lives across the Caribbean and has taken on the task of making the alphabet more relevant to her country and its culture.
"What I had realised was that we were teaching our children, here in Jamaica, western objects to identify letters. What I sought to do, through my book, Alphabet in the Jamaican Context, was to make the alphabet more culturally relevant so that our children would identify with objects, places, things and symbols that were our own. So A became A for Ackee, our national fruit, B for Bandana, one of our national costumes, C for Cassava, a ground provision and so on," she said. She said Jamaica and TT's culture and history are very similar, and intends to modify her take on the alphabet to represent other Caribbean countries as well.
"This is, without any doubt in my mind, a Caribbean crisis. The statistics may show one thing, but when you go into the classrooms, you see children struggling. We have to identify how each child learns and allow them to be a part of how they develop, think and analyse, what they saw, heard, touched. Children have different leaning skills. There are three types of learners, audio, visual and tactile. We have to reach them from as soon as early childhood education," she reasoned.
Morris hopes that through her publications people will utilise the different strategic tools to build their critical and analytical skills, make better decisions and think more logically. She is near the completion of a platform that will offer online literacy lessons. The concept, she said, has the commitment of over 300 educators from Jamaica, and will allow parents to screen teachers to best suit their children's learning needs. Parents will also have the additional option of making changes, if they believe that their child's needs will be better addressed by another teacher.
While use of the platform will more than likely be for free, her books will be offered for sale on the site. The books can also be sourced at Amazon and through Morris' website, www.jamaicaintensivereadingclinic.com
Santana Morris' publications:
1. KWL Comprehension Workbook
2. KWL Vocabulary Workbook
3. Strategic Reading Record
4. Literacy Double Entry Journal
5. Keeping Control of your Daily Tasks Diary
6. Using Fine Line Strategy to Build Critical Thinking Skills
POLICE Commissioner Gary Griffith is not pleased that a request by 13 transit police constables to be absorbed into the police service was leaked to the media, before he received their letter.
Although he is willing to look at the curriculum vitae of the officers, Griffith said the fact that their request was leaked concerned him.
Griffith, who is in the UK with National Security Minister Stuart Young for meetings with Scotland Yard officers, responded to Newsday's WhatsApp messages this morning. He said he was not aware of the letters addressed to him, and dated November 19, 2018, and January 10, adding that none of his officers had reported that members of the Transit Police Unit had sent any correspondence.
In the January letter, the officers stated: "Dear Mr Griffith, I, (name and regimental number stated) along with the following officers are currently attached to the Transit Police Unit. We are kindly requesting re-assignment to any available units/stations within the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service."
And in the November letter, the officers said they wanted to meet with Griffith to discuss the overall supervision of the unit, their location (at the Vehicle Management Corporation of TT (VMCOTT), Beetham Gardens, Port of Spain), the reassigning of officers and unattached officers.
Griffith in response to Newsday's questions said: "I need to see the letter before I comment... I checked throughout and TTPS has at no time received any correspondence."
He added: "It is curious to ascertain if and how the media would get a letter addressed to me and I have not yet seen it. And why send to the media? If this was done to put pressure on me to act, they are barking up the wrong tree because I see it as very immature behaviour, if this is what was really done instead of communicating directly to me."
Newsday asked if consideration will be given to the officers and whether he had the authority to absorb them into the service, Griffith responded: "I need to see the CV and appraisal of the applicant. Leaking correspondence to the media is not a positive step. If persons have that same attitude and get into police stations, what is to stop them revealing confidential info from citizens. It is this kind of behaviour I am trying to remove. Not absorb."
The transit police falls under the Office of Law Enforcement Policy (OLEP) in the National Security Ministry. OLEP is led by Keith Reneaud. Newsday contacted Reneaud on another issue concerning transit police, last week, and was told that as a "public servant" who could not give any answers to the media.
POLICE confirmed Tobago's first murder for the year after an autopsy stated that 20-year-old Dwarika Moses was shot in the head.
According to police reports Moses of Les Coteaux, was found in a burnt car in Belmont Link Road, Hope, Tobago, Tobago around 2 am on Wednesday. Moses' body was only found after fire officials extinguished the burning car.
Police sources said they are looking for at least three people who can assist them, one of them a woman who knew Moses. Police said, based on their information, Moses went to the Plymouth home of the woman before he was killed. Police suspect that Moses was lured from his location, shot in the head, and his car burnt to conceal the body and destroy evidence.
Last year, Tobago recorded nine murders. On January 24 last year, Tobago recorded its first murder after 47-year-old entrepreneur James Wise was found with chop wounds to his head at his Crompston Trace, Crown Point home.
Police are searching for a man who chopped his friend, this morning, after an argument over a matter investigators suspect may be illegal.
According to reports, the 41-year-old victim was walking through a track at Hoval Trace, Maracas, St Joseph with his friend, around 5.30 am, when the two began arguing. Police said the men were going into a forested area where officers previously destroyed fields of marijuana. Police said during the argument the attacker pulled out a cutlass and chopped his friend repeatedly and fled.
The victim ran out of the bush and sought medical attention as well as police intervention. St Joseph police are continuing investigations. The suspect, who remains on the run, faces a charge of wounding with intent to commit serious bodily harm. The victim was treated at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mt Hope and discharged.
IN a time of financial uncertainty where players are not receiving stipends and prize money is long in coming, one Tobago steel orchestra has taken a leap of faith.
After campaigning in the Medium category for about 15 years and having won once along with several seconds, thirds and fourth places NLCB Buccooneers has moved into the realm of the large bands.
Captain Anthony Hopkins said, “This is something that has been in the air for sometime and because of the rule which allows one arranger to one band in each category we just could not do it.
“This year a window opened and the opportunity came along and we decided to make the move we always wanted to make.” Asked about players, Hopkins said, “It might be a little challenge, nothing we can’t handle. I feel we can convince players to come with us. We are looking at the minimum 40 to 100 players. As a medium band we had the maximum (90). When it comes to the instruments we can also handle that as there is not much needed.
“We are not worried as we are confident in the music we put out and our sponsors are on board with us. NLCB has taken a load off our shoulders as we have been going for years without that kind of help and did fairly well,” Hopkins said.
The confident Hopkins says he does not see it as a big move but as a simple transition while arranger Seion Gomez appreciates the move.
Gomez said, “I am very normal, Panorama is Panorama and we have plenty work to do. It is not just about the arranger. It is about the players (band), management and sponsors being on the same page and in sync in order to move forward in a positive way.”
Lawyers call for urgent public review of St Kitts-Nevis economic citizenship programme
By Caribbean News Now contributor BASSETERRE, St Kitts — Leading activist and legal figures in St Kitts and Nevis have called for the government to address fraudulent practices surrounding the nation’s citizenship by investment (CBI) programme. During the most recent edition of WINN FM’s ‘Inside the News’ talk show, lawyer and former government minister Dwyer […]
COPA Airlines to connect Suriname to Avianca, Turkish and United airlines’ networks
By Ray Chickrie Caribbean News Now contributor PARAMARIBO, Suriname — On July 6, COPA Airlines, a member of the global Star Alliance network, will commence direct flights between Panama City and Paramaribo, Suriname, connecting this city with 80 other COPA destinations through its Panama City hub. This development is significant for Suriname, which has been […]
By Caribbean News Now contributor PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad — Sandals Resort International announced on Tuesday that it is pulling out of its planned resort project in Tobago. Sandals CEO, Gebhart Rainer, explained at a press conference that the main reason behind the company’s decision to withdraw from the project was negative publicity. Describing the […]
Surinamese rice exporter killed execution style in Guyana
By Ivan Cairo Caribbean News Now contributor PARAMARIBO, Suriname — The body of a male of East Indian descent that was discovered with a single bullet wound to the head on Monday in Guyana is said to be that of Nitinder Oemrawsingh, a rice exporter from neighbouring Suriname. While Guyanese police are still awaiting official […]
CARPHA urges region to prepare for the possibility of a severe outbreak of dengue fever
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad — The last major regional outbreak of dengue occurred in 2009. Since then, the region has experienced two large outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases, chikungunya in 2014 and zika in 2016, which are unlikely to reoccur soon. Disease modelling, however, predicts that another regional outbreak of dengue may occur in the near […]