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The Year in Review April – June 2005

The Year in Review April – June 2005

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• APRIL

• The April 1 front page told the story of the destruction by fire of the Barbadian main penal penitentiary and the fate of Vincentian prisoners there. The drama was played out on radio here when some Vincentians who were incarcerated there made cellular telephone calls to different parties in St. Vincent, including a local radio talk show host, and gave commentary on the situation as it unfolded. A contingent of Vincentian policemen joined their Barbadian counter parts to assist with providing security at the various points where prisoners would be housed. {{more}}

• Ground was broken for the construction of the Lowmans Bay Electricity Generation Plant. This was reported in the edition of April 1. This project, with a price tag of $100m is reported to be the costliest ever for the local electricity company.

• our back page of April 1 reported that seven persons were reported missing . The five men and two women left Canouan at 8: 20 a.m on March 27 en route to Bequia for the Easter Regatta Activities. They never made it. According to reports, captain of the 20-foot boat, Wilfred Ollivierre, telephoned for help at about 7 p.m. that same day complaining that he had run out of fuel.

• Our April 8 edition proudly hailed Vincentian Sophia Christopher-Young who on April 4 powered her Baylor Bears basketball team to their first NCAA victory in the United States. The former Layou Government and Bethel High School student was named Most Valuable Player of the final four.

• Searchlight newspaper celebrated 10 years of existence with the publication of a bumper 56 page supplement.

• The NDP kicked off the launching of candidates leading up to the General Elections with that of Dr. Linton Lewis in the East St. George Constituency on April 2. The surprise of the evening was the mounting of the platform by reigning Miss St. Vincent and the Grenadines Javornne Williams who read a lengthy citation on Dr. Lewis.

• News hit the streets in April that popular talk show host, Elwardo Lynch had been taken to court by the Director of Public Prosecutions, charged with publishing a false statement likely to cause alarm. The charge arose from comments Lynch made on the New Democratic Party New Times political platform at a meeting at Sion Hill on March 4.

• Another boat mishap was reported in April, this time involving residents of the South Leeward village of Clare Valley. VAnrick Allick survived nearly three days in the raging waters between St. Vincent and St. Lucia, however, two colleagues, Julian Alexander, and Alphoso Allick were missing.

• The National Omibus Association (NOBA) called strike action on Monday 11 to demonstrate their opposition to Government proposals for rate adjustments. Only 3 days before, Minister of Transport, Works and Housing, Julian Francis publicly urged NOBA to accept the proposals from Cabinet.

• In April we reported of another Vincentian basketballer making it into the American spotlight. Sancho Lyttle of Houston College hit the national draft in fifth position.

• In our April 22 edition, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves distanced himself from statements made by Magistrate Carlyle Dougan, QC who the previous week had aroused a wave of comment across the region with his call for the decriminalization of ganja. Gonsalves said, “I expect the law to be followed by those who have reason to apply the law.”

• Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Godfred Pompey was on April 22nd reported as describing the theft of the solar panels at the E.T. Joshua Airport as a “Terrorist Act.”

• In our issues of April 22 and 27 we featured the problem of the growing number of homeless persons on the streets of Kingstown, and the horrors they face in the daily struggle to survive.

• On April 22, we reported on the back page that Anglican Bishop of the Windward Islands, Dr. Sehon Goodridge had resigned his post effective July 31, 2005. That same page carried the story of the funeral service of leader in the New Testament Church, Victoria Alexandrina Prima, more popularly known as “Mother Priam.”

• Jason Punnett, a 19-year old automotive technician became this country’s second road fatality when his Mitsubishi Pajero overturned at Gibson Corner on April 22. The young man succumbed at the scene to injuries sustained in the crash.

• Cameron “Dinky” Balcombe was on April 23, the second New Democratic Party candidate to be launched. He challenged Dr. Ralph Gonsalves in the North Central Windward seat.

• MAY

Our May 6 edition reported on this country’s second road fatality in two successive weeks. Harley Cambridge, a 33-year old Sion Hill man succumbed to injuries suffered when his motor cycle crashed on Saturday April 30 at Villa.

• Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves announced in May several cabinet shifts, heightening speculation that the government was moving into election mode. Deputy Prime Minister Louis Straker was to move from the Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry to take over Transport, Works and Housing from May 17. The move was to see him replacing Senator Julian Francis who was assigned duties in the Prime Minister’s Office. Michael Browne has been shifted to the Foreign Affairs, Commerce and Trade Ministry, leaving Clayton Burgin who previously served as his junior in the Ministry of Education Youth and Sports Ministry to assume responsibility for the ministry.

• Our May 13 edition reported that 30-year old Webster Woodley was slated to return to court on May 17 to face seven charges, including three for murder. Woodley was indicted in connection with the deaths of Livingston Primus, Sigbert Pompey and Peter Joseph. But Woodley claimed that he is being framed. He accused Selwyn “Thick Skin” Moses, and Grenadian Sheldon “Dutch” Bain of being “involved.”

• The entire Nation was thrown into a state of shock with the murder and rape of 77-year old Dorsie Neptune of Rockies on May 13. The horrific story was reported on the front page of our May 20 edition. A 25-year old man of Murray’s Village was expected to be slapped with a murder charge on May 19 in relation to the crime.

• That same issue reported on the death of seven-year-old Anwar Nero of Paget Farm who was found dead lying in a pool of water on May 11. His family remained adamant that its youngest member was murdered even though police were, at the time still trying to unearth the circumstances of the child’s death.

• The NDP launched its candidate for Central Leeward, Norrel Hull on May 14 at the Barrouallie Playing Field. Hull was presented, once again to the people of his hometown, in an attempt to wrest the Central Leeward seat from the ULP’s Layou born Louis Straker.

• In the first of two vault snatching stories to be reported for the year, our May 20th edition reported that thieves broke into the premises of Finishing and Furnishing Ltd. in Kingstown and made off with an entire vault.

• The tragic news of the death in Barbados of local educator, Sister Patricia Ann Douglas dominated our edition of May 27. Sister Pat, the principal of St. Joseph’s Convent Marriaqua had been traveling in a car when tragedy struck. It is believed Sister Pat died instantly from the impact of the crash.

The Girls’ High School were announced the winners of the RBTT Young Leaders competition for 2005 for the second consecutive year. The school received the Distinction Award along with $5000. Second place went to the Georgetown Secondary School, with third place going to the Bethel High School.

• Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves returned from his spiritual retreat to the Mount St. Benedict Monastery in Trinidad with his mind made up about the date for the General Elections. He however did not disclose the date.

• Our May 27 edition reported that talk show host Elwardo Lynch had been found guilty of charges brought against him. Lynch had been charged with publishing a false statement that was likely to cause alarm. He appealed the $3000 fine imposed on him.

•Vincentian singing sensation, Kiokya Cruickshank emerged winner of the Digicel Rishing Star competition. The May 27 edition reported that she came home to a hero’s welcome when she arrived at the E.T. Joshua on May 22.

• JUNE

Two persons, Eleador Patterson and his girlfriend Dion Bacchus were charged with the murder of Caldric Glasgow of Diamond. The brutal slaying of Glasgow left neighbours in shock when the news broke early Sunday May 29.

• Casynella Abygail Ollivierre, native of Mayreau was moved to tears when she was announced Miss SVG 2005 on Saturday May 28. The nineteen-year-old student of the Community College thrilled the audience with her overall performance.

• It was announced in June that local Lion Beverly Reddock was to be sworn in as District Governor of the Lions Club District 60B, Region 3, at the 88th Annual Lions Clubs International Convention in Hong Kong. Reddock’s election was historic in that she was to become the first female and first Vincentian national to hold the top post.

• In June, three murder charges were slapped on Grenadian Sheldon “Dutch” Bain, a fugitive whose name stirred feelings of uneasiness in the country during the latter half of 2004. Bain, on June 8, was charged for the double murder of Roseclair and Lancelot Williams, a couple of Trigger Ridge, Redemption Sharpes, who were shot dead, execution-style, at their home between December 9 and 10, 2004. The Grenadian was also charged for the murder of 28-year-old Livingston Primus of Sion Hill, who was gunned down just before 3 a.m. on August 23, 2004 at the Sion Hill intersection.

• St. Vincent’s newest supermarket officially opened its doors on June 7. Aunt Jobe’s Supermarket is the result of 8 years of planning by entrepreneur Ken Boyea.

• It was announced in June that the Arnos Vale Playing Field will go through a EC$23 Million reconfiguration as this country puts plans in motion to host warm up matches in the 2007 Cricket World Cup. St. Vincent and the Grenadines, is among four new venues selected for the pre- tournament matches.

• “It’s unfair and a verbal ambush on the people of this country.” That was how Prime Minister Dr.Ralph Gonsalves characterized statements made by Barbados’ Prime Minister Owen Arthur in the Barbados Parliament in June.

Arthur had said the flow of illegal drugs from St. Vincent and the Grenadines to Barbados, and the criminal networks it was spawning, threatened the country’s national security. In response, Dr. Gonsalves was adamant that his government had been co-operating fully with Barbadian authorities on drug interdiction.

• The Daize family of Gordon Yard will always remember Saturday, June 11, as the date their beloved Peter Daize met his tragic death.

Daize, a 41-year-old heavy equipment operator, was killed while working on Phase One of the Cross Country Road Project.

• The New Democratic Party (NDP) launched its candidate for the Southern Grenadines, Terrance Ollivierre on June 18. The launch took place in Ashton, Union Island. Ollivierre, the parliamentary representative for the Southern Grenadines constituency, was seeking a second term.

• Our June 17 edition reported that the Adelphi Secondary School had been adjudged the most environmentally friendly school in St.Vincent and the Grenadines

• Rodney Adams, Supervisor of Elections claimed in June that Vincentians could rest assured the General Elections will not be rigged. “This supervisor of elections is not going to rig elections. It will be free and fair,” said Adams at a press conference adding that he will not perjure his soul.

• Something is in the mortar beside the pestle. That was the message on June 15 that came from the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers Union (SVGTU) which saw red about a proposed New Education Bill which was to be discussed between the organization and government. President of the SVGTU, Otto Sam, stated that the proposed Act had reversed a number of gains made by teachers from decades of struggles.

• Cingular Wireless Caribbean Limited is no more. In a hush-hush multi-million dollar deal that caught many in the telecoms industry by surprise, Irish-based mobile telecommunications giant Digicel had silently acquired the shares of Cingular Wireless Caribbean Limited. Both companies formally released the details of the acquisition to the public on June 22.

• On Monday, June 20, the Immigration Department commissioned the new Machine-Readable Passport system, which came into effect in July. The passports, are issued in three categories, Diplomatic, Official and Ordinary and were produced by the Canadian Bank Note Company Limited of Canada at a cost of EC$4.3 million dollars.



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