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Brooks bags another bronze

Sports - 14 hours 33 min ago

T&T’s Alena Brooks, for the second time this week, reached the podium after placing third in the women’s 800 metres at the Morton Games International Athletics meet at the Morton Stadium Santry in Dublin, Ireland, yesterday.

The national champion, running in lane one, raced across the line in two minutes and 02.32 seconds to finish behind American Hannah Green, who won in 2:01.66, with Ciara Mageean of the host country in second in a season’s best 2:02.13.

Brooks, the national record-holder achieved at the Commonwealth Games in Australia earlier this year with a 2:01.81-clocking, also won bronze in the event at the 67th Cork City Sports International Athletics meet at the Cork Institute of Technology also in Ireland, on Monday.

The national middle-distance runner raced from lane two and clocked 2:03.40, to trail American duo winner Laura Roesler (2:02.45) and second-placed Emily Richards (2:03.20).

Brooks’ performances will certainly give her a boost heading into the Central American and Caribbean Games which got on the way yesterday in Barranquilla, Colombia.

She was named among 23 athletes on the track and field team. The athletics competitions start on July 27 and run until August 3 at the Roberto Melendez Stadium.

Categories: News

Calypso Spikers renew rivalry with Puerto Rico

Sports - 14 hours 38 min ago

T&T senior women’s volleyballers will open their campaign at the XXIII Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games versus Puerto Rico at Humberto Perea Coliseum from 3 pm today in Barranquilla, Colombia.

However, the team’s preparations for the tournament and for the rest of the year, inclusive of the FIVB World Championship in Japan in September has been rocked by the impending resignation of the Cuba-born T&T coach, Francisco “Panchee” Cruz.

Speaking on Wednesday night ahead of the competition in Colombia, T&T coach, Cuban-born Cruz said: “My team is very tired. We don’t have the proper preparation for such an active season. We were in Canada (Challenge Cup), in Suriname for the Caribbean Cup and then in Santo Domingo for the Pan American Cup.

“Only well-prepared teams are capable to perform at this rhythm, this is not our case because we never train.

“I have faced this problem for 12 years since I took charge of the team and I have presented my resignation effective after the FIVB world championship. This competition is part of our preparation for worlds,” said Cruz, who has led the team to the last seven CAZOVA titles as well as debut appearances at the World Grand Prix (last year) and a spot in next month’s World Championship during his tenure.

The 24-team FIVB World Championship takes place in six cities in Japan from September 29 to October 20. Today’s encounter between T&T women and Puerto Rico comes 11 days after both teams tallied the third highest combined points total in the history of the Women’s Pan American Cup (226 points) which ended in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic on Saturday last.

Recent winners of the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) Women’s Championship for a record seventh straight time and eighth overall in Suriname, T&T, coming off an 11th-place finish at the Pan American Cup will then face Colombia on Saturday ahead of their final round-robin Pool B match with Costa Rica a day later.

Calypso Stickmen face Guatemala in the opener

With the sudden death of a national colleague, senior men’s team goalkeeper Kwasi Emmanuel (21) on Saturday last due to a heart attack, this country’s senior women’s hockey team will flick off its Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games campaign today.

T&T will face Guatemala in their Pool B opener from 2 pm before matches versus Barbados on Sunday from 12 noon, and Jamaica to end round-robin play on Tuesday, from 2 pm to end pool play.

The ‘Calypso Stickwomen’, gold medal winners in 2002 and 2010, both on Puerto Rican soil and fourth in 2006 in the Dominican Republic, as well as four years ago in Vera Cruz, Mexico after a 2-1 loss to the host.

Earlier this month the Anthony Marcano-coached national team warmed up for the CAC Games by topping a Tri-Nation Series which included hosts Barbados and Guyana at Wildey Hockey Turf, Wildey, Barbados. T&T drew 0-0 and defeated Barbados 1-0 while against Guyana, T&T co-captained by Amie Olton and Teresa Lezama went under to Guyana 1-0 but rebounded for a 3-1 win in their second match.

In addition to captain Olton, the T&T women’s team also feature three of her sisters in Kaitlyn, Samantha and Sarah, making it the first time four siblings had featured for T&T on the same national team.

The deceased Emmanuel and his two other brothers, Kieron and Kristien held that honour as the first sibling trio to represent T&T at a Pan American Junior Men’s Hockey Championship in Toronto, Canada in 2016.

T&T U-21 men, women footballers kick off medal hunt

This country’s Under-20 men’s football team will kick off their Group A round-robin matches at the CAC Games versus Honduras at the Romelio Martinez Stadium, Barranquilla, from 5 pm today.

The Russell Latapy-coached T&T squad which will also face Costa Rica on Sunday and Colombia on Tuesday are using the tournament as part of their preparations for the CONCACAF Men’s Championship in November which also serves as the FIFA U-20 World Cup qualifiers.

“The main focus is on preparation for the U-20 Qualifiers at CONCACAF Level in November so the squad selection for the CAC Games was made with that in mind,” Latapy said prior to the team’s departure last weekend.

Group B comprises Mexico, Venezuela, Haiti and El Salvador. The semifinals take place with the top two teams from each group on July 28, with the gold and bronze medal matches set for July 31.

Three hours after the local men’s footballers open their tournament, T&T’s senior women’s footballers coached by Jamaal Shabazz will open its Group B account against Mexico at the Estadio Moderno Julio Torres from 8 pm (TT time).

The local women’s team will the face Nicaragua two days later (July 22) before closing off its campaign against Haiti Tuesday. The top two teams from the group will advance to take on the top two team in Group A, which comprises hosts Colombia, Venezuela, Jamaica and Costa Rica.

T&T TEAM

Athletics:
Athletes: Alena Brooks, Ayanna Alexander, Cleopatra Borel, Janeil Bellille, Kayelle Clarke, Khalifa St Fort, Khemani Roberts, La Toya Gilding, Portious Warren, Reyare Thomas, Semoy Hackett, Sparkle Mc Knight, Tyra Gittens, Zakiya Denoon, Aaron Lewis, Akeem Stewart, Andwuelle Wright, Hezekiel Romeo, Jalen Purcel, Jehue Gordon, Johnathan Farinha, Kareem Roberts, Keshorn Walcott, Keston Bledman, Kyle Greaux, Nathan Farinha, Nicholas Landeau, Reubin Walters
Staff: Dexter Voisin (manager), Arlon Morrison (coach), Ian Carter (coach), Ismael Mastrapa (coach), Jamal James (coach), Niconner Alexander (coach), Wade Franklyn (coach), Wendell Williams (coach).
Archery
Athletes: Daniel Catariz, Hasmath Ali, Johnathan Mosca, Jonathan Thomas, Peter Kong, Priyanka Dhanie
Staff: Peter Quesnel (manager), George Vire (coach)
Badminton
Athletes:Avril Marcelle, Will Lee
Staff: Ronald Clarke (manager)
Beach Volleyball
Athletes: Daneil Wiliams, Daynte Stewart, Abby Blackman, Rheeza Grant
Staff: Stephen Williams (manager), Nancy Joseph (coach)
Boxing
Athletes: Aaron Prince, Michael Alexander, Nigel Paul, Tiana Guy
Staff: Reynold Cox M Boxing (manager), Floyd Trumpet M Boxing (coach)
Canoe
Athletes: Satyam Maharaj
Staff: John Handyside (coach)
Cycling
Athletes: Adam Alexander, Akil Campbell, Christian Farah, Jovian Gomez, Kemp Orosco, Keron Bramble, Kwesi Browne, Nicholas Paul, Njisane Phillip, Quincy Alexander, Tyler Cole, Teniel Campbell, Jessica Costa, Alexi Costa, Alexi Bovell
Staff: David Francis (manager), Erin Hartwell (Sprint coach), Gene Samuel (Women’s coach), Ashton Williams (Mechanic), Elisha Greene (Mechanic), Gabriel Thomas (Mechanic)
Football
Men: Darnell Hospedales, Denzil Smith, Derron John, Ethan Bonaparte, Isaish Garcia, Isaish Lee, Jadel Poon-Lewis, Jared Dass, Jaydon Prowell, Jerrin Jackie, Jessie Williams, Jodel Brown, John Paul Rochford, Judah Garcia, Kierron Mason, Mark Ramdeen, Nickel Orr, Rivaldo Coryat, Shaqkeem Joseph, Triston Hodge
Staff: Alexandrine Elliot-Procope (manager), Russell Latapy (head coach), Duane Richardson (assistant coach), Kelvin Graham (goalkeeper coach), Caleb De Souza (coach/analyst), Dexter Tomas (trainer/physiotherapist), Otis Hislop (massage therapist), Devin Elcock (equipment manager)
Women: Aaliyah Prince, Afiyah Cornwall, Arin King, Ayana Russell, Janine Francois, Jenelle Cunningham, Jonelle Cato, Karyn Forbes, Kedie Johnson, Kimika Forbes, Liana Hinds, Mariah Shade, Naomi Guerra, Natasha St Louis, Natisha John, Patrice Superville, Rhea Belgrave, Saundra Baron, Summer Arjoon, Tasha St Louis
Staff: Jinelle James (manager), Jamaal Shabazz (head coach), Ross Russell (goalkeeper coach), Kavi Ali (Doctor), Joellen Redhead-Cole (physiotherapist),
Verne Browne (massage therapist), Trey Hart (trainer), Steve Frederick (equipment manager)
Hockey
Men: Akim Toussaint, Andrey Rocke, Daniel Byer, Jordan Reynos, Jordan Vieira, Kristien Emmanuel, Kwandwane Browne, Lyndell Byer, Marcus James, Michael II O’Connor, Mickell Pierre, Shane Legerton, Shaquille Daniel, Stefan Mouttet, Tariq Marcano, Teague Marcano
Staff - Cindy Martin-Faustin (head team manager)
Marlon Granderson (manager), Glenn Francis (head coach), Huw Stevens (assistant coach), Nicholas Baldeosingh (videographer)
Women: Amanda George, Amie Olton, Anya Sealy, Brianna Govia, Brittney Hingh, Dana De Gannes, Felica King, Gabrielle Thompson, Kaitlyn Olton, Kimberley Anne Young, Petal Derry, Saarah Olton, Samantha Olton, Savannah De Freitas, Shaniah De-Freitas, Teresa Lezama, Jennifer Lander (manager)
Anthony Marcano (head coach), Stacy Siu Butt (assistant coach), Natalie Nieves (videographer)
Judo
Athlete: Gabriella Wood
Staff: Mark Littrean (coach)
Rowing
Athlete: Felice Aisha Chow
Staff: Sarah Lucia Trowbridge (coach)
Rugby
Men’s team: Aasan Lewis, Agboola Silverthorn, Jahreem George, James Phillip, Joseph Quashie, Keishon Walker, Keston Earle, Leon Pantor, Nigel Ballington, Shakeel Dyte, Shakir Flemming, Wayne Kelly
Staff: Curtis Nero (manager), Larry Mendez (coach), Felicien Guerra (assistant coach)
Sailing
Athletes: Andrew Lewis, Kelly Ann Arrindell
Staff: Luis Chiappro (coach)
Shooting
Athletes: Clement Marshall, Marlon Moses, Marsha Bullen-Jones, Rhodney Allen, Roger Daniel
Staff: Ian Cockburn (manager)
Squash
Athletes: Chayse McQuan, Kale Wilson, Patrick Nku, Alexandria Yearwood, Charlotte Knaggs, Marie Claire Barcant
Staff: Ryan Jagessar (manager)
Swimming
Athletes: David Mc Leod, Dylan Carter, Jabari Baptiste, Joshua Romany, Kael Yorke; Open Water - Chisara Santana, Gabriel Bynoe, Shania David
Staff: Clive Carter (manager), Joseph Mc Leod (coach), Hazel Haynes (Open Water coach)
Table Tennis
Britney Joseph, Catherine Spicer, Linda Partap-Boodhan, Rheann Chung
Staff: Ian Joseph (manager), Aleena Edwards (coach)
Tennis
Athletes: Breana Stampfli, Yolande Leacock
Staff: Carlista Mohammed (coach)
Volleyball
Women’s team: Afesha Olton, Afiya Alexander, Channon Thompson, Darlene Ramdin, Jalicia Ross-Kydd, Kelly-Ann Billingy, Kiune Fletcher, Krystle Esdelle, Mikela Mc Gillvery, Renele Forde, Sinead Jack, Taija Thomas,
Staff: Susan Pierre (manager), Francisco Cruz Jimenez (coach), Jarad Cuffie (assistant coach), Nicholson Drakes (coach/analyst)
Keva Stephens (physiotherapist)
Men’s team: Akim Bushe, Brandon Legall, Che Cockburn-Harris, Joshua Mohammed, Kameron Donald, Kwesi Daniel, Marc Honore, Marley Davidson, Marlon Phillip, Mikheil Hoyte, Nathanael Noriega, Newton Grant, Nicholas Prescott, Ryan Stewart
Staff: Kairon Serrette (manager), Sean-miguel Morrison (coach), Tobias Ottley (assistant (coach), Amanda Johnson (physiotherapist)
Waterpolo
Men’s team: Adrian Hinds, Andrew Too-A-Foo, Christopher George, Daniel Alvarez, Ethan Elliott, Gregorio Felician, Kris Thomas, Kryztien Sharpe, Leon Daniel, Russell Ferreira, Ryan Smith, Sergio Des Vignes, Tyrece Joseph
Staff: Sebastian Van Reeken (manager), Genai Kerr (coach)
Women’s team: Ariel Stewart, Charissa Hackshaw, Jamila Noguera-Devers, Jordan Van Reeken, Leah Dos Santos, Megan Stafford, Shemiyah Ross, Summer Gibson, Thais Hinds, Yanis Augustine
Staff: Arielle Rostant (manager), Ronson Hackshaw (coach)
Officials:
Lovie Santana (chef de mission), Stacy Santana (deputy chef de mission), Rudranath Ramsawak (chief medical officer), Nailah Adams (Doctor), Ryan Rabilall (Doctor), Karielle De Bique (physiotherapist), Verne Alleyne (physiotherapist), Abdel Murguia Miranda (massage therapist), Brent Elder (massage therapist), Derek Ashby Williams (massage therapist), Ian Sharpe (massage therapist), June Durham (massage therapist), Keisha Fraser (massage therapist), Odessa Chandler (massage therapist), Shurlan Bonas (massage therapist), Melanie Gulston (press attache)ge therapist), Shurlan Bonas (massage therapist), Melanie Gulston (press attache)

Categories: News

Army, Central chase Cup honours

Sports - 14 hours 41 min ago

Marvin Gordon, the head coach of three-time winners and last season’s defeated finalist Defence Force FC, says it is no surprise to him that the Tetron Boys are into the final of the 2018 First Citizens Cup. His team will take on Central FC at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo tonight. Kick-off is at 7 pm.

“It is no surprise for me that we are in the final with one more hurdle for the title,” Gordon said this week.

“Before the start of the tournament and at the launch, I said that we (Defence Force) will go all the all the way to the final and even go one better (than last season when we lost the final 3-1 to W Connection) to win the title.”

The Defence Force coach added, “It is the confidence that I have as a coach in our squad. The confidence in what we are doing on the training pitch, and the belief in our players. The players also believe in what the coaching staff members are doing.”

Off the pitch and on it, it is also no surprise that the First Citizens Cup final will boast the biggest giveaways including a flat screen television, a security system, and TT$10,000 in ‘dash-for-cash’ as spectators will undoubtedly be the big winners.

Gates open from 5 pm on the final day which will also feature a live performance from Sejoux Leo Star. The largest and loudest First Citizens staff crew will also receive a cooler packed with drinks.

Non-Pro League teams will get a chance to win TT5,000 ‘dash-for-cash’ at 6 pm, while Pro League teams will get their shot during the half-time interval of the final. The rule, however, is that teams, Pro League and non-Pro League, must have ten (10) or more players in their respective team jersey to qualify a player for the ‘dash-for-cash’.

But in the main event Central, First Citizens Cup champions of 2013 and 2014, is keen on reuniting with the prestigious knockout title.

Central FC technical staff also believe in the strength of its team which boasts the likes of T&T’s 2006 World Cup squad members Densill Theobald and Anthony Wolfe, current T&T goalkeeper Marvin Phillip, Jared London, Akim Armstrong and Kerry Baptiste, many of who could celebrate their first title with the Couva Sharks.

Central FC needed a marathon penalty shootout to edged Police FC 7-6 from the spot following a 1-1 draw to reach the final after Defence Force had comfortably dispatched Morvant Caledonia United 4-0 in the first match of last week Friday’s semi-final double-header.

Central FC which is coached by legendary T&T forward Stern John, is the only team to defeat Defence Force so far this season, and did so with a 2-1 group stage win on June 22 courtesy resolute defending and a brilliant double from winger Tyrone Charles, who hit the back of the net seconds into the first and second halves.

John said, “Every club wants to win the First Citizens Cup,” said John, a former Birmingham City, Sunderland and Southampton forward. “It is the equivalent of the FA Cup in England. I cannot express how proud I am of my players and staff to fight their way into the final despite immense personal pressures placed on them. Many footballers would become distracted by the current situation, which has resulted in our players not receiving full salaries. But even so, when they cross that white line, they’ve given me 100 per cent.”

Categories: News

T&T names 40-member Goodwill swim team

Sports - 14 hours 44 min ago

The Amateur Swimming Association of T&T (ASATT) has selected a 40-member swim team as this country seeks to defend its Goodwill Swim Meet title when the 2018 edition of the meet takes place in Barbados from August 17 – 19.

The team was selected on Tuesday night at a meeting of the ASAT&T and ratified by its general council on the same night as well following the conclusion of the National Age-Group Short Course Swimming Championship at the National Aquatic Centre, Balmain, Couva on Sunday.

The Goodwill Swim Meet is a developmental meet where swimmers who have represented T&T at Carifta, Central American and Caribbean Amateur Swimming Confederation (CCCAN) and higher level meets are excluded.

T&T is hoping to capture its fifth consecutive Goodwill title, as the team has won from 2014-2017.

The 10 and Unders’ were selected by virtue of the overall placing at the end of the meet, while the 11 and Overs’ has to set qualifying times set by ASAT&T.

T&T GOODWILL SWIMMING TEAM

Eighth and Under
Girls
Alyssa Reid, Netania Edwards, Asia-Marie Pouchet, Tamia Archibald
Boys
Rylan Thomas, Adam Scoon, Alejandro Agard, Zaheed Walter
Age 9-10
Girls
Keryn Burke, Shauna Nelson, Madara Edwards, Atiyah Walter
Boys
Giovanni Rivas, Zachary Anthony, Liam Carrington, Jacob Cox
Age 11 – 12
Girls
Kiara Goodridge, Amari Ash, Sharana Balkaran, Daniella Blackman
Boys
Dillon Jaglal, Nathan Pascall, Keron Kotiah, Justin Hassranah
Age 13 – 14
Girls
Isabella Edwards, Patricia-Lee Ravello, Naomi Walters, Jaedra Douglas
Boys
Aaron Stuart, Gardel Elcock, Nicholas Francois, Prince Moreau
Age 15 – 17
Girls
Kami Morean, Courtney Lawrence, Bianca Prevatt, Analee Maharaj
Boys
Jordan McMillan, Brandon Coombs, Dante Williams, Jamaal Pascall
Officials
Mark Alexis (coach), Nefertiti Acosta-Yates (manager), Lennox Gould (assistant coach), Rochelle Pierre (assistant coach), Leslyn Alexander (assistant coach), Keith Matamoro (chaperone), Nisha Charles (chaperone)

Categories: News

Vincent leads UdeCOTT North to victory

Sports - 14 hours 56 min ago

Defending Courts T20 champions UdeCOTT North Starblazers opened their defence of the title with a win in the first round on Wednesday night at the National Cricket Centre (NCC) in Couva.

Led by brilliant batting from Rachael Vincent, they took away an easy seven-wicket victory over Tridents Sports Phoenix at the National Cricket Centre (NCC) in Couva. Chasing 154 runs for victory, Vincent opening the batting took control and in the end was able to guide her team to victory. She scored an unbeaten 83 off 63 balls with seven fours and two sixes. She got good support from Jodian Morgan who scored 30 off 15 balls with one four and three sixes.

Earlier, skipper Lee Ann Kirby was brilliant with the ball, taking four wickets for 21 runs to restrict Phoenix to 153/5 off their allotted 20 overs. The only batter who handled her was Windies player Stacy Ann King, who slapped an unbeaten 78 off 61 balls with seven fours and a six.

The other game in the opening round between LCB Central Sharks and TECU Southern Titans did not come off as planned as the pitch at Wilson Road in Penal was found to be wet by the umpires. Rain in the Southland put paid to this game, as there was seepage under the covers that prevented any play. Both teams left the venue with one point each.

The second round was due to come off last night weather permitting. UdeCOTT North Starblazers were to come up against LCB Contractors at the NCC, while Tridents Sports Phoenix was due to play TECU Southern Titans at the Brian Lara Academy.

COURTS WOMEN’S T20 SCORES

At the NCC: Tridents Sports Phoenix 153/5 (20) (Stacy Ann King 78no, Lee Ann Kirby 4/21) vs UdeCOTT North Starblazers 154/3 (19.1) (Rachael Vincent 83no, Jodian Morgan 30) - Starblazers won by 7 wickets.

At Wilson Road: TECU Southern Titans vs LCB Central Sharks - no play.

Categories: News

Chung shines but T&T comes up short

Sports - 14 hours 58 min ago

The local women’s table tennis team of France-based Rheann Chung, new national champion Catherine Spicer, and Brittany Joseph suffered defeat in both their Women’s Team matches when the 23rd Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games began in Barranquilla, Colombia, yesterday.

Playing at the Centro Eventos Puerta de Oro, the T&T women first went under to Puerto Rico 3-1 with five-time Caribbean singles champion Chung getting the lone win for her team, 11-7, 13-11, 11-7 against

Esmerlyn Castro. This after Eva Brito defeated Spicer 11-5, 9-11, 11-7, 11-5 for a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five matches.

Yasiris Ortiz and Castro restored Puerto Rico’s lead at 2-1 when they beat Joseph and Spicer 8-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-6, in the doubles encounter before Brito stopped Joseph 11-9, 11-7, 12-10 to complete a 3-1 triumph for the Spanish-speaking island.

Against Mexico, Chung got T&T off to a winning start, 11-6, 11-9, 6-11, 11-3 over Alejandra Mendez but Spicer then fell to Yadira Silva, 5-11, 4-11, 4-11 while Spicer and Joseph were outplayed by Mendez and Marbella Aceves 11-4, 9-11, 4-11, 4-11 in the doubles.

Chung kept T&T alive in the tie by battling past Aceves 11-6, 6-11, 13-11, 8-11, 11-8 in her second singles match to set up a decider between Joseph and Silva.

It was not to be for T&T as Joseph despite a valiant effort fell to Silva, 6-11, 7-11, 16-14, 9-11 after starving off three match points and the tie, in the third set.

Today, the T&T women will complete round-robin pool play versus Colombia needing a win to have any chance of reaching the quarterfinals. The Colombians defeated Mexico 3-2 in its opener before a 3-1 win over the Dominican Republic for a 2-0 record yesterday.

At the Marina de Puerto Velero, T&T’s Kelly-Ann Arrindell was eighth after the first three Women’s Laser Radial races.

In race one, Arrindell was a seventh-placed finisher while she ended seventh and 10th in the second and third races, respectively for a total of 24 points to end the first day.

She will return to action tomorrow with three more races, then Monday for the final three races.

Today will also see the local squash players Kale Wilson, Patrick Nku and Chayse Mc Quan as well as Alexandra Yearwood, Charlotte Knaggs and Marie-Claire Barcant start singles play in the round-of-32 men and women event.

Two-time Olympic swimmer Dylan Swimmer will spearhead T&T’s medal charge in the pool along with David Mc Leod, Jabari Baptiste, Joshua Romany and Kael Yorke.

Another Olympian, who will see action today, is sailor Andrew Lewis in the Men’s Laser Opening Series races one, two and three.

Four years ago at the 22nd CAC Games, in Veracruz, Mexico, T&T ended in the tenth spot with 11 medals, two gold, one silver and eight bronze from 197 athletes.

The medal tally was the smallest return for this country since 1990 in Mexico when T&T managed 13 medals, five silver and eight bronze.

Back in 2010 in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico T&T captured 34 medals, nine gold, 12 silver and 13 bronze for the eighth spot on the medal table while in Colombia (2006) T&T won 21 medals (one gold, nine silver and 11 bronze).

In 2002 in San Salvador, El Salvador, T&T bagged 17 medals (five gold, one silver and 11 bronze); 1998 in Venezuela, T&T won 14 medals (one gold, eight silver and five bronze) and five years prior in Ponce, Puerto Rico, the T&T contingent picked up 26 medals, three gold, seven silver and 16 bronze.

With the 11 medals won in Veracruz, it moved the red, white and black, to 11th on the overall table with a total 209 medals, 41 gold, 75 silver and 93 bronze to be the second-ranked English-speaking Caribbean country behind Jamaica’s 340 medal haul, 101 gold, 117 silver and 122 bronze.

Returning home from Veracruz with precious gold for T&T were shot putter Cleopatra Borel in the women’s shot put for a second straight CAC Games, and swimmer George Bovell who won a third straight men’s 50m freestyle title.

The senior men’s national men’s hockey team got the lone silver medal after going down to Cuba 1-5 in their title match while bronze came via Dorian Alexander (taekwondo), Curtis Humphreys/Dexter St Louis (men’s table tennis doubles), Roger Daniel (shooting), Christopher George (judo), Kwesi Browne (cycling), Bovell (swimming), Michael Alexander (boxing) and the men’s sevens rugby team.

Categories: News

Wanted: A new Professionalism

Columnists - 15 hours 8 min ago

The recent resignations of prominent CEOs, committee members and professionals in organisations, over alleged misspent monies, ‘blatant lies’ and being ‘rogue entities’, is indeed alarming and of noticeable concern. As persons in the public interest, there were levelled accusations against them of breaches of contract, a lack of accountability, transparency and openness and a failure to follow proper rules and procedures.

These persons were seen by many as professionals. Within the culture of T&T, these ‘standards of behaviours’ may have been ignored by others who looked the other way, or accepted them as a norm in the society. Perhaps then, a new professionalism is needed, one that is able to maintain the public’s trust in what is done – one that emphasises shared values, morals and ethics and shared accountability?

On Sunday (July 1st), at our Annual Social of TTAP, Trinidad and Tobago Association of Psychologists, the theme was: Service as a Professional. Our guest speaker, the Honourable Speaker of the House, Bridgid Annissette-George, stated that, ‘Being a professional was to have made a public commitment to a high standard of performance, to integrity, and to public service’. She quoted from an excerpt as said by his Holiness, Pope Paul VI: ‘It is imperative that no one…indulge in a merely individualistic morality. The best way to fulfil one’s obligations of justice and love is to contribute to the common good according to one’s means and the needs of others, and also to promote and help public and private organisations devoted to bettering the conditions of life.’ The Speaker further noted that ‘to be of service to others as a professional requires service above self…and was not the sole duty of psychologists but of all professionals who are citizens and residents of Trinidad and Tobago…as the primary duty of citizenship was the use of one’s specialised skills and training not only for one’s advancement but for the promotion of the common good’.

Mrs Annisette-George had admitted to the audience that this was a daunting topic for her, as it was the implied belief that professionals would be committed to serve others and not be self-serving. This is an erroneous belief. Many years ago, I differed in opinion with a principal whose school had the reputation of achieving many scholarships, but her interaction with parents and persons from different cultures and backgrounds was arrogant and derogatory, reducing many to tears. Back then, in my naivete, I had thought that persons of a particular standing in society were duty bound to be exemplars to us who were younger and looking up to them.

My mother was a professional and an exemplar. I grew up believing that the two went together, hand in hand. I know differently now. I have learnt that one can be a professional – with advanced degrees, smart attire and a company reputation – but he/she may not necessarily exude the traits that embody professionalism: the principles of respect for others; honesty and sincerity in one’s transactions; conduct which involves ethics, morals and standards; competence and mastery of job skills that inspire confidence and trust; and the most important one in my book – honouring any commitment that you have made to others.

This trait means getting the job done in a timely manner and taking responsibility for any mistakes that may have occurred along the way, without blaming others for your own tardiness or ‘passing the buck!’

The JSC committees who have been tightening the belt and calling professionals to accountability must be commended. In exploring the word profession, one meaning stated that ‘professions are groups which declare in a public way that their members promise to act in certain ways and that the society may discipline those who fail to do so’. Let the clarion call be sounded! A new professionalism is needed in T&T – an ideology that is not only pertinent to professional groups and structures but a shared social contract for all. Not only as a hidden curriculum but as a unifying set of beliefs and behaviours that inspire public trust and gives of service above self, for the promotion of the common good.

Dr Margaret Nakhid-Chatoor is a clinical and educational psychologist and president of the T&T Association of Psychologists.

Categories: News

T&T Index down by -0.22 points

Business - 15 hours 13 min ago

Overall market activity resulted from trading in 12 securities of which two advanced, two declined and eight traded firm.

On the First-Tier Market 149,103 shares changed hands for a value of $657,370.51. National Flour Mills Limited was the most active security, with a volume of 58,803 shares valued at $105,788.50. GraceKennedy Limited contributed 55,385 shares with a value of $160,616.50. JMMB Group Limited contributed 19,785 shares with a value of $36,602.25, while Readymix (West Indies) Limited added 4,792 shares with a value of $52,712.00. 11

Clico Investment Fund was the only active security on the TTD Mutual Fund Market, posting a volume of 2,100 shares valued at $ 42,903.

In Thursday’s trading session the following reflect the movement of the indices:

• The All T&T Index declined by -0.22 points (-0.01 per cent) to close at 1,720.33 .

• The Composite Index advanced by 2.42 points (0.20 per cent) to close at 1,226.31 .

• The Cross Listed Index advanced by 0.70 points (0.72 per cent) to close at 98.35.

Categories: News

Sweet deal from TIC 2018

Business - 15 hours 14 min ago

T&T’s trade relations with the United States just got sweeter. A container of confectionary products will soon be leaving this country, as a US buyer has cemented ties with a local manufacturer following the recently concluded Trade and Investment Convention (TIC) at the Centre of Excellence, Macoya.

During the event, exporTT, in collaboration with the T&T Manufacturers Association (TTMA), targeted buyers from the region and North America.

Betty-Ann Noreiga-Mollineau, exporTT’s manager, export and communications, told the T&T Guardian: “The buyer already sent the order and this will be shipped very soon. This will be on a consistent basis.

“Good news for the country regarding trade and export relations and also to generate much needed foreign exchange.”

Dietrich Guichard, exporTT’s CEO, said after last year’s TIC there was also a sizeable confectionary order of over US$15,000 that was shipped to the Dominican Republic.

Regarding business-to-business (B2B) meetings held this year, Noreiga-Mollineau quoted that figure as 114 of which 44 leads will be turned into commercial orders with foreign buyers in the short term which entails products from all sectors.

“Then we have 47 leads in the medium term which will include everybody—small, medium and large local businesses—again being turned into orders,” she said.

“It was great that we were invited to totally handle it this year and just coming out of our board meeting they want us to expand the TIC further based on this year’s success.

“We will be looking at more space, more booths and bringing in buyers from additional international markets and having meetings for a greater number of local companies,” Guichard added.

Categories: News

Jobs created in business process outsourcing

Business - 15 hours 15 min ago

T&T continues to attract international firms which create new employment opportunities for its citizens. More than 100 persons have been employed to provide support at international airline carrier American Airlines’ reservation centre in Port of Spain. The new offices, which were formally opened on Tuesday in Maraval, service the Caribbean, the Pacific, the Americas and Europe.

Minister of Trade Paula Gopee-Scoon, who spoke at the formal opening of the centre, said: “This event further expands and adds value to the country’s business process outsourcing agenda. The 100-plus employees hired by American Airlines builds on the 600 jobs already created by iQor, the 750 opportunities generated by Scotia Bank’s recently established back office support and BHP Billiton’s local operations.”

Wellesley Joseph, American Airlines’ Country Director, expressed pleasure with the existing operations.

“This is a major point of pride for our local colleagues as it highlights the importance of our people and our country to American Airlines,” he said.

Categories: News

Plea to repatriate 76 Venezuelan nationals

News - 15 hours 30 min ago

A plea was made in the Venezuelan Parliament earlier this week to have the 76 nationals currently held at the Immigration Detention Centre (IDC) in Aripo repatriated to Venezuela.

Deputy to the National Assembly for the state of Delta Amacuro, Larissa González called for the Venezuelan government to send a plane for them this week and ensure that their repatriation is expedited.

This plea came almost one month after several Venezuelan and Nigerian detainees staged two separate protests at the IDC in “hostage like” situations where guards were confronted.

On June 28, in the second protest, riot police and soldiers were called out. About 10 Nigerian detainees were subsequently arrested. The first protest occurred on June 26, where seven Venezuelan detainees protested.

On Tuesday, González demanded on behalf of the 76 Venezuelan citizens detained in T&T and their families that the T&T and Venezuela governments “accelerate the necessary procedures for the repatriation of those who today are in the Immigration Detention Centre.”

She disclosed that there are currently 29 women and 47 Venezuelan men at the IDC.

According to an article in Venezuela’s El Nacional, González noted that both the detainees and their relatives, with whom they are in constant communication, “are desperate because of the lack of response from both governments.”

González disclosed that along with deputy Carlos Valero, correspondences and reports were sent to T&T officials. She also said that several meetings with diplomatic authorities of T&T in Caracas were held in a bid to find an outlet for the situation that the Venezuelans are going through.

She also expressed interest in coming to T&T “if necessary” as she denounced the alleged mistreatment and described it as “negligence from the inaction of the officials of the Embassy of Venezuela in Trinidad.”

Subsequent to the last protest at the IDC, on June 30, National Security Minister Edmund Dillon, in a release, gave the assurance that “the Ministry of National Security is working assiduously in making arrangements to repatriate detainees to their homeland, as well as further improve living conditions at the facility.”

He reiterated that the Immigration Division has encountered and continues to face numerous repatriation challenges by detainees housed at the IDC.

On April 21, a Venezuelan military aircraft landed at Piarco International Airport to take back 82 nationals to their homeland. That arrangement was made between both governments, T&T and Venezuela, days before.

Just under 40 of those 82 Venezuelan nationals were said to have applied for asylum and refugee status in T&T but according to sources, the certificates they had in their possession were allegedly disregarded by Immigration officers here in T&T.

However, the Ministry of National Security remained adamant that the Venezuelan nationals were voluntarily repatriated with the assistance of the Ambassador of Venezuela to T&T, Coromoto Godoy.

Dillon, in response to the queries, responded via WhatsApp saying, “I do not have any official information concerning this matter.”

Categories: News

Search continues for fake cop

News - 15 hours 32 min ago

Police are seeking the public’s assistance in locating a man suspected of posing as a police officer in the Caroni district.

Roderick Santana, 30, of Bon Air Gardens, Arouca, was identified via CCTV footage as one of three men allegedly involved in an incident which took place on June 19, 2018, at a supermarket in Frederick Settlement, Caroni.

The Police Service said yesterday that Santana, along with two other suspects, one of whom has since appeared in court, are alleged to have impersonated officers attached to the St Joseph Police Station and attempted to conduct a liquor license inspection.

The owner of the supermarket became suspicious and called the police, causing the men to flee the premises escaping in a white station wagon bearing a false number plate.

Dereck Steele, 28, of Spring Village, Valsayn, was arrested the following day in connection with the incident and later charged by PC Sudesh Jaikaran of the Caroni Police Station.

Steele was remanded into custody when he appeared before a Port-of-Spain magistrate on June 26. The matter was adjourned to July 30.

The third suspect has not yet been identified.

In a separate incident, Kerron Brooks, 24 of Charles Street, Gasparillo, was charged with two counts of robbery with violence as well as impersonating a police officer following a robbery of a feed depot along San Pedro Road, Rio Claro, on May, 28, 2018. he was charged by PC Rakesh Abraham of the Rio Claro CID.

During that incident, three armed men, dressed in clothing resembling that of the police, entered the feed depot.

The proprietor and his brother were tied up and robbed of cash and a cellular phone. The men escaped in a black Hyundai Tucson motor vehicle.

Brooks was granted $75,000 bail with surety when he appeared before a Rio Claro magistrate on June 1

He is due to reappearing court on August 8.

Categories: News

Tobago stakeholders want gift from Govt: First sailings on Galleons Passage should be free

News - 15 hours 38 min ago

No word yet on whether Nidco and the Port Authority have moved closer to securing a crew for the Galleons Passage.

But Tobago stakeholders say the arrival of the vessel has done little to assuage their concerns and they cannot yet breathe a sigh of relief.

President of the Transport Division of the Tobago Chamber Diane Hadad is now proposing that in an effort to restore confidence on the seabridge Government should give consideration to “having the first couple of sailings free to build some sort of confidence back, they should give the people a gift and run the vessel free for a while.”

In an interview, Hadad said Tobago had suffered severely in the past two years and the proposal for free transport could be a way to rebuild the bridge between the two islands. Describing this as “the worst July I have seen,” Hadad said currently hotel occupancy in Tobago is “at zero.”

She said this is because Trinidadians no longer have confidence in getting to and from Tobago. She said, “The fact is that Tobagonians have decided they will only go to Trinidad if it’s absolutely necessary and Trinidadians only coming to Tobago out of necessity,” she noted

Hadad said problems which Tobago have endured in the past two years which included the closure of many businesses, hundreds of millions of dollars in losses, and threats from banks to repossess businesses will be put squarely on the table on Monday when they meet with Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan and officials of the Port Authority under the chairmanship of Lyle Alexander.

Declaring that Tobago had “suffered tremendously,” Hadad said stakeholders are adopting a “wait- and- see” approach, at least until the Galleons Passage actually begins to work on the seabridge.

She said, “We will be waiting to see the performance of the vessel and I think it is only when that happens we can start to speak a different language. We still on a wait and see. The boat has arrived and we are told it will take three weeks before it will sail to the island.”

Hadad said Tobago had hoped to capitalise on the July|August vacation period given the tough economic times and the problems in getting foreign exchange, but she said this has not happened and instead hotels and guest houses were empty.

According to Hadad, road tours conducted by the Tobago Hotel and Tourism Association revealed that “80 per cent of the people from Trinidad are not coming because the seabridge is unreliable.”

She said although the T&T Spirit returned to the seabridge it has not been operating at full capacity “because it is not working at full capacity, so it cannot carry the 800 people which it has the capacity to do.”

She challenged port officials to reveal the true number of “people they are actually moving, I would like them to say what is full capacity.”

Hadad said while the Galleons Passage has the capacity to transport 700 passengers and 100 vehicles“we still have a capacity problem and Trinidadians still have to be convinced that they will have a safe journey to Tobago and back to Trinidad, so there is a confidence problem. Confidence is something that has to be built back.”

Hadad is also hoping that Nidco is on the hunt for a cargo vessel and that there would be no need for a further extension of the Cabo Star when its extended six- month contract comes to an end in December.

She said the Cabo Star makes the trip in seven hours and business people were “back to going home very late in the night. We are taking a beating on family and social life.”

Categories: News

Don’t eat raw crab meat

News - 15 hours 42 min ago

The Ministry of Health has issued a call to restaurant owners to avoid offering crab meat to its customers.

If the meat is offered, it should be properly cooked and not served as crab sushi in its raw form.

The warning came from Neil Rampersad, chief public health inspector and Farz Khan, chief chemist and director of the Food and Drug Division, Ministry of Health, during an interview yesterday on the CNC3 Morning Brew programme with host Hema Ramkissoon.

This warning comes two days after the Ministry of Agriculture, in a press release, advised the public to avoid eating crab meat from Venezuela, as the US Food and Drug Agency stated it may be contaminated with Vibrio parahaemolyticus — which is bacteria that can cause gastrointestinal illness in humans.

The symptoms of the bacteria are diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, nausea, fever and stomach pains. So far, there have been no reported deaths.

Khan said while there are eight importers who bring in crab meat from Venezuela, there was no scientific evidence the bacteria is here.

He said the ministry was not panicking the public but issued the release out of an abundance of caution. Based on the evidence so far, Khan said the warning applies to processed crab meat or crab products packaged and ready for consumption.

“So there is no evidence of the live crabs or unprocessed crabs at this time.”

He however, advised crab lovers to examine the condition of the live crabs before purchasing.

Khan said the ministry has already increased surveillance at the ports of entry to ensure that the “food coming in is safe. This would prevent or reduce any contaminant foods entering our borders.”

The ministry will beef up its inspectorate to determine if Trinidad has the “organism” here by taking a random sampling of crabs sold at the markets and roadsides to get them tested.

“If it is there (the germ), the actual intervention will take place,” Rampersad said.

With crab season in full swing, Rampersad said customers may go after crab sushi at restaurants.

He advised restaurant owners “not to offer crab meat for sale because we are unsure what is in it at this point in time…if the foodstuff has the contaminant. So to prevent any outbreak attributed to this germ, if it is there…take precaution, do not offer it for sale.”

He said crab has been a delicacy in T&T for years. If the crab meat is offered, Rampersad advised that the meat should be cooked above 65 degrees Celsius to kill any bacteria that may be present.

The ministry has advised that live crabs should be thoroughly cleaned, washed and cooked before eating.

Categories: News

Two held after bar robbery

News - 15 hours 50 min ago

Less than an hour after two men robbed a bar in Princes Town, police arrested the suspects and recovered the stolen items.

According to police reports, at around 8.30 pm on Wednesday, two men, one armed with a gun, ran into the bar at Hope Road where they robbed patrons of their cellphones and cash. The bar owner was also robbed of a bottle of whisky. The men then ran off.

Responding to the report, PC Sujeet Ramcharan, WPC Deonarine, PC Cooper, PC Basdeo and other officers from the Princes Town Police Station and Southern Division Task Force searched the area.

About 35 minutes after the robbery, the officers saw two men, who matched the description of the suspects, near Marcano Street. Officers found the stolen items in their possession. The suspects— ages 24 and 26 —of Pleasantville were up to yesterday being questioned by police in relation to other crimes. Investigations are continuing.

Categories: News

Beetham man shot 10 times by cops—autopsy

News - 15 hours 52 min ago

Beetham resident Akiel Thomas was shot 10 times by police, an autopsy by pathologist Eastlyn McDonald-Burris at the Forensic Science Centre in St James found yesterday.

The autopsy was performed on the 19-year-old’s body almost 24 hours after he was shot dead by police during an incident near his Hell Yard, Beetham Gardens home on Wednesday morning.

Police reports say around 6.30 am a group of officers were conducting an exercise in the community when Thomas allegedly drew a gun and fired at them. Police claim Thomas, whom they accused of being a gang member, was shot in an exchange of gunfire. An illegal firearm was allegedly recovered on the scene.

However, Thomas’ relatives have disputed police’s claims saying he was unarmed and was executed by police officers whilst seated on a chair in a popular liming spot in the community.

Irate friends and relatives attempted to block the Eastern Main Road, Priority Bus Route and the Churchill Roosevelt Highway in response to the incident on Wednesday but were stopped by police who were dispatched in anticipation of their response. The T&T Guardian understands a strong police presence was maintained in the community yesterday, although there were no reports of any protests.

Like with all incidents of homicides involving police officers, a first division officer from another division has been appointed to investigate. Thomas’ relatives are expected to file a complaint with the Police Complaints Authority (PCA).

Thomas’ death is the 19th police-related homicide to take place this year

Categories: News

$22.6m payout to workers fired under UNC govts

News - 15 hours 53 min ago

There will be payouts to certain workers affected by issues under two previous United National Congress governments.

Some 450 former Unemployment Relief Programme workers terminated under the past PP/UNC administration will soon receive $22.6 million in payments - and 10 workers of the former Audio Visual Media company will also receive $408,000 owed from the first UNC administration.

Communication Minister Stuart Young revealed this at yesterday’s post-Cabinet media briefing, after Cabinet decided to make both sets of payments.

Young said the past PP/UNC Government terminated the 450 URP workers and litigation was brought by two sets of workers. He said Government received senior counsel advice on it and is settling the matter.

“We’re trying to pay this by August 20,” Young added.

Young also said 10 AVM workers would be paid a total of $408,000 owed in gratuity and ex gratia payments owed to them since 1997 under the Basdeo Panday government.

In the 1970s, radio and television broadcast veterans Bobby Thomas, Bryan Waller and brothers Arnold and Dale Kolasingh established AVM (Caribbean Ltd), a production house focusing on producing commercials and local current affairs programmes. It went on to become AVM Television, which was acquired by the State in early 1997 and merged with the then-state-owned International Communications Network (ICN).

Young said when AVM ceased operations in 1997, “it seemed certain people were hand-picked not to get gratuity and ex gratia payments. We investigated to ascertain why it wasn’t dealt with then in 1997. We did verification and these stalwarts in their field will get their payments. It’s taken 18 years to resolve this longstanding matter which was left to languish.”

He projected their payments in about a month.

Works Minister Rohan Sinanan also announced work on the San Fernando Waterfront would begin in the next two months over a two-year period at a cost of $143m. Expressions of interest are also being issued for parking meters for Port-of-Spain and San Fernando. This plan will be extended to other areas, including Tobago, later on.

Categories: News

Colm asks private schools for more info

News - 15 hours 55 min ago

There is still no resolution on the request by private secondarys schools for a fee increase per students by the Ministry of Education, following half an hour of talks between the schools and a Government team led by Finance Minister Colm Imbert yesterday.

Schools were not given any indication of what Government plans to offer them but were asked to provide additional information to Imbert by today.

At the start of yesterday’s meeting, Imbert is reported to have told principals a short meeting was unavoidable because of other Cabinet commitments. But he said it had become a very contentious issue and he wanted to ensure there was a resolution and that a reasonable, fair and just payment is agreed upon.

Imbert, according to principals who attended, indicated he had a “mandate” to settle the issue but had to ensure that he got it right.

After the meeting, Corpus Christi College acting vice principal Anthony McCollin told the T&T Guardian “it’s very tiring, it’s unsettling and it’s disturbing that we came back to another fact finding meeting.”

He said Imbert gave no indication what figure the Education Minister had proposed to the Cabinet to counter their request for $5700 per student per term.

“Absolutely no discussion of that nature took place,” he said.

“We came back around the table, 13 schools represented in a room, the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Agriculture and the Minister of Education and there was no indication of what was the figure the Government was possibly looking at. All they want to do was to ensure that our fee was justified after 13 years.”

Imbert sought an explanation on how the $5700 was arrived at, to which Mc Collin explained that teachers at the private schools are currently underpaid and the money being requested takes into accounting paying increased salaries, pensions, gratuities and terms and conditions “so our teachers can be treated with the respect they deserve as educators.”

He said while the Association of Private Secondary Schools had presented a “very clear document which outlined the cost of educating each child, what again is being requested is information from each individual school with respect to the number of students in the school and the teacher to student ratio.”

Mc Collin said Imbert indicated that he had a copy of the original document which was sent, but still asked that it be resent with the information requested and some additional “private information with respect to the private students intake and how much the private parents pay.”

That information has to be provided by today (Friday) and the parties are to meet again in one week’s time.

Imbert was told that 80-90 per cent of the students are assigned to the schools by the Government and the schools are running millions of dollars of deficit annually, because they cannot increase the fees paid by private students because of the small $1200 fee paid by the Government.

But Imbert is reported to have told the meeting he needed details because Government currently spends in the region of $11 million on students assigned to the schools and if the fees is increased to $5700 it would mean a substantial increase in the cost to the state.

Mc Collin said, “We need to keep in mind that the Government is purchasing school places in these private schools and if you are purchasing a place you have to be very careful of coming across as though you could tell the private schools what their cost should be. That’s a very backward formula and it’s almost insulting.”

School officials also reminded Imbert that they were yet to receive payments for the school term just ended.

Categories: News

State lawyers blunder in Dana murder case

News - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 23:50

Prosecutors have made another blunder in the case again 10 men charged with the murder of former Independent Senator Dana Seetahal, SC.

The latest mistake occurred in the State’s appeal over a decision by Senior Magistrate Indrani Cedeno to dismiss gang charges against the group and two of their acquaintances in 2016, due to an administrative error by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Hours before the appeal was due to be heard yesterday, special prosecutor Travers Sinanan and Assistant DPP Angelica Teelucksingh-Ramoutar informed the court’s registry that their office had filed the notice of appeal late.

While it had 14 days to appeal Cedeno’s ruling, given on May 27, 2016, it filed the appeal on June 13 that year.

During yesterday’s hearing, Sinanan and Teelucksingh-Ramoutar applied to have the appeal withdrawn, but were given a lifeline as Appellate Judges Alice Yorke-Soo Hon and Rajendra Narine suggested they file an application to have the deadline extended retroactively.

Once that application is filed it will be determined by one Appellate Judge. Provided that the State succeeds in its application, the appeal will then be heard by Yorke-Soo Hon and Narine.

Seetahal was shot dead in her SUV while driving along Hamilton Holder Street, Woodbrook, on May 4, 2014.

Reputed gang-leader Rajaee Ali, his brothers Ishmael and Hamid Ali; Devaughn Cummings, Ricardo Stewart, Earl Richards, Stephan Cummings, Kevin Parkinson, Leston Gonzales; Roger Boucher and Gareth Wiseman were initially charged with the crime. They, along with Rajaee’s wife Stacy Griffith, Deon Peters and David Ector, were also charged under the Anti-Gang Act for being members of a gang.

In 2016, the DDP’s Office applied to amend the gang charges due to an administrative error made when they were laid on the group.

The DPP’s Office had admitted to filing the charges indictably (heard and determined by a High Court Judge and jury) as opposed to summarily (heard and determined by a magistrate) as prescribed by the legislation. Cedeno dismissed the charges as she ruled the time for making the amendment had expired.

Peters and Ector were set free, while Griffith remained in custody on an unrelated gang offence that was not affected by the blunder.

In December last year, the murder charge was discontinued against Stephan Cummings, who was instead charged with conspiring to murder Seetahal. Ector was murdered last week.

While the State mulls over its appeal, the preliminary inquiry into the murder charge has hit a snag.

Evidential hearings of the inquiry have been put on hold as Cedeno is considering an application calling on her to recuse herself from the case.

Categories: News

Unfair treatment

News - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 23:48

Parliament meets today to discuss the Police Service Commission (PSC) nomination of Stephen Williams as Commissioner of Police, but ahead of this another candidate, Wayne Hayde, has sent a pre-action protocol letter to PSC chairman Bliss Seepersad claiming he was not treated “fairly” and demanding his name be put on the merit list.

Through attorneys Fulton Wilson and Company, Hayde sought to debunk the commission’s position that a candidate who attained the age of 60 cannot apply for the CoP position and is also claiming he was graded on a question he was never asked or answered.

Hayde has described the PSC’s actions as “capricious, arbitrary and unfair” and is threatening legal action if it does not put his name on the merit list.

In the pre-action letter, Hayde denied claims by former PSC chairman Marie Therese Gomes that he was asked whether he wanted to be considered for the Deputy Commissioner post. He said he was never asked that question but “points were awarded or conclusions made by the PSC on the basis of the answers given to the question that had not been asked.”

At least one other CoP candidate told the T&T Guardian he was not asked the question either.

Hayde, a former cop now working with the UN in Uganda, is alleging he was ‘treated unfairly” and his position on the shortlist and subsequent omission from the merit list was due in part to the omission made by the PSC with respect to that question.

In the circumstances, the letter said “the failure of the PSC to properly, fairly and adequately assess and grade” Hayde’s application and omission of his name from the merit list is “legally wrong and represents a breach of his right to fair and equitable treatment.”

The pre action letter, dated July 17, demanded that the error be corrected immediately “by not only including his name on the merit list but also place him in a position on same, which takes into account the actions and omissions made by the PSC that resulted in his improper grading and omission from the said list.”

The letter cited among other things statements by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley in Parliament that after the process undertaken by KPMG, with the involvement of the PSC, 11 candidates were deemed suitable and shortlisted, five for the CoP post and six for Deputy CoP.

The five shortlisted for the CoP position were identified as Deodat Dulalchan, Gary Griffith, Stephen Williams Hayde and Glen Hackett. But Hayde is contending only four people applied for the CoP position. He said he was led to conclude that the PSC, after deliberations, removed himself and Hackett from the shortlist while Dulalchan and Phillip, who applied for DCP, were elevated to the merit list “without proper explanation.”

The pre-action also notes statements made by Seepersad, in her letter to President Paula-Mae Weekes, that the PSC “simply does not have the money, time and other resources to conduct a completely new process” and that “two candidates were over sixty years old.”

The letter said Hayde felt he was “omitted based on the fact” he was 60 years at the time of his application. But it noted by law there is “no impediment for a person who is sixty years or over from applying or being appointed to either the posts of CoP or DCP.”

Hayde is also contending his age was listed on his application and yet he was ‘invited to participate in two separate interviews in November and December 2017.’ He said he was provided with two business class tickets from Uganda paid for by the PSC to attend the interviews.

The letter noted it was “therefore inconceivable” that the PSC, whose members had participated in both interviews and other aspects of the assessment, knew or believed Hayde was “ineligible for appointment as CoP due to his age.” There was also nothing in the ad put out by the PSC with regard to age, the letter said.

Efforts to contact both Gomes and Seepersad were unsuccessful yesterday.

The selection process for the top cop has resulted in pre-action protocols from two other candidates, Griffith and Dulalchan. Dulalchan and Phillip’s nominations have already gone before Parliament and were rejected.

Two weeks ago the parliament referred the selection process back to the PSC, telling the commission the merit list was still valid.

Categories: News

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