Francois on Accessories Story byLovely St.Aime Joseph
Police Commissioner, Vernon Francois, says the full brunt of the law will be brought against people who facilitate crime in any way.
Commissioner François was speaking following reports a media personality was detained in connection with the investigation into the shooting death of Miguel Augustin.
He says it is nothing out of the ordinary for people to be brought in for questioning on suspicion of assisting a criminal act.
According to the Commissioner - Police have a job to do irrespective of the job title or status of an individual.
He confirms the media person in question has since been released from police custody.
A government employee has also been detained by police in connection with the shooting death of Miguel Augustin.
While the police commissioner says he is not at liberty to reveal the details of the matter sources says that individual was involved in issuing illegal license plates.
Francois would confirm however the person was brought in on suspicion of being an accessory to the crime.
The next step in the course of the investigation the commissioner says is to look to preferring charges in the matter.
He has made it clear the law is moving in the direction of making an example of people who assist in crime or become accessories before, during or after a criminal act.
No charges have yet been preferred in the shooting death of Miguel Augustin also known as “Reds”.
He was gunned down near the Ciceron bus stand on Monday.
Small business not VAT ready Story byWinston Springer
The Saint Lucia Industrial and Small Business Association will host a Seminar later this month to prepare its members for the advent of the Valued Added Tax system.
A standard VAT rate of 15 percent and a rate of zero percent will be charged on certain goods and services.
President Flavia Cherry says while the association is satisfied with the outreach programs of the VAT Implementation Project Office, its members are unhappy; hence the intervention of SLISBA.
Cherry says according to a recent survey 70 percent of the association’s members do not believe they are prepared for VAT despite rigorous instruction.
The poll conducted six weeks ago had a sample size of 289 members. She suggests small business owners are jittery over the paper work, record keeping and accounting involved in remitting the tax revenue to the state.
In addition, Cherry reveals a number of enterprises including manufacturers are worried about their bottom line due to the tax on inputs and the cost of compliance.
The SLISBA President says there are also fears the tax will retard the growth of business. As a result some SME’s do not want to be VAT compliant and are even contemplating avoiding the 180 thousand dollar per annum threshold.
In addition - a number of small to medium enterprises are not registered businesses.
The President of the Saint Lucia Industrial and Small Business Association says the organization hopes the seminar scheduled for September 25th will help allay the anxieties of its membership. VAT which aimed at broadening the tax base will replace consumption and other taxes.
Crisis centre in crisis Story byLovely St.Aime Joseph
The Crisis Centre is in a bit of a crisis of its own. The staff of the institution may soon be out on the streets if the building which it currently occupies is taken off the market.
Counselor Faith St Catherine says while the Crisis Centre is allowed to use the building at present; it is currently up for sale by the owners.
The Crisis Centre is a non governmental organization which strives for the elimination of all forms of abuse in the society by providing psychological support through counseling education.
St Catherine tried her best to seem optimistic about the fate of the Crisis Centre saying they are hoping for a blessing and a permanent solution.
St Catherine says although the Crisis Centre receives a measure of support from the government, it’s barely enough to pay the bills and finance the centers various activities. Further – the charitable donations it receives is usually supplies for the families it assists.
She says the Centre is dogged by financial constraints. The Crisis Centre St Catherine says has an important mandate to fulfill, one she believes is sometimes underestimated.
The Centre currently provides an educational support program for under privileged children, group counseling, individual counseling and training workshops on mental health, parenting and self development.
Sir John anniversary Story byCarmy Joseph
The United Workers Party has called the fifth anniversary of the passing of one of its founders, former Prime Minister Sir John Compton a moment for reflection and reassurance, not only for the party, but for the nation.
According to the UWP, Sir John’s contribution to the politics and national development of Saint Lucia remains the “high bar” and ultimate reference for all to this date.
In marking the fifth anniversary of sir john’s passing with solemnity, the main opposition also wants to acknowledge the quality and significance of his contribution, reminding all the nation remains indebted to him and as such must always find purpose to pay tribute to and celebrate his life.
Sir John Compton was Saint Lucia’s first premier and longest serving Prime Minister. During his tenure, he represented Dennery, Micoud south and Micoud north.
A man who first gained national prominence as a trade unionist – Sir John died in 2007 after a short illness.
He was 84.
Foster made QC Story byWinston Springer
Speaker of the House of Assembly, Attorney at Law Peter Foster has been elevated to the status of Queen’s Counsel.
He was appointed by letter to be one of Her Majesty the Queens learned in Law in July.
The jurist was conferred with the status by the crown during formal procedure called the precedential investiture on Friday.
Coincidentally his 25 year old son Luke Foster was also called to the bar at the same elaborate ceremony attended by many members of the legal fraternity.
Dominican Legal Eagle Anthony Astaphan S.C was given the honor of introducing Peter Foster QC.
His father, Kenneth Foster QC another prominent Attorney also participated in the ceremony.
Foster says his father was influential in his decision to practice law.
The Speaker of the House was called to the Bar at Lincolns Inn, London in 1983. He is considered one of the most successful lawyers in the country and has appeared in many high-profile cases on the island.
Caribbean wellness day Story bySant Justin
The Ministry of Health will join the rest of the Caribbean on Saturday in observing Caribbean Wellness Day.
Principal Nursing Officer- Ann Henry says a series of activities have already been held leading up to that Day.
That includes a Health Fair on Friday - a collaborative effort between the Health Ministry and various NGO’s.
The activity provided valuable information on various health issues.
Henry says the activity which was initiated here in 2008 has proven very effective.
She says a noticeable rise in health consciousness and physical activities has since been observed.
Health Minister- Alvina Reynolds says her ministry is using all mediums to promote awareness.
Former Health Minister- Dr. Keith Mondesir says since during his tenure, he noted interest in the annual observance had grown throughout the region.
He says Caribbean Wellness Day serves a great purpose including teaching prevention.
The activity was held on the William Peter Boulevard and ended at 6PM. The Ministry of Health is inviting all interested parties to join its walk on Saturday. It will begin at 6AM in the William Peter Boulevard.
Health and wellness festival Story bySant Justin
The St. Lucia Tourist Board launched its second annual four day Health and Wellness Retreat on Tuesday 4th September.
Deputy Director - Tracy Warner-Arnold says the activity will focus on health and wellness and putting the country on the international market.
The first retreat was held last year in Soufriere and included excursions to the Sulpher Springs and specials on spas and hotels.
Local experts are expected to be present to touch on various health issues. The four day activity will also include spa experiences at what has been dubbed the ideal location; Pigeon Island.
ECTEL on policy Story bySant Justin
The Eastern Caribbean Telecommunication Authority (ECTEL) met with regulatory and industry personnel to discuss Number Portability.
The two day session sought to educate participants on the topic, ahead of implementation. General Counsel- David Cox says Number Portability offers a myriad of benefits which will strengthen customer preference.
Cox says the new initiative comes out of a public consultation hosted by ECTEL in 2011 in an effort to bring the market into the 21st century.
To date – a number of identified issues have been successfully addressed.
Consultant- James Wild facilitated the two day session. He says number portable; which is currently available in more than half the globe, will assist in bringing greater value to customers.
The two day session was held at the Bay Gardens Hotel.
SLHTA pageant Story byLovely St.Aime Joseph
The 21st annual Miss SLHTA pageant will be held on Saturday 8th September at the National Cultural Centre.
Five contestants representing hotel and tourism properties and industry partners will take to the stage to vie for the coveted title.
The Miss SLHTA pageant has been one of the Association’s most successful community outreach events; supporting deserving charities.
This year’s show will pay tribute to Saint Lucian cultural icons. Committee Member Wendell George says the contestants are ready to put on a show that highlights Saint Lucia’s Culture and heritage.
The contestants are Miss Sea Spray Cruises Merlika Modeste, Miss Sandals International Gladys Noel, Miss Jalousie Tracey Nicholas, Miss Duty Free Caribbean Glenda Willubus and Miss Windjammer Landing Nadege Maximin.
Appearing on the HTS/Radio 100 Straight Up program with Claudius Francis this week, the five spoke eagerly of representing their companies and sponsors.
They all – including Miss Windjammer who met her icon Theresa Hall - agree meeting their icons has been the highlight of the pageant process so far.
Miss SLHTA 2012 will be held this coming Saturday 8th September at the National Cultural Centre from 7PM.
Oktoberfest en Kweyol Story byCarmy Joseph
Windward and Leeward Brewery Limited Guinness Brand Manager Sylvester Henry summing up the concept of Oktoberfest en Kweyol.
WLBL will on Sunday October 7th present the 5th annual event which has become the unofficial start of Creole Month.
Managing Director Greg Graves says Saint Lucia’s event is patterned after the first Oktoberfest held in Germany over 200 years ago.
Oktoberfest en Kweyol will be held the very day the 16 day festival in Germany ends. Running from September 22nd until October 7th – organizers expect to serve 7 million beers at that event.
Graves says although not able to match that feat, the Brewery will maintain its tradition of introducing new beers to patrons.
The entertainment line-up for Oktoberfest En Kweyol 2012 includes Mamai Lacaye violin band, Lightning Stars and an all-star Soca cast as well Bamboolaz and a Carib fusion band out of Martinique.
Along with the annual WLBL cast of beers, there will also be Paulaner in the regular cans and kegs, tequila flavoured beer Desperados, Murphy’s Irish Red, Heineken Dark, Strongbow gold, Parbo beer from Suriname and Lorraine from Martinique.
The annual Brew Masters special will also be handed out to patrons as they enter Samaans Park.
Spelling bee Story byCarmy Joseph
Alisha Paul won the fourth annual Castries East Spelling Bee competition. A former student of the Ti Rocher Primary School – Paul has since succeeded to the Saint Joseph’s Convent.
Along with winning the top prize at the spelling contest held on Saturday September 1st – Paul was also rewarded for the top Common Entrance score in her school.
She was one of the students chosen to represent each of the primary schools located in Castries East. Castries East MP Phillip J Pierre has vowed to continue hosting the spelling bee competition. Designed to showcase the talent within his constituency – it is held annually on the last Saturday before school opens.
This year, competitors were chosen based on their spelling performance at school. Esther Joseph came second followed in third by Alton Sylvester.
The Castries East MP also recognized Darren Chandler; another top scorer in this year’s Common Entrance exam.
CSA scholarships Story byLovely St.Aime Joseph
On Thursday September 6th the Saint Lucia Civil Service Co-operative Credit Union held a presentation ceremony for the recipients of its bursary and scholarship programs.
Recognized were seven children of members who qualified for and who were awarded the 3 individual scholarships and 4 bursaries to attend the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College.
Vice President of the CSA Credit union, Sylvester Dickson, said the entity has been proud to make its yearly financial contributions towards the education of its members children.
From the over 20 applications received, three successful applicants were awarded two year scholarships: Zayna Bourney Spooner and Rachel Cheong who attained nine CXC distinctions each, and Catherine Edmund who attained 10 CXC grade one passes eight of which were distinctions.
Edmund expressed gratitude on behalf of herself and her family for the financial assistance.
The 7 new students added to the scholarship and bursary program brings to 13 the number of tertiary level students being supported by the St Lucia Civil Service Co-operative
The Credit Union which also supports over 70 children through the Secondary & Tertiary scholarship Programme pays out over $85,000 in scholarships annually.
Francois on accessories
Small business not VAT ready
Crisis centre in crisis
Sir John anniversary
Foster made QC
Caribbean wellness day
Health and wellness festival
ECTEL on policy
Oktoberfest en Kweyol
Caribbean Wellness Day began in response to the alarming number of Caribbean nationals who were diagnosed and dying from non communicable diseases like diabetes, hypertension and stroke.
On Tuesday the Health Minister unveiled her government’s plans for the health sector.
It included the second phase of Universal Health Care – the first had been implemented by the previous SLP administration.
In this phase like the last the government would provide free medication for persons diagnosed with hypertension – Saint Lucia has an alarming number of people who are diagnosed and living with that disease. But given the current economic climate and the expense of health care generally – is this direction the right move by government at this time?
Do you support the government’s plan to implement the second phase of Universal Health Care?