News Stories : October 21st 2013
Last Updated Monday, October 21, 2013 7:55 PM

    Independent senator wants broader UHC

      Story by
    Lovely St.Aime Joseph


    Independent Senator Dr Stephen King, is making the case to broaden the scope of universal health care – arguing that the cost of many vital medications is above the means of many average St Lucians. He says UHC can expanded to better provide crucial assistance. The medical professional says health care reform must affect the quality of life of the average St Lucian in a positive way or else it becomes meaningless. Dr King was the guest speaker at the St Lucia Medical and Dental Association’s joint symposium with the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus held on Saturday.

    Dr King says there can be improvements in UHC, which allow a greater positive impact on the quality of life of the citizenry, in particular, the vulnerable. With chronic non communicable diseases like cancer being the number on cause of death in St Lucia he says its time for a plan of action which addresses the financial barrier to health care which exists for many average St Lucians. He champions the cause of cancer patients arguing that a pool of cancer medications can be brought under UHC.

    Dr King says moving forward there needs to be greater investment in the health care sector and better organization to ensure that investment leads to type of reforms that truly benefit the people of St Lucia, and make allowances for vulnerable and marginalized groups.

One man assisting police in latest homicide

  Story by


One man is in police custody, assisting with the investigation into the shooting death of a 21-year-old man of Babonneau.
Kenrick Vitalis died on Saturday 19th October, 2013, after he was found on the ground in the Fond Le Grand area and rushed to the Victoria Hospital
Police Press Relations Officer Corporal Aniel Innocent says reports of the shooting were brought to the attention of law enforcement officials just before three am on Saturday.

Vitalis’ killing brings the number of homicides recorded for the year to twenty-seven.

Peterkin discusses bank amalgamation

  Story by
Sarah Peter


Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, Sir Dwight Venner has proposed an amalgamation of the region’s banks to create more efficiency within the banking sector. 

Venner contends there is presently a banking overload in the Sub-Regional financial system, adding there exist a strong case for amalgamating banks across the Eastern Caribbean.

Partner at Grant Thorton, Richard Peterkin says the idea of amalgamation is not new and adds there are both pros and cons to such a move.

But Peterkin adds however some banks see a downside in amalgamation process. The Eastern Caribbean Monetary Council has examined the possibility of amalgamating banks across the currency union and there is consensus that steps must be taken to advance this initiative.

EECB Governor, Sir Dwight Venner warns that in order for the region’s banking system to remain profitable, several banks must join forces.


Spartan receives accreditation

  Story by
Alison Kentish


The Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Education in Medicine and other Health Professions ensures that medical schools in participating countries are recognized to be of international standard at the national, regional and international levels.

It is this body which accredited the University of the West Indies (UWI) School of Medicine.

And now, it’s prestigious seal of approval has been bestowed on the Spartan Health Sciences University School of Medicine.

Dean of the University, Dr. Gurumurthy says it’s a major accomplishment for the school and its goal of ensuring it delivers the highest standards in medical education.

Administrator of Spartan Percival McDonald says the school decided to embark on achieving this prestigious accolade three years ago and made an official application for accreditation last year. He says the accreditation signals to students that they are receiving a world class medical education.

Spartan celebrated this achievement on Saturday October 19th at the University front yard with speeches, dinner, entertainment and fireworks. Laborie MP Alva Baptiste says the honour is the result of the University’s hard work and dedication.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Merlene Fredericks congratulated the faculty of the University and promised the Ministry of Health’s continued support.

She says through this accreditation, the school’s medical students will have greater access to hospital privileges such as clinical rotations and internships. 1,700 students have graduated Spartan University in its 32-year history.


National youth debate semi-finals

  Story by
Lovely St.Aime Joseph


The national debate competition series is being touted by youth and government officials alike as a riveting success.
Minister of Youth and Sports and Dennery North MP, Shawn Edward, attended the semi finals at the Gros Islet Secondary school on Saturday. Youth debaters from the Mabouya Valley – part of Edwards constituency – defeated debaters representing Gros Islet.
Edwards says the debate series has successfully tapped into the creative energy of youth around the island.

Gros Islet MP Emma Hippolyte was also on hand to support the young debaters from her constituency. She too has high praise for the initiative, calling for the initiative to be continued.

Youth debater representing Mabouya Valley Ryan James,says the debates allow youth to broaden their understanding of topical issues.

Another semi final round was also hosted at the NSDC in Vieux Fort between Choiseul and Vieux Fort South. Vieux Fort south emerged victorious and will square off against Mabouya Valley in the finals on November 2nd.


Louise wins miss Caribbean tourism

  Story by
Jade Brown


A new Queen has been selected to reign as the Miss Caribbean Tourism 2013/2014.

The win is also another in the bag for Saint Lucia and for 24-year-old Louise Victor.

Victor says she is elated to bring the Crown home.

She says the award was particularly special as it is the second time a contestant from Saint Lucia was Crowned Miss Caribbean Tourism.

Former Miss Caribbean Tourism Consuelo Dupal says she was exceedingly proud of Victor and her performance in the talent segment.

During her Tenure as Miss Caribbean Tourism Louse Victor Plans to collaborate with the Ministry for Tourism, Heritage and Culture.

She also hopes to undertake more philanthropic activities in her community of Micoud and Saint Lucia at large.

La Wenn Kweyol winner promotes culture

  Story by
Sarah Peter


Frederick St.Croix from the community of La Clery has been crowned the new La Wenn Kweyol.

The vivacious personality says she is elated to have won the crown, but says that much more has to be done to promote Creole in the country.

She adds that there needs to be a concerted effort to encourage young persons to immerse themselves in the creole language and culture.

St. Croix expressed gratitude to everyone who assisted her during her participation in the La Wenn Kweyol Pageant. She described the experience as amazing and applauded her fellow contestants for their stellar performance.

The Pageant was held Sunday at the National Cultural Center. The initiative comes ahead of the annual Jounen Kweyol Celebrations which will be held this Sunday in the communities of Soufriere, Vieux Fort, Mon Repos and Gros Islet.

Jounen Kweyol marks the climax of Creole Heritage Month, which is observed every year in October.

Promoting the Creole language

  Story by
Jade Brown

 However it is commonly known in Saint Lucian Society that the Creole language has a stigma attached to it. These sentiments are shared by the Acting Director of the Folk Research Center Hilary La Force.

La Force says the Folk Research Center has been particularly instrumental in the evolution of the Creole language.

One step that the center has taken is to provide a Creole master class to anyone with the desire to be fluent in the language.

Veteran teacher Veronica Charles says it is important to teach children the mother tongue from an early age.

Creole is known as the language of choice in many social settings. One vendor at the Castries Market tells of her formative years as a student. She says she would be at the receiving end of

From the perspective of various demographics, the Saint Lucian French Creole language is one that has stood the test of time and here is a pressing need to sustain this aspect of our culture.


NCOFPD general assembly

  Story by
Lovely St Aime Joseph


The National Council of and for persons with disabilities has been receiving support from Disabled Peoples International (DPI) to restructure the organization.

The move forms part of a larger initiative targeting all Member National Assemblies.

On Saturday the two organizations hosted a general assembly with the national council adopting new bylaws and articles of incorporation in compliance with DPI.

Executive Director of the National Council of and for Persons with Disabilities, Lancia Isidore, says people living with disabilities are the ultimate beneficiary of a stronger organization.

Representative for Disabled Peoples International’s North American and Caribbean region, Natalie Murphy, says  DPI's goal is to achieve full participation of ALL persons with disabilities in the mainstream of life, through promotion and protection of their human rights.

DPI is headquartered in Ottawa, Canada and has a presence in more than 130 countries through its Member National Assemblies, spanning across 7 regions.

Visual arts at FRC

  Story by
Sarah Peter

One Saint Lucian visual artist is doing his part in ensuring the longevity of Creole Heritage and culture.

Gary Bert, with the support of the Folk Research Center, is holding a craft seminar on the many uses of Creole madras material.

The FRC as part of its calendar of activities for Creole Heritage Month has organized the event to engender national pride among the youth.

Bert’s most recent crop of young minds came from the ABC Kindergarten. The students made Madras decorations to commemorate the upcoming Creole Day. Bert says he has received positive reviews from participating schools.

The FRC workshop has to date accommodated four schools including ABC Kindergarten and the Millet Primary School.

SEDU adopts new business model

  Story by
Sarah Peter

The US based small business development center (SBDC) model has been introduced to key business support organizations in St. Lucia.

This model seeks to promote growth, innovation, productivity and revenue for small businesses on the island.

Director of the Small Enterprise Development Unit, Barbara Innocent Charles says exploring the new Business model was essential to spurring growth in the small business sector.

The small business development Center model was introduced two years ago with support from the University of Texas .SEDU also received assistance from the Organization of American States.

As a follow up to the new model, the Small Enterprise Development Unit met with key partners on Monday 21st October, too allow for greater dialogue on the way forward.

Automotive art new showroom

  Story by
Alison Kentish

Automotive Art has reopened its flagship store in Castries and while the Vide Bouteille location remains the same, the Company’s Managing Director says there are a host of new features.

Lyndell Halliday says the new look was inspired by customers and focuses on service and shopping experience. He says it follows a four month renovation.

Halliday says the renovation included the assistance of members from the Automotive Art teams in neighbouring Caribbean countries.

He says the Company is ready to offer customers excellent value in a difficult economy. Automotive Art is the Caribbean's largest Auto-Care retailer of car enhancement products and services. Its corporate headquarters is in Barbados and it trades in over 24 countries.


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