Ten minors who were being held at the New Opportunity Corps (NOC) in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) have reportedly been recaptured after escaping from the facility, according to unconfirmed reports.The incident is said to have occurred around 15:00h on Wednesday and efforts were reportedly being made by administrators to contact the escaped minors quietly since then. When contacted late Wednesday evening, G Division (Essequibo coast-Islands) Commander Khali Pareshram said he was not made aware of any incident at the facility. “I do not have any information. I am not aware of such an incident,” the Commander said. Several calls to the telephone number for the administrator at the NOC, Mark Dover, went unanswered. However, when contact was finally made, the individual who answered said that this newspaper had the wrong number even though the voicemail attached to the phone number identified the owner as “Mark Dover”.
A 35-year-old man who stole a number of items, including a set of chairs and a mattress, was on Friday remanded to prison by Magistrate Leron Daly when he appeared at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts. Seon Bert denied stealing the 24 chairs, mattress and air conditioning unit with a total value of $185,000, property of Nigel Pile. Police said the offence was committed on May 1, 2018 at North Road, Georgetown.According to the facts of the matter, the virtual complainant (VC) secured his business place on April 30, 2018, but upon his return the following day, he observed that the main access door was broken. As such, checks were made and it was revealed that the items mentioned in the charge were missing. The matter was reported and an investigation was launched, thus leading to the arrest of Bert, after the stolen items were found in his possession. Police Prosecutor Sanj Singh objected to bail being granted the accused since he has no fixed place of abode. He will make his next court appearance on May 25.
The Rose Hall Town (RHT) Municipality has given street vendors until Wednesday to make their vending stalls mobile.Vendors along Arch Way Rose Hall TownHowever, vendors operating along Arch Road in Rose Hall Town are calling on the municipality to rethink its vending policy, and are resisting a deadline given by the Town Council to comply. Rose Hall Town Mayor Vijay Kumar Ram has said that all those who do not comply by Thursday will have their stalls removed. The vendors have also been told they must redesign their stalls, or it will be removed.On February 26 last, the Municipality issued notices to the vendors indicating that, at its statutory meeting, a decision was taken for the vendors who operate in the vicinity of the market and along Arch Road to use movable stalls. According to the notice, this is to prevent the vendors from leaving encumbrances on the Council’s Reserve after they would have concluded selling for the day. The notice informed that the vendors had one month to comply.A section of the vendors meeting with Regional Prime Ministerial Representative Gobin HarbhajanAnother notice issued to the vendors invited them to attend a meeting on March 27 to discuss permanent selling structures on the Council’s reserve.At that meeting, the June 1 deadline was given to comply. On Monday, the vendors took their case to Regional Prime Ministerial Representative Gobin Harbhajan. However, Harbhajan did not meet with the delegation at his office, but went on site, where they were allowed to air their views.One vendor, Leroy Punch, has deemed not feeble the council’s proposal to have moveable structures erected.“I made a stall with wheels over seven years ago, and one morning I came and met it in the middle of the road, and one time I came and met it till down the road there. The only thing I can see is chaos, because when them men smoke their joint and drink their rum, you are going to find these stands all over the place, and we will have some serious problems,” Punch said.Another vendor, Purshotum Ramkumar, complained that some of those who live in RHT will be able to take away their stalls after vending, but others will have nowhere to park theirs.“Some of us might be fortunate because we might have a relative (living in the town), or somewhere else where we can leave (our stalls) in the afternoon. Most of the vendors are from out of the town. At the meeting, we were asking them what alternative they have for people who are willing to wheel the stall off, but need somewhere to place it, and they could not answer,” Ramkumar said.Ramkumar said most of the vendors have had to fortify the road shoulder in order to erect their stalls, and since the Municipality collects a monthly fee from them, what might be a “win win situation” would be for the vendors to be allowed to install unique stalls.Another vendor explained that she has been on the road shoulder vending for several years, and now her husband is jobless following the Rose Hall Estate’s closure.She told this publication that threats by the Municipality cannot be taken lightly. “I don’t know what I am going to do. Is $6,000 a month they want from us; (which) we would have to pay, whether you sell or not.”Meanwhile, Ratnama Singh related that she had been ill and away from the street for one month, and upon her return, she was told that she would have to pay a revenue for the period, despite her absence.“And they had somebody else selling on the spot all the time,” she said.Harbhajan, in response, said there was not much he could do, but noted that he also discussed the issue with the Mayor.However, Mayor Vijay Kumar Ram told the Guyana Times that there will be no compromise, and those who do not comply will not be allowed to vend. (Andrew Carmichael)
To commemorate its 175th Anniversary, the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) officially launched its “City Week” celebrations on Friday evening at the Stabroek Market Square.At the launch, both youths and older citizens were treated to a musical explosion by several disc jockeys and the One Man Band.The Week, which is expected to start on August 19, 2018, will be one filled with various activities showcasing the diversity of the city.According to Georgetown Mayor Patricia Chase Green, the objective of Friday’s initiative is to bring awareness to the citizens of Guyana and to also have every citizen participate in the activities.“We have come a long way from when we were ruled by the Dutch. There were many complaints (for example)about the city flooding as soon as rain falls, so now we have gone from that era and we are now trying to improve in other areas as well,” the Mayor explained.It was also noted that before the week-long festivities commence, the M&CC will engage in a clean-up exercise in Georgetown, particularly around the Stabroek and Bourda Market areas.On August 19, the day will start with a church service at the St George’s Cathedral followed by an opening ceremony at Stabroek Market Square.Some of the other activities planned include an arts & craft exhibition on Main Street, a health fair, cocktail reception and a beachfront party at the Guyana Marriott Hotel.It was noted that most of the funding for these activities will be sponsored by several different companies. The “City Week” celebration will be branded and “promoted as a tourist attraction”.
An unoccupied house located in Ann’s Grove, East Coast Demerara (ECD), went up in flames early Wednesday morning.The fire started about 05:00h at the Lot 34 Canal Dam, Ann’s Grove residence.According to reports, the house belonged to an 80-year-old pensioner, Elaine Pollard, who is currently in the United States of America (USA). Her two-storey wood and concrete home was left in the care of a fellow villager, Safraz Baksh.The 42-year-old vendor of Main Street, Ann’s Grove, said he was awakened aboutThe ravaged house at Ann’s Grove05:30h, by a neighbour who informed him of the fire. He immediately went to the house, but upon arrival at the scene, he saw the entire building engulfed in flames.At the time, the fire tenders from the Mahaica fire Station were there trying to douse the flames. However, they were unable to do so before the building was destroyed.So far, the estimated losses are unknown, and it is unclear as to whether the house was insured. The owner has since been informed. Meanwhile, investigators from the Guyana Fire Service are currently looking into the fire, trying to determine its origin.
Firing of sticking workersRussian owned bauxite company, RUSAL, has agreed to recognise the Guyana Bauxite and General Workers Union (GBGWU) as the authorised and legitimate body that represents bauxite workers in Guyana.GBGWU President Lincoln LewisThis has now put an end to weeks of stalemate between the company, Government and the workers union. The agreement was made on Tuesday when the union and the company met with representatives of the Labour Department. Following the meeting, the two sides agreed to meet again on Friday to discuss the way forward on the 90 employees that were dismissed from the company.After the meeting, President of the GBGWU, Lincoln Lewis told the media that the two parties (RUSAL and the GBGWU) had decided that they need to meet bilaterally, and this process will commence on Friday.“We have to work together in the interest of workers, in the interest of the company, in the interest of the nation. That’s where we are and just looking for a way forward, that’s it,” Lewis said.He explained that the Union will submit to the company today; its list of items that it would like to form part of the agenda for discussion, while RUSAL will also submit to the GBGWU what it considers to be important for the discussion.“We believe that this exercise is going to be one where we start building of trust and confidence in our relationship because it is necessary that both sides work together. All that we are doing now is that we are going to talk about normalcy. How we will get back to normalcy…they are open to dialogue, not recommendation,” Lewis stated.Representatives of RUSAL leaving the Labour Department during a previous meetingThe GBGWU President noted that in the list that his Union will be submitting to the bauxite company, the topics for discussion include future negotiations between the two parties and the establishment of occupational health and safety committee.Blocking of Berbice RiverMeanwhile, in relation to the present situation where the dismissed workers and sympathisers who blocked off the access road and river to RUSAL’s operations in the Upper Demerara area, Lewis said that this form of protest by those affected continues.“We have not discussed the issues one by one. We will supply the list of the issues that we do have by tomorrow (Wednesday) and we will meet to discuss. In the meantime, the strike continues.”Meanwhile, in a joint statement by both the bauxite company and the GBGWU, it was stated that the bilateral talks are scheduled to commence Friday.These decisions were taken at a conciliation meeting under the chairmanship of Chief Labour Officer, Charles Ogle.On March 4, the GBGWU and other major trade union representatives were met with grave disappointment when they turned up for a meeting with representatives of the Labour Department and aluminium company, RUSAL.Instead of being able to start discussions with the aim of resolving the issue of the 90 workers being dismissed by the company, the team of trade union leaders were met with the news that RUSAL had requested not to meet with them unless Lewis was absent from the meeting.Sixty-one workers were fired by the Russian-owned company after they protested a one per cent salary increase, which they said was agreed to by Government. Following a meeting with Government, RUSAL refused to reinstate the workers and subsequently dismissed 30 more persons from the department in order to temporarily close it as a result of the strike actions.
Scores of nurses attached to the Linden Complex Hospital, Region 10 (Upper Demerara- Berbice), along with family members of Schenise Apple, who was found dead in Mahdia, Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni), took to the streets of Linden on Monday calling for justice for the nurse.Dead: Schenise AppleNurses from Linden Hospital Complex protestingFamily of Schenise Apple and nurses calling for justice on Monday during protest action in LindenThe deceased Nurse’s grandmother Volda DanielsApple, who was a nurse attached to the Mahdia Hospital, was discovered hanging at the Nurses’ Hostel in Mahdia on July 2, 2019. It was alleged that she committed suicide.The post-mortem examination released by the police on Friday revealed that Apple died as a result of asphyxiation and as such, the matter is being treated as a homicide, however, no arrest has been made as Police continue their investigations.On Monday nurses and family members gathered outside of the Linden Hospital Complex for two hours, chanting slogans calling or justice to be served in relation to Apple’s death.Holding placards bearing slogans such as “Better security needed”, “Nurses rights are human rights”, “Justice for Nurse Apple” and “What affects one affects all” family, friends and nurses marched along Casaurina Drive, Mackenzie, as they shouted “Justice for Nurse Apple”, “We need justice” and “Nurse Apple need justice”.Speaking with Guyana Times, one of the nurses related that Apple, who resided in Linden, was a quiet and jovial person who did not deserve such a death. The nurse related that the protest action was birthed by a group of nurses from Linden, who felt that action by Police is being delayed and they were worried that this will be another murder investigation that goes cold or unsolved.“We want justice for our colleague. She was sent there to do a job and she was there serving the people diligently. She should have been protected. The system failed her. She was such a young soul definitely gone too soon and we believe that if we do not stand up and demand action, nothing will be done,” she said.The nurses said they will continue to protest as often as possible for as long as possible until a thorough and transparent investigation is done and justice is served.Meanwhile, also speaking with this publication, Apple’s grandmother, Volda Daniels, claimed that the family members were not allowed to witness the post-mortem examination. She, however, claimed that she saw what appeared to be burn marks on the woman’s neck prior to the examination.“We want a speedy investigation, they must find the culprits…She was a quiet and decent young woman. That girl never in no story with nobody, why they do her like that? She left here, they send she so to work and now she’s dead. I’m calling on Ramjattan, the Security Minister and Health Minister Volda Lawrence, let them go to Region Eight and investigate fully …she was working and she served this country as a young woman, she had a bright future and I think they should do something,” Daniels lamented.The woman added that she buried her son only nine months ago under similar circumstances and the family is yet to receive justice. She was referring to Sherwin Apple, who was killed some time ago after he was implicated in the alleged rape of the Linden minor which was caught on video. Daniels noted, however, that justice must be served for her granddaughter as she called for staff at the hospital to also be investigated.“Why is it the Government taking so long to hold these people?” the dead woman’s uncle questioned on Monday. The family is also claiming that someone at the location was using the deceased woman’s cellphone after her death.Prior to her death, Apple had been working at the location for nine months. She was initially expected to work there for a year. Minister Lawrence has since made calls for a full probe into the nurse’s death. The Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) has also joined the calls.Meanwhile, a usually reliable source from Mahdia, Region Eight, told this publication that there are reports in the mining town that the nurse was murdered and the suicide was staged. “Everyone saying that the young lady was murdered. They are saying that from how the body was discovered, it was as if it was placed there, and who would hang themselves with a towel? It just doesn’t add up,” the source opined.Speaking with this publication, a nurse said that no one saw Apple during the day of July 2, but that was nothing strange.“It is normal when you finish the night shift to sleep most of the day. So after no one saw her, we didn’t take it for anything,” a nurse told this publication.However, at about 18:15h, another colleague inquired about Apple and it was then that they visited the hostel and found her body.The police were notified and the woman’s body was removed.
Star Party Rentals on Sunday distributed school supplies to a number of children within the Campbellville, Georgetown area, as part of its obligation to give back to the community.Trenton Griffith (manager) handing over the school suppliesThis distribution exercise was definitely a timely one, given that the new academic year commences on September 2.The children, drawn from the community of Campbellville, were outfitted with school supplies in an effort to ensure that they are ready for the academic year.Owner of Star Party Rentals, Lennox Kush told Guyana Times that this was the start of a great initiative, since the company originated in the Campbellville community and as such, it was happy to provide the needed assistance to the children.“I want to see this community get better. I will do whatever it takes to enhance this community, due to the fact I came from humble beginnings and it pleases my heart that I am fortunate enough to give back,” Kush expressed.The businessman disclosed that he plans to make this initiative an annual one, since the children are the future.“I will ensure they will be provided with the necessities they need in helping them academically. I am pleading with the parents of the children to come forward and ask for assistance, so we can mould them into productive citizens of society. Education is very important and with these kids, they are the future of our country and the future leaders,” he added.Star Party Rentals was established in October 2009 and has experienced tremendous growth in Guyana’s event industry.
– charges to be laid in relation to trafficking in personsThe mother who allegedly sold her two teenaged daughters to men to satisfy those men’s sexual pleasures is expected to be slapped with trafficking-in-persons’ charges, and will be arraigned in court before the end of this week.Child Care and Protection Agency (CC&PA) Director Ann GreeneShe will face charges related to trafficking in persons, since she is said to have taken and invited several men to her home to have sex with her daughters in return for money. This was confirmed by a senior rank in Police ‘C’ Division (East Coast).It was reported that while the girls’ mother was in Police custody, she revealed the identities of the men who had paid her to have sex with her daughters. Police are still on the hunt for those men she had pointed out.Guyana Times reported that the two girls had escaped from their home and had gone to the Police station, where they related their ordeal.A Police source has confirmed that the woman would be present in the same room, looking on as the men engage in sexual activities with her daughters, after which she would collect payment for the activities.“The girls said (that) whenever guys come in their home for sex, their mother sits there and looks at them… and then they give her some money and then she lets the guys sleep with the children the whole night,” the Police source added.It was further disclosed that based on the allegations of the teenagers, their mother had been using them as sex slaves for quite some time.The two teens, aged 13 and 14, were handed over to the Child Care and Protection Agency (CC&PA).Director of that agency, Ann Greene, has confirmed that the two girls are in the custody of the State, and are receiving the requisite care and medical treatment. She explained that as soon as she had been notified about the matter, she had immediately arranged for the sisters to be transported from that ECD Police station to a safe house.The two teenagers were medically examined and given the necessary treatment, and are being constantly counselled.
The Department of Environment on Wednesday handed over a series of proposals to the National Centre for Educational Research Development (NCERD) to introduce environmental topics in the current school curriculum.Since October last year, a team of specialists would have converged to examine the current syllabus used from Grades One to Nine and ways in which these topics can be incorporated into daily lessons.Environmental Policy and Education Coordinator of the Department, Alvin Doris handing over the revised document to NCERD Director Jennifer CumberbatchFour areas were mainly targeted, namely: agriculture and forestry, biodiversity, climate and land geography in subject areas: English language, social studies, agricultural science and integrated science.Environmental Policy and Education Coordinator of the Department, Alvin Doris stated that the idea was to determine whether there was comprehensive environmental coverage across these subjects. As expected, lessons on pertinent environmental issues were lacking.“As you can imagine, there was little to none because our school’s curriculum had not been revised in part for decades…We thought that it was incumbent upon us, being the State agency with overarching mandate for environmental governance, to contribute to that process somehow…We saw that the lack of environmental coverage provided us an opportunity to propose what could be infused,” Doris indicated.He acknowledged the fact that students are sometimes burdened with numerous topics to cover before the end of the school year. Hence, they inserted information where it was relevant in existing topics.“The complaint has always been that the schools’ curriculum is so packed already so we had to be mindful of how much we propose, we had to strategically think about infusion rather than altogether wholesale introduction of new topics,” the Coordinator pointed out.Guyana has taken up the mantle of executing the Rio Conventions, namely on Biodiversity, Climate Change and Desertification.For this, Rio Mainstreaming Project Manager, Michelle Klass explained that a four-year project, slated to conclude next year, was employed to monitor the implementation of the Convention and strengthen technical capacities. Now, the Rio Convention and other environmental issues will be taught at a different level.“The objective is to strengthen technical capacities for mainstreaming and monitoring achievements of the Rio Convention….This important exercise will see our children benefitting from an updated curriculum that incorporates not only the Rio Convention that the project is focusing on but other aspects of the environment including our Green State Development Strategy,” Klass asserted.In receiving the revised syllabus, Director of NCERD, Jennifer Cumberbatch said they will review these suggestions before introducing them in the curriculum. This initiative has been welcomed by educators and both public and private institutions.“Having a meaningful curriculum is essential to a child’s education, life and thus, to a whole nation…We are thankful for the tangible way in which the Office of Climate Change has supported us by these suggested inclusions in the curriculum. I’ve seen a bit of it and recognised that some of it is really good but we have not looked at it in its entirety,” the NCERD Director noted.Through its curriculum reform project, the Education Ministry had introduced a reformed curriculum in schools across the country, through a pilot programme which included space for any modifications.Assistant Chief Education Officer, Carol Benn made this announcement earlier this year, where she also informed that a new timetable would’ve accompanied the syllabus in 115 primary schools. Both were implemented as pilot projects.