The National Community Foundation which has over the past ten years undertaken charitable work has been hit by bandits.
NCF Executive Director, Julianna Alfred, says she went into her office on Monday morning and realized the place had been broken into.
The thieves broke down the back door of the building and burst through the NCF’s doors. Alfred says the crime is very distressing to all staff given the mandate of the non-profit work undertaken by the NCF.
Alfred says by now she would have hoped most if not all Saint Lucians would be fully aware of the work the NCF undertakes.
She says anyone with an appreciation of the amount of service the NCF gives to the community could not have committed such a thoughtless act.
Alfred is urging all Saint Lucians to call the nearest police station if someone attempts to sell them something which they believe may be a stolen item from her operations.
Alfred says the Foundation believed in the past that given the nature of its work there was no need for stand in security.
That opinion she says has now changed. The NCF provides scholarships and medical assistance to those in need in addition to a wide range of charitable initiatives. Police are currently investigating the break in.
PS shake-up Story byCarmy Joseph
A big shake up at several government Ministries is expected on Monday June 18th. HTS News understands several Permanent Secretaries will be moved to accommodate the loss of others in the Public Service.
Among them will be the embattled PS in the Ministry of Education who has in the past year come under increasing pressure from the Teachers Union who refused to work with her.
Our sources say she will be moved to the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs. The Ministry of Health will also lose its current PS while a current DPS will be moved from his Ministry and promoted to PS in another.
Among the people retiring from the Public Service is George James, a long serving PS who was last appointed at the Ministry of Planning and Physical Development.
Student wounded Story bySarah Peter
Police have confirmed the weapon that was lodged inside the head of a 16 year old boy was not in fact a bullet.
on Wednesday evening – our news desk was told the male student from the Anse Ger secondary school was in intensive care due to a pellet that had been lodged in his head.
Our source said the student had what appeared to be a bullet or pellets from a gun in his head –
an injury that was discovered after he fell on Wednesday afternoon on his way home from school.
Eyewitness – who claimed not to have heard gun shots - said Shervon Poleon collapsed as a motorcycle rode by. The incident occurred in the community of Anse Ger. We spoke to the victim’s sister Sherma Poleon who was demanding answers.
Sherwin Poleon who is listed in critical condition is fighting for his life; he has reportedly not opened his eyes since he fell to the ground.
Police say Poleon was walking along the Anse Ger road when he slipped and fell onto the road. At the time he was said to have been carrying a piece of metal which got lodged into the back of his head.
Personnel at the fire department were summoned and the victim was subsequently transported to St. Jude’s hospital via ambulance. He was treated and is currently admitted in critical condition.
NICE is launched Story byDesmond Collymore
The National Initiative to Create Employment – nice – has been officially launched. A program designed to address the island’s unemployment crisis – nice began at a ceremony held on Friday morning at the national skills development centre in Vieux-Fort.
Prime minister Dr Kenny Anthony along with a number of other ministers and dignitaries were on hand to officially welcome the start of the program.
LIAT damages Story byWinston Springer
Based on currently available information, regional carrier LIAT estimates that insured losses at the V.C. Bird International Airport will be approximately EC$35 million.
The raging fire occurred on Sunday June 10, 2012 at the company’s hangar. The management and staff of LIAT in a prepared statement Thursday thanked customers, well-wishers and the public in general who have called or sent messages of
support to the airline following the disastrous fire. According to LIAT, its hangar, a plane, twooffice buildings and important documents were destroyed by the fire and plans for summer flights were also jeopardized.
In addition to destroying the dash 8-300 plane, the fire also ruined a few engines, spare parts and tools and affected quality assurance and technical records.
Despite the disaster LIAT continues to maintain normal operations throughout its network.
Off shore banking seminar Story byWinston Springer
A wide cross section of interests in the financial services Sector on Wednesday received insight into the new Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act passed by US authorities to crack down on tax evasion.
Facilitator, Berkeley Greenidge of Price Water House Coppers says the US law has far reaching implications for the offshore financial sector here particularly the banks.
However many institutions are unaware of their responsibilities and the pitfalls of failing to comply with the US authorities.
FATCA is primarily aimed at detecting, deterring and discouraging tax evasion by US citizens who have substantial assets and accounts in offshore financial entities commonly referred to as “Tax Havens”.
US agencies like the IRS and the Treasury Department are soliciting the assistance of these financial institutions in ensuring the account holders meet their tax liabilities.
Greenidge indicates non-compliance has some serious draw backs that include being slapped with stiff penalties.
Foreign financial institutions have to register with the Inland Revenue Service (IRS) in the US by June 2013.
The response has been admittedly slow despite there being certain obligations which have to be met before the cut-off date.
General Manager of the Caribbean Association of Banks, Mary Popo explains these requirements include the identification of off shore accounts held by US citizens including Saint Lucians who possess Green Cards.
FATCA was enacted by the US in 2010 and under the law certain U.S. taxpayers with financial assets outside the United States must report those assets to the IRS.
According to the IRS “Foreign financial institutions must report directly to the IRS certain information about financial accounts held by U.S. taxpayers, or by foreign entities in which U.S. taxpayers hold a substantial ownership interest.”
President of the St. Lucia Manufacturers Association, Paula Calderon hailed the inaugural product exhibition a great success.
The initiative showcased the island’s locally produced goods and services. The exhibition also gave manufacturers, retailers and producers the opportunity to showcase their goods while also encouraging the purchase of local products.
Calderon says the initiative is a strategic move designed to increase sales and encourage the sale of local products among the Hotel and construction sectors.
Calderon further added buying local will reduce the island’s high import bill and reduce unemployment.
Similar sentiments were expressed by Regional Director of Sandals Resorts International, Jeremy Jones.
Communications and Marketing Manager of St. Lucia Distillers, Jennifer Gaston believes the exhibition educated and informed the general populace about locally produced goods.
The idea for the initiative dubbed ‘Expose Local’ came from a meeting between the President of the St. Lucia Manufacturers Association- Paula Calderon and Regional Director, Sandals Resorts, International, Jeremy Jones. The expo was held on Wednesday at the Sandals Grande Ballroom from 3PM.
Speed networking launch Story bySant Justin
Members of the Chamber of Commerce attended the inaugural Speed Networking Forum on Thursday.
Membership Development Officer- Sumitra Jagroop-Leo says the Chamber continues to introduce innovative ways to diversify the sector in the struggling economy. Leo says the Thursday’s activity received a good response.
The Chamber says the forum will assist in developing and enhancing relationships between members.
Those present were divided into two categories, buyers and sellers. The sellers were allowed ten minutes during Thursday’s session to lay down an elevator pitch which would interest the seller.
Leo says linkages between local companies help reduce outsourcing.
And while the sellers are not guaranteed a sale on the day, it will inform buyers of the services available.
The activity was held at the Bay Gardens Hotel in Rodney Bay.
Minister meets broilers Story bySarah Peter
A number of steps will be taken by the government to help boost the island’s poultry industry, among them the introduction of legislation and establishment of a feed mill on the island.
That’s the promise from Minister for Agriculture Moses Jn Baptiste; the initiatives are part of efforts to help boost the island’s poultry sector.
Jn Baptiste made the statement at a meeting with poultry farmers on Wednesday at the Union Orchid Garden.
Expressing concern over the island’s chicken import bill – the Minister believes there is need to encourage St. Lucians to consume more locally produced meats.
Jn Baptiste added his administration is dedicated to creating an environment for farmers to thrive.
In that vein - legislation will soon be enacted to help boost the island’s poultry industry.
Jn Baptiste further disclosed the government’s new policy to guarantee broiler producers 30% of the local market.
Book handover Story byLovely St.Aime Joseph
The Saint Lucia National Archives is charged with the mandate to preserve documents of historical and national significance.
These include books and other publications. On Wednesday Archivist Margot Thomas was elated to on behalf of the National Archives receive three new publications from Saint Lucian authors.
She says the importance of these documents to Saint Lucia and Saint Lucians are often not fully appreciated.
Former politician Peter Josie penned Shattered Dreams, a publication he dubbed a political odyssey of Saint Lucia.
He says the book was dedicated to his parents who guided him with love throughout his life. Josie challenged those reading the book to learn and benefit from what they may see as his flaws.
Author Father Linus Clovis also donated his publication entitled “A Biblical search for the Church Christ founded”
The book Helen and her sister Haiti was written by J Lambert St. Rose. It explores parallels between Saint Lucia and Haiti.
The three books are on sale at all local books stores. Thomas has encouraged other Saint Lucians to donate material of historical value to the Nationals Archives for posterity.
Ambassadors to launch Story byWinston Springer
The Ambassadors Calypso Tent will open its 2012 calypso season this coming Friday night. Tent Manager and veteran artiste Fitzroy “Bingo” Leon says the 10 calypsonians who are scheduled to grace the stage will each perform two songs.
He says musical accompaniment will provided by the Caribbean Connection band. Leon who is a purist says the tent will remain true to the socio-political facet of the art form.
He is promising a quality production during the shortened season. The Ambassadors Calypso Tent is scheduled to commence at 8PM on Friday June 15th at the National Cultural Centre. Admission is $25 Dollars.
Insurance council workshop Story bySarah Peter
The Insurance Council of St. Lucia hosted a one day seminar on Thursday for Contractors, Bankers, Insures, Brokers, Credit Unions and Ministry Officials.
Chairperson of General Sub Committee- Joralia St. Louis says its aim was to give a clear picture of the level of risk involved in the various stages of a construction project, as well as documentation and other requirements by insurers.
St. Louis says the seminar followed several requests for insurance from contractors. St. Louis lamented the small attendance at Thursday’s session. She was especially concerned because contractors generally do not pay attention to insurance.
St Louis says the Insurance Council hopes the few contractors and who did attend would inform their collegues.
The seminar was facilitated by the Vice President in Technical Operations of the Beacon Insurance Company Limited in Trinidad- Derek Kanhai. It was held at the Palm Haven Hotel.
Student wounded in shooting
NICE is launched
Off shore banking seminar
Speed networking launch
Minister meets broilers
Ambassadors to launch
Insurance council workshop
The tagline was part of a re-branding exercise that reportedly cost the country $300,000. A New York based company was hired to design the logo and tagline in replacement of “Simply Beautiful” which had been used for some time to sell Saint Lucia. While the logo was largely accepted without much debate –the tagline was said to be a contentious issue between the Tourism Minister who oversaw it as well as the Tourist Board who had to use it. The new Tourism Minister questions what the tagline signifies and wants to change it. But the UWP who paid for it say it serves the purpose and was money well spent.
Do you agree with the government’s decision to change the country’s “live the legend” tagline?