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Largest Wind Energy Facility in English-Speaking Caribbean Now on Jamaica Stock Exchange

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Prime Minister Andrew Holness (second left), observes as Chairman, Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica, Russell Hadeed (left), inserts the strip signifying Wigton Windfarm’s official listing on the Jamaica Stock Exchange. Also sharing in the moment are (from third left) Minister of Finance and the Public Service,Dr Nigel Clarke; Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Fayval Williams; and General Manager, Wigton Windfarm, Earl Bennett. (Photo Credit: JIS)

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Thursday May
23, 2019
– Wigton
Windfarm Limited is now listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE), following the
success of its initial public offering (IPO), which saw some 31,200 Jamaicans
taking up the opportunity to own 11 billion shares in the company.

The offer,
the first IPO of a government-owned company in almost 30 years, was
oversubscribed. A total of 11,772 Jamaicans, or 38 per cent, are new investors.

Wigton
Windfarm, a subsidiary of the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) and the
largest wind energy facility in the English-speaking Caribbean, is the 82nd
company to be listed on the JSE combined market.

Managing
Director of the JSE, Marlene Street-Forrest, said over 64 per cent of those who
invested in Wigton are under 50 years of age, with approximately 50 per cent
under 40.

“The
gender mix was also quite interesting, as more females applied for shares
within this IPO – that is 56 per cent to 44 per cent female-male ratio. The
average spend for a new investor was approximately $124,000, which on the basis
of all this, one can conclude that the public believes in this company and
expects that it will continue to do well. This is confirmed by the
oversubscription of the offer by over 158 per cent,” she said.

Speaking
at the official listing ceremony yesterday, Prime Minister Andrew Holness said
the Government is being instrumental and proactive in promoting ownership –
beyond just a piece of land or a home – while facilitating wealth creation for
Jamaicans at all levels.

“We are
expanding that concept of ownership to the average Jamaican to say that you can
own a piece of a profitable company, and more than that, as a shareholder you
have a powerful vote, not just the Directors. I believe the Government has
fulfilled its policy objectives and, indeed, the higher objective of starting
the ownership culture,” Holness said.

He said
there is significant gain in value in owning assets in companies.

“The
investment that you have made in Wigton is one that I am certain will yield
great future gains,” he said.

Wigton
Windfarm was built by the Government to help diversify Jamaica’s energy mix. It
began operating in 2004 with the commissioning of a 20.7-megawatt generating
plant, Wigton I. This was followed by the development of Wigton II in 2010,
which generates 18 megawatts of energy. Wigton III, the 24-megawatt expansion
of the facility, was officially commissioned into service in June 2016.

Meanwhile,
the Prime Minister said his Government is looking at divesting its shares in
other entities, such as the Central Waste Water Company, the Jamaica Public
Service Company, and the Jamaica Mortgage Bank.

Regarding
the Jamaica Mortgage Bank, he said the Cabinet submission has been approved
“for us to move forward with that divestment”.

“The modality, whether it is an IPO or otherwise, will be declared shortly,” Holness said.

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Death By Drowning: Italian Authorities Say No Foul Play Suspected in Case of Bahamians Pulled From River

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Bahamians Alrae Ramsey (left) and Blair Rashad Randy John

TURIN, Italy, Monday June
24, 2019

Autopsies on two Bahamian men whose bodies were pulled from a river in Turin,
Italy earlier this month have concluded that they died from accidental
drowning.

But the father of 28-year-old psychology Ph.D. student Blair John –
who had met up in the Italian city with his college friend Alrae Ramsey, a Bahamian
Foreign Service Officer who was the other man found in the Po River – does not accept
his son drowned.

According to Italian news outlets, preliminary results determined
the deaths were accidental and no foul play had been uncovered. Additional details
in the report indicate that both men had alcohol in their system before somehow
falling into the river but the toxicology report indicated that their alcohol
levels were not high enough for them to have been drunk.

Investigators suggest that it’s possible one of the men slipped or
jumped into the water and the other went to save him and they both drowned.

But John’s mother Cathleen Rahming told local media after his body
was found on June 5, a day after Ramsey’s, that he was fit and a strong
swimmer. Now the autopsy has been released, his father, Randolph John is
adamant his son could not have drowned.

He told the Bahamas Tribune that if the men did drown, it meant they
were “incapacitated” before being tossed in the river. He also rejected the
idea that his son or Ramsey did drugs.

“If I was born three times again I wouldn’t accept that. If it was
in fact a drowning then it means that they were incapacitated prior to being
thrown in the river. That’s what it would mean,” he said.

“I know my son and I know his friend. They probably might drink a
little bit of alcohol but these are civilized persons with their heads screwed
on right. Do you reach that point in your life at that age, if you’re not
focused?”

John, a St Augustine’s College graduate of Class of 2009 who was
near completion of his Ph.D. in Psychology at Saint Mary’s University in
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, had travelled to Turin to present an academic
paper at a psychology conference.

Ramsey was employed with his country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs
from December 2013, and was formerly posted at the Bahamas Embassy in
Port-au-Prince, Haiti as third Secretary/Vice-consul in 2016-2017. Last year,
he was granted an In-Service Award to pursue a one-year Postgraduate Diploma
programme at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna in Austria for the September 2018
to June 2019 period. But sometime last week, he went to Turin.

The men both attended the same high school, Saint Augustine’s
College in New Providence.

Their bodies are to be returned to The Bahamas for burial. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it was working assiduously with funeral homes in Turin and Nassau to have the bodies repatriated to The Bahamas as quickly as possible, so that they can be turned over to their families.

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Illegal Haitian Migrants Apprehended in The Bahamas

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NASSAU, The Bahamas, Monday June 24, 2019 – A joint operation by
the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) and Operation Bahamas Turks and Caicos (OPBAT)
with the support of Bahamas Immigration Department has resulted in the
apprehension of a Haitian sailing vessel with 100 undocumented Haitian nationals.

The vessel was
intercepted approximately 30 nautical miles northwest of Inagua around 2:20
p.m. last Thursday, accoding to the RBDF. 

The OPBAT
helicopter spotted the vessel and the Defence Force interceptor stationed in
Inagua subsequently apprehended it. The vessel was later assisted by HMBS
Livingstone Smith.

The migrants – 89 males, 11 females – were transported to Inagua where they were handed over to Immigration authorities for processing.

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Guyana President and Opposition Leader to Meet on CCJ Ruling

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President David Granger (right) meeting with Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo earlier this year.

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Monday June 24, 2019 – President David Granger has invited Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo to meet with him to discuss the political situation in Guyana resulting from last week’s decision of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) that the no-confidence motion passed against the coalition government last December was valid and the appointment of the chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) was unconstitutional.

The two are
expected to meet at the Ministry of the Presidency after today, when the CCJ makes
the consequential orders arising from its ruling last Tuesday.

The invitation to
Jagdeo was made in a letter dated June 20, sent on behalf of Granger by Director
General, Ministry of the Presidency, Joseph Harmon.

Harmon said that
the letter serves to demonstrate President Granger’s commitment to “engagement
and dialogue” with the Opposition Leader in the interest of the development of
Guyana.

According to the
letter, the meeting will be held at the Ministry of the Presidency “at a time
convenient” to both parties “after Monday, June 24, 2019”.

The CCJ will today
hear from all parties on what should happen next after the court ruled that the
December 21 no confidence was properly passed with 33 votes in the 65-seat
National Assembly, and that President Granger acted outside the Constitution
when he unilaterally appointed retired Justice James Patterson as GECOM
chairman.

The CCJ had urged
the parties to consult with each other on what the consequential orders should
be, in an effort to reach consensus.

Under the Guyana Constitution, elections should be held within three months of the passage of a no-confidence motion unless an extension is granted by a two-thirds majority vote of the National Assembly.

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