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Antigua & Barbuda

An Illinois couple will have a few more days to celebrate their anniversary in Antigua after Hurricane Ian grounded their flight home

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WTHR: As Hurricane Ian hammers Florida with high winds and heavy rains, many Floridians and Hoosier natives traveled back home at the last minute to avoid the storm.

Others, unable to travel, are finding themselves temporarily stuck both in the Sunshine State and around the Caribbean as the storm grounds air travel in and out for the next few days.

“We’re on the edge of a hurricane and we’re sitting here where there’s 85 degrees and sunshine,” said Joe Johnston.

With clear skies and warm weather from their Sandals beach resort in Antigua, Johnston and his wife, Connie, thought they’d dodged the stormy weather when Hurricane Fiona swept through the Caribbean last week.

But now, as Hurricane Ian barrels down on Florida’s Gulf Coast, their plans to fly back home to Mahomet, Illinois through Miami and into Indianapolis have hit the brakes.

“It looked like it was going to go more to the Gulf side. Well, then it kind of changed directions and came back in a little bit.  So when I was looking at it today, I thought, ‘This isn’t good.’ And then we got notifications that our flight was canceled,” Johnston said.

As the Sunshine State braces against Ian, Johnston said he and Connie, along with other U.S. travelers in Antigua are stuck a few extra days, unable to fly home until Friday at the earliest.

“You know, at the end of the day, there’s going to be people in Tampa that are going to lose their homes and hopefully nobody loses their life,” Johnston said. “So it’s kind of hard to think, ‘Oh, poor us,’ when there’s all that to think about. But yeah, we’ve gotten lucky over the years and this year, not quite as lucky. But we’re not facing anything like what hundreds of thousands of others are facing.”

Visiting Antigua to celebrate their 34th wedding anniversary at the end of September together, Johnston said he and Connie have always lucked out in traveling the Caribbean during hurricane season. And while the delay in getting back home wasn’t planned, he said they’re still feeling lucky in avoiding Ian’s hardest hits.

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Antigua & Barbuda

Children and elderly among those to benefit from new volunteer venture

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The organisation has been lending a hand to some of the nation’s vulnerable residents (Photos contributed)

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A string of local causes have benefited from a new volunteer programme operating in Antigua and Barbuda.

SkyTigerCares was formed from outsourcing and offshoring consulting firm SkyTiger, based at Canada Place, St John’s.

A food drive for the Fiennes Institute, supported by SkyTiger staff, secured $1,500 worth of food and personal care items. In addition to the care packages, $5,000 was also donated to the Master of Fiennes, Walton Edwards.

In July, the philanthropic organisation supported the West Indies Sail Heritage Foundation by donating $5,000 to the tall ship race event in the Netherlands.

“In addition to financial assistance, our very own employee and aspiring sailor J-maiah Louisor was able to participate in the event,” a release from SkyTiger said. “In his words, it was a dream come true and he felt privileged and honoured to be selected for this once-in-a-lifetime event.”

The organisation also helped local schoolchildren last summer by issuing 105 gift certificates to staff members with children between the ages of three and 17.

The volunteer programme focuses on four pillars of corporate social responsibility – environmental, ethical, philanthropic, and economic.

“We embrace diversity, inclusion, social awareness, volunteering, education, eco-friendly practices, and acts of service,” the release added.

“At SkyTiger, one of our top priorities is to be a good corporate citizen. We want to create an environment that recognises the importance of giving back.”

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Antigua & Barbuda

Messi scores, Argentina beats Australia 2-1 at World Cup

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Antigua & Barbuda

Haitian police are fed up!!

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A high-ranking police officer says gangs in Haiti are making their lives very difficult and they are challenged in executing their functions.

Over the past few months, Haitian gangsters have seized at least three police vehicles, which includes two armored ones, in a wave of gang violence that has left several law enforcement officers dead.

A police source, told HCNN that an armored vehicle and several police weapons were hijacked and are still in the hands of the criminals who are still using them to fight rival gangs.

“As a police commissioner, I feel embarrassed and guilty, because I am among those who are supposed to make sure that gang violence is quelled and that security is guaranteed,” he said

He says there have been numerous times he considered resigning but has been advised against it.

One gang leader, a former policeman known as Crisla, has claimed responsibility for the seizure of the vehicles.

A spokesman for the Haitian National Police Union, Lionel Lazare, said at least 50 policemen have been shot dead, since the beginning of the year.

Police commissioner, in charge of the police academy, 50-year-old Harington Rigaud, was among the victims who were shot in the head, outside his office, on November 25.

His vehicle was also taken by the criminals.



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