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The $32,000.00 deal to purchase furniture by Gravel & Concrete



Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell has stepped in following reports of questionable dealings by some members of the new Board of Directors of the state-owned Gravel Concrete & Emulsion Production Corporation.

The issue surrounds a contract of $EC$32,000.00 awarded to a company owned by a current member of the board to purchase furniture like desks, filing cabinets, chairs, and coffee tables for the corporation.

There are reports that documents lodged at the main office of Gravel & Concrete show that the company of the Board member is the only one that had submitted price quotations for the items.

When contacted for comment on the issue, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Sylvester Quarless named two other firms in St George’s that were contacted for price quotations on the items.

He said that all three price quotations were considered and submitted to the Procurement Unit of the state body with the decision taken to purchase from the Board member whose bid was the lowest.

However, when contact was made with one of the firms identified by the Board Chairman, the management told THE NEW TODAY that they did not receive any such request from Gravel & Concrete to submit any bid for the items that were being sought.

A member of the management said that his company has had no dealings for years with the state enterprise.

According to one government insider, Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell was made aware of the issue by two Cabinet ministers who were informed of the development by an employee of the corporation and another person.

He said the Prime Minister called in the Board Chairman and the Director who owns the company over the weekend and spoke to them sternly about the transaction.

The deal has apparently been put on hold by Gravel & Concrete with no funds being expended although the Board member was said to be asking for 50% of the money upfront in order to supply the items.

The Gravel and Concrete situation was reportedly discussed in Cabinet on Monday.

Workers at the corporation have reached out to Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell for a meeting since neither the new Board or the Line Minster, Infrastructure Development Minister Dennis Cornwall have met with them since the change of government on June 23, 2022 to outline the new plans for the state body.

A well-placed official at Gravel & Concrete is insisting that only the bidding document from the company owned by the Board member had been submitted to them.

A senior employee who is no longer with Gravel & Concrete said he was aware of plans to purchase items from this particular company.

“I know we were trying to get some cabinets and neither Bryden nor Hubbards had. So I believe the new Secretary said Cathwills will provide it since they had a shipment coming in. I am not aware of $32,000.00 though. It was 3 filing cabinets and they were all less than $10,000.

“We did not receive a quote from other suppliers because they were not in stock at the time. Not sure if they purchased any other item since (I) have been out.”

Documents seen by THE NEW TODAY indicate that the list of items were increased over the weeks and the bid submitted by the company of the Board member was approximately EC$32, 000.00.

The controversial Board member is known to have fallen out of grace with the previous Congress government of Prime Minister Tillman Thomas after he failed to deliver on a contract to help with acquiring supplies for the Free School Book programme in the 2008-13 period.

The insider at Gravel and Concrete who described as “a big lie” claims made by a certain section of the board about the bidding process involving two other local companies indicated that it was only on Wednesday that instructions were given to the Procurement Unit “to get a quote from Hubbard’s and Bryden & Minors” on purchasing the items.

During the rule of the last New National Party (NNP) government of defeated Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell, Gravel & Concrete was one of several state bodies that were identified by an arm of the World Bank for privatisation.

The World Bank outfit said that the corporation was costing the state too much money in subsidies and that it was heavily over-staffed.

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Fatal shooting in Gouyave



Grenada police are currently investigating two deaths this past week including what appears to be an execution on Tuesday night in Gun Battle in St John in which one man was killed.

The other incident which took place on Sunday related to the recovery of the body of 46-year old David Forte who was found naked among rocks face down in an area known as Russian Point in St David .

Family members believe foul play is at work as the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) continue with their investigation into the incident.

According to one family member, the police are continuing to hold on to the body of Forte and have not given it over for burial.

He said that he last saw the deceased on Sunday around noon in the company of an individual who is said to be of interest to the police in their ongoing investigation.

He indicated that about 2 hours later, the girlfriend of David called a family member to report that the person with whom he was last seen in public to “say a whole hour he and Forte down in Russian Point and Forte say he going an ease his bowel and how up to now Forte can’t come back and he searching for him all over the place and can’t find him.”

Within minutes, family members of the deceased reached the beach to help look for the missing man.

THE NEW TODAY was told that they are very suspicious of the reported incident as the person of interest to the police was giving some kind of explanation as to what happened and “that just didn’t make sense to me.”

“…The place where he said he parked up (the vehicle), the place where he said (David) went is like literally walking into the roughest part of the ocean. Everybody that hearing the story say that ain’t make no sense. A lot of people are talking and they’re saying that isn’t sounding right.”

“The guy is very sketchy. Up to now the guy hasn’t really come and say nothing to us. The day when the body was found, the man walked straight – he peeped at the body then he go on the phone and all ah hear he saying is that they find him, they find his body on the rocks in La Tante.

“Just as how he make the walk come across, he made a 360 on the phone and he went his way. Everybody is asking about him and for him and he (is) just now showing up. On top of that I am not seeing any remorse on the man’s face or nothing.”

A brief statement put out by RGPF on the incident said: “Police are investigating the death of David Forte 46 years old, painter, of Grand Bacolet, St. Andrew. Mr Forte and another man reportedly left to go fishing at La Tante Bay on Sunday 19th March 2023.

Mr Forte was said to have separated from his companion and had not returned. A subsequent search for him proved futile.

The body of Mr David Forte was discovered by a search party, between the rocks, in the shallow waters of the La Tante Bay, around 9:30 a.m, today Monday 20th March 2023. He was then pronounced dead. A postmortem will be conducted to determine the cause of death.

THE NEW TODAY understands that a local Pathologist did conduct the post-mortem while the family members are exploring the possibility of getting another one done.

In the other incident, police are focused on the northwestern community of Gun Battle following the fatal shooting of a young man just before 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday.

Dead is 30-year-old Johnathan Richards also known as “Not Nice,” who resided at River Lane Gouyave, St. John at the time of the incident.

The 30-year-old was reportedly shot at least six (6) times while hanging out in the popular Gun Battle area.

Information is sketchy but speculation is rife that the execution-style shooting may have been drug-related and that a Vincentian national may be responsible for Richards’ death.

Sources say the assailant emerged from the seafront dressed in all black.

Richards was no stranger to the law as he was arrested in June 2019, along with a Vincentian identified as Cornelius Hackshire, in connection with a robbery incident at D. A Munroe and Sons Sunshine Snacks store, located on Grenville Street, St. George.

Richards was also arrested by police in April 2021 and slapped with two (2) counts of Attempt to Commit Non-Capital Murder, Possession of a Firearm and ammunition following an incident along the northwestern side of the country, which resulted in an 11-year-old child receiving a gunshot wound to his arm.

Prime Minister and Minister for National Security Dickon Mitchell referred to the Gun Battle execution as he raised concerns over the growing trend of external influences on gun-related crimes in Grenada and other Eastern Caribbean countries during Wednesday’s opening of the Regional Security Systems (RRS) Council of Ministers at the Radisson hotel.

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Grenada suffers 7-1 defeat against U.S.



Grenada received one of its heaviest loss in a football game at the National Stadium at Queen’s Park in St George’s when the United States (U.S.) defeated the home team 7-1 in front of an almost full venue in the CONCACAF Nations League.

The Spice Boys went behind as early as the 4th minute when playmaker, Christian Pulisic who dominated the left side of the field, crossed the ball into the penalty area to Ricardo Pepi who headed the ball easily pass goalkeeper, Jason Belfon.

The U.S went 2-0 up in the 20th minute of play when Pulisic, who was creating problems for the home team with his pace, was able to make a pass into the penalty area again for Brenden Aaronson to drive his shot past a helpless Belfon.

Eleven minutes later, the visitors went 3-0 from a Pulisic free kick on the left flank which created all sorts of problems for the Grenada defense and when the ball deflected from one of its defenders, it fell onto the feet of Weston McKennie and found the back of the net.

Against the run of play, Grenada was able to pull a goal back minutes later when Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong made a run on the right side of the U.S. defence and found Myles Hippolyte who delivered a shot with power past the American goalkeeper, Matt Turner.

One minute later, the US team extended the lead again to make it 4-1 and to shut out the home team from the game when its best player on the field Pulisic was able to stand just outside the penalty box and put the ball in the area of the far post, where Auston Trusty rose up and headed the ball down to McKennie, who once again was able to score the goal from just a few feet away.

With the U.S. enjoying a comfortable 4-1 lead at halftime, the local support was drowned out by the hundreds of American medical students at St George’s University (SGU) at True Blue in the south of the island who showed up at the stadium to support their country.

Both Governor General Dame Cecile La Grenade and Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell and members of his Cabinet were also in attendance at the game.

Within four minutes of the resumption of play, the U.S. continued its dominance when Pulisic scored after he received a pass from Luca de la Torre and put the ball underneath Belfon and onto the goal line.

The goal deflated the home team and it was not surprising when the Americans notched up their 6th goal on the night when a De la Torre pass found Pepi in the penalty area and he slid the ball pass Belfon.

Alejandro Zendejas brought further misery for Grenada in the 72nd minute of play when he found the back of net from a few metres away from the goal post.

The U.S., with seven points from two victories and one draw, is set to win Group D of the tournament’s League A with a win or a tie on Monday against El Salvador (5 points) in Orlando, Florida.

The winners from each of the four groups advance to the semi-finals on June 15 in Las Vegas.

Grenada is not expected to advance any further in the competition due to this heavy loss at home.

The Nations League is used to determine the top teams in CONCACAF while also serving as a qualifier for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

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Call for review of security arrangement around PM Dickon Mitchell



A former National Security Advisor has called for a review of the Security arrangements around Grenada’s nine-month old Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell following Tuesday’s vehicle accident involving the State vehicle that he was travelling in along the Springs main road.

In an exclusive interview with THE NEW TODAY, the security expert said he picked up information that there was no police outrider to help clear the traffic to prevent the Prime Minister and his Security Detail from getting bogged down in the traffic as the area is known to be affected by traffic in the early morning rush hour.

He recalled reports in the media since the June 23, 2022 change of government in which the Congress leader emerged as the island’s Prime Minister that concerns have been raised about his personal security.

He spoke of some of the former security around assassinated Prime Minister Maurice Bishop and retired senior police officers have been expressing the view to him that it is quite evident based on certain apparent security lapses that the PM Dickon Mitchell’s security detail might be lacking in some areas.

The security official suggested that the best officers within the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) should do a review in order to ascertain whether some of the security personnel assigned to the 45-year old Grenadian leader are in need of better training in driving, escorting and protecting the Prime Minister.

He recalled an incident that he witnessed first-hand about three weeks ago involving the entourage of the Prime Minister in the Grand Anse area near to the basketball court.

“Apparently he (PM Dickon Mitchell) was going to an event and probably he was running a bit late, but the manner in which the convoy was taking over vehicles and trying to get its way, I was very concerned.”

“Yes, they had the flashing lights and siren but still you had the Head of government in there and his safety and protection must always be paramount – he could reach a minute, five minutes late (as) the event can’t start without him.”

“I thought that the way the person was driving wasn’t in keeping with the kind of driving you would do for a Head of State or a Head of government. Again he didn’t have any outrider – in that case it was the two black jeeps.”

“I think it’s high time that they re-evaluate the people around the Prime Minister in terms of providing security for him.”

The former National Security Advisor stated that the convoy accompanying the Prime Minister should be at least 3 vehicles – with one clearing the way, and another serving as a back-up vehicle in the rear with other highly armed security personnel.

According to the top security official, there should always be another vehicle somewhere close to the Prime Minister to provide better protection for him like in case of the accident in Springs.

“That vehicle is the one in which you have to extricate the Prime Minister from the situation and the scene– put him in that vehicle and take him away,” he said.

He felt that the Prime Minister should not be kept on the scene in the open as no one knew for sure that what happened at Springs could have been part of a deliberate ambush to hurt him.

“You don’t know if they had men waiting in the bushes to open up automatic fire on him,” he said.

Several persons reported seeing the Prime Minister and coming up to him to see if he was alright after the accident.

According to the official, ex-Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell had “a very good” Security Detail around him including personnel with heavy automatic weapons in case of an attack on him.

He felt that the Springs incident calls for some “drastic re-evaluation of the security protocols including the senior Security team putting him to sit down and say (to him) look if you want us to protect you there are certain things that we would have to overrule.”

He pointed out that in the United States, there are certain things that the President would like to do but “the Secret Service will tell him blankly that you can’t do that because if you do that we can’t guarantee that we could protect you.”

“So (Prime Minister) Dickon (Mitchell) has to understand his position – he is not just Dickon now, he is the Head of a Government and he has to remember that that brings a lot of responsibility,” he said.

He also told THE NEW TODAY that if Tuesday’s incident was life-threatening for the Prime Minister he was sure that “the whole country would have gone into chaos because it is only nine-six situation in Parliament.”

“There is no one around them there that would be able to galvanise the people and either run the country in his absence or God forbid should he pass away. So he has to look at all these things – the (Prime Minister) is taking these things too nonchalantly.”

Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell was considered as the key player in helping Congress to take charge of the seat of power in St George’s from the New National Party (NNP) of Keith Mitchell which won clean sweeps at the polls in the 2013 and 2018 general elections.

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Underneath Part 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “honest use” for functions akin to criticism, remark, information reporting, instructing, scholarship, and analysis. Honest use is a use permitted by copyright statute that may in any other case be infringing.”

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