Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 23rd 2016 Contents CASANDRA
Double murder accused
Naajip Hills, 23 and Andre
Romeo, 29, reappeared in
the Scarborough Magis-
trates Court before Magis-
trate Cheryl Ann Antoine
on Monday, charged with
the murder of British-born
Attorney Richard Wheeler
and his wife Grace.
The Wheelers were mur-
dered on October 20, 2015,
at their Riseland Trace,
The duo was represented
by attorney Fareed Ali.
During their latest court
appearance, state attorney
George Busby indicated to
the court that he had various
witness statements and the
post mortem reports to dis-
close to the defence.
Ali accepted the announcement and
also requested that an adjournment date
in March be given. The request was
granted by Magistrate Antoine and the
matter was adjourned to April 4, which
will be heard via video conferencing.
Richard, a 72-year-old attorney who
had been living on the island for the past
16 years, and Grace, 63, a real estate
agent, were discovered hacked to death
at their home by a yard attendant around
11 am. Wheeler worked at top regional
firm Lex Caribbean and specialised in
conveyance and property law, while his
wife worked with Island Investments.
The attendant reportedly found Grace
lying on her back on the property's lawn
while her husband was found in the living
The State is proceeding with the case
by the way of paper committal.
Inspector Rhodill Kirk of the Tobago
Homicide Bureau laid the charges.
Chairman of the Tourism Development Company
(TDC) Dennise Demming is urging local chefs and bar-
tenders to explore innovative ways of showcasing their
products without using styrofoam or plastic.
Declaring that this country was "drowning in styrofoam
and plastics," Demming said it was crucial that people
make more environmentally friendly and sustainable
Delivering brief remarks at the Trinidad Hotels, Restau-
rants and Tourism Association (THRTA) awards ceremony
at the Hyatt Hotel, yesterday, Demming tossed out a
challenge to the handful of chefs and bartenders present
as she said it was up to them to redefine the palette of
the average Trinidadian and revolutionise customer service
in the country.
Describing these as complex challenges, Demming said
the statistics were there to prove that Trinidadians were
suffering from obesity, high blood pressure and other
lifestyle diseases, due largely in part to their food choices
which had changed over the years from authentic culinary
cuisine to fast food.
Urging the chefs present to accept the task of trans-
forming local produce into attractive and tasty dishes
which would entice persons to change their eating habits,
Demming also said it was time to change how people interacted
with each other on a daily basis.
She said mutual respect, empathy and love were needed to
transform the customer service sector.
To the bartenders, Demming urged them to incorporate more
local rums and mixtures into their drink offerings, as she said
the purchase of high-end scotch would only translate into more
foreign exchange leaving the country.
Overall, Demming said, these factors could assist in improving
the tourism industry which has always "been a second thought"
in this country.
She said this was the perfect opportunity for this industry
to contribute in a more meaningful way to the country's Gross
Domestic Product and thereby reduce the reliance on the energy
Deputy permanent secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Samdaye
Rampersad, echoed Demming's call that the time to transform
the Caribbean's tourism sector was now.
She said in 2015, the Caribbean attracted the most foreign
visitors with 28.7 million persons, who spent close to $30 bil-
Rampersad said this represented the sixth consecutive year
of above average growth in this sector and it was an area of
tremendous potential---one which T&T needed to capitalise on
as persons searched for culinary delights indigenous to each
Prior to the announcement of the winners of the 2016 Making
The Cutt culinary competition, chief executive officer of the
THRTA, Brian Frontin, commended those who had participated
in this latest instalment of the competition, as well as past
winners and participants who had moved on to providing culinary
advice at hotels and those who had even started their own busi-
nesses. Formed in 1999, the THRTA is the main private sector
body representing the tourism industry.
In the mid-1990s, the THRTA developed the concept of a
local culinary competition which identified talented chefs, pastry
chefs and bartenders who would form part of a team to compete
at Taste of the Caribbean, the premier culinary event showcasing
the region's best talent, held in Miami annually, under the
auspices of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association.
Over the past 16 years, local teams have amassed a total of
52 medals including 23 gold, 20 silver and nine bronze medals,
for their efforts.
This year, the competition attracted a record number of par-
ticipants including 15 chefs, nine pastry chefs, two junior chefs
and 14 bartenders from top local hotels and restaurants, as well
as established business owners.
TDC official tells chefs:
A Special Reserve officer attached to
the San Juan Municipal Police was
granted $45,000 bail yesterday when
he appeared before a Tunapuna mag-
istrate charged with fraudulently con-
verting a total of $15,000 from his
According to the police case against
Allan Joseph, the 36-year-old kept for
himself the monies which he collected
on behalf of an employer as receipt for
the purchasing of a vehicle.
Joseph, who lives at Knowles Street,
appeared before Senior Magistrate Gillian
David-Scotland. Joseph will re-appear
in court on July 2. (JLV)
Police officer on
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, February 23, 2016
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