Sheshyka Ettienne’s mother, Deon Ettienne, (seated) and being comforted while DeYounge’s mother, Coleen DeYounge, (standing behind) speaks with E Division (Linden-Kwakwani) Commander, Senior Superintendent Linden Lord as relatives stand close byAs the families of the Linden, Region 10, couple that was killed in a Jeep and motorbike collision at Amelia’s Ward on Monday evening continue to mourn their deaths, E Division (Linden-Kwakwani) Commander, Senior Superintendent Linden Lord and team on Tuesday conducted visits at their homes to offer condolences.Commander Lord was accompanied by Community Relations Officer and an administrative team as they visited the homes of the deceased Sheshyka Ettienne, 21, of Lot 764 South Amelia’s Ward and O’neil DeYounge, 24, of lot 78 Cinderella City, Amelia’s Ward. During the visit, the Divisional Commander spoke with relatives of the deceased, Deon Ettienne and Coleen DeYounge, as he offered words of comfort and assured them that a thorough investigation will be conducted into the matter.Prayers were also offered to both families as the Divisional Commander assured them that they will have the full support of the police.The couple died on Monday evening at about 20:30h during a collision along the Amelia’s Ward public road and Toucan Drive.Reports are that the Jeep bearing registration number PSS 8812 collided with motorcycle CJ 6542 which was being driven by DeYounge. Ettienne was the pillion rider.The Jeep was reportedly proceeding west along the southern carriageway when it was alleged that the driver suddenly made a right turn in the northern direction reportedly into the path of the motorcycle which was proceeding in the opposite direction.DeYounge, upon seeing this, reportedly applied brakes and lost control of the motorcycle as both he and Ettienne were reportedly flung onto the roadway and slid under the Jeep.The couple was picked up and transported to the Linden Hospital Complex (LHC) where they were both pronounced dead on arrival.The bodies were taken to the pensioners mortuary where they currently await post-mortem examinations, expected to be conducted today.According to police, the driver of the Jeep involved in the collision tested negative for alcohol in his system. He remains in police custody where he is said to be assisting with investigations. According to the Divisional Commander, police are awaiting legal advice on the way forward with the case.Families mournMeanwhile, at the homes of the deceased on Tuesday, families and friends gathered to offer their sympathy and support. The Linden community has also been plunged into a state of mourning as many described the couple as a loving pair, some even taking to social media to express their grief.Ettienne’s mother was inconsolable as she was comforted by family and friends.DeYounge’s mother, Coleen DeYounge, told this publication that she is trying her best to remain strong.The woman and her deceased son both worked together at the Pensioners Association in Linden where he worked as a driver. Ettienne was a registered nurse at the LHC.According to DeYounge, both she and her deceased son left work together on Monday afternoon, however, she ventured home while he remained with friends.“He does normally lime before he come home, like 8:30 or so he would come. He would go by his girlfriend relatives and when she come off from work they would go and then they would come here,” she related.At the time of the accident, DeYounge was reportedly transporting Ettienne home after ending her shift at work.“Say like ten to nine, I go in and by the time I tuck in my daughter called me and say, ‘Mommy call O’neil because something happen because one of his cousins just called’. So when I call, I ain’t get no answer. So I call his brother because he and his brother normally come home together and he say yes he meet with accident and he died,” the woman noted.She said her son was first rushed to the hospital since he reportedly had a pulse but she said she was informed that both appeared to have died on the spot.“By the time I get there (hospital) they even already put him in the morgue,” DeYounge said.The woman remembers her son as a jovial, friendly and helpful person who was loved by his family, friends and colleagues.“I just accept it, he died and I accept it. I know there is death and sometime you have to go. It’s just the way you go,” DeYounge said.She said the deceased were a loving couple who could always be seen together.Investigations are continuing into the accident. (Utamu Belle)
…gold declarations plummetBy Samuel SukhnandanThe Government of Guyana could be forced to revise the country’s growth rate downwards as a result of the fall in gold declarations for the year 2017 and the sector’s overall sluggish performance.This is according to Finance Minister Winston Jordan who advised that Guyana recorded some 653,754 ounces of gold in 2017, which indicates that gold declarations fell short of the projected of 720,000 ounces.Finance Minister Winston Jordan“It will have an impact on the growth with both sugar and gold not coming in on target. It means we will have to revise last year’s growth rate even further and it will put some strain on the growth for 2018,” he stated.Sugar output in Guyana fell by nearly a quarter from last year, with close to 140,000 metric tonnes being produced in 2017, which is the lowest in 27 years. The decline happened at a time when the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) is preparing to permanently close three of its six estates and fire about 4673 of its 15,000-member workforce. Other workers numbering close to 1000 could also be laid off this year as the Government embarks on its downsizing initiative.Jordan said the economy was expected to grow by 2.9 per cent, failing to meet the revised growth projection of 3.1 per cent for 2017. The initial projected growth of the economy was 3.8 per cent, but this was revised by midyear to 3.1 per cent after the economy only grew by 2.2 per cent in July of 2017.Making reference to gold, the Minister said however there were several impediments that led to a fall in gold declaration, stating that accessibility for miners was one of the major factors. Nevertheless, Jordan said he is confident that the country’s gold production would climb again this year due to good prices and improved access.“…we have budgeted over $1.5 billion, part of which is for clear access both to forest and mining areas. Prices are still good. So it’s not a case they don’t have a natural incentive to produce more as such. So, first of all we believe it’s going to be better this year. We are hoping it’s just an aberration because with prices where they are, you ought to be seeing far more declaration that we are seeing right now,” he added.With improved access to new gold bearing areas in the interior regions; this will also help with meeting this objective, Jordan said. “… so perhaps we need work to be done about new gold bearing areas. Because I don’t really know if they have a map as to how really and truly are the gold bearing areas…like for example with oil. So, here especially with artesian mining it could be a hit and miss story.”The Guyana Gold Board (GGB) has blamed poor roads and inclement weather for the fall in gold declaration. According to General Manager of the GGB, Eondrene Thompson, there were several inhibitions that led to this performance, but she made a commitment to addressing it.“The roadways into the interior… were bad and as such persons were unable to buy their supplies to take into the interior,” Thompson told the Department of Public Information. Additionally, several operators parked their dredges and were waiting on the roads to be fixed.The GCB plans to launch a campaign to improve declarations. Thompson said, “We will embark on PR work, let the miners know the importance of selling their gold to the Guyana Gold Board.” This campaign is not only to get miners to sell to the GGB but to have them use licensed agents.“We have persons around who they sell to or who they are working for and still not declaring to the Guyana Gold Board so we intend to educate the miners and let them know it is good, it is right to sell to the Guyana Gold Board.” The GGB is also considering providing incentives to miners who sell to them.Thompson explained, “Our regulatory overseas body would like to know that. They would want to monitor the gold from the mine to the market so we will have persons educating the miners and showing them the advantages of producing documentation where they mine”.Government hopes that 712,706 ounces of gold will be declared in 2018.