Post-hurricane articles detailing the impacts of the September weather events on the British Virgin Islands have been marked as the biggest newsmakers for the year 2017.
According to BVI News’ tally, reports that tourism hotspot Bomba Shack was in danger of not being rebuilt is the top newsmaker for last year.
Bomba Shack, which was located in Capoon’s Bay, is owned and operated by Wellington ‘Bomba’ Smith and was leveled during Hurricane Irma.
Bomba reported that the land where the shack is located is owned by a relative who forbade him from rebuilding on the property.
This sparked a major public discussion among residents and visitors; most of whom described the issue as unfortunate.
“Bomba is too big to go down. The government needs to help the owner to re-establish this iconic building,” one social media-user had said in response to the BVI News publication.
“They have to give him back his small piece of land. It has always been one of the fun places to visit on the island,” another commented.
On the other hand, while several readers empathized with Bomba, they opined that he has no real legal defence to retain the land.
Internet report sparked outrage
In the meantime, the United Kingdom report that branded the BVI as an underperforming country with one of the most expensive internet services on the planet was also another major newsmaker for the year.
United Kingdom researchers reported that, of the 196 countries in the world, the BVI was ranked a miserable 181 in order of internet affordability.
This report caused local internet providers, government, and local telecoms watchdogs, TRC, to face heavy criticism.
Other newsmakers for the year included the BVI Airways saga. The airline accepted $7 million from government to commence direct flights between the BVI and Miami, then laid off all its staff and claimed that it did not have enough money to fly.
Bishop John Cline’s controversial resignation as Chairman of the BVI Health Services Authority also earned a place among the top newsmakers for last year.
The November 2017 double-murder of a man and an 11-year-old girl was also high on the list.
Other highlights for the year include government representative, Delores Christopher’s remarks that locals should jealously guard their lands, as well as the public feud between Second District Representative Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull and Premier Dr D Orlando Smith.
That feud resulted in what can be described as a rift in the National Democratic Party government.
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