Twenty-four-year-old Akeem Ishmael was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment by Magistrate Faith McGusty after he pleaded guilty to an attempted robbery charge when he appeared at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts on Friday.The charge stated that on December 23, 2019, while being armed with a knife, he attempted to rob Jose Tamblante.Police Prosecutor Sanj Singh told the court that Tamblante was doing his Christmas shopping and as he made his way to the minibus park, he felt a hand in his back pocket. The VC, however, held onto the suspect’s hand and a scuffle ensued.It was then that the suspect whipped out a knife from his pocket but was wrestled to the ground by the Virtual Complainant, who managed to take the knife away. A police mobile unit was summoned and the man was arrested.In a plea of mitigation before sentencing, the man claimed that his financial circumstances led to him attempting to steal the VC’s wallet and begged the court for leniency.However, Prosecutor Singh informed the court that Ishmael was previously charged for a similar offence and had to compensate the victim. The Magistrate wished the suspect a “Happy New Year” and sent him off to jail.
The goal of the Cultural Centre is to assure that they are no longer in a cost recovery model and therefore the operating model needed to change. Executive Director of the Cultural Centre Bettyanne Hampton says Monday made the most sense for the change because a number of areas of the Cultural Centre are already closed to begin with.“The library is closed, the gallery is closed so Monday is our softest rental day. In terms of operations that’s the day which would impact the least both staff and public,” she explains. “There are some programs that have been running on Monday’s that we will continue during this transition but from this point on effective immediately we are no longer taking bookings for Monday. We are honouring the existing contracts. It’s important that we don’t uproot some of the things that have been existing all year such as Play Arts.”Hampton adds that the Cultural Centre has faced cuts of over $70,000 in the past fiscal year including a $33,000 cut from the City of Fort St. John.- Advertisement -“We’ve sustained a total of $73,000 of losses for this fiscal year. There are funding cuts, there is a cost for unionisation certification that will take that revenue out of this fiscal cycle,” she says. “[There’s] grant funding cuts. The only grant funding cut we’ve received thus far is from the City.”The Cultural Centre estimates a $20,000 loss as a result of union certification. The remaining loss in the past fiscal year stems from the Peace Arts Gallery Society shifting their art auction from the spring to the fall.Other factors that the Cultural Centre has endured involves a significant increase in repairs to the building itself, and an increase in snow removal.Advertisement