Stories for April 2015

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Thursday, April 30

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Bran slams govt for 'outright failure' to protect Marathon residents

DEMOCRATIC National Alliance Leader Branville McCartney yesterday criticised the Christie administration for its “outright failure” to protect the residents of Marathon following a 2012 underground fuel leak at a Rubis service station.

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VIEW FROM AFAR: Equality for all

THIS column continues to be amazed that the basic human right of all Bahamians to be equal under the law is a matter for partisan debate in the Bahamas.

Carnival comes to Parliament

I heartily agree with Loretta Butler Turner for taking exception to our parliamentary buildings being desecrated with carnival promotional paraphernalia. It’s a disgrace.

Rollins makes a stand - but not Minnis

In the House of Assembly today Dr Andre Rollins, PLP MP for Fort Charlotte, gallantly spoke up for the people of the Marathon Constituency in his quest to have a select committee of the House appointed to investigate the Rubis oil spill contamination in Marathon.

BEC is the embarrassment

While Prime Minister Christie celebrated the 50th anniversary of Black Tuesday in the dark, BEC Chairman Leslie Miller was informing the residents of New Providence that they will again have to do without electricity this weekend in order that the National Stadium is supplied for the IAAF World Relays “to avoid an international embarrassment.”

FNM made wrong choice

It is more than clear after the debate in the House of Assembly today that the FNM chose the wrong leader at its convention last year.

Speaker allows PLP harassment

I am so angry, and so proud at the same time, as I write this.

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Second resident launches lawsuit over oil spill

ANOTHER Marathon resident has filed a lawsuit against Rubis Bahamas and the former operator of the service station at Robinson and Old Trail Roads.

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Govt ‘paralysed by violent crime’

LONG Island MP Loretta Butler Turner yesterday castigated the Christie administration saying it was “paralysed by violent crime” as the government continued to falter from “scandal after scandal”.

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Schaeffer is robbed at gunpoint

AN American businessman, now a Bahamian resident, was robbed at gunpoint in “broad daylight” at a Royal Bank of Canada branch yesterday afternoon.

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Allen has ‘nothing to hide’ but still says no to PAC

URBAN Renewal Co-chair Algernon Allen yesterday said he has “nothing to hide” in spite of his refusal to appear before the Public Accounts Committee to answer questions on a scathing audit into Urban Renewal’s Small Homes Repairs programme.

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YOUNG MAN'S VIEW: Long past time for light to be shed on BEC’s future

OFTEN I feel like we have returned to the dark ages – literally with BEC – as our government continuously fails to exercise a duty of care for the citizens of this country.

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Deputy PM contradicts Miller over power supply

MINISTER of Works Philip “Brave” Davis yesterday contradicted Bahamas Electricity Corporation Executive Chairman Leslie Miller who has insisted that the power supply needed for the upcoming International Association of Athletics Federation World Relays at the National Stadium would plunge the remainder of the island into darkness this weekend.

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Ruling on Vasyli bail tomorrow

DONNA Vasyli will learn on Friday whether a judge will approve her renewed application for bail and if so, what conditions he will impose to ensure her return for trial into the fatal stabbing of her husband, Australian podiatrist, Phillip Vasyli.

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Rollins asks if govt suppressed oil spill information

FORT Charlotte MP Dr Andre Rollins questioned if the government “suppressed” information surrounding the 2012 underground gas leak at a Rubis service station to protect a private entity that might have “made a contribution of a political nature.”

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Teacher deal done despite Wilson dispute

THE government yesterday signed a five-year industrial agreement with the Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT) as Education Minister Jerome Fitzgerald denied that recent disputes between union executives and embattled President Belinda Wilson hampered the process.

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Guilty of manslaughter over student’s stabbing

A MAN who did not return to court for the completion of his trial into the fatal stabbing of a CV Bethel student was unanimously acquitted of murder yesterday.

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Neymour: Hold Miller to account

PHENTON Neymour, former minister of state for the environment, said the Bahamian people should hold Bahamas Electricity Corporation Executive Chairman Leslie Miller personally accountable for his “incompetence and arrogance” that led to rolling blackouts over the past few days.

$4m recycling facility on schedule despite landfill fires

OFFICIALS of Renew Bahamas indicated yesterday that the company’s new $4 million Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) is on schedule for a mid to late May opening despite some initial setbacks due to fires at the city landfill.

Waste to energy feasible only with proper study

RENEW Bahamas CEO Gerhard Buekes said yesterday he believes that waste-to-energy is a feasible solution for the country’s energy issues “only if” a proper study is done to determine the “quantum and composition” of waste entering facilities around the country.

‘Bahamazing’ all set for TV: From Bahamas to the rest of the world

THE newest addition to the IAAF calendar, the IAAF/BTC World Relays will “take the Bahamas to the world.” And, according to the Local Organising Committee, it will take a mutually beneficial relationship between the national and international broadcasters.

Tickets still available for World Relays

IN just two days, the IAAF/BTC World Relays Bahamas is scheduled to get underway in the nation’s capital and opportunities to see the meet is at the public’s disposal, with many seats still available at the Thomas A Robinson National Stadium.

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Four students earn $57,000 scholarships

FOUR students from Anatol Rodgers High School have secured scholarships worth $57,000 each to some of the best universities in the hospitality and tourism management industry by winning an American competition in Florida.

Landfill operator eyes tight ‘break even’ goal

Renew Bahamas yesterday said it will have to export 10-12 containers of recycled materials daily from the New Providence landfill to “break even” and recoup its $8 million investment.

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Man still hunted in murder case

POLICE are still on the hunt for Sorvino Pacino Rahming for questioning in connection with the murder of Sean Edmund Neville.

90 days for suspect to appeal against extradition

A MAN fighting extradition to Florida for a woman’s manslaughter has 90 days to file his appeal to the country’s highest court.

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Defending the Golden Baton

The defending champions United States hosted their first practice session in the original Thomas A Robinson Stadium yesterday, as they began their quest to capture the golden baton for a second consecutive year.

Gov’t ‘terrified’ to act over gasoline leak

A well-known QC yesterday said the Government was “terrified to act on its powers” over the Robinson Road gasoline leak because that would mean taking on a multinational oil industry player with deep pockets.

Digicel pulls out of mobile bidding

Digicel was last night said to have pulled out of the bidding for this nation’s second cellular licence, leaving just Cable Bahamas and Virgin Mobile (Bahamas) vying to become the first competitor to the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC).

Pastor hits out at level of fuel surcharge

ALTHOUGH there has been a decline in fuel surcharge to consumers by the Grand Bahama Power Company (GBPC), Pastor Eddie Victor, of the Coalition of Concerned Citizens (CCC), said that it only represents one-third of the overall reduction in oil prices globally.

Search for missing yacht captain

A SEARCH wass under way last night for a yacht captain who reportedly fell overboard in Bahamian waters.

Wednesday, April 29

Remembering the Anzacs

As the world marked the centenary of ANZAC Day, Peter Young addressed a private event in The Bahamas on its enduring significance.

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TOUGH CALL: Rubis Hubris and the ‘none of your business’ government

FOLLOWING the recent gasoline spill at the Rubis station on Robinson Road, I decided to take a closer look at ground zero.

BEC needs to pull up its socks

As the government has recently indicated that the enabling legislation is just about ready for this long sought-after consumer benefit . . .

Guardians of our health

ALTHOUGH highly unlikely, there is a remote possibility that an exposed resident could develop a late-onset health condition due to oil spill toxins.

NHI should not be forced upon us

AS A Bahamian citizen I take great objection to the fact that the present government wants to Force National Health Insurance down our throats.

Remember whose money it is

Time is past overdue for all of us to re-emphasise to the above-mentioned persons that all public funds spent by anyone on behalf of the government and people of The Bahamas, (be they public service personnel, Ministers, etc), are subject to the scrutiny of an audit.

Freedom of Information delays ‘inexcusable’

AN international expert yesterday said the delays in the implementation of the Freedom of Information Act were “inexcusable”.

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‘Where are female PLPs over referendum?’

FORMER Social Services Minister Loretta Butler-Turner yesterday criticised female PLP parliamentarians saying they could have done more to advance the “forgotten” constitutional referendum, which seeks to enshrine equality into the Bahamas’ guiding principles.

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UPDATED: Murder accused found dead in cell

AN accused murderer was found dead in his cell at the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services early yesterday morning.

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Govt ‘dragging its feet’ over Gray probe

FREE National Movement Chairman Michael Pintard yesterday criticised Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson for not yet issuing a decision on the investigation into the alleged judicial interference by MICAL MP V Alfred Gray.

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Residents: A lot of Rubis talk but no action

POLITICAL uproar over the 2012 Rubis underground gasoline leak in Marathon has yet to produce tangible results for the community, according to several residents who alleged that homes in the area are still using private well water.

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Business owners furious with BEC over power cuts

BUSINESS owners and residents in New Providence expressed their fury at the Bahamas Electricity Corporation’s inability to provide a steady power supply as BEC’s Executive Chairman Leslie Miller said yesterday “there is nothing else” officials can do to prevent power cuts over the next few days.

Prison staff support police officers over mould concerns

THE Bahamas Prison Officers Association said yesterday that it supports the Police Staff Association in its attempts to get the government to address reported mould contamination in police stations across New Providence.

Gov’t in ‘market read’ for $250m paper issue

The Government and its advisors are trying to gauge capital market appetite for up to $250 million worth of short-term securities, which they intend to start issuing in July-August 2015.

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Getting ready for the world

The combination of sprinter V’Alonée Robinson, hurdler Krystal Bodie and quarter-miler Katrina Seymour are the first of Team Bahamas to take advantage of the training session at the Thomas A. Robinson Track and Field Stadium in preparation for the IAAF/BTC World Relays Bahamas 2015.

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World Relays: Rules in place to prevent ‘ambush marketing’

JUST in case anyone thinks they are going to come to the Thomas A Robinson National Stadium this weekend to capitalise on a marketing deal or to create havoc at the IAAF/BTC World Relays Bahamas 2015, they need to think again.

Warrant issued for absent suspect

A WARRANT of arrest has been issued for one of three men standing trial in connection with the fatal stabbing of a CV Bethel student.

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Nightclub owner and dancers in court following raid by police

A NIGHTCLUB owner appeared in Magistrates Court yesterday accused of facilitating 14 women dancers – 12 Jamaican and two Bahamian – in committing “grossly indecent acts.”

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Doctor guilty of fondling co-worker given probation and told to pay charities

AN emergency room doctor was given eight months probation and ordered to make several payments to charities a month after he was convicted of indecently fondling a co-worker’s breasts.

Tax Coalition chief: ‘Fantastic’ if 85% VAT compliance

The Tax Coalition’s chairman yesterday said it would be “fantastic” if quarterly Value-Added Tax (VAT) filers achieved an 85 per cent compliance rate first-time, although he expected many to seek extensions to the April 28 deadline.

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Hotel union seeks talks with One & Only over job cuts

BAHAMAS Hotel Catering and Allied Workers Union Secretary General Darren Woods yesterday said the union would not passively accept a Paradise Island resort’s “wish list” to lay off ten employees this summer.

Gov’t possesses ‘last piece of VAT puzzle’

The first-ever Value-Added Tax (VAT) quarterly filings are “the last piece of the puzzle” for the Government in determining whether it will meet annual revenue projections for its new tax, a top official believes.

BISX predicts record listings year for 2015

The Bahamas International Securities Exchange (BISX) yesterday predicted that 2015 will be its “best year ever” for new listings, having taken less than four months to match last year’s total.

VAT pace beating Gov’t revenue target by 20%

A Cabinet minister yesterday said the Government was on course to beat its full-year Value-Added Tax (VAT) revenue target by around 20 per cent if present trends hold, with an “average” $28 million being collected per month.

Man accused of armed robbery

A 22-year-old man was charged Tuesday in the Freeport Magistrate’s Court with armed robbery.

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Switzerland relay teams look to qualify for Rio Olympics

LAST year, Switzerland fell short in the bid for their women’s 4 x 100 metre relay team to qualify for the IAAF World Championships.

junkanoo carnival beach olympics hailed a success

THE Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival Beach Olympics was a huge success as a number of major companies participated in various beach games and fun activities at Taino Beach on Saturday, April 18.

Tuesday, April 28

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Zeleka Knowles does her part to end hunger in the Bahamas

AS THE executive director of Hands For Hunger (H4H), Zeleka Knowles’ day starts off with her sitting behind a desk in a comfortable chair.

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Dream big at Mother And Daughter Conference

THE overall aim of the upcoming second annual Mother and Daughter Conference is to have girls and women connect, bond and leave feeling empowered to “Dream Big”.

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The most beautiful place from space

THE Bahamas is a global favourite for travellers – but now it has been given an out-of-this-world recommendation.

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POLITICOLE: Why the DNA will win the 2017 general election

IN their present form, they’re not ready yet. But if they become more polished and prepared, switch a few people around, research a few key matters to solidify their platform(s) and strengthen their foundation, the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) will be able to pull off a win in the next general election.

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Union chief criticises failure to tackle mould infestation

BAHAMAS Public Services Union President John Pinder yesterday criticised the government for not giving “prompt attention” to reports of mould infestation in a number of Royal Bahamas Police Force buildings in New Providence.

Bahamian pride

“What more ya want boy?”

You get what you deserve

(This letter is a reader’s response to the guest editorial published in The Tribune on Thursday, April 16, under the heading “The Bahamas economy’s response to global shifts”).

House Speaker urged to assist PAC in completing its report

HOUSE SPEAKER Dr Kendal Major, like the rest of us, is baffled by an unsigned document from the Attorney General’s office, which purports to give a legal opinion on the powers of the Public Accounts Committee. The obvious intent of that opinion is to curb the traditional powers of that committee, which, apparently, is now trespassing on sacred ground — Urban Renewal.

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Legal opinion delays speaker over PAC probe instructions

A LEGAL opinion purportedly sought by the Office of the Attorney General dismissing the legality of the Public Accounts Committee’s actions as it investigates Urban Renewal may have interfered with House Speaker Dr Kendal Major’s decision to summon Urban Renewal’s co-chairs to appear before the PAC.

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Three operating theatres open at Critical Care Block

WHILE the $100m Critical Care Block at the Princess Margaret Hospital was commissioned more than three months ago, three of its seven operating theatres were just opened and used for the first time last week, Public Hospital’s Authority Managing Director Herbert Brown confirmed yesterday.

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No action since 2013 to protect health of police

POLICE Staff Association executives said yesterday that the organisation had a “moral duty” to inform members of the health risks associated with working in mould infested areas after government did not act on the findings of a 2013 mould inspection report of 25 police stations and offices around New Providence.

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More engine failures leave island out of power

ENGINE failures at both the Blue Hills and Clifton Pier power stations caused an island-wide power outage across New Providence yesterday afternoon, according to Bahamas Electricity Corporation Executive Chairman Leslie Miller.

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Gomez silent on Rubis row

DESPITE calls for his resignation and a heightened concern over the wellbeing of people exposed to chemicals from the 2012 Rubis underground gasoline leak in Marathon, Health Minister Dr Perry Gomez refused to answer questions yesterday on his ministry’s response to this crisis.

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Exumian Rudolph McKenzie victorious in ‘Man in the Boat’ sculling race

Bahamian Brewery & Beverage Company hosted its Sands ‘Man in the Boat’ sculling race during the National Family Islands Regatta in beautiful Elizabeth Harbour, Georgetown, Exuma.

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Agreement with US to tackle migrant smuggling

THE government is seeking to establish a formal agreement with the United States for the exclusive exchange of information to better combat migrant smuggling, Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Fred Mitchell said yesterday.

The Cross: A medical perspective – Part II

TWO weeks ago we looked at what Jesus endured from Gethsemane through His conviction and His walk to Calvary. This week, we focus on the cross.

Great turnout for second Megan Louise Sands Ostomy Foundation Fun Run/Walk

PARTICIPATION numbers exceeded expectations last Saturday, as many Bahamians made it a priority to take part in the second annual Megan Louise Sands Ostomy Foundation’s Fun Run/Walk.

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Mobile Dentistry

WHAT is mobile dentistry? It is not two words you expect to see together. This type of dentistry is simply dentistry that is performed away from the traditional office setting and is performed in a nontraditional setting such as private homes, private yachts, commercial centres, schools, physicians’ offices and emergency rooms.

Who is responsible for your empowerment?

EVERYBODY, well almost everybody, gets into the habit of looking to be empowered by someone, some job, some title or even some relationship.

Every Woman Counts

WITH suicides and cases of depression on the rise, the Everyone Counts Organisation (E1C), together with its women’s group, recently hosted its first annual women’s empowerment summit.

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Inaugural Bahamas Open Martial Arts Championships Cage Fight ‘a knockout’

BAHAMIAN fighters were successful in four of the seven bouts on the card in the inaugural Bahamas Open Martial Arts Championships Cage Fight 1 at Mario’s Bowling and Entertainment Palace on Saturday night.

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SPORTING MISCHIEF & MAYHEM: Perfection? I’ll take money over Manny any day

MAYWEATHER vs Pacquiao .... lets get ready to rumble on the road to Perfection.

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Media houses, journalists pour in for IAAF World Relays

NOT only are more and more athletes coming to the Bahamas for the second edition of the IAAF/BTC World Relays this week, but Tonique Williams-Darling said there’s going to be a media circus with an increase in journalists and broadcasters attending to cover the two-day event at the Thomas A Robinson National Stadium.

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Distance medley relay new addition to ‘Bahamazing’

A NEW addition to the IAAF/BTC World Relays lineup, the seldom seen distance medley relay, looks to infuse some added excitement to the second edition of the meet.

Lawyer to be appointed for rapist’s appeal

A MAN, found guilty of rape, will be appointed a lawyer at the public’s expense to argue his appeal against conviction.

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Men face court accused of firearm trafficking

SIX men, accused of being a part of a firearm trafficking ring, appeared in Magistrate’s Court yesterday facing seven firearm-related offences that carry up to seven years imprisonment if found guilty.

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Power outage forces delay of murder trial

THE expected continuation of a trial into the fatal stabbing of a 17-year-old CV Bethel student was delayed due to yesterday’s island-wide power outage.

$30m impact of Carnival expected to be exceeded

PAUL Major, the Bahamas National Festival Commission (BNFC) Chairman, said yesterday that the inaugural Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival next month would exceed the initial projections of a $30m impact on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) .

100 MW outsource ‘fastest way out’ of BEC energy crisis

Inviting bids to provide 100 Mega Watts (MW) of extra power to the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) was yesterday proposed as “the fastest way out” of this nation’s energy crisis, which a former chairman said is now “past the 11th hour”.

CIBC: Bahamas stands tall versus rest of Caribbean

The Government’s fiscal reform efforts have been praised by CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Canadian parent, which believes the Bahamas’ sovereign rating “measures up pretty well against” over Caribbean nations.

Energy woes ‘main deterrent’ to FDI coming to Bahamas

Foreign investors have unanimously cited energy costs and reliability as the “main deterrent” to coming to the Bahamas, a leading private sector executive yesterday describing BEC’s latest woes as “absolutely ridiculous”.

Port ‘revving up’ for $563k revenue boost

The Nassau Container Port is eyeing a $563,000 annual top-line boost after a two-year effort succeeded in bringing 90 per cent of auto-carrying vessels to its docks.

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Teenager charged with attempted murder

a male teenager was charged on Monday in the Marsh Harbour Magistrate’s Court, Abaco, with attempted murder and firearm possession with intent to endanger life.

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Another cyclist killed after traffic collision

A man in his mid-50s was killed late Sunday night after he was in a collision with a truck while riding his bicycle in Eleuthera.

Bahamian-born woman files for legal action over immigration policy

A WOMAN born in The Bahamas of Haitian parents has filed an application in the Supreme Court for judicial review of the government’s immigration policy and its impact on her access to public services.

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Students honour former principal

A GROUP of Queen’s College alumni have organised an academic prize for senior students in memory of the school’s former principal, Rev Neville Stewart, who died last August at the age of 86.

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Lunch and learn event helps to fight cancer

MEN get breast cancer, there’s no reliable test to detect ovarian cancer and even with a healthy diet and regular exercise, you can still get the disease – these were just some of the quick facts staff at Sunshine Holdings learned in an hour during recent ‘Lunch And Learn’ session organised by the Bahamas Breast Cancer Initiative Foundation (BBCIF).

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LIFE OF CRIME: Teaching violence, expecting peace

MANY of our emotions can lead to violence if we have not learnt some sort of coping mechanism so it is important to look at what is actually being taught in the Bahamas.

Bid for industrial agreement after Our Lucaya Resort success

NOW that business has significantly improved at the Our Lucaya Resort, Trade Union Congress leader Obie Ferguson is insisting that management sit with the union and negotiate an industrial agreement for workers at the property.

Monday, April 27

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Police officer charged with raping two underage girls

A POLICE officer in Grand Bahama was charged in the Freeport Magistrates Court on Monday with raping two underage girls.

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How are the BEC power cuts affecting you?

As another island-wide blackout causes misery for businesses and residents, frustration with BEC continues to mount.

Junkanoo is a family affair

We have heard all variations of objections about Junkanoo Carnival. Many have not even really checked what is being planned, but we attach ourselves to the first bit of information that talked about failure.

Say it ain’t so

Attorney General Allyson Gibson appears to have attempted to strike a fatal blow to investigation into possible fraud/financial abuses at the Urban Renewal (UR) with her legal opinion about the Public Accounts Committee’s (PAC) request to interview the UR Co-Chairs about the Auditor General’s Report.

Winning team for the FNM

It is clear to most FNMs and to the public at large that Dr Hubert Minnis is not being an effective leader of the FNM. As Frank Watson said, Dr Minnis should be able to demonstrate within six months whether or not he can lead the party to victory in the next general election.

Urban Renewal heads urged to co-operate with Public Accounts Committee

HOUSE Speaker Kendal Major was not the only person shocked by the so-called “leaked” document from the Attorney General’s office that purports to question the manner in which the Public Accounts Committee is investigating how tax payers’ money is being spent on Urban Renewal’s small homes repair project.

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Roberts points blame at FNM amid Rubis row pressure

BRADLEY Roberts yesterday accused the Free National Movement of “carpet bagging” over the controversial Rubis underground fuel leak and using Bahamians’ “pain and suffering” for political gain.

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INSIGHT: Rubis row spills over into recrimination

Last week, the cries of Marathon residents hit mainstream politics with the release of an independent report prepared by Black and Veatch International into the 2012 underground fuel leak at Rubis Bahamas’ service station at Robinson and Old Trail Road.

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Minnis claims unhappy Cabinet members have written resignations to the PM

SEVERAL Cabinet ministers have reportedly written resignation letters to Prime Minister Perry Christie because they are displeased with his leadership and the handling of several scandals that have sparked public backlash, FNM leader Dr Hubert Minnis claimed yesterday.

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BEC warns of load shedding all week

RESIDENTS across New Providence should expect load shedding until early next week as the Bahamas Electricity Corporation grapples with two major problems, Executive Chairman Leslie Miller said last night.

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Lightbourn: AG’s legal opinion is wrong

MONTAGU MP Richard Lightbourn shot down a legal opinion from the Office of the Attorney General that dismisses the legality of the Public Accounts Committee to summon the Urban Renewal co-chairs as part of the PAC’s investigation into the programme.

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Administrator relaxed over risk of backlash to Gray probe

MAYAGUANA Administrator Zephaniah Newbold said he is “not concerned” about the backlash surrounding his role in a case involving MICAL MP V Alfred Gray who is accused of allegedly intimidating the administrator to release a teen who had just been sentenced to a prison term.

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Rubis health tests 'too late'

FREE National Movement Leader Dr Hubert Minnis yesterday said as a result of the Christie administration’s dereliction of duty in handling “the worst crisis in recent times” it is now impossible to retroactively determine Bahamians’ total exposure to chemicals emitted from the 2012 Rubis gasoline leak in Marathon.

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‘Golden Knights’ finish behind US without Brown

While Chris ‘Fireman’ Brown was leaving his mark at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, his ‘Golden Knights’ team-mates were making their presence felt at the Penn Relays over the weekend where Tabernacle Baptist and St Augustine’s College high school teams and the College of the Bahamas also got some success in Philadelphia.

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Tida Wave, New Susan Chase, Whitty K and Judgment D crowned champions

THE Tida Wave, New Susan Chase, Whitty K and Judgment D all took the spotlight in the 62nd National Family Island Regatta in Georgetown, Exuma, over the weekend.

Bahamas Waste eyes ‘all options’ for loss making recyclings

Bahamas Waste is “looking at all the options” for its two recycling ventures that lost a combined $329,000 in 2014, warning that it could not continue “great environmental initiatives” with losses of such magnitude.

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First cage fighting card in the Bahamas ‘a dream come true’

CALLING it a “dream come true” for himself and the local mixed martial arts community, Dr Kent Bazard said the Bahamas Open Martial Arts Championship reached another milestone when they hosted the first cage fighting card in the Bahamas.

Gov’t: Gas spill fallout may last ‘for 10 years’

The Government believes contamination from the Robinson Road gasoline leak could last for up to 10 years, having “recommended” last summer that Rubis conduct bi-annual health assessments of all impacted residents living in the vicinity.

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Fighting for the right to breathe

BAHAMIANS are now making the “vital connection” between a healthy environment and a healthy life according to organisers of the “Breathe Better Bahamas” demonstration on Saturday in downtown Nassau.

Griffin stresses importance of self-esteem to next generation

MINISTER of Social Services and Community Development Melanie Griffin last week warned 10th and 11th grade students from public and private secondary schools not look anywhere else but to themselves for affirmation.

Union chief brands BTC downsizing ‘inhumane’

The trade union leader representing Bahamas Telecommunications Company’s (BTC) line staff has described the company’s protracted downsizing process as “inhumane”, adding: “Morale is in the tank”.

Cable blasts URCA’s ‘unprecedented’ bar

Cable Bahamas was last night locked in a new battle with its regulator, as it accused the Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) of stifling wireless broadband competition via an “unprecedented’ order halting construction of its new communications towers.

Landfill ‘fire stop’ investments would eliminate NHI need

Bahamas Waste’s chairman believes investments such as the “several million dollars” needed to prevent further fires at the New Providence landfill would eliminate the need for National Health Insurance (NHI).

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‘Fireman’ clocks fifth fastest 400m time in world so far this year

ALTHOUGH he just got his season opener this past weekend, quarter-miler Chris ‘Fireman’ Brown showed that he’s in tip-top shape and ready to lead Team Bahamas at the IAAF/BTC Bahamas World Relays at the Thomas A Robinson National Stadium this weekend.

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Ministry officials ‘should be held accountable’

GRAND Bahama Human Rights Association President Fred Smith said Environment Minister Kenred Dorsett and Environmental Health Director Melanie McKenzie should be held accountable for “negligence” after failing to protect the public’s interest following an underground fuel leak that left some residents potentially exposed to a cancer-causing agent.

Gov’t urged: Save BTC jobs by giving up your dividends

The Government has been urged by the union leader representing Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) line staff to reduce the dividends it takes from the company to save jobs, as he told Tribune Business: “They can’t just sit idly by”.

‘Great’ if quarterly VAT filers achieve 80-90% compliance

A top Ministry of Finance official believes the compliance rate for quarterly Value-Added Tax (VAT) filers will “not be as high” as that for larger companies, suggesting an 80-90 per cent level would be “great”.

Ex-finance minister slams ‘misplaced’ Moody’s report

A former finance minister believes the Bahamas’ sovereign credit rating will improve within the next five years, as he slammed a “misplaced” Moody’s report for under-estimating the impact of Value-Added Tax (VAT) and other fiscal reforms.

Devynne Charlton sets a new national record in 100m hurdles

AFTER a competitive indoor season where she produced some respectable times, Purdue University Boilermakers’ sophomore Devynne Charlton is now coming into her own on the outdoor season.

Saturday, April 25

Nightclub raid nets women for solicitation and immigration offences

FOURTEEN women - 12 Jamaican and two Bahamian - have been arrested for solicitation and immigration infringements after a nightclub raid by Flying Squad officers on Friday night.

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Customers robbed at gunpoint in Freeport

POLICE in Grand Bahama are investigating an armed robbery at a business establishment on the East Mall Drive, Freeport, on Friday night.

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Bimini man 'serious' after being stabbed by woman

A MAN is being airlifted to New Providence from Bimini for medical attention after being stabbed in the chest by a woman following an altercation early today.

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Man on bicycle hit by car and killed in Abaco

A MAN on a bicycle in Abaco has been killed in a traffic accident and the suspected driver involved arrested by police.

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10 jobs to go in Ocean Club renovations; union seeks meeting with PM

TEN employees at the One & Only Ocean Club will lose their jobs to redundancy when the resort begins renovating its facilities this summer, the Paradise Island resort confirmed yesterday.

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Donna Vasyli taken to hospital and misses bail hearing

THE ordered re-hearing of a bail application for the wife of murdered millionaire podiatrist Phillip Vasyli did not proceed in Supreme Court yesterday as she was taken to hospital feeling unwell.

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Appeal date set for Melvin Maycock's extradition request

A MAN fighting an approved extradition request will have his appeal heard on June 30 in the Court of Appeal.

Friday, April 24

Disappearance of four people 'could be linked to human smuggling'

A Bahamian man and three Costa Rican nationals are missing and police are seeking the public’s assistance concerning their whereabouts as it is suspected that their disappearance could be linked to illegal human smuggling operations in Grand Bahama.

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Buddy Hield returns to Oklahoma for senior year

OKLAHOMA Sooners guard Buddy Hield, the Big 12 basketball player of the year, has chosen to return for his senior season.

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Mudd teenager in custody after shooting at Abaco police

A MALE teenager has been taken into police custody in Abaco after he shot at police officers in the Haitian community of the Mudd.

Men injured in Freeport vessel fire

TWO men were taken to hospital with burns after a fire broke out onboard a vessel at Freeport Harbour on Friday morning.

Fitzgerald must apologise

Jerome Fitzgerald will not question the Attorney General’s decision to withhold the damning report from the residents of Marathon, and by extension, the Bahamian people at large.

Public bus system out of order

In 2012, after the fanfare of the election was over and all the appointments made, Minister of Transport and Aviation Glenys Hanna-Martin said that she was committed to resolving the poor state of affairs when it comes to the public bus system. Three years later, we are still in an appalling state and there appears to be no sign of relief.

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Argument ends with two men shot and in hospital

AUTHORITIES are investigating a shooting incident yesterday morning which has left two men recovering in hospital.

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Marathon family sues Rubis

FOLLOWING reports that their private well was found to contain elevated levels of cancer-causing chemicals from an underground gasoline leak in 2012, a Marathon family has filed a statement of claim in their lawsuit against Rubis Bahamas and the former operator of the service station at Robinson and Old Trail Roads.

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The men who came in from the cold

MARK Roberts and Shaune Adderley have finally arrived home to warm weather and a warm reception from family, friends and colleagues after the Bahamian pair trekked to the North Pole and proudly planted the Bahamian flag there.

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Police officer held over sex attack on girls

A POLICE officer was taken into custody in Grand Bahama after he was accused of sexually assaulting two young girls, The Tribune understands.

Immigration chief says more money needed to deal with increase in illegal migrants

IMMIGRATION Director William Pratt yesterday issued a stern warning to illegal migrants to leave the country forthwith or face capture and deportation by officials who continue to clamp down on migration problems in The Bahamas.

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Hang time with Jordan for Prime Minister

MICHAEL Jordan, National Basketball Association legend, yesterday sang the praises of The Bahamas, a destination he has visited for the past 15 years, during a media tour of the luxury Baker’s Bay Golf and Ocean Club in Abaco.

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‘I’m not an expert’ says Maynard-Gibson over long wait for Rubis report

ATTORNEY General Allyson Maynard-Gibson yesterday dodged questions over whether the government should have expedited the release of an independent report into the 2012 underground gas leak in the Marathon community and related public health assessments, stating that she was not an expert.

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Union Village murder victim identified as Leonel Louis-Jean, 30

POLICE have identified the man murdered at Union Village on Wednesday afternoon as Leonel Louis-Jean of Robinson Road.

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'Phone records will vindicate minister’ in interference row

ATTORNEY Wayne Munroe hopes phone records help vindicate embattled MICAL MP V Alfred Gray from allegations that he intimidated an island administrator into releasing a young man from prison who had just been sentenced.

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Shock over AG advice - Legal opinion over PAC 'unprecedented'

HOUSE Speaker Dr Kendal Major was “shocked” and “taken aback” by a legal opinion the Office of the Attorney General sought from international and local attorneys about the legality of the Public Accounts Committee’s (PAC) investigations into Urban Renewal.

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More guilty verdicts than not, figures show

THE government’s Swift Justice initiative is producing more convictions than not guilty verdicts in Supreme Court trials, Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson said yesterday.

Judicial review threat to talks on Freeport future

A well-known QC is threatening to turn his Judicial Review fire on the consultation process that will help determine Freeport’s future, due to the Government’s failure to publish a study conducted for it by a leading consultancy firm.

Gas leak evidence ‘strike out’ fails

Cable Bahamas yesterday pressed ahead with its bid for summary judgment over its initial $15 million damages claim relating to the Robinson Road gasoline leak, after efforts to strike out key evidence failed.

Moody’s: Bahamas rating won’t improve for five years

The Bahamas’ sovereign credit rating is unlikely to improve for at least three to five years, with this nation having suffered the greatest loss of stopover tourist market share in the Caribbean - 2.6 percentage points - since the recession.

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Cash: Rubis ‘teachable moment’ could ruin people’s lives

FORMER FNM Chairman Darron Cash criticised Prime Minister Perry Christie and four senior members of his Cabinet for the group’s poor handling of the controversial Marathon fuel leak that left area residents potentially exposed to cancer-causing agents.

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THE FINISH LINE: More of our elite athletes should have been selected for 2nd IAAF World Relays team

BAHAMIAN athletics saw the return of two of its premier athletes - quarter-miler Ramon Miller and triple jumper Leevan “Superman” Sands - after they were forced to sit out the entire season with injuries last year. That was some good news.

Predators destroy the Ravens 19-0

THE once dominant defence of the Summit Academy Ravens was overpowered by the explosive offence of the Finlandia Predators, who took home the 19-0 victory to stay on top of the men’s division at the Winton Rugby Centre.

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DeAndre Ayton named to MaxPreps All-American First-Team

HE MISSED much of the season due to a lingering foot injury but it didn’t slow down Bahamian centre DeAndre Ayton from being recognised as one of the top sophomores in America.

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Regatta time again

The 62nd National Family Islands Regatta is underway in picturesque Elizabeth Harbour in Georgetown, Exuma, with the largest fleet of boats ever registered.

Relays to generate 1,500 room nights

More than 1,500 room nights will be generated by visiting athletes and support staff for the upcoming International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Relays, officials yesterday telling Tribune Business the event was likely to match last year’s $20 million economic impact.

Skills woes threaten ‘backbone of society’

The “backbone of Bahamian society” is under threat from the high unemployment and skills gaps undermining the 20-something generation, with AML Foods’ top executive warning: “We all have an obligation to fix this.”

CLUBS AND SOCIETIES 04/24/2015

The directors and members of the Antique Auto Club of The Bahamas wish to take this opportunity to congratulate those children who took part in the 11th annual Art Competition held during the Annual Steak-Out and Car Show at Arawak Cay on March 21.

Environmental educator appointed to work with children

CHANTAL Curtis has been appointed to the new position of Environmental Educator by the Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation (BREEF).

Hawksbill agreement ‘should be extended until 2054’

MANAGEMENT and Engineering Consultant Dillion Knowles, a director of the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce, says that the organisation believes the 2015 tax exemptions in the Hawksbill Creek Agreement should be extended to 2054.

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Americans in Exuma raise $20,000 for straw market

AMERICAN ex pats in Exuma have raised almost $20,000 towards rebuilding the Straw Market in George Town that was razed by fire last week.

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‘We just want to breathe’

GROWING interest in the “Breathe Better Bahamas” demonstration on Saturday in downtown Nassau illustrates the importance that Bahamians are now placing on environmental issues and their relation to human health, according to the organisers.

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Man accused of strangling his lover to death

A MAN appeared in Magistrates Court yesterday accused of killing his lover.

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Man withdraws bail plea ahead of appeal

A MAN contesting his conviction and life sentence for the murder of a policeman opted not to proceed with his application for bail before the Court of Appeal.

Minister hopes to ‘establish’ Environmental Protection Act

A Cabinet Minister says he hopes an Environmental Protection Act (EPA) will be “firmly established” and legislated within the Christie administration’s term in office.

SEC hits at broker’s ‘whack-a-mole’ game

US federal regulators are urging the southern New York courts to prevent a Bahamian broker/dealer and its principal from playing “a game of whack-a-mole” with their obligations to testify against other defendants.

Andre Sands gets NCAA basketball scholarship opportunity

ANOTHER in the pipeline of Bahamians to matriculate through Sunrise Christian basketball programme has been afforded the opportunity of an NCAA Division I basketball scholarship.

The volunteer spirit will pay dividends

Our nation last week seemed to place much emphasis on the gifts and talents of Bahamian youth.

Thursday, April 23

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Three women in custody over store 'theft' video

THREE women are in police custody after they were allegedly caught on camera stealing from a beauty supply store.

The beauty of Briland

Kindly allow me space for another article in your valuable newspaper.

Solutions, please

I find it quite extraordinary although I admire his honesty that Minister Rolle is prepared to say publicly at the Conclave of the Chambers of Commerce that because the Bahamian infrastructure is so old and planning in The Bahamas is so far behind modern thinking we’re facing a “Slow Death” economically. Does not jibe with what his Boss is saying, I think.

Healthy discussion is vital

On Tuesday, Ms Ava Turnquest, Tribune Chief Reporter, called me, introduced herself and asked if I wished to comment or provide a perspective on the Oil Spill Report released in relation to the Marathon area. I chuckled and asked: “Why do you need my opinion for a coat hanger for your story?”

What is more destructive - an A-bomb or a welfare system?

YESTERDAY a colourful photograph flashed across our computer screen. A powerful mushroom shaped cloud lit up the dark sky as its funnel stretched earthwards. It was “Little Boy”, the first atomic bomb to be dropped to end a war.

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Public BAMSI hearings await finance approval

THE public hearing on matters related to the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute will not come until after the 2015/2016 budget presentation as it still awaits financial clearance from the Ministry of Finance, according to St Anne’s MP Hubert Chipman yesterday.

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YOUNG MAN'S VIEW: Believing in Bahamians? What does Rubis spill show?

IT’S a crying shame that only last week, after a public outcry at a town meeting, was a February 20, 2014, Black and Veatch International report chronicling a hazardous gas leak in Marathon released.

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No summons yet for Urban Renewal chiefs

HOUSE Speaker Dr Kendal Major has decided not to serve Urban Renewal Co-Chairs Cynthia “Mother” Pratt and Algernon Allen with a summons to appear before the Public Accounts Committee.

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Dorsett: I will not resign

MINISTER of Environment Kenred Dorsett yesterday said he had no intention of resigning amid widespread criticism over his lack of public communication on the 2012 underground gasoline leak in the Marathon area.

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Third killing in as many days

A MAN was shot and killed yesterday afternoon taking the country’s murder count to 45 for the year, according to The Tribune’s records.

Councillor steps aside during police investigation

Chief Councillor for the City of Freeport Council Chervita Campbell will not chair or conduct any further council meetings pending the outcome of a police investigation into allegations of fraudulent contract bidding.

Wynn Group proposes $65m Goodman’s Bay development

A CANADIAN real estate conglomerate has proposed the development of a $65m condominium hotel near Goodman’s Bay, which is projected to create 200 construction jobs and a further 150 permanent jobs.

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A ‘Bahamazing’ star-studded field

THE final entry lists are in and just over a week remains before the biggest names in track and field descend on the Bahamas for the BTC/IAAF World Relays.

Consumer-generated energy scheme moving closer

THE government is moving closer to kicking off its residential self generation programme according to Environment and Housing Minister Kenred Dorsett, who told Tribune Business yesterday that representatives from the Carbon War Room (CWR) will be in New Providence next week to help finalise the registration forms.

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Brother testifies over teenager’s murder

A JURY hearing evidence into the fatal stabbing of a 17-year-old CV Bethel student in an after-school scuffle was excused yesterday as legal discussions occurred in their absence concerning an apparent discrepancy in the evidence of a key witness.

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Parliamentarians donate funds to provide computers to students

PRIME Minister Perry Christie has donated nearly $50,000 towards the purchase of laptops for primary school students, Education Minister Jerome Fitzgerald said yesterday.

Businessman says $30,000 missing from bank account

A LOCAL businessman has claimed that an alleged cyber attack wiped out $30,000 from one of his commercial corporate accounts and wants other customers to be aware of possible fraudulent activity.

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Trial begins of Canadian accused of working illegally

THE trial of Canadian resident Bruno Rufa, who is accused of working illegally in The Bahamas and was subsequently deported, opened yesterday in the Freeport Magistrate‘s Court.

Bahamas still in demand as a destination, says NAD chief

IT IS critically important that the Bahamas as a tourist destination strikes the right balance in terms of its cost and the degree to which costs can be adjusted to be more competitive, according to Nassau Airport Development Company (NAD) Chief Executive Vernice Walkine.

Dorsett: Govt to bring regulations after Rubis spill

ENVIRONMENT and Housing Minister, Kenred Dorsett, said yesterday that the Government was committed to introducing regulations that would govern the currently unregulated ‘downstream’ petroleum sector.

Ministry rejects claims of dragging feet

THE Ministry of Social Services and Community Development has denied reports from a source close to the Bilney Lane Children’s Home, who last week told The Tribune officials are dragging their feet in the search for a new building for the children.

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Sony executive to assist with Music Masters judging

THE Bahamas National Festival Commission yesterday announced that the group has formed a partnership with international entertainment conglomerate Sony Music ahead of the Nassau launch of the inaugural Junkanoo Carnival.

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Dorsett criticised for his ‘failure’ to address fuel leak

FORMER State Minister for the Environment Phenton Neymour yesterday criticised Environment Minister Kenred Dorsett for his “failure” to address an underground fuel leak in the Marathon constituency.

COB experts feature on PBS show

TWO College of The Bahamas English professors will be among the linguistic experts featured in a special Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) documentary entitled “Talking Black In America” that explores the evolution of African-American speech and factors that have influenced it.

PM Christie and Fred Mitchell attend meeting on West Indian cricket crisis

PRIME Minister Perry Christie’s tenure as chairman of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has seen him not only involved in dialogue on matters of state but also in matters of sport.

On and off the pitch, Lyford Cay FC makes ‘fine impression’

ON and off the pitch Lyford Cay FC made a fine impression as they became the first Bahamian soccer club to take part in the Caribbean Football Union Club Championship last week.

‘We have a very impressive list of young athletes ready to make their debut’

WHILE the focus of the track and field world will be on the star-studded, elite level athletes descending on the Bahamas for the BTC/IAAF World Relays 2015, it provides a special opportunity to present the future of local junior athletes.

ART OF GRAPHIX: Giving potential designers the full career picture

Job titles can be a confusing way to navigate the employment market.

BAMSI ‘making great strides’

THE Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute is continuing to make strides towards creating an environment of self-sufficiency for The Bahamas and promoting agriculture and fisheries to competitive global levels, according to a spokesman for the project.

Wednesday, April 22

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'Deluge' of illegal immigrants 'will cost government $83,000 to repatriate'

IMMIGRATION Minister Fred Mitchell said yesterday that this country has had a recent “deluge” of illegal migrants that will cost the government more than $83,000 to repatriate.

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TOUGH CALL: Great Barrier Reef row mirrors our own troubles

A major environmental controversy is playing out on the other side of the globe that, in many ways, mirrors our own experience here.

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US sheriff’s deputy accused of killing man allowed to holiday in the Bahamas

A VOLUNTEER sheriff’s deputy plans to vacation in the Bahamas while facing a second-degree manslaughter charge in Oklahoma, his attorneys told a judge yesterday, drawing immediate criticism from the family of the man he killed.

The crime problem

According to all of the essential facts and pieces that are now in, and some of which consists of:

Too much, too young

I read with interest your story titled, “Lawyer claims pregnant woman denied care in nationality row” published on Tuesday, April 21.

Concern over policing

It was very interesting to hear and know of a statement that was said to have been made by the Commissioner of Police.

Ambassador responds to Cuba story

I would like to make reference to the Associated Press article in the Business section on April 15 (Cuba fights public anger with reform in country’s tense east) about the devastation and disappointment of the people from Santiago de Cuba and the efforts of the Cuban government to solve the urgent needs of the population of that important region.

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Lighthouse that stood guard now in need of help

NASSAU’s historic and iconic lighthouse, for millions of cruise passengers every year the first landmark they see approaching the harbour, has fallen into a “deplorable” state of disrepair.

Probe begins over denial of care to pregnant woman

PUBLIC health officials yesterday said they were investigating claims that a pregnant woman was denied care at a community clinic because she did not have a Haitian passport.

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Fitzgerald urges residents to sue Rubis over spill

ALTHOUGH he has been criticised for being silent about an underground fuel leak in his constituency, Marathon MP Jerome Fitzgerald yesterday said he has growing concern over the issues coming out of the matter, insisting that residents should take court action.

Sex claims row at primary school - were children left unsupervised?

THE Ministry of Education is investigating whether the three boys who have been accused of sexual misconduct involving a young girl at a public primary school were left unsupervised at the time of the reported incident.

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Straw market vendors give support after Exuma fire

STRAW Market vendors in New Providence yesterday donated goods and funds to their displaced counterparts in George Town, Exuma, whose market was destroyed by fire almost a week ago.

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Attorney General has been given Gray report

COMMISSIONER of Police Ellison Greenslade confirmed yesterday that the report on the investigation into alleged judicial interference by MICAL MP V Alfred Gray has been completed and passed on to the Office of the Attorney General.

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Decision due on subpoenas

HOUSE Speaker of Assembly Dr Kendal Major said he expects to make a recommendation before Parliament reconvenes today on whether Urban Renewal 2.0 co-chairs Cynthia “Mother” Pratt and Algernon Allen should be subpoenaed to appear before the Public Accounts Committee to answer questions over the initiative’s operations.

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Allen: Govt intends to take contractors to court to retrieve funds

URBAN Renewal Co-Chair Algernon Allen yesterday said the programme has already started the process of attempting to recover funds from contractors who did not complete or produced unsatisfactory work for the Small Homes Repair initiative.

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Scholar Athlete of the Year Awards a blast

SANDWICHED between the Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival and the 20 Pearls awards ceremonies was the much anticipated scholastic event of the year, the Grand Bahama Sports.com Scholar Athlete of the Year Awards and scholarship dinner.

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Bahamas to defend title in Nagico T20 cricket tourney

THE Nagico T20 Cricket Tournament is all set for May 24-25 at Windsor Field.

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Shaunae gets set for 4 x 200 in IAAF World Relays debut

A coach’s decision will only allow Shaunae Miller to come home and compete in the women’s 4 x 200 metres, but the country’s premier quarter-miler is still confident that Team Bahamas will put on a show as she makes her debut at the IAAF 2015 BTC World Relays.

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FNM event celebrates young talent

THE Youth Ablaze Talent Explosion hosted by the Free National Movement Council’s Sir Cecil Wallace Whitfield Celebration Committee was a success, attracting young people from throughout the island to showcase their talent.

Colonial approved as eighth BISX Sponsor Member

THE Bahamas International Securities Exchange (BISX) yesterday announced that Colonial Pension Services (Bahamas) Ltd has been approved as the eighth BISX Sponsor Member.

Juries amendment ‘does not’ impede fair trial

THE Court of Appeal yesterday rejected an accused murderer’s claim that the recent amendment to the Juries Act would breach his constitutional right to a fair trial.

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Lawyer to be appointed for sex offender’s appeal

A CONVICTED sex offender will be appointed a lawyer at the public’s expense to argue his appeal against a jury’s finding that he had unnatural sexual intercourse with an under aged male student.

Police hunt for wanted men

GRAND Bahama police are searching for two men who are wanted for questioning in connection with armed robbery, housebreaking and stealing incidents on the island.

Businesses urged to make VAT filings as early as possible

THIS month’s value added tax filings by small and medium-sized businesses will “challenge” the government’s automated Online Tax Administration System, according to Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation CEO Edison Sumner.

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Fitzgerald: COB tuition rise must be approved by Cabinet

EDUCATION Minister Jerome Fitzgerald yesterday said he has not yet received a request from College of The Bahamas officials on a proposed fee increase and stressed that the final approval for any tuition price hike would have to come from Cabinet, following “proper justification”.

VAT systems face 'real test' as businesses advised to file early

THE 5,600 and more quarterly Value-Added Tax (VAT) filers will provide a “real test” of the VAT Department’s systems, a Task Force co-chair said yesterday. He urged businesses to avoid the last-minute rush and file their returns before the April 28 deadline.

NAD fiscal position 'stable' says CFO

NASSAU Airport Development Company (NAD) saw total revenues of $71.5m in its 2014 fiscal year, an increase of $7.2m over the previous year, its Chief Financial Officer yesterday describing the airport operator’s fiscal position as stable.

Sustained demand key to Nassau flights additions

AIRLINES are committed to “absolutely” adding additional flights to the Bahamas as long as there is “sustained demand” for the destination, the Nassau Airport Development Company (NAD) Chief Executive said yesterday.

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DNA: Dorsett and Fitzgerald must resign

POLITICAL backlash over the government’s lack of public communication concerning the 2012 Rubis underground gasoline leak continued yesterday with calls for the resignation of Environment Minister Kenred Dorsett and Marathon MP Jerome Fitzgerald.

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Rubis defends its response to oil spill

RUBIS Bahamas has hit back at “inaccurate” media reports about its reaction to a 2012 underground fuel leak at its Robinson Road station, explaining that the company has taken appropriate steps to remedy the situation.

MP Gregory Moss opposed to Real Property Tax exemption

Marco City MP Gregory Moss is emphatically opposed to the extension of real property tax exemption in Freeport, saying Grand Bahama stands to gain some $50 million per annum in real property tax revenues alone from the industrial sector.

Tuesday, April 21

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Prosecutors win appeal over Canadian pilot's sentence

CROWN prosecutors successfully challenged, on appeal, a magistrate’s jurisdiction to impose an 18-month sentence on a Canadian pilot who was initially given four years in prison for his involvement in a $1m drug plot.

One Eleuthera Foundation celebrates Earth Day

IN CELEBRATION of Earth Day 2015, the One Eleuthera Foundation (OEF) hosted its third annual festivities this weekend, at which members commemorated their hard work and promoted opportunities ahead, encouraging partnership and leadership throughout Eleuthera, the Bahamas and the World.

How we can avoid the worldwide dental epidemic

THERE IS a global epidemic of dental diseases, and adult dental diseases account for the lion’s share of it.

The unsung technologists performing vital diagnostics on the brain

REPRESENTATIVES from the Bahamas Electroneurodiagnostic Technologist (BENT) group are hosting the inaugural neurology career and educational fair at Anatol Rodgers High School tomorrow.

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Hurt from the heart

BAHAMIAN author and poet Kendia Laramore bares all about being sexually abused as a child on several occasions and the emotional aftermath she experienced well into her adult life as a result.

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POLITICOLE: The real concern in the Urban Renewal audit argument

SINCE the story of the Auditor General’s report on the Urban Renewal Commission’s Small Home Repairs programme first broke, the dialogue in most places has been about the disagreement between the co-chairs, Algernon Allen and Cynthia “Mother” Pratt, and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) about the way the report was released and its implications on the integrity of the co-chairs.

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Neighbours subdue ‘robber’

AN armed robber was subdued by concerned neighbours who came to the rescue of a woman who was struggling with the would-be thief, police said.

Lawyer claims pregnant woman denied care in nationality row

A 21-year-old pregnant woman in her third trimester claims that she was denied antenatal care at a public clinic because she did not have a Haitian passport, according to a letter from her attorney obtained by The Tribune.

Primary school sex claims investigated

THREE school boys are being investigated by authorities for sexual misconduct involving a young girl at a government primary school, according to Ministry of Education officials.

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Officials say 30,000 attended Junkanoo Carnival weekend

BAHAMAS National Commission Chairman Paul Major said the Junkanoo Carnival’s kick off in Grand Bahama over the weekend was “extraordinarily successful” with officials pegging the turnout at an estimated 30,000 over the two-day period.

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Widow accused of murder to have new bail hearing

COURT of Appeal judges yesterday ordered a second bail hearing within 48 hours for the Australian widow of murdered millionaire podiatrist Phillip Vasyli before the same Supreme Court judge who had previously denied her bail.

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Murder total reaches 44 after three more killings

POLICE are investigating three separate murders after a man was shot to death on Ida Street yesterday afternoon, nearly 12 hours after another man was found dead with gun shot wounds near the Baillou Hills Sporting Complex.

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Call for review over Rubis spill

SENATOR Michael Pintard yesterday called for an independent review of the government’s actions following the 2012 underground gasoline leak at the Robinson and Old Trail Roads service station to determine whether there was criminal negligence.

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A LIFE OF CRIME - Jealousy and envy: The terrible twin forces destroying relationships

JEALOUSY and envy – two emotions that could be described as the toxic renewable energy that fuels much of the negative behaviour that is both running and ruining the Bahamas.

It’s not what you eat, it’s what’s eating you

WE have all heard the saying that you are what you eat. While having a balanced diet is essential, the deeper struggle for most people goes beyond food consumption. For this reason, a more fitting statement is - it’s not what you eat but what’s eating you that matters most.

The disappearing male of the species

THIS weekend, at the Atlantic Medical Fun Run and Walk, there were large numbers of people out supporting the event and getting a little exercise in the process. They all seemed to have a blast. One thing that people lining the route did comment on, however, was the lack of men.

Legal aid director retires from law school

ATTORNEY General Allyson Maynard Gibson yesterday heralded the career of Arthur Dion Hanna Jr, who recently retired as director of legal aid at the Eugene Dupuch Law School.

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Physician says stab wound led to student's death in after-school fight

A JURY heard from a physician yesterday on the cause of death of a 17-year-old CV Bethel student who died following an after-school scuffle.

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Sentence upheld for man convicted of shooting

THE Court of Appeal yesterday upheld the sentence of a man convicted of an early morning inner-city community shooting that hospitalised another man.

Fire-ravaged firm ‘fully operational’ inside 12 months

A Mount Pleasant-based business that was ravaged by fire last year yesterday said it expects to be “back up and fully operational” by mid-May, its recovery having taken less than 12 months.

Regulator accuses broker, principal of ‘gaming system’

US federal regulators have moved quickly to prevent attorneys for a former Bahamian broker/dealer and its principal ceasing to represent them in two New York court cases, alleging they are “gaming the system” to evade producing critical evidence.

Matching ‘spelling errors’ exposed copyright breach

A former employee at a Grand Bahama-based business violated its intellectual property rights by copying its design for a 950-pound septic tank and using it for a rival business he “became involved with”.

AML earnings warning: VAT’s ‘put us back’

AML Foods yesterday warned that earnings for its current financial will be hit by Value-Added Tax’s (VAT) impact on consumer spending, with a 2 per cent sales decline year-to-date having “put us back a few steps”.

VAT ‘sucks out’ 33% of new auto sales

New car sales for the 2015 first quarter fell 33 per cent year-over-year, with the Bahamas Motor Dealers Association’s (BMDA) president blaming Value-Added Tax (VAT) for “sucking a lot of potential out of the market.”

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Attorney General awaits Gray police report

THE Office of the Attorney General is still awaiting a police report on the investigation into alleged judicial interference by MICAL MP V Alfred Gray, Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson said yesterday.

Straw Market fire was started by short circuit

LAST week’s fire that completely destroyed the Straw Market in George Town, Exuma, was the result of an “electrical short circuit,” according to officials.

Man’s death ‘suspicious’

BIMINI police are investigating the suspicious death of a 35-year-old male visitor from India who was discovered with bruises about his body.

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Police intervene after suicide threat by woman

A WOMAN was admitted to Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre yesterday morning after she allegedly threatened to commit suicide, police said.

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Lawyer: Cuban abuse hearings could be nearing end

THE hearings to determine whether three Cubans were abused at the Carmichael Road Detention Centre by Royal Bahamas Defence Force marines could be drawing to a close soon, according to attorney Wayne Munroe.

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1,800 join in run hosted by Atlantic Medical

OVER 1,800 people took part in the annual Atlantic Medical Fun Run/Walk on Saturday morning, the large field including competitive runners, regular walkers and joggers, parents and children, several politicians and clergymen.

Lashann rubs shoulders with elite in Jordan Brand Classic

ONE of the top high school basketball recruits in America, Bahamian guard Lashann Higgs spent the past month playing amongst her elite group of peers and receiving postseason national honours.

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SPORTING MISCHIEF & MAYHEM: Time to think while the Lakers languish

THIS week I sit in a very unfamiliar place for the second year in a row - outside the NBA playoffs, preparing for the draft, hoping the balls bounce the right way for my beloved Lakers in the lottery.

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Federation to honour legacy of the late ‘King’ Eric Gibson

THE Bahamas Golf Federation is expected to honour the legacy of the late ‘King’ Eric Gibson by hosting the King Eric Gibson Memorial Golf Tournament at Lyford Cay Golf Course on May 3.

Sidney Collie and Stephen Holowesko finish Boston Marathon

BAHAMIAN marathon runners were among the 30,000 athletes that braved chilly conditions to commemorate the 119th running of the Boston Marathon.

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Leevan ‘Superman’ Sands back to his winning ways

LEEVAN ‘Superman’ Sands, missing in action for the past two years because of an injury, swung back into action over the weekend with a winning performance at the War Eagle Invitational 2015 in Auburn, Alabama.

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Building up a better Bahamas through athletics, academics

For more than a decade, Pastor Anthony Williams has been building a home way from home for a number of track and field athletes at his home in Moore’s Island, Abaco.

More Gov’t consistency on investments urged

A top private sector executive yesterday urged the Government to be more consistent with the incentives and support it provided to major development projects.

Concerns over ‘bloated’ government workforce

The Government must ensure there are a greater number of highly-skilled employees within the public sector, the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation’s (BCCEC) chairman said yesterday.

AID Basketball Classic: Men’s two spots to be decided tonight

WHILE Macedonia and Cousin McPhee locked down the remaining spots in the 15-and-under and 19-and-under divisions for the Baptist Sports Council’s 2015 AID Basketball Classic this weekend, the men’s two spots will be decided tonight at the AF Adderley Gymnasium.

Monday, April 20

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World Relays: Team Bahamas named

THE Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations has released the names of a mixture of 29 youth and experienced athletes that will represent Team Bahamas at the 2nd International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) World Relays, scheduled for May 2-3 at the Thomas A Robinson Track and Field Stadium.

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Co-chairs 'contempt' for the Public Accounts Committee

THE refusal of Algernon Allen and Cynthia “Mother” Pratt to appear before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) as the group continues its probe into Urban Renewal 2.0 is a slap in the face to democracy and the Bahamian people.

Why COB will never really be a university

I was extremely bothered by a press release sent by my COBUS President about pending fee increases at The College of The Bahamas.

A thank-you letter

With this letter I would like to express my gratitude for the kind help and the friendly service of Mrs Vandetta Moorshead, manager customer experience at Lynden Pinding International Airport.

Time for answers

Don’t you think it’s past time that the Bahamas National Drug Agency (BNDA) and the Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) provide a meaningful response to the forensic audit results that were reported in the press late last year?

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CROWDS COME OUT FOR CARNIVAL

THOUSANDS of revellers flocked to Taino Beach for two days of fun and live cultural performances, including the Music Masters semi-finals and All Star-Bahamian concert, as the first Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival got off to a successful start in Grand Bahama.

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Bahamian North Pole explorers rescued and 'desperate' to get home

THE TWO Bahamian explorers who reached the North Pole last week are suffering further ordeals as they attempt to come home from the Arctic Circle.

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400 acres ablaze in Berry Islands

A massive 400-acre bush fire in the Berry Islands that has burned over the past few days was threatening nearby homes yesterday, prompting a team from New Providence to fly to the area.

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Museum staff not paid for three months

EMPLOYEES at the Long Island Museum have not been paid for three months and may be out of a job “very soon”, according to Long Island MP Loretta Butler Turner.

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Donna Vasyli to have another bail hearing 'within two days'

THE wife of murdered millionaire podiatrist Phillip Vasyli will have another bail hearing in Supreme Court after Court of Appeal judges ruled this afternoon that Senior Justice Stephen Isaacs did not explicitly give his reasons for denying bail to the 54-year-old Australian.

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No health tests after oil spill

AN independent report revealed that RUBIS Bahamas officials did not expedite testing on the private wells of Marathon homes following the 2012 underground gasoline leak at the Robinson and Old Trail Roads service station.

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‘Reward’ is considered in battling smuggling

IMMIGRATION Minister Fred Mitchell is considering recommending that a reward system be established to pay Bahamians who provide authorities with valuable information about the “smuggling rings” that spur illegal immigration.

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Generators to arrive at BEC - but Miller not sure if they are enough

THE first set of rental generators secured for the Bahamas Electricity Corporation will arrive this week, reducing the chance of blackouts during the summer months, according to BEC Executive Chairman Leslie Miller.

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Speaker backs probe by PAC

HOUSE of Assembly Speaker Dr Kendal Major said he sees no fault in the process the Public Accounts Committee is taking to get answers about the scathing findings from the Urban Renewal’s Small Home Repairs Programme that are in an audit by Auditor General Terrance Bastian.

Man in hospital after stabbing

A MAN is in hospital after being stabbed by another man during an argument on Saturday.

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A ‘double dose’ of victory for Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace

ARIANNA Vanderpool-Wallace, the Bahamas Swimming Federation’s 2014 Swimmer of the Year, is having another sensational season so far this year as she competes in the 2014-15 Arena Pro Swim Series in the United States.

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SAC Big Red Machine victorious in National High School All-Star Relays

ADD the Bahamas National High School All-Star Relays 2015 Relay Championship to the résumé of the St Augustine’s College Big Red Machine Track and Field Programme.

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Bahamas tops Turks & Caicos 24-7, into Zone 1

ALTHOUGH they won 24-7, manager John Gates said he expected the men’s national rugby team to perform much better offensively against the Turks and Caicos Islands.

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BBF Nationals: Pumpers, Saints win titles

IT was all Grand Bahama’s show at the Bahamas Basketball Federation’s National Round Robin Basketball Championship series in Bimini over the weekend.

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‘Golden Knight’ returns

Quarter-miler Ramon Miller is back. Fully recuperated from a fractured toe on his left foot that he sustained in the first round of the men’s 4 x 400 metres at the inaugural World Relays last year, Miller proved that he’s on the road to getting back in tip-top shape just in time for the second edition of the relays next month.

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Sadness at news of singer’s death

THE DEATH of international Bahamian recording artist Johnny Kemp on Thursday has saddened the Grand Bahama community, where his siblings are said to be devastated by the news.

Memorial for Fox Hill victims nears completion

FAMILIES of the victims of the gun violence that killed four Fox Hill residents after the 2013 Boxing Day Junkanoo gathered in Fox Hill’s Freedom Park yesterday as the memorial being created in their memory nears completion.

Mortimer asks ‘where is VAT money going?’

DNA Deputy Leader Chris Mortimer yesterday called on the government to “state definitively” how much money has been collected from VAT and explain how that money will be spent.

Project to unlock handicraft sector being squandered

An award-winning electronic platform intended to unlock $6 million in annual sales for Bahamian indigenous “treasure” is in danger of being squandered, its key architect has warned.

Broker’s principal admits defeat in battles with SEC

The principal of a now-defunct Bahamian broker/dealer has conceded defeat in his legal battle with US federal regulators, and is now exposed to summary judgments he cannot pay.

Civil service skills woe used to back ‘PLP crony’ hires

A trade union leader has slammed assertions that just 1 per cent of the civil service is highly skilled, accusing the Government of using this to justify handing jobs to “PLP cronies”.

BTC: ‘No preference’ on first mobile rival

The Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) has “no preference” as to who wins the battle to become its first mobile rival, although its post-liberalisation strategy will be determined by the winner’s identity.

Payment row caused Baha Mar ‘slow down’

The Government has intervened in the row between Baha Mar and its main contractor, amid suggestions that China Construction America slowed down its work rate in the run-up to the planned March 27 opening due to a payment dispute.

‘Be honest if you want to play ball’

The private sector has been urged not to negatively interpret the director of labour’s comments about “employer hiring tricks”.

Steven Gardiner clocks personal best in 400m to qualify for IAAF Worlds

MOORE’S Islander Steven Gardiner, turning in a personal best performance to dip under the A qualifying standard for the IAAF World Championships in August, led a fleet of Bahamian athletes competing at various meets in the United States over the weekend.

Bahamians sceptical on VAT revenue use

Many Bahamians are sceptical the Government will keep its promise to use Value-Added Tax (VAT) revenue to reduce the country’s deficit and $6 billion-plus national debt, according to a study conducted by College of The Bahamas (COB) students.

Chambers ready position paper for Gov’t handover

Bahamian Chamber of Commerce leaders have compiled a list of concerns that will be presented to the Government via a position paper within the next two weeks, Tribune Business has been told.

Saturday, April 18

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Nightclub shooting leaves man in hospital

A MAN is in hospital in a stable condition after being shot at a Mackey Street nightclub following a fight early today.

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Woman found dead at her Nassau Village home

POLICE in New Providence are investigating the death of a woman who has been found dead at her Nassau Village home.

BAIC looking into sexual assault and harrassment cases, says John Pinder

THE Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation (BAIC) has launched an internal probe into separate allegations of sexual assault and harassment against two supervisors at the government agency, according to union leader John Pinder.

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Students draw on artistic talents to help recycling campaign

THE winners of the inaugural Renew Bahamas recyclART competition were announced yesterday during an awards ceremony at the British Colonial Hilton.

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COB proposes 'ill timed' 50 per cent rise in tuition fees

A PROPOSAL to "substantially" increase tuition fees at the College of The Bahamas is on its way to Cabinet following an approval vote by the institution's Council earlier this week.

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Barber shop owner gives evidence in fatal stabbing of Jamil Wilchcombe

A WITNESS to the fatal stabbing of a 17-year-old CV Bethel student outside his barber shop off East Street South testified in Supreme Court yesterday.

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Former US Marine 'needs work to pay legal fees', judge told

A FORMER US Marine awaiting trial for attempted murder needs work in the United States to afford his legal fees, a Supreme Court judge was told yesterday.

Friday, April 17

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Mariah Carey relaxes at Resorts World Bimini

AMERICAN singer, songwriter and actress Mariah Carey has been relaxing at Resorts World Bimini before her headlining residency in Las Vegas starts on May 6.

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Robbers posing as BEC workers take cash from woman

TWO men armed with a handgun and posing as Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) workers robbed a woman at her home on Thursday.

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Prime Minister leads tributes at Sandra Edgecombe’s funeral

MOURNERS at the First Baptist Church yesterday for the funeral of veteran educator Sandra Edgecombe heard tributes to her tremendous contribution to education and to the lives of countless students and teachers in Grand Bahama.

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Lyford Cay Dragons fight back in CFU Club Championship

THE Lyford Cay Dragons bounced back from a disappointing debut in the CFU 2015 Club Championship in Haiti to claim a 2-2 draw with Unite Sainte Rosienne this evening. The Dragons, who rallied from 2-0 down at half time against the team from Guadeloupe, are the first Bahamian side to play in the championship, which features 14 of the region’s strongest soccer clubs.

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Bahamian singer Johnny Kemp dies age 55

Bahamian singer Johnny Kemp has died at the age of 55, according to reports.

‘Conservative shopkeeper attitude’ deters desire for securities ownership

A “conservative shopkeeper’s attitude” has deterred many Bahamians from becoming shareholders, a Cabinet Minister yesterday suggesting that the CLICO (Bahamas) “catastrophe” had also undermined the development of a savings culture.

A challenge or opportunity?

CARIBBEAN leaders and politicians ignore the long-term effects of unregulated Chinese investment projects.

Algernon Allen

I would strongly recommend that Algernon Allen, who is supposed to be a lettered man, watching his futile attempt yesterday, in trying to make wrong, right, to read, and digest, this morning’s Guardian Editorial,

Here’s looking at you, Leslie

Quote: “It amazes me of the ineptitude of some of these people that want to be in government” – Leslie Miller.

Embrace the Junkanoo Carnival

Please permit me to enlighten my fellow Bahamians, brothers and sisters, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls.

Gibson and Scotiabank comments

I waited a day before sending this letter to your paper as I did not want your readers to think it was a response to an April fool’s joke.

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Minnis not surprised by Baha Mar CEO comments

OPPOSITION Leader Dr Hubert Minnis said he is “not surprised” at Baha Mar’s CEO Sarkis Izmirlian’s disappointment that the government has made promises it has not kept, because it is “the Christie way”.

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Haitians nationals caught on boat off Inagua by Defence Force

TEN Haitian nationals were apprehended by Royal Bahamas Defence Force officials early on Thursday morning in waters near Inagua.

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Police shoot man after high-speed chase

A 21-year-old man is recovering in hospital after he was shot by police officers after a high-speed chase on Thursday morning.

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Health fears over Rubis oil spill

MARATHON residents last night railed against the government for its inadequate response to health concerns following the 2012 gas leak at the Robinson and Old Trail Roads service station.

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Court considers if new law on gaming allows previous offences

COURT of Appeal judges yesterday questioned whether the new Gaming Act, in its present state, legitimised previous unlawful conduct of web shop gaming operators.

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AUDIO: Bahamian explorers on top of the world

TWO intrepid Bahamians yesterday completed the “journey of a lifetime” and planted the Bahamian flag at the North Pole.

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Commissioner has received file on Gray investigation

COMMISSIONER of Police Ellison Greenslade yesterday said he has received the finished file on the investigation into alleged judicial interference by MICAL MP V Alfred Gray and the findings will be revealed “soon”.

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PAC: Report was sent to PM, Urban Renewal

URBAN Renewal Co-chairs Cynthia “Mother” Pratt and Algernon Allen have offered disingenuous criticism of the auditor general’s audit of the initiative’s Small Home Repairs Programme, East Grand Bahama MP Peter Turnquest said yesterday.

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All hail the Carifta heroes

STILL in a celebratory mood since their success at the 2015 Carifta Games, both the track and field and swim national teams were recognised for their accomplishments in St Kitts and Nevis and Barbados respectively over the Easter holiday weekend.

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Man who stabbed wife had appeal delayed

A MAN convicted of stabbing his estranged wife must wait a little longer before his substantive appeal hearing proceeds in the Court of Appeal.

22-year-old accused of Freeport murder

A 22-year-old Freeport man was charged with murder in the Freeport Magistrate’s Court this week.

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‘Urban Renewal leaders should thank auditor’

FORMER FNM Chairman Darron Cash criticised the co-chairs of Urban Renewal yesterday over their handling of an audit report that shed light on “concerning” details of community development initiative.

Shipyard donates lathe to training institute

THE Bahamas Training and Vocational Institute in Freeport received a significant donation on Wednesday – a lathe from the Grand Bahama Shipyard.

PM links crime to failure to help students with behavioural challenges

PRIME Minister Perry Christie yesterday suggested that the country had experienced a scourge of crime because successive governments failed to put financial resources into assisting students who struggle with behavioural challenges.

Gov’t jobs exchange: 50% lack basic skills

“At least” 50 per cent of Bahamians seeking to register with the Government’s jobs exchange lack basic language and maths skills, a top official yesterday conceding this made it “difficult” to significantly dent the high 15.7 per cent unemployment rate.

Minister: Baha Mar boss ‘not incorrect in his complaints’

A Cabinet Minister yesterday conceded that Baha Mar’s owner was “not incorrect in some of his complaints”, agreeing that this nation had to move more rapidly on energy and education reform.

Labour ‘limits employer tricks’

A top official yesterday said the Department of Labour had “significantly limited the tricks” used by employers to deny Bahamians jobs in preference to foreigners, slamming some tourism and financial services work permit applications as “ridiculous”.

Foreign construction worker numbers are ‘totally unacceptable’

A Cabinet Minister yesterday branded the number of foreign construction workers in this nation as “completely unacceptable”, arguing that economic growth and investments were not translating into Bahamian jobs.

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Chris Brown meet back on for 2016

MARK the date: April 16, 2016.

World Relays homecoming for Golden Knights

WHILE the public can look forward to seeing sprinters Usain Bolt and Justin Gatlin put on a show for Jamaica and the United States, the Golden Knights have confirmed that they will be coming home to make their presence felt at the IAAF/BTC World Relays Bahamas 2015.

Exuma has ‘little to show’ for Treasury funds contributions

The absence of local ownership and accountability is holding back Family Island economic development initiatives, the Exuma Chamber of Commerce’s president yesterday charging that “there is little to show” for the significant revenues being generated in his island.

Next stop T&C for rugby team

THE Bahamas National team, fresh of their victory over Bermuda, arrived in the Turks and Caicos on Thursday for their international match on Saturday.

Thursday, April 16

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No fire truck as George Town Straw Market burns

OFFICERS in George Town, Exuma, had no fire truck on hand to combat Wednesday’s fire at the settlement’s Straw Market, which completely destroyed the structure, fire officials said.

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YOUNG MAN'S VIEW: Urban Renewal chooses to shoot the messenger

THE suspension of all manner of reason at the altar of political correctness appears to be the order of the day these days, particularly when we see the Auditor General being thrown under a bus for a report that is not glowing about the political class.

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‘We will rebuild church after fire’

IN THE wake of a devastating fire that destroyed the Living Water Assembly of God Church, Pastor Eddie and Margo Victor have vowed to rebuild the sanctuary on Chesapeake Drive.

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Consultations continue with Consul General over circumstances of arrest

CONSULTATIONS with Bahamas Consul General to Atlanta Randy Rolle and his superiors continue over what led to his arrest in Bimini during the Easter holiday weekend, according to Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell yesterday.

What did auditor get wrong?

Would Urban Renewal Co Chair Algernon Allen please enlighten us as to what part of the “philosophy and policy” of the Small Homes Repair Programme the Auditor General fails to appreciate as it relates to those contractors who were paid, but didn’t produce, whom he, Mr Allen, intends to “pursue to the depths of hell” for non-performance.

Welcome work of the auditor

Rather than cry foul, the co-chairs of Urban Renewal should welcome an investigation to flush out any irregularities that may exist under the programme.

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YOUNG MAN'S VIEW: That letter from Long Island

Last Thursday, The Tribune published a letter signed off as being written by “residents of Long Island”. The letter was in response to an earlier column of mine and made a number of deceptive statements.

The Bahamian economy and responses to global economic shifts

SCOTIABANK Bahamas recently announced that it would close or consolidate up to eight of its branches in The Bahamas. The bank reported that about 50 employees would be affected.

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Baha Mar’s ‘next chapter’ in hands of contractor

WHILE not giving a definite date, Baha Mar CEO Sarkis Izmirlian said the property will open “very soon”. However, he said, the resort cannot open its doors until the general contractor fulfils its commitment.

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Lawyer criticises PM for threat to sue FNM chairman

LAWYER Fred Smith criticised Prime Minister Perry Christie for using “aggressive tactics” against his client Michael Pintard on a claim that “does not behoove his office”.

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FNM demand Gray is removed from Cabinet

FNM Leader Dr Hubert Minnis yesterday questioned whether MICAL MP V Alfred Gray's Cabinet post would conflict with investigations into allegations of judicial interference against him.

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Baha Mar CEO slams govt for ‘unfulfilled promises’

BAHA Mar CEO Sarkis Izmirlian criticised the government yesterday for its “unfulfilled promises” and suggested the Christie administration seek “outside help” on crime prevention and education for the country to succeed.

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Miller: We are in crisis over crime

TALL Pines MP Leslie Miller yesterday lashed out at the government insisting that during the next election many of his colleagues will receive a “rude awakening” from voters because they did not take a stand to tackle crime, which he described as a cancer “taking out the guts” of Bahamians.

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US ‘agrees to stick to law’ in use of surveillance

NEARLY one year after it was reported that the United States was intercepting and monitoring Bahamian telephone calls, America has agreed to use the “lawful” authority to obtain surveillance information from this country, according to Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Fred Mitchell yesterday.

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Urban Renewal chiefs snub Public Accounts Committee

THE co-chairs of Urban Renewal - Cynthia “Mother” Pratt and Algernon Allen - have refused to appear before the Public Accounts Committee, and now face being served with subpoenas to compel them to attend.

Conchservation campaign to save Queen Conch stocks

OFFICIALS from the Bahamas National Trust and several corporate partners have launched a national campaign geared towards sustaining the country’s severely declining Queen Conch populations.

Firefighters contain wildfires on Abaco

A GROUP of volunteer firefighters have successfully combated two separate wildfires in the last five days on the island of Abaco.

Public Accounts Committee hearings into BAMSI will be heard in public

HOUSE Speaker Dr Kendal Major has granted the Public Accounts Committee’s request for a public hearing on matters related to the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute as concerns continue over the operations of the multi-million project.

‘Reno’ seeks alternate path to coveted boxing titles

EVER since Tureano ‘Reno’ Johnson left Madison Square Garden Theater with the World Boxing Association’s International and World Boxing Council’s silver titles around his waist, the public wondered what was the next step.

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Lyford Cay Dragons make Bahamian soccer history

For the first time in Bahamian football history, a local club will represent the country with the best clubs from around the region in a champions event.

‘Champ’ posting impressive numbers in the minor league

LAST week represented the opening in Minor League Baseball as well, and one Bahamian player on the diamond got off to a quick start in his promotion to an elevated level of Single A play.

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New York Jets’ first ever fan cruise makes a splash at Breezes Bahamas

THE Bahamas once again hosted a major sporting franchise as its sports tourism product continues to expand.

Baha Mar warns Chinese partner: on ‘discontent’

Baha Mar’s owner yesterday called on its Chinese construction partner to meet its obligations to get the $3.5 billion destination resort open, urging it to recognise the “discontent” it is causing in the Bahamas.

Junkanoo Carnival ‘profitable’ by its third year

Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival organisers yesterday forecast that the event will be generating a profit by its third year, with the economic impact increasing by 20.5 per cent over the inaugural 2015 version.

Insurers: NHI costs $300m underestimate

The Bahamian insurance industry yesterday warned that the Government’s consultants had underestimated the proposed National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme’s costs by $300 million or one-third, pegging its total price tag as high as $965 million.

Baha Mar chief slams ‘12 years unmet promises’

Baha Mar’s owner yesterday slammed successive governments for “12 years of unfulfilled promises” on energy and education reform, arguing that the $3.5 billion destination resort had to be developed in “a less than ideal” environment.

Man attacked by robbers

A MAN is detained in serious condition at the Rand Memorial Hospital following a violent attack and robbery in the Fishing Hole Road area early on Tuesday, Grand Bahama police reported yesterday.

Gov’t workers: Just 1% ‘highly skilled’

Just 1 per cent of the Bahmas’ 19,000 public sector workers fall into the highly skilled/technical category, a Cabinet Minister yesterday describing this as a “sobering statistic”.

Turnquest defends Auditor General

EAST Grand Bahama MP Peter Turnquest yesterday defended the auditor general against “inappropriate” criticism levied by the co-chairs of Urban Renewal following what some have called a “scathing” audit of the initiative and its Small Home Repairs programme.

Lawyer’s illness delays continuation of murder trial

A LAWYER’S absence yesterday delayed continued testimony in the murder trial in the fatal stabbing of a 17-year-old CV Bethel student.

Court date confirmed for human trafficker’s appeal

A WOMAN, contesting a human trafficking conviction that landed her in prison for 15 years, will have her substantive appeal heard in seven weeks time.

Attorney seeks to withdraw as counsel for murder appeal

COURT of Appeal judges told a veteran lawyer yesterday that he had to satisfy them that they should allow him to withdraw as counsel for a man sentenced to 50 years in jail for the fatal stabbing of his girlfriend.

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Johnson confident over Carnival

YOUTH, Sports and Culture Minister Dr Danny Johnson yesterday was optimistic that everything will go according to plan with the launch of Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival in Grand Bahama this weekend.

Father of boating accident victim unhappy with police response

THE FATHER of a young American woman killed in a boating accident off the coast of Bimini last year said he is “saddened and disappointed” of the handling of his daughter’s case by local police.

St John’s Native Baptist advances to 15-and-under final in the AID Basketball Classic

DEFENDING champion and pennant winning St John’s Native Baptist Church was the first team to book their spot in the Baptist Sports Council’s 2015 AID Basketball Classic championship series.

Wednesday, April 15

South Eleuthera

Kindly allow me space to share my reflections on a place near and dear to me… South Eleuthera, my home. Those were the days!

Keeping the dream alive

The Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) is at the cross roads of history. It came to office almost three years ago on the backs of multiple political promises many which it should have known could not be fulfilled much less implemented anytime soon. Unfortunately for the party and its leadership cadre, a whole dray load of Bahamians bought into the “charter for governance” and now they are demanding delivery.

Why strengthening the Freedom of Information Act is so important

PRESIDENT Obama has routinely promised greater transparency within the federal government. Now, Congress is making strides towards achieving this critical goal.

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Case ended of policeman accused of brutality

A POLICE officer was discharged from the Magistrate’s Court on Monday over his involvement in the alleged brutality of a detainee whose injuries were photographed and published on social media.

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Bahamian worker crushed under crane at Baha Mar

A BAHAMIAN man was killed when a crane broke and crushed him on Baha Mar’s construction site yesterday morning.

Missing documentation for Urban Renewal band payouts

THE operations of Urban Renewal’s Band were identified as an “extreme risk” to the government that needed immediate attention and the implementation of a response procedure after auditors were unable to ascertain the programme’s total expenditure.

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Contractors paid for no work to be pursued ‘to the depths of hell’

URBAN Renewal Commission Co-Chair Algernon Allen yesterday said that the agency will “pursue to the depths of hell” those contractors who were paid by Urban Renewal to repair homes but did not undertake or complete their duties.

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Auditor under fire for ‘unfair’ report

URBAN Renewal 2.0 Co-Chair Cynthia “Mother” Pratt yesterday blasted Auditor General Terrence Bastian for his “unfair” audit on the initiative’s Small Home Repairs programme, and said she “resented” being thought of “in a negative light” as a result of the report.

Cable breaks B$ record despite being $7m short

Despite missing its combined target by $7 million, Cable Bahamas’ preference share issue was yesterday described as the “largest amount” of new Bahamian dollars ever raised from this nation’s capital markets by a private sector entity.

Insurer exceeds targets despite 6% top-line fall

Bahamas First yesterday said it beat its 2014 underwriting income targets by between 5-10 per cent, despite encountering margin pressures that cut top-line premium income by more than $9 million.

Family sues over Rubis oil spill

A MARATHON family has filed a lawsuit against Rubis Bahamas and the former operators of the service station at Robinson and Old Trail Roads.

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Pace of search for new children’s home slammed

SEVERAL months after its closure due to sewage issues, advocates for one of the country’s most recognisable children’s homes claim the Department of Social Services is “dragging its feet” in the search for a new building.

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Fire thought to have been started by vagrants

A TWO-storey abandoned building near Government House was substantially damaged by fire yesterday in what investigators believe to be the work of vagrants who sought shelter in the structure.

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Trial begins of men accused of murdering teen

A MURDER trial into the after-school fatal stabbing of a 17-year-old CV Bethel student opened in the Supreme Court yesterday.

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Bid to introduce union for container port staff

LABOUR and religious leaders in Grand Bahama are supporting workers at the Freeport Container Port who are again taking steps to form a union to bargain for better wages, permanent job status and a safer workplace.

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Campbell: Allow deportee to return to the Bahamas

FLORIDA House Representative Daphne Campbell is requesting the return of a man who she claimed was unlawfully deported from the Bahamas to Haiti three months ago.

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Scholarships for local students thanks to university deal

EXECUTIVES of the Youth Empowerment Programme announced yesterday that the organisation has secured agreements with three American universities to offer special scholarships to local students.

Insurers fear ‘sharp end’ of VAT backlash

A leading insurance executive yesterday said he fears there will be “unintended consequences” when the industry starts levying Value-Added Tax (VAT) from July 1, with the sector “at the sharp end” of any consumer backlash.

Judge unimpressed by broker’s ‘failed corporate suicide’

A Bahamian broker/dealer’s “failed attempt at corporate suicide” has failed to impress a New York judge, who has ordered it to produce potentially thousands of documents sought by US federal regulators by today.

Nygard: PLP were ‘never improper’ in our dealings

Peter Nygard says the Christie administration has “never behaved improperly” in its dealings with him, while describing Prime Minister Perry Christie as “a long-time friend”.

$1m earmarked for scheme that was never implemented

AUDITOR General Terrance Bastian questioned $1m that was earmarked in the 2013/2014 budget to be allocated to Urban Agriculture, a backyard farming and community gardens initiative, which was never implemented and the funds redirected.

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Contractor says he may have been slandered in report

One of 11 contractors highlighted in a recent audit of Urban Renewal 2.0’s Small Homes Repair programme yesterday defended his work and accused Auditor General Terrence Bastian of potentially slandering his name.

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Men’s national rugby team to face Turks and Caicos this weekend

AFTER turning in a very good showing in their victory over Bermuda last month, the Bahamas Rugby Union is all set to take its men’s national team to the Turks and Caicos Islands on Thursday to compete in another international event this weekend.

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Shockers’ Rigby awarded full athletic scholarship

HIS coming out party in the New Providence Basketball Association ended with an early exit in the playoffs after he put in a most valuable player performance during the regular season.

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‘Dawning of a new day’ on baseball diamond

THE groundwork has begun and by December, local players could be participating in a new Thomas A Robinson Baseball Stadium at the Baillou Hills Sporting Complex.

North Andros, Mary Star Catholic emerge as champions

THE North Andros High Seminoles and Mary Star Catholic High out of Grand Bahama emerged as the champions of the eighth annual Gateway Christian Academy Invitational Basketball Tournament at the Gateway Gymnasium in Porgy Bay, Bimini, over the weekend.

TUC chief optimistic on Sandals discussions

The Trades Union Congress’s (TUC) president yesterday said its hotel union affiliate was now awaiting a response from Sandals Royal Bahamian to its request to begin negotiations on an industrial agreement.

Union lacks ‘leverage’ over Melia gratuities

A hotel union leadership contender yesterday argued that current executives have no “leverage” to employ in negotiating with Baha Mar and the Meliá Nassau Beach Resort because they failed to secure a new industrial agreement in 2013.

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Pre-School Sports Day in memory of Andrea Wisdom

ANDREA D Wisdom, hailed as the architect of modern pre-schools in the Bahamas, will be honoured posthumously as the Department of Education Pre-School Unit host its 11th Pre-School Sports Day.

Tuesday, April 14

Third outing for ‘Autism in the Bahamas’ essay contest

FIRSTCARE Medical Plan is planning to continue with its efforts to increase autism awareness in the country by hosting the third annual Autism in the Bahamas essay contest open to all students in grades seven through 12.

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Achieving flawlessness - Beauty expert helps others battle skin problems

ONE woman’s personal experience with serious skin problems has today led to the success of a Bahamian-owned beauty business which aims to help others facing similar challenges.

Answers to three common questions asked about dentistry

Question 1: Do I have to visit the dentist every six months?

The Cross: A medical perspective – Part I

ANOTHER Easter holiday has come and gone. Hopefully, many of us have taken the time to reflect on what Christ accomplished at Calvary on man’s behalf.

Dialysis Centre encourages Bahamians to drink more water

STUDIES show that most people do not drink enough water on a daily basis. And that was one of the reasons the Dialysis Centre Bahamas challenged the general public to swap soft drinks, energy and alcoholic beverages with water. The 20-day World Kidney Day Challenge ran from March 12 to March 31. It was part of the efforts to raise awareness of kidney health and chronic kidney disease (CKD).

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Author Denika Carothers asks, “Who In The Hell Do You Think You Are?

SOME people are their own worst enemy. They speak negatively about their circumstances, quit endevours because they do not believe they have what it takes to accomplish their goals and are easily discouraged even by minute challenges.

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A swingin’ time at 'Girl On Pole'

HER goal is to not change people’s perceptions of pole dancing, it is simply to teach it as a form of fitness art.

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POLITICOLE: Hillary, hacking and help for illegal immigrants

OVER the weekend, Hillary Clinton officially tossed her hat into the ring, to join the 2016 race for US President. In her very first, very plain campaign television advertisement she says: “Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion.”

The Baha Mar blues

What a waste… remember when Baha Mar and China State Construction started work the temporary office buildings were set up… we were told in one of Baha Mar‘s “blue moments of significance” that when the project was complete these buildings would be saved and donated to government.

Duped on VAT?

Mr Gowon Bowe, chairman of The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation, was recently reported as sending a shot across government’s bow, dressing them down about not answering matters raised by the private sector.

Memories of Kemuel Hepburn

The late former Assistant Commissioner of Police Kemuel Hepburn was a great Bahamian, who distinguished himself during his career as a police officer, as a very firm, astute, articulate, compassionate and courageous leader.

A loss of hope in our nation

Never have there been so many attacks on so many pillars of social order, which has added to our people’s confusion, hopelessness and frustration.

Is The Bahamas soon to be the gamblers haven?

IF ALL of the web shop licences applied for are granted by the Gaming Board, the Bahamas that the late Prime Minister Sir Lynden Pindling did not want to be known as a gambling resort, won’t be able to escape the label.

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Workers demand hazard pay owed to them since 2007

NEARLY 200 employees from the Ministry of Works protested outside the Ministry’s building yesterday demanding outstanding hazard pay they claimed was owed to them from 2007.

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Man fired from BAMSI may sue for $100,000

THE lawyer for a man terminated from the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute allegedly for his political affiliation is seeking more than $100,000 in redress from the government.

Contracts over $10,000 issued without proof of approval

CONTRACTS for the repair of small homes in New Providence worth more than $10,000 were issued to contractors without proof of ministerial approval, an audit into the Urban Renewal Small Home Repairs programme has revealed.

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Minnis: Charge contractors paid without finishing work

CRIMINAL charges should be filed immediately against any contractor who was paid by Urban Renewal without “finishing the people’s work”, FNM Leader Dr Hubert Minnis said yesterday.

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Urban Renewal at risk of abuse

AUDITOR General Terrance Bastian has criticised the government’s Urban Renewal 2.0 plan, finding that the programme’s internal controls are “weak”, insufficient and “can lead to abuse of government funds”.

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A LIFE OF CRIME: A chance to rise from the tomb of crime

RECENT posts by contributors to A Life of Crime are overwhelmingly asking for something to be done. “Enough talk!” they write.

Melia offers salary advance in lieu of gratuity payments

THE Meliá resort has offered its employees a salary advance option equal to three months’ gratuities calculated at nine per cent while accusing the Bahamas Hotel Catering and Allied Workers Union (BHCAWU) of having “little or nor regard” for the financial difficulties of its staff.

The law, hegemonic masculinity and social breakdown

BANG, bang, bang the guns fire, the bullets fly and the peace is broken.

Are you living your life – distracted and out of control?

FEW would disagree that we are living in a paradigm of unprecedented distractions. This never before seen period of gizmos and gadgets has rendered people powerless to drive their lives to an improved state.

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SPORTING MISCHIEF & MAYHEM: The return of small market teams - by Royals decree

SOME of my fondest memories growing up were listening to major league baseball with my grandfather K M Thompson - yes, the same one of the I Need A Laundry, Lions Club (founder and charter president) and Hobby Horse Hall thoroughbred fame (he had a stable full of champions).

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The Revenge - Mud, Guts and Glory

THE second edition of the Chickcharney Challenge is in the books and event organisers are optimistic about its growth and the growth of local obstacle course racing in the near future.

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The awards pour in for three basketball standouts

ANOTHER group in the long list of Bahamian prep basketball stars in the United States were awarded for their successful seasons in Miami, Florida.

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Kiprop to lead Team Kenya at World Relays Bahamas

TO follow up their series of record-breaking performances last year, one of the greatest distance running countries in the world will field a star- studded team for the 2015 BTC/IAAF World Relays Bahamas.

Summer date for $50m Family Islands road and airport work

BAHAMAS Striping hopes to be “up and running” by August or September with its airport and road maintenance project scheduled for 10 islands as outlined in two proposals before the Government.

Union maintains 15% entitlement for Melia gratuity

A BAHAMAS Hotel Catering and Allied Workers Union (BHCAWU) executive confirmed that while the Meliá hotel was offering a nine per cent gratuity payment to employees for three months, the union was maintaining its position that the gratuity be calculated at 15 per cent up until a new deal is reached or a judge determines otherwise.

Construction industry reputation has been 'ruined'

THE Bahamian construction industry’s reputation has been “ruined” due to dishonesty and a complete lack of accountability a leading contractor said yesterday, noting that the long awaited Contractors Bill addresses all of the issues raised by the Auditor General over the government’s Small Homes Repair (SHR) programme.

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Man charged with first murder of year in Grand Bahama

A FREEPORT man was charged with murder in the Freeport Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

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No trial until 2017 for man accused in murder probe

A MAN awaiting trial for murder will not get a 2015 trial date as he had hoped for yesterday.

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Man in hospital after drive-by shooting

A MAN is in hospital after being injured during a drive-by shooting on Polhemus Street, police said.

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Counting down to Carnival weekend in Grand Bahama

BAHAMAS Junkanoo Carnival organisers are busy finalising preparations for a weekend of non-stop Bahamian culture, music and art at Taino Beach, Grand Bahama.

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PM not living up to his promises, says Cash

FORMER FNM Chairman Darron Cash yesterday criticised Prime Minister Perry Christie for his continued perceived failures, insisting that Bahamians no longer “trust” the present administration.

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Audit findings ‘raise eyebrows’ over use of taxpayers’ money

FREE National Movement Deputy Leader Peter Turnquest yesterday called an audit in the Urban Renewal Commission’s Small Homes Repair programme “concerning,” and said it highlights a “number of structural weaknesses” in the government initiative.

Stingers to represent New Providence in BBF Nationals

WITH the PJ’s Stingers being crowned the new champions out of New Providence, the Bahamas Basketball Federation’s Rudy Levarity Round Robin National Basketball Championships is all set for this weekend in Bimini.

Pep rally to show appreciation for CARIFTA teams

TO show their gratitude to the members of Team Bahamas for their impressive showing at the Silver Jubilee CARIFTA Games over the Easter holiday weekend in St Kitts and Nevis, the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) is scheduled to hold a pep rally on Thursday.

Bettering the Bahamas through ‘voluntourism’

BDP International, a leading family-owned global logistics and transportation management firm last week made a significant monetary gift to Hands For Hunger (H4H) in the Bahamas.

Monday, April 13

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Wife of murdered millionaire podiatrist must wait for bail hearing

THE Australian wife of murdered millionaire podiatrist Phillip Vasyli will remain in jail for a little longer until her lawyers are prepared to argue her bail application before the country’s second highest court.

WORLD VIEW: US and the Caribbean - Brief summits not enough

US President Barack Obama and Jamaica Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller have pronounced his visit to Jamaica and their bilateral discussions to be a success.

Increase MP salaries & allowances

It has come to my attention, and it also disturbs me greatly that the government of The Bahamas has deemed it fit to compensate Members of Parliament only a meagre $28,000 annually.

‘Where there is no vision the people perish’

LAST week, the Gaming Board announced that any objections to the applications submitted to it by the nine web shop companies for gaming licences must be in before 5pm on April 10 — that was Friday, just two days ago.

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Miller says DNA $1bn energy plan is ‘inept’

BAHAMAS Electricity Corporation Chairman Leslie Miller yesterday criticised the “ineptitude” of the Democratic National Alliance’s $1 billion proposal for transforming electricity provision in the country.

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No sign of progress on campaign finance pledge

THREE years after Prime Minister Perry Christie called for the establishment of campaign finance laws, it remains unclear when, or if, his administration will ever introduce them.

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Man wanted in Sean Neville murder probe

POLICE have named a man they want to question in connection with the murder of Sean Neville on Friday, February 27.

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Minnis: PM trying to suppress speech

PRIME Minister Perry Christie has been accused of trying to suppress freedom of speech by the leader of the FNM, Dr Hubert Minnis.

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Three weeks later and no autopsy results

POLICE are still awaiting autopsy results to determine the cause of death of a mother and her two daughters who died after their car plunged into water off the Montagu ramp three weeks ago.

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Commissioner to review completed Gray probe

COMMISSIONER of Police Ellison Greenslade yesterday said he expects the finished file on the investigation into alleged judicial interference by MICAL MP V Alfred Gray as early as Tuesday.

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Baha Mar ‘won’t open before June’

TALL Pines MP Leslie Miller yesterday said he has been “reliably informed” that Baha Mar will not open before June.

TUC chief says there is 'a disconnect' with employers

MANY employers in The Bahamas have a ‘fundamental problem’ with trade union involvement in their businesses, a leading unionofficial and attorney has told Tribune Business, suggesting that many failed to appreciate the role the movement has played in nation’s history.

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Stingers top Regulators, win NPBA title

For the past five years, coaches Lavardo Bowleg and Moses Johnson were priming their PJ’s Stingers for their first opportunity to hoist the New Providence Basketball Association men’s championship crown in the air.

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Search for missing man

A SEARCH is under way to find a man who has been reported missing by his family.

Three firearms seized by police

POLICE seized three illegal firearms off the streets of New Providence in separate incidents over the weekend.

Athletes shine at Miami Hurricanes’ Alumni Invitational

QUARTER-milers Shaunae Miller and Michael Mathieu, high jumpers Ryan Ingraham and LaQuan Nairn and sprinter Tynia Gaither led a Bahamian contingent of elite and collegiate athletes at the University of Miami Hurricanes’ Alumni Invitational over the weekend.

Bahamas close to own quality infrastructure policy

THE Bahamas is moving towards the establishment of its own national quality infrastructure policy according to the director of the Bahamas Bureau of Standards and Quality (BBSQ), who notes that this is vital for removing technical barriers to trade.

Insurance industry to introduce VAT education programme

THE insurance industry is not waiting “idly” until the government finalises the details on how the industry will be affected by Value-Added Tax (VAT) on July 1 according to one leading insurance executive, who has told Tribune Business that the sector was positioning itself to launch its own education campaign.

Fears hard-hit consumers may drop insurance cover

THE insurance industry in the Bahamas is concerned that it may see its customer base shrink, an industry executive noting that the high cost of living, the impact of Value Added Tax (VAT) and stagnant wages may lead many consumers ultimately to drop their coverage.

‘Mavin has really come along in the contact part of the game’

THE new look Florida State Seminoles football team has many holes to fill for the upcoming season, but it appears they may have found one at tight end in Bahamian gridiron star Mavin Saunders.

Richardson: ‘I have six weeks of healing and after that period we will re-evaluate’

IN his first season with the Texas Rangers, Antoan Richardson suffered an injury setback on his journey to a Major League Baseball roster, but remains confident that he will be back on the field better than ever.

Top tips for a successful job interview

THE Bahamas is preparing to welcome thousands of new jobs with the opening of world-class resorts and casinos and complimenting businesses that provide support to them.

Star Trackers Track & Field Club results

THE Star Trackers Track & Field Club got away from the normal track and field meets by hosting their first Star Kids Track & Field Classic at the Thomas A Robinson Track and Field Stadium Saturday.

Saturday, April 11

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One year on, police no closer to solving murder of Edgar Dart

GRAND Bahama police are no closer to solving the murder of wealthy British citizen Edgar Dart, who was shot and killed a year ago this week in Grand Bahama.   

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Relief for residents after 'criminal hub' demolished

RESIDENTS of the Sunlight Village community say they are relieved after community volunteers and officials from the Royal Bahamas Police Force collaborated to demolish an abandoned house identified as long-standing criminal hub.

Friday, April 10

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Eyewitness testifies over alleged attack on immigration officer

THE assault case involving a teenager accused of an attack on an immigration officer continued yesterday with testimony by an eyewitness.

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Man robbed of cell phone at gunpoint

Police are investigating an armed robbery that occurred in eastern New Providence early this morning.

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Man killed in traffic accident 'did not have valid driver's licence'

The man who died in an overnight traffic accident was not in possession of a valid driver's license at the time of his death, traffic officials confirmed today.

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Ex-US marine pleads not guilty to attempted murder

AN ex-US marine pleaded not guilty to attempted murder when formally arraigned in Supreme Court on Friday.

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Taxi union chief calls for audit over cab licences

PUBLIC Services Drivers Union president Richard Johnson yesterday renewed calls for a forensic audit of the Road Traffic Department to “determine exactly who are the holders of the more than 2,500 taxicab licenses” in the county.

Cronyism in government

When a particular party wins, be it PLP or FNM, many positions are filled in Government with friends and supporters who are untrained for the position they are given and indifferent to the work they are assigned.

Same sex relationships

It is not my custom to watch ZNS in the afternoon due to work related commitments. However, shortly after 5pm on March 25th I was able to watch a portion of a programme called “Girlfriends”. This episode caught my attention because it was about one partner in a lesbian relationship getting ready to give birth with exchanges of affection between the “couple”.

KB on the Carnival

Like all of the other mistruths, wordplay and outright lies told about me, I will assume that the Minister of Tourism must have been misinformed, because according to the April 2nd, 2015, Punch newspaper article quoting the Minister, it is said that I am slated to perform at the Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival 2015 event. This is not true.  I am not booked to perform on any of the Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival 2015 events.

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DNA likens Gray’s actions to PM’s own intervention

DEMOCRATIC National Alliance Leader Branville McCartney has suggested that Prime Minister Perry Christie has not reprimanded embattled Agriculture Minister V Alfred Gray for alleged judicial interference because of the actions it is claimed that Mr Christie took last year to help stop the court ordered repossession of government VAT coordinator Ishmael Lightbourne’s West Bay Street home.

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Police ‘do not need outside help’ on crime

THE Royal Bahamas Police Force does not need outside help to address this country’s worrying crime problem, Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade told The Tribune.

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PM warns of crime’s threat to economy

CRIME and security risks “rank high among the principal threats and obstacles” to growth in the region, Prime Minister Perry Christie told the CARICOM-US Summit in Kingston, Jamaica yesterday, stressing that Caribbean countries value the support of the United States in this area.

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Rolle back in the Bahamas to give answers over arrest

BAHAMAS Consul General to Atlanta Randy Rolle has returned to the Bahamas “for consultations” with Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials in Nassau, according to a statement from a government spokesman yesterday.

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Staniel Cay runway closed for repairs

THE Department of Civil Aviation announced today the temporary closure of the runway at Staniel Cay, Exuma for repairs to be carried out.

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KB criticised over comments on Carnival

VISAGE bandleader Obie Pindling yesterday criticised recording artist Kirkland “KB” Bodie calling his recent public criticism of Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival “misleading, incorrect and inflammatory.”

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FNM chairman is sued by PM

Prime Minister Perry Christie has announced that he is to sue the chairman of the FNM, Michael Pintard, for defamation.

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Power from Florida in $1bn plan by DNA

DEMOCRATIC National Alliance Deputy Leader Chris Mortimer yesterday proposed a $1 billion plan to transform electricity provision in The Bahamas.

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CARIFTA: More concerted effort needed with local track coaches

I’m not sure whether the announcement that Usain Bolt is coming to town or the success at the CARIFTA Games was the biggest news this past week.

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Stingers top Regulators, 99-87

The PJ Stingers now find themselves in the driver’s seat and could win their first New Providence Basketball Association men’s championship title at the AF Adderley Gymnasium tonight.

‘It’s very difficult to close gap between us and Jamaica’

IT was a tremendous turnaround for Team Bahamas at the Silver Jubilee CARIFTA Games in St Kitts and Nevis over the weekend.

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Justin Gatlin to join fastest man on planet at World Relays

WITH the announcement of the world’s fastest man coming to the Bahamas for the second edition of the IAAF/BTC World Relays next month, Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) president Mike Sands said the Local Organising Committee is now in full operational mode.

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Joel Stubbs ‘up for the challenge’ as new president

THE Bahamas Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation is heading into a new direction. Professional bodybuilder Joel Stubbs has replaced Danny Sumner as president after serving in that capacity for almost two decades. It’s a new change in the longest serving administration in local sports.

Standards Bureau introduces food codes

A CODE of practice for food hygiene that will govern all businesses and individuals involved with food preparation in the country is among the first three standards set to be adopted and implemented by the Bahamas Bureau of Standards, its director said yesterday.

Tourism boom continues with 11% revenue rise

THE Bahamas saw sustained gains in its tourism revenue during the first two months of 2015, with room revenues improving by 11 per cent according to the Central Bank.

BTC staff on ‘pins and needles’ over job cuts

BAHAMAS Communications and Public Officers Union (BCPOU) president Bernard Evans said yesterday that employees at the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) were on “pins and needles” over imminent redundancies, with a meeting expected with management early next week.

Falling mortgage arrears improve commercial loan position

COMMERCIAL bank loan arrears improved in February by $60.2m, with the most significant decline in mortgage arrears which, according to the Central Bank of the Bahamas, contracted by $39.2m.

CLUBS AND SOCIETIES April 10th, 2015

Bahama Girl Guides Association. - The campaign to build a new headquarters for the Bahama Girl Guides Association (BAGA), which is celebrating its centenary, received a fillip when Sir Durward Knowles presented a cheque for $10,000 to assist with the construction.

The countdown is on for Grand Bahama launch

THE countdown is on for the start of Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival next weekend in Freeport.

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‘Parade route agreed with police’

BAHAMAS National Festival Commission Chairman Paul Major yesterday defended the decision to have Junkanoo Carnival band members parade through the inner city, explaining that the “scenic” route proposed by the Bahamas Carnival Band Owners Association for the Road Fever parade would cause “traffic jams” and be “near impossible to control”.

Police search for knife attacker

POLICE are looking for a group of men who reportedly held up a man and stabbed him in his back.

Stabbing victim identified

THE man stabbed to death early this week in Freeport has been identified as 28-year-old Clayton Rufus Brown, of No 15 Lawrence Close, Freeport.

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Woman guilty of husband’s manslaughter retains new lawyer for appeal

MIKIKO Black has retained a new lawyer to appeal her conviction for manslaughter in connection with the killing of her husband, a Royal Bahamas Defence Force officer.

Noble Prep Academy completes educational tour in Canada

NOBLE Preparatory Academy recently completed its educational tour in Canada where the programme exposed its student athletes to several of its partner institutions in North America and reconnected with its alumni.

Sports Notes

THE 2015 Bahamas Bowling Championships is set for May 18-31 at Mario’s Bowling and Entertainment Centre.. May 30 has been dubbed: ‘Round of 18’ Super Saturday’ and Sunday, May 31 is ‘Championship Sunday.’ Application forms and other details will follow soon.

Caribbean Connection to present 13th basketball showcase in Grand Bahama

WITH over a decade of experience under its belt and led by one of the top coaches in the country, one local basketball showcase seeks to continue its mission of granting educational opportunities for student athletes through the sport.

Thursday, April 9

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Man charged with assault in connection with social media video

A MAN faces up to three years imprisonment if convicted at trial of aggravated assault concerning an alleged incident that was videotaped and shared on social media.

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YOUNG MAN'S VIEW: The hidden extent of sham marriages

THIS weekend, I was chatting with a few immigration officers who told me that I would be surprised at the numbers of sham marriages of convenience happening in this country.

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Store’s shoplifters are caught on camera

A VIDEO showing three women and a man allegedly stealing packages of hair extensions and beauty products from a local hair supply store went viral on social media yesterday.

Tourism

Press releases and statements of certain Ministers which glorify the status-quo of their responsibility.

Long Island - residents’ point of view

We write in response to an article in The Tribune dated April 2, 2015, page 8A & 9A. Residents of Long Island were deeply troubled and saddened by the utter nonsense written by Mr Adrian Gibson, a non-resident of the beautiful Long Island.

How many Bahamians are willing to take the gamble?

IT WAS April Fool’s Day, but Sebas Bastian, Island Luck’s CEO, was not playing an April Fool’s joke, he was gambling big time – and he was dead serious.

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DNA: Time to get serious on disclosures

DEMOCRATIC National Alliance Leader Branville McCartney said yesterday it is “past time” for the government to “get serious” about upholding the laws mandated under the Public Disclosures Act.

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Christian Council president’s doubt on NHI

BAHAMAS Christian Council President Rev Dr Ranford Patterson yesterday said he doubts that the government can successfully roll out National Health Insurance by January 2016, insisting that the Christie administration needed to advise Bahamians on how the health care scheme will be funded.

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Split over Carnival parade route

THE Bahamas National Festival Commission is “at odds” with the Bahamas Carnival Band Owners Association, after the former rejected the “scenic” route proposed by the association for the Road Fever parade, according to BCBOA President Dario Terrelli.

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Greenslade: Gray probe complete this week

POLICE Commissioner Ellison Greenslade said investigations into allegations of judicial interference levied against MICAL MP V Alfred Gray will be complete this week with the final part of the probe being the police chief’s review of the case file.

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Commissioner 'did not order consul's release'

BAHAMAS Consul General to Atlanta Randy Rolle confirmed that he was instructed to report to New Providence to give an account of what led to his arrest in Bimini over the holiday weekend, but maintained that he was confident he will remain in the diplomatic post.

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Was promise to overhaul gardens just empty words?

LOCAL conservationists have growing concerns over a lack of development at the Botanical Gardens in Nassau, six months after Environment and Housing Minister Kenred Dorsett promised a massive overhaul at the Chippingham Road site.

Environmental challenge issued to mark Earth Day

FOR the third year, a leading environmental law and consulting firm is challenging high school teams to channel ideas and imagination into solving environmental issues that stymie folks, public entities and organisations far senior in years and experience. And this year, for the first time, the American embassy is joining the Earth Day challenge founded and sponsored by Ferreira & Company.

The laws of the Bahamas available on upgraded website

ATTORNEY General Allyson Maynard-Gibson yesterday announced the relaunch of Bahamas Laws Online, a database of consolidated statutes and subsidiary legislation of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

Roberts blasts Butler-Turner over criticism of government

PLP Chairman Bradley Roberts shot back at Long Island MP Loretta Butler Turner’s criticism of the Christie administration, saying the opposition member is “confused”.

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Bahamas claims 2nd consecutive CARIFTA swimming championship

Even after the Bahamas claimed its second consecutive CARIFTA Swimming Championships in the pool Tuesday night, the medal haul continued in the open water yesterday.

FNM calls for removal of Davis and Gray

THE Free National Movement held a press conference outside the Department of Agriculture in Freeport yesterday demanding the removal of Deputy Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis and Minister of Agriculture V Alfred Gray from Cabinet.

Charged over firearm and ammo

A MAN was charged in Magistrate’s Court yesterday in connection with a firearm and ammunition seizure that occurred during the Easter holiday weekend.

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Confusion over name of accused in court papers

THERE was confusion in court yesterday over the name of a man charged with murder two months ago.

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10 elite NCAA division I programmes in Junkanoo Jam

THE Bahamas has become a proving ground for elite NCAA division I programmes and that trend will continue with this year’s field in the Junkanoo Jam.

Online company incorporation 'imminent'

ATTORNEY General Allyson Maynard-Gibson said yesterday that the Registrar General’s office expect to “imminently” announce its online company incorporation service, adding that the the registry was moving on its way to becoming World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) standard.

Ocean Club reveals renovation plans

THE One & Only Ocean Club’s historic Hartford Wing is set to undergo major renovation with the planned enhancements set to “raise the bar” on ultra-luxury in The Bahamas.

Gomez expects change in Canadian banks stance on webshop proceeds

THE Bahamas’ gaming legislation contains far more “rigorous” protection measures to curb money laundering, State Minister for legal Affairs Damian Gomez said yesterday, noting that the Government was confident that in time the Canadian banks would see the industry as one in which they could profitably engage.

First ever cage fight in the Bahamas on April 25

THE Bahamas Open Martial Arts Championship will reach another milestone in Mixed Martial Arts when the first ever cage fight is hosted in the Bahamas.

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Date for appeal of coroner’s ruling on Aaron Rolle’s death ‘shortly’

A HEARING date for the appeal of the Coroner Court’s ruling on Aaron Rolle’s death in police custody as unlawful will come “shortly”, Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson said yesterday.

Cancer victim left waiting for weeks in ward for surgery

FREEPORT resident Mildred Davis claims that her ill husband, who was diagnosed with cancer, was left waiting two weeks in the male surgical ward at Princess Margaret Hospital in New Providence after two cancelled surgery dates.

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Bush fire rips through church

PASTOR Eddie Victor and his congregation have been left devastated after a raging bush fire destroyed the Living Waters Assembly of God Church in the Chesapeake Subdivision of Grand Bahama this week.

Ferguson: Act enforcement key to union recognition

GREATER enforcement of the Industrial Relations Act is needed for employers to come to the table and negotiate once a union has received recognition, the Trade Union Congress (TUC) leader said yesterday.

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Award named after Sir Sidney Poitier

SIR Sidney Poitier, the Oscar-winning Bahamian actor, is to have the prestigious Career Achievement Award at the Bahamas International Film Festival (BIFF) named after him, it was announced yesterday.

Search begins for BTVI president

FELIX Stubbs, chairman of the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute, has announced that a Presidential Search Committee has been appointed by the institution’s board to find a president, pursuant to Section 7 of the BTVI Act 2010.

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Why I’m running to help fight a killer disease

A personal experience of losing a loved one to cancer has inspired Rogan Smith to tackle a half marathon later this year.

ART OF GRAPHIX: What makes a great design?

HAVE you ever used a product or a piece of software that knocked your socks off? And is it a safe bet to say that it not only worked great, but the design packaging looked great as well?

Demitri Knowles looks to regain his spot in new look Hokies offence

As spring practice continues, Bahamian wideout Demitri Knowles is no doubt looking to have a resurgence this season as the Virginia Tech Hokies rebuild their offence and passing game.

Bahamian wrestlers attend high level training course

THE Bahamas Olympic Committee has announced that three Bahamian wrestlers from The Bahamas Wrestling Federation have left The Bahamas to attend a special high level training course at the United States Olympic Committee’s High Level Training Centre in Colorado Springs, Colorado. 

Wednesday, April 8

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Man charged with murder of retired Canadian physician

A MAN made his initial court appearance yesterday in connection with the fatal stabbing of a retired 88-year-old Canadian physician on a Family Island.

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Delight for colouring contest winners

A POPULAR fixture on The Tribune’s calendar for 15 years, the Easter Colouring Contest brought nine excited young children to the newspaper’s office last week as the winners of the 2015 were declared.

Minority interest holds UK political power in the balance

The race is finally on. Following last week’s dissolution of Parliament by The Queen, official campaigning is under way in the lead-up to a General Election in Britain on May 7. Six hundred and fifty seats at Westminster will be contested and few would dare predict the outcome of what is likely to be an exceptionally close battle.

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In need of help to fight against disease

FOR some the progressive and irreversible loss of motor function is a bit more cataclysmic than spilt milk. However, that is exactly how Dr Wendy Stuart characterised the debilitating and incurable illness that has severely affected her independence and quality of life, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

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Man held over recorded attack

A MAN is in police custody after a video surfaced on social media allegedly showing him beating and threatening another man with a knife for “calling his girlfriend.”

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Still no details over BAMSI reconstruction

NEARLY three months after an arson attack destroyed the male dormitory at the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute in North Andros government officials are still “not ready” to confirm reconstruction details.

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Carnival costume sales sluggish

WITH less than a month before the launch of Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival in New Providence, some carnival band owners yesterday said costume sales “are just beginning to pick up” but sales all around have been “slow” and “sluggish”.

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FNM tells Gray not to be arrogant over accusations

FREE National Movement Leader Dr Hubert Minnis yesterday advised MICAL MP V Alfred Gray not to be “arrogant” about the judicial interference allegations against him, saying the embattled MP should remember that the Bahamian people have the final say on the matter.

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Consul general denies political intervention

THE FNM has accused Prime Minister Perry Christie of using his position allegedly to intervene on behalf of a Bahamian diplomat who was arrested, and then released, in Bimini over the holiday weekend.

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Three dead after shooting and stabbings

THREE men were killed in separate incidents yesterday - one in Grand Bahama - bringing the year’s murder toll to 41 for the year, according to The Tribune’s records.

Progress on drones regulation earns praise

THE Government was yesterday praised for moving “swiftly” to seek to regulate the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in The Bahamas, having now posted its draft regulations to govern their use.

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Man accused of double attempted murder is denied bail

A MAN awaiting trial for a double attempted murder was denied bail by the Court of Appeal yesterday.

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Lady Truckers take the title

With another blowout victory, the Johnson’s Lady Truckers put the finishing touches on their fifth New Providence Women’s Basketball Association championship crown at the DW Davis Gymnasium last night.

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Bostwick may be discharged amid prosecution delays

A MAGISTRATE yesterday said he might discharge former Senator John Bostwick Jr of an ammunition charge if the prosecution fails to proceed with trial at the next hearing in nine weeks time.

Call for separation of government and judiciary

GRAND Bahama Human Rights Association President Fred Smith yesterday called for the separation of powers between the executive branch of government and the judiciary.

Union chief optimistic over new industrial agreement with Sandals

TRADE Union Congress President Obie Ferguson yesterday said the TUC was “optimistic” that it would finally enter into “peaceful, civil negotiations” with Sandals Royal Bahamian on the construction of a new industrial agreement between the resort and the Bahamas Hotel Maintenance and Allied Workers Union.

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‘Lightning Bolt’ to strike at IAAF World Relays

LAST year, the Jamaican Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) sent the second fastest man in the world - Yohan Blake - to compete in the inaugural International Amateur Athletic Federation IAAF/BTC World Relays at the Thomas A Robinson National Stadium.

‘Nationalistic attitude’ holding back Carnival

FORMER Assistant Commissioner of Police Paul Thompson yesterday defended Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival and called for critics of the festival to abandon their “nationalistic” attitude.

Bahamas has not adopted OAS measures on public disclosures

THE Bahamas has not considered or adopted measures intended to maintain and strengthen the Public Disclosure Commission, according to a recent report from the Organisation of American States.

Bowe: Private sector VAT concerns should be 'a priority'

THE Government should, as a matter of priority, address the private sector’s outstanding concerns over Value-Added Tax (VAT) as a sign of respect for the government/private sector relationship, the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation chairman said yesterday.

TUC leader urges fight for industrial agreements

TRADE Union Congress (TUC) president Obie Ferguson yesterday urged all unions in The Bahamas to get “in order”, accusing employers of finding the most minute points to frustrate workers and delay negotiations.

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Partying to help the police

MINISTER of Youth, Sports and Culture Daniel Johnson joined in the ‘Park and Party’ fun last week as Radio House hosted another ambitious and successful charity fundraising event on Shirley Street.

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Welcome home Team Bahamas!

The CARIFTA track and field team, managed by Doris Rolle-Ramsey and coached by John Ingraham, returned home yesterday to the delight of a welcome reception at The Poop Deck at Sandyport.

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GOING NUTS FOR COCONUT

THE traditional and popular Pelican Point Coconut Festival on Easter Monday drew a large crowd of residents and visitors to East Grand Bahama for the annual showcase for Bahamian culture, cuisine and music.

CARIFTA SWIMMING MEDALS POUR IN

THE Bahamas added a couple more medals as they headed towards successfully defended their title last night at the XXX CARIFTA Swimming Championships in Bridgetown, Barbados.

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‘Developing your talent for the future’

THE Diamond Basketball Development Camp is now in full swing and director and coach Terrance ‘Red Eye’ McSweeney is looking forward to “developing the hidden talent” in the young female participants over the rest of the week.

Tuesday, April 7

Taking care of sensitive teeth

IS DRINKING a cold glass of water or sipping a hot cup of tea painful for you? Does brushing or flossing make you wince? Does eating a chocolate bar, or sitting in front of a blowing fan cause you pain in your mouth? If any of these are happening, you are experiencing sensitive teeth.

Break-Out Session: The mysterious Gräfenberg Spot

THE G-spot has been a topic of scientific discussion for at least 30 years now, and in my opinion, it is worth every bit of it. Yes! Let us find out about other ways to bring about intense pleasure to females other than the (hopefully) straightforward clitoral stimulation. Guys, get ready to brighten your horizons in the art of female pleasure.

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Are you growing to the next?

EVERYBODY talks about going to the next level without giving any real thought to the statement. If you are not growing through improved skills and development, how can you go to the next level?

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Miss Bahamas Teenager presents second annual national pageant

ON June 14, a bevy of teenage beauties from throughout the Bahamas will compete for the prestigious title of Miss Bahamas Teenager 2015, with the hopes of becoming the nation’s youth ambassador and represent the Bahamas at the Miss Teen Universe pageant in Costa Rica next February.

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Finding the ‘royal lady’ within

GOOD manners are often hard to come by these days, but not when you’re dealing with the young ladies of the Sapphire International Girls Club (SIGC).

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Dream season ends for Lourawls ‘Tum Tum’ Nairn Jr and the Michigan State Spartans

THE dream season came to an end for Lourawls “Tum Tum” Nairn Jr and the Michigan State Spartans, one game short of a place in the national championship game.

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SPORTING MISCHIEF & MAYHEM: An Easter feast

You can tell by this week’s title that I am still suffering from the “itis”.

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Rake and Scrape Boys defeat Jamaica 9-7 in OT

IT WAS far from the finish they wanted, but the Bahamas senior men’s national beach soccer side finished competition strong and on a winning note against the best in the region.

POLITICOLE: What did Shane Gibson really say about Scotiabank?

I noticed that our prime minister kept a low profile this past week. That’s unusual to me.

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Wife of murdered Australian must go to appeal court for bail

THE wife of murdered Australian podiatrist Phillip Vasyli had her hopes for a swift pre-trial release dashed in Supreme Court on Thursday.

Going to hell

PM to COB Journalists “go to hell” will haunt him and the  PLP as much as the “bend or break” LOP speech has haunted Grand Bahama and that’s over 40 years ago.

Minnis must debate

I see where Prime Minister Christie challenged FNM Leader Dr Hubert Minnis and DNA Leader Branville McCartney to a debate. Mr McCartney has accepted the challenge but Dr Minnis says that he won’t debate Mr Christie.

Minnis and the House rules

In an article published on Monday of this week Miss Candia Dames alleged that the PLP members were attempting to suppress Dr Minnis from reading his poorly written (my words) statement.

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BAHAMIAN RECORDING ARTIST READY TO RELEASE ALBUM THIS SUMMER

Padrino is celebrating his 34th birthday sitting behind a mixer board in a Studio in North Miami. It’s likely he turned 32 and 33 doing much of the same.

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Melia ‘unfair’ to withhold gratuity

FORMER Minister of Labour Dion Foulkes said yesterday it is “unfair and uncaring” for the Meliá Nassau Beach resort to withhold earned gratuity payments from its workers during these “difficult economic times.”

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Rubis offered family $24,000 for repairs after gas spill

A MARATHON family was offered $24,000 to give their home a “face lift” and asked to release and indemnify Rubis (Bahamas) following the 2012 underground gas spill at the service station at Robinson and Old Trail Roads, according to a sworn affidavit filed in the Supreme Court last month.

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Bahamas is ‘catching hell’ under PLP

BAHAMIANS are “catching hell” under the Christie administration due to a stalled economy and worsening job prospects, Shadow Minister of Labour and Social Development Loretta Butler Turner said yesterday.

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88-year-old Canadian killed in home invasion

A RETIRED 88-year-old Canadian doctor was stabbed to death during a home invasion at Clarence Town, Long Island sending shock waves throughout the peaceful island settlement.

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Gray: I will have the last say

EMBATTLED MICAL MP V Alfred Gray said yesterday that he will have the “last say” after investigations wrap up into allegations that he used his Cabinet position to interfere in the judicial process of a man convicted in his constituency.

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Victim ‘lured to his death’

THE mother of one of the country’s latest homicide victims yesterday insisted that her son was lured to his death by someone he knew as she told The Tribune her family remained hopeful justice will be done in this case.

Webshops expand to be 'too big to fail'

THE Free National Movement deputy leader yesterday said that he was concerned about the expansion of web shops ahead of the issuance of licences, suggesting that they were being set up to be “too big to fail” and must have government tacit approval.

Tourism minister: Industry must improve on quality of service

THE Bahamas must look to improve its quality of service within the tourism sector or face losing its competitive edge according to Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe, who warns “we can’t rest on our laurels.”

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TRUE BLUE: Raising awareness of autism

AUTISM awareness was the focus of events last week at both Baha Mar and in Rawson Square.

Call for more Bahamian ownership of banks

ISLAND Luck CEO Sebas Bastian said the government must do more to ensure that the banking industry is owned by Bahamians and not foreign lending institutions.

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CARIFTA MEDAL RUSH

WITH a smaller team, the Bahamas regained its second place behind powerhouse Jamaica as the Silver Jubilee CARIFTA Games came to a close last night in St Kitts and Nevis.

Elite athletes take spotlight in Florida

DAYTONA Beach, Florida - Quarter-miler Andretti Bain knows it’s only going to be a matter of time before he starts running as fast as he did in the past.

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COB Caribs shine at Embry-Riddle Spikes Classic

DAYTONA Beach, Florida - Ashley Oembler threw herself into the College of the Bahamas record books and Avery Thompson got a double dose of accomplishment as they led the Caribs’ seven-member team at the Embry-Riddle Spike Classic over the weekend.

Software delays blamed for passport application delays

IMMIGRATION Minister Fred Mitchell pointed to the collapse of existing software as the reason for excessive processing delays at the Department of Immigration and the Passport Office.

Turnquest says VAT has improved compliance habits

VALUE-Added Tax (VAT) has been a “blessing in disguise” for many local small businesses according to a leading small business consultant, noting that such businesses have effectively been forced into better accounting practices and financial management.

Wilchcombe: ‘Baha Mar demand key to flights expansion’

NASSAU and Paradise Island still need an additional 100,000-seat increase in airlift capacity within the next three to four months to satisfy the demand for all of the current hotel properties and those set to come on stream according to Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe.

POSTSEASON: AID Classic gets in gear this weekend

WITH the regular season in the AID Basketball Classic now complete, the Baptist Sports Council will shift its attention to the postseason on Saturday at the Baillou Hills Sporting Complex.

Monday, April 6

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Two in hospital after shootings

Two men are in hospital after two separate shooting incidents in the early hours of Monday morning.

Sunday, April 5

Suspect in Long Island fatal stabbing in police custody

POLICE have a man in custody in connection with the murder of a man who was found stabbed to death at his home in Long Island on Thursday.

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Five Cubans caught near Anguilla Cay by Defence Force patrol

FIVE Cuban nationals have been apprehended by Royal Bahamas Defence Force officers patrolling near Anguilla Cay in the Cay Sal Bank area in the southwestern Bahamas.

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Tum Tum Nairn's run to Final Four ended by Duke

LOURAWLS 'Tum Tum' Nairn's bid to become the first Bahamian basketball player to play in the NCCA championship game ended in Indianapolis on Saturday night when his Michigan State Spartans were beaten comfortably by Duke.

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Man dies after being shot by two males at Dumping Ground Corner

POLICE are searching for two men who shot and killed a man near Dumping Ground Corner on Saturday afternoon.

Saturday, April 4

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Human remains found at Xanadu Beach, Grand Bahama

Human remains have been found on a beach in Grand Bahama.

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Dominoes game ends with fatal shooting in Coconut Grove

A game of dominoes on Friday night ended with a man, who was on bail for an indictable offence, shot dead.

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Police shoot suspect after high speed chase through New Providence streets

A high-speed chase through the streets of central New Providence in the early hours of Saturday morning ended with police shooting one man as they investigated a potential stolen vehicle.

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Man, 73, dies in boat accident off Sandyport

A 73-year-old man has died after a collision between two boats two miles off Sandyport, New Providence.

Friday, April 3

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Man found stabbed to death in Long Island

A MAN has been stabbed to death in Long Island and a Central Detective Unit team from New Providence has arrived to help with the investigation.

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No Easter industrial action by air traffic controllers

THE Bahamas Air Traffic Controllers Union's membership met on Thursday night and have agreed, given the government's commitment to them to pay outstanding holiday pay next week, not to take industrial action over the Easter weekend.

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COB team to compete in Embry Spike Classic

ORLANDO, Florida: A seven-member track and field team from the College of the Bahamas will compete in the Embry Spike Classic this weekend.

Thursday, April 2

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V Alfred Gray hires attorney over allegations of judicial interference

MICAL MP V Alfred Gray has hired attorney Wayne Munroe, QC, as he seeks to defend himself against accusations that he used his Cabinet position to interfere in a judicial matter.

‘A Crib, A Cross, A Crown’

UNDER the theme “A Crib, A Cross, A Crown”, the Bahamas Christian Chorale is inviting sacred music lovers to attend its annual Lenten presentation of readings and chorale selections focusing on God’s plan of salvation for fallen mankind.

An Easter Faith

THE Easter season is the oldest on the Christian calendar. It encompasses the amazing events of Christ’s resurrection, ascension and the coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost (Whitsunday). These are seen, now as then, as a unit, each complementing the others, all essential to the total revelation of Christ’s mission. They came to be called “The Great Fifty Days.”

Edison Sumner and Voices of Praise in concert Good Friday

GOOD Friday is always solemn and sobering. It is a time to be reflective, repentant and many are pensive.

Speech competition explores ‘God’s Plan for the Family’

THE Mount Pleasant Green Baptist Church recently hosted its second annual speech competition under the theme “Gods’ Plan for the Family” that allowed young people to exercise their talents in public speaking.

MEDITATION: Holy Week Lessons

THIS is the most sacred time in the church’s history, when we ponder the days leading up to Good Friday and Easter. What are some of the lessons that we can learn from the events of this week?

He’s alive and alive forevermore!

BILL and Gloria Gaither are known for writing and producing such songs as “He Touched Me,” “Something Beautiful,” “Let’s Just Praise the Lord,” and “The King is Coming” among others. Another of the over 400 songs written by this musical duo that strikes a responsive chord in many is “Because He Lives.”

Mr J aims to uplift with ‘Angel Party’

MUSIC is the route Bahamian gospel artist Gesner “Mr J” Dalmond has chosen for many years to share his Christian walk, special messages and words of inspiration. Mr J’s songs have been the tool he has used to encourage other Christians in their personal journeys and to win souls for Christ.

Easter Message 2015

John Wesley wrote this wonderful and well-loved communion hymn in which he calls upon God to do a number of things based on the resurrection from the dead of God’s son, Jesus.

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US man, three Bahamians, charged in connection with drug seizure

AN American man appeared in Magistrates Court on Thursday accused of several drug related charges in connection with a nearly half a million dollar drug seizure in Bimini.

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YOUNG MAN'S VIEW: The long arm of the law, Long Island style

Without doubt, Long Island must be home to some of the worst, most unprofessional police officers in the Bahamas.

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Families for Justice call for Dwight Smith to be removed as PSA chairman

FAMILIES for Justice Founder Rev Glenroy Bethel is calling for the removal of the Police Staff Association (PSA) executive chairman Dwight Smith, who is accused of indecently exposing himself to a female officer.

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Perceived threats of air traffic control industrial action have 'created alarm'

PERCEIVED threats of industrial action from the Bahamas Air Traffic Controllers Union (BATCU) have “created alarm” in the domestic and international aviation sector, the Ministry of Transport and Aviation said in a statement released on Thursday, adding that these airlines may divert traffic away from the Bahamas this Easter holiday weekend.

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Housebreaking ring shut down by police

POLICE have shut down a major housebreaking ring they believe to be responsible for a number of residential break-ins in the southwestern division of New Providence over the past three months.

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Six arrests after high-speed chase and shootout

SIX men were arrested, two of whom were seriously injured, after a high-speed chase and shoot out with police early Thursday morning.

BAMSI contracts

Minister of State for Works and Urban Development Arnold Forbes’ handling of the “investigation” into whether or not the fourteen BAMSI contracts are insured would appear to be nothing more than a grace period extended to government’s crony contractors to get their documents in order.

Bank support for web shops

I am the father of a 28-year-old Bahamian professional. My daughter and her husband recently applied for a mortgage at one of the commercial banks, even though they qualified they were informed that the bank was unable to give them the mortgage because the lot they were purchasing was in a subdivision owned by one of the Gaming Companies.

Gibson is irrational

Comments of Minister Shane Gibson on redundancies at Scotiabank are totally irrational and totally misunderstanding of the difference between a Work Permit holder and redundancy.

FNM must respect due process

I am here not to defend Minister V Alfred Gray, but to defend the principle of due process in dispensing justice.

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Club Land’or: no plans to cut staff despite troubles

WHILE conceding that the hotel is facing financial challenges, Club Land’or General Manager Prince Ellis yesterday dismissed speculation that the Paradise Island property is considering laying off any of its employees.

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PM has US report on NSA interception of phone calls

AMERICAN officials presented Prime Minister Perry Christie with a formal communication regarding reports that the US’ National Security Agency had been intercepting and monitoring the telephone conversations of Bahamians, Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Fred Mitchell confirmed yesterday.

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Donna Vasyli denied bail in husband murder case

DONNA Vasyli, 54, has been denied bail by a Supreme Court judge ahead of trial in connection with the fatal stabbing of her husband, Australian podiatrist, Phillip Vasyli.

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Island luck may have no licence - but it’s opened a new web shop

ISLAND Luck celebrated the grand opening of a new web shop location yesterday, even though the government has not yet issued gaming house operator licenses to the ten web shops vying to operate legally.

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MINNIS HAS NO INTEREST IN DEBATE - JUST IN UNSEATING PRIME MINISTER

FREE National Movement Leader Dr Hubert Minnis said yesterday he has “no interest” in a public debate between the political leaders, insisting that he is “by far more interested in” unseating Prime Minister Perry Christie.

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Air traffic union waits to decide Easter action

OFFICIALS of the Bahamas Air Traffic Controllers Union (BATCU) said their course of action for the Easter holiday weekend would be determined by what the Department of Civil Aviation does today.

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Police launch Gray probe

ACTING Deputy Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson said the investigation into allegations of judicial interference against MICAL MP V Alfred Gray is “near completion”.

Bastian: FNM did not speak out enough on Scotiabank cuts

ISLAND Luck CEO Sebas Bastian yesterday criticised the Free National Movement for not speaking out enough against the impending layoffs of an estimated 50 employees from Scotiabank (Bahamas).

LETTER - Bahamas 0, Bermuda 5: Death of grass soccer in the Bahamas

For all those who came out to watch the Bahamas men’s national soccer team take on Bermuda in the 2018 World Cup qualifier on March 25, I thank you and I apologise.

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BFA accused of sabotaging Bahamas’ 2018 World Cup campaign

A SENIOR Bahamian soccer international has accused the national federation of sabotaging the country’s 2018 World Cup campaign and issued an apology to supporters for the debacle of the 5-0 defeat by Bermuda last week.

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‘Tum Tum’ and Spartans to face No.1 Blue Devils in Final Four

THE lowest seeded team left in this year’s final four, Lourawls “Tum Tum” Nairn Jr and the Michigan State Spartans look to continue that upset-minded nature into the Final Four Saturday night.

IMF tells business: ‘Keep pushing’ for Fiscal responsibility

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has urged the Bahamian private sector “to continue to press” for the enactment of Fiscal Responsibility legislation before this nation finds itself “in dire fiscal straits”.

Banks ‘reckless’ on web shop bar

A leading web shop operator yesterday slammed the Canadian-owned commercial banks as “reckless and irresponsible” for not accepting deposits from a legalised industry, arguing that they were exposing their “true agenda”.

Solar bids: Offers for 50% greater supply already in

The Government already possesses proposals that will generate 50 per cent more solar energy than what is being targeted via the Carbon War Room (CWR) tender, Tribune Business was told yesterday.

Broker ‘acted in good faith’ on $400m fraud

A BISX-listed company’s principal, and its main broker/dealer subsidiary, are demanding that a US federal lawsuit against them be dismissed because they “acted in good faith and did not receive ill-gotten profits” from an alleged $400 million financial fraud.

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FNM: Middle class are hardest hit by layoffs

THE impending layoffs at Scotiabank (Bahamas) and reports of possible downsizing in the hotel industry signal a “scary” climate for the middle class, FNM Deputy Leader K Peter Turnquest said yesterday.

English skills earn Saunders award for Christna

CHRISTNA Stubbs, a third-year student at the College of the Bahamas, is the recipient of this year’s Winston V Saunders Memorial Scholarship awarded to the most promising pupil in English Studies.

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Coach: ‘We are still a force to reckon with at CARIFTA’

WITH a focus on fielding individual qualifiers and not fielding the maximum number of team members, the 2015 CARIFTA Track and Field team is expected to prove the Bahamas is “still a force to be reckoned with,” according to its head coach.

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Bahamas suffers first loss, 6-2 to US at CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championships

THE dream of FIFA World Cup Beach Soccer qualification continues for the Bahamas today as the playoff round begins against top regional competition.

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Carnival organisers unveil concert line-up

JUNKAMANIA, described as “a concert of musical orchestras infusing Junkanoo music with non-traditional instruments”, will feature on the opening night of the inaugural Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival next month, the organisers announced yesterday.

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Mitchell wary of praise by activists over gay rights

FOREIGN Affairs and Immigration Minister Fred Mitchell yesterday accused the Grand Bahama Human Rights Association of being ‘“disingenuous” and trying to “stir up trouble” after the group commended the government for its “support for gay rights” at the United Nations.

Tributes pour in for veteran GB educator

THE sudden death of veteran educator and Ministry of Education deputy director Sandra Edgecombe this week is still painful for her colleagues, teachers and many students in Grand Bahama. 

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NPBA set for thrilling championship series

If the first two games of the series are any indication, we are set for a thrilling New Providence Basketball Association championship series that will come down to the wire.

Concern over smells from waste plant

RESIDENTS living near the waste treatment facility in the Chesapeake Subdivision said they continue to be bombarded by “smelly” odours and believe that sewage has recently spilled at the plant.

‘Why are banks saying no to web shop cash?’

FREE National Movement Deputy Leader K Peter Turnquest yesterday raised concerns over the refusal of commercial banks to accept transactions from the legalised web shop gaming industry.

Tourist shoppers: VAT refund to fall to 85%

Visiting duty-free shoppers will be refunded 85 per cent of their Value-Added Tax (VAT) payments from July 1 this year, when the Government’s private sector contractor takes over management of the process.

QC ‘not cynical’ on Fiscal responsibility consultation pledge

A leading QC says that while he is “not cynical” about the Government’s promise to hold a formal public consultation on Fiscal Responsibility legislation, it must be held accountable if it fails to follow through.

Ocean Club: Gibson talking about us

The One & Only Ocean Club yesterday effectively confirmed it is the Paradise Island resort identified as the one which may lay-off some employees, but promised: “Any changes will be minimal.”

ART OF GRAPHIX: Design veteran who makes a statement

The quote, “if you don’t build your dreams, someone will hire you to help build theirs”, was coined by Tony Gaskins and holds true for many procrastinators. But not for Cedric Storr, whose name has always being synonymous with the Bahamian design world.

Corporate Bahamas continues to show CARIFTA support

AS Team Bahamas gets set to depart this afternoon for the CARIFTA Track and Field Championships in St Kitts and Nevis, corporate Bahamas continues to show its support.

Wednesday, April 1

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Bahamian entrepreneurs win $25,000 grant

TWO Bahamian entrepreneurs yesterday received a $25,000 grant to start their own businesses courtesy of a self-start funding programme from the country's largest web shop operator.

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TOUGH CALL: The Yellow Brick Road or the road to Hell?

LIKE others, I spend a lot of time grazing on social media these days. Although you have to wade through muddy water, it is one of the best ways to gauge the opinions of a wide cross-section of Bahamians.

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Minnis: We will expose another scandal

FREE National Movement Leader Dr Hubert Minnis yesterday hinted that his party was working to expose another high-level politician in the Christie-led administration.

Swift Justice

Re: Attorney General Urges Parliamentarians To Be Cautious In Comments On Gray.

One can but hope

I write today regarding the headlines in your paper of  March 30.

Death penalty

I cry shame on the Government for not fully implementing and carrying out the death penalty as required by law.

Tackling suicide rates

Many persons know the feeling of numbness, shock, disbelief and the deathly silence that grips us all when we hear of suicides in our bright and sunny tourist-loving community. This feeling is especially magnified when the individual who masterminds his own self-destruction decides to take others to their death as well.

We should have read the tea leaves better

TALKING as a labour unionist, which he is, but not as the statesman that he should be, Labour Minister Shane Gibson expressed disappointment that in the consolidation of its business, Scotiabank (Bahamas) is focusing on financial gain rather than on the lives of the 50 Bahamians to be laid off within the next six months.

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School pays tribute to girl killed in car’s plunge into sea

A PINK rose bush was planted at Thelma Gibson Primary School yesterday in honour of six-year-old Gabrielle McKinney who died tragically last week.

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Mother and children fight for lives after being hit by car

A WOMAN, her four-year-son and two-year-old daughter are all fighting for their lives in hospital after they were hit by a sports utility vehicle (SUV) as they attempted to cross a highway on Monday.

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Press club disappointed by PM’s comments on media

OFFICIALS of The Bahamas Press Club yesterday said they are “disappointed” by Prime Minister Christie’s recent criticism of the media.

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Gibson criticises Scotiabank - and warns of hotel layoffs

LABOUR Minister Shane Gibson yesterday said the impending lay-off of employees at Scotiabank (Bahamas) was “disappointing” and castigated the Canadian bank for only focusing on financial gain rather than how the lives of Bahamians will be affected.

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Teachers union again suspends its president

THE Bahamas Union of Teachers has again suspended its president, Belinda Wilson, and treasurer, Lorraine Knowles, for “blatant violations” of the union’s constitution, according to a statement yesterday.

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Ronnie Butler slams artists over Carnival

BAHAMIAN music legend Ronnie Butler yesterday criticised some Bahamian artists for attempting to “overcharge” the government to perform at Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival.

3,000 now using social services cards

THE Department of Social Services has recently certified more than 1,000 additional eligible Bahamian families to use re-loadable pre-paid Visa cards instead of their food assistance coupons. Almost 3,000 people are now using the cards, five months since the launch of the scheme.

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Teenager has sentence for house break-ins reduced

A 19-year-old serving a four-year term for two house break-ins he admitted to committing a year ago had his sentence reduced by the Court of Appeal.

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Jailed Canadian challenges magistrate’s jurisdiction

CROWN prosecutors have challenged a magistrate’s jurisdiction to impose an 18-month sentence on a Canadian pilot who was initially given four years in prison for his involvement in a $1m drug plot.

Woman rescued from burning house

A WOMAN had to be removed from a roaring house fire off Mackey Street yesterday morning, according to Fire Services Chief Walter Evans.

Arawak Homes set for ‘reinvention’

Sunshine Holdings’ $20 million preference share issue “worked out better than we thought”, its chairman said yesterday, unveiling plans to “reinvent” its Arawak Homes subsidiary.

PM’s premature on ‘best ever’ VAT implement

A top private sector executive yesterday suggested it was premature for the Prime Minister to suggest the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had praised the Bahamas for “the most efficient implementation of Value-Added Tax (VAT)” ever seen.

RoyalStar mulls public offering

A leading Bahamian insurer is examining whether it should become a public company by offering shares to investors via an IPO, its chairman revealed yesterday.

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Jones named honourable mention All-American

GEORGE Washington women’s basketball junior forward Jonquel Jones was named an honourable mention All-American by The Associated Press yesterday.

Hotel union unaware of possible PI lay-offs

The hotel union yesterday said it was unaware of any imminent lay-offs at a Paradise Island resort, despite suggestions from the Minister of Labour that job lossses would soon be announced.

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Lady Truckers run over Cybot Queens, take 2-1 lead

In an explosive display of their offensive prowess, the Johnson’s Lady Truckers coasted into the driver’s seat of the New Providence Women’s Basketball Association’s best-of-five championship series with an impressive 82-68 victory over the Super Value Cybot Queens at the DW Davis Gymnasium last night.

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BTC throws hundreds of thousands behind CARIFTA teams

THE Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) has thrown its support behind the Bahamas Swimming Federation and the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations as they prepare to take their respective national teams to the 2015 CARIFTA Games over the Easter holiday weekend.

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Will ‘Lightning Bolt’ make a run in the IAAF World Relays?

HE holds the distinction as the “fastest human on the planet.” He burst on to the international scene as an elite athlete setting new standards in the sprint events and blazing new trails that left many wondering if his world records will ever be equalled or eventually broken.

‘Bank job cuts highlight government’s failure to grow economy’

THE impending layoffs of an estimated 50 employees from Scotiabank highlights the government’s failure to “grow the economy,” according to Democratic National Alliance Leader Branville McCartney.

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Celebrating the Teachers of the Year

THE best teachers in The Bahamas were celebrated at a ceremony last week - with 47 educators honoured for their exceptional performance.

Easter rush brings a sharp rise in air fares

EXORBITANT plane ticket prices offered by American Airlines are the result of holiday travel traffic and not due to one of its subsidiary airline’s layoff exercises, American Airlines (AA) officials said yesterday.

FDI ‘not having needed foreign reserves impact’

A leading accountant yesterday agreed that foreign direct investment (FDI) was not boosting the Bahamas’ external reserves to the extent necessary because too much of these capital inflows leaked straight back out.

Minister: 50 Scotia job losses but no work permit cancelled

The Minister of Labour yesterday said it was “disturbing” that Scotiabank would lay-off up to 50 Bahamian employees without cancelling a single work permit.

Scotia: ‘Major upgrades’ to remaining branches

Scotiabank (Bahamas) yesterday said it was making “substantial upgrades” to several branches alongside its downsizing exercise, adding that the nationwide restructuring was being drive by its Toronto head office.

‘I don’t want the players to rest on their laurels’

BAHAMAS Softball Federation’s outgoing president Burkett Dorsett, who was re-elected as president of the English Caribbean Amateur Softball Confederation, said the Bahamas men’s triumph as the Leon ‘Apache’ Knowles champions in the four-day ECASC tournament was a spark in the right direction.

Gov’t awaits proposals on redundancy law changes

The Government is still awaiting recommendations from its newly-formed Tripartite Council on proposed amendments to the redundancy laws, the Minister of Labour yesterday indicating that this had been given added urgency by Scotiabank’s downsizing.

Easter Hunt: ‘Developing Your Hidden Talent for the Future’

COACH Terrance ‘Red Eye’ McSweeney, committed to ensuring the improvement of our young basketball players, will be taking advantage of the Easter break by providing a free mini-basketball camp for girls only next week at the Tom ‘The Bird’ Grant Community Centre, next to the AF Adderley Junior High School in Yellow Elder.