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Two helicopters and two planes are taking to the skies this afternoon on a search and rescue mission to the ravaged Family Islands.
The operation, carried out by the Humanitarian Operation Foundation (HOPE) and the Sea Air Land Security (SALS), is leaving plenty of space in their aircrafts today so they have room for stranded people in need.
"There are no supplies on the planes today," said Darren Adler of HOPE, who has invited The Guardian to accompany them on this mission.
"This is a search and rescue mission. There will be a doctor on board and if people are stuck or hurt on the islands we'll get them out. Pregnant women, for example, might need to get to the hospital. We have to make sure we keep it empty so we can fill up with people."
Hurricane Irene passed through the Family Islands yesterday, leaving a trail of devastation in its path.
According to Adler, early indications say there has been a 90 percent loss of property on Acklins Island. Cat Island is still under four feet of water and there is severe damage to communities there as well, he said.
However, the islands they haven't heard from are of the gravest concern, Adler added.
"The ones you don't get any response from are the ones you have to worry about," he said.
"Abaco, North and South Eleuthera and parts of Cat Island we've heard very little from. We expect it to be quite bad today."
Although today's mission is mostly about people, beginning tomorrow, the helicopters and planes will transport food, water and emergency supplies to those on the Family Islands.
HOPE is now searching for partners to help them with this effort, including possible areas for residents to donate and drop off food.
Robin Hood Enterprises, he said, have already stepped up to help.
"We just want to get on with this and we need food to aid people on those islands," he said.
I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in
Benghazi, which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador
Prime Minister Perry Christie has made the most profound revelation since the Bahamas Telecommunications Company take-back talks started: He is considering extending BTC's monopoly to get back two percent of the shares held by Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC). Christie has previously said the government cannot afford to purchase the two percent...
Minister of National Security Tommy Turnquest last night released new crime statistics that show that in the first seven months of 2011, crime overall was up 16 percent compared to the previous year.
Turnquest released the numbers in response to a Nassau Guardian headline story yesterday, detailing the police commissioner's failure to make the statistics public weeks after repeated requests from The Guardian.
The numbers show that cases of murder, rape, attempted rape, armed robbery, robbery, housebreaking, stealing, stealing from vehicles and stolen vehicles all increased significantly from January 1 to July 31.
Murder was up 57 percent, according to the numbers.
There were 85 murders committed during that period compared to the 54 murders committed in the first seven months of 2010.
Reported rapes grew by 26 percent, with 67 rapes occurring in the first seven months, compared to the 53 rapes reported during the same period in 2010.
There were 11 percent more attempted rapes -- 21 compared to 19.
Armed robberies increased by 14 percent.
There were 522 armed robberies in the first seven months of this year compared to 459 in the same period last year.
Robberies increased by 19 percent -- from 175 to 208.
There were 22 attempted robberies committed during the first seven months of the year, an increase of 38 percent over the same period last year.
There were 1,908 housebreakings committed during the first seven months of the year, an increase of 12 percent over the same period last year.
There were 1,170 incidents of stealing reported during the first seven months of the year, an increase of 12 percent.
Stealing from vehicles saw the most dramatic increase of any major crime during the first seven months of the year, with police reporting a 97 percent spike in that category.
There were 1,386 incidents of stealing from vehicles reported during the first seven months of the year, compared to 705 cases during the same period last year.
There were 732 stolen vehicles reported during the first seven months of this year, an increase of seven percent.
There were also some categories of major crimes where decreases occurred.
Attempted murder was down 14 percent.
There were no instances of manslaughter during the first seven months of this year, compared to the single incident recorded during the first seven months of last year.
There were 101 incidents of unlawful sexual intercourse recorded between January and July, a decrease of 33 percent.
There were 193 burglaries, a decrease of nine percent.
There was a 23 percent decrease in the number of shopbreakings.
There were 577 reports of shopbreaking in the first seven months of 2011, compared to 748 incidents reported during the same period last year.
Yesterday evening, Turnquest acknowledged that it had been some time since the crime statistics were last released.
He said he does not believe in the suppression of public information.
"The one thing that I take exception to is (the suggestion) that my ministry is covering up crime statistics," said Turnquest. "That's the last thing I will be a party to. It is what it is, and much of it is a result of many of the social ills in the society that we have to deal with collectively."
The minister also said he believes that crime statistics should be released in a regular and timely manner.
Speaking about the rise in most categories of violent crime during the first seven months of the year, Turnquest said the numbers indicate the severity of the problem.
"These are still preliminary figures. But they are useful in terms of providing a comparison in terms of the level of crime in The Bahamas today. And there are far too many serious crimes being committed wantonly by persons in The Bahamas today," he said.
On how well police are responding to the rise in crime, Turnquest said that police "continue to do a good job" in that regard.
"They continue to apprehend many suspects (and) put them in front of the courts. And many of those suspects are given bail and are repeat offenders and that's something that we have to continue to deal with," he said, adding that the government is looking at legislative remedies to the problem.
Turnquest also said the gun court established earlier this year, has helped keep some prolific offenders behind bars.
"While that's just magistrate's court and can only [give sentences of up to] two years, at least we're getting them off the streets for two years or so," he remarked. "We've (also) had some success with regards to electronic monitoring and that's going well."
Turnquest said he hoped the closed circuit television monitoring program the government is preparing to launch in areas throughout New Providence, will be a useful tool in the fight against crime.
Here we go again. According to press reports "without warning, two uniformed men and one plain-clothes officer marched into the water park (at Atlantis) through a back gate, found the American citizen in the middle of a guest interaction with sea lions, and demanded that she produce her passport".
When she told them she didn't have it in her possession the officers reportedly put her in a government car and drove off.
It seems an officer at the immigration department was told she was working at Atlantis without a work permit.
Turns out that the permit was denied in December but was under appeal and this gives the person the right to continue working until a decision is made.
When the officers found this out, they released the woman from custody.
Surely a phone call to the head of the Atlantis human resources department, or even the general manager asking for clarification of the 'complaint', would have been a better approach?
Atlantis is the largest private sector employer in the country and does not have a reputation for breaking the law. So a modicum of respect is its due. If the hotel did not cooperate the Department of Immigration has every right to enforce the law.
Of course Fred Mitchell (PLP), minister of foreign affairs and immigration, informed the press that "the government will make no apologies for its commitment to Bahamianization".
I haven't heard or read that anyone asked him to apologize for their Bahamianization policy, although it is dubious. But surely he can apologize for an apparent breach by the immigration department?
It amazes me how we can carry out a "raid" like this in an instant, but can't process the requisite paperwork in a timely fashion.
Sometimes it's as if we have no "broughtupsy". But when the minister and the government he serves constantly stirs the proverbial pot against businesses and foreign workers, we should expect behavior like this from the departments under his control.
- Rick Lowe
NASSAU, Bahamas -- Ten years ago on September 11, nearly 3,000 people from more than 90 nations perished in a terrorist attack targeting the United States. U.S. President Obama took inspiration from the victims and survivors of this tragic event by establishing September 11 as a National Day of Service. Last year, 11.5 million people -- including the president and First Lady Michelle Obama -- participated in the day of service, helping charitable organizations and community groups throughout the United States.
In response to U.S. President Barack Obama's call to service, U.S. Embassy Nassau marked the anniversary of September 11th with two community service projects on New Providence. On the morning of September 9th, The U.S. Embassy's Chargè d'affaires, Mr. John Dinkelman, visited the G.K. Symonette Library to donate a collection of over 400 new Scholastic books for young readers as well as bookshelves, a rug, brightly colored pillows and a large nursery rhyme mural to brighten up the children's corner.
The donation was a way for the U.S. Embassy to give back to the community of Yellow Elder Gardens by creating a bright, vibrant space where children can explore the world through reading. On hand for the donation were second graders from C.W. Sawyer Primary School and Ms. Dorcas Bower from the Ministry of Education.
In mere days, a ship will sail into Nassau Harbour with passengers who have one goal in mind -- to reach Nirvana Beach for the most revolutionary day party held on New Providence to date.
With the Bahamas abuzz about its upcoming first-ever Carnival, and road fever bands throwing elaborate parties to introduce the costumes they will don when they take to the streets come May, Sundance, with it's all-inclusive-drinks model, is clinching a niche (and possibly top) spot on the calendar of events.
Pupstar Entertainment and Events and Hybrid Events (Miami) have lined up world-renowned deejay, Private Ryan, to headline the Sundance Beach Party on Saturday, November 1.
Private Ryan's "Soca Brainwash 2014" Youtube mega-mix became the go-to Soca compilation in the lead-up to Trinidad Carnival. And his first-ever Trinidad Carnival party titled after his famous Soca mix, was one of the most sought after fetes for the Carnival season. He also snagged the Global Spin Awards' Caribbean DJ of the Year title in 2012.
"DJ Private Ryan has achieved world-renowned status as an international DJ," said Pupstar's President Alicia "Puppy" Robinson. "He was the first Caribbean DJ to be nominated by the same body as a finalist for International DJ of the Year in 2013. He has travelled extensively throughout the Caribbean, North and Central America and parts of Europe. He is well known for his versatility and his ability to mix different genres of music both live in parties and [on] his very popular online podcast."
Setting the stage for what is sure to be an epic event with the Sundance Beach Party team, local deejay Furze, who grew his fan base spinning in the Aura Nightclub at Atlantis, will whet the musical appetite of Sundance patrons when the doors open at noon. DJ Dutty Dex -- known as the "Music Mayor of Miami" -- will lay down his session on the beach, before Private Ryan takes the wheels.
There will be no shortage of special Bahamian entertainment, with fire dancers and breathers, stilt walkers and acrobats.
The idea of Sundance grew out of planning for the official launch of Pupstar Entertainment and Events, according to Robinson. And Pupstar and Hybrid have come together to offer a cruise component that will allow the event to host an international audience.
"Sundance Beach Party is the brainchild of both Pupstar Entertainment and Hybrid Events... a Miami-based event planning company," she said. "The vision is to create an event that can anchor a weekend in the upcoming years. Sundance Beach party will be the center of a weekend escape for locals and international guests alike. For the Sundance Beach Party launch event, we will partner with like-minded corporate sponsors as we seek to redefine the culture of entertainment in The Bahamas."
With Nassau more in party mode than it ever has been, the result of Bahamas Carnival groups launching bands and holding fundraisers, Sundance is sure to set the bar high enough to set an unprecedented standard. With novel attractions offered, such as zip lining and paddle boarding, the event is sure to draw a cosmopolitan crowd.
"Our country has had a healthy appetite for vivacious, creative and innovative events and there has been a deficit with local entertainment options in The Bahamas," said Robinson. "Having this insight, coupled with my love for music, film, theater and all things entertainment is what nudged me to move forward with Pupstar."
The recent announcement of Diana Swann's appointment as ZNS general manager in replacement of outgoing General Manager Edwin Lightbourne came on the heels of veteran broadcaster Shenique Miller's resignation from the state-funded corporation. Miller had worked at ZNS for about 14 years. Swann worked for PLP supporters Debbie Bartlett and Cyprianna McWeeney in the private broadcasting sector.
Why couldn't the PLP find a younger person to replace Lightbourne? Instead, the party prefers to hire an older person who is reportedly a supporter. This is the same party which griped about some 30 plus percent of young Bahamians being jobless during the Gold Rust campaign.
The Whistleblower understands that the abrupt resignation of Miller stemmed from the two years of maltreatment she put up with from PLPs employed at ZNS. Months after assuming office, the PLP demoted Miller and fellow veteran broadcasters Clint Watson, Carla Palmer, Syann Thompson and Vaughn Albury because they were all perceived to be FNMs.
The Whistleblower believes the PLP has succeeded in getting Miller to call it quits. That was their aim all along. They didn't want to fire her, as that would have created a bloody mess.
The Whistleblower understands that after she was pulled from the evening news desk and from her office, PLP bosses left her stranded without a portfolio or job description. Their intent was to humiliate her, as their PLP forbears had done to the late Lionel Dorsett.
Miller alluded to her traumatic experience of victimization on her Facebook page some weeks ago. Anyone who read her post came to the conclusion that she left ZNS because of the relentless victimization she received.
ZNS is a microcosm of the PLP. The PLP persecutes dissenters. PLP bosses at ZNS persecute dissenters. In order to fully understand the mentality of the PLP, one must understand ZNS. ZNS has always been the epicenter of the PLP.
Many Pingdomites worked at ZNS and painstakingly avoided casting the scandal ridden Pindling government in a negative light. Back then, if an opponent of Pindling sent a press release to be read on ZNS, it was screened or edited or thrown into the dust bin.
In 2012, the PLP hired more Pingdomites, who are alleged to be tailoring the news to suit the PLP, just like PLP bosses at ZNS did when Pindling ruled the country.
If nothing else can be said of the Gold Rust administration, it has perfected the art of cronyism and victimization.
- The Whistleblower
A dozen Bahamian junior tennis players took part in the Tampa Palms Junior Summer Classic this past weekend at the Tampa Palms Golf and Tennis Club in Tampa, Florida. They were using this weekend as a tune-up for an intense week of training at the Guziar Tennis Academy in Orlando, Florida.
Sydney Clarke, 9, was a finalist in the Girls 12s, losing to Blair Buck, 4-6, 6-4 and 9-11, in three tough sets. Clarke had an opportunity to close out the match in a tie-break having led 4-2, 5-3, 8-6 and 9-7 but was unable to win the big points to clinch the singles championship. Lauryn Daxon won the Girls 14s consolation singles title over Bryn Buckner, 8-2. She lost in the first round of the main draw but was able to put on her game face in the consolation round to win three consecutive matches.
Many people may not recall Ormond Briggs, who worked for many years in the Criminal Investigation Department and eventually became its leader.
Of course, police officers in his time should remember him for his leadership in discipline, integrity and efficiency on the ground floor of the C.I.D.
Briggs was one of the great Stanley Moir team members in the C.I.D. who was able to accomplish so much with so little.
That team consisted of detectives such as Louis Hemmings, Anthony McDonald Fields, Milan Gittens, Fletcher Johnson, Courtney Strachan, Eastmond Hercules, Arthur Yearwood and youngsters Garth Johnson, Basil Dean, Douglas Hanna, the Bullards, Garbo Saunders and others I cannot recall.
The supervision, direction and training imposed by Stanley Moir improved the performance of the C.I.D during that era. Moir was very proactive.
Ormand Briggs, a former 800-meter runner on the police track team was the man on the ground floor who provided the on-the-job training and directed investigations.
He also led interrogations and accompanied his men in the search for criminals.
I was then the senior detective working between Moir and the general staff. Briggs was the man who was getting the work done.
Without any fuss, or much talk he successfully took on the leadership role.
His accomplishments as a leader were due to his ability to win the trust, respect and admiration of all of us. He knew that being a leader was not a decision he could make on his own, but rather it is a decision that only others can make for you, and you are only the leader when others seek to follow you.
Briggs knew that holding the position of high office is no guarantee that you are a leader of anybody. It is expected of you when you are in such a position but you must first win the trust of those around you before you can become their leader.
His work in the C.I.D. as a detective was brilliant. He was commended on several occasions for his accomplishments.
The training of the detectives in the skills of investigation is his legacy. He had what many of us called a "photographic memory".
There was the kidnapping of a bank manager's daughter in Freeport. I was sent to Freeport with a team of Nassau detectives. We joined Briggs in the Freeport C.I.D. where he was in charge. After days of intensive inquiries we were seated in the office discussing progress. We had made no progress. Briggs was looking at the ransom note presented. He recalled that a former detective in his office spelled a word incorrectly as written on the ransom note. Case solved.
The former detective and a serving officer were arrested and eventually convicted of the crime.
There was a period when we were having rapes of several young women in the eastern district in Nassau. Extra patrols were implemented and intensive inquiries pursued.
Briggs was visiting Nassau from his office in Freeport and was present during the morning briefings in the C.I.D. We were talking about the rapes and the attack on the wife of a U.S. Embassy official in their residence on East Bay Street, which was the most recent.
Briggs asked me if I recalled similar crimes being committed in Freeport about 10 years before when we worked together there and a man, who was called "the man with the long gun" was arrested and convicted.
He recalled that the man was sentenced to 10 years.
I immediately called the prison and learned that the man had been released. Briggs had even recalled the man's name. The man was eventually arrested as a suspect and identified by all of the women raped.
It was an era when we relied on reliable informants in the communities who trusted us. It was an era when we did not have the accommodation, communication, transportation and the human resources. We were street smart and had patience, courage, remarkable instincts, dedication and worked long hours when success was apparent.
We will all remember Ormand Briggs, the Barbadian who never lost his accent.
May he rest in peace.
When will The Bahamas benefit Bahamians and the people of The Bahamas move beyond eating from the crumbs that sometimes fall from foreigners' tables?
The political dilapidation of our great Bahamaland is rapidly racing toward its demise, and if we don't wake up and fight for our country as a people, sad will be our cry. Time and time again, election after election, we have gullibly sent suited men and woman to the House of Parliament for troubling kitchen table issues that have plagued our nation since the days of Sir Lynden Pindling. However, after the days of Sir Lynden, it seemed as though we have hired them to hurt us, especially under the governance of Perry G. Christie and his governing team.
Indeed, The Bahamas has been a nation where foreigners live and enjoy the fat of the land, while born inhabitants such as my father and others are treated like squatters and are given the crumbs that sometimes fall from foreigners' tables. It seems as though every nationality outside of born and raised Bahamians lives better than Bahamians. This is a crying shame. Yet they wonder why our beautiful nation is today bowing before a wall of shame in the eyes of the outside world.
With each decade, we have seen a decline and noticeable shift where our country has fallen from being a beautiful most-desired nation for visitors to vacation, to a place people put on their bottom list of places to visit. This can be credited, not solely, but most fittingly, to the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP), lead by a weak and aluminum fist. A party of people who specialize in manipulation and trickery, they have desperately once again, coned the people into rehiring them, despite them having a history that is so dark that with each of them being in office, The Bahamas moves one step closer to its doom.
Under the feet of this dangerous desperate government, when we thought we have seen and heard it all, they continue to keep it coming. We've seen billboards of murder counts posted along the passageway of tourist key points; we've been spotlighted as a nation of scandal; we've heard all the stories of our country being sold directly from beneath us to foreigners, and we have seen their lack of competency; we've tried their unsuccessful tactics, yet, rather than relinquishing their candidacy to a nation of young visionaries, and those with heart for the country and people, like wet crumpled paper with skillful trickery, their formula was to throw everything but bread and tea to the wall to see what sticks with the people to regain the government. Now they get it; and in return, this is what we as a people get.
With crime at an all-time high, rather than seeking solutions to the problem, their way of dealing with it is to arm themselves with guns. Poverty at a stage where it is rumored, but I do believe, that young boys are assembling out and prostituting their bodies to anyone who is willing to pay for sexual favors. People are losing their homes and more and more of them are calling beaches, cars, public parks and abandoned buildings their homes. What is their solution? Blame Hubert A. Ingraham. With minimum wage being at an appalling low, Bahamians are barely scrapping by each day and living off pennies. Their solution to the problem: Burden the Bahamian people with a ridiculously high cost of living rather than increasing the minimum wage.
Imagine a young mother with children working at McDonald's with a salary of less than $650 a month having to squeeze food, rent, utilities, and day-to-day needs out of that salary. That is like living on 50 cents per day in the country. However, as difficult as that may be for them to live and raise their children on, they are forced to pay taxes on that already tiny salary. With that, please expect the crime to skyrocket to a place where those you least expect to commit them, commit them as easy as breathing.
My question is when the people of this country will get an opportunity to exhale from this storm of oppression they are forced to live in? When will Bahamians of this country get to a place where they would no longer need to herd in large numbers in front of soup kitchens like Grace Community Church for meals and to dig through second- and third-hand items for their families? When will Bahamians get a chance to comfortably own a piece of their birthplace without having to live off pennies simply to call it their own? When will Bahamian voices be heard in their country instead of them being dictated to and treated like third- and forth-class citizens in their country. When will The Bahamas truly be for Bahamians? When will young people truly feel proud to be Bahamians in this country rather than singing these words in simple songs? When will Bahamians come to a place in this country where they do not feel as though selling drugs, stealing and robbing are their only means of survival? When will The Bahamas come to a place where Bahamians are first and all others are second best?
As a young Bahamian and citizen with great love for my country, I beg the government to regroup, rethink their tactics, rewrite their formula and begin to listen to the depressing cries of devastation of the Bahamian people.
Young Bahamians of this country I say wake up; wake up from your sleep and demand more from your members of Parliament. Wake up and shake yourself out of that strong hold of manipulation and deception. Wake up out of that dark cloud of lies that swirls over your head that has you believing you deserve nothing more than you are getting. Wake up and take back your country from these criminal masterminds who have stolen your appreciation for a country that is marketed to foreigners, the rich and the few.
Wake up out of that bed of lies and get up off that carpet of deception that the government has your concern at heart. Wake up my people, wake up, because The Bahamas is not for Bahamians; but understand this land is being sold off in large portions to foreigners and soon we will have to ask them to walk and drive the streets in certain parts because we have become illegal aliens in our country.
This country is once again rapidly sprinting down the road of segregation and if we don't wake up and speak out, we will be soon be restricted and limited to only the most depressing corners of our nation, while the others live like royalty on our land.
Wake up people, wake up!
The Bahamas is in trouble people, and I am proud to be a Bahamian, but I am not proud of my country. However, "In the event of my demise, when my heart can beat no more; I'm comfortable dying for principles and beliefs that I have lived for. I feel the shadow's depth, though there's so much I would like to accomplish, before I reach my death. I have come to grips with this possibility, as I wipe tears from my eyes; but realize I've fought for The Bahamas, my country, in the event of our demise."
- Deno P. Ellis
Funeral service for Mr. Albert Ivan "Shorty" Humes, 85 yrs., a resident of Baldwin Avenue, & formerly of Ramsey, Exuma, who died on 7th January, 2012, will be held at The Salem Union Baptist Church, Taylor Street, on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. Officiating will be Rev. Dr. C.W. Saunders. Interment follows in Old Trail Cemetery, Old Trail Road.
Left to cherish his memories are his children: Edward Humes, Melinda Pratt, Keva & Bridgette Humes & Marva Humes-Scavella; grandchildren: Rovan & Marisha Humes, O'Glenn & Edreisa Johnson, Tamika, Edward & Edvardo Humes, Christopher & Cleopatra Deal, Christian Pratt, Jathorne Cox, Antonelle & Cordell Humes, Edisel Jr. & Evana Scavella; great-grandchildren: Rovan II & Keyanna Humes, Kyleo, Gabrielle & Geneal Johnson, Eden, Lauren & Christopher Deal, Abria Humes & Hayden Pratt; daughter-in-law: Dorsie Mae Humes; son-in-law: Edisel Scavella Sr.; sisters-in-law: Vivian Humes & Ivy Humes; nephews: James, Dwight, Rodney, Ricardo, Larry, George, Anthony, Brinton, Norman, David, Jeffery, Colin & Huden; nieces: Lorraine, Janet, Shranda, Clarice, Polly, Valleria, Janice, Jacqueline, Melinda & Jennifer; godchild: Joseph Dames; numerous relatives & friends including: Virginia Sturrup & family, Helen & Warren Rolle & family, Les Rolle & family, Harcourt Rolle & family, Nehemiah Rolle & family, Overseer Orthneil Humes & family, Paul & Anita Cooper & family, Ena Rolle & family, McQuay family, Susan & Maria Marshall & family, Sheila Johnson, Norma Adderley, Paula Theophilus, Sybil Glass & family, Agatha Delancy & family, the Mount Thompson & Ramsey family, the Baldwin Avenue family, Deacon McPhee & the Men's Fellowship of Salem Union Baptist Church, Rev. Dr. C.W. Saunders & the entire Salem Union Baptist Church.
Special thanks to Dr. Butch Bartlett.
Friends may pay their last respects at Demeritte's Funeral Home, Market Street, from 10-6:00 p.m. on Friday & on Saturday at the church from 10:00 a.m. until service time.
Freeport, Grand Grand Bahama - Minister
for Grand Bahama, the Honourable Dr. Michael Darville on Monday pledged
his Ministry's support for the upcoming 3rd Annual Grand Bahama
Shipyard Fishing Tournament scheduled for 6th April at the Grand Bahama
In announcing his Ministry's support of the tourney,
Dr. Darville said he was pleased to participate in any event whose
primary function is to assist the young people of our nation. He took
note of the fact that proceeds from the event will benefit the Bartlett
Hill Primary School, Martin Town Primary School and Holmes Rock Primary...
A lockdown on the U.S. Capitol has been lifted after gunshots fired near the building put the area on high alert. According to other reports by staffers and reporters on the Hill, people were told to shelter in place until the order was lifted close to 3 p.m.. There is still significant police activity around the building...
The Atlantis Resort officially opened its nearly 7,000-square-foot Cantor Gaming Race and Sports Book facility yesterday, which will create 20 to 30 jobs and boost gaming revenue.
In the new state-of-the art 6,860-square-foot facility, patrons will be able to wager using Cantor Gaming's mobile sports wagering application on their Apple or Android device, or on their wireless enabled personal computing devices, including tablets and smartphones, with Cantor Gaming's Wi-Fi enabled sports wagering solution.
During yesterday's brief ribbon cutting ceremony, Atlantis President and Managing Director George Markantonis said the resort is already benefitting from the new facility, as it is reportedly "jam packed" on the weekends.
"Right now, we have people sitting on the floors. So we are going to have to bring more lounge and sofa seating. To be honest, we weren't expecting the crowds that we have been getting on the weekends but the beautiful thing is that we have been having to add staff to keep up with the volume," he said to Guardian Business.
"It has generated jobs. We put this bar in, and it is doing huge numbers now. People like to have a drink while they are watching sports. Overall, this whole racing sports facility will be adding 20-30 jobs. The peak season for sports is September 1 through February 28."
After meeting with several sports book operators, Markantonis said Cantor Gaming stood out as the obvious choice for Atlantis to partner with, having several major operations under their belt in gaming powerhouses like Las Vegas. The Cantor Gaming facility marks the brand's first international racing sports location.
"We had a sports book before but frankly, it's like chalk and cheese. That was a dump in comparison to what we have now. They paid for the sports book. They showed a commitment not only to The Bahamas, but also to Atlantis because they wanted to be affiliated with this brand," according to Markantonis.
As sports wagering continues to show significant growth, Cantor Gaming President and CEO Lee Amatis said he saw the opportunity to deploy its mobile technology at the Atlantis Resort.
"Sports wagering is very popular. Having to be able to come this close to The Bahamas to be able to do it, we think it's a fantastic idea. I think we feel comfortable in the fact that we think that the numbers can be significant," he said to Guardian Business.
"It does require a fair amount of risk management because people can win in that regard so you have to be able to do a broader risk management program, which is what Cantor does."
To date, Cantor Gaming has invested $5 million to get the new Race and Sports Book facility at Atlantis up and running. However, he is confident that as business expands, the level of investment will increase.
"Then, there's the investment of mobile technology, which requires servers to be placed on the property. As it expands, it will be hundreds of thousands more dollars. It's an easy investment for us because we know it's going to be popular and we know it's going to create jobs and a lot of interest. So it's very exciting, Amatis explained.
Gaming Board Chairman Dr. Andre Rollins, who also brought remarks at Thursday's opening, said that with a facility like this, The Bahamas could position itself to benefit from the multi-billion-dollar industry.
"It accounts for $300 billion in gaming revenue in the United States of America. Ninety nine percent of that is done outside of the regulated entities so you have a large black market for gaming in the United States," he said.
"The Bahamas could well position itself to assist our neighbors in having a well-policed gaming regime that would allow us to take advantage of all that money that is in the black market."
"I think Cantor Gaming in partnership with the Atlantis casino is definitely on the verge of taking advantage of the huge promise that sports wagering presents."
WHEN I put my book A Year With Gardener Jack together I started with September and ended with August, a month that in many ways is the low point of the growing year but in many other ways is remarkably fecund.
All the vegetables we grow during the cooler months are absent from the veggie plots. We may have a few cherry tomatoes and peppers to boast about but beyond that we only have very hardy producers like okra, Malabar spinach and snake beans to comfort us.
In the absence of prime vegetables it might be wise to cover your veggie plots with clear plastic, a process called solarisation. The plastic will stop weeds growing and will also sterilise the soil. August gives the last opportunity to solari ...
This week, Bahamian artist Jace Mckinney answers 20 Questions from Guardian Arts&Culture. Jace is currently pursuing a master's degree in divinity at Andrews University in Michigan.
1. What's been your most inspirational moment in the last five years?
It was when I did a LARP (Live Action Role Play) Bible Camp to reach out and connect with the youth of the Chippingham community. It was a two-week camp reflecting on the battle of David and Goliath. The support was overwhelming. I remember the night before the fun day Big Battle. As it came up to the final moments, there were a lot of things that were not finished in concern with the battle armor, weapons and costumes. It was like a miracle to me. The kids came and joined in, in getting their costumes completed and helped each other in getting ready. It was a moment of the most perfect synergy, love and unity. Then, we went out on to the battle field, slew some giants, won the war, ate some veggie hotdogs and had juice. We had a blast. I was very reluctant to leave that moment.
2. What's your least favorite piece of artwork?
My eighth grade Dragonball Z Drawings. Every so often when I am clearing out my things and throwing away useless stuff, I come across them and say 'ew.' But for some reason, I keep them.
3. What's your favorite period of art history?
The modern period of comics and children's books.
4. What are your top 5 movies of all time?
Braveheart (Because I'm a man)
Before Night Falls
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
A Beautiful Mind
5. Coffee or tea?
Lemon tea. Though I never really saw the point of drinking hot things as I lived in a hot climate.
6. What book are you reading now?
"Steps to Christ" by E. G. White.
7. What project are you working on now?
All projects are on hold. My last show killed me.
8. What's the last show that surprised you?
Stan Burnside's body of work for his most recent solo art show "Love and Peace".
That show stands tall in my mind right now. When I entered the space I felt like a burden was lifted. I remember the image of Jackson smiling. I felt the light. The energy of that show inspired the energy that exists in my recent work. I haven't gotten the chance to tell Stan that yet.
9. Saxons, One Family, Valley Boys or Roots?
10. If you had to be stranded on one Family Island which one would it be?
Crooked Island. I have a special bond with that island. I visit it in my dreams. I was there for a three-week hiatus, cut off from all communication. No TV, no Internet, no phone. When the plane touched down I thought to myself that this was crazy, but then the island spoke to me.
11. What's the most memorable artwork you've ever seen?
Do ho Suh, "some/one".
12. Which artist do you have a secret crush on?
Betsy, my paint brush.
13. If you could have lunch with anyone, who would it be?
Adam and Eve because they are a two-for-one special since she's Adams rib, and I would like them to demonstrate for me how they ate the fruit.
14. Who do you think is the most important Bahamian in the country's history?
The Arawaks. I wish their descendents were with us.
15. Who is your favorite living artist?
Ask me again in another 10 years.
16. Sunrise or Sunset?
Sunrise. It symbolizes that new chance to find out what life is all about.
17. What role does the artist have in society?
To let society know that everything is going to be okay.
18. What's your most embarrassing moment?
Giving sermons in my sleep amongst total strangers.
19. What wouldn't you do without?
Prayer, dreams and art.
20. What's your definition of beauty?