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A crime scene officer yesterday denied that he manipulated images of last year's smash-and-grab robbery at the John Bull Rolex Boutique on Bay Street with photo editing software.
David Collins, Jasper Curry and Jonathan Armbrister stand accused of the May 22 hold-up in which a masked man smashed a display case with a hammer and took 12 luxury watches, with a cumulative value of $395,360.
Detective Constable 2290 Bruce Chisholm, who photographed the crime scene with a digital camera, also rejected a suggestion by defense lawyer Geoffrey Farquharson, who appears for Collins, that the images could be altered.
While using an image from the CD to which the crime scene images were burned, Farquharson changed the color of a man's pants from white to black while using the Paint program on his laptop.
Despite this, Chisholm maintained that the images could only be changed on the computer, but the alterations would not be reflected on the CD or prints of the images.
Farquharson said this was not the case. At this point, prosecutor Sandra Dee Gardiner interjected, asking, "Is counsel giving evidence?"
Farquharson also questioned Chisholm about why he did not photograph the five fingerprints he said he found on the store's glass showcase before he lifted them.
Chisholm explained that the reflection from the flash on the glass would have made it difficult to photograph the prints.
Farquharson suggested that there was nothing to prove that the prints were really lifted from the crime scene and not from a desk in the interview room at the Central Detective Unit.
Chisholm agreed he could not prove where the prints were lifted from.
Chisholm continues his evidence today. He is the first witness to be called in the case since it began on May 9.
Legal arguments have protracted the trial, which was scheduled to last two weeks.
Chisholm first took the stand on March 14, but his evidence was interrupted by challenges to the admissibility of the photos on CD.
Yesterday, the court allowed the images into evidence. However, the prosecution did not have a projector so the images could be viewed on a large screen.
As a result, Chisholm walked around with a laptop to show the images to the judge, lawyers and the jury.
Gardiner said that a projector was supposed to be in court and she would not make any excuses for its absence.
Justice Indra Charles said: "I hope this doesn't happen again, Ms Gardiner. Please don't let it happen again."
Jomo Campbell appears for Curry and Jerone Roberts appears for Armbrister.
By JEFFARAH GIBSON
Tribune Features Writer
LEON Walker thought he was only validating his suspicions of his wife's affair when he went through her e-mails. But little did he know the possibility of facing five years in prison for snooping existed.
In this potential precedent-setting case which broke late last year, the Michigan man who is also a computer technician is being charged with felony misuse of a computer. Prosecutors in the case argue that Walker illegally hacked into his wife's computer after she filed for divorce.
However, he claims it was relatively easy to get the password to her account because she kept it in book next to her computer. His attorney said claims made b ...
Most Bahamians by now should know that the United States (U.S.) was using two powerful programs to intercept and store all Bahamian cell phone calls. The U.S. activities were exposed by Edward Snowden, a computer professional who once worked as a contractor for the National Security Agency (NSA).
There is undeniable proof of what the U.S. did. In fact the issue of them spying on our country is not even a question. It happened. The reporters who broke this story have already received Pulitzer prizes on behalf of their media stations.
Deputy Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis and Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell have both promised that the report is coming. Now Mitchell is advising that Senator John Kerry, the U.S. Secretary of State, has chimed in and is overseeing the report.
Mitchell, please give the Bahamian public a break and spare the innuendos. The public has seen how your stance has shifted from when this story first broke. You immediately blamed the FNM and then you were on this one-man crusade to "pressure" the U.S. to answer. Now you are quoting article 30 of the constitution as a means to further confuse the public.
Saying that the U.S. and The Bahamas are joined at the hip is not the matter at hand, sir. I think most Bahamians are fully aware of the economic impact that the U.S. has on our country. The matter at hand is that we know that the U.S. spied on the Bahamas without our consent and thus far, from all reports, they haven't had the courtesy to even acknowledge their wrongdoing.
You said that discussions with the U.S. about this matter are ongoing. What the public needs to know sir, is in your discussions, did the U.S. even acknowledge their wrongdoing? Secondly when will an apology be issued to the Bahamian public, however diminished in value it may be?
And please do the public a favor, sir. Instead of saying we are waiting for the official report on the U.S. spy claims, please say we are waiting on the report as to why the U.S. intercepted our cell phone calls, how long they have been storing our cell phone calls and if they are still storing our cell phone calls now.
The jury is in. They spied on us. Now we are waiting for our super minister of foreign affairs to bring factual answers to the public, not muddy the waters with confusing language.
- Dehavilland Moss
It's a newer and brighter day for the students at the Salvation Army's Erin H. Gilmour School for the Blind. After months of renovations to the Salvation Army's headquarters on Mackey Street a permanent facility on Ivanhoe Road has recently been established for the 18 blind and visually impaired students attending the institute and the good news does not end there. The school recently received five new desktop computers from Scotiabank, which answered the wish of school administrators as they had been wishing for new computers for the students for quite a while.
For 15-year-old Ashley Deleveaux, it was a dream come true when she found out she would be working with new computers.
"I was really glad to hear we would be using new computers that were donated to the school. I have a computer at home but I don't have the program I need to use it as well as I should. The school computers have the JAWS (Job Access for Windows and Speech) that helps me by reading to me from the screen. It is really helping me with my classes and it's good that they don't have any viruses or problems which made the old computers hard to use. I'm really happy," she said.
The excited Deleveaux says it made her day knowing that keeping up in school would be made a little easier with the new computers.
Fourteen-year-old Letieka Minnis was happy for the computers which she says will make her life in school easier. The eighth grader says the new computers will allow her to do her research for classes better.
"I'm happy for the computers because now I can really use the Internet and do what regular people can do. Although we had old computers these ones are a lot better," said Minnis.
Lester Ferguson, district commander of the Salvation Army in The Bahamas says blessings always come when you need them the most and after years of wanting to provide students with up-to-date computers it finally came to fruition. He says before the donation by Scotiabank the Salvation Army was struggling to ensure the students had what they needed.
"Many things we do have that are essential to the school are old and in need of repair or just need to be replaced. We keep the school functioning heavily via donations and a stipend from the Ministry of Education so when opportunities like this come along it is just a really good thing. Having computers is very important for our particular students because while there are books in Braille their ability to manually research for their classes is still limited. Before the donation we were working with older models for about seven years. When we originally got the desktops they weren't new but were good for the students for the time being. Now, after so long, they are working very slowly and a much newer version of JAWS -- the special program that reads the computer screen to the blind so they can operate a computer -- is much needed. So really we are beyond elated right now to at least have new computers."
The school was also given a $5,000 check by Scotiabank which Ferguson says will be used to buy a new embosser -- a machine that scans ordinary text in books and converts it to Braille so the children can read them on their own.
The Salvation Army's Erin H. Gilmour School for the Blind was established in 1946 due to a Salvation Army officer proficient in Braille teaching a visually impaired man how to read it as well. From this humble beginning the school has moved from being an adult-focused program to an institute that caters to students as young as five years old, up to those in high school. The primary focus of the school today is to produce students who can integrate into everyday society despite their disability and the best way to assist them in this venture is to ensure they have a good foundation, says Ferguson.
Elma Garraway, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education, said the computer donation was a great opportunity for the students to achieve even more academically. She encouraged them to take advantage of everything, continue to strive for excellence and shine just as brightly, if not more so than their peers as they have always done.
"This year in the Ministry of Education we are focusing on fostering competence, character and citizenship for excellence in education," said Garraway. "We want our children to be competent in the knowledge that is required of them to know at every grade level. We know the challenge it is for our students at this school to achieve that knowledge, so we are glad that [this] gift will assist them in not only achieving the standard we have set but even beyond."
Bahamas Academy (BA) graduating senior, who also happens to be a College of The Bahamas freshman, Deontre McPhee is the top graduate coming out of the 2014 Technical Cadets Corps Programme (TCCP) in New Providence. She walked away with the Bahamas Electricity Corporation General Manager Award.
"I was shocked but happy," said McPhee, 17, of her accomplishment. She did not expect to be named top cadet when she joined the program.
"When I first came into the program I wasn't crazy about technical subjects, but as I progressed I began to love it. In my third year I began to do electronics and fell in love with it, and I guess that helped me," said McPhee.
She started out in the TCCP as one of four girls among a class of boys. After three years, she was the lone girl standing to graduate. She said it was not only through her efforts that she was able to accomplish what she did, but the efforts of the young men in the class helped her along the way.
"The boys never made me feel bad about being the only girl, and they never tried to belittle me. They really motivated me," said McPhee. "And even when I got the top award and the BEC manager's award, they really made me feel a part of the team," she said.
Even though she's been studying freshman courses at COB for the past year, McPhee will attend her commencement ceremony at BA today with her high-school class.
The top cadet wrote seven Bahamas General Certificate of Secondary Education (BGCSE) examinations in 11th grade, including English and mathematics. She passed all with 'B' grades. By virtue of sitting her exams early, she did not have to return to BA for her senior year. She enrolled at COB, where she is studying accounts, but remained in the TCCP program.
After her second year, she plans to enroll in a double major to continue her accounting studies and do a degree in electronics, as well.
"It's a weird combo, but I like accounts and now I also like electronics," she said.
McPhee said she has had a good first year at COB, even though she was scared enrolling as a 16-year-old; her classes at COB have never interfered with her TCCP classes.
She is happy with the decisions she made, because she doesn't believe she would have been as focused as she now is had she not gone to COB. She said many of the classes she has taken have helped with her character and her focus.
McPhee was one of 89 cadets to complete the TCCP program.
Angela Pratt-Rolle, undersecretary in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology told the recent graduates that they have joined other cohorts of TCCP graduates who have made their mark in society; as such, they are expecting great things from them.
"We expect that you will be innovative and discover technological solutions to environmental issues or wherever the need arises," said Pratt-Rolle. "We expect you to be entrepreneurs and create employment for others, rather than wait to see who will employ you. We expect that, as an employee, your abilities and your work ethic will ultimately propel you to be a leader in your operation. We expect that you will be upstanding and contributing citizens of The Bahamas. We expect that you will be fine examples of the success of TCCP, so that others will follow in your footsteps."
Pratt-Rolle told the graduates that, for three years, they made tremendous sacrifices to fulfill the program's requirements, something that she said was no easy task because it involved juggling an internship and performing in school. Their ability to endure to the end she said showed their determined spirit.
Pratt-Rolle also recognized the instructors who complement the hands-on-training with academic instruction. She said it was an aspect of the program that needed to be highlighted because too many people believe that technical and vocational education is something you resort to when all else fails.
"The reality is that the technical field requires persons who are literate and prepared to apply themselves to the task at hand. According to Tony Wagner, author of 'Creating Innovators', in Finland's highly successful educational system, 45 percent of the students choose a technical track, not an academic track, after completing their basic education."
Pratt-Rolle, who has visited Finland, said that the country has one of the most progressive education systems in the world because it has a healthy attitude toward technical and vocational education. She said that it was the exact opposite in The Bahamas, when it comes to technical education.
"We know that we need it to advance our society, but we are still holding on to a traditional academic system, to the frustration of thousands of students and our own national development."
Pratt-Rolle called on technical education agencies to map out a plan to elevate the critical component of the national development in the public eyes.
She also told the program's coordinators that, in the 25th year, she hoped they would do an assessment of the program to see whether it had realized its objectives within the past 25 years and determine what else TCCP can offer to attract a wider segment of the student population.
The Technical Cadet Corps Programme, introduced by former Minister of Education Dr. Bernard Nottage, will celebrate 25 years of existence in 2015.
Since then, 2,300 students have graduated from the program. Just under 600 of that number are graduates of TCCP Grand Bahama.
General Manager Awards
Deontre McPhee - Bahamas Electricity Corporation
Daniel Jageassar - Bahamas Telecommunication Company
Jarvis Ferguson - Water & Sewerage Corporation
Roy Hepburn - Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas
Most Improved Awards
Jamaro Sturrup - Electronics
Jevon Thompson - Computer Software
Noelicia Turnquest - Engineering Drawing
Aaron Gibson - Computer Repair
Daniel Johnson - Water Management
Naquana Evans - Electrical Technology
Shanice Brown - Radio and Television
Arvadio Ferguson - Pre-Engineering
Jarvin Sturrup - Electronics
Most Outstanding Awards
Alexi Rolle - Computer
Antone Scott - Engineering Drawing
Jeremy Sands - Computer
Doneisha Forbes -- Water Management
Justin Cunningham -- Electrical Technology
Terisha Paul -- Radio and Television
Jevante Hutchinson - Electronics
Wesmond C. William - Pre-Engineering
English Language Awards
Justin Cunningham - Most Outstanding
Shawndia Rolle - Most Improved
Daniel Jagessar - Most Outstanding
Tevin Pratt - Most Improved
Cadet of the Year (highest grade point average)
Daniel Jageassar, Temple Christian Schools - Bahamas Electricity Corporation
Justin Cunningham, Nassau Christian Schools - Bahamas Electricity Corporation
Terisha Paul, St. Anne's High School - Bahamas Telecommunications
Noelicia Turnquest, Kingsway Academy - Ministry of Education, Science and Technology Scholarship
Roy Hepburn, Anatol Rodgers High School - Ministry of Education, Science and Technology Scholarship
Teacher Award (students select teacher who has had the most impact on them)
A new technology offering by a computer solutions company could create massive savings for Bahamian businesses of up to 80 percent.
Jaime Cabrera, an engineer with VMWare, said the product suite can cut costs in what businesses spend typically technology-wise, adding that the software is more user and eco-friendly.
"In terms of power consumption, businesses can save between 40 and 50 percent and in terms of hardware it can create up to 80 percent in savings," Cabrera said. "This solution will reduce costs at the data center level so the users are going to be working in a more efficient way and also provides a green alternative."
Cabrera's comments came after his presentation of the technology during a seminar at the British Colonial Hilton on Tuesday hosted by Lignum Technologies. The one-day event was attended by a number of individuals in the Information Technology (IT) from various sectors. He said businesses spend a lot of money in terms of power consumption and a considerable amount technology-wise, and having a less expensive but efficient option will work financially for them.
The product suite, in a nutshell, will create a more convenient way for technology departments to manage its data centers and enable them to be more versatile in performing tasks and processes. It also provides disaster recovery business continuity, which Cabrera said is a vital component for financial institutions.
He also mentioned that Atlantis currently utilizes the technology along with several financial institutions, and some other entities have shown interest in it as well.
"Some companies and institutions have expressed interest in our products such as the College of the Bahamas," Cabrera said. "They are interested in virtualizing desktops and they are going to be saving some money and providing better service to students. A bank has approached us as well and we look forward to providing our solutions to them."
Cabrera added that the Bahamian government would greatly benefit from transitioning to VMWare, saying the offering of a cost-efficient option - costing no more that $1 million - and green technology would appeal to them.
"Eventually the government is going to go with this because at the end of the day the government has expressed their interest and supports the idea of being green, so our technology is going to be the one providing more savings and at the same time friendly with the environment.
"I look forward to meeting with the government and a representative here, and sit down and have a workshop and go through all the values and benefits that we can provide to them."
Police are seeing an increase in electronic crime, and now a top accountant is urging companies to budget for white collar crimes as they would bad debt.
Grant Thornton's Kendrick Christie is urging all businesses to calculate realistic estimates of yearly fraud in its books going forward as a way to better prepare the company for such cases.
"In the case of The Bahamas, white collar crime has decreased in some categories," he told Guardian Business. "But a lot more people are out of work [and] the unemployment rate is very high and has affected some instances of this type of crime.
"Also a number of them are being unreported or a lot of businesses are trying to s ...
Freeport, Grand Bahama - Christmas came early for 4 kids this week at Burger King Restaurants
in Freeport. The winners participated in the Burger King's RUSH IN
& WIN Kids promotion and won a mini Laptop Computer. It's as easy
as purchasing a Kid's Meal, answeriing the questions in the Junkanoo
Activity Book and dropping off the form to a BK restaurant. The first
group of winners and their parents were very excited at the opportunity
to win these prizes and stated that it was bright spot in their day
when they heard their kids had won. Winners will be selected every
Friday until November 26th, 2010 with the Grand Prize being a HD Flat
Burger King Freeport Restaurants loves the opportunity to give
back and to show appreciation to the many customers that walk through
our doors especially our kids who are an important group of consumers...
Nassau, The Bahamas
-Neighbourly compassion drives the Bain and Grant's Town community to
unite through free after school programmes and computer classes for the young
and the old.
"Here at Bain
and Grants Town, we try to do everything to help the community because they
really need the help," said Diana Bullard, manager of the Bain and Grants Town Urban Renewal Centre.
"We have a lot
of people who come out for the computer classes, even people from upscale
communities come out here also because their pocket right now is tight.
So they come in and take advantage of this free opportunity...