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News Article

October 01, 2014
Crown drops murder, conspiracy charges against alleged gang leader

The Crown on Monday dropped a murder charge and a conspiracy charge against an alleged gang leader days after his release on bail.
Tony Smith, also known as Jamal Penn, was released from prison on $8,000 bail on Friday.
Prosecutors had initially objected to his release but later had a change of heart.
He had been awaiting trial for the March 2, 2012 shooting death of club owner Eugene Stuart as he arrived at his home in Faith Gardens.
Smith was set to go to trial in January 2015 on the murder charge, along with Leroy Smith (no relation).
He was also accused of conspiring with Leslie Bowe to commit the murder.
The charges still stand against Leroy Smith and Bowe.
Prosecutors allege that Smith is the leader of the Border Boys gang, a claim he denied during another murder trial earlier this month.
Jurors took less than an hour to clear Smith of the February 8, 2012 shooting death of his cousin, Tristan Bartlett.
In 2012, prosecutors dropped two murder cases against Smith.
He was accused of the January 7, 2008 drive-by shooting death of Deangelo Cargill while Cargill was at a bus stop at Frederick Street and Bay Street.
A judge ordered a retrial in the case in 2009 after jurors could not reach a decision in the trial.
While on bail for that case, Smith was charged with the February 18, 2010 shooting death of Randol Thompson at Augusta Street.
Prosecutors also dropped that case.

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News Article

August 27, 2014
Crying wolf over BEC blackouts

Dear Editor,
BEC Executive Chairman Leslie Miller says there may finally be an end to the blackouts that have plagued all areas of New Providence for weeks now.
According to Miller, a damaged generator has now been repaired and things should be looking up on the electricity front. He added however, that he could not guarantee there would be no more outages, as "things happen".
I sincerely hope that Miller is correct in his assessment of the situation, however his assurances remain hard to believe as he has cried wolf so many times over the last few months.
At the beginning of the summer, the executive chairman said BEC was in a position to provide power to the entire island and that he did not expect any outages.
This was promptly followed by repeated blackouts, both localized and island-wide, blamed on everything from malfunctions to lightning strikes. The need for new and expensive equipment was again raised.
After this initial round of outages, Miller made several other encouraging remarks, only to see the blackouts return, this time even worse than before.
I know Miller means well, but the truth seems to be that he really has no idea whether or not the lights will stay on, and if not, for how long they will be off. At this point, he might as well stop talking about it.
- F. Rolle

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News Article
Customers cut off by BEC 'should be fully connected' by September
July 18, 2013
Customers cut off by BEC 'should be fully connected' by September

MOST of the residential customers whose electricity supply was cut due to unpaid BEC bills should be “fully connected” by September, BEC chairman Leslie Miller said.

Last month, the Tall Pines MP revealed that a staggering 90 per cent of residential customers are in arrears – to the combined tune of $26 million...

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News Article

July 19, 2013
Customers cut off by BEC 'should be fully connected' by September

MOST of the residential customers whose electricity supply was cut due to unpaid BEC bills should be "fully connected" by September, BEC chairman Leslie Miller said.

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News Article

February 07, 2011
Customs crackdown

The Office of the Attorney General has warned about 20 business owners to move immediately to settle outstanding debts with the Department of Customs that total millions of dollars, Customs Comptroller Glenn Gomez has confirmed.
Gomez told The Nassau Guardian that collectively these importers owe The Bahamas government millions of dollars, with one importer alone owing roughly $2 million.
The comptroller also confirmed that former Minister of Trade and Industry Leslie Miller owes hundreds of thousands of dollars in duty.
On Friday afternoon, he said the department was in the process of calculating the exact amount Miller owes. At that point, Miller had not yet paid the full duty owed on a shipment of ...

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News Article

September 15, 2011
DAEGU WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS REVISITED

Men
Field Events
In an effort to provide complete coverage and insight to all of the events in the recent World Championships it was decided that the track and field events should have been separated. This was a great and exciting championship for field events. For those true track and field fans who make the effort to travel to a World Championships, the competition in these Daegu Championships did not disappoint.
We saw the best of the world with athletes rising to the occasion to make their statements in going beyond where they had ever gone before and reaching the top of the medal podium.
Here follows an event-by-event analysis of the field events.
High Jump
In the qualifying round, 10 athletes made the standard of 2.31 meters (m). They included Darwin Edwards of St. Lucia who did a National Record, Jessie Williams of the United States, Donald Thomas of The Bahamas, Jaroslav Baba of The Czech Republic, Dmytro Dem'Yanyuk of the Ukraine, Dimitrios Chondroukoukis of Greece, Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar, Ivan Ukhov and Aleksandr Shustov of Russia, and Zhang Guowel of China.
Aleksey Dmitrik of Russia, Trevor Barry of The Bahamas, and Raul Spank of Germany were the other athletes added to make up the field. They jumped 2.28m.
In the final, Thomas, Edwards and Dem'Yanyuk cleared only 2.20m and missed 2.25m and were eliminated from the competition.
Trevor Barry of The Bahamas had jumped 2.29m three times prior and decided there was no benefit in attempting the next height, 2.29m. Barry then attempted 2.32m, a height he had never cleared before. He did it on his first attempt. Baba and Williams did the same. Dmitrik made it on his second attempt and Ukhov, Chondrokoukis, and Barshim made it on their third attempts.
Williams made 2.35m on his first attempt and Dmitrik on his second. Williams went home with the gold and Dmitrik the silver.
Since Barry had made a gamble on skipping 2.29m he had fewer attempts and was awarded the bronze medal. Barry is the third Bahamian High Jumper to medal in the World Championships. Troy Kemp won the gold medal in Gothenburg in 1995 and Donald Thomas the gold in 2007.
Pole Vault
In the qualifying round, athletes were requested to clear 5.70m. None were able to clear this height. In the final, Poland's Pawel Wojciechowski and Cuba's Lazaro Borges cleared a world-leading 5.90m. Lazaro used more attempts and received the silver medal. France's Renaud Lavillenie, who had jumped this height in Monaco in July, cleared 5.85m for the bronze.
Long Jump
Only defending champion Dwight Phillips of the United States of America (USA) and world leader Mitchell Watt of Australia were able to jump the automatic qualifying standard. Irvin Saladino of Panama, the Osaka and Beijing Champion, Ghana's Ignisious Gaisah, World Indoor Champion of 2006, and Raymond Higgs of The Bahamas were among those unable to advance to the final round.
Saladino jumped 7.84m and Higgs, who turned 20 in January, jumped 7.72m. In the final, Phillips cleared a season best of 8.45m on his second attempt. Watt jumped 8.33m, and Zimbabwe's Ngonidzashe Makusha finished third with a jump of 8.29m. The NCAA Outdoor Champion of 2008 and Outdoor Champion of 2011 attends Florida State.
Triple Jump
This was probably the most exciting Triple Jump competition since 1995 in Gothenburg when Jonathan Edwards set the current World Record. The event was held on the final day of competition and had lots of sparks. In the competition were Christian Olsson, the 2003 World Champion and 2004 Olympic Champion, Walter Davis, the 2005 World Champion, Nelson Evora, the 2007 World Champion and 2008 Olympic Champion, and Phillips Idowu, the 2009 World Champion.
Davis was unable to advance to the final. This was also the fate of Romania's Marian Oprea and Cuba's Arnie David Girat, both of whom had medaled previously. The automatic qualifying standard was 17.10m with seven athletes attaining it.
In the final, Idowu jumped 17.56m in the first round. The USA's Will Claye, who was a finalist in the Long Jump, took over with a Personal Best of 17.50m.
In the fourth round, Christian Taylor of the USA, who had qualified with a 16.99m jump, was energized and set a Personal Best and world leading performance of 17.96m, the fifth best jump of all-time. Only Edwards, 18.29m, Kenny Harrison, 18.09m, Teddy Tamgho, 17.98m, and Willie Banks, 17.97m, are better.
Idowu followed with 17.77m, a seasonal best. Cuba's Alexis Copello finished in fourth place with a best jump of 17.47m, Portugal's Evora in fifth with a best of 17.35m, a season best, Sweden's Olsson sixth with a jump of 17.23m, and The Bahamas' Leevan Sands seventh with a season's best of 17.21m.
Olsson had been making a comeback these last two seasons after being injured. Tamgho was injured earlier in the season and was not entered in the competition. It would have been interesting to see how the competition would have been if Tamgho had competed. After his final jump, Claye, the bronze medalist, took up his bible and showed it to the crowd, indicating that it was the reason for his success.
Shot Put
As usual, the USA's Christian Cantwell, Reese Hoffa, and Adam Nelson were in the mix in the qualifying round.
Germany's David Storl did a Personal Best of 21.50m in the qualifying round and topped it with a 21.78m throw in the final for the gold. Armstrong won the silver with a throw of 21.64m. Belarus' Andrei Mikhnevich won the bronze medal with a throw of 21.40m. Cuba's Carlos V'eliz, who celebrated his 24th birthday two weeks before the opening of the championships, was 12th in the final with a throw of 19.70m.
Discus Throw
No athlete made the automatic qualifying mark of 65.50m. Hungary's Zoltan Kovago had the world leading throw of 69.50m but did not finish in the top 12 to advance to the final. From the region, Cuba's Jorge Y. Fernandez advanced to the final with a toss of 64.94m. Jamaica's Jason Morgan threw 61.75m but was unable to advance.
In the final, Germany's Robert Hartig, the defending champion, threw 68.97m for the gold medal. Estonia's Gerd Kanter managed 66.95m for the silver medal and Ireland's Ehsan Hadadi won bronze with a 66.08m toss. Cuba's Fernandez finished eighth with a throw of 63.54m.
Javelin Throw
Norway's Andreas Thorkildsen had the world's leading performance of 90.61m. The automatic qualifying mark was 82.50m which was done by just two athletes, Guillermo Martinez of Cuba and Dmitri Tarabin of Russia. Fiji had an athlete Leslie Copeland attempting to qualify. He threw 76.57m.
In the final, Germany's Matthias De Zordo threw 86.27m in the first round which remained the winning throw. Martinez threw 84.30m in the first round which earned him the bronze medal. Thorkildsen threw his best, 84.78m, in the fourth round for the silver medal. He was the defending champion from Berlin and won both the Beijing and Athens Olympics.
Hammer Throw
Japan's Koji Murofushi had the best qualifying mark, 78.56m. He went on to capture the gold medal with an 81.24m throw, a season's best. Hungary's Krisztian Pars finished second with a throw of 81.18m and Slovenia's Primoz Kozmus earned the bronze with a throw of 79.39m. There were just two athletes from the North America, Central America, and Caribbean Area Athletics Association (NACAC) but none made the final. One of the oldest in the competition, Murofushi, won the 2001 Edmonton World Championships and the 2004 Athens Olympics.

Women
High Jump
All 12 women made the qualifying standard of 1.95m. Russia's Anna Chicherova had the world leading performance of 2.07m, done July 22, her birthday. Venezuela's Marielys Rojas cleared 1.85m for a season's best. Nigeria's Doreen Amata cleared 1.95m to advance.
The defending champion Blanka Vlasic from Croatia battled with Chicherova for the lead. Both jumped 2.03m but Vlasic needed more attempts. The Russian therefore was awarded the gold. Italy's Antoinetta Di Martino jumped 2.00m for the bronze medal.
Pole Vault
No athlete cleared the automatic 4.60m qualifying mark. Brazilian Fabiana Murer set a new South American record of 4.85m to win the championship. Germany's Martina Strutz jumped 4.80m for a German National record. Former champion Russian Svetlana Feofanova cleared 4.75m for a season's best.
The USA's Jennifer Suhr, who had the world leading performance at 4.91 finished in fourth place with a jump of 4.70m. Cuba's Yarisley Silva finished in fifth place with a new National Record of 4.70m. World record holder Elena Isinbaeva finished sixth with a 4.65m jump and looked forward to performing better at the London Olympics.
Long Jump
Only five athletes were able to make the automatic qualifying standard of 6.75m. Defending champion Brittney Reese from the USA jumped 6.82m in the first round and fouled her next five jumps. Her 6.82m was enough to win the gold.
Russia's Olga Kucherenko jumped 6.77m in both the fourth and sixth rounds, winning the silver. On her final attempt, Latvia's Ineta Radevica stretched out to 6.76m, a season's best which was good enough for the bronze. Sweden's Carolina Kluft finished in fifth place with a jump of 6.56m.
Osaka champion Nadia Gomes from Portugal finished in 10th place with a 6.26m jump and Brazil's Maureen Higa Maggi, the Beijing Olympic Champion, finished in 11th place after fouling her first two jumps in the final.
From the region, Bahamian Bianca Stuart had the best performance, jumping 6.44m in the qualifying round. Stuart had established a new Bahamian National Record of 6.81m five weeks previously at the Sr. Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Championships. This was Stuart's first senior competition on the world level.
Jamaican Jovanee Jarrett jumped 6.19m and The British Virgin Island's Chantel Malone jumped 6.12m. Shara Proctor, formerly from Anguilla, jumped 6.34m on her last attempt, after fouling her first two jumps. Proctor moved her allegiance to Great Britain to be eligible to compete in the Olympics. Anguilla has no National Olympic Committee. She finished sixth at the Berlin Championships.
Triple Jump
The world leading marks were held by Cuba's Yargeris Savigne and Colombia's Caterine Ibarguen at 14.99m. Only three athletes made the automatic qualifying mark of 14.45m. From the region, Cuba's Yariana Martinez jumped 14.07m, Jamaica's Kimberly Williams jumped 14.06m, and Cuba's Dallenys Alcantara jumped 13.78m.
In the final, The Ukraine's Olha Saladuha won with a jump of 14.94m, Kazakstan's Olga Rypakova finished second with a 14.89m jump, and Colombia's Ibarguen finished in third with a jump of 14.84m.
Finishing in fourth, fifth, and sixth were Cuba's Mable Gay at 14.67m, a Personal Best for 2011, former Cuban and Sudanese Yamile Aldama at 14.50m a season's best, and former two-time champion Savigne at 14.43m. Gay did her best on her fifth attempt and Adalma and Savigne their best on their first attempt.
Adalma had been born in Cuba, moved to Britain, then to Sudan, and back to Britain. She celebrated her 39th birthday two weeks before the opening of the championships. The defending champion Savigne was hurt, fouled her second and third jumps, and discontinued jumping.
Shot Put
The automatic qualifying standard was 18.68m and all 12 athletes made it. New Zealand's Valerie Adams, the defending champion, threw 19.79m in her first attempt. The second best qualifier was China's Lijiao Gong who threw 19.21m. Trinidad and Tobago's Cleopatra Borel-Brown qualified at 18.95m. Surprisingly there were no Cubans in the competition.
In the final, Adams tied the championships record of 21.24m done by France's Natalya Lisovskaya in Rome in 1987. Belarus' Nadzeya Ostapchuk had the previous world lead at 20.94m. She finished in second at 20.05m. The USA's J. Camerena-Williams threw 20.02m for third. Borel-Brown managed a throw of 17.62m for 13th on her second throw.
Discus Throw
Only five athletes made the automatic qualifying standard of 62.00m. China's Yanfeng Li threw 66.52m on her second attempt for the victory. Germany's Nadine Muller made it to 65.97m on her second attempt for the silver medal, and Cuba's Yarelys Barrios threw 65.73m on her first attempt for the bronze medal.
The defending champion Stephanie Brown-Trafton settled for fifth with a throw of 63.85m. Cuban Denia Caballero finished in ninth with a throw of 60.73m. The Ivory Coast had Kazal Suzanne Kragbe throw 57.55m in the qualifying round and India had Harwant Kaur who threw 56.49m in the qualifying round.
Javelin Throw
Only five athletes did not make the automatic qualifying standard of 61.00m. In the final, Russia's Maria Abakumova threw a championships record of 71.99m on her fifth attempt. Barbara Sportakova of the Czech Republic, the World record holder at 72.28m, threw 71.58m for the silver medal. Sunette Viljoen of South Africa threw an Area record of 68.38m for the bronze medal.
Hammer Throw
Eight athletes made the automatic qualifying standard of 71.00m. Germany's Betty Heidler had the world lead at 79.42m. In the final, Wenxiu Zhang took the lead with a 75.03m throw on her first attempt. In the third round, Russia's Tatyana Lysenko threw 77.13m for a season's best that was not topped. Cuba's Ypsi Moreno, a multiple past champion, threw 74.48m for third place. In the fifth round, Heidler threw 76.06m for the silver medal. Moreno fouled on her last three attempts with the final one going into the net.
Summary
Unlike the track events fans get to see field event athletes do three or six attempts in the final, whereas there is only one race for the track events. They have an opportunity to see leads change numerous times in the competition. This certainly makes it very exciting. We hope we have been able to transmit some of that excitement. Next week we will do a detailed analysis of the track and multi-events.

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News Article
DAVIS: Talks being held over BEC bonus
December 12, 2013
DAVIS: Talks being held over BEC bonus

ACTING Prime Minister Philip "Brave" Davis said yesterday that one of his consultants is holding meetings with BEC union executives about whether the corporation's workers will receive Christmas bonuses this year...

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News Article

November 25, 2013
DPM says BEC sick pay status quo to remain

Amid threats of industrial action from the managerial and line-staff unions at the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) over changes to employees' sick pay benefit, Deputy Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis...

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News Article

June 18, 2014
DPM tells Miller to pay up

Deputy Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis said yesterday he is "disappointed" to learn that Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) Executive Chairman Leslie Miller still owes the corporation.
Davis said he directed Miller to bring his accounts up to date.
The Nassau Guardian revealed yesterday that Miller and one of his family-owned businesses owe the corporation more than $200,000.
Davis, who is the minister responsible for BEC, said he expects all delinquent customers to pay their bills, including Miller.
Davis said Miller previously indicated that he would pay his debt, but had not lived up to that promise.
"The chairman some time ago discussed his challenges with me," said Davis in the House of Assembly during debate on the 2014/15 budget, as Miller looked on.
"And he indicated to me that he had made arrangements to resolve those challenges. I'm disappointed that it hasn't happened. I spoke to him today and he assured me that he has made arrangements in place to settle his debt.
"I am satisfied with that. As I said, I was disappointed to see it because I thought it had been resolved. He explained to me the reason why it had not been done. I accepted that explanation.
"However, that does not excuse him from not paying his bill. I told him to go and pay, and he's telling me now that he's made the proper arrangements to do so."
When asked by sitting opposition members to detail the arrangements that Miller made, Davis said he will not go any further than that.
He added that "no one needs to ask me any more questions about that".

Disappointment
BEC records obtained by The Nassau Guardian showed that a Harrold Road building registered with BEC in Miller's name owed the corporation $46,373.77 as of Monday.
Those records also showed that a Harrold Road bowling alley, owned by Summerwinds Investments Ltd., owed the corporation $193,159.56, as of Monday.
Both businesses owed BEC a total of $239,533.33.
Davis addressed the matter in Parliament yesterday after he refused to take questions on the issue earlier as he exited Cabinet.
He was asked if the matter put into question Miller's position as executive chairman. However, Davis, who was walking to his car, turned and said, "I reserve all comments for now".
During his address in the House of Assembly, Davis said he was also disappointed that Miller's personal records were made public.
"I was disappointed to pick up the paper this morning and to see what was exposed," he said.
"First of all, I don't think that's the way we ought to be doing business. I don't think it's right for persons to expose other persons' confidential information."
Miller acknowledged on Monday that both businesses owe BEC money, though he did not confirm how much.
Miller said his daughters, who manage Mario's Bowling and Family Entertainment Palace, and their accountant informed him that they have an "ongoing situation" and give BEC a minimum of $5,000 every week.
Asked why the arrears on Mario's was so high, Miller said everyone's accounts get high when the economy goes bad.
As it relates to Sunburst Paints, which occupies the building on Harrold Road, Miller said over the last several years he has not paid attention to it, especially after his business partner died in an accident.
"We are, in fact, just getting Sunburst Paints back on track again, so that will be dealt with in short order," he said.

Receivables
Speaking about the state of BEC's affairs generally, Davis yesterday noted that the corporation is struggling financially.
He said BEC owes banks a total of $239 million.
"Adding to BEC's financial struggles is defaulting customers," Davis said prior to addressing Miller's issue.
"Accounts receivables derived from the private sector, individual and corporate, continue to increase as a number of customers remain unable to meet payment arrangements.
"Even with revised payment arrangements, too many customers continue to default. Government receivables increased as well because many government agencies are not paying sufficient on their monthly bills."
Davis said while the corporation understands the challenges of the economy, the situation cannot continue much longer as the corporations has tremendous financial obligations.
He encouraged customers to pay.

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News Article

September 22, 2014
DPM: Hotels make payment arrangements after disconnection threat

Two of the "three hotels out west" that collectively owed the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) more than $30 million have made payment arrangements, according to Deputy Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis.
Last Tuesday, BEC Executive Chairman Leslie Miller threatened to disconnect the hotels if they did not settle their accounts by the end of the week.
When asked if Baha Mar is among those with delinquent accounts, Miller said, "All of them. All of the hotels out west".
Davis, who has ministerial responsibility for BEC, said while the matter is being

addressed, the arrears are

of "continuing concern", given BEC's financial position.
"We have reached out to all of these hotels and let them understand the situation," Davis said in a recent interview.
"Most of them have now made arrangements, which they are living up to.
"And there is one that we still have to sit down [with] and deal with."
He did not name the hotels or whether the hotel that had yet to come to terms could be disconnected.
In the House of Assembly on Wednesday, Miller said BEC is struggling with a fuel bill that exceeds $100 million.
He said unless the corporation pays off a $55 million fuel bill by the end of the month, the entire country would be without electricity.
Davis was asked why the hotels were allowed to amass such high electricity bills, given the corporation's "hemorrhaging" state.
He noted that the hotels collectively employ hundreds of Bahamians.
He also suggested the Christie-administration inherited the problem from the former government.
"Well, you know, this did not just happen," Davis said.
"This has been an ongoing situation that has been met, and we are addressing it now.
"...Again, as I said, there has to be this cooperative effort between government and these entities to ensure a mutual arrangement that would save both sides."
On Wednesday, Miller said he received a call from two of the hotels.
He said representatives promised to pay $2 million on their bills that day.
But Davis declined to say how much the hotels paid last week.
Pressed on whether a significant portion had been paid, Davis said, "First of all, we don't want to cripple the industry.
"You have to recognize that we are talking about hotels that are a critical component to the lifeline of our economy - tourism," he said.
"We have to partner with these entities to ensure the survivability of our lifeline.
"And so, it behooves us to sit with them and arrive at an arrangement where they can still survive, keep the economy going, and at the same time save BEC from its cash crisis."
Central Grand Bahama MP Neko Grant said on Wednesday that he was saddened to learn that single women and widows' lights are being turned off for hundreds of dollars when the "billionaires of West Bay Street [are] allowed to accumulate bills at BEC in excess of $25 million".
"It's just not right," Grant said in the House.
As it relates to the corporation's $55 million fuel bill this month, Davis said the government will bail out BEC if it cannot meet its financial obligations.
"We will not see BEC from a government point of view, left in a position where it is unable to meet its financial commitments," he said.
"We will have to find an answer to all of it. And that is what we will do.
"If it takes subsidizing then we will have to do that."

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