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By SANCHESKA BROWN
THREE men were recovering in hospital last night after they were shot by police during an attempted robbery of a webshop.
The incident happened at around 9.50pm on Thursday when police received a report of a robbery in progress at Island Luck on Carmichael Road.
When officers arrived on the scene they met three men walking out of the establishment. The men allegedly opened fire on police, who in turn shot back.
Two of the suspects were shot in the leg and the other in the arm. They were taken to hospital where their injuries are said to be non life-threatening.
No officers were injured during the incident.
Sources say the robbers assaulted three female employees during the r ...
A man who was chopped and stabbed about the body on Friday is in serious condition in hospital, according to police.
Preliminary reports indicate that the victim, a resident of Brown's Alley off Kemp Road, was on Bonaby Alley off Kemp Road around 7 p.m. when he was attacked and subsequently stabbed multiple times by a group of men armed with cutlasses and knives.
A total of five men carried out the Friday night attack, police said.
The 20-year-old male victim was taken to hospital in a private vehicle.
Police are requesting the public's help in locating the men responsible for the violent incident.
"Police are investigating and are appealing to members of the public who may have any information regarding this incident to contact police at 911, 919, the Central Detective Unit at 502-9991, 502-9910 or Crime Stoppers at 328-TIPS," Police Liaison Officer Sergeant Chrislyn Skippings said.
In other crime news, officers of Rapid Strike made a firearm arrest on Saturday morning.
Up to yesterday police had taken 311 guns off the streets.
In this latest incident, police said a 35-year-old male of Carmichael Road was taken into custody around 1:20 a.m. on Saturday after police witnessed him stashing a shotgun.
According to police reports, officers were on routine patrol on Carmichael Road east of Gladstone Road when they observed the suspect throw an object into nearby bushes.
Police said the officers conducted a search of the bushes where the object was thrown and recovered the shotgun and a quantity of ammunition.
Police also recovered a large amount of ammunition in an unrelated incident.
This time it was officers of the Central Intelligence Bureau (CIB) who uncovered the ammunition.
The discovery was made shortly before 1 p.m. on Friday at Brown's Alley off Kemp Road, inside an abandoned vehicle.
The officers were acting on information.
No one was taken into custody but active police investigations continue.
Meantime, officers of Rapid Strike also made a drug arrest over the weekend.
Police said a 28-year-old man was arrested after officers searched him and recovered a quantity of suspected marijuana.
Police made the arrest around 9:25 p.m. on Friday at the Farmer's Market, Baillou Hill Road south.
Friday 8th October 2010 8:00 PM
James Weldon Johnsonís Godís Trombones, which is also sometimes known by its full title, Godís Trombones: Seven Negro Sermons in Verse. This production, written in 1927, is based on a book of poems by Johnson patterned after traditional African-American religious oratory. Guest Performer: Minister Kersch Darville Start Time: October 8th at 8:00pm Where: Bahamas Faith Ministries, Carmichael Road Tickets, during the run of the festival, are $25.00 except for Student Matinees, our special Student/Seniors discount preview on Thursday, September 30th at 8:00pm (ID required) and our Opening Night Gala on Friday, October 1st at 8:00pm
The Carmichael Athletic Community Centre at the Flamingo Park in Flamingo Gardens will host the first J. Barrie Farrington Living Legends Tennis Open, from July 18-26. The tennis event will feature Men's Open Singles, Ladies Open Singles, Men's Doubles and Women's Doubles. All proceeds from the event are in aid of the Carmichael Athletic Community Centre Sports program.
The event is named in honor of J. Barrie Farrington for his long-standing contributions to tennis as a player, executive and philanthropist. Farrington, while known for his involvement in the hospitality industry, has participated in sports for six decades in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.
Tournament organizer Bradley Demeritte has known Farrington for the past 45 years, particularly during the time he served as the president of the Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association (BLTA). Under Farrington's administration, many programs were implemented, including the youth program.
In 1974, a trio represented The Bahamas at the first ever All Caribbean Tennis Constellation Tournament. That trio of Demeritte, Farrington and Roy Ashton won the overall title. Not only was J. Barrie Farrington a great player, but he was also an excellent coach, and as a result paved the way for many prominent tennis players.
Also, during a special ceremony on Saturday evening, the organizing committee will honor two living tennis legends in the persons of Robert 'Uncle Bob' Isaacs and Edith Powell, true pioneers in the development of tennis here in The Bahamas, the Caribbean and indeed the world.
Facilitating this event are Tournament Director Bradley Bain, Centre Administrator Clayton Fernander, Coordinator Levan Hinsey, Public Relations Officer Athama Bowe, Assistant Public Relations Officer Kemia Demeritte and Edith Powell who is in charge of programming and finance.
Tennis players, tennis enthusiasts and those interested in supporting a worthy cause, are asked to sign up at the Carmichael Athletic Community Centre in Flamingo Gardens. Entry forms are available at the center, the Gym Tennis Club and the BLTA's National Tennis Centre at the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre. Interested persons can contact the center at 676-5995.
The tennis matches will get underway on Friday afternoon with first round singles matches in the Men's Open Division at the Carmichael Athletic Community Centre.
My name is Blake Carmichael, and I have been visiting The Bahamas ever since I was born. I am now 19 years old.
The clear, beautiful, blue waters and thriving marine life is what brought our family back again and again to this wonderful, pristine place.
The marine life and water quality in Florida is quite disgusting in comparison to The Bahamas, and it is the obvious result of degradation due to human activities such as sewage outflows, dredging, pollution and many other factors that have been overlooked by the general public and the government.
It is sad, especially for my father who experienced healthy reefs off of the coast of Fort Lauderdale just 30 years ago, to watch money and ignorance take precedence over the quality of marine environments. These environments are essential to life on Earth.
I greatly hope that the disturbing actions taking place in Bimini to facilitate Resorts World Bimini are put to an end. I do not want to witness any further destruction of the marine life in Bimini, and I know many other people who feel the same way. Please do not let this proceed any further.
A photo that surfaced recently is quite disturbing. I have read that the dredging area has now been expanded to three times its original size.
And the silt flows a large distance away from the site, landing back on top of reefs which will soon be dead. This must stop now. Please take a stand.
- Blake Carmichael
- Genre : Action, Thriller
- Rating :
Terrorists steal nuclear warheads from the US military but don't count on a pilot and park ranger spoiling their plans....
As officials prepare for tomorrow's advanced poll, which will take place across the country, Parliamentary Commissioner Errol Bethel said he expects the process to run smoothly.
"We don't expect to have any problems. I think everything will go as planned," he told The Nassau Guardian yesterday.
As previously reported, 7,865 people are registered to vote in the advanced poll including election workers, agents of political parties, Defence Force, Police Force and custom and immigration officers, overseas voters and special voters.
Voters will be able to vote between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m at two polling stations in New Providence, which will be located at the Bahamas Tourism Training Centre at The College of The Bahamas and the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium.
Early voters in Bains Town and Grants Town, Englerston, Fox Hill, Marathon, Nassau Village, South Beach, MICAL, Centreville, Fort Charlotte, Golden Gates, Montagu, Pinewood and St. Anne's will vote at the gymnasium. Early voters in Bamboo Town, Elizabeth, Golden Isles, Mount Moriah, Southern Shores, Yamacraw, Carmichael, Garden Hills, Killarney, Sea Breeze, and Tall Pines will cast their ballots at the college.
As for the locations for the Family Islands poll, Bethel said that information will be published in the newspapers today or tomorrow.
The names of the approved registered early voters will also be printed, Bethel said.
There is some confusion about who has been approved for early voting, he explained.
"We are hoping to have a documentary aired about the procedure before election day so that people can understand the process," Bethel said.
In a statement released yesterday the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) claimed that the government has disenfranchised Family Island voters.
Mario Cartwright, DNA candidate for Long Island, said he only found out three working days before the advanced poll that Family Island residents would be allowed to participate in the early voting process.
He said it was originally announced that Family Island constituencies would not be allowed to do so.
The DNA charged that "the FNM government has secretly changed this position in what appears to be an attempt to disenfranchise voters from the non-governing parties."
However, Bethel explained that the Family Islands were only added to the list after the applications were reviewed.
"We don't normally include the Family Islands in the advanced polls. However, the amendments to the Parliamentary Elections Act allow Bahamians, including Family Island residents, to apply to vote in the early poll.
"So we had to make a determination after looking through all of the applications," Bethel added.
Less than 10,000 of the more than 118,000 registered voters in New Providence have yet to pick up their cards, Bethel said.
People can retrieve their cards up until the election day.
Funeral Service for Dwight George Poitier, 50, a resident of Grosham Drive off Carmichael Road formerly of Bamboo Town and the Bluff, Cat Island will be held on Saturday, March 10, 2012 at 10am at Southland Church of God Soldier Road. Officiating will be Bishop Tueton Stubbs assisted by Rev. Dr. Joseph Smith. Interment will follow in Lakeview Memorial Gardens, JFK Drive.
Left to cherish his loving memories are: his wife: Registered Nurse Eldora Poitier; two children : Eldoran Miller and Tramaine Poitier; his mother: Bettymae Poitier; his grandparents: Emmanuel and Bernice Poitier of the New Bight Cat Island; his grandaunt: Brandhilda Dawkins; his fathers-in-law: James Munroe Sr. and Arnold Ferg ...
The Ingraham administration has met 10 of the 13 pledges it made in its 2007 Manifesto on immigration and is working on completing the others, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Immigration Brent Symonette said yesterday.
In its nearly five-year term, the government granted citizenship to about 2,600 people; reduced the number of work permits granted to foreign workers; recruited and deployed more immigration officers and introduced tamper proof work permits.
However, repatriation of illegal immigrants dipped in 2010 when the government temporarily suspended apprehension and repatriation exercises of illegal Haitian nationals found in the country after the earthquake in Haiti.
Not long after assuming office, the Free National Movement (FNM) began tackling its first promise for immigration reform: to articulate and implement a medium to long-term immigration policy providing for timely, transparent and expeditious application processes; the regularization of the status of long-time residents and the registration of children born abroad to married Bahamian women.
The process started in the summer of 2007 with an audit of applications outstanding before April 30 of that year.
Officials weeded through a backlog of applications for citizenship, permanent residency and spousal permits that in some cases stretched back decades.
Many of the people whose applications were assessed in the audit were born in The Bahamas and had a right to apply for citizenship. Others had lived in the country for years or were born outside The Bahamas to Bahamian mothers.
Officials at the time said those who were assessed during the audit were not automatically entitled to legal status in the country but had a right to know if they would be approved or denied.
"We hope that persons realize that we are serious about the national sovereignty and security of our country [and] that those who are entitled to be here, we would like to deal with them so that they are not angry; that they are not feeling displaced and those that are not entitled to be here, we can make sure that they are not here," said Minister of National Security Tommy Turnquest, who then had responsibility for immigration in 2007.
From May 2, 2007 to December 31, 2011, the government approved 2,590 applications for citizenship. The government also approved 1,710 permanent residence permits; 2,020 spousal permits and 12,678 permits to reside during the same time period.
The process was in keeping with the FNM's stated immigration policies.
"We've been regularizing persons who have been in The Bahamas all their lives, born in The Bahamas who never had status," Symonette said yesterday.
The government was roundly criticized for citizenship grants by some who saw the move as politically motivated.
The FNM's second Manifesto promise was to ensure that its immigration policies reflect the priorities and needs of the people and economy.
Symonette said this pledge was accomplished with the decrease in work permits issued last year.
The government issued 8,116 work permits in 2009; 9,390 in 2010 and 7,091 in 2011.
"That's been achieved, which shows we're trying to make sure that [foreigners who] apply don't get work permits [if] Bahamians qualify," Symonette said.
After the January 12, 2010 earthquake, the government temporarily stopped apprehension and repatriation exercises of illegal Haitian nationals found in the country.
The Department of Immigration also issued permits to reside to 102 Haitians who were detained at the Detention Centre on Carmichael Road at the time of the earthquake.
In 2010, the department recorded its lowest number of repatriations in the past five years: 1,562.
Statistics reveal that 2,392 Haitians were repatriated in 2011; 4,931 in 2009; 6,029 in 2008; 6,063 in 2007 and 6,028 in 2005.
Symonette said the FNM government has also introduced minimum processing times for applicants with no family ties to The Bahamas, in keeping with one of its pledges, and is processing spousal and work permits more efficiently.
"We're working on 21 days for those persons who have high net worth. We've also been able to reduce from about 12 to 15 years [processing time for] spousal permits to five years. We're very successful and we're turning around work permits a lot quicker too," he said.
Over the past three years, the government has recruited and deployed about 85 new immigration officers.
"We're also working to amalgamate Customs and Immigration officers on Family Islands so there's no duplication of work and the need for double officers," Symonette said.
The government has also created a 24-hour immigration hotline for tips on illegal immigration.
According to Symonette, a few things are still left undone on the FNM's 2007 list: To reorganize and bring order to the department; provide for timely processing of applications for expatriate skilled labor or technical expertise not available in the country; and the routine observance of established and published immigration rules.
He said the government has made strides in reorganizing the Department of Immigration but still has to computerize the Nassau office and move operations in Freeport and Abaco into new buildings.
Symonette told The Nassau Guardian that he hopes the next government will also address other areas of immigration reform.
"I think we have to look at the whole question of citizenship, permanent residency, who can apply, how you apply [and] what qualifications you need; just generally revising the rules," he said.
"I think we also need to look at the whole question of the issues that were raised in the  referendum."
At least two shantytowns on New Providence have been cleared of the majority of makeshift structures and their occupants, The Nassau Guardian observed yesterday.
Numerous structures have been demolished at a Seabreeze Lane shantytown and another such community off Carmichael Road, west of Gladstone Road.
Authorities have also started demolishing structures at a third shantytown off Joe Farrington Road.
Minister of State for the Environment Kenred Dorsett claimed the majority of residents who have cleared out of those communities have either begun renting legally or are in the process of doing so.
He was responding to a question from The Guardian about whether residents being cleared out are simply moving to other shantytowns.
"We have not seen an increase in population of any other shantytown that is in the process of being addressed," Dorsett told reporters.
"Social services has been instrumental in ensuring that those who remove themselves from these facilities are moving into proper rental accommodations."
He said the Department of Environmental Health Services (DEHS) and the Department of Social Services are "closely monitoring the movement of people" in all shantytowns on New Providence.
A report on shantytowns released in July revealed that there are at least 15 Haitian shantytowns on New Providence.
According to Dorsett, more than 30 structures have been demolished at the Joe Farrington Road shantytown, which contained an estimated 350 structures up to last month.
Hundreds more have been marked for demolition in the coming days.
In July, at least 30 structures were destroyed in a fire at the Joe Farrington Road shantytown.
At the Seabreeze Lane shantytown, only four of the more than 30 structures remain.
And just three structures stand at the Carmichael Road community. Around 20 structures and 90 residents previously occupied that land, according to officials.
However, landowner, Cynthia Mitchell, 70, suggested that she reluctantly forced residents living on her property to move.
Having collected rent for more than a decade up to last year, Mitchell said she did not have a problem with the shantytown.
"Government said they had to move, so I had to go along with the government," she said.
Lennard Miller, head of the Shantytown Unit in the Ministry of the Environment and Housing, said the demolition and relocation process has not been easy, but the government is getting results.
He said the demolition process at the Sir Milo Butler Highway shantytown is expected to begin within six weeks.
Dorsett said the cost of demolition has been minimal to date, although he could not provide figures.
He said his ministry has all the necessary equipment and dumps to carry out the work without much additional cost.
Dorsett said the government intends to clear all shantytowns of illegal residents and improper structures.
The environment minister said he could not say when this process would be completed.
Several shanty homes remain occupied in the Carmichael Road area despite the crackdown on illegal shantytown houses by the Ministry of the Environment and Housing.
New Providence Police investigat traffic fatality - Investigate shooting incident - Armed robbery suspect detain by citizens -
POLICE INVESTIGATES TRAFFIC FATALITY Police are investigating a
traffic accident that has left a 31 year old male of Wingate Drive off
Carmichael Road dead.The incident reportedly...
ARMED ROBBERY SUSPECT DETAINED BY CITIZENS A 21 year old male of Columbus Avenue is in police custody after being detained by residents of St. Albans Drive and released...
POLICE INVESTIGATES SHOOTING INCIDENT Police are investigating a shooting incident that has left a 24 year old male of...
One may refer to the current prime minister as many things, positive and negative, but no one is able to deny that he is a 'master' at smoke and mirrors. The Free National Movement (FNM) has been in power for almost five long years. Their propaganda machinery has sought, successfully, in a number of cases, to portray the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) as bumbling, inept and out of touch with the electorate.
The blame game, however, must stop at some point and the FNM must face the reality of the fact that it is 'in charge' and has been for the last five years or so. What the PLP 'failed' to do or did not do is food for thought, but the buck stops at the feet of the prime minister and his crew.
For the most part, the FNM has heaped taxes on the backs of the small man and woman in this country in an attempt, albeit a vain one, to address the fiscal imbalances brought on by its own cockeyed and tired economic policies. To start a business in The Bahamas today is exorbitant, challenging and dysfunctional in the extreme. The 'new' business license application form is beyond a rocket scientist's pay scale. If a potential business entrepreneur wishes to access Crown land or a simple bank loan, the hurdles are almost insurmountable.
Last year, electricity was turned off at the behest, allegedly, of management at the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) here in New Providence. Scores of Bahamian homeowners were foreclosed on by The Bahamas Mortgage Corporation, headed by the compassionate and caring Senator Dr. Duane Sands. Bahamians were told, allegedly, that they needed not to apply for the acquisition of shares or a beneficial ownership in certain Bahamian enterprises.
Now that we are in the general electoral mode, bogus political and other promises are being made and proffered to all and sundry by all and sundry. BEC has been 'ordered' to reconnect consumers whose accounts are grossly in arrears. Short-term jobs and employment opportunities are being offered to even the most unqualified, seemingly on a political basis. Soft 'loans' are being made available to every Tom, Dick and Harry, regardless allegedly, of the lack of a business plan.
Haitians and others who never had the 'ghost' of a chance of acquiring citizenship or naturalization are being processed almost at the drop of a hat. The FNM's minister of immigration has announced, rightly so, that he will not be seeking reelection.
The minister of labour is deathly silent on the spate of unprecedented lay-offs and terminations within the private sector. Foulkes is a long-term friend and benefactor, but he has 'fallen' down as a proactive minister. Indeed, his stance and pronouncements would appear to be reactionary, at best.
The prime minister is to be seen all over the place opening every school, government building and 'chicken' shack ad nauseum. He is also, as minister of finance, approving the awarding of all manner of contracts for this and that. He and his administration in these so-called economic hard times have, allegedly, found hundreds of thousands of dollars to clean up and open the sports stadium. Those Chinese left the stadium in a mess, or did they?
Ministers and others in the FNM administration appear to be abandoning their once 'safe' seats in droves. Desmond Bannister has left Carmichael. Zhivargo Laing (the preacher man) has left Marco City to fend for himself; Phenton "Black Out" Neymour has 'gone back home' and Michael Pintard, the Fox Hill 'homeboy', has hightailed it down to Cat Island and San Salvador. All what is left now is for the political dinosaurs to be elected in traditionally 'white' constituencies.
Our politicians, across the board, would appear to have 'sold' us out to partisan interests and to 'hell' with the average Bahamian. They all give a 'good' speech, but are they realistic and genuine? The bamboozle is now in full swing and the shaving cream is being dished out big time.
Bahamians, or those of us who are indigenous, must come to the stark realization that "there are, in fact, more of them than us". This is the last lap for Perry Christie and Hubert Ingraham. This may well be the only lap for Branville McCartney, seeing that history and political precedents have not been too kind to those who 'also ran'.
I make no bones about it, the upcoming general election will be crucial to the way forward for this nation. Ingraham is a tired man and Christie is not too far behind. Branville is full of himself, in my view, and full of utopian promises. What will it be and what will not be the final outcome?
To God then, in all things, be the glory, for there are yet great things He will do.
- Ortland H. Bodie Jr.
When Mike Ferguson left The Bahamas 13 years ago, he didn't leave his connection behind.
The high school football sensation is very much indebted to The Bahamas which he still calls his homeland. As a matter of fact, he has the word 'Bahamas' tattooed on his left arm, and plays with the determination and desire of a kid from the islands every time he steps onto the field. Ferguson is a 19-year-old linebacker for the Cocoa High School Tigers, in Cocoa, Florida. He signed a commitment letter last month to play his collegiate football for the Florida Tech Panthers, in Melbourne.
"I'm very proud of my Bahamian background. I could never forget The Bahamas," said Ferguson yesterday. "That's where I came from so I could never forget it there. I know that it's tough for a young man from the islands to make it to the professional ranks in American football, but I feel that once I continue to work hard, the sky is the limit for me. I'm satisfied with the progress that I'm making, but I feel like I have to keep working hard to fully realize my potential."
Ferguson missed out on a unique opportunity to become just the third football player in the state of Florida to win four straight state titles, and at the same time, lead the Cocoa Tigers to an unprecedented fourth straight state title. The Tigers fell to the Booker T. Washington Tornadoes in the state semi-finals, losing by a touchdown in overtime.
"It sucked to go all the way to the game before state and fall short by a touchdown in overtime. It was real crushing, but it just points out that you can't win everything," said Ferguson. "This past year was probably my best season statistically, but in the end it still wasn't good enough because we lost. I wasn't really focussed on how I felt but to look around at my teammates as team captain, it was hard to watch them breaking down in tears because this was a lot of their first and last chance.
"A lot of them didn't get a chance to experience a state title, and that is what really hurt me more than anything else. I have three titles at home so I know what it feels like, but for a lot of them, this was their first and only chance. About half of the team was newcomers so they wanted to see what it felt like. I'm just disappointed that I couldn't lead them to that title to experience that feeling," he added.
As mentioned, Ferguson led the Tigers to three straight Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) state titles during his time there. The 6'0" 210-pound linebacker, who hails from Carmichael Road, right here in New Providence, will now take his talents to the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT). However, the Panthers don't play in their inaugural football season until the 2013 season.
"It's a great school academically and they have a great coaching staff in place, so I can't wait to get to work," said Ferguson. "I feel that I am at the ideal size right now - I'm just working on my foot speed and learning new techniques. I know that it's going to be a tough adjustment from high school to college but I'm prepared for the challenge. I'll be a redshirt freshman so I'll just be taking part in drills and running plays during practices. I guess we'll just be watching a lot of film and scrimmaging against other teams. I'm excited. I think that will work in our favor. No one knows what to expect from us, and with the people that we have recruited, I think that we are in for a very strong debut. I can't wait!"
Ferguson, who came home last summer, said that he would love to eventually make it to the National Football League (NFL) joining Bahamian greats such as the father and son tandem of Ed and Alex Smith, and Devard Darling.
"I guess only time will tell if I will be blessed enough to make it that far," said Ferguson. "Of course, it's something that you would want to shoot for, but at the same time, it's very difficult to make it to the NFL. I'm just going to go out there and continue working hard and let the chips fall where they may. Honestly, I'm just using football to get me where I need to go. It got me into college so that's already a plus."
No doubt, those are strong words coming from Ferguson. He left The Bahamas at age six with his mother Ellamae Lewis, and lives in Cocoa, Florida, with his mother and step father, Marlon Lewis.
Bank of The Bahamas (BOB) is planning to revamp its branches in Grand Bahama, fashioning them in a similar manner to the financial institution's new flagship on Village Road.
The Freeport and Eight Mile Rock locations will undergo the overhaul next year, according to the bank's managing director.
Paul McWeeney said these banks should reflect the new model of efficiency now on display at BOB's recently opened flagship.
"We plan to revamp the Grand Bahama branches there," he said. "We plan to put in new ABMs in both locations in Freeport and Eight Mile Rock, and we're looking at a major overhaul of that facility next year."
While McWeeney was uncertain what the budget would be for these projects, he anticipated it could be similar to the work done on Village Road, which cost more than $1 million, not including equipment.
The new flagship on New Providence features a room with two new ABM machines, and as you walk to the left, there is a separate self-service station.
"The layout allows the customer flow to be more efficient. It's much more spacious and we doubled the size of the Village Road branch," he told Guardian Business. "That is our model going forward."
BOB is so confident in the latest design, the managing director revealed they actually tweaked renovations to the Carmichael branch mid-stream to make it consistent with Village Road.
McWeeney said he signed off on those changes around two weeks ago.
The Carmichael branch should open, he said, around June or July.
In addition to renovations to the physical space, BOB is now in the midst of great improvements to its technology and electronic services in an effort to boost non-interest revenue by 50 percent in five years. Last month, WcWeeney said a total investment of $4 million is intended to bring the financial institution truly of age when it comes to modern services and conveniences.
By the end of next year, he estimated there will be 14 new ABMs installed at varying locations.
Phil's Food Services, Lynden Pindling International Airport and two new machines at the Village Road branch are some of the locations already served by the new technology, which in many cases eliminates the need to visit a teller at the bank.
The BOB chief also said he had recently signed off on the lease for an AMB at Arawak Cay, a site he feels will be particularly successful.
Meanwhile, an e-commerce solution for businesses is in the late-stages of testing and should be rolled out in six months.
With so many changes happening at BOB, McWeeney told Guardian Business "we've had to slow the bank down".
"Especially given the other demands and economic circumstances. We have to make sure we can balance growth with financial positioning as well," he explained.
The other issue is resources, he felt.
The managing director said it has been difficult to find qualified persons in the country. The bank often resorts to hiring external consultants to come in and support initiatives.
"It's a common thing for BOB. We don't have a foreign office. This is it. We rely a great deal on foreign consultants to help us get certain things done. Sometimes we're at the mercy of those consultants, in terms of their timing," McWeeney said.
That said, the bank is taking pains to continuously train its staff, he told Guardian Business.
A focused learning center, alliances with local entities such as The College of the Bahamas, and even a new e-learning module have helped strengthen human capital.
"E-learning allows those employees to learn at their leisure while still fulfilling training requirements," he added. "So we have introduced this to bring flexibility. Whereas in the past we'd have them in on a Saturday, with the new system, they can access learning software from their homes."
The Free National Movement's Carmichael candidate, Darron Cash, thinks the Bahamian economy is recovering well from what has been described as the "Great Recession".
Cash shared with Guardian Business that the country's economic recovery is reflected in what he is calling investor confidence from both the domestic and international communities.
In this week's edition of My Ten Cents, Cash noted that while The Bahamas' economy should be in good standing over the next five to 10 years, there still needs to be a stronger emphasis on encouraging Bahamian ownership.
He pointed out that it is through increased Bahamian ownership that the economy will expand.
The FNM candidate stressed the importance of the country's tourism product but recommended that it be diversified in order to maintain its competitive edge against other touristic destinations.
One area Cash suggested tourism stakeholders need to focus on is creating opportunities for Bahamian entertainers.
"There are many ways for us to improve our tourism product and I think therein are the opportunities for Bahamians to provide new avenues for ownership. Specifically, there has been an agelong concern that there is more that can be done to expand the opportunities there are for Bahamian entertainers," according to Cash.
"There are many ways for us to expand the number of things tourists do when they come to our shores and I think there is no question at what the Ministry of Tourism has been doing by way of promoting the Family Islands."
In addition to strengthening the country's tourism product, Cash encouraged Bahamians to take advantage of entrepreneurial-based projects provided by the government such as the self starter and jump start programs.
He said now is the time for them to take advantage of these opportunities, as the job market becomes even more competitive.
While he is encouraged by the fact that most businesses in The Bahamas are considered to be small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), he shared with Guardian Business that many of them still fail due to a lack of financial and technical support.
As chairman of the Bahamas Development Bank, Cash noted that many businesses have been significantly funded by the bank.
However, he admits the challenges that SMEs face don't always boil down to finances.
"The key point for us to remember is that the greatest challenge for SMEs is not always on the financial side, but on the technical side. Very often it is about the marketing, the operational and financial weaknesses that have to be addressed to make sure that the people who bring fantastic ideas to the table also have the support to bring those ideas to fruition," said Cash.
The search for the best and brightest students coming out of primary schools began in November 2013, when administrators began keeping an eye out for the shining achievers who will, this year, be awarded a share of approximately $110,000 in scholarships and prizes at the 18th annual Bahamas Primary School Student of the Year Awards program.
The winner will be named National Primary School Student of the Year and walk away with the top prize of a $5,000 scholarship and a computer.
The first runner-up will receive a $4,000 scholarship as well as a computer, and $3,000 will be awarded to the second through fifth runners-up. The second and third runners-up will also receive a computer; the fourth runner-up will receive a tablet phone. Sixth through 15th place finalists will each receive a $2,000 scholarship, with 12 finalists receiving a $1,500 scholarship each. Thirty-two semi-finalists will walk away with a $1,000 scholarship.
Two students, one from the Family Islands and another from New Providence, who would have been semi-finalists if the Foundation and Awards Committee had the money to award them the disbursement, will also be the recipients of computers.
An independent panel of judges is expected to review the portfolios of the 118 students nominated to represent their respective schools from throughout the country and determine the winners. Judges will select winners based on the merits of the achievements documented in the students' portfolio, which will include transcripts, essays, letters of recommendations and copies of awards. Students will be judged without regard to the schools they attend, color, creed, religious affiliation, nationality or family heritage.
Winners will be announced on Saturday, May 24 at the Golden Gates World Outreach Ministries on Carmichael Road. The ceremony begins at 6 p.m.
"Each year a select group of students are nominated to accept one of the most prestigious national recognition for primary school students in this country. This awards program, which is the premier program for primary students is an excellent opportunity to recognize those students who have demonstrated excellent academic achievement, leadership ability, campus and community involvement and good citizenship," said Ricardo P. Deveaux, president and chief executive officer of The Bahamas Primary School Student of the Year Foundation.
Children are awarded a one-time financial scholarship payable to a Bahamian educational institution for secondary school purposes only. The recipient has one year to access the award. The number of awards meted out annually depends on the number of corporate and civic donors that support the Bahamas Primary School Student of the Year Awards Program.
The competition, established in 1997, was founded to fill a void in recognizing young achievers, because it was felt that major emphasis was being placed on the achievements of high school students.
The program was introduced by Deveaux, who was impressed with the Florida College Student of the Year Awards Program and felt the need to establish a national awards program in The Bahamas. Deveaux was one of seven finalists in the 1992 Florida College Student of the Year Awards Program. Deveaux himself had flunked out of a private high school in 1983, and was motivated to provide an opportunity for students who are striving for excellence.
The judges assembled to identify the winner and scholarship finalists include Jacqueline Bethel, chairman; Autherine Turnquest-Hanna, deputy chairman; Philip Stubbs, chief tally judge; Beryl Armbrister, Rubyann Darling, Zelma Dean, Lionel Elliott, Tanya Wright, Sister Mary Benedict Pratt, Philip Simon, Barry Wilmott, Nakera Simms-Symonette and Stuart Howell.
According to Deveaux, the judges had a difficult task identifying the 2014 winners, as each nominee was qualified to be selected as the student of the year.
2013 -- Lauryn Rolle, St. Thomas More Catholic School
2012 -- Nadja Simon, Genesis Academy, New Providence
2011 -- Anna Albury, Hope Town Primary, Abaco
2010 --Jared Fitzgerald, Temple Christian School, New Providence
2009 -- Khes Adderley, Temple Christian School, New Providence
2008 -- James Boyce, Hope Town Primary, Abaco
2007 -- Taran Jay Carey, Tarpum Bay Primary School, Eleuthera
2006 -- George F.D. Zonicle, Bahamas Academy Elementary School, New Providence
2005 -- Shridat Jadoo, Maurice Moore Primary School, Grand Bahama
2004 -- Saul Salonga, Mary Star of The Sea (Catholic) School, Grand Bahama
2003 -- Tenielle Curtis, Sts. Francis and Joseph School, New Providence
2002 -- Zachary Lyons, Queen's College, New Providence
2001 -- Kenny Roberts, Spanish Wells All Age School, Eleuthera
2000 -- Sasha Bain, Walter Parker Primary, Grand Bahama
1999 -- Tiffany Moncur, Carmichael Primary School, New Providence
1998 -- Andrea Moultrie, St. John's College, New Providence
1997 -- Vashti Darling, St. John's College, New Providence
Two traffic fatalities happened yesterday and another occurred over the weekend.
According to police, one of the incidents involved 31-year-old Doryle Bastian. His Suzuki motorcycle collided with a Honda Fit vehicle on East Street on Monday shortly after 1 a.m.
Bastian died at the scene.
The driver of the Honda reportedly fled the scene, however police revealed yesterday that they had a man in custody. It was unclear if he was the driver.
Family and friends said Bastian was a family man who cared deeply about his three young children.
"I'd rather be the one laying in the morgue today," the victim's father, Alton Bastian told The Guardian yesterday.
"When you knock someone down, that's a human, not a dog," said the victim's uncle, Bernard Strachan. "They could have stopped to see if he [was] alright."
Police also reported that shortly after 3 a.m. yesterday, a red Mitsubishi Mirage, occupied by a man and a woman, collided into a tree off Carmichael Road heading east.
The driver died at the scene and the passenger received serious injuries and was taken to hospital. Her condition is unknown.
Police are also investigating a traffic fatality that happened on Long Island on Saturday at 2 a.m.
The accident involved a Toyota car that ran into a tree in the Mangrove Bush area.
The 22-year-old male driver was taken to the Deadman's Cay Health Centre where he was pronounced dead.
A team of officers from the Traffic Division on New Providence traveled to Long Island to assist with the investigations.
According to police, a total of 13 traffic fatalities have been recorded for the year so far.
The level of deficit spending in The Bahamas is unprecedented, irresponsible and unsustainable, according to the Democratic National Alliance's (DNA) candidate for Carmichael.
Theofanis Cochinamogulas said The Bahamas received two major economic downgrades last year due to successive governments "developing and nurturing a chronic addiction to borrowing money."
"This borrowing started with the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP), which borrowed nearly $1 billion from 2002-2007 and continued with the Free National Movement (FNM), which borrowed about $2 billion from 2007-2012. Christie and Ingraham are oblivious as to how we should end this trend, but the DNA will aggressively tackle this problem," said Cochinamogulas in a press statement released yesterday.
His comments come after State Minister of Finance Zhivargo Laing defended the government's borrowing of more than$1 billion since the FNM took office in 2007, calling it necessary in order for The Bahamas to sustain itself during the global financial crisis.
He noted recently that the government borrowed $1.3 billion, in comparison to $800 million borrowed under the previous PLP-led government.
Laing also shared that while the credit ratings that international credit agencies give to The Bahamas are important to note, he emphasized these ratings only reflect the present economic climate in a country.
While Cochinamagulos admits that deficit spending doesn't have to be a bad thing, continuous deficit spending, year-over-year, is not sustainable and should be a concern of all governments.
"Despite unprecedented borrowing to stimulate the economy through capitol works, the average Bahamian has yet to feel the intended positive effect of the government's policy decision," he added.
"We are placing a serious risk to our way of life... We are mortgaging our future for some cosmetic purposes now, but we should be investing in the positive growth of our economic base."
By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
IT'S going to the fourth version of the Young Champions Boys Club's Sports Blast Saturday as the various local martial arts schools come together to compete in the Open Karate Tournament. Scheduled for Bahamas Faith Ministries on Carmichael Road, the event is slated to begin at 9am and will show competitors in kata - hard and soft, point sparring, continuous fighting, extreme kata and grappling.
Organiser Corey 'DJ Counsellor' Rolle said the event is a tradition for the Young Boys Club and it will be family-oriented with special guest appearances from local gospel artists Regina Ward and Avery Fowler.
North Andros Administrator Huntley Christie is scheduled to hand down a ruling today on whether certain people are illegally registered to vote in North Andros.
Originally, 30 people were being challenged, but Christie later revealed that the list of challenged voters was cut to 17.
Parliamentary Commissioner Erroll Bethel told The Nassau Guardian yesterday that a second hearing relating to another 10 challenged voters could take place as early as this week.
Bethel said notices were recently sent to those people advising them that their eligibility to vote in the constituency is being challenged.
He said a firm date will be set as soon as the current hearing winds up.
"We're trying to get over this one and then start that one between this week and early next week," Bethel said.
Yesterday, Christie heard final submissions by lawyers in the case.
Progressive Liberal Party Deputy Leader Philip 'Brave' Davis represented several of the voters who were challenged while former Ambassador to China Elma Campbell argued on behalf of the residents who filed the complaint.
Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said yesterday his administration simply wants a clean election and is not concerned about the outcome of the hearing.
"We have no concern or special interest in what is taking place in North Andros or any place else," Ingraham told reporters after touring the construction site of the Princess Margaret Hospital's new Critical Care Block.
"We just want people to be registered and to vote in the constituency which they live. It doesn't matter whether they are PLPs, FNMs or any other kind of thing.
"The exercise down in North Andros is merely demonstrative of what we are seeking to do because it is not possible to challenge all who have registered in areas likes North Andros who do not live in North Andros.
"Whatever the result is [it is] fine with [us]. We would have done our best to ensure we have a clean voter's register. . . It is important for The Bahamas to conduct clean, fair, honest, transparent elections."
Allegations of voter fraud were first raised by the FNM's North Andros candidate Desmond Bannister, who is the current MP for Carmichael.
Bannister alleged that people were flown into North Andros from New Providence and Grand Bahama to be registered.
Davis initially called the claims vexatious and an affront to members of the North Andros community.
However, in late March, he told The Nassau Guardian that he was considering submitting his own list of questionable North Andros voters to the parliamentary commissioner.
The law states that any three people who are registered as voters in a constituency can object to the name of any other person on the voter's register for that constituency by delivering to the revising officer a notice of objection.
Upon receiving the notice which discloses why the name of that other person should be removed from that part of the register, the revising officer shall as soon as practicable fix a day for hearing the objection, which shall be a day not later than 14 days after the day on which he received notice of objection.