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News Article
Gangster's Paradise Part 4

Thirty-eight years after independence, we are (in the net) not much better off as a people.  Despite all of our blessings, we have squandered many of the gifts and have not achieved our national potential.

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News Article
Gardiner Receives BHTA Award

Recognizing her longstanding support for programs which bring business and education together, Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) President Stuart Bowe, joined by Prime Minister Perry Christie, presented educator Ruth Gardiner with its annual Business-Education Partnership Award.

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Business Listing
Business Listing

Genesis Academy
Schools - Elementary & Secondary,Schools - Nursery & Kindergarten
  • 150 Shirley Street
  • Nassau
  • Nassau / Paradise Island, Bahamas
News Article
Genesis Academy captures First Lego League Tournament
Genesis Academy captures First Lego League Tournament

Teams from Genesis Academy and St. Andrew's Primary School will represent The Bahamas at the regional finals of the First Lego League (FLL) Tournament in Orlando, Florida, after capturing first and second places respectively at the inaugural FLL competition in The Bahamas on Saturday.

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News Article
Genesis Academy student is the best and brightest

Philip Simon remembers it well -- his daughter, Nadja, watching a student being named the Bahamas Primary School Student of the Year a few years back. He remembers his then fourth-grade daughter with tears in her eyes telling him that she wanted the award. And he and his wife, Sherry, telling her that if she did her best then her school may recognize her and enter her into the competition. Two years later, Nadja is the Primary School Student of the Year.
The Genesis Academy sixth grade student has won a $6,000 scholarship to the school of her choice, and a laptop computer.
"I was shocked that they were calling me to get the award," said Nadja about her recent honor. "I was very happy and excited. It was a good accomplishment for me."
But her accomplishment does not come as a shock to her dad. He described his daughter as a determined young woman. He said she set her mind to it and did it.
"[Nadja's win] shows that determination goes a long way in accomplishing your goals, and she's a very determined young woman," said her dad.
He said that when Nadja told him and her mother that she wanted to be primary school student of the year, he and his wife sat her down and told her that she had to do her best so that her school could recognize her and put her name forward to the Bahamas Primary School Student of The Year Foundation as a deserving student.
Of the seven students in the sixth grade class at Genesis Academy, Nadja got the nomination nod. She then had to write an essay on the subject "It's Still Better in The Bahamas", and submit a transcript of her grades from fourth through sixth grade, inclusive of all of her school and extracurricular activities. Her application also had to be accompanied by three letters of recommendation from the school's principal or vice-principal, a classroom teacher or civic or community leader and a religious leader or extracurricular activity coach.
Nominees were judged on their contributions to school life, academic achievement, extracurricular achievement, community involvement and overall presentation of their submitted portfolio. Academic achievement alone did not guarantee placement in the awards program.
And when all was said and done, of the 112 nominees from around the country, Nadja was declared the Bahamas Primary School Student of the Year.
She has a cumulative grade point average of 3.92, and leads an extremely active lifestyle -- so much so, that you wonder how she manages to get it all done. She learns dance, takes piano lessons, photography and videography lessons. She's taking swimming and art lessons. She's in her school's choir and after-school money club. She's a member of her school's cheerleading squad, and is active in Awana at Christ Community Church.
Despite all of that, education comes first to the 11-year-old who said she takes her education very seriously. Actually, she has aspirations of becoming a surgeon and wants to study medicine at Harvard University.
"I've been doing a lot of science and studying on the heart and brain and that has inspired me to want to be a surgeon," she said.
Nadja studies daily, revising what she did in school before she completes her homework. It's a study and work ethic she attributes to her mother. And the task doesn't seem to be too difficult for Nadja, as there are no subjects that she does not like, but if it's creative, then it's her favorite.
Nadja, who describes
herself as hardworking, friendly and fun, will attend Queen's College in the new school year.
The Primary School Student of the Year awards recognizes the best and brightest sixth grade students in the school system, and is a celebration of their successes.
Since the inception of the program in 1997, 1,069 students have been recognized among the Who's Who in primary schools in The Bahamas, and over $500,000 presented in scholarships and prizes.

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News Article
Georgina Lavern Murray, 51

Funeral service for Georgina Lavern Murray 51 yrs., a resident of Broward & formerly of Nassau, Bahamas, who died on 13th October, 2011, will be held at St. Barnabas Anglican Church, Wulff & Baillou Hill Roads, on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. Officiating will be Canon Basil Tynes. Interment follows in Woodlawn Gardens, Soldier Road.

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News Article
Giant comeback sends St. John's to the finals

In the face of adversity last night, the top seeded St. John's College Giants senior boys battled back and fought their way into the Bahamas Association of Independent Secondary Schools (BAISS) championship. The pennant-winning Giants outlasted the fourth place Suns, 86-83, at Kendal G.L. Isaacs National Gymnasium, and will now play either the Queen's College Comets or the St. Augustine's College (SAC) Big Red Machine in the best-of-three championship series. That sudden-death playoff game will be played this evening.
Last night was all about the Giants and Suns, though. With top big man Dwight Wheatley taking a tumble in the fourth quarter, and being forced to sit out the final three minutes, the resilient Giants looked to their backcourt to get the job done, and they responded. The Giants took a 74-72 lead over the upstart Suns on back-to-back steals and lay-ups with 3:27 left to play, but shortly after that Wheatley went down with severe cramps and had to watch the remainder of the game from the bench. That obviously triggered the Suns as they reeled off seven points in a row to take an 81-74 lead with just 1:47 left on the clock.
The Giants still weren't dead yet. They got to within three points on a lay-up and two free shots from leading scorer Aaron Campbell with a little less than a minute left to play. The Giants forced four steals and two quick shots from the Suns in the final minute of the game, and converted lay-ups on the other end. They stormed ahead 84-81 with just 19 seconds remaining to play. Dylan Musgrove brought the Suns to within one with a bucket on the other end, but Campbell buried two free shots with 8.9 seconds to play to give the Giants an 86-83 lead. The Suns senior boys, who were making their first ever playoff appearance in the BAISS, failed to get an open look in the waning seconds, and the Giants celebrated a hard-fought victory.
"It feels great," said Giants' Head Coach Herbie Brown. "First of all, I have to give the Lord thanks and all the glory. Hard work pays off, and I thank the Lord for it. Earlier, we weren't rotating properly on the defensive end, and that almost cost us. We know that we could score, but we have to play defense and rotate properly. We stopped doing that earlier in the game, and that almost cost us tonight."
Prolific scorer Campbell had a game-high 33 points last night. Wheatley contributed 24 before going down in the fourth quarter. The Suns were led by Musgrove with 23 points. Darren Symonette added 12, and Diargo Smith scored nine.
"Coach was preaching heart to us all season long, and that is what carried us through tonight," said Campbell. "I just thank God for the victory. We never second-guessed them, even though we beat them in the regular season. The last two years, we lost under-estimating teams, and there was no way we were going to do that tonight."
The Giants looked like they were going to run the Suns right out of the gym in the first quarter, as they came out of the gate strong, surging ahead by double digits early in the game. The Giants knocked down four three pointers in the opening quarter, and took a 28-15 lead after one. The pesky Suns certainly wouldn't go away, though. As a matter of fact, they came all the way back in the second quarter, taking their first lead of the game at 33-32 on a driving basket by Smith.
The Suns outscored the Giants 25-9 in the second quarter to take a 40-37 lead at the half.
The fearless Suns picked up right where they left off to start the second half. They drove the ball to the basket at will, putting pressure on the Giants' defense. The Suns scored the first six points of the third quarter to take a 46-37 lead. The bewildered Giants were reeling in the other direction. All of a sudden, they couldn't penetrate through the Suns' defense and were giving up too many easy baskets on the other end. The Giants managed to stay within striking distance throughout. They closed the third quarter down just five, 65-60.
The all-important fourth quarter turned out to be a dog fight. The Suns stayed in control, but the Giants kept battling back. With a little over six minutes to play, the Suns increased their lead to double digits for the first time in the game. Though, Wheatley and Campbell wouldn't let the game get away that easily. They drew a number of fouls on the Suns, and even though they only converted about 50 percent of their foul shots, they kept the Giants in the game.
By the 5:33 mark, the Suns were already over the five-foul limit in the quarter, sending the Giants to the free throw line the rest of the way. That would be just the spark the Giants needed as they continued to inch closer. The Giants finally re-took the lead with their back-to-back steals and lay-ups with 3:27 left, but after Wheatley went down, the Suns jumped back in front and were seemingly in control leading by seven with just 1:47 left. It would be the resilient Giants who would execute in the final two minutes.
"It was just a lack of execution of our behalf," said Suns' Head Coach Marcellus Hall. "With 52 seconds left on the clock, had we just worked the shot clock for two possessions, there was no way that they could beat, but we just let this one slip away. I have to try and get my guys ready for Hugh Campbell now, so hopefully they'll utilize this experience, and use it there.
"I was glad to get into the playoffs, but to be honest with you, I felt that we really shouldn't have lost this game tonight. Our guys are young and they are going to make mistakes. Both teams were making mistakes, but the team that made the least amount of mistakes won the game tonight. It's unfortunate, but we'll just have to accept that."
In the junior girls playoff game yesterday, the Kingsway Academy Saints blasted the St. Andrew's Hurricanes, 31-15, behind 12 points from Valencia Demeritte.
The top seeded QC Comets won their junior boys playoff game, 66-31, over the Saints, and SAC dominated Aquinas College in the senior girls playoff game, 32-10.
The BAISS sudden-death playoff games will continue today at Kendal Isaacs gym, as the number two seeded teams will take on the number three seeded teams.

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News Article
Giants Send SAC Reeling to Second Straight Loss!
Giants Send SAC Reeling to Second Straight Loss!

It was the rematch that the St. John's College Giants were waiting an entire season for. After the St. Augustine's College (SAC) Big Red Machine knocked them out of the playoffs last year and went on to win the Bahamas Association...

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News Article
Giants girls on pace for three straight!

Since he came to St. John's College (SJC), Herbie Brown Jr. has been on a winning spree that is comparable to no other. Based on his success, he has been arguably the best senior girls basketball coach in the country.
Brown has won four of the past five Bahamas Association of Independent Secondary Schools (BAISS) basketball titles, and this year, he is headed down that road again as he has his girls off to another undefeated start. The SJC Giants trampled the Aquinas College Aces yesterday, 33-10, at St. John's. They took control of the game early, and cruised over their private school counterparts in the wire-to-wire win. It was their best offensive showing of the season, but Brown knows that there are still some things that they need to work on if they are going to win their third straight BAISS title this year, and fifth in the past six years.
"I'm happy for the win, but we were sloppy for the first two and a half quarters. We started to do some things differently as the game went along and started executing a little better, but we have to get off to better starts in the future," said Giants' coach Brown. "In essence, we just want to thank God for the win and thank God for the turn around. It started out sloppy, but it ended up in our favor."
The Giants were paced by Petrel Pickstock with 14 points yesterday. Jody Ford added seven, and Dayne McKenzie and Semone Thompson contributed six apiece. Bijon Lockhart scored four points to lead the Aces. The Giants were never threatened yesterday. They led 6-1 after the first quarter and were ahead 14-2 at the half. By the end of the third, there was no doubt as to what the final result would be as the Giants took a 15-point lead into the fourth quarter.
Despite the winless start (0-2) for her girls, Aces' coach Sherline Moss is optimistic based on the progress they have shown so far.
"I'm happy because a lot of them have shown a lot of improvement and that tells me that the program is working," said Moss. "We know that there's still a lot of work to be done in terms of offense and defense. I think that when we get back to practices, we have to focus on moving the ball more and making better passes. That is one of the areas that we fell down on today."
Moss is not giving up her girls making the post-season just yet. They played two of the better teams in the league, St. John's and St. Augustine's College, in their first two games, so Moss is optimistic that they will be able to pick up some wins as the season goes on.
"Well, nothing is out of reach... I always preach that to my girls. Right now, our program is based on development," she said. "Our job is to get the girls more basketball savvy. We want them to work on their individual games and develop some skills on their own, so that when we come together, we'll be able to work better as a team," added Moss.
The Giants were in total control of the game from the opening tap, but they really picked it up defensively in the second half. They forced quite a few turnovers and were able to score some easy transition points from their defensive pressure.
"Defense is the key," said Giants' coach Brown. "I think that once we get progressively better on that end of the ball, by the grace of God we'll be right back where we were last year and the year before that. It will definitely be tight down the stretch because there are some good teams out there, but if we execute defensively, we will be right in the mix. There are some teams out there but we are focussed on what we need to do as a team. If we do what we need to do, we will be alright," he added.
The Giants swept the Queen's College Comets in the senior girls championship last year, and swept the St. Augustine's College Big Red Machine the year before that.

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News Article
Gloria Marie Miller, 56

Funeral Service for the Late Gloria Marie Miller, 56 years of St. Ann Crescent, off Culberts Hill, Winton Heights, will be held on Saturday March 31st, 11:00 a.m. at New Covenant Baptist Church, East-West Highway. Bishop Simeon Hall assisted by Associate Pastors of New Covenant Baptist Church will officiate. Interment will follow in Woodlawn Memorial Gardens, Soldier Road.
Friends may pay their last respects at Bethel Brothers Morticians, #34 Nassau Street on Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and on Saturday at the church from 10:00 a.m. until service time.

THE LIFE AND TIMES OF
Gloria Miller
A TIME TO BE BORN
Gloria Marie was born to the parentage of Joslyn
and Priscilla Jarrett on the sixth day of May, 1955.
She was the first child from this union. "Glo", as
she was affectionately called, "glowed" in every
sense of the word. She had an excellent spirit.
She was soft-spoken, loving, humble and although
strong-willed, she always had a sweet smile and a
pleasant disposition.

A TIME TO SOW
Glo's early education began at St. Mary's pre-school and continued at Oakes Field Primary which at that time was called the Base Road School. She then matriculated to J. F. K. Secondary School which was located at the site of the present H. O. Nash Junior High School. Glo always wanted to be a teacher and from early childhood she would sit her siblings, the cat and the dog down and then proceeds to "teach" them. Her love for teaching pushed her to enroll at the Teachers' Training College (now the second campus for C. C. Sweeting Secondary School). She was determined to achieve excellence in her chosen field.

Glo met Mr. Wellington Edison Miller, her "Androsian stallion", and a beautiful courtship ensued. "Welly" was indeed her soul mate. He was quiet, loving, faithful, reliable and very much in love with her. Welly strummed his box guitar and sang his way into Glo's heart. They were joined in matrimony on July 30, 1977. God blessed this union with three sons: Terru, Wellington Jr. (deceased), and Tristan Miller.

In 1978, Glo was transferred to Marsh Harbour, Abaco along with her husband, who was now an Immigration Officer. She was posted to Spring City Central High School where she taught until 1980. In 1980, she was redeployed to New Providence where she taught at S. C. McPherson Junior High school for a short time before being transferred with her husband to Inagua where she taught at the Inagua All Age School from 1980 - 1982. She was once again transferred to New Providence and in late 1982 she was redeployed to the Columbus Primary School.

At Columbus Primary, Glo headed the Remediation Program. It was here that she helped to organize the "Garden Club" which she used as a tool to effectively teach her students who were mainly kinesthetic learners. Her hard work resulted in her being blessed with the title Teacher of the Year for the Northwestern District while at Columbus Primary School.

The need to perfect the gift with which God had blessed her resulted in Glo enrolling in the College of Saint Benedict. She attended classes at the campus here in Nassau and then made the sacrifice of leaving her young family in order to complete required studies at the Minnesota Campus. In May of 1990, she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education and proudly returned home to her family.

Glo was a teacher "par excellence" and never missed an opportunity to hone her skills. In the final stage of her career, she developed a special interest in children who had long stays in the hospital; their education became very important to her. As a result, in December 2007, she accepted the post of Principal of the Hospital School and went on to excel in that field.

Glo's desire to use all the talents that God gave her was not limited to the classroom - it was exhibited in her role as a loving, dedicated, caring and faithful wife and mother and more importantly in her love for God and faithful stewardship to her church. Glo loved the Lord. On September 12, 1982, she and Welly joined New Covenant Baptist Church one week after the church's doors opened. At that time it was located in the Chicken Unlimited building on Mackey Street. She was faithful to her church. A teacher by profession, Glo was immediately drawn to the Sunday school where she would work her way up to become the second person to be elected Sunday school superintendent. She also had a beautiful and melodious voice and loved to sing. As a result she immediately joined the choir and would later be elected President of the Senior Choir. Later, Glo would coordinate the New Covenant Early Learning Centre, join the Executive Council of the church and along with her husband, serve as co-chairman of the Marriage Ministry for four years. She was faithful to all of her assignments!

Some people have green thumbs but Glo had green fingers and toes! She could take a sprig and make it bloom. She was always in her garden - planting and singing to her flowers, the grass and the trees. Her garden is beautiful because of the songs, sun, rain and fertilizer. Her yard won the Yard of the Year Award in 2007 as a result of her gardening skills and creativity. She was a member of the Horticulture Club and the Perky Garden Club.

A TIME TO REAP
Years of dedicated service in the field of Education and faithful stewardship to her church landed Glo many awards. Some of them include:

1991 - Honored for Outstanding and Dedicated Service to the Sunday School of New Covenant Baptist Church.
2000 - honored by the Young Adults Ministry for her dedication and faithfulness.
2001 - Awarded for faithful and dedicated service to the Senior Choir of New Covenant Baptist Church.
2003 - Awarded by the Ministry of Education Primary Principal's Association for long and dedicated service.
2003 - Awarded by The Ministry of Education for special contributions as a writer of indigenous textbooks for the Bahamas.
2004 - Honored by Sunday School of New Covenant for dedication.
March 2010 - Awarded Ministry of Education's Special School Administrators Award for Principals of Hospital Schools
2004 - Along with her husband, she was awarded by Marriage Ministry of New Covenant for being most unselfish couple.
2011 - Honored by Youth Department of New Covenant for outstanding work.
2011 - Honored by The National Baptist Association for longstanding and dedicated service.
1997 - She was named Mother of The Year by her church.

A TIME FOR WAR
There will come a time in all our lives when we have to go to battle for what we hold dear. Glo strongly believed that faith that was not tested could not be trusted. She was therefore ready for the battle of her life. She began to feel peculiarities in her body that told her that something was wrong. She attended physicians locally and abroad and in February 1999, she was diagnosed with lupus. This predator began to nip away at Glo's health. Year after year her body deteriorated. Her struggle to enjoy more well days was great as she was in and out of the hospital. Yet, her faith in God remained steadfast and her spirit grew stronger. Her valiant struggle became a living testimony of unwavering faith. As the years passed, the lupus took its toll and she could no longer do many of the things that she enjoyed. She was no longer able to sing or work in her garden. Her husband and sons formed a triangle of love, support and comfort around her through the painful and sleepless nights. When asked how she was doing, Glo would always declared, "It is well." This was a testimony not to her physical health but to the condition of her immortal soul. Through all the changing seasons of her life, Glo never failed to give God praise.

Left to celebrate her wonderful legacy and exemplary life are Husband: Mr. Wellington Edison Miller; Sons: Terru and Tristan Miller; Adopted Sons: Andre Seymour, Matthew Rolle, Rekeno Johnson, Rashad Thompson, Avard Cargill, Avery Cargill, Keith Thompson and Dwayne Lowers; Adopted Daughter: Jessica Hanna; Daughter-in-Law: Michelle Seymour; Mother: Mrs. Priscilla Jarrett; Sisters: Joy Rahming, June Penn, Christine and Eleanor Jarrett; Brothers: Dennis Jarrett, Joslyn Jarrett Jr., Carl Jarrett; God Children: Lanna Rolle, Alexia Nottage, Aaron Francis, Tiffany Francis, Kayliesha St. Cyr and Ellesha Daniels; Aunts: Leah Rolle and Leona Hepburn; Grandaunt: Lean Stubbs; Uncles: Kemuel Hepburn, Ezra and Wellington Hepburn
Granduncle: J. J. Stubbs; Sisters-in-Law: Grace Jarrett, Panchita, Rosa, Doretha and Erma Miller, Gertrude Pedican and Isadora McQuay; Brothers-in-Law: Vince and Charles Miller, Ernie Pedican, Ralph Adderley, Rudyard Penn and Patrick Rahming.
Nieces: Kimarrah Rahming, Raquel Penn,Leotha Debbie, Charlene. Linda. Paula, Jennifer, Necree, Donna,Jan, Goldie,Cheryl, Danise, Dominic, Demara,Nyoshie, Lynn, Dale, Tanisha and Shenequa; Grandnieces: Merchante Rahming, Trevette, Treva.
Niece-in-Law: Monteria Rahming; Nephews: Udahrae Rahming, Dennis Jr., Jerome, Tyrone, Kirk, Wayde, Ronnie, Edward, Shayne, Oscar, Troy, Brent, Travis, Darren, Theo, Waden, Liston, Alfred Jr., Zendall, Jerry and Allan; Grandnephews: Trevor Jr.
Cousins: Carolyn Hanna ,Malita, Jennifer, Ingrid, Claudia, Denise, Laontyna, Franz and Father Dwight Rolle. Other Relatives: Phipatoya, Lasheca, D'Adron, Garkeno, Indalisha, Dolly, Icelyn, Alphonso, Pastor Kirklyn Smith and the Smith Family; Maudline, Aranah, Iklyn, Mr. Harvey and Mrs. Roselda Woodside and all of the Woodside family; Mr. Carlton and Mary Bowleg; Mr. Zack and Mrs. Sharon Francis and Family; And friends of the family: Mrs. Maedawn Munroe and family; Mrs. Valencia Nottage and Family; Mr. and Mrs. Berkley and Partice Chisolm and family; Mr. and Mrs. Val and Marie Coley, and family, Pastor Willamae Braynen, Mrs. Evangeline Penn and family, Dr. Dionne Dames-Rahming,Mrs. Maltese Davis, Mrs. Nellie Walkes, Mr. and Mrs. Errol Bethel, Mr. and Mrs. Haldor Russell, Mr. John Ford and Family of Inagua, The Adderley Family of Inagua,, Mr. Elon and Shirley Arnette and family, Mr. Peuchler Jean, Mrs. Elicia Richards, Mr. Ronald and Cleomi Sutherland and family, Mr. Harold and Mrs. Carol Dorsette and Family, Lester and Shirley Farrington and Family and Mrs. Katherine Brown and Family. All the Farrington Road Family including: the Dean, Smith, Woodside, Eneas, and Sands Families, Maxine Daxon, Kim Hanna, Mr. Roy and Mrs. Arementhia Hanna, Delores Ferguson, Eloise Mackey, Lucianne Sturrup, Marsha Deveaux, Karen St. Cyr, Patrick and Debbie Johnson, Sherman and Royanna Swann (from Abaco), Clover Pratt, Yvonne Heath, Mary Moxey, Veronica Micklewhite, Sylvia Bethel, Martha Dean, Jacqueline Burrows, Barbara Burrows, Mavis Miller, Dorothy Darville, Tommy and Mizpah Smith and family, Barbara Johnson and Family, Cheryl Minnis and all the other teachers and friends. Church Family: Bishop Simeon and Minister Linda Hall and the entire membership of New Covenant Baptist Church especially the Senior Choir and Sunday School; Mrs. Beverly Beneby and Family, Mrs. Helen Thompson, Ethel Farrington, Sybil Taylor, Tyrone Miller, Whitlen Dorsette, Herbert Cash II, Chris Mullings, and The Sunday School Department.

The Bahamas Olympic Committee, The Amateur Boxing Federation of the Bahamas and all other Sporting Federations and Associations of the Bahamas, all the doctors and nurses on the third and fourth floors of Doctors Hospital, Dr. Vincent Nwosa, Dr. Kevin Moss, The Perky Garden Club, the Horticulture Garden Club; and others too numerous to mention.

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News Article
Golden Eagles Soaring

L.W. Young Junior School principal Janet Nixon is on a mission -- and for the immediate future, it's to see 100 students named to the school's honor roll list each year -- that from the school leader who met 25 students on the honor roll and five students on the principal's list of a...

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News Article
Golden Isles Opening - Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham
Golden Isles Opening - Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham

Golden Isles;
FNMs:

Colour Red ‘gat yellow mellow dead scared. The crowd in Yamacraw last week was so big that the PLP still in shock and awe.
Now they in meltdown after that crowd in Central and South Eleuthera. Eleuthera ‘gonna born twins for the FNM – Theo Neilly in the North and Howard Johnson in the South.

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News Article
Gomez Declared 'Love Offerings'

Although he listed his occupation on his declaration form as an educator, Free National Movement (FNM) North Abaco candidate Greg Gomez admitted yesterday that he is currently unemployed, was unemployed for all of 2011, and the $28,000 he declared as his salary actually represents the "love offerings" he received from ministering at various churches.

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News Article
Gone Green Part 2

"The DNA is here to create the same paradise for Bahamians that only tourists and foreigners seem to enjoy. The DNA is here to encourage you to dream beyond your wildest imagination; we are here to dare you to think the unthinkable, to do the impossible."  -Branville McCartney's address at the launch of the Democratic National Alliance, May 12, 2011

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News Article
Gov't continues BNT support despite economic challenges
Gov't continues BNT support despite economic challenges

Nassau, Bahamas—Tough budget cuts are challenging the Bahamas National Trust's management of the country's natural resources, national parks, and protected areas, executive director Eric Carey said.

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News Article
Governance and the small things

When we elect governments we all hope for transformative change. We hope that longstanding and deeply entrenched problems will be met with solutions.
While we dream of tax reform that lessens the burden on the people, and education reform that helps lift the standards of achievement of our struggling students, the day-to-day small things of governance are what we encounter most.
We want our garbage collected in a timely manner; we want water to come through the pipes when we try to take baths; we want the sides of our roads manicured and kept clean.
In recent times here in New Providence the government has been challenged with these simple things - simple things voters remember the most.
While it is commendable that our elected officials spend significant time courting investors with the aim of driving down our high unemployment rate, time and effort must also be spent on getting right the basic functions of a nation-state.
Our roadside forests
The New Providence Road Improvement Project transformed our main island. Before the project this island was made up of too many tiny congested roads. Going anywhere was a chore.
Since, navigating the island has been a pleasure. And much of the decades-old problem has been remedied. In recent months, however, the maintenance of the sides of these new roads and highways, and in the roundabouts, has been a problem.
Some of these areas now look like forests. The lack of attention has allowed small weeds to grow into small trees. In some of the roundabouts it seems as if you need a cutlass to help you travel from one side to the next. In some of the medians and verges the grass is high and thick, giving the impression that New Providence is an unkept island.
In recent days there has been some work to cut down some of our roadside forests. But where was this effort weeks and months ago? Why is it that such basic maintenance breaks down on such a basic issue as keeping the areas surrounding our roadways manicured?
Everyone can see the problem. But it sadly persists here before it is fixed.
Garbage collection raises the same issue. This summer some places went a month or more without waste being picked up. Residents had to complain to the media in the hope of embarrassing the government into ensuring collections.
The environment minister, Kenred Dorsett, said they no longer collect trash in New Providence. The whole effort has been outsourced to the private sector. That fact, though, does not absolve the government of its responsibility as regulator to ensure that the company or companies selected to do the work actually do it in a timely and satisfactory manner.
Why do we have to beg to have our garbage collected? Why do we have to call repeatedly so the truck remembers us the next time it passes our way?
Meanwhile, with all the trash that accumulated our national animal (the gray rat) feasted on the gifts we left outside.
Buildings, institutions and guarding our communities
The same lack of organization and focus that makes those things issues apply too to the maintenance of the buildings and institutions of our criminal justice system.
Within a month, infrastructure and human resources problems have shut down our magistrates' courts. In the first instance court was canceled after a leaky roof resulted in severe flooding. Additionally, there were complaints that mold and mildew developed as a result of the problem.
On Friday, privately contracted stenographers at the magistrates' court building shut down operations there over compensation issues.
Inadequate maintenance of a building and the inadequate oversight of contracted workers paused the system of justice at a time when every effort is being made to restore order to our streets.
The new crime-fighting plan was initiated for that very reason: to help restore order. What it is, and its necessity, however, further demonstrate the challenge we have with getting the small things right.
At the heart of the plan is a simple act: getting police officers on the streets to deter crime and to catch offenders in the act.
The force was remobilized. Those not on the frontline who were doing non-essential or sedentary tasks were sent to the streets. Royal Bahamas Defence Force officers were brought in to take over some of the sedentary tasks of police.
In just over two weeks the changes have had some effect. Rather than having a murder a day, which was essentially the case in the short period before the plan was launched, we have had only one recorded murder in just over two weeks.
Police are now consistently visible for the first time in a long, long time.
The accumulated effect of failure
In such a small place there is no need for so many of these small things to become big issues.
The inability to ensure school repairs over the summer at Stephen Dillet and Uriah McPhee primary schools is another example of our challenge in this regard.
The electorate grows weary and disillusioned with government when it is a frustration to receive the basic services tax dollars are supposed to ensure.
Our government would do well to reassess its performance with these small things. Improving the quality of service delivery in these minor ways collectively would improve the quality of life for so many in a major way.
No one wants to live in a country where you have to pray to God to have your garbage collected. No one wants to reelect a political party that has challenges with basic responsibilities while in government.

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News Article
Governance with more vision needed

Dear Editor,
 
In the King James version of the Bible, Matthew 15 vs. 14 states, "Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind.  And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into a ditch".  This biblical verse even though simple is very profound and can be applied to our everyday lives.  It can also be applied to the governance of The Bahamas.
Ervin Knowles, former minister of agriculture, spoke about farming sustaining The Bahamas almost 30 years ago.  Thirty years later we are even worse off than before.  It is as many Bahamians say, business as usual.
In a country still living on the model laid out by the late Sir Stafford Sands, we are still struggling economically and we are still relying too heavily on tourism.  The sweet talk of diversification provided and continues to provide deceptive sound bites.  But are we as a people serious about diversification?  When is someone with the gumption going to take the bull by the horn and make radical changes to our economy so that we can seek ways to get out of the ditch that we presently find ourselves?
Last year's budget that was read in Parliament speaks to the continued will of the government not to diversify our economy and the Bahamian people continue to suffer from a lack of proper vision from their leaders.  How is it that by the stroke of a pen, the government can again wipe out the Bahamian poultry industry and cripple the fruit and vegetable industries?  How is it that our youth continue to suffer from the lack of a proper education?  How is it that the average Bahamian is still not getting a viable piece of the economic pie?  You see Bahamians, the budget is a blueprint for where we intend on going as a nation.
I submit that as a country we have been in the ditch for decades now.  If you dug your self in a hole what would be the smart thing to do?  The answer would be to stop digging.  Our fiscal policy is disastrous at best.  With the national debt soon to reach $5 billion, that puts the debt for each Bahamian at $14,285.  This assumes a population of 350,000 Bahamians.  The department of statistics is now even using a different scale when calculating the national debt.  James Smith, former minister of state for finance, was surprised at the department of statistics for this action and he is worried about our current fiscal course.
I applaud the government though for the introduction of the job readiness program and the jump starter program that is helping willing and qualified Bahamians.  I also applaud the government for its reintroduction of government subsidies to private schools.  The cuts introduced in 2010 had a domino effect because private schools had to increase their fees.  This has led to a decrease in private school students and an increase in the enrolment in an already overpopulated government school system.
Farming, biodiesel manufacturing, solar energy, LNG, the proper promotion of Bahamian culture and e-commerce are all industries waiting to boom in The Bahamas.  The only obstacle is government policy or the lack there of.  The January 11, 2012 edition of The Tribune reported that the U.S. Senate has approved the Florida casinos bill.  Once these casinos are built in Florida, these will be in direct competition with Atlantis and Baha Mar.  Must we wait until we are literally forced to diversify our economy?  We must invest now in other sustainable industries.
The Bahamian people have to share part of the blame in this poor and outdated governance as well because we have repeatedly put our confidence in leaders whose visions are outdated and built for the 20th century.  Our interest is to only get a government job or a government contract.  We must become more informed and demand more from our leaders.  We need to generate more Bahamian employers rather than Bahamian employees.
Now we are reaping the harvest from years of improper governance.  We are reaping the harvest from years of mis-education, poor administration of the court system, poor collection of government revenue and the poor confidence placed in Bahamian professional talent when it comes to consultancy services and professional management services.
Can a change occur tomorrow?  Of course not.  But we must elect leaders who have the will to make the changes required.  No slick talking and no short-term promises will help The Bahamas.  We need to set policies on a number of issues and drive them home irrespective of who is in government or which elite family will be affected.
We need governance that will place our best resources in key positions, irrespective of their political persuasion.  We need governance that will desist from this culture of promoting friends, family and lovers.  We need governance that will devise a concise immigration policy and put it into action.  We need governance that will set fiscal policy that will not cause us to borrow more than we are collecting in revenue.  If our current borrowing trends continue, at some point we will become insolvent.
We need governance that will initiate effective educational programs that will focus on Bahamian culture, new industries and will challenge our children to be more creative.  We need governance that will give justice to all Bahamians irrespective of their societal status.  We need governance that will put Bahamians first in their own country.
 
- Dehavilland Moss

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News Article
Government Offices, Banks to Open Monday

NASSAU, The Bahamas
-- The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) reported that the
Government of The Bahamas announced tonight that all Government workers
are to report to work on Monday and banks can open and resume normal
operating hours on Monday, as well.  Other businesses can open on
Saturday.   Government schools should listen for announcements from the
Ministry of Education and private school students should listen for
announcements from their institutions.

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News Article
Government energy audits continue

State Minister for the Environment Phenton Neymour said yesterday that the Ministry of the Environment has conducted several energy audits on a number of government entities in The Bahamas in an effort to find ways to significantly reduce energy bills.

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News Article
Government immigration statements must be clear

The Director of the Department of Immigration, Jack Thompson, on Thursday made hawkish statements on the illegal immigration problem in The Bahamas while addressing principals at an event at SuperClubs Breezes Resort.
Thompson, said The Bahamas cannot afford to have illegal immigrants in the public school system "absorbing our resources."
"You should call me and tell me where they are living because I have to deal with them," Thompson told the principals.
"We have to hit at the root.  The root is the parent.  I am not in the business of sending the children home and not the parents or sending the parents and not sending the children.  We have to send them together.
"All of them must go and they must go as soon as possible because we can't have people illegally residing and going to school and absorbing our resources.  You know how the community feels about this.  The communities are outraged."
Thompson also emphasized at that event that his department does not, as a matter of policy, apprehend undocumented children at schools.
Thompson's bold remarks reflect the frustration many Bahamians feel with the failed immigration policy in The Bahamas regarding Haitians. Successive governments have been unable to slow the flow of people from Haiti to this country. Therefore, there are thousands of people here who were not invited.
All right-thinking people would accept that it is impossible to stop unauthorized Haitian migration to this country.  Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and it has a population of nearly 10 million.  Many Haitians want a fresh start away from the struggling republic.
Many Bahamians, however, think that successive more can be done by our leaders to reduce the flow of Haitians to The Bahamas. This segment of society is frustrated and angry. Those Bahamians want illegal shantytowns demolished and those who are here illegally to be sent home.
By echoing this frustration, however, Thompson went in tone beyond the policy position of the executive branch of government.  The Free National Movement (FNM) administration has been moderate in its approach. The FNM has held to the traditional apprehension and repatriation policy, but it has also extended an olive branch, inviting Haitians who have been in the country for long periods of time to come in and be regularized.
The Nassau Guardian published Thompson's remarks last Friday.  It appears as if Thompson's superiors in the Cabinet were not impressed. On Friday he issued a more conciliatory statement, emphasizing that Immigration will not be targeting undocumented children in schools.
If the Cabinet wants to clarify the position of the government, that's fine.  Policy and tone are dictated by Cabinet.  We take issue, however, with the insinuation that this newspaper misconstrued what Thompson said Thursday.
"The Thursday's article gives the impression that children are to be targeted by the department's officials. The Department of Immigration regrets this insinuation and strongly condemns any such suggestion or attributions," said Thompson's Friday statement.
This newspaper reported what the immigration director said at a public forum. The comments the Cabinet has a problem with were uttered by its head of department.  The dispute it has is not with this newspaper and it should not have statements sent out suggesting improper reporting when the issue is one between the executive branch of government and one of its senior officials.
The Friday statement should have simply said that the immigration director was excessive in tone and that the policy of the Cabinet is more moderate.
The Nassau Guardian needs not be involved with the varied policy positions held between senior civil servants and the executive branch of government.

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News Article
Government offices, banks to open Monday

The Government of The Bahamas announced tonight that all Government workers are to report to work on Monday and banks can also open and resume normal operating hours on Monday, the National Emergency Management Agency said tonight in a statement.  Other businesses can open on Saturday.   Government schools should listen for announcements from the Ministry of Education and private school students should listen for announcements from their institutions.The announcement comes as the Category 3 Hurricane Irene continues to move away from the Northwestern Bahamas, which was still under a hurricane warning up to 9:30 p.m. Thursday.At 8 p.m. the eye of Irene was located near latitude 27.7 degrees north and longitude 77.4 degrees west.Irene is moving toward the north-northwest near 14 mph, and this motion is expected to continue tonight with a turn toward the north on Friday.On the forecast track, Irene will continue to move away from The Bahamas tonight and the core of the hurricane will pass well offshore of the east coast of central and northern Florida later tonight and early Friday.The hurricane is forecast to approach the coast of North Carolina on Saturday.Maximum sustained winds remain near 115 mph with higher gusts. Some strengthening is possible tonight and Friday, forecasters said.

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News Article
Government school security dilemna

Dear Editor,

From as far back as 1988, many unemployed Bahamian voters who were mostly unskilled and illiterate were given security jobs in the schools. Unfortunately, once given those jobs, these officers spent most of the time watching the clock instead of watching the compounds.
The criminals in our society were formed mostly during this era and around 90 percent of them came through the government school system. The large amount of violence that has now spawned into the 21st century led to the introduction of school policing during the Progressive Liberal Party's (PLP) term in office from 2002-2007.
During this time there was a moratorium on government hiring for school security officers. Staff shortages in the government school system led to persons being brought in under the unemployment assistance program and through the school boards.
After the Free National Movement's (FNM) victory in 2007, school policing was stopped.
The Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT) then asked, "Who will fill this void?"
As a result, school administrations whose campuses were deemed to have a high rate of violent incidents were allowed to handpick replacements for school police, and the levels of violence dropped considerably.
Currently, the problem with these replacements is that they are mostly temporary and not regularized, with the exception of several attractive females who know very little about security, but appear to have connections in high places.
Many of the school police replacements are now being sorted out, but some are being told that their appointment dates will have no bearing on the dates they actually started their duties.
If this is so, it would be a grave injustice to those who worked so hard to keep schools safe, with some even having the same training as police recruits.
These officers were denied many benefits and had to work for minimum wage all this time. Many of the students even had it much better than those who protected them as far as benefits are concerned. With no employee number, these officers could not even get a second-hand car from the car dealerships.
If the government of the day is so smart and delivers so well, it should right these wrongs and give those school board hired security officers the increments and benefits that are rightfully owed to them. If this happens, there will be no need for police officers in the schools because we all know our job functions and will carry them out with pride.
Papa, please hear our cry. We have waited too long and we will never bite the hand that feeds us.

- School board hired security officer since 2008

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News Article
Governor general tells autistic kids that they are loved and important

It only took a small group of the estimated 35,000 Bahamian children with autism and other special needs a moment to steal the hearts of the Governor General Sir Arthur Foulkes and Lady Foulkes in one of the most touching courtesy calls in the history of Government House.
"A lot of important people come to Government House," the governor general told the 25 or so students from Blairwood Academy. "The Queen has been here. Prince Harry has been here. Mr. [Nelson] Mandela has been here. Today, we have you. You are also very important people and we want you to know that you are loved."
The visit by students from Blairwood Academy, organized by the autism education, resources and support group, REACH, was part of Autism Awareness Month activities. Events kicked off last week in Rawson Square with youngsters from several schools for children with special needs entertaining dignitaries in a ceremony called Light it up Blue. At that time, the prime minister, whose son is autistic, said as many as 35,000 children in The Bahamas have been diagnosed with autism or other challenges that can impede their ability to learn in a traditional environment. But, success, he said, can -- and does follow -- with the right combination of teachers, classrooms and learning styles.
"We have a long way to go," said REACH President Mario Carey. "But with programs like the one offered by Blairwood, where children can learn in a safe, secure, non-bullying environment, we are beginning to make progress." That progress will be jump-started, he said, when the government's plans to create a special needs learning center becomes reality. Carey serves on a committee helping to design the facilities for the center. But, the immediate need, he said, is for more teachers trained to work with students who, because of autism, have heightened sensitivities that make what seems like an ordinary set of circumstances feel overwhelming.
"There is a lot of work to do but with what the prime minister has said is 35,000 futures at stake, we cannot afford to waste time or to bury our heads in the sand," said Carey later, referring to the Ostrich Program aimed at jarring the public out of its head-in-the-sand slumber.
Carey used the Government House visit to encourage youngsters, who brought spirited song to the usually reserved formal hall, to work hard.
"You can succeed," he said. "Look at my son, Cole ... he's 6-foot-3, 17 years old and is president of his horseback riding club, active in school, and a member of the National Honor Society. You can do it, too. Believe in yourself and don't give up," said the REACH president.

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News Article
Governor general tells autistic kids that they are loved and important

It only took a small group of the estimated 35,000 Bahamian children with autism and other special needs a moment to steal the hearts of the Governor General Sir Arthur Foulkes and Lady Foulkes in one of the most touching courtesy calls in the history of Government House.
"A lot of important people come to Government House," the governor general told the 25 or so students from Blairwood Academy. "The Queen has been here. Prince Harry has been here. Mr. [Nelson] Mandela has been here. Today, we have you. You are also very important people and we want you to know that you are loved."
The visit by students from Blairwood Academy, organized by the autism education, resources and support group, REACH, was part of Autism Awareness Month activities. Events kicked off last week in Rawson Square with youngsters from several schools for children with special needs entertaining dignitaries in a ceremony called Light it up Blue. At that time, the prime minister, whose son is autistic, said as many as 35,000 children in The Bahamas have been diagnosed with autism or other challenges that can impede their ability to learn in a traditional environment. But, success, he said, can -- and does follow -- with the right combination of teachers, classrooms and learning styles.
"We have a long way to go," said REACH President Mario Carey. "But with programs like the one offered by Blairwood, where children can learn in a safe, secure, non-bullying environment, we are beginning to make progress." That progress will be jump-started, he said, when the government's plans to create a special needs learning center becomes reality. Carey serves on a committee helping to design the facilities for the center. But, the immediate need, he said, is for more teachers trained to work with students who, because of autism, have heightened sensitivities that make what seems like an ordinary set of circumstances feel overwhelming.
"There is a lot of work to do but with what the prime minister has said is 35,000 futures at stake, we cannot afford to waste time or to bury our heads in the sand," said Carey later, referring to the Ostrich Program aimed at jarring the public out of its head-in-the-sand slumber.
Carey used the Government House visit to encourage youngsters, who brought spirited song to the usually reserved formal hall, to work hard.
"You can succeed," he said. "Look at my son, Cole ... he's 6-foot-3, 17 years old and is president of his horseback riding club, active in school, and a member of the National Honor Society. You can do it, too. Believe in yourself and don't give up," said the REACH president.

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News Article
Govt Outlines Promises For Abaco
Govt Outlines Promises For Abaco

Marsh Harbour, Abaco -- After a "historic" Cabinet meeting yesterday, Prime Minister Perry Christie and his ministers announced proposed improvements for Abaco, including more than $1.6 million in promised road repair and infrastructure.

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News Article
Govt Spends 2.2M on Cutting Edge Technology for Schools
Govt Spends 2.2M on Cutting Edge Technology for Schools

As the country continues to record poor national exam results, the government recently invested just over $2 million to outfit the nation's public schools with 'cutting edge' technology.

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News Article
Govt approves projects at final Cabinet meeting

The government approved several projects during its final cabinet meeting yesterday, including an $80 million project for Cotton Bay, Eleuthera, and a $30 million project for Norman's Cay, Exuma, the prime minister revealed.
Reporters were allowed to sit in on the final Cabinet meeting of this term.
In addition to the Eleuthera and Exuma projects, the government also agreed to purchase additional equipment for the police force and supplies for public schools throughout the country and to undertake a small infrastructural project in Long Island.
Tourism Minister Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace said the Cotton Bay development is something that has been a long time coming.
"It will assist in establishing Eleuthera on the tourism map," he said during the meeting held in the Churchill Building.
"What we recognize is that some of these brands bring a lot of focus to the individual islands of The Bahamas which is a part of the government's continuing campaign in talking about the individual islands of The Bahamas and this will add immensely to that thrust."
Ingraham added that the project will require the government to make investments on that island.
"The government will have to make some public investments in the airport and the road and to get water and electricity to the site to permit them to operate their own sewerage plant and to redirect the public road so it doesn't sit in the middle of their property," Ingraham said.
The project, which will sit on 300 acres of land, will include an 80-room resort, golf course, spa, shopping area, restaurant and bar.
While the government would not reveal who the developer is, Vanderpool-Wallace said the operator is consistent with high-end boutiques and has a very recognizable brand.
As it relates to the Norman's Cay project, Ingraham said the work should start "pretty soon".
The developers propose to construct three "very recognized boutique properties" on the island, Vanderpool-Wallace said.
"We are excited about that because it'll be the third drug property that was very prominent in the commission of inquiry in the 1980s while the PLP was in office that the FNM has now put to be used for productive economic lawful, legal, legitimate use," said Ingraham, noting that the government has done the same in Guana Cay, Abaco, and Hawks Nest, Cat Island.
"They were all drug havens in the 80s," Ingraham said.
Vanderpool-Wallace said as a part of that deal, the developer has agreed to upgrade the airport.
The investment is being funded by a Turkish group.
In regards to the Long Island project, Agriculture and Marine Resources Minister Larry Cartwright said the government has agreed to award a contract to a Long Island company for the extension of the water mains from Grays to Thompson Bay.
He said the contract will be signed in short order.
"This will be meaningful to the people of Salt Pond where there is no running water supplied by the government or by Water and Sewerage," he said, adding that it will bring relief to those residents.
The project is expected to cost $400,000.
The government also agreed to buy five new fire engines for the police force.
National Security Minister Tommy Turnquest said three are for New Providence and two are for Grand Bahama.
The trucks include a 2,000 gallon single cab tanker, two 1,000 gallon double cab pumpers and two 1,000 gallon single cab pumpers.
Turnquest said the total contract is for $1.28 million
Finally, the government agreed to purchase hundreds of computers that will be placed in schools across The Bahamas.
Education Minister Desmond Bannister said the government will spend $2 million on 802 desktops, 339 laptops with the appropriate education software, 333 interactive software and 340 multi-media projectors.
Asked if the government put measures in place to protect such agreements if it were to lose the election, Ingraham said that is not possible.
"No government can bind another government," he said.
"A government when it comes to office has the opportunity to determine whether or not it considers a matter to be in the best interest of the country or whether it's a matter that is a priority for them. So there's nothing you can..put in place to prevent it."
He added: "We are undertaking what we consider to be in the best interest of The Bahamas. But we are confident that we are going to be the government next week."
FNM MPs also said goodbye to some of their colleagues who will not be a part of the cabinet if the FNM wins, including Minister of the Environment Dr. Earl Deveuax, Deputy Prime Minister Brent Symonette, Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources Larry Cartwright and Attorney General John Delaney.
"They will definitely not be in the next government of the Free National Movement," Ingraham noted.

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News Article
Govt contracts in question

The 2011 Report of the Auditor General again raises concerns over the "wastage" and "loss" of public funds at various government agencies and highlights cases...

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News Article
Govt giving more aid to private schools than public

The economic downturn isn't the only reason private schools are receiving less aid from the government, according to Minister of Education Desmond Bannister, who said yesterday that the system of grants in aid to school boards has become "so skewed" that private school boards receive more money from the government than public schools.

"In this budget we will be giving the school board at the L.W. Young (Junior High School) $103,406. This is the largest grant that government has ever given to the school board at L.W. Young. We will also give the school board at the Doris Johnson High School $126,729, again the biggest grant ever given to this school board," said Bannister while contributing to debate on the 2010/2011 budget in the House of Assembly.

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