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Teachers at Carlton Francis Primary School staged a sit-in yesterday over issues that included a "severe shortage of teachers" and a lack of adequate furniture for students.
Several teachers, who spoke to The Nassau Guardian on condition of anonymity, said some students are forced to stand or sit on the floor in classrooms because of a lack of chairs.
They also claimed that teachers in grades one and two have to move between classrooms because there are not enough instructors.
As the teachers stood behind the school gates, a group of about 20 parents stood on the other side demanding that the Ministry of Education address the concerns.
Other issues include a poor drainage system, mold in the classrooms, a leaking roof and the lack of a pedestrian crossing, the teachers and parents claimed.
Morgan Brooks, whose child is in the first grade at the school, said the lack of furniture at the start of the school year is inexcusable.
"Tell the minister (of education) to bring his chair from his office for my child to sit in," she said. "Bring his desk from his office for my child to sit at.
"Instead of focusing on cutting my teachers' [salaries], let's cut his salary for our roof because it is leaking... Bring us some furniture. Some of the children don't even have a desk to sit at. We need action and we need it now."
Minister of Education Jerome Fitzgerald said the ministry recently received cabinet approval for the purchase of about $800,000 worth of furniture.
"From time to time we do have these issues that unfortunately schools have to deal with," he said.
"It's not to the point where we feel like it will impact the level of education...But we should have those matters addressed throughout the country."
As it relates to any other issues the teachers may have, Fitzgerald said he has asked Director of Education Lionel Sands to go to the school and meet with them.
"I want to get a full report before I make any determination," he said.
Parent Teacher Association (PTA) President Sharmaine Adderley said the problems at the school have been simmering for years.
"We've gotten promises year after year," Adderley said. "That's why we haven't said anything.
"This is the first three weeks of school and we find teacher shortages through the roof, teachers having to be taken to hospital for high blood pressure; we have to do something about it.
"Our teachers are standing here because they want to teach. This is not a lazy staff. These are workers. These are good teachers. So we are asking for them to step forward and get these things done. Bring in the people."
One angry father stormed on campus and brought out broken pastic chairs he claimed that second graders are forced to sit in. He placed the chairs in the middle of the road.
Shantell Mackey, who has two children who attend the school, noted the possibility of injuries that those chairs pose to the children.
"You see those prongs sticking out," she said, pointing at the broken chairs. "Can you imagine what type of injury a child can get?
"I really want the ministry to come and deal with issues that are happening with this school."
Shelly Anderson, who has a son in grade two, said it seems as if her child is only being entertained at school.
Anderson said she has yet to see evidence that he is learning anything.
"Every day I pick him up from school and I ask him, 'what did you do in school' or I look in his book and there is nothing. He says 'mommy they take me into the library and we watch movies'."
The school has just over 1,000 students and 46 teachers.
The sit-in follows similar action at Stephen Dillet and Uriah McPhee primary schools this week over conditions at those institutions.
Suspended National Insurance Board (NIB) Director Algernon Cargill has asked the Supreme Court to set aside the findings of a forensic report into allegations of misconduct made against him last year.
In an application for judicial review filed yesterday, Cargill also asked the court
to "quash the decision of the minister of labor and national insurance (Shane Gibson) to appoint the accounting firm of Grant Thornton", which conducted the forensic review.
Cargill is also seeking a
declaration that Gibson's
appointment of Grant Thornton "amounts to a usurpation of the power of the Board of NIB".
In the event the court finds that Grant Thornton was properly appointed, Cargill is asking for a declaration "that the procedure followed by Grant Thornton in the forensic review was unfair, arbitrary and in breach of the rules of natural justice".
Cargill contends that the appointment of the accounting firm was not in compliance with the NIB Act because the appointment was not made by the board with prior resolution and the job did not go to tender.
He submits the payment of Grant Thornton was possibly over $600,000.
The court document claims that the auditors' conduct was irregular because they refused to provide Cargill, the principal subject of the review, with questions or issues to be discussed that would have enabled him to adequately respond to the review.
"Other employees of the National Insurance Board were provided with a list of questions prior to their interview by agents of Grant Thornton," the document states.
The document adds that contrary to its duty to act fairly, Grant Thornton released the audit without interviewing Cargill.
"Contrary to its duty of fairness, Grant Thornton failed/refused to provide the applicant (Cargill) with a fair warning that Grant Thornton intended to make adverse findings against the applicant," the court document claims.
"In all the circumstances the applicant had a legitimate expectation and was entitled to be provided with the allegations made against him and those arising in the course of the investigation and be afforded a reasonable opportunity to be heard prior to the conclusion of the forensic review.
"For the reasons given...the minister of labour and national insurance and Grant Thornton failed to act fairly; thereby, constituting an abuse of the applicant's constitutional entitlement to due process of the law."
The forensic audit found that bonuses may have been improperly paid to Cargill and other executives, and also highlighted reported irregularities in the awarding of certain NIB contracts for various projects.
The report also said that auditors found that Cargill is listed as an officer of the company owned by his brother that rented an apartment to NIB.
These are among the key findings contained in the report that is expected to be tabled in the House of Assembly soon.
The government engaged Grant Thornton to conduct the review after (now fired) NIB Chairman Gregory Moss wrote Gibson last November advising that the Board of NIB had reached a unanimous decision to fire Cargill.
In the letter, Moss made a series of serious allegations against the director.
Gibson has said the report will be tabled after Cargill gets a chance to respond to the adverse findings against him.
However, the minister said the director has until May 21 to meet with the board.
A separate report lays out the findings of allegations made by Cargill against Moss.
Last November, Cargill took legal action against Moss and NIB following the allegations. That matter remains outstanding.
EMG (Electromyography) is the study of electrical activity of the muscles. NCS (Nerve Conduction Study) is the study of electrical activity of nerves. When combined these tests provide a very effective tool in the diagnosing of neurological disorders. MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), CAT (Computed Axial Tomography) Scans and X-rays are diagnostic tests that look for structural abnormalities in specific body parts. While determining if there is structural damage, these radiology tests cannot determine if the structures are functioning, or how these structures are affecting nerves and muscles, or if they themselves are being affected by the abnormal functioning of nerves or muscles. EMG/NCS is extremely helpful whenever there is possibility of nerve or muscle damage.
The study is conducted in two parts. The NCS is usually performed first by the neurodiagnostic technologist, who test the nerves by applying surface recording electrodes over various muscles or nerves on different parts of the body (e.g. hands, arms, legs and feet). The technologist then stimulates various nerves by using a probe/stimulating electrode that provides a small electrical current to the nerve, which is then measured and recorded. This small electrical stimulus can be compared to the sensation of a static shock felt from rubbing your body on a carpet or touching a refrigerator. The speed, shape, height and pattern of the electrical response of the nerves provides information on whether or not the nerves are injured and where the injury is located.
The second part of study is usually performed by a physician with specialized training in Neurophysiology/Neurodiagnostics after reviewing the NCS. The physician uses a small recording needle electrode, very similar in size to an acupuncture needle, which he inserts through the skin into various muscles that receive nerve supply from different nerves or spinal nerve roots. The needle electrode is connected to a machine, with an oscilloscope that records the electrical activity. This electrical activity also generates sounds that allows the doctor to both listen and see the electrical activity of the muscles at rest and during muscle contraction. While some find it uncomfortable, the more relaxed the patient is, the easier it is to tolerate the needle exam.
The entire study is then analyzed by the physician trained in neurophysiology who generates a comprehensive report, presenting objective findings and stating if the study is normal or abnormal and if possible, the likely site(s) of the injury.
This study looks very specifically at muscles and nerves. Some of the more common medical conditions which benefit from EMG/NCS testing include carpal tunnel syndrome, cervical radiculopathy (pinched nerve in the neck), low back pain, spinal injury, sciatica, traumatic nerve injury (e.g. gunshot or motor vehicle accidents) along with numbness and tingling of the feet. Some more severe but not as common conditions include ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), Myopathy (muscle disease which can be congenital or acquired) and Guillain-Barre syndrome to name a few.
The EMG/NCS has been and continues to be a very important diagnostic test that helps in the management of neurological disorders to not only diagnose, but also to evaluate the effectiveness of various treatment options.
o Michael A. Morris is a neurodiagnostic technologist with 25 years in the field, who has training in EEG, Evoked Potentials, IOM and NCS. He became an American board-certified EDT (Electro-Diagnostic Technologist) in 1995. He relocated from Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan in 2000. He is the Neurodiagnostic lab manager at the Bahamas Neurological Center.
It was a parade of purple as lupus survivors and supporters, donned the royal color to attend the Purple Hat Tea Party at St. Matthew's Anglican Parish Hall hosted by Lupus Bahamas 242 to raise funds for research of the disease.
The illness occurs more commonly in females than in males with a ratio of 11 females to one male, according to Dr. Patrick Whitfield who works out of the Oxford Medical Center. He said the disease affects women in their childbearing years normally in their 20s and 30s. In the United States, statistics show 52 cases per 100,000 are diagnosed with lupus. With this in mind the physician says if the Bahamian population follows a similar trend it is likely that with a population of about 400,000 that over 200 people are diagnosed with the illness.
Like many chronic diseases, lupus sometimes takes a while to be recognized and properly treated according to Dr. Whitfield. He said this is because the symptoms can be mistaken for other illnesses and as a result sometimes people underestimate their problem. He said the constitutional symptoms of lupus include fatigue, fever, joint pain, weight changes, muscular and skeletal pain (joints of the hands, wrists), skin changes, photo sensitivity and hair loss.
Dr. Whitfield said that although lupus can seem depressing and is very painful, the mortality rate for this disease is relatively low. There is an 80 percent chance that patients will make it to at least 15 years after diagnosis. Also with regular care and treatment, mortality is also greatly reduced. However, there is a 50 percent chance that people with lupus will suffer from kidney disease, which is difficult and if it leads to kidney failure it can decrease their life expectancy. He also said that reports show that about a third of all lupus patients in the U.S. died below the age of 45, but even so chances were still good for people with the disease to live a relatively normal life if they are on the right medication and are vigilant about their health.
If lupus is left unmanaged people run the risk of developing symptoms that affect the kidneys and lead to failure with each new relapse, said the medical practitioner. Neuro-psychiatric features like seizures, psychosis with hallucination, delirium and meningitis can also occur. Sometimes antibodies can attack the spine so patients can develop a weakness in their lower body making it difficult to walk. Strokes can also happen as well as a cognitive disorder similar to Alzheimer's. Untreated patients or those who are lax in their follow-ups, even with a relapse can eventually get lung and heart diseases like pleurisy or pericarditis respectively which are illness where the linings of the organs are inflamed.
Dr. Whitfield said early treatment can decrease the damage that the disease can cause and allow a person diagnosed with lupus to live a normal life. He said it's a disease that should be taken seriously.
Lupus Bahamas 242 was officially launched last month with the goal of increasing information and providing for people living with lupus in The Bahamas.
FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- A new health group is being formed in Grand Bahama, but this one deals with the head and mentality. Following speaking with the Rotary Club of Grand Bahama Sunrise, member Billie Bowe, Behavioural Health Activist, said that a small core group for The Family: People Helping People Programme, met this past Friday at the YMCA and they have already gained some corporate support and they are looking at an official launch soon.
Mrs. Bowe told the Rotary Club last Wednesday during their regular weekly meeting at Geneva's that there is a growing concern among the citizens of The Bahamas regarding the steady increase in violent crimes facing our communities.
"We are all talking about it in the lunchrooms, or at the office" she continued. "Or maybe even around the domino tables, where we are all asking, 'what is going on in Nassau with all these crimes?'
"And while it is tempting to get caught up in the many seductive explanations being put forward as to the 'numbers' of murders vs homicides, etc., very little attention is being focused toward answering the questions as to why. Why are these things happening in such a small country? What help, if any, are persons who are victims of crimes getting? I won't rattle on about crime statistics here. It's unnecessary. The bottom line is crime, most especially violent crime, is on the rise - plain and simple!"
Mrs. Bowe said that according to a poll The Bahamas as rated #5 most happy country in the world but she asked if we are so happy then what is causing so many symptoms like depression, suicide, erosion of the traditional family structure, drug addiction and violent crime that are so prevalent in our country?
NFL WEEK ONE
Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos, 8:30 p.m.
What a way to kick off the new season! The Broncos and Ravens playoff thriller from a year ago, will be on display this week when the these two teams meet in Week One. As a result of an important function, I missed last year's shootout between these two teams but I certainly won't miss this one. What makes this game even more interesting, is that with both of these defenses being weakened from a year ago, this game promises to provide more fireworks on the offensive side. Peyton and the Broncos are just too potent for me to go against them at this particular point. They're still fuming over that playoff loss from a year ago, and will definitely have revenge on their minds this time.
Broncos 34, Ravens 30
New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills, 1 p.m.
The big question for the Patriots this year, will be: Can Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman make up for the absence of Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd. In addition to that, Aaron Hernandez was released after involvement in the Odin Lloyd murder case, and Rob Gronkowski figures to miss at least the first three games of the season. Every time I try to put a spoke in the Patriots' wheel, they somehow find a way to recover though. Tom Brady will have a new bunch of receivers to throw to this year, but I have a feeling the All-Pro quarterback will find a way to get it done. Besides, they're opening their season against the lowly Bills.
Patriots 30, Bills 17
Seattle Seahawks at Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m.
Seattle promises to have one of the better teams in all of football this year. Their defense is certainly top notch, and led by Marshawn Lynch and Ryan Wilson, their ground and pound offense will be a force to reckon with. Newly acquired receiver Percy Harvin will be out for about half of the season, and the Seahawks will miss some production on the offensive side with him out, but their defense should be able to carry the team until his return. Cam Newton and the Panthers are up-and-coming, but the Seahawks defense will dictate he pace of this game on Sunday.
Seahawks 23, Panthers 14
Cincinnati Bengals at Chicago Bears, 1 p.m.
With a full year under their belts in Chicago, Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall should be more productive this year. They're arguably top five in the league, in terms of quarterback to receiver tandem. However, the Bengals' duo, Andy Dalton to AJ Green, isn't bad either. I think this game will be one of the more competitive ones of the week, possibly coming down to a late field goal before it is decided. I'm going to roll the dice and go with the visiting team in this one. The Bengals could very well be a playoff team in the AFC again this year, and they'll prove their worth on Sunday.
Bengals 20, Bears 19
Miami Dolphins at Cleveland Browns, 1 p.m.
When it rains, it pours! Just when my Fins figured to make a significant move in the AFC East this year, they lost starting tight end Dustin Keller for the season. Now, there's no doubt that quite a bit of the load is going to be on Ryan Tannehill's shoulders this season. The Dolphins' second-year signal caller will have to prove that he has what it takes to be a top notch quarterback in this league, in order for the Dolphins to make the playoffs. I think he will show tremendous improvement, especially with Mike Wallace spreading the field and the reliable Brian Hartline catching everything in sight. Somehow, someway, the Fins will challenge the Pats for supremacy in the AFC East this year.
Dolphins 23, Browns 13
Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions, 1 p.m.
The Lions figure to be one of the surprising teams in not just the NFC, but the entire league this year. Led by Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson, they were second in the league in passing last year. The latter broke Jerry Rice's single season mark for receiving yards, and Stafford almost duplicated his 5,000-yard passing season from 2011. They'll be potent again, and the addition of Reggie Bush will add firepower on the offensive side for sure. In addition to that, the Lions' defense is quickly maturing. This bunch will certainly be too much for the Vikes to handle this Sunday.
Lions 33, Vikings 17
Oakland Raiders at Indianapolis Colts, 1 p.m.
Here are two teams obviously headed in the opposited direction. The Colts are poised to be a serious contender in the AFC while the Raiders are slipping further and further into oblivion. The season hasn't even started yet, and football fans everywhere have a clear idea of what they're going to get from these two teams. Quite frankly, the Raiders are going to stink! What sealed their fate, for me, was when Terrelle Pryor won the starting job at QB over Matt Flynn. They might as well had kept Carson Palmer. Al Davis must be rolling over in his grave right now. Don't expect for the Colts to show any mercy on Sunday.
Colts 37, Raiders 10
Kansas City Chiefs at Jacksonville Jaguars, 1 p.m.
Quite a few analysts are picking the Chiefs to be the darkhorse team for the 2013 season, and with good reason. In addition to bringing in Alex Smith, Anthony Fasano and Donnie Avery, they maintained Jamaal Charles and Dwayne Bowe. On defense, they acquired Sean Smith to line up next to the steadily consistent Brandon Flowers. I don't see the Chiefs overcoming the Broncos in the AFC West this year, but they turn a few heads and pull off a few upsets.
Chiefs 24, Jaguars 16
Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints, 1 p.m.
Game of the Week! With Sean Payton back to lead the Saints, and the 'Dirty Birds' threatening to challenge again, this game certainly shapes up to be one of the better games on the schedule in Week One. It's a also a huge rivalry game, with both of these teams playing out of the NFC South Division. I think the division will be won between these two teams for sure. The Saints will be playing with a chip on their shoulders this season, but in their demise a year ago, the Falcons took charge and aren't prepared to relinquish their grip on the divisional title. I think the Falcons will win the division, but the Saints will be fired up to take the season opener.
Saints 30, Falcons 27
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at N.Y. Jets, 1 p.m.
The Jets is a team in complete disarray. Unless Bahamian descent Geno Smith has sensational rookie season much like Andrew Luck, RG3 and Ryan Wilson of a year ago, I really don't see much hope for the Jets. Mark 'Butt Fumble' Sanchez is expected to miss at least the first three weeks of the season, but that might be a blessing in disguise for the Jets. Meanwhile, the Bucs will only go as far as Josh Freeman will carry them. I like what Doug Martin gives them in the running game, and Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams are a formidable duo at wide receiver, but they'll probably still be looking up at the Saints and the Falcons in their division at the end of the day. The Jets shouldn't pose much of a problem on Sunday though.
Buccaneers 24, Jets 13
Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers, 1 p.m.
Everyone is wondering what kind of team the Steelers will bring back this year - will their defense be as potent as it was a year ago? With defensive guru Dick LeBeau guiding this unit again, and a healthy Troy Polamalu to go along with guys such as Ryan Clark, LaMarr Woodley and Larry Foote, I don't see why it can't be. Led by their 'Steel Curtain' defense, and 'Big' Ben Roethlisberger as steady as they come under center, I think the Steelers will be a force to reckon with once again. They should certainly be able to contain Chris Johnson and the Titans in the season opener.
Steelers 23, Titans 13
Arizona Cardinals at St. Louis Rams, 4:25 p.m.
The Rams appear to be a team on the rise, while the Cards appear to be a team in disarray. They won their first four games last year, before falling into a season-ending slump, and don't appear to be much of a threat this season either. The Rams, on the other hand, might have lost all-purpose back Steven Jackson but they could be deadly in the passing game and their young defense is capable of having some impressive outings. Sam Bradford is one of the better deep passers in the league, and now he has All-Pro tackle Jake Long to protect his blind side. The Rams will be a force to reckon with, but I'm not sure if they are ready to challenge the Seahawks and Niners in the NFC West just yet.
Rams 28, Cardinals 16
Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers, 4:25 p.m.
This playoff rematch from a year ago promises to deliver quite a bit of thrills. The Niners is a bonafide Super Bowl contender, and it will be interesting to see if the Packers could get back to that level, particularly without their best receiver Greg Jennings. Their running game was inexistent a year ago, but they might have to rely more on that aspect of their offense, in 2013. It will be hard pressed to get any kind of offense going against that swarming defense of the Niners though. I think the read-option offense of the Niners will create problems for the Packers' 'D', and the Niners defense will be more than enough to limit the production of Aaron Rodgers and the pack.
49ers 27, Packers 20
N.Y. Giants at Dallas Cowboys, 8:30 p.m.
The Giants are a perfect 4-0 against the Cowboys in their new stadium, but I have a feeling this particular trip will be different. Each of those four victories for the Giants have been by slim margins. The Cowboys are poised to end that run. Can this finally be the year the Cowboys live up to their pre-season expectations and go deep into the playoffs? Well, first of all, they would have to make the playoffs. I see another disappointing season for the Boys where they fall short of their goals, and then somehow try to validate Tony Romo's shortcomings and his big contract at the end of the season. I don't have them making the playoffs again this year, but somehow I think they'll sneak past their nemesis, the G-men, on Sunday.
Cowboys 30, Giants 27
Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins, 7:10 p.m.
The Redskins are poised to win the NFC East this year, but everything rides on the health of their franchise quarterback. A healthy RG3 is set to start Week One, but whether or not he remains healthy for the duration of the season is another issue. If he does, I think that they will definitely be a force to reckon with, not just in the regular season, but the playoffs as well. Led by RG3 and Alfred Morris, the Redskins will have one of the better rushing attacks in the entire league. They led the league in that department last year, averaging almost 170 yards per game on the ground. It will be interesting to see how the Chip Kelly led Eagles will look this year, but they're a year or two away from seriously challenging for a playoff spot. The Skins will get an early jump on their divisional foes with a huge win on Monday night.
Redskins 27, Eagles 20
Houston Texans at San Diego Chargers, 10:20 p.m.
The Texans come into the 2013 season as one of the favorites in the AFC to get to the Super Bowl. I think they'll fight off a charging Colts team to take their third consecutive AFC South title, and will challenge the Broncos among others for a spot in Super Bowl XLVIII. In Arian Foster and Andre Johnson, the Texans have top five players at their respective positions, and their defense is much improved, but their real test will come in the postseason. The Chargers shouldn't present much of a challenge on Monday night, even though they'll be playing at home. The Texans dynamic duo of Foster and Johnson will just be too much for them to handle.
Texans 30, Chargers 20
The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB) is hosting its first Summer Art Camp, which started Monday, July 15 and will wrap up on Friday, August 2.
NAGB Education Officer Jordia Benjamin said the camp has been well-subscribed and should give the gallery good ideas for future programs.
"So far, [the camp is] going well," Benjamin told Guardian Arts&Culture. "We have a good group of interested kids. They are very enthusiastic."
The students are designing and painting a mural on the gallery's annex, which is used for storage.
The students, who are working with artist Allan Wallace, came up with the theme for the mural and drew the imagery.
"Mr. Wallace put everything all together, and they're actually mapping that out and seeing their drawings come to life," said Benjamin.
The mural project is expected to continue into next week, and the gallery is looking at doing a printmaking workshop for the week of July 29.
Benjamin also mentioned the gallery's hope that this workshop would encourage everyone, especially young people, to be more interested in the events and programs at the gallery.
"Our mission statement is 'This gallery is your gallery'. So if you are interested in seeing particular things that need to happen, let us know. We'll take that into consideration and try to build upon that," she said.
"I thank the parents for making [this workshop] happen because if they weren't interested or if they weren't pushing and calling around, then it might have not taken off.
"Because of the feedback from parents and other calls, we know how to structure the programs for next year. We want to offer it for a younger age group because we had a 12 to 15 target and then [got] a lot of feedback asking if [the age range] could be a whole lot younger."
In addition to the Summer Art Camp, the NAGB also offers a film series program, art workshops for adults and other programs that teach and educate people about various media that artists use.
o For more information about NAGB offerings, contact Jordia Benjamin, educational officer, at 328-5800/1 or email@example.com.
There is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries. -- Daniel 2:28.
I always call my cousin, Sybil Cassar, to inquire of her wellbeing, and last week as we spoke she said a prayer for the nation. What really got me was in addressing Father God, she among other adorations, referred to Him as the God of majesty and mystery. How profound, because most of the times we do not see God as being associated with mystery. But the times in which we live will call us to acknowledge that indeed, many of the things that are happening are clothed in mystery. No wonder William Cowper (1731-1800) penned "God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform; He plants His footsteps in the sea And rides upon the storm."
Growing up Over-the-Hill, the word Cuba was a household name. "What fall in Cuba?" Certainly it wasn't Spanish, but the reference was to the numbers for the day. There were key books in most of the homes -- the Bible, policy or insurance book, bank book and dream books. As a matter of fact, one went to bed hoping that the dream of the previous night would be fruitful financially the next day. Indeed, dreams were powerful and meaningful and no matter how we try to skirt the issue, many of us have climbed the ladder of success by dreams.
The Bible is filled with biblical characters who received messages good or bad through dreams, and Kings were no exception. Pilate's wife told him not to get involved, legally nor politically with that innocent man because of troubling dreams that she had!
The Book of Daniel has a special appeal to young people. Say the word Daniel and lion comes immediately to the fore. Writing from Babylon during the time of the exile, Daniel tells of God's miraculous power to protect those who belong to him. God gave Daniel and his friends the ability to stand firm and to serve effectively in a hostile environment.
Today our text tells us about the importance of dreams. Dreams are for your spiritual health, to be forewarned and in some cases how to conserve, preserve, restore and just plain common sense, for it is God and God alone who knows the pathway through uncharted wilderness of national distress.
In the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams that troubled his mind and limited his night's sleep. So, he summoned the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers to tell him what he had dreamed. When they came in and stood before the king, he said to them, "I have had a dream that troubles me and I want to know what it means." Then the astrologers answered the king in Aramaic, "O King, live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will interpret it."
The king replied to the astrologers, "This is what I have firmly decided -- if you do not tell me what my dream was and interpret it, I will have you cut into pieces and your houses turned into piles of rubble. But if you tell me the dream and explain it, you will receive from me gifts and rewards and great honor. So tell me the dream and interpret it for me." But they could not.
Nebuchadnezzar was so angry that none of the core of magician diplomats could interpret his dream that he ordered the execution of all the wise men of Babylon, and men also went to look for Daniel and his friends to put them to death. When Arioch, the commander of the king's guard went to carry out the executions, Daniel spoke to him with wisdom and tact, asking, "Why did the king issue such a harsh decree?" Arioch then explained the matter to Daniel who went in to the king and asked for time so that he might interpret the dream for him.
During the night, the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven and said: "Praise be to the name of God forever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons, he sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him. I thank and praise you, O God of my fathers: you have given me wisdom and power, you have made known to me what we asked of you, you have made known to us the dream of the king."
Then Daniel went on to interpret the king's dream. It was honest, impartial, void of favoritism and the truth. Daniel asked the king not to kill the wise men, enchanters, magicians or diviners, but allow them to live to see that God is greater than any dream book. Indeed our land needs some Daniels who will assist the king in the affairs of the land, not to be partial and family-friendly, but to give justice to whom justice is due.
May God so use us as Daniels in this land so that we would be used to honor those who deserve honor, give a promotion those who have labored and toiled, and give respect to those who are worthy. God is about to reveal hidden mysteries that were reserved for such a time as this, but this can only be if we live lives worthy of God's favor.
We need Daniels for the crime in our land. We need Daniels for the enrichment and excellence in education. We need Daniels for national pride to swell in the hearts of the people of this land. We need Daniels for young men to become men of action, advancement, productivity and engagement in the better things of life.
Yes, we need Daniels so that God can reveal hidden mysteries to His people.
o E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org write to P.O. Box 19725 SS Nassau, Bahamas with your prayer requests, concerns and comments. God's Blessings!
A directive from then National Insurance Board (NIB) Chairman Gregory Moss ordering NIB to issue a $15,000 guarantee to help pay for emergency heart surgery for a Grand Bahama woman last July, violated the National Insurance Act and Regulations, according to a legal opinion obtained by Grant Thornton (Bahamas).
The opinion, from attorney Heather Maynard, is a part of a forensic report completed by Grant Thornton.
The chartered accountants examined allegations made against Moss by NIB Director Algernon Cargill.
The allegations are a part of an affidavit Cargill filed last November when he took legal action against Moss and NIB.
In an interview with auditors, Moss maintained that his instructions did not violate the act because he was authorized by the board to enter into any contract up to $50,000.
In February, Moss told auditors that he did not know the patient who needed the surgery, had met her once after the surgery, and that if he saw her again he would not recognize her.
Moss said he first met the woman after her surgery when she approached him and hugged him while he was with Environment Minister Ken Dorsett in Freeport.
"When he did not recognize her she said that she is the woman whose life [he] saved by helping to pay for the surgery at the Doctors Hospital and she showed him her scar," said the report tabled in the House of Assembly yesterday by Minister of Labour and National Insurance Shane Gibson.
"[Moss] said he remembers the woman's daughter from having seen her at rallies in Freeport and having collected a thank you card from her on behalf of her mother.
"He said that he would not recognize the woman who received the surgery if he sees her again because that was the first and only time that he met her."
Moss said the issuance of the guarantee happened on a Saturday.
According to the auditors' report, Dr. Kevin Bowe, vice president of NIB's medical department, told the auditors that Moss had said there was a provision in the act giving him the authority to approve the guarantee and that he would go back to the board members afterwards.
According to the report, Moss said he subsequently discussed this matter with Minister Gibson and advised the minister that he would not bother asking the Board of NIB to approve the sum as a donation, but would simply pay it himself.
He said that he and the minister agreed that a third party would issue a $15,000 check to Doctors Hospital in order to preserve his (Moss') anonymity, and he then issued a personal check for $15,000 to reimburse the third party.
In the report, Moss also defended his decision to hire an assistant, Franklyn Laing, with an annual salary of $40,000.
According to the report, Minister Gibson approved the hire.
Moss said when he was appointed chairman he told the minister that it was prudent that he bring along someone who could assist him in "understanding the lay of the land".
"He said that Mr. Laing's role was to help him understand the personalities of the people inside NIB and that he did that job," the report said.
"[Moss'] recollection was that the total effort was completed in the month of August."
In his affidavit, Cargill said this was the first time an NIB chairman had a personal assistant and claimed that Moss' recommended compensation to Laing was outside his scale of work.
Laing was hired in July 2012. His appointment with NIB ended in September.
Another allegation made by Cargill related to Moss' travel to Mangrove Cay, Andros, on Saturday, August 18, 2012.
Cargill claimed the trip was not connected to NIB business.
Cargill said he learnt that Moss went to Andros for a political meeting, but was given an NIB per diem of $250.
Cargill said NIB executive Theresa Burrows advised him to be aware of any request for subsistence payments to Moss for this non-NIB related travel.
However, Moss told the auditors that the trip was NIB-related "because his purpose of coming to Mangrove (Cay) was to inspect the NIB facility under construction".
"He also addressed a gathering that evening on NIB related matters and reported the trip to the Board at the next sitting of the Board," the report said.
"Also, he said that the minister told him that NIB should have a presence in all of the islands."
The auditors said it is "important to remember that the chairman of NIB is the chairman of NIB Bahamas and not of NIB Nassau.
"Mr. Gregory Moss had a board of director's approved spending limit of $50,000 and the thought that he would need authorization from an employee at NIB to travel within The Bahamas, request per diem for that travel and obtain prior permission from NIB staff when hosting fellow Board of Directors at a hotel is not practical."
Moss also explained to the auditors why he directed Cargill to purchase a vehicle from Friendly Ford for him to use while in New Providence.
He said that Cargill told him there was no designated company car for the chairman and that he would have to choose one.
Moss said he chose a car from the Ford dealership and an employee emailed the invoice to Cargill.
He said the vehicle was always parked at the airport in the parliamentary parking section when he was not in Nassau.
Cargill also raised concerns about Moss' "unusual" charges on a corporate credit card and said it appeared that NIB was paying Moss $125 per diem for days when he came to Nassau for parliamentary sessions.
However, Moss told the investigators that any time he came to the capital at NIB's expense "he engaged in NIB related business" or was at NIB for meetings or work.
Moss also said he never sought parliamentary reimbursement for NIB-related travel.
"He only used the NIB credit card for hotel charges and travel (airfare) expenses when he traveled to Nassau on short notice when it was too late to book those travels through the NIB office as, for example, when he had to meet with someone on NIB business or when he was called by the minister to meet with him on a NIB matter," the report said.
The report also detailed Moss' credit card activity.
Among other charges amounting to $2,621.39 it shows billings to the Hilton hotel in Nassau of $400.44 on August 4, 2012; $690.46 on August 17, 2012 and $138.22 on August 24, 2012.
The report relating to the allegations against Moss consists mainly of his denials of wrongdoing and his explanations of various matters that transpired while he was chairman.
Moss said his actions were not personal though, as they were sanctioned by the Board of NIB.
While much of the report outlines Moss' responses to the allegations made by Cargill, the auditors made few conclusions or findings on these accusations.
While Cargill claimed that Moss' actions toward him were designed to frustrate him in the execution of his duties, Moss denied "any of his actions were of malicious intent".
The auditors interviewed Moss on February 7, 2013.