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News Article

September 21, 2013
Sit-in at Carlton Francis Primary

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.

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News Article

September 28, 2013
Purse demands stalling pro boxing activities

Boxing fans, for over three years now have been starved of professional activity in the country. The professional side of boxing is indeed dormant. What are the reasons?
Firstly, the market is a big problem. The economy is such that promoters face an uphill battle in getting gates that would enable them to at least break even. Funds are just not in abundance for fans to be able to budget $20 and upwards just for a single ticket.
What adds to the problem for promoters however are the outrageous purse demands of boxers.
I will use one example to make the point. It is my understanding that a former top rated boxer who has not won a fight in four years, is asking for $10,000.00 as his purse alone. Now this is totally ridiculous.
You haven't been victorious in over four years.
Your market value has plummeted.
You never really packed them in even when at your best and now wish to have a promoter come up with $10,000 in the present market?
Bahamian observers of the sporting scene need to be aware of such requests that are not realistic.
How could a fighter possibly think about asking for more money than he ever made for a single fight? This is one of the difficulties promoters face. There are several of them who want badly to put shows on. They have communicated with the Bahamas Boxing Commission and are comfortable with the terms and conditions given for an endorsement.
They are ready to go.
There are quality Bahamian boxers like Taureano Johnson, Ryan McKenzie and Meacher Major, who are reasonable and very interested in performing in The Bahamas. They could be matched up with local-based fighters, but the purses being asked for, just can't work in this market.
I told a prospective promoter, businessman Tommy Stubbs of Buttons Formal Wear, who has been trying to make a certain match, that one of the boxers in question just does not want to fight. Within his heart, he probably feels that another defeat will be the result, so the big demand of $10,000 is the cover for fear.
Nevertheless, the promoter indicated that he would work around that particular scenario and get into the promotion of boxing shows nevertheless. Stubbs has presented the Bahamas Boxing Commission with a good-looking plan and his timetable is for early 2014.
So, it appears that pro boxing will come alive again.
It's a grand sport that has great history here in The Bahamas.
Best wishes Tommy!

o To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at sturrup1504@gmail.com.

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News Article

May 14, 2013
Cargill Seeks to kill NIB report

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.

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News Article

May 14, 2013
When lupus strikes

Prior to 1999, Renee Dean had never even heard of the word lupus -- she did not even know that there was such a disease. So the day she visited the doctor because she was feeling under the weather, she thought she was suffering with the flu. That doctor prescribed medication that did not seem to improve her situation. Finally, frustrated with the fine bumps on her back that kept itching and from which she could get no relief, she went to see a skin doctor. After a battery of blood tests, she was told she had lupus. It was the first time Dean had ever heard the word and found out that it was a disease.
Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease that occurs when the body's immune system attacks its own tissues and organs. It can be difficult to diagnose because its signs and symptoms often mimic those of other ailments. The most distinctive sign of lupus is the facial rash that resembles the wings of a butterfly unfolding across both cheeks. Some people are born with a tendency toward developing lupus, which may be triggered by infections, certain drugs or even sunlight. While there's no cure for lupus, treatments can help control symptoms.
Shortly after Dean's diagnosis in early 2000, she was hospitalized for the first time for approximately nine days. To this day she says she can't recall exactly what happened. She says she only knows what people have told her, and that it has not been good at all.
"It was like I was out of my mind or something, so I think they had me heavily sedated," said Dean.
The last time she was hospitalized for a flare-up was in 2008 as she suffered with severe leg pain.
No two cases of lupus are exactly alike. Signs and symptoms may come on suddenly or develop slowly. They may be mild or severe and may be temporary or permanent. Most people with lupus have mild disease, characterized by episodes called flares, when signs and symptoms get worse for a while, then improve or even disappear completely for a time.
Dean says she is currently in remission. She has not had a flare since her 2008 episode.
The one downside to her lupus diagnosis was that she was told not to get pregnant because of the risk -- she could either lose her life or her child. Dean does not have any children. With the world recently celebrating Mother's Day, being childless is something she says she has accepted. And she says having lupus isn't the only reason she is not a mother.
"I've always said I don't want to have children unless I'm married ... and I'm not married, so it doesn't affect me a whole lot -- not now," said the 42-year-old.
Signs and symptoms of lupus depend on the body symptoms affected by the disease. Symptoms include fatigue and fever; joint pain, stiffness and swelling; butterfly-shaped rash on the face that covers the cheeks and bridge of the nose; skin lesions that appear or worsen with sun exposure; fingers and toes that run white or blue when exposed to cold or during stressful periods; shortness of breath; chest pain; dry eyes; headaches; confusion or memory loss.
"The flare-ups happen whenever they happen," she said. "You can look at someone today and say nothing's wrong with them and the next day you can see them totally different [and] in a lot of pain."
Dean who is naturally slim and who normally tips the scale at around 135 pounds said she lost weight during her flare. The needle on the scale dipped below 100 pounds.
"For me to wear my clothes I would have to wear like four pants to keep the main pants up," she said.
For the past 14 years, Dean has been taking five different medications -- some she takes once a day, others she takes twice daily in her fight against the disease. While she's comes to terms with lupus, the one thing she says she's certain of, it's that she is sick and tired of taking all the medication that she does.
"It's tiresome," she said. "Some days if I miss when I'm supposed to take it (medication) I don't worry about it, I take it the next day."
As she looks to her future her hope is that one day a cure is found or that one day she goes to the doctor and is told that her lupus is "all gone".
And Dean says it's her trust in God that has helped bring her through the last 13 years living with lupus.
"Even when they told me [I had lupus] I was calm straight through because I said I can't change the situation there's nothing I could do about it, so I just accepted it and trust and believe in God. I have had great support from family and coworkers and that too has helped me," she said.
During the month of May Bahamians will join millions around the world to raise awareness for lupus. Nassau-based support group, Lupus 242, is leading the way with events planned to educate locals about the debilitating disease affecting many people living in The Bahamas.
An estimated 5.5 million persons globally live with the chronic autoimmune disease brought on by genetics, environment and hormonal imbalances in the body. There are no real statistics on the number of persons in The Bahamas with lupus. In addition to raising awareness, Lupus 242 is working to establish a local database of lupus patients.
"May is Lupus Awareness Month and we are appealing to the general public and to corporate Bahamas to support our events and activities," said Shanelle Brennen, Lupus 242 president and a lupus fighter for more than 20 years. "It's amazing the amount of Bahamians who are suffering in silence. We want to provide them with much needed support through events and through our monthly meetings. Lupus is not an easy illness to live with, but there is hope," she said.
Since Lupus 242 launched in April 2012, persons throughout The Bahamas have reached out to share their stories on how lupus has impacted their lives. In addition to the events, the group is also releasing a public service announcement entitled "But You Don't Look Sick" and will be selling wristbands and bumper stickers to the general public.
Dean is appreciative of the Lupus 242 group -- a group that she says has interesting and informative meetings.
"The have different health persons come in and talk to us. And just to know different people that have lupus is good. Since I've been with Lupus 242 I haven't been sick, but it's a good support," said Dean.
LUPUS 242 CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Monday, May 20
9:30 a.m. - Hope Floats Balloon Release ceremony in honor of lives lost to lupus at the top of Fort Charlotte.
Sunday, May 26
3 p.m. - A Purple Hat Tea Party Affair at St. Matthew's Parish Hall.

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News Article

April 12, 2013
Man acquitted of murder

A man who prosecutors accused of shooting a man five times was acquitted of murder on Wednesday.
A 12-member Supreme Court jury unanimously cleared Billy Johnson of the March 26, 2010 death of Rodne Fertilien at Dowdeswell Street.
The only evidence that linked Johnson to the crime was a confession he purportedly made to police on September 20, 2010.
Johnson, 36, of Fox Hill, said he relented and signed a statement after police subjected him to a brutal beating.
Johnson's lawyer, Ramona Farquharson, accused Sgt. 1908 Rolle and other officers of brutalizing Johnson in a back room at the Central Detective Unit for over six hours on September 19 until they sapped his will.
No officer made any notation on Johnson's detention record during the period Johnson alleged he was beaten.
Farquharson said the officers hog-tied Johnson, slapped him about the head and face and placed a plastic fish bag over his head at intervals.
She said that another officer placed a phone book on Johnson's chest and beat it with a bat.
She also alleged that officers applied pressure to Johnson's testicles with pliers.
Farquharson said, "That's why no other officer could have written on the detention record (during that period).
"He was with you and those officers, being beaten. And then he miraculously, on the 20th, he confesses."
Prosecutor Garvin Gaskin admitted that police brutality does occur. However, Gaskin said Johnson's accusation was baseless.
Justice Bernard Turner presided.

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News Article

September 06, 2013
NFL Week One: Sheldon's picks

NFL WEEK ONE

Thursday's game
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

Sunday's games
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

Monday's games
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

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News Article

October 25, 2013
Party chairmen speak out on House row

A heated row in the House of Assembly between Prime Minister Perry Christie and Long Island MP Loretta Butler-Turner was uncalled for and reduced the level debate in the House, several politicians said yesterday.
Butler-Turner suggested that Prime Minister Perry Christie has a dislike for women after he said he will not be intimated by her "might or size".
Christie shot back, saying, his family would be amused "at the question of my sexuality" suggested by Butler-Turner.
St. Anne's MP Hubert Chipman said Christie's comments were disgraceful.
"I felt embarrassed," he said. "I was just sitting there and you ask yourself, 'Is this what you got into politics for?' We crossed a line there."
Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Chairman Bradley Roberts felt that Butler-Turner was too emotional.
"She threatened to slap somebody again," he said. "Christie certainly took a swipe at that. But she was like a bull in the china shop. She was way off base.
"Christie in a nice way said my colleague right here...is of a similar size too. He certainly took no umbrage with regard to that."
Free National Movement (FNM) Chairman Darron Cash said Christie was thin-skinned and defended Butler-Turner's reaction.
"She is a good woman to be able to exercise the kind of constraint that she has," Cash said.
"They have dropped the level of debate on the other side, but she has continued to comport herself in a most dignified manner. She has done better than most people can do."
Cash noted though that MPs should remember that they are being looked up to.
"On the rare occasions that our members loose their cool, all of them are still under a strong obligation to remember that people are watching and people are looking to them for leadership," he said. "So as much as a strong response may be necessary, sometimes you will have to control your tongue and not give them the benefit of a response that is really justified."
Butler-Turner and MICAL MP V. Alfred Gray were arguing over amendments the Ingraham administration made to the Mayaguana deal between the government of The Bahamas and the I-Group.
The Ingraham administration had referred to the original deal entered into by the first Christie administration as the "great land give-away".
"I am not ashamed of who I am," Butler-Turner said. "When (my grandfather, the late former governor general) Milo Butler was leading the charge for the PLP, nobody had a problem with his size.
"But because I am on this side, you have a problem with it? Well you face it. This is my size, I am a woman and I am proud of who I am.
"As for my being offended by the prime minister, I don't need an apology from him. He clearly demonstrates that he has a dislike for me, my size and maybe women."
Christie fired back: "To those gladiators who sit along with her...they would know the tragic error of her ways in applying an imputation, the suggestion to me, they would know better. And they would know better because we have met in the forum of activities before.
"My wife knows, she knows what I was when she met me, a man of distinguished reputation in the field of valor."

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News Article

November 13, 2013
Man wanted for questioning

POLICE are asking the public to help them locate 35-year-old Timothy Stubbs of Garden Hills, who they want to question in a stealing and death threat case.

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News Article

May 16, 2013
Lawyer: Moss' NIB directive violated act

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.

Allegations
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."

Defence
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.

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