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News Article

May 20, 2014
Time winding down for the world relays

Just days before the start of the IAAF World Relays Bahamas 2014, the Class 1 certification of the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium has finally made its way to The Bahamas, and is in the hands of Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Dr. Daniel Johnson.
It appears to be just a matter of time now. The track is now certified, the accreditation process has started and is ongoing at the Kendal G.L. Isaacs National Gymnasium. Landscaping around both the new and old stadiums is just about completed, and athletes have already begun filing in - all for the biggest sporting event to ever be held in The Bahamas!
The inaugural International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) World Relay Championships is set for this Saturday and Sunday at the new Thomas A. Robinson Stadium.
Even the tickets for the event are just about sold out. At a press briefing yesterday, Managing Director for the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of the event Lionel Haven said that the western grandstand, gold, silver and bronze packages are already sold out; up to this weekend, on the eastern grandstand, there were just about 1,100 tickets remaining for Saturday and just under 1,000 for Sunday.
"Operations are moving along very well. People will see that there has been a dramatic change in that stadium from the test event a couple weeks ago to the opening of the World Relays on Saturday," said Haven. "We have received the IAAF certification for the track and will be presenting that to the minister today. We wanted this stadium to be the jewel of the Caribbean - something that could host international events, and we were able to accomplish that. We're looking forward to a very, very exciting event," he added.
In addition to the 15,000 seats in the stadium, Minister Johnson said that they have installed some junkanoo bleachers, thereby accounting for an additional 1,000 seats, but those particular seats have already been earmarked. About 800 athletes from 42 countries are coming to these shores for the event. The total amounts to more than 1,000 visitors, factoring in coaches, trainers, officials and IAAF delegates.
"I'm so delighted to be able to witness what is happening this coming weekend," said Bahamian IAAF Council member and 'Golden Girl' Pauline Davis-Thompson. "I never thought that I would have seen this in my lifetime," she added. "Being a part of the IAAF Council put me in a position to agitate for us to get these World Relays. It just seemed to be so fitting for The Bahamas to be the country to host this event, because we are passionate about track and field and we're even more passionate about relays. The Bahamas is known as [a] small country [with] great athletes, so when the IAAF said that they wanted to host these World Relays in the NACAC (North America, Central America and Caribbean) region, there were many big countries which expressed an interest in hosting."
Eventually, The Bahamas was given the bid for the first two years of the World Relays.
"They wanted to solidify it before they move it somewhere else," she said. "They said that the perfect spot to solidify it is The Bahamas based on our history in the sport of track and field and our history in relay running. Lamine Diack (IAAF President) came here in 2002 for CARIFTA, and fell completely in love with The Bahamas. With him buying into it, it was so easy to convince the other members to join in as well. Therefore, I am so proud to be a Bahamian and to be sitting on that council. I just hope that Bahamians could be as proud as I am this weekend. What the LOC has been doing behind the scenes, I call them our unsung heroes. There are Bahamians who are working day and night to ensure the success of this event."
IAAF President Diack, from Senegal, will be making his third official trip to The Bahamas. Davis-Thompson said that most of her fellow council members will be here for the first-of-its-kind athletics event.
"Last year, we hosted the CARIFTA Games, and then after that, we went through a scenario in regard to the certification of the track. It was a concern to us because we wanted to be able to host the best of the best here in The Bahamas," said Minister Johnson yesterday. "The track itself had to meet the highest international standard, and I am pleased to say that we have achieved that. We are now certified as a Class 1 Grade A facility. This is the newest track in the world, and the fastest track on the planet."
The minister said that he wasn't worried at all, despite the late arrival of the Class 1 certification.
"We have been positioning ourselves for Class 1 certification for a while now," he said. "We contracted Mondo to get the work done, and Mondo is the number one track manufacturer in the world. They go through a very detailed process in regard to how it is done. After December had passed, our track was already manufactured and sitting in the factory in Italy. We knew that having Mondo on board, with the credibility of the company, we would have the desired results."
Minister Johnson added that the certification itself came at different levels, and a number of things had to be done to get the facility Class 1 certified.
"When you look at this track, the quality is in the design and the kind of surface that is laid," said the minister. "A lot of other things come with Class 1 certification as well. All of the support features around the track gives you Class 1 certification. There has to be another track nearby that is also 400 meters (m) and is also at a certain level of IAAF certification. Also, there needs to be a third straight away. There are three pieces to this certification, and we met all of them. Accompanying that has to be bathroom facilities, the appropriate medical facilities, the appropriate EMS facilities...the full nine yards. Everything in that complex has to meet a certain standard, and we have met that standard."
The minister said that the security of the stadium in totality was, as expected, very high on their agenda, particularly with the world coming to The Bahamas for this grand event.
"That was also one of the priorities of the certification process," he said. "I think that having more of these events is going to have an impact on our crime situation. For one, young people will have something to inspire them that they can gather in large groups and there will be no incidents, and number two, when people see the economic impact of what this could do for the community, that will have a great effect. The knock on effect of large-scale events, I think will increasingly inform public opinion as to the manner in which we should behave.
"With this event, we won the bid for 2014 and 2015, so we are looking to see what are the dynamics for us to do it again. We're looking at having something every year in this space that may be track related. It justifies our investment going forward," he added. "We ended up around the $10 million figure, but the economic impact is estimated to be around $20-25 million. I think we spent around three to five million dollars for the event itself, and then the infrastructure which we get to keep to use in the future was another $5 million. Bahamians have to figure out how to capitalize on the operational side, and that's where the economic impact comes in. We are making an investment into this, but it's the young Bahamians who have to figure out how to plug into this to have economic impact."
Minister Johnson said that his ministry, on behalf of the government, will present a detailed financial report at the conclusion of the two-day World Relays, but for now, the focus is on the actual event, particularly with the sports power image The Bahamas has projected at world-class athletics events.
"In The Bahamas, we want to show the world that we are truly a sports power," he said. "On any given day, The Bahamas can line up with any country in the world, and we could be in it to win it. We have earned that respect."
On the strength of a strong athletics performance, The Bahamas was the per capita champions of the Olympics in 1996 in Atlanta, 2000 in Sydney and again in 2004 in Athens.
As far as remaining work in and around the stadium is concerned, LOC Managing Director Haven said that just cosmetic work is left to be done.
"That's not something that is going to take an inordinate amount of time," said Haven. "We have a lot of Bahamians employed on this project, and that's a part of the economic impact of this event. We're pretty confident that what needs to be done will be done in time for the event on Saturday and Sunday."
A colorful opening ceremony is set for 4:40 p.m. on Saturday. The junior segment will start at 3:30 p.m. each day, and the World Relays will get underway at 5:30 p.m. each day.
The patron for the event is the country's first minister of sports, Kendal Nottage. 'Golden Girl' Davis-Thompson said that, growing up, she was inspired by him and his coining of the phrase "The Bahamas - el numero uno".
"That stuck with me and carried me throughout my career," said Davis-Thompson. "I want to tell Bahamians to let's show the world a grand Bahamian time. Let's show them the spirit of the Bahamian people. They love our warmth. They love our friendliness, and that is what I'm expecting my fellow Bahamians to display this weekend. What we do this weekend will determine whether or not we are on our way to becoming the number one sports tourism destination in the region," she added.
Whether or not The Bahamas hosts the event again in 2015 remains to be seen, but for now, the focus is on 2014. Two and a half years of planning and preparation is about to come to pay dividends, as the IAAF World Relays Bahamas 2014 is now just four days away.
Get ready Bahamas!

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News Article

February 06, 2013
The Haiti International Jazz Festival

The Haiti International Jazz Festival is in its seventh edition, yet it is my first encounter with the festival. The Haitian tourism calendar is fortunate to have such a prestigious event as the coup d'envoie to its yearlong cultural activities. I have been a regular of the New Orleans Jazz Festival almost from the beginning in the 70s, in my school days at Tulane University. I enjoy going back often to the Jazz Festival in St. Lucia. These are major events that attract thousands of tourists, bringing a major impact to the economy of Louisiana and of St. Lucia.
The Haiti International Jazz Festival is still in its infancy. In fact, I am taking the chance of changing its name from Port-au-Prince International Jazz Festival to Haiti International Jazz Festival. I am hoping the organizers will follow suit and make it a true national and international festival. Haiti cannot afford to stage another jazz festival in a different city in the same year; in addition, setting the event in major cities each day of the festival will add charm, cachet and improve the tourism experience for all, the locals and the foreigners.
Jazz music is new to Haiti, in spite of the fact that the jazz experience is part of the Haitian DNA. Watching Branford Marsalis starting the festival at Jacmel, I asked my companion to describe the sentiments felt. I had to educate her about the erotic emotion of the jazz experience. To me, jazz music is like making love to a woman (hopefully it is also vice versa). There is spontaneity, there is diminuendo leading to the crescendo, the pause, and the repetition of the same notes, the unexpected, the jazzy groove that gives you at the end the ecstasy of having gone to paradise and coming back to earth renewed and rejuvenated.
It was as such during a whole week from January 19 to January 26 in Haiti, where the United States, Canada, France, Mexico, Spain, Brazil and Switzerland combined to bring to the island nation, right after the days marking the anniversary of the earthquake (January 12), the gift of their best jazz music players. To mark the 150th anniversary of the continuous international intercourse between Haiti and the United States, Regine Rene Labrousse, the American embassy cultural attaché, told the crowd in Jacmel that the U.S. sent its premier star jazz player, Branford Marsalis and his group.
Staging a major international jazz festival takes a whole year of preparation. Its sponsor, the Haitian Jazz Foundation, led by Joel Widmaier and Milena Sandler, did not know, upon publication of the brochure of the event, if Jacmel as a venue could be added to the event, and if the media would receive transportation support and assistance.
Jazz is new to Haiti and, as such, public contribution by the government and civil society is not always forthcoming. Yet, the Ministry of Culture, in spite of austerity measures imposed by the Haitian government, has maintained its budgetary contribution at the same level as last year; a last minute announcement that gave an "ouf" of relief to the event organizers.
The jazz festival that started in Jacmel took place mainly in Port-au-Prince. With a full moon plotting happily to add its mystic and erotic touch, jazz music aficionados moved from the garden of the French Institute, to the garden of Fokal and then to the magnificent plaza of the Karibe Hotel to the historic sugar cane park. It was all free, except for the event at the Sugar Cane Park, where the entrance fee was US$20.
The international jazz players included: Augusting Carbonell, "El Bola", from Spain; Benjamin Struelens from Belgium; Molly Johnson from Canada; Sandro Schneebeli from Switzerland; Timo Vollbrecht from Germany; and Ilan Bar Lavi from Mexico. Those international stars intermingled with a fusion product that included Haitian artists such as Melanie Charles; Vanessa Jacquemin; Michou and the much loved troubadour, Belo.
During the jazz sessions, I took time to watch the crowd; the young men and women were all mesmerized by the dexterity of each player, the intensity of the partners, and the synchronization of disparate movements leading to a perfect landing at the end.
Whether Haiti will use its international jazz festival in January to capture its market share of the tourist industry will depend on the vision of the festival organizers. I put that question to Regine Rene Labrousse, the American embassy cultural attaché, a native of New Orleans with Haitian roots. She answered with the diplomatic cachet expected from a diplomat, but I could sense the message that the Haitians must own their international jazz festival. They must be willing to pay for the cost and reap the benefits therein.
In a coveted global circuit of jazz festivals, Haiti has the luck of the Irish to be first on the hosting line, in the middle of January, when the weather in Europe, the United States and Canada is freezing. It might seem easy if the tourists could use the Jared Diamond formula of "constructive paranoia": being attentive to hazards that carry a low risk but are encountered frequently to get themselves to Haiti where the weather is on beau fixe, the festival free, the culture free and an excellent cuisine cheap and convenient. (Dinner or lunch of fried plantain, banana pezée with grio: crisp fried pork or grilled chicken: poulet boucanné including hot salad with homemade organic juice: less than US$5.) The full week that the Haiti Jazz Festival took place was without a minor incident that could be registered as an infraction.
The Haiti International Jazz Festival can serve as the harbinger to bring back the tourist industry to Haiti. Once they taste the legendary hospitality of Haiti and of the Haitian people, I am sure they will come back to the island after a quick trip back home, to avoid the thaw of February. They will head again to Haiti for Mardi Gras; it will take place this year in the colonial- and museum-like city of Cap Haitian. March is dedicated to Rara, the rural carnival; from the beginning of May to November 1, the festival of saints will bring you as close as possible to the medieval era in our modern civilization in the different villages of Haiti.
The organizers will have to garner the support of the very dynamic minister of tourism, Stephanie Villedrouin, as well as her director general, Josette Darguste, promoted recently to minister of culture, to make the Haiti International Jazz Festival a passage oblige for the many fans of jazz all over the world. They will need also to consult with the veteran organizers of the jazz festivals from New Orleans and St. Lucia on how to entice an international crowd to such a spectacular event.
My Rolodex has the name of an influential international ad marketer who is willing to promote Haiti á la South Africa after Mandela for a few years free of charge. It should be taken up for next year's Haiti International Jazz Festival. Albeit warnings to the contrary, Haiti is set to become a major and unique tourist attraction in the Caribbean which is as close as possible to the culture of New Orleans, where the trademark and the roots came from anyway!
Note: Haiti can be reached from major international hubs with different airlines such as Delta, American Airlines, Air France, Air Canada, Continental, Insel Air, Spirit, Copa, KLM and United. Sunrise airline and Tortug'air offer local connections with Port-au-Prince to Cap Haitian and other cities of Haiti.

o Jean Hervé Charles LLB, MSW, JD, former vice-dean of students at City College of the City University of New York, is now responsible for policy and public relations for the political platform in power in Haiti, Répons Peyisan. He can be reached at: jeanhcharles@aol.com. Published with the permission of caribbeannewsnow.com.

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News Article

December 21, 2011
Teen's bail plea denied

By LAMECH JOHNSON

ljohnson@tribunemedia.net

A teenage boy's plea to be granted bail and spend the holiday season away from prison was denied in Magistrate's Court yesterday.

The refusal came after the prosecution revealed that Ronald Fluerinvil, 18, of Cromwell Street had breached previous bail conditions granted to him earlier this year.

Fluerinvil was arraigned before Chief Magistrate Roger Gomez in Court One, Bank Lane, of a single charge of causing harm.

It is alleged that on Monday, December 19, the accused intentionally caused harm to Cynario Fowler. There are 10 witnesses in this case, according to court dockets.

After acknowledging to Chief Magistrate Gomez that he unde ...

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News Article

January 16, 2013
Tourism's soccer focus is a good sign

This past November, the Bahamas Football Association (BFA) had the official opening of the beach soccer facility at the foot of the Sidney Poitier Bridge. It was such a grand occasion that even the disappointing one-goal defeat of our nationals at the hand of Jamaica's Reggae Boys (6-5) did not seriously dampen the enthusiasm of the moment.
It was historic and the presence of Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) officials and also, leading administrators of the region classified the event as one of the signature happenings for the sport during the past year.
Present were three government ministers, namely Deputy Prime Minister Philip Davis (there particularly to cheer on his son and the rest of the team), Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe and Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Dr. Daniel Johnson. Indeed, the Government of The Bahamas was appropriately represented and Minister Wilchcombe clearly saw the sports/tourism potential that soccer provides. He indicated as much as well as an inclination for his ministry to have a definite role in the mix.
Well, this week, the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) will stage its convention, beginning today with work sessions at the Indiana Convention Center. Sports Tourism Director Tyrone Sawyer will be present, along with Bahamas Football Association (BFA) Vice President Fred Lunn. No doubt, throughout the convention, the two will network closely with the objective being how tourism and the BFA can work together in the very near future for a mutual benefit.
I've always felt that the efforts of the Ministry of Tourism's sports department could be maximized once closer relationships were built with the various core organizations. I believe the Ministry of Tourism, through its sports department, has a meaningful part to play in the expansion of the Bahamian sports industry.
I know that Minister Wilchcombe feels likewise. It was he during the 2002-2007 administration of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP), who sought to broaden the base of the ministry's sport department. It is looking like he still has the same mindset. This is good. The presence of Sports Director Sawyer demonstrates the positive outlook of the ministry for soccer, in this instance, and sports in general.
The local representatives will be in Indianapolis for the full duration of the convention sessions. The NSCAA convention is an excellent forum. The theme this year is, 'Innovate to Elevate', and according to the "promo", the main agenda items will be new techniques, training, youth programs, NSCAA market place and other educational aspects.
Of course, a priority for the Bahamian national program is how best to market youth soccer. I'm sure Sawyer and Lunn will be thus focused.

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

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News Article

August 20, 2010
Team Bahamas gets trounced in opener

The first full 15-aside match was hard-hitting for the women's national rugby team which got a real taste of the sport, yesterday afternoon.

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News Article

February 20, 2013
Talisker pulls plug in Exuma

A high seven-figure deal for February Point in Exuma has fallen apart after a due diligence period, Guardian Business can confirm.
Talisker, a Toronto-based firm that owns and operates several high-end retreats in North America, came to preliminary terms with the principals of February Point back in January. At the time, owner of the property Randy Hart said Talisker would lead the island's "renaissance" through its global reputation and diverse, high-end clientele.
However, Jackie Johnson, a representative from Talisker, told Guardian Business yesterday that the deal is off the table.
"The deal is not happening," she said. "Talisker is not buying the property in Exuma. This is a final decision."
Jackson would not elaborate on exactly why the deal has fallen apart, citing that negotiations have been sensitive on both sides. According to sources familiar with the matter, there were many "moving parts and wrinkles" to the acquisition.
The news will likely come as a big disappointment to stakeholders on Exuma.
Khaalis Rolle, the minister of state for investments, previously hailed the initial agreement as an important development for the island. He said that Talisker holds "tremendous potential" given their resources, reach and history of success.
"So we're looking forward to completing this process and we'll do whatever is needed to facilitate it," he added.
The botched deal also takes away what would have been a hefty stamp duty for the public treasury.
Judy Herlock, a leading realtor on the island, expressed disappointment that the deal went sour.
"That's a pity. They were the most likely option to take over the property," she told Guardian Business. "We seem to go two steps forward and four steps backwards here on Exuma."
Herlock and others in the property business were intrigued with the possible introduction of Talisker, in the sense that the company could have driven up land values and brought new money to the destination. The Toronto-based firm was apparently seeking to invest considerably in the property by boosting its existing offerings and building new homes and amenities.
Herlock said that "there is nothing to get terribly excited about" on the island right now in terms of property sales. She said that more infrastructure is needed to justify the high prices for homes and vacant land.
That said, sources close to the matter said that February Point could still get scooped up by a foreign investor. John McGarvey, new owner of the Coconut Cove Hotel, is thought to be the second major suitor for the oceanfront property.
He is also the investor behind a proposed resort on Stocking Island and a concrete factory on land across from February Point.
Exuma currently benefits from a duty exemption on raw materials for construction, as instituted by the Progressive Liberal Party when it came into power last May.

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News Article

February 16, 2013
The Annual Heart Ball ! Embrace the Opportunity!

Nassau, Bahamas -

It's an
opportunity to get dressed up to the ninth, look your best, walk the fashion
run way and the dance the night away. It's an opportunity to win lots of
wonderful prizes, bid on pieces that are not ordinarily affordable, and have
funs with family and friends. It's an
opportunity to save a little heart while enjoying the company of that special
someone in your life. It's the Annual
Heart Ball.

Under the
theme, "Save a Little Heart.... Embrace the Opportunity", The Heart Ball
Committee will host The Annual Heart Ball.
This event will be held on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at Sheraton
Nassau Beach Resort. As guests enter the door to the reception are they will be
kissed by an angelic floral and fauna décor. The meal will be prepared by
Cacique Award winner, Chef Johnson...

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News Article

July 30, 2011
The Bahamas settles for silver

It was a tale of two halves last night at the Kendal G.L. Isaacs National Gymnasium, as The Bahamas' senior men's national basketball team looked totally clueless in the first half before storming all the way back in the second.

They fell behind by 23 points in the second quarter, and trailed 53-33 at the half, but gradually chipped away at the lead in the second half. In the end the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) proved to be too fundamentally sound though, as they held on for a 91-89 wire-to-wire win, taking the gold in this year's Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) Championships.

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News Article

April 28, 2014
The U.S. fumbles exchange The Bahamas races to victory

A relay gaffe by the United States of America (USA) enabled The Bahamas to run away with the its first men's 4x400 meters (m) title at the 120th running of the Penn Relays Carnival in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, this past weekend.
The Bahamas' quartet of Michael Mathieu, Demetrius Pinder, Chris Brown and Ramon Miller, the same four who galloped to London Olympics gold two years ago, won the USA vs. the World men's 4x400m event, in a time of 3:00.78. The American team of Kyle Clemons, Kind Butler, David Verburg and Manteo Mitchell, in that order, finished second in a distant 3:03.31, just barely holding off Brazil's team of Pedro De Oliveira, Wagner Cardoso, Anderson Henriques and Hugo De Sousa, in that order, which finished third in a time of 3:03.32.
It was the baton mix-up after the third leg which had everyone talking afterwards though.
After a fantastic leg by American Verburg, he and Brown came into the line at the same time on the third leg. However, American anchor Mitchell took his eyes off the baton and mistakenly grabbed The Bahamas' baton. An alert Ramon Miller grabbed the baton back and took off on his anchor leg. Mitchell, the same athlete who broke his leg in the heats of the London Olympics, had to stop and retreat to Verburg for the correct baton, thereby setting them back immensely in the 1,600m relay race. It was one of the strangest things one would ever see in track and field.
Miller said that in situations like that, you just have to remain focussed.
"There was some confusion, but with me being a veteran athlete you have to be prepared for those types of situations," said Miller on Saturday. "You have to be a quick thinker, and I am a quick thinker. I was able to find a way to get the baton and get it around the track. At the end of the day, it was their error, and we just capitalized on it."
The Bahamas tampered with the order from the London Olympics, choosing to lead off with Mathieu as opposed to Brown. Mathieu led off in 45.7, Pinder ran a 44.7 split on the second leg, Brown turned in a 45.09 split, and Miller anchored in 45.32. Verburg was strong for the U.S., that operated without multi World and former Olympic Champion LaShawn Merritt. Verburg ran a 44.50-second split on his leg, but a savvy Chris Brown wouldn't let Verburg get around him, forcing Verburg to run the final 200 meters of his leg in the outside lane.
"I felt him coming, so I had to turn up the burners," said Brown. "I just want to hank God for bringing us through healthy, and allowing us to run a clean race. I was expecting to just go out there and chill, but the dude tried to put a challenge to me. I'm not going to let a challenge go, so I had to back it up. I was just looking to run a smooth race, but it turned out to be a dog fight," he added.
Back healthy after a tumultuous 2013 campaign, Pinder said that he is just elated to be running again, and contributing to the team in a major way.
"First of all, I have to give God thanks for all of us coming out of the race healthy," he said. "We're pretty much happy with the result and the time. It's good for the first relay of the season for us. With the line-up, we're going to keep playing with it. We're not exactly sure what we're going to do as yet. It was a good line-up, and we're satisfied with the result."
Pinder said that he feels completely healthy, and is looking forward to the IAAF World Relays Bahamas 2014.
The inaugural International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Relay Championships will be held May 24-25, at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium, right here in The Bahamas.
"We're definitely looking to go faster at the world relays," said Brown. "All of the guys are healthy and we should all be running well by then. We're looking forward to big things in The Bahamas. I think that we still have a lot of work to do. Everyone is coming to our home, so we have to be ready. We're looking forward to the challenge."
As to running the third leg this time, as opposed to leading off or running the anchor like he has done for most of his career, Brown said that he's willing to do whatever it takes to help the team run its best possible time.
"Well it's all strategic. We want to keep the competition guessing," he said. "Anyone of us can come out of the blocks (lead-off), and we have to get in that mind frame. We feel good about it."
Mathieu was given the dubious task of leading off this time, and he responded admirably, giving The Bahamas a lead on the opening leg.
"I think that any one of us could run any position," he said. "I was just trying to put our team in a good position and I was able to do that. To run that time early in the season is pretty good. We're looking forward to running again at the world relays. We feel confident about our chances," he added.
Miller said that he's comfortable anchoring the team, and is looking forward to them dominating at home, no matter who the U.S., or anyone else for that matter, bring to these shores.
"After a year like last year when a lot of guys got injured, including myself, we just thank God that we're healthy again," he said. "Everything will come in time. We thank the Lord for the win first and foremost - that's what matters right now. We're going to be a factor no matter who they (U.S.) use in the race. We're going to always be in the equation. The world relays is about a month away, and we're looking forward to going out there and representing The Bahamas well."
The Bahamas' men's 4x400m squad wasn't the only relay team from The Bahamas which experienced success this past weekend.
St. Augustine's College (SAC) girls 4x100m relay squad won the High School Girls small schools consolation prize, taking the tape in 47.32 seconds. The Queen's College (QC) Comets was fourth in that same race, running a time of 47.85 seconds. Nansemond River out of Suffolk, Virginia, finished second in that race, in 47.49, and Bullis School, from Potomac, Maryland, was third ahead of QC, in 47.54 seconds. About 340 schools took part in that competition.
In the High School Girls large schools competition, C.V. Bethel finished fourth in its heat and 121st overall, out of 250 schools, in 51.67 seconds. Edwin Allen took the Championships of America title in 44.70 seconds. The top three schools were from Jamaica. Holmwood was second in 45.43 seconds, and Wolmer's Girls was third, in 45.62 seconds.
In the High School Girls 4x400m competition, the QC Comets failed to make the Championships of America, finishing fifth in their heat in 3:57.94. SAC took part in the High School Boys 4x400m competition, but also failed to make the Championships of America final. The team of Xavier Coakley, Carlos Outten, Justin Pinder and Kinard Rolle, finished fifth in their heat in 3:20.42. The Doris Johnson Mystic Marlins had the best performance by a Bahamian team in that event, finishing second in their heat, in 3:18.06. Despite their strong time, the team of Claudius Russell, Janeko Cartwright, Adrian Gibson and Phillip Mitchell still failed to make the Championships of America final.
In the High School Boys small schools 4x100m, Doris Johnson won their heat and were 17th overall, in 43.20 seconds. SAC was third in their heat, and 38th overall, in 43.91 seconds. A total of 297 schools took part in the High School Boys small schools 4x100m.
In the College Men's 4x100m, The College of The Bahamas' (COB) team of Talbot McKinney, Dominique Collie, Avery Thompson and Justin Gray, finished sixth in their heat and 44th overall out of 92 schools, in 42.27 seconds. Their 4x200m relay squad of McKinney, Thompson, Clarence Major and Dominique Collie, was 49th out of 51 schools, in 1:34.01.

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News Article

October 01, 2011
Trial of pair accused of MP threat postponed

By LAMECH JOHNSON
ljohnson@tribunemedia.net

THE trial of two men who are alleged to have threatened the life of Bamboo Town MP Branville McCartney was postponed in Magistrate’s Court last Friday.
The matter of Mighty Spartacus Moncur, 34, and Livingstone Bullard Jr, 30, was expected to commence on Friday morning in Court Six, Parliament Street, where five witnesses including Mr McCartney were present to testify.
However, prosecutor Eucal Bonaby, appearing on behalf of lead attorney Garvin Gaskin, informed Magistrate Carolyn Vogt-Evans that the prosecution would not be able to proceed with trial and sought an adjournment of four weeks, on the instructions of Mr Gaskin.
The reason given was ...

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News Article

February 16, 2013
Team Bahamas strengthens with Freeport players

The Bahamas is expected to field a stronger team when the Freeport players are added to the mix this weekend.
Playing in their second try, the U19 select youth rugby squad will go up against the Canadian team, Joan of Arc, at 2 p.m. Saturday, at the Winton Rugby Field. This is the first match-up for the national select squad, which started training late last year. According to Elystan Miles, director in the Bahamas Rugby Football Union (BRFU), the team still has a lot of work to do. Miles also noted that the friendly games are being used as an evaluation for the local coaches.
Miles said: "This is the first time many of them are actually playing organized rugby, more of a tournament style play. To be honest, the team here just started training several months back and you can see them making progress. We aren't putting any pressure on them; we are quite aware of their strengthens and weaknesses. All we need to do is see how they perform and take it from there.
"The team coming in from Canada is a strong one, but the players from Freeport are also strong so we are expecting a better game tomorrow. Over in Freeport, they have a strong youth rugby program. Here in Nassau, we are just trying to build our program. So we have gone into the schools. Those players who are coming out, you can see improvements but more work is needed."
The BRFU recently launched their high school program, using it as a feeder system for national teams. So far, several schools are playing rugby, including C.R. Walker Senior High, Doris Johnson Senior High, Queen's College and St. Augustine's College.
Training for persons in the program will continue, with the hopes of several of the players being named to the national U19 team that will take part in a regional tournament in July. That tournament will be played in Trinidad and Tobago. A local Youth Sevens tournament is scheduled in the upcoming weeks. That will be used as preparation for the regional event.
The national men's squad will play in the North America Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA) tournament starting April 13.

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News Article

September 15, 2011
TRAINEES EARN THEIR 'STRIPES'

Bahamas Striping, the company founded from a $5,000 Self Starter grant, has completed its first car park striping training stage for four of its seven staff.

The four yesterday applied their new skills in striping the car park at the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre.

The four, Tristan Johnson (22 years old), Romell Davis (18 years old), Patrick Smith (20 years old), and Darvin Brown (19 years old) have learnt how to clean surfaces, measure, lay out and striping.

Atario Mitchell, president of Bahamas Striping, said: "One of my staff had a criminal record for drug possession. During our interview he broke down and begged me to give him a try. He said: 'How can I get my life together an ...

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News Article

September 08, 2011
Terecita Brenhilda Carey, 82

Funeral service for Mrs. Terecita Brenhilda Carey, 82 yrs., a resident of Hatchet Bay, Eleuthera, who died on 31st Autust, 2011, will be held at St. Mark's Methodist Church, Hatchet Bay, Eleuthera, on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. Officiating will be Rev. Kenya Lovell, Pastor Henry Whyte & other Ministers of the Gospel. Interment follows in Big Bay Public Cemetery, Hatchet Bay, Eleuthera.
Left to cherish her memories are her children: William Carey Jr., Glenda & Jefferson Wildgoose Sr., Ceeney & Dr. Wismore Butcher, 201 Ederson Carey, Petty Officer Lorenzo Carey & Lyndon & Garvin Carey; grandchildren: Jefferso & Tiffany Wildgoose, Jarrod & Nikkiah Wildgoose, Janell & Daniel Carroll, Kendra Russell, Kenceene & Tamiko Fox, Monique & Panston Gibson, Marcita Sawyer, Ederson Carey Jr., John & Italia Shepherd, Alece Shepherd, Lorenzo Jr., & Marsha Carey, Tarano & Dwayne Deveaux, Marissa Brown & Shanna Clarke, Greg Wilson & family, Phillip & Daphne Wilson & family, Devon & Chanell Rhiney & family, Scott & Crystal Wilson & family; great grandchildren: Dane Bodie, Trenton Russell, Trevaughn Fox, Timothy, Jayden, Jasmine & Noa Wildgoose,Preston Gibson & Odelia Carey; adopted children: Laura & Levi Wilson & family, Florence, Sandy & Audrea Scavella, Tammy Lagan of Tennessee, Mavis Fowler & family, Calsey & Delcina Johnson, Marva & Richard Brown, Nurse Evelyn Assanah, Fredrick "Fergie" Ferguson & Flosetta Johnson; sisters: Auraice Newbold, Dora Bartlett & Hetlyn Major; adopted sisters: Rhona Bethel, Neutie Seymour, Eulene Johnson & Hildamae Johnson; brother-in-law: Kenneth Major Sr.; sisters-in-law: Armena & Hazel Carey, Rosie Eberhart; nephews: Larry Allan, Bertie, Edward, Peter & Hartmen Carey, Blake & Vidia Bartlett, Marvin & Ricky Newbold, Kenneth, David, Joel, Timothy & Paul Major, Hacourt Roberts, Elvin & Rodrick Smith, Vaughn Newbol; nieces: Andrea Taylor, Linda Pinder, Machelle Sands, Vandora Johnson, Sherry & Jackie Newbold, Josalee Benson, Dellarese Jones, Delpha Bartlett, Vernice, Melvice & Victoria Major, Shirley Mader, Margaret, Melinda & Gwendolyn Smith, Peggy Bullard & Carolyn Carey; other relatives & friends including: the St. Mark's Methodist family & the entire community of Hatchet Bay, Eleuthera.
Friends may pay their last respects at Demeritte's Funeral Home, Market Street, from 10-6:00 p.m. on Friday & on Saturday at the church from 9:00 a.m. until service time.
 
 

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News Article

March 01, 2013
Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium listed as a Class 2 by IAAF

The international governing body for track and field has listed the Thomas A Robinson National Stadium as a Class 2 facility.
The 15,000-seat facility that has an estimated cost of $30 million was certified last week by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). According to the Certified Athletics Facilities list, posted on the IAAF's website, The Bahamas is among 416 countries in the world with the Class 2 certification. Only 97 facilities in the world are considered Class 1 by the IAAF; Jamaica's and Trinidad and Tobago's facilities are slated in the top list.
Other major Class 1 stadiums from around the world including the National Stadium in China, London Olympic Stadium, and the Estadio Olimpico Joao Havelange stadium, the home of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Certified Athletics Facilities list was last updated by the IAAF on Friday, March 1, 2013.
Beynon Sports Company, Quli Group of Companies and representatives from the IAAF assisted The Bahamas government with getting the certification.
"Today I am pleased to inform you that this stadium - with the seating capacity of 15,000 seats, a running track that meets IAAF certification requirements - the national stadium is ready to receive our guests," said Dr. Daniel Johnson, minister of youth, sports and culture. "Adjourning this stadium is a full service track and field facility, our first Thomas A. Robinson stadium that has been fully refurbished and has now been certified, and is ready just for striping. These games will be like none other like you've seen before. There is no facility in this region that boasts this compliment of facilities, none. One can be used as a warm-up track, ... for small games, ... for training, winter training and other events. It is important to note also that three technical teams have assessed our new renovated facilities. Three technical teams of the highest order have for the past month been working to fully assess these facilities, and today they have confirmed that they are indeed world class events, and world class standards."
The stadium is the home for the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) and the Bahamas Football Association (BFA). It was officially opened on February 25, 2012.
The facility is a gift to The Bahamas from the People's Republic of China.
The facility's infield will be inspected by the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA). It is currently being raised to a level that meets FIFA's standards.

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News Article

May 28, 2014
'Tremendous' impact anticipated from Abaco airport opening

Tourism stakeholders in Abaco were overjoyed as flights began coming into the new Marsh Harbour Airport facility yesterday, some 20 months after it was initially schedule to open.
Resort and retail operators said they expect the airport's opening to lead to a boost in air service to the island, resulting in more business all around. Ground was broken on the airport in 2011.
Percy Pinder, owner of the Sand Dollar Shoppe in Marsh Harbour, Abaco and the organizer of a petition to the prime minister last year, which called for the opening of the airport in the interests of the economy of Abaco and which garnered thousands of signatures, said he expects the airport to have a "tremendous" impact.
"Nobody believed it was going to open until it did, I was out there this morning and it's very, very nice. People are going and coming, and it seems to be going smoothly. I think now it's open you'll see a lot more flights coming in over the next year, and I think you'll see the price of tickets come down. It's going to be good for the economy of Abaco," he said.
Molly McIntosh, sales manager at the Green Turtle Cay Club, said that the boutique resort is "thrilled" to see the airport finally open.
"We can sit here and talk about how everything didn't get done how it was supposed to and go on and on, but we need to put a positive spin on things and just start to get more people here. More money will fix all of our problems."
As for whether she thinks the opening of the airport will lead to better air service into Abaco, McIntosh was a little more circumspect.
"To be honest, there has to be the demand. If the demand is there, they will come in and land at a little hut. I think the most important thing it will do is improve the first and last impression of our visitors, and I think it will also give everyone a better sense of pride and we'll come across better as a people, and that in turn will bring more people in.
"The airlines aren't going to come just because we have a pretty new building."
An employee of the Abaco Beach Resort in Marsh Harbour said the company is "really excited" about what the new airport will do for the area.
"We had outgrown the old building. A lot of times the tourists would come in and say, 'when are you going to open the airport'? A lot of the ones who come here yelling, they will be happy.
"Now it's open I think we'll have more flights coming into the island and that should boost the business of tourism."
Speaking in September 2013 at the Abaco Business Outlook conference , David Johnson, then director general of tourism, said that the introduction of the new airport would allow for upgrades to air service to the island, including direct jet flights beyond the currently limited Miami regional service provided by American Eagle.
"We are in the process of concluding negotiations with a major U.S. carrier to provide such a service," he said.
It is not clear to date exactly what led to the significant time and cost overruns on the project.
Some had suggested that part of the delay related to the fact that it became apparent that the airport would be difficult to operate profitably, due to its design, and therefore plans to bring in a private company to open and manage the airport had to be scrapped.
Instead, the government contracted with a number of professionals who formerly worked for the Nassau Airport Development Company, which built and transitioned the Lynden Pindling International Airport to operational status. These contract workers worked alongside a number of government employees in a team that has finally been able to open the facility.
Contacted yesterday for comment on how much the government anticipates spending on the operation of the new airport going forward and how many staff members will be taken on to operate the larger facility, Minister of Transport and Aviation Glenys Hanna-Martin said she would reserve comment until after Prime Minister Perry Christie speaks in the House of Assembly on the matter today.
The government announced late Monday the opening of the airport for flights yesterday.
Guardian Business understands that operations flowed smoothly for the most part during the day.

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News Article

June 15, 2013
Time for change in the country

Dear Editor,

Common Cause, a nonprofit and non-aligned civic organization, supported and still supports the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP). What we do not support, however, is slackness and a do-not-care attitude which is being exhibited by far too many of those who sit in Parliament, either elected or appointed, and say that they are for the people.
Let us be quite clear on this issue. We are for the eventual ascendency of the minister of works as prime minister. We make no apologies for this and will not yield any ground, ever, on this non-negotiable stance. Brave is our unanimous choice to succeed to the office, in due course, with all due respect.
At some point in time, Common Cause gave support to both Perry Christie and Hubert Ingraham. Their era is over. Yes, they served us, as a people, well but it is now time to move on. There are simply too many pressing national issues which must be firmly resolved, one way or the other, and we need bold, innovative and fresh solutions.
Common Cause will agitate for the recall of six current PLP members of Parliament. They are: Kendal Major (Garden Hills); Dr. Bernard Nottage (Bains Town and Grants Town); V. Alfred Gray (MICAL); Glenys Hanna-Martin (Englerston); Dr. Daniel Johnson (Carmichael Road) and Fred Mitchell (Fox Hill).
We are about nation building, and there is no more time for vacillating, pussyfooting and shaving cream. The PM needs to step up to the plate or get the hell out of the way. We all love him, but what has love got to do with it?
Urban Renewal 2.0 has ushered in a dramatic decrease in crime and conflict resolution. If the "gold rush" administration is smart, as I hope that it is, it would expand and flesh out even further this dynamic and progressive societal plan to rescue and rehabilitate hundreds, if not thousands, of our marginalized young people. Check the statistics. There is little, if any, real crime in the inner cities except for Kemp Road, Fox Hill and Nassau Village. These are areas where either the MP has a "tool box" or is "missing in action".
Christie will always be remembered for the good he has brought to this nation, but the time is now to move on and secure his legacy. We forced Ingraham out. Must we now do so for Christie? Common Cause makes no apologies and expects no quarter from our opponents. War has been declared, and war, politically, will be waged.

- Ortland H. Bodie Jr.

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Movie
The Five-Year Engagement
  • Genre : Comedy, Romance
  • Rating : C - 18yrs and Older

A comedy that charts the ups and downs of an engaged couple's relationship....


News Article

February 13, 2013
The Annual Heart Ball comes Feb 16: Embrace the Opportunity!

Nassau, Bahamas -

It's an
opportunity to get dressed up to the ninth, look your best, walk the fashion
run way and the dance the night away. It's an opportunity to win lots of
wonderful prizes, bid on pieces that are not ordinarily affordable, and have
funs with family and friends. It's an
opportunity to save a little heart while enjoying the company of that special
someone in your life. It's the Annual
Heart Ball.

Under the
theme, "Save a Little Heart.... Embrace the Opportunity", The Heart Ball
Committee will host The Annual Heart Ball.
This event will be held on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at Sheraton
Nassau Beach Resort. As guests enter the door to the reception are they will be
kissed by an angelic floral and fauna décor. The meal will be prepared by
Cacique Award winner, Chef Johnson...

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News Article

September 03, 2014
Ten 'significant' projects in tourism pipeline

The government has around 10 "significant projects that have the potential to impact tourism" which are currently under consideration, with a possibility of them coming on-stream in the next 12 to 15 months, according to Chief Executive Officer of the Tourism Development Corporation David Johnson.
Among the projects yet to receive final approval, but which could have a "value-added" effect on surrounding hotels if approved, is a retail and entertainment project, which Johnson described as a "destination attraction".
While not wishing to go into extensive detail on the proposal, as negotiations with the developers are ongoing, Johnson said it would be a New Providence-based development "that creates a bit of a village or town center around which retail, entertainment and other things occur".
He added: "The idea is that it would bring to life an area that was not there before, and it supports the resort nearby and everything else."
Other projects are close to receiving final approval in Exuma, Abaco, Bimini and Grand Bahama, added Johnson. He said the projects "run the gamut" in terms of what type of development they would involve, from boutique resorts to more large-scale hotels, or tourism-related developments that do not involve creating new hotel rooms.
"I can think of about 10 or so significant projects that have the potential to impact tourism that we are currently involved with," said the tourism official, who served as director general of tourism until June of this year, when he was moved to take over the newly-established Tourism Development Corporation (TDC). The TDC subsumed the Hotel Corporation of The Bahamas.
Johnson said that the retail/entertainment development would likely involve a "joint venture" between the government and the developer if it moves ahead.
"The real estate is not owned by anyone, so it has to be jointly agreed. It fits into a kind of joint venture opportunity."
The TDC CEO said he supports the government doing more to ensure The Bahamas is a "more attractive location with more to do".
"Then the (new hotel) rooms come hereafter. It also makes it easier for an existing resort," he said.
Johnson said that the government is "close to committal" on the projects and should be making further announcements shortly.

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News Article

October 19, 2011
TONY'S PICKS

WEEK SIX: 9-4

SEASON: 55-35

NFL WEEK SEVEN

Byes: Bills, Bengals, Patriots, Giants, Eagles and 49ers.

SUNDAY'S GAMES

Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans 1:00 PM

The Texans and Titans will have a southern showdown on Sunday. Without their top weapon Andre Johnson, the Texans will struggle against a solid Titans defense. The Titans need to get Chris Johnson more active in the games and set him up for big yardage. If they can do that, they should win easily. If they don't, expect this game to be a dogfight to the end. The Titans still scrape out a win.

Titans 24, Texans 23

Seattle Seahawks at Cleveland Browns 1:00 PM

This game will be a hard fought game in Cleveland. I don't know who will show up on Sunday, but I won't go for the team playing out of town and in a different time zone.

Browns 27, Seahawks 25

Atlanta Falcons at Detroit Lions 1:00 PM

The Falcons have been struggling tremendously. The Lions, on the other hand, have been looking great against good teams. When you watch a Lions game, you do not see great consistency in their offense, but they make big plays when they need them. The Falcons just haven't been making plays at all. I can't pick a team like that.

Lions 28, Falcons 20

Denver Broncos at Miami Dolphins 1:00 PM

Call me crazy, but I feel the Dolphins are too talented to be 0-5. Despite horrible coaching, I believe the players can put things together to get a win at home. The stadium may only be half full, but they will actually get a'W'on the board against a Broncos team that is also struggling to find themselves.

Dolphins 31, Broncos 13

San Diego Chargers at NY Jets 1:00 PM

The Jets got an easy win against Miami on Monday night, but on Sunday they will have a battered, but high powered Chargers team to face. Expect a slugfest, and also expect'LT'to play a vengeful game against his old team, but you can also expect the Chargers to put up more points on the board at the end of the game.

Chargers 24, Jets 13

Chicago Bears at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 PM

The Bucs came up huge at home in defeating the Saints on Sunday. This Sunday, you can expect the young team to play with the same urgency and intensity against the inconsistent Bears.

Buccaneers 20, Bears 15

Washington Redskins at Carolina Panthers 1:00 PM

The Redskins have also been somewhat inconsistent over the last several weeks. To add to the inconsistency, quarterback Rex Grossman will be benched and John Beck will start against the Panthers. Expect the over-achievers to try to shake up the young Cam Newton, and fail. Cam Newton and Steve Smith have proved to be one of the deadliest quarterback to wide receiver combos in the league. Watch them go to work against the confused Redskins and pull off a huge upset at home.

Panthers 30, Redskins 23

Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders 4:05 PM

With Jason Campbell out for the Raiders, don't expect them to miss a beat. They traded for veteran quarterback Carson Palmer to step in and join Darren McFadden to provide an even more balanced attack against the struggling Chiefs. The Chiefs are in a bad spot in their division and it will only get worse against the division rivals.

Raiders 24, Chiefs 13

Pittsburgh Steelers at Arizona Cardinals 4:05 PM

The Cardinals off-season acquisition Kevin Kolb has failed them miserably. They need to start searching for a quarterback who is more accurate and better than throwing a touchdown a game. They will struggle against the Steelers. The desert will be painted black and yellow on Sunday.

Steelers 27, Cardinals 17

Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings 4:15 PM

The Vikings have not shown up to play yet. Christian Ponder's debut will not make a difference on Sunday. Sunday's game for the Packers will be like practice. Expect the Pack to win big.

Packers 38, Vikings 13

St. Louis Rams at Dallas Cowboys 4:15 PM

The Cowboys have major tightening up to do. This is the perfect game to find their identities again and establish what kind of team they would like to be. Decision making will make or break the rest of the season for the'Boys. There is no way the Rams will beat the'Boys on Sunday.

Cowboys 31, Rams 15

Indianapolis Colts at New Orleans Saints 8:20 PM

The Colts without Peyton Manning are not pro ready. The Saints will hand the Colts their sixth loss for the season.

Saints 34, Colts 10

MONDAY'S GAME

Baltimore Ravens at Jacksonville Jaguars 8:30 PM

Why is this game coming on Monday night?Easy win for the Ravens.

Ravens 27, Jaguars 6

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