Tribune top stories - Fri Mar 19

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March 19, 2010

Attorney argues that five Pinder votes should count
Attorney Philip 'Brave' Davis argued yesterday that the five protest votes cast in favour of Leo Ryan Pinder in the Elizabeth by-election were valid and should be upheld.

Mr Pinder of the Progressive Liberal Party filed the election court petition, seeking to have the court validate the five protest votes cast in the February 16 by-election.

Mr Pinder gained 1,499 votes to the Free National Movement Dr Duane Sands' 1,501. Mr Davis argued that Mr Pinder's five protest votes, as well as the one protest vote cast in favour of Bahamas Democratic Movement Leader Cassius Stuart, should be upheld.

In his closing arguments before the election court yesterday, Mr Davis outlined the reasons as to why Mr Pinder's team was contending that the votes were valid. In relation to voter A whose name did not appear on the Elizabeth constituency register, Mr Davis pointed out that voter A had been wrongly placed in the Fox Hill constituency after registering to vote in February 2007. He noted that the voter went to the Parliamentary Registration Department to have the discrepancy corrected.

Firm denies staff were suspended over fears
Claims that employees working on Baillou Hill Road improvements were suspended for two days without pay because they refused to work near an underground pipe reportedly made of asbestos, have been denied by the Jose Cartellone construction company.

Work at Baillou Hill Road
Work at Baillou Hill Road. Photo from The Tribune.

Meantime Khader Alikhan, project manager of the Ministry of Works' road improvement project, could not confirm if the pipe - reportedly part of BTC's infrastructure - is made of asbestos, but said such a find would not be unexpected given the age of the road.

He assured The Tribune that if the asbestos fear is substantiated, the potentially-dangerous material would be removed and disposed under proper environmental guidelines.

Pastor hits out at Tribune over article on homosexuality
Outspoken pastor Lyall Bethel has again slammed The Tribune for what he claims is this newspaper's "bias" in favour of homosexuality.

Pastor Bethel, who affirmed that homosexuality is "not a civil right" and that no society needs "homosexual coupling", said Bahamians "are not fooled by suggestions that homosexuality is normal and will fight vigorously to defend this country from further infiltration".

He was responding to an Insight article by reporter Taneka Thompson, which argued that local religious fundamentalists twist scriptural quotes to promote the oppression of gays while failing to explain the context to their congregations.

Allegations that teacher 'engaged in sexually inappropriate behaviour'
An investigation is under way by the Sexual Complaints Unit of the Ministry of Education into allegations that a male teacher at a New Providence primary school engaged in sexually inappropriate behaviour with female students.

Minister of Education Desmond Bannister confirmed that an "active investigation" is on-going at the school, but declined to comment on the matter yesterday.

Director of Education Lionel Sands said he is awaiting the Unit's report on the probe.

"That one I'm not very clear on. I have heard something but have not gotten reports yet to say exactly what the situation is all about so I am not able to comment at this time," said the Director.

The investigation is the latest in a string of inquiries being conducted by the recently formed Sexual Complaints Unit into allegations of sexual misconduct by teachers in the public school system involving students.

Govt denies downtown advertising contract went to US-based firm
The government has denied granting a lucrative contract to a US-based company to sell large-scale outdoor advertising on government-owned downtown property.

Ministry of the Environment and Port Department officials yesterday warned the public that if they hand over money to the company which purports to have authorisation to do private business promotions in the Prince George Wharf area, they should not expect to get what they paid for.

"If (the company) takes people's money they will have to deal with it because anyone who turns up here will be turned away," Port Controller, Commander Patrick McNeil said. He told The Tribune he was "shocked" to see a promotional email selling the purported advertising opportunities on the government property for which he has oversight.

In an email circulating throughout Nassau, a New Jersey-based advertising company called "Thunder Road" offers 13 different types of "Outdoor Media Placements" - ranging from large billboards on the roofs of buildings in the cruise ship arrival area, to smaller signs on posts placed throughout the port location - to prospective clients wishing to take advantage of the exposure potential the port offers.

Plea over burned bodies inquiry
FREEPORT, Grand Bahama - Police are continuing to appeal to the public for information that could assist them with their investigations in connection with the two burned bodies that were recently discovered on Grand Bahama.

Although police have identified the skeletal remains found in West End as those of Dennis Louis of Tasman Close, Freeport, they have not yet determined the identity of the body found last week in a vehicle on Grand Bahama Highway. Mr Louis' body was discovered on February 28 in bushes in the Bootle Bay area. Police have classified his death as the first homicide for Grand Bahama this year.

Asst Supt Loretta Mackey said investigations are continuing into the matter.

The remains of an unidentified body were discovered in a Chevrolet Cavalier vehicle on Grand Bahama Highway on March 5. Police have not said whether foul play is suspected and the incident has not been classified as a homicide.

Police investigate drowning death, stabbing
Police are investigating the drowning death a 55-year-old California male. The man participated in a diving expedition on Wednesday morning, with Stuarts Cove, West Bay Street.

It was reported to police that when the group returned it was discovered one of the male participants was missing. A check of the immediate area was conducted and the man was found floating in nearby waters, clad in a black and blue dive suit, with the breathing apparatus attached. Police are continuing their investigations.


Police received information of a stabbing at C.I Gibson Senior High School yesterday around 1.25 pm. Police reported that two grade 12 students got into an altercation which resulted in one of the them being stabbed in the back.

The victim was taken to hospital where he is listed in serious but stable condition. Police have in custody two 16-year-old male students who are assisting with the investigation.

Western Air launches Jamaica direct flights
Starting in April, the largest privately owned airline in the Bahamas, Western Air, will begin daily direct flights to Jamaica.

Flights from Nassau to Kingston are scheduled to commence April 12, and will run every day except Saturday.

The Montego Bay route will commence April 30, operating twice weekly on Fridays and Sundays.

Cash-strapped Air Jamaica plans to discontinue service to the Bahamas on April 11 in an effort to reduce operation costs.

Western Air CEO Rex Rolle said this new venture is very important as the company expands.

Mould saga continues
Mould in the Ministry of Education's old building on Thompson Boulevard continues to be a source of concern for staff who still use the facility.

According to Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Charles Maynard, staff from his ministry requested a meeting with him and administration yesterday to address their concerns with the building.

During this meeting, Mr Maynard said that employees were able to be appraised of what the ministry is doing to relocate them to another building.

Due to health concerns in connection with the mould infestation, employees from the Ministry of Education who shared the Thompson Boulevard building with Youth, Sports and Culture have already been relocated.

Saying farewell to Dr. Patrick Balfe
Family and friends yesterday bid their final farewells to well-known and loved veterinarian Dr Patrick Balfe during a funeral service at the Grace Community Church in Palmetto Village.

Dr. Patrick Balfe
Brent Mayson, the nephew of Patrick Balfe, embraces Paula Balfe, his uncle s widow, after reflecting on the life of the beloved veterinarian. Photo from The Tribune.

He was interred at Woodlawn Memorial Gardens on Soldier Road.

The sudden death of Dr Balfe, of the Eastern Veterinarian Clinic, last Saturday shocked family, friends and clients.

Dr Balfe, 67, died at Doctor's Hospital after he collapsed at his Marathon Road North clinic.

News date : 03/19/2010    Category : Tribune Stories

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