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  • SOLAR ECLIPSE ADVISORY

    The Ministry of Health and the Department of Public Health wishes to advise the general public that on August 21st, 2017 between the hours of 1pm to 5pm the Bahamas will experience a Partial Eclipse.

    A Partial solar eclipse happens when the Moon comes between the Sun and Earth, but the Moon only partially covers the Sun's disk.

    The Ministry of Health wishes to further advise that while enjoying this event, looking directly at the sun without the correct eye protection, even for a short time, can cause permanent damage to your retinas, a light-sensitive part of the eye that transmits what you see to your brain. Damage can occur without pain, and it can take a few hours or even a few days after viewing the eclipse to have symptoms of damage. The damage may include not being able to see colors as well and loss of central vision, with only side vision remaining.

    If you notice any symptoms after viewing the solar eclipse, seek immediate help from your eye care professional.

    Prevention

    1. Goggles, homemade filters, or sunglasses, even very dark lens will NOT protect your eyes;

    2. The only way to look directly at the sun when it is eclipsed or is partly eclipsed is with a special solar filter, such as eclipse glasses or a handheld solar viewer; and

    3. Always avoid looking at the sun through an unfiltered camera, smartphone, telescope, or any other optical device. You’ll need to add a certified solar filter to these devices to safely look at the sun.

    Safely enjoy this exciting solar eclipse by taking the time to protect your eyes.

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  • NEMA REMINDS PUBLIC TO REMAIN VIGILANT AS PEAK HURRICANE SEASON APPROACHES

    Good afternoon Bahamas, as you are all aware, we are approaching the peak time of the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season. You should all be aware at this time that there are a number of tropical systems in the Atlantic Ocean, and one or two are projected to cross over, or come near The Bahamas during the upcoming week. Even though the systems have not been named, I would like to urge all residents throughout The Bahamas to continue to monitor these systems as we go into the weekend.

    We are all aware that in 2015, Tropical Storm Joaquin, rapidly intensified and became a major hurricane, which impacted islands in the Central and Southeast Bahamas. As long as the current system (Invest 92 –L) is projected to pass through The Bahamas, I would like to urge all residents to make those final preparations to protect homes, businesses, check your family disaster plan, family emergency kits, and your communications plans.

    Finally, please stay tuned to the local radio and television stations, The Bahamas Department of Meteorology and NEMA’s social media platforms for updates on the approach of these and any systems, which might impact this country.

    Captain Stephen Russell

    Director, NEMA

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  • PM PRAISES GIRL GUIDES OFFICIALS FOR ‘OUTSTANDING WORK’

    Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert A. Minnis met with officials of the Bahamas Girl Guides Association (BGGA) Thursday (August 17, 2017) during a visit at the BGGA’s Headquarters, located Marcus Bethel Way and West Bay Street. The BGGA is a non-profit, voluntary organization for girls and young women. Prime Minister Minnis was accompanied by His Excellency, Joshua Sears, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of the Prime Minister. The Girl Guides Movement has been in existence in The Bahamas for more than 100 years (102 to be exact). Prime Minister Minnis lauded the organization for the “outstanding work” they have done, and continue to do, in training and developing thousands of Bahamian girls and young women into productive, responsible and contributing members of society. The leadership of the BGGA has managed to keep Guiding “relevant” in The Bahamas over the many years despite the many social, cultural and other changes that compete for the attention of girls and young women since the Movement first hit our shores 102 years ago. “This Programme remains relevant because it is predicated on the premise of the girls learning social and survival skills, through a number of activities including camping, hiking, sports, community service, songs, fun and games,” Guiding officials said. “Not only are these activities fun, but embedded in them also are opportunities for the girls to learn through the Patrol System for the girls to develop leadership skills and responsible citizenship at an early age.”

    Guiding in The Bahamas has produced many outstanding women who have risen to the top of the Bahamian society in areas such as religion, education, administration, politics, public service, the judiciary, the legal profession, banking and finance, sports, business and industry and culture. The list reads like a Who’s Who in Bahamian history and includes Her Excellency, Dame Ivy Dumont, GCMG, the first female Governor-General of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas; Retired Chief Justice, Dame Justice Joan Sawyer, DCMG; Mrs. Anita Bernard, CMG; Miss Marjorie Davis, OBE; the Hon. Janet Bostwick; Dr. Gail Saunders; Mrs. Clarice Granger, Mrs. Wendy Craig; Retired Justice, Mrs. Claire L. Hepburn; Mrs. Elma Garraway and Mrs. Constance Miller among many, many others. A number of them will forever be imbedded in the annals of Bahamian history as having served as “the First Female” Governor-General (Dame Ivy Dumont); first female Governor of the Central Bank (Mrs. Wendy Craig); first female elected to the Bahamian Parliament (the Hon. Janet Bostwick); First Bahamian female Magistrate and Judge (Mrs. Stephanie Unwala); First Female Director of Education in The Bahamas (Ms. Marjorie Davis) and Mrs. Keva Bethel, the First President, female or otherwise, of the College of The Bahamas (now University of The Bahamas).

    The list of “First Female” title holders involved in Guiding does not stop there and goes on to include Dr. D. Gail Saunders, first female Archivist of The Bahamas; Ms. Melanie Roach, First Bahamian Female Civil Engineer and Director of Public Works; Mrs. Joy Jibrilu, the First Bahamian Female appointed as Director of Investments, Bahamas Investment Authority; and The Reverend Angela Palacious, First Female Deacon and First Female Priest in the Anglican Diocese of The Bahamas and Turks & Caicos Islands and others. Guiding officials say the principles and values that are taught and adhered to, have made “an indelible impact in positively influencing lives and molding the characters of thousands of girls and young women, not only in The Bahamas, but indeed worldwide.”

    The BGGA promotes a wide range of skills and interests through education, games, outdoor activities, survival skills training, healthcare, arts, crafts and culture. Fundamental objectives of the Association are to provide girls and young women opportunities for self-training and discipline in the development of good character through service to God, country and fellowman, and to foster and promote a full sense of citizenship through community service and international goodwill. The Girl Guide Movement was started in The Bahamas in 1915 and was incorporated as the Bahamas Girl Guides Association by an Act of the Bahamian Parliament on May 4, 1975.

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  • LABOUR MINISTER ON UNEMPLOYMENT

    Minister of Labour The Hon. Dion Foulkes says he is pleased with the drop in unemployement revealed by the Department of Statistics Friday, but says many of those people employed at the time of the survey are now unemployed because they held temporary positions. The period for this survey was the last week in April right before the election. A significant amount of those jobs were temporary jobs related to the carnival, the 52 week programme and election hiring. The survey indicates that unemployment dropped 9.9 percent nationally, down from 11.6 percent at the time of the last survey, with figures now at 10.4 percent in Grand Bahama, and 7.8 percent in Abaco. Acknowledging the need for increasing employment, the Labour Minister says Prime Minister Dr. The Hon. Hubert Minnis has instructed ministers to do what they can to create permanent jobs. Not necessarily government jobs, but private sector jobs. Our economy is generally driven by small businesses and by large businesses so we are trying to do everything in our power to encourage the business community to employ Bahamians.

    He says"Government is looking to expand the role of the National Training Agency and will work with the business community to prepare the workface and create employment. We have established a working policy to deal with the training of Bahamians as opposed to having an ad hoc approach to it. If we can train Bahamians in the areas where the jobs are that is less foreigners coming into the country to work".

    The labour minister adds that Baha Mar will employ another 2,500 when it fully opens providing a further economic injection, and the re-opening of the Grand Lucayan on Grand Bahama will be key to increasing employment. There are some big plans that are going to be announced shortly about Grand Bahama. I am not at liberty to say. The appropriate Minister will make the announcement shortly. there are a lot of good things happenign as far as the economy is concerned. The Labour Minister says with the bold initiatives planned by the Minnis administration he is certain by the time of the next survey, unemployent will have decreased further.

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  • MINISTER LAUDS BAHAMAS BOOK EXCHANGE WITH CORNELL UNIVERSITY

    Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture the Hon. Michael Pintard applauded the exchange of about 20 books by Bahamian authors with New York State's Cornell University and called the initiative “powerful.” “To the extent that we can have more Bahamian publications placed in libraries around the world, it would increase the appreciation that persons have for The Bahamas – that we are more than sand, sun and sea,” Minister Pintard said at the Official Ceremony marking the exchange, held at the National Art Gallery, August 16, 2017. According to a release by the Ministry, Dr. Carole Boyce-Davies, distinguished professor of African Studies and English at the African Studies Research Center at Cornell University presented and donated an Encyclopedia of the African Diaspora to Dr. Rita Pratt of The Bahamas Heritage Cultural Institute & African Bahamian Museum/Research Centre at the ceremony held that day. In exchange the Department of Culture, in conjunction with Dr. Rita Pratt, donated 20 books by Bahamian authors to the Cornell University Library of African Studies and Research Center.

    Dr. Rita Pratt has been doing cultural research in The Bahamas for more than 30 years and has a museum located off Kemp Road, the release stated. “Dr. Pratt is a gem,” Minister Pintard said. “Her selfless spirit is something that the country needs to look more closely at – what she is doing – and certainly I, as Minister, will be taking a keener interest in what she is doing and find ways we could contribute to her efforts.” “The Department of Culture is pleased to organize this exchange of books which will greatly benefit the cultural research capabilities of persons in The Bahamas and Cornell University and provide students from The Bahamas in particular and others interested in the field with a nice range of materials with which they can do further research,” Assistant Director of Culture Dereka Deleveaux-Grant said. “The donation of the Bahamian books will mark the first opportunity for Bahamian authors to be at the Cornell University library and provides the opportunity for millions of persons to research and learn more about The Bahamas.”

    Among the exchanged books were works by Patricia Glinton-Meicholas, RBDF Commodore Tellis Bethel, Obediah Michael Smith, Sir Randol Fawkes, Rev. Dr. Philip Rahming, as well as a number of publications from the National Art Gallery on artists such as Max Taylor, Amos Ferguson, R. Brent Malone and Kendal Hanna. “We are a people with a powerful cultural history and heritage, and, of course, an intellectual heritage; so this is a very important step forward and we are appreciative of the contribution that Dr. Davis is making – her attachment to the region in general; but to The Bahamas in particular,” Minister Pintard added.

    “We are appreciative of it and we are going to build on those relationships.”

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  • SEVERE WEATHER WARNING FOR NEW PROVIDENCE

    A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR NEW PROVIDENCE AND ITS ADJACENT WATERS.

    AT 5:25PM OBSERVATION, LIGHTNING DETECTOR, RADAR AND SATELLITE IMAGERY SHOW A LINE OF THUNDERSTORMS MOVING WESTWARD TOWARD THE WARNING AREA ASSOCIATED WITH A LOW LEVEL TROUGH.

    SOME OF THESE THUNDERSTORMS WILL BE SEVERE AT TIMES CAUSING STRONG GUSTY WINDS, DANGEROUS LIGHTNING, HEAVY DOWNPOURS, HAIL AND POSSIBLE WATERSPOUT OR TORNADIC ACTIVITY.

    BOATERS IN THE WARNING AREA SHOULD SEEK SAFE HARBOUR AND RESIDENTS IN THE WARNING AREA SHOULD STAY INDOORS AND AWAY FROM WINDOWS WHEN CONDITIONS WORSEN. RESIDENTS SHOULD NOT SEEK SHELTER UNDER TREES OR IN WATER AS THESE CAN BECOME LIGHTNING CONDUCTORS.

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  • B.U.T PRESIDENT ON STEPHEN DILLET SCHOOL REPAIRS

    President of the Bahamas Union of Teachers, Belinda Wilson, says, she's been watching closely the rennovations underway at Stephen Dillet Primary School. She joined government officials on tour at that site yesterday, saying she too is pleased with the level of work taking place.

    The B.U.T President, says she and her team intend to work in conjunction with Ministry of Education officials in the best interest of all involved. Wilson says "if we do a walk about or we do an inspection of a school and we realize that work is not going on or it is not moving in a timeline that we expect, then we are to keep him in the loop. So based on the work that I've seen done, I must say that the contractor has really done an enormous job because it's a lot of work that's really been done here. I'm so happy, that Stephen Dillet, one of the schools that has been in perrenial problems every year. You can guarantee that this will be one of the schools that we are gonna come to with issues. Now they are going to have contained classrooms, that's definitely a plus, and we look forward to Uriah McPhee Primary School having the same renovations we hope in the near future.

    Now having met with the Education Minister, Wilson, says the Union, is on-board with the govenment's vision for improving the education system in the country. Wilson, says if the Minister of Education, continues on the path that he has begun, she predicts the Union and Ministry should enjoy a good relationship.

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  • YOUTH LEADERS CERTIFICATION

    Minister of Youth, Sports, and Culture The Hon. Michael Pintard issued an important charge to Youth Leaders Wednesday, calling on them to dedicate themselves to the effort of uplifting the nations youth, because we are a country that is in crisis due to the amount of crime and violence the country experiences as a small nation. He was asddressing a group of 53 new youth leader's who graduated the 14-week-long youth leaders' certification programme Thursday, during a cermony held at the British Colonial Hilton Hotel. The minister applauded the group for staying the course, and taking the initiative to acquire the skills to handle the issues that face the nation's youth.

    He says there services are valuable as 65 percent of the population are under 25. He says the work they have undertaken is a calling. Director of Youth Darron Turnquest also addressed the newly certified group and spoke to the significance of the pilot training programme, to youth work. The Youth Minister further charged the leaders to go into the community and find people who have similar traits as themselves to produce another group of leaders to transform the country. He says policy makers are just one stakeholder that help to develop the country, and urged youth leaders to walk in their calling.

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  • B.P.L CHAIRMAN ON FORENSIC AUDIT

    B.P.L Chairman Darnell Osbourne has confirmed that the board received the forensic audit of the missing funds yesterday; that audit was conducted by Ernst and Young. Osbourne says the audit was intiated by the previous board who placed several employees on adminstrative leave. She said following a thorough investigation and the receipt of the audit report several employees were found culpable. The matter according to Osbourne has been handed over to the Royal Bahamas Police Force and all guilty persons will be held accountable for their actions.

    The B.P.L Chairman apologizes to vendors and the general public for any inconveniences caused during the investigation. She said it was necessary for the matter to be dealth with in a responsible and thorough manner.

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  • THE SENTENCING OF LAMAR ALBURY

    Murder convict 27-year-old Lamar Albury learned his fate when he appeared before Senior Justice Vera Watkins for sentencing. It was back in March, that Albury was convicted for manslaughter by provocation for his part in killing popular Banker and Volleyball Coach Devince Smith. Smith was found dead in his St. Albans Drive home back in December of 2015 after family members became concerned when they did not hear from him. Evidence revealed that the incident occurred after the deceased showed Albury porn and then made a sexual pass at him.

    Senior Justice Watkins in her decision told Smith who was standing in the prisoner's dock that she considered the evidence in the trial presented by the prosecution and the defence as well as the plea in mitigation, along with the probation and psychiatric reports. With those in mind she sentenced Albury to serve 20 years at the Bahamas Department of Corrections. Further, she said, a year and three months would be removed from the sentence for time spent in custody. Prosecutors had appealed to the court for a 25 to 30 sentence for the brutal nature of the crime, while Albury's Attorney Michael Hanna asked for a sentence of fifteen to eighteen years.

    Albury had no reaction to the sentence; in the probation report the father of one expressed remorse for Mr. Smith and his family and stated that he regrets the situation.

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