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    BTC, PMH and Doctors Hospital team up for World Blood Donor Day
  • 'Wearable Art meets Wall Art' shows off unique styles at event opening
    'Wearable Art meets Wall Art' shows off unique styles at event opening
  • BTC awards $5,000 scholarship to Primary School Student of the Year
    BTC awards $5,000 scholarship to Primary School Student of the Year
  • U.S. Embassy sponsored leadership development workshop attracts youth
    U.S. Embassy sponsored leadership development workshop attracts youth
  • Culture rocks the opening of IAAF World Relays Bahamas 2014
    Culture rocks the opening of IAAF World Relays Bahamas 2014
  • Fishermen's bounty enjoyed at Romora Bay
    Fishermen's bounty enjoyed at Romora Bay
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    Fallen American and Bahamian members of the armed services honoured during wreath-laying ceremony on Memorial Day
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    Game of Thrones fans compete in short film competition presented by Cable Bahamas & HBO
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    HMBS Arthur Dion Hanna first thrust in ‘new strategies’ against transnational crime
  • Tourism Minister joins Sandals executives at travel event in Los Angeles
    Tourism Minister joins Sandals executives at travel event in Los Angeles



Lyford Cay International School’s financial aid program makes education a reality for Bahamian students
Submitted by Gillian Watson   

LCIS Head Girl, Davina Adderley spoke about the impact of financial aid at the recent LCIS Annual Gala Dinner and Auction. The Gala raised $312, 000 for the school’s Scholarship Fund.NASSAU, Bahamas -- Learning in a diverse community is not an educational fad: it is an educational imperative. Collaborating with peers of different cultural backgrounds not only enriches the schooling experience, but it also provides a modern day requirement in the form of awareness of other cultures, perspectives, and experiences. At Lyford Cay International School (LCIS), a robust financial aid program helps ensure cultural and economic diversity and makes LCIS a reality for a greater number of qualified Bahamian students.

The Scholarship Fund at LCIS was institutionalized in 2002. Prior to that, many Bahamian families received financial aid in a less formal manner. “LCIS families have always generously supported financial aid, in an official capacity or otherwise,” explained Principal Stacy Bobo. “In 2002 we decided to set up a program that was managed by a specific set of policies and guidelines,” she added. Since the inception of the financial aid program more than 3 million dollars has been raised. The school has a one million dollar endowment, which is generously managed by the Lyford Cay Foundation. Interest earned each year on the endowment is added to donations to the Scholarship Fund, and those funds are distributed as financial aid to qualified Bahamian families.

The percentage of tuition paid by financial aid ranges from 5%-55%, and since 2008, an annual average of just over $7600 has been awarded to each qualified Bahamian student. Distributing on average more than $218,000, the program supports approximately 29 students yearly and, since 2002, has helped 51 different families and 76 individual students over a range of 2-13 years of their schooling. “This financial help, has enabled students to engage in their passions, beliefs and matriculate to some of the best universities in the world,” said Ms. Bobo.

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Marine life returning to Cable Beach as artificial reefs installed at Baha Mar
Submitted by Royann Dean   

Kendria Ferguson, Baha Mar’s aquarist, during the installation of the eco-friendly reef balls on Cable Beach.NASSAU, Bahamas -- Creating a better future for The Bahamas is more than just transforming the culture. It’s also about preserving our environment.

This week, the environmental team at Baha Mar installed state-of-the art, eco-friendly artificial reefs several feet away from the shoreline of Cable Beach. The artificial reefs, consisting of forty-eight reef balls and three hundred and twenty coral antlers, will create the optimal conditions for coral and marine life such as Surgeonfish, Doctorfish and Stoplight Parrotfish to flourish in the area. This initiative follows the company’s restoration of Cable Beach that increased beach accessibility and reduced erosion.

“We believe that Baha Mar will transform The Bahamas in many different ways. Not only are we investing in creating opportunities for people but also in implementing innovative business practices that are respectful of our environment,” remarked Paul Pusateri, Chief Operating Officer at Baha Mar.

According to Pusateri, the environmental sustainability initiatives at Baha Mar such as reducing energy consumption and conserving water go beyond being good business practices. They are part of luxury resort’s efforts to inspire guests, employees, partners and neighbors to conserve, protect and preserve the natural beauty of The Bahamas.  

Photo: Kendria Ferguson, Baha Mar’s aquarist, during the installation of the eco-friendly reef balls on Cable Beach.

 
Hope finally on the horizon for Grand Bahama's animals?
Written by Tip Burrows / Humane Society of Grand Bahama   

Over the years, we have both written, and read, a number of articles pleading with the Bahamas Government to do better for animals. We instigated and assisted with a grueling campaign on behalf of marine turtles that ultimately resulted in the banning of capturing and killing sea turtles. 

We have seen several other pieces of legislation enacted to protect marine resources but our beloved companion animals kept being left out.

One such article is here, from 2011:

http://political-bahamas.blogspot.com/2011/11/protection-of-animals-from-abuse-and.html

In the late spring of 2010, we were overjoyed to find out that Parliament was finally going to debate and vote on the new Animal Protection and Control Act, which had been languishing for almost ten years after having been diligently worked on by many dedicated people. 

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Learning more about Treasure Cay creek area
Submitted by Barefoot Marketing   

By: Abaco Defenders

TREASURE CAY, Abaco -- Formed around concerns about unregulated development, Abaco Defenders took a step forward by asking an independent scientist to visit Sand Banks/Gunpowder Creek in Treasure Cay to verify the health of and life in the creek.

When work was done here by Treasure Sands, no environmental impact study was performed, so we, as a community, had no way of knowing how this creek would be affected, and what was in it to affect. Since the Government and the developer were not providing that information we decided to try and get it for ourselves.

Zach Zuckerman, a researcher for the Cape Eleuthera Institute volunteered to come up and do a quick survey of the creek area on Saturday, April 5th.  Olivia Patterson, the Program Coordinator from Friends of the Environment joined him and a group from Treasure Cay to kayak and snorkel through the creeks. Together they found a creek teeming with life.

He stated that as Sand Banks Creek contains dense turtle grass the area supports a high density of turtles. Throughout the day they saw at least 75-100 turtles of three species.  There is a high density of sub-adult lemon sharks, as they were able to see more than 25 individuals ranging 3-6 feet in length. The creek boasts large areas of submerged mangrove prop roots, and a variety of habitat types, which is important to a healthy creek system. Particular areas contained dense mats of Laurencia algae which are critical habitat for the juvenile Nassau grouper that were observed in ledge and grass habitats. Crawfish ranging from juvenile to harvest-able size were present in rock ledges as well as ledges found beneath red mangrove roots. Medium to large mutton and adult grey snapper were also in abundance, which are important mid range predators to assist in keeping the system healthy. Bonefish, an important species for eco tourism, were also found in healthy numbers.

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GBPA supports island's CARIFTA team
Submitted by LaShawn Dames   

FUTURE OLYMPIANS: GBPA Executives Henry St. George, Senior VP and Deann Seymour, Chief Financial Officer presented members of the GB CARIFTA Team with a cheque this past week, in support of their travels to Martinique for the 43rd Annual CARIFTA Games. Pictured is Henry St. George (centre)  surrounded by members of the team, as he makes the presentation to Dionne Britton (team member).  Also pictured is Deann Seymour (4th from left),  Head Coach Wayne Smith (2nd right from centre) and GBPA Donations Administrator, Dr. Telina Smith, (3rd right from centre).FREEPORT,  Grand Bahama - Thanks to a kind and timely gesture by Executives of The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA), a number of local athletes will have the opportunity to make their mark at the  43rd Annual CARIFTA Games. This past week,  GBPA’s Senior VP, Mr. Henry St. George and Chief Financial Officer, Mrs. Deann Seymour made a cheque presentation to Grand Bahama CARIFTA Team members, expected to compete in Fort de France, Martinique from April 19th -21st, 2014.

“Supporting initiatives that involve the island’s youth remains a priority of the GBPA Group. Today they are competing at CARIFTA level, but  in two to three years,  perhaps they will be competing as Olympic athletes,” declared St. George. “We want to encourage them to do well, and to continue to be focused on their goals. They are all winners and we are happy to support their efforts,” St. George continued.

The group of 20 is a gathering of the best athletes from high schools throughout the island of Grand Bahama. Head Coach Wayne Smith, extended heartfelt gratitude to GBPA, on behalf of the team for its assistance.

“We are grateful to GBPA for its ongoing support of our young athletes, who discipline themselves in training  for opportunities such as the CARIFTA Games,” stated Coach Smith. “Over the years, GBPA has and continues to demonstrate its  commitment to the youth of Grand Bahama. We are thankful for their support,  and are excited for the opportunities it will create for our athletes.” Smith concluded.

The 43rd CARIFTA Games is a gathering of the best  and most talented young athletes from 28 nations throughout the Caribbean.  Events take place this Easter weekend, in  Fort de France, Martinique from April 19th - 21st , where athletes will compete in two age categories, under-17 and under-20 in a variety of track and field events.

Photo: FUTURE OLYMPIANS: GBPA Executives Henry St. George, Senior VP and Deann Seymour, Chief Financial Officer presented members of the GB CARIFTA Team with a cheque this past week, in support of their travels to Martinique for the 43rd Annual CARIFTA Games. Pictured is Henry St. George (centre)  surrounded by members of the team, as he makes the presentation to Dionne Britton (team member).  Also pictured is Deann Seymour (4th from left),  Head Coach Wayne Smith (2nd right from centre) and GBPA Donations Administrator, Dr. Telina Smith, (3rd right from centre).

 
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