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



MOT staff gets Nova Southeastern University certification
Submitted by BIS   

Minister of Tourism the Hon. Obie Wilchcombe addresses participants who completed a three-week intense Sales and Marketing Certificate Programme designed specifically for the Ministry in conjunction with Nova Southeastern University.  (Photo by Derek Smith)NASSAU, Bahamas -- Staff from the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism offices around the world underwent three weeks of intense training to complete a Sales and Marketing Certificate Programme designed especially for the ministry in conjunction with Nova Southeastern University.

The programme was created to achieve Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe’s vision for the staff of the ministry to be prepared to build a foundation so that they would achieve the objectives and the goals of the ministry.

Minister Wilchcombe addressed the participants of the programme during a closing exercise where they received certificates at SuperClubs Breezes, Friday, August 8, 2014.

He told the newly trained recruits that they were not hired to fill extra seats. “We brought you in because you have a role to play and we are going to give you an opportunity to play that role.”

The minister explained that they were the second group to complete the programme and the first group that underwent the training are now playing a major role in the redevelopment of the ministry.  He also let them know that the programme was designed for the participants to become leaders in the ministry.

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Minister Shane Gibson updates on National Prescription Drug Plan
Written by BIS   

NASSAU, Bahamas -- While the National Prescription Drug Plan, now in its fourth year, is expanding and has been very beneficial, there is some concern for the fiscal future of the Plan with regards to sustainability of the Drug Fund, the Hon. D. Shane Gibson, Minister of Labour and National Insurance, reported in his July 30, 2014 communication to the House of Assembly tabling the National Insurance Board’s Chronic Diseases Prescription Drug Fund 2012 Audited Financial Statements prepared by PKF Bahamas Chartered Accountants.  

Minister Gibson said to address the concern, mechanisms are being identified to ensure the continued success of the Plan in providing quality drugs and supplies currently covered and as well future expansions, noting “since inception, the Plan has been fully funded solely through the Medical Benefits Branch (MBB) of the National Insurance Fund. However, it was never intended for the Medical Benefits Branch to be the lone funding source for the Plan. The National Insurance (Chronic Diseases Prescription Drug Fund) Act, 2009 identifies the Medical Benefits Branch as a source of funding, along with funding from the Consolidated Fund and contributions from workers”  

He continued: “while we are pleased about the clean audit report, we are well aware that if we continue in this direction and with the funding of mini-hospitals by the Medical Benefits Branch, the Branch will be challenged to provide continued funding for the Plan. Indications are that the Central Government will soon have to consider providing funding for the Plan, at least until the Drug Plan is incorporated in the pending National Health Insurance program.”  

With the growth in number of participating pharmacies – public and private -- from 108 to 121, and the more than tripling in number of beneficiaries, Minister Gibson was proud to say that beneficiaries are receiving medication for which they had to pay out of pocket, and are thereby saving hundreds of dollars each month.  

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U.S. Embassy partners with The Bahamas Football Association to conduct soccer clinic with Special Olympics athletes
Submitted by the US Embassy Nassau   

Players from the U.S. Olympic Soccer Team and The Bahamas National Soccer Team coach a Special Olympics Bahamas athlete on the fundamentals of soccer.NASSAU, Bahamas -- On Tuesday, August 5, the U.S. Embassy in partnership with The Bahamas Football Association invited Special Olympics Bahamas athletes to a soccer clinic at the new Thomas A. Robinson Stadium.  In an effort to promote social inclusion for children with intellectual disabilities, players from The Bahamas National Soccer Team and the U.S. Olympic Soccer Team volunteered to teach basic soccer drills to 35 young athletes with special needs.  Players from The Bahamas Under-17 Team also supported the clinic.

U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Lisa Johnson and Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Daniel Johnson were on hand for the opening session.  Both gave remarks promoting the power of sports and social inclusion.  Chargé Johnson emphasized the universal passion for sports allowing for full participation regardless of physical or intellectual ability and pointed out how participation in sports teaches leadership, teamwork, and communication skills that help young people succeed in all areas of their life.

Minister Johnson expressed his gratitude to The Bahamas Football Association for including the athletes of the Special Olympics.  He noted that although The Bahamas is a small country with only 41 years of independence, the removal of all forms of discrimination is still in discussion.  Minister Johnson also mentioned his hope that The Bahamas and its new stadium be considered for more international friendlies and major league soccer games in the future.

The clinic was a prelude to an international friendly soccer match between the United States and The Bahamas that was played with a 5-1 victory for the United States at the same stadium on August 6.  It was the first international friendly soccer match hosted in The Bahamas and the first official Under-23 U.S. Men’s National Team training camp ahead of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics qualification.

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Grand Bahama's Candice Woon shines in SCAD Rising Star program

Written by Gail Woon

 SCAD Rising Star Art Exhibition, July 25, 2014, Candice Woon's big day. This is Candice's work in her hand and above right.FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- It was September, 2010 and my 12 year old artist daughter Candice Woon took me to the College Fair at BMES in Freeport on a lazy Sunday afternoon. It was late, the event was almost over, and the last booth we saw was the SCAD (Savannah College of Art & Design) table. The SCAD spokesperson gave Candice the very thick catalogue.

That fall semester, Candice took the catalogue to school every day and read through it during break and at lunch time. That Christmas, I decided to write to the school’s Founder and ask about the possibility of scholarships for international students. I included a copy of Candice’s Primary School Student of the Year submission.

I got a voice message that said if she keeps her grades up, has a great portfolio, does community service and is active in sports that there is a good possibility she could qualify for a scholarship. I let her listen to the message over and over.

The SCAD representative told us about the Rising Star program. This program is targeted at students who have finished Grade 11. If accepted to the Rising Star program, students spend 5 weeks during the summer break, taking 2 college level courses, living in the dorms and at the end participate in an exhibition.

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Gabrielle Moss named as All-Bahamas Merit Scholar for 2014
Written by BIS   

Education Minister Jerome Fitzgerald congratulates Gabrielle Moss, winner of the 2014 All-Bahamas Merit Scholarship as her mother, Wendy Moss, looks on.  (BIS Photo/Raymond A. Bethel, Sr.)NASSAU, Bahamas – Gabrielle Moss, a 17-year-old student of Bishop Michael Eldon School, Grand Bahama, has received the title of All-Bahamas Merit Scholar for 2014.

Ms. Moss is the recipient of a four-year scholarship worth $140,000 at the college of her choice. The Hon. Jerome Fitzgerald, Minister of Education, Science and Technology, made the announcement on Thursday, July 31.

Minister Fitzgerald acknowledged the Lyford Cay Foundation for its continued support of education in the development of Bahamian citizens, particularly youth. He also applauded the Central Bank for continuing to make a significant contribution to the award.

To date, the Lyford Cay Foundation and the Canadian Lyford Cay Foundation have awarded over $25M in scholarships to Bahamians to study abroad and at the College of The Bahamas. They have also awarded technical and vocational scholarships to Bahamians.

Minister Fitzgerald described Ms. Moss as “focused, hard-working, disciplined and multi-talented” one with an “amazing” academic record. She completed high school with a 4.0 grade point average. In grade 12 she passed Mathematics, English Language, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Combined Science, Music and Religion in the BGCSE Examinations with ‘A’ grades and Spanish with a ‘B’ grade. Also in grade 12 she took BGCSE English Literature and Advanced Placement Chemistry, English Language, and Calculus and passed with outstanding grades.

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