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Massive Clean up campaign in Andros

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Nassau, Bahamas, October 23, 2016 – Residents in North Andros who were severely impacted by the powerful Hurricane Matthew almost two weeks ago are beginning to feel some sense of normalcy, as a massive clean-up campaign is almost completed in that Family Island community.  On Sunday, October 23, two weeks after the Category 4 storm struck that area, Leonard Dames Jr. assistant administrator of North Andros gave an update of the recovery progress and how residents are coping.

“There is a sense of hope in their eyes as the relief supplies arrive and are given out to the residents. There are smiles on faces, friendly laughter amongst the people s they play cards and dominoes.”  Mr. Dames said that the communities rallied together to help clean up their environment. Women used cutlasses to clear fallen trees from pathways.  The Men used their pick-up trucks to cart away loads of debris to the waste and landfill site.

andros-clean-up-1The residents are grateful that marines of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force were able to provide meals from its city container – cooking up to 720 meals a day including breakfast and dinner. Additionally, some 2,4000 gallons of drinking water is being distributed to residents.  Bahamas Red Cross personnel on the ground were Deputy Director Diane Turnquest accompanied by Exanne Dormeus, Philip Johnson, Thomas Robinson, Harold McPhee and five volunteers.  The team traveled to distribute 120 -50 pound packaged boxes to those mostly impacted by the Category 4 storm when it struck on Thursday, October 6.

A team of 50 Royal Bahamas Defence Force marines participated in a clean-up exercise in the Central Andros community.  A drone for an aerial video of the damages was used to determine which areas needed cleaning.  Mr. Dames noted that the communities of the North Andros District were traumatized as a result of Hurricane Matthew. But a “ray of hope” beamed over the residents with the arrival of a Bahamasair chartered flight on Saturday 8th October, 2016.

Onboard were the Rt Hon Perry Christie, Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition Dr Hubert Minnis, the Hon Shane Gibson, Minister Responsible for Hurricane Recovery and Restoration, Director of NEMA Captain Stephen Russell and other officials who conducted early assessments to find out immediate needs.  This was the beginning of the “Hurricane Relief to the people of North Andros”, Mr. Dames said.  Latest statistics show that North Andros has a population of about 3,998 residents.

andros-clean-up-7Hurricane Matthew left in its wake extensive destruction in the settlement of Lowe Sound to 80 percent of homes. The neighboring communities of Nichol’s Town, Morgan’s Bluff, Red Bay’s and Mastic Point also experienced severe damages.  Additionally, many homes experienced excessive flooding from storm surge up to 12 feet.

The initial assessment revealed that 238 persons – 134 adults and 104 children – were displaced.  A total of 59 families who needed housing – 55 already placed and accommodations are being sought for the remaining 4.  Initially, 31 homes were affected – 25 in Lowe Sound, 5 in Mastic Point and 1 in Conch Sound.  However daily assessments are ongoing.  In the immediate aftermath of the storm, relief supplies of fruit, vegetables, water and hygiene kits were distributed to residents by Defence Force marines and social workers.

Structural assessments were carried out by a team from the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, CDEMA of which The Bahamas is one of the 18-member Participating States.  At the request of NEMA, the group formed three teams and was deployed in Andros, Grand Bahama and New Providence.  The team comprised experts in disaster and emergency management, physical planning, engineering, geospatial data analysis, healthcare, public health and environment.  CDEMA is expected to submit an official report of its findings to NEMA, shortly.

andros-clean-up-6Heads of the Methodist Church and the Methodist Habitat lead a team into the area with a view to rendering assistance in the relief, recovery and reconstruction phases.  The police station was used as the command centre depot where gallons of bleach, hygienic kits, and pots/dishes, and cooking utensils were distributed to the residents in the communities.  In the Lowe Sound area, work crews continued with the clearing of the streets consisting the RBDF advance team and workers from Emile Knowles Construction with the use of a pay loader and two dump trucks.

Volunteers prepared meals and drinks for those in need along with The Lord’s hand ministry, Alma Pratt, a resident of Conch Sound and the Mennonites who distributed fruits, vegetables and water.  The Defense Force roll on roll off vessel is also scheduled to set up a site at Morgan’s Bluff to distribute water and food to the residents.

Other officials who also visited the damaged communities were the Hon Glenys Hanna-Martin, Minister of Transport; the Hon V Alfred Gray, Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources who also toured the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute – BAMSI, the Hon Hope Strachan, Minister of Financial Services and of Local Government, the Hon Dr Perry Gomez, Minister of Health.  Her Excellency Dame Marguerite Pindling, Governor-General toured Andros on Friday, October 21, 2016.

Work crews are in the Lowe Sound community daily engaged in the cleanup exercise, Mr. Dames said.

 

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Bahamas News

Prime Minister Hon. Philip Davis pledges to govern in the interests of all Bahamians

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#TheBahamas, September 19, 2021 – During his ceremonial swearing-in today as the nation’s fifth Prime Minister, Hon. Philip Davis pledged to govern in the interests of all Bahamians and to consult widely with the Bahamian people.

The best way to make progress as a nation is to bring people together, said Prime Minister Davis, who was presented with his instruments of Office in ceremonies held at the Baha Mar Convention Centre, on Saturday 18 September 2021.

Prime Minister Davis was officially sworn in as Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas on Friday 17 September 2021 at the Office of the Governor General.

“We will uphold the constitution and the rule of law, and ensure that everyone is treated fairly, so that it’s not one rule for one set of people, and another for another set of people,” said the Prime Minister.

“There is much work to be done; but I know that by working together we can succeed and build the kind of prosperous, independent Bahamas that our founding fathers dreamed for us.”

Prime Minister Davis said that while there are big challenges ahead for The Bahamas, his team has the right vision and policies to take the country forward.

The Prime Minister said the new administration is coming into office at a time when the Bahamian people are hurting as never before.

The country faces many crises due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an economy in decline and deeply concerning challenges in education, said Prime Minister Davis.

If everyone works together towards a common purpose, in the common interest and for the common good, great things are possible for The Bahamas and its people, said the Prime Minister.

But no government can do great things on its own, Prime Minister Davis added.

“I am sure that my government can only succeed if we partner with the Bahamian people,” said the Prime Minister.
“We are going to listen, we are going to consult widely and we are going to bring people together.”

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18 September 2021
Office of the Prime Minister
Commonwealth of The Bahamas
Contact: opmcommunications@bahamas.gov.bs
Website: opm.gov.bs

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Caribbean News

North Caicos man beheaded in what could be TCIs most bizarre murder case yet

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#TurksandCaicos, September 18, 2021 – Explosive talk show host Courtney Misick lost his brother last weekend in a bizarre killing which raised alarm and left residents flabbergasted at the extreme violence, which pointed to a heinous killer being at large in North Caicos.

While police have now made two arrests; giving one suspect bail and holding another on suspicion in the gruesome killing, the pastor, farmer and former election candidate publically questioned the time it took for investigators to arrive at the scene.

He said, in a string of Facebook posts, that it was some six hours before police got there.

Royal TCI Police confirmed the body of the male found in a home in Kew North Caicos; that they got the call at 5:45pm.

“The Police can confirm that the body of a man was found inside a house in Kew, North Caicos and that the body was decapitated. Although formal identification procedures have not yet taken place, the body is believed to be that of 57-year-old old Isaac Missick. The Police are in contact with the next of kin at this difficult time,” informed a Thursday press release.

Rev Misick, at 11:30pm on Saturday posted that investigators from Provo had finally arrived; another team got in on Sunday morning.

Family was disappointed with North Caicos police manpower “wasting hours guarding the crime scene” instead of “looking for Mack-B’s killer.”

Isaac “Mack-B” Missick was beheaded and worst of all, his head could not be found at the scene of the crime.  People were dumbfounded by the monstrous nature of the killing and the family was activated to mount their own hunt for the body part.

There was no success, however, for the family and friends of Mack-B.  Relatives spent the day on Wednesday in Kew battling heat, the blazing sun and swarming mosquitoes in an effort to find the head.

Mack-B’s sister, niece, cousins and eldest son travelled to North from Providenciales determined to give it a try, said Orville Selver, a cousin of the deceased who also described the scope of the search: West of the victim’s house, in the bush from Hall town, to Henfield town, near the house of Mack Bs mother, who died in May this year; on Forbes road and near all the old wells.

The search party which began at 9am fanned out in two groups;” some went on the north side and others went the south side into the deep woods,” he said.

Meanwhile police were questioning two suspects in the case, now ruled a murder.  It is the TCI’s sixth homicide for 2021.

“Today, the Police made an application to the court to seek an extension to the time Officers can keep the arrested man in custody. The court case was adjourned until September 23rd, 2021, during which time the man will be held in police custody. The man arrested on Suspicion of Murder on Sunday, September 12th, 2021, has been released on police bail pending further investigation.”

It will most likely go down as the most gruesome killing in Turks and Caicos history; the beheading of this beloved North Caicos construction worker on Friday or Saturday at his home in Kew.

Our interview of his brother, Rev Missick, unearthed that Mack-B said he had to go home, he did so but never returned to work on Friday September 10.  Upon being missed by some relatives, his cousin set out to check on him and the discovery was gut-wrenching.

Said to be a gory scene as the man, lay on the ground with no head.  While relatives believed the head was at the scene, they later learned that it was missing.

From Police: “This is a very distressing and complex murder that will take time to investigate. However, many specialist Officers are involved in this case, and they are doing everything possible to fully understand the events leading up to this horrific attack. North Caicos is a very close community, and the Police seek their assistance in providing vital information to progress the investigation.”

Isaac Missick, leaves behind a wife and two sons.

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Bahamas News

PRESS RELEASE: Prime Minister Minnis Thanks Bahamians for the Last Four Years

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#TheBahamas, September 18, 2021 – Free National Movement (FNM) Party Leader, Hubert A. Minnis thanked Bahamians for the last four years in tonight’s concession speech:

“Tonight I spoke with Leader of the Progressive Liberal Party Philip Davis and offered my congratulations to him and his party on their victory at the polls.  I offered him my best wishes as his Government now faces the continued fight against COVID-19, and the restoration of our economy.

I would like to thank the tens of thousands of Bahamians from across The Bahamas who voted for Free National Movement candidates.  I also congratulate the FNM candidates who won seats in the House of Assembly.  I am in that number, and again my gratitude goes out to the people of Killarney for making me their representative for the fourth consecutive time.

I will lead the Free National Movement into the House as the leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition.  The Bahamas has a proud democratic tradition.  The people decide who serves as government.  Our party presented its vision for the future to Bahamians from the northern islands of Grand Bahama and Abaco, all the way to the southern islands of MICAL.

The people determined that they preferred the Progressive Liberal Party.  My party and I accept that result.  We are proud of our record the past four-plus years.

During our term we faced the most difficult times in Bahamian history.  In September 2019, Abaco, the Abaco Cays and Grand Bahama were struck by the strongest storm to hit The Bahamas.  Hurricane Dorian was one of the strongest storms recorded on our planet.  It caused generational destruction to our northern islands.  Six months later, we were in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Throughout each crisis my Government worked hard to assist the Bahamian people.  On the northern islands we have had to rebuild roads, water systems, schools, docks, bridges and other critical infrastructure.

In the pandemic, we provided tens of millions of dollars per month in food and unemployment benefits to citizens, along with tax credits to businesses.  We fought hard to secure more than half a million doses of three of the best vaccines in the world.

The FNM has a proud legacy.  We have governed The Bahamas over four terms.  Our philosophy is to use the resources of government to provide opportunity to those who have historically been without.  That is why we invested in free preschool, providing early education to thousands of children. That is why we invested in free tertiary education at the University of The Bahamas and BTVI.

That is why we created the Over-the-Hill initiative to benefit people in grassroots communities with tax concessions and development assistance.  That is why we invested record amounts in Family Island infrastructure.  That is why we created the Small Business Development Centre, extending millions of dollars to help Bahamians realize their dreams.

Our belief in the Bahamian people was also evidenced in the manifesto we ran on in this election.  We pledged a Universal School Meals Program, expanded access to afterschool programs, $250 million to Bahamian small businesses over five years, expanded access to Crown Land, support for the arts and agriculture and fisheries, along with many more policies for the people.

We did not win this time.   But I say to the next generation of FNMs that you should stay firm to this party’s founding ideals.  Always put the people first, and be honest in government.

The people have asked us to be the opposition.  We will ensure the people’s resources are spent properly. We will ensure there is accountability.  We will oppose when necessary. We will agree when the Government’s plans are in the best interests of the people.

I thank my wife Patricia and my family for supporting me during this term, and throughout my life.  I also thank the officers, members and supporters of the Free National Movement for their assistance and encouragement during my time as leader.

And to the Bahamian people, I say a warm and heartfelt thank you for my time being your Prime Minister.  You are a strong, hardworking and resilient people.  Hurricane Dorian did not break you. The pandemic has not broken you.

You trust in the God who has brought us this far.  Trust that He will bring us further to brighter times.  Again, thank you. And may God bless the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

 

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