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Thrilling “Race for the Conch” Swim in Grace Bay One Swimmer Makes This Race Her First Event After Traumatic Brain Injury



Press Release Swim Race Final 2017Turks and Caicos, July 7, 2017 – Providenciales – Swimmers in the 8th annual Turks & Caicos “Race for the Conch” Eco-SeaSwim on Saturday July 1, 2017 could not have asked for better conditions for the 2.4 mile (Ironman distance), 1 mile, and 1/2 mile events, as well as a 100 meter Children’s Swim.   The calm, clear, turquoise water impressed veterans and first time racers alike and confirmed why the event has been called one of the world’s best open water races.   Even Jojo added magic to the day with an appearance along the race course that stretched in front of Club Med, Rickie’s Flamingo Cafe (race start and finish), Ocean Club East, Tuscany, and Venetian to the Coral House.

The top finishers faced tough competition to claim conch trophies made by local artists Standford Handfield and Lucy Stubbs.   In the 1 mile Men’s Division Ryker Rush from the US edged out top TCI swimmer Dan Redmond, while Alexandra Atkinson took first in the Women’s Division.

In the 1/2 mile race, Amanda Abbot from the US, who came in 2nd last year, returned to take first this time.   TCI swimmer and swim coach Jessica Söderqvist, who had not swum competitively in three years, came in second.   In the 1/2 mile Men’s Division, TCI swimmer Jack Parlee won by a commanding lead. Jack, represented TCI at the CARIFTA Swim in Nassau this past April.

Diego Lopez from the US won the Men’s Division convincingly in the 2.4 miler, while the Women’s Division saw a thrilling finish between Beth Margalis and Megan Kruth from the US.   Both swimmers swam side by side the whole way—Beth coming out of the water just ahead of Megan.

In 2014, Megan, an Ironman triathlete and 17 time All-American Collegiate swimmer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania crashed her bike during training. She cracked her skull and suffered traumatic brain injury.   It was so severe that she could not swallow, talk, or walk.   When she came out of her coma, she began a long process of recovery.   Just last year she got back in the pool and started swimming again. On a friend’s suggestion, she decided to make the “Race for the Conch” her first athletic comeback event and brought with her family and friends to cheer her on.

Press Release Swim Race Final 2017Said Co-Race Director Ben Stubenberg, “Megan’s remarkable 2nd place finish in the 2.4 mile, as well as 3rd place finish in the 1 mile race just a half hour later, won the hearts of everyone on the beach that day.   Truly life affirming story of courage. A great honor to have her here.”   Added CoDirector Chloe Zimmermann, “So inspiring! This is what the race is all about.”

Proceeds from the charity event put on by Caicu Naniki Sports Adventures and Marco Travel go to the Provo Children’s Home, TCI Swim Federation learn-to-swim programs, and TC Reef Fund.

The organizers thank all of the wonderful volunteers and sponsors who made the event possible.   They include: Royal West Indies (Race Hotel), Grace Bay Club, AVIS, Colonial Insurance, Turks & Caicos Islands Tourist Board, Surfside Ocean Academy, Bay Bistro, Prestigious Properties, Graceway Supermarkets, Projetech, Finishing Touch, TCI Waste, Adventurescape, Big Blue, and Blue Loos.   Also big thanks for strong support from Carolina Medical Centre, Grace Bay Medical Centre, Diversion Scuba, TCI Coffee Roasters, artists Alizee Zimmermann, Carol Potter, DJ Viper, photographers from Brilliant Studios, drone videographer Agile LeVin, along with JJ Cocovibes and RAW Elements reef safe sunscreen for teaming on environmental sustainability.

Next year’s “Race for the Conch” Eco-SeaSwim will be held on July 7, 2018. Race website:

Press Release: Ben Stubenberg

Photo Credit: Brilliant Studios

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Three Days to NIB Rate Increase for 2023



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer



#TurksandCaicos, March 29, 2023 – On April 1st, the second round of increases on contributions at the National Insurance Board will kick in for the Turks and Caicos workforce.  Announced last year, the increases were instituted to keep the NIB from running out of money by 2027 as it services a population that is living longer with contributions that had not been increased in 30 years.

As the Government’s new financial year begins, increases at NIB will mean a higher cost for doing business and a higher cost for running the Government.

The private sector is expected to pay contributions at a rate of 11 percent on your taxable income. The hike is up from last year’s 10 per cent; six percent of which is to be paid by the Employer and five percent is to be paid by the Employee.  For wages of $2000, this will mean a $200 improvement in income per month to the NIB.  As for the burn on residents’ pockets, based on a minimum wage of $1200 monthly salary, that’s at least $60 dollars a month and $720 per year.

Public sector rates will move to 10.15 percent up from 9.15 per cent with the worker paying 4.575 per cent and the Government paying 5.575 per cent; that’s $54 a month and $648 a year at minimum wage.

The NIB rate as of April 1, 2023, will jump to 9 percent for self-employed individuals; For self-employed individuals at minimum wage, that is $108 dollars a month or $1296 per year.

As taxable incomes increase so will the contribution.

The increases follow a 2019 Actuarial review, undertaken every three years, which unearthed that the NIB was facing a dismal future, possible collapse. Contribution rates were growing at a rate much slower than NIB expenses, which included beneficiary payouts.  On that trajectory, the NIB’s earnings would be eclipsed by its income by 2027, forcing the worker protection plan to draw down on money saved for economic shocks like Covid-19.

Unsurprisingly, this was deemed untenable, and an immediate increase was recommended.

Despite this scramble to boost earnings, the NIB has simultaneously increased payouts.  Payouts for pensions, funeral grants, maternity grants and more will all attract bigger sums.

These incremental increases on contributions and payouts were all consultant recommendations, informed statements from the Board.

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Bahamas News

Work of NAECOB critical in ensuring high standards in education, says Minister Hanna-Martin



By KATHRYN CAMPBELLBahamas Information Services
NASSAU, The Bahamas, March 29, 2023 – Over 100 schools in New Providence, public and private, and some 30 plus schools in Freeport have been inspected by The National Accreditation and Equivalency Council (NAECOB) to ensure high quality standards for the delivery of education.
“We will cover every island, every cay in this country to make certain that the facilities that we send our children to are adequate, conducive for learning, safe and sound for education,” said Thelma Grimes, chairperson, NAECOB.
“We are going to head to Cat Island and all the others before June.This is our announced visit. They [schools] have a chance to get things fixed that are not finished and [afterwards] we will have the unannounced.”
The Council informed the media of its progress during a briefing Monday, March 20, 2023 at its headquarters, Tonique Williams-Darling Highway.
Howard Newbold, Inspector and Council Member explained that the council’s seven inspectors are tasked with visiting every site or virtual space operating the following: primary/secondary schools, private/secondary, post-secondary, recognized, training, allied health and business institutions among others.
 Mr. Newbold said inspections include an examination of:
 -Safety and security standards-Human security which begins at the entrance to the property’-Physical security: safety mechanisms including smoke detectors, fire alarms and extinguishers (service date verification, and evacuation plan)-Primary grounds, playground equipment, swing sets and slides-Curriculum-Information management system (student records, staff schedules, registration certificate with NAECOB, business license, photos of the national leaders etc.)
The Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin, Minister of Education and Technical and Vocational Institute thanked NAECOB for their efforts. She described their work as “critical” and a part of an overall national thrust to ensure that the quality of education in the country is at a high standard.“We’re the Ministry of Education and they’re our schools. We are accountable to NAECOB. They ensure that what is happening on the campuses throughout the nation meets the physical standards and the qualitative standards of education. You would have heard classroom size and teacher/student ratio. We may have challenges, and we do at the Ministry of Education but when these issues are brought to our attention we are obliged and compelled to seek resolution to ensure that the standards are met.
“This is a quality assurance measure for the Ministry itself and our schools to ensure that public and private and public schools meet these standards. We value that. Because the objective of the Ministry is to ensure that we meet the standards so that our young people who enter these institutions are afforded the best opportunity possible.
 “Education is a cultural value; a norm. We submit ourselves to the work of NAECOB to ensuring what happens is done at least to make the acceptable standards of the delivery of education in our schools,” she said.
Cassia Minnis, registration officer, said “registration” certifies that a local educational institution/provider has met the criteria to offer an educational service in The Bahamas as outlined in the Education Act. She said it is mandatory that all educational institutions/provider offering/proposing to offer an educational service in the Bahamas must be registered according to the NAECOB Act and the Education Act.
 She said NAECOB is aware of “small” schools operating within residential homes and warned that this is in contravention of the law.
She encouraged the public to view listings of all registered institutions on the website at
NAECOB is responsible for registering and accrediting primary schools, secondary schools, post-secondary schools, and any institution that offers training in The Bahamas.

BIS Photos/Mark Ford

Header: Seated at the table, from left: – Lorraine Armbrister, Permanent Secretary; Minister Glenys Hanna-Martin; Dominique McCartney Russell, Acting Director; Cassia Minnis, Registration Officer; Thelma Grimes, Council Chairperson; Howard Newbold, Inspector, Council Member; Shena Williams, Council and Inspector; Dorothy Anderson, Inspector; T. Nicola McKay, Deputy Chairperson;  (seated behind) Willard Barr, Council and Inspector.

1st insert: Thelma Grimes, Council Chairperson

2nd insert: Howard Newbold, Inspector and Council Member

3rd insert: The Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin, Minister of Education and Technical and Vocational Training

4th insert: Cassia Minnis, Registration Officer

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Bahamas News

Bahamas Golden Jubilee Events Announced, Celebrations Across 33 Islands & Cays



#TheBahamas, March 27, 2023 – As the 50th anniversary of our nation’s independence approaches, Bahamians everywhere are teeming with excitement and expectancy around the year-long celebrations set by The National Independence Secretariat.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister joined H.E Leslia Miller Brice, Chair of The National Independence Secretariat to unveil the Calendar of Events for the 50th Independence celebrations.

The calendar comprises a host of events, initiatives and recommendations for celebrations throughout all 33 islands of The Bahamas.

At this jubilant occasion the PM stated, “Celebrating independence is about acknowledging the greatness around us, the greatness within us, and the greatness ahead of us.

We are Bahamians. That identity is special.”

View the newly released calendar of events here:…

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