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Record turnout for Run for Pompey, more than 300 run, walk and unite for Exuma

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By Diane Phillips

 

#TheBahamas, November 16, 2022 – Under skies that dropped a soft spitting rain and ground packed with the pounding of rubber-clad feet, more than 300 men, women, teens and children took part in the 8th Run for Pompey, November 12.

The event took place in Georgetown, Exuma, with festivities in Regatta Park and a race that took runners and walkers by the famed waters of Elizabeth Harbour and for those who ran the full half marathon, around some 13 miles of the historic island in the Central Bahamas.

“This was a record turnout,” said Run for Pompey co-founder Jeff Todd, who ran. “I think people were just so glad to see it back after two years virtual races during the pandemic. It was just great.”

The race drew runners from the far corners of the globe, many timing the trip they wanted to make to see the world-famous swimming pigs.

“It was amazing how many couples or families planned their swim with the pigs experience around the time of the race so they could do both,” said Todd, a Canadian author who co-founded the run with screenwriter and cinematographer Kevin Taylor of Nassau.

The name pays homage to the slave Pompey who risked his own life to try to protect slave families that were going to be torn apart. Today, the statue of what is supposed to be Pompey and the heritage site are the subject of renewed interest but there is little controversy over Pompey being the hero of Exuma more than 150 years after his act of courage.

Among those who made the trek from afar to participate in the run was Kathleen Whelan, a recently retired librarian from El Paso, Texas.

“I have a pot-bellied pig at home and ever since I retired in June, I have been going to as many races as I possibly can,” she said, “This one I had to do for sure because tomorrow I am going to see the swimming pigs and take a selfie with the picture of my pig and me in the water with the pigs of Exuma.” Like a globe-trotter in sweats, shorts and sneakers, she was one of many visitors who filled rooms across the island, including at luxury resorts Sandals and Grand Isle Villas.

It was also the first time a potential sister city, Cincinnati, sent race event organizers to observe.

“For us, the flying pig race is a year-round series of events that provides substantial funds for community causes, education, health and other needs,” explained Lisa Bush. The Ohio city’s acclaimed ‘flying pigs’ events grew out of its turn of the century massive stockyards and slaughterhouses.

Run for Pompey also attracted the fitness celeb circuit from the winner of the Miami Marathon Frankie Ruiz to the glamourous and strong in spirit, Mrs. Canada, Solange Tuyishime, a Rwandan refugee who went on to found Elevate international, Canada.

But it was the faces of Exuma youngsters that stole the hearts of those who watched — the speed of some, the grit and determination of others.

As one fourth grader put it, “I running hard, real hard cause my brother could maybe win the scholarship.”

In the past, Run for Pompey has raised funds to award a $5,000 scholarship to a promising student from Exuma. During COVID, the virtual run helped pay for food for hundreds of meals and purchase tablets for students to work on from home.

That Miami marathon winner, who also took the title in the last Run for Pompey, Ruiz, 44, had the fastest overall time for the half marathon, taking the top spot among the men with a time of 1:38:14, while Caitlin Scuderi, 36, placed first out of the women with a time of 1:39:49. In the 10k, Lincoln Jolley, 59, placed first among the men, with a time of 53:54, and Melissa Goldschmidt, 47, was the first woman to cross the finish line with a time of 1:08:00.

Keith Russell, 31, took the top spot among men over 19 in the 5k, finishing with a time of 24:02. Among the women over 19, Carla Duenas, 34, placed first with a time of 27:05. But it was one the younger participants to outperformed everyone else, as 10-year-old Clinton Romer took first place in the 5k for under 18 males with a time of 23:26. Iantha Rolle, 15, finished first out of the 18 and under females with a time of 36:35.

In the 2k race, 13-year-old Jayden Clear placed first among the 18 and under males, and his time of 6:11 was also the fastest of all the participants. Nine-year-old Ra’Nahiah Charlton came first among the 18 and under females and her 8-minute finish was also the fastest time of the females in all age groups. In the 19 and over male category for the 2k race, Theodore Martin, 40 placed first, with a time of 7:50. In the 2k 19 and over female division, Lorna Pratt, 50, took first with a time of 14:46.

As for the retired librarian from El Paso, Texas, just finishing a race in Exuma in The Bahamas was a dream come true.

 

Photo Captions: 

Header: More than 300 locals and visitors from as far away as Australia crossed the start line in the Exuma half marathon, Run for Pompey, November 12. Funds raised go to the local community and have provided scholarships in normal years, food and tablets during COVID. (Photo by Nelson Ranger) 

1st insert: Triple Olympic medalist, the legendary Pauline Davis, patron of Run for Pompey, congratulates a finisher, awarding her with a medal and hug. It was the 8th Run for Pompey but the first live run after two years of pandemic-related virtual races. (Photo by Nelson Ranger)

2nd insert: The blooming Burrows sisters, Kaylee, left, and Kassidy, right, finished the 5k run with smiles, medals and memories to last a lifetime. (Photo by Nelson Ranger)

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Bahamas News

Mobile App brings unprecedented access & opportunity to Persons with Disabilities in The Bahamas

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#TheBahamas, December 8, 2022 – Opportunities and services previously out of reach for many Persons with Disabilities (PWD’s) in The Bahamas are now easier to access with groundbreaking upgrades to the ‘AccessAbility’ mobile app innovated by the National Commission of Persons with Disabilities (NCPD), through a Bahamian APP developer.

As of January 2023, PWD’s registered on the App will be able to book accessible transportation, allowing unprecedented freedom of movement.

For now, services available on the App include free interpreter services for the deaf and hard of hearing; disaster alerts from NEMA; free registration with NCPD which includes mapped location of registered PWD’s in times of disaster; complaints mechanism; bus routes showing street by street movement ; request for adaptive equipment and other services; business directory for organizations compliant with the Disabilities Act; Career/job listings; as well as trending local and international news and resources.

Financing for the App and the related public education programme was contributed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through its Multi Country Office located in Jamaica which serves The Bahamas among five English-speaking countries in the northern Caribbean. The App is available for free download from Google Play and the App Store and is also preloaded on all new devices purchased from local telecommunications provider Aliv in partnership with NCPD.

At the launch event on Sunday (4 December), Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon.  Philip Davis said that The Bahamas aimed to achieve inclusion and accessibility on a level playing field for persons with disabilities and that the App was one of the means through which this could be achieved. He lauded the services provided through the app and highlighted the accessible transportation, one touch access to emergency services and sign language interpretation.

The Prime Minister announced that the Department of Labour will enable job listings in the AccessAbility app, and further reminded employers of provisions in the Disability Act for the employment of one person with a disability for every 100 employees. “I am asking corporate Bahamas to join the Government in recognizing the potential in persons with disabilities and providing employment opportunities that may never have been considered before,” he said.

Other major disclosures made by the Prime Minister included The Bahamas’ ratification of ILO Convention 159 establishing the right of PWD to vocational rehabilitation and employment opportunities, and the successful implementation of the Nassau Airports Development’s Sunflower Laynard programme offering empathetic and specialized service to travelling PWD’s

Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Obediah Wilchcombe, said exclusion of PWD’s over the years has been troubling, but the mobile app will help bring the community closer to realizing inclusion and becoming part of the normalcy of the country. “We are elated and moved. PWD’s are celebrating because we have come a long way and UNDP is helping to make a difference” Minister Wilchcombe stated.

UNDP Resident Representative Denise E Antonio said recognizing that Disability Inclusion is a development issue requires continued attention and investment, UNDP supported the Government’s mission to expand digital inclusion to marginalized groups through the Digital Access for All (DAFA) Bahamas Project, specifically focusing on the AccessAbility Mobile App and public education.

She reiterated UNDP’s commitment to improving ICT infrastructure and digital access with and for PWD’s in The Bahamas; advancing gender equality and the empowerment of PWD’s in The Bahamas and forging partnerships to identify challenges and potential solutions to reduce inequalities against Persons with Disabilities.  “It is crucial for governments, public and private sectors, to collaboratively find innovative solutions with and for persons with disabilities, to make the world a more accessible and equitable place,” the Resident Representative noted.

She encouraged Persons with Disabilities to register with the NCPD through the App to ensure they benefit from a wide array of services.

The launch of the AccessAbility mobile app will be immediately followed by a multimedia public education campaign to encourage awareness, downloads, and usage among PWDs.

Technology and digitalization are considered enablers in UNDP’s global service offer of six signature solutions focusing on leaving no one behind. To this end, UNDP partners with countries to develop appropriate digital solutions which help advance poverty eradication, inclusion, equality and crisis resilience.  UNDP Multi Country Office in Jamaica serves Jamaica, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, The Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands.

 

Release: UNDP

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Bahamas News

Tropical Storm Owen in December?

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

December 8, 2022 – A low-pressure system observed in the Central Atlantic Ocean has led the National Hurricane Center to believe there is a 50 per cent chance a subtropical or tropical storm will develop. They reported on Tuesday,  the system was 800 miles northeast of the Leeward Islands.

NHC said that by Thursday or Friday, the system should move northeastward, where it will interact with a mid-latitude trough, thereby limiting the chances of development.

The potential subtropical or tropical storm would become the 15th named storm of 2022 and will be called Owen.

Here is the very latest forecast:

Central Subtropical Atlantic

Showers and thunderstorms have increased since last evening near a

large non-tropical area of low pressure located over the central

subtropical Atlantic about 850 miles east-southeast of Bermuda.

However, the system remains embedded within a frontal zone, which is

expected to become more pronounced later today as the low begins to

move east-northeastward at 20 to 25 mph toward colder waters and

interact with a mid-latitude trough.  Therefore, while the system

could show some subtropical characteristics today, its chances to

fully transition to a subtropical or tropical cyclone appear to be

decreasing.  Nevertheless, significant non-tropical development of

this low is expected during the next couple of days, and additional

information, including hurricane-force wind warnings, can be found

in High Seas Forecasts issued by the National Weather Service.  The

next Special Tropical Weather Outlook on this system will be issued

by 9 AM EST Thursday.

 

* Formation chance through 48 hours…low…30 percent.

* Formation chance through 5 days…low…30 percent.

 

Photo Credit: ACCUWEATHER

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Bahamas News

“WE ARE A COUNTRY OF LAWS”: Bahamas PM says gov’t will enforce PRICE CONTROL

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas, December 8, 2022 – Bahamas’ Price Control Regulations were amended two months ago and several grocers have not complied.  Now, Prime Minister Phillip Davis said the government will take measures to ensure grocers change their prices and obey the law.

Speaking at a Christmas Tree Lighting in Christie Park on Tuesday night, Davis said, “we are a country of laws, so we are going to make sure what we do, to help you, gets to you.”

He said the change was in response to the high cost of living in The Bahamas.  He promised the residents in attendance that the government will do all it can to ensure the people’s survival amidst the inflation. Many grocers complained that the price control would cut into their profits.

President of the Retail Grocers Association, Phillip Beneby announced that a proposal was sent to the government regarding the Price Control Basket, however, they have not received a response.

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