N N A A S S S S A A U U A A N N D D B B A A H H A A M M A A I I S S L L A A N N D D S S L L E E A A D D I I N N G G N N E E W W S S P P A A P P E E R R New court to fight gun crime Volume: 107 No.56SATURDAY, JANUARY 29, 2011 PRICE 75 (Abaco and Grand Bahama $1.25 WEATHER SUNSHINE, PLEASANT HIGH 77F L OW 66F P olicy e xpected to cut number ofr epeat offenders McCOMBO OF THE DAY N E W The Tribune THEPEOPLESPAPER BIGGESTANDBEST LATESTNEWSONWWW.TRIBUNE242.COM INTODAYS TRIBUNE . PUZZLES, GAMES AND LOADS OF FUN IN YOURFREE KIDSCOOP Felip Major /Tribune staff CHARGED: Twenty-three-year-old Torrinao Tucker is shown going to court to be charged with murder. Felip Major /Tribune staff CHARGED: Twenty-four-year-old Duran Johnson is shown going to court to be charged with murder. By TANEKA THOMPSON Tribune Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org THE Government last night announced a "full frontal assault" on gun crime, promising to bring those charged with firearm offences to trial in a matter of weeks after they are arraigned. As of Monday, one magistrate's court will be dedicated to hear firearms cases in an effort to expedite the trial process. The policy is expected to reduce the number of persons accused of gun crimes out on bail as they await trial. Officials expect this will lower the chance of these suspects becoming repeat offend ers and creating havoc in the community. "Government is determined to make a full frontal assault on firearm offences. We will do that by, in every case of firearm possession, isolating SEE page six A SECOND man charged with the New Years Eve murder of Maxene Metellus was arraigned in a Magistrates Court yesterday. Duran Johnson, 24, alias Devon Johnson, of Balls Alley, Nassau, appeared before Magistrate Ancella EvansWilliams in Court 6, Parliament Street, yesterday on the murder charge. According to reports, Mr Metellus, 44, was shot and killed on New Year's Eve when armed gunmen broke into his home early that morning. His death was the 96th homicide for 2010. Johnson was also arraigned yesterday on two counts of burglary. It is alleged he broke into Mr Metellus' home and robbed his wife of $760.15. It is further alleged that on the same day he broke into the home of Lorriano Moxey, at Culmer's Alley. It is alleged he made death threats against Mr Moxey and assaulted him with a handgun. Police have also charged Torriano Tucker, 23, of St James Road, with the murder of Mr Metellus. Tucker, who was arraigned on the charge two weeks ago, was also back in court yesterday. Both Johnson and Tucker are expect ed back in court on March 2, and were remanded to Her Majestys Prison. SEC OND MAN CHAR GED WITH NEW YEARS EVE MURDER By CELESTE NIXON Tribune Staff Reporter email@example.com FINANCIAL problems are the main cause of stress and depression for around half of the hundreds of people who have already called in to a new help hotline. Speaking with The Tribune y esterday, Dr Kirk Christie, a psychiatrist at the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre, said the number of calls to the Social Services hotline is increasing, and money trouble is the single most cited MONEY PROBLEMS SEEN AS MAIN CAUSE OF STRESS SEE page six By CELESTE NIXON Tribune Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org CANNABIS abuse could be one of the factors behind the high rate of crime in the Bahamas, according to a local psychiatrist. Dr Kirk Christie, of the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre, said taking into account the disinhibiting effects of cannabis and the fact that its use is widespread, Cannabis abuse may be a factor behind high crime rate SEE page six POLICE are questioning an Inagua teacher for alleged sexual offences with a minor. Assistant Superintendent Glenn Miller, of the Central Detective Unit, confirmed last night that the teacher was brought to Nassau yesterday to be questioned by CDU officers. The man, whose identity has not been released, is accused of assaulting at least one student at the Inagua All Age School. Teacher questioned about alleged sex offences with minor JOHN DELANEY SEE page six
LOCAL NEWS PAGE 2, SATURDAY, JANUARY 29, 2011 THE TRIBUNE TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM READYTOTAKEPART: Future GGYA participants with Harbour Island All Age School principal Linda Moultrie-Missick; GGYA volunteers Mr Simone, Durona Joseph and Argrice Major. AFTER a four-year hiatus, the Governor Generals Youth Awards programme (GGYA again at the Harbour Island All Age School in Eleuthera. Under the guidance of senior master Leslie Simone, students 14 years and older will have the opportunity to make personal achieve ments by participating in four areas of activities at the bronze level for a minimum of six months. The four areas include performing of a community service; following a skill/hobby; participating in a physical recreation. Additionally, students have to complete an expedition with a group on foot for two days and one night, hiking a minimum of 15 miles. Due to the size of Harbour Island, the expedition will be carried out on the mainland or at the GGYA annual Family Island expedition to Abaco this summer. Lifestyle The GGYA is a selfdevelopment programme available to all young Bahamians with the aim of equipping them with life skills to make a difference to themselves, their communities and the world. The GGYA is a member of the International Award for Young People. To date, almost six million young people from over 129 countries have participated in the programme. Y outh awards scheme to be active again at Eleuthera school CUTTINGTHERIBBON: Sandy Schaefer, owner of Robin Hood, is pictured with his mother Kolette Schaefer, who cuts the ribbon during the opening of Robin Hood II in Prince Charles Drive yesterday. DAYOFCOLOUR: Junkanoo added some rhythm and colour to the proceedings. SCRUMPTIOUS: Everything a shopper could want, including onions! GRAND OPENING OF ROBIN HOOD II MEGA STORE PHOTOS: Felip Major /Tribune staff
BYLAMECH JOHNSON A BOMB scare demonstrat ion was conducted at a top private medical institution that drew a lot of attention from observers Friday morning. I n the mock situation, staff at Doctor's Hospital had received a call shortly before 10 a.m from a frustrated male stating that a bomb was in thet wo-storied building. The Fire Department of the police force were the first party on the scene as a fire truck c ould be seen outside the medical facility. A 300 ft evacuation of staff and visitors through the front entrance of the premises waso rdered by Inspector Johnson. Onlookers and some of the visitors were unaware that the hospital was having a drill. One s aid, "They just told us to come outside." The staff and security relayed all questions to a police officer. Derrick Butler, Asst. Supt. o f the police confirmed that the incident was in fact a mock demonstration of a real bombs care, as observers were unsure of what was going on. "This is ad emonstration that began around 10a.m. However we c annot put a time frame on the operation because we are treating it as if it were a real life threatening situation." There were concerns about p atient's safety during the scene, however, a public rela-t ions' staff member assured everyone that they were taken c are of. Lisa Humes, Marketing Assistant, at the hospital said, "We have all of our patients secured away from where them ock bomb was said to have been placed." S he also noted that the drill was a normal procedure for staff so it was nothing out of the ordinary. The bomb squad came along with the K-9 unit and shortly before 11am, the mock bombw as safely secured in a thick black bag and escorted away f rom the premises. Everyone was cleared to re-enter the building three minutes after 11am. It was revealed in the hospital's debriefing with key members of staff and police t hat the detonation time for the mock bomb was actually 15 minutes. Shavanna Oliver, the receptionist who answered the phonec all that triggered the incident was clearly shaken up and was not convinced that the whole matter was a drill. "It didn't s ound like a fake call to m," she said. Officers believed that while t he hospital's response to the d emonstration, which included communication, search for the d evice, securing patients, accounting for staff and visit ors, was well achieved. However, they admitted that e vacuation of persons did take l onger than it should have and p ersons were still near the hosp ital entrance when they weren't supposed to be. T his is critical, one of the officers said, because the call c ame at 9.50 and the detonation time for the device is 15m inutes. If the people aren't evacuated before that time, t here will be casualties, if this were real and the time was 15 minutes. By NATARIO McKENZIE Tribune Staff Reporter email@example.com A 52-year-old man charged in connection with a spree of breaki ns was arraigned in Magistrates Court yesterday. Police have charged Emerson Hanna of Chestnut Street with b reaking into eight homes and attempting to break into three others. A ccording to court dockets, it is alleged that Hanna broke into homes at Mount Tabor Estates, Nairns Gardens, Victoria Gardens,G olden Isles Road, Kool Acres, Sandilands Village Road, Lumumba Lane and Tall Pines. H e is accused of stealing hundreds of dollars worth of elect ronics and jewellery from these homes. Hanna, who was not represented by an attorney, was arraigned b efore Magistrate Ancella Evans-Williams in Court Six, Parliament Street. He pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him. The p rosecution objected to bail being granted, citing that Hanna had been sentenced and convicted for stealing and housebreaking in2 008. Hanna told the magistrate that while in police custody, he was beaten with a cutlass. The magistrate ordered that he be taken to t he hospital for treatment. He was also remanded to Her Majestys Prison and his case was adjourned to February 3. LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE SATURDAY, JANUARY 29, 2011, PAGE 3 TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM ACCUSED: Emerson Hanna was charged with breaking into eight homes. Man charged over break-ins Bomb scare demonstration draws attention F e l i p M a j o r / T r i b u n e s t a f f F RIENDS and relatives of Michael Dion Smith, 42, have made an urgent plea for donations of Type O blood. Mr Smith is a patient at the Princess Margaret Hospital and is in urgent need of a transfusion. Willing donors with Type O blood are asked to please visit the Blood Bank at PMH as soon as possible. Urgent plea for Type O blood donations MOCKINCIDENT: The demonstration drew attention as visitors and staff (inset
E DITOR, The Tribune. Good evening Bahamas, along with all the problems we now face in our country we now have Dominican fishermen fishing on Bahamian fishing vessels. On Sunday morning my sons w ere out fishing on the Northw est Bank. A dingy pulls up alongside their craft and there were two Dominican divers. With no craft in sight they could hardly speak a word of E nglish they tried to tell my s ons they had lost their boat. A t the time my sons didnt know whether they meant their craft or if they had lost a dingy. With no craft in sight my son asked them where they were f rom and they openly replied the Dominican Republic. My son then asked them to come aboard. T hey refused, they then pulled off from the side of the craft and headed towards a nother dingy with two D ominicans in that dingy also. My son then got in his speed boat pulled alongside of them and again asked them to get in h is boat (thinking all the while that these fishermen are off a Dominican vessel). They again refused. Confrontation with words began a nd it led to my son sinking t heir dingy. They climbed in the other dingy with the other two Dominicans and took off to theN orth until they ran out of s ight. About 1.30pm they see a craft steaming towards them. They began to run and for near l y two hours without any contact by radio or vhf channel 16 my sons ran in fear of their lives. When the vessel chasing my s ons wasnt fast enough to catch them they jumped in their din gies and a dozen Dominicans and the Captain tried to get onm y sons boat and that wasnt going to happen. They then broke radio silence. The Captain identified hims elf and told my sons these Dominicans had permits to be there and so my son asked him the name of his vessel he r eplied none of your (f---ing business. My son then replied it may not be none of my business but t he Defence Force has been called and they are on the way. At that time the vessel with the Dominicans who still today have not been properly identified immediately turned around and began going the other way. Why did the aggression automatically stop when the Defence Force was mentioned? Who is responsible for handing out all these work permits for these Dominican fishermen? Fishing and farming have always been reserved for the Bahamian people. In Chapter 244 of The Jurisdiction and Conservation Act it clearly states that no one other than a Bahamian can fish the territorial waters of the Com-m onwealth of The Bahamas unless they are a Bahamian citizen in a commercial fashion. And I quote chapter 244 Fish-e ries Resources (Jurisdiction a nd Conservation), an Act to make Provision with respect to the conservation and management of the fisheries resources o f the Bahamas and to extend the limits of the jurisdiction oft he Bahamas over such fisheries resources and for matters conn ected therewith or incidental thereto. ) This Act may be cited as t he Fisheries Resources (Juris diction and Conservation) Act. 2) (1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requiresBahamian in relation to a fishing vessel means(a izen of the Bahamas resident in the Bahamas; or ( b) a company registered in the Bahamas under the Com p anies Act in which All the shares are benefic ially owned by citizens of the Bahamas resident in the Bahamas; beneficially owned shall be construed as in section 300 of the Companies Act; commercial in relation to fishing means the fishing for a ny fishery resource for the purpose of subsequent sale w hether the person fishing for the same does so on a full time basis or part time basis. The Act continues but the facts are clear and so I ask who is issuing these permits for for eign fishermen on Bahamianv essels? And whoever you are tell the B ahamas how many permits have been issued. In December of 2010 I was shot at by Dominican fisher men on the southern Bahama Bank. My sons on their vessel were dealing with Dominican d ivers on the Bahama Bank and they instilled fear in them k nowing what had happen to me a month ago. Bahamas what is happening to our country? Have we become so arrogant that we are now selling out our fishing industry to foreign fishermen without any consideration of the effect years down the road? M y God if you cant run it with the future of young Bahamian fishermen at heart please for t he love of God I beg you to get out and let someone that cares take over. Bahamas we are giving work permits in my understanding of the Fisheries Act illegally. And we are giving them to people that have already destroyed thef isheries of their own country and have now been allowed to d estroy ours by this government. With little to no incent ives for fishermen of this count ry just higher taxes sucking the lives out of this fishing industry a nd doing more damage to this f ishing industry than any a dministration in the history of our country. Ive been shot at my sons have been made to be fearful on the Bahama Bank and by the way we are talking about a crew of five between the ages of 18 and 23 young Bahamian fishermen trying to make a living in the fishing industry with all its trials and o ne of my sons is going to be a father in March. Bahamas I leave you with t hese thoughts. The fishermen of the Dominican Republic have already killed out their o wn nations fisheries. They are k illing the Southern Bahamas daily on their own Dominican vessels. Why in Gods name w ould the government of our b eloved country give work per mits to a nation of people who never even valued their ownc ountrys marine resources, what makes you think that they will value ours? A nd finally Bahamas let us n ever forget the dedicated men on HMS Flamingo many years ago who gave their lives to pro-t ect this country from illegal poachers and now here we are allowing them to fish on our very own vessels. I greatly fear what is left to come. I am so disappointed in the fishing industries that we have that we can call our own that we deliver to countries as fara s Europe. Can we still say product of the Bahamas? Or do we now say Bahamian owned Dominican got. What Bahamas is up for sale next? May God Bless the fishermen of this countrya nd may God richly Bless The Commonwealth of The Bahamas. CHUCK PINDER Spanish Wells, Bahamas, January 27, 2011. EDITOR, The Tribune. Ive been shocked by the total arrogance and contempt for the governments authority by both the unions and the PLP in the whole matter of Cable and Wireless buying a majority share in BTC. The heads of some of the unions have joined the PLP in the contempt for the authority of the government. Some of the leaders threatened to close down the country like cry babies and spoiled children because they couldnt get their way. There was even a threat to close down the House, which is the peoples house, where the issues of the day are debated by democratically elected representatives.Despite their arrogance, union leaders were elected to represent their members, not the majori ty of Bahamians. The threat to shut down the House was very anti-democratic. Not to mention the damage that it could do to our economy and our image in the world. Instead of rejecting such behaviour the PLP has attempted to further stir up the unions in order to further its own agenda. One sign of this is that the head of a prominent union has now gotten a PLP nomination. The PLPs intentions are now very clear in terms of manipulating the unions. Speaking of arrogance, an arrogant PLP refused to release any details on the sale of BTC to the secretive company Blue Water. This is the same arrogance they showed in refusing to accept the results of the last election and trying to rile up their supporters at the time. An arrogant PLP has never accepted that it is in opposition. They are so desperate that they have not rejected outright the threats of some to close down the country and the House in their hunger to get back into power. BLS Nassau, January 26, 2011. EDITORIAL/LETTERS TO THE EDITOR PAGE 4, SATURDAY, JANUARY 29, 2011 THE TRIBUNE The Tribune Limited N ULLIUS ADDICTUS JURARE IN VERBA MAGISTRI B eing Bound to Swear to The Dogmas of No Master LEON E. H. DUPUCH, Publisher/Editor 1903-1914 SIR ETIENNE DUPUCH, Kt., O.B.E., K.M., K.C.S.G., (Hon. P ublisher/Editor 1919-1972 Contributing Editor 1972-1991 E ILEEN DUPUCH CARRON, C.M.G., M.S., B.A., LL.B. Publisher/Editor 1972P ublished Daily Monday to Saturday S hirley Street, P.O. Box N-3207, Nassau, Bahamas Insurance Management Building., P.O. F-485, Freeport, Grand Bahama W EBSITE www.tribune242.com updated daily at 2pm WASHINGTON Egyptian leaders had c lashed with the United States over human rights and government reforms for years before F riday's warning that the situation there threate ns U.S. aid to the country, according to a s eries of leaked U.S. diplomatic messages. The disclosure of the confidential messages, s ome of which were circulated within the U.S. government less than one year ago, offers e xtraordinary insights into the complicated relationship between the United States andE gypt as tensions there escalated. "The Egyptians have long felt that, at best, w e take them for granted; and at worst, we deliberately ignore their advice while trying to force our point of view on them," Ambassador Margaret Scobey wrote Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on February 9, 2009. Itw as among the diplomatic messages released recently by WikiLeaks. T wo months earlier, Scobey wrote that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has resisted past U.S. appeals for increased democracy, which he has viewed as a threat to his leadership and a boost to internal adversaries seeking t o undermine him. Scobey's December 12, 2008, memo to Gen. David Petraeus was ina dvance of his meeting with Mubarak. "Mubarak now makes scant public pretense o f advancing a vision for democratic change. An ongoing challenge remains balancing our security interests with our democracy promotion efforts," she said. U.S. officials have urged Mubarak and othe r senior Egyptian leaders to allow peaceful street protests, and they have condemned thev iolence stemming from Egyptian government crackdowns on the protests. The United States n ow is considering reducing the $1.5 billion in military and civilian aid in light of the increas ing violence. Relations between the United States and Egypt appeared to be improving after Obama w on in 2008, according to some of the diplomatic correspondence disclosed by WikiLeaks. M ubarak had hopes for improved relations with the U.S. after Obama won, Scobey told P etraeus a month after Obama's victory. She offered Petraeus some insights into Mubarak's tarnished view of a once strong ally. "The Egyptians have lost confidence in U.S. regional leadership. They believe that the U .S. invasion of Iraq was an unmitigated disaster that has unleashed Iranian regional ambi t ions and that the U.S. waited far too long to engage in Arab-Israeli peacemaking efforts," S cobey wrote. "In addition, U.S. and Egyptian differences over the pace and direction of political reform have drained the warmth from the relationship on both sides." A meeting between Obama and Mubarak would be a good idea "to try to begin repairing the relationship," Scobey advised. The Egyptian leader visited Washington in August 2009. Writing in advance of the trip, Scobey said the Egyptian president appreciated Obama's interest in restoring "the sense of warmth that has traditionally characterized the U.S.-Egyptian partnership." Mubarak viewed President (George W. Bush as naive, controlled by subordinates, and t otally unprepared for dealing with post-Sadd am Iraq, especially the rise of Iran's regional i nfluence," Scobey wrote in a May 19, 2009, memo. A nd in a point that sheds light on Mubarak's own desire for a strong, supportive military, S cobey wrote: "Mubarak continues to state that in his view, Iraq needs a 'tough, strongm ilitary officer who is fair' as leader. This telling observation, we believe, describes M ubarak's own view of himself as someone who is tough but fair, who ensures the basic needs of his people." The American-led invasion of Iraq removed Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein from office.H e was later found guilty by an Iraqi court of crimes against the country and was hanged. A nother U.S. diplomatic message outlines the point that "the real centre of power in Egypt is the military," according to former minister Dr. Ali El Deen Hilal Dessouki, considered a National Democratic Party insider. Dessouki noted that while the military did not intervene directly in matters of day-to-dayg overnance, its leaders were determined to maintain order and that the importance of legal transition' should not be underestimat ed," according to the July 30, 2009, cable written by Donald Blome, a political and economic counselor at the State Department. Mubarak had increasingly expressed his disp leasure in recent years with American foreign policy, even to visiting U.S. dignitaries. President Mubarak enjoys recounting for visiting members of Congress how he warned f ormer President Bush against invading Iraq, ending with, 'I told you so!' and a wag of his finger," Scobey wrote in her February 2009 memo to Clinton. Even after Obama took office, Mubarak p erceived as a threat the U.S. influence in some areas because he believed it undermined his l eadership, according to a February 9, 2010, memo that Scobey wrote to Admiral Mike M ullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. The Egyptian government "remains sceptical of our role in democracy promotion, arguing that any efforts to open up will result in e mpowering the Muslim Brotherhood, which currently holds 86 seats as independents i n Egypt's 454-seat parliament," Scobey wrote. Another memo Scobey wrote that same m onth characterizes the U.S. relationship with Egypt as strong on mutual interests in the Mid dle East, but strained over other issues, including human rights. "While we continue to work closely and effectively with Egypt on the range of critical regional issues, our bilateral discussions, particularly relating to human rights, civil society and democracy, remain difficult at times," she wrote. (This article was written by Brett J. Blackledge of the Associated Press). PLP and union arrogance on BTC LETTERS firstname.lastname@example.org Cables show Egypt-US democracy clashes Who is handing out work permits for Dominican fishermen?
THE managing director of t he Downtown Nassau Partnership believes 2011 will be a year of visible change in the city. V aughn Roberts, a key member of the public-private organisation responsible for revitalising downtown Nassau, said their plans are moving along well. With the completion of the new Straw Market on Bay Street and other initiatives e xpected to come to fruition, Mr Roberts said he feels the owners of downtown buildings will be inspired to enhance their image as well. This was welcome news to Bay Street pedestrians yesterday, who told The Tribune many parts of the town could d o with a facelift. One said: I hope all the shop owners invest in some grout and paint. Nassau is supposed to be the centre ofo ur tourism product but it looks too run down. A nother said: It would be good if they got in contact with t he people who own the buildings not in use right now. All t hat plywood and empty windows makes the town feel half-d eserted. If they are having a hard time finding renters, maybe thep artnership could work with them to figure something out. P ointing out that the owners are responsible for the upkeep of their buildings, Mr Robertsa dmitted that they do struggle with damage and degradation due to pollution like smoke from the vehicles passing in thea rea contribute to the dirt on buildings. LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE SATURDAY, JANUARY 29, 2011, PAGE 5 TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM r TIMETOCHANGE: The face of Nassau is set to change according to Downtown Nassau Partnership managing d irector Vaughn Roberts. Those who frequent Bay Street hope this will mean fewer unoccupied buildings such as these (above and below I vex 'cause some politicians saying digital signs, electronic signs are illegal, yet politicians don't seem t o think so when they use the electronic signs at political rallies." Elephant memory I vex that I can't walk my dog day or night in this town without having to worry about the neighbours wild dogs scari ng the life out of my pup. Stray dogs chasing us or reckless drivers speeding by me on the street like it's the highway. Then I have to worry about getting held up on the street and my d og gettin' tief all of it makes me want to hole up in my house and hold my dog tight. We need to change the wild mentality that is so rampant in Nassau where a person can't even enjoy a stroll without getting assaulted with noise pollution, unwanted admirers or f ear of gettin' bite or knock down dead. Dog lover "I vex that since some of the traffic lights now get fixed you ain't k now if they really, really working for real. F ourth world "I vex 'cause I called 919 and got put on hold." E mergency I vex that the light at the juncture of Village Road and Shirley Street is off again, creating havoc for that busy intersection. I am e specially vex at the impatient drivers that lay on their horn while they wait on you to carefully ease onto Shirley Street when their big eye can see the light ain' working and only God and good vision can get you across the street without mashin' your car or taking your life." F ix da light please I am vex at the startling cases of animal cruelty coming out of Grand Bahama where poor defenseless dogs are being treated l ike they are worthless and deserving of torture. Those freaks that are committing these offences will soon graduate to harming children, their spouse, the elderly and the general public. We as a country cannot turn a blind eye to this or brush it off because it is a symptom of a disturbing disease. We need more education on the proper treatment of animals and counselling for children with anger or rage issues before we all f eel the results of their brutality." Concerned citizen "I am happy with the Rapid Response team who went to the doc tor's house being robbed close to the neighbourhood by Okra Hill but regrettably the daytime robbers escaped and ran through the 'bad' neighbourhoods nearby through St James Road and o nto Kemp Road where they managed to escape." Citizen Send your complaints to email@example.com. WHY YOU VEX? 2011 will be a year of visible change in Nassau
the gun possession offence and seeking to have the individual tried before court as quickly as possible," said Attorney General John Delaney at a press conference to announce the new policy. "We believe that by isolating the possession offence we can have a very speedy trial, and that we can get the individual, if he's found guilty, convicted and put away so that he is not available to become a repeat offender, or is not on bail for a very long time and thereby has the potential to create other difficulties," added Mr Delaney, flanked by National Security Minister Tommy Turnquest, top officers of the RBPF and Director of Public Prosecutions Vinette Graham-Allen. Of the 94 murders in the Bahamas last year, 66 of them were committed with the use of firearms, according to police. As it stands, a person accused of a gun crime is arraigned, then later granted bail and could roam free as they await trial for months, even years. In many cases, those on bail have been accused of committing other violent crimes. Mr Delaney said the new ini tiative aims to reduce the gap between arraignment and trial, and curb repeat offences. "The idea here is develop ing speed, getting to the point of trial and removing a convicted person off the street and reducing the opportunity for persons who would have been found guilty of an offence, removing the opportunity for them to be on bail and therefore the risk of further offences." Mr Turnquest said: "When that firearm is recovered we'd like to see that case disposed of swiftly and that criminal death with." Police prosecutors will handle these cases, said Mr Delaney as he expressed confidence in their expertise. He said: "The summary trials for the firearm offences will be prosecuted by police prosecutors with the full resources, assistance they might require from the Department of Public Prosecutions within my office. There are good police prose cutors and they have exper tise and there's no reason at this time to change that. But at any point of time if, as Attorney General, I thought it appropriate for somebody from the DPP to prosecute a particular offence, that can happen." Four persons accused of gun crimes are expected to be arraigned in court on Monday. They were arrested under the police forces new operation, Rapid Strike. LOCAL NEWS PAGE 6, SATURDAY, JANUARY 29, 2011 THE TRIBUNE TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM New court to fight gun crime F ROM page one CRIMEREPORTS PRE-SCHOOL ROBBER FLEES ON BICYCLE AN armed robber stormed into a pre-school on Thursday and gun-butted two women employees before making off with cash, police reported. The incident occurred just before 6pm at the Funshine Academy Pre-School. The suspect, who was wearing a black jacket and jeans, walked into the school, produced a handgun, and demanded cash. He then attacked the two women and robbed them of an undetermined amount of money as well as a cell phone. The culprit fled the scene on a bicycle heading south. SEVERAL GUNS TAKEN OFF THE STREETS POLICE have taken a number of firearms off the streets in the last few days including four in connection with a sin gle incident. At around 9pm on Thursday, officers responding to reports of gunshots in the Golden Isles area came upon a grey Toyota Corsa which sped off when approached. The police gave chase, caught up with the car and detained its two male occupants ages 28 and 25. A search of the vehicle turned up a handgun and a rifle as well as ammunition. Then, when officers searched the suspects home on Sunset Road, they found another two hand guns and a large quantity of ammunition. A 27-year-old woman was taken into custody as well. Earlier that day, just after 8am, Drug Enforcement Unit officers, acting on a tip, searched St Josephs Cemetery off Quarry Mission Road and found a handgun hidden in some bushes. Then, at around 1.30pm, Central Division officers followed a tip to Okra Hill where they discovered a handgun near a dumpster. Rapid Strike officers recovered another firearm that night while on patrol in McKinney Drive off Carmichael Road, arresting an alleged armed robber in the process. Just before 11pm, the officers spotted two men standing next to a Nissan Sentra acting suspiciously. When the officers approached, one of the men ran. The officers caught up with the 24-year-old Yellow Elder Gardens suspect and confiscated a loaded handgun. Then, the other man who had been standing by the Sentra claimed that the man in police custody had robbed himo f an undetermined amount of cash. TOMMY TURNQUEST reason for stress. At a counsellor information session conducted by Dr Christie yesterday morning, one hotline worker recounted an instance where a caller was contemplating suicide after being unable to pay rent, cover utility bills, or provide food for their family. The national hotline, manned by 20 trained counsellors, was set up on December 13 to help anyone feeling overwhelmed by stress or problems. The 24-hour hotline is a joint initiative between the government, accounting firm Grant Thornton Bahamas, BTC and the police force. G rant Thornton has financed the programme so far, but is appealing to other corporate sponsors to come on board. We want the programme to continue, there is a need for it, said Mavis Darling Hill, deputy director of Department of Social Services. While Ms Hill expressed her thanks to Grant Thornton for approaching the department with the hotline idea and assisting in the endeavour, she said: It is a burden for one company, and we need further assistance to sustain the programme. According to Dr Christie, most of the callers seem withdrawn and have experienced sustained and persistent sadness. Most call to say they are feeling low. He said depression can also manifest itself physically. Some people experience chest pains and other body aches, feeling weak and often lethargic, he said. Anyone experiencing any of these symptoms, or who finds themselves struggling with difficulties, stress, depression or suicidal thoughts is asked to call the hotline on 322-2763. MONEY PROBLEMS SEEN AS MAIN CAUSE OF STRESS F ROM page one the drug could be fuelling deviant behav iour. In a meeting with Social Service Hot line councillors yesterday, Dr Christie stressed the dangers of substance abuse, and in particular cannabis abuse. He said the fact that cannabis is culturally and socially accepted, cheap and readily available in the Bahamas, encour ages the false perception it is not a dangerous drug. However, Dr Christie said despite the general overvalued idea that there are no effects of cannabis use, like any other form of substance abuse, it is a health nightmare. He said studies have shown that abuse of the drug can have very serious consequences. Physiological effects of cannabis use include: hypertension (high blood pressure), shortness of breath, decreased coordination and reaction times, ataxia, impaired memory and perception, sen sory distortion such as hallucinations, paranoid disorders, mood alteration, and depersonalisation. In men, it can also cause a decrease in libido (sex drive sperm counts, and shrinking of the scrotum. One study, performed in the Sandi lands Rehabilitation Centre among 120 patients in the substance abuse treatment programme, found the median age for the onset of cannabis disorders was 21, and usually ranged between 17 and 26. Dr Christie added that a new study completed in Europe found marijuana use makes a person seven times more likely to lose touch with reality. The treatment programme for sub stance abuse normally lasts about two years and includes detoxification, reha bilitation, relapse prevention and maintenance. Dr Christie stressed the importance of education and relaying of correct information. The aim of education is to provide students, teachers and families with accurate information about drug abuse and addiction and the association with highrisk sexual behaviour, said Dr Christie. Those under the influence take more irresponsible risks. While not everyone who uses drugs becomes addicted, for many what starts as casual use leads to drug addiction, he added. Mr Miller said a team head ed by CDU Assistant Superintendent Leon Bethel flew to the small island community to investigate allegations against the teacher and bring him to the capital. Investigations are ongoing. Cannabis abuse may be a factor behind high crime rate FROM page one READILYAVAILABLE: Marijuana. Teacher questioned about alleged sex offences with minor FROM page one Share our news The Tribune wants to hear from people who are making news in their neighbourhoods. Perhaps you are raising funds for a good cause, campaigning for improvements in the area or have won an award. If so, call us on 322-1986 and share your story.
MP PHILIP Brave Davis assured his constituents that he would be offering himself as a candidate of the Progressive Liberal Party to represent the p eople of Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador in the next g eneral election. Visiting his constituency last weekend, Mr Davis said any rumours that he would be running elsewhere are untrue. You know what you have but you dont know what you c ould get. The silly season has begun and there will be those w ho will tell you that I have done nothing for Cat Island. You know better and I am cer t ain you will tell them of all the things we have accomplished t ogether, he told those gathered at the rake n scrape festi-v al site in Arthurs Town in north Cat Island. M r Davis told Cat Islanders that he was instrumental in developing a port of entry on t he island, in bringing cable television to the people and lobbying for Bank of theB ahamas to open a branch t here. T he PLP MP also hosted a p arty for children in south Cat I sland at the Old Bight Primary S chool during his visit. The childrens party was followed by a party for the adult constituents in the area. Mr Davis said he was pleased with the turnout and was thankful for the continued support shown to him by his fellow Cat Islanders. This event is just a small token of thanks for the love s hown to me over the years by p eople who mean so much to m e, the MP said. It does my heart good to see so many Cat Islanders working together and celebrating our islands prospects for 2011. The trip to Cat Island was part of what Mr Davis is calling his national listening tour. LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE SATURDAY, JANUARY 29, 2011, PAGE 7 TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM Brave Davis pledges his allegiance to Cat Island PLPMP ON NATIONAL LISTENING TOUR MEETINGALEGEND: MP Philip Brave Davis meets with world basketball icon Magic Johnson. H APPYTOSEEYOU! M P Philip Brave Davis speaks to a group of C at Islanders over the weekend. Scotches rumours of running elsewhere at next election THANKFUL OF SUPPORT: PLP MP Philip Brave Davis meets con stituents.