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Abaco News
Abaconians excited as National Arts Festival begins on island
Written by BIS   
Monday, 07 April 2014 11:48

MARSH HARBOUR, Abaco – As the E. Clement Bethel National Arts Festival recently began its Abaco adjudications, residents were happy and excited that it is giving Abaconians a change to showcase their talents.    

Arts Teacher at Angels Academy Stacey Adderley shows Arts and Craft Officer in the Department of Culture Ellery Deveaux a number of pieces by her students at the Marsh Harbour, Abaco, school during the recent E. Clement Bethel National Arts Festival adjudications of the island. (BIS Photo / Eric Rose)

Founder and Administrator at Every Child Counts (ECC) Lyn Major said that it was wonderful that the E. Clement Bethel National Arts Festival adjudications came to the school.    

“The first time we entered was last year and it was a really neat experience for the kids and I think it really helps them with their practicing music and art and they look forward to this time,” she said. “It is just a great experience.”    

E. Clement Bethel National Arts Festival adjudications come to Abaco
Submitted by BIS   
Friday, 04 April 2014 08:29

Students at Angels Academy in Marsh Harbour, Abaco, perform a piece on Junkanoo as a choral verse speaking group, during their first time in the E. Clement Bethel National Arts Festival Abaco adjudications, on April 1, 2014.  (BIS Photo / Eric Rose)  

Hector Picard inspires Abaco
Submitted by PROMPT   
Thursday, 27 March 2014 09:37

Hector at the end of the GAFFW with the organizers.  Lefft-Right:  Chrystonia Robertson & Lee McCoy, Robert Meister, Hector Picard.TREASURE CAY, Abaco -- Hector Picard made his first visit to the Abacos as part of the third annual Great Abaco Family Fitness Weekend. Hector had previously visited Freeport and, upon the invitation of race director Lee McCoy, made the journey from South Florida to participate in the weekend's races.  

While this may not sound like such a great feat in itself, Hector is slightly different than everyone else. He is a motivational speaker, a triathlete, and a family man. He traveled with his wife Wendy and two kids, and stayed at the Treasure Cay Resort & Marina while in Abaco. He talked with a crowd at Every Child Counts and at Forest Heights Academy and also at the Hope Town School. He also demonstrated how to change a tire on his race bike – with no hands.  

Hector is a bilateral amputee who has minimal use of one arm while utilizing a custom prosthetic. In 1992 he almost lost his life in a work related accident.  He spent four weeks in a coma and upon waking up discovered burns across his body and both of his arms had been amputated, one below the elbow and one just after his shoulder.

Thanks in part to a grant by the Cable Bahamas Cares Foundation, Hector was able to compete in the Great Abaco Family Fitness Weekend, completing the 1-mile Open Water Swim and the Sprint Triathlon.  He was also able to present to local schools ECC, Forest Heights Academy, and the Hope Town School.  

His presentation to the children and adults alike was both inspiring and motivational.  He talked about his accident, career, challenges, obstacles, and life, and also about how he was able to overcome all of these things without the full use of his arms. He talked about how doctors said he couldn't do certain things, yet he managed to play softball and basketball with his daughters as they grew up. In 2009 he began competing in triathlons and has competed in 87 triathlons since, including four IronMan distance triathlons.  

Competition and fun at the Great Abaco Family Fitness Weekend
Submitted by PROMPT   
Thursday, 27 March 2014 09:28

Start of the 5k/10k Fun Run/Walk.TREASURE CAY, Abaco -- Drawing everyone from the ultra-fit to those who run for fun, the third annual Great Abaco Family Fitness Weekend hosted them all this past weekend at one of the world's most beautiful beaches in Treasure Cay, Abaco.

Bahamian and veteran of the local triathlon circuit, Simon Lowe, 30, and Laura Fijol, 46, of Massachusetts, came out triumphant in the Olympic distance triathlon event with times of 2:27:03 and 2:47:51.  Simon was also the Olympic champ in 2013.

The sprint triathlon was dominated by Nassau's Dorian Roach, 37, with a time of 1:20:46, and for the third year in a row Freeport's Vicki Stafford, 47, with a time of 1:28:02.

Lowe, 30, came out on top again in the 10k run, in 44:57, along with Roberta Fontana, 44, of Nassau, who won the women's 10k in 48:14.  In the 5k run, Donovan Rolle, 35, of Nassau, ran a speedy 6.51 minute per mile pace to cruise to victory in just 21:15, while Catherine Jadot of Freeport came in just behind at 22:34.

Among the swimmers in the one mile open water swim event which kicked off the festivities on Friday afternoon, Mark Rutledge of Mount Pleasant, US, swam a swift 19:01 minute race, while young Christina Pyfrom, 14, of Marsh Harbour was victorious in the women's swim, in a time of just 22:15.

Town Hall Meeting to be held in Abaco to discuss new $39 million port
Submitted by Inderia Saunders   
Monday, 24 March 2014 06:56

ABACO, Bahamas — Residents of North Abaco will soon see further development on their island as top contractor China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) gears up to commence construction on the new $39 million port.  

An update on the North Abaco Port Project for Coopers Town is expected to come during a town hall meeting on Monday with CHEC Americas Division and the government hosting a session at the Faith Walk Church of God in Coopers Town at 7 pm.

“We invite everyone in Abaco to come out to hear what we have to say about the project,” said Felix Chang, Principal of CHEC Bahamas.  “I am looking forward to a very engaging town hall meeting.”

Committed to promoting economic growth and infrastructural development in the region, the company recently rebranded, changing its name from CHEC Latin America to CHEC Americas—a name which reflects its desire to continue offering themselves as a Full Service Provider working collaboratively with public and private sector clients in the Caribbean and the North, South and Central American region.

The North Abaco Port Project is slated to be a boon for the island and for the country at large.

“We are committed to constructing a first class facility that will improve the lives of Abaconians,” noted Colvin London, CHEC’s Senior Business Manager for the Caribbean.

Fishermen assured proposed parks would not be no-take zones
Submitted by Barefoot Marketing   
Wednesday, 19 March 2014 13:10

Fishermen Assured Proposed parks would not be No-Take Zones - Recently, Bahamas National Trust (BNT) officials met with fishermen in Sandy Point, Abaco to address concerns about the proposed national park for Cross Harbour in South Abaco. The meeting went extremely well, as the BNT assured fishermen that their interests were considered when proposing the park.  Pictured are fishermen at the meeting. (Photo Courtesy of BNT for Barefoot Marketing)ABACO, The Bahamas -- Recently, Bahamas National Trust (BNT) officials met with local communities in Abaco to discuss proposed parks.  Meetings were held in Marsh Harbour, Cherokee and Cross Harbour.

Additionally, the BNT met with fishermen in Sandy Point, Abaco, to address concerns about the proposed national park for Cross Harbour in South Abaco. The meeting went extremely well; as the BNT assured fishermen that their interests were considered when proposing the park.

“When new national parks are designated under the BNT, traditional uses by the communities are taken into consideration,” noted David Knowles, BNT Director of Parks.  “Knowing that the Sandy Point fishermen depend on Cross Harbour, it is proposed for multi-use, just like the recently expanded Andros West Side National Park.”

Knowles added that the entire west coast of Andros is now a national park, and fishermen are still able to fish within the park, and the same will be incorporated for Cross Harbour and The Marls of Abaco.

The proposed protection of the new Abaco areas will ensure that prime fishing grounds and important nursery habitats are protected from unsustainable development.  As such, the livelihoods of fishermen that depend on the natural resources will be safeguarded and for those of future generations to come.  

Abaco set to buzz for Great Abaco Family Fitness Weekend March 21-23
Submitted by PROMPT   
Thursday, 13 March 2014 10:13

Simon Lowe is supported by friends after winning the Olympic triathlon.TREASURE CAY, Abaco -- Over one hundred people have pre-registered to participate in a fitness extravaganza set to take place in Abaco later this month.  

The third annual Great Abaco Family Fitness Weekend, scheduled for the weekend of March 21 to 23rd in Treasure Cay, is set to draw participants from all over The Bahamas, the US, Canada and the UK. 

Domestic tourism is a key draw, with participants traveling to the event from Nassau, Freeport and across Abaco.

At the packed weekend of events, participants will have the chance to compete (or just have fun) in any or all of the following: an open water swim, a Sprint or Olympic triathlon, a five kilometre and ten kilometre running race, a one mile kids’ race, a paddleboard event, and for those who want to fine tune their cheering skills –  a cheerleading clinic.

And if not totally convinced that they can handle the challenge, participants can be inspired by a visiting athlete, US-based double arm amputee and triathlete Hector Picard, who will not only compete in the events despite his disability, but will be on hand to motivate other participants. 

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