In the Bahamas, a hard-hit island beckons again – New Haven Register

Photo: Washington Post Photo By Andrea Sachs

In the Bahamas, a hard-hit island beckons again

Tip Burrows dropped a low-grade expletive when she saw the beach by Banana Bay Restaurant, on the south side of Grand Bahama Island.

"Holy (bad word)!" said the islander, peering into a freshly carved trench. "That wasn't here before."

Nearly two months after Hurricane Dorian battered the Bahamas, Tip, who runs the Humane Society of Grand Bahama, was still discovering new evidence of destruction. On this mid-October afternoon, she had unearthed an inlet on Fortune Beach. As if that weren't alarming enough, the storm surge that had swept away a section of the beach had not come from the ocean lapping at Fortune's feet. It had traversed the island from the north and pushed the sand out to sea like a scene from an eco-horror film.

"We lost two feet of beach," said Danilo Rulli, the restaurant's owner, "but it will slowly come back."

And so will the Bahamas, at possibly an even faster clip than Mother Nature.

"We're going to bring the sparkle back to Grand Bahama," said Steven Johnson, an official with the Grand Bahama Tourism Office who is already working on new initiatives, such as expanding the West End as a seafood destination.

To be sure, Dorian was devastating. The strongest storm ever to strike the Bahamas caused at least 65 deaths and damaged or destroyed more than 13,000 homes on Grand Bahama Island and the Abaco Islands, both in the upper reaches of the 500-mile-long archipelago. Economic loss could rise to $7 billion, more than half of the country's gross national product. But the Bahamas are moving forward - rebuilding homes, reopening businesses, and restoring the spirit of the islands and its people.

"We'll be back bigger and better than before," exclaimed a resident who lives in the East End, the hardest-hit area on Grand Bahama Island.

The Bahamas can soon breathe a tiny sigh of relief. Hurricane season ends Nov. 30, and the tourism high season, which runs from mid-December to mid-April, is just around the bend. While recovery efforts proceed, the country has started singing a refrain common among destinations rebounding from a natural disaster: If you want to help, come visit. Money spent on a vacation is a direct deposit to the country's economy. Plus, you can show the islanders that the world cares, that you care. Is a trip to a hurricane-ravaged destination easy? Not always. Is it gratifying? Absolutely.

- - -

When we say Dorian hit the Bahamas, we need to add a qualifier. The hurricane didn't pummel the entire country, only the top portion of the 700-island archipelago - specifically, Grand Bahama Island and the Abaco Islands.

To clear up the confusion, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation unveiled a campaign a week after the hurricane highlighting the 14 islands that were unaffected by the storm. It assured travelers that airports, cruise ports, hotels and attractions were open. To further entice visitors, it listed deals and incentives on its website. Individual hotels and the islands' tourism boards also spread the message through special promotions and hurricane-related programs, such as Baha Mar's Pack With Love. Guests staying at any of the chain's three resorts in Nassau can help assemble parcels of supplies bound for the neighboring islands. They can also distribute goods at Nassau shelters housing evacuees, or simply drop the items in donation boxes set up in the lobbies.

The information from the Bahamas travel industry is useful if you want to soak up the sun on any of the 14 unaffected islands. However, I wanted to travel to the other two. One, I learned after some pre-departure and on-site research, was ready for me and other low-maintenance travelers; the other was not.

"The airport is running on a generator. The water is back on in Marsh Harbour, but it's trickling in slowly and is not consistent," Patricia Clarke, who works at the Leonard M. Thompson International Airport on Marsh Harbour in the Abacos, told me. "It's going to be a long, long time before we come back."

Patricia is the mother of De'yanza Hanna, a veterinarian with the Bahamas' Department of Agriculture who helps out at the Humane Society. De'yanza put her on speakerphone while I was visiting the shelter. She confirmed my suspicions: The Abacos are still nose-deep in recovery efforts. Parts of Great and Little Abaco, the two main islands, plus the smaller cays, still lack electricity and running water. The few hotels fit to open their doors are housing relief workers. For now, the concept of "helping through visiting" does not apply.

The situation is much less dire on Grand Bahama Island. The island, home of Freeport, the country's second-largest city, is quickly hitting its goals. The majority of its hotel rooms - more than 1,200 out of 1,670 - are welcoming guests. Carnival Cruise returned on Oct. 13 and will sail to Freeport nearly 40 more times before the new year. Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line has resumed its infinity loop of two-night cruises from West Palm Beach, Florida; Balearia is ferrying passengers to and from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Most of the beaches are open, especially around the main tourist areas of Freeport and Lucaya. All but the zip-line is operating at Pirate's Cove Zipline and Waterpark; the adventure park is just waiting for an official to test the ride's safety. At Crystal Beach, the 22 pigs are back in the water, porcine-paddling for apple slices. And on a recent Saturday night at Port Lucaya Marketplace, visitors and residents crammed into the warren of restaurants and bars. I had to wait in line for a drink at Blu - with pleasure.

I did encounter a few stumbling blocks - some foreseen, others surprising. For instance, only domestic flights can land at the Freeport airport, so international travelers must fly to Nassau and catch a connecting flight on Western Air or Bahamasair, the regional carriers. (Officials say international air service will start Nov. 15.) To avoid the multi-flight hop, I flew to West Palm Beach and booked a cabin on the Grand Celebration, a Bahamas Paradise ship. The one-way trip was 14 hours longer than the flight, but I easily passed the time eating, drinking, salsa dancing and grimacing at the twerking contest.

To spend more time on the island than the ship's allotted eight hours, I booked the cruise-and-stay option, which included two nights at the Lighthouse Pointe at Grand Lucayan. When I checked in at the terminal, the employee told me the hotel was closed. Her colleague concurred. When I showed them my reservation, they shot me a concerned look that read: Hope you brought a beach blanket and pillow as backup.

The hotel was indeed open, but maybe it shouldn't have been. There was no air conditioning. No fans, either, except for the giant propeller that blasted hot, humid air at me every time I crossed through the lobby. My room was on the ground floor, so I couldn't keep the porch door open. Instead, I sat on my bed and stared hard at the ocean, trying to cool off through visualization. (A Florida firefighter who was helping repair a church told me the Pelican Bay Hotel, a few steps away, had air conditioning. He was ready to throw down the extra $30 a night to escape the heat.)

I also unexpectedly swallowed a mouthful of Dorian. The storm surge had penetrated the aquifers, contaminating the water with a high level of salt. I learned about the water issue only after drinking a glass of water from the bathroom sink; it tasted like a shaker's worth of Morton. To avoid another salty sip, I marched back to the lobby and filled my arms with bottled water. Thankfully, the resort is all-inclusive.

- - -

"Hello! Can I get you some cold water? You want a food bag? Do you have a kitty cat?" shouted Cheryl Waugh at a man crouching in the door frame of a hollowed-out home. The young islander approached Cheryl, who was standing by the back of her pickup truck. She reached into a teetering mound of supplies that, with one ill-placed tug, seemed poised to topple over. Unfazed, she started handing the man rice packets, baby wipes, cheese crackers, toilet paper and water chilled on ice. Cold water was a luxury. She gave the man an extra bottle.

Since mid-September, Cheryl has been picking up passengers from Grand Celebration who had chosen volunteering as their shore excursion. (The cruise line ended the program Oct. 22; visitors can email Cheryl at clcresources@yahoo.com and she will help match them with volunteer opportunities.) Three of us signed up. Cheryl referred to us as MAM, or Mat-Andrea-Melanie.

"This to me is a really good reason to be here," said Mat Everhart, "even if it's just for one day."

The married Pennsylvania couple, who own a timeshare on the island, last visited in July. Their love for the country was apparent: Mat said he almost quit his job as a chef to assist with recovery efforts, and Melanie sported a tattoo of the Bahamas tourism logo. A heart marked the spot we were driving through.

Cheryl had a long list of jobs she wanted us to complete before the two Ms had to sail back to Florida. We started at the Humane Society, where we dropped off shoes and clothing for the staff. The women held up the jeans to their waists, eyeballing the sizes. The men strapped the empty backpacks on their backs, modeling for each other. We next drove to a warehouse run by CrossReach, which has been providing groceries to low-income families for 20 years. Sundries covered every inch of space. The group has distributed more than 6,000 meal bags since the hurricane.

"We've literally done 10 years of distribution in six weeks," said Steve Crane, a team leader.

At the Garden of the Groves, a botanical attraction with birds, butterflies, trails and a cafe, we met Wayne Hall, who manages the aquaponics farm. His boss, Erika Gates, also owns Grand Bahama Nature Tours, which operates bike, Jeep, ATV, kayaking and birding tours. Before Dorian, many of her excursions included a stop at the garden for shopping and lunch. However, until the property reopens on Dec. 1, she will send guests on bikes and ATVs to Banana Bay Restaurant instead. Erika also had to alter the Lucayan National Park kayak and nature tour while park staff restore access to Gold Rock Beach, and she suspended the brewery and perfume tour. You can still find Bahamian Brewery beer on the island; you just can't see how the booze is made.

Wayne lost a greenhouse, 20,000 plants and all but seven of his 4,000 tilapia. Make that five: Birds swooped in and ate two. To help Wayne, we donned work gloves and cleaned out a storage building swamped by five feet of water. Many seeds in the germination room survived. Ever hopeful, Wayne said he expects to have baby greens by Thanksgiving.

For the remainder of the afternoon, we drove around the East End, doling out supplies house by tent by house. The mountain of goods dwindled to nothing. We popped over to Smith's Point, which hosts the Wednesday night fish fry, and ordered a round of beer. Next door, a wedding party streamed out of a church. Life, and love, goes on.

- - -

I stood between the spooners and the loaders, ready with a pair of pink towels.

My job that morning was to help pack up the 18,000 to 20,000 meals prepared daily by World Central Kitchen, the nonprofit established by Washington, D.C., chef Jos Andrs. The assembly line started to my right. Two women in hairnets transferred rice and meat from coolers into large aluminum pans. Another volunteer placed the tops on the containers. Then I was up, sealing the lid and pressing the corners so the covers didn't fly off during transport. Speed was important, but so was safety. I was frequently warned of the sharp edges and reminded to use the towels.

I didn't need any food service experience to volunteer at the kitchen, nor did I have to undergo any training. I just showed up one morning and was handed a pair of disposable gloves. I learned about lids - and the operation - on the fly. Some volunteers spend all day at the site, churning out the twice-daily meals that churches will pick up and deliver around the island. I stopped at the 200th meal, a nice, round, fulfilling number.

The Humane Society also accepts volunteers. Until the center starts to rebuild its facility later this year, its most pressing need is for visitors to play with the animals: cats, dogs and two piglets. In addition, guests can check out a dog for a hike or beach jaunt.

On my first visit to the shelter, I met Lily, a border collie mix discovered roaming around the East End. The staff did not know whether she was a stray or belonged to family. They posted her photo on the center's Facebook page, praying for a reunion. A day later, no one had claimed her. So I did - for an hour. I put Lily in my car and drove to Taino Beach. We watched two men set up beach chairs and cooled our ankles in the surf. At Tony Macaroni's Conch Experience, a seafood shack, I waved and Lily barked at an employee.

As I wiped the sand off Lily's paws, I updated my feelings about walks on the beach. Seaside strolls are always better with a dog, but they're even more magical when the beach happens to be on Grand Bahama Island and the dog is a hurricane survivor.

- - -

IF YOU GO:

WHERE TO STAY

- Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line

1 E. 11th St., Riviera Beach, Fla.

888-530-2775

bahamasparadisecruise.com

The cruise line offers two-night cruises between the Port of Palm Beach and Grand Bahama Island or Nassau. For more than a day on shore, consider the cruise-and-stay package. At the moment, two of the four hotels are available: Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach and Lighthouse Pointe at Grand Lucayan. At Grand Lucayan, rates for the cruise and two nights' hotel start at $318 for hotel only and $519 for the all-inclusive. The cruise line also has a special that includes a $100 onboard credit, five free drinks per stateroom, a free specialty meal and more. Book by Jan. 21.

WHERE TO VOLUNTEER

- Humane Society of Grand Bahama

Coral Road, Grand Bahama Island

242-352-2477

humanesocietygb.org

Volunteers can help socialize the animals, which entails playing with cats, dogs and two rescue piglets. The center also allows visitors to sign out a dog for a beach trip or other excursion.

- World Central Kitchen

Off Sea Horse Road, Freeport

wck.org

Volunteers can help assemble the free daily meals prepared by the nonprofit created by Washington chef Jos Andrs. The facility welcomes helpers - spooners, packers, loaders - from about 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sign up at wck.org/volunteer.

INFORMATION

- bahamas.com

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In the Bahamas, a hard-hit island beckons again - New Haven Register

Sean Penns CORE Expands Beyond Haiti to the Bahamas – Barron’s

CORE CEO Ann Lee, center, with singer-songwriter Jason Derulo left, during a field visit to the Bahamas last month. Liam Storrings/CORE

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In the immediate aftermath of Haitis catastrophic earthquake in January 2010, Oscar-winning actor Sean Penn mobilized money, people, and medical personnel to the devastated island. Not long after his arrival, he contacted Venezualan President Hugo Chvez whom he had supported for years, despite U.S. opposition to his regimeand secured delivery of a planeload of morphine and other medical supplies.

Those supplies were critical, recalls Ann Lee, today CEO of Penns nonprofit CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort), who was working in Haiti at the time for the U.N.s Organization for Coordination and Humanitarian Affairs. We were watching amputations with zero morphine, zero painkillers, Lee says. There was a huge lack of supplies.

Penns efforts, supported with an initial $1 million donation from the philanthropist Diana Jenkins, turned out to be the early days of CORE, which at the time was called J/P Haitian Relief Organization (for Jenkins/Penn). With many traditional disaster responders also impacted on the ground by the earthquake, the fledgling nonprofit soon took responsibility for a camp serving about 60,000 displaced Haitians.

Initially he was met with a lot of criticism as well as mistrust, and just kind of a lot of eyebrows raised, Lee says. At the time I had been working, I think six years in the sector, and thought, Whos this outsider actor, whos going to run the largest camp in the country?

Penn quickly proved his critics wrong, Lee says, crediting his outsiders attitude of why does it have to be done this way? with Penns ability to move quickly and get things done. That approach turned out to be really needed, and is still really needed in this sector, she says.

An outsider perspective, and the flexibility available to a small organization, remains central to how CORE continues to respond to disasters. About two years ago, the nonprofit began working beyond Haiti, changing its name earlier this year to reflect the broader scope of its work.

COREs latest test was in the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian struck Abaco and Grand Bahama on Sept. 1, flattening much of the islands and leaving thousands homeless. CORE staff landed amid the wreckage soon after the hurricane hit, and in that first week, figured out how to set up a mobile medical unit on Abaco despite the lack of transportation on the island or government support, Lee says, crediting the ingenuity of her team.

What the organization has learned is that theres always a workaround, Lee says. You can always find a solution and the minute you start showing the work on the ground, you lower the barriers of entry for all the other bigger organizations.

Today, the nonprofit is removing debris at a rate of 500 cubic meters a day from the Abaco town of Marsh Harbor, and is more than half way toward a goal of removing 11,400 cubic meters.

CORE is also providing education and psychosocial support on Abaco, related to how individuals are coping with their now devastated surroundings. The group is identifying further needs in the community by working with local leaders, healthcare professionals, and by speaking directly with residents living in the islands temporary shelters.

Responding to hurricanes and earthquakes remains central to COREs work, but the group has also come to understand that a lot of the disasters we keep responding to in Haiti [and elsewhere] are a function of climate change, Lee says. That understanding has led to proactive efforts to strengthen vulnerable communities from North Carolina to the Caribbean through such efforts as watershed management and restoration, as well as education.

In Haiti, CORE is focusing on reforestationsupported by $22 million in World Bank aidbut it is doing so with an eye toward ensuring local, small-scale farmers can make a living. Farmers on the island typically cut down trees to clear land for agriculture, so CORE is providing fruit-bearing trees that can be interspersed among other annual crops and harvested for cash, as well as fast-growing moringa trees, which produce highly nutritious seed pods that can also be ground into a powder thats used in pricey cosmetics.

Its something that we see a huge potential in, Lee says. We want to be able to produce enough moringa oil and powder to be able to sell on the U.S. market.

Penn remains involved in the organization as its founder and chairman of the board, drawing on his network for support and to raise funds. He also continues to serve as a sounding board for Lee, and is in touch throughout the disaster response process, asking questions like, Have we thought about this, or have we looked at that? Can we contact this person? Lee says. Having that perspective is super important to us.

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Sean Penns CORE Expands Beyond Haiti to the Bahamas - Barron's

Why to Visit Cape Eleuthera in The Bahamas – Caribbean Journal

Ive been coming to this sandbar my whole life.

Chris Morris has been coming to this sandbar off the edge ofCapeEleutherasince he was four years old, since the days whenCapeEleutherawas the finest resort in the Bahamas without a casino, when Billy Jean King was the tennis pro and Arnold Palmer used to play nearby at Cotton Bay.

It doesnt have a name, he says, piloting the boat on the five-minute trip in the late afternoon. Weve named it 100 things. Its just The Sandbar.

CapeEleutherais just about the entirety of the southwestern tail fin ofEleutherain The Bahamas, a massive 4,500-acre compound that is one of the largest resort properties in the Caribbean and one of its most storied.

It was once the envy of the region, until one day in 1983 when the lights went off and it would be decades before the resort truly returned.

Morris, who left a career on Wall Street and came here for good in 2017, is working to lead its renaissance.

Today,CapeEleutherais one of the Bahamas adventure Meccas,home to arguably the best deep sea fishing in the country, spectacular diving, and a triad of gorgeous beaches that would make it a must-visit beach resort all on their own.

Its a new life forCapeEleuthera, the heart and soul of southEleuthera, an island that, despite its immense beauty (and three international airports) somehow remains a bit under the radar of most travelers.

The resort, which has also launched sales (and sold two dozen lots) for a burgeoning real estate component on its prime beachfront areas, has a mix of 13 marina-front villas and 18 bungalow-style cottages, with amenities ranging from a full-service dive shop to a beachfront pool to what is one of the best places to eat inEleuthera, the two-story Harbour Pointe seafood restaurant. (Make sure you get the Grouper Picatta)

The hub of everything here is the marina, one of the most important and popular maritime stops in The Bahamas, taking boats as large as 200 feet, and soon set to debut a cliffsude beach bar called Friendly Bobs that will likely become a must-visit outpost on the beach bar circuit.

The resort is about 30 minutes drive from Rock Sound airport, from which Morris said he soon planned to launch water taxi service directly from the airport to the resort that will get you there in about half that time.

And the longer youre here the more you realize just how truly large this peninsula is, where you can get lost among the casuarina trees as you make your way back from Fourth Hole Beach.

Its big enough that the compound is also home to the Island School, the famous semester program that brings down high school sophomores and juniors for half the school year (or the summer) and immerse themselves in nature, in the beauty of The Bahamas, in conservation and marine education.

BecauseCapeEleutherais a destination on its own, making you feel as though youre on your own private island, with your own private beaches, an endless country of sand and pines and Kalik-flavored afternoons.

ItsEleutherabut its also something else entirely.

Ive been coming to this sandbar my whole life, Morris says, pledging to soon launch regular shuttles for guests here at high tide.

Chris flew down here every year for four decades with his father, a man who was a beloved figure in SouthEleuthera, who used to fly his plane on Christmas Eve down to the island dressed as Santa Claus to deliver gifts.

This is one sandbar in a xylophone of them off theCape, the kind that appear for just a few hours a day at low tide and then disappear just before twilight.

CapeEleutherahas been rising and falling with the tide for more than 60 years, through the beginning of tourism in The Bahamas, through the jetset age, through different owners and different eras.

Today, Its the diving and the fishing and the water, that make this a cherished address among adventurers, for big game sport fishermen andadvanced divers, for yachters journeying down the varying blues of the Bahama Bank. (The marina will also see the addition of a pair of new jetties).

I have a passion to bring this place back, Morris says, pointing to the interior of the harbor where he first learned how to scuba dive.

And as you look around at the turquoise waves of Sunset Beach and the palapas and the tall, thin palm trees straight out of a Corona commercial,CapeEleutherais already there.

For more, visit Cape Eleuthera.

Originally posted here:

Why to Visit Cape Eleuthera in The Bahamas - Caribbean Journal

Conch may disappear from the Bahamas, so the government is stepping in – INSIDER

Following is a copy of the transcript.

Conch exports brought in over $5 million to the Bahamas in 2018. The sea snail is an important part of the country's economy, and fresh conch salad is a cultural icon of the islands.

The government is considering new regulations to protect the marine animal, but many Bahamians fear that these laws will harm their livelihoods.

"People won't be able to feed their families because a lot of people make money off of it everyday," said Champ Strachan, owner of It's Aboat Time Charters.

A conch diver can harvest up to 1,000 conchs in one trip. Christian Harris

The hunt for conch begins in search of dark grey water, a sign of the animal's hunting grounds.

"You go to the right spot, you will meet them there like a whole ant's nest," said diver Shane Lionel Williams.

On a good day, Williams can pick up 800 to 1,000 conchs in one trip. But right now, it's hard to find that many in the water. The grassy areas where the snails like to feed are pretty empty.

Stormy season is always a challenge for the conch industry. Fishermen can't go out as often, the water gets muddy, and conchs aren't in their usual places. This year, Hurricane Dorian made things even more difficult.

"They're so displaced right now because of the weather," explained Strachan.

Aly Weisman

Overfishing has also been an issue. Conchs take three to five years to reach reproductive maturity, and they rely on spawning groups of at least 50 in order to mate. Since there is no conch season in the Bahamas and no limit to how many snails a fisherman can catch per day the population has struggled to grow.

To top it off, existing regulations in the Bahamas like export quotas and protected marine areas have been loose and hard to enforce. After a recent study found that the country's conch industry could disappear in 10 to 15 years, the government decided to run a survey about new possible laws to sustain the conch population.

Something it's considering is introducing a conch season to give the snails time to reproduce, but many in the industry don't support it.

Fishermen expressed concerns that shrinking conch populations and possible quotas will affect their livelihoods. Christian Harris

"I haven't spoken to any fishermen that want it to happen," said boat captain Lance Palmer.

The government is also thinking about banning commercial exports or restricting harvesting to conchs that have already reached maturity.

"Right now it would hurt the small man because he's saying, 'I need to feed my family. I need to go today and get 500 conch,'" said Strachan. "So he's thinking about today, but sometimes we have to actually look for long term for your kids."

Because of declining populations, some fisheries in the Americas have closed altogether. Hannah Jiang

Over the decades, conch fisheries have closed in a number of other countries, including Venezuela, Bermuda, and the United States. But that hasn't ended demand. Today, almost all of the conch consumed in the US comes from the Bahamas.

Conch exports are a key part of the economy, but the government says that 80% of what is caught in the Bahamas actually remains in the country.

Montagu Beach in Nassau is a gathering place for fresh conch to be bought and sold locally. Christian Harris

Montagu Beach is one spot in Nassau where fresh conch is bought and sold locally. Many here are aware of the new possible restrictions on the conch-fishing season, like Aljournal Miller, who's been selling conch for 37 years.

"Well, you're gonna hurt a lot of business," said Miller. "Because a lot of Bahamian people, they love conchs. The restaurants, the hotels, all about their conchs. So, I don't know."

When asked whether a closed conch season would affect his livelihood, Miller responded, "Yeah, but I'll find something else to do. Yeah."

Conch salad is a cultural icon in the Bahamian islands. Aly Weisman

Until then, here at the dock, business goes on as usual. The stands are bustling Bahamians opening conch, cutting conch, selling conch, and preparing conch to eat.

A shop called Barbie and Yellow's is making conch salads. The man chopping ingredients said he makes 60 or 70 salads a day, but "sometimes on the weekend it could be more."

For the crew on the boat, eating conch is so ingrained that the idea of ever not having it is unthinkable.

"It definitely became a part of the culture," said Palmer, the boat captain. "It's really far-fetched to be thinking we'd be without it."

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Conch may disappear from the Bahamas, so the government is stepping in - INSIDER

Two local men heading to The Bahamas to help with recovery effort – 13abc Action News

BOWLING GREEN (WTVG) - The Northwestern Ohio Water and Sewer District provides water and sewer services in four Northwest Ohio counties. This weekend, The District is expanding its services. Two employees are going to The Bahamas Sunday. They will be using their expertise to help people and places devastated by Hurricane Dorian.

Todd Saums and Tom McGrain will help with troubleshooting and repairing water and wastewater systems. They leave this Sunday and will return November 18th.

The trip is part of a non-profit called Operators Without Borders. The organization helps with post-disaster recovery work on water and wastewater utilities in The Caribbean.

The two will be joining a Canadian crew. At this point, Saums and McGrain are the only Americans to offer their services to the Operators Without Borders program.

Fellow operators and members of the Ohio Water Environment Association along with Baker and Associates raised money to fund the trip.

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Two local men heading to The Bahamas to help with recovery effort - 13abc Action News

Doctor with lakes area ties provides medical relief to The Bahamas – Brainerd Dispatch

Dr. Rene Fredstrom of Altru Health System -- who once worked at Cuyuna Regional Medical Center in Crosby and who continues to own a seasonal property with husband Judd in Merrifield -- went to the island nation to provide care for evacuees with International Medical Relief, which partners with the World Health Organization. There, she saw tragedy and despair, but came away with a sense of purpose.

Some really sad stories, she said. People who are suicidal, so hopeless. Theyve lost everything, family members. Especially the undocumenteds because they cant leave; they dont have documents to get back to Haiti. They dont have documents to leave The Bahamas.

Hurricane Dorian wreaked havoc on the archipelago nation, which lies to the south and west of Florida. In particular, the islands of Grand Bahama and Abaco suffered extensive damage during the September storm, which devastated homes and infrastructure, necessitating many to be evacuated. Fredstrom, part of a team of eight, went to the capital of Nassau on New Providence island from Oct. 12-19 to provide medical care.

There she worked with evacuees and soon found that the people most in need were undocumented and afraid to go to the government for assistance.

Its open door; well treat anybody. Obviously, were targeting the evacuees, the refugees, Fredstrom said. The way the story has unfolded in The Bahamas, we were really trying to focus (on) the undocumented people, which were primarily Haitians. Because they are undocumented, they dont have access to all the relief that the government is providing. All the donations are going to the government and they are not seeing that.

Her group treated several different kinds of wounds and injuries with donated supplies. She saw illnesses, such as strep throat, scabies, skin infections, fungal infections, respiratory infections and diabetes.

After long days that saw her treat as many as 130 people per day, her group's members retired to the church where they were sleeping to prepare hygiene bags and bags of dry rice and beans. The medical supplies were donated by Altru.

Super supportive, she said about the hospital where she works. Altru themselves donated medications and supplies The nurses were awesome; they donated a lot of the hygiene stuff.

With immigration officers cracking down after Dorian, Fredstroms team took to setting up the clinic in local churches, a place of sanctuary for undocumented workers. The group even went as far as taking its sign down to not alert the officers, and relied on word of mouth as to where care was being provided.

The immigration officers will not raid a church, she said. They will raid a public building, they will raid your house, but they will not raid a church.

The situation was such that when immigration officers asked to enter a church, they were stalled at the front, while workers left through the back.

Fredstrom didnt let the grim situation get the best of her. That included the story of a woman holding her child, her arm crushed by floating debris as she clung to a pole in the floodwaters -- only to lose the baby in the rushing waters.

It can be depressing, she said. Medicine in general is like that. There are always sad stories, even here in the States. People that you cant make better, so you have coping mechanisms. I think the hardest part is that there was just so much at once in The Bahamas.

She said she felt overwhelmed at times, but also feels determined.

I guess the obvious is it motivates me to want to go back and do more, Fredstrom said. Plus it inspires you, because you do also see the good in people, obviously the churches there that are reaching out and helping, as well.

Fredstrom said she intends to go back with IMR.

Oh, itll work out, she said. Ill get back. I will go back.

People wishing to donate can reach International Medical Relief at http://www.internationalmedicalrelief.org.

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Doctor with lakes area ties provides medical relief to The Bahamas - Brainerd Dispatch

This Mom’s Family Was Torn Apart After She Lost Everything In Hurricane Dorian – BuzzFeed News

GREAT ABACO, Bahamas She plays his message again, the last time she heard his voice, telling her to be strong for the kids, to keep her head up, that it will all be OK until he can see them again.

But Gina doesnt expect to ever see him again. Immigration officers had arrested her boyfriend, Avner, two days earlier near Treasure Cay, a gated community on Great Abaco Island. They grabbed him right after his lunch break, while he was walking back to his new job rebuilding houses that Hurricane Dorian had destroyed. The other men he was with scattered, making their way by foot and bike back to the remote Haitian village known as the Farm, and told her he was gone.

I dont know what I am going to do, Gina, who agreed to only use her first name, told a translator in Creole while sitting on a crate.

The 41-year-old doesnt remember the last thing she said to Avner before he left for work that morning. Shed been stressed and distracted. Theyd lost their money, stable jobs, and home to Hurricane Dorian. She, Avner, and three of her seven children had been living in a pink single-room shack with one bed. What they could collect from aid groups sat in piles in a white dome tent.

It was Gods plan, she and other Farm residents say, that they survived the storm. When the winds really began to roar, they hid in a stone building, huddling under an old tractor, a truck, and other farming equipment. Then the structure collapsed around them.

One of my kids, my son, the wind took him and carried him out, Gina said as she gestured. He was holding a light pole and I had to run and go get him.

Living through that was hell, but whats been happening to them since has been worse, she said.

Immigration officers have been conducting daily raids in Haitian neighborhoods and hurricane-recovery sites, demanding work permits and residency papers as part of the Bahamian governments ramped-up campaign against undocumented immigrants.

Residents and outside aid groups report stories of mistreatment and abuse, of officers stealing detainees money and beating them.

In the past three weeks, officials have detained and requested to deport more than 340 Haitians who, like Avner, lack proper papers, according to a Haitian government official. On Tuesday, a plane of 105 deportees, including a pregnant woman and two children, landed in Port-au-Prince, Giuseppe Loprete, chief of mission at the International Organization for Migration in Haiti, told BuzzFeed News.

The majority of them came from Dorian-affected areas, he said. They are clearly traumatized because of what happened in the Bahamas and because of the situation they now find themselves in. They dont want to talk. One of the migrants didnt want to leave the airport because he was afraid of what will happen to him in the streets. One man was afraid to eat.

The situation is Haiti is not conducive for hurricane survivors to try and restart their lives, Loprete said. Continuous riots and violence lock down roads and airports, recently trapping a bus of deportees. He also said 40% of the population doesnt have enough to eat, hospitals are low on supplies, and more than 2 million children cant go to school.

Bahamian officials say they need to deal with their own crisis. They contend that by rounding up undocumented residents, they are merely enforcing the constitution, and that declarations like barring illegals from temporary housing for storm victims is just the law. Many Bahamian citizens also support the administration's actions.

After the cyclone, they treat Haitians bad, bad, bad, Gina said. They beat us, they take our money... I never knew we could be treated like that, that this is how God works. They say Haitians caused the hurricane, you know.

Like scores of other Haitians, she immigrated to the Bahamas illegally, looking for a better life. She was 12 years old and didnt have enough sense, landing in Abaco and finding work at a large citrus farm. When it closed in 2000, she lost her work permit. She married and had six children. Then, one day, her husband never came home.

In 2012, she met Avner. He helped her care for her children and then they had a daughter together, Serenity. Shes 3 and likes to play dominoes. Before the hurricane, life flowed. Gina cooked, cleaned, and took their kids to school. Avner, 51, worked as a gardener, making about $300 a week.

He was the sole provider for everything, she said, and shes not sure how theyll survive without him. If she had the option to pay to renew his work permit, which expired last year, shed do anything to find the money. But deep down, she knows its a lost cause.

They dont allow us to work, she said. "Thats the hardest problem right now. There is no one to protect us. There is no place to lay our heads. No money. Nowhere to go.

On Monday, humanitarian groups told BuzzFeed News that armed guards are now stationed outside the dusty gravel road that leads to the Farm, checking trucks and only letting food not building materials or supplies go through. The government said Thursday it needs to clear the wreckage and that people cant be living there.

They are trying to make us suffer so we will leave, Gina said.

When they hear a car drive up a rare sound the residents sprint and hide, ducking into the overgrown grass and behind trees. The dozens of families who are left now live in bright white tents, hanging laundry to dry next to twisted, overturned cars, crumpled homes, and teetering power poles.

Theyre frozen, afraid to stay or go. Some are still waiting to hear about family members who they know most likely died, submerged in the sea surge that descended on Marsh Harbour nearly two months ago. A few weeks ago, Gina said they found the bones of a resident in the back. Hundreds of people are still missing.

Plenty of people around here, their families died in the storm and this is what you do to them? she asked. We arent even over the tragedy yet.

If she could, Gina would escape and take her kids to Miami, where two of her brothers live. But that would take money and, more importantly, a visa or other documents, she said.

I havent known anything but a hard life, she said. Life was hard in Haiti, but when I came to the Bahamas, thats when I started going through hell. Haiti was a nice place when I grew up, but now its no good.

She put her phone away. Kole, she said in Creole. Stuck.

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This Mom's Family Was Torn Apart After She Lost Everything In Hurricane Dorian - BuzzFeed News

Fishing hat survives hurricane in The Bahamas | News – Wilson Post

Its a story that has all the feel of a social media post that went viral. Except that it happened in Lebanon.

Kind of.

Jenny Bennett has called Lebanon home for a number of years. But she spent a large part of her childhood growing up in The Bahamas on a fly fishing resort.

My parents owned a fly fishing resort about 90 miles east of Freeport on an island called Deepwater Cay (pronounced key), Bennett said. It was world famous started in the 1950s theres a lot of stories out there about famous anglers.

Actor Michael Keaton, TV news anchor Tom Brokaw and the Prince of Monaco are just a few of the names that came to the 3-mile-long island searching for the coveted bonefish.

Known for their elusiveness and difficulty to catch, bonefish have earned the nickname The Gray Ghost and catching one is a notch on any self-respecting anglers belt.

Bennetts dad, Owen Hughes, grew up in Memphis and was called Buddy by family and friends. As a teenager Buddys parents would send him to a camp in Trinidad and Tobago called Camp Caruso.

It was there that he learned how to scuba dive, how to fly fish, and how to spear fish, she says. Thats where he got the bug to go to the islands and figure out how he could do something there one day.

When Bennett was 13 her parents sold the fishing resort and moved back to the United States but kept a house on the tiny cay with Edgar Faust, her fathers childhood friend.

Bennett has been back to the island and the house a few times since her childhood. However, Hurricane Dorian the deadliest hurricane to ever hit The Bahamas destroyed the house this past September.

Everythings gone. Theres lumber everywhere. The couch is gone. All of the contents are in the ocean. I have friends that theyve never found, Bennett said.

But then theres her dads fishing hat.

Friends recently went back to Deepwater Cay to survey the damage. Hugh Faust, son of Buddys friend Edgar, was sorting through the rubble when he found a Daiwa visor still on the peg it had been on by the door of their house.

It belonged to Buddy. The Fausts had kept it there as a memento since he left the island 25 years ago.

I think its the sweetest story that they had kept it there all this time. And for it to still be there with those kinds of wind speeds (185 mph) bearing down on it for three days, Bennet said. I literally felt like dad didnt want to leave the island.

When Dorian was hitting the island, I told someone, If dad was alive he would still be there on that island.

It turns out that a small part of him still was.

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Fishing hat survives hurricane in The Bahamas | News - Wilson Post

One confirmed case of Legionnaires’ disease in Grand Bahama – EyeWitness News

NASSAU, BAHAMAS Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands yesterday said there has been a confirmed case of Legionnaires disease in Grand Bahama.

Sands said the disease a severe form of pneumonia was reported from the Pelican Bay Hotel, adding it was unclear whether the disease was contracted in The Bahamas.

He said the ministry is awaiting a final report on the matter.

We have gotten the international health preliminary report, Sands told reporters, during a press conference announcing the remediation of the Rand Memorial Hospital.

Every single case of Legionnaires in the world, at least for countries that are a part of the World Health Organization, is reported and we are mandated to report it.

Then we do a thorough investigation of the facility to determine whether or not they have been keeping up with the mandated Hi-Vac maintenance.

Legionnaires disease is a severe, often lethal, form of pneumonia, caused by the bacteriumLegionella pneumophilafound in both potable and non-potable water systems.

Sands explained that if air conditioning systems are not maintained adequately, the Legionella organism tends to grow in the water in air conditioners.

That report now generates an investigation, to determine whether or not the facilities are compliant, he continued.

Just a few months ago, we would have invited and had representatives from all the major resorts in the country come in to update them about the requirements for the maintenance of their air conditioning systems, their saunas and other facilities that typically are associated with legionella. We have an active surveillance program.

So lets await the final report to determine whether or not this was contracted in The Bahamas, whether or not it was contracted at Pelican Bay, whether or not Pelican Bay or any other facility has been compliant with the required maintenance.

Signs and symptoms of the disease include coughing, shortness of breath, muscle aches, fevers, and headaches.

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One confirmed case of Legionnaires' disease in Grand Bahama - EyeWitness News

WALKER: Ottawa writer, and a team of swimming pigs, helping The Bahamas recover from Hurricane Dorian – Ottawa Sun

Its not every day that pigs raise money. But, thats happening in The Bahamas thanks to the Ottawa author who wrote the award-winning book, Pigs of Paradise. T.R Todd also produced and wrote the screenplay for a documentary featuring the precocious pigs.

And while they would say there would be fundraising pigs when, well, pigs fly, its actually made possible because they swim.

The pigs are an attraction and were spared from Hurricane Dorian. Thousands of people on other islands were not. Many of those rebuilding rely on the pig business.

So Todds book is helping. Recently, the Ottawa screening of his documentary at 50 Sussex helped raise $23,000. Many businesses donated resources, from the venue to the food.

It all started decades ago, when a small island in Exuma, known as Staniel Cay, had a problem. With the tourism industry growing, the pigs had become a nuisance. They smelled and sometimes escaped their pens. So they were moved to an uninhabited island. They taught themselves to swim to greet those who cared for them.

What started as a farm changed over time.

Today, tourists head to the beach to see how the pigs have adapted to their island retreat.

When we launched our campaign to bring these animals to the world, I thought it would be popular. I had no idea the swimming pigs would become the global sensation they are today. There are now nine pig colonies in The Bahamas. Millions of people see them each year. It contributes millions to the countrys economy, he says.

Todd partnered with well-known Ottawa business leader Peter Nicholson, the president and founder of the foundation WCPD, a financial services firm specializing in philanthropy. Using the tax code, the company assists large donors in giving more to charity. Since 2006, it has generated more than $125 million in donations for its clients across Canada.

Nicholson, who is also the largest owner of Grand Isle Resort in Exuma, was looking for a way to bring more attention to the area. That was when Todd suggested a marketing campaign about the pigs.

In many respects, that image of the pigs swimming in crystal-clear water has become a symbol of The Bahamas itself, Todd says. The swimming pig is the countrys Mickey Mouse.

At the documentary screening, The Bahamas High Commissioner to Canada Alvin Smith spoke about what the country needs. Fundraising is one part. The second part is tourism. Many people believe all of the islands were damaged. They werent. On the day of the hurricane, it was sunny on the pigs island, which is 300 km away from the devastation. Grand Isle Resort was completely untouched.

Peter and I felt we had to do something here in Ottawa. The Bahamas has been a huge part of my life for about 10 years now. And for Peter, he has been investing in the country for more than 14 years. The Bahamas is our adopted home. Many Bahamians are our friends. Hurricane Dorian was unprecedented. The Bahamas has been hit by hurricanes before. This storm was especially ruthless, he says.

And this week, Todd released his fourth book. The Sandbox Diary is fiction and based on his Middle East experiences, specifically in the United Arab Emirates. That was where he helped launch the countrys largest English language newspaper. While satire, it delves into some serious issues, like the clash between so-called western culture and the more conservative Islamic state.

Philanthropy is second nature for both Todd and Nicholson.

In addition to the work done by WCPD they are the founders of the Exuma Marathon, taking place this Saturday. The race, now entering its 5th year, promotes tourism and provides a scholarship to one student on the island each year, so he or she can attend university.

And in the spirit of philanthropy, on Nov. 13, WCPD will once again serve as the presenting sponsor of the Ottawa Philanthropy Awards.

The pigs will be pleased.

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WALKER: Ottawa writer, and a team of swimming pigs, helping The Bahamas recover from Hurricane Dorian - Ottawa Sun

Rotary Club for Harlem packages food for local pantries and the Bahamas – Amsterdam News

The Rotary Club of Harlem hosted its third annual Food for the Soul food packaging event uptown.

With over 180 volunteers from organizations all over the city, The Rotary Club of Harlem was able to package 35,028 meals to be distributed by local Harlem food pantries during the cold holiday season. Each bag of food is fortified with vitamins and nutrients designed by The Outreach Program and Iowa State University.

Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer and Assemblyman Al Taylor attend the event. The annual food packaging event works like an assembly line with each volunteer playing a role in the packaging of each bag of food.

The meals were distributed Saturday, Nov. 2, to local food pantries across Upper Manhattan with 10,000 meals heading to the Bahamas via the JOCIF Foundation.

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Rotary Club for Harlem packages food for local pantries and the Bahamas - Amsterdam News

CAL flight from Guyana to NY diverted to Bahamas over engine issue – Stabroek News

Caribbean Airlines (CAL) this morning said that that flight BW 526 yesterday bound for John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York from Guyana, diverted to Nassau, The Bahamas due to a mechanical issue with one of its engines.

CAL said that there were 134 passengers and 7 crew on board.

The flight landed safely at 10.51 p.m. and was met by airport services. The aircraft taxied to a gate where customers and crew deplaned normally.

The aircraft has been withdrawn from service and all appropriate inspections and procedures are in progress to return it to service in good time.

Caribbean Airlines assures all stakeholders that safety is our number one priority and thanks its valued customers for their continued support and understanding, CAL said.

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CAL flight from Guyana to NY diverted to Bahamas over engine issue - Stabroek News

From unsettling to unifying: Knowles providing hope with Baha Mar Cup – Tennis Magazine

When Hurricane Dorian tore through the northern part of the Bahamas in September, it hit more than close to home for former doubles world No. 1 Mark Knowles.

Among the countless natives devastated by the destruction was his sister Samara, whose family lost everything. Its one of the many layers behind Knowles returning to his roots of giving back to communities closest to him, after raising more than $1 million over a 13-year stretch through a family-run charity event hosted on home soil.

The Bahamian and resortBaha Mar had been planning a collaboration, but quickly worked to launchthe first Baha Mar Cup, a multi-day event (Nov. 7-10) featuring a live/silent auction, play with the pros opportunity and exhibition. Its primary ambition is to provide relief to hurricane victims and support long-term recovery efforts, as locals endeavor to begin rebuilding their homeland. For Knowles, it was a no-brainer in aligning his past work with the mission of the emerging beach destination.

Mark Knowles

Baha Mar was going to host its first foundation event this year. When the devastation hit, we quickly created a partnership, Knowles told TENNIS.com. Its an unfortunate sequence of events on why we have to come together but these things happen. They have a wonderful tennis facility and theyve put a lot into it. It gives us a really good opportunity to create a special event, one we dont want to have just this year, but for the years to come.

Tennis players have long led the way when it comes to philanthropy. From Andre Agassi to Andy Roddick, there is a unified sense of extending a hand to those less fortunate with each generation in the locker room. Roddick, one of the first Knowles heard from in the aftermath of the storm, is one of the many outstanding examples of support the four-time major doubles champion has received.

Andy Roddick is somebody who stands out. I got a message within hours of Hurricane Dorian striking down. He texted asking to let me know if there was anything he could to do to help. When the Baha Mar Cup came together, he was one of the first guys I reached out to.

As competitors, we obviously are going after each other, wanting what the other person wants. Its a tough atmosphere. At the end of the day, you see the silver lining with all players. They respect their opponents and were in it together. I think thats important.

Getty Images

In addition to Roddick, Tommy Haas, Bob Bryan, Arantxa Sanchez Vicarioand James Blake also jumped in to back the cause. In mid-October,event organizers announced 15-year-old Coco Gauff would be pitching in to help. The news came just days afterthe Delray Beach, FL resident became the youngest American in 28 years to capture a WTA title when she defeated Jelena Ostapenko for the Linz crown. Knowles couldnt be more thrilled about welcoming the breakout sensation to his country and recognizes the significance of her participation.

Id like to take full credit for that, with the way it lined up, Coco winning her first title and coming to the Bahamas a couple weeks after. But I cant, said Knowles. Cocos only 15 but shes already put herself on the superstar map. We know what her future is going to entail. That brings even more prestige to the event. Im personally thrilled to be just around Coco Gauff. How cool is that?!

If theres one takeaway Knowles wants to resonate across the board, its that his country is not only resilient, but raring to go. Though it will take considerable time to recover, rebuild and reach sustainability in the affected areas of the northern Bahamas, other islands are still hopping and hoping to greet guests.

We continue to want people to visit, because tourism is our number one industry. Thats how we survive.

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From unsettling to unifying: Knowles providing hope with Baha Mar Cup - Tennis Magazine

Jordan brand introduces the Air Jordan Fearless Ones collection – Yahoo Finance

The holiday season offerings brought by Nikes (NKE) Jordan brand has become one of the more anticipated drops of the year for sneakerheads. The yearly hype usually centers around which colorway of retro 11s will be hit stores in December, but this year Jordan brand has expanded its holiday lineup with the new Fearless Ones collection.

Jordan Fearless Ones collection NIKE

The collection features 12 varieties of the classic Jordan retro 1s to launch throughout the 2019 holiday season. The group runs the gamut from high-end collaborations with exclusive designers and brands such asGhetto GastroandMelody Eshani to the AJ1 High FlyEase, sneakers made to help those with disabilities lace-up.

One of the goals of the 2019 Fearless Ones collection is to illuminate stories that are connected with Michael Jordans career. The Air Jordan 1 is one of the most iconic shoes in Michael Jordans signature series, and the Fearless Ones collection pays homage to the history of the shoe while trying to bring the silhouette into the future.

Air Jordan I Mid SE Fearless Melody Ehsani NIKE

One example is the inscription featured around the midsole of the Air Jordan I Mid SE Fearless by Melody Ehsani: If you knew what you had was rare, you would never waste it. The pair retails for $130.

Air Jordan I Mid SE Fearless Melody Ehsani NIKE

The most inclusive shoe of the collection would have to be the AJ1 High FlyEase. Featured in the bred (black-and-red) colorway, it has a zipper-and-strap FlyEase System for easy, one-handed heel entry/exit and an adjustable hook and loop for top entry.

Reggie Wade is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter at@ReggieWade.

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Jordan brand introduces the Air Jordan Fearless Ones collection - Yahoo Finance

First Look At The Air Jordan 6 Washed Denim – Sneaker News

Among all of the Jumpman silhouettes other than the first, the Air Jordan 6 largely took 2019 by storm, revealing quite a few colorways OG and not under the mainline outfit and even going as far as to stretch to the machinations of rapper, artist, and style icon Travis Scott. Though a ways away from the olive, military-inspired tones of the collaboration, the silhouette is delving out of its comfort zone in a scheme that would normally be referred to as a Canadian tuxedo, pairing the iconic fabrication in two washes across the entire upper. Black with white tread sole units and matching accents towards the top line frame the focal motif alongside a tongue patch in natural leather, one that near mimics that of a pair of jeans itself. Overlays are given a much darker indigo finish all the way up to the heel counter while the inner layers shed much of their color for a vintage-esque disposition. Alongside red-detailed hardware and surely much else, the pair can be seen in detail right below as a consolation for its far off Nike.com and select retailer release on December 28th.

Air Jordan 6 Washed DenimRelease Date: December 28th, 2019$200Color: Washed Denim/Sail-Varsity Red-BlackStyle Code: CT5350-401

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First Look At The Air Jordan 6 Washed Denim - Sneaker News

More Images Of The Air Jordan 14 SE Black Ferrari – KicksOnFire.com

Unveiled a few days ago, we now get a more detailed look at the Air Jordan 14 SE Black Ferrari.

This new iteration of the Air Jordan 14 comes dressed in a Black, Anthracite, and Varsity Red color scheme. Details that stand out include theBlack perforated leather on the lateral and Anthracite quilted cloth on the medial. If you take a closer look you will also find Black carbon fiber overlays on the mudguard that helps give the shoe a very unique look. Other features include White Jordan branding on the tongues, a Blacked-out shield logo with Red contrasting accents.

As of right now, the Air Jordan 14 SE Black Ferrari is slated to release on December 2 for the retail price of $200. Bookmark our Air Jordan 14 SE Black Ferrari hub page where all new release info and images can be found.

via: zsneakerheadz

Available Now on Kixify & eBay

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More Images Of The Air Jordan 14 SE Black Ferrari - KicksOnFire.com

Twenty five years after peace treaty: Jordan resumes control of enclaves leased to Israel – Haaretz

Twenty five years after the signing of the 1994 Jordan-Israel peace treaty, Israeli control over the Naharayim enclave has ended, and control of the area returned to Jordan on Saturday.

The final Israeli tour of the area took place Saturday, following failed diplomatic attempts to extend the clause of the treaty that gave Israel control of the enclave for 25 years.

At 4:30 P.M. the gate to the enclave was closed, and control returned to Jordan.

Under the terms of the 1994 Jordan-Israel peace treaty, the enclaves have been allowed to remain under Israeli control, but Jordan was given the option under the treaty to assume full control of both enclaves after 25 years. Last year, King Abdullah II of Jordan announcedthat he would exercise the option.

The Naharayim enclave includes 800 dunams (about 200 acres) of agricultural land, which have been worked by the Kibbutzim in the area for 70 years. The Naharayim enclave is also an area of importance to the tourism industry.

The Tzofar enclave, south of the Dead Sea, consists of 4,500 dunams of land of which about 1,100 dunams have been used for agricultural purposes by Israeli farmers, mostly to grow peppers.

Jordan's decision to reclaim control of the enclaves came amid anti-government protests against the Jordanian leadership based on economic and diplomatic issues, including the issue of the enclaves.

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Dozens of members of parliament signed a petition that calling on the government not to extend Israeli control of the enclaves. Trade unions, which influence public opinion in Jordan, also joined in pressuring the government against extending Israeli control.

King Abdullah's announcement came as a surprise to the Israeli administration.

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Twenty five years after peace treaty: Jordan resumes control of enclaves leased to Israel - Haaretz

Jeremy Roenick Recalls a Wild Story of Golfing and Gambling With Michael Jordan – The Action Network

You could get into Michael Jordans pocket on the golf course back in the day, just dont challenge him on the court.

At least, thats the story former NHL star Jeremy Roenick is sticking with.

Speaking recently about a past golf bet with His Airness, the former Chicago Blackhawks forward recalled a full day of 36 holes on the links beers included before MJ played a home game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The day started when Jordan asked (or told) Roenick to meet him at Sunset Ridge for an early 18-hole match.

We played a round, I beat him for a couple thousand and got ready to leave, Roenick said on the McNeil & Parkins Show, a Chicago-based sports radio program, as reported by Golf.com. Now, the Bulls are playing that night. They played Cleveland that night. Im thinking hes leaving, its 10:00. He goes, No, lets go play again.

So we go and fill up a bag full of ice and Coors Light and walk again. We roll around another 18 and I take him for another couple [thousand dollars]. Now weve been drinking all afternoon and hes going from Sunset Ridge to the stadium, to play a game. Im messing around. Im like, Im gonna call my bookie. All the money you just lost to me, Im putting on Cleveland.

Thats right. He dared suggest that hed bet against Jordan, even after a day of golf and drinking.

He goes, Ill tell you what, Roenick continued. Ill bet you that well win by 20 points and I have more than 40 [points]. Im like, Done. Son of a gun goes out and scores 52 and they win by 26 points or something.

The story may not have occurred exactly the way that Roenick tells it, but only a stickler lets facts get in the way of a good story. If Cleveland was the opponent, Jordan scored 40 or more points against the Cavaliers at home five different times in his career as a member of the Bulls and four times in the playoffs (in four of those games, he scored 50 or more). The Bulls didnt win any of those games by 20 or more points, but that means theres an 80% chance that Jordan was gambling and day drinking in Chicago before a playoff game.

Moral of the story? It didnt really matter what Jordan did before games, even if that included two full rounds of golf and a few bags of Coors Lights. He was still going to dominate when it mattered most.

For another Michael Jordan-related golf gambling story, as reported by The Action Network, click here:

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Jeremy Roenick Recalls a Wild Story of Golfing and Gambling With Michael Jordan - The Action Network

Jordan to resume control over land leased to Israel – The Irish Times

Jordans king has announced full sovereignty over two pieces of land leased by Israel, ending a 25-year arrangement which was part of the countries landmark peace agreement.

King Abdullah II said in a speech to the governments new cabinet that Jordan would end the annex of the two areas, Ghumar and Al-Baqoura, in the peace treaty and impose our full sovereignty on every inch of them.

Israel, which has controlled the lands for more than 70 years, had been permitted to lease the areas under the 1994 peace agreement.

One of the areas, a popular visitors site in northern Israel, is known in Hebrew as the Peace Island.

But with relations cool, the king announced earlier this year that he would end the lease, with Jordan set to reclaim full control of the areas this week.

The king said: I announce the end of the annex of the two areas, Ghumar and Al-Baqoura, in the peace treaty and impose our full sovereignty on every inch of them.

This development marks a new blow to relations that began with great optimism but have steadily deteriorated.

Following up on a historic interim peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians a year earlier, Israels then-prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and the late King Hussein of Jordan signed a peace agreement on October 26th, 1994, delivering moving speeches promising warm relations and a better future.

It was only the second peace deal between Israel and an Arab country, following Egypt.

The accord remains a vital strategic asset for both countries, who maintain tight security co-operation and joint economic projects.

But with little progress towards a Palestinian state, the close contact has not trickled down to the average citizen especially in Jordan, where most people have Palestinian roots.

Israeli policies in east Jerusalem, where Jordan has custodial rights over Muslim holy sites, have also raised tensions. AP

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Jordan to resume control over land leased to Israel - The Irish Times

Jim Jordan joins Intelligence Committee to boost Trump in public impeachment hearings – POLITICO

Jordan is the top Republican on the House Oversight Committee, which has been one of the three committees conducting closed-door depositions with impeachment witnesses. Many Republicans see Jordan as a capable messenger and effective questioner.

And some GOP members have expressed frustration that some Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee have not been participating in all the depositions, unlike Jordan and some of Trumps other top allies. Transcripts of the interviews released this week show Crawford hasnt been asking many questions during the closed-door sessions.

McCarthy, who has sole discretion to appoint Republican members to the House Intelligence Committee, said, Rick will rejoin the committee and resume his work to keep our country safe once the impeachment probe wraps up.

Moving Jordan to House Intel is sure to please Trump, who has urged Republicans to get tough and fight harder for him in the impeachment battle. But because of the impeachment rules approved by the House, Jordan will get only one five-minute round of questioning, unless other rank-and-file members yield their time to him.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the ranking member on House Intel, will get at least one 45-minute round of questioning, but can only yield his time to staffers.

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Jim Jordan joins Intelligence Committee to boost Trump in public impeachment hearings - POLITICO