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Family Island News
1, 2, 3 blast-off for Bahamian from Exuma as Heineken ‘The Voyage’ winner
Submitted by DP&A   
Monday, 27 October 2014 06:27

Michael Rolle (first row, 3rd from left), the grand prize winner of Heineken’s The Voyage: Legendary Travelers Wanted campaign unwinds with other participants during a trip to XCOR Space Expedition camp in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.Exuma resident Michael Rolle recently returned from a five day visit to Amsterdam as the national winner of Heineken’s The Voyage: Legendary Travelers Wanted campaign. The champion of the 11-week long competition walked away with the grand prize of 10 cases of Heineken, a $10,000 VISA gift card and an all-expense paid trip to XCOR Space Expedition camp in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

“It was awesome, amazing. I saw all these things I’ve never seen before and going into a space simulator, that was wow,” said Rolle. “Who really thinks about visiting ‘space’?”

Rolle’s route to mock space travel was paved by luck during a lively drawing of those Heineken enthusiasts who collected Heineken bottle caps during the award-winning beer’s under-the-cap promotion. While Rolle represented The Bahamas, he was in the company of others who had capped the honours in their countries and the entire entourage was treated like superstars, he said.

“The trip to Amsterdam was 13 hours and when we got to the airport, there was a whole team waiting to welcome us,” Rolle said. Driving through the city to the luxury hotel that became home base for the 3-night, 4-day trip, Rolle was wide-eyed at sights a world apart from the sand dunes and sea of Georgetown. “I’ve never seen so many bikes, everyone was bicycling. And the people – oh, the people were so great, so friendly.”

The literal highlight of the trip – a mock voyage into space.

BNT interns help with annual sea turtle tagging
Submitted by Barefoot Marketing   
Sunday, 26 October 2014 17:34

BNT Interns Help With Annual Sea Turtle Tagging - Though they are cherished worldwide, sea turtles still remain on the endangered list.  Through its Sea-Turtle Tagging Internship the Bahamas National Trust (BNT) is contributing to the conservation of sea turtles. Each year the BNT supports two or three Sea-Turtle Tagging Expeditions which are designed to evaluate movement and distribution patterns of sea turtles in The Bahamas.  Pictured (left to right) are this year's interns, Marquis Rolle and Alliea Hanna. (Photo courtesy of BNT for Barefoot Marketing)ELEUTHERA, Bahamas – Despite extensive conservation efforts globally, sea turtles still remain on the endangered list.  Through its Sea-Turtle Tagging Internship the Bahamas National Trust (BNT) is contributing to the conservation of sea turtles. Each year the BNT supports two or three Sea-Turtle Tagging Expeditions which are designed to evaluate movement and distribution patterns of sea turtles in The Bahamas.

The expeditions have become amazing learning experiences for both interns and turtle researchers.   Interns, Alliea Hanna, Marquis Rolle and researchers recently surveyed major sea turtle habitats around Eleuthera, paying special attention to small loggerhead turtles.   

The internship inspires the students to become better environmental stewards while improving their public speaking skills, learning real life research skills and increasing their knowledge of The Bahamas’ endangered turtles.

During the expeditions the interns and researchers live aboard the ‘Foxy Lady’, which is a sleep-aboard vessel and where they are required to help with all of the daily chores, in addition to the research and prep work for presentations. They are also required to deliver presentations in various communities on major islands about the BNT and the work it’s doing to protect these precious turtles.

VAT Family Island clinics to begin
Submitted by Sasha Lightbourne   
Friday, 24 October 2014 10:11

NASSAU, Bahamas -- The Value Added Tax (VAT) Implementation Team along with a team from the Business License Department will be hosting a series of registration clinics in the Family Islands beginning on October 29th.  

The first clinic is scheduled for Marsh Harbour, Abaco next Tuesday and Wednesday.  

It will be held at the Bahamas Government Complex beginning at 9:00 a.m. and ending at 4:00 p.m.  

There is also a registration clinic scheduled for Bimini on October 31st.  

The clinic will be held at the courthouse from 11:00 a.m.-3:00p.m.  

A schedule of upcoming Family Island clinics will be published on Monday, October 29th.  

Financial Secretary and VAT Comptroller John Rolle said it is important for businesses in the Family Islands to be registered.  

Resorts World Bimini creating fun experience for Halloween
Submitted by Michelle Malcolm   
Thursday, 23 October 2014 08:52

BIMINI, The Bahamas -- Resorts World Bimini (RWB) will conjure up a spirit of fun this Halloween, offering guests to the resort spooky tricks and the island’s children tasty treats. This, as hundreds of visitors are expected to converge on the island as part of a U.S. based Halloween cruise promotion.

Bimini SuperFast and MY 93.9 radio station’s Haunted Pirate Ship cruise promotion invited listeners to win a Halloween cruise for four as part of the station’s two-week campaign including radio, a homepage contest where listeners could register online, tweets, and eblasts. The haunted journey sails from Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades on October 30, and from Port Miami on October 31 and November 1 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., offering guests nearly 6 hours of fun in the Bimini sun. Once on the island, guests will find a spooky Fisherman’s Village at RWB, which is being transformed into an eerie experience with creepy decorations.

Meanwhile, youngsters on the island are in for a Halloween treat as RWB will be handing out bags of goodies on the evening of Friday October 31. The island’s children are invited to line the sides of the King’s Highway in North Bimini to receive their sweet treats as RWB staff distributes the goody bags from aboard the Resort’s island tram. There will be a limit of 1 goody bag per child.

Houston couple win dream wedding in Acklins
Submitted by Earnestine Moxyz   
Tuesday, 21 October 2014 09:23

PLANTATION, Florida - It was a chance meeting at a gas station in Houston, Texas that LaShaundra Coleman saw her soul mate Roderick Dowell, owner of a transportation company, for the second time.  

LaShaundra said that “when she first saw this “very attractive” man, she was in a relationship and decided not to speak to him at that time”.  

Months later, the then-single LaShaundra, who was hanging out with some of her friends, stopped at a gas station across town in Houston. She looked to her right and in amazement there he was again, this time sitting in a car right next to her.  

She yelled out to him, “Hey boy come over here, and sure enough, he walked over and that night was the beginning of our 14-year relationship,” she said.  

“If you let him tell you the story, he would say it was fate that brought us together,” says LaShaundra, an accountant and finance officer. 

On LaShaundra’s 21st birthday, Roderick proposed. The Texas natives who had never travelled outside of their state decided on having a destination wedding.  

“After hearing such great reviews from family and friends about The Bahamas’ beautiful beaches, friendly people and amazing food,” we decided on The Bahamas,” she said.  

Resorts World Bimini, AMMC & Ministry of Tourism preserving Bimini’s history with Heritage Trail
Submitted by Michelle Malcolm   
Tuesday, 21 October 2014 09:13

BIMINI, The Bahamas – Resorts World Bimini (RWB) is working closely with the Antiquities, Monuments & Museums Corporation (AMMC) and the Ministry of Tourism to establish a Heritage Trail on the twin islands of Bimini. The trail, which is being conceptualized by Caribbean Heritage Concepts (CHC), will be the first step in the development of a comprehensive plan for the promotion of the islands historical offerings.

Work has been ongoing for several weeks, beginning with on-site evaluation and reconnaissance of the heritage opportunities on the island. CHC with the direction and assistance of AMMC developed interpretive signage for 13 locations in North Bimini, drafted text, located assets in the form of photographs or artwork, and provided a design template for the signage and framing systems. A Nassau-based graphics and printing company will fabricate the signage and framing systems, based on the design templates created by CHC, which are to be installed by the end of October 2014.

Says RWB General Manager Ray Valentino, the establishment of the Heritage Trail will present new opportunities for Biminites to showcase their island, while providing additional revenue streams.

“There are many opportunities to bring the rich culture and history of Bimini to life with this new signage,” he said. “Once this Heritage Trail is established, guided tours can be developed to include the stops where the signage will be installed, and there can also be self-guided tours using an accompanying brochure. Resorts World Bimini is proud to support the effort of providing heritage tourism to Bimini.”

Subjects to be covered by the signage are The Fountain of Youth; Rum Running; Ernest Hemingway; Lerner Marine Laboratory; Lost landmarks (Bimini Bay Rod & Gun Club and the Compleat Angler); Bimini Museum; Lucayans; Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Adam Clayton Powell; Myth & Mystery (Bermuda Triangle; Bimini Road – lost city of Atlantis); Our Lady’s & St. Stephen’s Anglican Church; Bimini through Time; and Boat Building. Once installed, visitors and locals will be able to read the interpretive signage as they learn more about the island’s colorful history.

Out Island arrival numbers improve
Submitted by Kendea Smith   
Tuesday, 21 October 2014 08:49

NASSAU, Bahamas -- Foreign air and sea arrivals to the Out Islands have improved by 10 per cent between January and July 2014, compared to the same period in 2013, according to the latest data from the Research Statistics and Scanning Units in the Ministry of Tourism.  

The statistics, which were released recently, shows that foreign air arrivals to the Out Islands increased by one per cent.  

However, in 2014, air and sea arrivals increased every month except March, which saw a decrease of 7.5 per cent compared to 2013.  

“Air arrivals increased to Andros, Berry Islands, Bimini, Cat Cay, Exuma, Inagua, Long island and San Salvador between January to July 2014 compared to the same period of 2013,” officials said. 

According to officials, stopover visitor arrivals to the Out Islands between January to May 2014 were better than when the financial meltdown occurred in 2008.  

“Stopovers arrivals to the Out Islands grew by nine per cent between January to May 2014. In May YTD 2014, stopover visitor arrivals were up from the United States, Europe, Latin America, Australia, Africa and the Middle East,” officials said.  

Defence Force apprehends Cuban migrants
Submitted by BIS   
Monday, 20 October 2014 08:28

CORAL HARBOUR BASE, New Providence -- Acting on intelligence, members of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force’s Bimini Detachment and local Police assisted Immigration Department personnel with the apprehension of nineteen (19) Cuban migrants early Sunday morning.

The Cuban Migrants were intercepted on Cat Cay after their 35-foot Bayliner motor vessel ran aground on south Cat Cay in the Bimini chain where the vessel was abandoned. A search of the immediate area resulted in the apprehension of undocumented Cuban nationals consisting of thirteen (13) males, four (4) females and two (2) children.

The migrants were subsequently taken into custody and handed over to immigration authorities at North Bimini, who organized their flight to Nassau where they will be detained for further processing.

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