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Family Island News
Resorts World Bimini celebrates outstanding employees
Submitted by Michelle Malcolm   
Tuesday, 03 March 2015 07:57

Anthony Taylor, Laundry Supervisor from the Property Operations department was crowned Supervisor of the Year.BIMINI, The Bahamas -- The excellent work ethic of outstanding Resorts World Bimini (RWB) team members was recently celebrated in the first annual SuperService Awards and employee luncheon held at the resort. The event marked the beginning of a series of new and exciting events that are being planned to honor the company’s best performers.

Thirty-three (33) outstanding nominees were recognized and applauded by their peers and managers before the big moment – the announcement of the Employee and Supervisor of the Year. Emerging as the best of the best were Kashera Hart, a Sports Book Teller from the Resorts World Bimini Casino who walked away with the Employee of the Year title; and Anthony Taylor, Laundry Supervisor from the Property Operations department who was crowned Supervisor of the Year.

General Manager Ray Valentino described the celebratory event as an important one, saying as team leader he is proud to work alongside such outstanding individuals.

“All members of our staff are very important to the organization.” he said. “As customer service oriented team members, they are the heart and soul of the hospitality industry. While doing their best to further enhance tourism to Bimini, these dedicated team members set us apart from other establishments and for this reason we are pleased to celebrate their accomplishments and show gratitude in a tangible way.”

According to Director of Human Resources David Winslow, the awards recipients were well deserved.

Cat Island to host Richton Park, Illinois delegation
Submitted by Lededra Marche   
Monday, 02 March 2015 08:33

CAT ISLAND, The Bahamas -- The Cat Island Sister City Association is hosting a delegation from the Village of Richton Park, Illinois, over the next four days to conclude talks on the formation of a Sister City relationship.

The seven-member delegation trip come on the heels of a similar visit a group from Cat Island paid to the people of Richton Park in September 2014 that was facilitated by Immerse Bahamas, a destination management company, which set the wheels in motion.

Heading the Richton group is Mayor Richard Reinbold and his wife, Tammy, who will be given a brief tour of New Providence before flying in to Cat Island where they will spend the majority of their visit becoming familiar with the people and its cultural and educational makeup.

Members of the Richton delegation began arriving in New Providence on Sunday while the others, who were delayed as a result of a snow storm, are expected on Monday.

Cat Island Administrator Jackson McIntosh was among the group who travelled to Chicago back in September described the visit as a fruitful one and was impressed with the hospitality the people of Richton extended.

Resorts World Bimini to feature truly Bahamian beer
Submitted by Barefoot Marketing   
Wednesday, 25 February 2015 07:33

Resorts World Bimini to Feature Truly Bahamian Beer - Bahamian Brewery and Beverage is continuing to forge relationships with hotels in The Bahamas and recently offered a tour to food and beverage executives from Resorts World Bimini as a part of their plan to have truly Bahamian beers available everywhere in The Bahamas.  Pictured is the Resorts World Bimini team on their tour of the Brewery. (Photo courtesy of Derek Carroll for Barefoot Marketing)FREEPORT, Bahamas – Bahamian Brewery and Beverage is continuing to forge relationships with hotels in The Bahamas and recently offered a tour to food and beverage executives from Resorts World Bimini as a part of their plan to have truly Bahamian beers available everywhere in The Bahamas.

The Resorts World property will be having a soft opening next month, with a full opening in 2016, and is looking to partner with Bahamian Brewery and Beverage to feature their beers at the resort.  Food and Beverage Manager at Resorts World Bimini Patrick Fortemps noted, “We are pleased to be here today and visit the brewery. We are opening the full resort soon and want our weekly visitors to have a truly Bahamian experience and we want to see them sippin’ a Sands.”

The group of seven executives experienced a brewery tour led by Gary Sands, Sales Executive, and learned about how all the local beers are produced at the Grand Bahama facility.

Former Grand Bahama resident William Martinborough, who now works at the Resort, commented, “It’s exciting to be back in my hometown and showing off our own brewery. We are making an effort at the resort to showcase and promote everything Bahamian and the Bahamian Brewery has a great story and history for our guests - and great beer!”

BTC TV services to begin testing on Long Island
Submitted by Serena Williams   
Friday, 20 February 2015 08:27

 L to R: BTC CEO Leon Williams, who foreshadowed the BTC TV beta testing to come; Senior Manager for Long Island, Ian Knowles; former BTC Senior Manager for Long Island and S.E. Islands of The Bahamas Ramona Taylor; Long Island MP Loretta Butler-Turner at the September opening of BTCs state-of-the-art new flagship store in Long Island.     NASSAU, Bahamas -- The Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) has been further developing, improving and expanding the BTC network to transform the entire country into a connected Bahamas.  Every day their work demonstrates this commitment to bring telecommunications to the entire Bahamas, including High Definition (HD) Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) service.  

In December, Bimini became the first island to have BTC TV. Long Island will be the second island to begin testing BTC TV services.  Scores of Long Islanders are scheduled to receive the service before the end of February. Other islands in the pipeline include Inagua and Cat Island; New Providence will close out the list after completion of the Family Islands.

Long Island Government Administrator Terrece Bethel-Bootle, one of the very first testers in Long Island reported that after just a few days of testing, she is very impressed and happy with BTC TV.  

“Hundreds of channels it seems, great picture and reliability so far. Cable Bahamas works in some spots on Long Island but only offers the Basic package, and Satellite is very expensive because it comes through a third party.  We are all looking forward to having BTC TV available here island-wide,” said the administrator.

BTC CEO Leon Williams foreshadowed the BTC test programme for the Southern Islands whilst opening the new BTC flagship store at Deadman’s Cay, Long Island last September.  Local MP the Honourable Loretta Turner gave remarks at the event and expressed her thanks and excitement with the opening of the new store in her constituency and the coming of BTC TV.

Three American sport icons coming to Bimini to chase Bonefish
Submitted by John Bell   
Thursday, 19 February 2015 07:59
Photo: Stu Apte with a TarponALICE TOWN, The Bahamas -- Fly Fishing for elusive grey ghosts and the lure of Hemingway’s Bimini is bringing together two basketball greats and a legendary fishing Hall of Famer and author for a March 20-22 gathering at the historic Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina.  

More than 50 years ago John Havlicek and Bob Knight, racked up three post season NCAA final appearances as Ohio State teammates. Havlicek went onto a storied Hall of Fame career with the Boston Celtics with 8 NBA World Champion titles while Knight, also a member of the Hall of Fame, became one of college basketball’s most successful coaches, winning three NCAA Men’s Division Basketball Titles at Indiana University and amassing 902 Division I wins over a 43 year career.  

A few years before Havlicek and Knight met at Ohio State, Stu Apte was flying F9F Panther Jets as a Navy fighter pilot during the Korean War. Already an avid fly fisherman, Apte went on to build a reputation as top guide in the Florida Keys. His career as a top-notch angler blossomed as his Stu Apte Tarpon Fly and Stu Apte Improved Blood Knot have become standards.  A frequent guest and co-host on several broadcast and nationally syndicated fishing shows including ABC¹s Wide World of Sports and American Sportsman, Apte is a member of the Fishing Hall of Fame, IGFA Hall of Fame, holder of more than 44 world records and a recipient of the prestigious Ted Williams Award.  

It was during American Sportsman show that Apte shared the camera with the rangy, 6¹5² Havlicek, who was an accomplished and avid fisherman.  He has fished in Alaska, The Northwest Territories and appeared on the American Sportsman with Apte fishing for sailfish in Panama.  

As for Knight, his ability to remain highly focused and dialed into the game on the floor has made him an exceptional fly fisherman on the water.  

BNT and Audubon band together to band Piping Plovers
Submitted by Barefoot Marketing   
Wednesday, 11 February 2015 14:52
Photo 1: BNT and Audubon Band Together to Band Piping Plovers. (Photo courtesy of BNT for Barefoot Marketing)ANDROS, Bahamas –- The Joulter Cays, located in Andros just north of the settlement of Lowe Sound, is well renowned as a flyfishing paradise with some of the highest quality bonefish habit in the world.  It is also becoming known for the expansive sand flats, which provide the safe habitat for thousands of shorebirds, including the largest congregation of the endangered Piping Plover. The Joulter cays the landscape for the most recent piping plover research and banding project.

The Joulter Cays are an incredibly important area for the Piping Plover, the National Audubon Society (NAS) traveled to the Joulter Cays and other areas in Andros, to work with the BNT Park Wardens to conduct a bird banding (tagging) exercise to help gather more data about the distribution of the bird in The Bahamas.

Photo 2: The Piping Plover is a Feature of Both Joulter Cays in BNT bird banding programme. (Photo courtesy of BNT for Barefoot Marketing)“It was a great learning experience to work with the team of scientists,” said Stephen Smith, BNT Park Warden. “Holding the piping plover, which I learned is an endangered species, in my bare hands was a great feeling. Then assisting with the banding of these endangered birds helped me to better understand the importance of wildlife conservation and the need for laws to protect wildlife.”

The goal of the bird banding project was to band twenty birds while in Andros. Two scientists, Daniel Catlin from Virginia Tech and Melissa Bimbi from the US Fish and Wildlife Service worked together on the project starting at Stafford Creek and working their way toward the Joulter Cays. In addition to the scientists, the team was comprised of Walker Golder and Matt Jeffrey from the National Audubon Society, Catherine Wise of PBS Newshour along with her camera crew, Stephen Smith, BNT Senior Park Warden and Liz Brace, BNT Education Officer.

The bird banding team started at the Blanket Sound flats where after three full days of survey and banding efforts the team successfully captured and banded 1 piping plover, due to the elusiveness of the birds. The team then moved to the Joulter Cays, where three birds were banded. The last stop on the bird banding trip was Cargill Creek where the team was able to band sixteen piping plovers.

BTC providing LTE coverage in Acklins
Submitted by Chauntez Wilson   
Thursday, 05 February 2015 12:43

NASSAU, Bahamas -- BTC now has over ninety LTE sites nationally. Just recently three of the six mobile towers in Acklins were upgraded to provide 4G LTE services to the island.  The towers located at Lovely Bay, Spring Point and Salina Point, now have 4G LTE services.

In addition to adding 4G LTE services to Acklins, BTC has made significant improvements to its mobile services on the island. Chief Councilor for Acklins, Tyrone Gilbert stated, “I must say that in the last two to three months, we (Acklins) have experienced tremendous improvements in our cellular services. I reside in the Lovely Bay community, and I am pleased with the cellular services.”

In November, BTC announced that it would inject $65m in capital expenditures to complete a full overhaul and upgrade of its landline, broadband and wireless networks. To date, BTC has made progressive steps in upgrading its networks. The thrust to also ensure that the Family Islands are not left behind is a major part of the company’s corporate strategy and focus.

BTC’s chief executive, Leon Williams said, “The Family Islands are of extreme importance to BTC. Whereas it is profitable to provide services in populated islands like New Providence, Grand Bahama and Abaco, BTC’s mission as the national provider is to ensure that all citizens, no matter their location, have the same access to world-class technology. In addition to having the same access, it is also imperative that all customers pay the same rates for products and services regardless of their location.”

LTE is an upgrade of the 4G network, and provides speeds that are five times, faster and smoother. This high-speed data network was introduced globally just two years ago. BTC was one of the first countries within the Caribbean to offer 4G LTE data services.

Queen’s College students enjoy a ‘day away’
Submitted by Barefoot Marketing   
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 09:40

QC Students Enjoy a ‘Day Away’ - When you’re a student, a field trip can turn into a mini vacation, and that’s exactly what students from Queen’s College experienced during the Bahamas National Trust’s (BNT) ‘Student DayAway’.  Student Day Away is a partnership between the BNT and Bahamas Ferries, and 118 second grade students and their parents were treated to a trip to the Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve (LLNPP) in Eleuthera.  (Photo courtesy of BNT for Barefoot Marketing)ELEUTHERA, Bahamas – When you’re a student, a field trip can turn into a mini vacation, and that’s exactly what students from Queen’s College in Nassau experienced during the Bahamas National Trust’s (BNT) ‘Student Day Away’.  Student Day Away is a partnership between the BNT and Bahamas Ferries through which 118 second grade students and their parents were treated to a trip to the Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve (LLNPP) in Governor’s Harbour, Eleuthera.  

“It made my day to see second graders get excited about planting natives,” said Falon Cartwright, Preserve Manager.  “Each student took home a native plant seed they planted at the Preserve and I know that they also took with them a greater appreciation for Bahamian plants.”

During their trip to the Preserve, the group toured the bush medicine and edible history gardens, sampled bush teas and got a chance to plant and take home a native seed to grow in their own garden.  The students also enjoyed lunch at The Preserve while taking in the beautiful native scenery.

LLNPP is the first and currently only national park in Eleuthera.  The preserve, which is located in Governor’s Harbour is an environmental education centre as well as a facility for the propagation of native plants and trees.  There are various trails and features at the preserve including a mangrove boardwalk, medicinal trail, freshwater wetland, and much more.  The park also boasts a beautiful observation tower that takes visitors above the forest canopy for spectacular views of the surrounding hilly landscape and nearby coast.

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