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Family Island News
Eleuthera students join protection of the Kirtland Warbler initiative
Submitted by DP&A   
Monday, 26 January 2015 07:44

Eleuthera Students Join Protection of the Kirtland Warbler - Students throughout South Eleuthera were in for a wild treat last week, as Bahamas National Trust (BNT) Education Officer, Scott Johnson traveled across the island to teach them about the Kirtland’s Warbler.  The Kirtland’s Warbler is a bird that spends half of its life in Michigan and the other half in The Bahamas – most notably in Eleuthera.  The students will also be participating in a poster competition to raise awareness of the Kirtland Warbler. (Photo courtesy of BNT for Barefoot Marketing)ELEUTHERA, The Bahamas -- Students throughout South Eleuthera were in for a wild treat last week, as Bahamas National Trust (BNT) Education Officer, Scott Johnson traveled across the island to teach them about the Kirtland’s Warbler.  The Kirtland’s Warbler is a bird that spends half of its life in Michigan and the other half in The Bahamas – most notably in Eleuthera.

During his trip, Johnson launched a poster competition for students in Eleuthera, and their fellow students in the state of Michigan, to be published in a 2016 calendar on the Kirtland Warbler, created by the Nature Conservancy.

“Because of its restricted home range and unique habitat requirements, the Kirtland's Warbler has always been a rare bird,” said Portia Sweeting, BNT Director of Education. “The Kirtland’s Warbler competition, and the school visits that our Education Department is conducting, will provide information and educational outreach necessary for the management of this endangered species.”

Johnson visited Eleuthera schools including Windemere, Preston Albury, Tarpum Bay Primary, Rock Sound Primary, Wemyss Bight Primary, Green Castle Primary and Deep Creek Middle School.  Students ranged from kindergarten through grade seven and over 300 students participated in the presentations.

The poster competition is going on from now until the end of March, when the BNT Education department will collect the artwork from students in Eleuthera and ship it to Michigan to be added to pictures from competing schools there. Twelve winners will be selected to be a part of the 2016 Kirtland Warbler calendar.

Pristine waters of Exuma – backdrop for Texas couple’s dream wedding in The Bahamas
Submitted by Earnestine Moxyz   
Friday, 23 January 2015 11:52

EXUMA, Bahamas -- The pristine, aquamarine waters of Exuma in The Bahamas served as the ideal backdrop for the dream wedding of Texan couple, Lauren Gough and Stephen Swangstu. They were one of sixteen American couples that won a complimentary dream wedding on 16 islands in The Bahamas, in The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism’s  (BMOT)“16 Islands 16 Weddings One Priceless Day” social media contest. All weddings took place on January 16, 2015 at 16:00 hours.

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Ms. Kathryn Gough and Judith Swangstu the mothers of the bride and groom respectively, served as witnesses for the couple while some twelve other family members shared in the intimate, elegant and conch shell-lined beachfront ceremony.   Live steel pan music entertained the guests in the “seaside serenade” themed ceremony.  Guests ate an assortment of hot and cold hors d’oeuvres, red velvet wedding cake, and sipped on green caramel apple martini, the signature drink for the couple.  

Government slammed over failed anchor project policy
Submitted by Barefoot Marketing   
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 09:01

Advocacy group hits out at Christie administration’s broken promise of a more environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive development model

NASSAU, Bahamas -- The government’s continued support for the controversial “anchor project” policy of national development is the subject of a new video by prominent social and environmental advocacy group Save The Bays (STB). The video, narrated by STB education director Joseph Darville, documents how the current administration promised to create sustainable local economies on each Family Island that would benefit Bahamians, only to revert to the shortsighted old model of mega-resorts owned by wealthy foreign interests.

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“Anchor resorts and mega-resorts are continuing to flood our Family Islands, and as more and more invade our shores they are being kept secret from the Bahamian public,” Darville said.  “But hold on, didn't we hear that Perry Christie and his government had abandoned the anchor project plan?  Didn’t they mention something about full-circle economies in the Family Islands? Something must be dead wrong, since all these new developments are like the old failing ones.”

Tennessee couple create scholarship for Exuma students to attend MTSU
Submitted by Nikki Bethell   
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 08:52

Signing of the agreement establishing the Michael and Tina Cartwright Scholarship to benefit the students of the L.N. Coakley High School in Exuma. Pictured l-r: Mr. Michael Cartwrignt, Donor; Hon. Jerome Fitzgerald, Minister of Education, Science and Technology and Dr. Sidney McPhee, President of Middle Tennessee State University (Photo by Andrew Oppmann).GREAT EXUMA, Bahamas – A Franklin, Tennessee, couple who founded a network of substance-abuse treatment clinics has funded a special, targeted scholarship that will allow students from a high school in the Bahamas to attend MTSU.

Michael and Tina Cartwright, who have a second home in The Bahamas, wanted to help students from L.N. Coakley High School in Great Exuma develop expertise through higher education that, in turn, would help benefit others on the island of Exuma.

The Cartwrights, who both attended MTSU, established a $600,000 scholarship fund that will cover tuition, housing and other expenses for four Coakley students to live and take classes on MTSU’s Murfreesboro campus. The scholarship will renew after the first group of four honorees graduate from MTSU.

Michael Cartwright, chairman and co-founder of American Addiction Centers, announced the gift during events Tuesday and Wednesday (Jan. 21-22) in The Bahamas. MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, a native of The Bahamas, joined Cartwright in announcing the scholarships.

“Tina and I understand the value of higher education,” said Michael Cartwright. “We approached President McPhee to establish a pathway that could recognize and reward future leaders who could return to Exuma as leaders and will help spur economic development on the island.”

Resorts World Bimini hosts ‘16 Weddings, 16 Islands, One Priceless Day’ nuptials
Submitted by Michelle Malcolm   
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 08:08

BIMINI, The Bahamas -- On January 16th at 16:00 hours (4pm), a dream came true for Christina Gaston as she married the love of her life at Resorts World Bimini (RWB), as part of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism’s ‘16 Islands, 16 Weddings, One Priceless Day’ promotion.

She and newlywed husband Rudy Leschhorn said their “I dos” before family and friends at one of RWB’s breathtaking island seascapes under the watchful eye of the resort’s professional wedding planners.

The threat of inclement weather did not put a damper on the romantic ceremony which was officiated by Island Administrator Oscar Munroe. An islander at heart and descendant of Cuba, Cristina has always been fascinated by The Bahamas’ beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters and tranquil island vibe which she came to love during her frequent visits to the country.

She decided that The Bahamas was the place where she wanted to have her special wedding day, but never dreamed that wish would come true.

“We got our dream wedding,” she said. “It really is better in The Bahamas. It was everything I had hoped it would be, and more.”

The creative and dedicated wedding specialists at RWB executed the theme ‘Lost in your embrace’ to perfection, from the venue and catering, to music and flowers, to guest accommodations and transportation.

Deana Whitlow and Henry Coleman enjoy dream wedding in Harbour Island
Submitted by Kendea Smith   
Monday, 19 January 2015 10:32

HARBOUR ISLAND, Eleuthera -- Deana Whitlow and Henry Coleman are a couple who believe getting married in The Bahamas was a “kiss from God” and it showed throughout their romantic journey to January 16, 2015. That’s the day 16 couples got married on 16 Islands at 16:00 (4:00 p.m.). It is one of Ministry of Tourism’s biggest promotions that was launched on February 14, 2014. However, before the promotion, the couple always dreamed of getting married in The Bahamas.

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Deana always felt a strong tie to The Bahamas. Her grandfather, who was born in Harbour Island, was a Sturrup. She visited The Bahamas once before for a family reunion on the island. But what really drew the Texan beauty to The Bahamas was the fact that she is an avid fan of past Bahamas Faith Ministries President the late Dr. Myles Munroe.

Resorts World Bimini holds Career Day for high school seniors
Submitted by Michelle Malcolm   
Sunday, 18 January 2015 07:20

BIMINI, The Bahamas -- Twelfth-graders attending the Louise McDonald High School in Bimini will be better equipped to land a job when they graduate this summer, thanks to an informative Career Day staged by Resorts World Bimini (RWB). Various departments at the Resort served as the classroom for the day as students learned valuable lessons on what is required in the hospitality sector, and how to better prepare themselves to fulfill those roles.

The one-day seminar included both theory and practical lessons, as the students were given an opportunity to spend time in the Resort’s operation shadowing leaders within their department of choice. Among the vital workplace topics covered were:

  • Life After Graduation
  • Resume Writing
  • Interview Tips
  • Becoming a Top Performer in the Workplace
  • Budgeting Finances
  • Deciding on a Career Path

The Career Day was coordinated by RWB’s Human Resources Department in an effort to give the students a better feel for the day-to-day operation of a resort. Managers and Directors with years of experience within the industry served as their mentors.

Two Florida residents file suit against Resorts World Bimini in Miami Circuit Court
Submitted by Tina Menditto   
Friday, 16 January 2015 08:12

Robert Parks. As managing partner of Robert L. Parks, P.L. Law Offices in Miami, Parks focuses his practice on resort litigation, premises liability, negligent security, commercial litigation, and aviation, maritime, admiralty, and general wrongful death and negligence claims. MIAMI, Florida -- Two Florida residents, who were assaulted in their hotel room while visiting The Bahamas last March, have filed a negligent security suit seeking damages against Resorts World Bimini.

On March 14, 2014 Richard Simmons, Jessiam Scungio and several other guests from Florida were in their room at the Bimini resort when they were attacked by four men, according to two complaints filed recently in Circuit Court in Miami.

"Resorts World Bimini failed to provide adequate security," said Miami attorney Robert L. Parks, who is representing Simmons and Scungio with Louis Stinson, Jr., a Coral Gables attorney.  "This brutal attack should never have happened."

According to Parks, Simmons was enjoying an evening with friends at the Resorts World Bimini casino when another Floridian visiting the resort, Robert Hunter Hink, 19, became verbally abusive and tried to start a fight.  At that point, Simmons cashed out his chips and left the casino. Hink followed Simmons outside and instigated a brief scuffle that was broken up by a security guard at the resort.

However, an hour after Simmons, Scungio and their friends had returned to their hotel room, Hink, his father Robbie Hink, David Jenkins and a fourth man kicked in the door to their hotel room and began beating Simmons and Scungio, causing severe injuries. Parks said the police were called and the assailants spent one night in jail and were then released.

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