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Family Island News
More illegal migrants interdicted in the Exumas
Submitted by BIS   
Saturday, 27 December 2014 08:43

NASSAU, Bahamas -- The Department of Immigration wishes to advise the public that during a joint routine marine patrol operation with the Royal Bahamas Police Force, a vessel with ninety-three males and nineteen females suspected to be illegal migrants on board was interdicted six miles off Barre Tarre Exuma on 25th December 2014. The migrants are believed to be Haitian Nationals.

The migrants are currently detained in Exuma while arrangements are being made with the Royal Bahamas Defence Force to transport them to New Providence for further processing and repatriation to their home country.

The Royal Bahamas Defence has also reported to the Department of Immigration the sighting of yet another vessel believed to be transporting illegal migrants. A defence force patrol boat has been dispatched to interdict this migrant vessel.

The two interdictions and one sighting bring the total number of illegal migrant vessels in Bahamian waters to three in the past three days.    

The Department will continue to update the general public as these events develop and unfold. The work of the department goes on.

 
Turkeys, toys and top coat for Christmas as Resorts World Bimini's gift-giving generates excitement across the community
Submitted by Michelle Malcolm   
Monday, 15 December 2014 09:31

BIMINI, Bahamas -- It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas on the island of Bimini, thanks in part to the generosity of Resorts World Bimini (RWB). The model corporate citizen has been lavishing the island’s residents – from the young to the old – with gifts in keeping with the holiday spirit.

The island’s children were all smiles as they received an assortment of goodies from the Resort during the 6th annual Bimini Christmas Festival, an event sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism which brings the entire community together to celebrate the yuletide season with song, food, and the traditional Junkanoo rush.

Stuffed animals, developmental toys for toddlers, arts and craft kits, musical instruments, board games, sporting equipment and electronics were among the offerings, all of which whipped the children into a frenzy of excitement.

The island’s adults also had good reason to smile the following morning, as RWB gave each household a sizeable turkey to supplement their Christmas dinner.

RWB’s Christmas giving went beyond turkeys and toys this year, but also included a donation of 1000’s of gallons of paint to the residents of North Bimini to assist with their efforts to beautify the island. With the first phase of the paint giveaway now complete, Biminites could already be seen “sprucing up” their homes for Christmas.

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Damianos Sotheby’s International Real Estate signs exclusive brokerage deal with French Leave Eleuthera
Submitted by Sharon Thompson   
Thursday, 11 December 2014 10:10

NASSAU, Bahamas -- Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty announces an exclusive brokerage deal with Shaner Bahamas, the developer of the 270-acre French Leave Eleuthera and an off-shoot of the Shaner Hotel Group - the same company that owns and/or manages the Marriott, Holiday Inn, Crown Plaza and Renaissance hotel brands.

Commanding the site of the former Club Med, the elevated sea-to-sea property serves as the first development in the Caribbean by the Shaner Hotel Group. The property, which was purchased in 2004, will be completed in two phases. The first phase, which overlooks the historic Governor’s Harbour, celebrated its grand opening on November 30. In speaking with Mark Hussey, the agent who brokered the deal he said,

"The developers of French Leave chose Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty due to our ongoing pursuit of their development and Sothebys’ international brand recognition and worldwide affiliation. We have been a great supporter of French Leave from the start and now that it’s a reality we’re even more convinced of its success given the quality of the development.

"Thus far, $10 million of an expected $14 million investment has been allocated towards the development of the first phase French Leave Harbour Village: a total of 30 single and detached one-and-two-bedroom villas and bungalows each with access to the following resort amenities: a private beach club on French Leave Beach to the east, a full-service marina to the west, as well as the 1648 bar & grille, a pool, fitness center, a special events lawn, and a wedding Pavilion." Hussey says of the development,

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MOT to develop ‘master plan’ with Out Island Promotion Board
Submitted by Kendea Smith   
Tuesday, 09 December 2014 17:01

Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe poses with Out Island Promotion Board Executive Chairman Kerry Fountain after giving remarks at the board's recent annual general meeting at the British Colonial Hilton. (Photo/ Kendea Smith) NASSAU, Bahamas -- Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe recently encouraged members of the Out Island Promotion Board to be a part of developing a “master plan” to promote each island of The Bahamas.

The minister was speaking at the Out Island Promotion Board’s annual general meeting at the British Colonial Hilton.

“Each island will decide where it goes because…what are we going to do next for Exuma? Is it predicated upon Sandals or the Grand Isle? Are we going to build a new clinic? What are we going to do? How are we going to develop this master plan and are you involved in this master plan,” Minister Wilchcombe said.

“The Ministry of Tourism is going to ask each of you in the respective islands and through the board to prepare our submission to the master plan because we have to know what tourism’s plan in this is. How does this fit in the overall economic plan of The Bahamas and how do we consider legislation? What type of legislation?”

He mentioned that in the next several weeks the government will hold a product conference to get a jump start on the master plan.

“I believe that this industry requires all of us to work together and to ensure that at all times we are working assiduously for the good of our country,” Minister Wilchcombe said.

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Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina offers free wedding deal with a catch ... or would that be bite?
Submitted by John Bell   
Tuesday, 02 December 2014 08:22

 Closeup of Bull Shark: Courtesy of Bimini Big Game ClubBIMINI, The Bahamas -- For those dreaming of holding a wedding on a Bahamian island, with travel by seaplane, a honeymoon suite named for Ernest Hemingway, tasty local food and beverages and a ceremony performed by a local sea captain, then the historic Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina just might have a deal of a lifetime for you.

It’s complimentary, free, no charge for the couple — and for friends and family in the wedding party who stay four nights, they will get the next two nights free.

What’s the catch, you may ask?  

Well, the wedding ceremony will be performed in an at-the-dock shark cage, with a front row view of huge, hungry bull sharks, which arrive daily for their feeding.

Several weeks ago, the historic Bimini resort, just 50 miles east of Miami/Fort Lauderdale put out the call for video submissions from couples looking to take on the challenge of a wedding ceremony in a shark cage complete with a local dive captain conducting the ceremony.

So far, there have been few takers, however, resort management has hopes of a last minute rush for more entries.

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New moorings at Conception Island National Park
Submitted by Barefoot Marketing   
Monday, 01 December 2014 17:38

New Moorings at Conception Island National Park - As the trusted protectors of The Bahamas National Parks, the Bahamas National Trust and its staff constantly struggle to  maintain the pristine waters that surround its parks all while welcoming the thousands of tourists who visit its numerous islands. Thanks to the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Bagwell, who love Conception Island, the BNT has been able to install three new moorings at the Conception Island National Park, to ensure that large yachts can anchor safely without damaging the corals.  Pictured is the crew of the Bagwell's ship installing the new moorings. (Photo courtesy of BNT for Barefoot Marketing)CONCEPTION ISLAND, Bahamas – As the trusted protectors of The Bahamas National Parks, the Bahamas National Trust and its staff constantly struggle to  maintain the pristine waters that surround its parks all while welcoming the thousands of visitors to these parks. Thanks to the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Bagwell, who love Conception Island National Park, the BNT has been able to install three new moorings at the Conception Island National Park, ensuring that large yachts can anchor safely without damaging the seabed.  

“We cannot thank Mr. and Mrs. Bagwell enough for their very generous donation to the BNT,” said David Knowles, BNT Director of Parks. “These anchorages will assist in protecting the seabed, especially precious coral reef resources that occur in the Park.”

Conception Island National Park was established on August 10, 1964.  Initially protection only included the island itself, however, the park was expanded in 2011 to include the surrounding marine platform out to 100 fathoms or 600 feet. Conception Island has some of the healthiest ecosystems in The Bahamas and is a major destination for yachts, dive boats, and research vessels.

Conception Island is one of the loveliest islands in The Bahamas. This uninhabited island is located on a platform that rises out of the deep ocean fifteen miles east of Santa Maria, Long Island. The island has miles of pink sand beaches, gorgeous sandstone cliffs, and an extraordinary abundance of wildlife on the land and in the sea. There are numerous locations for spectacular scuba diving and snorkeling.

The main island, Booby Cays and South Rocks are home to an extraordinary number of wildlife species, many of which are threatened or endangered. White–tailed Tropicbirds, Sooty terns, Oystercatchers, and Osprey nest on the island and cays. The center of the island is a large mangrove and creek habitat and an important nursery for fish, sharks, conch, and crawfish. Green turtles forage in the creek, off the southwestern shore, and in the northern bay. The coral reefs and grass flats in the surrounding sea are unusually healthy and are home to an abundance of sea life.

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Resorts World Bimini helps raise money for children’s charities at Miss World Pageant
Submitted by Michelle Malcolm   
Monday, 01 December 2014 17:32

BIMINI, The Bahamas -- Children around the world will have one more reason to smile in the coming year, thanks in part to a generous donation by Resorts World Bimini. The resort recently donated a week’s stay at its beautiful property on picturesque Bimini to be sold at auction during the annual Beauty With A Purpose Miss World Charity Gala and Auction, held at the Grosvenor Hotel in London on November 30. The gift was presented by Miss World Bahamas Rosetta Cartwright who is currently competing in the Miss World pageant.

The Miss World Charity Gala and Auction is one of Miss World’s quintessential events, featuring an evening of beauty, generosity, and talent. Twenty-four national gifts were put in groups of 3, to auction off 8 packages. The highest bids were over $7800 and the audience was fierce in their bidding wars.

The final item was the most valuable, as it came from Denise Perrier, Miss World 1953, known as "The First Lady" of Miss World. Her donation of her Miss World trophy was auctioned off for an incredible $47,235. Other national gifts were sold during a silent auction.

All in all, the event raised thousands of dollars which will be put to good use helping children worldwide through the work of the Miss World Organization’s Beauty With A Purpose Foundation.

Resorts World Bimini President Edward Farrell said the resort was happy to assist.

“We are honored to be part of a program that helps to uplift children around the world,” he said. “If our donation helps to put a smile on the face of just one child – whether it is through better living conditions, feeding the hungry, or providing educational opportunities – then it will have been a worthwhile investment.”

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Deputy PM speaks at Progressive Liberal Party’s All-Exuma Mini Convention
Submitted by Elcott Coleby   
Monday, 01 December 2014 08:29
Remarks by
Hon. Philip “Brave” Davis, M.P.
Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Public Works & Urban Development
On the Occasion of The Progressive Liberal Party’s All-Exuma Mini Convention                                                
Saturday, 29th November 2014
Ramsey, Exuma

Theme:  "Exuma, Your Time is Now!”

Salutations:
Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance
Cabinet and Parliamentary Colleagues
Mr. Anthony Moss, Member of Parliament for Exuma
Stalwart Councillors
Delegates
All Residents of Exuma
PLPs!!!

Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening…

The New York Times once declared that “The real Exuma is a do-it-yourself place, best discovered with sand between your toes.”  I now declare that Exuma is one of the world’s jewels, and as a Government, we will do all that we can to ensure that you remain just that!
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