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Family Island News
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.

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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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BAMSI initiates Nassau grouper research project
Submitted by BIS   
Friday, 16 January 2015 08:08

A Nassau grouper (Epinephelus striatus) with attached satellite tag swims away after release.ANDROS, The Bahamas -- The first field marine research project of the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI) was initiated during the first week of January 2015 at the well known Nassau grouper aggregation off High Cay, Andros. This project is designed to investigate the dispersion and fate of mature Nassau grouper (Epinephelus striatus) for the next year after participation in a spawning aggregation. This initial project will investigate this marine resource which is very important to the marine ecosystem as well as the culture and diet of Bahamians.

The importance of the Nassau grouper to The Bahamas is emphasized by the introduction of legislation which prohibits its capture during its reproduction period, from December to the end of February, in order to protect the species. Spawning aggregations have disappeared throughout much of its range and overfishing is believed to be primarily responsible for this. It was noted that very few fish were found at the High Cay site in early January.

The project is led by Dr. Vallierre Deleveaux, Director of Marine Science of BAMSI and Dr. Nelson Ehrhardt, of the University of Miami (UM). Dr. Ehrhardt’s participation was made possible through the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that was signed between BAMSI and UM during July of last year.

The Marine Science Department of BAMSI has the vision to provide training and research that enhances marine science knowledge and promotes healthy marine populations and environments while meeting the needs of the Bahamian people.

Photo: A Nassau grouper (Epinephelus striatus) with attached satellite tag swims away after release.

 
Bahamas Ferries provides major support for Family Island Junior Junkanoo groups
Submitted by Keen i Media Ltd   
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 14:37

Forest Heights Academy rushed to victory in the senior high school division of the 27th Annual Junior Junkanoo Parade with the theme NASSAU, Bahamas -- Bahamas Ferries partnered with the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture for the tenth consecutive year to provide transportation for Family Island students participating in the annual Junior Junkanoo parade.

The inter-island transportation service provider, through its collaboration with the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, arranged for 467 students and chaperones from schools in Abaco, Andros and Eleuthera to travel into Nassau for the event, held in December.

Four schools were represented in all, including two of the year's winners: Tarpum Bay Primary School - primary school division winner; Forest Heights Academy - senior high school division winner; Central Abaco Primary School; and Harbour Island All Age School.

In past years, Bahamas Ferries also provided travel into Nassau for the Spanish Wells All Age, North Andros High, South Andros High and Mangrove Cay High schools.

Since 2004, Bahamas Ferries has helped 3,000 Family Island students to participate in the annual event. According to Bahamas Ferries Sales and Marketing Manager Darnell Frazer, this involvement is one that the company is especially proud of.

"Supporting this event was a natural fit for us. We wholeheartedly endorse Family Island schools participating in Junior Junkanoo, particularly since we operate in Abaco, Andros and Eleuthera," Mrs Frazer said.  "We feel a tremendous sense of pride because it is challenging for Family Island schools to participate in the parade as it can be very costly. So, for one of them to win, that's a mammoth accomplishment. We congratulate all the schools."

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Three Bahamas destinations to be served by new charter flights
Submitted by John Bell   
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 13:38

Meregrass Crew and iJet Management.FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida — Owners of iJet Charters and Wildcat Touring announced Wednesday the launch of scheduled charter flights from Fort Lauderdale to three Bahamas destinations, Key West and a flight from New York to Marsh Harbour in Great Abaco.  

“With the approval of the Department of Transportation (DOT) today we will begin bookings for the start of scheduled service on April 2nd,” said Jim Swieter, founder of iJet Charters in Fort Lauderdale, which is providing marketing and reservations for Director of Carrier Meregrass, Inc., DBA Wildcat Touring.

Swieter said flights aboard Meregrass, Inc’s new Saab 2000 aircraft, which features all premium class seating and high-speed travel, are now booking for roundtrip travel from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International’s (FLL) Sheltair terminal to Marsh Harbour, North Eleuthera, Freeport and Key West.  A scheduled charter flight from New York to Marsh Harbour is also available. Scheduled charter flights from Fort Lauderdale and Miami to Nassau are also anticipated in the future.

Roundtrip flights start at $329 (plus tax). For reservations please call 888-462-0462 or go to www.wildcattouring.com.

In December, Bahamas Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe predicted a full recovery for Bahamas’ tourism sector thanks to hotel room growth and a series of airlift initiatives, which include scheduled charter flights added through Wildcat Touring.

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Save The Bays team see nature and technology work together at Cape Eleuthera Institute
Submitted by DP&A   
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 12:14

YEA FOR CAPE ELEUTHERA AND SAVE THE BAYS – YEA, Youth Environment Ambassadors Facilitators from Grand Bahama, attend the science symposium at Cape Eleuthera Institute, thanks to funding from Save The Bays. Pictured l-r, Javan Hunt, Sharon Glover, Save The Bays education director Joe Darville, and Jensen Farquharson.   ELEUTHERA, The Bahamas -- It’s rare that a school visit elicits a response so effusive it sounds like something reserved for eyeballing an Orca, but then neither the school nor the students were ordinary when the education team from Save The Bays landed at The Island School, Cape Eleuthera recently for a scientific symposium.

It was environmental protection advocates meeting those who live, work, teach and breathe the environment, making the most of nature’s bounty with sustainable energy and renewables while sharing lessons they have learned with those will become the future stewards of a fragile eco-system.

The hands-on, four-day, live-in training was made possible by a grant from the fast-growing environmental movement Save The Bays. Like last year’s symposium attendance which was funded by the Moore Bahamas Foundation, this year’s brought members of the education arm of Save The Bays, headed by Joseph Darville, and its Youth Environment Ambassadors (YEA) Facilitators to the Cape Eleuthera Institute and The Island School.

The school, started in 1999 with six students and the philosophy “We live what we teach” has become a magnet for high school seniors from various countries who grow their own food, explore the coral reefs and the deep, interacting with sharks, sea turtles and other marine species, learning eco-management. All their surroundings, including living quarters, are textbook sustainable.

“The best part of this trip was actually seeing and experiencing how technology/development and nature can live and work together in harmony and peace without devastation and destruction,” said Javan Hunt, Environmental Facilitator. “It can be done! And now I take with me this blueprint and will implement what I can in my personal life, teach those willing to learn and lead by example.”

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Will the next 'big star' be discovered at MMTS auditions in Exuma this weekend?
Submitted by MMTS   
Thursday, 08 January 2015 08:03

GEORGETOWN, Exuma -- With 365 cays and one cay for every day of the year, Georgetown in The Exumas will host auditions for the Caribbean’s top talent search for Models, Actors, Singers, Music Producers, Singing Groups and Songwriters on Saturday, January 10, 2015 at Saint Andrew’s Community Centre located in Georgetown, Exuma. Auditions will begin promptly at 11:00am, and all interested are encouraged to register online at www.islandmmts.com to avoid a long line.  Click HERE to visit the web page.

Interior Designer and Event Consultant Charisse D. Gardiner-Jones  is Exuma’s Regional Director for the Music, Model and Talent Showcase of the Islands (Island MMTS), which is a new, annual talent scouting event handcrafted to bring international attention to the talent in the Caribbean Market dubbed Music, Model and Talent Showcase of the Islands (MMTS). The inaugural week-long conference is scheduled for July 13 to 19, 2015, and will be held in Nassau, The Bahamas at the Melià Nassau Beach Resort on the new Bahamian Riviera at Baha Mar. Island MMTS is poised to bring approximately 1,500 stopover visitors to the Bahamas during that week.

With successful auditions already taking place in Dominica, Trinidad and Tobago, Belize, Suriname and Anguilla as well as several islands in The Bahamas including Abaco, Eleuthera, New Providence and Grand Bahama, the next stop for Island MMTS is Georgetown, Exuma. Island MMTS in an international competition founded by Bahamian Entrepreneur Pia T. Glover-Rolle. MMTS representatives are holding free auditions in each of 37 participating islands in 23 countries around The Bahamas and The Caribbean as only the top talent are being invited to attend the annual week-long conference in July 2015. Delegates interested in the modeling or entertainment industry can only attend Island MMTS by applying an approved Regional Director. In Exuma, Charisse Gardiner-Jones is handling auditions, interviews and forging partnerships with local businesses interested in helping local actors, models, singers, songwriters and music producers go global.

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February’s Bimini Wahoo Smackdown VI registration underway
Submitted by John Bell   
Wednesday, 07 January 2015 14:33

Artist Carey Chen with Wahoo V trophy painting.ALICE TOWN, Bimini — A world class marine artist and an award winning sportfishing photographer are onboard for the next installment of the highly popular Wahoo Smackdown fishing tournament series—scheduled to return to the docks at the historic Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina on February 19-21 with some $50,000 in cash and prizes on the line.

Returning to the tournament series for Wahoo Smackdown VI is the celebrated marine wildlife artist and accomplished angler Carey Chen, who has been named Grand Marshal.  Chen has again been commissioned to “paint a trophy” that will be awarded to the top team for Smackdown VI.  A Carey Chen original is typically valued at $15,000 or more.

Joining with Chen as “Official Tournament Photographer” is Pat Ford, an avid angler whose dramatic action shots can be found on the covers of sportfishing magazines around the world.  Ford is a retired Trial Lawyer who has developed a second career in marine oriented photography and has published two books “The Best Fly Fishing Trips Money Can Buy: and “Fly Fishing Day Dreams”.

“Both Carey and Pat are at the top of their game,” said Tournament Director Chase Camacho.  “For an island known for its creative connections, with legendary fishermen like Ernest Hemingway, Zane Grey and Michael Lerner to name just a few, it’s a tribute to the competition in this tournament that we can add talents like these two men.”

Camacho said Wahoo Smackdown V, held this past November, attracted a record 29 boats. Team “Cash Out” took heaviest fish honors with 47.6 pounds.  Heaviest five fish over two days trophy went to team “Fishin A Loan”, and Heaviest Fish (First Day) winners were team “Snow Cone’s Revenge.”

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