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Family Island News
Acklins wins Taste Our Bahamas competition
Submitted by Kendea Smith   
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 12:16

NASSAU, Bahamas -- After a two-weekend tantalizing culinary competition involving several islands, Acklins has emerged the winner of the Ministry of Tourism’s Taste Our Bahamas Competition.  The event was held at Fort Charlotte on October 4th and 11th.

In the first weekend, Acklins took home the majority of the categories.  Andros came a close second.

In the finale, the judges had the daunting task of judging seven delicious categories including best crab and dough, best alcoholic beverages, best rice, best conch salad, best crab dish, best native candy and best lobster dish.

In the best bread and crab and dough category, Tiffany Newton of Andros was the overall winner.

For alcoholic beverages, Preston Jones of Abaco was the overall winner.

Winning best rice was Christopher and Kelly Thurston of Acklins, best crab dish went to Cleo Cash of Andros, best native candy went to Naturally Bahamians of Acklins and Charles Stewart of Abaco won best lobster dish.

Bimini SuperFast begins Ft. Lauderdale service
Submitted by Michelle Malcolm   
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 12:01

BIMINI, The Bahamas -- The inaugural Bimini SuperFast cruise from Fort Lauderdale, Florida arrived to the Port at Resorts World Bimini on Tuesday October 14, bringing more than 800 visitors to the island. The influx of hundreds of visitors during what is traditionally the “slow” tourism season for the island was welcomed by business owners in the hospitality sector who had been eagerly anticipating the start of the weekday cruises.

“Business is great, it feels like a weekend,” said water sports entrepreneur Edward Reckley. “When you look at the hundreds of people here today, I know this is the beginning of a great thing for the island. A lot of these people are in the media, so word is going to travel quickly and we will see a lot of repeat business. Biminites have been waiting to see this kind of thing for a long time and we are ready to welcome them with open arms.”

With the new service, Bimini SuperFast is now sailing three days a week from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and three days a week from Miami on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Service from Miami will be increased to four days a week by Thanksgiving, providing daily cruise ferry service to Bimini from South Florida.

The daily service will dramatically improve the quality of life for all Biminites as for the first time, fresh produce will arrive on a daily basis and the cost of transporting goods to Bimini will be significantly reduced. However, as RWB Executive Dana Leibovitz points out, it is the economic impact to the island’s economy that will be most notable.

“Resorts World Bimini injects millions of dollars directly into the local economy, however the money spent in town by visitors who come to Bimini aboard the SuperFast is providing a substantial indirect impact,” he said. “When the island succeeds, we succeed, and we are pleased that the people of Bimini are benefitting from our cruise service on so many levels.”

BTC celebrates opening of Harbour Island store
Submitted by Serena Williams   
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 11:27

Ribbon Cutting for the new BTC Harbour Island store: L to R: Jolton Johnson, Sr. Administrator-N. Eleuthera, BTC CEO Leon Williams, Eleanor Cleare retired BTC employee, Berthenia Knowles Acting Sr. Manager Eleuthera & Cat Island BTC, Theo Neilly, MP N Eleuthera, Patricia Walters BTC Sr. VP Customer Operations, LeShawn Cartwright Associate BTC.HARBOUR ISLAND, Eleuthera -- Underlining their commitment to open sixty-one BTC retail stores throughout the islands of The Bahamas before 2016, residents of Harbour Island and neighbouring settlements celebrated the opening of the twenty-eighth BTC ‘Best In Class’ Experience store on the North Eleuthera island. CEO Leon Williams, local Member of Parliament Theo Neilly, Senior Administrator for Harbour Island, Jolton Johnson and Patricia Walters, BTC Senior Vice President, Customer Services each brought remarks.

Mr. Williams said that as a Bahamian company, he was dedicated to making sure that BTC benefits the local economy and the peoples of The Bahamas.

“I’m interested in how BTC can benefit Bahamians in this country. I’m interested in how BTC in the economy of Harbour Island can cause this economy to grow, how BTC can change the level of income, how they can participate in the wider community.  I’m interested in ensuring the Bahamian student in Inagua has the same access to the internet at the same high speeds as the students in Nassau.  I am the CEO of BTC Bahamas not BTC Nassau and as an island boy from Grand Bahama I appreciate the need to treat each island just as importantly as the next.”

Mr. Williams outlined the immediate plans for BTC to make the company competition reliant and customer service centric.

“Over the next two months we will further improve the network and start IP TV testing for television services. It is expected that initial testing will start in the Family Islands and hopefully, by mid-2015 we’ll have BTC IP TV in many parts of the country.”

New charter air service to fly to five Bahamas destinations
Submitted by John Bell   
Monday, 13 October 2014 15:18

Bahamas Tourism Office officials join with flight crew from Meregrass, Inc and IJet executives at Sheltair at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International for test flight to Marsh Harbour for the new Saab 2000 premium class scheduled charter service.FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida — In introducing its new Saab 2000 aircraft at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) today, Texas-based Meregrass, Inc. announced plans to offer scheduled charter service to five Bahamas destinations from Fort Lauderdale and one from New York.  

Jim Swieter, founder of IJet Charters, which is providing marketing and reservations for the scheduled charter, said the 30-passenger service will be unique to the market offering all premium class seating and high-speed travel.  

“Pricing will be competitive,” said Swieter of the scheduled charter service, which is soon to be filed with the Department of Transportation (DOT). Swieter said all flights must be filed with DOT and all advance tickets purchased go into bonded DOT escrow accounts.  

“Our plans are to fly direct scheduled flights—April through August— from Fort Lauderdale to Marsh Harbour, Grand Bahama, Bimini, Georgetown and North Eleuthera. “We also are looking to schedule a non-stop from New York to Marsh Harbour during that same high season.”  

Swieter said the scheduled charters will fly out of Sheltair at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International (FLL), which will streamline the check-in process. Some return flights will arrive at FLL Terminal 4.  

I-Group meets with the Prime Minister
Submitted by BIS   
Sunday, 12 October 2014 13:49

NASSAU, Bahamas -- A meeting was held between I-Group and Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie, October 10, at the Office of the Prime Minister, to bring him up to date on developments underway in Mayaguana with particular reference to providing health care and education to residents of Mayaguana, and to the increased population as a result of anticipated investments.

Pictured with the Prime Minister are, from left: Mrs. Isabelle Roy and Augustin Roy, wife and son of Stephen Roy, head of the I-Group and the principal developer in Mayaguana; the Prime Minister; and Dr. Thomas F. Burke, professor at Harvard Medical School and Chief of the Division of Global Health and Human Rights at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

(BIS Photo/Peter L. Ramsay)

Innovative long term boater slip program announced at Bimini Big Game Club
Submitted by John Bell   
Friday, 10 October 2014 08:22

BIMINI, The Bahamas -- The historic Big Game Club Resort and Marina has launched an innovative plan providing boaters using club’s long-term slip rental program with two free roundtrip cruise tickets per month to Bimini from Miami or Fort Lauderdale plus fuel credits, room discounts and other perks.

“With high fuel costs and unpredictable seas, especially during the winter months, boaters from southeast Florida have both financial and weather issues to consider before crossing the Gulf Stream to Bimini,” said Diana Weber, Director of Sales and Marketing at the 51-room Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina. “Getting here and returning home is sometimes a dilemma for those boaters and fishermen.”

Weber said in the past some boaters have opted to dock long-term at the resort and fly over for outings on the water.

“Air travel costs coupled with room rates and on-the-water fuel consumption and at-the-dock electric and water added to the weekend fishing tab,” said Weber. “We reviewed and worked the problem and have come up with a great solution.”

Weber said the resort this week has introduced way for long-term slip rental boaters to enjoy Bimini and cut overhead costs:

CEO of Global Village Group tours Resorts World Bimini
Submitted by Michelle Malcolm   
Friday, 10 October 2014 07:44

BIMINI, The Bahamas -- Dr. Showalter Johnson, CEO of Global Village Group (GVG) and Harvard Specialist in Non Profit frame works, recently toured Resorts World Bimini (RWB) to see firsthand all that the destination has to offer. Dr. Johnson, who founded GVG in 2010 to provide businesses with strategies and methods for improvement, was invited to take a look at RWB as the venue for the 2015 Commonwealth Economic Yearly Summit (CEYS) - an international conference that attracts some of the world’s wealthiest investors, venture capitalists and business persons each year.

“As major leaders of industries across the globe, delegates who convene at the CEYS round table have come to expect the absolute best in terms of the quality of service provided by the facilities at which they meet,” said Dr. Johnson as he toured the resort. “I am looking for a venue that is able to deliver on that expectation, and from what I see here, Resorts World Bimini is more than able to do so.”

Dr. Johnson was apprised of RWB’s luxury marina resort which is forecasted for a soft opening in the late fall of 2014 and a full opening by the winter of 2015. The new 305-room marina hotel will offer luxury accommodations, water views and state-of-the-art conference meeting space - ideal for the level of persons who will be attending the CEYS summit, including some of the world’s wealthiest entrepreneurs.

RWB Executive Dana Leibovitz said the new facility and Bimini as a whole would serve as an ideal venue for the conclave.

Fred Mitchell gives address at Seventh Day Adventist church in Exuma
Submitted by BIS   
Tuesday, 07 October 2014 07:26
Mitchell poses with attendees including the Head of the Bahamas Adventist Conference, Rev. Leonard Johnson.REMARKS BY FRED MITCHELL
5th October 2014
Moss Town, Exuma

A Celebration Of Nations: Connected people to people; heart to heart

"Good morning Reverend gentlemen and ladies. My friend and colleague Anthony Moss MP and Parliamentary Secretary for Local Government. The Chief Councilor Leonard Dames and his Councilors. Ladies and gentlemen.

It is good to be in Exuma and good to have been asked back a second year to this celebration of nations.

I flew here directly from New York where I delivered the country’s national statement. This year’s was a tough message and while we celebrate the comity between nations, we have some tough and unyielding work to do and we have to enlist your support in that work.

The message to the world this year was that The Bahamas and Bahamians were determined to look after their very survival and existence by paying attention to three major areas of concern: the environment, crime and illegal immigration. These must not be words alone, however, they must translate into action. To be translated into action, it is the people of the country who must support what we do.
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