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Cat Island delegation headed to Richton Park, Illinois, for Sister Cities negotiations
Submitted by Yolanda Hanna   
Tuesday, 23 September 2014 08:07

IMG Cat Island Richton Delegation: Cat Island and Bahamas delegation left Nassau on Monday September 22nd for Richton Park, Illinois to attend Sister Cities negotiations. Pictured are Jackson McIntosh, Cat Island Administrator; Danson King, Chairman, Cat Island Sister Cities Association; Ginger Moxey, President & CEO of Immerse Bahamas; Melvin Seymour and Garth King, members of the Cat Island Sister Cities Association. (Photo by Immerse Bahamas)  NASSAU, The Bahamas -- A delegation from Cat Island and The Bahamas is headed to Richton Park, Illinois, for Sister Cities negotiations.  The group will be in Richton Park from September 22nd - 25th, 2014 to further explore the reciprocal benefits to be achieved as a result of the sister cities relationship.

Ginger Moxey, President and CEO of Immerse Bahamas, is among the delegation travelling to Richton.  Immerse Bahamas, a destination and project management company that aims to promote culturally-immersive programs, has partnered with Sister Cities International to develop sister city relationships intended to enhance cultural, educational, tourism and business exchanges for the islands of The Bahamas.

Cat Island is one of the first islands under this initiative to cultivate a sister city relationship with the Village of Richton Park, IL.  The Village of Richton Park is a small community located 30 miles from the City of Chicago in northeast Illinois and is home to about 13,500 residents who are looking to engage in cultural, tourism, business, educational and youth exchanges, as well as humanitarian projects.  Education has been identified as the initial area of focus with virtual class exchanges and scholarship opportunities.

Cat Island is positioned in the centre of The Bahama Island archipelago, 325 miles southeast of Miami, Florida and has a population of approximately 1,600 people. Its history is rich in Bahamian culture and tradition while the island’s industries include agriculture, tourism, sports and weaving straw hats and bags.

Immerse Bahamas’ mission is to empower groups to experience the splendor of The Bahamas: its culture; with music, dance, cuisine, arts and craft, and the unadulterated charm of the islands, which is the beauty and hospitality of the people.  At the opening of Immerse Bahamas earlier this year, Moxey pledged to further propel The Bahamas as a destination ripe for those seeking the authentic experiences that The Bahamas has to offer.

More jobs and investments heralded for Bimini
Written by BIS   
Monday, 22 September 2014 07:05

Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie addresses attendees during the official opening of the Port at Resorts World Bimini on September 18, 2014.  (BIS Photo/Peter L. Ramsay)BIMINI, The Bahamas – Resorts World Bimini Resort has seen a 30 percent increase in occupancy since its opening and is currently constructing a new 300-room hotel. Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie made the statement during the official opening of the Port at Resorts World Bimini on September 18.  The majority of his cabinet ministers accompanied him.  

Mr. Christie said that this signals more opportunities for Bahamians.  

“I would like for you to listen very carefully to the jobs and economic impact of the Resorts World development,” said Mr. Christie. “Some 480 persons have been involved in construction and to date 488 persons are employed at the resort. When the new hotel opens some 800 persons will be employed permanently at the resort.”  

The Prime Minister said that several infrastructural projects are also scheduled for Bimini and will take place during the upcoming months. 

“Phase 1 of the cruise pier is now completed, and I am advised that the temporary Customs and Immigration building will be operational within one month,” said Mr. Christie. “The permanent Customs & Immigration building will be completed in six months time and will have space for a Tourism desk, tour operators as well as check in counters.”  

In addition, the Prime Minister said that other amenities including a straw and craft market for local vendors, transportation pick up area, a beach restaurant, and a warehouse for local freight will be located landside of the deep water jetty. He said that the new jetty would facilitate more visitors to Bimini, and allow more of them to spend more time in the local community and more opportunity to stay over in local resorts. Further, Mr. Christie pointed out, there would be additional benefits.  

Iguanas released back into the wild
Written by BIS   
Monday, 22 September 2014 06:48

SAN SALVADOR, Bahamas -- Since the return of the Bahamian Rock Iguanas taken from The Bahamas in February 2014, nine of the thirteen animals that were smuggled out of the country, survived.

These nine remaining iguanas were housed in specially-built quarantine facilities under the care and supervision of Dr. Thomas Rothfus and the team at the Gerace Research Center in San Salvador since July 9th, 2014. The animals were repatriated during the week of The Bahamas’ 41st Independence celebrations.

The Bahamas Environment Science & Technology (BEST) Commission, in consultation with the Bahamas National Trust (BNT) and a team of Iguana Specialists coordinated by Mrs. Sandra Buckner, herpetologist, ensured that the critically endangered species were allowed to naturally reacclimatize to the Bahamian environment.

Further, the Commission and the Ministry of the Environment and Housing in discussions with the Office of the Prime Minister, the Department of Lands and Surveys and The Bahamas National Trust, mounted efforts to assess possible relocation sites for which these animals could be released back into the wild. A team led by Mr. Philip Weech, Director of the BEST Commission, Mrs. Sandra Buckner, Lindey Knowles and Dr. Ethan Freid of BNT visited and assessed various sites to determine their suitability for release of the iguanas.

The iguanas were released back into the wild, following their transport from San Salvador on Saturday September 13, 2014.

Resorts World Bimini partners with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. for teen summit; donation of school supplies
Submitted by Michelle Malcolm   
Thursday, 18 September 2014 18:15

BIMINI, The Bahamas -- Resorts World Bimini (RWB) has partnered with the South Broward Alumnae Chapter (SBAC) and the Grand Bahama Alumnae Chapter (GBAC) of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated to donate school supplies for the children of Bimini. RWB donated $2,500 to the Sorority’s educational outreach program, covering the cost of text books in the subjects of Social Studies, English Literature, History, Geography, English Language, Mathematics, Science, Religious Studies, and Physical Education for students of the Louise McDonald High School in Alice Town.

While extoling the importance of a good education, President Dana Leibovitz said RWB was happy to assist in the advancement of the island’s youth.

“They say success comes when preparation meets opportunity,” he said. “This donation will help the students of Bimini to receive a good education, which is the foundation of the preparation that will be required to take advantage of the opportunities that will propel them to excel. We wish the students all the best in this school year.”

“We have a wide variety of trinkets given to us by the Miami Heat and some of our members for the students,” said South Broward Alumnae Chapter President Cassandra Joseph, “but the Resorts World Bimini donation will be used to purchase some much needed books for the students.”

In addition to the donation of text books, the South Broward chapter is planning to stage a Teen Summit/Workshop on Saturday, September 20th, 2014 for the island’s students and teachers, in conjunction with the sorority’s Grand Bahama Alumnae Chapter. The summit will be held under the theme, “There is more to me than what you see” and will cover topics such as self-esteem and empowerment; college readiness; parental relationships, and an Educator Exchange with SBAC Educators, Bahamas faculty, staff and parents.

Mangrove Bush Primary School celebrates 50th anniversary
Submitted by BIS   
Thursday, 18 September 2014 10:53

LONG ISLAND, The Bahamas -- The staff and students of the Mangrove Bush Primary School on Long Island joined proud members of the community to celebrate the school’s 50th Anniversary. The celebrations included reflections by former Principals, Mr. Norris Carroll and Mr. Deral Wells, respectively.  

The school opened its doors in 1964 and rests on a parcel of land that was donated by Mr. George Knowles. Mr. Norris Rexford Carroll served as its first Principal. With the assistance of community partners such as Mr. Basil Neymour and the Parent Teachers Association, the school was expanded and is now recognized as one of the quality institutions of learning in The Bahamas.  

To help mark the occasion was Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education Science and Technology, Mrs. Nicole Campbell and Mrs. Lillian Culmer-Miller, District Superintendent. Indicating that the school’s history is one of commitment, perseverance and community, the Permanent Secretary thanked the administrators and staff and congratulated them on meeting this wonderful milestone.

Mrs. Campbell also acknowledged the many successes of the school, including the fact that a large number of students are currently reading at or above their grade levels. She encouraged the students to continue to strive for excellence by embracing all opportunities afforded to them.

The students were asked to repeat the words, “I am special. I am smart. I will work hard today because I am the leader of tomorrow,” and to use it as their daily mantra.

BIS interviews North Androsians in lead-up to BAMSI’s opening
Submitted by BIS   
Thursday, 18 September 2014 08:01

North Andros and Berry Islands Administrator Ivan Ferguson interviewed by BIS programme host/producer, Pamela Isaacs.  (BIS Photo/Ulric Woodside)NORTH ANDROS, The Bahamas -- Bahamas Information Services (BIS) this week interviewed a number of community leaders and residents of North Andros to get their feedback on the development of the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI) in their community, as the time approaches for the new institute to receive students and open for classes.  

The BIS broad range of interviews, soon to be broadcast, included talks with the Administrator for North Andros and the Berry Islands, the Assistant Director of Labour, BAIC Project Manager, Urban Renewal representatives, North Andros High School teachers, high school students who are assisting on the project, construction contractors, and people who live in the area.  

Among those who were interviewed and had responded with sometimes interesting insights, Andros and Berry Islands Assistant Director of Labour Michael Colebrooke noted that as the institute expands, his job of monitoring with respect to such things as work permits will become busier as the issue of controls heightens.  

Mr. Rai Budhu, science and agriculture teacher, and Ms. Anne Rolle, senior assistant – both at North Andros High School for over 20 years -- were interviewed. Mr. Budhu showed the media team what the school students are learning.

Defence Force reports apprehension of undocumented Haitian nationals in Exuma
Submitted by BIS   
Tuesday, 16 September 2014 11:24

CORAL HARBOUR BASE, New Providence --- Acting on intelligence reference a sighting of a Haitian sailing sloop, the Royal Bahamas Defence Force and Police Force apprehended ninety-four (94) Haitian migrants at 1:00pm on Monday, 15th September, 2014, in the Exuma chain.

The blue sailing sloop was sighted at approximately ten nautical miles (10nm) off Darby Island and was intercepted and brought to Farmers Cay where the migrants were extracted by Defence Force Fast Patrol Crafts under the command of Chief Petty Officer Ross Seymour. A search of the vessel resulted in the apprehension of undocumented Haitian nationals consisting of seventy-nine (79) males, fourteen (14) females, and one (1) child.

The migrants were subsequently taken into custody and were transported to the Coral Harbour Base where they were handed over to Immigration authorities for further processing.

The Commander Defence Force, Commodore Roderick Bowe, expresses his thanks and appreciation for the assistance received from the police  force who made initial contact with the vessel bringing it alongside in Farmers Cay and the local community who providing critical information which culminated in the apprehension of the migrants.

International conservationists alarmed over Bimini development
Submitted by DP&A   
Friday, 12 September 2014 07:22

BIMINI, The Bahamas -- A group of international conservation experts has expressed serious concern over the environmental impact of ongoing resort construction on and around the island of Bimini.

The experts, hosted on a tour of Bimini by fast-growing social and environmental advocacy group Save The Bays (STB), said they fear the work may destroy some of the most significant coral reefs in the region and put the island’s traditional industries at risk.

See video below or visit SaveTheBays Bahamas YouTube site.

“The Bahamas are some of the most beautiful and wonderful places in the world,” said Marydele O’Donnely, director of international policy for the Sea Turtle Conservancy (STC). “I’ve traveled extensively and I have been absolutely amazed by how the habitat looks here.

“But when I see developments like what is happening in North Bimini I am not only alarmed and concerned, but really saddened. Things have happened here that shouldn’t have happened.

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