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Family Island News
Opposition Leader, the Hon. Dr. Hubert A. Minnis visits Exuma
Submitted by Katherine Stewart-Gibson   
Tuesday, 01 April 2014 07:34

Dr. Minnis (second left), Joshua Sears (center) and FNM Deputy Chair Brensil Rolle (far right) walk with Exuma residents. (Photos by Yontalay Bowe)EXUMA, The Bahamas -- Free National Movement Party Leader, the Hon. Dr. Hubert A. Minnis continued his Family Island tours when he and party officers visited the island of Exuma on March 29 – 30, 2014. The team touched down at the George Town International Airport on Saturday morning, March 29.

Dr. Minnis and his team walked-a-bout, visited homes, and chatted with residents in the settlements of Williams Town, Forbes Hill, The Ferry, Heartswell, Rolle Town, George Town, Steventon, Rolleville and Stuart Manor and Mt. Thompson.

The evening concluded with a Grill & Chill held at FNM Headquarters in George Town on Saturday evening. Addressing the crowds Dr. Minnis shared his message of ‘restoration’. He reaffirmed that the FNM will restore faith in government and will empower and provide opportunities for Bahamians.

On Sunday, March 30, Dr. Minnis gave remarks at the closing session of the 79th Annual Convention of the Exuma District of Churches held at Mt. Hermon Union Baptist Church in Mt. Thompson. Dr. Minnis reminded the congregation that we are all ‘duty bound to work together to move the country forward, upward and onward together.”

Photo: Dr. Minnis (second left), Joshua Sears (center) and FNM Deputy Chair Brensil Rolle (far right) walk with Exuma residents. (Photos by Yontalay Bowe)

Preston H. Albury High School band visit the Governor General
Submitted by BIS   
Monday, 31 March 2014 08:35

NASSAU, Bahamas -- The band of Preston H. Albury High School from Rock Sound, Eleuthera was welcome by Governor General Sir Arthur Foulkes to Government House for a courtesy call, March 28, 2014. Sir Arthur is pictured speaking to band members in the ballroom. (BIS Photo/Letisha Henderson)

Top judge warns against permits for Bimini developer
Submitted by DP&A   
Thursday, 27 March 2014 10:55

Justice Conteh: “No self-respecting government” would give the green light to construction while the matter is still before the courts

One of the country's top judges has warned of implications for the rule of law if the controversial Bimini Bay development is allowed to forge ahead while still subject to judicial challenge. Pictured is the bulldozing of mangroves as part of earlier resort construction, which environmentalists say is damaging the island’s crucially important marine and terrestrial ecology. (Photo by Gail Woon of EARTHCARE)NASSAU, Bahamas -- One of the country's top judges has warned of implications for the rule of law if the controversial Bimini Bay development is allowed to forge ahead while still subject to judicial challenge.

Court of Appeal Justice Abdulai Conteh told lawyers for the government and Resorts World Bimini that any construction at the resort site could put the entire case at risk.

"In a democracy, no self-respecting government would do anything to jeopardize proceedings before the court," he said.

"When there is a contested issue, one should not change the facts on the ground until a decision is made."

Justice Conteh's comments came as the appeal, lodged by environmental groups Bimini Blue Coalition and Save The Bays, was again adjourned - this time to June 2.

When the new date was announced, lead lawyer for the environmentalists Fred Smith, QC, expressed concern that construction would be allowed to advance in the meantime.

Cruise ship MS Island Sky calls at Inagua
Submitted by BIS   
Tuesday, 25 March 2014 16:01

The Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Local Government the Hon. V. Alfred Gray officially welcoming the MS Island Sky cruise ship to Inagua, during a ceremony on board the vessel on Monday, March 24, 2014. (BIS Photo/Raymond Bethel) MATTHEW TOWN, Great Inagua – The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism welcomed the MS Island Sky cruise ship to Inagua, a move to strengthening stop over visitor experience to that most southern island.

On Monday, March 24, 2014 The Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Local Government the Hon V Alfred Gray and Tourism officials greeted the captain, crew and passengers as they boarded the vessel in mid sea.

A plaque exchange ceremony took place in the lounge area where Mr. Gray, on behalf of the Minister of Tourism the Hon Obie Wilchcombe, said it was a great pleasure welcoming passengers and crew to “the best kept secret” in the world.

Mr. Gray presented a glass Junkanoo doll to Captain Hakan Gustafsson, Master of MS Island Sky, who in turn gave a framed photograph of the luxury liner.  “This is a hidden gem and you can now return to your home city and let all your family and friends know that you have seen paradise on earth,” Mr. Gray said.

It is the second time the MS Island Sky, one of the London-based Caledonian Sky flagships - called on the Southern Bahamas. Its Inaugural Call was on January 27, at Acklins Island. There, visitors received native teas, baked goods and Bahamian dishes and souvenirs.

NEMA continues to encourage safer building practices
Written by BIS   
Monday, 24 March 2014 08:42

 Facilitators, presenters and participants at the Safer Building Code Course held March 21to 22, 2014 at the Old Bight High School in Old Bight, Cat Island. Pictured front row seated from left to right are: Ricardo  Woodside, Bahamas Red Cross; Alexander Darville, Dean of Construction, Trades and Workforce at BTVI; Gayle Moncur, Senior Assistant Secretary of NEMA and  programme coordinator; Godfrey Forbes, Bahamian Contractors Association and Charlene Collie, Bahamas Electricity Corporation. (Photo: NEMA/BTVI) OLD BIGHT, Cat Island -- The National Emergency Management Agency is continuing its programme of promoting disaster resilient communities throughout the islands.

In this vein, NEMA, in conjunction with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency and the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute held a Safer Building Code Course on the island, which was severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

On Saturday, March 22, the importance of preparedness to respond to any emergency was underscored by facilitators and presenters to the 30 participants residing on the island.

Senior Assistant Secretary of NEMA and Gayle Moncur, the programme coordinator said that a goal of NEMA is to not only encourage participants to hone their skills but enable them to make a sustained living.

She said after the passage of Hurricane Sandy, and based on the level of devastation, it was just a matter of the relevant organisations coming together to facilitate the workshop.

The Safer Building Course is being supported through the Comprehensive Disaster Management Harmonised Implementation Programme: Phase I (CDM HIP) and is aimed at enhancing resilience and building a culture of safety at the community level in CDEMA Participating States.

Marine biologist: Research shows significant effects of Bimini development on marine environment
Submitted by Alex Dorsett   
Friday, 21 March 2014 14:49

An excavator digs near mangroves in Bimini as mega-resort construction continues.  A 14-year study has revealed startling mangrove and marine degradation over the course of the development, including loss of nurseries for fish, conch and crawfish and a survival rate of newborn lemon sharks that plummeted to 26%, according to a well-known marine biologist. Dr. Kristine Stump presented the findings at the recent Bahamas Natural History Conference in Nassau. (Photo by Dr. Kristine Stump)BIMINI, Bahamas -- Research from a long-term study reveals that the year mega-resort construction in Bimini deforested almost half of a lagoon’s mangrove shorelines, the survival rate of newborn lemon sharks plummeted to only 26%. The startling statistic was revealed during a presentation on the closing day of last week’s Bahamas Natural History Conference in Nassau.

During the presentation, marine biologist Dr. Kristine Stump demonstrated that successive developers of the ongoing project, currently operated by Resorts World Bimini, have failed to use mitigation measures such as silt curtains while dredging and filling, sending plumes of dangerous silt into the lagoon, an important nursery ground for sharks, conch and lobster. The loss of important submerged mangrove habitat and accompanying siltation can have negative effects on the marine community, and results from her study showed declines in several important fish species that occurred after mangrove deforestation.

Local environmental advocate Joseph Darville, education officer for the fast-growing Save The Bays environmental advocacy movement, said he was overwhelmed by Stump’s presentation.

"Save The Bays has been saying this all along. And now we have the proof, now we have the science. There can be no backtracking from here,” he said.

Save The Bays has been a strong advocate for the creation of several additional marine protected areas around the Bahamas, including a North Bimini Marine Reserve.

One Eleuthera Foundation & Cancer Society of Eleuthera encourage healthy eating habits through new farm grand opening
Submitted by Gacintha Gordon   
Friday, 21 March 2014 12:54
ELEUTHERA, Bahamas – Healthy eating is an essential part of building and maintaining a healthy body and a strong immune system. This can lead to the body being able to prevent and better combat certain illnesses and ultimately longer life.  

During One Eleuthera Foundation’s (OEF) inaugural Pathway to Wellness Symposium in 2012, it was noted that 60% of all deaths in The Bahamas are a result of Non Communicable Diseases (NCD) and account for half of all deaths of people 45 years and older. The most prevalent illnesses seen in all clinics on Eleuthera and in the Health facilities throughout The Bahamas are Chronic Non Communicable Diseases (CNCD), namely Hypertension and Diabetes. Such illnesses are preventable and controllable through the implementation of daily exercise, diets rich in fruits and vegetables, and a reduction in the intake of salt, fats and sugars.  

Through its Health and Wellness Initiative, The Pathway to Wellness, The One Eleuthera Foundation in conjunction with its partners, is working to reduce the prevalence and negative effects of CNCDs by facilitating programs that encourage and provide avenues for people to take better care of their health.  

In partnership with Cancer Society of Eleuthera, OEF will celebrate a milestone as they invite the public to join them on Saturday, April 5th, 2014 for the opening of Eleuthera Community Farms (ECF). The farm is located at the Society’s Wellness Center in Palmetto Point. This grand event will be fun and entertaining for the entire family and will include: tours of the farm and nature trail, cooking demos, great food incorporating produce from the farm, homemade juices, bouncing castle, face painting, music and much more, all at one small flat fee.  

Through the kind generosity of Sameer and Tricia Bhatti of Philadelphia, USA, the vision for a more healthier Eleuthera is fast becoming more and more a possibility. Under the skilled management of Sherry Fax, who is an avid farmer herself, a vast variety of organically grown fruit and vegetables can now be accessed at the new Eleuthera Community Farms.  ECF successfully reaped its first harvest of greens (kale, arugula, spinach and lettuce) last week, published in a previous article by The Eleutheran. All items sold out almost instantaneously.  

Baha Mar continues Family Island recruiting
Submitted by Royann Dean   
Friday, 21 March 2014 06:56

Lashanta Smith, the recruitment supervisor at Baha Mar Academy speaks with students at Old Bight High School during a previous visit to Cat Island.NASSAU, The Bahamas -- With December 2014 fast approaching, Baha Mar is well into its recruitment efforts to staff the resort with morethan 4,000 jobs by its opening. In addition to meeting with just under 500 Bahamian students and professionals throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, Baha Mar Academy, the recruitment and training arm of the company, has meet with more than 3,000 local high school and college students throughout the country.

Beginning in March, Baha Mar Academy representatives Vonya Ifill and Lashanta Smith, along with Benjamin Sims, Human Resources Director at the Mondrian at Baha Mar, will continue the recruitment outreach across the Family Islands.They will be meeting with high school seniors and recent graduates as well as professionals to discuss career opportunities, the recruitment process and the experience of working at Baha Mar. Potential candidates will also be invited to interview during these visits which are scheduled to occur on a monthly basis.

“We are looking for people who have an aptitude for service, even if they don’t have experience in the hospitality industry,” said Kristen Wells, Director of Baha Mar Academy. “What is important to us is that they embrace the Baha Mar Standard of service excellence and attention to detail.”

Interested candidates should complete applications at To request an interview with the recruiters please send an email to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with ‘Dream Team Search - (Your Island’s Name) 2014’ in the subject line. Previously uploaded applications should be updated before requesting an interview.

Baha Mar Academy will visit Abaco during March 27 – 29. Other islands on the tour include Grand Bahama, Bimini, Exuma, Eleuthera and Long Island.

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