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Family Island News
Tropic Ocean Airways performs first international night flight from Bimini to Fort Lauderdale
Submitted by John Bell   
Tuesday, 22 April 2014 09:20

BIMINI, Bahamas— Tropic Ocean Airways, the Fort Lauderdale and Miami based seaplane airline owned and operated by a U.S. Navy TOPGUN fighter pilot, performed another first on April 3rd by departing Bimini for the first international night flight in the island’s history.

Known for returning commercial seaplane service to Bimini in 2011, Tropic Ocean Airways has developed and operated Resorts World Bimini’s seaplane flights since August 2013 in addition to Tropic’s existing Bimini seaplane service.

To augment Tropic’s regular seaplane service direct to Resorts World Bimini, the team took delivery of Resorts World Bimini’s first amphibian aircraft in late March from the factory, flying it over to South Bimini airport for the inaugural event.  The seaplane was parked prominently behind the stage where various members of the Bahamian government, including Prime Minister Christie, spoke along with the Chairman of Resorts World International.

Rob Ceravolo, CEO of Tropic, attended the celebration. “It was a historic event and I’m excited that we were a part of it,” Ceravolo said. “I was honestly very proud of the Tropic crew during the chairman’s speech….he spoke about our seaplane operations and how they have grown to be one of the largest in the world. Our team actually developed the operational procedures for safely flying to and docking at Resorts World.”

Historically, all seaplane flights operated to the southern part of the channel, where the waterway is much wider with more available space. The dock at Resorts World is in the narrow part of the channel at the northern end.

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Refurbished building makes way for additional Government services in Cat Island
Written by BIS   
Tuesday, 22 April 2014 09:12

Cat Island Administrator Jackson McIntosh talks about the new Cat Island District Council Office in New Bight, Cat Island (BIS photo/Letisha Henderson).CAT ISLAND, The Bahamas – The building which once housed the Ministry of Education’s teacher’s cottage in New Bight has been refurbished and is now the home of the Cat Island District Council Office. The building was officially opened on April 4 by Phillip Davis, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Works and Urban Development and V. Alfred Gray, Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Local Government.

Cat Island Administrator Jackson McIntosh said the refurbished building has created additional space for Road Traffic and police services. The District Council office previously operated from the Administrator’s office.

“The island is now looking forward to bringing the photo driver’s license option to Cat Island and all of those components in the Administrator’s building will be ready in the next two weeks,” said Mr. McIntosh. “The whole thing has allowed for a lot of new services to be added to the island. Now it [the remodeled building] will house all of the meeting needs of the Council. It has also resulted in the employment of another council worker and is a win for Cat Island.”

The District Council Office houses the statutory boards of: Road Traffic Authority, Town Planning, Building Inspections, Hotel Licensing and the Port Authority.

Photo: Cat Island Administrator Jackson McIntosh talks about the new Cat Island District Council Office in New Bight, Cat Island (BIS photo/Letisha Henderson).

 
Resorts World Bimini celebrates Earth Day with environmental initiatives
Submitted by Michelle Malcolm   
Tuesday, 22 April 2014 05:03

BIMINI, The Bahamas -- Resorts World Bimini (RWB) is joining over a billion people in 190 countries worldwide in taking action for Earth Day, as it continues to implement initiatives to minimize its environmental impact in the short, medium and long term. In keeping with the 2014 Earth Day theme Green Cities, RWB has begun implementing its own Environmental Stewardship Program (ESP), which aims to ensure that the Resort’s development is sustainable and that Bimini’s community, environment and culture are not negatively impacted in the process. The ESP is concentrating on three key areas: water, air quality, and sustainable energy.

WATER INITIATIVE

The Water Initiative is a key component in RWB’s ESP. The resort is working to preserve one of Bimini’s greatest assets – its marine life and the waters that surround it. Members of RWB’s Environmental Task Force regularly monitor the island’s shoreline for signs of erosion with a view to nourishing beaches. Additionally, more than 500,000 gallons of fresh water is pumped to North Bimini Island daily via RWB’s reverse osmosis water treatment program. The Resort’s landscaping needs are addressed by providing grey water for irrigation which is processed through the Resort’s sewage treatment facility.

AIR QUALITY

The ESP also addresses the issue of clean air. A contract has been signed with Bahamas Hot Mix Company for the paving of the public roads in Bimini in the coming weeks, as an extension of its job to pave the extension to the South Bimini Airport tarmac. This is welcomed news for Biminites who have been plagued by dust filled air along the island’s main roadways. Several land based initiatives are in the works as part of an ongoing waste management study, including a recycling program will be launched soon as the first step towards a more natural way to incinerate the island’s trash.

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Ministry of Works officials tour seawall project in Cat Island
Submitted by BIS   
Sunday, 20 April 2014 08:44

Ezra Miller, contractor, pictured at right chats with Colin Higgs, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works and Urban Development, about the progress of work on seawalls in Cat Island (BIS photo/Letisha Henderson).CAT ISLAND, The Bahamas -- Ministry of Works and Urban Development officials led by Permanent Secretary Colin Higgs and representatives of Urban Renewal 2.0 toured a seawall project in Cat Island Wednesday, April 16.  

The project initially started at a cost of $1.8 million and due to underground technical issues is expected to increase to approximately $2.4 million.  

Eighteen residents of Cat Island are employed on the project which extends from The Cove to Smiths Bay and is now into its sixth month and anticipated to be completed by the end of May.  

Ezra Russell, contractor and president of Marlin Enterprise said the project has been progressing steadily.  

“We started in The Cove with seawalls and drainage and now we are in Knowles on the last leg,” said Mr. Russell.  

He explained that because of the increasing high water mark combined with the effects resulting from hurricanes it was discovered that roads were being eroded. Seawalls were needed to protect the road reservation.  

“They wanted to go down to bedrock. We went down 10 feet, 12 feet and in some part we went down almost 20 feet,” Mr. Russell said. “The walls got deeper but it cost more because of the level of concrete that you had to pour, the amount of man hours we had to put in and then the excavation because once you have to go deeper you have to excavate more so the costs will go up.”  

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Urban Renewal transforms the lives of three Cat Island families
Written by BIS   
Saturday, 19 April 2014 07:55

Vincent ‘Blake’ Jolly says thanks to Urban Renewal for the additions to his home in New Bight, Cat Island (BIS photo/Letisha Henderson).CAT ISLAND, The Bahamas – Vincent and Marina Jolly, Gladys McKenzie and Edith Williams are three Cat Island families who now have proper bathroom facilities and running water in their homes thanks to the government’s Urban Renewal Small Home Repairs Programme.

Michelle Reckley, Deputy Director of Urban Renewal 2.0 with responsibility for Cat Island said Ms. McKenzie, 88-years-old, was so grateful when water flowed in her home for the first time. “When she actually saw running water she was like a child with a new toy. At this stage in her life she can say she was afforded the amenities she did not have through Urban Renewal. Edith Williams has a brand new bathroom and proper running water. She had no bathroom. She used whatever she could as a bathroom. It was very difficult in her condition.”

Mrs. Reckley was among a delegation headed by Colin Higgs, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works and Urban Development, that travelled to Cat Island on April 17 where they inspected infrastructure developments and repairs to homes. The delegation also included; Cynthia “Mother” Pratt, Commission Co-Chair of Urban Renewal; Ricardo Moncur, Personal Assistant to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Works and Urban Development, the Hon Philip Davis; William Munnings, Urban Agriculture Coordinator; Gregory Butler, Deputy Director. Jackson McIntosh, Cat Island Administrator and Rosetta Wells, Centre Manager for Urban Renewal in Cat Island also joined the group.

Mrs. Jolly said the repairs have made life a little bit easier for her family who reside in Old Bight. Marina, who is disabled, and her husband Vincent “Blake” who is visually impaired, said they are quite happy and satisfied.

“Life was rough,” she said. “The old house we had here leaked. It’s much better now. We did not have running water, toilet or bathroom. I thank God for the Commissioner and all who have a hand in it.”

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Louise McDonald High School Nature Trail officially opened on Bimini
Submitted by BIS   
Saturday, 19 April 2014 07:46

BIMINI, The Bahamas -- The Louise McDonald High School Nature Trail was officially opened by their Excellencies Sir Arthur & Lady Foulkes at the High School in Bimini.

Pictured from left during the unveiling of the Nature Trail Plaque & Declaration of the Nature Trail opening are Wesley Rolle, Principal of the Louise McDonald High School; Hon.Obie Wilchcombe Minister of Tourism,M.P Bimini and West End, Lady Foulkes, His Excellencies Sir Arthur Foulkes, James Pinder Art & Craft, Oscar Munroe - Administrator.  

Photos by Vandyke Hepburn (BIS).

 

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Bertram A. Newton Primary School pay call on the Governor General
Submitted by BIS   
Thursday, 17 April 2014 09:25

Accompanied by parents, the teachers and students from K5 through grade 6 and ranging in ages from 4 to 12 of the Bertram A. Newton Primary School, North Andros paid a courtesy call on Governor General His Excellency Sir Arthur Foulkes. The visit took place on Wednesday April 16, 2014 at Government House. (BIS/Photo Raymond A. Bethel Sr.)

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Spanish Wells All-Age School students meet the Governor General
Submitted by BIS   
Thursday, 17 April 2014 09:23

NASSAU, Bahamas -- Teacher, parents and students of grade 6 of the Spanish Wells All-Age School paid a courtesy call on Governor General His Excellency Sir Arthur Foulkes on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at Government House. Seated are Sir Arthur and class teacher Allandra Russell. (BIS/Photo Raymond A. Bethel Sr.)  

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