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Family Island News
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.

Grand event planned for opening of new port at Resorts World Bimini
Submitted by Michelle Malcolm   
Friday, 12 September 2014 06:42

BIMINI, The Bahamas -- The official opening of the first phase of the new Port at Resorts World Bimini will be celebrated on Thursday, September 18th under the auspices of Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie and the Executive Chairman of Genting Group, Tan Sri KT Lim. The two esteemed leaders will participate in a ribbon cutting ceremony and welcome the inaugural guests from Fort Lauderdale disembarking from the Bimini SuperFast. In addition to cruises from Miami on Fridays to Sundays, Bimini SuperFast will be cruising from Fort Lauderdale on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays commencing on October 14, 2014.

Distinguished guests attending the event will include Government Ministers, Ministry of Tourism officials, members of the Bimini Local Government Town Council, invited Biminites and members of the news media.

Bimini Superfast will be hosting more than 400 travel agents, tour operators and South Florida hotel concierges from Fort Lauderdale for the day cruise to Bimini featuring a full day of activities and time to relax on the island’s pristine beaches. The experience will enable them to better encourage their clients to discover the jewel that is Bimini. Passengers will be greeted in a traditional Bahamian style with a local Junkanoo rush out, a welcome rum punch cocktail and musical entertainment by Bimini’s famed Prime Time Band.

The passengers will then be transported throughout the island via shuttle, as is typical during a regularly scheduled weekend cruise. This influx of hundreds of visitors to the island on a weekday will bring welcomed economic impact to Alice Town, including the Craft Market, conch shacks, bakeries and restaurants, giving business owners a taste of the benefits to come when Bimini SuperFast resumes service to the island throughout the week.

PM speaks on vision for Andros at Kamalame Cay
Submitted by BIS   
Thursday, 11 September 2014 08:05

Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie addressed The Nature Conservancy and the Inter-American Development Bank on “A Vision for Andros: Development with People and Environment in Mind,” at a dinner at Kamalame Cay, Andros, September 9, 2014.  (BIS Photo/Peter Ramsay)A Vision for Andros:  Development with People and Environment in Mind

Presentation by the
Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie, M.P.
Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas
Dinner in Honour of
The Nature Conservancy Annual Board Meeting
Kamalame Cay, Andros
Tuesday, 9th September, 2014

Cabinet Colleagues
Distinguished Members of the Board of the Nature Conservancy
Senior officials from the Inter-American Development Bank
Senior Government Officials
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good Evening:

It is a pleasure for me to be in lovely Kamalame Cay, Andros at a resort facility known around the world as a shining example of the convergence of tourism and environmentally friendly development. This is a fitting place for The Nature Conservancy to have its annual Board meeting and I wish to welcome all of our visitors to The Bahamas, and particularly, Andros where so much is happening in terms of environmental and other related developments.

The press views BAMSI in North Andros ahead of start of classes
Submitted by BIS   
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 06:28

ANDROS, The Bahamas -- Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Local Government the Hon. V. Alfred Gray led a team of Government officials and the press to view the progress of establishment of the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute in North Andros where 50 students will begin classes at the end of September under the guidance of Executive Director Dr. Raveenia Roberts Hanna.  

Minister Gray, proud of the progress so far and looking forward to the start of school, said “it’s always good to do good” – anticipating the future important role of the institute in energizing the push for food security for The Bahamas, and the meaningful steps being taken towards the long-held dream of the country’s feeding itself.  

Minister of Education the Hon. Jerome Fitzgerald, in light of strong efforts “to revolutionize and advance our economy and our people” urged that “we are one Bahamas, one people,” and that we “try to move forward as one people” – and unite in the advance of education, agriculture, and sustainability – with ‘sustainability’ being the important objective.

He noted that he and his team were amazed, during the process of choosing an Executive Director, at the great number of well-qualified young people in The Bahamas.   In referring to the UTEB controversy, he reaffirmed that processes were taking place properly, that he was open to dialogue, and he asked for responsible leadership in the best interest of all.  

Minister of Health and M.P. for North Andros and the Berry Islands, the Hon. Dr. M. Perry Gomez said it was remarkable what was happening in a short time on North Andros, which will have direct impact economically. He added, “it’s a first real attempt to diversify our economy and create a second pillar of magnitude beyond tourism.”

Baha Mar Academy team hosts a meet and greet in Georgetown, Exuma
Submitted by Kristina McNeil   
Monday, 08 September 2014 14:08

 (L-R): Baha Mar Academy Director, Kristin Wells; Outreach Associate, Jarrel Hall; SLS LUX at Baha Mar Regional Director of Human Resources, Denise Valdez; Hyatt Hotels Roving Director of Human Resources, Beth Cantor; Baha Mar Casino & Hotel Director of Employee Relations, Rachel Rolle and Rosewood at Baha Mar Training Manager, Clarence Albury.EXUMA, The Bahamas -- Baha Mar’s Family Island outreach and recruitment efforts continued in Exuma with residents receiving an in-depth presentation on the multibillion dollar resort.

Exuma residents also had an opportunity to learn about valuable job opportunities at the property from representatives of Rosewood, the Grand Hyatt, SLS LUX and the Baha Mar Casino & Hotel.

The Baha Mar Academy, the training and recruitment arm of Baha Mar, spent two days in August on the island, inviting members of the community to learn about these world-class hotel brands that will call Baha Mar home.

In speaking to the Baha Mar Academy team, many residents said they were interested in pursuing a career at Baha Mar to fulfill their desire to return “home” to New Providence to be a part of the largest luxury resort project in the history of the Caribbean.

“Baha Mar is committed to finding the best and brightest Bahamians from throughout the country to be a part of this transformative resort,” said Baha Mar’s Chief Operating Officer, Paul V. Pusateri. “We will continue to search for those Bahamians with an aptitude and passion for service as we introduce Baha Mar to the world.”

Dr. Rovenia Roberts Hanna is new executive director for BAMSI
Submitted by BIS   
Saturday, 06 September 2014 13:38

Pictured from left: BAMSI Executive Director, Dr. Roberts Hanna; Agriculture, Marine Resources and Local Government Minister, the Hon. V. Alfred Gray; and Education Minister, the Hon. Jerome Fitzgerald. (BIS Photo /Letisha Henderson) NASSAU, The Bahamas -- As agriculture and marine science students, some 50 of them, eagerly anticipate the September 2014 opening of the first Bahamian fishing and farming school in Andros, they will be welcomed by an institution leader – the new Executive Director of the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute -- who is also Andros-born.  

Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Local Government, the Hon. V. Alfred Gray in a press conference, September 3, at the House of Assembly said: “I am very pleased to announce the appointment of the Executive Director of the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI) in the person of Dr. Rovenia Roberts Hanna.”  

Minister Gray said that Mrs. Hanna is a graduate of the University of the West Indies, where she obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree.  He added that she went on to the University of Liverpool, where she studied Tropical Medicine, obtaining a Master’s Degree with Distinction.  From there, she attended the University of Newcastle in London, England, United Kingdom, where she earned a Doctorate Degree in Philosophy with special emphasis on Post Harvest Technology, said Minister Gray.  

“She is an author of several theses.  She is very experienced, very academically strong, and she’s been in the business of academics and research over 12 years.” Minister Gray said that BAMSI and the school it represents certainly is going to be better off because it has been able to capture the talent of a wonderful professional woman. “And I emphasize ‘woman’ because I believe she will probably be historically speaking, the first Executive Director of BAMSI.  And that’s going to go down in history as a first for a woman in that regard.”  

Education Minister, the Hon. Jerome Fitzgerald also commended Dr. Roberts Hanna on her appointment.  He thanked Minister Gray and the Board at BAMSI: “We were very pleased when we looked at qualifications of a very young inspiring and dynamic Bahamian who is able to fill this post being advertised,” said Minister Fitzgerald.  

Resorts World Bimini opens Bimini port and expands service to Fort Lauderdale
Submitted by Michelle Malcolm   
Saturday, 06 September 2014 13:31

BIMINI, The Bahamas -- Resorts World Bimini announced Friday the first phase of the Port at Resorts World Bimini is complete and that passengers will begin disembarking directly onto the island beginning Sept. 18, 2014. Now guests will spend up to six hours on the island of Bimini, fully enjoying all that the island has to offer. Additionally, the company announced that Bimini SuperFast will complement its current Friday, Saturday and Sunday cruise schedule from Port Miami with a weekday schedule from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale to Bimini every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday beginning October 14, 2014.

“The completion of the Port at Resorts World Bimini further enhances our commitment to the island, offering guests more time in port and uninterrupted cruise service during the winter months,” said Dana Leibovitz, President of Resorts World Bimini. “Growing demand for cruises to Bimini among passengers hailing from Broward and Palm Beach counties and points north has led us to add service from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale during the week. This move will make our day cruises even more accessible to the South Florida market and increase the economic impact to the island of Bimini.”

The roundtrip cruises will depart Port Everglades each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 9 a.m., arriving directly to the new Port at Resorts World Bimini and returning to Ft. Lauderdale at 9 p.m. that evening. Bimini SuperFast will continue to sail from Port Miami three days a week, Friday through Sunday.

Phase one of the new Port, which includes a temporary Customs and Immigration facility, brings many benefits to the island and provides Day-Trip visitors with more time to enjoy Bimini’s miles of white sand beaches, and the resort’s six restaurants and bars and world-class casino.

Phase two of Port construction will feature permanent facilities for Customs and Immigration; the third and final phase of construction of the Port will include a new beach experience, offering guests the opportunity to enjoy a variety of water sports onsite, as well as a restaurant and beach club, and a craft market.

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