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Family Island News
Queen’s College students enjoy a ‘day away’
Submitted by Barefoot Marketing   
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 09:40

QC Students Enjoy a ‘Day Away’ - When you’re a student, a field trip can turn into a mini vacation, and that’s exactly what students from Queen’s College experienced during the Bahamas National Trust’s (BNT) ‘Student DayAway’.  Student Day Away is a partnership between the BNT and Bahamas Ferries, and 118 second grade students and their parents were treated to a trip to the Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve (LLNPP) in Eleuthera.  (Photo courtesy of BNT for Barefoot Marketing)ELEUTHERA, Bahamas – When you’re a student, a field trip can turn into a mini vacation, and that’s exactly what students from Queen’s College in Nassau experienced during the Bahamas National Trust’s (BNT) ‘Student Day Away’.  Student Day Away is a partnership between the BNT and Bahamas Ferries through which 118 second grade students and their parents were treated to a trip to the Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve (LLNPP) in Governor’s Harbour, Eleuthera.  

“It made my day to see second graders get excited about planting natives,” said Falon Cartwright, Preserve Manager.  “Each student took home a native plant seed they planted at the Preserve and I know that they also took with them a greater appreciation for Bahamian plants.”

During their trip to the Preserve, the group toured the bush medicine and edible history gardens, sampled bush teas and got a chance to plant and take home a native seed to grow in their own garden.  The students also enjoyed lunch at The Preserve while taking in the beautiful native scenery.

LLNPP is the first and currently only national park in Eleuthera.  The preserve, which is located in Governor’s Harbour is an environmental education centre as well as a facility for the propagation of native plants and trees.  There are various trails and features at the preserve including a mangrove boardwalk, medicinal trail, freshwater wetland, and much more.  The park also boasts a beautiful observation tower that takes visitors above the forest canopy for spectacular views of the surrounding hilly landscape and nearby coast.

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Resorts World Bimini spends millions with Bahamian vendors in 2014
Submitted by Michelle Malcolm   
Monday, 02 February 2015 17:12

BIMINI, The Bahamas -- Resorts World Bimini (RWB) continues to provide a significant boost to the economy of Bimini and the Bahamas as a whole, spending millions of dollars with local businesses in the process. In 2014 alone, RWB spent more than $8.6 million with Bimini and New Providence based businesses for various goods and services including food and beverage, transportation, and entertainment.

“Resorts World Bimini continues to demonstrate its commitment to help fuel Bimini’s economy,” says RWB President Edward Farrell. “Bimini businesses are experiencing exponential growth as a result of our presence, and this will only get better as our project continues to expand.”

One of the businesses directly and indirectly impacted by RWB’s operation is Stuart’s Conch Stand which supplies the resort with seafood for its restaurants as well as services many of the visitors who come to the island in search of the Bahamian delicacy. Proprietor Fabian Stuart says business has been on an upswing since the advent of RWB.

“We are grateful to Resorts World for their support,” he said. “Business has been so good that we are in the process of expanding our operation and I’m really excited about what the future holds.”

Another food vendor that has been servicing the Resort is Nate’s Variety of Bimini Bread, which supplies bread to RWB’s six restaurants.

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Harvard University students conducting research in The Bahamas
Submitted by Office of Communication   
Tuesday, 27 January 2015 08:51

From left are: Lana Idris, undergraduate at Harvard University; Stephanie Hadley, undergraduate at Harvard University; Dr. Rodney D. Smith, President of The College of The Bahamas; Faith Jackson, undergraduate at Harvard University and Barnabas Gilbert, medical student at Oxford University, currently pursuing graduate studies in medical anthropology at Harvard University.NASSAU, Bahamas -- Several Harvard University students, who are conducting ethnographic studies on Mayaguana in order to preserve the island’s cultural heritage, spent some time with President of The College of The Bahamas Dr. Rodney D. Smith on Tuesday, January 20th, 2015. Dr. Smith is also an alumnus of Harvard University.

The students – in The Bahamas for a three-week period – are conducting the research under the auspices of Dr. Thomas Burke of Harvard University, who is also chief of the Massachusetts General Hospital’s Division of Global Health and Human Rights. The  I-Group of Mayaguana is a partial sponsor.

In addition to the interviews that they are conducting of Mayaguana residents, the Harvard University students are also interviewing persons from Inagua, Crooked Island and Acklins. A report will be produced and provided to The College.

Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, whose company BedfordBakerGroup is acting in the capacity as a consultant to the I-Group, accompanied the students on their recent visit to The College of The Bahamas.

From left are: Lana Idris, undergraduate at Harvard University; Stephanie Hadley, undergraduate at Harvard University; Dr. Rodney D. Smith, President of The College of The Bahamas; Faith Jackson, undergraduate at Harvard University and Barnabas Gilbert, medical student at Oxford University, currently pursuing graduate studies in medical anthropology at Harvard University.

 
Eleuthera students join protection of the Kirtland Warbler initiative
Submitted by DP&A   
Monday, 26 January 2015 07:44

Eleuthera Students Join Protection of the Kirtland Warbler - Students throughout South Eleuthera were in for a wild treat last week, as Bahamas National Trust (BNT) Education Officer, Scott Johnson traveled across the island to teach them about the Kirtland’s Warbler.  The Kirtland’s Warbler is a bird that spends half of its life in Michigan and the other half in The Bahamas – most notably in Eleuthera.  The students will also be participating in a poster competition to raise awareness of the Kirtland Warbler. (Photo courtesy of BNT for Barefoot Marketing)ELEUTHERA, The Bahamas -- Students throughout South Eleuthera were in for a wild treat last week, as Bahamas National Trust (BNT) Education Officer, Scott Johnson traveled across the island to teach them about the Kirtland’s Warbler.  The Kirtland’s Warbler is a bird that spends half of its life in Michigan and the other half in The Bahamas – most notably in Eleuthera.

During his trip, Johnson launched a poster competition for students in Eleuthera, and their fellow students in the state of Michigan, to be published in a 2016 calendar on the Kirtland Warbler, created by the Nature Conservancy.

“Because of its restricted home range and unique habitat requirements, the Kirtland's Warbler has always been a rare bird,” said Portia Sweeting, BNT Director of Education. “The Kirtland’s Warbler competition, and the school visits that our Education Department is conducting, will provide information and educational outreach necessary for the management of this endangered species.”

Johnson visited Eleuthera schools including Windemere, Preston Albury, Tarpum Bay Primary, Rock Sound Primary, Wemyss Bight Primary, Green Castle Primary and Deep Creek Middle School.  Students ranged from kindergarten through grade seven and over 300 students participated in the presentations.

The poster competition is going on from now until the end of March, when the BNT Education department will collect the artwork from students in Eleuthera and ship it to Michigan to be added to pictures from competing schools there. Twelve winners will be selected to be a part of the 2016 Kirtland Warbler calendar.

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Pristine waters of Exuma – backdrop for Texas couple’s dream wedding in The Bahamas
Submitted by Earnestine Moxyz   
Friday, 23 January 2015 11:52

EXUMA, Bahamas -- The pristine, aquamarine waters of Exuma in The Bahamas served as the ideal backdrop for the dream wedding of Texan couple, Lauren Gough and Stephen Swangstu. They were one of sixteen American couples that won a complimentary dream wedding on 16 islands in The Bahamas, in The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism’s  (BMOT)“16 Islands 16 Weddings One Priceless Day” social media contest. All weddings took place on January 16, 2015 at 16:00 hours.

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Ms. Kathryn Gough and Judith Swangstu the mothers of the bride and groom respectively, served as witnesses for the couple while some twelve other family members shared in the intimate, elegant and conch shell-lined beachfront ceremony.   Live steel pan music entertained the guests in the “seaside serenade” themed ceremony.  Guests ate an assortment of hot and cold hors d’oeuvres, red velvet wedding cake, and sipped on green caramel apple martini, the signature drink for the couple.  

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Government slammed over failed anchor project policy
Submitted by Barefoot Marketing   
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 09:01

Advocacy group hits out at Christie administration’s broken promise of a more environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive development model

NASSAU, Bahamas -- The government’s continued support for the controversial “anchor project” policy of national development is the subject of a new video by prominent social and environmental advocacy group Save The Bays (STB). The video, narrated by STB education director Joseph Darville, documents how the current administration promised to create sustainable local economies on each Family Island that would benefit Bahamians, only to revert to the shortsighted old model of mega-resorts owned by wealthy foreign interests.

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“Anchor resorts and mega-resorts are continuing to flood our Family Islands, and as more and more invade our shores they are being kept secret from the Bahamian public,” Darville said.  “But hold on, didn't we hear that Perry Christie and his government had abandoned the anchor project plan?  Didn’t they mention something about full-circle economies in the Family Islands? Something must be dead wrong, since all these new developments are like the old failing ones.”

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Tennessee couple create scholarship for Exuma students to attend MTSU
Submitted by Nikki Bethell   
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 08:52

Signing of the agreement establishing the Michael and Tina Cartwright Scholarship to benefit the students of the L.N. Coakley High School in Exuma. Pictured l-r: Mr. Michael Cartwrignt, Donor; Hon. Jerome Fitzgerald, Minister of Education, Science and Technology and Dr. Sidney McPhee, President of Middle Tennessee State University (Photo by Andrew Oppmann).GREAT EXUMA, Bahamas – A Franklin, Tennessee, couple who founded a network of substance-abuse treatment clinics has funded a special, targeted scholarship that will allow students from a high school in the Bahamas to attend MTSU.

Michael and Tina Cartwright, who have a second home in The Bahamas, wanted to help students from L.N. Coakley High School in Great Exuma develop expertise through higher education that, in turn, would help benefit others on the island of Exuma.

The Cartwrights, who both attended MTSU, established a $600,000 scholarship fund that will cover tuition, housing and other expenses for four Coakley students to live and take classes on MTSU’s Murfreesboro campus. The scholarship will renew after the first group of four honorees graduate from MTSU.

Michael Cartwright, chairman and co-founder of American Addiction Centers, announced the gift during events Tuesday and Wednesday (Jan. 21-22) in The Bahamas. MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, a native of The Bahamas, joined Cartwright in announcing the scholarships.

“Tina and I understand the value of higher education,” said Michael Cartwright. “We approached President McPhee to establish a pathway that could recognize and reward future leaders who could return to Exuma as leaders and will help spur economic development on the island.”

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Resorts World Bimini hosts ‘16 Weddings, 16 Islands, One Priceless Day’ nuptials
Submitted by Michelle Malcolm   
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 08:08

BIMINI, The Bahamas -- On January 16th at 16:00 hours (4pm), a dream came true for Christina Gaston as she married the love of her life at Resorts World Bimini (RWB), as part of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism’s ‘16 Islands, 16 Weddings, One Priceless Day’ promotion.

She and newlywed husband Rudy Leschhorn said their “I dos” before family and friends at one of RWB’s breathtaking island seascapes under the watchful eye of the resort’s professional wedding planners.

The threat of inclement weather did not put a damper on the romantic ceremony which was officiated by Island Administrator Oscar Munroe. An islander at heart and descendant of Cuba, Cristina has always been fascinated by The Bahamas’ beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters and tranquil island vibe which she came to love during her frequent visits to the country.

She decided that The Bahamas was the place where she wanted to have her special wedding day, but never dreamed that wish would come true.

“We got our dream wedding,” she said. “It really is better in The Bahamas. It was everything I had hoped it would be, and more.”

The creative and dedicated wedding specialists at RWB executed the theme ‘Lost in your embrace’ to perfection, from the venue and catering, to music and flowers, to guest accommodations and transportation.

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