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Family Island News
Agreement signed to significantly increase Resorts World investment in Bimini
Written by BIS   
Monday, 23 November 2015 15:23

CEO, RAV Bahamas, Gerardo Capo signs Supplemental Heads of Agreement between the Government of The Bahamas and Resorts World and its partners at the Office of The Prime Minister, Friday, November 20, 2015.  Also pictured are: Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie (second left), Minister of Tourism, the Hon. Obie Wilchcombe (left), and Resorts World Bimini President, Ed Farrell (right).  (BIS Photo/Peter Ramsay)NASSAU, The Bahamas -- Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie said the thriving economy of Bimini is set for another boost with the signing of the Supplemental Heads of Agreement between the Government of The Bahamas and Resorts World and its partners.

“Resorts World entities and BB Entertainment have revised their business plan from an investment of $150 million in the resort project to now $600 million,” Prime Minister Christie said during the signing of the Supplemental Heads of Agreement at his office, Friday, November 20, 2015.

BB Entertainment is a joint venture partnership between Genting (USA) Ltd., a subsidiary of Resorts World and leading Florida builder and real estate developer, Gerardo Capo’s Company, RAV Bahamas Ltd.

The Prime Minister explained that some of the main components within the supplemental agreement comprise the following:

  • Firstly, a new luxury Hilton branded 300-room hotel now nearing completion. Some 200 rooms have been activated and work towards completion of the lobby, an additional 100 rooms, and connections with the casino are soon to be completed.
  • Secondly, the airport expansion and other infrastructural and community works, including a new water taxi ferry station; preparation by the international planning firm EDSA in collaboration with relevant government agencies and local shareholders of a master plan for north and south Bimini; paving of King’s Highway and the government dock; the enhancement of the fountain of youth; the acquisition of local fishing boats; as well as various economic, social, cultural and educational community projects.
  • Thirdly, the construction of a deep-water jetty facility capable of accommodating the Bimini Superfast Cruise ship Ferry and other cruise ships.
  • Fourth, construction of employee housing comprising 448 units.

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Memorandum of Understanding signed with Chinese for Bahamians to receive eye surgery in Grand Bahama
Submitted by BIS   
Friday, 20 November 2015 10:57

Memorandum of Understanding signed November 19, 2015 at the Ministry of Health for the Second Bright Journey Project – a collaborative effort between the Commonwealth of The Bahamas and the People’s Republic of China to assist in restoring sight to people who suffer from the effects of cataracts.  Pictured during the signing are Minister of Health the Hon. Dr. Perry Gomez, centre; Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, Yuan Guisen, centre right; Minister for Grand Bahama the Hon. Dr. Michael Darville, centre left; and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health Marco Rolle, left.  (BIS Photo/Raymond A. Bethel, Sr.)NASSAU, The Bahamas – One hundred and sixteen cataract patients will be the beneficiaries of surgical intervention to restore eyesight thanks to the Second Bright Journey Project, a collaborative effort between the Governments of The Bahamas and the People’s Republic of China.

The two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding that would assist in restoring the sight of 116 patients who suffer from the effects of cataracts.

The Hon. Dr. Perry Gomez, Minister of Health, said: “My desire for the Bright Journey to become a template for future collaborative efforts between The Bahamas and the People’s Republic of China has been realized where the expertise and resources of nations and regions can be brought to bear across borders to improve the lives and health of ordinary citizens.”

Bahamian and Chinese health professionals will perform the surgeries at the Rand Memorial Hospital (RMH) in Freeport, Grand Bahama, from November 25th to December 5th, 2015.

The patients would be from Grand Bahama, Abaco, Bimini, and the Berry Islands. The team comprises health care professionals and support personnel with specialties in ophthalmology from Princess Margaret Hospital and Peking University First Hospital in Beijing. The programme will be coordinated by Dr. Paul Ward, Medical Chief of Staff at RMH.

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National Recovery and Reconstruction Unit continues assessment of hurricane-impacted islands
Written by BIS   
Thursday, 19 November 2015 10:15

NASSAU, The Bahamas -- Head of the National Recovery and Reconstruction Unit (NRRU), Melanie Roach led a delegation of persons to several Family Islands on Thursday, November 12, to continue with assessments following the passing of Category 4 Hurricane Joaquin in October. The Unit was established by the Office of the Prime Minister to assess and oversee reconstruction efforts on the islands affected by Hurricane Joaquin, which ravaged the islands in early October.

The delegation from Nassau, visited the islands of Crooked Island, Acklins, San Salvador, and Long Island, which experienced severe damage during the hurricane. Ms. Roach has been traveling to the islands since the hurricane to assess losses with a view to ensuring that residents receive the necessary supplies being provided by the government to repair damaged homes. In addition, the government has pledged to rebuild homes on stilts for several residents on the affected islands.

During the assessment exercise, Ms. Roach and her team met with Administrators, Councilors and residents on the islands and provided an update on the government’s reconstruction plans. Some residents have already received the supplies provided by the government and have already begun to repair their homes. In the case of Crooked Island, Ms. Roach said that the government is prepared to provided construction workers and heavy equipment from Nassau to assist with rebuilding efforts. (BIS Photos/Letisha Henderson)

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San Salvador to get new primary/secondary school
Written by BIS   
Thursday, 19 November 2015 10:10

NORTH VICTORIA HILL, San Salvador – The Government of The Bahamas will construct a new state-of-the-art primary and secondary school on twenty acres of shared land in North Victoria Hill, San Salvador.

Work has already begun on clearing the site on which the two new schools will sit in northeast of North Victoria Hill in an area known as the Harbour Yard. The current school is located on a temporary site and used four trailers to accommodate school facilities. During the passage of Hurricane Joaquin three of those four trailers were severely damaged as was other parts of the school. The current site also lacked an integrated functionality as all of the buildings were stand-alone which presented mobility challenges during adverse weather.

The new primary school, which will be a state-of-the-art school, will replace the current school (located in Cockburn Town) and will include a computer room that will accommodate 25 students per classroom with their own dedicated workspace and laptop, a library room, music room with special acoustic features, art room, a sick bay for students with restrooms, study rooms, administration block, public waiting area, public and staff restrooms and sports facilities for basketball, softball, track and field and tennis.

The current school has a compliment of 100 students. When the new school is completed, it is anticipated that it will be able to accommodate as many as 200 students.

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Staniel Cay Airport re-opened to air traffic
Submitted by BIS   
Thursday, 19 November 2015 08:48

STANIEL CAY, Exuma -- The Ministry of Transport & Aviation is pleased to advise that the Staniel Cay Airport has been re-opened to air traffic, effective today, November 18, 2015.

A Notice To Airmen (NOTAM) has been issued by the Department of Civil Aviation, advising that the new runway is classified as a Code 2b airport, with a newly paved runway 3,000 ft. long and 75 ft. wide.

The airport will be opened during the hours between sunrise to 3:00 pm daily.

These hours of operation will remain in effect until final construction on the Runway End Safety Area (RESA) has been satisfactorily completed.

It is anticipated that this process will be completed in two weeks’ time, allowing for regular operational hours to be re-introduced, that is from official sunrise to official sunset.

The public will recall that the Department of Civil Aviation and the Ministry of Works determined that it was necessary to close the airport on 9th April, 2015, after safety concerns came to light during a routine runway inspection. Bahamas Hot Mix was subsequently contracted by the Ministry of Works to undertake the needed repairs.

The Ministry of Transport & Aviation and Department of Civil Aviation are extremely pleased that the airport has now been re-opened, and thanks the residents of Staniel Cay and other visitors to the Exumas for the patience they have exercised while this very necessary repair process was undertaken.

 
WSC pours on the hurricane relief
Submitted by Barefoot Marketing   
Thursday, 19 November 2015 08:11

WSC Team Visits 'The Revolution' With Juan McCartney to Give a Hurricane Update - The WSC hurricane team gave updates to the public, via Juan McCartney’s, daily radio show ‘The Revolution’, about water restoration in the affected islands.  Cyprian Gibson, Assistant General Manager and Head of Family Island Operations and Keith Beneby, Senior Engineer at WSC, appeared on the show and answered questions from callers regarding the Corporation’s relief efforts as well as local callers’ queries.  During the show the WSC team revealed that they were able to restore water services in the central and southern Bahamas, as well as provide potable water for residents of those islands within 48 hours of the all-clear being given and they were able to restore services in the other islands within three days to one week.  Pictured (left to right) are Keith Beneby, Senior Engineer at WSC, Juan McCartney and Cyprian Gibson, Assistant General Manager and Head of Family Island Operations. (Photo courtesy of BVS for Barefoot Marketing)NASSAU, The Bahamas – In the wake of Hurricane Joaquin, where devastation spread throughout the central and southern Bahamas, the Water and Sewerage Corporation (WSC) is going above and beyond to not only repair the water systems but to also install improved systems in these islands.

Last week the WSC hurricane team gave updates to the public, via Juan McCartney’s, daily radio show ‘The Revolution’, about water restoration in the affected islands. Cyprian Gibson, Assistant General Manager and Head of Family Island Operations and Keith Beneby, Senior Engineer at WSC, appeared on the show and answered questions from callers regarding the Corporation’s relief efforts as well as local callers’ queries.

During the show the WSC team revealed that they were able to restore water services in the central and southern Bahamas, as well as provide potable water for residents of those islands within 48 hours of the all-clear being given and they were able to restore services in the other islands within three days to one week.

“Teams were on the ground immediately on all of the most affected islands and most systems were restored within record time due to the sacrifices of our staff, the support of our head office and NEMA,” said Gibson. “The national system was utilised as planned, and was quite effective, given the circumstances.”

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First set of Government-bought trailer homes sent to Acklins and Crooked Island in hurricane relief effort
Submitted by BIS   
Tuesday, 17 November 2015 09:22

The Government purchased trailer homes to provide temporary housing for hurricane relief.  The trailer homes – three for Crooked Island and one for Acklins Island were shipped out from Arawak Port Development Thursday evening. (BIS Photo/Raymond A. Bethel, Sr.)NASSAU. The Bahamas – The Government purchased the first set of trailer homes to provide temporary housing for residents displaced following the passage of Hurricane Joaquin through the Central and Southeast Bahamas last month.

The homes, part of a set of seven trailer homes and five motor homes at a cost of $204,500.00, were handed over to the National Emergency Management Agency during a press conference on Thursday, November 12, 2015 at the Arawak Port Development Company (APD).

First Assistant Secretary of NEMA Chrystal Glinton said NEMA was pleased by the condition of the trailer homes, which are comfortably outfitted with living quarters, bathroom, kitchen and luxuries such as TV and air condition. The trailer homes were designated – three for Crooked Island and one for Acklins Island.

She said NEMA wants residents to “enjoy” the trailer homes until such time as their homes would be repaired or replaced during the reconstruction phase, post the category 4 Hurricane Joaquin.

Barbara Burrows of the Government-appointed National Recovery and Reconstruction Unit (NRRU) was very pleased the trailer homes were going to provide relief to residents in the storm-ravaged areas. She also thanked the port in its efforts to store supplies and ship them to the impacted areas.

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Cable Bahamas' facility and infrastructure repairs nearing completion on hurricane-affected islands
Submitted by Nina Laing   
Saturday, 14 November 2015 07:16

Cable Bahamas' efforts to repair facilities and other infrastructure damaged by Hurricane Joaquin are drawing nearer to completion. Free services continue to December 31, 2015

NASSAU, Bahamas -- Cable Bahamas' efforts to repair facilities and other infrastructure damaged by Hurricane Joaquin are drawing closer to completion, Cable Bahamas Vice President of Marketing David Burrows announced.

Over the past month, company technicians have been working to restore Cable Bahamas' facilities and services in the southern and central Family Islands and the latest reports from these repair teams show the majority of the restoration work has been completed, with remaining repairs to be carried out over the next several days.

Mr Burrows said the company is thrilled with the quick work technicians have made of the mammoth task and is pleased that residents are regaining access to services that will better connect them to the other islands, particularly through news programming.

"It's important that we help these residents return to normal as best and as quickly as we can," Mr Burrows said. "We know that it is essential for them to feel connected with their fellow countrymen and to know what's going on around the country, especially as it relates to ongoing relief efforts. So, we're happy to have our services back in operation for them during this critical time."

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