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The 2012 Great Abaco
Family Fitness Weekend is set to take place starting Friday, March 23rd
and ending on Sunday, March 25th. The beautiful Treasure Cay Resort and
Marina will play host to the event, with athletes confirmed from
Nassau, Freeport, Abaco, and Florida. Many more are expected to
register this week as the price increases on March 12th.
first event in the series is a 1-mile open water swim. This event will
take place in the crystal clear blue waters of the Treasure Cay beach,
rated one of the Top 10 beaches in a reader poll by Caribbean Travel
& Life. This takes place on Friday afternoon at 5pm, and is
followed by an awards presentation and welcome reception at the Coco
Beach Bar with refreshments provided by Sands Beer. A pasta buffet will
follow for participants, their families, supporters, volunteers, and
The Bankers Bowling League recently continued with its season at Mario's Bowling and Family Entertainment Palace. Ricardo Rolle leads the men's category with a high average of 204. Last week, he steamrolled the pins for a three-game set of 679. David Slatter of Family Guardian Insurance Company and Tyrone Knowles of RBC are second and third with averages of 189 and 188 respectively. In the women's category, Driskell Rolle of the Bank of The Bahamas remains on top with an average of 192. She rolled a three-game set of 607 last week. Marina McClain of Central Bank of The Bahamas and Janice Hoyte of Fidelity Bank are tied for second with averages of 170. Overall, Ansbacher Bank stands in the top position, a half game lead over Central Bank. Commonwealth Bank rounds out the top three, and has a one-game lead over the fourth place team.
ABACO -- The Treasure Cay Billfish Tournament (TCBT) recently announced a new date and format for its 31st annual competition.
The tournament is now scheduled for June 25-29, 2014 and will be held at Treasure Cay Beach Marina & Golf Resort in Abaco. The tournament will offer three fishing days - Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with an optional 'Family Fun Day', Kettle of Fish Tournament and 'Rock the Dock Party' on Sunday. Treasure Cay General Manager Stephen Kappeler said: "We took into consideration that some tournament participants may like to depart on Sunday to return to work on Monday. Plus, scheduling the event after school is out will make it easier for participants to include their families."
Known for its great fishing, excellent value and social events, the world-class competition attracts teams from around the world. The TCBT also offers social parties, dinners and fun competitions. Its guaranteed cash payout ranges from $10,000 for a minimum of 10 boats and up to $50,000 for the participation of 50 boats.
The TCBT offers a special bonus of one free room night at the resort or a free day of dockage for registrations made prior to March 31, 2014. The early registrations also receive an entry into a drawing for free tournament dockage for boats up to 60 feet, and additional prizes.
One of the best fishing destinations in The Bahamas, Treasure Cay is known for grander-size record-breaking marlin, large dolphin and wahoo. While billfish is the focus of the TCBT, the tournament includes Fun Fish Division awards for tuna, dolphin and wahoo. The Fun Fish Division offers an optional payout rivaling top prizes of U.S.-based tournaments. In addition to the cash prizes, winners receive beautiful trophies and the top team is honored with a statuesque perpetual trophy showcased in the resort's Spinnaker Restaurant, one of the largest air conditioned out-island restaurant facilities available for events. Awards are also presented to the top lady and junior anglers.
Release point standings are verified by the participant's own digital and/or video camera with an image that can verify the time and date the photo was taken. The TCBT is open to the public and center consoles over 30 feet are welcomed. The top TCBT team will qualify for the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) Offshore World Championship, with information available at www.igfaoffshorechampionship.com.
In addition to great food and family social events, the TCBT also raises funds for the children of the Treasure Cay Primary School. Registration for up to six team members, including boat entry, cash prize eligibility, dinners, cocktail parties, team goody bag and room discounts, can be made online at www.treasurecay.com.
The current champion of the event is Team Southern Comfort, owned by Peter Angel, from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Southern Comfort captured the lead on the last day of fishing, bumping Domarlo, owned by Doug Macdonald, from West Palm Beach, Florida to second place. Big T's Too, owned by Bob Wolsey, from Sarasota, Florida dashed from zero to 800 points on the last day to snag third place.
Domarlo claimed the Ultra Champ award for most points earned by prior TCBT winners. The Kettle of Fish Tournament resulted in the catch of more than 70 lionfish as well as several snappers.
The attorney for an Abaco couple who saw the development they were involved with subject to a takeover by a team led by Grant Thornton Bahamas, confirmed yesterday that the couple plans to seek to have this takeover overturned in the courts, with applications to be made to this effect in short order.
Roy Sweeting, partner with law firm Glinton Sweeting and O'Brien, and representative for James and Melonie Albury, told Guardian Business that "a lot of incorrect statements" have been made in relation to his clients.
In particular, he said that Melonie Albury's company, Albury's Property Management, "has nothing at all to do with" the overall management of the 203-acre Orchid Bay property, but simply "does some maintenance on private homes and rents golf carts" within the development.
Sweeting stated that Melonie Albury's husband, James 'Jimmy' Albury, is the receiver for the Guana Cay Abaco Development Company.
On December 12, Grant Thornton Managing Partner Paul Gomez took control of the Orchid Bay Resort and Marina.
Court documents obtained by this newspaper show the Supreme Court has appointed Gomez the receiver for the William B. Johnson Investment Company and William B. Johnson entities, which own the outstanding and issued shares in Guana Cay Abaco Development Company.
Gomez is now attempting to account for all of the assets in the company with a view to sell them to raise funds necessary to pay off a debt owed to his client, Synovus.
US bank, Synovus, is the primary creditor of the companies for which Gomez has now been appointed receiver, whose principal is American businessman William B. Johnson.
The property contains a number of houses which are offered as rental properties, and residents have expressed concern that the takeover will interfere with their ability to rent out their properties over Christmas.
A secondary legal action is also underway which alleges that James Albury, acting as property manager for Orchid Bay, caused some of its assets to be sold at significantly below their true market value.
A grant of nearly $40,000 from the Centre for Development of Enterprise (CDE) will help the Marina Operators of The Bahamas (MOB) pursue projects aimed at developing the sector.
Stephen Kappeler, the president of the MOB, said the money will be used in a variety of areas.
One of those areas, he said, is reviewing and determining the economic contribution and impact of marinas on The Bahamas.
"We want to use the grant to demonstrate the value marinas represent," he explained.
"Tourists visiting marinas on boats have a very high economic spend, between room at the resort, fuel, restaurants and other activities."This will give us a more formal means of comparison with other areas in the tourism industry."
Frank Comito, the executive vice president of the Bahamas Hotel Association, pointed out that some information exists, but it's about "putting it together" so there are reliable documents to focus on.
He also said the grant from the CDE will be matched in kind by the various partners, including the MOB and other groups.
Another area for research, Kappeler added, would be using the grant to "protect our greatest assets" - the ocean and beaches.
"We would like to produce and be the first Caribbean island nation to make a standard for marinas to keep our waters and beaches clean," he said.
"It would establish standards we must all keep - whether big or small."
The rest of the nearly $40,000, Comito said, would go towards marketing and strategic vision.
Funeral Service for the Late Dorene Ester-Mae Rolle, 51 years of Claridge Dale Gardens, will be held on Saturday May 26th, 1:30 p.m. at New Bethlehem Baptist Church, Independence Drive. Rev'd. Dr. Everett Brown, Rev'd. Helen McPhee and Rev'd. Dr. Marina P. Sands will officiate. Interment will follow in Woodlawn Memorial Gardens, Soldier Road.
She is survived by her Mother: Minister Irene King; Tw0 Daughters: Shantell Steed, Benkisha Rolle; Two Sons: Emmanuel Rolle, Edward Braithwaite; One Brother: Dr. Rudolph King; Two Aunts: Gracie King, Gwendolyn King; Cousins: Naomi Roberts, Granville, Perry, Terry And Rochelle King, Whitney, Terrance, Orson, And Brian Mortimer, Min. Dorian Cox, Dr. Lina Mortimer-Rayes; Kenneth King ,Apell King, Adrian King, Keysha King-Doziere Of Miami Florida, Otive Brice-King, Shervin King, James And Hiram Dawkins, Deloris Fernander, Hartman Dawkins, Rev'd. Christopher King, Joseph King, Harry King, Ezra King, Huey King, Samuel Hunter, Cordell King-Hunter, Redell King-Hubbard, Idel King- Burrows, Christine King- Seymour, Elouise King, Maxine King, Minister Charlotte Brown, Michelle Sands, Sheila Sands , Rev'd. Michael, Charles and Sidney Sands, Derek Mackey, Jestina Rolle, David Rolle, Rev'd. Helen McPhee, Kim Hanna, Jackie Smith-McPhee, Shannon McPhee, Shantice McPhee, Ronnie Pratt, Sherry Pratt, Deidre Pratt, Rev'd. Garnet King, Ruth King-Outten, Dora King-Bethel, Paul King, Firstina King-Hepburn, Thelma Rolle, Derek Bowleg, Coral Bonamy, Leslie Bowleg, and Rev'd. Etienne Bowleg, Stephanie Bowleg-McKenzie, Vanria King-Davis, Paulette King-Nairn, Dorothy King-Miller, Ernestine King, Sandra King-Storr, Arthur King Jr. Bradley King , Nora King-Newbold, Etherly King-Gibson, Pearl King-Adderley, Alberta King- Hall, Cynthia King-Stubbs, John King, Rose King, Alverne King, Carol King- Ingraham, Celeste King, Rev'd Percy King, Alton McKenzie, Stephan McKenzie, Emily King-Osadebay , Jackie King-Micklewhite, Delores King-Saunders, Ingrid King, Eleanor King- Conliffe, Clement King, Lowell King, Kerlin King, Octavia King-Johnson, Gladys King-Sands, David Seymour, Hartman Moncur And Family, Alice, Moncur; And a Host Of Other Relatives & Friends Including: Charles Braithwaite Jr., Charles Braithwaite Jr., Laniccina Adderley, Christopher Adderley, Edwin Rolle, Percina Rolle, Beverley Rolle, Sharon Rolle, Esthermae Rolle, Princess Smith, And Vandmae Rolle-Albury, The King Foundation Family, Salute To Greatness Awards Family, The King, Seymour Moncur Family, Bahamas Inflight Catering Staff, Ministry Of Education Faculty, Ministry Of Sports Faculty, Staff, Deep Creek Bar & Lounge (Fish Fry), Tims Air- Conditioning Staff, Yellow Strawberry Beauty Salon & Spa Staff, Ferg's Beauty Parlor (Bettyanne); and Many More Family And Friend's Too Numerous To Me Mention.
Friends may pay their last respects at Bethel Brothers Morticians, Nassau Street on Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and on Saturday at the church from 12:00 noon until service time.
Three Bahamian films are being featured this weekend at the Portland Maine Film Festival.
The works by Kareem Mortimer, Lavado Stubbs and Marinah Jello are being spotlighted as part of the Bahamas Film Commission's efforts to promote the emerging Bahamian film market to international audiences.
The grassroots festival's founder and director is Tyler Johnston, a filmmaker of Bahamian heritage.
The Bahamian entries are among 20 shorts and feature-length films that will be screened this weekend. Johnston told the BDN Maine that he created a hybrid festival to celebrate both coastal regions that share an independent spirit.
He sees the festival as a "cultural exchange program" uniting film heavyweights from the tropics to the rocky coast, it was reported.
Clarence Rolle, Bahamas Film Commission representative who is attending the festival, will participate in a panel discussion and speak about building more opportunities for independent film in the region in partnership with the Bahamas Institute for Motion Pictures.
Award-winning filmmaker Kareem Mortimer's "Passage", about a Haitian brother and sister immigrating to The Bahamas on a wooden ship, will open the festival. "Passage" recently won best short at the FLIFF On-Location: Grand Bahama Film Festival.
Also screening is Bahamian director Lavado Stubbs' music video "I'm Not Through", featuring the Royal Bahamas Police Force Band and the music of U.S. pop band OK!GO!
Bahamian/American filmmaker Marinah Jenello's short experimental film, "Something's Lurking in the Water", will screen as part of the Women in Film short program.
The festival's Opening Night Bahama Beach Party last night was sponsored by the Bahamas Film Commission and featured Bahamian food and drinks.
"It's very special to have these three truly unique and beautiful Bahamian movies play this year," said Johnston. "The Bahamas Film Commission is extraordinarily supportive, and I look forward to working with them on developing more opportunities for independent filmmaking in The Bahamas and bringing international exposure to emerging Bahamian film market."
Special guests and friends of the festival include Sean Robins of Broken Road Productions, a Hollywood production company responsible for multiple blockbuster films; Joe Sumner of Vylcone, a cutting edge smart phone video application for film makers; and Dan Mirvish, founder of the famous Slamdance Film Festival and director of the award winning film "Between Us", which is also screening at the festival. A special Independent Spirit Award in Honor of Dan Mirvish will be given to an emerging filmmaker at the festival awards ceremony.
Six years after the Christie administration signed an agreement with an American development company that provided for the transfer of nearly 10,000 acres of crown land on Mayaguana, the government yesterday signed an amended heads of agreement, reclaiming more than half of that land.
The signing came as a result of three years of negotiations to get back 5,825 acres of land for the Bahamian people, according to Tourism Minister Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, who spoke at the contract signing ceremony at the Office of the Attorney General.
The development was initially approved under the Christie administration as a joint venture between the government and the Boston-based I-Group. Under that agreement, both parties owned the project through the Mayaguana Development Company. However, under the new deal the joint venture arrangement has been cancelled.
During the renegotiation process members of the current government harshly criticized the Christie administration for what they termed "the great land give-away".
"We are happy to have some of the waterfront and wonderful interior land returned to the land bank of The Bahamas to the amount of 5,825 acres," Vanderpool-Wallace said yesterday.
"We thought that the amount of acreage that was put forward in the original agreement was something that we thought we wanted to scale down on and move in another direction.
"For those who may have some difficulty understanding what 5,825 acres is, this is equivalent to getting Bimini back, getting Ragged Island back, getting Little Sand San Salvador back. That's the size and scope that we are talking about and Mayaguana, that is larger than the island of New Providence, so it is quite a significant island for development."
Vanderpool-Wallace said there are no new incentives in the amended heads of agreement.
Within the next 18 months, the I-Group is expected to complete the first phase of the development, which includes the resurfacing of the airstrip, upgrading of the airport terminal building, and construction of a 25 unit upscale boutique resort at North Beach.
"So you will see very quickly vertical construction on the ground," said Michael Scott, chairman of the Hotel Corporation of The Bahamas.
The plans also call for the construction of a marina.
Marc Herdegen, a vice president at I-Group, said he is pleased with the amended contract.
"We have come up with an agreement that puts in place a right-sized agreement," Herdegen said. "I think we'll be able to proceed at a pace that will be able to provide opportunities for Bahamians and opportunities for us to be successful."
Scott added that the I-Group development is a model that will be a template for future developments in the islands of The Bahamas.
The first phase will also include hiking trails, a sauna and spa, a small clinic, and a golf putting green and driving range.
Over the next 15 years, the developers are also expected to bring on a hotel operator to develop and operate a 225-room hotel resort on Mayaguana.
The development was expected to materialize over a 15-year period.
Vanderpool-Wallace added that what's important about the new deal is that a significant portion of the land that the government got back for Bahamians is "beachfront, good quality land that now becomes available for future developments in ways that they see fit."
The original development was expected to be a $1.8 billion investment. It is still unclear whether the developers will still invest that much.
A major international hotel operator has gained approval to construct phase one and two of French Leave Resort on Eleuthera.
The long-awaited nod opens the flood gates on at least $12 million worth of investment on seven-and-a-half acres of elevated land overlooking historic Governor's Harbour.
Shaner Bahamas, a company founded by Lance T. Shaner, will enter into a partnership with Governor's Harbour Resort & Marina to build and finance the resort property. Shaner Bahamas is an off-shoot of the Shaner Hotel Group, a corporation with more than 34 owned or managed properties and thousands of employees.
"Shaner Bahamas is an entity specifically created for
development in The Bahamas," said Eddie Lauth, an investor and partner in Governor's Harbour Resort & Marina and the CEO of Shaner Capital. "They are very interested in this country. We now have approval for development, so we are finalizing the contractors and getting started."
Located just off Queen's Highway, French Leave Resort could indeed mark a resurgence for the hospitality industry in central Eleuthera and serve as an important driver for the economy.
Phase one, Lauth said, includes the construction of 21 hotel cottages, a bar and grill restaurant, and a pool and pavilion clubhouse facility. He told Guardian Business the developer is also committing to phase two "straight away" by commencing underground utilities.
Phase two will see the construction of 17 more cottages, bringing the total number of accommodations to 38.
Groundbreaking should happen as early as next month.
"The marina village site will feature two restored docks and will be able to accommodate only a select few, large luxury yachts," he explained. "The authentic Bahamian hotel cottages are single and detached with covered porches, cedar roofs, block construction and each will have a battery back-up system for 100 percent clean electricity. The inspiration for us is the scale and the wonderful architecture found today at Governor's Harbor with the antique churches and homes."
The announcement has been a long time coming for developers.
Lauth said stakeholders had to "sit tight" for a few years due to a defective title issue. He hopes the first cottages can now open for the 2013 season.
Formerly the site of Club Med, the property was purchased in 2004, with further land acquired from the Frank Lloyd Trust. The developers now hold an impressive 270 acres of prime land in Eleuthera, all of which could transform in the coming years.
Lauth told Guardian Business the ultimate goal would be a resort "with 100 keys".
The 5-star, sustainable, boutique concept has been partly inspired by Orjan Lindroth, the developer behind Schooner Bay in Abaco, Lauth told Guardian Business.
Schooner is in the midst of an aggressive expansion, with an estimated $30 million being spent on infrastructure, amenities and homes this year alone.
Lauth said the 270 acres of land was purchased in Eleuthera partly because stakeholders are concerned with maintaining a consistency of vision, feel and architecture.
Phase one and two of the resort, representing $12 million in investment, will be spearheaded by three or four Bahamian contractors. Lauth said the company is in the process of signing these contracts. Construction should create dozens of jobs, not to mention the long-term employment prospects for Bahamians working on the property.
"There will initially be three or four contractors. We are blessed with high quality contractors on the island and we're very pleased with their work. Right now we're hoping to have everything wrapped up in the next 30 days and break ground after that."
This venture is the first hotel development in the Caribbean by the Shaner Hotel Group.
Hotel brands owned or managed by the company include Marriott, Holiday Inn, Crown Plaza and Renaissance.
Fire ripped through an apartment building in Bimini Sunday evening, leaving 25 people homeless, according to police.
Police suspect that an electrical shortage started the blaze at a 50-year-old building in Alice Town.
Officers from Bimini and New Providence are reportedly investigating.
The fire impacted eight families, according to authorities.
The Department of Social Services and local government representatives are assisting the fire victims, who are reportedly of Haitian descent.
Police and volunteer firefighters managed to contain the fire to the apartment building and prevented flames from spreading to nearby homes and businesses.
Employees from the Bahamas Electricity Corporation and the Bimini Big Game Resort and Marina helped in the effort, said police.
One firefighter received minor burns but no other injuries were reported, according to police.
Yesterday, Obie Wilchcombe, member of Parliament for West End and Bimini, appealed for help for his displaced constituents.
"Thank God no one lost their life but they are now without and we do make a plea for assistance," Wilchcombe said in the House of Assembly yesterday.
Minister of State for Social Services Loretta Butler-Turner assured him that social workers were already helping the fire victims.
"We were advised [Sunday evening] at the Department of Social Services of the fire and our people on the ground were able to find places to accommodate those individuals. Hopefully we'll have a report as to what they've done for them," Butler-Turner told Parliament.
Last week, a 36-year-old phone card vendor was killed after fire destroyed his family's home in Black Village, near the Big Pond subdivision in New Providence.
Brio Colebrook was asleep on the sofa of his four-room wooden home when the fire started around 1 a.m. last Tuesday, according to police.
Two children who lived in the home were taken to hospital for burns and smoke inhalation, police said.