The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

National News

September 20, 2013

Resort project opens tiny Bimini to the world

BIMINI, Bahamas — Every time a cruise ship docks in Bimini, the population of this tiny archipelago just 50 miles off the coast of Miami could nearly double.

That may be profitable for a place that lives off tourism. But many worry the recent launch of a new cruise line disgorging hundreds of visitors each day could be too much of a good thing.

The ship is one component of a global casino company’s project to bring unprecedented waves of tourists to Bimini, which has long defied change. Some fear it will destroy a marine environment teeming with fish and coral, and ruin a diving and sport-fishing capital of the world.

It’s also provoking somewhat of an existential crisis, posing a challenge to Bimini’s identity as a rustic and hard-to-reach getaway, known as a haunt of Ernest Hemingway and the setting for a tryst that ended a U.S. presidential run.

“Unless you are a fisherman, a diver or a drunk there was no reason to come to Bimini. But they are changing that,” said dive shop operator Neal Watson. “It’s getting to be a different place.”

Changes are coming fast. Malaysia-based Genting Group is spending at least $300 million on Resorts World Bimini, quickly becoming the largest employer in the cluster of islands and creating sharp new demand for housing. Working in partnership with a Florida developer, the company opened a casino in June, expects to finish a 350-room hotel by Christmas and 50 luxury villas a month later on their 700 acres of North Bimini. The company has plans for shopping, restaurants and nightclubs, is considering a second hotel and is in the process of upgrading the airport to accommodate larger planes.

“It’s created more jobs, of course, and you know, it is keeping people busy,” said Edith Romer Johnson, who sells lobster pizza at a shop outside the resort. “And the more money we have on the island, the more it goes around.”

Text Only
National News
  • VIDEO: Boston bomb scare defendant appears in court

    The man accused of carrying a backpack containing a rice cooker near the Boston Marathon finish line on the anniversary of the bombings was arraigned Wednesday. He's being held on $100,000 bail.

    April 17, 2014

  • Consumer spending on health care jumps as Affordable Care Act takes hold

    Nancy Beigel has known since September that she would need hernia surgery. She couldn't afford it on her $11,000 yearly income until she became eligible for Medicaid in January through President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

    April 17, 2014

  • Astronomers spot most Earth-like planet yet

    Astronomers have discovered what they say is the most Earth-like planet yet detected — a distant, rocky world that's similar in size to our own and exists in the Goldilocks zone where it's not too hot and not too cold for life.

    The find, announced Thursday, excited planet hunters who have been scouring the Milky Way galaxy for years for potentially habitable places outside our solar system.

    April 17, 2014

  • Defend 'Obamacare' unabashedly, some Democrats say

    With enrollments higher than expected, and costs lower, some Democrats say it's time to stop hiding from the president's health care overhaul, even in this year's toughest Senate elections.

    Republicans practically dare Democrats to embrace "Obamacare," the GOP's favorite target in most congressional campaigns. Yet pro-Democratic activists in Alaska are doing just that, and a number of strategists elsewhere hope it will spread.

    April 17, 2014

  • Oklahoma gay-marriage case before US appeals court

    Lawyers for two Oklahoma women and the county clerk who would not give them a marriage license go before a federal appeals court with a familiar question for the judges: Did the state's voters single out gay people for unfair treatment when they defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman?

    April 17, 2014

  • Mankato.jpg Players protest rehiring of fired Minnesota coach

    The University of Minnesota-Mankato football team Wednesday boycotted the fired head coach who won his job back in an arbitrator's ruling last week, nearly two years after fighting accusations of child pornography and other misconduct.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • 10 Things to Know for Today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

    April 17, 2014

  • Court to weigh challenge to ban WASHINGTON (AP) -- As political campaigns begin to heat up, the Supreme Court is deciding whether false accusations and mudslinging made during an election can be punished as a crime. Addressing an issue of negative campaigning that now may be a fact

    April 17, 2014

  • Police: Utah woman gave birth at home

    A Utah woman accused of concealing seven pregnancies before strangling or suffocating her newborns gave birth each time in her home, authorities said Wednesday.

    Investigators have determined that Megan Huntsman, 39, did not go to a hospital to have the babies, Pleasant Grove Police Capt. Mike Roberts said. He didn't say if anybody helped her give birth.

    April 16, 2014

  • Classes resume at high school rocked by stabbings

    Classes resumed Wednesday at a Pittsburgh-area high school where authorities said a student stabbed or slashed 21 others and a security guard a week ago while rampaging through a hallway with two kitchen knives.

    Before school began, some students gathered at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday on the football field behind Franklin Regional High School to pray and to support one another.

    April 16, 2014

AP Video
Facebook