Archive for June 24th, 2009

Cops tackling cause of crime

| 24/06/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): In an effort to help address one of the causes of crime – unemployment — the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service is teaming up the Department of Employment Relations to host a jobseekers workshop. The joint initiative has been designed to help people into work instead of crime, and will cover areas such as effective methods of job searching, resume and letter writing, interview skills and appropriate attire, and behaviour for the workplace.

Chief Inspector Angelique Howell, Area Commander for West Bay, explained that the move comes as part of the police’s efforts to address all areas of crime, from prevention right through to detection. The workshop has been designed for job seekers and business owners who could be on the look out for new talent.

“It has become clear that there is a real concern around employment and the problems people can encounter when seeking work,” said Howell. “We want to do as much as we can to help people secure permanent employment and we hope as many people as possible will attend the workshop.”

The workshop which is free and open to everyone especially job seekers and business owners looking for talent will take place between 4pm and 7pm at the John A Cumber Primary School Hall on 11 July and will be administered by the Department of Employment Relations.

“We must all look to address the underlying causes of crime,” said Jean Solomon, Employment Development Outreach Coordinator. “Sustained employment is key to people leading crime-free lives and we hope our workshop will assist people who may either be having difficulty finding work or those who need some extra confidence when it comes to job seeking.”

Solomon added that she hoped young people would attend to find out how they can maximize their skills when it comes to job seeking and employment hunting.  “Entering the workplace can be daunting and the tips, advice and guidance that we can offer can be useful to those just starting out in the job market. We must also pool our resources together as a community and foster harmonious relationships to create a safe and crime-free environment,” she added.

Anyone wanting more information can contact Chief Inspector Howell at West Bay police station on 949-3999 or email Jean Solomon can be reached on 244-7005 or

Anyone with information about crime taking place in the Cayman Islands should contact their local police station or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS). All persons calling Crime Stoppers remain anonymous, and are eligible for a reward of up to $1000, should their information lead to an arrest or recovery of property/drugs.

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Armed robbery in GT

| 24/06/2009 | 10 Comments

(CNS): Two men who carried out an armed robbery at the Esso gas station on Shedden Road last night (23 June) at around 10:20pm, and police are appealing for information which could help identify the suspects. The offenders were both wearing dark clothes with hoods and had their faces covered. One is described as 5ft 9ins to 6ft tall, of slim build with a dark complexion and a small scar under his right eye. The second offender is described as 5ft 5ins tall, medium build with a brown complexion. The RCIPS says it received information at around 10:20pm that a robbery was taking place.

(CNS): Two men who carried out an armed robbery at the Esso gas station on Shedden Road last night (23 June) at around 10:20pm, and police are appealing for information which could help identify the suspects. The offenders were both wearing dark clothes with hoods and had their faces covered. One is described as 5ft 9ins to 6ft tall,of slim build with a dark complexion and a small scar under his right eye. The second offender is described as 5ft 5ins tall, medium build with a brown complexion. The RCIPS says it received information at around 10:20pm that a robbery was taking place.

Officers responded to the scene and were told that two men armed with handguns had entered the store and had demanded money from the security guard and the cashier who were present. The men then left the area on bicycles. The two staff and one customer who were in the store at the time were not injured in the incident.

Anyone who saw the suspects prior to or after the robbery or anyone who recognizes the description of the offenders is asked to contact George Town CID on 949-4222 or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS). All persons calling Crime Stoppers remain anonymous, and are eligible for a reward of up to $1000, should their information lead to an arrest or recovery of property/drugs.

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NS students go sailing

| 24/06/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Students from North Side Primary School are learning to sail with the generous help of Red Sail Sports and instructors and support from the Cayman Islands Sailing Club (CISC). In May and June 2009, Red Sail Sports donated the use of its beach and security at Rum Point where the Cayman Islands Sailing Club set up a small sailing school. This allowed the children at North Side Primary School to partake in sailing lessons without having to drive the 45 minutes to the CISC in Red Bay.

So far the CISC coaches are impressed with the students’ ability. “We are delighted to work with the children from North Side. They are very well behaved and most show confidence and some natural talent on the water,” said head instructor, Garth Griffiths.

The sailing lessons are part of a much larger school programme offered by the CISC. In the 2008/09 school year, the CISC has taught sailing to over 600 young children, some as young as 5 years old, from eight schools.

Sailing Director, Michael Weber, stressed the importance of the schools programme as well as appreciation to Red Sail Sports. “We will continue to try to ensure that every child in the Cayman Islands learns sailing. It is a healthy, environmentally friendly, and culturally relevant activity. I sincerely thank Red Sail Sports for helping us introduce sailing to the children of North Side Primary School.”

For more information on sail training at CISC, please contact Mike Weber at 

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CHF launches War on Weight

| 24/06/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The Cayman Heart Fund is looking for ten volunteers to participate in a contest to lose weight, get fit, and live a healthier lifestyle. On Monday 24 August The CHF will launch its second annual weight loss competition, “War on Weight” or just “WOW” for short. For sixteen weeks contestants will become dedicated representatives to the Cayman Heart Fund’s mission of promoting a healthy change in lifestyle while competing in a weight loss challenge.Contestants will be monitored and advised by a team of professionals throughout the competition, ensuring weight loss is safe and consistent. (Left: last year’s WOW winners, Dwight Ebanks, 1st place, and Summer LaRue, 2nd place)

Contrary to many weight loss regimens seen on television, there will be no drugs, herbs, diuretics or other weight reduction medicines allowed. The contestants are encouraged to lose weight by altering their diet, exercising on a daily basis and making health conscious choices while under the guidance of a dietician, personal trainer, and general practitioner.

Nutritionist Chad Collins RD will establish a customised weight loss eating regime for each individual based on their measurements, physical health and exercise, among other information. During the contest, Collins will meet with contestants on a regular basis to monitor and adjust their meal plans as needed. He will also offer personalised counseling to the contestants both in person and online.

Physicians, John Addleson and Marli Ellis, will supervise the candidates’ progress, ensuring competitors methods of weight loss are safe. An initial blood test and physical examination will determine if you are healthy enough to enter the contest and will perform periodic tests throughout the contest.

WOW’s fitness guru, Ernest Ebanks of Body Sculpture will supervise contestants physical activity, take measurements including weight, and provide an exercise plan for their specific needs. Participants will have access to utilise the gym, personal trainers, and Boot Camp fitness classes during the competition.

Marking its second year as a non-profit organisation, the CHF has a number of goals, one of which is to reduce the incidences of cardiovascular diseases in the Cayman Islands, as well as improve the quality of life to all those effected by this disease by providing the community with information, education, and participation through free screening clinics, contests, events, and its annual expo.

Summer LaRue, the Vice-Chairman to the WOW Committee says, “The WOW Committee is very excited about this year’s competition. Most of the members were contestants last year and we have experienced first hand how effective this programme is, losing over 200 pounds combined. The goal of WOW is to get community awareness of the obesity problems we are experiencing in Cayman, and to try and get everyone to do something about. We plan on scheduling various events through out the competition that will include not only the contestants, but also give an opportunity to family, friends, and the community to participate and offer support.”

Volunteers interested in applying for the competition can obtain an application from the Cayman Heart Fund website at or via email at The deadline for applications to be submitted is 31 July.

For more information on this press release, please contact the WOW Committee at 548-6134 or 548-4817.

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Neighbourhood dispute turns violent

| 24/06/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Two suspects have been arrested on suspicion of wounding following an assault that left the victim with lacerations to his body and a broken arm. A 43-year-old man and a 32-year-old woman are currently in police custody following the assault, which took place shortly after midnight Tuesday night, 23 June. The 911 Emergency Communications Centre received a call from a man stating he had been assaulted in the Mangrove Avenue area of Prospect. Police and medics responded to the scene and found the 36-year-old male victim, who was taken to hospital for treatment. The victim has told police an altercation occurred between him and two other people at a residence.

Anyone with information about the assault is askedto contact George Town CID on 949-4222 or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS). All persons calling Crime Stoppers remain anonymous, and are eligible for a reward of up to $1000, should their information lead to an arrest or recovery of property/drugs.

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Rapist wins HR claim

| 24/06/2009 | 0 Comments

(The Independent): A convicted rapist has won a High Court test case ruling that his human rights were breached by the long delay in the Parole Board reviewing the lawfulness of his continued detention. Mr Justice Collins ruled that Betteridge’s right to a speedy hearing under Article 5(4) of the European Convention on Human Rights had been breached. But he was not entitled to damages because the evidence showed he was not fit for release in any event. He said other prisoners in similar circumstances to Betteridge were also unlikely to receive any damages, and their applications would only add to legal costs and create "a thoroughly unsatisfactory state of affairs".

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Europe takes Britain to task

| 24/06/2009 | 0 Comments

(Times Online): Brussels turned up the heat on Britain yesterday over the Government’s plunge into the red as a result of the recession and the banking crisis. In a fresh warning shot at the Treasury over its soaring budget deficit, the European Commission classed Britain alongside the struggling Irish Republic and stricken Latvia as the European Union economies whose national finances had been most dangerously hit by the costs of the crisis. Alistair Darling was again urged to take more urgent and radical measures to bolster the UK’s budgetary position, which Brussels said was set to be even worse next year than the Chancellor has forecast so far as the recession bites harder than the Treasury expects.

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Cocaine, opiate markets ‘shrink’

| 24/06/2009 | 0 Comments

(BBC): Global markets for cocaine, opiates and cannabis are steady or declining, the UN’s annual drug report says. Opium cultivation in Afghanistan fell by 19% in 2008 while cocaine production in Colombia dropped 28%, it says. Consumption of the drugs in major markets in Western countries is said to be stable or declining. But the production and consumption of synthetic drugs are thought to be growing as they shift increasingly to the developing world. In its report, the UN Office for Drugs and Crime said that what used to be a cottage industry producing synthetic drugs – amphetamines, methamphetamine and ecstasy – has now become "big business".


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PPM queries integrity of FS

| 24/06/2009 | 34 Comments

(CNS): Leader of the Opposition Kurt Tibbetts has accused Leader of Government Business McKeeva Bush of gross misrepresentation regarding government finances and questioned the competence and integrity of Financial Secretary Ken Jefferson. “The fundamentally different positions taken by the financial secretary in a matter of mere weeks and the radically different advice that he has given to the former and present governments raises serious issues not only about the state of the finances of the country but also about the competence and integrity of the financial secretary,” he said.  

In the wake of recent claims by Bush that the projected operational deficit at the end of June of $29 million was now expected to be $74 million and that the country’s reserves had declined from the previously projected $126 million to CI$17 million, Tibbetts has raised serious doubts. The opposition leader pointed out that for the advice and guidance provided to the Cabinet by the Portfolio of Finance and Economics to have changed so much in such a short period raises serious questions and has demanded an immediate meeting of Finance Committee to scrutinize the sudden and radical differences.

Tibbetts explained that the opposition, which now includes four members of the former Cabinet, had delayed their statement in response to Bush in order to analyze the claims he had made. “We have concluded that much of what has been said by the LoGB in his recent statement grossly misrepresents the actual financial position of the country,” Tibbetts said.

The opposition leader said that on 5 May Jefferson had set out the actual state of government finances as of 31 March 2009. “These were not projections, but the actual numbers,” Tibbetts added. “According to the Cabinet Note … the actual operational deficit of the government as at 31st March 2009 was $18.8M.”

Tibbetts said that Cabinet was informed that the actual cash balances of the government as of that date were $110 million, made up of unrestricted cash of $29 million and restricted cash of $80 million.

“The financial secretary also assured Cabinet that the projected operational deficit of $29M and projected cash balances of $126M at the end of June were holding true,” the opposition leader stated.

He said that the figures given by Bush on 12 June to the country were a deliberate misrepresentation designed to make the stewardship of the country’s finances by the PPM look as bad as possible. 

“And we say this notwithstanding that the financial secretary has recently been reported as confirming the allegation that the projected deficit has now been revised upward to the huge sum of $74M,” Tibbetts said. “There is something radically wrong with the picture painted by the LoGB and apparently endorsed by the financial secretary. The variance between the previous projections made by the financial secretary to the PPM Government and the recent announcement by the LoGB is so great that it defies belief.”

He added, “No amount of incompetence could possibly have led to projections which were so hopelessly off.  There must be another explanation.  It is inconceivable that the financial secretary has suddenly discovered that the advice and information which he consistently provided to Cabinet over the course of the past year and right up to the eve of the elections was completely wrong.”

Tibbetts suggested that either the PPM Cabinet was deliberately and consistently misled by the financial secretary or the true position is now being misrepresented to paint as bleak a financial picture as possible.

“In view of the gravity of this matter, I call on the financial secretary to immediately convene a meeting of Finance Committee in order that the true state of the finances of the country can be properly enquired into and made known to the public,” Tibbetts demanded. He said that broad and sweeping statements such as the one made by the LoGB on 12 June were not satisfactory given the financial secretary’s previous advice to the PPM Cabinet only two weeks before the elections.

“There are issues that demand explanation and questions which require answers by both the LoGB and the financial secretary and I call upon the financial secretary to explain to the country the basis for the vastly different state of the government’s finances,” the PPM leader said.

He also called on Jefferson to explain what instructions he had received from the present government regarding the management of government finances and if they had caused him to revise his earlier projections regarding the state of the government’s finances.

Tibbetts asked if any policy decisions been taken by the present government regarding additional expenditure during the present fiscal year which has negatively impacted the projected operational deficit or cash balances of the government.

“What is the current undrawn balance of the CI$154M loan facility which was approved by Finance Committee in May of last year for use during the current fiscal year?  Is it proposed that the entire approved loan of CI$154M be drawn down and utilized in the present fiscal year and what will be the impact on the government’s finances if the entire loan amount is not drawn down in the current fiscal year?” he also asked.

Tibbetts said he and his opposition colleagues do not believe the statement made by the LoGB truthfully reflects the present financial position of the government.  “I call on the financial secretary to publicly answer the questions I have posed and to convene a meeting of Finance Committee immediately so that these important issues and others raised by the LoGB in his statement can be properly ventilated and the true state of the government’s finances can be made known,” he added.

Read Kurt Tibbetts’ full statement here.

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