Archive for March 24th, 2010

Man shot dead in West Bay

| 24/03/2010 | 179 Comments

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman headline news, Cayman crime(CNS): 

Updated 1:20pm Thursday:  —  Police have now confirmed that the man gunned down in broad daylight in West Bay on Wednesday afternoon (24 March) was 25-year-old Alrick Peddie from the West Bay. Police launched the murder investigation following the shooting, which took place at around 3:15 outside a residence in Willie Farrington Drive, West Bay, near Batabano Plaza. Emergency services arrived on the scene to find the man had received multiple gunshot wounds to the chest. The man was taken to the Cayman Islands Hospital in George Town where he was formally pronounced dead.  (Photo by Dennie Warren Jr)

Detectives remained on the scene on Wednesday evening undertaking what they described as extensive forensic examinations. Officers from the RCIPS were also conducting door-to-door enquiries in the area throughout the afternoon and evening to try and establish exactly what happened at the location.

Peddie, also known as ‘Bling’, was formerly employed as a security guard at the Next Level Night Club.

Police did say that no arrests have yet been made and despite the implication would not confirm if this was a gang related killing. A family liaison officer has been appointed by the RCIPS to assist the victim’s next of kin. The murder enquiry team, led by Detective Inspector Collins Oremule, will be based at West Bay police station.

Road blocks on both side of the West Bay Roads caused massive delays to commuters Wednesday evening as police locked down the West Bay area.

This latest murder is Cayman’s fourth so far this year and all four victims were shot dead.

Anyone who was in the area of Willie Farrington Drive at the time of the shooting, or who has any information which could assist police, is asked to call West Bay police station on 949-3999 or Crime Stoppers 800-8477 (TIPS).

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Armed thieves hit restaurants

| 24/03/2010 | 18 Comments

Cayman Islands News, Grand caymna headline news, Cayman crime(CNS): Police are investigating yet another armed robbery, this time in George Town, after armed men took cash from the Kentucky Fried Chicken in West Bay Road. They are also making enquiries regarding an attempted robbery at Champion House. Detectives say that at around 10:30pm on Tuesday, 23 March, three men entered the Kentucky Fried Chicken. One of the men was armed with what appeared to be a firearm and another man had a machete. The men threatened staff and made off with a sum of cash. No one was injured and no shots were fired.

Two of the men are described as having dark skin and the other had a light complexion. All three men are of slim build and between 5’4” & 5’8” in height. One spoke with a Caymanian accent.

In the second incident a masked man carrying what appeared to be a firearm entered the Champion House II in Eastern Avenue around 10:50 pm. He attempted to open the cash register but fled empty handed. No shots were fired and no-one was injured in the incident.

He is described as being around 5 feet in height, skinny build, wearing blue long pants and a dark coloured long sleeved shirt. He had his face covered.

Anyone with information about either of these incidents is asked to contact George Town CID on 949-4222, or alternatively call Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS). 

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Bakery robbed at gunpoint

| 24/03/2010 | 23 Comments

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman headline news, Cayman crime(CNS): In the latest in a string of armed robberies across Grand Cayman, last night (Tuesday 23 March) at about 9.45 pm a man armed with what appeared to be a firearm entered the Caribbean Bakery on Mount Pleasant Road, West Bay. According to the RCIPS, he threatened staff and made off with a sum of cash. He was last seen heading towards the Batabano Plaza where he jumped the fence. No shots were fired and no-one was injured in the incident. The man is described as being about 5ft 7inches tall and of medium build. He was wearing a black hooded top, light blue jeans and he had his face covered with a bandanna.

Detective Constable Howard Campbell of the Criminal Investigation Department is appealing for anyone who has information about the robbery to contact West Bay CID on 949-3999, alternatively call Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS).


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GIS boss finally gets OK

| 24/03/2010 | 1 Comment

(CNS): With more than enough ‘rehearsals’ after acting in the role for well over two years, Angela Piercy has finally been confirmed as GIS Marketing and Communications (GIS) unit’s Chief Information Officer. Piercy has been in the unit for over ten years and was appointed acting CIO in December 2007 following the departure of Pat Ebanks. Officials said her appointment has been made retroactively to September 2009. Very familiar with her post already, Piercy said the current goal is to convince government to shift the GIS approach from purely tactical to more strategic.

 “Government’s information needs continue to change and as much as is financially possible, we must stay ahead of communication trends,” Piercy explained. She also places a high premium on professionalism, focusing on such key performance indicators as timeliness, quality, creativity and foresight.

“GIS is a fast-paced, multi-discipline communications agency. We provide government ministries and departments with public relations and marketing services, including communications strategies, visual and electronic media communications, crisis communications, and press conference organisation and facilitation,” she added. "This means we have to be able to produce superior work against tight deadlines – a difficult challenge that the staff must meet consistently. And they do.”

Piercy began her GIS career in December 1998 as an information officer and was promoted to Manager of Information and Public Affairs in January 2006. In that position, she supervised the development of branding, marketing and public communications strategies.

Her assignment as Acting Chief Information Officer followed the retirement of the then CIO Patricia Ebanks. “Pat was dedicated to public service,” Piercy said. “She also was instrumental in providing significant opportunities for me to improve as a communicator – especially through on-the-job training and educational pursuits.”

Piercy has a master’s in integrated marketing communications from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, and a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from St. Bonaventure University in Olean, New York.

She has more than 20 years media experience, including extended periods as a journalist and newspaper editor, both in the US and locally.

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Police put out ‘APB’ for ‘special’ people

| 24/03/2010 | 25 Comments

(CNS): The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service is currently looking for volunteers to join the Special Constabulary. ‘Specials’, as they are known, are expected to dedicate a minimum of 20 hours every month to the RCIPS and work alongside regular officers on foot and mobile patrol duties. Anyone interested in finding out more is invited to the RCIPS open house this Saturday. Posts are open to people from all walks of life. Applicants must be aged between 18 and 50 years, be physically fit and have no criminal convictions. If not Caymanian they must have lived and worked in the Cayman Islands for a minimum of two years.

The event will take place at the RCIPS Training Centre in Governor’s Square, will start at 10.00am on Saturday, 27 March, and finish at 1.00pm. Many of the men and women who already volunteer will be available to answer questions and discuss the opportunities available in the RCIPS Special Constabulary. Currently there are 85 Special Constables in the RCIPS and the force is looking for new recruits to swell the ranks.

“You don’t have to have any specific skills to become a special constable, just a real desire to make a difference in the communities we serve,” said Inspector Peter McLoughlin of the RCIPS Training Department. “We currently have housewives, doctors, pilots and car mechanics who give up their own time to come out and work with us. They all play a very important part in the RCIPS team and make a huge contribution to keeping our communities safe.”

Application forms will be available at the Training Centre on Saturday. The closing date for applications is 23 April.

Applicants who meet the selection criteria will be expected to pass a physical test, a written test and take part in an interview before their appointment will be confirmed. The next training class for special constables will begin as quickly as possible following the completion of the recruitment process.

Anyone who cannot make it along to the event on Saturday can call the Commandant of the RCIPS Special Constabulary, Richard Harris, for further information. He can be contacted on 916-3344 or

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LIME sponsors athletes’ journeys to Cayman

| 24/03/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Athletes coming to Cayman to participate in the 2010 CARIFTA Games will be backed by regional telecoms firm LIME. As presenting sponsor the firm is providing further financial support to the teams travelling to the games which are being held here in the Cayman Islands from 2-5 April. LIME, which has already contributed US$200,000 says it wants to make sure that individual Athletic Associations across the Caribbean where LIME operates are better able to fund their team’s participation in the Games by contributing varying amounts to assist with travel and other expenses.

“LIME is very excited to be the presenting sponsor of the games and we recognise that several of the countries which will be participating will have a challenge in funding their teams, so we wanted to help to make sure they will be competing in the Cayman Islands,” said Chris Dehring, Chief Marketing Officer of LIME said. “CARIFTA has been the proving ground for the majority of Caribbean Athletic talent over many years and we want to do all we can to help our gifted athletes on to the World Athletics stage.”

Tony Ritch, the Cayman Islands General Manager added that he was very pleased that LIME is able to contribute to the teams travelling here. “It is a great opportunity for the Cayman Islands to host CARIFTA and I look forward to meeting many of the athletes as well as supporters from the visiting countries.  This is our opportunity to showcase these beautiful islands and to welcome what we hope will be returning visitors,” he added.


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Hotel dispute may be at the final hurdle

| 24/03/2010 | 11 Comments

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman business news, Hyatt Hotel(CNS): While the legal arguments regarding the former Hyatt hotel are not over, the hotel management has indicated that a resolution appears close at hand. Having recently revealed the details of its long standing insurance dispute, the management at Grand Cayman Beach Suites, formerly the Hyatt, has announced that Houston Casualty Company’s co-insurers have finally paid the insurance policy proceeds which have been agreed with them since 11 July 2008. Bill Powers, the hotel’s general manager, said this move reinforced the validity of earlier public statements made by the Hotel and demonstrated the benefits of a free and open press in Cayman.

He said as a result of this latest development, Houston Casualty Company had to decide whether it will pay for the damage caused by Hurricane Ivan or reinstate the Hotel in accordance with the terms of the insurance policy.

“There is a lot more at stake here than the reinstatement of our Hotel since, as previously stated, given Cayman is in an area which is prone to hurricanes, the failure of insurance companies to honour their obligations under insurance policies and the ability/inability of the local judiciary to properly and promptly deal with disputes relating to insurance claims will be key issues for most local citizens and businesses on the Island as well as the Sister Islands,” Powers said.

The owners of the hotel have been in dispute with their insurance companies for more than five years, since Hurricane Ivan destroyed the northern side of what was formerly the Hyatt. The owners were able to salvage the southern side of the hotel site, which was re-named the Grand Cayman Beach Suites after the Hyatt removed its branding support as the insurance problem rolled on.

Powers claimed that the legal wrangling was also impacted by the unlawful arrest during the discredited Operation Tempura investigation of Justice Alex Henderson, who had presided over some of the legal proceedings in the Hyatt dispute.

The general manager said that after Justice Henderson’s arrest on 24 September, Houston Casualty Company itself finally dropped its unreasonable conditions and agreed to pay the insurance policy proceeds due to the hotel without continuing to insist on its earlier unreasonable terms.

“However, following Justice Henderson’s reinstatement as a Judge in Cayman, Houston Casualty Company has tried to renege from paying the agreed insurance policy proceeds due to the Hotel,” he stated. “In anticipation of Houston Casualty Company’s decision, which the Hotel owner is hopeful of now finally receiving imminently following the benefits of the increasing openness and transparency resulting from the recent press articles relating to this matter, the Hotel owner will begin undertaking a further assessment of the state of the buildings as they now stand in order to establish the best way forward.”

Powers explained that as soon as Houston Casualty Company decides which option to pursue, the hotel’s owner can act accordingly. He said that whatever option the hotel takes, because there is a risk involved, the insurance firm may subsequently seek to argue that the hotel owner should have done something else instead. “If the Hotel owner chooses to tear down the damaged buildings and then rebuild, Houston Casualty Company may subsequently seek to argue that it would have been better to repair the existing shell,” he added. 

The owners, Powers stated, are particularly wary about the insurer’s intentions. “Houston Casualty Company has already sought to wrongly void the insurance policy on false pretences in a desperate ploy, concocted just a few days before the hearing, to escape Summary Judgement when Houston Casualty Company had no genuine defence as both parties’ real figures put the loss at well above Houston Casualty Company’s policy limit,” Powers stated. “Remarkably, Justice Henderson found in favour of Houston Casualty Company at that hearing for Summary Judgement, following which Houston Casualty Company has insisted that Justice Henderson continues to hear the matter even though he is not seized of it.”

Powers claimed that the fact that these are false pretences by Houston Casualty Company is clearly evident because all the other 15 insurers have now paid the agreed policy proceeds. “Yet, in stark contrast to all the other 15 insurers, Houston Casualty Company has still not paid a single cent under the same policy, despite its clear obligation to either pay for the damage caused by Hurricane Ivan or, at its option, to reinstate the Hotel,” Powers said.

Both the previous government and the current administration have raised their concerns about the long standing legal dispute because of the negative impact the deterioration of the derelict site has had on the location. The site issituated in the heart of the Seven Mile Beach Tourism area and real estate experts have also indicated that the situation has had a detrimental impact on local property prices in the area, in particular the Britannia, which had access rights with the condos to the former hotel.

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MLAs go back to work

| 24/03/2010 | 23 Comments

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman headline news, Cayman Legislative Assembly(CNS): The people’s representatives will be back to work on Wednesday morning as the Legislative Assembly returns. The government is expected to open three days of business in the House, with at least two motions, two amendments to bills including the penal code, and a number of other issues, including motions submitted by the opposition and the independent member for North Side. The opposition benches have also submitted a number of parliamentary questions to the government. At the close of the last session the opposition claimed that government had closed down debate and was attempting to silence them.

This latest sitting of the country’s parliament also takes place against the recent publication of the Miller Report, an expectation from the UK to see on outline of Cayman’s three-year budget plan before the end of this month, and while the UK economists are on their annual visit to review the government’s economic situation at one of its most challenging times in history.

It is expected to be a busy session, and Ezzard Miller told CNS that he has submitted a number of questions, amendments to proposed bills and several motions, including one to establish a committee to review the Public Management and Finance Law.

Check back to CNS for full coverage of the proceedings during the course of the week.

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Lime faces petition to reduce Blackberry fees

| 24/03/2010 | 32 Comments

(CNS): With a number of interruptions to service recently a petition has appeared on Facebook posted by BlackBerry customers asking LIME to reduce the Blackberry fees until the service is improved. The petitioners are complaining that the weekly $10 fees are removed from customer accounts without hesitation yet customers face service interruptions, delays in BB messages and internet time outs.  LIME told CNS however that it has upgraded its mobile data network twice in the last 3 months in response to growing traffic demands on the network.

“Whilst we were aware of the Facebook petition we recognized that we were faced with some higher than anticipated demands due to the ongoing success of our recent sales campaigns, Blackberry sales in particular,” said Cayman’s LIME general manager CEO Anthony Ritch.  “We are continuing to proactively manage all traffic across our network; monitoring on a regular basis and making changes as required through ongoing capital investment.  LIME encourages customers to report any reduction in their service quality by contacting our Customer Services on 811.”’

Although only 34 people have signed the online petition over 200 people have joined the Facebook group. Comments left by those who have sign tend to complain most about the delay in sending Blackberry instant messaging – a free service between uses which is fast becoming Cayman’s most popular communication tool. However with more and more LIME customers switching from regular cell phones to Blackberry service the demand is increasing on a daily basis the local telecoms giant is fast becoming a victim of its own success.

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Stabbing victim remains silent over attack

| 24/03/2010 | 2 Comments

(CNS): Police confirmed on Tuesday that they are investigating a report of an alleged stabbing incident that occurred in Pasadora Place, off Smith Road in George Town, on Saturday evening, 20 March. However, an RCIPS spokesperson said the police were unable to give any details of the reported incident as the victim was “being less than helpful”. CNS understands that a male was stabbed several times at around 6:00 pm by his attacker in what was described as a violent incident. It is not known if the victim was hospitalized or how severe his injuries were.

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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