Archive for September 9th, 2010

Cops say killing gang related

| 09/09/2010 | 36 Comments

(CNS): Police have appealed for witnesses to the killing of Tyrone Burrell (20), who was shot in Birch Tree Hill area of West Bay last night. Detective Superintendent Marlon Bodden said the shooting was believed to be gang related and it took place in the same yard as the killing of Damion Ming in March. Bodden said Burrell was shot during a social event attended by a number of people, who all scattered when the shots were fired. Police have spoken to a number of people but are asking others who were there that have not yet spoken to them to come forward. The senior officer said police are pursuing a number of lines of enquiry, including the possibillity Burrell had knowledge of Ming’s death. (Photo by Dennie Warren Jr)

He said the young victim was not a police witness in the case but the RCIPS had reason to believe that he did have information he had chosen not to disclose.

Speaking at a media briefing on Thursday afternoon Bodden stated that extensive enquiries have already been conducted and he was pleased that there was some improvement in the willingness of the community to help the police. He also asked the community to remain calm and appealed for anyone else who could assist to come forward.

 He said it is understood that Burrell’s mother dropped him at a friend’s house earlier that evening and he was later seen at a social event which took place in a yard in Birch Tree Hill – the same location where Ming was gunned down in March. While at this event witnesses say they heard a shot and Burrell fell to the ground. At the sound of the gun shot people fled from the scene in different directions. The shooting was reported to emergency services and Burrell was pronounced dead at the scene.
 
Bodden stated that the victim was known to associate with gang members and the belief that he knew something about Ming’s murder is an avenue of enquiry which the police are following. He noted that while Burrell had revealed no information to the police he may still have been killed because of that knowledge and had he come forward it may have been possible to place him under protection.
However, Bodden said investigators were keeping an open mind about the motive for the young man’s shooting and were aware that it marked the year anniversary of Carlos Webster’s murder in a West Bay Road night club.
 
He said it was sad that once again the police had to pass bad news on to the family of a young man and noted that his mother was distraught and collapsed on hearing of her son’s death and had to be taken to hospital.
 
Adrian Seales from the West Bay Police Station said that officers in that district would be increasing their foot patrols but residents would also see more road blocks in the area as investigations continued. “We won’t allow the relative peace of West Bay to be destroyed again,” he said, adding that all of the West Bay force would be working hard to find those responsible for the murder.
 
Anyone with information about the shooting or was in the yard in question last night is asked to call 949 3990 or 949 3999 or 949 7777. The public can also call crimestoppers 800 TIPS or speak to a police officer they trust and feel comfortable with.
 
 

 

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Miss Cayman Islands contestants to visit Sister Islands

| 09/09/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The five Miss Cayman contestants will be visiting Cayman Brac and Little Cayman this weekend. Venessa Ebanks, Mysti Bush, Trudy Ann Duncan, Shari Walton and Cristin Alexander will spend the weekend touring Cayman Brac and Little Cayman (10-12 September) to learn more about our Sister Islands and meet residents and supporters. The trip, which has been sponsored by the official corporate sponsor of the Miss Cayman Islands Contest, Cayman Airways Ltd, and Brac Caribbean Beach Village, includes an island tour of Cayman Brac on Saturday, 11 September.

This will be followed by lunch at Aunt Sha’s restaurant and a meet and greet reception at the Alexander Hotel. The meet and greet will include a fashion show from 7 – 8pm sponsored by Tip Top Boutique, Classique Boutique and Idalee’s Jewelry & Boutique. There will also be music and dancing. On Sunday the contestants will visit Little Cayman, and enjoy the hospitality of Little Cayman Beach Resort before returning home.

The next fundraising event for the Miss Cayman competition will be a Happy Hour/Fashion Show at Tiki Beach on Friday, 17 September from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. The Miss Cayman contest takes place on 25 September at the Lions Center.
 

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ICO says, just ask what you need to know

| 09/09/2010 | 7 Comments

(CNS): The Information Commissioner’s Office will be lunching “Right to Know Week 2010” (RTK) on 26 September to remind the public that theycan access government records using the Freedom of Information Law (FOI Law). Between 26 September and 2 October and beginning with a service at Savannah United Church, a range of public outreach events will be spearheaded by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). This is the second annual RTK week hosted by the ICO, which was established in early 2009 soon after the Law came into effect. Information Commissioner Jennifer Dilbert encourages all sectors to learn more about how they can benefit from the FOI provisions.

“FOI is not just for the media. Financial records, policy statements, decision and statistical reports are some of the request trends. Anyone, anywhere canmake a request” states the Commissioner and the theme for RTK 2010 suggests exactly that – ‘Just Ask…what you need to know’.

Coinciding with the promotional week will be the International Right to Know Day on Tuesday, 28 September. A media briefing has been scheduled along with an afternoon Open House Tea at the ICO’s Elizabethan Square offices. The public is invited to attend and ICO staff will be on hand to answer questions and distribute information.

Other events include a Government House reception for Information Managers and a visit to Cayman Brac. Presentations to students and service clubs, a GIS Spotlight TV segment, and media debates will also be part of the busy agenda. The week concludes on Saturday, 2 October where the ICO team, along with representatives from other public authorities, will be out at various shopping locations distributing giveaways and answering questions.

For more information on the RTK activities, or if you are not satisfied with the response to a request you have made, contact the ICO on 747-5405 or info@infocomm.ky
 

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Cops charge armed robber for two GT heists

| 09/09/2010 | 7 Comments

(CNS): Updated: According to court records the man police charged  for two of the many robberies that have taken place this year is 27-year-old Norvell Barret. He has been charged in relationto two robberies which occurred in George Town in August. In the first incident it is alleged that he entered the Tortuga liquor store at the junction of Boilers Road & South Church Street at about 3.30pm on 17 August. He threatened staff with what appeared to be a firearm before making off with a sum of cash. The following night, he is believed to have robbed the Esso station at the junction of Shedden Road & Thomas Russell Way where he threatened staff with what appeared to be a firearm before making off with cash.

No shots were fired in either of the robberies and no-one was injured in either of the incidents. The man who is expected to appear in court today (Thursday 9 September) is charged with two counts of possession of an imitation firearm with intent (to rob), two counts of robbery and one count of possession of an offensive weapon.
 
CNS made a request to the RCIPS several weeks ago to supply the figures relating to how many charges have been brought regarding the armed robberies that have taken place this year and we continue to await a response.

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Carers cleared to stay

| 09/09/2010 | 45 Comments

(CNS): The country’s premier says he has a legal opinion which has cleared the introduction of a special certificate to allow domestic workers looking after the sick and elderly to bypass rollover without have the right to claim residency. As government pushed through the amendment to the Immigration law in parliament yesterday, McKeeva Bush stated that he had been advised that every state is allowed to determine its own conditions of residence. The question was raised by the opposition benches when they said that, while they supported the idea of allowing special care givers the right to stay, there were concerns that this method would lead to a number of legal challenges.

Bush, however, said legal opinion had been sought in London and government was able to determine these issues.  “Our law is supreme and there are no international obligations telling us that we can’t so this,” he added.
 
The question of law surrounds a special residency certificate which will enable “specialist care givers” who are on work permits and who qualify under the criteria of the amendment, to stay past the normal seven year term limit for five years. It also allows for one renewal, which means the workers could stay for as much as seventeen years in continuous residence here, but Bush maintained they would not be able to apply for PR under the certificate. (See law here)
 
Presenting the bill to his legislative colleagues, he stated the goal was to find a way to ensure the most vulnerable in Caymanian society did not lose those on whom they were most dependent. Bush said he and other MLAs had all received countless representations over the years about the loss of special carers who were part of people’s families to the rollover. He said in some cases these workers were critical in tending to the needs of the elderly, disabled or sick children and believed government had to address the problem. He illustrated the problem when he gave the example of at least one Caymanian family that left the islands and moved to Jamaica in order to stay with their helper who was rolled over.
 
“If there is a way to address the problem then there is no reason not to do it,” Bush told his legislative colleagues as he set the bill down for its second reading. The premier said the country had adopted the seven year rollover to address immigration issues but the government could not be inflexible about it. As these workers could never qualify for PR because of their financial circumstances, he said this certificate would bypass the problem and allow them to stay with the families and vulnerable people who needed them.
 
However, the opposition pointed out a number of potential pitfalls from the legal problems of continuous residency to the repugnance of potentially keeping a foreign worker resident here for as much as 17 years with no rights and on low pay before deporting them at their most vulnerable time.
 
The question of “why not for other sectors” also arose as the opposition benches noted that this would raise the question that if it can be done for one it can be done for any job. In addition, he question was asked, if this certificate was not going to fall foul of human rights laws of the UK’s concerns, then where was the need to retain rollover.
 
The law has reached the committee stage and is expected to become law this morning when the Legislative Assembly resumes its sitting.
 
See more on this on CNS at the weekend

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Tropical Storm Igor forecast to drift north

| 09/09/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The ninth named storm of the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season is forecast to follow what has become this year’s trend when it comes to storms and head north. At 8am on Thursday morning Igor was about 50 miles south-southeast of the southernmost Cape Verde Islands with maximum sustained winds of 40mph. Moving at a mere 2mph Igor is drifting north and expected to turn west or west-northwest with an increase in forward speed during the next day or two. Little change in intensity is expected today but some strengthening is forecast to begin on Friday. Hazard Management Cayman Islands reminded the public however to be prepared as we are now entering peak season for hurricanes. 

 
The HMCI pointed to the increase in storms over the last few weeks and although none had posed a threat to Cayman residents should be on high alert for systems tracking in our direction and they are at the highest level of preparedness possible.  "If you have not started your preparedness for the season now is the time before the country is threatened by an impact,” said HMCI Deputy Director, Omar Afflick. He added that residents are urged to update their family plan, restock their first aid kit and gather supplies of non-perishable food and water.
 
The lead time for preparation can be short, especially for late season hurricanes.
 
 Don’t get caught out – services such as supermarkets, gasoline, banks, running water, electricity and other items that we have grown accustomed to may not be available in the aftermath of a hurricane. It is vitally important to prepare ahead of time. Every resident should have in place a stock of food and water to last for 5 to 7 days,” added Afflick..  
 
Hurricane Preparedness Information Kits are available on at the HMCI Office at Cayman Corporate Centre or on the website www.caymanprepared.ky;

 

Meanwhile, the National Hurricane Centre says that showers and thunderstorms associated with a weak area of low pressure located near the Windward Islands are showing some signs of organization. Environmental conditions appear favourable for some gradual development as the low moves slowly westward. There is a 40 percent of the system becoming a tropicalcyclone during the next 48 hours, the forecasters say.
 

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Year zero for year twelve students

| 09/09/2010 | 11 Comments

(CNS): Hundreds of students turned up to start the government school system’s first ever year twelve programme this week. The new mandatory school year offers students a new start in a variety of vocational programmes, the opportunity to take advance academic study or a second chance for those that failed exams. With some 35% of 15-19 year olds out of work this extra year provides students with the chance to equip themselves for the future. “If you want to be successful, make the best of all that’s on offer throughout this final year. The time and care with which you prepare to face the world will determine your future accomplishments,” the education minister Rolston Anglin told year 12 students on their first day.

 
Prior to the first day of term students have reviewed grades and met with Department of Education Services’ staff members to determine possible placement in the Year 12 programme. The final school year allows students to re-sit exams or explore vocational courses such as creative media production, motor vehicle repair, and information technology. Others may also use the time to prepare for the next step in their educational journey by exploring advanced placement course options.
 
 “This is an innovative programme that will provide a much needed bridge to further education or the world of work, with a mix of programmes that will cater to students of all abilities. It is an important milestone for our education system,” Anglin stated recently. “
 
Students essentially have had to make a choice from three programme options available to the:
The first is to pursue a Vocational, Career and Technical (VoCaT) Programme; the second for academically successful students is the Advanced Placement International Diploma and the third is  
the Foundation Studies Programme, which offers students a second chance at exam success in key subjects.
 
Qualified students may also choose to undertake dual-entry studies through partnerships between the Further Education Centre and external providers. These partnerships offer students the option to begin their A-levels or study towards an Associate’s Degree. 
 
Those choosing VoCaT can study creative media production, motor vehicle repair, business, information technology, sport and leisure, hospitality, and an exciting new medical technician programme developed in partnership with the Health Services Authority. Students in the VoCaT programme will also be able to participate in the Foundation Studies programme to improve their academic qualifications in core areas. Functional literacy and numeracy programmes will also be available for students who need that support.
 
Advanced Placement (AP) courses will allow students to prepare for university entry while studying for the AP International Diploma. Entry to the AP course of study will require a minimum of five higher passes at grades A/B or I/II at the GCSE/CXC level, including English and mathematics. The internationally respected AP qualifications provide college credit and advanced placement at American universities. They are also recognized in the UK and around the world.    
 

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Man shot dead in West Bay

| 09/09/2010 | 53 Comments

(CNS): Police now have confirmed that a twenty-year-old man has been shot dead at a home in the Birch Tree Hill area of West Bay this evening (Wednesday 8 September). Offices are currently at the scene where it is believed the shooting took place a little after 8pm. Officials were unable to give any more details about the circumstances of the shooting but say they have launched a murder investigation. A police spokesperson  stated that the RCIPS expects to be able to update the public with more details tomorrow morning but did not say if any arrests had been made. The police helicopter was deployed in the area soon after the incident.  (Photo Dennie Warren Jr)

This is the sixth murder of 2010 and the seventh death as a result of a gun. The last murder was that of Damion Ming in the same area of West Bay in March. Harryton Rivers was then shot and killed by a homeowner who was a licensed firearms holder during an attempted burglary in July.

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PPM complains laws rushed

| 09/09/2010 | 18 Comments

(CNS): The opposition says that government is rushing laws through the legislature without proper consultation and closing down public discussion periods on important new bills. PPM member for George Town, Alden McLaughlin, complained in the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday morning that, once again, government was rushing laws through the House by suspending Standing Orders and giving little or no time for these new laws to be properly considered by the opposition as well as the wider community. The former Cabinet member said this constant suspending of Standing Orders was not only resulting in poorly crafted laws but it was also unconstitutional. (Photo Dennie Warren Jr)

Following the entire opposition bench’s vote against the suspension of Standing Orders, he pointed out that there are already major complaints coming from the financial services sector over the recent dormant accounts legislation, which was just one example of why legislation needs a period of consultation. Despite that, he said, here government was again seeking to rush through all the stages of consideration on four new pieces of legislation without offering any opportunity to the opposition or anyone else to consider their implications.
 
Speaking about the amendment to the immigration law, which will usher in a news certificate for domestic helpers who are taking care of the sick and elderly, enabling them to bypass the rollover policy without the right to permanent residency, McLaughlin said the opposition had only received what is a very important legislative change on Monday morning.
 
“We voted against the suspension because, again, on such short notice government proposes to go through all stages of the bill in one sitting without any public consultation, without giving any opportunity for consideration by the opposition, let alone an opportunity for us to consult with our constituents,” McLaughlin observed.
 
He said the increasing practice of the current administration to suspend Standing Orders to rush bills through was resulting in poorly drafted legislation, adding that he had heard the dormant accounts bill “was a disaster” and would have to be returned to the LA for a number of significant, amendments.
 
“Unless there is a genuine emergency thepeople in the community need time to consider legislation that will impact their lives and the future of this country,” McLaughlin said.
 
He also pointed out that the new Constitution sets out the need for government to provide adequate notice of bills to be debated under the Standing Orders and they could not be suspended without very good reason. However, government was suspending the Standing Orders on a regular basis, closing down debate and public consultation on new laws and significant legislative amendments.
 
Premier McKeeva Bush hit back at the opposition member, however, and said the PPM would not even let him speak when he was in opposition because of their speaker. He claimed that there were not enough people to help draft the laws as the country had such a small legislature. The laws needed to be passed, the premier stated, so whenever they were ready government had to bring them to the House. He said that his government intended to get work done so had no choice but to bring the bills as soon as he could to get them passed and implemented.

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Population too small says Mac

| 09/09/2010 | 123 Comments

(CNS): According to the 2009 edition of the Cayman Islands Compendium of Statistics, the country’s population had fallen to 52,830 at the end of 2009. This 7.3% drop is too few people, the premier said today when he and the country’s legislators returned to the Legislative Assembly after a two month break. McKeeva Bush said the fall might be welcome to some people but for a country dependent on services a fall in the population also meant a fall in its economic fortunes. He said that, as people left Cayman, other jurisdictions were benefiting from the country’s losses. While the global recession was taking its toll on the economy, he said, the fall in the number of people here was also major contributor to the economy’s poor performance.

As the premier laid a copy of the compendium produce by the Economics and Statistics Office, which falls under his Ministry of Finance, Bush said the loss of people from the financial services here was a gain for competitive jurisdictions. He said that in the past Cayman had succeeded because of other country’s mistakes; when foreigners were driven out because of immigration or other policies this country benefitted. But now, he said, people were benefiting from Cayman’s mistake of driving people away.
 
“To some people the decline is satisfactory but one of the reasons why we don’t have a good economy is because we have lost people,” he said, adding that with the loss of people the country also lost their purchasing power. He said rentals were lost, property sales were lost, as well as takings at the supermarket, restaurants and gas stations, because those people have gone.
 
The premier lamented the fact that he had been saying this for a long time and people were not listening when he said a bigger population was better. He said that keeping the population small may seem attractive and he used to think it was preferable to keep the place small, but it’s not so.
“21,000 Caymanians can’t sustain this economy and the way of life that we are now used to,” Bush told theLegislative Assembly members.
 
He said that when there was a decline in consumption the entire economy suffered as it was all interdependent, and people needed to be aware that the economic suffering here was not just connected to the global fallout but because people had been driven away as a result of the immigration decisions, and then spending had gone down.
 
“We have lost millions. I would guess as much as $100 million has been lost in expenditure because of people who have left,” Bush said, as he added that there was a need to encourage more people to come back and stop driving others away.
 

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