Archive for August 12th, 2011

Friends fail to come forward

| 12/08/2011 | 98 Comments

(CNS): Senior police officers have expressed their puzzlement that the people who sent and received BBM messages with Kerran (KerryAnn) Baker after the last known sighting of her on Saturday 30 July at 7pm have not come forward. Chief Superintendent John Jones said that the police were aware that several people were communicating this way with Kerran that evening and it is fair to assume that they must be her friends, yet not one single person who communicated with the missing 25-year-old has come forward to tell police about those messages. DS Marlon Bodden said it was extremely disappointing that no one had come forward.

“It is completely baffling that people who were messaging Kerran who must have been her friends won’t come forward and help the police to try and piece together what might have happened to her,” CS John Jones added.

Bodden, the officer with strategic oversight of the missing person investigation, said that despite the numerous appeals that he and Jones had made to these friends, no one at all had come forward to talk about the messages they sent to Kerran or the messages they could have received from her.

“We are aware that Kerran was a heavy BBM user and there was significant traffic after 7pm that evening. It is reasonable to assume that these were her friends so surely it is logical that they would want to assist us,” he said as he expressed his frustration that no one had admitted to either sending Kerran a BBM message after 7pm that night or receiving one from her, despite evidence that many people had done so.

The officer confirmed that as yet the police have still not recovered Kerran’s phone.

Once again he pleaded with the community to assist as the investigation reached its 13th day with no more information on what happened to the Jamaican nurse after she left Foster’s supermarket where she was caught on CCTV at around 7pm on 30 July.

Jones said it was possible that some of those people who were using the BBM service to contact Kerran were sending out group messages at the time which included her address. If so, the police said, the messengers may not realise it. However, he added, police still want to speak to those people. The two senior officers said they want even those people who may have sent a very short message to which they did not receive a reply to come forward. “It is critically important that people don’t take things for granted,” Jones added as he pointed out that what people may think was an insignificant detail may be the crucial clue that the police are looking for.

With no further concrete leads, the officers said that they were continuing to closely scrutinize the hours and hours of CCTV footage as well as continue to follow existing lines of enquiry, cross-checking statements gathered so far. They said that a line of enquiry regarding her efforts prior to her disappearance to have a Weststar cable box installed revealed nothing sinister and police had been able to close that line down.

The officers impressed on the wider public yet again that the police cannot get to the bottom of what happened to Kerran without the support of the community and in particular her friends.

As the officers wrapped up the daily press update on Friday for the missing person investigation, Bodden and Jones both said the case was still a priority investigation and there were no plans to reduce the amount of officers on the case at present, and with a search coordinator on standby should the police receive any new promising information over the weekend, they would be ready to conduct more searches.

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Home for neglected horses planned

| 12/08/2011 | 36 Comments

(CNS): With Dr Brandy Darby of St Matthews University leading a group that is working to get a corporationup and running that will cater to neglected horses, two have already come to her attention that are in need of medical care. The horses, named Annie and Gracie, are currently in the Department of Agriculture’s impoundment lot and are both thin, with Annie suffering from an injury to her right leg and Gracie suffering from cancer of the mouth. Both animals were surrendered to the DoA by their previous owners.

“Much has been in the media recently about the overpopulation of dogs and cats in the Cayman Islands but many people might not be aware that the same problem exists in the horse world in the Cayman Islands,” said Darby. “While the small animals have several dedicated groups looking out for their welfare, such as the Humane Society and CARE, no one has been an advocate for the welfare of the horses until now.”

While the corporation that Darby and her group plan to start is in the formative stages of becoming officially incorporated, they are hoping to help these two horses in the meantime. They are hoping to raise funds for the care of the two horses with a yard sale, which is to be held on 13 August at 69 Smith Road, across from Smith Road Plaza. The sale will start at 6am and all proceeds will go towards Annie and Gracie’s care. Members of the public are encouraged to come out and support the sale or make a donation.

“Both horses are thin and in need of some medical care, but have very sweet natures and will be fantastic pasture pets once rehabilitated, said Darby. “Unlike other homes where the horses are to be ridden, these horses will eventually be used to teach people respect, love and compassion.”

Darby and her group have received financial assistance from horse trainer Tricia Sybersma and hope to officially start up their corporation with the name Cayman Equine Sanctuary. Once it gets off the ground, the organisation will partner with various groups throughout Grand Cayman to educate farmers about equine husbandry and will also become involved with human-animal therapy for people with mental or physical handicaps.

They have chosen a temporary location for the sanctuary, located in Lower Valley, just off Hirst Road, and are reviewing sites for a permanent sanctuary. However, the number of horses that will be taken into the permanent sanctuary site will be dependent on funding and the size of the site.

According to the DoA, there are between 300 and 400 horses on Grand Cayman, and while some live in relatively good conditions, some fall victim to neglect and abuse.

Horse neglect is a problem in the Cayman Islands as well as overseas, with most cases largely due to overbreeding and lack of knowledge of how horses should be taken care of.

16-year-old Joshua Dilbert is a CNS summer intern.

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Power outage caused by road crash

| 12/08/2011 | 3 Comments

(CNS): The power outage experienced by CUC customers accross Grand Cayman last night was caused by a two vehicle collision on Sparky Drive, George Town, at around 9pm in which a Ford Ranger crashed into the Caribbean Utility Company’s fence, trapping two people inside the vehicle. Police say that a 911 call was made at 9:09pm on Thursday, 11 August, to report the crash. Police officers attended the scene and when they found that that the driver and passenger of the Ford Ranger were trapped, they were joined by Fire Service officers soon afterwards. The two people were extracted from the vehicle and transported to the hospital via ambulance as they both sustained minor cuts and bruises.

The RCIPS says that the collision occurred when a Silver Honda Integra and Gold Ford Ranger were both travelling south on Sparky Drive coming from the go-cart race track. The Ford Ranger lost control and collided with the right rear end of Honda Integra and then subsequently collided with the CUC fence and a pole on the inside of the power company compound, which caused the power to go out.

The pole was damaged, say police, and the Ford Ranger received excessive damages to the entire vehicle. The Honda Integra received minor damages but its ccupants sustained no injuries. The matter is under investigation, police say.

Should anyone have information on this matter or any crime taking place in your community please report it to any one of your local police stations or Crime Stoppers 800(TIPS) 8477.

 

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Lightning strike brings TV blackout

| 12/08/2011 | 17 Comments

(CNS): WestStar TV have reported that lightning strike to the TV Centre last night caused a power surge that knocked out multiple low noise block-downconverters (LNBs) on multiple satellite antennas. After receiving notice that many cable channels had dropped, WestStar Engineers immediately went to the TV Centre to assess and repair the damage, though, as Head WestStar Engineer Charles Stone noted in a release from the television company, it is not safe to work on the damaged satellites during a lightning storm. Once the storm had passed, repairs began immediately and the crew was able to restore all but the following channels: 12, 21, 24, 27 & 115.

According to WestStar, this is a top priority for the company’s engineers and they are working to restore all connections as soon as possible.WestStar TV Limited is the only company in the Cayman Islands that provides digital cable television service and provides a wide selection of entertainment, news, children’s, sports, and now HD programming.

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Mac defends mortgage plans

| 12/08/2011 | 144 Comments

(CNS): The premier has denied that his intention to earmark $2.5 million of Dart money to help pay off mortgage arrears is a form of political handout or that it is propping up irresponsible people. McKeeva Bush said it was “nothing like that” as the funds would be used to help those who were most in need and about to lose their homes. Speaking at a public meeting in Bodden Town on Thursday evening, he said the programme may have been criticised but it was to help those who were about to have their property taken away by lending institutions. He said the critics were out of touch about the harsh reality faced by some people who through no fault of their own were about to lose their homes.

“No we can’t help everyone,” he said. “But this will help some of the most needy ones,” he told the audience of around 100 people who had come to hear what the ForCayman Alliance would mean for their district.

The premier insisted that the initiative was not to reward irresponsible behaviour when it came to meeting mortgage obligations but it was for those who were in genuine need because of the economic crisis. Bush also hit out at his critics, in particular the opposition members of the Legislative Assembly, syaing that he knew people were coming to them as much as people were coming to government about the seriousness of the problem. Furthermore, the premier claimed that it was their fault as they had denied the impending economic crisis and had messed up the economy. Despite that, he said, people say he should not keep blaming the opposition more than two years after being in office, but he did it because it was true.

The premier revealed that his ministry would announce the details of the programme over the next week or two and a committee was being set up which would distribute the funds. The cash is coming out of the $18 million cash donation that Dart has agreed to give to the government as part of the ForCayman deal earmarked for community projects.

“As a government we want to ensure a structure with accountability, transparency and efficiency while getting assistance to those who need it most,” he said.  “The Ministry of Finance is assembling a committee of qualified persons from three local banks andthe Department of Finance who will develop the application process and the criteria.”

The premier also stated that the money was a loan fund and it would be given to the banks and lending institutions that were about to repossess homes and not directly to the individual people involved.

Check back to CNS later today for more on the Bodden Town meeting.

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Armed robbery in GT

| 12/08/2011 | 27 Comments

(CNS): Update Friday 12:20pm — Police say that two masked men entered the Payless Auto Parts store on Eastern Ave, George Town, yesterday evening (Thursday 11 August) at about 8:54pm brandishing what appeared to be handguns and demanded cash. They then took the cash register with an undetermined sum of money and the cashier’s handbag. One suspect is described as 5’8” tall, slim built, wearing a long sleeved green striped shirt, the other about 5’10” and also slim built,  wearing a  long sleeved blue striped shirt. Both suspects wore black gloves. They both escaped on foot from the premises. No shots were fired and no one was injured during this incident, police said. 

Anyone with information which could assist the investigation should call George Town CID on 9494222 or the confidential. Crime Stoppers number 8008477 (TIPS)

This is the first armed robbery for more than three weeks. Reflections on Godfrey Nixon Way was targeted on 19 July, when two masked gunmen fired at the door, which was locked.

 

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