Archive for September 23rd, 2011

Lindsay Japal takes Miss Cayman Islands crown

| 23/09/2011 | 70 Comments

(CNS):  Updated — UCCI student Lindsay Japal, 23, from George Town has been crowned Miss Cayman Islands 2011. Lindsay, who was sponsored by First Insurance Company, was crowned at the Lions Centre on Saturday night by Cristin Alexander, Miss Cayman 2010, after wowing the judges to get the title for Best Smile and the Best In Gown as well as the title. First runner up was Janelle Muttoo, also from George Town, followed by North Side’s Crystal Tomlinson, who came in third. Aside from winning an array of prizes, including a car and a scholarship, Japal will also represent the islands in the Miss World pageant later this year and Miss Universe next year.

The new Miss Cayman Islands has only six weeks to go before she will be in London for the 2011 Miss World Contest which takes place on 6 November, where Lindsay will be up against 109 girls from around the world, all vying to take the crown from the current Miss USA (Alexandria Mills).
 

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Police seek witnesses to three car pile up

| 23/09/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Traffic ground to a halt along Crew Road on Friday afternoon as a result of a three car smash. Officers from the Traffic Management Unit are looking for witnesses to the three car collision that happened at approximately 2:40pm today in the area of Crewe Road and Desmond Drive, George Town.  Police have not yet explained how the pile up occurred but police accident reconstructionists were sent to the scene. Only one person was hurt in the accident and was taken to the George Town Hospital with head injuries.

Any witnesses to the accident are asked to contact the Investigating Officer PC 357 Watts at the George Town Police Station on 949 4222

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Supermarket pulls antacid meds after recall

| 23/09/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Novartis Consumer Health manufactures of over the counter medicines have announced a voluntary recall of Maalox Advanced Maximum Strength Cherry Cream Flavored packed 3/ 12oz, in consultation with the U.S Food and Drug Administration. As a result local supermarket Foster's Food Fair has proactively pulled all the ant-acid medicines from it shelves to ensure the safety and well being of customers, the supermarket,  said Friday. Novartis Consumer Health has made this recall as a result of an instance of the addition of a small amount of non-USP water (municipal drinking water) during manufacturing.

Consumers who have purchased this product should stop using it immediately. If anyone experience any adverse reactions they are advised to consult their healthcare Physician.

Until Foster’s Food Fair IGA has a further correspondence from the manufacture on this affected product, moving forward, it will not be available.

“We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause, however the safety of our customers is our top priority,” a spokesperson for the supermarket said. “We encourage all customers who have purchased this product to return the affected product to their Foster’s Food Fair IGA of purchase for a full refund.

Product Name — Maalox Advanced Maximum Strength Cherry Cream Flavored

Lot Number  – 10105720

UPC Code – 3-00670-33671
 

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Walkers’ sponsored students excel at CI Law School

| 23/09/2011 | 8 Comments

(CNS): Two of Walkers’ sponsored law students, Thea Bush and Nadine Watler, excelled this year in their studies at the Cayman Islands Law School and were awarded three of the University’s most prestigious academic prizes.  One of these individuals, Nadine Watler (right), has now begun her articles with Walkers and is now on her way to becoming an attorney with the firm. Walkers is currently sponsoring the studies of nine Caymanians who are at varying stages of their legal education, with four continuing from last year and an additional five who were awarded scholarships this year. 

Nadine Watler, who recently passed the Professional Practice Course at the Cayman Islands Law School with Distinction, was awarded the O.L. Panton Memorial Prize for the best performance over the Professional Practice Course in 2011, Walkers said in a release. The prize was presented by Dale Crowley, the President of the Caymanian Bar Association. Nadine was also presented with the Attorney General’s Trophy for the best performance in the Qualifying Examination by Attorney General Sam Bulgin.

Thea Bush, who recently completed her first year studying the University of Liverpool LLB Honours Degree at the Cayman Islands Law School, was awarded the Sweet and Maxwell Prize for the best performance in the first year modules. This award was presented to Thea by Justice Charles Quin.

The prizes were awarded at the Cayman Islands Law School Graduation Ceremony during the summer, where Nadine Watler gave the Valedictorian speech, which is an honour reserved for the highest ranked graduating student. In her speech, Nadine thanked Walkers for the firm’s financial and mentoring support and remarked how excited she was to now be embarking on her articles with Walkers.

Nadine Watler, along with Nikhil Jha – who recently completed his Legal Practice Course at the College of Law in Moorgate, London – both commenced their articles with Walkers on 5 September, 2011. Walkers is currently sponsoring the studies of nine Caymanians who are at varying stages of their legal education, with four continuing from last year and an additional five who were awarded scholarships this year. 

The new scholarships awarded this summer were: Kayla Manderson, who is studying at the Cayman Islands Law School; Christopher Dibben is at Exeter University; Patrick McConvey is at Nottingham Law School;  Michael Testori is at the University of Kent; and Yannick Whorms is at University of Exeter. 

Walkers’ scholars are sponsored for the entire length of their degree courses and post-graduate legal education. In addition to mentoring and support from the firm, they receive funding for course tuition, return airfares, books and examinations.

“Everyone at Walkers is delighted that Nadine and Thea’s academic efforts have been rewarded with such prestigious prizes by the Cayman Islands Law School, which are extremely well deserved and we are equally pleased that Nadine along with Nikhil have now begun their articles with the firm,” said Anthony Partridge, senior counsel with Walkers and a member of the firm’s Trainee Committee. “Academic excellence is just one of the factors we consider when selecting new candidates for our legal scholarships so it is most heartening to see our students recognised in this way.”

 

 

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Buccaneers march on

| 23/09/2011 | 0 Comments

(CRFU): The 2nd leg of the 2011 A.R. Scott 10’s tournament was played on 17 September at the South Sound Rugby ground under the keen eye of match day officials Alasdair Robertson, Nick Fox and Nicky White. The Ecay Pigs Trotters got off to a flying start against the week 1 winners Krys Global Buccaneers in a tight match. The Pigs were once again buoyed by ample numbers in red shirts whilst the Buccaneers were without some key players from week 1 even with the addition of speedster Keswick Wright. Ecay Pigs Trotter 21-17 Buccaneers.  (Photos by Caroline Deegan)

The Iguanas, once again suffering from a lack of numbers started brightly against the DHL Storm and looked early in the 2nd half of the game to be heading towards an upset before the Storm settled down and ran in the points to secure the win. John Doak Iguanas 14-22 DHL Storm

The Storm could not continue their form from the Iguanas game against the Buccaneers and suffered a hammering. The early stages of the game were a seesaw affair with neither team being able to secure points but the addition of young flyers Joel Clarke and Darrien Montague made the difference for the men in white to undo their loss to the Pigs Trotters in the opening game.Krys Global Buccaneers 29-5 DHL Storm.

 

The Iguanas could not continue their earlier form against the Pigs Trotters RFC as some loose tackling in the middle of the park allowed for easy tries for the Trotters and the win was a routine affair for the men in red as the Iguanas could not find their way onto the score sheet. John Doak Iguanas 0-19 Ecay Pigs Trotters.

In the upset of the day the DHL Storm overcame the Pigs Trotters in an exciting game which kept the Buccaneers at the top of the table after 2 tournaments. The Pigs were caught napping against the Storm and expected an easy win but the DHL Storm determination saw out the result. DHL Storm 26-19 Ecay Pigs Trotters.

 

In the final match of the day the hapless Iguanas were trampled by the Buccaneers. The Buccs, knowing that a league this tight could be decided on points difference piled on the points against the Iguanas but to end the day with some dignity in hand the Iguanas assured a try of their own to round out another tough day on the pitch. John Doak Iguanas 7- 41 Krys Global Buccaneers

 Standings after 2 legs…

                               P W L T    Points
Buccaneers         6 5 1 0     20
Pigs Trotters        6 4 2 0    16
Cayman Storm    6 3 3 0    12
Iguanas                6 0 6 0     6

Tournaments Placing    Points

Buccaneers         2 1,1    30
Pigs Trotters        2 2,2    24
Cayman Storm    2 3,3    20
Iguanas                2 4,4    16

 

 

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NFL youth flag football inter-school programme

| 23/09/2011 | 0 Comments

(GCFFA): A brand new inter-high-school competitive flag football league, the NFL Youth Programme, is being introduced to secondary schools on Grand Cayman.
As it is one of the country’s fastest growing sports, the Grand Cayman Flag Football Association (GCFFA) recognized the need for developing flag football amongst the youth. Dart Cayman Islands is supporting the initiative by funding the NFL Youth Programme, as well as the Women’s League, which will involve training camps with visiting NFL players and retired professionals.

By introducing the sport to high-schools,  the GCFFA’s aim is to expose more youth to flag football, help develop a sense of school pride, increase physical activity, and strengthen community and school relations.

With the support from Dart Cayman Islands, the initial fee required per player is CI$25, which will include an NFL reversible team-identified jersey and an NFL flag belt.

Joanne Lawson, Senior Manager of Organisational Development and Administration, said that “Dart Cayman Islands is very pleased to offer sponsorship to the GCFFA, in support of the Women’s and the up-and-coming Youth League. We believe that both leagues will create opportunities for women and youth to be involved in well-established local sports programmes. We look forward to creating a solid relationship with the GCFFA as they move forward.”

President of the GCFFA, Sophia Dilbert expressed the association’s thanks to Dart Cayman Islands for their support. “With their sponsorship and commitment to helping us develop a youth flag football programme, we are able to cover a majority of the costs associated with introducing flag to the schools. We believe that the NFL Youth Programme will be a fun way for teens to spend a Friday night and connect with students from other schools in a healthy and competitively friendly atmosphere.”

The NFL Youth Programme has been running 15 years strong in the United States. Cayman’s version will introduce a boy’s and girl’s 5-a-side league, and all players regardless of athletic ability, skill or knowledge of the game are encouraged to join a team and enjoy the game.

Each school team will actually mirror current NFL teams such as the Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys or Greenbay Packers.  Teams will be run by volunteer coaches within the community and the fundamentals of the sport will be taught, as well as life-skill principles like team-work, accountability and sportsmanship.

Game nights, dubbed “Friday Night Lights” will be each week, with two schools competing against each other per night, starting with the girls at 6pm and the boys at 7pm. A “pep rally” atmosphere will be the feel of the nights, with sports fans and friends coming to the field to watch and engage in the friendly competition between the schools.
The GCFFA is currently in planning stages with many high-schools on Grand Cayman and is looking to begin the NFL Youth Programme this fall.

 

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CITA adds voice to call for grouper ban extension

| 23/09/2011 | 13 Comments

(CNS): As the fate of Cayman’s last spawning area of the Nassau grouper remains in the balance, the local private sector tourism body has joined the call to maintain the fishing ban at the Little Cayman site. The Cayman Islands Tourism Association pointed out that it is vital for the government protect to protect the islands’ natural resources in order to protect the tourism sector. It is now only a few months before the original fishing ban will expire but Cabinet has not yet stated if it will maintain the current restrictions. The Department of the Environment has strongly recommended keeping the protection for the fish which is still at risk.

Despite the eight year long ban which expires on 31 December and has gone some way to increase the numbers of this iconic Caribbean fish, the fight for survival is not over. DoE experts have explained that replenishment of grouper populations is a slow process and an extended ban is necessary to ensure that the last viable spawning aggregation (known as a SPAG) in the West End of Little Cayman – does not collapse.

It takes around seven years for the grouper to reach sexual maturity which means that the ban has not been long enough to restore the populations to such sustainable levels that fishermen could be allowed to take fish from where they are breeding.

CITA said last week that the health of the marine environment directly impacts the tourism industry as Cayman is known for its healthy reefs, magnificent diving and snorkelling, beautiful ocean views which is down to marine diversity. The Nassau Grouper is known as an apex predator on the reef and assists directly in maintaining reef health and essential to controlling the balance. More recently, marine experts have been enlisting the fish’s assistance in growing a taste for lionfish to help control that invasive species which is colonizing reefs in the regions.

Because of other marine environmental pressure scientists say that lifting the restrictions would be the death knell for the local Nassau grouper population making them reproductively extinct from Cayman’s waters. With other regional spawning grounds also at risk Cayman cannot rely on other locations to reproduce fish to populate local waters. If the Little Cayman spawning ground is lost, eventually the Nassau grouper will also be lost. As a result CITA said it was lending its support and calling on lawmakers for an extension of the ban.

The tourism body said it is advocating for a closure of fishing on all current and historical aggregation sites as well as a seasonal ban on the harvest and sale of Nassau grouper during the spawning months and is asking everyone e-mail their MLAs to tell them to support the extension of the ban on fishing in the DGSAs. People can also help by refusing to purchase grouper at the store or in a restaurant; instead, select a sustainable seafood option in its place.

The Cabinet is expected to be considering the ban request by the DoE very shortly, and public pressure to keep the ban will have an impact. At the recent meetings held by the department to discuss the overall management of the marine parks and the countries marine resources the public expressed its support for continuing the ban.

At present under the fishing restrictions on grouper no one may take Nassau grouper from any of the Designated Grouper Spawning Areas and no one may spearfish or set a fish-pot within a one-mile radius of any Designated Grouper Spawning Area from 1 November through 31 March.

The “The Mystery of the Grouper Moon” a full length documentary by George Schellenger filmed entirely in the Cayman Islands, premiered at the Harquail theatre this month which spelt out the importance of the Nassau Grouper to the entire marine environment. The documentary reveals that the spawning of the grouper in Little Cayman a few days after a full moon in the winter months is one of the world’s great migrations. However, it is this massive congregation at spawning times that have made the grouper vulnerable to fishermen.

For more information about the research conducted on the SPAGs, please contact the Cayman Islands Department of Environment at 949-8469 or log on to http://www.reef.org/programs/grouper_moon#
 

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Public health issues dengue fever travel alert

| 23/09/2011 | 1 Comment

(CNS): With the rising incidence of dengue fever in the region , especially the Bahamas local the public health department has issued a travel advisory as it continues to monitor any presence of the disease here in the Cayman Islands. Health officials said that the has been no dengue cases reported here during 2011but there were seven cases last year – five of which had no travel history,  and two imported case in both 2008 and 2009. Experts said the five cases in 2010 indicated that from time-to-time some imported cases may cause sporadic localized cases to occur. Despite this Cayman is still considered not endemic to dengue, as there is no sustained transmission of the disease.

“With the regional outbreak in mind, we are not complacent and medical personnel are on high alert to look for any local cases,” Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kiran Kumar said.

Currently dengue outbreaks are reported in some countries in the region like Aruba, Bahamas, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Mexico, and Trinidad and Tobago.

“Dengue fever is caused by a virus, but a mosquito biting a person with dengue fever can spread the virus to another person. Hence persons, who develop symptoms within two to three weeks of having returned from countries with dengue cases, are advised to consult their physician,” Dr. Kumar explained.

The symptoms of dengue are high fever, severe headache, backache, joint pains, nausea and vomiting, eye pain, and rash. The incubation period (the time that the infection takes to develop before it shows symptoms) is usually four to seven days; but can be up to three weeks. There is no vaccine or specific medication to treat dengue infection, and people travelling to known dengue endemic countries should take preventative measures such as using a repellent (DEET etc), wearing protective clothing,using air conditioning indoors or only opening screened windows and doors, and staying indoors during early dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active. 

Even as there are no local cases of dengue fever, the dengue carrier – the Aedes aegyptii mosquito – is present in the Cayman Islands, making transmission of the disease possible if a case occurs. “The only real protective measure is avoiding mosquito bites,” Dr. Kumar said.

Upon report of a suspected dengue case the Public Health Department would immediately inform its partners in prevention and control the Mosquito Research and Control Unit (MRCU) and the Department of Environmental Health (DEH) of the suspected case, and they would take measures as if it was a case of dengue fever and enhance their mosquito control measures around the residence of the case.

For more information, call the Public Health Department on 244-2648 or 244-2621, or Faith Hospital on 948-2243. For advice on mosquito control measures contact the MRCU on 949-2557 or DEH on 949-6696 in Grand Cayman or 948-2321 in Cayman Brac.

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Mac poses conspiracy theory

| 23/09/2011 | 273 Comments

(CNS): The country’s premier has said that the unprecedented level of violent crime may be part of an organised attempt to destabilize the Cayman Islands and undermine the government. At a public meeting in West Bay on Wednesday evening, meant to update his constituents on the extra money government voted for policing and the requests politicians have made of the governor and the commissioner, McKeeva Bush suggested that the violence was part of a wider conspiracy. He spoke of a pattern of “organised destabilization” that was evident on the radio and the blogs and part of the constant opposition to anything that government tried to do.  (Photo Dennie Warren Jr)

He said he was concerned that what he described as “the sustained opposition to anything and everything that the government is trying to accomplish” was too much. Bush said recent history showed that this was how destabilization works. He said it included an upsurge in violence and crime on a level of sophistication never before seen in the country and that no one could understand. This was coupled with a lack of respect for human life and for the church, which was illustrated by how it now seemed like a joyous thing to go on the radio and criticise pastors, Bush added.

Cayman's premier said he was describing a pattern seen elsewhere and people had better understand that it could happen here in Cayman.  “Constant organised opposition on the blogs, on the radio show, spilling out unfounded allegations, saying the meanest and the worst things about people … Organised letters to the press — this is common in the process of destabilization … Sometimes outright lies are written about me, about the pastors, about other people,” he said.  This in turn, Bush claimed, caused people to doubt and even hate each other, especially those who are “weak minded” and it was encouraging young people to say hard things.

“I see some things that cannot be happening by accident,” he said, adding that he was drawing a difference between genuine opposition to economic policy, which was legitimate in a democracy, with “the consistent and calculated attempt” to destroy the country’s economy and oppose government.

He spoke about what he said were damaging rumours that circulated, such as those that said the government was going to steal people’smoney when they passed the dormant accounts law, and he wondered where the rumours came from.

Bush also talked of what he said was the leaking of "state secrets”, which had become a common thing. This, he said, was all being done to destroy confidence in government. The premier appeared convinced that this was all part of a greater destabilization plan, further illustrated by the negative spin on everything in the media.

The premier said he couldn’t explain by rational means the things happening in Cayman and referred to the young men who went to school with each other but who were now killing each other. He appealed to youngsters who were not yet involved in crime to stop and ask themselves, if someone came to them with money to commit crime, were they “being set up as cannon fodder,” and told them not to be used by the manipulators.

“Something is happening and it is all around us and we must be aware of it,” he said, adding that the country could not be destabilized if the people understood the truth and didn’t allow the manipulators to tell them how to think. He asked the people not to be caught up by the “hate on the blogs” and by “the losers on the radio” as they don’t care about peace or good governance.

He said those who were denying they were involved in the destabilization needed to work against the “terrible of hand at work” in the country.

Bush failed to spell out who or exactly what was behind the destabilization but implied it could be the UK and its powers under the new constitution, the opposition in general, or the media. The premier said Cayman was watched by the world daily and great harm was being done. He asked why people here were writing for Reuters about the murders but they did not write about how many young people had passed exams with high grades – as he asked if the media was trying the destroy or help. 

However, he denied that his comments were because he did not like being criticised as he said did not mind criticism, adding “that those people who were beating up on ‘McKeeva’ everyday were not winning but were losing.”

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Judge left to consider latest murder case

| 23/09/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Leonard Antonio Ebanks was remanded in custody to Northward prison on Thursday lunchtime after his defence lawyer answered the crown’s case against him with a closing argument before Justice Charles Quin in the Grand Court. The judge who is trying the case alone now has to weigh the evidence against Ebanks who is charged with the murder of Tyrone Burrell (20), who was shot in the head, and killed in September last year at a Yard in Birch Tree Hill, West Bay. The shooting was believed to be the last gang related killing for almost twelve months before the sudden resurgence of gang violence in the district last week.

Justice Quin told the court before it was adjourned that depending on his own case load he would endeavour to deliver a verdict in the case before the end of next week.

Having called no witnesses on his own behalf, Ebanks’ attorney told the judge that there was considerable doubt in the crown’s case against his client. He pointed out that there were no witnesses to the crime and no forensic evidence against his client. Although the lawyer said his client was at the house in Birch Tree Hill on the night of the shooting, along with as many as twenty other people who came and went to the yard, by his own admission no one saw him with a gun on the night in question.

The crown’s case depends heavily on the evidence of Arlene White, who worked as a helper at the house in Birch Tree Hill. She said that she saw Ebanks run into the yard all dressed in black seconds before the shooting. At a later date she said that Ebanks had confessed to the killing of Burrell to her, as well as another serious crime. She also told the court that she had seen the defendant with a gun on many occasions and he had shown the weapon to her.

The crown’s case had also suggested that Ebanks had a motives as he had told people including, a police officer, that he was connected to the Birch Tree Hill gang and was an elder of the community. Ebanks reportedly believed that Burrell was responsible for shooting a house of gang member’s family and that he was a spy, carrying news from theBirch Tree Hill gang to the Logwoods gang.

Ebanks’ attorney however, rejected the claims of a motive and dismissed the witness stating that her evidence was “inconsistence, full of omissions and unreliable.” Following her own admission on the stand of visions, before Burrell was killed, the lawyer said she was a fantasist whose account could not be relied upon to base a conviction. The only appropriate verdict which the judge could return was one of not guilty, the defence counsel concluded.

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