Archive for November 8th, 2011

Corruption case remains under wraps

| 08/11/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Patricia Webster appeared in summary court on Tuesday morning to face four charges relating to the country’s anti-corruption law but the details of the case have still not been revealed. A member of the RCIPS support staff who has been suspended from her job, Webster is the first person in the Cayman Islands to face charges under the new legislation. Bailed to appear in the Grand Court on 25 November where the case will now be dealt with, the details of the alleged crime have not been made public. Webster is accused of abusing confidential police data which has resulted in two counts of abuse of public office and two charges of misconduct in a public office contrary to section 17 of the anti-corruption law 2008.

The police did reveal last week that the charges result from an investigation by the RCIPS’ own anti-corruption unit.

“Following an investigation launched by the RCIPS anti-corruption unit in relation to allegations of misuse of confidential police data systems, we can now confirm that a member of RCIPS support staff has been charged in connection with the enquiry,” a spokesperson for the RCIPS stated on 28 October.

 

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Barnes stays in GT lock-up as investigation continues

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(CNS): Suspected serial rapist Jeffery Barnes was remanded to the George Town Police Station lock-up for a further seven days by a magistrate on Tuesday morning in order to allow police to contimue interviewing him. Barnes has already been charged with one count of rape in connection with an incident involving a teenager but officers are still investigating two other sexual assault allegations against the 32-year-old George Town man. Barnes is suspected of raping a 49-year-old woman in Admiral’s Landing, Prospect, at around 10:30am on Saturday 29 October and a second woman, who is currently overseas, several days before that.

When Barnes made his second appearance in court on Tuesday morning, his defence attorney, John Furniss, asked that his client be remanded to Northward Prison as Barnes had been in the cells at the police station for some ten days. The crown made a request, however, on behalf of the police to keep Barnes in the main police station as it was revealed he was still being interviewed in relation to the two other pending cases and would be expected to take part in an identification parade.

Magistrate Nova Hall granted the crown’s request and sent Barnes back to the police cells to allow the investigations to continue.

Barnes currently faces one count of sexual assault on a seventeen-year-old girl which took place on Thursday 27 October in the George Town area.

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Cayman’s navy vets focus of annual remembrance

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(CNS): The 201 Caymanian men who enlisted in the Trinidad Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (TRNVR) during World War II will be the focus of this year’s Remembrance Day ceremony on Sunday, 13 November, officials revealed this week. This year marksthe 70th anniversary of their enlistment into the conflict when the harbours of the Western Atlantic and the Caribbean provided valuable bases for the allied navies. Trinidad held strategically valuable oil resources which was essential to Royal Navy and Allied ships, aircraft, tanks and other war machinery. Guarding this location in the southern Caribbean was of vital importance.

Convoys of allied ships and tankers that sailed from Trinidad were regularly stalked and destroyed by German submarines.  During the worst days of the conflict a call went out to the people of what was then the empire to sign up as volunteers. Over a thousand men from the West Indies joined the TRNVR, established in December 1939 to patrol the Caribbean with men from Cayman joining in 1941.

“Their main mission was to protect the one thing that was most critical to the British war effort and which by then was only available in Trinidad – oil. These young men performed a number of other significant duties too, including mine sweeping, submarine detection and convoy escort until the end of the war,” explained President of the Cayman Islands Veterans Association Captain Dale Banks.

“They were true heroes, but the vital role they played in winning the war has really never been widely told or celebrated,” he added.

Only a few veterans from these days are still alive with most of them being over  90 years old.

Describing the life and times of the Caymanian navy volunteers in his book The Forgotten Men of the Navy (2002), veteran Norman Rudolph McLaughlin wrote “…the top military brass bestowed a lot of praise on us and openly admitted that we were the cream of the naval crop.”

McLaughlin reveals that three men serving in the TRNVR lost their lives fighting for their country – Able Seaman Uline Eden of Savannah, Able Seaman Johnson of George Town and Able Seaman Harvey Smith of North Side.

Officials called on residents to honour the contributions of these and other war volunteers by attending the parade and ceremony at Elmslie Memorial Church at 10:45 a.m in George Town or  On Cayman Brac, the ceremony will be held at the Cenotaph at the District Administration Building at 10:40 a.m.
 

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Immigration recruits selected from over 300

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(CNS): Thirteen diverse individuals make up the latest group to join the country’s immigration department recruited from 321 applicants. From mature adults with experience in fields as diverse as hospitality and banking to young recruits in their first job the recruits started work on Monday.  Welcomed into the ranks by top officials, the acting chief officer from internal and external affairs said government’s uniformed divisions are very special in their own right. The group commences six months of intensive classroom work, as well as practical instruction and cross-training with other unformed agencies. Those who complete training and graduate next year will work at the air and sea ports.

Required to have a command of local laws as well as an understanding of human behaviour, the officers must be versed in geography, psychology and sociology, insofar as they relate to immigration.

“While your logo – a shield – symbolises border protection, this goes hand-in-hand with good customer service.” While encouraging personal initiative, Eric Bush said. “It’s your strength in numbers that will get you through any challenges.”

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Sunset ladies sitting pretty at the top

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(CIFA):Women’s football in Cayman is on the up, the level of play in the domestic league is definitely moving in the right direction and the Cayman Islands Women’s National Program are becoming a force to be reckoned with in the Caribbean. This Saturday saw two very entertaining match ups as Future took on Elite SC and Sunset FC entertained Scholars International. SunSet FC currently sit top of the Women’s League after an impressive 3:0 win over Scholars with all three goals coming in the first half. Sunset opened the game brightly taking the game to Scholars who were hit with wave after wave of attacks, before Scholars had a chance to take a breather they were already three goals down.

Mya Romilowych got Sunset off the mark, Amanda Sidhu’s superb strike put Sunset two up before great combination play from Charlotte Home and Mya Romilowych set up Gisela Gamba who completed the scoring. Sunset FC Manager Alen Purvis is happy with his teams start to the season, “it’s a great start but it is early days, we have new players who are still settling in to the team and although we play some nice football in patches we still need to be more consistent with our passing game.”

In the earlier fixture Elite Sports Club started their campaign with an impressive 4:1 win as they took care of Future. Elite SC currently have eleven National team players in their squad, ten of them making their first domestic league appearance this Saturday.

Head Coach Martha Godet has a pool of talent to choose from this upcoming season as Elite Women’s team look to emulate their male counterparts and become League Champions, Coach Godet is looking forward to the season ahead “We welcome our supporters, parents, friends and family to come out and support the women’s games, to see their skills they each have playing the beautiful game of football.”

Elite SC and Cayman Islands International Midfielder Courtisha Ebanks got the scoring underway in the first half smashing home a free kick from outside the box that nestled in the top left hand corner of the goal leaving Future Goal Keeper Kendra Rankin stranded. Future reacted well to going down a goal and created a handful of half chances as the first half came to an end.

The second half saw the entrance of fifteen year old Cayman Islands International and recent Elite recruit Shanelle Fredrick who replaced Nikki Ebanks up front to partner fellow International striker Shanice Monteith. Shanelle’s entry injected energy into the attacking play of Elite as she kept the Future backline on their heels. Frederick’s hard work was rewarded early in the second half as she intercepted a misplaced pass by Future and createda goal out of nothing, after stealing possession Frederick saw of two defenders before slotting the ball home. Elite increased their lead a few minutes later when

Shanelle Frederick latched onto a perfect through ball from Shanice Monteith, Frederick didn’t have to break stride as she slotted home her second of the game. The introduction of Kimberly Rivers to Future’s attack offered them more options going forward but it was Elite’s Number 11 Shanelle Frederick who caused more havoc for Futures defense as she broke down their resistance again in the 80th minute taking on two defenders before her shot was rebounded into the path of Chelsea Greene who couldn’t miss. Future never gave up and continued to attack, Brittni Ebanks; another Cayman International on the field got a late consolation goal for Future in the 87th minute. 

Game Highlights:
Courtisha Ebanks put’s Elite 1:0 up with a stunning strike- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWh2QJqcGfQ
Chelsea Greene score’s Elite’s Fourth – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggrWJHO5h3o

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Cayman Rugby readies for early season

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(CRFU): As the local Rugby 7’s season draws to a close the Cayman Rugby Union is gearing up for it’s premier XV’s season. Over every weekend in October the Maples 7’s series ticked away and although the final weekend was postponed due to the pitch being unplayable as a result of the recent torrential downpours the Maples National Academy took top honors whilst the National U19’s squad triumphed yet again in the Social Division. Only the CML Ama Tsotsi came close to challenging the Maples Academy in the premier division whilst in the social division Maples gave the DART U19’s a run for their money. (Photos Caroline Deegan)

The tournament was a good warm up for the National Academy who, along with the National women’s 7’s team, travel to Barbados for the 2011 DHL NACRA Men's and Women's Sevens competition on November 12th and 13th. Reigning champions Guyana (both Men and Women) will be looking to hold onto their titles, though Cayman’s preparation should give local rugby fans much to look forward to.

With New Zealand being crowned the IRB Rugby World Champions in October the world cup qualification process for England 2015 kicks off in earnest and Cayman’s World Cup qualifications start with the 2012 Caribbean Championships.

In order to give the National Men’s team more time to prepare to avoid the disappointments of 2011 when Cayman were knocked out of the competition by Mexico, the domestic XV’s season which usually kicks off in January has been pushed forward and kicks off on 19 November with the Heineken Charity Shield.  The 2010 & 2011 Alex Alexander Trophy champions John Doak Architecture Iguanas will face off against the 2011 Waterford Vase champions the Krys Global Buccaneers in the opening game and a new fixture has been added to the calendar to give the DHL Cayman Storm and the Queensgate Pigs Trotters a chance to win the new Heineken Wooden Spoon.

The DHL Cayman Storm, having finished 3rd place last year, will not get the opportunity to compete for the Heineken Shield, a trophy which has been held by that team since the trophy’s introduction!

Upcoming Fixtures at the Cayman Rugby Football Club, South Sound.

19 November 2011
230pm DHL Cayman Storm vs. Queensgate Pigs Trotters (Heineken Wooden Spoon)
400pm John Doak Architecture Iguanas vs. Krys Global Buccaneers (Heineken Charity Shield)

Final Standings Premier Division

Rank Team
1 Maples National Academy
2 CML Ama Tsotsi
3 Peter O’Neill Wolfhounds
4 Ecay Pigs Trotters

Final Standings Social Division

Rank Team
1 DART U19’s
2 Maples and Calder
3 Grizz’s Old Fellas
4 Heineken Clydesdales

 

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PNP adopts formal policy of independence for TCI

| 08/11/2011 | 23 Comments

(CNS):  The General Council of the Progressive National Party has issued a resolution formalizing its position on independence for the Turks and Caicos Islands. The PNP was ousted from government when the UK imposed direct rule in the wake of accusations of corruption and major public finance problems but has now declared officially that if it wins power in the next elections it will seek a national referendum for independence from Britain. Although an election date for the territory remains elusive, the UK authorities have said it will be sometime in 2012.

In the first official move by a political party to call for independence in many years in TCI, the PNP resolution says it will launch a programme to educate the public on the responsibilities of citizenship in an independent country.

The resolution talks of how the islands have been “passed from hand to hand” through history and how in the recent controversy the UK has “trampled upon” its democracy by suspending the elected government and has refused to allow an election.

The PNP also states that the UK has deprived the people of a right to trial by jury, established a multitude of new offices which have been filled by “swarms of their own people”, harassing locals and denying them a chance to earn a living, cut the salaries, emoluments and pensions of civil servants, imposed taxation, curtailed the inward investments and imposed a new constitution.

"The relationship between these Turks and Caicos Islands and the United Kingdom is not in the best interest of the people of these Islands,” the PNP states, adding that the time has come for the people of the TCI to chart their own future.

“The independence of these Turks and Caicos Islands from the United Kingdom is an objective of our Progressive National Party and we do require same to be a prominent plank in our Party's platform,” the resolution states.
 

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Officials to celebrate first international men’s day

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(CNS): For the first time the Department of Counselling Services’ Family Resource Centre (FRC) will be joining countries around the world in celebrating the first official International Men’s Day (IMD) in the Cayman Islands on 19 November. The objectives of the day include highlight health issues for men's and boys’ health, improving gender relations, promoting gender equality, and positive male role models, while creating a safer less-violent world. It is an occasion to highlight discrimination against men and boys and to celebrate their achievements and contributions, in particular for their contributions to community, family, marriage, and child care, officials said.

According to a release from GIS the FRC will partner with Department of Sports to host the 1St International Men’s Day Football Tournament and Expo at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex on Saturday, 19 November from 9am-3pm. The football tournament will offer an opportunity for men and boys to interact because each team will consist of 5 men and 5 youth. The registration to compete is open now and is $15 and $5 for men and boys respectively. 

The teams’ shirts have been sponsored by Davenport Development, Hydes & Sons, Island Taste, Brooks & Brooks and the Estella Scott Roberts Foundation.  Mike Adam, the minister with responsibility for gender issues will deliver the International Men’s Day address and the health minister will open the games. The Grand Prize of a medal and cash voucher has been sponsored by his ministry.

The expo portion has been sponsored by Ogier & Saxon MG and will consist of interactive booths from various companies and organizations that provide services for boys and an opportunity to get involved, GIS stated.

Charities also have an option to raise funds. The Department of Sports will also have 3 on 3 basketball games and races for all ages.

For more information on this event please contact Miriam Foster at 949-0006 or email Miriam.foster@gov.ky.

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North Sound golf club faces turmoil

| 08/11/2011 | 31 Comments

(CNS): Members of the North Sound golf club whose membership is coming up for renewal have received letters from the manager stating that the club will not be able to renew that membership as a result of “a number of factors” and stating that it is working to try and keep the golf course open. The club, which is now part of the group of companies related to the Dragon Bay development and headed by Michael Ryan, is located at Safehaven and is the only full size course on the island. A spokesperson from the Residences denied that the club was about to close.

“The North Sound Club is not closing at this time, however there is some internal restructuring taking place and some NSC employees are being transferred to other positions within the group of companies,” the spokesperson stated. “Company management seeks to keep members and stakeholders informed of all developments that may impact the service they are accustomed to.”

The letter, dated Monday 7 November, from the manager of the club Davy Ebanks is less positive, however, and states that it “regrets the circumstances” and offers thanks to members for their support over the years. Ebanks writes that the management is exploring a number of options and will be holding a membership meeting shortly to keep ‘members’ informed.

See letter below.

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21 day rule dispute grows

| 08/11/2011 | 26 Comments

leg ass 2_1.jpg(CNS): The independent member for North Side has raised further concerns over the government’s continued disregard of the consultation period for all new pieces of legislation. Ezzard Miller has questioned if the government has declared a state of emergency in the Cayman Islands, given that several more bills published in preparation for the meeting on 16 November fell short of that constitutional requirement. Miller asked government to defer the start of the next meeting by at least one day to make the latest bills lawful but he says government has refused. Although the next three bills are only one day short of meeting the 21 day rule, the independent MLA who has railed for months about government’s abuse of the parliamentary process has pointed to the need for government to follow the law.

He said the issue could easily have been resolved by deferring the start date but he said the premier has dismissed his request.

Miller once again approached the governor, who recently told him that the constitution allows for government to override that rule in what it constitutesas an emergency. In a letter to the North Side MLA, the governor said he would not withdraw his assent to the recent immigration bill since government had defined it as an emergency and it would be a drastic measure for a governor to refuse to grant what was passed by the elected arm of government.

The governor has also recently signed the amendments to the National Pension’s law, which had also been brought to the Legislative Assembly without meeting the 21 day consultation. That law was voted out as a result of not enough government MLAs being in the chamber at the point of its first reading. However, by once again voting to suspend parliamentary rules, the government brought the bill back the following day and by ensuring all of its members were in their seats was able to pass the law.

Miller has now questioned how three more bills added to the next meeting can all be emergency measures. These three bills include major changes to the criminal procedure and penal codes, as well as significant changes to the motor vehicle insurance law.

“It begs the question if a state of emergency has been secretly declared on the population without their knowledge,” Miller said, noting that he would be raising this issue in the Legislative Assembly next week.

The independent member stated that while the premier has followed all of the constitutional requirements in regards to the trappings of his office with all the “bells, whistles, cars and body guards in place,” he has not been so quick to accept the provision that gives the people three weeks to consider the laws government proposes to pass.

“I do not have enough fingers or toes to count the number of times the premier has waived the 21 day requirement,” Miller added. He said this was not just a whim on his part and that the reason why the notice period was placed in the constitution was to ensure that there could be proper public debate about all legislative proposals.

Miller noted that the governor’s recent decision to assent to both the immigration and pension bills has effectively served to state that the government now has the power to decide the country is facing an emergency on a regular basis.

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