Archive for November, 2011

Man killed in road smash

| 30/11/2011 | 92 Comments

IMG-20111130-00037.jpg(CNS): Updated 2pm Police have now named the 52-year-old man who was killed following a road smash in the early hours of Wednesday morning on the Esterley Tibbets Highway. Richard Martin was originally from Pennsylvania, USA, but had been resident on Grand Cayman. A 31-year-old man is custody having been arrested for DUI and dangerous driving. The crash occurred at around 12:30am close to Lakeside Villas and involved a Chevrolet Blazer and a Honda Logo. The driver of the Honda Logo was pronounced dead at the scene and his passenger  was taken to the Cayman Islands Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The driver of the Chevrolet Blazer and a female passenger were also hospitalized before his arrest.

A police spokesperson said the driver  was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and driving under the influence and the RCIPS accident reconstructionists have now begun an investigaiton into the details of the collision. Police confirmed that the road has now reopened.

A postmortem examination is expected to take place later today.

The sixth death to occur on the roads in Cayman this year, the smash also coincides with the start of the RCIPS’ seasonal road safety campaign, which started on Monday.

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Greener homes dominate design awards

| 30/11/2011 | 0 Comments

lighthousepoint.JPG(CNS):  The majority of the homes making this year’s short list for the Governor’s Award for Design and Construction Excellence make use of green energy, sustainable resources and have a low carbon foot print.  Among the six nominations is a renewable Energy Home by Island Drafting Engineering and Architectural Ltd, an Eco-Friendly Residence by Icon Architecture, Lighthouse Point by Jay Easterbrook (left) and Trevose Residence and Sea Grape House by John Doak. The sixth nomination is Bayshore Mall a commercial property by the Burns Conolly Group. The winners of the architectural prize will be announced this evening (30 November) by the governor at Government House.

Submissions for the award were judged  on whether, and to what extent, the design and construction of the nominated project display the attributes of Design Excellence, Creativity and Innovation, Sustainability and the Environment, Value, Buildability and Cultural Response.

Craig Nixon, President of CASE and one of the judges, said he was extremely impressed with the diversity and quality of the projects submitted. “The judging process was very thorough and whilst difficult to choose, the panel feels that the six projects chosen best meet the judging criteria,” he said as he urged people to view the short listed submissions,” on the website at  

The winning project teams will receive a commemorative plaque for their building and will have the distinction of being able to display the Award recipient title and logo on their corporate and marketing materials.

Duncan Taylor said he was honoured to endorse the award which was developed by CASE and CCA to promote high standards of design in the Cayman Islands. “The panel of judges appointed is an impressively informed and knowledgeable group of industry leaders – each bringing their own unique perspective to the selection process,” the governor added.

The panel of judges appointed by Taylor included Arek Joseph, Carla Reid, Henry Muttoo, Henry Popper; Michael Godfrey, Woody Foster and Rayal Bodden and Craig Nixon as Presidents of CCA and CASE respectively.

The winning project teams will receive a commemorative plaque for their building and will have the distinction of being able to display the Award recipient title and logo on theircorporate and marketing materials.

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Cruise arrivals plummet to historic low

| 30/11/2011 | 3 Comments

cruise ship by dennie.png(CNS Business): The number of people visiting the Cayman Islands on cruise ships plummeted to an historic low in October, the Department of Tourism (DoT) statistics have revealed. Only 48,603 passengers came to Grand Cayman last month – 43% less than the 85,679 visitors this time last year. The all-time low figure was aggravated by bad weather as well as the diversion of ships to destinations with piers. The Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA) said that the situation for the tourism industry is dire as the poor numbers come in the wake of news that even in the best case scenario George Town is unlikely to have cruise facilities until well into 2014. (Photo Dennie Warren Jr) Read more on CNS Business

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Helicopter makes seaside landing to rescue surfers

| 30/11/2011 | 18 Comments

helicopter_0.jpg(CNS): Two surfers were rescued by the police helicopter this afternoon after getting into trouble in the ocean off South Sound cemetery. Police said that at around 5:40 on Tuesday evening the emergency services received a call from the surfers who were struggling in rough seas. The Marine Unit was informed and the police helicopter which was airborne at the time, responded to the location. As a result of the circumstances the air unit made the decision to land on the Cay, rescue the surfers from there and transport them to the nearest landing site which was the South Sound Rugby Club. (Photo Dennie Warren Jr)

The police said that the man and a woman both in distress were rapidly spotted by the helicopter once it was dispatched to the location and despite the ocean conditions both eventually made it to the Cay. Police said that the rough seas and shallow water surrounding the Cay as well as the approaching darkness would have made a sea rescue highly improbable.

“The decision was made by the police helicopter crew to carry out a rescue before weather conditions deteriorated further to become life threatening which involved landing on the Cay and transporting the two individuals one at a time to the nearest available landing site which was the South Sound rugby club,” a police spokesperson explained.

“The police marine unit and uniformed officers secured the rugby field for a safe landing and assessment of the rescued persons. Neither person received any injuries. The rescue was conducted swiftly without incident.”

Police are now warning people not to go out to sea until conditions improve.

“Those who do so despite this warning not only put their own lives at risk but also those of their rescuers,” the police stated.

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Police dog killed on road while off duty

| 30/11/2011 | 39 Comments

_DSC2648-web.jpg(CNS): One of the RCIPS specialist K9 Unit's Belgian Malinois was killed in the early hours of Sunday morning, police stated Tuesday. Misty, who was one of the new dogs imported by law enforcement this summer, appears to have been run down in the Newlands area, but officials could not say how the dog came to be on a main road when it should have been secured by its handler. Misty had already distinguished herself on duty and was behind the arrest of a man in a violent domestic encounter August. "We can confirm that around 3:00am on Sunday, 27 November, the body of Misty, one of our K-9 Unit's Belgian Malinois dogs, was found on the East / West arterial route in Newlands,” a police spokesperson said. (Photo Dennie Warren Jr)

"The dog and her RCIPS handler were off duty at the time. The RCIPS has launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death," the official added.

A postmortem examination, which was carried out Wednesday  morning, confirms that the dog died of injuries consistent with being struck by a vehicle.

The RCIPS is appealing for anyone who may have been travelling on the East/ West arterial route in the early hours of Sunday morning, and has information which could assist the police, to contact George Town police station on 949-4222.

Misty was one of a several new dogs that arrived on island this summer after the law dealing with dangerous dogs was amended to allow for the importation of the specialist Belgian Malinois for law enforcement.

The dogs were identified as the best for these purposes and are used by police forces around the world, including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, among others. The dogs, which cost several thousands of dollars, are capable of explosive and firearm detection, narcotic detection, as well as tracking and locating persons.

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Men acquitted of murder

| 29/11/2011 | 35 Comments

ozz douglas_0.JPG(CNS): The murder conviction against Patrick McField, Osbourne Douglas and Brandon Leslie was quashed by the Court of Appeal on Tuesday, but as the three men walked from the court to be greeted by emotional family and friends, Osbourne Douglas (left) was immediately re-arrested by the police over charges relating to conspiracy for murder in connection with the fatal shooting of Jason Christian, who was shot and killed in Crew Road in September. McField and Leslie, however, walked away from the courts after all three men charged and convicted for the murder of Omar Samuels were acquitted and their life sentences set aside.

The Court of Appeal judges said they would set down their full reasons in writing but in the interim they indicated that they believed the judge had erred in law when he allowed the case against the three men to go before a jury, despite the half-way 'no case' submission made by the defendants.

Having been in prison for more than three years, the men were immediately free but the drama continued outside the court house. Police officers were waiting as the men left the courtroom jails and arrested Douglas for conspiracy in connection with the Christian killing, leaving his mother distraught. Police officials soon confirmed that a 25 year old man had been arrested outside the courts in connection with the gang related shooting, which occurred while the George Town man was in jail.

Meanwhile, Leslie and McField celebrated their release and acquittal with friends and family, stating publicly that they had always been innocent.

During the appeal the defence teams for the three men had argued that the crown's case was so inconsistent that it should never have been put before a jury. They pointed to the enormous discrepancies between the eye witness account of where the shooting allegedly occurred, in stark contrast to the forensic indications of where Samuels was shot.

The scientific evidence pointed to an entirely different place, as revealed by the shell cases fired from the weapon that killed 28-year-old Samuels, and the trail of blood from where he was shot in the leg to where he eventually collapsed and bled out from his severed femoral artery.

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Footballers: Too many headers ‘can damage the brain’

| 29/11/2011 | 0 Comments

football header.jpg(BBC): Frequently heading a football can lead to brain injury, warn doctors who say they have found proof on brain scans. Imaging of 32 keen amateur players revealed patterns of damage similar to that seen in patients with concussion. There appears to be a safe cut off level of 1,000 or fewer headers a year below which no harm will be done, but the US investigators say more work is needed to confirm this. Heading is believed to have killed the English footballer Jeff Astle. Astle, 59, who died in 2002, developed cognitive problems after years of playing for England and West Bromwich Albion. The coroner ruled that his death resulted from a degenerative brain disease caused by heading heavy leather footballs.

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The NWA and the JDIP

| 29/11/2011 | 2 Comments

(Jamaica Observer): One of the things that marred the government of the People's National Party during the more than 18 years it was in office was the alarming cost overruns on government projects, especially road construction, which was a gravy train for some party supporters. Two of the expensive cost overruns involved the North Coast Highway which escalated from US$25 million to US$75 million and the Montego Bay to Ocho Rios Highway which increased from US$60 million to US$176 million.

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Premier in Jamaica according to media reports

| 29/11/2011 | 45 Comments

_DEW3817_0.jpg(CNS): Update – Although there has been no official release from the premier’s office, the Jamaican government's information service (JIS) has said that the premier of the Cayman Islands, McKeeva Bush, is currently in Jamaica on the last of a two-day "study tour". Bush and his team, who are guests of the Ministry of Finance and Planning, are specifically looking at the Jamaican government's procurement systems, inclusive of policies, procedures and legislations, which they have cited as "by far the most modern and comprehensive within the region." Accompanying Bush are Deputy Governor Donovan Ebanks, Financial Secretary Kenneth Jefferson, Deputy Governor (Designate) Franz Manderson and Senior Political Assistant Richard Parchment. (Photo Dennie Warren Jr) 

The Cayman delegation will meet with a team from the Economic Management Division and the Debt Management Branch (DMB) of the Ministry. Additionally, they will observe the operations of other procurement entities, such as the Office of the Contractor General (OCG) and the National Contracts Commission (NCC).

They met with Financial Secretary Dr Wesley Hughes yesterday morning (November 28) for specific discussions on his role in the ministry, as the Cayman Islands transitioned, constitutionally, to having a financial secretary two years ago.

During their visit, Bush will pay courtesy calls on Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Minister of Finance and Planning Audley Shaw.

Although the premier’s press office periodically puts out information about the premier’s travels, the Cayman public persistently discovers the whereabouts of their leader through international media reports.

Read commentary: The NWA and the JDIP by Ken Chaplin

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Religious rights don’t trump job contracts, says Coles

| 29/11/2011 | 94 Comments

coles_0.JPG(CNS): The chair of the Human Rights Commission appears to take the position that employment contracts trump anyone’s religious rights in the workplace. According to an interview with Cayman27, the man who is charged with championing the rights of Caymanians as the country moves towards implementing its bill of rights next year has said that whatever a person’s religion, the conditions under which they signed their employment contract is what they should follow, regardless of religious beliefs. Richard Coles told the television news station that if employers were to take the religious practices of their employers into account they may be discriminating against the rest of their work force.

Coles, who is also the chair of Cayman Finance and a former attorney general, believes that people who sign a contract which requires them to work any day of the week cannot expect to be exempted from working on the Sabbath – despite any religious conversion.

The HRC chair spoke to Cayman27 in the wake of a news report on the station regarding an officer who was dismissed from the RCIPS after she had requested not to be rostered Friday nights or Saturday mornings as a result of her conversion to the Seventh Day Adventist church. Although she attempted to find an accommodation with her employer, she was refused any leave to be exempt from those shifts.

The officer made a decision not to work when she was assigned to work Friday nights and Saturday mornings and as a result she was eventually dismissed from the service. 

Go to Cayman27 for interview with Coles and police officer’s story here

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