Archive for May 30th, 2012

Two robberies in one day

| 30/05/2012 | 66 Comments

Shop Right robbery 1.png(CNS): Police have now confirmed that two armed robberies took place in two different districts Wednesday within a few hours of each other. The first took place at a convenience store in Walkers Road, George Town, at around 11:35 in the morning while the second happened in Bodden Town at a pawn shop some two hours later. One man has been arrested, however, and an imitation gun and mask have been recovered following the hold up at the Cashwiz robbery after an unarmed officer confronted and apprehended the suspect. No one was hurt in either of the robberies, which come less than a week after the television centre was held up by three masked men with guns.

Police said the first robbery of the day was at Shop Right in Walkers Road when a man, who had his head covered with a large yellow cloth, entered the shop and threatened staff with a knife as he demanded cash. He then left the store with a sum of money and a small quantity of cigarettes. The suspect can be seen above and below in CCTV stills.

Shop Right Robbery 2.pngPictures supplied by the RCIPS show him approaching the shop from Windsor Park Road. Heis described as being about 5’ 10” in height, wearing blue three quarter length baggy shorts, a baggy blue short sleeved polo shirt and white training shoes with diagonal stripes. He had his head covered with a yellow cloth, which is said to resemble the type of cloths used by people such as gardeners who work outdoors.

The second robbery occurred at Cashwiz on Bodden Town Road at 1:30pm and the police were alerted as the robbery was in progress.

As officers arrived on the scene the suspect was running from the direction of the store and he threatened the unarmed officers with a gun. The officers challenged the man and he dropped the weapon. Police immediately arrested him and moved the firearm. Both the gun and the mask suspected of being used by the perpetrator in the robbery were recovered by law enforcement officials.

The gun has been forensically tested and was confirmed to be an imitation weapon. The man was arrested on suspicion of robbery and remains in police custody while enquiries continue.

Acting Superintendent Robert Scotland said described the actions of the officers who confronted the robbery suspect as nothing short of heroic.

“They were threatened by an armed suspect and without thinking of their own safety and wellbeing they moved in quickly to ensure that he was arrested and could not harm any members of the public,” the senior officer said. 

“Fortunately the gun has been confirmed as an imitation – but the officers did not know that at the time. Their actions are testament to the dedication of our staff to do all that they can to keep these islands safe from those who would threaten that safety through the criminal use of firearms,” Scotland added.

Anyone who has any information about the Walkers Road crime or the suspect should contact George Town police station on 949-4222, the RCIPS tip-line on 949-7777, or Crime Stoppers 800-8477 (TIPS).

Those who have information about the Cashwiz robbery are asked to contact Bodden Town police station on 947-2220, the RCIPS tip-line 949-7777 or Crime Stoppers 800-8477(TIPS).

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Charity box thief caught on camera

| 30/05/2012 | 48 Comments

Burger King 26 May - 2.jpg(CNS): A man who stole a charity box containing cash from a fast food restaurant was caught on camera last week. Officers investigating the theft of the box from Burger King on Walkers Road last week have released CCTV images of the suspect. Police said the theft occurred around 7:30am on Saturday, 26 May, when a group of around five men distracted staff at the fast-food restaurant. One of the men then grabbed the charity box and cycled off from the location. The box, minus the cash, was recovered a short distance from the store on Sunday. The suspect is described as male with a dark complexion and braided hair. He was wearing a black t-shirt and light coloured three quarter length jeans.

Burger King 26 May - 1.jpgAnyone who can identify the man in the attached stills should contact George Town police station on 949-4222.

(Larger format of the CCTV images attached.)

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Early childhood changes a success, say officials

| 30/05/2012 | 0 Comments

baby genius.jpg(CNS): Over the course of the past year the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Unit has interviewed over 300 early years’ practitioners, drafted and piloted the first Cayman Islands Early Years Curriculum Framework (CIEYCF) and provided training sessions to over 200 practitioners to assist them in the implementation of the curriculum. Officials from the education ministry lauded the success of the unit’s first twelve months this week and pointed to other initiatives such as the Early Childhood Assistance Program that has helped parents in need receive financial assistance to send their young children to pre-school before starting their to primary education.

When elected to office the education minister said he would be focusing on early childhood education which resulted in the creation of the specialist unit and the development of a legislative framework for early childhood care and education.

The unit is led by senior policy advisor, Julie Madgwick who said this week that she is proud of the work accomplished so far. “The first year of operation for the Early Childhood Care and Education Unit has been a strong foundation year, laying the ground work for the years to come,” she said. “Implementing the CIEYCF and providing professional development for practitioners will ensure that the level of quality ECCE settings provide will be raised.”

Rolston Anglin said he was also extremely happy with the progress of the unit. “The early years of our children are the most important and we must ensure that our children receive the best care and education right from the beginning.  I look forward to the continued work of the ECCE Unit and building a world class Early Childhood Care and Education system in our country,” the minister added.

For more information on the ECCE Unit, please visit their webpage under the “Education” tab on the Ministry of Education’s website: www.education.gov.ky.
 

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60 year old turtle to be freed after 30 years at farm

| 30/05/2012 | 46 Comments

unnamed (241x300).jpg(CNS): The Cayman Turtle Farm has announced its intention to release one of its oldest breeders back into the ocean. The decision to release such a mature animal, the farm said, was to mark the diamond jubilee celebrations of Elizabeth II on Saturday, 2 June. The adult turtle, which weighs over 600lbs and is estimated to be sixty years old, has been part of the farm’s breeding stock for over thirty years. The mature male turtle will be fitted with a tracking tag and released into the North Sound at the former Safehaven site, after which scientists will follow his progress and assess his re-introduction in to the wild after three decades in captivity.

Dubbed "Sir Thomas Turtleton" in honour of the jubilee, he is the first turtle of this age and size to be released into the wild by the Cayman Turtle Farm. Sir Thomas will be part of the farm’s “Tag and Track” release programme, which was inaugurated earlier this year with the release of “Jerry”, the farm’s first satellite-tracked turtle.

In the tag and track programme, green sea turtles fitted with satellite transmitters are released into the ocean and monitored online.  When the animal surfaces during a transmission period, the tag sends a signal to a satellite, indicating its location.

As Sir Thomas Turtleton travels following his release, the team at the Cayman Turtle Farm will be able to use the data as signs that he has successfully survived the re-introduction to the wild, and scientists, both at the Farm and in like-minded organisations around the world, can view and assess the turtle's migration path.

It is hoped that the data from Sir Thomas Turtleton’s track may be compared with the track of younger released turtles and determine the behaviour of older turtles versus the younger turtles usually released by the Cayman Turtle Farm at between two and three years of age.

“We felt this turtle release would be a fitting celebration of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee by the Cayman Turtle Farm as it celebrates both history and progress,” said Chief Marketing Officer Tina Trumbach. “Sir Thomas Turtleton has made a tremendous contribution to the breeding and conservation efforts at the Cayman Turtle Farm over the years, and we felt it was an opportune time to celebrate his history and release him back to his original habitat. By making his release a part of our Tag and Track release programme, we can also contribute to progress in research on mature turtles released into the wild.”

The public is invited to attend the unusual release and thereafter it Sir Thomas survives he can be followed online at seaturtle.org  or follow the Turtle Farm webpage link www.turtle.ky/current-project

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LA dissolution 300 days away

| 30/05/2012 | 25 Comments

la gov bench.JPG(CNS):  The current administration has only 300 days left to carry out its programme before the Legislative Assembly is dissolved ahead of the 2013 General Election. Although the country does not yet know whether or not it will be going to the polls under the more equitable and democratic system of one man, one vote (OMOV) in single member constituencies, it will be voting for the next government on 22 May. The governor has now approved the order for next year’s election and the Elections Office has laid out the timetable for the nationwide vote. Registered voters will, for the first time, be electing an 18 strong parliament but how those members will be elected will not be known until after July’s OMOV referendum.

If the summer ballot results in a ‘yes’ vote, which despite the odds being tipped against it by government is still a distinct possibility, the 2013 election will see all Caymanians with equal democratic power on election day going to the polls to elect one person to represent a smaller constituency. If not, it is likely that George Town voters will be able to vote for six members — one third of the country’s legislature — while those in Bodden Town and West Bay will have four votes. Electors in North Side and East End will retain their single vote and those in the Sister Islands two.

Government will need to amend the election law before next year’s poll to accommodate the increase in members of the Legislative Assembly provided for in the new constitution. The increase from the current 15 members to 18 is to allow for an extra Cabinet minister. In order to ensure a balance of power between the government executive and parliamentary members, the ministerial post triggered the need for two more non-Cabinet members of the House to maintain a democratic check on the government.

Regardless of the mode of voting in the 2013 poll, candidates who will be putting themselves up for one of the eighteen seats must declared their intentions on 19 March, a week ahead of the official nomination day on 27 March. That date, which is the day after the dissolution of the parliament, traditionally signals the start of the full-on political campaign.

Anyone who is entitled to vote in the general elections but is not already a registered voter must register before 1 January 2013 to make the electoral roll and be able to take part.

Previously, Caymanians had to be naturalized before being able to vote; however, under the new constitution that is no longer a requirement and anyone who is Caymanian or has Caymanian status can register to vote.

See election timetable below.

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Minister looks to lawyers over Brac paving report

| 30/05/2012 | 83 Comments

Acting Premier Controls the Paver.jpg(CNS): The deputy premier and the minister with responsibility for the Sister Islands has said she will not make any comment about the auditor general’s findings over the unlawful paving of private parking lots in Cayman Brac until she has spoken with lawyers. Alastair Swarbrick’s public interest audit into the paving scandal found that Juliana O’Connor-Connolly’s ministry spent more than $500,000 of public cash paving private lots during the road maintenance project in her constituency. The public auditor said the government did not have the authority to spend the money on private property as the country’s legislator had not voted for it and it was misuse of tax payers' money.

In the wake of the publication of the report, O’Connor-Connolly told Cayman27 that the ministry’s attorneys are now looking at the findings and she would not say anything until she had taken advice.

“I am going to reserve my comment because I am taking legal advice for the ministry until they can tell us what it says so I can make my comment so it won’t be at hearsay and so I have all of the information and at an appropriate time I will be addressing the country,” the deputy premier stated.

The Public Accounts Committee will be convening a meeting over the next two weeks to examine both this report as well as Swarbrick’s findings in relation to how CINICO is managing overseas health care costs.

Go to Cayman27 video

See related story and report here.

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Cubans remain on cruise ship after ocean rescue

| 30/05/2012 | 0 Comments

Disney-Fantasy-official-image-600x399 (300x295).jpgCNS): Four Cuban men drifting aboard a raft were rescued by the Disney Fantasy cruise ship Sunday as it made its way to Grand Cayman. The men did not disembark in the Cayman Islands Monday, however, and remained aboard the cruise ship when it left for the next port of call. The cruise ship is currently in Mexico and will be in the Bahamas tomorrow. The cruise line has said it is now working with the US authorities on when and where the men should leave the ship. Crew members of the Disney liner reportedly spotted the men who were signalling for help near Key West as the ship sailed from Port Canaveral down to Cayman. Once on board, the men were provided with medical attention and food.

"We are proud of our Disney Fantasy crew members, who skilfully demonstrated their training and commitment to maritime protocols around saving lives at sea," a spokesperson for the cruise line stated.

The news comes in the wake of a law suit filed against Princess Cruise Lines by Adrian Vasquez, a Panamanian fisherman who alleges the Star Princess passed by the vessel he was aboard when he and his fellow crew members signalled for help in March. The four men were aboard the Fifty Cents, which had been already drifting for 15 days. By the time the Ecuadorian Navy came to the vessel's aid 13 days later; Vasquez' three companions had died.

The ship's captain has denied being informed by passengers that a boat had been seen but the lawsuit includes testimony from two cruise ship passengers who say they saw the disabled boat and reported it to a cruise representative.

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