Archive for June 1st, 2012

Judge issues warning as explosion trial is adjourned

| 01/06/2012 | 0 Comments

explo.jpg(CNS): The trial of Lita Chollette Davis (50) for arson and GBH in connection with a West Bay house explosion last year has been postponed until January 2013. The application to adjourn the trial Thursday brought a warning from the judge who told the lawyers involved that in future he would not vacate trials over issues that he considered peripheral once a date was set. The defence had sought to move the July trial because of issues regarding an expert witness but on examination of the facts Justice Alex Henderson said he did not consider the issues important enough to cancel the trial. However, another trial which had been postponed on several occasions was earmarked to take the slot which swayed the judge.

Granting the postponement of the Davis trial he told lawyers that once a trial date is set the proceedings should not be cancelled or postponed without very good reason.
“In general too many adjournments are being requested for obtaining experts and bits of evidence when it may be peripheral,” the judge noted. “It is important that once a trial is fixed it should only be interfered with if the issues go right to the heart of the case.”

Justice Henderson has on a number of occasions raised the issue in his courtroom of the length of time justice is taking to be served because of constant adjournments. He has pointed out that once the Bill of rights takes effect in the jurisdiction in November of this year, the length of time it takes for cases to be concluded will be of even greater significance.

Davis’ trial was set for four days starting on 21 January when she will face charges of arson, damageto property and grievous bodily harm. The crown contends that Davis deliberately threw a gas canister into a property in Fig Close, West Bay, in the early hours of the morning while her boyfriend was inside the house. The house exploded as police arrived on the scene injuring the man who was taken to hospital and treated for serious burns. The house was almost completely destroyed and the police vehicle was also damaged in the explosion.


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Dinghy Racers prepare for Stormchaser

| 01/06/2012 | 0 Comments

Catboats racing (270x300).jpg(CISA): The Cayman Islands Sailing Club will host the 4th annual Stormchaser dinghy regatta on the weekend of June 9th and 10th 2012. The Stormchaser regatta was introduced to mark the arrival of the Hurricane season and takes place in June every year. It is one of only two regattas held during the year where different classes of sailing boat sail together. The senior fleet races in Lasers whilst the juniors, who have been much in the news recently for their success in local and overseas competition will be in Optimist dinghies. On Sunday the Cat Boats will be joining in racing in North Sound, a true spectacle of the traditional and modern sailing in Cayman.

True to its Stormchaser title, the early June weather has usually brought strong variable wind and waves, making for exciting sailing. Last year’s champion Raph Harvey is looking forward to defending his title. “We have plenty of very good dinghy sailors in Cayman and the conditions are such that anyone could have a good couple of days and take the trophy.

With seven or eight races the lead can change hands several times. You just have to try and be consistent and always make sure you are in the mix”. Rob Jackson came second last year and he is hoping to overcome Harvey this time around. “I have been out practicing as much as work constraints would allow. You cannot beat time on the water to improve your fitness and skill levels. I’m just hoping it pays off”.

In the Junior division we are hoping for increased participation with some of the “Green” fleet coming through the ranks to compete with the regular team racers.

The regatta is open to anyone who wants to sail although club boats are limited. Cayman Distributors and Red Stripe are kindly sponsoring the Senior regatta once more. Club Manager Rick Caley explained “Sailing is very thirsty work and after a day of physical exertion it is traditional to wind down and exchange stories over a drink or two. We are delighted that Red Stripe look after the Seniors whilst the Juniors recharge their systems with Lucozade!”

If you would like to know more about Stormchaser or any other regattas, please contact Club Manager Rick Caley at

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Youngsters gain experience on tour in Bermuda

| 01/06/2012 | 0 Comments

P5131870 (218x300).jpg(CRFU): The Cayman Islands Under-12 Rugby side travelled to The Bahamas recently to play in the Fidelity Bank Tri Nations Rugby Tournament.  The tournament was hosted by the Freeport Rugby Club.  19 Players made the trip from Cayman.   Cayman visited The Bahamas last year and took home the trophy.  A team from Bermuda also attended this years’ tournament for the first time. The teams all assembled on the Saturday morning to take part in a round robin 10-a-side tournament which featured teams from Cayman, Freeport and Bermuda, as well as a Barbarians side which boasted players from all three participating nations.

First up for Cayman was one of the Freeport teams.  These guys had clearly put in some work over the season and Cayman were on the back foot from the get go.  To their credit they lifted their game in the second half and fought back gallantly, but it was not to be this time. A strong win to the home side resulted.

Cayman's second game ended in a narrow loss to a well drilled Bermuda side.  There was some good work in the front row with James Priaulx and Finn Galway leading the charge. Danny Link provided good service from the base of the scrum and also made a few solo breaks through the gap.

The Cayman boys finished off the day with a game against the other Bahamas team who were also a much improved outfit from last year.  However some silky skills and good burgling from Matthew Westin helped the Cayman side to a win, though Jevon Brown and Finn Lovegrove also stood out in the pack.

A few Cayman players were in the Barbarians side, resplendent in Canary yellow for their games.  They played well as a team and scored a few points much to the delight of the crowd and the animated coach Kehoe.

After an early night the boys were keen to get on and play the 13-a-side 'Test' matches on Sunday.  All the teams assembled for the national anthems before the boys took the pitch. Cayman's first game was against a very big Bermuda side. Game Captain Cam Galloway gave his players a rousing speech before the game reminiscent of one Mr William Wallace in the movie 'Braveheart'. However, this faded into a distant memory once the two teams squared up.  Believe it or not, one of their players tipped the scales at 312lbs. There were a few other large lads in there as well and the Cayman tactic of running them off their feet would have worked, if only they had the ball. They were forced to make the tackles and they did some crackers with Mason Duval giving the opposition players something to think about every time play moved in his direction.  The first half was pretty much one way traffic with Bermuda scoring several tries. After an encouraging few words by Coach Chris Rowland ably assisted by Side-kick Mick Kehoe, the Cayman team took the field with harder attitude. They retained the ball and drove as a pack with the big boys leading the charge. The maintained pressure on the Bermuda line and Tommy Kehoe used his bulk to power over for a well deserved try.  Bermuda weren't to be denied and they came away worthy winners in that match.

Cayman played their final Test against the local Freeport side.  Again the Freeport boys had obviously been working hard over the season and had also discovered some growth food.  However the Cayman side took to their task and stuck to the basics in the first half with some solid phases and promising breaks, but they couldn't get across the line.

Freeport managed to score two well worked tries and went to the break with a solid lead.
It was Mother's Day and a lot of Mums had come down to support their boys. Many of which were on the small side and were unlikely to get game time.  So, as a tribute to them, all of the big guns stayed off after half time and the smaller boys from both sides battled out the second half.  It was a nice gesture and the Mums appreciated it from their lounge chairs on the side line.  Back to the Rugby. The little guys from both sides were up and all of a sudden there was more space for some fast running rugby.

John-Ross Clough and Jake Bailey both made an impression out wide, while Ewan Wilson used the ball wisely closer in. The ball was moved wide and both teams did their best to score. Eventually the ball made it into the hands of the Pocket Rocket Dante Baptiste. With strength and superior speed and a nose for the try line, away he headed, but not before beating about six defenders on the way. A brilliant solo effort from one of the newer players in the squad.

The Cayman side got their tails up after that and retained the ball and continued their attack on the Freeport line.  Suddenly a gap opened up on the left. Doug Rowland went right…but then realised the gap on the left was still there and re-traced his steps and took advantage of the slow reacting defence to dot down over the line. The scores were tied and that's the way the game finished. Both teams were happy with the result and Mum's were ecstatic.

So, in the end a very successful development tour for the Cayman side gaining much needed experience against some strong opposition. Head Coach Chris Rowland said that he was happy with the efforts put in from all of the boys and also those parents who travelled as well. Rob Speller, the President of the Freeport Club is keen to have the boys back for a third year and a tour to Freeport next year looks definitely on the cards.

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That is the last of the season for this group and after a well deserved break over the summer, training will be back on at the South Sound Ground for all ages in early September.  Keep an eyeon for more details, and stay in touch with the latest happenings on Facebook/CaymanRugbyTV.

Photo top: Mason Duvall proves to be a handful for the Bahamas defence.

Photo bottom:The Cayman Team stand proud before the Test match


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NHC uses new model to predict storm intensity

| 01/06/2012 | 7 Comments

ivan091504-1515z (264x300).jpg(CNS): All was quiet in the Atlantic Friday morning but with two storms already on the scoreboard for the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, people need little reminder of the official start of the season today. According to the hurricane experts those of us living in the hurricane region can expect a slightly quieter time this year, but as everyone knows it only takes one storm to wreak havoc. Officials in the Cayman Islands are urging everyone to ensure they are prepared for whatever this season will throw at us. However, if all goes to plan at the National Hurricane Centre in Miami, we may be better warned about the potential intensity long before it hits.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will be using a new computer model this year to better forecast the development of major storms. The model uses satellite data to identify hurricane structure patterns related to "eyewall replacement cycles," which occur when a second eyewall forms around the original and eventually overtakes it.

"Hurricanes usually strengthen and grow gradually over time, but eyewall replacement cycles can cause very sudden changes in size and intensity," says NOAA scientist Jim Kossin.
Hurricane specialist James Franklin of the National Hurricane Centre explained that "this is an important first step towards understanding how we can use the eyewall cycle to someday improve intensity forecasts."

Hurricane intensity forecasts remain one of the most difficult aspects of hurricane prediction.

Predicting intensity won’t help if people are not prepared for a storm and Cayman officials are urging people to be prepared. As well as plans to protect life and property, stocking up with essential items from batteries to water, government officials also reminded people to keep travel documents safe, make copies of all key documents, including passports, birth certificates, work permits and drivers' licenses, and store them in a separate place from the originals.

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CIG could reap $$ on new law

| 01/06/2012 | 128 Comments

NYPT-NYC%20police%20officer%20writing%20ticket (262x300).jpg(CNS): The superintendent of pensions, Amy Wolliston, revealed that hundreds of fixed penalty tickets could be issued in the immediate wake of the new pension law being passed because of the significant number of ongoing delinquent cases. The minister with responsibility for labour, who is steering the passage of the new bill, said he did not know how much the treasury was set to reap as a result of the legislation but hoped it would be zero because he wanted employers to comply. However, Wolliston acknowledged that with some 600 employers defaulting, a lot of tickets were likely to be handed out. With fines ranging from between $2,500 and $5,000 this could result in a major windfall for the public purse.

Speaking at a press briefing earlier this week to launch the draft legislation for the new pensions bill, Labour Minister Rolston Anglin would not be drawn on the possible amount government could collect in fines. He said that once the new bill became law he hoped that the development of a culture of compliance would mean government did not collect anything but instead employers paid what they owed into pension funds.

With the new fixed penalty regime, however, if the new Department of Labour and Pensions is satisfied that an employer is not compliant, it will be able to issue an order for that rogue employer to not only pay in the missing pension cash to the fund but also issue a fine. While the new bill provides for an increase in the penalties associated with pension offences, it also designates certain offences as ticketable offences, making the enforcement process more efficient, officials said.

Orren Merren, the National Pensions Board chair, said that under the current regime the difficulty in prosecuting non-compliant employers is due to the level of detail and evidence required for a court case, including the exact calculations of outstanding sums, making it particularly burdensome and protracted. Under the new regime, where the office has clear evidence of employers defaulting on payments, they can simply issue a ticket.

The burden will be then be on the person who has received the ticket to either take the case to court and fight it or simply accept liability. If the latter option is chosen, a smaller fine is available, along with payment of the arrears. If neither option is taken, the person must attend court and face the possibility of much higher penalties. The new regime, officials said, creates an incentive to accept liability that will ensure that the primary objective – the payment of any arrears – is achieved.

With pension plan trustees obligated to submit delinquency reports on a monthly basis, along with new provisions that require them to notify employees and advertise a list of delinquent employers, the issue of non-compliance will be raised and addressed more quickly, government believes.

The Department of Labour and Pensions will also have a range of new enforcement options, including the authority to share information with other government agencies, which could lead to the withholding of Trade and Business licences or work permit renewals.

With some 600 cases of ongoing non-compliance that the existing National Pensions Office has already investigated, this means that unless the arrears are addressed before the law is passed in the Legislative Assembly and comes into force, hundreds of local employers could be facing extensive fines under the new regime.

Government has opened a consultation period for the new bill and is asking people to offer comments through an on line survey here.

See both the draft legislation and explanatory notes below.

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Robbers hit GT gas station

| 01/06/2012 | 17 Comments

crime-scene-tape.jpg(CNS): A lone gunman held up the Texaco gas station on Eastern Avenue, George Town, Thursday evening, in the third robbery on Grand Cayman in two days. Police reported being on the scene of the armed heist, which they say happened around 10pm. Emergency services received the report while the robbery was in progress but on arrival at the gas station police officers said the suspect was no longer present. Early reports are that no shots were fired and no one was injured during the incident. Police have commenced an investigation, an RCIPS spokesperson stated. No further details have been revealed at this stage. 

The stick-up comes one day after Shop Right, a convenience store on Walkers Road, George Town, was robbed in by a lone suspect with a knife at around 11:30am. Police are still looking for the suspect.

A pawn shop in Bodden Town, Cashwiz, was also held up Wednesday by a man armed with an imitation gun but RCIPS officers arrested the robber as he attempted to flee the scene.

Check back to CNS for more on the latest robbery.

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