Archive for August 15th, 2012

CNB suspect netted in Jam

| 15/08/2012 | 41 Comments

CNB robbery_0.jpg(CNS): The RCIPS is seeking the extradition of a Jamaican national from Jamaica after his arrest by police there in connection with the robbery at the Buckingham Square branch of Cayman National Bank on 28 June this year. Four other men have already been charged in Cayman in connection with the daylight heist, in which the robbers stole more than half a million dollars. Three of the men are set to stand trial next year and a fourth man has yet to have his trial set as he will be facing separate charges. According tothe Jamaican press, the 36-year old man arrested there is Ryan Edwards, of Seaforth in St Thomas.

RJR News reports that when police in Jamaica arrested Edwards some US$5000 and CI$35,000 was found in the car he was driving. The police were able to match the notes to those stolen during the CNB robbery and discovered that Edwards, who is believed to have left Cayman by boat, was wanted by the RCIPS.

The man is currently in Jamaican police custody awaiting extradition.

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Resource centre seeks support for clothing drive

| 15/08/2012 | 0 Comments

The department of counselling services’ Family Resource Centre (FRC) is calling on people in the community to donate baby items, maternity and professional clothes for the Young Parent group where the gifts will be put to good use.  The items are used as part of an incentive programme that officials say keeps the young adults motivated and focused on becoming better parents for their little ones. The clothing drive is to collect things on which the young parents can spend the reward tokens that they have earned. Meanwhile, the resource centre is also starting a programme aimed at fathers to help them deal with their children’s behaviour, manage conflict and anger, communicate and cope as single parents.

“Many of our young parents are making big changes in their lives and parenting philosophies,” FRC Programme Coordinator, Miriam Foster said. “Change in any form comes with some frustration. Being rewarded for a job well done with albeit ‘pretend’ money, gives clients the satisfaction of knowing how it feels to earn money and be able to purchase items for themselves and their babies,” she said in relation to the clothing drive and the appeal for donations.

Held at the centre, the YPS is a special programme dedicated to young moms and dads working on parenting and employability skills. The programme helps build positive parenting skills, attitudes and behaviour so kids can get a head start in life.
Speaking about the six sessions specially for fathers, of any age, Foster said the initiative would focus on the responsibilities of fatherhood.  “The meetings will be down-to-earth and practical as we help these men fulfill their roles as effective parents, partners and workers.”

The new programme starting on Monday 20 August will also empower fathers and provide them with the tools necessary to build healthy relationships as they make positive contributions in their children’s lives, she added.

The minister responsible for community affairs Mike Adam said it was important that fathers secure loving relationships with their children. “Spending quality time and expressing unconditional love will strengthen the individual and the family,” he said. 

For six weeks, starting Monday, August 20, fathers will get a chance to rediscover their roles and work toward enhancing the relationships they have with their children. 
For more information about Fathers First, helping young parents or any of FRC’s services, call 946-0006 or email frc@gov.ky.

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Cheetahs prey on Warriors

| 15/08/2012 | 0 Comments

(GCFFA): Upsets, ties and stiffening competition from the underdogs best describes the current state of the Dart Women’s League under the Grand Cayman Flag Football Association. It began with a 6-6 tie after overtime between the number one ranked team, Hammerheads Lady Sharks and the seventh place team Lone Star JagerMonsters at the Camana Bay Field last Friday night. Defending champions, Lady Sharks found themselves in trouble on offense as quarterback Hong Nguyen managed completing only nine of 19 pass attempts, while getting sacked a total of nine times. Serena Yates, known mostly for her defensive ability with Lady Sharks, proved herself as an offensive player as well, leading her team with four catches including one in the end-zone gaining the lone score for Hammerheads.

Yates also saw some glory on defense as she sacked Lone Star’s quarterback one time. Meghan Boccaccio read JagerMonsters’ quarterback well, gaining three interceptions, and Judy Rivers followed with two interceptions. It was a quiet defensive game for Lady Sharks as Rivers led in tackles with a mere two.

Lone Star JagerMonsters nearly tasted victory against the top-rated team after struggling to win in recent games. Changing their game plan, Lone Star had Erica Bosch play quarterback for the entire game, and Bosch was able to complete seven of 17 passes, with five interceptions thrown.

Bosch’s favorite look on offense was Monique Roberts with five receptions. Her only pass to Nickey Martinich in the end-zone secured the one touchdown for the team. Roberts excelled in defense as well, sacking the Lady Sharks’ quarterback five times, followed by Marline Williams with three sacks and Laura Watler with one.  Renee Thompson and Tricia Miller had three tackles each, and Roberts and Williams each added two tackles to their defense.

On the next field, Androgroup Killa Panthers slipped by with a 19-12 win over Subway Stingers. Easing back into her regular quarterback position, Lisa Malice had a great game, completing 17 of 28 pass attempts. Alicia Dixon led the offense with six receptions, including one in the end-zone for a touchdown. Cassandra Bodden followed with five receptions including catches in the end-zone for a touchdown and extra points. Gillian Roffey slipped by two defensive players for a 50yard run to bring in the third touchdown for Androgroup Killa Panthers.

On defense, Suyen Coe and Jennifer Allen led with three tackles each. Stephanie Watler came through with one sack to Subway’s quarterback and Roffey added an interception to the game.

Subway Stingers stepped up their game this week, as quarterback Christina Pineda completed 14 of 23 pass attempts, and one interception thrown. Pineda spread the ball around but saw Joanne Remillard for four passes including one that was sprinted in 30 yards for a touchdown. Dionne Anglin was instrumental in bringing the ball up with three big catches down the middle and Keisha Anglin secured the second touchdown for Stingers with an easy dash into the end-zone.

It was a team effort on defense with Anna Nyaundi, Timisha Edwards, Keisha Anglin and Latoya Cover each getting three tackles. Nikki Ebanks also managed to sack Androgroup’s quarterback one time.

Saturday morning’s game started off with underdogs Hot 104.1FM Cheetah’s shutting down Zulu Warriors 6-0. Quarterback for the Cheetahs, Jamesette Anglin, completed 11 of 21 pass attempts and ran in the ball to secure the only touchdown for the Cheetahs.   Leading the Cheetahs offense in receptions was Tonia Ebanks-McLaughlin with four catches, followed by Jessica Richards and Sophia Dilbert each with three catches. Ebanks-McLaughlin also took a turn at quarterback, completing one of three pass attempts.

Tracey Seymour was smoking on defense withten tackles and one interception. Anglin, Amanda Nelson and Ebanks-McLaughlin each had four tackles on defense, and Nelson came up with one interception and Anglin had two. Kara Rankine came up with two sacks to add to the team’s strong defense.

For the Zulu Warriors, quarterback Jessica Pawlik was able to connect with her receivers, but some mis-calculated throws that resulted in a series of interceptions halted any progress for the team. Pawlik managed to complete 19 of 32 pass attempts, with four interceptions thrown.

Leading the offense for Zulu was Shamar Ennis who had six catches, followed by Dionne Whittaker and Emily Vakauta with four receptions each. In the last few minutes of the game Zulu had a chance to score as they reached their opponents end-zone but Cheetahs’ defense was too strong to allow any touchdowns.

Adrianna Christian had her first stand-out game on defense, sacking the Cheetahs’ quarterback five times. Whittaker also stood out on defense with three tackles, followed by Hortencia Jackson, Janycee Parchment and Bianca Johnson with two tackles each. Johnson also sacked the quarterback two times, and Parchment came through with an interception.

The last game on Saturday morning saw the Burger King Wolverines continue their winning record after defeating Maples Bliss 12-0. Quarterback for the Wolverines, Antoinette Lewis, completed just eight of 17 pass attempts with two interceptions thrown. Jessica Ebanks also stepped up as quarterback with two unsuccessful pass attempts.

Benecia Thompson had the most looks on offense with four catches, followed by Alex Terry with two. Both players caught balls in the end-zone to contribute to the team’s score.
The Wolverines had a quiet game on defense as Maples didn’t do much to move the ball. Thompson, Saneata Smith and Carrie Barnett each had two tackles on defense, and Ebanks had one interception.

Not all the stats were recorded for Maples Bliss, but the team struggled against the Wolverines, with quarterback Ellenor Berry noted as completing just four of eight pass attempts with one interception thrown. Jessica Maxwell, Catherine Hines, Amber Watson and Marleena Smith each had a catch on offense.

On defense, Malaqui Awe and Dianerra Whittaker had two tackles each. Loletta Hanna and Somali Small each had an interception, but Maples weren’t able to stop the Burger King Wolverines from scoring.

This Friday night’s games start off with the Hot 104.1FM Cheetahs trying to keep their winning momentum as they face Maples Bliss at 8pm at the Camana Bay Field. On field 2 will be Zulu Warriors against Burger King Wolverines; the Warriors did beat the Wolverines earlier in the season and Friday night is the second time the teams face each other before playoffs. Saturday morning starts with the Lone Star JagerMonsters versus Androgroup Killa Panthers at 10am, followed by Hammerheads Lady Sharks against Subway Stingers.

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Reporter takes away success story of local ‘blues’

| 15/08/2012 | 15 Comments

blue iguana_1.jpg(CNS): A British journalist who was in the Cayman Islands last month reporting on the premier’s proposal to introduce direct taxation also found time to write about the endangered blue iguana in an article which is beginning to be picked up by the international press.  David McFadden, whose story about the expat tax went viral on the worldwide web, also wrote a feature piece on the National Trust’s Blues programme highlighting the work being done to preserve the country’s much loved unique reptile and the unimagined successes of its captive breeding programme. McFadden reports that there are now around 700 blues roaming free in the protected areas in East End.

"The kind of results that we've gotten show that it's practical and realistic to say you can restore a population of iguanas from practically nothing, just so long as you can capture the genetic variety from the beginning," Fred Burton, the director of the Blue Iguana Recovery Programme, tells the Associated Press journalist. When Burton began the breeding programme it was believed there were no more than a dozen blue iguanas alive in the wild.

In the feature piece Burton explains how in 2001 the first blue iguanas were released into the wild with an incredible survival rate.  "When we started, we didn't know anything, so for years we just let the iguanas loose and we'd never see half of them again,” he said. “A year after we came up with this very low-tech method of anchoring iguanas to the park, we found all of them were still living."

Arthur C. Echternacht, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Tennessee, told McFadden that the Grand Cayman programme has succeeded by building unusually strong relationships with international scientists as well as support from local politicians and citizens, and because of the tenacity of Burton.

"Although Fred can seem to be a rather low-key, unexcitable Brit, he is passionate about the iguanas, very persuasive, and incredibly persistent," Echternacht said.

John Binns, of the International Reptile Conservation Foundation in Tucson, Arizona, said the basic infrastructure and steady focus of the Blue Iguana Breeding Program was a model on how to correctly restore a species.

Burton said he still hoped to have 1,000 blue iguanas living in the wild by as early as 2015.

"Once we hit 1,000 and we have a good genetic range out there we can just let the iguanas handle things themselves out in the wild without us messing around with all this complex genetic planning," Burton said as he pointed out that the breeding pens at the Botanic Park would eventually be redundant.

“That will be a very exciting day," Burton said.

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Police warn public about latest cash prize email scam

| 15/08/2012 | 5 Comments

Email-Spams-Scams.jpg(CNS): Online scammers are attempting to solicit money from people with a London Olympic international lottery, officers from the RCIPS Financial Crime Unit warned on Wednesday. The FSU said the email scam tells recipients that they are "lucky winners" of US$800,000 as part of a lottery programme.  The recipient is asked to call a number to claim their prize within 21 days. Detective Inspector Ian Lavine is urging people not to be fooled into providing their personal financial details in the hope of swelling their bank account with a cash prize that does not exist.

“Every day we are seeing more and more fraudulent schemes circulating via e-mail. Some are very elaborate and set up fake banking sites to encourage people to provide passwords and banking details; others try to tempt people to provide those details as part of get-rich -quick schemes,” he said. “People should never provide any banking details via e-mail or on the phone and they should contact the RCIPS Financial Crime Unit if they receive any communication that appears suspicious.”

Anyone who wishes to speak to an officer in the Financial Crime Unit should call 949-8797

 

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Man charged over dynamite

| 15/08/2012 | 0 Comments

rr21 (252x300).jpg(CNS): The director of Midland Acres appeared in court Wednesday morning facing charges relating to the importation of dynamite. CNS understands that Suresh Bhemsein Prasad was charged by police on Monday with four counts of importing explosives without a permit as an individual and another four counts as the owner of Midland Acres. The case relates to an ongoing police investigation that includes Cayman Islands Premier McKeeva Bush, who wrote to the collector of customs asking him to release the explosives in question after the shipment was seized by officials. The crown asked for an adjournment as a result of "ongoing discussions" with Prasad's defense counsel and the continuing investigation.

The Midland Acre director was bailed over to return to Summary Court tomorrow morning (Thursday 16 August) by Magistrate Kirsty-Ann Gunn, when prosecuting counsel Candice James said both sides would be able to indicate how the matter was to proceed.

According to a letter that Prasad wrote to Bush on 4 March of this year (see below), he admitted omitting an important step in the importation process regarding the NRA and asked the premier to intervene and get the dynamite released in order to fulfill a major order for marl. Prasad pointed to the investment made in the blasting materials and the need to get people in work, as he appealed to Bush for assistance.

Three days later Bush sent a memo to Collector of Customs Carlon Powery, which was copied to NRA Director Brian Tomlinson, asking that the dynamite be released. However, given the failure of Midland Acres to go through the proper process, it is understood that the NRA director reported the matter to the police.

In April the police confirmed that the premier was under investigation in connection with the explosives issue and confirmed that this was the third police probe that McKeeva Bush was involved in.

Bush remains the subject of two other investigations, one which has yet to be explained but described as financial irregularities, and the first which concerns a land deal with US developer Stan Thomas and a payment of around $3/4 million for real estate advice.

Soon after the announcement that the police were investigating the dynamite shipment and the circumstances surrounding the issue, Tomlinson was let go from his post as director of the roads authority. The official reason given by Board Director Colford Scott was that the authority was forced to downsize. However, the deputy is now acting in the position.

In the wake of the revelations, the premier denied any wrongdoing and said that the memo he sent to the collector of customs was merely an effort to assist a friend and local business person to get things moving in the economy.

See Bush's memo to customs here

See Prasad's letter to Bush here

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UK seeks $20m more in cuts

| 15/08/2012 | 138 Comments

MoneyCutBudget.jpg(CNS): The Cayman Islands government continues to negotiate with the UK over budget cuts just days before the premier says he will deliver his spending plan to the Legislative Assembly. Sources have confirmed that the UK gave a verbal response on Monday evening to the details submitted regarding the latest proposed revenue measures that would replace the expat tax. However, it is understood that the UK wants more cuts and has asked for a further $20 million reduction on the spending side of the balance sheet. CNS understands that the local government has said it has gone as far as it can with cuts and, given the surplus budget it intends to present, it hopes the UK will ease up.

A memo released Tuesday evening stated that the Legislative Assembly will be reconvened this Friday. If the premier delivers a budget without UK approval, the governor who is currently off island, will not assent to the bill, McKeeva Bush said.

Last week at a public meeting McKeeva Bush said he planned to come to the LA on Monday 20 August, but speaking on Radio Cayman Tuesday, he said he was hopeful the UK would give its approval, allowing him to present the full year’s budget on Friday. Bush has made no mention, however, of the request for further cuts and continued negotiations.

The latest figure that are believed to be on the table show spending plans of more than $580 million as a result of an increase of more than 10% in CINICO costs as well as some $15 million that the UK has instructed CIG to pay down on the past service pension liability. The government faces a growing burden regarding civil service pensions, which has been neglected since the UDP took office in May 2009.

Meanwhile, in order to cover the operational expenses and produce a surplus budget, revenue projections are said to be a whopping $650 million from a combination of new measures and existing fee increases.

If the UK accepts that the latest revenue raising measures are credible and realistic, the budget will produce a surplus of $70 million, which is just $6 million short of the figure the UK economist had indicated would be required to satisfy the overseas territories minister.

The decision now hangs in the balance and it will be down to the economic advisor to recommend whether or not Henry Bellingham, who is currently on vacation, should give the OK for the premier, in his role as minister of finance, to finally deliver the most controversial budget of his political career.

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Murder suspect named and remanded in custody

| 15/08/2012 | 0 Comments

brian borden_0.jpg(CNS): Brian Borden from West Bay was remanded in custody by the Summary Court this week until 24 August when the 27-year-old man from West Bay will appear in Grand Court in connection with the murder of Robert Mackford Bush. Borden is charged with gunning down Bush in a gang related killing in September last year as he sat in his car at the junction of Capt Joe and Osbert Road and Birch Tree Hill, West Bay. Borden has not yet entered a plea to either the murder charge or a second count of possession of an unlicensed firearm. Police said Bush was killed after being shot multiple times by two masked gunmen. 

The shooting triggered a series of tit-for-tat killings in which three other young men lost their lives and a fourth was seriously injured. 

Borden was arrested some eleven months after the shooting following an operation in West Bay conducted by the RCIPS and based on new intelligence. No one else has been charged to date in connection with the death of Andrew Baptise, Preston Rivers and Jason Christian, although police have made several arrests.

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Drivers escape major injury in morning smash

| 15/08/2012 | 7 Comments

crash.jpg(CNS): Police have now confirmed that the female driver of a vehicle which overturned on Shamrock Avenue yesterday morning was treated for only minor injuries following the collision. No one else was hurt in the smash that took place shortly before 9am on Tuesday. Police are now looking for witnesses to the crash which happened when a silver SUCV exited Victory Avenue onto Shamrock Road and collided with an eastbound car before overturning.  Anyone who witnessed the crash is asked to contact PC Marcia Ellis at the Traffic Management Unit on 946-6254.

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