Archive for February 20th, 2013

Supermodel’s busy life leaves no room for romance

Supermodel’s busy life leaves no room for romance

| 20/02/2013 | 62 Comments

vibe-vixen-selita-ebanks1.jpg(CNS): Cayman’s supermodel Selita Ebanks is believed to have split with her TV personality boyfriend as a result of their busy careers. The New York Post gossip column and other entertainment media in the US are reporting that Ebanks, who celebrated her 30th birthday this past weekend, has parted ways with Terrence J. The couple are apparently having “scheduling conflicts”, not least because of Ebanks’ new career directions, including acting and singing. This weekend, the model was trailed by cameras for a new TV show. Ebanks and Terrence Jenkins, the former 106 & Park host, began dating in late 2011, but romance appears to be over as "Selita is just so busy", a source told the Post.

Jenkins recently scored a primetime gig as host of E! News after a long stint on BET's 106 & Park and relocated to the west coast. He's also been pursuing a career in acting and is a spokesman for Crown Royal Life.

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Man admits 3 kilo coke deal

Man admits 3 kilo coke deal

| 20/02/2013 | 18 Comments

(CNS): A 28-year-old man has been convicted of conspiring to supply up to three kilos of cocaine after he was caught in an undercover police drug operation with another local man. Camilo Naranjo pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to sell the drugs to the undercover cops for $54,000 but the drugs were not recovered because he claimed he was never able, or intended, to supply such a large amount but had instead hoped to steal the money. However, the crown claimed that  Naranjo was not only planning on supplying the large quantity of the class A drug but was a wholesaler of cocaine in Cayman and a significant player in the local illegal drug market.

Naranjo was arrested outside Calico Jack's Beach Bar in November 2010 after the police sting operation came to a head but before the drugs were supplied to the undercover officers, the court heard Wednesday. Naranjo became part of a sting operation after RCIPS drugs officer originally from the UK went undercover, posing as real estate developers to investigate the sale of cocaine in local bars.

They first met with a man called Osman Bonilla at Royal Palms, who they were aware was involved in drugs, and began buying small quantities of cocaine from him, building up trust and leading up to a half kilo purchase.

However, when the undercover cops began indicating they wanted to buy much larger quantities of drugs with the intention of trafficking to the UK, Bonilla, who was convicted and sentenced to eight years in jail last year, introduced the men to Naranjo. This introduction by Bonilla was clear evidence, the crown said, of Naranjo’s position as a more significant dealer and an indication that he was much “higher up the drug dealing chain” and a wholesaler rather than a low level street dealer.

During a number of meetings, all of which were taped by the undercover officers, Naranjo incriminated himself when he said he controlled the cocaine market in Cayman and that he had earned in excess of a half million dollars a year selling drugs. He also advised the UK cops how to smuggle as much as two kilos of cocaine on the body without getting caught using women’s stockings.

He told the officers he was able to secure significant quantities and when a deal was arranged he agreed to supply the officers with three kilos. On the day of the deal, however, suspicions were raised and when a police patrol car drove through Calico Jack’s car park Naranjo tried to move the drop location to George Town. However, in the end the cops moved in, and although he did not have possession of the drugs, Naranjo was arrested.

After various legal difficulties he eventually pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and his case was laid out before Justice Charles Quin on Wednesday morning.

Naranjo’s defence attorney, Clyde Allen, said that his client was not a wholesaler of drugs but had over-stated his importance in the local drug market in order to con the police and had intended to steal their money. He said his claims were fanciful and, given that he was working as a waiter and living at Treasure Island, it was apparent that he was not really a major player in the illegal drug market.

Allen also noted that his client was born and bred in Cayman, where he had gone to school, but because of a difficult divorce between his parents he no longer had Caymanian status and was a Honduran national, despite never having lived there. Allen said his client had worked at Pappagallo Restaurant on and off since he was twelve years old as a result of family hardships.

Naranjo was remanded back in custody to HMP Northward, where he has been since November 2010, until 13 March, when Justice Quin is scheduled to hand down sentence. The maximum penalty for conspiracy to supply class A drugs is ten years, and given the circumstances of the crime, Allen suggested the judge’s starting point before any discounts for his plea and mitigating or aggravating factors were considered should be six years.

Related article:

Coke dealer jailed for 8 years

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Construction starts on East End health project

Construction starts on East End health project

| 20/02/2013 | 45 Comments

DSC_3066.jpg(CNS): Work has finally begun on the much anticipated first phase of Dr Devi Shetty’s medical tourism project in East End. According to the local partners, some 40 workers, most of whom are said to be Caymanian, are now on the Health City Cayman Islands construction site, where the 140-bed hospital is expected to open in early 2014. Concrete is being poured and the first part of the work by general contractor Cayman Healthcare Construction Group is now well underway. The number of jobs is expected to increase to as many as 300 over the next two months.

The project director said the work going to local people as opportunities for Caymanians, both during the construction phase and on an ongoing basis once the facility is operational, is a priority for the development.

The first ever Planned Area Development (PAD) approval in the history of the Cayman Islands for the project was granted in January and planning approval for the 107,000 square foot hospital building was given the go-ahead earlier this month. The 'first pour' of cement took place last week.

Officials said that innovative technologies would be used at the Health City to mitigate the infrastructure impact of the project; waste from the hospital would be reduced and managed through recycling, reduced use, onsite sterilization of medical waste, incineration, and shredding.

Rain water will be used for non-potable purposes and sewage, which will be treated on site, will be used for the drought-resistant local flora and fauna that will make up the surrounding landscape.

A non-commercial onsite nursery is in the process of being set up to propagate local plants and trees and to recycle felled trees into peat. A road infrastructure plan has also been designed to address phase one and future phases of the development. In addition, officials claimed that the electrical load will be minimized through Salt Water Air Conditioning (SWAC) and high-efficiency building design using insulated concrete forms (ICF).

Despite claiming green credentials, however, there has been no environmental impact assessment on the project, even though it will have a significant impact on the surrounding area and in particular what had been, until the project began, undisturbed habitat home to a significant amount of locally endangered flora.

Nevertheless, both government and the officials on the project have pointed to the significant benefits the project is expected to bring to the Cayman Islands. From the fees paid to government during the planning process of more than CI$300,000 to the purchase of building materials bought locally, officials said the benefits were already apparent.

“Construction workers, attorneys, accountants, architects, consultants, hoteliers, restaurants, and otherproviders of essential products and services have already begun to benefit,” a release about the start of construction stated.

Recruitment gatherings in several districts have taken place and applications for both the construction trades and the eventual hospital operations have been accepted.

The project is said to be valued at around US$2 billion and will be built in phases over 15 years. Eventually it will include 2,000 beds across a multi-specialty health city, providing services not currently widely available in the region, such as open-heart and bypass surgery, angioplasty, heart-valve replacement, cancer treatment, and organ transplants.

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Stop the fighting, we are watching!

Stop the fighting, we are watching!

| 20/02/2013 | 131 Comments

As the youngest candidate so far who has made intentions to run for public office, I feel as though I have to speak up on behalf of the younger voters and a percentage of the mature voters when I urge that we keep the 2013 election campaign a clean one. As a voice for younger voters, we do not appreciate the personal attacks aired by some individuals in the political arena. 

This is not limited to those who intend to run for the first time or the seventh but also the supporters of the political parties to include advocacy groups and independents (old-UPD, new-UPD, PPM, C4C).

We find that the lack of focus on the real issues, that are important to us, and the attention on the nit picking of personalities not only distracting but disrespectful to those who have chosen to run and also to the people of this country. These are serious issues we are dealing with — jobs, crime, education, economy to name but a few — issues which need to be taken seriously by ourpoliticians.

We need our young people to know they too should take politics seriously; the politicians need to set the standard. The in-fighting does not reflect well among the young voter base. Remember that many of us look up to you as leaders and role models. Truth be told, we just want a better Cayman and to hear the solutions you have which may solve the major issues affecting our nation, regardless of who or which party the ideas come from.

Yes, there is a need for a strong robust debate on what is the better way forward for the country. That can be accomplished without the negative shots against each other. This behavior is dividing us as a people. 

It's going to take all of us to get Cayman back on track, so even after the May 2013 election has been and gone we all still need to be able to work together as we strive for a better Cayman. 

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Interim gov’t illegal says Mac

Interim gov’t illegal says Mac

| 20/02/2013 | 76 Comments

cab 4.jpg(CNS): The former premier has described the current minority government as illegal but McKeeva Bush said he and his remaining UDP colleagues, who are now in opposition, are not going to make a fuss about it as those government MLAs will soon be out of office. Bush said he was not going to be like the opposition was to him by causing trouble for the interim government, even though he claimed it was illegal and not really a government. “I don’t know what we’ve got,” he said Tuesday night at a public meeting to open the UDP’s new offices. However, he said it did not matter as they would all be gone in a few months when they were voted out by the people at the election and the UDP returned to office.

Although Bush has said that the UDP campaign has not yet been officially launched, the opening of the UDP’s new headquarters in the capital provided an opportunity for the beleaguered party leader, who remains on police bail and under suspicion of various offences, to laud his achievements in office and make promisesfor the future.

As a critical battleground in the 2013 election, the UDP made a major event out of the office opening, which attracted around 250 people, boosted by the congregation from the church Bush has recently begun attending in George Town, the Church of God of Prophecy, Victory Tabernacle.

The UDP has not yet confirmed the team it will be fielding in the battle for George Town and by extension control of government, but the appearance of Rayal Bodden on the platform alongside Mike Adam, Ellio Solomon, Renard Moxam and John Foster, who MC’d the event, has added fuel to the mounting speculation that he is the sixth UDP man who will be standing in the capital.

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Governor wins legal review in Tempura secrets battle

Governor wins legal review in Tempura secrets battle

| 20/02/2013 | 15 Comments

briger_0_0.jpg(CNS): The governor has won the first round in his legal fight to keep details of a discredited internal police investigation secret. His office confirmed Tuesday that Justice Sir Alan Moses had stayed the release ofa document that Information Commissioner Jennifer Dilbert had directed should be given to an FOI applicant. The request was for a copy of a report relating to a complaint filed by Martin Bridger (left), the lead investigator on the ill-fated operation into potential police corruption. However, the governor is fighting to keep the report under wraps and out of the public domain. As a result, his office is the first government entity to attempt to overturn one of Dilbert’s decisions through the courts.

The British judge has approved the governor’s application for judicial review and the next step is to set a date for the substantive hearing, but in the meantime the report remains secret.

The document being sought by the applicant is a review of a complaint filed by Bridger, which cost the public purse around $300,000 to produce. Bridger has seen the document relating to his complaint, which was not upheld, but he is not able to release it as he was bound by confidentiality.

However, some of his complaints were reported in the UK Press and the former Scotland Yard cop's main gripe was his investigation was prematurely ended by the authorities in Cayman in what he claims amounted to an orchestrated cover-up of errors and bad decisions by the powers that be.

When a member of the public filed an FOI for this report it was refused. However, Dilbert in her decision overturned that denial and ordered the office to release the report. The governor then filed an application for a judicial review on the 45 day deadline, which has now been granted.

Given the efforts that the UK representative is making to in order to keep the content of the report secret, it is unlikely that the judicial review hearing will be open to the public.

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Man beaten in George Town street attack

Man beaten in George Town street attack

| 20/02/2013 | 7 Comments

(CNS): Police are looking for witnesses to a brawl which took place in George Town after midnight in the Eastern Avenue area last night, when a man was beaten by a group of five to seven other men. An RCIPS spokesperson said police had received a report at 12:24 on Wednesday morning describing the man being attacked by the others at the junction of Eastern Avenue and North Church Street. Police went to the scene but when they arrived neither the victim nor his assailants were there. However, the police went in search and came across the victim in the Watler's Road area, who confirmed that he had been attacked and beaten. 

The assailants demanded money and assaulted him in the process. Nothing was taken but he was injured. The victim refused transportation to hospital by ambulance and was escorted to the George Town hospital by the police, where he was treated and released. 

The RCIPS said that officers are now conducting an investigation into the attack and are appealing for anyone who has information about this or any other incident to call 949 7777 or 800 TIPS.

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