Archive for April 27th, 2013

Premier names radar after former ministry boss

| 27/04/2013 | 70 Comments

DSC_0337_0.jpg(CNS): The new Doppler Weather Radar, which was officially opened on Thursday morning, will be named after the former chief officer in the ministry responsible for weather, Kearney Gomez. The radar in high rock East End was formally commissioned on Thursday and is scheduled to become operational ahead of the 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season once the final testing is completed. This radar will fill a gap in the existing regional network, allowing for a more complete early warning system across the Caribbean. The radar was funded with a €4.16 million grant from the European Union.

The 49-foot Doppler Weather Radar Tower was constructed by Island Builders Company, Ltd, a local construction company which won the contract valued at CI$1.448 million. German radar company SELEX System Integration won the tender to manufacture, supply and install the radar, antenna and a 35-foot dome at a cost of €1.427 million. A further €135,690 was paid to SELEX for an extensive stock of spare parts. Technical support to the project was tendered and won by ICON Institute, a German consultancy company.

With a range of 250 miles, the Doppler Radar will provide weather surveillance for all three Cayman Islands and the surrounding maritime areas. This technology is expected to enhance weather forecasting, allowing local and regional meteorologists to accurately observe, track and study heavy rainfall events, waterspouts and other unusual weather activity.

Once operational, it will link with weather stations across the region and issue real-time weather data to the National Hurricane Centre in Miami. The NHC will create a composite of radar information for the region whenever there are severe weather threats and will facilitate a greater degree of preparedness. Meteorologists will have the ability to be more precise when issuing aviation forecasts as they will be able to provide enhanced reporting of wind shear hazards to pilots prior to landing and takeoff, officials said in a release about the new radar.

The Cayman Islands National Weather Service will also share its interpretation of the data from the feed with the relevant emergency response agencies including Hazard Management of the Cayman Islands (HMCI) and will also disseminate the information to other stakeholders in the regional as well as the community. This data will be extremely beneficial to HMCI and the aviation and cruise industry, as well as the boating fraternity, fishermen and farmers as the feed will be accessible in real time via the internet.

Ambassador, Paola Amadei, head of the EU delegation for the region who came to Cayman for the official ceremony, said the grant demonstrated the EU’s commitment to partnering with the people of the Caribbean to address disaster related challenges.

“The work that has been done and for which we have all gathered here today, demonstrates the commitment of the Government of the Cayman Islands and its partners to putting in place appropriate systems that reduces risks and limits theimpacts of disasters on its people,” she said.

Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, the premier and minister with responsibility, said the Early Warning Station will boost the region’s ability to prepare for natural disasters and adverse weather. “It will help minimize loss of life and damage to property and by extension will promote the social welfare of the people of the region. The Cayman Islands Government is indeed indebted to the European Union for this generous grant and on behalf of our people I extend our sincere appreciation for this gesture,” she said.

Kerith McCoy, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Cayman Islands Airport Authority, which over saw the project, said it was a most welcome addition to the resources of the Cayman Islands National Weather Service. “Its service to the aviation industry and will be immensely beneficial during times of severe weather which may impact the operations of our airports.”

Meanwhile, Fred Sambula, Director General of the Weather Service explained it would be operated by in-house meteorological technicians who will ensure that it remains functional at all times.

“A powerful, dual-precision Doppler Weather Radar is particularly suited to the extremely heavy rainfall and thunderstorm activity in the tropical oceanic regions and we are excited that it will be in service by the start of the Hurricane Season on June 1, 2013,” he said.

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Second fire burns house in Newlands

| 27/04/2013 | 3 Comments

(CNS): The fire department put out a house fire in North Sound Estate in Newlands early Saturday morning (April 27) when Emergency Services were called to Sunrose Street for what turned out to be the second fire at the property.  A police spokesperson said that the occupants of the house were asleep after having a party at the house last night and were woken by smoke coming from a first floor bathroom. One of the occupants of the house put out the fire and went back to bed. However at around 6am he was woken by neighbours and fire officers as the house was on fire.

The RCIPS said no one was injured and the fire was put out by the Cayman Islands Fire Service and police officers from scenes of crime as well as fire investigators attended the scene and further enquires are now underway.

Anyone with information as to how this fire may have started is asked to call Detective Sergeant Berry at the BTPS on 9472220 or Crime Stoppers on 800(TIPS)8477.Second fire burns house in Newlands

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Health screening required for reception students

| 27/04/2013 | 0 Comments

SMC-Health-Screening.jpg(CNS): The Public Health Department is advising parents and guardians that all reception students who entered the school system in September 2012, are required to have health screenings to continue to year one of primary education. “Since 2012, the reception program was extended to several primary schools, however School Entry Screening (SES) was not customarily done for children entering reception, due to their age,” explains School Health Coordinator, Joanna Rose-Wright. She adds,  “For the convenience of parents, health screenings will be conducted duringthe month of May for these students, at the school in which they are enrolled.”

The screening will comprise a growth and development assessment, screening for vision and hearing, and a dental assessment. Public Health staff will also seek to obtain a personal medical history for each child. A review for any necessary immunisations will also be conducted and parents will be advised to have this done at the health centre, or by the child’s paediatrician. No immunisation will be given at the time of screening.
Parents will be advised of the date for screening by the school and will be asked if they wish to be present. If a parent does not wish to have their child screened at school, parents will be required to make their own arrangements.

In Cayman Brac, appointments for reception school entry screening can be made by contacting Public Health Nurse Nelsie Jones at Faith Hospital on 948-2243.

Further information can be obtained from the School Health Coordinator, Joanna Rose-Wright. on 244-2734.

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Cops arrest couple for plans to sell cocaine

| 27/04/2013 | 2 Comments

(CNS): A 25-year-old man and a 35-year-old woman were arrested by police in the early hours of Saturday morning after a routine stop uncovered illegal drugs. During routine police patrol by the RCIP, Operational Support Unit officers stopped a black Pontiac motor car at around 1:30am (27 April) along Shamrock Road in Red Bay George Town. Officers searched the car and discovered white substances resembling cocaine in powder and rock form. Both suspects were arrested on suspicion of possession of cocaine with intent to supply and suspicion of consumption of control drugs.

A police spokesperson said that the couple and the vehicle were transported to George Town Police Station where they remained in police custody Saturday.  The RCIP stated that it will ensure that people involve in the drug trade and committing drug offences will be targeted and put before the court.

Anyone who may have information on crime taking place in the Cayman Islands are urged to report these crimes to any local police station or call RCIP hotline at 949-7777 or Crime Stoppers on 800(TIPS)8477.

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