Archive for October 2nd, 2013

Special Olympian faces trial for burglary

| 02/10/2013 | 0 Comments

(CNS): A young man who suffers from special needs and learning disabilities who is a member of the Cayman Islands Special Olympics team is facing trial in Grand Court this week accused of burglary. However, the 22 year old man said that he was forced to break in to the home at Coconut Cove in West Bay over two and a half years ago by another man. Solomon Webster told the court Monday that he was on the iron shore collecting whelks when a man he knows as Jonothan Welcome approached him and gestured to a gun on his waist and demanded that the defendant go into a nearby house.

Welcome is currently serving time in HMP Northward following his part in the attempted robbery of Blackbeard's liquor store in Grand Harbour in May 2011. Giving evidence in his own defence the young West Bay man said he was forced and threatened by Welcome and became afraid when he saw the gun. Webster told seven member jury that Welcome repeatedly said "let's go break in this house" while he was lifting his shirt to show the firearm on his waist.

The jury heard that a fire extinguisher and a tape recorder were stolen from the vacation home on 29 March, 2011 and that the vulnerable defendant had gained entry through a window which was broken by Welcome. However, DNA swabs were taken at the crime scene and tested with Webster's fingerprints found to be a match to those found on the doorknobs of the rooms in the house.

The court heard Monday that Webster has difficulties making cognitive decisions and recollecting certain events due to his mental health, making it difficult for him to understand the consequences of certain actions.

A local psychiatrist attended court and gave evidence that after assessing the defendant, he has probably had mental disabilities his whole life seeing as he attended the Lighthouse School for special needs. The doctor told the jury that those who struggle financially tend to be more suggestible to crimes of this nature and that their memory is sometimes compromised because of their disorder.

Webster is a Special Olympics record holder for Shot-Put and Bocce and has been employed at a car wash company through the help of the Sunrise Training and Learning Centre. The presiding judge Justice Charles Quin commented that he remembered seeing a picture of the defendant in the media for his performance at the Special Olympics.

Continue Reading

Jamaican crime expert to lead prevention seminar

| 02/10/2013 | 36 Comments

(CNS): A crime fighter from Jamaica, William Shagoury, the custos rotulorum and chairman of the Clarendon Crime Prevention Committee, will be the keynote speaker on Thursday at a crime prevention seminar aimed at helping the community tackle and prevent the increasing crime on the island. Free and open to the public, the seminar will include a wide range of speakers and presentations on the latest crime fighting and crime prevention techniques. Shagoury will be talking about the role of the crime prevention committee in the national crime reduction strategy and other speakers will be examining the wider crime problem. Chief Inspector Angelique Howell, the driving force behind the event, said she was keen to see as many people as possible attend.

“Over the past three years Clarendon, Jamaica, has benefited from a consistent reduction in crime. Much of this can be attributed to the efforts of the Crime Prevention Committee led by Custos Shagoury. We are delighted that he has accepted our invitation to come to Cayman and share some of his experiences with us,” said Howell. “It promises to be a very worthwhile and informative seminar. We are grateful to our partners for working with us on the project and we are sure that everyone who attends will leave better informed and better prepared to play their part in reducing crime in Cayman.”

Taking place at the Westin Hotel on West Bay Road, it starts at 9:30am and is expected to conclude at2pm.

Continue Reading

Tourism minister and CS bosses travel to Colombia

| 02/10/2013 | 12 Comments

(CNS): Moses Kirkconnell, the deputy premier and tourism minister, along with his chief officer, Stran Bodden, and Department of Tourism Director Shomari Scott, left Cayman on Monday for Cartagena in Colombia for the 20th Annual Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association Cruise and Conference Trade Show. Justifying the trip, government officials said that during the five day visit the minister will meet one-on-one with FCCA President Michele Paige to discuss cruise tourism and the status of cruise ship berthing on Grand Cayman. He will also be talking to partners in the cruise industry about the local product and the Cayman Islands Turtle Farm as an on-shore destination for cruise ship passengers and meeting with regional tourism ministers to discuss the industry.

“It is important for the Cayman Islands to be represented each year at this conference to let those in the industry know that we are still a viable destination for cruise ships and their passengers,” said Kirkconnell. “We had more than 1.5 million cruise visitors last year and we would like to work with the industry to see that number grow. Based on current forecast, our cruise passenger numbers are showing steady increase for this up and coming season. One way to continue that increase is attending conferences like this one.”

The annual FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show is considered a major event by the sector where key industry players can analyse trends and discuss current issues. The forum attracts nearly 1,000 cruise industry partners, including some 100 cruise executives each year. The conference also offers a number of round-table discussions led by a roster of industry experts and guest speakers who are specialists in marketing, sourcing, shore excursions and operations. 

As Cayman waits on its business case for cruise berthing in the George Town Harbour, which is being undertaken by PricewaterhouseCoopers and expected to be completed this month, the tourism minister has said he is working on increasing calls to Cayman, ahead of the start of the very long awaited berthing facilities.

Officials said that the three Cayman delegates will return to Cayman on 5 October and in the interim Joey Hew, the PPM’s backbench councillor in the ministry, will be acting Minister of Tourism and Transport in Kirkconnell’s absence.

Continue Reading

Other CS experts sought to help NWDA

| 02/10/2013 | 16 Comments

(CNS): With unemployment mounting, the National Workforce Development Agency is clearly struggling to cope with its remit to register unemployed locals and match them to jobs, so human resource professionals from across the civil service are being sought to help it out. According to the minutes from the deputy governor’s meeting with civil service heads, on 23 September, chief officers are being asked to identify HR experts that could be seconded to the agency to help audit and update its lists. With the imminent passage of changes to the immigration law and the planned regularization of around 1,500 Term Limit Exemption Permit holders, there could be a surge of people registering with the agency in the next few weeks.

However, according to the minutes, the current NWDA list of Caymanians seeking employment requires verification and updating.

“HR professionals within CIG are being sought to audit the list. CO’s were asked to identify staff within their agencies that could be seconded for a week to assist with this audit. This cross Ministry collaboration has the full support of the Deputy Governor,” the minutes record.

The NDWA has come in for significant criticism as the agency does not seem able to manage what many Caymanians believe should be the straight forward task of matching unemployed locals with vacancies registered with the agency and, in particular, those where a work permit is being sought.

The current government has promised a major review as the agency, which will be expected to take centre stage in the PPM government’s goal to tackle unemployment and ensure permits are not being given to employers when Caymanians are available.

Among other issues discussed at the 23 September public sector heads’ meeting, it was revealed that number of performance assessments completed in the service was steadily rising ahead of Monday’s deadline for all public sector workers to have been assessed. The minutes also revealed that the CS management discussed the importance of developing a five-year reform plan and agreed that a service-wide consultation process was necessary.

The COs discussed the contentious issue of the occupancy levels at the Government Accommodation Building and the need to improve the rate from its current level of 65% to 85%, which will maintain flexibility and facilitate optimal occupancy. The ministry and portfolio bosses were asked to identify agencies that were currently not located in the GAB, including their staff complement and office requirements.

See released minutes below.

Continue Reading

Research seeks proof, seaside living is healthier

| 02/10/2013 | 0 Comments

(BBC): We have long taken it for granted that a lungful of sea air and getting sand between our toes is good for our wellbeing and the latest census data reveals that people living near the sea are happier than those inland. Now a new study at the University of Exeter is trying to find out if we can harness the benefits for people living miles from the sea. "We know that city living can really affect our mental health and wellbeing, and undermine it, but also our physical health, particularly through the release of stress hormones and exercising less," said Dr Mathew White, who is leading the project. "What we're really interested in doing is reconnecting people with the natural environment, to try and reduce that stress."
Go to article

Continue Reading

Cops hunt suspect lost at sea

| 02/10/2013 | 37 Comments

(CNS): A local wanted man is believed to be lost at sea after he jumped into the ocean last night as he ran from police officers outside a West Bay Restaurant. The RCIPS confirmed this morning that a land, air and sea search has been underway for Anthony Smith (33), who was last seen diving into the sea last near West Bay public beach. Police said that at around  9.50pm on Tuesday officers in a marked police vehicle spotted Smith, who is the subject of a Fail to Appear warrant in relation to multiple offences before the court as well as police drug related matters, in a stationary car near to Alfresco Restaurant.

"The officers approached Smith and asked to exit the vehicle,” a spokesperson for the RCIPS said. However, Smith ran from the officers and dived into the rough seas and the strong tide started pulling him towards the West Bay dock. The officers immediately called for assistance and the air operations unit was deployed.

Uniform officers and the Air Operations Unit carried out a shoreline search and a cellphone and shoes were recovered. The search was suspended last night due to the severe weather conditions, but resumed around 7:30am this morning.

Marine, Air Operations and uniform staff are currently carrying out searches under the direction of a search coordinator. A shoreline search and other inquiries are ongoing at this time, the RCIPS have confirmed.

Attempts are also being made by police to contact any friends or family members of Smith to find out if he has been in contact with them since last night but officers have been unable to reach known family members.

The missing man is described as 5 ft 10 inches, large built, light complexion, wavy hair, usually in plaits. If anyone has seen Smith since 9:50 last night, they should contact their nearest police station as a matter of urgency.

Continue Reading

Cayman models strut on New York catwalk

| 02/10/2013 | 0 Comments

CNS): Local models Nadicia Dixon and Coral Tomascik put the Cayman islands on the fashion map this summer when the young women took part in the Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week SS14.  International Designers Cesar Galindo, Korto Momolu and Indashio casted the Caymaian models for their international runway show based on their appearances in Cayman Islands Fashion Week earlier this year. Founder and CEO of Cayman Islands Fashion Week Cindy Rosan-Jones said the invitation provided an opportunity to introduce Dixon and Tomascik to the fashion world and vice-versa.

Rosan-Jones explained that the three designers have supported Cayman Islands Fashion Week since its inception, presenting their collections here and raising the profile on the local fashion fiesta on the international stage.

“The fact that these designers are providing this opportunity to models from the region speaks volumes of their commitment to embracing diversity, in an age when so many others are not. It is an exciting time for young models whose avenues onto the world stage are often limited,” she added.

Continue Reading

Caymanians warned over long reach of FATCA

| 02/10/2013 | 0 Comments

(CNS Business): Although the implementation date for America’s Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) has been pushed back to 1 July next year, local experts are warning Cayman residents with US connections to ensure they are FATCA compliant as soon as possible to avoid severe penalties. Even those who have never lived in the States or had anything to do with the country other than being born there could still be impacted by this far reaching legislation. To help those affected by the planned implementation to be compliant, Cayman Finance and the Ministry for Financial Services have joined forces to hold a seminar on the subject this Thursday (3 October) at The Westin Grand Cayman Resort. Read more on CNS Business

Continue Reading

3rd armed robbery in 24hrs

| 02/10/2013 | 60 Comments

(CNS): As crime in Cayman soars, a George Town gas station was the scene of the third hold-up in a 24 hour period when two masked men, at least one of whom was armed with a handgun, made off with the cash register from Brown’s Esso Tuesday night. This robbery comes in the wake of two robberies on Monday night, one at a video store in Savannah and another at a bar in George Town, and a few days after robbers fired a shot in a local grocery store near to the West Bay police station. Despite the success police have had with rounding up suspects and guns recently, there still appears to be many guns on Grand Cayman's street.

In the latest incident, police have confirmed that two masked robbers entered the On the Run gas station store in the industrial area at around 10:50pm and stole cash from customers and the register draw at gunpoint. No one was injured and no shots were fired. After stealing the loot, the robbers both ran off towards Massive on Industrial Way.

One suspect was 5’10, slim, wearing a black jacket with hoodie, black mask and long blue jeans pants and white gloves, and the second was  5’11, slim build and dressed in similar clothing 

As robbery reports come in on a daily basis and In the face of the escalating violent gun crime, the police will be holding a crime prevention seminar on Thursday, which is open to the public, during which there will be discussions about short term ways to tackle crime as well as the long term issues.

Last week, the premier offered his commitment to maintain spending levels for the RCIPS in order to help them fight crime with the help of new technologies, as he emphasised the importance of helping the police get guns off the streets.

There are almost 400 officers employed by the RCIPS and the service has one of the biggest budgets of the public sector. With the help of CCTV and the helicopter, the service is making more arrests and seizing weapons but crime continues to escalate.

Continue Reading

Cayman to host CONCACAF’s first sports summit

| 02/10/2013 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The Cayman Islands will be hosting a bevy of regional football officials later this month when the regional football body, CONCACAF holds its first annual sports summit when stakeholders will be discussing best practice, sharing experiences and the potential the sport has for the wider community. Officials said the objective of the summit is to enrich the vital partnership between governments and football federations in order to further growth and develop the sport within the region. The theme “Transformation through partnership” encourages social and economic development as well as sports tourism opportunities.

The summit will take place at the Ritz Carlton in Grand Cayman on 22 October.
“CONCACAF is fostering this dialogue as a moment to contemplate and set strategies of collaboration for the future development and growth of our region,” said Cayman’s Jeffrey Webb, the CONCACAF President. “The Confederation will assemble all stakeholders to better understand and maximize the potential for strong partnership and cooperation between government authorities and federations.”

Among the guests will be ministers of sport and presidents of all 41 member associations from the CONCACAF region, who will be part of a day-long agenda featuring keynote speakers such as FIFA President Joseph Blatter and the Randolph Horton.

Other panelists include former Manchester United and Trinidad & Tobago national team forward, Dwight Yorke; UNAIDS senior advisor to the executive director, Dr Djibril Diallo; CEO of the supreme committee, FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, Hassan Abdullah Al-Thawadi and CEO of the FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010, Dr Danny Jordaan.

“We are honored to have gathered such distinguished speakers to offer their unique contribution on the power of football as a tool for social, cultural and economic development,” added Webb. “We are certain this inaugural Sports Summit will enhance the discussion towards an improved strategy for building bridges of collaboration for the future of sports in the region.”

All stakeholders, together with famed soccer figures from around the world, will exchange their experience and knowledge on topics such as the impact of football on societies, economics  of football and how the game changes lives..

See agenda below


Continue Reading