Archive for November 4th, 2013

3rd man released in Hart murder enquiry

| 04/11/2013 | 4 Comments
(CNS): Despite arresting three different people during the investigation relating to the fatal shooting of Earl Hart at his Prospect home over one month ago, no charges have been brought in the case. A police spokesperson said Monday that a 26-year-old man, who was the third suspect arrested in the case, has been released on police bail while enquiries continue. A 31-year-old man who was arrested in the case was the first to be released and a 21-year-old remains on police bail in connection with the murder investigation. Hart was the second person shot and killed in Grand Cayman this year in what is understood to be gang-related violence. 

Hart was a witness in a murder case relating to a spate of gang related killings in 2011 but police say they have no reason to suspect that this has anything to do with his killing.
He was shot multiple times when he opened his front door to a gunman or gunmen on 3 October in Marina Drive. He was the second man to be shot in a string of three killings which are believed to be gang related.                                                                                                                                                               
The first of the two killings this year was on Sunday 15 September in West Bay. Irvin Garlon Bush (52) was returning to his home in Daisy Lane at around 10pm Sunday night when he was shot dead by an unknown gunman or gunmen. Bush was the father of Robert Mackford Bush, who was the first of five victims of gang-related violence in a series of shootings in September 2011 from West Bay to East End.
The fifth man to be killed in that spate of violence was Asher McGraw, and Hart gave evidence in the trial of CJ Scott, who was convicted of McGraw's murder in 2012. 

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R&B stars heading to Grand Cayman for music fest

| 04/11/2013 | 19 Comments

(CNS): Music legend Percy Sledge will head the list of musicians at the upcoming Cayman Islands International Music Fest, a musical extravaganza by Mogul Entertainment/DSS Production, which will be held on Friday, 6 December, in Grand Harbour. Organisers say the festival will fuse legendary artists and today’s hit-makers to create a one-night spectacular comparable to the highly revered Cayman Islands Jazz Fest. The event will also feature Ginuwine (left), R&B newcomers Verse Simmonds and Omi at what is slated to be an annual event, which will incorporate local flavor with international panache, both in terms of its level of musical excellence, acoustics and haute style.

The first Cayman Islands International Music Fest will also include special features, described as “a luxurious out-of-this-world VIP lounge, fabulous giveaways and a plethora of surprises”.

An inaugural “Rhythm and Blues Foundation Pioneer Award” honoree in 1989, Percy Sledge was one of the key figures of deep Southern soul during the late 1960s and is most famous for with his massive hit “When a Man Loves a Woman", which reached #1 in the US and #6 in the UK when it was first released in 1966, and went to #2 in the UK when it was re-released in 1987. In 1996 Sledge was the recipient of the Blues Music Award for best Soul/Blues album of the year with his record Blue Night and in 2005 he was inducted into the prestigious Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

With striking good looks and a voice as smooth as silk, Ginuwine, was one of R&B's preeminent “love men” during the '90s zenith of hip-hop soul. Genuwine first emerged on the music scene in 1996 with the album “Ginuwine…the Bachelor”. The album peaked at twenty-six on the US Billboard 200 and reached the fourteenth spot on the R&B Albums chart. The album was certified gold in January 1997 and double platinum by March 1999. “Pony,” the daring first single, peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks for two weeks in late 1996 and reached #6 on Billboard's Hot 100. 

He won Best R&B/Soul Male Album  for “100% Ginuwine” in 2000 in the Soul Train Music Awards, while his hit “So Anxious” was nominated the same year in the singles award.

Ginuwine is a founding member of TGT, a supergroup formed in 2007 comprising Tyrese, Ginuwine and Tank. The group’s first song was a remix of Tank's song, “Please Don't Go.” The trio also appears on Slim Thug's single “Let Me Grind”.

Titians in the business, such as Jay-Z, Kanye West, Busta Rhymes, Ludacris, Rihanna and Akon, all agree on one thing: Verse Simmonds is the future of music in the 21st century.

A musical prodigy from the the Virgin Islands, Verse Simmonds (31) is a renaissance man in R&B, possessing an innate ability for rapping, singing, songwriting and producing. Over the last 18 months, Verse Simmonds (short for Versatile), has been lava hot on the US music scene, where he has created hits like the super hot and sexy beat “Boo Thang”, featuring Kelly Rowland, which is a track off of his mix-tape “The Sextape Chronicles 2”. Simmonds is also in demand by a wide array of megastars for his songwriting skills.

Omi (Omar Samuel Pasley) is the newest music sensation to hit the R&B music arena. Omi is a prolific singer and songwriter inspired by stars such as Nat King Cole, John Legend and Tanya Stephens. Omi’s fluid vocal delivery and his contemporary songwriting skills will no doubt secure successive hits on the international music charts.

“With such a star-studded line-up, the festival is one not-to-be-missed and promises to be an evening filled with riveting performances and elements of glamour. Attendees will be captivated and impressed by the event’s impeccable attention to detail, sophisticated décor and amazing ambience,” organisers say.

And there’s more: “As the icing on the cake, there will also be a surprise superstar performer that will make the ladies shiver in their heels and the guys envision the ultimate earthly haven.”

Check for more details on the early bird specials via the Cayman Islands International Music Fest’s website:

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Williamson drowned, says Dr

| 04/11/2013 | 10 Comments

(CNS): The forensic pathologist who conducted the postmortem on the body of Patrick Williamson on Saturday found that the 35-year-old Jamaican national drowned. Following that finding, police said that enquiries into the man's death continue. The RCIPS has been treating Williamson's death as a murder enquiry but officers have not yet stated if the results of the doctor's assessment have changed that position and whether or not the police still believe that he was the victim of foul play. Williamson was reported missing to the police on Sunday 27 October and his body was found at around 7am the following morning in a pond behind his home in Courts Road. He was last seen alive in the early hours of Saturday morning when he dropped off friends in the same area after a night out at several George Town bars.

Williamson was understood to have been involved in an argument with a man outside Nectar Bar, one of the bars that Williamson and his friends visited during Friday night-Saturday morning.

Police urge anyone who saw Williamson or the silver Toyota Corolla, registration 145 228, that he was driving during Friday night or Saturday to come forward. Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Inspector Joseph Wright, also noted that the car has damage to the rear near-side.

Information can be passed to George Town police station 949-4222, the RCIPS tip line 949-7777 or Crime Stoppers 800-8477(TIPS).

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Cops issue warnings over Pirates Week revelry

| 04/11/2013 | 12 Comments
(CNS): Pirates Week 2013 will start on Thursday 7 November and finish on Sunday 17 November and the cops are warning people to act responsibly during the festivities. The RCIPS George Town Commander, Chief Inspector Angelique Howell, is urging people who plan to attend the festivities not to drink and drive, not to leave children unsupervised in George Town centre and to keep valuables safe. She is also warning bar and liquor store owners and mangers not to serve underage patrons. With thousands of people expected to attend, Howell urged people to be responsible to ensure that they and others have a good time during the annual fun 10-day festival.

“We hope  that everyone has a fantastic time and that they enjoy all of the events. It’s a great time for us to showcase all that is good about the Cayman Islands. That’s why I want to take this opportunity to remind people to be responsible and to take the normal common sense approach to safety both at the events and on the roads," she said.
The police have urged people to use taxis or designated drivers and not to drink and drive. Pedestrians are being warned to use crossings where available, to keep their valuable safe and to drink and act responsible at all times. 
The RCIPS also said that children should be supervised by appropriate adults and that children should not be left in the town centre unsupervised. "Parents should know where their teenagers are, what they are doing, who they are with and when they should be expected home," the police said. "Teenagers should enjoy the events, but must not become involved in anti-social behaviour."
Liquor licensed premises are also being warned not to sell alcohol to people who are underage. If they do they will be in breach of the liquor licensing laws. Bars and clubs are also urged not to harbour underage people on the premises.

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Law firm provides university interview training

| 04/11/2013 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Five local high school students were provided with training for scholarship interviews by the Human Resources department of law firm Maples and Calder last April. The mock interviews, which lasted 30 minutes each, were an opportunity for the students to gain realistic experience of a typical scholarship interview in preparation for their approaching time at university, the firm said in a release. Students were also advised on interview etiquette, which covered lessons on appropriate dress; when to arrive; what to bring; howto greet the interviewer; how to respond to interview questions; how to close the interview; and sending a follow-up thank you note.

"We are pleased we can offer this level of training to our local students," said Morven Bodden, Head of Human Resources in Maples and Calder's Cayman Islands office. "We hope they were able to take away some new knowledge and skills that will assist them down the road when they are preparing for their real scholarship and job interviews, wherever they may be."

The interviewed students represented St. Ignatius High School and have been accepted to several overseas universities, including Newcastle University and Keele University in the UK, St Leo University in Florida and University of the West Indies.

As a leading international law firm, Maples and Calder continues to seek the next generation of leaders by providing opportunities to Caymanians who exhibit initiative and a team-oriented attitude, Maples said.

Each year, the firm invites applications from young adults who are in the last years of their secondary education, or beginning their tertiary education, to work through the summer months within various teams. This year the firm afforded summer internship and work experience opportunities to almost 40 young Caymanians.

Each young person who steps through Maples and Calder's doors is given the opportunity to gain valuable experience, which allows them to sharpen their skills and cement their interest in any number of the fields the firm supports, including law, accounting, marketing, compliance, information technology, office administration, human resources and information services, to name a few.

Students who are interested in learning more about Maples and Calder's mock interview process should contact Morven Bodden at or +1 345 949 8066.

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PR appellants face new rules

| 04/11/2013 | 71 Comments

(CNS): With the first stage of government’s overhaul of the immigration law now enacted, people who have appealed to the immigration tribunal following the refusal of an application for permanent residency are facing a new process. These people now have just two months to submit additional information, as their appeal will be handled in writing and not at an open hearing. As a result, this process is likely to be far quicker and the appellant’s length of time staying on the island if their appeal is refused is likely to be much shorter than they may have bargained for. In its effort to speed up the appeals process, government is streamlining a system, which Premier Alden McLaughlin said had previously been abused.

During his debate on the immigration amendment bill last month, McLaughlin said that the system had been open to abuse, and because of the backlog of work, those who had been refused PR remained in Cayman working by operation of the law for months, even years, after the refusal. The premier said that this was because the appellants and their lawyers were allowed to be present at the hearings and so could wait until the last minute to cancel the date of the tribunal for one reason or another. This could buy months of time because the backlog allowed appellants to stay and continue working and residing here, despite being declined the right to do so.

The changes to the appeal process, which government hopes will clear the backlog, speed up new appeals and deter people from appealing, are now in effect and they will impact existing appeals even if they were made under the old law.

Anyone with an appeal pending with the Immigration Appeals Tribunal (IAT) has until Monday 30 December 2013 to submit detailed grounds of appeal and the hearing will now be an administrative process on the basis of written grounds and submissions only.  Appellants will no longer appear in person before the Tribunal.

IAT Coordinator Natasha Bodden said that in order to facilitate this change in procedure, those who have already submitted appeals prior to the change in legislation will be given the opportunity to enhance those submissions to ensure that their appeal statement is sufficiently detailed for the IAT to deal with the appeal.

She warned that the IAT has the right to quash or dismiss the appeal on the basis of the appellant failing to submit the documents requested.

In addition, the immigration authorities can award costs against appellants where in the opinion of the Immigration Appeals Tribunal the appeal was made frivolously, is vexatious or in bad faith.

Located on the ground floor of the Government Administration Building, the IAT counter is open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 100am to 2pm.  IAT’s mailing address is PO Box 105, Grand Cayman KY1-9000.

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Judge’s FOI ruling remains a mystery

| 04/11/2013 | 3 Comments

(CNS): Although Justice Sir Allen Moses came to a decision on Friday afternoon after listening to legal arguments submitted by the governor’s legal team and that of the information commissioner behind closed doors last week, he has not yet given an order about the release of his judgment, which was also delivered away from the public gaze. Both the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) and the governor know what the judge has decided, but neither side can say whether or not it is in their favour. A spokesperson for the governor’s office told CNS that they have submitted a request to the judge for instructions and both parties are hopeful that they will be able to reveal the decision soon.

However, the secrecy continues around the issue, which concerns a ruling delivered by Jennifer Dilbert, the information commissioner, ordering the governor’s office to release a report that documents why a complaint made by the lead investigator on the controversial Operation Tempura internal police probe was not upheld by the governor’s office. With the ruling delivered behind closed doors and both parties still unable to discuss the matter, the document remains secret. It is not clear if the judge has ordered the report’s release and if so, whether the governor can appeal that decision, which would effectively continue to keep the lid on the report.

Significant details of the document has been disclosed, however, by the British press, which indicated that Bridger had reportedly complained about the way the investigation was terminated, among other issues, and made allegations against the local authorities and judiciary.

Although Bridger was allowed to see the review of his complaint and the reasons why it was dismissed, the document has remained secret for various reasons. When an applicant made an FOI request for it, the request was refused and subsequently the applicant appealed. Given the public interest and a host of other reasons, Dilbert ruled that the report should be released.

However, the governor filed for a judicial review of Dilbert’s decision and became the first public authority to challenge her in the court.

The legal arguments were heard before the visiting UK judge and focused heavily on the technical details of the freedom of information law and Dilbert’s interpretation, with only a short part of the hearing being conducted in public. 

Check back to CNS for updates on this story.

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Rain dampens CUC profit for third quarter

| 04/11/2013 | 0 Comments

(CNS Business): Grand Cayman’s monopoly power provider said that earnings fell in the third quarter of 2013 due to flat sales and an inch more rain in the summer compared to 2012, but the Caribbean Utilities company (CUC) is still on target for a more profitable year. Net earnings for the three months ending 30 September 2013 totalled $6 million, which is $600,000 less than earnings for the same three months last year. The combination of more rain, flat sales, higher depreciation and finance charges dampened profits but earnings for the year so far are still more than $1 million higher than earnings during the first nine months of 2013, maintaining what the CEO described as a positive outlook. Read more on CNS Business

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