Archive for December 6th, 2013

Manhole worker hit by car

| 06/12/2013 | 11 Comments

(CNS): A 22-year-old man has been seriously injured after he was hit by a car as he was working down a man hole. A police spokesperson said that the man, who is currently in hospital suffering from multiple injuries, was struck sometime after 1:00pm on Friday afternoon as he was working in the manhole situated in South Church Street at the junction with Parsons Lane, George Town. A woman who was driving a Suzuki Vitara from Parsons Lane and turning onto South Church Street hit the man. He was taken to the Cayman Islands Hospital, George Town, after the accident where he remains and where his condition is described as serious.

Police have not made an arrest in the case but are asking anyone who witnessed the incident to contact George Town police station on 949-4222.

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Woman guilty over fake cash

| 06/12/2013 | 17 Comments

(CNS):  A 30-year-old Bodden Town woman and mother of three was found guilty of four offences relating to counterfeit cash Friday by a jury. Shannon Ebanks was convicted of possessing and using a forged CI$10 bill in the Everglo Bar in Bodden Town and possessing more than 40 partially printed CI$25 bills and equipment that could be used in counterfeiting, such as paper, a copier, metallic pens, a counterfeit detection pen and the same types of metal strips used in CIMA currency, at her home, which she shared with her boyfriend. Ebanks had denied knowing the bill she used in the bar was forged or anything about the hidden cash, which police had found hidden in a magazine on a high shelf in the bathroom she and her partner shared.

During the week long trial Ebanks' defense attorney, John Furniss, had argued that there was no forensic evidence such as DNA or prints on the fake notes found at home to link her to them and anyone of a number of people who were staying and visiting the house could have hidden the fake notes. Ebanks also took the stand and denied knowing anything about the partially printed fakenotes or that the money she claimed had been given to her in change was forged. In addition, her boyfriend, Shane Bodden, gave evidence on her behalf and admitted that the silver strips were his, having come from old notes that he said had been washed by mistake.

However, crown counsel Kenneth Ferguson argued that Ebanks did have knowledge that the money she used in the bar was fake as a result of the totality of the evidence. He pointed to the coincidence of her using forged money in a bar which she claimed had been given to her at Foster's Supermarket, and yet a few months later forged cash was also found hidden in her home, along with equipment used to make counterfeit currency.

The judge directed the jury on Friday morning that the key issue in the case was whether or not Ebanks knew the cash she used in the bar was fake, whether she had knowledge of the fake notes hidden in her home and that the paper, metal strips and pens, etc, were being used to make forged money. He said they could only find Ebanks guilty if they were sure she had that knowledge.

Following the discharge of one member of the jury as a result of illness, it took the remaining three men and three women three hours to return their guilty verdict. Ebanks was bailed to appear for sentencing in February.    

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Driver arrested after morning crash in Lower Valley

| 06/12/2013 | 1 Comment

(CNS): One man was injured, having been trapped inside his car, and another man arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving after a collision shortly after 9:00 this morning on Discovery Drive, Lower Valley in Bodden Town. Police say that a Chevy TrailBlazer was seen travelling at high speed, heading east. When it reached the vicinity of  the Discovery Drive entrance, the driver attempted to turn into the road when he lost control and collided with a Hyundai H10, which was at the entrance of Discovery Drive waiting to exit onto Shamrock Road. The impact caused the Hyundai to be pushed in the bushes and male occupant trapped inside. He was freed by fire officers using the jaws of life and transported to the Cayman Islands Hospital by ambulance.

The driver of the TrailBlazer was arrested at the scene on suspicion of dangerous driving at a speed.

Anyone who may have witnessed this collision are asked to please contact Bodden Town Police Station or any of the police stations or crime stoppers at 800TIPS (8477)

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Hospital faces challenges

| 06/12/2013 | 69 Comments

(CNS): Getting patients to Health City Cayman Islands will not be easy to begin with, local partner Gene Thompson admitted Thursday during an update on the development, the brainchild of world-renowned Indian heart surgeon, Dr Devi Shetty, which, it is hoped, will launch Cayman’s medical tourism product. The North American market is still a target area, Thompson said, but initially patients will be coming from the Caribbean. However, with few direct flights between Cayman and other islands in the region, getting the patients here will prove challenging. Thompson said that the team is in talks with Cayman Airways, other airlines including BlueSky and Cayman’s latest airline, Exec Jets, as well as government, but in the beginning travel will be “a huge challenge”. (Left: ICU almost complete)

However, the massive difference in the cost of the procedures would go some way to offsetting the travel costs and difficulties that patients from the Caribbean would face, Thompson maintained.

The Caribbean was identified as the first area where patients would come from, he said, because it would take the hospital around six months from its opening to gain the necessary Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation before it can accept American patients. Thompson said that it would “be great to have” the American market, “but we don’t need it,” he added, as he pointed to the 38 million people in this region.

When Shetty first proposed his idea, his target market was the US because of the Cayman Islands proximity, its western standards and quality of life, as well as the cost of care and limited access to it in the region.

With eyes now on the Caribbean, Thompson said the hospital would not see large numbers in the first few weeks but within four to five months there would be a much higher flow of patients from around the region at the facility.

Despite being a high cost jurisdiction, the model would still work here, Thompson said, noting that they were in discussions with health insurance providers. The Health City Cayman Islands was not about running a business but about “executing a vision”, he said, pointing to Dr Shetty’s desire to change the way that healthcare is provided the world over.

Thompson said that there were many people in the Caribbean without access to healthcare in the region and the group had already identified blocks of patients that were in dire need of affordable healthcare. He pointed out that there are many people in need of health care that have no coverage at all and Dr Shetty would be providing 100 children from around the Caribbean with free heart surgery when the facility opens next year.

The grand opening date is on schedule for 25 February and the hospital is expected to welcome its first patients some ten days or so later.

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Tourism body offers backing to conservation law

| 06/12/2013 | 6 Comments

(CNS): The Cayman Islands tourism product has benefited from the decades of protection of the ocean environment and the establishment of marine parks more than 25 years ago, the Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA) said this week, as it offered its formal support to government on the long-awaited National Conservation Law. The private sector tourism body said that environmental issues directly affect tourism businesses’ future ability to be competitive in the marketplace. The importance of a protected and pristine environment was emphasised by Environment Minister Wayne Panton this week when he pointed out that visitors to Cayman do not come to see concrete and steel.

Although the bill is expected to be steered through the Legislative Assembly next week, it is still stirring controversy as the last round of public meetings demonstrate considerable misconceptions in the public domain about the law.

When asked about how the legislation will help a man put food on the table, Panton explained that without it the tourism product would be undermined and in time putting food on the table will be increasingly difficult for everyone.

CITA, which has consistently backed the need for a conservation law, said it had reaffirmed that commitment with its membership on Monday. Following a general meeting of the association, where the Department of the Environment was invited to present the details of the law, officials said a survey of members showed continuing support for the legislation of up to 87% of the membership in favour of the law, which, it said has been the “leading provision of CITA’s top tourism issue of the environment.”

In a short statement the association pointed to the "sustainable operating practices to support longevity as well as sustainable development to assure industry growth" in the proposed law. CITA also urged government to enforce this and the marine laws once the legislation was enacted.

“CITA advocates the government’s full enforcement of those laws currently in place,” it said in a statement released Thursday. “CITA supports the National Conservation Law’s intent to provide the same level protection for the terrestrial ecosystem and vigilant enforcement of laws affecting both the land and marine environments.”

The public meetings continue this weekend on Cayman Brac on Saturday and in East End on Monday before the debate in the LA next week.

Meanwhile, the newest local advocacy group promoting conservation Sustainable Cayman has created a petition and a statement of support for the NCL and is encouraging people to sign and add their reasons for supporting the bill to the statement.

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Samanth J to perform at tonight’s Music Fest

| 06/12/2013 | 24 Comments

(CNS): After weeks of anticipation, the Cayman Islands International Music Fest (CIIMF) will light the skies over Grand Harbour tonight, Friday 6 December (gates open at 7 pm). Comparable to the Department of Tourism’s Jazz Fest, CIIMF has created a massive buzz with its line-up of artists such as Percy Sledge, Ginuwine, Verse Simmonds, Omi and a host of well-known local acts. Fulfilling its promise of having a surprise artist, Mogul Entertainment has invited 17-year-old Jamaican singer-songwriter Samantha J to be part of the event. A combination of youth, beauty and talent has made Samantha J an overnight ‘hot ticket’.

In just a few weeks, Samantha J has erupted onto the Jamaican music scene with her still unreleased first single "Tight Skirt," her debut song that has gone from the pages of her notebook to the airwaves of Jamaica and beyond in lightning speed.

As part of CIIMF, the event’s promoters held the Xposure talent show at Beaches restaurant. The winner Terry Williams, and runner-up, Dexter Ebanks, will both perform at the main event on Friday night.

People who purchased early bird tickets and early concertgoers can enjoy the concert from a special area, courtesy of Cayman Airways, which they can access between 7 pm to 10 pm.

With a theme of “celestial decadence", there will also be a luxury VIP lounge with a posh cigar and cognac retreat, décor by Celebrations and food by Mise en Place, ‘top-shelf’ wines and spirits by Cayman Distributors, as well as divas clad in magnificent costumes by Caymanian designer, Reba Dilbert.

Visit for more information.

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Robber grabs cash at Wellys

| 06/12/2013 | 8 Comments

(CNS): A masked man grabbed an undisclosed sum of cash from Wellys restaurant on Thursday afternoon in a daylight hold-up at knife point, police have confirmed. The man, who was described as black and dressed in green T shirt, black pants with a Jamaican accent, armed with a knife entered the well-known George Town bar and restaurant at around 3pm, (5 December). The robber threatened the female staff member, who handed the cash to the suspect. An RCIPS spokesperson said the robber made good his escape towards the rear of Welly's. The police are seeking assistance and anyone with information is asked to call GT police station on 949-4222, the RCIPS tip line 949-7777 or Crime Stoppers at 800 TIPS 8477.

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LIME and bikers team up over Toys4Tots

| 06/12/2013 | 0 Comments

(LIME) Local telecommunications company LIME has again partnered with the Cayman Islands Motorcycle Riders Association (CIMRA) for its annual Christmas Toys 4 Tots drive to provide gifts of toys for children throughout the Cayman Islands who may not otherwise get gifts. This is the sixth year LIME is joining forces with CIMRA to help share more joy during the holiday season. The toy drive started on Tuesday 3rd December 2013.  Toys 4 Tots invites the public to drop off unwrapped toys at various locations throughout Grand Cayman, which includes all LIME stores.

Every person that donates a toy at a LIME store in Grand Cayman will receive an entry form to win some super smartphone prizes from LIME.

“The true spirit of Christmas is about bringing a little more cheer to a few more people and Toys 4 Tots is a real favourite among all LIME staff” said Bill McCabe, LIME Cayman Islands’ CEO.  “We’re delighted to be involved with this important initiative again this year and hope that as many people as possible will help support such an important and worthy cause.” 

Keith Keller, President of the Cayman Islands Motorcycle Riders Association said, "We are pleased to be partnering again with LIME for the toy drive. In the past, our relationship has garnered wonderful results bringing lots of toys for the children. This is the time for giving and we ask you to bring your Christmas cheer and include a toy donation or two on your Christmas shopping list. And to those who have donated in the past, thank you and we look forward to seeing your assistance again this year."

The CIMRA Toys 4 Tots toy drive includes a host of activities: You and the kids can get a picture with Santa at the LIME store in Galleria – 4pm to 6pm, Friday December 6th.
Drop off a toy at Cost U Less between 10am and 4pm plus during LIME’s happy hour you can choose a gift from the LIME GIFTmas tree – Saturday December 14th.

Toyzapalooza Rock N’ Rock music concert at the ClubHouse, Treasure Island Resort on Seven Mile Beach. Admission is $10 or a toy donation. Plus you could win some amazing prizes provided by LIME. Bands rocking the night include Zipper Envy, Live Round and NLMB (No Longer My Burden). Concert starts at 6:30pm on Saturday December 14th.
8th Annual Toys 4 Tots Motorcycle Toy Run to Northside on Sunday December 15th. Enter to participate by donating a toy. Registration starts at 10am with kick stands up at 11am sharp. Beach barbeque at Northside Public Beach takes place after the all island toy ride.

If you are not able to attend any of the events then the public is reminded to drop off a toy at any of the collection locations, which are: LIME stores in Galleria Plaza, Anderson Square, Heritage Square and Countryside Shopping Village, Cost U Less and Saxon on Eastern Avenue.

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Booze board chair confirms NYE extension

| 06/12/2013 | 4 Comments

(CNS): Bars, clubs and restaurants will all be able to serve booze for the New Year celebrations beyond their usual licensing hours as the chairman of the Liquor Licensing Board has confirmed the annual extensions. Mitchell Welds said that liquor licence holders will get one-hour extension beyond regular closing times on New Year’s Eve. “This extension applies to all seven categories of liquor licenses; however, this does not mean that general permission is being granted for all licensed premises to close at the latest time permitted,” Welds stated in a release. He emphasised that the additional hour can only be added to the closing time that each business is currently permitted to open.

Welds also noted that all other license stipulations remain in effect.

“Liquor sales and the playing of music must cease during the last ten minutes of permitted opening hours for retail, hotel, restaurant, and beer or wine categoriesof licenses,” he said.
Customers also are expected to vacate the premises before closing.

For more information, license holders and members of the public may contact the Liquor Licensing Board’s Executive Secretary Marva Scott on 244-3168 or email

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Kids deliver ‘spellbinding’ performance

| 06/12/2013 | 5 Comments

(CNS): Five primary school students made history on Tuesday night in the annual Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) Primary School Spelling Bee final when they all nailed every word. Oneika Duncan and Shante Reid of George Town Primary (GTPS), Jordanne Saunders of Cayman Academy, Javon Lewison of Prospect Primary (PPS) and Theodore Thompson of Truth for Youth captured the top honours when each of them spelt every word correctly. In a show of spelling genius, one by one the five dispatched words such as 'cinquefoil', 'proboscis' and 'coccyx', forcing the organisers to spend over an hour attempting to put together an entirely new set of words for a further spell off.

In the end, all five finalists who performed perfectly through to the end of the spell-off were declared first prize winners. Sponsors Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and its Area Vice President, Michael Munnings, and the organisers decided to up the prize stakes and give all of the participants the first prize when the kids simply could not be caught out.

Reigning champion GTPS retained the Best School trophy, with a winning score of 89 earned by a talented trio of girls that also included finalist Jessica Stewart.

Since the RBC-sponsored spelling bee began in 1998, GTPS has won top honours six times, although Creek and Spot Bay Primary leads with seven titles. Other winners have been Prospect Primary twice and Bodden Town Primary once.

At the same time, all 15 finalists, nine boys and six girls, turned out to be winners with performances that kept the audience of parents, teachers, family members, friends and well-wishers enthralled for nearly four hours.

Munnings said he was proud to have been a part of the wonderful display of talent by the youngsters in this 16th Annual RBC Royal Bank Spelling Bee Competition.

“At RBC, we realize the importance of developing our youth, and we remain committed to this investment, to facilitate a successful future for them and our community at large. Congratulations to all, and especially to our five-way, first place winners," he said.

Other finalists included: Deidre Edwards – BTPS; Okezie Eleweanya – Cayman Academy; Thomas Sevik – Creek & Spot Bay Primary; Andrew McLaughlin – First Baptist; Samuel White and Patrick Thompson – PPS – Shmritee Arun – St. Ignatius Primary; and Dequan Smith and Thaddeus Solomon – Savannah Primary.

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