Archive for July 19th, 2014

Fire at unoccupied home in Bodden Town

| 19/07/2014 | 3 Comments

(CNS): Investigators from the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service and the Cayman Islands Fire Service were still at the scene of a structural residential fire located at Lemuel Circle, Northward Road, Bodden Town, police said Saturday lunchtime. The fire was reported by passing pedestrian at 6:13am on 19 July and when they arrived fire officers determined that it was in a smoldering state that was confined to one room of the house. Police said the residence was unoccupied at the time and there are no reported injuries. The scene is still under investigation.

Anyone who was in the area at the relevant time and heard or saw anything that may assist with the investigation is asked to called Bodden Town Police Station at 947-2220, the RCIPS tip line on 949-7777 or Crime Stoppers on 800- 8477((TIPS).

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Driver robbed at knife point

| 19/07/2014 | 27 Comments

(CNS): A taxi driver reported to the police that he was robbed at knife point late last night. The RCIPS received a report at 11:45pm on Friday 18 July that the male victim, who received minor injuries during the incident, was dispatched to a service call at Deckers Restaurant and Bar on West Bay Road. When he got there, he drove to the rear of the building, where the two male suspects, who had their faces covered, got into the taxi and demanded cash. They were then driven to the roundabout near AL Thompson and were last seen on Sound Way George Town, police said. The suspects, who stole an undisclosed sum of cash, both had dark complexion, were slim built and wearing dark clothing. 

Anyone who was in the area(s) at the relevant time and saw or heard anything suspicion is asked to contact George Town Police Station at 949-4222, the RCIPS tip line on 949-7777 or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS).

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Immigration aims to tempt potential future recruits

| 19/07/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The chief immigration officer is hoping to tempt more than a dozen young people into careers with herdepartment. A group of students from school and university began a summer internship programme with one of government's most important and often controversial departments last month. The fourteen young people have been deployed in various different offices relating to immigration including on the boards in order to experience the functions within the department. Officials said two have been posted to passport offices, two to the airport while two have gone to the Cayman Centre to work with the boards. The remaining eight will be stationed at the ever busy headquarters.

The placements are part of the Portfolio of the Civil Service Students Internship summer programme designed to give young people the chance to consider government as a career option.

"It's a pleasure to be able to assist these young people in harnessing and developing the fundamental skills necessary for success in the workplace,' said the chief immigration Officer, Linda Evans. "We look forward to them having a successful and productive two months with the Department through the collaborative effort of all staff."

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Race on to save endangered Cayman corals

| 19/07/2014 | 9 Comments

(CNS): Local and international marine experts are joining forces in the ocean around Little Cayman on an important conservation project to try and understand and then save endangered local coral species. The plight of the now critically endangered staghorn coral, which was once one of the most abundant corals on Caribbean reefs, is at the top of the agenda. A mysterious die-off starting in the 1980s resulted in a loss of almost 90% of the population. As a result both staghorn and elkhorn coral, in the genus Acropora, are listed as criticalely Endangered on the IUCN Red List of threatened species. The Central Caribbean Marine Institute and the Department of Environment have been using a grant from the Darwin Initiative to fund research on the biodiversity of coral and what they can do to increase this species.

This month, they begin a second phase which is simulating future potential stress to corals and other species.

“We are trying to understand how different corals might resist or adapt to changing ocean conditions” explains Dr Carrie Manfrino, a co-investigator with Tim Austin of the DoE on the Darwin grant. “In the first stage of the study, we have improved the odds of survival for the coral by testing different strategies for fragmenting the colonies. The second stage includes laboratory experiments  simulating future increases in carbon dioxide in the ocean.”

With rising atmospheric carbon dioxide the oceans are absorbing a large share of this gas which results in a lowering of the ocean’s pH. This process is called Ocean Acidification.

“We are learning that certain areas of the reef might be more resistant to Ocean Acidification, but not for the reasons you might think.  The current thinking is that sea grasses can absorb some of the carbon dioxide being pumped into the ocean because plants use CO2 during photosynthesis and give off oxygen.  Currently, we suspect that higher night time respiration or lights out, no photosynthesis at night might be driving pH very high in lagoons where water circulation is stagnant.  

"Having a very large range in pH  – very acidic and very basic – seems to allow certain corals to thrive, while others suffer. The work is helping us understand interactions between ocean circulation and ocean acidification in a real world setting,“ explained Manfrino.

The research team currently in residence at Little Cayman Research Centre is working to understand how to improve the survival of corals under stress. 

Protecting coral reefs for the future is CCMI’s most urgent mission, the officials said. With many factors contributing to the global decline in coral health, understanding interactions between water quality, wave exposure, human impacts, and the differences in the adaptability of corals is a continuing priority. CCMI’s research aims to determine which of these many factors are of important to driving coral resistance to stress.

This Darwin Initiative project in the Cayman Islands comes at a time when recent publication by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) throw new light on the state of coral reefs. 

The “Status and Trends of Caribbean Coral Reefs: 1970-2012” report indicates that coral reef ecosystems in the Caribbean could be wiped out by 2035 without proper marine management and protection of endangered species. However, despite this overall downward trend coral cover, some reefs in the Cayman Islands are actually improving. Understanding the factors driving this recovery is obviously an urgent priority.  

"We see a positive trajectory in coral cover since 2009 suggesting that low human impact and higher levels and larger areas of marine protection at Little Cayman may offer reefs some potential for buffering the effects of global change. However, we will need to examine specific factors that support coral recovery," added Manfrino.

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Cops invite George Towners to crime fight meetings

| 19/07/2014 | 17 Comments

(CNS): As the police tackle increasing burglary rates in the capital in particular, the area commander for George Town is hosting a series of three public meetings over the next few weeks in the capital starting on Monday evening. Angelique Howell explained that it was vital for the RCIPS to involved the public in policing their neighborhood and said it was important that she and her police team tasked with handling crime in the capital listen to what the community has to say and keep them informed regarding their initiatives to tackle crime. She invited everyone to come out and make their voice heard.

“The RCIPS police by consent, which means having a working partnership with the community can only be a good thing. We want to hear from you, we want to work with you, come out and show us that only together can we make a difference in the community," Howell said.

The Meeting dates and times are as follows

Prospect Primary –  Monday July 21st 6pm-8pm

Tigress Street off Shedden Road (behind Phillips Electrical, Scranton Park)- Tuesday 22 July 6:30pm – 8pm

Selkirk Drive ( Red Bay Church of God (Holiness) ) –  Monday 5 August 6pm–8pm

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