Archive for August, 2014

HSA helps Cayman’s boxers remain fighting fit

| 29/08/2014 | 0 Comments

(HSA): The Cayman Islands Health Services Authority (HSA) recently sponsored Cayman Islands Boxing Association (CIBA) athletes’ annual medical exams, ensuring that Cayman’s boxers are in tip top condition to perform. CIBA boxers compete at scheduled events locally and overseas and it is mandated by the International Boxing Association that each athlete completes an annual physical exam to include blood work, EKG and nutritional consultation. Chief Executive Officer, Ms Lizzette Yearwood, said the HSA recognised the importance of ensuring all of the athletes were able to easily undertake their annual medicals.

“It is essential that athletes of this calibre who are performing at such a high level do so knowing they are at their optimum health,” Ms Yearwood said.  “We are happy to assist by providing medical services for the boxers’ annual exams and we commend the athletes who work so hard at their sport.”

CIBA President, Ann-Marie Byrd, expressed her gratitude to the HSA’s donation.

“We are delighted that this sponsorship was provided by the HSA and CIBA graciously appreciates the staff for their assistance and compassion for the athletes.  This sponsorship is an immense help for the association, as we are a not-for-profit organisation and operate solely on a small grant from the Ministry of Sports,” Ms Byrd said. “As the governing body of boxing in the Cayman Islands, CIBA works hard to develop and promote boxing throughout the country and internationally on behalf of the athletes,” Ms Byrd said.  “CIBA continually strives to develop the sport through effective governance and strong leadership ensuring that all members can personally develop through the sport.”

CIBA was designed to provide the Cayman Islands with an outlet through boxing, fitness and leadership skills for local young athletes. “It is our goal to help the youth that need extra guidance and leadership to become productive members of society,” Ms Bryd said.

Boxing is a sport thatis receiving an increasingly high profile in the Cayman Islands, with Cayman’s boxers making great strides. Tafari Ebanks, one of two Elite boxers to represent the Cayman Islands, recently returned from the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland where he was one point away from a bronze medal.  He is scheduled to compete in November for the CAC Games in Tijuana, Mexico.  Cayman has one other boxer who competes at the Elite level and five who also represent Cayman internationally. Looking ahead, Cayman looks to sending two additional boxers for the Commonwealth Games in 2015.

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Raptors and ravens soar to touch glory

| 29/08/2014 | 1 Comment

(CTU): On a balmy Saturday night in Camana Bay the great and good of the wonderful sport of Touch came together to celebrate and contest the Finals of the Men’s Touch League 2014 and the Millennium Falcons Women’s Touch League 2014. In the Men’s Tournament the first semi-final was between the Raptors and the Samurais. Both teams had some notable absentees and so late additions to the playing roster proved vital in the outcome. The first half was played at a breakneck speed and the quality on show was impressive. The ball fizzed around as both teams tried to break through well-drilled defences.

The half time score of 0-0 belied the fact that this was some top-quality touch. Players were running on fumes toward the end and eventually the breakthrough came in the dying minutes when Riley Mullen and Scott MacDonald put the Samurais to the sword with dynamic running to score sending the Raptors into raptures and into the Final.

In the second Semi-final the Stallions took on the Wolverines – a real Goliath versus David situation. Stallions were seeded 1 having finished on top of the league table and the Wolverines hadn’t won a game all tournament. Stallions were quietly (but verbally) confident that a trip to the Final was there for the taking.

As the game started both teams were making impressive yardage with their early settles but gaps were starting to show and both squandered gilt-edged chances through either a stray forward pass or by dropping the ball in the act of scoring. It was Neil Montgomery, the Wolverines Captain, who started to pull the strings and he opened the scoring with a fine solo effort. Learning all his skills from his father Peter, reputedly one of the best young scrum-halves in Western Cape, Monty has been the heartbeat of this Wolverines team. As the pressure increased they doubled their lead with a nippy effort from their newbie Sandipan Bhomik. Stallions captain Ian Smith pulled one back but Mark Robson’s superb jinking run from all of half a metre out just after the break gave some day light between the teams. Further scores from Dennis Lee (Stallions) and Montgomery again kept the scoreboard ticking but Stallions became increasingly frustrated with their inability to break the Wolverines solid defence. A 4-2 shock win for Wolverines and they were into the final.

The Final itself proved a step too far for Wolverines. Raptors, marshalled by their Captain Marc Randall, may play more as individuals than as a team but the quality of those individuals meant that it was one-way traffic for much of the game. Stand-out performances from Riley Mullen and Chris Palmer who plays Touch like a virtuoso tinkling the ivories to a Mozart Piano Concerto meant that tries came at regular intervals. Wolverines had adopted an innovative rehydration programme both before the game and at half time but the extra fluids did not seem to impart any beneficial effect to their performance – a scant penalty try being the only return for all their endeavour.

As they pressed in the second-half two interceptions and breakout tries killed the game. So, Randall’s Raptors deservedly took the final 7-1 with scores to Mullen (3), Iain Currie, Chris Palmer and Richard Kerr.

The Samurais beat the Stallions 5-3 in the Third/Fourth place Play-Off, a disappointing end to a table-topping season for the Stallions.

In the Millennium Falcons Women’s League 2014 the first semi-final saw Ebon Hawk take on Eagle Transporter. The Hawks soaked up some early pressure from the Eagles but always looked like they had a bit extra when they needed it. Choreographed by Jane Smith, who from dummy half managed to make several line-breaks only to lack the vital support for the offloading pass, the Hawks exerted the pressure needed to break the Eagles defence.

Boasting a trio of Cayman National hopefuls in Smith, Kate Scarff and Jo Ziegler(2) they kept the score board turning over, Scarff scoring with a sublime dummy pass to wrong-footed the defender and score. The standout moment came from young Molly Kehoe who was the subject of much debate in the days prior to the Finals to see who could capture her signature to play on their roster. The Hawks won that battle and were well rewarded with an excellent performance and a try as well. The Eagles, with Karen Hart and Sharlee Henshaw making major yardage in the early phases of play could not convert their chances, their only visit across the whitewash by Carmel Harms and so a final score of 5-1 saw the Hawks go through.

The second semi-final was a much closer affair as Millennium Falcons took on Raven’s Claw. A fine brace from Emma Santiago and a score from Marida Montgomery were not quite enough to see off the experience of the Ravens. Tries were evenly spread across the decades with one each for Katie Bayles, Jo Remillard, Lisa Kehoe and Caroline Deegan – Raven’s Claw winning 4-3.

The final between Ebon Hawk and Raven’s Claw was a scintillating affair. Ebb and Flow, Cut and Thrust, Lunge and Parry may sound like the cheesy names of 1950’s British Comedy Duos but in fact accurately describe the way this game pulsated. But it was Raven’s Claw that ultimately pierced the Hawk flesh and with that same quartet of scorers (Deegan, Remillard, Kehoe (2) and Bayles) they managed to pip the Hawk to the Grand Prize, with Lisa Kehoe (only just) managing to outsprint daughter Molly for a try from halfway. A double for Kate Scarff and two for Karlie Cross were not quite enough to catch the Ravens who were jubilant at the final whistle but humble enough to know they had been in a real battle.

The Millennium Falcons beat the Eagle Transporters 2-0 in the Third/Fourth place Play-Off. The Eagles were quicker to the ruck but struggled on 4th and 5th touch options. Emma Santiago scored both for the Falcons and a breakaway sprint with Sharlee Henshaw in hot pursuit was the defining score in the game.

In a nice touch, no pun intended, Jane Smith (Ebon Hawk) and Neil Montgomery (Wolverines) were voted most valuable players in their respective leagues.

So, the RAPTORS and the RAVENS soar to touch glory at the conclusion of these tournaments. Some might say a shock given the form over the whole season but they certainly stepped up when it mattered most – on Finals Day.

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KPMG2 win over Trident

| 29/08/2014 | 1 Comment

(CRFU): In a pulsating match against Trident last night KPMG2 ran out worthy winners 4-1. The game fizzed with energy and verve and it was Jean-Luc who opened the scoring with a burst of blistering speed down the right wing. Much like his Star Trekking namesake Captain Picard, Jean-Luc amped up the dilithium crystals and went to warp Factor 9 and sped through the Neutral Zone to outpace the retreating defence. It was his second try in only his second game of Touch so that’s pretty impressive. "Make it so!" shouted his teammates. And so he did.

This was quickly followed on by a snappy double from the hot Latino Miguel Lopez. Think of a cross between Enrique Iglesias and Marc Anthony and you get the idea. He largely fashioned these scores himselfwith his customary mazy meanderings through a defence that had more holes in it than a Michael Bey Transformers plot.

Three-nil down at half-time and Trident looked beaten, but step forward their sartorially elegant Manager/Coach in the form of Brad Stephenson. Bestriding the touch line in a designer shirt and trousers (or pants to you North Americans) this cross between Don Draper and George Clooney is smart in both attire AND tactical awareness. He rallied his troops and so the second half was a different story. The gaps were tightened and with excellent defence from Jenna Mungall, Lauren Sonnen and Rosie Forbes, coupled with the attacking exploits of Kirk Lamwright and Simon Watson, Trident started to force the game and came close on several occasions with just an errant final pass letting them down. 

Ian Robertson of KPMG2 then managed to sneak through the tiniest of gaps to make it 4-0. KPMG2 were often orchestrated on the pitch by Ben Blair who would spin, shimmy and salsa his way in front of defenders like a C List celebrity in front of the Dancing with the Stars judges, only to suddenly stop still as if he suddenly remembered he’d forgotten to turn the oven off and wait for the eventual oncoming touch.

Trident did not give up. Having worked several moves down their right wing they eventually managed to score through their newly-recruited winger Kelly “Try-Machine” Haaksma. This was her second try in three games giving her a highly respectable .660 scoring average She provided genuine width to the Trident attacks and was rewarded with her score in the dying minutes. 

And so KPMG2 advance up the table but Trident can take heart from their second half performance as the season draws toward the final stages.

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Zolfo Cooper and GCMbattle for top spot

| 29/08/2014 | 0 Comments

(CFU): The 2014 Corporate Summer Touch Rugby League is now two-thirds of the way through the season and in the SOCIAL Division things are starting to hot up. This year the sport of Touch is growing more than ever in these islands and in the secondary Division, also known as the “SOCIAL DIVISION” teams are largely made up of players who are either new to the sport, or who like their touch rugby a bit more relaxed these days.

After ten rounds in the Thrilla in Manilla, Ali and Frazier were almost inseparable on points and history seems to be repeating itself after Round 10 with the two heavyweights in this Division still slugging it toe-to-toe with nine wins and one defeat apiece.

 On top of the table is Zolfo Cooper who went nine straight games without defeat. Scoring at will, and getting into double figures at times, this team has shown some real ball handling skills and a soft-shoe shuffle that would make Mohammed Ali look like a leaden-footed deep sea diver. It is form that could see them elevated to the top Division come next season. However, they were stung to their first defeat of the season (5-8) by the floating butterflies that are the all-girl team of Maples Mavens.

A point behind them is GCM who play with a hustle-and-bustle style typified by Niall O’Sullivan and Fiona Brander. They too have only lost one game, a default against KPMG2, and have by far the meanest defence in the league. Their table-topping clash with Zolfo Cooper is looming on the horizon and both teams will be looking to get a full strength team on the pitch for that one. Will they be able to deliver the knockout blow or will they rope-a-dope Zolfo and hit them with a sucker punch at the end? Tune in fight fans – August 29th – not on PPV but live at the South Sound Rugby Ground!

DMS are not far behind in third and will rue their 2-4 defeat to the league leaders. In close games like that it’s important to take your chances and they just couldn’t convert when they had the ball.

LIME is always entertaining to watch and currently sit fourth in the standings. Managed by the effusive and effervescent Mark Woollard this team bubbles and sparkles around the pitch. A couple of defeats along the way but a cracking 7-4 win over Appleby elevated them to fourth and really laid down a marker for the rest of the teams in this Division.

Tying with LIME on 32 points is Rawlinson & Hunter. Only defeated twice, with both losses to the top two in the Division, this team is marshalled by the evergreen Conrad Proud. And he should be proud of his teammates who have put in a sterling effort so far this year.

Appleby starting strongly and have some fine players on their roster but have lost their way of late with two defeats and a draw in their last three. The loss in The “Fruit Cup” to LIME left Appleby feeling sour as they seemed to run out of juice towards the end.

UBS and Baraud are tied on 26 points and both have played some useful rugby at times. UBS games feature plenty of tries both for and against but their defence is the better of the two teams as Baraud have allowed too many scores against.

Maples Mavens have sustained a few defeats but with notable victories over Zolfo Cooper and Queensgate they know that they can cause a few problems for any team out there.

Trident started the season with a fine win over the Mavens but then suffered six defeats in row. Tough for any team to take but their showed real strength of character and resolve to come back with a two-game winning streak. Their delight at scoring tries resembles a kid seeing his presents for the first time under the tree on Christmas Morning – their last performance a 9-3 rout of Grant Thornton. Ding Dong Merrily on High!

BDO are a team with players getting to know the game and they have managed only two wins so far seeing off Conyers Dill & Pearman 2-0 and Walkers Blue Hatchlings 4-1. This will stand them in good stead moving forwards.

Now Conyers Dill & Pearlman may sound like an old AOR band from the mid 70’s which currently resides in the “Where Are They Now?” file but make no mistake this merry band led by the rosy cheeked Michael Mulligan have a never-say-die approach to touch rugby. Seven straight defeats on the bounce would be terminal for most teams but not CD&P who turned things around with a storming 3-0 win over Walker Blue Hatchlings. The fact Captain Mulligan was absent should in no way be considered as part of the reason for the upturn in fortunes ;-).

Queensgate, Walkers Blue Hatchlings and Grant Thornton prop up the bottom of the table with 13 points each. Queensgate traditionally have an eclectic bunch but are having fun scoring tries if not winning games. Walkers Blue Hatchlings have suffered from a lack of experience and numbers but did record a notable 3-2 victory over Maples Mavens. Grant Thornton could easily be mistaken for a company that has been making awesome confectionery for over a hundred years (tagline for the TV ad… “Mmmm… Grant Thornton.

Purveyors of the finest chocolate liqueurs since 1895”) but this assurance, tax, and advisoryfirm may have an instinct for growth in the business world but in the touch rugby world their stock has plummeted. Only 16 tries in 13 games (8 of which came as a result of an 8-0 award for a default match) is scant return on their investment, but better days are surely ahead as they seek their first real victory of the season.

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Boy of 11 charged in burglary

| 29/08/2014 | 14 Comments

(CNS): An 11-year-old child from West Bay has been charged with a burglary following a number of break-ins in the district reported to police last week. The boy was one of two juvenile suspects arrested and detained by police over the weekend, one of whom was understood to have been under suicide risk. A 14-year-old boy was charged in court with one of the burglaries on Monday and the 11-year-old appeared in court in relation to another on Friday. During a public meeting on Thursday evening Chief Inspector Powery, who heads up the West Bay station, lamented the increasing number of young people that are suspected of committing serious crimes in the district.

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Bellhop acquitted in sex case

| 29/08/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): A local man accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl when he worked as a bellhop at the Ritz Carlton-Grand Cayman walked away from court Friday after a jury took less than 3 hours to find him not guilty. Iyilla Delmar Spence admitted having a consensual sexual encounter with the girl, who was 15 at the time, but gave evidence that he didn’t know how old the girl was and thought she was a college student, making her over the age of consent. The teenager, who was staying at the hotel with her parents in March last year, claimed she had told Spence exactly how old she was and that she did not consent to any of the bellhop's sexual advances.

However, the jury of five men and two women were not convinced and acquitted the 40 year old man of all charges. The crown's case against Spence hung mostly on the evidence of the complainant, which contained a number of inconsistencies.

The sexual encounter between the couple took place, according to Spence, on 29 March 2013 after the couple had first “kissed and cuddled” following a tour he had given the young girl of the hotel on the previous day. He said that they had then met again the next day when he delivered a package to her room, where they engaged in a much more intimate, but consensual, sexual encounter.

The teen, however, claimed that following the hotel tour on the 28 March Spence had sexually assaulted her on the stairwell of the hotel before rushing away after hearing someone come. She claims that the following day she received a call from the front desk to come and collect a package and when she headed down to do so she met Spence with a gift. Returning to the room with her because, she said, she did not have a key, Spence did not leave after putting down the package but instead sexually assaulted her for a second time.

She later told her parents of the indecent assault and the incident was reported to the police.

In his first interview Spence denied having any encounter with the teenager at all but later admitted their liaison, stating that it was consensual and he believed her to be above the age of consent. He claimed that his original denial of thesexual interlude was because he was afraid he would lose his job.

The visiting Grand Court judge, Justice Owen, directed the jury that in order to find Spence guilty they had to be sure that the teen had not consented and that the defendant knew the girl was underage. He also warned them not to let whatever moral concerns they had about the incident to cloud their judgment, as he said it was a court of law not of morality.

Following the verdict Spence was visibly relieved but the family and the victim, who were present in court, were angry at the result. Speaking after the jury handed down their decision the teenage girl told CNS that she could not understand how the defendant could have been acquitted when he had admitted having a sexual encounter with her when she was underage.

“Regardless of how heavy you are or what your body looks like you cannot legally consent if you are 15, so if they lie and say you are, it doesn’t work out. The law is the law and I was underage and I am stunned by the verdict. There should be protection for young people brave enough to pursue an offender. I am not going to let this go,” she said. “I refuse to let others go through what I have gone through.”

The young girl’s parents also confirmed that despite the verdict they will still be pursuing a civil case, which was filed earlier this year, against the Ritz Carlton, Grand Cayman. They are seeking compensation and punitive damages from the hotel for what they say is the physical and psychological damage allegedly suffered by their daughter. The suit claims the staff and management at the hotel had a duty to ensure their guests’ safety and prevent harm to their daughter.

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AC cops arrest ex-HSA chair

| 29/08/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS) Updated Friday 4pm: Following his arrest under the anti-corruption law on Thursday, Canover Watson (43) has denied the allegations against him and issued a short statement Friday afternoon through his lawyers. The former HSA chair stated: "The allegations are denied. In due course, at the proper time and in the appropriate forum, I look forward to setting out my position in greater detail.For present purposes, since the police investigation is ongoing, I have been advised by my attorneys that it would be inappropriate for me to make any further comment." The local businessman was arrested following an investigation into a government hospital contract on a number of serious corruption offences.

The allegations including abuse of public office, breach of trust, conflict of Interest and money laundering. Watson has not been charged and was released on police bail Thursday evening to return to GeorgeTown Police Station on 29 September. The arrest relates to an $11 million tender awarded by the Central Tenders Committee at the end of 2010 to AIS for a card payment system.

Along with questions being raised about the quality and efficiency of the system, known as Carepay, which was signed off by eight other people on the technical committee as well as Watson, CNS understands that the chair of the HSA board is suspected of having an undeclared interest in the company.

Police have said nothing more about the enquiry but it is understood to have begun with an investigation by the auditor general, which was then passed onto the Anti-Corruption Commission. A number of questions were raised about the system during Finance Committee as it appeared that the system was failing and was costing the public purse a significant sum, with AIS taking 4% of the value of every insurance claim made through the cards given to CINICO patients.

According to the bid documents posted below, just one other firm had responded to the tender.

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CEC says physical campus ‘soon come’

| 29/08/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS Business): The development of the Cayman Enterprise City campus will be underway before the end of 2014, the management team told CNS Business Wednesday. Despite the numerous false starts for the project to find the right location at the right price, Charlie Kirkconnell, the CEO of the special economic zone, said CEC is committed to developing the physical zone as well as marketing the virtual one. With over 120 tenants in leased buildings around George Town and an estimated 300 potential new tenants, Kirkconnell said the development of the campus is essential to the future success of the zone and the developers have every reason to press ahead not avoid the project. Read more on CNS Business

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Mosquito plane starts swampland spray

| 28/08/2014 | 7 Comments

(CNS): The Mosquito Research & Control Unit (MRCU) will be conducting aerial operations over mosquito-breeding swamp areas on Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac from Tuesday, 2nd September, officials have said. The operation will involve low-level flights during the mornings and late afternoons. The operation will start in Grand Cayman in the area of West Bay and finish on the north side of the island, then move to Cayman Brac. Weather permitting the operation should be complete within ten days. Some 12,000 acres of swamp are targeted in this operation in Grand Cayman, 320 acres in Cayman Brac and 475 acres in Little Cayman were which was sprayed last week due to elevated mosquito breeding there.

“The distinctive red and white MRCU aircraft will be applying the small pellets specifically designed to target mosquito larvae developing in aquatic habitats; this means preventing the occurrence of biting mosquitoes,” officials said. “Once the rains begin the pellets are activated and will provide control for up to two months.  Low-level flights over specific areas are necessary to ensure that correct application and successful control of mosquitoes is achieved.”

This is the second island-wide treatment this year and officials hope it will assist in providing control through to the month of October as the rainfall starts to increase. A third treatment will follow as the chemical activity wears off.

Further information can be found on the Mosquito Research & Control Unit’s Facebook page or website (www.mrcu.ky).  A daily update of the areas being treated will also be available on those sites. Please feel free to call MRCU with any enquiries on 949-2557.

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Cubans land in South Sound seeking help

| 28/08/2014 | 18 Comments

(CNS): A group of sixteen Cuban migrants in makeshift overcrowded vessel sailed into South Sound on Thursday morning in desperate need of food, water and shade for their boat, according to local reports. Government officials confirmed Thursday afternoon that immigration officers had gone to the location where the eleven men and five women had docked. Officials said the migrants were in Cayman Brac earlier this week and two of the Cubans had previously repatriated from Cayman in January.

It was still not clear Thursday evening whether or not the migrants have elected to press on with the treacherous journey or were being detained at the Fairbanks Centre awaiting repatriation.

With migrants from Cuba still commonly passing through Cayman and many being forced to disembark, the recent problems with repatriation have caused problems for the detention centre over security.

Government officials are reportedly due to meet with Cuban officials next month to address the repatriation programme and find ways to speed things along.

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