Archive for October 17th, 2008

Reward now at $125,000

| 17/10/2008 | 2 Comments

(CNS): A community effort spearheaded by Cayman Crime Stoppers with assistance from the Chamber of Commerce has resulted in a US$125,000 reward for information leading to a conviction for the murder of Estella Scott-Roberts. The money is being administered by the Chamber but is made up of donations from the wider local community.

Stuart Bostock, Chairman of Crime Stoppers, explained that under the crime fighting organization’s own rules rewards are limited to a $1,000. However, it can facilitate external rewards.

“Cayman Crime Stoppers is affiliated with Crime Stoppers International, which limits a reward to a maximum sum of $1,000, the reason for which should be obvious,” said Bostock.  “We do however have the ability to partner with organizations that come forward to offer additional rewards, what we refer to as an external reward.”

He explained that the Chamber of Commerce has offered to administer the reward of US$125,000 which has been donated by a number of community members. “A reward of this magnitude clearly demonstrates the public’s response to the horrific crime and I hope that announcing this reward will assist with bringing the suspect or suspects to justice,” said Bostock.

Wil Pineau, CEO of the Chamber of Commerce said his organization wanted to do all it could to help.  “We received several requests for the Chamber to assist with this matter and act as an intermediary between the community and Cayman Crime Stoppers, which we are most certainly willing to do.”

Those with information are asked to call the crime stoppers tips-line the number is 800 TIPS (8477) and the online portal can be found at under the ‘report a crime’ link.

“The disturbing news of Estella’s gruesome murder has stirred much emotion among the community,” added Bostock.  “This is a matter of grave concern for everyone and it is vital at this point that anybody who may have seen or heard anything which could help solve this case come forward without delay.”

A poster depicting Scott-Roberts on the night of her murder and her car is now in circulation. Police are still piecing together the movements of Scott-Roberts that night Friday, 10 October. She left Decker’s restaurant around 11:15 pm, her discarded shoes were found in an adjacent car park and her burned out car and remains were found the next day in the Barkers area of West Bay. Witnesses who recall hearing what they thought were gun shots were the exploding airbags in Scott-Roberts’ car, police say, which has helped them fix the time to around midnight,when the vehicle was set ablaze.

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5-day fundraiser for CCMI

| 17/10/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): A popular annual fundraiser for the Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) is now an activity-packed, five-day festival for the entire family to enjoy. All proceeds of ticket sales and various auctions during the Festival of Trees will benefit the CCMI and their efforts to sustain the biodiversity of our incredible coral reefs through research, education, public awareness and conservation.

The Festival of Trees will start at Camana Bay on Monday, 17 November and continue everyday until the dinner and live auction at Ristorante Pappagallo on Friday, 21 November. According to a release from CCMI, a detailed schedule of events will be announced in the coming weeks.

We have so many new partners on board to make sure this festival is entertaining for the public as well as raising funds for the various initiatives that CCMI is spearheading for the 2009 season,” said Chair of the Fundraising Committee, Leslie Bergstrom.

Joining long time major sponsor, Ristorante Pappagallo will be new sponsors Camana Bay, Uncle Bill’s, Celebrations and Abacus restaurant. Camana Bay will be hosting many of the community events prior to the dinner and live auction; Uncle Bill’s will be donating the majority of the trees that will be decorated by volunteers; Celebrations will be hosting ‘The Art of Stylish Christmas Décor’ – a decorating showcase, and Abacus restaurant will be hosting the VIP PreVue party to kick of the 2008 Festival of Trees.

“We are very pleased to help CCMI bring their concept to the general public and share this wonderful event with the entire community,” said Communications Manager from Camana Bay, Susanna de Saram. “Christmas is a very special time of year and we are keen to help showcase the beautifully decorated trees to all interested in stopping by.”

The planning committee, now consisting in excess of twenty volunteers, are enthusiastically collecting donations, gift certificates, prizes and other contributions that will help make the 2008 Festival of Trees an annual event that the entire community will look forward to from year to year.

Companies and individuals are encouraged to show their spirit of giving by contacting and donating a gift or service to help raise money at the 2008 Festival of Trees.

“One way anyone can participate is to donate any number of items to Dicken’s General Store. The store will be selling mini Christmas stockings with your lucky number inside, which can be traded in for a gift at the Dicken’s General Store,” added Leslie Bergstrom

The 21 November dinner at Ristorante Pappagallo will continue to be the grand finale of the five-day event and all trees and wreaths will be sold in an exciting live auction to those in attendance. As with previous years, the auction items include a varied display of beautifully decorated Christmas Trees and Holiday Wreaths adorned with exciting gift packages.


Annually, the dinner and auction for Festival of Trees is a sell-out event that receives rave reviews by attendees. Individuals or companies interested in purchasing tickets for the auction at Ristorante Pappagallo can contact

The Central Caribbean Marine Institute was incorporated in 1998 as a non-profit 501c3 organization. CCMI was established as an international charitable organization after becoming incorporated in the Cayman Islands (2002) and in the UK in 2004.

Since its first years, CCMI has proven a valuable asset to the effort of understanding changing coral reef and tropical marine environments, and its research and education programs have established a solid foundation for future reef education and awareness in the Caribbean and for students and researchers from around the world.


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From CUC to CIAA

| 17/10/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The new Communications and Marketing Manager of the Cayman Islands Airports Authority (CIAA) is Caren Thompson-Palacio, who took up the position last August. She will be responsible for developing the Authority’s communications and marketing plan that will seek to identify additional strategic alliances and enhance existing commercial relationships with Airport partners on all three islands aimed at maximising revenue potential of the Authority.

Previously employed for 18 years by Grand Cayman’s power supplier Caribbean Utilities Company, Ltd. (CUC), Thompson-Palacio, in her capacity as Manager of Corporate Communications, was primarily responsible forserving as company spokesperson and coordinating the organisation’s community involvement programme, says a release from CIAA.

In conjunction with the Authority’s Operations Department, external consultants and airport specialists, she will promote the development of retail concessions, leasing of terminal space and advertising, as well as other airport buildings and properties to enhance revenue streams. She will liaise with Government departments, the media, and other stakeholders including international audiences, to proactively seek to enhance their awareness of the objectives and functions of the CIAA.

These activities will include distributing press releases regarding the upcoming redevelopment project, airport crises and aircraft incidents, mass evacuations, airport closures and other related news. She will also be responsible for developing the Authority’s website and other promotional literature as well as coordinating special events and promotions to keep aviation partners and the public informed of the CIAA’s activities.

Additionally, she will serve as the CIAA’s Information Manager thereby fulfilling one of the Authority’s requirements in preparation for the Freedom of Information Act, which will be implemented in January 2009. The Act will require all public authorities to develop and maintain efficient records management and facilitate access to information by receiving, processing and responding to queries from members of the public.

Commenting on her appointment, Fred Sambula, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the CIAA, said, “We are delighted to have Mrs Thompson-Palacio join our management team as the Authority embarks on the next phase of major redevelopment of Owen Roberts International Airport as there will definitely be a need for proactive communications to ensure that we keep the public abreast of the Authority’s activities during this process. Her experience in the communications and public relations fields should prove invaluable to our organization as we maneuver through this period of major change and its associated challenges.”

Thompson-Palacio indicated her great excitement at being involved in the aviation industry, and looks forward to the challenges that will certainly arise in the future. “I am eager to contribute to the efforts of the CIAA Team to enhance the experience of the travelling public and visitors. Our airports offer a first impression of the Cayman Islands’ experience and a good first impression is critical to ensuring the stability of the Islands’ tourism product. I am especially honoured and humbled to have been once again given the opportunity to continue to be of service to my country through such an important national agency as the Cayman Islands Airports Authority,” she remarked.



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JGHS students wins FOI essay competition

| 17/10/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): “The Freedom of Information Law benefits the Caymanian people as it gives them the freedom to access information and have their say in their own way, in order to ensure accountability, transparency and public participation.” This was the closing statement of an essay by Renita Barnes (right) that won the Freedom of Information Unit’s Sunshine Week 2008 essay competition.

Renita, who won two Cayman Airways tickets to Miami for her essay, is a Year 10 John Gray High School student who said she loves to write and has found FOI to be a fascinating subject. Entitled “How will the Freedom of Information Law benefit the Cayman Islands?”, the contest encouraged students to think about the new law and how it will impact their future.

The runner-up was Josani Schneider (left) from St Ignatius Catholic School. An excerpt from her essay reads: “I feel that this law will be of such a benefit to us because our country and our people will be better educated of what is going on around us, and what we need to do in order to keep going in the right direction.”

His Excellency the Governor Stuart Jack congratulated both students personally and treated them and their families to afternoon tea at Government House this week (Monday, 13 October).

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IDs required for collection of police reports

| 17/10/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Some form of identification must be produced when collecting police reports, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) have said. Assistant Crime and Criminal Records Manager, Senior Police Constable Christina Jackson said: “People’s personal details are contained in some of these reports and we want to ensure that we are placing them in the right hands.”

She added, “The contents of reports have the potential to do harm if released to the wrong person and into the public domain.” Applications for police reports should be made through the Crime Desk. The Criminal Records Office processes requests for police clearance, while the Scenes of Crime Office deals with requests for fingerprints. All these services cost $10 each.

Application forms are available from the front desk at George Town Police Station. Reports normally take two days to process and can be collected from the same location Mondays through Sundays, between 7am and 10 pm.

Anyone with information about crime taking place in the Cayman Islands should contact their local police station or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS). All persons calling crime stoppers remain anonymous, and are eligible for a reward of up to $1000, should their information lead to an arrest or recovery of property/drugs.


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2008 Tourism Speak-Off Competition today

| 17/10/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Two of the three young people battling to become this year’s Junior Minister of Tourism at the 2008 Tourism Speak-Off Competition this afternoon are students at the Cayman Brac High School. The event will take place at the University College of the Cayman Islands Multipurpose Hall, hosted by the Ministry and Department of Tourism. It is open to the general public and starts at 4:00 pm.

Karthika Velusamy and Jovonnie Anglin will join Andrel Harris from the John Gray High School at the event developed to expand secondary students’ knowledge of tourism by addressing subject matters that influence the industry from a local, regional, and international standpoint.

The Tourism Speak-Off Competition will be conducted in the format of a Cabinet meeting and the students will act as Members of Parliament, discussing and responding to topical tourism issues.

For more information, contact Nasaria Coe, 244-1299 or

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Tight timeline on murder

| 17/10/2008 | 10 Comments

(CNS): According to the police the timeline between Estella Scott-Roberts leaving the restaurant where she had dinner on the night of her murder  to the time when the car in which she was found in the Barkers area, West Bay was set on fire is only around 45 minutes. Police have also confirmed through forensic evidence that Scott-Roberts was murdered before the vehicle was set ablaze. (Left – photo of Estella taken  at Decker’s on the night of her murder))

At a special media briefing called to appeal once again to the public to come forward with any information they may have to help catch the killer or killers, police explained what appears to be a short timeline. (Right: a 2007 Ford Edge like Estella’s. Her license plate number was 129-257)

Senior Investigating Officer Peter Kennett confirmed that Scott-Roberts left Decker’s restaurant at around 11:15 to 11:30 on Friday night, 10 October, and soon after midnight the car was set alight. This was based, Kennett said, on witness accounts of hearing the exploding airbags and car horn and how long forensic experts have judged it would take for the car to reach the level of heat to cause those explosions.

“It is a very tight timeline,” said Kennett, though he added that they had drawn no specific conclusions from that timeline. “We don’t know whether its was planned or whether it was random. We are looking at all sorts of theories and I have to keep an open mind.” He also explained that the forensic examiner had been able to determine from a blood sample that Scott-Roberts had been murdered before the car was set on fire. However, he said he was unable to state the actual cause of death.

Kennett noted that the investigation was going well, although he would not be drawn on whether the police had zeroed in on any suspects. His colleague, Superintendent Marlon Bodden, said that the public had been supportive and were coming forward with information on this and other crimes. Bodden said no murders are ever looked at in isolation and the police were looking for any possible links. He also made a direct appeal to the murderers to come forward and give themselves up.

The officers noted that an enormous amount of CCTV footage had been seized and the police were still going through it and were unable to say if any was of value.

Acting Commissioner Anthony Ennis said the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service was treating the murder as a high-priority investigation and had committed every resource necessary, including two overseas experts, twenty police officers, detectives and specialists, as well as a crown counsel advisory team.

Ennis said he had twice briefed the Government and the Legislative Assembly and they have pledged their full support. “My officers are fully engaged and committed to bringing Estella’s killer or killers to justice sooner rather than later,” Ennis added. “However, to achieve this desired outcome that I’m sure is shared by every member of the community, I cannot emphasize enough that we need the support of the public in providing us with any information no matter how insignificant it might seem.”

Ennis also acknowledge that there had been criticisms from the community over the handling of the post-crime-scene analysis but he said he was confident that the evidence collected had not been compromised. “Following the on-scene examination of the vehicle, it was moved to a safe and secure location where the officers continued to work tirelessly, under extreme and difficult conditions, up to the following day when I was personally present as they meticulously extracted crucial evidence along with the remains of Estella,” Ennis added.

Kennett also clarified that allegations regarding released prisoners on Friday were “nonsense” and that he had no evidence that Scott-Roberts had received any threats prior to her murder. He added his pleas for constructive assistance and said that the community had a moral obligation to come forward with any information they had that could help police find the people responsible.

“We have a moral duty to stand up for each other and not be frightened of coming forward. Otherwise people won’t ever get convicted and they will still be on street committing crime. They must come forward,” he added.

Ennis noted that anyone who was afraid to come to the police could report what they know to Crime Stoppers or to any individual officer they felt comfortable with, or even their pastor, so long as they come forward somehow.

Designated numbers for people to call if they have any information:
Detective Inspector Kim Evans – 926-1773
Detective Constable Wade Chase – 925-7240
Detective Constable Charmane Dalhouse – 926-3975
Detective Constable Karl Lovell – 925-6761
Crime Stoppers – 800-8477

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Case against God dismissed

| 17/10/2008 | 0 Comments

(BBC): A US judge has thrown out a case against God, ruling that because the defendant has no address, legal papers cannot be served. The suit was launched by Nebraska state senator Ernie Chambers, who said he might appeal against the ruling. He sought a permanent injunction to prevent the "death, destruction and terrorisation" caused by God. Judge Marlon Polk said in his ruling that a plaintiff must have access to the defendant for a case to proceed. Go to article

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