Archive for December, 2008

Thieves try to rob bank ATM

| 31/12/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) said that it has begun an investigation following an attempted break-in of a Cayman National Bank ATM. In the early hours of Tuesday, 30 December police were notified that the alarm was sounding at the Countryside Shopping Village branch in Savannah. Police responded to the scene and found that an attempt had been made on the ATM.

“It appears that someone tried to break into the ATM and was unsuccessful,” said Inspector Kim Evans of George Town Criminal Investigation Department. Officers carried out an area search and Scenes of Crime processed the scene. Detectives would like to hear from anyone who may have seen something suspicious at the Countryside Shopping Village. Anyone who thinks they can help, no matter how small they think the information is, should contact George Town CID on 949-4222.

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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Volunteer gets royal gong

| 31/12/2008 | 1 Comment

(CNS): Two of Cayman’s community stalwarts have been awarded New Year’s Honours in the 2009 list of local and royal gongs for services to the community. Eziethamae Eleanor Bodden (left) has been made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen’s honours list and Diana Cynthia Whittaker (right) has been awarded the Cayman Islands Certificate and Badge of Honour by the Governor.

Ms Bodden belongs to a long list of cultural and volunteer organizations as well as the Cayman National Choir. Born in West Bay in 1960, she is the middle child of seven and an outspoken advocate of preserving the Caymanian way of life. Having worked in Tourism and more recently as a public servant, she is still with the General Registry as the front desk manager.

She is currently a director of Generation Now and Future Sports Club and a director, volunteer and trained disaster preparedness logistics leader for the Cayman Islands Red Cross. She is also a board member for the National Museum. She is Deputy Chairperson of the Tourism Attraction Board, the Cayman National Choir, the John Gray High School HSA, and the Cayman Islands Pastors Appreciation Committee.

In addition, she serves on the National Tourism ManagementPolicy Steering Committee, the Cayman Islands Civil Service Association Management Council, and the Cayman Islands National Curriculum Committee. She is likewise a member of the National Trust (and Secretary of the Trust’s West Bay District Committee), the National Cultural Foundation, the Cayman Islands Cancer Society and the Lift Jesus Higher Committee.

Ms Bodden is also chairperson of the West Bay Community Council, the West Bay Heritage Committee, and the National Parenting Programme’s West Bay Committee and a member of the West Bay Action Committee, as well as an active participant in the Boatswain Bay Presbyterian Church and is always ready to help with any fundraiser.

In the past she served as a board member for the University College of the Cayman Islands (UCCI), Immigration, the International College of the Cayman Islands (ICCI), and the CI Hotel and Condo Association. She was also a Vision 2008 team leader and a founding member of the Lighthouse School.

A mother of two daughters, when she has any time left Bodden enjoys photography. Reflecting on her country, she said that living in Cayman affords people a special kind of existence. “Not to say there aren’t any drawbacks to living in a small community, but one has unique opportunities to get to know neighbours and live in closer unity,” she added. “Keeping our Christian heritage alive remains a big focus for me, as well as family togetherness. The Lord God and my family are most important to me but I also love to help in my community.”

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Whittaker’s willingness to assist others goes back to an era when group survival depended on many helping hands. Her regional heritage also reflects Cayman’s traditional links  as her mother was Caymanian, her father,from Jamaica and she was born in the Honduran capital and raised in the coastal Bay Islands.

As a young lady, she first visited Cayman by boat in 1950 and returned here to live with an aunt four years later. She soon married, and in a move uncommon in those early years, she worked outside the home to help make ends meet. Married for 52 years to Willard Whittaker she has two children and many grand- and great-grandchildren. 

Over the decades Ms Diana has been employed in a succession of family-owned businesses. She also worked in the high school’s canteen for some years. She is best known for her work at the Church of God Chapel in Bodden Town.  Still serving as Sunday school superintendent after more than a decade and having previously taught Sunday school classes for many years, she says that her faith has grown alongside the church. 

Appreciative of being recognized with the Certificate and Badge of Honour, Whittaker said  that her community work has never been to gain accolades or rewards.

 

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Police aim for high profile for New Years Eve

| 31/12/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The three proactive police operations; Python 2, Thor 2 and Caspian 2 running in George Town, West Bay and the Eastern Districts respectively will be continuing over the New Year period, police said. Officers will be carrying out high visibility, targeted patrols in and around liquor license premises and roadblocks will be conducted to ensure that road users stay safe.

 

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service said it is asking everyone to make safety their number one priority during the celebrations.  “We don’t want to spoil people’s fun. We just want people to make sure they enjoy themselves in a responsible, safe way,” said Superintendent Adrian Seales, head of Uniformed Operations. He said that while New Year’s Eve is traditionally a time for celebration police were keen to ensure that is what it is for everybody. “Plan your night out in advance, so you know where you are going and how you will be getting home. Keep an eye on each other while you are out and remember that binge drinking can make you vulnerable.”

The RCIPS is also reminding people that even one drink can cause their driving skills to be impaired, so the safest option is not to drink at all if you will be getting behind the wheel.  “A goodnight out should have a good ending,” stressed Seales. “If you drink and drive you are likely to end up in a police station at best and at worst the hospital. It’s not worth it, have a designated driver; call a taxi.”

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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Cash stolen during bar break-in

| 30/12/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): A local West Bay Road bar has lost several thousand dollars in cash after burglars broke in on Boxing Day and police who would not name the bar for fear of repeat offences, are urging businesses to tighten security and not to keep large sums of cash on the premises. Police said that in the last month alone four condo offices along West Bay Road have also been broken into. “Prevention is always better than cure,” said Chief Inspector Angelique Howell who is calling on business owners to work with the police.

 

“The police have their part to play, but so do business owners. Protecting your property and letting people know you have security measures in place by using clear signage could stop you becoming a victim. We need to work together,” Howell added.

AS a result of the recent robberies the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) is calling on all businesses to look at how they can reduce their chances of becoming a victim and say they should never leave large amounts of cash on the premises. Police are advising business owners to use adequate security measures such as deadbolts, alarms and ensure premises are well lit. As well as securing all windows and doors police say owners should consider installing tape recorded CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) and if they do to change the tapes regularly and ensure date and time stamps are correct. Police also noted that clear signageand obvious cameras can help deter a crime. The taped footage can help solve a crime should you fall victim.

Officers also advise people to look at their premises from a robber’s point of view and look for weak spots and ask themselves how easy would it be to gain entry. Good housekeeping pays. Untidy properties are soft targets for thieves. Keep trees and shrubbery well maintained so as to maintain good natural surveillance and visibility – don’t give criminals the opportunity to work out-ofsight. Keep desirable goods near to cash registers and away from exits, to consider locking them in cabinets and to use a safe. Police also say marking your assets with an ultraviolent invisible pen will assist with recovery should anything be taken.

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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Man killed in morning crash

| 30/12/2008 | 2 Comments

(CNS): Police have announced that one man has been killed and a woman injured in yet another single vehicle crash which occurred around 7:00 am this morning (Tuesday, 30 December) in the vicinity of Lantern Pointe and the new Prospect bypass. Both the man who became the 11th road victim of 2008 and the women were in a grey Toyota Supra that overturned and police are now seeking witnesses to the  accident.

 

After issuing an alert regarding the accident earlier this morning the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) has now confirmed that a man,who has not yet been named, has died following a car crash which occurred this morning. The 911 Emergency Communications Centre received a call at 7am from an off-duty Special Constable reporting that a single vehicle had crashed in the vicinity of Lantern Pointe and the new Prospect bypass and while the female passenger had escaped from the vehicle the driver appeared to be unconscious.

Police and medics responded to the scene and found that the driver had sustained serious injuries when the grey Toyota Supra overturned but the female passenger had managed to get out of the overturned car. Both the driver and passenger were taken to hospital. Unfortunately, the man was pronounced dead but the woman is currently receiving treatment at the hospital and her condition is described by police as stable.

An investigation is now underway by officers from the Traffic Management Unit. Anyone who witnessed the crash is asked to contact the unit on 946-6254 or 926-1671 or 926-1672. The Senior Investigating Officer, Inspector Derrick Elliott can also be reached on 916-3365. The RCIPS sends its condolences to the family and friends of the victim.

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UK union attackstax havens

| 30/12/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): One of Britain’s biggest unions has added its voice to the call to close down tax havens and give Britain back what is perceived as a loss of some GBP33billion a year. UNITE the body which represents public servants in the UK is calling on Gordon Brown to make his new year’s resolution a commitment to close down the routes to offshore financial service centres.

The union said it is the British tax payer that picks up the tab for bailing out the banks and looks forward to a bleak 2009, Derek Simpson, joint leader of Unite, is calling on the government to make sure the culprits of the credit crunch, who have consistently avoided paying their fair share of tax, give that money back.

"A commitment to make 2009 the year Labour gets tough on the tax havens would be met with delight by hardworking families,” said Simpson. “For years super-rich individuals and corporations have undermined the UK’s tax revenues and without decisive intervention from the government those same people would have destroyed our economy. Thanks to them our jobs and homes are at risk. The taxes these corporations and super rich individuals avoid could go along way to boosting the UK economy during these tough times. The government must close the loopholes that allow the super-rich avoid paying their fair share of tax. It is also time for the banks to close down their private banking advice sections designed to exploit tax loopholes."

According to Tax Research UK the value of tax avoidance by Britain’s top companies is worth some GBP25 billion a year. This figure does not include tax avoided by rich individuals earning over GBP200,000 a year. That organisation says that conservative estimates suggest that this is as much as GBP8 billion but does not include all the money these individuals hold offshore, which is impossible to quantify.

Clawing back this money would have funded the GBP20bn fiscal stimulus package contained within the pre-budget report with billions left over, Unite has said. The union is calling for a repatriation of the profits banks place offshore and have them subjected to UK tax; to close down structured finance operations and to end private banking advice sections designed to exploit tax loopholes.

Unite is demanding that the UK government close the loopholes that allow super-rich individuals and corporations avoid paying their fair share of tax. Working people are bailing out the banks and funding massive tax concessions for the super rich and Britain’s top companies.

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Lions spread some Christmas cheer

| 29/12/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The Lions Club of Tropical Gardens (LCTG) spread some cheer earlier this month at its annual Christmas tree lighting and carol singing ceremony for the residents of the Golden Age Home as well as with the students and staff of the Alternative Education Centre.On 11 December the Lions were at the Golden Age where they other guests, and residents gathered on the porch for fellowship and a lively round of carol singing. 

 

Lion Ann Hunte spoke about Christmas being a special time of year when people get together for fellowship and sharing.  She said that it was only fitting in this festive season that the Lions spend time with the residents and staff of the Golden Age Home. 

Lion Judith Witter and guest Petra Graham led the singing of old and familiar carols.  One of the residents and Lethan Bush made a wish to Santa, ‘asking for a wife”. Lion Kerry Nixon, Chairperson, Geriatrics and Social Services told him that she would speak to Santa about granting him this wish for next year. 

Then on Monday, 15 December, Lions Melrose Gooding and Belinda Blessitt Vincent of LCTG turned up at the Alternative Education Centre (AEC) during their morning assembly. 

Judy Henriquez of the tutorial unit spoke of the club’s contribution to the Centre over the years.  Raphael Daniel, Principal of AEC, also commended the Lions Club of Tropical Gardens on their service to the community at large.  He encouraged the students to use the Lions as their role models and become involved in community service in whatever ways they can.  Lion Belinda spoke briefly about lionism and the LCTG emphasizing the club’s work with young people and educational projects within the community.  Lion Melrose then presented each student with a gift certificate redeemable at Funky Tang.

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Bars to open late for New Year frolics

| 29/12/2008 | 1 Comment

(CNS): With New Year’s Eve falling on a Wednesday night this year Cayman liquor licensee’s don’t have to worry about falling foul of the music and dance law for the 2009 celebrations and will be able to open late. The Liquor Licensing Board said this week that valid liquor license holders are allowed to remain open for one hour beyond their regular permitted time on New Year’s Eve.

The board said that for night clubs, this extension only applies to liquor sales as music and dancing must end at the normal time of 3:00 am. The Board also said it wanted to remind all liquor licence holders that the sale of liquor and the playing of music should still cease during the last ten minutes of permitted opening hours, and all patrons must vacate premises before the closing hour. For further information licensees and members of the public may contact Marva Scott at the Liquor Licensing Office on 946-5446 ext. 5

 

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Chamber misses target but still throws Brac party

| 29/12/2008 | 1 Comment

(CNS): Although falling short by some $60,000 of the target set for the “Christmas Joy” initiative intended to give every family on the Brac a $100 gift certificate, the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce, the Agape Family Worship Centre and other organizers pressed ahead with their planned Christmas party and giveaway for families on Cayman Brac recovering from Hurricane Paloma which hit the Sister Islands in November.

Although at the launch both the Chamber and Agape had hoped to raise $100,000 the celebration was still attended by some 1000 residents. Chamber of Commerce President Eddie Thompson said that over CI$40,000 had been raised from member businesses, churches, service clubs and the general public in an attempt to assist the families in Cayman Brac and Little Cayman during the holiday season following an estimated $20 million worth of damage across the island.

“Businesses, organisations and individuals in Grand Cayman have responded to our goal to provide each family with a $100 gift certificate for the holiday season,” he said at the event. “The Chamber of Commerce works best when we pool the resources of our membership and that’s why we are able to come together this evening in support of the Sister Islands Christmas joy initiative.”

Organisers also included the Health Services Authority, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service and Cayman National and on 18 December a number of people from Grand Cayman travelled to Cayman Brac to organise the special celebration on the playing field at the Cayman Brac High School.

The Chamber also said a committee in Cayman Brac which will include representatives from the Department of Children and Family Services will distribute the certificates to the neediest families first. The certificates can be used to purchase products and services at any business in Cayman Brac or Little Cayman that is willing to accept them. Business owners will be able to redeem the certificate at a Cayman National Bank location in Cayman Brac or Little Cayman.

According to the Chamber the initiative was designed to benefit the Sister Islands in two ways: first, to provide a little relief for families in the Sister Islands this Christmas and second, to stimulate the economy. ”It is our hope that this initiative will not only assist families but will also provide much needed support for businesses operating in the islands,” Thompson said.

Chamber member the Water Authority also contributed $5,000 worth of certificates to be redeemed at their location in Cayman Brac and Chamber Member Cayman Lenscrafters also donated $2200 worth of certificates to be distributed to the neediest families in Cayman Brac and Little Cayman (see picture).

AS well as the usual dignitaries including the Governor Stuart Jack, Sister Islands MLAs Juliana O’Connor-Conolly and Moses Kirkconnell, District Commissioner Ernie Scott, Health Services Authority Acting CEO

Lizette Yearwood, Chamber CEO Wil Pineau and Pastor Al Ebanks more than 50 volunteers from Grand Cayman went along to help. Santa andMrs. Claus were also there to deliver some early Christmas presents to children and their parents.

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Police answer 15 calls over domestic violence

| 29/12/2008 | 1 Comment

(CNS): Although reporting a relatively quiet Christmas period with no death or serious injury police said they were forced to attend to nine reports of domestic disputes on Christmas Day and another six on Boxing Day. Officers were also concerned about the number of disturbances over the four day holiday at licensed premises one of which resulted in the arrest of an 18-year-old man for grievous bodily harm.

 

Acting Inspector Doris Morris of the Family Support Unit (FSU) said that the combination of family stress and alcohol combine to increase the number of domestic incidents  which kept officers from the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service’s FSU busy over the holidays incidents.

“While the holiday period can be a very relaxing and enjoyable time for some, unfortunately this isn’t the case for everybody. Although domestic abuse and domestic violence is a year round problem, the number of reports we receive often increases around holiday periods. A combination of factors can attribute to this including the various stresses people associate with Christmas, the amount of time a family spends together and the fact that more alcohol is consumed,” said Morris.

The RCIPS remains committed to tackling domestic abuse and she said it reaffirms that all incidents will be dealt with appropriately; supporting the victim, dealing positively with offenders, making arrests where possible and gathering the best evidence so prosecutions can be made.

Another area of concern over the Christmas period was of disturbances at liquor licensed premises. Over the four day period (Christmas Day, Boxing Day, 27 & 28 December) the RCIPS responded to 9 reports of disturbances at liquor licensed premises. One incident occurred at O’bar in the early hours of Boxing Day at around 2.30am when the 911 Emergency Communities Centre received a call from a security guard atthe nightclub reporting that a man had been assaulted. Police and medics responded and found that a 28-year-old man had received a laceration to his head, thought to be caused by a bottle. The man was taken to hospital for treatment. Police arrested an 18-year-old man on suspicion of assault causing grievous bodily harm.

On Saturday, at around 2.10am, the 911 Emergency Communications Centre received a call from a security guard at Next Level reporting that a fight was taking place in the car park adjacent to the nightclub. Police and medics responded to the scene and found that a 21-year-old man had sustained a laceration to his face. It is believed that he was punched in the face while inside the club. The man stated that he would attend hospital in his own time.

The RCIPS said that it has been working hard with liquor licensed premises and the Liquor Licensing Board to address issues that occur at bars and clubs. Proactive teams have been patrolling areas and paying particular attention to closing times at bars to help prevent offences taking place. This approach will continue over the New Year period.

Meanwhile a number of arrests were also made over the Christmas period by police teams in West Bay, George Town and the Eastern districts for drug and other offences. Six people were arrested during an operation by the George Town proactive team on suspicion of various offences including driving offences, possession of ganja, consumption of a controlled drug and disorderly conduct; Four people were arrested by the West Bay proactive team on suspicion of various drug offences including possession of cocaine, possession of ganja with intent to supply, possession of ganja and consumption of a controlled drug; One man was arrested on suspicion of possession of cocaine with intent to supply; One man was arrested on suspicion of possession of cocaine; Two men were arrested on suspicion of theft and damage to property; Three men were arrested on suspicion of theft; One man arrested was arrested on suspicion of possession of drug utensils and consumption of a controlled drug; Two men were arrested on suspicion of disorderly conduct; One man was arrested on suspicion of possession of ganja and consumption of a controlled drug; One man was arrested in North Side on suspicion of threatening violence; One woman was arrested in North Side on suspicion of assault causing actual bodily harm and disorderly conduct at a police station.

The RCIPS said that criminality and violence will not be tolerated in the Cayman Islands. Proactive teams will continue to operate in all districts to help prevent crime, respond quickly and efficiently to incidents and assist in making sure people feel safe as they go about their business. Police also urged residents to play their part in keeping Cayman safe by looking out for each other, keep an eye on their neighbourhoods and report any suspicious activity to police or Crime Stoppers. People can call 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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