Archive for September 24th, 2010

Downtown bank robbed

| 24/09/2010 | 134 Comments

(CNS): Three masked suspects robbed the Fidelity Bank in Dr Roy’s Drive shortly before 10.00 this morning (Friday 24 September). Police said the men, who were all armed with what appeared to be firearms, entered the bank and threatened customers and staff, and witnesses said they told everyone to lie on the floor. The men then made off with a sum of cash. No shots were fired and, although no one was injured, staff and customers were left shaken by the ordeal. It is believed that the men responsible left the scene in a black coloured Jeep Compass. Police uniformed and armed officers immediately attended the scene. The RCIPS Air Operations Unit was also deployed to assist in the search for the suspects. (Photo by Dennie Warren Jr)

CID officers are still at the scene interviewing witnesses and a scene of crime examination is ongoing.

One suspect is described as having brown complexion, 6 feet in height, weighing about 180 pounds. He was wearing a white overall over his face and dark glasses. The second had a dark brown complexion, and was wearing denim pants and a white and grey coloured shirt. The third man had a dark brown complexion, and wearing a white shirt and dark pants. All three had their faces covered and were carrying what appeared to be firearms.

Brett Hill, Fidelity’s President & CEO, said, “We are assisting [police] with their enquiries and we are thankful that none of our customers or members of staff were injured in this incident. The branch will be closed for the rest of the day to allow the Police to continue with their investigations.” He added that customers requiring access to Fidelity’s services today may do so at either the Fidelity Financial Centre Branch on West Bay Road of at their Money Centre Branch on Godfrey Nixon Way. The Dr. Roy’s Drive Branch will re-open for business on Monday morning.

Anyone with any information about this crime should call George Town police station on 949-4222 or the confidential Crime Stoppers number 800-8477(TIPS).

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Young Nat Geo explorers to win Cayman field trip

| 24/09/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Promoting hands-on exploration among America’s youth, National Geographic Kids magazine is bringing 15 young explorers, who will all be winners in an essay and photo competition, to the Cayman Islands next summer for a seven-day expedition, which the magazine describes as “the field trip of a lifetime”. In a press release, National Geographic says it is currently looking for the future generation of great explorers for the 2011 National Geographic Kids Hands-On Explorer Challenge. Winners will fly Cayman Airways to explore the wild wonders of the islands with National Geographic and local experts as their guides. Competition winners in past years have gone to the Galápagos Islands, South Africa, Australia and Peru.

Activities will include snorkelling in world-renowned Stingray City, visiting the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park to see fabulous flowers and rare butterflies found nowhere else in the world, and hiking along the nature trails of Grand Cayman — home to the blue iguana, which is being brought back from near extinction by the Blue Iguana Recovery Program. As part of their prize, all explorers also will be equipped with their own digital cameras, courtesy of Nikon®. The Hands-On Explorers will learn about the amazing places they visit and will receive tips from National Geographic experts on capturing their discoveries in photographs and words.

National Geographic Kids Hands-On Explorer Challenge is a national essay and photo competition for kids ages 9-15 and is in its fifth year. Nearly 12,000 entries have been received since the program’s inception, with past expeditions taking winners to the Galápagos Islands (2006), South Africa (2007), Australia (2008) and Peru (2009). This year’s expedition, created in conjunction with the Cayman Islands, is scheduled to embark next summer.

"We are excited to be working with such a credible brand as National Geographic and thrilled that they recognized the uniqueness of the Cayman Islands to be the host destination for this year’s National Geographic Kids Hands-On Explorer Challenge," says Shomari Scott, acting director of tourism, the Cayman Islands. "We look forward to sharing the vast array of experiences that our islands have to offer with the next generation of great explorers."

Fifteen kids who submit entries that best meet the judging criteria will be selected for the 2011 Expedition Team. Winning submissions will creatively incorporate the topic of water in essays that describe what inspires or excites the kids as they explore their world. "National Geographic Kids magazine is pleased to partner with the Cayman Islands on the 2011 Expedition. This family-friendly destination is rich in wildlife on both land and sea, making it the perfect match for this year’s water-themed contest," says Melina Bellows, chief creative officer, National Geographic Kids and Family.

To enter the Hands-On Explorer Challenge, kids must write an original personal essay of no more than 300 words, telling National Geographic Kids magazine how they actively explore their world. Essays should creatively incorporate the topic of water while explaining what inspires and excites them as they explore their world. Entrants should consider how water is essential to life everywhere — from dew on a leaf to the sea that surrounds the Cayman Islands. To complete the entry, students also must submit a photograph that they have taken that illustrates their essay. The contest is open only to legal residents of the United States (excluding residents of Puerto Rico) and Canada (excluding residents of Quebec) who are ages nine to fifteen (9-15) as of July 1, 2011. A panel of National Geographic experts will select the 15 winners. Each winner will bring a parent or guardian on the expedition.

No purchase is necessary. The Cayman Islands expedition is scheduled for July 2011. Entries must be postmarked by 1 December2010, and received by 7 December 2010. Complete rules and details are online at

Visit the National Geographic Kids Magazine at

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LIME to lay cable to open up new Caribbean market

| 24/09/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Local telecommunications firm LIME has announced its planned installation of a new undersea cable system linking the western Caribbean, Jamaica & Cayman Islands, to the Dominican Republic — what it described as a key market in the region – before landing in the east in the British Virgin Islands.The new “East-West” cable, as it has been named, will deliver increased regional and international capacity, in addition to furnishing an additional route to serve LIME’s carrier customers in North and Latin America, the firm stated in a release. 

 Commercial operations are expected to start by early 2011 and LIM said the landing of the cable in the Dominican Republic will position LIME as an alternative solution provider in a market that is largely underserved. 
 It said the direct benefits to LIME’s operations in Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and the British Virgins Islands will be derived from growth in the wholesale markets.  “The Caribbean is a major traffic corridor between South America and the major Internet, content and carrier hubs in the Unites States – acknowledged as one of the fastest growing inter-continental routes in the world today,” LIME stated.
The company also explained that the East-West cable will enable its Jamaica operations to meet the rising demand for high-speed bandwidth.  The added diversity and resilience provided by the new undersea cable brings a strong second connection to the Internet by way of the CBUS cable in New York – a vital connection in the event of an issue on the current Maya connection to Miami.
As increased broadband speeds (8Mb or more) become more popular across the world, the East-West Cable is designed to provide greater international cable resiliency, meet the expected Internet demand required to support growing customer needs and facilitate the expansion in Internet penetration in the Caribbean Region, particularly in the Dominican Republic, the firm revealed.
It will also reduce the dependency, of LIME, on the Miami/USA cable system for high speed Internet bandwidth, and provides direct connectivity to Central & South America via the Jamaican connection.

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Catron succeeds in another courtroom battle

| 24/09/2010 | 43 Comments

(CNS): Local community activist and former political candidate, Sandra Catron, has once again come out on top after another appearance in Summary Court on Thursday. Representing herself for the third time recently, Catron has been awarded $400 compensation in connection with money she spent on a dog police had accused her of stealing. The charges of theft against Catronover the animal she believed she had rescued in her local neighbourhood were dismissed by Acting Magistrate John Furness in June of this year. Catron then took up a civil action to recover some of the money she spent on medical expense for the dog (Precious/ Delilah) before the police took the pet away. (Photo Dennie Warren Jr)

In the wake of the award Catron said she was pleased that she could put the matter behind her as justice had finally been served. “This was never solely about monetary compensation but also serves as an important reminder that people must be responsible for their pets — they have a legal obligation to register their pets with DoA and not to let them roam. I made several attempts to settle this matter outside of court with the defendant but sadly she was not willing to compromise at all,” Catron said.

The compensation claim was made in the wake of a controversial trial in which the crown brought charges against Catron for theft after she found the dog and believed it to be a stray. Although Catron made attempts to find the real owner, during the time that Catron had the dog, which she named Precious, she took it to a vet for treatment. When the owner, who, it turned out, lives only a few houses away from Catron, came to claim the dog, Catron had asked to be reimbursed for the medical bills but the owner refused.
As a result Catron said she was not prepared to release the dog (named Delilah by its owner) until some agreement was made about payment, which is when the police became involved. Law enforcement officials seized the dog, which was taken to the pound, and arrested Catron for theft. The charges were, however, dismissed in court after Catron, who represented herself for the first time, made a successful no case submission.
Again in this civil action the court found favour with Catron’s arguments. “Ultimately the court found that since the defendant’s dog was in such poor health, the money I spent on its medical care was justifiable,” she said. “The magistrate said I took exemplary care of this dog but in the opinion of some people I may have gone above what would normally be expected. It appeared to me that this poor dog has suffered enough and if I was a bit lavish in my affections towards what appeared to be a neglected dog then that was my only mistake.”
Both Catron and the original owner of the dog Leianne Daykin-Bush had made submissions before Magistrate Grace Donalds. Catron presented over 20 sworn statements from neighbours and animal specialists to corroborate her arguments. She relied on the Animal Law, including the fact that the defendant had not registered her dog as legally required by s.24(1)(b) and argued that the spirit of the law supported her compensation claim.
The law states that if a stray dog is found by a constable for example, they will return it only after the owner pays all expenses incurred during the pet’s detention. Catron also told the court that as it was the second time that the dog in question had been allowed to stray it was negligence on the part of its owners and they would have to reasonably expect that someone might be unduly burdened by this. Catron also accused the dog’s owner of having blatant disregard for the dog’s safety.
During the proceedings Daykin-Bush didn’t challenge the vet’s report that revealed several medical problems with the dog, which is why Catron said she had spent money on the pet while ‘Precious’ was in her care. Catron saidthat she only did what any reasonable person would have done in the circumstances. Following the submissions, the magistrate said the only equitable thing to do was to award Catron compensation.
“I felt a sense of moral obligation to provide for this dog,” Catron said after the decision. “I can only now pray that she is receiving the ongoing medical care that she needs. If there was one thing that I would like people to remember about this matter, it is that if you chose to be a pet owner you have to be responsible. These are animals that rely on us for their care and the love that they give in return is immeasurable."
Catron also stated that she believed her experiences in the courtroom delivered another more general message for the community at large. “I believe the most important message this civil case sends is that you will be vindicated when you do the right thing and the courts have now confirmed that,” she said.

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Census aims for 100% cover of households

| 24/09/2010 | 43 Comments

(CNS): Organisers of the country’s census have said the goal is to have every single person in the Cayman Islands not only counted for an accurate population figure but for each household to answer a questionnaire as well. The national count begins on 10/10/10 Census Day when more than three hundred census workers will hit the streets and begin counting and interviewing in every home. People will be asked 67 questions, ranging from basic details about residents to chronic illnesses suffered by any members of the family. Costing around $1.1 million, officials say this count will provide Cayman with a comprehensive set of data that will be of enormous importance to both the private and public sector.

The census has the law on its side as the enumerators have the right of entry and the Statistics Law makes it clear that “every person shall to the best of his knowledge and belief answer all questions asked by him by the statistician”, but the people are also protected as the law and the method of the survey ensure the security of the information, organisers have promised. In the most recent amendment to the law government increased the penalty to $5,000 for a breach of confidentiality by any census worker.
Maria Zingapan, Director of the Economics and Statistics Offices, said that census would be safe and secure and people could be assured the information they give would be used solely for the purpose of collating data. However, she pointed out that the survey would be far more informative and useful if people gave the information freely and do not feel coerced.  
With just over two weeks to go before the launch of the island wide count, officials told the press on Thursday morning that the enumerators are all in training, the census maps are complete and the questionnaires are ready and dispatched to the field offices. The ESO will also be circulating some of the questions from the census via the media over the next two weeks so that people will know what to expect when the enumerators come to their home.
The information collected will be used to get an accurate assessment of the number of people currently residing in the Cayman Islands and the current circumstances under which they live, from the type of work they do to the number of mobile phones they own. The data will be used to inform public policy, plan development and infrastructure, assist hazard management and emergency services and even help the private sector better understand the local market.
The Department of Child and Family Services is just one of the government entities that will use the census results to help target its services more accurately and understand the changing needs of the community when it comes to support. Director of the department, Deanna Lookloy, said the information wouldl be very important to the future provision of services to those in need and made a plea to everyone in Cayman to take part.
“We Caymanians are known as a friendly group of people so I am asking people to be friendly to the enumerators,” she said. Lookloy explained that there have been many changes in the community since the last census and the information collected during the 2010 will paint a far more accurate picture of the community and its needs today.
She also noted that Cayman had a paucity of statistics in a number of fields and that this census would be asking more questions about disabilities, chronic illness and access to health services.
While the statistical information that comes from the census will be an invaluable tool for local policy makers, the information will also be given to regional bodies, as Cayman is often not measured in Caribbean assessments of population data because the statistics are not available.
Officials said that a population count would be available before the end of 2010 but the actual full census is expected to be published at the end of 2011. With more than 24,000 questionnaires expected to be completed during the eight week count, it will then take the statisticians a considerable time to extract and analyse the specific data for presentation.
In order to help in the goal of achieving 100% coverage, officials are also asking householders to contact the census organisers if they will be off island during the count so enumerators can schedule visits when they are at home. Officials said they will also be giving weekly updates about areas that have been counted and people are asked to contact the office if their neighbourhood has been canvassed but they did not see an enumerator.
More information about the census is available at the website or people can visit the field offices in the districts or call 949 0940 or email

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Man faces 3 murder charges

| 24/09/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): A West Bay man was charged with murder today (Thursday 23 September) in connection with the killing of Marcos Mauricio Gauman Duran in March of this year. Twenty-seven year old Raziel Omar Jeffers (left) now faces his third murder charge in four months, following charges made against him for the shooting of Damian Ming earlier this year and Marcus Ebanks in July 2009. Jeffers is also charged with the attempted murder of Adryan Powell, who was 14 at the time, also in July 2009. All three homicides were shootings which took place in the West Bay district and which police have said were gang related. (Photo courtesy of News27)

Jeffers’ attorney confirmed on Thursday evening that his client had been charged in Summary Court with the murder that took place in Maliwinas Way, West Bay, on Thursday 11 March.
Police have already charged a 16-year-old boy with the murder. The teenager sustained a serious gunshot injury to his leg on the same night as the killing. Craig Johnson (29) has also been charged with accessory after the fact in connection with the murder.

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Cayman athletes ready for Delhi 2010

| 24/09/2010 | 16 Comments

(CNS): The Cayman Islands is sending seventeen of its top athletes to India in a few days to compete in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India. The games will open on 3 October and will see the Commonwealth nations pitch their athletic prowess in more than 18 different sporting fields over two weeks. The Cayman Islands Olympic Committee said that the country’s athletes will be competing in track & field, swimming, shooting and squash. Some of the country’s biggest sporting names including several elite athletes will be out flying the flag in India with eye on the medal podium.

Cydonie Mothersill, will be competing in the 200m, Ronald Forbes in the 110m hurdles, and the 4x100m relay with David Hamil, who will also compete in the 200m, along with  Robert Ibeh who will run the 100m, 200m, as well as the 4x100m relay. Carl Morgan completes in the 4x100m relay team and he will also compete in the long jump. Michael Letterlough will be throwing the hammer while middle distance runner Jon Rankin will take on the 800m and 1500m.
Track & Field athletes will be supported by Team Manager Elizabeth Ibeh, and Coaches Kenrick Williams and Kareem Streete-Thompson.
Cayman’s elite swimming brothers will also hit the pool hoping to make the finals in their respective disciplines and fingers crossed the podium.  Shaune Fraser will swim the 50m free, 100m free, 200m free, 100m fly while brother Brett will also swim the 50m free, 100m free, 200m free, 100m back. Tori Flowers will be swimming the 200m free, 400m free, 800m free. The swimmers will be supported by Team Manager Sook Lee Eccles and Coach Anthony Nesty.
Team Manager Kevin Schirn will be crossing his fingers for Eddison McLean and Christopher Jackson who will be shooting in Skeet and Trap.
Marlene West Myron Blair Cameron Stafford  and Alexander Frazer will be taking part in the squash doubles supported by Team Manager Janet Sairsingh and Coach Daniel Kneipp.
The Cayman Islands team gear has been donated by Puma, with Polo shirts embroidered by Cayman Embroidery on Island. Games pins for the Commonwealth Games have been designed by Simon Barwick, which are as likely as ever to quickly become one of the most sort after pins from the array of nations competing in India this year.
The Commonwealth Games began in 1930 with 11 countries today there are 71 eligible countries that are sending some 7000 athletes to the games.
The Chef de Mission for Cayman is Jerris Miller, who will be assisted by a General Team Manager, Jeffrey Wight. Team Physiotherapist Al Bartice and Team Physical Trainer Brendan Touhey will work closely with all the athletes on the team and their coaches. CIOC President Donald McLean and Secretary General Carson Ebanks will attend the Games to support the team.
More information on the games can be found on the official website  

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