Archive for April 15th, 2014

Locals hold 28% of current Health City jobs

| 15/04/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS Business) As the new Shetty hospital in East End gets down to the business of healthcare, officials have said that the facility opened its doors with a workforce that exceeded the local employment target of 25%. Shomari Scott told CNS Business that 28% of the jobs at Health City Cayman Islands (HCCI) have gone to Caymanians and that rate is expected to increase. Slightly at odds with figures revealed in an FOI request response, which was forwarded to CNS Business, Scott said 40 of the 138 employees are Caymanian, which is better than expected. According to the documents from immigration, the hospital has been granted 165 permits, 151 of which were for Indian nationals, but Scott confirmed some were short term posts related to equipment installation and those workers have since lieft. Read more on CNS Business

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Barralga jailed for 6 years

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(CNS) Full report: The woman who killed her lover in a domestic fight at the couple's home in Little Cayman has been sentenced to six years in prison and ordered to be deported once she is released. Justice Charles Quin said Elsey Calderon De Ortega Barralga (29) had faced a substantial degree of provocation when she stabbed Perry Stephen McLaughlin (54) (left) and fled the scene to a neighbour's house last November. Following the sentencing guidelines, the judge said he was comfortable, given the circumstances, starting at eight years and gave her a 25% discount for her guilty plea. Describing the argument that led to Mclaughlin's death as trivial, he said that had he not swept the knives to the ground in a loss of temper, the tragic incident may never have happened.

As the judge delivered his verdict, Barralga never once lifted her head and wept quietly.

Justice Quin said the couple enjoyed a loving and happy relationship in which they clearly cared for each other and were happy together earlier that night. But five hours after going out together Perry McLaughlin was dead in a sad and tragic event that should never have happened. Pointing to the ingredients that lead to the killing, he said a combination of a trivial argument, alcohol, a short temper, knives and a loss of self-control ended in a tragic violent disagreement.

Justice Quin said it was all but impossible to identify with precision the exact moment in time when Barralga stopped acting in self-defence but both sides had agreed that when she inflicted the fatal wound McLaughlin was not armed.

The local businessman, who was well-known in Little Cayman, was stabbed seven times but just one of the wounds to his chest was considered fatal. In a long sentencing judgement delivered on Tuesday afternoon, Justice Quin said he had struggled with the differing positions regarding the level of provocation in this case.

The couple had enjoyed a good relationship but on that fateful night they went out for a social evening at some of the island's restaurants and bars but ended up in a huge fight at their home when the evening was over, fuelled by a petty squabble.

It was accepted by the crown that Barralga had used the knife in the first instance in self-defence, as she had clearly been assaulted by McLaughlin. But at some point she went too far and inflicted a fatal stab wound before she ran through broken glass to escape the house and what she believed was her still angry lover. However, she had inflicted a wound so severe the pathologist had said that McLaughlin would have been dead within a minute or so of receiving it.

Explaining his sentence in accordance with the sentencing guidelines and the findings of the Court of Appeal, the judge said the starting point was eight years, and despite aggravating and mitigating factors claimed by the crown and the defence, the judge said he saw no good reason to move from that point, before he reduced the jail term in response to Barralga’s guilty plea down to six years and made an order of deportation to her native Honduras following release.

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Bermudian seeks JA ganja oil for cancer patients

| 15/04/2014 | 26 Comments

(CNS): With the increasing acceptance that cannabis does have a positive impact on the treatment of cancer, an activist in Bermuda is openly seeking an export license to buy medicinal ganja oil from Jamaica to treat as many as 300 cancer patients in that country. With a significant shift around the world regarding the massive potential of the drug as a much better and safer treatment for many illnesses than pharmaceuticals, with their numerous side effects and long term toxic build up, activist Alan Gordon wants to export some five gallons of medical ganja oil from Jamaica for patients on his home island all above board.

Gordon has written an open letter to the Jamaican well-being minister which was copied to The Gleaner, in which he points out that the Bermudan government has previously approved import permits on a per-patient basis, but it was experiencing trouble with availability, price and quality from other exporters, that Gordon believes Jamaica could alleviate.
Pointing to the growing numbers of ‘medical tourists’ that head quietly to Jamaica for illicit cancer treatments with cannabis oil, because of its efficacy he is asking for the export to be legally sanctioned in Jamaica which is currently toying with changing legislation to facilitate a medical trade.

“I know people are already coming to Jamaica to treat cancer and other serious ailments with cannabis oil, under the table, and more will be coming soon,” he wrote adding that some people are too sick to travel but would be willing to pay for Rastafarian grown and processed organic cannabis oil. “I believe this could be the best product of its kind in the world,” Gordon stated.

Here in Cayman, local architect Burns Connolly continues the campaign to have the public and the authorities begin engaging in the debate about ganja. While Caymanians are talking about the issue and many now in favour of legalizing the drug for medical and recreational use, the government has stuck its head in the proverbial sand and refused to even engage Connolly in discussion.

See full letter below

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Radio/Telethon raises $127k for charity

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(CNS): The National Council of Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) has confirmed that it has receieved almost all of the donations pledged at last year’s annual fundraiser, the NCVO Radio/Telethon. The charity has collected CI$127,298.00 so far out of pledges totaling CI$128,000 at the event. Janice Wilson, CEO of the NCVO, stated, “We are very grateful to all of those companies and individuals who have honoured their pledges, every year we strive to collect as much as possible and we are generally very successful in receiving almost all the amounts pledged.” (Left: Chuck and Barrie Quappe at the 2013 NCVO RadioTelethon)

This year’s fundraiser will take place at the Prospect Playhouse on Saturday 25 October. For more information about this event or to make a donation to the NCVO, contact Janice Wilson at 949-2124 or

The NCVO is a non-profit, charitable organisation that is dedicated to the care, education and well-being of children and families in need of support in the Cayman Islands.

Money raised from the annual Radio/Telethon goes exclusively to the following NCVO programmes:

The Nadine Andreas Residential Foster Home
“Miss Nadine’s” Pre-School
Jack & Jill Nursery
The Caring Cousins Welfare Fund
The John Gray Fund

Visit the NCVO website for more information about the NCVO.

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Early morning eclipse produces rare sight

| 15/04/2014 | 3 Comments

(CNS): Those who were able to stay awake into the early hours of Tuesday morning were treated to a relatively rare and beautiful sight as clear skies over Cayman gave a great view of the full moon lunar eclipse. The total lunar eclipse took place over three hours as the Moon moved into the Earth’s shadow and was seen across most of North America, Latin America and the Caribbean. The moon changed colour from orange to blood red from around 1am to 4am local time. The Earth’s natural satellite was shrouded in a reddish glow for well over an hour, living up to the description of a blood moon.

Three further eclipses will occur this year with an annular solar eclipse on 29 April, a total lunar eclipse again on 8 October and a partial solar eclipse on 23 October. Tuesday’s eclipse was particularly special as alongside the red moon observers could also see the planet Mars, which was on its closest approach to Earth since 2008.


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Former local pro footballer to nurture new talent

| 15/04/2014 | 9 Comments

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA) has appointed Renard Moxam as director of national teams. Moxam was the first professional football player from the Cayman Islands when he signed for Toronto Blizzard In 1979 and played in the North American Soccer League. He will now oversee the design and implementation of programmes aimed at identifying the best national talent the country has and improving standards of play. Jeffery Webb, CIFA president and boss of the regional body CONCACAF, said that Moxam brings three decades of experience in nurturing and coaching local youth players.

“We are certain, that Mr Moxam’s vast experience and passion for the game will strongly benefit our aim of developing a world class national programme,” said Webb. “Mr Moxam’s achievements inspired me and an entire generation and we know he will shape the future of generations to come.”

Thanking CIFA and Webb for the official opportunity to make a positive contribution and shaping the lives of young people in the game, Moxam spoke about the challenges ahead.

“There is a need for improvements in standards of play from technical, tactical, physical and mental perspectives in order for our country to acquire equal regional recognition, as a footballing country,” he stated at a press conference Monday announcing his appointment.

“To accomplish this objective, we have to build a positive dynamic footballing culture wherein a high level of conduct consistently exists, there is an overall sense of responsibility, and a positive atmosphere for character development of our young people is prevalent,” he added.

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Pre-fab lock-up arrives at new custody centre

| 15/04/2014 | 35 Comments

(CNS): Pre-fabricated jail cells that will hold suspects arrested by police until they are charged arrived in Cayman at the weekend and workers are now erecting and connecting the new custody centre, which officials say will open in six weeks time. The new facility being constructed behind the women’s prison in Fairbanks will replace the George Town lock-up, which has been condemned in recent reports by prison inspectors as unfit for human habitation. Sitting on top of locally built foundations, the structure was purchased via a tendering process for just over USD $2.1 million from a US company and came pre-wired and pre-plumbed.

The purpose built, temperature-controlled, hurricane resistant buildings will house up to 24 inmates — a maximum of two to each cell, according to a release from the Ministry of Home Affairs. The facility will make the detention of arrestees, in George Town at least, human rights compliant.

Describing the features that ensure compliance, the deputy chief officer in the ministry responsible for public safety and security, Wesley Howell, said, “The rooms are designed to allow detainees a certain amount of personal space. In addition the rooms have been constructed in such a way as to minimise opportunities for prisoners to self-harm.”

With recent policy changes that have reduced the number of hours that the RCIPS can lawfully hold people in detention from 72 to 48, the total number of people in lock-up at any given time should be reduced. Howell said the goal would be for single occupancy but, should the need arise, each of the twelve cells can hold two people.

As well as the new cells, the suites include a breathalyzer room, interview rooms, a visitation room and various other facilities.

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Prison conditions 'shocking'

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