Archive for April 30th, 2014

Cops urge loan shark victims to come forward

| 30/04/2014 | 16 Comments

(CNS): People who have fallen victim to a local loan shark who has been using passports as security are being asked to contact the police as part of an ongoing investigation by officers from George Town Criminal Investigation Department (CID). An RCIPS spokesperson said that the lender is suspected of offering cash loans at a very high rate of interest and then taking people’s passports as security on the debt. When borrowers miss payments or default on the loans, the suspect has reportedly refused to return the passports.

Police have already received a number of complaints, which triggered the investigation, and while those individuals are assisting with the enquiry, detectives believe that there may be more victims involved who have borrowed money from the suspect and handed over their passport.

Anyone who has information or whose passport has been taken should contact DC 338 Stacyann Stewart at 324-0684 to assist both with the investigation and to get their passports returned.

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Local man charged in alleged status grant con

| 30/04/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): As a result of a targeted operation by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service last year, a local man has now been charged with 17 counts of Obtaining Property by Deception in what the authorities claim is a status grant scam. Paul Ebanks was charged in connection with the alleged con on 15 April following his arrest last September regarding allegations that he had taken money from people claiming he could get them Caymanian Status. He appeared in summary court on Tuesday 30 April but his case was adjourned until 21 May.

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Rivers blames system for kids’ poor behaviour

| 30/04/2014 | 47 Comments

(CNS): The education minister says that BEST and other programmes set up to address some of the significant special needs plaguing government school students haven’t worked as well as hoped. As classsroom behaviour problems reach what some parents believe is a crisis point, Tara Rivers said the problem was the coordination of resources, leadership and accountability. In the face of a worsening situation in schools, she said her ministry is seeking to improve the system by setting clear expectations about how kids identified as having special needs or emotional and behavioural problems are helped and then holding leaders accountable.

Speaking on Cayman27’s The Panel with Tammi Sulliman on Tuesday evening, the minister said that the system is able to identify those students who have special needs but things are going wrong with regard to the implementation of therapeutic strategies.

With HSA statistics showing that in 2012 some 400 kids from the government schools population of almost 5,000 presented with some form of mental health problem, and given the serious lack of resources in mental health provision overall, it is even worse for children.

Rivers said that when students with severe issues are identified, the transition between therapeutic centre and the classroom is falling down. She said recent reviews and reports suggest there is a gap in the management systems with deficiencies in accountability. Despite being pressed by Sulliman, Rivers avoided detailing whether this was a case of education management passing the buck or people simply not doing their jobs.

Rivers said communication was an issue, but despite the gaps, her approach would not be a “knee jerk reaction”, as this was a systemic problem that did not start with the current government and would not end with it either. She said there was a need to establish who is responsible and who is accountable and while there has been a lot of emphasise on creating specialist resources, they have not be used properly and students are not being monitored. Rivers said education management was getting better at identifying those in need but it has been late and poor at intervening.

Pointing to the need for a behavioural support team, she said that would have budget implications but the minister said there had to be clear expectations communicated to all those involved and accountability for dealing with special needs students.

She also said that a survey had been sent to parents and teachers about school behaviour and that the ministry would be hosting a conference later this year on the issue as well as professional development for teachers. The minister said there are teachers that simply don’t know how to deal with the issues impacting some children and the emotional behaviour they display in the classroom as a result.

Rivers said the ministry was not looking to penalize teachers or school leaders but she said performance was driven by leadership and as the leaders say they need support, the ministry wanted to offer that via training and the proper coordination of resources.

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Child month provides chance to promote value of kids

| 30/04/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Cayman will be focusing on kids this week as Child month begins on Thursday. The annual event aims to provide parents, family members and other adults with the resources that they need to promote positive and encouraging role modelling behaviour and attitudes for children today and every day of every month – especially in May.  Highlighting the value of children this year to raise public awareness the Ministry of Community Affairs, the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and the Child Month Committee will be promoting a month of public information and education events beginning with a celebrity reading day to be held at all pre-schools in Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac.

The annual church service led by the children, to commence with the celebration of activities will take place at the Seventh Day Adventist Church located on Smith Road. The following weeks of  activities will include  radio education sessions on promoting responsible parenting, board games evening, teen disco in Cayman Brac, movie evenings in Bodden Town and George Town and so much more. With ongoing partnership, activities will be promoted with the National Museum, Family Resource Center, RCIPS, Circle of Love Women’s Ministry, Youth Services, and Feed Our Future.

“Child Month is a time to engage in fun and frolic – but it is far more than just that,” said the minister responsible for community affairs and the country’s premier, Alden McLaughlin.
“We all have the responsibility to ensure the safety and protection of our children is of our paramount interest. It is important for all members of our community to recognize that our children do have the right to be loved, protected, trained, inspired, motivated and empowered to become responsible citizens of their country. We must all acknowledge that there is no other duty more important for us in our role as parents, community members and leaders of our country.”

For a full list of Child Month events or for more information, contact DCFS at

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Jeff Webb tweets for new football fans

| 30/04/2014 | 2 Comments

(CNS): President of CONCACAF and vice president of FIFA, Cayman’s Jeff Webb is joining the Twitter community looking for new fans of the game that he is so passionate about to share his experiences and encourage people to follow the sport. “This new platform will allow the Confederation to build a stronger network that supports its mission to develop, promote and manage football throughout the region with integrity, transparency, and passion in order to inspire participation in the game,” a spokesperson for the international football body said. Footy fans can start following Webb tomorrow when he makes his first tweet @jeffreywebb, to keep abreast of his activities in real time.

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Swimmers scoop five CARIFTA medals

| 30/04/2014 | 0 Comments

(CIASA): The Cayman Islands National Junior Swim Team brought home two gold, two silver and one bronze medal from the 2014 CARIFTA Swimming Championships last week in Savaneta, Aruba. Lauren Hew (left) dominated the Girls 13-14 Backstroke events bringing home gold in the 100m and 200m events and silver in the 50m. In addition to a gold medal, Lauren’s 100m swim, in a time of 1:07.21 earned her a CARIFTA record – breaking a record which had stood for 19 years. Cayman’s second silver medal was won by Alison Jackson in the Girls 11-12 50m breaststroke in a time of 36.25.

The girls 13-14 4 x 100 Medley Relay team, Lauren Hew (backstroke), Sarah Jackson (breaststroke), Kavanagh Lambert (butterfly) and Samantha Bailey (freestyle), brought home the bronze in a time of 4:45.91 — the first medal won by a Cayman girls’ relay team in 10 years.

Cayman Swimming’s Technical Director, Bailey Weathers enjoyed his first CARIFTA experience: "I believe the week was a lot of fun for all of the swimmers, staff and parents. More importantly it was a tremendous success,” he said. Close to ninety percent of the swims were life-time bests, and by any standard that is pretty remarkable! We had more swimmers qualify for finals than the Cayman Islands have had for several years. And, just as important we really know the things we need to work on for the future! We were good this week but we will continue to grow and swim a lot better in the months and years to come.”

Coach Brad Hutton, one of Cayman’s CARIFTA Coaches gave a rundown of the statistics:

2013 CARIFTA: 10 individuals make finals in 28 pool events
2014 CARIFTA: 14 individuals make finals in 39 pool events

2013 CARIFTA: 183 points with 12 medals (in the pool)
2014 CARIFTA: 198 points with 5 medals (in the pool)

“The 2015 Team will be in a great position as many of our swimmers age up: a lot of 11 year olds will be at the top of their age group; a lot of 13 year olds at the top of their age group and it will definitely help us to have more swimmers in the 15-17 age group.

“Looking at the statistics from past years shows that the 2014 pool times were much faster, especially in the 50m and 100m events for the 11-2 Girls, 13-14 Girls and 13-14 Boys. Times that previously won medals are the times that were needed to make finals this year,” said Coach Brad.

Coach Andy Copley, also a CARIFTA 2014 Coach added: "A lot of people are asking me about the medal count for our team, but really this year was not about that,” he said.

“We knew from the beginning winning medals this year was going to be tough as a huge number of our athletes were in the bottom half of their age group. I think the real stat to look at was that with a younger team, and without Geoff Butler our medals machine from last year, we still scored far more points. That comes from kids making big jumps in the rankings and getting themselves into finals. The meet was, in general, far faster this year and still we increased the number of athletes swimming in finals from last year. That's a statistic I'm really proud of and I know the other coaches are too. That's something we can really build on and look forward to next year,” he added.

It was a long, successful week and now Cayman’s young swimmers are back at school and at training for their next meet. Next on the CIASA Calendar of Events is the 27th Annual LIME 800m Sea Swim on May 10th.

The Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association (CIASA) is a volunteer, not for profit association dedicated to furthering the interests of all aquatic sports in the Cayman Islands. CIASA is the recognised Governing Body of aquatic sports in the Cayman Islands and is a member of FINA, UANA, CCCAN and the CIOC. For more information on CIASA please visit


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