Archive for August 5th, 2014

Judge warns young woman over dangers of Ecstasy

Judge warns young woman over dangers of Ecstasy

| 05/08/2014 | 1 Comment

(CNS): Allegations of rape and sexual assault made by a young woman against her step-father after an alcohol and Ecstasy fueled night were thrown out of court last week as result of insufficient and discredited evidence. The young women admitted voluntarily taking the drug and drinking alcohol with her step-father when her mother was away but claims she passed out and woke wearing no underwear, a hickey on her neck and feeling discomfort. However, with little evidence to support her allegations and various inconsistencies in her story, Justice Charles Quin said there was not enough evidence to support a conviction in what he described as a "particularly sad case".

The court had heard that the young woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons but who was over the age of consent at the time of the alleged rape, had been using drugs since she was 15. On the night of the alleged incident she had voluntarily consumed alcohol and taken Ecstasy, or 'mollie' as the drug is known on the street, having planned and agreed to do so some weeks earlier with her step-father.

The young womanhad admitted during her evidence that she had no memory of the sexual assault or the rape and had assumed her step-father had sex with her as she said she passed out but he had implied they had the next morning.

In his ruling in response to a 'no case to answer' submission by defense counsel, Fiona Robertson, the judge noted how upsetting the entire case was for the family involved but said there was not enough evidence against the defendant as he returned a not guilty verdict on the two counts.

Noting the young woman's continued use of ganja and her experimentation with other drugs, however, Justice Quin warned that she would face more trouble ahead.

"What is particularly sad is that the complainant has beenusing ganja since the age of 15 years old and she has become a frequent user of this illegal drug. I take this opportunity to warn the complainant that if she continues to take ganja and experiment with drugs such as Ecstasy, more trouble is inevitable for her," he added.

The judge made a point of noting that the collapse of the crown's case was not a reflection on either the police officer who carried out the investigation or the crown counsel who prosecuted the case.

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College boss donates cash to new campaign

College boss donates cash to new campaign

| 05/08/2014 | 14 Comments

(CNS): Dr David Marshall, the president of the International College of the Cayman Islands (ICCI), has donated CI$10,000 to kick off the college’s upcoming campaign to raise cash for more technology resources in the classroom. He is hoping that his contribution will encourage the alumni to dig deep and help him create work-ready students for Cayman's economy. Since taking up the college's top job in March, Marshall has been on a crusade to get the ICCI graduates from college into employment. He has raised admissions criteria, encouraged more rigorous academics, increased graduation requirements, and provided additional supports for academically struggling students.

Marshall says Cayman’s future economy will need more citizens with globally competitive portfolios.

“The new jobs coming to Cayman will require a workforce with outstanding critical thinking skills, excellent communication skills, and exceptional competencies in maths, technology, science, and engineering. There is no other way to produce this workforce other thangetting more young people to complete college with the skills employers need.”

The ICCI community-wide fundraising campaign officially kicks off later this month with a meeting of ICCI alumni.

“This meeting on August 17 is a real heart-to-heart with the scores of alumni out there who have done well. It is now time for them to reach back and provide opportunities for current students through donations to improve teaching and learning and to provide scholarships,” Marshall said.

While the ICCI board of trustees has matched Marshall’s donation with a promise of more to come he says the college needs more.

“I think people have to put their money where the mouth is,” he said. “It’s not enough to say you support the education of young people. I think you have to show that support by digging in your wallet personally to make sure young people have a chance to get where you are. Corporate donations are great, but when it gets down to it, individuals on the island also should be making personal contributions to higher education causes.”

Marshall’s donation follows his earlier contributions this year of CI$1,000 to ICCI’s scholarship fund and another CI$1,000 donation provided by some friends in the US. He says he personally will be making calls to companies and individuals in Cayman in the weeks to come for help.

“These are the country’s future leaders; they deserve the best," Marshall added.

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Cops head out to talk to public in districts

Cops head out to talk to public in districts

| 05/08/2014 | 6 Comments

(CNS): The RCIPS Area Commander for the Eastern Districts will be holding a series of community meetings in the districts this week, giving the public an opportunity to express their concerns about crime in their communities and also to hear exactly what the local police are doing about the obvious issues in the specific districts. The public meetings begin this evening at the Bodden Town civic Centre at 7pm, followed by a meting in North Side on Wednesday and East End on Thursday also at 7pm. Chief Inspector Brad Ebanks, who looks after all three districts, said, “We want to hear from you our Community Members. We will continue to work together with you in order to accomplish the same objectives, thus lessening crime and making our districts a safer place to live.”

The meetings are set for the following dates and times:

1.      Bodden Town Civic Centre – Tuesday 5th August  7pm-9pm
2.      North Side Civic Centre – Wednesday 6th of August  7pm-9pm
3.      East End United Church Hall – Thursday 7th of August 7pm-9pm

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Mac warns of bad old days

Mac warns of bad old days

| 05/08/2014 | 56 Comments

(CNS): The opposition leader has said he hopes the current minister will be very careful about major changes in the education system that could create an unfair two-tier system and take Cayman back to the bad old days. Following the pressure from the education minister's political backers, C4C, to privatize schools and her own support of academies, grant maintained or charter-style schools, which favour selection, McKeeva Bush also warned that too much change at once undermines achievements. But selling off schools and reintroducing selection would not only be detrimental to students and a backward step but he fears it would also leave too many students unprepared for the increasingly demanding employment market.

Bush told CNS that he was hoping that the framers of any new education policy in government today will not go down the road of selection.

"I'm hoping that what is being proposed will bring changes that give a child a meaningful education relevant to today's world, in which they must live and move and have their being; rather than a system that creates resentment in children because of the way they are treated and who recognise they won't be able to cope in a modern sophisticated educated world," he said. "A system that will enhance their lives rather than take us backwards to a two-tier system of education. As a legislator and grandparent, I'm not giving support in any shape or form to any such suggestion, no matter how much it is dressed up."

The opposition leader remembered how things were in the "bad old days" when segregation was forced on children.

"In the early sixties and early seventies there was a two-tier system, when good teachers like the late teacher Mrs Theoline McCoy and the late Principals Mr Timothy McField and Mr McHale of the secondary modern school … fought a great battle because the government of the day had in place a biased two-tier system of education. Some children were chosen to attend the Cayman Island High School and others were pushed into the Secondary Modern school, where they started pushing us out of the school as early as age 14 because 'they needed space' they said," Bush recalled, adding that it was "atrocious".

He said it was the secondary modern school that created the double standards and the "slave mentality", with the idea that "what was good for one set of people was not good for another" and others must be treated differently.

"Thank God for good teachers like Mr Charley Dixon from East End, who fought the battle to ensure that, despite the two-tier system, children learned to do something," he added.

"I will watch to see what is going to happen to the recommendations that government has for changes in our education system, Charter schools and all," Bush said, as he warned that two much change of any kind can be disruptive. He pointed to the more recent past when a number of changes close together to bring the local system in line with the UK's national curriculum, straight A students began failing as a result of the amount of change all at once, which had a long term negative impact on their time in school.

Bush said the curriculum was a critically important factor in education with the appropriate teachers to teach it. He said how those teachers are treated by the ministry and administration is also very important but at present "there is much to be desired in that aspect".

The leader of the opposition did, however, offer his full support to the minister over the clampdown on the school dress code. He said there had always been rules about uniforms and students should be well groomed. "It makes them look better and I would think feel better too," Bush said. "We have beautiful children and they don't need tattoos or markings on their head to make them stand out or attractive. And it doesn't enhance their lives in any way."

The clampdown on how kids dress in school was recently announced by the ministry but the major changes planned to the system appear to be a work in progress. Tara Rivers has denied that any changes will create a two-tier system or segregation but she has offered her backing for academies and charter schools, a system which in the UK has involved selection in most cases.

While her political backers are calling for the complete privatization of the system, with schools being run by boards and companies and the government paying fees on behalf of students, the fears are that this will mean a significant percentage of children will not find places in these types of schools. This will then create the two-tier system feared by the opposition leader and many others.

So far, the premier and former education minister, who was been a long time staunch advocate for raising standards for all children and inequality in education, has remained silent on the proposed privatization of the system.  

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SHS aims to find students’ passion in tourism

SHS aims to find students’ passion in tourism

| 05/08/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS Business): Marc Langevin, the GM of the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman and a member of the School of Hospitality Studies Advisory Council, said he was very confident that a student who goes through the new hospitality programme, establishes relationships within the industry and demonstrates they have the right character will have no problem finding a job. The deadline to apply is this Friday. Watch video on CNS Business

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