Archive for October 20th, 2014

Charity buys neonatal probe for hospital

| 20/10/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The Cayman Heart Fund has donated a neonatal cardiac probe to the George Town hospital bought with funds raised from a fun-run earlier this year. The equipment will enable medical staff to diagnose here rather than flying sick children overseas. The probe which is specifically designed for children is one of a number of costly pieces of lifesaving cardiac care equipment that the local charity has been able to give to the health services authority to support improvements to the department, which includes an Electrocardiography Machine (ECG) and four mannequins to the Advanced Cardiac Life Support Training programme.

“This great contribution to the neo-natal and children’s ward will give the department the ability to diagnose right here on island, rather than flying the children overseas,” said the HSA Chief Executive Officer Lizzette Yearwood said. “This is not only cost effective, but saves invaluable time in the diagnosis stage, meaning children and their families no longer need to undertake tense journeys for testing.  We are very thankful to the Cayman Heart Fund and their donations to help enhance our patient’s experience.”

Dr Marlene Craigie, HSA Radiologist explained that this probe is specifically for children ages 14 and below. “The probes we previously had were mainly for the adult heart but this one is catered to children and the resolution is of a much higher quality,” she added.

David Dinner, Chairman of the fund said Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) is one of the main sources of health problems in the country.

“The Cayman Heart fund is a non-profit and non-government organization striving to bring awareness to heart and circulatory diseases. We realize the struggle that those who have cardiovascular disease go through and are dedicated to making a difference and reducing the likelihood of early death,” he said. “Over 400 participants took part in this year’s Cayman Heart Fund Discovery Day 5k Walk/Run, and the proceeds from which, teamed with a generous donation from Mr. and Mrs. Agar of Agar Corporation Ltd, ensured the equipment was in place as soon as possible,” he added.

For more information about the Cayman Heart Fund, or for more info about the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority, please visit

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Stingray Swim club hosts first two season meets

| 20/10/2014 | 2 Comments

(SSC): The Business Solutions Technologies Group Ltd (BSTG) Friday Night Lights and Cayman National Fall Sprint Meet took place last weekend with swimmers from host club Stingray Swim Club (SSC); Special Olympics Cayman Islands; Brac Barracudas; Camana Bay Aquatic Club (CBAC); Team Treasure Island (TI) and Triple C Dolphins competing in a number of long, middle and sprint distance events and relays. “I was very pleased with performances across the board in both meets,” said Stingray head coach, Andy Copley “Swimmers arrived at the pool with a competitive attitude and most of them either hit PB's or were really close to them. Great results so early in the season.”

Highlights included Iain McCallum's Friday Night Lights 800m freestyle swim in which he dropped 12 seconds; Zachary Moore’s 12 second PB in the 400m IM and Jake Bailey’s  huge 400m free where he PB'd at the 100, 200 and 400m points (Jake ended up with seven PBs over the weekend).

In Saturday’s Sprint Meet Kyra Rabess landed 5 for 5 PB's, dropping over 11 seconds in the 100m IM; and Abbeygale Freebourne knocked off 4 seconds in her 25m backstroke to place for the first time in an event. The girls 8-Under Relay team of Gabriella Royston, Madison Chin, Marisa Poole and Jillian Crooks takes first overall in the freestyle relay, being the first Stingray team to go under 1:20 for the 4×25 freestyle event; and deserving a special mention, Jayde Solomon who spent the last year out of the pool and is getting back to form swam her first PB in almost a year and a half! Rounding out Saturday’s special mentions, Special Olympian and Stingray member Keanu McKenzie dropped 10 seconds in his 50 butterfly for the largest PB of his young career to date.

Iain McCallum, 800m Free and Lauren Hew, 400m Free won the Business Solutions Technologies Group Ltd (BSTG) Friday Night Lights FINA Points awards; and the Cayman

National Sprint Meet High Points winners were:Girls: 6&Under, Libby Lindley (TI); 7-8, Harper Barrowman (TI); 9-10, Stephanie Royston (SSC); 11-12, Alison Jackson (SSC); 13-14, Samantha Bailey (SSC) and 15&Over, Lauren Hew (CBAC). Boys: 6&U, Phinn Ellison (CBAC); 7-8, Jack Hendriksen (CBAC); 9-10, Liam Sinclair (SSC); 11-12, Jordan Crooks (SSC); 13-14, John Bodden (SSC) and 15&Over, Cole Morgan (SSC).

The next event on the Stingray Swim Club Calendar is the Mike Lockwood Memorial Pirates Week Meet, which offers a full array of events – sprint, middle and long distances.
For more information on Stingray Swim Club

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Sir John A Cumber’s U9s secure 2nd win of season

| 20/10/2014 | 0 Comments

(CUC-PFL): Sir John A. Cumber Primary’s Under 9 team secured their second successive victory of the 2014/2015 CUC Primary Football League (PFL) season with a hard-fought 3-0 win over Truth For Youth at the Annex Field in George Town this past Saturday, October 18. In this Group A match-up, Umar Gordon opened the scoring in the 11th minute for the West Bay boys. Jivarre Dixon added a second in the 27th minute before young Gordon grabbed his second of the day in the 30th minute to secure the victory. In the Under 11 game, Truth for Youth’s Tevin Ebanks showed great poise in the box to put his team ahead in the 8th minute but Sir John A. Cumber’s Anthony Fredericks levelled the score in the 23rd minute.

Both schools had several chances to win the game during the second half but were unable to find the back of the net thanks to some stellar defending and goalkeeping at both ends of the field.

In the Group A Under 11 encounter between Red Bay Primary and Cayman Brac at the Annex Field, Red Bay’s Alejandro Holness blasted a hat trick to secure a 5-2 victory over the boys and girls from the Sister Island.

Elder Ebanks added a fourth and an unfortunate own goal rounded off the scoring for Red Bay. In response, Cayman Brac’s Jose Delgado netted an impressive double to keep the score respectable.
Other PFL results in Group A included Savannah Primary 2 vs. George Town Primary 0 (Under 9) and Savannah Primary 6 vs. George Town Primary 0 (Under 11). In the Group A Girls’ Primary Football League (GPFL) game, it was Savannah Primary 2 vs. George Town Primary 1.

In Group B of the PFL, it was Prospect Primary 1 vs. South Sound Schools 1 (Under 9); Prospect Primary 2 vs. South Sound Schools 2 (Under 11); NorthEast Schools 1 vs. Cayman Prep 6 (Under 9); NorthEast Schools 1 vs. Cayman Prep 5 (Under 11); Bodden Town Primary 4 vs. Triple C 1 (Under 9); Bodden Town Primary 2 vs. Triple C 2 (Under 11).

In Group B of the GPFL it was NorthEast Schools 6 vs. Cayman Prep 3.

There are no games scheduled for Saturday, October 25 and Saturday, November 1 due to the midterm break. The 2014/2015 CUC PFL and GPFL regular season continues on Saturday, November 8 with games at Savannah Primary, Bodden Town Primary, Cayman International School, Cayman Prep, Triple C and the Annex Field.

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Crimestoppers score $14k but golfers miss $1m putt

| 20/10/2014 | 7 Comments

(CNS): With over $14,000 in the bank Cayman Crime Stoppers hotline can keep going for another year. The money was raised at the NGO’s annual golf tournament fundraiser when around eighty golfers signed up for the Million Dollar Shootout Golf Tournament at the North Sound Golf Club in Grand Cayman. Fifteen golfers qualified for the million dollar shot on hole 18 but there was no winner this year despite three golfers getting within a few feet of the pin. The money raised however, will finance the important Crimestoppers anonymous tip line 800-TIPS (8477) which provides callers with a safe and secure means of providing information about a crime, whilst protecting their identity.

The Cayman Islands has seen the highest value in narcotics seizures and the highest number of calls and arrests percapita on the Crimestoppers line. Cayman Crime Stoppers works closely with the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS), the community and the media and through its efforts has become one of the most effective crime solving tools available to law enforcement agencies.

With the rate of crime in the Cayman Islands seeing a slight increase over the last few years, it is vital to have a hotline that will assist in making arrests and reporting stolen property.  The organisation’s hope is to continue to encourage the public to report crimes and put criminals behind bars.

“Every year we have had an outpouring of support from corporate and other sponsors and this year was no different.  This is always a great afternoon of golf, prizes and networking, but most importantly it funds our efforts to reduce crime in Cayman for a whole year,” said Cayman Crime Stoppers Chairman Malcolm Ellis.  “We are also very thankful for the support of Dart Cayman as the platinum sponsor and The Security Centre as our silver sponsor.  We could not have done it without them.”

After eighteen holes of competition, the BCQS team consisting of Neil Purton, Steve Lovell, Richelle Woodcock and Michael Baulk nabbed the first place prize.  Just behind them by a mere shot was the team of RSM Cayman and rounding out third place was the team of OneTradex. 

The sponsors for the event included Dart Cayman, The Security Centre, BCQS, Intertrust, PWC, SRS, DMS, IFP, Willis, Delphi, RSM Cayman Ltd., Titan Development, Alakebab, Cayman National, Queensgate, Aon, Citco, Digicel, OneTradex, Fountainhead, Seven Fathom’s Rum, Tortuga, Premier Wines, and Jacques Scott.

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Bracker bags civil service worker of the year gong

| 20/10/2014 | 6 Comments

(CNS): Venice Tatum, an administrative secretary at the Cayman Brac Police Station was named as the Deputy Governor’s Employee of the Year last week. Tatum was selected from twelve finalists who had all received employee of the month gongs over the last twelve months. Tatum was described as exemplifying efficiency and professionalism, going beyond the call of duty on a daily basis. “Her unblemished service reputation has earned her the love, admiration and respect of the Sister Islands community and beyond. Her loyalty, diligence, and commitment are incomparable,” said Gloria McField-Nixon, the portfolio’s chief officer.

The gongs were given out at a ceremony at Government House, where the governor Helen Kilpatrick commended all of the monthlywinners “on a job well done” as she pointed to the Deputy Governor’s programme as one that endorses the many positive contributions being made each day within the civil service.

“It seems clear these examples abound,” she said. Kilpatrick added that the Employee of the Year would serve almost as an ambassador for the civil service for the next 12 months.

“This is a very important position at a very important time. The civil service is at a cross-roads and your colleagues will be looking around for positive role models.”

Deputy Governor Franz Manderson said it was difficult selecting the overall winner from among the best in the civil service during the year. In the final analysis, he said, there was only a very small degree of separation between the nominees who each had compelling nominations and achieved outstanding annual appraisals. Despite the relentless negativity, Manderson backed his 3000 strong workforce, stating that by and large the public service comprises hardworking, dedicated and able people who strive every day to serve the country well, for which they receive little appreciation.

Two other civil servants singled out for exceptional performance were Fisher Porter in the Facilities Management Department, who is known for his never-failing amiability in carrying out his duties, and government veterinarian Dr Samantha Dorman, who spent Christmas Eve and Day in a barn tending to a very sick animal. He also thanked the civil service’s first Employee of the Year, Nicolas McLean, for his exceptional representation during the year.

Tatum said she was extremely pleased to win the award, which was a tremendous honour.

“Winning this award is unbelievable and I am just over the moon!” she exclaimed.

The other 11 finalists were Tracey Gale (July 2013); Julia King (August 2013), Doris Morris-Herrera (September 2013), Ingrid Spence (November 2013), Herbert Tomlinson (December 2013), Lloyd McField (January 2014), Harry Forbes (February 2014), Jenine Stewart (March 2014), Jeremy O’Sullivan (April 2014), Karen Christian (May 2014) and Thoywell Facey (June 2014).

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New boss for dump project

| 20/10/2014 | 63 Comments

(CNS): As government inches along plans to address the George Town dump with a national integrated solid waste management project the public works department has recruited a new senior project manager from overseas. Jim Schubert, a Canadian with some 25 years’ experience in the solid waste management industry will now take the helm of the process to deal with Cayman’s future rubbish. Schubert will be responsible for all aspects of project delivery for the proposed waste management system. PWD Director J Max Jones said the appointment is in line with government’s aim to re-centralise project management of major projects under his department.

The ministry’s chief officer, Jennifer Ahearn who chairs the project steering committee said the project was a national priority that the minister was anxious to see move forward in accordance with the provisions of the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility.

“Mr Schubert’s philosophy of reducing, reusing, recycling and recovering also closely fits in with our own beliefs concerning the direction that this project should take,” she said.

Government has ben under increasing public pressure to address Grand Cayman's dump problem immediately, but the costly project will require significant financing and a public private partnership. As a result of the tight rein placed on public finances by the FCO, the government has to follow a lengthy process. This means it will be 2016 before there is a new solid waste management system in place.

Schubert served as Project Manager for the Waste to Biofuels Project for the City of Edmonton for the past 12 years. This system includes an integrated handling and transfer facility to process waste that is then sent to a gasification or biofuels facility. The project will ultimately divert 90% of Edmonton’s residential waste from the landfill. Before that he worked as the Facility Manager of the Edmonton Waste Management Centre (EWMC). While there he was responsible for all aspects of the operation, such as: the sanitary landfill, dry waste site, a materials recovery facility for recyclables and operation that included North America’s largest composting facility.

An advocate of the integrated waste management approach, otherwise known as “reduce, reuse, recycle, recover”, he is well-versed in the development of such plans, and stresses that early public engagement is crucial to their success. “It is the public who will ultimately pay the costs associated with the new waste system,” he said.

His waste management experience includes environmental permit applications; air pollution control; hazardous waste combustion systems; the planning, design and implementation of new facilities; and the technical assessment of facilities requiring upgrading or retrofitting.
“I do believe that what I am doing is good for the environment, and that developing an integrated system to deal with the problem of waste management, benefits the here and now as well as generations to come,” Schubert stated.

Commenting on the appointment, Osbourne Bodden, the minister responsible for Environmental Health and the dump said: “We are excited to have a professional of this calibre on-board, and are confident that he can play a key role in keeping the project moving forward.”

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Fever to trigger visitor isolation in Ebola plan

| 20/10/2014 | 6 Comments

(CNS): Following the cruise ship Ebola scare, last week, local officials have now revealed their plan to deal with the possible entry of the deadly virus into Cayman. Although the public health boss had indicated that it may be November before the hospital would be in a position to deal with any casesof the disease, should it find its way to these shores, following the news that a Texas health care worker who may have been exposed to the virus was on board a cruise ship in the region, government has picked up the pace on its plan and says any visitors from the West African region with a fever will be isolated.

Lizzette Yearwood the Health Services Authority’s chief executive officer said travellers arriving from any destination who have fever will be treated as suspect cases, until confirmed positive for Ebola.

“Plans are also in place for the isolation and management of such cases until a full-fledged field unit can be arranged,” she said in release from the health ministry. “We are procuring adequate protective gear for Cayman Islands Hospital staff, and have organised training in all aspects of the management of the virus with the support of an overseas health facility. We are confident we can manage if the need arises,” she added.

Bruce Smith, the Deputy Chief Immigration Officer said his office is actively taking measures to identify passengers by way of a traveller’s questionnaire which asks specifically about travel to West Africa within the past four weeks of their arrival in the Cayman Islands. The department will notify the Health Services Authority (as per protocol), where any have been to Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia or Nigeria.

Although the chances of the disease arriving in Cayman are still narrow the movement of healthcare workers in the United States, that have been exposed to the virus since it arrived in Texas, makes the possibility less remote.

The health minister said he was pleased that the cruise ship on which a lab technician who had handled blood samples with the virus was travelling had headed back to Texas. The Carnival Magic which was refused entry into both Belize and Mexico, had been in Cayman just two weeks ago and was due to arrive here this week.

“I am happy that the Carnival ship that was due here next week has gone back to home port, and so far we have not been exposed at any of our ports of entry,” Osbourne Bodden said. “Stakeholders are working hard to ensure that the Cayman Islands remains free of the virus, or that any outbreak is quickly contained. An emphasis has been placed on ensuring that staff at stakeholder agencies are both trained and informed about the disease.

“Government is also monitoring the situation in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria, although the outbreak in that country appears to be contained,” the Minister added.
Officials from 13 agencies are now said to be “working together robustly, to mitigate against the threat of the Ebola virus,” as it has now reached the United States. Members include Public Health, Health Services Authority, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Home Affairs, Hazard Management Cayman Islands, Environmental Health, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, the Cayman Islands Airports Authority, the Port Authority, Immigration, Customs, the Department of Tourism and Government Information Services.

Stakeholders have been refining existing preparedness plans and procedures to satisfy the protocols necessary for successful containment of the virus. Some areas under consideration by the Ebola planning committee have included: entry screening protocols; personal protective equipment (PPE); contact tracing; and contingency plans that cover issues such as transportation, isolation/quarantine, case management and infection control measures.

Medical Officer of Health, Dr Kiran Kumar, who heads the committee said the cooperation was extremely productive.  The Health Services Authority team will now check temperatures of travellers and they will be isolated if they have fever or quarantined if there is no fever, whether residents or visitors, for up to 21 days from the date of their departure from the affected countries.

In addition tooverseeing local precautions, the Public Health Department is also communicating with international agencies such the Caribbean Public Health Agency, the Pan American Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Public Health England. Should the Ebola virus reach the Cayman Islands, these organisations have promised technical assistance with regards to the deployment of human resources and supplies, Dr Kumar explained.
The premier, who is also the minister of home affairs said the country had a robust system in place.
“Cabinet will meet Tuesday for a briefing and update on Ebola and our efforts on the ground in the Cayman Islands to keep the public safe,” Alden McLaughlin said. “I can assure all that we have a robust communicable disease surveillance system already in place and the Ministry of Health, as well as the Health Services Authority, have already begun work on identifying protocols to deal with the disease should the need arise.”
Officials said the public will receive periodic updates on the global and regional situations with regards to the spread of Ebola, as well as the Cayman Islands’ readiness to cope with any local outbreak.

Despite on-going concerns about the potential for the virus to spread some 60 Dallas residents and health workers who had contact with the first Ebola patient to be treated in the United States were released from quarantine Monday with none of them infected. A nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for two infected West African patients in a Madrid hospital has now tested negative, Spanish authorities have said. The result suggests Teresa Romero, 44, is no longer infected although a second test is required before she can be declared free of Ebola.

However, there are still concerns and speculation that Nina Pham, the Dallas nurse who contracted Ebola last week, may have spread the virus to her boyfriend, according to US media reports.

Meanwhile, with no new cases for more than six weeks, Nigeria has been declaredofficially free of Ebola the World Health Organization (WHO) said Monday. Nigeria won praise for its swift response after a Liberian diplomat brought the disease there in July.
The Ebola outbreak has killed more than 4,500 people in West Africa, mostly in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. An estimated 70% of those infected have died in those countries.

Key facts about Ebola
The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission. The first Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreaks occurred in remote villages in Central Africa in the 1970s, near tropical rainforests, but the most recent outbreak in West Africa has involved major urban as well as rural areas.
The average EVD case fatality rate is around 50%. Case fatality rates have varied from 25% to 90% in past outbreaks.
Early supportive care with rehydration and symptomatic treatment improves survival rates.
There is as yet no licensed treatment proven to neutralise the virus but a range of blood, immunological and drug therapies are under development.
There are currently no licensed Ebola vaccines but two potential candidates are undergoing evaluation.
The incubation period, which is, the time interval from infection with the virus to onset of symptoms is 2 to 21 days.
Humans are not infectious until they develop symptoms.
First symptoms are the sudden onset of fever fatigue, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, symptoms of impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding (e.g. oozing from the gums, blood in the stools). Laboratory findings include low white blood cell and platelet counts and elevated liver enzymes.

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Large waterspout spotted off airport runway

| 20/10/2014 | 2 Comments

(CNS): A CNS reader captured an impressive image of a waterspout that had formed on the North Sound just off the Owen Roberts International Airport runway, Saturday. Fortunately there was no aircraft taking off at the time. Although not an uncommon weather phenomenon around Cayman this was a particularly large example of an intense columnar vortex. Waterspouts are non-supercell tornadoes, less powerful than land tornadoes and connected to towering cumuliform cloud or cumulonimbus cloud. Photo by Ian Hider

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Brackers help cops to net drug dealers

| 20/10/2014 | 9 Comments

(CNS): Two men from Grand Cayman were arrested on Cayman Brac Thursday in connection with reports of drug dealing in the Watering Place area. After receiving information, a response team made up of local police, special constables and officers from the customs department stopped a white Hyundai car in the Creek Road area and recovered a vegetable matter resembling ganja. The 37-year-old driver and the 23-year-old passenger were both arrested. Chief Inspector Frank Owens warned anyone going to the Brac planning on committing crime that he has over 1,500 people watching.

“Every now and again we have some people coming to the Sister Islands who think they can commit crime here without repercussions, whether it be breaking into people’s property or being involved in illegal drugs,” said Owens.

“I have 1500 plus eyes and ears on the Sister Islands who care for these islands and want to keep them safe for our residents and people who want to come here to enjoy themselves. So the message is we are watching you, with the support of the community and the excellent co-operation of our partner agencies we will deal robustly with any illegal activities, which has been shown by successful operations and arrests in the last year”.

The two men in this case were both arrested on suspicion of possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply/possession of a controlled drug and consumption ofa controlled drug. Police seized the drugs and the car and the suspects were interviewed before being bailed to return to Brac Police Station at a later date.

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