Archive for December 11th, 2014

CIOC selling-off official kit for fundraiser

CIOC selling-off official kit for fundraiser

| 11/12/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Following what the committee described as an incredible year for the Cayman Islands and sport, the local Olympic Committee is holding one last fundraiser, just in time for Christmas. Next week, 15-19 December people will have the chance to purchase Official Cayman Islands gear from the various game. The Cayman Islands Olympic Committee said it has everything from t-shirts and fleeces to running shoes and baseball caps that have been worn at various Games over the last 8 years. “With very limited numbers and sizes available once it's gone, it's gone,” the committee said as they urged those keen on owning the sort after kit to stop by the CIOC office first thing Monday.

“Prices vary from $10 to $100 and these items will be a unique gift for you or your loved ones this holiday season,” officials revealed. “We will be closing the office on Wednesday, December 17th and will be set up on the Crescent at Camana Bay for this fundraiser. The office will close on Friday, December 19th at 12pm for the holidays (and auditing). The office is located at 6 Windward Centre, 93 Smith Rd, George Town.

All items will be available at cost – no bargaining will be accepted. All funds raised will go directly into funding Caymanian athletes.  Any remaining gear will be donated to developing sports team in need of team kit.  No items have been worn, all were ordered in addition to the clothing worn by our National Teams.

For more information contact Tel: 345 946 6984 or Email: . Website: Facebook:

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Hospital to continue quit-course for smokers

Hospital to continue quit-course for smokers

| 11/12/2014 | 9 Comments

(CNS): Some five years after the Cayman government implemented the tobacco law banning smoking in public buildings and other areas the minister of health was still concerned recently that too many people are smoking. He said the island may even have to consider a complete smoking ban to stop people smoking as the limited ban and the high price, Osbourne Bodden said had still not stopped people smoking. But before that is on the table the hospital is trying to help smokers quit. Following the first course of its kind this year, fifty percent of the people who participated in the new smoking cessation programme, and who completed the course, managed to kick the habit, which has spurred organisers to prepare a second similar programme in February.

The stop smoking course was run by Cayman Islands Health Services Authority’s (HSA) Public Health Department. Called ‘I Can Quit’, the first programme was launched in June, just after the annual World Tobacco Day Designed to empower smokers to break the habit through a combined effort that included a variety of support services.

It ran for seven weeks and began with 13 participants, who were both HSA staff and members of the general public. Out of the 13, eight completed the course and four successfully quit smoking and three others have cut down, officials said.

Lizzette Yearwood, Chief Executive Officer said the results were extremely encouraging.
“Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease around the world, killing six million people every year,” she said. “The most current report from America’s Surgeon General’s recommends providing access to cessation treatments, and expanding these services for all smokers, so our focus has been to assist smokers using a comprehensive programme that targets the multiple factors associated with why a person continues to smoke. We are absolutely delighted that for those participants who have managed to conquer their addiction may now go on to leading a far healthier life.”

The Cayman Islands has its own worrying statistics on the smoking habits of residents. The 2012 Cayman Islands Government Chronic Disease Risk Factor Survey, known as the ‘Healthy Nation’ survey, found that 15% of the population’s 25-64 year olds smoked tobacco, with men twice as likely as women to do so. Among those who smoked 67% did so daily. For both men and women, smokers started smoking tobacco at an average age of 20 and those aged 25-34 years started smoking at approximately 18 years of age. Daily smokers have an average of 11 cigarettes per day.

“The ‘I Can Quit’ programme was therefore a timely intervention and plays an integral part of the HSA’s overall chronic disease management programme,” Yearwood added.

Therese Prehay, Health Promotion Officer of the Public Health Department and a Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist, coordinated the ‘I Can Quit’ programme and explained the objectives of the course. 

“Smokers learned about the triggers and how to conquer them, as well as how to cope with withdrawal symptoms,” Prehay said. “We offered participants medication to help them quit their addiction and remain smoke free along with group support”.

At each weekly session, participants had their weight, blood pressure and carbon monoxide levels in the lungs and blood measured.

“Three participants whose combined initial nicotine levels averaged 25.7 declined to as little as 6.7 per person at the end of programme. This effort represents a 285% improvement from the initial baseline and is particularly impressive,” Prehay said. “All participants who completed the programme were extremely satisfied with the many different aspects of the curriculum. The positive feedback impacted the programme tremendously, so we very much look forward to presenting the next programme early next year.”

People interested in quitting smoking should contact the Public Health Department on tel. 244-2889/244-2648, or email to register by January 14th 2015 for the next programme which begins on February 4 2015.

Visit for more information and services offered at the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority.

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Teen charged after Brac drug bust

Teen charged after Brac drug bust

| 11/12/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): A 19-year-old girl who was arrested along with a 37-year-old man in Cayman Brac last week, following an RCIPS drug bust at a Spot Bay address, has been charged, police stated. The teenager, who is from Cayman Brac, has been charged with drug related offences and is expected to appear in the Brac Summary Court on Thursday 29 January. She was arrested after police recovered around two pounds of ganja at the property where a search warrant had been issued. The man, who had fled when the police arrived, was previously charged and appeared in court on Grand Cayman this week. Both have now been bailed.

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Christmas crackdown starts with heavy toll

Christmas crackdown starts with heavy toll

| 11/12/2014 | 24 Comments

(CNS): The cops' Christmas crackdown began badly for more than three dozen drivers Wednesday. Police said that during the first day of the RCIPS annual Christmas campaign to crackdown on traffic infractions and other crime they prosecuted 39 people on the road. As the festive law enforcement focus started, police were ticketing drivers for a range of offences, from using vehicles with expired registrations, permitting people to drive without being qualified, and speeding. Police also said that they had picked up a wanted man for a criminal offence during one of the targeted road checks. Acting Superintendent Angelique Howell said she was disappointed that the public was still not adhering to the traffic law.

“And each day they are on the roads they are putting other road users lives at risk, including their own,” she said as she warned people the month long campaign would see the RCIPS being relentless in prosecuting those offenders who believe they are above the law.

Illustrating the disregard for the road laws and the dangers on the road from those committing serious traffic offences, Howell said that this year 130 drivers have been arrested for drunk driving and another 847 prosecuted for using a cell phone while driving.

Warning motorist that they must pay special attention to pedestrian crossings or cross-walks she also advised pedestrians to be attentive and said they should look both ways and ensure the road is clear before steppingonto a crossing.

“Safety is everyone’s responsibility,” she added.

The Christmas crime crackdown began Wednesday 10 December and the police will continue the effort throughout the festive season until Sunday 4 January. The RCIPS said the public could expect to see high police visibility during the month long focus.

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CI records 14th local case of Chikungunya virus

CI records 14th local case of Chikungunya virus

| 11/12/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Although Cayman is largely managing to contain local transmission of chikungunya virus the numbers for the year of people picking up the virus here are steadily increasing as the number of people in Cayman are contracting the disease overseas. Over the last week another four cases were confirmed two caught the mosquito transmitted disease in Jamaica and a third in Puerto Rico but a fourth had not left the island. Given that the virus is now widespread across the Caribbean region the Caribbean Public Health Agency is no longer testing cases where people have been in endemic countries and patients are being treated for the disease on diagnosis by doctors.

The total number of laboratory confirmed chikungunya cases in the Cayman Islands to date is 41 but another 27 patients have been treated for it having travelled to endemic countries. Results from 16 samples are still awaited. So far 34 patients came from  George Town, 15 from West Bay, 12 from Bodden Town and four in Cayman Brac, two live on Little Cayman and just two person in North Side has tested positive. 53 patients have reported travel history to countries experiencing outbreaks and results from 16 samples are still awaited

Meanwhile, public officials said that there were no new case of Dengue fever here this week and there have been just four cases so far this year. They also urged people to keep
Protecting themselves from the Aedes aegypti mosquito by using repellent with DEET on the skin, and wearing long sleeve pants and shirts when outside during times that mosquitoes bite, whether in the Cayman Islands or travelling.

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Post office picks up pace for seasonal rush

Post office picks up pace for seasonal rush

| 11/12/2014 | 11 Comments

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Postal Service will be accommodating customers’ collection of Christmas packages this year by extended business hours to 7pm on weedays at the Airport Post Office from 20 to 24 December. The service has also produced a new set of Christmas stamps depicting local places of worship the South Sound Community Church, the Stake Bay Baptist Church, and the Little Cayman Baptist Church, illustrating the importance of the church in the Cayman community and in particular at Christmas time.

While Cayman first day covers are always sought after by philatalists, this year the stamps come in self-adhesive booklets for practical use as well.

This stamp issue reflects the local rate of 25¢ and for the first time and follows on from the Sister Islands Traditional Homes stamp collection.

“This Christmas stamp issue embodies that same theme.  These buildings depict places of worship and symbolize peace, both of which are also representative of the meanings of Christmas,” said Postmaster General Sheena Glasgow.

Officials are also reminding people to collect parcels, EMS or small pack items received by the Cayman Islands Postal Service by 23 December. The Customs Department requires all packages that need to be assessed to have an invoice, which may be emailed to or faxed to 345-945-6876.

Customers should also include the following information with their invoice:  The item’s tracking number (13 character number in the format of XX000 000 000 XX). The tracking number is essential to match the invoice to the package. The addressee’s name and postal address. The addressee’s email address (if available).

To further assist the CIPS, customers may submit a Watch For Request ( for any item with a tracking number. If the request includes a valid email address, the notice will be emailed to the customer as soon as the item is ready for collection.

See the CNS Noice Board for post office extended hours

For more information on the stamp issue please contact the Philatelic Bureau at 946-4757 or the General Post Office at 949-2474 or visit the CIPS website –

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80% default in ‘save’ plan

80% default in ‘save’ plan

| 11/12/2014 | 81 Comments

(CNS): The finance minister revealed that around 82% of more than 150 people who were helped by the former UDP government’s 'save the mortgage' plan, financed with Dart cash, have gone on to default again on their homes. During a debate in the Legislative Assembly Monday on a private member's motion brought by the opposition leader asking government to help people who were in danger of losing their homes again, Marco Archer said the previous programme was ineffective. He pointed out that the $2.2 million given to the banks to stop defaults came against the backdrop of a $2.7 million waiver given back to Dart on affordable housingfees and had done almost nothing to address mortgage arrears.

He said that the majority of the people who were assisted with a loan of up to $20,000 from government to save their homes were not only in default with their banks again but also in default on that loan, even though they were interest free and payments could be spread over 50 years. That meant that those who got the full amount were only supposed to pay $33.33 a month back to government but 62% have failed to do so.

Although government said it was willing to consider McKeeva Bush’s motion to help those in the worst situation, Archer pointed out that government believed the 'save the mortgage' plan had failed.

Archer outlined the figures regarding the defaults but did not go into details about the scheme, which had come in for criticism before as there had been no real checks regarding some of the loans that were made. In the Grand Court earlier this year, a woman convicted of stealing some $430,000 from an offshore trust was one of the people who had applied for and successfully received cash from the scheme.

The minister said the government would need to be careful about any kind of fund for mortgages because this time it would have to come from the cash reserves, and giving the looming targets set by the FCO, the government could not just allocate the cash. But he said it would look at alternative options and that government acknowledged the difficulties many people were having meeting their expenses.

Even though government accepted the opposition leader’s motion, Bush made a full frontal attack on the government benches, accusing them of doing nothing at all to help the people and of creating the government’s financial problems in the first place.

He took the finance minister to task for spelling out the weakness of the UDP scheme and told the government to stand up to the FCO and tell them 'no'. He even thought it had led to his arrest, he said, as he referred to his recent trial over the use of his government credit card to get cash in casinos when he was gambling on slot machines.

He accused the PPM government of “spinning its wheels” and doing nothing about the major problem in the country of unemployment. He said that the UDP had helped people to keep their homes with the scheme but government could not make people pay if they did not have the money and they didn’t have the money because they did not have a job, as he blamed the current government for that as well.

Bush said the government benches had “no right to chastise” him because people were in default as they had caused all the trouble in the first place and had no solutions.

Stating that worse was still to come, the opposition leader questioned where the “sweet spot” was that Archer had spoken about recently when he delivered the Strategic Policy Statement.

“I don’t know what it was, but it isn’t sweet; it’s a bitter pill,” Bush added, as he lamented what he said was a lack of action by government to address the significant problems in the community caused by unemployment.

He said that another 120 jobs or more would be lost soon because of the Canadian banks pulling out and locals were not getting new opportunities. When he was premier, Bush said, he had tried to introduce new industries. People had threatened against them, he said, but in time they would come to see he was right about an oil refinery.


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Customs collector latest to receive DG’s gong

Customs collector latest to receive DG’s gong

| 11/12/2014 | 8 Comments

(CNS): While the administrative arm of government faces a rocky time regarding the recent revelations in the prison service, the immigration service and the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, one enforcement agency in government is celebrating. Assistant Collector of Customs Gidget Powell was named Employee of the Month for October and the latest civil servant to receive one of the deputy governor’s motivational gongs. She was described as the model civil servant of more than 26 years “professional, proficient, knowledgeable, courteous and compassionate.” An airport Manager for Customs on Grand Cayman, she is on-call and available for work 24/7. 

As a manager her staff said she consistently leads by example and encourages them to better themselves. Officials said she had an innate pride in her department and superb work ethic, and her superiors routinely receive spontaneous accolades from the public and other government agencies on her work.

Presenting Powell with the award, Franz Manderson, the Deputy Governor, lauded her high calibre of professionalism and the leadership qualities that she displays in all aspects of her work life. He also praised her for steadfastly upholding the department’s mission, which is to collect and protect revenue, facilitate passengers and legitimate trade, as well as to maintain effective border security.

Powell surprised by the gong said she was grateful to all who thought she deserved it.  “This has certainly encouraged me to redouble my efforts in the service of my department, my colleagues, and the Cayman Islands Government as a whole,” she said.

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Former Operation Cealt boss gets TCI top cop job

Former Operation Cealt boss gets TCI top cop job

| 11/12/2014 | 13 Comments

(CNS): The UK police officer who presided over the still secret spin-off investigation from Operation Tempura, known as Operation Cealt, has been appointed police commissioner in the Turks and Caicos Islands. James Smith was acting commissioner in Cayman in 2009, between the departure of David George, who was appointed by the UK when operation Tempura began and who left shortly after the fallout of the Justice Henderson unlawful arrest, and the arrival of David Baines. Smith will take up the position in TCI in February and will be in charge of 280 officers and staff, a release from the TCI governor’s office said.

According to officials, the job was advertised locally and internationally, attracting nearly 30 applicants. Six candidates were shortlisted and interviewed by a panel comprising the TCI governor, attorney general, the Human Rights Commission chair and the elusive Larry Covington, the FCO’s regional security adviser for the territories.

"I am delighted that we have secured the agreement of Jim Smith to take over as the next Police Commissioner this February," said TCI governor, Peter Beckingham, who approves all senior public appointments in the territory. "He brings the most senior experience from both the UK and Caribbean, having been an assistant and deputy chief constable in the UK, and was previously also acting police commissioner of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service."

When he was here in Cayman, Smith dealt with the fallout of Operation Tempura and established Operation Cealt, which was supposed to investigate the thousands of hours of tapes that the Tempura team had recorded from interviews with people who came forward in connection with alleged police corruption and the cover-up of serious crimes the in Cayman Islands.

But the results of that probe have never been revealed. Although the current RCIPS management has indicated that some officers were dismissed or forced to resign, there has been no public accountability about what had occurred and what were the consequences.

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JP bill aims to curb potential misuse of power

JP bill aims to curb potential misuse of power

| 11/12/2014 | 14 Comments

(CNS): Government has passed an amendment to the Summary Jurisdiction Law giving new powers to Cabinet members over Justices of the Peace, their appointment and training, as well as their removal from the post. The bill, presented by Premier and Home Affairs Minister Alden McLaughlin last month, gives Cabinet the power to set the procedure for nomination of JPs, what is required for theirtraining, the arrangements of any tribunal called to hear complaints made against them and the ability to assess “the fitness of a Justice of the Peace to serve” after they reach 70 years of age.  The idea is to set out regulations that will lessen the position’s potential for misuse of power, the premier revealed.

Following the Sandra Catron case, in which a search warrant signed by a JP was thrown out of court, the Progressives-led government said that it needed to change the law to allow for the creation of regulations to address the selection, training and code of conduct for justices of the peace. The Catron case as well as the arrest of a High Court judge during Operation Tempura led to calls for an increase in regulatory capacity over JPs' powers to sign arrest and search warrants.

When he presented the amendments, McLaughlin pointed out that the Bill of Rights requires all public officials to ensure that decisions made are lawful, proportionate, procedurally fair and transparent. He spoke about the need for them to remain impartial and to disclose interests to anyone seeking their services. He said they are not allowed to receive a fee or gifts for those services.

During the debate, Arden McLean (East End) accused the premier of an “affront” to some of those holding the position whom have decades of experience in law, by insinuating they were not capable of carrying out their tasks as JPs. However, he accepted lay JPs did need training. McLean also assured the premier in regards to his remaining silent on the matter, “That not gonna happen.”

North Side member Ezzard Miller, who is a JP, said he was resigning from the role because the government was changing what it was meant to be and people, particularly civil servants, were being appointed for the wrong reasons. He said the training sessions he had attended recently was inadequate and described it as demeaning. Miller said the best way to address the problem relating to warrants is to simply remove their right to sign warrants, as that should be left to magistrates and judges only.

In his response to the debate, McLaughlin said McLean was making “mountains out of molehills” but that in this case there was “not even a molehill”. He derided the comments as McLean getting a “soapbox” to stand on and preach.

He also stressed the importance of such regulations for a position that has in the past been open to misconduct, and told the East End representative that he should really be supporting the measures to ensure the regulation of such a potentially powerful role.

The governor will still be in charge of appointing JPs but within a regulatory framework set out by elected officials. The new powers of Cabinet over this branch of the judiciary will alter the dynamic of the position of JP. As a result, there are some concerns about the ability of the JP’s, in their role as judicial officials, to act independently of the executive. The law provides Cabinet with what has been described as “potentially ambiguous powers over JPs misconduct”.

While this is a legitimate concern, so is the notion of an unaccountable and unregulated body of JPs that could potentially repeat the mistakes and misconduct that Cayman has seen in the past few years.

The bill was carried with 11 ‘ayes’ from the government benches in the face of five ‘noes’ from the opposition and independent members. 

Related article:

Legal blunders could cost public purse dear

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