iLocal News Archives

iNews Briefs

iNews briefs1Health City Cayman Islands Grand Opening of first phase

Health City Cayman Islands Grand Opening will be on Tuesday 25th February 2014 from 9am – 11 am.

Dr. Alejandro Badia, Hand & Upper Extremity Surgeon will be attendance. Dr. Badia specializes in minimally invasive procedures and treats many world-renowned athletes.

Cayman Health Care Construction Group handed over the keys to the first phase of the multi-million dollar facility to project director Gene Thompson last Friday (14).

This first phase will house 140 beds, operating theatres, outpatient rooms and an intensive care unit.

Six Caribbean islands sign on to replace diesel with renewables

By Andrew Burger, Triple Pundit From ENN

Brought together on Sir Richard Branson’s Caribbean island retreat by the Carbon War Room and Rocky Mountain Institute, to work out a framework to effect a transition away from fossil fuels, six Caribbean island nations have agreed to replace diesel-fueled power with a mix of clean, sustainable renewable power generation, energy storage systems, and greater energy efficiency.

The founder of both the Virgin Group and Carbon War Room, Branson is spearheading the “Ten Island Renewable Challenge,” an initiative that aims to promote and foster renewable energy development, enhance climate change resiliency, and support entrepreneurs and local businesses across the Caribbean Basin.

“Islands are a microcosm of larger energy systems around the world and offer an excellent test bed to demonstrate and scale innovative clean energy solutions,” Rocky Mountain Institute co-founder and chief scientist Amory Lovins stated.

On the Front Lines of Global Warming

Island nations are on the front lines when it comes to global warming, as sea levels rise and threaten sparse freshwater resources and stronger storm surges raise the threat of inundation and loss of life and property. Typically reliant on imports of diesel and fossil fuels, island nations can also boast some of the highest energy prices in the world.

For more:

Saturday closing of Post Offices

A reminder that the following post offices will be closed from now:

Hell, Bodden Town, North Side, East End

However, post offices such as Savannah, Airport, General, Seven Mile Beach and West Bay will remain open on Saturdays, as will all post offices on the Sister Islands.

Cayman elected secretary UKOT association – Gibraltar to chair

At the Annual General Meeting of UKOTA (United Kingdom Overseas Territories Association) held on Wednesday 12th February 2014, Gibraltar was elected Chair of UKOTA.

Albert Poggio, the Government’s United Kingdom Representative, will represent H.M. Government of Gibraltar in this role. The other offices of Secretary and Treasurer were taken by the Cayman Islands and British Virgin Islands respectively.

The Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, said, “I am delighted with the regard in which Gibraltar is held within UKOTA. There are many areas of mutual interest in which we can share knowledge and experience to our collective benefit. I am looking forward to my tenure as President of the Political Council and in particular how it seeks to shape the nature of engagement with the United Kingdom Government in matters of importance to the British Overseas Territories.”

5Cs Welcomes DFID Caribbean Evaluation Team

From Caribbean Climate

The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre welcomed Caribbean representatives from the United Kingdom Department for International Development (UK-DFID) to its offices Thu (13). The team, which is conducting an annual project evaluation, includes Alex Harvey, climate change and disaster risk reduction team leader, and Rosanne Kadir, programme officer.

The UK-DFID is providing up to £4.9 million from the International Climate Fund, between October 2011 and March 2015, to support a programme of priority actions in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Regional Framework for Achieving Development Resilient to Climate Change Implementation Plan (IP). This support strengthens the Centre’s ability to support national level adaptation, as well as Caribbean participation in global negotiations. It will also help some of the most vulnerable communities to withstand the impacts of climate change and variability.

For more:

Heroes for Hannah mothers training for half marathon

Three mothers are training to run in the Disney Princess Half Marathon in Florida on Sunday, Feb. 23 to make people aware of childhood cancer and in particular Hannah Meeson.

Hannah (6) has been battling brain cancer since she was 4 and her health has been declining. She has had to use a walker since October and attends weekly physical and occupational therapy sessions to help with deteriorating muscle tone, balance, and coordination – symptoms arising from her cancer treatments.

The family travels between Houston and Cayman for Hannah’s treatments.

The chances of survival after relapse for all children’s cancers are around 5 percent.

The Heroes for Hannah fund was set up through the St. Baldrick’s Foundation – an international volunteer-driven charity committed to funding research to find cures for childhood cancers.

See also iNews Cayman story published September 13 2013 “Heroes for Hannah Sep 20 – National Childhood Cancer Awareness” at:

[Jamaican] Policeman among alleged robbers

From RJR News

A policeman is one of three alleged gunmen who have been arrested following a robbery in St Elizabeth yesterday. The incident happened in the Slipe community.

It’s reported that about 5 o’clock in the afternoon, three men went to the community acting as ganja buyers. They went to a house to do the transaction, but residents became suspicious. One of the men reportedly pulled a gun, handcuffed the ganja vendor and took a parcel of the weed.

Residents converged on the scene and called the police, but the men sped away in a car. The police intercepted the vehicle, and residents also caught up with them.

The police arrested the three men who were in the car, and seized a gun and 19 pounds of ganja.

It was then discovered that one of the men is a cop attached to a Corporate Area station. A probe is being carried out by the Black River Police.

For more:

Major renovations for Brac sports facilities

Government has announced major renovations to the sporting facilities in Cayman Brac that has budgeted at $550,000.

In a statement Deputy Premier Hon. Moses Kirkconnell said, “These enhancements have opened up a myriad of opportunities for Cayman Bracincluding the ability to host CONCACAF and other international tournaments in the future.”

Renovations will include construction of three additional changing rooms, a cistern a parking area and the installation of an IAAF athletics track with an entry road to the facility.

Already installed are FIFA-standard lighting, FIFA-standard artificial turf, portable fencing, temporary bleachers, tents, flagpoles, and shelters.

Dixon Construction a local company has been contracted to execute the work that is slated for June.

Scientists get meaningful energy from laser-based nuclear fusion

By Jon Fingas  From engadget

Researchers have long sought to generate significant energy from laser-based nuclear fusion, and it appears that they’re finally making some headway.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory reports that laser blasts in September and November produced more energy from hydrogen fusion reactions than they’d put into the hydrogen — the first time that’s happened.

The key was an extra dose of caution. The lab team altered the laser pulse so that it didn’t break a shell used in the necessary fuel-compression process, improving the energy yield.

We’re still far from seeing laser fusion reactors when just 1 percent of the power reached the hydrogen in the first place. However, the output was much closer to what scientists have been expecting for years — laser fusion is now more of a realistic possibility than a pipe dream.

For more:

Little Cayman CCMI receives Research Experience for Undergraduates grant

When is your vacation not a vacation? When it’s an 8-week coral reef research expedition to Little Cayman.

Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) has been awarded the Research Experience for Undergraduates grant by the National Science Foundation! The grant funds eight undergraduate students to be paired with a professional research mentor each, and together they live and work at the Little Cayman Research Centre to develop a research project on the topic of Coral Reef Biodiversity and Resilience.

Research topics will be around the topics of:

Coral Reef Stress, Climate Change, and Ocean Acidification

Coral Reef Resilience and  Restoration

Invasive Species (Lionfish)


With the only coral nursery in the Cayman Islands and over half of the island’s coastline protected, Little Cayman is an ideal place to conduct research. Applications are due by March 15th.

Interested in applying? Visit their website to learn more about your eligibility, mentor options, and research topics, then put together a research proposal and apply online.

Contact [email protected] with any questions.

Largest ever entry list for RORC Caribbean 600

From Scuttlebutt Sailing News

The 2014 RORC Caribbean 600 has the largest ever entry list for the 6th edition, with a strong international cast and a huge variety of yachts racing under the IRC Rating system. The fleet of 61 boats will be flying the flags of 11 different countries: Antigua; British Virgin Islands; Canada; France; Germany; The Netherlands; Italy; Russia; Spain; United Kingdom and the United States of America.

On Monday 24th February, the start gun will fire from Fort Charlotte, Antigua and the largest fleet of yachts ever to race offshore in the Caribbean will begin their high speed adventure. Racing with warm breeze both day and night, the 600nm course circumnavigates 11 Caribbean Islands starting from Fort Charlotte, English Harbour, Antigua and heads north as far as St Martin and south to Guadeloupe taking in Barbuda, Nevis, St Kitts, Saba and St Barth’s.

For more information visit:

For more:

WIA to host fundraisers to help Caribbean

From bernews

The West Indian Association of Bermuda said they note with sadness and concern the devastation that has occurred as a result of heavy rains and severe flooding over the Christmas season in the Caribbean. Hardest hit were St. Vincent and St. Lucia.

The Government of those islands declared a level two disaster; a level two disaster is declared when the damage is severe and for which local resources and response capacity are limited and specialized external assistance is requested.

Collectively, 15 deaths have been reported and over 33,000 people have been affected by the torrential downpour. Financial losses are estimated to be in the millions. Homes have been destroyed, and infrastructure damaged.

Medical supplies and basic necessities are in short supply. The West Indian Association of Bermuda and its partners are still receiving and collating information on the recovery efforts underway in those countries so as to determine the priority needs.

For more:

Three airports closed in Indonesia after volcanic eruption

From Business Insider

JAKARTA (Reuters) – A volcanic eruption in East Java, Indonesia, showered ash and debris over parts of densely populated east and central Java, resulting in the closure of three airports, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) said on Friday.

There have been no confirmed deaths from the eruption by Mount Kelud on Thursday, BNPB spokesman Sutopo Nugroho said. He said his team was trying to verify reports of two deaths.

“Juanda Airport in Surabaya, Adisumarmo Airport in Solo and Adisucipto Airport in Yogyakarta are still closed,” Sutopo said.

“Areas to the west of Mount Kelud including central Java, Yogyakarta, Cilacap, Magelang, Temenggung and Boyolali are still experiencing showers of ash because last night the biggest eruption … threw sand and ash 17 km into the air to the west,” he said.

The eruption had caused minimal damage to buildings, Sutopo said, but had left 3 to 5 cm of ash and sand on roads.

For more:

A rare weather phenomenon known as thundersleet is hitting Virginia

From Business Insider

A major winter storm slamming much of the Northeast is creating something called “thundersleet.”

The unusual weather phenomenon has been reported in Virginia and is now heading to the Washington D.C. area, according to a Facebook status posted by the Virginia Weather Network.

Thundersleet is exactly what it sounds like. It happens when thunder and lightning occur at the same time as sleet or freezing rain. The mash-up of weather events is extremely rare, according to a 2009 article from Scientific American which notes that “less than 1 percent of observed snowstorms unleash thundersnow, according to a 1971 NSW study.”

Meteorologist John Fuller of has more on how thundersleet forms:

Thunder sleet is similar to thunder snow and thunder showers in the sense that convection is taking place within the cloud. That is, rapid updrafts and downdrafts are causing friction within the cloud producing strong positive and negative parcels within the cloud. When these oppositely charged parcels collide, you get lightning and hear thunder. When the rain falls from the cloud, through a layer just above the ground that is below 32 degrees (today it’s is 25-29 degrees), the droplets freeze into granules that look like diamonds. If the rain aloft that falls is warm enough, it may not freeze until it hits the sub-freezing surface resulting in thunder freezing rain and a glaze at the surface.. The key in having any ‘thunder’ precipitation is convection or strong updrafts and downdrafts causing enough friction and charged particles to produce lightning. Thunder is the sound resulting from the lightning that super heats the air around the bolt.

For more:

MORGAN STANLEY: Here’s ‘Your Guide To Monitoring The Economy Just Like Janet Yellen’

From Business Insider

On Tuesday (11), Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen promised the House Financial Services Committee “a great deal of continuity” in monetary policy as she fills the shoes of Ben Bernanke.

However, Yellen is not Bernanke. And depending on her read on the economy, she will use her powers to influence the direction of monetary policy via the Federal Open Market Committee.

So what is Yellen watching out for?

Morgan Stanley economists Dane Vrabac and John Abraham answer this question in this new presentation distributed to clients.

It’s a catalogue of 31 charts that have individually been cited by Yellen as informing her view.

For more and to download the guide go to:

CRFM states discusses legal instrument for lobster fishery

BELIZE CITY, Friday, February 14, 2014―The 22ndMeeting of the Executive Committee of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM)―which has over the past two days been deliberating on matters such as coral reef management, the lobster fishery, and cooperation between CARICOM States and the French Island in fisheries―concluded today in Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The CRFM Executive Committee consists of representatives of 6 member states of the regional inter-governmental fisheries organization. The membership of the committee is drawn from the Caribbean Fisheries Forum, a group of government officials, fishers and representatives of private companies from CRFM states tasked with providing technical support to the CRFM.

“The Committee addressed a number of important regional initiatives designed to ensure sustainable use of our fisheries resources and protect the marine ecosystems,” said Milton Haughton, CRFM Executive Director.

During the course of this week’s meeting, the Executive Committee also worked on a legal instrument to strengthen regional cooperation for the conservation, management and sustainable use of the spiny lobster and the protection of its habitat, Haughton added.

The CRFM Executive Committee has been meeting since 2003. It holds inter-sessional meetings twice a year between sittings of the Caribbean Fisheries Forum, as its principal mission is to advance the Forum’s work using a consensus-building approach.

Work to start on new home for orchestra 

From Miami Herald

NEW ORLEANS — Construction is expected to start within the next 60 days on renovation of a former department store as the new home of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra.

New Orleans CityBusiness reports ( ) the project should cost about $8 million.

Landis Construction was the lone bidder on conversion of the building on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard into a 14,000-square-foot flexible performance space and community center.

Christian Generes, vice president of preconstruction for Landis, says construction should be complete by the end of the year.

Kronberg Wall Architects of Atlanta designed the space.

The orchestra’s ownership group bought the building in September 2013 for $600,000 from Cayman Realty LLC.

State records show Robert and Terry Segura of New Orleans and Robert Ward of Germantown, Tenn., as members of Cayman Realty.

For more:



Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *