iLocal News Archives

iNews Briefs

iNews briefs1LA Meets on Cayman Brac Wed 9th

The sixth meeting of the Legislative Assembly 2013-2014 session will take place on Cayman Brac at the Aston Rutty Center from Wednesday, 9 to Friday, 11 April 2014.

The general public is invited to attend the sittings, which will start at 10:00 am each day. Dress code is business attire, similar for attendance on Grand Cayman.

Egyptian Islamists murder Christian woman — because of her Crucifix

From Newsmax

In a shocking new attack on Christians in Egypt, a Muslim mob dragged a young Coptic Christian woman out of her car, beat her and stabbed her to death — reportedly because of a cross hanging from her rear-view mirror.

The attack occurred in the Cairo suburb of Ain Shams after mosque prayer services in late March, when Muslim Brotherhood supporters clashed with police.

An eyewitness said 25-year-old Mary Sameh George was attacked in her car near a church, where she planned to deliver medicine to an ailing elderly woman.

The Islamists climbed onto her car, collapsing the roof, then dragged her from the vehicle, beating and mauling her. She was stabbed multiple times, her throat was slit, and after she died the mob set her car on fire, CNS News reported.

The young woman’s murder garnered little attention in the Egyptian press. One report quoted an Interior Ministry spokesman as saying protesters had “stabbed a Christian woman to death,” and blaming the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Australian Coptic Movement Association called the attack a “callous, vicious, and unprovoked” killing.

“Mary George was targeted for her faith in what is becoming an increasingly intolerable and inhospitable region for Christians, given that Ain Shams is a known stronghold for the Muslim Brotherhood,” the organization said. “The Egyptian government must send a clear message that this behavior will not be tolerated and that the culprits will be held to account under the full force of the law.”

Egypt’s Coptic Christians, who comprise less than 10 percent of the population, suffered increased persecution when Mohammed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood came to power, CNS News observed.

In August 2013, after Morsi was ousted, supporters vented their rage on Coptics and there were widespread attacks on Coptic churches and institutions in Egypt by Muslims.

Keep Cayman Brac Green . . . Recycle

Join in Cayman Brac

On Friday, March 28th 2014, Kiwanis President Kadi Pentney and Rotary Sunrise President, JD Mosley-Matchett went to the Brac to start a recycling initiative.

They spoke to over 250 students and adults and it was a successful day.

“We’re hoping to get plastic and glass bins sent over there in the next few weeks!”

Many Thanks to Cayman Airways, The Alexander Hotel and B&S Motors who provided flight, hotel and a car for us during our short trip!

For more:

Fugitive wanted in New York captured in Jamaica

From Wall Street Journal

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Jamaican police say a man indicted for the slaying of his estranged girlfriend in New York has been apprehended on the Caribbean island

The Jamaica Constabulary Force said Thursday that suspect Cleon Brown has been captured by a police fugitive team in the northern parish of Hanover.

In July, Elizabeth Hernandez was found fatally stabbed inside her home in the south shore Long Island town of Shirley. The mother of two had an order of protection against Brown at the time of her death. Authorities say Brown fled for Jamaica before he was indicted in New York for her murder.

The accused man will soon appear before a magistrate’s court. Police say extradition proceedings are expected to get under way.

For more:

Incredible new app helps the blind recognise colors and shapes through music

By Jacob Siegal From BGR

The medical world has been revolutionized by technology again and again, yet even the smallest advancement is still able to surprise and delight us. National Geographic has drawn our attention to one app that provides the blind with an aural alternative to vision. EyeMusic SSD (sensory substitution device), an app for iOS devices, captures shapes in the environment and translates them into what the developers call a “Soundscape” through musical notes.

Visually impaired individuals with the app will be able to plug in headphones, hold their phones up in front of them and allow the camera to translate the image into sound, but it takes some training to learn how to “read” the music. For example, a smile might be heard as “a string of high notes descending and then ascending again,” while a frown would be the opposite. If you want to give the app a try yourself, it’s free to download on the App Store.

For more:

New magazine “Inspires” Cayman school’s budding journalists

A new magazine has just been published in the Cayman Islands called “Inspire” and it has been produced by budding journalists from John Gray High School.

The magazine is a collaboration with volunteer group, Women in Cayman and the Save Our Youth Foundation (SOY) and it is available online at:

The magazine showcases young Caymanian talent and gets the students commenting on youth issues and politics.

The name of the magazine was chosen in the hope it “inspires” others.

Syrian Christians accuse Islamist rebels of destroying Church Crosses, pillaging homes during town seizure

From The Blaze

Radical Islamist rebels have seized a predominantly Christian town in northwest Syria in recent days and reportedly destroyed crosses on churches, pillaged homes and beheaded at least one opponent in a neighboring area, according to accounts conveyed from Syria on social media.

According to various media accounts, rebels from the Al Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra Front, Ahrah al Sham, the Islamic Front and Chechen jihadists on Sunday gained control over Kassab, a town of 1,700 residents who are mostly Armenian Christians who now fear for their future there.

The Christian Broadcasting Network reported that 80 people have been killed and at least three churches desecrated as Syrian Christians have all but abandoned the town.

Syrian Armenian community activist Nerses Sarkissian told Armenian Weekly that the rebels are desecrating churches, pillaging houses and destroying government buildings.

While most have fled to neighboring Latakia, the community is concerned about the Christians who have been unable to leave.

Other atrocities have been reported by Syria watcher Joshua Landis, who directs the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma and writes the Syria Comment blog. Landis retweeted photos apparently taken in Kassab and the vicinity showing the jihadi militants’ actions now that they control the town, including desecrating Christian churches, destroying bottles of alcohol and even beheading an opponent.

For more:

Why is a hotel minibar’s vodka often cheaper than the peanuts?

By Mary Beth Quirk From Consumerist

It’s getting late. You’ve had a rough day, what with that sprint to catch your connecting flight through Atlanta and then that thing with the cab and the monkey, ugh — time to kick back and relax in your hotel room. So what do you reach for first, the almost $20 can of peanuts or the more reasonably priced, albeit tiny bottle of vodka?

Yes, the vodka is often cheaper at a hotel minibar, reports Quartz, using data from a recent TripAdvisor survey that looked at the prices of in-room orders. That can include anything from a sandwich to a can pf peanuts, a bottled water or that tempting little mini-bottle of booze.

Hotels included in the survey were the 10 four-star hotels most popular with TripAdvisor’s users in cities like New York, Oslo and Toronto. And at many of those, not only are the peanuts more expensive than vodka, but even pricier than a bottled water. To be fair, a mini-bottle of booze in a hotel room is usually smaller than a bottle of water. Otherwise that is a great deal.

But why would hotels price it that way? Maybe to use the vodka as sort of a gateway purchase: Drink that vodka after a long day just to wind down, because it’s the cheapest thing in there, and suddenly you’re hungry for a salty snack. Cue the peanuts. And then $18 later, you’re thirsty. Here comes that water, price be damned!

Or you can do what the smart people do — just bring your own tiny bottles and snacks and charge yourself nothing for the pleasure of consuming it all, while pointing at laughing at the disconsolate, neglected minibar fridge.

For more:

Cuba to send 348 athletes to CentAm, Caribbean Games in Veracruz                                 

Havana, Apr 5 (Prensa Latina) At least 348 Cuban athletes of 24 disciplines have qualified for the Central American and Caribbean Games of Veracruz-2014, in the wake of performance of 16 taekwondo fighters in the qualifying tournament of Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic.

The taekwondo fighters won seven golds, three silvers and three bronzes in Santo Domingo, as well as two sixth places and one ninth place, Jit weekly revealed today.

The Cuban team ranked first among countries, with 117 points, followed by the host (80), Venezuela (70) and Colombia (67).

Other Cuban sports with places in the regional games are badminton (seven athletes), handball (30), canoeing (15), cycling (22), fencing (18), soccer (20), gymnastics and springboard (12), eurhythmics (three), field hockey (32), judo (16), synchronized swimming (10) and roller skating (6).

Cuba also guaranteed its presence in jai alai (seven), pentathlon (two), weight lifting (nine), water polo (26), paddling (20), women softball (17), shooting (20), archery (six), table tennis (four), triathlon (two) and volleyball (28).

The Veracruz Games are set to run Nov. 14-30. At least 5,365 athletes of 36 disciplines from 32 nations are expected to take part.

For more:

Rambarran calls for private investment in Tamana InTech

From NewsDay T&T

Central Bank Governor Jwala Rambarran is calling on Caribbean private sector investors to take a stake in the US$150 million Tamana InTech Park to drive economic diversification in technology intensive, knowledge driven industries.

“Tamana InTech Park is an opportunity to get off the sidelines and into the game. Bring your money, bring your technology, and like all risky ventures, you may or may not have the opportunity to reap substantial rewards,” he urged.

Rambarran spoke Friday at the opening of the 3rd Business Executive Meeting at the Hyatt Regency, Port-of-Spain. The meeting was organised by the University of the West Indies and the Caribbean Centre for Money and Finance.

Giving a background to the Tamana Park which started in 2008 and was patterned after the Silicon Valley, he cautioned against “attempting to duplicate Silicon Valley” saying it has not been replicated elsewhere.

Silicon Valley’s eco-system, he said evolved from a unique set of circumstances including a large pool of skilled engineers and scientists major universities in the area, and the laid-back, but driven-for-speed California culture. It also benefitted from generous funding from a strong aerospace market with the US Defence Department, an efficient network of venture capital firms, institutional leadership of Stanford University, and “pure luck among other things,” he said.

While the University of Trinidad and Tobago was meant to provide the necessary synergy between industry and academia, Rambarran said, “Unfortunately, despite several expressions of interest, Tamana InTech is yet to sign one contract.”

TT Government, he suggested, should now seek matching funds from local or foreign private investors to invest in the empty buildings in the Tamana InTech Park.

He further suggested that Government can directly approach technology investment firms and technology researchers to determine what they need to develop a world class industry.

TT’s experience with the Tamana Park shows that governments cannot build financial ecosystems by themselves and they need to involve the private sector from the start, he said

Apart from engaging the private sector from the start, Rambarran said governments also need to allow the sector to acquire a significant stake in the ecosystem’s success.

For more:,192945.html

37 former LIME staff employed by Ericsson in Cayman

38 of the 39 LIME staff employed in Grand Cayman who were terminated when Ericsson took over LIME’s Service Support and Delivery were offered jobs by Ericsson. One former employee of LIME did not apply.

37 of the 38 accepted the positions Ericsson had offered them.

Ericsson, in a statement said operators around the world were moving to managed service contracts with partners that could manage complexity effectively, and assume responsibility for operating and managing their networks.

LIME is Cayman’s largest telecommunications company and sold off service operations last February.

Jamaica murder rate declines for first quarter 2014

From Caribbean360

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Jamaica recorded a 12 per cent decline in murders during the first quarter of this year, Governor General Sir Patrick Allen has said.

Last year, Jamaica recorded 1,200 murders as compared to 1,097 in 2012.

Delivering the traditional Throne Speech at the start of the new Parliament on Thursday, Sir Patrick said that there had also been a 13 per cent decline in the overall category of serious crimes.

According to the head of state, fatal police shootings for the first quarter of 2014 had dropped by over 50 per cent, reflecting better operational planning and improved community co-operation.

Speaking under the theme, “Going for Growth: Creating Opportunities”, Sir Patrick  said that the long contemplated merger of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the Island Special Constabulary Force (ISCF) had been approved by Cabinet and will be implemented this fiscal year.

He said the merger would eliminate duplication in the command structure and release more personnel for operational duty.

For more:


Cayman’s Chamber members to decide on draft paper calling for Sunday shopping

The Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce has circulated a draft position paper calling for a relaxation of laws outlawing Sunday shopping to their members.

Members of the business lobby group have until April 17th to confirm if they support or oppose Sunday shopping.

The draft paper states: “The Chamber of Commerce believes that Sunday trading laws should be amended to provide better choice and lower prices to consumers, additional economic opportunities to businesses, and additional employment. We firmly believe that our proposed policy change would not pose any negative harm to our society or traditions.”

Caribbean gov’ts agree to train int’l financial services workers

By Arthur Hall, Senior News Editor From Jamaica Gleaner

NASSAU, Bahamas: Determined to protect the lucrative international financial services (IFCs) industry in the region, Caribbean governments have agreed to establish a centre of excellence to train workers for the sector.

Ryan Pinder, minister of financial services in The Bahamas, made the announcement during a press conference yesterday to close the third Caribbean Conference on IFCs in Nassau.

“The University of the West Indies and the Bahamas Institute of Financial Services have agreed to work together towards the establishment of The Caribbean Centre of Excellence for Financial Services,” declared Pinder.

Details of the operation of the centre are still being worked out and no start-up date has yet been decided, but Pinder said funding would come from entities such as the European Union and regional bodies.

Pinder was supported by Donville Inniss, minister of industry, international business commerce and small business development in Barbados.

“The centre of excellence comes against the backdrop of us realising the importance of financial services to our economies. In Barbados, it is the second most important industry and I believe in The Bahamas, it is also second to tourism. A lot of folks go about their daily business and do not think about the importance of the financial sector.

“It is not about The Bahamas alone, it is not about Barbados, it is not about Antigua. It is about the survival of our people in the region and for those islands which might not have financial services as an integral part of their economy at this time, the reality about it is that, if Bahamas does not succeed at this … , we cannot buy other people’s bananas or their plantain nor can we go and stay in their hotels,” said Inniss.

For more:

Cayman Ironwood developer says unlikely PAD will be submitted

Despite its size (a $360M development), David Moffitt speaking for the developers Ironwood, said it is unlikely they will be submitting a Planned Area Development (PAD) application.

Planning applications will be submitted as and when required and not as a whole proposal that has revealed a golf course, residential and commercial buildings, a retirement village (covering several hundred acres), including plans to dredge lakes in the area.

The developers have said, however, they will be submitting an environmental audit.

Cayman Islands Department of Environment have raised many concerns regarding the size of the project and its potential impact on the community and natural resources in an area home to many of Cayman’s endangered endemic species.

In a Letter to the Editor (published in iNews Cayman April 3 2014 at: from Sustainable Cayman, they have raised a number of concerns about the project with this warning – “Greed, desperation, and anxiety cannot be the prime motivators in this matter, or any other that will impact upon our islands”.

Prevention order for jailed Jehovah’s Witness who fled to the Caribbean to molest kids

From JW Survey

79-year-old jailed pedophile Jehovah’s Witness, William Rogers, has been issued with a sex offenders’ prevention order limiting his future contact with children.

Rogers was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment at Ipswich Crown Court last month for violating the terms of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 by fleeing to the Dominican Republic in 2006 from his home in Ipswich.

He returned on January 15 this year and admitted that he had been “teaching and molesting children” during his eight-year stay while working as a Jehovah’s Witness.

Prior to going to the Caribbean, Rogers had already served a seven-year jail sentence for abusing two girls under the age of 11 during his time as an elder in England.

On his release from prison in 2000 Rogers was supposed to notify his local public protection unit of any trips abroad he planned on making of three days or longer. But he broke these rules and jetted off to the Dominican Republic.

The police were only notified of his whereabouts after discovering from investigations that he had made a withdrawal from his bank account on May 8, 2006.

In addition to the sex offenders’ prevention order, Police have been granted a Foreign Travel Order banning Rogers from traveling abroad on his release from jail for the next five years.

For more:

Road safety measures in Cayman Islands

The National Roads Authority (NRA) in conjunction with the Ministry of PLAH&I have been working on multiple ways to help make our roads safer for the benefit of the entire Cayman community.

Just this past January 2014 the iRAP (International Road Assessment Programme) was launched to help us identify sections of roadway that are by engineering standards potentially unsafe.  Safety countermeasures currently being tested by the NRA include transverse rumble strips and more recently anti-skid coating at some crosswalks and major roundabouts.

Both the transverse rumble strips and the anti-skid coating are internationally proven methods of reducing road collisions.  They are especially effective where loss of friction results when rain, oil and other lubricants are deposited on the roadways.

While the NRA continues to review solutions to improve road safety, it encourages all road users to remain alert to their surroundings and road conditions, follow posted speed limits and obey the rules of the road.

For more information please contact the National Roads Authority (NRA) at 946-7780 and visit our website at

Digicel becomes platinum sponsor of St Lucia Jazz Festival

SAINT LUCIA  – On Tuesday April 2nd, the Almond Morgan Bay resort collaborated with the Saint Lucia Tourist Board in honoring the many corporate partners who contribute to the continuing success of the annual Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival.

Director of Tourism Louis Lewis and the Festival Organizing Committee were joined by corporate executives representing the festival’s many partners for the Sponsors’ Cheque Hand-over Ceremony. The highly symbolic ceremony also included recognition of and tributes to the diverse corporate partners.

Now ranked amongst the most prestigious music festivals in the world, the Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival has become the Caribbean’s premiere festival experience through many years of continued commitment by Saint Lucia’s business community who have lent support and brand power generously.

“Sponsor buy-in remains one of the key factors powering the Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival, knowledge we do not take lightly,” noted Lewis. “We strive to remain the type of entity sponsors are eager to partner with, ensuring a high return on their generous investments while maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship.”

Lewis continued “The goal of the Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival has always been the promotion of Saint Lucia and the scale and impact of the festival would be greatly diminished without the continued support of its multiple partners.”

PLATINUM sponsor of the 2013 Jazz & Arts Festival is Digicel. GOLD sponsors are Heineken, Columbus/Flow, The Wave, Radio Caribbean International, HTS, Kings Ocean Services and LUCELEC. SILVER sponsors are Cotton Bay Village and Radio St. Lucia, BRONZE sponsors are Bank of Saint Lucia Ltd, RBC Royal Bank and RBTT Bank Ltd, Daher Broadcasting System and Chairman’s Reserve – Finest St. Lucian Rum. COLLATERAL sponsors are Johnnie Walker Black Label, Kotex, Avis Rent a Car, Blue Waters, and Guy’s Car Rental.

The Saint Lucia Tourist Board also paid homage to longstanding partner Windward& Leeward Brewery Limited and their brand Heineken, as well as Platinum Sponsor Digicel, whose commitment to the success of the festival remains unwavering.

Former Cayman ERA chief admits he is “a liar and a thief and a drug addict”

Former Cayman Islands Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) Managing Director, Joey Ebanks, admitted in court last Thursday (3) he was “a liar and a thief and a drug addict”. He also said he accepted responsibility for the theft of more than CI$140,000 in cash and goods from the ERA and the Mac store.

Ebanks had at first protested he was innocent when first charged early in 2013, and even put himself forward as a candidate in the May 2013 elections, but at the end of the year said he was a changed person and admitted his crimes.

Justice Charles Quin, the presiding judge, said that he wanted to consider his decision on sentencing and to take time to read the social enquiry report. However, he said, Ebanks would be facing a custodial sentence and remanded Ebanks in custody until Wednesday 16th April.

The most ominous Bitcoin trend

By Tero Kuittinen From BGR

Last week, Bitcoin’s value tumbled 9% in one day on news that China’s central bank had ordered banks and payment companies to close trading accounts belonging to more than 10 exchanges. Since then, Bitcoin has crashed by nearly another 10%, now hovering around $480. It’s a steep decline from the feverish highs above $1,100 last November.

Ominously, general interest in Bitcoin is declining sharply, regardless of the recent turbulence. Google Trends shows that even though you would expect the break below the $500 level to generate a lot of curiosity, the search volume for “Bitcoin” is actually far below where it was in late February, when the pseudo-currency dropped below $600.

The drama swirling around Bitcoin is not dissipating at all. Recent items on Chinese central bank moves and the sudden discovery of hundreds of thousands of vanished Bitcoins are just as compelling as the news flow was a few months ago. But people have started losing interest. Search volume peaked last November as Bitcoin price topped $1,100, then had a smaller peak in late February as the price tumbled below $600.

But the latest Bitcoin crash is no longer piquing the interest of the general public at all.

Outside of Iceland, that is — the volcanic island remains the top country in the world when it comes to Bitcoin search volume relative to population size. That is because in the lava plains of Reykjanesbaer, Bitcoin-mining is a real industry thanks to cold air and geothermal energy.

Iceland was one of the biggest victims of the global financial crisis of 2008. Hopefully the nascent Bitcoin industry will fare better than Kaupthing did.

For more:

Controversial Cayman Brac sculptor says vandals tried to burn work of art

The controversial Cayman Brac sculptor known as ‘Foots’ has claimed vandals have tried to burn down his bloody crucifix statue he called ‘the Apocalypse Now Revelations’.

Speaking on CITN/Cayman27 last Thursday (4) he said he is going to burn it down himself.

“I’m not doing anything wrong this is my art. The ‘Apocalypse Now’ is ready to be burnt down. That marks the fall of the anti-Christ,” he said.

Kingston 14 is a hard-boiled Caribbean cop opera

From Londonist

Playwright Roy Williams returns to Stratford East where his career started with a ferocious new play that is dark, funny and brutal, a pointed attack on police corruption and the criminal underclass in Jamaica’s sun-soaked capital. It stars the multi-talented Goldie in his stage debut as local crime-lord Joker, arrested after a nervy showdown in the precinct building in connection with the murder of a high-profile British businessman.

Joker says little but his coiled presence dominates proceedings. He glowers down from his cell and prowls around in circles like a caged tiger while the cops below try to figure out how best to frame him for the death. This routine stitch-up is then complicated by the arrival of James (Derek Elroy), a well-spoken Englishman sent over by the London Met to assist with the investigation. But James’s by-the-book approach is an unwelcome distraction that both shines a light on the dodgy local concept of rough justice and allows Joker the time to turn the tables and secretly master-mind a hostage situation of his own.

Kingston 14 is a richly-woven and morally complex cop opera with great performances across the board. Brian Bovell and Trevor Laird excel as the old guard struggling to come to terms with the state of modern Jamaica, while Ashley Chin and Charles Venn are terrific as two younger cops, full of vim and vinegar and obsessed with American culture.

The writing is consistently hilarious and mostly delivered in Jamaican Patois, which does take a while to tune into fully, though don’t worry, there are subtitles (which also at times add an extra layer to the comedy, for example when one mouth-filling string of cuss-words is translated simply as “you idiot”). Clint Dyer’s dynamic direction balances the laughs with the tense scenes of gun-play to create a blistering comedy-thriller that digs deeper than the average genre entry.

Kingston 14 is on at the Theatre Royal Stratford East until 26 April 2014.

For more:

Cayman National Bank closes Edward Street branch

Even though Cayman National Bank (CNB) closed its downtown Edward Street branch in Cayman’s capital no staff lost their job.

In a statement CNB said, ““In this difficult economic climate where businesses are reducing their staff complement, we have taken the approach to retain, retrain and redeploy our existing staff, which is a true testament of the Cayman National ethos and commitment to the socio-economic development of our community.”

They also said the Edward Street branch no longer served the firm’s strategic objectives.

Goodwill workers track down family of heirloom bible found in donation bin

By Mary Beth Quirk From Consumerist

One might think that when a wayward object travels through time and across great distances, only to find rest in the donation bin at a Goodwill store, that its destiny lies far from where it started. But when workers at one Denver thrift store spotted a 19th century Bible that had names listed inside, they made it their mission to reunite it with members of that family.

Inside the 1812 Bible originally published in England, employees found an inscription in black script with a name, birthdate and date of death inside, along with the area where the family lived. The last inscription ended with another family member who had passed away in 1932, reports 9 News.

From there, Goodwill’s chief people officer, who happens to be a genealogy enthusiast, heard about the discover from the company’s CEEO and decided she had to track down the current day family.

After searching the Internet she was able to trace the Bible back to a descendant of the family in London, who got in touch with his brother in New Jersey.

The New Jersey man said he had no idea how his great, great grandfather’s uncle’s Bible made its way across the centuries to end up in the U.S., but it’s in good hands from now on.

“I intend to take good care of it for future generations,” he said.

I hope the same thing happens one day to my descendants, when they are finally reunited with the copy of Sweet Valley High’s Dangerous Love, but it might be hard because I crossed out my last name and used the last name of my 6th grade crush instead. Let’s hope technology is up to that task.

For more:

Cayman Islands became part of a global movement Thursday (3)

TEDx talks are a series of seminars across the globe designed to inspire and empower and last Thursday (3) Cayman Islands became part of its global network.

Of the 11 speakers at the event seven were Cayman based including Taylor Burrowes Nixon, who spoke about community issues such as sexual abuse, and Javier Sanchez who talked about youth identity.

The other four speakers were from Australia, the UK and the US.

Seagull with fishhook injury is rescued with cat carrier

By Laura Simpson From Care2

Written by Yvonne Amery of Auckland, New Zealand

On the way to the city one morning, I noticed a gull sitting at the edge of the road. I thought it was strange that he did not fly away with the noise of the car.

Coming home an hour later, the bird was still sitting in the same place. I realized something was wrong with him. This bird has a very strong beak, but I only worried about that for a moment. I was terrified a car would run him over.  I ran inside the house and grabbed a thick rug and the cat cage and approached the bird, which tried to back away. I noticed he was slower than I would have expected and therefore something was dreadfully wrong with him. Just then a neighbor came out of her house and I asked her to help. I had already asked two men to help but they did not want to.

I fully expected this woman would not help either but she got behind the bird and together we shepherded him against a fence. I took my chance and leapt upon him with the rug and, thankfully, he was caught. Getting him into the cage meant I had quite bad bites on my hand and arm but once he was safely inside, I felt so relieved.

I took him to the emergency vet where she x-rayed him and found he had two large fish hooks embedded between his wings. This was a wild creature, so there was no fee to pay for the operation to remove them.

Now when the gulls are flying over our house by the sea, I wonder if one of them is the dear one that I was able to save from pain and certain death. There was no time to spare so I did not get any photos of this beautiful creature.

For more happy endings or to share one of your own, visit The Great Animal Rescue at:

For more on this story go to:

Gina Berry appointed new country managing partner in Cayman at H&J

Higgs & Johnson is pleased to announce that Ms. Gina M. Berry, currently Partner and Chair of Real Estate & Development in the Cayman Islands, has been appointed as Cayman’s new Country Managing Partner effective 26 February 2014.

Gina will have responsibility for the management and development of the Cayman office and the partners are confident that her accomplished skills and talent will only serve to strengthen and consolidate the practice of the firm in the Cayman Islands, to which Higgs & Johnson remains committed.

Global Managing Director, Oscar N. Johnson Jr. commented that it was refreshing to have an energetic, positive and dedicated woman of Gina’s calibre officially take on the mantle of leadership in a firm where she had already devoted much effort.

Gina’s distinguished legal career has also won the respect of her peers, colleagues and clients; and she has been singled out with various awards for client as well as community service.

Higgs & Johnson’s objective is to remain at the forefront of the profession, providing clients with innovative, quality and pro-active services. The firm offers a full complement of contentious and non-contentious commercial, real property and private client services. The firm is headquartered in The Bahamas at Ocean Centre on the Montagu Foreshore, Nassau with offices throughout The Bahamas and in the Cayman Islands.

Burglary suspect gets stuck in Arby’s ventilation shaft for 10 hours (without any sandwiches)

By Mary Beth Quirk From Consumerist

In another reminder of how real life is not like a movie, police in South Carolina say a man trying to sneak into an Arby’s restaurant in the middle of the night through the roof instead found himself stuck inside a ventilation shaft for up to 10 hours… with nary a roast beef sandwich to keep him company.

The would-be burglary suspect will be resting at the hospital for a few days after his ordeal, reports WPDE News, while cops have charged him with burglary second degree.

The 22-year-old man reportedly fell through the roof during his Monday night ninja attempt, and was only freed the next morning when an employee opening up the restaurant for the day heard him shouting for help.

Police say rescuers had to cut through the ventilation pipe and pull him back up through the roof. He suffered a possible broken arm and was airlifted to the hospital.

Take that as a lesson, bad consumers: You are not in Mission: Impossible and the universe has its own way of dealing with you if you forget that fact.

For more:

Michael Lockwood appointed as Cayman Islands swimming president

Michael Lockwood was appointed as the Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association (CIASA) President two weeks ago at the Association’s General Meeting. Lockwood previously served as Vice-President and takes over from Peter MacKay.

CIASA Board of Directors for 2014:

Michael Lockwood – President        Ian Lambert – Vice President

Adrien Royston – Treasurer           Joanna Barnes – Secretary

Frank Flowers – Director                  Christine Maltman – Director

Brenda McGrath – Director              Sandy Hew – Director

Ed Weber – Director

Royal Caribbean now offers autism-friendly cruising for families

By Debbie Kelley From The Gazette

Royal Caribbean now offers services and activities on cruise ships to accommodate families with children who have autism. This news comes from Vacations To Go, which created the first comprehensive list of cruise lines and ships that cater to people  with special needs.

Autism-friendly toys are available for loan on all ships. Counselors can provide a tote bag of toys that can be used in the Adventure Ocean children’s centers or brought back to the stateroom.

Groups or individuals sailing with at least five children with autism on board will be able to view films presented in low-volume, low-lit environments, where guests may freely talk and walk around during the show.

Other autism-friendly features include:

Priority check-in

Priority boarding and disembarking

Special dietary offerings, such as gluten-free and diary-free foods

Pagers for parents of children in the Adventure Ocean program

Vacations to Go cruise counselors in the special needs department can talk about the special offerings at 1-800-998-6902.

For more:

New District Officer for Cayman Brac

Roger Scott is leaving his post as Assistant Chief Immigration Officer for Cayman Brac to take up the post of Little Cayman District Officer in June.  Scott has been a civil servant for 35 years.

He takes over from Larry Foster who has held the position for over 10 years.

Scott will work closely with police and act in the capacity of several government officials.

4 Dead, including shooter, after gunman opens fire at US Fort Hood military base

From Mashable

A soldier opened fire at the Fort Hood Army complex in Texas on Wednesday.

Three members of the military were killed in the shooting, and 16 were injured. The shooter died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Military officials say the shooter, who served in Iraq in 2011, was under treatment for mental and behavioral problems.

A gunman opened fire on Wednesday at Fort Hood military base in Killeen, Texas — the same site of a November 2009 mass murder that claimed 13 lives.

Three people were killed in the shooting and 16 were injured. The shooter died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Speaking to reporters late Wednesday evening, Fort Hood’s Lt. Gen Mark Milley said there was no known motive in the shooting. He said the shooter, a soldier who served four months in Iraq in 2011, had mental health and behavioral health issues and was being treated for them. He had not been diagnosed for PTSD. The shooter, who is married and has a family, has not been identified pending next-of-kin notification. He used a .45 Smith & Wesson that he purchased in the local area, Lt. Gen Milley said.

The attack was stopped by a female MP, who was “clearly heroic….exactly what we would expect from a United State military police,” he said.

For more:

WLU swimmer [from Cayman Islands] going to Commonwealth Games

By Record staff

VICTORIA, B.C. — Wilfrid Laurier University swimmer Christopher Courtis has qualified for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Courtis, a second-year business major from the Cayman Islands, achieved the feat Thursday after posting a personal-best time of 27.67 in the 50-metre backstroke at the Canadian swimming trials in Victoria, B.C. That time was good enough to earn him a spot on Team Barbados which will head to Glasgow, Scotland, on July 23.

“This is an outstanding achievement for Chris,” said Laurier athletic director Peter Baxter. “All of Laurier will be cheering him on this summer when he competes for his home country.

Courtis becomes the first Laurier swimmer to qualify for the Commonwealth Games and the accomplishment comes in a year in which he has had great success for the Golden Hawks. The backstroke specialist set four school records at the Ontario university championships in February, highlighted by a fifth-place finish over 50 metres and a ninth-place finish in the 100 m event.

For more:

Dyson bladeless heaters recalled because a fire is too much heat

By Laura Northrup From Consumerist

We know that a lot of our readers are fans of Dyson vacuums, but we aren’t sure whether any of you are into their air multipliers, which are totally not mini-portals to a distant dimension. Someone out there is, because they’ve expanded the line to include portable heaters. Some of these units have been heating a little too much lately, and 380,000 of them have been recalled in North America.

Specifically, the units develop an electrical short and overheat. While there have been no recorded house fires, 82 units have short-circuited, and a few were found burned or melted.

If you have one in your home, you should unplug it immediately and contact Dyson. They will repair the units. You can call Dyson at (866) 297-5303 or file a report through their recall website.

For more:

Cayman’s bikers bring in the food

The Cayman Islands Motorcycle Riders Association (CIMRA) collected over 4,000 pounds of food during their weeklong “Wheels for Meals” ride from Monday 24 March to Sunday 30 March.

The food was collected to benefit Meals on Wheels that feeds around 150 elderly and indigent people each week. This is the 3rd annual “Wheels for Meals” food drive.

The food collected was twice as much as the organisers had hoped and Meals on Wheels Director, Buelah McField, praised the CIMRA for their hard work.

Caribbean Cruise can’t sink TCPA suit over Robocalls

Law360, Los Angeles — A Michigan federal judge on Friday sank Caribbean Cruise Lines Inc.‘s attempt to escape a Telephone Consumer Protection Act class action accusing it of making unsolicited, prerecorded marketing calls, ruling that the allegations, though formulaic, were substantive enough to move forward.

For more:

Cayman Islands Humane Society to act as intermediary in reporting animal abuse

At a press briefing last Friday (5) the Cayman Islands Humane Society said they want persons to report cases of animal cruelty to them with as much detail as possible or post what they know on their website without any fear of reprisals. They will then report the details to the authorities and follow up. If it is an emergency the charitable society will move to rescue the animal.

Anyone who has seen animals being abused, is aware of neglect or cruelty or even abandoned pets can contact the society via phone on 949 1461, email [email protected] or visit the website

or the Facebook page or even drop a note to the offices in George Town at 153 North Sound Road.

Foster Parents needed in Cayman

Cayman Islands Department of Children & Family Services is having a foster parent recruitment drive.

Even if you are not interested yourself, please download the two attachments and pass them on to others who might be, place the posters up in your church, supermarket, service club, anywhere it might be noticed and touch a heart.

The Department is particularly in need of people who are willing to take children who might have some sort of special need, older children or sibling groups. For more information people can contact Juliet Garricks, Adoption & Fostering Social Worker or Nicole Carter, the Adoption and Fostering Coordinator at:

Department of Children & Family Services,

3rd Floor, Commerce House, 7 Genesis Close, George Town, Grand Cayman, Cayman Island

Direct:  244 7231, Office:  946 002,  Fax: 946 0025






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