As we count down on Monday (31 December) towards New Year, we remind ourselves – for the last time – about the biggest news of 2018.
The start of November saw the new Governor settling into his new role, visiting the prison at Northward and announcing an initiative between the UK and Cayman to purchase and operate a second helicopter, to assist the RCIPS Air Operations Unit.
He also took time away from learning the ropes, to stop by our Cayman 27 news studio and praise the friendliness of the people he had met on the sister islands.
A Cayman 27 exclusive led to the release of test results later that month, which confirmed the presence of a known carcinogen in samples sent abroad for testing. This, five months after the National Roads Authority was caught illegally dumping well-waste into the wetlands along Linford Pierson Highway.
The grassroots movement to save Barker’s Beach then gathered steam, in reaction to a coastal works application bound for cabinet, which sought to remove an area of seagrass roughly three times the size of a football pitch to create a swim area and install a 300 ft dock.
At the end of November, 26-year old Travis Webb appeared in court charged with attempted murder and cruelty to a child after a 3-year old was buried alive. The child was rushed to hospital for treatment.
With the start of December, we saw government’s port project greenlighted. Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin announced that Carnival and Royal Caribbean cruise lines had outlined their financial commitments toward financing the project.
“I am grateful and incredibly proud of the government I lead, every member of which has been in support of the critical decisions we have taken with regard to these crucial projects,” the Premier said.
Cayman Airways also welcomed its new 737 Max 8 aircraft, the first of four, to Owen Roberts. It will be the first Max 8 to be operated by a Caribbean-based crew.
A local dive shop was then forced to pull the plug on a youth training scheme, after thieves made off with equipment needed to run the programme.
And in mid-December, a report from the Office of Education Standards on government secondary schools found there are still weaknesses in quality of teaching and student achievement and these were primarily in the core areas of Maths, English, and Science.
And the year wrapped up with a Christmas day shooting. 29-year-old Darrington Ebanks was found unresponsive West Bay. A suspect has been charged in the case; he appeared in court on Monday (31 December).
Then, 63-year-old Thomas Downer from the US died after a kite surfing accident in East End to round up the month.