#465041 - 05/23/13 11:54 AM
Today's Belize News: May 23, 2013
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Specials and Events
Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials
The San Pedro Sun
Miss and Mr. ACES Pageant 2013
Ambergris Caye Elementary School (ACES) held its fourth annual Miss ACES and Miss Popularity Pageant on Saturday, May 18th, at the Lion’s Den.The four lovely young ladies vying for the Miss Aces and Miss Popularity title were Audrey Pott, Hailey Haylock, Danielle Rodriguez and Sueny Vasquez. For the first time, there was also a Mr. ACES and Mr. Popularity. Braving the competition were Alexander Blanco and Mark McLaughlyn. The title of Miss ACES and Mr. ACES was based on talent, while the Miss and Mr. Popularity contest is based on the most funds collected by the participants. Having the task to judge the pageant was Miss San Pedro 2000 AdalyAyuso, Miss San Pedro 1956 Lenny Alamilla, and Mister Pacifico y el Caribe 2013/2014 Jhoshi Alexander Valencia. Hosting the event was former Miss Lions Shantell Pascascio and Jorge Aldana.
Belize Female Volleyball brings home Bronze again
In August 2012, the Belize Volleyball Senior Female team played in the first round of the Women’s World Championship Qualifier, Group G, in Panama City, Panama. They placed third and brought home the first medal in the history of Belize female volleyball, allowing them to qualify for round two of the Women’s Volleyball World Championship to be held in 2014 in Italy. The Fédération Internacionale de Volleyball (FIVB) World Championships is the oldest and most important international indoor volleyball competition organized by the FIVB. On May 8, 2013, the national team traveled once more, this time 29 hours to the south of the Caribbean to Willemstad, Curaçao, as a part of Group J to compete against the islands of Antigua, Curaçao and St. Lucia. They once again placed third, bringing home another bronze medal and an additional accomplishment for Belize Volleyball. Team members were Maurissa Williams, Precelia Hoare, Analisa Habet, Alina Scott, Esther Middleton, Zaire Garbutt, Sherylee Thurton-Young, Marika Zuniga, Tichele Solis, Tanesha Encalada, Tisha Solis and Shantell Arnold. In round one, the then Libero, Jasmine Anderson brought back Best Libero and Best Defense in individual awards and now Belize’s defensive specialist, Esther Middleton returned with the title of Best Libero. Best Setter was awarded to Tanesha Encalada and Best Server to Shantell Arnold. Belize tied with Curaçao in individual awards taking three titles each.
Sagebrush Community Church-Family Weekend
Sagebrush Community Church introduced itself to San Pedro Town with a grand opening on the weekend of Friday, May 17th and Saturday, May 18th. On Friday at 7pm the new church hosted a free movie night for both kids and adults. The movie viewing offered a chance to socialize and get familiar with new members in a relaxed environment. All present agreed that Sagebrush certainly out did them selves on Saturday afternoon when the congregation hosted a fun day of activities on the grounds of the Paradise Theatre to which the general public was invited. Everyone enjoyed a day of fun in the sun with face painting, balloon hats and bungee jumps for the kids. Those that wanted to cool off for a bit enjoyed a ride on the banana boat that took kids and adults alike on quite the fun ride out to sea. Sagebrush services are held Sundays at 10:30am at the Paradise Movie Theatre. All are welcome to attend.
Ministry of Health Assists Investigation of Newborn Deaths at City Hospital
After hearing the news on Monday, May 20, 2013, about the neonatal deaths at the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), the Ministry of Health immediately contacted the Board of Directors of the KHMH to offer to place the full resources of the Ministry of Health at their disposal to rapidly resolve this tragic situation.
On Tuesday, May 21, 2013, the Director of Maternal and Child Health, the National Epidemiologist and an Infection Control Expert of the Ministry of Health met with key personnel of KHMH to implement specific measures to control this dangerous infection.
Additionally, the Pan American Health Organization has been contacted and has offered technical support. It is recognized that neonates are of very high risk due to their gestational age which may range from as low as twenty five weeks. We continue to monitor the situation and will work closely with KHMH to keep the public fully informed.
New Ferry Service at Boca del Rio While Bridge is Closed
Necessity is the Mother of Invention – Now check this out! The Sir Barry Bowen Bridge will be closed for the next two weeks as repairs are being conducted on the corroded walkways and road sections. But the bridge has become a much needed infrastructure for the residents of North Ambergris Caye that two weeks could mean much loss of revenue for some businesses.
Come the ingenious temporary ferry – Since the bridge completely made the ferry service obsolete, here comes a group of entrepreneurs that is bringing back the service while the bridge is temporarily out of service.
Spending Quality Time with Family
- by Ryan Ancona, Teen Talk Reporter - Mother’s Day celebrations just recently took place and it got me thinking, “What about the rest of your family?” It is well known that most teens don’t really spend much time with their family. This is mostly because most teens like to be with their friends ALL of the time and the ones who do not go out with friends still spend a limited time with their family; they like to be alone.
I am not saying that counts for everyone. There are also a lot of teens that spend a lot of time with their family. So for the ones that do not spend much time with their family, you probably would think to yourself, “When should I spend time with my family?”
Well! The time to spend with your family doesn’t have to be every minute of every day. When are the best times to spend some quality time with the FAM? How about during meal times or taking time to do something on Sunday mornings - either having a picnic or just going to the beach. Also, another way to spend time with your family on Sundays is by going to church, if you are religious.
Misc Belizean Sources
Rotary Questival Fair
25th, May, 2013
10:00 AM to about 10:00 PM
Henry Menzies – Travel & Tours
(South End, Across from Corozal Bay)
Details: Admission: Adults - $2, children under 16 free
This year, our Rotary club will host a one-day fair as our annual fund raiser.
This fair will take the place of our traditional multi-day Questival of previous
years. We plan to expand activities, entertainment, and prizes to make this
fair even more exciting and worthy of community support.
There will be artisans, vendors, food and drink (including beer and sodas),
popcorn, Rotary BBQ sauce, music, entertainment (dancing, singing, and
arts and crafts demonstrations), games, draws and lotteries for prizes, and
Vendor and artisan spots are available (1 table and 2 chairs) for $15 or for
$25 with electrical hookup. Call Janette McKean, 631-7181 to register.
Here is a chance to market your wares or services to hundreds of people.
Wake Up And Smell The Coffee -- Again!
This week’s article focuses on an issue that I have been asked many times before to address. Since 1978 I have worked as a professional educator, both as teacher and guidance counselor, in high schools and classrooms throughout Belize and in the United States. Working alongside students, fellow educators, and many concerned and hard-working parents in Parent Teacher Associations, I have tried repeatedly to address this situation that continues to baffle many teachers. The issue I refer to affects both students and educators every single day, and is a frustrating classroom management issue that can also limit students’ entire futures. I am referring to those parents and guardians who show no interest whatsoever in their children’s work, or lack of work, at school. It simply does not seem to matter to these parents whether their sons or daughters are progressing at school, are on top of the class, or are failing one or more subjects in their class. School, to these parents and guardians, is merely a place where we send our children everyday; once our children are in school everyday, educators/teachers will take care of them and deal with whatever issue(s) the children/students may have because that’s just what educators/teachers are supposed to do. How, then, do we educators, other concerned parents of students, and the community at large motivate these indifferent parents or guardians to actively participate in (care about) their children’s education? A lifetime career as an educator, while also being a parent, has shown me that when our children fail in school, we too fail as parents (or guardians) and the entire country loses; however, when our children shine at school, we parents also shine and the entire country wins!
End of Year Yard Sale
Dear Island Academy Community,
In lieu of a beach BBQ or Pirate Party, this year we are going to combine our spring fun(d)-raiser with spring cleaning! We will hold a giant cheap sale on campus on Saturday, May 25. We need donations from every family - please look around your home and contribute clean, sale-able items: kitchen items, clothing, furniture, appliances (operational), books, toys (gently used), boating goods, tools, etc! We appreciate ANYTHING you can give.
Zulema's mom Cindy is collecting the items at The Spa (across from Ramon's Village). The sooner you can deliver items there, she can sort and price them.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
Belize Tourism Board Celebrates Their Tourism Industry Partners - The 12th Annual Belize Tourism Awards - Placencia Partners Honored with 7 Awards
"The lovely Bannister Island was the location of the awards ceremony this year, which was held on Saturday, May 18. Representatives of villages, resorts, restaurants and tour operations from throughout the country gathered for the evening to enjoy the music, food and festivities of this 2013 event. There were awards given in many different categories of businesses that support the Belize tourism industry, including Hotel of the Year, Small Hotel of the Year, Tour Operator of the Year, Hospitality Award, Major Festivals, Restaurants, Destinations, Events Award and the Minister’s Award."
"This is a beautiful time for my country and its rapidly growing tourism industry and, as a member of the Placencia tourism industry myself, I was particularly proud. As the evening progressed the names of many of the peninsula's businesses were announced as winners. We were thrilled that the Placencia community had been awarded 7 times."
Mr. Giovanni Pinelo is Teacher of the Year
Congratulations Mr. Giovanni Pinelo for winning the National Secondary School Teacher award. Kudos to Our Lady of Mount Carmel High School too. Well done!
Enterobacter cloacae killed 7 of 12 infants at K.H.M.H.
The biggest scandal to hit the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital is unraveling. Words cannot describe how the collective conscience of parents, particularly mothers, received the news that twelve newborns died in less than one week at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Alarm bells were sounded last Friday by grieving parent who spoke to News Five [...]
Neonatal Unit closed for a month while upgrades being installed
Doctor Coye said that the bug could have come from another section of the hospital or from an incoming patient. There were questions regarding whether or not air condition problems in clinics one through four were a part of the problem, but he said it was not. Inside the special care nursery, terminal cleanings were [...]
K.H.M.H. Board wants answers as to why alarm not sounded quickly
Today, the Board of Governors held an emergency session to find out what happened. And the initial results were shared with the media. But there is still the question of safety and when the NICU will be reopened. According to K.H.M.H. C.E.O., Francis Gary Longsworth that may take some weeks while improvements are being made. [...]
Mother wants answers about December death of infants
The death of the babies has prompted other families to come forward with their own experiences even prior to the deaths reported in the first twenty days of May. Today, a grieving mother, Jacklin Marroquin provided a detailed account of how her premature baby, Jade Isana Scarlette Marroquin, died at the K.H.M.H. on December ninth, [...]
Woman who killed three children speaks in court
Felicia Chen, the mother who is facing murder charges for her three children: four year old Triana, three year old Thomas the third and one-year-old Trinaya…appeared for the third time in court today. Chen has been in a Belmopan facility and not in prison since the murder of her children because of her mental state. [...]
Chaw Hiix devastated and Institute of Archaeology strapped for cash
On Tuesday, News Five reported that thousands of rotted bags full of Mayan artifacts which were left in a cement structure behind the site of Chau Hiix in the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary. We discovered that those artifacts, excavated between 1989 and 2007, were left there after the anthropologist on site, Dr. Anne Pyburn, completed [...]
…And department stretched paper-thin
Attention is focused squarely on the Institute of Archaeology for the destruction of numerous Mayan sites. First it was Noh Mul in Orange Walk, which was pillaged to provide material for road-fill. And two weeks later, it was Chau Hiix, as land within the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary and in the middle of that Mayan [...]
Chau Hiix in Crooked Tree caught up in Noh Mul situation
Even as the Institute of Archaeology tries to juggle priorities to deal with the issues facing them at the Mayan Archaeological site of ChauHiix in Crooked Tree, it is caught up in the Noh Mul situation. Noh Mul, one of the larger sites in northern Belize, was almost completely destroyed by a private contractor who [...]
Grave concerns between David Coye and City Hall
In January, the Belize City Council made the very unpopular decision to take over the provision of all cemetery services, including the construction of graves, vaults and tombstones. That’s traditionally a job done by private undertakers, but the Council argued its case by claiming that they were forced to step in after complaints about the [...]
Mayor cements relationship with Caribbean Shores residents
Mayor Darrell Bradley is going to run against incumbent U.D.P. Area Representative, Santiago ‘Santino’ Castillo, in Caribbean Shores. As far as political news goes, it’s no secret that that is his intention, but as he told us today his move in that area has gone a lot further than just intent. In fact, today Bradley [...]
Orange Walk resident busted twice with stolen passports and immigrants
In 2008, a passport, as well as other personal items belonging to OCEANA V.P., Audrey Matura-Shepherd, was reported stolen when someone broke into her parked vehicle on Regent Street. The disappearance of the travel document would go unsolved for several years until it was recovered from the home of Orange Walk resident Matthew Williams. Matura-Shepherd [...]
Fisherman loses case of undersized lobster and conch
A Roaring Creek Fisherman was slapped with a fine of almost ten thousand dollars for being in possession of undersized conchs and lobster found onboard his fishing vessel, Giana. The fisherman was busted by a team of Fisheries officials on May fourteenth in the Belize City harbor. This morning Jose Cruz was arraigned before Magistrate [...]
Well known chef and family busted with weed
A family of eight, including a well-known Belize City chef, appeared before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart this morning, where they were arraigned for possession of a controlled drug. Fifty-two year old Leila Marie Williams, her son, twenty-eight year old Mickalee Williams and her daughter, thirty-three year old Karen Adolphus, along with several others, were charged [...]
Doctor speaks about infection at K.H.M.H.
As parents grieve the painful deaths of their loved ones, the public is outraged that the growing number of deaths could have gone unnoticed at the national referral hospital. This afternoon, COLA issued a very strong statement on the neonatal deaths, while the office of the Special Envoy, Kim Simplis Barrow said that it will [...]
Police receive two Mahindras to battle northern crime
The police department has received two additional vehicles to increase their patrol capability. Deputy Commissioner of Police Elodio Aragon junior handed them over to the Officer Commanding the Northern Zone Joseph Myvette and Officer Commanding Orange Walk, Dennis Arnold. The handing over video of the Mahindra vehicles was provided courtesy of the Press Office. [...]
Trade Union Congress In Belize Speaks of Scandalous Malpractices on the Country's Natural Resources
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize has issued a statement for what they call “scandalous” and tremendously and utterly outrageous malpractices in relation to the management of natural resources in Belize. Today Love News spoke with the President of the NTUCB,...
National Security Minister Hands Over Vehicles to Police Department
Minister of National Security John Saldivar handed over two new Mahindra pickup trucks. Deputy Commissioner Elodio Aragon received the vehicles on behalf f the department. ELODIO ARAGON "These vehicles are presently slated for the Northern districts: Orange Walk and ...
Ministry of Health Advises On Bushfires and Exposure To Smoke
The Ministry of Health is advising the public on the exposure to smoke from bushfires. The Ministry says that recent bushfires around the country, particularly around the Cayo District pose a risk to vulnerable individuals of overexposure to smoke. The smoke associated with...
Special Envoy for Women and Children Determines To Construct Suitable Pediatric and Neonatal Wing In Belize City
The office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children has issued a press release concerning the infectious outbreak at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. In it the Special Envoy for women and Children, Kim Simplis Barrow expresses condolences to the families of the dead babies ...
Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital Explains The Deaths of A Dozen Babies
Today the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital’s administration came public and answered some of the questions that have arisen out of the deaths of a dozen premature babies this month. While the investigations are ongoing, and the hospital looks to see if there was communication...
Mother Continues To Receive Mental Care Following Deaths of Her Children
22-year-old Felicia Chen, charged with three counts of murder back in late April was back in court today. Her doctor informed the court the young mother needs more time at the psychiatric facility. Felicia Chen was further remanded until June 21. On Tuesday, April 30 Chen was charged w...
Conch Season Closes in Belize
The conch season will officially come to a close tomorrow. The Fisheries Department says although the fishing, harvesting, and capturing of the queen conch will officially be closed tomorrow there is a grace period of eight days for restaurant and the general public. Any person found w...
Development In Belize's Municipalities Continues
The work continues for the Belize municipal development project which is being funded by the World Bank through the Social Investment Fund. The SIF in collaboration with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture through the Lands and Surveys Department is conducting the physica...
Twelve Babies Dead Under The Care of Belize Referral Hospital; Health Officials Seek Answers
The board of directors of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital is meeting today to discuss the circumstances surrounding the news of the death of at least twelve newborn babies at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of the Hospital in the month of May. The Neonatal Intensiv...
7 of 12 Newborns That Died At The KHMH Was As A Result of Enterobacter Cloacae Infection
It is a topic that has drawn the public’s attention country wide; the death of twelve premature babies at the hands of the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital, specifically in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in less than three weeks. Many NGO’s and other interested parties, have weighed in on this sensational issue and today Citizens Organized For Liberty Through Action, (COLA), issued a strong worded release in which it condemns the Minister of Health Pablo Marin and the hospital for the unfortunate incident. COLA is categorizing this incident as imminent failure on behalf of the Minister, the doctors, and staff of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
The release states and we quote “We remind Minister of Health Pablo Marin that on his watch there was alleged corruption at the Hospital which was never satisfactorily resolved. We remind Director of Health Services Dr. Michael Pitts, of Cenaida Raymundo and Andy Jones of Toledo, of the babies of Orange Walk, that also did not get a chance to live. We remind CEO Dr. Peter Allen and CEO Dr. Gary Longsworth of their first oaths to their profession: to do no harm”.
Matthew Williams Is Back In Court
Today the trail against well known Orange Walk businessman Mathew Williams, who was charged for two counts of unlawful possession of passports back in June of 2012, was set to commence at the Orange Walk Magistrates Court. The case; however, was adjourned to July 30th since Williams’ attorney was unable to make it to court today. While Williams was in court this morning, so was well-known attorney Audrey Matura Shepherd. But she was not there as an attorney, she was a witness for the Crown. Back in June of 2012 when the Gang Suppression Unit searched Williams’ house located on #236 Smithsonian Street, four Belizean Passports, 1 Panamanian and 1 Spanish passport were found in his bedroom. One of the Belizean passports had been tampered with and that passport belonged to Audrey Matura Shepherd. We understand that while other details remained the same, Shepherd’s picture had been removed and replaced with that of another woman. Reports are that Matura-Shepherd had her passport stolen when someone broke into her vehicle some 5 years ago and on June 11th 2012 it turned up at the home of Williams.
Orange Walk Progresso Road Project Nowhere In Sight
In the month of July 2011, a multi-million dollars contract was signed by two well-known contractor companies and the Ministry of Works for the rehabilitation of the Orange Walk Progresso Road Project. The funds were said to have been allocated under the European Union’s AMS 2008 Sugar Belt Road Rehabilitation Project-Phase 2, which would have seen the pavement of 16 miles of road from the Orange Walk San Estevan Bridge to the village of Progresso in the Corozal District. The road is considered a key role in the development and growth of the Tourism Industry but most important for cane farmers who use this stretch of the road especially during the crop season. Furthermore, the benefit would have also been extended to all those who form part of the agriculture sector and lastly, residents of both San Estevan and Progresso.
But tonight those who were to benefit from the project are wondering if they were sold a pipe dream. That’s because, despite the signing of the contracts and the allocation of the funds, the project, which should have been completed by now, is yet to commence.
A sign put up on the foot of the San Estevan Bridge indicates that works on the road were to commence on 21st of November 2011 and completed on May 21st 2013 which was yesterday.
Nimrod Tillett Escapes From Police Custody
The story that a convict escaped from Orange Walk Police custody yesterday morning never made the news last night because it was kept from the media. It was not until late yesterday that we were able to confirm that Nimrod Tillett escaped from police custody around nine yesterday morning while waiting to receive treatment at the Northern Regional Hospital. If the name rings a bell, that’s because back in February of 2009, Tillett was arrested and charged for the murder of 44 year old Enrique Castillo. But after three years on remand, Tillett became a free man in October of 2012 after he was acquitted of the charge. Tillett’s confession statement was found not to be admissible in Court after he took the stand and testified that he was forced to confess to the killing of Castillo by police officers who brutalized him. Justice Herbert Lord concluded that prosecutor Christophe Rodriguez could not prove that the statement was given voluntarily and as such he ordered the jurors to return a not guilty verdict.
Felicia Chen Remanded To Mental Facility For Further Treatment
Felicia Chen, the mother who murdered three of her four children by what doctors described to be “immersion syndrome”, was once again brought before the courts. However, she was further remanded by senior magistrate Sharon Fraser, until the 21st of June 2013 at the same mental facility in Belmopan for further treatment.
The day did not end before the Director of Public Prosecution, Cheryl Lynn Vidal, was questioned about the “preferential treatment” that is being offered to Chen. More so, it was compared to the case of Jared Ranguy, who if you will recall, murdered his mother, step-father, and sister at their home in Ladyville back in November 2012.
The DPP explained that the case of Chen is totally different than that of Ranguy, given the fact that at the time when Ranguy committed this heinous act, the facility where Chen is currently housed was not operable.
Arson Ruled Out In The Burning Of The McAfee Estate
Two of the main structures and one palapa forming part of the estate of John McAfee located near the Tower Hill Bridge in Orange Walk Town were gutted by fire on May 16th. On the day of the incident the manager of the estate Noel Codd was informed that an open lot adjacent to McAfee’s property was on fire. By the time personnel from the fire department arrived at the scene there was little they could do since the fire had all already spread to McAfee’s property swallowing both wooden structures and the paplapa valued at more than half a million dollars.
Four days after the incident McAfee came out swing at the Government of Belize as he blamed them for his latest misfortune. McAfee told the Mail Online, that a private investigator he hired could prove that Orlando Landy Burns was behind the burning of his estate.
But Burns refuted the accusation yesterday. Upon speaking to Channel Seven news via phone, he stated that the accusation is totally ludicrous and that he would take the matter to the highest court. For context here is a portion of the interview.
Visiting The Dentist Free Of Cost
Did you know that a child’s first visit to the dentist should happen before his or her fist birthday? The general rule is six months after the eruption of the first tooth. Taking your child to the dentist at a young age is the best way to prevent problems such as tooth decay. After all, decay can occur as soon as teeth appear. In order for Belizeans to learn more about the importance of visiting the dentist a group of 4 dentist and 9 volunteers including dental hygienist are offering their services free of cost to children living in the village of San Jose in the Orange Walk District and surrounding areas.
Victor Castillo – Reporting
A group of Dynamic Dentist including dental hygienist from different parts of the US landed in Belize on Saturday May 18th under the project of the International Health Outreach, scheduled to end on March 24th 2013.
International Health Outreach is dedicated to help and provide children from Central and South America in having access to the latest in preventative dentistry. The IHO is working along with Doctor J Tim Rainey and the Texas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies.
Today the group offered their services free of cost to children living in the villages of San Jose/San Pablo, San Luis and even a few from Orange Walk Town.
O/W And Corozal Police Assigned New Vehicles
Last week, the Northern Zone and the Orange Walk Police formation received the “Minister’s Award” for the month of April. The Orange Walk Police formation received an additional BZ $1,000 dollars as recognition for their efforts in reducing major crimes in Orange Walk Town which forms part of the northern zone. Tonight, we have more good news to report as this morning the Minister in the Ministry of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar, handed over two (2) new Mahindra Pickup Trucks to the Belize Police Department. Receiving the vehicles on behalf of the department was Deputy Commissioner, Elodio Aragon.
While one vehicle was assigned to the Orange Walk Police Formation the second will be utilized by the officers of the Corozal Police Department. On hand to receive the vehicles was Officer Commanding the Northern Region, Senior Superintendent Joseph Myvette and Officer Commanding the Corozal Police Formation Andrew Ramirez.
Of note is that Senior Superintendent Joseph Myvette was accompanied by the newly appointed Officer Commanding the Orange Walk Formation, Dennis Arnold.
Another Great Accomplishment For BMHS
Last night we told you about the forth Form student from Bishop Martin High School in Orange Walk Town who was named winner of the Ministry of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities logo competition. Today we caught up with Keron Tzul who told us how proud he is of his latest accomplishment and where the idea for the design came from.
Keron Tzul – Student
“I feel much honored to win because it was seven high schools that participated and I was the winner of the logo competition. I use simplicity because every government should be simple on what they show on their logos because if you show a lot of designs and other things people wouldn’t understand what it is about so I made the logo very simple in other words somewhat plain but also formal.”
Victor Castillo– Reporter
“The colors that I see on the logo that probably everyone can see where did you get it from, how did the idea come from?”
Keron Tzul – Student
“So I got the colors from the Belizean flag and then I blend it into a circle which I made a circle design around it meaning that it is like a cycle because the government works in a cycle with the public utilities, electricity, technology and science so I made it with a circle with the arrows so that it mean like a cycle that goes around together as one.”
#465042 - 05/23/13 11:54 AM
Re: Today's Belize News: May 23, 2013
More News: Scroll up from here
Investigation into death of 12 babies continues
This afternoon the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital Authority called a press conference to provide latest updates into its investigation into the deaths of 12 premature newborn infants in its special intensive care unit in the month of May. Medical Chief of Staff Dr. Adrian Coye confirmed that five of...
Chief nursing officer chides Ministry of health for unwarranted victimization
While the country’s health care system is under serious scrutiny, today, PlusNews got hold of the copy of a speech, delivered by the Deputy Director of Health Services and Chief Nursing Officer, Majorie E. Parks. Parks has served in a number of capacities within the health sector of Belize...
COLA says “Heads must roll” over baby deaths
This evening, Citizens Organized for Liberty Through Action (COLA), is in the strongest term, slamming the casualty of the dozen newborns, declaring that “Heads Must Roll.” COLA is pointing finger at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit; the Board of Directors of the Hospital Authority and the Ministry of Health....
Kim Simplis Barrow sends condolences to the families of 12 dead babies
The Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow, also issued a press release expressing condolences to the families of the twelve dead babies. It said that infections are a constant threat in the NICU, which is small and often overcrowded and the unit is clearly in...
Felicia Chen remanded to psychiatric mental facility
This morning 22 year old Felicia Chen returned to court where after further reports on her mental status, the court ordered remand to the same psychiatric mental facility she was housed at in Belmopan until June 21. As with prior proceedings, the matter...
Chief Forest Officer gives statistics on Rosewood logging
During the April 8 – 25 amnesty on rosewood introduced to the chagrin of many Belizeans by the Forest Department to bring order to the rampant chaos of the trade, some 400,000 board feet of rosewood was collected, all from the Toledo District. The total profit is expected to...
Health Officials warn about overexposure to smoke
Recent bush fires around the country, predominantly in the Cayo District, have prompted health officials to warn people of the risks for vulnerable individuals of overexposure to smoke. A release issued by the Ministry of Health today stresses that bushfires have the potential to irritate the eyes, trigger prolonged...
Audubon Society monitors Blue Hole Marine Protected Area
400 feet deep and dived by the likes of Jean-Jacques Cousteau, home to dead bodies (one, to our knowledge) and dead civilizations, the Blue Hole is first and foremost a symbol of Belize. Its waters are dived nearly every day by visitors to our shores and they rave about...
Chief Environmental Officer considers wreck removals
In 2005, the 225-foot commercial cargo vessel M/V Transfer slammed into Lighthouse Reef after its autopilot stopped working as it exited Belize for Alabama, U.S.A. south of Sand Bore island. 7 years later, its hulk sits atop the reef.. Reports to PLUS News are that operators are scrapping the...
Help International assists Saint Andrews Anglican School
Help International is in Belize conducting outreach work. The visiting team consists of a group of students from Toronto District High School, who raised funds in their city for the beautification of selected areas in the country. One of those areas is the St. Andrews Anglican School in Cayo....
New police vehicles for Northern Region
Today, the Northern Region of the Police Department was the recipient of two new vehicles. The Mahindra Pickup Trucks will be shared between Orange Walk and Corozal. Deputy Commissioner Elodio Aragon handed over the vehicles to the officers commanding the northern region. Elodio Aragon – Deputy Commissioner: These vehicles...
Caye Caulker Chronicles
Roots In The Sea chosen to be a part of this year’s Belize International Film Festival
The short documentary on Lionel ‘Chocolate’ Heredia has been chosen to be a part of this year’s Belize International Film Festival in the Short Documentary Category which is listed on the Film Festival’s website. The festival will be held on Thursday, July 11th to Monday, July 15th 2013.
The documentary crew of Roots In The Sea are Monika Raniti, Tina Auxillou, Carmen Myrtis Garcia, Michael Desabrais, Brieann Peixoto, Joni Miller Valencia.
Congratulations to you all!!!!
The May 19th, 2013 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE
This Week's Stories:
- No Arrest In Security Guard’s Murder:
An arrest is yet to be made in the
most recent murder of an on-duty
security guard even after the
recovery of the guard’s stolen license
firearm and the detention of two
San Ignacio police reports that at
about 7:45 pm on Friday, May 10,
2013, information was received
via the emergency 911 line of a
shooting incident at Kenny’s Store
located on Flamingo Avenue in San
A team of officers were quickly
dispatched to the scene where they
were told that the injured guard
was rushed to the San Ignacio On arrival at the hospital, the guard
identified as Randy Casey, 23, of
Camalote Village, Cayo District was
pronounced dead with two gunshot
wounds to the left side of the chest
and a third on the lower left side of
- Something Does Not
Seem Right In The
Primary school teacher Eddie
Pinelo has been in jail for a week on
allegations that he sodomized a 14
year old student.
Pinelo has since been remanded to
prison while his family has enlisted the
services of an attorney to secure his
release by way of a Supreme Court
In a statement to the police the boy
alleges that sometime in April of this
year, the teacher invited him to his
house in Bullet Tree village where it
is alleged that he was offered and
consumed alcoholic beverages to the
extent of getting drunk. The boy said
that all he recalled was being lifted
by the accused and taken off to a
bedroom where he was allegedly
sodomized by the teacher.
They boy accompanied by the legally required medical examination.
The medical doctor who performed
the examination reportedly came
to the conclusion that there was no
evidence that the child was carnally
known. And that should have been
the end of the story.
- New Developments In
Overnight And Cruise Sectors:
There is fantastic news to report in
the Tourism travel industry. Hot on
the heels of the release of record
breaking tourist arrivals in the first
quarter of 2013, new flights and cruise
calls to Belize were announced for the
final quarter of the year.
Starting in November, Delta Airlines
will be adding another Saturday flight
from Atlanta to Belize. Delta currently
deploys seven flights a week (one flight
per day) to Belize, increasing its total
number of flights to eight per week
(twice on Saturdays). This is an
additional 596 seats per month, and
will be a permanent addition to Delta’s
schedule to Belize. In addition,
American Airlines will be increasing
its Dallas to Belize flights from three
weekly flights to seven flights per
week (one flight daily), providing a
total of six hundred additional seats
in the month of October. BTB’s
Director of Marketing and Industry
Relations, Alyssa Carnegie, commented,
“This is fantastic news.
The Tourism Industry is doing so
well that even the airlines have
seen a need to increase flights,
and these flights are being
increased during a time that was
generally considered to be a slow
time for traveling by air. It
shows amazing growth and more
opportunities for the industry and
- Guatemalan Sent To
Jail For Five Years:
A Guatemalan, apprehended in the
Chiquibul National Park, has been
sentenced to spend the next five years
behind bars after pleading guilty
to keeping firearm and ammunition
without a gun license.
It was shortly after 6:00 pm on
Tuesday, May 14, 2013, when a joint
forces team of law enforcement
personnel on patrol in the Chiquibul
National Park came upon two
Hispanic male persons walking
suspiciously in the area. The police
ordered them to halt but they instead
The police caught up with one of
them who had a gun slung over the
left shoulder. On inspection the gun
was found to be a point 22 rifle
without serial number and brand.
Police also found seven live point 22
bullets in the front left pocket of the
pants the Guatemalan was wearing.
- The Belize Cancer Society – San
takes this opportunity
to extend a sincere THANK YOU
to all the donors who assisted in
making its educational Open Day on
Saturday, May 11, 2013 a success.
· Belize Electric Co. Ltd. (BECOL)
· Bowen & Bowen
· Central Cable Vision
· Flame’s Auto Shop
· Oye FM
· STAR Newspaper
A very special thanks also goes out
to our healthcare professionals –
Dr. Ramon Figueroa, Nurse Rosita
Figueroa of the San Ignacio
Community Hospital and Nurse
Dolly Witz of the Belize Family Life
Association who gave of their time and
services throughout the Open Day. To
the families within our community who
donated cupcakes and juices for
our booth visitors we also extend a
sincere thank you.
- The City Prepares For 2013 Hurricane
Season While Cayo Slumbers:
The 2013 Hurricane Season is
almost upon us. The Belize City
Council is busy preparing the city’s
emergency evacuation route; there will
be 70 evacuation route signs installed
along the emergency route as well
as hosting Disaster Preparedness
Training for the City's Operation
Management and Shelter Management
We commend the City for these
actions and it points out the obvious
lack of concern for those of us living
downstream of BECOL’s dams.
Does BECOL and the other
relevant bodies responsible for the
safety of people downstream of the
dams have any plans in place? Has
there been any meetings, simulations,
communications with the villagers,
townspeople and all those along the
Macal, Mopan and Belize Rivers?
We recently spoke to villagers in the
area and they said the last time there
had been any information about
disaster preparedness was two or
more years ago – about the last time
BELPO took the Department of
Environment, NEMO and BECOL
Maybe they are waiting for a
disaster to happen before action is
taken. If so, it may be too late for
- Call to Artists for the ‘National Song Competition 2013’:
National Celebrations Commission in association with Atlantic International Bank invites musicians, performing artists and songwriters from every
level to submit songs in each of the two categories, which include the BELIZE SONG COMPETITION and the Carnival Song Competition (juniors
The BELIZE SONG must be a dedication to Belize as a country, our way of life, our culture. The Belize Song should evoke a call to build community
spirit and national pride, be one that inspires national unity and must be memorable with popular and emotional appeal. The Belize Song must seek to
replicate a Belizean flavor in any musical genre that is Rhythm and Blues (R&B), Jazz, Alternative, Soca, Reggae, Dancehall or any other genre selected by
The Carnival Song must be of Belizean flavor and evoke our unbridled celebratory spirit at our time of National Celebrations, promote a free revelry, filled
with the essence of Belizean culture and overall merriment of Carnival and our celebrations.
Entries will be judged on: Audience Appeal; Musical Arrangement; Vocal Quality; Lyrical Content and Stage Presence.
- Benque Viejo Community Policing Unit:
The RC school in Succotz Village,
has seen its share of criminal activity
this week, (1) a victim of a burglary
& theft, (2) finding drugs on campus.
Because of these recent events the
principle Mr. Viviany Teul, and
teachers decided to invite the
community policing unit of the Benque
Viejo Sub-Formation to school for
a basic education on community
policing, neighborhood watch, youth
cadets, Special Constables, Great
program, and other relevant topics of
The community policing officer PC
Mckoy, had planned to give the
presentation, however a previous
commitment for special training by
the US Embassy prevented him, so
Special Constable Mr. Samuel
Bruce was called in to assist on
The students met in the classroom
of one the schools most experienced
teachers, and a vital member of
the Zone 4 Neighborhood Watch
Program in Benque Viejo, class
teacher Mrs. Isela Tesucum.
- Pope Francis hits out at global 'cult of money':
Pope Francis has called on world
leaders to end the "cult of money"
and to do more for the poor, in his
first major speech on the financial
Free market economics had
created a tyranny, in which people
were valued only by their ability to
consume, the pontiff told diplomats in
"Money has to serve, not to
rule," he said, urging ethical financial
Meanwhile, the Vatican's own bank
announced it would publish its annual
report for the first time.
The Institute for Works of Religion,
which has been at the centre of
various financial scandals in recent
years, is to hire an external accountancy
firm to ensure it meets international
standards against money
- Ten Reasons Why Buggery
Should Not Be Decriminalised:
The Caribbean Centre for
Family and Human Rights
(CARIFAM) recognizes the
fundamental and intrinsic dignity of all
people whatever their orientation.
We recognize that for reasons not yet
fully explained by science, persons
may experience attraction to members
of their own sex. Overcoming these
attractions can be a very painful
challenge requiring the support,
understanding and compassion
of others. For this reason we
distinguish between those who have
a homosexual tendency and those
who promote homosexuality. Our
opposition to legalizing buggery
(homosexual acts) is not an
opposition to gay people but a
recognition that marriage as between
one man and one woman is for the
common good – in the best interests
of society. Our reasoning is as
1. Decriminalising buggery means
legalizing homosexuality. This
opens the door for the legalization
of, every conceivable form
of sexual perversion as a
“sexual orientation” or “alternative
- Costa Rica's president in scandal over 'drugs' jet:
Revelations that Costa Rica's
president used the jet of a Colombian
with alleged links to drugs trafficking
have led to three high-profile
The head of intelligence and
security, Mauricio Boraschi, and
presidential aide Irene Pacheco
stepped down on Thursday.
Communications Minister Francisco
Chacon resigned on Wednesday.
President Laura Chinchilla travelled
twice on Gabriel Morales
She said "a few key people"
had failed in their duties to protect
President Chinchilla is said to
have used the jet in March to fly to
Venezuela for the funeral of the former
leader Hugo Chavez. She then used
the plane again last weekend for a
private trip to Peru.
But it has since emerged that
both the jet, and its owner Gabriel
Morales Fallon, were under
investigation by Costa Rican intelligence
officials for possible ties to drug
- Official Results Of The 12 May 2013 Village Council Elections:
- Mexico official fired for daughter's 'abuse of power':
Nieto has fired a senior official over
an incident caused by his daughter at
an exclusive restaurant last month.
Humberto Benitez Trevino's
daughter caused outrage by using his
influence to try to close down the
bistro after it did not give her a table
The episode sparked a discussion
about abuse of power in the country.
The sacking suggests that Mexico
has grown more sensitive to the
issue, correspondents say.
The episode became a trending
topic on Twitter under the hashtag
#ladyprofeco, after her father's
Mt Benitez, the attorney-general for
consumer protection, and his daughter both apologised, but this did little
to appease public anger.
- Argentina ex-military leader Jorge Rafael Videla dies:
Jorge Rafael Videla has died aged
87 while serving a life sentence for
crimes against humanity.
He is reported to have died from
natural causes in prison.
The general was jailed in 2010 for
the deaths of 31 dissidents during the
1976-83 military dictatorship, of
which he was overall leader until
Up to 30,000 people were tortured
and killed during this period, in a
campaign known as the "Dirty
Gen Videla had been sentenced to
life in prison for torture, murder
and other crimes in 1985, but was
pardoned in 1990 under an amnesty
given by the president at the time,
In April 2010, the Supreme Court
upheld a 2007 federal court move to
overturn his pardon.
- Trafficking Gang 'Smuggled Bangladeshis Into Brazil':
Brazilian police say they have
identified a gang specialising in
trafficking Bangladeshi nationals into
About 80 workers have been lured
by their own countrymen with promises
of earning up to $1,500 (£985) a
But they ended up as slave labour
in order to pay their smugglers nearly
$10,000, police say.
South America's biggest economy
has recently seen a steep rise in cases
of illegal immigration.
The smugglers explored routes
across the borders of Peru, Bolivia
and Guyana to enter Brazil, investigators
- STAR Humor
- Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
- Letters to the Editor
- Public Notices
Why I want to be an Eco Kid!
I have almost always wanted to grow something. It did not matter what when I was younger I would plant a lot of seeds that I found. I also would like going around and asking my mom if she could spare a carrot top or a potato’s eye or a sweet peppers seed. I would plant everything that I got and I would check them every morning, I would water the small plants but most all of my attempts failed. I still want to grow plants. Another thing is trees I mean if you look at a tree closely there are so many different ants and bugs on it and almost every single one has a home in that same tree.
One other cool thing about trees is that trees can be cut in half and the tree can grow right back.
Another thing I love is birds although some black birds can be annoying. Sometimes I look for them but I mainly find parrots. Another thing that I have been finding is toucans, the point is I like to watch birds.
I also love dogs, cats and even sometimes bugs, I also like the earth I mean if trees can grow back limbs and stuff then why can’t the earth have a few secrets? It would only be fair if it did.
Chocolate Festival of Belize
Cacao is native to the Americas, and the Toledo District of southern Belize is recognized for its superior cacao. These cacao beans are a significant export crop and, within country, are transformed into distinctive and high quality chocolate grown by farmer members of the Toledo Cacao Growers Association.
Rest in Peace (RIP) Scarlet Macaws
I was only back two days from my Belize/Guatemala/Mexico scarlet macaw journey when I got the news that poachers have struck in Belize, despite the tremendous efforts of those working there.
Strong ties between fly fishers lead to MSU, Belize collaboration
Strong connections between fly fishers in southwest Montana and Central America have led to new research at Montana State University. The project is focused on conch that live in the Caribbean Sea.
CARILED hosts Local Government Training
The Caribbean Local Economic Development Project (CARILED) officially opened its third training workshop on Local Economic Development (LED) in the Caribbean. The one week workshop, held from May 20 – 24, 2013, will train National CARILED Coordinators, Local Economic Development Officers and selected local government officials from 7 demonstration countries that will host projects on local economic development.
“Daddy Cool” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Up yesterday just before 4 am and managed to publish an edition of this blog before the Internet started playing up. Really strange. I could open and send emails but couldn’t access the web. Denied The Times online there was only one course of action I could take. Estel’s for breakfast!
When I returned to the condo we are renting I ‘phoned Coral Cable (the company we get our Internet and TV services from) to be told that the problem with the Internet was island wide and that they were ‘working on it’.
There was a connection but it was intermittent and getting frustrated with having a connection and then not, I retreated to the beach with my Kindle. And very relaxing it was too.
Thoroughly ‘chilled out’ after around 90 minutes on the beach I returned to the condo and Rose and I had a light lunch and then set off for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize and got there just after 2.30 pm.
On arrival it was difficult not to notice that Portfelio was working on the entrance stairway applying the final coat of cement in preparation for when the tiles are laid.
Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Mini Lemon Meringue Tarts
A shertbreed crust makes easy wurk uf these purty lil tarts. Simplee roll t'dough into balls t'press into mini muffin cups — no finicky pastry t'roll and cut. Plus, t'buttery crust pairs wonderfullee with t'citrusy zin' uf t'fillin.
Expats Boost Belize Property Value
Belize’s real estate market saw significant improvement in 2012, after slow sales in 2010 and 2011 as a continued reaction to the financial situation in the US. Despite problems selling their homes in the US, Americans found ways of purchasing property in Belize.
This trend will continue through 2013, believes John Acott, Association of Real Estate Brokers of Belize (AREBB)’s director of the board and RE/MAX Property Center’s real estate agent. He expects prices to rise at least in line with inflation.
Belize has one of the highest-priced real estate markets in Central America, according to the 2012 Central America House Price Snapshot prepared by revealrealestate.com, in coordination with Global Property Guide, which covers Belize, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. But by international standards prices are low. The most expensive “typical house” – three-bedroom single family homes – are in Placencia Peninsula, priced at around US$ 575,000. A typical house in Ambergris Caye might cost US$ 295,000, while one in San Ignacio would cost US$ 255,000.
It is difficult to say how much house prices have changed in Belize recently, as there are no official house price figures. They declined by as much as 25% to 30% after the global economic crisis in 2008, according to M.H. Chebat & Company’s Michel Chebat. Older resale condos comprised most of the sales in 2009 and 2010, with condos priced below BZ$ 200,000 being more popular. In 2010, buyers began to consider properties with an upper limit of BZ$ 300,000. However in 2011, realtors were able to sell a number of condos and homes in the price range from BZ$ 400,000 to BZ$ 600,000.
Grayslake Woman Chosen for Ecology Study in Belize
Katherine Hart of Grayslake will travel to Belize this summer to participate in a global graduate studies program in the Central American country of Belize.
Beginning in late July, Katherine Hart, of Grayslake, will study conservation and marine ecology in the Central American country of Belize.
Belize bulldozer mentality pervades region, says author
It is only a matter of time before the next bulldozer razes another timeless heritage element in the region, according to literary and cultural heritage educator and consultant Dr Kris Rampersad, calling on the region to reexamine its overall approaches to sustainable development planning, budgeting and education and consciousness raising programmes.
In her blog, Demokrissy (http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com), Rampersad questioned, “Who in the region can say it wouldn’t happen to us?”
She stated: “Bulldozing of the near 2,300 year-old-Mayan Nohmul temple in Orange Walk, Belize, is only symptomatic of the level of unchecked danger and threats to significant heritage elements of the region and the degree of short sightedness in our approach to sustainable development.”
She cited sites under developmental pressure in Trinidad, Jamaica’s Blue Mountains, St Lucia’s Pitons and elsewhere in the region.
“The bulldozer mentality is symptomatic of pervading misperceptions that sustainability, bio-cultural heritage conservation and development are polar opposites. This promotes confrontational approaches at the expense of exploration of very real modes by which the two can successfully and peacefully co-exist to the benefit of populations. Our budget and economic, social and environmental planning directorate and bureaucracies should take note,” Rampersad said.
#465044 - 05/23/13 12:16 PM
Re: Today's Belize News: May 23, 2013
KHMH Isolates Bacteria Bug That Caused Baby's Deaths
The KHMH Board of governors met in an emergency session this morning at the hospitals to get some answers on the death of a dozen babies at the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit in just three weeks. The bulk of the information they got was form a rapid response team sent to investigate what went wrong and isolate the bacteria that killed the newborns. Tonight the news is that they know the name of the bacterial bug. That was announced at a meeting held two hours ago when the meeting finished. We’ll have that shortly, but first, it was news to us that the CEO of the Hospital found out about the deaths in his own facility, on the news!:…
Dr. F. Gary Longsworth - CEO, KHMH
"Over a very short period of time beginning last week we had a cluster of deaths in our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and it went out to the media. One of the parents went to the media, I believe, that actually prompted the investigation because up to that point we were not aware that the situation was developing."
Dr. Adrian Coye - Medical Chief Of Staff, KHMH
"We have seen an outbreak of a particular organism it's called enterobacter cloacae and this organism is not only selecting our Belizean babies but it's an organism that is responsible for major outbreaks in ICU's all over the world. Now we issued a release that there were 12 deaths this month which was unusual because the month is not yet done and 12 deaths that happened where the majority were happening precipitously in the last week and so this form of outbreak does raise alarm bells, adjustments are being made clinically and within the unit, some procedural changes. In despite of that we had the high number of tragic loss. However of the twelve deaths only seven has been shown in our analysis to be positive for this organism. The other deaths happened as a result of prematurity related issues and not related to this infection. This is not a super bug - the profile of the resistance pattern within the organism that we have found is sensitive to antibiotics that we do have in the hospital and made available through the Ministry of Health so it is not a super bug.
Mother Accused Of Infanticide Remains On Remand At Mental Facility
22 year-old Felicia Chen, the mother who is accused of killing her 3 babies, was back in Magistrate’s Court today. The outcome of today’s hearing is that based on the advice of her psychologist, she will continue to be remanded at a mental health facility in Belmopan until June 21st.
So, this makes her 4th trip to Magistrate’s Court, and the 3rd time that it is decided that she must continue to receive mental help. And while 7News been closely monitoring the case, we can’t help but notice that members of the police department have been doing an exceptional job at shielding her from our cameras, and by extension, the public.
There are 2 unusual features of the case. The first is that, neither the media nor the public is allowed inside the courtroom whenever Chen must be given a hearing before a sitting magistrate. That sort of treatment is mostly reserved for cases which involve minors and victims of sexual abuse when they testify. It is also odd that Chen is being cradled in the bosom of the female officer every time she makes a trip to and from the court.
Baptist Family Fears Loved One Was Murdered
The Belize City family of San Pedro Resident Jerome Baptist is fearing for the worst tonight – they believe he was killed on the island on Sunday night. Since Monday, San Pedro police have been looking for his body on northern Ambergris Caye but they haven’t come up with anything. Gunshots were heard on Sunday night in the San Juan area of the island and there are reports that some men were seen dragging a body into a boat. Baptist has not been seen since then – but police and his family are following up on various leads. A number of persons have been detained, questioned and released.
Forestry's Final Figures From The Rosewood Roundup
The Rosewood Amnesty finished two months ago and today the Forest Department released the final figures listing how much rosewood was collected during the 19 day period and from which purchasers. The Chief Forest Officer discussed it today:…
Wilbur Sabido - Chief Forestry Officer
"We're talking about a total of 400,000 port feet that has been declared to the forest department. Actually in total royalty we are talking close to $200,000 paid in royalty. In terms of tonnage we're talking close to about 580 tons to that 400,000 port feet that I mentioned before. All of the Rosewood that has been declared has actually been measured in the Toledo District. Currently we are in the process of supervising the loading of the Rosewood to the containers by various exporters. As it is right now especially in the South we have presently containers being loaded - what is done is basically, our officers keep a tally what is being loaded versus what is declared. So in essence when the time for exportation comes we need to have clear evidence in terms of the receipts being presented to us and is paid the royalty on the Rosewood that has been declared."
"Have you all encountered any Rosewood that had been cut post amnesty - that had been cut between April 8th - 25th, 2013? You all said you would know because because it is distinctive and you can tell from the physical quality."
Belize Bandwidth Still Slowest, Most Expensive In Region
BTL may have doubled internet speeds and cut rates in NOVEMBER of 2012 – but according to a 2013 survey of Caribbean Internet Service Providers, internet in Belize is still the most expensive and among the slowest in the entire Caribbean region. The study was done to update the May 2012 survey, which made so much news in Belize. The researchers found that Belize is the only place in the Caribbean where you can still find 128k sold as a minimum speed. In most countries, the minimum speed offered is one meg and it is at 256k in a few countries. As for the maximum, Belize falls behind there as well. The maximum speed you can buy in Belize is 8 megs – and that is for $346 US dollars per month which is the most you’ll pay for any amount of bandwidth in any country in the region. But in Jamaica, you can buy 100 megs for 129 US dollars per month; in Trinidad, 100 megs costs 124 US dollar per month. In countries like Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Cayman and Dominica, the maximum speed availableis also 8 megs, but it sells for between 130 and 150 US dollars per month. Belize is also the most expensive place to find a 2 meg connection, at 118 US dollars, compared to 27 US dollars in Jamaica. But it’s not all bad for Belize, the report notes that quote, “over the last 2 years Belize has been improving the speeds and pricing of their Internet broadband service offerings. Since 2012, the incumbent provider, Belize Telemedia Limited, reduced monthly prices by over 50%.” And this table shows that only Barbados brought down prices more than Belize. The survey is based on BTL’s prices, and they told us they will comment later this week…..NED.S.. BTL may have doubled internet speeds and cut rates in NOVEMBER of 2012 – but according to a 2013 survey of Caribbean Internet Service Providers, internet in Belize is still the most expensive and among the slowest in the entire Caribbean region.
Belize Technocrats Get Refresher On Multilateral Environment Agreements
Do you know what RAMSAR, CITES, CBD and SPAW are? They sound kind of like that bacterial bug at the KHMH but actually, these are environmental agreements that the Government of Belize and other Caribbean countries have signed unto. But due to a lack of funding and political will these agreements are never really brought into force in domestic law, or what the policy wonks, call mainstreaming. That’s the subject of a three-day training workshop on what are called Multilateral Environmental Agreements. We found out more from the Chief Environmental Officer.
Martin Allegria - Cheif Environmental Officer
"The objective here today is to build capacity in these institutions to become more conscious and aware of these Multi-lateral agreements or conventions and how to incorporate these into the developmental plans of Belize."
Dr. Therese Yarde - CARICOM Secretariat
"And the value of mainstreaming especially to this small country is that Belize and many other countries in the Caribbean Community has signed on to a lot of agreements and the more you sign on to it the harder it is for you to implement. So what mainstreaming does is tighten it up together."
A Hulking Wreck Stuck On Lighthouse Reef
Today, we also got a chance to ask the Chief Environmental Officer about an environmental eyesore. It’s the M/V Transfer Cargo Ship which has been stuck on the on the barrier reef shoals off Lighthouse Reef for almost a decade. The ship ran aground in 2005, and on a trip south this weekend, we saw it was still there. We asked Allegria about it.
"And the Hulking wreck is still there stuck on the reef. What is the status of that? What are the environmental consequences of this and would it ever be moved or will it just stay there to rot?"
Martin Allegria - Cheif Environmental Officer
"Well MV transfer was the critical point in our journey in Environmental Management in Belize especially the Marine Environment. Yes when that incident occurred we didn't have the legislation for example that we have now. We didn't have the capacity for damage assessment etc. so unfortunately that vessel has been there as you rightly said for years now notwithstanding. Recently there has been interest because of the scrap metal market so that's a possibility that we have to look into. However, it has to be done in an environmentally and safe manner so that at the end of the day the damage that it has already done that it is doing with hurricanes and with swaying - damaging the corals. If we can look at that and try to avoid it in the near future by completely removing it environmentally conscious wise and making some funds out of it rather than it just being there. Not only as an environmental hazard but also an eye sore for tourism and other stuff."
NTUCB Cites GOB Abuses, Says "Be Ready To Act!"
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize also has natural resource issues on its mind. It sent out an angry statement today noting what it calls “malpractices of varying sorts, as it relates to the use and management of our natural resources.”
The release says it is quote, “scandalous but also tremendously and utterly outrageous that we have witnessed; first the continued raping of the Rosewood stock down south, then the bulldozing of the very obvious Mayan archaeological mound, Noh Mul and most vexatious of all GOB’s inaction regarding the court ruling - reference, on-shore drilling,” end quote. The statement concludes that all this, quote, “’NAHW GOH WURK!!!’”
The release concludes that there is a perception that, quote, “certain sectors of the society are above the law or even that the law is silenced to allow abuse of our patrimony…The National Trade Union Congress of Belize…calls on all parties…to cautiously gauge this developing situation…(and) requests of all to be prepared to come to the defense of this land and its resources. We attentively listen, keep watch and stay on the ready to act!” End quote.
Family of Alleged Shooter Claims Abuse and False Imprisonment
On Monday, 7News told you about 33 year-old Peter Castillo, the man who survived being shot in the calf, shoulder and jaw on Saturday. Well, police have been investigating the report, and they believe that they have the man who was the shooter.
The problem is that his family is saying that they have it all wrong because Kareem the accused, Gillett was at home with his girlfriend at the time of that shooting.
Moreover, they say, police abused him when they detained him for a separate incident on Monday:
Yvette Tillett - Claim Brutality/Wrongful Imprisonment Against Her Son
"Well Monday when I was at my house I saw my son across the street talking to two BDF and when I saw how they were behaving I said 'hey' and I ran across the street and they told me that my son was being upstart to them. I called the police to deal with him they had already taken him and put him in the vehicle and asked him if it was a ride he wanted then they told him 'let's go'. When I went to Raccoon Station they sent me to Euphrates because I was going there to find out what happened with my son when I saw my daughter in law was going through the door and then I saw my son and he was wet. I asked him what is it that they did to him and he told me that they beat him up and 'chance' him. They released him on Monday night. They held him like an hour and ten minutes then we went home. This morning they came and they told me that they came for Kareem and they told me that they are going to charge my son for attempted murder. I told them my son didn't do anything he was with his girlfriend."
The Long, Strange Journey Of Audrey's Passport
Audrey Matura-Shepherd is the well-known, outspoken Vice President of Oceana in Belize, but that didn’t stop a perpetrator from forging her stolen passport, and trying to pass it off as belonging to someone else.
That forged passport showed up 5 years later in a case in Orange Walk after police conducted a sting operation on the home of Matthew Williams in June 2011. You may remember him as the man who owned the vehicle police impounded because it was transporting 15 persons who were suspected to be cargo as part of a human trafficking move.
Williams was charged for the Matura passport and several others believed to be forged documents, and since then he’s been making regular appearances in the Magistrate’s Court for his adjournments. His matter was called up today where it was set down for the final date, and Matura was supposed to be crown witness against him.
That hearing couldn’t take place because Williams’ attorney did not show up for court. The matter is adjourned until July 30.
It is expected that on that date, Williams will get his day in court, and Matura-Shepherd will testify against him.
Dr. Parks Schools Her Minister & CEO In Scathing Sendoff Speech
Dr. Marjorie Parks, the Deputy Director of Health Services and Chief Nursing Officer retired today, and she did so in style, after sending off a “boom-shot” to her Ministry’s top brass just before she left.
Dr. Parks gave one of the main addresses at the National Nursing Conference held in Corozal last week Friday. In the presence of her Minister and CEO, she spoke out against political interference in the nursing profession. We’ve gotten a text copy of her speech and it says, quote, “The position of Principal Nursing Officer, the highest in the Nursing hierarchy in the Government Service has traditionally, been prestigious…The PNO provides policy direction and guidance to the nursing profession. This situation was changed in 2008 when almost all decisions for nursing and nurses were taken over by the political directorate at the Ministry of Health.”
It continues, quote, “Even the Nurses and Midwives Council of Belize, a statutory body, which since 1923, has been effectively regulating the practice of nurses was not immune to political intervention. Under a system of micromanagement and unwarranted victimization many nurses have been deprived of their benefits for any real or imagined infraction against the powers that be.”
She adds that, quote, “For example, the nurse who is has been acting as the Registrar of the Nursing Council for over seven years has not been appointed to the post, neither has the RN who is carrying out the responsibility for Infection control at the Corozal Hospital been promoted to the post. In both instances the posts are vacant, the nurses qualified and recommendation has been made by their supervisors but these have not been forwarded to the Ministry of the Public Service for processing. Even the current succession plan for filling of the Deputy Director of Health Services and Chief Nursing Officer post, which is in line with the Revised Criteria for Appointment and Advancement in the Nursing Profession is being thwarted.”
New Police Rides For The North
This morning the Minister of National Security, John Saldivar, handed over two new Mahindra Pickup Trucks to the Police Department.
Receiving the vehicles on behalf of the Police Department was Deputy Commissioner Elodio Aragon, who then handed them over to the Officer Commanding the Northern Region, Senior Superintendent Joseph Myvette. ARAGON discussed how the trucks will be used:
Elodio Aragon Jr. - Deputy Commissioner of Police
"These vehicles are slated for the Northern Districts - Orange Walk and Corozal. These vehicles are really needed in the north because of the wide amount of ground they have to cover. As we begin to improve on our services and we reach out to our communities - these vehicles will come in handy for officers to be able to get out there and to look into reports that arises in these rural areas so these vehicles will play a key role to assist upon the efficiency of the Police Department."
The took place this morning at the Ministry of National Security Headquarters in Belmopan.
Rowan's Next Great Adventure
You’ve heard about Rowan Garel – the courageous blind 14 year old who’s climbed the Victoria Peak and walked from Cayo to Belize City in 5 days.
And now on July 14th, he will be trying something new – and this time out at sea. The first former will dive the Blue Hole and will be the first blind Belizean to ever do so. Rowan’s efforts are a part of a campaign to raise awareness and funds for the Belize Center for the Visually Impaired summer camp that caters for children who are blind from all corners of the country. We caught up with the teen today who told us what preparations are taking place for his latest big adventure.
Rowan Garel - Will Dive Blue Hole
"So I'm going to be scuba diving - I’m going to dive the blue hole not down to the bottom but just to the surface before it slopes down. We try to figure out stuff that are going to 1. raise awareness and 2. be challenging in a way. We were just speaking - the family, my dad and I thought about this idea why don't I scuba dive. It is something he's always wanted me to do and I would want to do it as well. I have to do a course online and it just consists of several chapters of a book that you have to read and they have some knowledge reviews and quizzes and a final exam that will be from all the chapters from the begin to the end. Once I'm finished that I'll do a series of open water dives - just dives - to let me practice my skills that I've learnt and that is what I have to do. It will be a challenge but in a different way. The others were challenging physically, it was very grueling, very strenuous but this is a challenge to try to figure out what I will do such as how will we communicate, how will I meet the standards for instance I have to monitor my ear gage and that's how it's going to be a challenge. Our goal is to raise awareness as well as funds and that's really what this is about."
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