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#465620 - 05/31/13 11:54 AM Today's Belize News: May 31, 2013
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The San Pedro Sun

NEMO Week 2013: preparing for hurricane season 2013
With the hurricane season opening on Saturday, June 1st, the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) has once again set out to prepare the Belizean community in case of an emergency. This year, NEMO Week is observed under the theme, “Reducing the threat from Climate Change, Disaster preparedness begins with you” and took place during the week of May 26th to June 1st. The purpose of NEMO week is to bring awareness to the public and stress the importance of disaster preparation. The week included a Morning Talk Show, school visits to handout materials on disaster preparedness, a game competition and a cleanup campaign. The week commenced with a day of prayers on Monday, May 26th. Members of all denominations from across town were invited to offer a special service for protection throughout the hurricane season. On Tuesday, May 28th Dennis Gonguez, Meteorology officer for the Belize Meteorology Center visited the San Pedro High School students to discuss climate changes and basic preparation methods in case of tropical storms and hurricanes. Gonguez explained to the students how pollution affects climate drastically and leads to the formation of larger storms. He also explained how global warming is affecting the intensity of hurricanes. The power of a hurricane depends on how rapidly water can evaporate from the ocean, transferring heat to the atmosphere, which converts the transfer of heat into wind energy. As the temperature of the water rises it becomes easier for hurricanes to be created and to be fueled, therefore create catastrophically large storms. The students also learned how the community can help reduce factors that lead to climate change. From simply not burning garbage to reducing the use of aerosols, we all play part in reducing the threats of climate change.

Oceana’s Northern II trawler sold for $1 to Placencia fishermen for sustainable use
Oceana in Belize finalized the sale of the last of two trawlers they had acquired when trawling was banned in Belize in December of 2010. Since purchasing the Northern II in April of 2011 from the Belize Northern Fisheries Cooperative, Oceana in Belize has been accepting proposals for the creative use of the vessel that was once one of only two trawlers in Belize. One of those proposals came from the Placencia Producers Cooperative Society Limited (PPCSL) and on Saturday May 25th, Oceana Vice President in Belize Audrey Matura-Shepherd finalized the sale and handed over the vessel for $1. In 2011, Oceana acquired the Northern II at a cost of $650,000 and gave an additional $150,000 towards a loan and grant agreement as compensation for giving up the trawling industry. Since the acquisition of Northern II, Oceana accepted creative proposals for the use of the trawlers, the only condition being that it couldn’t be used for trawling anywhere in the world.

Reef Week Triathlon results
As part of the 2013 Reef Week celebration, Hol Chan Marine Reserve held two triathlon competitions on the morning of Saturday, May 25th. The purpose of Reef Week was to raise awareness about the reef and marine life conservation. The groups of competitors were divided into Under 14 and Over 14. The race began shortly after 10am, and a crowd gathered at Central Park to cheer on the young athletes. The competitors first took to the sea, swimming laps around markers that had been set out. Not even a little rain could interfere with the ongoing race. Once the swimmer completed his laps the next phase of the race took part with cycling and then running laps through Barrier Reef and Pescador Drive. At the end of the race, first place for the Under 14 division went to Luis Carcamo. For his efforts, he took home a beach cruiser bicycle and a gift bag. Second place went to EsromAldana. He received a snorkel set and a gift bag. Third place went to Andy Rivero who won a trip to Hol Chan Marine Reserve and one gift bag.

Coconut Drive by Yacht Club opens
The section of Coconut Drive (by the Belize Yacht Club) that was on repairs will be opened tomorrow at 7:30 AM to all vehicular traffic.

Ambergris Today

Second Telethon Seeks to Raise $500,000 for Inspiration Center
The Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow and CARE-Belize are once again hosting a nationwide telethon to raise funds to complete and equip the Inspiration Center. The telethon will held on Saturday, June, 1st, 2013 at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts and once again, donation booths will be placed in strategic locations countrywide. Construction of The Inspiration Center at 1.5 mile on the George Price Highway is well underway and the funds raised this year will be primarily used for the purchase of specialized equipment to provide physical and occupational therapy, medical care, recreational activities and other services catered to the needs of children with disabilities. The center will also serve as a community center with after-school classes for disadvantaged children from the surrounding communities.

How to Be a Good Dog Owner and a Great Neighbor
SAGA Humane Society and the San Pedro Town Board are working together to help dog owners be better neighbors and members of the community. This article will help you to understand what you can do, as a dog owner, to make San Pedro a more beautiful, happier and healthier place for residents and tourists alike. Don’t forget that when you choose to get a dog, your neighbors have no say in that choice. *Neuter or spay your dog. This will prevent them from spreading disease and from adding to the dog overpopulation problem we have in San Pedro. It will also make them healthier and more loyal. *Keep your dog under control and in your yard at all times. No one deserves to be frightened or hurt by your dog.

Misc Belizean Sources

NEMO "Hurricane Season 2013" documents
“Reducing the threats from Climate Change, Disaster Preparedness begins with YOU”. National Emergency Management Organization Melhado Parade, Belmopan Click Here for NEMO's Emergy Response Information Are YOU prepared in case of a Hurricane ?

Photos: Streets affected by the rain on May 28
Mayor Danny and Councilor Severo visit various streets from Ramon's Village up to the D.F.C. Area and the Escalante Subdivision making an assessment on future repairs of the streets that suffer tremendously from the heavy rains, especially since rainy season is upon us.

MCHS Promo Video
Mount Carmel High School has a lenghty advertisement video out. That's a cool mural they have by their auditorium.

Elvis Avila Wins NICH Award
Congratulations to Benque's, Elvis Avila, for being NICH's National Arts and Culture award recipient. Viva la Lens of Culture! "Awesome news!!!!!!!! Benque House of Culture salutes, Elvis Avila on a major accomplishment as the National Arts & Culture recipient by the Institute of Creative Arts (NICH) 2013, join us in wishing him well in development of the Arts & Culture in the community & Belize! Felicidades Elvis!"

Public Service Information Day
More Public Service Information Day pictures. "BARS, NICH, BMA, BTB and the main office came together to represent and inform the public of the work done by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture."

In Bloom Plays Lucky 5
Tonight In Bloom will be playing at Lucky 5. If you missed them open at the Ascenthium concert or didn't see them at the Full Moon Concert, then tomorrow is your chance. They just released a video of them doing Seize the Day from Avenged Sevenfold on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5I1WaG7AgM

Emmanuel Mangar Jams the Blues
Cayo's Emmanuel Mangar released a great jam session of slow blues. He'll be playing at Mr. Greedy's tomorrow night, where he plays most Friday nights. Some day, he'll be playing this in front of thousands of people.

Rotaract Living Healthy BBQ Fundraiser
Rotaract had a highly successful BBQ to raise funds for their school projects. It was delicious! A big thanks to the sponsors, and to the Rotaractors, for being the change they wish to see in the world. "On Saturday, May 25th, Rotaract San Ignacio Went out to San Ignacio's Market to do a BBQ sale. The Club was fundraising for our upcoming event: Living Healthy Campaing. It was a total success; we were even sold out! Thank you for everyone who supported and thank you once again to those who never hesitate to sponsor us. We all did it! Sponsors: Codd's Drug Store, Atlantic Bank Ltd., The Belize Bank Limited , Rumors Resort Hotel, Astrid Salazar Silva, Matus Dental Clinic, Emil & Sharon Figueroa, Rotary Club of San Ignacio, and Rotarian: Franklin Syrowatka.

Support the Inspiration Telethon
Just 2 more days until the Inspiration Telethon. In Cayo, you can donate at the booth that will be set up in front of Atlantic Bank. They will also have t-shirts and hats that you can buy to support the Inspiration Center. You can also call 0-800-INSPIRE.

Sun Is Up Pre-Summer Party
Meluchi's is having their Sun Is Up Pre-Summer party tonight. Cloud 9 will be there, along with Tagg International and DJ Richie. The first 25 ladies get a glow stick and a rocket balloon. There will be a Kotch competition. Summer is here! "Thing called SUN IS UP: Pre- Summer bash inside MELUCHI'S GRAVEYARD LOUNGE on Friday May 31st!! Musical niceness by big bad Cloud 9 Sound, Dj Richie Galvez, and last but not least, Dj Justin Jago Williams of Tagg International! Summer is here!!! Stress free!!!!"

Channel 7

KHMH: Who’s Responsible?
Who’s to blame for the death of a dozen newborns at the KHMH Pediatric Intensive Care Unit? That’s what most everyone wanted to know from a press conference held this afternoon by the KHMH, Board and Management along with the Prime Minster. But, as we found out in the hour and a half long press conference in the Hospital Conference Room, things aren’t always that straightforward. Here’s what the Chairman of the Board had to say. Jules Vasquez "What you said at the Press Conference was that it was really a failure of management protocols, a failure of reporting protocols so am I to determine then that no one is to blame? No human is to blame? No one is accountable?" Chandra Nisbet Cansino - Chairman, KHMH "If you are asking specifically about the deaths of the newborns - at this time we cannot hold any one person accountable. We have had detailed discussions with the head of the Pediatric Unit and there response was really timely, they did what they were suppose to do and when they were supposed to do it. I think as Dr. Coye explained, he was aware of what was going on - unfortunately the CEO was not. We would have liked that the CEO knew about these events as they were unfolding and so we as a board plan to have a conversation with him probably to strengthen that area because as a board as well if there is a crisis in the hospital, we also feel that we should know. We definitely will have that conversation but our first concern was to ensure that the situation was handled correctly and that there was no negligence on the part of the medical professionals."

It’s Official, Audrey Resigns From OCEANA
Last night we told you about the unconfirmed reports that Audrey Matura-Shepherd would be abruptly announcing her resignation from Oceana. Well, the former Oceana Vice President confirmed those reports in a press release she sent out this morning. The release states, and we quote, “I have submitted my resignation as Vice President of Oceana for Belize effective as of August 22, 2013. It is time for me to move on to new opportunities and fully pursue my legal career which remains my passion”, end of quote. And while that seems simple enough…was it really? Did Matura-Shepherd freely resign, or was she forced to after she made anti-homosexual remarks? Today Matura-Shepherd held a Press Conference and explained what caused her sudden and unexpected move. She also spoke about her columns in the Amandala about the comparison she made of homosexuality to bestiality and how she was out rightly attacked for having an opinion.

Cabinet’s Position On Crawl Caye
Last night, 7New told you about the mass concerns coming from the BTIA, environmentalists and private tourism interests in relation to the proposal from Norwegian Cruise Line to build a cruise port on Crawl Caye in Southern Belize. As we reported, rumors spread that the Government committee reviewing the proposal intended to decide on a Memorandum of Understanding with NCL as early as next week. This caused the concerned stakeholders to start a letter campaign to torpedo the project. Well, today, 7News got an opportunity to speak to Minister Godwin Hulse, the chairman of the committee looking at the proposal, and he discussed Government’s position on the proposal at this current moment. He also discussed the public concerns which have been ventilated via the media. Hon. Godwin Hulse - Minister of Labour "Here's the position - NCL has made a proposal. There's a committee of the cabinet which I chair made up of other ministers, Heredia (Tourism), Castillo (Economic Development), Alamilla (Environment) and of course Minister Contreras (Trade) and myself basically as Minister of Labour - those are the areas which government has concerns with any investment. Initially we met with NCL and out of that meeting came a requirement that the NCL technical people meet with our technical people to determine the technical parameters of doing a facility on the proposed island.

Shooting A Short Distance From Police Substation
Tonight, 26 year-old Jason Joseph, a resident #101 West Street, is recovering from a gunshot wound after an assailant ambushed him at his home. At around 7:40 last night, he was standing in front of his house when a gunman wearing a black mask ambushed him, fired several shots and ran off. One of those bullets struck him in the left upper arm, and he was rushed to the KHMH for treatment. The brazenness of the attack must be noted because Joseph’s house is just a stone’s throw away from the Mesopotamia Police Sub-Station, so the assailant risked quick police response to execute the attack.

Cruise Terminal On Crawl Caye, to Be Or Not To Be?
Before the commercial break you heard Minister Godwin Hulse speak about Norwegian Cruise Line and its interest in putting a Cruise Port on Crawl Caye. Hulse is the Chairman of an investment subcommittee assigned by cabinet to look at the matter – but the Prime Minister – in a sense is the “decider.” Today he told us government is obligated to look at Norwegian’s Officer, but they are in no rush. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minster of Belize "Norwegian is talking about an investment of possibly a hundred million dollars, at least in my view, given the need for employment especially in the need for opportunities, government must have the conversation that it is having with Norwegian. Given the location of Crawl Caye, cabinet insisted that the relevant ministries do the proper assessment to ensure that we could even do a project there and that if we could in what ways the project would have to be limited. I see the BTIA saying, 'oh this is going to be a kind of free for all' Norwegian brings hundreds and hundreds of cruise passengers. There is no way we are going to move in any precipitous fashion on this thing, I don't know whether we will move at all but the conversation must occur because you simply don't turn away this potentially huge investment without making absolutely sure that this cannot happen in the larger scheme of things in the larger national."

Shady San Antonio Road Transactions At A “Frenzied” Time
We also pressed the Prime Minister to speak about the San Antonio Road. You’ll recall that’s the one we told you about on Friday night, where a contractor was paid to pave the San Antonio Road, but the Road was left unpaved. The PM told the press today that yes, there are standing discrepancies with that contract and the entire conduct of the business. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "After I saw the news reports" Jules Vasquez "You watch the news Sir?" Hon. Dean Barrow "No,No, I was sent the internet version, I wouldn't have said it, I don't want people to feel that I am discriminating against you, but no, I don't watch your news, since you bring it up. But after I saw the internet version I caused the financial secretary to go meet with the CEO in the Ministry of Works.

PM Says Deputy Had No Role In Noh Mul
The Prime Minister was also asked to comment on the destruction of the main temple at the Noh Mul Mayan site. De-Mar’s Stone Company, owned by UDP Candidate in Orange Walk Central Denny Grijalva used the two thousand year old structure as a quarry. He did it to fulfill public contracts to fill roads in Orange Walk North. That’s the Deputy Prime Minister’s division and the PM bristled when we tried to make connection. Jules Vasquez "Are you satisfied that in fact the deputy prime minister and the representative from Orange Walk North had no involvement in the paving of roads in the Orange Walk North rural roads with fill from Noh Mul?" Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minster of Belize "Sorry, could you repeat that" Jules Vasquez "The deputy prime minister has sent out as statement saying he had no involvement in the malling of Noh Mul" Hon. Dean Barrow "That I certainly accept"

Man Charged For Manslaughter, Family Wants Murder
Tonight, 40 year-old Eduardo Rudolpho Torres is out on bail on the charge of Manslaughter by Negligence for the death of 32 year-old John Paul Fernandez, which happened on May 4 on the compound of the Palm Island Bar. Police were initially treating it as a murder because at around 3:41 a.m. that night, Torres was fatally shot to the right side of his head. Initially, they didn’t have any witnesses who could say that Torres, who was the main suspect, shot him, but after 4 weeks of investigation, they finally charged him. Fernandez’s family is furious that Torres was charged with manslaughter and not murder, especially given the fact of how Fernandez was killed.

Man To Jail For Sex With 15 Year Old
Tonight, 19 year-old Rudolph McKoy is at prison tonight after he was taken to court for allegedly having sex with a 15 year-old female. According to police, on Tuesday at around midday, McKoy met his fellow female student at Dolphin Park where they had intercourse. Police caught them in the act, and detained them both. As a result of this and a medical examination McKoy was charged with unlawful carnal knowledge and aggravated assault of an indecent nature.

NEMO Gets Ready For Hurricane Season
The 2013 hurricane season opens on Saturday, June 1 – and that’s when NEMO will begin to take an active role in monitoring the development of tropical storms and hurricanes. While doing that, NEMO will take the lead in informing and mobilizing the nation with their disaster preparedness plans. And to note the seriousness that they take that responsibility, the NEMO directors today held a press conference to update the nation. NEMO Minister Godwin Hulse gave a presentation outlining the tough policy that his ministry will be operating by for 2013. Here’s what he had to say: Hon. Godwin Hulse - Minister of NEMO "The state is prepared to assist all the individuals of this country to be safe in the event of a disaster, prepared to assist to be as safe as possible. The state cannot and will not save your life - that is for God and we take no such credit. I open with that, because too many times there is the misconception that 'well there is a hurricane coming, weh unno the do?' and I want the public who sees this tonight to understand it is what you will do for yourself, because it is your responsibility to preserve, as best as possible, your own life and to help to prevent accidents to yourself and to look after your property.

Cervical Cancer, Eluding Early Detection In Belize
It’s Cancer Awareness Month – and in line with the theme, “CANCER: “Did you know? Get the facts!” – the Belize Cancer Society today held a forum on cervical cancer. The opening address was given by Dianne Finnegan whose husband Michael Finnegan beat prostate cancer, and whose sister-in-law lost her battle with cervical cancer. Finnegan told the crowded room at the Radisson about the lessons she’s leaned. Dianne Finnegan - Sister in Law of Cervical Cancer victim "In discussion with my sister in law when she was alive she said if she had only gone to the doctor earlier they would have been able to diagnose the cancer in its early stage and be treated." Delone Pascascio, RN, MN - Belize Cancer Treatment Center "We continue to see more new referrals, in the last two days we were at the cancer center and we saw a total of perhaps 25 patients - half of which were new referrals. This is really heartbreaking because some of these patients are really young. What we're battling now in terms of the referral are the increasing numbers of Cervical Cancer that are diagnosed in their late stage. The disturbing trend we're seeing is the number of late cases, late stages of young women, one of the cases she was 31 years old, is exceptionally unusual because usually we see those in their early stages and there's able to intervene. What we're seeing right now is a hesitancy to go and check out what may be changing and therefore you wait and think that things will right themselves but in fact they continue to progress and by the time you get to a physician you get this really terrible diagnoses that you are devastated and have to figure out what you're going to do with it."

PM Says Gender Policy Not Law
And in one last bit of political news for tonight – the PM was grilled on the flap over the Revised National Gender Policy. As we’ve reported that document has come under intense scrutiny from the Christian for seeming to suggest that homosexual rights should be mainstreamed into cultural and religious practices. The mere suggestion has started an angry crusade against the document and, by extension, the government. A lot of it centers around the fact that the churches were not consulted while UNIBAM apparently was. The PM answered this criticism: Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "Churches were not consulted specifically, they are on various sort of satellite bodies, the Aids Commission, the National Committee for Families and Children, but in terms of the writing up of the policy by the consultant and it's finalization, it is my understanding that the churches were not directly involved. But as I've said to Bishop Phillip Wright, the policy is not a platform for legislative action, the policy is to some extent, aspirational, and it can do no more than inform governments' attitude. If we ever wanted to legislate, and the question of whether there ought to be legislation in certain areas to make the word flesh with respect to protection of peoples' rights, If we ever wanted to legislate there would have to be wide spread consultation and an effort at some sort of a consensus, so when people see the policy as the thinning of the wedge - when they get from there to the suggestion that this opening the door to some kind of legislation that would sanction same sex marriages, my God, that's entirely bizarre, its completely out of the question and not a factor in the equation at all.

A Recap of Belize Football Game In Melchor
Last night, 7News told you about the friendly match between the Belize National “A” Team and the Guatemala Professional league team, Heredia Jaguares de Peten, which is currently the second place team in that country. Our news team arrived back from Melchor late yesterday evening – which only gave us time for a brief snippet. But tonight, we have the full recap of a game which Belize easily dominated. Daniel Ortiz reporting The Friendly match began promptly at 3 at a three quarter full 'Estadio Olimpico De Melchor De Menchos' where we saw a handful of Belizeans mixed in with the mostly Guatemalan crowd. But, the Belizean players should have felt right at home on a surface that seemed much like the rough and tumble pitch at the MCC. Both teams battled for possession, but slowly as the game progressed, the Belize National Team started to apply pressure to the Heredia defence. Quite a few times, the Belize team had good looks, but they became near misses.

REACH Launches With Buff Art Show
We feature art shows in this segment of the news all the time – but tonight’s art show is different: it’s from a youth-oriented NGO, which is advancing art as an antidote to violence. Their mission is to encourage community self-evaluation, social change and more informed policy and decision-making through high quality social research. We found out more at the launch of REACH today. Jules Vasquez reporting As this promotional launching video shows the newly formed NGO called REACH is about the artistic expression of young men- in their first show called IMAGINE-NATION. Sure, the acronym may stand for Research, Education and Advocacy for Social Change – but really it’s about diverse artistic expression including poetry. And while that may seem like idle humour, in a society where, research shows, many young men are like ticking time bombs without an outlet for expression, the importance of words can't be over emphasized.

A Plea From the Medical Chief Of Staff
At the top of the newscast, we told you all about the ongoing investigation at the KHMH to find who or what is accountable for the 13 baby deaths in 20 days. But today the Medical Chief of Staff made a heartfelt plea on behalf of his institution when he said that Belizeans must go beyond the blame-gaming to find a staff that genuinely cares:… Dr. Adrian Coye - Medical Chief of Staff, KHMH "It is easy to see the wrong, it is easy to say, well 'they don't have this, they don't have that' and I am challenging you as a country to see the other side. If they don't have this, where can I fit in? How can I fix that? We see that this is a small unit; we're asked to do so much, four hundred and fifty, five hundred babies a year with a capacity that should be for ten babies, but we do twenty sometimes and I see and have seen miracles, I've seen excellent work and when all those successes are happening, no one says anything. But I just want to say, in defense, of all those I see work without praise, that I am proud to be working in such a great group."

Chetumal Street Gets “Major Surgery”
And we hope the city council is not footing the bill for a growing mess on Chetumal Boulevard. The road was opened six weeks ago with much fanfare and a cost of almost three quarter million dollars. But, two weeks later, we showed you cracks in the pavement, and now, a whole significant section of it has been dug up and is being re-cast. In addition to that, with the first rain, a part of the median that should be a flowerbed, has turned into a small lake. Due to time constraints at our end, we could not get a comment from the City Council today. We will try to do so tomorrow.


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#465621 - 05/31/13 11:55 AM Re: Today's Belize News: May 31, 2013 [Re: Marty]
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More News: Scroll up from here

Channel 5

Whose fault is it that 13 newborns died?
The number of infant deaths in early May at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (K.H.M.H.) has now increased to thirteen. Seven of them died from the outbreak of a bacteria [...]

Chair of K.H.M.H. board says C.E.O. should have known
The Director of Medical Services says the investigation is ongoing…but it is still not known where the hospital-acquired bacteria, enterobacter cloacae came from. The first case of an infant infected [...]

P.M. announces new ward for Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
The investigation still leaves unresolved questions. The Prime Minister, who sat at the head table, possibly broke his personal record for his shortest speech. In three minutes, the P.M. expressed [...]

Audrey Matura-Shepherd resigns from OCEANA
Audrey Matura-Shepherd confirmed today via statement and press conference that she leaves the post as Vice President of OCEANA Belize on August twenty-second. The more pressing question is – was [...]

Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage says adieu to Shepherd
Audrey Matura-Shepherd is leaving OCEANA Belize in August. Since that news broke, the social media has been lighting up with well wishes for Matura whose advocacy on environmental issues, particularly [...]

Healthy Reefs joins B.T.I.A. and FECTAB against Norwegian Cruise Line
The cruise tourism project proposed by giant Norwegian Cruise Lines for Crawl Caye in the south of Belize is going before Cabinet for their approval, and one organization committed to [...]

P.M. says Placencia tour guides want Norwegian Cruise Line in peninsula
Earlier in the newscast, you heard Healthy Reef opposing the Norwegian Cruise Line’s interest in Crawl Caye. That mega tourism project also elicited a response from the Prime Minister at [...]

Wires crossed for statements made in gender bender policy
Since the media had access to the Prime Minister at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, after the conference all hot button issues were raised with him. First on the agenda [...]

The road to San Antonio is not wrought with Vega and Hernandez
Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega may not have any control over family relations, but did he have any knowledge about the contract given to his nephew Imer Hernandez? Records show [...]

Was Noh Mul destroyed to fill roads in Vega’s area?
The world watched with shock when Noh Mul, the Mayan mound was destroyed by Denny Grijalva’s De Mar’s Construction. In early May, the Orange Walk contractor’s company pulled down sections [...]

National Football Team beats Club Heredia in Melchor de Mencos
Belize’s National Team Jaguars is training hard for its upcoming matches at the Gold Cup scheduled for July seventh in the US. It’s been a long, hard road for Team [...]

NEMO ready for Hurricane Season 2013
The start of the 2013 hurricane season is less than two days away and while experts predict that weather activity will be above average this year, the National Emergency Management [...]

NEMO says increased storms for 2013
Chief Met Officer Dennis Gonguez broke down the numbers of storms expected, as well as their respective strengths per category.   Dennis Gonguez, Chief Meteorological Officer “This Saturday marks the [...]

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LOVE FM

Evacuation Routes and Shelters Have Been Identified In Belize City For Upcoming Hurricane Season
June spells the opening of the hurricane season and the Belize City Council is in the process of assessing the shelters that will be opened throughout the old capital in the event a hurricane threatens. Liaison Officer with the City Emergency Management Organization, Wayne Usher, says that ...

Prime Minister and Investigative Team Speak On Neonatal Deaths at KHMH
The investigation into the neonatal deaths for this month, whose number has now risen to 13, has revealed a number of things. Seven of those cases were caused by the infection Enterobacter Cloake, a highly opportunistic bacterium. At its second press conference following the spike in ...

Belize National Team Prepares For Gold Cup In July
Belize’s national football team will travel to the United States in July to participate in the upcoming gold cup. The team got a major boost today when Prime Minister Dean Barrow pledged fifty thousand dollars on behalf of the Government of Belize to assist the team to make this histo...

Family Loses Home In Northern Belize
A family in Orange Walk is asking for assistance since a fire completely destroyed their home. Dalila Ical has more on the incident. DALILA ICAL “A family of 3 lost their house and all belongings in a fire last night. Jose Castellanos, his wife and their 10 month old baby boy ...

Unemployed Pleads Guilty On Drug Charge
Thirty-two year old Stanley Bernardez, an unemployed of Antelope Street charged with drug trafficking for 84.2 grams of cannabis, pled guilty to the charge when he was arraigned today. Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith fined him ten thousand dollars and ordered him to pay five thousand dollars fo...

VP For Oceana Belize Announces Resignation Saying The Fight Has Just Begun
Rumors had been circulating that Vice President of OCEANA in Belize, Audrey Matura Shepherd had stepped down from her post. Well today, the smoke was cleared and Matura-Shepherd confirmed that she has indeed resigned. Following a statement from her and the Chief Executive Officer in B...

CTV3

Funds For Rehabilitation Of San Antonio Road Diverted To The Otro Benque Area
Right after today’s press conference the Prime Minister fielded a number of questions from the media including the controversial payments made out to Imer Hernandez back in 2012, close to the General Elections, for the rehabilitation of San Antonio Road. Documents show that the DPM’s nephew was paid almost two hundred thousand dollars for works to be conducted on the road which hasn’t been executed. And that is because, according to the P.M, the funds for San Antonio Road were diverted for works to be carried out in the Otro Benque Area which lies in the constituency of Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega. Honorable Dean Barrow – Prime Minister of Belize “There is a preliminary report that has been prepared for me, let me tell you where things are and what I am doing to as it were forward this matter. There is no doubt that some contracts were signed for work on the San Antonio road those contracts were cancelled, the financial secretary confirms that the money that had been allocated, his permission was sought for shifting of the funds instead to do work in the Otro Benque Area which you in no doubt delighted to learn is in the constituency of Deputy Prime Minister, I don’t know that the financial secretary knew which works were to replace the San Antonio works that had been contracted for but he gave permission for the re-allocation of the funds.

Celebrating A Successful Crop With El Dia Del Canero
After many months of arduous work and sleepless nights, the men and women who make the north proud by producing the sweetest sugar cane and play a vital role in the Sugar Industry, will be celebrating their day. The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association in collaboration with the business community will be hosting “El Dia del Canero” tomorrow, May 31st, at the Barracks here in Orange Walk Town. This year, the event promises a whole day of entertainment and huge deals as several businesses will have their products on display at special discounted prizes. Zune Canche, Event Organizer “Well, the Dia Del Canero is promising to bring us a lot of entertainment and so far we have mariachis coming in, we have different booths from the different branches bringing in typical food as well as commercial booths that we generally work with for example, we have San Isidro, we have Prosser, we have Sancas, we have Grace so we want to be able to provide different promotional items to the cane farmers and in that manner they can get something back from the business community which gets a lot from the cane farmers all through the crop season and the entire year.”

Family Left Homeless, Their House Goes Up In Flames
A fire has left a family of the Black Water Creek Area in the Village of Trail Farm in Orange Walk Town without clothing, food, and shelter. Last night at around 7:30, Jose Castellanos, his wife, his two month old baby and other siblings were hanging outside their residence when the 15 by 15 wooden structure caught fire. All indications are that the blaze started from the back of the residence and almost instantly the entire structure was swallowed by the flames. While residents of the area did their best to assist the family in extinguishing the flames, all efforts proved futile and by the time the fire department arrived at the scene there was little they could do as nothing was salvaged. Jose Castellanos, Victim of Fire “Lo único que sabemos es que agarro fuego y se aprendió todo y no pudimos salvar nada y se quemó parejo.”

Audrey Matura Shepherd Part Ways With Oceana In Belize
Tonight Ocean in Belize’s Vice President Audrey Matura Shepherd is in the spotlight but it’s not because she is fighting against another environmental injustice. Today, rumors were laid to rest when Matura Shepherd officially announced that she was resigning from her post as President of Oceana in Belize. While speculations were that Shepherd was asked to resign from the post in the wake of an article she wrote in the Amandala Newspaper titled "Cowered into Silence", where she spoke strongly against homosexuality and after the issue was discussed on Facebook, between her and UNIBAM’S Attorney Lisa Shoman, the release makes no mention of the allegation. In her release Matura Shepherd states and we quote “I have submitted my resignation as Vice President of Oceana for Belize effective as of August 22, 2013. It is time for me to move on to new opportunities and to fully pursue my legal career which remains my passion while balancing it with my family obligations.” End of quote. Matura Shepherd also makes mention that she has stayed as Vice President of Oceana much longer than she had committed to upon accepting the challenge because the marine issues Oceana works on are so important for Belize. In the release, the environmental activist pledges to support whoever is hired to take the reigns of Oceana in Belize.

New Horizons Belize, Planning For 2014
To date approximately 17,000 persons living in Belize have benefited from the services provided by New Horizons Belize which offers U.S. and Belizean military personnel and opportunity to train while working on construction projects and medical missions throughout the country. Since they landed in Belize in the month of March, the U.S Military has conducted numerous large-scale humanitarian exercises that have proven successful. This includes dental readiness training; corrective ear drum surgery and even the construction of four classroom buildings each in Ladyville, Cooked Tree and Orange Walk Town.

Opportunity Available To Work In The Tourism Sector
The Belize Tourism Board has reported record breaking success for the first quarter of this year 2013 in terms of overnight tourist arrivals which includes the airport and all other ports of entry. In January, a seventeen point one eight percent increase was recorded while in February there was an eleven point five nine percent increase and March saw a hike of eleven point zero three percent. Cumulatively, the first quarter of the year recorded an increase of thirteen point zero percent in tourists arrivals for the overnight sector. In the area of cruise ship arrivals, a nineteen point four percent increase was recorded in January while February saw an eleven point three nine percent augment. While these figures are impressive, the demand for tour guides is very high especially with the rapid growing numbers in tourist arrivals. In efforts of alleviating this deficiency, the Northern Tour Guide Association, with the financial assistance of the European Union, will launch a programme that will see the training of 25 young Belizeans who would like to take up tour guiding as their career. Antonio Novelo, VP of Northern Tour Guide Association “We just got Word that a training program that we were planning last year it will materialized quick, very quick so within these two weeks this program will get started and we are hoping that at least 25 persons who are very interested in the field because this is an ever growing industry and today the tourism industry is the number one foreign exchange earner for Belize so we are hoping that more people take advantage of this opportunity to take this course and we are targeting people specially who have recently graduated from fourth forms from schools and so on.

Will There Be A 2014 Simultaneous Referendum?
Guatemala’s Parliament is presently discussing the possibility of holding the Belize/Guatemala Referendum to take Guatemala’s claim to the International Court of Justice, in 2014. But for that to happen there is one major factor that must be taken into consideration. Guatemala is asking that both the Government and the opposition issue a statement stating their position on the ICJ thus giving them an indication of how unified Belize is when it comes to the issue. But that is easier said than done because while the Government of Belize has made it clear that they are for the ICJ, the opposition the People’s United Party is yet to announce if they are for or against. When we spoke to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington, a few days ago, he told us that if the PUP does not release its official position in the coming weeks, it could lead Guatemala to claim that Belize does not have a unified resolution to go to the ICJ, triggering the country to back out of the referendum once more. So, we went ahead and contacted the Chairman of the opposition Henry Usher to obtain the party’s insight in regards to Guatemala’s request and his response was that quote “We do not take instructions from Guatemala.......our position remains the same as in the beginning, we support the referendum process”. End of quote. With that said, it seems that there is not much hope for a simultaneous referendum to take place in 2014 and yesterday the Leader of the Opposition made that clear when he spoke to our colleagues in Belize City.

LOVE TV

Fire Leaves Orange Walk Family Homeless
A family in Orange Walk is asking for assistance since a fire completely destroyed their home. Dalila Ical has more on the incident. DALILA ICAL “A family of 3 lost their house and all belongings in a fire last night. Jose Castellanos, his wife and their 10 month old baby boy were along with 6 visiting family members at their home in the Black Water Creek area in Trial Farm Village in the Orange Walk District. It was between 7 and 8pm that the family began getting ready to go to bed and noticed the fire. Castellanos said he had left to run an errand and was called back shortly after. The fire spread quickly in the 16 x 18 feet wooden house leaving the family no time to salvage anything. Castellanos said that by the time the fire department responded the house was fully engulfed in flames; no one was hurt. Castellanos said he is unaware of what might have started the fire especially since the family had no electricity. The family uses candle but according to Castellanos they had blown all candles out and were heading to bed. The children, he said were outside playing in the yard under a tree. Castellanos and his wife had been living at the house for at least 4 years; it was not insured. The family is in need of assistance and anyone wishing to make a contribution can contact Castellanos at 667-4366 or 662-0053.”

Audrey Matura Shepherd Confirms Resignation and Speaks Out on Threats She Received
Rumors had been circulating that Vice President of OCEANA in Belize, Audrey Matura Shepherd had stepped down from her post. Well today, the smoke was cleared and Matura-Shepherd confirmed that she has indeed resigned. Following a statement from her and the Chief Executive Officer in Belize, Andy Sharpless, this morning, Matura Shepherd called a press conference this afternoon to relay the details into her resignation. There she informed the media that she submitted her resignation last week Thursday and got a response accepting it on Friday, but she and her boss had opted to not make it public until today. AUDREY MATURA SHEPHERD “I think I need to clarify that I was never asked to resign from Oceana. Oceana values my work deeply and I value the norms and the campaigns that they do but there comes a point in everyone’s life when you make a personal choice and it was my personal choice to resign. For some time I knew that I would not always be at Oceana; I shared that with you all now and then, I know I won’t always be there. When I was hired to start Oceana it wasn’t even in my plan to be doing that kind of work but you go where God leads you. So, that’s where I ended up and I always said I would only do three years. Last year, May 1 made three years and I was ready to leave and Oceana begged me to stay on and renegotiated with me and I think at that point I knew I was lying to myself because time had passed and things had to happen the way it did for me to get the message that it’s time to move on.” Matura-Shepherd pointed out that she had felt from earlier in the year that she had a bigger calling, but tried to restrain from being vocal person but she says it’s clearly her calling. She had more to say on her resignation.

Pediatric and Cervical Cancers Discussed In Two Day Symposium
Oncologists, radiologists, clinicians and nurses who deal with cancer patients are engaged in a two-day symposium at the Radisson Fort George Hotel. The discussions this year are dealing with pediatric cancer and cervical cancer. Board Member with the Belize Cancer Society, Wayne Usher, told Love News that there’s been constant upgrading of the clinical treatment and the awareness aspect has been successful in reaching the masses. WAYNE USHER “We have constantly been upgrading our facilities and improving on our means and capacity to deal with it, for example, our public awareness has taken off and that is very true to see from the Cancer Walk that we had on Saturday. Every year it doubles, this year we were up to about 5,000 people. So, the awareness, the advocacy part of it is working and what we want to do by that is to inform people that they can also help in the preventative side by their lifestyle: what they eat (dieting), exercise (nutritional intake) and things like that. So, that part of it is going well. We are seeing more and more people accessing the service and maybe that is why we see the stats going up; because more people are coming in and declaring and registering and seeking assistance.” MARION ALI (Reporter) “The number of deaths of patients in Belize from cancer has risen; even the youths, I think between January and May we had two children who died of cancer – are we making any breakthroughs at all and how accessible is the treatment and therapy?”

PlusTV

KHMH updates public on baby death investigation
The long-awaited update promised by the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) into the outbreak of a deadly bacterium that killed seven premature infants in its neonatal intensive care unit came this afternoon – but it was not much of an update. Despite obtaining the assistance of two experts provided...

Audrey Matura-Shepherd Resigns as Vice-President of OCEANA
As the Vice President for Oceana in Belize, she led the charge which resulted in the banning of bottom trawling in Belizean waters and the recent court victory in quashing production sharing agreements granted to companies operating offshore Belize. And that’s just merely scratching the surface of the works...

Arrest made for murder of John Paul Fernandez
Earlier this month, the body of 32 year old John Paul Fernandez was found dead inside the compound of the Palm Island bar, located on the Philip Goldson Highway. He had a gunshot wound to the right side of his head, but at the time, that was the only...

Masked gunman shoots Jason Joseph in Belize City
PLUS News was called to the scene of a shooting incident reported on West Street, Belize City, last night just before 8:00 p.m. Police say Jason Joseph was standing in front of his house, when a masked man came from the direction of King Street and fired several shots...

Chief Meteorologist analyses predictions for Hurricane Season
This Saturday June 1st marks the start of the Hurricane Season and today the relevant Ministry for Disaster Preparedness and National Emergency; NEMO hosted a press briefing in the City of Belmopan. This afternoon’s briefing dealt with the upcoming hurricane season. Seated at the head table was Senator the...

NEMO encourages Disaster Preparedness
This year the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) works under the theme, ”Reducing the Threat from Climate Change, Disaster Preparedness begins with you”. Senator the Hon. Godwin Hulse in his briefing today was very clear on the “begins with you” part. Godwin Hulse – Senator: The state is prepared...

Churches call for removal of Revised Gender Policy 2013
The gender policy 2013 has caused a backlash of opposition because of its apparent redefinition of gender and its push for the inclusion of sexual orientation as a part of education policies. The Coalition of Churches, a group of 40 plus churches, issued a press release today saying, and...

GOB gives financial assistance to National Football Team
The National Football Team which is headed to the CONCACAF GoldCup in July, received the pledge of a big pay day from the Government of Belize. This afternoon, the Prime Minister met with members of the executive of the FFB, where he pledged to donate $50,000 on behalf of...

Apartment broken into in Belmopan
A Cuban diplomat of Belmopan, reported a break-in at the apartment of his brother in-law of the Venezuelan Embassy to Belize. Thieves saw their chance sometime between Saturday and Wednesday, while the owner and his wife were out of the country. Stolen were an assortment of electronic items and...

Ride Across Belize begins in Corozal
The tenth annual Ride Across Belize initiative of the Social Security Board (SSB) kicked off in Corozal Wednesday morning. It is a charity effort organized by the Board to promote worthy initiatives. CEO Richard Flowers told about the effort; while Chandra Cansino, Organizer of Social Security’s Ride Across Belize...

Healthy Reef Initiative has strong concerns about proposed cruise ship terminal
On Wednesday, we told you about opposition that has come up against the proposed cruise terminal at Crawl Caye. GOB has gone on record saying that they have been in talks with the Norwegian Cruise Line about the port, but that it is still for the most part, in...

BNE initiates Getenergy 2013 Awards competition
Online voting has become a customary part of our modern world. It is a way to lend your support to an organization or cause with just the click of a mouse. So all you cyberspace enthusiasts, the Belize Natural Energy Limited (BNE) is asking for your vote in the...

Blogs

Heavy Rain on San Pedro all clear on Caye Chapel
The rain hit fast and heavy Monday morning so I pulled out my dry bag and repacked everything. Since I was bringing my office with me, I did not want downpour mishaps with my tech gear. Thankfully I did not get too wet walking from my house to Banyan Bay to catch a cab. When I got to the main road Cal was driving by and so I hitched a ride right to Maya Air with him. The 4 golfers were already there checked in for the short flight, and ready to hit the green. It was my second trip back to Caye Chapel Island and the thought of it was just as exciting as the first. Even though I knew I was not going to get as much pool time due to work, I was still glad to get away on the holiday Monday and be able to set up my office in such a great place. In honor of Columbus day, and the spirit of the island, I decided to hit the beach before work I took a lice long walk and enjoyed the quietness of it all. When I got back the golfers were already lunching upstairs in the club house at the big long table.

In Belize, sometimes the Zoo comes to you
In Belize you don’t need to go hunting for wildlife – sooner or later it will come to you. Case in point is earlier this month, May 23 to be exact, when we had both a crocodile and jaguar go roaming – all in one day. In Belize City, a crocodile was causing mischief when it left a storm drain to visit the neighbourhood. The same day, a jaguar decided to take a walk – much to the concern of the authorities. The croc was quickly captured by some brave city residents who appeared unfazed by the creature, which was lucky enough to be carted away to a crocodile sanctuary rather than to a local kitchen – which has happened in the past. According to local resident Derek “Mighty” McKoy, “It came out the drain, it came from the left side across the street and it went into the smaller ditch but he couldn’t under the bridge so that is where he got stuck. We pulled him back way and threw a rope around it and pulled it up.”

“Slow Hand” for Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Oh, meant to mention in the previous edition that Daniel Camal, our building contractor, has located where the windows for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize are. Miami! So, a little while yet before we get to see them. Just hope that this does not delay the finish. Yesterday. as soon as the office was open (8.30 am), I made contact with Willard Young of R F & G Insurance to try to arrange insurance for our golf cart. He was extremely helpful and told me that once he had the necessary documentation from me via email (information/photo page from my Passport, copy of my “QRP” ID card and a copy of my Belize Drivers License) he would get to work producing the paperwork and send it to me via Tropic Air. I already had photos of all that he wanted so it only took a few minutes to email him what he needed. Thought the processing for the insurance would be relatively straightforward and quick but this wasn’t the case! Willard ‘phoned me three or four times during the course of the day and as the hours went by I had serious doubts that the policy would arrive so that we could get our golf cart. As the hours passed by my misgivings became stronger and at 3.30 pm Rose and I concluded that we had waited enough and decided to go look at what was going on at our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. I hadn’t been driving very long when my ‘phone rang. It was Willard, the policy would be on the 4.30 pm Tropic Air flight to San Pedro. Too late for us to get the permit for our golf cart but… Either Willard had a lot of paperwork to complete for our policy or he has a slow hand when it comes to filling in forms!

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Avocado Egg Salad Sandwich
6 aigs, hard boiled and diced 1/4 cup salad dressin er mayonaze 3 tablespoons pesto salt and peppr t'aste 1 ripe avocado, peeled and chopped youngn spinach leeves mater slices 4 sandwich rolls (ciabatta, kaisr, er submarine rolls)

International Sources

New strategic direction on agenda of Caribbean fisheries ministers
The seventh meeting of the Ministerial Council of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) opens this Friday in Christ Church, Barbados. Participation will be drawn from The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Turks and Caicos Islands, which are all member states of the CRFM. At the upcoming Ministerial Council meeting, fisheries ministers from CRFM member states and their advisors will receive an update on the progress of work activities being undertaken by the CRFM Secretariat, member states and network partners, and provide them with policy guidance on programmes and plans for the development and management of fisheries and aquaculture. They will also approve a number of regional policy and strategic documents aimed at strengthening governance arrangements, conservation and sustainable development of the fisheries and aquaculture sector in the region.


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