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Specials and Events
Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials
The San Pedro Sun
Sheila Chi is Miss SPHS 2014-2015
The night of Saturday, May 31st was one of beauty, poise and elegance as four lovely young ladies competed to be the new beauty ambassador for San Pedro High School (SPHS) at the 2014-2015 Miss SPHS Pageant. The pageant started shortly after 8PM at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium with the singing of the National Anthem followed by the introduction of the three judges tasked to determine who would walk away with the crown. Judges were Councilor in charge of Community Beautification Carlos Barrientos, San Pedro AIDS Commission President Felix Ayuso and the face of Kubuli Beer in Belize, Jasmine Baiza. After the formalities, Master of Ceremonies Angel Nuñez invited the contestants, Ezra Jailene Jacobs, Erica Bodden, Sheila Chi and Marisha Jamel Thompson on to the stage. The crowd cheered for their favorite girls as they performed an opening dance and introduced themselves. It was a dynamic dance presentation to Daddy Yankee’s hit song “Limbo”. When the girls headed backstage to change, the San Pedro Dance Academy and the SPHS Band took over the entertainment.
Hurricane Season has Begun, Below Normal Activity Predicted for 2014
It’s that time of the year again when Belizeans hear over the radio the infamous jingle – “June to November, June to November”! We all know that this means its Hurricane Season and it is time to keep an eye out on the weather reports. This year meteorologists expect for the Atlantic hurricane season to be below-normal with roughly 10 named tropical storms, five hurricanes and two major hurricanes predicted for the Atlantic Basin this season.
Forecasters believe that the onset of El Niño, a short-term phenomenon associated with above-normal water temperatures in the equatorial Pacific, may alter weather patterns across the globe. At some point this summer, El Niño will likely increase wind shear across portions of the Atlantic basin and thus suppress the development of tropical storms this season.
100 Eye-popping Trash Bins Distributed in San Pedro Town
The San Pedro Town Council is working arduously in keeping our lovely island clean. With hundreds of workers raking the beaches and sweeping the paved roads on a daily basis, the work is never done. Just this week, hundred plastic barrels have been purchased to be used as garbage bins that will be placed throughout the island.
A hundred barrels have been brightly and colorfully painted and will be strategically placed throughout the island in order for people to use them wherever they are. According to Councilor Kenrick Brackett, an extra hundred barrels should be arriving soon, of which some will be distributed to schools and a set will be sold to the public.
“We would like to ask the cooperation of the public to place their trash in the proper place, in trash bins,” stated Brackett. “They are painted very brightly for everyone to see and hope everyone makes good use of the garbage bins and not vandalize them. Let us all keep our island clean.”
Dorian’s Angels Visit Chaya Café at Zen Arcade
Dorian’s Angels have found an oasis in San Pedro, a place to get away from all the hustle and bustle of everyday life to relax. Zen Arcade is a new business in town where one can have a good time, rejuvenate in a fun, easy-going, uplifting and professional environment.
At Zen Arcade you can enjoy from calming yoga classes to energetic dance classes at their Tree Top Studio, plus get pampered at the Beauty Bar, pretty up from head to toe or enjoy massages from professional masseuse, get some botox work done (aesthetics), acupuncture. Mothers rejoice because they even offer child care!
Dorian’s Angels were in for a treat as Tara Darrall and Noele Sutherland McLain, owners of Zen Arcade invited them over for an afternoon of pampering and rejuvenation. Zen Arcade has a lot to offer and this week Dorian’s Angels brings you their experience at the Chaya Café!
Misc Belizean Sources
Belize, a lobster lover’s haven
Party like a “LOB-Star” - This year’s series of Lobster Fests to be celebrated along Belize’s Caribbean coast and cayes is set to become the biggest yet, with three main festivals taking up most of this month, according to our sources in Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker and Placencia.
The Lobster Fests have always been something people all over Belize look forward to, and as more and more travellers discover Belize, the seasonal parties have been growing from small local celebrations to major events.
Originally held in the fishing village of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye to celebrate the opening of lobster season in June, the lobster fest would welcome in the first catches of the season and the long awaited return of income for many of the villages’ inhabitants or fishermen. Local musical groups would arrive and along with conspicuous consumption of seafood and drinks there would be dances and beachside barbeques.
Constitutional Rights Seminar
The Rotaract Club of San Ignacio brought Kevin Arthurs to the Cayo Welcome Center to do a seminar on the Belize constitution. Thanks, Rotaract!
"The Rotaract Club San Ignacio invited Attorney Kevin Arthurs to San Ignacio in an attempt to educate Belizean citizens about human rights and the Belize Constitution. We had cupcakes, cheese dip, juice and brownies for sale in order to raise funds for future community service. It was a fun educational experience."
Walk for a Green Belize
The Department of the Environment, Belize Solid Waste Management Authority, and the Belize Audubon Society are having another Walk for a Green Belize Clean-up campaign. There will be 2 in Cayo this Saturday, with the 1st starting at 6:00am in front of the Uno station and the 2nd starting at 7:00am at the Guanacaste National Park. In related news the DoE is having an essay competition..
"Department of the Environment is hosting an Essay Competition which is open to the General Public! All you have to do is write an essay consisting of no more than 400 words and explain what the Environment means to you and what you can do to help mitigate the effects of climate change on your Environment! The competition starts today and ends on June 20, 2014 and your essay will become a newspaper article on two widely circulated newspapers! As your prize you will be rewarded with a $125 gift certificate!"
Corozal accountant swindles $23,875.00 BCY from Corozal business woman
n Tuesday June 3rd, 2014, 31 year old Grisel Botes, cosmetologist of Libertad Village, Corozal District reported to Corozal Police that that between April 3rd, 2014 and June 3rd, 2014, she had given monies amounting to $23,875.00 Bcy to a friend whom she knows for the past 10 years as Elroy Bastarachea of Patchakan Village Corozal District in exchange for pieces of lands on San Pedro Ambergris Caye Island, Belize District and in the Cayo District.
He informed her that he was employed at the Lands Department. He had told her that within a month's time from the first payment, which was done on the April 3rd, 2014, the papers for the lands were going to be ready and up to date, she has not received papers for such pieces of lands. Initial investigation reveals that he is not working on any land papers and that he cannot give account of the monies he had received from her for which he had signed several vouchers for receiving different amount of monies. 32 year old Elroy Bastarachea, Accountant of Patchakan Village Corozal District is presently detained for the crime of obtaining property by deception. Corozal Police continues with its investigation.
Branding of Belizean products exported to international markets
A two-day workshop began today at the Radisson Fort George in Belize City. It focuses on branding the Belizean products that are exported to various markets around the world. Dubbed the Belize Export and Origin Consortia Workshop, the Caribbean Development Bank in partnership with the Belize Coalition of Service Providers has organized the initiative to assist service and product manufacturers and providers in sectors of tourism, agriculture and other goods to explore the possibility of exporting collectively. The idea is to see various organizations within a particular industry to share techniques and contacts in order to meet the demands, quality and standards of international markets. And so today, stakeholders gathered for a crash course addressing the benefits of grouping firms for export using the methodology of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization. The workshop is part of the United Kingdom’s development support initiative to CARICOM states.
Caribbean Export and EU Offers Grants to the Region’s Food Producers
The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) officially announced the publication of the Special Call for Proposals – Food Safety for CARIFORUM agro- processing firms to receive financial assistance as part of the Regional Private Sector Development Programme (RPSDP) funded by the European Union under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) on May 28, 2014.
The Special Call for Proposals – Food Safety is a reimbursable grant funding facility specifically designed to provide financial assistance to legally registered agro processing firms within the CARIFORUM region who are exporting or have the potential to export their products to the European Union. It is a facility for firms looking for funding to support their capacity building to meet the food production standards of the European Union (EU) market.
While the challenge also exists among the large enterprises in the Region, it is very prevalent among the small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (MSMEs). The allocation of this funding is hoped to ensure that goods of regional origin are produced under standard quality control conditions to meet the sanitary and regulatory requirements of the EU marketplace (such as HACCP, GAPs , GlobalGAP, ISO 14000, Fair Trade Certification , BRC, QF 1000, Primus GFS etc).
A Hand Up Belize Foundation donates laptop
orozal Community College says a big THANK YOU!! We would like to thank Mr. Jason Pearce and Ms. Victoria Quinn of "A Hand Up Belize Foundation" for the donation of a laptop to Corozal Community College last year.
This laptop was assigned to the Communications department of our school. They have ever since been using it to integrate technology in the classroom. Thank You!
Belmopan Bandits in CONCACAF Group 7
The Belmopan Bandits were placed in group 7 at the CONCACAF Championship League drawing held in Miami last week. They are in the same group as Leon, Mexico and Isidro Metapan, El Salvador. They start playing on the 5th of August. Go Bandits!
"Luis Pena got a great opportunity to take a picture beside the Concacaf Champions League trophy which is currently held by Champions Cruz Azul of Mexico. This is the coveted trophy that 24 clubs from Concacaf will battle for including the Belmopan Bandits starting the 5th August 2014."
Benque Marimba Academy at Festival of Arts
The Benque Marimba Academy represented Cayo at the launch of the 2014 Festival of Arts, which was held at Bird's Isle. The Angelus Press, one of the sponsors, got some good pictures of the event. The BMA has been everywhere lately, including SHJC's graduation, and Open Your Eyes. Great musicians!
Meluchis Wet and Wild Party
Meluchi's had their Wet and Wild Party this weekend, and Danny Chung was there to get some more great pictures. This weekend, they're having a graduation dance, and the No Fear DJ's, Mistah Geeh and the crew, will be mixing.
In related news, the Raging Masters will be having an EDM/Dancehall Invasion, getting everyone ready for Tomorrow Universe, which is just over a month away.
Tumul K'in Center of Learning and Ak' Kutan Radio at Channel 5 "Open Your Eyes" Tv show in Belize City.
Although time is short, TKCL and Ak'Kutan Radio shared with Belize its wonderful work in Toledo. What it offers and plans for the future. Thanks to Channel 5, Ms. Marlene Cuellar, Happy Birthday Mr. William Neal and most of all the the great Ahau! (7 photos)
Yhony Rosado Turns Himself And Employees Into Police For Questioning
Last night on the news, we told you about Leon Gentle, the employee of Yhony Rosado who was charged for the coma-inducing assault on Vitalino Reyes Jr, the son of Rosdo's chief business rival, Vitalino Sr.
But the police investigation doesn't end with that arrest. Police have been continuing their investigation, and according to Yhony Rosado, they're now disrupting his business, and harassing his entire staff. This afternoon, he and a number of his employees went into the Queen Street Police Station – that's after over a dozen of them were picked up this morning. This afternoon in front of the Queen Street Police station, Rosado told us why he's going to the police before they come for him:
Yhony Rosado - Owner, Cavetubing.com
"This is the very beauty about this country. The media put out a story and pressured the department to do their job, and the department is doing a hell of a job. The problem is why should I be coming for all my - if somebody or a group from BTL commit, should they lock up everybody? That's exactly what's happening, everybody, even for the ones who are not - I have to bring everybody. If I don't bring them, they will start to investigate them or I don't know, charge them."
Geovannie Brackett - Plus TV
"When did the call come to you? How were you notified to bring in your employees?"
"Right at the tourism village, as the workers came in, they picked them up in truck."
Bias On The Bench? Bar Association Alleges Appearances Against Awich
There is discord in judicial circles after the Bar Association endorsed an unprecedented resolution, suggesting the appearance of bias in the timing of the appointment of a Justice of Appeal.
The resolution was proposed at a Bar Association meeting on Monday – and it was agreed to by a consensus position. It speaks about the lead majority decision penned by Justice Samuel Awich for the BTL second acquisition, a pivotal constitutional case. That judgment was delivered on May 15th., the same day Awich's contract expired, and then, the resolution notes, on the 19th May, Prime Minister Dean Barrow wrote to the Leader of the Opposition advising him Justice Awich would be appointed as a Judge of the Court of Appeal until the age of retirement.
The Bar resolution says, quote, "the Association is very concerned that the above sequence of events gives rise to a real likelihood of an appearance of bias which tends to undermine confidence in the independence of the Judiciary in Belize." End quote.
Three City High Schools Will Pool Resources
The rumored amalgamation of three Belize City High Schools has created quite a stir amongst teachers, students and parents at those three schools. And those rumours emerged because the Secondary School Unit from the Ministry of Education has been busy in consultations with stakeholders for the past five months. Thing is they never proposed amalgamation, but the rumor mill probably turned it into that, because there's no word, or precedent for the model they're trying to create, where all three schools would pool resources but retain their separate identities. We found out more at a marathon two hour press conference today in Belize City:
Jules Vasquez Reporting
Sadie Vernon, Maude Williams and Excelsior are open schools... meaning they accept all applicants, regardless of PSE grades, but they are also struggling schools... with a declining number of students:
Dr. Neulin Villanueva - Researcher/Planner, Ministry of Education
"Whereas in the rest of the Belize district the majority of schools have seen an increase in enrollment over the last 5 years, in these three schools there has been a decline"
And while enrollment has dropped, failure and drop out rates have gone up:
Sr. Mary Caritas-Lawrence, RSM - Secondary Supervision Unit, MOE
"We found there was a common thread that ran through the three schools, that with the three schools there was a loss in population, there was a problem with dropouts, there was a problem with failure rate, there was a problem with curriculum."
High School Says Teachers Bad Judgment Caused Drowning
2 months ago, Anahi Zepeda and Egar Puck, both 4th Form students from Escuela Secundaria Technica Mexico, drowned on a class trip to the Cayo District. Today, after the completion of their internal inquiry, the school announced that the teachers who were in charge of the trip have been suspended.
A release from the School Board of Management says, quote, "An intensive investigation was conducted, and the Board has unanimously agreed that the four teachers who accompanied the students erred in modifying the itinerary during the educational trip to Che Chem Ha Caves on 4th. April, 2014."
The release continues to say that the Board has recommended that the teachers be suspended and fined in accordance with the rules governing the conduct and behaviour of the teachers. The statement closes by saying that all relevant materials to this matter has been forwarded to the Teaching Services Commission.
Danini Does PAHO Meeting, Causes Controversy
This morning at 9:00, Director of the Drug Inspectorate Danini Contreras showed up at the PAHO Office in Belize City for a meeting. Now, we know that a hailstorm of controversy has attended Contreras's ascension to that post – but a meeting at PAHO couldn't have been so unusual, right? After all, the meeting was to discuss PAHO's technical assistance for the setting of a Drug Inspectorate Unit and the establishment of a mini lab – which would seem to be within her area of responsibility. But, it's not that simple – indeed, these days with the Ministry of Health it never is.
That's because our information says that PAHO's Dr. Alfonso Ayala first opened the communication about the meeting with Sharon Anderson, the Chief Pharmacist. He thought she was in charge of the proposed Drug Inspectorate unit – and, so, he communicated with her about the meeting. But then, he got the memo and the ministry informed him that Contreras was in charge – and he then ceased communication with Anderson and started communicating with Contreras – leading to her presence at today's meeting.
Cayo Cops Must Face ID Parade
We've confirmed with San Ignacio Police that investigators want to put 4 of their officers in an identification parade in an effort to move forward with their inquiry into who shot 19 year-old Elston Arnold. But the suspect cops seem to be dodging, and getting them together has proven difficult, our reports suggest.
Inspector Reymundo Reyes told us this evening that a request has been made to the Director of Public Prosecutions to inform these officers of the intent to put them in the parade. That's where it's at tonight, and to ensure that there is no mishandling of the investigation, police are moving very cautiously.
As to that issue with the pellets not being retrieved yet for ballistics testing, Reyes told us that he will be personally visiting the Western Regional Hospital to find out from the doctor who attended to Arnold where those pellets are.
As we've told you, Arnold's family claims that he and several other men were heading home to Unitedville early last week Monday when they were stopped by a police mobile. One his cousins exchanged words with one of the 4 officers, and when Arnold attempted to walk away, one of the officers reportedly shot him in the back with a shotgun.
Minister Cautious About Suspect Baptist Teachers
Two weeks ago, we told you about the 2 teachers from Belmopan Baptist High School who are being investigated because they are accused of having inappropriate sexual relationships with their female students.
This time the Ministry of Education is taking a back seat after being burned on previous occasions in other schools when it tried to intervene and go over the head of the schools Board. This time, the Minister explained, it's strictly hands off, and eyes-on:
Hon. Patrick Faber - Minister of Education
"The managing authority of the school is the decision makers when it comes to any kind of action that needs to be taken in that regard, but that due process must also take place. I know that the case is being tried - if you will - and that they are taking action to give due process to the people who are involved."
"So, once due process is given, if these persons are found to have indeed exploited their students, is it the express wish of the Ministry of Education that these persons not be teaching again, and be stripped of their licenses?"
Hon. Patrick Faber
"Well, I don't know the circumstances. I don't know what they will find, and we cannot just go on our feeling if it cannot be proven and things are not there."
What Does Belize's Energy Future Look Like?
The request went out in October of last year and after 8 months of accepting offers, 20 bids were officially tendered for consideration. The interested companies were invited to send representatives to witness the PUC's announcement of the proposals which will be considered.
7News attended at BEL's headquarters today, and we asked Chairman John Avery about those bids which have come forward:
John Avery - Chairman. PUC
"Between the PUC, the Ministry, and BEL, we're conducting what we dub as RFPEG Belize 2013, that is a request for proposal for electricity generation. We started that process in October of last year, and now, we are at the stages where we are opening bids receive. We receive a total of 20 bids, to satisfy our request for 60 megawatts of firm capacity to be added to the system, and some 15 megawatts of renewable energy from intermittent sources, being solar. We received twenty bids, a couple for hydro projects, a couple for biomass projects, a few of them for thermal projects, burning gas or diesel or heavy fuel oil and of course the rest then were mainly for solar. The 60 megawatts is the total capacity we intend to add to the system, but that is over a period of about 10 years. Some of these projects take years to get off the ground. So, we're doing this thing ahead of time. We're not just looking at what we need immediately, but perhaps what will satisfy us for the next 10 or 15 years. So, we intend not to add all 60 megawatts at once. We intend to add them in increments of 20 megawatts in 2 or 3 year intervals. The fifteen megawatts for solar, we intend to start adding that immediately, starting off with perhaps eight or ten and then gradually going up to fifteen. But certainly the amount we ask for is intended to satisfy our needs for at least the next fifteen years. While we want to be self-sufficient, in term of energy generation we rely on Mexico for more than that. So the idea is not to rid ourselves of Mexico per se, but strictly to become more self-sufficient, get better prices but we still believe there is benefit and there is value in being inter-connected to Mexico."
Alleged Car Thief Jason Jeffries Says They Lied About Him
A week ago, we told you about Jason Jeffries who was charged for allegedly stealing a man's car, but apparently forgetting to take out his bicycle from the trunk.
According to the owner, Carlos Aquino, he reportedly parked his car in front of his house at around midnight on Tuesday, and that he forgot to take out the key from the ignition He said that at about 5 a.m. he was awakened by the sound of his car starting and when he went outside he saw Jeffries behind the steering wheel.
He said he pursued Jeffries as he drove off and caught up with him. He yanked Jeffries out of the car and went to make a report.
Well, Jefferies visited 7News to clear his name, saying that the entire story that Aquino reported to police was one big lie.
Today, he gave us his version of the events, in which he is a good Samaritan who chose to help the wrong person:
Jason Jeffries - Claims Innocence
"I saw this gentleman passed out in his vehicle. He was leaning on his steering wheel with the door open. I thought to myself that I should stop and help the man, see what was happening with him. The first thing that came to my mind was to leave him alone and go about my business. But, I thought about the lots of people getting robbed, car break-ins and taxi drivers getting killed. So, I decided to wake him up. That's what I did. I went to vehicle. I woke up the gentleman.
Cops and Pitbulls Clash On Cran
Tonight a family residing on Crann Street in Belize City is furious after police officers fired a shot at their dog in front of many young children. Just before 4 this afternoon, the search team stormed into the yard to conduct a search for drugs and ammunition. Inside the yard were 8 unleashed pitbulls. Family members say that the officers gave them no time to put away the dogs - before they barged in and started behaving inappropriately.
"Well, the police - two vehicle came with an attitude. They know that we have an amount of pitbulls in the yard. The first word that he uttered, 'hold those mother effing dogs because he will shot them. My sister told him that we can't hold all the dogs because the owner isn't here. He said that he doesn't care just hold dogs with more bad words. We were trying to hold them, but we couldn't so we got a man to come and help us to try and tie the dogs. When the man was coming in, he was finding all kinds of fault on the man who had tools in his back pocket that he does farming with. So, he cursed the man and ordered him to put the tools on the table. He couldn't hold them all, and he insist to come and bring his dog in to search.
Minister Of Education Warns Unlicensed Teachers
At the top of tonight's news – we told you about the proposed resource sharing between three government managed city schools. A still unknown number of the 61 teachers at the three schools will get declared redundant and then become eligible for lifetime pension. The 19 trained teachers will probably get first option at keeping their jobs – but when only 19 of 61 teachers – about 30% - are trained – that helps to explain why the schools have high numbers of students who drop out or repeat. Of course, there are so many other factors that go into that….but teachers who don't have a background in pedagogy is surely a large part of it. And that's why today Education Minister Faber warned teachers who are not fully certified – to do so as soon as possible:
Hon. Patrick Faber - Minister of Education
"Because we've now made a decision in this ministry to say to all of those teachers who hold a provisional license in the classroom - I think the starting point where they were given those provisional licenses may have been 2011 - and you were told that within that 5-year period, you are to get your pedagogical or professional development, and there are many who have not. Even at this point now, where we are 3 years later, even if a teacher who is in that situation, now enrols for the start of this upcoming school year, that teacher might find himself/herself caught with the deadline, and we're saying that those teachers need to leave the teaching profession. It is not something that is pleasant.
Lessons Learned From Gang Resistance Education and Training
145 primary and high school students graduated today from the Gang Resistance Education and Training program. They join the other 5,000 who have passed through the course in the last 4 years. GREAT, as it is better known, is a 13-week program funded by the US Embassy in which the police department is trying teach kids important life skills and why they should avoid gang life.
We stopped by today and got a chance to speak with a few of the kids who passed through the program, and here's what they told us:
The 145 kids came from the Buttonwood Bay Nazarene Primary School, Trinity Methodist, and the Muslim Community College. This is just 1 of several graduations taking place this month.
4 cops in detention for shooting a youth in Unitedville
There is a development tonight in respect of a shooting in Unitedville, Cayo District in which a young man was injured when he was shot by police officers on patrol. [...]
Employees of Yhony Rosado rounded up by police
Belize City Police have detained five men in connection with the altercation which left twenty-three year old Vitalino Reyes Junior comatose for days at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. That [...]
Ministry of Education explains merger of 3 Belize City high schools
The Ministry of Education this morning finally addressed reports of the proposed merger of the resources of three high schools in the south side of Belize City. MOE confirmed that [...]
B.N.T.U. Belize District President to ensure appropriate procedures are adhered to
Following this morning’s press conference, News Five spoke with Kathleen Flowers, president of the Belize District branch of the Belize National Teachers Union. B.N.T.U., as the representative body of the [...]
The Bar Association’s resolution on reappointment of Justice Samuel Awich
The Bar Association Executive has said it does not support the reappointment of Justice Samuel Awich to the Court of Appeal. The objection of the executive now extends to the [...]
Suspect detained in attempted armed robbery in 8 Miles community
Police have detained one suspect following an attempted armed robbery at Mile eight on the George Price Highway. It happened at around one pm today at Del Cid’s Store. Three [...]
British national accused of unnatural sex with minor returns to court
This morning at Independence Magistrate’s Court, the prosecution was unable to provide disclosure in the trial of British national David Taylor. Taylor was arrested in 2012 based on complaints made [...]
Danini Contreras attends PAHO meeting…was Chief Pharmacist dumped?
New Director of the Drug Inspectorate Danini Contreras continues to make the news. The appointment of the daughter of Minister Erwin Contreras has created major controversy in the Ministry of [...]
General Manager Benefits/Branch Operation, Enna Gonzalez, terminated from S.S.B.
There is confirmation tonight that after close to thirty years of employment at the Social Security Board, Enna Gonzalez has been abruptly terminated. Gonzalez, who rose to the rank of [...]
Several persons arraigned for immigration offenses
The Belize Immigration Department has made another arrest in the alleged nationality scam in which a number of persons, mostly immigrants, have been caught using fake birth and nationality certificates. [...]
Primary school students graduate from Police Department’s GREAT Program
The GREAT program is now in its fourth year. About fifty students from various high schools are the most recent to successfully conclude the program which is carried out by [...]
20 companies bid to provide energy to the national grid
Local and international representatives of prospective energy suppliers converged on the conference room at Belize Electricity Limited today. The occasion, hosted by the Public Utilities Commission, was the formal opening [...]
Businessman creates energy from cohune
One company which submitted a bid today is Cohune Energy Limited. They plan to use the very abundant cohune to provide energy to the national grid. Today company representative Rudolph [...]
Golden performances of the Festival of Arts take center stage at the Bliss
The 2014 National Festival of Arts officially opened on Tuesday and will conclude on Friday. Schools from throughout the country are participating in the cultural extravaganza. Today, at the Bliss [...]
Garifuna Collective making raves in Europe
Still on cultural performances…on the international stage, the Garifuna Collective is currently on a tour of a number of European countries such as Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, and Amsterdam. [...]
NEMO Monitors Roads At Corozal South East Area
Each year, villagers living in Corozal South East particularly those residing in Copper Bank, Chunox and Sarteneja, face the challenge of traveling on flooded roads that lead in and out of their village during the rainy season.
With the continuous rains over the past days, reports are that the road leading to the Pueblo Nuevo Ferry is presently under several inches of water. According to Willard Levy, Coordinator for NEMO Corozal, it’s a situation that they, along with the officials of the Ministry of Works, are looking closely at.
Willard Levy – NEMO Corozal
“I have interviewed a few people that have been travelling from that area and they are telling me that it is starting to go under water and they are saying that is passable but in the short interim we may be facing problem on having difficulty to pass through that road so I am getting in touch with the ministry of works to address that concern and see what they have in mind to do some kind of preventative measures.”
NEMO and UNDP Conducts Assessment On Vulnerability Areas To Flooding
For the next six months Belizeans will be keeping a watchful eye on the weather monitoring Mother Natures every move. That’s because the Hurricane Season has been declared open. In order to alleviate flooding and other hurricane related problems, the United Nation Development Programme, UNDP and the Corozal National Emergency Management Organization, NEMO, recently conducted an assessment in vulnerable areas to flooding and wind impact for evacuation purposes. And the results were alarming.
Willard Levy - Corozal NEMO
“What we did this year, this was a UNDP project that was done and what we actually did was to move within the district and visit the most vulnerable communities to try to make an assessment of how vulnerable these areas in terms of flooding and also with the impact and although we only made a random check of approximately 24% of the community throughout the district it wasn’t showing a nice picture in terms to questions asked to people, homeowners of most vulnerable areas.”
Small Hive Beetles Found Close To Our Borders
The Agriculture Department continues to closely monitor the situation as it relates to the small hive beetles which are found dangerously close. They were located in neighboring Chetumal Quintana Roo. As a result, the department conducted a full and swift diagnostic test and there was no presence of the beetle in the country yet.
Honey producers are also being encouraged to practice improved husbandry to minimize the risks to their apiaries. However, the objective is to keep the bug out of the country for as long as possible since its entry can result in the complete collapse of the small agriculture sector. Margarito Leiva, Extension Officer specialized in bee keeping within the Agriculture Department in Orange Walk, says they have detected the beetle in El Salvador and are therefore doubling their efforts.
Margarito Leiva – Extension Officer
“We have to take two approach now even from the north or from the south or the western border from both areas they can come in.”
Dalila Ical – Reporter
“So far is the situation still safe and you still putting in measures to keep it that way?”
Margarito Leiva – Extension Officer
“Yes, in fact we have instituted some traps in most of the colonies especially those that in the border areas so as to see when the small hive will come in but so far we have not found them.”
Weather Conditions Affects Honey Production
We have told you about the challenges faced by bee keepers in 2013 after rains destroyed much of their apiaries. At that time, officials at the Agriculture Department said they would take necessary and appropriate measures to see the recovery of the honey producers to what they were. Today, the news is not so good. Dalila Ical reports.
Dalila Ical – Reporting
The rains have begun and with it the concerns by bee keepers as they continue to struggle against the inconsistent weather. Last year, honey producers in the north lost close to fifty percent of their colonies. Efforts were made to rebuilding these but Extension Officer in the Agriculture Department, Margarito Leiva says they have not been too successful.
Margarito Leiva – Extension Officer
“We didn’t achieve what we actually wanted because the rainy season didn’t stop until late march so we had a very short dry season which is only April and then the rain started in May and so what we had is a very bad honey crop for this year and in fact I can tell you that for the northern district we only produce close to 28,000 pounds which is not even a quarter of what we did last year so the production was really bad.”
OWTC Addresses The Issue With Clogged Up Culverts
The unstable weather patterns have wreaked havoc in several sectors of the society and the list continues to grow in Orange Walk. The rains over the last 48 hours caused several areas within town to flood and the Orange Walk Town Council responded to the calls. However, there is one thing that was observed in many sections where water became stagnant. Public Relations Officer at Town Hall, German Novelo says garbage played a role in clogging drains.
German Novelo – PR, OWTC
“Most of the problems that we encountered wasn’t that the drains were clogged because of maintenance but because of garbage that really ran from probably the residents yards into the drainage and then eventually clogging the mouth of the culverts so what we really want to bring across to the residents of Orange Walk Town is that while we keep our garbage clean is how we keep our drainage clean as well, we also want to ask them to bag their garbage properly and to keep your dogs tied, we have done a dog eradication and we alleviated most of the dog issue but one of the biggest problem right now is that the garbage of residents yards run into the drains and hence clogging the culverts.”
The problem is widespread says Novelo and urges residents to heed to the call and dispose of their garbage in a more efficient manner especially since the drainage system in town is good. The public is also warned that situations like these can cause health problems for children and adults.
Upgraded Charge Of Murder For The Death Of Giovanny Borland
Tonight, 24 four year old Joseph West is expected to face an upgraded charge of Murder for the death of 34 year old Giovanni Borland, who passed away on Friday due to the severe head injuries that he sustained on the night of May 11th. As we’ve reported, West is accused of attacking Giovanni Borland after 11:00pm at ‘Mil Amores’ bar in Libertad where both men got into an argument. And while their seems to be many conflicting reports from police and the media, Borland’s uncle, Carl Borland spoke on the sequence of events that night with our colleagues at 7News! Here is that insert…
Carl Borland– Uncle of Deceased
On the eleventh of May, I think approximately around eleven-thirty or thereabout, he was at a bar in Libertad socializing when he had a misunderstanding with about five members of a particular family—all of them are family members—of that said village. He was chased from the bar and he retreated and ran towards the house that he was staying and upon reaching in front of that, apparently he tripped and fell on his face. When he fell on his face, he was chopped from behind, back of the head. A very large chop wound that caused piece of his head to dislocate, to come off and his brains was exposed. He was assisted by some members of the village and was rushed to the Corozal Hospital and from there to the K.H.M.H.”
ESTM Suspends Four Teachers In Drowning Incident
Exactly two months ago on today’s date, two teenaged high school students of Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico, fifteen year old Anahi Zepeda and sixteen year old Edgar Puck drowned in the Macal River. The forth formers were on a class trip to the Che Chem Ha Maya Ruin in Benque Viejo del Carmen and upon their return that Friday evening, the bus made an unscheduled stop near the low-lying bridge in San Ignacio. Reports say that Anahi, Edgar and other students were in the water when Anahi was swept away by the current. Edgar, who could not swim, went to her aid and they both drowned.
Since then, an intensive investigation into the matter was launched by the Board of Management of Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico and today the results of that investigation was released to the media.
The release states and we quote “An intensive investigation was conducted, and the Board has unanimously agreed that the four teachers who accompanied the students erred in modifying the itinerary during the educational trip.” End of quote.
Heavy Rains Affects Onion Production
Onion producers in the north have not been having much success in the business since last year. As we have reported, farmers had received some seeds for their second planting to bridge the gap on losses sustained in 2013 due to rains.
In this second round, farmers in the Orange Walk District planted a total of eight point five acres of onion but the crop was not as productive as farmers had hoped. Extension Officer working the productive area of Orange Walk, Leonardo Eck says the rains have once again affected the production.
Leonardo Eck - Extension Officer
“In the late planting we normally receive between 50 to 20,000 pounds per acre but still what happened is that the weather also affected this year also for the second planting and what we manage to get from the farmers is 5,500 pounds per acre which is low but what helped the farmers was actually the price that the farmers were getting was $45 per 50lbs. and that is the minimum up to $75 for a 50lbs. bag. It did help, the price actually it did help them but production wise is not that we failed but due to Mother Nature again the production was low.”
Public Service Day Culminates In Orange Walk Town
Public Service Information Day is held countrywide, and today it culminated in Orange Walk Town. The officers from government departments in all sectors made an appearance today at the La Inmaculada Credit Union Parking lot where the event was held. We took a walk through the open day and here is a look at what transpired.
Dalila Ical – Reporting
Public service Information Day has evolved from the first time it was held in 2006. Minister of Public Service and Elections and Boundaries Charles Gibson says there have been many achievements within this sector and the event serves three important purposes.
Charles Gibson - Minister of Public Service and Elections and Boundaries
“First, for ministries and departments to have an opportunity to showcase the work that they are doing, to show the public what services are being offered and then of course secondly for the public officers themselves to get an opportunity to network and to build partnerships and I am one who feels very strongly in an environment like this is a very small environment you can go around and meet your fellow public officers so rather than been knowing someone else like Mr. Chan or Mr. Brown or Mr. Gibson you probably get to know that person by first name so if you need to get that service you can pick up that phone and you are calling your colleague or even your friend to get something done and so we are hoping that this activity also helps to build network and to build partnerships and then thirdly for me which I think it is so important if for the public officer for the people who are manning the booths to get some feedback from the public as to what services that are needed or what services can be improved.”
Puck And Tuz Family Submits Legal Action Letters To ESTM
And While the Board of Management is recommending that the four teachers who quote unquote “erred in modifying the itinerary during the educational trip to Che Chem Ha Maya Ruin in Benque Viejo Del Carmen, be suspended without pay, not everyone is in agreement with the outcome of the investigation.
This past Sunday Students of Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico celebrated their annual Graduation Ceremonies. Fifteen year old Anahi Zepeda and sixteen year old Edgar Puck were scheduled to be among the graduating class of 2014, but their untimely death snatched that proud moment from them and their loved ones.
While the family of both of the deceased continues to deal with the fact that their loved is not among them anymore, the family of 18 year old Roggery Tuz, who also sustained injuries while swimming in the Macal River, is facing the rapid growing doctor bills.