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Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
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The San Pedro Sun
Wolfe’s Woofer: Going Deaf
“Let’s go to Miglio’s for lunch,” Sherry said. “Amelia? Who is Amelia.” “Miglio. M-I-G-L-I-O,” she spelled. “Up at his resort at Ak’Bol. You know, we really need to get your hearing checked.” “I never write checks,” I told her. “What check are you talking about?” “Forget it.” When we left home Sherry was saying something […]
Acting on information received of a stabbing incident, the San Pedro Police visited the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II on Monday, October 13th at around 8:50AM where they observed 25-year-old Miguel “Motita” Fuentes suffering from a stab wound. Robbery
37-year-old Mirna Verganza reported to the San Pedro Police that on Saturday, October 11th at around 11PM her establishment, namely Blue Angels Bar, located in the San Pablo Area was robbed. According to Verganza, one of her employees that was left in charge of the bar, informed her that two male person had robbed the establishment of $500BZ. Found Property: Acting on Special Branch information, a team of San Pedro Police and Special Branch Personnel headed by Inspector Henry Jemmott, visited the San Pablo Area on Tuesday, October 14th at around 2:30PM where an unlicensed black 9mm Luger (Model C9) pistol containing an empty magazine was handed over by an anonymous resident. The firearm had been found stashed in the vicinity. No serial number was visible on the pistol. The fire arm was labelled as found property. Possession of Controlled Drugs:
On Wednesday, October 15th at around 4:30PM, San Pedro Police and Special Branch personnel conducted a search at the residence of 18-year-old Nairo Perez on Sandpiper Street, San Juan Area. Also present was a 15-year-old minor. A thorough searched was conducted inside the room, which led to the discovery of a brown Philly wrapped in a cigarette form which contained 0.4 grams of suspected cannabis. Subjects were formally arrested and charged for “Possession of Controlled Drug”.
My boyfriend’s angry ex-wife is ruining our relationship. It is not anything aimed at me and him. It is mostly aimed at him. If I was not even in the picture she would still be doing her best to screw up his life because she did it for many years. She has so many things wrong about her that they can not even be listed here. Among these are her physical abusiveness, promiscuous behavior, her alcohol and prescription drug problems and a complete unwillingness to attend counseling or to look at the marriage situation. He sued her for divorce because he could not live anymore with someone like her. He was starting to fear for his own sanity. She tells everyone that he left her for me even though she has been divorced for two years and I only met him a year ago.
Man Caught Red Handed Trying To Break In To Coba's Residence
While Corozal Police are looking for Erick Locke for the crime of aggravated assault, as mentioned at the top of the newscast, another Corozaleño is facing charges of attempt burglary after he tried to enter the residence of Abdel Coba.
Coba reported to police that on October 14th, around 5:45pm, his 10 year old daughter alerted him of an impostor in the back yard.
Women Graduate From Cake Decorating Class
There are a number of initiatives being carried out across the north to empower women in society. These include courses in sewing, manicure and pedicure and even cake decorating.
Four months ago a group of 17 women from San Jose Village and from as far as San Roman Corozal, engaged in a four month course in baking and cake decorating. Today those women presented their work to a number of guests during a short ceremony. Coordinator of the program, Karen Escarraga, spoke with us about how the initiative came to life.
Cuba Announces Progress In Vaccine To Fight Dengue
While the entire globe is keeping a close watch on the Ebola virus experts with the Havana-based Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Center claim to be experiencing progress in the developing a vaccine to fight the four existing types of dengue fever.
The announcement was made by Researcher Luis Javier Gonzalez during a Forum on Microbiology Techniques in Havana. Reports are that the project is currently in its first validation stage.
If true this will prove to be good news for the world since to date a cure has not been found for the deadly dengue disease.
Saint Francis Xavier Celebrates Credit Union Day
Yesterday was observed as International Credit Union Day under the theme “Local Service. Global Good.” The day is observed with the aim of highlighting the movement of credit unions, their history and achievements.Here in the north, Saint Francis Credit Union in Corozal Town also observed International Credit Union day the only difference is that they had a double celebration as they also commemorated 33 years of offering quality service to their customers.
At the credit union’s parking lot, students and shareholders witnessed the crowning of the newly elected Miss St. Francis Xavier Credit Union Queen, Risela Magaña.
Corozaleno Wanted For Aggravated Assault
A man is tonight being sought by Corozal Police for the crime of Aggravated Assault, after he threatened his ex-common law wife at knife point.
Reports made to the Corozal Police are that around 5:30 yesterday morning, 41 year old Pauline Gibson was exciting her outdoor bathroom when she saw Erick Locke, her ex common law husband, coming out from some nearby bushes. According to Gibson, she tried to run into her house but Locke blocked her way by standing in front of her.
Passengers On Board Carnival Magic Disembark In Belize
The officials at today’s Press Conference stressed that the persons at the center of yesterday’s series of events were low risk and that none were showing symptoms of the Ebola virus, which is believed to be when it becomes contagious. Despite them repeating that point, it is hard to ignore the urgency in which the US handled the matter. Another factor here is that by the time the Office of the Prime Minister was informed of the situation, other passengers had disembarked the ship.
Audrey Wallace – CEO, Office of Prime Minister“The government of Belize did not find out about this until after the disembarkation of those passengers so we were not able to respond to that aspect.”
Speculations Surface On Possible Ebola Case
Given the urgency the US gave the situation, despite assurances that the persons in the center of the ordeal were deemed low risk, it begs the question of whether anything is being withheld from government officials in Belize. The Prime Minister was posed the questioned this morning and this is how he responded.
Honorable Dean Barrow – Prime Minister of Belize“I’m not prepared to speculate in that regard, I am prepared to accept that face value, the explanation given to Audrey which is that the CDC (the Center for Disease Control) had in fact changed the protocol and moved people who had the status of that passenger from a situation where they were been told merely that they needed to self-monitor to a situation which they needed to be monitored by the authorities, so I think that’s what it is and I believe that the sense of urgency was triggered by that but by that original decision which set off the chain reaction for the CDC does show as I said earlier even the United States is not entirely clear as to all what is happening and as to all the triggers and as to all the modes of transmission so I suspect that this is behind the urgency that this request from the US took on.”
Ministry Of Health Takes Measures To Contain Ebola Virus
When it comes to the Ebola Virus, the Ministry of Health is also a key player in its handling and containment and according to CEO in the Ministry, Peter Allen; they are taking a number of measures to ensure that the country is able and ready to handle any possible detection of the virus in the country. Now, the Prime Minister himself admitted to the media that there are constraints in achieving this a hundred percent, but insisted that government officials are focused and aware of the stakes in the situation but are detrained to protect the citizens.
CEO Allen says that long before yesterday’s series of events, they had scheduled training with officers of the Phillip Goldson International Airport to provide sensitization and information on the matter and established clear definition of their roles and responsibilities. However, additional measures are being taken, he added.
Screen_Shot_2014-10-17_at_8.21.05_PMPeter Allen- CEO, Ministry of Health“A screening form for all passengers has been developed and is being implemented and an isolation facility is being provided at the Phillip Goldson International Airport for further screening for passengers who may be considered at some risk due to the surveillance forms. The Ministry of Health has provided a Hotline and the hotline is 629-5604 and we are working with B.T.L. to provide a toll free number as soon as possible to assist in this capacity.
Travel Ban Implement For Visitors From West African Countries
The Ebola scare experienced yesterday has set the government on a series of responses in capacitating frontline personnel in the Immigration and Health departments. Measures have been set in place and from what we learned in today’s press conference, the response now is more momentous. Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse announced a new stop placed on the issuance of visas for persons who have been to the West African countries where the virus has been detected. The Ministry is also issuing travel bans.
Godwin Hulse – Minister of Immigration“Those countries will be Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and any other country that the ministry thinks has now been affected. Nigeria is a special case because although it’s a Commonwealth country it requires visas and even though they have declared that they are free we consider the persons traveling from Nigeria a risk. Sierra Leone, on the other hand, does not require any visa to come to, Sierra Leonean citizens do not visas to enter Belize so we will issue a travel ban on persons coming from Sierra Leone.
Ebola Scare In Belize
The information made the national news late last night but after it aired, the social media was abuzz with speculations and not to say the least, fear that the deadly Ebola virus had reached, close to home. The media got wind of the situation in the evening, but we learned in a press conference today that government had been dealing with the matter since morning.
The Ebola scare in the last twenty-four hours, we hope, turns out to be just that, as officials are saying - that the person onboard the Carnival cruise ship was “low risk” and showed no symptoms of the disease. So now, we follow the story from the start as information has been forthcoming. In a release from the Carnival Cruise Lines, it states that the Center for Disease Control informed them that a guest on board the Carnival Magic, which was headed to Belize, was listed by the center as “very low risk”.
The person here is a female health care provider who works at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. She had apparently come in contact with an Ebola patient back in the US. According to the cruise line release, the woman exhibited no symptoms and that it had been nineteen days since she was in the lab with the testing samples. The guest and her companion were placed in isolation on the ship and were not deemed a risk to the other guests on board. Still the ship’s medical team treated the situation with an extreme abundance of caution.
Territorial Integrity – A Priority!!
Opposition Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca is leading by example. In an effort to learn and get first-hand knowledge and experience of the challenges and problems facing our country’s border security and national sovereignty, Hon. Francis trekked through Belize’s wild forest and listened to the experts as he led a special visit to Chiquibul Forest Reserve on Saturday, October 11, 2014. The Chiquibul Forest Reserve has come under severe attack from incursions by illegal Guatemalans. In recent years the incursions have increased, resulting in accelerated devastation of the environment as trespassers enter to carry out hunting, logging, farming, poaching, gold-panning, and looting of important and historic Maya sites. It was inside the Chiquibul reserve, at the Caracol Mayan site, that 20 year old special constable Danny Conorquie was gunned down by a Guatemalan trespasser on September 25th.
Dangriga Market SUFFERS Another Delay
The Dangriga Municipal Market is dealt yet another blow. In a meeting with the new contractor, CB Contractor, of Cayo, the Belize Social Investment Fund and the Dangriga Town Council held in April 2014, the Dangriga Town Council was assured that the market would have been completed and handed over by Tuesday, 30 September, 2014. The month of October has started and the market has not been completed or handed over to SIF who would then hand it over to the Dangriga Town Council.
The Dangriga Town Council is indeed mindful of the contractor’s commitment to complete the project and to hand it over to SIF to, according the council, ‘stop the bleeding and punishment of the people of Dangriga’. The council is also mindful of the substantial work the contractor has done in the quest to completing the market. The underlying factor however, is the prolonged agony that continues to be inflicted upon the residents of Dangriga. The Dangriga municipal market is the life blood of Dangriga. In addition, it is an important economic hub for Dangriga. It is a cultural institution where there is much oral history and information that impacts positively on the market “goers”. The continued non-completion of the market reflects negatively on the landscape of Dangriga, where in almost every corner of the streets there are stalls, some of which are unsightly and risky for good health.
Salvadoran shot dead one lane from Police Station
Salvadoran national, 33 year old Jose Luis Umana, was the target of a cold-blooded murder in Belize City on Saturday night.
Around 9:00pm, Umana was at the corner of New Road and Hyde’s Lane, just about 600 feet from the Queen Street Police Station, when he was ambushed and shot dead by an unknown gunman.
According to Umana’s family, he was at home located in Card’s Alley earlier in the day. He left home in the evening to take a walk, and the sound of gunshots startled his family. When his family members came to the scene, they only got to see Umana being lifted unto an ambulance. He battled to stay alive for about an hour but succumbed.
PUP’s record of asserting Belize’s Independence – ….the UDP’s record of betrayal
The Barrow Administration demonstrated very poor judgment in the monitoring of our national security protocols which resulted in the United States granting of a million dollar contract to a Guatemalan company to construct a military base for the Belize Coast Guard.
Guatemala, every Belizean knows, has been pushing an unfounded claim for over 12,700 kilometres of Belizean territory for the past 160 years. Guatemala continues to allow the illegal incursions of its nationals into Belizean territory. They carry out illegal hunting and logging, and have devastated a large area of our protected areas.
The most recent incursions led to the killing of Belizean security officer Danny Conorquie at the tourist site, Caracol, and the threat to destroy an outpost manned by the Belize Defense Force at San Valentin camp. Understandably, Belizeans are highly suspicious of Guatemala.
Think About It
In 2010 there were 123 murders. In 2011 there were 124 murders. In 2012 there were 145 murders. In 2013 there were 88 murders.
From January to 15 October 2014 there were 97 murders. There are two months and two weeks left in the year. It is going to be another bloody year for Belize.
These statistics are the most shameful, most disgraceful thing to befall our otherwise wonderful country.
It is an indictment, to put it mildly, on the utter inability of the government to produce any kind of solutions to the biggest tragedy to fall on our heads.
It must be repeated that the vast majority of these cold bloodied murders are in Belize City. The six UDP area representatives on the Southside of Belize City have been playing “simple” with the people of this country. They have had nothing to say or nothing to do in relation to this unfolding curse which has been destroying the country.
Before the whole journalism bit, and while I was still agile and in fairly good health, I did some construction work. I rebuilt the home in which I was raised and constructed the house in which I now live. I did much of the work by myself but from time to time, I would need to hire help. Now I’m a patriot and would have much preferred to hire strictly Belizeans to work with me, but, as most anyone who has needed to hire Belizeans will tell you, good help from among our own people is damn hard to find. There was this one guy who saw me working and struggling by myself, stopped by and asked if he could help. In fact, if I remember well, he didn’t even wait for me to answer, he just started working. How do you not hire a guy like that? He told me that he had worked in the construction business for a while and it turned out that he was better than I could have hoped for. He came early, worked hard and took much pride in his work. I do not remember Flaco’s real name but in spite of his small and wiry frame, the man punched pounds above his weight. In retrospect, I am sure that I could not have accomplished all that I did without him.
Flaco was a Guatemalan by birth but had been living in Belize for a few years. He worked with me for quite some time and we became very good friends. I allowed him to build a small shack in the back of the yard where he lived while we worked. That worked out well for me since he could then also double as watchman.
The incompetence of Prime Minister Dean Barrow and his Ministerial cronies has reached such a level that the very security of the nation has been put in jeopardy.
Events of the past week, coming as they did in the wake of the murder of Special Constable Danny Conorquie, all told, are just too much for Belizeans to bear.
The response of the Prime Minister and his Minister of Security has not only added insult to the injuries but has brought Belizeans to a new state of anger against the government.
It was gross incompetence and negligence that caused a serious security failure when the BDF did not provide escort protection to Special Constable Conorquie and a group of foreign tourists visiting Caracol. That negligence is costing hundreds of thousands of dollars in cancelled tourist visits but more so, has cost Danny Conorquie his promising and precious life.
To make matters worse the government refused to undertake a sweep of the Chiquibul Forest Reserve through which bandits and illegal loggers are unlawfully operating, primarily from across the Guatemalan border.
Rigo Vellos defends Mr. Belize title
The Mr. Belize and Ms. Belize fitness titles are up for grabs this Friday, October 17, 2014 when the Mr. Belize bodybuilding championship is held at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts.
While 2013 Ms. Belize fitness champ Cricel Castillo will not be competing due to a suspension from the Federation, the highlight will be the return of two-time Mr. Belize champ Rigo Vellos who will be competing to hold on to the title for a third year.
Rigo’s closest competition in 2013, Clayton Greenidge (2013 Master’s Category winner), will be back in the bid for the title. So are Ernest Broaster and Deon Banner who settled for 2nd and 3rd place in the Light Heavyweight respectively in 2013.
DFC Gentle Touch roughs up SMART Millennium 6-0
DFC Gentle Touch of Esperanza were anything but gentle when they faced the SMART Millennium girls of Belize City 6-0 in the FFB President’s Cup national women’s football tournament held at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio on Saturday evening.
Gentle Touch’s Shanell Gentle, recruited from Millennium after last season, embarrassed her former teammates with the 1st winning goal in the 18th minute. Millennium’s goalie Ermine Ferguson could do nothing to stop the 2nd goal when Ethlene Gentle blasted the ball from point blank range in the 24th minute.
SCA & BHS & ACC win in high school volleyball
The St. Catherine’s Academy (SCA), Belize High School (BHS) girls and Anglican Cathedral College (ACC) enjoyed wins in the Belize District high school volleyball tournament held at the Lupita Quan gymnasium.
The undefeated SCA girls picked up their 3rd win over a Maud Williams girls’ default on Saturday morning. They had also won their opening game against the BHS girls: 25-22, 25-13 on Monday, September 29 and picked up a 3rd win 25-3, 25-11 against the Ladyville Technical High School girls on Monday, October 6.
The BHS girls picked up their 4th win by hammering the Sadie Vernon girls: 25-9, 25-1 on Saturday. They also won against Pallotti High School 25-10, 25-7; and over the Wesley College girls: 25-7 25-3 on Monday, October 6, after crushing the Maud Williams girls: 25-10, 25-19 on Thursday, October 2.
PUP Youth Arm forms in Belmopan!!!
Yesterday, at the People’s United Party office, the Belmopan version of the Belize Youth Movement (BYM) was born.
The PUP Belmopan youth were informed by the BYM national president, Alberto Vellos of the mission and objectives of the group. He emphasized that young people need to organise to be recognised and respected as critical partners in the development of our country.
During the meeting, the PUP Mayoral Candidate, Mr. Jose “Chamika” Chacon voiced his support and encouraged the youth to be vibrant and participatory in our city.
We Should Learn from the Ebola Crisis!
By Raford Young
One of the saddest images I have ever seen online was a guy pushing a wheelbarrow with a very sick relative in it to the hospital in Liberia with the killer disease Ebola. This terrible disease has taken the life of over three thousand people in four West African Countries. This outbreak is the worst the world has ever seen. It does not discriminate and even if caught early, can kill in a very short period of time. The health institutions in those countries are ill equipped to handle such an outbreak. The hospitals don’t have enough beds or trained staff to deal with this Ebola crisis. Liberia’s economy has collapsed as a result and many experts say by the time this is all over 400,000 people would have died. Others say it could reach up to 1.2 million.
National holidays that need re-thinking
By Richard Harrison
Belize celebrates Pan American Day on October 12 and Labor Day on May 1 each year….as national public and bank holidays.
These holidays seem to have lost their purpose in the psyche of the Belizean people….with the holiday having become just another day off from work….serving no social, cultural or economic purpose of value to the nation.
Holidays should bring our people closer together for a national constructive purpose….to promote unity.
In keeping with the Pan American theme….we should construct a day that celebrates our diversity…in a healthy, competitive context….open opportunity for getting to know new people and different places….invite participation from bordering communities in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
WOMAN IN THE HOUSE – J’OUVERT
By Dolores Balderamos Garcia
“J’Ouvert,” the word captures my imagination. I don’t speak French at all, but the first thing I think of is being in Port of Spain, Trinidad sometime around 1984, and going out with friends to play “Old Mas,” on J’Ouvert Morning, dressed in old crocus bag costumes and leaving home well before sunrise, so as not to miss out on any of the action. What fun it was!
A quick look at definitions will tell us that J’ouvert means daybreak or dawn, literally ‘day’ and ‘open’ in French. It takes place on the Monday morning before Carnival Tuesday in Trinidad and Tobago, and Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday in New Orleans. J’ouvert, it is said, started in Trinidad and the Eastern Caribbean as part of Carnival celebrations before Ash Wednesday, with the slaves having their own bacchanal, instead of following the more formal parties of the masters. Paint or mud was smeared on bodies, they say, so that slaves could avoid identification.
BELIZE – GUATEMALA RELATIONS
This statement was produced by the People’s United Party in 2010 in defence of Belize’s territorial sovereignty. The Barrow administration completely ignored it.
The single most important issue facing Belize, as a nation, is the defence of our territorial integrity and our sovereignty over all our territory. Despite all our effort at negotiations, facilitation and other means of peaceful settlement of the unfounded claim by Guatemala to Belizean territory, no settlement has been achieved.
Both countries have agreed to seek the approval of their respective peoples to submit the dispute to the International Court of Justice for determination. The People’s United Party wishes to express its serious concern at the lack of progress of the referendum process to date.
More than one year has passed since the December 8th 2008 signing of the Special Agreement and we appear no closer to the referenda. In light of the electoral cycle in Belize and Guatemala, the prospect of holding a referendum is at least four years away. It now seems impractical and unlikely for a referendum to be held until after the 2013 general elections in Belize. This means that the earliest possible time that a court hearing can be begin, if approved by our respective peoples, is in 2017. We believe that this delay calls for a reassessment of the Belize Guatemala relations.
REFLECTIONS ON THE PUBLIC SQUARE – BORDER SECURITY AND THE CRISIS AT CHIQUIBUL
By Francis W. Fonseca
On Sunday, October 12th, 2014 I along with Deputy Party Leader Hon. Julius Espat visited the Chiquibul National Park and the Caracol Archaeological Reserve, the site of the slaying of Special Constable Danny Conorquie.
There has been much talk over the past few weeks about Caracol, Chiquibul and Danny Conorquie and the purpose of our visit was to see first-hand these sites and in particular the scene of the crime against our Country.
We were also there to learn as much as we could from the frontline workers in the fight to protect and secure our environment and borders.
We left Belize City at 5am and were joined by Lt. Albert Vaughan (Ret. BDF), Major Oscar Mira (Ret. BDF), and Vaughan Gill who travelled with us to San Ignacio where we were met by Rafael Manzanero and Derick Chan of FRIENDS FOR CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT (FCD) at 6:30.
Major Oscar Mira challenges Coast Guard Commander Johnny Borland
It was with utter amazement and surprise and later disbelief that I watched the news last night and heard Rear Admiral Johnny Borland try to explain why the Ministry of National Security fell asleep behind the wheel and permitted a Guatemalan Construction Company, BINARQ, to build both the Belize Coast Guard Northern Forward Operation Base in San Pedro and the Forward Operating Base on Hunting Caye.
His presentation, perhaps written by someone else and well-rehearsed can only be described as the Ministry of National Security’s attempt at using a credible, well-trained and professional individual to explain the reason why the contract could have been offered to BINARQ without raising any eyebrows. His statement is misleading in many ways. While the Status of Force Agreement states that the US government can award a contract to any company that qualifies, being the lowest bidder is not sufficient qualification. The Ministry of National Security must be more involved and agree to the company that is awarded the contract.
Street Works & Value for Money
I am writing this letter to provide an overview and insight on the current atrocious conditions of the streets and major highways of our beloved jewel Belize. As has been observed, the quality of the highways and streets have deteriorated overtime. Several issues ranging from the increase in pot holes, minimal or no pavement on majority of the streets, and improper drainage contribute to the social, economic and environmental apprehensions that Belizeans bear on a daily basis. Fortunately, the Government of Belize has become conscious of the dilapidated state of the highways and roads. The Government of Belize has also created several projects with contractors to improve highways and most importantly local streets in the country. These works were fortunately made possible with aid from several nations and institutions in the form of financial grants to improve road infrastructure. Included in these major financial aids is the $30 million dollars that was granted to Belize by the World Bank.
Is it a bar or not?
I am in total disgust after reading the article entitled “DARREL’S LIE … Gets A Contraband Black Eye” published on the Sunday, August 31, 2014, in which a bust of large sums of money and contraband liquor was conducted on the co-owner of a bar situated in the BTL Park. This article speaks about multiple issues all pointing to the bar which has raised a lot of eye brows since it was opened for business.
I am totally against a bar being located in a well-known park. One reason is that this is a place where a lot of families go to enjoy themselves and where children and teens come to interact. By placing a bar there it makes it prone for bar fights to happen. This can make visitors to the park feel unsafe and unprotected because at any time a beer bottle can come out flying from inside the bar and hit an innocent bystander.
COROZAL IN CRISIS
In the Corozal Bay Constituency, the PUP’s Gregorio “Papas” Garcia has been flooded with complaints from residents of Corozal about the on-going road works to the Pan American Highway, which passes through the heart of beautiful Corozal Town.
It is no surprise that the politically incompetent Pablo Marin and the UDP have taken what was to be a simple project to remedy their neglect of Corozal Bay and corrupted it into another scandal.
The first wave of complaints from irate residents includes none other than the controversial political crony, Imer Hernandez who was fingered in the UDP road scandals of Orange Walk. The UDP bypassed every single contractor in the Corozal District. This is no laughing matter and the photographs above show the state of 10th Avenue Extension which was just recently asphalted by the Imer Hernandez company. Within literally three bouts of rain this thoroughfare has been mashed up and our information is that the UDP are trying to decide whether to leave it as is or whether to pour another hundred thousand dollars into the pocket of a UDP contractor.
Liberia seeks help in fighting Ebola crisis
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf says the whole world has a stake in the fight against Ebola.
In a “letter to the world” she said the disease “respects no borders”, and that every country had to do all it could to help fight it.
President Johnson Sirleaf added that a generation of Africans were at risk of “being lost to economic catastrophe”.
The Ebola outbreak has killed more than 4,500 people across West Africa, including 2,200 in Liberia.
International donations have so far fallen well short of the amounts requested by UN agencies and aid organisations.
In the worst-affected countries – Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – about 9,000 people have been found to have the Ebola virus, which kills an estimated 70 percent of those infected.
FCD Telethon raises over $320,000
The Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) telethon held Saturday to raise funds to increase the number of FCD rangers in the Chiquibul reserve raised over $320,000.
According to Valerie Woods, FCD volunteer and telethon organizer, the government pledged $120,000, which will cover the cost of five rangers. FCD also received another $200,000 in pledges but Woods said they also received donations via phone and internet pledges so the final figures wouldn’t be in until later in the week when they collect these donations.
Woods said that their goal was to raise $500,000, which would allow the FCD to have 24 park rangers in the Chquibul Forest Reserve. Currently the FCD only has seven rangers.
The Belize Times
Bus driver charged for driving while under the influence of alcohol
Police in Belize City have arrested and charged a man suspected of driving a passenger bus while under the influence of alcohol.
44 year old William Ayala, a resident of Benque Viejo del Carmen was charged for the crime of “drove motor vehicle with alcohol concentration above the prescribed limit.”
Police say that on Friday afternoon, they came across a Guerra’s Bus parked on the right side of the George Price Highway at mile one and a half in Belize City.
Police say that as they approached the driver, Ayala, he reeked of alcohol.
The Current Status and Future of Tourism in Belize
The World Bank estimated that tourism arrivals in Belize in 2000 was 196,000 visitors, with total spend of US$111 million. The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) estimated that in 2013, a total of 294,177 tourists visited the country. This reflects annual growth of between 4-8%.
The Center on Eco-Tourism and Sustainable Development (CETSD) informs that, after starting in 2002, cruise tourism peaked in 2005 at 800,331 visitors, and BTB estimated that in 2013 a total of 677,350 cruise tourists visited the country. The CETSD estimated that at its peak in 2005, cruise tourists spent a total of US$30.6 million (90% from USA origin), and that overnight visitors (60% from USA origin) spent US$144.1 million…..and that cruise tourism provided 1 out of every 10 jobs in the tourism industry, while overnight tourism provided 9 out of every 10 tourism jobs. The tourism industry has been estimated to account for 20-30% of GDP….depending on motives and methodology used by the proponents.
Carnival Magic returns to Galveston, Texas
The Carnival Magic, the cruise ship from which the government of Belize refuse permission to evacuate a woman who was being monitored for possible Ebola infection, has docked in its home port of Galveston, Texas.
NBC News reported this morning that the Carnival Magic docked under cover of darkness just after 4 am (Belize Time) and all of the passengers, including the woman who was in voluntary isolation in her cabin, were allowed to disembark and go home.
Health officials in Texas say that “there is no evidence of a public health threat to cruise passengers of to Galveston County,” following the disembarkation of the Dallas hospital worker and her companion.
Saturday Night In San Pedro: 2 Birthday Parties – Ice Princesses and Togas
Yesterday afternoon, I was invited to two parties in San Pedro. One for my lovely Crossfit buddies (Dennis & Monica’s) daughter Chelsea – she was turning 4 years old. And the other to celebrate the opening of a new hostel in town and for the birthday of the owner, Maria.
Fun. The first party was scheduled for 3pm. It was clearly printed on the very cool invitation.
Clearly 3pm. But this is Belize and we must abide by Belizean time. So we waited…did some errands and arrived at 3:50pm. Not the first to arrive but…the second. And they were setting up the party.
I’ll never get island time right!
How Did Nigeria Quash Its Ebola Outbreak So Quickly?
What we can learn from the boot leather, organization and quick response times that stopped Ebola from spreading in this African natio. On July 20 a man who was ill flew on commercial planes from the heart of the Ebola epidemic in Liberia to Lagos, Nigeria's largest city. That man became Nigeria's first Ebola case—the index patient. In a matter of weeks some 19 people across two states were diagnosed with the disease (with one additional person presumed to have contracted it before dying).
But rather than descending into epidemic, there has not been a new case of the virus since September 5. And since September 24 the country's Ebola isolation and treatment wards have sat empty. If by Monday, October 20 there are still no new cases, Nigeria, unlike the U.S., will be declared Ebola free by the World Health Organization (WHO).
What can we learn from this African country's success quashing an Ebola outbreak?
The World's Most Beautiful Boat—Yours for Half a Billion Dollars
There has never been a luxury boat like it—and Igor Lobanov is confident an extremely rich person will come forward and sail it away.
It looks, at first sight, like the most streamlined, and sleek, and simple of sailboats, the top half of a bright-white star, or just a classic paper boat. It has the swooping, symmetrical grace of a bird's wingspan. But The STAR, the brainchild of Russian-born boat designer Igor Lobanov, has not been built yet. He expects it to be; the only unanswered mystery in his mind is it will be a private vessel, the property of a billionaire, or a floating hotel. Whoever gets it, there is a helicopter pad; 36 guests can sleep on it overnight, 200-plus day guests can sail on it during the day.
The STAR will not come cheap. If it is constructed in Northern Europe, Lobanov says, it will cost around half a billion dollars.
Ebola cruise ship ‘in utter panic’ as Mexico and Belize refuse to let it dock
Passengers aboard the cruise ship at the centre of an Ebola scare were in a panic after being refused to dock at either Mexico or Belize, with one claiming “it’s like a floating petri dish.”
A Texas healthcare worker who had handled a blood sample of Thomas Duncan, the Liberian man who died from Ebola in the US earlier this month, has been quarantined in her room aboard the Carnival Magic cruise ship.
The unnamed woman, who is a lab supervisor at Texas Health Presbyterian, is deemed by the CDC to be “low risk” and has yet to exhibit symptoms.
She is also approaching the end of her 21-day maximum incubation window after which it can be confirmed that she did not contract Ebola.
Update: Upon examination at Galveston County Health Authority, the quarantined passenger is confirmed not to have Ebola.
Divers try spoon feeding lionfish to sharks, a method that could come back to bite them
In the war against invasive lionfish, Andrés Jiménez has taken up one of the oldest weapons used by humans: the spear.
Jiménez thinks this is a novel approach to help rid the Caribbean Ocean of a growing menace. He skewers the colorful fish into a kabob, swims to coral in a marine sanctuary off the coast of Cuba and holds it bleeding and squirming under the jaws of reef sharks.
The idea is to get sharks to develop a taste for a fish they are not accustomed to eating. That’s right, Jiménez, who co-manages a dive operation in the Gardens of the Queen National Marine Park, is trying to teach one of the Caribbean’s biggest predators to eat a new type of fish.
Texas Lab Worker Aboard Caribbean Cruise Tests Negative for Ebola
Carnival Cruise Lines confirmed on Sunday that the Dallas hospital lab worker who worked with the specimens of Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person to contract Ebola in the United States, has tested negative for the disease.
The woman, a lab supervisor at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, embarked on a cruise headed for the Caribbean after being told to isolate herself. Before the ship docked at the port of Galveston, Texas, early on Sunday morning, the U.S. Coast Guard sent a helicopter to collect a blood sample from the woman to determine if she had contracted Ebola. It came back negative, according to Reuters. The State Department had originally planned to fly the woman back to the United States from Belize. But the cruise was not allowed to dock upon reaching both Mexico and Belize, for fears that the woman onboard may have contracted Ebola.
Travel to the ancient world of the Maya at the Museum of Science
Before his death more than 1,100 years ago in present-day Belize, the Maya ruler called Great Scrolled Skull expected to journey through the underworld and climb the "world tree’’ to be reborn into the sky as a god.
His body was placed in a grand tomb at Santa Rita Corozal filled with decorated pottery, shell jewelry and precious ornaments including a jade mask likely worn as a necklace or belt ornament to symbolize his power.
Instead of accompanying Great Scrolled Skull to his divine rebirth, his striking green mask, ceramic bowls, knives and other prestigious objects have journeyed to the Museum of Science as part of "Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed.’’
The largest exhibition on the ancient Maya ever shown in the U.S., it brings to Boston 250 artifacts, imposing replicas of carved monuments known as stelae and murals, and more than a dozen interactive devices to bring alive a Mesoamerican civilization of remarkable achievements still obscured by misconceptions.
Video: CALSA 2014 Educational Summit to Belize, 8min.
Trip video for the 2014 CALSA Educational Summit to Belize. Places visited:
Carmelita Government School
Lamanai Mayan Ruins
Peccary Hills National Park
Zip Lining & Cave Tubing
Xunantunich Mayan Ruins
Chaa Creek Center
Santa Elena Primary School
U.S. Ambassador Visit
Video: Webinar The Lodge at Big Falls, Southern Belize, 54min.
Video: Cave Tubing in Belize - October 2014, 2.5min.
Video: Black Jaguar (Lucky Boy) @ Belize Zoo, 1.5min.
This black Jaguar was named LUCKY BOY let Amigos Jungle Tours take you on a Tour to the Belize Zoo and tell why!
Video: You Betta Belize it!, .5min.
Caye Caulker man peels coconut with his teeth!!!
Video: Belize Diving Summer 2014 - Turneffe Atoll, 9min.