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#500421 - 01/28/15 11:03 AM Today's Belize News: January 28, 2015
Marty Offline


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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

A wine dinner for the ages with Wine de Vine
I’ve finally recovered enough to tell you about what a fantastic night I had the other day at the Montes Alpha wine dinner. My hubby works for Wine de Vine (not too shabby eh?) and so I have had the opportunity to learn about wines, and wouldn’t you know it, I’ve got good taste! Montes Alpha ranks right up there on my list! Hosted by Hidden Treasure, the first wine dinner for 2015 was a special treat. Sonia Montanares of the Montes Alpha company in Chile was on hand to talk about the various wines being poured. There were several courses being served, and each course had its accompanying wine…so, after I made the sign of the cross, I dove right in!

Five ladies to participate in La Riena del Carnaval Pageant 2015
The San Pedro Carnaval Committee, working along with Flora Ancona’s Carnaval Group is proud to introduce this year’s contestants of La Riena del Carnaval Pageant (the selection of a Carnaval Queen) 2015. This year, five ladies will participate in four different segments in an effort to win the coveted title. The participants are 49-year-old Rose Marie Linarez, 51-year-old Silvia Patricia Lopez, 48-year-old Nerie Itzab, 42-year-old Sinia Catalina Cruz and 44 year old Zeida Alamilla. Organized by Ancona’s Carnaval Group, all proceeds will be used for their comparsas costume and other expenses. The pageant is scheduled for Saturday February 7th at the San Pedro High School auditorium, starting at 7:30PM. The participants will see the ladies participate in sportswear, talent performance, evening gowns and even a Question and Answer segment.

Education Stakeholders on Human Trafficking receive training from CDF
Teachers from across Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker, and other education stakeholders received a training seminar from Tom Sharp of The Child Development Foundation (CDF). Held at the Sunbreeze Conference Room on Thursday, January 22nd, the seminar entailed participants’ learning methods to teach school children about abuse and human trafficking. Apart from gaining valuable experience, the participating teachers were also awarded credits by the Teacher Education Development Services of the Ministry of Education. CDF is a Christian non-profit organization with aims of addressing the growing issue of the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) in Belize. Sharp explained that at many times, teachers find it challenging to talk to children about these subjects, especially the younger students. The seminar sensitized educators on the proper methods of addressing these topics.

Saga hosts Southern Comfort Food Cook-off
Saga Humane Society supporters gorged themselves on the best of southern comfort food at the first cook-off of 2015. Hosted at SandBar on Thursday, January 22nd, the fundraising event saw 10 food entries. The monthly cook-off raises much needed funds for Saga’s Spay/Neuter Initiative Program (SNIP) Campaign. Dishes ranged from chicken soup with grilled cheese sandwiches to southern classics with a twist like chorizo mac & cheese. For a contribution of only $15, attendees got to sample all the dishes. For the cost of $25, VIP guests skipped the line and got their plate of food delivered to their table! The tasting dishes included: Nancy Nida’s chicken soup with grilled cheese sandwiches, Ray’s Big Dog’s peel n eat shrimp, Lick’s plantain and conch fritters, Heather Smith’s hash brown casserole, Di Vu’s gumbo and southern comfort apple pie, Cori Sterrenberg’s chorizo mac & cheese, Letty Hernandez’s scalloped potatoes, SandBar’s cheddar potato casserole, Parker Ault’s hush puppies, and Ice & Beans’ donuts.

Ambergris Today

Government Pledges to Remove Belize’s Barrier Reef from World Heritage in Danger List
Following a week-long constructive discussion with UNESCO's World Heritage Centre and IUCN, the Government of Belize agreed to start talks on critical conservation challenges related positive to the removal of the Belize Barrier Reef from the World Heritage List in Danger. From January 19-23, 2015, UNESCO's World Heritage Center, in cooperation with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), undertook a technical support mission to Belize with the objective of assisting the Government in its efforts to prepare a road map for the removal of the Belize Barrier Reef from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Isla Bonita Elementary Holds Open Day Exhibition
The upper division students of Isla Bonita Elementary School held an open day educational exhition on Friday, Janurary 23, 2015. The exhibits were open to the public and other schools on the island. It was very well attended and booths/displays from the students of Std. 5 and Std. 6 classes included information on the following topics: Rights of a Child, Child Abuse, Alcohol Abuse, Drug Abuse, STI's (Sexually Transmitted Infections), HIV/AIDS.

Mrs. Reina Del Carnaval to Liven up Celebrations Again
After a very, very, very successful Mrs. Reina Del Carnaval that was held for the very first time last year in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, the island is ready for another great pageant. This week, five contestants have been announced for the second annual pageant that will be held during the San Pedro, Carnaval Festivities. Set to be held at the R. Angel Auditorium on February 7, 2015, five contestants will grace the stage with slapstick humor that characterizes the spirit and celebration of the traditional Carnaval of San Pedro. The Mrs. Reina del Carnaval Pageant is organized by Mrs. Flora Ancona’s Comparsa Group that year after year entertains during the three days of street dancing of Carnaval. The pageant contestants are older women (Mrs.) who prove that beauty comes in all ages. 1. Silvia Patricia Lopez, 2. Neri Itzab, 3. Sinia Cruz, 4. Rose Marie Linarez, 5. Zeida Alamilla

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

THE BUA ENDORSEMENT OF VIP 7 FOR THE BELMOPAN TOWN COUNCIL SLATE
In preparation for the upcoming Belmopan municipal elections, the Vision Inspired by the People (VIP) movement has put forth its full slate of candidates headed by Mayoral Candidate - Hubert Enriquez along with six Councillor Candidates, namely: Paul Morgan, Landy Cal, Kamil Espat, Clement Estrada, Eudell Bennett and Henry Dueck. In keeping with the BUA’s three, fundamental functions which include: (1) To provide support for alternative political parties and independent candidates, (2) To endorse alternative parties and candidates in local and national elections and (3) To advance the growth of the democratic process in Belize by means of education,the BUA endorses the VIP 7, slate of candidates. Our endorsement of this dynamic team stems from the acknowledgement that the VIP shares our core values attributed to good governance principles and is committed to making substantive changes through political and social action. The hallmarks of:responsibility, accountability and transparency are the foundations of this bond.

New Dormitory and Resource and Visitor’s Center Opens at Youth Hostel
A new Dormitory Facility and Resource and Visitor’s Center will be officially opened on January 29th , 2015 at 10:00 a.m. at the Youth Hostel Facility at Mile 21 ½ on the George Price Highway. Remarks will be provided by Hon. Mark King, Minister of State in the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation and Ms. Anneke Jessen, IDB Representative in Belize. Brief presentations will be done by the youths currently residing at the facility. The New Dormitory Facility and Resource and Visitor’s Center is an initiative under the Community Action for Public Safety (CAPS) Project which is funded through a loan facility between the Government of Belize and the Inter-American Development Bank. The project is being executed by the Project Execution Unit of the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation.

Mo'Mojo off to San Ignacio!
Mo'Mojo had a blast in Corozal. They visited Santa Rita and had an excellent concert last night! Now they are headed to San Ignacio for the final leg of their tip in Belize. See you at the concert tomorrow night!

Belize agrees to Chart Road Map solving Critical Conservation Issues to remove Belize Barrier Reef from Danger List
Following a week-long constructive discussion with UNESCO's World Heritage Centre and IUCN, the government of Belize agreed to start talks on critical conservation challenges related to the removal of the Belize Barrier Reef from the World Heritage List in Danger. From 19-23 January 2015, UNESCO's World Heritage Centre, in cooperation with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), undertook a technical support mission to Belize with the objective of assisting the government in its efforts to prepare a road map for the removal of the Belize Barrier Reef from the List of World Heritage in Danger. Honorable Prime Minister Dean Barrow welcomed the UNESCO representatives and expressed his willingness to chart a course forward on key management requirements for a sustainable future for the reef. Prime Minister Barrow confirmed government’s policy position to prohibit oil exploitation within and adjacent to the protected areas in the Belize Barrier Reef System.

Tourism Minister bails man charged with possession of drugs
Tourism Minister Manuel Heredia bailed a man charged with posession of cannabis. On Saturday, January 17th at approximately 6:20 p.m., San Pedro Police on patrol at the corner of Almond and Tarpon Streets, noticed a man in a white T-shirt and a green short pants standing on Chicken Street and walking around a tank in the area. He handed something to a person who had approached him. Police conducted a search on the male person, however, nothing incriminating was found on him. A search was then conducted around the tank where police found a black plastic bag containing green leafy substance suspected to be cannabis. The suspected cannabis along with the accused person was taken to San Pedro Police Station where he was identified as 43-year-old Edward Jones of Tarpon Street. The suspected cannabis was weighed and amounted to 8 grams. Police then arrested and charged Jones for the offence of Possession of Controlled Drugs.

Booths are available for the Carnaval Fiesta! Block Party on Friday, February 13th, at the Central Park!
We will have prizes for the Best Carnaval Inspired Booth, Best Carnaval Inspired Drink and Best Carnaval Inspired Food! You can sign up by visiting the San Pedro Town Council's office, by phone (226-2936) or by sending us a message on facebook. SIGN UP NOW!

Museum of Belize, A Year in Review

Channel 7

Minors Make Complaints About Hon. Marco Tulio Mendez
Orange Walk East Representative Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez is facing charges of child molestation tonight. First off, because minors are involved, we cannot go into details about his relationship with the accusers. But we can say definitively that today two children in the company of a female adult went to the Department of Social Services Office in Orange Walk Town to make a report that Mendez had inappropriate contact of a sexual nature with them. Credible reports tells us that the allegations are being made by two teenaged females who allege that the inappropriate contact started some years ago - before the age of consent. We were reliably informed this evening that the matter has been turned over to police for a criminal investigation. Sources tell us that it is possible that charges at least of indecent assault will be brought against Mendez. Indecent assault is the charge employed when there has been fondling but not penetration.

SSB Workers Still Not Paid: Christian Workers Blame It On CWU
300 employees from Social Security still haven't gotten paid their end of month salary. For the 33 years that Social Security has been established, workers always get their end of month pay on the 26th of the month - but this week, history has been made. It's caused a major inconvenience for the employees because all of their bills and other financial commitments have been scheduled around that 26th pay date. Right now, there is a lot of finger pointing between the Management of SSB and the Christian Worker's Union. We've been following the story since last week Friday, and what both sides agree on is that the management of Social Security decided to roll out what is called a "transitional increment" to reward employees for their high level of performance. It was to replace the bonus that each employee gets in March after they're assessed by Key Performance Indicators (KPI) system.

Shooting Victim Pitts Stable, In Intensive Care
27 year old Eugene Pitts remains in a stable condition in the Intensive Care Unit of the KHMH this evening. As we reported, he was at a party in Hattieville on Friday night when he was shot in the back with a shotgun. The pellets penetrated his midsection and caused a variety of injuries to his internal organs. We are told he is in a stable condition and despite his injuries, his prognosis is encouraging.

Forger Asks Court For Leniency; He Wants To Be A Lawyer
25 year-old Kenroy Young, who is already serving prison time is spending the first night of an additional 5 year prison sentence for forgery related offences. That's the sentence that Justice Adolph Lucas gave him after considering his guilty plea, and his mitigation plea for a lesser sentence, declaring his wish to study law after being released. Young was charged with 19 counts of uttering upon a false documents dating back from November 5 to November 13 of 2008. When his case was called up for trial last week Wednesday, he pleaded guilty to 5 of the 19 counts and asked the court to forgo a trial. The rest were then withdrawn by the prosecutor, Crown Counsel Portia Staine, on the premise that the other counts are in relation to the same sums of money which he stole, $15,750.

What's The Chik-V Verdict?
The last time we reported on Chikungunya in Belize was in November, when CARPHA, the Caribbean Public Health Agency confirmed the first case - which came out of Las Flores in Belmopan. We know that other samples were pending verification, but since then, we haven't really heard anything. So did Chik-V just go away? Today the CEO in the Ministry of Health told us that it kinda did!:... Dr. Peter Allen, Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of Health "As you know while there was real chaos in Jamaica and actually a state of emergency was declared in Surinam, our people linked with the community actions of member of the community throughout the country, were able to limit the number of confirm Chik-V cases to less than 10 for last year." Jules Vasquez "Sir, I have a healthy skepticism on Chik-V situation, are you able to say specifically, how many samples were sent to CARPHA for testing? How many were confirmed as negative or positive from CARPHA?"

Avian Infuenza Causing Poultry Farm Losses
Two weeks ago we reported on the poultry samples from two farms in Spanish lookout that were tested for avian influenza. Well the results are in and the samples have tested positive for Avian Influenza antibodies. But don't fret, your chicken and eggs are safe! A press briefing was held today to reassure the public that: 1.) the actual full-blown virus has not been detected in the samples - so there is no cause for alarm and 2.) The results of this test will not impact supply or price of chicken and eggs. Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Miguel Depaz outlines some of the key measures put in place to ensure that these cases are contained.

Woman Alleges Special Branch Abuse; Commander Says No
We often report on allegations of police and GSU brutality but tonight we have complaints about the Special Branch Unit's new secret strike team. 39 year old Belama resident Shelmodine Panting came to our studios this morning all shook up. Panting says that members of the Special Branch Unit broke down her front door for no reason last night. No one was at her home at the time of the incident and according to her neighbors, the officers were demanding to see Panting. Here is her story. Voice of; Shelmodine Panting, Police Destroyed Property "I got the call after 10pm last night at Belama from the neighbor. I had at least 4-5 miscalls and so U decide to call back one of the number and the lady Ms. Georgia, my neighbor in front of me, told me that the police stomped down my door. After that my daughter call me and says that she is leaving from work now because she got to understand that police stomped down the door. She got the call from the same neighbor. When I reached there the neighbors were alarm, they (police) was on the rooftop and firing shots. They were firing shots I don't know at who, but I guess somebody they were firing shot after or they were chasing somebody. According to the neighbors, they came in 3-4 vehicles."

New Breast Cancer Diagnostic Unit At KHMH
The KHMH opened its breast cancer diagnostic unit today. It's the product of a generous donation of mammography equipment and technical assistance from the Carolinas Healthcare System. We found out more at the handing over today:.. Dr. Lisa Johnson, DMS - KHMH "The donation of the Lorad M-IV Series Mammography Unit, with workstation and storage capacity, a reader, the ultrasound machine and the Mammotome Biopsy System, is worth something in the neighborhood of one hundred thousand US dollars."

When Will Belize Have A National Museum?
In Belize, it's highly unlikely to find 'a trip to the museum' on someone's list of things to do or places to go. Well, NICH along with other stakeholders are trying to change that by drafting a master plan to construct a state of the art National Museum. Today a forum was held at the House of Culture to discuss key elements and features that can inspire Belizeans to visit. A master plan of the museum will be presented to NICH by the Lord Cultural Resources organization in September. If all goes as planned this time around - the Museum will be built in Belmopan on ten acres set aside by the Belmopan City Council - since the last plot - beside social security was sold right before the 2008 elections.

Matura-Shepherd Lashes Out At Port CEO
Last week, we showed you our interview with Arturo "Tux" Vasquez, the CEO of the Port of Belize, in which he reacted to the comments made by Audrey Matura-Shepherd, President of the Christian Workers Union. She says that the union will be going back to the beginning of the bargaining process for the Stevedores, because their position is that the former executives of the union, Antonio Gonzalez and James McFoy, supposedly misled the bargaining process. That has caused some concern for the Port's current management since certain agreements were already reached. Vasquez believes that it is unreasonable to scrap all that progress and go way back to the beginning. Today, the CWU president was asked to comment on the response from Vasquez and she didn't mince words:

Still With The Mandamus
Matura-Shepherd is still the attorney of cane farmer Lucilo Teck, who is seeking a Mandamus against the Sugar Industries Control Board. Now, you will remember that the season finally opened yesterday at 10 a.m. That was only possible after the Sugar Industries Control Board declared the season open. So, if you're thinking that the Mandamus case is now inconsequential, we thought so too, since there is no need to compel an action which has already been taken. Matura-Shepherd says that acting as attorney, she will press the case nevertheless: "We filed the substantive claim before a crop grinding season was declared open, but that does not nullify our application before the court, because if you were in court you will hear that one of the complaint that they had about our application, was that it went beyond a mandamus, where we were seeking certain declarations.

Channel 5

P.U.P. Leader Speaks on Allegations against Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez
Where is Doctor Marco Tulio Mendez? That’s the question everybody’s asking after some very serious and disturbing allegations about the P.U.P. Area Representative in Orange Walk East spread like wildfire [...]

K.H.M.H. C.E.O. Gives Update on Case of Lucia Martinez
Most Belizeans, or at least those who watch the news, are likely family with the case of Lucia Martinez. Eighteen year old Martinez had her first child at the K.H.M.H. [...]

Hepatitis Outbreak in the West
Today, the Ministry of Health is working to contain a localized outbreak of Hepatitis A at a government school in Buena Vista, Cayo. According to reports, there was one case [...]

CWU Investigates Alleged Misappropriation of Union Funds by Past Executive
CWU President Audrey Matura-Shepherd has been in the news more often lately than she has been out of it. Currently the union is embroiled in a Collective Bargaining Agreement dispute [...]

Audrey Matura-Shepherd Reveals Who Has Asked Her to Run for Office
Matura-Shepherd was also asked about her political future. It’s become the propaganda of choice for the United Democratic Party, which for weeks has been claiming that Matura-Shepherd has been compromised [...]

Is Wiretapping a Reality in Belize?
Has the Government of Belize secured highly trained Israeli surveillance team to monitor phone conversations and text messages? For some time now, several reports have been claiming that this is [...]

Why Did the Cleopatra White Health Center Close Down on Friday?
Last week Friday, the Cleopatra White Polyclinic closed its doors and sent waiting patients home. That’s because there was somebody waiting for attention with an open abscess which ruptured right [...]

What’s the Deal with the Deputy Director of Health Services?
And from matters of health and infection to matters of internal politics…Doctor Allen has certainly seen his share of controversy and contention. Right now he’s dealing with a vacant post [...]

From Internal Politics to Corruption…C.E.O. on Health Audits
And from internal politics to corruption…last year after audits of the Punta Gorda Polyclinic and the Dangriga Polyclinic administrators of both were let go. The audits allegedly turned up evidence [...]

Belize City Man Sentenced for Forgery
Once a Belize Youth Ambassador to the United Nations, twenty-five year old Kenroy Young was sentenced to prison for forgery. The U.B. graduate has been serving a seven year sentence [...]

Ryon King – Not Guilty of Arson
A jury found thirty-six year old Ryon King not guilty of arson this afternoon. Back in February 2010, King’s then common-law wife Kendra Pennil accused him of setting her mattress [...]

Missing Corozal Girl Found
Corozal teen Ana Villanueva has been found. Corozal police say the fifteen year old is now safe and in good health. We told you on Monday night that the fifteen [...]

Carnal Knowledge in the West and San Pedro
Tonight the brothers from Calla Creek, who allegedly had sexual intercourse with a teen who is now pregnant, are in police custody.  Police arrested and charged twenty-five year old Maysin [...]

Avian Flu Confirmed in One Poultry Farm in the West
Today at the conference room of the Central Health Region in Belize City, representatives from the Belize Agricultural Health Authority, the Poultry Industry and the Ministries of Agriculture and Health [...]

…Authorities Put Containment Measures in Place
The virus primarily affects poultry and according to BAHA, there is a low risk for transmission from poultry to humans; there is also no evidence of human to human transmission. [...]

K.H.M.H. Opens a Breast Cancer Diagnosis Unit
Just a couple weeks ago the K.H.M.H. benefitted from the donation of two cell saver machines from Spine Overseas, and today the institution’s international partners came through again. Through ongoing [...]

Social Security Employees Go Home with Empty Pockets
There is some contention between the Christian Workers Union and the Social Security Board. The result of that contention is that three hundred S.S.B. workers, always paid on the twenty-sixth [...]

FCD Meets with Guatemalan Counterparts to Discuss Illegal Issues in Chiquibul
The Friends for Conservation and Development, better known as FCD, has been working tirelessly to stop a number of illegal activities inside the Chiquibul.  For the FCD, illegal logging remains [...]

The Subculture of a Car Show
Fans flocked to the northern entrance of Belize City on Sunday for a unique event that is growing in popularity. Owners of the hottest cars and motorcycles turned out to [...]

CTV3

Avian Influenza Type A Positively Identified In Belize
Last week we told you about suspected cases of Avian Flu emerging from two farms in the Cayo District and today continued surveillance and testing confirmed that one of the two farms have come back with positive results. According to Samples tested by an International reference Laboratory in the USA has confirmed the presence of Avian influenza H5N2 antibodies in one farm only but not the live virus. BAHA continues to test and has detected the presence of Avian Influenza Type A on another farm. There are very few clinical signs in the affected birds, which may indicate a response to the low pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N2 virus. This virus predominantly affects poultry. There is very low risk of transmission from poultry to humans and there is no evidence of human to human transmission.

Corozal Police Gets New Computers
Viewers may recall that last year Inspector Daniel Arzu launched an initiative that was geared at benefitting underprivileged students of Corozal Town. And with the nature of job, later that same year, inspector Arzu was transferred to the Cayo District and the project unfinished. The good news tonight is that not all good has gone to waste since members of the Corozal Community Policing and Officer Commanding the Corozal Police Department Superintendent Andrew Ramirez have filled up the gap in making Arzu’s initiative a true success. And today, the Corozal Community policing department has acquired fourteen new computers which were donated by the U.S Embassy in Belize through the CARSI program. According to Superintendent Andrew Ramirez, nine of the fourteen computers will be set up in the Drop-in Center where many students will have access to them.

DPM's Brother Gets Contract For Corozal Market
Another Municipal Development Project has been awarded to a relative of Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture, Gaspar Vega. A release from the Social Investment Fund in partnership with the World Bank issued today states that a Contract for the upgrading and rehabilitation of the Corozal Town Market and Sports Complex facilities is valued at $721,789.40. The contract for the two (2) facilities was signed by Mr. Liborio Vega of LV and SONS Construction, and Mr. William Lamb Jr. the Executive Director, Belize Social Investment Fund, at the Belize Social Investment Fund (BSIF) headquarters in Belmopan on yesterday’s date. The market project is designed to upgrade a section of the existing market of 220 square meters particularly 15 market stalls which were in a dilapidated condition that poses serious health and security risks and natural disasters to both vendors and patrons. According to the release, the objective is to provide a safer and more pleasant environment for vendors and shoppers resulting in significant improvement in the quality of life for residents in Corozal Town and surrounding communities.

Sugar Road Concern For Cane Farmers
Throughout the course of the negotiations with BSI, a faction of the negotiating team at the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association had been steadfast in what they say was obtaining a good deal for farmers. Up until the end of the negotiations, and joined by other parties, the group had remained vocal about their rejection of the terms of the new commercial agreement. Nonetheless, Alfredo Ortega, one of the persons at the forefront of the campaign against the signing of the agreement says he is content the crop has finally started but remains concerned about the conditions of the sugar roads. “It has been a very rough road to reach to this point because of many issues that has transpired but as you know farmers are eager to deliver their cane also because if they don’t deliver they don’t make any money of what they have invested and today we can say and we can thank God because of the movement that is ongoing because there are many hurdles that the farmers are going through for them to transport their material to BSI mill because when we talk about access in regards to roads we have very little work being done on that, thanks to the weather that we are experiencing this week is that farmers are able to transport their material on those conditions of the sugar roads.”

Infant II Student Involve In Traffic Accident
Shortly after the school bell rang at 11:30 today, students from the Presbyterian Primary School on Tate Street rushed home for their daily lunch break. Things almost took a tragic turn when an infant two student was brushed and almost severely hurt in a traffic mishap. From what we have been able to gather, a pickup driven by the owner of an Asian bread factory was commuting on Holy Trinity Street and soon after the child ran across the street and was brushed by the vehicle. But while the child did not suffer much injury other than being shaken up, the driver rendered assistance and took the child to the Hospital, just to make sure. Checks made at the school late this evening revealed that the boy was healthy, alive and kicking as he played with his companions at the school campus. The area though is of concern to many parents since it is a school zone and should have the proper safety measures in place so as to avoid these incidents from occurring in the future.

More Amendements Need To Be Made To The Sugar Act Says BSI/ASR
The sugar crop has started and while the operations remain relatively the same, there are new changes within the industry. The biggest being the registration of two more new associations and the amendments to the sugar act to support these associations. Of course these amendments are long overdue since the court had ruled the changes be made since 2010. Still, stakeholders within the industry have been vocal about the need to further amendments to the sugar act. Yesterday, International Relations for ASR Mac McLachlan told the media there is a need for this to happen as it is an important part in the continued development of the sugar industry. “Everybody would agree in the industry including the government that we need fundamental reforms to the sugar act in due course, those reforms can’t take place immediately I think it would be sensible to have full stakeholder engagement in those reforms so that they can feel that they own whatever comes out of that process in the end and I think what happened before as the Prime Minister said it was basically to implement the changes that the Supreme Court has ask the government to make but I think an important part on looking at the future is how the sugar act can be amend ended to ensure that it putting regulation where regulations needed and taking regulation away where is not needed to enable the industry, this is a private industry to move forward the best way for in the industry stakeholders and that is not something that is going to happen today or tomorrow I believe that would be a part of the discussion of the strategic Development Plan.”

BSCFA Cleans House
The survival of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association is still very much a concern for administrators of the organization. Following the disbursement of six and a half million dollars in Fairtrade premiums the BSCFA faces decertification from Fairtrade. Another worry is that after disbursing the money, BSCFA had little to no money to conduct daily operations. Despite the speculations however, the BSCFA remains operational but there are still many assessments being made. Today we spoke with Ezequiel Cansino, Chair of the Committee of Management who told us that they will be issuing a statement as to the changes within the association in the near future. He did say too that they are preparing to fire the association’s entire staff. Here is why. “Por el momento si vamos a despedir a los empleados a todos los empleados vamos a despedir y después vamos hacer lo que es el rehiring, los vamos a emplear de nuevo pero no a todos solo a los que realmente vamos a necesitar y lo estamos haciendo por el motivo de que tenemos los fondos que quedan nos permite pagarle a todos estos empleados, por el lado de las divisiones tenemos empleados hasta de 18 años ya aquí, entonces de los fondos que tenemos vamos a pagarles todo lo que la ley exige pagarles entonces les vamos a volver a emplear para que empecemos de nuevo por el temor de que no sabemos cómo vamos a estar en el futuro entonces ya les dimos esa compensación por su trabajo y por tantos años, pero si estamos viendo cómo se va a reestructurar toda la Asociación.”

Cane Of Excellent Quality Delivered On First Day Of Crop
The crop saw a big launch on Monday and the company aimed at receiving six thousand tons of sugar cane for the first day. Deliveries started shortly after ten and stakeholders in the industry were quite content with the start of operations. Today, factory Manager John Gillett informed CTV-3 News in an interview that there is good news as the quality of the cane is impressively good. “I would like to encourage the farmers to continue keep on delivering the good quality cane that they are delivering, so yesterday we were very impressed with the quality of cane that has been delivered and I think it is the first time on the first day of crop that we are seeing ton cane per ton sugar ration below ten and that is an indication that we will be having good cane quality this year and that the cane farmers continue doing what they have been doing.”

Serious Allegation Unbounding Against Area Representative, Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez
Last night, 7news broke a sensational story that embroiled current PUP Orange Walk East Area Representative Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez in an allegation made against him of unbecoming sexual behaviour. While these are strong and damning allegations for anyone, we reiterate that at this point, it is only speculations, since the matter cannot be substantiated and as far as we are concerned no report has been made to police. Several attempts in getting comment from Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez proved unsuccessful. We also tried to get comment from Mendez’s estranged wife but our attempts also proved futile. What we can tell you is that this afternoon Doctor Leslie was at the Department of Human Services here in Orange Walk. We understand that she was accompanied by a police officer. Mendez did not come out the building until after 4:00pm and in order for her to avoid the media her vehicle was driven into an adjacent parking lot by one of the department’s employees from where she got in the vehicle and drove away.


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#500422 - 01/28/15 11:04 AM Re: Today's Belize News: January 28, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

LOVE FM

MOE and KHMH Update on Recent Allegation on The Hospital
On January 16 we told you about 18-year-old, Lucia Martinez, who made several allegations about the Karl Heusnor Memorial Hospital. When Love News spoke to Martinez, she told us that due to negligence from the doctors and nurses, she found out that cotton swabs had been left in her from the time she gave birth in December, which was endangering her life. Love News spoke with the Chief Executive Officer of the KHMH, Dr. Adrian Coye, who spoke to the media about the recent update into this matter. “What I can say because the presence of a lawyer which was what we experience when we had the meeting with her is that this maim has the potential to be a legal case so I wouldn’t necessarily discuss further but in that I can only say that we met her to address a lot of the concerns that they have and we have given the opportunity to be treated by our specialist so that whatever other concerns arise that we can help.

False Allegations Against OW East Representative; Will Problem Arise?
For the last few days rumors have been swirling regarding Orange Walk East representative, Doctor Marco Tulio Mendez. The allegations are that Mendez had engaged in inappropriate behavior. When we checked with authorities yesterday we were told no report had been filed at the domestic violence unit at the police station. Today around midday news spread like wild fire that Mendez’s estranged wife, Doctor Leslie Mendez, was at the Human Development office in Orange Walk making a formal report surrounding the allegations. We made numerous attempts to get in contact with Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez but the calls went straight to voice mail. Love News, however, spoke with a relative who told us Mendez has been severely affected by the allegations and was not available for comment.

Sugar Season Moving Forward; Writ of Mandamus As Well
With the cane season moving forward and the three cane farmers association delivering sugar cane daily, Attorney Audrey Matura Shepherd, says that she will proceed with the Writ of Mandamus. As you may recall, her client, Lucilo Teck, asked the courts for leave for an application for a Writ of Mandamus. Primarily, that Writ of Mandamus, sought to force the SICB to declare the crop season open but with the season already open, Matura Shepherd, says that she will still proceed with the matter. “We did file if you recall the court gave us a time frame by when we should have filled the substantive claim. We filled the substantive claim before the grinding season was open but that does not nullify our application before the court because if you were in court you would have heard that one of the complaints that they had about our application is that it went beyond a mandamus where we were seeking certain declarations so we have proceeded and we will proceed with the request that we have made for I think it was four or five declarations dealing with the interpretation and function of SICB in having to declare open a grinding season their role and we are also looking at the legitimate expectation of farmers that there should have been compliance with the law so come February 23rd there will still be a case.”

Opening of Breast Cancer Diagnostic Unit
Today the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital along with Carolinas HealthCare System, held an opening ceremony for the opening of the Breast Cancer Diagnostic Unit at the KHMH. Love News was spoke to the special envoy for women and children Kim Simplis-Barrow, told us of the importance of having a Breast Cancer Diagnostic Unit. KIM SIMPLIS BARROW “Carolina’s health system partnered with KHMH to donate the equipment that you are seeing here which will greatly help persons men and women who need to have mammograms on a yearly basis. This as you can imagine will significantly improve the quality of life for women and for some men who do have cancer. It’s a significant donation and we are very grateful for the donation because it really goes to show that KHMH is improving its services through partnerships. It’s been a couple years in the making I know that the Vice President and some of his colleagues were here in 2010 and so it’s really good to know that this has come to fruition. It is important as you can imaging for many not having access to screening, that is important it is important to be able to get a mammogram, to be able to get an ultrasound and so it is very important for anyone who feels that they need to have a mammogram at the time or feel that they have a lump to be able to know that there is somewhere they can go to get a mammogram or to be tested so it is so very important I cannot really overstate the importance of having this breast cancer diagnostic unit here at the KHMH.”

Press Conference Clarifies CWU Position
About three hundred employees of the Social Security Board did not get paid yesterday, as has been the practice for the past thirty plus years of existence. Reportedly, the reason behind it was confusion and mis-communication between the management of the Social Security Board, SSB, and the Christian Workers Union, CWU. The SSB gave its workers a transitional increment rather than the bonus they would get at the end of March. According to reports, CWU members at the SSB agreed to the increment however, the leader of the CWU, Audrey Matura-Shepherd, says that the two members who agreed to that had no right to because they do not represent all the members. Matura-Shepherd, called a press conference today where she clarified the Union’s position on this matter. “Any policy decision that the administration wants to change, they have to give us a month’s notice that they are changing their policy because we need to be consulted and involved. And anything to deal with increment, there’s an exact article in the CBA that must be respected.

Update on Presence of Avian Influenza Virus
Last two weeks, the Belize Agricultural Health Authority, BAHA, made it known that they had detected Avian Influenza type A at two poultry farms in Spanish Lookout in the Cayo District. According to BAHA, it was detected as a result of routine testing under the Belize Poultry Improvement Plan. Samples tested by an International reference Laboratory in the USA has confirmed the presence of Avian influenza H5N2 antibodies at one farm only but not the live virus. Today, the CEO in the Ministry of Agriculture, Jose Alpuche and Chief Veterinary Officer, Miguel de Paz, and other personnel, met with the media to update the public. JOSE ALPUCHE “Official results received on Friday 23 January confirmed the presence of Avian Influenza H5N2 antibodies in one farm. No live virus has been detected as yet. BAHA’s ongoing testing of other farms in the Spanish Lookout community has detected the presence of AI type A in one additional farm. Samples of this farm have been sent to the OIE Reference Laboratory for confirmatory tests. Presently these farms are under quarantine and no poultry or no poultry farms can be taken out of these farms as a precautionary measure, while BAHA continues to conduct surveillance in other farms within the Spanish Lookout community, three movement control points were established on Saturday 24 January 2015 to restrict the movement of poultry and poultry products from the Spanish Lookout Community. As I said, this is really a precautionary measure. I would like to emphasize that ongoing tests by BAHA in other commercial flocks in other parts of Belize have confirmed that they are free of Avian Influenza.”

Belize’s Position on Current Health Issues and Factor
There has been a recent rise of Chikingunya cases reported in Jamaica and a state of emergency reported in Suriname, Dr. Peter Allen, Chief Executive Officer for the Ministry of Health, told Love News that the Ministry of Health and Vector Control Department have managed to have the disease under control in Belize. DR. PETER ALLEN “I am happy to tell you, it gives me the opportunity to congratulate our environmental health team. The Vector Control Staff would go out in the fields and the villages and as you know there was real chaos in Jamaica and actually a state of emergency was declared in Suriname. Our people linked with the community actions of members of the community throughout the country and were able to limit the amount of chick v cases to less than ten for last year. They were also able to limit the number of Malaria cases to less than 20 but where we of course have to be careful is with Dengue as well and last year we had over six hundred cases of Dengue reported so as you know the Dengue virus and the Chickungunya virus are carried by the same mosquito; the AedesEgypti mosquito so while we have done very well in terms of controlling the disease, really the work never stops. Our own vector control department but all of us need to keep our yards clean to avoid being bitten, use screens, long sleeves at biting times and to do everything we can. Health really is everybody’s business.”

PlusTV

CWU attacks Social Security for disingenuity over workers’ pay
Payday for workers of the Social Security Board (SSB) is this coming Friday, January 30, but by the standards of the institution that is four days late. Only a handful of the 300 employees have been paid – those attached to CIBC First Caribbean Bank. The issue is the SSB’s plan to implement a transitional increment en route to a full increment system, to replace the bonus system employed by the organization. The Christian Workers’ Union (CWU), which represents non-management employees of the SSB, has complained that it and its workers have not been fully consulted and the SSB’s move is unilateral. At a press briefing today, CWU President Audrey Matura-Shepherd, explained how the delay and the employers’ decision hurt workers’ expectations. Audrey Matura-Shepherd – President, Christian Workers’ Union “How are the staff members now being affected? Unfortunately, because the management went ahead and prematurely pay out this transitional increment, and they now realize that they have erred, instead of making the salaries of everyone just go through, and the following pay period deduct it. What they did, there were some salaries that have already been posted, those through First Caribbean Bank, that they could not withdraw. So they told those employees that next period they would withdraw it, but then they went ahead and those who had not been fully posted, they withdrew and withheld their salaries for $62 or $98, they withheld people salary, and said to them, ‘We have to [take] it back because of your union.’

Sugar cane season opens
The sugar mill at Tower Hill in Orange Walk began to grind after a long impasse that almost saw the collapse of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association which set in motion a series of events that lead to the amendment of the Sugar Act in Conformity with an order of consent issued in 2010...

Wilfredo Magaña claims Government owes him compensation
Earlier in our news cast we told you about the start of the sugar cane harvest 2015, which according to BSI authorities started 42 days late, only 2 days later than last year’s harvest which was also delayed. However,  while the Government pats themselves on the back for saving the sugar industry ag...

Ammunition stolen from BDF military compound
Ammunition for dangerous weapons such as m-4 and m-16 rifles are in the hands of criminals, after 2,680 rounds were stolen from the Belize Defence Force military compound in Lord’s Bank. The discovery was made early Friday morning, according to Chief of Staff Lt. Col. Raymond Shepherd...

Dangriga Puma gas station robbed again
The Puma gas station in Dangriga Town was once again the target of robbers on Friday night. Dangriga Correspondent Harry Arzu has the story. “At about 8:17 last night, Puma gas Station located on Havana Street, near the Drums of our Fathers Monument Park here in ...

Man assaulted by special constable seeking justice outside the courts
The community of Santa Cruz, Red Bank and Independence village in the South have began a petition drive to have a special constable removed from his duties...

Masculinity legislation and women in politics
The woes of Belizean women in politics are well-documented, but there was a new tack in the ongoing discussion in the form of  a conference held in Belize City on Monday, concerning what organizer for the Gender and Justice Foundation of Costa Rica calls the sharing of power between men and women.

COLA holds Annual General Meeting
Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) hosted its annual general meeting in Belize City on Saturday...

Candle light vigil for Emerson Daly
There was a candlelight vigil and march on Saturday January 24 for the late Emerson Daly. 24 year old Daly was shot to the head and dumped in the river near Banana Bank.  The young Roaring Creek man was last seen last Sunday in a vehicle with an unidentified man. When he did not return home by the ...

Amandala

Girl, 15, has left home and refuses to return
Maud Villanueva, 54, of 4th Street, Corozal Town, is very worried after her daughter, Ana Villanueva, a 15-year-old student of 4th Street, North Corozal Town, who lives with her and who left their home in November last year, 2014, and has refused to return. According to Villanueva, her daughter had communicated with her by phone, but had refused to tell her with whom she had been living and where. The only thing her daughter had told her is that she was living with “good people.” Villanueva said that on Wednesday, however, her daughter sent her a message that she needed help and that she was in trouble, but since the call, her daughter has stopped answering her phone, and has not returned her calls.

2,680 bullets stolen from BDF compound!
Two thousand six hundred and eighty (2,680) live rounds of ammunition, used for M16 and M4 assault rifles, have gone missing from a holding bay at the Belize Defense Force (BDF)’s Lord’s Bank property in Ladyville, and are presumably now in the hands of those within the criminal underworld, an army official said today. The ammunition – which is the property of members of the US Army who are on training in Belize, and which reportedly has a street value of US$10,000 – was stolen, allegedly by insiders, during the last three weeks, sometime between December 7, 2014, and 1:30 a.m. yesterday when a routine security check found that there had been a breach at one of the holding bays which is used to store ammunition and explosives on the compound.

Nuri Muhammad booted from LOVE FM!
Veteran LOVE FM talk show host Nuri Muhammad, who was recently at the center of a controversy stemming from an incident in which he was seen as having been politically biased while on that station’s morning talk show, has been terminated following a meeting of the management of RSV Ltd., the parent company of LOVE FM. The announcement was aired today on LOVE TV via a televised statement made by RSV Chief Executive Officer, Rene Villanueva, Sr., who had been out of the country at the time that the incident occurred two weeks ago, sometime before Wednesday, January 14. On that day, two high-ranking Cabinet Ministers – Labour Minister and Leader of Government Business in the Senate, Hon. Senator Godwin Hulse, and Attorney General and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Wilfred Elrington – were scheduled to appear on LOVE FM’s morning talk show to defend the position of the Government, which had taken flak after individuals within the sugar industry and members of the public pointed fingers at the Barrow administration, alleging collusion with multinational foreign investors from American Sugar Refineries (ASR) to undermine the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA), some of whose members were clamoring against what they categorized as a “one-sided” proposed commercial purchasing agreement that was lately signed between the factory owners and the cane growers.

YaYa’s solitary protest of “[#%!] house” continues
Community activist YaYa Marin Coleman’s message today, as she continued her solitary protest, was a question, handwritten on an off-pink Bristol board, “What is your [#%!] House story?” She took up her solitary position on Queen Street, just across from the Queen Street Police Station, which houses the most unsanitary holding cell in the country – which has been dubbed “[#%!] House” (a title it got even before Belize got its independence in 1981) for good reason. People are locked in there for days at a time, and there are no toilet facilities, nor anywhere to sleep other than the floor, yes, the sometimes very cold floor. One wonders why there has to be a protest, anyhow; can’t the politicians and the senior officers smell what is before their very noses? Ya Ya has been protesting the conditions at the Queen Street Police Station holding cell since the first week of November 2014.

Belize may be nearing “ganga” law amendments
Two and a half years ago, our newspaper reported that the Government had established a multi-sectoral committee tasked with reviewing proposals for the decriminalization of small quantities of marijuana, also known as “ganga” or “weed,” with a view of introducing alternative penalties which would mean that casual users do not end up having a criminal record and do not have to spend time behind bars. On Friday, January 23, a bill was tabled in the Senate in our sister Caribbean nation, Jamaica, proposing the decriminalization of up to 2 ounces of marijuana (just under 60 grams). The 2015 amendment to Jamaica’s Dangerous Drugs Act also proposes the decriminalization of the cultivation of up to 5 ganga trees. Cannabis possession and use, including the possession of commercial hemp, is prohibited under the laws of Belize. Although we have seen recent cases whereby persons have gotten into big legal trouble in Belize for a single ganga tree, which can be deemed cultivation under our laws and which could attract a stiff fine of $10,000 plus three years behind bars, the Belize proposals do not consider any softening of the laws where ganga cultivation is concerned.

Court concludes hearing evidence in Prof. Bain case
Two and a half years ago, our newspaper reported that the Government had established a multi-sectoral committee tasked with reviewing proposals for the decriminalization of small quantities of marijuana, also known as “ganga” or “weed,” with a view of introducing alternative penalties which would mean that casual users do not end up having a criminal record and do not have to spend time behind bars. On Friday, January 23, a bill was tabled in the Senate in our sister Caribbean nation, Jamaica, proposing the decriminalization of up to 2 ounces of marijuana (just under 60 grams). The 2015 amendment to Jamaica’s Dangerous Drugs Act also proposes the decriminalization of the cultivation of up to 5 ganga trees. Cannabis possession and use, including the possession of commercial hemp, is prohibited under the laws of Belize. Although we have seen recent cases whereby persons have gotten into big legal trouble in Belize for a single ganga tree, which can be deemed cultivation under our laws and which could attract a stiff fine of $10,000 plus three years behind bars, the Belize proposals do not consider any softening of the laws where ganga cultivation is concerned.

Wanted man captured in Corozal
Magdaleonie Tzul, 28, of Corozal Town, a fugitive who had been on the run from police since July 2014, has been captured. Tzul was arrested at about 9:30 Friday night by a newly formed unit, called the Corozal Police Quick Response Team, led by Corporal Marvin Salam. Tzul is presently detained at the Corozal Police Station pending arraignment in the Corozal Magistrate’s Court on multiple charges of burglary and theft. Police say that among the many crimes committed by Tzul, for which he was wanted, was an act of theft that involved the siphoning of gasoline from a vehicle owned by Can Jin Chen, 30, a Chinese businessman of 5th Avenue, Corozal Town. The offense was captured on security cameras.

Tattoo artist remanded to prison for unlawful sex with minor, 15
Belize City police, after investigating a report made by a 15-year-old minor, have arrested and charged tattoo artist Esteban “Steve” Mossiah with two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse. The forty-five-year-old Mossiah appeared unrepresented before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart this morning and was arraigned on the charges. No plea was taken from him, because the charges are indictable and will be heard in the Supreme Court. Due to the nature of the offences, Mossiah was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until his next court date on February 24, 2015.

Miracle in Ghost Town
The survival of Rafael Cruz, 28, of Mayflower Street, in the area called Bailar, or Ghost Town – who was shot five times while walking on Vernon Street, just a short distance from his house in June of 2014 – is considered a miracle. One of two gunmen stood over him and shot him in the head, neck, mouth, leg and back while he was on the ground. Cruz was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), where he was connected to a life support unit, and doctors had given him a slim chance of surviving the vicious attack on his life. Five months after the brutal gun attack, however, Cruz was discharged from the KHMH and is back home with his family. He is now undergoing therapy, three times per week, to rehabilitate his muscles.

Results of basketball and football games in Orange Walk
The Caribbean Rum Female Football Marathon was held at Orange Walk Technical Football Field yesterday, Sunday, January 25. First place went to Caribbean Rum Road Runners, and second was San Antonio. The Marathon featured players such as Karen Garcia, Vanessa Mai, Sherrian Tracy, Kara Kasling among others. The tournament starts next two weeks. Contact Ladrick “Mad Bull” Sheppard at 671-8902 or Alex Palacio at 667-0331. “Boxie” Perrera Basketball Memorial The third annual Rodolfo “Boxie” Perrera Basketball Memorial Marathon took place yesterday, Sunday, January 25, at the Multipurpose Complex. First place was taken by Tuff Enough – San Pedro; second was UB Team; and third was Caye Caulker.

“Lily White” 4-a-side football games for kids at Holy Redeemer
BELIZE CITY, Mon. Jan. 26, 2015–Sports/youth activist and promoter Lily White (Edward Charles Rubio) says he is planning a 4-A-Side Small Goal Football Marathon for kids 15 years and under at the Holy Redeemer Playground, corner North Front Street and Hyde’s Lane, on Saturday, February 14. “Bring your 4-man team, and du yo ting,” said Lily White. All neighborhoods are invited to bring out their kids for some football fun. There will be prizes and food and drinks. The games will start at 10:00 a.m. and it is one-game knockout; as you lose you are out. Lily White can be contacted at his new phone number 667-9672.

C-Ray Saturday Race #3 results
The C-Ray Cycling Club continued its C-Ray Saturday Race series today with #3 in the Saturday Race Series. The race started (and finished) at Leslie’s Imports, went up the George Price (Western) Highway, into the Boom Road, turned at the Boom Bridge, and return to the Leslie’s Imports, for a distance of 45 miles. 47 participants took part in the race – 2 Females, 12Juniors, 6 Cat 4/5, and 27 Elite. Below are the results: FEMALE – 1st Alicia Thompson; 2 nd Kaya Cattouse.

Editorial: New PUP storm clouds
News began circulating a few days ago in the higher echelons of Belize’s political world that the Orange Walk East area representative, Dr. Marcotulio Mendez, who announced a few months ago that he would not be seeking re-election because of medical problems, has more serious problems of a personal nature which may force him to give up his seat. Dr. Mendez was elected to the House of Representatives as a candidate for the People’s United Party (PUP) in the March 2012 general election. In that 2012 general election, the PUP won 14 seats and came within fewer than 75 votes of winning a majority 16 seats (of the 31 overall). Their Cayo North area representative, Joseph Mahmoud, however, after first announcing that he would not seek re-election, suddenly gave up his seat late last year. Mahmoud’s resignation resulted in a by-election on January 5 this year which saw the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) win the seat when their Dr. Omar Figueroa defeated the PUP’s Richard Harrison. So the UDP now control 18 seats in the House, and the PUP 13.

From the Publisher
There is this massive contradiction in socio-politics on Southside Belize City. The strongest and bravest of our youth have been dying in the streets at rates which, the social scientists say, constitute a civil war. Yes, beloved, a civil war. In other words, we have been experiencing a human disaster here. We have been living this disaster for more than a quarter of a century. At the exact same time that this is happening, we can see all this political power representing the said Southside. The faces of the powerhouses of the ruling party look like the faces of the victims in the streets, only older. What’s going on? The same people who are losing, are the same people who are winning. How can this be? It gets worse. The MCC Grounds, our football shrine for the last half century and more, has been closed for almost a year now, and the Civic, our basketball altar for more than three decades, has been dismantled. At night, the Southside is like a town of ghosts. Those who can, have moved out. The prison is overcrowded with our black youth. The police understand clearly who are their targets. If you are a black youth and want to survive, the survival road is the road of the carnival queen.

Will the Belize Barrier Reef be removed from UNESCO’s danger list?
The debate over offshore drilling in Belize has resurfaced, and the Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities (MESTPU) issued a statement on Friday asserting that “none of [the] World Heritage Site properties [in Belize] are currently under any oil concession.” It added that the Government of Belize will maintain the moratorium on the issuance of new offshore petroleum concessions until a comprehensive offshore petroleum policy is developed and accepted by the Government of Belize. Meanwhile, Dr. Fanny Douvere, who heads the UNESCO World Heritage Center’s marine program, told journalists Friday that UNESCO has a number of critical concerns – among them are the sale and the leasing of lands within the property and especially the cutting of the mangroves.

Barrow tells UNESCO: no oil drilling in/near offshore reef protected areas
An official press release issued by the Government late this evening stated that, following his meeting with representatives of the UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre, Prime Minister Dean Barrow has “expressed his willingness to chart a course forward on key management requirements for a sustainable future for the reef.” The release said, “Prime Minister Barrow confirmed the Government’s policy position to prohibit oil exploitation within and adjacent to the protected areas in the Belize Barrier Reef System.” The declaration by the Barrow administration comes after the January 19-23, 2015, mission by UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre to Belize, in cooperation with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Let the sugar season begin
After a long-drawn-out impasse that almost dealt a devastating blow to the local sugar industry recently, the quiescent mills at the Tower Hill sugar factory finally kicked into action shortly before midday today, signaling the long-awaited start of the 2014/2015 sugar cane harvest season, known to the caneros as “La Zafra”. The starting date for the delayed season was finalized last Thursday, January 22, in Orange Walk Town during a consultation session with government affiliates and the principals of the three cane farmers associations – two of which are new: the Corozal Sugar Cane Producers Association (CSPA) and the Progressive Sugar Cane Producers Association (PSPA), both of which emerged during the recent splintering of the 55-year old Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA), which still represents the majority of the cane farmers who do business with factory owners, Belize Sugar Industries (BSI), and its transnational parent company, American Sugar Refineries (ASR).

Court concludes hearing evidence in Prof. Bain case
The Supreme Court hearing into the constitutional claim filed by Jamaican professor, Brendan Bain, 67—the man who had filed suit against the University of the West Indies after the institution fired him last May, claiming (1) breach of contract, (2) breach of constitutional rights, and (3) defamation—continues into its third week with the Attorney General of Jamaica now making its case before the court as an interested party. During the first week of the hearing, the court heard Bain’s side of the story, and last week, it had a chance to hear UWI’s side of the story. The main witness to appear for UWI was Professor E. Nigel Harris, UWI’s vice-chancellor, who executed Bain’s termination.

Patrick JonesPJ

Concerns raised over alleged abduction attempt in the north
Police in Corozal are following up on reports of what has been reported locally as an attempted abduction of an underage girl. The incident is reported to have happened last Wednesday night when, according to reports we have received, a man in a white vehicle tried to lure the girl […]

PUP leader addresses allegations against Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez
In November, Orange Walk East area representative for the People’s United Party (PUP), Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez, indicated that he would not run for a second term due to health reasons. But persistent reports indicate that he may be forced to leave sooner than that because of alleged […]

CWU accuses Social Security of disingenuity over workers’ pay
Payday for workers of the Social Security Board (SSB) is this coming Friday, January 30, but by the standards of the institution that is four days late. Only a handful of the 300 employees have been paid – those attached to CIBC First Caribbean Bank. The issue is […]

Man gets jail sentence for cashing stolen cheques
In the courtroom of Justice Adolph Lucas, 25 year old Kenroy Young, who pleaded guilty last week to five counts of uttering on a false document was sentenced to 4 years in jail for each count. The new sentences will run concurrently to each other and consecutively to […]

Jury acquits man of arson charge
Ryon King, a resident of Mahogany Heights, Belize District, was acquitted of a charge of arson. A jury of his peers,comprising six men and three women, returned the unanimous decision today in the courtroom of Justice Adolph Lucas. The jury voted to acquit after three hours and 30 minutes […]

Private Denver Villafranco given military funeral
Family members and friends and co-workers of the late Belize Defence Force (BDF) Volunteer Battalion Private Denver Villafranco, 23, gathered on Sunday afternoon in Belize City at the Ephesus Seventh-Day Adventist Church on Wilson Street. Force Commander Brigadier General David Jones led those who paid last respects to […]

Oceana-Belize says continue discussion on offshore oil exploration
Last week Oceana-Belize and other NGO’s in the conservation field raised some serious concerns about the draft zoning policy circulated by the Geology and Petroleum Department. Oceana-Belize cried foul when it was left off of a list of organizations that had received the draft policy as part of a government […]

Blogs

A Walk on North Ambergris Caye During a Cold Front
While the Northeast US and Canada are getting a doozy of a blizzard, the weather here is just gorgeous. The cold front swept over Belize as well…but brought cool (70s) and dry weather that has just been perfect. I took a walk “up north” and though I would have called this area “around 5 miles north”…I walked by a marker that said 3.5. Very confusing. Please feel free to leave a comment to let me know exactly where I was. Thank you. Here are my pictures.

Belize Holiday Calendar of Festivals and Events 2015
Get up close and personal with the rich and diverse culture of Belize by visiting one or more of these annual events:

Where Foodies Should Go in Belize
Belize is an intriguing new culinary destination. Chefs use fresh seafood from the Caribbean, herbs and vegetables from organic gardens and tropical fruits from local markets to create culture-blending dishes. Here are 10 top spots all over the country where you’ll enjoy the best of contemporary Belizean food and drink. 1. Bistro at Maya Beach Hotel 2. Chef Rob's Gourmet Café 3. Tutti Frutti 4. Fuego Bar & Grill 5. Rojo Beach Bar 6. Montagna Ristorante 7. Rain Restaurant & Rooftop Terrace 8. Riverside Tavern 9. Guava Limb Café 10. Nahil Mayab

Trails And Tracks
What a beautiful world we live in! Some of us are on pathways in life that are quite hectic and time consuming and we understand – a dream is a dream and we must what we must do to make it real. We absolutely understand this at www.ninebelize.com. We understand the discipline and the importance time activated responsibilities that are necessary for your business to grow; for assignments to be handed in; for research to be tested; and to get from point A to point B for all the meetings. We definitely know. So, because we low this we want to share that one massive type of therapy is walking. Walk early. Walk purposefully. Walk with a spring in your step and joy in your soul. We want to suggest you do so in Belize. One of the places we go to replenish and to nourish our souls is in the Mountain Pine Ridge. We go early. We take our binoculars, our fruit snacks, our hiking shoes, our books on birds, our water and our passion for nature.

The January 25, 2015 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Mystery Surrounds Death of Emerson Daly:
    Today is a tragic day for the family and friends of Emerson Daly, as all hopes for his safe return came crashing to an end when they found his body. On Tuesday, January 20, 2015, a report was made by the family of Emerson Daly, 24 year old Roaring Creek Resident, who was missing since the evening of Sunday, January 18, 2015. The young entrepreneur, according to family members, left home around 8 pm on Sunday in his vehicle belonging to his uncle and was reportedly heading to Belmopan. Emerson didn’t return that night. Belmopan police received a major lead when the vehicle, he was last seen driving, was found abandoned on Mount Pleasant Road located between miles 46 and 47 on the George Price Highway. Police recovered the car, but there was no sign of Daly, only what appears to be blood stains inside and a pair of slippers. Immediately thereafter, a search team was organized to scour the area in Mount Pleasant area.
  • Wanted - Emmanuel Willoughby:
    Be on the look out for this man. He is Armed and Dangerous. He has been seen around the Santiago Jaun layout area. A twenty-five year old inmate, Emmanuel Willoughby, escaped from the Central Prison . Willoughby ingeniously cut a hole on his cell door which facilitated his break from the prison at around three o’clock on Saturday morning. He was incarcerated for the Possession of Unlicensed Firearm and was serving a five-year sentence which he would have completed on December eleventh, 2017. According to a release from the Kolbe Foundation, Willoughby is affiliated to the Jerusalem Gang. Kolbe also notes that his sibling, Julian Willoughby, was killed in March of this year.
  • Alleged Rapist Missing:
    Wednesday, January 14, 2015. Police today, Wednesday, January 14, 2015, issued a missing person’s report for a man from San Ignacio town. According to police the wife of 35 year old Anibal Diaz went to the police station to report that he left his home in the Santiago Juan area of San Ignacio around 7 pm on Monday, January 12, 2015, to go fishing in the Macal River. That was the last time she saw him. Anibal Diaz is described as being of slim build, has low, straight black hair and has a tatoo of a dragon on the right upper arm. He was last seen wearing a blue short pants and an off-white shirt and blue slippers. Police are looking into the missing person’s report.
  • NEBL Season Will Open With Last Year’s Finals Rematch:
    The National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) Season will tip off on Friday, February 6, 2015. There will be eight teams participating in this year’s tournament, which are Orange Walk Running Rebels, Belize City No Limit Soldiers, new comers Belize Hurricanes, defending champs San Pedro Tiger Sharks, Belmopan Red Taigaz, defending sub champs Cayo Western Ballaz, Dangriga Warriors and Toledo Diplomats. The tournament will employ a home and away format, with each team playing a total of 14 regular season games. The top four teams will advance to the playoffs in a best-ofthree series to decide who will reach the finals, which will be a best-of-five series. The playoffs are scheduled to commence on May 22, 2015.
  • ELECTIONS AND BOUNDARIES DEPARTMENT NOTICES:
    IT IS NOTIFIED for general information that the Elections and Boundaries Commission, pursuant to Section 18 (1) of the Belize City Council Act, Chapter 85 of the Laws of Belize, has appointed the RETURNING OFFICER named below for the Belize City Council Election to be held on Wednesday, the 4th day of March 2015, and the Chief Elections Officer, acting pursuant to Section 18(2) of the said Act, has appointed, with the approval of the Elections and Boundaries Commission, the ELECTION CLERKS named below for the said Belize City Council Election:-
  • Varicose Veins:
    Varicose veins are veins that have become enlarged and twisted. The term commonly refers to the veins on the leg, although varicose veins can occur elsewhere. Veins have pairs of leaflet valves to prevent blood from flowing backwards (retrograde flow or venous reflux). Leg muscles pump the veins to return blood to the heart (the skeletal-muscle pump), against the effects of gravity. When veins become varicose, the leaflets of the valves no longer meet properly, and the valves do not work (valvular incompetence). This allows blood to flow backwards and they enlarge even more. Varicose veins are most common in the superficial veins of the legs, which are subject to high pressure when standing. Besides being a cosmetic problem, varicose veins can be painful, especially when standing.
  • STAR Humor
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International Sourcesizz

At Newly Discovered Water Temple, Maya Offered Sacrifices to End Drought
Nestled in a quiet forest in Belize, a deep aquamarine pool holds ruins from a time when the ancient Maya turned to a "drought cult," archaeologists suggest, and hurried sacrifices to a water god to try to stave off the fall of their civilization. At the Cara Blanca site in Belize, archaeologists report the discovery of a water temple complex: a small plaza holding the collapsed remnants of a lodge and two smaller structures. The main structure rests beside a deep pool where pilgrims offered sacrifices to the Maya water god, and perhaps also to the demons of the underworld. The find paints a picture of drought-stricken devotion during the collapse of the Maya. The pyramid-building civilization thrived across Central America for centuries, only to see most of its cities collapse after A.D. 800.

Maya Water Temple Complex discovered where ritual offerings were made to placate the Rain God
Archaeologists have discovered that the Maya made offerings to Chaak, the rain god, at a newly discovered water temple complex alongside the sacred pools of Cara Blanca in Belize. The sacrifices appear to have been made to appeal for an end to the drought, as ritual activity increased around the time that lack of rainfall began unravelling the once great and powerful Maya civilization. At the Cara Blanca site in Belize, openings in the earth, such as caves and pools, were considered to be portals to the underworld or Xibalba. The Maya left countless offerings around the 25 pools of Cara Blanca, to petition gods and ancestors to bring forth rain and bountiful crops. According to National Geographic, the water temple complex consists of a small plaza with the collapsed remnants of a lodge and two smaller structures. The floors of the shrine were covered with potsherds and fossil teeth or claws. Small water jars, some decorated with water motifs of wavy lines and spirals, were also found.

10 Surprisingly Affordable Retirement Hotspots
The U.S. dollar is surging against the euro and other currencies, making this a great time to be thinking about reinventing your retirement in some of the world’s most appealing spots. 4. Northern Belize. Northern Belize is a remote region of tropical rivers, hardwood forests, traditional farms, sleepy rural villages and breezy Caribbean seashores. This is a refreshingly off-the-radar place where residents embrace a simple, friendly, by-the-sea lifestyle. It is also the best value destination in Belize and one of the most affordable options for retirement in the Caribbean. Northern Belize is an area of about 2,500 square miles and the point where the Caribbean and Central America meet. As that geographic juxtaposition suggests, the population is diverse, and it is becoming more so as North American retirees are beginning to recognize what this overlooked part of Belize has to offer and settling here in growing numbers. Northern Belize's remoteness is part of its appeal, but remote living has its disadvantages, especially in retirement. This is why the proximity of this part of Belize to Chetumal, Mexico, just across the border, is so important. The town of Corozal in Northern Belize is a gateway town to Chetumal and from there to Merida and Cancun beyond. In Northern Belize, you could enjoy a bargain Caribbean lifestyle with easy access to shopping, city distractions and medical care in Chetumal.

Videos

  • Mayan Cave Tubing & Zip Line in Belize City Belize - Paul Glasspoole & Kari Guthrie, 8min. Paul Glasspoole & Kari Guthrie Mayan Cave Tour on tubes in Belize City, Belize. It was "un-Belize-able!"
  • Zip-lining in Belize, 3min. Paige and Mommy Zip-Lining in Belize
  • Coco Beach Resort, San Pedro, Belize, 5min.
  • Hidden Treasures of Belize, Cayo, 4min.
  • Two Eagle Rays Belize, 1min. Snorkeling off a small island outside Belize encountered two spotted eagle rays.
  • Belize Backyard, 6min. Just a "snapshot" of my parents back yard and the road into it.
  • Portofino Beach Resort, San Pedro, Belize, 4.5min.
  • Super Palm Resort, Belmopan, Belize, 3min.
  • Belize Electronic Weekend / Sisimito Records January 30 february 1 2015, 1min.
  • Moto Adventure Hopkins Belize, 3.5min. Sunday ride out down to Hopkins Village in beautiful Belize.

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