The April 28th, 2013 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Neal Surrenders - Lamb Remains On The Lam:
    Today marks exactly three months since the January 25, 2013 murder of Steven Valencia which occurred in his Loma Luz Boulevard home in Santa Elena, one of two men suspected to have collaborated in the home invasion turned murder was today accordingly charged. In the wake of the murder of Steven Valencia, police launched a nationwide manhunt for Marvin “Bombo” Neal, 20, of an Eve Street address in Santa Elena Town, Cayo, and Jarod “Steal Bob” Lamb of an Ontario Village address also in the Cayo District both wanted for questioning in connection with Valencia’s murder.
  • A False Sense Of Safety:
    As the none-public reporting of crimes in the community continues, deceptively leading residents to believe that they can let down their guards as all seems to be well; there are two reported burglaries reaching us this week. In the first incident, we were reliably informed that the San Ignacio home of Dr. Miguel Depaz, Director, Animal Health Department, Belize Agriculture Health Authority (BAHA), was burglarized/invaded as his mother in law and son lay asleep in their rooms.
  • BWS Water Finally Coming To The Belize River Valley:
    The old promise to provide reliable, constant and safe potable water to the chain of nine communities in the Belize River Valley is now well on the way to finally becoming a reality. Ground was today broken in Double Head Cabbage, following a 2:00 pm ceremony signaling the commencement of this long awaited project. The 7.78 million dollar project will be funded by way of a loan to the Government of Belize by the Caribbean Development Bank with over eight hundred thousand dollars coming by way of counterpart funding through the Belize Water Services Limited (BWSL).
  • Sports -An Alternative To Crime:
    As he continues to fullfill his manifesto promises to constituents of Cayo Central, Area Representative Hon. Rene Montero, today officially declared open the extensively renovated Carmen Street basketball court in Santa Elena. The Minister of Works and Transport, has again fulfilled another of his manifesto promises to bring back social activities to the youths of Cayo Central. The project which included the installation of new bathroom fixtures, electrical and water facilities as well as extensive works on the perimeter fence, bleachers, court surface, backboards, entrance gate, and landscaping of the grounds, was implemented by the Ministry of Works at a cost of over twenty thousand dollars.
  • Calling On SHC Alumni, Family & Friends:
    Sacred Heart College embarked on a very ambitious project in 2006 to raise funds to build an auditorium that would serve our institution, as well as the community of the western Cayo District. With the hard work of our faculty, staff, students, parents, community and other stakeholders, we are proud to say that the project commenced in January 2013 with Phase 1 and Phase 2. These two phases includes the cement foundation, the purchase and erection of the steel structure and the back fill. SHC has invested over $430,000 for these two phases, which are monies that were attained via multiple fund raising projects over a 7 year fundraising period. Phase 3 of the project is the cement floor/slab, which will cost approximately $200,000 and we are anticipating that this will be completed by June 5, 2013, in time to hold our Graduation Ceremonies.
  • My Body is Precious:
    The office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children in collaboration with the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation will be launching a children’s book entitled “My Body is Precious”. It is becoming increasingly important to discuss the sensitive subject of Sexual Abuse of Children. Recognizing that it is not an easy conversation to have, my office partnered with the Ministry of Human Development and with assistance from UNICEF, we were able to produce 30,000 copies of the child-friendly “good touch, bad touch” booklet to be distributed countrywide. “My Body is Precious” is part of a national public information campaign on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children and follows successful symposiums hosted by my Office in August 2010 and October 2011.
  • Tropigas Contributes To Early Childhood Education:
    The Santa Elena Community Preschool on Carillo Puerto Avenue today received a much needed recreational facility generously donated by Tropigas Santa Elena Branch resulting from a competition organized and executed by Tropigas staff with assistance from the community. The award valued at $2,500 includes a swing set with attached slide. Competing preschools were asked to explain why their school was deserving of the award. In accepting the generous award, Santa Elena Community Preschool’s head teacher Mrs. Lorena Rancheran expressed heartfelt appreciation to the management and staff of Tropigas as well as to parents and the community for their support in recommending Santa Elena Community as deserving of the award. The new facility came at an appropriate time explained Mrs. Rancheran, since the current recreational facilities at the school are inadequate.
  • New Director of Cruise and Regional Initiatives:
    The Belize Tourism Board is pleased to announce the appointment of its new Cruise and Regional Initiatives Director, Mr. Valdemar Andrade. Mr. Andrade has been in the Tourism Tndustry for the past two years as the Technical Advisor/Project Liaison-Sustainable Tourism Program, for the Ministry of Tourism and Culture. He has several years of experience in conservation and other environmental areas, through his work experience with Protected Areas Conservation Trust, Ministry of Natural Resource and the Environment, and the Belize Audubon Society. “As we embark this year to grow cruise tourism numbers and strengthen Belize’s position in that market, the skills and experience that Valdemar Andrade possesses will augment our goal. The BTB is confident in Mr. Andrade’s abilities, and happy to welcome him to our team,” commented the Director of Tourism, Mrs. Laura Esquivel Frampton.
  • The Belize Logo Is A Finalist:
    The Belize logo has been chosen as a finalist for the "One Show Design" 2013 awards, in the category of "Brand Identity - Logo Design." The Belize Tourism Board and its Advertising and Online Agency, Olson, created the Belize logo as a part of a re-branding of Belize's identity. When creating the new logo, Olson made several trips to Belize to capture the essence of Belize's authenticity and incorporate it in the creative behind the new logo. The BTB and OLSON used the old logo as an inspiration, while the new look of the logo is expected to make Belize more recognizable and to better position the destination in terms
  • Mexican 'Drug Queen' Pleads Guilty In Us:
    A Mexican woman on trial in the US has pleaded guilty to helping the former head of the powerful Norte del Valle cartel evade justice between 2002- 04. Sandra Avila Beltran, 52, dubbed Queen of the Pacific, admitted to "hindering the arrest" of Juan Diego Espinosa Ramirez, her boyfriend at the time. Avila, who has been in jail since 2007, was extradited to Miami last August. She faces a prison sentence of 15 years after accepting a plea bargain. She previously denied any wrongdoing.
  • Four Belizeans Receive Prestigious Honour of the British Empire:
    Four Belizeans were today honoured at the Belize House for their selfless and outstanding contributions to Belize. The honourees included Senior Counsel, Mr. Denys A. Barrow, who was awarded the insignia for Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for his distinguished service to Belize and the field of law; Commissioner of the Supreme Court and Senior Justice of the Peace, Mr. Patrick Alexander Bernard, was bestowed with the insignia of a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for his dedication to the Public Service.
  • Free Hearing Test in Belmopan:
    There will be free hearing tests available at the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan from April 24 to May 4 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. as part of the New Horizons exercise. If you are experiencing ringing or pain in your ears, difficulty hearing, or drainage from your ears, you are invited to the clinic to be evaluated. Depending on your symptoms, you may be eligible for free hearing aids or a surgical procedure. These services are provided by a team of U.S. medical professionals.
  • US 'spy' Timothy Hallet Tracy detained in Venezuela:
    The authorities in Venezuela have detained a United States citizen they accuse of being an intelligence agent. Interior Minister Miguel Rodriguez Torres said Timothy Hallet Tracy had directed funds towards student protests after the disputed presidential elections earlier this month. He said Mr Tracy was trying to destabilise the country with the goal of starting a civil war. The US has not commented, but Mr Tracey's family say he is innocent.
  • Guatemalan Gold Panners Convicted:
    Three Guatemalans were today remanded to the Hattieville prison after being apprehended in the Ceibo Chico Reserve, allegedly mining for gold in a protected area. According to a release issued by Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD), the incident occurred on Friday, April 19, 2013. The release states that the Joint Forces Unit, stationed at the Ceibo Chico Conservation Post, in South Chiquibul came upon a group of three Guatemalans reportedly panning for gold. The men were later identified as Mario Rolando Xol Caal, Marcos Domingo Pana Chiquin and Esteban Putul Mai all residing in the Village of El Naranjon, near San Luis, Peten, Guatemala.
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