The November 7, 2014 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Six Santa Elena Men Arrested And Charged For Drug Possession:
    Six Santa Elena men were arrested and charged for the possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply. On Friday, November 28, San Ignacio police were on routine patrol on George Price Avenue in Santa Elena when their attention was drawn to six men sitting around a table in the yard. Upon approaching the young men police immediately smelt a strong marijuana scent. The young men around the table were searched and however nothing incriminating was found. Further checks in the immediate vicinity led to the discovery of a red Emperador biscuit pack lodged between a zinc and a piece of lumber, the bag contained three small transparent plastic bags containing a green leafy substance suspected to be marijuana.
  • Organic Produce Becoming A Reality For Belize:
    Organic vegetables are in high demand due to safety concerns. Not too long ago all food grown in Belize was organic. With commercial growing came agrochemicals and concerns about the health of both the soil and the consumer. In recent times in Belize, the only way to assure that food is grown safely and organically is to grow your own. Consumers worldwide have become increasingly alarmed at the incidence of agrochemical poisons in their food because indications are that it is the cause of increases in cancer and other serious diseases. There are many people who simply don’t want produce that has been exposed to agrochemicals or other environmental toxins and GMOs. Some people are turning to organically produced vegetables in Belize because they know that agrochemicals are often not safely used. Washing can‘t make vegetables safe because some of the chemicals are inside the produce. Belize, unfortunately, is not yet sufficiently monitoring the safety of the vegetables in the markets.
  • Another Santa Elena Man On Drug Possession Charges:
    A Santa Elena man was found in possession of 6.6 grams of suspected cannabis. On Tuesday, December 2, police on mobile patrol on Carmen Street, leading into Carillo Puerto Avenue in Santa Elena saw a suspicious male person walking in the opposite direction on Carmen Street. Upon seeing the police, Jonathan Smith, 40, Belizean laborer, threw a green object to the side of the street and continued walking. Police stopped and escorted Smith to the area where they saw him throw the object. Upon reaching the area police observed that it was a green leafy substance suspect to be marijuana. Smith was cautioned and escorted to the San Ignacio police station.
  • Clarification on GOB December 2014 Residential Mortgage Payment Program:
    Through the Residential Mortgage Payment Program, the Government of Belize will assist qualifying Belizeans by reimbursing December 2014 interest and principal payments on all residential mortgages with an original value of up to BZ$100,000.00. Borrowers from the National Bank, Commercial Banks, Credit Unions, the Development Finance Corporation and the Belize Social Security Board can apply for assistance; however borrowers must meet the following criteria approved by Cabinet: 1. Must be residential mortgages of original value of no more than BZ$100,000.00;
  • Belize Officially Hands Over Pro-Tempore Presidency of COMISCA:
    Following two days of regional discussions at the XLI Ordinary Meeting of the Council of Ministers of Health of Central America and the Dominican Republic (COMISCA), Minister of Health Hon. Pablo Marin today officially transferred the Pro-tempore Presidency of COMISCA to the Minister of Health of Guatemala Luis Enrique Monterroso, who will now serve for the next six months. Minster of Health Hon. Pablo Marin expressed his appreciation for the cooperation received during his time as Pro-tempore President. Minister Marin commented, “Enormous strides have been made in Belize and the region and we look forward to further progress in the next year.” During Belize’s Presidency, new challenges including Ebola and Chikungunya had been addressed. Renewed attention was focused on chronic diseases including HIV/ AIDS, Tuberculosis and Family & Community health.
  • Reaching Perfection:
    Steel is iron plus fire. Soil is rock, plus heat, or glacier crushing. Linen is flax plus the bath that cleans, the comb that separates, and the flail that pounds, and the shuttle that weaves. Human character must have a plus attached to it. The world does not forget great characters. But great characters are not made of luxuries, they are made by suffering. I heard of a mother who brought into her home as a companion to her own son, a crippled boy who was also a hunchback. She had warned her boy to be very careful in his relations to him, and not to touch the sensitive part of his life but go right on playing with him as if he were an ordinary boy. She listened to her son as they were playing; and after a few minutes he said to his companion: “Do you know what you have got on your back?” The little hunchback was embarrassed, and he hesitated a moment. The boy said: “It is the box in which your wings are; and some day God is going to cut it open, and then you will fly away and be an angel.”
  • Fruit Comes from Deep Roots:
    “The seeds that fell on rocky ground are the people who gladly hear the message and accept it. But they don’t have deep roots, and they believe only for a little while. As soon as life gets hard, they give up.” (Luke8:13 CEV) During the springtime, all the grass in Southern California turns green, the wildflowers and poppies bloom, and it’s really pretty. But the moment the rains stop, the hills turn brown again. Why? Because the grass has no roots. It can’t go down deep enough to get water from the springs that are deep beneath the ground. When there are no roots, when a plant is in shallow soil, it may initially sprout and look good, but it doesn’t last. The plants wither quickly because they don’t have roots. Luke 8:13 says, “The seeds that fell on rocky ground are the people who gladly hear the message and accept it. But they don’t have deep roots, and they believe only for a little while. As soon as life gets hard, they give up” (CEV).
  • Opening of the Xunantunich Education Centre:
    The Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites (MTBCAAS) project has achieved yet another important milestone, with the completion of The Xunantunich Education Centre, as well as infrastructure improvements and installation of signs at this site. The completion of works at this site marks the first of a total of nine sites which are being enhanced under the MTBCAAS Project. The project is funded under the Belize Rural Development Programme II (BRDPII), supported by the European Union and the Government of Belize. For the first time, the spectacular archaeological site of Xunantunich has a dedicated space to provide training to students and archaeologists alike. The 950 square feet facility will allow the Institute of Archaeology to provide on-site training in a proper facility boasting an audiovisual room and a dedicated classroom that can accommodate up to 40 persons in two different spaces at any one time.
  • Glaucoma:
    Glaucoma is a term describing a group of ocular (eye) disorders resulting in optic nerve damage or loss to the field of vision, in many patients caused by a clinically characterized pressure buildup in regards to the fluid of the eye (intraocular pressureassociated optic neuropathy). In a large number of glaucoma patients, however, the intraocular pressure (IOP) is normal, i.e. below 20 mm Hg. These patients display the same signs of glaucomatous damage as those with an elevated IOP; their condition is thus called normal tension glaucoma. The disorders can be roughly divided into two main Glaucoma categories, "open-angle" and "closed-angle" (or "angle closure") glaucoma. The angle refers to the area between the iris and cornea, through which fluid must flow to escape via the trabecular meshwork, an area of tissue in the eye located around the base of the cornea. Closed-angle glaucoma can appear suddenly and is often painful; visual loss can progress quickly, but the discomfort often leads patients to seek medical attention before permanent damage occurs.
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