The February 22nd, 2015 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • SAN IGNACIO MAN CHARGED FOR WEED:
    A resident from San Ignacio Town was busted with suspected cannabis. Today, Wednesday, 18 February, 2015, Police, at about 1:45pm, visited a 2nd Street address of Emmerson Manzanero to conduct a search. Upon arrival, police questioned Manzanero if there is anything incriminating located inside the house but Manzanero was brutally honest and admitted to the officers that there is a bag of weed in the room. He was immediately placed under arrest and was cautioned. Police conducted their search inside the house and found a bulky black plastic bag on the floor along with a grey digital scale. The officers then open the bag in the presence of Manzanero. The bag contained green leafy substance suspected to be that of cannabis. Manzanero was then escorted to the San Ignacio Police Station. At the Station, the suspected cannabis was weighed in the presence of Manzanero which tipped the scales at 257 grams.
  • Branch Mouth Residents Busted:
    Two men from Branch Mouth Road were busted and charged on Wednesday, 4 February, 2015. The San Ignacio police conducted a search at the residence of Jorge Dubon, 49 year old Honduran National from Branch Mouth Road. On arrival, police saw Dubon and Stuart Bradley, 65, sitting on a log that was located in the yard at the back of the house. At that time, Dubon had a white paper in one hand and the other hand was clinched. Dubon was asked to open his hand which contained green leafy substance suspected to be cannabis. Bradley was searched, however, nothing incriminating was found on him. Police continued to search around the yard and 25 feet away they found a black plastic bag that was hidden under some zinc sheets. The bag was opened in their presence which contained suspected cannabis.
  • Fire Season Is Here:
    The Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development and the Forest Department hereby inform the general public that the Fire Season is on. In Belize, the Fire Season is observed from February 15 to June 15 annually. With the periodical onset of the dry weather, the general public, especially agricultural farmers, are asked to take all the necessary precautions when using fire for their daily necessities such as the burning of their garbage and preparing land for cultivation. Most forest fires originate from the negligent use of fire by farmers for the burning of their milpas and other agricultural lands. In most instances agricultural fires tend to get out of control due to the time of the day when the fire is lit and the failure of the farmer to open fire lines around the entire perimeter of the land clearing. We therefore encourage farmers NOT to burn during the hottest part of the day (10 am - 2 pm) and ensure that at least a 3 meter wide fire line is cleaned around your milpa.
  • Residents Of Belmopan And Surrounding Communities Benefiting From Improved Road Infrastructure Project:
    Residents in the nation’s capital, Belmopan and surrounding communities are enjoying, and benefitting from two paved streets due to a road infrastructure project financed by the Government of Belize at a cost of BZ $417,802.00 through a loan from the World Bank under the Belize Municipal Development Project (BMDP). Counterpart funding by the Belmopan City Council totaled $12, 534.06. This means that the infrastructure road project will facilitate and provide motorists, pedestrians, and bicycle riders with a better and more pleasant street environment; thus, providing men, women and children, with easier access to traverse to, and from their homes, schools, and places of businesses in their daily lives. The completion of the road infrastructure project on Almond Boulevard and Chiquibul Street is also contributing significantly in improving the quality of life for all residents in the nation’s capital and its surrounding communities; since they will no longer have to be confronted by poor road conditions such as dust during the dry season and mud during the rainy season. Other key beneficiaries from the transformation of this road project are vehicle owners who, will not only be driving on a smooth surface, but, will also experience a reduced impact as it pertains to vehicle maintenance and repairs. Additionally, the project is contributing to the mitigation of traffic congestion on Mountain View Boulevard; and will serve both residential and commercial sectors by providing improved access route to Constitution Drive, which represents one of the main economic arteries in Belmopan.
  • Feed The World:
    There is a growing thought that we don’t need inorganic fertilizers and chemicals to grow our food to feed our world population of some 7 billion people, reaching some 9 billion in the next three decades. It is believed by some that organic farming, an apparently more sustainable holistic farming system, can do the job. While this statement could be technically correct, it begs the question, at what price, and at what level of sustenance. In my opinion, this shift using organic materials as soil amendments and source of plant nutrients may only be possible if we become vegetarians, or reduce our meat intake significantly. (A high percentage of our chemicals are used to produce feed for meat production, and in recent times, for fuel from corn and sugarcane.) In essence, we would need to move away from American/European type diets which have become more popular with creeping affluence around the world, and move more towards traditional Asian type diets. This paradigm shift on a global basis is not impossible, but highly unlikely.
  • Avian Influenza In Poultry Detected In Cayo District:
    On the 15th Avian Influenza type A in two (2) poultry farms in Spanish Lookout, Cayo District. 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 in one farm only but not the live virus. BAHA continues to test and has detected presence of Avian Influenza Type A in one other farm. There are very little 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 for transmission from poultry to humans and there is no evidence of human to human transmission. To date, testing of all surrounding farms continues to confirm that the outbreak is only in those two farms. Containment measures in effect prohibit all poultry and poultry products from exiting the affected farms. In addition, BAHA has set up other control measures, in the Spanish Lookout area, such as movement control of live birds, eggs, and other poultry products.
  • Undefeated Western Ballaz:
    League (NEBL) kicked off on Friday, February 6th, with some huge surprises in the opening weekend. The national anthem harmoniously sang by the Moreno Sisters – Solie and Julie – heralded the arrival of the 2nd National Elite Basketball League Tournament Friday night inside San Ignacio and as usual, the Sacred Heart College Auditorium was packed to capacity. Nevertheless, the introduction of the home team, last year’s sub-champion, Western Ballaz, was propelled to the next level pulling out all the stops with lights, sounds and smoke in a presentation that will be difficult to surpass. That night, the Ballaz play host to the newest addition to the NEBL, Belize Hurricanes, under head coach, Matthew Smiling—a new team venturing into a tournament with ferocious competition. In the opening game on Friday night, Cayo Western Ballaz (1 - 0) defended their home court, as they easily took care of the new franchise Belize Hurricanes (0 - 1) by the score of 85 - 52.
  • Western Ballaz Press Release:
    The Western Ballaz executive committee through this medium would like to make our position known to the general public about our relationship with Sacred Heart College Inc. (SHC). We know this fact: SHC has had the community of San Ignacio and Santa Elena and all communities as priority in its service endeavor in education. SHC has grown through the years by offering excellence in education and upstanding values for its students and the greater community. There is absolutely no reason for doubt in the mind of the Western Ballaz management and team of SHC’s interest to continue serving the community in every way, including our basketball team and for the public who passionately support our team. For the record, SHC has never intentionally or with any malice attempt to refuse your Western Ballaz team from using the facility.
  • Western Ballaz - Schedule:
  • Rotary Park Undergoing Renovation:
    A new set of playground equipment is on the way for installation at the Rotary Park in Santa Elena town, Cayo. The equipment is coming from Canada and will be installed over the course of two days, on March 7 and March 8. To make way for the new equipment, members of the San Ignacio Rotary Club were out at the park on Saturday morning to put in “sweat equity” as the preparation of the Rotary Park for the major upgrade is well underway. With shovels in hand, wheelbarrows at the ready, a backhoe on hand and a dump truck filled with sand, the Rotarians went to work on a bright, sunny and warm Saturday morning ripping up old concrete slabs and carting them away. According to the president of the San Ignacio Rotary Club Sheree Fuaki, the upgraded Rotary Park in Santa Elena town, including the new playground equipment, will be officially inaugurated on Wednesday, March 11.
  • Saint Martin’s Credit Union Youth Month:
    As part of our ongoing effort to promote and market the vision, mission and philosophy of credit unions and promote financial literacy and savings among our young people, our credit union has designated the month of February as “Youth Month.” Throughout the month, our credit union will be visiting primary schools in the area to educate and promote savings among our young people. This will be achieved by engaging them through interactive activities and hands on approach. Primary schools will also have the opportunity to participate in our annual Credit Union Quiz Contest. Students from primary schools in the following zones will participate to elect one winner from each zone. These winners will take home cash prizes and promotional items as well as cash prizes for the winning school.
  • Ground-Breaking - Ceremony At The Octavia Waight Center:
    We are pleased to announce that the Ground-Breaking for the expanded kitchen at the Octavia Waight Center took place on Sunday February 1st 2015. Mr Evan Dakers, Chairman of Help Age Belize, was the guest speaker of the short ceremony and he extended his gratitude and support of the Octavia Waight Center and their efforts to assist the elderly people of San Ignacio and the entire country of Belize. Through collaboration with Challenge Gobie Foundation, the Octavia Waight Center has already raised 50% of the $100,000 needed to complete the project. The Challenge Gobie Foundation spearheaded a bike ride in November 2014 and through this was able to raise awareness on the project as well as much needed funds from generous donors within Belize, the United States and the United Kingdom. Work is expected to commence shortly on the improved and expanded kitchen and should be completed in as early as three months.
  • Tourist Dies In Traffic Accident:
    There was a serious road traffic accident this morning on the George Price Highway in St. Matthew’s village. The Incident happened around eleven thirty this morning which involved a tow-head truck that was hauling oranges and a small SUV. One of two American tourists traveling in the SUV died, while the other was treated first at the Western Regional hospital and later transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial in Belize City for further medical treatment. Fifty six year old Teresa Lin Muers died while undergoing treatment, having suffered serious head and body injuries.
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