The February 28, 2016 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

    Orange Walk police are reporting that they have caught an alleged conman who was scamming people out of their money in Sugar City, Orange Walk. He is Santa Elena resident Windell Neal. An office administrator reported to police that on Sunday, January 17, she was at the People's Stadium when she received a text message from a cell phone number she didn’t recognize. The person impersonated her boss and asked her to pay for some seafood. Believing that this person was indeed her boss, this employee texted the conman and told him to show up at the Stadium where she was. Shortly after that, a dark-skinned man showed up, and collected $330 from her, by pretending to be the man that her boss had supposedly sent to pick up the money. When she verified with her actual boss, she realized that the text message conman had deceived her.
  • GSU Officers Shoot Paslow Falls Family:
    An entire family from the Paslow Falls area of Bullet Tree Road is traumatized after a run in with officers of the Gang Suppression Unit on Wednesday, February 24. Ana Rivera, 24, of Paslow Falls area, reported to police that just after 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday she was traveling towards Belize City with her husband, Roberto Chan, 28, and their children. The family was in their white Toyota 4 Runner vehicle travelling on the Santa Rosa Road and just as they were approaching an area known as La Linea, she heard two gunshots. Rivera immediately turned to check on her children. fortunately they were unharmed. However, when she looked at her husband, she saw blood running down from his right shoulder.
  • Editorial: Back In Love Again!:
    Being away from the hustle and bustle of Belize City for almost 15 years somehow changed my perspective on a city where I was born and raised, a city I once loved. On the occasions I managed to drop in, it would be for a couple hours at a time, during which I went about my shopping being very guarded and somewhat scared. Purse clutched tight against my chest, chain tucked into my clothing, heart racing constantly, always expecting to be jacked, and mauled, harassed, anything bad period. Daily news reports would always give the impression that the city is one of the worst places to grow up, to walk the streets, to hang out, to simply exist, especially the South Side! For years I allowed those reports to mar my judgement. I didn’t want to be in the city longer than necessary, worse of all I stayed completely clear of South Side Belize City. I didn’t want my children attending any functions, I worried about family members left behind, I simply feared Belize City.
  • Gas Price Goes Down Despite Increase in Duty:
    Motorist who visited the gas station on Thursday, February 25, were happy to find out that gas prices had gone down for Premium and Regular Gasoline. On Thursday Premium gasoline went to eight dollars and ninety-nine cents, down thirty-one cents from the previous price of nine dollars and thirty. Regular gasoline now stands at seven dollars and ninety-eight cents, down thirty-two cents from eight dollars and thirty cents. Therefore, it was a joyful day at the pumps across the country. However, that joy was accompanied with a sense of disappointment when they learnt that the price could have been even lower. On Tuesday, February 23, the Ministry of Finance apprised the Cabinet of the continued, significant decrease in domestic crude oil production and the slump in tax revenues and royalties. The Ministry made recommendations for immediate compensatory adjustments to the duties levied upon imported fuel products.
  • Consumer Prices Increase Marginally In January:
    The prices of goods and services purchased by Belizean households increased marginally, by an average of 0.4 percent, during the month of January 2016. The Statistical Institute of Belize’s latest statistics on consumer prices show that the All Items Consumer Price Index stood at 103.2, up from 102.7 in January 2015. Prices within the “Transport” category dropped by 3.3 percent despite an increase in the sub-category of Fuel. The average price of premium gasoline was up by 15.4 percent when compared to same month last year, while that of regular was 7.7 percent higher. Only diesel saw a decrease in its average price per gallon, declining by 9 percent during the period. The decline in diesel prices, combined with a 39 percent decrease in international airfares, served to offset the increases observed in the other types of fuel during the month.
  • Police Remove Drugs And Firearm Off Santa Elena Streets:
    In recent weeks, Cayo police have increased searches of hot spots in the twin towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena to take illicit materials off the streets. At about 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 21, police conducted a search in an open lot in the Hot Point area, St. Lucia Street in Santa Elena Town. The search was based on information received. This led to the discovery of a black .38 Special Revolver Taurus brand pistol with brown wooden pistol grip and serial number VG961440. The pistol contained four live rounds of .38 ammunition and one .38 expended shell. It was concealed between some old zinc. No one was in the immediate vicinity; therefore, the firearm and ammunition were labeled and deposited as found property. However, several persons have been detained pending investigations.
  • NEBL Reaches Mid-Way Point Of Regular Season:
    Friday saw the return of Kurt “Chengo” Burgess to his old home town, San Ignacio, as Cayo Western Ballaz hosted Belmopan Bandits at the Sacred Heart College Auditorium. Belmopan Bandits jumped out to an early 21 - 12 lead at the end of the first quarter, which they extended to 21 points in the second quarter, to take a 15 point lead into the locker room, 40 -25. However, in the third quarter the home team made a huge run to cut that deficit to only 3 points, going into the fourth quarter. Cayo Western Ballaz defense and free throw shooting sealed the 67 - 60 victory, in a huge game for both teams.
  • Youths Election For Cayo District:
    A group of young people from the Cayo District will be electing a group of their peers to represent their voice on national issues on Monday, February 29. The District Youth Councils will be elected across the country on Monday. For Cayo, the polling station is at the Department of Youth Services office at #28 Peter August Street in Santa Elena Town. This is upstairs of the Post Office. Young men and women in the 18 to 26 age group are vying for posts of President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and Public Relations Officer of their respective District Councils. Voters are selected by youth groups registered with the Department of Youth Services. Each registered youth group was allowed to select two members as delegates for the district elections. The names had to be submitted by February 12 to allow candidates to have a two week window to make their pitch directly to voters. As mentioned earlier, most of the campaigning is being done on social media platforms. However, the Department of Youth Services is organizing youth rallies countrywide to give candidates an opportunity to address delegates in person.
  • Belizeans Stuck in Chetumal Due To Riot:
    Belizeans travel to Chetumal daily for business, shopping and leisure activities. Rarely do they encounter difficulties because the municipality is now primarily a “tourism town” and Belizeans spend millions of dollars there each year. Wednesday, February 24, 2016 was one of those rare days when Belizeans experienced difficulties in Chetumal, inderectly. As Belizeans were making their way home, they were blocked by protestors staging a demonstration against law enforcement authorities. Unconfirmed reports are that residents of the Subteniente Lopez community have been complaining for weeks about unreasonable checkpoints set up in the area that result in extremely long lines for motorists trying to get home after a long days work. Reports are that it sometimes take up to an hour and a half to get pass a one mile stretch due to traffic backed up by an “unnecessary and unwanted” checkpoint. Residents started a petition that was signed by thousands of supporters. That petition was presented to local authorities but no response was given. By Wednesday, residents had taken all they could and an adhoc protest was launched.
  • Johnson & Johnson Hit With $72m Damages In Talc Cancer Case:
    A jury in the US state of Missouri has ordered Johnson & Johnson (J&J) to pay $72m (£51m) to the family of a woman who claimed her death was linked to use of the company's Baby Powder talc. Jackie Fox from Birmingham, Alabama died of ovarian cancer last year, aged 62, having used the talc for decades. Her family argued that the firm knew of talc risks and failed to warn users. J&J denied the claim and is said to be considering an appeal. Researchers say links with ovarian cancer are unproven. A company spokeswoman said: "We have no higher responsibility than the health and safety of consumers, and we are disappointed with the outcome of the trial.”
  • 12-Year-Old Sexually Assaulted By Uncle:
    Police have arrested and charged 48-year-old Feliciano Merejildo Sutherland of Church Street, Benque Viejo Del Carmen Town for the crime of Sexual Assault upon a 12-year-old female minor. The student accompanied by her mother reported that sometime around 8:30 p.m. on Friday, February 19, she was at home with her sisters, father and uncle in the living room area watching television. Her mother was at work, her older sister went to the store and her father later went out. She was left at home with her uncle and 3-year-old sister. At this time, her uncle threatened her and then forcibly performed oral sex on her against her will. Police investigation led to the arrest of Sutherland.
  • Launch of Having Fun with Rights: A Children’s Activity Book:
    The Special Envoy for Women and Children with support from UNICEF Belize launched the publication, “Having Fun with Rights: A Children’s Rights Activity Book”, at the Bliss Center for Performing Arts this morning. The book targets children aged 8-11 years old and is designed to make the teaching of children’s rights more interactive and enjoyable. Activities based on situations that may occur within homes, at school or in social settings are used to make the material relatable while encouraging the children to think, rather than simply memorizing information.
  • Ministry Warns Heavy Transport Vehicles of Delays in Benque:
    The Ministry of Works and Transport issued a release to inform the general public that an axle weight survey for heavy construction and heavy transport vehicles is taking place in Benque Viejo del Carmen Town in front of the Cancha Marshalleck. The main purpose of this survey is to gather preliminary information regarding the range of heavy axle loads borne by Belize’s main highways that will be used to assist engineers in improving future highway design, improve the performance of routine and periodic maintenance and to expand its database of vehicular axle weights.
  • Nigeria Team Rewarded After 30-Year Wait:
    The Nigeria squad that won the first Fifa Under-16 World championship have been rewarded after a 30-year wait. New Nigeria president Muhammadu Buhari has made good on a promise to reward the players after the 1985 tournament when he was the military head of state. Nduka Ugbade, captain of the team who beat West Germany 2-0 in the final in Beijing, told BBC Sport: "I have finally received my money. "I am extremely delighted that our president has fulfilled his promise." Buhari had promised the players a house, stock in the central bank and a scholarship and other incentives after their success but soon after he was ousted by another military regime and the country's government never fulfilled his pledges.
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