Today's Belize News: May 24, 2013
05/24/13 06:05 AM
05/24/13 06:05 AM
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Specials and Events
Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
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The San Pedro Sun
Lucio Salazar charged for alleged murder of Jeremy Baptist
Police on Ambergris Caye charged one man for murder on May 23, 2013. He is 23 year old Lucio Salazar, a fisherman of a San Juan Area address in San Pedro Town. The charges arose from an investigation that was launched following several reports gathered by police that 25 year old Jeremy Baptist was shot and his body disposed of. It’s a strange case and one of the few such case seen in Belize in which police has brought murder charges against someone without having a body.
According to Superintendent of Police Luis Castellaños, sometime on Monday May 20th, they received a missing person report and following an investigation, they received several reports that Baptist was in fact murdered and not missing. Castallaños explained that investigation so far suggest that Baptist was at a function at the residence of 49 year old Peter Moses Campos in the San Juan area of San Pedro Town when he was apparently shot, killed and his body transported in a boat. Police say the body has not been found.
May 23, 2013 is World Turtle Day!
On May 23, 2000 the American Tortoise Rescue launched an annual celebration of all turtles – sea turtles, land turtles and rivers turtles. 2013 marks a very important milestone for Belize since the hawksbill sea turtle has been protected since 1993 or 20 years! In fact 2012 marked the 10th anniversary that all sea turtles have been protected in Belize. These two milestones are great accomplishments by the government and people of Belize and everyone is asked to respect and celebrate these historic events. Sea Turtle Release (7)Turtles have been extremely important in the history of Belize. In the 1700s when Belize was first being settled sea turtles were kept in turtle corrals on St. George’s Caye. Look on the back of the $5 dollar bill and you will see a map that identifies turtle corrals around the island. Turtles were an important source of protein to the early settlers, and likely became Belize’s first fishery export. Turtles can remain alive on their backs for weeks, so on the long journey across the Atlantic Ocean to England there was available a fresh source of meat for the sailors transporting logwood and mahogany. You all probably heard about the important of these two industries in early Belize but may not have realized the important roll sea turtles played at this time.
Police Department Receives Two New Vehicles for Northern Region
Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar, this morning handed over two (2) new Mahindra Pickup Trucks to the Police Department. Receiving the vehicles on behalf of the Police Department was Deputy Commissioner Elodio Aragon, who then handed them over to the Officer Commanding the Northern Region, Senior Superintendent Joseph Myvette. He was accompanied by the newly appointed Officer Commanding the Orange Walk Formation, Superintendent Dennis Arnold; and the Officer Commanding the Corozal Formation, Superintendent Andrew Ramirez. As Deputy Commissioner Elodio Aragon noted, one of the vehicles is being assigned to Orange Walk, the other to Corozal. “These vehicles are really needed in the North because of the wide amount of ground they have to cover, the Police Officers. And as we begin to improve upon our services to reach out to our communities, these vehicles will come in handy for officers to be able to get out there and to look into reports that arise from out of these rural areas. So these vehicles will play a key role to assist and improve upon the efficiency of the Police Department,” he commented.
Queen Conch Fishing Season Closed from May 23 – October 1
The Belize Fisheries Department hereby informs all fishers and the General Public that in accordance with Statutory Instrument No. 54 of 2012 Senator, the Honorable Lisel Alamilla – Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development has declared the Queen Conch (Strombus gigas) fishery closed to fishing, harvesting or capture of the species on Thursday 23rd May, 2013. The fishing community is especially advised that all conch fishing activities shall legally cease as of this date until the opening of the next fishing season on 1st October, 2013.
12 infants die as a result of infection outbreak at KHMH
The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) authority is reporting that 12 infants have died at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for the month of May. It is an alarming statistic and according to both the KHMH and the Ministry of Health, an investigation has been initiated. While the investigation is ongoing, the NICU will remain closed until hospital authorities have determined that it is safe.
“[The 12 neonatal deaths] constitute an unusually high incidence and investigations are underway by the hospital’s quality assurance team to determine whether this is an outbreak of hospital-based (nosocomial) infection and if so, what is the source. All of the neonates affected were premature births, and therefore more susceptible to infection and complications of prematurity. All twelve were delivered at the KHMH and referred to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for further management. One died within 2 days of birth, while the other 11 died within 7-27 days of birth,” stated a KHMH press release.
Kim Simplis Addresses Infection Outbreak at the KHMH
The Special Envoy for Women and Children would like to express condolences to all the parents and families of the new-borns who passed away as a result of an infection outbreak at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. The news of 12 neonatal deaths recorded at the Neonatal lntensive Care Unit (NICU) during the month of May alone is both tragic and alarming.
Making MEGA Cinnamon Rolls at Sail Away Cafe!
Dorian’s Angels were invited to Sailaway Café to try out one of their newest items on their breakfast menu, Mega Cinnamon Rolls! Although we are not expert bakers, we were very excited to lend a helping hand and make delicious cinnamon rolls. YUM!
First step was to roll a sheet of yeast-leavened dough, after which melted butter was evenly spread on top. Perlita was quick to add more ingredients; she sprinkled on sugar and cinnamon powder and then rolled up the dough. The large roll was then cut into huge individual portions, placed in a baking sheet and put to bake.
US Air Force surgeon helps Belizean boy get 'new hand'
An Air Force surgeon deployed here performed surgery on a 4-year-old Belizean boy May 2, to improve the usability of the boy's hand.
The boy, Isai Carrillo, underwent surgery Thursday, May 2, 2013, to correct syndactyly, otherwise known as hand fusion, in his right hand. The surgery took three hours and consisted of separating the fused unit into fingers using skin grafts from his abdomen. The hand that was once fused now has three fingers.
This operation will give the boy more of a pincher mechanism, said Lt. Col. Matthew Talarczyk, a plastic surgeon from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.
Belize Conch Season Closed Until October
The Belize Fisheries Department hereby informs all fishers and the General Public that in accordance with Statutory Instrument No. 54 of 2012 Senator, the Honorable Lisel Alamilla - Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development has declared the Queen Conch (Strombus gigas) fishery closed to fishing, harvesting or capture of the species on Thursday, May 23, 2013. The fishing community is especially advised that all conch fishing activities shall legally cease as of this date until the opening of the next fishing season on October 1, 2013.
Misc Belizean Sources
FACTA and You - Know the Facts
Know the Facts: Good read. Click for pdf from Corozal Daily
Ka'ana Belize Launches New Online Interactive Map Experience
Ka’ana Resort, a boutique, eco-luxury resort on the Western border of Belize, is pleased to announce the introduction of their brand new online interactive map experience. Continuing the property’s commitment to offering once-in-a-lifetime traveler experiences, the new interactive map combines vivid imagery with advanced technology to capture the attention of online users considering a trip to Belize and a stay at the resort; giving them the chance to virtually experience their vacation before actually taking it.
The interactive map experience, accessed from the resort’s website, takes visitors to the site on a journey that mimics what their actual travel experience would be like. The site is a single-page with three different maps: World, Region, and Resort. In the World section, flight paths and times are displayed based on which city the user clicks, including flight path animations. The Region and Resort sections both allow the user to check out different areas by clicking points on the map that pop up sliding image galleries with brief descriptions of each location.
SHC Teachers' Day Trip
The Sacred Heart College teachers celebrated Teachers' Day with some zip lining and cave tubing at Nohoch Che'en. It was well deserved, and looks like they had some fun.
SHJC and UNG Hike Lamanai
Some Sacred Heart Junior College students met up with some students from the University of North Georgia who were studying abroad in Belize, and visited Lamanai.
"The following day, on Sunday May 12th, the university students traveled to the Lamanai Maya Site in the Orange Walk District, one of the main sites in the country and the largest in northern Belize. There, the North Georgia students were met by students of Sacred Heart Junior College (SHJC) from the Cayo District. Speaking to The San Pedro Sun, Vicky Novelo, Director of Student Services at SHJC, explained the purpose of the interaction between the two groups of students. 'Our students usually partner with other students from the US while here in Belize on different projects, mainly in the Cayo area. The trip to Lamanai was more recreational and mainly to allow interaction and an exchange. The interaction gives our students some exposure as to what other students from the US come to do in Belize. It exposes them to doing more than just the academics and so it gets them involved in extracurricular activities that hopefully they can develop later on when they graduate,' explained Novelo."
Public Service Information Day
Yesterday in Belmopan, they had Public Service Information Day, where many different booths from Belizean agencies were set up.
"Institute Of Archaeology is represented by Mr. Antonio Beardall and Ms. Sylvia Batty, at the Public Service Information Day 2013 under the Belize Tourism Tent."
Culinary Arts at the Soul Project
The Soul Project might have a small menu, but the food they have is amazing. The tostadas are good, and the tacos are fantastic. Cayo really has a great line up of places to eat and play at.
BBG Professional Gardener Program
The Belize Botanic Gardens are gearing up for another Professional Gardener's Training Program. It will start on July 1st, and they are taking applications until June 12th. If you are interested, you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or give them a call at 834-4800.
Belize Zoo Fan Video
This is a great fan video about the Belize Zoo.
"The Best Little Zoo in the World,The Belize zoo is a great adventure. If you can only do one thing while you are in Belize then go to the Belize zoo. The animals in the Belize zoo are rescued or hurt not captured for display. The Belize zoo needs our help to continue its work saving and rehabilitating animals and birds.
Make sure you check out this cool little place, if you have kids and you want an adventure for them then bring them here and let the jaguar lick their forehead.. it is really cool. When we go back to Belize next year we will return the the Belize zoo again it's so worth while."
A Captive Jaguar Escapes In Southern Belize
There’s a jaguar on the loose in South-western Belize tonight – and the Forestry Department is hoping it can trap the cat before the night is over. The jaguar is domesticated and was kept as a pet by the Pollack family in the Ringtail area of the Cayo district. Ringtail is a village at mile 40 on the Hummingbird Highway near the Blue Hole.
The Polacks were authorized by the Forestry Department to keep the animal as a pet – but it escaped “several days ago.” According to Chief Forest Officer Wilbur Rosado, it has been spotted foraging in the area where it had been held. Sabido says that because it is domesticated, the jaguar cannot hunt and won’t wander far; they expect it to come back to its home area looking for food.
Multiple traps have been set, and the Forestry Department has called on the same persons who helped re-capture Max the Jaguar to catch this one. Viewers will recall that Max escaped from the Fosters in the Belize district near Democracia in October of 2010, and was caught and put down – only after he killed a neighbor.
Man charged For Jeremy Baptist Murder – Body Still Not Found
Last night we told you about the worrying disappearance of Jeremy Baptist. Well, tonight, he is presumed dead and police have charged a man for his murder – even though his body hasn’t been found. We’ll tell you about that shortly, but first with the assistance of the San Pedro Sun, Daniel Ortiz has the story from San Pedro.
Daniel Ortiz reporting
Tonight, Police continue to look for clues which could lead them to find the body of 25 year-old Jeremy Baptist, the San Pedro resident who went missing on Sunday. But for San Pedro Police, this they are not optimistic that they will find him alive. Baptist was last seen at a party in the San Juan area with his common-law wife and baby. He dropped them home at around 10:30 p.m., went back to the party , and later that night, police had to respond to a shooting report.
Voice of Supt. Luis Castellanos - OC, San Pedro Police
"Police responded but they didn't find anything at the time and there after information started to come in that someone had been shot and as a result we started to investigate. We have not recovered the body of Baptist but the information is more suggesting that there is a possible murder."
With the fact of the missing person’s report from Baptist’s common-law wife, and strong eyewitness reports, police believe that he was killed in that shooting, and then taken away by his assailants to be disposed of.
Despite Alibi Claims, Man Charged For Castillo Shooting
Last night, Kareem Gillett’s family came on the news to protest the fact that he was about to be charged for the attempted murder of 33 year-old Peter Castillo. They had alibi’s and claimed that he had been beaten by police. But none of that mattered to investigators who marched him to court today.
Gillett was taken before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith who read him the charges of attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm with a firearm upon 33-year-old Ministry of Works employee, Peter Phillip Castillo.
No plea was taken from Gillett, and due to the nature of the offenses, he was denied bail and remanded to the Belize Central Prison until June 21, 2013.
Castillo reported to police that, on Saturday Morning, he left his house on Jane Usher Boulevard, and while walking on Faber’s Road, he was approached by two men, one he knew as “Fifty Cents”, the other as “Patchen”.
Former KHMH CEO Criticizes Successor
Last night, you heard the CEO of the KHMH say that he found out about the rash of newborn deaths in the Pediatric Intensive care Unit from watching the news. And that’s why an internal investigation is underway to find out what went wrong that could have caused so many successive deaths without a decisive response. But, according to the former CEO, his successor’s explanation just won’t cut it. Dr. Alvaro Rosado says that the shutdown of the unit came way too late, and to find out what went wrong, the hospital needs much more than just an internal investigation.
Dr. Alvaro Rosado - Former CEO, KHMH
"Well first of all I must state that the media had approached me before asking me for comments and I had refused because I said it was unfair to the administration for me to comment before they did their investigation. Now that the investigation has started although with all fairness to the Chairlady she said that it would continue. I get the impression that this is the beginning of the end and that this is almost the begin of the end of the investigation and it bothers me because I don't think that the answers and the information that was given was really information that is pertinent. I think the first thing that needs to be answered is - How did the bug get into that Neonatal unit? NICU is supposed to be most secure, sterile area of the hospital.
Man Left Critical, Nurse/Sister Alleges Medical Malpractice
Tonight there are bold allegations being made against a Southern Regional Hospital physician. The family of 62 year old Joseph Kuylen is accusing the surgeon of negligence – after Kuylen underwent a surgery which they claim was not properly completed.
Joseph Kuylen was hospitalized on the 8th of May after experiencing an intestinal rupture. A colostomy was performed and his family says it was left unfinished, which caused a massive infection. Since then Kuylen’s health has deteriorated and he was transferred to the Karl Huesner Memorial hospital – where he is presently on a respiratory machine after undergoing 3 other surgeries. Two of his sisters spoke to us – one of them is a licensed intensive care nurse and they told us of the many cautions that were ignored.
Voice of Alva Rosado - Sister of Joseph Kuylen
"He was taken in to Dangriga Hospital by his wife around 9:30 on May 8th and they did an X-ray and found out that he had ruptured something in him and they took him to surgery after 11 and he stayed in surgery till about 2:00. Unfortunately I was not in Dangriga and when I got back in the night around 7 i stopped at the hospital and I stayed there until visiting hours was over with his wife.
Crocodile Craziness On Castle Street
From time to time on the news we’ve reported on crocodiles turning up in the outlying areas of Belize City, such as Collet or Belama, places that used to be swamp 20 years ago and where all the swampland critters still haven’t moved out. And that’s why we were surprised early this morning in Belize City when we got a call at around 6:00 am, saying that a crocodile had turned up on Castel Street. That’s just off Douglas Jones, where the memory of any swamp was erased almost a hundred years ago. So what’s the croc doing in that neighborhood? That’s probably the same thing he was asking after an unforgettable morning of croc craziness on Castle Street. 7news was there.
Monica Bodden reporting
This croc had every reason to be angry he was tied up inside a backyard on Castle Street. That’s after he squirmed through this drain – you can still see the disturbed area where the broad bellied reptile struggled to get through.
Derek 'Mighty' McKoy - First stumbled upon Croc
"It came out the drain, it came from the left side across the street and it went into the smaller ditch but he couldn't under the bridge so that is where he got stuck. We pulled him back way and threw a rope around it and pulled it up."
Man Shot In House In Unitedville
Early this morning –just after 2:00, a house in Unitedville Village came under fire and Oswald Young was shot to the chin. Young was in the living room sleeping in a chair facing the door, when three shots ripped through the door. And though he was injured in the chin, Young’s injuries were not serious; he was treated and released and his injuries were classified as wounding. Police have detained two Belize City men pending investigation.
Conch Season Closes
Conch season was declared closed today and all conch fishing activities are to legally cease until it re-opens on 1st October, 2013.
The advisory for Restaurant owners and the General Public is that they have a grace period of 8 days to consume and dispose of all Queen Conch in their possession. So that’s until Friday 31st May, to consume or sell all the conch ceviche, soup and fritters that you presently have.
Anyone found with Conch after next week Friday will be criminally charged. If you know anyone violating this, you are urged to call the Fisheries Department at: 224-4552 or 223-2623.
New Members OF E & B
The new, and old members of the Elections and Boundaries commission were sworn in today by the Governor General in Belmopan. They are returning member and Prime Ministerial appointee, Phillipa Griffith Bailey, new member and Prime Ministerial appointee, Naima Barrow, returning member and opposition representative Derek Courtenay, and another returning member and opposition representative Mr. Orlando Espat. They have been appointed as members for a period of five years with effect from 1st May, 2013.
Their appointments were approved by the Senate on the 7th May.
The Chairman of the Commission is B.Q Pitts Sr, who was appointed in May 2012 for five years.
Belizean Chairs Commonwealth Book Prize; Laments Decline In Caribbean Writing
In a society where reading is a fast-fading past-time, and there are less than a handful of bookstores, news of the Commonwealth Book Prize probably doesn’t tank very high.
Except that this year, a Belizean has been chosen to chair the selection committee. He is Godfrey Smith, who’s written only one book, the well-received George Prize Biography – which won a regional prize. That caught the attention of Commonwealth Foundation and they gave him the nod to hold the prestigious chair.
His work started in January and ended in April where he read through over 20 novels that had been shortlisted. Bearing in mind that the prize is only for first time novel writers, he said it was an eye opening experience:..
Smith travels to the Hay Festival in Wales next week where the overall winner will be announced. Regional Winners have already been selected.
Books eligible for the prize are from commonwealth countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and Canada, the Caribbean and the Pacific.
As for young, hopeful Belizean writers, the Commonwealth foundation is working with the Caribbean literary festival to organize training for the Caribbean.
Tonight’s profile features a valedictorian, Tajohn Gillett of Nazarene High School. He grew up in Pink’s Alley, which can be a tough neighborhood. He explains how he resisted the urge to become a dropout to become an example for his siblings
Grace Primary Celebrates Roots In Open Day
This morning, a portion of Amara Avenue in Belize City was locked down because Grace Primary was having an open day fair. Students were encouraged to explore the cultures of their parents and grandparents, while displaying their abilities in entrepreneurship.
7News stopped by and took in some projects that the students came up with, which are authentic and artistic in nature:
Mirna Shepherd - Principal, Grace Primary School
"Well we're having an open day and we decided to do a street fest fashion. When we did the entrepreaneaurship in early part of the school year we did the street fest and it came off as successful so we thought that we would like to do our open day in this fashion too. We're focusing on the past and the present, we entitled it a 'blast from the past'. We're looing at the whole aspect of entrepreanearuship right from infants all the way up to standard 6. We look at how things used to be done in the past to how it is done presently and we look at all different aspect, the business, the home setting, social environment - everything we try to cover. We put a lot of effort into it, first it seemed as something that was not connecting but now that it is out there on the street it seems to have connected."
Murder on island but body is missing
Twenty-five year old Jeremy Baptist went missing on Sunday night. He had been socializing at a party and never returned to this family. Something went awfully wrong on that night and this afternoon another resident was charged for his murder; but Baptist’s body has not been located. Police, have however, recovered a vessel which they [...]
Are all sepsis deaths at hospital related to killer bacteria?
Twelve deaths occurred inside the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital’s Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in one week. It has been confirmed that the enterobacter cloacae bacteria killed seven of the twelve newborns. The NICU remains closed and the services offered from that unit have been moved to another part of the hospital. But there [...]
COLA blasts K.H.M.H. and ministry for infant deaths
There is indignation over the deaths of the babies in the neonatal intensive care unit, and the public is calling for an independent investigation. One local non-governmental organization today did not vacillate in its outrage. Citizens Organized for Liberty Through Action’s president Geovanni Brackett sent out a fiery press release saying, “Minister, Doctors, Director, C.E.O. [...]
Businesswoman gets prison time for unpaid Income Tax
A well-known Belize City businesswoman will spend the next six weeks behind bars at the Belize Central Prison. When the Income Tax Department ran its ad campaign warning that non-payment would result in jail time, it wasn’t kidding, and now Loretta Palacio of Total Business Solutions has found that out the hard way. Palacio was [...]
Fifty Cents tried to kill Animal
Belize City may lack paint, but its citizens that wind up before the courts normally have creative nicknames. Inside the courtroom of Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, Fifty Cent, not the well known rapper, was charged for trying to murder Animal. Specifically, twenty-six year old Kareem “Fifty Cent” Gillett was charged for the attempted murder [...]
N.T.U.C.B. turns a green eye; unions against destruction of resources
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize has issued one of its angriest statements. It relates primarily to the malpractices to the use and management of our natural resources and says it is outraged on the scandalous but also tremendously and utterly outrageous continued raping of the Rosewood stock down south, the bulldozing of the [...]
Visually impaired youth to swim the blue hole
In March 2011, Rowan Garel became the first visually impaired person to make it to the summit of Victoria Peak. It was an exhausting two-day climb that challenged the twelve year old’s physical endurance. Rowan’s body was pushed to its capacity and despite the extreme trial he overcame that challenge. A year later, he took [...]
Public Service Day travels to Belmopan
The public service of Belize is in the news tonight, and it has nothing to do with salary adjustments or protests. It’s actually that time of the year when the largest employer in Belize takes time out to showcase services offered and accomplishments made. So to celebrate the annual Public Service Information Day, government employees [...]
Doctor hopes K.H.M.H. does the right thing
The ongoing crisis at the national referral hospital due to the unusually high number of baby deaths in the first two weeks of the month of May has sparked the ire of the entire country because the first case of the hospital-based bacteria was initially detected back in February. Other deaths were also recorded in [...]
Expanding Coney Drive, the new business district
There is a massive project underway at the junction of Coney Drive and Princess Margaret Drive and chances are that if you ask passersby exactly what the plan is, like we did, four out of five wouldn’t have a clue. One person we asked today told us he thinks a roundabout will be built there. [...]
Mayor Bradley is back from East Africa
Mayor Darrell Bradley is just back from a ten day trip to Uganda, Africa where he participated in a local government conference hosted by the Commonwealth Local Government Forum. That body works to promote and strengthen effective democratic local government throughout the Commonwealth and to facilitate the exchange of good practice in local government structures [...]
Public Service Awareness Day In Belize
Public officers in Belmopan are observing public service awareness day. Correspondent Fem Cruz has the details. FEM CRUZ “Today is being celebrated as Public Service Information Day. Public Service Information Day is a day set aside where ministries and departments showcase th...
BTIA Wraps Up Logo Competition
The Belize Tourism Industry Association Orange Walk Chapter launched a “Name & Logo Competition” in last month as part of the initial stages of development for the project entitled “Creating Market Linkages for the Tourism, Hospitality, Agriculture and Business Sectors of th...
PACT Gives 50K To Belize Fishermen Association
The Belize Fishermen Cooperative Association (BFCA) has received a grant of fifty thousand dollars from the Protected Areas Conservation Trust, PACT. With the money, BFCA will now be able to carry out their project entitled “Improvement of Marine Biodiversity through Empowerment of Fishers&...
Conch Season Officially Closed
The conch season officially closes today. The Fisheries Department says although the fishing, harvesting, and capturing of the queen conch is officially there is a grace period of eight days for restaurant and the general public. Any person found in possession of the Queen Conch after the eight d...
Belize Tourism Board Seeks To Improve Visitors' Experience
The Belize Tourism Board today launched a project to improve the experience visitors have when they visit the Altun Ha Maya site. Reporter Natalie Novelo is there and has the story. NATALIE NOVELO “Love News is at the Altun Ha Maya site where a visitor satisfaction survey program fo...
Villager Shot While Sleeping In His Living Room
There was a shooting incident this morning in Uniteville in the Cayo District. According to information received, one Oswald Young was shot once on the chin after a barrage of bullets was shot at the house he was in at the time. Love News understands that a group of three men from the village sho...
Afternoon Armed Hold Up Investigated In Northern Belize
An afternoon arm hold up in the center of Orange Walk town had left a female store proprietor traumatized. LOVE NEWS understands that around four this afternoon a loan Hispanic man entered España Clothing store on Park St. Armed with a black gun and held up the proprietor....
Police In Search of Escaped Detainee
Tonight Orange Walk Police are looking for twenty four year old Nimrod Tillett, a detainee who is now an escapee. Tillett escaped from police custody two days ago while he was being treated at the Northern Regional Hospital. Why Tillett’s escape was not reported before was because police tr...
Elections and Boundaries Commission Sworn In
A swearing-in Ceremony was held this morning at Belize House in Belmopan City, for members of the Elections and Boundaries Commission. His Excellency the Governor General, Sir Colville Young, swore in Phillipa Griffith Bailey, Naima Barrow, Derek Courtenay, and Orlando Espat, who have been appoin...
Eight Foot Croc Encountered In Residential Area
The last two reported encounters between wildlife and humans did not end well for the animals. First it was a monkey that was savagely beaten and tortured by a group of students in Orange Walk. Next it was a crocodile cruelly tormented and then killed in San Pedro by another set of youths.&...
Former Hospital CEO Comments on Babies Deaths In Neonatal Unit
On Wednesday the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital’s Administration informed that of the 12 neonatal deaths inside its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit was caused by the bacteria called Enderobacter Cloacae. The hospital’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Francis Longsworth, along with its ...
Fisherman Arraigned on Charge of Attempted Murder
Twenty-five year old Kareem Gillett, a.k.a. “Fifty Cents”, a fisherman of Vernon Street was charged with attempted murder when he appeared in court today. Gillett was also charged with dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm. No plea was taken from him and neither could the...
DPM's Nephew Receives Payment For Rehabilitation Of San Antonio Road
When Mayor Kevin Bernard and his team took over town hall back in March of 2012, it was discovered that on January 31st 2012, Imer Hernandez, the nephew of Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega, was paid $50,000 for the upgrading of San Antonio Road by the previous administration. The voucher paid out to Hernandez showed that he was paid $50,000 for work to be commenced for the rehabilitation of San Antonio Road. The total value of the work to be done stood at $351,000. If you live in Orange Walk you definitely know of which road we are talking about and that work was never carried out in the area by Hernandez’s company despite him receiving partial payment of $50,000. Now, here is where the story gets interesting because documents recently obtained by CTV3 News show that back in 2011, the Social Investment Fund awarded a contract valued at $539,507.13 to Imer Hernandez Development Company Limited, for the Ministry of Works and Solid Waste Management. Out of that amount, $179,951.55 was paid out to the company in 2012 for the rehabilitation of San Antonio Road which is yet to commence. Carmelita Perez reports.
Carmelita Perez – Reporting
Ermelinda Novelo is just one of the many residents that have had to deal with the dust created by the deplorable conditions of San Antonio Road. Regardless of the request made by several residents living in the area, work on the road, which falls under the jurisdiction of National Government, is yet to commence.
Doctor Parks Talks Hard To Pablo Marin And His CEO
Amidst the recent scandal of the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital where it has been reveled that seven of 12 babies died as a result of Enterobacter cloacae infections, the Deputy Director of Health Services and Chief Nursing Officer, Dr. Marjorie Parks retired yesterday but before she left office she sent out a strong message to her Ministry’s top brass in a speech delivered last week at the National Nursing Conference held in Corozal.
In presence of the Minister Of Health Hon. Pablo Marin Parks spoke out against the political interference in the nursing profession. She stated and we quote “The position of Principal Nursing Officer, the highest in the Nursing hierarchy in the Government Service has traditionally; been prestigious…The PNO provides policy direction and guidance to the nursing profession. This situation was changed in 2008 when almost all decisions for nursing and nurses were taken over by the political directorate at the Ministry of Health. Even the Nurses and Midwives Council of Belize, a statutory body, which since 1923, has been effectively regulating the practice of nurses was not immune to political intervention. Under a system of micromanagement and unwarranted victimization many nurses have been deprived of their benefits for any real or imagined infraction against the powers that be.”
Residents Of San Felipe Head Out To The Polls
Round three of the 2013 Village Council Elections will take place this Sunday. Here in the north particularly the Orange Walk District four villages will see the election of a new Village Council including San Felipe.
The affairs of the community are presently overseen by a UDP Village Council. But the team running under the umbrella of the People’s United Party is hopeful that this coming Sunday residents of San Felipe will make a change.
Martin Ramos - P.U.P Coordinador San Felipe
“Primeramente quisiera mencionar algunos de los proyectos que tenemos en cuenta que este UDP que ya estado en tres años no hicieron absolutamente nada. El centro comunal es un desastre allí entran hasta los caballos no hay puertas, no hay ventanas es un desastre lo que es el centro comunal, necesitamos renovar el centro comunal, el parquecito de San Felipe que está allí yo creo que como uno o dos sillas le quedan todas las sillas están quebrados, no hay limpieza en la aldea, nosotros nos vamos a encargar en trabajar en estos puntos, otro punto importante que vamos a trabajar inmediatamente ganado porque estamos hablando que estos muchachos que vamos a trabajar
BTB Orange Walk Chapter Selects New Logo
A few weeks ago we told about the “name and logo competition” launched by BTIA Orange Walk Chapter for talented Belizeans who wished to form part of the designing of the logo and a name for the quarterly tourism publication the BTIA Orange Walk Chapter will be launching in June. The tourism organization was one of the 15 proud recipients of the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Grant awarded by La Inmaculada Credit Union under the institution’s SSEDDAT Two Program in which it received more than $16,000 in funding. The funds will be used particularly for the quarterly tourism publication over a period of nine months for both the Orange Walk and Corozal Districts. Today the names of the winners were officially announced and we caught up with Jasmine Zetina who told us more on the results of the competition.
Jasmine Zetina, Information Officer BTIA
“The deadline for submission for the entries was last week Monday the 13th of May, and this Monday we selected the winners and we got eleven Belizean submitted their entry and they were very interested and out of the eleven we selected three entries, first prize was won by Dianna Ovando from Branch Mouth, Cayo, second prize by Dorcas de Paz Orange Walk Town and third prize won by jasmine Gongora from Yo Creek Village here in Orange Walk. First prize Dianna Ovando won three hundred dollars, second prize winner Dorcas De Paz won two hundred dollars and third prize was fifty dollars won by Jasmine Gongora.”
Former PUP Chairman Seeks Re-election
He served as Chairman of August Pine Ridge for 17 years, from 1967 to 1984 and now after 29 years Santiago Manuel Solis is seeking re-election. Solis is running for the post of chairman under the P.U.P team. Today he told us why he is seeking a comeback after so many years.
Santiago Manuel Solis - Candidate for Chairman A.P. Ridge.
“Mis Planes es hacer yo pienso, todo lo que yo pueda a mi alcance con la ayuda de mi gente tratar de regresar August Pine Ridge adonde yo lo deje hace 40 a 50 años.”
Irvin Aragon – Reporter
“Cuando dices regresar a August Pine Ridge cuando era, nos estas tratando de entender cuando eras el Chairman anteriormente?”
Santiago Manuel Solis - Candidate for Chairman A.P. Ridge.
“Yo fui Chairman en el año 1967 al 1984 cuando me retire de Chairman y yo deje mis hechos en la aldea de August Pine Ridge tales como el parque, el centro comunal, y una parte construí abajo mi mandato como chairman de la clínica de hoy día siempre existe.”
Irvin Aragon – Reporter
“Dejaste hace 40 años que te ha motivado para hacerte chairman una vez más después de 40 años?”
Dealing With The Intense Heat And Bushfires
The intense heat that Belizeans have been experiencing over the past months has been unbearable and right about now you might be clamoring for rain. But apart from the heat Belizeans countrywide including Orange Walkenos, have had to deal with the constant eruption of bushfires which poses a health risk.
Last year the Orange Walk Fire Department battled approximately 225 forest and bush fires. This year that number increased by a large margin namely because of overgrown lots.
Kenneth Mortis - Officer Commanding the Orange Walk Fire Department.
“This year we have set a record we have been responding to four or five fire call per day and it is not only in the day time hours we been responding well after sunset sometimes two or three in the morning. How it starts it is a mystery some of them is mother nature and some of them we learned that during the clearing of the land people want to cut and burn, some of them it is just the idle process by who pretty much want to burn copper to try to make a living, any way you look at it the heat is on and as far as the fire department is concerned we will continue to do what we are paid to do and that is to out fires and response to all calls possibly that we can respond to.”
No More Conch Until October 1st 2013
Conch Fritters, Conch Soup and Conch Ceviche, these are just some of the delicious plates we Belizeans love when it’s conch season. It is one of the most popular fisheries products other than the lobster which together contribute over 90% of the total value of exported seafood products in Belize.
Today the Belize Fisheries Department issued a press release informing all fishermen and the general public that in accordance with Statutory Instrument No. 54 of 2012 Senator, the Honorable Lisel Alamilla - Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development declared the Queen Conch fishery closed today.
The fishing community is especially advised that all conch fishing activities shall legally cease as of this date until the opening of the next fishing season on 1st October, 2013.
The Belize Fisheries Department further advises restaurateurs and the General Public that a grace period of 8 days, which ends on Friday 31st May, 2013, is being given to allow persons to consume and dispose of all Queen Conch in their possession.
Any person found in possession of the Queen Conch after Friday May 31st 2013 will be charged and prosecuted in a Court of Law in accordance to the Fisheries Regulations.
Getting To Know More About The Public Service
Today public officers from all sectors of the governmental departments held an open day at the Corozal Central Park to educate children as well as the wider public on the work of the Public Service. Members of the Police Department, Customs and Excise Department, and the General Sales Tax department were among the many public officers that took part in today’s open day which kicked off with an official ceremony highlighting the importance of the Public Service.
Irvin Aragon – Reporting
Public Service Information Day, as it is referred to, was organised in efforts of educating students and the wider public on the key functionalities of the public services in Belize. Different sectors, ranging from the Police Department to the Education department, took part in today’s open day organized by the Ministry of Public Service and Elections and Boundaries by putting up a booth which presented viewers with information of the department.
Our first stop was here at the Custom and Excise Department.
Members of the Elections and Boundaries Commission Were Sworn
Members of the Elections and Boundaries Commission were sworn in this morning during a ceremony at the Belize House in Belmopan. His Excellency the Governor General, Sir Colville Young, swore in Mrs. Phillipa Griffith Bailey, Ms. Naima Barrow, Mr. Derek Courtenay, S.C., and Mr. Orlando Espat, who have been appointed as members of the Elections and Boundaries Commission for a period of five years with effect from 1st May, 2013. These appointments were approved by the Senate on May 7th, 2013 as required by section 61A of the Constitution. Ms. Naima Barrow, Attorney-at-law, of the law firm of Barrow and Company, is a new member of the Commission. The other three members have been reappointed for a second term. The Chairman of the Elections and Boundaries Commission is Mr. Bernard Pitts, who was appointed in May 2012 for a period of five years. The Elections and Boundaries Commission consists of a Chairman and four other members, two of whom are nominated by the Leader of the Opposition.
Re: Today's Belize News: May 24, 2013
05/24/13 06:05 AM
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Missing man believed to be murder victim
Police in San Pedro Town are reporting that one Jeremy Baptist, 25, of Boca del Rio area, left home around 7:45 p.m. on May 19 to attend a party in the San Juan area and has not been seen since. The woman who reported him missing said she spoke...
Manhunt for escaped prisoner
A man hunt is on for an escaped prisoner. 24 year old Nimrod Tillet of Corozal Town, who has been on remand for robbery, was yesterday taken to the Northern Regional Hospital in Orange Walk after he started to complain of pain. At around 11:15 that morning, he was...
KHMH Neonatal Intensive Care Unit closed as officials explain baby deaths
Administrators and senior staff of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) are meeting around the clock in an effort to rectify an apparent oversight in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) that has resulted in the deaths of twelve babies born prematurely in just 20 days. As we reported...
8-foot croc wakes up Castle Street neighborhood
A consequence of humans living close to the natural habitat of animals is that sometimes there are close encounters with these animals. Residents of Belama on the Northern Highway and Jane Usher Boulevard and St. Martin de Porres, Lake Independence, have for instance come face to face with wild...
Police seek two minors who attacked a bus driver
Police are looking for two minors who are believed to have attacked a bus driver. It happened around 3:15 on Tuesday afternoon, while the driver was parked in the Savannah area of San Ignacio, awaiting students. The boys, who are only thirteen and fifteen years old, reportedly ran inside...
Oswald Young shot in Unitedville
Imagine the horror of waking up the sensation of a bullet piercing through your body. That’s what happened to a man in Unitedville Village this morning. Just after 2am, Oswald Young was in his living room, sleeping on a sofa chair that faced the door, when he heard a...
Sixteen year old is charged with rape
On Tuesday, Plusnews told you about a woman who was reportedly attacked and raped in Ladyville. Well the person believed to have committed the heinous act – a minor – has been charged. The 16 year old, a resident of Ladyville, has been charged with the crime of rape....
Woman says Traffic Warden sexually assaulted her
Another woman is reported to have been sexually assaulted, this time allegedly by a traffic warden. It happened last week Friday, in the afternoon in San Ignacio Town, where the 25 year old woman says she was passing on a street, when she saw the warden, whom she knows,...
Police Officer assaulted in Orange Walk Town
An arrest took an unexpected turn when the accused and his sister allegedly assaulted a cop. According to the officer, yesterday morning, just before 8, he was on his way to work when his attention was drawn to a 20 year old man and his 23 year old sister,...
Public Service Information Day observed in Belmopan
The Ministry of the Public Service and Elections and Boundaries today celebrated Public Service Information Day with over 22 different Ministries and Departments. Information and display booths were set up on the George Brown Field and a portion of the Ring Road. Plus news spoke with Ms. Nysha Matute,...
Students at Grace Primary School celebrate Belhttp://www.plustvbelize.com/news/public-service-information-day-observed-in-belmopan/ize History
Grace Primary School invited students and city residents to its annual open day. Themed “Blast from the Past,” it was a street-side festival celebrating Belize in olden days. We hear more from principal of the school Myrna Sheppard. Myrna Sheppard – Grace Primary School Principal: We are having an...
Elections and Boundaries Commission Sworn In
A Swearing-in Ceremony was held this morning at Belize House, Belmopan, for members of the Elections and Boundaries Commission. His Excellency the Governor General, Sir Colville Young, swore in Mrs. Phillipa Griffith Bailey, Ms. Naima Barrow, Mr. Derek Courtenay, S.C., and Mr. Orlando Espat, who have been appointed as...
Queen Conch Season Closed Today
We remind the fishing community that the season for the fishing, harvesting or capture of the Queen Conch (Strombus gigas) is closed. The season closed today. However, the Belize Fisheries Department is granting an 8 day grace period to restaurateurs and the general public to allow persons to consume ...
One of the oldest strategies in any campaign is to accuse your competitor of indulging in the dirty tricks that your own campaign relies on. Thus, it was not surprising that the consortium of Church interests that organised itself to be entered as an interested party to oppose Caleb Orosco’s Constitutional Challenge should charge Caleb with being the pawn of foreign interests seeking to wield post colonial power over Belize. An article in the May 4th, 2013 edition of The Economist, an international magazine of some repute, catalogues the worldwide activities of a crusading squad of American conservative Christians campaigning against the sins (as they see it) of abortion, adultery and especially homosexuality. Several such groups dream of ushering in a global theocracy, where civil law is based on their particular interpretation of the Bible. In America, holders of these extreme views are liable to be dismissed as crackpots and bigots but on their travels abroad, they often receive a respectful hearing from mainstream leaders. Though in their sermons and writings, they excoriate other Christian denominations and non-Christian religions, they are happy to co-operate with Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christians and hard line Islamists when it appears expedient.
Bacteria responsible for 12 Baby Deaths at KHMH
The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital’s Board Chairperson, Chandra Cansino; Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Gary Longsworth and Chief of Medical Staff, Dr. Adrian Coye held a press conference on Wednesday, May 22nd to address the death of 12 babies at the KHMH’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). According to a release from the hospital, the 12 babies were delivered at the KHMH and referred to the NICU. One of the children died within two days of birth will the 11 others within 7-27 days of birth.
During the press conference, CEO Longsworth pointed out that the management of the hospital only became aware of the abnormal deaths after the father of one of the children approached the media to complain about the death of his child and at least five others. Since the report, the KHMH launched an investigation into the deaths on Monday, May 20th by a team comprised of the Ministry of Health, Quality Assurance and the Medical Directorate of the hospital.
$200,000 in Royalties from Amnestied Rosewood
580 tons or 400,000 board feet of rosewood will be exported from the country as a result of the three-week amnesty program. The Chief Forest Officer of Belize, Wilber Sabido, said that the Forestry Department is currently monitoring the loading of rosewood for export. From April 8th to April 26th, individuals were allowed to export rosewood that was harvested during the moratorium period ordered by the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, Hon. Lisel Alamilla.
On the March 14th, 2013, at the sixteenth session of the Conference of the Parties on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), a decision was taken to regulate the international trade of rosewood and now the harvest and exportation of rosewood from Belize will fall under the CITES regulations. In order to regulate the trade of rosewood, the Ministry needed to account for the entire pre-convention volume of harvested rosewood available in the country and an amnesty was seen as the best way to complete that exercise.
Second Tranche of Municipal Development Bond launched
The Belize City Council announced on Wednesday that the second tranche for the Belize City Municipal Development Bond has been launched. The second tranche is for 5 million dollars and will see the continuation of street paving and other infrastructural work in Belize City.
The bond was structured in three tranches. The first had three portions for 2 million dollars at an interest rate of 3.5% for two years. Another portion was for $3 million dollars bearing interest at 5.5% and a maturity of 5 years, and a third portion for $5 million with an interest rate of 8% for 10 years.
The second tranche, which was launched on Wednesday, also has three portions. The first is for 1 million dollars at an interest rate of 3.5% per annum for two years. The second is for 2 million dollars at an interest rate of 5.5% per annum for 5 years, and the third is for 2 million dollars at an interest rate of 8% for 10 years.
The third tranche has two portions, the first being for 2 million dollars and carrying interest rate of 5.5% for 5 years, and the second portion is for 3 million dollars and carries an interest rate of 8% for 10 years.
Camalote United remains undefeated in the Miley Garcia Softball Competition
The 2013 Miley Garcia Cayo Softball Association Competition continued on Sunday, May 19th, at the Mae Gordon Softball Field in Belmopan with three games on the schedule.
In the first game played, Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy defeated Las Flores Shooting Stars by the score of 15-0. The winning pitcher was Leandra Guy and the losing pitcher was Guadalupe Chicas. The Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy’s offence was keyed by Kayla Henry’s home run in the 1st inning and Greta Davis’ home run in the 3rd inning.
In the second game of the day, Camalote United remained undefeated when it won over Ontario Rebels by the score of 5-1. The winning pitcher was Francine Salazar and the losing pitcher was Kenreen Gillett.
BDF Soldier stabbed in Barbados
Belize Defence Force warrant officer, Andre Gabb, 45, was stabbed in Barbadoes on Friday, May 17th. Reports from the island suggest that Gabb was socializing with two other persons in an area, Carlton, Black Rock, about two miles north of Bridgetown when his companions got invovled in an altercation. He intervened and was stabbed in the chest. He is now hospitalized at the general hospital, the Queen Elizabeth. Barbados police have since arrested one individual in connection with the stabbing.
Gabb’s wife travelled on Barbados on Tuesday, May 21st to be at the bedside of her husband, who had been on a life support machine from Friday . He has since been taken off the ventilator and is breathing on his own and is conscious though he still remains in a critical condition.
Felicia Chen says she is ready to go to jail
Felicia Chen, 22, the mother who was charged with three counts of murder for the killing of her children appeared in Magistrate's court for a third time on Wednesday, May 22nd.
She appeared in court where she spoke for the first time stating that she was ready to go to prison. Before speaking, however, her doctor told the court that Chen in her view is still not ready to be house at the Kolbe Foundation. Her doctor further told the court that Chen needs more time at the facility she is presently being housed.
Chen’s doctor is also of the view that she will need more time at the facility which may exceed a 6-month period. It is for this reason that she was further remanded at the facility for an entire month before her next court appearance.
Jarod Lamb Authurs being sought
Police in San Ignacio are investigating the loss of a gun last week. They want to question one man for it, in addition to some two serious incidents that occurred in the Cayo District earlier this year.
The house on a ranch, the Red Creek Ranch in the Cayo District was burglarized sometime between Tuesday and Friday of last week. Found in the Pilgrim Valley Area of Santa Elena, the house was discovered to be ransacked. A 20-gauge shot gun had been stolen from the double store house at the ranch. Police are now seeking Jarod Lamb Authurs A.K.A ‘Steel Bob’ for questioning in relations to this incident as he was observed wandering on the property on two occasions.
Minor charged with firearm after Shooting on Flamboyant Street
On Monday, May 20th police escorted a 16-year-old boy to the Belize City Family Court where he was charged with a count of keeping a firearm without a gun license.
The teenager, who was unrepresented, pleaded not guilty to the charge and due to the nature of the offense, was remanded into custody at the the Wagner’s Facility in Hattieville until his next court date set for June 28th, 2013.
The minor was escorted to court by CIB personnel after he was released from the KHMH where he was being treated for a gunshot wound to the left wrist area.
Teacher arrested for molesting Teenage Boy
Police have arrested and charged a primary school teacher from Bullett Tree, Eddie Pinelo, with aggravated assault of an indecent nature.
The charges come after a teenage boy told police that he went to visit his teacher, Eddie Pinelo, at his home in Bullet Tree Falls on Friday, March 22nd. The boy told police that while at Pinelo’s house Pinelo and he drank Caribbean Rum with Coke. It was after the third cup of drinking the mixture that the boy felt intoxicated. Thereafter, the teenager told police he felt that he was carried to a bed and placed to lie down on his stomach, where Pinelo removed all his clothing. The boy then felt Pinelo climb on top of him from behind, causing pain in the ensuing process.
A doctor has since examined the boy and classified that there was no physical signs of abuse.
Placencia steals the Show at 2013 Tourism Awards
The 12th Annual Tourism Awards was held at the newest hotspot for domestic tourism, Bannister Caye, on Saturday, May 18th. Over two hundred and thirty industry stakeholders honoured the all-white dress code and attended the event hosted by the Belize Tourism Board. There were two special awards presented to individuals, who have made significant contribution to the tourism industry and nine awards given in recognition of exceptional products and services.
Benque Viejo del Carmen being developed as a Destination
Some members of the team that worked on the Benque Viejo del Carmen Tourism Plan L-R Valdemar Andrade, Kevin Gonzalez, Nicholas Ruiz, Vinai Thummalapaly, Miguel Velasquez, Minister Jose Manuel Heredia, Jaime Awe, Subrata Basu
The normally quiet town of Benque Viejo del Carmen became a buzz of activity on May 16th, 2013 with the launching of a Tourism Plan initiative. With the plan in effect and after over a year and a half of work, Benque Viejo del Carmen will now hopefully become a major destination for tourists.
Linking Environmental Agreements to National Development
Officials of the Department of the Environment are participating in a workshop in attempt to establish the linkages between international environmental agreements and Belize’s national development agenda. The four agreements that are being focused on are the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife in the Wider Caribbean (SPAW), the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar Convention).
Balanced Gender Policy
The National Women’s Commission launched the Revised National Gender Policy on Thursday, May 16th. Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Human Development, Judith Alpuche referred to the launching as both a ribbon cutting and groundbreaking ceremony: ribbon cutting because it is the result of almost four years worth of analysis and report and groundbreaking because the policy is merely a guideline for work that is yet to be done.
Students graduate from GREAT at School in Cayo
Principal and students of the Santa Elena Primary Roman Catholic School and Senior Superintendent of Police Louise Willis, at centre, delivering a batch of certificates to a representative teacher
Ceremonies were held Wednesday evening at the Santa Elena Primary Roman Catholic School in the Cayo District for students who participated in a Gang Resistance Education and Training Program (GREAT). Both standard three and standard six primary school students from the Cayo School are the most recent beneficiaries from GREAT.
New Logo for Ministry of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities
The Ministry of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities (MESTPU) is pleased to announce the winner of its logo competition. The Ministry received twelve entries from seven different high schools across the country. A panel of five judges with related background in art and designing was selected to review the submissions within the dimension of a prescribed rubric.
The criteria as established by the rubric included:
• Format/Use of Design Principles
• Originality and Simplicity
• Ministry’s Image
• Time Management
• Overall Impression
Scores ranging from 10 points for excellent, 8 to 9 points for good, 6 to 7 points for fair, and 0 to 5 points for poor were used in each category. Keron Tzul of Bishop Martin High School garnered the maximum mark for his presentation, thus winning the $500 cash prize and an iPad while; his school will receive $1,000 cash prize and a video projector, courtesy of the Belize Telemedia Limited.
Citco and Hon. Mark King developing Lake-I
The Belize City Council has been paving streets in the city at an impressive speed. Thanks to the efforts of Mayor Darrell Bradley and the Council, there are now over 70 streets that have been paved. And as the Council presses on with paving streets, one constituency that is getting quite a bit of attention is the Lake Independence area. It comes as no surprise however as the Area Rep. Hon. Mark King is constantly behind the Chairman of BWSL to have water upgrades in his area. Under an agreement between the Council and BWSL, those streets that are worked on by the water company are those that get paved since BWSL offers part financing for the works to be done. Capitalizing on this agreement is Hon. King who is always at BWSL Chairman's ear to do upgrades in his constituency. Most recently, he lobbied for work to be done on Police Street, Ordonez Street and Sunflower Street. According to King, work has already commenced to pave these streets. He says he is eternally grateful at the support he has received so far from the Belize City Council and Mayor Darrell Bradley, who is always responsive to his requests. He added that similarly, without the assistance of BWSL's Chairman, Alberto August, he would not have been able to accomplish as much as he already has.
Police Appreciation Banquet
When he became Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar knew that one of his most important tasks would be to restore morale within the Belize Police Department. If he would have any hope of weeding out corruption then bringing back pride to the uniform was of outmost importance. In an effort to boost morale, Minister Saldivar introduced national and divisional awards for officers and formations that have performed well.
Graduation Ceremonies for Adjudicators and Presenters Course
Graduation Ceremonies were held Friday afternoon, May 17th, 2013, for twenty One (21) officers of the Belize Police Department who attended a one-week follow-up training course for Adjudicators and Presenters, mainly officers involved in tribunals within the Belize Police Department.
Police Department receives Two New Vehicles for Northern Region
Deputy Compol Elodio Aragon receives vehicles from Hon. Saldivar - accompanied by Finance Officer Lisa Mclaughlin
Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar, on Wednesday handed over two (2) new Mahindra Pickup Trucks to the Police Department.
Another UDP Victory!
The United Democratic Party (UDP) records yet another victory in the second week of Village Council Elections 2013.
Of the 43 villages that went into elections this weekend, UDP won majority in 24 villages capturing 189 of the 301 seats up for elections while 19 went to Independent candidates.
While the Party did very well countrywide with 18 full slates this week, exceptional results were recorded in the Corozal District where the party won full slates in four of five villages and in the Stann Creek district where the Party captured majority in five of the seven villages, four of which were full slate victories.
10th Annual Ride Across Belize Fundraiser
Staff members of the Social Security Board will be holding its 10th annual Ride Across Belize fundraising event starting on Wednesday,May 29th in Corozal. The ride will go to Belize City; from there it goes to Cayo on Thursday. On Friday, it goes to Dangriga and on Saturday it moves to Punta Gorda.
Zone Ten Neighborhood Watch Committee in Cayo holds Event
The Zone Ten Neighborhood Watch Committee, a sub part of the Cayo Neighborhood Watch Association, held a successful fundraising drive this past Sunday at the newly renovated basketball court in Santa Elena Town, Cayo. It was an opportunity for mothers to be entertained and network with other mothers in the area.
Mennonite Killed by Falling Tree
Forty-six-year old John Penner was killed on Sunday, May 19th by a falling tree at a farm in Yalbac Village near the Spanish Lookout Area. The accident victim was along with his friend Henry Dueck, working to cut a tree down. The tree hit John Penner on his left shoulder and as a result he fell to the ground lying motionless. The body of Penner was transported to the San Ignacio Morgue where the attending doctor declared him dead on arrival. A post mortem conducted on John Penner at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital on Monday has since revealed that he died as a result of traumatic shock due to severe body injury.
Shalini Zabaneh is Female Cross Country Champion again
The 24th Annual Female Cross Country Cycling Classic was held on Sunday, May 19th, 2013. The race which started at the Columbus Park in San Ignacio Town, Cayo, concluded at the Leslie’s Imports at Mile 2 on the George Price Highway in Belize City. This year’s event attracted only 4 female riders.
At the end of 3:55:21, it was Shalini Zabaneh of Team Sagitun that captured first place to regain the coveted title. Zabaneh rode from mile 62 on the George Price Highway all by herself to the finish line.
The former champion Kaya Cattouse of SMART/ C-Ray Cycling Club captured the second place position in a time of 4:17:23 some full 22 minutes behind the new champion.
Kirah Eiley of BECOL Cycling Team finished third in a time of 4:17:23 while Marinette Flowers also of C-Ray Cycling finished fourth in a time of 4:39:47.
The Hon. Herman Longsworth the Minister of State with direct responsibilities for youth and sports donated $2000.00 towards the 24th Annual Female Cross Country Cycling Classic.
Tuff “E” Nuff remains unbeaten in Interoffice Basketball Competition
On Sunday, May 19th, in the first game played, No Limits won handily over Digicell by the score of 49-62. The top scorers for No Limits were Greg Rudon with 22 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists; and Jacob Leslie with 13 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. Meanwhile, the top scorers for the Digicell squad were Karim Thompson with 27 points, 11 rebounds, 1 assist and 3 steals; and Raheem Staine with 11 points, 3 rebounds and 5 steals.
In the second game of the day, it was Police winning over Youth Services by the score of 70-68. The top scorers for the Police were Orlando Bowen with 23 points and 11 rebounds; Linton Broaster with 15 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals; and Kennard Clark with 8 points, and 2 rebounds. For Youth Services, the top scorers were Lennox Bowman with 18 points, 8 rebounds and 2 steals; and Brian White with 12 points, and 10 rebounds.
On Saturday, May 18th, in the first game played, Police edged CYDP by the score of 65-63. The top scorers for the Police were Shane Rosales with 16 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 5 steals; and Sheldon Williams with 15 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. For the CYDP squad, the top scorers were Bernard Felix with 17 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 5 steals; and Leroy Louriano with 14 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 steals.
Football Federation conducting “C” Certification training
The Football Federation of Belize on Friday, May 17th launched its second training for the “C” License Certification for the Belize District.
The 48-hour certification course is conducted over a period of three weekends and covers all the elements of the FFB National “C” License with the aim of educating the applicants in the technical, tactical, physical and mental requirements of modern football. It is also geared to educating the coaches so that they may devise, organize, conduct and evaluate coaching sessions in the development of youths. The objective of the course is also to prepare coaches by expanding their knowledge and understanding of the technical and tactical demands of the game and the developmental process necessary for youth players. Coaches will have a better understanding of the practical coaching methodology and the framework necessary to prepare youth players and a team for competition while at the same time providing a good foundation for any coach wishing to pursue higher levels within the Football Federation of Belize Coaching Education Program.
Belize City Primary Schools Volleyball Competition opens
Belize Elementary boys volleying against Wesley Upper
The 2012-2013 Belize City Primary Schools Volleyball Competition opened on Monday, May 20th, 2013, at the Bird’s Isle in Belize City. There are 15 schools participating in the girls’ competition and 14 schools in the boys’ competition.
The schools in the girls’ competition are Trinity Methodist, All Saints’ Anglican, Holy Redeemer, Hummingbird Elementary, St. Luke Methodist, Ephesus Seventh Day Adventist, St. Mary’s Primary, Muslim Community, Belize Elementary, Wesley Upper, Queen Square Anglican, St. John Vianney, St. Martin De Porres, St. John’s Primary and St. Ignatius School.
Meanwhile, the schools in the boys’ competition are Holy Redeemer, All Saints Anglican, Trinity Methodist, St. John’s Primary, St. Martin De Porres, St. Luke Methodist, Ephesus Seventh Day Adventist, Unity Presbyterian, Queen Square Anglican, St. John Vianney, St. Ignatius, Belize Elementary, Queen Street Baptist and Wesley Upper School.
On Monday, May 20th, in the girls’ game played, Hummingbird Elementary School defeated Ephesus Seventh Day Adventist School by the score of 25-5 and 25-4.
In the boys’ game, Holy Redeemer School defeated St. John’s Primary School by the score of 25-12, 18-25 and 15-6.
Caye Caulker Chronicles
Official Closing of the Conch Season
The Belize Fisheries Department hereby informs all fishermen and the General Public tht in accordance with Statutory Instrument No.54 of 2012 Sentor, the Honorable Lisel Alamilla-Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development has declared the Queen Conch (Strombus Gigas) fishery closed to fishing, harvesting or capture of the species on Thursday, 23rd May 2013. The fishing community is especially advised that all conch fishing activites shall legally cease as of this date until the opening of the next fishing season on October 1st 2013.
2 Caye Caulker Girls in Belize’s National U17 Football Team
Two members of the Island Stars Female football team, Sophia Diego and Jacqueline Riveroll, are on the Belize National U17 Football team. They are headed to Guatemala City today for a game on Sunday. The team is leaving by bus today and will be staying in Guatemala City for two days to acclimatize due to the change in elevation. Their game is on Sunday. On June 2 there will be another game against Guatemala in Belmopan.
It is a first for any young Caye Caulker youth to be in such a selection. Congrats to both girls and make Caye Caulker proud!
The May 26thth, 2013 issue of The Capital Weekly is online HERE
This Week's Stories:
- World, Here We Come! Belize Prepares for CONCACAF Gold Cup:
is one thing that unites Belizeans
it is our National Selection
playing abroad in an international
In this case the sport is Football
or Soccer, and the tournament
is the CONCACAF Gold
Cup to be played in the United
States, starting July 7, 2013.
Belize secured its place
in the tournament a few months
ago when it took fourth place in
the UNCAF Copa Centro-America
in Costa Rica back in January.
The Belize Selection performed
remarkably well in that
tournament, making history
and making all Belizeans proud.
It goes without saying
that all Belizeans will be rooting
again for our National Team as
they head to the Gold Cup in the
USA. But before we take to the
international stage, there are
some important house-keeping
issues to address. The cost of
sending the team to the tournament
is roughly Half a Million
Belize Dollars, and the Football
Federation of Belize (FFB) simply
does not have the money.
- Belmopan Market Rehabilitation Project Begins: Market Day Temporarily Moved to Agric Show-Grounds:
Block by block, the face
of Belmopan is being transformed,
thanks to the vision and determination of the Belmopan
City Council, in concert
with the Central Government,
aided by grants from friendly
governments and concessionary
funding from multi-lateral
On Monday, May 20,
2013, a new project got started,
which will see the entire area
adjacent to the original Belmopan
and transformed. The project, at a total cost of around 2 Million
Dollars, is being funded
by the European Union (EU)
under its Belize Rural Development Program (BRDP), a designation
which this particular
project fits by virtue of the fact that it will facilitate mainly rural
framers and vendors who
come to the Capital City to market
their produce and goods.
- Strained Comparison - Flawed Conclusion:
Chairman, Editorial Board
Last week, our respected
in his editorial
titled “a flawed political
system”, drew some comparisons
regarding the Dean Barrow
the Musa Government
which we feel compelled
to dissect and rebut.
Seizing upon a few
controversial and troubling
incidents which, admittedly,
present for Prime
Minister Barrow and his
Government some of the
greatest challenges since
taking office in 2008, the
Editorial somehow draws
the conclusion that this
Administration in 2013,
as did the Musa Administration
one year after
being re-elected in 2003,
has “lost its moral authority”.
A flawed conclusion,
we respectfully submit;
and if we must, we’ll
explain why in a little.
- New Police Vehicles for the North:
May 22, 2013 Minister of National
Security, Hon. John
Saldivar, handed over two (2)
new Mahindra Pickup Trucks to
the Police Department.
Receiving the vehicles on
behalf of the Police Department
was Deputy Commissioner Elodio
Aragon, who then handed
them over to the Officer Commanding
the Northern Region,
Senior Superintendent Joseph
Myvette. He was accompanied
by the newly appointed Officer
Commanding the Orange Walk
Dennis Arnold; and the Officer
Commanding the Corozal Formation,
- Exposure to Bush Fires:
the General Public
that due to recent bush-fires
around the country, particularly
around the Cayo District,
there is a risk for vulnerable
individuals of overexposure to
smoke. The smoke associated
with these bush-fires has the
potential to irritate eyes, trigger
prolonged coughing spells
and cause respiratory distress
or breathing problems.
chronic lung conditions, especially
asthma, are advised
to avoid areas with intense
smoke if possible. In the
event that you cannot avoid
the smoke, the use of masks
or wet rags may alleviate the
worst effects. Also, visit the
nearest health facility for respiratory
support if needed.
In addition to smoke
exposure, intense heat may be
experienced. The public is reminded
of the following preventative
measures for heat
stroke: drink sufficient water,
dress adequately and keep in
the shade as much as possible.
- Appreciation and Award Ceremony for
Police Department - Belize City Precincts:
The Belize Police Department
held an evening of
appreciation and award ceremony
on Friday May 17,
2013 at the Princess Hotel
and Casino in Belize City,
where 41 persons from Eastern
the 4 Precincts and community
members were awarded.
The event is the second
in the series, and was hosted by
Police Press Officer Raphael
Martinez. Speakers for the occasion
included the CEO in the
Ministry of National Security
Lt. Col (Ret.) George Lovell,
Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie, and the Officer
Commanding Eastern Division
of Police Miguel Segura, and
his two deputies, Senior Superintendents
of Police Dezerie
Phillips and Marlon Allen who
delivered the Vote of Thanks.
- Will Belize Conform
or Be Transformed? By Zelda Hill:
nation, Belize has another
opportunity to prove her
independence, choose her
own direction and show
the world that an economically
country can be a
leader and not a follower.
The court challenge
to Section 53 of Belize’s
Criminal Code has also
exposed the strong influence
of foreign organizations
and nations who are
pressuring us to conform
to their standards of morality
and to drastically alter
our way of life. These
ambassadors of debauchery
reason that the “whole
world” is choosing that
path so Belize must follow.
The pressure to conform
to foreign ideologies
and practices is not new to
our young nation; but never
before has the Church
in Belize risen to the occasion
to intercede and take
such a formidable and
united stance. The world
awaits Belize’s decision:
will we choose to conform
to this world’s pattern or
will we choose to be transformed
by godly values?
- Elections and Boundaries Department Results of Village Council Elections May 19, 2013:
- Highway Cleaned Up for Earth Day,
City Council and Citizens Combine with Civic Pride:
“It’s a dirty job, but
someone has to do it.” Well,
in this case, the people doing
it did not have to do it,
but chose to do it. It wasn’t
their occupational obligation,
but their civic duty
that they were discharging.
It was the annual
cleanup campaign, organized
this year by the Belmopan
City Council who was filling in for the Audubon Society,
which normally spearheaded
in this years’ cleanup campaign
included: OLOG High
School; MP BAPTIST HIGH;
BMP Comprehensive High-
School; Garden City Primary;
OLOG Primary School;
Klic Pre-School; Police Cadets;
Belmopan Scouts; Department
of the Environment/
to focus its efforts
on the Belize
- Crime Level Goes South in the North,
Minister of Police Presents Awards for April - 2013:
On Wednesday, May 15, 2013, Minister
of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar presented
a Certificate of Award and a Cheque of
$1,000 to Senior Superintendent of Police Joseph
Myvette, who heads the Northern Zone
and has also been the Officer Commanding
the Orange Walk Formation, which forms
part of the Northern Zone.
The Cheque of $1,000 is for the best
performance by the Northern Zone in reducing
Major Crimes during the month of April;
and the Certificate of Award is for the best
performance by the Orange Formation for
the same period. The Minister made the presentation
at the start of his monthly meeting
with zone, formation and branch commanders
held at the National Police Training Academy
in Belmopan this afternoon.
- LeBron Wins Game One:
As we go to press Wednesday evening, LeBron
James has just propelled the Miami Heat
to victory over the Indiana Pacers in Game 1
of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals. King
James did it in overtime with an aggressive
drive into the paint with 2.2 seconds remaining
on the Game Clock.
- 29 Graduate from Special Warfare Operations Course:
were held last
May 15, 2013, for Twenty Four
(24) members of the Belize National
Coastguard and Five (5)
members of the Anti-Drug Unit
(ADU) of the Belize National
Police Force, who all completed
a five-week intensive Special Warfare Operations Course.
- Belize Gets 10 Million More from Taiwan:
His Excellency Mr. David
C. K. Wu, Ambassador of
the Republic of China (Taiwan)
last week presented a cheque
in the sum of US Dollars Five
Million to the Hon. Dean Barrow,
Prime Minister and Minister
of Finance of Belize.
The cheque represents a
Grant to Belize for the year 2013
under the Bilateral Cooperation
Program between Belize and
the Republic of China (Taiwan)
for the period 2013 to 2016.
The proceeds of
the Grant are for the general
benefit and well being
of the people of Belize.
- Three Simultaneous Courses for Police:
Course for Adjudicators
involved in tribunals
the Belize Police
for this course
other legal experts,
of Police Keith
Lino, who holds
an LLB Degree.
- Major Infrastructure Project in San Ignacio/Santa Elena:
One of the
Superbond left behind by the
Said Musa Administration—although,
thankfully, made substantially
easier by the current
Dean Barrow Government’s
bold and successful renegotiations—
is the fact that the People
and Nation of Belize have
virtually nothing to show for it.
Imagine, had those
monies been truly spent on the People and Country, how many
roads could have been rehabilitated
and upgraded; how many
new bridges built and old ones
replaced; how many schools established
and expanded; how
many water systems constructed
and rebuilt; how many villages
and communities electrified;
how many hospitals, health
centers and sporting facilities
built and refurbished; how
many hurricane shelters erected
- Belmopan Kids and Youth Cup 2013:
Taking a Day Off
It’s funny how with all the planning we do in life we sometimes forget to plan a day off. This is surprisingly and often true here in Belize as life has many of us very busy.
I planned my day off to maximize my fun starting with a sunrise drive with Dick,we had fun rocking out to the Lobstermainia pool party 2013 song list – link is to fb invite 32 yes and 20 maybe, it is going to be a fun party. Toucan jam the band we hired are going to be great. Next comes a boat ride what could be more fun than that.
Meeting Ange at her place at 8:15 to get flippers as my strap broke, then we head to the boat dock for 8:45am . Once on board we will sail to Hol Chan Marine Reserve, followed by Shark Ray Alley and hit Caye Caulker for lunch and a stroll.
Seaduced by Belize catamaran Caye Caulker day sail includes: Belikin beer, sodas, Seaduced signature rum punch and their famous homemade chips and salsa. $75 US per person
Why I like to protect the Environment
Hi my name is Bianca Narvaez I am ten years old and I am going to tell you why I like to protect the environment! I like to protect the environment because it is really special to me, we live in the environment and we need to make sure we keep it clean and safe.
One of the things we can do to protect the environment is to reuse and recycle paper we can also recycle bottles and use them as water bottles or even better make arts and crafts with them. You can also be creative while being eco friendly by just going outside look for: a leaf on the ground that you really like best and write or draw something on it. I mostly like to protect the environment because of the animals. We actually get a lot of food from them.
THE MUNDO MAYA OF BELIZE
In this historical moment -- the completion of the 13th b'aktun of the Maya Long Count calendar -- I can't think help but praise the Mundo Maya. One of my favorite corners of Mesoamerica is Belize, an under-populated country the size of Massachusetts which feels like a tropical island crashed up against Latin America. These are my favorite spots and activities in Belize's Mundo Maya, enjoy.
Shark Tagging in Belize
Being tasked with documenting Rachel Graham's shark tagging project at Lighthouse Atoll, Belize for the second year, I wanted to capture a closeup of how the tags look on the shark. Now remember, these sharks are first hooked, then restrained, measured and tagged, all the while struggling and thrashing to be free of lines and hands.
A guidebook author’s top 10 for Belize
Listen to the expert. 1. Best beaches
Tough question; Belize has some lovely beaches and offshore islands. My top two favorites are South Water Caye (on the Pelican Beach Resort side), and Hopkins Village’s beach.
2. Best food and drink
Best drink is a cold Belikin beer.
Best food: Another tough one. Fry jacks for breakfast, conch ceviche, and stew chicken with rice and beans.
3. Best place for an all-night party
San Pedro on Ambergris Caye, followed by Caye Caulker and San Ignacio in the Cayo District (on the weekends).
4. Best place to catch a sunset
On the Northern Cayes; Caye Caulker first, then Ambergris Caye. And if you want off the beaten path, then in Sarteneja — a beautiful fishing village in northern Belize.
What it takes to be a travel guidebook author: Conversation with Lily Girma
LEBAWIT LILY GIRMA is a freelance travel writer and photographer — and MatadorU alum — who just returned from a seven-month stint in Belize, where she completed her first travel guidebook assignment and the 10th edition of Moon Belize for Moon Handbooks. Not only did she write the guidebook, but she also provided all the photos and even landed the prized cover shot over other candidates.
Learn the skills you need to get published in the travel writing program at MatadorU.
Born in Ethiopia and raised in Cote d’ Ivoire, Lily is a self-proclaimed “culture-holic” who speaks four languages and has lived in Africa, Europe, and the Americas. In 2008, Lily left her career as a lawyer to follow her passion: travel writing and photography.
With published work in various outlets such as BBC Travel, CNN Travel, Matador Network, American Way Magazine, and the Guardian, Lily continues to engage and inspire us to travel the world with an open mind and spirit.
I had the pleasure of meeting Lily through her sister Mimi, a talented designer I worked with in the fashion industry — a true testament to how small the world is. I spoke with Lily about her guidebook writing experience.
Perfect Rice Cooker Rice & Beans
Rice and Beans is the number 1 native dish of Belize, but a lot of people have trouble cooking it. I've consistently tried to find ways to make preparing this meal easier and more simple. When using a simple rice cooker, preparing this meal is simple as 1, 2 3 .
Belize Wind Energy
Belize Wind Energy Ltd goal is to build multiple large scale wind farms in strategic locations in Belize and thereby guaranteeing the people of Belize price stabilization and supply security, supporting Belize in becoming energy independent and creating an economically viable industry by producing energy and exporting it to the entire Americas.
Belize Wind Energy Ltd is investing hundreds of millions of dollars in the Belize economy over a very short period of time by financing and building large-scale wind farms.
The initial feasibility study is ongoing and we project construction to commence in 2014. Clean, reliable and renewable wind energy will be available in Belize in 2014.
'Evolving standards' of international law should overturn anti-sodomy law: Belize lawsuit
Ten years ago, the late, great American jurist Robert Bork wrote a short book entitled Coercing Virtue: The Worldwide Rule of Judges. He described how the “American disease” of judicial legislating—activists using constitutional courts “to outflank majorities and nullify their votes” on controversial social issues—was becoming a global phenomenon.
Among other examples, Bork noted a conference held in London in 1999 “to consider ways of making homosexual conduct a constitutional right in various nations.” As happened with abortion—a phenomenon documented in Susan Yoshihara’s and Douglas Sylva’s Rights by Stealth—a coterie of “experts” in the field of “human rights” tasked themselves with refashioning norms in the area of “sexual orientation and gender identity” and exporting such novel norms to countries that adhered to old-fashioned principles such as rule of law and constitutional separation of powers.
On May 7-10 at the Supreme Court of Belize, in the case Orozco v. Attorney General, a fascinating legal clash occurred when the proponents of the “new rights” brought their traveling roadshow to this small, English-speaking Central American nation.
Fortis foes slam CH Energy dea
A coalition of anti-Fortis groups said Thursday that the Canadian company's poor business practices abroad and a raw proposed deal here justify their opposition to Fortis' planned acquisition of CH Energy Group, the parent of Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp.
More than 20 people affiliated with Citizens for Local Power highlighted alleged shortcomings of both Fortis and the offer during a news conference Thursday.
"It's time for (Fortis) to go back to Newfoundland and try to pick on some other utility," said lawyer Dan Duthie, who monitors utilities.
Two administrative law judges helping the New York Public Service Commission make a decision on the Fortis acquisition, said earlier this month that the detriments of the deal outweigh the benefits, citing extensive public opposition.
But one of the deal's biggest opponents, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 320, came around Monday after Fortis agreed to provide more benefits for workers.
Thursday's speakers, though, said the deal is still bad for everybody else.
Cleared diplomat John Yapp criticises Foreign Office
The former UK High Commissioner to Belize, who was removed from his post amid claims of sexual misconduct and bullying, has spoken of his "humiliating" fight to clear his name.
John Yapp, of Eastbourne, East Sussex, lost his post in 2008 over claims he inappropriately touched women.
The allegations were dropped but he then faced claims he had bullied staff.
The High Court ruled the Foreign and Commonwealth Office broke his contract and failed in its duty of care to him.
Mr Yapp said it had all been "profoundly humiliating".
He said he had an unblemished diplomatic career for 37 years before a former foreign minister in Belize alleged he had inappropriately touched women.
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