Today's Belize News: August 1, 2014
08/01/14 02:11 AM
08/01/14 02:11 AM
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Specials and Events
Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials
The San Pedro Sun
2014 International Costa Maya Festival
All eight lovely delegates for the 2014 International Costa Maya Festival have arrived to La Isla Bonita! Miss El Salvador Ana Graciela Hasbun, Miss Costa Rica Raquel Maria Guevera, Miss Nicaragua Katherine Gadamuza, Miss Panama Karol Salinas, Miss Honduras Maria Jose Alvarado, Miss Guatemala Keyla Bermudez, Miss Mexico Elisa Espinoza and Miss Belize Grisel Rosseli Carballo arrived via Maya Island Air and are now ready for a week of fun activities leading up to the pageant on Thursday, August 7th. (21 photos)
Gorgeous Sea Views at Sunset
Breathtaking views are available to us wherever we turn on La Isla Bonita…sunrises, sunsets, lunchtime…you name it!!
And when the lighting seems too good to pass up, a quick snap is a great way to revisit that particular sunset: the warm reds muted by the time it hits the east side of the island, bathing the vistas with a warm glow. Right before the darkness of twilight hits, there is that magic moment…breathe it in…
Read more: Gorgeous Sea Views at Sunset - My Beautiful Belize
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Islanders nabbed in 2005 drug operation in Mexico handed over to Belizean authorities
Four residents of Ambergris Caye who have been in a Mexican prison since 2005 have been returned to Belize. They are Hillian Martinez and Kevin Lincoln Smith both 34 years old, 54-year-old Miguel Perez and 57-year-old Francisco Nuñez. They were handed over to Belizean authorities on Friday July 25th as part of a prisoner exchange […]
Island Cup Football Action Continues
The second round of games for the Island Cup Football Tournament took place on Sunday, July 27th at the Ambergris Stadium. Football fanatics came out to support their favorite teams as six teams faced off in three thrilling matches. The first game was between Dorados and Eleven Pirates. It was a tight match, but the […]
Costa Maya Pageant Delegates arrive on La Isla Bonita
The International Costa Maya Festival is one week away and the delegates for the pageant are beginning to arrive. First to touch down on Belizean territory was Miss Honduras Maria Jose Alvarado. Shortly after arriving at the Phillip Goldson International Airport, the beauty ambassador was transferred to Ambergris Caye on board Maya Island Air.Second to arrive was the jewel was Mexican delegate Elisa Espinoza. The very charismatic Espinoza came through the Corozal Municipal Airstrip in Ranchito and was transported to La Isla Bonita shortly after. Next to arrive on Ambergris Caye this morning was Miss Guatemala Keyla Bermudez. The beauty Ambassador paused to take photographs with employees at Maya Island Air before escorted to meet the other delegates.
Maestro Carlos Perrote hosts Second Annual Music Summer Camp
After the huge success of last year’s music summer camp, there was no doubt that Maestro Carlos Perrote would host it once again. The second annual camp commenced Monday, July 28th and will see the participation of over 60 registered children during the next three weeks. The camp is being hosted at the San Pedro High School Campus from Monday to Friday, and is expected to have more classes for both beginner and advanced students. Perrote is a well educated music artist and instructor, having played in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba, and even touring Germany, France and Italy. Throughout the past year, Perrote has been providing private Saturday music classes. He aims to promote music in San Pedro as part of the culture and lifestyle on the island. Children will learn to play steel pans, Afro cuban and Garifuna percussion instruments, drum sets, acoustic guitar and keyboards.
NICH Announces New Belize Director of Archaeology, Bids Farewell to Dr. Jaime Awe
The National Institute of Culture and History and the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation take this opportunity to send a resounding thank you to Dr. Jaime Awe for his years of dedication to the development of Archaeology in Belize. For the past 38 years, Dr. Awe has been working tirelessly and passionately unearthing and explaining the mysteries of the rich Maya culture to a countless number of students, writers, researchers, observers and all Belizeans.
President of NICH, Ms. Diane Haylock at a farewell luncheon shared, “On behalf of our Minister, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., our Board of Directors, management and staff of NICH we thank Dr. Awe for all the work he has done for Archeology and for Belize. While we’re indeed sad to see Dr. Awe leave, we know that it is for all the right reasons, and are confident that his contributions to this field and to Belize in general will continue well into the future. At NICH, and in particular the Institute of Archeology, we will continue to foster a valuable relationship with Dr. Awe.”
Health Support Vehicles Handed to San Pedro Poly Clinic
On Friday, July 25, 2014, Minister of Tourism, Hon. Manual Heredia Jr. officially handed three health support vehicles to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Poly Clinic in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. The vehicles were a donation to Belize by the Government and people of the United Arab Emirates, Dubai.
The Belize Ministry of Health received 26 health support vehicles in total that were distributed to health centers around the country; three of them were given to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Area Representative of Ambergris Caye, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. was on hand to present the vehicles to health officials at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Poly Clinic. Also present were San Pedro Mayor Daniel Guerrero and town councilors Gabriel Nuñez and Severo Guerrero Jr.
Misc Belizean Sources
Cayo Classifieds - Issue 27
This week's Buy and Sell Weekly. Victoria Peak is highlighted in the exploration section.
Pastor's Wife Dramatically Flips The Script On Home Invader
Tonight, residents of Crooked Tree village are on high alert, after the tranquility of their village was disrupted last night.
A little after 7:00, an armed intruder went on a home invasion at a residence in an isolated area of the village. Betty Westby was cooking for her 82 year old mother and 14 year old mentally challenged son when a hooded figure entered the house. It's a story we've heard many times before in the city, and most times in ends in bloodshed or battery, but nothing could have prepared us for how dramatically this Pastor's wife flipped the script:
Robin Schaffer reporting
This rustic home in a country setting may seem serene, but it was the scene of a traumatic home invasion in Crooked Tree Village last night.
While cooking dinner for her family, Betty Westby heard a loud noise, and when she went to investigate she came face to face with a hooded figure holding her 82 year old mother, who has a heart condition, at knife point.
After 5 Years On Remand And A Retrial, Orillana Walks
2 year ago, we told you about 24 year-old Justin Orillana, who spent 5 years on remand awaiting trial for murder because police believed he stabbed his stepfather, 38 year-old Cecil Thompson, to death. He was acquitted of murder then, and in a retrial which finished a few hours ago, he was acquitted of manslaughter. So, he's finally free after 7 years of dealing with this case.
In this month's retrial case, Crown Counsel Kileru Awich, called 8 witnesses to prove his case against Orillana. The witnesses described that on March 27, 2007, Orillana went home and asked Thompson where his belongings were, which included his tennis shoes, his clothes and other items. They were all missing, and Orillana became angry when Thompson ignored him. According to the witnesses, he returned shortly afterwards with a knife in his hand and he asked Thompson the same question once again. When Thompson ignored him yet again, Orillana allegedly stabbed him multiple times in the left side of his body and his forehead. Police found him dead inside his house.
A Battle Over Birds On San Pedro
Tonight, the Forestry Department is in possession of 2 exotic birds who which have been on San Pedro for several years. They were confiscated from their former owners, the Halliday Family, the Forest Officer discovered that the family didn't have the proper documents to keep them as pets.
Forestry says, these parrots are not native to Belize, and so it is illegal for the family to keep them. So, when the Forestry Department went on the island for an education session, they happened on the Halliday pet birds.
What unfolded was a confrontation between the family, the police, and the Forestry Officer. With the help of amateur footage captured by one of the family members, Daniel Ortiz put together this story:
Daniel Ortiz reporting
This white bird in the top cage is Gabby a cuckatoo, the other is Captain Morgan, a macaw, known as Keppi. They used to be owned by the Halliday Family on San Pedro.??They look to be well cared for, even though they aren't in their usual cages.
Elvin Penner Recall Effort Still Alive
We haven't heard much about the failed election petition against Elvin Penner for the past few months, but it is still very much under challenge in the courts.
The case came up for pre-trial management today and the upshot is that PUP standard bearer for Cayo Northeast Orlando Habet and two of his constituents are headed to the Supreme Court in November to convince Supreme Court Justice Courtney Abel to overturn the decision of Chief Elections Officer Josephine Tamai. Tamai's office rejected 337 of the 2,002 signatures collected for the Penner recall causing the petition to fall short of the threshold for recall by 79.
Today after the pre-trial review Senior Counsel Lisa Shoman, told the media that they have received most of the disclosure they need for trial.
Hon. Lisa Shoman
"The Chief Elections Officer actually as I say provided much of the disclosure that we wanted. There are some matters that we still want and those we will get by the end of August. After we have that disclosure, if there is need for additional affidavits those have to be in by the end of September. The Chief Elections Officer has not yet filed an affidavit but they have until the end of September to do so."
Grijalva Sues OW Town Council
A pair of noteworthy Orange Walk politicians were also at the Supreme Court today. UDP Standard Bearer for Orange Walk Central Denny Grijalva and PUP Mayor Kevin Bernard were there for a trial over a contractual dispute. Grijalva's company De-Mar's construction was hired by the former UDP Town Council to pave some streets in the town; he claims the bill came up to 188 thousand dollars - and that the council paid him less than half. He says the UDP council agreed to pay him the balance in monthly installments, but then a PUP council was elected, and he claims they have not honoured the agreement. So, his attorney Darrell Bradley sued the council. The case was heard today before Justice Sonya Young who has reserved judgment for September 15. The town council is represented by Eamon Courtenay.
ASR Explains The Reluctance To An Outside Mediator
Yesterday in his press conference, the Prime Minister discussed the ongoing difficulties at BSI, where the owner of the plant, ASR and the Cane farmers are locked in a seemingly intractable dispute over the price for bagasse. The government has offered to pay for an independent expert to step in and mediate a dispute, but ASR rejected that. Today at an end of crop press conference in Orange Walk, ASR executive Mac McLachlan, the international advisor for ASR, explained why they don't want an outsider coming in:..
Mac McLachlan, international advisor for ASR
"This is a commercial issue. It's an issue about the supply and usage of sugarcane to produce sugar and basically that has to be negotiated between the two parties. It's a commercial issue, as in any commercial discussion as the Prime Minister said that's not the role of government and obviously he is helping to facilitate the process but at the end of the day this has to come down to a commercial agreement between ourselves and the cane farmers."
"Any idea when you will go back to the negotiating table?"
Mac McLachlan, international advisor for ASR
"We are always dispose to continue that discussion because we all need it. There can be no cane industry without a mill and there can be no mill without the cane industry and I think everybody understand that basic fact, so we are dispose to discuss that further into discuss a proper commercial agreement that respects both sides in a respectful and mature way and we look forward to getting on with that."
PM Discusses IMF Report On Debt Restructuring
And, the PM also discussed the IMF at yesterday's nearly three hour press conference. It was in response to a question from 7News, in which we asked about a 29 page document put out by the IMF ten days ago. It discusses Belize's two debt refinancing exercises, in 2006 - 2007, and 2012-2013.
As has been well publicized, the IMF was not invited to assist in either, and they conclude, rather huffily, that, quote, "debt sustainability has not been effectively restored following the two restructurings, thus calling for more robust macroeconomic policy adjustments…further fiscal consolidation is warranted to achieve debt sustainability and reduce future financing needs." The Prime Minister told the press yesterday that he doesn't really give two hoots about what the IMF has to say:..
Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize
"We successfully, I don't care what they say, we successfully restructured the super bond when they were insisting that we could not do it unless we entered into an IMF austerity program.
San Pedro Will Get A Full-Time Clinic
And one more bit of news from yesterday's press conference is the announcement about the San Pedro Polyclinic. The island town has been crying out for a full time facility for years, and Government says one is in the making:
Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize
"Need for a 24 hour polyclinic and we are working on that with the Ministry of Health, so I can promise the people of San Pedro that that is as well going to happen."
"Are there any considerations being made in terms of having a 24 hour medical facility there and having actual personnel at the place?"
Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize
"Yes, Ministry of Health I think had some sort of a reduce session with the authorities on the island and I know this will be done because I've been told about the bill with which I will be tag to pay for this, so that's going forward yes."
Police Precinct Commanders, A Slight Shift
Precinct policing in Belize City was put into effect in March of 2013, and yesterday it was announced that one of the city's four formation commanders were being changed.
Precinct 3 will now be led by Superintendent Suzette Anderson, while the commanders for the two other precincts have been promoted:
Senior Superintendent Alden Dawson remains in charge of precinct 1, Sr. Superintendent Alford Grinage remains at precinct two.
Rural Development Funds Unique Program
Today the rural development department held a contract signing as a part of an initiative to spark rural development in Belize. Three contracts were signed with 3 local grant recipients: The National Kriol Council, Belize Local Fowl Association and Ladies Involving Nature and Knowledge (LINK) Women's Group. A representative from each association explained what their project was about.
The total value of the grants is 134,898 US dollars, with each association receiving roughly 45 thousand US dollars to fund their respective projects.
CitCo Reopens Eternal Garden
It's well-known that the Lord Ridge Cemetery is over-filled, and that the Belize City Council is not authorizing new burials there.
But in 2011, when the Zenaida Moya led council officially opened the mile 13 Burial Site, known as the Eternal Garden Memorial, there was public pushback.
So, under Mayor Darrell Bradley, City Hal did some research as to why city residents are reluctant to use that new burying ground. In line with that feedback, and they made upgrades to Eternal Garden to make it more attractive as a final resting spot for the dearly departed.
It was officially re-opened today, by Mayor Bradley who told the media about the new elements:
Belizeans Turn Heads At Commonwealth
Yesterday Belizean athletes again competed in the Athletics portion of the Commonwealth Games, but neither Kaina Martinez nor Kenneth Medwood advanced.
Martinez competed in the 200 meter sprint, placing 4th of 7 runners with a time of 24.54.
Kenneth Medwood, however, was unable to participate in his 400 meter hurdles due to the flare up of an old injury. Brandon Jones competes in the Triple Jump tomorrow.
But while Belize did not fare too well in the Athletics Competition, one of our cyclists had a fair showing in the Individual Time Trials. Giovanni Lovell finished in 58:21, placing 29th out of 60 cyclists. That's in the middle of the pack, but he was the second best amongst all riders from the Caribbean.
Pastor’s Wife Fights Off Attackers in Crooked Tree…
There was a frightening home invasion in the village of Crooked Tree, Belize District at the house of the resident pastor while he was at a prayer meeting in Ladyville. [...]
Denny Grijalva Sues OWTC…Judgment Reserved!
This morning, Denny Grijalva was in court, but it had nothing to do with Noh Mul, that well known and previously pristine Mayan monument which was destroyed by Grijalva’s company. [...]
Mayor Bradley Says CitCO Can Do It Better than BML…
Belize City Mayor, Darrell Bradley, says the council’s debts to sanitation companies are perennial, but while he seems content with that explanation, the fact is that the Council is getting [...]
Mayor Confirms That BML Contract Will Not Be Renewed…
But while the Mayor is focused on the bottom line, the fact is that the lives of more than one hundred employees will be drastically impacted when BML’s contract is [...]
DHL Courier Knocked down on Coney Drive…
A DHL courier was badly injured in a late afternoon accident today right here on Coney Drive. It happened at around four thirty, when the courier was heading back to [...]
Grant Funding for Three Organizations…
Three organizations were awarded grant funding for initiatives across the Belize District including small ruminants, home gardening and nature appreciation. The grants were presented by officials of the Inter-American Institute [...]
Two Years Later…Still No San Estevan Road…
At his marathon press session on Wednesday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow updated the media on infrastructure works across the country. Those works have been lauded at every turn by the [...]
Mayor Bradley on City Streets…Structured Madness!
The ongoing work on Belize City streets is absolutely wonderful, and absolutely frustrating…in equal measures. Take Central American Boulevard, for example. Works on that pothole ridden, rutted stretch started months [...]
Belize City Man Acquitted of Stepfather’s Murder…
A manslaughter trial concluded today in which a step-son was tried for butchering his step-father at their Vernon Street house in March, 2007. Twenty-five year old Justin Emmanuel Orillana was [...]
Dangriga Man Awaits Verdict in Attempted Murder Trial…
A trial by judge without jury concluded before Justice Denis S. Hanomansigh in the Dangriga Supreme Court session. But the accused, identified as Devon Logan, who is out on bail, [...]
Eternal Garden Gets A Facelift…
The Eternal Garden Cemetery is Belize City’s new cemetery, located outside city limits in Hattieville. It replaced the Lord Ridge Cemetery a year ago when that place of rest simply [...]
Flowers Bank Residents Learn Drum-Making…
Flowers Bank is a remote village located in the Belize River Valley; while small it is rich with history and culture. Earlier today, we headed to the village for the [...]
Healthy Living Heads to Diabetes Camp…
Countrywide, there are many camps being hosted for children to occupy them during their summer break. It’s a win-win situation for parents and children as parents get to keep the [...]
Dr. John Morris Is The New Director Of The Institute Of Archaeology
After being at the helms of the Institute of Archaeology for close to 15 years Doctor Jaime Awe announced that he was stepping down as Director of the institute. That announcement was made some two weeks ago and today the institute has a new director, no other than Doctor John Morris, the former Associate Director for Research and Education. The decision to ascend Morris was made yesterday during a meeting held by the institute’s board of directors. Morris has indicated that his aim is to enhance the department by continuing working under the platform left behind by Awe who undoubtedly left his mark on Belize’s history.
Statistical Institute Of Belize Release CPI
The Statistical Institute of Belize has released the consumer price index or CPI for June 2014 and not surprisingly, for consumers who have been feeling the pinch, the statistics show that CPI rose 1.3 percent to 103.4 in June 2014. This change, according to the report, was primarily attributed to higher transport and home rental prices, particularly in San Ignacio/Santa Elena, Orange Walk Town and Dangriga.
Currently Punta Gorda and Belize City boast the lowest inflation rates at less than one percent. Prices in Corozal increased 1.3% while in Orange Walk prices increased 1.6%. Prices in San Ignacio/Santa Elena increased 2.4 percent, almost twice national average rate.
The report shows that as in previous months, the rise in the transport index was largely the result of higher international airfares and motor vehicle prices. Except for diesel, there was a slight decline in fuel prices from a year ago.
PM Speaks On The Brother Of Attorney General, Hubert Elrinton
We have reported on the issue surrounding the status of fugitive of Dr. Errol Elrington, who is the brother of Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington and Attorney General Hubert Elrington. A warrant was issued in the US for Dr. Errol Elrington for federal crimes of racketeering, medical fraud and health care fraud.
Given the circumstances in regards to his affiliation to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Attorney General, today the Prime Minister was asked to comment on whether the government will take action in having Dr. Elrington return to the US to answer to the charges and how would they proceed in such a matter.
Honorable Dean Barrow –Prime Minister of Belize
“If the United States authorities seek to work the extradition process this government will not and cannot put any obstacles.”
“However will the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Attorney General have to reduce themselves from such process?’
Step Father Being Investigated For Carnal Knowledge
Orange Walk Police are tonight investigating a very serious case of carnal knowledge involving a female minor and her father. Yesterday, the child, accompanied by her mother, visited the Orange Walk Police Station and reported to authorities that in the month of February 2013, while her mother left home, her step father walked into her bedroom, blindfolded her with a piece of cloth, covered her mouth with his hand and had sexual intercourse with her. The minor alleges that after the act was committed, she was threatened by her father.
But that’s not the end of the story. The child further alleges that her father continued to have sexual intercourse with her every month leading up to May, 2014. A medical examination was conducted on the minor where it was certified that she was carnally known.
Missing Minor Found
There is good news to report tonight in regards to 14 year old Yefri Romero who went missing on July 25th after having an argument with his mother. The good news is that Romero is tonight back safe at home. After we aired his story last night a concerned resident of Corozal Town got in contact with our newsroom seeking more information about Romero’s family. The individual knew where the 14 year old was, got in contact with his family and even showed them where he was located.
According to the child’s mother, Maria Elena Vasquez, her son was found in the Village of San Antonio in the Corozal District and was immediately taken home.
PM Commits To 24 Hour Poly Clinic In San Pedro Town
The Prime Minister announced some new works in regards to road works and other infrastructural projects to be undertaken across the country. Among the announcements is work to be done on San Pedro Ambergris Caye. The PM also said that government is taking into consideration the need for a 24 hour clinic on the island.
Honorable Dean Barrow –Prime Minister of Belize
“Remember that I had indicated that we wanted to do some rehabilitation of the road going to North Ambergris as soon as you jump the bridge coming out of San Pedro Town we will resurface that road as it is I am not even sure if it qualifies for the appellation road it is more a dirt track but we are going to fix that up nicely and it is going to be from the bridge to about where Coco Beach Hotel, I think it’s a little over three miles of road so that is good news for San Pedro and I know they also complain and this is a different type of infrastructure but the need for a 24 hour Poly clinic and we are working on that with the ministry of health so I can promise the people that is going as well going to happen.”
Another Promise To Upgrade San Antonio Road
Today Prime Minister Dean Barrow held a press conference in Belize City and expounded on a number of issues, among them infrastructure development across the country. This includes sporting facilities and road works. The Prime Minister said government will be embarking on a number of projects in Punta Gorda, San Ignacio, San Pedro, Belize City, Belmopan and Orange Walk. Some of these are projects that were announced months earlier but today, the Prime Minister committed his government’s work on one of the most controversial roads in Orange Walk Town and that is the San Antonio Road. According to the PM, the work should begin soon and this time will be completed.
Honorable Dean Barrow –Prime Minister of Belize
“We’re now prepared and about to sign a contract, if it hasn’t been done already for the resurfacing of the very famous San Antonio road, that’s a mile and a half or there about and we are signing a contract for about 2 million dollars to do the San Antonio road.”
And as it concerns to this stretch of road, there has been much controversy surrounding its rehabilitation, among them the matter with Contractor Imer Hernandez and his inability to not complete works on the road even after having been paid. Prime Minister Barrow weighted in on that matter also at the conference.
Bagasse Negotiations Out Of GOB's Jurisdiction
The stand still in the negotiations between the BSI/ASR group and the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association keeps raising questions, in particular on how the matter will continue to affect the industry as was seen in the last crop. Farmers rejected BSI’s 51 cent payment but hope that the matter is resolved by October this year, and they have also asked that the Sugar Industry Control Board act as an intermediary in the negotiations. Earlier in the negotiations, the government intervened to facilitate the start of the negotiations but since the process has not really proceeded as hoped and is basically now at a standstill; the Prime Minister was asked today to weigh in on the matter.
Honorable Dean Barrow –Prime Minister of Belize
“I told both sides as you negotiate this issue if there is an unpassed and you feel that the process could benefit from the input of an independent expert government would be prepared to pay for such. Government can’t unilaterally impose an expert to do an amount to some kind of arbitration. I met with the ASR officials this morning and they are not at in favor of the proposal that some independent expert made, they insist that this is a commercial issue between them and their partners that everybody needs to understand that the industry is facing strange challenges arising from the competition that will be caused by European marketing arrangements that will see the beet sugar producers have the kind of access to markets that will cause, it appears, a reduction in price for the producers of cane sugar, ASR is saying that is an existential threat to the industry, you need to come together to determine how to deal with that and to see how the factory will be expanded and how the farmers will help to increase their production yield, to prepare Belize for what could the parameters in that context they are saying the coming together of all stakeholders that is necessary should start with an ability to work out the issue of payment for bagasse.”
O/W Mayor Discontented On Current Project By The Ministry Of Works In The Municipality
At the top of our newscast, you heard about the grandiose plans the PM has for various parts of Belize including the long awaited works to rectify the deplorable conditions of the Belize Corozal Road. The PM said the first phase would take 3 months to complete but the Mayor of Orange Walk, Kevin Bernard, says he has been left in the dark and has not been consulted.
Kevin Bernard - Mayor of Orange Walk
“I have not been approached by the ministry of works or by any other government representative to say how far they intent to work within that first phase whether or nor it will come all the way down in front of the Town Hall because we have to look at that because we have our parade route that runs through that area, so those are things that I am saying that is disrespectful when you seeing the ministry of works doing works, yes I applaud the government for taking the responsibility, it is their responsibility to having fix this road quite some time, it is finally starting but we also have to be consulted in the sense that one; we have to control traffic too, we have to look at the safety of the resident as well at the same time we have to know where to plan, where to move and that is why I am saying they could have had the decency to come to my office and say well Mr Mayor this is what we are doing, this is the time frame we intent to work in your area so we can know what changes we need to make when it come to the September Celebrations and overall when it comes to the protection of our citizen in terms of providing traffic routes and so forth for the safety of our people.”
The Effects Of A Slow Pace Project Cementing 7th Avenue
Presently work is underway in Corozal on 7th Avenue; one of the many roads in that district that is in dire need of upgrading. While the aim of the infrastructural Project is to uplift the main artery to the Northern Border, problems already form part of the project. Victor Castillo reports.
Victor Castillo – Reporting
Currently work is taking place on 7th Avenue in Corozal Town, which forms part of the Philip Goldson Highway. The project, which falls under the$4.4 million infrastructural project funded by GOB, will see the upgrading of one mile of road. Good news right?
But as the old saying goes, progress brings problems and that’s the scenario that is building up in Corozal as residents and business owners who are located along 7th Avenue are concerned about the clouds of dust that is being produced by the heavy machineries working in the area.
No sign of Hattieville Chairman
It has been 11 days now since Hattieville Chairman and Field Worker for Discoverseis Kevin Carcamo reportedly went missing. The company, which conducts seismic testing for possible drill sites, was putting in place recording material near the Freetown Sibun area on Sunday July 20th. According to Assistant Project Manager...
Ransom demand in case of missing chairman?
You might recall that on Friday July 25th Discoverseis put out a 10 thousand dollar reward for any information leading to the safe return of Kevin Carcamo. The flyer asked for individuals with any information to contact the nearest police station or the company cell-phone, with number 610-1497. Well,...
Lands Department undergoes reform
Prime Minister Dean Barrow has described it as a “hotbed of corruption,” and claimed it was one of the sources of his greatest frustration as chief executive. But it seems the Lands and Surveys Department of the Ministry of Natural Resources is finally cleaning up its act. Following consultations...
Reshuffle of senior Government officials
Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Alexis Rosado is to be the new Beliezan Ambassador to Guatemala. With his crossing the border to Guatemala, there is a bit of a reshuffle of the executive division of the Government, with Prime Minister Barrow shifting one CEO into...
Unions get salary adjustment
Prime Minister Dean Barrow had asked the major unions – public service, teachers and senior managers – to conclude the Collective Bargaining Agreement with Government that dates back some five years. While it appears they are still holding out, one key aspect of that agreement, the six percent salary...
Minor accuses stepfather of carnal knowledge
On Wednesday, a female minor from the Orange Walk District visited the station along with her mother and reported that in the month of February 2013, while her mother left home, her step father reportedly went inside her bedroom, blindfolded her with a piece of cloth, then covered her...
Infrastructure works continue
The Government’s large-scale infrastructure project intended to repair needed passageways nationwide following severe rainfall damage late in 2013 continues. Projects are underway in all of the major municipalities and on Wednesday the Prime Minister announced some new ones. Here in Belmopan, a central road will see some upgrading. Prime...
Belize businesses anticipate good year
No poll is scientifically accurate, but if the results released today of a poll of business leaders at the recent Business Forum is any indication, things are looking well for the private sector. CEO in the Ministry of Trade and Investment Michael Singh says a majority of businesses are...
Hurricane Awareness Training programme for kids
On Wednesday morning at the St. Ann’s Anglican School in Belmopan Some 50 children from ages 6 to 16 participated in a 2 day training program on Hurricane awareness which was facilitated by NEMO. According to Clare Moody, District Coordinator For Belmopan, the best way to reach the larger community...
Re: Today's Belize News: August 1, 2014
08/01/14 02:12 AM
08/01/14 02:12 AM
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BILding Full Speed Ahead!!! MultiMillion Dollar Facility for Each District Town
The Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL) currently has six projects at the design stage and one project already under construction. BIL is a public sector agency of the Government to manage the design and construction of capital projects in Belize with particular emphasis on sporting and other multipurpose facilities. Prime Minister Barrow has pledged that each district town will see an investment of at least $5 million in public facilities. According to Christy Mastry, General Manager of BIL, the municipalities that have already submitted their projects are Belmopan City, San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town, Benque Viejo Town, San Pedro Town and Belize City.
In Belmopan City the Isidoro Football Stadium will be renovated to world class standards. The field will be upgraded; a main building will be constructed and the complex will be fenced. Proper lighting will be installed as well as bleachers, home and away restrooms, concession stands and a parking lot. The project is estimated to cost $3.5 million and construction will commence in September of 2014.
Construction is already underway on Falcon Field in San Ignacio Town. This is a roofed, outdoor court facility with restrooms and a refurbished stage. The facility will also feature a playground, sidewalks and a bus stop. Completion date is set at October, 2014 and the estimated cost of the project is $850,000. Also in San Ignacio, the Victor Galvez Recreation Field will be upgraded at a cost of more than $1.3 million. The facility will include outdoor court facilities, a practice and recreation football field, outdoor track and amenities. Construction will start in September of 2014.
Free Employment Training from BELTRAIDE and MOE
The Government of Belize is getting ready to train Belizeans for job opportunities that will be available in the very near future. Prime Minister Barrow introduced the Fast Track to Employment Training Institute (FTTI) on Wednesday, July 30.
Prime Minister Barrow says the institute will initially focus specifically on training individuals interested in working in the field of Business Process Outsourcing (Call Centers). He says Government was considering renting a space at the Belize Institute of Management but David Leacock, Chief Executive Officer in The Ministry of Education, proposed the use of ITVET in Belize City. Leacock signed a Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of the Ministry of Education with C.E.O. Mike Singh on behalf of the Ministry of Trade, Investment Promotion and Private Sector Development.
Improving services at Lands department
The Ministry of Natural Resources is undergoing the monumental task of improving the services provided to the public by the lands department. According to the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry, Sharon Ramclam, a proposal was put forward to Cabinet to tackle problems that are facing the lands administration. She stated that it is clear that there is dissatisfaction with the way services are provided at the lands department with people expressing frustration at the quality of service provided.
Those complaints led to the rooting of the problems which are being faced in several areas of the department and further narrowing down issues to the National Estate Section and the Registry Section within the department. Ramclam says that over the past week the ministry has been holding meetings with stakeholders like the Chamber of Commerce, the surveyors association, valuators, land researchers who work with law firms or freelance to get their input on ways to improve the service at lands.
Stacey Leslie Charged for Helping Boyfriend to Sexually Assault Minor
In September of 2013, Stacey Leslie, 27, was charged for committing an indecent assault upon a minor, allegedly sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl and then letting her boyfriend, John Williams, have sexual intercourse with the young victim. On Tuesday, July 29, Leslie was additionally charged with abetment to commit the crime of carnal knowledge.
The then 14-year-old girl told police that she was walking in the Hollywood area of Lord’s Bank when Williams, someone she knew well, stopped beside her in his white car and invited her in. While inside the car, according to the minor, she met a slim built female on the passenger seat who introduced herself as Stacey. All three of them travelled to Cayo in Williams’ white car then returned to Williams’ home in Ladyville. While at the house, the couple gave the minor marijuana to smoke after which Leslie sexually assaulted her. Allegation made by the minor is that Leslie held her down for Williams to have sexual intercourse with her. Leslie then performed oral sex on the minor. A doctor who examined the minor certified that she was carnally known and classified her injuries as grievous harm.
Double fatal accident on Philip Goldson Highway
Two families continue to grieve the loss of their loved ones following a terrible traffic accident which involved a motorcycle and a pickup truck.
It happened on Friday, July 25, just before 6 p.m. between Miles 6 and 7 on the Philip Goldson Highway. What police have been able to gather so far is that 31 year-old Belize City resident Duane Pelayo was driving his silver and black Meilun motorcycle, and he was transporting 48 year-old Gerald “Jade” Gillett as his passenger. They were heading toward the direction of Ladyville, and during the course of their travel, Pelayo lost control of the motorbike and swerved into the opposite lane. One eyewitness has told the media that it appears that Pelayo was overtaking a vehicle, but he clipped a mirror, and that sent him into the other lane.
Jeremy Rhaburn and Kevin Jex Free from Burglary Charge
Two of three witnesses failed to show up in a robbery case against Jeremy Rhaburn, 27, and Kevin Jex, 37, and the men walked for want of prosecution.
Rhaburn of #9 Eden Site (alley off North Front Street) and Jex of #4 Gabourel Lane were accused of burglarizing three businesses that operate in the Caye Caulker Water Taxi Terminal in October of 2012. Sometime between Sunday and Monday, October 14 and 15, the Caye Caulker Water Taxi Terminal was burglarized and items valued over $15,000 were stolen. A laptop, two cellphones, two boxes of Cuban cigars, a box of lighters and $4,300 in cash was stolen from Nobos Store owned by Sabiha Islam Nouren. A black cellphone, $250 in phone cards, a black Nokia cellphone and $3,000 in cash was stolen from Fokrul Amin, Bangladesh businessman. $1,527 in items was stolen from Adullah Khalique of Bondu International Store.
Gilroy Goodger remanded for Robbery
Gilroy Goodger, 25, is no stranger to police and he was detained shortly after Shoukot Ali and Shibbir Hmed reported that they were held up and robbed at gunpoint on Wednesday, July 23. The men reported to police that a man held them at gunpoint and took away their cellular phones. Hmed’s cellphone is valued at $400 and Ali’s is valued at $75.
Goodger was escorted to the Belize City Magistrates Court on Tuesday, July 29, where he pleaded not guilty to two counts of robbery before Magistrate Herbert Panton. Since the crime was allegedly committed using a firearm, bail was denied and Goodger was sent to the Belize Central Prison on remand. He is scheduled to appear for trial on September 17.
Police Raids Result in numerous Guns off the Streets
The Belize Police Department has increased its special operations since the surge in violent crimes over the past few weeks. Those intelligence based operations have resulted in the confiscation of a number of dangerous weapons that were in the arsenal of criminal elements.
The Department has not released details of those operations but has provided photographs of guns it has taken off the street. Those include one military type assault rifle, one 357 magnum revolver, one 380 pistol, two 38 revolvers and four 9 millimeter hand guns. No arrest has been announced in relation to these weapons and in the report they were not listed as found property.
DPP Withdraws Forgery Charges against Renicle Hemans
Renicle Hemmans, a labourer of Antelope Street Extension, was charged with one count of possession of a forged document, two counts of claiming upon a forged document and one count of uttering upon a false document on January 17, 2014. He was offered bail at the Belize City Magistrates Court. However, he later failed to show up for his court appearance and his surety was called to court by police on May 27. The surety at that time informed the court that he wanted to remove himself as a surety. Therefore, bail for Hemmans was revoked and he was detained and remanded at the Belize Central Prison.
Fortunately for Hemmans, the Director of Public Prosecutions forwarded directives for the case against him to be dropped. In a memorandum dated June 6, 2014 in regards to the case against Hemmans, the DPP said, “this is to state that the matter is to be withdrawn.” No reason was given for the sudden withdrawal.
MS13 members attempt extortion scheme foiled, another set Newtown Barracks Fire
Edwin Flores, a 23 year-old Belize City Resident, and his 16 year-old girlfriend are currently remanded to the Belize Central Prison because police allegedly caught them in the act of trying to extort an Orange Walk businessman by sending death threats to his family. Thorough police investigation has also unearthed the man who will be charged for that arson on New Town Barracks in Belize City which killed a 21 year-old mother of 3. More serious than that, is that these 2 crimes are being tied back to the violent transnational gang known as the MS-13.
Readers may be aware that this gang found its roots in Los Angeles, but it can now be found in other parts of the US. It has also established membership across borders, such as in Mexico, Honduras, and other Central American Countries. It is very worrying that this gang is at play in Belize’s underworld because, it has a reputation for kidnapping, torture, murder, and retaliation. Belizean Law Enforcement has linked the gang’s membership to 3 high-profile crimes.
Robbers attack and kill Industrious family
Police are trying to solve an aggravated burglary which happened during the weekend, which ended up in 2 fatalities and 2 other persons recovering from gunshots at the KHMH. At this time, police are puzzled as to why 2 armed robbers decided to shoot 4 unarmed business persons – 3 of them women – after they complied with all their demands.
It happened on Saturday, July 26, just before 5 a.m. 41 year-old Alida Ascencio, better known as “Miss Alida”, was preparing her chicken for the day’s tacos sales at her Mopan Street home. She was well-known to set up shop in front of the Atlantic Bank Freetown Branch. She was being assisted by 52 year-old Carlos Mayorga, 19 year-old Karina Avila, and 21 year-old Sejhan Avila.
She stabbed her husband to death
Anabel Kumul, a 38 year-old mother of two, is currently at prison after she was arrested and charged with murder for the stabbing death of her common-law husband, 28 year-old Felix Alamilla.
Alamilla was acting as a security guard for a house far south on the island in the Boca Del Ciera area. He had reportedly not come home for 2 nights, and so Kumul allegedly went to find him at the house, where she believed he had been partying with his friends. She reportedly found him asleep, and that’s when she jumped on top of him and stabbed him several times to the left eye, left upper chest and left side of his head. She tried to flee the Island back to her home Country, Mexico, but police caught her trying to catch a flight off the island.
School teacher dies mysteriously at home
The family of 28 year-old Steven John Michael Jr., a school teacher from St. Ephesus 7th. Day Adventist School continue to suspect that he was killed in his Belize City home, located at the corner of Jaguar Avenue and Tapir Street. Police, however, have not found anything to suggest to them that foul-play was an element in his sudden passing.
On Friday, July 25, just before 8 a.m., one of his neighours discovered that his front door was wide open. When his father, who lives nearby, was alerted, and when he went to check, Steven Michael Sr. found his son’s lifeless body on his bed. He had been bleeding from the nose, and there was a pool of blood under his head. The family suspects that he may have had a visitor or visitors who he allowed into his home. They believe that sometime during the socializing, he was clubbed in the head and then robbed. What they’ve determined is that his TV, his laptop, his cellular phone and his wallet were all missing.
Bizarre killing of 54-year-old Winston Whylie
The family of 54 year-old Winston Whylie is trying to figure out what reason his shooter had for gunning down the older man, and killing him on Monday night, July 29.
Police haven’t released official details, but the information reaching the Guardian is that Whylie was walking on Victoria Street at around 11 p.m. He was minding his own business, when a man on bicycle rode past and shot him in the abdomen. That man then sped off on bike, and though police responded some 5 minutes later, they didn’t manage to get much information about who the shooter could have been.
Alexis Rosado is New Ambassador to Guatemala
Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow officially announced on Wednesday that current Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Alexis Rosado will be the new ambassador for Belize to Guatemala.
Before making the announcement, PM Barrow once again took time out to publicly commend the late ambassador, Alfredo Martinez whom he described as an outstanding public servant to the country who was a brilliant ambassador and who contributed enormously to Belizean diplomacy in particular to the relations of Belize and Guatemala. He continued to explain that with the passing of H.E. Martinez there was a need to fill the position, it being Belize's most important diplomatic posting. He then confirmed that CEO Alexis Rosado will now take up that position.
Elections held for the San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town Council
One of the United Democratic Party's largest town board election was held for a mayoral and councilor candidates in the upcoming municipal elections.
Some 3,012 voters came out to elect a promising set of councilors for the San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town Council. With elections having been set for March 4, 2015, should this new set win against People’s United Party Contenders, their term of office will be from 2015 to 2017.
Elections started at 10 in the morning and polling was ended at 6. However it was not until an hour later that the last person had cast his ballot. Counting then commenced promptly thereafter and 4 and a half hours later the winners were declared.
BEL in Partnership with Hand in Hand Ministries Belize, Contributes House to Deserving Citizen
Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) and Hand in Hand Ministries Belize (HHM), under its “Building for Change” Program, today handed over a house valued at approximately $18,000, donated by BEL, to Ms. Bernadine Lauriano. This is the second year in which BEL supported HHM’s program.
A team of 44 BEL employees, along with HHM contractors, worked July 16, 17 and 18 to construct the house which measures 16’ by 16’. BEL also contributed the free installation of a service entrance, valued at approximately $1,000, for electricity supply in the home.
Ms. Bernadine Lauriano, the recipient, resides on Aloe Vera Street in the Lake Independence area of Belize City, and was selected as a beneficiary of the program, based on HHM’s specific criteria. As part of the agreement, Ms. Lauriano was required to participate in the construction of her home, attend HHM education sessions, assist with the construction of houses for other beneficiaries, and socially integrate herself in her neighbourhood by encouraging peace and harmony.
Developments in Benque Viejo del Carmen
A number of infrastructural works and constructions are about to be continued in Benque Viejo del Carmen. These works include the improvements of roads to boost the already beautiful tourism settings in Belize’s most Western Municipality.
Thus far, the sidewalk around the Centennial Park in Benque Viejo has been projected to cost some $300,000.00 and the sidewalks along Church and Churchill Street another $300,000.00, where the funds for these two projects are coming from the World Bank.
The Benque Viejo Town Council has worked on the design for the pavement of two streets: Juanito Gongora and Independence Streets. The Council is now waiting to work on Guerra Street, which has already been estimated to cost more than $250,000.00. The Boulevard to the River Side Street.
BELIZE INFRASTRUCTURE LIMITED (BIL) – What it is? How it works? Who it serves?
In 2012 The Government of Belize (GOB) decided to form a public company to act as an agent of the GOB to undertake the design, construction and management of capital projects in Belize. At that time particular emphasis was placed on sporting and other multipurpose facilities in order to find an efficient conduit to undertake the largest of sporting projects, the rebuilding of the Belize City Center. A key driving force behind the GOB’s action was to also ensure that each municipality received at least one proper, functioning sporting or multipurpose facility to serve the needs of the community for sport and recreational activities. The company established was Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL). Its mandate would be to act as the executing agency with the overall responsibility to bring each project to fruition, from start to finish.
The company officially got underway in late 2013 where the process began with engaging each municipality in the assessment of their needs and guiding them in the repurposing process for their current sport facilities or assisting them in envisioning new facilities to fill certain gaps within their sporting services. BIL would then create the Terms of Reference for the project envisioned in order to procure the design team. Once the design was complete, BIL would continue to procure the construction team and follow through with the assisted supervision and necessary project management.
Government stands ready to assist in BSI and BSCFA Bagasse impasse
The Cane Farmers Association and the Belize Sugar Industries Limited remain at loggerheads over how much farmers should be paid for bagasse as a bi-product of sugar cane milling operations at the BSI factory. The farmers met on Sunday July 20 during which a resolution was taken to ask the Sugar Industry Control Board, the government in effect, to intervene in the situation. Speaking on the issue the Prime Minister explained that the government stands willing and ready to be a part of a solution given that both parties so desire.
In this matter the farmers are requesting assistance for the government to pay for an independent expert to give an opinion on how much should be paid. ASR/BSI has flatly refused the request. The Prime Minister stated that he met with ASR officials on Wednesday July 30 during which they flatly refused to have an independent expert called in. They are of the opinion that the issue is a commercial dispute that should be settled between the farmers and ASR. PM Dean Barrow notes that everyone needs to understand that at this juncture the sugar industry is facing huge challenges which arise from competition by new European marketing arrangements which will see beet sugar producers have access to preferential markets causing a reduction in the price for sugar from cane.
National Police Youth Cadet Corps Summer Camp held in Benque
The 17th National Police Youth Cadet Corps Summer Camp 2014 ended this past Saturday with a measure of good will in Benque Viejo del Carmen. Some 291 youth cadets from around the country attended the one week event in a peaceful setting at the Mopan Technical High School in Benque Viejo.
At the closing ceremony last Friday, the cadets marched in full uniform and formation at the football field near the Cancha Centre, displaying with skill various forms of marching at the orders of their instructor. The Police Department had brought in some 80 instructors to mold the minds of the aspiring youths and some of them were present during this final march under sporadic showers.
The Dead Horse PUP is Flogging
Somebody needs to tell the People’s United Party that the horse that they are flogging is dead. That horse, the Penner passport issue, has been dead from even before they started to beat it. The Prime Minister had done everything that could have been possibly done to reprimand Elvin Penner for his actions. He was stripped of his ministerial portfolio and later of his ability to represent the United Democratic Party in the Cayo North East constituency. And while by all appearances Penner was guilty of some form of wrongdoing, the Prime Minister and other attorneys pointed out that there was little that could be done to criminally sanction Penner for his actions.
Being devoid of any other issue for them to hold on to, the PUP decided to hold on to Penner as their one and only straw. They latched on to an idea suggested by the Prime Minister himself and so began their private prosecution. At every opportunity they had, they pranced about and made appearances on any media outlet that would have them. This was all in an effort to keep attention on the Penner issue going. If we are to trace back, this is the only issue they have, their only straw, their dead horse!
Drilling Equipment Arrives in Sunday Wood Village
US Capital Energy Belize Ltd. has announced that drilling is expected to begin within a month at the Temash 2 drill site near Sunday Wood Village in the Toledo District. On Wednesday, July 23, the company trucked in the first eight truckloads of rig equipment through the northern border with Mexico.
The materials have arrived at the site and technicians are standing by to proceed with assembling the rig. Dr. Mike Tewes, the company’s health, safety and environment manager, is on the ground ensuring that the high standards set by the company will be adhered to by all technicians in assembling the rig.
Elodio Aragon, Shining Start of the East
On the 2nd February, 2014 an explosion was heard in Orange Walk East and after the dust settled a bright star emerged. Elodio Aragon was elected in a convention to be the Standard Bearer for the United Democratic Party, to contest the General Elections in 2017. Now, just some brief facts about Mr. Elodio Aragon Jr. He is the son of past UDP minister of Education Elodio Argon Sr. He joined the Police Department in 1997, after earning his Bachelor’s degree from the University of North Florida. As a Cadet Officer Mr. Aragon was very energetic and innovative and was fast recognized as a leader. He rose through the ranks quickly. He eventually found himself at Leicester University in the UK where he obtained his Master’s Degree in Criminology. This was added to his long repertoire of academic achievements even as he continued to develop his leadership skill within the Police Department. Mr. Aragon was the officer commanding Eastern Division and under his watch the successful Precinct Policing concept was implemented. In 2013 Elodio Aragon Jr. at 38 years of age became the youngest Deputy Commissioner of Police in the history of the Department. He was responsible for many policy implementations within the department tailored to steer the Police Department in a modern era to cope with the demands of a changing populace. The American Author Jack Welch sagely stated once,“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.”
David Gegg appears in court on Social Security charges
Businessman David Gegg is being accused of not paying Social Security for his employees’. Gegg’s name has been called out at the Belize City Magistrates Court on two occasions for which he was a no show but on Monday, July 28, the boss of Cruise Solutions Limited and Sun Dancer Belize Limited finally showed up to face the charges.
It is alleged that David Gegg committed the offense of failure to pay social security contributions in respect to persons employed by him at Sun Dancer Belize Ltd. for the period February 14, 2014 to March 14, 2014. He is also accused of the same offense of failure to pay social security contributions in respect to persons employed by him at Cruise Solutions Ltd. for the period January 14, 2014 to April 14, 2014.
Elvin Penner acquitted
Elvin Penner, the Former UDP Minister of State in the Ministry of Immigration, has been acquitted of the immigration charges brought in a private prosecution by COLA’s President, Geovannie Brackett, and executive member, Nedal McLaren.
Despite the many warnings from the Prime Minister, learned attorneys, the Attorney General, and other persons in the public that there was no evidence to prove guilt in the Won Hong Kim Passport case, COLA pushed the charges forward, and it was thrown out of court. It was foretold that this case would fail, and it did.
Readers may remember that Brackett and McLaren charged Penner under Section 22 of the Nationality Act, and Section 31(h) of the Passport Act, for the fraudulent passport and nationality certificate for South Korean Won Hong Kim.
Slow progress on Progresso Road
Of all the multiple infrastructure projects that are being implemented by the United Democratic Party government, the one that sticks out like a sore thumb is the road from San Estevan to Progresso. Speaking on the issue on Wednesday, the Prime Minister expressed dissatisfaction at the way in which the entire process is going.
He said that there was contemplation to actually cancel the contract since it was plagued by unconscionable and inordinate delays. That thought process was aborted however after Ministry of Works officials and the contractors, the Bella Vista Group Limited of Javier Berbey and Lopez Equipment Limited, met and there was a commitment to get the work done.
Handing Over of Visitor Satisfaction Survey Trend Report and Database
On Thursday July 24, 2014 the Project Execution Unit of the Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites (MTBCAAS) Project handed over to the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), National Institute of Culture and History (NICH), and the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Civil Aviation a Visitor Satisfaction Survey Trend Report and Database covering the first seven month (August 2013 to February 2014) of the one year reporting period.
The purpose of the report is to provide accurate information to these organizations on the quality of the products and services being offered at the targeted archaeological sites. This is aimed at contributing to the overall MTBCAAS effort of ensuring that the products and services that have the highest demands are offered at the right locations. This, in effect, should increase the supply of products from the artisans (most of whom come from communities adjacent to archaeological sites) and services provided at the archaeological sites, and by extension result in an increase in sustainable employment opportunities. A second report incorporating the period of August 2013 to August 2014 will be handed over in September 2014. Training to manage the database is currently underway for the BTB and NICH staff to collect, analyse and produce the reports for continuation beyond the period of the MTBCAAS project.
XX Commonwealth Games opened by Her Majesty the Queen
The XX Commonwealth Games was official opened by Her Majesty the Queen, on Wednesday July 23, 2014, at Celtic Park in Glasgow, Scotland.
The Opening Ceremony wowed athletes, officials and a billion spectators around the world with an awesome display of all things Scottish to mark the official beginning of the XX Commonwealth Games.
As athletes arrived under their nation’s flag, the 40,000 spectators in Celtic park erupted into applause. 71 nations and territories are being represented at Glasgow 2014, with team sizes ranging from just one athlete for Brunei Darussalam to more than 640 for Australia.
The ceremony included outstanding performances from Scotland’s best musical talents and an appeal from UNICEF. Around 2,000 performers helped launch the Games, including Glasgow-born John Barrowman and Karen Dunbar. The opening number showcased what Glasgow and Scotland have to offer, including references to Gretna Green, Tunnocks tea cake and the Duke of Wellington statue. The Loch Ness Monster even made an appearance, as Barrowman serenaded it with “I believe in you.”
Belizean athletes not doing well in Glasgow
The official competition for the XX Commonwealth Games started on Thursday July 24, 2014, with a number of events across the Glasgow. Belize’s first event of the Games was also on Thursday July 24, in the Triathlon Competition. Belize’s lone athlete in the individual competition was Kent “Bob” Gabourel and he was not able to finish the swimming course and thus was out of the competition.
On Sunday July 27, Belize started its quest in the Athletics Competition out at Hampden Park where we participated in the 100m event in both male and female division. In the female division, Kaina Martinez finished 5th out of 7 in her heat, which was the first of six heats and she was clocked at 12.12. Her reaction time to the start was clocked at 0.224 slower than all the runners in her heat. Her time was much slower than her season’s best which is 11.52. As a result she has failed to move onto the nest round of the competition.
Kaina placed 30 out of 46 runners that participated in the female 100m event in Glasgow, Scotland.
Katy Sealy three Personal Best in Hampden Park
Katy Sealy Belize’s lone female competitor in the Heptathlon Competition at the XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, has set three Personal Best performances in the on-going Heptathlon Competition at Hampden Park.
The Heptathlon Competition started out on Tuesday July 29, with four of the seven events in this discipline. In the 100m Hurdles competition, Sealy set a new Personal Best when she finished the course in a time of 15.61. In the High Jump competition she also set a new Personal Best with a height clearance of 1.69m. She also competed in the 200m event and the Shot Put competition.
Earlier on Wednesday July 30, 2014, Sealy set another Personal Best in the Long Jump competition at 5.36m.
Katy Sealy concluded her Heptathlon Competition with a cumulative score of 4661 points, which placed her ninth in the overall standings in the competition at the XX Commonwealth Games. Sealy’s total points at these Games are better than the total she gained when she captured the Gold Medal in Honduras a couple weeks ago.
Katy Sealy did not medal in the Commonwealth Games, but setting three new Personal Best is indeed a personal feat.
San Antonio FC maintains lead in FFB President’s Cup
The Football Federation of Belize President’s Cup Tourney continued over the weekend with a number of games across the country in week 10 of the ongoing competition.
On Saturday July 10, at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence Village, the visiting Benque DC United and Sagitun played to a 1-1 draw. The goal for Benque FC was scored by Danilo Escobar in the 90th minute of play, while the goal for Sagitun was scored by Ashley Torres also in the 90th minute of play.
On Sunday July 27, 2014, there were three games on the schedule. At the People’s Stadium in Orange Walk Town, Roaring Creek United defeated Progresso FC by the score of 3-1. The goals for Roaring Creek United were scored by Kennery Williams in the 84th and 90th minute of play. For the Progresso FC squad, the goal was scored by Marlon Miranda in the 58th minute of play.
The Doctor’s Orders - Back to Basics – Back Pain at the Work Place
Written by By Dr. Ajay Hotchandani
A study published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, researchers concluded that 37% of lower back pain was attributed to occupation. In some countries more people are disabled from working as a results of musculoskeletal disorders, especially back pain, than from any other diseases.
Lower back pain or back pain is defined as pain in the soft tissues of the affected region. Though rarely a topic of public health, the Pan American Health Organization has identified it as an occupational problem to be monitored. Data from the Global Burden of Disease 2010 study stated that, “Overall, out of the 291 conditions studied, low back pain was at the top in terms of years lost to disability and seventh in terms of Disability Adjusted Life Years.” To put things in perspective, lower back pain is up there with stroke and heart disease.
If one would take a few seconds and mentally depict the political landscape of the print and electronic media in Belize one would no doubt wonder how is it that the United Democratic Party has so successfully withstood the heavy artillery it is constantly being assailed with from all corners of our country.
The UDP has only about four media outlets, which I am aware of, that directly support Government’s policies. Two of these stations, Wave and the Guardian, are owned by the Party, while the other two, Sugar City Radio and Northern Cable, are in private hands.
The media houses which, in my opinion, are openly pro-PUP are listed as follows: Radio Bajia, CTV3, San Pedro Sun, Fiesta FM, Krem, Belize Times, FM 2000, Love, Channel Fox, Plus TV, and PGTV. Note that these Opposition agents host several talk shows and news programs each day where the shade of blue is on the heavy side of dark, be it related to new items or editorial opinions.
My family members were not heartbroken but very disappointed of my actions. I’ve changed mentality toward those actions, but it is so hard to be open up to my loved ones about those actions tried by me. Then began the questions, “How could they know what I was going through? How Could I be open and what causes me to that action?” Nonetheless, through counseling, I’d come to terms with those decisions of trying to commit suicide twice and what caused me to those episodes. If I can recall, these episodes which led me to try to commit suicide began when I was 21 years old, but the pressure came long before, about the time i was sixteen years of age; and it carried on up to high school and even up to the tertiary level.
As always being a diligent, hardworking, and resilient young man, my community had never accepted me for who I am. I don’t know for a fact why my neighbors didn’t like me, but from my perspective the talk and gossip spoke louder than actions. I was being pressured by my peers within my neighborhood before my actions. I was pressured by my neighbors to hang out with them, to rebel against others (especially my parent for being overprotective), to dress and behave like them. Nevertheless, their peer pressure didn’t work because I did not associate with them. Still I showed them respect and a sense of care that they are due. Nonetheless, I was rejecting their influence which caused them to be aggressive against me. So, not associating with them made them pick on me a lot. When I passed their hang out spot; they’d verbally abuse me calling me names like “punk, bitch, wimp” or phrases like “schools are for fools, all your education wouldn’t get you nowhere.” They would even use psychological remarks to make them feel superior (“hustling makes you a better man and you’ll make more money than a person whose working at an office.”)
Beware of Bullies!
Bullying is a stage that almost every kid experiences in their childhood. Sometimes even adults get bullied at their work place. Many individuals are able to overcome this horrifying experience, but others drown in their fear and never come out of the dark abyss. This horrifying experience can change if we find our own courage. Everyone has courage deep within their hearts, but we have to find it, and use it to right the wrong. Since this was said, we all have the courage to stop bullying by speaking up.
When I was going to primary school, I was bullied by a group of girls who were in my classroom because I was the new kid who was shy, quiet, short, and quite chubby, and also I had a fear of needles. The ring leader of the group would bring needles and they would start chasing the other younger students around the school with needles and if they caught up with their victims, they would point the needles in the victim’s eyes or take their hands and do these stabbing motions until they got whatever they wanted from the young victims namely their money or home-work, then they would threaten their victims about what they would do if the victims “snitched” on them. The students were so afraid that they would just do what the girls told them to do. I was one of the victims. I was so afraid of needles. I would run away from them as fast as I could, but they were more than one and in the end they cornered me, and took away whatever objects I possessed namely my Hello Kitty wallet, these cute expensive pencils and pens that my dad bought me, and my Crayola crayons. Unfortunately, fear always won; I did not know what to do when I was caught up in these horrifying experiences; I was so afraid of these long, pointy needles. These events occurred during lunch breaks since there were no teachers around or they were upstairs in the cafeteria having their lunch.
Belize School Counsellor Association (Bsca) to host first School Counselling Conference
The Belize School Counsellor Association (BSCA) was formally established in October, 2012. The mission of the BSCA is to represent, support, and develop professional school counsellors in Belize and to encourage efficient delivery of counselling services at educational institutions. The BSCA’s objectives are to aid in educational and professional development for the advancement of school counsellors, to offer support, mentoring, and networking; and to promote standards and best practices for fostering the accountability of school counsellors. In all of this, the students we serve are at the centre as we focus on academic achievement for all students.
BSCA will be hosting its first conference during the week of August 4 – 8, 2014 at the ITVET Compound on Freetown Road, Belize City. The theme for the Conference is “The 21st Century Belizean School Counsellor: Unleashing Your Potential!”. The Conference will allow school counsellors across the country to meet their professional development needs, discover the latest techniques in school counselling and learn solid, practical ideas they can put to work.
Belmopan Comprehensive High school teachers undergo training
Teachers at Belmopan Comprehensive High School conclude Professional Development Training. The 4 days training was facilitated and coordinated by Pathlight Team, that also coordinator workshops for the primary school teachers. The workshop, which started July 28th was held at Belmopan Hotel Conference Room. One of the highlight […]
Toucan Educational Program offers training in physical therapy
Toucan Educational Program partners with Students of University of Indianapolis under the leadership of Therapist Wendy Koster. According to Mr.MarioTeul, Project Coordinator, his organization partners with Universities in Canada and United States to provide various services in Belize. This team of 6 therapists provided Occupational and Physical […]
Indian Disapora Conference scheduled for next week
A two-day Indian Diaspora Conference will take place early next month in Corozal and Toledo. The forum will begin with an opening ceremony in Corozal town on August 6 and conclude in Punta Gorda town. This first of its kind event is being organized by the Corozal organization […]
Denny Grijalva vs Orange Walk Town Council
Today in the Supreme Court in Belize City, a case between Orange Walk businessman Denny Grijalva and the Orange Walk Town Council was heard. The case stems from a 2012 dispute over payment contractual work carried out by local entity Demar’s Stone Company. In May of 2012 […]
Penner recall petition goes to trial in November
In November, PUP standard bearer for Cayo Northeast Orlando Habet and two of his constituents hope to convince Supreme Court Justice Courtney Abel to review – and possibly overturn – the decision of Chief Elections Officer Josephine Tamai to reject hundreds of signatures collected for the recall of […]
Man accused of Manslaughter found not guilty
This morning, Supreme Court Justice Troadio Gonzalez sent the case of 24 year old Justin Orillana to a jury of five women and four men. That jury this afternoon returned a verdict of not guilty by a 7-2 margin, relieving him of the charge. Orillana, originally accused of […]
Businessmen face Social Security violations
Businessman Anil Hukmani, 45, the owner of Baba’s Trading Center on Dolphin Street, has been charged with violations under the Social Security Act. He appeared in court today accused of failure to render particulars, specifically Social Security numbers, for each employed person under his management no later than […]
New leadership for youth arm of the National Garifuna Council
The National Garifuna Council Youth Arm is under new leadership after its Garifuna Immersion Camp at Georgetown Town Technical High School. The New Executive members will serve for two years. The National Board of Directors met July 19th and endorsed the new young team under the leadership […]
Teachers complete training workshop
Teachers from the Belmopan Area completed 4 days of teacher-training workshop at Jaguar Creek on Thursday July 24th. The second group of teachers concluded their training today Thursday, July 31st and the third group will begin August 4th. The yearly workshops are coordinated by a dynamic team […]
Situation Analysis of the Belize Youth
By Richard S. Harrison, BSc Pharm, MBA Youth is defined, for the purpose of this article, as those persons between the ages of 15 to 24. Based on available data and observations, the purpose of this piece is to stimulate interest in research and development and more robust, strategic and practical/realistic investments in Belize’s youth […]
Sport camp underway in Punta Gorda town
The Toledo Union Field is the venue for a one-week camp organized by Special Olympics Belize. Coordinator of the camp Tony Gamboa says that the aim of the camp is to help participants improve on their basic athletic skills. Close to 50 children are taking part in the […]
Vacation Bible School ends in Punta Gorda
A four-day Vacation Bible School ended today at the Punta Gorda Sports Auditorium. Approximately 150 children took part in the event which featured a various activities all with a spiritual base. Joe Ersnner from the Mayfair Church of Christ was responsible for organizing the Vacation Bible School and […]
The August 3rd, 2014 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE
This Week's Stories:
- Police Recovers Chris’ Canoe:
Rojelio Hernandez, a 24 year old
Belizean laborer is in double trouble
first with his alleged involvement in a
stolen boat report and secondly with
the discovery of a shotgun and
cartridges at his residence in the
Barton Creek community.
The stolen boat report was
made on July 11 this year by
Christopher Lowe. In a report to the
police Lowe informed that his $1,500,
dark green, canoe along with its $15
aluminum paddle and the chain and
padlock used to secure it, were
stolen from his farm in the Barton
The police investigation first led to
the detention of the prime suspect,
Rojelio Hernandez and later to the Negro Man area, also in the
Cayo District, where on
Tuesday, July 29, the police
found the canoe. The
person found in possession
of the canoe informed
the police of having
purchased it from Rogelio
- Teacher Mar Laid To Rest:
It’s with deep regret that we
record the passing of yet another well
known Santa Elena woman. Mrs.
Agustina Mar nee Zetina was born
in the lovely village of Bomba in the
Belize District on the 4th May, 1953
to Domingo and Felipa Zetina.
Agustina is survived by her sisters:
Virma Guerra, Martha Morris
Teresita Zetina (in Los Angeles,
USA), Rufina Tzul (in Tulum,
Mexico), Rosalina Jenkins, Natalia
Carillo, Carmen Gilharry;
Brothers: Santiago, Carlos,
Ricardo, Alejandro, and Antholino.
Eulogy was read by Mr. Victor
Agustina left Bomba, her river
village, with her parents and siblings
to start a new life in the sea side town
of Corozal Town. Agustina grew up
in the Rainbow town area of Corozal
Town taking the scenic sea side street
to go to St. Francis Xavier School and
then Xavier College.
- It’s Just That The Opposition Is Always Wrong:
“It is not that the UDP is right,
it is that the PUP is always
wrong” PM Dean Barrow during
one of his quarterly press conferences.
Of late, the United Democratic
Party seems to be getting it all right
while the opposition People’s United
Party continues to be always wrong.
Last week it was the Prime Minister’s
visit to the Karl Heusner Memorial
Hospital for medical treatment thus
increasing the credibility of our nation’s
flagship medical facility. Few days
later it was the airing of the “Up Close
Interview” with the Prime Minister
as he confronted and ably addressed
matters of national interests . With the
inability to attack anything said in the
interview, the opposition PUP, through
its official mouth pieces, has directed
their attention to the cost of the clothes
and the pair of shoes that the PM was
wearing. In fact, what else does one
expect from a political party, almost
20 years later, that continues to
criticize the kind of watch worn by
PM Dean Barrow.
- UDP Ready!!!:
The United Democratic Party
(UDP) held its convention today at
Sacred Heart Primary School in San
Ignacio for the election of the party’s
slate to contest the March 4, 2015 municipal elections for the twin towns
of San Ignacio and Santa Elena.
The historic turnout of voters was
impressive with over three thousand
persons casting their ballots. Electors
participating in the convention included
those registered in Cayo Central, Cayo
North and Cayo North East
- Guatemala's Ixil Mayans Bury Victims Of 1982 Massacre:
The remains of 31 indigenous
Ixil Mayans, killed at the height
of the Guatemala civil war, have
been buried in the country's
Hundreds of people attended
the ceremony in Nebaj, Quiche
province, singing hymns and
The army attacked the village of
Xecax in 1982, accusing locals
of supporting a left-wing
An estimated 200,000 people
were killed in the 1960-1996
civil war, the vast majority of
them indigenous Mayans.
The bodies of many of those
killed had been burned and
dumped in mass graves. The
remains were exhumed four
- Saying Goodbye To Something You Love:
Cheri handed my crying baby to
me, his little eyes swollen, his
sobs subsiding into gulping sighs.
Within seconds, Robbie calmed
as I nuzzled him and kissed his
I hugged my friend and thanked
her for trying again to watch
Robbie while I went back to work
part-time. Again, my son refused
a bottle and cried constantly. We
both knew this wasn't going to
Forcing a smile, I turned
quickly so she wouldn't see my
tears. By the time I got to the car,
I could hold them back no longer.
Securing my son, I slipped in the
driver's seat, put my head on the
steering wheel and wept.
He was my third child.
- Hon. Rene Montero
and Your UDP
Government at Work!:
- Deal To Stop Migrants From Boarding La Bestia Train:
Guatemala, Mexico and the
United States have reached a deal
to try to prevent migrants from
jumping onto a freight train in
an attempt to reach the US,
according to Guatemalan
Tens of thousands of migrants
stow away on the train, known as
La Bestia (The Beast), every
Hundreds are injured or killed
when they fall under its
wheels. Many more are robbed
or attacked by gangs.
The three countries said
they would establish more
Guatemala's top immigration
official, Alejandra Gordillo,
said the deal was reached
during meetings between
Guatemalan President Otto
Perez Molina, Mexican
President Enrique Pena Nieto
and US Vice President Joe
- Abdominal Pain:
Just about everybody at one
point or another will experience
abdominal pain. Most of the
causes are not serious and can be
readily diagnosed and treated.
However, pain can also be a sign
of a serious illness. It's important
to be able to recognize symptoms
that are severe and know
when to call a doctor.
What Are the Most Common
Causes of Abdominal Pain?
Whether it's a mild stomach
ache, sharp pain, or stomach
cramps, abdominal pain can have
numerous causes. Some of the
more common causes include:
- Transforming Falcon Field And More:
With all the activities
happening you might be
wondering what is happening
on Falcon Field in San Ignacio?
It’s the commencement of
the rolling out of projects
countrywide under the Belize
Infrastructure Limited (BIL) an
initiative of the government of
Belize and in particular the Prime
Minister Hon. Dean Barrow.
The government of Belize has
committed a whopping 30
million dollars, five million for
each of the six districts, for the
transformation of major sporting
facilities. In transforming
the concept to reality, Prime Minister Barrow spoke of the
implementation of “Signature
Projects” in all six districts of
the nation. “Something” he said
“of which every Belizean should
- STAR Humor
- Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
- Letters to the Editor
- Public Notices
The Increasing Emphasis on U.S. Central American Trade
In the spectrum of U.S. relations, Central America holds a far lower profile than the Middle East, Europe or Asia, but stability in Central America and the Caribbean is fundamental to North American security. U.S. President Barack Obama traveled to Costa Rica on May 3 for a meeting with leaders from Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Belize, Panama, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and the Dominican Republic. The visit marks a waypoint in the slow evolution of the region’s relationship with the United States — a relationship that since the end of the Cold War has become increasingly focused on economic integration and criminal issues.
Top Belizean Brands to Follow on Twitter
Wondering which Belizean brands to follow on Twitter? Here’s our picks for the most interesting tweeters.
SALAD BAR – LEMON BASIL SHRIMP SALAD
1. Whisk together oil and remaining ingredients in a bowl.
Note: To prepare ahead, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature, and whisk before using.
1. Whisk together oil and remaining ingredients in a bowl.
Note: To prepare ahead, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature, and whisk before using.
The unholy alliance between Belize and Israel: A commentary for freedom
The unholy alliance between the Belizean governments both past and present with the occupiers of Palestinian land, the so-called state of Israel, is one of the biggest failures in Belize’s foreign policy. It will surely go down as the disgraceful use of elitist power which defies our socio-historical experience, morality and diplomacy strategies.
The modern state of Israel is a recent imposition. Most Belizeans both at home and abroad are likely not aware that before the land of the Palestinians was considered by the imperialist powers of Britain and the United States as a “homeland” for the so-called Jews of Europe, Belize was also on the top of their list.
Indeed, this was acknowledged by an Israeli ambassador in a recent visit to Belize: “In the beginning of the century there were a few ideas about where to build the new Jewish state. We were talking about Uganda in Africa, we were talking about Belize and other places,” said Israeli Ambassador Mattanya Cohen in 2009.
World War One centenary: Far-flung heroes of the first truly global war
An interactive map produced by the National Archives highlights the key role played by countries across the globe in the First World War. British Honduras contributed 534 men to the Imperial forces. The Admiralty and the War Office also bought almost the whole of the British Honduras’ mahogany output for 1916 and 1917 to build aeroplane propellers.
Hillside Health Care International, 3min.
Hillside Health Care International is a faith inspired, non-profit organization dedicated to serving God by providing medical care, disease prevention, and health education to the people of Southern Belize. All of our services are provided free of charge to the people of the Toledo district and made possible by donors from around the world. We also offer global health education with academic credit for medical trainees, providing them the opportunity to learn while serving.
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