Today's Belize News: September 5, 2014
09/05/14 06:03 AM
09/05/14 06:03 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
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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
Well known Sanpedrano Gerald Leslie is has been living in the USA, working as pilot for the world famous songwriter and singer Jimmy Buffett. It is no surprise that both men share a love for the sea and fishing. During their spare time, the two often go out to sea and practice their fishing skills. On one of their days off last week, Leslie, Buffett and another friend went fishing off the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts. During their day’s adventure, the trio caught a huge deep-sea black tuna. Buffett and Leslie are excited to share the picture with the people of San Pedro Town.
San Pedro’s line-up of event for September Celebrations
The 2014 September Celebrations are well under way, and citizens from all six districts are celebrating Belize’s most patriotic month of the year. This year’s celebrations are being held under the theme “Industrious Hands, Intelligent Minds, Together for Belize”. 2014 marks the 216th anniversary of The Battle of St. George’s Caye Day and the 33rd anniversary of Belize’s Independence Day. Here in San Pedro, September will be celebrated in grand fashion with a line-up of events.
Howler Monkey Resort lives up to its name!
“If you miss the turn/sign and arrive at the Community Baboon Sanctuary museum you have gone too far,” read the directions on how to get to The Howler Monkey Resort in Bermudian Landing, and sure enough (and despite their ample sign) in our excitement we did just that!
The Resort is just yards from the main road but it’s certainly tucked away. We are warmly greeted by owner Melissa Turton and her son Jusef, and our excitement mounts as we follow them on a path through the open, landscaped property to our cabaña. There are a handful of these quaint cottages, all intermittently situated along the sloping bank of the wide, slow river below us.
Police to implement Anit-Crime Campaign
The San Pedro Police Department has officially launched a September Celebrations Anit-Crime Campaign . Aimed to ensure safety for residents and visitors during the event-filled month. The campaign will last from Monday, September 1st to Tuesday, September 30th, and entails an increase in patrols as well as police presence during scheduled events. The San Pedro Police Department is made up of 46 police officers, and receives additional help from 20 volunteer Special Constables.
Belize Jaguars Participate in 2014 Central American Cup
The team has been practicing for the past month under the guidance of Head Coach Costa Rican Le Roy Sherrier Lewis, and will be competing in Group B against Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. Group A consists of Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama. Tournament matches will be played in four different cities: RFK Stadium in Washington DC, Cotton Bowl in Dallas Texas, BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston Texas and Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles California. Each team will compete in three matches which will determine the final lineup. The top four teams automatically earn the UNCAF spots for the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup, while the champion of the tournament earns a coveted spot in the 2016 Centennial Cup America. The 5th finisher will earn the right to participate in a two-leg playoff against the fifth-place team from the 2014 Caribbean Football Union Caribbean Cup, for an additional Gold Cup spot.
Humble Patriotic Celebrations in 1980
This was the first verse of the historic song we all sang during the parade of September tenth. In fact children used to sing it during the school rehearsal one month before the event. On the day of the event there were two speeches, one from the village alcalde and one from our Area Representative, Honorable Louis Sylvestre (RIP).
Note that there was no elaborately decorated stage. In this case it was only a platform with no backdrop. Behind the stage was the church bell tower and then the famous Blake House. As for the coronation Lily Paz Nuñez was crowning Estrella Nuñez in the year 1980. They were accompanied by the other pageant contestants. (Kindly identify them in comments if you know them) In the center is Louis “Cuz” Sylvestre, the man in whose memory and honor the new sporting facility has been named.
First Lady Kim Simplis Barrow and Daughter Visit the Blue Hole
During their visit, mother and daughter were able to appreciate the stunning aerial views of the Great Blue Hole. In describing the experience Simplis Barrow shared, “I knew I was going to see it and I knew what I was going to see but just approaching the Blue Hole and seeing it for the first time was an experience I can’t explain to you in words…what it really felt like. To see this magnificent natural wonder right there in front of you was an incredible experience. To me, it’s important to show Salima what it is we have in Belize; the natural wonders we have and the importance of conserving it.” Simplis Barrow says she is all too aware that conservation is as much about future generations of Belizeans as it is about this one. “And they deserve the same experiences we are having today. We as Belizeans should really be proud of what we have and be proud of Belize.”
Belizeans Asked to Observe World Suicide Prevention Day 2014
While some people turn to suicide to cope with problems, it is important to know that suicide and suicidal thoughts are never solutions to stress. Many people who committed suicide never sought treatment for their underlying mental health issue, although effective treatments are available. The Mental Health Program of the Ministry of Health has ongoing activities targeting suicide prevention and treatment across the country. The Mental Health Clinics in each district provide psychological services to persons in need of counselling. The Ministry has also published a training pamphlet entitled “Suicide Risk Guidelines: a resource for teachers” in addition to other informative materials which are currently being used by the Mental Health Program staff.
Misc Belizean Sources
The Good Morning San Pedro Talk Show gets new TV
On one of his weekly visits to the Good Morning San Pedro Talk Show, Mayor Daniel Guerrero presented the hosts of the show, Mr. Angel Nuñez and Mr. Eiden Salazar, with a new Television set since the previous one that they had was sadly stolen from their studio. The Good Morning San Pedro Talk Show has become a vital source of communication in our town where it has not only helped in spreading news, promoting awareness and informing the town, but it has also helped many families and individuals in raising funds via telethons. Keep up the good work Reef TV!
Belizeans to Benefit from US$30 million Climate Resilience Project from
World Bank for Improved Road Infrastructure and Disaster Risk
The Belize Climate Resilient Infrastructure Project (BCRIP) will support the efforts of the Government of Belize to improve the resilience of critical road infrastructure against flood risk and to strengthen the capacity of relevant ministries to incorporate climate resilience and disaster risk management in their investment planning and implementation. They include the Ministries of Works and Transport and Natural Resources and Agriculture. “The Government of Belize is conscious of the social, economic and environmental implications of Climate Change and takes this opportunity to first, welcome the strategic partnership with the World Bank through this loan for the Climate Resilient Infrastructure Project,” said Yvonne Hyde, Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. “This project will enable Belize to implement mitigation and adaptation strategies in the war against this global threat as it relates to the negative effects on Belize’s economic growth and welfare of its present and future generations.” CEO Hyde added that the project is designed at increasing the resilience of the Belizean people to climate change and its impact on the environment and economy of Belize.The project will rehabilitate 30 kilometers of roads, improve the Ministry of Works’ capacity in road maintenance and training of road maintenance personnel, operationalize
Financial Controller for the Punta Gorda Town
The Department of Local Government hereby informs the general public
that effective Monday, September 1, 2014, the Minister of Local
Government appointed a Financial Controller for the Punta Gorda Town
Council. The appointment of a Financial Controller for the Punta Gorda
Town Council is in accordance with Section 5 Subsection 23A of the
Town Council Act as amended by Statutory Instrument No. 21 of 2008
which gives the Minister with responsible for Local Government such
powers “where the Minister, after considering the financial affairs of the
Council, forms the opinion that its financial affairs are not in accordance
with the rules and regulations, or that the financial position of the Council
is such that it requires strengthened fiscal management and controls, he
may after consultation with the Council, appoint a financial controller to
oversee the financial affairs of the Council and may direct that all
disbursements from the Town Fund above such amount as he may
prescribe shall be certified by such financial controller in order to be
In this regard, the Minister has appointed Mr. Glenford Hines to act as
Financial Controller for the Punta Gorda Town Council for the period of
U.S. Ambassador Carlos Moreno in Stann Creek, Toledo Districts on familiarization tour
U.S. Ambassador Carlos Moreno recently traveled down south to the Stann Creek and Toledo Districts on a familiarization tour. During this trip, he had a chance to meet with Claret Care, a Catholic religious organization that manages an HIV clinic in Dangriga. Claret Care has partnered with the Pan American Social Marketing Organization (partially funded by USAID), to provide HIV testing to at-risk groups and also promote safe sex practices.
Photo 1: Ambassador Moreno joins Claret Care and PASMO personnel on a tour of the facilities.
Photo 2: Claret Care Team Leader, Ms. Elecia Castillo, shows Ambassador Moreno one of the rapid HIV/AIDS tests which delivers results in 6-7 minutes.
La Isla Bonita on Canadian News
First we made the Italian tabloids, now we're on the Canadian news!! Amazing international coverage for Belize's telenovela!
La Isla Bonita telenovela viewing schedule
Ministry of Natural Resources & Agriculture hosts meeting of the Central American Agricultural Council
September Potluck South Ambergris Caye Neighbourhood Watch
Our 3rd annual (or is it 4th…but who’s counting) September Potluck Social is on Sunday, September 7 from 11am to 3pm and is being held at the Caribe Island Clubhouse (Pink Condos). If you’re here on the island we hope you will join us for a fun day of mingling with your neighbors and enjoying everyone’s culinary talents.
In order to make sure that we have plenty of food and drink we need to know how many to expect and what dish you are bringing (to feed 25 to 30 folks). If you plan to attend and did not fill out the food sign up sheet at the August general meeting, please reply to this email and let us know how many will be in your party and what dish you will bring:
New price structure for the sale of Liquid Petroleum Gas
The Supplies Unit in the Ministry of Trade, Investment Promotion, Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection is hereby informing the general public that effective September 5, 2014 there will be a new price structure for the sale of Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG).
A fantastic day at the House of Culture today as we opened the Battle of St. George's Caye Exhibit.
We thank the close to 500 primary school students and their teachers who visited and viewed the exhibit. We kindly invite the Corozal community to come in and learn more about this most important time in Belizean history. The exhibit will be on display through to November. (18 photos)
Rescued baby Armadillo from Corozal
Baby armadillo, orphaned, from Corozal district was successfully delivered to us with the help of numerous people in the Wildlife Conservation Network. Due to its' very small size, we settled it in the "nursery" enclosure. That allows us better access to the observation of the animal. Thank you, everybody!
History lesson of the day. Learn about the Hawkesworth Bridge's history with the latest articles from the Cayo Tour Guide Association. There's an article just about the Hawkesworth Bridge, and one about Edward Hawkesworth too.
"The Hawkesworth bridge was opened on Saturday August 20th 1949 and was named after the late Sir Edward Gerald Hawkesworth, former governor of Britsh Honduras. The type of bridge was decided based on the fact of very high flooding and that the River was used to float logs downstream... The total cost of the bridge was $198,384.33 and contained 2,260 tons of concrete, 264 tons of steel work and the cables, made of 7 individual strands and weighing 18 tons each. The foundation was carried to bedrock 12 feet below the surface. The columns were raised to a height of 46 feet and the center to a height of 52 feet, 7 feet above the heightest known flood level. The total length of the bridge is 480 feet and the main span is 280 feet, with an additional 100 feet on each side."
Valley of Peace Medical Clinic
Valley of Peace village had a medical clinic, courtesy of Best of America by Horseback, which promotes riding in Belize.
"Today we spent most of the day preparing for the free medical clinic. Best of America by Horseback is providing to a village near Banana Bank Lodge where we take guests riding in Belize. We have not publicized this work on the show, but Best of America by Horseback has been quietly supporting the Valley of Peace Christian School, an elementary school in this small village for some time, helping with school supplies and other needs. Tomorrow and Wednesday our riders and volunteer nurses and a doctor who have traveled here with us from the states will be hosting a free clinic to the students, their families and anyone in the village needing medical attention. This work is extremely heart warming."
Francis Reneau's CELEBRATION
September 4 - September 7. Francis Reneau's “Celebration” is a colorful musical journey through Belize, encouraging the myriad of cultures which combines to make this country so unique.
“Celebration” pays homage to the indigenous Maya, whose cities flourished between 200 and 800 AD. In movementB, the melody of Mayan harp lines at the heart of this work, while the story of the Maya is cushioned by the tranquility of the marimba. Both instruments are still played in Belizean villages, particularly in the Cayo and Toledo districts.
Reneau also explores the vibrant cultures of the Africans - the Creoles, descendants of salves brought to Belize in the early 1700s, and the Garinagu, Africans in the diaspora who were never enslaved. With some Amerindian ancestry, the Garinagu settled in Belize last century at the tail-end of a long journey from Africa, to St Vincent, to the shores of Central America's Caribbean coast.
Teenager Charged Once Again For BDF Volunteer's Murder
Two years ago, 21 year old BDF volunteer soldier Isaac Cruz was killed at Militia Hall in Belize City. The alleged killer was another reservist, but he was only 17. The story at the time was that the two had some hard words, and the teenager had a BDF issued AR-15, so he shot and killed Cruz - right there on the military compound.
The 17 year old, who is now 19, is Jermaine Michael Rhaburn. He was charged for murder back in 2012, but he walked in April of this year when the case was struck out. So the last thing he could have expected was that he would be picked up at work this morning to be charged for murder, a second time. But that's just what happened based on a Directive from the DPP's Office.
Was PC Blease Acting Lawlessly?
He's sworn to uphold the law but tonight, a police constable is in jail after he allegedly got lawless with a firearm. 32 year old Linsdale Blease of a Belama Phase one address in Belize City was charged for aggravated assault and wantonly discharging a firearm in public. It happened between miles 25 and 26 on the Western Highway in February of this year.
Cordel Duran alleged that between Miles 25 and 26, Constable Blease approached him, pulled out a firearm, pointed it at the ground and fired a shot. The cop and Duran allegedly had an altercation that day over a vehicle that got burnt up which purportedly belonged to the cop.
But, no charges were levied back in February when the complaint was made; however, the file was sent to the DPP's office and it came back today ordering that the police charge Blease.
Garifuna Community Keeps The Pressure Up on CIBC
Yesterday, the president of the Christian Workers Union Audrey Matura Shepherd told the media about a deadline she'd given the First Caribbean International Branch. She demanded that by 1:00 pm, the Bank indicate its readiness to meet with the Union and its member, Uwahnie Martinez, who recently resigned from the Bank. Well, Matura Shepherd told us today that the Bank did respond and she expects that the union, along with Uwahnie Martinez will meet with the Bank tomorrow.
As we reported, Martinez - an employee of 12 years - has resigned alleging discriminatory practices by the manager at the Dangriga Branch of the Bank. The Union says Martinez was not allowed to speak to bank customers in Garifuna.
And so while First Caribbean has the Christian Workers Union to contend with, they also have to deal with a new pressure group, formed out of various Garifuna Organizations including the National Garifuna Council, Ligemeri Dangriga, Garifuna Development Organization and the Dangriga Town Council.
Youth Claims GSU Officer Tried To Shoot Him
The GSU's violent intervention in the King and George Street area yesterday is still resonating in that neighborhood. Today we were called to speak with a young man who claims that when everything started yesterday, a GSU Officer tried to shoot him. He explained that it all started with an unusual car in the neighborhood:..
Voice of: victim
"Yesterday when I walk downstairs and I notice a suspicious car on the lane and the young man from downstairs was going to his grandmother and when he pass car the GSU jumped out from the car and start to beat him for no reason. So I couldn't stay in the area and so I flee from the area and I ended up reaching doe the lane. They were searching the area and one of them meet me, but I didn't run. The man (GSU) point the gun at me fired a shot. As he fired that shot I jump the fence and so I ended up escaping because I don't want to get shot for nothing."
Unrelated Search Leads Police To Seize A Stolen Gun
Police went pursuing a robbery suspect and allegedly busted 35 year-old Deshawn Craig with a gun. So, tonight, he's at prison after being taken to court for it.
The incident occurred on Monday morning just before 10. The police reported that they was pursuing a man who they believed was involved in a robbery attempt, so they visited Craig's residence. They said that upon their arrival, Craig ran out of his house and he threw a plastic bag over a fence. They retrieved the bag, and found that it contained a black 9 millimeter pistol with 6 rounds of ammunition in its magazine.
Police: Tablada Helped Steal That Gun
And while police say that Craig had the stolen gun on him, the man police believe who actually stole it from Derrick Hemmans, the rightful owner, is Belize City resident Nelson Tablada. He is also at prison tonight.
31 year-old Chukka Tours Manager Derrick Hemmans told police that on Thursday, August 14, exactly 1 month ago, he had just come back from Water Caye, and he was unloading supplies from a white Chevy cargo van. He said that he drove off, and when he arrived at the NAPA roundabout, he was ambushed by an armed man who robbed him of 2 black bags which contained, $6,500 cash, and a laptop computer. The man also relieved him of his licensed 9mm pistol, which was loaded with 16 live rounds of ammunition.
SICA Meets In Belize; Sustainable Energy For All Discussed
Representatives from the member countries of SICA, the Central American Integration System, are in San Pedro tonight after an entire day of meetings. As we've told you, Belize is currently the protem President of SICA, and will maintain control for the next 5 months.
That's why a team from the Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities were the hosts today of a technical meeting for government professionals from the energy sector in all the member countries. On the agenda, along with renewable energy, was the topic of designing social programs to assist poorer sections of the population to get access to affordable electricity.
Energy Minister Joy Grant was the Keynote Speaker and after her presentation, she spoke with the media about the significance of these discussions for Belize. She told us that there is the plan have access to power in every community throughout the country, as part of the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative currently endorsed by the region:
A Lot More Yet Unsaid About Climate Change
One of the one most devastating and destabilizing issues affecting Belize and the globe is Climate Change. Now, many of you may think that discussions and coverage surrounding this issue have been exhaustive but at today's National Climate Change Consultation held at the Radisson, the stakeholders made it clear that this issue can never be overemphasized. Today's consultation centered on the presentation of a National Climate Change Policy, Strategy and Action Plan geared at addressing climate change in Belize. Climate Change Specialists commented on the grave factors that are affecting Belize in terms of climatic and environmental conditions and the impact this plan will have on the regulatory process.
David Simons, Consultant, National Climate Change Policy for Belize
"We have been working on this plan now for a few months. The whole idea is that I haven't recognize that climate change is a phenomena which is affecting Belize and the government has decide that the way to approach this is to develop a national policy, strategy and action plan. Basically what the policy do is to kind of set the guidelines that will determine how they are going to go forward; the goals, objectives, action plan - things which ought to be done. So what we've been doing over the past few months is engaging with stakeholders just to ensure that we can get an input from them to understand clearly what their concerns as far as climate change is concern, how it's affecting Belize."
Revellers Ready For The Road, But Is The Road Ready For Them?
And CISCO Construction is hoping that the climate doesn't change in the next 9 days as the company rushes to try and get all of Central American Boulevard ready for the Carnival Road March.
It's only about two miles from the Belcan Bridge to Caesar Ridge Road, but work on the Boulevard is a major project with drainage, sidewalks, a roundabout and a dual carriageway. It started in February of this year and was supposed to take one year, but right now, work is at hyper speed, as CISCO Construction tries to get all of the Road March route ready - even if some of it has to be one lane only. Presently 250 men and women are working on four different areas of the Boulevard and Princess Margaret Drive - and today Francis Woods told us they'll make it in time for a smooth road march:
Francis Woods, Contractor - CISCO Construction
"For carnival in particular we are trying to get much done as possible. We figure that there will only be like a 400 foot stretch that the carnival will not roll on fresh concrete, new concrete."
Eastern Division Gets A New PR Organization
If you follow police news - you'll know that since the de-centralized precinct system was put in place last year - you've seen precinct police giving interviews on the evening news more regularly. But, last week, word came down that a new beefed up police press office would be regulating, and in essence, restricting, those appearances. That sounded like bad news for the media and for the free flow of information which our viewers depend on.
And so, today, the senior command of the Eastern Division along with the three members of the new Community Public Relations Office, comprising Raphael Martinez who is now joined by Douglas Hyde and W-Corporal Hortense Hernandez - met with the media to explain that the new deal is not a raw deal - just information management, not control, they claim:
Douglas Hyde, Public Relations Coordinator, Eastern Division
"We basically exist to promote the reasonable of mutual understanding and cooperation between Eastern Division and the stakeholders especially the staff, the general public and the media as in gender continued public confidence and service. We are in the process right now of identifying police officers from each precinct in the next couple of weeks to participate in training in public relation and also in terms of interviewing skills and stuff like that which is very important for information dissemination to the general public when it comes to media interviews."
RFP Process Still Going
Earlier, we told you about the SICA meeting in San Pedro in which the social programs were discussed to provide energy to 100% of the country's population. Well during that discussion, Keynote speaker, Joy Grant, informed the gathering about Belize's request for power initiative.
As we told you, the government and your electricity company are trying to increase the capacity of the national grid by introducing an additional 75 megawatts of energy. The 20 bids were officially tendered 3 months ago, and today, Grant discussed with us how far the process has gone in reviewing the programs which will be selected to produce that additional power.
Here's what she told us:
Hon. Joy Grant
"That started on May 29th and we got 57 applications, much more than we thought. We are happy about that because what that shows is investor confidence in the country and come in and say they would like to do a project. We did the first review and we brought that down to about half and then we did a second review that we had the socio-economic benefits from all of these that were on the short list and also the financial analysis because that's very important. If we are going to get new sources of energy it must be at a competitive price if not it does not make any sense, so we are at the point where all these analysis has been done. There is a small group of 3 with representatives from BEL, the Public Utilities Commission and the ministry working very hard on this and in the next 10 days the short list will be announce to the Belizean public."
BELTRAIDE Helps 14 New Entrepreneurs
If you are an entrepreneur or aspiring to be one, you are aware of the steep cost of getting a startup business going, but today Beltraide made that start up process for 14 entrepreneurs, a bit easier with a seed grant for their business. The entrepreneurs told us how this grant will significantly assist in the growth of their business.
Omar Castillo, Senior Business Advisor, SBDC Beltraide
"Today we are celebrating the hard work of all these entrepreneurs here. This was a 3 month process, they really had to buckle down and do a lot of work. It took place in 3 phases; there were 2 workshop phases, each followed by fieldwork. The approach we took it's not just feeding you information, but actually going out and putting it to use, so interacting with the market, you customers finding out what's the actual needs because as entrepreneurs we fall victim to thinking that we have the perfect product. You don't know until you actually interact with your market. Here at SDBC Belize and Beltraide like our mantra say "making small business happen" we want to see mindsets change, so programs like these and resources that SDBC Belize offers we believe could do wonders in not only helping a few people, but changing entire mindsets and that's the direction we want to take Belize."
"What inspired you and your son to write this book?"
Mas Camps Madness Continue
Tonight the Mas Camps are continuing all across Belize City. Unless you've been to a mas camp, you might not understand how really crazy it gets. And that's because the Mas Camp serves two purposes: a very practical one of getting all the costumes ready for the Road March, and another more intangible one of building that carnival spirit, which - at the senior camps is fostered by loud soca music, wild and dirty dancing, and in no small part by a "goodly" amount of alcohol. Monica Bodden and camera man Codie Norales got to see it in action last night when they visited Mother Nature's Creation and Erotic Mas Band. They started though with the pure and untainted energy of the youths at the Pickstock Carnival Band:..
Monica and Codie are back out on the Mas Camp circuit tonight with the final set of visits and you'll see that story tomorrow…
Mexico's Brass Quintet Arye
And while soca's the thing at those camps, they would no doubt be able to find a few saucy steps for a visiting Mexican Brass Band . The group is called "Ayre" and it comprises two trumpet players, one French horn player, a tenor trombone player as well as a bass trombone player. We got to hear them play at rehearsal today.
The concert will take place tomorrow evening at the Institute of Mexico at 6:30. Entrance is free. The group will also perform on Saturday at the Benque Viejo House of Culture as part of the celebrations of the 3rdanniversary of the cultural center.
The La Isla Bonita Telenovela
Tonight, the local film industry is getting ready for the screening of telenovela filmed on San Pedro. The telenovela is called La Isla Bonita and it's been in production for several months now.
One of the things which makes it unique, is that though the director is an international film maker, the actors, and producers are Belizeans who are trying to grow the local film industry.
Today, we got a chance to catch up with a few of the cast and film crews for a discussion on the Telenovela, which hopes to capture the local Hispanic population. Here's how that discussion went:
The first screening of the La Isla Bonita Telenovela will be held tomorrow evening with a red carpet gala event. The producers are still looking for a distribution deal.
Oscar B Back In Belize
Trinidadian Soca artist Oscar B is in Belize for the September celebrations. He's been coming to Belize since the 90's but this time he's solo on a mini tour of Belize. He invited the mature audience to come out and enjoy his old school Soca vibes - this weekend at the Biltmore:..
He will also be performing in Cayo on Independence eve.
Jaguars Need A Win Or Draw In The Next Nation Cup Match
Team Belize lost two - nil to Honduras yesterday evening in Washington DC. The defeat was doubly disappointing because both of Honduras' points came from "own-goals."
But now, team Belize has to prepare for the Cotton Bowl in Dallas on Sunday where we take on Guatemala. If it is to have any hopes of moving on Belize has to win or tie in that game.
The Accused Murderer of San Pedro, Columbia Woman Is Finally Captured
The alleged killer of an elderly woman from the southern community of San Pedro, Columbia is tonight in Police custody. And he has confessed to the brutal murder of sixty-one-year-old [...]
Residents Praised and Criticized for Their Role in Suspect’s Arrest
The villagers of San Pedro, Columbia and those from San Marcos played a crucial role in the capture of the alleged killer. They acted swiftly after the murder of a [...]
GSU Commander Mark Flowers Opens Up About the Unit’s Public Image
The Gang Suppression Unit remains the object of intense public scrutiny. Recently, the elite task force came under fire from the People’s United Party which ultimately resulted in a tiff [...]
Flowers Says Balance Between the GSU and Public is Necessary
According to Flowers, a delicate balance needs to be struck between the GSU and the public in the manner in which it executes its function. Hostility, he says, needs to [...]
Small Business Owners Receive Financial Aid for Startups
A series of checks in various denominations were distributed this afternoon to small business owners who will use the financial assistance as venture capital and for the expansion of their [...]
Community Public Relations, the Police and the Media
On Friday, a terse email from the Police Press Officer announced to the media that all requests for information or interviews from senior officers would have to be channelled through [...]
Douglas Hyde Outlines Police Departments New PR Strategy
Where the media is concerned, we are assured that using the new method information-gathering will be streamlined and much more efficient. All queries will be made to the new unit, [...]
Eastern Division Gets Made Over
The Eastern Division is getting a new look and new feel, the brainchild of Commander Dezerie Phillips. It’s all about changing the perception of the Police Department, making it more [...]
Jermaine Michael Rhaburn Re-arrested for Murder of BDF Volunteer
On Monday, October first, 2012, a young B.D.F. volunteer soldier, Clifford Isaac Cruz was killed on the compound of Militia Hall located near the Lord Ridge Cemetery in Belize City. [...]
Cop Remanded to Hattieville Prison for Aggravated Assault With a Firearm
Tonight, a cop is on remand at the Belize Central Prison after the D.P.P. handed down her directives to have him charged for an allege gunplay incident which is said [...]
SICA Meets in Belize to Discuss Energy Cooperation
Belize currently holds the presidency of the Central American Integrated System, SICA. That means hosting a round of regional meetings in different critical areas, like energy. This morning, directors from [...]
Carnival Mas Camp 2014: Are Erotic and Mother Nature Ready for the Road?
Day three of Mas Camp 2014 is currently underway and a News Five team is visiting the five remaining bands that will face the judges in the preliminaries of the [...]
Mexican Brass Quintet Takes the Stage in Belize
The Embassy of Mexico is inviting the public to a concert by a Mexican Brass Quintet “Ayre” on Friday at the Institute of Mexico in Belize City. The ensemble which [...]
Belize City Mayor speaks of recent trip
Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley is back home after attending a conference in the United Kingdom. When we sat down with the Mayor, we asked about his recent trip.
Mayor Darrell Bradley
I had gone to the Ahmadiyya Muslim community conference which is an annual convention which is held in the United Kingdom. The Ahmadiyya Muslim community recently set up a chapter in Belize, I attended the opening ceremonies, delegates came from Canada and I had engaged with them. They have a very active nonprofit humanitarian wing that they call Humanity First they do a lot of disaster relief, construction projects with engineers who are part of their community and we had engaged them in getting some of that technical assistance for Belize City .The facility that they set up in the Coney Drive area of Belize City has an internet cafe, it’s very much into attracting young people and those are areas which I think we could cooperate with that community. I was asked to bring words of greeting and welcome on behalf of Belize.
SICA focuses on renewable energy
The Government of Belize through the Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities is hosting a two day conference in partnership with the Secretary General of the Central American Integration System, SICA. In attendance were Directors of Energy of each of the SICA country and on the agenda was the discussion of the status of their current projects, and agree on future projects with an emphasis on renewable energy.
Hipolito Novelo reporting …
“Representatives of SICA countries, including that of Panama, Guatemala, Honduras, and Belize, converged at the Banyan Bay Villas on San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. It was day one of a two day conference in which Directors of Energy from all SICA member countries had an opportunity to discuss the current status of existing projects and brainstorm for future ideas. The emphasis was placed on Renewable Energy. According to the Minister of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities, Joy Grant, the conference is historic, as it is the first time that Belize is hosting the Directors of Energy. “
MINISTER JOY GRANT
“Energy efficiency is a huge topic we need to look at it very closely but also at the same time rural electrification, getting electricity to the villages that presently don’t have it is a priority. When we look forward and we look forward to solving the problems as I said earlier, we could look at it on a national level and we are and we are coming up with solutions but it’s always best in circumstances such as these to look at it from a regional perspective.”
Alternative Energy bids still under review
Back in June, the Public Utilities Commission and the Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities presented bids submitted for electricity generation. Twenty proposals were submitted and the idea is to attract an idea that would satisfy public demand for electricity services within the country for the next 15 years. The bids are currently going through a perusal process and according to Minister of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities, Joy Grant, the number of bids have been reduced to 10.
Minister Joy Grant
“If we are going to get new sources of energy it must be at a competitive price without it does not make any sense. So we are at the point where all the analysis has been done, there is a small committee of three representatives from BEL, the PUC and the Ministry working very hard on this and in the next 10 days the shortlist will be announced to the Belizean public. At that stage we go into negotiations because people have said that we have the money and we can do this but we have to make sure that that is in fact so and as soon as these negotiations will probably take a month or so and at that time we will be ready too look at what time we could start to implement these projects that would have been chosen.”
Man faces murder charge for the second time
BDF volunteer soldier Clifford Isaac Cruz was shot and killed on the compound of Militia Hall located near the Lord Ridge Cemetery on October 1, 2012. Jermaine Michael Rhaburn was charged for the murder however earlier this year the charge was struck out. Today based on a directive from the office of the DPP, the 20-year-old Rhaburn was taken to court where he was re-charged for the 2012 murder. No plea was taken from Rhaburn who was unrepresented. He was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until October 22. The Chief Magistrate noted that the record showed that the charge had been struck out. No reason was given for the initial striking out of the charge against Rhaburn. According to a relative, Rhaburn was picked up from work this morning at a Chinese store and brought to be re-arraigned for the old murder. According to reports, Rhaburn and Cruz were involved in an altercation on that day which resulted in Cruz being shot.
Belize remains dependent on Mexican power
Belize has yet to be independent when it comes to supplying energy for our own consumption. A portion of the energy Belize uses is bought from Mexico at a high rate. Minister Joy Grant says that cutting the electrical wires that connects Belize and Mexico, is not in the near future.
Minister Joy Grant
‘That does entail setting up the infrastructure, the lines that could carry the load and that would mean significant investments however we are working both with the world bank and the IDB and looking to see if Belize could become a member of CEPAC, we are not . These discussions are quite advanced. Now to your specific question of buying energy from Mexico I said this morning that fifty seven percent of our electricity is from renewable resources. Now that is actually more than most countries especially in the Caribbean. If we could increase that while keeping the cost down, we will be able to decrease our dependence on Mexican energy. That will not happen in the very short term. We are always lucky that we have this arrangement with the Mexicans of which we are very happy that we have it, we are glad that the Mexican government is working with our government this way because Belizeans don’t have to worry if we have for example very dry air and we don’t get the hydroelectricity, we can always get from Mexico but with time we would like to use biofuels which gives us energy in a more sustainable manner than Hydro to bridge the gap so that most of our energy will be coming from renewables, bring down the cost and make us more energy sustainable.”
Villagers capture murder suspect
The man believed to have murdered 61-year-old Agripina Coc of San Pedro Columbia in the Toledo District was captured earlier today.
Paul Mahung reporting…
The capture of the suspect occurred during a joint search operation of a number of San Marcos Villagers led by San Marcos Villagers and Punta Gorda Police search team led by Cpl Steven Parham.
“At 9 o’clock a.m. on today’s date Thursday September 4, 2014 acting on information that the suspect in relation to the murder of Ms. Agripina Coc of Columbia Village was sighted in San Marcos Village, myself along with PC 1195 Antonio Pop, PC 192 Davy Griffith and WPC 21 David Allen visited San Marcos Village where some villagers were still in pursuit of the said suspect. We all joined the determined villagers of San Marcos where we combed the bushes leading to the Southern Highway in search of the suspect. About 10am, the suspect who was dressed only in boxers and shirt was caught on the southern highway between miles 12 and 13. The suspect is presently detained at the Punta Gorda town police station.”
Police Department creates new Public Relations Unit
When the news of the creation of a new unit within the Police Department to deal with how the media has access personnel from the Department for information was handed down, there were a number of concerns raised. In an effort to respond to those concerns Officer Commanding Eastern Division Senior Superintendent Desiree Phillips along with her Deputy Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster and the members of the new unit met with media representatives. Phillips said contrary to the concerns raised, the move was in no way meant to restrict access to information but rather to streamline operations. The newly appointed Public Relations Coordinator Douglas Hyde explained more.
Douglas Hyde – Coordinator, Community Police Relations
“The unit itself is the information management wing of the Police Department, specifically the Eastern Division and is in charge of the internal and external communication drives. It’s overall responsibility is to build and safeguard the image of the Eastern Division maintaining a two way communication channel between the Eastern Division and key stakeholders which also includes the media. We basically exist to promote the reasonable level of mutual understanding and cooperation between the Eastern Division and its stakeholders especially staff, the general public and the media so as to engender continued public confidence and service, the CPR unit will be creative, innovative in implementing its duties and will be guided by Belize Police Department Media Policy and reports directly to the officer in charge of the Eastern Division.”
Crackdown on human trafficking at northern border
Belizeans travelling with minors to Mexico might have encountered setbacks due to new immigration policies implemented at the beginning of the year.
Arturo Cantun reporting …
“As of January 1st 2014 minors travelling with relatives who are not their parents cannot legally enter Mexico. This is because the national Mexican immigration institute has introduced a new policy to counter a rise in human trafficking in the region. In recent weeks a number of Belizean have reported setbacks when they reach the Mexican immigration as they will not be allowed to enter without proper permission from the minor’s legal guardian. Belize’s honorary council in Chetumal Jorge Valencia told us more about it.”
Former revenue manager held accountable for missing monies at Corozal Town Council
Earlier this year the Corozal Town Council was in hot water over a situation that involved the misappropriation of funds. As a result, an internal investigation was conducted. At the time Mayor Hilberto Campos did not say much, only that he would speak with us after the audit was completed. Today he shared those findings with us.
MAYOR HILBERTO CAMPOS
“The outstanding of course we have $13,495.00 which is still owed to the council. There are three people involved in the whole issue, nevertheless the revenue manager Mr. Garcia is the one that will be asked to come up with these monies or to pay back to the council so to speak. Yes they were terminated but we also have affidavits signed by Mr. Garcia before he left. When he was terminated he asked that he was going to leave the country but he was willing to sign an affidavit in which he practically confesses that he was involved in the outcome of the investigation and he also has committed to pay back which is why we will meet as a council to discuss the way forward to the next step which would be to either hand it over to the police for him to be prosecuted or to have him pay back this council. The important thing in this matter would be for us to get back the $13,495.00 outstanding to the Corozal Town Council.
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Over 100 Silk Grass Leases About To End After 7 Years Of Lands Department Rejection
On Monday night, PlusNews aired an exclusive story on the Water Board situation in the village of Silkgrass in the Stann Creek District. Villagers complained that the Water board was going rogue; with no meetings, no reports on financials, and only answerable to the UDP caretaker, Melvin Hulse.
But that is not the only problem residents of the small community are having; there is another board; a Lands Committee, independent from the Village Council, but again empowered and answerable to the UDP Caretaker. In January of 2008, 161 lots were surveyed and distributed to Silkgrass villagers but almost 7 years later, most villagers are unable to make any payment on their 7 year lease, and are fearing the worse.
We spoke with Area Representative Rodwell Furgeson who initiated the land distribution in 2008.
Villagers anxious for a parcel of land to build their homes are now left holding the bag. Current Village Council Chairman, Solomon Andrews, says that from he came into office he has been lobbying Government on behalf of the disenfranchised villagers, but to no avail. To complicate the issue, while some villagers are being told they are not in the system, others are getting their titles processed. This allegedly includes some favored villagers who never were in the initial distribution.
Christian Workers’ Union demands meeting with First Caribbean Bank
The issue of alleged policy forbidding the speaking of languages other than English inside the First Caribbean International Bank branch in Dangriga Town has taken center stage in recent days. But while the Bank has denied fostering such a policy, it is in a behind-the-scenes battle with a soon-to-be former employee, Uwahnie Martinez, who alleges discrimination by the bank’s management. She and another Garifuna employee of long standing have turned to the Christian Workers’ Union which represents a majority of the branch’s employees.
On Wednesday CWU President Audrey Matura Shepherd reported that the Bank is stonewalling its efforts to settle the matter behind closed doors.
Will BML workers be hired in January?
We asked Attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd about the status of soon-to-be former employees of Belize Maintenance Limited (BML), who are expected to join the Belize City Council.
Prime Minister Dean Barrow had assured, as part of efforts to end strike action by the disaffected workers, that the majorit...
Belmopan Police Will Clear High Crime Area In Riviera
In June, the Belmopan police formation, in collaboration with the Belmopan City Council, undertook a cleaning campaign along main pathways that weave through the centre of capital. The problem was that the footpaths were shrouded with thick shrubs making the area prone to robberies and other illicit activities.
Next week, a similar project will be undertaken by the Belmopan Police Station which has partnered this time with the Kolbe Foundation to clean the Riviera Area in Belmopan. Superintendent Howell Gillett – Officer Commanding Belmopan Police Station
“Recently we’ve had some thefts from motor vehicles in the Riviera area. We went out there. We saw what was needed. There is too much shrubs and bushes around the Riviera area. We will ensure that we comply with environmental laws, but we will clear the entire area, so the people could see where they are going, when they go to swim in that area.
Arab Muslim Community in Belize respond to Hezbollah accusations
On Monday September first we told you that a Mexican newspaper Por Esto had reported that suspected members of the Hezbollah were apprehended. The news paper reported that on August 28th a Mercedes Benz was searched by police in Cancun. driving the vehicle was Hacsam Elsayed and three other passengers.
As we told you on Monday, the News paper claims they all had Belizean Passports and while they are residing in Belize, the article says they were actually members of a theorist group called “Hezbollah”. The article further stated that authorities are aware that Belize is being used as a base for Hezbollah cells.
These reports have enraged the Arab Muslim community in Belize. On Wednesday Amir Zriba, spokesperson for the Belize Arab Muslim community, told the media that the article is erroneous and said they are going to sue.
National History Lecture discusses Battle of St. George’s Caye
The Battle of St. George’s Caye is a historical fact, despite efforts by some to suggest otherwise. 216 years after the naval engagement off Belize’s coast however, the question two historians attempted to answer today was: “Is the Battle important and relevant to modern Belize, and if so, how?”
With an answer, here is presenter and chair of the executive board of the Belize History Association, Francis Humphreys.
Francis Humphreys – Belize History Association Chairperson
“As we’ve said, in the context of the presentation itself, the Battle put in place the first foundation stone for the permanence of what is today Belize. Without that permanence, you and I wouldn’t be having this discussion today.
Spain had intended to plant the Spanish flag in the settlement, permanently, but that didn’t happen. The defense of the settlement was successful, as a consequence of the Battle, and the rest, as the saying goes, is history.
The Truth About Fair Trade Money
The recent announcement, first revealed on social media and then in the local media last week, that Tate and Lyle has written to the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers’ Association (BSCFA) has left many reeling for answers, and has (as per norm) sent the BSCFA into its usual tailspin as it (the association specifically) scrambles to now figure out what it will do to replace this teet that has now been slapped out of its greedy mouth.
What is Fair Trade first of all? It is a social marketing program which allows those Fair Trade accredited/certified producers and distributors to sell their products at a higher (premium) price by appealing to social conscience. In other words, companies like Tate & Lyle, can become certified by the relevant fair trade accreditation body (Flo-Cert), which they can then in turn utilize to label their products as being Fair Trade products. This unique distinction, allows them to sell the sugar product at higher prices. The Fair Trade program is marketed across major markets like Europe, in which Tate & Lyle trades, so when buyers see the fair trade labeling on the product package, they will immediately know that if they purchase the product, a portion of the proceeds from the sale, will go back to the “poor” farmer/producer who produced the raw material(s) used to make said product. Critics of this way of trade say it is rooted in European white guilt for its exploitation of developing countries over centuries, and is their means of recompense.
Why is there a cut in Fairtrade Money?
There is no official in Belize who can actually answer the question as to why Belize’s assistance through Fairtrade is being cut but there are many indicators that can give us some idea as to why it is happening.
Julio Cesar Escalante, a career public servant in the Ministry of Economic Development finalized his doctoral thesis in February 2013 at the Centre for Development Studies, The University of Auckland, New Zealand. It was entitled “The Politics of Fairtrade Sugar in Belize: Fairer for Whom? The document is quite compelling and examines the topic quite extensively. While that is so, what is very interesting is what the document says about the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and the way they handle the finances derived from Fairtrade.
The thesis explains that the BSCFA was first certified in 2008 but “Just over a year after the BSCFA was certified it was then suspended for a litany of noncompliances with the Fairtrade standard. These related to mismanagement of the premium – totaling almost US$4m in the first year – and a lack of accountability in the governing committees.” The thesis continues: “Canefarmers had little knowledge of Fairtrade” “in the beginning many cane farmers were against Fairtrade funding being used to pay for new vehicles and increased wages for staff of the BSCFA because the budget was well in excess of a million Belize dollars. In addition many interviewees reported that they had seen the machineries of the BSCFA in plots that belong to farmers who serve in the association or their relatives; the machines in question were fixing feeder roads.”
Why the PUP Wants the GSU Disbanded
If you have been a resident of Belize City for the past thirty years, you would have noticed that a lot has changed since then. The demographics certainly speak a different story today as compared with 1984. Older folks speak of a time when everyone was their brother’s keeper and when everyone knew each other’s child. Everyone had the authority to correct that child if found committing wrongdoings. In 1987 the United Democratic Party Government created the SIS- Secret Intelligence Service. There is no denying the success that this unit had in curbing the nascent crime wave which was afflicting Belize at the time. It was vehemently criticized by the PUP and in 1989 after winning the elections; the first order of business for the PUP was to disband the SIS. Something went terribly wrong after around 1990. The system broke down and we started to see an escalation in crime like never witnessed before in Belize. This was a little after the PUP won the general elections in 1989. In 1993 the UDP was once again elected to office and robust, no-nonsense strategies were implemented within the police department to tackle the crime which was spiraling out of control.
20 K Campaign Focuses on Financial Empowerment for Women
Over 200 women and young ladies answered the “National Call to Action” from Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis Barrow, on Friday, August 29, when the 20,000 Strong campaigned proceeded with a focus on financial empowerment for women.
According to the Special Envoy, the Conference on Women and Girl’s Financial Health is “a precursor that will inform the design of an economic development program which will support women entrepreneurs in starting, growing and sustaining their businesses.” The conference provided an opportunity for young ladies and aspiring entrepreneurs to hear from successful businesswomen. The accomplished entrepreneurs in attendance shared about the early challenges they faced and how they paddled through. The conference also provided an opportunity for policy makers to hear from new business owners about what support they need and what are the limitations that exist in the economic environment.
Maintaining three billion dollars worth of infrastructure
The Ministry of Public Works and Transport is now preparing to conduct a study on the way forward for the continued maintenance and improvement of some three billion dollars worth of roads and other infrastructure. This will occur as the Ministry of Works continues to improve road infrastructure across the Country. This bit of good news was revealed last week by Chief Engineer Lennox Bradley and if all goes as planned, within the next four years all of Belize’s national highways will be at very improved standards. Some of these improvements on Belize’s road networks are now taking place through the efforts of the Government of Belize in partnership with several international development organizations.
In the Cayo Central Division work has begun with the concreting of streets for aesthetic purposes and for it to serve a longer period of time. As of this past Sunday several work crews were out on Bishop Martin Street to pave it with concrete and it is expected that this project will cost half a million dollars. Also in the pipe line is the concreting of Requena Street in an effort “..to transform Santa Elena into a Town that is the envy of all,” says Area Representative and Minister of Works and Transport, the Hon. Rene Montero.
Meanwhile; work on the Loma Luz Boulevard in Santa Elena is being done by contractor CISCO with funding from the Caribbean Development Bank. This road will feed into the San Ignacio and Santa Elena By-pass, which is being prepared to cross the Macal River.
Bringing Dignity to a Dirty Job
We have not heard about the dumpsite “scavengers” since the late Keith Swift’s great award winning piece in November of 2008. The “jungle”, as the scavengers refer to it, was cleared, covered and closed in 2010 under the IDB funded Solid Waste Management project. This project not only got rid of the eye sore that was the jungle but has significantly improved the working environment of the men and women who were once called “scavangers”, the bottom feeders of society.
The Solid Waste Management Authority is now responsible for the disposal of garbage from out of Belize City and other municipalities in the Western Corridor. The location that was the “jungle” is now a temporary holding facility for the city’s garbage known as transfer station. The compound houses a 600 square meter building where garbage is collected from households, business institutions and non-processed industrial waste. Those are then separated and taken to mile 24 on the George Price Highway, site of the state of the art sanitary landfill.
Eden Seventh Day Adventist Primary School in Santa Elena opens up in full colors
One of the largest Seventh Day Adventist Primary Schools in Belize, the Eden Seventh Day Adventist Primary School, opened on Monday of this week in Santa Elena Town, showcasing its brand new classrooms, kitchen and playground. Students and staff assembled in the School grounds on the first day of school for prayers and to celebrate the achievements that have been made over the last few months.
Earlier this year Seventh Day Adventist Missionaries had worked on several projects at the Eden Seventh Day Adventist Primary School. We enquired from Principal Tharine Gabourel the sources of all that help and she told us that all had come from international groups.
The School in Santa Elena Town now has all grade classes on the same grounds and now sports freshly built upper concrete classrooms as well as a brand new kitchen, equipped with modern appliances.
Benque Viejo Town Council gets compactor truck
The Town Council of Benque Viejo del Carmen received a compactor truck last Friday from Santander Sugar Limited. The 1987 GMC Truck is valued at about $30,000.00
According to Mayor Miguel Velasquez, the vehicle will be used to pick up garbage around Town with greater frequency and more effectiveness.
The Town of Benque Viejo at one time had two garbage trucks, but as of recent were only able to operate with one. This new addition to the Town Council assets is being received with good news by Benque Viejo del Carmen Residents, who have traditionally kept their Town spankingly clean of all refuse.
Leases issued to 105 residents of Bullet Tree Falls Village
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources & Agriculture, Honourable Gaspar Vega in collaboration with UDP Cayo North Standard Bearer, Mr. Omar Figueroa presented 105 Leases to the residents of Bullet Tree Falls Village in Cayo in a ceremony held yesterday in that community.
Of the over one hundred leases issued, 40 were the regularization of documents, and for these first-time lease holders, these papers provided a solution to decades-old uncertainty regarding ownership of the land on which their families reside.
The Ministry of Natural Resources & Agriculture covered the survey & subdivision costs in an effort to provide these families with security and legal rights to their property.
Channel 5 Poll is a Joke
Channel 5 has lost their claim to objectivity a long time ago but they still play an extremely important roll in the dissemination of information or mis-information here in Belize. Many Belizeans get their news from this television station with the most resources and their pieces are often featured on regional outlets. Unfortunately, the once highly regarded news agency continues to sink to the level of gossip tabloids as its appetite for sensationalism continues to expand.
Channel 5 is definitely not the only news station accused of being sensational and they may not even be the most sensational in Belize. However, they almost certainly produce the most skewed news in the region and their polling is nothing but a joke.
The Channel 5 poll has always rubbed objective viewers the wrong way. The questions are framed in a certain way to get a desired result that would further their anti-government agenda – very crafty. However, looking at its most recent poll, Channel 5 has simply gone too far. Forget about framing a question to get a desired result! Channel 5 has now chosen to simply give you the answer they are looking for. Fresh off the PUP’s announcement that they will disband the Gang Suppression Unit, Channel 5 “asks” its viewers: “Do you believe that the GSU should be disbanded?”
First Indian Diaspora Conference in Belize - a Resounding Success
The First Indian Diaspora Conference in Belize, held from August 5 to 11, 2014, was a resounding success. The theme of the conference was Highlighting Indian Culture and Contribution in a Multi–ethnic Society.
The conference’s success was due to the input of several organizations and the hard work of many individuals. In the year 2012, Mrs. Sylvia Gilharry-Perez, President of Corozal Organization of East Indian Cultural Heritage (COEICH), with the approval of her executive members, accepted a suggestion. The suggestion was made by anthropologist, Dr. Kumar Mahabir, a professor at University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) to host an Indian Diaspora Conference in Belize.
The suggestion was circulated to many individuals and organizations. The National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) supported the idea. Mr. Nigel Encalada, Director of NICH, and his team were fully involved with the planning and implementation of this conference. Dr. Albert Williams, Professor at Nova Southeastern University, Florida and a Belizean East Indian, gave his time and expertise to help with the planning of the conference, actively participated in its implementation, and provided exquisite entertainment with far-reaching solos on his guitar.
El Progresso Primary School in Cayo has difficulties
It was the start of the school year for primary school children around Belize on September the first, but for one school in the Cayo District, as of Tuesday, classes were yet to begin as normal. Parents turned up with their children on Monday of this week at the El Progresso Primary School in El Progresso Village at Mile 7 on the Mountain Pine Ridge Road, only to find that the Principal was not present. As a result parents had refused to leave their children alone at the school, concerned as to who was going to be the Principal and who was in charge of the school.
There now seems to be a small group of villagers from El Progresso that are standing up against the Principal Pedro Cano and others are in his support as he is well liked in the village. Earlier in June of this year a letter was in circulation relating to Cano, an investigation had ensued, but no action was taken by the education authorities until recently, when he was placed on administrative leave. Allegations in the letter are that he behaved inappropriately, he is also accused of duct-taping the mouths of some students. There is a possibility that Pedro Cano could go back to teaching if the findings show that he had always been a good Principal.
Rotten to the Core
Not since the litany of scandals and indignities which were orchestrated between 1998 and 2008 has the People’s United Party dominated the national headlines for two consecutive weeks. Last week it was Saldivar and his alleged million dollar daylight heist from his former client and this week began with Cordel’s so-called “return”.
Saldivar’s particular drama continued unfolding from Monday evening to Friday morning past when his committee came in from Belize Rural North and staged a protest in front of Independence Hall. An all-around waste of time, people have commented, since no protest in the past has ever had much influence on the PUP’s mindset. They, like some religious leaders, believe in being infallible. And so Saldivar today continues on suspension, with the likelihood of being removed as Standard Bearer.
Personally I think Saldivar’s entire political career is over. And to think, this is the same man who once aspired to be PUP Party Leader, but is now considered crude and rude by his own colleagues. Then again, I can’t blame them, since the majority of us Belizeans share that same opinion of the man, don’t you think?
September Celebrations Officially Started
We are proud Belizeans today because 216 years ago a group of Baymen, African slaves and free blacks decided to defend the settlement against an intimidating foe. The facts of the 1798 Battle of St. George’s Caye continue to be the subject of much debate. How huge was the Spanish fleet? Did their vessels experience difficulties? What weapons were used? How long did the battle last? Was it really a war or just a standoff? Different historians hold on to different versions but what they all agree on is that the road to nationhood began with a decision to permanently settle St. George’s Caye (whether it be facing an intimidating foe or frightening uncertainty). It is because of that decision that we are able to celebrate our 33rd Anniversary of Independence this year and it is for that decision that we will march with our heads held high on September 10 as we remember our forefathers who decided that holding on to this blessed piece of earth is worth every once of blood, sweat and tears they can muster.
Cordel Hyde’s Empty Legacy
After 15 years of being a representative in the Lake Independence constituency with a legacy of doing absolutely nothing, Cordel Hyde, returned to the People’s United Party. We must be specific that he returned to the People’s United Party because he did not return to the people of Lake Independence, after all he was never there for them. He has absolutely nothing that he can point to or say were his accomplishments while he represented (or not) the people in that division.
He had the audacity to stand on the podium and claim that the people of Lake I were clamoring for his return, but is that really the truth? We are sure that can’t be so. Under his 15 years, Lake I was simply stagnant, there was nothing done by way of infrastructure, education, health or housing in that division. We can say however that in those 15 years under Hyde, the people of the constituency were treated with great disregard. Clinics were held but in order to be seen by Hyde people had to fight for a few tickets that were thrown over the verandah of the education building behind the Mahogany street complex building. And those who were strong enough to get a number were given mere pittances to pay a water bill or an electricity bill.
National Bank Starts Accepting Deposits ...
The National Bank of Belize opened its doors on September 2 of 2013 with $20 million in start up capital from the Government of Belize. $10 million was earmarked for teachers and public officers and $10 million for other middle income Belizeans. On Tuesday, September 2, the bank celebrated its first anniversary and is holding raffles and other promotions for customers throughout the week.
The biggest news on the first anniversary is that the bank is now accepting deposits. Janette Arnold, Deputy General Manager of the National Bank, says Belizeans can now open a savings account with just $25. Savings accounts can be opened for children with just $10. She encourages all Belizeans to open an account with the bank as it continues to expand its portfolio and services.
A Belize City branch is expected to be constructed in the Lake Independence Boulevard area very soon and other branches countrywide will follow. Over the next 18 months, clients of the National Bank will benefit from the roll out of an Automated Teller Machine system with two ATMs at the Belmopan branch. Clients will be able to use their ATM cards at the Belmopan branch or any Heritage Bank ATM countrywide. According to Senator Joy Grant, Chairman of the Bank’s Board of Directors, the cards will also be usable at over 25 credit unions across the country.
Can Love be the Answer
Your brother, sister, mother, grandparents- all of us- experience a world of corruption; a world where the only quick escape is harm. The words used of shame and sorrow hurt not only the individual spoken to, but the world also as a whole. No doubt, each of us has inflicted some type of pain in another individual's life. Sitting down thinking about the pain and suffering caused in people’s lives helps to demonstrate the importance of love in the world. We often times experience a level of discomfort from pretty much everyone we come in contact with, and they have experienced similar levels of discomfort from us as well. This anxiety ranges from a mere tickle in the stomach to pain that makes your eyes shine with trickles of pure sadness. This leads us to believe that in a world of such incredible pain, we need something to lean on. From the words of the great Beatles themselves, I believe that “all we need is love”.
Di Silvaana Udz Lekcha Series launched in Belmopan
A lecture series celebrating the illustrious life and contributions of Dr. Silvana Udz, assistant professor at the University of Belize, was launched in a packed hall of the Jaguar Auditorium at the University of Belize in Belmopan this past Tuesday. It was an opportunity at this occasion to hear the well known and established writer Godfrey Smith, who gave students numerous pointers to the writing process.
Present at this event on Tuesday was Dr. Silvana Udz, who was much applauded for her work and contributions to Belize. As reviewed by book enthusiast and writer Ivory Kelly, Dr. Silvana Udz is a founding member of the Belize Creole Project, the literary arm of Belize’s National Creole Council. While at the Creole Council Dr. Silvana Udz published the Creole English dictionary in 2007 and promoted a standard Creole spelling system as well as material for using the Creole language as a tool in developing English fluency in Belize. Dr. Silvana Udz is now leading a team of English lecturers at the University of Belize in developing a pre-college English program.
Slow Down! Smooth Road + Speed = Accidents
There is an old saying that progress brings problems and that is very true in the old capital city these days. The over 100 newly paved or cemented streets in Belize City have brought welcome relief to struts and tires, and the pockets of automobile owners. It is pure sweetness to plot your ‘smooth road’ route to your next destination as drivers navigate away from the few, still pothole-filled streets. But this new phenomenon has brought to light another challenge – motorists are just speeding through the city in reckless fashion with little or no regard to pedestrians.
While hard statistics may be lacking, it can be assumed that since the newly paved streets, there are many more accidents and near misses taking place that are not reported. There is one piece of road where the selfishness, ignorance (creole definition), hastiness and impolite side of residents rear its ugly head, and that is the first 3 miles of the northern highway. Impatient motorists speed up cutting in and out of traffic only to come to a complete halt some 100 yards up ahead. If not for the few speed bumps added recently, the evening news would be replete with more tragic traffic accidents. Another treacherous piece of urban road is the Youth for the Future Drive from the BelChina Bridge to Vernon Street. That has become a virtual speedway and pedestrians have to literally run for their lives sometimes when crossing that wide span. Undoubtedly, a crosswalk needs to be constructed posthaste. It might be useful to note here that speed limit signs in the city are pretty much non-existent which doesn’t work well for city residents who are already somewhat adverse to obeying traffic law and rules.
Neighborhood Watch Summer Camp 2014, Benque Viejo
The Zone 4 Captain Mr. Samuel Bruce has hosted an annual summer camp for the Benque Viejo del Carmen's area children, which concluded on Friday August 22nd, at the spacious Sam’s Community Park; complimenting the efforts of community policing unit commanded by Corporal Joshua McKoy. This event has been hosted by Mr. Bruce since 2008, when the program began in Benque Viejo. Zone 4 has been a model of success for the Police Department ever since.
This event required the coordinated effort of Zone Captain Sam Bruce and volunteer instructors such as Mrs. Carmita Harris, Rony Nix, Dorian Harris, Isela Tesucum. It also needed the help of Assistant instructors Gene Bruce and Luis Lisbey.
The summer camp was offered free of cost to over 60 children per day, along with police youth cadets, who took part in arts and craft projects, football, volleyball, and became immersed in the play ground's equipment. Some of the many treats for the children were juice, biscuits, snacks, ideals’, Rice & Beans and chicken dinners. A total of 300 children participated for the week in this year’s program.
Belize’s First Governor General is Trailblazer of the Week
Trailblazer Tuesdays proudly presents Belize's First Governor General, Dame Elmira Minita Gordon!
Dame Elmira Minita Gordon became Belize’s first Governor General and the Queen’s representative when Belize got its political independence in 1981. The independent Belize’s constitution allows for a Belizean citizen to be appointed by the Queen, on the advice of ministers in Belize, to be her in-country representative with day-to-day executive powers. Dame Minita held this highly esteemed position for twelve years.
Born and raised in Belize City, Elmira Minita began her education at St. John’s Girl’s School and St. Mary’s Primary. Her professional education was done locally at St. George’s Teacher’s College and enhanced with a course from the College of Preceptors, Oxford, England. She pursued postgraduate education at universities of Nottingham and Birmingham in England, the University of Calgary in Alberta Canada and the University of Toronto, Canada. Minita became Belize’s first Belizean trained psychologist when she returned to Belize in 1980.
San Pedro Colombia residents looking for murder suspect
Investigators from Punta Gorda are looking for a suspect on the run for a gruesome murder which happened in the village of San Pedro Colombia. 61 year-old Agripina Coc was raped and murdered in the very quiet village on Saturday, October 30, 2014.
According to her family, she left her house at around 12:30 p.m. to visit a relative and to go buy rice at one of the neighbouring shops. After she went missing for more than 2 hours, her family immediately began to get worried. They organized themselves into search parties, asking for the help of other villagers. About seven hours later, the search parties discovered her nude body. She had suffered a large chop wound to the centre of her head.
Coc was well-known in the village as a friendly and kind Christian woman, and as soon as the grisly discovery was made, the other villagers became enraged. They organized themselves into search parties to investigate what had happened. Shortly after, they received information that Agripina Coc had complained of a young man she’d seen around the village stalking her. The search teams soon started to behave mob-like, arming themselves with sticks and machetes, and they went searching for this person. There are reported sightings of the young man, but he has not been detained as yet.
San Antonio wins in Vega Cup Tournament
The 2014 Vega Cup Tournament continued on Sunday, August 24, with four games on the schedule out at the San Antonio Football Field in Orange Walk North.
In the first game played, Santa Cruz Jrs blanked Rising Stars by the score of 2-0. The goals for the Santa Cruz Jrs were scored by Ruviney Carillo in the 45th and 56th minutes of play.
In game two, Barrio Boys also blanked San Jose Pumas by the score of 2-0. The goals for the Barrio Boys were scored by Jesus Richards in the 8th minute of play and Zaim Cawich in the 90th minute of play.
In the third game of the afternoon, Jaguars United defeated Douglas United by the score of 6-1. The goals for Jaguars United were scored by Johnny Cardenas in the 2nd and 17th minutes of play, Luis Herrador in the 15th minute of play and Osmer Uk in the 46th minute of play.
Meanwhile, the only goal of the game for Douglas United was scored by Hilmer Martinez in the 82nd minute of play.
Complex Admirals leads Firms basketball championship series
The Belize District Basketball Association Firms competition entered its championship round on Friday, August 22, at Bird’s Isle with championship game one between Complex ‘Admirals’ and the Belize Bank/Airport Team.
In game one of the best of three series, it was the Complex ‘Admirals’ that won game one by the score of 73-63.
The top scorers for Complex ‘Admirals’ were Wilfred Richards with 26 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals, Rhetton Belisle with 20 points, 6 rebounds and 2 steals, and Cassian Flowers with 12 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals.
Meanwhile, the top scorers for the Belize Bank/Airport Authority team were Terrique Gabb with 18 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists, Chris McGann also with 18 points, and Dominique Guzman with 12 points, and an assist and 3 steals.
XXIV National Women’s Softball Championship this weekend
The XXIV National Women’s Softball Championship will be played from August 29-31, 2014, at Rogers Stadium.
The National Softball Championship is played between the champions and sub-champions of the Affiliated Associations that makes up the National Federation.
The championship will feature from Belize City Belize Bank Bulldogs (Champions) and Beacon (Sub-champions), from Belize Rural Sunrise of Lord’s Bank (Champions) and Burrell Boom Orchird Girls (sub-champions), from Cayo Roaring Creek the number one seed and Esperanza Wolverines the number two seed and from Orange Walk Carmelita the number one seed.
The championship will commence on Friday, August 29, at 6:30 pm with game one between Beacon and Roaring Creek and this will be followed by game two, which will see Belize Bank Bulldogs against the Esperanza Wolverines.
Murder on Fabers Road
Residents of Fabers Road Extension woke up on Sunday, August 31, 2014, to the early morning gunfire which claimed the life of 38 year-old Michael “Pama” Usher.
Very little is known at this time about the motivation for this street slaying, but at around 4:30 a.m., Usher left his mother’s house on Fabers Road Extension. He was riding his bike, heading towards the George Price Highway. That’s when an unknown gunman ambushed him and fired several shots in his direction. Usher, who was caught off-guard was injured in his upper body and head, and he collapsed in the middle of the street. He died on the spot, while his attacker rode off.
Police responded shortly after it happened, and they recovered six 9mm expended shells and one of the slugs.
Coast Guard Officer charged for Crooked tree boat accident
On Wednesday, September 3, a single charge of manslaughter by negligence was levied against Coast officer, 49-year-old Whain Williams. Williams was arraigned before Magistrate Herbert Panton. He was unrepresented. A single charge of manslaughter by negligence was read to him for the January 31, 2014 death of 20-year-old Benjamin Jerome Gentle Junior. After the charge was read to him, Magistrate Panton said, “I could not help but question why you are before me on this charge.” He commented saying that “Weren’t you in the execution of your duties.” Nevertheless, the charge was read to him. Because the matter is an indictable offense, no plea was taken from Williams. There was no objection to bail and Magistrate Panton offered him bail in the sum of 2 thousand dollars plus one surety of the same amount which he met.
Indian Medical Student kills two in traffic collision
An Indian medical student has been charged in connection with the deaths of 2 Belizeans following a terrible collision on the Goerge Price Highway. Police believe that he was driving a vehicle drunk when he killed his passengers, and probably just as bad is the fact that he is an unlicensed driver.
The accident happened at around 8 o’clock on Friday night, August 29 between Miles 46 and 47 on the said highway. 20 year-old Indian national Lenin Mayavan was driving a grey Chevy Tracker, and with him in the vehicle at the time were 17 year-old Belmopan resident Jose Manuel Castellanos and 22 year-old Maritza Cruz Rodriguez. He was driving toward Belmopan when his vehicle slammed into a Mitsubishi Pickup, which was going in the opposite direction. That vehicle was being driven by 67 year-old businessman Luis Urbina from Orange Walk.
Wallace Gordon, 35, will spend the next year in prison for beating up his ex-common-law-wife on March 7 of this year.
Tenielle Williams, 34, reported to police that just after 6:50 a.m. on March 7 she was at her Kings Park home when Gordon visited requesting to see their baby boy. She refused to let him see the baby. Williams told him to go through the courts to see the child. It was then that Gordon forced himself in and a struggle ensued. According to Williams, Gordon punched her in the face at least two times before leaving the house. Williams made a report to police about the incident and also informed them that Gordon had her passport. When police detained Gordon he told them that he accidentally hit Williams but admitted that he took her passport and tore it up.
Anti-Christ’s’ son sentenced to 6 months for robbery
On Monday, September 1, 21-year-old Kenrick Kevin Longsworth was found guilty of robbery by Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. He was then sentenced to six months imprisonment.
Longsworth is accused of jacking a purse from Sherlette Lamb whilst she was on Freetown Road. Lamb testified in court that on the day of the robbery she was at Deheli, a Chinese Store, where she had gone to buy some drinks. Whilst at the store, she took out her purse which she had in a plastic bag and took out some money to pay for her items. She said that she put back the purse in the plastic bag and placed it on the handle of the bicycle she was riding. Whilst at the store, Longsworth was there and he was watching her so she left. As she rode off on her bicycle, she heard heavy breathing coming from behind her and that’s when she looked behind her and saw it was Longsworth who then snatched her purse from off the bicycle.
Man is maimed with a vehicle
A Belize City man has been left maimed following what looks like a deliberate attempt by a driver to run him over. The man behind the wheel has since been arrested and charged for that incident.
An eyewitness has told the media that 42 year-old Belize City resident Francis Gill was at Key Ley Fried Chicken shop in front of ITVET on Freetown Road. He was buying food when a Chevy Blazer ran Gill over. He recounted to the media that he ordered his food and was urinating off to the side when he felt a pain to the side of the body. That’s when the vehicle hit him, and much to the shock and trauma to other eyewitnesses, his right leg came apart from the impact. The eyewitness says that when Gill went down, the driver revved the vehicle several times, giving the impression that he deliberately ran Gill over. A short while after that, he drove off.
Three shot in robbery attempt - two are 17 year olds
On Monday, September 1, two minors both ages seventeen were remanded to the Wagner’s Youth Facilities located at the Belize Central Prison after they were charged jointly at the Belize Family Court.
The two minors were charged with robbery. Since the robbery is alleged to have occurred with the use of a firearm, they were both denied bail and remanded into custody until October 2, 2014. Since they are minors, we are unable to publish their faces.
Reports are that on Friday August 29th at around 4:15p.m. the minors along with two other men rode on bicycles to the rear of the Western Dairies Ice Cream parlor on Heusner Street where 4 employees of the establishment were loading a truck. Two of the assailants pulled out guns and pointed it towards the workers and ordered them to lie on the floor stating that it was a robbery. Before anything else could happen, the culprits came under fire and the two 17 year olds along with another of the robbers were shot. One of the minors received a gunshot to the upper side of the left shoulder and the other received a gunshot to the back. A third robber was also shot and while the two minors were escorted to face charges, the third was not taken since his injuries were more severe and he remains a the KHMH in serious but stable condition. The fourth suspect managed to escape unhurt.
Perfilio “Champagne” Rodriguez Not Properly Dressed for court
Perfilio Rodriguez, better known as Vanessa Champagne Paris, almost missed his court appointment on Friday, August 29, because he showed up inappropriately dressed. Rodriguez prefers to dress like a woman but this was not the reason he was refused entry into the courtroom of Magistrate Herbert Panton. Rodriguez appeared at court late (after 10 a.m.) dressed in blue tight jeans and a white shirt but he was wearing slippers on his feet. The female security officer refused to allow him to enter the court room and he became angry and confrontational. According to eyewitness, Rodriguez charged pass the security officer to see the clerk of court. The clerk also refused to allow him to enter in slippers and Rodriguez was forced to go purchase a tennis shoe. Rodriguez did not get back to court until around 11 a.m.
Edward “Ned” Pitts honoured with Commonwealth Games Federation Order of Merit
Edward “Ned” Pitts, President Emeritus of the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association was awarded on July 22, 2014, at the General Assembly of the Commonwealth Games Federation in Glasgow, Scotland, with the Federation Order of Merit.
Pitts, has been awarded this honour in recognition of over 60 years’ service to sport in Belize and the wider Commonwealth.
The prestigious Commonwealth Games Federation Gold Pin and Scroll was received on Mr. Pitts’ behalf by Mr. Hilly Martinez, the President of the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association.
Complex “Admirals” captures Firms competition Basketball title
The Belize Basketball Association 2014 Firms competition came to an end on Saturday August 30 at Bird’s Isle with the third and final game in the best of three series between the Belize Bank/Airport Team and Complex “Admirals”.
In the third and final game of the championship, Complex “Admirals” defeated the Belize bank/Airport Team by the score of 61-54 to capture the championship by winning 2 games to 1.
The top scorers for the Complex “Admirals” team were Rhetton Belisle with 15 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists, Cassion Flowers with 13 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 steals, and Wilford Richards with 13 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals.
National “A” Team participating in Copa Centroamericana Tourney
The Football Federation of Belize National “A” Team is currently in the United States of America where it is participating in the 13th UNCAF Copa Centroamericana Tournament.
The 21 payers and Technical staff left the country on Monday September 1, 2014 for Washington DC. Team Belize was placed in Group A which consists of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.
The following are members of the National “A” Team: Goalkeepers – Shane Orio, Woodrow West and Frank Lopez; Defenders- Elroy Smith, Dalton Eiley, Ian Gaynair, Evral Trapp and Felix Miranda; Midfielders – Harrison Roaches, Denmark Casey, Daniel Jimenez, Andres Makin, John King, Delone Torres, and Trevor Lennen; Forwards – Jarret Davis, Evan Mariano, Highking Roberts, Clifton West, Jerome James and Deon McCaulay.
Sagitun leads championship series in President’s Cup
The Football Federation of Belize President’s Cup championship series got underway on Sunday August 31, 2014, at the Ricalde Stadium between Sagitun FC and the host team San Antonio FC.
In game one, the visiting Sagitun FC edged out the host team San Antonio FC by the score of 3-2 to take a 1 game lead in the series.
The goals for the Sagitun FC were scored by Delone Torres in the 16th minute of play, Rollin Burgess in the 18th minute of play and Ashley Torres in the 31st minute of play.
Women’s Football rolls in across the country
The Football Federation of Belize Women President’s Cup competition continued over the last weekend with 2 games.
On Saturday August 30, at the Carl Ramos Stadium in Dangriga Town, DFC Gentle Touch blanked Smart Millennium by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Abbe Halliday in the 6th minute of play via a penalty kick.
And then on Sunday August 31, 2014, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, Triple B’s also blanked Toledo Girls by the score of 2-0.
The goals for Triple B’s were scored by Yamili Herrera in the 48th minute of play and Jennisha Scott in the 80th minute of play.
United Ballers won big in Vega Cup Tournament
The 2014 Vega Cup Tournament continued on Sunday August 31 with four games at the Trial Farm Football field.
In the first game of the day, United Ballers defeated San Roman FC by the score of 7-0. The goals for United Ballers were scored by Didier Chulim in the 8th and 85th minutes of play, Andrew Allen in the 25th and 48th minutes of play, Jarette Hyde in the 27th minute of play, Kadir Gallindo in the 40th minute of play and Andy Garcia in the 57th minute of play.
In game two, San Juan FC edged out San Pablo Youth by the score of 2-1. The goals for San Juan FC were scored by Eric Osorio in the 37th minute of play and Juan Acosta in the 43rd minute of play. Meanwhile, the goal for the San Pablo Youth was scored by Guillermo Aguilar in the 73rd minute of play.
In the third game of the day, Awe V. United squeaked one by Uprising with the 4-3 victory. The goals for Awe V. United were scored by Daython Rivas in the 5th minute of play, Norman Trapp in the 17th minute of play, Dedron Baptist in the 50th minute of play and Floyd Jones in the 75th minute of play.
Back to Basics – Acute Gastroenteritis (Stomach Bug)
On August 25th, 2014 the Ministry of Health issued a press release regarding Acute Gastroenteritis (AGE). The MOH, along with PAHO and CARPHA released a study revealing the impact AGI has on a society as it pertains to Burden of Illness.
Without going into detailed medical terminology, AGE is simply an infection of the stomach and small intestines that usually results in diarrhea, vomiting and/or stomach cramps. It is often referred to as stomach flu, stomach bug or food poisoning. The infectious agent is transferred via contaminated food, water or coming in contact with someone who has the infection. Often times when infants and children have AGE, several days after one of the parent develops it due to exposure from caring for the child and cleaning up the mess.
Re: Today's Belize News: September 5, 2014
09/05/14 06:04 AM
09/05/14 06:04 AM
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Suspect in the San Pedro Columbia murder captured
For four days, San Pedro Columbia resident, 22 year old Miguel Choco was a wanted man. But his flight from the police ended around 10 am today when he was captured in his underwear as he walked along the Southern Highway between miles 12 and 13. Choco is […]
Garifuna organizations unite against First Caribbean International Bank
The residents of Dangriga town are still fuming over what they call the “discriminatory” policy of First Caribbean International Bank branch in the municipality of not allowing Garifuna language to be spoken by employees in the institution’s public spaces. That policy, according to residents extended even to […]
Mexican troupe to play in Belize
Five young Mexican musicians have landed in Belize to perform concerts in Belize City and Benque Viejo. They are the brass quintet “Ayre” and we met with them today at practice at the Mexican Institute. Bass trombonist Miguel Antonio Garcia says they are looking forward to playing classical […]
Deshawn Craig charged for handling stolen gun
As we reported yesterday, laborer Deshawn Craig of Caesar Ridge Road faces further charges in relation to a firearm he tried to get rid of this week. It turns out that the firearm belonged to one Derrick Hemmans and was apparently stolen. Craig was read charges of handling […]
Entrepreneurs receive money to further business
The second round of grants to small businesses participating in the Emprende project co-sponsored by BELTRAIDE, the Center for the Promotion of Micro and Small Enterprises (CENPROMYPE) and the Republic of China (Taiwan) concluded today. From a field of 88, 14 persons were selected to receive seed capital […]
Mayor agrees with BML on payment plan
The ongoing saga of Belize Maintenance Limited (BML) and the Belize City Council is expected to draw to an end next January when the contract for sanitation services expires. But amid reports that the Council was unable to come up with the first payment due at the end […]
National Climate Change Action Plan presented
Today the Ministry of Fisheries, Forestry and Sustainable Development hosted stakeholders in a meeting in Belize City to present the draft of the National Climate Change Action Plan and Strategy for validation. It represents over a year’s worth of consultations with key stakeholders in several major sectors from […]
Police Eastern Division revamps public relations
The Belize Police Department dedicates most of its resources to the Belize District and the City in particular – partially because it is the single largest police district and it is where most crimes are committed. It is also where most media houses are based and in an […]
Search intensifies for murder suspect in San Marcos village, Toledo
Police in Toledo have co-opted the assistance of residence of San Marcos village to capture a man suspected of murdering a woman in San Pedro Columbia village on Saturday.
The main suspect was first spotted in Big Falls village on Wednesday afternoon but managed to elude capture and was reported to have headed in the direction of San Marcos village via the bush and farmland in the area.
Residents of San Marcos reported sighting someone who they believe is the suspect in the village late last night.
This morning police went back to the village and are now working with villagers in an attempt to capture the elusive suspect.
Four teams of 4 persons each, including a police officer, are now on the search in San Marcos village.
A Scoop Newsletter: Hurricane Timing, New Businesses in Town, A New Look For Belikin and Lots of Red, White and Blue
Yesterday, I noticed (or took a picture) of a few new businesses that are open or will be opening in the next few months.
Business #1: A new Hostel – The oh-so-mysterious old Sand’s Hotel. On a huge central lot on the Front Street, just across from the Central Park, is this building.
But word is, that the owner, now deceased, left the property to his relatives. One (with friends) has repainted the building and will open the property as a hostel. They only wait for a hotel license.
Business #2: Smoothies N Treats
I visited this lovely 16 year old, Idalmy, who has opened an afternoon, evening Smoothies shop just behind Captain Sharks in San Pedro. She opens at 4pm after school.
Snacks, wings, DEEP FRIED SNICKERS, smoothies. And she is not just making banana…there are tons of flavors. Delicious ones. Made with yummy ingredients. And at a super reasonable price.
Business #3: The Coffee Bar
The Caribbean Connection internet shop is an internet place no longer – or so I hear. Yesterday, a sign painter was outside taking measurements.
The place will now be “The Coffee Bar” and be, primarily, a coffee spot. I’m guessing they are going to be doing more. This is expensive, Front Street real estate and just coffees might not do it. But we will have to wait to find out.
Hero is Celebrated in Belize: Marcus Canul – An Icaiche Maya!
And on September first, another memorial took place in the town of Orange Walk in Belize’s north as people commemorated the death of Icaiche leader Marcus Canul on that date in 1872.
Readers will be forgiven for not immediately recognising Mr Canul, or his historical significance to not only the Maya, but to all citizens of Belize. Even many Belizeans are unfamiliar with the man and his deeds, as he was woefully ignored in history books and classrooms for many years. And what was taught about Canul, the Battle of Orange Walk, and the Maya resistance in general was often misleading.
We won’t debate that aspect of the Canul legend here, except to remember that history is usually written by the victors, and while the British portrayed Canul and his band as bandits and thieves, he was revered by some people in Belize, Mexico and Guatemala as a freedom fighter seeking justice and compensation for losses suffered by what is today known as ethnic cleansing.
We do know that when the British were consolidating their settlement and expanding the logging of mahogany, logwood and other timber back in the 18th century they began encountering stiffer resistance from the indigenous Maya. As the British brought in African slaves and embarked upon a campaign to subjugate and drive the Maya away by burning their villages and crops, the Maya retaliated with raids.
“Walk on the Wild Side” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
The tranquility of my early morning “me time” out on the veranda (the western, lagoon facing one if you’re wondering) with the mug of coffee -black,no sugar as frequent readers will know- and the iPad has been disrupted over recent months occasionally by worrying thoughts.
What could have been so invasive you’re thinking (actually you probably don’t give a damn) to interrupt this period of the day that I enjoy so much.
Worrying that Arsenal won’t qualify for next season’s Champions League (yes I know that this season has only just begun but you have to think ahead) ? No. Too soon to start worrying about that even for me.
Worrying that the water tank under our house will run dry? Well I have been a little (OK, a lot) that I’d get up one morning, turn the tap and … nothing. But the rain last Sunday washed (terrible I know) those concerns away.
Worrying that I’m getting old? Nope. I know which of the two options I’ve got and I’ll go for “the getting older” one every time!
THREE LITTLE BIRDS
The Acorn Woodpecker is one of a few woodpeckers that can be found busy moving about in Belize. This is a beautiful member of the woodpecker family with all the amazing colours woodpeckers boast. This one in particular, in flight, one is given a treat of what looks like white polka dots under its wings. Its truly fashionably loud in the woodpecker world.
What a delight! The little Scrub Euphonia! This beauty is only 4 inches in size and its bright yellow and blackish blue colour is sure to arch you eyes! We are happy this bird makes Belize its place of residence and can be found in Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador too. In the Spanish speaking places this special “ray of sunshine” is called “Monjita Gorjinegra”, just pronouncing this makes one realise it must be a beautiful species.
The Red-Lored Parrots. These are very popular species of parrots around Belize. They always make themselves known even when in flight. Their loquacious communicative “cra-craa-cra” gives them away anywhere. To find them, one needs to visit areas that are forested, patchy woods or even farms – where they can be traumatising to corn fields and the like.
IDB Report on Citizen Security in Belize
The following is a report published by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) dated October 2013. It discusses the lack of citizen security, the ever increasing crime rate, lack of resources to combat it and the underlying aspects that are causing this growth, things I have touched time and again in many discussions like Education, Poverty, failure of our justice system not only in practice but to your citizens in the penitentiary system. Without further adieu, here is the report, and may I say that things have gotten and only keep getting worst.
Ambergris Caye Is Your Sailing Paradise
With its beautiful beaches and excellent location, Ambergris Caye is the largest of over 200 cayes that lie off the coast of Belize near its border with Mexico. In addition to the sights contained on and around the island itself, it also sits less than half a mile from Belize’s Barrier Reef, the second largest in the world.
It’s surrounded by a whole host of deserted islands to explore, scuba diving options for all skill levels, and some of the world’s best fishing. The wealth of options makes Ambergris Caye a great central hub for enjoying a number of aquatic adventures. And there’s no better way to get from one attraction to the next than on a chartered sailboat.
Footage shows coral stirring water
Coral reefs may look static to the naked eye, but scientists have now seen "violent" activity on their surface.
Using powerful microscopes, researchers filmed this footage showing microscopic hairs on the surface of corals "stirring up" the surrounding water.
They say that these swirls of water draw nutrients towards the coral, and may also drive away potentially toxic waste products.
BELIZE: IMF EXECUTIVE BOARD CONCLUDES 2014 ARTICLE IV CONSULTATION
On June 23, 2014, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded the Article IV Consultation1 with Belize.
Real GDP growth plummeted to 0.7 percent in 2013, from 4 percent in 2012, mainly due to continued declines in oil production and weak agricultural output, especially sugarcane and citrus. Unemployment stood at 14.2 percent in September 2013 and is on an upward trend since it hit its lowest level in 2008. Average inflation eased to 0.5 percent from 1.3 percent in 2012, as commodity price pressures abated. The external current account deficit widened to 4.5 percent of GDP in 2013 up from 1.2 percent in 2012, as exports of oil and agricultural products fell sharply while imports of fuel and electricity picked up. International reserves improved to 4.7 months of imports at end-March 2014 (up from 3.3 months at end-2012) mainly owing to PetroCaribe financing and private inflows.
The primary surplus for FY2013/14 (fiscal year ends in March) is estimated to have fallen to 1 percent of GDP, from 1.4 percent of GDP in FY2012/13. Revenue is expected to be better-than-budgeted, as robust tax revenues more than offset the decline in non-tax revenues. However, substantial increases in wages and salaries, transfers and interest payments drove up current expenditure. Capital expenditures were higher than budgeted because of the need to rebuild the infrastructure that was badly damaged by rain. Credit growth and monetary policy continued to be hampered by weaknesses in the financial system. Private sector credit grew by 3.8 percent (y/y) in March 2014, while broad money grew by 5.2 percent. The banking system remained highly liquid. While declining, non-performing loans (NPLs) remained high at 16.7percent of total loans at end-March 2014. The banking system’s capital adequacy ratio (CAR) improved to 23.4 percent. The authorities stepped up their efforts to address other weaknesses of the financial system, including the adoption of new anti money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) legislation.
Pasta and Noodles Market in Belize: Databook to 2017 - New Study Released
Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/2165096#ixzz3CRSBmngp
"Pasta and Noodles Market in Belize: Databook to 2017" is the result of Canadean's extensive market research covering the Pasta and Noodles market in Belize.
The report presents detailed historic and forecast data on the Pasta and Noodles consumption trends in Belize, offering consumption volume and value at market and category level. Bringing together Canadean's research, modeling, and analysis expertise to develop uniquely detailed market data, it allows both foreign and domestic companies to identify the market dynamics of overall Pasta and Noodles sales, and remain sensitive to those categories that will be in the ascendency in the coming years.
Long-Term Political Outlook - Corruption And Violent Crime To Remain Atop The Agenda - OCT 2014
BMI View: Belize will continue along its present political trajectory over the next 10 years, with the government remaining unable to tackle corruption, and violent crime posing an ongoing threat to citizens . Nevertheless, we believe that Belizean society will remain stable, and future transitions of power will occur within Belize's constitutional framework.
Challenges And Threats To Stability
Corruption : We believe any meaningful reform on this front is unlikely over the coming years, regardless of a potential change in administration. The ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) and the main opposition Peoples' United Party (PUP) have both refused to sign the UN Convention Against Corruption whilst in power, making Belize the only country in Central America to remain outside the convention's purview. Prime Minister Dean Barrow was elected on an anti-corruption platform in 2008, pledging to work with the international community to reduce graft in Belize, yet progress has been extremely slow. For example, in 2013 the UDP sacked former secretary of state Elvin Penner from the cabinet due to an immigration scandal involving the sale of visas and passports to foreign nationals, yet he retains his parliamentary seat.
SIDS leaders sign pact
More than 150 delegates and members of the international development community from more than 45 countries were on Monday stunned to see leader after leader approach the podium to sign a historic sustainable energy and climate resilient treaty that will significantly change the lives and destiny of over 20 million small islanders, for the better.
Led by the Deputy Prime Minister of Samoa Fonotoe Nuafesili Pierre Lauofo, multiple leaders from the Pacific, Caribbean and African, Indian Ocean and Mediterranean Sea (AIMS) regions accepted responsibility for fulfilling the commitment to the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Sustainable Energy mechanism — SIDS DOCK.
St. Kitts and Nevis’ minimum wage highest in the OECS
As a final report with recommendations from a 27-person National Advisory Committee on Minimum Wage is being prepared to be sent to Minister of Labour, the Hon. Patrice Nisbett, St. Kitts and Nevis leads the OECS with the highest minimum wage.
St. Kitts and Nevis’ Minimum Wage is presently$8.00 per hour or EC$320 per week, while other OECS nations minimum wage is between EC$4.05 per hour and EC$7.51 per hour.
Information obtained from the local Department of Labour indicates that the minimum wage in the other OECS countries are as follows: Antigua and Barbuda, EC$7.51 (EC$300.40 per week); Grenada, EC$6.00 (EC$240.00 weekly); St. Lucia, EC$5.00 per hour (EC$200.00 per week); St. Vincent and the Grenadines, EC$4.46 per hour (EC$178.40 per week); Dominica, EC$4.05 per hour (EC$162.00 per week).
It is interesting to note that Barbados’ minimum wage is EC$8.45 per day (EC$338.04 per week) and in Belize, EC$4.46 per day (EC$162.00 per week).
Four Benefits Of Living In Belize
Now I do. My husband and I first visited Belize‘s popular island of Ambergris Caye in 1999 and from that very first trip, we were taken with it. I felt a sense of belonging and community I’d never experienced in the U.S.—including in California where we were living at the time. So in 2008, we made the move…and we haven’t looked back.
There are a lot of choices when it comes to living the Caribbean lifestyle…including the Cayman Islands, Virgin Islands, Bermuda, and the Turks Caicos…all with their aquamarine Caribbean Sea scenes…soft sand beaches…and pastel-hued Caribbean towns…
So why did I pick Belize over other Caribbean destinations? For a few good reasons:
Video: Top 10 Belize, 5min.
Countdown of the 10 best places to visit in North America. This is a companion piece to Discovery Channels big "North America" series of blue-chip natural history. When they came up short of their contracted 6 shows, this one was hastily imagined to fill out the series. I was producer, writer, editor, and my task was to make up a countdown show that would use footage from the series coupled with whatever I could find in Discovery Channels stock library. Also needed to match the series style of using pop hits as music videos within the show - but I was restricted to Discovery Channel's music library - no Rolling Stones.
Video: Belize it! Part 2, 5min.
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