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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
Halloween Jam Night at Legend’s
Legend’s Road House, formerly known as Legend’s Burger House, just north of San Pedro Town is known for their amazing smoked meats and “legendary” Tuesday Jam Nights. With music by local musicians and a live band, many gather to enjoy cold beers, good food and rocking tunes. On Tuesday, October 29th they too got into the spirit of Halloween, and hosted their very own Halloween Jam Night, masquerade style. While many did not show up in full Halloween attire, the crowd did come out and certainly had a good time.
2015 Public and Bank Holidays
IT IS NOTIFIED for general information that public and bank holidays specified in the First and the Second Schedules to the Holidays Act, Chapter 289 of the Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2003, will be observed on the following days during the year 2015 in accordance with section 3 of the said Act:-
San Pedro Turtles begin recruitment
Rugby, a newly introduced sport to Belize, has taken Ambergris Caye by storm and is quickly gaining popularity among island youths. Recruitment for the San Pedro Turtles Rugby Club (SPTRC) started on Tuesday, October 21st and saw a large crowd of youth eager to get acquainted with the new sport. Spearheading the project in San Pedro is Rugby Belize regional organizer, Martin Dawson with the assistance of professional rugby player, Alex Almas.
The first training session was held at the Honorable Louis Sylvester Arena and was aimed at sensitizing the children to the new sport. Originally played in England, Rugby shares similar traits to football as it entails of scoring goals against an opposing team. But unlike football, rugby players can score either by running with the ball in hand or kicking it across the field. The popularity of rugby has grown in the past year and will make its international debut at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Ebola Update 2 – Ministry of Health Updates on Ebola Activities
The Ministry of Health continues to carry out activities aiming at containing any possible threats of Ebola in Belize.
1. The Ministry of Health has ramped up a series of coordinated activities in conjunction with the Customs and Excise Department, the Immigration Department and the airlines for further strengthening at the Phillip Goldson
International Airport (PGIA).
2. A meeting was held with the airlines and personnel from the Airport Concession Company to agree on the implementation of new procedures for passengerarrival. A flow chart for processing of passengers is in use as a guide for Public Health Inspectors (PHIs) who are now being rotated at the International Airport.
3. Training continues on infection control procedures for a wide cross section of persons at the International Airport.
What’s Hot around Town: Nails by Angelina!
Today I’m introducing you to Angelina Guerrero. Angelina, is a very vibrant and creative artist. While many artists choose to paint on canvasses and walls, she creates beautiful art on your nails!
Whether you want sculpted nails, acrylic designs, the ever trendy “gelish” nails -or maybe you’d just like to polish up on your natural nails, she does it all! Her creative eye translates through bubbly designs bursting with color and creativity on each nail. Whether you want something fun and exciting, or maybe more polished and refined, if anyone can do it this girl can!
Belize loses its Paradero King, Paul Nabor
86-year-old Paul Santino Nabor passed away on Wednesday, October 22nd in Punta Gorda Town. Nabor had reportedly been ailing for months as he was suffering from pneumonia amongst other illnesses. Nabor is a Belizean icon who has contributed significantly the country’s rich musical culture and history.
Born on January 26, 1928, Nabor was a musician from Punta Gorda who dedicated much of his life to keeping the Garifuna culture alive. He specialized in paranda music, a mix of percussion and guitar rhythms. Through his music Nabor promoted the need to preserve the rich culture of the Garifuna.
Ministry of Tourism launches brand for Artisan products
On Wednesday, October 22nd and Thursday, October 23rd, the Ministry of Tourism (MOT) launched the first certified brand for Belizean artisan products called Unique Belize at the Ramada Princess Belize City. The brand is part of the Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites Project (MTBCAAS). The product brand was created through the collaboration of the MOT, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) and the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) and will be sold at nine major Archaeological Sites across Belize. The aim of the brand is for products made in Belize be distinguishable among other Central American products. Currently there are 64 artisans participating and collaborating for Unique Belize. These artisans have received training for small business and product development. Products being sold under the brand will include anything from carvings, bamboo art pieces, woven baskets, hats, stone products and paintings, items that are sought out by tourist for souvenirs. The project is funded by the European Union and the Government of Belize.
Belizean Sailors Shine in Guinness Record-Setting Sailing Attempt
No one in the world expected Belizean sailors all to finish among the top 15% and place 4th in the top 50 in the biggest regatta of all time, but guess what? Belize did set itself apart and proved to be a powerhouse when it comes to sailing; and it all happened in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, La Isla Bonita!
On September 21, 2014, 28 Belizeans were among 16,780 skippers of all ages, all over the world, and in all sorts of sailboats, participating in Bart's Bash, a regatta that the Guinness Book of World Records accepts as the largest regatta in history. It was held in memory of a beloved champion sailor and philanthropist, Andrew "Bart" Simpson and in support of The Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation. Bart lost his life at age 37, practicing aboard Sweden's 72-foot America's Cup catamaran that cartwheeled in preliminaries on San Francisco Bay on May 8, 2013. The names of all the skippers in this memorial to his life will be recorded in the Guinness book's on line edition.
Misc Belizean Sources
National Beach Soccer Team
Mr. Betto Lima, CONCACAF Beach Soccer Development Manager, and Mr. Benny Astorga, CONCACAF Beach Soccer Instructor are in San Pedro where they are offering a course to prepare individuals for the National Beach Soccer Team. Selections will be made from San Pedro Town and will participate in Costa Del Sol, El Salvador from November 12 to the 17 of this year. Currently taking the course is Mr. Hector "Tito" Alamilla, Mr. Roberto Canul and Mr. Alex Noralez who are part of the coaching staff that will be preparing the individuals to participate in El Salvador.
HOME DEPOT in Chetumal
HOME DEPOT in Chetumal, Mexico stocks up as they get prepared for their grand opening. They are located at Avenida Insurgentes a few blocks north of Plaza America.
Ebola Update 2
Ministry of Health Updates on Ebola Activities
Placencia Peninsula Nov. 1 planned outage postponed
Postponed until further notice, power interruption previously scheduled for entire Placencia Peninsula, Independence Village and surrounding areas: 7:00am to 11:00am, Saturday, November 1, 2014.
Halloween Spooktacular Fair
It’s back folks, Corozal ITVET does it again! It’s our annual Halloween Spooktacular Fair and you are all invited to come join in all the fun and scares we have prepared for you.
Date: October 31st 2014
Time: 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Place: Corozal ITVET School Grounds
Support Corozal ITVET!
Requests for Proposals for Energy Generation
Recently the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) released the first draft of its report on the 2013 Requests for Proposals for Energy Generation, for which 22 bids were received from 37 proposals. A final list of eight bids was presented which have the greatest likelihood of proceeding to power purchase agreements with Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) once a final “simulation” phase is passed.
We understand that the PUC intends to make a decision tomorrow, Friday, to declare which candidates may proceed to negotiations with BEL, and ask that they postpone this decision until the public has heard from each of the top candidates.
While we note that there have been no contracts signed, after research and review, COLA endorses fully the seventh-placed project in the list, the proposal by Cohune Energy Limited (CEL) for the following reasons. This project is an example of the kind of Belizean creativity and innovation that will drive the country forward – making use of a local resource to power the Jewel sustainably and efficiently. More importantly, it has secured written financial commitment from international banks to the tune of $350 million, which keeps it from becoming a liability to the Belizean people should it fail. But if it succeeds – as we expect it to – this will become Belize’s newest and fastest-growing industry, providing thousands of jobs and bringing in foreign exchange for the economy.
Old glasses bring new vision to Belize
The little boy trying on glasses of various strengths appeared puzzled when I pointed to the letters on the vision screening chart.
A few seconds later, he grinned as I pointed to pictures on a special chart for people unable to read.
“What do you see?” I asked, pointing to various shapes. He knew the circle and the star. He called the flag a box. When I pointed to the heart toward the bottom of the chart, he said “I see love.” Tears filled my eyes. Joy filled my heart.
“Honey, I see love, too,” I told him gently. “You may have this pair of glasses.” I hugged him and we both smiled.
Each of my 36 international medical mission trips have had at least one such magical moment. My recent Volunteers in Medical Missions trip to Belize had two.
In mid-October, I was part of a 13-member medical team that represented six states. We flew from Atlanta to Belize City and then traveled by van to the capital city of Belmopan, which served as our base.
LPG PRICES OCTOBER 31, 2014
Government of Belize Press Office
The Holy Helicopter Cometh
Finally, the Belize Defense Force will have its own helicopter. Since the pullout of the British Military Training unit in 2012, government has been going around cap in hand begging their partners in the US, the UK and Taiwan for assistance in getting a helicopter. But at eight to 12 million US dollars for one helicopter, there have been no takers, so now the Barrow Administration has found a multi-million dollar deal, for not one, but two helicopters - and they announced today that they are taking it. National Security Minister John Saldivar was the first to speak at a press conference this afternoon where it was called a glorious day for Belize:..
Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security
"Our desire for a helicopter is about to become a reality. We were in discussions with the British, the US, the Canadians and the Taiwanese, however, none of these have borne fruit."
Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister
"Now, what we are looking at is a cost of 4.1 million dollars for two refurbished helicopters; a smaller one and a bigger one."
USA To GOB on Hunting Caye: Give It To The Gautes or Pay Your Own Way
The other security issue of national importance, which was discussed at the press conference today, was the Hunting Caye forward operating base for the Coast Guard. As has been widely reported, the US Army Corp of Engineers subcontracted it out to a Guatemalan contractor named Binarq. After public uproar made that untenable the contract was cancelled and other options were sought. But, it seems no Belizean firm was big enough to meet what are known as the prequalification terms to be eligble for a US Corp of Engineers contract. So, the US gave Belize two choices. The Security Minister outlined them today:..
Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security
"We have been advised by the US Army Corps of Engineers that at this point there are only two options for Belize; one, that the construction of the forward operating base continues under the existing contractual arrangements with BINARQ and no change in their workforce configuration. Option 2 is for the Government of Belize to complete the construction of the forward operating base. These two options were presented to Cabinet on Tuesday by my ministry and Cabinet has made a decision to go with option 2 which is for the Government of Belize to continue and complete the construction of the forward operating base."
GOB Not Backing Down On Petro Caribe
So, government isn't flinching at that figure or at the 4.1 million US dollars for the helicopters. And why is that? Petrocaribe, of course! No doubt, the petro-bucks have the Barrow administration drunk in love with Chavvissimo. Except now, the PUP is trying to break up the party - by asking the Supreme Court to intervene and stop the government from borrowing or spending more Petrocaribe proceeds. But the Prime Minister says, the petro-bucks can't stop, won't stop:..
Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister
"I believe honestly and with the utmost conviction that this challenge to the Petrocaribe program and this effort to stop the Petrocaribe spending is a case that the opposition cannot win either in the supreme court or in the court of public opinion. In terms of accounting for the Petrocaribe funds, we account not just to the Belizean people, we account to the Venezuelans. They were here 6 months ago and did a complete evaluation and pronounce themselves, my word not theirs, "ecstatic" about the fact that the program is so absolutely well-run, so impeccably run in this country."
Eastern Div. Strike Team Stops Robbery In Progress
You probably haven't heard of the Eastern Division Strike Team - but they're making news tonight after the impressive and swift apprehension of a carload of alleged armed robbers.
Here's what happened: at a few minutes after 4:00, a pair of robbers held up a Chinese Grocer store on Albert Hoy Street. They escaped in a small green car, which was waiting for them. The Eastern Division strike team sprang into action and intercepted the car on Coney Drive a few minutes later.
They stopped a green Geo Prizm with four men inside. Inside the car, police found the bag containing the money and also a .38 revolver loaded with live rounds.
CHIK-V: From CARPHA To CDC
Last week we told you about the four suspected cases of Chikungunya coming out of the Belmopan area. As we told you on Friday, it's down to two suspect cases, since two of the women have since tested positive for Dengue. But we've been waiting now for two weeks for the test on the most suspect case to come back from Carpha in Trinidad. Well, things have changed: now it's coming from the Centers For Disease Control in Atlanta. How did that happen? Well CARPHA tells the Belize Ministry of Helath that it's been inundated with requests for tests on Chikungunya from other countries so it was forced to redirect the Belize sample to the CDC. Still, they expect the result to come back by the end of this week. We'll keep you posted.
Major Suit For Government
4 weeks ago, we told you about the lawsuit that Belize City resident Allyson Major Sr. is bringing against the Attorney General and the Police Department. He's seeking an award of damages for the ordeal he experienced while he was wrongly accused of being in possession of a weapon. He's also seeking the get the Supreme Court to strike down sections of the Gun Laws, which have been oppressive and punitive.
As we've told you, back in April of 2012, Police seized 2 weapons from a Peter Seco Street home, where 6 persons were charged and remanded. Fortunately, one of the defendants, a resident of the house accepted guilt, but those other 5 did not get an automatic acquittal. Major, who has a visiting relationship with the woman of the house, protested that he knew nothing about the weapons.
Still, he was arrested, charged, arraigned and remanded based on faulty police intelligence, and he was held in custody for 38 days. He was forced to stand an entire trial before his freedom and reputation was restored to him after being acquitted.
Cops Captured Drinking Dos Equis
A picture is worth a thousand words. And one image that has attracted quite a negative response is one of two police officers - who were allegedly off duty - drinking Mexican beers at the Benque Free Zone. Now, many might say that police officers like government workers and teachers have a personal life too but not in uniform. We spoke to ASP Daniel Arzu, the officer commanding the Benque Police Formation today about the incident and he says he is well aware of the situation and disciplinary actions have been taken against both officers. He lamented the media exposure.
Titan Securities Case Still In Chambers
For almost the entire day, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin was busy with the billion-dollar securities fraud case which has made it to the Supreme Court due through the efforts of the Financial Intelligence Unit.
The convocation of legal eagles representing the 6 men and the 6 companies indicted by a federal court in New York were back in court on Tuesday. They were dealing with preliminary issues that have emerged in the case. They all returned today, and will be back tomorrow for the continuation of the in-chambers hearing.
So, what's being discussed in these hearings? Well, we can't tell you because at this time, the media is not allowed to sit in and listen to the progress of the trial.
The Strange Sonic History Of Naguya Nei
Tonight in Punta Gorda preparations for Paul Nabor's funeral are going into high gear - or as high gear as laid back Punta Gorda gets. And tonight at 7News, we continue our examination of his peculiar legend. As we told you last night - his body of recorded work is incredibly small: there are only about three songs on one album that are commercially available - maybe collectors have a couple more from earlier years - and his friends have songs they just recorded at his home, known as The Temple.
But the recording of his most famous song is kind of an accident - not in how it happened - but in how it came out. Producer Ivan Duran who made the recording at Diamond Studios in Belize City recalled for us the recording quirk that made "Naguya Nei" a timeless classic:
Ivan Duran, Producer - "Naguya Nei"
"Naguya Nei has to be one of the most beautiful Garifuna songs ever composed. It's just a song that from the first moment you hear it you know it's something special and it touches your heart."
Gov't Services Are Going Electronic
Last night we told you about the Lands and Survey Department Sweep in ORANGE WALK to solve those long standing land issues. Well, government departments are following the trend of improving services to the public by installing e -government services. This means no more long lines and patiently, or, as the case may be, impatiently, waiting on applications to be processed. We found out more today at an e government conference.
There are several projects being implemented under this service such as the license and permit system.
Midway Village Writes PM; Declares Support For Oil
In August, we told you how the Mayan Buffer Community of Midway joined Sunday Wood Village as the only indigenous communities who have openly declared that they support oil exploration in the south around the buffer communities. That's following a meeting with the District Association for Village Councils (DAVCO).
Well, in case there is any confusion, the Alcaldes wrote a letter to the Prime Minister 2 weeks ago, on October 17.
In that letter they say quote, "We the Alcaldes of the Village of Midway... officially informs the Government of Belize that (neither) the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM)... The Maya Leaders Alliance (MLA), nor the Toledo Alcaldes Association (TAA) represent or are authorized to represent the village of Midway..." End quote. This means that none of these organizations or their agents can presume to speak for them on any topical issue, or include them in any court challenge against the Government and US Capital Energy.
The Healing Abilities Of The Mind?
We should all be familiar with traditional western medicine - that is healing through prescription medications and doctor visits, but there is another form of healing that entails nothing more but your mind.
Now, the mainstream would be quick to write it off as quackery, but visiting American Health Educator, Dr. Mark Pirtle says it's real. He told Courtney weatherbuene about it today:
Dr. Pirtle will host a one day workshop on Saturday at the Radisson.
7 Things You May Not Know About Paul Nabor
We've learned a lot about Paul Nabor this week and through the film The Three Kings many of us already knew a lot about him. But, still, the man is an enigma - and that's because he's a bundle of contradictions: great global fame matched up against great humility; great talent but precious few recordings…and the list goes on.
Yesterday we spoke to his great friend Michale Norales from Punta Gorda by way of Dangriga. Along with Darius Avila, he set up the Paul Nabor Birthday concert every January - and yesterday he reminisced with us about some of the little known things about Paul Nabor. Ivan Duran who toured all over the world with Nabor also chipped in with some reminiscences:…
And later on - we'll have one more shot of Nabor as we show you highlites from his first tribute concert last night in Punta Gorda Town…
PM Discusses RFP Proposals
Last week we told you about the results for the initial review of the request for power from the public utilities commission. One proponent of alternative energy who got a low rating form the PUC seems to have enlisted COLA to sweat fever for him.
A release from the activist group today says quote, "COLA endorses fully the seventh-placed project in the list, the proposal by Cohune Energy Limited".
But the PUC didn't seem too taken by it, and today COLA's president Geovannie Brackett put on his journalist hat to ask the Prime Minister about it - which got into a wide ranging discussion about the energy proposals:..
Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister
"I don't know the details. i did inquire of Minister Grant in Cabinet and she said first of all its not really cohune, I forget what she said it really was before you get to the cohune, but she made the point. I don't want to misrepresent her, but the point was made that that project was evaluated, was found not to be viable and there are very many reasons why a project might be found not to be viable in terms of making onto the shortlist; cost, lack of expertise, whatever. But she reminded me and Cabinet that the process of evaluating these proposals was conducted in the most transparent fashion with assistance from the Clinton Foundation.
GSU Seizes Tens Of Thousands In Weed
There have been more drug seizures by the GSU. On Monday GSU personnel searched a small wooden house on West Street and found 996 grams or about 2 pounds of high grade weed, known as Hydro in a barrel, wrapped in a black plastic bag with a street value of $13,000 dollars. No one was found in the area but they believe the drugs are the property of members of the George Street Gang.
And on Antelope Street on Monday at about 6:55 in the evening 797 grams or one pound of weed was found underneath a house, separated in 7 black bags. Near that area 91 grams or 3.2 ounces of cannabis was found between a zinc fence. GSU believe it belongs to well-known drug peddlers from the Antelope Street Area.
BBBFF President Under Sustained Criticism
Last night, we showed you how the Belize Body Building and Fitness Federation responded to the allegations of misuse of funds which bodybuilder Cricel Castillo made against them.
The President had to answer personally to that allegation, and Castillo is not the only person who's criticizing his leadership. Clinton Tucker, who you may know as the head trainer at the Lion's Den Boxing Gym in Ladyville, is also a bodybuilder and a member of the Federation.
He's also the back to back winner of the Mr. Physique competition, a category within the Bodybuilding Championships. He and Moody had a recent falling out over money; he claims that the monetary prizes for winning the competition have been unreasonably decreased, and he blames the federation executives for not raising funds.
Yesterday, the president was asked about it at the press conference they hosted, and here's how he explained what he views as an unimportant dispute with Tucker.
Stanley Moody, President, B.B.B.F.F.
"Last week when Mr. Tucker came to pick up his stipend as we put it for winning the Mr. Physique, he came to my place of business, I had customers in my business, he was given his cheque and on his way out the door he turn around and started making a whole heap of noise about if this is the little bit of money he is getting and that this cant satisfies him and he was being very loud in my place of business.
Positive Vibes' Punta Inna You Blood
The artist Positive Vibes has released a new album. The man who made hits with songs such as "Liabetes" says he's gone fully Punta this time while keeping a premium on entertainment:..
Vibes will be hosting a prerelease show this Saturday at the Downtown Plaza. The official release will be on November 15th.
US Southcom Issues Ultimatum on Hunting Caye F.O.B.
On October ninth, the construction of the Coast Guard’s forward operating base on Hunting Caye came to an abrupt stop. Following public outrage and outcry at the news that a [...]
Belize Defense Force to Receive First Fleet of Helicopters
The press conference by the Ministry was called for two reasons – first to update on the forward operating base, which could classify as bad news, depending on how you [...]
Training to be Provided for Helicopter Pilots
In addition to the four point one million acquisition cost, there is also the matter of what had previously been described as prohibitively expensive operating costs. But those costs, including [...]
Petrocaribe Funds to Cover Cost of Helicopter Acquisition
One hundred and eighty million dollars of the Petrocaribe Funds are unspent. The Prime Minister will use part of that money to pay for the helicopters, since government’s coffers are [...]
P.M. Barrow on Petrocaribe Lawsuit
Of course, there is the matter of the claim which has been filed by Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee Julius Espat. In addition to seeking declarations the money was [...]
P.M. Reiterates Transparency of PUC’s Decision on Renewable Energy Providers
Eight companies which submitted bids for the provision of energy to the national grid were recently shortlisted by the Public Utilities Company. One company which wasn’t…submitted a proposal using the [...]
Does Anwar Barrow Have Interest in Southern Renewable Energy?
Two other companies which did make the cut became the subject of a testy exchange this afternoon. The first is SS Energy Limited, owned by the Guatemalan based Santander Group [...]
Financial Secretary Joe Waight Says Cost of Fuel Is Expected to Reduce
The cost of fuel in Belize has dominated the airwaves in the past couple weeks. Actually it’s not exactly the cost – which has been consistently high for years now. [...]
Yanie Cu Offered Compensation by G.O.B. Following Near-Fatal Collision
On October twenty-fourth News Five brought you the terribly tragic case of Benque resident Yanie Cu. Cu was badly injured in a collision with a vehicle driven at the time [...]
Cost of LPG From Mexico Increases By Two Dollars
A few more hours to go, but effective midnight the prices of butane imported into the country by the main suppliers are going up by two dollars across the country. [...]
Allison Major Challenges Firearms Act
This morning, in the courtroom of Justice Michelle Arana, attorney Arthur Saldivar and his client Allison Major filed a claim in which they are challenging the Firearms Act. The suit [...]
Double Head Cabbage Cab Driver Charged for Snapping Pics of Female Minor
A Double Head Cabbage taxi driver is in trouble with the law after he made the mistake of approaching a twelve-year-old student, told her he liked her then took out his cell [...]
Copper Bank Fisherman Busted for Unprocessed Conch
A Copper Bank fisherman was slapped with more than two thousand dollars in fines after he was found in possession of ninety-three unprocessed conchs. The fisheries bust was made earlier [...]
Mayor Bradley on Flooding of City Streets
The rains keep coming down and the streets of Belize City keep flooding. It’s an accepted thing because we know it WILL happen, but that doesn’t mean it’s pleasant. Owners [...]
Schedule for Diabetes Month Released
Activities commemorating the international day of recognition for diabetes have been scheduled for the month of November. Diabetes, otherwise known as the silent killer, is among the leading causes of [...]
National Library Service Hosts Health Fair
Ebola and Chik-V pose potential threats to the health of Belizeans. ChikV is not as dangerous, but is prevalent in the region; but Ebola is deadly and as a recent [...]
ORINCO Joins National Road Safety Initiative
The Organization of Insurance Companies, ORINCO, is the organization under which insurance companies are members. And as an initiative to reduce traffic accidents in Belize, all insurance companies will be [...]
Belizean Artists at Tribute to Paul Nabor
Activities leading up to the official funeral of iconic Belizean musician Paul Nabor continue in Punta Gorda Town. On Wednesday, a handful of artists took to the stage in that [...]
Healthy Living Looks at Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever
Over the past few months, there has been an increased attention on viral infections like Ebola and Chikungunya; but, there is one viral menace that is sweeping across the nation [...]
SIB Releases External Trade Figures
The Statistical Institute of Belize, SIB today released its consumer price index and external trade figures for the month of September. Latest trade statistics show that for September 2014, the total value for imported goods into Belize showed a 9.6% increase, from $149.3 million last year to $163.6 million this year. Mineral fuels and lubricants accounted for almost half of the increase in the value of imported goods during the month, growing by more than $6 million to $25 million, mostly as a result of increased diesel imports.
Machinery and transport equipment rose from $30.8 million to $34.3 million due to higher imports of water pumps and motor vehicles. In the ‘Food and Live Animals’ sector, increased purchases of lard and shortening, coffee, canned sausages and animal feed rose to $2.3million.
PUP Cayo South Area Rep. Files Court Action Against Minister Of Finance
Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee and PUP Cayo South Area Representative, Julius Espat, officially filed a claim against the Minister of Finance, Honourable Dean Barrow, against the petro caribe program today. As we’ve reported, that money comes from sales of fuel imported into Belize from Venezuela, for which Government only has to pay half, while getting the other half on credit at very favourable terms.
In the claim, Espat wants the Supreme Court to follow up on several matters. One: To stop Prime Minister Barrow from spending the millions of Petrocaribe money. Two: For the court to declare the spending unconstitutional and illegal because Barrow is spending the funds without Parliaments approval. And three: For Barrow to explain how the money was spent and for receipts to be shown.
MOH Sets Measures For Ebola Prevention Locally
Concern lingers internationally over the spread and handling of Ebola which has now become the deadliest outbreak in West Africa, according to officials. The virus was first detected in 1976 and up until March of this year it was relatively dormant.
The virus was detected in West Africa in March this year and BBC reports that by October 23rd, four thousand nine hundred and twenty-two people were reported as having died from the disease. These deaths have been recorded in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and the United States. The number of cases detected is in excess of ten thousand, according to the BBC.
Libertad Residence Face Problems With Potable Water
Tonight residents of Libertad Village in the Corozal District are facing challenges with the distribution of potable water. CTV3 News was made to understand that for the past month, residents had to be on a time schedule to fill up their containers for their use. Our news reporter Victor Castillo spoke to a concerned resident on the issue.
Concern villager – Libertad
“Now we have a problem with this water system that the, we don’t have water main, sometimes the entire morning or the evening we don’t have water, they say the pump is not working very good but then I say why we pay water every month, $10.00 water, and they say they have like 500 users/members of the water board with the villagers.”
Out – go and come.
It is reported that over 500 consumers from both Libertad and Concepcion Village are benefactors of the water supply and today, from what we have been able to gather from villagers, it is alleged that the chairman of the water board has failed to provide a report on the income generated.
Corozal Health Workers Hold Mini Health Fair
Today Community Health Workers from Corozal Town hosted a mini health fair with the objective of educating and providing medical assistance to those who are facing financial problems and are unable to visit the hospital or much less a private clinic.
Elda Sutherland – Community Health Worker.
“Today we are having a health fair, this health fair, the Corozal District is divided into Catchment areas so we are in the Corozal Catchment area which is Corozal town, we have San Andres, we have San Antonio, we have Santa Rita and we have Paraiso so all of us health workers get together because we are in this program of Mesoamerica and we are doing health awareness in the community so by doing this we invite all the community in our areas to come out and we have this educational program for the morning.”
Vehicle Robbed In Corozal
There is another motor vehicle theft to report tonight, but this time the victim hails from Patchakan Village in the Corozal District.
Thirty four year old Joel Ruiz, Belizean cane farmer, reported to police that on Tuesday around 6:00am, he parked his black and grey GMX Sonoma pickup truck in a cane field off the Ramonal/Estero Road in the Corozal District and went to spray his cane field.
Upon his return around 9:00am, Ruiz’s vehicle was nowhere to be found. Police have launched an investigation but all efforts to retrieve the vehicle have been unsuccessful. The estimated value of the pickup truck is $5,000.
Still No Breakthrough On Bagasse Negotiations
The next sugar crop is scheduled to start sometime in late November or early December this year. It appears though, that the crop may very well be affected once again by the deadlock in the negotiations for the bagasse revenue sharing between the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and the Belize Sugar Industries Limited. The last meeting to move these negotiations ahead was held on October ninth where BSI officials presented a counter proposal to the association’s proposal that had been handed to them on September eight. Vice Chairman of the Committee of Management at the BSCFA, Alfredo Ortega, says BSI’s response was not favorable to say the least and once more the negotiation is down an unsure path.
“Esta ves vinieron de una manera de imposición de que quieren que aceptemos su propuesta de ellos a como dé lugar así es de que en estos momentos estamos en un callejón incierto en estos momentos, n hay nada cercano para llegar a un de acuerdo para firmar en esta position d ambas partes.”
Inflation Rate Goes Up By 0.7% For September
Turning to the consumer price index, statistics show that prices (inflation) went up slightly by 0.7% in September. The all-items consumer price index rose marginally to 103.6 in September 2014, increasing from 102.8 in the same period last year. For the first 9 months, the overall inflation rate was 1.3 percent.
Home rentals prices were 2 percent higher than in September 2013. Increases for this item were recorded across all municipalities except Corozal Town. With an inflation rate of 1.5 percent, more than double the national inflation rate, San Ignacio/Santa Elena recorded the highest rate of price increase for the month and Corozal recorded the lowest.
San Pedro Police Officer Charged For Theft
San Pedro Police charged one of their own yesterday based on accusations of theft. Twenty six year old Constable, Dean Perez, was arraigned on Tuesday in the San Pedro Magistrate’s Court for the crime of theft. He was given bail in the amount of $2,000 and ordered to return to court on December 5th of this year. The charge of theft was brought against PC Perez after San Pedro resident, Jose Hernandez, complained that the law enforcement officer stole cash and a cell phone from him with a combined value of $1,000 during an investigation at his home.
The San Pedro Sun Newspaper reports that during an investigation on October 5th, PC Perez allegedly swiped identification documents with $600 between them and a $400 cellular phone belonging to Hernandez. Following a complaint lodged by Hernandez, an investigation was carried out and PC Perez was positively identified during an ID parade, after which he was arrested and charged for theft. The Sun reports that PC Perez is also facing an internal police investigation and could end up before a police tribunal.