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The San Pedro Sun

Police Report
Drug Trafficking * On Friday, April 10th at about 5:15PM Police Constable Steve Ferguson along with PC Zayne Palacio and other police officers were on mobile patrol in the San Pedrito Area when their attention was drawn to a male person in the immediate area. On Tuesday, April 14th at around 13:30PM, the San Pedro Strike Team conducted a search in an apartment in the San Pedrito Area. The search led to the discovery of 83 grams of suspected cocaine already packed for sale.

Tuk-tuks declared useless for medical transportation in San Pedro
Authorities at the Dr Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II have declared that the two medical support vehicles commonly referred to as tuk-tuks, are unfit for transporting people during an emergency. The tuk-tuks were handed over to the clinic on July 25, 2014, as part of a wider donation from the government of Dubai, United Emirates. Because the medical support vehicles are useless for medical transportation, plans are being made to retrofit them into light cargo vehicles. Since the tuk tuks have been used only twice and because they are unfit for medical use due to the roads on the island, they have been parked at the San Pedro Town Council barracks turning to rust. “We have decided not to use them because they are very flimsy and with the kind of streets on the island, we have recommended not to use them to transport medical patients. We need to have patients as stable as possible,” commented Owen Vellos, Administrator of the Dr Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II.

San Pedro House of Culture Appoints New Committee
The San Pedro House of Culture (SPHOC) is pleased to introduce its new committee for the year 2015-2016. Opened on November 19, 2014 under the able management and direction of Mr. Guillermo “Mito” Paz, this cultural institution has already made an impact in San Pedro with its many events held in its short time of existence. The committee has met and started preparation for the many upcoming events with the hopes of promoting all types of local culture (music, culinary art, visual art and the importance of reviving local traditions that have been slowly dying).

Editorial: If you don’t like it, go somewhere else.
What if your favorite restaurant, the one that you have gone to for years, stopped serving a popular dish that happened to be your favorite as well? What if when you complained about this they told you things have changed, and if you don’t like it go somewhere else? How would that make you feel? Angry… disappointed…maybe a little of both? After all, you’ve given them years of your business and this is how they treat you? Chances are you wouldn’t go back, and you certainly would do your best to spread the word that not only had the place changed, but they didn’t give a damn what their long-time customers wanted. What if, over time, no one really liked the changes at this popular restaurant, nor did they like their attitude towards customers who were unhappy? What do you think would happen to this arrogant restaurant after customers found a different place to eat? What would happen when they told their friends about a new great place they found to dine at, where their business was valued and the customer was always right? It would just be a matter of time before the arrogant restaurant would be hurting for customers, and maybe even forced to close their doors. What would happen to those who worked at the arrogant restaurant? What would happen to the owners who owed money to the bank?

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

SMART (Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool)
FCD rangers finalize a two day training on how to use SMART (Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool) as an improved system of documenting natural and cultural observations whilst on patrols. Since over a year ago FCD has been testing and improving this system. FCD is grateful to the Wildlife Conservation Society for the ongoing training.

GOB/EU rehabilitate San Victor - San Narciso Road
The project is a collaborative effort of the Government of Belize and the European Union geared at improving the infrastructural development of the Agriculture, Tourism and Social sectors of northern Belize. A release from the Government states, that “The San Narciso – San Victor is an important transport corridor in northern Belize and the rehabilitation will result in decreased transportation costs to farmers and improve accessibility for road users in time of inclement weather.”

NICH's Employee of the Year 2014, Debra Wilkes!
Corozaleńa Debra Wilkes was recently recognized by the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) as 'Employee of the Year' for 2014. In 2012 Ms. Wilkes was appointed as Coordinator of the newly inaugurated Corozal House of Culture becoming the 6th House of Culture in the country under the Museum of Belize and NICH. Debra‘s hard work and commitment in developing cultural events and activities which define northern Belize justifies her recognition. A photographer by trade, Debra first visited Belize in 1992. After several journeys between Canada and Belize, she settled in Corozal Town in 2005. In 2009 Ms. Wilkes, launched the monthly event 'Art in the Park’ at Corozal Town Central Park, coaxing the artistic community to display and sell their creations. Well into its sixth year, Art in the Park has become a national success, nowhere else in Belize is there a monthly event that celebrates art, music, food and community. As coordinator of the Corozal House of Culture, Debra strives to showcase the rich culture of Corozal with importance given to the revival of lost traditions and celebrations. Equally important, she continues the objective of oral historical retrieval.

The Reporter

Canadian tourist accuses policeman of extortion
Police Constable #621 Daniel Requena, attached to the Caye Caulker Police formation is out on bail of $3,000 on a charge of extortion following a complaint against him that he extorted $800 from her. Stephanie Essiambre, 25, reported to police that at around 11 p.m. last Saturday she was with some friends at a house on Crocodile Street on the island when a policeman shoeed up and asked her to show him what she had in her hand. The tourist said when she showed him a handful of weed, he tried to scare her by telling her that if she didn’t give him $800, she would go to jail. She said she complied with his demands but showed up three days later at the police station where he worked to file a report against him.

Belizean students in Grenada for CSME workshop
Nineteen Belizean students were in Grenada this week on a Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Single Market Economy (CSME) mission trip. The mission trip, a part of an on going CSMe project to promote the single market in member states, gathered representatives from the University of Belize, the University of the West Indies Open Campus, and Galen University. During the mission the students were organized into groups of five to cover four major aspects of the CSME: Free movement of Goods; Free movement of Services and skills; Movement of Capital; and The Rights of Establishment. The students, from their discussions, identified gaps within the Grenadian against the best practice model as identified by CARICOM. Those findings were summarized into a report, used to evaluate Grenada’s CSME’s readiness. The Secretariat CSME Public Education Programme coordinated this programme with funding by the 10th European CSME Economic Integration Programme (EIP).

UB holds 5th research symposium
This week the University of Belize held it’s fifth annual research conference at the Radisson Fort George Hotel. The conference, held by the Faculty of Management and Social Sciences, showcased research papers from students who were doing their undergraduate thesis. Speaking at the conference, Vincent Palacio, dean of the Faculty of Management, said that the event forms a part of the school’s commitment to national development. “We have been accused of not providing relevant research data, but when you look at some of the topics being discussed here – female entrepreneurship, tourism development in southern Belize, you see that these are national issues,” Palacio said, “so it goes with our mission to provide relevant data to steer national development.” At the conference, students presented research papers such as “No one cares, so why complain?”; a students evaluation survey on the courses and experiences at UB, and “Factors influencing the success of small business in Belize City.”

Four shot in one night; one dead
Four persons, including a woman, suffered gunshot wounds as a result of three shootings on Friday night in Belize City and one of the victims is dead – the casualty of a bullet wound to the head. The incidents occurred on Banak St, Faber’s Road and Jane Usher Boulevard snd the victims are: Vern Magdaleno, 35, who died after he was shot in the head while inside his vehicle at the corner of Fabers Road and Central American Boulevard; Nesanne Usher 18, Aaron Munnings 17, and Wendy Lambey, 49, of #6 Jane Usher Boulevard. Munnings was shot to the leg.

Surveys reveal homophobia is down; domestic abuse, teenage sex are up
Two surveys which the UNAIDS conducted over the past 16 months on issues related to attitudes toward sexuality, sexual education and people’s behavioural practices revealed on Friday that more Belizeans are accepting/tolerant towards homosexuality compared to the wider Caribbean, with the exception of Suriname. The surveys also determined that there is a high prevalence of domestic abuse and teenage prenancy. The first poll, conducted in November of 2013, involved the participation of 773 persons from the ages of 18 to 64, in November 2013. The findings, according to Dr. Ernest Massiah, the Regional Director for UNAIDS in the Caribbean, “Belizeans are perhaps more accepting of sexual diversity… 34 percent of Belizeans said that they accept someone who is gay or homosexual and 34 percent said they would tolerate someone who is gay or homosexual. And that statistic is higher than what we’ve seen in many of the countries in the eastern Caribbean. So Belize is really showing itself to be a more accepting society than we would have first thought.” In fact, Dr. Massiah said that Belizeans are more accepting/tolerant of gays and lesbians today. People are also less discriminatory towards people with HIV than they were 20 years ago, when they were suggesting that HIV should be quarantined.

Patrick JonesPJ

Cahal Pech Village Resort Mourns the Loss of CEO Peter Tonti
On April 16, 2015, Belizeans lost a legend of a man. A pioneer, a visionary and an inspirational leader, Mr. Peter Tonti’s recent passing has left many of those who knew him in shock, disbelief and deep sadness. So great was his love for the country, so firm was his faith in its potential, that Mr. Tonti led, shaped and inspired the country’s biggest economic asset: its tourism industry, ultimately playing a pivotal role in its direction and flourishing success.

Separate shootings in Belize City leave 3 dead
There are reports of three separate shootings that occurred on Friday night in the Old Capital. Information to our news desk reveals that three persons have been fatally wounded. These victims have been identified as 18 year old Nesanne Usher, 17 year old Aaron Munnings and 35 years old Vern Magdaleno. Another individual who sustained a gunshot wound to the lower limb, Wendy Lambey, is currently being treated at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. There is currently no information available of a motive or suspects in these incidents. Belize City police continue their investigations.

Warm and dry weather conditions prevail
The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting mostly sunny and hot weather today and partly cloudy tonight. Little or no rainfall is expected, however a a chance of isolated thunderstorm is likely to happen this afternoon. Winds will blow East- South East 10 – 20 knots with occasional higher gust. The sea state will be moderate to rough with a small craft caution in effect. High temperatures are expected to be around 89 degrees Fahrenheit along the coast; 91 degrees Fahrenheit inland and a comfortable 71 degrees Fahrenheit up on the exposed areas of the Mountain Pine Ridge and along the Maya Mountains in the south.


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