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Specials and Events
Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and other specials
The San Pedro Sun
Ministry of Health monitoring unauthorized medicine
The Ministry of Health (MOH) has increased its monitoring of medicine in Belize, due to unauthorized and expired medicines found circulating in the market. These unauthorized medicines have been found in different pharmacy’s, mostly in the Cayo (San Ignacio) and Belize district.
A warning is in effect to pharmacists and the general public in regards to multi-vitamin Neurobión ® 50 mil (Vitamins B1 + B6 + B12) syrup in the 240ml bottle. ”We believe that the quality may be compromised,” said the MOH. “The product has been removed from the establishments where it was found and we continue to remain vigilant for any unauthorized product that may still be present in the country.”
SPHS; the first in Belize to get free Diginet High Speed Service
On Wednesday September 6th, a ceremony was held at the San Pedro High School (SPHS), organized by Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL). With the aim to officially launch the Diginet program at the school, SPHS becomes the first secondary institution to receive this program across the country. Attending the ceremony were BTL staff, San Pedro Town council members and the media, along with school staff and students. With the new internet program, the high school internet speed will upgrade from 8MB to 60MB. The Diginet is not in efficient use as yet, as the principal, along with the school committee will decide how it will be offered to the students. To learn more about the Diginet program you can visit www.digicell.bz/en/diginet. This program will be granted free to all secondary institutions across the country.
Department of Environment releases annual 2016-2017 report
For the fiscal year of 2016-2017 the DOE processed 137 projects, of which 79 were of the environmental clearance variety. That figure shows a gradual increase in projects, compared to the previous year. This fiscal year, there were a large amount of tourism-based projects as well. A total of 180 compliance inspections were reported for 2016-2017, of which 80% were inspected and the remaining 20% will be addressed in the fiscal year of 2017-2018. On Ambergis Caye, the DOE was not the only company that conducted compliance inspections. On Thursday, February 16th, the National Environment Appraisal Committee (NEAC) conducted a compliance inspection that revealed several projects requiring follow-up on outstanding matters. Another challenge, DOE reported nine incidents of Marine Groundings for 2106-2017. The main location for these incidents were at San Pedro, Caye Caulker and Raguana Caye. These groundings have a negative impact on the marine ecosystem, as they damage the coral and sea beds, which take a long time to recover.
San Pedro to receive three new schools
The San Pedro Sun has confirmation that plans are underway for the construction of three new educational institutions on the island in the future. The funding for these educational institutions is coming from a Caribbean Development Bank loan of $70 million dollars, granted to the MOE. The program is to serve areas in need of educational institutions, in which San Pedro was included. The island is expected to receive a pre-school, primary school and secondary school.
The MOE will be visiting the island at the end of this month to verify the location and to make sure all processes of the construction of the new educational institutions are clear. “The construction of these educational institutions are designed to start up early next year,” said Erold Gill from the MOE.
Prior to the construction of the schools, a community consultation will be held to ascertain the best possible location for the schools. It is expected that the schools will be state of the art and able to accommodate San Pedro’s growing population.
Caribbean Hotel Tourism Association Statement On Hurricane Irma
The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) has expressed sympathy for the loss of life and hardship following the passage of Hurricane Irma and has urged Caribbean residents and visitors in the projected path of the storm to take continued precautions as it makes its way through parts of the northern Caribbean.
CHTA's Director General Frank Comito warned that the Category 5 hurricane was packing winds of 180 miles per hour, and the effects of the storm were already evident on the dual-island of St. Maarten/St. Martin, St. Barthélemy (St. Barts), and Barbuda, where, according to reports, widespread damage has been sustained.
Belize Tackles Potential Radiation Sources And Disposal Of Hazardous Chemicals
Belize Launches Inventory Exercise on Potential Sources of Radiation - The Government of Belize today, September 5, held an opening ceremony to launch the National Inventory on Radiation Sources, an initiative derived from the establishment of a National Radiation Safety Infrastructure in Belize.
A team from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mission to Belize is in the country to carry out this exercise that is jointly spearheaded by the Department of the Environment (DOE) and the Belize Defence Force (BDF).
San Pedro High Is First School To Receive New DigiNet Fiber Optic Internet
San Pedro High School and Belize Telemedia (BTL) celebrated in a brief ceremony after classes yesterday, Wednesday, September 6, 2017, the installation to the school of DigiNet, the fastest internet service in the country.
San Pedro High is the first school on Ambergris Caye to have access to the DigiNet service as part of BTL's Internet to School Program. DigiNet will boost the school’s internet speed from 8Mbps to 60Mbps, making internet more reliable to the faculty and student body.
BTL, along with Huawei Marine, have successfully installed fiber optic submarine cables between Belize mainland and San Pedro, allowing Ambergris Caye to be the first location in the country to experience faster fiber optic internet service.
Misc Belizean Sources
Earthquake felt in Belize 10:49pm last night
A large earthquake measuring at least 8.0 on the Richer Scale has struck southern Mexico.
According to Earthquake Track, it happened 17 minutes ago and shook Chiapas, Mexico and was felt in Belize, Guatemala as well as in Distrito Federal, Mexico.
Epicenter 96 km SW of Pijijiapan, Mexico. 8.0,
2017-09-08 04:49:21 UTC 15.068°N 93.715°W
San Pedro Back 2 School Bash 9/16
Calling all youth! Come out and enjoy a fun day at the beach. * Exciting Water Games * Free Food * Limited edition t-shirt for every student who comes * Multiple chances to win fun prizes! *Saturday, Sept. 16th at 1pm * At the Sagebrush property behind the tollbrige. * Ages 13 to 18. Beach Party!
Unethical and irresponsible tour guides, Hol Chan & Shark Ray Alley
Unethical and irresponsible tour guides are giving our favourite tourist attractions a bad name it seems. Please only support tour operators that respect our marine life and habitats.
Help a Child Learn to Read!
Help a Child Learn to Read! Join our Literacy Team! No experience needed, for as little as 2 hours a week YOU can make a difference!
Information Session at Holy Cross Anglican School Friday, September 15th at 10:00am Come out and learn how YOU can make a difference.
We introduce Andre Pitts another of our Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative
Andre Pitts is the Founder and President of Group Hug, an organization dedicated to inspiring and spearheading volunteerism, goodwill, and proactivity amongst young people. Group Hug solicits, organizes, and distributes school supplies to families in need.
In addition to managing Group Hug, he works at the Government of Belize Press Office. He received his Associate’s Degree in Paralegal Studies from the University of the West Indies, and he is currently pursuing his BA in Political Science as well.
PAN YAAD 2017 IS HERE!
Date: Saturday, September 16
Where: Marion Jones Sporting Complex
Price: Adults $10 | Children $5
Contact us for your tickets today! 227-2110
An Evening of Folk and Classic Featuring Francis Reneau
You are invited!!! Wednesday, September 13th 7PM, Bliss Centre ... Free
Caye Caulker Volleyball School Marathon
Belize Mixology on Caye Caulker
September 26th to 28th is Introduction to bartending. Cost 250. Advanced bartending is september 29th to October 2nd. Cost 350. Prices include all liquor and equipment. Certificates are awarded after successful completion. No experience required for Intro. Inbox or text 624-9407 or 664-2531. Spaces are limited.
Ministry of Health and KHMHA Advise Public on Temporary Health Service Situation
The Ministry of Health advises the public of an ongoing situation in the Northern Health Region with medical equipment maintenance and upgrades in relation to our operating rooms. This situation has affected the region’s ability to perform surgeries requiring anesthesia. As a result all surgery related cases are being referred to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital Authority (KHMHA).
The Ministry of Health has been working to vigorously try to correct the situation in the least amount of time and we expect a resolution before the start of this long holiday weekend. Management from the Northern Health Region along with management from KHMHA are in communication to ensure the least disruption in the care of patients being transferred and received at the KHMHA.
Memorandum of Understanding (Mou) Signed by the Belize Agriculture Health Authority (Baha) and the Sugar Industry Research and Development Institute (SIRDI)
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been established on the 4th day of September 2017, between Belize Agriculture Health Authority (BAHA) and the Sugar Industry Research and Development Institute (SIRDI).
The major objectives are:
1.1 To contribute to the sustainability, development and economic viability of the agricultural sector in Belize;
1.2 To engage in technical exchanges and capacity building between both parties for the purpose of reciprocal transfer of technology, training in agriculture and other related fields; and,
1.3 To identify synergies where technical expertise can be harnessed to improve the execution of work plans.
Ministries of Human Development and Defence launch Belize Youth Challenge Programme Recruitment Drive
The Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation, and Poverty Alleviation and the Ministry of Defence have joined forces to launch a youth intervention project entitled the Belize Youth Challenge Programme (BYC). The mission of the programme is “to intervene in and reclaim the lives of at-risk youth to produce programme graduates with the values, skills, education and self-discipline necessary to succeed as adults.” The new 2-year pilot programme is an upgrade and strengthening of the National Youth Cadet Service Corps and is modelled after the Youth Challenge Programme run by the Louisiana National Guard in the USA.
The programme targets Belizean males 15-17 years old who are out of school, unemployed/underemployed, and who are at-risk of or may have already come in contact with the law. It will utilize military principles to teach the youths discipline, personnel administration and teamwork, while developing their vocational and academic skills via life skills, literacy and PSE classes or attending the online high school.
Belize Signs Agreement on Police Cooperation with the Republic of China (Taiwan) and Receives a Grant of BZ$100,000.00
Today, the Government of Belize and the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) signed a Cooperation Agreement aimed at developing police cooperation and combating transnational crimes.
Signing on behalf of the Government of Belize was Minister of Foreign Affairs and Home Affairs, Hon. Wilfred Elrington, and on behalf of the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) was Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to Belize, His Excellency Charles K. Y. Liu.
The Agreement sets out the framework for police cooperation between both governments. The scope of cooperation includes the exchange of personnel visiting for study and training programs, sharing of information in the area of law enforcement, cooperation in combating transnational crimes and the implementation of other areas of cooperation.
Special Envoy issues release on Tower Hill Bridge demonstration where journalist Marisol Amaya was manhandled by the police
On September 6. 2017 frightening images were seen on national television of the unacceptable treatment of a female journalist by law enforcement officers. The journalist in question. Ms. Marisol Amaya of KREM News, was conducting an interview when she was assaulted by a police officer. Sadly, this is not the first time that Ms. Amaya, in her capacity as a journalist, has been disrespected in plain view on national television.
As a citizen. I embrace the concept of a free press, given the role of journalists in a democratic society. The rights of journalists are enshrined in the Belize Constitution (Chapter 4), and they must therefore be afforded all rights and privileges as citizens of Belize. Journalists should not be subjected to inhumane treatment by anyone. least of all. law enforcement officers! Ms. Amaya is a woman, mother, sister. a daughter and a journalist. I join the wider society in condemning the assault made upon her person by police officers. This reduces the image of our country and contravenes all efforts being made by many agencies to end violence against our women.
PUP's United Women's Group condemns the actions of the police at yesterday's demonstration at Tower Hill Bridge
The media plays a critical role in Belize's democracy and therefore it is crucial that its journalists are not censured, stifled or bullied in any way.
In this regard, the United Women's Group of the People's United Party denounces the use of unwarranted force by the police against a media worker covering yesterday's protest at the Toll Bridge in Orange Walk Town. The excessive use of force was evident by the body slamming of Marisol Amaya, the News Editor of KREM News, which was clearly visible and is utterly unacceptable.
"This was uncalled for and demonstrates an abuse of power by these authorities. No political party or organization should condone the behaviour of our armed authorities to treat journalists in this manner. We are outraged that the government and the police forces would tolerate this treatment of the media that was on full display yesterday," says Tanya Santos, President of the United Women's Group.
Senator Valerie Woods, a member of the UWG, states that "the freedom of the media and its access to information is critical to a healthy democracy. The force used against Ms. Amaya was despicable and the approach used by the Police Department against the media yesterday was not necessary. The protest was by all accounts a peaceful one and the authorities response and mistreatment of Belizeans is unacceptable"
FCD Biologist pursues degree
FCD’s very own Biologist, Boris Arevalo has now travelled to Florida in pursuit of his PhD Degree. From all of us at FCD we wish him all the best and God Bless.
For the ladies. Mistress Sharmane Garcia says BFLA After Dark
Because the men keep saying they are being left out...If you think you can handle the After Dark Session, bring your money and your game face! I DARE YOU!!!!
Macaw 2017 season concludes
The Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao cyanoptera), representing Belize’s largest parrot species, is locally endangered due to poaching and is listed in the Wildlife Protection Act as a species of conservation concern. For Belize, the wild population estimates are around 200 individuals (Matola & Sho 2002). Nationally, the Chiquibul Forest is the key foraging and breeding habitat for the species. The Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) annually undertakes a seven-month biological monitoring program aimed at protecting and documenting the wild populations of macaws. Specific effort is directed since FCD has identified the macaw as the flagship species for the conservation and management of this Key Biodiversity Conservation Area.
Poaching is a major threat to the survival of Scarlet Macaws in Belize. In 2011, poaching rate was at 89% which was leading to the demise of the wild population. But with the adoption of an adaptive and robust management and conservation strategy the incidences of poaching were reduced to an average of 35% from 2012 to 2015. Thereafter from 2015 to this period, none of the chicks monitored have been lost to poaching (See Figure 1).
ALASKA Coffee shop
It is hot and just in time for the month of September. Just in time for a cool stop at ALASKA Coffee shop. Drive by with your car and stop for a short stop to buy what you need. Buy cold beers, Iced coffee, Snacks and more. ALASKA is located where Esmeralda's Pharmacy use to be.
Carnival 2017....King & Queen winners...
BEL Job Opening
A vacancy exists at Belize Electricity Limited for a Senior Manager, Finance, Business Strategy & Purchasing.
BTEC Hospitality Training
BTEC will be having a free 3 week training course in hospitality, including housekeeping, waiting, and reception, starting on September 25th.
"Excellent 3 week training coming to CAYO! Free of cost. Invest in yourself and sign up at the San Ignacio library starting tomorrow- Sept 7th."
Belize Fishing Report, Aug. 27th - Sept. 3rd 2017
Happy anglers and plenty of tailing bonefish. Thirty to fifty bonefish a day have been the stories of the week. The fishery has experienced some ups and downs over the last month with the threat of tropical storms looming, which has created sporadic feeding, but when the bite has turned on, it has been prolific.
Paradise Theater playing this weekend
After what seems like a billion years, the new lamps have arrived for the projector in #1.. meaning the picture is way better . We also hooked up a new projector on Screen 2, until the last one (which was brand new) goes in a gets fixed because........ BZ... which is a huge improvement from the other other.. backup. .. anyway .. See ya at the movies!!
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 5,
Despicable Me 3,
Belizean ID exhibit
A wonderful day as we launched the Belizean ID exhibit! We graciously thank our community for supporting this educational exhibit. It was an honour to have Ambassadora of the Republic of Cuba to Belize Lizzette Perez and Consular of Cuba to Belize Mr. Hernandez with us. Thank you to our Key note speaker Mr. Omar Mitchell and Mrs. Lydia Ramcharam Pollard curator of the Window into the Past East Indian Museum for your kind vote of thanks. A great thank you to the Standard three students and Maestro of Corozal Methodist School for attending the opening ceremony. The exhibit will be on display through to May 2018, we kindly invite you to visit the House of Culture to view more.
The Carnival Jouvert is set for September 9th, 2017 and will be commencing at 4:00 AM.
There will be a Ceremony for the souls that have gone ahead in the name of Carnival in honor of Jermaine Madrill at 3:45 AM followed by a moment of silence and laying of wreaths.
The route for the Jouvert will be as follows:
• Start from Belcan Bridge
• To Central American Boulevard
• Left, on to Cemetery Road
• Left, on to East Collet Canal
• Left on to Vernon St.
• Right, Youth for the Future over BelChina Bridge
• Right on to North Front Street
• Left on Queen Street
• Left on Daly Street
• Right on Craig Street
• Left on Marine Parade
• End at Dock
Public Mud – Belcan Bridge
Madd Squad – beside Pallotti
SOS – coming from MJSC
Coco Devils - Courts
Police Minister Apologizes, But Says Police Were Doing Their Job on Bridge
Last night we showed you everything that happened when the PUP went to block the Tower Hill Bridge in Orange Walk. It unfolded quite quickly after the party had a rally in the town's Central Park. From there, the PUP Leader John Bricneo and his Orange Walk South Representative raced to the bridge and blocked it. The rest, as they say, is history - or at least history in the making. 45 Minutes later, the bridge and the road were cleared and the police had teargassed and dispersed dozens of party supporters. But did police go too far? And did they target and attack a female journalist? Those are some of the many burning questions in the public mind after yesterday's event son the bridge.
The Mandhandling of Marisol
And while the Minister of State apologized, it wasn't enough for KREMANDALA, whose news editor Marisol Amaya was lifted and thrown to the pavement, and then hauled off the road.
Today several organizations came to Amaya's defense including the Prime Minister's wife, Kim Barrow - who is the special envoy for women and children. Her statement says, quote, "frightening images were seen on national television of the unacceptable treatment of a female journalist by law enforcement officers...Sadly, this is not the first time that Ms. Amaya, in her capacity as a journalist, has been disrespected in plain view on national television."
Is The SPU Out Of Control?
Special Patrol Unit commander Inspector Aaron Gamboa is the officer who lifted Amaya, hauled her away and dumped her on the pavement. We took careful note of his combative behavior and that of his officers out there yesterday - and today we asked the Commander of Operations about it:...
Jules Vasquez, reporter:
"The second time I've seen the special patrol unit engage in this type of finger pointing behavior and it seems that they temperament of the SPU I believe matches Mr. Gamboa, which Mr. Gamboa behaves in the creole sense of the word "Ignorant, intemperate, irascible, sassy." What would be your comment Mr. Minister or your Mr. Commander of Ops about the temperament and the unnecessary and distasteful use of combative tactics?"
Journalist: Too Much Tear Gas
And realizing too much tear gas is one more excess that the SPU is accused of. We got directly gassed at least two times on the bridge - during the second gassing we were interviewing PUP Leader John Briceno. LOVE FM Reporter Dalilah Ical told the police it was excessive and unwarranted; the Operations Commander disagreed:...
"I feel that there were unnecessary force used, because after the first uproar of canisters were released. Mr. Briceno moved away from where all the chaos began and then I was trying to interview him on the side of the road and I was telling the officer to let us finish the interview, and then they threw those canisters. What that necessary? We were no longer in a group, we were no longer on the street. We were on the side doing an interview."
Home Affairs Minister Said The Media Enjoyed Being Roughed Up
But the Minister of Home Affairs Wilfred Elrington had no apologies. He says that, to him, it looks like we in the media were having a good old time getting hauled and pulled:...
Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs:
"I thought the police did a good job. There was no provision under the terms for the demonstration, for it to be extended to the toll bridge and I would not have encourage the blocking of the bridge. I dont think that was necessary at all. So that I thought police had to act to make sure that in fact the commerce of the country and the free passage of people in the society were not impeded."
Jules Vasquez, reporter:
"And the roughing up of the media?"
Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs:
"I thought that the media were enjoying it actually or were in the thick of things. When you look abroad you see the same thing happening."
Why Didn't Broaster Read The Riot Act?
And, critics say that what should be "natural and normal" is for the police to have read the Riot Act. That's the warning - given in the Queen's name that those unlawfully assembled and resisting the police should immediately disperse or face the use of force. That responsibility would have fallen to ACP Edward Broaster, but he says in his opinion it was not necessary:
Jules Vasquez, reporter:
"Should the Riot Act have been read the whole in the name of the Queen thing? Should that have been read before the crowd was forcibly disperse with tear gas?"
ACP Edward Broaster, Operations Commander:
"This was not that case Jules. This was a clear obstruction of a major thoroughfare where members of the public were gathering illegally blocking the ordinary citizens from traversing the highway."
Aragon Blames It On JB
And while the PUP may decide to sue the police, will the police decide to charge John Briceno? Today the Minister of State suggested that he is responsible:...
Hon. Elodio Aragon, Minister of State - Home Affairs:
"It was only when the Leader of the Opposition announced publicly on the mic inviting his people, his followers to go out there at the toll bridge to block the road. Is he responsible for what has transpired there? I don't know. Is he directly the person who has lead these people to be in harm's way? Those are the questions you have to ask him."
Reports Say Mennonite Businessman Met Death In Melchor
7News has received multiple credible reports that say a Mennonite Businessman from Spanish Lookout has been killed in Melchor. Reports to law enforcement say it happened earlier this week in Melchor at a bar. The businessman was reportedly in the bar with two business associates, one Guatemalan and one Belizean, when a gunman walked in and shot him in the head. He reportedly also shot after his Belizean association - but that person - also reportedly from the Spanish Lookout area escaped. The Mennonite was reportedly involved in cross border trade with business interests in Melchor.
Man Dies In Fatal Accident After Being Flung From Vehicle
There was traffic accident last night on the Philip Goldson Highway which killed a man from Carmelita Village in Orange Walk, and left his wife in the hospital.
It happened at around 7:00 last night between miles 14 and 15 on the Phillip Golden highway. 38 year-old Joaquin Villamil was traveling in his Isuzu Trooper SUV with his wife, 37 year-old Julissa, heading to Belmopan.
Joaquin Villamil lost control of the vehicle and ran off the road, where it flipped several times. First responders tell us that both he and his wife, Julissa, were violently flung from the vehicle, but Joaquin suffered the worst of the injuries. The vehicle landed on top of him, and they had to push it off to rescue him.
The Wife Of Slain San Pedrano Speaks
Last night we told about the murder in San Pedro where 36-year-old Rudolph Pitts was killed and 22-year-old Edgar Lopez was injured. Lopez escaped but Pitts's body was found yesterday in Northern Ambergris Caye. His decomposed body was brought to the city today for burial. We spoke to his wife who shared with us her shock at his untimely death.
Angela Pitts, wife of Rudolph Pitts:
"He is a hardworking father of 7 kids."
Sahar Vasquez, reporter:
"Was he the source of anybody targeting him? Was anyone threatening him before hand?"
Compol Whylie Gone Again?
We haven't seen Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie in the news for some time - and that's because he was reportedly on a month's vacation leave, followed now by a month's sick leave. That's a lot of missing weeks for the Top Cop - and today we had to ask the Minister of State with responsibility for Police if Whylie is really interested in the job:...
Jules Vasquez - Reporter:
"We were told he was in a month's leave, now I heard, additionally, he is in another month's sick leave. If he is unwell, of course, we wish him the best, but at the same time, one thinks that if you are in charge of an important national operation you can't take two months off. If you don't want the job somebody else has to do the job. The department requires strong consistent leadership."
Wilfred Says Let The People Decide On Viva Vega
And while Whylie's position may seem suddenly precarious, another public figure who had seemed to be retiring is now back in the front and center. Embattled Orange Gaspar Vega told us yesterday that if he cannot find anyone else to beat the PUP - he will run again for the UDP in Orange Walk North. Now, in the standard doublespeak of politics, that translates to mean: Gaspar Vega will run again in Orange Walk North.
That's a lot of baggage for the UDP to carry into the future, and today we asked two of his colleagues who they felt about it - first to Wilfred Elrington:...
Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs:
"I think people are free to decide what they want to do and it all depends on their constituents whether the constituents are supportive of them."
Aragon Says Vega Is A Friend, But...
And while Elrington is somewhat removed from the Orange Walk scene, Elodio Aragon is directly plugged in. Since Vega's demise, he has taken up the role of the UDP's senior politician in Orange Walk. It has seen him assume a more central, national role, but today he seemed sort of divided on whether having Gaspar Vega back would be a good thing or a bad thing:...
Hon. Elodio Aragon Jr.- Orange Walk East, UDP:
"He's still a representative of the people of the north and I think that at the end of the day, the people will decide for him, so I leave that there."
Jules Vasquez- Reporter:
"Ministers John Saldivar and Minister of State Dr. Angel Campus were there to support him. Why weren't you there then to support his candidacy or to support him generally?"
PM Pulls Plug On Senate Hearings
Last night, we had coverage of the Senate Hearings on Immigration which resumed yesterday, after a month's break. Well, these upcoming sessions may very well be the winding down of the hearings because the Government does not intend to pay any more money to cover it.
In a letter dated August 3, Prime Minister Dean Barrow wrote to National Assembly Clerk Eddie Webster to make that position clear.
The Prime Minister says, quote "You wrote on July 20, 2017 on behalf of the Special Select Committee, requesting a supplementary allocation of $124,202 to cover sittings through to November of 2017. Then, on July 21, 2017, you wrote again asking for another supplementary allocation of $41,350 to pay outstanding bills of the Committee as of July 31, 2017.
Surgical Crisis At NRH
There's a major health situation in the Northern Health Region - and as a result, all surgeries now have to be done at the KHMH.
A press release from the Ministry of Health says there's a problem with medical equipment maintenance in the Northern Regional Hospital's operating rooms. Specifically, they can't do any procedures requiring anesthesia.
It's a huge inconvenience for the public in the north - and a major addition of workload for the KHMH, and the Ministry says it expects a resolution before the start of this long holiday weekend.
Taiwan Donates To Law Enforcement
All throughout the news, we've been showing you the comments from the police bosses discussing the showdown between the police and the PUP at the Tower Hill Bridge in Orange Walk.
Well, the opportunity to speak with the police and politicians came after a ceremony for the Government of Belize and the Taiwanese Embassy to sign a cooperation agreement aimed at developing police cooperation and combating transnational crimes.
The Government of Taiwan wants to help the police department improve their capacity by providing assistance from their country's police force, training and study opportunities for police officers, and the sharing of information on different law enforcement strategies.
Las Flores Residents Protest For School Land
Despite a compromise proposed by the mayor of Belmopan, the dispute over land for St. Michael Roman Catholic School in Las Flores Village continues, and today it was backed up by a protest in Belmopan City.
Though the Catholic school management has accepted a compromise, the community is pushing the issue - and today they said it's not political - we have this clip courtesy PLUS TV in Belmopan:...
Declaring A Carnival Truce
The highly anticipated Carnival is coming up on Saturday. Belizeans wait all year for this event but every year brings its challenges to the groups. This year's challenge seemed to be a feud amongst groups - which played out in a parking lot fight after the King and Queen competition on Saturday. Yesterday, the Belize Carnival Association, band leaders, and the police all came together to assure the public that there is now peace amongst the groups and all they simply want is a safe and fun carnival for all to enjoy.
Greg Vernon, President - NICH:
"With this, we have a good competitive spirit which to at least calm down and make sure that we go out and head down the road very safely."
"We are moving forward with sportsmanship especially as it relates to clause 7 in our rules and regulation. It is very important that we look to our left and our right and we say we would like to be as safe as possible coming down this road."
Pickstock Band Steps Out
But there's no peace in Pickstock where that well known junior Carnival Band has abruptly pulled out. At yesterday's press conference the association announced that the Pickstock Carnival band and the leader Garreth Gill would no longer be allowed to take part in the carnival. He was not happy about this and came to our studio to express his frustration with the decision.
Garret Gill, Pickstock Carnival Band Leader:
"Our band has gotten disqualified, which I did not get in black and white, so I can't verify it. Miss Sandra is the president for carnival and she and I have our ups and downs. If she and I had an issue the best thing she should have done was to call a meeting to address the issue. We have an issue also with sponsors, because we didn't get back Cuello's, we didn't get back Wave Radio, we didn't get back WASA and we were waiting on these people to give us a feedback and that's what pushed our band back from not being fully prepared for camo night."
Judge Explains Pickstock's Exclusion
Of course, there are two sides to every story so we got a comment on the decision from the head judge of the carnival who played an integral role in making the final call. Here's how they put it:
Judge of the Carnival:
"As far as we are aware, the carnival association, the commission and the judge association that Mr. Gill had some feud with some of the lady concerning $1,000 and the owner who have Gary the sponsorship has been bothering the commission and the carnival association for the $1,000 because they cannot find Garret and there is a rule that says you have to follow the rules, because they all have the rule book. Mr. Gill has been sending WhatsApp messages and email messages to Miss Sandra who is the president of the carnival association. He says that she has his name slander all over the place which is not true, because Miss Sandra is doing the best that she can to uplift carnival and to help the band leaders."
Night Three Was a Spree!
And while that was Tuesday night - last night the revelry continued at four more camps.
We leave you tonight with a look at all the energy, excitement and elaborate designs they put on display.
Enjoy Wednesday nights Mas Camp visits, and join us back here tomorrow.
Mas Camp, What a Way!
And so, Gill - who is one of the more colorful carnival characters wasn't there when we went to visit his Mas Camp on Tuesday night. We should have aired this last night - but we were overloaded with news - so tonight here's a look at the bands who were displaying their Carnival costumes and spirit:..
Anatomy of assault: why police were wrong in treatment of Marisol Amaya
There is mounting outrage tonight, including from us here at Channel Five, at the unnecessary use of force against the media by the police on Tuesday. Krem’s Marisol Amaya was [...]
Police plan review of yet another Tower Hill incident
The police department says it has commenced an investigation into the tear-gassing of protestors and the roughing up of Marisol Amaya at the hands of the Special Patrol Unit. According [...]
Organizations roundly condemn police for Amaya assault
Condemnation of Wednesday’s events has come in fast and furious from several organizations. We lead with the statement issued this evening by KREM Radio in support of assaulted journalist Marisol [...]
Ombudsman asked to intervene
Ombudsman of Belize Lionel Arzu has been asked to intervene to publicly condemn the behavior of the police in respect of several recent incidents involving members of the Opposition and [...]
Aragon neutral; says O.W. North will decide on Gaspar Vega
On Wednesday, during the rapture of public support from his constituents, Orange Walk North Area Representative Gaspar Vega stated that he would contest his seat in the House of Representatives [...]
Police minister does not support corruption, but not about to abandon a friend
Gapi Vega, in recent times, has become a pariah within his own party, causing a wider chasm to drawn between aspiring leaders Patrick Faber and John Saldivar. The two have [...]
Best friends Faber, Saldivar clash over Vega
Two of the most powerful men in the ruling United Democratic Party appear at odds over support for embattled Orange Walk North area representative Gaspar Vega. Deputy Prime Minister and [...]
Allen Whylie sick; should he be replaced as ComPol?
Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie is on sick leave for a month. His absence, however, comes at a critical time during the September Celebrations when the Belize Police Department remains [...]
Las Flores villagers protest land sale at City Hall
The Las Flores Steering Committee has been leading the fight against the completed sale of parcels eighty-seven-thirteen and eighty-seven-fourteen near Saint Michael R.C. Primary School in the community outside Belmopan [...]
Area rep says church has final say
Belmopan Area Representative John Saldivar also chimed in on the current land dispute in Las Flores. While the suggestion to cede parcels sixty-two fifty-two and sixty-two fifty-three to the Catholic [...]
Little feedback on nationality list; is it worth it?
As promised, the Senate Special Select Committee is turning the page after months of questioning on past misdeeds of the Immigration Department. For two and a half hours on Wednesday, [...]
What’s the point of recommenders?
In the case of recommenders for passports and nationality, Diana Locke made the point that records of persons named as justices of the peace, teachers and even religious professionals have [...]
RTA kills husband, lands wife in hospital
Just after seven on Wednesday night, there was a fatal traffic mishap on the Phillip Goldson Highway. Joaquin Villamil and his wife Julissa were travelling between miles fourteen and fifteen, [...]
Belizeans in Florida brace for Irma
It appears that Hurricane Irma is not slowing down and it is heading straight for Florida. Latest weather projections show that it may hit Miami directly. Thousands have evacuated the [...]
Devastation in wake of Cat 5 storm in northern Caribbean
Hurricane Irma continues forward as a category five storm and has left a path of destruction in its wake – almost completely destroying Barbuda, and causing massive damage in Saint [...]
Taiwan boosts police communication
Belize has received one hundred thousand dollars from the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in a formal cooperation agreement on police development, including the exchange of personnel visiting [...]
Get your SSB money direct
On Wednesday, we told you how the Social Security Board is moving online and how employers are making their payments via the online portal. Well, it is not only the [...]
S.S.B. and the pensioner problem
So, the S.S.B. wants to increase contributions for the forty percent of its insured persons. Those persons earn between three hundred and twenty dollars to five hundred and twenty dollars [...]
Day three of Carnival mas camps
Day three of mas camps took place on Wednesday night. The bands were in true form as the judging begins, all leading up to Saturday’s road march. The competitive spirit [...]
Police, Carnival brass get ready for Mas
On Wednesday, carnival band leaders signed on to a peace declaration following a violent incident involving supporters at the conclusion of the King and Queen Competition. Greg Vernon of the [...]
Challenging the epidemic of suicide
Our viewers have probably noticed that this news station does not regularly report suicides. We understand how this can lead people to believing that Belizeans are rarely taking or attempting [...]
Is Wednesday’s incident another black eye for Police?
There is still much controversy over the incident on Wednesday at the toll bridge at Tower Hill, Orange Walk where the People’s United Party extended their protest and blocked the northern end of the bridge for at least an hour. The incident has stirred much debate over the use of force and tear gas by […]
Krem decries the attack on their News Editor
The Krem Management has issued a statement on behalf its News Editor, Marisol Amaya. The statement reads quote, “The images clearly show that Ms. Amaya was the only female congregated around a political leader being interviewed, along with other male media-members and party supporters, when she was specifically grabbed from behind by no other than […]
Special Envoy condemns attack on media
The Special Envoy for Women and Children Kim Simplis Barrow fired off a release condemning the attack on the media that happened yesterday on the Toll Bridge in Orange Walk Town. The Special Envoy says the frightening images of Krem News Director Marisol Amaya being assaulted by a police officer are unacceptable. In her statement, […]
PUP condemns attack on media
As expected, the People’s United Party is also condemning the attack on the media. The PUP says that the police used excessive force on members of the media who were covering the demonstration on Tower Hill yesterday. In its release the Opposition states quote, “The aggressiveness and indiscipline of officers of the Special Patrol Unit, […]
BPP condemns attack against media
The Belize Progressive Party is also weighing in on the attack on the media. The BPP says that members of the Belize Police Department used an unreasonable degree of force. The BPP is demanding that an apology is issued to the media and extended to Marisol Amaya. The BPP is also demanding that the behavior […]
Broaster said both UDP & PUP illegal gatherings were asked to move
The Police Department Officials have stated that the PUP assembling at the Toll Bridge in Tower Hill was illegal. The PUP did not have a permit for that. But they were not the only group to have assembled illegally on that day. Earlier on Wednesday morning, a small group of UDP supporters gathered on Clarke […]
Acting Commissioner says Toll Bridge incident under investigation
So what happens now? Acting Commissioner of Police, Noel Leal says they are still reviewing the situation and will be addressing any questionable action by the police if the need arises. Acting Commissioner of Police, Noel Leal “I’ve already began to get some of the reports, we’ll be compiling them together looking at everything contact […]
Minister of Police addresses Toll Bridge incident
Today while addressing Wednesday’s events at the Toll Bridge in Tower Hill Orange Walk, Minister Elodio Aragon briefly switched hats and took a political jab at PUP Party Leader John Briceno, calling him irresponsible. Minister of Police, Elodio Aragon “We have no problem with that provided you follow through with getting your permit, signing your […]
Police and Taiwan signed cooperation agreement
This morning representatives of Belize Police Department and the Embassy of the republic of China (Taiwan) signed a cooperation agreement and received a donation of communication equipment. Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs Elodio Aragon and Ambassador Charles Liu spoke on the cooperation. Elodio Aragon, Minister of Police “Today we are here […]
Las Flores staged demonstration to express discontent over land dispute
A protest was held by members of the Las Flores Steering Committee in Belmopan this morning. Committee members expressed their discontent over a parcel of land adjacent to St. Michael Roman Catholic Primary School that was sold to a private individual by the Belmopan City Council. As we had reported on Tuesday, Mayor Khalid Belisle […]
UDP & PUP showdown in Orange Walk
Well over a thousand people participated in today’s protest organized by the People’s United Party’s Orange Walk North Committee. The crowd assembled at the San Lorenzo Road junction and after nine o’clock in the morning they marched towards the Orange Walk Central Park. The PUP had support not only from the Orange Walk North constituency, […]
Will Gasper Vega return to Politics?
While the embattled Gaspar Vega made his appearance today, he made an unexpected announcement. After he had indicated that he would be abandoning his political career, today he said, he is willing to run again if it meant keeping his enemy, Ramon Cervantes, out of office. Former Minister of Natural Resources, Gaspar Vega “If it […]
Director of Immigration testifies before Senate Select Committee
After a one month hiatus, the Senate Special Select Committee resumed its duties today with the interrogation of Director of Immigration Diana Locke. Locke appeared in a private session this morning and in the afternoon a public session was held. At the beginning of her testimony Locke was asked about the changes that have been […]
John Saldivar comments on Las Flores’ land dispute
Yesterday we shared a release from the Las Flores Community Steering Committee which stated that they rejected the agreement reached between the Belmopan City Council and the Roman Catholic Diocese over lands adjacent to St. Michael RC School. Today Belmopan area representative John Saldivar was asked about the controversy. Belmopan area representative, John Saldivar “I […]
Belize receives grant from Taiwan
The Government of the Republic of China, Taiwan, made another contribution to the Government of Belize. The contribution is earmarked for the infrastructural development of Belize and Ambassador of the Republic of China, Taiwan Charles Liu presented a bilateral cooperation grant to Prime Minister Dean Barrow. The grant is for the year 2017 under the […]
SSB holds consultation on proposed increase of contributions
The Social Security Board hosted the media this morning in Belize with the objective to engage members of the media and provide accurate information on the Proposed Wage Ban increase. The SSB has launched a nationwide consultation with stakeholders with the purpose to receive feedback in regards to a possible increase of social security contributions […]
SSB unveils Facebook
During this morning’s event, Social Security Board also unveiled its Facebook page. It is hoped that through this medium Social Security will better engage its customers. The Social Security Board announced a stronger online presence that employees and employers can utilize to make secured financial transaction. CEO, Dr. Colin Young told us more. CEO of […]
Carnival groups vow to keep the peace
In an effort to avoid any disputes, fights, shootings or any other incidents that may result in the injury of others, leaders of all carnival groups participating in this year’s Carnival Road March signed a declaration of peace. It’s a move that organizers have made in order to have band leaders commit to a peaceful […]
Shooting incident in San Pedro leaves one man dead
A shooting incident, last night in San Pedro, has left one man dead and another injured. 36-year-old Rudolph Eric Pitts was shot and killed, while, 22-year-old Edgar Lopez escaped and is now hospitalized. Deputy Officer Commanding of Eastern Division, Superintendent of Police Raymond Reyes, spoke to the media about the shooting incident. Deputy Officer Commanding […]
Keenan Flores is a free man
Twenty-three year old Keenan Flores, a resident of Dangriga, who was charged with drug trafficking on July 31 for 2.2 kilograms of suspected cocaine, was freed of the charge when he appeared today before Magistrate Aretha Ford. Magistrate Ford told Flores that the prosecution has withdrawn the charge because, according to a memorandum from the […]
Making PG’s roads safe
A two day planning meeting of representatives from the Ministry of Economic Development Road Safety Project and Punta Gorda Town Council Traffic Committee ended today in Punta Gorda. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports. A main participant at the meeting was Chairman of Punta Gorda Town Council Traffic Committee, Ivan Avilez. Chairman of Punta Gorda Town Council […]
EMTs better prepared to save lives
An emergency medical technician course came to an end earlier today in Belmopan. The course formed a part of the Belize Road Safety Project. Correspondent Fem Cruz has the story. Fem Cruz, Love FM: “The EMT this afternoon concluded a three months training with the support of BERT, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of […]
Social Security may fail within 4 years
On Wednesday September 6th the Social Security Board hosted members of the media to a mixer with the sole purpose of informing on the proposal to increase coverage via increased contributions.
Established in 1981, the Social Security Board provides a safety net for employed persons who would otherwise not have benefits accrue to them while they work. Since its inception the board has had only one adjustment in its rates and coverage and that was back in 2001. Now a full 16 years later there is an urgent need to revisit the scheme.
Speaking to the media, the SSB’s actuary, Hernando Montas, spoke plainly and explained that under the current demands, the fund will collapse within 4 years. Actually, the fund is currently operating at a deficit if it were solely dependent on contributions in order to make benefit payments. Chief Executive Officer for the SSB told the media that the deficit is for 11.4 million dollars. In 2016 there was 81 million dollars in contributions while benefits paid out amounted to 92.4 million dollars.