Today's Belize News: May 26, 2016 - 05/26/16 11:57 AM
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, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials
Ministry of Health Confirms Zika in Pregnant Woman
The Ministry of Health has received another confirmed case of Zika in the country by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA). The case is being closely monitored by the Ministry of Health staff as the patient is a pregnant woman. This patient is from the Cayo District. The case was picked up through the heightened and strengthened vector borne disease and vaccine preventable disease surveillance, which now includes the monitoring of Zika, currently underway across the country. The Ministry this morning collected a sample from another pregnant woman with symptoms of the virus. The sample will be sent to CARPHA for further testing.
Mayor Guerrero makes education a priority
Education is definitely the key to success, and as a part of Education Month, Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Councilor Ruben Gonzalez, and members from the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) visited the San Pedro High School, Holy Cross Anglican School, Ambergris Caye Elementary School, Isla Bonita Elementary School, New Horizon Seventh-day Adventist School, and the San Pedro Roman Catholic School. The initial purpose for the Mayor’s visit was to emphasize the importance of education and to assist schools in renovating, improving, or aiding all schools visited. Mayor Guerrero’s agenda included giving a welcome to the student body of each school, touring each classroom and interacting with teachers to hear their needed requests. “After various school visits, it is apparent that many schools are in need of repairs, and improvements to infrastructure are needed,” said Guerrero. He pledged to put a commitment on education, and promised to supply schools with needed materials to improve the overall quality of the education system in San Pedro.
Ambergris Caye residents join Hands across the Sands against offshore oil exploration
On Saturday, May 21st Belizeans from among 13 municipalities joined hands as part of the second annual “Hands across the Sand,” in order to promote and highlight the issues of offshore oil exploration and drilling. This year, the campaign was also aimed at spreading the message of saying ‘NO’ to filthy fuels and saying ‘YES’ to clean energy. The event, which also took place in over 80 countries around the world, was spearheaded in Belize by Oceana in Belize who rallied citizens to take part in this worthy cause. In San Pedro Town a total of 19 residents gathered on the beach in front of the Central Park. For around 15 minutes, the group held hands in solidarity against offshore oil development in Belize’s marine environment. Hundreds of Belizeans across the 13 municipalities also joined in. Orange Walk Town, Corozal Town Belize City, Belmopan City, San Ignacio Town, Hopkins Villa, Placencia Village, Sarteneja Village, Caye Caulker Village, and Punta Gorda Town said NO to filthy fuels.
Full Moon concert highlights local talent
The glow of the full, beautiful moon inspired the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH), the San Pedro House of Culture (SPHC), and the San Pedro AIDS Commission (SPAC) to host a full moon concert on Saturday, May 21st. The event took place at Central Park, where dozens of people viewed the full moon while enjoying free entertainment from four local artists. The concert featured Wil Nuñez, Oscar Aguilar, Natalie Arceo, and Rompe Raja for a night of family fun. Vice President of SPAC, David Jenkins, and his committee was productive throughout the night raising funds from their food and drink sales. “The weather is perfect and the concert finally happened after many attempts. On behalf of our AIDS Commission, all proceeds will help our organization to continue to stand up for people living with HIV/AIDS in San Pedro,” said Jenkins. The night was perfectly clear, and people danced and applauded the musical talents of the artists. Overall, the concert was a success and the SPHC is hoping to plan a Full Moon concert each quarter of the year.
SPTC celebrates teachers and nurses
In honor of Teacher’s and Nurse’s week, the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC), along with Area Representative and Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., organized a celebration to commemorate their tremendous contribution to the island on Thursday, May 19th. Nurses, doctors, and medical practitioners from Dr. Otto Rodriguez Polyclinic II, as well as teachers, administrators, and principals from schools across San Pedro packed the Angel Nuñez Auditorium for a night of fun. Prior to starting the ceremony, guests enjoyed socializing and mingling with colleagues and business friends. With an apology given for the absence of Hon. Heredia, Councilor Ruben Gonzalez gave the official vote of thanks for the night. “The purpose of this event is to celebrate all our teachers, nurses, and medical practitioners. We are all very thankful for the commitment from them and we recognize their hard work, long hours, patience, and grace they have. I encourage them to keep up the good work,” said Councilor Gonzalez.
Belizeans Across the Nation Hold Hands for a Cause
Residents across Thirteen municipalities join hands as part of the Second Annual “Hands Across the Sand” to Say ‘No’ to Filthy Fuels and ‘Yes’ to Clean Energy - On May 21, 2016, at noon, Belizeans around the country joined hands on beaches, across bridges, along sea walls and in other public areas to stand in solidarity against offshore oil development in Belize's economically important marine environment. Belize was one of 83 countries to observe Hands Across the Sand with participation from hundreds of residents across the following municipalities: Orange Walk town, Dangriga, Belize City, Placencia, Corozal Town, San Ignacio, Hopkins, Sarteneja, Punta Gorda town, Caye Caulker, San Pedro (Headline Picture) and Belmopan.
Misc Belizean Sources
Habaneros Pepper Sauce
This stuff is just onions in vinegar with maybe a few habaneros or jalapenos cut up and tossed in for a little kick and some other secret spices. Rosita's Burrito stand had it in a big jug and you could put it on burritos/hotdogs.
Village Initiative Arcadia San Pedro Seminar Series August 8 – August 19
Arcadia University is being hosted in San Pedro for the purpose of bring free education and seminars to the community. With focus on Education, Nutrition, Physical Therapy, Medical and Psychological Support, and Business, Supervisory and Leadership initiatives.
Republic of China (Taiwan) to Disburse First Installment for Renal Failure Prevention Project to the Ministry of Health
The Ministry of Health on behalf of the Government and people of Belize will be receiving the first disbursement of US$34,500 for the capacity building project for the prevention and control of chronic renal failure in Belize at a ceremony to be held at the Best Western Biltmore Hotel on May 30th, 2016 at 9:00a.m. The “Renal Failure Prevention Project” is a three-year project with a total approved budget of US$2.2 million. It was signed on February 10, 2016 between Belize and Taiwan to treat patients at the early stages of renal failure or kidney disease, ultimately reducing the socio-economic burden to families and to the health system. Training will be provided to general practitioners and dialysis nurses in Taiwan, while local training programs will be conducted for Case Managers and Community Health Workers in identification and management of risk factors for kidney failure. Furthermore, the project also includes the establishment and launch of a tracking and management system for chronic disease cases in medical facilities.
Minister Panton delivers Keynote Address at Galen University Graduation
On Sunday, May 22nd, 2016, Galen University graduated ninety-nine students at its 13th Commencement Exercises held at the Muffles College Auditorium in Orange Walk Town. Graduates received degreesin various fields including Anthropology, Environmental Science, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Elementary Education, Accounting and Business Administration. Hon. Tracy Taegar- Panton, Minister of State in the Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade & Commerce, delivered the keynote address, highlighting the emerging socio-economic needs and challenges in the public and private sectors and how Belizeans can combine their skills, talents and experiences to shape a new future. The minister stressed the importance of diversifying our economic base using technology, promoting innovation and entrepreneurship as well as maintaining open dialogue to foster co-ordination and objectivity on matters of national importance.
Empower Yourself Belize Movement
Empower Yourself Belize Movement (EYBM) recently held a event to commemorate IDAHOT Day. EYBM is a Belize NGO that works with People Living with HIV and focuses on delivering health tips and the importance of medication adherence, addressing nutrition, increasing prevention education interventions for HIV/STI, and advice on personal hygiene. Currently EYBM is funded through The U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). PEPFAR is the U.S. Government initiative to help save the lives of those suffering from HIV/AIDS around the world. This historic commitment is the largest by any nation to combat a single disease internationally, and PEPFAR investments also help alleviate suffering from other diseases across the global health spectrum. PEPFAR is driven by a shared responsibility among donor and partner nations and others to make smart investments to save lives.
Education in Belize: Breaking bad habits
I commend the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) for defiantly standing up to Guatemala during its escalating armed border incursions into Belize. An age old, yet formerly non-violent, border dispute has now turned violent. Guatemala has defiantly stationed its military at Belize's Southern Sarstoon border, and may want to push armed contingents even further into our Southern and Western borders. Our government ignored the first armed encroachment, and then urged Belizeans to stay away from the Sarstoon border. Yet, we now have incurred loss of life on both sides. Many Belizeans have reached a boiling point (against their own government as well as Guatemala), and are taking defiant actions to protest Guatemala's armed bullying and the Belize government's sudden Sarstoon Prohibition law. BNTU members/teachers have set a positive example for thousands of students in Belize, and showed them the importance of "taking action".
May 2016 External Trade & Consumer Price Index
During the month of April 2016, the prices of goods and services purchased by Belizean households were a marginal 0.1 percent higher than in April 2015. According to latest statistics released by the Statistical Institute of Belize, the All Items Consumer Price Index was 102.9, up from 102.8 in April of last year. For the first four months of the year 2016, an inflation rate of 0.2 percent was recorded.
Belize’s total imports for the month of April 2016 were valued at $168.9 million. This was an increase of 7.2 percent or $11.3 million over last April’s imports, which totaled $157.6 million. Of the various categories, ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment’ was the primary reason for the rise in total imports during the month, growing considerably by $25 million dollars, from $31 million in April 2015 to $56 million in April 2016. This increase was mainly attributable to purchases of telecommunications equipment valued at $17 million dollars made during the month. The ‘Other Manufactures’ category had the only other observable increase, growing by a lesser $2 million due mostly to purchases of construction material along with plastic boxes and crates.
2nd annual Summer Music Camp, Caye Caulker
You have seen what our children are capable of accomplishing with a dedicated and excellent music instructor like Mr. Carlos Perrote so Come join us during the summer as we get ready for our 2nd annual Summer Music Camp. Our Saturday music classes will continue as scheduled. The music camp is not only designed for children but adults as well. If you would like to join us or sponsor a child give me a call at 605-5904 or visit my Tutoring center at the corner of Estrella Street and Avenida Mangle.
Bartending Training in Belize City
Belize Mixology is finally coming to Belize City for bartending training. Details are as follows: Venue: BTEC building at the ITVET compound. Introduction to Bartending: Tuesday June 7th to 9th from 9am to 12pm. Cost $350 Advanced Bartending: Friday June 10th to 13th from 9am to 12 pm. Cost $450 We are offering a 10% discount for the first 10 persons to to sign up and pay the required 50 % deposit. Payment can be made via cash, cheque, or bank deposit to our Scotia company account. This is a great oppurtunity to gain knowledge in a rapidly growing sector of the hospitality industry. We also help in finding jobs for qualified participants after training. If a participant would like to take just the Advanced course, he/she would need to have a minimum of 5 years of experience at a fully functioning bar. If not then the Introduction training is required first. Certificates are awarded for each training. Spaces are very limited.
De-escalating the Working Poor's Mental Health Issues
We are all challenged with emotional distresses. As men it is harder as we are expected to be stronger. There is a correlation with physical work. The more physical the environment is, the more macho a male is expected to be. The only therapy that most of us receive is when we chat with a friend or in a group, social setting. You ever see a bunch of guys hang out and drink? In the middle of the loud music and chatting about which woman is sexy, there will be moments when relationship issues are brought up. The only help they get is the release, depending on the quality group they may or may not receive good advice. But they will get the "I feel yo pain" response, which is all the therapy they receive. Earlier in the week you may have noticed a series of "high school fights" of mostly girls and maybe one with adult females. The quality of the discussion by the friend who recorded these attacks, that's what they were, attacks to shame the victim who they expected to lose. They didn't want a fight, they wanted a victim whose pain can be repeated continuously. If you look at the comments, they range from "this boring" "They can't be from this neighborhood because they so lame". People have no empathy. People are cold.
Submit your application today to the BETEX Committee
Deadline for applications is April 29, 2016.
Ministry of Health Confirms Zika in Pregnant Woman
The Ministry of Health has received another confirmed case of Zika in the country by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA). The case is being closely monitored by the Ministry of Health staff as the patient is a pregnant woman. This patient is from the Cayo District. The case was picked up through the heightened and strengthened vector borne disease and vaccine preventable disease surveillance, which now includes the monitoring of Zika, currently underway across the country. The Ministry this morning collected a sample from another pregnant woman with symptoms of the virus. The sample will be sent to CARPHA for further testing. Vector control and public health officers, along with staff from the Epidemiology Unit and Maternal and Child Health Departments, are actively engaged with the community and are further scaling up efforts in the monitoring of Zika.
The Ombudsman of Belize Assumes Presidency of the Central American Council of Human Rights Defenders/Ombudsmen
The Ombudsman of Belize welcomes the Central American Council of Human Rights Defenders/Ombudsmen to Belize City, Belize from 25 to 27 May, 2016. During the Council’s visit, the Ombudsman of Belize will assume the Presidency of the Council for the year 2016 to 2017. On May 25, the Council will host a Forum on Internal Displacement and Forced Migration, a topic of important concern to the region at the moment. The Council will also have closed meetings to discuss other important topics, including the formulation of plans and projects, adoption of resolutions and other matters. The Council was reconstituted in February 2015 and consists of the seven Central American Countries: Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. The Presidency rotates among the member countries annually.
Poets Corner: Shock Wave
By Abdulmajeed K Nunez. Pause for a cause Let’s look at our laws The Mayan cause Is Belize’s cause Their ICJ victory Made legal history Setting precedence for indigenous peoples throughout the territory This makes the status quo uneasy Sending shockwaves throughout the hegemony The NGC, NCC and the East Indian Council Need to seek legal counsel Join together taking your indigenous cause to the judiciary This will put a stop the hegemony’s corruption in country We all have rights to this territory We won’t be able to accede any land and territories To any other countries
Power interruption from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Sunday May 29th for the entire Corozal District.
BEL to conduct critical maintenance of equipment at the Corozal Substation.
2016 Frenchie's Offshore Open
First place honors for the 2016 Frenchie's Offshore Open went to Team Venator out of Chetumal who boated a 135lb Blue Marlin, a 15lb Wahoo and 5lb Tuna. 2nd Place winners were Princesa Del Mar out of San Pedro who released a Sailfish on Day 1 and a White Marlin on Day 2 while 3rd Place went to Fishizzle also from San Pedro who released a White Marlin on Day 2 and took heaviest Dorado which weighed 18lbs. In all the tournament boats released 2 Sailfish, 3 White Marlin and weighed 1 Blue Marlin. Thanks to all our sponsors for their support and to all 17 boats who competed. We'll see you again next year Caye Caulker!
Men at Work art Exhibit in Corozal
Mark the date, as we celebrate Corozal's talented male artists at the 4th annual Men at Work art exhibit.
I AM Belize scholarship Program
Belize Electricity Limited and RESTORE Belize entered into a four-year partnership on May 25, with the Company committing to provide a $36,000 total contribution towards the “I AM Belize scholarship Program”. BEL’s contribution will provide tuition, books, and uniforms for 9 new scholarship students for the 2016 – 2019 school years. A total of 38 students have graduated from the program since its inception in 2010, with a success rate of 80% in 2014 – 2015.
ATLIB Professional Development 2016
ATLIB had their 2016 Professional Development Sessions last week, where most of the country's tertiary level professors met to learn everything from technology in the classroom to grant writing to statistics. Sacred Heart Junior College, Belize hosted the event. Minister Faber was there to kick off the learning, and he gave a great speech about quality and the need to strive for that goal in the field of education.
Public Service Info Day 2016
Public Service Information Day is Friday, May 27th, and it'll be celebrated at Sir George Brown Field in Belmopan. The Benque Marimba Academy will be there along with entertainment for everyone. There will also be chocolate making. Thanks, MoEYSC! "Happening on Friday May 27th 2016 @ The Sir George Brown Field in Belmopan!!! Come out and view our booth MOEYSC from 9:00 am to 3:00pm!!!"
Belize Zoo Conservation Camp 2016
The Belize Zoo is gearing up for their 23rd annual Conservation Camp. Now is the time to apply because the camp will start on June 27th. "CONSERVATION CAMP 2016!: TBZ will once again be accepting young Belizeans join our Education team as we explore Belize's natural wonders through our week long conservation camp. This will be the 23rd year of 'Zoo Camp.' Special guest presentations, field trips, scientific studies and role play are just a few of the many activities planned this year. The goal of Camp, as always, is to foster conservation-minded attitudes in the next generation of stewards of our natural heritage. June 27th to July 1st are the dates this year, so, parents, start applying! Campers must be 12-17 years of age, and come prepared for 4 nights and 5 days of activities. More info and registration forms can be requested from [email protected], or [email protected], or call the Zoo at 822-8000."
Maypole Dance w/ the Charikanari Dancers in San Pedro
Join us this Friday at the San Pedro House of Culture as we revive the traditional Maypole dance. Performing will be the Black & White Charikanari Dancers. This events will be a fundraising event for the cultural dance group. Food & drinks on sale. Performing will be the Charikanari Dancers and local children. See you there!
Learn more about
The Belize City House of Culture and Downtown Rejuvenation Project
Public Engagement meeting #2, June 15th
PM Was Curt When Discussing Istanbul Talks
Yesterday bilateral talks between the Foreign Ministers of Belize and Guatemala concluded in Istanbul, Turkey. At the conclusion of that meeting, the Foreign Affairs Ministries of both Belize and Guatemala sent out a joint press release. Although it was lengthy, and mentioned that both parties recognized the need to avoid further incidents along the border, it did not give much specifics as to what was actually discussed. However, as a result of these talks, the Prime Minister, who sits as the chair of the National Security Council, saw it fit to revoke the Sarstoon SI. That was a surprising action, given that the Prime Minister ended the 30-day Sarstoon Ban a few days early. So, what did the Belize delegation relay back to give him that kind of confidence? That's what we asked when we caught him Orange Walk Town after attending Elijio Joe Briceño's funeral. Here's how that very brief conversation actually went:
Ambassador Courtenay Was More Forthcoming On Bilateral Talks
We had a few more important questions for the Prime Minister on this topic, but he declined to entertain anymore and walked off. We did however meet Eamon Courtney at that same event, who had returned home early. He was a bit more candid in speaking with us about the bilateral talks at Istanbul. He attended the summit as a representative of the Leader of the Opposition and as a member the Belize delegation. Here is his take on the Istanbul discussions. Eamon Courtenay - Representative of the Leader of the Opposition: "First of all I think the most significant thing is that Belize and Guatemala have now agreed that it is necessary to have a protocol for the free navigation in the Sarstoon and the parties have agreed that they will start the negotiations very shortly of that protocol. As the Foreign Minister indicated during the course of the meeting the basis on which Belize will start is that we will have full sovereignty and territorial integrity over our side of the Sarstoon River as well as the Sarstoon Island; so that was the basis from which we will start. The second important thing is a sort of informal understanding from Guatemala that there will be free navigation even whilst we are negotiating so we do not expect that the Guatemalan naval forces and military are going to continue to stop Belizeans or other people from using the Sarstoon River."
The Opposition Leader's Representative Is Cautiously Optimistic
But just how confident is the Belize Delegation that Guatemala will hold true to this "informal" agreement? We couldn't get the Prime Minister's thoughts on that issue but according to Eamon Courtney, it is all but a waiting game now. He added that, at least for their part, the PUP remains confident - but not too confident - on the way forward. Here is how he put it. Eamon Courtenay - Representative of the Leader of the Opposition: "I would say it's important for us to see what happens. Saying something in a diplomatic meeting is one thing, the proof of the pudding is in the eating so we need to see what happens beginning now when we exercise our rights to use the Sarstoon when our citizens and when the military exercise their right. We expect based on the understanding at the meeting that they will be entitled to do so as we have always done. Now as you say the important thing is whether or not the Guatemalan forces in the Sarstoon is going to respect that. We are hopeful that they will, we insisted that the information be communicated not only to the top of the military but to the soldiers and the naval forces in the area. So there should be no defence that the message didn't reach the people in the field and that type of thing; we expect full compliance and respect for our territorial rights."
When's the Next Bilateral Talks On Sarstoon Protocol?
So, the SI is revoked and tensions at the Southern border are expected to de-escalate given the "Informal" agreement that allows for the free passage of Belizean military and civilians along the Sarstoon. It's is a good start, but just for how long will this "informal" agreement stand? Both countries have agreed that it is necessary to set the protocol of operation at the Sarstoon but no timeline has been given for when that protocol will be fleshed out; however according to Eamon Courtney, negotiations are expected to begin soon in that regard. And, it better, he says, because the PUP have all intentions of continuing to assert their sovereignty over Belize's portion of the Sarstoon. Eamon Courtenay - Representative of the Leader of the Opposition: "The understanding is that Ambassador Roldan and Ambassador Rosado will meet very shortly and set the time table for the meetings which we expect to start as a matter of urgency. We expect the meetings to take place very quickly and to be progressed with some deliberate speed because we need certainty and we need a clear understanding because we will be exercising our rights in the Sarstoon."
PUP's Failed Trip Could Have Affected The Outcome Of Istanbul Talks
Full respect of our rights to even visit the Sarstoon… this is very a strong position from a PUP senator. As you know, the party's trip didn't happen for the reasons the Opposition Leader described last night. Nevertheless the members of the Guatemalan delegation caught wind of the planned expedition and at the diplomatic talks at Istanbul yesterday it was briefly brought up. Eamon Courtenay - Representative of the Leader of the Opposition: "The Foreign Minister of Guatemala did mention the fact that the proposed trip by the PUP was in his view and in his words provocative. Our side didn't respond to it but as you know we believe that we have a right to travel in the Sarstoon and to travel anywhere in the 8,867 square miles of Belize. It is regrettable that Guatemala would regard that as being provocative but it is our right that the PUP believes that every Belizean has a right to exercise and we as a party if necessary will do it."
Opposition Leader's Rep. Sees Purpose For PUP Lawsuit
So now with the SI revoked, it makes another PUP Trip to the Sarstoon a little less meaningful by way of political standards. The main reason for the PUP's visit to the Sarstoon was to challenge the - what they called- unconstitutional move by the Government. So no SI, no political meaning. But is the same true for the Constitutional Challenge which the opposition filed against the Government? Today we asked Eamon Courtney for his legal opinion on this matter. Here is what he said. Eamon Courtenay - Representative of the Leader of the Opposition: "It's not mute and it is not pointless because we expect the challenge to continue. You see what you have there is in our view an unlawful exercise of state power. As I said before it is bad policy and it is bad in law. The public safety act has a specific criteria for the Governer General to exercise that power to restrain people from moving in the Sarstoon or anywhere else. We believe that the facts were not there for him to do it and therefore he acted unlawfully and we have to set a precedent, the court has to speak to the circumstances in which that kind of power can be exercised in the future. So it is a very important case, it violated our constitutional rights and the constitutional rights of many Belizeans who attempted to go there and we ask the court to still pronounce on it for the future."
2nd Zika Confirmed In Belize; This Time It's A Pregnant Woman
Belize has another confirmed case of Zika in country, and this time, it's a pregnant woman who is infected. That's not the type of news that the Ministry of Health wants at this time, since the woman's baby is at risk of being born with the medical condition as micro-cephaly, a birth defect where newborns have abnormally small heads and under-developed brains. The Ministry of Health confirmed before news time that it has received the confirmation of the pregnant woman by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA). Their statement says, quote, "The case is being closely monitored by the Ministry of Health staff as the patient is a pregnant woman. This patient is from the Cayo District. The case was picked up through the heightened and strengthened vector borne disease and vaccine preventable disease surveillance, which now includes the monitoring of Zika, currently underway across the country.
Police Constable Killed Himself
Suicides don't normally make the evening news, but one of them is tonight after a cop killed himself this morning. Another cop attempted to take his life less than 5 days before, and we'll get to that, but first to the very tragic story of Constable Edward Gonzalez. Right now, the Queen Street Police Formation, where he was stationed is still trying to grapple with his death. The 34 year-old constable shot himself in the head early this morning around 2. Gonzalez was with 2 other officers outside of the Queen Street Police Station when he suddenly pulled out his licensed gun and shot himself. Gonzalez's suicide has stunned his colleagues and today at a press briefing, they told us they didn't see this coming. Courtney Weatherburne has the story. PC Edward Gonzalez went to work every morning at 7:00 sharp. He was always right on time for the routine inspection and briefing sessions. Gonzalez became known for his promptness, tidiness and good police work.
Another Cop Tried Suicide; Very Fortunately, He Failed
Now while it is very unfortunate that Gonzalez lost all hope and ended his life, there is hope for Precinct 2 Police Constable Melvin Nah. He is recovering at the hospital right now after he tried to poison himself on Monday night. Luckily his family and friends got to him quickly and rushed him to the hospital. Nah was saved. Police told us more about this other troubling case. ACP Chester Williams - OC, Chester Williams: "There was an incident on Monday night where a police officer who is assigned to precinct 2 apparently drank some noxious substance and was rushed to the KHMH. He is currently in the hospital admitted in a stable condition. From what we have been made to understand he's slowly recovering and he should make a full recovery in a very short space of time."
Police Counsellor Trying Assist With The Stressors Of The Job
So Now, what is being done in the police department to help officers like Gonzalez and Nah? Well as you heard, there is an Employee Assistance Program which provides counseling to police officers. Today we spoke to the coordinator of the program Shawn Vargas and he highlighted some of the stresses that police offices face and he also discussed how to manage that stress. Shawn Vargas - Coordinator, Employee Assistance Prog.: "It's a high stress job. There are several factors that police officers have to contend with. Many among them is putting your life at risk on a daily basis and so as to some of the challenges that they are faced among the general public on their job it's the idea of walking to know that you might be a target; now that's a level you have to work with. It is important for us to understand ourselves, it is important for us to understand our body; our body tells us a lot in terms of dealing with stress and coping with personal challenges. So if you believe that you are a point, at a breaking point then it is best to get professional help. It is best to get professional help for guidance and professional help is available through the employee assistance programme."
Eastern Division South Commander Wants In-House Personal Constable
But is this Employee Assistance Program enough? Well, the Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams doesn't think so. Williams explained that there needs to be a greater focus on having in house counsellors at the different divisions. ACP Chester Williams - OC, Chester Williams: "Our department have grown so huge and I think that the police department is the largest organization in the government service, bigger than the BDF, bigger than the coast guard. The only organization bigger than us are the teachers and I think that we have grown to the extent that we should be able to have our own in house counsellors and I think that what we need to do is look seriously at how we can achieve this to have at least one at each of the different divisions within the police department. That is only 6 regions so to hire 6 counsellors to be available at any given time to provide counselling to our officers I do believe that the benefit will surely outweigh the cost. While we do have the employee assistance programme it is a good idea, good initiative but I think that if we have our own in house counsellors our officers will be more use to those person and they'll be more willing to open to those persons."
Calaney's Attorney Says She Has No-Case To Answer To
For the past 16 days now, 30 year-old Calaney Flowers has been standing trial in the court room of Justice Troadio Gonzalez for the capital offenses of murder and attempted murder. Police say that on August 28, 2012 she used her car to intentionally knock her ex-boyfriend, 29 year-old Lyndon Morrison, down. He was on his motorcycle with his new girlfriend Sochyl Sosa, and the impact of the collision caused them to suffer serious injuries, which ended up claiming Lyndon Morrison's life. Well, since we last reported on the trial without jury, a lot has taken place. The prosecutor, Crown Counsel Sheneiza Smith, has called a number of witnesses including Morrison's mother Laurel Grant, as well as Sochyl Sosa, the woman who survived the deadly accident. She told the court last week from the stand that, on that night, at around 9:00 o'clock, she was at home, when Lyndon Morrison arrived at her house to pick her up on his motorcycle. They stopped at Friendship Restaurant on Mahogany Street to buy a burger and headed to a Chinese shop near to get a juice.