Today's Belize News: June 12, 2019 - 06/12/19 12:52 PM
Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and other specials
Isla Bonita Elementary School Student Places 2nd In PSE Countrywide
The Primary School Examination results are out and the students from San Pedro Town did an excellent job! The top scorers this year where AnnElyse Fleser-Perdue of Isla Bonita Elementary School (95% - 380/400 points), Kamryn Rhaburn of San Pedro RC School (91.8% - 367/400 points) and Nia Lisbey of Ambergris Caye Elementary School with (91% - 365/400 points). A total of 7, 280 students sat the PSE and of which 11 were private candidates. PSE Numbers for 2019 show that 65 fewer candidates sat the exam over 2018. The Top Achiever for this year’s PSE was Jasmin Espat of St. Andrew Anglican Primary School in Cayo who scored a 96.5% (386/400points). The following are the results for schools here on the island:
World Oceans Day 2019–June 8th, Celebrated Under The Theme “Gender And The Oceans”
Hundreds of Belizean wave makers country-wide observed World Oceans Day with different activities. On Saturday June 8th, 2019, the international community celebrated World Oceans Day under the theme “Gender and the Oceans”. This year’s theme focuses on the importance of gender equality, particularly for the effective conservation and sustainable use of marine resources as we strive to build greater ocean and gender literacy, and discover possible ways to promote gender equality in all ocean-related activities.
Misc Belizean Sources
2019 Lionfish Tournament
The Lionfish Tournament is back on again!!! The prizes are bigger and better....so gather your teams and claim that top prize!!! June 13th is the date to prove you are the top Lionfish slayer!!! Register your teams at Hol Chan office. #holchanmarinereserve Our Reef, Our Life, Our Responsibility, Get Involved!!!!
Chris is a superhero! Look at this crocodile!
Rainy season is upon us once again. Flooding of roads, yards and underneath homes is unavoidable at this time for most living in low lying neighborhoods. As crocs tend to become quite active in rainy season moving through these flooded areas, it’s not uncommon for them to find their way into peoples yards or to take up residence underneath homes, which through crocs eyes are like beautiful man made caves. Whilst we are of course happy to respond to any and all calls in these scenarios, prevention by denying crocs access is a far better long term solution than having to trap and relocate an animal.
First Belizean woman graduates from the FBI National Academy!
Congratulations to Inspector Sherlet Ramclam of the Belize Police Department on being the first Belizean woman to graduate from the FBI National Academy! Continue doing your great work to enhance Belize’s citizen security and build partnerships between our countries!
Taste of the Caribbean 2019
Belizean culinary ingenuity and mixology will spice once again this year’s Taste of the Caribbean as Belizean chefs and bartenders go head on against the region’s finest. Taste of the Caribbean is the region’s premier culinary competition, food & beverage educational exchange and Caribbean cultural showcase. It will be held from June 22 – 25 in Miami, Florida. Since 1993, the Caribbean’s best chefs and culinary teams unite at Taste of the Caribbean to compete, demonstrate their skills, learn from each other and offer the general public a scintillating exhibition of the most delectable culinary treats.
U.S. Social Security Service and other Federal Benefits Services
The U.S. Embassy in Belize is pleased to announce that a Representative from the Regional Federal Benefits Unit from Costa Rica will visit Belmopan to offer services for beneficiaries or individuals with questions about U.S. Social Security and other federal benefits. Where: U.S. Consular Section, U.S. Embassy Belmopan. When: June 19 from 9:00am to 12:00pm and 1:00pm to 4:00 pm.
Caye Caulker Village Council Candidates Debate
7pm June 18, at tjhe Caye Caulker Comminuty Center. All information pertaining the Debate kindly read carefully.
Ministry of Labour hosts Workshop on Child Labour Identification, Monitoring and Inspection
On Monday, June 10th, 2019, the Ministry of Labour, Local Government and Rural Development hosted a Child Labour Training Workshop for officers of the Labour Department. The workshop sought to equip the employees with theoretical knowledge and practical skills in identifying and addressing the issue of child labour under a countrywide inspectorate programme within a legal framework. The issue of child labour is one that requires individual as well as national attention. The issue is both a complex and a multifaceted one, which requires specialized training and inputs, and collaboration from all stakeholders.
Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital Workers’ Union Certified as Sole Bargaining Agent for KHMHA Employees
At a signing ceremony held this morning at the Belize City Labour Department, the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital Authority Workers’ Union was declared the sole, certified and recognized bargaining agent for the employees of the Hospital. The Certificate of Recognition was signed by Mr. Gabriel Martinez, Chairman of the Tripartite Body, and witnessed by Ms. Anne Marie Thompson, Labour Commissioner; Ms. Michelle Hoare, Chief Executive Officer for Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital; Mrs. Lidia Blake, Union President; and other representatives of the Hospital, Union, Tripartite Body and the Labour Department.
NEW CONTROLLED PRICE OF LIQUEFIED PETROLEUM GAS (LPG)
The Supplies Control Unit (SCU) in the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Commerce is hereby informing the general public that effective Wednesday, June 12th, 2019 there will be a new maximum retail price for the sale of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) for motor vehicles; households, restaurants, hotels, etc. and a maximum wholesale price for quantities >/300 gallons 3,000 gallons and quantities >/3,000 gallons.
First Aid & CPR full training course in San Pedro
The BTIA in partnership with the Belize Red Cross will be offering a First Aid & CPR full training course in San Pedro on June 27th 2019. All 2018 certified past participants are also welcomed to partake and have the opportunity to receive their certification once again through this training. Note that all cards expire after a year. To register contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 227-1144.
The nominations for this year’s Belize Youth Awards are officially open!
We are looking for young people aged between 15 and 29 years old, who have demonstrated the importance of youth advocacy and leadership in categories such as, but not limited to: Youth in Entrepreneurship, The Environmental Steward, Youth in Journalism, Social Media Influencer, and Youth Minister’s Award for Leadership and Advocacy. There is a total of 16 categories that our young people can be nominated for. To see the full list of categories, requirements needed to be eligible to apply, and the application form, please visit: https://forms.gle/RgUqD9zLKpuVWsKH9. For additional information regarding this activity, please feel free to contact our Communications Team at telephone number 207-0773 or email us at email@example.com.
Paulita Bedran Scholarship Winners
This year, there were 2 winners of the Paulita Bedran Memorial Scholarship. Congratulations, Ms. Ciau and Ms. Landero! Thanks, Rotary, for sending students through high school with your Raphael Cal Memorial Scholarship.
BELIZE FISHING REPORT: JUNE 2, 2019 THROUGH JUNE 9, 2019
Windier conditions moved most of the action to the lee of the islands and cayes. El Pescador hosted the fourth Orvis Bonefish Bonanza of 2019. Very good week for numbers of bonefish on the fly including 69 landed by two anglers on a day trip with Capt. Emir.
Grand Caribe Birdathon
The Grand Caribe Birdathon was a first ever for the "island" of San Pedro. Many cool birds among the 71 species they encountered. Shorebirds were of course a main, but Reddish Egrets and Black Catbird topped the list. Thanks again for supporting our ongoing efforts!
Belize Archaeology Symposium 2019....coming soon!!!
One of our favourite events of the year is FINALLY here! Get the scoop of all things Archaeology— this event is filled with lectures, networking, and so much information for those who are fans of history. We have a feeling this year is going to be one to remember.
120 students engaged in biodiversity research
On Friday, 24th of May 2019, Ya’axché hosted 120 primary school students from Big Falls, San Miguel, Silver Creek, and Bladen villages at Ya’axché’s field station, which is located at the heart of the Golden Stream Corridor Preserve, southern Belize.
Bonifacio Novelo (19th century) was a Maya fighter in the so-called Maya Social War(Caste War) . He was a Maya caudillo and tatich (in maya: cacique, great chief, in the east of the state of Yucatan, along with Cecilio Chi and Jacinto Pat. Before the beginning of the aforementioned war, Novelo was commander of a thousand Maya who participated in the siege of Valladolid under the orders of Colonel Antonio Trujeque. When the city fell into the hands of the rebels, hundreds were attributed to the ferocious action of Bonifacio Novelo. Some historians say that although the orders came from Trujeque, it attributed to Novelo the beheading of the defense commander of the plaza, Colonel Venegas. After that, there was a whole battalion pursuing and harassing Novelo, forcing him to live "salto de mata" without ever being caught. Hence his reputation as a daring and astute man.
Our Ancestors Running Away from the violence of the Caste War
“Oral History of the war goes like this: When the war began every able man including young boys were recruited for service in the Masewal armies by the Masewal leaders called batabs. No one was expected to say no. While the majority of the men were at the war front, some of the older men attended to the corn fields and other crops. Everybody contributed food for the army. Many of the women prepared food for the soldiers. As the war penetrated the jungles of Yucatan, the cultivation of corn and other food crops penetrated the jungles as well. Whenever the war eased a bit, the Masewals collected their farm seeds and moved deeper into the Jungles.
Health Ministry Empathizes with Vasquez Family and Speaks on Safety of Workers
Last night you heard from Jules Vasquez on the tragic death of his brother, Nestor Vasquez Jr. As we told you, Vasquez, who is mentally ill, was in police custody at the Queen Street police station on Thursday afternoon. Officers put him in a cell with Colin Francis, another mentally ill patient who had been charged for attempted murder after stabbing psychiatric nurse Augustina Elijio to the chest. Francis then attacked Vasquez, that beat down led to his death. Today Nurse Eleanor Bennett from the Mental Health Unit spoke on both cases specifically on nurse Elijio's. She said that health workers are at risk when they handle patients such as Francis who display violent behavior.
Police should be a part of the Solution, not the Problem
Bennett also addressed the issue of police officers not knowing how to properly handle persons living with mental illness or those who are a danger to themselves and others - if they commit a crime, the police just see and treat them as a nuisance and law breakers who need to be detained. Yes, while the police have a duty to detain anyone if they break the law, no matter their history or mental state, there are certain practices and approaches the police can use when dealing with such persons. Bennett says the Mental Health Unit offers training to police but they are not so receptive of it.
Treatment is better than Detention
Now While Bennett applauded Commissioner Chester Williams for his commitment to ensuring that persons living with mental illness are better treated and handled in police care, she doesn't quite agree with investing in a padded cell, her focus as a mental health professional is treatment. Eleanor Bennett: "For me from a health perspective I would prefer that we invest in having more acute units and acute facilities where people are acutely ill, this is an illness..."
SSB's New Deal: What it means for you
On July 15th, 5 weeks from now, all workers who are registered with Social Security will notice that their mid-month paycheck will be a few dollars less than what they are used to. That's because employers will start to deduct more to comply with the newly approved social security contributions. It's the result of the 2-year-long public consultations that the Social Security Board has been having with Belizeans countrywide about the Social Security Fund, and why they need you to contribute more to keep it financially sustainable.
Pay More Now, Get More Later
As you heard in the story, with these changes all contributors who earn more than $320 a week will get a bigger portion of their salaries insured. That means that if you should fall ill, and you need to make a sickness benefit claim, you will get a bigger payout. It increases through the 3 phases all the way up to $520 by the year 2021, but, there is another benefit that comes with paying more money into the fund. The Social Security Board CEO told us that your retirement benefit will also be greater. Here's how he explained why:
Proud PSE Top Performers
As we mentioned last night, this year's PSE saw several top performers come from the Cayo district. Three students from St. Andrew's Anglican School placed in the top 10. We caught up with those students and their teacher this morning and spoke to them about their achievements... Jasmine Espat. 1st, St. Andrew's Anglican: 'I was expecting to do good because I work very hard and I put a lot into it, but I didn't expect to do this well. so I was a bit surprised. I was a bot happy and I feel very proud."
Kudos to H.R.R.C and BES for Stellar Work in PSE
And here in the city, we spoke to two 9th place finishers from Holy Redeemer. We also spoke to the principal of Belize Elementary School. Their school came in first in their category. Here are those interviews.
Police Solve Dangriga Murder: City Man Charged
Now to crime news, police have arrested and charged 24 year old Jane Usher Boulevard resident Starling Perez for Carlos Reyes murder. 49-year-old Carlos Reyes was gunned down in his Dangriga home in late March. Reyes, who was armed, had no time to defend himself and was shot 8 times and eventually succumbed to his wounds.
No Bail for Alleged Kidnapper Roger Wallis
In October of last year, 63 year-old Roger Wallis, a British National who has been living in Belize, made headline news when he was charged with 2 counts of attempted kidnapping. His alleged victims, an 8 year-old boy and his 2 sisters, told police that he tried to abduct them in his white van in the City of Belmopan. He has been attempting to get Supreme Court bail, and on last week Friday, when he tried for a third time, he his application was denied once again.
Man Walks Free after Stabbing Uncle
He was charged with killing his own uncle - but after more than 5 years on remand, forty-one year old Oliver Peters is a free man tonight. The Judge said he killed his uncle 47 year old Thomas Ferguson Sr, in self-defence. It happened back in late 2013 when Peters stabbed his uncle with a chicken knife. Multiple witnesses said they saw Peters do it - and police found him with the knife - so that was not in dispute. But, Peters said he did it in self defense.
Accused Drug Trafficker Freed of Charge for Now
Back in January of last year, it was big news out of the north when police arrested and charged 42 year-old Robert Gentle with drug trafficking after they accused him of allegedly attempting to cross the border in a vehicle that had over 6 kilos of cocaine hidden in a white Lincoln Navigator SUV. Well, the Ranchito Village resident walked out of Corozal Magistrate's Court a free man yesterday. Court reports say that The prosecutor told Magistrate Lionel Olivera that in the interest of justice, they would not proceed with the charge at this time. The prosecutor also added that police and the crown reserved the right to bring charges against Gentle at a later date, should more evidence come to light.
Minor Fire At Old Belize
The police are currently investigating two fires. One occurred earlier today at Old Belize located on the George Price Highway. According to one security guard, a green 30x30 foot building caught fire when electricity was restored after a power outage. The building and it's contents were partially damaged before the fire was put out.
$20,000 Dangriga Home up in Flames
The other fire police are looking into happened this weekend in Independence village. Victorino Cowo, who was renting the house from Rebecca Habet, told police that he left home at around 12:30 on Sunday. Cowo said that he received a call a few hours later and was informed that his home was on fire. Fire personnel weren't able to put the blaze out before significant damage was done. Cowo estimates about $23,000 in damages.
Cops Confiscate Gun in City
Yesterday police conducted routine searches around Belize City. After examining an empty lot on the corner of Zacaranda and Consuelo Streets the cops found a .380mm pistol along with a magazine containing 7 live rounds.
'Griga Police Find Hidden Weapon
Police found one more gun yesterday, this time in Dangriga. According to reports, the police found the firearm hidden in an overgrown lot in Dangriga's First New Site Area. The black Strum Ruger P85 9mm pistol was found with a magazine containing two live rounds.
Mental Health Projects for Youth
At the top of the news, you saw Nurse Eleanor Bennett's interview about the Vasquez and Elijio cases, well we met Bennett at the Biltmore for the launch of two projects geared towards addressing mental illness - quite fitting given these cases. The first is called the Measurement of Mental Health among Adolescents and the other project is Population Level Project and the Helping Adolescents Thrive. Here is more from the event.
Calling on Applications for National Youth Awards
The National Youth Awards will be held on November 15th but if you want your nominee to get a chance to receive an award you have to send in an application. Don't worry you have time, the call for applications opened yesterday and you have until October to send your information in. Communications Officer from the Department of Youth Services told us more.
A Guide to make Parenting a bit Easier
It's safe to say that parenting is one of the most demanding and difficult jobs. Of course, it is also a blessing to be a parent but with the right approach, getting a few parenting tips couldn't hurt right ? Well the National Committee for Families and Children have a parenting guide that can help parents better raise their kids. They held a train the trainers workshop today at the Biltmore and the Executive Director of NCFC told us more about it.
KHMH Union and Employees Working Together
Today the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital Authority Workers' Union was officially certified as the sole bargaining agent for the hospital's employees. The Ministry of Health issued a press release encouraging the Union to work along with the hospital management to promote positive relations and organizational success. The Ministry also applauded the hospital's Tripartite Body and Board of Governors on the historic signing.
Consumers should get their Money's Worth of Gas with New Retail Price Listing
The controlled price of LPG Gas or butane, as it is called is measured in pounds, specifically, the price per hundred pound cylinder - which is set at 114 dollars in the city right now. But, Butane companies don't sell in pounds or use a scale - even though the law requires it. They fill up your tank by the gallon - creating a gray area where consumers could be taken advantage of.