Important Note: This Internet version of 7 News is a verbatum
transcript of our evening television news script. Many interviews on our newscast
are conducted in Creole. In the interest of clarity for our foreign readers,
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Chikungunya in Belize
It was only a matter of time - and now Chikungunya has been confirmed in Belize. We can't say 100% sure because the tests still have to go to Trinidad for confirmation, but the Ministry of Health has confirmed that three tests coming out of Las Flore sin Belmopan have tested positive in the CARPHA approved test. When we say CARPHA approved, we're referring to the test administered by the Ministry of Health - and the one approved by the Caribbean Public Health Agency.
This evening, the Director of Health Services told us that - he still wants absolute confirmation:
Dr. Michael Pitts, Director of Health Services
"Out of the 11 we had 3 reactive by the screen and now we are sending it for confirmation. I will tell you it is heading in the direction that we think it would go because the population, we are finding these preliminary tests positive from Las Flores where we have a lot of people traveling to Salvador and as you know Salvador have a lot of cases. We have increased our level of activities in terms of house to house inspection and spraying in the area."
"Where will this go from here? Do you foresee it exploding into the sort of public health emergency that we saw in Jamaica for example or do you see us being able to somehow contain the number of infections if it is indeed Chikungunya?"
Dr. Michael Pitts, Director of Health Services
"I can't speculate. It's just to say that Chikungunya can have a high attack rate. This is what I've been saying from November last year and this is why we need everybody on board to manage the situation."
There are 540 houses in Las Flores and so far the Ministry of Health has visited 84% of them doing larvicide and removing containers where larvae thrive.
The three positive samples along with another sample from a suspect persons will be sent on Monday to CARPHA in Trinidad. It should take one week - but the last test Belize sent has been there almost two weeks - and was recently forwarded to the cEnters For Disease Control in Atlanta.
Chikungunya is characterized by an abrupt fever accompanied by severe joint pain along with muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash. It is similar to dengue in symptoms, but the joint pain is more severe.
Serial Predator Gets 20 Years For Raping Child
45 year-old Brian Charlesworth who was convicted of raping a 6 year-old girl, will spend 20 years in jail. That's the sentence that
ustice Troadio John Gonzalez handed him today at his mitigation hearing. This is his second conviction for carnal knowledge - and other details of his criminal record show that he is a pedophile and a sexual predator.
Charlesworth's former employer testified and told the court that as far as he knows, Charlesworth is of good character. In passing sentence, Justice Gonzalez noted that based Charlesworth's criminal history, he is a convicted pedophile or child molester, and so he cannot get a sentence less than 12 years. That's because in 2001, Charlesworth was convicted of carnal knowledge, and he was sentenced to 12 years in jail for that. He is also serving 3 years for indecent assault, an offence for which he was convicted last year.
Justice Gonzalez explained that the prison sentence must fit Charlesworth, who is a repeat offender. With that, he ruled that Charlesworth must serve 20 years in jail.
As we told you, he stood trial before Justice Gonzalez earlier this month, where the girl testified against him as the main witness. She told the court - in a closed session - that between January and October 21, 2011, Charlesworth raped her.
Customs To Get New Comptroller
There will be a new Comptroller of Customs. After 10 years and ten months years in the job, Gregory Gibson is demitting office. Gibson who is long past the age of retirement was on a contract which ahs come to an end. Financial Secretary Joe Waight today confirmed to us that the next most senior customs officer, Emil Grinage is awaiting confirmation from the public service commission to take over as Comptroller.
Reports to our newsroom say that Grinage will take over on November tenth - but Waight could not confirm.
Waight did point out that Grinage himself is only about a year from the retirement age of 55.
How The Cops Caught Robbers
Last night, we told you how the Eastern Division Strike Team caught a car load of robbers who had just pulled off an armed robbery at a Chinese Store on Albert Hoy Street in Belama Phase 3. The police caught 4 men in a GEO Prizm on Coney Drive, and also got the stolen loot totaling $741.00 dollars and a loaded 38 revolver.
GOB Says Conorquie Compensation Could Set Precedent
The Government of Belize is trying to reach a final settlement with the family of special constable Danny Conorquie as compensation for his death in the line of duty. Yesterday, the Prime Minister told the media that they haven’t settled on a final figure – but what Conorquie gets could set a precedent for other law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty:…
DCP Segura Wonít Take Responsibility For Cuís Bills, GOB Will
28 year old taxi driver Yanie Cu was very seriously injured when Deputy Police Commissioner Mike Segura crashed into his taxi 10 weeks ago. Now Cu cannot walk – and has become dependent on his family, which is forced to beg for assistance to maintain him and pay the medical bills. All this because Segura has refused to accept responsibility for the accident. So will government pay? That’s what the media asked the Prime Minister yesterday:…
Police Lament Leslie Logan Sr.ís Cutitng Remarks
But there’s no such tidy ending for the family of Leslie Logan Jr. 10 days ago, we showed you what his family had to say about the investigation into his killing. His father, Leslie Sr. who is a retired police officer with over 30 years of experience in the Department, harshly criticized Orange Walk Police claiming that they mishandled the inquiry.
PM Says Petrocaribe Suit is An Opportunity To Attack PUP
Last night you heard the Prime Minister speak boldly about why he thinks the PUP’s challenge to his government’s Petrocaribe spending is going nowhere. But he says not only is he not bothered by the Supreme Court challenge, he actually welcomes it because it gives his government a chance to graphically remind the PUP about how they managed the programme during their term:…
Fin Sec Says Petrocaribe Spending Legit
In his interview the Prime Minister pointed the media to the Financial Secretary Jose Waight – as proof of transparency and accountability in how the Petrocaribe funds have been spent. Now, Waight is usually buried beneath his numbers and rarely speaks with the media, but he did yesterday and told us that his office is preparing a supplementary budget – just for Petrocaribe - to take to the House:..
Tower Hill Named After H.E. Fred
Two days ago we told you about the newly refurbished and fully functional Tower Hill airstrip in Orange Walk but what we didn't tell you is that a part from upgrading the actual physical layout it was also renamed after one of the proudest sons of Sugar City, the late Ambassador to Guatemala and former Mayor of Orange Walk Alfredo Martinez. Yesterday at the official ceremony, Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia Jr. spoke about the reason why this name change was more than fitting.
Police Opening Up
Community policing – it gets a lot of lip service – but not much else….
Today though, in an effort rebuild confidence. The Public Relations Unit for Police invited the media to see it in action at an open day. 7News attended
UDP Licks Chops OverCayo North
As we’ve been reporting, the PUP area representative for Cayo North is stepping down – leaving the area wide open. This would seem to put the PUP which is currently in the driver’s seat at a distinct disadvantage – since their current area representative is walking away form the party – and it’s not on the best of terms. The UDP is seizing on the opportunity to claim back an area that the party has traditionally been strong in. The Prime Minister commented yesterday:…
Tonight's teacher profile is about Roxanne Encalada, a teacher from Corozal - who was never supposed to amount to much - in fact she wasn't even supposed to go to high school. But with determination and good grades, she made it - and she tells us how she did it in tonight;s profile:
Nabi And Andy
For the past week, we’ve been discussing the importance of Paul Nabor as a parandero and a cultural icon. But he was also a pivotal cultural figure in a paradigm shift in Garifuna music. Paul Nabor led Andy Palacio and Aurelio Martinez from Punta to Paranda to record the greatest albums of their careers. In Andy;s case, it was Watina, and tonight we look at their relationship through the eyes of friends:
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Naborís Last Song?
And we end the news on that note tonight….remembering Nabor and Andy Palacio, and the unique bond they shared.
We leave you with a performance of his that's never been seen in Belize before. IT was filmed in Hopkins in 2012 or 2013 - and has Nabor singing a song that he never recorded. In it he tells the world that he supported Andy and did not wish him ill in anyway - that's after rumours said he had put obeah on Andy. Ugly stuff, but as you'll see Nabor disposes of it beautifully - and blesses it with hot stout.
Enjoy, and join us back here on Monday…