FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

The latest Tia Chocolate column is ready for reading!!! Quince, Part 3...
He wore his favorite cowboy hat, with the brim wreathing his features in shadows. He had an air of severity about him, seen in the thin, firm line of his lips as he stood, concentrating on the task at hand. Next to him, working side by side, were his four sons. Benjamin, Julian and Mauricio chose to stay home and work the land and animals with their father. They were joined by Antonio, and all together they made progress on the pibil. Two whole pigs had been buried underground, wrapped in layers and layers of plantain leaves. The deliciously spiced pork was being slowly pulled out of the hole where it had lain slowly roasting over its underground furnace. Using the metal hooks that came in handy for just such occasions, they pulled out the entire grate, slowly and methodically, ensuring the precious cargo would eventually land safely in the waiting containers.

Have Your Hotel Listed On The Belize Tourism Board’s Website!
The Belize Tourism Board is excited to announce the launch of its brand new TravelBelize.org website. You can be part of the website. Receive direct leads to your business with The Belize Vacation Planner, a feature of the site that assists interested travelers to plan their vacation online. When a traveler shows interests that matches your business or offering, you are notified via email so that you can take further advantage of this lead. Send your Hotel Information to Maynor Larrieu ( ml@travelbelize.org ): - Name of your Hotel - Owner’s Name - Total amount of Units you have - Phone number including a 1 800 if you have - Fax number - Email address - Website - Mail address - Price range (US$) - Setting (Location) - Facility type - Summary - Images (are optional / Max. 3) Be part of their website!

The San Pedro Sun

VOTE 2012 – Belize CARICOM YOUTH Ambassador Campaign
The CARICOM Youth Ambassadors’ Program (CYAP) is represented in Belize by Dylan Williams and Kera Bowen both CARICOM Youth Ambassadors. In keeping with its mandate to “Ensure that youth have a voice in the decisions that affect them” Belize’s CARICOM Youth Ambassadors have developed a communication strategy to encourage youth to exercise their right to vote and participate in Belize’s democracy. The CARICOM Youth Ambassadors recognize that youth of Belize constitute almost half of Belize’s population and their participation in the general and municipal elections is crucial in influencing the future of Belize. The CYAs also recognize that it is your constitutional right to participate in your country’s governance and democratic process. The CYA therefore challenge youth and the citizenry to participate in an apolitical manner and vote.

Technical Assistance Workshop on Logistics for Small & Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) of Belize
The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) in collaboration with the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC), and Scotia Bank of Belize, is facilitating a Technical Assistance (TA) workshop, on logistics as part of our commitment to develop and enhance the export capacity and competiveness of SMEs in Belize. It will be held at the Belize Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCI) conference room, 4792 Coney Drive, Belize City, on February 29th to March 1st 2012 starting at 8:30am. IIC has developed the FINPYME Program (Innovative Financing for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)) as a diagnostic tool for SMEs; intended to help them improve their competiveness and facilitate their access to potential sources of financing. Phase 1 of this program was launched in 2009, whereby thirteen (13) companies were examined to assess their competitiveness which was conducted by Belizean consultants. Phase 2 of this program is the Group Technical Assistance workshops with the continued objective of enhancing their competiveness.

How to Vote in The People’s Referendum
Wednesday, February 29, 2012 is the day when all registered voters of Belize will be able to go to the polls to vote on the issue of offshore oil exploration and drilling as the Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage will be carrying out a national People’s Referendum allowing all registered Belizeans to vote on the issue. The Coalition is aiming at capturing the opinion of at least 10% of the registered voters. The People’s Referendum gives voice to the thousands of Belizeans who never got a chance to vote when the offshore referendum triggered under the Referendum Act and was derailed on the basis of unverifiable signatures. The unverified signatures were largely based on inconsistencies between signatures on the record cards at the Election and Boundaries Office and the signatures on the petition forms.

Ambergris Today

University Of Belize on the Roll in San Pedro
The University of Belize (UB) is now on the roll in San Pedro Town thanks to a partnership in education between San Pedro Junior College and UB. The MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) was signed by President of the University Dr. Cary Frazer and Mrs. Martha Guerrero, Chairperson of San Pedro Junior College on Friday, February 17, 2012. Present to witness the signing were Minister of Tourism Hon. Manuel Heredia; Dean of UB, Dr. Vincent Palacio; Chair of the Dept. Ms. Sharrett Yearwood; Dean of SPJC, Mr. Gustavo Ellis; and President of SPJC Mr. Angel Nuñez. The objective of the program is to enhance the continuous development of the human resources within the tourism sector.

Food Based Dietary Guidelines for Belizeans
What you weighed yourself lately? Have you been eating healthy or exercising daily? If you haven’t well its time you do so! But why, you might ask. Well did you know that more than 60% of the adult population in Belize is over weight?! That’s right and because of that the Ministry of Health has recently released a dietary guideline as a preventative approach for good nutrition practices.

Blogs

Guatemala Cruise Day 3, Part 2: A long day in Rio Dulce (continued...)
When you last left our intrepid crew, we had just left our morning tour of the Castillo de San Felipe. After that, it was time to venture into town for more exploring. Simon had advised us to catch one of the vans that rides through the area picking up passengers to go to town. This area is not populated enough to support full-size buses, I guess, so the vans stood in, and it was amazing how many people they managed to pack into these utilitarian vehicles. We were able to catch one fairly quickly and hop aboard along with several locals. More stops were made to pick up additional locals along the way as well. The ride to town was approximately 10 minutes and cost 35 Quetzales for the five of us (just under $5 total).

Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Cayo Belize
Visiting Mountain Pine Ridge Forest by Henry (Zac) Zacharias A long time friend from Canada came for several weeks and we plan to go to Mexico for a week together but first, a trip to the main land to explore the Pine Ridge Forest and learn a bit about how Belizeans live (or party) on the mainland. We left San Pedro Saturday morning and made our way to San Ignacio. We took the boat that stopped in Caye Caulker before going to Belize City, shared a taxi to the bus station and packed ourselves into the 1“chicken” bus to San Ignacio. At first it was kind of fun to watch and engage with the locals getting on and off with their bags, boxes and 5 gallon pails. It was getting dark as we pulled into San Ignacio and our butts had long since had enough of sitting on the hard seats at the back of the bus. A taxi took us to the top of the hill to our hotel, Cahal Pech where we checked in and had our first meal since breakfast in San Pedro.

Tropic Ferry: A New Way to Travel From Belize International Airport to San Pedro
While sailing up north on the Rum Punch 2 a few days ago, I noticed a boat I've never seen before, the Tropic Ferry. More investigation and I found out this: it is the newest way to travel to and from the International Airport outside of Belize City to Ambergris Caye. And they drop off customers all along the island. At your home or resort's dock. When you arrive at the International Airport, you will be met by someone with a sign with your name on it. You will take a short 3-5 minute shuttle ride to a restaurant called The Oar House in Ladyville where you will board the boat on the river. The boats are 40 person water taxi type boats. On the trip, you enjoy free refreshments and rum punch and a little music. An hour and 15 minutes - 45 minutes later (depending on your location) you are dropped off on your dock. The price is $75USD one way or $125USD round trip. According to management, the boat is getting more and more popular with people that are staying far south (maybe at a private house) or farther north. It would also be useful if you are travelling with a larger pet. They are going 1-2 times a day right now and 5 days a week but it is all reservation driven.

Swimming with the sharks can be good.
I have a metaphorical fear of sharks. I have grown up hearing phrases like, “Get out of the pool with the sharks!” in reference to keeping your finances in order, and staying away from predatory lending/creditors – or in fact, staying away from bad business in general. Sharks are the anthropomorphic bad dudes; beings who care nothing for your soul, who only want to take, take, take. Being called a ‘shark’ is being labeled all that is greedy and predatory in man. I watched live sharks circling, during one of my many junior club visits to the Baltimore Aquarium. I stood, pressed against the thick plexiglass, looking into their staring, dilated eyes, pre-teen-eeewwing over what looked like hamburger meat coming from the gill slits on the sides of their heads.(It was in reality, part of their gill structure.) As a result, I was scared and disdainful of the them. When it came to actual live shark behavior, I knew very little. That was until today.

Getting Painted at Carnaval in Ambergris Caye, Belize
This past weekend was the annual Carnaval celebration on Ambergris Caye in Belize. I had been planning a “work” trip down in February, which coincidentally just happens to be my favorite spot in the world. What I didn’t initially realize was that my trip coincided with Carnaval so I was eager to learn what made up their local version of our Mardi Gras style celebration. I heard a lot of stories and read a lot of articles, but only two things really stuck out in my head. Rotten eggs and paint. I was warned that people bury eggs in the ground for several weeks and then lob them at passersby throughout the three-day celebration. Are you kidding me? And then there was the paint. After the rotten eggs description, I was not sure I wanted to know more about the paint aspect. As I figured, festival-goers wind up being the canvas as children and adults transform each other into a walking rainbow of water-based paint colors. At this point, all I am still thinking is rotten eggs + paint = destroyed DSLR equipment.

Channel 7

Yolanda Schakron Says She Is Renouncing
Yolanda Schakron is no longer a PUP Candidate - she was disqualified because of her dual citizenship on nomination day. But, by our reckoning, she's still a public figure - as she has said that a vote for her brother Martin, is a vote for her. And so, we wondered, has she gone ahead with the process of renunciation? She initiated the process before the nomination - on the grounds that it was irrevocable - so even though she was still a US citizen at the point of nomination, she could argue that it would only be a matter of time before it was fully renounced. But, the logic didn't work; her candidacy was rejected, and so maybe there was some wiggle room in that "irrevocable process." But we couldn't find out from the US Embassy, because she has revoked the permission she gave them to speak about her case. So when we met her at a COLA press conference today, we asked her about it and here's what she said: Jules Vasquez "You have not - to my knowledge - made a formal complaint of burglary or theft about your passport."

Francis Smith Says PUP Voters Will Be Disenfranchised
And while Schakron is no longer running for Lake I - the PUP Candidate that is contesting the adjoining division is crying foul. Today, the constituency committee for Pickstock issued a slightly overheated press release accusing the Elections and Boundaries Office of colluding with the UDP candidate Wilfred Sedi Elrington. The committee points to the fact that Pickstock - which is spread out across both sides of the Belize River near the Belcan bridge - is the only division in the city with one polling station. It used to have two - one on the northside at the ITVET, and one on the Southside at the Civic Center. But now, there's only one polling station in the constituency and it is St. Luke's Methodist on Mahogany Street. Dr. Francis Smith says that puts him at a disadvantage because the PUP stronghold is on the northside and voters will be hard-pressed to trudge over to the southside to vote. He explained his protest to us today:

BEL Says Overheating Caused Outage
Last night a blackout forced a five hour power outage across most of Belize City. IT happened right at Primetime- and for the first time in memory, it forced us to cancel our evening newscast. So, first off, to all our viewers who tuned in at 6:30 and then at 10:00, wondering what was up with the news - we do apologize, it was beyond our control and we are taking steps to make sure it does not happen again. But - it did happen last night - and that's why we aired Monday's news in our first ever morning newscast. A little confusing, but if you missed it, the entire newscast is now posted at 7newsbelize.com. But moving on from our problem to the problem about fifty thousand Belize City residents faced between 5 and 11 p.m. yesterday when they had to get by without electricity. BEL sent out a press release today which says that the unplanned power outage in Belize City was caused by faulty equipment at the Magazine Road Substation.

Homeless Man Dies, Police Have No Suspects
Three weeks ago on the 8th of February a homeless man, 40 year old Evan Jones was hit by a stray bullet in battlefield park. He appears to have simply been in the wrong place at the wrong time - as the bullets appeared to have been meant for some young men who were fixing a flat tyre near the hot dog vendors. Jones was shot to the rib cage, and while the story faded from the headlines, he died from his injuries over the weekend. The case is now being treated as a homicide, but no one has been arrested.

Honduran 26 year-old Evelyn Solis, a Honduran National, who has been living in Belize for 3 years now, has been ordered by the courts to be deported back to her country of origin, even though she now has a Belizean child. Yesterday morning, at around 10, Solis was caught by immigration officials on a Hattieville bus heading to Belize. When she was asked to present her travel documents, she wasn't in possession of her passport or her visitor's permit. Immigration Officials took her into custody and it was determined she has been here since February 24, 2009. She entered Belize through the Big Creek Port, and was granted a valid permit to stay until March 11, 2010. As a result of her over-extended stay, she was charged with the offense of failure to comply with a visitor's permit, and she was brought before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer today.

GSU Makes Multiple Arrests: Guns, Weed, Carnal Knowledge
This morning the Gang Supression Unit made multiple arrests at a Curassow Street address in Belize City. Between 8:40 a.m. and 12.00 p.m. a search was conducted at the Parham's yard which consists of 3 houses and three shacks. The first arrest was Kenroy Parham, an unemployed 23 year old man. He was sitting in front of his house when he was searched by the police, and a loaded black 9 mm Sig Sauer Brand pistol without serial number was found in the waist of his pants. The gun was loaded with 9 rounds of 9 mm ammunition, and as a result, Parham was arrested and charged with Kept Unlicensed Firearm and Ammunition.

COLA Scolds PM Over Superbond
There's only one week to go before the double election and for all those who want to rock the boat, send a message or get some free publicity - now is the time. We don't know quite where the COLA activist group fits into that free for all - but today they called a press conference basically to scold the Prime Minister for his outspoken statements on the Superbond. Now the COLA members are known to make some pretty outspoken statements themselves - but the group is more circumspect and measured on this one - and is urging the PM to do the same. They certainly got the attention of their fellow activists - it was like an Alphabet Soup of activist groups up in the audience at the Biltmore today, from the BFJ, to CIFOS, to BELIZECAN, to the Commoners, to the VIP and a couple others who may still be buying a few vowels. And before this sympathetic audience, COLA President Giovanni Brackett told the PM, hold it down:

Chetumal Citco Visits
Almost a year ago right after the newly elected Mayor of Chetumal, Carlos Mario Villanueva took office, Belize City Mayor, Zenaida Moya and a delegation travelled to the northern border city to meet with him. The trip was to renew old acquaintances and re-establish a sister city relationship that was once enjoyed by both coastal cities decades ago. Today, as part of the ongoing bilateral efforts to explore mutual areas of interest - especially in the areas of tourism and economic development - a group of 15 Chetumal city councilors met with their Belize City counterparts this morning at the Radisson Hotel. Jim McFadzean was there, and has this report.

Man Treated and Released After Being Shot
As we reported in our morning newscast, one man was shot during last night's blackout. Around 7:15, Kurlyn Hamilton, a 35 year old former policeman was standing on Gill Street when an unknown gunman rode past on a bicycle and fired two shots. He was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he was treated for the wound and was released. Hamilton's brother, Elvis was recently killed in a motorcycle accident.

Preparations Intensify For Prince Harry's Visit
Prince Harry arrives in Belize on Friday - the first stop in a Caribbean Tour. Preparations are in high gear - at the Tourism Board, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Government Press Office. The visit is a big budget production - with very many moving parts - all of which have to move "just so." But it's not like the Queen is visiting - it's just her grandson, and his Press Officer told us he likes regular stuff. Here's his explanation: Miguel Head - Press Secretary, Prince Harry "He's heard a lot about the country from the queen when she visited before and also from his brother, he came privately a number of years ago. And for him, this is a wonderful opportunity to extend to queen's good wish to her people in Belize, on the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee, but also for a chance to look around this beautiful country for himself. The prince is very informal guy. He is - during his normal working life - he's a captain in the army. And in that capacity, he's like any other officer - I mean he can dance; he can have a good time; and he can laugh with people. But at the same time, he also is a prince as well and he represents the dignity of the monarchy when he is here. So you will see a great mix of Prince Harry, both as a prince and the person as well when he's here. And I am sure he will have a normal fun, especially the Belizean lead him into the fun. I think that's the trick."

Senior Citizen Found Dead In Freetown Sibun
The body of an elderly man was found on the riverbank of the Sibun River in Freetown Sibun late this evening. It was identified as 73 year old Francisco Reyes - a resident of the village who was known to many as Pancho. According to villagers, Reyes had been missing since Sunday evening and on Monday a search team began looking for him. Late this evening his body was found near the riverbank hooked in some branches. 7news was there - and the village Chairlady spoke to Monica Bodden... Chairlady of Freetown Sibun "It is one of our senior citizens, and he left out from Sunday morning heading to Hattieville. And unfortunately, I don't know what happened. But he went down or he lose control, slipped in the river and drowned."

Terrifying Home Invasion Reported In Corozal
Tonight there are reports of a home invasion that happened on the Consejo Road in Corozal over the weekend. 56 year old Mark Anthony Ramirez reported to police that he along with his family left their home for about an hour and when they returned they noticed that their back door was opened. While entering the house, 3 masked men held up Ramirez, his wife and their three year old son hostage, tied up for almost 3 hours before the police were alerted. LOVE FM reports that When the police arrived at the home of Ramirez, it resulted in a shoot out between officers and the two men -who managed to escape from police. According to reports, the men made off with more than 10 thousand dollars in cash and another 10 thousand in jewelry.

Drilling in the Dark?
Tomorrow OCEANA and the Coalition will hold their so-called people's referendum. Organizers are calling on the public to come out and vote on whether they feel offshore oil drilling should be allowed in Belize. Now, it's not a real referendum in the formal sense of the word, in fact, it's a symbolic gesture timed - it seems - to nearly coincide with next week's election. But organizers hope the turnout is powerful enough to send a message to policy - makers in Belmopan - whoever they will be after March eighth. But beyond the timing and symbolism - the issue of offshore drilling is a rife one - it puts into play several complex issues, from conservation and long term benefits of coastal resources, to immediate tax revenues and medium term development. A complex interplay of issues, to be sure, but on this one, there's no middle ground, either you're for it or against. Tonight, special correspondent, Janelle Chanona examines both poles of the divisive issue. Here's her report on what one marine biologist calls, "Drilling In the Dark".

Other Acts Of Miscreancy And Lawlessness
In other acts of miscreancy and lawlessness from the weekend, a Roaring Creek infant was injured when several gunshots were fired at her father's vehicle. Reginald Ruiz, was driving his Mitsubishi Montero Sport Vehicle from the Another World Area, and a gunman opened fire on his vehicle when he slowed down for a culvert. The windshield shattered and his one year old daughter received scratches above her ear and bruises to her face. He identified the gunman by name and police are now looking for that person. And On Friday in Belize City, a Cosmetologist was assaulted then later intimidated by the same man. Denya Oviedo was walking on Raccoon Street when she was approached by a dark complexioned man on a bicycle. He punched her to the left side of her face hard enough to cause her nose and mouth to bleed.

Bar Assoc New President
The Bar Association held its Annual General Meeting last week Thursday - and - with all the timeliness of those slow judges they like to criticize - the Bar graced us with a press release yesterday. Senior Counsel Andrew Marshalleck, was elected president - taking over from his wife Jackie Marshalleck who held the presidency before him. Magali Marin Young is Vice President, Edwin Flowers is treasurer and Agnes Segura-Gillett is Secretary. Denys Barrow, Darlene Vernon, and Andrew Bennett are Bar Committee Members. They were elected to serve for 1 year.

PM Leaves With Wife For Cancer Treatment
Earlier on in the news, you saw the Prime Minister speak about his meeting with bankers. That interview was conducted yesterday and Yesterday he leaves the country. According to an official release, he is leaving to accompany his wife for another round of cancer treatment. He will be gone for two days, returning on Thursday, and the Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Gaspar Vega will hold over in the interim.

Darts Is A Sport! You'll Know Why In July
You may think of darts as a bar-room past-time, but it is a serious sport, played on a lucrative, highly competitive level worldwide. And now a major regional event is coming to Belize. The Caribbean Cup of Darts will be played in Belize form July 20 to 30th, 2012. President of the Caribbean Darts Organization, Malcom Spicer, was in Belize over the weekend to scout out the country. He told us it will be a large and worthwhile event, with teams from over 16 countries participating - and he isnsited, Darts is a real sport:..

Executive Authority Caves To Banking Realities
Last week Wednesday at the launch of the UDP manifesto - the Prime Minister boldly announced that he would be meeting with bankers Yesterday to hammer out, quote "the kind of agreement that will see an immediate drop across the board in the lending rates in the banks of this country." Well, that heady prediction was tempered by the blunt force of reality when he did hold that meeting Yesterday. At around 10:00 the bosses of all the major banks went in to meet the PM at his Belize City Office - and when they left at 11:30, all sides were cordial, but it was clear that no agreement to instantaneously lower rates had been arrived at. The plan going forward is more measured than might have been expected:

Another Belmopan Killing
Belmopan has witnessed another murder. On Friday we told you about Benito Mendoza who was executed with a gunshot to the head, and tonight the story is about Edwardo Martinez who was stabbed to death. They happened in different parts of Belmopan - but it's unusual for the capital to have such a high frequency of killings. Monica Bodden went west to find out what this one was about:

Rodwell Williams Gives Emotional Testimony
The Belizean public has seen Attorney Rodwell Williams return to full health after his near-fatal shooting on May 31, 2010. Williams, who is the Prime Minister's law partner returned to work last year, but has not given any public accounts of the ordeal he faced on that night. Neither has he spoken about his road to recovery. Well, that silence was broken yesterday when the first trial without jury started in the courtroom of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. The Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl Taitt - Vidal indicated to the court that she intends to call 15 witnesses on behalf of the prosecution. She called 3 of those witnesses Yesterday, including Williams who laid down the foundation of the case, by presenting the details of the crime. Williams spoke almost clinically as he narrated the event from the time he left his office until when he was shot and slumped to the sidewalk. At the point where he spoke about the doctors at Belize Healthcare Partners trying to extract the bullet, however, he became emotional. He struggled with describing that procedure of the doctors having their hands in his body searching for it.

Grandmother Knocked Down And Killed in Biscayne
On Saturday evening, a grandmother was knocked down and killed in Biscayne Village at mile 21 on the Northern Highway. It happened around 6:45 as 67 year old Constance Andrewin was riding from Church to her home, which is nearby. And almost directly in front of her home, 45 year old David Zetina, was driving a pick-up truck towards Belize City and was blinded by the high beam of an oncoming vehicle. By the time he saw Andrewin, he was upon her, and could not stop; he hit her as he applied brakes. Yesterday her daughter, Jerrilyn Flowers told us that her mother always rides on the shoulder of the road, off the pavement:..

Cops Jacked A Hilux?
A pair of police officers have been implicated in the theft of a Toyota Hilux. It started early on Sunday morning when three men broke into a car lot at the back of the Texaco Gas Station at mile one on the northern highway. They got in by burrowing through the fence at the rear of the compound. Once inside, they broke into three vehicles, but managed to start only one of them - a green 2010 Toyota Hilux. They then broke the padlock on the fence and drove on out of the un-guarded compound. The vehicle was reported stolen - and so all police formations were put on alert. And lo' and behold, around 9:00 am on Sunday morning in Belmopan a police patrol on the Caribbean Investors Road came upon a green Hilux, driven by 30 year old Police Constable Virgil Perez, attached to the Patrol Branch and 23 year old Police Constable Dwayne Salgaro attached to the Mahogany Precinct.

Epic Evening Blackout Stops 7News
First off, we apologize to you, our viewers, for being unable to put on last night's news. That's the first time in memory that's happened to us at 7news, and it is due to an epic blackout that went from 10 minutes to five, right up to ten minutes to eleven. It caused an outage throughout most of Belize City - and power was only available beyond mile one on both western and northern highways. That left an estimated sixty thousand people - a fifth of the country without power - and that included our studio her eon Albert street. The cause was a fire at BEL's Magazine Road substation - which forced the outage and caused damage to an industrial transformer.

A Daylight Killing On Mahogany
Belize City residents will know that Mahogany Street is one of the busiest roads in the city. But this morning around 9:30, a 52 year old father of six was killed right on the sidewalk. It seems John Lamb got into a misunderstanding with a younger man who struck him. The force of the blow knocked him down and witnesses say he hit his head and never got up again. 7news was on the scene - and we spoke to his family:

Channel 5

Belize City in darkness
Our newscast was delayed on Monday night for about two hours due to a power outage. We are able to get back on air at about eight-thirty after we had worked out the kinks on Coney Drive as well as Regent Street where our transmitters are located. But the residents in the old capital endured ...

P.U.P. Pickstock mad about polling station change
P.U.P. Pickstock Standard Bearer, Dr. Francis Smith, expressed outrage earlier today over changes in polling stations in the constituency for the March seventh general elections. According to Smith, voters previously polled at the Belize Technical College, now the ITVET Building on Freetown Road and the Belize City Center. Following the conclusion of a national re-districting ...

Much Ado About Nothing…P.U.P. requested change
But there is good news for Smith; late this evening Chief Elections Officer, Josephine Tamai, told News Five that the Central Christian School on the compound of Central Assembly of God will now be used as the second polling station for the Pickstock constituency. When we spoke to Alberto August, chairman of the Elections & ...

Drunken machete to neck murder in Bladen
A man known to enjoy his liquor was murdered in the south of the country. Early Monday morning forty-five year old Felix Cucul and his sister Carmen Cucul were socializing at a bus stop at Bladen Village in Punta Gorda. The drinking resumed in the night and they were joined by Dion Foreman around eight-thirty. ...

Place your bets; Who will win 2012 Elections?
Tonight’s question is: Who do you think will win the 2012 elections; P.U.P., U.D.P. or others? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post your vote on our e-poll at channel5belize.com. You can also send an email with your comments to questions@channel5belize.com.

COLA chides PM for Superbond Comment
The super bond and the thirteenth senator are hot button issues for a number of NGOs. At least eight of them that range from a one man show to the more established, took a consolidated position that is contrary to the government’s. At the launch of the U.D.P. manifesto last week, the Prime Minister had ...

PM joins wife on medical visit
When the NGOs were making a statement, the Prime Minister was departing Belize for Miami. His wife, Kim Simpliss Barrow, will be undergoing another round of chemotherapy treatment for cancer. It will put the PM away for two days. He is scheduled to return on Thursday.

SATIIM blames US Capital Energy for Fire in Reserve
There has been long standing friction between US Capital Energy and the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM). That’s because the oil company is conducting seismic testing and has plans to drill in the Sarstoon Temash National Park, which SATIIM co-manages. Well, over the weekend it went from friction to fire in the protected ...

Belize Can President on nationalization
Not much has been publicized about the movement called Belize Can. Its president Patrick Menzies has been very active during the 2011 unrest which was incited by bus owners who felt that restructured road service permits would have crippled their businesses. During the COLA press conference this morning at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza, ...

New Bar Association President
There are changes in the leadership of the Bar Association. At its annual general meeting at the Radisson this past Thursday, a new executive committee was elected. The baton was passed from Jackie Marshalleck to Senior Counsel Andrew Marshalleck as president while Attorney Magali Marin Young was elected as Vice President. Edwin Flowers is the ...

Succotz Village Council feels slighted by Royal Visit
Prince Harry, the younger son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, is coming to visit Belize at the end of the week as part of the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations. Channel Five will be having live broadcasts of the event and a number of US networks and agencies will cover the event. But the official visit ...

Undocumented Salvadorans and Peruvian busted
Four Honduran nationals, who were caught in Belize without proper documents were each fined a thousand dollars last week and are currently awaiting expulsion. Another group of illegal immigrants had a similar fate when they appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer late Monday evening. Salvadoran nationals Melvin Omar Gonzalez Ramos and Manuel Gonzalez as well ...

Where is Julissa Westby who accused cops?
A phone and assorted jewelry that were allegedly stolen from the police exhibit room last March resulted in two police women being placed on interdiction and charged with Theft. Back then, the outraged complainant, Julissa Westby, took her plight to the media but today she was nowhere to be found for the case to get ...

P.U.P. Rally reigns over Cayo
The opposition People’s United Party picked up momentum in the west over the past weekend. The west has traditionally been considered a U.D.P. stronghold, but with the thousands that turned up on Sunday, the opposition is upbeat. There are five constituencies at stake so the P.U.P. machinery geared up for the event. News Five’s Delahnie ...

A visit from neighboring Quintana Roo
Among the last guests that the current city council will receive before the Municipal Elections is a thirteen member team from the town of Othon P. Blanco in neighboring Quintana Roo. The courtesy call from the visiting delegation was to discuss ongoing projects between the sister cities. The representatives of the two cities say that ...

Mayor Moya moving on
With just a week before the March seventh Municipal Elections, a new mayor is expected to take over city hall. Today, News Five caught up with two-time Mayor Zenaida Moya, who is winding down her duties. Moya ascended quickly to fame and fell from grace just as quickly when she became the first sitting mayor ...

Scotiabank donates to Living Hope
Living Hope Preparatory School, which offers a second chance to primary and high school dropouts, relocated to Maskall Street last September after the Atlantic Bank donated a building to them. And today, another bank is providing a major boost to the non-profit organization. Through its Brighter Future initiative, Scotiabank handed over a cheque for twenty ...

Muy Caliente KTV Latino
It’s Tuesday and that means the Bliss is the place to be for a night packed with entertainment. So get ready for another round of performances in KTV Latino season three. Tonight the Group A singers will be stepping up to the mic and you get to decide if they have what it takes to ...

LOVE FM

BELIZE CITY COUNCIL HOSTS COUNTERPARTS FROM OTHON B. BLANCO
The Belize City council held a ceremony at the Radisson Fort George Hotel as part of the Belize City-Othon P. Blanco Sister City Official Visit. Visiting from Othon P. Blanco in Quintana Roo Mexico were councilors of the municipality of the municipality, with the exception of the mayor, Carlos Mario Villanueva, who couldn’t attend. The ceremony consisted of a meet and greet session with the mayor and councilors followed by open discussions by elected officials and technical staff. Belize City Mayor, Zenaida Moya told us more about this special occasion. Mayor Zenaida Moya “We don’t have land to be doing agriculture and all that so one of the areas we are looking at has to do with tourism, the financial sector, services are what Belize City can really push. The historical and the cultural aspect of Belize City are such that we have a lot that we can put forth to Othon P. Blanco, to Mexico. They have a population I believe of over 150 million people; I hope my statistics is correct. They have a lot that we can gain from in terms of their residents visiting our municipality, visiting the country. We have less than a million people and by them coming over and sharing with us, I think it can help the livelihoods of so many families.”

MAN INJURED IN SHOOTING INCIDENT
A shooting incident last night in Belize City has left one man injured. Thirty five year old Kurlyn Hamilton was shot in the in right foot as he stood in front of a yard on Gill Street. The shooting happened around seven fifteen last night. Police say their investigation so far reveals that a man rode by on a bicycle and fired two shots, one of which caught Hamilton who was with another man. Neither Hamilton of the other man was able to recognize the shooter. Police investigations continue.

HOME INVASION REPORTED IN COROZAL
Corozal Police are looking for two men following a brazen home invasion in Corozal this past weekend. On Saturday, 56 year old, Mark Anthony Ramirez and his family left their home on the Consejo Road and when they returned an hour later they realized that someone else was in the house. Two masked men had made their entry through the back door and held up Ramirez, his wife and their three year old son inside the house. The men held the family hostage for almost three hours before police became aware of the situation. When the police quick response team descended on the area a shootout ensued and by the time police reinforcement arrived on the scene the men had fled into the dark. The men made good their escape with more than ten thousand US dollars in cash and another 10 thousand dollars in jewelry. Police are looking for two men in connection with this incident.

TOLEDO BUSINESSMAN SAYS ATTACK POLITICALLY MOTIVATED
The political tension in the Toledo District has been heating up as general elections draw closer and over the past few weeks we have been receiving reports of politically motivated criminal acts. The latest incident reported is damage to the property of a businessman in Santa Elena in the Toledo District. Paul Mahung reporting... Three persons have been charged with damage to property of a business man in Santa Elena, Toledo District. Owner of the damaged property says that he strongly feels and he alleges that the attack on the building which accommodates his family home and grocery store is politically motivated. Santa Elena Village grocery owner Armando Choc in speaking to Love News expressed his disappointment in the incident and spoke of what happened. Armando Choc – Store owner “I am a businessman of Santa Elena Village in the Toledo District. On the 18th of February around 6:30 p.m., a pickup load of UDP campaigners for Juan Coy came, attacked my house and business place, throw stones and bottles damaging the roof and in front of my building. In the building at the time were some family members and customers who ran out of the building fearing for their lives. Villagers who heard the noise come to their rescue. I reported the matter to the police. I am totally disappointed and I want the nation to know that what Mr. Juan Coy campaigners are doing is wrong, I want Mr. Barrow to look into this matter. This is a bad example for people who are trying to lead our country.”

COLA EXPRESSES CONCERNS OVER PRIME MINISTER COMMENTS
The government’s stance on issue of the thirteenth senator has triggered the Committee Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA, to call a press conference. At his party’s launching of the UDP Manifesto last week, Prime Minister Dean Barrow, said that his government would not install a thirteenth senator. This was in sharp contrast to the UDP’s 2008 manifesto promise that it would do so. And today while COLA’s disgust started off on that note, the organization’s President, Giovanni Brackett, also went on to include their position on the Prime Minister’s comments at last week’s manifesto launch when he said that the creditors of Belize’s super bond, would have to come to the negotiating table to agree to new, less burdensome interest rates. This was what Prime Minister Barrow said in part on the super bond, if his government is elected to power. Prime Minister Dean Barrow “This 8 ½% interest rate we will not suffer. Belize is a country that is a country of honor, we do not easily renege on commitments but if there are commitments that in effect represent a Jack Boot on the throat of the Belizean people, then unless those that are applying that Jack Boot are prepared to re-negotiate, they are going to see that the Belizean people are not going to take it, we won’t lie down so that anybody could take chance on us. The bottom line is Mr. bond holder come to the table and re-negotiate with Belizeans, you are obliged to give us a better deal and people of this country will accept no less.” Brackett said that the Prime Minister’s approach was a bit haughty.

PUP STANDARD BEARER CONDEMNS MOVE BY ELECTIONS AND BOUNDARIES
Election Day is drawing near and there have been reports and allegations of wrongdoing back and forth between political candidates. Today the PUP Standard bearer for the Pickstock Division Dr. Francis Smith issued a release in which he states residents of the division are “outraged by the blatant collusion between the Elections and Boundaries Office and Mr. Wilfred “Sedi” Erlington to discourage voters in his constituency from coming forth to vote. Dr. Francis Smith – PUP Standard bearer, Pickstock “In the past the Pickstock Constituency has been divided into three polling areas, zone 6, 16A and 17 A. Zone 6 which is on the north side of Belize City would usually vote at the Belize Technical College and zones 16A and 17A would vote at the Civic Center, that has been changed now and there is only one polling station and that is at St. Luke’s Methodist on Mahogany Street. I have been around trying to inform the people but I find it alarming that most people they don’t seem to be aware of it and they are resisting, the north side constituents coming over to the south side and I think there is a deliberate attempt on the part of the Elections and Boundaries Department to discourage people on the north side and I feel that the north side has been a PUP stronghold and I believe it is for this reason. Politics apart I really think it is just common decency and courtesy to facilitate voters so if you look at all the other constituencies, Fort George, Freetown, Caribbean Shores you will see that there is more than one polling station and the reason is well you need to facilitate voters so it is extremely unfair for people who live on North Front Street or New Road or Victoria Street to walk all the way from there to Mahogany Street especially at this time where the level of skepticism is unprecedented and they are predicting a low voter turnout.

BEL EXPLAINS EXTENDED POWER OUTAGE
A near seven hour long blackout to parts of Belize City has been resolved, and the state-owned electricity provider has issued a statement explaining the power outage. Belize Electricity Limited, BEL says the extended blackout was due to a faulty vacuum switch on the capacitor Banks at the Magazine Road Substation. The BEL statement says that the faulty switch caused equipment at the substation to overheat, which necessitated the unplanned interruption of electricity supply to Belize City beginning at four fifty two yesterday evening. Technicians were able to isolate the faulty vacuum switch and capacitor banks just before eleven o’clock last night and power was restored to the entire Belize City. BEL says that technicians worked throughout the night to replace the faulty vacuum switch and there was another brief power outage just before six o’clock this morning to reconnect the capacitor banks and to fully restore the system.

CTV3

Burglars Get Off With $15,000.00
In Yesterdays newscast we told you about the home invasion that took place on Saturday night in the outskirts of the Corozal District about a mile out on the Consejo road which resulted in a shoot out between the criminals and law enforcers. Last night details were still sketchy but tonight we got the full details. Twenty one year old Ysenia Oliva, her husband, 56 year old Mark Ramirez and their four year old son left home about 3:30 in the evening to run some errands. About an hour later when the family arrived home they were surprised by two masked men. One of the men was armed with handgun and wasted no time in pointing the weapon at the family and that is when, according to Oliva, her worst nightmare began.

PUP Orange Walk East Standard Bearer Says Take The Money And Vote Them Out!
Last night we passed an interview where two registered voters from Orange Walk East claimed that they had been paid a total of $150.00 to bring down their P.U.P flags and put up two UDP flags. In order to establish their case the men showed us two checks one for $60.00 written out to Carmelita Government School and the second for $90.00 written out to Trial Farm Government School. On Friday February 24th Israel Ocampo was at home when he was visited by campaigners of the UDP who questioned him about his necessities. Ocampo told them he had two children that needed to be transferred from one school to the next but due to lack of financing he was unable to do so. Of course taking advantage of the family’s necessity the UDP offered to pay for the transfers in exchange that Ocampo, who has always been a P.U.P supporter, bring down his party’s flag and replace it with two UDP flags.

BPA Says BAHA Is Not Playing Fair
The poultry business is one of the largest domestic businesses in Belize catering to empty plates all over the country. With such high demand it is important to maintain the country poultry disease free which is what has the Belize Poultry Association on high alert tonight. It is reported that the Belize Agricultural Health Authority, BAHA, has issued a license to a producer in shipyard located in the Orange Walk District, for the importation of large quantities of poultry. And this is what has the Belize Poultry Association up in arms because all indications are that the ten thousand broiler chickens did not undergo necessary inspections by BAHA before entering the country. Victor Gongora, Veterinarian, Belize Poultry Association. “The concern is with the Belize Customs because whenever live animals are imported from a country they are a very high risk to bringing disease so under normal conditions before any country would issue a permit for live animals to come in then the diseases would need to be cleared up,

On The Campaign Trial With Doctor Mendez
With the double elections just a few days’ away politicians are hot on the campaign trail and today Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez once again hit the streets to gather support from residents of the Louisiana Area. Without a doubt all eyes will be on the East come March 7th because Area Representative Marcel Cardona has switched sides and is now campaigning for Mendez, leaving Landy Burns on the side. Janine Ayuso-Reporting Today the Louisiana Area in the Orange Walk District was patrolled by Dr. Mendez and his campaign team. The street was covered in blue as campaigners walked behind the doctor chanting and hollering his name, showing their full support for the man who will bring change to the east. Mendez personally went from house to house listening to the people’s cries and insuring them that healthy leadership was on its way. Without a doubt Dr. Mendez is making his voice heard and the people are responding to his protest against the blatant UDP.

Corozal Inaugurates House Of Culture
History and culture; combined they provide us with our own unique identity. With that in mind this past Friday Corozal residents inaugurated their house of culture. It was a well attended ceremony with over 700 people witnessing the cutting of the ribbon at the same time being the first ones to view the historical exhibits on display. Today, as we toured the house of culture, Debra Wilkes Gray, Visual Arts Coordinator for the Institute of Creative Arts told CTV3 News that the house of culture in Corozal was long overdue. Debra Wilkes Gray, Visual Arts Coordinator, Institute of Creative Arts (ICA) “This is to launch the inauguration we selected ten Corozal Artists, people who live and breathe the air here in Corozal daily, so we are looking at wood products, textiles, painting, photography as well as we open with two of eco’s programs, visual arts programs that we are doing one is the developmental art program a year long process that we have twelve students, they come in twice a month with an artist who is also an instructor here and we have at the back we have a village environmental art program that we initiated in November where we go out to the villages, different villages, six classes we are focusing on women teaching them how to use a thrown away items and turning them into art or saleable product.”

Belize City In Darkness for Six Hours
Yesterday just before the 5:00 o’clock rush hour in Belize City the electricity went off. The blackout, which pitched the old Capital into total darkness by nightfall, lasted for almost 6 hours. Across the City, shops and restaurants pulled down their shutters and closed their businesses unable to guarantee the security of employees and their patrons. In their shuttered homes children were forced to do homework by candle light. The security cameras across Belize City, which serve as a deterrent to crime and allow police to keep an eye on the hot spots in the city, went blank, and police officers had to rely on flash lights to conduct regular patrols. The Government owned and controlled Belize Electricity Limited who estimated that electricity would have been restored to Belize City much earlier than it did, blamed stated that the cause of the blackout was due faulty equipment at their Magazine Road Station, the largest in Belize City.

LOVE TV

Mexican municipal officials on official visit to Belize
The Belize City council today hosted a delegation from Othon P. Blanco as part of its sister city relations. Visiting from Othon P. Blanco in Quintana Roo Mexico were councilors of the municipality, with the exception of Mayor Carlos Mario Villanueva, who couldn’t attend. The ceremony consisted of a meet and greet session with the mayor and councilors followed by open discussions by elected officials and technical staff. Belize City Mayor, Zenaida Moya told us more about the special occasion. The first councilor for the Municipality of Othon P. Blanco, Licenciada Miriam Osnaya Sanchez says that the councilors are here to countersign a fellowship project between Belize and Mexico. After lunch, the group was given a tour of Belize City.

Plans finalized for royal visit
It was in February 1994 that Queen Elizabeth the Second visited Belize for the second time, and now, eighteen years later, her grandson, Prince Henry, better known as Prince Harry, is scheduled to make an overnight stop in the jewel as part of a wider tour of the region. Today the media was briefed of the visit and our roles as we cover the Royal visit on Friday and Saturday of Prince Harry. Press Secretary to Prince harry, Miguel Head, days that the Prince is eagerly anticipating his visit with Belizeans. Prince Harry will arrive on Friday and, amidst strict security detail, will be chauffeured to designated locations in the country for planned events before leaving on Saturday for the Bahamas. The media will be afforded the opportunity to report on the Royal Visit and Love FM and Love Television will be there to bring you highlights.

New playground for Hopkins village in Children's Issues
A playground has been erected for the children of Hopkins Village in the Stann Creek District. Correspondent Harry Arzu reports.

PUP candidate complains about alleged irregularities
Election Day is drawing near and there have been reports and allegations of wrongdoing back and forth between political candidates. Today the PUP Standard bearer for the Pickstock Division Dr. Francis Smith issued a release in which he states residents of the division are “outraged by the blatant collusion between the Elections and Boundaries Office and Mr. Wilfred “Sedi” Erlington to discourage voters in his constituency from coming forth to vote. Smith has forwarded his concern to the media, the OAS observer mission in Belize and all international organizations in Belize. In speaking to Chief Elections Officer Josephine Tamai a couple minutes before news time this evening, she told Love News that there is no collusion as claimed by Dr. Smith. She says the reason for not having the polling station at the former Belize Technical College, now ITVET, is simply because it is located in the Freetown Division and as for the Belize City Center, the building is not functional at the time. She did say though that they have assigned Central Christian Assembly for the Polling Area Six voters and Polling area 16A and 17A will vote at St. Luke Methodist School.

Amandala

Trial without jury begins!
Akeem Thurton is tried for the attempted murder of attorney Rodwell Williams... Akeem Thurton, 20, charged with the attempted murder of attorney Rodwell Williams, sat unrepresented and alone in the dock when he appeared this morning in the courtroom of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin

“City without pity” suffers six-hour blackout!
“Overheated equipment” causes Magazine Road substation fire... Just before five this evening, Monday, a sudden fire outbreak at the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) substation on Magazine Road that powers Belize City led to an outage that paralyzed the Old Capital for six hours, from 4:52 to 10:56 p.m.

Belmopan double murders – 1 shot and 1 stabbed to death
Youth shot buying food, and a mangled body found on football field, stabbed in the chin, throat and chest... Belmopan police have two murders on their hands tonight, as young Hispanic men of the outlying communities around the Capital were murdered on Thursday night and early this morning, Monday.

Rene & Rene, Rick the Ruler, DFC and Cahal Pech for $1.3 million
Supreme Court Justice Oswell Legall is set to hear the case of the Development Finance Corporation (DFC) against Rene Villanueva, Sr., proprietor of RSV Media Limited/Love FM, and his son Rene, Jr., on Monday, April 2, 2012, in a lawsuit to reclaim money which the businessmen allegedly borrowed for an entertainment enterprise in Cayo.

Monday morning murder on Mahogany
John Russell Lamb Myers, Jr., 52, of Oleander Street in Belize City, spent his last hours this morning on Mahogany Street wishing a teenage daughter (in high school) happy birthday.

Traffic accident claims the life of Biscayne woman
Vehicle hit her with so much force, her bicycle broke into pieces.... Losing a loved one would be very hard on anyone. If the person were sick for some time and deteriorating in health, the blow would somewhat be expected and therefore easier to accept.

Week 3 results in Premier League, Police still leads in south, San Pedro surprise in north
At the end of Week 3 in the Premier League of Belize 2012 opening tournament, pre-season favorite Police United remain undefeated to lead the south (S) zone; while San Pedro Seadogs, who were considered a questionable entrant in the tournament, are surprise leaders in the north (N), though tied in points along with San Felipe Barcelona and F.C. Belize.

Rumblings inside the BDFA, meeting Friday at MCC
Belize District Football Association (BDFA) executive member Sanja Pitts dropped by the sports desk this morning to voice his concern about the upcoming FFB Electoral Congress on March 15, and his BDFA executive’s apparent unpreparedness for this important event for the future of football.

A chat with veteran footballer Gerald “Speedy” Henry – Part 3
S: No. Mostly Cayo players… But, we played against “Mugga” (Louis Garbutt), “Palmer” Davis, you know… guys like those. And, as Rocking-R, we made a name for ourselves…



Edited by Marty (11/17/12 04:54 PM)