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WEEKLY WEATHER OUTLOOK FOR BELIZE
Valid: Friday - Monday, March 19 - 26, 2012

The feature of interest this week will be a relatively stable and fresh Easterly to South-easterly airflow over the NW Caribbean, generated by broad West Atlantic High pressure system and a frontal low over northern Mexico and Texas. The High Pressure system will weaken as we move into the weekend, resulting in a weak pressure gradient, conducive to lighter easterly winds and warmer daytime temperatures.

We can therefore expect seasonally fair and sunny weather to continue through this week, with some brief daytime showers, especially in the central coastal areas during the morning hours, and over inland regions during the afternoon. It will become increasingly warmer and drier as we move into the weekend.

Daily rainfall accumulations during this week will be minimal, ranging from 0.01-0.10 of-an-inch, especially over central regions and the hills. In short, the 2012 Dry Season will continue across the nation over the next seven days. The best chance for showers in the interior will be on Wednesday and Sunday.

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekly Weather Report

The San Pedro Sun

Vehicular Accident leaves one injured
Roberto Castellanos is recovering after he received minor injuries in a midmorning vehicular accident on Wednesday March 21st. Shortly before 11AM, Castellanos, of a San Pedro Town address, was driving a white Toyota pickup truck with license plate SP A-0147 on Sea Grape Drive near the WASA Pound. According to reports, Castellanos was travelling in a southerly to northerly direction when he lost control of the vehicle, slammed into an electrical post and flipped twice to the other side of the road. When officers from the South Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch responded, they found the vehicle with its tires in the air and the driver trapped inside the pickup truck. With the help of passersby, the vehicle was flipped back on its wheels and the driver taken out. Castellanos was taken to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II for treatment. According to Dr. Javier Zuniga, a bloody Castellanos was observed with bruises to the face and laceration in the nasal area, which is believed to have happened when Castellanos head slammed into the steering wheel of the vehicle he was driving.

American retiree attacked & robbed in his home
An American retiree is recuperating at his home following a home invasion which occurred on northern Ambergris Caye, some nine miles north of San Pedro Town. The injured person is 69 year old Doug Robertson of Vermont, USA, who has been living on Ambergris Caye for the past six years. The incident occurred sometime between 3:30PM and 4PM on Tuesday, March 20th in the Palmero Point Area of the island. According to Robertson’s wife Carolyn Ramp, her husband was alone at the time of the incident. Ramp said that he was sitting behind a desk when he felt someone knock him in the back of his head. Robertson fell to the floor where he was hit several times in the head with a piece of lumber (4X4) until he was knocked out. Ramp told The San Pedro Sun she was not at home at the time of the incident as she had been out taking a walk on the beach with her sister and their dogs. When Ramp returned shortly before 4:30PM, almost an hour later, she found her husband trying to re-gain consciousness following the incident. Robertson was brought to San Pedro Town where he was taken to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Poly-Clinic II where he received medical attention. Robertson received a large cut wound to the back of his head and abrasions to several parts of his head and face. The motives of the attack have not been established but Ramp reported to police that initial inspection reveals that two cellular phones and a watch is missing so far. Ramp explained that their house had been burglarized before. Ramp stated, “I am now concerned following this incident.”

Ambergris Today

SP Red Cross Branch Distributes Donation Boxes
The Belize Red Cross – San Pedro Branch has commenced its work in San Pedro and its first order of work was to place donation boxes around town to collect funds for the society and to help serve others. The official placing of the donation boxes took place on Monday, March 19, 2012 at the San Pedro Tropic Air Terminal. Belize Red Cross representative Laurie Norton was on hand to officially present the boxes to the President of Tropic Air, Mr. John Greif III. Tropic Air has pledged to place as many boxes needed by the Red Cross at their various terminals country wide. The Belize Red Cross has been very appreciative of the favorable response since the San Pedro Branch reopened, and would like to thank its members and the following businesses for their ongoing support. Tropic Air, Scotia Bank, Legends Burger House, Changes in Latitudes Bed & Breakfast and La Isla Store.

Canary Coves donates to the SP Tour Guide Association
Angels do exist and San Pedro has seen the goodwill of a couple of angels, the owners of Canary Cove, who have helped the community of San Pedro tremendously. Earlier this year they donated a new picnic area and restroom to the San Pedro RC School and on Tuesday, March 20, 2012, the San Pedro Tour Guide Association received a kind donation on behalf of Canary Coves. Mr. Gilberto “Gil” Nuñez, representative of Canary Coves presented to Mr. Billy Leslie, President of the San Pedro Tour Guide Association a brand new Dell Computer for the Tour Guide Association Office located on Barrier Reef Drive. According to Gil Nuñez this donation was a thank you from Canary Cove to the Tour Guide Association for having helped in placing mooring buoys on North Ambergris Caye. Canary Coves worked along with the SPTGA in placing mooring buoys inside and along the reef in the Mexico Rocks Area. Canary Cove provided all the materials and the SPTGA provided the manpower and will keep the maintenance of the buoys.

Misc Belizean Sources

The Belize Election: Why the UDP Lost the South
I knew about one year ago that there was a possibility that the United Democratic Party (UDP) was going to lose the municipal and general elections in the Stann Creek and Toledo districts in the southern part of Belize, where the majority of Garifuna people live. This is because, as a native of the south, I have many relatives in the towns of Punta Gorda and Dangriga, where I was born and raised. The people in these towns have been complaining about their candidates neglecting them, poverty, unemployment, immigrants, drugs, disrespecting, not taking care of their needs and having no access to them for assistance. In Dangriga, the representative was elected because the people did not want PUP and gave the UDP Arthur Roches a chance. After they elected him, many of his supporters were looking forward to his assistance in providing employment, lots, land and other benefits, but nothing happened. Some of them went to him to seek his assistance but he did not make himself available. In the news they kept on hearing about other Belizeans in other parts of the country receiving lots but none was given to Dangriga residents.

San Pedro Lionfish Project Achievements & Cook-Off
We would like to bring to your attention a meeting we have scheduled for Thursday March 22, 6:30 pm at the Lion’s Den where we would like to share with you project achievements including: · Review of the Belize Lionfish management Plan · Release of the mini-documentary “The Belize Lionfish Project: A Local Response to a Regional Problem” by Richard & Carol Foster · Marine Guide Overall Prize · Distribution of Lionfish Hunter cards to all marine dive guides culling lionfish. We look forward to seeing you then to talk lionfish!

Belize PM Says Will Continue Pro Poor Plan In New Term
Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow says his re-elected government will continue its pro-poor plan for the new term and consolidate state control of public utilities. The PM was speaking today at the ceremonial opening of parliament at the City of Belmopan where the Senate and House of Representatives met in joint session to be sworn in. The ceremonial opening was held under a tent in front of the National Assembly building at Independence Hill and was attended by invited guests and supporters of the ruling United Democratic Party. Speaking in 90 degree weather at the start of the Belize dry season, Mr. Barrow said he will continue with a series of projects including cash and food handouts and loan forgiveness programs to alleviate the crushing poverty suffered by a large portion of the Belize population. These projects have been criticised by the opposition Peoples United Party and non government organisations in Belize who say it amounts to the use of state resources to buy support from voters and encourages a culture of dependency and reliance on political patronage among Belizeans. The Belize Prime Minister said he will create a state-controlled bank to compete with established commercial banking and financial institutions such as credit unions, so as to make money available to the poor. And he reiterated his vow to engage Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez to obtain support for cheap fuel under the Petro Caribe project promoted by that South American country.

Channel 7

Swearing In For Senators, Speaker and Representatives
Fourteen days ago - elections were held, and now, after the naming of a Cabinet and the assigning of CEO's - the work of the new Government is officially underway. And an integral part of that government is the opposition. While they may be perpetually at odds with the Administration of the day - the opposition has a crucial role to play. And today that opposition took its rightful place - as it was sworn in at the first ceremonial sitting of the House and Senate. 7news was in Belmopan and here are the highlights of a day rich in ceremony but also heavy in substance:

Vernon Cuthklevin's Containers Still Sequestered
Remember those six suspect containers we told you about last week? Well they are still being held at the Customs Department. Importer Vernon Cuthklevin - owner of the company Belize Garden Consortium - had told us and Customs personnel that he would be doing his own tests on the three thousand sacks of what he says are fertilizer chemicals. He said he'd collect those samples on Monday, but Cuthklevin has not turned up at Customs to gather those samples and we have been unable to reach him by phone. And so, the bottom line remains that the Police Forensic Department has confirmed that the hundreds of sacks, which are declared as titanium dioxide - are not that chemical. And the hundreds of sacks that should contain ammonium sulfate - some of the samples taken of those are not ammonium sulfate.

Rockstone Pond Resident Arraigned for Stabbing
40 year-old Dennis Brown, a resident of Rock Stone Pond Village, was arraigned for aggravated assault when he appeared in Magistrate's Court today. He was charged with attempting to stab Christopher Lamb. Lamb reported to police that at around 6:45 yesterday evening, he was riding on Pitter Street when Brown stopped him and confronted him for being on that street. When he gave his answer, Brown allegedly pulled out a knife tried to stab him 3 times, but he was able to dodge the blade, jump back on his bike and scurry away. He then went to the nearest police station, reported to incident, and officers arrested Brown quickly. In addition to the aggravated assault, Brown was charged with threatening words which he uttered when he tried to stab Lamb.

Undocumented Woman Tried To Register Undocumented Child
42 year-old Maria Cruz Agueta Flores, a Salvadoran national, was arraigned today for immigration charges when she appeared in Magistrate's Court. Immigration officials believe that she not only was here illegally, but she attempted to get Belizean documents for an undocumented child. Flores was arraigned for failure to comply with a visitors permit. It was determined that she entered Belize through the Western Border on December 12, 2009, and was issued a valid visitor's permit, which gave her until January 4, 2012 to stay in the country legally. She was caught yesterday trying to get a social security card and a birth certificate for a child who immigration officials declined to confirm was hers. The officials said that the investigation into this matter is still in its initial stages, and they chose not to disclose certain information freely.

The Fairer Sex And The Dirty Game Of Politics
Graduation ceremonies were held this morning for the third group of females who took part in the Women in Politics Project. In October of last year, the project took in 20 women and today 16 of those women from all over the country became proud graduates. 7news was present at today's ceremony and Ann-Marie Williams of the National Women's Commission explained the significance of the continuing politicization of the Belizean woman: Anne - Marie Williams - Executive Director, National Women's Commission "This is the cohort that has the least amount of women in terms of - and the least amount of diversity. In other words, this project had no women from Toledo, but in our last cohort, we had 2 women from Toledo, and in the first cohort, we had 7 women from Toledo.

Family Worries Over Whereabouts Of Missing Woman
he family of 56 year-old Carmelita Simplis is worried about her whereabouts because she left home on Monday morning and still hasn't returned. The complication is that she has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and more than 10 years ago, she was found near the Belize-Mexico border. Her daughter came to speak to us today, because they are concerned that she may get further this time because she left with her travel and bank documents. Here's what she told us: Janine Simplis - Daughter of Missing Woman "On Monday, at around 6 - 7 o'clock, we came out of the room - because we were getting ready to go to work - we noticed that she changed, and she left, but she never came back.

Port Management Incurs The Wrath Of The Waterfront Workers
On June 29, 2011, the Management of the Port of Belize under the ownership of the Luke Espat Group hammered out a Memorandum of Understanding with the Christian Worker's Union, which represents the stevedores and other waterfront workers. They agreed upon the terms of negotiating a collective bargaining agreement which would materialize in the very near future. The MOU covered several key issues that waterfront workers requested to enhance their working environment. It was a major step forward for the two parties to meet each other in the middle, but now the Luke Espat Group is gone and the new receiver-appointed administration doesn't recognize that MOU. This has delayed the implementation of changes that the waterfront workers had been clamouring for, and one stevedore, Raymond Rivers, who was instrumental in that 2011 agreement, came to speak to us today.

The Corrosive Currency of Handout Politics
Last night we told you about "Belize at 30", a three day conference marking the 30th Anniversary of Belize's independence. It opened last night with a lecture about the role of women in Belize's Nationalist Movement, and today it tackled a myriad of topics ranging from Belize's Protected areas to Broadcast News Media. One which really piqued our interest, given the recent elections and the accusations made by both parties about buying votes, was Dylan Vernon's lecture on 'Handout Politics' in an Independent Belize. We caught up with him after his presentation, and discussed the corrosive currency of handout politics. Robin Schaffer "How has handout politics been consequential in forming the political culture in Belize?"

Hon. Finnegan: Paul Rodriguez Was City's Best Mayor
One man who may know a thing or two about patronage politics is Mesopotamia Representative Michael Finnegan. After a pre-Christmas clinic in December, he boasted about servicing 764 constituents in one day! And, apparently, he also knows a thing or two about municipal politics. Finnegan is an old student of the political game and today volunteered his opinion on what makes a good Mayor and why the new Belize city mayor would be wise to lose the necktie and go local: Hon. Michael Finnegan - Minister of Housing "What makes a good mayor in my view; you don't sit in the office perpetually. You move around the city, and by moving around the city, you could remedy this city on an incremental basis rather than having things get out of hand total."

Mexicans Step Up Patrols At The Border
ccording to a news report coming out of Mexico, the Mexican military has stepped up surveillance and manpower at the Belize-Mexico Border and in the "Subtiniente Lopez" area. The report states that for the past 15 days, elements of the Mexican Navy have been deployed to the border where motorists are being checked at random to prevent the entry of drugs and ammunition into Mexico from Belize. The report adds that the officers at the checkpoint are equipped with sophisticated equipment to detect stolen cars or overlapping plates. The added surveillance proved fruitful on Monday when a shipment of Taiwanese cigars was allegedly being smuggled into Mexico from the Free Zone.

The Equinox At Caracol
Today, Wednesday March 21st is the spring equinox in the final year of the current cycle of the Maya long count calendar, which ends on December 21, 2012. To commemorate the ending of the 13th Baktun, as it is called, last night, the Institute of Archaeology hosted a night of camping, cultural presentations and history at the ancient Mayan city-state of Caracol in the Cayo District. It's one of four such events planned this year and the overnight archaeological camping adventures are timed to coincide with this year's equinoxes and solstices. It's all part of Belize's 2012 Cultural Tourism package provocatively themed, "Where Will You Be When The World Begins Anew?" Dr. Jaime Awe says that observing the equinoxes and solstices are a part of the Mayan Calendar Cycle:

Running For A Good Cause
Two days ago we told you about the One World Running initiative - a 5 k run to bring awareness for Special Olympics. Well, this morning at 6:00 the runners - from all walks of life - set off from Stella Maris School, continued around the circular, and returned to Stella Maris. James Muschamp, the chairman of special Olympics Belize, told us it's all about awareness: James Muschamp - Chairman, Special Olympics, Belize "It's about bringing awareness to every single individual who has a special need. We all need to make sure that the public knows that they are alive; they are very much kicking, and they are all able-bodied individuals. We have had many schools taking part in this event. We've had this event grow from probably 100 to almost 400+ people. The awareness is there. We only had some stupid drivers that didn't want to give way to the participants, but we can't win them all. It's about getting the information out there for them."

Channel 5

Senators, minus Joy Grant, Swear Oath
The ceremonial opening of the House of Representatives took place this morning and we’ll have all the pageantry of that event coming up. But first, the new Senate was installed. The twelve-member body is comprised of mostly new faces; Marco Pech is President and there are six Senators from the government side. The opposition has ...

Ceremonial Opening of House of Representatives
Cabinet met this week in its first session since the March seventh elections and this morning in open-air, the ceremonial opening of the National Assembly took place. As is traditional, the Throne Speech was delivered by Governor General Sir Colville Young followed by a shorter statement by the Prime Minister. The elected representatives and the ...

Belize at 30 Symposium
Symposiums do not always attract large audiences, but there was a full house of students today at the Belize at Thirty event. The handout politics and the history of broadcasting were two of the more interesting topics presented in the afternoon session of the symposium organized by NICH. Isani Cayetano reports from the Fordyce Chapel ...

Poor illegal immigrant has to pay the price
A Salvadoran national who was caught in Belize after overstaying her visitor’s permit was charged today before Magistrate Sherigne Rodriguez. Forty-two year old Maria Cruz Argueta Flores arrived in Belize on December twelfth, 2009 and was granted a permit to stay until January fourth, 2012. Since she never left, Argueta was charged for Failure to ...

Brown threatens Lamb with 6 inch knife
A farmer of Rock Stone Pond Village was also before the court for allegedly attacking another man with a knife on Tuesday and threatening to kill him. According to the alleged victim, Christopher Lamb, he was approached on Pitter Street by forty year old Dennis Brown who asked him why he was in the area. ...

US national attacked; this time in San Pedro
Police on Ambergris Caye are investigating a report of an attack on a retired American national living on the island. The incident occurred shortly before four o’clock on Wednesday afternoon in the Palmero Point Area of the island, some nine miles north of San Pedro Town. The victim is sixty-nine year old Doug Robertson, who ...

Women in Politics Program graduates 16
Politics was not only played out in Belmopan. In Belize City, sixteen women are ready to enter politics. In the recent general elections, only three women put their name on the ballot for office. One won and was sworn in today as a member of the National Assembly. Two other women have been named senators ...

P.U.C. celebrates Water Day
Potable water; it’s a resource many Belizeans take for granted since it is easily accessible in most parts of the country. But without sustainable usage, it may be a luxury we won’t always have. So for World Water Day on Thursday, the Public Utilities Commission is inviting the general public to a forum and fair ...

Poultry Producers talk Quality Products
In this region, Belizeans are one of the highest consumers of chicken. In fact, it is estimated that each person would consume between a hundred and five to a hundred and ten pounds of chicken meat per year. With that kind of statistics, a meeting of the Regional Technical Commission for Avian Health (CTRSA) took ...

Carmelita Simplis, 55 years old and missing
The family of a Belize City woman, who went missing on Monday morning, is asking the public for help in locating her. Fifty-five year old Carmelita Simplis, left her home in Ladyville between six and seven o’clock on Monday morning and hasn’t been seen or heard from since. Her daughter, Janine Simplis says they have ...

Awesome performances stun audiences on KTV Latino
We promised you an excited show on Tuesday night and KTV Latino’s Group B delivered. The live competition continued with six singers taking the stage at the Bliss and performing Latino songs. They did their best to impress the judges and more importantly, the voting audience with a mixture of upbeat as well as soulful ...

LOVE FM

7.4 quake apparently spares lives in Mexico
A powerful earthquake that shook Mexico from its massive capital to its resort-studded southern coast damaged hundreds of homes and sent thousands of panicked people fleeing from swaying office buildings, yet apparently didn't cause a single death. As o...

CARICOM introduces consumer protection net
The time has now come for sellers to beware as a new reporting mechanism being implemented within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) will allow consumers to warn their peers of dangerous products sold across the region. The o...

POULTRY INDUSTRY DISCUSSED
Chicken – it’s what’s on most dinner tables most days of the week. And today, those in the poultry industry sat down to discuss the successes and challenges in the industry. Poultry garnered in excess of seventy million dollars for Belize in the last year,...

POLICE NEWS
In police news, burglars have been busy lately as a number of break-ins have been reported in Belize City and Corozal. Two men visited Travelers Bar at mile two on the Northern Highway in Belize City, but their intention was not to party. The duo reportedly cleaned out the ...

THIRD COHORT GRADUATE FROM WOMEN IN POLITICS PROGRAM
Sixteen women graduated from Cohort three of the Women in Politics Project this morning at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel on the Northern Highway. These women attended training for about six months to prepare to launch their political careers. Executive Director of The National W...

WORLD FORESTRY DAY CELEBRATED
Today is being celebrated as World Forestry Day. The day is dedicated to increasing public awareness about activities of forest production, protection and recreation. In Belize the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE), through its Forest and Forest Managem...

BELIZE CITY MAYOR SAYS FINANCES DO NOT LOOK GOOD
Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley told Love news yesterday the council is contemplating filing criminal charges against one of its employees. It is alleged payroll clerk Sherlene Sabal swindled a hefty sum of the Council’s funds. Mayor Bradley has promised to be tough...

CEREMONIAL OPENING OF PARLIAMENT TAKES PLACE
A hour before the start of the ceremonial opening of the National Assembly, the new Senate met inside the House chambers, where Marco Pech was formally sworn in as the new president of the upper house of parliament. The members then chose Senator Juliet Thimbrel as the deputy pre...

US EMBASSY ANNOUNCES 3rd RECIPIENT OF BELIZES WOMAN OF THE YEAR AWARD
Hattieville resident, Rita Coleman is the winner of the 2012 US Embassy’s Belize Woman of the Year Award. U.S. Ambassador to Belize, Vinai Thumallapally presented Coleman with the award during a ceremony this morning in Belmopan. Coleman is the founder of the Leading and Empowering Ot...

TOLEDO RESIDENTS OBJECT TO MORATORIUM ON ROSEWOOD HARVESTING - CONSERVATION ORGANIZATIONS SUPPORT IT
The Association of Protected Areas Management Organization along with 13 member organizations and other conservation partners have applauded the Government for instituting a moratorium on harvesting and exportation of rosewood. While the conservation groups view the move as a good one, vill...

BELIZE CITY COUNCILLORS ASSIGNED PORTFOLIOS
The newly elected UDP Belize City Council held its first caucus meeting on Monday and portfolio were assigned. Mayor Darrell Bradley has responsibility for Finance, Revenue, and Human Resource. Councilor Alifa Elrington-Hyde is in charge of Public Relations, Court, Special Events and Cultur...

OPPOSITION LEADER SWORN IN; BUSINESS SENATOR ELECTED - FIRST SITTING OF THE HOUSE SCHEDULED FOR WEDNESDAY
Leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca was officially sworn in by Governor General Sir Colville Young. The brief ceremony took place at Belize House in Belmopan. The first session of the National Assembly will be opened tomorrow. The inaugural sitting of the Senate...

DEBT REVIEW TEAM FORMED
The Government of Belize has begun a comprehensive review of external public sector debt and contingent liabilities. Prime Minister Dean Barrow has appointed a debt review team led by former Government Minister and Albert area representative Mark Espat. The other members of the team i...

THREE BELIZEAN MEN APPEAR IN COURT FOR KIDNAPPING CHARGES
Three persons who allegedly kidnapped Mexican diplomat 5—year-old Domingo Rodriguez Semerena were charged with kidnapping and conspiracy to commit kidnapping when they appeared in court today. They are 18-year-old Delton Jeffords, 25-year-old Noel Alamilla and 24-year-old Roque Middle...

YOUNG MAN SHOT AND KILLED AT HIS FAMILYS HOME
A gainfully employed man was shot dead in his yard in Belize City on Sunday. The incident happened at around 12:30 about 12:45 in the afternoon at his house at 61 West Street. The victim, 26 year-old Jovanni Saldano, was hit multiple times just as he arrived inside his yard from a sho...

CTV3

Principal Of New Life Presbyterian School Clarifies Rumours
Today rumors spread like wild fire- police officers visited the New life Presbyterian School in Orange Walk Town and took away political wrist bands worn by students and allegedly set them on fire. But when our news team visited the school today Principal Ruth Ku told us that the rumors are just that, rumors. According to Ku police officers did visit the school today. But that is nothing out of the ordinary since they often make an appearance at the school to ensure that the school children are safe. While police were at the school a group of students had a misunderstanding over wrist bands that were not necessarily political. In order to avoid any further confrontation the officers took away the wrist bands and gave them to Ku.

Freak Accident Claims The Life Of 11 Year Old Student
A sad and tragic accident in the Corozal District has claimed the life of an 11 year old boy. Eric Quiroz was playing with a group of friends at the football field situated behind the Andres Campos Civic Center in Corozal when a metal portable goal post fell on his head killing him almost instantly. Eric’s skull was crushed and he started to bleed profusely from the ear, nose and mouth. The 11 year old was rushed to the Corozal Community Hospital where he died a few minutes after. Today when we visited Corozal Town we found a community in shock and Eric’s family and friends mourning his death. Every evening as he was dismissed from school 11 year old Eric Quiroz would head home, drop off his school bag and head out to cadet practice. But cadet practice was cancelled yesterday evening so Quiroz along with a group of friends headed out to the football field located behind the Andres Campos Civic Center which is under the management of the Corozal Sports Council. That is where the 11 year old minor enjoyed his last moments as a child. Quiroz was playing happily with his friends when a portable metal goal post, similar to this one, fell on top of him, cutting his life short almost immediately. According to witnesses who spoke to us off camera the goal post was not firmly planted in the ground.

Leader Of The Opposition Sworn Into Office
This afternoon Honorable Francis Fonseca was sworn in as Leader of the Opposition by the Governor General Sir Colville Young in a brief ceremony held at the Belize House in Belmopan. Fonseca was sworn in as the Leader of the People’s United Party on October 29th of last year after John Briceño relinquished the leadership on October 7th. On March 7th 2012, Honorable Francis Fonseca was once again elected as the Freetown Area Representative when he ran against Lee Mark Chang and defeated him by 150 votes. The Area Representative continues to lead the People’s United Party which now holds 14 of the 31 seats in the House of Representatives. The first order of business for Hon Fonseca as Leader of the Opposition was to officially appoint Lisa Shoman, Karen Bodden and Collet Montejo as Senators of the party. The newly appointed Senators will be sworn in tomorrow morning at the Chambers of the National Assembly in Belmopan.

Recognising The Women Of Our Community
While Women’s Month is focusing on young women the long time activists are not easily forgotten. CTV3 News is honoring Women’s Month by giving recognition to Orange Walk women who have been an overall inspiration and role model for Orange Walk residents. One such woman is Emiliana Osorio who is a well known community activist and health provider. “I think use to see other women in the communities working giving their service free, free time and then I was also involved with the Red Cross and the Red Cross normally serves the community and then I started to give my services to anybody who needed it was mostly older people like myself and then women who you see in the communities that have excel and there was a role model for me who was a public health nurse and she is from Corozal and she is still living, she is in Belize City now and she always use to tell me that you can go into nursing and you can be a nurse and she was the one that always use to tell me and she knew me very young and she inspired me a lot.”

Business Community Elects New Senator
The senate is one of the Chambers of the National Assembly that consists of 12 members appointed for a five year term by the Governor General. Senators appointed are composed in the following manner: Six members appointed with the advice of the Prime Minister, three appointed with the advice of the Leader of the Opposition, and one each appointed with the advice of the Belize Council of Churches/Evangelical Association of Churches, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry/Belize Business Bureau, and the National Trade Union Congress of Belize and Civil Society Steering Committee. With only a few weeks after the March elections the process of appointing new members of the senate are under edifice. The Government of Belize has already appointed their six Senators and as previously mentioned the opposition People’s United Party underwent the process of returning attorney Lisa Showman as lead senator to the senate.

Belizean Talent At Its Best
Yesterday we showed the work of three women featured in the “Arte Con Voz De Mujer” exhibit held at the Corozal House of Culture. Tonight, in honor of Women’s Month, we bring you the works of art of the remaining seven women. “Arte Con Voz de Mujer” proudly displays the talent and artistic works of ten female artists from the Corozal District. Apart from crochet and beading also on exhibit are many sculpting and woodwork pieces belonging to Vilma Romero. Debra Wilks Gray Visual Arts Coordinator, ICA “Vilma Romero is one of the grandmothers I would say of arts here in Belize. She started in 1966 after she moved from Belize City at Corozal she learnt from Mr. Romero and she started exploiting her artistic talent, another multi-talented woman, what you are seeing here today are sculptures and wood carving, Vilma Romero have sculptures throughout Belize in public places like Dangriga, Orange Walk, Belize City, Corozal and a lot of people do not know that these public statues are her creations.” The exhibit also features the work of young vibrant artistic women.

Rita Coleman Is Belize's Woman Of The Year
This morning during a special ceremony at the U.S. Ambassador’s residence in Belmopan, Rita Coleman, a resident of Hattieville was honored as the Belizean Women of the Year 2012. Coleman is the founder of the “Leading and Empowering others in Action and Principles Women’s Group” which is an agency of the Women’s Issues Network of Belize. U.S Ambassador to Belize Vinai K. Thummalapally recognized the nominees and honored Coleman with a certificate along with two round trips to the US where she will partake in a forum free of cost. This is the third year that the award is taking place. The other nominees recognized were: Icilde Humes, Erna Jones, Earth Lopez, Audrey Matura Shepherd, Margaret Bradley, Yvette Burks, Phyllis Cayetano, Arlette Shepphard and Sharmayne Sanders.

Women Learn How To Stretch Their Dollar
With today’s economy it is difficult to save money and every day the phrase “Everything di go up except we pay” is becoming more famous. But according to the Women’s Department where there is a will there is way. In honor of Women’s Month today the Corozal Women’s Department, headed by Kathleen Pate, held a Healthy Wealthy Workshop under the theme “Connecting Girls Inspiring Futures”. The aim of the workshop was to educate working women on how to better manage their finances and practice a healthy lifestyle. This morning the Luxy Restaurant in Corozal Town was filled with working women who were seeking to improve their financial status and at the same time learn how to live a healthy lifestyle by participating in a Healthy Wealthy Workshop provided by the Women’s Department.

LOVE TV

Women in Politics graduate
Sixteen women today graduated from Cohort three of the Women in Politics Project. Ceremonies were held at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City. The graduates attended a six-month which was designed to help them launch their political career. It is an initiative of the National Women’s Commission, and Executive Director Ann-Marie Williams says that initially there were twenty women in the program but only sixteen made it to graduation day. During this morning’s graduation ceremony one of the participants, Nyahbingi Melanie Price, gave an inspiring address during which she shared her reflection on the training. The keynote speaker at today’s graduation was Linnette Vassell who is a Community Development and Gender Specialist in Jamaica. Certificates were presented to the women by the Chairman of the National Women’s Commission Esther Ayuso Ramirez and Linnette Vassel.

Poultry producers meet in Belize City
Chicken – it’s what’s on most dinner tables most days of the week. And today, those in the poultry industry sat down to discuss the successes and challenges in the industry. Poultry garnered in excess of seventy million dollars for Belize in the last year, but to keep the vibrancy going, representatives from the poultry industries in Central America, the Dominican Republic and Cuba are gathered over the next day to outline a plan for the future. And according to the Manager of the Belize Poultry Association, Orlando Habet, there are some must-do’s and don’ts. Habet says that while the poultry industry is performing up to expectations in Belize, the cost of feed makes it difficult to institute a decrease in poultry prices. But the same cannot be said for eggs, at least not in the near future, because shortly, there will be price options for shoppers. Habet says that because packaging also plays a key role in how sales are determined, that is also up on the discussion table with a view to improving the product.

Burglars target liquor store in Crime
Burglars have been busy lately as a number of break-ins have been reported in Belize City and Corozal. Two men visited Travelers Bar at mile two on the Northern Highway in Belize City, but their intention was not to party. The duo reportedly cleaned out the business early Tuesday morning after they tied up the on-duty KBH security guard. Shareholder of the establishment, Maito Perdomo, told Love News that the police are reviewing a number of recordings taken on the compound of the incident and that the company is taking measures to discourage a repeat of the intrusion. The security guard, forty-three year old Felix Melendez, was sitting on a chair in the compound when his attackers, armed with guns, bound him with electrical wire and broke into the business. The stolen items amount to over twelve thousand dollars.

Agriculture minister says help on the way for Toledo rice farmers
Crime is not the only hot-button issue face the new government. One bedevilling issue continues to be the difficulties being faced by rice farmers in the south. The new minister of Agriculture Hugo Patt today told Love News, that help is on the way, sooner, rather than later. Just prior to the March seventh general elections, a number of rice farmers in the Toledo district had complained bitterly that their payment for grains delivered was late and that they were facing mounting bank charges for late payments on their loans.

Burglars target liquor store
Burglars have been busy lately as a number of break-ins have been reported in Belize City and Corozal. Two men visited Travelers Bar at mile two on the Northern Highway in Belize City, but their intention was not to party. The duo reportedly cleaned out the business early Tuesday morning after they tied up the ...

National Security Minister says police stepping up crime fighting measures
One week after being named the new Minister of National Security, tonight there is a sense of urgency for John Saldivar to get the ball rolling in tackling the spiralling crime situation in the country. Since general elections on March seventh, the spike in violence has seen over a half a dozen murders, a number ...

Hattieville youth seeks help so he can help himself
The practice of persons in need of assistance coming to the public for help is nothing new to this newscast. Tonight we have another call for help. Love TV’s Natalie Novelo and video journalist Brian Castillo went to Hattieville today to bring you the following story.

Parliament opens with pomp and ceremony
The nation’s capital, Belmopan, was a busy place this morning as the new session of parliament got underway. Love TV’s Patrick Jones and video journalist Myles Gillett had front row seat for the spectacle and bring you the following report.

Shyne gives new government thumbs up
Among the hundreds of Belizeans who gathered around Independence Hill to witness this morning’s ceremonial opening of the National Assembly were judges of the high courts, members of the diplomatic and consular corps as well as representatives of the clergy. One of the interested observers was Belize’s music ambassador Moses Levi, also known as Shyne. ...

Dangriga residents killed in separate traffic mishaps
Two people lost their lives in separate traffic accidents in Dangriga town over the weekend. Forty two year old Maurice Reynolds, a resident of Sarawee village, sustained serious head and body injuries after the car he was driving went out of control and crashed into a bridge on Saturday night. A passenger travelling with Reynolds, ...

PlusTV

Independence Plaza alive with pomp and honor at Parliament’s big opening
The ceremonial pageantry started this morning at 9.00 am with senators taking the oath of office. President Marco P...

Bobby Lopez talks recent elections and his next move
Bobby Lopez Chairman of the Belize Unity Alliance and past VIP candidate visited Rise and Shine yesterday morning t...

Mother pleas for missing daughter's return
A young lady from Santa Elena Town has been missing since early March. 15 year old Catherine McKoy, a student of Ed...

Hundreds participate in run to raise awareness to healthy living
Hundreds run to raise awareness for healthy living. This morning the annual "One World /Special Olympics Belize Fun...

Civil Societies at home and abroad declare support of the Rosewood moratorium
Civil Societies in Belize and abroad have declared their support of the moratorium on Rosewood exportation. The Ass...

Japan and IDB fund major projects in Central and the Caribbean
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will provide up to ...

Police looking for bandits in Traveller's Bar robbery
Traveller’s Bar on the Northern Hwy is taken for a robbery spree. Felix Melendez, a security guard for KBH Security...

Massive quake rocks Mexico’s western seaboard
A strong 7.4-magnitude earthquake hit southern Mexico yesterday, damaging about 800 homes near the epicenter and sh...

Internal audit being conducted at the Belize City Council
The new Belize City council is awaiting the results of an internal audit. But even before the results are out, the ...

Forest Dep. receives generous donation as World Forest Day celebrated
Today March 21 is being celebrated as World Forestry Day. It is dedicated to increasing public awareness about acti......

Man loses over 20 grand of items in burglary
Bruce Kosakewich, 59 yrs, Canadian Retiree of Altamira Area, Corozal Town, reported that from March 19 to 20 someti...

Belmopan home broken into
Israel Gonzalez Sr., a Belizean businessman of Belize City, reported that between the month of December 2011 and Ma...

The Guardian

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Easter weekend of festivities coming soon to Caye Caulker!

This weekend Hypnotic Disco has their Pre-Easter bash!

Amandala

Blogs

Celebrating with an Airplane and Ice cream
I never told you this but the new wordpress theme of my blog is called Good News, today I am blogging the best news ever. I have put the official press release for you to read below and wanted to share my personal version as well. Thanks to John Grief Red Cross Donation containers are starting take off and fly country wide with Tropic Air. We launched the first Two at the San Pedro Airport on Monday and my head is still in the clouds I keep listening to the audio clip interview with John Grief by Maria Novelo Love TV. It makes me happy to hear how in favor he is for helping the Belize Red Cross. Diane Campbell said ” Utterly fantastic! He could be on talk radio professionally” – I totally agree.

The "Easter Winds" Prevail
We have definitely entered the next season in Belize (well...at least in my opinion). I wrote a post last year about the different seasons in San Pedro (see: Are There Seasons?) After cooler, dryer winter (January - March), the temperature begins to rise a bit and the "Easter winds" kick in. The weather is still warm and clear but the breeze is stiff (yesterday it was about 25mph for most of the afternoon) and the sea can turn a bit milkier as it gets churned by higher waves.Kids don't seem to mind that the water is darker by the shore. Same thing this morning, 20mph winds, blue, blue skies and a nice full body sand exfoliation when you walk on the beach.

PHOTOS: CARACOL 2012 where will you be?
Caracol's Vernal Equinox Celebration pictures. The Institute of Archaeology posted some pictures of the festivities going on at Caracol. Dr. Jaime Awe was there to share some knowledge. Looks like there was a full day of fun.

Buy and Sell Weekly Classified
Cayo's most comprehensive classified ad publication with great bargains and events to choose. Deadline to place ads are every Thursday @ 5pm.

Cure for the Winter Blues: Ka'ana gets a great review...and has new pool villas
Ka'ana has 2 new villas, and they have private pools! They got an amazing write up too. As one of the world’s few remaining unspoiled areas, Belize is the hidden gem of Central America that is as easy to reach as it is far from it all. Its most luxurious, coveted resort is the boutique property, Ka’ana, owned by two charming Irish brothers who’ve created a heavenly oasis. In fact, the name means “heavenly place” in Mayan, and this 15-room, two-villa eco-resort is nothing short of extraordinary. In a lush valley between the Maya Mountains of the Cayo District, the property embodies the spirit of the Mayan natives, utilizing all locally sourced materials, serving food grown in their organic garden (all gourmet and spectacular, of course!), and embracing the aesthetics of the rich native culture. Belize’s natural wonders blend seamlessly with the Hannan brothers’ knack for luxury, as guests are equally encouraged to explore the surroundings and enjoy special touches, such as Western Belize’s largest wine cellar. What’s extra special: Only here can you experience an overnight stay in an ancient Mayan ruin, complete with the creature comforts of Ka’ana. If the Mayans were right and it’s all going to end, I’d like to experience this before it’s too late!

Pentair Foundation Announces $1 Million Grant to Water Missions International
Great news for WMI, which has multiple clean water projects going on around Belize. Last November, they finished the Living Water Project in Bullet Tree Falls. Our grant to Water Missions International will benefit countless lives by speeding access to sustainable, safe drinking water sources globally," said Randall J. Hogan, Pentair's chairman and chief executive officer. "Through our previous work with WMI on Project Safewater-Colón, we have shown that there is an affordable solution to the global water crisis. We look forward to applying what we've learned to further improve health and sanitation conditions in communities around the world.

PHOTOS: More Kid's month activities at the San Ignacio Public Library
Look at all the smiling faces! The SIPL has Rosado's preschool and Santa Elena Primary Infant children over for a visit.

International Sources

Lionel Messi's 222 Goals for Barcelona in 13 Minutes
Messi's brilliance has been rhapsodized about, analyzed, broken down into metrics and built up with poetics. At this point, you must know that this is a player dominating and defining an era of a game. He's comprable to Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan more than he is any other footballer. So why don't we just steal a little bit of time today and just watch him. Watch 222 of his Barca goals here:

Fight to Stop Offshore Drilling in Belize's Barrier Reef
In Belize, thousands of citizens are in an uproar about the government's determination to drill for offshore oil. The government, represented by Prime Minister Dean Barrow, was just narrowly re-elected -- but despite a clear message from the people, it continues to ignore the significant outcry against offshore drilling. Belize is a small and proud nation, about the size of Massachusetts, with only 350,000 citizens and an economy that depends on tourism. The World Travel & Tourism Council calculates that in 2011 tourism contributed to 40,000 jobs in Belize, which is 30 percent of the country's total employment. Current plans for drilling include sites in the middle of Belize's reef -- the Mesoamerican reef which is the world's second largest barrier reef system, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a destination point for over 60 percent of the tourists that support Belize's economy. People in the tourism industry and many other Belizeans are concerned about what an oil spill in the middle of the reef would do to one of the world's natural wonders and to the future of Belize as a tourist destination. If superimposed over the marine areas of Belize, BP's Gulf of Mexico oil spill is seven times larger. A spill of that size would have catastrophic effects for the entire country.

Did Belief in Gods Lead to Mayan Demise?
A dread of malevolent spirits haunting forsaken areas could, along with environmental catastrophes, help to explain why some areas in the ancient Mayan world proved less resilient than others when their civilization disintegrated, researchers suggest. The ancient Maya once claimed an area about the size of Texas, with cities and fields that occupied what is now southern Mexico and northern Central America, including the countries of Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador and Honduras. The height of the Mayan civilization, known as the Classic period, extended from approximately A.D. 250 to at least 900. For unknown reasons, the Classic Mayan civilization then collapsed. The population declined catastrophically to a fraction of its former size, and many of their great cities were left mostly abandoned for the jungle to reclaim. Scientists have long drawn connections between the decline of the ancient Maya and environmental catastrophes, especially drought. Deforestation linked with farming could also have triggered disaster — for instance, reduced tree cover of the ground would have led to loss of fertile topsoil by erosion, as well as greater evaporation of water by sunlight, exacerbating drought.

Auction to benefit children of Belize
Justin Banister, the founder and president of Light into Darkness for Belize, is something of a Renaissance man: He's an expert in alternative agriculture and aquaculture, a photographer and a seasoned traveler who has volunteered in relief efforts in various countries from Romania to Belize. His wife, Darci, a volunteer supervisor with the Guardian ad Litem program, shares her husband's passion for art, traveling and humanitarianism. It did not take much brainstorming for the couple to realize that through their combined skills — his in sustainable agriculture and hers in social work — and their mutual passion for art and humanitarianism, that together they could make a difference in the lives of countless individuals throughout the world.

Daily Daydream: A Budget Oasis in Belize
Belize has a budget-busting reputation for travelers, but Tobacco Caye is an island oasis that can accommodate most backpackers' budgets. A small island—and we mean small: you can walk around the entire island in just 10 minutes. Or, swim a few laps around it! Tobacco Caye is perfect for relaxing—the small island just has hotels and a dive shop, so you really don't have anything else to do except lounge and explore. Be prepared to walk everywhere, as there are no roads, Grab a snorkel and head out to the nearby reef, or hire a boat to take you even further out for manatee spotting. Toward the day's end, snag a hammock and watch the sunset.



Edited by Marty (11/17/12 04:48 PM)